Is good health contagious? A new study says yes.

There’s no magic solution for weight loss and improved health. But data collected by researchers in Kentucky shows friends and family members may lose weight more effectively by working as a team. That finding comes from a new study reported by the American Heart Association. The study’s results indicate that strong social networks, such as those among friends and relatives, help people lose weight and improve their overall health. Are healthy habits contagious? The study, undertaken by researchers in Kentucky, answers that question in the affirmative. The data showed that dieters who lost weight collectively with friends and family lost more weight and were likelier to achieve permanent results. Study organizers, working with a pool of 552 participants, assigned friends and family members into social groups of between two and eight people. The groups worked together to improve their health. Over the course of ten months, participants within social groups lost an (Read More)

Foods That Boost Metabolism

Metabolism is a process used by the body for a number of benefits, such as boosting energy, breaking down fat and breaking down unhealthy chemicals in the body. Many dieters focus on eating foods that will boost their metabolism in order to lose more weight. If you are concerned over excess weight, there are a number of lifestyle changes that may be beneficial in obtaining your weight loss goal, including exercise and a healthy diet. The following foods have been shown to be beneficial in helping to speed up the metabolism. It is common for those wanting to lose weight to choose foods known as “negative calorie” foods. These types of foods trick dieters into believing that because the food does not contain calories, it is good for them. However, in order to safely lose weight you should eat foods that help produce energy, which is beneficial in digestion and (Read More)

Put Down the Haagen-Dazs: Comfort Food is a Myth

What’s your favorite “comfort food”? You know you have one — a treat you use to soothe bruised feelings following some distressing event. Well, guess what: You’re kidding yourself. A new study finds comfort foods are no more effective at lifting moods than any other foods — or even sitting quietly without consuming a calorie. “Negative moods naturally dissipate over time,” writes a University of Minnesota research team led by psychologist Traci Mann. “Individuals may be giving comfort food ‘credit’ for mood effects that would have occurred even in the absence of the comfort food.” That tub of Haagen-Dazs may not have magical powers after all. Mann and her colleagues describe four experiments, three of which were similarly structured. At an introductory session, participants were specifically asked “What foods would make you feel better if you were in a bad mood?”, as well as other foods they enjoy but do (Read More)

Shedding Pounds With A High-Fat Diet?

Can you lose weight with a diet that places no restrictions on your fat intake? Those who swear by the Atkins plan and other low-carbohydrate regimes have long insisted you can – and new research backs them up, reports The New York Times. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, a racially diverse group of 148 obese men and women were given diets to follow. Half were put on low-fat regimes, which limited their total fat intake to less than 30 percent of their daily calories, while the other half followed low-carb diets that involved eating mostly protein and fat. Neither group was given calorie limits. Over the course of a year, those on the low-carb diet lost around 8 pounds more than the low-fat group, shed more body fat, and showed greater improvements in cholesterol levels and other measures of cardiovascular health. Those on the low-fat (Read More)

Inflammation Triggers the Symptoms of Disease

The presence of inflammation is what makes most disease perceptible to an individual. It can and often does occur for years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant. How long it has been smoldering really determines the degree of severity of a disease and often the prognosis assuming the inflammation can be controlled. One could also argue that without inflammation most disease would not even exist. Take a look at this list of diseases and their relationship with inflammation: Disease Mechanism Allergy 4 Immune Mediated Types + Sensitivities, all of which cause inflammation Alzheimer’s Chronic inflammation destroys brain cells Anemia Inflammatory cytokines attack erythropoietin production Ankylosing Spondylitis Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions against joint surfaces Asthma Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions against airway lining Autism Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions in the brain arresting right hemisphere development Arthritis Inflammatory cytokines destroy joint cartilage and synovial (Read More)

Naturally Cheap Protein Sources

People looking to lose weight know the dangers of a diet high in carbohydrates.  If you’re looking to transform your body, then protein is perhaps the most important macronutrient you could ever have on your side. It’s the macro with the highest thermic effect of feeding (i.e. you burn calories by eating it), it helps you regulate insulin by causing the release of insulin’s “balancing” hormone, glucagon, and it provides the vital building blocks to support maintenance of your calorie burning lean muscle as you lose those stubborn pounds.

Sluggish? Tired? Foggy? Iodine May Hold The Key

Maybe it’s time to rejuvenate your thyroid – that master of metabolism. When your thyroid is functioning at less that optimum, you can bet that you will feel sluggish, tired and foggy. It is estimated that as high as twenty percent of all adults have hypothyroidism that has not been clinically diagnosed. And when the condition is diagnosed, the drugs used to combat it often yield little or no results. You see, the thyroid produces four different hormones and the drug addresses only one of these by replacing it. If you had four bad tires on your car, would you only replace one? Even worse, the “hormone replacement” drug actually depresses the thyroid from producing any hormones because it begins to feel as if “someone else” is doing its job, so why work?