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Food for Thought: March Newsletter

Food for Thought: March Newsletter


Industry Innovations

You are probably aware of the “Food as Medicine” movement, where a healthy diet can be used to prevent or manage certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Our diet can also be a method to control our weight or support muscle growth. But did you know that science has also been investigating how our diet may be linked with acne breakouts? While this research may not seem as significant as preventing our cancer risk, for many people our skin is a reflection of our self esteem and how we feel when navigating the world. 


Over the past ten years, studies have shown that a diet that is high in glycemic index, dairy, fast food, chocolate, and low in vegetables is more likely to be associated with acne. Highly processed foods may elevate blood glucose more quickly and trigger a hormonal response. Of course there are other factors that may influence acne, but eating a healthy diet is one more example of how nutrition can play a role in our holistic health.


Just Discovered

Hearing Loss and Nutritional Considerations

The nutritional needs for each individual vary based on age, gender, and current health condition. As we age our bodies are increasingly at risk of developing various chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney conditions, and certain cancers. Another major health problem that is becoming increasingly prevalent in individuals over the age of 65 is age-related hearing loss (ARHL). 


This condition not only affects the level of sound and capability to understand speech, but it also can impair the ability to identify where a sound is coming from or the source of the sound, which can lead to a constant ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and problems with balance. This loss results from a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Additionally, the nutritional status of an individual has been identified as a risk factor for hearing loss. In a recent systematic review of 22 clinical trials published by Rodrigo et al.from the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA), Oviedo, Spain, this link between dietary habits, nutritional status, and hearing loss was evaluated. 


This group found a significant association between diets rich in saturated fats and cholesterol and increased risk of hearing loss. Inversely, the evidence demonstrated that individuals who consumed a greater amount of fruits, vegetables, polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3), and antioxidants in the form of vitamins A, C, and E, reduced the risk for the development of ARHL. 


This current study suggests that following a well-balanced healthy diet that is low in saturated fats and cholesterol while focusing on nutrient-rich foods, especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can help delay or prevent loss of hearing as we grow older. 


Rodrigo, L., Campos-Asensio, C., Rodríguez, M. Á., Crespo, I., & Olmedillas, H. (2021). Role of nutrition in the development and prevention of age-related hearing loss: A scoping review. Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi, 120(1 Pt 1), 107–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfma.2020.05.011


FAST FACT!

Did you know that both apricots and almonds belong to the same family, the prunus family, otherwise known as “stone fruits”?


You’ve Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

Q: What does it mean if I am a slow alcohol metabolizer? 


A: Genetic testing can give us insights for how we process certain substances such as alcohol and caffeine. If your result for alcohol metabolism is that you are a slow metabolizer, that may mean that you experience the side effects of alcohol more than a fast alcohol metabolizer. 


Some of these side effects include: facial flushing, increased skin temperature, and decreased blood pressure. How strongly you experience these effects is partially dependent on how quickly your body eliminates acetaldehyde from your system. A variant in the DNA coding for the ADH enzyme has been identified to lower the body’s ability to metabolize ethanol into acetaldehyde, meaning that people with this variant are less likely to experience the negative physical side effects of alcohol. 


Caffeine metabolism is the same way; people who metabolize caffeine slowly may experience more side effects such as feeling jittery or anxious in comparison to high metabolizers. Many GenoPalate users have found these results to be very validating to their experiences and/or help to give awareness to their own consumption and how it makes them feel.


What's Cooking?

Scallops with Cauliflower and Bean Puree

With spring on the horizon this month, our taste buds are excited for fresh foods. Yet cold weather may not be quite in our past, so a touch of heartiness in our meals is welcomed too. Check out this recipe by Delicious Magazine. The scallops are packed with protein and the pureed cauliflower and beans gives a unique and nutritious spin to traditional mashed potatoes. They would also taste great with a side of green string beans. Enjoy!


Nutrition Analysis for 1 serving:

Calories:250 kcals 

Fiber: 7 g 

Carbohydrates: 16 g 

Protein: 32 g 

Fat: 5 g


Easy Shepherd’s Pie

If you’d like to celebrate a St. Patrick’s Day meal but corned beef and cabbage aren’t your thing, check out this easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe by Meghan Splawn at The Kitchn. We love that Meghan’s recipe involves minimal chopping thanks to frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are convenient and just as nutritious as fresh because they are frozen at their peak nutritional value, without the extra sodium of canned vegetables. This meal can also be made in one pan, perfect for minimal cleanup. 


Nutrition Analysis for 1 serving:

Calories: 460 kcals 

Fiber: 3 g 

Carbohydrates: 41 g 

Protein: 21 g 

Fat: 25 g


Trends for Foodies

Coffee has been around for hundreds of years, and we have seen some fun variations of coffee over the past decade. Iced coffee, Nitro cold brew coffee, whipped coffee, and coffee-cola combinations are a few examples of ways the coffee industry has been getting creative. But for some people, the bitter flavor, caffeine content, and acidity of coffee is undesirable. That’s where peanut coffee comes in. This new coffee trend involves drinking 100% roasted brewed peanuts thanks to some special machinery that leaves it in a fine powder. Peanut coffee is caffeine-free, lower in acidity, and still offers a smooth and rich flavor. So what do you think? Would you give peanut coffee a try?


Photo of Kelly Van Gorden

Kelly Van Gorden, MS, RD, CD

Clinical Dietitian

Kelly Van Gorden is a registered dietitian from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the spring of 2011 and completed her dietetic internship and Master of Science degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in the fall of 2012. Kelly has a strong foundation in both clinical nutrition and the wellness community, and believes we can all live happier, healthier lives with the power of food. In her spare time she enjoys staying active, trying out new recipes, and keeping up to date on her favorite podcasts.

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