Monday, January 13, 2020

Glycemic load and inflammatory metabolites

The Study
The glycemic load is a measure of how your diet impacts your blood sugar. A high glycemic load diet causes a lot of dramatic spikes in blood sugar, while a low glycemic load diet has a much easier effect on blood sugar. In this study, 80 subjects consumed a high glycemic load diet for 28 days followed by a low glycemic load diet for 28 days. A variety of metabolic functions were tested after both dietary periods. After the low glycemic load diet, subjects had a significant improvement in metabolites involved with inflammation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2019; 110:984-92.

Take Home Message
This study provides further evidence that dramatic swings in blood sugar can be harmful to our health. Focus on low glycemic load sources of carbohydrate such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains and be sure to strictly limit refined carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta, white rice and sugar.

Mediterranean diet and risk of skin cancer

The Study
In this French study, 98,995 women had their diet monitored for a period of 15 years. Each subject was given a score that reflected how well they followed a Mediterranean diet. The score was based on intakes of fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereal products, olive oil, fish, dairy products, meat products and alcohol. Women who most closely followed a Mediterranean diet had a 17% lower risk of skin cancer when compared to women who did not follow a Mediterranean diet. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2019;110:993-1002. 

Take Home Message
This is a really interesting study. It is the first I have seen that links a healthy diet to a reduced risk of skin cancer. One potential mechanism is that the Mediterranean diet contains high levels of antioxidant nutrients like beta carotene, retinol, vitamin C and E, folate and vitamin D. These antioxidants may act to reduce damage to DNA. Another potential mechanism is that subjects consuming a Mediterranean diet consume healthier fats like omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fat. These fats may reduce inflammation and in turn, reduce risk of skin cancer. Either way, this study provides more evidence that a Mediterranean diet is a very healthy way to eat.

Akonza Lat Machine Review

Working out at home is a great strategy for anyone who is too busy to get to the gym consistently. You don’t really need all that much equipment, as most body parts can be worked well with a simple pair of adjustable dumbbells. The back is the one body part that is a bit harder to target at home. A machine that focuses on the back is a great idea for any home gym.

That is why the Akonza lat machine is next up for review. This is a lat pull down machine designed for the home gym that has both a high and low pulley. It is available on with free delivery for Prime Members.

1) This machine is very well built: I have had mine for over 3 years and it looks and works like it did when it was brand new.

2) Not too tall: This is important as some of the machines I looked at were too big for my basement. The Akonza Lat pull down machine is 6 feet, 4.5 inches tall and will fit in most any room in your home.

3) Inexpensive: Currently this machine is on sale at at the very attractive price of $149.97, which includes shipping for Prime Members.

4) Versatile: The machine comes with both a high and low pulley and two attachments. This allows you to add a bunch of exercises for your back, triceps, shoulders and biceps. You can do even more if you add other attachments, which are quite inexpensive.

5) You can put it together by yourself. The directions were not at all complicated, it just took a little time.

1) The seat is a bit on the small side. This is not a major problem, it just could have been a little bigger.

2) When using the lower pulley for upright rows or bicep curls, the machine is not quite stable and seems like it could tilt backward. This is easily fixed by simply putting one foot on the base of the machine during the upward phase of the exercise. Admittedly, the machine is not designed for these types of exercises, I just like to do them. When using the high and low pulley as intended, the machine is completely stable. 

Do I Recommend the Akonza Lat Machine?
Absolutely. This little gem will turn your basement weight room into a bona fide home gym. The price is right, it is versatile and is built very well. If you are busy, working out at home is critical to working out consistently. Adding just a few pieces of equipment, such as this lat machine, will allow you to replicate the gym experience in the comfort of your own home.

Disclosure: I am not affiliated with the company that makes the Akonza Lat Machine and make no money if you buy it.