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Healthy Eating Roundup: Behind the headlines

How do you set priorities to assure that your “healthy choices” are doing the most good for health and vitality? Nutrition headlines in perspective

A look at several studies making headlines in the last few weeks shows that the answer may not be as clear-cut as it seems.

Let’s pull them together for a look at the big picture.

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Foods that Fight Inflammation

Research on how our eating habits may bring anti-inflammatory health protection is now widespread. The problem is that you can read one headline from a study that proclaims “X” food fights inflammation, yet have no idea how that statement fits in the big picture. Is this a food that many studies show –in humans — is anti-inflammatory? Or is it a fluke finding?

In Part 1 of this video series, Susan Steck, PhD, MPH, RD, provided background on inflammation and shared thoughts on how we approach “anti-inflammatory diets”. Here, in Part 2, she discusses some of the foods that came up with strongest and most consistent findings in analysis of worldwide research on diet and inflammation. Dr. Steck is a registered dietitian and Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Following the video, read on for clarifying details.


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The Diabetes-Cancer Connection: What does it mean?

OK, call me a Pollyanna, but some good can come from realizing the increase in cancer risk linked to type 2 diabetes.  By supplying evidence of an important pathway in cancer’s development, we have more clarity on steps that can have double impact, decreasing risk of diabetes and all its complications AND decreasing cancer risk at the same time.changing to healthy habits now can reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer risk

Last week I was fortunate to speak on this topic as part of a webinar for the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).  My co-presenter was the distinguished Canadian researcher in this field, Michael Pollak, M.D.  Don’t get me wrong – the diabetes-cancer link is worrisome, since the skyrocketing rates of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. suggest that in years to come, rates of diabetes-related cancers could soar as well. Today, though, let’s focus on the silver lining: if we act now to create a few basic changes in lifestyle and eating patterns, we might still turn this Titanic around in time. Continue reading

Nutrition Distraction Disorder: Fight it with Sloppy Success

Nutrition Distraction Disorder:  If it were a real diagnosable condition, a lot of people would have it.  Do you?  Whether I’m at a speaking engagement or simply watching the headlines, I’ve noticed lately how many people are dipping a toe in the pool of a healthier lifestyle, and then jumping out and running to something else.  They never stick with a change long enough to feel the benefits, and are frazzled from trying to keep up with the latest “sure-fire” nutrition strategy.Aim for Sloppy Success to beat Nutrition Distraction Disorder

On a conference call recently, my valued colleague Bridget Swinney, MS, RD shared one of the take-home messages from a writers’ conference she recently attended: “Sloppy Success is better than Perfect Procrastination.”  That may have been said regarding writing, but I think it’s relevant to much more. Let’s look at how some imperfect changes to your eating habits and lifestyle might be the answer to replace “Nutrition Distraction Disorder”. Continue reading

Fiber & Breast Cancer Risk: What you need to know now

Can dietary fiber reduce breast cancer risk? A new analysis adds fresh insights to a Smart Bytes discussion of just a few months ago about a previously published analysis on this subject.  This new analysis includes additional studies and drills down to see if fiber’s effects differ by amount and type of fiber.Women want to know about dietary fiber & breast cancer risk

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