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Watch Out for Processed Foods

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You have probably heard sugar, fat, and salt as being the three main contributors to weight gain. But research suggests another component to watch out for processed foods. Processed foods are made from cheap-industrial ingredients including hydrogenated oils, corn fructose syrup, flavorings, and emulsifiers.

A recent study conducted by the NIH suggests that the nature of processed foods itself makes people overeat. This study is a randomized controlled study and has established a causal relationship between a diet with processed foods and weight gain.

In this study, participants who consumed ultra- processed foods had consumed 508 calories more, on average, than people who had a cleaner diet. As a result, those who ate processed foods gained two pounds more over a two week period, on average.

Here are some fast facts from this study:

  • The meals offered to the two groups contained the same calories, fats, protein, sugar, carbohydrates, and fiber; however, participants ate more of the ultra-processed meals even though they were not necessarily tastier.
  • On a physiological level, those eating the processed diet had lower levels of appetite-suppressing hormone called PYY, which may explain why they consumed more food.
  • People eat much faster on the ultra-processed diet, as the food is softer and easier to chew, leading to overeating.

The next time you see a bag of chips or a sugar-coated pastry from your local convenience store, try to stay away from it, especially if it is processed. Instead, opt for a smoothie or fruit bowl to satisfy any craving for sweets. Your body will thank you in the long run for treating it with clean, sustainable, and unprocessed food.

Check out Doctor Mike’s video on Youtube for more specific details:

Sources:

  1. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/05/16/723693839/its-not-just-salt-sugar-fat-study-finds-ultra-processed-foods-drive-weight-gain
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRo-D2YlGY4

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Excessive Training Can Hinder Athletes’ Brains

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Researchers discovered that after multiple weeks of overtraining, the brain demonstrated decreased activity in areas about decision-making. Overworked athletes were found to be less willing to exert themselves for long-term rewards. This finding could potentially shed some perspective on diminished athlete performance when overworked, which is a phenomenon known as overtraining syndrome

The research study involved 37 male triathletes who participated in a training program. Half of the athletes continued with their original workouts, and the other half increased their training by 40%. Participants had their brains scanned, which revealed that there is less brain activity near the prefrontal cortex. They were also asked a series of questions regarding choosing instant gratification or a long-term reward. The researchers determined that overtrained athletes’ responses indicated a desire for instant gratification.

As an athlete increases his or her training, the brain reassesses goals and starts to prioritize them differently. When fatigue increases, the brain shifts from one goal to another as part of a built-in-mechanism. This could mean achieving a goal that will help the athlete recover rather than win. 

What do you think of overtraining, and have you experienced any cognitive deficits with it? Let us know in the comments below. 

Source: 

  1. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/09/26/764604968/too-much-training-can-tax-athletes-brains

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Remote Monitoring of Medical Condition can Enhance Patient Care

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The University of Manchester’s Connected Health team recently developed a smartphone app that would allow rheumatoid arthritis patients to input their symptoms. The data is embedded with the EHR and the results are presented graphically. Researchers discovered that when patients input their data on an app, they can see short and long term trends. Clinicians can then see flares in symptoms that may have been previously overlooked. They can then make more informed, data-driven decisions about the best course of treatment for patients. Mobile app platforms can also further support evidenced-based provider and patient communication.

What do you think the role of technology will be in patient care? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think. 

Source: 

  1. https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/europe/daily-remote-monitoring-rheumatoid-arthritis-patients-can-improve-doctor-consultations

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Pfizer Introduces Robot to Better Analyze Patient Responses

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Pfizer has recently announced that it will begin a one-year pilot program with a robotics company called Catalia Health. Catalia Health has created a home-robot called Mabu. Mabu will help patients maintain their health and educate them about the use of their prescription drugs. The main goal of the one-year program is to help patients adjust to any significant health issue and to allow them to take their medication appropriately. 

Conversational AI allows Mabu to utilize voice interactions. This feature can help reveal a patient’s mood, treat symptoms, and record meaningful data. The information can then be related to medical staff who can assist the patient accordingly. Also, Mabu can predict a patient’s emotional state and deliver a personal response by using affective computing

After initial trials with Kaiser Permanente, 84% of patients are more likely to manage disease symptoms more effectively when they maintain regular interactions with the robot.

To learn more about this topic, please visit https://venturebeat.com/2019/09/12/pfizer-launches-pilot-with-home-robot-mabu-to-study-patient-response-to-ai/ 

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