News you can use

Lots of nutrition news goodness kicking around the last few days. Here’s a roundup, with links:

First, a dose of fun and a shot of perspective from “Is Candy Evil or Just Misunderstood?” I’ve often found it ironic that people who think they eat healthy will back briskly away from a candy bar but gladly chow down on a just-as-calorific “energy bar”or guzzle a sugary “energy drink.” Yeah, that energy comes from sugar, more often than not. I’m not endorsing that we all start eating candy, but I think we need to be clear about the true value of whatever we put in our mouths: Is it for nutrition and health, for pure hedonistic pleasure, or all of the above?

Next up is “Traditional Mediterranean diet may cut diabetes risk.” This study adds to to pile of research showing the benefit of this veggie, olive oil and nut-rich way of eating. Hey, better to eat good, healthy food now than to need insulin later, I always say. Which reminds me, I have a few recently acquired Mediterranean cookbooks on my shelves that I haven’t fully cracked…

Speaking of veggies…ladies, are you protecting your breasts? “Collards and carrots may ward off breast cancer” pertains specifically to African American women and an aggressive form of breast cancer that they are particularly at risk for. Previous studies looking at fruit and vegetable consumption and breast cancer risk in white women have been inconclusive. What was interesting to me about this study was the finding that fruit intake was not associated with any benefit. It was the vegetable intake. I’ve long know that nutritionally, vegetables are superior to fruit, so this was an interesting new twist. Not that fruit is unhealthy. I love fruit, but I tend to see it as a delicious, much-more-nutritious substitute for processed desserts and other sweets. I don’t kid myself: Veggies are the centerpiece of a healthy diet.

Speaking of breasts, here’s another reason to go for a walk: “Brisk walkers have lower breast cancer risk.” I don’t have much more to say about that. Except this: according to the researchers, “It’s never too late to start.” OK, then…no excuses!