Marathon runners and carbs go together, like, well, peanut butter and jelly. But what if everything we knew was wrong, and a fat-heavy diet is actually what runners should be consuming? New research suggests that might be the case. One thing we can all agree on? Vegetables. We learned that tomato sauce (on pizza) probably doesn’t count, and which 10 cities are most likely to eat organic. Read on to get the full scoop on these stories and others that have caught our eye this week.
Fat for Athletes?
If you’re an endurance athlete, carbs have probably long been your best friend. Conventional wisdom has been to steer clear of fatty foods, because they aren’t the best source of fuel and could lead to weight gain. But recently, both scientists and athletes have been testing alternative diets for high performance. New guidelines from the Dietary Guides Advisory Committee last week suggest cutting back on starchy carbs, and possibly adding more fat to a runner’s diet. Meanwhile, a recent article in The European Journal of Sports Sciences points out that even the leanest marathoner has more than enough fat as fuel to get through multiple marathons. Talk about a carb conundrum. (The New York Times)
Fight For Your Right — to Eat Pizza?
We can’t deny we love a good slice of pizza — and we’re not alone. According to data from the USDA, more than 40 million Americans eat a slice of pizza on any given day, even though most know the saucy, cheesy stuff is no health food. There’s no kale lobby (yet?), but pizza chains have been reluctant to join their fast-food restaurant counterparts in measures to make their offerings healthier. The pizza lobby, comprised of restaurants like Pizza Hut and Domino’s, has been pushing back on initiatives like labeling calorie counts on menus. The restaurants have also pushed for labeling of single slices rather than a whole pizza, saying the calorie count would dissuade consumers from buying a pie. This powerful lobby is also responsible for tomato sauce being counted as a vegetable serving. We vote for the low-carb pizza varieties. (Bloomberg)
Is Healthy Fat a Thing?
Obesity is considered a precursor to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. But there also exists a population that has been referred to as “healthy obese,” meaning those who don’t exhibit any of these disease indicators. Researchers are interested in whether it is possible to be overweight without these metabolic indicators surfacing, or if it is only a matter of time. A study of British workers showed that the “healthy obese” adults were eight times more likely to progress to an unhealthy state than their non-obese counterparts. Of course, maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise is one of the best ways to avoid these preventable diseases. (New York Magazine)
Eat Your Way Happy
You might eat clean for various reasons, from weight loss to muscle growth, but your diet could affect your mental health, too. The new governmental dietary guidelines, for the first time ever, cover the role nutrients play in mental health. You might associate omega-3s with reducing inflammation and risk for heart disease, but they’ve also been linked to a decrease in risk of depression. Considering at least eight percent of Americans suffer depression at least two weeks out of the year, these preventative measures, which are considered complementary therapy, might be one way to help beat the blues. (Self)
Signs of Overtraining
With the popularity of CrossFit and other intense workout programs, it’s not uncommon to approach a workout with an all-or-nothing point of view. We’re certainly advocates for working to failure, but not to the point of overtraining. The good news — taking time to recover after overworking usually results in gains upon return, once your body has had an opportunity to repair. (FitFluential)
Thoughts Had While Running
Whether you love running or hate it, pounding the pavement is by no means the easiest pursuit. From the runger you just can’t satisfy to blisters and digestive issues, it can be a tough sport to get behind. But these little things — like beasting a speed workout or passing the runner in front of you — are what make it all worth it. (Buzzfeed)
Is My City More Organic Than Yours?
Eating organic used to be considered a luxury very few could afford — let alone cared about. But according to a 2014 study, 45 percent of Americans seeks out organic foods. Research from Campbell Soup Company and Sperling’s Best Places narrowed down the cities most likely to have residents interest in the pesticide-free food, based on purchasing habits and polling. Do the results surprise you? (Huffington Post)