Leading professors answer the most common questions people have about health and diet 

Leading science professors have answered the most common questions people have about their health and diets.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, who has degrees in medicine and biomedical engineering, and Claire Collins, Laureate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle, teamed up to reveal whether milk really causes acne and if fasting helps with weight loss on the Triple J Science with Dr Karl podcast.

They explained how you can help to make your skin glow by eating bright-coloured vegetables, and why intermittent fasting is just one of the ways you can lose weight.

Leading science professors Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (pictured) and Claire Collins have answered the most common questions people have about their health and diets

Leading science professors Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (pictured) and Claire Collins have answered the most common questions people have about their health and diets

Leading science professors Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (pictured) and Claire Collins have answered the most common questions people have about their health and diets

'Drinking milk leads to an increase in levels of a chemical called insulin-like growth factor, and blood insulin levels, which is thought to be the trigger for worsening acne,' Claire said (stock image)

'Drinking milk leads to an increase in levels of a chemical called insulin-like growth factor, and blood insulin levels, which is thought to be the trigger for worsening acne,' Claire said (stock image)

‘Drinking milk leads to an increase in levels of a chemical called insulin-like growth factor, and blood insulin levels, which is thought to be the trigger for worsening acne,’ Claire said (stock image)

1. Does milk cause acne, and does sugar and dairy really affect your skin and cause breakouts? 

The first question Claire and Dr Karl were tasked with was a question around whether milk and dairy products cause breakouts.

‘Drinking milk leads to an increase in levels of a chemical called insulin-like growth factor, and blood insulin levels, which is thought to be the trigger for worsening acne,’ Claire explained.

‘Very surprisingly, in studies they have found this does not occur for eating cheese.’

The nutrition and diet expert added that if you want to avoid acne, you should aim to choose foods that are lower in glycemic index – like sweet potato instead of potato and wholegrain bread instead of white bread.

This will help your complexion hugely.

‘Studies have found that if you want to be the best looking person in the room, you should really boost your fruit and veg intake,’ Claire added.

‘We did an experiment with our students where we gave some of them a box of really bright-coloured veg for the week, and another with really dull and low levels.

‘In as little as four weeks, they got glowing to the point where you could really notice it. This works across men and women.’

2. Does intermittent fasting really work?

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular ways for men and women to lose weight.

Whether it’s the 5:2 diet or the 16:8, thousands of men and women swear by eating more in some windows and less in others for achieving their weight loss goals.

But Claire explained that while fasting diets can work, there are many effective ways to manage your weight:

‘Whether you’re the turtle and do it slowly, or the hare and do it all super quickly, studies show everyone gets the same results,’ Claire said.

She said intermittent fasting won’t always work for everyone. 

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular ways for men and women to lose weight, but Claire said it's not necessarily the best way as many other approaches work (stock image)

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular ways for men and women to lose weight, but Claire said it's not necessarily the best way as many other approaches work (stock image)

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular ways for men and women to lose weight, but Claire said it’s not necessarily the best way as many other approaches work (stock image) 

3. Is there a reason why I get ‘cheese dreams’?

Many struggle with extremely vivid dreams after eating cheese, particularly blue cheese, but Dr Karl and Claire agreed there isn’t much scientific literature surrounding this.

‘Cheese contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which can turn into serotonin and be converted into relaxation and sleepiness,’ Dr Karl said.

‘There is a study from 2005 that shows how cheese can have an effect on our drams.

‘In the study, people were asked to have 20 grams of cheese half an hour before they went to bed, and then they had to record their dreams and write them down as soon as they woke up.’

Dr Karl said the study found that 83 per cent of people who had Red Leicester cheese had pleasant dreams about childhood, whereas those who ate cheddar cheese had dreams about celebrities.

‘The study found that Cheshire cheese led to no dreams more than half the time,’ he said.

‘There is a lot of anecdotal evidence about cheese, but no hard science.’ 

4. Why do you get cravings on your period?

Finally, the duo were asked why we often get cravings on our period.

‘This could relate to a couple of things,’ Claire said. 

‘Pregnancy cravings are thought to refer to a change in hormonal status, and that could also be happening on your period.

‘That is also why everyone’s cravings are different.’

The nutrition expert added that we often want to eat more just before our period, because it’s our bodies subtly telling us to stock up before menstruation.    

Link hienalouca.com

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