Tuesday March 31, 2020

Avocado Consumption May Improve Brain Functionality in Overweight Adults

Avocados are high in lutein, a dietary component associated with cognitive benefits

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Avocado
Avocados are high in lutein, a dietary component associated with cognitive benefits. Pixabay

A diet including daily avocado consumption improves the ability to focus attention in adults whose measurements of height and weight are categorised as overweight or obese, say researchers.

For the findings, published in the Journal of Psychophysiology, researchers at the University of Illinois in the US, conducted the 12-week study of daily meals to 84 adults with overweight or obesity.

“Previous work has shown that individuals with overweight and obesity are at higher risk for cognitive decline and dementia in older age,” said study lead author Naiman Khan from University of Illinois in the US.

“We are interested in whether dietary approaches may have benefits for cognitive health, especially in midlife,” Khan added.

Avocados are high in lutein, a dietary component associated with cognitive benefits.

Though avocado consumption’s benefits have been studied in older adults and children, no randomised controlled trials had studied its cognitive effects on adults with overweight or obesity. In the new study, the researchers provided 12 weeks of daily meals to 84 adults with overweight or obesity.

The meals were identical in calories and macronutrients, but one group’s meals included a fresh avocado every day, while the control group had no avocado in their meals. At the beginning and end of the study, the participants completed three cognitive tests to measure attention and inhibition. In addition, the researchers measured lutein levels in the participants’ serum and in their retinas, which is associated with the lutein concentration in the brain.

They found that the participants whose diets included avocados improved their performance on one of the cognitive tests, called the Flanker task, which measures attentional inhibition – the ability to maintain focus on the task at hand even in the face of distraction.

However, there was no difference in the other two cognitive tests. “It could be that nutrients in avocados have a specific action in the brain that supports the ability to do this task in particular, or they could be more beneficial for certain cognitive abilities over others,” Khan said.

Avocado, Vegetable, Food, Healthy, Vegetarian, Green
A diet including daily avocado consumption improves the ability to focus attention in adults whose measurements of height and weight are categorised as overweight or obese, say researchers. Pixabay

“It’s also possible that with a longer study or different tests, we could see other effects. Other studies have found broader effects in other populations, so it is interesting to see a more specific benefit for this population,” Khan added. Although this study focused on avocados, other dietary sources of lutein, fiber and unsaturated fats – such as green leafy vegetables or eggs – also have potential cognitive and health benefits.

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The researchers said their study shows that small dietary changes, such as eating avocados, can have measurable impacts on cognitive performance, even when other health behaviors remain the same. (IANS)

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Most Infants Consume Added Sugar: Study

Is your toddler consuming added sugar?

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infants sugar
A large majority of infants between 6-11 months (61 percent) and toddlers between 12-23 months of age (98 percent) consume added sugars. Pixabay

Nearly two-thirds of infants and almost all toddlers consume added sugars in their average daily diets; primarily in the form of flavoured yogurts and fruit drinks, a study has found.

A large majority of toddlers between 6-11 months (61 percent) and toddlers between 12-23 months of age (98 percent) consume these sugars – possibly laying early foundations to unhealthy eating habits, found a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published by Elsevier.

“Our study, which is the first to look at trends in added sugars consumption by infants and toddlers, documents that most infants and toddlers consume added sugars. This has important public health implications since previous research has shown that eating patterns established early in life shape later eating patterns,” explained lead investigator Kirsten A. Herrick.

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She cited an earlier study that found that 6-year-olds who had consumed any sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) before the age of one were more than twice as likely to consume an SSB at least once a day compared to 6-year-olds who had not consumed any before the age of one.

infants sugar
Most infants and toddlers consume added sugars. This has important public health implications since previous research has shown that eating patterns established early in life shape later eating patterns. Pixabay

Dr. Herrick noted, “Previous research into the diets of children over two years old associated sugar consumption with the development of cavities, asthma, obesity, elevated blood pressure and altered lipid profiles.”

The findings showed that toddlers consumed about 1 teaspoon of added sugars daily (equivalent to about 2 percent of their daily caloric intake), while toddlers consumed about 6 tsp of sugars (about 8 percent of their daily caloric intake).

The top food sources of added sugars for infants included yogurt, baby snacks and sweets, and sweet bakery products. For toddlers, the top sources included fruit drinks, sweet and baked products, and sugar and candy.

According to Dr. Herrick, parents should be mindful of added sugars levels in the foods chosen when weaning their infants.

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” The transition from a milk-based diet (breast milk and formula) to table foods has an impact on nutrition, taste preference, and eating patterns. More work is needed to understand this critical period.” She recommends discussing which solid foods to introduce during weaning with a child’s healthcare provider.Nearly two-thirds of infants and almost all toddlers consume added sugars in their average daily diets; primarily in the form of flavoured yogurts and fruit drinks, a study has found.

A large majority of infants between 6-11 months (61 percent) and toddlers between 12-23 months of age (98 percent) consume these sugars – possibly laying early foundations to unhealthy eating habits, found a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published by Elsevier.

“Our study, which is the first to look at trends in added sugars consumption by infants and toddlers, documents that most infants and toddlers consume added sugars. This has important public health implications since previous research has shown that eating patterns established early in life shape later eating patterns,” explained lead investigator Kirsten A. Herrick.

She cited an earlier study that found that 6-year-olds who had consumed any sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) before the age of one were more than twice as likely to consume an SSB at least once a day compared to 6-year-olds who had not consumed any before the age of one.

Dr. Herrick noted, “Previous research into the diets of children over two years old associated sugar consumption with the development of cavities, asthma, obesity, elevated blood pressure and altered lipid profiles.”

infants sugar
Nearly two-thirds of infants and almost all toddlers consume added sugars in their average daily diets. Pixabay

The findings showed that infants consumed about 1 teaspoon of added sugars daily (equivalent to about 2 percent of their daily caloric intake), while toddlers consumed about 6 tsp of sugars (about 8 percent of their daily caloric intake).

Please follow NewsGram on Twitter to get updates on the latest news

The top food sources of added sugars for infants included yogurt, baby snacks and sweets, and sweet bakery products. For toddlers, the top sources included fruit drinks, sweet and baked products, and sugar and candy.

According to Dr. Herrick, parents should be mindful of added sugars levels in the foods chosen when weaning their infants.

Also Read- Night-Shift Workers More Prone To Get Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes

” The transition from a milk-based diet (breast milk and formula) to table foods has an impact on nutrition, taste preference, and eating patterns. More work is needed to understand this critical period.” She recommends discussing which solid foods to introduce during weaning with a child’s healthcare provider. (IANS)