Flavour of the Week


  • That chicken wing you’re eating could be as deadly as a cigarette.” Wow. First it was eggs (see our Again with the Egg Yolks!), now meat and cheese are being likened to smoking in terms of their impact on cancer risk. A recent observational study found that “high protein” diets – meaning 20% or more calories from protein – increased the risk of cancer death before the age of 65. Those eating an animal protein-rich diet, like meat, milk and cheese, were also more susceptible to all-cause mortality.

    Our take (and that of others)? No need to toss the meat and cheese in your refrigerator – in this study, researchers looked at TOTAL protein intake, including that from plant and animal sources, and cancer death. Could this mean almonds increase your risk? Extremely doubtful! Once again, this is also correlational data not causation. Just because two things happen at the same time, doesn’t mean one is causing the other! That being said, numerous studies suggest that a diet rich in plant-based protein, fish, whole grains and fresh produce is best for overall health… but that doesn’t mean animal protein is off the table, it just shouldn’t take up 1/2 of the plate!
  • TGIFIt’s a luxury teens don’t need – the bedroom TV. Not only does it interrupt sleep, but new research suggests adolescents with a bedroom TV gain an additional pound each year when compared with those without a TV in their bedroom. The association persisted after controlling for total TV viewing time and sociodemographic factors. Could this be an important parental strategy to combat adolescent weight gain? Likely good advice for adults too…
  • A recent meta-analysis suggests that fructose might not be the bad guy after all, at least when it comes to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Obesity and type 2 diabetes (particularly if poorly controlled) are the biggest risk factors for NAFLD, but diet likely plays a role as well. Previous research has suggested high fructose intake is more likely to cause insulin resistance and obesity, but concrete evidence is still lacking… but that didn’t stop the anti-fruit brigade!

    Many people suspected that excess fructose consumption played a role in development and progression of NAFLD, but this meta-analysis suggests excess calories are to blame – from fructose or other carbohydrates. Our advice? Skip the added fructose, but no need to shy away from fruit and other high-fibre sources!
  • What can’t an adequate fish intake do? New research suggests eating fish may raise your good HDL cholesterol, which picks up cholesterol in the blood vessels and returns to the liver for disposal. Higher HDL levels are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Among those eating fish 3 – 4 times per week, the number and size of HDL particles was higher than those less frequent fish eaters. Keep in mind, this study was in Finland so the fish consumed included salmon, herring and trout and was not fried, nor had any cream or butter added.

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