Health Tips ... from UPI

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International   |   Dec. 30, 2003 at 9:00 AM   |   0 comments

IT PAYS TO UNDERSTAND YOUR FAT

Keeping that New Year's resolution to lose weight will be easier if you understand the nature of fats in the foods you eat. Holly Scherer, a registered dietitian from the University of Michigan Health System says saturated fat and trans-fat are the "bad fats" because they raise cholesterol and increase risk for heart disease. Saturated fat is found in greater amounts in butter, cheese, whole milk, whole milk products, meat and poultry. By 2006, all manufacturers will be required to list the amount of trans-fat in foods. "Trans-fatty acids are formed during processing to help make products stay on the shelf longer," Scherer says. Foods high in trans-fat include stick margarine, vegetable shortening, cookies, crackers, snack foods, fried foods and other processed foods. If the amount of trans-fat is not listed, look in the ingredients list for words such as "partially hydrogenated oils." This indicates trans-fats probably are in the product. For a 2,000 calorie diet, the total fat should not go over 65 grams and saturated or trans-fat should not be more than a combined 20 grams.


RYE A GOOD SOURCE OF DIETARY FIBER

Rye is a good source of dietary fiber, which is important for overall health, researchers in Finland say. Many of the health benefits of dietary fiber come from its microbial fermentation in the large intestine. Researchers say rye is the main source of dietary fiber in Finland and rye bran, in particular, is rich in fiber. Rye also contains a significant fructan concentration, which also is a component of dietary fiber.


GARLIC WORKS AGAINST RESISTANT BUGS

British researchers say a compound in garlic can get rid of even the most antibiotic-resistant strains of MRSA, the killer hospital superbug. The compound also can cure patients with MRSA-infected wounds within weeks, according to new research by microbiologist Dr. Ron Cutler of the University of East London. Cutler says allicin -- a compound that occurs naturally in garlic -- kills the established varieties of MRSA as well as the new generation of so-called super-superbugs that have evolved resistance to Vancomycin and Glycopeptides, powerful antibiotics widely considered to be the last line of defence against MRSA -- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- which kills thousands of people each year. Though MRSA organisms can live harmlessly in humans and are carried in the nasal passages and on the skin, they can cause fatal infection in immune-suppressed hospital patients, the elderly, the young and those with surgical implants.

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(EDITORS: For more information on FATS contact Erin Block at (734) 764-2220 or e-mail eblock@umich.edu. For RYE, contact Risto Vähätalo at +358 9 4566705 or risto.vahatalo@vtt.fi, and for GARLIC, Patrick Wilson at P.Wilson@uel.ac.uk)

© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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