Archive for August, 2012

Eat whatever you want and still stay slim

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could eat all of the sugar and fat that we want without gaining a pound.

It may be possible and its not far from reality as researchers from the United States and Europe have found that blocking one of three opioid receptors in your body could turn your penchant for sweets and fried treats into a weight loss strategy that actually works.

By blocking the delta opioid receptor, or DOR, mice reduced their body weight despite being fed a diet high in fat and sugar.

The scientists believe that the deletion of the DOR gene in mice stimulated the expression of other genes in brown adipose tissue that promoted thermo genesis.

“Our study provided further evidence that opioid receptors can control the metabolic response to diets high in fat and sugar, and raise the possibility that these gene products (or their respective pathways) can be targeted specifically to treat excess weight and obesity,” said Traci A. Czyzyk, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Physiology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scientists studied mice lacking the delta opioid receptor (DOR KO) and wild type (WT) control mice who were fed an energy dense diet (HED), high in fat and sugar, for three months.

They found that DOR KO mice had a lean phenotype specifically when they were fed the HED. While WT mice gained significant weight and fat mass on this diet, DOR KO mice remained lean even though they consumed more food.

Researchers then sought to determine how DOR might regulate energy balance and found that DOR KO mice were able to maintain their energy expenditure levels, in part, due to an increase in non-shivering thermo genesis.

This was evidenced by an increase in thermogenesis-promoting genes in brown adipose tissue, an increase in body surface temperature near major brown adipose tissue depots, and the ability of DOR KO mice to maintain higher core body temperatures in response to being in a cold environment.

Why a glass of milk doesn’t suit you

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Ways to deal with lactose Intolerance

All of us grew up with our moms forcing us to drink a glass of milk but there are some of us who are lactose intolerant. Then you drink milk or eat foods with milk in them, you may get diarrhoea, gas, and cramps. There’s no need to drink a glass of milk and feel comfortable after that. Some dairy foods such as custard, cottage cheese, and yogurt have less lactose than milk. You may be able to eat them even if milk upsets your stomach.

If you can’t eat dairy products without problems, you may have to go on a low-lactose or lactose-free diet. If you do, keep in mind that since lactose is a sugar that’s also used to sweeten foods, it may be found in products that aren’t milk-based. May be you should ask your physician about ways to deal with this problem. Now you can also have probiotics yogurt (beneficial bacteria that can help your body digest lactose).

What you must eat if you are lactose intolerant:
– Milk and milk products are high in calcium so, in absence of that, eat other foods that are high in calcium. – If you’re worried about getting enough calcium, try to eat more leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and dried figs. You can also ask your physician about adding calcium supplements to your diet.
– Consider soy milk as an alternative to cow’s milk. It can be good substitutes if they’re fortified with calcium and vitamin D and you’re getting enough protein from other foods in your diet.
– Try imitation dairy products. Try tofu and non-dairy sour cream, whipped topping, and coffee creamer instead of the dairy originals.
– Use dairy products that have cultures in them, such as yogurt, buttermilk, and some cheeses. They have less lactose, and the cultures help your body digest the little bit that’s there.
– If you want your milk shake, there are restaurants now which serve vegan shakes too.
– And if you are a tea addict, don’t give so much of thought to milk. The market is now full of all kinds of tea like orange-passion fruit tea, jasmine tea, tulsi-ginger tea which you can have without adding milk. And yes, Darjeeling tea tastes heavenly without milk. So, enjoy your morning cuppa even if you are lactose intolerant.

6 Best fruits for your skin, hair and nails

Friday, August 10th, 2012

No matter which beauty product rules the market, a fact that nobody can deny, is that fruits are nature’s most valuable beauty enhancers. And what’s more, they are inexpensive too. Now, you need not wonder what to do to get that awesome glow on your skin or add some luster to your hair. Here’s a ready-reckoner for you:

Rich in potassium and vitamins A, C and E, Bananas are ideal for skin and hair (they help restore dull and damaged hair). While vitamin A restores natural oils of the skin, vitamin E repairs damaged skin and lighten age spots, Vitamin C, on the other hand, prevent cell oxidation and wrinkles.

They have been used as a beauty aid for decades. A cup of apple juice added to your bath will cleanse and smooth-en your skin. Apple juice applied to your scalp helps prevent dandruff. A final rinse of your hair with apple juice after shampooing brings about an added shine. Apples are also a good conditioner and toner, and help fight acne.

A great skin emollient, pineapples help rejuvenate and cleanse the skin. Rubbing a slice of pineapple on spots like knees, elbows and heels helps soften the skin. It can also act as a loofah or sponge while taking a shower.

Lemons are known for their ‘skin and hair’ cleansing properties. Dandruff can be prevented by rubbing lemon on the scalp. Adding two teaspoons of lemon juice in your bath not only deodorizes the body but also keeps it fresh. Lemon rinds, when rubbed on scars, acne or dark spots, helps heal them. Rub lemon slices on rough areas of heels and elbows to soften them.

Rich in vitamin A and enzymes, papayas act as a great exfoliate. Mashed papaya, when applied to the face, helps get rid of dead skin and gives your face that glow.

This fruit is best for dry skin. A combination of peach paste and yogurt, when applied to the skin and rinsed off with lukewarm water not only moisturizes the skin but also leaves it supple and soft. Gorging on these yummy fruits is not enough, applying them on the skin and hair helps a lot as well. So, the next time you lunge at that favourite fruit of yours, look beyond its culinary value, for you’d be surprised at its cosmetic benefits.

Nuts and Yoghurt can help you stay slim

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

A study has found that potatoes can make people pile on the pounds while fruits, vegetables grains nuts and yoghurt can help them stay slim.

The Harvard study for the first time details how much weight individuals foods make people put on or keep off.

“The conventional wisdom is simply, ‘Eat everything in moderation and just reduce total calories’ without paying attention to what those calories are made of,” the Washington Post quoted Dariush Mozaffarian of the Harvard School of Public Health, who led the study, as saying.

“All foods are not equal and just eating in moderation is not enough,” Mozaffarian explained.

From all the foods studied potatoes stood out. It was found that every additional serving of potatoes people added to their regular diet each day made them gain about a pound over four years.

It was no surprise that french fries and potato chips are especially fattening.

But the study found that even mashed, baked or boiled potatoes were unexpectedly plumping, perhaps because of their effect on the hormone insulin.

Similarly, while it was no shock that every added serving of fruits and vegetables prevented between a quarter- and a half-pound gain, other foods were strikingly good at helping people stay slim.

Every extra serving of nuts, for example, prevented more than a half-pound of weight gain. And perhaps the biggest surprise was yoghurt, every serving of which kept off nearly a pound over four years.

The findings could have significant political, economic and policy implications, supporting, for example, growing pressure to levy taxes and take other steps to discourage certain menu options, such as sugary soda for kids.

For the study, Mozaffarian and his colleagues’ analysed data collected from a total of 120,877 healthy American men and women.

The study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.