Food is essential for survival. Most of us love to relish the food that we eat and choose to eat a variety of cuisines. The world around is always bothered about the health problems that crop up due to excess food consumption in terms of obesity and weight gain but not much attention is given to the problems that arise due to lack of consumption of proper quality food. Frailty syndrome exists as a growing concern in the elderly population developing as a result of the food that we eat or rather, the type of food that we don’t eat! Weakness is a part of ageing and every adult over the age of 60 starts experiencing weakness all over the body. But frailty is not a regular part of the ageing process and we need to learn to differentiate between normal ageing and frailty. Normally, a person is diagnosed with frailty syndrome if he/she is diagnosed with three or more of the following criteria that includes weight loss of more than 5% of body weight in the past 1 year, exhaustion, weakness (poor hand grip or extreme pain in joints), slowness and inactivity.
Frailty syndrome is usually present in adults over the age of 65 and these individuals need assistance to perform the daily activities such as brushing teeth or even going for a bath! Researchers don’t yet have a clarity over the development process of frailty but they do come up with certain factors such as sarcopenia and muscle mass loss as a contributing factor. Read more about sarcopenia and how proteins can contribute towards preventing muscle mass loss by visiting www.firsteatright.com. There are studies that show a clear link between frailty development and nutrition intake but certain factors such as protein, calorie, vitamin D and calcium intake too have a greater influence over frailty development. Several trials insist on the relationship between low protein intake and frailty development-a study of over 24,000 participants showed that those with the highest protein intake were at a least risk of frailty development. Studies also show that insufficient intake of vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin B9 was a significant risk factor for frailty development. There are various studies that show vitamin D as an independent factor for frailty. While we can see from these studies that lack of certain nutrients increase the risk of frailty a latest study has shown that older people who eat a poor-quality diet are increasing their risk of frailty.
A Well-balanced Diet is the Key to Abolish Frailty
The US study on frailty employed 2,154 participants who were all aged between 70 and 81 for a four-year study period. All of these participants were either termed as ‘robust’ as they were devoid of any cognitive or physical frailty problems or termed as ‘pre-frail’ as they had only one or two symptoms of frailty. Totally 277 participants became frail. Of the 1,020 participants who started out as robust candidates 629 of them became frail or developed pre-frailty. The researchers clearly confirmed from the research that those individuals with a poor-quality diet were twice at an increased risk of succumbing to frailty while those with a medium-quality diet were associated with a 40% increased risk of frailty. It was also visible that proteins played a crucial role in frailty development as this nutrient is linked to loss of muscle mass and strength, two conditions that evidently happens with ageing. While total protein intake, animal protein intake and total calorie intake did not affect frailty risk lower vegetable protein intake was linked to a higher risk of robust people developing pre-frailty but the researchers could not conclude whether this could proceed into full frailty as time goes. Diet quality of participants were measured using a food frequency questionnaire. Hence, what you eat is extremely important to decide your course of life. Eat a diet that’s well-balanced, rich in nutrients such as fruits, vegetables and nuts, do regular physical activity and stay active to safeguard yourself from frailty.
Women have outgrown their obsession for a super-thin body and men have outgrown their obsession for a six-pack and highly-muscular physique. This doesn’t mean that they have lost their desire to stay slim and trim or muscular. The ultimate point here is that people are currently focusing on reducing fat mass and staying healthy. While weight loss was a different ball game for both men and women back then, the approach has become more unified in recent times. You and I talk about how differently men and women communicate, act, behave or emote but are their approach to weight loss too poles apart? I don’t think so but it is always necessary to accept that certain variations do exist.
I remember a small incident from my younger years which I considered it to partial back then but now accept it partially. All of us were ready for dinner and my grandma approached all of my male cousins with an extra serving of roti whereas we girls were denied of it. When I questioned her on this, she simply replied that boys needed to eat more. I was appalled by her comment but after a few years I got to realize that genetically men are designed with more muscle mass and less fat mass compared to women due to greater presence of testosterone hormone and this brings about the need to consume more calories than women to help them maintain their weight. My poor grandma couldn’t scientifically explain the reason behind all her extra pampering and care back then 😊
Any two individuals might weigh the same but the one with the extra muscles needs more calories to maintain weight (as he is going to burn more calories). Its muscles that burn more calories at rest compared to fat and now I hope that every woman understands the need to build muscles. Muscles are not monopolized by men and weight loss is not only fat loss but includes muscle loss as well. So, its crucial that you eat the right foods and exercise right by including strength training in your routine to minimize muscle loss greatly. Muscle loss starts once a man or a woman crosses 30. That’s one of the reasons why dietitians and nutritionists insist individuals to reach normal body weight by the age of 30 after which the only concern would be to maintain it. After 30, weight loss becomes more strenuous due to muscle loss which also has a strong impact on immune system and our mobility.
Your Contribution to Weight Distribution
Looks say it all! Men carry most of their weight around their abdomen while women carry it in their hips and thighs. Postmenopausal women carry it around their abdomen due to hormone imbalance. Its this fat around the stomach and underneath internal organs (visceral fat) that’s dangerous enough to cause serious problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease. But understand, any fat is bad-be it around your arms, hips, thigs or belly. Each of us should take every step to reduce this fat and reach normal body weight.
Who Loses Weight Faster?
Its true that men tend to lose weight quickly but we do have studies showing that both men and women end up losing the same amount of weight finally at the end of the weight loss program. It just takes women a little more time to ‘up’ her pace. While a woman might lose between .25-.75 kilograms a week, a man might lose between 0.5-1.0 kilograms a week. On of the main reasons quoted for higher body fat and slower reduction rates in women is owing to reproductive reasons. The set point (the body defends a particular range of body weight and takes all steps possible to maintain it) for a woman is different, her hormones are different and above all, females are healthy at a higher body fat percentage which makes weight loss a longer process for the female gender.
What’s your Food Choice
Its funny that we see most men feasting on meats as they find it to be masculine. How do they relate meat to masculinity? Get your answers at www.firsteatright.com. But a woman loves to munch on fruits and veggies. A woman is more experienced with dieting, gets herself cleared of her doubts with a counsellor or even educates herself by reading more. This might also be one of the reasons why she chooses veggies and fruits over meat. But recent times has seen both men and women realize the need to include more of lean proteins, vegetables and fruits, less of processed foods and baked goods and eat moderate amounts of dairy. While men used to be fans of the Paleo or the Atkins (meat-rich diet) now both, men and women prefer the Mediterranean diet that’s more inclined towards including natural foods such as whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts and legumes.
This is one area where men and women can help each other. Men can recommend the best foods rich in proteins that help build muscles and women can suggest those that are high in nutrients and low in fats.
Its general to hear a woman go on a diet but the society puts on a funny face to a man who comments that he is on a diet. Many disagree when men sit with a salad bowl but appreciate the same gesture in a woman! But rise in obesity rates has put an end to all these gender-based ideas and has forced both genders to follow some degree of healthy eating, dieting and exercising. A registered dietitian nutritionist approaches both genders with the only goal in mind when it comes to weight loss-providing personalized diet plans suiting individual needs depending on their lifestyle, eating habits and work schedules.
It was the first day of my college hostel life and I was the roommate of a girl who suffered from migraines almost 10 days in a month. Initially I cared less, took it to be a simple headache and did not even bother to ask her if she needed something despite the fact that she used to stay inside the room for hours together lying down, missing classes and suffering in pain. Isn’t it common that all of us get headaches and me, I suffer from sinus and spring back from a groggy head many times which makes me no different from her right? One day I suddenly bounced upon an article in a magazine that spoke about taking care of people with migraine and I was shocked to find that migraine headaches are one of the top 10 disabling conditions (WHO report). Slowly I started showing much concern towards her condition though sometimes I got it all wrong-comforting her with cranky sentences such as ‘It is just a headache. Don’t worry, it will disappear’ or ‘Forget about it, attend classes and divert your attention. Maybe you would become normal’ which aggravated her cortisol levels and put her off mood even more. But in a while I became adept in handling her, sometimes that she comes straight to me for motivation and care when she suffers from one of those migraine days.
Way Too Much than a Headache
Migraine is a neurological disorder involving nerve pathways and brain chemicals that can make the patient suffer from loneliness and isolation. It’s unlike any ordinary headache causing intense pain (mostly on one side of the head), heightened sense of smell, sensitivity and vision changes. The recovery period might take anywhere between few hours and days. Being near a loved one with migraine is taxing on the person staying with the patient too, as he/she is unaware of what exactly happens inside the patient’s body and also doesn’t know how to react to the situation. I hope you get an easy hold on handling your migraine-affected friend with more care and compassion after reading this article.
13 Things Not to Say to Someone with A Migraine: https://www.huffingtonpost.in/2015/08/04/what-not-to-say-to-people-with-migraine_n_4745863.html
You’ve seen your friend remain obese/overweight since high school days and when you meet her after a decade or so, still she is the same! She doesn’t suffer from high blood pressure, cholesterol or heart disease risk nor does she refrain from daily chores and activities citing overweight issues as an excuse. Life goes on happily and you remain unbothered about her weight issues as she ‘seems’ to look hale and healthy.
Healthy Obesity: A Paradox
Obesity brings with along numerous health risks such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and several types of cancer along with physical changes to your body structure. Body shaming is commonly observed. Recent times have witnessed the use of the term ‘metabolically healthy obesity’ for obese/overweight woman having high body mass index (BMI) but not having any health conditions that occur as a health risk of obesity. There have been quite a number of varying study results supporting and denying the existence of ‘metabolically healthy obesity’. Latest of them is a research that warns such individuals to lose weight as early as possible to avoid any risk of heart disease.
Its been commonly accepted even medically that some obese people live a healthy life and are devoid of heart disease risks and have not been advised to lose weight or take preventive steps to stay wary of developing a heart disease anytime in the near future. But the entire medical community was doubtful whether this pattern will continue forever or if these individuals might suffer from metabolic syndrome over time.
Metabolic syndrome includes risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and abdominal fat which are leading causes for cardiovascular diseases and have the potential to increase the risk of diabetes by five times. The current study included more than 6,500 participants who did not suffer from cardiovascular disease but had a BMI greater than 30 and two or few risk factors. The main idea of the study was to check whether metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) at baseline remained stable or led to metabolic syndrome thereby increasing risk of heart disease. They were followed up for 12 years with a clinical evaluation done once in two years to check this risk.
Results showed that baseline MHO was not associated with incident cardiovascular disease but almost 50% participants developed metabolic syndrome over the study period and were at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with stable MHO and healthy weight ranges.
To confirm this, the research team conducted yet another study that involved close to 1,00,000 women who were free of CVD at baseline. The participants were categorized into different groups based on their BMIs, metabolic health status and change in metabolic health status and followed up for 30 years. Different risk factors such as age, smoking and drinking habits, activity levels and family history of heart attack/diabetes was also adjusted. Results showed that women with MHO who were free of metabolic diseases for decades were at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. These women were at a 39% increased risk of CVD compared to healthy study participants. Almost 84% women with MHO at baseline and 68% metabolically healthy women with a normal BMI developed some metabolic condition over a 20-year period. But even those who managed to stay free of metabolic disease over a 20-year period had a 57% increased risk of CVD if they were obese compared to women with a healthy body weight.
‘Healthy obesity’, ‘obese but active’ and ‘fit but fat’ are good to hear but practically they offer no perks and are as bad as simply telling that a person is obese and he/she is at a risk of diseases. Its up to each of us to take the right measures and start leading an active lifestyle to maintain our body weight in normal healthy ranges. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to get a personalized diet plan suiting your body type.
Before asking umpteen questions on what’s good for your body understand that all forms of exercises those including simple stretches, vigorous-intensity exercises or yoga are great for the body. For someone who wishes to pursue physical activity in order to lose weight or stay fit my recommendation would be to first start working on it. Then you can come up with your questions on the best type of workout for weight loss, the best exercises for belly fat reduction, the type of food to eat for staying slim or even the best time to exercise. Earlier, we never had the question of fixing up a time for exercise as early mornings were always fixed for a fresh morning walk or jog in the park. The IT revolution has completely changed our lifestyles and work-life balance. We live in one part of the world but work for another country that has a different time zone which gravely affects our daily routine and circadian rhythm. Every person’s circadian rhythm is critical for the person’s overall health and well-being and, disruption of this can result in problems for life. Those guys going for afternoon or evening shifts stay awake throughout the night, surgeons attend to surgeries any time of the day and there are certain jobs that require round the clock support. How about asking these individuals to get up and get going out in the morning for a short exercise session? This seems impractical.
There have been several debates supporting and denying the fact that performing exercise any time during the day is effective for health. We also do have controversies surrounding the duration of exercise and how we exercise. But now, it’s been proved that even 5 minutes of exercise does good for the body irrespective of the individual involved. We have heard about early-morning birds (early risers) and late-night owls (those who stay awake until late in the night) and this is a never-ending topic of debate. Being a late-night owl does indeed affect your body routine but if the job demands so it is up to you to set right the circadian rhythm according to the new shift schedule. Circadian rhythm has the potential to steer our body's health in any direction depending on the individual's activities and for more information about circadian rhythm please visit www.firsteatright.com. There are some who feel that exercising early in the morning is the best as it lets you breathe the fresh air around, perform the activity with full josh and you are also less likelier to miss out on the session quoting tiredness or lack of time as reasons whereas late-evening exercises robs you of these perks. But there are other motivating factors such as the possibility of group exercise sessions or having a game of cricket or football with family members which indeed is also a form of exercise. While researchers mull over the best time to workout here is a new study that shows that exercising in the morning and evening has different effects on the individual.
Morning or Evening better do Something
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen are surprised with their study results on physical activity that shows that exercise effects differ depending on the time of day it is performed. The study conducted on mice showed that exercise performed at the start of the mouse’s active/dark phase (morning) differs from the effect of exercise performed in the beginning of the light/resting phase (evening). The researchers could identify startling differences in the effects of exercise performed at various times of the day and they contribute these differences to the body’s circadian clock.
The study group focused on the effects in muscle cells which included both transcriptional response and effects on the metabolites. The effects in both these areas are stronger after morning exercise which is mostly due to a protein called H1F1-alfa that plays a central role in regulating body’s circadian clock. It was also found that morning exercise improved the ability of the muscle cells to metabolize sugar and fat, both of which are important aspects to look into people with type 2 diabetes and obesity. Whereas, evening exercise improved energy expenditure in the hours following exercise schedule. The study clearly shows that morning exercise invokes gene programs in the muscle cells which help in metabolizing sugar and fat while evening exercise increases whole body energy expenditure for a prolonged period of time that helps in increased calorie burning. The researchers are unable to reach a decision as to which is much better-morning or evening exercise-as both of them come with different sets of advantages. But this also invokes the idea whether timed exercise sessions could be scheduled as a treatment strategy for people with metabolic disease.
Wake someone and question him/her on the reasons behind the obesity epidemic and pat comes the reply-increased intake of calorie-rich foods and decreased performance of physical activity. There is no denial on their dominance in weight gain problems, but one must also comply with other factors that could play an important part in changing directions of the obesity epidemic.
Beyond The ‘Big Two’
Food marketing practices and decreased physical activity are regarded as the ‘big two’ factors in defining obesity. The big two list includes factors such as increased portion sizes, inexpensive junk food, increased availability of vending machines that sell processed foods and decreased importance given to physical education in school, but the list is more exhaustive than this. There is a list of certain other factors whose effects make us doubt the big two causes as the only sources of obesity.
Dining Out: Every street has got its own café and a restaurant; every city offers a plethora of different food choices with innumerable cuisines and every country boasts of its gourmet food business that’s reaping greater benefits than ever. The portion sizes served at restaurants are enormous where a plateful of food can satisfy two souls’ hunger needs and the oils/butter used are explicitly on the higher side that can cause weight gain in the short run. Still, an analysis showed that individuals who ate 200-300 kcal more during restaurant meals compensate for this increased intake by eating less during other meals. This makes the net increase associated with energy intake extremely small.
Physical Education: There are some who argue that lack of insistence on physical education is a major contributor to obesity. But there does exist evidence showing increased participation of children in physical activity classes greater than before. Irrespective of the PE classes or participation there are proofs that such classes have no impact on obesity levels.
Sidewalks: Early days gave importance to footpaths and walkers but nowadays we see motorists and cyclists using the footpaths more than the pedestrians. There have been much debates that lack of proper footpaths has been an importance cause for rise in obesity rates, but studies have proved that rates of physical activity were neither high nor rates of obesity low in countries that boasted of well-maintained sidewalks and recreational facilities.
High-fructose corn syrup consumption (HFCS): HFCS consumption has increased in the last couple of decades and may people believe this to have increased obesity rates. But a recent research paper presented showed that HFCS and sucrose had similar properties and the effect of HFCS on obesity was no greater than that of sucrose.
Vending Machines: There have been many complaints against the availability of vending machines in schools for their negative impact on obesity and school policies too have been changed to reflect this view. But there is no authentic evidence indicating that vending machines contribute to obesity problems greatly.
Indeed, fast food availability has increased rapidly, portion sizes have become larger and calorie intake greater, but these are not the only causes for obesity and physical activity is the main reason for expanding waistlines. But such singling out of reasons are often interfered by other components that can be equally blamed.
Other Factors that Remain Unexplored
Infection & Obesity: Ten different microbes are blamed for causing obesity in experimental models but their contribution of infections in humans has not been probed into. The gut flora’s composition too enhances adiposity. While experiments are only in the beginning stage the ability of microbes and viruses to alter metabolism may have greater implications on obesity.
Epigenetics & Obesity: Genetic variations affect an individual’s susceptibility to obesity; genetic variations are affected by the surrounding environment and a steady increase in such factors are in fact suppressing the establishments of epigenetic mechanisms that contribute to body weight regulations. Environmental factors during development can cause alterations in genes and it is highly possible that environmental influences on gene regulation can increase the risk of obesity.
Maternal age & Obesity: With more women being work-oriented they enter into marital bliss during later part of the years and bearing children takes an even greater time. The increase in the mean age of first-time mothers has augmented the impact of maternal age on obesity. There are strong evidences linking maternal age with obesity, but age alone doesn’t exist as a standalone factor in impacting obesity.
Reproductive fitness & Obesity: Reproductive fitness is the individual’s or population’s tendency (not necessarily capacity) to reproduce and pass on their DNA. The ability to produce offspring is the most important and easily observed aspect of a population’s reproductive fitness. Studies show that individuals carrying genes favorable to obesity are reproducing at a greater rate than non-carriers which increases the rate of obesity in that country.
Sleep debt & obesity: There are various studies that have been insisting on the importance of sleep on avoiding obesity and there are other evidences too suggesting that appetite and energy homeostasis may be affected by sleep duration. Researchers even suggest that increased sleep can be considered as a promising anti-obesity treatment. Sleeping is integral to living and for a list of sleep-related techniques that can help you enjoy a peaceful sleep during the night please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
Endocrine disrupters & obesity: Endocrine disrupter chemicals (EDCs) are profusely present in the environment and there are higher chances of them increasing in levels in humans too. Such exposure has been doubted to raise chances of obesity in humans as there are many possibilities of interfering with estrogen and androgen signaling.
Pharmaceutical Iatrogenesis & Obesity: Many medications have been blamed to have caused obesity as a side effect and such a weight gain can have debilitating side effects such as increased risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia and poor medication compliance.
Ambient temperature & obesity: The thermal environment affects both energy expenditure and energy intake to maintain homeostasis and a thermal neutral zone (TNZ) is defined as a range of temperatures across which energy expenditure is not allocated towards maintaining a constant body temperature. Climate control helps individuals spend more time in the TNZ which result in positive energy balance and this manifests as weight gain. In general, people consume less food in a hot environment and even studies show that people go for lower-calorie items during summer. Exposure to high temperatures increases metabolic rate.
All the above factors clearly show that there are quite many other factors that exist outside the big two and some of these factors have easy interventions that can prevent obesity. For instance, obesity due to sleep debt can be prevented by sleeping well and analyzing whether it has effects on weight loss. While the above factors are not exhaustive it gives a clear indication to scientists and others to abstain from strongly believing the ‘big two’ to be the only ones that promote obesity.
Lifestyle or genetics are the root causes for different problems depending on the person’s perception and his/her way of living. For instance, ask a couch potato if its lifestyle or genetics that dominates a person’s health and pat comes the reply-genetics. Meanwhile, a fitness freak or a disciplined guy who exercises daily relies solely on lifestyle and blames lifestyle practices for any of the problems that happen with respect to health/fitness.
So, is time and ageing kind on some while being cruel to others? A number of health issues are left at stake with one sentence that shuts a person’s mouth -“It runs in my family”. All that you do after hearing this sentence is laugh out to your heart’s content. Practically, except for 100% genetically inherited diseases such as Huntington’s or sickle cell anemia all other diseases only pose the risk of inheriting the gene that carries the increased risk for disease manifestation.
Of late, there has been a lot of debate on the genetic nature of the Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Just like the BRCA gene associated with breast cancer risk, the APOE gene has been garnering ample publicity for its association with AD. Individuals who inherit one copy of the e4 variant of the APOE allele are at an increased risk of the disease while those who inherit two copies of the allele are at an even greater risk. Its ideal to note that people with one or two copies of the allele are only at an increased risk of developing the disease and not at risk for AD itself. Not every person with AD is a carrier of the allele nor do all people who carry the allele are sure to develop AD in the future.
A Tragic Win
Genetics might seem scary but elicit a happy feeling simultaneously in some others. Its scary as there is the danger of a disease lurking around anytime in the future but joyous at the same time as it requires no efforts from the individual’s end in terms of health changes or decision-making roles.
Whenever you try to inculcate healthy behavior in an unhealthy person they come up with the right excuses and examples. One such is the example of a world-famous runner called Jim Fixx who popularized running as a sport and spread the advantages of jogging to everyone. Ironically for someone as fit and exercise-inclined as Jim, death struck him in the form of heart attack at the age of 52 while he was jogging. People who like to abstain from exercising quote Jim’s example to escape from health-promoting activities. In reality, Jim inherited a predisposition to heart problems and if he hadn’t exercised regularly, he could have died in his late 30s or early 40s too. By exercising and leading a healthy life he had prolonged his life tenure greatly.
The recent rush is on epigenetics. Environment’s effect on the genes can influence disease and some of these effects can be inherited in humans. Epigenetics is the genetic control by factors other than the individual’s DNA sequence. In short, what exists between the genes matter more than the genes itself. Markers for epigenetics remain dormant and get turned on or off depending on the everyday choices made by the individual and the way in which he/she leads life. There are many studies and insights that dwell on genetic link to diseases such as obesity, Alzheimer’s and cancer but it has also been proposed that genetics affect these diseases no more than 10-20% in any individual. For example, only 10% of people carry the gene for AD and only around 50% of those who carry the gene develop the disease. Rest of the AD cases are due to successive brain damage that occurs in the course of life.
Ultimately it all boils down to the everyday choices you make in life and your approach towards life. These choices and time will tell more about your body beyond genetics and all. Always remember one thing, more than the age it is the wear and tear of your body that determines its health. Look after your body well and nourish it with nutritious food, daily exercise and stress-reduced life to enable it to function smoothly for a longer period. If you don’t take care of your body and treat it roughly, you are sure to suffer from the resulting consequences. For directing your body in the right track get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com.
Every single step that you take physically-walk, run or jog adds upon your benefit of a healthy life. Time and again insistence on doing activity and exercise whenever time permits-in the form of taking the stairs by avoiding the escalator, parking the car further away from the parking lot or walking while talking over the phone-has been displayed. If you are one of those who gives excuses in the form of lack of time we have various studies showing that doing even 10 minutes of exercise every day or short bouts of exercise through the day-in the form of even 2 min sessions-have tremendous potential to decrease the risk of health-related diseases and overweight-related issues. I am sure that we can all find 10 minutes in 24 hours! We have been recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five time a week and not even 50% of us comply with this. But, rise in obesity and overweight statistics are never on the downside too. The world is moving towards an obesity epidemic and if we don’t do something sooner to stop it, we would be at a point of no-return in a while.
While we desperately try to utilize every opportunity available to stay healthy and reduce risk of diseases there are some who live a carefree life unbothered about anything until the ultimatum strikes. A new research shows that obese individuals who commute by car have a 32% increased risk of death compared to those who commute by cycle or walk. Its absurd to ask someone who travels 50 kms up and down to work to ride a bicycle or walk! Remember, we are practical. All that the study is trying to show is the positive impact that exercising can have on the body and beyond this, the negative impact that staying sedentary can have on our health.
There have been previous studies that proved that commuting by cycle or walking decreased the risk of death by as much as 50% compared to community by car. There have also been studies on school students showing that walking to school decreased the risk of obesity compared to travelling by school bus/van (for an elaborate explanation on this please visit www.firsteatright.com). A new study tried to understand the effects of commuting by car to work on 1,63,149 men and women aged between 37 and 73 years of which 50% of them were females. Obesity is defined as a BMI greater than 30. The study participants were classified into four different groups-car commuters, walking and cycling (active-mixed), cycling-only and walking-only. As the study period proceeded some 2,425 participants died and 7,973 developed heart disease. While those having a healthy body weight and doing mixed active commuting (cycling and walking) remained unaffected by health risks greatly those commuting by car and suffering from obesity were at a 32% increased risk of premature death, at a double risk of heart disease mortality and 59% increased risk of non-fatal heart disease. Also, obese people who were active commuters were at the same risk of death possibility as normal-weighted people who were active commuters too. But, the risk of suffering from heart disease was 82% in active commuters with obesity compared to those with a healthy body weight. This shows that irrespective of your weight there is a definite chance of reaping benefits when you exercise regularly-only the percentage varies depending on your weight issues.
The study is a sure indicator that people with obesity or overweight can benefit from lower mortality risks when they engage in physical activity regularly. Active commuting is an excellent way to stay in shape and reach benefits-it requires no additional efforts and can be implemented well within your available time. It only helps to increase your overall physical activity level and reap greater benefits. Do some sit ups whenever you get time, get up and walk every once an hour, take an activity break from your schedule to go for a quick walk and stretch your hands and legs often to keep them flexible.
Breast cancer is common these days except for the fact that the awareness among people has increased multifold times. We can even notice women being upfront about removing their breasts to avoid breast cancer when it seems to be dominant in their genes. Breasts, the part of the body that’s important for feeding a newborn also holds a special place in every woman’s heart as it establishes her womanhood and makes her attractive to the male gender (this might sound silly and unnecessary but we do have to agree upon the facts of the world, isn’t it?) There might be different reasons behind removing one’s breast and there are various reasons for going for breast implants too- altering the size of the breast, changing their shape or to make them appear more even.
The surgical procedure for a breast implant is only 60-90 minutes but this is not a surgery that’s to be decided in the spur of the moment. Apart from being an expensive procedure the results are also not favorable to the patient many times. Many women plan for a surgery to achieve cosmetically attractive breasts but these implants can hinder breast feeding abilities, cause constant pain and result in removing the implant within 10 years of the surgical procedure. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) indeed has approved breast implant surgeries for augmenting breast size, reconstructing breasts after breast cancer and to correct developmental defects. While there are multiple ways to carry on a breast implant the FDA in the United States has approved only two of them: saline-filled and silicone gel-filled. While saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater any damage to the implant causes all the water content to ooze out and be expelled out of the body naturally. Silicone implants contain silicone gel which need to be often checked by the physician to ensure that it remains intact.
Realizing the Risks of Implant Surgery
Though breast implant surgery is approved by the FDA, accusations and reports from thousands of women residing worldwide that breast implants are causing extreme pain and debilitating side effects have now made the FDA to focus more on what exactly is going on with the procedure, with these woman and their health post-surgery. According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (BAAPS), breast implant illness (BII) is a term used by individuals suffering from symptoms such as tiredness, joint aches, immune-related symptoms and sleep disruptions owing to silicone implants. While the woman suffers excruciating pain, BII is not yet recognized as a medical condition and hence, there are no diagnostic criteria or protocols to establish a treatment procedure. Though thousands of women had complained of these symptoms they were ignored quoting reasons such as being dramatic, looking to claim health insurance benefits or were experiencing the symptoms as a result of some other illness that coincided with breast implant timings. Such women who have removed their implants have been able to return to full health and some of them even though couldn’t get back to their usual self, have found great differences in their symptoms and pain, for the better. Feelings of extreme fatigues, tiredness as though the individual had taken part in a marathon or suffering from inability to perform even daily activities disappeared once these silicone or saline gels were out of the woman’s body.
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in America and in 2018 alone it was performed for more than 3,00,000 times (https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/03/fda-breast-implants/585829/). Many of them have been performed by unauthorized plastic surgeons and some of them have even cost the lives of patients though the blame remains unaccepted and the procedures continue to happen. Another critical problem is an uncommon cancer of the immune system called as anaplastic large cell lymphoma that’s affected more than 400 women who have undergone breast implant surgeries. While taking off the implant stops symptoms and eliminates the disease there have been 17 of them until now who have died due to this cancer despite removal of the implant.
There are more than 10 million women who get breast implant surgeries mostly for cosmetic reasons and some for reconstruction after mastectomy. Though the silicone implants first evolved in 1960s they were banned in the United States in 1992 except for using them for mastectomy patients or to replace previous implants owing to the hazardous side effects quoted by women that even made them quit their jobs. But commercialization, business requirements and the huge flow of cash involved brought these surgeries back into the market in 2006 but with abundant rules and regulations to be followed. Another investigation involving The Guardian showed that there were more than 1,200 serious incidents linked to breast implants that have been reported in the UK since 2015 most common of which was a rare type of cancer.
There are medical devices in the market worldwide that are causing severe side effects on patients. There is an urgent need to monitor these devices, stop a few, correct many of them and then allow for a reentry into the market for use. Loving our body is one way to love ourselves. Rather than choosing cosmetic enhancement surgeries to uplift our self-esteem it’s better to cherish our gifted body and stay as much healthy as possible to lead a good quality of life. Though breast implant surgeries don’t cause side effects on all patients there is a greater chance that things could go wrong anytime with anyone. Hence, it is the physician’s duty to inform the patient of the potential side effects and ensure that the woman takes an informed decision after knowing all the side effects of the surgery, if in case she wants to proceed with it.
Reports of Breast Implant Illnesses Prompt Federal Review: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/19/health/breast-implants-fda-illness.html
Breast Implant Studies Reveal Serious Safety Concerns: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/26/breast-implants-study-reveals-serious-safety-concerns
Check out if you are up to date on the ways to free yourself from the burden of experiencing the first of many things-stroke, heart attack or heart complications. Maybe you recall reading it in the health section of the newspaper or somewhere online but what follows now are the latest guidelines laid down by the American Heart Association (AHA) that’s surely going to be an eye-opener of all sorts. Heart exists as the central organ responsible for our health but its obvious from the way we treat this integral organ and the statistics backing heart-related problems as being among the top health risks faced by individuals that humans don’t pay enough respect nor show enough concern for its well-being. Revisiting certain things and correcting them might make your heart smile and your life filled with laughter.
Safeguarding your heart is unlike building a spacecraft and it requires no technical knowledge. Much common sense, recognizing symptoms at an early stage and taking precautionary steps is the best way to keep the heart healthy.
Individual: The Only Real Focus Here
Question the use of aspirin
Physicians suggest using low doses of aspirin in those individuals at a high risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart diseases. But research of late have triggered our mind to start questioning the reliability of using aspirin as it has been shown to increase the risk of bleeding in the intestinal tract. Latest guidelines suggest taking aspirin only when other risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, exercising and weight issues have been met. Also, people above the age of 70 are advised to never take aspirin as the risk of bleeding is even greater than the sum of benefits that this medicine could proclaim upon the person.
Going Away from E-cigarettes
Smoking is a grave risk factor and quitting smoking is the only advice that’s apt. Latest guidelines also deal with the negative consequences associated with e-cigarettes that’s being increasingly used as an alternative to quitting smoking. Rather, its suggested that people choose something between nicotine replacement patches, gums or smoke cessation medications instead. But truly, avoiding any of these and getting an expert’s help is the best way to deal with the problem.
No Changes to your Blood Pressure Recommendations
The guidelines don’t change here and it is recommended that every individual tries to maintain recommended BP ranges-130/80 mmHg as revised by the 2017 guidelines. High BP is a grave risk for heart ailments and the better attention you pay to these ranges the more advantageous is it for you.
Workout on Lowering Cholesterol Levels
High levels of the bad cholesterol, LDL, has also been an ever-existing risk for heart disease. Go for a healthy lifestyle change by modifying your diet routine, exercise habits and smoking weakness. Despite these, if cholesterol levels fail to lower it is better to discuss it with the physician who can recommend medications such as statins.
Keep Type 2 Diabetes under Control
The latest guidelines go beyond prescribing meds such as metformin to treat diabetes but also suggesting those kinds of drugs that help cells in the body to flush out glucose or make the pancreas secrete more insulin to break down blood sugar.
The Environment in which you Live Matters
Our health is based on our lifestyle. Many factors such as proper housing facilities, hygienic food availability, access to good healthcare facilities and social environment play a critical role in deciding the patient’s wellbeing. Planning to reduce the risk of an individual must be based on the individual’s goals, circumstances and values.
Stay on a Healthy Weight
Physicians and health experts advice individuals to always take care to maintain a normal body weight by exercising regularly, eating more of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and cereals and avoiding trans-fat and saturated-fats as much as possible. Failing to stay on a healthy weight can lead to a series of problems that can put your life in a shamble. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to reduce weight, control diabetes, save yourself from high LDL levels and attain overall wellness.
Staying active and doing exercise regularly is the best way to stay health. It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. Avoid over exertion but do as much as possible to stay active. Stop giving lame excuses and if you feel you don’t have the time to do 30 minutes of activity daily start with 5 minutes of exercise a day. I am not joking but there have been several studies proving that some degree of activity is better than no activity at all for better heart health.
Lifestyle exists as the perfect example of the Cause and effect’ theory. An individual who does not follow a proper lifestyle (cause) is at every risk of suffering from blood pressure (effect). The cause also exists as the solution for treating BP-improvement in lifestyle improves blood pressure rates and keeps them under control. In words, it sounds extremely simple to handle but practically most people lose control at some point in life and suffer from blood pressure effects.
High Blood Pressure
Blood circulating inside us sometimes exerts pressure on the walls of the arteries. This pressure causes damage to the arteries which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke over time. Also called as hypertension, risk factors include age and family history, but lifestyle choices remain as the No. 1 risk factor for triggering increase in blood pressure levels.
Even the American Heart Association Hypertension Guideline recommends lifestyle changes as the first step in reducing blood pressure. Despite repeated insistence on an active lifestyle for reducing BP individuals rely completely on medications. The recent study comes as a solid proof for these guys who doubt the effects of a lifestyle modification in reducing blood pressure levels.
Many reputed physicians and RDNs believe that eating healthy food and exercising regularly decrease the need of medications in a majority of BP patients especially those whose systolic numbers range between 130 and 160 mmHg and diastolic numbers between 80-99 mmHg. The study group selected 129 obese men and women between the ages of 40 and 80 years who had high blood pressure. Each one of them had blood pressure measuring between 130-160/80-99 mmHg but none were into BP medications at that point of study. Almost more than 50% participants needed antihypertensive medications according to the BP guidelines at the start of the study. Each of the participants were assigned to one of the three groups during the 16 weeks of study. Participants in the first group underwent diet modifications and also took part in weight management programs. Diet modification included pursuing a DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) plan that has been approved universally by established healthcare organizations, RDNs and physicians for lowering blood pressure levels. DASH is a diet approach that focuses mainly on consuming fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy minimizing consumption of red meat, salt and sweets. Participants in the second group were given a DASH diet plan without any instructions on physical activity changes. The third group neither changed their food habits nor introduced physical activity in their day-to-day life.
Results showed that:
A DASH diet is low in total fat, saturated/trans fat and cholesterol and rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber. Dietitians and nutritionists specializing in BP management at www.firsteatright.com can help in planning a healthy diet plan suiting your requirements and control BP in the perfectly healthy way. It is also recommended to limit sodium intake, avoid alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking and manage stress with the right approach (such as meditation and yoga) to keep BP under control. It is also necessary to stay physically active. Choose the right activity that keeps you happy as this might also keep you stress-free. Choose anything between walking, jogging, swimming, playing a sport or dancing.
Different factors have different effects on blood pressure rates and a combination of these can have a strong impact on your body. Its been agreed that similar to weight loss, even a similar reduction in BP levels can have tremendous effect on the body lowering the risk of heart diseases and other diseases. Abnormal blood pressure rates are prevalent among a majority of the population worldwide. The solution remains clear and simple. Its now time that people awake, arise and fight against increasing blood pressure rates by taking care of their body properly.
Delivering a child and recovering from its effects are treated as a rebirth for women. Pregnancy brings about joy and happiness but also a sense of anxiety in the mom-to-be as she starts to fervently wish for a safe delivery and a healthy infant. Some start feeling hungrier, wish to eat all sorts of food available and still there are many who practice the age-old concept of ‘eat for two’. Insulin secretion and sensitivity increase which thereby increase the amount of maternal fat and glycogen storage. More than external factors there are various factors from within the woman such as the placental hormones that serve as insulin antagonists. Normally, a pregnant woman undergoes increase in insulin secretion to overcome insulin resistance but sometimes, the pregnant women becomes unable to regulate insulin secretions and starts showing signs of gestational diabetes.
Forerunner to Type 2 Diabetes
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a sign of glucose intolerance that’s exposed initially during pregnancy which occurs in almost 7% of pregnant women. This phase is temporary in most pregnant women and glucose levels stay balanced after delivery negating any need for diabetes medications. But suffering from gestational diabetes during pregnancy exists as a significant risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. This is a clearly evident result of a study involving more than 800 participants who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes between 1996 and 2003. It showed that almost 12.5% women developed type 2 diabetes within two months of delivery and during the next ten years the number of women who were classified as diabetics steadily increased at the rate of 6.8% per year.
This study included a thorough research on Asian women and came to the conclusion that almost 50% of Asian women with gestational diabetes were at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next eight years of childbirth. The research team followed up on 370 participants for more than a year after childbirth. 105 of them developed type 2 diabetes within two months of childbirth and the rest were unable to participate in the follow up study. Women either developed diabetes within two months or took a significant amount of time (a year or so) to become a diabetic. When analyzing for the difference in duration before developing diabetes they came with the reason that defect in insulin secretion was the primary reason for developing diabetes early during postpartum period. These women also displayed a variation in the HHEX gene that’s majorly associated with Type 2 diabetes.
Whereas, women who showed a slower ability to become glucose intolerant showed changes in the CDKAL1 gene that’s also associated with type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes Progressing into Type 2 Diabetes
We take many things in life for granted such as our existence, our parents, friends, talents, skills, knowledge and even our ability to walk, talk and move. It doesn’t dawn on us that we are blessed to live with such great abilities amongst those who suffer from polio, vision loss, autism and more. All the more, we are used to asking for more and more never satisfied with what we have or how we live. It’s not only materialistic pleasures that take the front seat here but also our position, power and happiness go for a toss when we constantly lack the satisfaction and comforts provided by this life. But suddenly our outlook towards life and other things changes either due to a great loss in the form of our beloved one or in the form of health problems such as stroke or cancer. We are all happy and gay one moment in life but within minutes after stroke the brain is abducted of its skills and talents along with the ability to walk or move your hand-few of the things that have been taken for granted until now treated as though it’s the body’s duty to function appropriately for our survival.
Stroke happens when there is deficient blood flow to the brain due to which brain tissues are deprived of oxygen and nutrients. Stroke usually damages one side of the brain (motor fibers connected to movement is primarily affected) and affects the opposite side of the body. The individual’s balance is affected alongside muscle tone and control. Stroke can leave a person with debilitating side effects if emergency care is not provided immediately. You should be able to identify symptoms of stroke-FAST-to save a stroke-affected victim. Learn more about recognizing these symptoms in the shortest time period by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com.
Once the patient is stable enough, he/she is put onto rehabilitation programs that involve aerobic and strengthening exercises along with walking exercises that help in improving the overall health of the person. As stroke leaves one with weakened muscles the physician checks for such weaknesses that need to be resolved before moving on to exercises.
Walking involves a lot many muscles and movements that are involved in every single step that you take. Movement is the result of the brain instructing the muscles to move but once stroke attacks a person it’s the physician who moves the different muscles related to walking thereby instructing the brain to start movement. Walking, a simple chore until now has become a monumental task for the stroke-affected victim. He/she needs to master the tricks repeatedly to improve his/her mobility.
A new study has come up with a good piece of news that arm exercises can improve walking ability after months or years after suffering from a stroke. A group of researchers worked with older adults who suffered from a stroke between 7 months and 17 years prior to the study. The volunteers were part of three 30-minute, moderate-intensity arm cycling training sessions each week for 5 weeks. The research team measured the volunteers’ abilities before and after the arm exercises using measures such as: Six minute walk that measures how far a person can walk in six minutes, timed 10 meter walk that measures how quickly a person can cover 10 meters and timed up & go which measures how much time it takes to stand up from a seated position, walk 10 feet, turn around, walk back and sit down again. Results showed that:
FAST (Facial drooping, arm weakness, slurring speech) is the best way to identify stroke in both men and women. The faster you diagnose stroke greater are the chances of survival. Sadly, some symptoms of stroke are not so explicit in women and this can play a pivotal role in deciding the arrival of medical help which in turn determines her chances of survival.
FAST might be common to both the sexes but women experience subtler signs such as dizziness, nausea, fatigue, confusion, coordination problems, memory loss, behavioral changes and numbness in any part of the body that don’t require much thinking but the immediate attention of a physician to decide upon its cause.
Know Your Risk
Women are blessed with a longer lifespan naturally but this makes them vulnerable to stroke as the probability of the disease increases as the individual grows older. Though the overall percentage affected by stroke is pronounced among men more than 60% of the deaths occur in the women population. Despite such critical statistics not every woman realizes that she is twice likelier to suffer from problems due to stroke compared to the problems that she could suffer from breast cancer.
Experiences of a sudden headache, loss of speech, confusion, changes in the vision, dizziness or lack of balance are general signs of stroke in women apart from your face drooping and arm weakness. The sooner you identify these warning signs and start treatment for stroke the better it is for you to retain your brain functionalities.
Pregnancy initiates a serious of health complications in some women which might be due to their medical history, present body condition or so. The entire pregnancy period is like a stress test for a woman’s heart and blood vessels owing to superlative hormonal changes and weight imbalances. Nowadays stroke during pregnancy is more common than thought of and research indicates that almost 30 of 1,00,000 women experience stroke while being pregnant. Maximum risk periods are just before and after the child’s delivery. We are well-aware that many women suffer from gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia and even thyroid during their pregnancy period but not aware that stroke might play an equal role as well as a major complication during pregnancy. Pregnant women are almost thrice likelier to suffer from stroke compared to younger individuals.
A stroke during pregnancy is shocking, hurting, alarming and above all, sure to leave the pregnant mother, fetus and the family with long-lasting impacts. While we consider high BP or preeclampsia during pregnancy as a common occurrence, we are unaware that these effects can leave an even greater impact on the woman-in the form of stroke. With high blood pressure being christened as the leading risk factor for stroke one solely depends on living a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious foods and staying stress-free to minimize the risk.
Another leading cause for stroke during pregnancy is blood clot. Blood clots are common during pregnancy and this is evident from swollen legs commonly seen in pregnant women (swelling reduces flow of blood to the legs). Pregnancy increases the secretion of one kind of substance that increases the likeliness of blood clot to help pregnant women avoid extreme bleeding while giving birth. But this increases the possibility of a stroke as well.
Ensuring Health During Pregnancy
Some problems are inevitable but it is best to take every precaution possible to avoid risk factors during/after pregnancy that can cause any complications.
It has almost become a cliché now to say that sitting down for longer periods of time is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. We are in sync with standing desks, walking meetings and exercise ball chairs which are small initiatives both from the employer’s as well as the employee’s side to minimize sedentary seating time at office and increase active time. There have been previous studies quoting that the effects of sitting negate the effects of exercising or being active through the rest of the day but sometime later we also had studies showing that standing too long sometimes surpasses the ill effects of sitting down. For more details on the disadvantages of standing for too much time visit www.firsteatright.com. Isn’t it so confusing to realize that neither sitting nor standing are any good for our health?
Life is a balance between many things and the quality of life depends on how well you manage these things and take them forward. We cannot change our job requirements nor throw away our desk jobs just because they increase our sedentary hours spent. After all, its our bread and butter for leading a good life. All that we can do is get around staying active and healthy by all other means. This includes going for a walk, playing some games, swimming, walking, jogging, dancing or likewise. While sitting does come with its own disadvantages a new study comes with this surprising fact that not all types of sitting are created equally.
The Sitting Bias
This study exactly involved 3,592 participants all of whom were Africans American. Each of the participants reported how much time they spent watching TV, They also reported spending time watching TV, sitting down to do work or doing much of exercise during the sedentary time. Results showed that participants who clocked maximum hours watching television (4 or more hours daily) and suffered from a 70% increased risk of cardiovascular events and death in comparison to those who watched minimal amount of television (less than 2 hours daily).
Despite the fact that you might be a crazy fan of television sitting in front of it for hours together without moving even to use the bathroom at work, most of us walk every now and then while at office during work and this is in every way better than sitting down with a tub of popcorns in hand. So, the combination of both, sitting together continuously for hours together and eating a large meal might be the deadliest combination. Watching television is not bad and it doesn’t mean that you are a couch potato. Take a small break from your series-watching spree, go for a walk or jog around to diminish the ill-effects of sitting. Remember, any type of exercise that gets the heart beating faster and the breathing harder is good for the body.
While the tactic seems good on most people there are some individuals such as truck drivers who cannot take a break while sitting and driving. But for those working in banks, IT companies and likewise it is recommended that you get up and take a break from your sitting schedule. Its been reported that performing moderate or vigorous physical activity such as walking, aerobic exercise and any sport reduce the risk of death, stroke or heart attack. When individuals followed this routine (engaged in these exercises) they did not face any increased risk of death, stroke or heart attack even when they watching TV for more than 4 hours a day. This study seems to be an eyeopener for many of those who are sedentary.
In an ideal world the rooster wakes us up with its bright cockadoodledoo and the birds chirp sweet tunes in our ears as they welcome sunshine with arms wide open. But we have destroyed both-the nature and the trees as well as disrupted the balance in ecosystem leading to a stage where finding a butterfly is a rare sight or a woodpecker in a tree is an amazing visual! I would like to quote a small episode that does prevail in many of our households everyday- the alarm is set at 5.30 AM in the morning with an intention of exercising for an hour before getting ready but our late-night binge-watching episodes do prevent us from getting up at the stipulated time and we hit the snooze button. For some, it might be once but some others don’t mind getting to hear it for another 3-4 times before getting out of bed. Finally, its almost 6.30 AM and all our hopes are deep down the trash. Monday mornings too land us in similar troubles where we force ourselves out of bed in the last minutes without any time to sip our hot cup of coffee or get ready leisurely spoiling all the pleasures in life. How exactly is that extra snooze time going to benefit us in some way? Actually, in no way at all and rather they are great troublemakers that put our life in a turmoil.
Body’s Own Alarm Clock
The alarm clock is an invention of mankind and the snooze button is more of a recent innovation that has the ability to spoil the health of every person using it. Don’t our parents and grandparents wake up on their own even before the sun rises but we keep contemplating on the perfect time to wake up until the last moment. Each of us have our own natural alarm clock (circadian rhythm) which puts us to sleep after sunset and wakes us up when the sun shines. But when this rhythm is disrupted due to our dependence on an external alarm clock the sleep cycle too gets disrupted. But, when your alarm rings and you hit the snooze button repeatedly your body is all the more confused preventing you from getting up feeling bright, rested and energetic. Maybe this is the reason why most of us get up early feeling exhausted and irritated even after sleeping through the night!
Snooze is not an enemy of just staying awake but also to sleep. We think that we would feel more fresher and eager to start the day after experiencing the extra 5 or 9 minutes of sleep (snooze) time but the fact is that we are more inclined to feeling stressed. It works hard on the heart, increases cortisol and adrenaline levels (these hormones wake us up) and disrupts our natural sleep cycle. While we feel great thinking about the extra 30 minutes of sleep time acquired through snooze practically, this time gain is worse than no sleep at all (https://psmag.com/social-justice/devil-snooze-button-sleeping-sleep-morning-68787). It confuses our natural body clock and puts us through short bouts of sleep that’s not restorative.
While early days people had a perfect circadian rhythm over the past couple of decades people sleep late but get up at the same time in the morning almost losing 45 minutes of sleep on working days. It’s no shocking news that sleep deprivation is a risk factor for obesity/overweight and it’s not just dependent on how much sleep you get but also on how much you have messed with your body’s circadian rhythm. Some studies show that this spike in weight ranges is due to the increased secretion of ghrelin (appetite) hormone and decreased secretion of leptin (satiety hormone). The body’s circadian rhythm is extremely essential for the well-being of individuals as it plays a central role in controlling body temperature, hormone secretion, blood pressure and regulates everyday activities of different organs in the body. So, for every 45 minutes of sleep lost daily some of us try to make up for the loss during weekends while some others keep carrying forward the loss until something hard strikes their health badly-the cortisol puts our body in a fight or flight mode, the sound of the alarm while deep in sleep jolters us out of sleep and stress levels are increased-this is an indication to our body that we have not fulfilled our required 7-8 hours of sleep for the day.
So, every nine minutes of extra sleep is not a gain to body but a loss on our productivity. Rather than taking sleep as a work of the lazy man, treat it as a requirement for renewed energy and productivity. Get yourself tuned with your body’s natural alarm clock which helps you ditch off the alarm clock, especially the snooze button that corrupts your mind into hitting it often desiring for an extra 10-20 minutes of sleep that can spoil your entire day sometimes. Take hold of sunshine as an indication to wake up, stop staying late up in the night, go to bed early, keep your bedroom sleep-friendly with dark lights, pleasant aroma and soothing music and finally, if required use an alarm clock and not your smartphone-firstly because, keeping a smartphone near your resting place is bad for health and secondly, the light from the phone emits radiations that don’t do good to our body when that’s the first thing that we see after waking up!
The Body’s Subconscious Alarm Clock: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/250015.stm
Your Alarm Clock might be Hazardous to Health: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/your-alarm-clock-may-be-hazardous-to-your-health-164620290/
Stop Snoozing: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/health/sleep/a27652162/stop-snoozing/
Heart disease and cancer take the center stage while diabetes and blood pressure are deemed to be a standard mishap in every man’s life where a physician’s routine questionnaire during any consultation involves a pointer on these two conditions. Still, I guess there are some who are unaware of the changes to BP guideline introduced in 2017 (normal BP readings now are 130/80 mmHg). Despite high blood pressure levels being considered as a silent killer, we do indulge in salty French fries, spray salt to even our salads and eat all the processed foods that we can lay our hands upon. It would be ridiculous to ask someone to cut off access to salt once they are diagnosed with BP and neither are we doing justice when we generously grant our kids access to their favorite potato wafers or French fries.
An Algorithm for BP Treatment
Once high blood pressure levels are confirmed in any patient the physician’s first advise would be changes to the patient’s food habits. Do’s and don’ts are listed, physical activity prioritized and a healthy lifestyle change brought into picture. But how many of us adhere to such changes immediately or without being affected by an even greater mishap? Not many. Understanding that high BP levels are avoidable in the first place by our attitude towards life and coming forward to make appropriate changes once diagnosed with the condition shows your respect for your health and adherence to certain principles of life that would make life smoother, easier, livable and more enjoyable.
The algorithm suggested by the American Medical Association provides a great insight for the patients on the changes that need to be brought into their life whereas it serves as the perfect tool for physicians to take the patient in the right path towards better health:
Normal BP: 120/80 mmHg is considered to be normal BP readings and when individuals are well-under this range all that they are advised to do is adhere to healthy lifestyle habits such as a nutritious diet and regular exercise. Though ranges might be normal a yearly BP assessment helps both the patient and the doctor understand where the individual stands with respect to blood pressure health.
Elevated BP: A blood pressure measurement between 120 and 129 mmHg systolic and 80 mmHg diastolic pressure comes under this category. Physicians advise their patients to take up nonpharmacological therapy for treating blood pressure falling under this category. They also promote these individuals to pursue the DASH (dietary approach to stop hypertension) diet, an eating plan that consists of reduced sodium and fat intake, increased produce intake and optimal dairy intake. Following a regular physical activity plan, minimizing alcohol consumption and weight loss (if needed for people belonging to the obese/overweight category) is recommended alongside the diet plan. The physician is advised to also reassess BP measurements every three to six months.
Stage 1 hypertension: Individuals with 130-139 mmHg systolic and 80-89 mmHg diastolic are put into this category. The physician is to prescribe BP-lowering meds and nonpharmacological therapy when the patient has a history of clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes or a 10-year (or above 10%) cardiovascular disease risk. It is critical to assess BP levels after a month and if there are no changes it is necessary that the doctor intensifies the therapy. In case the risk of cardiovascular disease is less than 10%, nonpharmacological therapy should be recommended with a date set for follow-up after three to six months of therapy.
Stage 2 hypertension: For anyone having a blood pressure reading of above 140/90 mmHg the doctor prescribes both nonpharmacological therapy and BP-lowering medications by default. Here also, the readings are taken again after one month and if there are no positive changes in the therapy the physician assesses optimal adherence to therapy and also thinks about intensifying it where the diet restrictions are made stricter and activity levels are also monitored.
In whichever stage of hypertension you might be, it is possible to control it with perfectly planned diets available at www.firsteatright.com. Our RDNs expertise in diabetes nutrition would help you optimize BP levels and maintain it without straining your physical health.
Stilettos, wedges and pumps are the love of life for women in their 20s, 30s and even 40s whose life’s greatest priorities include looking good too. It’s a period during which every woman tries to look her level best, be chic, smart and powerful. Ageing brings about a lot of changes (visit www.firsteatright.com for a big list of these) including changes in foot morphology that includes width and length differences besides changes in pain tolerance linked to age. Our feet might change due to age and our once favorite shoes might no longer be comfortable nor safe to wear in our older years. An uncomfortable and ill-fitted shoe is a pain at any age and such conditions during old age implies double trouble.
Often, we hear our grandmas and grandpas quoting that they are still young and age is just a number that doesn’t affect their daily functioning in life. In order to prove this right, they try to lead lives following a lifestyle that’s similar to their early stages in life and this leads to unwanted complications sometimes in their lives. Already these people are at a pronounced risk or in fact, suffer from conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and obesity which coupled with their improper lifestyle routines (such as using shoes that are harmful to their feet) can lead to increase in foot problems between 71% and 87%. We do have research studies that using the wrong shoes does affect quality of life as it obstructs physical activity, overall body health, foot health and social movement. Disease-wise, use of incorrect footwear can lead to greater chances of foot bone deformities, toenail malformations, plantar keratosis and flat feet that impact health in the form of infections, pain, limited movement, anxiety, stress and falls. Seniors using footwear are advised to buy those that have a wide fit, adjustable using velcro/straps, made of rubber soles to prevent slips and falls, low heel height, broad enough, snug fit and easy to put it on and remove it.
Get the Right Fit
A team of researchers concluded that shoes that fit when we were young might become unsafe and uncomfortable to use in our elderly age as older people tend to have a lower arch and increased circumference on the forefoot, ankle and instep when compared to younger people. How you walk and what kind of pressure you impose on your knees can have an overall impact on your health. When the shoes used by old people don’t fit right it can result in painful toes, feet and heels. All these increase the risk of falls, sprains, fractures and chronic pain that can have debilitating psychological impact on the individual.
This doesn’t mean that elderly people should wear loose-fitting shoes as this again can affect the way the person walks, speed of walk and cause irregular gait pattern while tight-fitting shoes can cause pain. Are you someone who still loves to walk around with heels despite old age? Maybe you can do wear ones that have lower and broader heels rather than pointed ones that can cause imbalance and instability. In fact, its been noted that those women who are used to wearing heels all these years and suddenly switch over to flats end up experiencing pain. While we don’t have insights about an ideal shoe design for the elderly adults it is always preferred to pick those that have rigid insoles that provide posture stability, broad surface soles that improve balance and arch support that ensures functional mobility and better balance.
While going to buy for a pair of shoes the first thing to look for is the perfect fit and comfort, next comes grip and finally you need to choose your style. These days there are different models to choose from-comfort fit, elegant fit and so on that come with cushioning, extremely reliable soles and grip for the feet. Choose the one that fits your requirements without falling a prey to marketing gimmicks and looks.
Repenting for the mistake after committing it makes you a good person? Asking for forgiveness after some mishap rolls back the problem? Giving some reward after some punishment blurs the wrongdoing? If these are true, then taking medications after getting into a health problem is also acceptable. Making amendments does need a good heart to do so and not every one of us has the goodness to do it. We need to also accept that broken words and spoken eggs cannot be taken back. They can only be disposed and we can start off afresh. Likewise, increasing your cholesterol levels and taking medications for controlling them is not going to solve the problem. They can keep your LDL levels under control but what about the extra cheesy burger or the juicy chicken wings that goes into your tummy right after? You need to rely upon these drugs apart from following the necessary health-related changes and lifestyle goals for reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke. Get the help of reputed registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to help you prepare your diet plan, organize your lifestyle and decrease the risk of heart-related ailments.
Setting the Ground for Statin
Statins are the go-to drugs when it comes to reducing LDL cholesterol levels, the type of cholesterol that puts a person at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Statins blocks the critical substance needed by your body to make cholesterol and it also sucks out cholesterol from the artery walls saving the person from further blockage to blood vessels and heart attacks. How about taking statins even when your LDL levels are not way beyond recommended ranges as a safety precaution? It sounds ridiculous. Every drug comes with its fancy price tag-some kind of a side effect which makes the physicians think twice before prescribing such drugs to healthy people. There have been several trials showing statin’s effectiveness in reducing the risk of heart attacks or strokes in people by as much as 25% or 50% irrespective of the cholesterol levels in an individual. So, indeed its highly recommended that people at a high risk for these diseases should discuss about taking statins along with their daily ritual of following a healthy diet, exercise and activity.
Who are the ones who attain maximum benefit by taking statins? Those with a heart attack or stroke, peripheral vascular disease, people who have undergone coronary artery bypass, ones who have experienced stenting to treat coronary artery disease and the ones with diabetes. The possibility that the doctor would put you on statins depends on your risk of suffering a heart attack or death due to heart disease sooner in the coming years. Statins do prove their effectiveness in cutting down the risk of heart attack and stroke by 50% when people with narrow arteries take it. But research shows that only 6% of the people take statins as per their doctor’s recommendation.
Doesn’t Sum Up Right
The research on statins included more than 5,000 individuals who were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease between 1999 and 2013. All of them were prescribed statins within the first year of diagnosis in order to minimize cholesterol. The research team followed up on the patient’s commitment to the drug in the ensuing five years and also the occurrence of any heart disease meanwhile. Its been noted that individuals on medications mostly don’t follow it and, in this case, too the team noticed variable changes. Those participants who took the drug at least 80% times minimized their risk of heart attack or stroke by almost 50%. Almost 25% of the people did not take the pain to even fill the prescription in the first place while most of them cared the least to go for a second prescription. But researchers have no clue as to why the number of candidates taking the drugs were this bad.
We have proofs that heart health takes a turn for the worse when people skip their medications. If you are really concerned about saving your heart from a heart attack or stroke it is recommended to take statins regularly as prescribed by the physician.
Possible Side Effects
We understand that no drug comes without side effects and statins are no different than the rest. Muscle pain and weakness are the commonly reported side effects while statins can also raise blood sugar levels increasing the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes. But the benefits far outweigh the risk of muscle pain/weakness.
But we have got another study that shows that statins increase the chances of diabetes attack almost between 9 and 12%. Moderate- and high-intensity statins increase the risk of diabetes by 10-20% which means 1 of every 100 statin users might be affected. The risk is even greater in those suffering from prediabetes.
Statins come as a life saver in many cases, their benefits are greater than the risks associated in people with cardiovascular problems or those with high cholesterol numbers. These drugs are the only meds available currently that help save the lives of people with a high risk of heart attack or those who have already experienced one.
Women, the backbone of a family succumb to unstoppable physical and mental hardships anywhere between 45 and 55 years when menopause strikes them like a lightening. Ironically, many families still lack when it comes to showing concern and understanding during this time of life. It’s the right time and opportunity which needs to be maximum utilized to pay attention to our lovely ladies to keep the family’s backbone intact! Being accommodative, showering affection and understanding their emotional imbalance is absolutely necessary. The other important thing is to ensure that the woman gets to eat healthy and nutritious foods to stay active and healthy thereafter. That’s because menopause brings about a biological transition that changes hormones, nutritional needs and health concerns as well. So, failing to decrease your number of takeout meals every week, munching on something rather than eating wholesome foods or skipping meals make it difficult for the women to fulfill their nutrient needs as they grow older.
Muscle mass decreases during menopause which means that women need to consume fewer calories than previously. Eating a healthy diet consisting of five portions of fruits and vegetables, 2-3 portions of calcium-rich foods, more of fiber-rich products, vitamin D-containing foods and reducing intake of trans fat and saturated fats is commonly advised for staying healthy during menopause. Now, let’s look into the common symptoms present during menopause and the remedies that are sought-after in terms of foods for these symptoms.
Easing the Symptoms
Hot flushes are the-most distressing symptom for which many women rely on herbal remedies such as licorice but there are no studies showing decisive results. Comparatively, soy has been proposed to be a better remedy but only in the case of certain women. Research shows that Asian women experience fewer hot flushes compared to American women. While looking into this issue researchers analyzed that Asian women included soy foods containing isoflavones regularly which might be the reason for reduced hot flushes. Isoflavones are plant-based compounds that have the ability to behave like estrogen.
Upping Bone Health
The stark decrease in estrogen levels has a disastrous effect on the bones increasing the risk of osteoporosis and bone loss. This accounts for broken bones in almost every alternate woman breaking her bone above the age of 50. Bone loss continues in some women for over 5 years leaving her with loss of 20% bone density. The main solution for this is to check vitamin D levels and use supplements when there is a shortage. Other solutions include:
Estrogen is the culprit behind many of the health conditions after menopause and cardiovascular disease is one of them. Menopause after the age of 55 increases the risk of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancers. A recent Harvard University study found that eating a Mediterranean-styled diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke by as much as 25%. Another research showed that women who were fed a low-fat diet had more chances of survival after being diagnosed with breast cancer while a high-quality diet increased survival rate after diagnosis. Eat a diet rich in proteins including those that come from plants such as soy, lentils and beans, plenty of vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats such as nuts, avocados, olive oil and low-fat yogurt, milk and dairy.
Meeting Metabolic Requirements
Muscle loss slows down metabolism which exists as a crucial factor for controlling body weight. Drop in estrogen levels too increase fatty deposits, especially around the abdomen even when the woman had carried body fat around her hips and thighs. Being mindful of what you eat and hearing to your body cues for signs of hunger and fullness rather than relying on calorie-restricted diets is the best way to stay in shape and be healthy.
Beyond weight gain there are other issues such as digestive problems, fatigue and depression experienced by women during menopause. So, apart from eating healthy foods one needs to take care of sleep habits and stress levels too. Excess stress has the capability to increase fat around the waist and decrease muscle mass too. Hence, your lifestyle determines your health at any stage. Get in touch with experienced dietitians and nutritionists specialized in fulfilling nutrient needs during menopause at www.firsteatright.com.
Remember, you are not alone and every woman born goes through this phase of life. How you handle it and what type of lifestyle changes you take to improve health and wellness has a key role in determining your health during and after menopause.
You make a sound sometimes when you are about to take the last sip of your fizz or the lip-smacking smoothie with the beloved straw and it goes without saying, it’s the much-in-demand plastic straw! This strange sound in fact makes you feel satisfied and happy as you talk to your friend/family with a beaming face. Isn’t it great that you have achieved milestones in health by consuming nutritious juices ignoring the fact that these shop-prepared ones are laden with sugar and calories even if we ignore the fact that they are ripped off the fiber content that helps you feel full? The question of a fruit juice’s authentic nutrients remains unanswered but we are not focusing on it right now but on the viability of the straw which is mostly made from plastic-a material that’s been questioned for its destructive effect on the environment.
Men and women look forward to celebrating their birthdays, anniversaries and other special days. So, governments may have tried enforcing the same concept to cherish other important aspects in life as well by proposing certain days to commemorate nature, exercise and body parts in the form of World Environmental Day, International Day of Yoga, World Health Day and so on. But this year’s World Environment Day (June 5th) remains a black day in our lives as we were updated with the photo of a black-necked stork with its beak stuck in a plastic ring. This is more than what our minds can take, especially on a rare bird species that might face extinction pretty soon at the rate we are treating Mother Earth! Our lakes, ponds and seas are filled with aplenty plastic straws (that we use to drink our juices) that affect poor marine creatures. Let’s not forget the poor turtle from 2015 which was relieved from a cruel plastic straw struck in its nostrils only after several challenging minutes and some blood loss. We don’t think twice before using these straws and the animals/birds too don’t think twice before trying to eat it as they assume it to be some kind of food that floats on the water.
When each of us have our very own healthy, unharmful and 24*7 available straw-our mouth what’s the need for these plastic straws that pollute the Earth and harm creatures! Though a late realization, many countries have raised a ban against using all forms of plastic including plastic straws but we are far from reaching our goals! Though we have not yet found an equal alternative to plastic that can fulfill plastic’s versatility here are some good alternatives to plastic straws:
Metal Straws: Straws made of stainless steel and aluminum are becoming famous as they don’t dissolve in liquid (like paper straws) but are durable, can be transported and above all, reused by cleaning them with ultrathin brushes. On the downside, some people complain of a metallic taste.
Paper Straws: Paper was the first one to be used to make straws and remain in market until today with the only downside being that they wilt or dissolve quickly when the straw is immersed inside the drink for a longer period. Then I guess you would be drinking your straw along with the juice! The tragedy is that, though this was the first kind of straw to enter the market we haven’t yet found a solution to address the problems of dissolving.
Bamboo Straws: Maybe it’s not only Pandas that love bamboo but mankind too has started developing a soft corner towards this material that’s degradable and aesthetic! While they are reusable, cleaning is quite difficult and the straw might even retain the flavor of the drink when you reuse it!
Glass: Whoa! Drinking from glass straws sound amazing despite their lack of portability and durability. These straws can be reused and add glamor to the drink as they come in different colors too.
Silicon Straws: Maybe these are the best alternatives until now. They are neither too strong nor too weak but just right! Available in different colors and sizes they are environmental-friendly and safe to use too!
Humans have been using some or the other form of straw (also in the form of drinking tubes) since thousands of years and the royals too have preferred that their drinks be served using some cylindrical tube or straw (https://time.com/5336242/plastic-straws-history/). Maybe we might be lucky enough to discover the perfect alternative to plastic straws in the coming years. Now that we have started discussions on the harmful effects of plastic and have also taken some measures to ban them, we do need more efforts from everyone to make it a public reality.
What’s the Best Straw? https://www.popsci.com/whats-best-straw/
Want to Ditch Plastic Straws? Consider These: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2019/07/rethinking-plastic-straws-consider-these-options/#close
Have you ever noticed that food tastes better when you eat it with your loved ones? It isn’t only about filling your tummies but also about filling your heart with good memories and happy times. Eating a meal together is one of the best ways to bond over, plant a new relationship or rekindle lost friendship. Above all, it is the act of planning and preparing a meal which creates joy and cheer among everyone involved.
‘Togetherness’ is something that’s lacking in abundance today. Each member of the family has a different set of interests and none is ready to give up his/her interest for the sake of others. There are three televisions in almost every household where each member (living with grandparents has become a rarity nowadays) gets to watch his/her favorite channels and episodes. Food is one of the rare things that brings together such different people and help them bond over it. Apart from sharing quality time as a family eating together sparks greater benefits as discussed by reputed dietitians, nutritionists and others:
Maintain Simplicity: Just because the whole bunch of your family is assembling for dinner this doesn’t make it a party or something. Keep things simple, choose recipes that are quick and easy to prepare and if possible, do some prep work over the weekend.
Stick with ‘One’ Meal: Choose a meal that everyone will eat. You can plan for a few sides to enable picky eaters too to enjoy the meal. Once you start thinking about each member’s favorite dish and start executing it you are going to repent later. After all, the motto behind this family meal was to enjoy each one’s company and eat together and not, enjoy each one’s favorite food.
Involve kids in planning and preparing meals: Kids feel important when their suggestion is asked for. Let them choose recipes or sides. You can even assign age-appropriate tasks such as washing produce, setting the table or mixing the ingredients allowing them to be a part of your cooking chore. In fact, if they are grown-up enough, they can prepare a complete kid-cooked meal and stun the adults during dinner time. When kids are involved in cooking, they are less likely to waste food and likelier to try new foods and different produce.
Lead the conversation: Initiate a conversation with others by cracking a simple joke or asking about their day at office/school/home. Kids can catch up with the flow and take over the conversation thereon.
It can be anything-breakfast, lunch or dinner: Don’t make it mandatory to have a meal together for dinner only. Choose a meal that’s best-suited for your family. It’s also better to choose weekends as they are easier for everyone.
Plan the numbers and inform others: It is suggested to eat at least two meals together every week. Decide on the schedule, make a commitment and stick to it. Be flexible if situation demands but ensure to mark it on your calendar and take it as an appointment!
Men love muscles and their lust for a muscular physique has been there since ages. The male gender feels that six-pack abs and a muscular body ooze testosterone and are ready to do anything-literally any crazy thing-to boost their muscles right from eating ultra-bulk protein powders to mass-promoting snack bars without knowing their side effects on the body. Gyms and fitness centers too have made this a business-providing supplements for weight loss, weight gain, body building, muscle mass and more. The marketing gimmicks of these people coupled with the people’s utmost desire in building muscle mass has resulted in this becoming a booming market.
We are ready to eat any quantity of meat or drink those protein shakes to develop muscles. But do you realize that there is more to building muscles than simply devouring protein-enriched products? If you are surprised by this and for those genuinely interested in knowing what exists beyond proteins please visit www.firsteatright.com. The rush over protein intake is such that we have forgotten the side effect of overconsumption of this nutrient and this was analyzed by a group of researchers and the results were published in ‘Nature’s Metabolism’ journal.
Amino Acid Amigos
Amino acid are organic compounds that exist as the building blocks of proteins. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of amino acids that are consumed in order to boost muscle growth and enhance exercise performance. We use the term ‘consumed’ here because they are essential amino acids-meaning they are not produced by the body but must be obtained from food. While BCAAs are acclaimed for reducing fatigue and increasing muscle mass there are scientific proofs backing the fact that we could pay a hefty price for this later in life. The research here specifically focuses on the effect of BCAAs and other essential amino acids such as tryptophan on the health and body composition of mice.
Serotonin is often known as the ‘happiness hormone’ and most of us would be familiar with it. There are even a number of foods quoted that help in increasing the happiness hormone levels in our body. Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, a hormone also involved in promoting sleep apart from improving your mood but there is more to this hormone beyond the visible advantages and these are not anywhere near to optimistic results.
The research team supplied BCAA supplements to mice that resulted in increased levels of BCAAs in the blood which competed with tryptophan for transport into the brain. This excess BCAA lowers serotonin levels and also leads to overconsumption of food due to increase in appetite in mice that ultimately became obese and had a shorter lifespan.
Mice were fed double the normal amount of BCAAs (200%), standard quantity (100%), half (50%) or one fifth (20%) for life. It was those mice that consumed 200% of BCAAs that resulted in becoming obese and living a shorter lifespan. Many of the protein-rich foods such as red meats, dairy, chicken, fish and eggs are rich sources of BCAAs while vegetarians can depend on beans, lentils, nuts and soy proteins for their share of the amino acid. Tryptophan-rich foods include nuts, seeds, soybeans, cheese, chicken and turkey. It is recommended that people include a variety of foods in their diet to get hold of a variety of essential amino acids that contribute towards the body’s well-being and health. Though a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates could be beneficial for reproductive function they do seem to have detrimental effects on health during mid-late life. Maintaining a balance of the different amino acids acquired is very much essential for ensuring good health and is also the best for getting hold of proteins onto your system. Whey protein which has become extremely popular these days is very high in BCAAs. While your gyms might sell them boasting of improved muscle mass think twice before you choose to buy it!
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