Archive for the tag - fad

BREAKING NEWS: Gluten Sensitivity Is Probably Fake.

the-science-is-in--why-gluten-sensitivity-is-probably-fakeAccording to Business Insider, 30% of Americans want to eat less gluten. And 18% of adults buy gluten-free products. But only 1% of Americans have celiac disease, a condition in which the small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten, leading to difficulty in digesting food.

People without celiac disease often report having gluten sensitivity. The problem is, according to researchers, it’s a condition that probably doesn’t exist.

Back in 2011, a popular study concluded that gluten can cause gastrointestinal distress in people who don’t have celiac disease. It was enough to launch a whole of gluten-free products and marketing.

The researcher behind the 2011 study conducted a follow up study with individuals who reported gluten sensitivity and gastrointestinal distress. Participants were put on several different diets, including gluten free and gluten-containing diets. Regardless of the diet type, the participants experienced intestinal problems anyway. Gluten wasn’t even a factor.

There was one diet type that resulted in less gastrointestinal distress. It was low in something called FODMAPs, which are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. Many foods containing FODMAPs also contain gluten, including beer, pasta and bread. Interestingly enough, a low FODMAP diet is often prescribed for individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

Bring on the FODMAP-free diet craze!

Do Toning Shoes Work?

Joe Montana should toss his Shape-Ups into the trash.

Toning shoes make a lot of promises – like burning more calories, improving posture and toning muscles – but do they actually work? Many of toning shoe brands point to studies that allegedly “prove” real results; unfortunately, these studies are commissioned by the various sneaker brands – and are not peer reviewed.

To settled the debate, the American Council on Exercise recently commissioned a study to review three of the most popular toning shoe brands: MBT ($245), Sketcher’s Shape-Ups ($110 – $125), and Reebok EasyTone ($100 – $125).

So, do toning shoes actually work? In short, no. According to the study:

Across the board, none of the toning shoes showed statistically significant increases in either exercise response or muscle activation during any of the treadmill trials. There is simply no evidence to support the claims that these shoes will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength and tone.

See the below chart for detailed findings:

Despite the findings, many toning shoe enthusiasts believe that the sneakers are making a difference. The study’s authors took this anecdotal evidence into consideration:

[Toning shoes] feel different, and that’s why when people first wear them they’re probably going to be sore because you’re using different muscles. But if you wear any sort of abnormal shoes that you’re not used to wearing, your muscles are going to get sore. Is that going to translate into toning your butt, hamstrings and calves? Nope. Your body is just going to get used to it.

Researchers also expressed concern for the longer-term impacts of toning shoes on the people that wear them. Since the toning shoes essentially make an uneven and unbalanced walking surface, issues and complications may develop down the road. But longer-term studies will be required to make any conclusions.

Really, the toning shoes are just the latest in our never-ending quest for an exercise magic bullet. Whether it’s a pill, an electronic ab stimulator belt (remember those?) or a pair of toning shoes – there’s no quick fix. Getting into shape requires energy and effort.

The verdict: Instead of investing $100+ into a pair of toning shoes, buy a good pair of running or training shoes and hit the gym!