Health News Bites: The real cause of obesity, the link between probiotics & ADHD/Aspergers, & More

Every day I scan through a few of my favorite health news websites. I'm constantly finding articles that I think would be great to share on here. This week I found so many that instead of just writing about one, as I normally do, I'm just doing a mini summary of the news articles. Health Bites

Sugar and Carbs Behind Rise in Obesity, NOT Lack of Exercise

I've always advocated that losing weight, or staying in shape, is 80% diet and 20% exercise. You just cannot outrun, out-exercise, or in any way undo a crappy diet. There are a ton of amazing benefits of exercise that you cannot gain from eating healthy alone (improved cardiovascular system, lower incidences of heart disease and diabetes, etc.) so you still want to get in 30-60 minutes a day 5-6x a week, but keeping your diet on point is really the only way to stay at a optimal weight. Experts sound off in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and specifically say to limit carbs and sugar.

  • The prevalence of diabetes increases 11-fold for every 150 additional sugar calories consumed daily, compared with the equivalent amount of calories consumed as fat
  • Cutting down on dietary carbohydrate is the single most effective approach for reducing all of the features of the metabolic syndrome
  • Rather than carbohydrate loading ahead of intense exercise, athletes would be better off adopting a high fat low carb diet

Strength Training vs. Endurance Training: Which one is better for weight loss?

Short answer: they are both the same. At least in the short-term since the study only followed their participants for 22 weeks.

The research team followed 96 obese subjects (48 men and 48 women) ranging in age from 18 to 50 through a 22-week supervised program. All participants followed a similar reduced-calorie diet. The diet was measured to provide each individual with 30 percent fewer calories than he or she burned each day.

Participants were split into 3 groups: Endurance exercise alone, strength training alone, or a combo of both. All subjects performed their exercise programs three times a week for the same length of time and at the same intensity.

The outcomes for the participants (significant reductions in body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, total fat mass, and a significant increase in lean mass)  were similar for all three groups. I tend to think it's beneficial for ALL people to include strength training in their program as it helps to improve bone density and burn more calories at rest. Cardio is really my anti-anxiety medicine, and strength training helps to give me the physique I prefer. But if you are just looking to lose weight than start off with whatever gets you motivated to workout!

Placebo Effect Can Make Cheap Wine Taste Great

I went through a pretty epic drinking phase in my early 20's but after about 26 I laid off the bottle significantly. In the last few years I drank maybe once every 6-8 weeks. Of course now that I'm pregnant and cannot have any wine I can't wait to have some! This study told participants they were drinking 5 different types of wine ranging from $5-90 while their brains were being scanned by MRI. In reality they were drinking only 3 different wines from 2 price points.

When people drank cheap wine, but were told it was expensive, they rated it highly.

So, grab yourself a $5 bottle off the bottom shelf, but tell yourself you are drinking something that's $25 a glass at your favorite restaurant, and your dumb old brain won't know the difference.

Early Probiotic Intervention in Infants Reduces ADHD & Aspergers Rates

I was shocked by this study mentioned on Marks Daily Apple yesterday. Infants who received Lactobacillus rhamnosus for the first 6 months went on to develop ZERO neuropsychiatric disorders at age 13, compared to 17.1% of infants who did not take the probiotic.

Blown.Away.

Mark recommended that infants get this probiotic into their system via adding probiotic powder to breastmilk in a bottle (after the milk has been heated up), dipping your finger into the powder and letting the infant suck it off, or drinking Kefir (which is loaded with Lactobacillus rhamnosus) while breastfeeding and introduce very small amounts to your baby. I definitely want to do more research on the safety of administering this probiotic to infants in any form, but it's something I'm excited to look into.

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