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Diet Plans

Diets can do more than help you lose weight – they could also save the planet – San Francisco Chronicle

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(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Adrienne Rose Bitar, Cornell University

(THE CONVERSATION) Fad diets have long been brushed off as selfish, superficial quests to lose weight.

But if you study the actual content of popular diet books, you will discover that most tell a different story. Many inspire dieters to improve the health of their bodies, society and the planet.

It’s a topic I explore in my research, as well as my 2018 book, “Diet and the Disease of Civilization.” More than merely guides for getting thin, diet books tell rich stories that urge people to change their lives to save the world.

Grand ambitions

Diets inspire change not because one is more effective than another, but because they tell stories worth believing in.

Peel away the nutrition advice and you’ll find that, while most popular diets ennoble seemingly selfish goals, they also insist that individual health is inextricably linked to the larger environment.

A quick review of diet books reveals their grand aspirations. Think of the Paleo diet. Hundreds of Paleo diets describe peaceful prehistoric communities rich with singing, dancing and storytelling. Today, leaders promise that “eating Paleo can save the world.”

Promoters of detox diets make similar claims. Detoxers
believe that environmental pollution and toxins cause stress, obesity and other modern ills.

A detox book from 1984 argued that humans cannot “dissociate our fate from the fate of the earth” and insisted that “what we have learned about freeing our bodies from harmful substances must also apply to cleaning up the world.”

Today’s diets go a step further, intimating that if you’re not “eating clean” you could be eating “dirty” foods full of pesticides, toxins and carcinogens. One diet book explains that clean foods are “not only good for one’s health, but equally important for the environment.” “The Kind Diet,” a popular vegan book written by actor and animal rights activist Alicia Silverstone and Victoria Pearson, is subtitled “A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight and Saving the Planet.”

Diet consequences

Arguably, today’s food world could use some saving.

The health consequences of how Americans eat have long been cataloged. For example, 2 in 3 Americans are overweight or obese, costing the U.S. economy an estimated US$190 billion a year.

But the environmental consequences of these food choices are just as stark. Agriculture is responsible for about one-tenth of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Farming consumes more than two-thirds of the planet’s fresh water.

And it’s specific dietary choices that are driving these environmental pressures. Animal products, for example, provide just 18 percent of the typical American’s calories yet take up 83 percent of all farmland. Just cutting down on beef would be more effective at reducing your carbon footprint than giving up your car.

The government’s role

This is where the government could learn from popular diet plans and promote sustainable diets for public health and the environment.

In its dietary guidelines, the U.S. Department of Agriculture encourages Americans to consume a healthy diet that focuses on foods high in nutrients and low in sugars and saturated fats. But despite the recommendation of an advisory committee, it does not include language about food system sustainability or how such diets have a well-established link to human health.

The government is also discouraging other steps toward an environmentally friendly diet. Consider the new technologies of culturing meat from living animal cells – a technology that could cut out 14.5 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the government is bending to industry concerns and enforcing needlessly strict definitions of meat, preventing soy- and lab-based products using the label.

History shows that today’s Department of Agriculture is missing a valuable opportunity. During World War I, the American government used diets to do more than improve individuals’ health. As the head of the Food Administration, Herbert Hoover urged Americans to stop wasting food so the U.S. could use it to prevent starvation in Europe. His efforts are now credited with saving the lives of about 7 million Belgians and 2 million French people.

Popular diets also picked up the humanitarian cause. One 1918 diet included a program dubbed “Watch Your Weight Anti-Kaiser.”

Today’s food authorities could do the same: urge Americans to eat better because the food system is actually a web. Our food choices have a profound impact on our health and the planet.

This article has been updated to correct the scale of greenhouse gas emission cuts as a result of culturing meat from living animal cells.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/diets-can-do-more-than-help-you-lose-weight-they-could-also-save-the-planet-109481.

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Diet Plans

More evidence links weight gain to meal times – Medical News Today

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A recent small-scale study adds to the growing evidence of an association between eating later in the day and weight gain. Using unique tracking methods, the researchers add more detail to the theory.

A recent study looks again at meal times and obesity.

As adult obesity rates in the United States continue to rise, finding ways to curb the growth is more urgent than ever.

Of course, scientists are investigating a range of options, from surgery and medication to diet plans and psychological interventions.

Some scientists are becoming increasingly interested in how altering what time we eat our food might play a part.

If changing our eating patterns could have even a small effect, it is worth understanding. Sticking to a restrictive, calorie-controlled diet is challenging, but eating at a different time of the day might be more easy to achieve.

The question is, does eating later in the day really make a difference? A recent experiment by scientists at the University of Colorado in Denver uses in-depth personal monitoring to gain fresh insight.

Weight gain and meal timing

Some earlier work has identified a pattern between eating later and increased weight gain. For instance, the authors of a 2011 study concluded that “caloric intake after 8:00 p.m. may increase the risk of obesity.”

However, it is not clear whether individuals who eat later in the day might, consequently, have less sleep overall. This factor is important because experts also believe that sleeping less may play a part in obesity.

The lead author of the latest investigation, Dr. Adnin Zaman, explains that “few studies have assessed both meal and sleep timing in adults with obesity, and it is not clear whether eating later in the day is associated with shorter sleep duration or higher body fat.”

The researchers presented their findings at the ENDO 2019 conference, which took place in New Orleans, LA.

The scientists recruited 31 adults with an average age of 36 years who were overweight or had obesity. To capture as much relevant information as possible, the scientists assessed the participants’ sleep, levels of activity, and diet.

Each participant wore an Actiwatch that monitored their sleep-wake cycles. They also wore an activPAL electronic device on their thigh, which measured how much time they spent both doing physical activity and being sedentary.

The participants kept track of what they ate using a phone app called MealLogger. Using the app, they photographed each meal and snack that they consumed, which provided the time of day that they ate it. The researchers used a continuous glucose monitor to verify dietary intake.

Sleep, meal times, and weight

The analysis showed that, on average, the participants ate their food during an 11-hour window and had 7 hours of sleep each night.

As expected, those who ate later in the day had a higher BMI and greater levels of body fat. Importantly, the researchers also showed that those who ate later in the day still had an average of 7 hours of sleep, implying that a lack of sleep is not the primary driver of these effects.

We used a novel set of methods to show that individuals with overweight and obesity may be eating later into the day.”

Dr. Adnin Zaman

This preliminary trial is part of an ongoing project to look at these interactions in more detail.

Dr. Zaman notes, “These findings support our overall study, which will look at whether restricting the eating window to earlier on in the day will lower obesity risk.”

Experiments such as this one are only possible now due to the prevalence of modern technology in our lives. Dr. Zaman explains, “Given that wearable activity monitors and smartphones are now ubiquitous in our modern society, it may soon be possible to consider the timing of behaviors across 24 hours in how we approach the prevention and treatment of obesity.”

However, because this is a small-scale project of short duration, it is important to approach the findings with caution. It will be interesting to see the final results from the full study. The authors are also keen to run similar experiments with people who have a healthy body weight to see if there is a similar trend among this group.

As the current findings align with those of earlier investigations, the timing of meals may become an increasingly important focus in the study and treatment of obesity.

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Diet Plans

Best supplements for weight loss – the 1p a day natural capsules to prevent weight gain – Express

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Weight loss could be crucial for patients that are overweight or obese. Around 25 per cent of all adults in the UK are obese, said the NHS. Making some long-term lifestyle and dietary changes could help patients to lose weight, it said. Weight loss supplements may provide people with a kickstart for their new diet plans. One of the best ways to lower your chances of obesity is to regularly take glucomannan supplements, it’s been claimed.

Glucomannan is a type of fibre that comes from a Japanese plant, and could help you to tackle weight loss, said dietitian Helen Bond.

The supplement has appetite suppressant effects, meaning you’re less likely to feel hungry after a meal.

It could even help to improve your cholesterol levels, which subsequently benefits your heart, she said.

“Glucomannan is a dietary fibre extracted from the roots of the Japanese konjac plant, which absorbs water and expands in your stomach to increase feelings of ‘satiety’ [fullness],” said Bond.

“Glucomannan is approved by the European Food Safety Authority as a ‘proven and safe’ aid to weight loss, and has the added advantage of helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

“But, although glucomannan can help take the edge off hunger [when one gram is consumed with a glass of water before a meal], it’s not a green card to continue to eat whatever you want.

“Rather, you need to take advantage of its mild appetite suppressing effects and combine this with reducing your intake of fatty and sugary processed foods, and switching to natural whole foods, in appropriate sizes and moderation, plus more exercise.”

Glucomannan is also a natural prebiotic, which means it provides food for gut bacteria.

Higher intakes of prebiotics could lead to improved digestion, healthier cholesterol levels, and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Alternatively, you could also try losing weight by regularly taking litramine supplements, said Bond. Litramine is a type of fibre complex made from the dried leaves of prickly pears.

Litramine supplements – including XLS-Medical Tea – bites up to 28 per cent of your dietary fats in your stomach, she said.

The best way to lose weight is by making some small diet or lifestyle swaps, said the NHS.

One of the easiest ways to slash the pounds is to eat regular meals – including breakfast, lunch and dinner, it added.

Drink plenty of water, and be sure to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

Fibre-rich foods help you to feel fuller for longer, which stops you from overeating.

Exercise is equally as important as a healthy diet. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

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Diet Plans

Best supplements for weight loss – the 5p a day capsules to help you shed the pounds – Express

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Weight loss could be crucial for patients that are overweight or obese. Around 25 per cent of all adults in the UK are obese, said the NHS. Long-term lifestyle and diet changes could help some patients to lower weight, it said. Taking weight loss supplements may provide people with the kickstart they need for their diet plans. You could raise your chances of losing weight by regularly taking glucomannan supplements, it’s been claimed.

Glucomannan is a type of dietary fibre that stems from the root of the konjac plant, said medical website WebMD.

It comes as a powder, or as a capsule, and has been linked to treating constipation, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

It could also help some overweight patients to lose weight, revealed dietitian Helen Bond. But, it comes with a warning.

“As we explore the many ‘quick fixes’ and ‘miracle diet pills’ being offered to us over the season of clean eating and waistline watching, it’s important to be aware that as attractive as they sound, there are no true quick fixes or magical solutions to burn fat and lose inches,” said Bond.

“The key to losing weight and keeping it off is always to eat a nutritionally balanced and varied diet, with appropriately-sized portions and being physically active.

“Glucomannan is approved by the European Food Safety Authority as a ‘proven and safe’ aid to weight loss, and has the added advantage of helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

“But, although glucomannan can help take the edge off hunger [when one gram is consumed with a glass of water before a meal) it’s not a green card to continue to eat whatever you want.

“Rather, you need to take advantage of its mild appetite-suppressing effects and combine this with reducing your intake of fatty and sugary-processed foods, and switching to natural whole foods, in appropriate sizes and moderation, plus more exercise.”

Glucomannan works by slowing down the absorption of sugar and cholesterol from the gut, said WebMD.

The dietary fibre also absorbs water in the stomach and intestines, which could be used to treat constipation.

But you should always speak to a doctor before starting, or making any changes to your weight loss diet plan.

The best way to boost weight loss is to make some small, simple changes to your diet or lifestyle, said the NHS.

One of the easiest ways to slash the pounds is to eat regular meals – including breakfast, it added.

Drink plenty of water, and be sure to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

Fibre-rich foods help you to feel fuller for longer, which stops you from overeating.

Exercise is equally as important as a healthy diet. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

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