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Anti-hunger advocates shift focus to nutrition security

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THE WASHINGTON POST – You have probably heard the phrase “food security” to describe constant access to food. However, many health professionals and policy makers find this term inappropriate. Instead, we should focus on “food security”.

This term emphasizes the accessibility, availability, and affordability of foods that promote wellness and prevent or treat disease, rather than just foods that provide calories.

Many experts consider this rethinking to be particularly urgent now as the pandemic has impacted the availability and quality of food for many Americans.

“At the moment, a record number of Americans are living in a state of food and nutrition insecurity, despite the abundance of food production and availability in the United States,” said the chief advisor for Covid-19 at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA.). ) Sara Bleich.

There are an estimated 42 million people who are food insecure, up from 35 million before
the pandemic.

While national food security programs are in place to make it easier for Americans to access safe, nutritious, and enjoyable food, there is a loophole.

The “nutrient-rich” part is often left behind as programs can focus on providing an adequate amount of food or calories rather than making sure the food is nutrient-rich.

For example, a school breakfast program might offer nutritious, high-fiber whole grain bread, cheese, and fruit as a minimun, but many offer juice and a muffin instead. Both meals can contain the same number of calories, but the latter option is loaded with sugar.

Food security and nutrition need to be seen as one issue and not in two separate silos, experts said. “Nutrition and food security have to go together,” said the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University Dariush Mozaffarian. “It has become an artificial dichotomy and we have to get rid of it.”

The definition of “food security” needs to be changed to “food security” at all levels, including government, health care, nonprofit groups, and research and innovation, wrote Mozaffarian in a recent Medical Association article published in the Journal of the American co-authored by Chef José Andrés of World Central Kitchen and Shelia Fleischhacker of Georgetown University.

In the 1960s, government programs were put in place to eradicate hunger by providing adequate calories, and with the creation of school meals and complementary nutrition programs, caloric hunger was largely eradicated in the country in the 1990s, Mozaffarian said.

But as nutritionists drew the link between diet and chronic disease, it became clear that providing calories is not enough to eliminate food insecurity.

“What we’ve learned over the past 25 years is that diet is the single most powerful determinant of health for anyone,” said Mozaffarian. “In the US, we estimate that 45 percent of deaths from heart disease, stroke, or diabetes are due to poor diet.”

Food insecure people are at greatest risk for chronic diseases, which can be exacerbated by racial inequalities in health care. Pale of the USDA said blacks, Latinos and Native Americans, as well as residents of rural and low-income counties, suffer from the biggest gaps in food and nutrition insecurity, an issue exacerbated by the pandemic.

This can be seen in Washington’s own backyard. Capital Area Food Bank’s chief executive Radha Muthiah said there were 400,000 people in the metropolitan area without enough food before the pandemic. In the past year, this number has increased by around 50 percent in some areas.

“In our region there was hunger in every zip code even before the pandemic, but it disproportionately affected people of color, households with women and younger people,” said Muthiah.

Change is coming, slowly. A promising start is the USDA’s shift in focus. “To more effectively promote healthier eating habits and racial justice, the USDA is aiming to reshape the federal food security net so that it focuses not only on food security but also on food security,” said Bleich.

The new guidelines include a 15 percent increase in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which began in January, and a higher amount ($ 35 per month versus $ 9-11) on fruits and vegetables for women and children receive the benefits from the special nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC) launched on June 1.

These increases are due to expire in late September, and a process is underway – via an order from President Biden – to determine future spending on programs like SNAP. The capital region’s food bank has also made changes. “A few years ago we saw the worrying data about the health of the people we care for: almost half had high blood pressure and a quarter had type 2 diabetes,” said Muthiah, adding that the grocery bank was selling soda, sugary products and high-sodium foods.

In the meantime, 84 percent of the food served consists of fresh products and high-fiber, storage-stable products with low sodium and sugar content.

The organization runs many programs that focus on food security, especially for people living in food deserts, areas that are underserved by grocery stores. In these neighborhoods, the Capital Area Food Bank has its Curbside Groceries mobile grocery truck, which provides a full shopping cart of affordable grocery options for customers in DC’s Ward 8 and Prince George’s County. The organization also works with carpooling to offer free transportation to grocery stores.

A “food pharmacy” pilot project is also running at the Tafel. In collaboration with a hospital or other health facility, patients will be screened for food insecurity and a doctor or nurse will write prescriptions for certain foods to promote health. Patients then collect a box of groceries before leaving the facility or have it delivered to their home.

World Central Kitchen, Andrés’ non-profit based in Washington, distributes individually wrapped fresh meals to communities nationwide.

“We don’t just want to deliver empty calories,” said managing director Nate Mook.

Mook explained that the group has a nutrition department that analyzes all of the meals that come out of the kitchen to make sure they have the right balance of vegetables, proteins, and whole grains.

It has provided more than 36 million meals in more than 400 cities. Scientists also have a role to play in eliminating food insecurity.

Seeding the Future, a nonprofit based in Minneapolis, and the Institute of Food Technologists, based in Chicago, have teamed up to host the Seeding the Future Global Food System Challenge, which awards up to $ 1 million annually in new food innovations be awarded.

Projects currently funded include developing freight containers that can grow fresh fruits and vegetables in food deserts and finding ways to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

None of these individual programs alone can solve food insecurity, as the cause extends beyond access to grocery stores or fresh vegetables. It encompasses larger inequalities across income, education, and race.

Proponents said it was important to have equitable government policies that included adequate testing and measurement of food security.

Mozaffarian would like nutritional status questions to be included in the USDA Food Insecurity Screening and Measurement Questionnaires, for example.

He also hoped to see a central federal food and nutrition agency to coordinate and harmonize policies over time.

Once this is in place, it would be easier for nonprofits, healthcare professionals, and innovators to work towards a common goal to ensure that enjoyable, nutritious foods are available to all Americans.

This is not a pipe dream; Nutritional measures can have a huge impact. An April study showed that the Healthy, Hunger Free Children Act helped significantly improve the nutritional quality of school lunches across all socio-economic subgroups.

After the law was implemented in 2010, the proportion of school meals classified as “poor nutritional quality” fell from 55.6 percent to 24.4 percent.

Whole Grain Benefits

Running 3 Miles a Day: Benefits and Starting Out

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No matter where it is on your list of favorite exercises, running is a great way to get in shape and meet fitness goals.

But if you’re not a marathon runner, you’re probably looking for a distance that is achievable without missing that window of effectiveness. 3 miles a day can be considered a nice sweet spot, even for moderate runners.

Here’s a look at the potential benefits of a regular running routine and what 3 miles a day can bring you.

Even if you HATE running, you have to admit that there are some nice benefits to it.

Cardio endurance

Running is a top class cardiovascular endurance activity. It helps you maintain increased breathing and heart rate for an extended period of time. Over time, this can increase endurance, reduce fatigue, and improve heart and lung function.

Also, there is a chance that running with the Reg can extend your lifespan. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. According to a 2015 study, running for 5 to 10 minutes a day is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death. So making a habit of 3 miles a day can’t hurt if you are able to.

Strength training

Cardio gets a lot of recognition, but running also offers restorative benefits. It activates a whole host of leg muscles, including your quads, hamstrings, and calves. You will also feel the burning sensation in your buttocks, back and stomach.

You should also consider adding some resistance training to your workout. Research has shown that it can help improve your running performance and reduce your risk of injury. So it should gradually get easier to do your 3 miles every day.

Strengthens the bones (maybe)

Running is a stress exercise, which means it can help bone health. According to a 2019 study, running is more effective than walking for increasing bone density in healthy adults and children. But we definitely need more research to prove this 10/10.

Basically, your 3 miles a day can put real strain on your bones to promote strength.

Burns calories

Running is a super effective way to burn calories. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 154-pound person burns about 295 calories if they jog at 5 mph for 30 minutes. A very general rule is that you are burning around 100 calories per mile. However, the exact amount of calories burned depends on:

All terrain containers affect the amount of calories you burn on your runs. In general, you burn more calories on harder terrain than on clean, flat surfaces due to the amount of energy you have to exert. Your joints and muscles work extra hard to keep your body upright and in balance.

The incline is also very important. According to a 2018 study, walking on an incline promotes peroneal strength, which could help with weaker ankles. You can also burn more calories while walking uphill.

Dwight Schrute says, “If you want to win, you have to fuel up like a winner.” And NGL, Dwight is right. If you stay hydrated and keep track of your diet, you can get the most out of your runs.

Before your run

Try to have a balanced meal 3 to 4 hours before your 5 mile run. The ideal meal should be high in carbohydrates, low in protein, and low in fat. By the way, the ACSM recommends drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water with this meal. But you might want to drink more when it’s super hot outside.

Snack attack: You should have a snack about 30 minutes before your run. Just be sure to keep it small to avoid indigestion or nausea. A banana, peanut butter crackers, or half an energy bar are good choices.

During your run

Studies show that your glycogen stores can be depleted within 1 to 2 hours of running. For longer runs, you should refuel with snacks such as energy drinks, protein bars, energy gels, nuts or dried fruits.

Since your run is 3 miles long, you should have a good idea of ​​how much fuel you are using pretty quickly. But no matter how long your run is, always stay hydrated during your workout. Dehydration is not a joke!

After your run

Post-workout diet is critical to recovery and results. A mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins is best. Here are a few delicious examples:

One of the greatest advantages of running is that you don’t need fancy gear. But you still have to equip yourself.

Your ongoing shopping list should include:

Running off the beaten track should always have a way to get in touch with someone in an emergency. To be on the safe side, you should also have a portable GPS tracker and whistle with you. For more information, see our guide to trail running.

SPF PSA: Don’t forget sunscreen (even on cloudy days)!

Running 3 miles in the regatta is a great way to burn calories. It will also help you increase your strength and cardiovascular endurance. Keep in mind that it can take you some time to develop enough stamina to hit the 3 mile mark. So be patient with the process and stick with it. You can do it.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Should You Eat or Avoid Peanut Butter Before Bed?

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If you’re craving a midnight snack, peanut butter is a tempting choice because of its rich taste, creamy texture, and sweet and salty taste.

Thanks to its impressive nutritional profile, some health advocates recommend eating peanut butter at night to support muscle growth, stabilize blood sugar levels, and improve the quality of sleep.

However, it is also high in calories per serving, so you might be wondering if consuming this filling food before bed leads to weight gain.

This article explains whether eating peanut butter before bed leads to weight gain.

Peanut butter is a high-calorie food that is high in heart-healthy fats. Just 2 tablespoons (32 grams) provides 204 calories and 16 grams of fat (1, 2).

Therefore, it is a great food item for a healthy balanced diet, but large amounts can increase your daily caloric intake. If you eat more calories during the day than you burn, you can gain weight in the long run (3).

Even so, weight gain depends on many factors including age, height, activity level, health status, and total caloric intake.

In fact, you can eat peanut butter as part of a diet for either weight loss or weight gain, depending on what else you eat during the day.

Summary

Peanut butter is high in heart-healthy fats and calories, which means overeating before bed can lead to weight gain.

Research into the relationship between eating late and weight gain has produced mixed results.

Weight gain possible

Some studies suggest that eating large amounts of food late at night interferes with weight loss and increases body weight. However, other factors may also play a role, including overall diet quality, how long you sleep, and other habits such as skipping breakfast (4, 5, 6).

On the flip side, some research suggests that eating at night may not directly lead to weight gain, but may be linked to eating habits and lifestyle behaviors that contribute to weight gain, including increased snacks, skipped breakfast, and decreased dietary diversity (7, 8, 9.). ).

Benefits for muscle growth and metabolism

Interestingly, several studies have found that consuming a healthy snack like peanut butter before bed can have health benefits.

According to one review, consuming a small, high-protein nighttime snack may improve overnight muscle protein synthesis, morning metabolism, and feelings of satiety in healthy men (10).

Another small study of active college-aged men found that consuming a good source of protein before bed increased their metabolism the next morning (11).

Still, specific research on peanut butter is needed.

Summary

The results on the effects of eating late at night have been mixed. While this habit may be linked to weight gain, studies also show that having a healthy snack at night can increase fullness, muscle growth, and metabolism, especially in men.

Peanut butter is a good source of many nutrients, including niacin, magnesium, heart-healthy fats, and vitamins B6 and E (1).

Its antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease (12).

It’s also high in protein, containing over 7 grams in every 2-tablespoon (32 grams) serving (1).

Increasing protein intake can reduce food cravings and regulate your appetite. In addition, adequate protein intake supports muscle growth, wound healing, and healthy growth and development (13, 14).

Peanuts are also a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can improve the quality of sleep (15, 16).

Also, your body uses tryptophan to produce compounds like serotonin and melatonin, both of which are also important in regulating sleep (17, 18).

Although there is no research on the effects of peanut butter on sleep, studies link foods rich in tryptophan with improved sleep quality (19, 20).

Therefore, eating peanut butter or other foods containing tryptophan before bed can help reduce sleep problems.

Summary

Peanut butter is very nutritious and high in protein, which reduces food cravings and promotes muscle growth. It also contains tryptophan, which can improve the quality of sleep.

The next time you crave a midnight snack, think about your health goals before reaching for that jar of peanut butter.

If you’re trying to lose weight, consider lower-calorie snacks like hummus, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, or fresh fruit instead.

However, if you’re trying to gain weight, build muscle, boost your metabolism, or improve the quality of your sleep, a snack with a spoonful of peanut butter can be a good choice as it provides essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, and a healthy heart, fats and Tryptophan.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Dietitian shares the ‘power nutrient’ she eats to live longer—that 95% of Americans don’t get enough of

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The benefits of fiber

As a nutritionist, I always tell people that fiber – the kind you get from foods rather than supplements – is an essential fuel.

Adequate fiber intake has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain gastrointestinal disorders, and type 2 diabetes, researchers have found.

There is also evidence that the benefits of fiber go beyond a specific disease: eating more of it can lower people’s death rate. Even the diets of residents of the Blue Zones, the places on earth where people live longest, include fiber as a basic nutrient, especially in foods like black beans, chickpeas, and lentils.

A study by the National Institutes of Health found that people who consumed more fiber, especially from grains, had a significantly lower risk of death over a nine-year period than those who consumed less fiber.

The analysis included approximately 388,000 participants who were in a larger NIH-AARP diet and health study and who were between 50 and 71 years old at the start of the study.

How Much Fiber Should You Consume?

How to Increase Your Fiber Intake

The body does not break down fiber. Instead, it passes the body undigested and helps regulate the body’s sugar consumption and helps keep hunger and blood sugar in check.

According to researchers at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, there are two types of fiber: soluble fiber, which can help lower glucose levels, as well as lowering blood cholesterol, and insoluble fiber, which can help move through your digestive system , promotes regularity and helps prevent constipation.

While you can easily take a fiber supplement, you will end up missing out on all of the other vitamins and minerals that whole foods provide.

The best sources of fiber are whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts.

Here are five high fiber foods I include in my diet for healthier, longer lives – along with simple ways to enjoy them:

1. Avocados

Fiber: 10 grams per cup, sliced

Avocados

Loren Klein | Twenty20

In addition to their fiber content, avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fat, which has been linked to improving heart health.

Avocados are so versatile and their uses extend beyond simple dishes like guacamole. I usually add something to my smoothies, which creates a creamy, thick texture. Or instead of butter or mayonnaise, I smear a few slices on toasted bread.

2. raspberries

Fiber: 8 grams per cup

Raspberries

Katherine | Twenty20

Raspberries also provide a handful of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also have a lower glycemic index, which means they don’t raise blood sugar levels.

A 2017 study found that consuming fresh fruit, especially raspberries, every day can lower your risk of developing diabetes by 12%.

You can have a handful as a quick snack or get creative and add some acid to your salads. And to satisfy my sweet tooth, nothing beats yogurt with raspberries and crispy oats.

3. Lenses

Fiber: 21 grams per cup

lenses

Ilona Shorokhova | Twenty20

Lentils have an impressive amount of fiber per serving and are also an excellent source of protein (around 47 grams per cup), making them an ideal choice for filling meals.

Research suggests that consuming 150 grams of lentils daily may help improve blood lipid levels, blood pressure, and inflammation.

Lentils are delicious in a hearty soup or stew, but I think they go as well as protein in salads and tacos. If I want to reduce my meat consumption, I make lentil cakes for lunch or dinner.

4. Oats

Fiber: 8 grams per cup

Oats are a gluten-free whole grain that contains fiber and other important nutrients, including iron, zinc, and magnesium. They can also help you manage your blood sugar, heart health, and even weight, studies have shown.

For breakfast, oats can be used as a grain substitute in muffins and pancakes. For heartier dishes like meatballs, I like to use them as breadcrumbs.

5. Chia seeds

Fiber: 10 grams per ounce

Chia seeds

Anna | Twenty20

Even a small amount of chia seeds has many health benefits. They’re also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improvements in brain and heart health.

These tiny seeds can be sprinkled in smoothies, oatmeal, and salads. They gel when placed in liquid so you can easily make homemade jam with the berries of your choice.

Lauren Armstrong is a nutritionist and nutrition coach. She was also a nutritionist for The Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program. Lauren received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Western Michigan University and has written for several publications, including Livestrong and HealthDay.

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