Each year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out it's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists, a guide to the most- and least-contaminated fruits and vegetables out there.
Here's what it looks like for 2012:
Dirty Dozen (plus two) - Buy these organic
3. Sweet bell peppers
6. Imported nectarines
11. Domestic blueberries
Plus - May contain pesticide residues of special concern
+ Green beans
+ Kale/collard greens
Clean 15 - These have the least amount of pesticide residue
2. Sweet corn
6. Sweet peas
11. Domestic cantaloupe
12. Sweet potatoes
Here's a link to their report: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/
50 Names for Sugar You May Not Know
Most of us enjoy sweet stuff occasionally. But, if you're trying to cut back, it's really helpful to know the different names for sugar, otherwise you could end up eating much more than you expected.
Sugar is added to so many food products, and with such a large number of other names for "sugar", it can be really difficult to know what to look out for on the food label.
So, here is a list to help you identify the different forms of sugar in your food:
- Barley malt
- Beet sugar
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane juice crystals
- Cane sugar
- Corn syrup
- Corn syrup solids
- Confectioner's sugar
- Carob syrup
- Castor sugar
- Date sugar
- Demerara sugar
- Diastatic malt
- Ethyl maltol
- Fruit juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Glucose solids
- Golden sugar
- Golden syrup
- Grape sugar
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Icing sugar
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Muscovado sugar
- Raw sugar
- Refiner's syrup
- Rice syrup
- Sorghum syrup
- Turbinado sugar
- Yellow sugar
A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health published in
the Journal of the American Medical Association this week shows that
dieters who were trying to maintain their weight loss burned
significantly more calories eating a low-carb diet than they did eating a
From USA today:
"scientists had 21 obese participants, ages 18 to 40, lose 10% to 15% of their initial body weight (about 30 pounds). After their weight had stabilized, each
participant followed one of three different diets for four weeks.
Participants were fed food that was prepared for them by diet experts.
The dieters were admitted to the hospital four times for medical and
The diets had the same number of calories, but the fat, protein and carbohydrate content varied. Those diets:
- A low-fat diet which was about 20% of calories from fat and emphasized whole-grain products and fruits and vegetables.
- A low-carb diet, similar to the Atkins diet, with only 10% of calories
from carbohydrates. It emphasized fish, chicken, beef, eggs, cheese,
some vegetables and fruits while eliminating foods such as breads,
pasta, potatoes and starchy vegetables.
- A low-glycemic index diet, similar to a Mediterranean diet, made up of vegetables, fruit, beans, healthy fats (olive oil, nuts) and mostly healthy grains
(old-fashioned oats, brown rice). These foods digest more slowly,
helping to keep blood sugar and hormones stable after the meal.
Findings, published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association:
Participants burned about 300 calories more a day on a low-carb diet
than they did on a low-fat diet. "That's the amount you'd burn off in an
hour of moderate intensity physical activity without lifting a finger,"
says senior author David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation
Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital.
"Participants burned 150 calories more on the low-glycemic index diet than the
low-fat diet. That's about an hour of light physical activity," he says.
The reason for the low-carb advantage is unclear, he says.
"We think the low-carb and low-glycemic index diets, by not causing the
surge and crash in blood sugar, don't trigger the starvation response.
When the body thinks it's starving, it turns down metabolism to conserve
energy," he says."
Here's the link to the actual study:
got all my meals prepared for the week... :D
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You see it all the time in the gym. I call them "Chronic-Crunchers". People with larger mid-sections toiling away doing crunches, reverse crunches, ab twists, and a plethora of various ab exercises. Yet their tummies never get smaller. (Some of them even get bigger!)
Abs are made in the kitchen. If your diet isn't on point, you will never see that 6-pack. Instead of wasting their time doing set after set of ab exercises they would be better off tightening up their diet or even doing some cardio.
There was a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in September 2011 which examined the effect of ab exercise on abdominal fat. Twenty-four healthy, sedentary adults between the ages of 18 and 40 were split into two groups: a control group and an abdominal exercise group. For 6 weeks the abdominal exercise group was instructed to do ab exercises 5 times a week. The workout was 7 exercises, 2 sets of each with 10 reps. The control group did no ab training.
At the end of 6 weeks the ab exercise group showed no significant changes in: body weight; body fat percentage; fat around the abdomen, chest, shoulders, neck and back;
abdominal circumference; abdominal skinfold and suprailiac skinfold measurements. The only improvement was in the amount of ab curls the ab exercise group could do compared to the control group.
The researchers concluded:
"Abdominal exercise training was effective to increase abdominal strength
but was not effective to decrease various measures of abdominal fat."
So ya, if you're looking for a 6-pack, start by cleaning up your diet or adding in some cardio.
Here's the link to the abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21804427
The Grapefruit Diet has been talked about and touted for years. I even remember my mom going on this diet when I was a kid. The question is: does it work?
There is a study published in 2006 which examined the effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance. The study was done at Scripps Clinic here in La Jolla, CA. For 12 weeks, 91 obese patients were randomized to take:
- placebo capsules and 7oz. of apple juice
- grapefruit capsules and 7oz. of apple juice
- placebo capsules and 8oz. of grapefruit juice
- placebo capsule and half of a fresh grapefruit
There were no changes to their daily diets other than the addition of the grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
At the end of 12 weeks, the fresh grapefruit group had lost 3.5 pounds, the grapefruit juice group lost 3.3 pounds, the grapefruit capsule group lost 2.4 pounds, and the placebo group had lost 0.7 pounds. There was also a significant reduction in 2 hour post insulin level in the grapefruit group compared with placebo. Insulin resistance was improved with fresh grapefruit.
Here's a link to the abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16579728
*sigh* this makes dieting the whole week worth it...
i get 2 more of these meals, then some fast food for dinner! :D
then it's back to the diet on monday!
hope you're having a good weekend!
If you're looking for a myostatin blocker it may already be sitting on your shelf!
But before we get to that... What is myostatin??
Myostatin ( also known as growth differentiation factor 8, abbreviated "GDF8" ) is a secreted TGF beta protein family member that inhibits muscle differentiation and growth. Myostatin is produced primarily in skeletal muscle cells, circulates in the blood and acts on muscle tissue, by binding a cell-bound receptor called the activin type II receptor. In humans, myostatin is encoded by the MSTN gene.
Animals lacking myostatin or animals treated with substances such as follistatin that block the binding of myostatin to its receptor have significantly larger muscles. Thus, reduction of myostatin could potentially benefit the livestock industry, with even a 20 percent reduction in myostatin levels potentially having a large effect on the development of muscles.
So, in layman's terms: Myostatin is protein produced by the body which restrains muscle growth, ensuring that muscles do not grow too large.
Hmm, not a very friendly substance for someone wanting to increase their muscle mass, eh? :/
Now, resistance training in itself will lower myostatin. But take a look at this study published in 2010. It examined the effect of resistance training plus supplementation of oral creatine on myostatin and GASP-1 levels. GASP-1 is a protein that neutralizes myostatin. Here's what they found: "Creatine supplementation in conjunction with resistance training lead to greater decreases in serum myostatin (p<0.05), but had not additional effect on GASP-1 (p>0.05). The effects of resistance training on serum levels of myostatin and GASP-1, may explain the increased muscle mass that is amplified by creatine supplementation."
So, why aren't you supplementing with creatine again?
You can read the whole abstract here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20026378