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Eat Breakfast - Cut Calories

Fri, 2015-08-21 14:00
Photo: Marta Rostek Enjoying a hearty breakfast sets you up to consume less calories throughout the day. So concludes a recent study by the American Heart Association. According to their findings, those who ate a healthy breakfast were 35 to 50 percent less likely to be obese or suffer from insulin resistance—a condition that’s common in overweight individuals.

Twenty-four percent of today’s adults, ages 18 to 34, skip breakfast. Teens fare a little better with only 19 percent hurrying out the door hungry. Nine percent of kids ages 8 to 12 skip their first meal, while 6 percent of children under 8 bypass breakfast.

American Heart Association

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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, July/August 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Excuses, Excuses

Fri, 2015-08-21 14:00
Photo: Victor Maltby The cause of most weight problems is not “slow metabolism” per se, but rather inactivity. While small metabolic boosts from green tea and other simple diet changes may accumulate over time into long-term benefits, the ultimate key to weight control is to keep moving and build muscle.

Exercise increases metabolism by increasing muscle mass, which burns significantly more calories than fat.

Metabolism tends to slow over time, not because of some inherent aging process, but primarily because we become more sedentary and lose calorie-burning muscle.

“The absolute best way for someone to change his or her total metabolic rate is by being more active,” says Janet Walberg Rankin, Ph.D., professor of human nutrition, food, and exercise at Virginia Tech.

Environmental Nutrition

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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, November/December 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Humor and Blood Sugar

Mon, 2015-08-17 14:00
Photo: iStock On two separate days, five healthy adults and 19 diabetic adults sat down for dinner. After their meal on the first day, all attended a monotonous lecture. Postmeal on the second day, all enjoyed a comedy show, which made each laugh heartily.

Before each meal and two hours after, researchers measured the participants’ blood sugar. When the diners attended the comedy show, the increase in blood sugar associated with eating was 36 percent lower than it was after they sat through the boring lecture.

While the authors concede that the exertion of laughing may have used up some blood sugar, they also propose that all those hearty giggles may have modulated the hormones involved in blood-sugar control.

If your blood sugar rises too sharply after eating, put on your favorite comedy and laugh your way to better health.

HealthNews

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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, May/June2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Fight Night Sweats

Mon, 2015-08-17 14:00
Photo: iStock Women have long used estrogen and progesterone drugs to ease such menopausal symptoms as hot flashes. While these drugs certainly help, they also increase the risk of heart ailments, some cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.

A recent double-blind clinical trial by the National Institutes of Health asked 62 women to take black cohosh supplements (40 milligrams), estrogen (0.6 milligrams), or placebos daily for three months. The results? Black cohosh proved equivalent to estrogen in reducing menopause-related symptoms, such as hot flashes, heart palpitations, sleep difficulty, nervousness, fatigue, and vaginal dryness. Both herb and drug improved signs of bone metabolism. (National Institutes of Health)
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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, March/April 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Protect Your Prostate

Mon, 2015-08-17 14:00
Photo: Martin R.W According to The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a diet that includes a daily dose of garlic, shallots, scallions, chives, leeks, and/or onions may help cut a man's risk of prostate cancer in half. Scallions (a bulbless onion) leads the pack as being the most protective.

So the next time you prepare a vegetable dish, sprinkle some garlic powder or sauté some onions to add flavor and prostate-protecting power to your dining experience. Your friends may have to stand at arm’s length, but they’ll have you around to enjoy for many more years to come.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute
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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, July/August 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Why Exercise?

Fri, 2015-08-14 14:00

 

Photo: iStock Studies reveal that regular exercise not only adds years to your life, but also life to your years. Regular physical activity is a very important component of a healthy lifestyle. And there are so many ways to keep fit - walking, cycling, swimming, jogging, working out in a gym or whatever you enjoy doing. And those who enjoy the physical activity in which they engage, gain the most benefit. 

Furthermore, there are many fitness centers and plenty of sports equipment for home use to challenge the couch potatoes in our society. We must plan our schedule to include some type of exercise every day. It is important that we engage in physical activity for about 30 minutes a day. And remember, the slower the activity, the greater amount of time one needs to engage in that activity. 

Unfortunately, four out of every five adult Americans either don’t exercise enough or just don’t exercise at all. They say they don't have enough time. And since children are not exercising enough, we have produced a generation of overweight adolescents.

Brisk walking is the activity of choice for many people. Walking does not require any expensive clothing or footwear, can usually be done anywhere, at any time of the year, can be enjoyed by all ages, and is not associated with any significant risk of injury. In severe weather conditions, one has to choose an alternative indoor activity. 

The benefits of a regular exercise program includes:

  • helps to lower blood pressure
  • lowers LDL cholesterol levels, while raising the good HDL cholesterol levels
  • decreases the risk of blood clots
  • improves the heart rhythm
  • protects against heart disease
  • reduces the risk of colon and other cancers
  • increases bone mineralization and decreases the risk of osteoporosis
  • helps better regulate blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity
  • boosts the immune system
  • improves management of one’s body weight
  • decreases anxiety and depression
  • improves mental capacity, blood circulation and digestion
  • reduces stress levels; boosts self-confidence
  • improves the quality of sleep
  • delays fatigue
  • decreases death rates from all causes.
Studies conducted by Steven Blair at the Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas showed that the health benefits of exercise are achieved by regular, moderate-intensity physical activity such as brisk walking. Blair also stresses that the total amount of activity is more important than the type or intensity of the activity. Health benefits can be achieved without having to resort to high-intensity, Olympic-style training. Furthermore, if exercise is enjoyable and is done with a friend, it is more likely to part of our regular lifestyle.
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By Winston J. Craig, R.D. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Better Cancer Fighter

Fri, 2015-08-14 14:00
Photo: Jeremy Henderson A University of California, Davis, study of organically grown corn, strawberries, and marionberries found that they contained higher levels of natural cancer-fighting compounds than conventionally grown samples. Pesticides and herbicides used on conventional produce appear to impede the production of phenolics, which defend plants from insects and people from disease.

Levels of antioxidants in organically grown corn were 58.5 percent higher than conventionally grown corn with organic marionberries and strawberries showing marked increases as well (50 and 19 percent, respectively).
“Certified organic” crops are not genetically engineered, irradiated, or fertilized with sewage sludge. The land on which they are grown must also be free of pesticides and herbicides for three years prior to planting.

Good Medicine
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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, September/October 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

Middle Age Health

Fri, 2015-08-14 14:00
Photo: Pawel Vares Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle during middle age not only helps you live longer; it helps you live better.

A study reported in the November 2003 Archives of Internal Medicine involved 6,342 people who, for 26 years, were watched carefully and their lifestyle habits recorded in detail. The result? Researchers demonstrated that those with fewer cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol) in middle age enjoyed a greater quality of life as they moved into their later years and remained freer of major illnesses for longer.

Archives of Internal Medicine
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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, July/August 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Oral Health Tip

Mon, 2015-08-10 14:00
Photo: Carlos Paes If you’re one of 62 million Americans suffering from some form of cardiovascular disease or 16 million with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), you might want to check your teeth. Patients with periodontal disease carry a 1.5-2.0 times greater risk of incurring fatal cardiovascular disease and a 1.5 times greater risk of COPD.

With over 300 species of bacteria rapidly growing in the human mouth, the body’s immune system is constantly being taxed fighting periodontal disease—making it more difficult to fight off infections elsewhere. Also, some of those bacteria may be inhaled into the lungs, causing respiratory problems, or can trigger blood clots, which contribute to heart attack or stroke.

Oral health is critical to total health. Keep your teeth clean.

American Academy of Periodontology
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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, November/December 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

The Benefits of Soy

Mon, 2015-08-10 14:00
Photo: Mori-Nu Tofu, soy beverages, and soy burgers are hot items these days. Why the surge of interest in soy products? Research has shown that soy provides a number of health benefits.

Using soy products four or more times a week markedly reduces the risk of breast and prostate cancer. Asian populations using tofu regularly have one-half the rate of cancer seen in similar communities not using soy products.

A regular use of soy lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. The isoflavones in soy decrease LDL cholesterol levels, and improve the elasticity of the arteries. Clinical trials with menopausal women reveals that a regular intake of soy protects against bone loss and hence reduces their risk of osteoporosis.

Most of the health benefits of soy can be experienced by consuming 50 grams (2 ozs) of soy protein per day. This can be obtained in many ways - tofu with stir-fried vegetables, TVP-containing entrees, soy burgers, soy nuts, refreshing soy beverages, frozen or canned soymeat products, and soy flour incorporated into bread, muffins, and other bakery products.
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By Winston J. Craig, R.D. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Time+TV=Fat

Mon, 2015-08-10 14:00
Photo: iStock TV watching can affect more than your mind. It can also help determine your girth. A recent study of 50,000 women revealed that for every two hours per day of TV watching, the risk of obesity increases 23 percent. Diabetes risk shoots up 14 percent. Interestingly, sitting while at work carries a much smaller increase in risk.

Conversely, for every hour of brisk walking that participants enjoyed each day, their chances of becoming obese plummeted 24 percent, and their risk of diabetes fell 34 percent.

Researchers concluded that if women spent less than 10 hours a week watching television and at least 30 minutes a day walking briskly, there’d be 30 percent fewer cases of obesity and 43 percent fewer new cases of diabetes.

Their recommendation? Get off the couch and go for a walk! (Journal of the American Medical Association)
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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, March/April 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Oral Health Tip

Mon, 2015-08-10 14:00
Photo: Carlos Paes If you’re one of 62 million Americans suffering from some form of cardiovascular disease or 16 million with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), you might want to check your teeth. Patients with periodontal disease carry a 1.5-2.0 times greater risk of incurring fatal cardiovascular disease and a 1.5 times greater risk of COPD.

With over 300 species of bacteria rapidly growing in the human mouth, the body’s immune system is constantly being taxed fighting periodontal disease—making it more difficult to fight off infections elsewhere. Also, some of those bacteria may be inhaled into the lungs, causing respiratory problems, or can trigger blood clots, which contribute to heart attack or stroke.

Oral health is critical to total health. Keep your teeth clean.

American Academy of Periodontology
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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, November/December 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

The Benefits of Soy

Mon, 2015-08-10 14:00
Photo: Mori-Nu Tofu, soy beverages, and soy burgers are hot items these days. Why the surge of interest in soy products? Research has shown that soy provides a number of health benefits.

Using soy products four or more times a week markedly reduces the risk of breast and prostate cancer. Asian populations using tofu regularly have one-half the rate of cancer seen in similar communities not using soy products.

A regular use of soy lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. The isoflavones in soy decrease LDL cholesterol levels, and improve the elasticity of the arteries. Clinical trials with menopausal women reveals that a regular intake of soy protects against bone loss and hence reduces their risk of osteoporosis.

Most of the health benefits of soy can be experienced by consuming 50 grams (2 ozs) of soy protein per day. This can be obtained in many ways - tofu with stir-fried vegetables, TVP-containing entrees, soy burgers, soy nuts, refreshing soy beverages, frozen or canned soymeat products, and soy flour incorporated into bread, muffins, and other bakery products.
______________________________

By Winston J. Craig, R.D. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Time+TV=Fat

Mon, 2015-08-10 14:00
Photo: iStock TV watching can affect more than your mind. It can also help determine your girth. A recent study of 50,000 women revealed that for every two hours per day of TV watching, the risk of obesity increases 23 percent. Diabetes risk shoots up 14 percent. Interestingly, sitting while at work carries a much smaller increase in risk.

Conversely, for every hour of brisk walking that participants enjoyed each day, their chances of becoming obese plummeted 24 percent, and their risk of diabetes fell 34 percent.

Researchers concluded that if women spent less than 10 hours a week watching television and at least 30 minutes a day walking briskly, there’d be 30 percent fewer cases of obesity and 43 percent fewer new cases of diabetes.

Their recommendation? Get off the couch and go for a walk! (Journal of the American Medical Association)
______________________________

Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, March/April 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Keep Veggies Fresh

Fri, 2015-08-07 14:00
Photo: Suresh Susan Want to serve your family the freshest possible vegetables? If your local farmers’ market isn’t open, head for your grocer’s frozen food aisle.

No matter how you eat your veggies—cooked, raw, or liquefied, fresh is always best. But the moment they leave the farm or garden, they begin to lose nutrients. Even fruits such as tomatoes, peppers, and avocados have lost nourishment by the time they reach your home.

Frozen produce—which is usually “flash-frozen” right after picking—is often more nutritious than the supposedly “fresh” items waiting in the produce section.

Canned produce can’t hold a candle to fresh or frozen. Much vitamin content vanishes during processing.

To keep your veggies fresh:

• Go seasonal. When your local farms are producing, look for hardy vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and cabbage as well as a selection of some that will continue ripening at home.

• Bag it. Transport fresh vegetables in sealed plastic bags and store them immediately in your refrigerator’s crisper.

• Eat perishable foods first.

• Wait to cut or peel foods right before consuming.

Consumer Reports on Health

Respond to this article
______________________________

Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, MayJune 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Sibling Violence

Fri, 2015-08-07 14:00
Photo: iStock Brothers and sisters who fight while growing up lay the groundwork for battering their dates by the time they get to college, reports a University of Florida study.

The research team discovered that strong sibling clashes are a predictor of dating violence and are compounded by the experience of growing up in families where parent-to-child or parent-to-parent violence exists, says Virginia Noland, a University of Florida professor of health science education.

Siblings learn violence as a form of manipulation and control as they compete with each other for family resources, Noland explains. Unlike other forms of damaging family interaction, sibling squabbles are often considered harmless. They aren’t. “Childhood is the ideal time to intervene with anger-management techniques that teach violence is not acceptable,” Noland says. “Our siblings are our first friends. We learn so much from them.”

(University of Florida)
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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, November/December 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Health Hype Alert

Fri, 2015-08-07 14:00
Photo: iStock New fitness videos, diet books, and health products are continually flooding the marketplace. These materials promise us a lot more than they deliver. They suggest how we can enjoy better health. They promote ways to fight disease, slow aging, help you live longer, promote weight loss, increase your energy level, or enhance personal beauty. Why wouldn’t you be interested?

Self-proclaimed health experts and over-zealous promoters often make exaggerated and unsupported claims about health, and promise miraculous cures and panaceas. The consumer has to be very cautious, lest they will end up spending time and money on unproven gimmicks, gadgets and gizmos. Health conditions that took years to develop cannot be simply reversed by a few applications of some miracle cream or a few doses of some fantastic powder or juice.

Testimonials often appear on television in very convincing fashion to authenticate a particular product. Many of these things are simply schemes to make money, a mirage that distorts reality and the truth about health. Health proponents often prey on the fears of the public. Vulnerable groups, such as the ill, the elderly, and the overweight, are too often victims of health promoters. Fraudulent health claims may cause a person not to seek appropriate medical care in a timely manner. In addition, false claims can end up confusing the public about what constitutes good health.

A word of caution

It is estimated that over one-third of Americans go to the internet for medical information. Furthermore, almost one-half of internet users admit this information influences their decisions about their health care and medical treatments. It is well to remember that web publishing is unregulated. The internet enables consumers to obtain both good and misleading (and possibly harmful) information on any health topic. Recently, there has been erroneous information circulated on the internet about soy, canola oil, coral calcium, aspartame, and other topics.

A careful scrutiny of information and a healthy dose of skepticism are essential assessment tools. One must always check on the source of the information on the internet, and ask if it is reliable, and if it has been verified by an expert? We should be wary of any web site that has a link to a vendor selling health products recommended by the initial web site.

Web sites that are sponsored by health professional organizations, government health institutes, accredited universities, and recognized medical clinics such as Cleveland and Mayo clinics, can all be trusted to have reliable health information.

Finally, there are a number of red flags which can alert the consumer to question any health claims. These include recommendations that promise a quick fix or a miraculous cure, recommendations that help sell a product, health claims that sound too good to be true (they usually are), and recommendations based on a single research study.
______________________________

By Winston J. Craig, R.D. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Keep Veggies Fresh

Fri, 2015-08-07 14:00
Photo: Suresh Susan Want to serve your family the freshest possible vegetables? If your local farmers’ market isn’t open, head for your grocer’s frozen food aisle.

No matter how you eat your veggies—cooked, raw, or liquefied, fresh is always best. But the moment they leave the farm or garden, they begin to lose nutrients. Even fruits such as tomatoes, peppers, and avocados have lost nourishment by the time they reach your home.

Frozen produce—which is usually “flash-frozen” right after picking—is often more nutritious than the supposedly “fresh” items waiting in the produce section.

Canned produce can’t hold a candle to fresh or frozen. Much vitamin content vanishes during processing.

To keep your veggies fresh:

• Go seasonal. When your local farms are producing, look for hardy vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and cabbage as well as a selection of some that will continue ripening at home.

• Bag it. Transport fresh vegetables in sealed plastic bags and store them immediately in your refrigerator’s crisper.

• Eat perishable foods first.

• Wait to cut or peel foods right before consuming.

Consumer Reports on Health

Respond to this article
______________________________

Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, MayJune 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Sibling Violence

Fri, 2015-08-07 14:00
Photo: iStock Brothers and sisters who fight while growing up lay the groundwork for battering their dates by the time they get to college, reports a University of Florida study.

The research team discovered that strong sibling clashes are a predictor of dating violence and are compounded by the experience of growing up in families where parent-to-child or parent-to-parent violence exists, says Virginia Noland, a University of Florida professor of health science education.

Siblings learn violence as a form of manipulation and control as they compete with each other for family resources, Noland explains. Unlike other forms of damaging family interaction, sibling squabbles are often considered harmless. They aren’t. “Childhood is the ideal time to intervene with anger-management techniques that teach violence is not acceptable,” Noland says. “Our siblings are our first friends. We learn so much from them.”

(University of Florida)
______________________________

Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, November/December 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Health Hype Alert

Fri, 2015-08-07 14:00
Photo: iStock New fitness videos, diet books, and health products are continually flooding the marketplace. These materials promise us a lot more than they deliver. They suggest how we can enjoy better health. They promote ways to fight disease, slow aging, help you live longer, promote weight loss, increase your energy level, or enhance personal beauty. Why wouldn’t you be interested?

Self-proclaimed health experts and over-zealous promoters often make exaggerated and unsupported claims about health, and promise miraculous cures and panaceas. The consumer has to be very cautious, lest they will end up spending time and money on unproven gimmicks, gadgets and gizmos. Health conditions that took years to develop cannot be simply reversed by a few applications of some miracle cream or a few doses of some fantastic powder or juice.

Testimonials often appear on television in very convincing fashion to authenticate a particular product. Many of these things are simply schemes to make money, a mirage that distorts reality and the truth about health. Health proponents often prey on the fears of the public. Vulnerable groups, such as the ill, the elderly, and the overweight, are too often victims of health promoters. Fraudulent health claims may cause a person not to seek appropriate medical care in a timely manner. In addition, false claims can end up confusing the public about what constitutes good health.

A word of caution

It is estimated that over one-third of Americans go to the internet for medical information. Furthermore, almost one-half of internet users admit this information influences their decisions about their health care and medical treatments. It is well to remember that web publishing is unregulated. The internet enables consumers to obtain both good and misleading (and possibly harmful) information on any health topic. Recently, there has been erroneous information circulated on the internet about soy, canola oil, coral calcium, aspartame, and other topics.

A careful scrutiny of information and a healthy dose of skepticism are essential assessment tools. One must always check on the source of the information on the internet, and ask if it is reliable, and if it has been verified by an expert? We should be wary of any web site that has a link to a vendor selling health products recommended by the initial web site.

Web sites that are sponsored by health professional organizations, government health institutes, accredited universities, and recognized medical clinics such as Cleveland and Mayo clinics, can all be trusted to have reliable health information.

Finally, there are a number of red flags which can alert the consumer to question any health claims. These include recommendations that promise a quick fix or a miraculous cure, recommendations that help sell a product, health claims that sound too good to be true (they usually are), and recommendations based on a single research study.
______________________________

By Winston J. Craig, R.D. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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