Health

Health headlines: The newfound key to successful dieting

By: Canadian Living
Canadian Living
Health

Health headlines: The newfound key to successful dieting

By: Canadian Living

Health News In the world of health, information is changing all the time. Scientists are constantly researching cures for diseases, conducting studies that help us better understand the human body and sifting through current health advice to see what strategies are actually going to help us live longer, healthier lives. It can be hard to keep up on it all. That’s why I’ve decided to check in on the latest in health news once a week to round up the most relevant studies that you need to know to keep yourself well. Here are three of this week’s most important stories. 1. Having healthy food for sale nearby is key to successful dieting. A new study from UMass Medical School showed that even the most motivated dieters won’t make healthy choices when healthy food is not easily accessible and nearby. The first study of its kind, it looked at 240 obese adults with metabolic syndrome who were told by physicians to change their diets, and it found that those who could travel the shortest distance to retailers with healthy food choices (e.g., places other than convenience stores or fast food joints) ate more fibre, and more fruits and vegetables than those who had to travel farther. Based on these findings, it seems that the availability of healthy options in one’s neighbourhood could be critical to their success at healthy eating. Of course, the availability of healthy options is no guarantee an individual will stick to a healthy eating plan, but it could significantly improve their efforts. When you’re planning to make a healthy eating change, plan where to buy healthy ingredients and snacks to help yourself stay on track. 2. The marijuana debate continues. This week, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health weighed in on the marijuana debate and argued that marijuana should be legalized—but with strict controls. According to the Centre, imposing regulations, such as a minimum age limit and restrictions on promotion, might help reduce the potential harms of the drug, which include lung cancer, dependence and injuries from impaired driving. They suggest that making the drug legal but having strict regulations around its sale and use will actually reduce the potential harm that marijuana can do. Learn about the latest medical marijuana laws. 3. Your genes might control your coffee cravings. Coffee: You either love it or you hate it. For some it energizes; for others it causes jitters. New research from Harvard School of Public Health has discovered six genetic variants that are related to regular coffee consumption. These genes are associated with how your body deals with caffeine, blood sugar and cholesterol. Researchers say this could put them on the brink of finding out why caffeine affects some of us differently than others. Those with certain genetics, for example, might have increased caffeine metabolism, which makes them crave more coffee. And, since there has been so much conflicting research about the health effects of coffee, these findings could help identify if there are certain people who are or are not likely to benefit from drinking it regularly. Are you a coffee lover? Try the latest trend—a coffee nap. (Photography: Thinkstock)
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Health headlines: The newfound key to successful dieting

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