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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.