Tag Archives: coffee

That cup o’ Jo may do more than get your morning started – possible link between coffee and a longer life span

FoodFacts.com really enjoys finding information that lets us feel good about indulging in some of our favorite foods and beverages. Coffee is a favorite for many consumers. It helps them get their day going, it’s hot and comforting – and for many, the day just isn’t the same without it. But there have been ongoing concerns about caffeine, even for folks who aren’t sensitive to it, or have other health problems that prevent them from considering products in which it is an ingredient.

Coming out of the National Cancer Institute, a new study of almost 500,000 older adults has shown some surprising results. The study’s participants were followed for about 12 years and it was discovered that as coffee consumption increased, the risk of death decreased.

An article has just been published in Journal of Caffeine Research titled “Epidemiology of Caffeine Consumption and Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-specific Mortality” discussing the research.  It presents an exploration of the many factors that might contribute to the association between coffee, disease and mortality.

The researchers explore the relationship between coffee drinking and behaviors like smoking and alcohol abuse, the effects of caffeine on blood pressure and cardiac function, and the importance of differentiating between the effects of coffee and caffeine. They point out that with the almost universal daily consumption of caffeine, there is a definite need for random controlled trials to help identify the components of coffee, as well as other caffeinated beverages and find out which of those components can demonstrate the benefits seen in this new study, as well as cause potential harm.

This is certainly just a preliminary study, but it does appear possible that there may be specific findings in subsequent studies that can clarify how coffee – and caffeine – can be advantageous and explore relationships between both for specific conditions as we age.

While we understand that caffeine is not something we want to consume in tremendous quantities, because it is a stimulant and can have adverse affects, FoodFacts.com is very curious to see whether or not there is a real relationship between coffee drinking and longevity. Meanwhile, we’re happy to hear that a cup of Morning Jo might be doing us more good than harm. We’ll keep you posted on further studies that provide more detailed information!

Read more here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/256623.php

The changing faces of the foods we eat

FoodFacts.com is constantly fascinated by the changing lenses through which particular foods are viewed. Do you remember back in the 90’s when the “no-fat” craze had us turning to completely fat-free products, thinking they were good for us. Did anyone, during that time, stop to think what was replacing the fats in fat-free cheeses or fat-free mayonnaise? Caffeine was frowned upon. And chocolate was really just candy.

It’s amazing what a difference a decade can make! Let’s take a look at a few foods whose bad reputations have turned around.

Eggs
Just a few decades ago, eating whole eggs was considered one of the unhealthiest things you could do. Products like Egg Beaters, and other egg substitutes came to the rescue for egg lovers everywhere. You could order egg white omelets at the diner; you would mix up a turkey meatloaf with egg whites and discard the yolks and angel food cake had a resurgence of popularity because whole eggs were just bad for you. The confusion over eggs stems from their cholesterol content. One large egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol, accounting for two-thirds of the recommended daily limit. When scientists learned that high blood cholesterol was associated with heart disease, foods high in cholesterol logically became suspect. But after 25 years of study, it has become evident that cholesterol in food is not the culprit — saturated fat has a much bigger effect on blood cholesterol. And one egg contains about 1.6 grams of saturated fat. In 2000, the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its dietary guidelines and gave healthy adults the green light to enjoy eggs once again. The AHA’s guidelines now allow an egg a day for healthy adults while still advising a total daily cholesterol limit of 300 mg.

Coffee
Twenty years ago, caffeine was questionable. Is it good for you? Is it bad for you? Coffee houses were becoming increasingly popular and offering up brews of varying caffeination all over. The trend was to try to avoid it. But not so much today. Recently a new study found that coffee may be linked to the prevention of basal cell carcinoma. And it was linked to the caffeine directly, as those drinking decaf coffee did not experience the same decrease in risk as those drinking caffeinated coffee.

Chocolate
While it will never be true that chocolate can be included in any of the major food groups, it’s becoming widely recognized as having important health effects for those who consume it. A few months ago, research out of Great Britain reviewed seven different studies done on the health benefits of chocolate. For heart health, the studies revealed significant benefits for chocolate. It possesses antioxidant, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic and anti-thrombotic effects. It’s certainly not advisable to overdo, but a little chocolate is actually good for you.

Things are always changing. We’re always learning more. And sciences are always advancing. The foods we eat can’t be left out of those statements. So FoodFacts.com will always try to bring out the latest information as things continue to change.

Potato Chips that cause Cancer?

Potato Chips
Foodfacts.com works to bring our followers the latest in food news and research. We’ve gone over the recent discovery of arsenic in apple juice, sucralose in our drinking water, and hair in our peanut butter! One recent and popular topic we’ve been hearing a lot about is Acrylamide; a chemical which is formed from sugars and an amino acid during cooking at high temperatures! Read more to find out which foods contain this chemical!

What exactly is Acrylamide, and how is it formed?
The FDA defines acrylamide as:
Acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes, such as frying, roasting, and baking. Acrylamide in food forms from sugars and the amino acid asparagine that are naturally present in food; it does not come from food packaging or the environment.

Where else could we find Acrylamide?
This chemical compound is used in many industrial processes, which include the production of paper, dyes, plastics, grouts, and cosmetics. It is also used in the treatment of drinking water and waste-water, including sewage.

How long has Acrylamide been around?
This chemical has most likely been in our food supply for many, many years. However, scientists only discovered this chemical in our foods in April 2002 after a series of testing. Since then, they have been trying to determine the long-term effects, and possible solutions for this issue.

What types of high-temperature cooking cause Acrylamide formation?
Frying, roasting, broiling, and baking are methods likely to cause the formation of acrylamide. Boiling and steaming don’t typically cause the formation of acrylamide.
Ore-Ida French Fries at blog.foodfacts.com!
What foods are likely to have this chemical? Why?

Potato products (such as chips and french fries), grain products, and coffee. Acrylamide is less likely to form in dairy, meat, and fish products. These items all have larger amounts of the amino acid, asparagine, which causes the formation when combined with sugars.

What health implications are associated with acrylamide consumption?

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer consider acrylamide to be a “probable human carcinogen,” based on studies in laboratory animals given acrylamide in drinking water. However, toxicology studies have shown differences in acrylamide absorption rates between humans and rodents. (National Cancer Institute)

What is the FDA doing regarding acrylamide in food?
So far the FDA has developed an action plan regarding the issue of acrylamide in foods. They have setup meeting with the Food Advisory Committee, and subcommittees to gather input on the acrylamide program. Peer-reviewed research articles have been published to spread awareness on the issue, along with continually doing new research. Finally, consumer assessments are being prepared to evaluate exposure to this chemical. (FDA)
Potatoes at blog.foodfacts.com!
How to lookout for Acrylamide:
Since acrylamide is formed chemically during the cooking process, you will not find it alongside other ingredients on product labels. What we recommend is that you complete some research concerning which foods tested for the highest amounts of this chemical. As we have learned so far, potato products, grains, and coffee have the largest amounts of the amino acid asparagine. Also, we would like to note that acrylamide can be formed in both organic, and non-organic foods.

We’ll update you on more news regarding acrylamide as it comes through!

(Foodfacts.com)

Skin Cancer Risk Reduced by Coffee

cuisinart-coffee-maker4
Brought to you by Foodfacts.com: New research is showing that coffee consumption may help to prevent skin cancer by killing potentially cancerous skin cells. Check out the article below to learn more!

A cup of caffeinated coffee a day helps prevent cells from dying off due to UV rays.

WASHINGTON — Coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer by helping kill off damaged cells that could otherwise turn into tumors, according to a US study published on Monday.

The findings indicate that moderate caffeine drinking, or perhaps even applying coffee to the skin, could be useful in warding off non-melanoma cancer, the most commonly diagnosed of all skin cancers.

Using mice that had been genetically altered to suppress a protein enzyme called ATR, researchers showed that the mice were able to fend off cancer even when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Previous studies have suggested that drinking about a cup of caffeinated coffee per day has the effect of suppressing ATR and triggering the die-off of cells harmed by UV rays.

The altered mice eventually did develop cancer, but three weeks later than normal mice, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

After 19 weeks of ultraviolet light exposure, the engineered mice showed 69 percent fewer tumors and four times fewer invasive tumors than the control group.

However, the protective effects only went so far. After 34 weeks of UV exposure, all the mice developed tumors.

“Eventually, if you treat them long enough, the mice will develop cancer so it is not 100 percent protection forever,” Allan Conney, one of the study’s authors, told AFP.

“Really, with almost any carcinogen, eventually all the animals will develop tumors,” added Conney, who is director of the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Conney and his team were able to confirm their hypothesis that caffeine — when consumed or applied to the skin — works by inhibiting ATR. Now they say more studies are needed to see how it may work on humans.

“We want to see whether caffeine has an effect in people when you give it topically,” he said.

“Caffeine might become a weapon in prevention because it inhibits ATR and also acts as a sunscreen and directly absorbs damaging UV light.”

Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States, with more than one million new cases each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Non-melanoma types of skin cancer, including basal cell and squamous cell types, are the most commonly diagnosed and are often treatable if detected early.

Previous studies have shown coffee drinkers tend to have fewer incidences of breast, uterine, prostate and colon cancers, but the beneficial effects are not seen in people who drink decaffeinated coffee.

(Kerry Sheridan, Mother Nature Network)

6 Foods That Weaken Bones

Foodfacts.com looks into 6 foods that can cause your bones to weaken. To build and maintain h5 bones, eating the right foods makes all the difference. By the same token, certain foods can actually sap bone strength by leaching minerals right out of the bone, or they block the bone’s ability to regrow. Surprisingly, some of these are foods we eat lots of every day. Here, the six biggest bone-sappers:

1. Soft drinks

Soft drinks pose a double-whammy danger to bones. The fizziness in carbonated drinks often comes from phosphoric acid, which ups the rate at which calcium is excreted in the urine. Meanwhile, of course, soft drinks fill you up and satisfy your thirst without providing any of the nutrients you might get from milk or juice.soda

What to do:
When you’re tempted to reach for a cola, instead substitute milk, calcium- and vitamin D-fortified orange juice, or a fruit smoothie made with yogurt. Or just drink water when you’re thirsty, and eat a diet high in bone-building nutrients.

2. Salt

Salt saps calcium from the bones, weakening them over time. For every 2,300 milligrams of sodium you take in, you lose about 40 milligrams of calcium, dietitians say. One study compared postmenopausal women who ate a high-salt diet with those who didn’t, and the ones who ate a lot of salt lost more bone minerals. Our American diet is unusually salt-heavy; many of us ingest double the 2,300 milligrams of salt we should get in a day, according to the 2005 federal dietary guidelines.

What to do:
The quickest, most efficient way to cut salt intake is to avoid processed foods. Research shows that most Americans get 75 percent of their sodium not from table salt but from processed food. Key foods to avoid include processed and deli meats, frozen meals, canned soup, pizza, fast food such as burgers and fries, and canned vegetables.

3. Caffeine

coffee2The numbers for caffeine aren’t as bad as for salt, but caffeine’s action is similar, leaching calcium from bones. For every 100 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in a small to medium-sized cup of coffee), you lose 6 milligrams of calcium. That’s not a lot, but it can become a problem if you tend to substitute caffeine-containing drinks like iced tea and coffee for beverages that are healthy for bones, like milk and fortified juice.

What to do:
Limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee in the morning, then switch to other drinks that don’t have caffeine’s bone-sapping action. Adding milk to your coffee helps to offset the problem, of course.

4. Vitamin A

In the case of vitamin A, recent research is proving that you really can get too much of a good thing. Found in eggs, full-fat dairy products, liver, and vitamin-fortified foods, vitamin A is important for vision and the immune system. But the American diet is naturally high in vitamin A, and most multivitamins also contain vitamin A. So it’s possible to get much more than the recommended allotment of 5,000 IUs (international units) a day — which many experts think is too high anyway.

Postmenopausal women, in particular, seem to be susceptible to vitamin A overload. Studies show that women whose intake was higher than 5,000 IUs had more than double the fracture rate of women whose intake was less than 1,600 IUs a day.

What to do:
Switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy products only, and eat egg whites rather than whole eggs (all the vitamin A is in the yolk). Also check your multivitamin, and if it’s high in vitamin A, consider switching to one that isn’t.

5. Alcohol

Think of alcohol as a calcium-blocker; it prevents the bone-building minerals you eat from being absorbed. And heavy drinking disrupts the bone remodeling process by preventing osteoblasts, the bone-building cells, from doing their job. So not only do bones become weaker, but when you do suffer a fracture, alcohol can interfere with healing.

What to do:
Limit your drinking to one drink a day, whether it’s wine, beer, or hard alcohol.

6. Hydrogenated oils

For a number of years now, we’ve known from studies that the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oil into the solid oils used in commercial baking, destroys the vitamin K naturally found in the oils. Vitamin K is essential for h5 bones, and vegetable oils such as canola and olive oil are the second-best dietary source of this key nutrient, after green leafy vegetables. However, the amounts of vitamin K we’re talking about are tiny here — one tablespoon of canola oil has 20 micrograms of K, and one tablespoon of olive oil has 6 micrograms, as compared with 120 micrograms in a serving of spinach.

What to do:
If you’re eating your greens, you don’t need to worry about this too much. If you’re a big lover of baked goods like muffins and cookies, bake at home using canola oil when possible, and read labels to avoid hydrogenated oils (which many manufacturers of processed foods have eliminated in recent years).

Information provided by Yahoo health.

Worst Frozen Coffee Drink!

worst-frozen-coffee

Dairy Queen Caramel MooLatte (24 fl oz)
870 calories
24 g fat (19 g saturated, 1 g trans)
112 g sugars

Sugar Equivalent: 12 Dunkin’ Donuts Bavarian Kreme Doughnuts

Foodfacts.com continues to explore the unhealthiest drinks in America, and Coffee-dessert hybrids are among the worst breed of beverages. This one delivers 1 gram of fat and 4.6 grams of sugar in every ounce, making even Starbucks’ over-the-top line of Frappuccinos look like decent options. Maybe that’s why DQ decided to give it a name that alludes to the animal it promises to turn you into. If you can bring yourself to skip DQ and head to a coffee shop instead, order a large iced latte with a couple shots of flavored syrup and save some 600 calories. But if you’re stuck where you are, you’re better off pairing a small treat with a regular cup of joe.

Information provided by menshealth.com

America’s Worst Espresso Drink

starbuckespresso

Foodfacts.com is looking into the most unhealthy drinks in America. Lets take a look at Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream

Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream (venti, 20 fl oz)
660 calories
22 g fat (15 g saturated)
95 g sugars

Sugar Equivalent: 8½ scoops Edy’s Slow Churned Rich and Creamy Coffee Ice Cream

Hopefully this will dispel any lingering fragments of the “health halo” that still exists in coffee shops—that misguided belief that espresso-based beverages can’t do much damage. In this 20-ounce cup, Starbucks manages to pack in more calories and saturated fat than two slices of deep-dish sausage and pepperoni pizza from Domino’s. That makes it the equivalent of dinner and dessert disguised as a cup of coffee. If you want a treat, look to Starbucks’ supply of sugar-free syrups; if you want a caffeine buzz, stick to the regular joe, an Americano, or a cappuccino.

Information provided by Men’s Health Magazine.

Good Nutrition In The Fruit Of The Coffee Plant?

Coffee Plant | Foodfacts.com

Coffee Plant | Foodfacts.com

Foodfacts.com has learned that it is little known that the coffee plant contains a bright red fruit that is usually disposed of because coffee growers think it is of no use. This fruit houses the coffee bean, which is technically the plant’s seed. The coffee bean is no longer the only usable part of the coffee plant, because researchers are discovering the good nutrition that the fruit of the coffee plant offers. Continue reading

Interesting Facts About Coffee

Interesting Facts About Coffee | Foodfacts.com

Interesting Facts About Coffee | Foodfacts.com

It’s no surprise to the Food Facts Blog that the world’s most popular beverage – coffee – has an interesting and intriguing history. There is a treasure trove of information about this amazing drink that helps to explain why it is so popular. Some of these facts may ring a bell; some of them may be things you have never heard of before. All of them, though, are sure to provide some interesting tidbits and nuggets of information about coffee and how it came to be the world’s favorite drink. Continue reading