‘Healthy’ Foods can make you Fat

Foods that are labelled ‘healthy’ can still make you fat, especially if they contain high amounts of sugar that can trigger snacking later. While previous studies have shown that sugary foods can make a person feel hungrier later in the day, the latest findings reveal that people could exercise some self-control over sugar-driven hunger, if they are given fair warning through product packaging. This happens when people think something is healthy and don’t process the info psychologically. Researchers were particularly concerned about the impact from breakfast foods like cereal, yogurt or instant oatmeal, which are marketed as healthy but often contain loads of sugar. The onus then is on labelling the foods right, as, generally, when people think something is healthy, they think it lets them make other food choices that may not be as healthy.

 

Walk to increase lifespan

Even a little walking can lengthen your life, say researchers who found that walking less than the recommended 150 minutes a week is also beneficial. According to them, evening strolls, taken after dinner, can reduce your risk of death. Earlier research too had linked regular walking with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and breast and colon cancers. The new research concluded that people whose only exercise was walking less than two hours per week had a lower risk of death from any cause than those who did no physical activity. Those who did one to two times the minimum amount of recommended weekly exercise (2.5 to 5 hours) by only walking had a 20 percent lower risk of death. The risk of death was similar among those who exceeded activity recommendations through only walking.

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Is too much exercise bad?

Moderation is believed to be the key for all things in our lives; but could this also include exercise? Possibly… For, a new study has found that white men who exercise more than seven hours a week have 86 percent higher risk of developing plaque build-up in their arteries. Plaque build-up, as has been ascertained, is a critical warning sign for possible future heart disease risk. To explore how exercise might impact heart health over time, the investigators recruited 3,200 white and black men and women and they studied them from 1985 to 2011. During that time, participants self-reported their physical activity routines and showed up for at least three follow-up exams, which included CT scans to measure plaque build-up. The study found that overall those who were among the most frequent exercisers were 27 percent more likely to develop plaque build-up by the time they had reached middle age. Although the results are inconclusive, researchers maintain that doctors should not assume their patients are healthy simply because they check off the exercise box.

 

Obesity promotes breast cancer

Obesity, say scientists, leads to the release of cytokines into the bloodstream, which impacts the metabolism of breast cancer cells, making them more aggressive as a result. The number of people with obesity is increasing rapidly worldwide. Severe overweight can lead to various health impairments, besides inducing cardiovascular diseases, and promoting the development of cancer and metastases. The current study exposes an as yet unknown mechanism making breast cancer more aggressive. The enzyme ACC1 (a key component of fatty acid synthesis) is said to play a central role in this process. The scientists involved in the study demonstrated that the described inhibition of ACC1 leads to the accumulation of the fatty acid precursor acetyl-CoA. This precursor is transferred to certain gene ‘switches’ that in turn increase the metastatic capacity of cancer cells by activating a specific gene programme.

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