Heart Disease

One Big Problem with High-Protein Diets: Eating Mostly Meat Shortens Life Span

Almost all of today’s most popular diets are low-carb, high-protein. Atkins has been big for decades; Paleo is an ever-expanding movement, thanks in part to its following of cross-fit fans; and other plans like Dukan, Medifast, and Southbeach aren’t got anywhere anytime soon. But, while this eating formula may result in noticeable weight loss for most folks, a new study, profiled in a Huffington Post article, suggests high-protein diets may also shorten your life. That’s a pretty big deal.

protein

Here’s what we know:

  • Diets that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates help the body shed fat. There are two main reasons for this: Protein is harder for the body to digest than other nutrients so you automatically burn extra calories as you digest and metabolize it. Also, proteins are more filling than many other types of food. Eat a bowl of pasta and you may be hungry again within the hour. Eat a chicken breast and you may forget to eat your snack.  (more…)

Push-ups and Squats Cut Diabetes Risk by 1/3

For years doctors have been saying that aerobic exercise and an active lifestyle lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. But scientists have long wondered if strength training combined with cardio can help lower the risk even more. Just as importantly, is just strength training alone enough to lower the risk even a little bit?

weight training

A new study answers this question. Drumroll please…. Indeed, strength training and resistance exercises (even yoga and Pilates!) are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Best of all, when these exercises are done in conjunction with your aerobic exercise, women’s risk drops by one-third!

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New Nutrition Label is Two Years Away! FDA Deputy Director Confirms Steps to Reform

Our news about the nutrition facts reform from the FDA has been spreading like wildfire! We dug deeper to find for you the timeline that nobody seems to be providing yet. After speaking at length with the FDA’s Deputy Director Siobhan DeLancey, here’s what to expect in the days (and weeks, and years…) to come regarding the new label update.

nutrition facts

STEP ONE: 90-day Public Commentary (Opens today! See below for how to place your comment)

The label reform is now open to a 90-day public commentary period where the FDA is expecting to hear from a variety of groups and individuals from nutritionists, consumers, and food industry groups.

STEP TWO: Review of commentary (duration unknown)

The FDA must then review and consider those comments to evaluate any possible changes to the reform. They were unable to give us an exact timeline as it is dependent on the number and breadth of the commends received.

STEP THREE: Two-year implementation after final rule

After the FDA has issued a final ruling, they are proposing a two-year implementation period for products to comply with new industry standards. “But we expect many companies will put the new label on their product earlier than that, as we saw when the original nutrition facts label requirement came out,” says DeLancey. (more…)

Finally! The Feds Create BS-Free Nutrition Label, Give Americans Reality Check

The White House and the Food and Drug Administration have announced their plan today to update the nutrition facts label on food packages, a move that is being heralded and praised by nutrition experts and enthusiasts alike.

new nutrition label

Proposed changes include:

  • Calories displayed more prominently. Congress and the FDA are pushing for a larger, bolded font for calories and all parts of the label that affect obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
  • Serving Size. Have you ever noticed a bottle of soda actually contains 2.5 servings, while the average American drinks the whole thing in one sitting? Mary Hartley, RD, our resident nutrition expert, thinks this means we are all in for a big reality check. The new label will change the serving size from what we should eat to what people actually consume.
  • Detailed sugar labeling. The improved labels will have a new line for “added sugars,” or sugars not occurring naturally and have been including only after chemical processing (think naturally-occurring lactose in yogurt vs. added aspartame in a Yoplait). What does Hartley have to say about that? “Finally.” (more…)

New Study Finds Worrying Connection Between Pollution and Poor Heart Health

We’re just over halfway through American Heart Month, and while the holiday of the heart has passed, we’re still focused on keeping that important organ healthy.

oil spill

With that in mind, we came across an interesting new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Stanford University. Their research indicates a causal link between pollution and heart problems in both fish and humans.

The study was started with the intent of showing the impact of the BP oil spill in 2010. Since it began, the study has shown many detrimental effects of the spill on the regions’ animal and human life.

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5 Legitimate, Gimmick-Free Ways to Love Your Heart

It’s February, that special time of year where everything is colored red and love is in the air. Valentine’s Day makes us all focus on our hearts a bit more, but instead of buying another bag of heart-shaped candies why not focus on your literal heart and the ways you can improve your heart health and the heart health of those around you?

heart candy

Here are five ways to be good your heart and to the hearts of those you love.

 

1. Serve a heart healthy dinner

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10 No-Nonsense Tips for Improving Your Heart Health Today

By Layne Lieberman, MS, RD, CDN

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in both men and women. Luckily, it’s preventable and controllable. With new cholesterol guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, more and more Americans will be prescribed drugs known as statins to lower cholesterol. Of course, there’s another way to get results: Diet and exercise are the foundations for heart health and are without the side effects of drugs.
Layne heart

I’m a Registered Dietician, a Culinary Nutritionist, and Author of “Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy” but I have an even deeper personal connection to this topic: I was diagnosed with high cholesterol at age 9.

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5 Teas for Good Health

Of my recent travels, London stands out as one of my favorites. After all, what’s not to love about a place that makes an event out of tea in the afternoon? Tea is a passion of mine, one that fits very well into my fitness journey. My tea love affair started many years ago when I used a cup in the morning to help me break my diet Coke habit. As I explored different varieties of tea I came to appreciate its taste and the other benefits to my overall well being. If your only experience with tea is of the sweet variety or a bag of Lipton let me give you some tips on how to add tea for wellness to your fitness journey.

tea

There are basically two types of tea: those derived from the Camellia sinensis plant (black, green, white, oolong or pu-erh) and herbal teas (herbal infusions). Unless otherwise indicated, all of the Camellia sinesis plant derived teas have caffeine. Herbal teas generally do not (yerba mate is an exception to this rule). Whole leaf teas are better quality than cut leaf. You’ll find cut leaf in most tea bags so I recommend purchasing a tea strainer and go with whole leaf where possible.

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Walk More, Live Longer

By Team Best Life

The more walking you do and the faster you do it the healthier you’ll be, suggests a new study. People who got more than the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week in the form of walking were 33 percent less likely to die during the 9-year study; those who met the activity recommendations were 11 percent less likely to die. And speed matters: Slower walkers were more at risk than those who kept a quicker pace. Those who walked slower than a 24-minute mile were 44 percent more likely to die of any cause.

walking

Every burst of activity you do during the day counts toward that goal. Every time you walk to speak to a coworker instead of calling or emailing, every time you take the stairs instead of the elevator, every time you park your car a little farther from your destination and walk the rest of the way—those minutes count toward your daily tally.

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The 11 Most Criminal Examples of Food Gone Too Far

Have you ever seen a picture or video of food that made you sick just from looking at it? That’s what happened when we saw a video from the Travel Channel’s popular show Man v. Food. The dish was so piled with meats, cheeses, sauces, and who knows what else, it could no longer be identified as food.

We know that food challenges aren’t the only culprit when it comes to shameful servings, so we decided to come up with a rap sheet for the worst food felons. Here’s our Most Wanted list of top culinary criminals starting with the simply overindulgent and ending with the disgustingly gluttonous.

green tea latte

Wanted for: Imitating a Healthy Beverage – Green Tea Latte
Starting off our list is the deceptive Green Tea Latte from Starbucks. Getting a venti (20 oz.) of this beverage with whole milk will cost you 500 calories and 71 grams of sugar. So much for the idea of green tea always being a healthy choice.

disney ice cream sandwiches

Wanted for: Ridiculous Use of Sugar – Ice Cream Sandwiches
Disney, it’s a happy, magical place. It’s also a place where you can get ice cream sandwiches as big as your face. The two homemade chocolate chip cookies and three heaping scoops of ice cream are delicious, but I speak from experience when I say you’ll have sugar shakes and nausea for hours after eating.

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