Tag Archives: Diet

The Benefits of Exercising Before Breakfast

A new study suggests that exercising in the morning, before eating, can significantly lessen the ill effects of a poor holiday diet.
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Researchers recruited healthy, active young men and fed them a bad diet for six weeks. A group of them that exercised before breakfast gained almost no weight and showed no signs of insulin resistance. What’s more, they burned the fat they were taking in more efficiently.

According to the New York Times:
“Working out before breakfast directly combated the two most detrimental effects of eating a high-fat, high-calorie diet. It also helped the men avoid gaining weight.”


Resources:

New York Times December 15, 2010
Journal of Physiology Nov 1, 2010;588(Pt 21):4289-302

Posted by: Dr. Mercola | January 04 2011

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Why Some Diets Work Better for Some People than Others

 

Ever notice some people seem to eat anything they want and never gain a pound, while others seem to gain weight just by looking at fattening foods? You may be seeing things correctly after all. According to research this may have a biological cause. Using fruit flies, researchers have found that genes interacting with diet, rather than diet alone, are the main cause of variation in metabolic traits, such as body weight. This helps explain why some diets work better for some people than ot…hers, and suggests that future diets should be tailored to an individual’s genes rather than to physical appearance.

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“There is no one-size-fits all solution to the diseases of obesity and type-2 diabetes,” said Laura K. Reed, the lead investigator in the work. “Each person has a unique set of genetic and environmental factors contributing to his or her metabolic health, and as a society, we should stop looking for a panacea and start accepting that this is a complex problem that may have a different solution for each individual.”

To make this discovery, the scientists studied 146 different genetic lines of fruit flies that were fed four different diets (nutritionally balanced, low calorie, high sugar, and high fat). Researchers then measured a variety of metabolic traits, including body weight, in each group. Flies in some of the genetic lines were highly sensitive to their diets, as reflected by changes in body weight, while flies of other lines showed no change in weight across diets. The scientists were able to ascertain what portion of the total variation in the metabolic traits was determined by genetics alone, by diet alone, or by the interaction between genotype and diet. Results showed that diet alone made a small contribution to the total variation, while genotype and genotype interactions with diet made very large contributions. This study strongly suggests that some individuals can achieve benefits from altering their dietary habits, while the same changes for others will have virtually no effect.

“The summer beach season often serves as a ‘gut check’ for many in terms of their weight,” said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Genetics. “This research explains why the one-size-fits-all approach offered by many diet programs can have dramatically different effects for people who try them.”


Source
: Elements4Health

 

Pick the Right Veg’ for Health

Obvious choices of fruit and vegetables are not necessarily the healthiest, say researchers.
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According to US experts, making simple swaps like eating sweet potatoes instead of carrots and papaya rather than oranges could make a difference.

Foods, like raspberries, watercress and kale, are richer in phytonutrients which may help prevent disease, they told a US meeting.

UK nutritionists said a balanced diet is essential to good health.

The British Nutrition Foundation warned that relying on eating a few select food types to boost health was ill-advised and said there was no such thing as a “superfood”.

Experts recommend five portions a day of fruit and veg in a healthy diet.

Plant foods are known to contain “phytonutrient” chemicals that can protect the heart and arteries and prevent cancers.

But the most popular varieties may not be the best, according to US researchers.

They analysed data from US health surveys of people’s dietary habits to look at the most common sources of phytonutrients.

They found that for 10 of the 14 phytonutrients studied, a single food type accounted for two-thirds or more of an individual’s consumption, regardless of how much fruit and veg they ate overall.

Carrots were the most common source of beta-carotene, oranges and orange juice the most common source of beta-cryptoxanthin, spinach the most common source of lutein/zeaxanthin, strawberries the most common source of ellagic acid and mustard the biggest provider of isothiocyanates.

However, for each of these phytonutrients there was a richer food source available.

Richer foods:-

Switching from carrots to sweet potatoes would nearly double beta-carotene intake, say the researchers.

Similarly papaya contains 15 times more beta-cryptoxanthin than oranges, while kale has three times more lutein/zeaxanthin than spinach.

Raspberries have three times more ellagic acid than strawberries and one cup of watercress contains as much isothiocyanate as four teaspoonfuls of mustard.

Study leader Keith Randolph, who is a technology strategist for the supplement company Nutrilite, said: “These data highlight the importance of not only the quantity but also the significant impact the quality and variety of the fruits and vegetables you eat can have on your health.”

Dr Emma Williams of the British Nutrition Foundation said: “They are right that some foods are richer sources of phytonutrients.

“But at the end of the day, to be healthy you need to make sure you have a varied and balanced diet.

“No one food can give you everything you need.”

The findings were presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, California.

Source
: BBC NEWS: April 27. 2010
http://www.healthyreader.com/2008/05/13/12-most-contaminated-fruits-and-vegetables/

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Walnuts in Diet May Help Elderly Improve Memory

Adding some WALNUTS to an otherwise healthy diet may help older people improve memory and behavioural skills, according to an animal  model study.

 

Walnuts contain polyphenols and other anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids. Polyphenols are the most abundant group of plant phenolic compounds, known to provide much of the flavour, colour and taste to fruits, vegetables and seeds.

The study was conducted by researchers with the Human Nutrition Research Centre on Ageing (HNRCA) at Tufts University in Boston.

The ageing brain undergoes many changes resulting in altered or impaired neuronal functioning. In aged rodents, these impairments are seen as poor performance on age-sensitive tests of balance, coordination, and “spatial” working memory.

For the study, weight-matched, aged rats were randomly assigned to one of four diet groups. For eight weeks, the rats were fed special chow mixes that contained either two, six or nine percent walnuts – or no walnuts – before undergoing motor and memory tests.

For comparison, the six percent walnut study diet is equivalent to a human eating about seven to to nine walnuts daily. That counts as both a two-ounce equivalent from the “meat and beans group” and two teaspoons toward a daily allowance of dietary oil, said a HNRCA release.

The study found that in aged rats, the diets containing two or six percent walnuts were able to improve age-related motor and cognitive shortfalls, while the nine percent walnut diet also improved memory.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Six Food Mistakes Parents Make

Here’s a look at six common mistakes parents make when feeding their children.

1. Sending Children Out of the Kitchen

It is understandable that parents don’t want children close to hot stoves, boiling water and sharp knives. But studies suggest that involving children in meal preparation is an important first step in getting them to try new foods.

2. Pressuring Them to Take a Bite

Demanding that a child eat at least one bite of everything is likely to backfire. Studies show that children react negatively when parents pressure them to eat foods, even if the pressure offers a reward.

3. Keeping “Good Stuff” Out of Reach

Parents worry that children will binge on treats, so they often put them out of sight or on a high shelf. But a large body of research shows that if a parent restricts a food, children just want it more.

4. Dieting in Front of Your Children

Kids are tuned into their parents’ eating preferences and are far more likely to try foods if they see their mother or father eating them. Parents who are trying to lose weight should be aware of how their dieting habits can influence a child’s perceptions about food and healthful eating.

5. Serving Boring Vegetables

Calorie-counting parents often serve plain steamed vegetables, so it’s no wonder children are reluctant to eat them. Nutritionists say parents shouldn’t be afraid to dress up the vegetables.

6. Giving Up Too Soon

Eating preferences often change. Parents should keep preparing a variety of healthful foods and putting them on the table, even if a child refuses to take a bite. In young children, it may take 10 or more attempts over several months to introduce a food.

Sources:
New York Times September 14, 2008

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