What I’m Reading

Here’s my pick of the three most interesting or newsworthy articles I’ve read this week.

Rodale’s The Daily Fix Newsletter – Why Women Shouldn’t Eat Factory-Farmed Chicken.

Years ago, I felt (and tasted) the difference when I stopped buying Foster Farm-brand chicken and switched to organic, locally raised poultry. Now I know why. As this article points out, tests by ConsumersUnion regularly show that as much as two-thirds of grocery-store chicken contains bacteria. That means that “dirty factory farms are filling our guts with bacteria that can cause all sorts of infections. And for women, that could mean more uncomfortable urinary tract infections (UTIs).”  Did you know that 80 to 90 percent of routine UTIs are caused by E. Coli? And supermarket chicken could be where all that bacteria is coming from, according to a Canadian researcher.

More Magazine (March issue), “Anti-Aging Arsenal: Four Nutrients You Now Need” 

We’re so busy counting calories and fat grams, we often overlook the importance of consuming micronutrients that are essential to the proper functioning of our bodies. As the author of this article points out, avoiding certain foods such as meats and eggs, or taking medications, may contribute to a deficiency of vitamins such as B12. And, as menopausal women, our bodies are less efficient at absorbing nutrients to begin with. What are the “power” nutrients we need to consume more of?  Choline, CoQ10, Potassium and B12. This article explains why they’re so important, who’s falling short, and how we can fix it. It’s definitely worth reading!

Time Healthland (online) – Why Sleep Deprivation May Lead to Overeating

Given the prevalence of sleep disorders during menopause, we probably can blame poor sleep habits rather than a slower metabolism for mid-life weight gain. This article reports on a study of 17 healthy men and women, whose sleep habits were monitored for 11 nights in a controlled setting. They observed that the participants who only slept for two-thirds of their usual amount consumed 549 additional calories every day. Have you noticed that you crave more “comfort food” when you’ve had a bad night sleep?

To learn more about why sleep is an “evolutionary imperative,” read this excellent article published by the Pine Street Foundation.