This week our guest contributor, renowned nutrition writer Shona Wilkinson shares articles that she’s read recently that may be of interest. From biohacking to lab-grown meats and the healthiness of eggs making headlines yet again, we hope you enjoy reading this selection of articles and Shona’s comments.
Biohacking: the key to optimal performance?
Everyone is talking about biohacking, but what is it and how does it benefit our health? Biohacking is just “hacking” your lifestyle to help improve your mental and physical performance. Some people call it a way of changing your own biology. There are various tools to use for biohacking, but common ones include exercise regimes, various diets, fasting, supplementation and even implants placed under the skin. Many of these activities have been around for years and are perfectly safe, but some hacks are extreme and do not have much research behind them. It is important to remember that just because a biohacking routine works wonders for one person, it doesn’t mean it will work at all for another. We are all unique and it is important to work out a bio hack routine that works for you as an individual.
This is how eco-anxiety will affect the future of our foods
Sainsburys have published their “Future of Foods” report. This report indicates that by 2025 we will be eating in a way that leads to a healthy planet and a healthy population. It’s expected that there will be a rise in vegans to about a quarter of the population (currently 1.6% in the UK) and approximately half will be flexitarians (currently about a fifth). By 2050, it is predicted that supermarkets could have a lab-grown aisle which sells home lab-grown “meat” kits. This is all due to the fact that the world’s population is expected to reach over 9 billion people in 30 years time and that it will not be feasible to produce and consume the same quantities of meat that we currently eat in 2019.
Researchers in genetic study discover how gut bacteria keeps us healthy
The University of Glasgow has published a new research paper which shows that the levels of glucose in our blood and fat in our bodies can be controlled by gut bacteria. They believe that this happens via a specific receptor protein (FFA2) which is created by the gut bacteria. This finding could lead to more research being undertaken to help control Type II Diabetes via bypassing the gut bacteria and directly targeting the body’s receptors with drugs that mimic the gut bacteria. It will be interesting to see the results of this trial, but it is important to bear in mind that there are a huge array of health benefits achieved by having good gut bacteria so we should still consider this as vital to our good health.
How Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger actually compare to traditional burgers — and each other
You may have heard of the rise in sales of the Beyond Burger and the Impossible burger (plant-based burgers). This article compares their nutritional values and discusses any health benefits. The nutritionals seem to vary very little but it is worth noting that the fat and sodium content were higher in the plant-based burgers than the Burger King burger. It is still worth reading food labels even if the product is vegan or vegetarian. There is a misconception that if a food is vegan or vegetarian, it is automatically healthy, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
Study claims that eating more than one egg a day raises risk of heart attack or stroke
We can’t quite believe it, but eggs are in the news again! Professor Katherine Tucker, of the University of Massachusetts had conducted a study and states that “Even for people on healthy diets the harmful effect of higher intake of eggs and high cholesterol was consistent.” The misconceptions around eggs originally came to light in the 1970s and largely stemmed from incorrect conclusions drawn from early research that dietary cholesterol contributed to raised blood cholesterol level in humans. Now current research shows that for most healthy people, cholesterol in food has a much smaller effect on blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol compared to the effect of saturated fats in foods. In fact, eggs are low in saturated fat. We would just like to add that eggs are not bad for you so please still eat them in moderation – they have great health benefits!