True or False: Soda is okay if it is “diet”?
According to a recent study that followed 2500 people for 10 years, daily intake of diet sodas was associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, obesity, and other vascular risks. While this study was not completely conclusive, it does add to the growing body of research that suggests diet soda–like regular soda–is not doing our bodies any favors, and may be hurting us.
Salty Love Leads to Painful Hearts
A recent study by the CDC found that 9 out of 10 people consume more sodium than is necessary – a whopping 3300mg as opposed to the <2300mg recommendation. We do love our salt! But too much sodium can cause severe health issues such as heart disease and strokes. Read this article to get an idea of which foods contain the most sodium so you can make better, more informed choices about your meals!
Not all Fat is Created Equal
Ever wondered why it sometimes seems that thin, fit people don’t have to watch what they eat as much and are better able to keep exercising? This month Harvard & Dana Farber researchers report on a newly discovered hormone, Irisin, that may play a role in this seemingly unfair phenomenon. Irisin, created when people exercise, seems to turn white fat cells into brown fat cells. White fat? Brown fat? What difference does it make–fat is fat, right? Actually no, not all fat is created equal.
White fat just stores calories, whereas brown fat actually burns calories. We used to think that only babies had brown fat. It was thought that they used it to help keep themselves warm until they were old enough to move around and generate their own heat, and then-no longer needing the brown fat’s heat-the brown fat was replaced by white fat. In 2009 we learned that some adults still seem to have some brown fat, but we didn’t know how or why. This new study seems to have revealed one possible mechanism. In brief, exercising muscles release a hormone called PGC1-alpha which in turn leads to the creation of Irisin. Irisin then travels to white fat and seems to signal the white fat to become brown.
Now these guys aren’t the only reasons fit people are more toned than sedentary individuals, but the study does demonstrate that the more you exercise, the more of these hormones you release, and the more brown fat you develop – ergo, burning calories for you and increasing your metabolism!
You can read more in this NY Times article.
Thanksgiving Turkey Can Help Avoid Diabetes Risk
Many people have heard that over-consumption of red meat can increase risk for strokes and heart attacks, but did you know that in a recent study, red meat–particularly processed red meat–is associated with a higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes? So perhaps this Thanksgiving while you’re enjoying (in moderation!) your turkey and trimmings (especially the salad with nuts!), you can also feel good that you’re taking a small step to avoid diabetes!
Abstract: Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Diabetes Risk Tool
Here’s a short online quiz from the American Diabetes Association that can help look at your risk for developing type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. The earlier you detect it the better because you can actually delay or prevent full-blown diabetes if you catch it early and intervene. In fact with proper testing and understanding the earliest signs of diabetes can be detected a decade or more before a person meets the criteria for diabetes. It’s one of the things we’re on the lookout for with our patients at Cornerstone. Here’s the link: Diabetes Risk Tool.