Here’s a potpourri of interesting news about foods, health and more!  There’s a LOT here but take your time and check it out!  Actually, OK, it’s a HUGE post today!  But … there is a funny joke at the very end!   ENJOY!

How different kinds of fiber affect the microbiome, written by Yella Hewings-Martin for MedicalNewsToday.com, 21 September 2019 … Scientists show which fiber molecules benefit a group of gut bacteria in a mouse model. 

What sources of fiber are best, and which molecules in fiber do our gut microbes respond to?

A team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, MO, along with international collaborators, set out to answer these questions with a long term view of developing what they call microbiota directed foods, to improve our health. 

Not all fiber is created equal

“Fiber is understood to be beneficial,” explains senior study author Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, a professor and director of the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology, at Washington University School of Medicine.  “But fiber is actually a very complicated mixture of many different components. Moreover, fibers from different plant sources that are processed in different ways during food manufacturing have different constituents,” he continues.”

The team tested 34 different sources of dietary fiber, including pea protein, citrus peel, citrus pectin, tomato peel, orange fiber, apple fiber, oat hull fiber, cocoa, chia seeds, and rice bran. In total, this resulted in 144 different diet combinations.  They then analyzed how the 20 different bacterial strains reacted to the presence of the various fiber sources. In total, 21 of the combinations had significant effects, allowing the researchers to identify the strains’ “distinct nutrient harvesting capabilities,” as they explain in their paper.

“A healthy human gut microbiota has great strain level diversity,” the team explain in the paper. “Determining which strains representing a given species to select as a lead candidate probiotic agent or for incorporation into synbiotic (prebiotic plus probiotic) formulations is a central challenge for those seeking to develop next generation microbiota-directed therapeutics.”

Read more:  How different kinds of fiber affect the microbiome


Eating more nuts may help prevent weight gain was reported by Ana Sandoiu for MedicalNewsToday.com, 24 September 2019.  According to recent evidence, nuts can aid weight gain, despite being calorically rich. I’m curious!

Two studies published last year found that a daily serving of nuts may keep away the extra weight that we tend to put on as adults.  Now, new research, appearing in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, strengthens those findings.  Xiaoran Liu, Ph.D., a research associate in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in Boston, MA, and colleagues set out to examine the effects of eating more nuts on weight control.

The analysis indicated that increasing daily nut consumption by half a serving was linked with a smaller risk of gaining 2 or more kilograms (kg) of weight over a 4-year period.  Also, the same half-serving increase in walnut intake was linked with a 15% lower obesity risk.  More specifically, replacing an intake of processed meats, refined grains, or desserts with half a serving of nuts was linked with staving off between 0.41 and 0.70 kg in any given 4-year period.  Furthermore, going from not eating nuts at all to consuming at least half a serving a day was linked with preventing 0.74 kg of weight gain and lower overall risks of moderate weight gain and obesity.  Finally, consistently increasing one’s nut intake by half a daily serving was linked with a 23% lower risk of gaining 5 or more kilograms and a lower risk of obesity in the same period of time.

(Although the researchers also looked at peanut butter intake, they found no positive effects of this consumption.)

Read more:  Eating more nuts may help prevent weight gain


Let me share my idea of a perfect boiled egg: It should be tender throughout, even when fully hard-boiled. The white should not be rubbery, nor the yolk chalky or green. And above all, it should peel easily.

Here’s the real trick, and it confirms the data I’ve been collecting for years now: By far the most important factor in determining whether a boiled egg will peel cleanly or not is the temperature at which it starts cooking. Starting eggs in cold water causes egg-white proteins to coagulate slowly, bonding tightly to the inner membrane of the shell. The difference is night and day: Cold-water eggs show nearly nine times more large flaws and double the number of small flaws.

There are two stovetop cooking methods that allow preheating for a hot start, and produce eggs that are equally easy to peel: boiling and steaming.

Taste tests showed that steamed eggs were more tender than their boiled counterparts. This is because steam is gentler than boiling water, allowing eggs to cook through without any hint of rubberiness in the whites or chalkiness in the yolks. Steaming an egg may take a minute longer than boiling it, but you save that time and more during setup: Bringing an inch of water to a boil is much faster than bringing a whole pot of water to a boil.

Read more:  How to Boil the Perfect Egg


Just 2 Weeks on the Couch Starts to Damage Your Body was reported by Serena Gordon for HealthDay.com, 19 September 2019.  This is SO true … which I experienced after 2 back-to-back surgeries and several months of limited exercise!

A new study by Kelly Bowden Davies, a lecturer at Newcastle University and the University of Liverpool, UK , proves that the old adage “use it or lose it” is definitely true when it comes to fitness.  The study was presented Wednesday at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting, in Barcelona.  After just two weeks of sedentary behavior, formerly fit people had:

    • A decline in heart and lung health
    • Increased waist circumference
    • Greater body fat and liver fat
    • Higher levels of insulin resistance

Dr. John Osborne, an American Heart Association spokesman, said this was a very interesting, and somewhat surprising, study. The findings validate advice he gives his patients. “If you can be a shark or a turtle, be a shark — always moving. This study showed you can lose the benefits of exercise very quickly, but the good news is that when they became sharks again, all the benefits came right back.”

Another expert who reviewed the study, Dr. Edmund Giegerich, chief of endocrinology and vice chairman of medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in New York City, was also somewhat surprised by the magnitude of changes that happened in just two weeks.

Read more: Just 2 Weeks on the Couch Starts to Damage Your Body


How to Commit to an Exercise Routine was written by Mark Travers, PhD for PsychologyToday.com, 20 September 2019.  Of course, I had to follow the previous item with this solution!!!

Researchers at the University of Oregon assessed which personality dimensions might be most predictive of an individual’s ability to maintain a self-initiated exercise regimen.  In the survey, participants were asked to fill out a series of personality scales, including the Planfulness scale, the Brief Self-Control Scale, the 60-item Big Five Inventory, and the 12-item Grit scale.  The Planfulness scale assesses a person’s tendency to utilize mental processes to promote goal achievement.

The results from this study support the validity of the Planfulness Scale for measuring the propensity of individuals to make progress toward their goals in the real world. While further testing is necessary, the accrued evidence to-date suggests that measuring planfulness may be uniquely useful for researchers investigating a variety of goal-directed behaviors, including the pursuit of health and lifestyle goals.

Read more: How to Commit to an Exercise Routine


“Rage Yoga” Involves Swearing and Booze Breaks was written by Mark Pygas for Distractify.com, February 2019. 

Yoga is supposed to be a relaxing, meditative exercise that gets you ready for the rest of the day. But now, you might be able to achieve the same result by doing the opposite. Rage Yoga aims to calm you down and get you fitter by swearing, shouting, and enjoying a beer. 

Lindsay Istace, the founder of Rage Yoga, explains on her website that her method is “a practice involving stretching, positional exercises and bad humor, with the goal of attaining good health and to become zen AF. More than just a practice, Rage Yoga is an attitude.”   As they say, “Namaste, jerks!”

Read more: “Rage Yoga” Involves Swearing and Booze Breaks


10 Ingredients Every Plant-Based Pantry Needs was detailed by James Colquhoun for FoodMatters.com, 14 August 2019. 

The benefits of a plant-based diet are abundant, but in order to get the most out of this healthy lifestyle choice, you should be well organized with a pantry stocked with the key ingredients to make your own delicious and nutritious meals. The top 10 list of ingredients you should have on hand includes hemp seeds, oats, nutritional yeast, coconut oil or fat, wild rice or brown rice, chia seeds, canned tomatoes and beans/legumes.

Read more: 10 Ingredients Every Plant-Based Pantry Needs


Medical Students Not Ready to Provide Nutritional Care was discussed on Health Day News for PhysiciansBriefing.com, 19 September 2019.  Medical education does not equip students to provide high-quality, effective nutrition care, according to a review published in the September issue of The Lancet Planetary Health.  ARE WE SURPRISED?!?!?!?

Jennifer Crowley, Ph.D., from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature search to identify articles assessing medical students’ nutrition knowledge, skills, and confidence to counsel patients.

The researchers identified 24 eligible studies (16 quantitative studies, three qualitative studies, and five curriculum initiatives). Studies were from the United States (11 studies), Europe (four), the Middle East (one), Africa (one), and Australasia (seven). Analysis revealed that nutrition is insufficiently incorporated into medical education, regardless of country, setting, or year of medical education. These deficits in nutrition education impact students’ knowledge, skills, and confidence to implement nutrition care into patient care. Curriculum initiatives had a modest positive effect.

Read more:  Medical Students Not Ready to Provide Nutritional Care


And one more … What Veterinarians Know That Physicians Don’t — Applying insights from animal health, was produced by TEDMED and discussed by Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, UCLA cardiology professor, who   offers an unusual perspective on how human patients, including those suffering from mental illnesses, can be helped by applying insights from animal health.

Of course, most physicians don’t realize that it is harder to get into vet school these days than medical school and that when we go to medical school we learn everything there is to know about one species, Homo sapiens. But veterinarians need to learn about health and disease in mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and birds

Here’s a joke from the vets. What do you call a veterinarian who can only take care of one species? A physician. 

Read the transcript:  What Veterinarians Know That Physicians Don’t

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