Today’s Headlines: The Negative Effects of Talking on the Phone, Eating Carbs and Saturated Fats, and Ignoring Your Hearing Loss

Face-to-face time with loved ones may benefit your overall health. Seeing your family and friends in person rather than talking to them on the phone can ease symptoms and feelings of depression. A recent study found that “…participants who physically met with friends or family at least three times a week were the least likely to report depressive symptoms—just 6.5% of them reported such symptoms. At the other end of the spectrum were people who interacted with those close to them infrequently—every few months or less—who were nearly twice as likely to report symptoms of depression.” The participants in the study were 50 years old or older and the lead on the study suggested that based on the findings, face-to-face interaction for older people may be similar to “‘preventive medicine, like getting a regular dose of vitamins.”’ (Time)

The foods that you eat in your diet to replace saturated fats could increase or decrease your risk for heart disease. Saturated fats—found in butter, cheese, certain meats, etc.—have no direct link to heart disease, until they are compared with other foods that you should be eating instead. “Those who replaced 5 percent of saturated fat with monounsaturated fats like olive or peanut oil, or whole nuts, had a 15 percent reduced risk of heart disease. Replacing 5 percent of saturated fat calories with an equal amount of whole grains was tied to a 9 percent reduced risk of heart disease. But there was no difference in heart disease risk when people substituted refined carbohydrates for saturated fats.” The main point of the study was to encourage people to not only decrease their intake of saturated fats but to swap or pair them with healthy fats rather than carbs. (Fox)

If you have hearing problems, your risk for death may be higher. A new study recently hypothesized that an older person’s survival rate may depend on how well they can hear. “The people included in the analysis were all over age 70 and had undergone hearing testing. Using World Health Organization criteria to define hearing impairment, and accounting for individuals’ age, the researchers found that people with moderate or severe hearing impairment had a 54 percent greater risk of dying than those with normal hearing. Mild hearing impairment was linked to a 27 percent increased risk.” The study advised that people who begin to experience hearing impairment take action with preventative measures such as getting a hearing aid and consulting their doctor. (Reuters)