3 pieces of food news that'll make your day

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On the whole, news headlines concerning food tend to be pretty disheartening.

It seems there’s always a new grocery item that’ll give you cancer or heart disease, shorten your lifespan, thwart your weight loss attempts or mess with your mental well-being. One day a particular food group will be good for you; the next, the results of a study will have you swearing off it forever.

Today we’re serving up three pieces of food news that aren’t downright depressing.

1. Good news for wine lovers (so… all of us)

The whole ‘glass of wine with dinner’ thing tends to be a little contentious in health and nutrition circles. However, a new Czech study suggests that drinking red and white wine can have a positive effect on cardiovascular health, as long as it’s paired with regular exercise. Probably not at the same time, though, so put down the bottle before you climb aboard the treadmill, yeah?

“Our current study shows that the combination of moderate wine drinking plus regular exercise improves markers of atherosclerosis, suggesting that this combination is protective against cardiovascular disease,” lead researcher Milos Taborsky told the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Barcelona. If you’re wondering, their definition of ‘moderate drinking’ was 300ml for men and 200ml for women up to five times a week.

In the study of 146 men and women at moderate risk of heart disease, only those who exercised at least twice a week saw an improvement. Their levels of HDL cholesterol – the ‘good’ kind – rose, while their total and LDL (i.e. ‘bad’) cholesterol levels dropped. The researchers suggest there may be synergy between the low dose of ethyl alcohol in wine and regular exercise, generating a protective effect against cardiovascular disease. (via the Telegraph)

2. Your brain can be trained to prefer healthy food

A new study out of the US has found the human brain can learn to love healthy, low-calorie food – even in someone who’s addicted to junk food. Researchers examined the ‘addiction centre’ (the region linked to reward and addiction) in the brains of 13 overweight and obese men and women. Eight members of the study group were prescribed an eating regimen high in fibre and protein and low in carbohydrates, while five weren’t. All of their brains were scanned at the beginning and end of a six month period.


The scans revealed those who followed the diet experienced changes in their brain’s reward centre – when shown photos of different types of food, they had a greater reaction to the healthy, low-calorie foods, suggesting an increased enjoyment of it. The study authors believe that because the diet was designed to keep the participants feeling full, they didn’t experience cravings for unhealthy foods – as these usually strike when people feel hungry. (via The BBC)

3. Low-carb diets are more effective than low-fat ones

The ‘war on fat’ has been raging for years now, but a new study suggests that cutting down on carbohydrates, rather than fat, is the best eating plan for weight loss and a healthy heart.

Researchers at Tulane University followed 73 people on a low-fat regimen and 75 people on a low-carb one over a year-long period. The first group were encouraged to get less than 30% of their daily calories from fat and less than 7% from saturated fats, while the second group were asked to consume less than 40g of carbohydrates per day. They were all urged to eat dietary fibres and choose ‘healthy’ fats where possible.

At the end of the study, those on the low-carb regimen experienced significant weight loss benefits, losing roughly 3.6 kilos more than the low-fat group, and recorded a drop in fat mass, waist circumference and cholesterol levels.

“Carefully selecting carbs in your diet would be the best take home message,” the lead researcher, Dr Lydia Bazzano, tells ABC News.

With that in mind – check out these low-carb, moderate fat, all delicious recipes.

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