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Blog posts of '2021' 'March'

Making Sense of Metabolic Syndrome: What It Means for Your Health

Making Sense of Metabolic Syndrome: What It Means for Your Health

Metabolic syndrome is a relatively new term, but lots of people are talking about it these days. If you鈥檙e unsure of what to believe, these are the basic facts about this syndrome and why it matters if you want to stay in good health.


Basic Facts About Metabolic Syndrome

  1. Understand the controversy.

It鈥檚 only in the past 20 years that people started being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Some medical experts debate whether it鈥檚 really a distinct condition. Still, there is clear cut evidence that all the factors involved are crucial to your health.

  1. Recognize the prevalence.

Metabolic syndrome affects about 70 million adults in the U.S. That鈥檚 more than one in three adults and the numbers are growing.

  1. Know the risk factors.

There are many risk factors involved. These include being overweight or physically inactive. Other signs include high blood pressure, high blood sugar and unhealthy cholesterol levels.

  1. Spot the symptoms.

Regular doctor checkups are essential because many of the symptoms are hidden. The one thing you can monitor is your waistline. Excess belly fat is an obvious sign.

  1. Appreciate the impact.

This cluster of metabolic factors is known to double the risk of heart attack and stroke. It raises the risk of developing diabetes by 5 times.



Preventing and Treating Metabolic Syndrome

  1. Talk with your doctor.

Your doctor will perform lab tests to determine if you have metabolic syndrome. That means you have at least 3 symptoms, such as excess abdominal fat, unhealthy cholesterol, high blood pressure, high fasting glucose or insulin resistance.

  1. Eat right.

A healthy diet plays a big role in prevention and treatment. Cut down on processed foods, unhealthy fats and sugar. Eat more vegetables and fruits, whole grains and low fat proteins.

  1. Limit your carbohydrate intake.

A diet high in carbohydrates is of particular concern. Try to get less than 60% of your daily calories from carbohydrates and pick good carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables and fruit.

  1. Lose inches.

If you鈥檙e overweight, take off the excess pounds on a sensible eating plan that you can stick with for life. Your waistline may be even more important than any scale reading. The best waist size for a man is under 40 inches and under 35 for women.

  1. Exercise.

A physically active lifestyle is your best defense. Train for cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility. Find workouts you can enjoy most days of the week for at least 30 minutes daily. Brisk walking is free and effective.

  1. Quit smoking.

Smoking tobacco puts a serious strain on your circulatory system. Quitting is one more way to lower your risk of heart disease.

  1. Take your medications as directed.

Many people can avoid metabolic syndrome through lifestyle changes alone. Your doctor can advise you if you need medication as well. These drugs may include medicines for high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes. Your doctor may also recommend aspirin to manage your risk for heart attacks or strokes.

  1. Be extra vigilant as you age.

The risk of metabolic syndrome increases as we age. Experts estimate a 20% in risk in our 40s. That rises to 45% when we are over 60.

  1. Collect your family history.

Like many conditions, metabolic syndrome involves genetic aspects. Find out whether you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes or stroke.

Summary

Maybe metabolic syndrome fails to meet the criteria for a distinct condition, but the factors involved are well substantiated as being of major importance to your health. If you have risk factors like high blood pressure or excess fat around your waistline, it鈥檚 important to your health to overhaul your lifestyle and talk with your doctor.

Ways to Cope With Your Stress

Ways to Cope With Your Stress

In the last article, we talked about the link between stress and diet. We mentioned how the blood glucose levels will affect your mood and how your diet can actually help your mental health and immune system.

Today we鈥檙e going to talk about some more methods to improve your mood other than eating healthy.

One Thing At A Time

When you look at all of the ways that stress and diet are interwoven, it's hard to deny the fact that the foods you eat affect how you think, feel, and react. After all, an unhealthy diet not only stresses your body, but your mind as well. A good starting point is to evaluate your daily diet and make one change at a time to create that healthy lifestyle you deserve.

Not Just the Diet

A healthy and balanced diet can help you manage stress much more effectively, but simply eating right is not enough to help you deal with stress.聽 There are many different things you can do to help control and manage your stress such as:

路聽 聽 Getting 7-8 hours of sleep at night

路聽 聽 Making time to relax

路聽 聽 Having a support system

路聽 聽 Knowing your limits

路聽 聽 Proactively planning and organizing

路聽 聽 Being able to say no



Summary

These are just a few stress solutions that, in addition to healthy eating, will help you limit and control the stress in your life.聽 When you incorporate even just a few of these聽healthy living strategies into your life, you'll find that overwhelming stress is a thing of the past; and the weight will be lifted off your shoulders (and thighs!)

The Link Between Diet and Stress

The Link Between Diet and Stress

Do you ever think about the fact that, if you ate differently, you might be better able to handle the stress in your life?聽 Do you ever wonder how stress might affect what you eat?聽 No matter which way you look at it, stress and food are related.聽 There are many things that you can do to help deal with your stress without resorting to food as your crutch.

How Your Diet and Stress Are Related

#When you're stressed out you're more likely to either over-eat or under-eat.

When you do either of these things you are negatively impacting your blood glucose levels and your moods may swing violently, which will only create conflict and intensify your stress. Unfortunately, most of us don't realize how we can sabotage ourselves with food! Once you become aware of your stress response, you can make the choice to change it.

#Food cannot cure stress, but it can help.

When you eat nutritious foods you are giving your body what it needs to deal with your daily demands. In other words, when you eat the proper foods you are giving your body the fuel it needs to make it through common stressful situations. When you predominantly eat sugars and fats in your diet, your body doesn't have all of the nutrients and energy supplies needed to deal with stress, so instead, you're more likely to feel grouchy, tired, or anxious.

#Stress breaks down the immune system, while the right foods can help support it.

Time and time again, studies have proven that stress makes our immune system weaker, leaving us exposed to dangerous viruses, bacteria, and illnesses.聽 It has also been proven that when you eat the right foods聽you're helping your body build and maintain a healthy immune system. The key here is simple: Eat right, feel great!

6 More Healthy Tips for Women Over 40

6 More Healthy Tips for Women Over 40

We鈥檝e talked about how to deal with menopause and stay physically fit especially for women over 40. Today we鈥檙e going to talk about more general healthy tips!

#1 Sleep Well

Although sleep is important to all ages, you may find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep these days. Stick to a consistent schedule and block out nighttime noises.

#2 Watch Your Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure and heart rate rise as plaque deposits stiffen your arteries over the years. Losing weight, exercising, and limiting salt may help you to avoid needing medication.

#3 Screen For Cancer

Age increases your risk for many forms of cancer. Talk with your doctor about screening tests that spot cancers early when they're easier to treat and cure.

#4 Check Your Hearing

You may already be noticing signs of age-related hearing loss. Shield your ears from loud and persistent noises by lowering the volume on media devices and wearing earplugs when necessary.

#5 Protect Your Vision

Ensure your eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions are up to date if you're having trouble reading fine print. While no studies have shown a way to prevent cataracts, regular eye exams and managing conditions like diabetes can help.

#6 Remain Engaged

Staying connected is essential for vibrant aging. Cultivate close relationships and learn something new each day.

Summary

Staying informed and making healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent and manage many of the conditions that come with aging. If you're a woman over 40, start now to maximize your chances of staying mentally sharp and physically fit in your golden years.

9 Healthy Tips Any Woman Over 40 Needs to Know

9 Healthy Tips Any Woman Over 40 Needs to Know

Our wisdom and compassion often increase as we grow older, but so do our health challenges. More than 90% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and more than 75% have more than one. Plus, these figures are even higher for women than for men.

Natural changes like menopause and your family medical history play a part, but a healthy lifestyle can help you stay as strong and independent as possible in the years ahead.

Take a look at these tips to help you maintain your health as you age.

#Dealing with Menopause:

  1. Stay cool.

Hot flashes can make you uncomfortable and disrupt your sleep. Reduce them by limiting triggers like alcohol and caffeine. Dress in layers and keep a fan next to your bed.

  1. Manage stress.

Stress can aggravate hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Meditate daily and think positively.

  1. Lose weight.

Your muscles shrink and your metabolism slows down as you age. The distribution of your body fat changes too, so more of those pounds wind up around your waist, increasing your risk for heart conditions and diabetes. Fight back by eating less and exercising more.

  1. Eat soy.

Many women find relief from menopause symptoms with soy and supplements, even though studies give conflicting results. See if tofu and soymilk work for you.

  1. Talk with your doctor.

Your doctor can tell you whether you鈥檙e a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy or other treatments. Share your concerns and questions.



#Staying Physically Fit:

  1. Condition your heart.

You鈥檙e about 5 times more likely to have heart disease after you turn 40. Aerobic exercise, along with a diet high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats, can help your heart start stay strong.

  1. Build your muscles.

Slow down muscle loss, and thicken your bones with strength training. Lift weights or try movements that use your own body weight for resistance, like planks and pushups.

  1. Increase your balance.

Avoid falls by becoming steadier on your feet. Practice yoga or just stand on one foot while you're talking on the phone.

  1. Ask a trainer.

Do you already have stiff hips or a sore back? Some professional trainers specialize in corrective fitness that will target the areas you need to limber up.

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Stay healthy can be more challenging after 40. However, with these suggestions, your body will show you appreciation.

Is It Safe To Eat Soy Products?

Is It Safe To Eat Soy Products?

We鈥檝e talked about the聽pros and cons of eating soy in the last article. Today we鈥檙e going to dig in some of the confusion and figure out the safest type of soy to eat!

#Confusion About Soy Products & Asia.

There are incorrect assumptions about the number of soy items consumed in Asia.

It鈥檚 actually much lower than most people think. One of the reasons people think it鈥檚 safe to eat soy is because it鈥檚 popular in Asia, and people in this part of the world tend to have longer life spans and healthier bodies.

However, studies have found that people in Asia don鈥檛 eat a huge number of soy products every day. They typically use soy as a condiment or part of a meal instead of an entire dish. Adults in Asia usually eat about 10 grams of soy per day.

#Should You Eat Soy?

This is a decision you should make with your doctor and nutritionist as we mentioned last time. In moderate amounts, soy is generally considered safe.

However, if you have thyroid or infertility issues, then you may want to avoid or limit soy products. In addition, if you鈥檙e a woman who鈥檚 taking estrogen or other hormone medications, talk to your doctor before consuming soy items.

If you鈥檙e limiting soy, read all food labels carefully. Soy can show up in cereals, snacks, and many other foods.

#What is the safest type of soy to eat?

In general, fermented soy products are safer. Choose items such as miso, which is fermented soybean paste, or try natto, which is a sticky mixture. Other fermented products are tempeh,聽bean paste, pickled tofu, tamari and soy sauce.

You can find many of these products at your grocery store, online, or in health food stores.

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Soy has both advantages and disadvantages for your health, and your doctor can guide you toward what would be best in your situation.

The Pros & Cons of Eating Soy

The Pros & Cons of Eating Soy

Soy has received both positive and negative press in recent years. These products are made from soybeans, which are a type of legume, and include tofu, soy sauce, miso, tempeh, and other items. So, what are the pros and cons of eating Soy?

#The Benefits of Eating Soy

Soy has several benefits:

  1. Soy products are popular among vegans and vegetarians because soy can replace meat in many dishes. Soy is also filling and easy to cook.

  2. Several studies have found that soy can help women who are going through menopause cope with their symptoms. It seems to be especially helpful for hot flashes.

  3. Soy may also help people lower their cholesterol levels.

  4. For people with heart disease issues, replacing high-fat items such as red meat with soy can lower their risk of heart attacks. This is mainly due to reducing saturated fat by switching to soy.

#The Negative Side of Eating Soy.

Several studies have found some negative aspects to eating soy:

  1. Soy products can negatively affect your thyroid function. They can also affect how your body absorbs certain thyroid medications. If you already have an underactive thyroid, then you may need to limit or avoid soy.

  2. Soy has phytoestrogens, which are similar to estrogen hormones and can mimic them. These phytoestrogens may increase infertility, cause menstrual issues, and raise the risk of cancer. Both men and women can be affected negatively by phytoestrogens.

  3. Soy may also prevent the body from absorbing some minerals and vitamins. These include magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron.

  4. Some people who have celiac disease and can鈥檛 eat gluten also have issues with the lectins in soy. This means their body can react to them too.

Summary

The main benefit we can get from soy is a choice to replace high-fat. Also, it comes with better control of cholesterol levels. On the other hand, the main reason that people do not recommend consuming soy is that it can affect your thyroid function. Also, it contains phytoestrogens, which will affect your hormones.

Whether you should consume soy or not really depends on the condition of your health situation, highly recommend discussing it with your doctor.

3 Protein Myths That Hurt Your Diet

3 Protein Myths That Hurt Your Diet

You know that you need protein to have a healthy diet and body. However, there are some myths about protein that can confuse you and lead you down the wrong path. Not everything you hear about protein is true.

Beware of falling for these protein myths:

#Myth 1: You can overeat protein.

This myth focuses on falsely believing that you can eat as much protein as you want without any consequences.

You hear many warnings about eating too many carbohydrates and fats. However, how often do you hear warnings about eating too much protein? On the contrary, many believe you can overindulge in protein. This is simply not true, and there are consequences to eating too much protein.

Some of the common issues surrounding too much protein consumption include weight gain. Extra protein can turn into fat that is stored in the body. In addition, overeating protein can cause kidney damage and bad breath.



#Myth 2: You must eat protein after every workout.

You may be tempted to eat protein after workouts because of this myth. The idea behind the myth is that you need protein to rebuild the muscles you鈥檙e using.

The protein can refuel your body after a long day at the gym. However, if you forget to eat it or simply don鈥檛 want to eat it, then it鈥檚 not an issue.

Research shows that having a large amount of protein right after a workout doesn鈥檛 offer any long-term benefits. As long as you鈥檙e getting enough protein from your meals and other snacks during the day, you don鈥檛 have to rush to eat more protein right after running for a mile.

#Myth 3: Protein will help you lose weight.

Protein can be part of a weight loss plan, but eating it alone won鈥檛 be enough to lose weight.

For example, if you dramatically increase the amount of protein you eat, but don鈥檛 exercise or change other habits, then you may not lose any weight.

Protein isn鈥檛 a magic pill that will melt pounds away the minute you increase your protein consumption. It鈥檚 still important to control your calories, work out, and eat healthier.

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Protein is a crucial nutrient, but it鈥檚 important to avoid falling for these myths. For your best results, maintain a healthy, balanced diet with many types of nutrients and exercise to stay fit.

How Much Fiber Do You Need In Your Diet?

How Much Fiber Do You Need In Your Diet?

We all have that one friend who is obsessed with their fiber intake. They鈥檙e always telling you about how important fiber is for you - 鈥淗ey, you should eat more fiber!鈥 But, have we ever learned why it鈥檚 important, and how much it is enough?

You might think that, if you eat more fiber, you鈥檒l walk around passing gas all day because you ate an excessive amount of fiber in the previous meal. However, that鈥檚 not necessarily so. Understanding how much fiber you need can prevent that from happening.

By knowing facts about fiber, we will be able to know how to plan fibers in our diet. By acting on these facts to eat more fiber, so we can strengthen our health.

# What fiber is for?

Fiber is important not only because it keeps you regular, but also because it helps to lower inflammation. This is the most important reason that you may want to consider adding more fiber to your diet.

Many of our chronic diseases are the result of inflammation, and if fiber can help to limit this inflammation, you have a secret cure for staying healthy.

This is why many doctors recommend eating oats and fruit in the morning. It's great for reducing inflammation and supporting good general health.



#How Much Fiber Do You Need?

Fiber intake is important, and recent research shows more and more how crucial it is for us.

In trying to figure out how much you need, an important aspect to consider is that since fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate, each gram you ingest lowers your net carb count by an equal gram.

That means if you eat a slice of bread that has 10 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber, you are really only ingesting 7 grams of total carbs. For this reason, many people consider a high-fiber diet to be essential for health and general weight maintenance.

For most people, the dietary guideline for fiber is about 35-40 grams/day (which very few Americans hit). This is about the equivalent of eating 10 apples. Of course, no one is going to eat that many apples, but having a balanced diet with plenty of dense grains, fruit, and vegetables will help you to hit a healthy daily intake of fiber.

#These foods are all healthy sources of fiber:

鈼徛 Brown rice

鈼徛 Whole grain bread

鈼徛 Flaxseed

鈼徛犅Chia seeds

鈼徛 Almonds

鈼徛犅Oats

鈼徛 Pears

鈼徛 Berries

鈼徛犅Apples

鈼徛犅Bananas

鈼徛 Avocadoes

鈼徛犅Beans

鈼徛 Peas

鈼徛 Lentils

鈼徛犅Broccoli

鈼徛 Artichokes

鈼徛 Carrots

鈼徛 Brussels sprouts

鈼徛犅Spinach

鈼徛 Most other fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains

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As you can see, getting more fiber is easy and doesn鈥檛 involve eating only foods that are infamous for producing gas. Eat smart and eat fiber-rich - it鈥檚 great for you!