Welcome to Foodary Facts 2016

Foodary.com 2016 screenshot

Welcome to Foodary Facts 2016 is aimed at existing Foodary visitors and members. It explains recent changes and mentions upcoming plans.

I’ve moved Foodary.com to a new server and had a little makeover.

It’s the start of my new campaign to explain and encourage healthy eating.

Read moreWelcome to Foodary Facts 2016

Are eggs acidic or alkaline?

Acidic Eggs with Alkaline Spinach Meal photo

Are eggs acidic or alkaline explains how eggs are effective in an alkaline diet.

One of the most common questions I get asked is Are eggs acidic or alkaline?

There’s a very simple answer: Yes, of course eggs are acidic!

But that begs many more questions:

  • Why do I say “of course”?
  • Why do you ask if eggs are acidic?
  • Does it matter that eggs are acidic?

Read moreAre eggs acidic or alkaline?

Better Diabetic Neuropathy Diet

Diabetic Neuropathy Diet photo

Diabetic neuropathy diet is investigated in the latest issue of the Nutrition & Diabetes Journal. It suggests that plant-based diets reduce the painful suffering of diabetic neuropathy.

Nerve pain and numbness in the extremities are a common problem for diabetics. Foot pain is most common, and lack of feeling can cause diabetes sufferers to injure themselves. In fact, this type of pain is most commonly caused by diabetes. It happens as high blood sugar levels damage the vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen to the hands, feet, and other parts of the body.

The new report describes how:

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy occurs in up to 60% of individuals with type 2 diabetes and is associated with significant morbidity, including gait disturbances, amputations, anxiety, depression and reduced quality of life. The condition manifests with damage to the terminal branches of peripheral nerves and usually first affects small fibers that are responsible for translating pain, light touch and temperature. As neuropathy progresses, large fibers responsible for reflexes and muscle tone are affected, leading to balance and gait problems. Most patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy present with pain, numbness, or abnormal, spontaneous or induced sensations in the lower extremities. Pain occurs in 15–30% of cases.

Read moreBetter Diabetic Neuropathy Diet

Feed Your Brain in Spain

Mediterranean Diet Helps Memory photo

Researchers in Spain reveal that a Mediterranean Diet can improve brain function.

This is a study of over 400 people in Barcelona, Spain. The 55 to 80 year-old volunteers had an average age of 67. The parallel-group randomized clinical trial compares Mediterranean Diet supplemented with either nuts or olive oil, with a control group. The control group were advised to lower fat intake. Two study groups were assign a Mediterranean Diet with either 1 liter extra virgin olive oil per week (about 5 tablespoons per day) or 30 grams mixed nuts per day.

This latest research stems from earlier work that showed significant heart benefits from Mediterranean Diet. Emilio Ros, MD, PhD notes that the groups had different improvements between olive oil and nut supplementation:

The group with nuts did better, compared to the control group, in memory tests, memorizing names or words. While the olive oil group did better on tests that require speed of thought.

Read moreFeed Your Brain in Spain

Does Yogurt Help Diabetes?

Yogurt Diabetes photo

An interesting study from Harvard School of Public Health suggests yogurt may be beneficial to diabetes sufferers.

Most interesting is the indication that this benefit seems to derive from yogurt, but not other dairy products.

On Foodary, I look at ways to make standard healthy diets even healthier by tweaking them for your health problems and personal eating profile. Here is a fine opportunity for diabetes sufferers to switch some dairy products to yogurt, and try to improve their health.

Read moreDoes Yogurt Help Diabetes?

Food Combination Charts: Just Say No

Combine Food for Taste not Health Photo

I’m bringing my mini-series on food combination charts to an abrupt end.

Having looked deeper into the second combination from that chart, I strongly suspect that the widely copied article on which it is based is nothing but a gimmick.

I looked into the claims for apples combined with chocolate. I could not find the science that was attributed to Halliwell in the original article. I did find an Italian study that supported the combination of quercetin and catechin for inhibiting platelet function. However, this is pure laboratory science (in vitro). That might encourage comprehensive human nutrition investigations in real life (in vivo). As far as I can see, no such studies have been done. The likely reason for lack of further research is that it is pointless.

In real life, we all eat various combinations of food. It’s called a meal. We eat various meals with different food combinations during the day. It’s called a meal plan, or diet. Now, for most people, all that is required is a good variety of foods to provide all the nutrients required for that day. If we focus on a single combination, we might ignore other essential nutrients.

Read moreFood Combination Charts: Just Say No

Healthy Fat-Soluble Vitamin Combinations

Vitamins Photo

Healthy Fat-Soluble Vitamin Combinations is my first investigation of the claims made in Healthy Food Combinations Chart. The claims are repeated on many Internet sites, but there does not appear to me much justification for the claims. The original article is light on references, so I am investigating each claim to see if it is relevant to modern healthy eating best practice.

I have to say that my early investigations are not encouraging. I now question the whole idea of healthy food combinations. If you simply say that a variety of healthy food is important, then that is probably sufficient. Of course, that raises questions about what constitutes healthy food. I have some ideas that I will present later, but for now, I am going to look at the claims for fat-soluble vitamin combinations, that was exemplified by almonds and yoghurt.

First, the article claims that “many essential vitamins are activated and absorbed best when eaten with fat.” Unfortunately, there is no reference to support this assertion. The article continues to describe fat soluble vitamins A, D, and E – they forgot K. They list various foods claimed to be vitamin-rich, and lead on to suggest food combinations that will allow you to get the most fat-soluble vitamins from food.

Now, as there is no reference, we do not know whether this combination is actually valid, but that is not important. The important point about fat-soluble vitamins is that our bodies store them in the liver and fat tissue until required.

Also, these vitamins are not lost in cooking, and we only need small amounts. Most people do not need additional fat-soluble vitamins, and mega-doses can be toxic.
Vitamins Photo

Fat Soluble Vitamins and Health

Only in the poorest of poor eaters do we find fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies. They are so widely available that you should not need to worry about them. Here are the main sources of fat-soluble vitamins:

Vitamin A Food Sources

Vitamin A is available from dairy products, fish, and liver. Plant sources are mainly orange and dark green vegetables and fruits including: apricots, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, and winter squash.

Vitamin D Food Sources

Vitamin D is formed in our skins under sunlight. Food sources include milk, oily fish, and cod liver oil.

Vitamin E Food Sources

Vitamin E is available from vegetable oils, and related spreads and dressings. Plant sources include fruit, vegetables, almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin K Food Sources

Vitamin K is found in many plant sources including: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and other green leafy vegetables. It is also found in canola, cottonseed, olive, and sunflower oils.

Healthy Fat-Soluble Vitamin Combinations

There is no need to seek healthy fat-soluble vitamin combinations. If you have a vitamin deficiency through poor diet, a general healthy eating plan is sufficient. Food combinations are not likely to be any healthier. If you have a deficiency through ill health, there may be some advantage from switching some foods to help overcome that deficiency. However, food combinations are unlikely to help.

If you need help with specific vitamin deficiencies, please ask in the healthy eating forum.

Fat-Soluble Vitamin References

Fat soluble vitamin food source information from Fat-Soluble Vitamins: A, D, E, and K by L. Bellows and R. Moore. Colorado State University Extension