Research Roundup

February 2015 Issue

Research Roundup: February 2015

Fruit juice linked to high blood pressure. Daily fruit juice consumption may increase blood pressure, according to Australian researchers. Despite its health halo, fruit juices have high levels of natural sugars, without the amount of fiber found in whole fruit. Excess sugars have been associated with high blood pressure. Habitual fruit juice consumption was measured over 12 months in 160 adults who answered a dietary recall questionnaire. Those who drank juice most frequently, versus occasionally or rarely, had the highest blood pressure.
(Appetite, January 2015)

Eating breakfast staves off cravings. People who eat breakfast, particularly protein-rich breakfasts, may significantly reduce cravings for sweet, savory, and high-fat foods, according to research. Eating causes the release of dopamine, a brain chemical which helps regulate food intake. The study focused on teens, a group that often skips breakfast. Young women were assigned to breakfasts with normal protein (13 grams), high protein (35 g), or no breakfast for six days. Dopamine levels increased and post-meal cravings declined for the breakfast eaters, compared to those who skipped.
(Nutrition Journal, August 6, 2014)

Herbs and spices key to lowering salt and fat intake. When food is seasoned with herbs and spices to make it more flavorful, people believe low fat and low salt options are as tasty as unhealthy options, according to 16 studies presented at the American Society for Nutrition conference. One study found that people who used herbs and spices cut their daily sodium intake by an average of 966 milligrams. Another study reported that a spice blend added to hamburger meat helps protect fat from oxidation. Still another found that red pepper spice increased fullness and boosted metabolism.
(Nutrition Today, September/October, 2014)