More Than Half of U.S. Energy Drink Users Concerned with Safety

danger_sign1While the jolt from energy drinks is an alluring pull for consumers, a new report from Mintel has found many Americans are concerned about safety.

Nearly six in 10 Americans (59%) who are current energy drink or shot users said they worry about the safety of these beverages, according to the research. Despite allegations of health hazards and government scrutiny, users haven’t been scared off yet. The market has seen a consistent annual growth from 2008 to 2013, with 17% increases in 2012 and 2013. Mintel predicted a continued upward trajectory to 2018.

“Energy drinks and shots faced significant scrutiny following lawsuits and proposed legislation that began in 2012. The media attention publicly challenged the safety and health effects of this pick-me-up category,” said Jennifer Zegler, global food and drink analyst for Mintel Food & Drink. “However, loyal users continue to drink the products because they are viewed as more effective than other beverages. This continued level of activity in the face of adversity has helped the category’s rise to continue.”

More than half of Mintel respondents (56%) who use energy drinks and/or shots claimed to do so because they are more effective for energy and alertness than other beverages. Just more than one-third (35%) said they are convenient and 31% like the taste.

When it comes to cutting down on energy drinks, health and cost were cited as the leading reason. Indeed, 39% of Americans said these prodcuts are not good for their health and 35% said they have heard negative information about their health effects. In addition, 35% said they are just too expensive.

“Manufacturers must address these health issues in order to retain current users, while concerns about price should be addressed by promotions and limited-time discounts,” added Ms. Zegler.

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Which fats should you be eating?

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 10.56.24 AMFat isn’t all bad. In fact we need fat in our diet for energy and vital functions such as brain and cell function and the body’s absorption of nutrients. Virtually all foods, plant and animal, contain some fat, so instead of thinking we should avoid fat our aim should be to get a healthy balance of it.

A healthy diet is comprised of no more than 30 percent of calories from fat and less than 10 percent from saturated fat.  For an average man consuming 2,000 calories a day, this equals no more than 60g of total fat and less than 20g of saturated fat a day. For women it’s 30 percent of calories from fat and no more than 10 percent from saturated fat as well. This number may be slightly higher or lower than the 60g of total fat depending in their calorie needs. Adolescents and children generally need a higher percentage of calories from fat because it is essential for proper growth and development. Toddlers ages 2-3 need 30 to 40 percent of their daily calories from fat, or 33-62g per day based on 1,000 to 1,400 calories. This number drops to 25-35 percent of calories from fat after age 4.

There are three types of fat: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated.

Monounsaturated fat is the healthiest and is linked to lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer.  When added in moderation to a healthy diet, these fats can lower the bad cholesterol in our bodies and raise the good. They are also a great source of Vitamin E, an antioxidant which many Americans need more of. Sources of monounsaturated fats include avocado, olives, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, canola and olive oils.

Polyunsaturated fats are found mainly in plant foods and some sea foods, and they can provide moderate health benefits. There are two main classes of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, including essential fatty acids.  Oily cold water fish such as herring, salmon and mackerel are a good source of omega-3, whereas omega-6 is found mostly in plant foods such as walnuts, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil, which contain antioxidant vitamins that help protect against cell damage.

Saturated fat is the least healthy and it is found mostly in animal products such as meat, butter, cream, and lard. Eating a lot of saturated fat can increase the blood cholesterol, and high cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease, including heart attack, stroke and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

A fourth type of fat – trans fats – also known as trans fatty acids – are made by adding hydrogen to liquid oil, which turns it into a solid form. Trans fat is doubly bad because it elevates “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels while decreasing “good” cholesterol (HDL), and this can raise your risk for coronary heart disease.

Due to growing health concerns action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has led makers of processed foods such as microwave popcorn, coffee creamers, packaged cookies, canned frosting and frozen pizza, to reformulate their products without trans fats.

Taken From Fox News:

Melatonin Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk

Men with higher levels of the sleep hormone melatonin may be less likely to develop prostate cancer, a new study suggests.

The research also revealed that men who had higher levels of melatonin in their urine had a 75 percent decreased risk ofadvanced prostate cancer, compared with men with lower melatonin levels.

“It’s notable that we found a stronger association betweenmelatonin levels and more advanced prostate cancer,” said study researcher Sarah Markt, a doctoral candidate in the department of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

People’s melatonin levels are affected by the amount of sleep they get, and the quality of that sleep. The hormone is produced in the brain by the pineal gland in response to darkness.

Melatonin levels typically rise in the evening, promoting sleep, and peak during the night. Levels then fall in the morning, as sunlight and indoor light use increases, encouraging wakefulness.

But people who have irregular sleep schedules from shift work hours, as well as people who wake up a lot during the night and turn on the lights, disrupt their circadian rhythm — the body’s internal clock — and produce less melatonin, the researchers said.

The research was presented today (Jan. 19) at the American Association for Cancer Research Conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research in San Diego. It has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. [Top 10 Cancer-Fighting Foods]

Melatonin and cancer

Earlier research has suggested that melatonin plays a role in regulating hormones that influence cancer. Test-tube studies have shown that melatonin may help slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.

And there’s some evidence that women who work night shifts for many years have lower levels of melatonin and a slightly higher risk of breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

To find out how disrupted sleep may influence melatonin production and prostate-cancer risk,the researchers looked at data from nearly 930 men in Iceland between 2002 and 2009.

The researchers asked the men to complete a questionnaire, describing their usual sleep habits, and to provide a urine sample from their first morning bathroom visit, which is considered a good marker of melatonin production.

Among the participants, 111 men were eventually diagnosed with prostate cancer, 24 of whom had an advanced stage of the disease.

The study found that men who had melatonin levels above the midpoint of 17.1 nanograms per milliliter had a 30 percent lower overall risk of prostate cancer, and a 75 percent lower risk of developing an advanced form of the disease, compared with men whose melatonin levels were below the midpoint.

Sleep and prostate cancer

The findings also showed that one in seven men reported problems falling asleep, one in five men had trouble staying asleep and nearly one in three men took sleeping pills.

Men with sleep problems — those who took sleep medications, or had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep— had lower levels of melatonin than men with no difficulty sleeping.

Because the sleep questionnaire did not ask men whether they used the dietary supplement melatonin as a sleep aid, there was no way to tell if the men’s melatonin levels resulted from the naturally occurring form of the hormone or melatonin supplements, Markt said.

This is the first study to show a link between melatonin levels and prostate-cancer risk using urine samples collected before the men were diagnosed with the disease, Markt said.

Although the study was small and the results need to be replicated, these findings are important because they provide further support for the idea that men’s circadian rhythms influence prostate-cancer development, Markt said.

Two of the best ways to preserve melatonin production are to keep a regular sleep schedule and to avoid light at night from sources like a television, computer screen, lamp or other type of indoor lighting, Markt said.

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25th Annual American Diabetes Association® Alert Day®

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Tomorrow is the American Diabetes Association Alert Day, help spread the word and get tested for Diabetes!

American Diabetes Association® Alert Day® is a one-day “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Held on the fourth Tuesday of every March, this year’s Alert Day will be held on Tuesday, March 26, 2013.

The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider.

Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.

Why is Alert Day important? 

Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them—seven million—do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.

The Association has made a strong commitment to primary prevention of type 2 diabetes by increasing awareness of prediabetes and actively engaging individuals in preventative behaviors like weight loss, physical activity and healthful eating. Alert Day is a singular moment in time in which we can raise awareness and prompt action among the general public – particularly those at risk.

How does one obtain the Association’s Diabetes Risk Test and additional information? 

You can be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes® and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) by visiting us on Facebook, or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.

Click Here to take the Diabetes Test!

Taking the Test Pays Off

We are excited to announce that for every Diabetes Risk Test taken, Boar’s Head® – a leading provider of premium delicatessen products – will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association starting March 26 through April 9, 2013, up to $50,000.