Loma Linda University Health to host 7th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition

Loma Linda, CA, Oct. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The 7th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, globally recognized as the world’s premier scientific congress on the effects of vegetarian and other plant-based diets, is set to convene for three days in February to showcase recent advances from basic science, epidemiology and clinical trials in vegetarian nutrition from around the planet.

The congress, which is hosted by Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health and begins Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, is expected to draw more than 700 scientists, physicians and nutritionists.

The congress is held every five years and is the only time when the world’s leading scientists, researchers and scholars versed in the study of plant-based diets gather to unveil research findings and raise provocative ideas.

“We’re pleased to be hosting The 7th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, which will provide a forum for a review of all the best research, concepts and applications of vegetarian dietary practices for preventing diseases and promoting health,” said Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Disease Prevention and chair of the event. “It’s our goal that every congress participant acquire better understanding and skills on the effects of vegetarian diets for the health of people and the planet.”

Sabaté said the theme for next year’s event — “Plant-based Nutrition for Personal, Population and Planetary Health” — signals a significant shift in both scope and awareness from previous years. He cites recent studies — including this one — as examples of the often-unexpected ways plant-based nutrition benefits the health of the ecological environment.

Sabaté said that when the congress first started 35 years ago, vegetarian nutrition was ignored, unknown or rejected by most health professionals. But as the general population has increasingly embraced plant-based diets, he says the congress has become recognized as the global leader in educating health professionals in how to advise and treat their vegetarian clients and stay current on the scientific literature.

The event will feature an enlarged culinary demonstration by chefs who specialize in healthy, delicious vegetarian cuisine. Scientists and chefs will mingle theoretical discussions about the health benefits of plant-based foods into their demonstrations.

The previous congress, held in 2013, drew nearly 900 participants from more than 40 countries.

The congress is accredited for more than 20 hours of continuing education units (CEU) and continuing medical education (CME).

The public is invited to a vegetarian food fair and a series of free lectures, which will be held the Sunday before the congress begins.

Registration will open November 2017. Early registration ends on Jan. 26, 2018.

For more information, including viewing previous congresses, visit www.VegetarianCongress.org.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/53369d19-4787-467c-8122-90f0904616c7


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/fc1e4af0-b430-4e8f-a8ff-1253e85424fd

Genesis Gonzalez
Loma Linda University Health

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Low-fat avocados are pointless, say leading health experts

While millennials are quick to consume avocados by the bucket load, be it smashed on toast or blended in a morning smoothie, it can be easy to forget how fat-laden they really are.

It makes sense then that someone should come up with a way to make the fruit even more appealing to the masses.

Enter, the diet avocado. 

Created by Spanish company Isla Bonita, the new, lighter version has a third less fat than normal avocados, an average-sized one of which typically contains 322 calories and 30 grams of fat.

And as an extra bonus, they also ripen much faster and crucially have a slower oxidation rate, meaning they turn brown a lot slower. 

But, do we really need them? Health professionals think not.

Another example of how society demonises all types of fat, Ruth Kander, Consultant Dietitian at Your Diet Matters says those found in standard avocados are mostly monosaturated, which have been linked to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

“They also contain vitamins such as B group which are essential for metabolism and vitamin E which is good for antioxidant health,” Kander told The Independent.

“Avocados as part of a healthy balanced diet are a great food to have.”

Leading Harley Street Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert – whose forthcoming book Re-Nourish: A Simple Way To Eat Well is released December 28 – agrees, adding, “A concern is that these so-called ‘diet’ avocados share a negative message by demonising a natural, whole fruit which is widely encouraged as part of a healthy balanced diet,” she told The Independent.

“One aspect of a healthy relationship with food is eating with pleasure and without shame. 

“Anything that fuels the diet culture rife today will only contribute to unhealthy relationships with food.”

While the NHS recommends eating just one half of an avocado as a portion size because of thir high fat content, Lambert also fears “that some will see a ‘diet avocado’ as an opportunity to eat twice as much.”

With the initial launch later this month at a trade show in Madrid, Isla Bonita’s new diet version will be available year-round but, for now at least, is going to be sold exclusively in Spain. 

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To your health: Study suggests coffee in moderation good for boost, health

Coffee does more than wake you up

Beep! Beep! Beep! Bam! Hit the snooze button …

The archenemy of everyone on Monday morning — especially after a long, busy or exciting weekend — the alarm clock. But there’s still one thing that can make it all better. After hitting the snooze button a few times, you shuffle out of bed and make a beeline for the coffee maker.

And you’re not alone. Per capita, Americans drink about one cup of coffee a day (coming in 16th in the amount of coffee consumed globally).

Coffee is the first thing on many people’s minds when they wake up. Believe it or not, that may be beneficial to your health. Coffee contains many nutrients, antioxidants and other chemicals that can not only give you a boost of energy but also help you stay healthy.

Here are three health benefits of coffee:

Lower blood sugar and risk of diabetes

While the rest of your body gets a boost from coffee, your blood sugar level may go the opposite direction. Doctors aren’t entirely sure which chemicals in coffee lower blood sugar, but both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee have this effect. Some studies suggest the effects may be greater in decaffeinated coffee. With each cup of coffee daily, your risk of Type 2 diabetes decreases by seven percent. For those who drink four to six cups daily, they have a 28 percent lower risk. But this amount of caffeine is not recommended for most people, and studies show that too much caffeine can be dangerous or even deadly. Some of the worse effects are on your heart’s electrical system and can lead to fast, irregular heart rhythms, like atrial fibrillation. Be sure to monitor how caffeine affects you, and talk to your doctor if you consume this much coffee.

Lower risk of heart failure

Two or more cups of coffee every day could be doing more than just getting your blood pumping. One Harvard study says that two or more cups of coffee every day can protect against heart failure — particularly for women. People in the study who drank four cups of coffee a day had an 11 percent lower risk. Green tea also seems to have similar effects on stroke and heart disease risks when drank in similar quantities.

Antioxidant and nutrient boost

One of my medical school colleagues was convinced in 1976 that coffee was one of the healthiest drinks in the world. He swore that coffee got him through college and med school. Well Joe B., from New Jersey, who became a famous gynecologist, turns out you were probably right all along. Along with cancer-fighting antioxidants, coffee contains a fair amount of nutrients like vitamin B2 and vitamin B5.

Some studies have shown that some people get more of their daily value of antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined. In addition to vitamins B2 and B5, coffee also contains magnesium, manganese, potassium and niacin. There are other chemicals such as kahweol and cafestol that may have some nutritional value, but more research is needed.

The healthiest way to drink coffee is without cream and sugar. An average cup of coffee has about one calorie and no fat. Sugar adds 16 calories per teaspoon, and cream adds 44 calories per tablespoon (mostly from saturated fat).

So the science is in; coffee can give you a boost and contribute to good health as long as it’s enjoyed in moderation. And Ron, moderation means two to three cups or so a day … not six to eight!

Alfred Casale To Your Health

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Moringa Powder Benefits | Women’s Health

This swap will make your smoothie so much more filling:

Moringa Powder Benefits 

Moringa powder has two huge perks: It’s ridiculously nutritious and packed with antioxidants, so it offers a ton of disease protection.

According to the USDA, one cup of fresh, chopped moringa leaves contains two grams of protein, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B2, vitamin A, and magnesium. Compared to kale, moringa powder can have twice the amount of protein, four times more calcium, six times more iron, 1.5 times more fiber, 97 times more B2, and five times more B3, says Manuel Villacorta, R.D.

It can be especially helpful for women who tend to need more iron and calcium, he adds. And research in PLoS ONE even shows moringa has such high levels of minerals that the powder could help reduce micronutrient deficiencies in malnourished populations.

Related: How to Turn Off Your Weight Gain Hormones

It’s also jam-packed with antioxidants. In fact, a study analysis in Phytotherapy Research reports that because of its levels and variety of polyphenols, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, moringa leaf extract can help protect tissue, including the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs, act as a pain reliever, protect against ulcers, protect against hypertension, and boost immune function.


Villacorta says there is no research to suggest the powder can actually help people lose weight. But, he adds, the nutrition content, particularly high levels of B vitamins, can boost your metabolism. “B vitamins act as co-enzymes, so they help foster a more efficient metabolism. A more efficient metabolism burns more calories, which can in turn help with weight loss,” he explains.

Related: ​5 Signs You Might Have A Scary Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Another huge plus? A study analysis in Phytotherapy Research reports that of the research we have, none have found any adverse effects in people consuming the extract, a stance Villacorta echoes.

(Learn how bone broth can help you lose weight with Women’s Health’s Bone Broth Diet.)

How To Use It

Moringa comes packaged a few different ways. It can be extracted into an oil, which you can cook with to score a dose of nutrients. In addition to a tasty, mild nutty flavor, moringa oleifera oil ($19.99, amazon.com) is also extremely stable, so it doesn’t lose its antioxidant capacity after sitting on the shelf like other good-for-you oils, according to a report in Lipids in Health and Diseases.

The other most accessible form is a moringa powder ($29.99, amazon.com). Look for leaf powder specifically, as research shows extracts from this part of the plant exhibit the greatest antioxidant activity. Villacorta recommends sprinkling it your smoothie. “I use one tablespoon of moringa powder in my smoothies three times a week for the high amounts of nutrients,” he adds.

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Trending now: Sprouted grains – Harvard Health

These grains have more nutrients than regular whole grains, and they may be easier to digest.

Image: © kazmulka/Thinkstock

You know that whole grains are loaded with nutrients and fiber and are an important component of a healthy diet. Now an early harvesting method for grains — when they’re just sprouts — is becoming popular, with sales of sprouted grains predicted to grow eightfold in the United States by 2018.

“It’s one of those trends taking off as people are looking for the next big thing. And in some ways, sprouted grains are a step above regular whole grains,” says Kristina Secinaro, a registered dietitian at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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