Body Weight Changes During Pandemic-Related Shelter-in Place in a Longitudinal Short Study Researchers studied Fitbit and iHealth results from Feb 1 to June 1 2020 of 269 participants in the Health eHeart Study. Results showed an average 1.5 pound weight gain per month. Yech, can you relate? Spring time is the right time to trim down and firm up.
More Processed Foods, More Cardiovascular Problems Unless you are eating food straight from the tree, ground or animal all of the foods and beverages we eat have been processed in some way, shape or form. However, the ultra processed food accounts for 58% of our American calories which includes the inflammatory soda pop category, breads, boxed goods, candy, chips, etc. These raise your risk for cardiovascular disease the most. In the Framingham Offspring Cohort study of 3003 adults, the average participate consumed 7.5 servings of this ultra processed stuff. Hopefully during the pandemic, you’ve gained some scratch cooking skills using raw, unprocessed ingredients. Give your heart a break 58% or 7.5 servings daily is far too high. There’s a whole lot of low hanging fruit out there.
A daily 25 gram serving of processed meat, such as 2 slices of bacon was associated with an increased risk of dementia over an eight year period in the U.K. Biobank study with 493,888 participants. Do you see the theme this week? Unprocessed meat and plant forward is the path we should all seek.
Spinach alone won’t increase your muscle strength like it did with Popeye. However, when combined with regular exercise and weight lifting, it will give you an added boost. Researchers at Edith Cowan University studied 3,759 Australians over a 12 year period who consumed 1 cup of leafy greens (nitrate rich) daily. They gained 11 percent stronger lower limb strength than those who consumed fewer nitrates. Popeye ate spinach but he also smoked a pipe. Eat your spinach but don’t be a Popeye.
Mental and Emotional Health
You Asked: How Can I Use More of My Brain. Stop the constant interruption of thought. Give your brain prolonged, uninterrupted focus. Turn off your pop up alerts and text messaging. Meditate. Inject bouts of boredom to clear the noise. Sound easy? Let’s all give it a try for the week.
The World Happiness Report Finland ranks #1 in happiest followed by Iceland and Denmark. My niece lives in Sweeden ranked #6 (you go Megan!). The United States is #14. The pandemics toll is also clearly evident in this report as negative emotions including worry and sadness has increased. No suprise, greater trust in public institutions and greater income equality resulted in a more successful fight against Covid-19. There’s plenty more to dissect and learn from this report so we can all live more like my sweet niece Megan in 2021.
Categories: My Favorite Weekly Reads