The World Health Organization (WHO) recently proposed lowering its recommendation for maximum daily sugar intake from 10 percent of all calories to 5 percent, not including sugar from whole fruit. But what does that really mean?
CNN reported March 6 that in concrete terms, the WHO standard would mean consuming no more than 25 grams of added sugar daily, or six teaspoons. To put that in perspective, a single can of sugary soda contains about 40 grams of sugar.
In addition to cutting out soda, you also can control your excess sugar consumption by reading the labels on processed foods — or eliminating such foods from your diet altogether. Many such products contain hidden sugars, including everything from pizza to soup to mayonnaise.
(Photo © Mel B via Flickr)
Recent research suggests that risk of Alzheimer’s disease, like cancer and heart disease, is deeply rooted in lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. And like those other chronic diseases, Alzheimer’s is one of the leading killers of Americans, according to a new analysis.
The Washington Post reported March 5 that researchers from the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago who tracked mortality among people who exhibited symptoms of the disease concluded that deaths from dementia may be severely underreported. While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Alzheimer’s as the sixth-leading cause of death, killing about 84,000 people annually, the Rush researchers estimate that the disease kills more than half a million people each year — a total topped only by cancer and heart disease.
Part of the reason the death total has been underestimated is that coroners often report a more immediate cause of death rather than the underlying disease, researchers say. “Death certificates may not be the best way to measure how many people die from something that takes up to 10 years” to kill,” says lead researcher Bryan James. “We’re not saying they didn’t die of those things; we’re just saying, ‘Well, what put them in the hospital with that condition?’”
“There are many people who still think of Alzheimer’s disease as just a memory problem — you forgot where you left your keys. But currently, Alzheimer’s is a universally fatal brain disease that has kind of fallen by the radar,” adds James Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association.
The research was reported in the journal Neurology.
In a big concession to the birth pangs associated with healthcare reform, the Obama administration announced that people with existing health-insurance plans that don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can keep their existing coverage for up to two more years.
CNN reported March 5 that the waiver of the ACA rules will affect about half a million Americans who currently have high-deductible, low-benefit plans that don’t meet the minimum coverage guarantees set under the healthcare-reform law. Previous amendments to the implementation schedule for the ACA allowed small businesses to maintain their existing, non-compliant plans.
The move is seen as a way to prevent people from insurance from having their existing policies cancelled, although insurers ultimately will decided whether they want to continue offering the substandard insurance or issue new, ACA compliant policies.
When you’re looking to cut calories from your diet, you need to know about the nutrition density of the food that you eat: in other words, how much bang for your buck you are getting from the food you consume.
Business Insider reported March 5 on some of most nutrition-dense foods you can eat, including:
- Wild salmon: contains 2.8 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids per 100 grams, plus ample protein, vitamins and minerals
- Kale: 100 grams has just 50 calories but 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and more than a day’s worth of vitamins A, C, and K1, plus vitamin B6, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese.
- Seaweed: loaded with iodine and antioxidants plus calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese.
- Garlic: high in allicin — thought to lower blood pressure and control cholesterol — as well as vitamins C, B1 and B6, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium.
- Shellfish: Clams are an excellent source of vitamins B12 and C, plus selenium and iron, while oysters are loaded with zinc, copper, B12, vitamin D, and other nutrients.
- Potatoes: contain potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, vitamin C and most of the B vitamins.
- Liver: By far the most nutritious type of animal protein: contains an abundance of vitamins A, B2, B5, B6, B12, niacin, folate, copper, iron, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium.
- Sardines: Their nutrition value is enhanced by the fact that they are eaten whole.
- Blueberries: Ripe with antioxidants.
- Egg yolks: “Nature’s multivitamins” also contain antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats.
- Dark chocolate: Contains antioxidants plus fiber, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
(Photo © Vasenka via Flickr)
Mississippi is the most obese state in the U.S., and state residents say the problem stems in part from a cultural love affair with fried food.
Fox News reported March 6 that the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index report found that more than 34 percent of Mississippians are obese. In addition to diet, some residents laid blame on the state’s laid-back lifestyle.
“We’re used to fried food so much it’s just an old school thing,” says Kim Waldrup, 54, of Yazoo City. “But they need to start in the schools to fix it.”