Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ingrid Hoffman: Avocados are 'Simply Delicioso'

I'm sure most of us have heard that avocados are good for us, but many people aren't exactly sure as to why. Avocados are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and are a natural plant source of healthy fats.

Avocados are most commonly consumed in guacamole, paired with nachos or fajitas, but the uses for avocados are almost unlimited: Anywhere you would normally use butter, you can try to sub avocados. Unlike butter, avocados contain no saturated or animal fats, they help lower bad cholesterol and are good for your heart, skin, hair, nails and your whole body in general! Why do you think avocados are used in skin creams, hair conditioners and all kinds of beauty products? They're one of nature's most complete and healthiest foods and can help you achieve your diet, health and weight loss goals faster than you can say 'arriba'!

Check out this clip of how Food Network's Colombian Celebrity Chef Ingrid Hoffman uses avocados for everything!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fat Suit ThisTime For Bridget Jones

(Hollywood Scoop Summary)

Renee Zellweger, the petite actress famous for her plus-sized role as Bridget Jones, is going to forego any weight gain in lieu of a 'fat suit' as she reprises her role in the latest installment of the movie series.

The past two times Zellweger has played Bridget Jones, she actually gained close to 30 pounds to portray her character, then lost the weight afterwards. Fluctuations in weight are not usually healthy, and in cases as extreme as Zellweger's transformation into Bridget Jones, there could be health complications involved. Being that she's already done this two times, this time, she's throwing in the towel and opting to spare her health instead.

Zellweger admitted that last time she put on weight, she had difficulty losing it; it took her quite some time to get her svelte figure back. Five years have since gone by, and one can only imagine that it won't likely be any easier this time!

Read more about Renee at Hollywood Scoop (Sept. 23, 2009)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Drink White Tea to Fight Fat

(Source: Nutrition and Metabolism)

So we've all heard about the health and weight loss benefits of drinking green tea, and as a supplement, green tea extract is a potent fat-fighter and metabolism revver, but now there's a new fat fighter in town. Say hello to white tea and say good bye to fat.

In the human body, gaining weight from fat is two-fold. On one hand, the number of fat cells in the body increases, and on the other hand, these fat cells absorb and store fat like little sponges, which causes them to expand in size. Thankfully, white tea can tackle fat on both fronts.

According to a new study published in Nutrition and Metabolism, fat cell precursors that are incubated in white tea extract fail to turn into fat cells or store fat. In addition, incubating mature fat cells in the same extract solution actually causes them to burn fat and shrink in size!

Researchers believe that the health benefits found in white tea is related to it's polyphenols, most specifically EGCG. Green tea also contains EGCG, but white tea is the least processed form of tea and contains the highest levels of this polyphenol.

Find out more about this study by reading the article from Nutrition and Metabolism.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sugary Diet Raises Blood Pressure: Study

(Reuters Health Summary)

Sugar sure has a bad rep, and for good reason. It has been tied to diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, but now, there's even more incentive to skip on the white stuff.

According to research reported at the American Heart Association’s 63rd High Blood Pressure Research Conference, diets very high in fructose have been shown to increase blood pressure in men. Fructose is commonly found in table sugar as well as soft drinks. In the study, men who were put on a high-sugar diet actually developed metabolic syndrome, which increased their risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and it also increased their uric acid levels.

In as little as two weeks on the high fructose diet, the men in the study experienced a significant increase in their blood pressure and they also demonstrated insulin resistance. “These results suggest that fructose may be a cause of metabolic syndrome,” said one of the researchers. “They also suggest that excessive fructose intake may have a role in the worldwide epidemic of obesity and diabetes.”

To read more about the findings from this study, check out the article called "Fructose tied to higher blood pressure: study" at Medline Plus (Sept 23, 2009)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

'World's Fattest Town': Jaimie Oliver to the Rescue!

(Sky News Summary)

Celebrity Chef Jaimie Oliver has made it his mission to teach the world to cook from scratch and re-connect with real, healthy food in a way that we have not seen in decades. He's tackled school dinners in the UK and has taught people all over the world to cook healthy from scratch either by teaching them directly or through his various television programs and cook books. But now he's on a different mission: He's tackling 'the world's fattest city', Huntington, WV.

According to Jaimie, the situation in this town makes the hairs on the back of his arm stand at attention. In regards to the families he's worked with, he says "They are all anaemic with information. They are not stupid, they are not ignorant - it's just they have never had food from scratch in their life." Chilling words!

Even though it's a rural area, it's difficult to find anything that's fresh in Huntington. Kids at school dine on a menu which included funnel cakes, corn dogs, hamburgers and hot dogs! Due to the fact that several large food corporations are located in this region, most, if not all, of the food that people in Huntington eat is processed.

To find out what Jaimie intends to do, check out the article called "Jamie: 'World's Fattest Town Is Hair-Raising'" from Sky News (Sept. 21, 2009).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

'Soda Tax' to Fight Obesity?

(AP Summary)

With an outrageous (and still climbing) rate of obesity, the US needs a solution, and fast, to this growing epidemic. A group of nutrition and economics experts think they have just the solution that Americans need to help them slim down: a soda tax. And a hefty one, at that.

Published in the very reputable
New England Journal of Medicine, the group's plan outlines a 1-cent-per-ounce sales tax, an amount more than double the average existing state tax. It would increase the levy on a $1 can of soda to 12 cents. Since Americans are known for their love affair with soda, and it is also a major contributor to health issues such as diabetes and obesity, it seems to make sense that imposing a heavy tax on the sale of soda would discourage individuals from purchasing and consuming these products.

Despite previous efforts by other parties, a tax such as this has never actually taken effect. Government officials and the beverage industry alike contend that it's not likely to happen.

Find out more about the proposed 'soda tax' by checking out the article 'Fight obesity? Add sales tax to soda tab' from MSNBC (Sept 17, 2009)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Find Your Maximum Weight Limit Without Charts, Calculators

(ScienceDaily Summary)

Ever wondered what the ideal weight for your height is? If you have, then, like most people, you've probably consulted your trusty BMI chart or calculator. All you need to do is multiply your weight in pounds by 703, and then divide that number by your height in inches squared. Easy peasy, right? Yeah - admittedly it's not the easiest calculation to work with, and even with handy online calculators, you're only given a 'range' in which you would be considered healthy...but what does it really mean?

BMI, or body mass index, has long been the gold standard for determining whether an individual is in the 'healthy' range for their height. The problem with this formula, however, is that with ranges come discrepancies and confusion about the 'right' weight to be for optimal health. That's why Professor George Fernandez of the Center for Research Design and Analysis at the University of Nevada has come up with a much easier and simpler system that might eventually replace BMI.

According to Fernandez, we should be able to know what our Maximum weight limit is and stay below it, just like a speed limit, and not dabble about in some 'range' of weights. All you need to do is remember these baseline numbers and the rest is simple. For men, the baseline is 5-feet, 9-inches tall and the Maximum Weight Limit is 175 pounds. For a woman, the baseline is 5-feet tall with a Maximum Weight Limit of 125 pounds. From there, you add or subtract 5 pounds for every inch taller or shorter (respectively) you are than the baseline height. So, for a woman standing at 5'8'', her MWL would be 8x5lbs more than 125 lbs, or 165lbs, which matches up on the BMI chart. With a much simpler formula and easy reference numbers to remember, MWL seems like just the thing we've been waiting for to help with health and weight loss goals.

Read more about MWL in the article called "New Way To Calculate Body's 'Maximum Weight Limit" from ScienceDaily (Sept 21, 2009).

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Muscle Makes for Stronger Bones

(Reuters Health Summary)

You know the old saying that people who are big are just 'big boned'? I guess I can see how that might make sense if you compare a well-fed and presumably well-nourished 'big' person to a person who thin, lacking in nutrients and, as a result, has weak and brittle bones. Well, it's about time somebody put that rumour to rest. As it turns out, neither situation is truly better than the other, and being obese or overweight doesn't actually protect individuals from developing brittle bones and osteoporosis.

According to a new study from Ghent University Hospital in Belgium, men who are fatter and have higher BMI's actually tend to have smaller, thinner bones, by and large. Wondering who had the strongest skeletons in the study? Men with more lean muscle mass. It appears that individuals with more muscle on their frames have denser and larger bones. As it turns out, the fat on one's frame actually affects bones differently than muscle - muscle mass is dynamic, while fat mass is just 'passive loading' on the skeleton.

To find out more about this recent discovery, read the whole article called 'Muscle mass, not fat, makes for stronger bones' from Reuters Health (Aug 2009)

Friday, September 18, 2009

ACC Unveils 11 New Hot Dog Creations

(Maple Summary)

Ahh hot dogs - so simple yet so delicious. All you need, other than the dog itself, is a bun and some simple toppings: ketchup, mustard and maybe some relish and you're good to go, right? Well how about wasabi mayonnaise or maple mustard sautéed onions? And who could resist French baked beans? Ask Burkie’s Dog House what they put on their dogs and get ready to enter a whole new universe of hot dog creations.

This past Tuesday, Toronto's Air Canada Centre unveiled a brand new concession stand called Burkie’s Dog House, boasting an incredible 11 mind-blowing hot dog creations. With flavours like the 'Poutine hot dog', complete with fries, gravy and cheese curds on top, to the 'Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog', topped with maple mustard sautéed onions and cheddar cheese, this brand new breed of 'dogs stands in a class of it's own.

Named after the Leafs' President & General Manager Brian Burke, Burkie’s Dog House, located in the Air Canada Centre’s new Atrium, is part of a $48-million arena expansion and revitalization project which will also house the interactive broadcast studio for Leafs TV, Raptors NBA TV and GOLTV.

To see the complete list of all 11 hot dog creations and their descriptions, check out the article "ACC Goes To The Dogs - Hot Dogs That Is" from Maple (Sept. 15, 2009)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Train Your Brain to Prevent Weight Gain

(ScienceDaily Summary)

Keeping weight off: It's all in your head. At least that's what new research involving brain scans is suggesting.

According to a new study published in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, individuals who have lose weight and have managed to keep it off, have also retrained their brains to respond differently to food as compared with obese individuals or those who have never had to lose weight.

In this new study, both groups of individuals were shown images of food and those who have managed to maintain their weight were more likely to engage the areas of the brain associated with behavioral control and visual attention, compared to obese and normal weight participants.

The researchers suggest that those individuals who have lost weight and have managed to keep it off have had to create new habits and view food in a different light than they used to before they lost weight - they have literally re-wired the neurological pathways and responses that that were elicited in the presence of food!

To find out more about this incredible finding - check out the article "Brain's Response To Seeing Food May Be Linked To Weight Loss Maintenance" a
t ScienceDaily (Sept. 16, 2009).

Too Fat to be Funny?

(AOL Health Summary)

For any of you who stay up late on Saturday nights to catch a good laugh by watching SNL, you might notice that a familiar face - one that's been on the show for the past 2 seasons - will be missing this coming season.

Comedienne Casey Wilson has been 'let go' from "Saturday Night Live", and rumour has it that it's due to her full-figured physique. It's been reported that the show's producers asked her to drop a whopping 30 pounds over the course of the summer, and when she didn't comply, she was told to pack her things and leave.

While it could be that she simply wasn't delivering the kind of comedic connection that the producers and viewers expect from SNL, there could be some validity to the rumour that her dismissal was weight-related. Just take a look at the other women on SNL - you've got fit and lean leading ladies like Kristen Wiig, Abby Elliot and Michaela Watkins, and who can forget ex-SNLer Tina Fey's impression of 'Sexy Sarah' (Palin)? Casey Wilson brought something different to the mix and showed that you can still be beautiful and funny without being a size 2!

Find out more about this sticky situation by reading the article "
Fired for Being 'Fat'? SNL's Weighty Controversy" at That's Fit - from AOL health (Sept. 16, 2009).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brainwashed by Ben & Jerry's or Häagen-Dazs?

(MSNBC Summary)

Ice cream can control your brain. No, really - it's true.

According to new findings from the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, certain types of fats found in foods such as ice cream and burgers make a beeline for your brain upon being ingested. Once it reaches your brain, the fat molecules act to suppress the hormones leptin and insulin which normally control the hunger-satiety cycle and weight regulation.
Palmitic acid, which is found in beef, butter, cheese and milk, is just one type of fat that is particularly good at this.

According to researcher Deborah Clegg, your entire brain chemistry can change when you eat something high in fat. Since this fat interferes with the normal signals that tell you that you are full, you just keep on eating - and the worst part is that you keep on eating stuff that is loaded with fat and calories which pushes you even further away from your weight loss goals and optimal health. Worse yet - this hormonal 'broken telephone' can last for up to three days! I bet you didn't see that one coming!

Hey - Häagen-Dazs is expensive, anyways. Save your money and your waistline!

To find out more, read the whole article called "Ice cream really can control your brain" at MSNBC (Sept 15, 2009)

Are Your Friends Making You Fat?

(NIM summary)

That's what the New York Times Magazine is asking on their front cover, and for good reason!

It may not be news to you that eating is a social experience. Culture, tradition and society largely determine what ends up on our plate, and in what amounts. It should not come as a shock to anyone that the people we surround ourselves with influence our eating and physical activity habits, and ultimately our weight and health but its the extent of this influence that might make your jaw drop.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, if a close friend becomes obese, your likelihood of becoming obese soars by 171 per cent. If it's a casual friend or acquaintance, the risk is still a whopping 57 per cent. In addition, having an obese sibling increases your risk by 40 per cent, and an obese spouse ups your risk by 37 per cent!

Think about it, if celebrities can influence which body types our culture finds attractive and has a staggering influence on how we view ourselves, then our close friends and family, and heck even acquaintances are certain to have an impact on us.

Read more about this phenomenon in the Globe and Mail's article called "Are your friends making you fat" or in TIME's article called "How Friends Make You Fat".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Study: Chocolate Keeps Hearts Healthy

(New York Times Summary)

A new study out of Sweden, famously known as the Land of Chocolate, has added more clout to the claim that chocolate may keep your ticker ticking.

Swedish scientists followed a group of heart attack survivors over a span of 8 years and found, while accounting for as many confounders as possible, that chocolate consumption was strongly correlated with decreased chances of dying from heart disease. What's better is that the more chocolate that was consumed, the lower the risk was!

While this is all great news - this was only an observational study, not a randomized controlled trial, which is the gold standard in scientific research that allows for solid conclusions to be drawn. All we really know from this study is that there is a strong association between chocolate consumption and decreased risk of dying from heart disease, but not why or how. For example, chocolate consumption may also be correlated with better mental health or some other factor that was not considered or controlled for in the study.

To find out all the delicious details, check out the article called "In One Study, a Heart Benefit for Chocolate" from the New York Times.

Sexiest Man Alive? 'Fat' Damon Packs On 30 lbs for Movie Role

(NIM Summary)

Ever heard the saying "Beer or Abs: Pick one?". Here is a prime example of how even one of the fittest, hottest men in Hollywood (He was once dubbed sexiest man alive) can still manage to gain 30lbs by throwing his diet rules out the window. Take note: if Matt can get fat - so can you!

According to Matt: "It was very, very fun, probably the funnest time I had working because I didn't have to go to the gym after work and I just ate everything I could see." Of
course he had fun! Many of us throw the diet rules out the window when it comes to holidays, vacations, buffets and parties (can you say drinks, apps and oftentimes, cake?) and it feels great! The rest of the time, however, we have the will power (and the common sense) not to scarf down everything in sight because we're well aware of the consequences. But if the consequences (gaining 30lbs) are what you're looking for, then by all means - eat (and drink) away!

To read more about Matt's weight gain and transformation for the role in his upcoming film, check out the article "Matt Damon's big makeover: Star's weight gain for 'The Informant' proves he's no average celeb" at the Daily News (Sept. 12, 2009)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nutrition Bars: Cavity Culprits in Disguise

Source: (MSNBC)

Preventing and avoiding cavities seems like a pretty easy thing to do these days, and I bet most of us think we have got the formula down pat. All you need to do is steer clear of sugary sodas and candy bars, make sure you brush and floss regularly and you should be fine, right? Not necessarily. It turns out that the perfect fuel for cavities may be lurking where we least expected it: in so-called 'health' products like as nutrition bars.

If you're a busy person on the go, chances are you've at least tried using nutrition bars to help make sure that you're getting the right amounts of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, as well as vitamins and minerals that your body requires to stay healthy. Or maybe you're an athlete or you participate in a regular workout routine so you keep a couple of bars in your bag to give you a post-workout boost. Either way, you could be putting yourself at serious risk of developing those nasty little craters that you thought only five-year-olds got.

According to Dr. Richard Price, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association and a retired Boston-area dentist, “They’re sticky and when something is sticky it stays in the mouth longer and the longer it stays in the mouth, the more time bacteria have to work on it. That creates an environment that’s not healthy for teeth.”

To find out more about this potential health hazard, read the whole article called “Gooey nutrition bars fuel energy — and cavities” on MSNBC (Sept. 11, 2009)

Forget Salt and Pepper - Try Sensa for Weight Loss

Source: (Health News)

Are the days of salt and pepper on the decline? Could be, thanks to science that has been in the works for the last 25 years and may soon be found in your kitchen. Imagine sprinkling a pinch of 'food sprinkles' over your meal and instantly enhancing the flavours and aromas of the dish, creating a more satisfying, sensual food experience. Enter: Sensa.

Dr. Alan Hirsch, a neurologist and psychiatrist who has been working on the science of 'food sprinkles' for almost 30 years has shown that our senses, especially sight and smell, fuel hunger and are the main reasons why we overindulge. In his clinical trials, nearly 1,500 women and men sprinkled 'food sprinkles', also known as 'tastants' on all of the food that they consumed and lost an average of 30 pounds over six months.

He has developed these 'tastants', currently found in the product 'Sensa', to be flavourless, colourless and odourless on their own, but when sprinkled over food, they bump up the flavour of food and the way that it appeals to the senses.

To find out more about tastans and Sensa, check out the entire article called "A Sprinkle a Day Takes the Pounds Away?" at Health News, (Sept . 8, 2009)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Liposuction Leftovers a New Source of Stem Cells

Source: (Reuters)

It seems that ever since stem cells have been used for the benefit of human health, they've been followed by controversy the whole way, mostly as a result of where they are harvested from. Well, now scientists have found a promising new source of stem cells in a place that nobody had likely imagined: liposuction leftovers!

As gross as this might sound, the discarded fat removed from flabby areas is actually a really good source of immature fat cells, which can easily be transformed into 'induced pluripotent stem cells' (or iPS for short). These immature fat cells are reportedly easier to work with than other types of cells used to make iPS cells for research, and they can be used to create heart, bone and brain cells (just to name a few) which have the potential to be used to treat disease.

To catch up on all the details, check out the article called "Liposuction leftovers make easy stem cells: study" at Reuters (Sept. 8, 2009)

Lose Weight with Your (Digital) Personal Trainer

Source: (New York Times)

As we all become ever busier in our daily lives, we oftentimes find it difficult to keep a watchful eye on our diets or take the time to exercise. It's tough - we're tired after a long day and we must choose what we do with our time and resources. Well, thanks to technology, we just might be able to get on the road to weight loss and fitness faster than ever before, sans gym and personal training expenses.

Nowadays, a huge percentage of the population uses iPhones and iPods and marketers have more than noticed. Thanks to this fact, there is now a plethora of calorie-counting, nutrition, weight loss and personal training apps that can be downloaded straight to the palm of your hand. They're simple to use, and the best part? - many of them are free! There are even heart rate monitors that you can link up to your iPhone which also count how many calories you burn while working out.

To find out more about some of the most popular apps available and what they can do for you, check out the article "Training Apps That Help You Sweat the Details" from The New York Times (Sept. 9, 2009)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

After a Long Summer, Totally Cleanse Your Body

We've all heard of Spring cleaning, but how about giving your body the total cleanse it needs this Fall? As with most people, I can attest to having treated myself to a few more goodies this summer than I probably should have. Hey - the season of barbecues, ice cream and cold beers on the patio is loooong anticipated all year through the wind, rain and blizzards, so when it's here, it's meant to be thoroughly enjoyed!

Now that a new season is upon us and the kids have gone back to school, a total body cleanse is more than overdue. If you are experiencing headaches, a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, bloating or blemishes, your body is sending you a message - don't ignore it! Cleansing allows your body to rid itself of harmful toxins which are consumed everyday and accumulate in your organs like a car that (badly) needs an oil change.

Thanks to a breakthrough new system called Total Cleanse, detoxing is easier than ever before. Think of it as Mr. Lube for your insides (and it's just as easy and painless). All you have to do is just place an order and drink the nutrient-packed, fresh-pressed and preservative free juices that are delivered straight to your door, and reep the benefits. Each day, you receive a total of six cleansing cocktails that provide you with enough energy for the day while giving your insides a thorough clean-out. The result: increased energy, weight loss, clarity of mind and no more bloating! Total Cleanse gives your body the opportunity to clean out all of the sludge that has built up, oftentimes over many years!

To find out more about the Total Cleanse system and how you can get your hands on some, check out the website here.

'Smart Choices' Food Labelling Program 'Not Credible'

Source: (New York Times)

Food manufacturers in the US are trying to make it a little easier for the average consumer to make 'healthy choices' at the grocery store. A new program called 'Smart Choices', along with a bright green check mark logo displayed on the front of food packages has been designed to help Americans do just that. There's just one problem: it's flawed.

Since when are sugar-laden cereals like Froot Loops and Cocoa Krispies considered 'Smart' choices for kids? Based on the green check mark displayed on their boxes, they are. Needless to say, this has Nutrition Experts, the FDA and the US Department of Agriculture in an uproar.

Eileen T. Kennedy, president of the Smart Choices board, claims that the criteria for including food and beverage items in the Smart Choices program was based on government dietary guidelines and widely accepted nutritional standards. She went on to say that “The check mark means the food item is a ‘better for you’ product, as opposed to having an x on it saying ‘Don’t eat this,’

To find out more, read the article called "For Your Health, Froot Loops", at the New York Times, (Sept. 4, 2009)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Size of Others Affects Amout of Food You Eat

Source: (New York Times)

Ever see a thin person grab a handful of snack food and think "If they can do it, so can I"? Well, it turns out that watching others eat determines how much we decide to eat to a greater extent than we may realize.

Researchers out of UBC are putting the finishing touches on a recent study that documents just how social cues affect our eating patterns. In their study, participants were allowed to snack on M&M's while watching a film, but they first saw either a 5'2'', size zero girl or a 5'2'' size 16 girl (same girl, plus fat suit), both eating the exact same amount of M&M's. Participants who saw the 'big' girl eating the M&M's actually took fewer themselves as compared to when the size zero girl was seen snacking.

Even when participants munched on salad instead of junk food, they still tended to mimic thin individuals rather than obese ones. Brent McFerran, one of the paper’s authors, explains “If you see a thin person order a salad for dinner, it kind of reminds you, ‘If I’m going to look like that, I’d better get something very small,’ “If you see such a portion ordered by someone who’s very obese, you think, ‘well, they need to eat that little, they’re on a diet, but I’m not like that.’

Really interesting stuff. You can find the whole article called "Social Snacking Next to a Size Zero" at The New York Times (Sept. 6, 2009)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Eat Late, Gain Weight

Source: (HealthDay)

Bad news for all you late-night food lovers. Many of us have heard that eating late at night is bad for for our health, for one reason or another, but new research suggests that it may be even worse than we had thought.

Based on new findings, published in
Obesity, researchers believe that our internal clocks, also known as our circadian rhythms, may cause our metabolisms to respond differently to food throughout the day.

Although the evidence is still quite weak and it is not yet possible to determine a 'best' or 'worst' time to eat, the researchers contend that it's probably best to avoid eating during one's 'normal sleeping phase' AKA night time for most of us.

To find out more, check out the entire article, called "Nightly Snacking May Speed Weight Gain" from HealthDay (Sept. 3, 2009)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Excess Caffeine Consumption Can Impair Heart Health

Source: (HealthDay)

We've all heard the old adage that too much caffeine can make you jittery, but it turns out that it can also lead to atrial fibrilation and heart disease, too. That is, unless you follow a Mediterranean-style diet.

New research out of Italy, presented this week at the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting in Barcelona has shown that individuals who consume whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables and lean proteins including fish and lots of olive oil are protected from the potential harms of excess amounts of caffeine.

According to the news release, study author Dr. Anna Vittoria Mattioli, of the University of Modena in Italy, said "Our study suggests that high intake of coffee increases the risk of arrhythmias in people without known cardiac disease,"

To get the whole scoop, check out the article called "Caffeine Without Healthy Diet Linked to Heart Risk" (Sep. 2, 2009).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Modified Blueberry Juice Fights Fat and Diabetes

Source: (ScienceDaily)

According to a new study published in the International Journal of Obesity, blueberries may hold the key to successful weight loss and diabetes treatment in the future.

Apparently, this biotransformed blueberry juice, modified with bacteria from the berries' skin, can lower hyperglycemia in diabetic mice and can help prevent obesity and diabetes in young mice.

The juice was tested on a group of mice prone to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and hypertension and showed promising results. The juice was mixed into their water which actually made them eat less and lose weight as a result.

According to Dr. Haddad, the director of the CIHR Team in Aboriginal Anti-Diabetic Medicines at the Université de Montréal, "These mice were an excellent model that closely resembles obesity and obesity-linked type 2 diabetes in humans,".

To find out more, read the full article called "Biotransformed Blueberry Juice Fights Fat And Diabetes" at ScienceDaily (Sep. 2, 2009).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Pill Reverses Diabetes, Lowers Cholesterol and Fights Fat

Source: (Reuters)

Imagine if you could pop a pill that would not only make you lose weight, but it could also get rid of diabetes and lower cholesterol all in one go? We may be closer now to this vision than ever before. A new fat-fighting pill, dubbed 'fatostatin' has just been tested in mice and has delivered exactly these results.

Published in the journal Chemistry and Biology, the new findings show that the drug prevents the body from making fat instead of the conventional approach (found in other weight loss pills) of preventing the body from utilizing fat as energy.

The researchers are very optimistic about this new drug and are hopeful that it will show similar results in humans as it does in mice, however they do realize that this is rarely the case. Most of the time, drugs that make mice rapidly lose weight do little or nothing in humans.

To find out the whole scoop, check out the article called "New fat-fighting drug also reverses diabetes" on MSNBC (Aug. 27, 2009)

Regular Drinkers Exercise More than Abstainers

Source: (HealthDay)

Surprising results from a recent study out of the University of Miami show that moderate to heavy drinkers tend to be more physically active, on the whole, when compared with their non-boozing counterparts.

Using data from a U.S. Government survey, the researchers found that drinkers were not only more active than abstainers, but they also exercised more vigorously by performing activities such as jogging. In addition, as the number of drinks per day or per week increased, so did the amount of exercise that individuals performed!

Now, as interesting as this all sounds, the researchers don't want anyone to assume that drinking will actually increase their level of activity. As yet, the findings only suggest a correlation, but it's an interesting one that needs to be investigated further.

Check out HealthDay to read the entire article, entitled "Drinkers May Exercise More Than Teetotalers" (Aug. 31, 2009)