Nutrition Lately: February 2017

This is the first post of Nutrition Lately, a series where I’ll be sharing some of my favorite posts on nutrition and health in the news and media lately. Nutrition Lately is all about translating nutrition science and health trends using a practical, evidence-based, and holistic approach.

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Here’s the Latest:

4 Mistakes People Make When Going Gluten-FreeSome people need to follow a gluten-free diet if they have celiac disease, while others choose to hop on the gluten-free bandwagon for its proposed health benefits. The truth is, following a gluten-free diet can be healthier than the typical American diet, but it’s not exactly necessary for people without celiac disease and can backfire if you’re making these mistakes. (Washington Post) 

The ‘Doctor’ Behind the Alkaline Diet is Facing Jail Time: Many celebs have promoted the Alkaline Diet, from Kate Hudson to Gwyneth Paltrow. The diet, created by Dr. Young, claims to lower blood pH and protect against bone disease, cancer and other health conditions. Yet there is no scientific evidence behind these claims: foods can’t significantly influence blood pH and therefore an acidic diet has no direct correlation to these health conditions. The ‘doctor’ behind this diet is finally being called out—he’s facing jail time for recommending an expensive and dangerous “anti-cancer” treatment to terminally ill cancer patients. (Fox News)

Bad Sugar or Bad Journalism? An Expert Review of “The Case Against Sugar”This post points out the many ways that scientists and journalists can twist nutrition research to fit their personal beliefs by excluding opposing evidence. Taubes’s new book “The Case Against Sugar,” is a prime example of this. He claims that sugar is the main cause of obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions, discrediting the impact of calorie intake, activity level, smoking, and other lifestyle factors. (Stephan Guyenet)

The Idea that Some People Don’t Respond to Exercise Might Be A MythPrevious research suggested that some people receive health benefits from regular exercise, while others do not. However, new studies suggest that everyone can respond to exercise, it may just depend on the type of workout and the intensity. (Business Insider)

Not Having Your Period Is Not NormalThis one is for all the ladies out there! So often birth control or other drugs are used as a Band-Aid to treat amenorrhea. This dietitian and nurse practitioner points out the real reasons we mays have missed periods and potential solutions. Hint: diet, stress, and exercise play an important role. (The Real Life RD) 

Step Away from the Scale: It’s Not All About How Much Weight You LoseWeight is so easy to track and obsess over, but it’s not be the best indicator of health or fitness level. If you’re going to track any numbers, try tracking your body composition tests or waist circumference. Other ideas: track your energy level, strength, mood swings, or cravings. (Washington Post)

Experts Reveal Hidden Dangers Behind SupplementsUnlike drugs, nutrition and herbal supplements are not highly regulated by the Food and Drug Association—they are “considered safe until proven otherwise.” This article is a great reminder of some of the risks of supplement use: unwanted side effects, medication interactions, and serious health risks (i.e. stroke and heart attack). (Science Daily)

Scientists Have Figured Out How Our Brains Sharpen Our Memories While We SleepWhile sleep has always been thought to improve memory, now there’s concrete evidence to support the belief. The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis explained in this article suggests that sleeping reshapes synapses in our brain and ‘prunes’ memories and lessons learned while awake—giving us one more reason to make sleep a priority. (Business Insider)

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