A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Eating whole fruits linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes

(Harvard School of Public Health) People who ate at least two servings each week of certain whole fruits — particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples — reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 23% in comparison to those who ate less than one serving per month. Conversely, those who consumed one or more servings of fruit juice each day increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 21%. The researchers found that swapping three servings of juice per week for whole fruits would result in a 7% reduction in diabetes risk.
The fruits’ glycemic index (a measure of how rapidly carbohydrates in a food boost blood sugar) did not prove to be a significant factor in determining a fruit’s association with type 2 diabetes risk. However, the high glycemic index of fruit juice — which passes through the digestive system more rapidly than fiber-rich fruit — may explain the positive link between juice consumption and increased diabetes risk.
The researchers theorize that the beneficial effects of certain individual fruits could be the result of a particular component. Previous studies have linked anthocyanins found in berries and grapes to lowered heart attack risk, for example. But more research is necessary to determine which components in the more beneficial fruits influence diabetes risk.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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Catching up on sleep on weekend may help cut diabetes risk

(UPI) For many U.S. adults, sleep of 6 hours a night may increase their risk of diabetes -- not because of weight gain, but insulin resistance, researchers say…
Peter Liu of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute said getting enough sleep each day might do a lot to reduce the risk of diabetes…
Liu said findings suggest people should get enough sleep regularly -- not just on weekends.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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Simple Steps away from Diabetes

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Just taking a short stroll after each meal is all seniors may need to do in order to lower their blood sugar levels and protect against diabetes.
A small study at George Washington University demonstrated that taking 15-minute walks after meals was “significantly more effective” for lowering blood sugar than a longer walk at another time during the day… The researchers reported that the walk most effective at controlling blood sugar was the one taken after the evening meal. The research team explained that the rise in blood sugar normally seen after dinner was “curbed significantly” as soon as the participants started to walk on the treadmill.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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Does being overweight put you at risk for diabetes?

(NIH Senior Health, via email) Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include a family history of the disease, being over age 45, and being overweight. If you are overweight, here are ways to reduce your weight and lower your risk for diabetes.
The information on Diabetes was provided by NIHSeniorHealth and developed by the National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at NIH.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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More Information and Recent Research on Diabetes

(UPI) The heat and humidity of summer -- and even autumn -- require those with diabetes to be cautious because they can become easily dehydrated, an expert says. Marc Kaplan, a medical supply specialist, also said unexpected storms can make it difficult to access adequate supplies… [T]he biggest issue for diabetics is to "have an emergency bag prepped and ready at all times," which should consist of "enough medicine and supplies for several days." In order to create a sustainable bag, Kaplan advises patients to consult their pharmacists for specific storage instructions.
(MedPage Today) Bone strength -- but not bone mineral density -- was negatively associated with insulin resistance, researchers found. Each doubling of insulin resistance scores was significantly associated with a 0.34 to 0.4 standard deviation decrease in composite scores of femoral neck strength relative to load…, according to Preethi Srikanthan, MD, MS, … and colleagues. Insulin resistance scores showed no association with bone mineral density in the femoral neck, they wrote.
(University of Adelaide) Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered that the way the gut "tastes" sweet food may be defective in sufferers of type 2 diabetes, leading to problems with glucose uptake… "When sweet taste receptors in the intestine detect glucose, they trigger a response that may regulate the way glucose is absorbed by the intestine. Our studies show that in diabetes patients, the glucose is absorbed more rapidly and in greater quantities than in healthy adults," Dr [Richard] Young says. "This shows that diabetes is not just a disorder of the pancreas and of insulin - the gut plays a bigger role than researchers have previously considered."
(MedPage Today) Clinicians should use glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) to diagnose diabetes, according to new recommendations in diabetes, prediabetes, and cardiovascular disease from two European societies. The new guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes state that if a patient doesn't have diabetes on the basis of an HbA1c reading, then he or she should be screened with an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
(MedPage Today) The investigational anti-diabetic medication empagliflozin led to significant decreases in plasma glucose and in body weight among patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes, a phase III trial found.
(Stanley Coren, Ph.D., F.R.S.C., Psychology Today) Some new research has been done at the University of Bristol which shows that dogs can be trained to monitor the levels of blood sugar in diabetes patients and they may be more effective than the traditional way of testing blood sugar levels involving drawing blood and obtaining a reading on a handheld monitoring device at intervals during the day.
More . . .


Spinach-Sausage Frittata
This nutritious spinach-sausage frittata makes a wonderfully hearty breakfast or light and healthy supper.
Duck Chiles Rellenos
The days of just stuffing chiles with cheese to make chiles rellenos are over. Case in point: this duck-filled chile relleno recipe with onion, garlic, tomato, green olives, almonds and raisins. If you prefer, this chile relleno recipe also works with chicken instead of duck.
Mediterranean Foods Alliance:
Microwave Egg & Veggie Breakfast Bowl
Don't skip breakfast just because you have to get to class. Toast a slice of whole grain bread while you cook your eggs and you'll be out the door in minutes. 
Tuna Avocado Sub
Tuna is a great source of inexpensive lean protein that you can keep in the pantry for those days when you need a quick lunch or dinner. This sandwich mixes up the usual tuna salad with some new flavors.
Mediterranean Pita Pizza
Be creative in choosing vegetable toppings. Try red, orange or yellow peppers, thinly sliced onions or carrots, artichoke hearts, or left-over veggies from last night's dinner.
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How Olive Oil Benefits Your Heart

(Sharecare.com) How many olive-oil-laden meals does it take before your heart starts to reap the olive oil benefits? It's possible your body will start reaping rewards after a single meal.
In a study of people with high cholesterol, their blood samples showed less clotting potential just 2 hours after eating a breakfast containing phenolic-rich olive oil…
More and more research is showing how diets affect endothelium. Eating just one high-fat meal can inhibit artery function, but by adopting a heart-health diet, eating antioxidant-rich fats, and getting olive oil benefits, you’ll give your endothelial cells a “love pat.” Researchers credit the phenolics in the oil for helping endothelium do its job in making blood less "sticky" (translation: less likely to clot).
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Heirloom Explained

(The Supermarket Guru) Heirloom fruits and vegetables are popping up on store shelves, restaurant menus and even home gardens. So what does it exactly mean to be an heirloom?
An heirloom plant, heirloom variety, or heirloom vegetable, sometimes called a heritage plant, is an old cultivar (some say over 50 years) that is "still maintained by gardeners and farmers particularly in isolated or ethnic communities".  They may have been commonly grown during earlier periods in human history, but are not used in modern large-scale agriculture.
While people have been talking about heirloom vegetables for more than a decade, and heirloom tomatoes are piled high in farmers markets and some supermarkets, they have yet to reach an agreement on exactly what an heirloom variety is. So far, experts in the field agree that heirloom vegetables are old, open-pollinated (meaning they rely on natural pollination from insects or the wind) cultivars. In addition, these varieties also have a reputation for being high quality and easy to grow…
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Arsenic in Rice Poses No Immediate Health Risk, FDA Says

(Bloomberg) Arsenic levels in rice and rice products aren’t high enough to pose a short-term public health risk, the U.S. government said.
Levels of inorganic arsenic in more than 1,300 samples tested were too low to cause immediate health damage, the Food and Drug Administration said on its website today. The analysis will be the crux of future study about the potential dangers of arsenic in rice and related products, the agency said.
Rice is particularly vulnerable to absorbing arsenic, a chemical element, because it’s grown in water. Rice and rice-based products such as cereal and baby foods were selected from retailers and analyzed. The study occurred after consumer advocacy groups raised concern that arsenic in rice threatened the health of consumers.
The FDA said it will continue its investigation, including looking into the potential for long-term health risks.
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The Fast Food Worker Pay Debate

(Los Angeles Times) Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist and co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at UC Berkeley, said it’s unclear whether a minimum wage bump would have enough of a ripple effect to affect consumer wallets. “Many people have assumed that if you increase the minimum wage by X percent, the meal costs will increase by the same percent, and that’s simply not true,” she said. “There are so many other factors at work.”
(The Supermarket Guru) The sooner fast-food workers earn higher salaries, the more compelled franchisees will be to replace them with technology in the kitchen and at the front-end. If they were to suddenly earn $15 per hour and have the right to unionize, as sought in their coast-to-coast strike last Thursday, The Lempert Report believes fewer would keep their jobs-and fast-food production and selling would become more automated.
Community: The very problem with the rise of productivity in the last 20 years is that almost none of the benefit has gone to workers. It has all gone to the very top. Are we really ready to accept poverty in people who work full time?
(The Salt, NPR) Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work… The only way she can make ends meet now, she says, is through food stamps and subsidies for rent and child care.
(UPI) Among all U.S. full-time employees with very low wages, 25 percent work most of their hours on a non-standard schedule 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., researchers say. Maria Enchautegui of the Urban Institute and colleagues conducted an analysis of 2011 Census Bureau data and found the consequences of non-standard work hours -- 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Friday and anytime on weekends -- such as child care and transportation problems, marital conflict, family instability and health stresses, lie heavily on low-income families.
(Reuters Health) In a large new U.S. study, migraine headaches were found to be more likely to happen to people with lower household incomes, but tended to go into remission at the same rate for people at all income levels.
(NBC News) Being poor affects your ability to think, a new study shows. Those coping with severe financial stress don't have the mental bandwidth to deal with all of life’s troubles, a team of researchers reported… "Previous views of poverty have blamed poverty on personal failings, or an environment that is not conducive to success," says Jiaying Zhao, who worked with [Eldar] Shafir on the study. "We're arguing that the lack of financial resources itself can lead to impaired cognitive function. The very condition of not having enough can actually be a cause of poverty,” adds Zhao, now an assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia.
Having to worry about money is a huge distraction, the researchers found. “That means we are unable to focus on other things in life that need our attention," said Zhao.
Community: So keeping us poor is intentional? It keeps us from taking the steps necessary to force our government to work on our behalf, instead of for the very rich?
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DNA 'Cages' May Aid Drug Delivery

(Science Daily) Nanoscale "cages" made from strands of DNA can encapsulate small-molecule drugs and release them in response to a specific stimulus, McGill University researchers report in a new study.
The research … marks a step toward the use of biological nanostructures to deliver drugs to diseased cells in patients. The findings could also open up new possibilities for designing DNA-based nanomaterials.
"This research is important for drug delivery, but also for fundamental structural biology and nanotechnology," says McGill Chemistry professor Hanadi Sleiman, who led the research team.
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Ancient Romans' Color-Changing Goblet Was Feat of Nanotechnology

(Discover Magazine) The Lycurgus Cup is a 1,600-year-old glass chalice housed at the British Museum. Under normal light it’s a washed-out green color—but magically transforms to a blood-red vessel when lit from behind.
This color-change puzzled scientists for decades after the museum acquired the cup in the 1950s, explains Smithsonian Magazine:
The mystery wasn’t solved until 1990, when researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers: They’d impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometers in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt. The exact mixture of the precious metals suggests the Romans knew what they were doing—“an amazing feat,” says one of the researchers, archaeologist Ian Freestone of University College London.
More recently, some researchers speculated that in everyday usage this may have meant that the cup changed color depending on what was put in it. Since the museum probably wouldn’t like you pouring your cereal in the goblet, the researchers instead re-created the cup’s material on a chip.
When they poured solutions of water, oil, sugar and salt onto the surface the colors indeed changed markedly—light green for water and red for oil, for instance—according to research published earlier this year.
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Next Generation Cures Born from the Sea?

(Science Daily) The life that inhabits the world's oceans has almost infinite variety. It remains an untapped source of diversity. "The oceans can be deep or shallow, they can be more or less tidal, and they can include unique environments such as volcanic vents," says Brian McNeil of Strathclyde University in Scotland, UK. "That means that the life that lives there has huge diversity. We have only very limited knowledge of it, and especially of the microbial life forms that are found in the ocean," he adds.
The SeaBioTech project, started in 2012, is intended to close some of these knowledge gaps by looking in the seas and oceans around the globe for life forms with novel properties. The aim is to find raw material for the world's biotechnology industry, with a particular emphasis on antibiotics and other medical compounds.
"Think about marine sponges," says McNeil, who is coordinator for the project. "They are vulnerable to predators and to attack by fungi and bacteria, but they don't seem to suffer much from their attacks. This is partly because they have an internal coating, the biofilm, which contains protective microbial species. We think that these microbes make compounds which deter fungi and bacteria."
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Big Tobacco back in TV viewers' faces as FDA cuts in

(USA Today) Decades after the Marlboro Man strutted his stuff on the nation's airwaves, Big Tobacco is back on TV pitching new nicotine products that look like cigarettes — and some of the ads are in-your-face defiant.
"It's time we take our freedom back," asserts actor Stephen Dorff, oozing machismo as he says "blu e-Cigs" can be smoked "at a basketball game ... in a bar with your friends ... virtually anywhere." Inhaling with swagger, he adds: "Come on, guys, rise from the ashes."
These ads for electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, including new ones with former Playboy model and upcoming co-host of The View Jenny McCarthy, hark back to an era when smoking was en vogue and people could light up on airplanes, in offices and, really, wherever they liked.
These suddenly chic offerings are sparking another round of the tortured tobacco wars. Each of the nation's top three tobacco companies has recently entered the booming, unregulated e-cigarette market (still only a fraction of total tobacco sales.) At the same time, more states are restricting the product, and the U.S. government is expected to announce -- as early as October -- its plan for regulation.
Community: Jenny McCarthy may be responsible for a number of deaths due to her promotion of the discredited notion that children’s vaccinations cause autism, so it’s only fitting that she may be responsible for more deaths due to nicotine addiction.
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Air Pollution Worsened by Climate Change Set to Be More Potent Killer in the 21st Century

(Science Daily) This century, climate change is expected to induce changes in air pollution, exposure to which could increase annual premature deaths by more than 100,000 adults worldwide. Based on the findings from a modelling study published in Springer's journal Climatic Change, lead author Dr. Yuanyuan Fang, formerly at Princeton University and now at the Carnegie Institute for Science at Stanford, urges, in the face of future climate change, stronger emission controls to avoid worsening air pollution and the associated exacerbation of health problems, especially in more populated regions of the world…
Climate change is believed to harm human health in a variety of ways, including through adverse changes in food production, heat stress, sea level rise, increased storm intensity, flooding and droughts, and increased incidence of vector-borne diseases. In addition, climate change indirectly impacts health by influencing concentrations of air pollutants, such as surface ozone and fine particulate matter (smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter), including sulphate, nitrate, fine dust particles and black carbon. These pollutants are linked with increased risks of lung cancer and respiratory, cardiopulmonary, cardiovascular and all-cause deaths.
This study shows that climate change will exacerbate air pollution and associated health risks globally and especially over heavily populated and polluted regions of East Asia, South Asia and North America. The increased health risks are mainly driven by an increase in fine particulate matter under climate change. Weaker cyclones and more stagnation over the northeastern United States under future climate conditions are found likely to increase levels of harmful surface ozone over this region.
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Overdiagnosis. The Danger of Calling People Sick, Who Aren’t

(David Ropeik, Psychology Today) [M]illions of people are being diagnosed with medical conditions that will never cause any symptoms, or death. As [Gilbert] Welch and colleagues argue, overdiagnosis happens for a number of reasons;
-- Advanced new tests and equipment let us find more. Unfortunately those tests have outpaced our understanding of what all those shadows and bumps and test results actually mean for our health. We can see lots more, but don’t yet know the medical ramifications of what we’re looking at.
-- Experts, all of whom care about public health but many of whom also have strong financial incentives, set more stringent numeric thresholds for what officially qualifies as needing treatment, turning millions of asymptomatic people into paying patients.
-- A litigious society is ready to pounce on any health care provider who fails to diagnose anything that can be blamed for subsequent medical problems.
I would add one more factor. Curiously, it’s our relatively good health. We live longer healthier lives than ever, in large part because many major threats have been brought under control. But we are instinctively always on the alert for whatever can do us harm. So with many of the big threats out of the way, we can look at a finer level for smaller signs of possible trouble. Only we now have the ability to look at such a fine level that some of what we find and worry about, won’t turn into trouble at all…
[A]ll that medical intervention costs the health care system trillions of dollars, which raises the costs of health care for you and me and the whole economy.
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Affordable Care Act News

(Reuters) IBM plans to move U.S. retirees off its company-sponsored health plan and shift them into new public insurance exchanges as a way of lowering costs… While some retirees may be skeptical, studies showed that the majority of people have a more positive outlook once they were presented with the concept and understood the options available to them through these exchanges, IBM said.
(Kaiser Health News) Minnesota consumers will be able to buy a health plan for as little as $90.59 per month on MNsure.
(ThinkProgress) Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven, North Carolina serves a population filled with poor Americans. But it will be forced to close because the Tar Heel State refuses to expand Medicaid.
(ThinkProgress) Americans who live below the poverty line make less than $11,200 per year. But in stubborn GOP-led states that refuse to expand Medicaid, 40 percent of them won't have affordable health coverage options under Obamacare.
(ThinkProgress) The Obama administration cajoling reluctant Republican governors who have refused to establish state exchanges or expand their Medicaid programs into accepting a small part of the law, with the hopes that it will put them on the road to full implementation.
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Winging It Is Not an Emergency Plan

(USA.gov Team, via email) Emergencies can occur with no warning. Do you have a supplies kit and a plan of action?
September is National Preparedness Month. Visit Ready.gov for guidance on what to before, during, and after different kinds of natural disasters and other emergencies.
Another action you can take is to join the National Preparedness Community. It's free and open to all. As a member, you'll have access to special preparedness resources and can collaborate with others in your community.
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Gut Bacteria From Thin Humans Can Slim Mice

(New York Times) Researchers found pairs of human twins in which one was obese and the other lean. They transferred gut bacteria from these twins into mice and watched what happened. The mice with bacteria from fat twins grew fat; those that got bacteria from lean twins stayed lean…
Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon of Washington University in St. Louis, the senior investigator for the study, … urged caution. He wants to figure out which bacteria are responsible for the effect so that, eventually, people can be given pure mixtures of bacteria instead of feces. Or, even better, learn what the bacteria produce that induces thinness and give that as a treatment.
While gut bacteria are a new hot topic in medicine, he added that human biology is complex and that obesity in particular has many contributors, including genetics and diet.
In fact, the part of the study that most surprised other experts was an experiment indicating that, with the right diet, it might be possible to change the bacteria in a fat person’s gut so that they promote leanness rather than obesity. The investigators discovered that given a chance, and in the presence of a low-fat diet, bacteria from a lean twin will take over the gut of a mouse that already had bacteria from a fat twin. The fat mouse then loses weight. But the opposite does not happen. No matter what the diet, bacteria from a fat mouse do not take over in a mouse that is thin.
Community: I have to wonder if some of the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery have to do with changes to the intestinal bacteria. Better, to me, that we find ways to create the same effect without the risks of surgery. More about intestinal critters:
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Overweight and Obese Women Can Improve Impulse Control

(Science Daily) Dieters call it willpower; social scientists call it delayed gratification.
It's the ability to delay an immediate reward in favor of a bigger future reward, for example, having a slimmer body in a few months versus the hot fudge sundae now. Previous studies have shown that overweight and obese people have a harder time delaying gratification, so they are more likely to forego the healthy body later on in favor of eating more calorie-dense foods now.
But University at Buffalo research … now shows that behavioral interventions that improve delay of gratification can work just as well with overweight and obese women as with lean women.
"This research is certainly welcome news for people who have struggled to lose weight, because it shows that when people are taught to imagine, or simulate the future, they can improve their ability to delay gratification," says obesity expert, Leonard H. Epstein, PhD…, senior author on the research.
Community: I’ve collected a lot of tips on improving impulse control.
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Your Beliefs About Weight Gain Affect Your Weight

(Art Markman, Ph.D., Psychology Today) [Researchers found] that most people believe that obesity either reflects poor diet or low levels of exercise with a minority of people believing that obesity is largely genetic…
[P]eople who believed that obesity is caused by a lack of exercise were more overweight on average than those who believed that obesity is caused by poor diet. These studies controlled for many other variables that also influence weight gain like stress, use of medications, socioeconomic status, and amount of sleep that people get each night. 
Why are these beliefs related to people’s weight?  Two additional studies suggest that people who believe that obesity is caused by a lack of exercise eat more than those who believe that obesity is caused by poor diet…
The finding that a stronger belief that obesity is caused by poor diet leads to lower BMI is not that surprising, though it is comforting. Presumably, this belief makes people more aware of the relationship between what they are eating and their weight. 
The finding that a stronger belief that obesity is caused by a lack of exercise is related to higher BMI is more surprising. While exercise does matter in controlling weight, it is much harder to burn off calories that you have consumed than it is to overeat. People often overestimate how many calories they burn through exercise.  Thus, they do not internalize the value of a moderate diet in maintaining a healthy weight.
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Lose Weight in Your Kitchen, Not Your Gym

(Yoni Freedhoff, MD, University of Ottawa) The notion that moving more will translate to weight loss is a dangerous one. For individuals, it may effectively discourage exercise when results aren't seen on scales. For the media and entertainment industries, it often leads to the perpetuation of the "people-with-obesity-are-just-lazy" stereotype. For the food industry, it allows an embrace of exercise by means of sponsorship and marketing, which, in turn, helps companies deflect product blame and forestall industry-unfriendly legislation.
And for public policy makers, it makes it challenging to make the case for interventions that increase exercise, as inevitably the outcome hoped for is weight loss, and when outcomes are poor, it becomes more difficult to make the case that the intervention is worthwhile (like P.E. or more recess time in schools, for instance).
We need to unhitch exercise from our weight-management wagons. Breaking it down, figure that your diet is responsible for 80 percent of your weight and fitness – unless you're incredibly active, just 20 percent. If weight's your concern you're much more likely to lose it in your kitchen than you are in your gym. But don't forget, if it's health you're after, you need to do both.
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How To Ditch Your Cravings for Sugar, Salt, and Fats

(Mark Hyman, MD) Here are 10 … tips to get you excited about ditching the sugar, salt, and fats:
1.    Sauté or roast your veggies to bring out their natural sweetness…
2.    Play with herbs like cilantro, parsley, dill, basil, and oregano to add flavor and phytonutrients!...
3.    Healthy fats found in avocado, coconut, and tahini not only increase the flavor of your meal, they also add that creamy, luscious texture found in many rich foods…
4.    Try creating a savory, umami (Japanese for “delicious”) flavor…
5.    Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and even cayenne or chipotle pepper powder are all extremely flavorful additions to a meal. Spices like these excite your taste buds and grab your attention…
6.    Befriend some kitchen must-haves like real vanilla extract or vanilla bean or coconut butter…
7.    For the most flavor, eat seasonally and locally…
8.    Check your hydration. Digestion starts in your mouth with your saliva, which helps us taste all the magnificent flavor in food. If you are dehydrated and not producing enough saliva, you won’t really be able to enjoy your food.
9.    Check your medications. Believe it or not, most medications interfere with the body’s ability to taste and smell…
10.  Got nutrition? Nutrient deficiency is an important cause of improper taste perception. A lack of certain vitamins and minerals can markedly impair your ability to smell and taste food…
For more ways to use your kitchen to take back your health, check out The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook. Get tips and tricks for making healthy and tasty meals. Learn what foods you should eat to boost your metabolism, balance your blood sugar, and lose weight.
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More Weight Loss Tips

(Melanie A. Greenberg, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Stress that goes on for a long period is a triple whammy for weight – it increases our appetites, makes us hold onto the fat, and interferes with our willpower to live a healthy lifestyle. Read about the four major reasons stress leads to weight gain and learn about four great research-based coping strategies you can use to fight back.
(Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, Appetite for Health) In recent years, the principals of mindful meditation have been applied to the field of nutrition and in particular, to the treatment of obesity and eating disorders.  (See Julie’s post about “mindful eating” on this site.) Still, I don’t think that most Americans are aware of how powerful an impact mindful eating can have on everything from weight management to binge eating to the general ‘love-hate’ or uneasy relationships that many people (particularly women) have with food.
By turning our attention inward when we eat (that is, NOT toward the television, computer, phone, or even your fellow dinner guests, we can experience the true nature and pleasure of food.  Mindful eating means being fully awake and aware of the sensations and taste of our food.
(UPI) Those who lose a night's sleep tend to crave burgers, fries and pizza, and changes in brain activity due to lack of sleep may be a cause, U.S. researchers say… The study … found people preferred fast food after the sleepless night, and their sleep-deprived brains showed less capacity "to make good-for-you choices and more I-wanna choices."
(Science Daily) People who were deprived of one night's sleep purchased more calories and grams of food in a mock supermarket on the following day in a new study… Sleep deprivation also led to increased blood levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger, on the following morning; however, there was no correlation between individual ghrelin levels and food purchasing, suggesting that other mechanisms -- such as impulsive decision making -- may be more responsible for increased purchasing.
(Boston Globe) Here are some tips that may help you reduce your intense yen for specific foods: When dieting to lose weight, factor in a 50- to 100-calorie daily or weekly “treat” so you don’t feel deprived. Don’t run yourself ragged. Get an adequate amount of sleep nightly so that you are mentally stronger to make healthier food choices. Avoid hunger between meals… Keep a food record to see whether there is a pattern to your cravings. Keep yourself busy to prevent boredom and look to physical activity to relieve stress or anxiety during your day.
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More Recent Research on Obesity and Weight Loss

(Science Daily) Obesity gene testing does not put people off weight loss and may help to reduce self-blame, according to a new study… Those who struggled with their weight said that the genetic test result was helpful because it removed some of the emotional stress attached to weight control and relieved some of the stigma and self-blame.
(UPI) A U.S. researcher says feeling tired and feeling hungry seem to go together and the chemical 2-AG may be the reason why… [Erin] Hanlon examined the chemical 2-AG, which is part of a system that has a role in enjoyment, such as enjoying eating. She said when people were allowed fewer minutes of sleep, their levels of 2-AG were higher in mid-afternoon -- just in time for the mid-afternoon snack.
(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) The relation between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and body weight remains controversial… We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize the evidence in children and adults… Our systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and RCTs provides evidence that SSB consumption promotes weight gain in children and adults.
(Science Daily) [R]esearchers found that even brief episodes of physical activity that exceed a certain level of intensity can have as positive an effect on weight as does the current recommendation of 10 or more minutes at a time. "What we learned is that for preventing weight gain, the intensity of the activity matters more than duration," says Jessie X. Fan, professor of family and consumer studies at the U. "This new understanding is important because fewer than 5 percent of American adults today achieve the recommended level of physical activity in a week according to the current physical activity guidelines. Knowing that even short bouts of 'brisk' activity can add up to a positive effect is an encouraging message for promoting better health."
Community: Notice that they’re talking about reducing weight gain here, not increasing weight loss.
(Science Daily) A new report … challenges the long-held adage that significant muscle loss is unavoidable when losing weight through exercise and diet. In the report, scientists show that consuming twice the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein while adhering to a diet and exercise plan prevents the loss of muscle mass and promotes fat loss. Tripling the RDA of protein, however, failed to provide additional benefits.
(MedPage Today) Lifestyle changes plus the weight-loss drug orlistat (Xenical) helped women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) shed pounds, leading to metabolic improvements, researchers found… Women with PCOS also saw improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, and markers of insulin resistance, they reported.
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Grilled Scallop Salad
Grill scallops and cucumber for tasty toppings on this summer salad.
Cowboy Beef & Bean Chili
Anything but dainty, this healthy cowboy beef and bean chili recipe is hearty with the addition of mushrooms and beer. To keep the saturated fat low, we use one pound of ground beef and add whole-grain bulgur to boost the volume and fiber in this chili recipe.
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5 Superfoods You Need To Taste This September

(Huffington Post) September is the month we hold onto the last of what summer can offer and get excited for the freshness of fall. The superfoods below will help you savor refreshing warm-weather flavors and look forward to the comforting tastes of autumn. Scroll through for creative ideas to prepare these in-season foods -- and some really smart reasons why you'll want to.
Sweet Potatoes…
Lima Beans
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Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China? It'll Soon Be Hard To Know

(The Salt, NPR) Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.
For starters, just four Chinese processing plants will be allowed to export cooked chicken products to the U.S., as first reported by Politico. The plants in question passed USDA inspection in March. Initially, these processors will only be allowed to export chicken products made from birds that were raised in the U.S. and Canada. Because of that, the poultry processors won't be required to have a USDA inspector on site, as The New York Times notes, adding:
"And because the poultry will be processed, it will not require country-of-origin labeling. Nor will consumers eating chicken noodle soup from a can or chicken nuggets in a fast-food restaurant know if the chicken came from Chinese processing plants."
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