Summer is officially over (at least in Calgary where we have already had our first snow fall) and No Baloney is back posting after our busy “holiday”! Here is our Friday review of the nutrition in the news this week.
- The type of fat found in breast milk may affect academic performance. When a wide variety of factors that could impact academic performance were studied, 20% of the improvement in test performance was attributed to the DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) content of the mother’s breast milk. Great sources of DHA include the cold water fatty fish such as salmon. If you are concerned about the mercury content of fish, please see Health Canada’s website for a list of safe fish to consume during pregnancy and lactation. Conversely, a high amount of omega-6 fatty acids from foods such as corn oil and soybean oil were associated with lower test scores.
- LADIES LISTEN UP! A recent study found consuming 2 or more servings of fish per week (already a recommendation according to Canada’s Food Guide) reduced the risk of hearing loss in women by and estimated 20%. Hearing loss is often considered an inevitable part of the aging process but this research suggests that it can be delayed and possibly even prevented with good diet choices; it’s all about the omega-3 fatty acids again.
- Obesity and the brain. It may be that the brains of people with obesity are different than those with a healthy body weight. Brain scans revealed that people with obesity have greater dopamine activity in the area of the brain that is associated with the formation of habits and less activity in the reward area. What does this mean? In people with obesity, the brain may be telling them to overeat in response to food cues while at the same time reducing the amount of reward they get from eating. What is still unclear is if this is a cause or an effect of obesity.
- Canada’s Heart and Stroke Foundation released its position statement on sugar, heart disease and stroke this week. It’s worth the read but if you want the short and sweet (pun intended) version here it is!
The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that an individual’s total intake of free sugars not exceed 10% of total daily calorie (energy) intake, and ideally less than 5%.
- Tracking your diet? Try using your smart phone instead of the traditional pen and paper. People who used diet tracking apps on their phone were found to have more consisted dietary data as compared to those who were told to track their diet using an pen and paper. Diet tracking is often the first step to healthier eating so start typing.