March Well Scoop Wellness Minute - All About Diet

A round up of recent diet and health related stories in the news you might have missed.

The Asparagus Cancer Study

Research on mice revealed that the amino acid asparagine helps spread triple-negative breast cancer more quickly in mice. The discovery may lead to answers for treating cancer and blocking asparagine. No human trials have been conducted yet, but the first clinical trial of healthy participants may begin soon to study impact of a low asparagine diet. Asparagine is a protein building block found in most foods, including dairy, whey, beef, poultry, eggs, fish, seafood, asparagus, potatoes, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy and whole grains. Foods low in asparagine include most fruits and vegetables. Notably, findings in mice do not directly correlate to the same results in humans. And the study did not suggest that asparagine causes cancer. So it might be too early to dump asparagus from your diet. The study.

Fish A Bigger Part Of The Paleo Diet Than Previously Thought

A study of bones dating back 10,500 years ago revealed some surprising findings. Stone Age people in Southern Scandinavia originally thought to be mobile groups of big game hunters were actually more stationary locavores with diets consisting of over 50% fish in some cases, where sea mammals comprised the rest along with boars, red deer and scant amounts of plants and mushrooms. The findings were originally missed because fish bones are smaller and more brittle and do not preserve as well. The traces of fish as a food source were overlooked. 82 bones from the oldest humans from Sweden and Denmark were used for the study in which collagen was extracted and analyzed to determine the results. The study.

High Omega-6 in Diet Supports Longevity

In Finland, a study of over 2,000 men found that the occurrence of premature death was 43% lower in men that had high levels of linoleic acid in their blood stream. Linoleic acid--the most common polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid--has been associated with inflammation-promoting compounds and chronic disease. However, omega-6 fatty acids also increase the body's ability to fight inflammation. Those found to have high levels of linoleic acid in their blood stream were observed to have a smaller risk of premature death. Sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, avocado oil, canola oil, flax seed oil, palm oil, and olive oil are all high in omega-6 fatty acids along with safflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, walnuts and Brazil nuts. The study

The Most Popular Diets in Each State

According to a recent study, the top three most popular diets in the U.S. are The Fast, followed by the Mediterranean, Vegetarian diets. In the summary below, we grouped all plant-based diets together under Vegan/Vegetarian/Raw, which combined is actually the largest trend. See all states.

The Fast

  • Alabama
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Utah

Mediterranean

  • Missouri
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont

Vegan/Vegetarian/Raw

  • Delaware - V
  • Hawaii - V
  • California - VG
  • Oregon - VG
  • Texas - VG
  • Washington - VG
  • Nevada - R

Eat A High Energy Breakfast To Lose Weight

A recent study of patients with obesity and type-2 diabetes showed that a high energy breakfast, moderate lunch and light dinner promotes weight loss, improves diabetes and reduces the need for insulin. The study also showed that the timing of when you eat and how frequently is more important that what you eat and caloric. Eating three meals a day vs traditional six for diabetes and weight loss contributed to better weight loss, reduced hunger and better diabetes control. Findings also showed that timing of meal had a quicker impact on glucose balance even before weight loss. The study.

Western Diet Weakens Arteries, Heightens Immune response

Each year nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. suffer from stroke and the incidence of heart attack is not far behind. While inflammation contributes to a hardening of the arteries known as atherosclerosis, new research by scientists at La Jolla University indicates the blockages that lead to stroke or heart attack are the result of an immune system response to excess cholesterol. A typical Western diet depletes the number of artery-protecting immune cells, turning them into promoters of inflammation, which exacerbates atherosclerotic plaque buildup that occurs in cardiovascular disease. The team has also found that high density lipoproteins (HDL) -- more commonly known as "good cholesterol" -- counteract this process, helping the protective immune cells maintain their identity and keep arteries clear.

According to Dr. Dalia Gaddis from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, "With a western diet, protective cells change to damaging cells, causing more inflammation," says Gaddis. "What we're finding is that HDL -- the good cholesterol -- actually helps shield the protective cells against the damaging changes that occur during atherosclerosis plaque development." The study.

Foods with good cholesterol include fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil, red wine, fruits grains and breads. See more.

Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease By Fasting

Researchers at the University of Surrey have concluded that a fasting diet such as the 5:2 diet which involves intermittent calorie intake restrictions reduces the risk of heart complications. They found that a fasting diet "cleared the fat (triglyceride) from a meal given to them more efficiently than those who undertook the daily diet." They also found a reduction in systolic blood pressure which is the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. With these two results, researchers felt that the risk of cardiovascular or heart disease was reduced. While this diet may not be suited for everyone (some participants had to drop out of the study), it is something that can be applied in small steps to improve health per the report.