Category — Diet and Nutrition
Sodium is key component of many of our favorite culinary indulgences. The addition of salt brings out the flavor of hundreds of commonly used spices, enhancing everything from simple, tasty snacks to popular restaurant cuisine and homemade comfort food.
In addition to improving flavor and often acting as a preservative, sodium is an essential mineral that our bodies need to function optimally. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that the average person consume at least 500 milligrams per day but no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. There are some Americans that consume as much as 30,000 milligrams in a normal day, primarily due to a tendency to indulge in fast food meals and quick diner lunches rather than prepare their food at home.
There are many ways to limit your sodium intake when dining at restaurants. While the majority of fast food and chain restaurants utilize previously mixed sauces to flavor their pasta and pizza, sandwiches, chicken, fish and steaks, more and more eateries are making significant changes that provide patrons with more choices when it comes to the seasoning used in their food. Some ways to be more proactive are:
- Substitute fresh vegetables for french fries, onion rings, etc.
- Ask for dressing, gravies and sauces on the side and use sparingly
- Avoid overuse of high-salt condiments like mustard and ketchup
- Ask that your meal be prepared with half as much salt as it is usually served
Keep these tips in mind to not only significantly decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and other illnesses linked to excessive salt consumption, but also to reduce the number of calories you take in on a regular basis. A diet that is sodium-laden and calorie-rich leads to an increased risk of obesity and related health conditions.
Processed foods are notorious for the amount of preservatives and unnatural additives they contain. This is another reason that checking the nutritional information on the label is so important, particularly for people concerned with their cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Many restaurants are now providing nutritional facts to customers who request them, so don’t be afraid to speak up and ask before ordering. Making even one simple dietary change each day can result in a decreased risk of chronic heart disease and an improved ability to maintain a healthy, sustainable body weight.
High-fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, is a common ingredient in millions of food products all around the world. It serves as an inexpensive way to sweeten or otherwise enhance the taste of everything from breads, yogurts and breakfast cereals to condiments, salad dressings and children’s fruit snacks. Nearly all processed food in the U.S. contains some amount of the naturally occurring compound, making America’s growing addiction to unhealthy foods both entirely believable and simultaneously shocking.
The use of high-fructose corn syrup also makes soda cheap to produce in mass quantities, thereby allowing big brands to meet growing demands all over the world. Due to the higher cost of sugar and the amount of effort required to process it for use in soft drinks, HFCS has taken the place of sugar in nearly all of them. Diet sodas, enjoyed thoroughly by consumers who enjoy the taste of sweet beverages but wish to avoid the excessive calories, incorporate artificial alternatives like saccharin, aspartame and sucralose instead. Just as with high-fructose corn syrup, researchers continue to investigate both the long- and short-term effects that these compounds may have on the body and metabolism.
Various health-minded organizations, including government administrations like the FDA, have made moves toward forcing soda manufacturers to limit or even remove HFCS from their products. These pleas stem from a study that may suggest a correlation between the consumption of HFCS and major health issues such as diabetes. Though it is not yet proven that high-fructose corn syrup actually causes the disease, there may be links between the two. Research continues to analyze the way that HFCS affects the way the body is able to properly absorb insulin as well as the distribution of body fat in individuals who consume various amounts of soda on a daily basis.
An additional point of interest regarding sodas and HFCS involves increased difficulty in losing excess weight. People who consume soft drinks sweetened with this compound typically find shedding body fat more challenging than people who abstain. One theory as to why this is the case involves a change to the chemical composition of cells within the body when exposed to HFCS over an extended period of time. Limiting your soda intake to one or two servings per day (or zero) is recommended.
Eating disorders are commonly associated with teen girls and young adults. However, they can affect both genders and people of all ages. An eating disorder, or ED, is commonly defined as a dysfunctional eating pattern that serves as a coping strategy. Although they can affect a person’s health and well-being, they are officially classified as a mental health issue. Many factors can include a person’s risk for developing an eating disorder, including feeling out of control, suffering from low self-esteem, family or communication problems, unrealistic expectations of society and difficulty processing or coping with negative emotions. People do not develop a ED solely because of their weight, shape or figure, but societal ideals can contribute to a person’s feelings of dissatisfaction and need for control.
Because eating disorders are rarely talked about, people often suffer bulimia, anorexia, binge eating and other negative habits in silence. According to the National Institute of Health, nearly 2 percent of women will suffer from anorexia or bulimia at some point in their lives. Five times more women than men are prone to binging and purging. Currently, EDs are increasing dramatically in women over the age of 50. More than 13 percent of women who are over 50 have symptoms of an eating disorder, including restrictive eating, excessive exercise, bingeing, laxative abuse, diuretic abuse or self-induced vomiting indicated in a study found in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. Nearly two-thirds of women over 50 in one study thought about weight loss at least once a day, and another 62 percent suffered from negative body image.
As people retire, they can still suffer from the body dissatisfaction that may have plagued them in their youths. They may also suffer from changes associated with menopause, and as their hormones fluctuate, they may feel even more out-of-control. Compulsive dieting may offer a sense of control, but it is illusory rather than real. Discussing their concerns with a health care practitioner or therapist may provide them with healthier skills to cope with their daily stresses. Focusing on inner beauty, the people and things they love and developing a stronger support system can help those who suffer from eating disorders develop a healthier, more positive relationship with their bodies and conquer unhealthy coping habits.
You may not be able to change your genetics or certain other risk factors for cancer, but researchers are discovering evidence that you may have more control than you think. Your diet may be one of the easiest ways you can reduce your cancer risk. Although many of us seek to eat a well-balanced diet, we may be able to boost our nutrition intake simply by making some well-planned changes.
It is good to work towards avoiding saturated fats and including more plant-based foods in your diet. If you rarely eat the recommended daily allowance of vegetables and fruits, you can start slowly and begin incorporating one new fruit or vegetable into your meals or snacks every week. Eating more produce can help you naturally reduce your meat consumption, boost your intake of antioxidants and increase your fiber consumption. Whole grain-based foods, or bread, pastas and cereals, can also be a great source of fiber, and they are often fortified with folate, which can help guard against mutations in your DNA.
Closer to Nature
Organic foods may be preferable to conventionally grown foods. According to a meta-analysis performed by researchers at Newcastle University in England, produce that is grown without pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals may be more nutritious and have more cancer-fighting properties than other foods. Stanford University also did a study and found there was no difference, however both showed organic foods to contain higher amounts of phenols; which can help prevent cancer and diseases.
Cooking for Health
In some cases, how you cook may be just as important as what you cook. When meat is cooked at high temperatures, carcinogenic compounds known as HCAs are produced. HCAs can trigger DNA mutations, which precede the development of stomach or colon cancer. In fact, those who eat significant amounts of barbecue char beef or pork can double their risk of colon polyps.
Extreme caution should be used with microwave plastics. Microwaving regular plastic containers can allow potentially dangerous chemicals to leach into your food. Check the labels on your cooking oil as well. Saturated and hydrogenated oils can increase your risk. Olive oil and flaxseed oil are much better options.
Improving your diet can also help your immune system function properly. The immune system can help fight off infection and help protect you from cancer. Because early detection can improve outcomes, regular doctor visits are essential. Your doctor can also provide you with individualized information about other steps you can take to reduce your cancer risk.
Maintaining your range of motion and mobility is important throughout the course of middle to older age, as the ability to move comfortably and engage in everyday activities relates directly to both physical and mental health. As we age, our muscles and joints naturally and gradually begin to degenerate, often leaving elderly individuals feeling as if they are, for the majority of the time, confined to a sedentary lifestyle.
Fortunately, there are a variety of proven ways in which older men and women can extend their ability to remain mobile, even in their later years. Getting good sleep every night is imperative, as a rested body and mind are far more capable of performing as they should than is the case with an overly fatigued individual.
Though some mild tiredness can be expected initially when adding any sort of physical activity to your day, this period should pass relatively soon as your body adapts to the routine you choose and exercise endurance should increase. Eating foods for energy, such as high protein nut mixes, citrus fruits, whole grains and leafy, green vegetables can help provide an extra boost any time of day. In cases of osteoporosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and other medical issues commonly associated with age, keeping your conditions managed correctly and routinely will aid in increasing mobility.
Another way to ensure that you remain mobile is to take part in some form of fun group hobby, such as golf, tennis, walking with friends, pilates or guided yoga courses. Getting the support you need from other people with similar goals serves to bolster confidence in your ability to continue with healthy regimens like these. Consistent activity over time not only improves the flexibility of major joints such as the knees, hips and shoulders, but contributes to overall health of the heart and lungs as well. Elderly men and women who are more mobile every day typically tend to feel happier, healthier and more independent, all of which are critical to an optimally fulfilling life.
When we think of spice for some reason many think of this mouth burning stuff that is not pleasant and avoidance is huge. But really there is world of great substance known as spices that not only enrich our palette, bring wonderful colors and smells to our food we put in our tummy and also have abilities to better health. There is so much that can be done with all natural flavoring agents, from East Indian flavors to a delicious and creamy pasta from the hills of Tuscany.
Little great ideas, that are simple and all you have do is open all those jars seating in the pantry. Although a key part of this is that whatever is used, is of first and best quality, a bit more pricey but totally worth it. Little changes can go along way for example if brewing the coffee in the morning just put shavings right in the filter from a cinnamon stick.
Another little gem that besides making the food look pretty and fighting bad breath is parsley. This bright green and beautiful herb has numerous positive benefits. One of the most important here is that two tablespoons of such can equal to a huge one hundred and fifty three percent of RDA of vitamin K, which works to build bones.
Lastly let’s talk about a favorite thing to use in the kitchen, since it brings out excellent flavors and makes everyone happier while indulging. Garlic, put it whatever meat marinades, salad dressings, breads, pizza, sautéing vegetables, many ideas are endless and so are good things garlic does for our bodies. It has been a staple in most cultures centuries ago, but talking about todays benefits amongst is an ability to enhance the body’s immune cell activity and aid with lowering cholesterol for better heart health. The active component when it is chopped, chewed or bruised known as allicin, can be a way to fend off germs. The cooking agents mentioned, there are thousands, find and use them. Notice more energy, have a wonderful time in the kitchen, and impress your guests.
A combination of environmental and genetic factors can increase your likelihood for osteoporosis, a condition where bones become weaker because of loss of density. Some common risk factors for this disease include older age, being female, white or asian ethnicity, underweight, and genetics or family history. If you fall into one of these mentioned, there are specific actions to take that will strengthen and protect from complications that may occur in the future.
1. Try to get at least 30 minutes of weight bearing exercise daily, along with some form of strength training. Doctors often recommend a regimen that include walking, climbing, aerobics, and weight lifting. These positive activities allow the muscles and tendons to pull on the bones, which helps to stimulate the osteoblasts, or growth cells, increasing density. It has also been indicated in medical literature that higher impact exercises are most effective in preventing loss. When you lead a sedentary lifestyle, the entire system will be weaker than normal, especially the main support structures.
2. Change your diet. There are several foods that can be eaten to protect from osteoporosis. Since your body does not make calcium, it is essential to get over 1000 mg daily from foods. Dairy products work great to fulfill this requirement; milk, yogurt, and cheese are excellent sources of this important nutrient. A vitamin D vitamin should be considered, as this increases the absorption of calcium into the body. There are also specifics that should be avoided. Some common items to steer clear of include salt, sodas, processed meats, and caffeine. Adequate nutrition is one of the best ways to prevent issues from developing. Eat as much fresh produce, especially dark green leafy vegetables, healthy carbohydrates, and an adequate intake of dairy products.
3. Stop smoking. It has been linked to a number of health related problems. Although studies have not been able to conclusively determine how smoking affects bone health, those who participate in this activity have a higher incidence of fractures. They are quite painful with the possibility of experiencing more complications with healing, prolonging recovery time.
If you are the shopper of the house, and make one or more trips to the store you have probably seen a huge increase in the volume of gluten free foods. This is not because of flavor profiles that people crave, believe me, but the reason being three million of Americans are now being affected. Gluten is a kind of protein found in most wheat products, as well as rye and barley. This stretchy and sticky substance gives bread that elastic quality. Most people have no problems consuming it, but what we would call gluten intolerant people have problems that range from relatively mild sensitivity to serious and potentially life threatening celiac disease.
If you have been questioning the way you always have problems with digestion or have other stomach issues like bloating, chances are you may have it so why not do the research and start living without it for good. Symptoms are weight fluctuations, skin conditions, weakened immune function, and feeling tired for no reason. Bloating and stomach ills are also common side-effect of being sensitivity to it. It is important to note that some do not have any physical symptoms and do not realize they had an issue until they try an elimination diet. At best, it is a minor nuisance that some are willing to put up with in order to continue eating their favorite meals. It is not easy saying no to pasta, pizza, beer, and bread. Celiac disease is the severest form, ending up giving the person severe weight loss and suffering from chronic digestive ailments. The small hair like structures located in the small bowel known as cilia are not able to work properly, causing the nutrients from the food that we eat to not be absorbed into the bloodstream and then into the cells.
Luckily if your desire is to simply feel better making changes is not that difficult, plus there are many companies focusing on specific products to cater to this unique challenge. A quick trip to the grocery store can really leave you breathless of how much is available. Restaurants are also making the quick change, don’t start substituting or worrying and simply ask, many of them have menus where the range of options is wide. If diagnosed, simply take as a small life style change and be creative in the kitchen, chances are you’ll even lose a few pounds, have loads more energy, and your skin will clear up and be bright. The changes are typically noticed, for the better, within a few short weeks; however after about a year is when things tend to improve the most.
At some point, everyone is forced to deal with a hassle or overbearing situation; it’s simply unavoidable. The important thing is to learn how to manage the disturbances in life so they do not lead to serious medical complications. Here is a list of several things that can be done that have scientific evidence to help alleviate stress and anxiety.
1. Get Moving
Doing some type of physical activity for 30 minutes most days of the week has multiple benefits on overall health and wellness. During exercise clear the mind of all the troubles. A major benefit that can’t be overlooked is that feel good chemicals are increased, known as endorphins, and they alleviate tension and make the mood improve. This is a natural solution that everyone should take advantage of. High intensity workouts for some are the best option, such as kickboxing or pumping iron, pushing the body hard releases negative emotions quite easily.
2. Eat a Well Balanced Diet
Although nutrition might not seem to be directly correlated to stress, there are many small changes that may be made to the diet that will improve the ability to cope with overwhelming situations. For example, by eating breakfast, blood sugar will stabilize in the morning and provide the energy and focus needed to conquer any situation that arises. Sticking to a schedule, where a small meal is consumed every couple of hours produces amazing results. It is important to remember that nutritious foods offer essential vitamins and minerals that are needed for your nervous system to cope.
3. Relaxation Techniques and Deep Breathing
Many people underestimate the effectiveness of meditation as a method of coping with difficult situations. However, it has been discovered that individuals who meditate are happier and are calmer than those who do not practice any form of relaxation. If you don’t feel that deep-breathing exercises will be effective for you, there are many other types of meditation to try, one is yoga. If none of these options work, just take a few minutes in a quiet place and void every single thought. Think of it as being a blank slate and in the moment. It will be surprising as to how peaceful feelings take over in just a short period of time.
The heart is a very important part of the body. It is included in what is know as the cardiovascular system. Blood and oxygen is distributed through the vessels and nutrients are delivered to all the organs. It acts as a pump to deliver what is needed throughout the various internal systems and keep the body working properly. Functioning at an optimal levels is essential to ensure our bodies are healthy. A weakened circulatory system can lead to increased tiredness, dizziness, and chest pains; all of which can severely impact quality of life and lead to other complications.
Physical activity and eating right are two of the main ways to keep things in good shape and lower the odds of developing possible problems. People who are obese due to an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are worse off and action needs to be taken to make the situation improve. Changing eating habits and choosing foods that are low in fat and rich in vitamins and minerals is a step in the right direction.
Let us review a few ideas for improving heart function. Participating in low impact exercises such as walking, swimming, yoga, and tai chi yields outstanding results. Thirty minutes per day is recommended by many physicians, however more time could offer up better outcomes. Strength training works to keep bone density strong and muscle mass up, both very important over the age of fifty. Being actively involved in sports and having hobbies such as gardening or yard work is fun for many and beneficial.