Archive for the ‘Smart Studies’
There’s more than calories to consider the next time you’re about to commit a midnight snack run with your sweetie. Researchers at Northwestern University found a link between eating during the hours your body thinks it should be sleeping and weight gain. Why does it matter when you munch? The body’s internal clock, aka circadian rhythm, may play a role in metabolism.
“We have found causal evidence that eating during the ‘wrong’ circadian time leads to weight gain in mice,” said lead researcher Deanna Arble, a doctoral candidate in Northwestern University’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology.
“While I do not believe the field is advanced enough to prescribe appropriate eating times for each individual, I believe we can at least say that humans should avoid eating during their normal sleeping phase because this could lead to increased weight gain,” she said.
Mice fed high-fat diets during their normal sleeping hours for six weeks gained 28 percent more weight than mice who chowed down during their normal waking hours. The sleepy eaters’ overall weight gain was also made up of more fat and they were less active than regular eaters. Continue Reading →
A new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that social stress may lead to heart disease by causing the body to deposit more visceral fat in the abdominal cavity and speeding up the buildup of harmful plaque in blood vessels—the perfect storm for the world’s number one killer.
Obesity and heart disease have also been linked to lower socioeconomic status, and Carol A. Shively, Ph.D., a professor of pathology and the study’s principal investigator, says it may be because the fewer resources you have to buffer yourself from the stresses of life (aka bills, long hours at work, hard-to-please bosses, or staying in an unhealthy relationship), the more likely you are to experience these health problems.
But why do they think it’s stress and not just multiple meals off the Dollar Menu? Continue Reading →
Summer is synonymous with BBQs and picnics—and all of the mayo-heavy salads that tend to go with them! But take away the pudge-inducing dressing, and cole slaw, one of the most commonly consumed sides, is actually a nutritional superstar.
That’s because cole slaw’s base is cabbage, a power-packed cruciferous veggie that’s been shown to do everything from protect cells from damaging free radicals to lower the risk of cancer—even better than fruits and other veggies, as the phytonutrients in cruciferous kinds (others include broccoli, cauliflower, and kale), work on a deeper cellular level. In fact, researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that men who had 28 servings of veggies a week had a 35 percent lower chance of developing prostate cancer, but guys who consumed just three or more servings of cruciferous veggies each week had a 44 percent lower risk of developing the disease. And cabbage is also packed with vitamins K, C, and A!
So if you or your BFB loves that BBQ and cole slaw, whip up this guilt-free version. Not only does it taste good, but it’s amazingly good for you, too!
Super-Good, Totally Guilt-Free Cole Slaw
1 14-ounce bag of pre-shredded cole slaw mix (You’ll find it with the bagged lettuce!)
1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free mayo
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 Tsp. horseradish (optional)
1 Tsp. sugar or 1 package stevia, or to taste
2 Tbsp. milk or water
Salt and pepper to taste
Milk all ingredients in large bowl. Serve immediately or chill.
A new survey from Woman’s Day asked 35,000 women to weigh in on whether or not they actually were happy in their happily-ever-after lives. The result? Surprisingly, say study authors, married women weren’t all that blissful. In fact, 52 percent of them said they didn’t think their husband was their soul mate, 72 percent have considered leaving him at some point, more than half were bored in bed or couldn’t even remember the last time they were intimate, and 79 percent wished they were having sex more often. Continue Reading →
If the fear of guzzling down hundreds of sugar-filled calories hasn’t been enough to curb your—or your honey’s—cola consumption, this new study might help you both kick the can (or, um, two-liter bottle) for good. German researchers have linked excessive cola consumption—two or more liters of pop a day—to hypokalemia, a potassium deficiency that can lead to muscle weakness and heart problems. The soft-drink offenders that could cause you to tire out too quickly at the gym? Glucose, fructose (aka, sugar), and caffeine.
But what about non-cola sodas? And does diet soda count, too? I wrote to Dr. Clifford Packer from the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Centre in Ohio (who has also looked at this phenomenon and seen this problem crop up in his own patients) to get his thoughts on why some soda addicts are suffering. Continue Reading →
The Big Fat Truth: Stop treating it like the dirty F-word. Here’s why you need fat to lose weight, improve your mood and boost your immune system
Hey, guys! Check out the story I did for FITNESS magazine, on page 142 of the June issue. I love the magazine and was so thrilled when they asked me to do a story all about … you guessed it, fat! (Fittingly enough, the title is “The Big Fat Truth,” which, after the title of my book, made me laugh! The words “Big Fat” must be magnetically drawn to me, and I couldn’t be happier!)
I had the chance to talk with some amazingly smart women (including Dr. Barbara Roberts, who spoke to us about the differences in guys’ and girls’ hearts back in February!), all of whom cut through the haze of confusion on everything from exactly how much fat you need and why you gotta make sure you get it to why we crave fat and just exactly what all these fact cells we’re carrying around do (and it’s way more than bother you when you’re bathing-suit shopping, I promise! We need these little guys!)
But the story really got me thinking about fat and my own relationship to it, and would love to hear from you guys! How do you view fat? Of course, there is obviously more than one kind: we have dietary fat, the kind in our foods, and then we have the accumulation of extra calories, which ends up stored as fat on our awesome, awe-inspiring bodies (although we don’t always think about them that way, do we?). So tell what you think of one or the other or both! Do you make sure to get your monos?? Have you decided to wear a bikini this summer, flat abs be dammed? Let me know! xoxo - J
A boy that opens your car door and puts the seat down could be more than a rare find—he could be good for your health, too. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that women with a conscientious spouse or romantic partner were healthier than women with partners that lacked social graces.
Highly conscientious people are more organized and responsible and tend to follow through with their obligations, to be more impulse controlled and to follow rules,” said University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts, who led the study. …
Researchers have known since the early 1990s that people who are more conscientious tend to live longer than those who are less so. They are more likely to exercise, eat nutritious foods and adhere to vitamin or drug regimens, and are less likely to smoke, abuse drugs or take unwarranted risks, all of which may explain their better health. They also tend to have more stable relationships than people with low conscientiousness.
The kick-start of summer is officially here, which means a weekend full of backyard barbecues, days at the beach, and extra nights out at the bar. And although you should embrace every second of your three-day weekend and soak up as much sun as possible (wearing your SPF, of course!), you’ll want to find a happy medium where you can enjoy your vacay but not wind up regretting it. Because not only does warmer weather mean shorter shorts and tiny tank tops, but eating too many calories in one sitting has been shown to disrput matebolism and lead to more binges later, even if you don’t gain weight from your mega meal.
Of course, there are tons of great ways to enjoy your holiday without going overboard! Get out there and take a jog on the beach, go for a hike, toss a baseball with your guy in the backyard, or scorch mega-calories on the dance floor. And if you’re firing up the grill, throw together this super-simple and oh-so-yummy burger recipe. Not only will everyone love it—picky BFBs included!— but you’ll also deliver a shot of heart-healthy fiber in the oats and sneak some goodness into your anti-veggie boy.
Happy summer! Continue Reading →
Sharing a glass of wine instead of bottle at dinner may help keep your honey healthy. A new study published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that men who drank up to a half a glass of wine each day boosted their life expectancy by five years. Though wine drinkers had less risk of dying from coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, a disorder where the blood vessels of the brain stop working correctly due to high blood pressure, wine drinkers weren’t the only ones reaping benefits. The researchers also found that light, long-term alcohol consumption — up to 20 grams a day — of all types extended life by about two years compared to those who drank no alcohol at all.
But don’t think that’s a signal to polish off a six pack. Twenty grams is only about .7 ounces. So, about 1/8 of an 8-ounce wine glass. Which isn’t a lot. But even if you know you’ll never subsist on a few sips, take heart: those who drank more than 20 grams a day still lived longer than non-drinkers. (That said, too much alcohol is obviously dangerous to your health and your waistline, so be smart!)
And if the next time you’re out your guy is deciding between a glass of pinto and a mixed drink, tell him this:
” … men who drank only wine, and less than half a glass of it a day, lived around 2.5 years longer than those who drank beer and spirits, and almost five years longer than those who drank no alcohol at all.”