How Walnuts Help you Fight Cravings

Walnuts are nutrient-dense and also contain dietary fiber which can promote satiety, a feeling of fullness. Research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggests there might be more to this nut’s ability to discourage overeating.
Ten obese subjects spent separate 5-day sessions in a research lab where their caloric intake could be closely monitored. On one occasion, they were given shakes containing 48 grams of walnuts. During the other visit, the calorie and taste matched shakes contained no walnuts.

Not only did subjects report being less hungry after drinking shakes containing walnuts, MRI brain activity suggested they were responding more favorably to healthier food images compared to when they drank walnut-free shakes.

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Least amount of post workout protein

There’s a tendency among weight room warriors to believe that more is better. A study recently published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition takes a look at what can be accomplished with less. In this case, they were trying to determine the least amount of protein that could assist with post-workout recovery.

Twenty healthy male subjects in their 40s did 4 sets of leg extensions and presses using 80% of their one rep max. Some consumed 9 grams of milk protein while others got a calorie-matched carbohydrate drink.

 Nine grams of milk protein was enough to increase some measures of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling, which plays a role in protein synthesis. It wasn’t enough to optimize the increased amino acid transport that results from exercise.

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Meal a Protein and Calorie Distribution

Last Friday, we posted research suggesting that evenly distributing protein across daily meals can help support muscular strength. How does the average child in America eat? A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found the majority of protein and calories are consumed at lunchtime and evening meals. 

Researchers used 24-hour dietary recall data from the 1013 to 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to track the eating habits of 2,532 subjects between the ages of 4 and 18. They found 4% of children aged 4 to 8 consumed nothing before 11 AM, and 20% of the subjects aged 14 to 18 didn’t eat anything until 11 AM or later. Most of the protein and calories were consumed at dinner and lunch with the least amount consumed at breakfast and in the afternoon.


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Tips for reducing your salt intake

If you’re trying to cut down on your consumption of salt, clearing the salt shaker off your kitchen table might not be the most effective approach. According to a study published in the journal Circulation, only about 10% of the salt consumed by American adults comes from home cooking, including 5% added to food at the table.

Food diaries kept by a sampling of 450 adults found that 71% of salt intake came from restaurant meals and processed foods like bread, crackers and soups. Salt naturally occurring in foods accounted for 14% of dietary sodium, and salt from tap water and supplements amounted to less than 1%. On average, subjects consumed about 3,500 mg of sodium per day, well over the recommended 2,300 mg per day limit.

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How texture limit food intake

Large portion sizes and high-calorie foods share much of the blame for overconsumption. Finding the right balance between food quality and quantity can be difficult. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests texture also plays a role in consumption.

Study subjects were given a bowl of rice pudding for breakfast. Some were a thinner consistency and some were thicker. Researchers also varied the portion size. On average, the thicker texture reduced the rate of consumption by 45% compared to pudding with a thinner consistency, but the thicker pudding contained 77% more calories.


Although the thicker pudding was more calorie-dense, the serving was consumed at a slower rate leading to an 11% reduction in food weight, the equivalent of 13% fewer calories. A portion size 50% smaller also reduced caloric consumption by 13%.

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Traditional Diet vs Alternate Day Fasting Diet

There are numerous weight loss programs adults can choose fom to try and lose weight. Alternate day fasting has become popular with people who have a difficult time adhering to more traditional calorie restriction diets. A study published by JAMA Internal Medicine put both programs to the test.

Of the 100 obese adults in the study, some were assigned to an alternate day fasting program where they received 25% of their calorie needs on the fasting day with 125% on the feasting day. Others adhered to a traditional calorie restriction diet where they received 75% of their calorie needs every day.

After 1 year, results were not significantly different, with alternate day fasting subjects losing an average of 6% of their body weight and traditional dieters losing an average of 5.3%. Adherence was also about the same for both groups.

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Even if you’re in good shape, you can still build more muscle, shed more fat and improve your performance. Many adults actively engaged in these pursuits place their emphasis on the training aspect of the journey, but there might be another way. Consider the findings of new research from Skidmore University.

Fifty physically fit women and men between the ages of 30 and 65 who had exercised at least 4 days a week for 45 minutes per session for 3 years took part in the 12 week study. All subjects consumed the same amount of calories and followed the same strength and aerobic training program. Some got the recommended amount of protein while other received slightly more protein along with antioxidant supplements.

While all subjects showed improvements, subjects in the higher protein group experienced greater gains in upper body muscular endurance and power, core strength and aerobic power.

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Beans are a good plant-based source of nutrients including protein. You have a lot of choices when it comes to this particular vegetable, and a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests fast-cooking varieties of beans provide greater nutritional value.

Analyzing the content of 12 fast-, moderate- and slow-cooking bean varieties, researchers determined that the fast-cooking Cebo Cela yellow bean delivered 20% more protein and 10% more zinc and iron compared to another yellow bean known as Canario which requires twice the cooking time. Here’s another finding: the bioavailability of iron, which is the amount your body can absorb, is higher in fast-cooking beans.

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Many weight loss diets suggest reducing the amount of fat you consume, especially saturated fats from meat and dairy products. But a Norwegian study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests saturated fat might not be as important as the overall quality of the food being consumed.

Researchers put 38 men with abdominal fat on a high-carbohydrate or high-fat diet. Both eating programs were within calorie guidelines and featured minimally processed foods. Half the fat in the high-fat diet came from saturated fats sourced from butter, cream and cold-pressed oils.

Subjects on the high-fat diet experienced improvements in good cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugars. This goes against conventional wisdom, but illustrates the advantages of choosing whole foods over more processed options.

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Nitrates and other nitric oxide supporting ingredients are popular components of many sports nutrition supplements. What can they do for your weight room workout? A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research put nitrates to the test using a dozen recreationally active men on the bench press.

Some subjects were given 400 mg of nitrate while others got a placebo before performing 3 sets to failure using 60% of their one rep max. All got 2 minutes of rest between sets. Even though there were no real differences in ratings of perceived exertion or lactate buildup, nitrate supplementing subjects did significantly more reps to failure and lifted a greater total amount of weight.

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For decades, experts have warned that too much salt in the diet can contribute to high blood pressure. A 25-year study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology offers more incentives for paying closer attention.

The American Heart Association estimates the average American’s daily salt consumption at 3,400 mg a day, a lot of it coming from processed food. The recommended daily limit for salt is 2,400 mg.

Researchers calculated that a person consuming 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day, which is the equivalent of 3,600 mg, might increase their odds of early death by 12% just by adding an additional half teaspoon. Subjects who consumed less than 1 teaspoon per day, about 2,300 mg of salt, had a 25% lower chance of premature death.

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Low levels of testosterone can lead to fatigue as well as decreased muscle and bone mass. Fortunately, your body’s natural production of this hormone can be altered through diet and exercise. A study presented at the Integrative Biology of Exercise 7 meeting in Phoenix, Arizona measured the effect of 12 weeks of aerobic exercise on 16 normal eight and 28 overweight men.

Researchers had subjects walk or jog for between 40 and 60 minutes per session performed 1 to 3 days per week. At the end of the program, overweight subjects had lost weight and significantly increased testosterone levels. Results were best in subjects who exercised vigorously. Normal weight subjects did not see such a dramatic testosterone increase.

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Selecting a rainbow of different colored fruits and vegetables is one way to promote dietary diversity. Compared to eating the same things all the time, this strategy helps balance macro- and micronutrient intake. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition looks at the association between plant protein consumption and dietary diversity.

Analyzing data from 1,330 adults who participated in the French Nutrition and Health Survey, researchers found a positive association between plant protein consumption, dietary diversity and nutrient adequacy. Consuming animal proteins was not associated with a diverse diet. Meat and potatoes eaters should consider adding some colorful vegetables to their meal plans.

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Your metabolism is always running, even while you’re asleep. Its rate is determined largely by your genetics. A thermogenic like caffeine or chili extract can temporarily increase the rate, but long-term alterations require lifestyle changes. That’s what a news release from the Texas A&M School of Public Health suggests.

Because muscle burns more calories than body fat, weight training can help increase muscle mass and metabolism. Hydration is also important, and eating right is another productive change you can make, getting more leafy vegetables into your diet and not skipping breakfast. You also need to get enough sleep because your metabolism can’t run efficiently without the right amount, usually defined as between 7 and 8 hours.

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Eating Oats Can Reduce Cholesterol


Back in 1963, researchers found that substituting while bread with bread containing 140 grams of rolled oats lowered LDL cholesterol. Now a meta-analysis of 58 controlled trials published online in the British Journal of Nutrition attempts to get more specific on the cardiovascular benefits of eating oat fiber.

Analyzing the diets of 4,000 subjects from around the world, researchers estimated that daily supplementation with 3.5 grams of beta-glucan fiber from oat could lower LDL cholesterol by an average of 4.2%. Working some into your diet isn’t likely to tip the scale too much. One cup of cooked oat bran amounts to just 88 calories.

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