MS, LLM, JD, PhD
5107 Kali Era , paardhiva
Vikramarka Era, paardhiva
Era , paardhiva
|Diet and Exercise
|Structured Eating Habits
Health experts have long agreed that obesity raises the risk of dying.
A new study published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart
Association found that overweight people have a greater risk of dying
in general as well as from cardiovascular causes. However, overweight
people with high blood pressure had twice the risk of dying of a heart attack
or stroke than overweight people with normal blood pressure. Those who had
high blood pressure plus other problems like diabetes had even greater risk.
Extra pounds do this in a number of ways: by raising insulin production,
causing kidney problems and increasing salt sensitivity, to name a few.
According to the results of a study appearing in the September issue of the
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, those
who ate higher fat foods for lunch and dinner are obese. Nearly one in three
adolescent girls in the United States is overweight or obese, according to
the association. The problem is particularly troubling because research shows
becoming overweight as a child can lead to a lifetime struggle with obesity.
Girls who ate fatty foods also skipped breakfast. Girls who are slimmer
and ate healthy lunches and dinners also ate breakfast with cereal. A girl
who reported eating breakfast on all three days had, on average, a body mass
index .7 units lower than a girl who did not eat breakfast at all, but ate
fatty unhealthy lunch. If the breakfast included cereal, the average was
1.65 units lower, the researchers found. Breakfast consumption dropped as
the girls aged, the researchers found, and those who did not eat breakfast
tended to eat higher fat foods later in the day. Those who eat breakfast
on a regular basis are more likely to have a structured eating plan throughout
the day and consequently are less likely to snack between meals and consume
empty calories. The important thing is structured and controlled eating
plan, and of course, breakfast helps.
Soy for All
Phytoestrogens are plant-derived nonsteroidal compounds found in soy products,
grains, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and other fruits and vegetables, according
to background information in the article. They have weak estrogen-like activity.
The three main classes of phytoestrogens are isoflavones, lignans, and cumestrans.
A fourth group of plant-derived steroidal compounds believed to have estrogenic
properties are the phytosterols. Phytoestrogens have been shown to
have a protective effect against some solid tumors. A diet higher in
plant-derived phytoestrogens is linked with a lower lung cancer risk, according
to a study in the September 28 issue of JAMA.
A diet free of animal products and low in fat may help trim the waistline
without the task of strict calorie watching, a new study suggests in American
Journal of Medicine, September 2005. Researchers found that postmenopausal,
overweight women, those assigned to follow a low-fat vegan diet for 14 weeks,
lost an average of 13 pounds, compared with a weight loss of about 8 pounds
among women who followed a standard low-cholesterol diet. The greater weight
loss among women on the vegan diet may stem from specific metabolic effects,
according to Dr. Neal D. Barnard, an adjunct associate professor of medicine
at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is also president
of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit group that
advocates vegetarianism as part of preventive medicine.
Soy for Women
Women experience accelerated bone loss at a rate of three to five percent
per year for about five to seven years after menopause, putting them at a
high risk for bone fracture. Postmenopausal women who consumed high
daily levels of soy protein had reduced risk of bone fracture, according
to a study in the September 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
Women in the highest soy protein intake group had a 37 percent reduced relative
risk for fracture compared to the lowest intake group.
Many foods are excellent sources of calcium, including milk, yogurt, cheese,
broccoli, and orange juice. Given the amount of cheese, milk and fortified
dairy products we consume in America, you would think that we don't have
to think about calcium deficiency. Problem is, most Americans are calcium
deficient. Over age 20, more than half of men (55 percent) and three-fourths
(78 percent) of women do not get the recommended amount of calcium. Even
our kids are calcium-deficient. If you get enough calcium, vitamin D, and
other minerals, you are more likely to build and keep strong bones throughout
your lifetime. Calcium, vitamin D, and exercise are essential for building
bone mass when you're young and for preventing bone loss as you age. It's
also important to avoid lifestyle excesses such as tobacco and alcohol consumption
to protect your bones. Cigarettes and alcohol (as little as 2 oz. a day)
reduce bone density (see below for more on alcohol).
Ever since scientists discovered hard material in heart vessels in the1700s,
doctors have known that some blood-vessel cells can harden. Excess cholesterol
triggers this process in the arteries and calcium then builds up in the vessels
and stiffens them, leading to heart disease. Now doctors can get a better
look at what's inside your heart arteries with the help of calcium count.
Quick and easy scans that can measure the amount of calcium in your
coronary arteries in minutes may help find your problem. Studies show that
people with higher calcium levels have a greater risk of heart attack. Studies
show that scans are best at predicting heart problems in those with several
risk factors such as high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, a family
history of heart disease etc.
Alcohol is pernicious with regard to colorectal tumors. Lifestyle plays a
role as genetics does in the development of these tumors. Beer,
wine and spirits drinkers face a higher risk of colorectal tumors, according
to a report in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, September
2005. Colorectal tumors were also associated with age older than 60 years,
smoking and obesity, the report indicates.
Mercury Contamination in Fish
A University of North Carolina Lab found elevated mercury concentrations
in swordfish samples from supermarket chains including Safeway, Shaws, Albertsons
and Whole Foods. A supermarket industry group said it was not surprised by
the survey, because swordfish and tuna are known to have higher levels of
mercury. Traces of mercury are found in nearly all fish and shellfish. Released
through industrial pollution, mercury falls and accumulates in streams and
oceans as methylmercury. Methylmercury builds up in fish and shellfish as
they feed, in some types more than others.
Six out of 10 Americans do not recognize excess abdominal fat as a major
cause of heart disease and diabetes, according to a new survey, "The Shape
of the Nations Report," sponsored by the World Heart Federation,
released in September. Even a little bit of extra fat in the adolescent years
weakens the body's ability to fight heart disease in adult life, suggests
a British study by researchers at St. George's Hospital Medical Center
Metabolic syndrome is a set of risk factors that includes three or more cardiovascular
risk factors: abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL (good) cholesterol,
high blood pressure or high glucose. Evidence of metabolic syndrome, even
without elevated LDL cholesterol, doubled the risk of cardiovascular death.
You may not believe it, but you can cut your risk of dying from cardiovascular
disease in half by being physically fit, according to a study in Circulation:
Journal of the American Heart Association, really! In this study,
physical fitness was four to five, 30-minute segments of activity per week
or the equivalent to walking 130 to 138 minutes per week.
A well-rounded exercise regimen should include activities that develop the
three major areas of fitness: resistance training, aerobic activity and stretching
and flexibility exercise. Below are the starting points for a basic fitness
Resistance (strength) training. Try to perform about 20 minutes of resistance
training (such as lifting barbells, doing calisthenics that require working
against your body weight or using weight machines) twice a week. A basic
program would include eight to 10 different exercises using the major muscle
groups of the legs, trunk, arms, chest and shoulders.
Aerobic activity. Incorporate 30 minutes of brisk walking (or its equivalent)
on all or most days of the week.
Stretching and flexibility exercise. Perform 10 to 15 minutes of stretching
at least two times a week. A basic stretching routine would include eight
to 10 exercises working all the major muscle groups.
Current research shows that to reap the health benefits associated with exercise,
you should burn between 700 calories (bare minimum) and 2,000 calories (optimum
disease-fighting benefit) per week in moderate aerobic activity. (Exercising
beyond the 2,000-calorie mark is not a waste of time; you may still see improvements
in appearance and athletic performance.) Here is one possible way to meet
this recommended caloric expenditure: Walking briskly (about four miles per
hour) burns approximately 100 calories per mile. To gain the benefits of
aerobic activity, you need to work hard enough to rev up your breathing and
heart rate. However, today's emphasis is on longer and more frequent sessions
of moderate activity, rather than on few bursts of high-intensity exercise.
Moderately vigorous activity involves deeper than normal breathing, a faster
heartbeat and, at the higher end of this range, light sweating. If you find
that you are gasping for breath, your heart is pounding or you are perspiring
profusely, you have exceeded the moderate level and moved into heavy exertion.
You can also gauge how hard you are exercising by measuring your heart rate.
Moderate exertion falls in the range of 50 percent to 60 percent of maximum
Spooning the brown paste from the foil packets into their infants' mouths,
they say their malnourished children can stage surprisingly fast recoveries
with medical attention from MSF doctors. Plumpy'nut came out some seven
years ago but production has risen sharply in recent months after food crises
in Sudan's Darfur region, and now in Niger, put it in the spotlight.
About 250,000 children will be fed this year with Plumpy'nut, a name combining
plump and peanut. Hundreds of women at feeding centres run by aid group Medecins
Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Niger receive sachets of it for their children,
many of whom had been living on leaves or grass after harvests failed because
of drought and locusts. Plumpy'nut allows aid groups to reach more malnourished
people because children can eat it straight from the packet. Nutriset aims
to move production to countries where the product is needed. Three factories
have been set up in Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger, and
four are being planned in other African regions. The African factories
receive material and training from Nutriset and are obliged to buy the special
vitamin and mineral mix that is central to Plumpy'nut. The other key ingredients,
such as peanut paste, can be produced at home. In Malawi, about a ton of
Plumpy'nut is already being made each day - enough to feed some 4,000 children.
Have a headache? Try some olive oil! Actually, freshly pressed extra-virgin
olive oil would be best, according to a group of chemists, who've discovered
that it contains a compound that mimics the pain-relieving action of ibuprofen.
The compound, called oleocanthal, blocks the same pain pathway as ibuprofen,
a member of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, according to a report
in the journal Nature. Oleocanthal in newly pressed extra-virgin
olive oil and ibuprofen in solution both produce a strong stinging sensation
in the throat, an indicator of a "shared pharmacological activity, with oleocanthal
acting as a natural anti-inflammatory compound that has a potency and profile
strikingly similar to that of ibuprofen." According to the chemists, oleocanthal
inhibits so-called COX enzymes in a dose-dependent fashion -- the higher
the dose the greater the inhibition. A 50-gram daily dose of olive oil is
equal to about 10 percent of the ibuprofen dose recommended for pain relief
in an adult.
Omega 3 Fat and Exercise
Some 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's
Association. If no cure is found, as many as 16 million could have the disease
by 2050, as the population ages.
Already believed to protect the brain against the damage caused by Alzheimer’s
disease, omega-3 has also been linked with maintaining healthy hearts and
joints. According to a latest discovery at Trinity College, omega-3
appeared not only to replace anti-inflammatories that dwindle with age but
also to stem a corresponding rise in chemicals that cause the cell inflammation
in the first place. Omega 3 fats are found abundantly in flax, urad,
verdalago (purslane) etc. In addition, those who remained physically fit,
avoided high stress levels and enjoyed a rich and varied social life are
better equipped to stay alert as they age. Mental stimulation, learning new
things and simply thinking young also help.
Another study released online Sept. 8, in advance of its Oct. 1 publication
in The Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that docosahexaenoic
acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid reduces levels of a protein known to cause
damaging plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. The researchers
discovered that a derivative of DHA, which is dubbed "neuroprotectin D1,"
is made in the human brain. That natural substance plays a key role, too,
in protecting the brain from cell death, the study showed. Furthermore, in
cell studies designed to mimic the effects of aging, the team found that
adding DHA reduced the secretion of toxic beta amyloid proteins and, at the
same time, spurred production of NPD1. Studies show DHA is highly concentrated
in the brain and retina of the eye.
DHA sources are safe, cheap, available and clinically proven to fight heart
disease, the nation's number one killer. It is advised that the families
of Alzheimer's patients to make sure their loved ones get the minimum recommended
DHA from their diet or supplements. Experts recommend 200 to
300 milligrams per day. Americans typically get in their diet 60 to 80 milligrams
Researchers from Finland and the United States report evidence that diets
high in cereal fiber and whole-grain products may slow the progression of
atherosclerosis, plaque build-up in the arteries, of postmenopausal women.
Several studies have linked increased dietary fiber, especially cereal fiber,
with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death. Women consuming
more than 3 grams of cereal fiber or more than 6 servings of whole grains
per week over a 3-year period showed modestly smaller declines in coronary
artery blockage compared with women with lower intakes of fiber per week,
the group reports in the American Heart Journal.
A radical ultra low-fat diet and other lifestyle changes may help keep early-stage
prostate cancer from worsening, according to a study that tracked men whose
tumors weren’t aggressive, published in the September issue of The
Journal of Urology. Diet and lifestyle might really help battle cancer.
Pomegranates for Men
High doses of extract from pomegranate juice stops the growth of prostate
cancer in laboratory cultures and in living mice, researchers report in The
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Mediterranean
fruit was recently reported by Italian researchers to have protective effects
against heart disease in mice, preventing the buildup of fatty deposits along
their artery walls.
British Mad Cows
A new theory proposes that mad cow disease may have come from feeding British
cattle meal contaminated with human remains infected with a variation of
the disease. The hypothesis, outlined in The Lancet medical
journal, suggests the infected cattle feed came from the Indian continent,
where bodies sometimes are ceremonially thrown into the Ganges River. The
cause of the original case or cases of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform
encephalopathy, is unknown, but it belongs to a class of illnesses called
transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or TSEs. Indian experts not connected
with the research pointed out weaknesses in the incredible theory.
The American hand-washing habits could use some work, according to the
American Society of Microbiology. The society used hidden cameras
to monitor hand washing in public restrooms in locations around the United
States. The findings: Overall, 83% of the people washed their hands after
using the restroom, and women washed their hands more often than men, in
some cases, much more often. At least, 8% of Americans lie about their washing
behavior. People's observed hand washing is somewhat at odds with their
reported behavior in a telephone survey of 1,000 adults, 91% said they always
washed their hands after using the bathroom. Seventy-seven percent said they
always washed their hands before handling food. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention says poor hand washing plays a role in almost half
of all foodborne disease outbreaks.
Squash Stuffed with Apricots and Cornbread
Ingredients: 4 cups cornbread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes; 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin
olive oil, plus additional for brushing squash; 2 large Spanish onions, thinly
sliced; 1/2 cup finely diced celery with leaves; 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh
sage; 2 tsp. finely chopped garlic; 1 1/2 cups hot water or vegetable broth;
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots; 1/2 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted (optional);
2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley; Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to
taste; 3 large acorn squash, halved and seeded; and boiling water.
Direction: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On baking sheet, spread cornbread
cubes and toast until lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to bowl and
set aside. In heavy 2-quart pot, heat oil over high heat. Add onions,
celery, sage and garlic and sauté 20 minutes. Add water or broth,
apricots and pecans, if desired. Simmer until two-thirds of liquid is absorbed,
about 10 minutes. Fold vegetables, parsley and salt and pepper, to taste,
into cornbread. (Filling can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.) When ready
to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In baking pans large enough to hold
them in single layer, place squash halves cut-side down. Brush skin lightly
with oil. Pour 1/2-inch boiling water into pans and bake 20 minutes, until
squash are halfway cooked. (Or, in microwave-safe dish, microwave 10-15 minutes,
until halfway cooked.)
Transfer squash to plate until cool enough to handle. (This can be done 8
hours ahead.) Fill squash with stuffing and return, stuffing side up, to
pan. (This can be done 4 hours ahead.) Bake about 1 hour, until squash pierce
easily with tip of knife. Before serving, cut each squash half in half again.
Ingredients: 9 ounces Chocolate cake mix; 7 ounces Caramel; 1/4 cup Margarine;
7 fluid ounces Milk condensed, sweetened; and 1/2 cup Pecans.
Direction: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cake mix as package directs.
Pour 2 cups batter into greased 13x9-inch pan; bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile,
in a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt caramels and margarine with sweetened
condensed milk, stirring until smooth. Spread evenly over cake; spread remaining
cake batter over caramel mixture. Top with coarsely chopped nuts. Return
to oven; bake 30 to 35 minutes longer or until cake springs back when lightly
touched. Cool. Garnish as desired.
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|Source: The primary sources
cited above, New York Times (NYT),
Washington Post (WP), Mercury News, Bayarea.com,
Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Intellihealthnews,
Deccan Chronicle (DC), the Hindu,
Hindustan Times, Times of India, AP, Reuters,