xanthohumol hops beer diabetes obesity hypertension cancer

Attention Beer Drinkers: Compound found in Hops lowers cholesterol, blood sugar and weight gain

If you’re a health & fitness nerd like myself, you already know that metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, high serum triglycerides and/or low HDL cholesterol) is fast becoming the #1 health concern around the globe.

img_img_9781587798054_metabolic_syndrome_chartIf you’re a beer lover, you already know that one of the main ingredients in beer is hops.

hops20cones20for20beer20production_0

What you may not know is that, a recent study at Oregon State University has identified specific intake levels of xanthohumol, a natural flavonoid found in hops, significantly improved some of the underlying markers of metabolic syndrome in laboratory animals and also reduced weight gain.

Unfortunately for the beer drinkers out there, while xanthohumol is found in beer, it would take 3,500 pints per day for a 70 kg /  human to get enough xanthohumol as was used in the study.

And I’m pretty sure that the calories found in 3,500 pints of beer would counteract all of the health benefits of the xanthohumol.

big-belly-means-inflammation

What is Xanthohumol and how does it work?

  • Xanthohumol is a natural flavonoid found in hops and beer.
  • As it pertains to metabolic syndrome, xanthohumol has been shown to decrease levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), lower insulin levels and reduce levels of IL-6, a biomarker of systemic inflammation.
  • And if that wasn’t enough, there is research hinting that xanthohumol may be a potent anti-cancer agent.

How cool is that…a substance, found naturally in beer, may turn out to be a potent (and inexpensive) way to prevent obesity, prevent type 2 diabetes, prevent hypertension, prevent cholesterol jammed arteries…and prevent obesity.

26481606576_c6e17ce2d5_b

What does this research mean to me…right NOW????

Not a whole heck of a lot.

  • On one hand, you can go online and buy xanthohumol supplements.
  • On the other hand, all of the research conducted on xanthohumol has been done on animals – no human studies. As a result, we have no idea of effective dosage and SAFETY.

My advice?  Stay tuned for more research.

Reference

Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

button subscribe

Obesity in Canada

Yesterday, the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology released their report on the state of obesity in Canada.

Included in that report is a series of 21 recommendations.

As a health/fitness/politics junkie, this report is like catnip to me, so I was pretty eager to get my grubby little paws on a copy.

Let’s take a look inside….

obesity in canada

The Cost of Obesity in Canada

The committee’s findings show the vast scope of this epidemic:

  • Each year 48,000 to 66,000 Canadians die from conditions linked to excess weight;
  • Nearly two thirds of adults and one third of children are obese or overweight; and
  • Obesity costs Canada between $4.6 billion and $7.1 billion annually in health care and lost productivity

In short: Canada’s obesity problem is way too big to be ignored

How did this happen???

1. Nutrition

In terms of eating habits, the committee was told that since the 1980s, Canadians have decreased their intake of high fat foods and increased intakes of fruits and vegetables, as recommended by the food guide. However, consumption of processed, ready-to-eat and snack foods have shown the largest increase over this period.

Over this period of time (80s – present), a review of Canada’s food guide reveals that Canadians have been told to switch…

  • from a diet of a modest number of daily servings reflecting a balance of whole foods
  • to a low fat diet that permits significantly more servings per day, a large proportion of which should be grain products, or carbohydrates.

The committee was told that, as a result, the food guide may be recommending a diet that is nutritionally insufficient with respect to vitamins D and E, potassium and choline and that only by eating artificially fortified and highly-processed cereals can the diet provide adequate levels of calcium, iron and vitamin B12

  • According to 2012 data only 40% of Canadians are eating even the lower recommended number of fruit and vegetables per day, 5 servings.
  • The food guide recommends that adults should be consuming closer to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

At the same time, Manuel Arango, of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, indicated that as much as 62% of the Canadian diet can be categorized as highly-processed, a percentage that has been rising in recent decades at the expense of whole foods.

As a consequence of the increased intake of highly processed foods, sugar consumption has increased dramatically from 4 pounds annually per person 200 years ago to 151 pounds annually per person today.

The overwhelming consensus among witnesses with respect to food consumption trends was that the consequence of Health Canada’s evolving food guide and the increasing variety and availability of processed and ready-to-eat foods has been a pronounced decrease in consumption of whole foods and alarming increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods.

As a result, Canadians are eating too much calorie-rich and nutrient-poor food.

In short: Canadians eat too much processed food and not enough real food. 

2. Physical Activity (or lack thereof)

Regarding physical activity, the committee heard that the participation rate in organized sport among Canadians has not declined in recent decades, and may have increased. However, several witnesses emphasized that although participation in such activities is encouraged, it does not by itself ensure that Canadians, especially children, are getting sufficient exercise.

They described how many of these activities include a significant amount of sedentary time and that they tend to lead people into thinking that they are doing more than enough to be considered as being physically active. Members heard, for example, sports such as hockey, soccer or basketball include a lot of instruction time outside of games, and a lot of bench time during games, when participants are idle.

More importantly, several witnesses suggested that it is the decline in active, free play among children and a decline in the activities of daily living among adults that have primarily contributed to an overall decrease in physical activity.

In 2011 the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology  developed separate, evidence-based physical activity guidelines for four age-groups; children, adolescents, adults and seniors.

The physical activity guidelines recommend:

  • 180 minutes per day for toddlers and pre-schoolers,
  • 60 minutes a day for children and youth up to 17 years of age,
  • 150 minutes per week for adults aged 18-64 years including some bone and muscle strengthening exercises,
  • and similar guidance for seniors over 65 years with exercises aimed at improving balance and reducing the risk of falls.

In addition the guidelines recommend that:

  • children under four not be sedentary for more than one hour at a time.
  • Children and youth are advised to limit screen time to no more than two hours per day while limiting sedentary behaviour, indoor activities and motorized transport.

Unfortunately, a minority of Canadians are meeting these goals.

Although 50% of Canadians believe they meet the physical activity guidelines when asked, in fact, when objectively measured, only 15% of adults are actually getting the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

On average, Canadian adults obtain only 12 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day.

Similarly, children and youth are largely failing to meet the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise. According to Elio Antunes, President of ParticipACTION, less than 9% of children and youth are sufficiently active, and the proportion of active kids decreases with age.

The committee was told that only 7% of 5-11 years olds meet the physical activity guidelines and this proportion drops to only 4% for adolescents.

With respect to the sedentary guidelines, the committee heard that less than 15% of 3-4 year olds and only 24% of 5-17 year olds are meeting the recommendations.

In fact, members were told that children and youth are spending 38 to 42 hours per week in front of television, desktops, laptops, ipads and smartphones.

In short:  While we think we have increased our rates of physical activity via structured exercise (sports leagues, gym memberships, personal trainers, etc), we haven’t….our rates of daily physical activity continue to drop while our rates of sitting on our butts staring at screens have continued to rise.

To make it even worse, we are setting up our kids to be even lazier than we are.

So….what are we going to do about it???

In the discussions of what we can do to reverse the trend of obesity in Canada, participants kept coming back to Canada’s anti-smoking strategy.

Despite the obvious distinction that smoking is a completely unnecessary practice while eating is essential, witnesses noted several lessons that we have learned from the anti-smoking campaign:

  1. the anti-smoking strategy employed several different approaches implemented by different levels of government.
  2. the evidence-base of the negative health consequences had to be elucidated and presented clearly to Canadians.
  3. the strategy had to bring about a societal change in terms of how smoking was viewed.
  4. the change in behaviour would take time.
  5. the strategy would not be popular with the industry.
  6. and finally, the federal government provided the leadership for a pan-Canadian approach.

In their comparison of the anti-smoking strategy to any anti-obesity strategy, witnesses continued to emphasize the need for a comprehensive, health-in-all-policies, whole-of-society approach.

The committee was told that policies, wherever possible, should encourage or facilitate the pursuit of healthy lifestyles. In this regard, witnesses suggested that a health lens, should be applied to a range of policy development, across departments and across all levels of government. An effective all-of government platform would encourage the development of provincial and regional initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles. As such, the committee would like to see the federal government take aggressive measures to help Canadians achieve and maintain healthy weights.

In short:  While Canada’s successful anti-smoking strategy can serve as an effective model, we have to remember that obesity is a much more complex problem and as such requires a more comprehensive solution.

In that spirit, the “Obesity in Canada” Committee has come up with 21 suggestions for reversing Canada’s obesity problem.

Here’s the list….

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that the federal government, in partnership with the provinces and territories and in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, create and implement a National Campaign to Combat Obesity which includes goals, timelines and annual progress reports.

@healthhabits says:  This is exactly the kind of thing government should be good at. Bringing all sorts of disparate stakeholders together to work together towards a common goal. IMHO, this is a necessary step.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that the federal government:

  • Immediately conduct a thorough assessment of the prohibition on advertising food to children in Quebec; and,
  • Design and implement a prohibition on the advertising of foods and beverages to children based on that assessment.

@healthhabits says:  Quebec has had a prohibition on the advertising of all food and beverages to children under the age of 13 under its Consumer Protection Act11 for many years. Studying the effectiveness of this program to determine if it should be rolled out nationwide makes sense to me.

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends that the federal government:

  • Assess the options for taxation levers with a view to implementing a new tax on sugar-sweetened as well as artificially-sweetened beverages; and,
  • Conduct a study, and report back to this committee by December 2016, on potential means of increasing the affordability of healthy foods including, but not limited to, the role of marketing boards, food subsidies and the removal or reduction of existing taxes.

@healthhabits says:  Skip the study and just go ahead and slap a tax on sugar-sweetened as well as artificially-sweetened beverages AND take ALL of that money and use it to subsidize un-processed (aka real) food

Recommendation 4

The committee further recommends that the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada immediately:

  • Address the recommendations made by the Auditor General with respect to the Nutrition North program and report back to this committee on its progress by December 2016

@healthhabits says:  Northern communities are much worse off in terms of overall nutrition and the cost of nutritious food in particular. Canada’s north is one giant food desert. As such, it may require special (aka expensive) intervention.

Recommendation 5

The committee further recommends that the federal government conduct assessments of the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, the Working Income Tax Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit with a view to determining how fiscal measures could be used to help Canadians of lower socio-economic status, including our Aboriginal population, choose healthy lifestyle options.

@healthhabits says:  Skip the assessment, ditch the tax credits. They are designed to reward the well off & ignore the poor…which is just plain stupid as the poor are the ones driving Canada’s obesity epidemic. If we want to save healthcare & improve economic productivity, any physical activity incentives need to be directed primarily at the poor & secondarily at more affluent Canadians.

Recommendation 6

The committee recommends that the Minister of Health immediately undertake a complete revision of Canada’s food guide in order that it better reflect the current state of scientific evidence. The revised food guide must:

  • Be evidence-based;
  • Apply meal-based rather than nutrient-based principles;
  • Effectively and prominently describe the benefits of fresh, whole foods compared to refined grains, ready-to-eat meals and processed foods; and,
  • Make strong statements about restricting consumption of highly processed foods.

@healthhabits says:  All of these four recommendations sound great. 

Recommendation 7

The committee further recommends that the Minister of Health revise the food guide on the guidance of an advisory body which:

  • Comprises experts in relevant areas of study, including but not limited to nutrition, medicine, metabolism, biochemistry, and biology; and,
  • Does not include representatives of the food or agriculture industries.

@healthhabits says:  Agree 100%. Economic bias should not be allowed in Canada’s Food Guide…even if food lobbyists support an MPs re-election campaign.

Recommendation 8

The committee therefore recommends that the Minister of Health prohibit the use of partially hydrogenated oils, to minimize trans fat content in food, unless specifically permitted by regulation.

@healthhabits says:  Agree 100%

Recommendation 9

The committee further recommends that the Minister of Health:

  • Reassess the daily value applied to total carbohydrates based on emerging evidence regarding dietary fat and the fat promoting nature of carbohydrates;
  • Ensure that the regulatory proposals for serving size have addressed all of the concerns raised by stakeholders during public consultation, and,
  • Require that the daily intake value for protein be included in the Nutrition Facts table.

@healthhabits says:  Every few years, nutrition experts flip-flop their positions on the relative healthfullness of the different macronutrients. One decade, we are supposed to avoid fat…then it’s carbs…then it’s “too much” protein, then we’re back to fats…and so on…

My suggestion is to avoid making blanket statements on the healthfullness (or lack thereof) of any macronutrient.

There is nothing wrong with eating fat or carbs or protein.

The problems start when people:

  • start eating excessive quantities of overall calories
  • demonize a single macronutrient and replace it with a highly-processed substitution
  • choose poor quality highly-processed food over real food – fruit, veg, seeds, meat, etc.

With all of this said, I think that the consumer needs as much info about the quality of the food they are eating AND the gov’t can help them by requiring a total nutritional profile of every food product be made available on the company’s website

Recommendation 10

The committee further recommends that the Minister of Health assess whether sugar and starch should be combined under the heading of total carbohydrate within the Nutrition Facts table and report back to this committee by December 2016.

@healthhabits says:  Give us sugar totals, starch totals AND total carb totals.

Recommendation 11

The committee therefore recommends that the Minister of Health implement strict limits on the use of permitted health claims and nutrient content claims based on a measure of a food’s energy density relative to its total nutrient content.

@healthhabits says:  Agree 100%. I would also require any nutritional claims require scientific proof. Links to that science should be available from the products page on the company website. Make a claim…back it up.

Recommendation 12

The committee therefore recommends that the Minister of Health:

  • Immediately undertake a review of front-of-package labelling approaches that have been developed in other jurisdictions and identify the most effective one;
  • Report back to this committee on the results of the review by December 2016;
  • Amend the food regulations to mandate the use of the identified front-of-package approach on those foods that are required to display a Nutrition Facts table; and,
  • Encourage the use of this labelling scheme by food retailers and food service establishments on items not required to display a Nutrition Facts table.

@healthhabits says:  If you sell food in a package, you should be required to have a Nutrition Facts table as part of the packaging. As well, a website url pointing to a page with more complete nutrition info about the product should be included as well.

Recommendation 13

The committee therefore recommends that the Minister of Health encourage nutrition labelling on menus and menu boards in food service establishments.

@healthhabits says:  This is a little vague. How about something more specific like…calories, macronutrients, allergens listed in small print on the menu AND a more thorough nutritional analysis for each item on a separate booklet…and on their website as well.

Recommendation 14

The committee therefore recommends that the federal government increase funding to ParticipACTION to a level sufficient for the organization to:

  • Proceed with Active Canada 20/20; and
  • Become the national voice for Canada’s physical activity messaging.

@healthhabits says:  Based upon what I have seen from ParticipACTION in the past few years, I am not sure if giving them more money is the best idea. 

It may be simpler and more effective for Health Canada to hire the same PR flacks that put together Canada’s anti-smoking campaign and get them to focus on a “exercise more : play more : move more” style of message.

I’m not sure why we need ParticipACTION’s added layer of bureaucracy.

Why not…

  • hold a public contest for ad/pr/marketing firms to come up with their best message to get Canadian’s active again
  • have Canadians vote via the contest’s website/FB page/Twitter/etc
  • award the winner the contract
  • promote the heck out of the programs via internet, tv, radio and print.

And while we’re at it, why don’t we throw out a request to Canadian celebrities & athletes asking them to donate their time to film some short PSAs to add to the Health Canada Youtube channel.

Of course, I could be completely wrong about the fine folks who work for ParticipACTION. They may have exactly the kind of expertise to organize the kind of program needed to get Canadians active again.

Recommendation 15

The committee further recommends that the Minister of Health and the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities together use the recently established National Health and Fitness Day to promote the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.

@healthhabits says:  I didn’t even know there was a National Health & Fitness Day. I guess that’s why they need the promotion.

Recommendation 16

The committee further recommends that the Public Health Agency of Canada provide sustained or bridged funding for pilot projects that have been assessed as effective.

@healthhabits says:  Hmmmmmmm who’s making the assessments? And what happens when they haven’t be PROVEN effective after a year or two of government $$$$ in their bank accounts?

Recommendation 17

The committee further recommends that the Minister of Health in discussion with provincial and territorial counterparts as well as non-governmental organizations already engaged in these initiatives:

  • Encourage improved training for physicians regarding diet and physical activity; • Promote the use of physician counselling, including the use of prescriptions for exercise;
  • Bridge the gap between exercise professionals and the medical community by preparing and promoting qualified exercise professionals as a valuable part of the healthcare system and healthcare team;
  • Address vulnerable populations, such as Canadians of lower socio-economic status including Canada’s Aboriginal population, and pregnant women;
  • Advocate for childcare facility and school programs related to breakfast and lunch programs, improved physical education, physical activity and nutrition literacy courses; and,
  • Engage provincial governments in discussions about infrastructure requirements for communities that encourage active transportation and active play.

@healthhabits says:  All of the suggestions sound great…and yet they are couched in the kind of government bureaucracy speak that makes me lose all confidence. Can we please get a little less talk about what we want to do and a little more talk about how we’re going to do it!!!

Recommendation 18

The committee further recommends that the federal government provide funding under the New Building Canada Fund to communities for infrastructure that enables, facilitates and encourages an active lifestyle, both indoors and outdoors.

@healthhabits says:  If that means more walking paths, more bike paths and more walkable neighbourhoods…I am on board. If that means funding for arenas & pools…I have to disagree. We need to keep a focus on the cost : benefit ratio. Tax dollars don’t grow on trees.

Recommendation 19

The committee therefore recommends that the Public Health Agency of Canada implement a strategy to increase the visibility, uptake and use of the Best Practices Portal by stakeholders across the country.

@healthhabits says:  Never heard of the Best Practices Portal. At first glance, it seems a little meh, but the idea is solid. Give Canada’s docs a dedicated site to source info on reducing obesity & related diseases seems like a great idea.

Recommendation 20

The committee therefore recommends that Health Canada design and implement a public awareness campaign on healthy eating based on tested, simple messaging. These messages should relate to, but not be limited to:

  • Most of the healthiest food doesn’t require a label;
  • Meal preparation and enjoyment;
  • Reduced consumption of processed foods; and,
  • The link between poor diet and chronic disease.

@healthhabits says:  See my comments on funding ParticipACTION above. We don’t need multiple groups coming up with different public awareness campaigns. Have a contest, using the Canadian people as judges, ask Canadian celebrities & athletes for assistance

As well, bring back Home Ec in school.

Recommendation 21

The committee further recommends that Health Canada and other relevant departments and agencies, together with existing expertise and trusted organizations, implement a comprehensive public awareness campaign on healthy active lifestyles.

@healthhabits says:  See above….physical activity, diet and healthy active lifestyles should all be promoted AT THE SAME TIME.

 

What do you think???

Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook if you want to discuss.

canada is the worlds fittest country

Reference

Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

button subscribe

 

Research Proves Junk Food Advertising Causes Childhood Obesity

Back in the “olden days”, tobacco companies created marketing campaigns like this…

children_49

…and this…

young_35

…and this…

young_07

…in an attempt to make their product seem healthy, family-friendly and to CAPTURE THE YOUTH MARKET.

Because they knew that:

  1. Kids are more susceptible to marketing than adults
  2. People who start smoking as kids are likely to be life-long smokers
  3. Targeting children is the most effective business strategy

“Younger adults are the only sources of replacement smokers” – RJ Reynolds, 1984

“Today’s teenager is tomorrow’s potential regular customer, and the overwhelming majority of smokers first begin to smoke while still in their teens… The smoking patterns of teenagers are particularly important to Philip Morris.” – Philip Morris 1981

“The ability to attract new smokers and develop them into a young adult franchise is key to brand development.” – 1999 Philip Morris report

“They got lips? We want them.” – Reply of an RJ Reynolds representative when asked the age of the kids they were targeting

But of course, that happened way back in the olden days, before we got smart and told tobacco companies to stop giving our kids cancer. Nowadays, we would never let an industry knowingly make profits by making our kids sick….would we?

fat-kid-eating-chips-watching-tv

According to this meta-analysis of all of the available scientific research, we know for a fact that unhealthy food advertising does increase unhealthy food intake in children…but not in adults.

And IMHO, that’s because children are children and lack the awareness & experience to resist the siren call of Madison Ave mind control.

According to lead researcher Dr Emma Boyland : “Through our analysis of these published studies I have shown that food advertising doesn’t just affect brand preference – it drives consumption. Given that almost all children in Westernised societies are exposed to large amounts of unhealthy food advertising on a daily basis this is a real concern.

“Small, but cumulative increases in energy intake have resulted in the current global childhood obesity epidemic and food marketing plays a critical role in this. We have also shown that the effects are not confined to TV advertising; online marketing by food and beverage brands is now well established and has a similar impact.

“On the basis of these findings, recommendations for enacting environmental strategies and policy options to reduce children’s exposure to food advertising are evidence-based and warranted.”

And just in case anyone is confused about the health effects of childhood obesity, here’s what the CDC has to say:

Health Effects of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being.

Immediate health effects:

  • Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Obese adolescents are more likely to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes.
  • Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.

Long-term health effects:

  • Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.6  One study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults.
  • Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

What does this mean to you?

 

  • Advertisers used to market tobacco to children
  • When enough parents were convinced that tobacco was bad for their kids, they demanded (via gov’t) that advertising tobacco to kids be stopped immediately.
  • Today, advertisers market processed junk food to children
  • Some of us (me, you, World Health Organization, CDC, American Psychological Association, etc) are convinced that (1) processed junk food is bad for our kids and (2) our kids are susceptible to junk food advertising.

Unfortunately, not enough parents are convinced…and until they are, their kids are at a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer,  osteoarthritis, and many types of cancer including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

What can we do?

Thanks to the wonders of social media & the interweb, all you need to do is share this article on Facebook and Twitter.

All we need is one @KimKardashian retweet and those corporate childhood obesity peddlers are screwed  🙂

Reference

 

Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

button subscribe

Henry Rollins v.s. McDonalds

A lesson in nutrition from an unlikely source – Mr. Henry Rollins

enjoy

Like this article?

Subscribe to @healthhabits and my friends at Mail Chimp will make sure that every time I scribble an article for @healthhabits, it will end up in your email inbox.

In addition to the articles, I will be writing a series of Special Reports this year exclusively for @healthhabits subscribers.

Subscribe now and make sure you don’t miss out.

button subscribe

.

The Secret Behind Your Addiction to Junk Food

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Michael Moss spent four years researching the scientific research that goes into each bag, box or bottle of processed / junk food.

And what he found, should freak you out.

Teams of scientists spending millions of dollars researching bliss points and maximum bite force and sensory specific satiety…all with the aim of keeping you eating ‘food’ that is high in calories, sugar, salt & fat and virtually devoid of actual nutrition.

And they are very, very good at it.

And because…

  1. They are very, very good at their jobs.
  2. Their lobbyists are good at influencing politicians
  3. Government heavily subsidizes their industry
  4. They spend billions on marketing to both adults & children
  5. And most of us are equal parts lazy and uneducated about nutrition

…the sales of ‘real food’ continue to drop while the sales of ‘processed food’ continue to rise.

Also rising are….

  1. The rate of childhood and adult obesity
  2. The rate of type 2 diabetes
  3. The rate of heart disease
  4. The rate of obesity-related cancers
  5. The rate of Alzheimers
  6. Healthcare costs associated with these conditions

Something to think about the next time you go to the supermarket.

You really should buy Salt Sugar Fat. Or at least take it out from the library

Reference

A Plan to Reverse Childhood Obesity

In January 2012, the Ontario Government got serious about childhood obesity and created the multisectoral Healthy Kids Panel …asking them to sketch out a framework designed to help us reduce childhood obesity by 20 per cent within five years.

Here is what they came back with:

1. Start All Kids on the Path to Health

1.1 Educate women of child-bearing age about the impact of their health and weight on their own well-being and on the health and well-being of their children.
1.2 Enhance primary and obstetrical care to include a standard pre-pregnancy health check and wellness visit for women planning a pregnancy and their partners.
1.3 Adopt a standardized prenatal education curriculum and ensure courses are accessible and affordable for all women.
1.4 Support and encourage breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life.
1.5 Leverage well-baby and childhood immunization visits to promote healthy weights and enhance surveillance and early intervention.

the-Healthy-Kids-Strategy

2. Change the Food Environment

2.1 Ban the marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, beverages and snacks to children under age 12.
2.2 Ban point-of-sale promotions and displays of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages in retail settings, beginning with sugar-sweetened beverages.
2.3 Require all restaurants, including fast food outlets and retail grocery stores, to list the calories in each item on their menus and to make this information visible on menu boards.
2.4 Encourage food retailers to adopt transparent, easy-to-understand, standard, objective nutrition rating systems for the products in their stores.
2.5 Support the use of Canada’s Food Guide and the nutrition facts panel.
2.6 Provide incentives for Ontario food growers and producers, food distributors, corporate food retailers, and non-governmental organizations to support community-based food distribution programs.
2.7 Provide incentives for food retailers to develop stores in food deserts.
2.8 Establish a universal school nutrition program for all Ontario publicly funded elementary and secondary schools.
2.9 Establish a universal school nutrition program for First Nations communities.
2.10 Develop a single standard guideline for food and beverages served or sold where children play and learn.

healthy-kids

3. Create Healthy Communities

3.1 Develop a comprehensive healthy kids social marketing program that focuses on healthy eating, active living – including active transportation – mental health and adequate sleep.
3.2 Join EPODE (Ensemble Prévenons l’Obesité des Enfants – Together Let’s Prevent Childhood Obesity) International and adopt a co-ordinated, communitydriven approach to developing healthy communities for kids.
3.3 Make schools hubs for child health and community engagement.
3.4 Create healthy environments for preschool children.
3.5 Develop the knowledge and skills of key professions to support parents in raising healthy kids.
3.6 Speed implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
3.7 Continue to implement the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.
3.8 Ensure families have timely access to specialized obesity programs when needed.

Unfortunately,  Canadian media ignored the entire report, except for the proposed ban on marketing high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, beverages and snacks to children under age 12.

Instead of focusing on the health of our kids, they decided that the real story was the potential restriction of the rights of processed food producers to convince our children to crave ‘food’ that promotes obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Well done Canadian media…I’m looking forward to your next story on childhood obesity and how we have to do something about it.

Jerks.

Reference 

UNCLE SAM EXERCISE health-healthhabits-fitness

Exercise or Die

I know that this sounds like the crazed rant of a wheat-grass swilling fitness-nazi, but hear me out…

In a recent paper published in the Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science, Dr. Joseph Knight crunched all of the available scientific data and came to the conclusion that “inactivity significantly increases the risk of numerous diseases/disorders, including several forms of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, coronary and cerebrovascular diseases, overweight/obesity, and all-cause mortality, among others. Unless there is a reversal of this sedentary lifestyle, the incidence of these diseases/disorders will increase, life expectancy will decrease, and medical costs will continue to rise”.

  • This means that you probably won’t get to retire the South Pacific to live out your golden years, bounce your grand-kids on your knee or grow old and grey with your spouse.
  • And before you die, you will spend years and years dealing with all of the fun stuff associated with cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and morbid obesity.

Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?

But maybe you think this is just speculation…maybe you’re a “show me the facts” kind of person.

Here are some Facts

  • In 2004, the CDC concluded that 300,000 to 400,000 Americans died from poor diet and physical inactivity – that 16% of all deaths.
  • In 2002, the World Health Organization estimated that there are 2,000,000 deaths w0rldwide each year from physical inactivity.

If that isn’t scary enough, we can look at the studies which show that “long-lived species are more efficient in cellular maintenance than short lived species, suggesting that enhancement of the body’s maintenance systems may slow the aging process. Since aging results from the accumulation of cellular damage, interventions in poor lifestyles may prevent damage, promote repair, and thereby increase life expectancy. In fact, about two-thirds of the major causes of death are, to a significant degree, lifestyle related.” And as noted by Mokdad et al, the major “actual causes of death” in the year 2000 were physical inactivity and poor nutrition.

  • Tobacco (435 000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths)
  • Poor diet and physical inactivity (400 000 deaths; 16.6%)
  • Alcohol consumption (85 000 deaths; 3.5%).

Other actual causes of death were microbial agents (75 000), toxic agents (55 000), motor vehicle crashes (43 000), incidents involving firearms (29 000), sexual behaviors (20 000), and illicit use of drugs (17 000).

What does physical inactivity actually do to your body?

According to Dr. Walter Bortz, “our cultural sedentariness, recently acquired, lies at the base of much human ill-being. Physical inactivity predictably leads to deterioration of many body functions. A number of these effects coexist so frequently in our society that they merit inclusion in a specific syndrome, the disuse syndrome. The identifying characteristics of the syndrome are cardiovascular vulnerability, obesity, musculoskeletal fragility, depression and premature aging’.

And since this way-too-easily reproducible syndrome affects the young as well as the old, we can not blame “normal aging” for the onset of the diseases related to the Disuse Syndrome.

And as we know, health care doesn’t come cheap. What do all of these lifestyle diseases cost us?

In 1987, “the direct and indirect costs of sedentary lifestyle to chronic health conditions were reported to be in excess of $150 billion (cost in 2000 dollars for 1987 incidences) (Pratt, Macera & Wang, 2000). As health care costs are $1.3 trillion/year in the US, a rough approximation is that physical inactivity accounts for approximately 15% of the US health care budget.

But it doesn’t have to be this way

The NIH reported in 2009 that…

  1. Exercise improves quality of life
  2. Quality of life improvements are dose dependent on volume of exercise. Small amount of exercise = small improvement to Q of L. Large amount of exercise = large improvement to Q of L.
  3. Q of L improvements were independent to weight loss.

And if that wasn’t enough proof for you, we can look at another pile of research which shows that while quality of life, physical balance, flexibility, mental health, etc naturally decline over the years, being physically active significantly slows down these “natural” signs of aging.

In fact, it has been shown that seniors can significantly reverse the severity of these conditions after taking up an exercise routine.

Conclusion

Thanks to advances in technology, modern humans no longer have to live the physically punishing lives of our ancestors.

  • This is good – it allows us to develop our minds, live longer, live better, etc..
  • Unfortunately, it has also made us sick, fat and lazy.

Your takeaway from this research?

  • Exercise or die.

UNCLE SAM EXERCISE health-healthhabits-fitness

Reference

Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

button subscribe

Is Junk Food Fine in Moderation?

A little while ago, I made the mistake of debating a talk-radio host about the Ontario Medical Association’s proposals to help combat obesity up here in Canada.

The OMA suggests:

  • Increasing taxes on junk food and decreasing tax on healthy foods;
  • Restricting marketing of fatty and sugary foods to children;
  • Placement of graphic warning labels on pop and other high calorie foods with little to no nutritional value;
  • Retail displays of high-sugar, high-fat foods to have information prominently placed advising consumer of the health risks; and
  • Restricting the availability of sugary, low-nutritional value foods in sports and other recreational facilities that are frequented by young people.

Of course, the suggestion of a fat tax caused on-air conservatives to completely freak out.

During our debate over the tax implications of obesity (healthcare costs vs “fat taxes”), Mr. DJ let me know that:

  1. “in moderation” there are no bad foods…
  2. and that since we need food to eat, taxing any foods is ethically wrong.
Death by McMuffin???

Aside from the fact that we have already jumped the ethical hurdle by taxing snack & restaurant foods, I let him know about a new study which showed that within 2 hours of eating a breakfast consisting of two commercially available breakfast McSandwiches -(900 calories and 50 g of fat) – test subjects saw a reduction of arterial blood flow by 15-20%.

Let me repeat: It slowed down the flow of their blood.

And while this doesn’t mean that your blood is going to stop flowing after eating a bag of McMuffins…it does indicate that eating junk food has an immediate & negative effect on your health.

  • And that if you eat like this on a regular basis, you are harming yourself.

Even if a radio DJ disagrees.

Mr. DJ went on to argue that eating junk food provides calories and since we will die without calories, we would all die. Ergo junk food is good for us.

I hung up the phone.

Reference

Stop Heart Disease with HIIT?

  • HIIT workouts are great for fat loss
  • HIIT workouts save your time
  • HIIT workouts are way more fun than slogging away the miles on a treadmill
  • HIIT workouts make you fitter faster

But…they sometimes scare the crap out of newbies….who wonder if such high intensity workouts are going to cause their de-conditioned hearts to explode inside their chest cavities.

And since I am not a cutting-edge cardiologist, I find it best to check with the experts before shooting my mouth off about the awesomeness of HIIT.

Luckily for us, some of the big brains at the Montreal Heart Institute have just published another study extolling the virtues of HIIT workouts for the rehabilitation of their patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction.

In this study, they compared the circulatory (hemodynamic) respones to:

  1. a 8 min HIIT workout
  2. 22 minute moderate-intensity continuous exercise (aka cardio) style of workout

Their findings?

  1. The HIIT workout was well tolerated by the test subjects and produced no significant ventricular arrhythmias and (or) abnormal blood pressure responses
  2. Compared with the cardio workout, the HIIT workout produced a similar circulatory response (blood pressure, stroke volume, etc) to the cardio workout
  3. Both workouts also produced similar C(a-v)O2 responses. This is a measurement of how much oxygen is absorbed from the arteries into the rest of the body.

Their Conclusion

HIIT may be an efficient exercise training modality in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction.

What does this mean to you?

If the leading edge cardio researchers are looking at HIIT as an effective treatment for HEART DISEASE patients, then it might just be good for you too.

Reference

apple

An Apple a Day DOES Keep the Doctor Away

Grandma was right….An apple a day does keep the doctor away.

Here’s how….

Researchers have found that “consumption of one apple a day for four weeks lowered the blood levels of oxidized LDL – (aka the “bad” cholesterol) – by 40 percent”.  And as we know, high LDL numbers leads to hardening of the arteries, heart disease and an early death.

[box type=”note”]Taking capsules containing polyphenols, a type of antioxidant found in apples, had a similar, but not as large, effect.[/box]

“When LDL becomes oxidized, it takes on a form that begins atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries,” said lead researcher Dr. Robert DiSilvestro.”We got a tremendous effect against LDL being oxidized with just one apple a day for four weeks.”

How tremendous???

The difference was similar to that found between people with normal coronary arteries versus those with coronary artery disease.

All by eating an apple a day for four weeks.

[box type=”note”]This study was funded by an apple industry group. This doesn’t invalidate the science but it bears mentioning.[/box]

Study Highlights

  • Dr. DiSilvestro described daily apple consumption as significantly more effective at lowering oxidized LDL than other antioxidants he has studied, including the spice-based compound curcumin, green tea and tomato extract.
  • For this study, the researchers recruited 16 nonsmoking healthy adults between the ages of 40 and 60 who had a history of eating apples less than twice a month and who didn’t take supplements containing polyphenols or other plant-based concentrates.
  • The test subjects ate a large Red or Golden Delicious apple purchased at a Columbus-area grocery store daily for four weeks; 17 took capsules containing 194 milligrams of polyphenols a day for four weeks; and 18 took a placebo containing no polyphenols.
  • Not surprisingly, the placebo group saw no change in oxidized LDL levels

But what about the group that took the polyphenol capsules…

“We think the polyphenols account for a lot of the effect from apples, but we did try to isolate just the polyphenols, using about what you’d get from an apple a day,” DiSilvestro said. “We found the polyphenol extract did register a measurable effect, but not as strong as the straight apple. That could either be because there are other things in the apple that could contribute to the effect, or, in some cases, these bioactive compounds seem to get absorbed better when they’re consumed in foods.”

Conclusions

  1. Apples are good for you.
  2. Polyphenol supplements are good for you…but may require higher doses to match up to Mother Nature’s version.
  3. It’s apple season here in Canada, and I have a basket of Macintoshes sitting on my kitchen table.

Reference

Childhood Obesity: Bruised Feelings v.s. Logic

Childhood obesity is a significant health issue in America and around the world.

Unfortunately for America’s little butterballs, they live in a world where….

  1. Everyone want quick fixes to complex problems
  2. Gov’t & NGOs think that education is the cure-all for obesity & related diseases
  3. Way too many people feel that their bruised feelings trump logic & common sense.

Exhibit #1

Minnesota Blue Cross released the following two videos as part of their ‘Better Example’ anti-obesity campaign. The gist of the videos is that parents need to start setting a better example for their kids by making healthier food choices.

Makes sense to me….parents eat junk food…kids eat junk food…parents eat healthy food…kids eat healthy food…parents are lazy…kids are lazy…parents are physically active…kids are physically active.

Monkey see Monkey do….Unfortunately, not everyone sees it this way.

Some people see this anti-obesity campaign as:

  • A personal attack directed at them

I know no one will ever believe me when I say this, so fine. Whatever. But since, apparently, this isn’t evident even among health professionals churning out ad campaigns, I do not fucking eat chocolate cereal and buckets of ice cream. Here is what I actually do: Pretty much every morning before work I walk 1.1 miles uphill to a coffee shop, which is across the street from the organic co-op where I do all my grocery shopping. I eat normal, human amounts of unprocessed, fresh, largely local foods. I have no mobility problems. I have flawless cholesterol and blood pressure. I never get colds, I have never been hospitalized. I have a great job, I make a good living, I’m in an incredibly happy relationship. Sometimes I eat dessert, sometimes I don’t. I pay taxes. I take care of my family. I do not commit crimes. I’m nice to strangers. In general, I think you could say that I contribute more to the world than I take out of it.

And I’m a fucking epidemic? I’m a problem?

You have the gall to make generalizations about my life because, in your eyes, I superficially resemble a massive, diverse swath of the population whose lives you’ve also deigned to generalize? Whose complex, painful, messy, joyous lives you’ve boiled down to, “Har har too many Cheetos”? Please.

Even if I did eat a bucket of pancake-flavored ice cream for breakfast, burrito ice cream for lunch, and salisbury steak ice cream for dinner (OMPH GROMPH GROMPH), I still shouldn’t have to justify my existence to the world in the way I just did. But the fact that I exist, and I am not the sinister straw-fatty pictured in the above commercial—doesn’t it seem likely that there are other fat people like me out there who also aren’t lying about their lifestyles? And in that case, isn’t this commercial FUCKING USELESS NONSENSE? Congratulations! You guys totally “got serious” and took down not-the-problem-at-all.

Lindy West – Jezebel

  • Systemic prejudice against obese people

There have always been fat people. There are fat people like me, who hardly ever eat any processed foods. There are fat people with glandular issues. There are disabled fat people who would love to exercise but can’t. There are healthy fat people. And sure, there are fat people who—fuck it—just really really like Cheetos. Guess what? Those people are allowed to exist too! There are a million different kinds of fat people in the world because FAT PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE. And kids are people. And if your solution to this “problem” is telling already vulnerable fat kids that they’re an epidemic that’s ruining the world, then fuck you.

Sheeeeesh…what a cry-baby.

She actually makes some cogent arguments about how America’s food production & distribution companies need to accept responsibility for creating an obesogenic marketplace, but she totally blows it by whining about how mean everyone is being to her.

The Facts…as I see ’em

  • Obesity is caused by a mixture of nature & nurture
  • We can’t do anything about nature – your DNA is your DNA – deal with it
  • We can do something about nurture – develop Health Habits
  • The world is full of a-holes who like to insult people based on their obesity, skin color, sexuality, height, lack of hair, abundance of hair, clothing, musical preferences, etc…

Quit acting like a victim, take responsibility for your life and grow a thicker skin

Reference

America’s Great Big Fat Problem…is getting worse

America has a big, big, big problem.

According to the report F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012, “if obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030…

  • 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60 percent,
  • 39 states could have rates above 50 percent,
  • and all 50 states could have rates above 44 percent”.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, this could lead to a 10x increase in the number of “new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension and arthritis between 2010 and 2020—and double again by 2030”.

Obesity could contribute to more than…

  • 6 million cases of type 2 diabetes,
  • 5 million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke,
  • and more than 400,000 cases of cancer in the next two decades.

But maybe you’re like me and take your health/fitness seriously and you don’t need to worry about these health warnings.

Unfortunately, this rise in obesity rates is going to affect you financially.

By 2030, medical costs associated with treating preventable obesity-related diseases are estimated to increase by $48 billion to $66 billion per year in the United States, and the loss in economic productivity could be between $390 billion and $580 billion annually by 2030.

Although the medical cost of adult obesity in the United States is difficult to calculate, current estimates range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year.

This means….

  • Your health insurance rates will increase
  • Social healthcare costs increase
  • Federal & state tax revenues are reduced due to lost productivity

And we all know what happens when government revenues can’t keep up with government spending…

  • Your taxes are increased, and
  • The quality & quantity of government services are decreased

so…what do YOU think…is it time that we did something real about reducing obesity across the board???

Reference

Childhood Obesity is Making Your Kid Stupid

Today’s parents live insanely busy lives.

And this means that sometimes….their kids eat microwave pizza & ice cream while staring at a screen instead of eating of eating a healthy home-cooked meal with the entire family.

Unfortunately, these “sometimes” are quickly becoming “all-the-times” and more and more of our kids are being diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome  – obesity (especially belly fat), insulin resistance, hypertension, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, researchers have discovered that adolescents diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome are not only at higher risk for:

  • heart disease,
  • type 2 diabetes,
  • stroke,
  • kidney disease,
  • and poor blood supply to the legs

They also have:

  • smaller hippocampal volumes,
  • increased brain cerebrospinal fluid,
  • and reductions of microstructural integrity in major white matter tracts

Which results in…

  • impaired mathematics performance
  • impaired spelling performance
  • impaired ability to pay attention
  • impaired mental flexibility
  • and a trend towards lower overall intelligence

And if this isn’t scary enough…

The researchers have no idea if:

  1. these brain abnormalities & cognitive deficiencies will continue to get worse as our kids age,
  2. these brain abnormalities & cognitive deficiencies are reversible with weight loss and reversal of the other Met Syn symptoms.

Conclusion

Childhood obesity is no joke…We are thoroughly screwing up our kids.

Reference

Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

button subscribe

Reduce Blood Pressure & Lose Weight with Green Coffee Bean Extract

Earlier in the year, I wrote an article about the fat burning effects of Green Coffee Bean Extract (GCB).

Since then I have found out a little more about GCB…and it’s all good.

Not only does…

  1. It look like a more effective fat burner than the two pharma fat-burners (Qysmia/Qnexa & Belviq) recently approved by the FDA,
  2. It seems to have a blood pressure lowering effect

And it’s this positive effect on blood pressure that makes Green Coffee Bean Extract unlike any other fat-burner (drug or supplement) on the market today.

And considering that a lot of my clients who come to me for help losing weight also have high blood pressure, I may finally have a supplement that I recommend…even after talking to their doctor.

Here’s some of the science:

And when we combine all that with another 2012 study which showed how GCB  lowered body weight, BMI, percent body fat while producing a small decrease in heart rate (BPM), we end up with a product worthy of significant interest from the medical community

  • Cheap
  • Healthy
  • Effective

Sounds like a great fat burner to me

NOTE: There is more research to be done on GCB. If you are going to experiment with it as a fat burner, I HIGHLY recommend talking with your doctor and paying close attention to how your body responds. Just because the science looks good up to this point, doesn’t mean that they won’t find a problem next year

NOTEYou can buy Green Coffee Bean Extract here.

Reference

Make Insulin Your Friend… and Get Leaner, Stronger & Healthier

Over the next few months I am going to be conducting an experiment about the interaction between nutrition, exercise, blood sugar, insulin, body composition and overall health.

Here’s the plan…

Using a blood glucose monitor (supplied free of charge by Roche Diagnostics), I am going to have one of my clients measure his blood sugar, blood pressure and body composition again and again and again…. and we’re going to see how it reacts to different types of diets and training modalities.

Starting next week, he will begin taking his measurements upon waking, pre-meal, post-meal, pre-workout, post-workout and before bed.

I will track all the data and (fingers crossed), we should generate some pretty interesting data.

We will be testing how his body responds to:

  • a Standard American Diet (aka junk food)
  • a meat & potatoes diet
  • a vegetarian diet
  • a low fat diet
  • a high fat – Atkins style diet
  • a Paleo diet
  • a Mediterranean diet
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Cardio workouts
  • Health Habits workouts…. lots of HIRT
  • Heavy lifting – power bodybuilding style of workout
  • No workouts
If you have any suggestions, leave me a comment.

Iyashi Rock Bathing = Ultimate Relaxation

  • Your life is busy
  • Your life is hectic
  • Your life is stressful

Your life needs the kind of ultra-relaxation that only a Japanese Ganbanyoku (rock bathing) spa can provide.

And lucky for me, Toronto is blessed with an authentic  rock bathing spa – the Iyashi  Bedrock Spa. And on days when I am feeling that life has kicked me around a little bit, I book a rock bathing session and let all of my stress melt away.

What is Rock Bathing?

[box type=”info”]Originating from Thailand, Rock Bathing – uses a special stone, called Black Silica, to heat your body from the inside out. These black silica stones are unique in that they naturally release Far Infrared Rays (FIR) and Negative Ions to help the body perspire and “detoxify” and are found in only one mountain in Hokkaido Japan. Unlike regular saunas, the silica rock beds that you lie on are kept between 42° to 44° C with the humidity at about 60%, providing for a comfortable temperature that is incredibly soothing and relaxing. Other clients have referred to it as being in a “Rain Forest”.[/box]

And while I can’t verify the validity of the health claims associated with Ganbanyoku, I can tell you that you WILL:

  • Sweat a LOT
  • Feel more relaxed than you have ever felt
  • Feel amazing for hours after the session – my skin tingles for a few hours…weird but pleasureable

I have also spoken with other clients who claim that weekly rock bathing sessions have dramatically improved their symptoms of arthritis, allergies and fibromyalgia.

[box type=”info”]Rock Bathing is nothing like a regular sauna or steam bath. One of the first things you will notice is your sweat – you will sweat a LOT – but there is no odour, saltiness or stickiness to it. And if you take the opportunity to stretch or do some yoga poses during your session, you will find that your muscles are unbelievably supple and receptive to stretching.[/box]

Note – As with all my reviews, I only tell you guys about products and services that I completely believe in and would recommend to clients, friends and family. I am a paying client of Iyashi and a huge fan. If you’re in the Toronto area, check out Iyashi. If not, do a google search for Ganbanyoku [your city].

Reference

Childhood Obesity Leads to Heart Disease

Dutch researchers have found that 2/3 of severely obese children (aged 2–18 yrs) have been diagnosed with at least one cardiovascular risk factor:

  • 56% of the kids had hypertension,
  • 14% had high blood glucose,
  • 0.7% had type 2 diabetes,
  • 54% had low HDL-cholesterol

Even scarier….62% of severely obese children aged ≤12 years already had one or more cardiovascular risk factors.

Study Highlights

  • The definition of severe obesity started at a body mass index (BMI) of 20.5 for a 2 year old, at 31 for a 12 year old, and at 35 for an 18 year old.
  • Only one child’s obesity was attributable to medical rather than lifestyle factors.
  • Nearly one in three severely obese children came from one parent families.

Study Conclusion

“The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose in these children is worrying, considering the increasing prevalence worldwide of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents,” write the authors. “Likewise, the high prevalence of hypertension and abnormal lipids may lead to cardiovascular disease in young adulthood,” they add. And they conclude: “Internationally accepted criteria for defining childhood obesity and guidelines for early detection and treatment of severe childhood obesity and underlying ill health are urgently needed.”

My Conclusion

Childhood obesity isn’t cute… and parents who enable it are doing their kids a HUGE disservice. 

 

Reference

Fabulous Fruit Fights Fat

Researchers have found that bioactive compounds (phenolics) found in stone fruits, like peaches, plums and nectarines have the ability to fight-off obesity-related diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study (funded by the California Tree Fruit Agreement, The California Plum Board, the California Grape and Tree Fruit League and the Texas Department of Agriculture), “showed that the compounds in stone fruits could be a weapon against “metabolic syndrome,” in which obesity and inflammation lead to serious health issues.”

peaches-plums-nectarines

 

They found that:

  • Phenolic compounds present in these fruits have anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties in different cell lines and may also reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol LDL which is associated to cardiovascular disease.
  • This mixture of the phenolic compounds work simultaneously within the different components of the disease.
  • Specifically,  the four major phenolic groups – anthocyanins, clorogenic acids, quercetin derivatives and catechins – work on different cells – fat cells, macrophages and vascular endothelial cells. They modulate different expressions of genes and proteins depending on the type of compound.
  • This means that all of them are working simultaneously in different fronts against the components of the disease, including obesity, inflammation, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Cisneros-Zevallos said this is believed to be the first time that “bioactive compounds of a fruit have been shown to potentially work in different fronts against a disease. Each of these stone fruits contain similar phenolic groups but in differing proportions so all of them are a good source of health promoting compounds and may complement each other.”

 Conclusions

  1. Plums, peaches, nectarines are loaded with lots of good stuff
  2. Plums, peaches, nectarines make up an important part of the Paleo Diet
  3. This research is funded by organizations that want you to buy more plums, peaches and nectarines
  4. Just because there is good stuff to be found in these stone fruits, be aware that they are to be enjoyed in moderation as they are also loaded with fructose (aka sugar).

Reference

Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

button subscribe

22 Recommendations for a Healthier Ontario

Earlier today, Cancer Care Ontario and Public Health Ontario released a report detailing 22 recommendations to improve the health of Ontario.

And some Ontarians are losing their minds over some of the “recommendations”

What do you think?

http://2071264.polldaddy.com/s/22-recommendations-for-a-healthier-ontario?iframe=1

Canada's Health Ranking Falls Like a Fat Guy Through an Wicker Chair

Canadians love to talk about their healthcare system.

  • We love to brag about how much better it is than the American system, yet
  • We also love to complain about the long wait times and the imminent bankruptcy of the system.

Lately, it’s been more complaining than bragging.

  • We blame the nurses’ union for being greedy.
  • We blame the hospital bureaucrats for their big salaries and “obvious” incompetence.
  • We blame illegal immigrants and the poor for clogging up the emergency room instead of going to their GP.

We blame. We blame. We blame.

Problem is….we should be blaming ourselves.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, the real problem with the Canadian healthcare system isn’t the system…it’s the Canadian public and their lazy lifestyle that is ruining the healthcare system.

Canada’s 2012 Health Report Card

The Conference Board of Canada takes an annual look at 17 industrialized nations and compares them using 11 different markers of health.

  • In the 1990s, Canada was ranked 4th.
  • Today, Canada has fallen to 10th.

What gives? 

According to the research, while top-ranking countries like Japan, Switzerland & Norway have invested in programs designed to promote a healthy lifestyle, thereby lowering the economic impact of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, depression, dementia, osteoarthritis, and heart disease, Canada has virtually ignored health promotion.

And according to the Conference Board of Canada, “most top-performing countries have achieved better health outcomes through actions on the broader determinants of health such as environmental stewardship and health-promotion programs focusing on changes in lifestyle, including smoking cessation, increased activity, healthier diets, and safer driving habits.

Leading countries also focus on other determinants of health—such as education, early childhood development, income, and social status—to improve health outcomes”.

It’s a novel concept…spend a small amount of money preventing disease instead of spending a large amount of money treating disease.

What now?

The cynic in me believes that nobody is going to pay attention to this report and that the status quo will rule the day.

However, just last week, the federal government announced $4 million in additional federal money for Health Canada’s Healthy Eating Awareness and Education Initiative.  And while $4 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the total spending on healthcare, it’s a start and may represent a shift in government thinking.

Time will tell.

What can we do NOW?

You could write a letter to your MP or MPP or the appropriate federal/provincial Health Minister….and they might send you a nice form letter telling you how they take the health of Canadians seriously…yadda yadda.

Or you could use your Twitter and Facebook accounts to put a little heat under their seats.

  • Canada – Leona Aglukkaq – Federal Minister of Health and Long-Term Care – Facebook – Twitter
  • Alberta – Fred Horne – Minister of Health and Wellness – Facebook – Twitter
  • British Columbia – Michael de Jong – Minister of Health – Facebook – Twitter
  • Manitoba – Jim Rondeau – Minister of Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors – Facebook
  • New Brunswick – Madeline Dubé – Minister of Health – Facebook
  • Newfoundland – Susan Sullivan  – Minister of Health and Community Services – Facebook – Twitter
  • Northwest Territories – Tom Beaulieu – Minister of Health and Social Services  – website
  • Nova Scotia – Maureen MacDonald – Minister of Health and Wellness  – FacebookTwitter
  • Nunavut – Keith Peterson – Minister of Health and Social Services – website
  • Ontario –  Deb Matthews – Minister of Health – Facebook – Twitter
  • Prince Edward Island – Doug Currie – Minister of Health and Wellness – Facebook – Twitter
  • Quebec – Yves Bolduc  – Ministre de la Santé et des Services sociaux – Facebook
  • Saskatchewan – Don McMorris – Minister of Health – Facebook – Twitter
  • Yukon – Minister of Health and Social Services- Facebook – Twitter

NOTE – this problem isn’t unique to Canada. Other countries (like the US of A – #17 of 17) could use with a healthy dose of health promotion.

Stop Sugarcoating Childhood Obesity

The State of Georgia has created an anti-childhood obesity program that has upset various:

  • fat-acceptance groups
  • anti-obesity advocates, and
  • child-protection experts

They’re concerned that the print/tv/online ads used in this campaign will backfire and cause obese kids to face increased bullying and result in lower self-esteem, depression, and even worse eating behaviors…resulting in even greater levels of obesity and decreased levels of overall health.

And they might be right…if these ads were the only tool being used by the people at Strong4Life.

But it isn’t…as explained during this interview on The Today Show

  • Phase 1 is designed to grab attention…which it has done.
  • Phase 1 is designed to help parents understand that childhood obesity has very real consequences upon the health and happiness of their children
  • Phase 1 is NOT about solutions.

The solutions being proposed by Strong4Life come in Phases 2 & 3.

Hopefully they’ll be spending just as much money and receiving just as much media attention on their message of healthy eating and increased physical activity.

The Economics of Obesity

Billions of dollars are spent every year on treating obesity and it’s related health conditions. Unfortunately, only a teeny tiny fraction of that money is spent on OBESITY PREVENTION.

Which is weird considering that obesity is largely a result of poor lifestyle choices.

For example….

  • In Canada, it’s estimated that the cost of obesity (2008 numbers) rose to a staggering $7.1 billion.
  • Based on population data, the province of Ontario’s share of that cost is approximately $2.75 billion
  • And yet, it’s department of Health Promotion & Sport has a total annual budget of $470 million
  • Of which, only $4.3 million is spent on nutrition & healthy eating.

Hmmmmm

  • Obesity cost to Ontario:  $2, 754,8000,000
  • Amount spent by Ontario gov’t to encourage healthy eating:  $4,324,400

Does this make sense to you?

Back in the olden days, my Grandma used to tell me that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. As a six year old, I had no idea what the heck she was talking about.

My guess is that whoever’s paying for these obesity costs still hasn’t figured it out.

.

BTW, it’s us paying the cost

.

Reference

Is Obesity Child Abuse?

An eight year old Cleveland boy was recently taken from his family and placed in foster care after case workers said that his mother wasn’t doing enough to control his weight.

The child in question is over 200 lbs – the average 8 yr old boy is 56 lbs.

Lawyers for the mother argue that the county “overreached” in taking her son, saying the kid’s health is not in imminent danger.

“They are trying to make it seem like I am unfit, like I don’t love my child,” the boy’s mother. “Of course I love him. Of course I want him to lose weight. It’s a lifestyle change, and they are trying to make it seem like I am not embracing that. It is very hard, but I am trying.”

What do you think?

And if you do agree that childhood obesity is child abuse, what do you think that “society” should do about it?

The Ohio state health department estimates more than 12 percent of third-graders statewide are severely obese.

  • Do we take all those severely obese children away from their parents?

What about your neighborhood?

  • Would you be okay with your local children’s aid society taking away 12% of the kids in your neighborhood?
  • And why stop at obesity?

Without crappy parents, we wouldn’t have so many junkies, murderers, rapists, perverts, etc…

Even the best parents screw up their kids in some way.

And as much as it pisses me off to see parents enabling their kid’s obesity, I just don’t see how putting all our severely obese kids into foster homes makes any sense on a large scale.

But that’s just my opinion.

Reference

Lose Weight with PGX

A new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, says that if you consume 5 grams of PGX fibre at the start of a meal, you will lower the Glycemic Index of that meal by 30%.

And that’s good news, because if you lower the Glycemic Index of that meal by 30%, you’re also lowering the resultant insulin production.

And if you believe that fat storage is driven by insulin, that 30% reduction in GI score has also lowered your chances of becoming obese.

What Does This Mean To You?

It means that if you’re going to eat a meal loaded with high glycemic carbs (sugar, starch, etc), you can minimize fat storage by supplementing with some PGX  (or some other viscous polysaccharide) prior to chowing down.

Or you can skip the high glycemic meal altogether and embrace your paleo roots and grill a steak and some veggies on the bbq.

Reference

America's Lifestyle Diseases Cost the Economy over $153 Billion per Year

Lifestyle diseases such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and depression are costing the American economy $153 billion per year in lost productivity.

Based on data collected via the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, researchers concluded that chronic health conditions such as obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression and recurring physical pain resulted in 449,847,652 days missed from work… and an estimated productivity loss of $153,398,049,221 per year.

And it gets worse.

  • This calculation doesn’t include productivity lost when employees show up at work but are less productive because of their poor health.
  • As well, the Gallup people didn’t speak with part-time workers.

Previous research which included these factors found that America’s chronic lifestyle diseases cost the nation up to $1.1 trillion per year.

And that’s a lot of money.

.

Maybe enough money for the government to start throwing some cash into health promotion programs?

.

Reference

 

The Top 9 Potassium Foods

  • Potassium has been shown to lower hypertension.
  • Potassium has been shown to stave off cardiovascular disease
  • It does this by balancing out the harmful effects of high levels of sodium

And considering that 1/3 of us of have hypertension and 103% of us eat too much salt, I decided to put together a list of the most potassium rich foods you can find.

Image from Angie at Food Musings – click on the image for the recipe

Drum roll please…

      1. Potatoes – 1 medium baked potato with skin – 1081 mg
      2. Halibut – 1/2 fillet – 840 mg
      3. Sweet Potatoes – 1 medium baked with skin – 694 mg
      4. Bananas – 1 medium – 422 mg
      5. Milk – 1 cup – 382 mg
      6. Cantaloupes – 1/4 medium – 368 mg
      7. White Beans – 1/4 cup – 297 mg
      8. Tomatoes – 1 medium – 292 mg – Tomato Paste – 1 tbsp – 166 mg – Tomato Sauce – 1/2 cup – 405 mg – Tomato Juice – 1 cup – 556 mg
      9. Oranges – 1 medium – 237 mg – Orange Juice – 1 cup – 496 mg

In choosing these foods, I tried to make it a usable list, with foods that people are fairly likely to buy and in quantities that actually make sense.

For example, the top 3 potassium foods as listed by the USDA are as follows:

      1. Tomato products, canned, paste, without salt added -1 cup – 2657 mg potassium
      2. Orange juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, undiluted – 6-fl-oz can – 1436 mg potassium
      3. Beet greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt – 1 cup – 130 mg potassium
From this list, tomato paste looks like an amazing source of potassium…until you realize that the tested portion size was 1 cup.
.
What are the odds you’re going to eat 1 cup of tomato paste for dinner tonight?
.
But a nice plate of pan-fried halibut with some mashed potatoes and a glass of tomato juice (Bloody Mary) might be do-able.
.

Reference

    • USDA – Top Potassium Foods

Are Natural Trans Fats Good For You?

According to this study, America’s health experts may be completely wrong about natural trans fats.

A review of the scientific literature has shown that trans fats from ruminant animals such as dairy and beef cattle may have significant positive health effects.

That’s right…natural trans fats may actually be good for you.

the american heart association loves red meat

The Science

During a review of the current epidemiological and clinical studies into the health effects of trans fats, researchers from Metabolic and Cardiovascular Diseases Laboratory at the University of Alberta found that naturally occurring trans fats have a different fatty acid profile than industrial vegetable based trans fats.

They concluded that this difference in fatty acid profile contributes to its different (ie healthier) physiological effects.

They found that while industrially produced trans fats do indeed show a strong link to coronary heart disease, the same can’t be said for natural trans fat consumption.

However….before all my Paleo and low-carb cousins get too excited, this is just the beginning of the research process.

Clinical studies investigating the cause and effect relationship between industrial and natural trans fats and their effect on our health are essentially non-existent. And who knows when they’ll get around to looking at the difference between factory-farm beef and old-school grass-fed beef.

Either way, the research is promising and gave me a warm feeling in my tummy as I ate my steak & egg breakfast this morning.

.


Reference

Is High Intensity Exercise the Fountain of Youth?

In a study presented today at European Society of Cardiology Congress, researchers have made a bold claim.

If you want to live a nice long healthy life, the intensity of your workout is more important than the duration.

During their research, they found that men who cycled with fast intensity survived 5.3 years longer than slow cyclists. Average intensity male cyclists survived 2.9 years longer than the slow cyclists.

For women, the averages dropped to 3.9 years for fast cyclists and 2.2 for average speed cyclists.

For both sexes, these numbers were even more pronounced for coronary heart disease mortality.

According to Dr. Peter Schnor, “this study suggests that a greater part of the daily physical activity in leisure time should be vigorous, based on the individuals own perception of intensity”. And it’s not just cycling. Dr. Schnor has published similar results for all-cause mortality in relation to walking.

So there you go….another great reason to cut back on mindless treadmill workouts and embrace my  HIIT and HIRT workouts.

Reference

Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

button subscribe

Fiber + Exercise Melts Away Visceral Fat

In a study published in the journal Obesity, researchers found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, visceral fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years.

They also found that an increase in moderate activity resulted in a 7.4 percent decrease in the rate of visceral fat accumulation over the same time period.

Why Should You Care?

“We know that a higher rate of visceral fat is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes and fatty liver disease,” said Kristen Hairston, M.D., lead researcher on the study.

And since you probably are not interested in having high blood pressure, diabetes and fatty liver disease, you may want to figure out how to increase your physical activity and soluble fiber consumption.

FYI – 10 grams of soluble fiber can be achieved by eating:

  • two small apples,
  • one cup of green peas
  • one-half cup of pinto beans
  • 3 tsp Inulin fiber supplement

What about the exercise?

What do they mean by moderate activity?

According to the researchers, moderate activity means exercising vigorously for 30 minutes, two to four times a week. Personally, I think that number is a little low.

My research indicates that you need an average of 40 minutes per day or 280 minutes per week to receive noticeable benefits from physical activity.

And don’t go telling me that you can’t find 40 minutes to exercise…Those butt indents in your couch are giving you away.

What is MGmin LDL Cholesterol & why does it want to kill you?

What is MGmin LDL cholesterol?

  • MGmin LDL is a version of LDL that has been modified by methylglyoxal (MG)
  • MG is a potent arginine-directed glycating agent that is formed due to high blood sugar and related inflammation
  • As a result, the plasma concentration of MG is increased 2x to 5x in patients with diabetes

But you’re not diabetic…so this doesn’t matter to you.

Or does it?

  • According to this study, minimal modification of LDL by MG decreases the particle size of pre-existing LDL cholesterol (similar to that of sdLDL) and….
  • makes them stick together (increased aggregation) and….
  • makes them stick to the walls of your arteries.

And that ain’t good.

Because if you take a whole bunch of small, dense LDL particles, bunch them together and then glue them to the inner wall of a coronary artery, you end up with:

  • narrowed arteries
  • reduced blood flow
  • increased chance of rupture
  • increased chance of blood clots
  • increased chance of coronary heart disease (CHD)
  • increased chance of heart attack and
  • increased chance of death.

And that, most definitely, ain’t good.

So, where do we go from here?

  1. The researchers will continue researching in an attempt to discover treatments that could help neutralize MGmin LDLs harmful effects on patients’ arteries.
  2. You, however, are not a scientist. Your job is to cut back on the pizza & donuts and download my FREE Ebook – A Paleo Diet for the 21st Century.

.

Reference

.

Beverage Industry Bitch Slaps the Soda Tax

California Assemblyman Bill Monning’s proposed soda tax bill just got punched square in the face by America’s beverage (soda) lobby.

http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/static/flash/embeddedPlayer/swf/otvEmLoader.swf?version=&station=kgo&section=&mediaId=8093555&cdnRoot=http://cdn.abclocal.go.com&webRoot=http://abclocal.go.com&configPath=/util/&site=

And that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Because as Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

In this battle between junk food producers and anti-obesity advocates, the involvement of politicians has moved this fight from the “ignore” and “laugh at” stages directly into the “fight” stage.

Unfortunately for supporters of Assemblyman Monning’s Soda Tax bill, the American beverage lobby can afford to spend huge quantities of money & political influence while the anti-obesity advocates could only afford some sugar packets & scotch tape.

It reminds me of that classic battle between Bugs Bunny & “The Crusher”…with scrawny ole Bugs Bunny playing the part of the anti-obesity advocates, while “The Crusher” stands in for the soda lobby.

If I remember my history correctly, didn’t skinny little Bugs Bunny end up winning that fight?

.

What advice do we give to the Paleo-Curious?

Earlier in the week, I received a comment about one of my Paleo articles that argued the point that following a Paleo Diet or Paleo Lifestyle is a strict black or white proposition.

In the commenter’s own words, “Don’t be a poser. Either live the life or shut the hell up, because those of us actually doing instead of talking are living healthier, more productive lives. If you are too, great! Congrats, how do you feel? If you aren’t? Get off the bandwagon”.

After I finished wiping up my giant puddle of tears, I started to think about how our tiny little Paleo community has changed & evolved over the past year or so.

Still clinging to it’s anthropological roots, Paleo (or Primal for the Sissonites amongst us) has ever so tentatively begun to shift towards the mainstream. And as more “normal” people begin to investigate the benefits of eating ala Paleo, some Paleo diehards are freaking out.

  • Maybe it’s out of concern that the strict Paleo menu of  meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit is going to be watered down and spoiled by the newbies.
  • Maybe it’s because they like being in an exclusive club and they don’t want to share with others.
  • Or, maybe they’re just assholes who think they’re better than everybody else.

Who knows?

But it got me thinking.

How do us Paleo eaters want the message of Paleo to be distributed to the rest of the world?

  • Currently, they are three big voices in the Paleo universe – Cordain, Wolf & Sisson. Do we crown one of them king and proceed to proselytize their version of Paleo?
  • Do we blend their messages into a hybrid Paleo?
  • Do we promote an ultra-orthodox version of Paleo that doesn’t allow for my morning Starbucks Venti Bold with a splash of cream?
  • Or do we adopt a more universal “coat of many colours” version of Paleo that leads people towards eating Paleo at most meals with occasional Neolithic baked delights?

Seeking some feedback, I posted a link to the above mentioned comment on my favorite Paleo facebook group – International Paleo Movement Group – to see what they had to say abot the comment and how they envisioned the evolution of the Paleo Diet.

The word zealot came up a few times.

.

What’s your opinion?

.

  • Should Paleo remain an exclusive club?
  • Should we welcome newcomers into the club?
  • If we do welcome newcomers, do we insist on 100% compliance to Paleo doctrine?
  • Or is 90% okay…or 80%…63%
  • Or are we happy when the people we care about eat fewer Pizza Pockets and more real/Paleo food?

As I said to the IPMG group, I realize that the vast majority of people are highly unlikely to ever give up grains, dairy, french fries, etc

What they may do, however, is to learn from us that Paleo eating is the healthiest way to fuel our bodies….and that while 100% adherence is unlikely, they may be able to be 90% or 80% or 60% Paleo…thereby…

  • improving their nutrition,
  • improving their health,
  • reducing the spread of lifestyle disease (diabetes, etc),
  • reducing the cost of healthcare around the globe,
  • improving economic health,
  • reducing taxes and
  • ultimately improving the quality & quantity of life for all us “modern” humans.

.

Thus endeth the rant.

.

Godzilla vs the Meat Monster

Japan has been attacked by a monster more terrifying and dangerous than Mothra, King Ghidora and Megalon combined.

Developed in a secret off-shore laboratory…using a combination of gene splicing, irradiation and a delightful secret teriyaki sauce recipe, Burger King‘s Japanese food-scientists have created….

THE MEAT MONSTER

Comprised of:

  • 2 Whopper sized beef patties
  • 1 grilled chicken breast
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 3 slices of cheese
  • a fried egg
  • a fish patty
  • that delicious teriyaki sauce
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • mayo
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • pickles
  • onion
  • squeezed between two fluffy white hamburger buns

The Meat Monster is an unholy attack on the waistlines of the proud (yet increasingly corpulent) Japanese people.

We’re talking about a burger loaded with:

  • 1922 calories
  • 126 grams of Fat
  • 82 grams of Carbs
  • 117 grams of Protein
  • and 4400 mg of Sodium – 2x the recommended daily maximum

As a resonse, Japanes Prime Minister Ken Naoto has done the unthinkable and summoned Godzilla n a last gasp attempt to save the country from devolving into a nation of bloated wanna-be sumo wrestlers.

Save us Godzilla…save us.

.

Abdominal Obesity = Vascular Calcification = Congestive Heart Failure = Death

Need some motivation to get up off the couch and hit the gym?

In a recent study published in the journal Obesity, researchers found that…

  • People with high levels of abdominal and visceral bodyfat were likely to suffer from thoracic aortic calcification.

And just in case you don’t know what thoracic aortic calcification is…

  1. Vascular calcification is the process  in which your blood vessels harden due to the build up of calcium.
  2. This leads to a stenosis or abnormal narrowing of your aorta
  3. Stenosis of your aorta leads to fainting, angina and congestive heart failure
  4. Congestive heart failure leads to death

Conclusion

If you don’t want your aortic valve to look like this…

and you don’t want to die  like this…

Then you need to…

.

Reference

.

Got Fat? – Get Tangerines

Image: Brent Ramerth aka barfooz

An interesting new study (University of Western Ontario) has isolated a substance found in tangerines that “not only prevents obesity, but also offers protection against type 2 diabetes, and even atherosclerosis, the underlying disease responsible for most heart attacks and strokes”.

The substance – a flavonoid called Nobileton, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. Nobiletin also helps to lower cholesterol levels and some studies indicate that it may improve impaired memory loss and treat acne.

In this particular study, two groups of mice were fed a typical “western” diet – high in sugar & fat.

The placebo group became obese and showed all the signs associated with metabolic syndrome:

  • elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
  • high blood levels of insulin and glucose
  • and a fatty liver

Conversely, the Nobileton mice experienced no elevation in their levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin or glucose, and gained weight normally. In addition, their insulin sensitivity improved, and their livers remained healthy & fat free.

In longer term studies, Nobileton has been shown to protect these mice from atherosclerosis – the buildup of plaque in arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Unfortunately, even if Nobileton turns out to be an effective weight loss supplement for human, it’s going to be a long, long, long time before a drug comes on the market.

Until then, we’re stuck eating tangerines….delicious, juicy tangerines.

Reference

popchips Don't Taste Healthy

Is the phrase Healthy Snack Food an oxymoron?

  • Is it possible for snack food to be healthy?
  • Is it possible for healthy food to be snackalicious?

These are the questions I attempted to answer last week.

When I was introduced to popchips…and decided to conduct a little experiment.

First up – can snack foods be healthy?

Nutritional Info for 1 oz (28 gms) of plain popchips

Energy 120 kcal
Protein 1 g
Total lipid (fat) ~ g
Carbohydrate, by difference 20 g
Fiber, total dietary 1 g
Sodium, Na 280 mg



 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutritional Info for 1 oz (28 gms) of Plain Ruffles Potato Chips

Energy 160 kcal
Protein 2 g
Total lipid (fat) 10 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 14 g
Fiber, total dietary 1 g
Sodium, Na 160 mg



 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutritional Info for 1 Small Potato (138 gms) – Baked with Salt

Water 103.35 g
Energy 128 kcal
Protein 3.45 g
Total lipid (fat) 0.18 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 29.19 g
Fiber, total dietary 3 g
Sodium, Na 337 mg



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based strictly on the nutritional information, I see three big differences between the popchips & the Ruffles.

  1. the sodium content
  2. calories
  3. the macronutrient profile

Sodium

I was surprised to see that the Ruffles were lower in salt than the popchips.

However, neither small bag of chips is really that big a deal when it comes to salt.

  • The 160 mg found in the small bag of Ruffles = 7% of the daily RDA level.
  • The 280 mg found in the popchips = 12% RDA
  • The 337 mg found on the little baked potato is irrelevant as that sodium is self-applied and can be adjusted up or down as the diner prefers.

So, in regards to sodium, the Ruffles are better but as long as you’re not eating a great big bag of either potato chip, the sodium levels aren’t much of a health threat.

Calories

The popchips have 25% less calories than the Ruffles. However, just like the sodium numbers, as long as you’re sticking to the small bag, 40 calories isn’t going to make or break anyone’s diet. Another non-issue.

Macronutrient Profile

Here’s where I see a healthy difference between the two brands of potato chips.

Without getting into a huge debate about saturated fats, damaged fats, glycemic index & glycemic load, I believe that the high percentages of carbs & fat found in the Ruffles makes them more likely than the popchips to be stored as body-fat.

The popchips have a macronutrient profile closer to the plain baked potato.

But then again, who ever eats a plain baked potato?

Conclusion

When it comes to the healthiness – popchips is the better choice.

But, what about taste?

Can healthy foods taste great?

As I am not a big fan of potato chips, I enlisted the help of some friends who could be considered potato chip connoisseurs.

And they freakin’ loved the popchips.

And not because they were “healthy”. In fact, when I called them healthy chips, it was harder to get them to try them. But when they started, everyone loved them.

But then again, they also loved the beer & Paleo Margaritas.

.

So, there you go….popchips may be healthier than regular potato chips…but they don’t taste healthy.

.

Obese Teens and their Hidden Metabolic Abnormalities

In addition to all of the social, mental & emotional crap that goes along with being a fat teenager, researchers have found that even when obese teens ‘feel’ healthy, blood tests show that they are likely to have high levels of:

And it gets worse – high levels of inflammation, insulin resistance and homocysteine means that the process of developing heart disease has already begun to happen.

The Study

Researchers compared the diets and blood test results of 33 obese youths (ages 11 to 19) with 19 age-matched youths of normal weight.

Blood tests revealed that the obese teens had:

  • C-reactive protein levels almost ten times higher than controls, indicating more inflammation in the body.
  • Insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, with greater amounts of insulin needed to keep blood sugar levels normal.
  • Homocysteine levels 62 percent higher than controls. High levels of the amino acid homocysteine are related to greater heart disease risk.
  • Total glutathione levels 27.9 percent lower than controls, with oxidized glutathione levels 125 percent higher. A higher ratio of oxidized to non-oxidized glutathione indicates oxidative stress, an imbalance in the production of cell-damaging free radicals and the body’s ability to neutralize them. Oxidative stress leads to more inflammation and an increase in blood vessel damage and stiffening.

“Looking at the numbers you would think these children might feel sick, but they did not. They are apparently feeling well, but there is a lot going on beneath the surface.”

Conclusion

Don’t assume that your kid is going to grow out of his or her ‘baby fat’.

Obesity is a medical symptom telling you that their body is not working as well as it should be.

A diet that is high in calories and low in nutrition sets off a whole bunch of metabolic processes that often lead straight to obesity…and inflammation and insulin resistance and heart disease.

So, stop being their friend…and start being a parent.

.

FYI – this is the diet your kids are supposed to be eating.

.

Reference

.

 

Fat Men Can Be Fit Men

Researchers have found that obese men (who have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome) can keep their arteries healthy and prevent cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke by maximizing their cardiovascular fitness.

The Study

Scientists looked at a group of men with varying levels of cardiovascular fitness and metabolic syndrome.

  • Cardio fitness was measured by peak oxygen uptake during a standard treadmill test
  • Risk for heart disease was measured by their level of arterial stiffness.

Not too surprisingly, the researchers found that the men diagnosed with metabolic syndrome had ,on average, higher levels of arterial stiffness.

However, when the men were separated according to their levels of cardiovascular fitness, they found that all of the men in the highest quartile of fitness had significantly lower levels of arterial stiffness than those men in the lowest quartile of fitness.

That included fit guys who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

In fact, the fit and fat guys had the same levels of arterial stiffness as their skinny yet exercise-adverse brothers.

Conclusion

It is possible for fat guys to be fit guys.

.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that those fat & fit guys will ever be as fit as their lean & fit workout buddies.

.

 

DIET WAR – Dr. Oz vs Gary Taubes

Yesterday the low-carb blogosphere was abuzz with talk of the interview Dr. Oz conducted with one of their heroes – Gary Taubes.

Gary Taubes - aka The Man Who Thinks Everything Dr. Oz Says Is Wrong

And all around those blogs,  a lot of the talk focused on their belief that Dr. Oz was unfair to Mr. Taubes.

The low-carbers felt that while Gary presented a logical, science-based argument in favor of a reduced carb diet, Dr. Oz served up a plateful of USDA diet platitudes topped with a big hunk of cheesy tv theatrics.

For example, in an attempt to demonstrate/discredit low carb dieting, Dr. Oz had a camera crew follow him around for 24 hours of low-carb eating.

Here’s what Dr. Oz’s ate:

  • Breakfast – 2 fried eggs + 2 sausages
  • Snack #1 – pork rinds
  • Lunch – salad with chicken & bacon
  • Snack #2 – pepperoni & cheese sticks
  • Dinner – a massive steak & green beans (yum)

Eerily reminiscent of the Atkins Diet induction phase n’est-ce pas?

And after the audience finishes laughing at Dr. Oz’s jokes about the origins of pork rinds, Mehmet reports his findings to Mr. Taubes.

Dr. Oz reports that:

  • His breath turned stale
  • He felt nauseated
  • He had headaches
  • He was constipated
  • And was irritable

Doesn’t make low-carb sound very good does it?

But wait…it’s not over yet. Thinking that he has Taubes on the proverbial ropes, Dr. Oz attempts to knock him out…. by asking Taubes to submit to a cholesterol test.

Oooooooohhhhhh

Cholesterol and a low-carb diet.

That’s gotta hurt.

Kind of a cheap shot considering that:

  1. Dr. Oz knows that while Taubes thinks that the total cholesterol test is a waste of time.
  2. He also knows that his audience thinks that lowering your total cholesterol is vital for good health.

And considering that audience approval is the ultimate prize in this Diet War, Dr. Oz makes Taubes look like a bit of a kook in the eyes of his audience.

And is officially declared the winner.

Or is he?

According to low-carb guru Jimmy Moore (Livin La Vida Low Carb), sales of both of Taubes’ books have been going through the roof all day.


Almost as if some of Dr. Oz’s loyal low-fat viewers were cheating on him…or maybe just a low-carb curious.

Personally, I think it’s like Gandhi said:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

From what I can see, Gary Taubes has just reached stage #3.

To reach stage #4, here’s what I suggest:

  1. Gary asks Dr. Oz for a follow-up show
  2. 2 months prior to the show, they both take a complete set of (agreed upon) diagnostic tests
  3. After completing the blood tests, Dr. Oz goes on a 4 week low-carb diet designed by Taubes, while
  4. Taubes goes on a 4 week low-fat diet designed by Dr. Oz
  5. They run the tests again
  6. They go back to their own diets for another 4 weeks, and
  7. Repeat the tests a third time
  8. Present the results live on Dr. Oz’s show.

So, whaddaya think…will Dr. Oz go for it.

Probably not, but wouldn’t it be interesting?

Here’s a link to his Facebook page – post a link to this article and see if he responds.

.

Here’s a youtube video of the show – no idea how long Dr. Oz’s lawyers will let it stay up

.

New York City vs Sugar

New York’s Department of Health has released another anti-obesity PSA designed to reduce your consumption of sugar.

And just like their previous PSA, it’s pretty gross.

So here’s my question for you:

Will ads like this get you to cut back on your soda, sweet tea, frozen coffee, fruit punch, energy drinks, etc, etc, etc???

.

This is Why You Need to Take Astragalus

Astragalus Membranaceus has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine.

And even though us Westerners are a few thousand years late to the game, our scientists are working hard to get us up to speed.

In particular, an interesting study just came across my desk which showed how a decoction of the dried root of the Astragalus plant was very effective in:

  • reducing body weight
  • improving insulin sensitivity, and
  • improving the severity of fatty liver disease

Which is kind of a big deal considering that excessive body weight, type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease is fast becoming the new normal in North America and Europe.

So, I decided to do a little more research into Astragalus and it’s effect on insulin sensitivity et al.

And I found a pile of research.

Research which showed how Astragalus was effective at:

  • boosting immune system function – cold, flu, infection, fever, allergies
  • reducing hypertension via a diuretic effect
  • eliminating free radicals
  • improving cardiac function
  • improving chronic fatigue
  • improving heart function
  • improving kidney function
  • improving symptoms of asthma
  • improving stomach ulcers
  • reducing inflammation
  • improving your body’s ability to handle stress

as well as…

  • reducing body weight
  • improving insulin sensitivity, and
  • improving the severity of fatty liver disease

All with no chance of toxicity.

Which is kind of important when you start messing around with herbs and roots.

So…where can you get this Astragalus stuff?

Re-Build Your Heart with Exercise

We all know that exercise is good for our heart.

What we didn’t know is how and why endurance exercise causes your heart to grow larger and work better in response to the increased pressure and volume.

The Science

According to the research published in Cell, endurance exercise causes a downregulation of a specific transcription factor called C/EBPβ.

This reduction in C/EBPβ kickstarts a genetic program which results in the hypertrophy and proliferation of cardiac muscle.

Ergo, endurance exercise re-builds your heart.

.

Kind of like the Grinch at Christmas.

.

.

.

Reference

.

    You Are What Your Father Ate

    Attention all fathers to be!!!

    Researchers from the U of Mass have found that the food you eat is going to make a big difference upon the health of your future children.

    So, before you inhale another bucket of popcorn chicken, be aware that your diet will influence the genetic makeup of your children.

    In the UMass study, researchers found that adult mice fed a low protein diet produced offspring with an increase in the production of cholesterol synthesis genes.

    And while this doesn’t mean that the wee baby mice are doomed to a lifetime of high cholesterol and prescriptions for lipitor, it does mean that a parent’s diet has a big impact on their kids –  in the form of changed epigentic information.

    In the UMass experiment, scientists fed two different diets to two different groups of male mice – a standard diet and a low-protein diet. All females were fed a standard diet.

    And as nature took it’s course and little mice babies were born, the researchers observed that the low-protein offspring showed an increase in the genes responsible for lipid & cholesterol production in comparison to the standard diet mice.

    The observations are consistent with two human studies (1 & 2) which showed that a poor adolescent diet in one generation resulted in an increased risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease in second-generation offspring.

    However, since these previous human studies were retrospective and involved dynamic populations, they were unable to completely account for all social and economic variables.

    Hence this study with lab mice.

    According to lead researcher Oliver Rando, “Our study begins to rule out the possibility that social and economic factors, or differences in the DNA sequence, may be contributing to what we’re seeing. It strongly implicates epigenetic inheritance as a contributing factor to changes in gene function.”

    Co-author Hans Hofmann continues by saying that “the results also have implications for our understanding of evolutionary processes. It has increasingly become clear in recent years that mothers can endow their offspring with information about the environment, for instance via early experience and maternal factors, and thus make them possibly better adapted to environmental change. Our results show that offspring can inherit such acquired characters even from a parent they have never directly interacted with, which provides a novel mechanism through which natural selection could act in the course of evolution.”

    So, what does this mean?

    According to Dr. Rando, “we often look at a patient’s behavior and their genes to assess risk. If the patient smokes, they are going to be at an increased risk for cancer. If the family has a long history of heart disease, they might carry a gene that makes them more susceptible to heart disease. But we’re more than just our genes and our behavior. Knowing what environmental factors your parents experienced is also important.”

    What’s next for this research?

    Drs. Rando et al will begin to explore how and why this genetic reprogramming is being transmitted from generation to generation. “We don’t know why these genes are being reprogrammed or how, precisely, that information is being passed down to the next generation,” said Rando. “It’s consistent with the idea that when parents go hungry, it’s best for offspring to hoard calories, however, it’s not clear if these changes are advantageous in the context of a low-protein diet.”

    What does this mean for you?

    It means that not only will that bucket of popcorn chicken screw up your health, it will probably screw up your kid’s health as well.

    Reference

    Like this article???

    If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

    As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

    button subscribe

    5 Minutes of Pleasure

    What would you give up for 5 minutes of pleasure?

    • Your pride?
    • Your quality of life?
    • Your self-esteem?
    • Your health?

    And before your imagination crawls completely down into the gutter, the 5 minutes of pleasure that I am discussing is of a gustatory nature.

    I am talking about the visceral lust some people have for their favorite food(s).

    Whether their desire is for something sweet or savory, a lot of my clients come to me with an appetite that is completely out of control. And even though their love for cake and cookies and pizza and chocolate has resulted in a fist-full of doctor’s prescriptions, they continue to be slaves to their culinary 5 minutes of pleasure.

    Whether their desire for food is caused by stress or low self-esteem or their crappy day at work or one of the other bazillion reasons we use as an excuse to soothe our feelings with food, the result is the same.

    • The food tastes really good,
    • But, we eat it too quickly,
    • So we grab some more,
    • And eat that too quickly,
    • Etc….

    Then, thanks to the wonders of our bodies, we get a nice little endorphin rush from the sugar in our food/drug of choice and our crappy day at work doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

    Unfortunately, in a very short period of time, that endorphin rush wears off and the memory of our crappy day comes rushing back…except now, we also feel extra crappy for having inhaled an entire large pizza.

    (Disclosure – pizza was my former food/drug of choice)

    So, I ask you again…

    What would you give up for 5 minutes of pleasure?

    • Your pride?
    • Your quality of life?
    • Your self-esteem?
    • Your health?

    .

    Functional Amino Acids for Better Health

    Functional amino acids are being investigated by researchers for their ability to regulate key metabolic pathways and improve human health, growth, development and reproduction.

    Building upon current animal research, Dr. Guoyao Wu recommends “nonessential amino acids be provided to humans to prevent chronic disease.”

    For example, it is known that the amino acid arginine helps to prevent obesity.

    “Currently in the U.S., more than 60 percent of adults are overweight or obese,” he said. “Globally, more than 300 million adults are obese and more than 1 billion are overweight. Also, a large number of children in the U.S. and other countries are overweight or obese. The most urgent needs of new research in amino acids and health are the roles of functional amino acids in the treatment and prevention of obesity and its associated cardiovascular dysfunction.”

    In addition to arginine, studies have shown that leucine has a strong effect on insulin response as well as sparing muscle during periods of caloric restriction.

    Unfortunately, researching the many potential health benefits of amino acids is not a priority for Big Pharma.

    They can’t slap a patent on arginine or leucine, so what’s the point of spending the big bucks.

    Too bad for us.

    Reference

    FAT BRITANNIA

    British Government Sells Out to the Fast Food Industry

    As part of it’s continuing effort to destroy it’s healthcare system, the British government has invited fast food companies including McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken to help write government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease.

    In addition to Ronald and the Colonel, representatives from PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Mars and Diageo are also among the businesses that have been asked to contribute to the five ‘responsibility deal’ networks set up by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

    And while the details aren’t expected to be released until the government presents it’s public health white paper in the next few weeks, it’s believed that:

    • the Food Responsibility Deal Network will be chaired by one of the above mentioned companies, while the
    • the Food sub-group on calories is to be chaired by PepsiCo
    • the Behavior Change Responsibility Deal Network is to be chaired by the National Heart Forum
    • the Physical Activity Responsibility Deal Network is to be chaired by the Fitness Industry Association, and
    • the Alcohol Responsibility Deal Network is chaired by the head of the lobby group Wine and Spirit Trade Association

    WTF!!!

    In America, they’re banning the sale of Happy Meals.

    In the U.K., they’re asking Ronald McDonald to design national policy on food consumption and obesity.

    .

    Is it any wonder why nobody trusts politicians any more?

    .

    Note – If any of my U.K. readers would like to express their displeasure over this decision to the british Secretary of Health, Andrew Lansley, here is his contact info.

    Constituency Office
    153 St Neots Road
    Hardwick
    Cambridge
    CB23 7QJ
    Tel: 01954 212 707
    Fax: 01954 211 625

    Email: lansleya@parliament.uk

    The Science behind Spare Tires and Thunder Thighs

    Attention Lazy Bastards

    According to Dr. Leslie Alford, regular exercise is the second most important thing that you can possibly do to avoid dying from:

    In a meta-analysis of the current research, Dr. Alford found that “how long people live and how healthy they are depends on a complex mix of factors, including their lifestyle, where they live and even luck.”

    “Individuals have an element of control over some of these factors, including obesity, diet, smoking and physical activity.”

    So, unless you enjoy looking like crap, feeling like crap, enduring chemotherapy treatments and most likely dying waaaayyyy to early, get off your couch and do some exercise.

    And FYI, the number one most important lifestyle change is to quit smoking. Especially when you exercise.

     

    Like this article???

    If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

    As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

    button subscribe

    .

    All Hail the Heart Attack Grill Diet

    You’ve got to respect the folks at the Heart Attack Grill.

    At least they can admit that their food comes complete with a side order of “sudden weight gain, repeated increase of wardrobe size, back pain, male breast growth, loss of sexual partners, lung cancer, tooth decay, liver sclerosis, stroke, and an inability to see your penis.”

    And while Ronald McDonald prepares to defend the health benefits of his Happy Meals in a court of law, the geniuses behind the Double Bypass burger step up and corner the moral high ground in the junk food industry.

    And if you’re lucky enough to weigh over 350 lbs, you Eat for FREE!!!

    .

    Is the Twinkie Diet a Success?

    10 weeks ago, KSU nutrition professor Mark Haub began eating a reduced calorie diet of Little Debbie Pecan Spin Wheels for breakfast, Hostess Twinkies for lunch, birthday cake for supper and Doritos for dessert.

    And as crazy as it may seem, after 10 weeks on his Twinkie Diet, Dr. Haub saw:

    • His bodyweight drop from 200.8 to 174.2 (-26.6 lbs)
    • His body-fat percentage drop from 33.4% to 24.% (-8.5%)
    • His total body-fat drop by 25.25 lbs
    • His lean body mass (muscle) drop by 1.35 lbs
    • His total cholesterol drop from 214 to 184
    • His bad cholesterol (ldl-c) drop from 153 to 123
    • His good cholesterol (hdl-c) increase from 37 to 46
    • His blood sugar / glucose level drop from 94 to 75, and
    • His blood pressure stay around the same – pre=108/71 – post=104/76

    So, does this mean that the Twinkie Diet is a success?

    Is Dr. Haub correct when he says, ““it doesn’t matter where the macronutrients are derived from as long as essential nutrients are consumed at the recommended levels, and the fuel is consumed at a level at or below energy expenditure?”

    Is he right when he says “if somebody can get their nutrients from a supplement and then they get their fuel from whatever is available, does it matter that they’re not getting fruits and vegetables and whole grains”?

    .

    On one level – YES.

    .

    However, as I said back in September,  before people start swarming  their local 7-11 to get the last box of Diet Twinkies, we need to remember that this is a short term experiment that is limited in scope & depth.

    It will not measure:

    • The damage caused by the over-consumption of trans fats, artificial colors, petroleum derived flavorings, chemical emulsifiers, chemical preservatives, etc…
    • The effect that the high levels of HFCS & other sugars is having upon Prof. Haub’s  poor ole pancreas
    • Any increase in systemic inflammation and ph levels
    • The increased cravings for sugar…. brought upon by those twinkies and peanut butter oreos
    • The lack of enzymes, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, non-vitamin cofactors, sterols, polyphenols, flavonoids, phytosterols, carotenoids, prebiotics, probiotics, triterpenes, mineral salts, amino acids, etc…

    In short, Professor Haub has shown us that when you eat less food, you lose body-fat.

    And skinny doesn’t always mean healthy.

    health fitness exercise healthhabits

    HIIT is better than Cardio for your Heart

    Let’s say you’ve got high blood pressure…and stiffness in your arteries.

    Whatcha gonna do?

    Well….if you’re like most people, you just found out about your problem from your doctor. And you’re about to get a prescription for a bunch of drugs and a recommendation to hop onto the nearest treadmill and do lots and lots of low intensity / long duration cardio-vascular exercise.

    But, what if your doctor is wrong?

    • What if…instead of spending hours glued to the seat of an exercise bike, you could be doing 2 x 40 minute interval training sessions per week.
    • And what if…by doing those 2 x 40 minute interval training sessions per week, you were lowering your BP just as well as your cardio cousins.
    • And what if you were improving your arterial stiffness even better than those cardio junkies.

    According to this study, that’s exactly what you would be doing.

    healthy-heart

     

    Common Sense Conclusion(s)

    • If you have hypertension & arterial stiffness, talk to your doctor before you start any exercise program. It just makes sense.
    • Tell your doc about this research.
    • Find out how good/bad your heart really is.
    • And maybe consider doing both types of workouts.

    And do some more reading – high blood pressure is no joke.

     

    Like this article???

    If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

    As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

    button subscribe