April 20, 2018

Weekend reads: The unexpected downside of a healthy diet

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    The healthier your diet, the more food you're likely to waste. The healthier your diet, the more food you're likely to toss, according to a study published in PLOS One. In the study, researchers found that, between 2007 and 2014, Americans wasted about 150,000 tons of food each day, roughly a pound per person each day. Fruits and vegetables accounted for the most waste, at 39%, followed by dairy at 17%, and meat at 14%. Study co-author Meredith Niles, an assistant professor at the University of Vermont, said as people pursue healthier diets, they "must think much more consciously about food waste."

    How do sea turtles find their birthplace beach? Using magnetic fields. Even 70 years after they were born, sea turtles are able to find their birthplace beach using the earth's magnetic fields, according to a study published in Current Biology. Researchers found that turtles who had been swimming for years from nesting grounds in North Carolina, Florida, and North Africa, ended up coming back to nest on beaches within roughly 40 to 50 miles of where they were born. According to the study, the sea turtles used geomagnetic imprinting to find their birthplace. However, the researchers found in some cases this homing device can lead turtles to beaches that are magnetically similar to their birthplace beach, but are located in a different geographic location.

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    Maybe nuts aren't what they're cracked up to be. Plenty of research shows nuts can help reduce cardiovascular disease risk—but a new analysis from Sweden suggests research on the benefits of nuts might come with an asterisk. The analysis of more than 61,000 adults found that while nut consumption was tied to reduced risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and atrial fibrillation (A-fib), people who ate nuts regularly tended to be younger, less likely to smoke, more likely to be physically active, more likely to eat fruits and vegetables, as well as have more education and a lower body mass index. With those factors taken into account, the researchers found nut consumption was associated with a lower risk of A-fib but not a significant effect on the other diseases. 

    Meet the amateur who just won the Boston Marathon. Yuki Kawauchi, an amateur runner and school administrator, beat out professionals to take home first place in the men's division at the Boston Marathon, finishing the race in cold, windy conditions at 2 hours, 15 minutes, 58 seconds. After winning the race, Kawauchi said he plans to go professional—but until now has trained without a coach, scheduling training around his day job. (On the women's side, American Desiree Linden won the race in 2:39:54—followed in second-place by Sarah Sellers, a nurse anesthetist at Banner Health Center.)

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