Posts Tagged: fat
Eating a high-fat, fast food breakfast typical of many Americans - two breakfast sandwiches, hash browns and orange juice - doesn't have an identical effect on each individual.
The food's effect varies depending on factors like waist size and triglyceride levels, suggests new research at UC Davis.
The research reinforces the link between belly fat, inflammation and thickening of the arterial linings that can lead to heart disease and strokes.
“The new study shows that eating a common fast food meal can affect inflammatory responses in the blood vessels," said Anthony Passerini, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at UC Davis, who led the project.
Passerini and his collaborator, UC Davis professor of biomedical engineering Scott Simon, recruited 61 volunteers with high and normal fasting triglyceride levels and a range of waist sizes. They measured the volunteers' levels of triglyceride particles in their blood after they ate the typical high-fat breakfast from a major fast food franchise.
Passerini's team found that after eating, the size of a type of a particle called triglyceride-rich lipoprotein (TGRL) varied directly with the individual’s waist size and preexisting blood triglyceride level. These particles can bind to the endothelium, triggering inflammation and an immune response that brings white blood cells to repair the damage. Over time, this leads to atherosclerosis.
Individuals with both a waist size over 32 inches (not terribly large by most standards) and high triglyceride levels had large lipoprotein particles that bound easily to the endothelial cells and caused inflammation in response to an immune chemical “trigger.”Click here to read more.
Summer time in the Central Valley means scorching temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, and sunshine that just won’t quit. When the thermometer heads north, we head to the freezer in search of a refreshing treat.
Can you remember devouring an ice cream cone in all its melting glory? Gobbling it up in search of refreshment as the sun’s rays seem to pierce right through you? Savoring each bite as the excess fat and sugar runs down the arm to the elbow, before dripping onto the asphalt with a sizzle.
Wait a minute. What was that about excess fat and sugar?
Unfortunately, not all refreshing treats are created equal. Frozen summer time staples like ice cream, though OK in moderation, can increase the amount of fat and sugar you’re consuming with little nutritional benefit.
Lucky for us, connoisseurs of summer time refreshments have tips and recipes to help us stay cool, the healthy way.
If it’s frozen treats you’re after, try:
Full of antioxidants and portable, frozen grapes make a great treat without a sticky mess.
Packed with vitamin C, cherries are an excellent summertime snack. Simply de-stem and rinse the cherries. Pit the cherries and spread on a tray. Place in the freezer until frozen. Store them in an air-tight container in the freezer until you are ready to pop a few to cool off.
Fruit Smoothies are a favorite! Blend ½ c. vanilla low-fat soy or regular yogurt, ½ cup of your favorite fresh berries, 2 ice cubes and 2 tsp. vanilla extract until smooth. Makes one cup.
Healthy ice cream
This recipe has tofu; it is healthy and safe for those who are lactose intolerant.
12 ounces frozen strawberries or frozen peaches
14 ounces soft silk tofu
1 cup of sugar
2 ounces of a healthy oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Assemble ingredients and blend in a food processor or blender.
2. Next, place the mixture in a plastic freezer zipper bag (one quart size) and seal.
3. Place the healthy ice cream bag in a gallon size plastic bag filled with a couple of tablespoons of salt and plenty of ice and shake for five minutes. You will cool off just shaking the bags!
Remember, when the temperature rises, choose wisely. Healthy alternatives to fatty, sugary, frozen treats are simple and delicious!
Wishing you a cool and healthy summer! For more healthy tips, click here.
There is no evidence to support the claim that farm subsidies -- by making fattening foods relatively cheap and abundant -- contribute to obesity in the United States, according to an analysis led by UC Davis researchers.
"U.S. farm subsidies have many critics. A variety of arguments and evidence can be presented to show that the programs are ineffective, wasteful or unfair," said Julian Alston, a professor of agricultural economics at UC Davis. "Eliminating farm subsidies could solve some of these problems -- but would not even make a dent in America's obesity problem."
According to Alston and his colleagues, farm subsidies have had only very modest, mixed effects on the total availability and prices of farm commodities, and cannot have contributed significantly to the obesity epidemic. In fact, the researchers have shown that the subsidies actually increase consumer prices and discourage consumption of one of the biggest suspects: sugar.
Alston and a team of other UC Davis agricultural economists studied the question with researchers in the UC Davis Department of Nutrition and the Iowa State University Department of Economics.
Their conclusions appeared in the December 2007 issue of "Agricultural and Resource Economics Update," published by the University of California's Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics.
(Photo by John Stumbos)