Tag Archives: diet and lifestyle change

aRE yOU bALD?

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stress

Or just stressed and pulling your hair out?

A new study from UC San Francisco is the first to show that while the impact of life’s stressors accumulate overtime and accelerate cellular aging, these negative effects may be reduced by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and sleeping well.

“The study participants who exercised, slept well and ate well had less telomere (the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age) shortening than the ones who didn’t maintain healthy lifestyles, even when they had similar levels of stress,” said lead author Eli Puterman, PhD, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at UCSF. “It’s very important that we promote healthy living, especially under circumstances of typical experiences of life stressors like death, caregiving and job loss.”

Shorter telomeres have become associated with a broad range of aging-related diseases, including stroke, vascular dementia, cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis diabetes, and many forms of cancer.

“This is the first study that supports the idea, at least observationally, that stressful events can accelerate immune cell aging in adults, even in the short period of one year. Exciting, though, is that these results further suggest that keeping active, and eating and sleeping well during periods of high stress are particularly important to attenuate the accelerated aging of our immune cells,” said Puterman.

 

What’s A Little Spare Tire or Two…

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Obesity is a global health concern. In the US, more than 69% of adults aged 20 years or over are overweight or obese. Similar numbers are found in the UK, where around 62% of individuals aged 16 or over are overweight or obese.

It is well known that being overweight can increase the risk of potentially serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Past research has also shown that overweight and obesity can increase the risk of cancer.

Last year an eight analysis was completed. Results of the analysis revealed that 166,955 participants developed one of the 22 cancers during the 7.5-year follow-up. The researchers found that BMI (Body Mass Index) was linked to the development of 17 out of these 22 cancers, and the link was particularly strong for 10 of these cancers.

Every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with a higher risk of the following cancers:

Womb/Uterine (62% increased risk)
Gallbladder (31% increased risk)
Kidney (25% increased risk)
Liver (19% increased risk)
Cervical (10% increased risk)
Colon (10% increased risk)
Ovarian (9% increased risk)
Thyroid (9% increased risk)
Leukemia (9% increased risk)
Breast (5% increased risk)

A 1 kg/m2 increase in average BMI (the equivalent to 8-10 pounds per adult) across the country’s population – which occurs around every 12 years based on current trends – may cause an additional 3,790 cases of the 10 cancers every year.

obesity

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Losing Your Mind?

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In the first large, population-based study of its kind, a team of researchers has found a link between vitamin D consumption and the risk of developing dementia. Older people who do not get enough vitamin D could double their risk of developing the condition. Similarly, younger people who do not consume enough vitamin D increase their risks of developing dementia later on.

Vitamin D is important for the body’s immune function, growth and repair of bones, and normal calcium and phosphorus absorption. It can be obtained from fish, milk, eggs and cheese. oily-fish

Dementia is a collective term used to describe the problems that people with various underlying brain disorders can have with their memory, language and thinking. Alzheimer’s disease is the best known and most common disorder under the umbrella of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and is believed to currently affect 5.3 million Americans. It is most common in people aged over 65, in which a tenth of the population has the condition, but has been known to afflict individuals as young as 40 years of age.

The authors of the study, published in Neurology, state that low concentrations of vitamin D are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Worryingly, there are high rates of vitamin D deficiency in older adults – the group most at risk from developing dementia.

The CDC report that one third of the US population do not get sufficient amounts of vitamin D, with 8% of the population at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is obtained from sun exposure and foods such as milk, eggs, cheese and fatty fish.

The study could provide a good starting point for this area of research. “Our findings are very encouraging and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia.” New deitary guidelines are supporting eating vitamin D rich foods once a day and oily fish a minimum of once a week.

 

 

Super Salad!

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Here’s a great summer salad that is sure to please at your Fourth of July Party. AND It’s super healthy too! Can’t beat that!

Grilled Asparagus and Mozzarella Salad
1 Serving
Ingredients:
4 oz Cheese, mozzarella, reduced fat
3/4 cup Raw Tomatoes, Grape
3/4 cup Cooked Asparagus, frozen
2 tbsp Basil or 1 drop basil essential oil
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Pepper or 1 drop black pepper essential oil
1 tsp Vinegar, balsamic
10 sprays Non-stick Cooking Spray
(Using essential oils gives you essential vitamins and minerals that you can’t get large quantities of in the dried plants)

Preparation:
1. Cut asparagus spears into thirds. Place asparagus pieces in a lightly greased grill pan and cook until tender. Remove and set aside.
2. Cut 4 oz of part-skim mozzarella cheese into cubes and place in a medium bowl.
3. Chop or slice the basil leaves. Add the basil along with the grape tomatoes and cooled asparagus pieces to the mozzarella.
4. Combine the pepper and garlic powder with the mozzarella mixture and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
asparagusmozarella

How about Chicken Wings? Here’s a great healthy recipe.

Become a Writer for Better Health

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Food journaling is a tool in your toolbox when it comes to healthy eating practices. It can unveil eating patterns and identify areas you need to change by making you constantly aware of what you are putting into your body.

journal

To keep a food journal, be sure to include the following:

Amount – Sometimes being specific is necessary (i.e. weight loss plateaus, blood sugar control) so you get a true sense of what you are actually having and how that may be impacting your goals. Other times, people just want to be more conscientious of what they are eating and in those instances, specificity is not necessary.

Time/Place – Record when and where you are eating and drinking.

Sensory – Jot down what you’re doing while eating and drinking. For instance, maybe you are snacking while watching TV or reading a book. Also note whom you are with. You may find that you consume more while around certain people.

Emotion – It’s important to describe how you feel when you are eating/drinking (angry, sad, happy, nervous, starving, bored, etc.). At the end of each day, analyze how your emotions affected your eating.

 

 

Summer Fun and Pizza!!

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Summer is here and that means pool parties, the beach, camping, the fourth of July.  Here’s a fun healthy treat for dinner. Love pizza but don’t want the calories?  Try this version. You’ll LOVE it!

pizza

2 Servings.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup cauliflower florets
• 5 ounces of 95-97% lean ground turkey
• 1 egg
• 1 cup (4 oz) part-skim shredded mozzarella
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• ¼ tsp Italian seasonings—or about 1 drop each of basil and oregano essential oils
• ¾ cup thinly sliced mushrooms
• ¾ cup halved grape tomatoes
• 1 cup fresh baby spinach

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
2. Steam cauliflower till tender, then mash.
3. Cook ground turkey in a non-stick pan until done. Set aside and keep warm.
4. To make the crust, combine the egg, ½ cup (2 ounces) cheese, mashed cauliflower, garlic, and Italian seasonings  or oils in a medium mixing bowl.
5. Spread mixture evenly on a non-stick, 9-inch round pizza pan or baking sheet.
6. Bake 20 minutes and remove from oven. Switch oven to a low broil setting.
7. Top crust with tomatoes, remaining mozzarella, spinach, and cooked turkey.
8. Return pizza to oven and broil until crust and cheese have slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and let cool two to three minutes before cutting and serving.

 

7 Healthy Alternatives to White Sugar

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sugarRefined sugars are not only inflammatory in nature, but are linked to metabolic diseases as well. Sugar has been shown to cause tooth decay, diabetes, weight gain, and even acne. The most inflammatory sugars are those of a refined nature (white sugar and brown sugar). There processing depletes any nutritional value while increasing inflammation.

The sugar substitutes are just as bad if not worse. They are not only inflammatory in nature but have been linked to disease in the body. Aspartame is linked to headache, nausea, dizziness, and is thought to precipitate and/or worsen conditions like multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune conditions. Saccharin (otherwise known as Sweet’n Low®) has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

With the health risks of traditionally made sugar it’s nice to know that there are some alternatives out there that are less inflammatory and lower on the glycemic index.

Here are 7 of my favorites:

Stevia is a natural sweetener that is derived from the stevia plant. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar yet is negligible on the glycemic index and is calorie free making it a great substitute for diabetics. Many stevia products are available on the market and now there are even naturally flavored version such as chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, and more. For some stevia may be an acquired taste. Stevia is in our Trim Shakes!

Sucanat is literally whole cane sugar completely unrefined. It retains it’s molasses which gives it the brown color and it’s distinct taste. Cane juice is extracted and mechanically heated and cooled to form grainy crystals. Sucanat has fewer calories, and a smaller proportion of sucrose, and because it’s unrefined, sucanat retains some nutritional value. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and others. If you are a fan of brown sugar, this is the best alternative.

Turbinado, Much like is the unrefined version of cane sugar. It’s processing is very different from sucanat in that the cane juice is extracted, heated, and then turned into crystals. This doesn’t leave much of the molasses intact and therefore the turbinado has a lighter appearance and a milder taste. However, this sugar can also be used in place of brown sugar in recipes and food preparation, and it contains the same nutrient benefits as does the sucanat.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol contained in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables. It is commonly found in chewing gum. While it can give some indigestion to some upon initial consumption, it is considered a healthier sugar. It is lower on the glycemic index which make is preferable for diabetics over regular sugar, and it has been shown to fight cavities.

Agave is a combination of fructose and glucose sugars and is derived from the agave plant. It is made by extracting and purifying the sap of the blue agave plant. This sugar alternative is low on the glycemic index, which makes it better for diabetics, however it is also higher in fructose than the rest of the sugars and thus must be consumed in moderation. High fructose intake is thought to be linked with obesity because of the way the body processes the sugar. As well, high fructose consumption may increase risk for heart disease over time. So enjoy this sugar alternative only in moderation. Dr. Weil is not a fan of Agave. Use this as last resort.

Raw Honey to some is considered a super-food as it is packed with vitamins, minerals and healing nutrients. Some specific types of honey, such as clover and orange blossom are a little lower on the glycemic index. However, diabetics must still take care and consume this with moderation because to can spike the blood sugar if overindulged. Also, it is important to read the labels when purchasing honey to be sure the honey is RAW as processed honey is no better than table sugar. It’s processing strips all of its nutrient value and leaves it high up on the glycemic index.

Maple Syrup is a naturally occurring syrup that is an excellent substitute for table sugar. It’s high in mineral content especially manganese and zinc, and can help stabilize cholesterol. However it does have a high glycemic index, so diabetics must use caution to avoid this particular sugar alternative. There are different grades of pure maple syrup (A, B, C) that refer to the level of processing. The higher the grade the less processed the maple syrup is, leaving it with distinct tastes between the three. The most commonly used is grade A.

Conclusion: There are plenty of alternatives to traditional table sugar, however, even healthy sugars and sugar substitutes should be consumed in moderation. Over indulgence in even these “healthy sugars” can lead to any of the inflammatory diseases mentioned earlier in the article.Avoid refined sugars, and products containing high fructose corn syrup. These types of sugars have an addictive property and contribute to weight gain leading to obesity.

A healthy option to combat sugar cravings is an essential oil blend. I love this product! I have been using it for 8 months and have been off sugars for nearly that long.  It works to eliminate the cravings.