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How Many Calories Are in Your Wine?

Sipping on sauvignon blanc or enjoying a glass of red with dinner can be a nice way to unwind after a hectic day. While drinking wine can provide some health benefits, such as increasing your good cholesterol and reducing your odds of heart disease, alcohol also delivers empty calories and not many nutrients, which can eventually cause weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. 

The key with drinking (as with many things in life) is doing so in moderation. Moderate drinking is defined as having one drink — that’s 5 ounces of wine — per day for women and two for men.

Plus, you want to choose a drink that won’t break the calorie bank. As a rule of thumb, white wines tend to be lower in calories than reds. Also, make sure your wine has a lower alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage, ideally of 11% or less. The higher the ABV, the higher the calorie count. Check out the chart below to see how your favorite wine stacks up. 

 

Wine calories guide graphic

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Poor Diet Tied to Heart Disease, Diabetes Deaths

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Nearly half of all deaths from heart disease, stroke and diabetes in the United States are associated with diets that skimp on certain foods and nutrients, such as vegetables, and exceed optimal levels of others, like salt, a new study finds.

Using available studies and clinical trials, researchers identified 10 dietary factors with the strongest evidence of a protective or harmful association with death due to “cardiometabolic” disease.

“It wasn’t just too much ‘bad’ in the American diet; it’s also not enough ‘good,'” said lead author Renata Micha.

“Americans are not eating enough fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, whole grains, vegetable oils or fish,” she said.

Micha is an assistant research professor at the Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston.

The researchers used data from multiple national sources to examine deaths from cardiometabolic diseases — heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes — in 2012, and the role that diet may have played.

“In the U.S. in 2012, we observed about 700,000 deaths due to those diseases,” Micha said. “Nearly half of these were associated with suboptimal intakes of the 10 dietary factors combined.”

Too much salt in people’s diets was the leading factor, accounting for nearly 10 percent of cardiometabolic deaths, according to the analysis.

The study identifies 2,000 milligrams a day, or less than 1 teaspoon of salt, as the optimal amount. While experts don’t agree on how low to go, there is broad consensus that people consume too much salt, Micha noted.

Other key factors in cardiometabolic death included low intake of nuts and seeds, seafood omega-3 fats, vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and high intake of processed meats (such as cold cuts) and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Each of these factors accounted for between 6 percent and 9 percent of deaths from heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

“Optimal” intake of foods and nutrients was based on levels associated with lower disease risk in studies and clinical trials. Micha cautioned that these levels are not conclusive. Optimal intake “could be modestly lower or higher,” she explained.

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Do ‘Early Birds’ Get the Healthier Worm?

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Early birds may have a leg up over night owls when it comes to health and weight, new research suggests.

Investigators in Finland found that morning people tend to eat better and earlier in the day than late-to-bed types.

The result: a higher risk of obesity for the night owls, said study lead author Mirkka Maukonen, of the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki.

“We found that night owls had postponed timing of food intake, and less favorable eating patterns with higher intakes of sucrose, fat and saturated fat in the evening hours than early birds,” said Maukonen, a doctoral candidate in the department of public health solutions. Sucrose is a type of sugar.

Registered dietitian Lona Sandon, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, wasn’t surprised by the findings. She said physiology and biology likely play a role.

“Past research has shown that hormones that impact appetite and metabolism — the way our body uses or stores energy — are produced at different levels throughout the day and night,” said Sandon, who wasn’t involved in the study.

“The amount of sleep and time period of sleep may affect the production of these hormones, and therefore drive differences in appetite or food choices as well as body composition and weight,” she explained.

So what’s a night owl to do?

“Changing sleep habits, just like changing dietary habits, is tough for many people,” said Sandon. “But it just may be worthwhile for people to try for one’s health.”

The researchers found that night owls also engaged in less routine physical activity, had more difficulty sleeping, and were more likely to smoke. And fewer night owls ranked themselves as being in good overall health or shape, relative to morning people.

The study team focused on nearly 1,900 Finnish adults ages 25 to 74 who had participated in a national nutritional study or a national heart disease study in 2007.

For the nutrition study, participants completed 48-hour food diaries that tallied daily caloric intake and consumption of carbohydrates, sugar, fiber, protein, fat and saturated fatty acids, and alcohol.

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Some Health Fads May Not Be All That Healthy

Vegetable juices, coconut oil have downsides, and gluten-free makes little difference in those without the sensitivity, study finds

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Juicing may be a popular health fad, but evidence suggests it could actually be detrimental to a good diet.

The same goes for coconut oil, which is loaded with saturated fat but has emerged as another dietary craze in the United States.

And a gluten-free diet likely has little positive health benefit for people who do not have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

These conclusions are part of a new review of the latest scientific evidence on food and nutrition that was conducted to shed some light on the latest diet fads.

“There is widespread confusion in terms of nutrition. Every day someone says something is good, and then the next day they say it’s bad,” said review lead author Dr. Andrew Freeman, co-chair of the American College of Cardiology’s Lifestyle and Nutrition Work Group.

“Our purpose was to do our best to give clinicians the tools they need to help their patients,” said Freeman, who is also director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health in Denver.

He and his colleagues reviewed medical evidence related to overall healthy eating patterns and specific dietary fads that are currently popular in the United States.

They concluded that:

  • Juicing might improve absorption of some plant nutrients, but it also leaves out a lot of fiber and nutrients contained in whole fruits and vegetables. Juicing removes the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables, producing liquid that contains most of the vitamins, minerals and chemicals found in whole fruit. But, whole fruits and vegetables have valuable fiber that’s removed during most juicing.

    People who juice tend to drink more concentrated calories without feeling as full afterward. “You’re leaving behind most of the nutrients, you’re leaving behind the fiber, and research has shown that when you drink calories they aren’t as satiating as when you chew them,” said Dr. Alice Lichtenstein. She’s director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston.

  • By the same token, high-dose antioxidant dietary supplements don’t appear to benefit people any more than simply eating foods rich in antioxidants. “Every time we extract things from plants, we usually don’t get the same benefit, or sometimes we get a non-benefit, a danger,” Freeman said. “If you eat a well-balanced diet, vitamin supplementation is usually not required.”
  • Coconut oil is a recent health food fad, but coconut is naturally loaded with unhealthy saturated fats, Freeman and Lichtenstein said. People would do better to use olive and vegetable oils in their cooking, since they contain healthy unsaturated fats. “Everybody is buying tubs and tubs of coconut oil, and the data behind it just doesn’t exist,” Freeman said.
  • A gluten-free diet can help people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, but does no good for healthy people who can digest grains without any side effects. Whole grains can actually be healthier for people than gluten-free alternatives that are higher in processed carbohydrates, Freeman noted.
  • Eggs can increase a person’s cholesterol levels, although not as much as previously thought, Lichtenstein said. One or two eggs per day likely would have a small effect in most people not at high risk for heart problems or high cholesterol. “When you start going above that, particularly in high-risk individuals, it may be problematic,” she said. The saturated fats found in meat and dairy products pose a larger hazard to cholesterol levels, Lichtenstein noted.

Continued

Overall, people would be better off with a predominantly plant-based diet that emphasizes eating whole unprocessed foods, Freeman concluded.

“I would argue all brightly colored vegetables and fruits are antioxidant-rich nutrient powerhouses,” Freeman said.

The new paper was published Feb. 27 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Sources

SOURCES: Andrew Freeman, M.D., co-chair, American College of Cardiology’s Lifestyle and Nutrition Work Group, and director, cardiovascular prevention and wellness, National Jewish Health, Denver; Alice Lichtenstein, M.D., D.Sc., professor, nutrition science and policy, and director, Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, Tufts University, Boston; Feb. 27, 2017, Journal of the American College of Cardiology


Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Counting Calories? Consider the Cream and Sugar

TUESDAY, Feb. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Before you pour anything into your coffee cup besides coffee, heed the findings of a new study that shows a lot of extra calories come with that cream and sugar.

“Our findings indicate that a lot of coffee and tea drinkers regularly use caloric add-ins to improve the flavor of their beverages, but possibly without fully realizing or taking into consideration its caloric and nutritional implications,” said study author Ruopeng An. He is a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois.

In the study, the researchers analyzed more than a decade of data on nearly 13,200 adults who reported recently drinking coffee and just over 6,200 adults who reported drinking tea.

About two-thirds of coffee drinkers and one-third of the tea drinkers put sugar, cream, flavorings or other calorie-rich additives in their drinks, the study found.

That choice comes with a price: Compared with those who drink their coffee black, those who add sweeteners, cream and other substances consume an average of about 69 more calories a day. More than 60 percent of those extra calories come from sugar, and fat accounted for most of the rest, the study authors said.

Compared with those who drink their tea black, those who add sweeteners, cream and other substances consume an average of 43 more calories a day. Sugar accounts for nearly 85 percent of those added calories, the researchers found.

While the daily intake of extra calories may seem small, it can add up to extra pounds, An noted in a university news release.

More than 51 percent of American adults drink coffee and nearly 26 percent drink tea on any given day, according to the study.

Whole-Grain Foods May Help You Stay Slim

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Switching to whole-grain foods might help keep your weight in check as much as a brisk 30-minute daily walk would, a new study suggests.

Whole grains seem to both lower the number of calories your body absorbs during digestion and speed metabolism, explained study author J. Philip Karl. He’s a nutrition scientist who did the research while a Ph.D. student in nutrition at Tufts University in Boston.

While other studies have found that people who eat whole grains are slimmer and have lower body fat than those who do not, Karl said it has been hard to separate the effects of whole grains from regular exercise and a healthier diet overall.

So, for the new study, “we strictly controlled diet. We didn’t let them lose weight,” he said.

The researchers did that by pinpointing the specific caloric needs of each of the 81 men and women, aged 40 to 65, in the study.

For the first two weeks of the study, everyone ate the same types of food and the researchers computed their individual calorie needs to maintain their weights. After that, the researchers randomly assigned people to eat either a whole-grain or refined-grain diet.

The men and women were told to eat only the food provided and to continue their usual physical activity.

Those on the whole-grain diet absorbed fewer calories and had greater fecal output. Their resting metabolic rate (calories burned at rest) was also higher. The fiber content of whole-grain foods, about twice that of refined-grain foods, is believed to play a major role in those results, Karl said.

“The energy deficit in those eating whole grains compared to refined grains would be equivalent to the calories you would burn if you were to walk about a mile [in] about 20 or 30 minutes,” he said. But the study did not prove that whole grains cause weight loss.

”We don’t know over the long term if it would translate to weight loss,” Karl said, but his team suspects it would. “This would translate to about 5 pounds in a year,” Karl estimated.

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