- Can excessive use of workout supplements be qualified as an eating disorder? AND this time one that primarily affects males? Eating disorders are highly complex and the factors that promote them go well beyond the “body image/media promoting unrealistic role models” reasons we are familiar with; however, these influences often play a part. Generally, body image has been viewed having more of an influence on female behaviour but males are not immune and may excessively consume legal over-the-counter workout supplements in an effort to achieve the ideal male body.
- Spice Long Your Life? Can eating spicy foods lead to a longer life? Researchers found that those eating spicy foods at least 1-2 days per week had a reduced risk of death (albeit the effect was fairly small at 10%). The study is interesting and certainly there are a lot of biochemical compounds in vegetables and herbs that we know very little about, however, the authors caution that this is an observational study so more research is required. That being said, if you enjoy spicy food go for it!
- The best first step in starting to improve your diet may be to destress. When researchers studied the brains of people put in a stressful situation and compared them to those in a non-stressful control situation, they found that the brain pathways and hormones were altered by stress, making it more likely for the participants in the stressful situation to make unhealthy, short-term reward decisions.
- Feeling blue? Fight the urge to drown your sorrows in “comfort foods” made up of refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates (white rice, white bread, highly processed carbohydrates etc.) have been linked to an increased risk of depression (in postmenopausal women but that’s not to say they also don’t impact other demographics). Again more observational research but as these products have very little other health benefits, we suggest you hedge your bets and try to eat the more nutritious whole grains and stay away from sugar sweetened beverages. Hopefully, this gives you that extra bit of motivation.
- Yes, many people can AND should exercise after having a heart attack but many are not taking advantage of the opportunity. There are numerous cardiac rehabilitation programs out there designed specifically for people who have heart attacks. They usually occur in controlled environments and are facilitated by professionals. Of course, they are not for everyone and you should always check with your physician, but if they are recommended, people should take advantage of them as they can be very helpful.