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Why the food pyramid is NOT the perfect diet guide

Spinach and carrots are both known rich in vitamin A, fiber and potassium but that doesn't mean they have the same effect on our gut microbiomes, a new small study finds.

We tend to think of food in terms of the broad categories of the food pyramid: fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and so on.

But researchers say how specific strains of gut microbes are affected by the foods we eat can actually vary significantly from fruit to fruit or vegetable to vegetable, according to Daily Mail.

Leafy greens like kale and spinach can promote one bacterial species, but carrots and celery could promote another - even though they all fall under the same category in the food pyramid.

Treating high blood pressure, cutting down on salt and getting rid of trans fats

Treating high blood pressure and cutting down on salt and trans fats could prevent nearly 100million premature deaths globally, experts have said.

The three interventions could slash the numbers of people losing their lives early to cardiovascular disease (CVD) over the next 20 years, according to Daily Mail.

Salt and trans fats found in processed foods such as cakes both contribute to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for CVD.

Researchers estimated that treating 70 per cent of the population for blood pressure would save 39.4million people.

Even One Extra Walk a Day May Make a Big Difference

How many steps should people take every day for good health?

A new study of activity and mortality in older women finds that the total could be lower than many of us expect and that even small increases in steps can be meaningful. The study also side-eyes the validity, utility and origin of the common 10,000-step-a-day exercise goals built into so many of our phones and activity monitors and suggests, instead, that any moving, whether or not it counts as exercise, may help to extend people’s lives.

'Pumping heart patch' ready for human use

A "pumping" patch containing millions of living, beating stem cells could help repair the damage caused by a heart attack, according to researchers.

Sewn on to the heart, the 3cm (1in) by 2cm patch, grown in a lab from a sample of the patient's own cells, then turns itself into healthy working muscle, according to BBC.

It also releases chemicals that repair and regenerate existing heart cells.

Tests in rabbits show it appears safe, Imperial College London experts told a leading heart conference in Manchester.

GM fungus rapidly kills 99% of malaria mosquitoes

A fungus - genetically enhanced to produce spider toxin - can rapidly kill huge numbers of the mosquitoes that spread malaria, a study suggests.

Trials, which took place in Burkina Faso, showed mosquito populations collapsed by 99% within 45 days, according to BBC.

The researchers say their aim is not to make the insects extinct but to help stop the spread of malaria.

The disease, which is spread when female mosquitoes drink blood, kills more than 400,000 people per year.