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This holiday, chances are you'll be sharing a table with a smaller group than ever, but since 1 in 4 Americans is eating more plant-based, you will likely be told by one member of the group: "I am eating plant-based or vegan these days." It could even be you, telling your family about your resolve to be healthier, for yourself and the planet and for the sake of animals. Luckily two doctors have written a new book on how to go plant-based and get your family on board, and do it in a way that is healthy and sound. These doctors, one pediatrician and another a plant-based health expert, both know the ins and outs of getting enough vitamins and minerals, protein and micro-nutrients, and how to make sure that everyone at your table who chooses to eat plant-based does so healthfully and safely, without compromising any aspect of their diet.

Dr. Reshma Shahis a Pediatrician in the Bay Area, a clinical affiliate at Stanford University Medical School, and a practitioner of integrated medicine at Stanford. Dr. Brenda Davis is a dedicated plant-based doctor who has written a total of 12books on the topic, having raised her now-grown kids at a plant-based table.

Together they have written a new book, a comprehensive guide to getting started on plant-based nutrition for families, calledNourish:.

"If there is a parent who is plant-based or who is interested in being more so, wewanted to give them the tools they need to feed their families this way, and to not have to worry about nutrient deficiency, so we provide practical tips and strategies," Dr. Shah said. The book has over 50 recipes to help them get started."Dr. Brenda Davis is one of the pioneering dieticians on plant-based eating for all ages. She has written books on how to eat healthy on a vegan or vegetarian diet, a raw vegan diet, and how to eat to avoid or reversetype 2 diabetes. Dr. Davis has been pioneering this topic for 30 years, has spoken in 30 countries, and conducted research on this topic, even in the Canary Islands. She helpsfamilies eat plant-based from every age and life stage, taking them through pregnancy and lactation and of course parenting.

"People know I am vegan and plant-based and parents will come to me and say my daughter wants to be vegetarian and can you please convince her not to be? Instead, I want to help parents learn that she can be, and it's healthy. And that they can do it too. We wanted to give them the tools to do it safely and effectively. And of course, now there are manyparents who think it's better for the planet and their family's health, but it would not know where to begin."

"The one thing we want people to know is that it's completely possible to raise healthy, vibrant kids on a plant-based diet. It's not that difficult," says Dr. Shah. "People think that if you are plant-based or vegan, you have to focus on the nutrients, but I would point out that this is true of omnivorous kids too. All diets have to be appropriately planned. You can do it safely and adequately on a plant-based diet."

"And people assume if I need a supplement on a plant-based diet, it's not as good to eat that say," Dr. Davis adds. "But the grains that we all buy at the store now are fortified with vitamins and so is our milk and our formulas. We have supplements in our diets already."

"People think they have to do it all at once, but you don't. Go at a pace that is a fit for your family. So you don't have to go all at once," Dr. Shah points out. "The first thing to do is to stake stock of what your family enjoys and look at that. Do they love pasta with marinara sauce? Great. Or if they are used to meat sauce, you can add plant-based meat if you want to. Try a tofu scramble instead of eggs one morning. Figure out how to make whatever they already enjoy into a plant-based version, and trying doing more of that."

Substitute the easy things: Almost or oat milk for the real thing. Non-dairy butter, cheese spreads, and nut cheese work well. You can easily substitute a flax egg or chia egg, the doctors recommend. Make swaps where your family is not going to even notice.

"We definitely emphasize cooking at home with whole grain and whole food ingredients but swap in plant-based meals as often as you like at first, then do more of that over time," Dr. Shah says. Don't sweat it if you backtrack. No vegan police are going to come around and say you can't use a veggie burger. Some of these foods are really helpful as kids are trying to transition.

Some parents worry about birthday parties and soccer, she points out. "Try to be plant-based at home and don't worry too much about what happens outside the home," she suggests. "Or bring your own snack. People who have allergies like celiac or nut allergies so less judgment around that."

Dr. Shah adds: It's so easy to transition breakfast. so many plant milk and scrambles. It gets a little trickier at dinner because it's built around animal products in our culture. But look at the spaghetti and meatballs or tacos and look at how m=you might transition that to a plant-based version. Try veggie balls andall diff things and see how your family likes them. Keep experimenting, adding one recipe at a time or one meal at a time can be really helpful.

And of course, if it's the teenager that has decided to become vegan and it's the parents who are resistant. it the teenager who has to be responsible for going to the store and bringing home vegan options.

Sometimes the kids are the ones leading the charge. "How your family handles it will depend on whether it is the parent's idea or the kid's idea," says Dr. Shah. "The kids are going to be a lot keener if it's their idea. Children will be sensitive about this transition," she adds, especially since if they come home from a rescue farm or petting zoo and announce they're not eating meat, they want to be respected in that decision.

If the kids are the ones transitioning then the parents may be reluctant, Dr. Davis has found. Some people will watch Forks over Knives or What the Health, or whatever the movie is and they are vegan the next day. How the transition goes will depend a lot on how who is driving and how fast you want to transition.

"There are so many advantages with a plant-based diet in terms of disease,butthere is also the potential for deficiencies," says Dr. Shah. The two you worry the most about are vitamins B12 and D. But the truth is that most of the population is lacking in vitamin D. The other things that could be a deficiency in calcium, especially foryoung kids growing fast, like 4 to 8-year-olds. Even an adult can have a hard time getting 1,000 milligrams a day of iodine, but if you cook with iodized salt that can help. For vegans, you do have to be somewhat aware of iodine sources.

"Supplements can help put parents at ease," she adds. "We are not opposed to parents using a multivitamin that has some of the nutrients like D and B and iodine, especially for kids, but we recommend a liquid supplement like a vegan chewable... to prevent choking."

The bottom line is you can be plant-based and healthy at every age and stage.

Dr. Davis pointsout that for longevity, plant-based eating has been a boon to her health. "I am close to 62 and I don't feel much different from when I was 35. "I can still do handstands and headstands and rollerblade and run and ski and have races with my grandkids.

"Eating plant-based has preserved the integrity of my body. I look at my relatives and in comparison, I am still the same weight, a few =pounds thinner than when I got married. Really grateful for that. That is one of the perks of living a healthy lifestyle. there are a lot of perks."

And, she adds, if you need one more reason: "I think it's easier to feel good about yourself."

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Nov 22nd, 2020 | Filed under Diet Safely

For every person who talks up the ketogenic diet, theres another warning about the ill effects on your heart. The worry is that following a very high-fat, moderate-protein, and very low-carbohydrate diet will create a subsequent spike in cholesterol levels, which could, in turn, raise your risk for heart disease.

The worry is certainly valid. On the keto diet, each day youre eating up to 80 percent of your calories from fat and sticking with 20 to 50 grams of net carbs, a term used in popular diets, includingketo andAtkinsbut one that is not officially recognized in the medical community. (To calculate net carbs, subtract fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carb amount, per Atkins.) This all means youll be eating a lot of fat per day, and in the name of meeting that quota, that may include unhealthy choices such as butter, coconut oil, and animal fat, all sources of saturated fat, which has been linked to poor heart health, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). (The point of keto is to shift your body from a carb-burning state into a fat-burning one, which is called ketosis.)

But the effect of keto on heart health isnt as straightforward as it sounds. Indeed, the keto diet may not have as detrimental an effect on your cholesterol as some have thought.

When you review the data, a couple things are clear. Looking at population studies and clinical trials, the impact the keto diet has on lipids is modest, says Daniel Soffer, MD, an internist and lipidologist at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia. Dr. Soffer is a member of the National Lipid Association, an organization dedicated to managing lipid problems. In October 2019, the National Lipid Association released a position statement on low-carb and very-low-carb, ketogenic diets and their relationship to lipids, and published it in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology. Most commonly, he says, research shows keto produces modest reductions in triglycerides, modest changes in heart-protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good"), and minimal changes inlow-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") levels. Some studies, the review notes, show an increase in LDL on low- or very low-carb diets. (Long-term studies, however, are lacking.)

Whether these numbers particularly HDL go up or down largely depends on the quality of your keto diet. One problem is that theres not a single ketogenic diet. There are different ways to follow it, and some people are careful about the types of fats they eat, while others are not, says Soffer.

RELATED: What Are the Best and Worst Fats to Eat on the Keto Diet?

To his point, one review, published in Nutrients in May 2017, noted that in human studies on people of normal weight and with obesity, keto diets are generally associated with a reduction in total cholesterol, an increase in HDL, a decrease in triglycerides, and reductions in LDL. At the same time, other research, the review points out, shows something different: a rise in LDL or no swing either way. In trials where LDL decreased, people ate a low-carb diet high in healthy unsaturated fat and limited in unhealthy saturated fat, the authors point out.

One study included in the above review was published in October 2012 in Nutritionand compared a low-calorie and a very low-carb, high-fat diet (what would constitute a keto diet) in more than 360 overweight and obese participants. Some of the participants had diabetes, others did not. After about a year, those in the keto group saw their total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL decrease, while HDL rose.

RELATED: 8 Common Mistakes That Keto Beginners Make, and How to Avoid Them

To have an idea if the keto diet may have a negative effect on your cholesterol, consider your starting triglyceride number. According to the Mayo Clinic, triglycerides are another type of lipid in your blood that your body uses for energy; high triglyceride and LDL levels can lead to fatty deposits that gum up arteries, notes the American Heart Association. Normal levels are less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). About a quarter of the population has triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL, which is the threshold to consider elevated triglycerides. This is a large percentage of the population, so its not uncommon, says Soffer.

If you have normal levels, keto is likely safe to try. For people with normal or perfect triglyceride levels, the impact from keto is minimal or none, says Soffer. If, on the other hand, you have insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and/or abdominal obesity, and your triglycerides are elevated it may seem like you should shy away from keto, but the opposite may be true, Soffer argues, explaining that the low-carb nature of keto has the potential to decrease insulin resistance and improve triglycerides.

Recent research suggests this effect as well. A small, randomized, and controlled study published in August 2020 in Nutrition & Metabolism looked at 34 older adults with obesity over eight weeks. Those who were on a very low-carb diet lost three times the visceral fat compared with the low-fat group; low-carb dieters also had more improvements in insulin sensitivity, triglyceride levels, and HDL cholesterol.

Speaking of, another layer here is the relationship between triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. When triglycerides are high, HDL is usually low. Flip that script, and anything that reduces triglycerides will also [tend to] increase HDL, says Soffer. Remember, HDL is a type of good cholesterol that ferries some LDL out of the bloodstream and into the liver where it can be metabolized and discarded, per the AHA. Increasing HDL is good for your heart.

Still, though, the aforementioned Nutrition & Metabolism study involved a mere 34 people so more research, particularly larger, longer-term studies, is needed before scientists can fully understand the true effects of keto on insulin resistance and triglycerides.

Whats more, when it comes to using keto for fat or weight loss, the research is mixed. Theres evidence that following a low-carb diet is no better than a low-fat diet, per a 12-month study in February 2018 in JAMA. In addition, there isnt enough data to show if keto can produce long-term results. As a review in the journal Canadian Family Physician in December 2018 points out, weight loss on keto peaks at five months, followed by a slow weight regain.

RELATED: Good vs. Bad Fats: Everything You Should Know About Fats and Heart Health

The impact of high-fat, very low-carb eating on your LDL isnt as clear. Again, as the AHA says, LDL is the type of cholesterol thats linked to atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. It may go up, go down, or stay relatively the same. Hypothetically speaking, if you have a normal triglyceride level and are doing keto to lose weight, LDL may remain stable, says Soffer. Similarly, if you have high triglycerides to start and that number decreases on keto, your LDL may still stay put.

The bottom line is that keto alone may not contribute to the cholesterol spike that some people report when starting the diet. Yet if you start eating more saturated fat because youre on keto, then your LDL will likely rise. An increase in saturated fat intake has been shown over and over again to increase LDL, he says.

RELATED:9 Things Dietitians Wish You Knew About High Cholesterol

Where things get possibly dangerous is if youre one of the people who has an inherited genetic mutation that affects the way LDL particles are regulated. If these individuals follow a keto diet, their LDL levels can skyrocket, says Soffer. This result doesnt happen often enough to skew overall results in population studies, but what matters most is the effect the diet has on your individual health. Its a long-recognized phenomenon that hasnt been published well, he says, adding that the genetics that drive this response arent completely understood. (The APOE gene may be one, but its likely not the only one, he says.)

You may not be aware that you have a preexisting genetic mutation, also called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). In fact, as the AHA notes, for people with FH, only 10 percent know they have it. Being aware of your family history, including members who have had a heart attack at a young age, is important and can help point your provider in the right direction. In some instances, research shows that a low-carb diet may actually be beneficial for those with FH who also have insulin resistance, suggests an analysis published in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine in July 2015. This is not something to tease out on your own. Instead, its just another reason why you should talk to your doctor about a dietary change, particularly if you have other health conditions, like high cholesterol.

The average person likely wont notice anything amiss about their cholesterol, but for someone with this genetic predisposition, [the keto diet] can be a hazardous diet, says Soffer. In the short term, a small, six-month spike in cholesterol isnt harmful it takes a decade or more of high LDL to cause damage, he says but if this is a rest-of-your-life way of eating, it can be dangerous.

RELATED:11 Biggest Keto Diet Dangers You Need to Know About

Having high cholesterol doesnt automatically disqualify you from keto. Were seeing really good cardiovascular results from a keto diet, says Susan Ryskamp, RDN, clinical dietitian at Michigan Medicines Frankel Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor.

Doctors will want to look at the overall picture with the goal of improving biomarkers like triglycerides, A1C, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI). On keto, if patients lose weight, get their BMI closer to, if not under 30 (under the threshold for obesity), and these biomarkers improve, we feel theyre at less of a cardiovascular risk, says Ryskamp.

If a patient has severely elevated triglyceride levels upwards of 1,000 mg/dL (remember under 150 is normal) then Ryskamp would likely suggest another diet first. But a triglyceride level of 300 may still be a go, with close monitoring and frequent lipid checks. Most of the patients I see can safely go on keto, she says.

The fact is, says Ryskamp, people start down the road to heart disease in different ways (genetics, hardening of arteries), and cardiovascular patients respond uniquely to treatment. Not everyone will want to go on keto, but it may be recommended for some, she says. As a study published in November 2019 in Clinical and Scientific Debates on Atherosclerosis points out, keto is not the only option. Other diets are as effective, more sustainable and safer, the authors write. The AHA still recommends a plant-based diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean vegetable or animal protein.

RELATED: What Are the Best Sources of Plant-Based Protein?

One of the draws of a keto diet is the idea that you can eat any and all fat that you want. Thats not a healthy mindset to step into. I recommend patients choose cardioprotective [unsaturated] fats, like nuts, nut butter, seeds, avocado, and extra virgin oils, such as olive oil, says Ryskamp. Similarly, avoid foods that are high in saturated fat (like butter) as your primary fat sources.

Its not just fats that are important, but maximizing the small amount of carbohydrates youre allowed. Getting enough fiber can be a challenge, and youll want to make sure youre eating plenty of low GI-index veggies (nonstarchy choices such as spinach and broccoli). Ultimately, the benefits come from replacing foods, like processed carbs, that experts believe are detrimental to overall wellness, with those that are heart-healthy, like unsaturated fats, she says.

Its been repeated over and over: If youre drastically changing your diet which includes going keto you need to talk to your doctor first and make sure its safe for you and your individual health concerns. You also want to get your lipids checked before and during keto, so your doctor can watch for a cholesterol spike and determine if this is a healthy diet for you.

One of the biggest concerns, says Soffer, is that once you come off keto, you continue eating a high-saturated-fat diet in combination with a typical Standard American Diet (a high-calorie diet thats rich in refined grains and proteins, but low in fruits and vegetables). Because keto is highly restrictive, most people dont stay on it for the long haul, so watch your diet and plan appropriately when you go off the diet.

RELATED: How to Maintain Your Health and Weight Loss Results After Keto

If you have high cholesterol or triglycerides, speak with your medical team first before embarking on a keto diet. If you get the green light, continue to seek their help. There are a lot of popular books out on how to follow a keto diet, but I think patients need additional support and guidance and ongoing conversations about if its working for you, says Ryskamp. Its a tool that someone can use to improve their health, but it may not be the right tool for them, or the right tool the way theyre doing it, she says.

RELATED: The Health Conditions Keto Can (and Cant) Treat

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Nov 22nd, 2020 | Filed under Diet Safely

Not in vain since we are children, our moms they did not tire of insisting on the importance of eat vegetables daily. Although it is one of the most fundamental recommendations in all balanced nutrition, according to information released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the daily intake should range between 400-500 grams of vegetables a day. Unfortunately few people manage to meet the established targets, which translates into low consumption of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

However, the question is not limited only to the nutritional aspect, choosing better what we eat by consciously increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables is key in Good health and one better life quality. They contain extremely valuable nutrients for the fulfillment of different processes and are considered one of the more faithful allies to lose weight.

In a particular way vegetables are too important for the body: They are key to feel well, have an optimal weight and prevent diseases. Its habitual consumption is related to great benefits for heart health, brain function, are essential for a good digestive and intestinal health, very moisturizing, contain numerous antioxidants that are very useful against free radicals, are a great ally against aging and fill us with quality energy, in such a way that they improve physical and mental performance. Its essential nutrients are very valuable for the fulfillment of different processes in the body and are considered one of the more faithful allies to lose weight, effectively and safely.

Regardless of the variant, the vegetables stand out for their unmatched dietary fiber content, which is related to great benefits related to the weightloss. In principle, the fiber gives them a great satiating power, at the same time the combination between your high water and fiber content makes them provide a feeling of satisfaction higher (especially compared to simple carbohydrates). In such a way that they are the perfect nutritional supplement for control appetite, the anxiety to eat and consume a lower daily caloric intake.

Integrate a abundant consumption of vegetables in the daily dietIt is not only necessary nutritionally speaking; is an aspect essential to lose weight. They represent one of the best food alternatives for lose weight without starving and without becoming a prisoner of count calories at all times. They are related to important aspects of losing weight:

They control the appetite and are the best snack between meals. They are rich in fiber and therefore satiating.They fight bloating and fluid retention, help to eliminate everything we do not need. They are a great ally of good digestion and very useful to prevent constipation.They are very low in calories and rich in essential nutrients. They fill any weight loss plan with colors and versatility.

Another of the great qualities of the high content in fiber of vegetables, is related to their big benefits for balance sugar levels (glucose) in the blood. Normally, depending on the variant, they are considered low glycemic index foods, in such a way that they are of great help to Avoid blood glucose spikes. These types of alterations are related to declines in energy Y sweet food cravings, vegetables are ideal to avoid these conditions that are related to weight gain.

Probably one of the greater benefits of the consumption of vegetables, is related to their benefits for enhance intestinal health. The high content of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and fiber they contain, makes them the best ally for regulate bowel function. In combination with a high water consumption, vegetables positively feed the intestinal flora, eliminate common digestive ailments and are of great help to ensure a good process of purification of the organism. Good gut health is key to a rapid and effective weight loss, and also to enjoy a strong immune system.

Several studies show that a diet rich in a variety of vegetables, can help decrease hardening of the arteries, help lower cholesterol levels, and help prevent inflammation, a component of many degenerative diseases as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimers. The researchers also believe that their antioxidant power (vitamins C and E), your wealth in minerals and trace elements, are the perfect formula to protect the body from chronic diseases.

The best of all is that today it is becoming easier to integrate vegetables in our diet, more taking into account the huge benefits to follow a plant-based diet. Vegetables are life, they fill us with vitality and energy, are colorful, generous and depending on the season of the year they provide exact nutrients for the organism. Always choose to select the fresh and seasonal variantsare a nutritional treasure and a great way to save and of course gain a lot of health.

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Nov 22nd, 2020 | Filed under Diet Safely

Bananas have long been a lunchbox and brown bag staple. And that's not just because they're an easily portable food item. They're also nutritious and beneficial for your heart, blood sugar, digestion, and more.

Here are five health benefits of eating bananas.

In fact, just one banana can give you 9% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of potassium and 8% of magnesium. As for vitamin C, a banana might not be the first food to pop into your mind. But the fruit supplies around 11% of your RDI.

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Indeed, bananas, which contain pectin and resistant starch, might actually help lower blood sugar. Richards says that these soluble fibers act in concert with each other by increasing the sensation of satiety, preventing overeating, and slowing the rate of digestion.

Potassium is a double threat. While most people think of it as a mineral, it also functions as an electrolyte. Electrolytes are instrumental for regulating muscle contraction. "Because the heart is a muscle," Moreno says, "potassium and heart health are very closely linked."

Potassium can also help balance sodium levels. Potassium, which monitors fluid inside the cells, has a push-pull relationship with sodium, which controls the fluid outside the cells. Too little potassium and too much sodium means more fluid and a higher blood volume in the bloodstream. This increases blood pressure with an added risk of heart attack and stroke.

Moreno says that the banana has become "very stigmatized in diet culture" because of its carbohydrate content. "People vilify them. But we don't have weight issues because of bananas."

In fact, the fruit might actually help you feel fuller, faster. The combination of pectin and resistant starch delays stomach emptying, leading you to eat less calories, Richards says.

When it comes to gut health, bananas both give and take away. Green, or greener, bananas can promote constipation, "due to the higher amount of resistant starch and pectin," Richards says, which both slow down your stomach's digestive process.

Bananas also contain insoluble fiber: The insoluble fiber absorbs and processes nutrients, while the soluble fiber creates soft bulk for the body to clear toxins from the digestive system.

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Nov 22nd, 2020 | Filed under Diet Safely

It's easy and totally understandable to be feeling distracted and just generally tired right now, and when you add holiday stress and safety concerns to the list, powering through the workday with full productivity can sometimes feel like a challenge.

For me, my midday slump has been hitting harder and harder while working from home. In an effort to clear my mind of anxieties, boost my concentration and energy, and stretch out the aching stiffness in my joints, I replaced my lunch break Instagram scrolls with yoga sequences.

Just 10 minutes (20 tops, if I can spare it) has been absolutely game-changing in helping me to refocus on the tasks on my to-do list and release the physical tension that leaves me sidetracked.

Before lockdown measures were put into place and my work shifted to my apartment, I'd normally try to walk around the block during lunch, or at least walk to pick up a salad at a nearby takeout spot. The short strolls helped increase my circulation, picked up my mood, and gave me a change of scenery.

Rolling out my mat and working through a quick sequence of Sun Salutations or Cat Cows before breaking for my meal does the very same thing, while also giving me an opportunity to connect to my breath.

And those deep inhales and exhales, especially when I do a Slow Flow sequence, serve a very positive mental purpose for me, too.

Not only do I end up feeling more present while eating (allowing me to enjoy my tasty lunch even more), but my mind also slows down. When I sit back down at my desk (or, let's be honest, couch), I can clearly prioritize my projects without getting quite as overwhelmed.

Sometimes it just takes a little movement to unwind, flush out all the noise, and take the daunting feeling out of an overflowing inbox.

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Nov 22nd, 2020 | Filed under Diet Safely

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 22, 2020 6:39:22 pmColorectal cancer starts as small and benign clumps of cells called polyps which develop on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Some of these polyps develop into cancer over a period. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

If there is one thing that the pandemic year of 2020 has taught us, it is that we cannot take our health for granted. That whenever we notice something different about the way our body functions, we must get the attention of our doctors. Even if it is not something alarming, they may be able to allay our fears.

Among the many common ailments that affect us, is colon cancer. In fact, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), colon cancer is the third-most common cancer among men, worldwide. In India, the annual incidence rates for colon cancer and rectal cancer in men are 4.4 and 4.1 per 1,00,000, respectively. The annual incidence rates for colon cancer in women is 3.9 per 1,00,000.

Dr Amanjeet Singh, Director & Head of Colorectal Surgery GI Surgery, GI Oncology and Bariatric Surgery, Institute of Digestive and Hepatobiliary Sciences, Medanta, explains that colorectal cancer begins in the colon or rectum, and can be referred to as colon or rectum cancer depending upon where it originates. The large intestine or large bowel is known as colon and it is part of the digestive tract. Rectum is the chamber which begins at the end of the large intestine and ends at the anus. Colon and rectum cancer are often grouped together and called colorectal cancer because of the common features they share.

Colorectal cancer starts as small and benign clumps of cells called polyps which develop on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Some of these polyps develop into cancer over a period. The risk factors for colorectal cancer involve a family history of colon or rectal cancer, diet, alcohol intake, smoking and inflammatory bowel disease, he says.

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According to a study by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), mortality rates from colon cancer are significantly higher in males. While both men and women are at risk for colon cancer, men are more susceptible to rectal cancer, he adds.

How is colon cancer treated?

Dr Singh says the treatment options for colon cancer include surgery to remove the tumor, radiation therapy and chemotherapy depending upon the stage of the cancer. For early stages, surgery is the primary treatment. It can be safely performed using laparoscopic and robotic approaches decreasing the morbidity associated with open surgeries. In cases where the cancer has grown into or through the colon, a partial colectomy may be done.

Another treatment option for advanced colon cancer is ostomy which involves creating an opening in the wall of the abdomen from a portion of the remaining bowel for the elimination of stool into a bag that fits securely over the opening. Radiation therapy can also be considered, in which X-rays and protons are used to kill cancer cells. It can be used to shrink large cancers or provide relief from symptoms.

ALSO READ |From food habits to precautions: Everything you need to know about dealing with diabetes in the pandemic

Prevention

* Consumption of a healthy diet is a must. This includes vegetables and whole grains which contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that can help keep the gut and colon healthy.

* Avoiding alcoholic beverages. In case one cannot quit completely, alcohol should be consumed in moderation.

* Quitting smoking or consumption of tobacco.

* Maintaining a healthy body weight.

* Undergoing screening for colon cancer post the age of 45 years or before, especially if there is family history of the disease.

Why has there been a surge in colon cancer cases among the younger population?

Earlier, colorectal cancer was more prevalent in the western countries. With the rise in factors such as consumption of low-residue diets, processed foods, obesity and sedentary lifestyles, incidences are increasing at an alarming rate worldwide. Recent studies have shown these cancers are affecting the younger population, below 40 years of age, and are likely to recur even after surgery and treatment.

ALSO READ |Is there a link between air pollution and COPD?

Recently, a panel of medical professionals suggested screening for colon cancer be done at the age of 45. This was due to the increase in the number of young patients suffering from colorectal cancer over the last few years. Though the exact cause is still not clear, studies have highlighted that following a healthy lifestyle and undergoing preventive screening for colorectal cancer at an early age can help reduce the incidence of this disease.

Colorectal cancer is unique as compared to other cancers, because it has a long preclinical period wherein the disease can be cured if detected early. Hence the recent recommendation of propagating early screening is definitely relevant. Screening for colorectal cancer involves a combination of blood tests, stool test and colonoscopy, explains Dr Singh.

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Nov 22nd, 2020 | Filed under Diet Safely

The moment the trailer for Netflix's Hillbilly Elegy dropped, controversy immediately surfaced. Director Ron Howard's dramatic sequences of this true story appeared to be obvious Oscar bait for Amy Adams and Glenn Close, longtime contenders for Academy Awards. But the bigger reason the film received flak was because people felt that it pandered to "poverty porn." This criticism isn't quite new, though. The book that the movie is based on, J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, has faced similar pushback since its 2016 publication.

The memoir follows Vance's childhood as a boy growing up with the Appalachian values of his Kentucky family and explores how these values related to the social problems that he witnessed while living in Middletown, OH with his grandparents. His family endured many troubles, including domestic violence and drug addiction. Many of his neighbors were jobless and impoverished. In his book, Vance speaks of "white welfare queens" and claims people he knew worked less than they said they did.

Ultimately, his memoir follows a familiar "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" narrative. Vance left his impoverished life behind and eventually served in the Marines and graduated from Yale Law School now, he's a venture capitalist who's worked with Peter Thiel. Politically, he identifies as conservative while occasionally criticizing the Republican Party. His book is often lauded as a key to understanding why Donald Trump received widespread support from Appalachia in 2016.

While Hillbilly Elegy is a bestseller, critics particularly take issue with the ending subtitle of his book: "Culture in Crisis." Historian Elizabeth Catte, the author of What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia, contends that Vance projects the realities of his life upon an entire region. The problem with this is that Appalachia is big. It stretches from New York down to Alabama and encompasses 400 counties and 25 million people. For Catte, the portrayal of the region as a place dominated by forgotten white people also diminishes the nuances in the story of Appalachia, especially for people of color, immigrants, and those in the LGBTQ+ community.

"There's an idea that Appalachia is not fundamentally part of the United States, that it's a place within a place, and it's not a place but a problem," Catte said in an NPR interview. " I would like people to understand that Appalachia is very much part of the wider United States. There's no mysterious culture here that explains the you know, the realities. And our stories the story of Appalachia cannot be separated from the story of the United States and the historical forces that have shaped us."

Many critics also disagree with how Vance characterizes the root of poverty as a cultural issue rather than a systemic one. This is a driving argument in Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy, an essay collection edited by Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll. For Democratic politician Betsy Rader, who is quoted in the collection, Hillbilly Elegy feeds "into the mythology that the undeserving poor make bad choices and are to blame for their own poverty, so taxpayer money should not be wasted in programs to help lift people out of poverty." To his critics, Vance appears to broadly blame Appalachian culture for the area's poverty, all the while profiting off of his one-sided account of Appalachia.

Oscar bait or not, Hillbilly Elegy, as a film, will draw conversations about whether or not the portrayals of Appalachia in mainstream culture are nuanced and inclusive enough.

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Nov 22nd, 2020 | Filed under Diet Safely

Father of three Ryan Reynolds is always good for a solid one-liner, and his penchant for sarcasm was put to good use while discussing what it's like to social distance with his three daughters James, 5, Inez, 4, and Betty, 1 amid the pandemic. During an interview with Hoda Kotb on the The Today Show, he pretty much summarized how parents who are home all day, every day with their little ones feel.

"I am not living paycheck to paycheck like so many people across the country are and the world," Ryan told Hoda, "But you know for me, the best I would say obviously is the time spending with family, with my kids, having an incredibly concentrated amount of time with them during a period in their lives that I'll never get back."

Ryan continued, joking that while the extra time with his daughters is certainly a blessing, it can also have its downsides. "If I'm to pick the worst thing, it's probably the incredibly concentrated amount of time I've had with my kids in a time that I'll never get back," he said.

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Nov 22nd, 2020 | Filed under Diet Safely

Highlights

Diwali is incomplete without delicious sweets and savory items, these should be had in moderation and it stands especially true for diabetics. It is imperative for diabetics to be careful about their diet during the festive season, to avoid disastrous post-Diwali impact. The extent to which diabetics can indulge in sweets during Diwali, depends on the individual's condition. Here are some diet tips for diabetics that will help them maintain their blood sugars this Diwali.

1. Keep mindful of the portion: Limit the portion size of sweets, savory, fried and fatty foods; eat your meals in smaller plates. You can replace sugars with natural sweeteners like Stevia or Splenda, which are safe substitutes.2. Avoid excessive consumption of Alcohol: Those extra glasses have done no good to anyone3. Do not let household chores stress you out: This is a very important step towards healthy living. Relax and enjoy(it's our favourite festival after all). Yoga may help for relaxation too.4. Avoid eating food at irregular timings: Fasting for longer durations can lead to Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and weakness which can be disastrous for Diabetics5. Feasting is avoidable too: It may lead to high sugar levels which is also not good. If you have to attend a dinner, try to balance it out by healthy snacking in advance.6. Focus on physical health: Don't forget to concentrate, on physical health by doing some exercises like walking, swimming, cycling etc. which is often neglected during festivities(Also Read:Diwali 2020: 8 Easy Diwali Recipes to Impress Your Guests and Relatives | Best Diwali Recipes)

Diwali 2020: Diwali sweets can get hard to resist

Few Tips For Healthy Fasting For Diabetics:1. Have slow absorbing foods (which have a low glycemic index, i.e. complex carbohydrates) before you begin the fast. Choose foods that will keep you full for longer, and will help in keeping your blood glucose levels stable, even during the fast. Fruits, vegetables, and salads can also be included; Insulin dosages and timings may be required to be adjusted.2. Be aware of symptoms related to low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia), act accordingly.3. It's recommended that you check your blood sugar levels a few times during the day. Your fast should also be broken if blood sugar is less than 70mg per percentage in the first few hours after you begin fasting.4. Don't leave your stomach empty for more than 2hrs at a stretch. Do consume fast-friendly beverages and food in between.5. Consume adequate water to maintain adequate hydration.6. It is mandatory for diabetics to monitor and routinely check the blood sugar levels. This is especially true because you are eating food you normally wouldn't. Regular monitoring will tell you how well you are responding to the changed meal patterns.7. A good way to avoid binging is by opting for nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews, but refrain from peanuts for mid-meal snacking. Also, try to stay away from high-calorie foods like deep-fried samosas. Drink plenty of water during the festive time, not only to cleanse your gut but also to keep you full, and to keep you away from gorging on unhealthy food. You can go for lime water, coconut water, and buttermilk. Reduce consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol, and carbonated beverages as much as you can.

Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your dietPhoto Credit: iStock

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A diabetic always needs to be aware of the number of carbohydrates they are consuming. Restrict calorie-dense foods, and simple sugars like rice, sugar and fats. Consume high fiber vegetables and salads; you can have a good portion of protein like lentils, pulses and small portion of healthy fats.

Last but not the least, regular consumption of your prescribed medication and exercising will reduce stress levels and keep you safe. Have a happy and healthy Diwali!

About The Author:Dr Farah Ingale is the Director-Internal Medicine, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi-A Fortis Network Hospital

(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)

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Nov 19th, 2020 | Filed under Diet Safely

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | November 14, 2020 7:10:12 pmNo Indian festival is complete without sweets. Least of all, Diwali. (Source: Pixabay)

Diwali is an important festival that is celebrated across the country. It is all about getting together, having fun, eating good food and spreading merriment. This year, because of the pandemic, the festival may have to be celebrated a little cautiously, especially by those who are immuno-compromised.

Sweets and savouries are important components of Diwali food. No Diwali day can ever be complete until you have consumed, even devoured, them! For diabetics, however, staying away from sweets can be difficult, especially when everyone else is having them. It is imperative for diabetics to be careful about their diet during the festive season, to avoid disastrous post-Diwali impact. The extent to which diabetics can indulge in sweets during Diwali, depends on the individuals condition, says Dr Farah Ingale, Director-Internal Medicine, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi a Fortis Network Hospital.

She suggests some diet tips that can help them maintain their blood sugar level this Diwali.

* Limit the portion size of sweets, savoury, fried and fatty foods: Eat your meals in smaller plates. You can replace sugars with natural sweeteners like stevia or splenda, which are safe substitutes.* Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol.* Do not let household chores stress you out: This is especially true for women, who bear the bulk of the workload. Relax and enjoy. Yoga may help.* Avoid eating food at irregular timings: Fasting for longer duration can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and weakness which can be disastrous for diabetics.* Feasting is avoidable too: It may lead to high sugar levels which are also not good.* Dont forget to focus on physical health by doing some exercises like walking, swimming, cycling etc., which are often neglected during festivities.

ALSO READ |From building immunity to improving digestion: Count on these 10 winter superfoods

If you are a diabetic and looking to fast this Diwali, Dr Ingale shares some healthy fasting tips:

Have slow absorbing foods (which have a low glycemic index, that is complex carbohydrates) before you begin. Choose foods that will keep you full for longer, and will help in keeping your blood glucose levels stable, even during the fast. Fruits, vegetables, and salads can also be included; Insulin dosages and timings may be required to be adjusted. Be aware of symptoms related to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), act accordingly if it occurs. It is recommended that you check your blood sugar levels a few times during the day. Your fast should also be broken if blood sugar is less than 70mg per percentage in the first few hours after you begin fasting.

Dont leave your stomach empty for more than two hours at a stretch. Do consume fast-friendly beverages and food items in between. Consume adequate water to maintain hydration. It is mandatory for diabetics to monitor and routinely check blood sugar levels. This is especially true because you are eating food you normally wouldnt. Regular monitoring will tell you how well you are responding to the changed meal patterns. A good way to avoid binging is by opting for nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews; stay away from peanuts for mid-meal snacking. Also, try to stay away from high-calorie foods like deep-fried samosas. Drink plenty of water during the festive time, not only to cleanse your gut but also to keep yourself full, and to keep you away from gorging on unhealthy food. You can go for lime water, coconut water, and buttermilk. Reduce the consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol, and carbonated beverages as much as you can.

ALSO READ |FSSAI recommends four simple ways to reduce oil intake

Build your meals to incorporate fibre-rich foods like wheat or broken wheat khichadi, pulao, pongal, millets like sama chawal (barnyad millet) rice, amaranth flour for chapati, poori, buckwheat flour for poori, dosa, khichdi, rajgira for poori, paratha, makhana (fox nuts) for kheer, sighare ka atta for roti, chapati, samosa and poori.

If you are preparing sweets at home, prepare them with skimmed milk instead of full-fat milk. Use stevia or splenda instead of plain sugar. Instead of deep-fried foods, opt for baked, grilled ones. Include plenty of water, clear soups buttermilk, which are safe for diabetics as they are low in calories and are filling, the doctor advises.

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Nov 19th, 2020 | Filed under Diet Safely
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