Today’s Headlines: The Risk of Smoking While Pregnant, Olive Oil as a Preventative Measure for Heart Disease, and Sleeping More Leads to a Better Diet and Weight Loss

If you have asthma, it may be because your grandmother smoked while she was pregnant. A new Swedish study has been able to draw a link between smoking during pregnancy and asthma. “…children whose maternal grandmothers smoked were up to 22 percent more likely to have asthma, even if their mothers never took up the habit…The researchers say the inheritance of risk could help explain why there has been a steep rise in asthma cases over the last 50 years, even though smoking rates have declined.” While the asthma inheritance has not been discovered through the paternal line yet, researchers are looking for links and other diseases and conditions that could have been genetically passed down through generations of pregnancy. (Fox)

Adding more olive oil to your diet while subtracting butter and other high-fat products may decrease your risk for heart disease. Studies have shown that the healthy fats in olive oil may be much more beneficial to your health than the saturated fats found in many food products such as cheese and butter. “Swapping just 5 percent of the calories from saturated fat found in dairy, lard or red meat to an equivalent amount of food rich in polyunsaturated fats such as soybean oil, sunflower oil, walnuts or fish lowers the risk of heart disease by 25 percent…Substituting a monounsaturated fat such as olive oil or peanut oil for those saturated fats lowers the risk by 15 percent…” However the study participants that decreased their saturated fat consumption seemed to supplement the change by eating foods high in bad carbs, starches, and sugars, leading the study to recommend that cardiologists, “‘should encourage the consumption of unsaturated fats like vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds, as well as healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains…”’ when their patients are starting a new saturated fat-free diet. (NBC)

The time of day you eat, the amount of hours you eat, and how much sleep you get may be deciding factors in weight loss. A new study found that there could be a link between quality of sleep and the quality of your diet and weight loss habits. “The trouble with eating or drinking over a longer stretch of waking hours and consuming more calories at night is that, ‘“it confuses our body’s biological clock and predisposes us to obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease…’” They asked eight overweight people who tended to eat over more than 14 hours of the day to cut back to 10 to 11 hours. After 16 weeks, these people lost about 3.5 percent of their excess body weight and reported sleeping better.” The study was too small to be definite and conclusive on the subject matter of sleep leading to eating less. (Reuters)