This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
healthbriefs


Home Is Where the Healthy Meal Is O


ne of the joys of heading home for the holidays is the anticipa- tion of gathering around the table with loved ones and enjoying delicious foods. But we do well to indulge in the home-cooked meal experience on non-holidays, as well. Foods prepared away from home, including fast food eaten at home and store-prepared food eaten away from home, tend to fuel an increase in total calorie intake. Con- versely, eating at home is linked with healthier choices.


According to research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, both the eating location and food source significantly impact the daily calorie intake of school-age children and may be linked to rising rates of childhood obesity. The study found that the percentage of calories eaten away from home increased from 23.4 to 33.9 percent from 1977 to 2006. A new study from McGill University, based on data from 160 women, further suggests that a home-cooked meal can prompt people to make healthier and more nutritional food choices. The women in the study tended to reach more for the greens, rather than high-calorie desserts. Reporting in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers sug-


gest that when we eat at home, emotionally rewarding factors like contentedness may help override our wired-in preference for high-fat, sugary foods. The findings point to factors that may encourage healthy eating such as interpersonal communi- cation, home design and atmospheric cues, including pleasing music, dining land- scape and kitchen equipment; all have all been found to induce positive emotions.


W


Dish Up Some Pecan Pie


ho doesn’t relish a slice of pecan pie for Thanksgiving dessert?


New research from Loma Linda Univer- sity (LLU) demonstrates that naturally occurring antioxidants in pecans may help contribute to heart health and disease prevention. Earlier LLU research showed that a pecan-enriched diet lowered levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) by 16.5 percent. Both studies were published in the Journal of Nutrition.


M


The New Coconut Oil


ost older studies that gave coconut oil a bad rap involved partially


hydrogenated oil loaded with trans-fatty acids. But the unrefined virgin coconut oil now available in many health food stores is not chemically treated and is trans-fat free. Marisa Moore, a spokes- woman for the American Dietetic Association, a nonprofit organization of nutritionists, explains that the main saturated fat in virgin coconut oil is lau- ric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that can help increase levels of HDL (good choles- terol).


A


A Secret to Longevity


review of more than 160 studies has established compelling evi- dence that happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers. One study that followed nearly 5,000 university students for more than 40 years found those that were the most pessimistic as students tended to die first. An even longer-term study that tracked 180 Catholic nuns from early adulthood to old age revealed that those that wrote positive autobiographies in their early 20s tended to outlive the nuns that wrote more negative accounts of their young lives.


Source: Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.


A


Happier and Healthier at WorK


UK study from the University of Ex- eter confirms good news: Employ-


ees that have a say in the design and layout of their workspace are happier and healthier. But that’s not all—they also become up to 32 percent more productive.


natural awakenings November 2011 9


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32