A recent study published in American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology suggests that a high-fat diet is OK and even beneficial for the heart. The study, which looked at cardiac function in patients suffering from heart failure, found that that a high-fat diet improved the heart’s ability to pump, along with boosting cardiac insulin resistance (which reduces the risk of diabetes). Sounds pretty different than what we’ve been told all along right? That eating too much fat is bad for the heart?
Not so fast. According to the study which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and the Case Center for Imaging Research, all fats are not created equal. In fact, a balanced diet that includes mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and which replaces simple sugars and highly processed foods with complex carbs, are most beneficial for damaged hearts. Notice what wasn’t on that list of a healthy diet? Trans fats or saturated fats.
Are you feeling down in the dumps about all that junk food you’ve been eating lately? Well, it may literally be the junk food that is making you depressed.
The results of a six-year study out of Spain has come to the conclusion that people who eat food high in trans fats and saturated fats have an increased risk of depression. Trans fats are used in fried foods, shortening and all kinds of processed foods.
“Participants with an elevated consumption of trans fats presented up to a 48 percent increase in the risk of depression when they were compared to participants who did not consume these fats,” said Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. (more…)
Well, they came a month late, but the much anticipated 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have finally been released. The USDA and Department of Health and Human Services work together every five years to update the Dietary Guidelines to reflect changing and new research. The new guidelines aren’t drastically different than years before, but do reflect an urgency to address the growing obesity epidemic.
Learn more in this video recapping the new guidelines:
The average American consumes around 3,400 mg of sodium per day. The new Guidelines recommend reducing that number to 1,500 mg, or 1 teaspoon, of sodium, especially for those who are 51 and older, African American, or have hypertension, diabetes, and/or chronic kidney disease. Many believe that focusing on slashing salt in our diets will in turn also cut our saturated fat intake.
If you’re like me and have a serious sweet tooth, sometimes baked goods are just too hard to resist. But with many baked goods being high in trans fats (especially the processed ones or recipes with shortening) and low in nutrition, they’re really best eaten rarely- very rarely.
There is a loophole, though — making your own! When you bake at home you know exactly what’s in your food, so you can nosh guilt-free. In fact, there are tons of tricks to turning a regular recipe into a low-fat recipe! All it takes is a little ingredient experimentation and some time in the kitchen. (more…)