Does anger make you fat?
Hostility is fattening, say Duke University scientists who found that people who stayed angry throughout young adulthood and middle age -- or who became more angry over the years -- were more likely to eat a high-fat diet, avoid exercise, and be overweight. Are you headed for mad fat? Answer yes or no to these three questions:
Do you often find yourself annoyed at the incompetence of others?
Do little things, such as long traffic lights, get under your skin every day?
If you do get angry, do you usually blast the person who made you angry?
If you answered yes to even one question, you may have the kind of chronic anger that can torpedo your efforts to maintain, or attain, a healthy weight, says study author and anger expert Dr. Redford Williams.
The fix: Evaporate hostility in a maddening situation by asking yourself: Is it important? (If not, distract yourself.) Is it worth taking action to change the situation that's making me angry? If not, can I accept it?
Boost your fruit intake
Harvard University resources comment that if there's anything close to being "proved" in nutrition research, it's that eating lots of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, and other chronic diseases. Yet a recent survey by Chiquita Fresh Cut Fruit indicates that seven in 10 women say they are not getting enough fruit in their diets.
Mary Damiano of Dunkirk, a registered dietitian, offers tips to boost your fruit intake to the recommended levels:
A smoothie is a great way to sneak in a fruit serving. Try different fruit combinations and be sure to use low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt for an added calcium boost.
Start the day off right by topping your breakfast cereal with fresh berries.
Cook with fruit. Whether it's pineapple on pizza or grilled fruit kabobs, fruit can add wonderful flavors to prepared dishes.
Don't forget dessert. The sweet taste of melons, pineapple or practically any fruit provides an ideal finish to a meal.
For more ideas on how to incorporate fresh fruit into your diet, log on to www.getfreshfruit.com.
Fishy asthma relief
Ninety percent of people with asthma suffer post-workout bouts of chest tightness and wheezing, known as exercise-induced broncho-constriction (EIB). Now an Indiana University study has shown that fish oil supplements may help. For three weeks, 20 athletes -- half of whom suffer from EIB -- took either fish oil or inactive look-alike capsules, then switched for another three weeks. Lung function improved by 80 percent and inhaler use dropped by 20 percent for those taking fish oil.
"Exercise-triggered lung inflammation was cut in those on fish oil," says researcher Timothy Mickleborough. Study capsules contained both healthy fish fats: 3.2 grams EPA and 2.2 grams DHA.
Balancing blood pressure
The best formula for controlling blood pressure is to eat at least 1 1/2 times as much potassium as sodium, a new Australian study shows. Most of us do just the opposite.
In 100 people -- 15 percent with and 85 percent without high blood pressure -- a diet with a 1.5-to-1 ratio of potassium to sodium lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 2.4 points in just four weeks.
To balance out a moderate-sodium diet, eat two or three servings of high-potassium fruit (apricots, peaches, nectarines, cantaloupes, honeydews, bananas) and four or five of almost any vegetable every day.