eating habits

  1. More meals, less weight

    If you want to weigh less... eat more often.

    That might sound counterintuitive, but some of the most successful dieters around are the ones who make sure they have all three meals each day -- or even more.

    I even know some slim and trim people who eat five or six small meals a day. It's like they're always eating -- yet they never gain any weight.

    A new study confirms that these people aren't just blessed with a magical metabolism -- just good habits. Because as it turns out, overweight and obese people actually eat less frequently than people who keep slim and trim.

    Researchers used data from two studies on eating habits: One looked at how much -- and how often -- obese and overweight people ate, while the other looked at the habits of people who had normal BMIs for at least five years.

    Roughly half of the people in that second study were once overweight or obese themselves, and had to lose at least 30 pounds to get there.

    Regardless of whether they were once fat or always thin, these normal-weight people had a few things in common: First, they were more likely to eat three meals a day and two snacks than the overweight and obese, who actually ate less frequently (including, believe it or not, fewer snacks).

    Second, the thin people consumed up to 200 fewer total calories each day despite their more frequent feedings, according to the study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

    And third, the people who kept the weight off were more likely to get more movement -- a lot more movement. In fact, the researchers say they burned up to 2,200 calories per week more than the overweight and obese.

    If you're overweight and hate the idea of joining a gym, don't worry. The good news is these people weren't iron-pumping fitness fiends. They weren't even treadmill junkies.

    They just walked an average of 60 minutes a day, every day -- something just about anyone can do if they commit to it.

    Naturally, it doesn't matter how often you eat if you eat all the wrong things -- three meals a day at McDonald's will still leave you bloated and sick, and let's not even think about two daily snacks of chips and ice cream.

    So eat more often -- just make sure you eat better, too. And if you commit to a healthy diet low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fats and fresh vegetables, you won't even have to count calories.

    Just eat until you're full, and your body will take care of the rest.

  2. Apples and pears can lower stroke risk

    Supposedly cutting-edge procedures like the brain stent I just mentioned won't lower your risk of stroke -- and they might even kill you.

    But you don't have to turn to risky surgery or unproven meds to keep a stroke at bay: A new study finds all you might really need is more of the foods you already enjoy.

    And no, it's not candy and cake (nice try, though).

    Dutch researchers tracked the eating habits of nearly 21,000 people with an average age of 41 and no signs of heart disease at the start of the 10-year study.

    During that time, 233 people suffered a stroke -- with the volunteers who ate the most white fruits and vegetables (think apples, pears, and bananas) 52 percent less likely to be among them.

    Even those who ate just a little got a benefit: The researchers wrote in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association that just a few slices of apple a day, for example, can lower the risk by 9 percent.

    Along with apples, pears and bananas, the researchers say white fruits and vegetables include cauliflower, chicory, and cucumbers -- but not potatoes. Those are actually a starch, and -- let's face it -- you shouldn't be eating them anyway (especially if they come from any place that has a big golden M on the sign).

    The catch here is that the study was based on the least reliable form of science: the food frequency questionnaire. In other words, let's file this one under "interesting" but not something you need to start planting an apple orchard for.

    The study also didn't show why these fruits and vegetables might be able to slash the risk of stroke -- but the smart money is on the terrific antioxidant flavonoids such as quercetin, the pigment that helps turn apples red (and gives even green pears those red patches you so often see).

    Along with other bioflavonoids -- including the lutein and zeaxanthin also found in apple and pear skins -- quercetin may help protect your heart and even lower your risk of cancer.

    If you're not eating an apple, pear or banana every day, you can get these and other great nutrients from a high-quality bioflavonoid supplement.

  3. What mom eats is what baby wants

    It's never too late to start good eating habits--and it's never too early, either. You might even want to start your own kids off when they're still in the womb-- because a new animal study suggests that our food preferences might be based on what mom ate when she was pregnant.
  4. A simple way to improve your cholesterol

    Total cholesterol control is within your reach--and a new study proves that you don't need meds... just a good diet.
  5. Eating home is eating best

    One of the best things you could ever do for your children or grandchildren is prepare a meal for them.
  6. Child obesity reaches new level

    The latest research finds that kids are eating more than ever--especially more snacks--and that the child obesity problem is far worse than anyone imagined.
  7. Obesity begins in toddlerhood

    Baby fat may make for cute little kids... but that seemingly adorable pudge can stick around for much longer than anyone would have imagined.
  8. A little exercise can keep angioplasty at bay

    I've got some great news that can help you avoid angioplasty. And all you need to do is move around a little more.

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