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Want to Lose Weight? Eat More of These… And Have You Tried Tabata Yet?

Nuts for a Smaller Waistline?

New studies show that people who eat a handful of nuts every day are more likely to have a smaller waistline than non-nut-eaters. In addition to helping you getting to a slimmer you, eating a serving of tree nuts, like walnuts, pecans or pistachios every day could actually lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

While the research showed that people who ate nuts generally consumed more calories daily, they still had lower Body Mass Indexes (BMI). Which measures your body fat based on height and weight.

Find out your BMI here.

A Workout That Keeps You Burning Calories All Day Long

Have you heard about Tabata training? It's a super-intense workout routine that lasts for only four minutes. It consists of 20-second bursts of your full effort followed by 10 seconds of cool down. Then, you repeat eight times and give it all you've got each time.

Dr. Izumi Tabata developed the workout routine in 1996 and has since tested it on many student athletes in Japan. He found that athletes burned calories long after their four-minute routines, and up to 12 hours after their intense work out! Dr. Tabata believes that this could be true for up to 36 hours after your routine.

Flu-Like 'Valley Fever' Spreads

There is a rise of Valley Fever in the Southwest United States. There were more than 22,000 cases of Valley Fever reported in the Southwest in 2011, up from 2,265 cases in 1998, according to a new report.

Valley Fever is a respiratory infection caused by fungus spores that live in soil and travel through in the air. The disease does not spread from person to person. Endemic areas for fungus include Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. Patients often experience flu-like symptoms and Valley Fever is rarely fatal.

It's not clear yet why the number of cases have increased.

Eating More Fiber Could Reduce Risk of Stroke

According to a recently published British study, eating more fiber could decrease your chances of having a stroke. The study suggests that for every 7-grams of added fiber intake, you could have a 7 percent decrease in risk of having stroke.

Given that Americans only consume half of the recommended 25 to 30 grams of total daily dietary fiber, the findings from the study could serve as an incentive to increase intake by at least 7 grams.

If you want in increase fiber in your diet, doctors suggest eating whole grains, whole-wheat pastas, tomatoes, nuts and vegetables.

U.S. Anti-Smoking Ads Show Real Life Stories

After the success of last's year $54 million anti-smoking advertising campaign, featuring real-life people, the government has launched a second $48 million round. The campaign features real people who have been severely affected by the consequences of smoking.

Last year alone, the ad campaign led to an increase of 200,000 calls to smoking hotlines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that it prompted tens of thousands to quit, and there's even research to prove that many stayed tobacco-free.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the U.S. If you or someone you know is ready to quit smoking, try MyQuit COACH, the LIVESTRONG.COM application that allows you to design a personalized plan to help you quit smoking.

USDA Announces New Plan for Healthy Eating

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service will launch two new programs to empower families to eat healthier foods.

First, the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program, which will aim to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in schools and will focus on improving consumer access to healthy food. The plan is a step in fighting obesity and malnutrition in the U.S.

The second, SNAP: Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention, which aims to raise obesity awareness by providing flexibility to support targeted nutrition education and obesity prevention activities. States will focus their funding on low-income families by providing an array of new plans to encourage and implement healthier eating in these areas.

Research by the USDA has shown that healthy foods are often no more expensive than less-nutritious foods.

Is Drowsy Driving as Dangerous as Drunk Driving?

A new report states that sleep-deprived drivers could be just as dangerous as drunk drivers. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that 15 percent to 33 percent of fatal crashes involve drowsy drivers. The CDC's report found that one out of 24 people have reported having fallen asleep while behind the wheel and that men are more likely to fall asleep while driving.

When the body is tired, reaction time is slowed and those consequences easily affect drivers. Doctors say getting enough rest is crucial to staying safe on the road.

Readers - Would you eat more fiber on a daily basis? Would you be willing to try new foods to reduce your risk of stroke? Share your comments and advice. What do you think of these stories? Are there other pieces of health and fitness news you'd like to see us writing about? Leave a comment below, and let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter @LIVESTRONG_COM, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

>> Read more of Crissy Van Meter's articles here! <<


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