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Wine not?

A grape compound called pterostilbene, already shown to have cancer-fighting properties, may be as effective as a widely used synthetic drug in reducing lipids.

Grape news!

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-- Our first installment focuses on the nutritional building blocks of the New York Healthy Heart Diet.

Remember, this is not a crash plan. It's a blueprint for long-term change that helps you eat the best foods for your heart while still dining at your favorite restaurants and takeout spots. We've kept it simple and satisfying, so there's no celery to chop - and no excuse not to start today.

EAT GOOD CARBS

Never mind what Dr. Atkins said: Carbohydrates are good for you and your heart, provided you choose the right carbs.

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New Proof: Walnuts Show Multiple New Heart Health Benefits

C-Reactive Protein and Plaque Adhesion Molecules Lowered in Addition to Cholesterol

Results of a new study from The Pennsylvania State University show that consuming walnuts significantly reduces inflammatory markers for cardiovascular disease -- specifically, C- reactive protein and harmful plaque adhesion molecules. The article, "Dietary Alpha-Linolenic Acid Reduces Inflammatory and Lipid Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Hypercholesterolemic Men and Women," is published in the November 2004 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Many people look to fish, such as salmon, for omega-3 fatty acids. However, Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State and primary investigator for the study states, "The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts were converted to the same omega-3 fatty acids found in marine sources, and had a similar effect on inflammation. Reducing inflammation can help decrease the process of arteriosclerosis -- the development and build-up of plaque in the arteries."

Kris-Etherton notes, "The important new finding with our research is that a diet high in walnuts beneficially affects multiple risk factors for coronary heart disease, which can have a greater impact on decreasing cardiovascular risk than just targeting single risk factors."

No Fish? Eat Walnuts.image002W.jpg

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Eating  "Dutch"

The combination of seven foods could extend your life by five-six years.

Forget the Polypill. To learn how to reduce your risk of heart disease and live six years longer, pick up a copy of The British Medical Journal. A group of researchers in the Netherlands offer an alternative to the pill. They call it the "Polymeal."

The Dutch Polymeal

Eat fish four times a week;

Drink 4-5 oz. of wine a day;

Eat 100g of dark chocolate a day;

Eat 400g of fruits and vegetables a day;

Eat 2.7g  of garlic a day;

Eat 68g of almonds a day.

Polymeal author, Dr. Oscar H. Franco, a public health expert at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, hopes that his research encourages people to "focus more on eating a healthy diet as a good means to reduce their heart disease."

As reported in the current edition of the British Medical Journal, the researchers calculated the CV benefits of various ingredients, and then examined their combined effect using data from a long-term US study into CV health.

They estimate that following the Polymeal diet would extend life expectancy by over 6 years in men, increase their life expectancy free from CV disease by 9 years, and decrease the time lived with CV disease by more than 2 years. They also calculated that women following this diet would live nearly 5 years longer, have over 8 more years free of CV disease, and live with the condition for 3.3 fewer years.

Of course there are potential drawbacks of the Polymeal, such as side effects of garlic consumption, including body odour and flatulence.

Chef Raymond Blanc has also contributed to the Polymeal plan, devising a three-course meal, which includes watercress soup, followed by grilled fillet of mackerel and finished with a chocolate mousse.

Journal reference: British Medical Journal (vol 329, p 1447)

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Baking up a Whole-Grain Rice Bread

Whole-grain foods are often touted for their health benefits. But for people with wheat allergies—or those whose bodies cannot tolerate certain proteins in wheat, rye and barley—trying to get ample servings of whole grains in the diet is a real challenge.

Now, an Agricultural Research Service food technologist has developed a whole-grain rice bread mix made for home bread machines. Not only does the new rice bread qualify as whole grain, providing the high-in-fiber bran fraction of the grain, it also boasts a texture comparable to that of whole-wheat bread.

The product is especially valuable to the roughly two million Americans with celiac disease, according to Ranjit Kadan, a food technologist at the ARS Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research Unit in New Orleans. These individuals must avoid grain products made from wheat, rye and barley because they contain the protein called gluten.

Developing a gluten-free, whole-grain bread that not only is tasty but also has the right texture is a tough task, since gluten proteins offer a kind of resiliency that's essential for making breads and other baked goods. But Kadan experimented until he found the best rice cultivar and flour particle size for the whole-grain bread.

For decades, rice has been considered one of the most easily digested grains. In his home country of India, according to Kadan, rice has been traditionally fed to those with chronic diet-related illnesses because of its hypoallergenicity.

According to members of the Louisiana Celiac Sprue Association, the whole-grain rice bread is superior to commercial rice breads currently on the market. Plus it lacks other potentially allergenic ingredients like milk and eggs.

Research is still ongoing to find the optimal bread machine conditions for kneading and baking the whole-grain bread dough.

Kadan is currently seeking a commercial partner to help advance his technology. But given the current interest in the product, the whole-grain rice bread mix could be available as soon as next year.

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Indian HERB for DIABETES

Researchers gave extracts of the herb Salacia oblonga to 39 healthy adults, and the results were promising. The largest dose of the herb extract - 1,000 milligrams - decreased insulin and blood glucose levels by 29 and 23 percent, respectively.

"These kinds of reductions are similar to what we might see with prescription oral medications for people with diabetes," said Steve Hertzler, a study co-author and an assistant professor of nutrition at Ohio State University.

Salacia oblonga, which is native to regions of India and Sri Lanka, binds to intestinal enzymes that break down carbohydrates in the body. These enzymes, called alpha-glucosidases, turn carbohydrates into glucose, the sugar that circulates throughout the body. If the enzyme binds to the herbal extract rather than to a carbohydrate, then less glucose gets into the blood stream, resulting in lowered blood glucose and insulin levels.

"Lowering blood glucose levels lowers the risk of disease-related complications in people with diabetes," Hertzler said. "Also, poor compliance with diabetes medications often hinders the effectiveness of these drugs. It may be easier to get someone to take an herb with food or in a beverage, as opposed to a pill."

The study appears in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Thirty-nine healthy adults participated in four separate meal tolerance tests. These meals, which were given in beverage form, were spaced three to 14 days apart. Each participant fasted for at least 10 hours before consuming the test beverage.

Participants were asked to drink about two cups' worth of the chilled beverage, which contained zero, 500, 700 or 1,000 milligrams of Salacia oblonga extract. Afterward, the researchers used the finger-. method to draw blood samples from each person every 15 to 30 minutes for three hours. These blood samples were used to determine insulin and blood glucose concentrations. The biggest changes in blood glucose and insulin levels usually happen within the first two hours after eating.

The beverage that contained the highest concentration of the herbal extract - 1,000 milligrams - provided the most dramatic reduction in insulin and blood glucose levels. Insulin levels were 29 percent lower, while blood glucose levels were 23 percent lower as compared to the control drink, which contained no herbal extract.

As Salacia oblonga can cause intestinal gas, the researchers had the study participants collect breath hydrogen samples hourly for eight hours after drinking the test beverage. The participants collected their breath in small plastic tubes. The researchers then analyzed these breath samples for hydrogen and methane content - the level of either substance in the breath corresponds to the level contained in the colon.

The subjects also rated the frequency and intensity of nausea, abdominal cramping and distention and gas for two days after consuming each test meal.

While the test beverages containing Salacia oblonga caused an increase in breath hydrogen excretion, reports of gastrointestinal discomfort were minimal, Hertzler said.

Right now he and his colleagues are trying to figure out what dose of the herb is most effective, and when it should be taken relative to a meal.

"We want to know how long it takes for the herb to bind to the enzymes that break down carbohydrates," Hertzler said. "The participants in this study took the herb with their meal, but maybe taking it before eating would be even more effective."

The researchers also want to study the effects of Salacia oblonga in people with diabetes.

"A lot of studies show that lowering blood sugar levels reduces the risk for all kinds of diabetes-related complications, such as kidney disease and nerve and eye damage," Hertzler said. "We want to see if this herb has this kind of effect."

Salacia Oblonga is grown and found in the western Ghats region.

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Suresh

Do you know what this called in an Indian language or even in English? It's a pity they give only the latin name... :)

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Sudan red dyed chilli powder causes concern
The contaminated chilli powder has cost the food industry £100 million already, and 474 products have been withdrawn: pizzas, McDonald's salad dressings, burgers, lasagnes and pies. But it has also drawn our attention to what is going into our food. So much natural flavour has been lost that a huge industry has grown up supplying colourants, flavourings and 400 additives to make our food more palatable again.
Sudan 1, which contaminated a batch of Crosse & Blackwell Worcester sauce, has shown just how far we have moved from our back gardens. Like foot-and-mouth, which started in a small Northumberland farm, it shows how one batch of chilli powder from India can infiltrate the larders of 20 countries.

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Suresh

Do you know what this called in an Indian language or even in English? It's a pity they give only the latin name... :)

Salacia Oblonga = Ponkoranti (Tamil )

Will revert with more details.

More medical analysis reports here:

hypoglycemic action of various plant products

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Healthy food philosophy
According to the nutritionist, the main reason behind this new age awareness is rapidly changing lifestyle trends. Increased travelling and eating out, more disposable incomes and the desire to squeeze the most out of life — on the family and job front — are forcing people to be more productive and take a re-look at their eating habits. "Healthy food isn't an option today but a necessity," she concludes.

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