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Are you wondering why you are not losing weight? What you eat is a major factor in weight loss, but it is not the only one. The measurement of ones health or fitness is really influenced by a variety of factors, including energy levels, sleeping habits, monthly cycle patterns in women, hormonal health, proclivity to autoimmune disorders, dependency, or addiction, and so on. When you deprive your body of the essential nutrients, it can sometimes affect the proper functioning of your system and take a toll on your health for the worst. Also Read - Low-fat cheeses that may actually contribute to weight loss

Studies have proved that weight loss consists of 80 per cent diet and 20 per cent exercise. While most people are aware of this, they cant help but fall for the fad diets that are popular on the internet. But mind you, not every diet you come across is good for weight loss. The first thing you need to understand is that weight loss is about eating healthy, and not about eating less to be skinny. With that said, here are reasons why fad diets are not good for weight loss. Also Read - Skipping breakfast: What happens to the body when you miss your morning meal?

Being healthy and fit cannot be achieved just by resorting to just a diet, let alone a fad diet. It is vital to contemplate the inner workings of your body, meaning you need to be aware of the bodily functions to be able to lose weight effectively. And this can only be achieved over a period of time, and fad diets are not the way to do that. Also Read - Can intermittent fasting on the keto diet help you lose weight faster?

Fad diets are frequently either too abundant in one element or too low in another, are excessively skewed to certain macro groups, or are goal-driven. For instance, the keto diet is high in healthy fats and protein and low in carbs, which causes the body to enter ketosis and burn fat for energy instead of carbs. This diet was initially created and developed to combat epilepsy and associated epileptic disorders. This is not the best for a healthy persons health.

At the molecular level, our bodies are blessed with mitochondria, which oxidise carbohydrates to make ATP (adenosine Triphosphate our energy currency) for the cell. Since you have to maintain a low carb intake when on a keto diet, it can cause ATP production to decline.

Theres no doubt that movement and good nutritional practices are the best tools to be healthy and fit. So, here are some ways you can achieve a healthy weight without compromising your health.

When you eat good, healthy foods, you create a good microbiome in the gut, which in turn promotes a healthy gut, which in turn is connected to the majority of brain and body processes and hormonal health. When your system is in good health, then it helps enhance your performance, alertness, agility, focus and enhances your ability to think clearly. In other words, the healthier you eat, the better your bodys functions.

Weight loss is not an easy journey, it is one where you need to be persistent and patient. If you want to switch to a routine that involves movement and good nutritional practices, you have to be consistent, and it has to become a way of life. Achieving good health and a fit body takes time, so you should take your time. Dont fall for fad diets or programs that claim to help you achieve abs in a few days.

As we have understood, a body needs a healthy diet to develop properly. That includes a proper protein, carbohydrate, and fat balance, as well as a variety of other nutrients. Include lean protein, complex carbs such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and healthy fats such as omega-3 fats from fish and monounsaturated fats from avocados, almonds, and olives or olive oil in your diet. When you follow a fad diet that excludes essential nutrients, you put yourself at risk of becoming unwell. A lack of any vitamin may not produce an immediate consequence. However, if it is not there for an extended period of time, you may have health concerns.

Food portions have become bigger throughout the years and studies have shown that increased portion sizes are thought to contribute to overeating and unwanted weight gain. People consume nearly all of what they offer themselves. As a result, regulating portion sizes can aid in avoiding overindulgence. There are many practical steps you can take to control portions like measuring your food, using smaller dishes, drinking water prior to meals, and eating slowly. Finally, portion control is a fast remedy that enhances your quality of life and may help you avoid bingeing.

Set a goal of five to six mini meals every day. You should eat every 3 to 4 hours. Snack on low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers at school or work or consume a spoonful of peanut butter with one slice of whole-grain bread. Find items that are both healthful and filling.

Fad diets are incredibly popular for weight loss. They often claim speedy weight reduction and other health advantages, but there is often no scientific proof to back them up. They are frequently nutritionally unbalanced and unproductive in the long run. While there is no shortage of fad diets around, it is better to look for a way that gives you long-lasting results.

Published : June 2, 2021 2:43 pm | Updated:June 2, 2021 2:59 pm

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Are You Eating Right? Know Why Fad Diets Aren't The Best Option For Weight Loss - TheHealthSite

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Global Diet Pill Market 2021 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2026 is the brand new report released by MarketsandResearch.biz which features a broad range of data including the market trends, drivers and restraints, cost-structure and financial assets, market size and volume, concentration, and distribution along with a detailed study related to the forecast growth. The report comprises systematic gathering, recording, and analysis of data for the concerns linked to the marketing of goods and services. The global Diet Pill market report puts a light growth opportunity assessment, customer insights, competitive business, and distribution channel assessment.

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Recent Developments:

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The Report Covers The Following Objectives:

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Almond milk is the most popular plant-based milk option on the shelves, and that's no surprise. Because it's low in calories, lactose-free, and packed with essential nutrients, almond milk makes an excellent choice for people who are trying to lose weight , have trouble digesting cow's milk, or have given up animal products for ethical reasons.

Here's what you need to know about the nutritional profile and many health benefits of almond milk.

Almond milk is made by soaking ground almonds in water and then straining the paste to eliminate any pulp.

Almond milk is naturally vegan, soy-free, lactose-free, and gluten-free.

Important: If you're avoiding gluten always look for "gluten-free" on the label and check the nutrition facts to ensure the product doesn't include any gluten-containing additives.

Unsweetened almond milk is also keto-friendly since it's low in carbs. However, look out for sweetened versions, which contain added sugar that can jack up the carb and calorie count.

Almond milk can be found at most supermarkets. It is available plain, or in sweetened and unsweetened flavors like vanilla and chocolate, and can be used as:

The following nutrition facts pertain to a one-cup serving of unsweetened almond milk. This information can vary depending on the brand and whether or not the product has added sugar.

Here's what to know about the benefits and how it compares to cow's milk.

Almond milk is a great choice for weight loss or maintenance since it's low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, says Gina Keatley, a certified dietitian-nutritionist at Keatley MNT.

For comparison, one cup of unsweetened almond milk has:

Important: Sweetened and flavored almond milk contains a higher calorie content about 11.6 grams per cup.

Almond milk is comparable to cow's milk when it comes to calcium and vitamin D .

Your body can't make calcium on its own. Therefore, you must consume it through your diet, or your bones will become fragile and break more easily, says Andres Ayesta, MS, a registered dietitian and founder of Planos Nutrition.

Meanwhile, vitamin D is essential for helping your body absorb calcium.

Note: Research has yet to determine whether calcium and vitamin D from fortified beverages is absorbed as easily and effectively by the body as foods where it naturally occurs.

While one cup of 2% cow's milk contains 12.3 grams of sugar, one cup of unsweetened almond milk contains none.

"Sugar is a source of empty calories, meaning it provides no nutrients nor the ability to make you feel full," says Ayesta. "This can lead to overconsumption and eventual weight gain. Consuming too much sugar has also been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, liver disease, and dementia."

Important: Check the nutrition label before buying as sweetened almond milk can contain up to 21 grams of sugar.

Almond milk offers 10 milligrams of vitamin E per one-cup serving, which is about 50% of your DV. Meanwhile, cow's milk offers just about 0.1 mg of vitamin E per one-cup serving.

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage-causing free radicals while also helping to maintain a healthy immune system and regulating inflammation, says Ayesta.

A 2015 study found a higher vitamin E intake was associated with a reduced risk of age-related cataracts, a clouding of the eye's natural lens that can compromise your vision. A 2013 review also found vitamin E supplementation is beneficial for promoting healthy brain aging and delaying cognitive decline in those with Alzheimer's disease.

Provided you opt for an unsweetened and fortified variety, almond milk is a healthy, low-calorie choice for those looking to limit their sugar and carbohydrate intake while also meeting their daily needs for calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin E.

It's suitable for anyone: vegetarian, vegan, lactose-intolerant, or on a gluten-free or keto diet, as long as they don't have an almond or tree nut allergy.

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Diet Effectively

The latest funding round was led by new investor,Edward-Elmhurst Health, with support from returning investors Danone Manifesto Ventures,investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and AF Ventures (formerly AccelFoods).

"As a healthcare provider, we see the need for support and education regarding food allergies as paramount. We are seeing allergies reach their highest levels yet nationwide, especially among children and we see the devastating downstream effects that severe allergies can have on families in our communities,"saidMel Cohen, managing director of Edward-Elmhurst Health Venture Capital.

"We chose to invest with Ready, Set, Food! to support their innovative, tangible three stage system that helps families navigate and safely, easily, and effectively introduce allergens."

The US published its early allergen introduction guidelines as part of theUSDA 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines,which includes a section on introducing infants to potentially allergenic foods, including peanuts. The USDA also recommended that for infants at high risk of peanut allergy (i.e. infants that have severe eczema, egg allergy, or both) to introduce age-appropriate, peanut-containing foods as early as 4- to 6-month-olds.

However, even with these guidelines in place and several leading health organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) all recommending introducing allergenic foods such as peanut early, there is a real need to educate parents on the benefits of early allergen introduction, says Ready, Set, Food!

"With one in every twelve babies developing a food allergy each year, the investors' steadfast support ensures that Ready, Set, Food! can accelerate its efforts in the area of early food allergen introduction,"said CEO and co-founder Daniel Zakowski.

Ready, Set, Food! aims to make the process of introducing babies to allergens less complicated and stress-inducing with its easy-to-follow three-part system.

The company's patented system, which follows the results of clinical studies, has been used by more than 20,000 families.

Ready, Set, Food! was developed by parents including Daniel Zakowski, mom and allergist, Dr. Katie Marks-Cogan, andDr.Andrew Leitnerfollowing their own first-hand experiences with their own kids' childhood food allergies.

Ready, Set, Food! offers parents a complete three-part early allergen introduction system to safely incorporate the top nine allergens -peanut, egg, milk, cashew, almond, walnut, sesame, soy and wheat - into their child's diet beginning as early as 4-months-old and ending when they reach 7- to 12-months of age, when most babies are consistently eating solid foods.

The company launched its Stage 3 last month, which offers continued exposure to peanut, egg, and milk, while introducing the other top six allergens: cashew, almond, walnut, sesame, soy and wheat.

Each stage is pre-measured in easy-to-use packets featuring organic powdered ingredients without any added sugar or additives, which parents can mix into breastmilk, formula, or food (depending on the stage) until their baby is regularly eating these foods over an extended period of time.

With the news of the announcement, Ready, Set, Food! has brought onAdam Rockmore, who has prior brand-building experience at Food Network, Calphalon, and Godiva, as its chief marketing and strategy officer responsible for thestrategy, planning, and development of all company initiatives to deliver it system to more families.

Available online through the company's website, Ready, Set, Food! will work to expand its product line and build up partnerships with more healthcare providers to introduce the system to more parents.

"We are excited to continue supporting the important work underway at Ready, Set, Food! to help provide a life of food freedom for all children," saidHolly Jackson, ventures director of Danone Manifesto Ventures.

"We look forward to continuing to work with their team as they take additional steps to advance their mission, including the launch of new products, on-the-ground healthcare partner work, donation programs and more."

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Diet Effectively

By Vuyolwethu Fundam 22h ago

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Vitamin D is widely known to help absorb calcium which helps strengthen bones, but it has several other benefits, too.

There's been a lot of debate recently about what vitamin D can really do for your body, especially during theCovid-19 pandemic.

Therefore, weve gathered some of the benefits of vitamin D that you should know about:

It supports a healthy immune system

Vitamin D effectively maintains the health of your immune system by strengthening the cells that fight infections. According to a study published on PubMed.gov, Vitamin D can reduce your risk of getting the flu.

It helps build strong bones

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. According to the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopaedia, getting adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet can help maintain bone strength and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

It can promote healthy blood sugar levels

Sue Shapses, a professor of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University, told SELF that vitamin D stimulates the beta cells in your pancreas to secrete insulin, which is crucial for converting food into energy and regulating blood sugar levels.

It can help support a healthy pregnancy

According to the World Health Organization, vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy improves maternal vitamin D status, and may reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia (complications characterized by high blood pressure and affecting organs like the kidneys) , low birth weight and pre-term birth.

Below are some of the effective ways you can increase your vitamin D levels:

Spend time in the sunlight, take supplements, eat more mushrooms, include egg yolks in your diet, eat fortified foods, or consume more fatty fish and seafood.

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Diet Effectively

When you want to build muscle, you go to a personal trainer. When you want to build your heart muscle, well, who better to treat, protect and feed the organ pumping literal lifeblood through your veins than a cardiologist?

Eat This, Not That! Health went straight to the country's best to ask how they keep their tickers in tip-top shape. Given that heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the United Statesand it makes up about one in every four deathswe're glad we did. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 19 Ways You're Ruining Your Body, Say Health Experts.

Flu? And heart health? What's the connection? This: Adults over 65 are more likely to experience fatal flu complications, including heart attacks. That's why cardiologists like Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chair of Cardiology at the MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute, get flu shots every year. "Many individuals are unaware that their risk of a heart attack increases by up to 10 times in the days and weeks after an acute flu infection," he says.

RELATED: Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID

Raise your hand if you only go to the doctor when something's wrong.

While that's not uncommon, it's better to prevent a problem (when possible) then to an illness. That's why cardiologists like Tarak Rambhatla, MD, opt for yearly physicals to suss out potential issues.

"Even if we feel healthy now, the point of this is to avoid a heart attack in the next 10 to 20 years. If we have underlying cardiac risk factors that we don't realize, those can progress to real disease in 10-15 years," he says. "If you at least know those numbers, it will give you a good framework for identifying risk factors [for heart attacks and disease]."

The American Heart Association recommends getting in 75 minutes of moderately intense exercise every week to keep your ticker going stronga number that can seem impossible with the demands of work and family life.

The solution? Work your workout into your everyday life, like Roger Blumenthal, MD, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

"I wear a pedometer each day to monitor the number of steps I walk a day," says the American Heart Association volunteer expert. "I try to make 7,500 stepsabout three milesmy minimum each and every day. If one does not have a pedometer they can often track the number of steps and distance walked on a smartphone (like the iPhone) or on a FitBit or Apple Watch."

Here's a scary stat: People who regularly eat fast food consume 50 percent more than the recommended daily intake for sodium, according to a study published in the AHA journal Circulation.

While the American Heart Association recommends 2,300 mg of sodium a day maximum, the average adult consumes more than 3,400 mg. This can spell trouble for your health because sodium is one of the leading contributors to high blood pressure, one of the risk factors for heart disease and heart attacks.

Avoid those risks by limiting added salt as much as possible.

"For packaged foods, the nutrition fact panel may be useful in identifying lower sodium products, and for menu items, diners can request sodium content information," said the study's lead researcher, Lisa J. Harnack, Dr.PH., professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "Also, if you frequently add salt to food at the table or in home food preparation, consider using less."

RELATED: The #1 Cause of Obesity, According to Science

Do you frequently dine on frozen dinners, canned, and packaged baked goods? Barbara Hudson Roberts, MD, a cardiologist and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Brown University, wishes you wouldn't.

"The number one rule this cardiologist follows for healthy eating is to consume food that's been monkeyed with by human beings as little as possible," she says. "Ditch the processed food and embrace your inner chef." The reason: Two largeand recentstudies showed that so-called "ultraprocessed" foods are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and premature death.

One of the studies, conducted in France, found that there was a 12 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease for every 10 percent increase in ultraprocessed food the study subjects ateeven after accounting for other factors like age, body mass index, smoking and alcohol consumption, and physical activity.

Donna Arnett, American Heart Association volunteer expert, says her biggest tip is to "choose fats wisely." "Nuts, avocados and fatty fish are good choices," she says. The reason: They're all chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fat that helps reduce inflammation in the body known to cause heart disease and other health issues.

Red meat has long been connected to heart diseasethanks to the amount of saturated fat found insidebut another study led by Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, head of the Section for Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic found that Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a dietary byproduct formed from digesting red meat, can be a contributor to heart disease.

In the study, the levels of TMAO increased in the group who ate a diet heavy in red meats. The levels decreased once they switched to eat a no-meat or white-meat diet for a month. "This study shows for the first time what a dramatic effect changing your diet has on levels of TMAO, which is increasingly linked to heart disease," Hazen says.

RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers.

Vegetables are packed full of antioxidants that keep free radicals awaythe free radicals that can cause heart-hurting inflammation. That's why cardiologists pack their plates full of colorful vegetables. "Make half of your lunch and dinner plate vegetables with a variety of colors," Arnett recommends.

"Eating foods that are fresh from the ground or from trees without labels and additives is the best way to eat," adds Suzanne Steinbaum, cardiologist, American Heart Association volunteer expert and director of Women's Heart Health at the Heart and Vascular Institute, Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Sometimes it's impossible to avoid eating processed foods. In those times, Roberts recommends reading food labels first.

"Avoid anything labeled 'low fat'," she says. They've usually replaced the fat with something worse.

RELATED: This Supplement Can Raise Your Heart Attack Risk, Experts Say

There's a reason why cardiologists like Roberts avoid low-fat foods: Food makers have to make up for the taste the fat adds to the food, usually in the form of sugar.

"Sugar is your enemy so phase it out and learn the many names it can be called to fool you," Roberts adds. There's data to back up her comments: The results of a 15-year study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014 found that participants who ate 25 percent of their daily calories as sugar were twice as likely to experience fatal heart disease than those who only ate 10 percent.

Adding a "meatless" day to the weekly meal rotation is one way cardiologists cut down on red meatand the saturated fat that can come with it. "It's also fun to start a 'Meatless Monday' tradition with your family and see what recipes you can come up with," says Dharmarajan.

RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts

Avoiding sodium-packed meals and processed foods is vital for heart health, but it's hard to beat their convenience. You can stay heart-healthy with your meals by following Dharmarajan's lead and preparing meals in advance.

"If my family and I plan for our meals throughout the week, we're more likely to keep up healthy eating habits rather than go out for food or order in," he says. "The freezer is definitely my friend: we often prepare and freeze several healthy dinner options that are ready to pull out on the day we want to eat them."

While typical cardio exerciselike walking and runningis often prescribed to help keep your heart strong, cardiologists also know that building muscle mass through resistance training is important, too. The heart is a muscle, after all.

"Recent studies show that even a little weight training could reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke," says Dharmarajan.

Cardiologistslike most of usare glued to their phones. While they have to be available for work reasons, they also know the value in shutting down.

And they're right: A recent study by the American Psychological Association found that "constant checkers"or people who are always looking at social media, email, and other apps on their smartphonesare more stressed than those who aren't. "Take a holiday from your smart devices on the weekend," recommends Nieca Goldberg, MD, a cardiologist and American Heart Association volunteer expert. "Choose a weekend day to take a break."

RELATED: The #1 Reason You Could Get Cancer, According to Science

There's a reason why cardiologists like Dr. Golgberg recommend limiting stress: It can do a number on your heart if not controlled. The reason: Stress can increase adrenaline, a hormone that kicks in your "fight or flight" responseand increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Keeping those numbers elevated creates an inflammatory response in the body, which in turn can cause heart issues, including heart disease and even heart attacks.

Worried that your morning cupor threeof joe will hurt your heart? Don't be. "Fortunately, coffee is still OK and even somewhat protective for heart disease and diabetes," says Richard Collins, MD, a cardiologist based in Littleton, Colorado.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Queen Mary University of London found that even drinking as many as 25 cups of coffee a day won't impact your heart. While most of us don't drink that much, another study by German researchers found that drinking four cups can help endothelial cellsor cells that line the inside of blood vesselsfunction better, which in turn can help the heart pump blood more effectively.

"I have one cup of Greek yogurt with strawberries and blueberries, or bananas and blueberries," Dr. Evelina Grayver, Director of the Coronary Care Unit at the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital, told Northwell Health. "Having protein like Greek yogurt early in the morning keeps you full until lunch to help you avoid reaching for unhealthy snacks. Protein will also allow for a significant amount of stabilization in your blood sugar. Blueberries have been shown to lower your blood pressure and reduce your blood cholesterol levels." Plus: "They have significant antioxidant levels in them and prevent inflammatory spikes."

RELATED: Everyday Habits That Make You Look Older, According to Science

Dr. Rohan Bhansali, Chief of Cardiology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, enjoys salmon with roast asparagus for dinner. "Asparagus has a lot of fiber, and fiber decreases our body's insulin response, which helps decrease inflammation," he told Northwell Health. "The omega 3 in salmon also helps manage inflammation, which is part of what causes heart disease."

While cardiologists do try to stay away from added sugars, they do still enjoy dessert from time to timethey just make better choices. Sharlene Day, MD, a cardiologist at Michigan Medicine, only eats ice cream once in a while, she does indulge in frozen yogurt or fruit sorbet a lot more often. "It tastes good, it's not high in fat and not too high in calories," she says.

"There isn't a food that will save your life And there isn't one that's going to kill you. It is about balance," said Dr. Sharonne Hayes, professor of cardiovascular medicine and founder of the Women's Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told the Today Show. She's a vegetarian, and recommends plant-based proteins.

"From what we know today, here's the bottom line: for most people, an egg a day does not increase your risk of a heart attack, a stroke, or any other type of cardiovascular disease," Anthony Komaroff, MD, tells Harvard Health "No more than three eggs per week is wise if you have diabetes, are at high risk for heart disease from other causes (such as smoking), or already have heart disease."

"I am a pescatarianI eat fish, vegetables, and no meat and for the most part follow the Mediterranean diet," writes Dr. Gary Gabelman, cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons "It has all the basics of healthy eating and whole and natural foodsplus a splash of flavorful olive oil and perhaps a glass of red wine. Research shows that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease, and it's been associated with lowering the 'bad' cholesterol that's more likely to build up deposits in your arteries. It's a healthy way to diet and not hard to follow or maintain."

While the number of Americans who smoke goes down every year, the habit is still the leading cause of preventable disease (and death) in the United States, according to the CDC.

That's why cardiologists like Kumar Dharmarajan, MD, MBA, a cardiologist, geriatrician, and Chief Scientific Officer at Clover Health, don't ever touch tobacco. "The habit [causes] approximately one of every four heart-related deaths," says Dharmarajan. But deep breath, exhale: "It's never too late to quit smokers who quit see their heart attack risk drop dramatically just one year after quitting smoking," he adds.

Vaping is often touted as a safer alternative to smoking because it doesn't include all of the carcinogens that cigarettes have, but recent studies show that vaping can also do a number on your cardiovascular system.

"Until now, little has been known about cardiovascular events relative to e-cigarette use," says Mohinder Vindhyal, MD, assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine Wichita and the lead author of the study, adding that the data should be "a real wake-up call" about the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes.

Our bodies are pretty good at telling us when something is wrongmost of the time. Cardiologists like Dr. Dharmarajan pay attention to what their bodies are telling them. "Chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack," says Dharmarajan.

While that might seem obvious, there are other less noticeable warning signs that your heart is in danger. "These include shortness of breath, pain or discomfort in either arm or shoulder, and pain in the neck, jaw and back," he says. "Know these symptoms and be prepared to call 911 if you think you might be having a heart attack."

While a yearly physical can clue you in on changes to your overall health, cardiologists know that problems can pop up over timeand not on a predictable schedule. "It's important to be reassessed every few years because our body changes as we age. Sometimes heart disease and its risk factors go undiagnosed until it's too late.

Dr. David Becker, MD, FACC, has become more careful when discussing weight with his patients. "The "F" word fat should be avoided in medical settings," he told the Inquirer. "Telling someone they are overweight is likely much less painful than calling them fat." He goes on to argue that "symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, racing heart, or intense fatigue should never be blamed solely on being overweight. A medical workup is crucial to exclude another reason for these symptoms."

"If you write down that you had a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie, you will be more likely to understand why you are having trouble losing weight or keeping your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure within normal limits," writes Dr. Elsa-Grace Giardina, director of the Center for Women's Health in the Division of Cardiology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

"I love yoga for both mental and physical release," says Dr. Emmanuel Moustakakis, director of the coronary care unit at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens and assistant professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. "Yoga is something almost anyone can try at some level it can start off as simple stretching."

The cardiologists at UnityPoint Health aren't laughing at you, they're laughing with you. "When we are under stress, our bodies increase our adrenaline and potentially overwork the heart," they say. "Restore your calm by using these stress-taming tips:

"If you have tried to relieve your stress with tips like these and you find that your stressors are still challenging, seek help," they continue. "Professional therapists or counselors can help identify the source of stress and teach coping mechanisms to better handle it."

"There is accumulating amounts of data that suggest that if you don't pay attention when you're young and middle-aged, then you're really going to get stuck as an older person with cardiovascular disease," Dr. Timothy Jacobson, cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente, told The Oregonian. Keep all of these tips in mind if you have kids.

In a Medscape survey, "about 70% of cardiologists reported participating in some form of volunteerismDoing any type of volunteer work was associated with a higher happiness self-rating score." Happier people = happier hearts. "Many cardiologistssaid that they volunteered at their children's schools. Other specific groups mentioned were Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts of America, American Heart Association, US Olympic Committee, Loaves and Fishes, and Hope Heart Institute."

"For both cardiologists and all physicians, aerobic activities are by far the most common and equally popular exercises," said the Medscape study. "More than 28% of cardiologists chose weight training as their second most favored exercise, with competitive sports and winter sports next in line. About 10% of cardiologists engaged in yoga, tai chi, or other eastern practices, which was below the 14% practiced by all physicians. Among write-in responses, cardiologists expressed major interest in specific aerobic activities, including cycling, elliptical training, and running."

Here's a wake up call: "Middle-aged men who sleep five hours or less per night have twice the risk of developing a major cardiovascular event during the following two decades than men who sleep seven to eight hours," according to research presented last year at the European Society of Cardiology Congress. "For people with busy lives, sleeping may feel like a waste of time but our study suggests" otherwise, said study author Ms Moa Bengtsson, of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Well, we should hope so. But cardiologists know doing so has heart health benefits. "Brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes may lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases," reported the American Heart Association last year. "Dr. Ann Bolger, a cardiologist and professor of medicine emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, said gum disease is one of the diseases 'where the body may be in a sort of continual state of inflammation, and this seems to be a very powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease.'"

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says Most People Did This Before Catching COVID

"Nearly everyone has 'occasional irregularity,' as the laxative commercials say. But about one in five adults copes with a more chronic form of constipation," reports Harvard Health. That's heartbreaking, but can it break your heart? "There's no question that constipation that requires straining can put the cardiovascular system at risk by raising blood pressure," says Dr. Adolph M. Hutter, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Cardiac Performance Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. If you're having a hard time making the move, drink more water, eat more fiber, and talk to your doctor if you're taking a medication.

With it's new electrocardiogram feature, the latest Apple Watch is FDA- approved to detect an irregular heartbeatbut do cardiologists trust it? One doesn'tat least not entirely. "It seems like a wonderful idea and I'm sure there are some potential upsides to it," Micah Eimer, M.D., a cardiologist and medical director for the Northwestern Medicine Glenview and Deerfield Outpatient Centers, told SELF. But he is concerned about alarms going off when nothing's actually wrong. Consider the app a helpful friend. Consider the doctor the expert.

RELATED: Ways You're Damaging Your Heart Without Realizing It, Say Doctors

"People who have dogs live longer than people who have cats, and the assumption has been that dogs naturally cause their owners to be more active," suggests Dr. Thomas Lee, Co-Editor in Chief of the Harvard Heart Letter. "The emotional benefits of having an affectionate creature are also one of the theories for why dog-lovers live longer." Odie 1, Garfield 0.

It's impossible to follow everything on this list to the lettercardiologists know that, and some struggle themselves with smoking, drinking or eating unhealthily. But most of those we interviewed said every little change you make can add up to big results. They know you're human. They just want you to be human for longer, and to be your healthiest and happiest self. And to get through life at your healthiest, Don't Take This Supplement, Which Can Raise Your Cancer Risk.

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The Secret Trick to Slashing Your Heart Attack Risk, Say Doctors | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Packets of Maggi noodles in a supermarket. Photo: Joegoauk Goa/Flickr CC BY SA 2.0

New Delhi: Nestl, the worlds largest food company and maker of products such as Maggi noodles and KitKat chocolate, acknowledged in an internal document that more than 60% of its mainstream food and drinks products are unhealthy.

The internal document, accessed by Financial Times, admits that only 37% of Nestls food and beverages by revenues excluding products such as pet food and specialised medical nutrition achieve a rating above 3.5 under Australias health star rating system. The document says some of the companys categories and products will never be healthy no matter how much we renovate.

The Australian system scores foods out of five stars and is used in research by international groups, such as the Access to Nutrition Foundation, FT reported. Nestl says 3.5 stars is the threshold for the recognised definition of health.

The document makes some shocking admissions. It says 96% of Nestls beverages practically all of its products excluding pure coffee and 99% of its confectionery and ice cream portfolio are unhealthy. In addition, just 82% of its water products and 60% of dairy products meet the threshold.

We have made significant improvements to our products [but] our portfolio still underperforms against external definitions of health in a landscape where regulatory pressure and consumer demands are skyrocketing, the presentation said.

According to FT, the data excludes baby formula, pet food, coffee and the health science division, which makes foods for people with specific medical conditions. The products assessed account for about half of Nestls 72.7 billion (Rs 7.45 lakh crore) annual revenue.

A Reuters report quoted an analyst saying that if the other categories are also included, they would significantly reduce the proportion of products potentially considered unhealthy.

Given the groups confectionery, ice cream, and pizza businesses, the real figure for the group based on 2021 estimates would be 28%, which is hardly a surprise, he said in a note. He added that the report could point to changes in the product portfolio, notably an exit from mainstream confectionery.

However, the company may also consider dropping or replacing these standards for products seen as treats, such as confectionery, according to FT.

While Mark Schneider, Nestls chief executive, acknowledged that consumers want a healthier diet, he rejected claims that processed foods tend to be unhealthy. The internal document contradicts this claim, FT said, since products such as a three meat croissant crust pizza include about 40% of a persons recommended daily allowance of sodium, while an orange-flavoured San Pellegrino drink, scores the worst under a different scoring system.

According to Down to Earth, 100 grams of Nestls KitKat chocolate contains 49 grams of sugar double the upper limit recommended for consumption in a day. The masala that comes with Maggi noodles contains 3.7 grams of salt, which exhausts 75% of the recommended daily allowance.

Nestl told Reuters that it is working on a company-wide project to update its pioneering nutrition and health strategy. It added, Our efforts build on a strong foundation of work over decades.For example, we have reduced the sugars and sodium in our products significantly in the past two decades, about 14-15% in the past seven years alone.

Marion Nestle, a professor at New York University, told FT that Nestl and its rivals struggle to make their portfolios healthy overall. Food companies job is to generate money for stockholders, and to generate it as quickly and in as large an amount as possible. They are going to sell products that reach a mass audience and are bought by as many people as possible, that people want to buy, and thats junk food, she said.

In India, the companys popular Maggi noodles product was at the centre of a controversy in 2015, when it was banned across the country after tests showed it had very high levels of lead. The Bombay high court struck down the ban after tests conducted at three accredited laboratories showed the lead content was within acceptable limits.

Down to Earth also identified the larger problem within the packaged food industry, saying only 16% of edible and packaged products achieve a rating of 3.5 stars or more. This analysis was arrived at by the Access to Nutrition India Spotlight Index 2020, which assessed 1,456 Indian food and beverage products by 16 manufacturers, which accounted for 31% of Indias packaged foods and beverages market share.

Other studies have found that packaged food sold in India, also by multinational corporations, has higher content of these critical nutrients, such as salt and sugar, than many other countries, the magazine reported.

It suggested implementing a key policy: front-of-packet (FoP) labelling. FoP labelling is a tool that provides nutrition information up-front on the package in an interpretive format. This is in contrast to the complex numbers that are provided at the back of the pack, it said, adding that the policy will help consumers understand the information effectively and make informed decisions.

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Over 60% Of Nestl's Mainstream Food and Beverage Products Are 'Unhealthy' - The Wire Science

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Apex Legends Tips: MindsetHow do you approach improvement in Apex?

Monsoon: This is an extremely complex question since this would be dependent on the proficiencies of the player. Personally, Ive been playing at the highest level of Apex for a while, so there arent necessarily new fundamental techniques or strategies for me to improve on, but Im always looking to refine my skill set.

Step one is to understand that no one is playing perfect Apex, including myself and my team, and to accept that what youre doing now is not the perfect recipe for success. From my previous experiences, having the ability to recognize right from wrong allows me to talk theory with my teammates. This isnt supposed to work for everyone, especially since most of the players dont have extensive competitive experience. Its a matter of simplifying the questions youre asking yourself and having the drive for trial and error.

Monsoon: Its all extremely subjective. Having a lot of structure and professionalism can aid in the legitimacy of a routine, but you can also burn yourself out. Its good to always stay progressive and do what feels right to you. What feels right doesnt necessarily determine whether or not its sustainable though, so if it isnt working, its up to you to recognize your faults and adapt. Something as seemingly insignificant as your diet can affect productivity. Complexity has been particularly helpful in making sure that all of our needs are met so that we can focus on improving our gameplay. They provide holistic support for our overall health and wellness, including access to proper nutrition, fitness amenities, and mental health and recovery resources.

(Image via Respawn Entertainment)

Monsoon: Break down the situation and compare it to previous scenarios and experience youve been in. It eventually becomes muscle memory; its not something someone can teach. At some point it comes down to how much play time you have and if you can objectively apply the flow of previous experiences to the ones youve been through. One of the hardest things is making the correct decision in the moment. Hindsight is illuminating, but it doesnt teach you the ability to translate knowledge into action. You wont always know every single angle that enemies may have or the exact time one team shoots us. Obviously, theres the differentiation of individual fault or team fault. These can range from someone missing shots to being in an unfortunate position due to rotations and teams in the lobby. It isnt as clean cut as this happened because of x. Most of the time theres too many factors, and everyone sees those factors differently.

Monsoon: Confidence plays an incredibly important role in the consistency of teams. Confidence is key to enabling an entire branch of opportunities that some people may not even recognize or feel is viable. But thats easier said than done. Building and maintaining confidence is difficult. Understanding that everyone is mortal and that no one is playing perfect Apex is a good start to put into perspective just what anyone is capable of. Of course, confidence will be directly correlated to the skill of the player, but work smarter and not harder. Be confident in your drive to want to get better and that confidence will bleed into every other aspect, once you start progressing.

Monsoon: Well, I personally only play the game and use the weapons that I enjoy. Familiarity and muscle memory plays an important part when you have to adapt your aim to an uncomfortable situation, like a Pathfinder grappling over you. Id say the consistent aim part is the least complicated aspect. If you play the game, youll be warm.

Theres been a lot of controversy over aim trainers and Im a firm believer that aim trainers create bad habits for players that have already established basic subconscious fundamentals of what aiming is to their respective game. Play the game and be aware of small details in fights. Ask yourself could I have hit three more shots, and if so, where in my spray was I inconsistent?

Id also say the difference in gameplay doesnt affect my aim, in general.

Monsoon: I think its extremely important to have a properly calibrated sensitivity unique to you as well as have good quality gaming peripherals. First step is to ask yourself if your sensitivity is right for you. Through trial and error, I would alter my sensitivity in increments of 0.1 in game until I found something comfortable, then, I would go down one more increment of 0.1 to make sure that this sensitivity is the most enabling. After that, its about asking the simple questions: what am I missing? Am I over-flicking? under flicking? Is my tracking not working out? Is it the way Im placing my elbow? Support from my desk? Is my monitor and chair lined up so I can freely access all of my mousepad?

What youre looking for is consistency. Once you achieve a high level of aim the amount of progress you see in comparison to the early stages is little to none. One thing Im personally working on is consistency in tracking. The other thing Im trying to be more consistent with is how hard I grip my mouse this makes it a bit more difficult to move smoothly.

(Image via Respawn Entertainment)

Monsoon: There really isnt an exact answer I can give. Its more so about understanding the limitations of peeks, damage of weapons, positioning of enemy teams, current status of your team, and future objectives. You arent going to be taking aim battles with anyone if youre in an unsafe spot and have to rotate in 50 seconds. All of these mental notes play a big part in being able to swiftly recognize opening windows for peeking and aim dueling. Id say the general tips are: keep track of enemy weapons and armors.

Shoulder peeking is good to bait shots from your enemies; the whole idea is to go uncontested when youre firing your shots. You dont want to over peek and take too much damage that would give the enemy team momentum and motive to push and gap close. If there is a team in your rotation and your only option is to fight, try to look for opening damage or off angles that would catch people off guard. Taking straight aim duels isnt the answer most of the time. There are a lot of different fight nuances that make or break your survivability.

Monsoon: Movement is extremely important in Apex. Movement is a big differentiator between top-tier players and amateur players. The most efficient and effective movement can mean life or death in a lot of fights. Its typically easier to shoot players who press a single button and wide strafe than it is to shoot someone crouch spamming, jumping, and creating random strafe patterns mid-fight.

Monsoon: Understanding the physics of the game is important before incorporating movement. Small details, like it taking six steps to reach maximum momentum before sliding, means that you can cut off milliseconds from the original time, and milliseconds is all thats needed to win or lose when it comes down to it. Get familiar and comfortable with sliding, wall jumping, as well as how many steps you need to take before youre full speed. Then have fun applying it in all the games you play. From there you start to develop a personal understanding of the limitations of movement and how you can use it most effectively.

(Image via Respawn Entertainment)

Monsoon: Well, for me personally, when Im looking at a zone, I always map out ten different spots with different values, ranking them from one to ten. The value assigned to a spot is calculated subconsciously based on my previous experiences playing from that position. If theres a good high ground spot, but theres a lot of Valkyrie teams, the value of that spot goes down. If theres a northwestern zone, and everyone is rotating from the immediate west, that could alter the value of spots on the south side. It really depends on the flow of that specific match and your playstyles as a team.

Typically, you want to be in a position where you arent looking both directions to fend off aggression and pressure from other teams. Youd ideally want a good position that rotates into the next zone smoothly. As for how teams take advantage of elevation changes, it really depends on the confidence and the team composition. Height doesnt necessarily translate to winning. Historically good spots to hold may not be good spots to hold based on the decision and feelings of other teams.

Monsoon: Zone pull, playable area, team positioning, team rotates, team compositions, team momentum, status of our team and our gear, where the game is going to finish, and whos alive are all factors that you need to keep track of. A lot of times the more well-known teams have set ways they want to play for every zone.

Monsoon: In addition to the above, muscle memory and knowing subconsciously what works and what doesnt based on all the similar situations youve experienced in the past. Some basic things I typically take into account are the skill of a team based on their movement and positioning, their other current threats, and their blind spots. One of the most difficult things is gathering information. You dont want to put yourself in a position to be immediately jumped on and killed, but you also dont want to miss opportunities of wiping a squad and taking their loot. Its about being cautious and knowing the limitations of what teams can do, when they want to do it, and how they can do it. From there you work with what you can or look elsewhere.

(Image via Respawn Entertainment)

Monsoon: In battle royales, the primary objective is to survive. There is no time to be indecisive. You either make the decision with full confidence and attempt to clutch, or you get out. Youre not helping yourself if youre hesitant. Confidence plays an extremely big part. Its important to be confident in making a decision that you may not have full information of. Sometimes youre also forced into clutch situations, where you dont have the option to retreat and leave.

One big dynamic to clutching and clawing your way through unfortunate circumstances is juggling aggression. If you need to pop off in order for you to win, its important to recognize your openings. Juggling aggression basically means splitting the fight into two separate fights or forcing one vs. ones. How do you apply pressure to one of the players so that they dont feel comfortable or cant push forward to double up with someone? A lot of the time its going to be timing your peeks correctly and trying to get off opening damage, forcing one of the players to retreat and heal leaving the other player in a solo fight or for them to push without confidence knowing that theyre not as healthy as they want to be.

In most cases, it is extremely important to be familiar with your playable terrain. Taking smart peeks at the right times, baiting out enemy shots, and capitalizing on openings. If Im sitting on a wall in the middle of the open and two players push me, one on either side, my first instinct is to peek on one side to damage and discourage one player with as valuable of a shotgun pump that I can shoot, and then I immediately turn focus on the other player. When you force someone into confrontation, a lot of the time its difficult to understand the exact tendencies of the player, whether or not theyre going to peek the same angle or try to fight the other player. In those brief moments of being in an isolated one vs one, you need to make every shot and every second count all while understanding your next steps in the fight.

Monsoon: Well, backpacks are extremely valuable. Below are my typical loadouts for the backpack size.

Gray Backpack 180 rounds ammunition (three stacks) for primary weapon, 16 shotgun shells (one stack), two medkits (one stack), four to eight syringes (one to two stacks), and the rest as many shields and batteries as you can hold. Id say a good goal is 12 cells and four batteries.

Blue+ Backpack 240-300 rounds of ammunition (four to five stacks), 16 shotgun shells (one stack), two medkits (one stack), four to eight syringes (one to two stacks), and the rest as many shields and batteries as you can hold. If youre a purple backpack you can also sacrifice extra ammo and shield heals for up to four grenades. Otherwise, those last two slots are for whatever you want.

(Image via Respawn Entertainment)

Monsoon: Grenades apply a lot of pressure. Theyre extremely versatile and good for a number of reasons but a couple of those reasons are to intercept rotations of people or to restrict their movement. If a team gets shot to shreds and theyre forced to Gibraltar bubble you can time your grenades so that you can throw grenades ahead of them and stop them from taking a specific route, theyre also good for breaking doors on players buildings, pressuring them in tight spots, visual clutter to help movement and rotations, and a lot of damage if an enemy slips up. Theyre obviously more valuable in end circles and end zones because theres limited playable space.

Monsoon: Id say dont be afraid to jump in and lose. One thing thats helped me is watching streams and broadcasts of recent tournaments and professional players. Seeing their thought process helps to influence your own playstyle. Teaching yourself is ten times harder than being taught by someone. Its important to look at previous matches and tournaments as material to study. You dont necessarily have to be in the situation to understand that itll work or wont work.

Keeping mental notes of purpose for abilities is good. If youre looking at Portal for example, the purpose of it is to get you and your teammates from point A to point B safely. You dont want to set up in a spot thats easily punishable. Players should avoid setting up a Portal where its blocking the only safe spot you have, and youre the only person on your team with that much information. At the end of the day, the most effective way to learn is through trial and error. Whats the purpose of your ability? One thing you have to be content about is that this game rapidly evolves, and theres always constant learning. Anyone can be the best, its just about how bad they want it.

You can watch Monsoon and the rest of Complexity Apex Legends use these Apex Legends tips and tricks when they compete in the Apex Legends Global Series Championships from June 2nd to June 13th.

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Tobacco smoke contains toxic chemicals which cause damages to the linings of the airways and the lungs

The World Health Organisation has designated 31 May as 'World No Tobacco Day.'The theme this year is 'Commit to Quit', which assumes significant importance in the present times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association of smoking with the COVID-19 infection has been controversial. Initial studies from China and Europe seemed to suggest a lower prevalence of COVID infection among smokers and protective effects of smoking against the effects of COVID. However, subsequent analysis showed serious methodological flaws in those studies. And later studies showed that smokers in fact fare poorly after a coronavirus infection.

COVID infection and lung complications in smokers

COVID predominantly affects the lungs and smoking too damages the lungs. Worldwide research suggests that there is a higher incidence of severe lung complications following COVID in smokers as compared to non-smokers. The World Health Organisation released a scientific brief earlier this year showing that smokers are at higher risk of developing severe disease and death from COVID-19 .

These findings of a negative impact of smoking should not be surprising given the fact that smokers have been traditionally known to be more susceptible to infections, especially respiratory infections like flu, pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Weakened immune system and increased risk of transmission

Tobacco smoke contains toxic chemicals which cause damages to the linings of the airways and the lungs. The chemicals in tobacco smoke suppress the activity of different types of immune cells leading to weakening of immunity and thus impairing ones ability to fight the COVID-19 infection.

The act of smoking involves the fingers and possibly contaminated cigarettes coming in contact with the lips and thus increasing the risk of transmission of virus from hand to mouth. Moreover, chewing tobacco products is associated with usually spitting in public places which also accelerates the risk of transmission of COVID through saliva droplets.

Also, smokers are more likely to have heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes, all of which are important comorbidities for developing severe illness and adversely affecting the clinical outcome in COVID affected patients.

Therefore, it is vital that smokers quit the habit. And the COVID pandemic couldnt be a better time to quit smoking. However, it can be a challenge given the economic and social stress prevailing during the pandemic. Smokers will need help to quit. And the WHO World No Tobacco Day 2021 campaign aims to empower and support tobacco users on their journey to quit.

There is no single and easy way to quit tobacco, but here are some tips

Make a 'quit plan' and stick to it. It doesnt matter if you fail a couple of times. Keep trying and dont give up.

Modify your diet. There are some food items which make cigarettes taste better like meat, alcohol, tea, coffee, and aerated beverages. Avoid them and instead have fruits, vegetables, cheese, water, and fresh fruit juices. Also, if you have a habit of post-meals cigarettes, then change your routine and do some activity to divert your mind.

Have a support group in place to help you through this family, friends, doctor, counsellor.

Nicotine-replacement therapy like chewing-gum or skin-patches can be very helpful to tide over your withdrawal symptoms.

Try to avoid stressful situations during the first few weeks after you stop smoking.

Exercise, even a 5-minute walk or stretch, has been shown to reduce your cravings and ease some of your withdrawal symptoms.

Try to be around your non-smoker friends and avoid your smoker companions for a while.

Clean your house, your surroundings, clothes and belongings so that you do not get the familiar scent of cigarette smoke which will remind you of smoking.

Following are the responses to some common questions on the dangers of smoking:

What are the unique dangers of smoking for women?

While smoking is bad for both the genders, women experience certain additional detrimental health effects apart from the ones common to all genders. Some of these include:premature menopause menstruation disturbances reduced fertility increased risk to cancers specific to women such as breast or cervical cancer premature aging. Smoking during pregnancy exposes the fetus to toxic substances that can result in several complications including abnormalities in the newborn or even miscarriages.

What are the long and short term health effects of smoking among young people?

The short term effects of smoking include throat irritations, cough, asthma, wheezing, unhealthy dental and oral hygiene. These are due to the carcinogenic substances like nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide present in tobacco.

The long terms effects of smoking are more dangerous. Smoking has been shown to be strongly correlated with a number of life-threatening diseases such as a variety of cancers, diabetes, respiratory disorders and cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. Vision issues and infertility issues as well as weak immune systems are also more prevalent in smokers than non-smokers. Overall, smoking is associated with a lower life expectancy.

In terms of mental health, while smoking is commonly known to relieve stress and help people relax, it is has been shown to increase anxiety levels, and smokers are at an increased risk of clinical depression. For people dependent on nicotine, missing a smoke can cause irritability and mood swings and come in the way of normal functioning. Loss of appetite and disturbed sleep cycles are also frequently observed in smokers.

Can smokers and tobacco users be at higher risk for COVID 19 infection?

The association of smoking with the COVID-19 infection has been controversial. Initial studies seemed to suggest a lower prevalence of Covid infection among smokers and protective effect of smoking against the effects of Covid. However, subsequent analysis showed serious methodological flaws in those studies. And later studies showed that smokers in fact fare poorly after a Covid infection.

Smokers may be more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and the associated severe lung complications for the following reasons:

Tobacco smoke contains toxic chemicals which cause damages to the linings of the airways and the lungs and suppresses the activity of different types of immune cells, thus impairing ones ability to fight the Covid infection.

The act of smoking involves the fingers and possible contaminated cigarettes coming in contact with the lips and thus increasing the risk of transmission of virus from hand to mouth.

Smokers are more likely to have heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes, all of which are important co-morbidities for developing severe illness following Covid infection.

What are the effects of quitting smoking on the body?

The beneficial effects of quitting smoking begin almost immediately within minutes to hours and continues to be seen over several years to a decade.

Within 30 to 60 minutes, heart rate and blood pressure begin to drop.

At around 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal.

By 4-12 weeks, blood circulation and lung function improve.

By 3-6 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease and risk of respiratory infections also reduces.At 1 year, the risk of coronary heart disease reduces to about half that of a smoker's.

At 5 years, the risk of having a heart attack or a brain stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker.

At 10 years, the risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker and the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, etc also decreases.

Though in the initial days after quitting, one could have withdrawal symptoms but in the long run, stopping smoking would lead to lesser mental irritability, anxiety, depression and mood swings.

Abstinence from smoking also reduces the chances of impotence, infertility, having premature births and miscarriage.

And finally, quitting smoking improves life expectancy.

Tips to effectively quit smoking

There is no single and easy way to quit tobacco. Some of the following tips could help you in kicking this habit:

Make a quit plan and stick to it. Doesnt matter if you fail a couple of times. Keep trying and dont give up.

Modify your diet. There are some food items which make cigarette taste better like meat, alcohol, tea, coffee, aerated beverages. Avoid them and instead have fruits, vegetables, cheese, water, fresh fruit juices. Also, if you have a habit of post-meals cigarette, then change your routine and do some activity to divert your mind.

Have a support group in place to help you through this --- family, friends, doctor, counsellor Nicotine-replacement therapy like chewing-gum or skin-patches can be very helpful to tide over your withdrawal symptoms.

Try to avoid stressful situations during the first few weeks after you stop smoking.

Exercise, even a 5-minute walk or stretch, has been shown to reduce your cravings and ease some of your withdrawal symptoms.

Try to be around your non-smoker friends and avoid your smoker companions for a while.

Clean your house, your surroundings, clothes and belongings so that you do not get the familiar scent of cigarette smoke which will remind you of smoking.

The author is a Senior Interventional Cardiologist at the Asian Heart Institute.

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World No Tobacco Day 2021: Health benefits of quitting smoking, and tips to effectively kick the habit - Firstpost

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Those who committed to at-home exercise during the pandemic had no shortage of content thanks to programs like Body by Simone, Melissa Wood Health, Tracy Anderson, and so on. But even the fittest among us can admit that a more sedentary lifestyle has been unavoidable throughout the past year. Our endurance, strength, and physical fitness has faltered, and our posture has taken a hit from months slumped over our laptops and smartphones.

Joe Maysonet of J Trainwhose clients include Sienna Miller, Charlotte Gainsbourg, David Solomon, Cecily Brown, and Matt Dillonbelieves that getting back to the basics is essential if you want to get back into shape. But remember: Shape is different for all of us. Dont feel like you need to return to your pre-pandemic selfjust simply return to a commitment to daily movement.

Ife Obi, founder of The Fit, believes that our pre-pandemic normal was unsustainable. Before it was such a means to an end, whether that end was losing weight or aiming to look like our favorite celebrity, Obi says. Our lives have become more about finding our balance, and our workouts should follow suit. When beginning a new routine, its about making time for what you enjoy so that fitting wellness into your schedule doesnt cause stress and anxiety.

Details matter, and if youre making the effort to commit to a regular routine, you dont want to get sabotaged by poor form. After all, incorrect technique can actually do more harm than good. While an individualized approach is always best, Maysonet and Obi offer essential tips for those looking to effectively overhaul their fitness routines for life after lockdown.

Prior to adding load, its important to build a healthy foundation, Obi says. People can often get caught up in vanity without mastering the motions first, which can be detrimental to progress in the long run. Most of your favorite Instagram fitness influencers and trainers have already put in the work from which they can then layer upon, Obi says. Its important to note that when youre seeing a snapshot of a persons life of social media, youre seeing them in a stage that may be different to where you are. And dont see that as competition, see it as motivation to put in the important foundational work.

Take, for example, the classic lunge. It seems like a simple motion: Step forward, bend down, come back up, and repeat. But if your front knee is slanting inward or extending over your foot, youre solidifying a movement pattern thats putting unwanted pressure on your ligaments, which can in turn work the wrong muscle and even lead to injury. What you want is a 90-degree angle, Maysonet says. Repetitions emphasizing technique with correct alignment will enable your body to perform at its best. You will minimize the risks and accelerate progress much faster.

Its a simple yet effective philosophy that is echoed by American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) spokesman Ben Fung, who explains that when it comes to alignment, technique and appropriate force load can be the difference between injury and improvement.

One wrong movement can set you back for months.

Obi notes that despite what you might see from your favorite fitness influencers, a good workout doesnt require all the bells and whistles to be effective. Things like push-ups and squats are challenging, full-body movements that can be increasingly challenged as your strength progresses. But progress is only possible if you do the work at each level to better prevent injury as intensity increasesone wrong movement can set you back for months, she says.

Another key thing that people often disregard is their running technique. Most people never learn how to run properly, Maysonet adds. Its one of those things thats not necessarily taught with a lot of guidancerunning style evolves out of habit. And unless your job entails striding down a catwalk, flawless foot coordination is probably not the focus.

When most people run, they dont extend at the hip enough, and that puts pressure on the kneecaps. What you want is an equal distance between flexion and extension, Maysonet says. When youre on the treadmill, watch how youre distributing force and aim for approximately a 70-degree angle using a heel-strike [heel-to-toe] motion. Flexibility plays a role in this too. If the hamstrings and glutes are tight, you will have less range of motion and the joint is going to take a lot more pounding, so be sure to stretch it out, he says.

When it comes to the upper body, its all about keeping your posture, which is something that hasnt generally been top of mind living in isolation. If you take a look at peoples shoulders, they often go forward due to having tight pecs and weak rhomboids [the muscles located in the back that retract the shoulder blades], Maysonet adds. Working from home for months on end and the inevitable tech neck can, naturally, make slouching pronounced. Its a habit that creeps in unwittingly, but exercising without being aware of any posture misalignments will effectively make rounded shoulders your default setting.

Posture is something that can be corrected, though, through strengthening the posterior muscles (the rhomboids) and stretching out the anterior muscles (the pectorals). When people train the shoulders, theyre not usually aware of the anterior side, Maysonet explains. And tightness in the front paired with weakness in the back is what creates imbalance and a hunched stance.

Do you have a workout routine? Change it! Maysonet advises. Too many times people get into the gym and proceed to do the same thing, the same way, at the same speed. Variety is the single way to alter body composition.

Minor changes can deliver body-transforming results. By changing up loads and making constant progressions, we can avoid plateaus, he says. This involves utilizing different energy systems, different muscle fibers, and experimenting with a variety of weights and levels.

Another way to keep things interesting is to change your environment. This keeps even the basics fresh and fun again, he says. Try the great outdoors, run a set of stairs, or do a fitness circuit. You could grab some bands and a medicine ball, and head to a park, or mix it up with a [socially distanced] boxing lesson.

If youre a creature of habit and like routine, make sure youre introducing a new variation or level of intensity every four to six weeks.

People get the most out of their transformation if they commit to a comprehensive lifestyle plan.

Quick fixes can work if you already have a base level of fitness and strength, but this approach isnt sustainable long term, he explains. If you only have a short amount of time and have full-body control, good flexibility, and pain-free range of motion, then go for it. Just know that youll need to quickly transition to a more sustainable regimen once you get past whatever it is that youre prepping for.

Maysonet emphasizes that a long-term, holistic plan is ultimately going to be the most beneficial, regardless of your baseline. People get the most out of their transformation if they commit to a comprehensive lifestyle plan. This involves setting long- and short-term goals, prioritizing nutrition, supplementation, cardio, and weight training.

Integrating effective pre- and post-workout practices into your routine maximizes efficiency. Always do a seven- to 10-minute warm-up. This prepares the muscles for a higher load, raises the bodys core temperature, and increases the active range of motion, Maysonet says. One post-workout practice that the trainer swears by is foam rolling to increase circulation and reduce tightness. Other strategies to try include stretching, steaming, Epsom salt baths, and ice baths.

Holistic methods can make an even deeper impact on recovery. If you are vigorously working out often, try deep-tissue massages and acupuncture as part of your routine to maximize recovery and restore muscle tissue balance, he adds.

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Jun 5th, 2021 | Filed under Diet Effectively
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