Posts Tagged "Weight loss"

Fruit 11Eating more fruits and vegetables can help control weight, but a new study suggests that it depends on which fruits and vegetables you eat.

Researchers recorded diet information for 117,918 men and women in their 30s and 40s at the start of a study and followed them for 24 years, with interviews at four-year intervals.

An overall increase in a daily serving of vegetable or fruit over a four-year period led to less weight gained — 0.25 pounds less for vegetables, and 0.53 pounds for fruit.

Increased intake of berries was linked to a 1.11-pound lower weight gain, and of citrus fruits a 0.27-pound lower gain. Adding a daily serving of tofu or soy was tied to 2.47 pounds less Fruit 10weight gained, and of apples or pears 1.24 pounds less. Carrots and peppers were also linked to smaller gains, but potatoes, peas and corn were not.

The study, in PLOS Medicine, controlled for many health and behavioral variables, including changes in dozens of food and nutrient intakes apart from fruits and vegetables.

The lead author, Monica L. Bertoia, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that Americans’ fruit and vegetable intake was mostly fruit juices and potatoes. But, she said, “There are many fruits and vegetables that may be better choices — apples, pears, berries and nonstarchy vegetables.

Source: New York Times

Eat 1A new study may help explain why glucose tolerance — the ability to regulate blood-sugar levels — is lower at dinner than at breakfast for healthy people, and why shift workers are at increased risk of diabetes.

In a highly controlled study of 14 healthy individuals, a team led by researchers from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) measured the independent influences that behavioral factors (mealtime, sleep/wake cycle, and more), the body’s internal clock (circadian system), and misalignment between these two components had on a person’s ability to control blood-sugar levels. The team reports its findings — with implications for shift workers and for the general public — in the week of April 13 in PNAS.eat 2

“Our study underscores that it’s not just what you eat, but also when you eat that greatly influences blood-sugar regulation, and that has important health consequences,” said co-corresponding author Frank Scheer, Harvard Medical School (HMS) associate neuroscientist and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders and Departments of Medicine and Neurology at BWH. “Our findings suggest that the circadian system strongly affects glucose tolerance, independent from the feeding/fasting and sleep/wake cycles.”

Source: Harvard Gazette

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“Temperature training” may be what is missing from your weight-loss plan. New evidence suggests that regular exposure to mildly cold air may help people lose weight by increasing the amount of energy their bodies have to expend to keep their core temperature up, researchers say.

In other words, warm, cozy offices and homes may not be ideal places for those who want to lose weight. In fact, being able to control the ambient temperature might be partly responsible for the rise in obesity rates in industrial societies, said researchers from the Netherlands in a study published last week in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“Since most of us are exposed to indoor conditions 90 percent of the time, it is worth exploring health aspects of ambient temperatures,” said study researcher Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt of Maastricht University Medical Center. “What would it mean if we let our bodies work again to control body temperature?”

The human body withstands the cold by shivering, which produces heat; this provides one explanation for why cold temperatures may promote weight loss. Studies have shown that people expend five times more energy when shivering than when they are resting.

The body uses more energy when the mercury drops for other reasons as well. For example, a type of fat called brown fat, which burns calories rather than storing them, is activated in response to cold. In young and middle-aged people, heat production through brown fat can account for up to 30 percent of the body’s energy budget, the researchers said.

A previous study from researchers in Japan found a decrease in people’s body fat after they spent two hours per day for six weeks in a room with a temperature of 62.6 degrees.

The new study also found that people get used to the cold over time. After spending six hours a day at 59 degrees for 10 days, people in the study not only had more brown fat, the participants also said they felt more comfortable and shivered less when exposed to lower temperatures.

Although a 59-degree room would probably be too cold for most people, it’s possible that room temperatures in the mid-60s would also activate brown fat, the researchers said.

The long-term effects of regular exposure to cold are still unclear and require further investigation, but evidence suggests that training the body to tolerate cooler air may indeed help burn calories, the researchers said.

“Similarly to exercise training, we advocate temperature training,” the researchers said. “More-frequent cold exposure alone will not save the world, but is a serious factor to consider in creating a sustainable environment together with a healthy lifestyle.”

However, exposure to cold weather still poses a risk for hypothermia, loss of electricity and heat, etc. It’s a good reminder that everyone should have an emergency preparedness kit available at all times. At the Presidential Healthcare Center, we provide advice regarding emergency preparedness supplies and can make a Presidential Healthcare Center Emergency Backpack for you if need be.

Source: Washington Post

Adopting a habit of “intermittent fasting” that involves foregoing food every other day may eventually lead to weight loss and improve cognition in heavier patients, researchers reported here. In a single-center, randomized, pilot study, patients who fasted completely every other day lost about the same amount of weight over 2 months as those who didn’t fast at all… But at 6 months, after patients were technically off the intervention, those who had the initial “intermittent fasting” intervention had greater weight loss and greater improvements in cognitive function than those on a standard diet, Donahoo reported… In an earlier paper, Mattson wrote that intermittent fasting is consistent with the way humans evolved to eat. “From an evolutionary perspective, intermittent fasting is normal, and eating 3 meals a day plus snacks is abnormal. Going without food for most of the day or even for several days is a challenge that we are very capable of meeting,” he stated.

Read more at MedPage Today.

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