The Digest - April 6

  • Study reveals that a high egg diet has no negative effects on blood lipids (cholesterol/triglycerides).
  • Triathlon causes relationship problems, it’s a fact we can’t deny. Do you have to choose?
  • Study shows that higher consumption of nuts associated with lower risk of death.
  • New study reveals that “night owls” are higher risk of weight gain, diabetes, metabolic disorders.
  • New study links consumption of pesticide-laden fruits with lower fertility in men.
  • The world of investing for the long-term is confusing. Here are some easy tips.
  • Are there tools you can learn to stay in control when facing extreme difficulties?  

The debate on whether dietary fat is related to heart diseases continues, despite the overwhelming scientific and epidemiological evidence to the contrary, such as this one, just released from Australia, and which revealed that a high-egg diet over a 3-month period did not have any adverse effect on the lipid profile of people with Type II Diabetes, a group of people already predisposed to cardiovascular disease.

It’s probably the only real negative aspect of triathlon training/racing: the potential negative consequences on marriage and relationships. Our sport is selfish, whether we like it or not. It puts demand on time and money and may (and often does) cause problems “at home”. I found this article to be quite interesting, especially because it includes insights from a Family Therapist who often works with triathletes suffering from such problems…

Last week I posted a link to a helpful guide to various nuts. Well now I’m glad to bring you this metastudy of over 350,000 people which revealed that the consumption of nuts is significantly associated with a lower risk of death in humans. In fact, one serving per week reduced mortality risk by 4%, while one serving per day reduced the risk by 27%!! The majority of the reduced risk of death comes from a reduction in death from heart disease (primarily coronary heart disease); this shouldn't come as a surprise as the benefits of nuts for heart disease have long been demonstrated and accepted. In addition, the consumption of nuts was also associated with a reduced risk of cancer.

New data published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reconfirmed what we've known for a while: staying up late in the evening will significantly increase you risk of weight gain, diabetes, and other metabolic problems. The study revealed that people who stay up late have a 1.7 times higher chance of developing Type II Diabetes (insulin resistance), and metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high fat, abnormal cholesterol). Making things even worse, those people have a 3.2 times higher chance of undergoing sarcopenia (muscle loss). Looking for some tips to help you get to bed earlier and have better sleep quality? Here’s a nice infographic I found which nicely summarizes most of what I usually recommend.

As if we needed more ammunition to dissuade people from eating pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables! But here you go anyway: new study reveals that men who consume pesticide-sprayed fruits have significantly lower fertility. According to this observational study (i.e. it needs to be properly tested in a controlled environment), men who consume high-pesticide fruits have about half as many sperm and almost a third fewer normal sperm vs. men who consumed less pesticide-laden fruits. In case you lost the link to the page I circulated a while back listing the pesticide concentration of fruits and vegs, here it is again.

Even though I work in finance, the best investments I've ever made (in terms of returns / profits) have nothing to do with financial markets: art work. Well-selected pieces of art seem to hold better long-term value (and continue to appreciate with time). The underlying concept for long-term investment is the following: invest in something that has scarcity value: something which is rare or is expected to become rare or less available. If you take a long-term view and ignore short-term fluctuations, you should be able to build a diversified and appreciating portfolio of such “scarce” investments. As this (somewhat simplistic) article explains, such asset classes include: gold, silver, jewelry/gemstones, and real-estate. I would add artwork, in addition to other less common but also proven assets, such as collectible classic motor vehicles, rare wines, and memorabilia.

I drive people crazy sometimes, especially people close to me, especially my wife in fact. But while I do that in a variety of ways, there is one thing that seems to drive my wife crazy the most: my ability to stay calm. She will often look at me fuming asking “how can you stay so calm and cold in a situation like this???”. Well I know exactly how: I trained myself to be this way, and it all started with something my father mentioned to me when I was 14 years old: “life is a battle of nerves, and the one who controls his nerves best will prevail”. Ever since that day, I started teaching myself the skills to maintain control over my reactions and my environment. It’s something that takes years to develop but is immensely rewarding: there is nothing better than having the self-confidence that “nothing will derail me”. I won’t give you a list of books to read, but if this is something which interests you, start with this short article, which provides insightful advice on how to stay in control in difficult situations