7 Sneaky Steps to a Healthier Halloween

Halloween is here and tonight the sidewalks will be filled with little ghouls and goblins marching from one house to the next in search of treats. All Hallows’ Eve can be scary, especially when it comes to the amount of calories, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup¬†children consume this time of year. Here are seven sneaky steps parents can take to make Halloween a bit healthier for their little monsters.

Trick or treat

Supplemental Vitamin E and A, Worth The Risk?

Perhaps among the most confusing of nutrition and wellness decisions that the average consumer must make is whether to take dietary supplements. The available information is deeply contradictory; while some supplements — like folic acid for pregnant women and vitamin D for babies — are considered nearly essential in medical care, research suggests that other supplements may be ineffective or even deleterious to health. A recent research summary published in The Medical Letter On Drugs and Therapeutics may help consumers and practitioners to wade through the conflicting information on supplements, as many supplements have both risks and benefits associated with their use [1].

Vitamins E and A

New Supplement Results Easy to Sensationalize, Not Highly Meaningful

New research published in this month’s Archives of Internal Medicine has caused quite a stir amongst vitamin- and mineral-popping Americans [1]. Researchers report that over the course of a decades-long study, older women who regularly took vitamin and mineral supplements were more likely to die than those who did not.

This news may surprise those who look to vitamin and mineral supplements as a mechanism for maintaining — and even improving — health. However, while it would be easy to sensationalize the research findings, the reality is that there are many limitations that prevent drawing meaningful conclusions — ones that could be used to inform behavior — from the study.

Vitamins

Oxidative Stress in Children with Celiac Disease

ResearchBlogging.org

Celiac disease is a genetic digestive disorder triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. Researchers now report that there is a factor independent of diet that contributes to oxidative stress in celiac disease patients; children with celiac disease have higher than normal levels of two oxidative DNA damage biomarkers, regardless of what they eat [1].

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the consumption of gluten — a protein found in all forms of wheat, including spelt, kamut, semolina and triticale, as well as in barley and rye — induces an inflammatory reaction that destroys the gut. It occurs in almost 1% of the population, although in the United States as many as 97% of cases remain undiagnosed. Most autoimmune diseases are thought to be caused by an interaction between a genetic predisposition and an environmental trigger, but celiac disease is the only one for which the environmental trigger is known: gluten.

Healthy Fast Food Not So Healthy

Have you ever wondered if those healthy fast food meals are really any better for you? McDonald’s has the Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait, Wendy’s offers Garden Sensations salads and at Burger King you can even get a veggie burger.

Yogurt, salad, veggie burger … these are all healthy foods.

However, new research suggests that healthy fast food meals have the same effect on your cardiovascular system as a burger, fries and a soda.