HEALTH Award Chooses The Most Inspirational Works Of Nutrition

HEALTH Award Chooses The Most Inspirational Works Of Nutrition

The winners of one of the main Brazilian health awards were announced with pomp and ceremony. See how they will change their diet

After months of waiting, we finally discovered the winners of  the 2017 HEALTH AWARD . Focused exclusively on nutrition and food, the awards ceremony for the 11th edition took place yesterday (November 28) in São Paulo. And it was a show of science, healthy food and hope for improvements in Brazilian nutrition.

“The HEALTH Award recognizes, disseminates and applauds those who think and work for a healthier Brazil,” said Diogo Sponchiato, editor-in-chief of the magazine HEALTH. “The motto is to highlight jobs that make the difference. There is a lot of blood, sweat and calories consumed here, “he said.

The most respected judges chose, among several surveys and prevention campaigns, the 15 finalist works of this edition, which came from North to South of the country. They were distributed in five categories: Education and Prevention Campaign, Food Technology, Clinical Study, Experimental Work and Sports Nutrition.

Throughout the event, around 200 renowned guests were able to meet these finalists and saw, first hand, the announcement of the great winners. And now is the time for you to know what were the main works of Brazilian nutrition in 2017:

Category Education and Prevention Campaign

Winner: Food pyramid against epilepsy

According to the World Health Organization , about 50 million people suffer from this neurological disorder that causes seizures. For a group of 20% to 30% of children with the disorder, antiepileptic drugs do not work – they suffer from so-called refractory epilepsy. In such cases, the ketogenic diet, which replaces carbohydrates with proteins and fats, has been widely used as a coadjuvant to reduce episodes.

To create a graphical representation of this menu capable of helping children and adolescents with this resistant type of disease, researchers from the School of Public Health of the University of São Paulo (USP) developed a specific food pyramid, divided into five food groups. By facilitating the understanding and application of this nutritional therapy, the ketogenic pyramid becomes a valuable tool for training health professionals, caregivers and family members and stimulates the patient’s adherence to treatment.

Full text article : Ketogenic food pyramid as an educational strategy for health professionals and caregivers of refractory epilepsy patients 
Authors: Mariana Baldini Prudencio, Nágila Raquel Teixeira Damasceno, Maria Camila Pruper de Freitas and Flávia De Conti Cartolano 
Institution: Faculdade de Saúde Pública da University of São Paulo (USP)

Category Food Technology

Cheese to see better

Lutein is a pigment present in the human retina. With antioxidant properties, it helps prevent eye diseases such as cataracts and degeneration – a serious, irreversible condition responsible for blindness in people over 65 years. So vital to health, lutein is not produced by the body and must be obtained via food.

According to work developed by the Agricultural Research Company of Minas Gerais (Epamig) , dish cheese, one of the most consumed in Brazil, can be a great ally in the strategy of increasing the presence of this important carotenoid in the menu. The team created a version of the product replacing the traditional urucum dye for one made with lutein. Thanks to the yellowish color, the substance did not alter the characteristic tone of the food.

Also in the flavor criterion, the cheese received notes similar to the one manufactured in the traditional process. The work, carried out over three years, opens a perspective of the use of lutein in the prevention of severe vision problems, which are advancing with the growth of life expectancy of Brazilians.

Full name: Prato cheese made with a dye that can prevent eye diseases 
Author: Denise Sobral, Renata Golin Bueno Costa, Junio ​​César Jacinto de Paula, Vanessa Aglaê Martins Teodoro, Gisela Magalhães Machado, Elisângela Michele Miguel and Claudio Furtado Soares 
Institution: Company of Agricultural Research of Minas Gerais – Epamig Cândido Tostes

Category Clinical Study

Caring for the diet of people on hemodialysis

Chronic kidney disease is a public health problem in Brazil and the world. It is estimated that, here, the number of people on dialysis reaches more than 100 thousand. For these individuals, dietary care is indispensable, since the kidney, limited in its functions, can no longer filter substances such as phosphorus, potassium and sodium – and the excess of these minerals in the blood entails complications.

On the other hand, an exaggerated food restriction can result in another danger, malnutrition. Faced with the challenge of motivating these patients to compose the most appropriate menu, professionals from the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) , Minas Gerais, set up a program to help them make the delicate adjustment of nutrients.

Participants received an individualized meal plan and gathered in workshops and lectures where experts taught how to reduce the presence of substances with potential to impair kidney function. The change in behavior at the table was reflected in improved blood tests. The intervention was able to impact decision making, encourage self-care and improve the quality of life of volunteers.

Full name: Effect of a nutritional intervention based on the transtheoric model on the metabolic markers and dietary intake of individuals on hemodialysis 
Authors : Priscila Vaz de Melo Ribeiro, Helen Herman Miranda Hermsdorff, Karla Pereira Balbino, Andreza de Paula Santos Epifânio, Mônica de Paula Jorge , Luciane Domingos Marota da Silva, Márcia Garcia Gouveia and Ana Vládia Bandeira Moreira 
Institution: Federal University of Viçosa (UFV)

Category Experimental Work

Acai to protect the brain

The number of people with disorders such as bipolar disorder is increasing, in which moments of euphoria with depressive episodes alternate, impacting the work and the social life of their patients. Prolonged use of medications such as lithium, capable of controlling mood swings, can result in kidney dysfunction, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism.

The authors of this experiment made at the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM) were to find in the açaí an alternative to help contain the manifestations of psychiatric diseases. In the research, they evaluated the effect of the fruit on neurons, more specifically their power to correct a dysfunction in the cells associated with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The assumption is that, because of this breakdown, the cells would suffer from the greatest generation of free radicals. The açaí, famous for its energetic capacity, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties – hence the hypothesis of having a beneficial role in this process. Simulation with the fruit extract in the laboratory has been able to reverse the harmful effects on cells – bringing hope to alleviate the symptoms of psychiatric disorders and opening up prospects for new drugs.

Full Name: Neuroprotective Effect in vitro acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.): Potential use as nutritional supplements in the management of psychiatric disorders 
Authors: Alencar Kolinski Ax Euler Esteves Ribeiro, Aline Boligon, Anna Christina Andreazza Francine Carla Cadoná, Tatiane Morgan da Silva, Marcelo Soares Fernandes, Fernanda Barbisan, Verônica Farina Azzolin, Grazziele Castagna Weiss, Audrei de Oliveira Alves and Ivana Beatrice Mânica da Cruz 
Institutions: Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), University of the State of Amazonas (UEA), Universidade do West of Santa Catarina (Unoesc), Franciscan University Center (Unifra) and University of Toronto, Canada

Category Sports Nutrition

Caffeine consumption affects sports performance

According to the authors of this study, an ancient and widespread belief comes to an end: that individuals who regularly consume caffeine-rich foods such as coffee, soft drinks, and chocolate, would not be able to take advantage of stimulant supplementation. For this reason, elite athletes were instructed to cut off any item with the substance at least four days before receiving the additional dose of caffeine to boost test performance.

The work done at the Faculty of Medicine and at the School of Physical Education and Sports of the University of São Paulo (USP) brought together cyclists, who underwent tests on exercise bikes. They were evaluated taking into account the presence of caffeine in their daily lives. An hour before they started pedaling, they were divided into three groups: the first one received capsules with the stimulant; the second, placebo (fake capsules); and the third, no complement.

Analyzes showed that habitual caffeine intake does not affect the role of supplementation. On the contrary, abrupt suppression of the ingredient can bring discomfort to athletes, such as headache and anxiety. The findings serve to rethink a common practice among nutritionists, coaches and athletes.

Full name: The usual caffeine consumption does not affect the ergogenic effects of acute caffeine supplementation on performance: the end of a myth 
Authors: Livia de Souza Gonçalves, Vitor de Salles Painelli, Guilherme Yamaguchi, Luana Farias de Oliveira, Bryan Saunders, Rafael Pires da Silva, Erika Maciel, Guilherme Giannini Artioli, Hamilton Roshcel and Bruno Gualano 
Institutions: Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (USP) and School of Physical Education and Sports of USP

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