1. Artificially sweetened beverages and stroke, coronary heart disease, and all-cause mortality in the Women’s Health Initiative
Researchers investigated how self-reported consumption of artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) is associated with stroke and its subtypes, coronary heart disease, and all-cause mortality in a cohort of postmenopausal US women. From the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, which is a multicenter longitudinal study of the health of 93,676 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years at baseline enrolled from 1993 to 1998, researchers included 81,714 women in the analytic cohort.
The mean follow-up time was 11.9 years (SD of 5.3 years) in this prospective study. Infrequent consumption (never or <1/week) of ASB was reported in most participants (64.1%); there were only 5.1% participants who reported consuming ≥2 ASBs/day. The results showed significant increase in stroke, coronary artery disease and all-cause mortality among those who consumed artificially sweetened beverages in excess more than 2-3 beverages a day. Journal “STROKE” Mossavar Rahmani Y. et.el March 12, 2019
2. Working weekends tied to increased depression risk
Men and women who work on weekends may be more likely to develop depression, a UK study suggests. Although a growing number of people worldwide are working longer hours as more businesses operate 24/7, it’s not clear how evaporating “off time” is impacting workers’ mental health, researchers noted in a report February 25 online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. Data are particularly sparse about differences between women and men in the connection between work schedules and depression risk, the study team notes.
For the current study, researchers examined national survey data from 11,215 men and 12,188 women working in the UK between 2010 and 2012. Almost half of the women worked less than 35 hours a week, while the majority of men worked longer hours. Only half of the women worked at least some weekends, compared with two-thirds of the men. Compared to those working a “standard” 35- to 40-hour work week, men working less had more symptoms of depression. Women, however, had a greater risk of depression only when they worked at least 55 hours a week. Women working most weekends had more depression symptoms than women who only worked weekdays. Men had more depression symptoms with weekend work when they also disliked their working conditions. “The results of our study show gender differences in the links between long and irregular hours and depressive symptoms,” said study leader Gillian Weston, a public health researcher at University College London.
Reuters Health News | March 14, 2019
3. Four natural sugar alternatives in Diabetes:
As a nation, Americans love sugar. The typical American consumes 66 pounds of added sugar in one year. Added sugars are not a good thing, and the literature says one of the biggest problems is the amount of added sugar we consume. The only benefit to adding sugar is enjoyment and pleasure. If you’d like to have your cake and eat it too, here are five sugar alternatives to consider.
Molasses is made when sucrose (sugar) is removed from sugarcane and the nutritious part of the plant is left behind, Molasses is still sweet, it has antioxidants, iron, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, and more. The amount of antioxidants in a serving of molasses is about equal to that in a serving of nuts or berries. Molasses may not spike the blood glucose levels as much after a meal as regular sugar. Dark and blackstrap molasses have the highest antioxidant activity of the refined sugar alternatives.
Monk fruit extract
Monk fruit extract comes from the fruit of the same name and is a zero-calorie option It is high in antioxidants called mogrosides, and it tastes sweet—about 100 to 250 times sweeter than regular white sugar. In addition, monk fruit extract doesn’t appear to elevate blood sugar, making it a low-glycemic sweetener. In theory, monk fruit extract can be a good sweetener for individuals with diabetes simply because you consume so much less. Is monk fruit extract better than other non-nutritive sweeteners? It really comes down to taste and what you like best.
Date sugar is made by grinding down the whole fruit. It still contains all of the date’s nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Date sugar, with 10 calories per teaspoon, has one third fewer calories than regular sugar.. And because it is made from ground-up dates, it does add potassium and fiber to the diet.
Coconut sugar is less refined, so it retains the minerals (iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium) found in the sap of the coconut palm tree from which it’s made. While 100 grams, or 25 teaspoons, has a little over 1,000 mg of potassium, it would mean eating quite a bit of added sugar. Coconut sugar looks and tastes like regular brown sugar, but it has a lower glycemic index (35) compared with ordinary sugar (65). Glycemic index is the percentage of the amount absorbed form the total quantity eaten. For example if you ate 100 calories worth of coconut sugar only 35 calories will be absorbed. That is what glycemic value of 35 means. Coconut sugar also contains inulin, a type of soluble fiber that can slow the absorption of food in the gastrointestinal tract and blunt the post-meal blood sugar spike.