According to research done by Dr. Ian Stephen at the University of Nottingham, eating more veggies means you will look better. And yes, these no-real-science studies are kind of silly but hey, this one is the truth. Cause veggies make you glow! From the article:
Dr Stephen explained: “Eating five more portions [of fruit and veg] ups your carotenoid levels giving your skin golden tones.”
Carotenoids are antioxidants which soak up damaging compounds that the skin encounters in daily life.
Students at the University’s Malaysian campus, where Dr Stephen is based, ate five extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day for two months.
Afterwards students examined a variety of pictures where their skin had different pigmentations and deemed themselves more attractive when they had increased their vegetable intake.
Dr Stephen explained: “In humans, the more red and yellow tones found in the skin, the more attractive the people were found to be.”
The middle shot is the subject’s regular skin tone, whereas the left is a suntan, and the right a vegetable tan. Of course, I’m wondering about the racial diversity of the subjects and if effects are as visible on darker skin. Perhaps some readers can weigh in on that. I definitely see a difference in my skin tone and quality (or so I imagine) since I’ve started throwing back the green smoothies.
Have any of you seen a relationship between vegetable intake and your skin?
Sorry, gingers! We have bad news. According to this new rundown of stress research, redheads have higher levels of anxiety than people with other hair colors. How’s that for a fun fact? Of course it’s not quite so straightforward. Natural redheads, it turns out, may have lower thresholds for some kinds of pain, which could explain the elevated stress. Other factors that seem to correlate with higher stress are being married (?!), being overweight, being unemployed, being a baby in a forward-facing stroller, being a Chinese businessman, being a firefighter and…being a woman.
Sigh. Those of you who have read the book know that we talk a bunch about stress and the lifestyle factors that mitigate it—and exacerbate it. Stress, it’s true, is unavoidable for a lot of us. There are also some interesting upsides to anxiety. It’s all about keeping it in balance.
As we say in the book “Your outlook is your look”—bit corny, sure, but we think these are words to live by. No moisturizer or blush can do for you what happiness, sleep, exercise and—perhaps most important—relaxation can.
So we want to know: How stressed out are you? And how do you keep it in check?
I’ll go first: I totally get stressed out. To try to counter it, I practice yoga, I do some version of prayer-meditation every night before bed, I spend time with people I love, and I try to get as many really good hugs as a I can. Your turn.
Over the weekend I read an enlightening, if disturbing, article in the New York Times about cheese. Everyone can agree that cheese tastes delicious, but with its high concentration of saturated fat and close to 100 calories per square inch (and really who stops at a square inch of cheese?), it’s a treat best consumed in moderation.
However, it turns out we eat about three times more cheese than we did in 1970—we also weigh an average of 30 pounds more than we did back then too. And while the United States Agriculture Department—a government agency—is fighting obesity with one hand, it turns out it’s using the other to shove cheese down our throats.
You see, through an organization called Dairy Management, the government is actually funding large-scale campaigns to get Americans to eat more cheese. Dairy Management is a marketing creation of the Agriculture Department that does things like pay $12 million to promote Domino’s Pizza’s new cheesier pie: with 40 percent more cheese, a slice of this stuff contains over two thirds of the daily recommendation for saturated fat.
So why is the government pushing Domino’s on us? Some explanations:
Urged on by government warnings about saturated fat, Americans have been moving toward low-fat milk for decades, leaving a surplus of whole milk and milk fat. Yet the government, through Dairy Management, is engaged in an effort to find ways to get dairy back into Americans’ diets, primarily through cheese.
Then there’s this:
In 2007, the department highlighted Pizza Hut’s Cheesy Bites pizza, Wendy’s “dual Double Melt sandwich concept,” and Burger King’s Cheesy Angus Bacon cheeseburger and TenderCrisp chicken sandwich. “Both featured two slices of American cheese, a slice of pepper jack and a cheesy sauce,” the department said.
These efforts, the department reported, helped generate a “cheese sales growth of nearly 30 million pounds.”
So once again we are faced with an insurmountable irony, not dissimilar from the one we find in the beauty industry: The very people who are supposedly policing consumer health are also playing ad agency to the crappy food that’s making us sick. Conflict of interest much?
What’s more is that they also seem to be actively deceiving consumers—sounds familiar again—with false health claims. Dairy Management mounted a major campaign around the idea that cheese actually helps with weight loss, despite the fact that research they funded couldn’t even support such claims.
I highly suggest reading the whole article, but suffice to say this stuff seriously pisses me off. I’m not mad at cheese, but how do you think kids growing up on Domino’s new “Wisconsin” pizza—the super-cheesy slice that Dairy Management helped conceived and promote—are going to turn out? With obesity rates already through the roof, and the cost of treating it as daunting, it’s not hard to guess.
Before you set your alarm to squeeze in that two-hour morning workout, consider the latest findings on sleep and weight:
According to a new study, dieters who sleep less than 6 hours lose 55% less fat and 60% more muscle than those who get more than 8 hours.
Of course, we’re not telling you to skimp on exercise (and we don’t believe in “dieting”), but we’re always looking for more reasons to encourage sleep. And finding after finding indicates an inextricable relationship between sleep and weight.
Like many Americans, if you struggle to maintain a healthy body weight, not enough sleep could be part of the problem.
Have any of you noticed a relationship between your sleep and weight changes?
If you grew up in Canada like we did, you probably grew up loving David Suzuki. The environmentalist and educator has been ahead of so many issues for so long, so we were quite delighted to see that the foundation that bears his name has taken on cosmetics. Yesterday they announced the findings of their months-long research into cosmetics, and they’ve unveiled their own Dirty Dozen, which has a lot in common with the ingredients we warn about in the book (where we show you how to actually find these mysterious things on product labels, and in which products they appear). We like their list!
We’d love to see Canada pave the way for reform, but considering the head of the cosmetics industry in Canada is also a former government health official, we won’t be holding our breath.
You can download the complete PDF here. And read on to see what made their list:
1. BHA and BHT
2. Coal tar dyes
4. Dibutyl phthalate
5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
8. PEG compounds
11. Sodium laureth sulfate