diet

There's a lot of enthusiasm for intermittent fasting — a term that can encompass everything from skipping a meal each day to fasting a few days a week.

Dale Knuth, now 58, says that in childhood her weight was a source of anguish — largely because of how her family treated her. "I had a brother who tormented me constantly," she says. "If I came home from school and was hungry and ate an apple, I'd be called a cow, or a pig or whatever."

Her parents, she says, did nothing to stop her brother "except to say, 'Yeah, you're getting fat.' " She had no physical outlet for her frustration — she wanted to play softball, but her mother wouldn't allow it.

About 11 million deaths a year are linked to poor diet around the globe.

What's driving this? As a planet we don't eat enough healthy foods including whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. At the same time, we consume too many sugary drinks, too much salt and too much processed meat.

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It's trendy to go low-carb these days, even no carb. And, yes, this can lead to quick weight loss.

Have you ever been on a diet but didn't hit your goal weight? Your gut bacteria may be part of the explanation.

New research suggests the mix of microbes in our guts can either help — or hinder — weight-loss efforts.

"We started with the premise that people have different microbial makeups, and this could influence how well they do with dieting," explains Purna Kashyap, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The idea that each of us has a unique nutrition blueprint within our genes is a delicious concept.

Perhaps, this helps explain the growth in personalized nutrition testing and services such as Habit, Profile Precise and Nutrigenomix.

So, what exactly can these tests tell you?

Looking for a diet that is simple to follow? You might want to give the Mediterranean diet a try.

It's not so much a prescriptive meal plan as it is a well-balanced pattern of eating. Think lots of whole grains, vegetables, beans, nuts, olive oil, fish and smaller amounts of dairy, poultry and even a little red wine (if you like).

"Yo-yo dieting" — where people lose weight and gain it back again — doubles the risk of a heart attack, stroke or death in people who already have significant heart disease.

That's the conclusion of an international study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The foods we choose to put on our plates — or toss away – could have more of an ecological impact than many of us realize.

On Earth Day, here are some ways to consider how our diet impacts the planet.

Waste not, want not

You've heard the numbers on food waste. More than 30 percent of available food is tossed each year in America. It's enough to fill Chicago's 1,450-foot-tall Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) 44 times over.

If you're looking for a diet plan that suits your lifestyle, a new list of rankings from U.S. News & World Report has you covered.

Butter, Meat and Cheese and a Healthy Diet

Aug 7, 2014
www.thebigfatsurprise.com

08/07/14 - Thursday's Topical Currents takes on the issue of dietary fats and whether or not they are actually detrimental to our health. Investigative journalist Nina Teicholz has written The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.  She contends that everything we thou

I could hardly believe what I was looking at. There it was, star­ing right at me. I could no longer ignore, deny, or post-rationalize what I already knew as the dig­i­tal evi­dence stared me down and waved its mer­ci­less accusatory fin­ger at me. This marked the end of the line for me, three months ago to the day.