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Intensity More Important than Duration in Exercise for Weight Control

How fast you move throughout the day is more important for preventing weight gain than how long you move. Every minute per day spent engaging in high-intensity movement is associated with a five percent decreased chance for obesity in women, and a two percent decrease in men.

Researchers measured duration and intensity of physical activity from accelerometers worn by 2,202 women and 2,309 men for seven day periods (American Journal of Health Promotion, September 3, 2013). They divided participants into four categories -- those who were active in:
• higher intensity longer bouts of more than 10 minutes per day,
• higher intensity short bouts of less than 10 minutes per day,
• lower intensity long bouts of greater than 10 minutes per day, and
• lower intensity short bouts of less than 10 minutes per day.

People weighed less by being active at high intensity for more or less than 10 minutes, or low-intensity lasting longer than 10 minutes. Short bouts of low activity for less than 10 minutes per day is not associated with weight control. You can help prevent obesity by walking up stairs instead of using an elevator, parking at the far end of a parking lot, walking to the store, or doing anything else actively and intensely.

Losing weight reduces risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, bone fractures, some cancers and even makes you feel good.

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Improving Diet Prevents Second Heart Attacks

Healthy men and women were followed from the 1970s and 1980s; 4000 subsequently suffered heart attacks. Compared to heart attack victims who didn't change their diets, those who did were 30 percent less likely to die and 40 percent less likely to die of heart disease (JAMA Internal Medicine, published online September 2, 2013). The results of dietary change to prevent a second heart attack are at least as good as for those who take statin drugs. This study agrees with many previous ones that show that you can benefit from changes made after a heart attack no matter what you did before that event. In 1972, researchers at The University of Chicago were the first to show that plaques in arteries can disappear completely if you change your lifestyle enough.

Dietary factors that increase heart attack risk include red and processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar-added foods, alcohol, foods that contain trans fats and fried foods. Dietary factors that help prevent heart attacks include whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, vegetables, fruits and fish.

Most Cases of Type II Diabetes Are Curable with Lifestyle Changes

Thirty-five percent of all North Americans will develop type II diabetes and be at very high risk for heart attacks, strokes, premature death, impotence, dementia, blindness, deafness and damage to every cell in their bodies. Most of these cases of diabetes are caused by the sequence of events that cause fat to be deposited in the liver:
• When you eat, blood sugar levels rise.
• Sugar goes to the liver.
• Sugar in the liver can be 1)used for energy, 2) stored in the liver as glycogen, or 3) converted to fat.
• Once the liver is full of sugar (glycogen), all extra sugar is converted to a type of fat called triglycerides.
• That fat is then stored in the liver, leading to the condition known as Fatty Liver.

The Liver Controls Blood Sugar Levels
When blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin lowers high blood sugar levels by driving sugar from the bloodstream into cells, particularly into liver cells. A high blood sugar level, in itself, will not cause of the liver to remove sugar from the bloodstream. Only insulin drives sugar from the bloodstream into liver cells.

How a Fatty Liver Causes Diabetes
Fat in the liver prevents the liver from responding to insulin and taking up sugar from the bloodstream. When blood sugar levels rise too high, the fatty liver cannot respond to insulin, so instead of taking up sugar, the liver releases sugar from its cells into the blood stream. A fatty liver also makes new sugar from protein. This is called gluconeogenesis. These factors cause blood sugar levels to rise even higher and lead to diabetes.

Cure Diabetes by Getting the Fat Out of the Liver
• Prevent a high rise in blood sugar after meals by avoiding sugared drinks, sugar-added foods, red meat (blocks insulin receptors), fried foods, refined carbohydrates (foods made from flour and/or have had fiber removed, and AGEs, found in foods cooked at high temperatures without water
• Exercise
• Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
• Get blood levels of hydroxy Vitamin D above 75 nmol/L
• Avoid being overweight

Sugared Drinks Increase Kidney Stone Risk

For hundreds of years doctors have told people who develop kidney stones to drink more fluids. However, kidney-stone formers should avoid sugared drinks. People who take sugared colas daily are 23 percent more likely to suffer kidney stones than those who take less than one sugared cola per day. Those who take one sugared non-cola beverage per day are 33 percent more likely to suffer kidney stones (Clin J Am Soc Nephrol, published online May 2013).

This week's medical history:
Joseph Louis Melnick, Virologist

For a complete list of my medical history biographies go to Histories and Mysteries

Recipe of the Week:

Cajun Lentils and Zucchini

You'll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in The Good Food Book - it's FREE

September 15th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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