Having trouble cutting down your salt intake? May be your genes.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

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Having trouble cutting down your salt intake? May be your genes.

Americans eat two to three times the recommended amount of salt every day. Part of the problem may lie not in our foods, but in our genes.

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Organic Food Isn’t For The Birds

Thursday, June 3, 2010

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Organic Food Isn’t For The Birds

It turns out birds aren't bird brains when it comes to what they eat. A number of species of birds have been shown to choose foods that contain higher levels of healthy things like protein and antioxidants and lower levels of not-so-healthy things like heavy metals and pesticides. Since they're such finicky eaters, scientists figured to let them choose between conventionally and organically grown food, and see which they deemed better for them. The vote was unanimous: birds prefer non-organic.

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Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Thursday, May 13, 2010

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Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Insulin is one of the most important hormones in the human body, and yet most people don't really understand why our bodies make it or how what we eat affects the levels of insulin we produce. More so than any other hormone, our diet is key in regulating insulin levels, and thus a number of biological processes. As you'll soon see, everyone should think about how what they eat impacts their body's insulin release to be at their happiest and healthiest.

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When Cutting Calories Doesn’t Cut It

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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When Cutting Calories Doesn’t Cut It

New research out of the Oregon Health and Science University may explain the discrepancy between the theory and reality of dieting. They found that, at least in some of our closest relatives, cutting calories isn't enough to lose weight because the body compensates for the reduced intake by lowering activity levels. Image credit: iamchenelle, flickr

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Why Don’t We Just Eat Better?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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Why Don’t We Just Eat Better?

Why is it so hard for us to eat a healthy diet? It would appear to be the easiest solution in the world. Just choose wisely at the grocery store and - Poof! - you can feel better, lose weight, and look fantastic. Of course, we all know that eating healthy is never as easy as it sounds. So what is in the way of making good food choices?

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Looking Deeper: Can Exercising 10 Minutes A Day Be Better Than 10 Hours?

Friday, April 2, 2010

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Looking Deeper: Can Exercising 10 Minutes A Day Be Better Than 10 Hours?

A recent paper in The Journal of Physiology titled, "A practical model of low-volume high-intensity interval training induces mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle: potential mechanisms." has caused quite a stir. It centers around a recent fashion in workouts called High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIT. HIT is a method of exercise which involves working as hard as you can for brief intervals followed by brief rest intervals. The idea is that by doing higher intensity workouts for shorter time intervals, you can work out "less" but get the same, or even more, benefit - but is that true?

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Understanding Our Bodies – Fiber!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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Understanding Our Bodies – Fiber!

Most of us already know that we should be eating fiber - according to the Institute of Medicine, adults should be eating 20-35 grams of it per day. But why? What's so important about fiber anyway? What does it do for us physiologically? And does it matter what kind of fiber we eat? (Image Credit: Sami Taipale, flickr)

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The Protein Problem: Eating Healthy While Making The Least Ecological Impact

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

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The Protein Problem: Eating Healthy While Making The Least Ecological Impact

It would be great if we could just stop eating meat all together. But there's one problem - we need complete dietary protein, and about 60 grams a day of it. This is what I call the Protein Problem: the problem is that we need a lot of protein, nutritionally speaking, but producing it is an ecological nightmare. If you've read my post about why protein is so nutritionally important, you know that meat is simply the best source of complete dietary protein. But is becoming vegetarian and eating tofu the solution to our protein problem? Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

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GMOs: Does Regulation Ensure Safety?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

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GMOs: Does Regulation Ensure Safety?

The public's biggest concern when it comes to GMOs is their safety. There are a lot of misconceptions about genetic engineering. When pressed on science of GMOs, I have often heard people fear that the genetically modified material in the foods they are eating will somehow mutate their DNA too. While logically it sounds like that makes a bit of sense, scientifically its nonsense. So how do we test for and ensure that GMOs are safe? Allow me to introduce you to the complex world of genetic technology regulation. Image credit: kevin dolley on flickr.

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GMOs: Frankenfood or Evolutionary Advance?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

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GMOs: Frankenfood or Evolutionary Advance?

Why are crops and animals being modified? What GMOs are currently on the market? What new GMOs are being created? Good questions... (thanks to klar!! on flickr for that cool art.)

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