Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Food for Thought, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Olive Oil in Diet Reduces Stroke Risk

Adding olive oil to your diet may reduce your risk of stroke, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that older people who used olive oil intensively -- meaning they regularly cooked with it and used it in salad dressing -- were 41 percent less likely to have a stroke than those who rarely consumed it.

Samieri C, et al "Olive oil consumption, plasma oleic acid, and stroke incidence: The Three-City Study" Neurology 2011 See the abstract here

The "Dirty Dozen" and The "Clean Fifteen"

This list just out from the Environmental Working Group. Foods with the highest and lowest pesticide residues...the worst offender..Apples.

Conventional farmers use an arsenal of pesticides to protect their crops from insects, bacteria, rodents, molds, and fungi. These substances can end up in the food supply. Washing and peeling fruit and vegetables can lower pesticide residues, but not necessarily. When the USDA tests for pesticides, they wash and peel fruit the same way a typical consumer would.

Can't afford Organics? Try looking for locally grown but do not despair. The EWG made this statement: if families simply select the daily recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables from the "Clean Fifteen" list over five from the Dirty Dozen, they would reduce the amount of pesticides ingested by 92% - without having to shell out extra money for organics.

Buy the produce on the Dirty Dozen organically grown if possible...

The Dirty Dozen 2011

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines (imported)
  7. Grapes (imported)
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries (domestic)
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/collard greens
And the Clean Fifteen 2011

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplants
  9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An unexpected benefit of losing weight...higher vitamin D levels.

This is an interesting finding...losing weight...ie losing fat..frees up vitamin D that is sequestered in the fat..and results in modest increases in serum levels of the vitamin. You know that vitamin D is protective against heart disease and several cancers...here's another reason to hop up and onto that treadmill...and watch your calories.

The study reports that Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations in postmenopausal women are directly associated with weight loss, whether achieved through lower caloric intake or increased physical activity, according to the results of a randomized controlled trial reported online May 25 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Low concentrations of circulating vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, are common with obesity and may represent a potential mechanism explaining the elevated risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular outcomes observed in individuals who are overweight or obese. A greater degree of weight loss, achieved through either a reduced-calorie diet or increased exercise, is associated with increased circulating 25(OH)D concentrations.

The National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute supported this study.
"Effects of weight loss on serum vitamin D in postmenopausal women." 
Am J Clin Nutr. Published online May 25, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuition Hikes are Outpacing Income

CNN Money notes that, between 1988 and 2008, college tuition and fees doubled while median income stagnated. And this is just tuition...add housing and food and you're looking at 20K+ for in-state tuition in most schools. Sheesh.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tangerines, Grapefruits, Diabetes and Healthy Blood Vessels.

What's the connection? Well in an animal study in Ontario a substance found in tangerines guards against obesity and offers some protection against diabetes and blood vessel disease. The substance is called nobiletin and it protected against insulin resistance and  blocked arteries in animals fed a high fat high sugar diet.

Two groups of mice were fed the Western diet but one group also got supplemental nobiletin. The mice without the tangerine compound became obese and developed signs of metabolic syndrome—high insulin and glucose levels, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, and a fatty liver—all of which increase the risk of developing diabetes and heart problems such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). The second group of mice whose diet included nobiletin didn’t experience an increase in insulin, glucose, triglycerides nor cholesterol, and gained weight normally. Researchers said nobiletin protected the mice from obesity and prevented fat buildup in the liver. 

Another citrus favorite, the grapefruit, has shown promise in weight management and diabetes; although, the research on nobiletin in tangerines is showing it’s more potent than naringenin from grapefruit. 

Read the abstract from the journal "Diabetes" here.

Mile High Organics

I've been so excited to find a wonderful business near me...Mile High Organics..they deliver beautiful organic non GMO foods right to my front porch. Here is a shot of some of the produce I received in my first order...

If you live here along the front range you can find them at www.milehighorganics.com