Coffee - A Healthy Blend
by: Romey Estes
Coffee has joined the ranks of red wine and chocolate as a guilty pleasure that may actually be good for you. As much as it is a great way to get that "fix" in the morning, recent studies have shown that coffee has been found to be rich in antioxidants and contains hundreds of pain-relieving and anti-bacterial compounds. Although one should not drink coffee with wild abandon, it's comforting to know that maybe that cup or two in the morning may be good for you.
Recent studies have shown that moderate coffee drinking can reduce the risk of colon cancer (due to it's ability to keep you regular), gallstones, cirrhosis of the liver and more, due to the fact the it is loaded with healthy antioxidants. So loaded, that studies have implied that coffee contains higher levels of antioxidants compared to other commonly consumed beverages, such as tea and fruit juice.
Several studies are also being conducted on Parkinson's and diabetic Patients. Research has shown that just one cup of coffee per day can halve your risk of Parkinson's, the brain disease that causes tremors and affects movement. Caffeine may protect the brain cells typically lost to Parkinson's disease. However, it has been noted that women on hormone therapy do not seem to benefit. It is felt that Estrogen may dilute the effectiveness of caffeine. It has also been found that if a woman drinks three cups of coffee a day, she can reduce her risk of Type 2 Diabetes by twenty to thirty percent. Coffee may help promote the delivery of insulin to the tissues. Experts believe that coffee's antioxidants, such as chlorogenic acid and caffeine acid, deserve the credit. There are also on going studies that are producing favorable reports on coffee helping to fight Alzheimer's due to the caffeine stimulating the cognitive area of the brain. This is just the tip of the ice berg.
People with asthma who drink coffee can have up to 25 percent fewer symptoms because one of the compounds in coffee - theophylline - acts as a bronchodilator.
A recent Brazilian study showed that consumption of coffee promotes better sperm mobility - and now studies are in progress to determine whether caffeine can help infertile men.
Coffee contains polyphenols, substances that may reduce the risk of cancer and coronary artery disease.
The list goes on, and on…
Caffeinated coffee, as opposed to decaffeinated coffee, makes you a better thinker. Studies have shown that coffee keeps you focused, particularly when you are doing not-so-pleasant work. A researcher with the U.S. Army stated caffeine improved scores on a range of cognitive tasks, such as decision making, learning, and attention in the sleep-deprived. Coffee can also boost your mood, probably by making you feel more energetic.
Although coffee is showing more favorable benefits in researcher's eye, there are still people that although they love to drink coffee dread the indigestion, heartburn and upset stomach that regular coffee can cause, due to the high level of acid is some types of coffees. Some coffee merchants are figuring this out and finding new ways to promote a healthy blend. At Hotcoffeepress.com you can find a coffee blend appropriately named, "Mind Your Tummy Blend, " that is a custom blend of the finest low acid coffee beans, perfect for those with sensitive stomachs and perfectly balanced for all. It is worth a try at $9.75 for a full one-pound bag if you would love to bring your morning coffee back in your life.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Coffee - A Healthy Blend
Posted by N.J at 7:59 AM
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Exercise And Quitting Smoking
by: Brenda Patterson
When you plan to stop smoking, bring about other changes in your life style as well. Take a look at all those things that have become a kind of routine and break that routine. Try to do things differently and will make a lot of difference.
What we are trying to do as part of this exercise is that we are trying to create a new environment for you. It is not possible for you to shift to a new apartment so bring about a few changes in the way things are as part of your exercise to quit smoking. Let every thing have a new feel about it. If there was a favorite chair in which you used to sit when you smoked, change the upholstery of the chair or maybe you could stash away the chair into a corner.
Try to set a new routine. Try working out or going to the gym. If that is not possible, try waking up a little earlier and go for a short morning walk. If you can make that a run or a jog, it is going to be very stimulating and is going to be the best way to start your day.
Exercise does not necessarily mean pumping metal. If you do have the time to go to a gymnasium everyday, then that is well and good. But I suppose most of us do not have the time for a regular work out in a gym. So what is the other alternative? Do it at home of course.
But whether it is at home or at a multi-gym, there is something that I want to tell you. Regularity is the rule of the day. It is not getting started that is the difficult part, it is sticking to a regular exercise routine that is difficult and this is what proves to be the stumbling block for most people.
Most people have a wonderful start. In fact it is truly spectacular. They buy track suits and gym-wear, running shoes and a whole lot of other gear. Their first day at the gym is almost a celebration. Then as the days go on, they find it increasingly difficult to meet the domestic and professional demands and so their routine slows down and finally comes to a complete workout burn out.
One mistake that many people make is that they choose the evenings or a work out. If that can suit your lifestyle, then that's fine. But for most of us, by the time the evening lifts up its curtains we are completely pooped. We find ourselves physically and mentally drained. And at that time our bodies will be just too tired for a work out. So it is best to set aside some time for exercise in the morning itself.
There are two advantages of setting apart time in the morning. The first advantage is that in the morning our bodies are fresh and full of energy. Now over here I want to make one point clear.
Many people believe that exercise depletes the body of energy but the case is just the opposite. Exercise pumps up more blood through the different parts of the body and warms up the body, so in fact, after exercise we feel more charged and ready to face the challenges of the day.
The second advantage is that in the morning we can plan for the whole day without letting the exercise routine affect the rest of our activities.
What about those of us who have never worked out before? In such cases you might need to start off under the personal supervision of an instructor and that may require that you go to a gym. But what I would suggest is that there are two simple things that any one can do for which you do not need the help of any instructor.
You know what these are? They are walking and swimming. Any body can walk and those of you who know how to swim can swim. For these two activities you do not need much gear and experts say that these two exercises have no side effects and are excellent stress busters.
So in the morning wake up just half an hour earlier, put on your walking shoes and hit the roads. Most roads will be less crowded at this hour and less polluted too. It is a wonderful way to start a day.
Take a break form coffee and try tea instead. If you are moving around the house, try playing music. Redecorate your room by adding a few pictures here and there preferably of scenery. And while you are redecorating, do what I mentioned earlier that is get rid of every thing that even remotely reminds you of smoking.
Plan your day in such a way that you have something enjoyable to do at the end of the day. It does not have t be something that involves money. We do not want you end up bankrupt. It can be something as simple as spending some time with the family playing a board game or something. Or it can be going out for a walk together.
But I would like to add that watching television just does not fit into this list. The reason is because T.V is not something that demands too much of our attention. We can easily do something else while we are watching TV and what can be easier than taking a smoke while our eyes are glued to the T.V. While you are working on breaking the habit of smoking, you need to move about with people. You need the company of people who can take your mind off that craving and TV doesn't help you do that.
Make a list of those things that build up your stress. Try to steer clear of them. If that is not possible try to find out some stress busters and use them. Do not use stress as an excuse to start smoking. There are a hundred other methods of beating stress. As mentioned earlier, you could try breathing exercises, mediation or even music. There is another excellent way of beating stress and that is using the distressing ball. If you do not have one of those, try wriggling your fingers and toes. That too is a natural method of beating stress.
The point that we are trying to drive home over here is that you need a break from whatever you have been doing for this exercise of quitting to work. Since it is impossible to change your job or your home, you have to bring about as many changes as possible to get that whole new feeling.
Posted by N.J at 6:22 PM
Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery
by: Beverley Brooke
Let's face facts; obesity is ripe today in America and rising on a global scale in western civilisation – where are we going wrong. Being a health and fitness nut I would simply recommend eating a balanced diet and exercise often, but you've heard all that before, and it doesn't work for you, right? That's ok, losing weight is tough, especially for those who some doctors would class as morbidly obese, which are those people who weight 50-100% their ideal body weight.
For these people – and you may be one of them, which is why you found your way to one of my many articles on weight loss surgery, diet simply isn't a viable solution, and some seek a more permanent solution like weight loss surgery.
The most popular weight loss surgery as we all know is the gastric bypass. The stomach stapling, the miracle cure, the 'life's never been so good' surgery as some marketing wizards would have you believe – and for some it certainly is.
Weight loss surgery can bring quick and long lasting results of permanent weight loss, though I certainly don't recommend it as a convenient solution to obesity, but those morbidly obese with their immediate health in danger I would certainly recommend researching the area of weight loss surgery to find out more.
My website is one such place where you can find a large area dedicated to gastric bypass surgery, and there are many others around the Internet.
Posted by N.J at 9:56 AM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
How To Eat All You Want And Still Lose Weight
by: Janice Wee
How would you like to eat all you want and still lose weight, or maintain your trim figure?
Have you seen those skinny young women who eat like horses, with plate after plate of food at the buffet table without putting on any weight?
Ok, so some of them may be bulimic. You know, the sort who eat all they want, then go to the toilet to throw up everything they just ate. Not only is that disgusting, it is very unhealthy. That damages your body in the long run.
No, I'm talking about the girls who just cannot seem to gain weight. Probably due to a very high metabolic rate. They burn off all the calories they consume, effortlessly. Not every skinny girl is bulimic or aneroxic or even on a stringent diet. Some are just naturally thin. I know. In my early twenties, I was one of them.
When you are young, your metabolic rate is high. As you get older, your metabolism would naturally slow down. Also, back in my skinny days, I walked a lot. As a student, I was underweight. Yet I could out eat any guy at a buffet table. That was because I walked a lot. I was on my feet walking around the campus when not at class. I had to climb a hill several times a day as the hostel where I stayed was on the top of the hill. As a young adult, I walked a lot. I'd go shopping for hours after work. Walking at least 3 hours each day, browsing from shop to shop.
When I let a more sedentary lifestyle after marriage, I really gained weight. Staying home, watching tv instead of walking for hours in the malls let to serious weight gain. Even though I was eating far less than before.
The gist of this is that your weight depends on the amount of calories you burn as well as the calories you consume.
Consume more calories than you burn and you end up gaining weight. Burn more calories than you consume and you lose weight.
So if you seriously want to eat all you want and still lose weight, you have to make a serious effort to burn those calories you consume.
Just ate a big mac?
That is worth 485 calories.
Playing tennis for an hour burns 450 calories.
Scrubbing the floor for an hour burns 440 calories.
Try doing that to offset the calories you consumed from that big mac.
When I run on a treadmill, uphill with the slope set to the max at 15, and speed at around 6.5 for 35 minutes, I burn about 410 calories.
So if you want to lose weight and eat Big Macs, or other high calorie foods, you have to be prepared for some serious exercise.
Likewise, the snacks you might eat while watching TV, or in the office all contain serious calories. Take note of what you eat, how many calories they contain and burn those off through exercise.
The good news is the plain water, contains no calories, yet you can feel rather full by drinking plenty of water. Try drinking a large glass of water before you eat anything.
Feel like snacking? Drink 1 large glass of water first before proceeding with your snack. Drink another large glass of water as you eat your snack. That would reduce the amount of snacks you eventually eat.
Drink 1 large glass of water before your meal, and drink another glass of water with your meal. You'll probably eat far less than normal during the meal even though you eat to your heart's content.
Next, get your body to burn off as many calories as possible.
I like http://www.aerobictotalbodyfitness.com/Transfirmer-system.php The Firm's Transfirmer system as not only does it burn off the calories in that one intense work out, it boosts your body's metabolic rate, so you continue to burn calories at an accelerated rate for the rest of the day, even while you sleep.
Basically, muscle burns more calories that fat. Muscle looks very much better than fan. If you want a serious workout, check out http://www.aerobictotalbodyfitness.com/billyblanksbootcamp.php Billy Blank's Bootcamp. Billy is a reknown martial art's champ. His training program delivers. Not for sissies though.
So you see, you can eat all you want and still lose weight, provided train your body to burn off all the excess calories. I never said it was going to be easy though.
Posted by N.J at 6:10 PM
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Drug and Alcohol Addiction and Rehabilitation
by: Jerry Goldfarb
Just what is addiction, you asked? Addiction is a physiological dependence on something, and is both physical and psychological in nature. When a person is addicted they literally need to feed that addiction constantly. Addiction is a traitor it sneaks up on you. People who are addicted often do not recognize that they have a problem, they think that the problem is with everyone. Addiction is different from abuse, a person can abuse drugs and not be addicted. The two most vital factors in determining addiction are tolerance and physical dependency. Addiction is very destructive, and most of the time people who are suffering from it end up hurting themselves and their love ones. It is hard to overcome but once the person began to see addiction as a problem in their life they can immediately seek alcoholism treatment or addiction treatment.
Teens partying late at night and imbibing drugs and alcohol for added fun, often dominated the silver screen. Quite a pretty picture isn't it? Oftentimes teens see it as an epitome. Although Hollywood does its part to show a different side of alcohol and drug addiction with movies like "Trainspotting" and "Girl Interrupted", the character still ended up being glamorous and ideal in nature and often overshadows the dark side of addiction. It is important to look at this depiction with a cynic eye. Movies are after all for entertainment purposes only, and there is nothing remotely entertaining about the reality of alcohol abuse and drug addiction. Addiction can be hell on earth and life in an Alcohol rehab and Drug Rehab can be a nightmare.
Illegal drugs and alcohol are addicting. Records show that the younger you are when you experiment with illegal drugs or alcohol you are more prone to become an addict in the future. Addiction often runs in families; you do not choose addiction, addiction chooses you. Experimenting with drugs and alcohol is a gamble, and the stake is your life, your personality, and your future.
Individuals often hide their drinking or deny that the fact that they have a problem. Signs of a possible alcoholism include having friends or relatives express concern, being irritated when people comment on their drinking, feeling guilty about their excessive alcohol consumption and thinking that they should moderate it but finds themselves unable to do so, or needs a morning drink to steady their nerves or relieve a hangover.
On the other hand, drug dependence often begins with the misuse of legal drugs like prescription drugs and inhalants. Inhalants are legal substances that becomes illegal when use in a manner that causes a person to get high. These also include aerosol cleaners, gasoline, cleaning fluids, butane, and acetone. These things are legal to sell or buy however, they are not controlled substances and they are relatively cheap when compared with drugs.
People with addiction work hard to resolve them, and with the support of family members and friends they are able to recover on their own. However in most cases, people they usually cannot stop drinking or using drugs by willpower alone. A lot of them require outside help, mostly from Alcohol Rehab or Drug Rehab. Alcoholism treatment and addiction treatment may need medically supervised detoxification to avoid possible life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and convulsion. Once they are stabilized, they need help resolving psychological issues associated with their problem drinking.
Posted by N.J at 6:10 PM
Monday, November 24, 2008
Boost Energy Levels Without Even Breaking A Sweat!
by: Tim Webb
Have you ever wondered whether you always need to work (and sweat) hard to feel a rush of energy?
Of course for many people this is the method by which they always achieve an increase in energy and it is certainly a valid one.
However what about those people who don't want to (or can't) spend forty-five minutes or more working up a sweat the 'traditional' way? What about the older person who isn't physically able to generate a sweat by running, using a cross trainer, or riding a bike?
More importantly, do they need to?
I would argue that they do not. Not everything revolves around impactive exercises for forty-five minutes to an hour. The physical aspect is only part of the equation anyway. Many people forget that what you think about can create massive changes in how you feel.
For the older person looking to increase their energy and health they often cannot handle what some might term a normal exercise regime and require a different approach.
What might this different approach involve though?
Have a look below at the following little used ideas that can increase energy without breaking a sweat!
· When you rise in the morning do something physical straight away. Do some leg raises, swing your arms in big circles past your ears, breathe deeply near an open window, the list could go on! Believe me, you will want to go forward into your day with energy and purpose having done this.
· When your day offers you the opportunity (lunch, and fifteen minute, breaks for instance) use it to get your body moving and your energy levels pumped up once more. A brisk ten-minute walk with an emphasis on deep breathing can elevate energy levels without you having to spend an hour training. Remember though, to create and have energy you have to use it as well! Break (or any spare) time does not have to be spent sat on your behind!
· Relax! Pointless everyday tension wastes massive amounts of energy. Want to increase yours? Then as you go through your day use only the minimum amount of energy for tasks like opening doors, cleaning teeth, driving your car and while writing, typing and pretty much any activity you routinely perform each day.
· Have you ever tried programming yourself just before sleep to feel energised when you wake in the morning? I would suggest you try it. Tell yourself you will wake up full of purpose and energy. Give yourself a goal to wake up for no matter how small and this will help you on your way to increases in energy also.
· While performing everyday movements try adding just a little more vigour into the mix. Walking is an obvious example. Swing your arms that little bit more, breathe a little deeper, push off your feet a little more firmly. Such small easy to implement actions can elevate the pulse rate a little more than normal and act as a great natural energiser.
Keep these points in mind if your goal is generation (and conservation) of energy levels without having to sweat your way there.
Remember without energy life cannot be lived to its fullest so follow these points if you feel you are over-training and need time to recharge or if you simply wish to add some energy into a currently sedentary existence.
© Tim Webb 2005
Posted by N.J at 9:33 AM
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Do Cellulite Creams Actually Work?
by: Burke Jones
No cellulite cream can counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, for instance. Neither can a cream magically restore circulation or drop excess weight from a body that does very little and takes in more than it needs.
The best lotions, the most evolved lotions, cannot make up for diets composed of fast foods eaten on the run and deep fried fatty concoctions with little or no nutritional value.
Neither can lotions reduce stress for a body rigid with it and stress is often an element in the problem of cellulite. Stress does not have to be physical to have very physical effects.
No lotion exists that can reverse genetic inheritances or balance hormones reliably. These are all factors in the formation of cellulite.
So, now that we are clear on exactly what cellulite creams cannot do, we can move on to what they may be useful for. Now you have them in perspective you may be less likely to believe advertising that tells you that you needn't move off the sofa. That all you have to do is languidly stretch out your hand and apply this miracle lotion and you will look like the model in the picture who is often impossibly beautiful, prepubescent and photographed in a good light.
What some cellulite creams can do rather nicely is supplement your treatment program. In this support capacity they can even be quite impressive. Some creams will ardently claim to be all things to all women with cellulite. Personally, I'd still watch the diet, do the exercise and keep the stress levels down.
Broadly speaking the creams on the market can be divided into those whose ingredients are botanical and those that are chemical. Caffeine, and its derivatives, are natural tissue decongestants used in a number of cellulite creams. Many prefer the "decaffeinated" versions that use potent herbs like horse chestnut, gotu kola, ivy and seaweeds to achieve the same results. Many ingredients not only assist in the sloughing off of toxins but also in the stimulation of circulation. Not, of course, as much as a good run around the block would do.
Many cellulite creams claim to contain patented transport systems that facilitate the delivery of ingredients through the outer layers and into the actual site of the damage. This, they say-- and it makes sense--is a principal reason for the success of their particular product.
How a cellulite cream is applied is also an important factor. Methods of application vary from the quick rub at home to high tech patented processes that use light frequencies along with specially designed rollers and suctions that help to mobilize the tissue and transport the good stuff deep down into the cellulite stricken areas.
Posted by N.J at 5:42 AM
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Placebo Effect Is Not Just Psychological
by: Rita Jenkins
Patients who believe in the effectiveness of their pain medication will experience greater pain relief, finds a University of Michigan study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Just thinking that a medicine will relieve pain is enough to prompt the brain to release its own natural painkillers, results indicate.
The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, provides the first concrete evidence that endorphins, the brain's own pain-fighting chemicals, play a direct role in the phenomenon known as the "placebo effect."
Endorphins behave similarly to opiate drugs, such as heroin and morphine. They bind to receptors and stop the transmission of pain signals along the nerve pathways. Previous studies have shown that the brain responds physically during the placebo effect, but the new study is the first to pinpoint a specific mechanism that triggers the brain's physical response.
"This deals another serious blow to the idea that the placebo effect is a purely psychological, not physical, phenomenon," says lead author Jon-Kar Zubieta, MD, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and radiology at the U-M Medical School and associate research scientist at the Molecular and Behavioral Neurosciences Institute.
The study involved 14 young men who agreed to allow researchers to inject their jaw muscles with a concentrated salt-water solution to induce pain. Brain scans were performed on the subjects to monitor the activity of their brains' natural painkilling endorphins during the process.
Mind-Body Connection Clear
During one scan, they were told they would receive a medicine (in fact, a placebo) that might relieve pain. Subjects reported a lessening of pain after receiving the placebo, and brain scans indicated increased endorphin activity in four areas of the brain known to be involved in the response to, and processing of, pain.
Every fifteen seconds, the subjects were asked to rate the intensity of their pain on a scale of 0 to 100. After each scan, the researchers asked the participants more questions about their mood, emotions and other aspects of how they felt during the scans.
There were significant differences between ratings given by participants after the scan in which they received the placebo compared to the scan during which they received the jaw injection alone.
"We were able to see that the endorphin system was activated in pain-related areas of the brain and that activity increased when someone was told they were receiving a medicine to ease their pain. They then reported feeling less pain. The mind-body connection is quite clear," reports Zubieta.
Suggestion Triggers Endorphin Release
Another scan was performed in which subjects were administered additional placebo prior to increased pain-induction to discern whether endorphin activity could be stimulated solely by suggestion.
As additional placebo was administered, endorphin activity increased. Researchers then had to increase the amount of salt-water in order to maintain the subjects' pain levels, which they did without their knowledge.
Two-thirds of the study participants were classified as "high placebo responders," experiencing significant endorphin activity through the power of suggestion. This helps explain why so many people report relief after receiving therapies and remedies that provide no actual physical benefit.
This new information may lead to better use of cognitive, or psychological, therapy for people with chronic pain, the authors suggest.
Researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) scans to determine exactly which part of the brain the endorphin activity originated from, cross-registering them with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans for the purposes of accuracy.
Copyright 2005 Daily News Central
Posted by N.J at 6:22 PM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
5 Ways To Stay Motivated
by: Pete Johanson
Do you remember the day you first joined your gym? Wasn't it a great feeling, knowing that you had finally taken that first step towards living a healthier life? Making a conscious, positive decision to improve is rewarding, and hopefully we've all kept that promise to ourselves. But try as we might, it seems that there's always a handy excuse to not exercise.
While gym attendance peaks around January, it slacks off every March/April as people forget about their New Year Resolutions. Summer BBQ's and vacations tend to make people stay away from the gym, and six months later holiday parties and planning to the same thing. Finally, we can all relate to those days when we simply don't want to work out!
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, a trade association serving the health and fitness club industry, reports that the average health club member in the United States spends only about 90 days at the gym per year.
Our goal at Pick Up The Pace (www.letspickupthepace.com) is to help you STAY MOTIVATED to exercise! We don't just want to help you with the 'how' of exercise – we want to help you with the 'why' too!
That's why we regularly bring new music into the gym, offer games and contests, provide fitness education materials, weigh and measure monthly, provide a fun environment, make it easy to get to the gym with expanded hours, and basically just do what we can to help you stay motivated. We want you to look forward to exercising!
So what can you do to stay motivated? Here are five great ideas to help us all keep that inner fire burning…..
1) Find an exercise buddy! When we know that someone else is going to meet us at the gym at a certain time, we will automatically be much more likely to show up ourselves. After all, who wants to abandon their friend? Don't have a friend at the gym? Invite one along! She will appreciate the invitation, and will be much healthier for it!
2) Get to know people in the gym! One of the many reasons why women enjoy Pick Up The Pace so much is that it's part exercise facility and part social club! Visiting with friends and family while we're exercising makes the time go by so fast it hardly even seems like we're doing something good for us. It's great to get out of the house or office and just have some fun with other ladies!
3) Talk with your doctor! We all know that exercise is good for us. From helping to prevent cancer to lowering our blood pressure to helping us fit into that swimming suit, exercise is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Even with that knowledge, it's sometimes encouraging to hear about our progress from our doctor. Here's a hot motivation tip: ask your gym for a copy of your fitness records (monthly body fat analysis and measurements) and then share that information with your doctor. He or she will be so happy that you're exercising, and will encourage you to continue!
4) Chart your progress! The CEO of a Fortune 500 company once said "What gets measured gets done", and that advice is as good for us as it was for that business. Take the time to keep a food journal, an exercise log, or simply write down your fitness goals. Post it where you will see it every single day (on the 'fridge, in the car, on the mirror, etc.). Life is just so busy these days, a constant visual reminder of our goals may be just the motivational push we need.
5) Give yourself a reward! Sometimes the 'big picture' can be too intimidating. For example, if you have 80 pounds to lose it's tempting to think "It's too much! I shouldn't even try." That's one of the biggest motivation-killers out there, so combat those discouraging thoughts by rewarding yourself for smaller accomplishments. Treat yourself to a manicure when you lose that first five pounds. Buy a new outfit when you've lost ten pounds. Take a mini-vacation when you're halfway to your goal. Give yourself small rewards for achieving smaller goals, and guess what.....many small steps make up a long journey! Before you know it, you'll have accomplished your overall goal!
There are many other ways to give yourself the motivation to succeed. Try some of these tips today – the only thing you have to lose is the fat!
Posted by N.J at 12:08 AM
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Getting Strong For Capoeira
by: Lynn VanDyke
Capoeira is all the buzz these days. I turned on the TV the other night to see a Capoeiristas (one that enjoys this sport/game) having a full makeover. On top of that, I went to a Cirque De Soleil show a few months back, and guess what they had plenty of? You guessed it. Capoeiristas
Capoeira is a martial arts form that originated in Brazil over 500 years ago. Today it is also thought of as an exercise or a game. Usually two people will enter in a circle and begin to do sweeps, kicks, and other martial art moves.
As a personal trainer, I am in and out of many health clubs. I began seeing Capoeira as the newest buzz in fitness classes. It is quickly becoming the new trend for health clubs. But I really started learning about Capoeira when a client of mine asked about ways she could strengthen her body to perform better. To be honest, I was at a complete loss of words. I had no clue what she was talking about.
I did some research on this exciting game/sport and developed a functional program for her to use. The Capoeirista had been working out using traditional machines and exercises. After my research I knew she really had to move in a different direction. No pun intended.
We started functional training. That means doing moves and exercises that are consistent with everyday tasks: lifting, jumping, pulling and pushing. We introduced exercises like the squat, lunges, push-ups, explosive lunges and dead-lifts. Each exercise focused on strengthening the muscles for quick, no-time-to-think movements.
After a few months of training, this Capoeirista was ready to get back into the circle. Her body was functionally stronger, and it showed in her kicks, leaps, and jumps.
If you enjoy Capoeira or another martial arts form, consider functional exercise and strength training as friends. Building a body for your specific sport or interest will ensure many years of healthy competition.
Copyright 2005 strength-training-woman.com
Posted by N.J at 8:20 AM
Friday, November 14, 2008
One Change Can Make All The Difference
by: Danielle Rivers
Ever wondered why some people manage to keep their weight off easily and others just pile it all back on when they stop that new diet? The answer is easy, it comes down to one simple change.
Before we get to that simple change, you need to keep in mind these rules of thumb when it comes to dieting.
1. Never do a diet which forbids a food group. This is simply asking for trouble. One day, not matter how hard you try, you will eat something from the forbidden food group and fail. Not very positive is it? You are setting yourself up for disappointment. Dieting is hard enough, so try and make it easy as humanly possible.
2. Never give up trying. Overeating is a little like smoking, they are both addictive, costly and bad for your health. People recognise the world over that giving up smoking is very difficult but overeating is seen as a weakness. No matter what people may think, you can lose weight. Choose a diet that is right for you and start again. Never give up trying.
3. Seek help. You can get help with your weight loss program from lots of different sources. Online forums are free places where you can discuss your diet and meet new friends. You can motivate one another. If you are too shy for forums then some weight loss programmes offer online support as one of their packages but these usually involve a charge. Help from friends and family is free and invaluable to your dieting efforts. Help can motivate you and encourage you to hit your slimming goals.
Now these three points should help you to chose a healthy diet and motivate you into trying to lose those extra pounds.
Back to that simple change.
People who keep their weight loss off, change tiny things in their daily life.
Instead of full fat milk they have skimmed, they grill rather than fry and they choose to reduce the amount of cheese, cream, cakes and biscuits they eat, every single day.
Now you are immediately going to say that that is lots of changes not just one. To some degree you would be correct, but not completely.
If you look at a photograph it is one small picture but when looked at closely, it is made up of thousands of pixels. One small sugar cube is made up of hundreds of sugar grains and a handkerchief consists of numerous cotton threads. Almost everything in the world, no matter how small, can be broken down into even smaller parts. All those tiny parts still only amount to one small thing.
You make several tiny changes to your lifestyle which you genuinely do not mind and weight loss becomes easy. Remember, they have to be changes that you will hardly notice, low fat spread instead of full fat, low calorie squash or just eating more fruit.
Make the one small change to adjust your eating habits slightly and permanently and even if you break your diet program, you could still lose weight slowly and steadily.
Good luck with whichever weight loss program you choose and happy,easy slimming!
Danielle Rivers is the author of Weight Wellbeing Diet Book
For more information and advice on weight loss visit http://www.weightwellbeing.com
Posted by N.J at 10:38 AM
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The Truth About Halitosis, More Commonly Known As Bad Breath
by: Dr. Harold Katz
PART I: THE SCIENCE OF HALITOSIS AND BACTERIA IN YOUR MOUTH
Halitosis, also more commonly known as bad breath, is caused by anaerobic producing bacteria which normally live WITHIN the surface of the tongue and in the throat. These bacteria are supposed to be there because they assist with digestion by breaking down proteins found in specific foods, mucous or phlegm, blood, and in diseased or "broken-down" oral tissue. Under certain conditions, these bacteria start to break down proteins at a very high rate. Proteins are made up of amino acids, two of which (Cysteine and Methionine) are dense with sulfur.
When the "beneficial" bacteria come into contact with these amino acids, the halitosis and "lousy-tasting" sulfur compounds are released from the back of the tongue and throat. These halitosis compounds are often scientifically referred to as Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSC's), where volatile means vaporous and effervescent.
Because my original degree is in Bacteriology, let me explain a very important fact about these "bugs". First of all they are not infectious. Everyone in the world has the same group of bacteria in their mouth. You cannot "catch" halitosis from someone, even through kissing. Since they are part of our normal oral flora, you cannot permanently remove them from your mouth either, not by tongue scraping, not with antibiotics, and not by using rinses which claim to "lift the bacteria off your tongue". The only scientifically proven and clinically effective method of halting halitosis is by attacking the bacteria's ability to produce VSC's, and by converting the VSC's into non-odorous and non-tasting organic salts.
Speaking about bacteria, there is one other fact that you must understand about them. They are classified as "anaerobic" which literally means "without oxygen". They thrive in an environment where oxygen is NOT present. That is why they do not live on the surface of your tongue. Instead, they live in between the papillae (fibers) that make up your tongue.
These sulfur compounds are actually by-products of anaerobic bacteria. Everyone needs these bacteria because they assist the digestion process. Unfortunately as of yet for some undetermined reason, these particular bacteria are found in higher numbers in those plagued by halitosis. There are various theories that attribute the cause of halitosis to hormonal changes, a history of taking medications (usually antibiotics or sulfa drugs because they create an imbalance of oral bacteria), or even due to genetics (halitosis disorders appear to run in some families). It is known however, that halitosis seems to be evenly split between men and women.
PART II: THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH HALITOSIS BECOMES WORSE
There are certain conditions that exasperate a halitosis problem such as dry mouth, post nasal drip, the sinuses, and eating high protein foods.
Dry Mouth and Halitosis
Although some cases of dry mouth are naturally occurring, most cases are caused by one of the following factors: prescription medications (usually prescribed for high blood pressure or depression), antihistamines, and adult beverages that contain alcohol.
When your mouth is dryer you have less saliva. Saliva naturally contains oxygen, which keeps your mouth healthy and fresh. The bacteria that cause halitosis are anaerobic, which again simply means that they will thrive and make more sulfur in the presence of little or no oxygen. Thus if you have less saliva, you have less oxygen, thereby creating an anaerobic environment, perfect for the bacteria to produce halitosis and sour/bitter tasting compounds.
Post Nasal Drip and Halitosis
Post nasal drip is a condition where mucous drains and coats the back of the tongue and throat. These locations of the oral environment are exactly where bacteria live. We have learned that proteins contain amino acids, which in turn contain halitosis producing sulfur compounds. Since mucous is made up of interlinked strands of protein, with the condition of post nasal drip, the bacteria has a field day breaking down the proteins into halitosis and sour tasting sulfur type compounds. Strong antihistamines will not provide any help because of their drying effect.
The Sinuses and Halitosis
After personally treating nearly 9,000 people worldwide, I have yet to see a patient get rid of halitosis following sinus surgery. First of all, these anaerobic bacteria cannot live in the sinuses. When someone has a sinus infection, one of the common symptoms are intense sinus headaches caused by the pressure from the infection in the sinus. If you don't have these powerful headaches, you probably don't have a sinus problem. The fact is that once someone has an elevated amount of these anaerobic bacteria, they will create a halitosis problem from any protein source, including mucous, phlegm, etc. which drain down the back of your throat into the area where these bacteria live.
High Protein Foods and Halitosis
Those halitosis causing bacteria love proteins, and certain foods are packed with them such as dairy foods, fish, and even coffee.
Milk and cheese and most other dairy products are high in protein. A special note if you are lactose intolerant...I recommend you not eat or drink these products! Since your system cannot digest them properly, they are available to the bacteria for an extended period of time. A research article from the Los Angeles Times (November 1996) on lactose intolerance revealed that nearly 67% of all Americans can be classified as "lactose intolerant". This is due to the fact that in a diverse population such as we have here, there is a predilection for Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans to be lactose intolerant.
Fish is high in protein as well. As many people tend to eat a high fish diet, logically, they make a halitosis problem worse.
Coffee, with or even without caffeine, contains high levels of acids which cause the bacteria that creates halitosis to reproduce more rapidly and create a bitter taste for many people. Virtually any acidic type of food will do this.
PART III: WHAT WORKS IN SOLVING A HALITOSIS PROBLEM
In the search for products that help in solving halitosis, there is one particular ingredient I highly recommend, Oxyd-VIII. It is an active ingredient comprised of stabilized chlorine dioxide that prevents the anaerobic bacteria from creating the sulfide and Mercaptan compounds of halitosis. Oxyd-VIII does this by "adding oxygen" to the oral environment. The end result is the formation of a "sulfate" which has no odor or taste (as opposed to sulfur which has an odor and bitter/sour taste). Most of the patients I treat start out with a starter kit that contains this active oxygen producing ingredient and work their way up from there.
Posted by N.J at 9:37 AM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
by: Dr Deryck Pattron
In any given year about 18.8 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness. The economic cost for this disorder is US $40 billion per year, but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated. Depressive illnesses often interfere with normal functioning and cause pain and suffering not only to those who have a disorder, but also to those who care about them. Serious depression can destroy family life as well as the life of the ill person. But much of this suffering is unnecessary. Most people with a depressive illness do not seek treatment because they do not recognize that depression is a treatable illness.
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Depressive is a mental illness that involves the body, mood and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. Depression is not the same as a passing blue mood nor is a sign of personal weakness.
TYPES OF DEPRESSION
Depressive manifest itself in different forms, but there are three common types of depression. However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity and persistence. Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Such a disabling episode of depression may occur only once but more commonly occurs several times in a lifetime. Dysthymia is a less severe type of depression. It involves long-term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning well or from feeling good. Many people with dysthymia may also experience major depressive episodes at some time in their lives. Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness. Not nearly as prevalent as other forms of depressive disorders, bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs (mania) and lows (depression).
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION AND MANIA
Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. Severity of symptoms varies with individuals and also varies over time.
DEPRESSION Persistent sadness, anxious, or "empty" mood Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down" Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts Restlessness, irritability Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
Very often, a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors is involved in the onset of depression. Hereditary Environmental e.g. possibly stresses at home, work, or school Drug use and abuse Poor nutrition Psychological predisposition associated with one or more of the above combinations.
DEPRESSION IN WOMEN Women experience depression about twice as often as men. Many hormonal factors may contribute to the increased rate of depression in women, particularly such factors as menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, postpartum period, pre-menopause and menopause. Many women also face additional stresses such as responsibilities both at work and home, single parenthood and caring for children and for aging parents.
DEPRESSION IN MEN Men are less likely to suffer from depression than women. 3 to 4 million men in the United States are affected by the illness. Men are less likely to admit to depression, and doctors are less likely to suspect it. The rate of suicide in men is four times that of women, though more women attempt it. In fact, after age 70, the rate of men's suicide rises, reaching a peak after age 85. Depression can also affect the physical health in men differently from women. Although depression is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease in both men and women, only men suffer a high death rate. Men's depression is often masked by alcohol or drugs, or by the socially acceptable habit of working excessively long hours. Depression typically shows up in men not as feeling hopeless and helpless, but as being irritable, angry, and discouraged; hence, depression may be difficult to recognize as such in men. Even if a man realizes that he is depressed, he may be less willing than a woman to seek help.
DEPRESSION IN THE ELDERLY Some people have the misconception that it is normal for the elderly to feel depressed. On the contrary, most older people feel satisfied with their lives. Sometimes, though, when depression develops, it may be dismissed as a normal part of aging. Depression in the elderly, undiagnosed and untreated causes needless suffering for the family and for the individual who could otherwise live a fruitful life. Loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities, or extremely prolonged grief after a loss.
DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN The depressed child may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that the parent may die. Older children may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative, grouchy, and feel misunderstood. Because normal behaviours vary from one childhood stage to another, it can be difficult to tell whether a child is just going through a temporary "phase" or is suffering from depression. In such a case, if a visit to the child's pediatrician rules out physical symptoms, the doctor will probably suggest that the child be evaluated, preferably by a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of children. If treatment is needed, the doctor may suggest that another therapist, usually a social worker or a psychologist, provide therapy while the psychiatrist will oversee medication if it is needed. Parents should not be afraid to ask questions: What are the therapist's qualifications? What kind of therapy will the child have? Will the family as a whole participate in therapy? Will my child's therapy include an antidepressant? If so, what might the side effects be?
DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATION AND TREATMENT The first step to getting appropriate treatment for depression is a physical examination by a physician. Certain medications as well as some medical conditions such as a viral infection can cause the same symptoms as depression, and the physician should rule out these possibilities through examination, interview and lab tests. If a physical cause for the depression is ruled out, a psychological evaluation should be done, by the physician or by referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist. A good diagnostic evaluation will include a complete history of symptoms, i.e., when they started, how long they have lasted, how severe they are, whether the patient had them before and, if so, whether the symptoms were treated and what treatment was given. The doctor should ask about alcohol and drug use, and if the patient has thoughts about death or suicide. Further, a history should include questions about whether other family members have had a depressive illness and, if treated, what treatments they may have received and which were effective. A diagnostic evaluation should include a mental status examination to determine if speech or thought patterns or memory have been affected, as sometimes happens in the case of a depressive or manic-depressive illness. Treatment choice will depend on the outcome of the evaluation. There are a variety of antidepressant medications and psychotherapies that can be used to treat depressive disorders. Some people with milder forms may do well with psychotherapy alone. People with moderate to severe depression most often benefit from antidepressants. Most do best with combined treatment: medication to gain relatively quick symptom relief and psychotherapy to learn more effective ways to deal with life's problems, including depression. Depending on the patient's diagnosis and severity of symptoms, the therapist may prescribe medication and/or one of the several forms of psychotherapy that have proven effective for depression. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is useful, particularly for individuals whose depression is severe or life threatening or who cannot take antidepressant medication. There are several types of antidepressant medications used to treat depressive disorders. These include newer medications, namely the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the tricyclics, and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). The SSRIs and other newer medications that affect neurotransmitters such as dopamine or norepinephrine generally have fewer side effects than tricyclics. Sometimes the doctor will try a variety of antidepressants before finding the most effective medication or combination of medications. Sometimes the dosage must be increased to be effective. Although some improvements may be seen in the first few weeks, antidepressant medications must be taken regularly for 3 to 4 weeks (in some cases, as many as 8 weeks) before the full therapeutic effect occurs.
Many forms of psychotherapy therapies exist which may be used to help depressed people resolve conflicting feelings. Some of these psychodynamic therapies are given below: "Talking" therapies help patients gain insight into and resolve their problems through verbal exchange with the therapist, sometimes combined with "homework" assignments between sessions. "Behavioral" therapies help patients learn how to obtain more satisfaction and rewards through their own actions and how to unlearn the behavioural patterns that contribute to or result from their depression. Interpersonal therapies focus on the patient's disturbed personal relationships that both cause and exacerbate the depression.
HOW TO HELP YOURSELF IF YOU ARE DEPRESSED Set realistic goals in light of the depression and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility. Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities and do what you can as you can. Try to be with other people and to confide in someone; it is usually better than being alone and secretive. Participate in activities that may make you feel better. Mild exercise, going to a movie, a ballgame, or participating in religious, social, or other activities may help. Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Feeling better takes time. It is advisable to postpone important decisions until the depression has lifted. Before deciding to make a significant transition change jobs, get married or divorced discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation. People rarely "snap out of" a depression. But they can feel a little better day-by-day. Remember, positive thinking will replace the negative thinking that is part of the depression and will disappear as your depression responds to treatment. Let your family and friends help you.
HOW FAMILY AND FRIENDS CAN HELP DEPRESSED PERSONS? The most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him /her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Encouraging the individual to stay with treatment until symptoms begin to abate or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. Offer emotional support. This involves understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement. Do not ignore remarks about suicide. Report them to the depressed person's therapist. Encourage participation in some activity that once gave pleasure e.g. hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities, walks, outings, etc. Keep reassuring the depressed person that, with time and help, he/she will feel better.
WHERE TO GET HELP Family doctors Mental health specialists, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counselors Community mental health centers Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics Family service and social agencies Private clinics and facilities Employee assistance programmes
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Ferketick AK, Schwartzbaum JA, Frid DJ, Moeschberger ML. Depression as an antecedent to heart disease among women and men in the NHANES I study. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2000; 160(9): 1261-8.
Frank E, Karp JF, Rush AJ (1993). Efficacy of treatments for major depression. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 1993; 29:457-75.
Lebowitz BD, Pearson JL, Schneider LS, Reynolds CF, Alexopoulos GS, Bruce MI, Conwell Y, Katz IR, Meyers BS, Morrison MF, Mossey J, Niederehe G, Parmelee P. Diagnosis and treatment of depression in late life: consensus statement update. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1997; 278:1186-90.
Robins LN, Regier DA (Eds). Psychiatric Disorders in America, The Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study, 1990; New York: The Free Press.
Rubinow DR, Schmidt PJ, Roca CA. Estrogen-serotonin interactions: Implications for affective regulation. Biological Psychiatry, 1998; 44(9):839-50.
Schmidt PJ, Neiman LK, Danaceau MA, Adams LF, Rubinow DR. Differential behavioral effects of gonadal steroids in women with and in those without premenstrual syndrome. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1998; 338:209-16.
Vitiello B, Jensen P. Medication development and testing in children and adolescents. Archives of General Psychiatry, 1997; 54:871-6.
Posted by N.J at 11:37 AM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The Great Influence Of Vitamin B to the Nervous System
by: Charlene J. Nuble
In order for a person to actually have a healthy well-being, one must always remember to have an adequate daily intake of the prescribed vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your body needs in order for it to stay healthy and fit.
Unfortunately, due to stress and the increasingly fast-paced environment that we're often subjected to, it's quite easy to neglect one's body, most importantly one's health. It is actually alarming how a lot of people just seem to not actually mind the damage that they're bringing to their bodies. However, obesity and heart failure is starting to cause a big dent on the American population. It's high time that we act on this problem right now.
Starting with the various vitamins and minerals that directly influence the nervous system's proper functioning and health as well as to keep note of the importance of just taking it on moderate levels.
The Vitamin B complex is one of the most important vitamins that can have a great influence on a person's health as well as on one's physical and mental performance concerning the nervous system. It is a part of the group of nutrients which are responsible for the creation of some of the most basic structures in the nervous system. Vitamin B12, also referred to as cobalamin due to its cobalt content, has a highly significant role in both the formation of the nervous system as well as in the maintenance of its proper functions. It also helps in the formation of the nerve cells themselves, the most basic of the nervous system structures.
A person lacking in vitamin B12 can actually suffer from irreversible spinal cord degeneration when things get out of hand. Adults need 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B12 daily - while pregnant and breastfeeding women should increase their intake to between 2.6 and 2.8 micrograms daily. Children, depending on their age and physical size, should have between .9 micrograms and 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B12 per day.
The other B complex vitamins important to the nervous system include B9 also referred to as folate or folic acid which in addition to its role in the upkeep of the adult nervous system is also involved in the production of neurotransmitters. Adults are actually required to have 400 micrograms of folic acid daily while pregnant women should increase their daily intake to 600 micrograms however, breastfeeding women should only increase their daily intake to 500 micrograms. Depending on size and weight, children should take in between 150 micrograms and 300 micrograms of folic acid each day.
Among the minerals that serve to help enhance the functioning of the nervous system is calcium. In addition to its other equally important health benefits, calcium also has a role in keeping the nerves healthy as well as to ensure their ability to communicate effectively. While magnesium is the mineral which can help the body make use of calcium most efficiently, it has a very important role in the upkeep of the nervous system. The lack of magnesium in the body can actually contribute to nervousness and confusion, while a lack of potassium can lead to nervous disorders.
Proper nourishment greatly affects every aspect of the body's efficiency and function and in turn, has a positive effect on the quality of one's life. The body functions based on a delicate balance of system from chemical reactions. The nutrients that you put in your body actually make up a large part of these essential chemicals and it is highly important to have a conscious effort in trying to trying to maintain the proper amount of certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients in one's body. Nutritional supplements are a good way to help ensure one's healthy well being, however, one must never rely on these supplements to actually give you all the nutrients that your body needs.
A conscious effort to stay healthy is also being able to keep a healthy, well-balanced diet, a happy disposition and regular exercise. However, if unsure of the best dietary supplements for you or if you are somewhat overwhelmed by the countless dietary supplements that are available in the market today, a consultation with a licensed nutritionist can actually help you devise a personalized nutritional supplement plan that is best suited to your individual dietary needs and health goals.
Note: This article may be freely reproduced as long as the AUTHOR'S resource box at the bottom of this article is included and and all links must be Active/Linkable with no syntax changes.
Posted by N.J at 6:19 PM
Common Pitfalls of Plastic Surgery
by: Matthew Leo
Common pitfalls of plastic surgery are those involving before and after pictures with photographic tricks or attractive models instead of the surgeon's patients, that are publicly displayed in printed ads, online advertisement or broadcasted by TV, audio-visual or specific tele-shopping and infomercials.
Before and after pictures are useful to help you make the decision to have cosmetic surgery when they are real, but not advisable as criteria to select a surgeon, since no ethical surgeon can guarantee results this way, but if so, be sure to get his promises in writing.
Fake testimonials implying that anyone can get these results of people sharing their experiences may only be a marketing plan whether viewed on TV, through the internet, heard on the radio or at the surgeon's office; they have a powerful influence in the patient's final decision. Pitfalls can not be easily detected due to the impossibility to verify the authenticity of any given testimonial or the identity of the "happy patients".
Because the purpose of testimonials are considered to be a way to solicit patients, most professional societies and State medical boards prohibit the use of testimonials to advertise Plastic Surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) considers this marketing tool a violation to the code of ethics of 97% of certified surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, members of ASPS.
Impressive sounding surgeon's credentials or a plastic surgery procedure that does not name the surgeon may be listed as pitfalls of plastic surgery. While it is obvious to expect that a surgeon has the proper training, credentials and experience to provide the plastic surgery procedure or service you are seeking, remember that many physicians may call themselves plastic surgeons or cosmetic surgeons with training. In fact, in most states any physician may perform any procedure without peer scrutiny and no training requirements.
Since there are no requirements that the physician be is a trained surgeon, anyone may claim to be a board-certified surgeon simply by joining a sound-a-like organization, but the true meaning is that The American Society of Plastic Surgeons enforces one of the most rigorous ethical codes in the medical profession, so the best way to find out a surgeon's facts is consulting only surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Other pitfalls of plastic surgery are those offering dramatic results with superficial treatments, minimal or non-invasive procedures, no risk or little risk and downtime as well as a variety of products, procedures or manipulations without mention of the doctor's qualification, board certification or his/her specialty. These promises are designed more for marketing reasons than a real therapeutic value.
These individual procedures may be inexpensive, but offers only little or temporal improvement, so it is necessary for multiple sessions before seeing positive results, raising in the mean time the costs, often comparable to the total cost of the plastic surgery. Non surgical procedures with high tech names suggest new approaches to youthful appearance and the expectation of major effectiveness.
All these issues make it difficult for patients to separate plastic surgery hype from reality.
Posted by N.J at 10:46 AM
Monday, November 10, 2008
MRSA in Ireland
by: Michael Kearney
In Ireland those who run the hospitals would rather you did not know how many people were being infected as a result of a hospital acquired infection.
Incredibly, journalists have been forced to use freedom of information legislation to prise the information from the hospitals and even then the picture is incomplete with some hospitals "unable" to provide any figures at all and with no national figures available on the death rate from MRSA or other "superbug" type infections.
The Health Service Executive has said it will now ask all Irish hospitals to publish data on the prevalence of the potentially fatal superbug MRSA on a regular basis
The best estimates at the moment are that there are about 8000 patients per annum picking up an infection in hospital and of that number approximately 550 go on to acquire a more serious bloodstream infection.
A recent survey by the Irish Patients Association revealed that in 2003, Ireland recorded the highest number of MRSA cases in Europe . In that year, Ireland recorded 119 cases per million. This is over twice the rate of the next worst country, Portugal , with 46 cases per million. Other European countries with a big MRSA problem include the UK , Greece and France . The Dutch have reduced their infection rate to almost zero and are seen as a model of how to tackle the problem.
Ireland would seem to have been slower to recognise and react to the superbug threat than the UK and some of its other European neighbours but improved hygiene measures have been but in place and the new administration structure for the health service will see the different health boards operating in a much more co-ordinated manner than in the past and already there is a nationwide hygiene audit of all hospitals underway.
As with the other nations battling this problem, now that the genie is out of the bottle it may not be so easy to put it back in. The chronic over use of antibiotics has dramatically reduced the arsenal available for the fight. The systematic and long term decline in hospital resources, particularly in the area of hygiene, coupled with overcrowding will make it a very difficult problem to solve in the short or even medium term.
Posted by N.J at 8:44 PM
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Should I Be Taking Vitamin Supplements?
by: Ruth Stattmiller
Most people believe that they are reasonably healthy. Exercise, having a solid diet, and keeping stress to a minimum is a great way to live a longer, happier, and healthier life. That being said, will taking vitamin supplements help you even more? Who should take vitamin supplements? Are vitamin supplements only for extremely unhealthy people who simply don't have the time to exercise and eat right? You may be surprised to find out that vitamin supplements are a good idea for everyone, even the healthiest people.
Consider an average person, on an average day. How many items does the average person eat that are simply loaded with useless calories and no nutritional value? Today, more and more people are "too busy" to prepare healthy meals and eat specific foods in order to get their daily recommended amounts of vitamins. Some of these people may exercise, but exercising is only doing half of the requirements for healthy living. Eating right is just as important as exercise. If you are finding yourself too busy to sit down and prepare a solid meal, then you should be taking vitamin supplements. Taking vitamins with breakfast is always a good idea. Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day (yet many people skip it), and so it can be enhanced by taking special vitamin supplements.
What about people who eat right and exercise? Yes, they too should be taking vitamin supplements. It would be a very rare case to find someone who was able to get all of his or her daily-recommended vitamins through prepared food. Vitamin supplements can also give people more than they need. Having more Vitamin C than needed is certainly better than not having enough. If you are someone who exercises frequently, then having your recommended amount of vitamins is even more crucial. Consider the amount of energy that is spent when exercising? Vitamins leave the body through the sweat glands, and it is important to replenish these vitamins.
Even the most active children should have vitamin supplements. Studies have shown that children who take vitamins daily are, on average, healthier than children who do not. Children are growing constantly, and exerting large amounts of energy. In truth, children need more vitamins than their parents because they need to have enough vitamins for growth.
A common misconception is that vitamin supplements replace vitamins from actual foods. Therefore, you don't need to eat vegetables if you are on vitamin supplements. This could not be farther from the truth. Vitamins are supposed to improve your physical well being by making sure you get your recommended amounts of vitamins, or even more than what is needed. For this reason, even someone who is eating healthy should be on vitamin supplements. Many people who have used vitamin supplements notice significant changes in their energy levels if they stop taking the supplements. People who have never taken supplements, and begin to take them notice a dramatic increase in their energy levels, and they even feel healthier.
The human body is always changing. Vitamins are constantly lost, and need to be replenished. Many people do not acquire enough vitamins to constitute half of the recommended daily amount. For these people, vitamin supplements are a must. However, even the healthiest person should consider taking vitamin supplements to ensure that he or she is getting the daily-recommended amounts, and that he or she has all the energy they need for the day. Healthy living is no easy feat. In order to be healthy, one must work at it constantly. Vitamins supplements should be used in addition to a healthy diet, so everyone should take vitamin supplements.
Posted by N.J at 6:01 PM
Is There a Perfect Contact Lens For Dry Eyes?
by: Steve Cogger
Do you have dry eyes? Whether you just feel like you have dry eyes or your doctor has told you, there are contact lenses made just for you. Dry eye contact lenses vary depending on the type of dry eye. Manufacturers of contact lenses have focused a lot of time and research into developing the perfect dry eye contact lens.
A dry eye can be caused by numerous factors, and therefore, the perfect dry eye contact lens does not exist. The good news is contact lenses are designed for all different types of dry eyes. So chances are there is a contact lens for your dry eyes.
In its simplest state, dry eye is a lack of tears on the eye. In some cases it is a slow tear production rate, some instances it is a fast evaporation of tears, and in others it is a question of tear quality. Given the complexities of dry eye syndrome, there is no one contact lens that can possibly work on every dry eye.
In many cases, lenses like the Proclear Compatibles by cooper vision or the Extreme H2O contact lens will stay moist throughout the day and help the dry eye patient feel comfortable. Both these lenses are made with a high water content plastic and are able to maintain their moisture throughout the day. Both these lenses were developed with the dry eye contact lens wearer in mind.
The newest breed of soft contact lenses is the silicone hydrogel lens. By nature, silicone hydrogels do not dehydrate as readily as other soft lenses and may increase comfort. The right silicone lens accompanied by a good conditioning solution has been known to help many people with dry eyes.
Another philosophy is to fit a lens with a very low content. The theory is a lens that needs less water, will take less from the eye. For example, a lens that has only 38% water content will not need to take as much tears from the eye to stay moist and it is less prone to dehydration. A contact lens with 55% or more water content is going to take more tears from the eye, adding to the dry eye effect.
Contact lens solution also plays a major role when it comes to comfort and dry eyes. In many cases, simply changing your lens care system and solutions can alleviate a dry eye sensation.
If you have dry eyes and are not satisfied with your current contact lens situation, you may be a good candidate for a Proclear Compatible, Extreme H2O, silicone hydrogel, or a low water content contact lens.
Posted by N.J at 9:14 AM
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Relieving Your Ache Joints and Arthritis -- are there Options?
by: Kamau Austin
Can New Joint Treatments Like MSM and Phosoplex Help Relieve Joint, Back and Knee Pain? The Baby Boomer generation or those approaching fifty to sixty-five years of age is the fastest growing segment of the US population. Although these maturing adults are expected to live longer than their predecessors, many complain of joint, back, and knee pain as eroding their quality of life.
One of the most common conditions of these types of pain is Osteoarthritis according to Dr. Jonathan Cluett, M.D. Cluett explains "osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint. As the protective cartilage is worn away by knee arthritis, bare bone is exposed within the joint."
Back and joint pain are also big problems for many mature adults, but there may be relief for those suffering with these ailments with treatments like MSM and Phosoplex.
Is MSM a breakthrough treatment for Joint Pain?
MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane) is derived from natural organic sulfur and is a nutritional supplement with tremendous success in helping to alleviate joint pain. Highly regarded Dr. Earl Mindel is a proponent of MSM and has written a book on its advantages. In Dr. Mindel's book he stresses the benefits of MSM:
"Methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM) has an amazing ability to assist and cure myriad health problems. Neither a medicine nor a drug, MSM is a safe and natural source of sulfur that has been used to successfully treat asthma, allergies, skin problems, yeast infections, muscle cramps, arthritis, stress, diabetes, fatigue, and much more. MSM also supports the effectiveness of conventional medical treatments and may even reduce the need for painkillers, antihistamines, and other medications."
Mindel also states that MSM has little problem with toxicity levels " MSM exhibits very low toxicity--in fact, its toxicity profile is similar to water. And within limits, you cannot overdose on MSM because the body will take and use whatever it needs and naturally flush any excess from the body."
Many doctors and health professionals agree MSM definitively holds tremendous promise with treating pain associated with aging or sports injuries. MSM however is just the beginning of promising treatments for ailing mature adults.
Phosoplex -- Building on MSM and other Best of Breed Nutritional Supplements
Phosoplex is an advanced nutritional supplement that combines the essential ingredients of MSM with other beneficial supplements like glucosamine sulfate. The other active ingredient in Phosoplex "glucosamine" is advocated by well respected Dr. Andrew Weil MD. He states "Supplements such as glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate may actually help restore damaged tissue structure in joints, perhaps because these two substances are natural constituents of healthy cartilage."
Phosoplex also contains other premium nutritional supplements like Biocell Collagen ll and Nextrutine in a time released formula to support healthy joints and ease pain associated with osteoarthritis.
This nutritional mix of high quality ingredients has given real positive life style and health benefits to Ricky Smith of New York City. Smith once was sidelined from sports activity because of a torn meniscus in both knees playing basketball.
According to Mr. Smith, quickly approaching fifty, "he was gaining a lot of weight because he couldn't exercise due to knee pain". Even after his knee healed Ricky experienced stiffness and discomfort with strenuous running exercises. Smith tried Phosoplex and confides "my knees and back have a lot less stiffness and pain while using Phosoplex -- even in strenuous activities like jogging and weight training."
Todd from Dublin Ireland has a similar story " I've had back pain for years. I always use herbal supplements, because I believe in them and they work for me. I tried all sorts of herbal pain relief products, but none of them could control my back pain until I started using Phosoplex. This is the product I was looking for! Now I can live with my back, and I know that Phosoplex is safe, because it's all natural.
Phosoplex probably works so well because it has the best of today's leading ingredients used to alleviate back and joint pain. Given its ingredients and track record Phosoplex is something you should seriously consider to help you if you experience joint pain or need support in these areas.
Phosoplex is developed by Optimal Therapeutics and can be obtained at Amazon.com or at www.BODeStore.com .
Posted by N.J at 7:52 PM
Gastric Bypass – The Nightmare for Food Lovers
by: Beverley Brooke
While the gastric bypass may seem like the perfect solution to those who are obese, I'd like to explain just how the surgery affects the lifestyle of those who've had gastric bypass surgery.
If the lovers of food really know the drastic lifestyle change involved in the months and years after gastric bypass surgery then, unless they we're considering the operations for alleviating an immediate health concern, certainly wouldn't go through with the gastric bypass procedure. Why's that, you ask?
Meal times, snack times, gorgeous roast chicken, beans, carrots, potatoes, naughty cakes and treats are all banished after surgery. Yes you can have your roast chicken and all the normal food you enjoy now (except sweet and salty food), but how does half a cup sound, and that's it! Your full meal could be half a cup of chicken and that's it – no more food for that sitting.
As your stomach is 'stapled' during surgery it can only hold a certain amount – it's no miracle that patients of the gastric bypass lose weight rapidly. It's because they're unable to eat more then that half a cup without feeling sick and full. It's hard as most patients will tell you.
With no immediate health concerns, those that are obese could simply cut down the food they eat – we aren't talking half a cup like those who've had gastric bypass surgery must endure, just a nice healthy balanced diet. The weight will come off I assure you, and you won't need to go 'under the knife'.
Posted by N.J at 11:14 AM
Friday, November 7, 2008
Ganoderma Lucidum - The Wonder Herb.
by: Terry Dunn
THE WONDER HERB THAT IS GANODERMA LUCIDUM
One of the most apparent influences modern times has brought to people is their realization of going back to the basics, to the natural, and to the organic. Although the advances brought by technology has made life easier to people, many are still looking for better organic alternatives that are proven to be more effective in their most natural of form, like Ganoderma Lucidum or commonly known as "Ganoderma."
Believed by the Chinese as the "Miraculous King of Herbs," Ganoderma Lucidum is highly-regarded for its medicinal properties that help improve human body's healing ability while helping its user to maintain good physical shape. Aside from promoting longevity, Ganoderma Lucidum has unique properties that contribute much to the strengthening of the immune system. Somewhat rare in the West, Ganoderma Lucidum has been worshipped as a kind of herbal medicine the emperors of the great Japanese and Chinese dynasties drank with their special teas and mushroom concoctions to achieve greater vitality and longer life. Ganoderma Lucidum was also believed to be visible in the "elixir of eternal youth" that the ancient Taoists constantly searched for.
A fungus known by its many names like "Reishi," "Ling zhi," and "Mannentake," among others, Ganoderma Lucidum, for hundreds or even thousands of years, is recognized as powerful medicinal fungi because it has properties often associated with health and healing, long life, knowledge, and happiness. In fact, during the ancient time, it is believed that the Ganoderma Lucidum in medicine was considered so promising that its medicinal value has been attested in a 2,000-year old Chinese medical text—known as an authentic textbook of Oriental medical science. For years, medicinal mushrooms such as Ganoderma Lucidum have long been included in the history of folk medicine for contributing much to curing cancers of all sorts and for showing positive effects to the development of the immune system.
Aside from contributing a lot to the treatment of various diseases, Ganoderma Lucidum has also become popular because of its promising properties that might extend life span while increasing vigor and vitality.
The role of Ganoderma Lucidum in the medical field is quite impressive. Even if its role in the treatment of cancer doesn't have a strong and solid medical backing yet, Ganoderma Lucidum is still recommended to prevention because of the absence of unfavorable side effects. While people from different walks of life take interests and contribute a lot in the rediscovery of herbal treatments, the popularity of Ganoderma Lucidum increases steadily.
Under the extensive research continuously done so many scholars, as well as the cooperative analysis and clinical experiments conducted by people in the hospitals, inside the colleges and universities, and even by pharmaceutical manufacturers, Ganoderma Lucidum's potential as an effective medicine is becoming clearer and defined. And like in ancient China—where Ganoderma Lucidum is considered not just a symbol of 'prosperity and peace' or an 'item of tribute'—the so-called 'miracle herb' is now also seen by the people in the modern world as a potential elixir for immortality.
With so many research and emerging evidence how Ganoderma Lucidum helps the body work more effectively, efficiently and optimally, the people who do these extensive and never-ending researches continues to hope that Ganoderma can bring a brighter view to humanity on its conquest for longevity.
Posted by N.J at 7:11 PM
Thyroid Disease Symptoms - Understanding Hypothyroidism Symptoms
by: Olinda Rola
Thyroid disease symptoms and hypothyroidism symptoms afflict millions of adults in the USA alone. Thyroid disease symptoms are frequently misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Approximately 10-20% of women and 1-2% of men have symptoms of thyroid problems. The most common type of thyroid dysfunction is the condition hypothyroidism, also called low thyroid or underactive thyroid.
When thyroid function slows too much, one of the consequences is that metabolism in the body slows down more than it should. When the body's metabolism slows down due to underactive thyroid function, the result can be hypothyroidism symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain and depression. And other thyroid symptoms may be experienced as well, and these other symptoms may appear to be unrelated.
The most common thyroid disease symptoms and hypothyroidism symptoms include: Cold intolerance, cold hands and feet Constipation Depression Dry and coarse skin Fatigue and weakness Forgetfulness, dementia Hair loss Heavy menstrual periods High cholesterol Immune system problems Nervousness, tremors Sleep difficulties Weight gain
Having hypothyroidism symptoms is related to hormone imbalance. For a woman, three of the critical hormones are estrogen, thyroid hormone and progesterone. Understanding how these hormones work together helps one better understand how to approach treating thyroid disease symptoms.
Harvard-trained Dr. John R. Lee, women's physician Dr. Jesse Hanley and Virginia Hopkins are co-authors of the best-seller What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Premenopause. Dr. Lee explains his observations over a twenty-year period when treating women having thyroid disease symptoms. Dr. Lee believed that elevated levels of estrogen interferes with normal thyroid function, while progesterone facilitates healthy thyroid function. As excess estrogen interferes with normal thyroid hormone function, progesterone helps the thyroid gland function more as it is supposed to.
He noticed that women who tested normal for thyroid function were often progesterone deficient. Dr. Lee found a clear pattern in his patients with a progesterone deficiency which was this - their thyroid disease symptoms lessened when natural progesterone supplementation was done and hormone balance was achieved.
Read more about hormone imbalance, how progesterone deficiency happens and how to have balanced hormones for better health. There is a free online womens hormone health test you can take to find out more about your health and symptoms you may be experiencing. After the test, you will receive physician-based recommendations based on your answers. If you feel you may have thyroid disease symptoms, learn more about the natural approaches recommended by naturopathic physicians for treating hypothyroidism symptoms.
Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing
Posted by N.J at 10:04 AM
by: Lucas Blake
A long time ago, in the country far, far away, a young boy decided he wanted to change his stars for good. He decided that bodybuilding would be his ticket to the top and starts pumping iron. He quickly became successful, but that was partially due to the fact that bodybuilding was the least popular sport in his country at the time. He continued to win other prizes all over Europe, but realized that he could only succeed completely if he went to U.S. and win it there.
Upon arriving to U.S. our hero was surprised to learn that his American Competitors were leaner and more graceful. On his first American Mr. Universe he came in second and was completely disappointed. His thoughts at the moment were: "I'm away from home… In America, and I'm a loser" a day later he decided: "I'm going to pay them back; I'm going to show them who is really the best!". He succeeded and became a 7 time Mr. Olympia, a successful actor, and now holds an important political function.
The question here is how one can improve so much over a short period of time. Most bodybuilders know that after working out for a long time one hits a wall where he can't improve any more – naturally that is. At this point bodybuilders have only two options; to remain as they are or to gain more using steroids. As our man was working really hard (5-7 times per week, was on a constant diet…) for 8 years we can assume he has already hit the wall at that point.
It is obvious that his first American Mr. Universe competition has influenced him much. As can be observed from his statement he was strongly psychologically affected. Furthermore one can discern, by observing his pictures of that era that he suddenly became bulkier. From this we can conclude that he probably did start using Steroids at that point. To discern weather he was taking Deca or some kind of Testosterone mix is not really important for this article but it is obvious that they were readily available at that time.
The main problem at this point is not the sole fact that our hero was using steroids; the problem is that he would not give a clear statement weather he used them or not. When asked by a reporter if he ever used Steroids in his competition years he would answer: "We did a lot of experimenting at that time". What kind of answer is that? As Steroids weren't illegal at the time when he supposedly used them he couldn't be prosecuted even if he admitted that. But instead of proving that he is a bodybuilder, doing something for bodybuilding, he deiced to rather be a politician and behave as one – be completely indecisive about any issue that concerns him.
Today steroids have an extremely bad reputation. They are equaled to hard drugs and when ordinary people hear that word they immediately think of "criminal!" or "drug addict". The fact that Steroids in general are basically products of human body and completely different than drugs is not really important, nor it is known. In such times a person who owns a part of his success to Steroids and has the power to help improve the overall image should do so. I don't expect the man to say anything like "Kids, use Steroids, they're god for you….". But he sure as hell could help de-criminalize their use and possession in small amounts.
Posted by N.J at 5:46 AM
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
You Need To Know What Is In Your Food
by: John Sanderson
Whether you're concerned about cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or simply losing weight, you want to eat a healthy diet and focus on foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and balanced in fats, carbs, proteins.
There is only one way to incorporate healthy foods into our diet and that is to make the decision to do it! Practical information about the nutrition and safety of the foods we consume is absolutely vital in making this decision.
One way to learn more about what we eat, is to snoop around the supermarket. Check-out package labels to see what manufactures are adding (or removing) from the foods we eat. Read the information on the package and start making comparisons to determine which foods are the best for YOU. Know about nutritional labeling and the sometimes sneaky ways that manufacturers have of hiding what is in the food. Know and understand ingredient declarations, how they are used, and what a few of the "technical" terms mean. Are the unfamiliar ingredients good or bad for your health?
Since 1994 food manufacturers have been required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include food labels (or Nutrition Facts labels) on product packaging so that consumers have accurate nutritional information about the food they purchase. But food labels are more than just a federal requirement – once you understand the information they provide, you can use food labels as a guide to planning healthier meals and snacks.
Food labels are required on almost all foods, except those that don't provide many nutrients such as coffee, alcohol and spices. Although some restaurants provide information about the food they serve, they aren't required to have labels. The FDA recommends that sellers provide nutritional information on produce, meat, poultry and seafood, but it's strictly voluntary.
What Is a Serving?
At the top of a food label under Nutrition Facts, you'll see the serving size and the number of servings in the package. The rest of the nutrition information in the label is based on one serving.
Calories, Calories From Fat and Percent Daily Values
This part of a food label provides the calories per serving and the calories that come from fat. If you need to know the total number of calories you eat every day or the number of calories that come from fat, this section provides that information. Remember that this part of the label doesn't tell you whether you are eating saturated or unsaturated fat.
On the right side of a food label, you'll see a column that lists percentages. These percentages refer to the percent daily values (%DV). Percent daily values tell you how much of something, whether it's fat, sugar or vitamin A, one serving will give you compared to how much you need for the entire day. It will help you gauge the percentage of a nutrient requirement met by one serving of the product. One way to use this section of the label is when you comparison shop. For example, if you're concerned with sodium, you can look at two foods and choose the food with the lower % DV. Are you trying to eat a low-fat diet? Look for foods that have a lower percent daily value of fat.
The %DV is based on how much or how little of the key nutrients you should eat whether you eat 2,000 or 2,500 calories a day. So if you eat a 2,000-calorie diet, you should eat less than 65 grams of fat in all the foods you eat for the day. If you're eating 12 grams of fat in your one serving of macaroni and cheese (remember that's one cup), you can calculate how much fat you have left for the day. You can use the bottom part of the food label in white to compare what you are eating to the % DV you're allowed for that nutrient, whether it's fat, sodium or fiber. If you need more or less than 2,000 or 2,500 calories, you'll need to adjust this accordingly.
Fat, Sugar, Sodium and Carbohydrate
The sections on a food label shows the name of a nutrient and the amount of that nutrient provided by one serving of food. You may need to know this information, especially if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or are eating a diet that restricts certain nutrients such as sodium or carbohydrates.
Food labels also include information about how much sugar and protein is in the food. If you are following a low-sugar diet or you're monitoring your protein intake, it's easy to spot how much of those nutrients are contained in one serving.
Vitamins, Minerals and Other Information
The light purple part of the label lists nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the food and their percent daily values. Try to average 100% DV every day for vitamins A and C, calcium, iron and fiber. Do the opposite with fat, saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. Try to eat less than 100% DV of these.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Reading a Food Label
Until you become accustomed to reading food labels, it's easy to become confused. Avoid these common mistakes when reading labels:
-A label may say that the food is reduced fat or reduced sodium. That means that the amount of fat or sodium has been reduced by 25% from the original product. It doesn't mean, however, that the food is low in fat or sodium. For example, if a can of soup originally had 1,000 milligrams of sodium, the reduced sodium product would still be a high-sodium food.
-Don't confuse the % DV for fat with the percentage of calories from fat. If the % DV is 15% that doesn't mean that 15% of the calories comes from fat. Rather, it means that you're using up 15% of all the fat you need for a day with one serving (based on a meal plan of 2,000 calories per day).
-Don't make the mistake of assuming that the amount of sugar on a label means that the sugar has been added. For example, milk naturally has sugar, which is called lactose. But that doesn't mean you should stop drinking milk because milk is full of other important nutrients including calcium.
Reading Label Lingo
In addition to requiring that packaged foods contain a Nutrition Facts label, the FDA also regulates the use of phrases and terms used on the product packaging. Here's a list of common phrases you may see on your food packaging and what they actually mean.
No fat or fat free - Contains less than 1/2 gram of fat per serving Lower or reduced fat: Contains at least 25 percent less per serving than the reference food. (An example might be reduced fat cream cheese, which would have at least 25 percent less fat than original cream cheese.)
Low fat - Contains less than 3 grams of fat per serving.
Lite - Contains 1/3 the calories or 1/2 the fat per serving of the original version or a similar product.
No calories or calorie free - Contains less than 5 calories per serving.
Low calories - Contains 1/3 the calories of the original version or a similar product.
Sugar free - Contains less than 1/2 gram of sugar per serving.
Reduced sugar - at least 25% less sugar per serving than the reference food.
No preservatives - Contains no preservatives (chemical or natural).
No preservatives added - Contains no added chemicals to preserve the product. Some of these products may contain natural preservatives.
Low sodium - Contains less than 140 mgs of sodium per serving.
No salt or salt free - Contains less than 5 mgs of sodium per serving.
High fiber - 5 g or more per serving (Foods making high-fiber claims must meet the definition for low fat, or the level of total fat must appear next to the high-fiber claim).
Good source of fiber - 2.5 g to 4.9 g. per serving.
More or added fiber - Contains at least 2.5 g more per serving than the reference food.
With a little practice, you will be able to put your new found knowledge about food labeling to work. Reassess your diet and decide what needs to be changed. Start by eliminating the foods that don't measure-up to your nutritional wants and needs, and replacing them with more nutritional substitutes.
And while you're at it, visit the FDA website and learn about the new labeling requirements, including those for "trans" fat. Like saturated fats, trans fats can raise levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and increase your risk of heart disease. The "Nutrition Facts" panel on food packaging must provide this information beginning January 1, 2006, but most manufacturers will start providing it sooner.
Posted by N.J at 5:30 AM
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