Skinny Genes: Why Being Thin Doesn’t Guarantee Great Health

african american man and woman smiling(BlackDoctor.org) — They may be the envy of their fuller-figured friends, but slim people shouldn’t feel too self satisfied.

Why? Because being trim doesn’t guarantee they are healthy.

Researchers have found a so-called ‘lean gene’ that helps them keep weight off but also raises their odds of developing diabetes and heart disease.

Scientists compared the genetic codes of more than 75,000 people with the ratio of fat to muscle in their bodies. This revealed an extremely common gene called IRS1 to be linked to leanness. But while we are used to hearing about the many health benefits of being thin, IRS1 seemed to buck the trend.

Those with the gene had higher levels of dangerous blood fats and found it harder to process sugar. This put them at a 20 per cent higher risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes – the form that develops in middle-age and is often blamed on obesity. As the gene is only linked to lower levels of fat stored just below the skin, known as subcutaneous fat, it may be that people who have IRS1 stash theirs elsewhere. If fat is wrapped around the heart, liver or other organs it could lead to life-threatening conditions.

The study, reported in the journal Nature Genetics, involved teams at 72 institutions in ten countries. People, particularly men, with a specific form of the gene are more likely to be lean and to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

In simple terms, it is not only overweight individuals who can be predisposed for these diseases, and lean individuals shouldn’t make assumptions that they are healthy based on their appearance.

The effects may be more pronounced in men because they store less fat than women, and could be more sensitive to changes in its distribution. More research will provide new insights into why not all lean people are healthy and, conversely, why not all overweight people are at risk of metabolic diseases.

But these results reinforce the idea that it is not just how fat you are, but where you lay down fat that’s particularly important for heart risk. Fat stored internally is worse for you than fat stored under the skin.

5 Foods To Eat Before Hittin’ The Court

Tomato sauce on top of pasta

(BlackDoctor.org) — Looking for the 5 best meals for basketball players? Well, first of all, it’s important to note that athletes should maintain a healthy diet every day, not just on game day, for overall well being.

Basketball is a sport that requires players to run and remain in constant motion for extended periods of time. Because of this, what players eat during the day before a game is very important. The way in which certain foods affect a player can have a positive or negative effect on how they play the game.

Eating Before a Game

If a player eats something with a lot of sugar, he may feel a quick energy boost in the short term, but he’ll most likely have a crash in energy as the game progresses. It is best to eat a meal rich in complex carbohydrates an hour or two before the basketball game starts. This will give the player a consistent boost of energy throughout the entire game. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates include pasta, cereal, vegetables, peanut butter and bread. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids throughout the day as well as during the game itself.

Here’s what we suggest:

1. Chicken. Chicken makes a great pre-game meal for basketball players as it is a great source of protein. Protein helps basketball players remain balanced and powerful throughout the game. There are also many great dishes that go with chicken, including salads and baked potatoes.

2. Pasta. One of the most important aspects of a pre-game meal for basketball players is carbohydrates. When it comes to pre-game nutrition, you want to find a healthy balance between protein and carbohydrates. Pasta is a fantastic source of carbohydrates, and if you can eat some whole wheat pasta, that is even better.

3. Eggs. If your basketball game is in the morning, you will most likely not be interested in eating pasta. Like pasta, eggs are a fantastic source of protein. With some eggs and whole wheat toast, you will have yourself a great pre-game meal.

4. Sub sandwiches. If you are short on time, sub sandwiches are an adequate pre-game meal for basketball players. You will get your carbohydrates from the bread, and if you put some meat on the sandwich, such as turkey or beef, you will be getting some protein as well. Just make sure you don’t grab that bag of chips to go with your sandwich. If you can, have a bag of peanuts or nuts as a side dish, as they are both great sources of protein.

5. Fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies may not seem like a meal to some, but if you make yourself a fruit or vegetable salad, then you have a meal. If you want to enhance the taste of your meal, you can mix your fruits in with some low-fat yogurt, and if you aren’t a fan of vegetables, you can pick up a drink that has a daily serving of vegetables in it. A pre-game meal of fruits and veggies is great for someone who does not want to be running around on a full stomach, yet still wants to get some carbohydrates and proteins.