- How Ebola Got So Deadly
- How Exercise Makes Your Job Less Stressful
- 10 Ways to Make Comfort Food Healthy
- This Internet Yoga Guru Has Fans Flocking to Her From Around the World
- Telling the Lovings’ Story In 1966
- Napster Founder Sean Parker Wants to Hack Cancer
- Three Futuristic Health Sensors That Could Save Lives
- Why an $80 Artificial Knee Outruns a $1000 Version
- This is How Many More Calories You Eat When You Skip Sleep
- 3 Easy Ways to Become More Grateful
Posted: 03 Nov 2016 09:31 AM PDT
The Ebola outbreak infected some 28,000 people between 2013 to 2016 and killed more than 11,000. Now, in a new study, scientists think they have figured out why the virus was so brutal; it mutated to better target human cells.
In the report, published in the journal Cell, U.S. researchers looked at the genomes of over 1,400 Ebola cases from the recent outbreak and identified a mutation on an outer protein of the virus that can impact the effectiveness of the virus. The study is the first to identify this mutation.
The researchers argue that a form of the virus carrying the mutation emerged during the outbreak and may be responsible for close to 90% of the cases. It may also explain why the Ebola outbreak was so much worse than previous outbreaks, which only infected hundreds of people. Scientists believe the virus somehow became more adapted to humans—perhaps through this mutation—which made it easier to transmit from animals to people. But the scientists have not confirmed how the mutation makes the Ebola virus more likely to get into human cells.
“There was this belief that Ebola virus essentially never changes,” said study author Kristian G. Andersen, director of infectious disease genomics at the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) in a statement about the findings. “But this study tells us that a natural mutation in Ebola virus—which occurred during an outbreak—changed infectivity of human cells.”
Posted: 03 Nov 2016 07:17 AM PDT
Stress can be detrimental to your health, contributing to everything from higher blood pressure to nausea. Now, a new study zeroes in one of the the biggest sources of stress—our jobs—and suggests that exercise may be an effective way to ease the health problems sometimes caused by work stress.
In a new report published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, researchers looked at 200 Swedish workers and assessed their stress levels using the Nordic Questionnaire for Psychological and Social Factors at Work. The people were also evaluated for heart health by blood pressure, weight and cholesterol, and they also had their fitness levels assessed.
Researchers found that the people who were more stressed had higher levels of risk factors for heart disease. But the people who were more fit were less likely to have these risk factors. That mean people with high stress levels had higher levels of unhealthy cholesterol compared to stressed people who were more fit. Exercise may act as a buffer against some of the health risk factors that are known to be caused by too much stress, the authors argue. Since the people in the study were asked about their stress levels in general, and not work stress alone, the study also speaks to exercise’s ability to combat the overall effects of stress.
The researchers didn’t ask the people in the study whether exercise relieved their stress, but other studies suggest it does. “However, the paradox is that after a stressful day, people are more prone to engage in sedentary activities—most likely because these activities need less self-regulatory resources than exercise,” says study author Markus Gerber of University of Basel in Switzerland. “Thus, although exercise might be a good medicine against stress, it will only have an impact if ‘the pill’ is taken.”
More research is needed to determine whether there’s an ideal time to exercise for stress relief, but Gerber says some evidence suggests that the four-hour window after exercise is when fitness provides the most protection against stress.
Posted: 03 Nov 2016 06:53 AM PDT
Crisp, autumn days seem to require the kind of warmth that your favorite sweater just can’t provide. When it’s especially nippy, a warm bowl of soup or apple crisp may seem like better bets—despite the fact that these comforting dishes are
Thankfully you can stay trim this fall without giving up your favorite homemade fare. While it may be hard to believe, there are loads of smart, calorie-slashing substitutions that can be made to fall recipes that will allow you to indulge without the guilt. Better yet, none of them will drastically alter the flavor of your food! Ready to fall into the flavors of autumn without expanding your waistline? We’ve rounded up a few genius ways to do it.
1. Macaroni & Cheese
Why should kids be the only ones who can enjoy mac and cheese? Jessica Cording, a registered dietitian in New York, suggests adding pureed butternut squash or pumpkin into your cheese sauce, so you can dial back on the milk and cheese. Aside from eliminating some of the fat and calories, Cording’s trick adds fiber along with potassium and vitamins A and C. “Because the flavor is so mild, even veggie-averse family members will be on board,” she tells us.
Eat This, Not That!: 20 Tips and Tricks For Better Breakfast Casseroles
2. Pumpkin frappé
There’s a healthier way to get your pumpkin drink fix—and it doesn’t involve going to Starbucks. To make a no-added-sugar version at home, blend unsweetened almond milk with a frozen banana, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. For even more healthy and delicious ways to get in on the season’s pumpkin frenzy, don’t miss these 20 Pumpkin Recipes for Weight Loss.
Love meatloaf but hate its nutritional profile? Get your protein fix while decreasing calories and saturated fat by using turkey, lean grass-fed ground beef, or a combination of the two, in your recipe. “Because meatloaf is so versatile, you can change out the ingredients depending on the flavors you want,” says Kim Larson, a Seattle-based registered dietitian. Mix in low-cal sources of flavors such as chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, canned green chilies, lentils, or sugar-free canned corn. And don’t be afraid to pack your meatloaf with veggies—a trick that will allow you to use less meat. (Which can be a major money saver!) Chopped mushrooms, celery, and bell peppers all pair well with meatloaf in terms of flavor and bolster the vitamin power of the dish, too. Another trick we love? Swapping out nutrient-void breadcrumbs for oatmeal, which also just so happens to be one of these 15 Awesome Ways to Lose Weight With Oatmeal.
4. Tomato soup
Classic tomato soup recipes call for high-calorie ingredients like butter and heavy cream. To make a skinnier version of the cozy elixir, Erin Macdonald, a California-based registered dietitian, suggests pureeing canned Roma tomatoes, a jar of roasted bell peppers, low-sodium veggie broth, and fresh basil. If you prefer a creamier texture, steer clear of the cream and add unsweetened cashew milk instead—a simple swap that you can actually use to make any thick soup more waistline-friendly. Why cashew milk? Aside from its rich texture and mild flavor, it gives you healthy fats, protein, fiber, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium, which help regulate blood sugar, explains Andy Bellatti, a registered dietitian from Las Vegas.
Eat This, Not That!: 20 Best and Worst Chicken Soups
5. Apple crisp
Studies show that people often think a dessert that contains fruit is healthier and lower in calories than those that don’t—even though that’s typically not the case. And apple crisp is no exception. True, there’s fiber and vitamin C in the apples, but traditional apple crisp recipes also includes butter and sugar—big calorie bombs. “I recommend simply roasting apples with some cinnamon, vanilla extract, and lemon juice,” says Amy Gorin, a registered dietitian in New Jersey, sharing her own recipe for the fall must-have. Still craving the cooling scoop of ice cream on top? Try Greek yogurt, which is lower in sugar and calories, but still offers the creamy texture you crave.
6. Mashed potatoes
Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes can pack on calories and carbs, but not when you use cauliflower or a blend of turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, and carrots. Steam the veggies and mash them up with fat-free half-and-half, light cream cheese, low-sodium chicken broth, and a tablespoon of grass-fed butter. Larson recommends adding Parmesan or goat cheeses, too, because they add tons of flavor. Don’t forget to add garlic, chives and thyme, to reap the benefits of their inflammation-fighting and flavor-boosting super powers.
Whether or not you realize it, your game day chili is probably a major calorie fest. Ax fat from your go-to recipe by using a lean protein such as chicken, turkey, or bison. To cut back on salt, select lower-sodium beans and canned tomatoes. Like to serve your chili over rice? Instead, opt for steamed greens or cauliflower rice, which can be made by grating or processing cauliflower and heating it with a touch of oil in a pan. Think that’s creative? There are tons of other interesting ways to cook with cauliflower, and you’ll find a number of them in our report, 17 Genius Ideas for Cooking with Cauliflower.
8. Pumpkin bread
If baking with pumpkin is your autumn delight, check out this recipe for vegan pumpkin bread by blogger Jeanine of Love and Lemons. (We love that it swaps out eggs for heart-healthy ground flaxseed.) Even if you don’t want to forgo making your go-to rendition, you can healthify your recipe by sneaking in a cup of shredded zucchini, which just so happens to taste awesome with pumpkin.
Pizza is about as comforting as comfort food gets, but you don’t have to make it with a cauliflower crust to boost its health factor. Instead, Jessica Fishman Levinson, a registered dietitian from New York, suggests using protein-packed chickpea flour to make something called farinata. It originated in the Mediterranean and is essentially an unleavened pancake made of chickpea flour, water, and olive oil. After it’s baked, it can be served with pizza toppings so you can give into that craving for a slice a bit more sensibly. And to ensure your slice is a super healthy one, be sure to use one of the winning jars of pasta sauce from our exclusive report, The 40 Best and Worst Pasta Sauces—Ranke!
Eat This, Not That!: 20 Chili Recipes to Keep You Warm All Fall
10. Roasted vegetables
Can roasted veggies get any healthier? If you typically toss your produce with sugary sauces such made with brown sugar and maple syrup, most certainly, says Gorin. Instead, roast carrots, turnips and whatever else you like in pomegranate juice, which is packed with antioxidants and gives it a nice seasonal flavor. If you prefer a more savory dish try roasting your veggies in olive oil, sea salt, and herbs (like rosemary and oregano).
One of the most popular practitioners of yoga on Instagram has grown an enormous following, with fans around the world flocking to her sold-out classes
Posted: 03 Nov 2016 01:59 AM PDT
Earlier this year, Sean Parker—Napster founder, Facebook funder, and serial disruptor—launched his latest and most ambitious project to change the world. With his own $250 million gift, he created the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, to well, hack cancer.
That may sound like a worthy, if ridiculously naive aim from a tech billionaire. But this wasn’t just a well-minted philanthropist throwing money at a cause. This was a project in which Parker himself was fully and deeply engaged: For years, he steeped himself in the science of immunology (renowned cancer researcher Jim Allison compares Parker to “an advanced post-doc”); he made friends with the field’s leading scientists (like Allison); and he studied and identified the flaws of the drug development system. Perhaps, most spectacularly, he got six of the nation’s most revered cancer hospitals—from Memorial Sloan-Kettering to Stanford—to sign an agreement to pool and share their collective intellectual property, a promising and unprecedented level of collaboration in a field that has long been hindered by its competitive, non-cooperative approach.
But Parker’s involvement didn’t stop with the launch of the institute. He attends the center’s meetings and he remains fully engaged in its work. His ongoing involvement in the Institute was one of the reasons his esteemed partners were willing to participate, he said at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego on Wednesday.
In that way, says Parker, his institute represents a new brand of philanthropy—that of his fellow tech moguls, who approach problems with a “hacker phenotype.”
He says of this ilk: “They come with an intellectual self-confidence, the feeling that you can take on really complex challenges if you put your mind to it. And these are people who have been validated in thinking that way.”
He adds that their approach to philanthropy will be more hands on and that that’s a good thing. “As they approach these problems, they bring a tech-driven mindset that is going to be useful and this intellectual confidence that gives them the ability to enter these fields and to engage on an intellectual level and not just as a donor.”
Posted: 03 Nov 2016 01:11 AM PDT
Entrepreneurs at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego on Wednesday showed off what they believe is the solution to lowering medical costs and bringing better care to the developing world.
They demonstrated a range of devices: a mobile ultrasound machine, a handheld air sensor, and a patient identification necklace. That technology all shared some commonalities including low-cost sensors, wireless connections, and data stored in the cloud.
The devices are intended to be low cost enough that they could be available to patients in the developing world like China, India, and Africa. They may also signal the possible future in more developed countries for more distributed and personalized medicine.
Three hundred thousand women die annually from avoidable pregnancy problems, said Baker and Nordgren. The duo’s “Mobile Ultrasound Patrol” gave provided ultrasound examinations to hundreds of women in small rural Moroccan clinics and were able to reduce the cost of an ultrasound from $80 to $2 per patient.
Mobile Air Sensor:
TZOA is a company that makes sensors that collect information about air quality, including the kinds of particles, the quantity, and if hazardous chemicals are among them. TZOA CEO Kevin Hart said that the company has proven that the gadget is cheaper than sensors used by government agencies for monitoring air quality in cities.
Hart said the devices could be an important way to protect people from pollutants that could impact brain development in fetuses and children. This “builds the case for why clean air matters,” said Hart.
In the future, the company plans to sell its units in China and India for outdoor pollution and the U.S. for indoor pollution. The company is also working on a device for asthmatics that can help determine what lead to an asthmatic attack.
Better Patient IDs:
Ruchit Nagar, CEO of Khushi Baby, said millions of young children die annually from diseases that are preventable with vaccines. One of the issues is that health workers in rural and developing areas don’t have adequate ways to track vaccine needs and schedules for children.
Khushi Baby, which means “happy baby” in Hindi, is developing a wearable medical history necklace that health care workers can read with a basic cell phone app. The necklace uses low power wireless technology that requires no battery and is durable and water proof. Nagar intends to sell the device to governments like India’s health ministries.
Posted: 02 Nov 2016 03:33 PM PDT
Contrary to what many people may believe, it’s not war or landmines that are the primary causes of amputations in impoverished countries.
In places like Kenya or India, amputations are often the result of more commonplace and unfortunate incidents, like automobile accidents or train mishaps involving businesspeople on their commutes to work.
Each year, tens of thousands of people in low-income nations suffer amputations, explained Dr. Krista Donaldson, CEO of medical device non-profit D-Rev, at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego Wednesday.
Modern prosthetic limbs are often expensive, she said, with some devices costing upward of $1,000, making it hard for struggling medical clinics to afford them. And even when those devices are donated to clinics operating in impoverished nations, frequently those devices go unused, and the clinics are unable to perform the maintenance required to keep them functional.
“Most medical devices are designed for places like here, not low-income clinics,” Donaldson said in reference to clinics in wealthy nations that can more easily afford and maintain the prosthetics. D-Rev created more affordable prosthetic limbs to help amputees worldwide who don’t have access to the medical devices.
For instance, Donaldson showed off a recently developed artificial knee that costs $80 and contains the organization’s custom technology such as an embedded spring that helps amputees move the artificial leg forward as they walk.
The artificial knee was also designed to accommodate uneven terrain and rocky roads, unlike other devices built with smoother, paved surfaces in mind.
Currently, the knee is being used in 17 countries, but she hopes to bring it many more nations over the next three-to-five years.
For more from Brainstorm Health, click here.
This story originally appeared on Fortune.com
Posted: 02 Nov 2016 12:55 PM PDT
Have you ever noticed that the less you sleep, the more hungry you feel the next day? Research suggests that this is indeed true. But you might not realize how many extra calories you’re taking in (spoiler: it’s more than you’d think).
In a new study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers set out to put a number on those surplus calories consumed by the tired and weary. In recent years, adequate sleep has emerged as a third pillar, along with exercise and healthy eating, as a way to help control weight. Previous studies have linked a lack of sleep with obesity and even type 2 diabetes; but this is one of the first times researchers have calculated the caloric effect of insufficient Z’s.
To do so, they pooled results from 11 previous studies that looked at “partial sleep deprivation” and calorie consumption. Partial sleep deprivation “means that people were sleep deprived for part of the night but not for a full night,” author Gerda Pot, PhD, explained in an email. “Partial sleep deprivation could affect sleep quantity and/or quality.”
In all, the studies included 172 people ages 18 to 50, both male and female, who were either normal weight, overweight, or obese. All of the studies included control groups of people who did get enough sleep—7 to 12 hours in bed at night. People in the sleep deprived groups logged between 3½ to 5½ hours in bed.
The researchers found that the sleep deprived consumed an average of 385 calories extra per day, about the equivalent of four and a half slices of bread, says Pot, who is a visiting lecturer in the Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences Division at King’s College London, and also an associate professor at Vrije University Amsterdam. (To put 385 calories into context, it’s close to a fifth of the energy needs of a moderately active 30-year-old woman.)
“Moreover, people proportionally consumed more fat and less protein,” Pot added. Carbohydrate consumption stayed roughly the same.
Other researchers have speculated that a lack of sleep might affect hormones related to hunger, such as leptin and ghrelin. But Pot and her co-authors believe the explanation may be “hedonic,” meaning the tired overeat because they’re seeking pleasure.
Sharon Zarabi, RD, director of the bariatric program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, shares the same suspicion. The urge to binge may be “because they are more jittery and can’t satisfy their anxiety with eating,” Zarabi (who was not involved with the study) wrote in an email to Health.
Health.com: How to Stop Overeating Once and For All
Sadly, the researchers also found that staying up later doesn’t actually burn extra calories, suggesting that not getting enough sleep over the long term could be a recipe for weight gain. But none of the studies included in this review lasted more than two weeks, making it impossible to know if those extra calories add extra pounds as well.
The authors are now doing a study with people who regularly don’t get enough sleep to see if that is the case. “We need to do more research into sleep as a possible remediable risk factor for obesity and possibly other cardio-metabolic diseases like diabetes, especially in today’s society in which trends are showing that people sleep less,” Pot said.
Posted: 02 Nov 2016 11:00 AM PDT
Why give thanks? Plain and simple, gratitude is good for us. Research shows that counting your blessings has many benefits, from better sleep to reduced depression. “It helps you connect to others and be more optimistic and less likely to ruminate over the negative,” says Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, science director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Cementing the habit takes minimal effort. Follow this 21-day path to more appreciative living.
Week 1: Notice the good
“Gratitude isn’t one-size-fits-all,” says sociologist and happiness expert Christine Carter, PhD. These tips help you be thankful in a way that makes sense for you.
Think in threes: Start off each morning by identifying three things you’re grateful for (your kids, your comfy bedsheets, your cute toes—anything). Try not to repeat things, advises Carter, and get more specific and detailed as you go: “For a daily gratitude practice to really be effective, there needs to be novelty so you don’t just get on autopilot,” she says.
Choose your weapon: For some, journaling about the three good things works; others may prefer sharing them with a friend via text or using the voice recorder on their smartphone.
Talk the talk: The most grateful people have learned to use language that emphasizes gifts, blessings, fortune, and abundance, says gratitude expert Robert Emmons, PhD. “Less grateful people are preoccupied with burdens, deprivations, entitlements, and complaints,” he explains. Instead of saying, “Ugh, I cannot believe I had to wait so long to get a day off,” try, “What an opportunity this free time is.”
Week 2: Go beyond yourself
Improve how you dish out thanks toward your loved ones and community, still keeping in mind the gratitude guidelines from week one.
Upgrade “thanks”: Express appreciation to someone every day this week, being super specific. “Thank you for taking care of the kids while I was away on business” is much more powerful than “Thanks for everything this weekend.”
Pen a letter: Write a heartfelt note to a mentor, family member, or friend detailing how he or she has impacted your life in a positive way. If possible, read it aloud in person, or schedule a video chat session to share it.
Be of service: “Most people end up feeling extra grateful for their own blessings when they give back in some way,” says Simon-Thomas. Find a volunteering opportunity that interests you and schedule time to participate.
Health.com: 22 Ways to Get Happy Now
Week 3: Think outside the box
Now it’s all about seeing good fortune everywhere.
Look for unexpected heroes: Don’t journal just about people who’ve helped you, says Emmons, but also about those who’ve been there for your loved ones. When you list your three good things this week, call out these indirect joy bringers (like the caretaker who assists your ailing mom, the teacher who is endlessly patient with your child or the great guy about to marry your BFF).
Find silver linings: Write down three less-than-perfect experiences and consider how they actually benefited you. Perhaps quitting a bad job opened the door to a new opportunity. Or maybe you’re thankful that an ex was brave enough to end your relationship when you both knew it wasn’t working anymore.
Take it to the office: “The workplace is one of the places gratitude is lacking the most,” says Simon-Thomas. Show a boss, peer, or intern some appreciation this week. Don’t be surprised if the good vibes come back to you. Gratitude often has a boomerang effect.
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