For Your Health

If red wine isn't your drink of choice, what about chocolate milk? New research says that regular consumption of skim milk flavored with cocoa powder may reduce inflammation of arteries and increase levels of good HDL cholesterol:

Move over, red wine. Make room for chocolate milk. A new study suggests that regular consumption of skim milk with flavonoid-rich cocoa may reduce inflammation, potentially slowing or preventing development of atherosclerosis. Researchers noted, however, that the effect was not as pronounced as that seen with red wine.

Scientists in Barcelona, Spain, recruited 47 volunteers ages 55 and older who were at risk for heart disease. Half were given 20-gram sachets of soluble cocoa powder to drink with skim milk twice a day, while the rest drank plain skim milk. After one month, the groups were switched.

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Feeling blue? Maybe you should reconsider what you're having for breakfast this morning. A new study has found that a low-fat diet seems to boost dieters' mood more than a low-carb diet:

A low-fat diet seems to boost dieters' mood more than a low-carbohydrate diet, Australian researchers have found.

Very low-carbohydrate diets are often used to help overweight and obese people lose weight, but the long-term effects on psychological well-being are unclear.

To investigate, researchers randomly assigned 106 overweight and obese adults to follow either a very-low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet or a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet for one year. They assessed changes in body weight and mood and well-being periodically during and one year after the study ended.

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If you're looking to jazz up your workout, research shows that the tempo of your tunes really affects how you exercise. Slow songs can slow you down, while faster songs can motivate you more:

In a forthcoming study, British researchers secretly sped up or slowed down music by 10 per cent and observed the effect on subjects riding exercise bikes. Sure enough, like marionettes on musical strings, the riders unconsciously sped up or slowed down.

The results add to a complex body of research on how distractions influence our exercise performance, extending far beyond the simple psych-up provided by motivational lyrics. Instead of just hitting shuffle next time you're at the gym, you might be able to harness these benefits by taking control of your playlist to enhance your workout.

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