Thought for Food Blog

Five Claims about Coconut Oil Debunked

Posted by Shira Rossiter

03-Nov-2017 15:50:39

This post was originally published on The Conversation, and was written by Rosemary Stanton, a Nutritionist and Visiting Fellow from the School of Medicinal Sciences at the University of New South Wales.

 

Coconuts have been a valued food in tropical areas for thousands of years, traditionally enjoyed as coconut water from the centre of the coconut, coconut flesh, or coconut “milk” (made by steeping the flesh in hot water).

Solid white coconut oil (I’ll use this popular term, although technically it’s a fat not an oil) is now the darling of celebrities and bloggers, paleo enthusiasts and sellers of so-called superfoods. Claims for its supposed medical value reverberate around the internet, but how well do they stand up to scientific scrutiny?

 

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Topics: nutrition, saturated fat, healthy eating, cholesterol, diabetes, superfoods, bacteria, obesity, fibre, cardiovascular health, toxins, fatty acids, food research, dieting, health, bone health, metabolism

Gut Feelings: The gut-brain axis and mental health

Posted by Chris Cattini

01-Sep-2017 12:12:02

Our second brain

We have a second brain in our guts. Known as the enteric nervous system, it consists of a mesh-like network of around 100 million neurons lining the entire gastrointestinal tract. These neurons include a range of cell types operating via a complex system of circuitry largely independent of the central nervous system.

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Topics: zinc, sleep, fish, cereals, seafood, bacteria, fruit, vegetables, eggs, fibre, soy, meat, dairy, immune system, amino acids, neuroscience, fatty acids, nuts, tryptophan, gut health, cognitive function, mental health, central nervous system, fermented foods, supplements

Edible Insects – The Food of the Future?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

10-May-2017 08:30:00

The eating of insects, or entomophagy, is not a new concept. In fact, insects have been eaten around the world since prehistoric times.

 

A history of insect consumption

Stable carbon isotope analysis of the bones and dental enamel of australopithecines, for example, has shown that they were significantly enriched in isotope 13C, suggesting that the diet of these people was largely composed of animals feeding on grasses, including insects. Termites are reported to have been included into the Plio-Pleistocene hominin diet, and an analysis of fossils from caves in the USA and Mexico showed that coprolites from caves in Mexico contained ants, beetle larvae, lice, ticks and mites, providing further evidence for entomophagy in human history. 

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Topics: zinc, texture, food safety, food security, nutrition, protein, allergies and allergens, pesticides, cholesterol, nutrients, magnesium, amino acids, fatty acids, calcium, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, environment and sustainability, Asia, Africa, consumer behaviour, insect foods, novel foods

Understanding Your Child’s Appetite is Key to Preventing Obesity in Later Life

Posted by Tom Payne

06-Jan-2016 09:35:41

This post was originally published on The Conversation, and was written by Hayley Syrad, a PhD candidate at University College London (UCL).

If you want your toddler to be a healthy weight you might control portion sizes or the frequency of their meals and snacks. Of course, you could use both of these strategies, but a study we recently published found that one strategy is likely to be much more effective than the other depending on the traits in appetites of individual children.

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Topics: saturated fat, healthy eating, obesity, fatty acids, child nutrition

Good Gut, Good Health?

Posted by Lisa Palmer

03-Jul-2015 09:23:36

This post was originally published on the Future Food 2050 website. It has been reposted with permission.

New nutritional therapies are aimed at boosting the variety of microorganisms that live in your GI tract, says neuroendocrinologist Mark Heiman.

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Topics: nutrition, healthy eating, diabetes, bacteria, obesity, cardiovascular health, fatty acids, gut health, biochemistry, functional foods

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