Walking vs. Running to Lose Weight

“Want to lose weight? Then run, don’t walk,” reported U.S. News & World Report in the April 2013 issue.

When it comes to running vs. walking, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California conducted a six year National Walkers’ and Runners’ Health Study. When they compared men and women who increased their walking or running, they found that running expended more energy than walking.

But people who choose to run may be different—they may be more physically fit, for example—than people who choose to walk.

The Benefits of Polyunsaturated Fats in Your Diet

The benefits of polyunsaturated fats in your diet may include lower levels of inflammation and less buildup of plaque in arteries. This is important, because “Inflammation plays two key roles in coronary heart disease,” explains Penny Kris-Etherton of Pennsylvania State University.

First, it helps build the plaque that narrows arteries. The process starts when the immune system mobilizes to heal an “injury” in the artery wall, often caused by oxidized LDL cholesterol. Smoking, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar can also damage the arteries and lead to plaque buildup.“

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And every single step of the way, inflammatory signals produced in the plaque fuel the process,” says Kris-Etherton. After decades, the plaque—now filled with cholesterol, calcium, and cell debris—gets covered with a fibrous cap of smooth muscle cells. Then, once again, inflammation wreaks havoc.

Why Sitting is Bad (And How to Get Off Your Duff)

Sitting for hours on end can hurt more than your back end, say two studies.

British researchers tracked 153 younger and 725 older adults who all had risk factors for diabetes. Each participant wore an accelerometer to measure how much time he or she spent sedentary or engaged in moderate-to-vigorous exercise (like running or brisk walking) for at least a week. The results helped researchers hone in on why sitting is bad for people who are at risk for health problems such as diabetes.

Do Intermittent Fasting Benefits Include Living Longer?

“We’ve known for a long time that if you reduce the calorie intake of rats or mice, they live much longer,” says Mark Mattson, chief of the laboratory of neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in Baltimore. Do these intermittent fasting benefits carry over to humans?

What happens in species closer to humans is more complicated. Rhesus monkeys fed 30 percent fewer calories lived longer in a study at the University of Wisconsin, but not in a study at the NIA.

A Healthy Mediterranean Diet

“Mediterranean diet fights heart disease,” announced ABC News. “Mediterranean diet cuts risk of stroke,” said USA Today. “Mediterranean diet over low fat? Well, at least it’s more fun,” quipped the Los Angeles Times. A study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine set off a media frenzy in February. Its findings were striking, but the press reports may have misled many. Here’s what the study actually found…and how it should (or shouldn’t) alter what you eat.