Research Roundup: Fatty Foods & Phthalate Exposure; Low Vitamin D & Death Risk

News and views from the nutrition front.

Fatty foods increase phthalate exposure

Dietary phthalates—endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to harmful health outcomes—are highest in high-fat foods, such as fatty meats, added fats, and high-fat dairy products. They are found most consistently in poultry, cooking oils, and cream-based dairy products, according to an analysis of 17 studies that measured phthalate concentrations in the U.S. Estimated exposure in women of reproductive age, adolescents, and infants, based on a typical diet, exceeded the levels deemed safe for infants and adolescents by the Environmental Protection Agen-cy.

(Environmental Health, June 2, 2014)

Eating nuts may prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes

Consumption of a handful of nuts each day in place of less healthful foods over the long term contributes to the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to a review of several studies by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. Nuts are high in protein and dietary fiber, which helps people feel full and satisfied, and also help decrease fat accumulation. Nuts also contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which may help prevent type 2 diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease.

(The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 4, 2014)

Low vitamin D may be linked to death

People with the lowest levels of vitamin D may be at higher risk of death from all causes, say researchers. Data were taken from participants, aged 50–79, from the U.S. and Europe. During 16 years of follow-up, an association was found between people with the lowest levels of vitamin D and death from all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality and cancer mortality (in people with a history of cancer). Results were consistent across countries, ages, sexes, and season.

(British Medical Journal, June 17, 2014)

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