Posts tagged health

Running: A Skill That Can Alleviate Stress

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Lots of people are getting out there and running now that Summer is here. 19 Ways To Shave Down Your Race Time includes some good ideas and advice on improving your pace , including this infographic about foam rolling – which I am huge fan of! Hope you find some useful tid bits — I like that strength training and core work are both mentioned as ways to improve.

I’m not a huge fan of running. It’s very difficult for me – my asthma gives me a hard time and I struggle. But, running, like a lot of other exercises, can really help reduce stress. Which is timely, because NPR recently did a piece on stress and how it’s seriously affecting our health and family. 

According to the NPR article:

  • 1 in every 4 Americans say they had a great deal of stress in the previous month.
  • And half of all adults say they experienced a major stressful event in the past year. That works out to more than 115 million people.

Stress is a real health issue – emotional and physical and our lives are getting more and more stressful. People don’t take the time, or feel that they don’t have the time, to focus on activities that help alleviate it, like exercise. But it really does help and has science to prove it…

According to this HuffPo piece: How Does Exercise Reduce Stress?

“Exercise promotes production of neurohormones like norepinephrine that are associated with improved cognitive function, elevated mood and learning. And that can improve thinking dulled by stressful events — some research even shows how exercise can make you smarter.”

 Be Inspired

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Sugar- the most demonized additive known to man

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Is Sugar Toxic?

It’s so interesting to gain the insight and knowledge that science provides us around what we are trained to put in our bodies —

On May 26, 2009, Robert Lustig gave a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which was posted on YouTube the following July. Since then, it has been viewed well over 800,000 times, gaining new viewers at a rate of about 50,000 per month, fairly remarkable numbers for a 90-minute discussion of the nuances of fructose biochemistry and human physiology.

Lustig is a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, which is one of the best medical schools in the country. He published his first paper on childhood obesity a dozen years ago, and he has been treating patients and doing research on the disorder ever since.

The viral success of his lecture, though, has little to do with Lustig’s impressive credentials and far more with the persuasive case he makes that sugar is a “toxin” or a “poison,” terms he uses together 13 times through the course of the lecture, in addition to the five references to sugar as merely “evil.” And by “sugar,” Lustig means not only the white granulated stuff that we put in coffee and sprinkle on cereal — technically known as sucrose — but also high-fructose corn syrup, which has already become without Lustig’s help what he calls “the most demonized additive known to man.”

Obesity is a huge threat

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Panel: Obesity is century’s greatest public health threat

While I agree with some of these guidelines — but most of the actual food ones, I call foul! As you know – I am a believer in the Paleo view on eating: lean meats, nuts, berries, fruits, veggies. Clean eating at its purest — no wheat products anywhere! Now I don’t follow it 100% all the time — but it’s my main approach to eating and i have never felt better.

The final 2010 dietary guidelines will be released later this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services.

About two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in the United States are overweight or obese. The advisory committee highlighted four major steps:

Reduce excess weight and obesity by cutting calorie intake and increasing physical activity.

Shift to a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Increase the intake of seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products, and eat only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.

Significantly reduce intake of foods containing added sugars and solid fats, which contribute about 35% of the calories in the American diet. Cut sodium intake gradually to 1,500 milligrams a day and lower intake of refined grains, especially those with added sugar, solid fat and sodium.

Meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Those recommend that adults get at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, such as brisk walking, or 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity, such as jogging or swimming laps, or a combination of the two types. Children and teens should do an hour or more of moderate-intensity to vigorous physical activity each day.

The report calls for many changes in the food environment, including:

•Improve nutrition literacy and cooking skills, and motivate people, especially families with children, to prepare healthy foods at home.

•Improve the availability of affordable fresh produce through greater access to grocery stores, produce trucks and farmers’ markets.

•Encourage restaurants and the food industry to offer health-promoting foods that are low in sodium; limited in added sugars, refined grains and solid fats; and served in smaller portions.

Must Read: Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You

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Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You

I recently went Gluten free (paleo approach) in October to lose weight, but what I realized was that when I got rid of the gluten – I felt great. It was the culprit for my constant fatigue that had plagued me since i could remember. I was always tired for no logical reason — no one ever mentioned to look at what I was eating – only that maybe my lifestyle was causing it and I should try meds. 7 days after being off of all gluten – i could feel a fog lift. A palpable feeling — and felt fantastic! I finally lost the last few lbs I had struggled with for years — sleep better, exercise better – you name it! And when I do have a roll or bread or whatever — i feel horrible the next day in all sorts of ways. I call it a gluten hangover! So I think very carefully if what I am considering eating is worth it. Make sure you take the time and read this entire article – it’s good!

SOMETHING YOU’RE EATING may be killing you, and you probably don’t even know it! If you eat cheeseburgers or French fries all the time or drink six sodas a day, you likely know you are shortening your life. But eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread–how could that be bad for you? Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of the American diet. What most people don’t know is that gluten can cause serious health complications for many. You may be at risk even if you don’t have full blown celiac disease. I want to reveal the truth about gluten, explain the dangers, and provide you with a simple system that will help you determine whether or not gluten is a problem for you.

read on…

Half of colon cancer deaths can be prevented

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Researchers: Half of colon cancer deaths can be prevented

The American Cancer Society estimates that this year alone doctors will diagnose more than 140,000 new cases of colon cancer nationwide and 50,000 people will die from the disease. Meanwhile, researchers say more than half of those could be prevented with regular screenings. March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

On 52-year-old Ileana Mendoza’s first routine colonoscopy doctor’s found a polyp, an abnormal growth of tissue in her colon. If left undetected.. it could have caused problems down the road.

“i have a history with my family, so I don’t want to be waiting until the last minute and not being able to do anything for myself,” said Mendoza. “Let’s not forget we have kids and grandkids we want to see growing.”

Mendoza’s doctor says she frequently sees patients with symptoms that indicate they already have a serious problem.

“Patients come to us with symptoms, alarm symptoms, we call them,” said Dr. Andrea Culligord, a gastroenterologist. “Things like weight loss that’s unintentional, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain. And when they have these symptoms, it’s really something we need to investigate by doing a diagnostic test called a colonoscopy.”

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among adults nationwide. By catching polyps or cancer early, more than half of those lives could be saved. Guidelines shows screenings should start at age 50, then every 10 years if results are normal, and age 40 if you have a family history.

In addition to screenings, diet makes a difference. “You really want to eat a high fiber diet,” said Culligord. “Fresh fruits and vegetables and 25 grams of fiber a day. The link there is mainly with high cholesterol, obesity, and high fat diets.”

Doctors say working on the factors we can control will help keep us healthy.

Drinking Coffee May Lower Women’s Risk of Stroke

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Study: Drinking Coffee May Lower Women’s Risk of Stroke

I believe in moderation of certain things — coffee being one of them. I love having a cup of coffee after CrossFit in the AM. It gives me the same feeling that eating a warm bowl of oatmeal used to. So now that I know it may help lower my risk, no more apologies!

Are you drinking a cup of coffee right now? Congratulations, you may be lowering your risk of stroke, according to study of nearly 35,000 women published Thursday in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The study led by Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm followed women aged 49 to 83 for an average of 10 years, and found that those who drank more than one cup of coffee a day had a 22% to 25% lowered risk of stroke, compared with women who drank less. Further, the study found, drinking little or no coffee was actually associated with a slight increase in stroke risk.

 

Using BAI instead of BMI to measure fat

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BAI Better Than BMI? Scientists Develop New Way To Measure Fat

I personally was not a fan of the BMI measurement scale. 2 people can have completely different body shapes and and weigh the same — and one comes out as obese based on weight alone. There are way too many variables to add to make it that simple in my opinion.

Scientists have developed a new way to measure whether a person is too fat without having people step on the scale.

The new measure, called the Body Adiposity Index, or BAI, relies on height and hip measurements, and it is meant to offer a more flexible alternative to body mass index, or BMI, a ratio of height and weight, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

BMI has been used to measure body fat for the past 200 years, but it is not without flaws, Richard Bergman of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and colleagues wrote in the journal Obesity.

While there are other, more complex ways to measure body fat beyond simply stepping on a scale, BMI is widely used both by researchers and doctors.

It is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. A person who is 5 feet 5 inches tall is classified as overweight at 150 pounds (68 kg) and obese at 180 pounds (82 kg).

But there is a lot of wiggle room in that calculation.

For example, women and men with the same BMI might have very different levels of extra flab. BMI numbers cannot be generalized across different ethnic groups or used with athletes, who have extra lean body mass.

The team made the index using data from a Mexican-American population study. They confirmed the scale’s accuracy using an advanced device called a dual-energy X-ray absorption or DEXA scanner. Tests in a study of African Americans showed similar findings, suggesting BAI can be used across different racial groups.

BAI is a complex ratio of hip circumference to height that can be calculated by doctors or nurses with a computer or calculator.

The team says BAI still needs some fine tuning, and they still need to test it among whites and other ethnic groups, but they think it has promise as new tool, especially in remote settings with limited access to reliable scales.

“After further validation, this measure can be proposed as a useful measure of percent fat, which is very easy to obtain. However, it remains to be seen if the BAI is a more useful predictor of health outcome, in both males and females, than other indexes of body adiposity, including the BMI itself,” the team wrote.

Obesity has become a global epidemic, with more than half a billion people, or one in 10 adults worldwide, considered to be obese – more than double the number in 1980. Obesity-related diseases account for nearly 10 percent of U.S. medical spending, or an estimated $147 billion a year.

Bob Harper say it ain’t so –

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Don’t buy into the hype people -

Quaker Oats ain’t good for you Just because Bob Harper is Hockin it –http://bit.ly/fQL0T2

Healthy Eating: The skinny on fats

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Healthy Eating: The skinny on fats.

Good information about fats. I have read recently all about Coconut Oil and how great it is for you. I’m waiting on my order to come in to try it and I will definitely let you know!

Of the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) fats are generally cast as the villain of the group – often attributed with weight gain and an endless list of health problems. We know protein builds, maintains and repairs our cells and that carbs give us energy. However, most people remain in the dark about the many vital functions fat plays in our bodies. Instead it is often viewed as the macronutrient to avoid at all costs – with low fat diets and foods popping up everywhere in recent years.

A common misconception is that fat makes you fat! While it can contribute to weight gain, obesity is much more complicated than just eating too much of a single nutrient. It is true that a fat has 9 calories per gram (almost double the 4 calories per gram in protein and carbohydrates); however eating excess calories, from any source, can cause weight gain.

So now that we covered that common misconception, let’s move on to the next – that a fat is a fat. Again not exactly true. Not all fats are created equal. Some are good, some are bad and some are just plain wrong. So here is a rundown on the different types of fats and where to find them.

Quick Tips for National Cancer Prevention Month

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February is National Cancer Prevention Month and while most everyone focuses on diet, exercise, and quitting smoking as the core ways to prevent cancer – they’re forgetting another pillar of prevention. Reducing exposure to carcinogens in our everyday environments.Hundreds of carcinogenic chemicals have been identified and, unfortunately, they’re quite common in our air, water, food, and everyday products. Here are some easy ways you can reduce your exposure to them.

via Quick Tips for National Cancer Prevention Month | Healthy Child Healthy World.

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