The Digest - April 12

  • The inflammatory index of a particular food has a higher impact on your weight than the food's nutrient contents or calories.
  • McDonalds targets children with ads for "healthy meals". The impact isn't what you might expect.
  • Rose hip extract shown to have a significant beneficial effect on weight loss.
  • WHO links common herbicide to increased risk of cancer.
  • 5 "must read" books if you're interested in boosting your productivity.

I've often argued that the inflammatory index of a particular food or drink item has a bigger impact on weight gain / metabolic health than the calorie content or nutrient profile of such an item. The logic behind this being that the higher the inflammatory index of a food, the stronger the immune reaction you get, the more cortisol you release, causing your body to hold onto fat stores. This new study involving over 7,000 participants revealed that the inflammatory index of a food has a bigger impact on BMI, waist circumference, and waist:height ratio than the calories or nutrient profile of the food. If this is of interest to you, here's a link to an iOS app which provides the inflammatory index of common foods.

They're at it again! Fast food companies, led by McDonalds are seeing sales drop as people become better educated and more aware of the consequences of eating fast food. One of the ways McD is combating such trends is by advertising "healthy versions" of their "food". A new study looked at the impact of advertisements for "healthy fast food" on children. The bottom line: "Exposure to adverts for ‘healthy’ meal bundles did not drive healthier choices in children, but did promote liking for fast food. " Good job McD!

You've probably seen "rose hip" on the label of Vitamin C supplements at your local health food store. Rose hip extract is very high in Vitamin C, in addition to a range of other antioxidants. The rose hips themselves are also used for herbal teas, jam, jelly, syrup, rose hip soup, beverages, pies, bread, wine, and marmalade. But guess what, as this new double blind randomized placebo study (the best kind of studies) reveals, rose hip extract has a significant impact on weight loss. Here's another reason to supplement with Vitamin C, which I'm willing to bet most people don't get enough of anyway from diet.

There's a war brewing, and it's between the World Health Organization (WHO) and Monsanto. For those who are not aware, Monsanto is the world's largest agro-chemical and agro-biotech company. They supply the vast majority of genetically modified (GMO) seeds globally - it's likely that the bread, pasta, corn and soy you're eating came from Monsanto-supplied GMO seeds. In addition, Monsanto supplies pesticides and herbicides to go along with the GMO products, including "Roundup", a widely used herbicide. Under normal circumstances, Roundup would kill the plants themselves, but Monsanto-supplied GMO seeds have been genetically modified to allow them to resist Roundup. But what about us humans? Well according to the latest research by the WHO, glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, is linked to increased risk of cancer, in particular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and lung cancer. Monsanto thinks it's nonsense, of course.

Interesting in boosting your productivity as an executive or entrepreneur? It's my new obsession and I'm studying and testing a wide variety of tools to maximize my own productivity. Here's a link to 5 "must read" books for anyone seeking to get the maximum productivity out of themselves. I've personally read 4 out of these 5 books and can honestly say that you should be able to extract and apply valuable tools from each.