Research Round-Up: Organic Food, Olive Oil, Weight Loss

News and views from the nutrition front.

Organic Milk and Meat are Healthier

Milk and meat from organically farmed animals provide up to 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acids than that from conventionally farmed animals. Researchers from nine countries reviewed 196 studies on milk and 67 studies on meat. Organic meat also was found to have lower levels of saturated fat; organic milk and milk products, including yogurt, cheese, and butter had increased levels of vitamin E, carotenoids, and conjugated linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid linked with reduced risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. A grass-based diet may be the key reason for these differences.

—British Journal of Nutrition, February 2016

Olive Oil Protects against Air Pollution

Researchers from the Environmental Protection Agency recruited 42 people (average age 58 years), who were given no supplementation, or 3 grams (g) of olive oil, or 3 g of fish oil (1,230 mg EPA and 882 mg DHA) daily for four weeks prior to being exposed to air with particle pollution for two hours. Endothelial function (cells lining the blood vessels) was significantly reduced by 20 percent in the no-supplement group, 14 percent in the fish oil group, and by only 7.6 percent in the olive oil group.

—Environmental Health Perspectives, November 2015

Fruits and Vegetables Aid Weight Loss

Eating flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables, such as apples, pears, berries, and peppers, may prevent weight gain, even when eating the same number of calories. Researchers from Harvard examined 125,000 people aged 27-65 years over 25 years and found that each extra daily portion of high-flavonoid produce brought weight down by a quarter of a pound over four years, which would equate to a 1.2 pound decrease over four years if you consumed five flavonoid-rich fruits each day.

—British Medical Journal, January 2016

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