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What to eat and when to eat it
Some days your workout is full of energy and other days you wonder if you have enough energy to make it through the first few exercises. You may want to take a closer look at what foods you are eating and when you are eating them. Properly managing your meals, snacks and beverages before and after exercise can have a huge impact on your workout intensity and how well your body recovers from your workout.

Got IBS? You Might Have Celiac Disease
We don't know exactly what causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Those with IBS often have stomach pain, bloating and diarrhea, and their symptoms come and go: people with IBS can go for some time without symptoms and then have flare-ups. The guidelines that doctors use to diagnose IBS vary from country to country and even professional association to professional association. 

Satisfaction no longer an excuse
You've probably heard that you should eat slowly to give your body time to signal you when you're full. This is called "alimentary alliesthesia" (you don't need to remember it; there won't be a quiz). Another mechanism that helps your body control how much you eat is called "sensory-specific satiety". This term describes how eating a lot of the same kind of food will make it taste less good to you over the short term.


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Mediterranean Diet and Stomach Cancers

We've seen that the Mediterranean Diet can help reduce your risk of death from all causes, from heart disease to stroke to cancers. We also know that eating more fruits and vegetables appears to reduce your risk of oral cancers (Bite, 05/17/06) as well as helping to prevent Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Bite, 02/20/07). Reducing your intake of red meat may help you avoid certain types of breast cancer (Bite 11/15/06). Research on specific types of cancer in relation to the overall Mediterranean diet is a little sparse, however.

Fortunately, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010;91(2):381-90) looks at the relationship between following a Mediterranean style diet and the fourth most common cancer worldwide: stomach cancer (gastric adenocarcinoma). Stomach cancer is also the second leading cause of death from cancer, after lung cancer.

The researchers in this study made use of information gathered in a long-term, large-scale study known as the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). It includes over 485,000 men and women between the ages of 35 and 70 living in 10 European countries. At the start of the study each participant's diet was scored on the 9 components of the Mediterranean Diet, with a final grouped scoring of low, medium or high adherence.

After almost 9 years of follow-up the researchers were able to compare the diets of those who developed stomach cancer with those who did not. Those who scored the highest on Mediterranean Diet adherence were 33% less likely to develop stomach cancer than those who scored the lowest. Further, each additional point in the 18-point scale the researchers used represented an additional 7% reduction in risk.

What this means for you

Once again, the take-home message here is that small changes in your diet can have a big impact on your long-term health. Interestingly, the researchers note that when they compared the effects of the 9 components of the Mediterranean Diet on an individual basis, it seemed that the component with the greatest effect on one's risk of stomach cancer was the higher intake of whole grains (read: fiber).

First posted: October 27, 2010