New research published in Nutrition Journal has linked a key compound in beer to weight loss. Called matured hop bitter acids (MHBA), they are formed when beer is stored for a long period of time and can also be extracted from hops—the flowers that give beer its flavor and bitterness. Scientists divided almost 200 overweight people into two groups and gave one a daily dose of MHBA and the other a placebo, without upping exercise or changing diet. After 12 weeks, the extract subjects lost almost a square inch of visceral fat and more than one inch of abdominal fat. But, not so fast, beer lovers: The amount of calories in the beers with the highest hop content—strong IPAs—would offset any positive effect.
REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE
16 grams of whole grains eaten daily have been shown to reduce your risk of death from heart disease by 9%, says a new meta-analysis from the Harvard Public School of Health.
HEALTHY FATS DON’T LEAD TO WEIGHT GAIN
A Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology study found that a Mediterranean diet, with its emphasis on olive oil and nuts, induced more weight loss compared with a low-fat diet. Evidence shows that whole foods and healthy fats are better for fat loss than low-fat, starch- and sugar-heavy foods.
JUNK FOOD DAMAGES YOUR KIDNEYS
Every month we seem to find another study that highlights just how crappy fast food is, and whaddya know, we found another! This one, appearing in the journal Experimental Physiology, tied the greasy fare to the type of kidney damage you would see in people who have type-1 or type-2 diabetes.
COPPER ENHANCES METABOLISM
Research out of the U. of California, Berkeley, found that the mineral copper plays a big role in fat metabolism by acting as a regulator: “The more copper there is, the more the fat is broken down,” say the study’s authors. The body can’t make copper, so eat plenty of leafy greens, mushrooms, seeds, nuts, beans, and shellfish to get the recommended 700 micrograms a day.
15-MINUTE WORKOUT KILLS APPETITE
A long day at work performing hours of mental gymnastics can cause your brain to want to stuff itself afterward, says a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Researchers discovered, however, that you can subvert those urges with a 15-minute high-intensity routine. The study, performed at the U. of Alabama at Birmingham, had students do graduate-level reading and math exercises. Half the group then were allowed to chill for 15 minutes; the other was tasked with a 15-minute HIIT treadmill session. Both groups were then given a pizza party. The hardcore students ended up eating 100 more calories, and the exercisers ate 25 fewer calories, not a huge amount, but when combined with the workout exertion, the difference ended up equaling about 200 calories.
TOO LITTLE SALT CAN BE BAD
Too much salt consumption has long been linked to high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and diminished brain function, but new research has shown that too little salt can actually be even worse. The study found that low-salt intake was related to increased risk of heart disease, regardless of having high blood pressure. To stay healthy, stay near the USDA-recommended limit of 2,300mg of sodium a day. – FLEX