Well it’s not quite February yet, but we thought we’d get ahead of the curve and begin posting about Heart Health today!
Why? Well we just ran across this interesting article in the BBC today: Vegetarians ‘cut heart risk by 32%’. The piece outlines findings from a recent study which illustrates the role that Vegetarianism can play in promoting a stronger ticker.
It reads in part:
A study of 44,500 people in England and Scotland showed vegetarians were 32% less likely to die or need hospital treatment as a result of heart disease.
Differences in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body weight are thought to be behind the health boost.
Heart disease is a major blight in Western countries. It kills 94,000 people in the UK each year – more than any other disease, and 2.6 million people live with the condition.
The heart’s own blood supply becomes blocked up by fatty deposits in the arteries that nourish the heart muscle. It can cause angina or even lead to a heart attack if the blood vessels become completely blocked.
Dr Francesca Crowe said: “The main message is that diet is an important determinant of heart health, I’m not advocating that everyone eats a vegetarian diet.”
The results showed the vegetarians had lower blood pressure, lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and were more likely to have a healthy weight.
Tracy Parker, from the British Heart Foundation, said: “But remember, choosing the veggie option on the menu is not a shortcut to a healthy heart. After all, there are still plenty of foods suitable for vegetarians that are high in saturated fat and salt.”
The study was originally published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The meal replacement shake is great for heart health because it’s nutritious, low in calories and provides a balance of quality whey protein, active enzymes, fiber, and other essential vitamins. It helps burn fat and maximize nutrient intake, preventing food cravings and overeating.
So you’re doing everything right. You’ve done the impossible and stayed true to your New Year’s resolutions.
You stick to your diet and remain ever mindful of what you eat; but somehow the weight loss just isn’t going as planned.
According to a new study published today in the International Journal of Obesity, when it comes to losing weight, the time you eat can have as much of an effect as what you eat. (Original article appears here.)
“We should start to consider meal timing in addition to calories and meal composition when thinking about weight loss.”
-Frank Scheer, senior author of the study, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an associate neuroscientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
It’s definitely food for thought, and a welcome bit of news as far as we’re concerned. Who wants to put off that long-awaited lunch break anyway? After all, doing so is bad for your health!
The benefits of folic acid, or “folate” are numerous. So it’s unfortunate that such a large proportion of the population is deficient in this vital nutrient. Low levels of folic acid can lead to anemia, kidney and liver complications, etc., as well as an inability to absorb nutrients in general.
Folate enjoys wide consumption as a way to prevent certain types of cancers, heart issues, stroke, hearing and memory loss, gum infections, osteoporosis, depression and more. It’s been used as a treatment for alcoholism. Expectant mothers take it to prevent miscarriage and birth defects.
In a press release issued today, Barbara Griffin, NMD, CNC, Certified Gluten Practitioner, and owner of Vital Health, Inc. suggests “L-MethylFolate” to be the preferred form of folate ingestion due to long-standing absorption issues associated with other methods.
“L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF) is the predominate form of folate. L-5-MTHF is a reduced, metabolically active form of folate that occurs naturally in foods and is the primary form of folate found in the blood and tissues,” Griffin says in the report. “As a result, it is far more effective for people who have or are prone to a folic acid deficiency.”
Just as every rose has it’s thorn, so have there been reported downsides to adding folate to your vitamin regimen. Some studies have linked it to increasing the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Contrary evidence released today sheds a ray of hope on the subject. A study, conducted by Stein Emil Vollset, MD, from the University of Bergen in Norway, receives analysis in this Health.com article.
“The study provides reassurance about the safety of folic acid intake, either from supplements or through fortification, when taken for up to five years,” study author Robert Clarke, from the University of Oxford, said in a journal news release.
As with everything of nutritional value, folic acid is found in an assortment of fruits and veggies. For the past 15 years, federal law has required carb manufacturers to add folic acid—a water soluble ‘B’ vitamin—to their products. These days everything from flour, and breads, to pastas, cereals, cookies and crackers is flush with folate.
Still, there simply is no substitute for the real thing. Not only is folate obtained via natural foods more efficiently absorbed, but the risks associated with supplement intake is nullified.
Naturally high Folate foods:
- Orange juice
- Tomato juice
The study reports that these days women who smoke are at a much greater risk of dying from lung cancer than their predecessors. This is due to a growing parity in smoking habits among men and women over the years. Apparently today’s woman has come a long way baby as far as smoking younger and more often.
In fact, women have basically achieved equal opportunity when it comes to dying from smoke related diseases such as emphysema. If they continue on this tar and nicotine filled trajectory, they will surpass men… in a very unsavory way.
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t think this is the right way to go about achieving greater equality.
Let’s face it. These days, weight loss tops the list of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions. Of course many also hope to get a new job, better education, etc., However it seems that all but the conviction to shed a problematic fat suit is engulfed in the wake of the post-holiday surrender to reality.
Not that we are lazy or that we give up easily, it’s just that continuing on with the same job or level of education does not increase our risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, along with a whole host of serious health issues that are part of and parcel of being—and staying— overweight. (In other words, your physician will not peer at you from behind a furrowed brow of concern in response to your modest salary.)
Many of us view the debut of a new year as a solid, tangible break from the past that translates into a “break” from our old, unhealthy habits. It’s a whole new paradigm; another chance.
As we should. Depending on your disposition, you can either view the American obesity epidemic as discouraging or an opportunity for growth; *not* in the physical sense of course.
Percentages of Overweight Americans Ages 20+
- More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
- More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese.
- More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity.
- Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese.
- The prevalence of obesity is similar for both men and women (about 36 percent).
- About 8 percent of women are considered to have extreme obesity.
Yesterday we wrote about some healthy weight findings that we found to be a little unorthodox: A recent study claims that those who carry a few extra pounds around have a lower risk of premature death than that of their healthy weight counterparts. The article does not address obesity however. A person is obese when their BMI (body mass index) is 30 percent or above.
This is a different story. An article in USA Today “weighs” in on the topic with the help of a few reputable physicians. The piece is a fitting follow-up to yesterday’s post. Plus it includes links to diet and exercise tips and information on how to lose weight by forming healthier habits.
Perhaps prompted by all the hyper-idealistic discussion about resolutions (which always inevitably revolve around diet and weight loss,) the Los Angeles Times recently reported that a few extra pounds is fine for your health.
I don’t know about you, but this news prompts in me a rare reaction of simultaneous shock and comfort. It evokes the former because it flies in the face of virtually everything else I’ve heard regarding weight and health for ohhh… my lifetime; a.k.a., more than the past thirty years.
It’s comforting because I am—like many of you I’m sure (hey, we’re Americans)—a few pounds overweight. I’m working on it though. My meticulously planned resolutions are on track now for three days and counting.
Regardless, the story is worth a gander. Plus the page features a Dr. Oz “Real Age” calculator. It’s smack dab in the middle of the story in the form of a Google Ad, but as far as ads go, you have to admit, it’s a good one. If you’ve never calculated your real age, it’s worth a go. It can be a real eye opening experience; and depending on your lifestyle, that can be either good or bad. You’ve been warned.
If this short series of bombshells are not enough for you, take heed. Solace comes in the form of another article listed off to the left of the page under “RELATED.” There is a link to a bit of news that ran in late December. It reports that running is actually a more effective way to shed pounds than weight training.
(Huh?) What is going on in this bizarro world of ours?
Personally, I’m happy about this one too. I like lifting weights, but through the years I have found a shortage of things in this world that that offer a greater sense of satisfaction and well-being than a good, hard, sweat-inducing, mind-wandering, run.
Not only does it promote a leaner body and a stronger heart, but it just as equally results in clarity of mind and an overall sense of calm.
Ahhh… 2013 is going to be a great year. I can feel it.
Yes, that’s right. At the top of the list, accompanying Whitney Houston, Hurricane Sandy, Presidential Election, Kate Middleton, etc., as the most frequently searched terms this year, were “hemorrhoids,” according to Google’s annual “zeitgeist” report.
Analysts speculated that this could be due to the personal nature of the condition people prefer to cure hemorrhoids at home, rather than talk to their physician about it.
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that are found in and around the anus and lower rectum. They can be internal, which means inside the anus. Or, they may be external, which means they are found outside the anus.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Hemorrhoids are dilated blood vessels, but the reasons why they occur are not always clear. Some types of hemorrhoids run in families.
Other factors that increase a person’s risk for hemorrhoids include:
- anal intercourse
- chronic diarrhea
- cancer of the rectum or colon
- a diet that lacks fiber
- frequent coughing and sneezing
- liver disease, such as cirrhosis
- loss of muscle tone in the rectum due to aging and rectal surgery
- jobs that require standing or sitting for long periods of time
- straining due to constipation