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Staying away from food loaded with sodium

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Whether or not you’re facing high blood pressure issues, you should considering reducing your sodium intake as you try to improve your eating habits.

When considering your diet and which foods should be emphasized less, it’s not always obvious where you’ll find a lot of sodium. This slideshow of the 7 saltiest foods offer up a good start. For example, one can of soup has a whopping 1,622 mg of sodium! If you’re buying soup at the store, make sure to get the low-sodium version.

Next, 2 slices of pizza has an incredible 1,280 mg of sodium! If pizza is a big part of your diet, you need to reconsider your eating habits. Pizza is also loaded with simple carbs, so start thinking of replacements.

Check out the entire list for more ideas of foods that need to be a smaller part of your diet.

Fighting sugar addiction

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Dr. Robert Lustig has a new book out called “Fat Chance” that addresses the huge problems caused by excessive consumption of sugar, which is a real problem in this country. Watch this video and you’ll realize that you need to be very cognizant of how much sugar you are consuming. This is particularly important if you’re a parent.

The biggest issue involves hidden sugar in processed foods, like salad dressing, hamburger buns, BBQ sauce etc. It’s a labeling issue and an issue about government subsidies for the sugar and corn industries.

Find Fast Food For Under 500 Calories


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Even when you know better than eat fast food there may be times when that is your only choice.

Think family road trips, business travel, or kids who won’t have it any other way.

The author of “Eat This Not That” has compiled a list of 14 meals at the most popular fast food places to make your choices easy.

These are not the healthiest options overall but in a pinch you are armed with information to get the most out your foray into fast food.

The Very Real Link Between Sugar And Alzheimer’s


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The connection between sugar and Alzheimer’s can not be disputed.

The New Scientist Magazine, September 3, 2012 issue explains the sugar-Alzheimer’s link as the condition by which our muscle, fat, and liver cells stop responding to insulin.

The cells no longer metabolize glucose properly thereby leading to insulin resistance or pre-diabetes.

This, then causes the pancreas to produce excess amounts of insulin even as excess glucose builds up in the blood causing insulin spikes which overwhelm the brain.

Insulin also regulates neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, which are crucial for memory and learning and is also important for the function and growth of blood vessels, which supply oxygen and glucose to the brain.

There’s also research tying brain dysfunction directly to excess sugar consumption. In a 2012 study, UCLA scientists fed rats a heavy ration of fructose (which makes up roughly a half of both table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup) and noted both insulin resistance and impaired brain function within six weeks. Interestingly, they found both insulin function and brain performance to improve in the sugar-fed rats when they were also fed omega-3 fatty acids. In other words, another quirk of the American diet, deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids, seems to make us more vulnerable to the onslaught of sweets.

Another facet of our diets, lots of cheap added fats, may also trigger insulin problems and brain dysfunction. New Scientist flags yet another recent study, this one from University of Washington researchers, finding that rats fed a high-fat diet for a year lost their ability to regulate insulin, developed diabetes, and showed signs of brain deterioration.

Government subsidies of corn and sugar have made these commodities incredibly inexpensive for the food industry which puts sweeteners in almost everything we eat.

This, at the same time Alzheimer’s costs $200 billion a year in health care alone.

The U.S. government has declared a mandate to find a cure for Alzheimer’s by 2025.

Cheap sugar comes at a very high price, indeed.

Overweight Teens Eat Less Than Thinner Teens


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The key to maintaining normal body weight lies in regular exercise and getting weight under control before puberty.

Even though some teenagers may eat less than their thinner peers, fat cells laid down in the body at an early age never go away.

Lack of exercise and an abundance of fat cells alter body chemistry and create an environment where fewer calories in cause more weight gain.

And obesity expert Matthew Gillman of the Harvard School of Public Health says the amount of physical activity kids participate in is key. “When you’re less physically active, you actually need fewer calories to maintain your weight,” he explains.

But if that weight is already higher than it should be, that could signal the beginning of a long-term problem.

“Once you become overweight, there are changes in your body that make you different from someone who’s not [overweight],” explains Sophia Yen of Stanford School of Medicine. “You have extra fat cells, and you have different insulin levels,” which can make it feel like you’re eating less than you are.

Being fit at at early age is crucial and tackling weight gain before it begins can provide a lifetime of good health.

Is Organic Always Better?


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It seems that buying organically produced food does’t provide all of the solutions that we are looking for.

Researchers at Stanford University help shed some light on this debate.

In this interview the most common questions are asked and answered to help you understand what you’re paying for and what you’re getting when you choose organic.

So if you ask people, they say that the two main reasons they eat organic food are because it’s nutritious, and because it’s good for the environment. But she also finds there are a whole bunch of emotional values that are tied up with eating organic food. So people who eat organic food tend to value altruism. They tend to value benevolence. They tend to value spirituality. And organic food has gotten wrapped up in all of these values that don’t necessarily have to do with the very specific things that science studies.

Non-Alcoholic Wine Is Best For Health Benefits


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Wine definitely has health benefits.

Cardiovascular health, lowered blood sugar and healthy weight maintenance are all benefits of polyphenols and antioxidants in red wine, however, research has shown that without the alcohol the benefits are just as effective if not more so.

Although there have been many studies on the impact of moderate drinking on health, the findings have been mixed, with some studies showing a benefit and others suggesting none. The new study found that 3 ounces of gin a day had no impact on blood pressure, while consumption of regular red wine led to a small, but not statistically significant, improvement.
The new study suggests that if you’re going to have a drink, red wine would be the healthiest choice, said Dr. Kelly Anne Spratt, a heart disease prevention specialist and a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Lose The Weight By Replacing Late Night Junk Food With Healthy Treats

It is tempting to reach for sweet and salty snacks after a long of work but regular noshing can add to weight gain and poor health.

Replacing junk food with with healthy snacks filled with fiber and protein can stem cravings and provide nutritionally dense foods which are beneficial and filling.

Men May Benefit From Chocolate To Lower Stroke Risk


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Chocolate has been lauded in the news for it’s health benefits.

Now a Swedish study has found that men, in particular, may benefit from the flavonoids in cocoa to ward off strokes.

The study, which was funded by a Swedish research council and published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, adds to the growing evidence that chocolate, or rather cocoa, has some heart-healthy properties.
Cocoa contains flavonoids, compounds that have been shown to lower blood pressure, increase “good” cholesterol (HDL) and improve the function of arteries.
Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, also may thin the blood and prevent clotting, which could help stave off heart attacks and strokes.

Although there are definite health benefits from chocolate, moderation, healthy diet and exercise work together to maintain optimal health.

Apple Cider Vinegar For All That Ails You

Apple cider vinegar has a multitude of uses to keep you healthy.

The best vinegars contain the “mother” or the starter.

Prebiotics support the intestinal flora by providing nutrients and energy to good bacteria in the gut.

Preliminary evidence suggests that prebiotics can play a role in boosting the immune system, improving antibiotic-associated diarrhea, colitis and reducing irritable bowel problems.

1. Digestion and food poisoning. Vinegar contains malic acid, which can help common digestive issues like constipation or acid-reflux. And because it’s a trifecta of antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, a tablespoon or two in a 8 oz. glass of water may even help with a case of food poisoning.

2. Sleep issues. Many people swear by a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water with honey before bed, citing its sleep-inducing powers and that it promotes a more restful night’s sleep.

3. Diabetes. A 2007 study published in Diabetes Care, showed potential for apple cider vinegar as a tool to lower glucose levels. (Note that it can interfere with diabetes medication, if you are taking them. )

4. High cholesterol. Its high levels of pectin can help regulate blood pressure and lower cholesterol, showed a 2006 study done with rats.

5. Bones and teeth. Apple cider vinegar has the capacity to extract calcium from fruits, vegetables, and meat in your diet, thereby helping strengthen your bones and teeth.

6. Joint pain. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help provide pain-relief to neck, back, and shoulder joint pain (including arthritis).

7. Detox. High levels of potassium in the vinegar work like a clarifying tonic on the body, helping clear up sinus infections, candida, sore throats, and allergies. Some New Yorkers do a cleanse with it (and clean food) instead of juice.

8. Weight loss. It won’t replace eating well and exercise, but apple cider vinegar may help you feel full longer, and some natural-health experts say its enzymes and soluble fiber can aid in fat metabolism. A study done on mice showed that acetic acid (main component of the vinegar) slowed fat accumulation.

9. Summertime bug bites. It’s an antiseptic that can soothe bug bites and skin allergies almost instantly.

10. Beauty blemishes, burns, and bad hair days. When used as a toner, it helps curbs acne and blemishes with its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Add it to a bath for sunburn relief (about a cup) and rinse your hair with it for instant shine (a few tablespoons).

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