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We have stored the most interesting diet news articles as they contain great tips and nutritional advice for a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Health news items L - Z

Lack of sleep makes you eat more

Research from a US healthcare company has linked sleep deprivation with weight gain. Volunteers were studied closely as one group was limited to only 5 hours of sleep a night. They ate on average 549 more calories when they missed 1 hour 20 minutes sleep.

Lack of sleep is believed to reduce the body's production of leptin (an appetite-suppressing hormone) as well as increasing the production of ghrelin (an appetite stimulant).

Low-calorie diet boosts immunity

A recent study has revealed that cutting your calories down in order to lose weight can also boost your immunity. Researchers discovered that the T-cells - a type of white blood (immune) cell, improved their function when the participants of the study reduced their calories for 6 months. More info on Calorie Restriction / Longer life Diet

Low-carb diet improves heart health more than low-fat diet

Latest US research, after a 2 year study of over 300 people, has revealed that a low-carbohydrate diet can improve your cardio vascular risk factors. The research showed an increase of 23 per cent in 'good cholesterol' (HDLs) in the dieters on a low-carb diet, when compared with those following a low-fat diet (10-12 per cent).

Both groups lost around the same amount of weight. The study findings also reinforced the importance of behavioural strategies- for those wishing to lose weight effectively - such as keeping a food diary, and so being able to recognise the triggers that can cause overeating.

Mediterranean diet improves health

The latest research review, involving 50 studies, on the effects of a Mediterranean diet, has reported that those eating the diet had lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure and higher levels of the good cholesterol.

The Mediterranean diet includes plenty of good oils (monosaturated fatty acids), generally from olives and olive oil. The diet also consists of a healthy mix of fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry and nuts.

The review studied the risk factors that may precede heart disease, such as high blood pressure.

Past studies have linked the Mediterranean diet with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes and helping dieters to avoid middle aged spread.

Mediterranean Diet can help combat middle aged spread

Figures released from a 6 year Spanish study, involving 10,000 graduates of an average age of 38 years old, have revealed that eating a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, fish , fruit and vegetables can help you stave off the effects of ageing, by keeping your weight under control.

It is widely recognised that once you hit your 40's many people struggle to avoid the pounds piling on.

The study has helped put into question the recent fears from some that the olive oil in the Mediterranean diet can increase your weight. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, full of antioxidants and healthy substances which can help lower your risk of heart disease by reducing the low-density lipoprotein (LDLs or 'bad' cholesterol levels) in your blood.

more obese women in uk
More obese women in UK than rest of Europe

Latest European Union figures has revealed that 23.9% of UK women were recorded as being obese in the year 2008 to 2009. The UK had the highest number of obese females of all the 19 countries surveyed. Malta followed next with 21.1% obese women and then Latvia, with 20.9%.

The UK is shown to have an obesity problem among the younger age group, with 16.6% of the 18-24 age group obese, whereas the other European countries showed less than 11%. The figures from the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) suggest that the proportion of obese women falls as the educational level rises.

Obesity is defined as a person with a BMI of over 30. Between 25 and 30 defines you as overweight. The BMI (Body Mass Index) measures a person's weight relative to their height - calculated by dividing body weight by body height squared.

Check your BMI with our BMI calculator

Recently the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, announced a new goal to bring down the UK's obesity levels by 2020. Hospital admissions for obesity have risen by more than 30%.


The Most Successful Diet

A new consumer report, based on studies lasting 2 years, has put the Jenny Craig diet plan as the most successful diet. 92 percent of participants were found to have stuck with the diet, and achieved successful weight loss.

The report is based on the average diet results, according to published studies. Only diets which conduct clinical trials and report their statistics were considered in the report. The rankings were based on each diet's nutritional calories, as well as the weight loss in the short and long term. The cost of the diet plans were also taken into consideration.

The report ranked the top diets as follows:

1. Jenny Craig - diet counselling with portion-controlled premade foods supplemented by home-cooked side dishes. A menu planner, exercise trackers and personal food journals are included in the diet plan.

2. Slim-Fast
3. Weight watchers
4. Zone diet
5. Atkins

MPs call for 2-days without drink recommendation

A recent report from MPs has called for a revision of safe drinking limits as they believe the general public is receiving confusing information about alcohol intake. They suggest that drinkers should drop alcohol at least twice a week for their health. The maximum advised number of alcohol units per week is 21 for men and 14 for women. The Royal College of Physicians has supported the committee's suggestions.

Nigella's weight loss success due to Clean and Lean plan

TV cook and writer, Nigella Lawson, has been reported as having followed the Bodyism Clean and Lean plan to achieve her fabulous new figure. The once curvaceous 'domestic goddess' has apparently dropped many dress sizes with the Clean and Lean plan, joining other successful celebrity diet followers, such as Elle Macpherson and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

fasting diet Night fasting for 16 hours may control weight

A recent US study involving 100 mice has found that fasting for 16 hours daily and having regular eating times can help control weight gain.

Two of the groups of mice were put on a high-fat diet, with one group having access to food for 8 hours daily and the other group being unrestricted.

The unrestricted group, even though they consumed the same amount of calories as the fasting group, became obese and developed high cholesterol, high blood sugar levels and fatty liver disease.

Monitoring of the fasting group's hormones revealed that the body was breaking down cholesterol and burning fat during the fasting period. Further research is needed on humans, but it is worth trying as most evening food consumed tends to be high-fat or high-sugar, and it's good to give the body's digestion a rest.

sugarNot so 'Healthy' reduced-fat snacks

A lot of 'healthy' snack foods have been marketed as containing reduced saturated fat, because of its links to obesity and heart disease, but now health experts are warning that sugar should also be reduced. Sugar has been used by many food manufacturers to fill in and compensate for reducing the fat in many products, it is said to improve the texture and taste. So called 'healthy' snacks for children are to be the first items under scrutiny; there are certain cereal bars on sale that contain 69% sugar. This is more than three times the level of sugar found in some brands of ice cream.

A recent study has discovered that people who ate more added sugar were likely to have higher levels of certain unhealthy blood fats and lower good cholesterol levels - both factors can contribute to an increase in the risk of heart disease. It is believed that eating a lot of sugar affects the lipids in the body, in a similar manner to eating a high-fat diet. Over-consumption of sugar is already known to be a cause of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

Nuts lower cholesterol

Eating plenty of nuts in your diet can help lower your cholesterol levels, reports a new health study involving seven countries.
Nuts contain a number of healthful substances, including 'good' fats, fibre, and antioxidants. Consuming an average portion of 2.4 ounces (67 grams) of nuts daily was found to lower people's cholesterol levels by 11 points - a 5% reduction. Eating nuts, which are full of anti-oxidants and fibre, can improve your lipid profile, so helping reduce the risk of heart disease.

Walnuts contain the highest omega-3 fatty acids and Brazil nuts are full of selenium - a powerful anti-oxidant. Almonds are high in calcium and Cashews contain vitamin A and are a good source of iron.

Obesity figures growing despite industry involvement

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has undertaken a new 6-month survey into the causes and effects of obesity. Around 25% of British adults are now obese and figures are rising. The government involvement with industry to improve obesity figures seems to have had little effect. The Academy wants food and drink companies banned from sponsoring sports events and using cartoon characters or celebrities to advertise unhealthy foods. They also want manufacturers to reveal levels of salt, sugar, fat and calories in their products and ban fast food outlets from being near to schools.

OFT considers gym membership contracts

The OFT (Office of Fair Trading) has begun an investigation, under the Enterprise Act 2002, into a number of companies that operate gym and fitness clubs, and has warned that many gym contracts may be in breach of the Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and that their practices may fall under the Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

They are investigating lengthy gym contracts that customers are tied into and are finding difficult to cancel following a change in circumstances, and whether this practice is fair. All the UKs major national gym chains are to be considered.

This investigation follows a high court case between the OFT and a company that arranges contracts and collects payments for gyms. The judge ruled that a contract longer than 12 months, and one that did not allow the customer to cancel with 30 days notice and pay a moderate sum in compensation was deemed unfair. The OFT warned that there would be wider implications for gym and fitness clubs.

Choosing a gym membership - what to look for before you sign the contract

Olive oil protects against bowel disease

Research, involving 28 countries, has suggested that a diet including olive oil can help protect you against bowel cancer. New findings have now found that a diet rich in oleic acid (contained in olive oil) can help protect against ulcerative colitis. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid, and can also be found in peanut oil and grapeseed oil. It is thought this health-related ingredient, contained in olive oil, works by blocking chemicals in the bowel that aggravate the inflammation. The Mediterranean diet has long been considered a healthy diet plan.

Try these delicious low-calorie recipes containing healthy olive oil:

Slimmer's Bruschetta Garlic Tomatoes Tiger Prawns Mediterranean Pizza Roasted Vegetable Pitta

OMG diet tops weight-loss book sales

Paul Khanna (writing as Venice A. Fulton), a UK personal trainer, has combined his personal experience with top celebrity clients and diet science and written a top-selling diet plan: Six Weeks To OMG - Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends. It is claimed that following his advice can help you to lose 10- 20lb in only six weeks, and improve cellulite.

Oprah diet book

Oprah Winfrey's recommendation of the book Women Food and God by Geneen Roth, has caused this latest life-changing diet book to race off the book shelves. Roth has written other bestselling titles about focusing on emotional health regarding overeating and bad food habits. The author tries to help readers to break the cycle of yo-yo dieting, by addressing the deep-seated reasons why they're overweight. She teaches how to gain a better relationship with food.

Organic doesn't equal low calories

A new study has found that many people assume that a food that has an organic label is better for you, so therefore contains less calories. Researchers discovered that organic labels on food can encourage people to overeat, believing whatever the food item is, it is good for them.

Choosing organic products is a healthy food choice because it avoids consuming various chemicals, pesticides and hormones, etc, which can be harmful to the body. But certain organic products are not necessarily suitable for those on a calorie-controlled diet plan. Eat organic to be healthier, but not as a diet aid. It's always a good idea to read the nutrition label and note the fat and sugar content.

Sausages linked to Heart Disease

sausages and heart attackA new American study has proved a link between eating processed red meat products, such as sausages, bacon, ham, salami and hotdogs, and an increased risk of Coronary Heart Disease and diabetes. The latest figures reveal that, on average, a 50g daily serving of processed meat (such as 1 sausage or 2 rashers of bacon) is linked with a 42% higher risk of developing heart disease and a 19% higher risk of diabetes. The study also checked out the effect of eating red meat: pork, beef and lamb, and discovered these were not as harmful as the processed meat products. Whether it is the processing, or the high salt content, or the use of lots of nitrates and preservatives which affects the meat is still not clear.

The best advice given, regarding these products, is that if you do want to eat them try and choose the very best product you can afford, which will be less likely to be full of nitrates,etc, and not to consume them regularly.

Treat them as an ocasional treat, not part of your healthy daily eating plan. Buy the best and eat less!

Side order of statins with the cheeseburger

Latest medical research has shown that for those who regularly eat junk food, taking a statin
(a prescribed medicine that can help to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke, by lowering the bad cholesterol levels) may offset the risk of cardiovascular disease that comes from eating such unhealthy food. Some health experts, however, are concerned about the side-effects of statins, and believe that there are far more health improvements if junk food is avoided. Statins should not be treated as magic pills which allows you to eat what you want. A regular diet of junk food, such as cheese burgers, has many consequences, such as high salt and high fat content causing high blood pressure and obesity.

support whilst dieting helps you to lose weightTexting helps you lose weight

A recent US study, involving 52 overweight students, found that mobile phones can be a useful tool to help dieters.

During 8 weeks, the students who were part of a Facebook diet group - receiving online diet advice and support from other group members - lost an average of 1.4 pounds.

A second group were also members of the Facebook diet group, but also received personalised text messages to help them lose weight, and they lost on average 5.3 pounds.

The personalised feedback gave the dieters the feeling of being held accountable for their calorie intake and exercise, and helped them to lose those extra pounds.

Tinned food can contain health-risk chemicals

A new American study has discovered worrying levels of an industrial chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA), in certain tinned food. The chemical is used to line tins, and has been discovered to be present in 46 out of the 50 tinned food items tested. BPA can act as a synthetic oestrogen, and so the analysts believe this may be linked to an added risk of various health conditions, including: breast and prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes and fertility problems. Some food manufacturers have already found alternatives to BPA, and others are being urged to follow. BPA is also used in the manufacturing of plastic containers.

too much baconToo much bacon can raise your risk of pancreatic cancer

New reports have highlighted the risks of regular consumption of processed meat in your diet as raising the risk of pancreatic cancer. Just eating two rashers of bacon daily can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 19%.

There is also evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. The study was published in the British Journal of Cancer and used data from 11 trials and 6,643 patients with pancreatic cancer.

The World Cancer Research Fund have recommended limiting the intake of red meat to 500g cooked weight a week and to avoid processed meat.

Two day diet works and lowers breast cancer risk

A study at Manchester University hospital, involving 115 women, has shown that those following a low-carb diet for 2 days a week have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, compared to those on a calorie-controlled diet for 7 days a week.

The researchers compared the effectiveness of a low-carbohydrate diet, the Mediterranean diet and a standard calorie restricted diet in order to lose weight and also to lower their insulin blood levels. High blood insulin levels are known to raise cancer risk.

The women following the no-carb diet for just 2 days a week lost an average of 9 pounds over four months and lowered their insulin blood level.

Vegetarian diet can help lower cholesterol

Recent studies have shown that by eating a vegetarian diet you can help lower your cholesterol. Meat, particularly red, is high in cholesterol compared to vegetables. A healthy step is to cut down on saturated fat, which raises the cholesterol, and to increase the amount of fruit, vegetables and fibre you eat. Health experts recommend that the average man should have no more than 30g saturated fat a day. The average woman should have no more than 20g.

Protein sources, such as nuts, seeds, beans and fish, can be a healthy alternative to meat, if you are trying to lower a high chloresterol. However, vegetarians still need to be careful not to consume too many dairy products and processed foods, as these too are high in the wrong fat. Unsaturated fats, such as in oily fish, nuts and seeds, are not thought to raise blood cholesterol and may even lower levels. They also provide us with essential fatty acids.

Vitamin E helps prevent Alzheimer's

A new medical study, involving over 5,000 people, has found that eating a diet rich in vitamin E provides extra protection against Alzheimer's - a degenerative brain disease. Participants of the study who ate a vitamin E rich diet were found to be 26 per cent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, than those who ate a low vitamin E diet.

Foods rich in the protective vitamin include: nuts - especially almonds, vegetable oils, seeds - especially sunflower, wheat germ, leafy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli Clinical trials involving vitamin E supplements have not shown any increased protection against Alzheimer's, unlike a vitamin rich diet.

Walnuts are the healthiest nut

A new US study has found that walnuts are the healthiest of all the nuts, and would be a good addition to our diet. Walnuts contain the highest level of antioxidants - these protect cells against damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals - compared to other nuts.

A handful of walnuts can give you around double the anti-oxidants of other nuts. Also the antioxidants were found by scientists to be higher in quality and more potent than in other nuts. Most people eat walnuts raw, which also improves the effectiveness of the antioxidants, as opposed to being roasted or cooked.

Many dieters avoid eating nuts due to their calorie content. An ounce of walnuts has around 185 calories, but they are full of healthy ingredients and past studies have found that dieters who incorporate nuts into their diets tend to lose weight more successfully, and remain at a steady weight, than those who avoid them. Walnuts also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help with cardio health.
Nuts can reduce cholesterol

Diet glassesWeight-loss glasses from Japan

A Tokyo professor, Michitaka Hirose, has developed a pair of goggles that can trick your body into thinking that you are eating more food than you are actually consuming.

The camera, in-built in the glasses, shows the food being eaten by the wearer, and researchers can then shrink or enlarge that image via the computer.

When a biscuit was enlarged by 50% volunteers were found to eat 10% less, and the group whose image of the biscuit was shrunk by two-thirds ate 15% more.


The eyes can send your stomach the message that it has had enough. More research is needed as the body may not fall for such deception repetitively. Also, the appetite may compensate at the next meal.

However, it shows how important the visual side of eating is. Past studies have shown we eat less if we consume our meals off a smaller plate - making the portion appear larger.

Even the colour of the plates can affect our appetite; people tend to eat less food if the plate is not the same colour as the meal contents. Journal of Consumer Research study

Weight-loss surgery numbers increase

gastric band surgery increases Latest figures from the British Medical Journal(BMJ) reveal that weight-loss operations, such as gastric banding and gastric bypasses rose from 238 a year to more than 2,543 in 2007.

The increase in morbidly obese patients, combined with the general awareness that surgery can be a viable answer to their problem, has created an increase in demand for weight-loss surgery.

Some health experts believe the increase in bariatic surgery (procedures that restrict the amount of food that is digested and absorbed by the intestine) to be cost-effective to the NHS, as morbid obesity is associated with diseases such as, diabetes, heart attacks and high blood pressure.

Other health experts see surgery as a last resort, and believe that obese patients would be better instead being encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle - by eating more fruit and vegetables, reducing fatty foods, and becoming more active.

Weight-loss surgery is only recommended for people with a body mass index of at least 40, or 35 if they have another condition, like diabetes, that the surgery could help improve. Surgery is only usually considered after a patient has attempted to lose weight by dieting or exercising.

Weight Watcher Jennifer Hudson opens clinic

Actress and singer, Jennifer Hudson, opened a new weight-loss clinic in Chicago - The Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers Centre.
She lost more than 80 pounds after following the WeightWatchers' diet programme, and her own exercise regime. She decided to lose the weight in 2009, after the birth of her son.

WeightWatchers Most Popular Diet of 2012

The website DietsInReview determined the most popular diets of 2012 by analysing the traffic to their review pages:

1. WeightWatchers
2.17 Day Diet
3. Medifast
4. HCG
5. PINK Method
6. Nutrisystem
7. Sensa
8. Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred
9. Jillian Michaels' Detox and Cleanse
10. Dukan Diet

The U.S. News & World Report has also ranked WeightWatchers as the top diet in their best diets 2012 review. WeightWatchers was voted as the Best Weight-loss Diet and the Easiest Diet.

more info: WeightWatchers

Wobbly tums worry women

The latest market research has shown that the waistline is the prime body area that bothers most women. 69% of the women surveyed longed for a flat stomach and worried about putting on weight around the middle, and developing a 'muffin top'. The concern about the midriff was the same for young and old age groups.

The stomach is recognised as being one of the most difficult parts of the body to lose weight from, and requires a strict diet and exercise programme to achieve a 6-pack or washboard effect. The next problem area to worry women was the thighs, with 48 per cent of women. Then followed bottoms, hips and upper arms in order of concern.

Women think more about diet than sex

A recent survey has surprisingly revealed that many women feel more guilty about deviating from their diet, than being unfaithful to their partner.

A quarter of the women (over 1200 were interviewed) admitted they invested more effort into their weight-loss plans than their romantic relationship.

Women need a healthier diet

fast food
Health experts have been recently researching UK women's diet and have discovered that many women are not receiving enough nutrition from their food.

The extensive study covered women of all ages, from babies to pensioners.

There seems to be a lack of a balanced eating plan for many of the women that they studied. From pregnant women not receiving enough vitamin D to strengthen their baby's bones and avoid underweight birth weight; school girls not getting the recommended daily level of magnesium, zinc and potassium; women between 19 and 50 not taking in enough iron and B2 vitamin to pensioners needing more vitamin D to keep their bones healthy.

Busy and pressured working lives and lack of confidence in the kitchen means many women consume fast food, rather than cook with nutritious fresh ingredients.

Women often cut out whole groups of food when trying to diet, which can put their health at risk.

Women who exercise reduce their risk of womb cancer

The British Journal of Cancer has published the results of a new study from the US, which reveals a link between taking no exercise and the chances of contracting womb cancer. The scientists found that women who exercised regularly were up to 30 per cent less likely to get womb cancer. Exercise has been shown to have a protective effect in itself, not just because it keeps us healthy and reduces our body weight.

A study of 70,000 women found those who sat down for long periods were more at risk from the disease. Colon and breast cancer have been found in past studies to be reduced with physical exercise.

young feel diet pressureX-Factor Diet

It has been reported, that X-Factor star Craig Colton has been receiving diet advice from judge Gary Barlow. He has apparently been eating mainly vegetable meals, consisting of 80% cooked vegetables, 20% meat and 20% raw veg, and has dropped pounds on this diet plan.

Young people feel body image pressure

A study by the YMCA, involving over 800 young people aged between 11-16 years old, found that 25% were prepared to undergo plastic surgery to improve their body image.

One in ten boys felt pressured to take steroids to improve their physique, and one in eight girls considered taking diet pills to control their weight. Anorexia and other eating disorders are already being seen in younger children, as the pressure builds to have a perfect body from a young age.




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