What’s Happening: The Shape of “Enough”

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Balance

When it comes to health, it’s all too easy to go overboard. Sometimes it’s seeking out increasingly obscure nutrients to supplement with, sometimes it’s fretting over the optimal timing of every meal, and sometimes it’s adding more and more workouts to your weekly routine until you can’t remember what it felt like to not be sore.

It’s easy to assume that more is better, but it’s just not true. And this week, a new post at Exuberant Animal eloquently explains the concept with a simple graphical representation. Too much and too little are equally dangerous; true health means finding a balance somewhere in the middle, not getting as close as you can to either extreme.

This pattern shows up everywhere once you know how to look for it – see if you can spot it at work in some of the other news from this week:

  • In a new study published in the journal Obesity, quality of life for obese people was not determined by their body size – but it was determined by their health status. Another point for the “weight loss isn’t everything” file!
  • A provocative question from Mark’s Daily Apple: what about parasites? We evolved to live with them – are we missing out on anything in a world of antibacterial hand soap and ultra-clean food? As it turns out, we might be.
  • Thinking about going in for a bulk order of meat but not quite convinced yet? Check out this breakdown of what one family got in their side of beef, and how much it saved them.

beef cuts

  • Another study this week turned the way we count calories burned during exercise on its head, suggesting that we may have been underestimating anaerobic exercise (like sprinting or weightlifting) by nearly 50%. So much for accurately “counting calories!”
  • You might think that eating pasture-raised meat protects you against catching drug-resistant infections from factory-farmed animals. But did you know you’re 3 times more likely to carry multidrug-resistant staph germs if you just live near a factory farm?
  • A new meta-analysis in The Lancet found that Vitamin D supplements were ineffective for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and hip fractures. The study didn’t cover other potential reasons to supplement, like improving mood or immune function.
  • If you’re interested in intermittent fasting, you might want to check out this in-depth appraisal of some of the more common fasting schedules.

Have you ever tried intermittent fasting? How did it work? Let us know on Facebook or Google+!

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