March News Round-Up

Happy Easter!

Ten reasons why you should eat chocolate

Lets start off with some good news! The Mail Online (Mar 25th) makes the case for eating chocolate. We have covered most of their points before, but it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself of the health benefits. Our message: for the greatest benefit make sure its dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids or higher). Oh, and if you suffer with acne, then you might be better making your Lent abstinence permanent.

Low carb diet stories

“I went on a low-carb diet, lost eight stone – and my diabetes” says the Mirror (Mar 18th) reporting on a study that claims diabetes can be reversed in just 4 months with a low carb diet and exercise. The article tells the story of Mark and how the approach worked for him.

Meanwhile, Aubrey Almanza writing in Readers Digest describes how she “Went 100 Percent Refined Carb-Free for a Month”. Read how it panned out for her.

People who eat cheese are thinner

The Independent (Mar 16th) Researchers from the University College Dublin have concluded that people who eat a lot of cheese are thinner than those who don’t. Eating more cheese also did not raise cholesterol levels.

Are you getting your 10 a day?

Last month there was a frenzy of hand wringing when it was announced that people who eat 10 portions – a massive 800g – of fruit and veg per day are healthier. Many started asking if this was actually affordable “Is the 10-a-day diet only for the wealthy?” (BBC News Feb 24th) Indeed Aberdeen officials even issued school fruit and vegetable budget warnings (BBC News).

In response news channels rolled up their sleeves and tried to convince us 10-a-day is not only doable, but affordable. Here are some March articles:

  • Eight easy tweaks to eat more fruit and veg The Guardian
  • You can eat a healthy diet for next to nothing. Here’s the proof Spectator
  • Ten a day is easy… and it just cost me £1 Daily Mail

Fitting in with this ‘eat healthy for less’ theme, Science Blog (Mar 14th) reports that researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health found that people who cook at home more often are likely to eat a healthier overall diet with no more cost.

Hand sanitisers and disinfectants linked to raised thyroid cancer

It’s not quite clear what causes thyroid cancer – radiation and pesticides have both been in the frame, but evidence is lacking. The Mail Online (Mar 31st)  reports on a Yale study which found that found a raised risk of thyroid cancer among people exposed to high levels of occupational biocides such as hand sanitisers disinfectants and sterilisers. Farm pesticides, however, showed no such association!

Autism linked to vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy

Back in Dec 2016, The Guardian ran an article about a study that found pregnant women with low vitamin D levels at 20 weeks’ gestation were more likely to have a child with autistic traits by the age of six. A new study reported in Science Alert (Mar 23rd) seems to follow up on this, showing that treating pregnant mice with active vitamin D prevented the development of autistic traits.

Fish oil boosts children’s brain power

The Daily Mail (Mar 16th) reports on a study that found Swedish children’s reading ability improved dramatically when given fish oil supplements for just three months. Researchers found a 64 per cent improvement in their overall comprehension., while they were five times quicker at decoding jumbled up words.

Lead researcher Dr Mats Johnson said: ‘We were a bit surprised to see this level of effect in mainstream children. This has not been shown before.’ Hmm, why is he not spending more time on PubMed, like I do? What about the DOLAB study by Oxford’s Alex Richardson et al? They found exactly these results a few years back, and her FAB Research team are on the road spreading the word (as PubMed clearly isn’t working!)

Dr Mark Porter: Why a Mediterranean diet is five times more effective than a statin

Sorry, but this one’s behind a pay wall. Still, you can get the gist from the headline! (The Times, Mar 21st)

Pasture-fed beef – good for the environment

A neat article and audio interview with Jason Rowntree, an animal science researcher at Michigan State University, who believes grass fed systems are the future. Listen to the full interview here: Interlochen Public Radio (Mar 31st)


Red Angus cattle in a pasture fed beef system.

If you are out in Southampton and fancy some grass fed burgers or steak head on over to one of our favourite eatery: Chalk Valley Farm and Kitchen. (See our review here)

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