How long could you live off body fat alone?

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In this extract from Fat: The Secret Organ, obesity researchers Mariette Boon and Liesbeth van Rossum explain the purpose of fat in the body and how long it can keep us going without food.

When we talk about the fuel ‘fat’, which is suspended in our blood and which can be absorbed and burned by organs, what we’re referring to are fatty acids. These are long ‘tails’, or chains, that are usually made up of 16 to eighteen carbon atoms.

Just like glucose, fatty acids are cleverly packaged so that large numbers of them can be stored without taking up too much space. You can compare it to a zip file on your computer. This is why fatty acids are stored in bunches of three in the form of what are known as ‘triglycerides’.

Thousands of tightly packed triglycerides are stored in a single fat cell. This is a huge amount of fuel, a real goldmine. As soon as you haven’t eaten for a few hours, or if you’ve been physically active for an extended period of time (for example, exercising or doing housework), this fuel will be tapped into.

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Vessyl: A smart cup that tracks everything you drink

vessyl

Vessyl

There are a lot of fitness and health trackers on the market today: Fitbits. Nike+ Fuelbands. Jawbone Ups. They’re all pretty good at measuring the calories we’ve burned and the hours we’ve slept, but they miss a huge chunk of the health equation: what we’ve ingested. (Video)

 

 

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25 amazing photos of people around the world and how much food they eat everyday

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Noolkisaruni Tarakuai, Third Wife of a Maasai Chief – 800 Calories

Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, photographers who also happen to be married, traveled around the world and met people from all walks of life. During their time with these people, they asked them to pose for photographs with their daily diets in front of them. The craziest part about the entire project is the caloric intake difference between people of different walks of life.

 

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$150 smartphone spectrometer can tell the number of calories in your food

scio

The SCiO is a handheld molecular analyzer.

If you wanted to look up the calorie content of a specific food you are eating you could take it to a lab and run it through a spectrometer. But accurate spectrometers are huge, expensive machines that are often only owned by institutions and require training to use. A new startup, however, wants to make it easy as running an app and pairing a bluetooth dongle. (Video)

 

 

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Diet vs exercise for weight loss: Two groundbreaking studies

Repeated studies have shown that many people who begin an exercise program lose little or no weight. 

Two groundbreaking new studies address the irksome question of why so many of us who work out remain so heavy, a concern that carries special resonance at the moment, as lean Olympians slip through the air and water, inspiring countless viewers to want to become similarly sleek.

 

 

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Not all calories created equal: Study

not all calories created equal

A diet based on healthy carbs offers best chance of keeping weight off.

A study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that a diet based on healthy carbohydrates—rather than a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet—offers the best chance of keeping weight off without bringing unwanted side effects.

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Overeating may increase risk of memory loss

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The more calories older people consumed, the more likely they were to have mild cognitive impairment.

Overeating may increase your risk of memory loss.  Older people who consumed more than 2,143 calories a day had more than double the risk of a type of memory loss called mild cognitive impairment compared to those who ate fewer than 1,500 calories a day, according to a study being released Sunday by the American Academy of Neurology on its website (aan.com).

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Top two foods linked to weight loss: Surprising study results

nuts

This is one of the foods that is linked to weight loss.

A Harvard School of Public Health study provides  lots of information that could help you eat healthier and gently lose excess pounds. The study covered a 20-year period and involved over 120,000 people, so these were not conclusions based on skimpy data. One goal of the study was to analyze specific foods and activities that seemed connected to long-term, gradual weight gain–or loss.

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Teens, young men consume way more sugary drinks than recommended limits

young man drinking soda

Men aged 20 to 39 consumed 252 calories a day from beverages containing added sugar.

Almost half of the population drinks a sugar-sweetened beverage on any given day.  But teenagers and young men consuming way more than recommended limits for staying healthy.

 

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