A study has revealed that people are confused about two things with respect to whole grains-the quantity of whole grains they should consume and where to find whole grains in food. On the positive side, more than 8 in 10 people realize the goodness of whole grains and its positive effect on our health, but they have misconceptions about the foods that contain these whole grains and almost 83% of people don’t know how many grams they should eat in a day.
One in 10 think bananas come under the whole grain umbrella while one in five believe it to be typically present in white bread. Some even assume whole grains to be a part of nuts and seeds!
Grains, Whole Grains
Rice, oats and wheat are different grains. Certain foods use only the inside portion of these grains and they are not-so-healthy. Whole-grain foods include the inside, outside and every side of the grain-the entire grain to be precise!
Whole grains are an indispensable part of a balanced diet and the WHO recommends increasing the intake of whole grains along with increased intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. Every individual is advised to consume at least 6 to 8 servings of grain foods a day, specifically whole grains which are powerhouses of fiber.
Include Whole Grains in your Everyday Foods
We can include whole grains in our everyday meal by replacing certain foods with certain other foods:
Though scientific advancements have created an aura that heart surgery procedures are simple, in reality they are not! Almost half of all heart surgery patients receive blood transfusions and surgeons and anesthesiologists are till now, doubtful of the level up to which they can allow blood oxygen to drop to before giving transfusions. A recent study finds that there might be chances of reducing the number of patients who may be exposed to the potential dangers of blood transfusions.
Blood Cell Transfusions
Hemoglobin levels that indicate the quantity of oxygen that can be carried in the blood are continuously monitored during heart surgery and when there is a drop in these levels, the patient may receive red blood cell transfusions. The disturbing question here is how low to let the hemoglobin levels drop before going for a transfusion.
The study involved around 5,000 patients in 19 countries around the age of 72 out of which 2/3rd were men. The group was split into two and blood transfusions were given either using liberal strategies (giving transfusions sooner thereby increasing the risk of inflammation and infection) or restrictive strategies (delaying transfusions but increasing risk by letting oxygen levels drop too low).
The two processes generated almost the same result and the cases of heart attack, stroke, new kidney failure or death was similar among the two groups. This suggests that the restrictive waiting approach to blood transfusion can result in less blood being taken from the blood supply leading to less expense being incurred. Read more on heart attack, stroke and ways to curb these diseases with healthy foods at www.firsteatright.com.
Hence, fewer blood transfusions can be done during heart surgeries maintaining patient safety and success rates all the while along with reduced costs and decreased blood usage. Apart from this, several other factors have decreased the need for a blood transfusion. Conserving blood from the patient and re-using it, the complications involved during and after the transfusion process and directed donation where the person relies on his/her own blood during surgery are some methods to deter away from the dangerous transfusion process.
Every day we see a plethora of natural products introduced and sold as dietary supplements for improving health and well-being of an individual with little evidence behind these claims. Let’s look at the common myths about these popular natural products and the scientific explanation behind them for improved health.
Myth: Herbs such as valerian, chamomile and kava are effective for insomnia.
Fact: Valerian, chamomile and kava used as sleep aids are not effective for insomnia and even safety concerns have been raised on some of these products. For instance, kava supplements have been linked to a risk of severe liver disease. Whereas, relaxation techniques such as progressive relaxation, deep breathing exercises and guided imagery can help improve sleep. Certain studies also point out the fact that melatonin can help in treating certain sleep disorders, jet lag and sleep problems due to different work timings and shifts.
Myth: The passionfruit herb can alleviate stress and improve overall health.
Fact: There are minimum number of studies on passionfruit conducted in people and hence, we don’t have much proof to support any of these claims. Certain scientific evidence suggests the advantage of practicing mindfulness meditation (a mind and body practice that helps to focus and clear attention) to reduce symptoms of stress such as anxiety and depression.
Myth: Consuming Vitamin C supplement daily safeguards a person from the attack of common cold.
Fact: Many reviews propose the fact that prophylactic vitamin C never helps to reduce the occurrence of cold, but maybe useful in minimizing the incidence of cold for people exposed to brief periods of severe exercise (skiers, training soldiers and marathon runners).
Myth: Eating garlic supplements prevents heart disease.
Fact: While there are no evidences supporting the fact that garlic supplements prevent heart disease, minimum evidences exist about their usefulness in lowering cholesterol levels or changing other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Myth: Turmeric and Ginkgo biloba supplements aid in preventing the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in people.
Fact: A small number of laboratory studies support the use of curcumin in affecting brain functionality and causing dementia, but the results have never been demonstrated in clinical trials. Physical exercise is believed to procrastinate the risk or onset of dementia in an individual. For more details on the link between exercise and dementia please visit the website www.firsteatright.com. Ginkgo biloba is not effective against reducing the incidence rate of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease incidence either.
Time and again, we come across the benefits of walking as a primary form of exercise. Walking is the easiest way to incorporate physical activity into your life and stick to that activity. There is no device, costume or a designated place required for this activity and even those on walkers and wheelchairs can walk. While walking remains as the most popular exercise form to stay active, recently, organized walking groups and community walks are making many more people come out of their locked doors and feel the pleasant rays of the sun on their feet. Read more on the benefits of walking as a form of exercise at www.firsteatright.com.
We all know that walking has a plethora of health benefits, but are we aware that walking in a group can help us stick to our health and fitness goals? Most walkers find an increase in motivation, accountability and socialization when they walk in a group rather than walking alone.
Starting a Group
In this fast-paced world people rarely find time to even talk to their neighbors and some are even unaware of the names of their neighbors. With such a scenario existing, how is it possible to form groups to walk?
Make People Know
WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook are used to post photos and keep in touch with distant friends. Why not use them to form a group of like-minded people who strive for fitness? Reach out to neighbors, friends and coworkers with these social media platforms to form walking communities.
The time and place of walk can be discussed over mobile communication and the group can assemble at one point to start their journey of walk towards good health. Following a consistent schedule is necessary to help people plan things beforehand and allocate time for the activity.
Know Your Friends
Be aware of the people you are walking with. Are they beginners, experienced walkers or intermediates? According to the group to which most people belong, plan your pace and distance covered during a walk.
Keep it Inclusive
If you are organizing the walking event, it is your duty to keep the space emotionally and physically safe for all people. Understand the participants needs, abilities and disabilities before getting started.
Have Fun while Walking
Start small chats to keep the conversation flowing gradually. This keeps the group engaged and active. For some people, this might be the only ‘me’ time and they would hope to have fun and reenergize themselves, both physically and mentally. Never disappoint them, but keep the group peppy with some serious fun and activity.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.