Monday, January 08, 2007
There's a definite trend growing towards organic, unprocessed and 'natural' foods, but is there a cost to shunning modern growth and processing techniques? A recent study described at Nature News (subscription may be required) has shown that folate, a vitamin that helps prevent birth defects, may not be consumed at the recommended levels thanks in part to a shift towards "whole grain" breads and cereals. Your average loaf of Wonder bread is enriched with vitamins, including folate, helping the population reach the suggested daily 400 micrograms. Unprocessed breads and cereals don't benefit from this enrichement which has led do the decline in folate consumption. A corresponding increase in birth defects has not yet been observed. For those on low-carb diets or with a preference for whole grain breads, spinach, broccoli and yeast products (Marmite, anyone?) are alternate sources of folic acid, but "you would have to eat a very large portion of broccoli or spinach," according to the author.
In other 'health food' related news, for those making the switch to diet Coke to help out with the New Year's Resolutions, it seems that there's a correlation between the consumption of diet sodas and weight gain (sorry for the poor source - CBS, but apparantly this work has been presented to the American Diabetes Association). The reason for the correlation isn't clear, but it seems it may be a change in behaviour when drinking diet sodas (i.e. you think you can eat more fatty foods since you're drinking diet cola) but other theories are discussed.
Posted by Kamel at 1:14 PM