Category Archives: Nutrition

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Mind “The Low Fat” Labels…

The idea that eating less fat can keep you healthy, a notion very popular with the medical establishment in the mid 1980s, seemed to make sense. Experts were working with the data available at the time – they saw saturated fat had more calories and raised the bad (LDL) cholesterol. Today fat is still often the diet bad guy and you’re still likely to see “low fat” and “fat free” on many of food labels.

While our cholesterol levels, and total intake of saturated fats has gone down, the numbers of obese people in this country has continued to rise. How can we be eating less fat but getting fatter? One potential reason is the unintended effect when you eat something labeled “low fat”; people tend to eat more of it – up to 50% more according to Cornell researchers.

Those who are overweight are particularly at risk to falling for the deceptive “low fat” and “fat free” labels. These people tended to take in 60 more calories than do those who are thinner.

More recent work in this area has found that if you take saturated fat from the diet it needs to be replaced with something that’s better for you. Now we understand that polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are actually good for you. Also, nutritionists know that fat satisfies appetite longer, so you end up eating less. Most people don’t make the healthy switch when it comes to fats.

In 2010 an important meta-analysis looked at the association between saturated fat and the risk of heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease. The analysis included 21 different studies. The conclusion was that there is not enough evidence to say that saturated fat raises the risk for stroke, heart and cardiovascular disease. More research needs to be done to tell us about the risks for specific age and sex groups.

The findings may stem from the fact that people replaced the saturated fat with carbs. When you up the carbs in your diet it can cause other problems and raise your risk for cardiovascular disease. This research points out the mistake it was to try and lower saturated fats by replacing them with processed carbs – this didn’t do any of us any favors. It would be better to replace saturated fats with healthier polyunsaturated ones, but there’s still a lot to learn before we have a complete picture of how fats operate in the body.

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Mind “The Low Fat” Labels… Continued…

In 2013 another study, known as the Sydney Diet Heart Study, found that the benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids have not been established. The work found that in those with higher amounts of omega-3 compared to omega-6 got beneficial results, where research that had the omega-6 content higher didn’t show any benefit. You can see the challenge this message is to deliver to people.

Total fat intake isn’t a good reflection of your health. Your best bet is to stay away from refined grains, too many sugars, starches, sugar laden drinks, processed meats and foods that have lots of trans fats or are loaded with salt. Replace these foods with healthy vegetable fats, oils, fruits and veggies, nuts, whole grains, fish, yogurt and modest amounts of cheese. Eat healthy and forget keeping track of fat.

To your good health,

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The 20 Best Foods For Top Health

A trip to your local grocery store puts literally hundreds of food choices before you. Some you can tell are healthy; others are labeled that way, but may not measure up to those healthy claims when you get right down to it.

To help you choose more wisely, here are 20, in alphabetical order, of the best foods you can get.

1. Almonds are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. They may also lower cholesterol.

2. Asparagus is loaded with anti inflammatory nutrients and high amounts of folic acid, and has even been shown to halt the formation of cancerous tumors.

3. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, known to be good for your heart. They are also exceptional carriers of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Eating them helps you heart stay healthy, and regulates blood sugar and may even have anti cancer benefits.

4. Berries, no matter the color, are naturally chock full of antioxidants that help your brain and eyes. Recent studies have found that strawberries, raspberries and blueberries have properties that help to bring down the risk of both breast and cervical cancers.

5. Bell peppers are a natural source of antioxidants (the vitamins A, C and E) and may help the body in neutralizing free radicals, cutting your chances of disease.

6. Black beans have all the same beneficial compounds you find in berries, tea and red wine, lots of protein and fiber. They’re an affordable way to keep your heart healthy, your body cancer free.

7. Broccoli is loaded with vitamin C and K, plus the phytochemical indoles and sulforaphane thought to be cancer-fighting nutrients. This crunchy veggie has also been shown to be good for the cardiovascular system.

8. Brussels sprouts are another of the cruciferous veggies that are a natural source of nutrients like vitamins A, B6, C, E and K and the mineral selenium that’s known to help the body fight free radicals.

9. Butternut squash is full of vitamin C, and low calorie too. Plus it has beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, nutrients that have been shown to lower risk of developing lung cancers.

10. Chicken breast is a fantastic source of lean protein as well as the coenzyme Q10, essential for the turnover of skin cells. It’s a great muscle food.

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The 20 Best Foods For Top Health Continued…

11. Edamame is a Japanese soybean that’s loaded with vitamins B and C, and is one of the only natural sources of vitamin E. These beans are also a natural protein source and are loaded with antioxidants and isoflavones.

12. Eggs are high in protein, always available and affordable too. Research has linked the intake of eggs with better brain health, lower inflammation and improved heart health. There’s even a finding that eating eggs can help your cholesterol levels, and that’s good for your heart.

13. Flaxseed can be sprinkled over your morning cereal or blended into a smoothie to give you an abundant source of calcium, magnesium and fiber. The seeds also boast high levels of lignans and have been associated with the prevention of many health conditions, including heart disease.

14. Garlic is known to cut your cholesterol and triglyceride levels while also protecting blood cells and vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress. The natural compounds in this herb might also protect against the cellular changes that lead to cancerous tumors or help them grow.

15. Onions are naturally loaded with sulfur-containing substances so they aren’t great for your breath, but they do wonders for the rest of you. More than one study has found that eating onions can have benefits to your heart as in protection against heart attack when eaten as part of an overall heart healthy diet.

16. Spinach is a leafy green that is one of the most nutrient dense items you can buy. Add to a salad or steam it as a lunch or dinner side dish and you’ll get your daily dose of vitamin K and so much more, perhaps even protection from an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

17. Salmon is a fantastic choice with lots of lean protein and omega-3 heart healthy fatty acids that have been shown to lower the risk of death due to heart disease. Wild caught salmon is the most nutritionally pure and doesn’t have the food coloring and antibiotics of farm bred.

18. Sweet potatoes are full of complex carbs and phytochemicals and are a fabulous source of many vitamins, beta-carotene and fiber. Multiple studies have found a parallel between eating this tasty sweet veggie and having healthy eyes.

19. Tomatoes are a natural source of antioxidants and are low in calories too. They have lots of lycopene, a substance that might bring cardiovascular benefits and may also protect your skin from damage by the sun. Regular tomato consumption in men might even help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

20. Yogurt is one of the top ways to eat dairy and still drop a few pounds. Many studies have linked the consumption of yogurt to better digestive health and an overall lower amount of body fat. Some yogurts can have lots of sugar, so you might want to try Greek yogurt for a more natural alternative.

To your good health,

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How To Get Back On Track After Overeating

Over the holidays the temptations to overeat are huge, from Halloween to New Year’s there are delicious goodies all around, in easy reach. It can get hard after a while to resist, to keep up those healthy eating habits, the daily exercise routine. The thing to keep in mind is that while overeating on some days happens to everyone, a single day’s slip isn’t going to turn you obese overnight.

It’s the decisions you make over time that will keep your weight under control.

Experts suggest that one thing you can do before heading out to a holiday event is to think about what’s behind the reasons you tend to overeat at this time of year… the emotions or memories that are at the heart of the urge to eat, eat, eat. This time of year bring up many feelings, some good, some not so good. By reflecting on what triggers you to overeat, you can take steps to keep indulging from over indulging.

Before you head out…

-Remind yourself why you’re trying to lose weight: use flashcards or anything that works to show the reasons you want to eat healthy, lose weight.

-Be flexible in your eating plans for each holiday event… sometimes you can limit the number of deserts you’ll eat, another time you might have to limit things by courses.

-Give yourself permission to have three foods you truly love, and enjoy them, guilt free.

At the event…

-Be mindful: keep yourself in the moment, the here and now. Pay attention to what you’re holding, the sights and smells around you. When you eat, take time to focus on chewing, enjoy each and every bite.

-Watch out for food pushers: well meaning family, friends or people at work who refuse to take “no” for an answer when it comes to offering something fattening.
It’s an insult to refuse. The best bet, according to experts is to keep up the “no”, polite but firm, as eventually they will get the message.

The day after overeating…

You’ve got to get back on track right away. No skipping meals to “make up” for what you ate. And don’t let yourself fall victim to the idea that one mistake means you can blow off your long-term goal of healthy eating and losing weight. That’s the thinking that get’s you nowhere.

Here’s what to do that next day…

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Are Your Genetics Keeping You Fat? (1 tip to change fast)

Ever heard the excuse “I’m overweight because of my genetics”?

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How To Get Back On Track After Overeating Continued…

- Eat breakfast: even if you wake feeling full, make yourself start the next day off with a good, healthy breakfast. Not only will this reseat your metabolism, it will also help you get back into the eating healthy mindset.

-Drink lots of water: as staying hydrated will also help you feel full the day after a binge, and keep you from feeling as tempted to continue overeating.

-Stick to your scheduled workout: even if you only manage a light workout, it’s better than no exercise at all. Getting up and moving will have you feeling so much better, and will also reinforce your commitment to those weight management goals.

-Have a salad for lunch: the water in the veggies in a typical salad will also help hydrate your body and ease that groggy, sluggish, ate too much feeling.
A healthy, balanced lunch also reinforces your decision to get back on track and eat right.

-Eat an afternoon snack: you’ll need to keep your metabolism going so you don’t “crash” and trigger another overeating binge. Try a handful of nuts and a piece of fresh fruit for something delicious and nutritious.

-Don’t eat out: if you cook dinner at home you can control what you eat and how it’s prepared. Try for broiled fish with roasted veggies with a whole grain such as quinoa or barley. This gives you nutrients without all the processing and super large portion sizes that are part of eating out.

To your good health,

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9 Myths And Facts About Your GI Tract

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know a whole lot about your digestive process and the gastrointestinal tract that makes it all happen. Myths are often repeated as fact by people who seem to know what they’re talking about. It’s only when you start to have uncomfortable (embarrassing) digestive symptoms that you have to search out the truth so that you can help yourself feel better.

So let’s de-bunk 9 of the most common myths…

1: Digestion happens in the stomach. False, the biggest portion of the digestive process actually happens in the small intestine. The stomach takes in food, churns it and breaks it into smaller particles, unappealingly named chime. This is then released in batches to the small intestine where a good deal of the digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs. Foods don’t digest in the order you eat them – rather it’s all mixed together and sent along its way.

2: Cut your food intake, you’ll shrink your stomach. False. Once you reach adulthood, your stomach is pretty much the same size, unless you have surgery to shrink it. Eating less will not shrink your stomach. Eating less will help you reset your appetite thermostat so you may not feel as hungry and it’s easier to stick to healthy eating goals, resist snacking.

3: Thin people have naturally smaller stomachs. False. It might seem hard to imagine, but the size of the stomach is not related to weight or dieting. You can be naturally thin and have the same size (or larger) stomach than those who fight the battle of the bulge for a lifetime.

4: Exercise cuts the size of your belly. It doesn’t. Exercising does not reduce one area of fat alone, though it does help burn fat all over the body. It’ll also help tighten the abdominal muscles so that you’ll look leaner.

In truth, the most dangerous part of fat is the kind you can’t see, the fat in the omentum, a sort of sheet that lies over and all around your internal organs. If you’re really overweight you probably have a lot of fat over and around your organs. The danger with so much weight lies in that the liver can be so packed with fat that a form of hepatitis can develop.

Luckily making changes to a more healthy way of eating can really help in shedding the weight you see, and the stuff you don’t.

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9 Myths And Facts About Your GI Tract Continued…

5: Foods with insoluble fiber cause less gas and bloating. False. Gas and bloating actually come from intestinal organisms that are needed to digest soluble fiber. What you may have thought to be an easier form of fiber (soluble) can actually cause more gas and bloating than insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber isn’t digested, thus no involvement with intestinal organisms – so no embarrassing gas or uncomfortable bloat.

6: Ease acid reflux symptoms by losing weight. True. Losing just a bit of fat in the abdominal area makes a difference in your symptoms. Less fat means less push against internal organs, less heartburn, a bit of relief. Since most people lose weight in the tummy area first, you’ll see some change in your symptoms in just a few weeks after you start trying to lose weight.

7: Eating before bed makes you gain faster than if you ate the same foods during the day. False. Gaining weight comes down to taking in more calories than we burn, and weight gain isn’t based on the 24-hour clock as we understand it. There isn’t any science that says eating at a specific time can influence weight gain all by itself.

But you should know that eating before bed, especially if you’re stressed, can make digestion more difficult. You might experience gas, bloating and painful heartburn. Later in the day, the digestive system, like the rest of us, is tired, so it contracts less, moving food through the system more slowly.

8: A 200-calorie snack of peanut butter and crackers is better able to control your appetite than eating a 200-calorie serving of crackers. True. Fats digest more slowly than carbs, and they stay in the stomach longer which leaves us naturally feeling fuller, longer after eating a snack that has a bit of fat. By contrast, simple carbs give you a quick increase in blood sugar, but can have you dropping just as fast.

9: Beans cause everyone to make gas, and there’s nothing you can do. True. Beans are naturally loaded with a kind of sugar that needs a certain enzyme to digest. Some of us have more of it, some less and the less you have the more gas will be made during your digestion of beans. Over the counter gas remedies or charcoal tablets can help if you take them before you dig in.

To your good health,

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Improve Your IQ With These Seven Solid Ways

If you want to help your brain (and who doesn’t?), there are things you can do to help grow your grey matter and improve your IQ (Intelligence Quotient) by no less than 17 points over a single week. You’ll be able to hold your own in intellectual conversations, feel more confident and empowered by taking just a few simple steps every day.

IQ is a measure of your mental agility or comprehension speed, and that this number can be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. An average score is 100 and this usually stays stable upon reaching the teen years. The score comes as the result of a set of standardized tests (language fluency, three dimensional thinking, etc.) that measure your thinking abilities in relation to your age.

A higher IQ is related to attainment of education, income and other socioeconomic factors that are key to success in life. Here we bring you seven scientifically proven ways to add points to your own IQ.

1. Play board games – having fluid intelligence is a big part of every IQ tests, and is tied to your working memory. In research, just 25 minutes of play each day will bring your IQ up by 4 points. Puzzles, Dual N-Back games are good choices.

2. Take supplements – taking 5g of creatine a day can give you an extra 15 IQ points over a six week time period. Creatine gives a big boost to brainpower and raises the energy levels that are available for computation in the brain.

3. Play social games – any activity that involves a diverse range of skills plus social interaction will add an IQ point to your total. You can play online on your own, or with friends, to keep on top of your game.

4. Blast some bad guys – a study at the University of Rochester confirmed a link between first person video games and better visual awareness in the real world. That’s a crucial building block for IQ and can add up to two points to your own number.

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Improve Your IQ With These Seven Solid Ways Continued…

5. Do cardio workouts – a Swedish study proved that cardiovascular fitness can bring up your verbal intelligence by 50%. Better cardiovascular fitness was linked to better cognitive scores, an increase of 5 (or more) IQ points, while muscular strength was only weakly associated with intelligence.

6. Perform practice IQ tests – retaking IQ tests can actually up your score by as much as 2 points. This proven technique gives you a chance to prepare and be more confident during the next test.

7. Go vegetarian – like it or not, there are a number of studies that have linked higher IQ with a vegetarian diet. The lifestyle and food choices of vegetarians are linked with strong intellectual functioning and a slowed cognitive decline. Doing what you can to fix you diet could bring back 10 years of IQ age, and that isn’t anything to scoff at.

You see… not so difficult. And the payoff may well be huge.

To your good health,

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Spread Healthy Living Habits

Researchers at Duke Medicine have provided us with hard evidence of what seems good common sense. A child whose mother encourages and models healthy behavior is more likely to be active and eat a balanced diet as an adult. Not all that surprising really. Still the findings, appearing in the May 2013 issue of the International Journal of Obesity are an important reminder to parents – children often tune out what you say, but they never miss what you do.

Healthy habits are easier to adopt when they are established early. What’s more, they protect against childhood obesity, a problem that’s more than doubled in children, tripled in teens over the past 30 years. In 2010, more than one third of kids and teens were considered to be overweight or obese.

Study author Truls Østbye, M.D., PhD, professor of community and family medicine at Duke, is quick to recognize that obesity is a complex phenomenon that’s influenced by many factors, but there are variations in levels of obesity from one society/environment to another, so there’s something in the environment that impacts obesity. Of course when it comes to children, the home and parenting help to shape both diet (encouraging eating fruits veggies) and physical behaviors (encouraging play outdoors) for long into the future. This latest study supplies evidence of just how important this can be.

The team examined the relationship between the home and behaviors that are related to being obese (diet and exercise habits, for example) in a group of preschoolers. There were 190 children, aged 2 to 5, whose mothers where considered either overweight or obese. The team collected details on the children’s intake of food over the past week, with items rated as healthy or junk foods. The children even wore accelerometers for a week, and this measured both moderate and vigorous physical activity as well as time spent in sedentary activities.

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The socioeconomic status of the mothers was also examined; they supplied details on their education levels and job status. These factors had no association with the physical activity of the children, but showed mixed results in terms of diet. More research in this area could help understand how socioeconomic factors might influence a child’s health. Further work on if the influence of the home environment changes as kids get older will also be needed before strategies can be developed to
address these issues.

The mothers also supplied details about the environment where their child lived, including the policies about food and exercise, the access to healthy/junk foods, availability of equipment/space for activity, and of course, if they modeled healthy eating and exercise for the child. When the team analyzed all the data they saw some significant links between the measures of environment and the subjects diet and exercise patterns. To promote healthy habits in children, parental role modeling and a healthy home environment are key. Kids ate more healthy foods when there was limited access to junk food and a family meal policy at home. The home environment had more impact on diet, rather than activity patterns, of the children.

It’s hard to change behaviors, but our children are one of the best reasons to do so. You’ll be healthier, and your children will have a ready role model for living a healthy lifestyle that will benefit them long into the future. It’s common sense, now backed by solid evidence.

To your good health,

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5 Facts To Know About Low Carb Diets

Low carb diets don’t work according to some experts. Others, equally sure, swear by them, and insist we just don’t understand or aren’t depriving ourselves enough. Most nutritionists will tell you that people crave carbs, and if you eliminate them from your diet, you’ll only want them all the more. Forbidden fruit.

Here are five simple, solid tips from The CarbLovers Diet Cookbook that may have you rethinking that ban on carbohydrates you’ve been struggling to stick to.

1. Low carb diets leave you feeling stressed and sad. A recent study by Australian researchers that appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine followed 106 dieters for a year, half were on a low carb diet, the others were on a carb-rich diet. At the end of the year, the carb eaters were feeling happier, calmer and more focused than those who’d deprived themselves. Carbs are known to up the levels of mood regulating stress reducing brain chemicals, while high protein fatty foods might cause these levels to drop.

2. Low carb diets leave you fatter, not thinner. The stress and depression that most low carb dieters feel is enough, over time, to thwart even the best efforts to stay on track. The reason? Stress produces lots of hormones, like cortisol, that increase your appetite and make you vulnerable to binges according to obesity expert Elissa Epel, Ph.D. who is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

3. Low carb diets can’t be sustained over the long term. Most people can tough out a low carb diet for a time, but it’s quite another thing to do it for a lifetime. Studies show that people have a harder time sticking to low carb, as opposed to high carb, eating plans. In a recent Harvard University study of 322 dieters, just 78% stuck with their diet for up to two years, while almost 90% of those on a high carb diet were still following the eating plan at the end of the study period.

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5 Facts To Know About Low Carb Diets Continued…

4. Low carb diets bring bloating to your belly. According to the National Institute of Digestive Diseases, belly bloat is a key sign of constipation, and this is a common side effect of that low carb diet. In one study as many as 68% of participants on a low carb diet were complaining of constipation, compared to just 30% of the non dieting population, and 35% of dieters who were eating more carbs.

5. Low carb diets make people feel deprived, making dieters start to crave carbs according to a University of Toronto study of 89 women where half restricted the amount of carbs they ate, and the other half did not, When fed a test breakfast three days later and told to eat as they wished, the low carb dieters stuffed themselves, while the other women kept to their diets. The bottom line? Cut out carbs and it’s nearly impossible not to binge when you relax your guard.

While low carb diets are known for fast weight loss, much of what you lose in those early days is water, not fat. In the long run, the picture is not so clear and experts are likely to continue to argue the point. Remember, when it comes to weight loss, it’s the cutting of calories, and the increase in regular physical activity that is the tried and true formula for weight loss.

To your good health,

Bellezza87 / Pixabay

Which Coffee Is Good For You?

Here’s a bit of fascinating news for coffee drinkers. We love it for the taste, and the feelings of being more alert we get. New research has found that, surprisingly, coffee can also be good for the heart. Who would have thought it? We all know there are addictive properties to the caffeine in coffee, but the jump-start it gives our bodies makes that easy to ignore. Not many who drink coffee on a daily (hourly?) basis realize there may in fact be health benefits to that macchiato, cappuccino, flat white, long black, latte, espresso you enjoy.

There has been research over the years showing both positive, and negative, effects on the body after drinking coffee. This might be explained by the lack of consistency in the coffee we’re all drinking. There are different roasts, species and varieties of coffee beans and all of them have different amounts of caffeine and other components. There’s also the impact of adding sugar, sugar syrups, cream or milk as well as the sizes of the cups that become a part of the equation.

Of late there’s been a lot of change in the debate over if coffee is good or bad for you. A Harvard School of Public Health study has found no link between coffee and mortality. Even if you drink up to six cups a day, there’s no higher risk of death from any cause. This fits into the research picture that seems to be emerging over the past few years.

Coffee is one of the complex flavor profiles there is; it has double the flavor range of many wines. The chemical structure of coffee actually provides you more flavors, and it’s loaded with caffeine, which wakes you up and has you ready to go. Experts do warn about drinking too much, an 8-ounce (225ml w/ 100mg of caffeine) cup was used in the Harvard study, not the 16-ounce (450ml w/ 330mg of caffeine) one you get in a large coffee at a coffee shop.

Coffee has also been shown to have no impact on the many forms of arterial cardiovascular disease, arrhythmia or heart insufficiency. There’s even an association between coffee drinking and a reduction in the incidence of both diabetes and liver disease. There may be protection for Parkinson’s disease and benefits to mental health due to the social interaction of getting and drinking the beverage. Unlike alcohol that leaves people lethargic, coffee switches us on.

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Which Coffee Is Good For You? Continued…

Other studies have found some beneficial substances in coffee, most recently in Greek style coffee. Research appearing in the Vascular Medicine Journal found that the coffee intake of elderly subjects on the Greek island of Ikaria was associated with a drop in one risk factor for heart disease. Greek coffee is brewed in a stovetop pot (briki) and is rather strong, with lots of heavy foam and can be brewed along with sugar to increase the sweetness. It’s served with a glass of water.

This type of coffee has been found to have high amounts of some important anti-inflammatory compounds. Brewed coffee has the most caffeine at 135mg per 8 ounces, while filtered coffee has 112mg of caffeine and percolated just 74mg of caffeine for the same 8 ounce serving. Seemingly how your coffee is brewed impacts the substances in the cup.

The good news on coffee goes further than that. The drink has been identified as one that’s a natural source of antioxidants, those helpful little substances that stop molecules from oxidizing and producing dangerous free radicals. There is also research to support women who drink two (or more) cups of coffee a day being less apt to have symptoms of depression than those who don’t drink this much coffee.

So, there’s a lot to learn. Enjoy your coffee, but as in all things, use moderation. It should not be your primary source of fluids.

To your good health,

secomp / Pixabay

When Eating Too Much Protein Affect Your Health

Protein, the building block of life, is good for you, right? But can it ever be trouble? Certainly, if you have damaged kidneys, otherwise moderate dietary intake of protein is fine. Even then, if you’re aiming to up how much protein you’re eating, do so gradually, as a sudden jump may not be the best thing for your body, though there isn’t much research on the topic. When eating lots of protein, experts do recommend drinking more water, and though this may (or may not) have a biological basis, it’s still a good practice.

So how much protein is too much? A good rule of thumb is try not to go over one gram of protein per pound of body weight. So a 185-pound person would want to take in under 185 grams of protein a day to stay healthy. Too much protein can cause dehydration and damage to kidneys. The best sources of protein have all the essential amino acids in the right amounts.

In general, animal proteins are considered better than plant proteins.

Protein is all-important these days, mostly because of research that’s found it keeps you feeling fuller, longer and therefore helps you lose weight. If you look at your grocery store shelves, you’ll see many products that call out protein on the label – granola bars, cereals, almond milk and juices are some of the items that typically advertise that they’re sources of protein.

Research that examined active male athletes and measured the urinary creatinine, albumin and urea found there were no significant changes in dosages of 1.25-2.80/kg bodyweight. The same lack of association has also been shown for postmenopausal women. Keep in mind these are healthy subjects.

When it comes to the kidneys and protein, there are functional changes in these organs related to your intake of this nutrient. Restricted protein diets are the norm for those who know they have kidney damage. This makes sense, as protein is known to be involved with renal function, and if not controlled for by diet could possibly accelerate (or not reduce) the loss of kidney function.

If you have kidney damage, check with your doctor on protein intake.

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When Eating Too Much Protein Affect Your Health Continued…

The latest research appears to point to a “too much, too soon” situation as slower, more controlled changes don’t bring any adverse changes to the kidneys. Take home? Change your protein intake over a moderate length of time, not abruptly, for the best results.

And while normal dietary amounts of protein are also okay for the liver, there’s evidence that high protein refeeding after prolonged (over 48 hours) of fasting might cause injury to the liver. The current treatment standards for hepatic disease call for a reduction in protein intake. This is due to the chance of ammonia build up in the blood that could contribute to encephalopathy.

At least some work with animals suggests that the damage can become evident when going through periods of sufficient protein intake and then protein malnutrition. The evidence is still preliminary and more work will need to be done.

There is also no relation between protein intake and risk of bone fractures, which is a sign of bone problems. For postmenopausal women, soy protein seems to have a protective affect on bone mass, perhaps due to the isoflavones content.

To your good health,

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Saves Lives By Screening For Colorectal Cancer

Although colon cancer is a preventable and even highly curable disease, it remains the second source of cancer deaths in the U.S. according to gastroenterologists Dr. Felice Schnoll-Sussman and Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl. Why? Not nearly enough people are getting screened, and experts want to get the word out that with screening cancer of the colon, a disease often without symptoms, can be detected early and even prevented from developing at all. Amazingly one in every three American is NOT getting screened for colorectal cancers, even though the screening tests are available everywhere.

Colon cancer is defined by your doctor as a malignant tumor that grows from the inside wall of the colon, also known as the large intestine, the long coiled tube that takes water from food after it’s been digested. Rectal cancer is a cancerous tumor that forms in the rectum, which is the medical term used for the last 6 inches of the large intestine where stool is stored before leaving the body. These two cancers share lots of risk factors, symptoms and the type of screening that’s done to detect them. It’s the treatment plans that are typically different. Colorectal cancer is a term that covers both colon and rectal cancers.

Here are five facts to think about before you put off a colorectal cancer screening…

1. Screening for colorectal cancer can save your life, finding a cancer very early on or spotting polyps before they get a chance to be cancer. Screening should start at 50 for both men and women. In years to come there may be a new test to detect colorectal cancer involving a breath sample, a method just presented in the December 2012 British Journal of Surgery.

2. Have screenings when you are feeling well because early colorectal cancers don’t have symptoms and you feel just fine. Screening before symptoms is the key, by the time you’re having symptoms the cancer is no longer in its early, most treatable stages.

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Saves Lives By Screening For Colorectal Cancer Continued…

3. Know the risks for colorectal cancer and talk with your doctor about getting screened earlier than 50 years if you have reason to do so. Your risk can go up if you have inflammatory bowel disease, a personal history of colon cancer or polyps, a family history of colon cancer or polyps or conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome that can cause colon cancer.

4. Live healthy – stop smoking, get moving and start eating better (avoid red and processed meats, eat lots of fiber) to bring down your risk of being diagnosed with this type of cancer. Exercise especially is linked with lower rates of colon and breast cancers according to research in the May 2012 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

5. This type of cancer doesn’t discriminate; one in every 20 is diagnosed with colorectal cancer sometime in their life. This disease affects both men and women equally.

In this year alone, an estimated 102,480 cases of colon cancer, another 40,340 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed. You can keep yourself from being one of them by making the call to schedule that screening, and making lifestyle changes that reduce your risk of disease.

To your good health,