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Trans-Fats and Depression Linked?
June 2011

New Study Finds Connection

Man_With_DepressionA new study from Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria universities shows that a high consumption of trans-fats and saturated fats can increase an individual’s risk of suffering from depression. The study further demonstrated, “The more trans-fats [that] were consumed, the greater the harmful effect they produced,” says lead author Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, an associate professor of preventive medicine at Las Palmas.

The researchers worked with 12,059 volunteers, of whom none had experienced depression during the previous six years, analyzing the volunteers’ diets, lifestyles and ailments before, during and after the project. At the end of the study, 657 new cases of depression were detected. The researchers confirmed that participants who had consumed the most trans-fats and saturated fats in their diets had increased their risk of the disease by up to 48 percent, compared to those who did not eat these fats or substituted polyunsaturated fats found in olive and other natural plant oils and fish.

 
Lower Your Risk with These Fruits
June 2011

Berries May Protect Against Parkinson’s

BerriesA study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 63rd annual meeting, confirms that eating berries can lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease. The study involved 49,281 men and 80,336 women that were monitored for 20 to 22 years.

The researchers concluded that the women who consumed the most anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids found mostly in berries, had a lower risk of developing the disease than those whose diet contained less or different classes of flavonoids. For men, berry anthocyanins, as well as flavonoids found in apples and oranges and other rich dietary sources, made a significant difference in their freedom from the disease.

 
Barefootin’
June 2011

Let Feet Go Naked and Natural

BarefootinMany folks, like me, started barefoot running on a whim. In 2005, I was just an aspiring runner searching for some method to escape chronic injuries involving plantar fasciitis, shin splints and back pain. I never expected to fall in love with this revolutionary approach to recreational running.

Today, according to the AdWords keyword tool the term “barefoot running” is searched on Google some 90,000 times a month by those seeking more information, including from websites like guru Ken Bob Saxton’s TheRunningBarefoot.com and my own BarefootRunningUniversity.com. Even the sports footwear industry has taken notice, with most manufacturers adding “minimalist shoes” to their lines that allow individuals to run in a more natural manner.

 
Local Eats
June 2011

Feds Boost Support for Local Farm-to-School Meals

School_FoodA new ruling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) underscores the federal government’s intent to encourage use of local farm products in school meals. It allows schools and other providers to give preference to unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products for school-based nutrition assistance programs.

“This rule is an important milestone that will help ensure that our children have access to fresh produce and other agricultural products,” confirms Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon. “It will also give a much-needed boost to local farmers and agricultural producers.”

Part of the landmark Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama—which improves the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children— the rule supports USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative and builds on the 2008 Farm Bill designed to revitalize rural economies by supporting local and regional food systems. USDA expects Americans’ spending for locally grown food to rise from an estimated $4 billion in 2002 to as much as $7 billion by 2012.


For more information, visit www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/f2s.

 
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