My health digest news recap touches on some of the key foods that were popular on Easter weekend.
Health Topics in the news this week:
Chocolate and Eyesight
We know that chocolate is generally good for you but now there is evidence that it protects your eyesight much like carrots do according to England's Physiology and Behavior.
The study abstract's research highlights states:
"Acute cocoa supplementation enhances the visual performance of young adults. Cocoa improved reading of low contrast letters, and detection of motion. We propose that increased blood flow to the retina and brain explains this. We also replicated the recent finding that cocoa improves cognitive ability."
To boot, dark chocolate contains a small amount of vitamin A, which protects against macular degeneration and copper to prevent nerve damage. These benefits are most pronounced in chocolate that has the highest concentration of flavonoids which means the darkest of dark chocolate.
Eggs and Cholesterol
The studies go back and forth on cholesterol in eggs and now we discover that there wasn't as much cholesterol as previously thought in the first place! What the what? The results of the new study, by the USDA, indicate that a large egg has 14 per cent less cholesterol than previously thought.
Previously, an egg was categorized as having 215 mg of cholesterol. But based on re-evaluation by the USDA, future tables will reflect the new cholesterol value for a large egg: 185 mg.
There is still some discussion as to whether the cholesterol in eggs (or any food for that matter) affects your blood levels of cholesterol very much, if at all. Your liver manages cholesterol amounts and adjusts accordingly. You are much better off, eating your egg and watching your sugar and alcohol intake.
Babies and Solid Foods
There is always conversation around when to feed babies solid foods but now the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has weighed in and says that 93 per cent of parents are getting it wrong. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that almost 93 per cent of those women had introduced solid foods to their infants before six months, that 40 per cent did it before the four-month mark, and that 9 per cent had offered solids to their babies before they were even four weeks old, according to a study published Pediatrics.
"Fifty per cent said that their health care provider told them it was time to introduce solid food," said Kelley Scanlon, a co-author of the study and lead epidemiologist in the nutrition branch in the division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity at the CDC. "That, for us, indicates that health care providers need to provide clearer guidance and really support women in carrying out the recommendation," Scanlon said.
Some of the reasons parents still give for feeding at this early age are:
1. My baby was old enough
2. My baby seemed hungry
3. I wanted to feed my baby something in addition to breast milk or formula
4. My baby wanted the food I ate
5. A doctor or other health care professional said my baby should begin eating solid food
6. I thought it would help my baby sleep longer at night
Research shows that feeding this early in life can contribute to allergies, obesity and lifelong digestive issues. What do you think? How old were your kids when you started solids? What it a good thing? Or a bad thing?