Fiber Is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why, as published by Carl Zimmer in the Science Section of The New York Times, 1 January 2018.  I’ve heard this since I was little … so I just believed it.  But now there is proof!

A diet of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, reduces the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Indeed, the evidence for fiber’s benefits extends beyond any particular ailment: Eating more fiber seems to lower people’s mortality rate, whatever the cause.

While the benefits are clear, it’s not so clear why fiber is so great. “It’s an easy question to ask and a hard one to really answer,” said Fredrik Bäckhed, a biologist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.  He and other scientists are running experiments that are yielding some important new clues about fiber’s role in human health.

Their research indicates that fiber doesn’t deliver many of its benefits directly to our bodies.  Instead, the fiber we eat feeds billions of bacteria in our guts. Keeping them happy means our intestines and immune systems remain in good working order. In order to digest food, we need to bathe it in enzymes that break down its molecules. Those molecular fragments then pass through the gut wall and are absorbed in our intestines.

But our bodies make a limited range of enzymes, so that we cannot break down many of the tough compounds in plants. The term “dietary fiber” refers to those indigestible molecules.  But they are indigestible only to us. The gut is coated with a layer of mucus, atop which sits a carpet of hundreds of species of bacteria, part of the human microbiome. Some of these microbes carry the enzymes needed to break down various kinds of dietary fiber.

Read more:  Fiber Is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why.

 

Fermented Foods for Better Blood Sugar was reported by Elizabeth Keyser on DLife.com … very interesting!

Earthy, tangy, meaty: it’s that indescribable “fifth taste” known as umami. Foods that have been fermented deliver umami, and they also have unique health benefits, especially for people with diabetes. Fermentation is one of the oldest methods of preserving food. It’s what transforms milk into yogurt; cabbage into sauerkraut and Korean kimchi; soybeans into miso; and fruit into vinegar. The best part is that research shows that these foods are good for your blood sugar levels. The acids in fermented foods—lactic and acetic acid—interfere with carbohydrates’ turning into blood sugar, thereby reducing spikes. These benefits can carry over to the next meal—but that’s not all.

The good bacteria in fermented foods break down carbohydrates into acids and promote the growth of more friendly bacteria. When we eat fermented foods, friendly bacteria are allowed to thrive in our intestines, guarding our cells and fighting off the bad bacteria that can make us sick. They may also boost immune response, lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and even have anti-cancer properties.

Read more: Fermented Foods for Better Blood Sugar

 

The Key to Weight Loss Is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, a New Study Finds was reported by Anahad O’Connor in the Well Section of The New York Times, 20 February 2018. 

Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that the standard prescription for weight loss is to reduce the amount of calories you consume.

But a new study, published Tuesday in JAMA, may turn that advice on its head. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year.

Read more:  The Key to Weight Loss Is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, a New Study Finds

 

How to Break Up with Plastic Fast by Jill Anenberg Lawrence on her blog, NutritiousLife.com, gives you great suggestions for kicking the plastic habit.

Look around your kitchen: Blender, food processor, strainer, spatula, water bottles, snack wrappers, Saran wrap, bags—all plastic. Take a peek in the bathroom, it’s in your shower curtain too.  I want you to make your own food, but I don’t want you to ingest chemicals and destroy the planet because of what you used to cook or store those goodies.

Some plastics contain an endocrine disrupting chemical called BPA, short for Bisphenol-A. This bad boy is a chemical with estrogenic activity, meaning it can behave like a synthetic estrogen, sometimes blocking or mimicking the natural estrogen in our bodies.

While more studies in humans are needed, lab and animal research studies suggest it could affect the reproductive syst em in serious ways. Research also points to the biggest risks for developing fetuses and children, including potential effects on brain development and behavior.

 

Read more:  How to Break Up With Plastic Fast

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