Interesting health facts you didn't know
Ankita Bahl, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 27, 2011
First Published: 18:39 IST(27/11/2011)
Last Updated: 01:06 IST(28/11/2011)
Some new studies bust a few popular myths and bring to light interesting facts you’d benefit from. Here are some of them.
Fight afternoon laziness with protein, not sugar
To combat mid-afternoon energy crashes, new research suggests reaching for a protein-rich snack
instead of sugar-laden treat. It's a common habit among workers who hold day jobs to consume candy bars and sugar-laden beverages in the middle of the day. The objective is to fulfill a sugar rush to fend off mid-day drowsiness.
But scientists of the University of Cambridge found that it is protein, not sugar which activates the cells that make people alert and burn calories. It suggests that going for egg whites on toast is a better choice than jam on toast.
Walk fast, live long?
Walking is a good exercise to keep fit but who thought walking speed could add years to your life? US researchers say that your gait can predict your longevity as their new study found that seniors with the fastest strides lived longer than their slower walking counterparts. The researchers, however, aren't assuming that simply picking up your walking pace will increase your longevity, but that "your body selects a walking speed that is best for you based on the health of all your body systems."
"Oxygen supply is increased by walking fast, which improves the health of the body organs," says Nidhi Sahai, head dietician, Max Healthcare.
Sea salt no healthier than table salt
Sea salt, which can be 19 times as expensive as its humbler cousin table salt, is no healthier because both kinds are overwhelmingly sodium chloride rich and is just a costlier way to damage your health, say researchers.
"Sea salt is endorsed due to its natural mineral content. However, due to its larger crystal size tastes less saltier and needs to be added more in quantity than table salt. Also, table salt is fortified with Iodine which Sea salt is not," says Sahai.
Sea salt, routinely is endorsed by celebrity chefs because of its "natural and mineral content", is a more costly way of damaging your health, says a study commissioned by CASH, reported the Daily Mail.
A gene that makes alcoholics relapse!
Scientists have identified a particular variant of a gene that plays spoilsport in people's recovery from alcoholism, besides subjecting them to 10 times higher risk of premature death."Our research shows that alcohol-dependent individuals, who are also carriers of this gene variant, run 10 times the risk of dying prematurely, compared with the average population," says study co-author Claudia Fahlke, from Sweden's Sahlgrenska Academy.
Cooked food provides more energy than raw food
Craving meat but don't want the calories? Tuck into a plate of steak tartare, says a new Harvard study which found that cooking meat provides more energy than raw meat.
Scientists from Harvard University fed two groups of mice either meat or sweet potatoes prepared in four ways: raw and whole, raw and pounded, cooked and whole, and cooked and pounded.
Over the course of 40 days, researchers tracked the changes in the body mass of the mice. The results showed that cooked foods delivered more energy to mice than their raw versions.
Preference tests also revealed that hungry mice strongly preferred cooked foods, the researchers said, suggesting that the subjects also had a strong biological impulse towards foods that offered more energetic benefits.
Light drinkers face higher breast cancer risk
Light to moderate alcohol drinkers also face an increased risk of breast cancer, said a research by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Women who drink on average two glasses daily of alcohol show a 51 percent higher risk of breast cancer, said the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.