No food taboos, just eat in moderation, Singapore PM tells Muhyiddin

SINGAPORE: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has some advice for Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as he recuperates from his recent surgery: “Eat in moderation, but no need for any ‘pantang’ (taboo) about food.”

Lee, who posted a photo of him visiting Muhyiddin on his Facebook page yesterday, said the minister was recovering at a hospital in Singapore following an operation.

“Glad that it was successful, and that he is doing well.

“I shared with him my own doctor’s advice when I was ill – eat in moderation, but no need for any ‘pantang’ about food. I remember even enjoying durians!” he wrote, adding that he wished Muhyiddin a speedy recovery.

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean had also visited Muhyiddin on July 30.

Muhyiddin underwent an operation to remove a growth on his pancreas that was detected at an early stage.

He went on leave on July 12 to undergo follow-up treatment and is expected to be back at work in a month’s time.

Source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/08/03/no-food-taboos-just-eat-in-moderation-singapore-pm-tells-muhyiddin

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Eggs Connected to an Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer

In The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS), a study observing over fifty thousand male health professionals since 1986 noticed that men who consumed ≥2.5 eggs per week had a 1.8-fold increased risk of developing lethal prostate cancer compared with men who consumed <0.5 eggs per week. However, this study found no association between consumption of eggs and risk of deadly prostate cancer after diagnosis.

EGGS AND PROSTATE CANCER…A WORD TO THE WISE

If you have had prostate cancer (PC), or are at high risk of the disease, it would be prudent to stop eating more than an occasional egg, especially if you live in North America.

Source:

http://drgeo.com/the-truth-with-eggs-choline-prostate-cancer/

http://www.ralphmossblog.com/2018/03/eggs-and-prostate-cancera-word-to-wise.html

Highly processed foods tied to increased risk of certain cancers

The cancers that have the highest correlation to processed food consumption are breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. Reuters  March 8, 2018 

Researchers examined data from dietary surveys completed by nearly 105,000 adults who didn’t have cancer. By the time half the participants had been in the study for at least five years, 2,228 cancer cases had been diagnosed, including 739 breast cancers, 281 prostate cancers, and 153 colorectal cancers.

Every 10% increase in the amount of heavily processed foods and drinks people consumed was associated with a 12% higher risk of developing all cancers and an 11% higher risk of developing breast cancer during the study, researchers report in The BMJ. 

“Ultra-processed foods and beverages contain some food additives for which carcinogenic effects are suspected such as titanium dioxide, a white food pigment which can be found in some confectionaries, chewing-gums, and biscuits,” Srour added. “Ultra-processed foods are also often packaged in plastic which might contain contact materials having controversial effects on health, such as bisphenol A.”

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2018/03/08/highly-processed-foods-tied-to-increased-risk-of-certain-cancers/

Small improvements to eating habits may prolong life: Study

MIAMI — It’s hard to eat right all the time, but making small improvements by choosing healthier foods now and then may significantly boost one’s chances of living longer, said a US study on Wednesday (July 12).

The report in the New England Journal of Medicine is the first to show that improving diet quality over at least a dozen years is associated with lower total and cardiovascular mortality.

Researchers at Harvard University tracked dietary changes in a population of nearly 74,000 health professionals who logged their eating habits every four years.

Researchers used a system of diet-quality scores to assess how much diets had improved.

For instance, a 20-percentile increase in scores could “be achieved by swapping out just one serving of red or processed meat for one daily serving of nuts or legumes,” said a summary of the research.

Over the 12-year span, those who ate a little better than they did at the start — primarily by consuming more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish — saw an eight to 17 per cent lower risk of dying prematurely in the next 12 years.

Those whose diets got worse over time saw a higher risk of dying in the next 12 years of follow-up, on the order of a six to 12 per cent increase.

“Our results highlight the long-term health benefits of improving diet quality with an emphasis on overall dietary patterns rather than on individual foods or nutrients,” said senior author Frank Hu, professor and chair of the Harvard Chan School Department of Nutrition.

“A healthy eating pattern can be adopted according to individuals’ food and cultural preferences and health conditions,” he added.

“There is no one-size-fits-all diet.” AFP

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/daily-focus/health/small-improvements-eating-habits-may-prolong-life-study

Evidence grows linking grilled meat and cancer, but you can lower the risk

By Emily Sohn June 3 at 8:30 AM

When cooked at high temperatures or over open flames, according to accumulating evidence, compounds in red and processed meats undergo biochemical reactions that produce carcinogenic compounds capable of altering the eater’s DNA.

Grilled vegetables don’t harbor the same risks.

The case for meat as a cancer risk has been building for decades, with plenty of studies showing that people who report eating diets heavy in red and processed meats have higher risks of certain types of cancer, as well as heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Enough of those studies — together with lab work — have built up to make a convincing case that meat carries risks, according to a 2015 analysis by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which considered more than 800 studies conducted around the world.

Overall, the IARC review found that the strongest evidence linked processed meats (such as hot dogs, beef jerky, bacon and ham) to colorectal cancer — with each hot-dog-size serving of processed meat eaten daily raising the risk by 18 percent over a lifetime.

More than 34,000 cancer deaths are caused around the world each year by diets high in processed meat, according to data referenced in the IARC report. By comparison, tobacco causes about a million cancer deaths annually. Alcohol consumption causes 600,000. And air pollution is responsible for 200,000.

The IARC review also found evidence for an association between unprocessed red meat (such as beef or pork) and colorectal cancer, along with some evidence that red meat might contribute to pancreatic and prostate cancers, too.

Cooking methods make a difference, according to studies that have zeroed in on two groups of chemicals that appear in particularly large quantities when meat, fish or poultry is cooked under high heat by grilling, barbecuing, boiling or even pan-frying. One group, called HAAs (heterocyclic aromatic amines), form during high-temperature reactions between substances in muscle tissue.

PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), which form when meat is smoked, charred or cooked over an open flame, are also found in tobacco smoke.

Turesky is beginning to turn up evidence that it might. In a study published last year, he and colleagues studied biopsies of prostate tumors and found that DNA in the cancer cells had been damaged by HAAs.

“This is the first unequivocal proof that, once you eat the cooked meat mutagens, some of them find their way to the prostate and damage the prostate,” Turesky says. The study doesn’t prove that meat caused the cancer, he adds. “It could just be an association. Now we have to show that the mutations are attributed to the chemicals in cooked meat.”

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/evidence-grows-linking-grilled-meat-and-cancer-but-you-can-lower-the-risk/2017/06/02/f946078c-4549-11e7-a196-a1bb629f64cb_story.html?utm_term=.65bccab06061&wpisrc=nl_az_most&wpmk=1

Diet high in saturated fats linked to gut inflammation: Study

Probiotic content in food items such as yoghurt and kimchi help improve gut health

SINGAPORE — Scientists have found more evidence that a diet high in saturated fats is linked to more inflammation in the gut that, in turn, could cause colorectal cancer.

The study by scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) also found that probiotic content in food items such as yoghurt and kimchi help in improving gut health.

In examining what causes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the team led by Associate Professor Andrew Tan Nguan Soon discovered that a lower level of Angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPLT4) — a protein found in the gut — led to more inflammation.

Assoc Prof Tan said: “In our experiments, we observed that when gut microbes processed saturated fats, they will emit certain chemicals that lower the amount of ANGPLT4 produced by the cells, which then leads to more inflammation.”

When inflammation is prolonged, it could lead to IBD and, later, increase the risk of colon tumours.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in Singapore, with more than 9,300 cases diagnosed from 2010 to 2014.

In a press release yesterday, NTU said that the team of NTU scientists led by Assoc Prof Tan discovered this new protein-linked factor that contribute to IBD, and have published their results recently in Scientific Reports, a peer-reviewed journal.

Worldwide, about five million people suffer from IBD, which can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weight loss, blood in stools and fever.

In Singapore, about 2,000 people suffer this yearly, and the numbers are rising sharply, NTU said.

Assoc Prof Tan said that their findings supported the conventional advice of eating wholesome foods with less saturated fats and with more probiotic content, usually found in fermented foods such as yoghurt or kimchi.

“The types of food being processed by the gut will change the microbe community. A high intake of saturated fat could increase the prevalence and replication of harmful pathogens, suppressing ANGPLT4 and causing even more inflammation,” he explained.

In the study, the team also found that dietary probiotics favour beneficial microbes that form a protective barrier along the gut. Retaining a barrier in the gut may be one way the ANGPTL4 protein prevents harmful bacteria from joining the microbe community.

In a related study, Assoc Prof Tan worked with a team from Wageningen University in the Netherlands to discover the effects that trans fat has on gut health. Published last week in the Journal of Lipid Research, the study found that while saturated fat led to massive IBD in mice that are lacking the ANGPTL4 protein, eating trans fat did not contribute to IBD symptoms but may result in the hardening and narrowing of arteries in the long term.

“In short, the public should eat foods that are high in unsaturated fats, like avocado and olive oil, while avoiding foods containing saturated fat, like butter, and trans fat, like margarine,” Assoc Prof Tan said.

“At the same time, foods containing probiotics, such as yoghurt, should also be consumed, as they improve the health of the gut.”

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/diet-high-saturated-fats-linked-gut-inflammation-study

 

 

The demon in yellow mee and fish balls

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/03/25/the-demon-in-yellow-mee-and-fish-balls/

KUALA LUMPUR: Know how much salt is contained in instant noodles, yellow mee and fish balls?

The three items are enjoyed by many Malaysians on a daily basis, but their excessive consumption doesn’t bode well for the heart and blood pressure due to their high sodium chloride – known commonly as table salt – content, says a dietician.

In an interview with FMT, National Heart Institute (IJN) chief dietician Mary Easaw said processed foods, such as instant noodles and fish balls, contained a lot of salt.

“If you look at noodles, you’ll see that mee hoon and kuey teow contain only 6mg of sodium chloride per every 100gm.”

In the case of instant noodles, every 100gm contains 104mg of sodium chloride, while every 100gm of yellow mee contains 177mg of sodium chloride.

“In the case of fish balls, 10 fish balls contain 800mg of sodium chloride. In comparison, 10 small slices of fish only contain 100mg of salt.”

But Easaw said Malaysians had to be aware of more than just how much salt a food item contained.

“People need to know where salt comes from. It’s more than just table salt. Salt is also contained in large quantities in processed meats, preserved foods and sauces such as soy and oyster sauce, as well as tomato and chilli sauce.

“So, when we eat out or cook at home, sauces would be mixed alongside ingredients which already contain salt. It’s more salt than we need.”

Easaw said awareness of how much salt foods contained, and where they came from, was especially important in Asia as Asians had a greater tendency to consume foods which had a higher salt content compared with Westerners.

“This is down to us Asians having a ‘fifth’ taste sense known as umami, which is sensitive to a type of amino acid known more commonly as glutamate,” she said, adding that ‘umami’ was something which was still being studied by scientists.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults consume less than 2,000mg of sodium a day, but according to a 2015 New Straits Times article, Malaysians consume some 2,575mg of salt. This is 25% more than the recommended amount.

Last June, Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam revealed that 6.1 million Malaysians suffered from hypertension and 9.6 million had a high cholesterol level. He said 3.3 million Malaysians were obese.

All three diseases are linked to a high intake of salt.

In 2008, the World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) in the UK launched a global movement to improve the health of populations across the world by a gradual reduction in salt intake.

WASH runs Salt Awareness Week from March 20 to 26 every year to highlight the importance of salt reduction.