Over the last decade the word ‘organic’ has changed from being an obscure one to a general buzzword that everybody seeks to smack on their produce. These days you can even find organic food in Walmart, and everywhere people are extolling the benefits of eating ‘organic’, from local farmers to news anchors to foodies.
Yet a recent meta-analysis of hundreds of different studies on the part of Stanford researchers just revealed that on a purely nutrition-related level organic food isn’t superior to conventionally grown food. What does this mean for you, and should you stop buying organic?
The researchers looked at over 200 separate studies on the nutritional value of organic food and concluded that other than phosphorous, organic food is not superior to conventional food. This study was independently funded so that the researchers could not be accused of bias.
A new study released this week in Neurology contains good news for chocolate lovers: research conducted in Sweden has found a positive correlation between men who consume large amounts of chocolate with a reduced tendency toward strokes. While the connection between chocolate and health has been illustrated before by past studies, this new research brings focused attention to the correlation due to the sample size of the men observed and the clear connection between chocolate consumption and reduced risk of stroke.
The numbers are striking: an analysis of the results of the study that involved over 37,000 men and women found that those who consumed the most chocolate had a 17% lower chance of suffering from a stroke, while a meta-analysis raised this figure to 19%. Researchers however were quick to point out that this was simply an ‘observational study’, and that further research will have to be done to conclusively prove the connection.
Your body weight may be normal and yet your risk to die of heart attack may be high. New research shows that it's not just your weight but your body shape (waist-to-hip-ratio) that determines your death risk.
As the obesity rate in the country continues to creep up, with over a third of all adults in the United States classified as obese, there is a tendency to think that being generally obese is the greatest risk to your health and chance of living a long and productive life.
New research presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich however shows that people with big bellies, also known as the ‘metabolic syndrome’ and otherwise normal weight bodies suffer from greater risk of death.
Being overweight is rapidly becoming a problem for most Americans. According the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 33.9% of Americans are obese, while 34.4% of Americans are overweight. That’s an incredible total of 68.3% of Americans who weight more than they should, and a recent study has shown a new health problem associated with mental performance.
While recent focus has been on the effects that excess weight has on the development of diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other problems, this new study brings into focus a whole new set of problems for people who are overweight.
The study was published in Neurology, and followed more than 6,000 people in Britain between the ages of 35 and 55 for over a decade. They consistently took memory tests and had their cognitive skills checked, and people who were obese or had unhealthy metabolic changes were shown to have experienced a faster decline in cognitive skills compared to the other participants in the study.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has long been feared as one of the most insidious and terrible of diseases to contract. Not only does it rob you of your sense of self, your memories and personality, but it has historically been nearly impossible to predict; for many people, it simply manifests late in life, and that uncertainty as to who will contract it or not has only added to the fear its name causes.
This is in part due because for many years Alzheimer’s has withstood our comprehension; we don’t know what causes it, or why it manifests in whom it does. Yet studies are being published providing new insight into the nature of this disease, and promising ever greater awareness of not only what it is, but why it occurs. The latest research suggests that this degenerative brain disease is actually a type of diabetes.
You probably know that diet and exercise are important parts of losing weight. And while sticking to both of these may be difficult, two new studies show that doing one makes the other easier, and gives you a better night’s sleep at the same time.
Exercise Improves Sleep
A recent study by Paul D. Loprinzi and Bradley J. Cardinalat has shown that getting 150 minutes of exercise a week leads to better sleep. This study involving 2,600 men and women showed that just two and a half hours of exercise a week resulted in a sixty five percent improvement in sleep quality. This is important as over a third of Americans have problems falling asleep or feeling tired during the day.
The sixty five percent relates to the decrease in feelings of being overly sleepy during the day for subjects who were physically active. Other benefits of the minimum weekly exercise were decreases in leg cramps while sleeping, and reduced problems concentrating when tired.
An accumulation of fat around the waistline has been shown to increase the risk for chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. Commonly known as belly fat, the fat around the waist differs from the normal layer of subcutaneous fat that protects the body from cold and injury. Belly fat is visceral fat, extending deep into the body and interfering with internal organs.
Research has found that belly fat secretes hormones that may be damaging to the body. When stomach fat is excessive, these secretions can impair cardiovascular functioning, blood glucose balance, and increase estrogen levels in the body.
Sensible Diet and Routine Exercise – Best Way to Reduce Belly Fat
The best way to reduce belly fat is by combing a sensible diet and routine exercise. Making long-term changes in food consumption and activity levels not only reduces belly fat, but also increases one’s overall well-being and stimulates healthy weight loss.
Successful diets are ones that do not lead to a cycle of yo-yo dieting with quick weight loss and eventual weight gain. They are diets that promote slow, steady weight loss. Combining a healthy dieting plan with the following exercises ensures the reduction of unsightly and potentially dangerous belly fat.
The obesity rate among women of childbearing age is increasing right along with the overall obesity rate. It’s estimated that in the United States, 23.6 percent of women between the age of 18 and 44 are obese. One out of every five women who give birth is obese.
Obesity Dangerous for Mother and Child
While there are quite a few nationally advertised diet programs that rely on providing a complete replacement meal plan, it can be difficult for consumers to find reliable data about the safety and effectiveness of many of these plans.
The Health Management Resources Corporation of Boston, MA, recently funded a clinical research study to assess the weight-loss outcomes, behavioral data and associated side effects of two low-energy meal replacement programs.
A new study reveals that weight loss has the ability to improve fatty liver disease.
Saint Louis University researchers discovered that a loss of 9% of body weight can lead to reversal of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is a type of liver disease.