Livin' on the MDedge

Looking for a healthy meat substitute? Consider the potato


 

Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, include ‘em in a balanced diet

It’s kind of funny that, even though potatoes are vegetables and vegetables are generally considered to be healthy foods, not many people think of potatoes as being particularly good for you. And that’s hardly surprising since we usually either consume them in the form of French fries or potato chips, neither of which are known for their healthiness.

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In fact, some previous research shows that potatoes are a food to avoid, particularly for people with insulin resistance. However, a new study from England goes against the grain and asserts that the potato is perfectly fine for insulin-resistant individuals and filled with valuable nutrients and health benefits. Which is great news for the state of Idaho and the potato organization funding the research. Of course there’s a potato organization.

For the study, a group of obese, overweight, or insulin-resistant individuals received a diet of either beans, peas, and meat or fish or white potatoes with meat or fish for 8 weeks; both diets were heavy in fruits and vegetables and both diets replaced about 40% of typical meat consumption with either beans and peas or potatoes. By the end of the study, those on the potato diet experienced health benefits equivalent to those on the bean and pea diet, including losing roughly equivalent amounts of weight and similarly reducing the body’s insulin response.

The researchers noted that, because people tend to eat the same amount of food no matter what, replacing something like meat with dense, low-calorie potatoes meant study participants could eat normally yet consume much fewer calories. So you could make a delicious, healthy stew without the brace of conies and the nice fish, which would make Smeagol very happy.

You won’t have ‘monkeypox’ to kick around anymore

It’s true. No more monkeypox. It’s gone. It’s history. Adios. The World Health Organization said that the disease formerly known as monkeypox will now be called mpox. What? You didn’t think it had been cured, did you? You did? Really? Silly readers.

Colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (pink) found within an infected cell (green), cultured in the laboratory. Image captured and color-enhanced. NIAID

“Mpox will become a preferred term, replacing monkeypox, after a transition period of 1 year. This serves to mitigate the concerns raised by experts about confusion caused by a name change in the midst of a global outbreak,” WHO said in a statement announcing the change.

The stigma attached to the name was the main problem. New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan had sent a letter to WHO earlier this year, according to CNN, saying that there was “growing concern for the potentially devastating and stigmatizing effects that the messaging around the ‘monkeypox’ virus can have on … vulnerable communities.”

We here at LOTME applaud the fight against stigmas of any sort, but we sensed there was more to this name change business, so our dedicated team of investigative journalists went into action. Sure enough, while rooting through WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s garbage, we found a list of the names that had been rejected in favor of mpox:

  • K-pop (already taken)
  • Keeping up with the Kardashi-pox
  • Trumpox
  • Pox the magic dragon
  • Monkey plague (didn’t really solve the problem)
  • Hockey pox
  • Mission mpoxible
  • Jurassic Pox
  • The pox that refreshes
  • Debbie

Feet catch what the ears miss

The spectrum of frequencies that can be heard by human ears varies from person to person. Then there’s the matter of personal taste in music and volume level. But what really gets people moving? A new study shows that it’s more about the frequency of the sound than the volume.

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For the study, participants at a concert by electronic music duo Orphx at LIVELab – a research performance center on the McMaster University campus in Hamilton, Ont., that was specifically designed to study music and dance – filled out questionnaires before and after the show. They also wore motion-capture headbands to detect their movement throughout the concert. During the show the researchers turned very-low-frequency (VLF) sounds (8-37 Hz) on and off every 2.5 minutes. Movement speed was calculated during on and off periods.

Although the effects of subliminal messaging aren’t new, past studies have shown that participants were mostly aware of the messaging. In this study, the researchers found that the subjects’ movements increased by 11.8% when the VLF sounds were on, but without their awareness. The researchers and the participants attributed movement to the bass, as lower pitches tend to elicit stronger neural responses and thus movement, compared with higher pitches.

“Our whole sense of the beat is mediated by the vestibular system but nobody’s really, I think, effectively confirmed that,” Jonathan Cannon, an assistant professor of psychology, neuroscience, and behavior at McMaster who not involved in the study, told Live Science.

Not to say this study didn’t have its limitations, such as the effect of the surrounding crowd or vibrations of the floor influencing the need to dance. But it definitely makes you wonder about what’s actually playing in your favorite song.

Uncle Leonid wants you

Do you like to travel? Are you a bit of a thrill seeker? Do you have any extra socks? If you’re a physician who answered yes to those three questions, then we’ve got an opportunity for you.

Bicanski/Pixnio

Leonid Slutsky, leader of Russia’s populist Liberal Democratic Party and chairman of the foreign relations committee in the lower house of Russia’s parliament – yes, that Leonid Slutsky – recently made a bit of a recruiting pitch, although that’s not how ABC News described it.

Mr. Slutsky, a strong supporter of his country’s war against Ukraine, recently told the mothers of Russian soldiers “that the whole world is watching us. We are the largest state and when we do not have socks, shorts, doctors, intelligence, communications, or simply care for our children, questions arise that will be very difficult to answer.”

It’s probably not what he meant, but the lack of intelligence is pretty clear.

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