Ontario is reporting 119 new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and three related deaths Monday.
Drinking four cups of coffee per day could reduce how much fat you gain after eating unhealthy food, according to a study on rats.
The experiment discovered that caffeine stopped the body from producing as much fat in the blood and meant fat cells stored less inside them than normal.
The rats consumed the equivalent caffeine of four cups of coffee and ate a carbohydrate-heavy diet high in fat and sugar for four weeks.
They gained 16 per cent less weight than rats in a non-caffeine group and built up 22 per cent less body fat.
Scientists said this could be because the effects of caffeine reduce action in a gene which is known to contribute to weight gain.
Researchers gave rats amounts of caffeine which would be equal to that found in four cups of brewed coffee for a human, and found their weight gain was reduced by 16 per cent and their fat build-up by 22 per cent (stock image)
The researchers, from the University of Illinois, set out to see if a type of herbal tea called mate tea had health benefits, and found caffeine from coffee had the same effect.
‘Considering the findings, mate tea and caffeine can be considered anti-obesity agents,’ said Dr Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia, an author of the study.
‘The results of this research could be scaled to humans to understand the roles of mate tea and caffeine as potential strategies to prevent overweight and obesity, as well as the subsequent metabolic disorders associated with these conditions.
Scientific studies into the health effects of coffee are being done all the time and have, in the past, claimed the drink brings fairly big health benefits.
Reduces early death risk
Research by the National Cancer Institute in the US last year found people who drink six or seven cups of coffee each day were 16 per cent less likely to die from disease within a 10-year period than those who didn’t.
Less likely to get depression
Another study, done by the Harvard School of Public Health, found that women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day were 20 per cent less likely to suffer from depression.
Women have higher pain threshold
British scientists at Goldsmiths, University of London, found women who drank coffee – 250mg of caffeine, to be precise – tended to have a higher pain threshold than those who didn’t.
Lower type 2 diabetes
The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee last year said it had trawled through nearly 30 studies of almost 1.2million people to find drinking three or four cups of coffee each day could slash the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 27 per cent.
‘The consumption of caffeine from mate or from other sources alleviated the negative impact of a high-fat, high-[sugar] diet on body composition due to the modulation of certain enzymes in both [fat] tissue and the liver.’
Researchers gave the rats mate tea, which is a herbal hot drink popular in Latin America and packed with phytochemicals, flavonoids, and amino acids.
It contains about 65 to 130mg of caffeine per serving, compared to between 30 and 300mg (average 95mg) in a cup of brewed coffee, the researchers said.
The animals were also given synthetic caffeine and caffeine extracted from coffee to compare the effects.
They found that, regardless of its source, caffeine decreased the accumulation of lipids (fat molecules) in fat cells by between 20 and 41 per cent.
At the end of the experiment, the team said the amount of body fat on the rats which consumed caffeine and those which didn’t was ‘significantly’ different.
The study, published in The Journal of Function Foods, said the beverages could be considered ‘anti-obesity agents.’
The team explained this effect was probably caused by the effects caffeine had on two genes in particular – Fasn and Lpl.
Fasn – the fatty acid synthase gene – was about 31-39 per cent less active in the rats which were being fed caffeine, meaning the body was converting less sugar into fat.
And Lpl – the lipoprotein lipase gene – was around 51-69 per cent less active, which also reduced the amount of fat which was created.
The suppression of these genes also meant less cholesterol was produced in the liver, the study added.
Ontario is reporting 119 new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and three related deaths Monday.
The province has now seen 549,447 total cases since the beginning of the pandemic and 9,316 people have died.
There are currently 96 patients in Ontario hospitals, with an additional 131 in intensive care units, and of those, 79 require a ventilator. (Ontario Public Health statistics of ICU hospitalizations and ventilator cases contain some patients who no longer test positive for COVID-19 but who are being treated for conditions caused by the virus. As such, occasionally, the number of patients in ICUs or that require a ventilator may exceed the number of patients in hospitals with COVID-19.)
Another 137 cases were resolved in the past 24 hours and of Ontario’s total case count, 538,702 are now considered resolved.
There were 11,930 tests conducted in the province Sunday with a 1.0 per cent positivity rate.
There were 22 cases identified in Toronto, 15 in Hamilton, 14 in Waterloo, and 13 in Peel region.
Officials in Ontario are also continuing to track the spread of variants of concern in the province.
There were 19 new confirmed cases of the Alpha variant, and there have now been 145,405 confirmed cases of that strain in Ontario.
Three new cases of the Delta variant were confirmed Monday, and there have now been 3,916 total cases of that variant in Ontario.
No new cases of the Beta or Gamma variant were identified in the province, according to Monday’s data.
Ontario’s vaccination rollout has now reached 80.4 per cent of eligible (12-plus) residents with one dose, and 66.7 per cent of residents have received both vaccine doses.
Another 65,920 vaccine doses were administered across the province on Sunday. As of 8 p.m. Sunday, 19,018,393 doses had been administered and 8,625,932 Ontarians had been fully immunized with both doses, according to the latest provincial data.
Ottawa Public Health is reporting seven new cases in the city and no new deaths.
There have now been 27,782 total cases in Ottawa and of those, 27,147 are resolved. There have been 593 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the city.
There are now 42 active cases in Ottawa, two fewer than Sunday, and there remains one patient in hospital, with none in ICU.
There have been 40 total cases of the Delta variant in Ottawa, according to provincial data.
There have also been 1,416,743 total vaccine doses administered in Ottawa.
According to OPH, 768,001 eligible residents (age 12-plus) have received one dose, and 638,520 are full vaccinated.
That represents 83 per cent of the eligible population with one dose and 69 per cent of the eligible population with both doses.
There was one new local case reported Sunday, and Ottawa has seen 27,775 total cases and 593 deaths, according to Sunday’s data.
Only one other case was identified Monday in the East region of the province, with one confirmed case in the Hatings region.
No new cases were identified in the Eastern Ontario public health unit, Kingston, Renfrew County or in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.
Premier Doug Ford is in Ottawa Monday to make an announcement at the Ottawa Hospital’s General campus, where will be joined by Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Jeremy Roberts, Mayor Jim Watson, and Ottawa Hospital president and CEO Cameron Love.
The announcement is set for 1:15 p.m.
There have been 298 new cases in Quebec since the last provincial update on Friday, including 223 new cases over the weekend and 75 new cases confirmed Monday.
There have been 376,828 total cases in Quebec and 11,240 deaths. One new death was reported in Monday’s data.
Of those total cases, 364,774 people have recovered in Quebec and those cases are now considered resolved.
There are 67 patients in hospital in Quebec, which remains stable for the previous day’s figures, and there are 20 people in intensive care. That is one fewer than recent days.
Another 55,188 vaccine doses have been administered in the province, including 54,106 doses in the past 24 hours.
There have been 12,228,529 total vaccine doses administered in the province.
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If you don’t eat whole grain foods on a daily basis, consider rethinking your menu.
According to researchers from Tufts University in Boston, doing so can help you manage your waist size, blood sugar (glucose) and blood pressure as you age. And it doesn’t take a lot. The sweet spot, it seems, is three whole grain servings each day.
Repeated studies have linked higher whole grain intakes to protection against heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The latest findings, published earlier this month in the Journal of Nutrition, suggest that whole grains guard against chronic disease by reducing increases in risk factors that occur over time.
All grains – such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, oats – start out as whole grain kernels made up of three layers: The outer bran layer, which contains nearly all the fibre; the inner germ layer, which is rich in nutrients, antioxidants and healthy fats; and the starchy endosperm.
Eating whole grains and 100-per-cent whole grain foods means that you’re getting all parts of the grain kernel.
When whole grains are processed into refined flour, the bran and germ layers are removed, resulting in a loss of most of the fibre, one-quarter of the grain’s protein and a substantial amount of at least 17 nutrients.
The researchers compared how whole grain and refined grain intake affected changes in five risk factors for heart disease and stroke: waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, blood pressure, blood triglycerides (fats) and HDL (“good”) blood cholesterol.
They did so by assessing the diets and health of 3,121 middle-aged and older adults, every four years, over a span of 18 years. Participants were, on average, 55 years old at the start of data collection.
People who ate at least three daily servings of whole grains (versus one-half or less) experienced smaller increases in waist circumference. Over each four-year period, waist circumference increased one inch among those who ate few whole grains compared to one-half inch among those who ate more whole grains. The protective effect of whole grains on waist size was strongest in women.
Whole grain eaters also had smaller increases in fasting blood glucose and blood pressure over time.
With respect to refined grains (such as white bread, white pasta and white rice), the results revealed that people who ate four or more servings per day (versus fewer than two) experienced greater increases in waist circumference and smaller declines in blood triglycerides over the study period.
Eating fibre-rich whole grains can help you feel satiated and prevent overeating. The soluble fibre in whole grains can also help prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin after eating. This may, in turn, favour fat-burning rather than fat storage.
Whole grains are also good sources of magnesium and potassium, minerals used to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. And many whole grains contain prebiotic carbohydrates, which fuel beneficial gut microbes.
One serving of whole grain is equivalent to one slice of 100-per-cent whole grain bread or one-half cup of cooked whole grain pasta or cooked whole grain (including oats, brown rice, farro, millet and hulled barley).
Read labels on packages of whole grain breads, crackers and breakfast cereals. If you don’t see “100-per-cent whole grain” listed, scan the ingredient list to make sure the product doesn’t contain refined grains (for example, wheat flour).
When buying rye bread look for ingredients that indicate whole grain such as whole rye flour, rye meal, rye kernels and rye flakes.
Don’t be fooled by claims of added fibre. Wonder White + Fibre bread, for example, isn’t a whole grain bread. Nor is Catelli’s Smart Pasta. Both are refined grain products with added oat hull fibre (and inulin in the pasta).
If you avoid wheat, rye and barley because they contain gluten, include gluten-free whole grains in your daily diet such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, teff, sorghum, buckwheat, amaranth and gluten-free oats.
Batch cook whole grains so that you have them ready to add to meals. Toss cooked quinoa, bulgur or farro into green salads; add barley, red rice or spelt berries to soups, stews and chilis; or make whole grain bowls with freekeh or brown rice.
Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based private practice dietitian, is director of food and nutrition at Medcan. Follow her on Twitter @LeslieBeckRD
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