Health Features

Viva! Health unravels the most recent scientific research and makes it easy to understand. Here we update you on the latest findings...

If pregnant crickets are exposed to a predatory wolf spider, their babies will hatch, exhibiting increased antipredator behavior and, as a consequence, improved survival from wolf spider attack. The mother cricket appears to be able to forewarn her babies about the threat when they are still inside her, so they would be pre-adapted to their external environment. This even happens in plants. If you grow two genetically identical plants – one in the sun, one in the shade – the sun-grown plant will produce seeds that grow better in the sun, and the shaded plant will produce seeds that grow better in the shade – even though they’re genetically identical. What’s happening is called epigenetics, external factors changing gene expression.
The pro-fat lobby are determined get butter, cheese and beef back on the menu. Bad science, poor journalism and commercial interests are at the heart of this issue which has left many people confused.   
A vegan diet can have a bunch of benefits, including easier weight maintenance, but vegans are not automatically skinny. So here’s how to make your diet work better for your weight without going to extremes. If you carry a few extra pounds and would like to lose some weight, all you might need to do is tweak your diet a little.
Carbs – love them or hate them, we all need them. Despite a wealth of low-carb fad diets there’s no good reason for avoiding carbohydrates. The key is in choosing the right ones. 
Every few months the headlines say butter is back, saturated fat is good for you and calorie counting is over. Every time this happens, the study in question is later discredited, but the damage is done… 
Public Health England has just published new dietary advice recommending people halve their dairy intake and eat less meat, replacing it with beans and pulses! This is NOT an April Fools’ joke – it’s for real! 
Let’s face it, we all know we could eat healthier but we also want to be able to treat ourselves every now and then. A vegan diet gives you the maximum damage limitation – you can still have cakes, chocolate and creamy sauces but they’re all much better for you than their animal-based counterparts.
Obesity is spiralling out of control and spreading across the globe. Viva! nutritionist Amanda Woodvine explains why in her Globesity report and outlines what you can do to lose weight perfectly, painlessly and permanently.