"Prudent" Diet May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Increasing attention is being paid to overall dietary patterns and their relationship to health, rather than single nutrients or foods. In one such study of more than 50,000 African-American women, researchers led by Tanya Agurs-Collins of the U.S. National Cancer Institute found that eating a “prudent diet” (high in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains) rather than a “Western diet” (more refined grains, processed meats, sweets) cut the risk of breast cancer. The findings were especially strong for thinner, younger women and for certain types of breast cancer.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2009; vol 90, No. 3, 621-628. DOI:10.3945/ajcn.2009.27666

Feel Fuller Longer With Rye

In a new study published by the Nutrition Journal, Swedish researchers report that eating rye at breakfast suppresses appetite over the next few hours much better than wheat. Attributing this to the power of rye fiber, particularly in rye bran, the researchers fed sixteen volunteers breakfasts including bread containing varying levels of rye, but all with the same caloric value. Those who ate the bread with the highest levels of rye fiber reported a lowered desire to eat in the hours between breakfast and lunch, while those who ate bread made with wheat flour felt hungrier earlier. Researchers concluded that the consumption of rye, whether through pure rye bran or sifted rye flour, created a feeling of satiety unmatched by wheat.
Nutrition Journal, August 26, 2009; 8:39. DOI:10.1186/1475-2891-8-39

Rye Bread Satisfies Longer than Wheat

At the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, researchers fed rye bread (with three varying levels of rye bran) and wheat bread to 16 people, then asked them to rate their appetite (hunger, satiety and desire to eat) for 8 hours afterward. [It’s not known if the wheat bread was whole wheat or refined wheat.] All through the morning and into the afternoon, the three rye bread breakfasts all decreased hunger and desire to eat, compared to the wheat bread control, with the rye bread containing the highest level of bran providing the strongest effect on satiety.
Nutrition Journal. August 26, 2009; 8:39

Barley Lowers Glucose Levels

White rice, the staple food in Japan, is a high glycemic index food. Researchers at the University of Tokushima found that glucose levels were lower after meals when subjects switched from white rice to barley.
Rinsho Byori. August 2009; 57(8):797-805

More Protein, Minerals, Fiber in Quinoa

Anne Lee and colleagues at Columbia University’s Celiac Disease Center found that the nutritional profile of gluten-free diets was improved by adding oats or quinoa to meals and snacks. Most notable increases were protein (20.6g vs 11g) iron (18.4mg vs 1.4mg, calcium (182mg vs 0mg) and fiber (12.7g vs 5g
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, August 2009; 22(4):359-63. Epub 2009 Jun 10.

Antidiabetes and Antihypertension potential of corn

Scientists in São Paulo, Brazil, studied ten traditional foods native to the Peruvean Andes, to measure healthy compounds in the foods that are thought to manage early stages of diabetes and high blood pressure. Purple corn scored highest in free-radical-scavenging antioxidant activity, and also had the highest total phenolic content and highest alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity. The researchers concluded that these native foods, including purple corn, could be useful in designing health-management programs for diabetes and hypertension.
Journal of Medicinal Food. August 2009; 12(4): 704-13.

Quinoa Possible Dietary Aid Against Diabetes

Scientists at the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil studied ten traditional Peruvian grains and legumes for their potential in managing the early stages of Type 2 diabetes. They found that quinoa was especially rich in an antioxidant called quercetin and that quinoa had the highest overall antioxidant activity (86%) of all ten foods studied. Coming in a close second in antioxidant activity was quinoa’s cousin, kañiwa. This in vitro study led the researchers to conclude that quinoa, kañiwa, and other traditional crops from the Peruvian Andes have potential in developing effective dietary strategies for managing type 2 diabetes and associated hypertension.
Journal of Medicinal Food, August 2009; 12 (4):704-13.

Barley Beta-Glucan Lowers Glycemic Index

Scientists at the Functional Food Centre at Oxford Brookes University in England fed 8 healthy human subjects chapatis (unleavened Indian flatbreads) made with either 0g, 2g, 4g, 6g or 8g of barley beta-glucan fiber. They found that all amounts of barley beta-glucan lowered the glycemic index of the breads, with 4g or more making a significant difference.
Nutrition Research, July 2009; 29(7):4806

Lignans Associated with Weight Control

In Quebec, a University of Laval team led by André Tchernof, studied 115 post-menopausal women and found that those with markers showing more consumption of plant lignans had, on average, a BMI 4 points lower than women with the lowest levels of the markers. They also had better blood sugar control and lower blood pressure. Lignans are found in whole grains, as well as in fruits and vegetables.
British Journal of Nutrition, July 2009; 102(2):195-200. Online First View February 2009, DOI:10.1017/S0007114508162092

More Whole Grains, Less Hypertension

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School followed 31,784 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study for 18 years, and found that about one-third developed hypertension, or high blood pressure. The researchers found that men who ate the most whole grains had a 19% reduced risk of developing high blood pressure. Those with higher bran consumption had a 15% reduced risk of hypertension, leading researchers to conclude that bran may play an important role in the prevention of hypertension.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 1, 2009. DOI:10.3945/ajcn.2009.27460

Higher Carbs, Less Risk of Overweight

Canadian researchers examined the diets of 4,451 healthy free-living Canadians and found that those consuming less than 47% of their calories as carbohydrates were more likely to be overweight or obese. Lowest risk of overweight, according to the researchers, may be obtained by consuming 47% to 64% of calories as carbohydrates.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2009; vol 109, issue 7, 1165-1172

Sprouted Buckwheat Extract Decreases Blood Pressure

Korean researchers fed raw buckwheat extract and germinated buckwheat extract to hypertensive rats for five weeks then compared the results. The rats fed the germinated buckwheat had lower systolic blood pressure, while both groups exhibited significantly reduced oxidative damage in aortic endothelial cells. The scientists concluded that “these results suggest that germinated buckwheat extra has an atihypertensive effect and may protect arterial endothelial cells from oxidative stress.”
Phytotherapy Research, July 2009; 23(7):993-8.