‘ULTRA-PROCESSED FOODS’ – PROBLEMATIC FOODS OR PACKAGING?

Prospective cohort studies have found associations with high consumption of ‘ultra-processed foods’ and increased risk of overweight, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases (e.g., heart disease and stroke) and all-causes of death (mortality). Authors of these studies have suggested many potential reasons for these associations: Compared to minimally-processed foods and drinks, …

THE OKINAWAN DIET: JAPANESE EQUIVALENT TO THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

While the Mediterranean diet (Med-diet) is healthy and enjoyable for many, the eating pattern may not be ideal for everyone for a variety of reasons, including, importantly, food culture and traditional food preferences. People living in South-East Asia, for example, have traditionally enjoyed low fat, high carbohydrate eating patterns for millennia, and switching to a …

DIET AND CANCER

Cancer is a generic term for a group of diseases that can affect essentially any part of the body. Other terms commonly used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. A defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the …

THE THERMIC EFFECT OF FOOD

Weight gain, whether intentional or not, generally occurs over long periods of time, as habitual energy intake exceeds our bodies’ requirements. Because the process for most of us is a relatively slow one (e.g., on average 0.5 kg or 1.1 pounds per year), factors that influence energy balance, even modestly, may be clinically important over …

SWEET HISTORY

“Sugar and spice and everything nice that’s what little girls are made of…” Robert Southey Long before the recent association of sugar with words such as “toxic” or “poison”, sugars and sweetness were used as terms of endearment or affection amongst people of all ages: Cupcake Honey (bun / pie) Peaches Sugar bun / babe …

MICROBIOME LINGO: PREBIOTICS, PROBIOTICS AND SYNBIOTICS

Our microbiome is a collection of around 100 trillion bacteria (mostly), fungi and viruses that live both on the surface of our body’s and inside our gastrointestinal tract – from mouth to anus. A typical adult’s microbiome weighs around 1 kilogram, equivalent to some of our essential organs. Believe it or not, there are about …

PERSPECTIVES: Dr ALAN BARCLAY

LOWERING THE GLYEMIC IMPACT OF SOUTH-EAST ASIAN DIETS  Food is not merely a collection of nutrients, and neither is it medicine – it’s so much more than that. From the day we are born to the day we die, food not only nourishes us, but it provides pleasure, social interaction and anchors us to our …

PERSPECTIVES: Dr ALAN BARCLAY

RICE: THE GO-TO GRAIN  English translation: “Have you eaten rice?”  This popular greeting used throughout East Asia is a reminder that traditionally food was scarce and people were often starving. Rice saved lives, so it’s not surprising that the word for “rice”, “food” and “meal” is one and the same in Chinese—and in many other …