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Posts Tagged ‘study’

12:45 pm - Posted by Gregg

Is “artificial” the opposite of “all-natural?” If so, I’m reminded of my artificial past… When after years (and years!) consuming diet sodas and other beverages and foods containing artificial sweeteners (and other potentially dangerous additives and chemicals), I finally cut all of these substances out of my diet – all about the same time I learned to Just Stop Eating So Much! and to eat healthier, fresher and purer.

It’s no wonder that up until this breakthrough I felt compelled to induce these chemically laced “food” products. After all, I was taught that the way to lose weight was to reduce calories through any means – including by consuming substances that my body didn’t necessarily know how to process (or even properly metabolize). After learning to pay more attention to the food and beverages I was downing as well as how I felt after doing so, I realized that a 16-calorie teaspoon of real, all-natural sugar left me feeling better than a packet of no-calorie whatever-it-might-be. And since that wakeup call, numerous scientists and studies have been continually proving why chemically altered foods aren’t necessarily even being registered as ‘foods’ by our bodies.

Hopefully we can all agree that one of the nourishing paths to a healthy weight and body (inside is out) is one that utilizes pure, natural foods. This means as little salt/sodium as possible and absolutely no added chemicals or preservatives. And as many of you are also learning through the pink slime situation, food labels cannot always be trusted. In fact, the FDA allows food makers to be very “creative” when listing ingredients. (For example, did you know that the pink color in Yoplait’s Strawberry Yogurt comes from crushed female cochineal beetles and their eggs? Try checking for that on the label!)

As for artificial sweeteners (something many consume daily without any thought), series of news articles site findings by Purdue University Scientists who studied rats that were fed food with artificial sweetener saccharin and rats fed food with glucose, a natural sugar.

The results of the study showed that in comparison to rats given yogurt sweetened with glucose, the rats that consumed yogurt sweetened with saccharin went onto consume many more calories and put on more weight and, as a result, body fat.

These researchers determined that sweet foods may prompt the body to get ready to take in a lot of calories, but that when the sweetness in the form of artificial sweeteners is not followed by a large amount of calories, the body’s internal system becomes disoriented, which might then lead to eating more, while expanding less energy than normal.

Said Purdue researchers Susan Swithers and Terry Davidson in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience, published by the American Psychological Association: “The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with high-calorie sugar.” Furthermore, they went onto state: “Such an outcome may seem counterintuitive, if not an anathema, to human clinical researchers and health care practitioners who have long recommended the use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners as a means of weight control.”

The researchers also confirmed that additional artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that also taste sweet but do not lead to the delivery of calories may have similar effects. “Animals may use sweet taste to predict the caloric contents of food. Eating sweet non-caloric substances may degrade this predictive relationship.”

“With the growing use of non-caloric sweeteners in the current food environment, millions of people are being exposed to sweet tastes that are not associated with caloric or nutritive consequences,” noted the researchers. This research has been part of studies to examine the question of whether artificial sweeteners – used in an incredible number of today’s foods and beverages – actually assist or hinder people who are trying to lose weight.

Whether or not the findings in the rats translate to similar findings in humans remains to be seen. But one aspect of all these studies seems to be true: the less pure and the more chemically enhanced certain foods are, the less likely our internal system is to recognize and, therefore, be able to process them – thereby slowing down our metabolism. (To say nothing of wondering how these chemicals might be adversely affecting our overall health.)

You read it time and time again on this blog: Keep it pure. Keep it simple. And as your taste buds become less reliant on these chemical and man-made additives, you’ll find that you enjoy the flavors of pure and natural food more and more. To say nothing of the benefit they bring to your overall health and well-being!

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December 28, 2014

Hugging it out

10:37 am - Posted by Gregg

Can hugging actually help prevent getting a cold? A brand new study from Carnegie Melon University says “Yes,” according to a recent Washington Post article.

According to a Carnegie Mellon News article written by Shilo Rea, the research revealed that “perceived social support reduced the risk of infection associated with experiencing conflicts. Hugs were responsible for one-third of the protective effect of social support. Among infected participants, greater perceived social support and more frequent hugs both resulted in less severe illness symptoms whether or not they experienced conflicts.”

Of course, there can be a downside to hugging people during flu and cold season the researchers are quick to point out. But even so, perhaps a hug a day can (along with an apple) keep the doctor away?

To read the full Washington Post article, click here.

Photo Source: The Washington Post

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9:25 am - Posted by Gregg

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that keeping a food diary may be a key to losing extra weight. The study found that food diaries incorporate accountability and awareness, which can help immensely with successful weight reduction.

The study, published in the Journal, includes findings from 1,685 overweight or obese adults, ages 25 years and older. These people were encouraged to keep and use food diaries for a period of six months (while making healthy food choices and being physically active). These participants also met in weekly groups to share their food diaries and to learn more about proper food portions.

According to Victor Stevens, PhD, senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, the most important predictor over the course of the study in regard to how successful participants would be corresponded directly to how many days a week they kept a detailed food diary .

Participants who recorded all meals and snacks at least six days a week (including beverages) lost almost twice as much as those who made food diary entries one day a week or less, Stevens recently reported to WebMD.

Said Stevens, “I think the most powerful part is accountability and the next most powerful part is increasing awareness of where those extra calories are coming from.”

Further findings showed that sharing food diaries with someone else brought about even more success. This is because sharing food diaries creates accountability not only to yourself, but also to someone who cares about you and your health. Food diaries can also identify areas for improvement. For example, you might notice you’re eating too many late night snacks or adding too many calories to a certain meal.

Even keeping track of an accidental binge or overeating on one day of the week can help. When you weigh yourself, you will be reminded of where you might have gone off course. Although initially a bummer, this will show you why the scale didn’t necessarily go in the direction you wanted and can help you realign your efforts for more success the next time you weigh yourself.

Keeping a food diary on the Just Stop! Program is easy – and something we all should do. Not only will you find a blank weekly food diary tailor made for the Just Stop! Program in the book itself (see page 75), but you can also easily download a PDF for easy printing by clicking here. If you’re on another healthy eating program and are interested in a food diary form you can use, click here.

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9:31 am - Posted by Gregg

With many news stories focusing on pink slime, I’m reminded of my artificial past… When after years (and years!) consuming diet sodas and other beverages and foods containing artificial sweeteners (and other potentially dangerous chemicals), I finally cut all of these substances out of my diet – all about the same time I learned to Just Stop Eating So Much! and to eat healthier, fresher and purer.

It’s no wonder that up until this breakthrough I felt compelled to induce these chemically laced “food” products. After all, I was taught that the way to lose weight was to reduce calories through any means – including by consuming substances that my body didn’t necessarily know how to process (or even properly metabolize). After learning to pay more attention to the food and beverages I was downing as well as how I felt after doing so, I realized that a 16-calorie teaspoon of real, all-natural sugar left me feeling better than a packet of no-calorie whatever-it-might-be. And since that wakeup call, numerous scientists and studies have been continually proving why chemically altered foods aren’t necessarily even being registered as ‘foods’ by our bodies.

Hopefully we can all agree that one of the nourishing paths to a healthy weight and body (inside is out) is one that utilizes pure, natural foods. This means as little salt/sodium as possible and absolutely no added chemicals or preservatives. And as many of you are also learning through the pink slime situation, food labels cannot always be trusted. In fact, the FDA allows food makers to be very “creative” when listing ingredients. (For example, did you know that the pink color in Yoplait’s Strawberry Yogurt comes from crushed female cochineal beetles and their eggs? Try checking for that on the label!)

As for artificial sweeteners (something many consume daily without any thought), series of news articles site findings by Purdue University Scientists who studied rats that were fed food with artificial sweetener saccharin and rats fed food with glucose, a natural sugar.

The results of the study showed that in comparison to rats given yogurt sweetened with glucose, the rats that consumed yogurt sweetened with saccharin went onto consume many more calories and put on more weight and, as a result, body fat.

These researchers determined that sweet foods may prompt the body to get ready to take in a lot of calories, but that when the sweetness in the form of artificial sweeteners is not followed by a large amount of calories, the body’s internal system becomes disoriented, which might then lead to eating more, while expanding less energy than normal.

Said Purdue researchers Susan Swithers and Terry Davidson in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience, published by the American Psychological Association: “The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with high-calorie sugar.” Furthermore, they went onto state: “Such an outcome may seem counterintuitive, if not an anathema, to human clinical researchers and health care practitioners who have long recommended the use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners as a means of weight control.”

The researchers also confirmed that additional artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that also taste sweet but do not lead to the delivery of calories may have similar effects. “Animals may use sweet taste to predict the caloric contents of food. Eating sweet non-caloric substances may degrade this predictive relationship.”

“With the growing use of non-caloric sweeteners in the current food environment, millions of people are being exposed to sweet tastes that are not associated with caloric or nutritive consequences,” noted the researchers. This research has been part of studies to examine the question of whether artificial sweeteners – used in an incredible number of today’s foods and beverages – actually assist or hinder people who are trying to lose weight.

Whether or not the findings in the rats translate to similar findings in humans remains to be seen. But one aspect of all these studies seems to be true: the less pure and the more chemically enhanced certain foods are, the less likely our internal system is to recognize and, therefore, be able to process them – thereby slowing down our metabolism. (To say nothing of wondering how these chemicals might be adversely affecting our overall health.)

You read it time and time again on this blog: Keep it pure. Keep it simple. And as your taste buds become less reliant on these chemical and man-made additives, you’ll find that you enjoy the flavors of pure and natural food more and more. To say nothing of the benefit they bring to your overall health and well-being!

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March 8, 2012

For good measure

10:25 am - Posted by Gregg

Are you in on the big secret about what it really takes to achieve dieting success? A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine shows what many of us that have successfully shed the excess weight have known all along: When it comes to dieting, what really counts is portion size and calorie control.

Yes, this is “basic news” that might seem to fit in with “The Sky is Blue” and “Dogs Bark.” But given all of the “no carb,” “low fat” and “low protein” so-called diet solutions out there, this study reminds us that there are no tricks to dieting, just common sense. In fact, after this particular study, researchers concluded that the best diet is a healthy one that cuts calories, not food groups.

The Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates Study’s conclusions are the result of one of the longest, largest and most thorough tests of several popular dieting strategies ever.

Given that in recent years another well-regarded study found the same results to be true, doctors and nutritionists are now embracing the idea of dieting in a “Back to basics” way: Cutting calories – not certain foods or food groups, which means cutting portions.

The study included over 800 people that were determined to be in need of losing weight. These “dieters” were each assigned one of four different diets:

  • Low-fat, average-protein
  • Low-fat, high-protein
  • High-fat, average-protein
  • High-fat, high-protein

These diets included calorie counts of 1,200 to 2,400 daily, depending on the individual dieter’s body mass index and gender. Along with “cutting back,” the dieters in the study were also asked to do 90 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Participants were also asked to keep a diary of their food intake and enter their information online for the researchers to document.

Of course, this is all good news for savvy dieters like ourselves who are learning that there are no tricks to weight loss… Just common sense:

  • Eat less
  • Workout more
  • Drink water
  • Get plenty of rest
  • And include visits to your personal physician to ensure all aspects of our life changes are healthy ones

Now that we know that ‘less is more’ (and that the sky is blue and dogs bark), let’s put this common sense knowledge to work for our weight loss and/or weight maintenance goals, shall we? And if you have any “Common sense” tips that you’d like to add to the mix, please share!

For more about the above mentioned study: Click Here

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