Tag Archives: Eating
ROME (Reuters) – The thought of eating beetles, caterpillars and ants may give you the creeps, but the authors of a U.N. report published on Monday said the health benefits of consuming nutritious insects could help fight obesity.
More than 1,900 species of insects are eaten around the world, mainly in Africa and Asia, but people in the West generally turn their noses up at the likes of grasshoppers, termites and other crunchy fare.
The authors of the study by the Forestry Department, part of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said many insects contained the same amount of protein and minerals as meat and more healthy fats doctors recommend in balanced diets.
“In the West we have a cultural bias, and think that because insects come from developing countries, they cannot be good,” said scientist Arnold van Huis from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, one of the authors of the report.
Eva Muller of the FAO said restaurants in Europe were starting to offer insect-based dishes, presenting them to diners as exotic delicacies.
Danish restaurant Noma, for example, crowned the world’s best for three years running in one poll, is renowned for ingredients including ants and fermented grasshoppers.
As well as helping in the costly battle against obesity, which the World Health Organization estimates has nearly doubled since 1980 and affects around 500 million people, the report said insect farming was likely to be less land-dependent than traditional livestock and produce fewer greenhouse gases.
It would also provide business and export opportunities for poor people in developing countries, especially women, who are often responsible for collecting insects in rural communities.
Van Huis said barriers to enjoying dishes such as bee larvae yoghurt were psychological – in a blind test carried out by his team, nine out of 10 people preferred meatballs made from roughly half meat and half mealworms to those made from meat.
(Reporting by Catherine Hornby; Editing by Philip Pullella and Mike Collett-White)
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Vegetables that contain nicotine may offer some protection, research suggests
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) — Eating vegetables that naturally contain nicotine, such as peppers and tomatoes, may reduce your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study.
Previous research has found that smoking and other types of tobacco use are associated with a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and it is believed that nicotine provides the protective effect. Tobacco belongs to a plant family called Solanaceae and some plants in this family are edible sources of nicotine.
This new study included nearly 500 people who were newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s and another 650 unrelated people who did not have the neurological disorder, which is typically marked by tremors and other movement problems. The study participants provided information about their tobacco use and diets.
In general, vegetable consumption had no effect on Parkinson’s risk. The more vegetables from the Solanaceae plant family that people ate, however, the lower their risk of Parkinson’s disease. This association was strongest for peppers, according to the study, which was published May 9 in the journal Annals of Neurology.
The apparent protection offered by Solanaceae vegetables occurred mainly in people with little or no prior use of tobacco, which contains much more nicotine than the foods included in the study.
“Our study is the first to investigate dietary nicotine and risk of developing Parkinson’s disease,” Dr. Susan Searles Nielsen, of the University of Washington in Seattle, said in a journal news release. “Similar to the many studies that indicate tobacco use might reduce risk of Parkinson’s, our findings also suggest a protective effect from nicotine, or perhaps a similar but less toxic chemical in peppers and tobacco.”
Nielsen and her colleagues recommended further studies to confirm and extend their findings, which could lead to ways to prevent Parkinson’s disease.
Although the study found an association between consumption of certain nicotine-containing foods and lower risk of Parkinson’s, it could not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Still, one Parkinson’s expert called the study “intriguing.”
“It provides further evidence of how diet can influence our susceptibility to neurological disease — specifically Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Kelly Changizi, co-director of the Center for Neuromodulation at the Mount Sinai Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center in New York City. “Patients often ask what role nutrition plays in their disease, so it’s very interesting that nicotine in vegetables such as peppers may be neuroprotective.”
Another expert said more research into the role of nicotine in Parkinson’s disease is already underway.
“The observation that cigarette smokers have a reduced risk for Parkinson’s disease has long been known, and has raised the idea that nicotine may reduce the risk for [the illness],” said Dr. Andrew Feigin, who is investigating the illness at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y.
“A nicotine skin patch is currently being tested in patients with early Parkinson’s disease,” he said.
The illness occurs due to a loss of brain cells that produce a chemical messenger called dopamine. The symptoms of the disease include loss of balance, slower movement and tremors and stiffness in the face and limbs. There is currently no cure for the disorder. Nearly 1 million Americans — and 10 million people worldwide — have Parkinson’s, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
SATURDAY Feb. 9, 2013 — Children with autism are five times more likely than other kids to have feeding issues, such as being especially picky eaters or having ritualistic behaviors or extreme tantrums during meals, new research finds.
These problems can lead to deficiencies in calcium, protein and other nutrients, according to the study, which was published online this month in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Healthy eating promotes a child’s growth and development, and mealtimes provide important opportunities for children to socialize, the researchers noted. Chronic feeding troubles increase a child’s risk for problems such as malnutrition, poor growth, social difficulties and poor school performance.
The researchers added that there is growing evidence that feeding problems and dietary patterns among children with autism may put them at increased risk for long-term health problems such as poor bone growth, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
“The results of this study have broad implications for children with autism,” study author William Sharp, an assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said in a university news release.
“It not only highlights the importance of assessing mealtime concerns as part of routine health care screenings, but also suggests the need for greater focus on diet and nutrition in the autism community,” added Sharp, who also is a behavioral pediatric psychologist in the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta.
Sharp said that despite the risk of long-term medical issues, feeding problems often are overlooked in relation to other areas of concern in the autism population.
“Our findings have immediate and important implications for the work of practitioners serving children and families with autism, who in the absence of such information may struggle to address parents’ concerns, or, worse, may fill the void with alternative treatments that may be ill-conceived or even harmful to children and families,” Sharp explained.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about autism.
Posted: February 2013
Jan. 16, 2013 — The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has announced its seventh annual Xtreme Eating Awards, and as usual, there are some eye-popping, belt-busting, and artery-clogging stats behind these oversized restaurant meals.
Some of this year’s biggest offenders are dishes even savvy diners might not suspect:
- Despite healthy ingredients like mushrooms, arugula, and tomatoes, the Bistro Shrimp Pasta from the Cheesecake Factory has more calories (3,120) than any other entree on the menu. It even has more calories than the cheesecake. Loads of butter and cream in the sauce deliver 89 grams of saturated fat.
- There are more than 1,460 calories and 22 teaspoons of added sugar swirled into a large Peanut Power Plus Grape Smoothie from Smoothie King.
- The Cheesecake Factory makes a second appearance in this year’s awards with the Crispy Chicken Costoletta: a single dish that has more calories and fat than an entire bucket of KFC Original Recipe Fried Chicken. A bucket of 12 pieces has 2,550 calories. Chicken Costoletta tips the scales at 2,610 calories.
Other orders that could quickly send you up a dress size:
- The Bacon Cheddar Double from Johnny Rockets has 1,770 calories, more than three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with cheese. It also packs 50 grams of saturated fat and 2,380 milligrams of sodium.
- Also from Johnny Rockets, the Big Apple Shake, which mixes a piece of apple pie into a vanilla milkshake, has 1,140 calories, 37 grams of saturated fat, and 13 teaspoons of added sugar.
- With 2,710 calories, 45 grams of saturated fat, and 3,700 milligrams of sodium, the Veal Porterhouse with red potatoes from Maggiano’s Little Italy is like eating four Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizzas.
- Country-Fried Steak & Eggs from IHOP packs almost a full day’s worth of calories and fat right into breakfast — 1,760 calories.
“Years ago, if you went out and splurged, you ruined your diet for the day. With items like this, you’re ruining your diet for the week in some cases,” says Jayne Hurley, RD, a nutritionist at the CSPI who worked on the list.
“A lot of these chain restaurants, to be fair, do have a healthy or light section on their menu,” Hurley says, “but it’s like less than a handful of items. And then they’ve got pages of these 2,000- and 3,000-calorie monster meals.”
“Clearly, restaurants need to work on doing a menu makeover and slenderizing some of these,” she says.
The National Restaurant Association says that’s already happening. According to its 2013 industry forecast, over 85% of adults say there are more healthy options at restaurants than there were two years ago.
Looking to keep it light? David Katz, MD, MPH, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center, offers these tips for keeping your calorie counts down when dining out.
- Stick to water at the table.
- Fill up with a green salad to start. “The bigger the better,” Katz says. Ask for oil and vinegar or vinaigrette dressing on the side.
- Look for dishes that are grilled, broiled, or baked.
- Keep sauces, which can contain surprising amounts of fat and calories, on the side and use them sparingly.
- Split the entree. “If the meal is just plain huge, eat half and save half for another day,” Katz says.
- Do some detective work. Look up the nutrition information online and decide what you’re going to order before you get to the restaurant.
(Reuters) – Authorities are investigating what caused a Florida man to collapse and die after consuming dozens of roaches and worms to win a roach-eating contest that featured a python as the grand prize.
Edward Archbold, 32, beat out several other contestants who competed for the exotic reptile at the Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, Florida on Friday night, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said.
But Archbold fell ill soon after the contest ended, according to the sheriff’s office. He collapsed in front of the store and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Law enforcement said no other contestants reported medical problems after the contest.
Detectives are waiting for autopsy results to determine Archbold’s cause of death.