Pop a nature ‘pill’

Spending just 20 minutes in nature can significantly lower your stress levels. That's the finding of a new study. Researchers hope their findings will encourage more healthcare practitioners to prescribe low-cost ‘nature pills’ to counter the negative effects of our indoor, sedentary, lifestyles dominated by tech and a lack of exercise. Find out more about this most underrated of 'medicines' (and watch ANH-Intl founder Rob Verkerk demonstrating hypothermic training in the woods near our office) in our recent vlog.

Can you have your cake and eat it?

The answer is a yes, according to researchers publishing in the journal Advances in Nutrition. They conclude that consumption of refined grains does not have an adverse impact on health, putting the blame fairly and squarely on red and processed meat. Unsurprisingly, at the end of the money trail you find that the research funding came from the Wheat Foods Council and the Grain Foods Foundation. Both of which have more than a vested interest in the outcome. Unfortunately, the news is likely to be well received given how people struggle with carb addiction. The study comes hot on the heels of a new report from the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia that supports the use of low carb diets in helping people overcome Type 2 diabetes. Alarmingly, new research from Bristol University has shown a high prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in young people in the UK, which is a condition linked to obesity and consumption of sweet, refined, carbs. The Advances in Nutrition paper is yet another example of bad science where corporates skew the data to suit an outcome supporting a vested interest. The result is ever more dietary confusion over what constitutes a healthy diet and an increasing burden on healthcare systems.

Sucralose – not so sweet

Sucralose is a commonly used artificial sweetener in many processed foods. At ANH we’ve long held concerns over its safety and warnings over its toxicity when heated are nothing new. However, the German Budesinstitut für Risikobewertung (BfR) has issued a new warning over the risk of harmful compounds created when Sucralose-containing foods are heated. At temperatures over 120oC the sweetener degrades to form compounds that have been found harmful to all forms of life and the environment. Coming from the usually very conservative, BfR, the warning further reinforces the extremely hazardous nature of such compounds increasingly being added to processed foods as part of efforts to reduce sugar levels and beat sugar taxes. Read more about ANH-Intl’s long-standing position on the use of non-nutritive sweeteners so you can make an informed choice. 

Can you get all the nutrients you need from your food?

A new study suggests you can. Researchers concluded that nutrients from food are more beneficial for health than commonly used food/dietary supplements, creating more fodder for supplement bashing headlines. We completely agree that supplements are not a substitute for a nutrient rich, wholefood, minimally processed diet as recommended in our Food4Health guidelines. It should always be food first. However, we also acknowledge that modern diets are often highly deficient in the wide range of nutrients needed to keep us healthy and vital, which means that targeted supplementation with good quality supplements is a no-brainer to fill the gaps if you’re a Health Creator interested in pursuing optimal health.