Too much fruit?
Just when you thought all those bananas for breakfast were a good thing, dietitians from the Loyola University Health System
have claimed it is
possible to eat too much fruit and vegetables.
Of course, a few pieces of fruit per day are all part of enjoying a healthy diet but, say these researchers, just because fruit is nutritious doesn’t mean it can’t lead to weight gain.
Dietitian Brooke Schantz says the crux of this issue is all about portion control. Weight gain is a basic concept; it is about energy in versus energy out. If your total caloric intake is higher than the energy you burn off in a day, you will gain weight – no matter what food it is you’re consuming.
The only exception is non-starchy vegetables (like broccoli, carrots, celery and mushrooms) due to their high water and fibre content. The only way they are detrimental is when they are accompanied by unnecessary calories in condiments (like dips, sauces and high-fat dressings). Vegetables that are high in starch, such as peas, corn and potatoes should be limited. We should also be wary of foods that are labelled as fat-free or low-fat, as they tend to be high in sugar and calories. Snacking: it’s all in the mind
According to new research published in the journal NeuroImage
, our brain activity plays a vital role when it comes to determining how much food we will snack on.
The research shows that the way our ‘reward centre’ part of the brain responds to images of food can predict how much we will eat – rather than responding to hunger.
An MRI scan was conducted on 25 young females with healthy BMI ranging from 17-30, while being shown images of food that varied in desirability and calories. Each participant also completed a survey to measure their levels of self-control. Those who had not eaten for six hours were given a bowl of potato chips after the scan.
Here’s what happened: the brain’s response to the images of food during the scan foretold how many chips participants would eat. Ratings of hunger and how much they liked the foods, including potato chips, were unrelated to their actual chip intake.
A strong brain response in the ‘reward centre’ can therefore be linked with increased weight and eating. Obviously, responses can vary between individuals, but it can help to explain why some individuals are more likely to overeat and put on weight than others. Worst countries for your waistline
Holidays are great for the psyche, but aren’t always great for the waistline. UK travel company Fly Thomas Cook
conducted a survey on 350 Brit’s to determine why people gain a kilo or two when holidaying and if the destination is partially responsible.
The researchers found that people gained the most weight when they visited Cyprus, Turkey and Portugal. The USA came in fourth. Australia also made it in to the top 10, ranking eighth on the list.
It appears weight gain is due to indulgence in higher-calorie foods
and alcohol when travelling, partnered with not as much physical exercise.
The countries linked to weight loss had a strong emphasis on sporting activities – for example, Germany, Canada and Ireland. Interestingly, the survey also showed that when people travelled to a destination where they were required to wear revealing clothing, they often lost weight too.
Overall, many participants were torn between wanting to look good while on holiday and wanting to let your hair down. Related content:
Sydney is the laziest city; it might be time to start a food diary and more...
Dessert for breakfast
Exercise motivation in a pill?