Hunger is Rising, COVID-19 Will Make it Worse

The economic crisis and food system disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic will worsen the lack of nutrition in women and children, with the potential to cost the world almost $30 billion in future productivity losses. As many as 3 billion people may be unable to afford a healthy diet due to the pandemic, according to a study published in Nature Food journal. This will exacerbate maternal and child under-nutrition in low- and middle-income countries, causing stunting, wasting, mortality and maternal anemia.

Nearly 690 million people were undernourished in 2019, up by almost 60 million since 2014. Nearly half of all deaths in children under age five are attributable to undernutrition and, regrettably, stunting and wasting still have strong impacts worldwide.

In 2019, 21 per cent of all children under age five (144 million) were stunted and 49.5 million children experienced wasting.The effects of the pandemic will increase child hunger, and an additional 6.7 million children are predicted to be wasted by the end of 2020 due to the pandemic’s impact.

The situation continues to be most alarming in Africa: 19 per cent of its population is under-nourished (more than 250 million people), with the highest prevalence of undernourishment among all global regions. Africa is the only region where the number of stunted children has risen since 2000.

Women and girls represent more than 70 per cent of people facing chronic hunger. They are more likely to reduce their meal intake in times of food scarcity and may be pushed to engage in negative coping mechanisms, such as transactional sex and child, early and forced marriage.

Extreme climatic events drove almost 34 million people into food crisis in 25 countries in 2019, 77 per cent of them in Africa. The number of people pushed into food crisis by economic shocks more than doubled to 24 million in eight countries in 2019 (compared to 10 million people in six countries the previous year).

Food insecurity is set to get much worse unless unsustainable global food systems are addressed. Soils around the world are heading for exhaustion and depletion. An estimated 33 per cent of global soils are already degraded, endangering food production and the provision of vital ecosystem services.

Evidence from food security assessments and analysis shows that COVID-19 has had a compounding effect on pre-existing vulnerabilities and stressors in countries with pre-existing food crises. In Sudan, an estimated 9.6 million people (21 per cent of the population) were experiencing crisis or worse levels of food insecurity (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) in the third quarter of 2020 and needed urgent action. This is the highest figure ever recorded for Sudan.

Food security needs are set to increase dramatically in 2021 as the pandemic and global response measures seriously affect food systems worldwide. Entire food supply chains have been disrupted, and the cost of a basic food basket increased by more than 10 per cent in 20 countries in the second quarter of 2020.

Delays in the farming season due to disruptions in supply chains and restrictions on labour movement are resulting in below-average harvests across many countries and regions.  This is magnified by pre-existing or seasonal threats and vulnerabilities, such as conflict and violence, looming hurricane and monsoon seasons, and locust infestations. Further climatic changes are expected from La Niña.

Forecasters predict a 55 per cent change in climate conditions through the first quarter of 2021, impacting sea temperatures, rainfall patterns and hurricane activity. The ensuing floods and droughts that could result from La Niña will affect farming seasons worldwide, potentially decreasing crop yields and increasing food insecurity levels.

The devastating impact of COVID-19 is still playing out in terms of rising unemployment, shattered livelihoods and increasing hunger. Families are finding it harder to put healthy food on a plate, child malnutrition is threatening millions. The risk of famine is real in places like Burkina Faso, north-eastern Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.

COVID-19 has ushered hunger into the lives of more urban communities while placing the vulnerable, such as IDPs, refugees, migrants, older persons, women and girls, people caught in conflict, and those living at the sharp end of climate change at higher risk of starvation. The pandemic hit at a time when the number of acutely food-insecure people in the world had already risen since 2014, largely due to conflict, climate change and economic shocks.

Acute food-insecurity is projected to increase by more than 80 percent – from 149 million pre-COVID-19, to 270 million by the end of 2020 – in 79 of the countries where WFP works. The number of people in crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) almost tripled in Burkina Faso compared to the 2019 peak of the food insecurity situation, with 11,000 people facing catastrophic hunger (IPC/CH Phase 5) in mid-2020.

For populations in IPC3 and above, urgent and sustained humanitarian assistance is required to prevent a deterioration in the hunger situation. It is alarming that in 2020, insufficient funds left food security partners unable to deliver the assistance required. For example, sustained food ration reductions in Yemen have directly contributed to reduced food consumption since March. Today, Yemen is one of four countries at real risk of famine.

Source: https://gho.unocha.org/

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Critics:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, food security has been a global concern – in the second quarter of 2020 there were multiple warnings of famine later in the year. According to early predictions, hundreds of thousands of people would likely die and millions more experience hunger without concerted efforts to address issues of food security.

As of October 2020, these efforts were reducing the risk of widespread starvation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Famines were feared as a result of the COVID-19 recession and some of the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, the 2019–2021 locust infestation, ongoing wars and political turmoil in some nations were also viewed as local causes of hunger.

In September 2020, David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, addressed the United Nations Security Council, stating that measures taken by donor countries over the course of the preceding five months, including the provision of $17 trillion in fiscal stimulus and central bank support, the suspension of debt repayments instituted by the IMF and G20 countries for the benefit of poorer countries, and donor support for WFP programmes, had averted impending famine, helping 270 million people at risk of starvation.

References:

 

The Symptoms of The Delta Variant Appear To Differ From Traditional COVID Symptoms. Here’s What To Look Out For

We’ve been living in a COVID world for more than 18 months now. At the outset of the pandemic, government agencies and health authorities scrambled to inform people on how to identify symptoms of the virus.

But as the virus has evolved, it seems the most common symptoms have changed too.

Emerging data suggest people infected with the Delta variant — the variant behind most of Australia’s current cases and highly prevalent around the world — are experiencing symptoms different to those we commonly associated with COVID earlier in the pandemic.


Read more: What’s the Delta COVID variant found in Melbourne? Is it more infectious and does it spread more in kids? A virologist explains

Clear explanations about the pandemic from a network of research experts

We’re all different

Humans are dynamic. With our differences come different immune systems. This means the same virus can produce different signs and symptoms in different ways.

A sign is something that’s seen, such as a rash. A symptom is something that’s felt, like a sore throat.

The way a virus causes illness is dependent on two key factors:

  • viral factors include things like speed of replication, modes of transmission, and so on. Viral factors change as the virus evolves.
  • host factors are specific to the individual. Age, gender, medications, diet, exercise, health and stress can all affect host factors.

So when we talk about the signs and symptoms of a virus, we’re referring to what is most common. To ascertain this, we have to collect information from individual cases.

It’s important to note this data is not always easy to collect or analyse to ensure there’s no bias. For example, older people may have different symptoms to younger people, and collecting data from patients in a hospital may be different to patients at a GP clinic.

So what are the common signs and symptoms of the Delta variant?

Using a self-reporting system through a mobile app, data from the United Kingdom suggest the most common COVID symptoms may have changed from those we traditionally associated with the virus.

The reports don’t take into account which COVID variant participants are infected with. But given Delta is predominating in the UK at present, it’s a safe bet the symptoms we see here reflect the Delta variant.


The Conversation, CC BY-ND

While fever and cough have always been common COVID symptoms, and headache and sore throat have traditionally presented for some people, a runny nose was rarely reported in earlier data. Meanwhile, loss of smell, which was originally quite common, now ranks ninth.

There are a few reasons we could be seeing the symptoms evolving in this way. It may be because data were originally coming mainly from patients presenting to hospital who were therefore likely to be sicker. And given the higher rates of vaccination coverage in older age groups, younger people are now accounting for a greater proportion of COVID cases, and they tend to experience milder symptoms.

It could also be because of the evolution of the virus, and the different characteristics (viral factors) of the Delta variant. But why exactly symptoms could be changing remains uncertain.


Read more: Coronavirus: how long does it take to get sick? How infectious is it? Will you always have a fever? COVID-19 basics explained


While we still have more to learn about the Delta variant, this emerging data is important because it shows us that what we might think of as just a mild winter cold — a runny nose and a sore throat — could be a case of COVID-19.

This data highlight the power of public science. At the same time, we need to remember the results haven’t yet been fully analysed or stratified. That is, “host factors” such as age, gender, other illnesses, medications and so on haven’t been accounted for, as they would in a rigorous clinical trial.

And as is the case with all self-reported data, we have to acknowledge there may be some flaws in the results.

Does vaccination affect the symptoms?

Although new viral variants can compromise the effectiveness of vaccines, for Delta, the vaccines available in Australia (Pfizer and AstraZeneca) still appear to offer good protection against symptomatic COVID-19 after two doses.



Importantly, both vaccines have been shown to offer greater than 90% protection from severe disease requiring hospital treatment.

A recent “superspreader” event in New South Wales highlighted the importance of vaccination. Of 30 people who attended this birthday party, reports indicated none of the 24 people who became infected with the Delta variant had been vaccinated. The six vaccinated people at the party did not contract COVID-19.

In some cases infection may still possible after vaccination, but it’s highly likely the viral load will be lower and symptoms much milder than they would without vaccination.

We all have a role to play

Evidence indicating Delta is more infectious compared to the original SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of the virus is building.

It’s important to understand the environment is also changing. People have become more complacent with social distancing, seasons change, vaccination rates vary — all these factors affect the data.

But scientists are becoming more confident the Delta variant represents a more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 strain.


Read more: What’s the difference between mutations, variants and strains? A guide to COVID terminology


As we face another COVID battle in Australia we’re reminded the war against COVID is not over and we all have a role to play. Get tested if you have any symptoms, even if it’s “just a sniffle”. Get vaccinated as soon as you can and follow public health advice.

By: Research Leader in Virology and Infectious Disease, Griffith University

Source: The symptoms of the Delta variant appear to differ from traditional COVID symptoms. Here’s what to look out for

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Critics:

Deltacoronavirus (Delta-CoV) is one of the four genera (Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma-, and Delta-) of coronaviruses. It is in the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae of the family Coronaviridae. They are enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses. Deltacoronaviruses infect mostly birds and some mammals.

genesis

While the alpha and beta genera are derived from the bat viral gene pool, the gamma and delta genera are derived from the avian and pig viral gene pools.

Recombination appears to be common among deltacoronaviruses.Recombination occurs frequently in the viral genome region that encodes the host receptor binding protein. Recombination between different viral lineages contributes to the emergence of new viruses capable of interspecies transmission and adaptation to new animal hosts.

References

  1. Lau SKP, Wong EYM, Tsang CC, Ahmed SS, Au-Yeung RKH, Yuen KY, Wernery U, Woo PCY. Discovery and Sequence Analysis of Four Deltacoronaviruses from Birds in the Middle East Reveal Interspecies Jumping with Recombination as a Potential Mechanism for Avian-to-Avian and Avian-to-Mammalian Transmission. J Virol. 2018 Jul 17;92(15):e00265-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00265-18. Print 2018 Aug 1. PMID: 29769348

External links

4 Japanese Dieting Tricks I Used To Lose 20 Pounds

For someone who played sports throughout the majority of her life, I admit I was never good at portion control or exercising for weight loss. My teammates were extremely lean while I looked — as my brother would say — chonky.

I didn’t have the best relationship with my body so I wanted to slim down and feel better about it, but I couldn’t find anything in the U.S that I felt like I could realistically accomplish. To be honest, the fitness culture in this country scares me. I knew I didn’t want to drink Kombucha every day or attend expensive SoulCycle classes for the rest of my life.

When I lived in Japan for a couple of years, I was shocked by the not-so-intense fitness culture. None of my peers went to the gym, drank protein smoothies, or ate granola bars for meals. Throughout my time learning about their culture, I realized that the health culture in Japan gravitates towards prevention rather than cure, which is different from the US philosophy.

Rather than overworking the body to compensate for the overconsumption of high-calorie food, Japanese people eat balanced meals and walk miles for commute every day. Not many people go to the gym or buy expensive products to sustain their because their daily routine is already healthy.

I’m going to introduce 4 Japanese dieting tricks I’ve picked up while living with my family in Japan for a few years. These were all so easy to implement in my day-to-day routine, and they’ve helped me lose 20 pounds in a year without doing anything rigorous that my peers in the U.S were doing. I also believe these tricks will be helpful for those who can’t exercise due to physical injuries or those who find themselves constantly thinking: “I never have time in my day to do something more.”

1. Relax in a half-body bath every other day

A half-body bath may sound silly, but it’s essentially taking a bath while immersing only half of our bodies. The key is to take a relatively longer and warmer bath, which helps speed up our metabolism. The recommended bath time is typically 20~30 minutes — anything longer than that can burden your body and have counter effects.

A long bath of 20~30 minutes is a similar concept to a spa, which is also a large part of Eastern culture. A longer bath usually makes me start sweating after 5~10 minutes into the process, and similar to a spa, it can start to feel uncomfortable. To make this easier, I take my phone or a book to read to the bathtub so the 30 minutes don’t feel too distressing. Taking a half-body bath has become my favorite part of the day when I get to relax and spend time alone.

Americans tend to prefer showering over bathing, but the opposite is true in Japan. I used to shower every day, but I switched to bathing a few times a week and showering the other days. The trick is to take a bath in 100~106 degrees Fahrenheit water as opposed to the 92-degree bath that is recommended in the U.S.

I immerse half of my body until the water level sits right below my chest. A full-body bath in hot water feels constricting on my lungs and heart, but a half-body bath is comfortable enough to take for half an hour, if not less.

If the temperature goes down during the duration of the bath, I like to add some more hot water to bring the temperature back up to the stated range. Japanese bathtubs typically come with a thermometer that allows me to easily set the water temperature. In the U.S where this isn’t the case, I fill up the bath then add hot or cold water to adjust the temperature.

You may ask, why is this a common dieting technique in Japan? Well, taking a half-body bath makes it easier to stay in the bath longer while the hot temperature of the water heats up the body and accelerates the calorie-burning process. The total calories burned per bath are not high enough to be effective for weight loss on their own, but doing it consistently (like every other day of the week) will speed up the metabolism, improve the skin, and get rid of bloatedness. I’ve found it a great way to detox my body and experienced gradual weight loss after a couple of weeks of consistently trying out this method.

When I first started taking half-body baths, all the sweating made me feel uncomfortable and dehydrated. Drinking lots of water before doing this is important to stay hydrated and avoid passing out in the bathtub!

2. Replace rice or spaghetti with konjac

I learned this trick from my Japanese mom who highly encouraged me to eat konjac, also called yam cake. She herself lost over 15 pounds from integrating konjac in two of her meals per day, which she started doing as she could not exercise due to her asthma. This diet has boosted her confidence as she started to feel self-conscious of her stomach that came with age. To this day, my 52-year-old mom is often mistaken to be in her early 40’s, and she attributes it entirely to her konjac diet.

Konjac tastes pretty much like nothing or just a little bit salty, so it’s easy to cook konjac with pretty much anything as a substitute for rice or wheat noodles and it’ll take on the flavor of whatever you cook with.

When I cook rice, I mix the rice grains with konjac and cook it together in a rice cooker. This has helped me easily integrate konjac into my daily diet. Another option would be to buy konjac rice, which is konjac noodles in the form of rice. Konjac rice is made of , bringing down my daily carb consumption.

Konjac is also a great alternative to wheat noodles, which are high in carbohydrates and eventually get converted to sugar in the body. My personal favorite is containing very low carbs and are rich in glucomannan fiber. Glucomannan is recognized as an solution for patients with diabetes or high cholesterol.

Konjac is widely used in the Eastern world for weight loss and cholesterol management. The reason is that it is rich in water-soluble fiber that helps . Konjac also tends to expand in the stomach, slow down the speed at which the digestive system empties, and keep me fuller for longer. This is similar to the feeling of eating vegetables as they also tend to help us gain the satisfaction of feeling full while also not increasing sugar and calorie intake. Konjac is inexpensive too ($1.69 for 255 grams), which means I can skip out on all the expensive Sweetgreen meals.

3. Chew your food more, almost excessively

This trick is most effective for people who tend to binge eat or struggle with portion control. Chewing a lot helps the feeling of “full” last longer.

Chewing food promotes digestion in a timely manner. If we swallow our food without chewing it properly, there are two side effects: 1) The stomach has a difficult time digesting food, and 2) The saliva cannot break down the food. Saliva has amylase and lipase that help break down food and, on top of that, has an antibacterial effect. Chewing food almost excessively lets our saliva do its job, which can be extremely powerful.

In addition, chewing alone releases histamine to the brain that tricks it into thinking that we’re full. It’s a simple mind trick, but I found myself eating smaller portions when I remind myself to keep chewing. The trick is to chew at least 30 times for each bite of food, alternating between chewing on the right and left sides of your mouth. We tend to have a “favorite” side to chew on, but chewing with only one side is tougher on your jaw and is said to cause an imbalanced body.

In Japan, it’s a common understanding that there are two types of bodies: 1) a healthy body that can lose weight, and 2) an imbalanced body that is more resistant to weight loss. The first step to weight loss is building a body that can easily lose weight. To do this, Japanese people speed up their metabolism by taking half-body baths and chewing at least 30 times.

4. Eat vegetables first

This is ingrained in Japanese culture, in which your favorite aunties will insist that you eat your vegetables before consuming other foods. Japanese meals traditionally come in a healthy balance of grains, protein, and vegetables, and Japanese people always start tackling their vegetables before indulging in the protein and grains.

This trick is partially psychological, as eating vegetables first makes us feel fuller before eating other foods. Again, this helped me a lot with portion control. Vegetables also have a lot of fiber, which is known to help with digestion.

That’s not why Japanese people eat vegetables first, though. They actually eat vegetables first because they say there is a strong correlation between insulin and weight loss. My Japanese mom explained it to me like this:

When the body absorbs sugar from the food that we eat, the sugar level spikes up. Then the sugar that we consume gets converted into energy, helping us get tasks done and go about our day-to-day. Then our pancreas releases insulin into our bodies.

Insulin plays a role in bringing down sugar levels and turning the sugar that hasn’t been converted to energy, into fat. In other words, if the sugar level spikes too quickly and too much insulin is released, it becomes easier for our bodies to build up fat. That’s why when we eat rice, bread, or snacks when we’re on an empty stomach, our sugar levels rise up too quickly and an abundance of insulin is pushed out into our bodies.

This trick works because eating vegetables on an empty stomach, before eating other foods, prevents the sugar level from spiking up and insulin from being mass released. Japanese people say that eating vegetables first helps create a body that is more resistant to weight gain.

Some find it easier to lose weight while others find it more difficult. This was an interesting argument to me because I never thought about how people have different body types. While there are multiple explanations for this, Japanese people say that our habits dictate whether we have a body that is “easy to lose weight” versus the opposite.

Doing yoga, having a good posture, and walking often— these Eastern health habits all play a part in building a body that can lose weight.

What really surprised me the most was that these habits were common sense to people living in Japan. None of my friends or colleagues went to the gym — in fact, none of them carved out a time in their day to become skinny. They all ate healthily, walked a few miles per day, and remembered these simple tricks to maintain their health and wellness.

I didn’t see drastic results in the short term because I wasn’t forcing my body to go through drastic changes. But I trusted the process, focused on consistency, and I feel like I have a much better relationship with my body now.

I think of food and exercise as a way to treat and show love to my body. Eating protein-rich food and drinking lots of water make my body happy. If I start out with a mile and gradually work my way up to 5 miles, my body feels great after the run. I don’t want to make my body go through drastic changes and stress it out too much because it’s the one and only vessel for our soul. So let’s start small and make long-lasting effects through these 4 tricks:

  1. Take a half-body bath a few times a week to speed up metabolism.
  2. Replace carbs with konjac to lower sugar intake.
  3. Chew every bite at least 30 times to make sure the saliva is doing its work.
  4. Eat vegetables first to become resistant to weight gain.

By: /

Source: 4 Japanese Dieting Tricks I Used to Lose 20 Pounds | by Project HBE | May, 2021 | Ascent Publication

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Critics:

Japanese cuisine encompasses the regional and traditional foods of Japan, which have developed through centuries of political, economic, and social changes. The traditional cuisine of Japan (Japanese: washoku) is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes; there is an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Side dishes often consist of fish, pickled vegetables, and vegetables cooked in broth.

Seafood is common, often grilled, but also served raw as sashimi or in sushi. Seafood and vegetables are also deep-fried in a light batter, as tempura. Apart from rice, a staple includes noodles, such as soba and udon. Japan also has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga.

Historically influenced by Chinese cuisine, Japanese cuisine has also opened up to influence from Western cuisines in the modern era. Dishes inspired by foreign food—in particular Chinese food—like ramen and gyōza, as well as foods like spaghetti, curry, and hamburgers, have been adapted to Japanese tastes and ingredients.

Traditionally, the Japanese shunned meat because of Buddhism, but with the modernization of Japan in the 1880s, meat-based dishes such as tonkatsu and yakiniku have become common. Japanese cuisine, particularly sushi and ramen, has become popular throughout the world.

In 2011, Japan overtook France to become the country with the most 3-starred Michelin restaurants; as of 2018, the capital Tokyo has maintained the title of the city with the most 3-starred restaurants in the world. In 2013, Japanese cuisine was added to the Unesco intangible heritage list.

See also

The Hidden Dangers of Protein Powders

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Adding protein powder to a glass of milk or a smoothie may seem like a simple way to boost your health. After, all, protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle, bone strength, and numerous body functions. And many older adults don’t consume enough protein because of a reduced appetite.

But be careful: a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder can harbor health risks. “I don’t recommend using protein powders except in a few instances, and only with supervision,” says registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

What is protein powder?

Protein powders are powdered forms of protein that come from plants (soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, or hemp), eggs, or milk (casein or whey protein). The powders may include other ingredients such as added sugars, artificial flavoring, thickeners, vitamins, and minerals. The amount of protein per scoop can vary from 10 to 30 grams. Supplements used for building muscle contain relatively more protein, and supplements used for weight loss contain relatively less.

What are the risks?

There are numerous risks to consider when using a protein powder. Among them:

  • A protein powder is a dietary supplement. The FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labeling of products. So, there’s no way to know if a protein powder contains what manufacturers claim.
  • We don’t know the long-term effects. “There are limited data on the possible side effects of high protein intake from supplements,” McManus says.
  • It may cause digestive distress. “People with dairy allergies or trouble digesting lactose [milk sugar] can experience gastrointestinal discomfort if they use a milk-based protein powder,” McManus points out.
  • It may be high in added sugars and calories. Some protein powders have little added sugar, and others have a lot (as much as 23 grams per scoop). Some protein powders wind up turning a glass of milk into a drink with more than 1,200 calories. The risk: weight gain and an unhealthy spike in blood sugar. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 24 grams of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men.

A new risk revealed

Earlier this year, a nonprofit group called the Clean Label Project released a report about toxins in protein powders. Researchers screened 134 products for 130 types of toxins and found that many protein powders contained heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A (BPA, which is used to make plastic), pesticides, or other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions. Some toxins were present in significant quantities. For example, one protein powder contained 25 times the allowed limit of BPA.

How could protein powder contain so many contaminants? The Clean Label Project points to manufacturing processes or the existence of toxins in soil (absorbed by plants that are made into protein powders).

Not all of the protein powders that were tested contained elevated levels of toxins. You can see the results at the Clean Label Project’s website (www.cleanlabelproject.org).

Daily protein goals

Aim for the Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein intake: 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams for men. For example:

  • an egg for breakfast (6 grams)
  • 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt at lunch (18 grams)
  • a handful of nuts for a snack (4–7 grams)
  • a cup of milk (8 grams) and 2 ounces of cooked chicken for dinner (14 grams).

What you should do

McManus says that in certain cases, chemical-free protein powders may be helpful—but only with medical supervision. Such cases could include

  • difficulty eating or an impaired appetite (as a result of cancer treatment or frailty from older age)
  • a surgical incision or a pressure wound that is not healing well (your body needs protein to repair cells and make new ones)
  • a serious condition requiring additional calories and protein in order for you to get better (such as burns).

Otherwise, get protein from whole foods: nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese), legumes (beans, lentils), fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meat. “You’ll find,” McManus says, “that there are many ways to get protein without turning to a powder.”

Source: The hidden dangers of protein powders – Harvard Health

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Critics:

Bodybuilding supplements are dietary supplements commonly used by those involved in bodybuilding, weightlifting, mixed martial arts, and athletics for the purpose of facilitating an increase in lean body mass. The intent is to increase muscle, increase body weight, improve athletic performance, and for some sports, to simultaneously decrease percent body fat so as to create better muscle definition.

Among the most widely used are high protein drinks, pre-workout blends, branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), glutamine, arginine, essential fatty acids, creatine, HMB, whey protein, ZMA and weight loss products. Supplements are sold either as single ingredient preparations or in the form of “stacks” – proprietary blends of various supplements marketed as offering synergistic advantages.

While many bodybuilding supplements are also consumed by the general public the frequency of use will differ when used specifically by bodybuilders. One meta-analysis concluded that – for athletes participating in resistance exercise training and consuming protein supplements for an average of 13 weeks – total protein intake up to 1.6 g/kg of body weight per day would result in an increase in strength and fat-free mass, but that higher intakes would not further contribute.

In addition to being potentially harmful, some have argued that there is little evidence to indicate any benefit to using bodybuilding protein or amino acid supplements. A 2005 overview concluded that “[i]n view of the lack of compelling evidence to the contrary, no additional dietary protein is suggested for healthy adults undertaking resistance or endurance exercise”.

In dispute of this, a 2017 meta-analysis concluded that for athletes participating in resistance exercise training and consuming protein supplements for an average of 13 weeks, total protein intake up to 1.6 g per kg body weight per day would result in an increase in strength and fat-free mass, i.e. muscle, but that higher intakes would not further contribute. The muscle mass increase was statistically significant but modest – averaging 0.3 for all trials and 1.0 to 2.0 kg, for protein intake ≥ 1.6 g/kg/day.

See also

Taming The World’s Leading Killer: High Blood Pressure

An article published recent in in the New England Journal of Medicine reports some astounding research findings which could save millions of lives. Why did you miss it? Because there was zero media coverage (apart from a few specialty medical blogs). Zero. That tells you something. Tells you a lot, actually. So, here are the details.

High blood pressure is the world’s leading killer — and will kill more people, including more young people, than Covid-19 (and, in usual years, more than all other infectious diseases combined). High blood pressure can be prevented, mostly by reducing dietary sodium, and is effectively treated with safe, low-cost medications.

But globally, we’re doing terribly on blood pressure control. Less than 1 in 7 people with high blood pressure, an abysmal 14%, have it controlled. This is, frankly, pathetic — and is killing millions of people a year. It’s the most important health care intervention for adults to save lives, and we get it right less than 1 in 7 times (and, in the United States, with a $4 trillion dollar health care system, we get this right less than half the time, despite it being the intervention that can save more lives than any other health care intervention in the US!)

Elegant studies by University of Oxford scientists prove that, for every 20-point increase in systolic blood pressure (the larger “top” number), the death rate from cardiovascular disease doubles. What’s more, this starts at a blood pressure of 115/75 — way below the usual level at which we treat, or toward which we aim treatment. Adapted from “Age-specific relevance of usual blood pressure to vascular mortality: a meta-analysis of individual data for one million adults in 61 prospective studies” in The Lancet. But showing that lower is better didn’t prove that lowering more is better. That’s where the incredibly important Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) study, begun in 2010, comes in.

It’s one thing to prove (as Oxford’s Dr. Sarah Lewington did) that lower blood pressure correlates with lower risk of death, but quite another to prove that lowering blood pressure more saves more lives. Lower blood pressure reduces the risk of death, but how low do we need to go? That’s what’s big news about the results from the SPRINT study that were just released. They prove that lower IS better — and that setting a blood pressure goal lower than the standard treatment goal prevented many more deaths.

The SPRINT study also showed that, despite more side effects (far less dangerous than heart attack or stroke), intensive blood pressure treatment to reach the lower blood pressure goal is safe — even for older people. More intensive treatment prevented more heart attacks, strokes and deaths.Based on the SPRINT study, many guidelines now recommend that certain high-risk patients with high blood pressure aim for a systolic blood pressure below 130 rather than the standard target of 140. (SPRINT aimed for an even lower target of 120/80.)

But the bigger implication: We need to do much better at getting people to under 140/90. For years, doctors were afraid to lower their patients’ blood pressures to levels they thought would be too low, and potentially dangerous. Now, it’s proven that “overshooting” the goal of 140/90 isn’t just something that won’t hurt the patient — it could well save their life.

The death rate among people treated with a blood pressure goal of under 120/80 was 27% lower than the death rate of people treated to the usual target of 140/90. And for every death prevented, about two heart attacks are prevented in addition to strokes, kidney failure, dementia, and more. Now, it’s also true that interventions other than medication can be important. Reducing sodium, in particular, can reduce blood pressure and other health harms from our overly salty diet. Getting regular physical activity, eating a healthier diet overall, reducing air pollution, and more can make a big difference. But these interventions are best done on a societal, community-wide basis.

That’s why, although we should empower and inform patients, we shouldn’t expect them to be able to withstand the obesogenic, salty, sedentary, polluted environment we live in. And even if we could magically improve our food and overall environment, there would still be a billion people in the world in need of medications to treat their hypertension. Why are we failing to control high blood pressure? One reason is that we’ve made treatment too complicated — far more complicated than it needs to be for optimal results. For the past four years, Resolve to Save Lives has worked with our global partners to identify characteristics of high-performing hypertension control programs throughout the world.

The WHO HEARTS technical package for improving cardiovascular health simplifies hypertension treatment: standard treatment protocols that any health worker can implement, reliable supply of quality-assured medicines, team-based health care, patient-centered services and a strong health information system. This makes it more likely that patients will achieve and maintain blood pressure control. Think about it. A study came out last week that could save millions of lives. There was not a single news article about it. Though this was “just” the final report from a study whose key results had previously been released in advance (because the findings are so important), we have been slow to implement these recommendations. It shows that we still have a lot to learn about what we need to focus on to save the most lives.

Resolve To Save Lives partners with countries which implement WHO’s HEARTS package to lower blood pressure. Sodium reduction and hypertension treatment can prevent 3 million early deaths — every year. Lowering blood pressure can save millions of lives. We know what we need to do, now let’s make it happen.

By: Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Obama administration, when he oversaw responses to the H1N1 influenza, Ebola and Zika epidemics, is President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies and Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations. Twitter: @DrTomFrieden.

Source: Taming the world’s leading killer: high blood pressure – CNN

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Hypertension or high blood pressure is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is higher than it should be. This involves the heart working harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels.

The pressure in the arteries changes depending on what the heart is doing. When the heart squeezes, pumping blood into the arteries, the pressure increases. When the heart relaxes, the pressure decreases. When blood pressure is measured, the highest pressure (when the heart is squeezing) is called the systolic blood pressure. The lowest pressure (when the heart is relaxing) is called the diastolic blood pressure.

Blood pressure is written as two numbers. For example, in the picture at the right, the person’s systolic blood pressure was 158. Their diastolic blood pressure was 99. This blood pressure is written as 158/99. It is said “158 over 99.”

Hypertension Types

There are two types of hypertension, called “primary” and “secondary.” Primary hypertension means that the hypertension is not caused by any other disease or condition and it gradually develops over time with age. Secondary hypertension means that the hypertension is caused by another disease or conditions. Secondary hypertension tend to result in higher blood pressure than primary hypertension. In most cases (90-95%), hypertension is primary. Only a small amount of hypertension (5-10%) is secondary.

There are various health conditions that leads to secondary hypertension which includes: Obstructive sleep apnea, Kidney problems, Adrenal gland tumors, Thyroid problems, Certain defects you’re born with (congenital) in blood vessels, Certain medications (birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs), Illegal drugs (cocaine and amphetamines)

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References

  • “High blood pressure (hypertension) – Symptoms and causes”. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  • Arguedas, JA (Jul 8, 2009). Arguedas, Jose Agustin (ed.). “Treatment blood pressure targets for hypertension”. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3): CD004349. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004349.pub2. PMID 19588353. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  • Williams, B; Poulter, NR, Brown, MJ, Davis, M, McInnes, GT, Potter, JF, Sever, PS, McG society (March 2004). “Guidelines for management of hypertension: report of the fourth working party of the British Hypertension Society, 2004-BHS IV”. Journal of Human Hypertension 18 (3): 139–85. doi:10.1038/sj.jhh.1001683. PMID 14973512 Law M, Wald N, Morris J (2003). “Lowering blood pressure to prevent myocardial infarction and stroke: a new preventive strategy”. Health Technol Assess 7 (31): 1–94. PMID 14604498.

How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science

It’s hard to lose weight. A doctor shares 6 essential tips to make it easier. A Harvard doctor shares her best strategy for measuring progress — and it has nothing to do with the scale. Choosing unhealthy foods can also lead to weight gain. And it’s not as simple as just eating too many calories.

An unhealthy diet triggers changes in the way your brain, gut, and hormones work together. “An unhealthy diet will lead to more inflammation. That includes inflammation in the brain, and adverse effects on hormones that influence brain function,” Manson said.

Ever notice how you can burn right through an entire bag of potato chips or a sleeve of cookies? Highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugar don’t make you feel full. “In fact, they lead to a sort of rebound hunger where you’re eating many more calories than you would need if you had a high-quality diet,” Manson said.

Processed foodsoften have the nutrients and fiber stripped out of them. They are more likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, which leads to an insulin surge. That’s what makes you feel hungry and can lead to overeating and weight gain.

If your doctor recommends it, there are ways to lose weight safely. A steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended for the most effective long-term weight management. That said, many eating plans leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied. These are major reasons why you might find it hard to stick to a healthier eating plan.

However, not all diets have this effect. Low carb diets and whole food, lower calorie diets are effective for weight loss and may be easier to stick to than other diets. Here are some ways to lose weight that employ healthy eating, potentially lower carbs, and that aim to:

  • reduce your appetite
  • cause fast weight loss
  • improve your metabolic health at the same time

How to Lose Weight Fast in 3 Simple Steps

1. Cut back on refined carbs

One way to lose weight quickly is to cut back on sugars and starches, or carbohydrates. This could be with a low carb eating plan or by reducing refined carbs and replacing them with whole grains.

When you do that, your hunger levels go down, and you generally end up eating fewer calories (1Trusted Source).

With a low carb eating plan, you’ll utilize burning stored fat for energy instead of carbs.

If you choose to eat more complex carbs like whole grains along with a calorie deficit, you’ll benefit from higher fiber and digest them more slowly. This makes them more filling to keep you satisfied.

A 2020 study confirmed that a very low carbohydrate diet was beneficial for losing weight in older populations (2).

Research also suggests that a low carb diet can reduce appetite, which may lead to eating fewer calories without thinking about it or feeling hungry (3Trusted Source).

Note that the long-term effects of a low carb diet are still being researched. It can also be difficult to adhere to a low carb diet, which may lead to yo-yo dieting and less success in maintaining a healthy weight.

There are potential downsides to a low carb diet that may lead you to a different method. Reduced calorie diets can also lead to weight loss and be easier to maintain for longer periods of time.

If you opt for a diet focusing instead on whole grains over refined carbs, a 2019 study correlated high whole grain with lower body mass index (BMI) (4Trusted Source).

To determine the best way for you to lose weight, consult your doctor for recommendations.

2. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables

Each one of your meals should include:

  • a protein source
  • fat source
  • vegetables
  • a small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains

To see how you can assemble your meals, check out:

Protein

Eating a recommended amount of protein is essential to help preserve your health and muscle mass while losing weight (5Trusted Source).

Evidence suggests that eating adequate protein may improve cardiometabolic risk factors, appetite, and body weight, (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

Here’s how to determine how much you need to eat without eating too much. Many factors determine your specific needs, but generally, an average person needs (9Trusted Source):

  • 56–91 grams per day for the average male
  • 46–75 grams per day for the average female

Diets with adequate protein can also help:

  • reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%
  • reduce the desire to snack late at night by half
  • make you feel full

In one study, people on a higher protein diet ate 441 fewer calories per day (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

Healthy protein sources include:

  • meat: beef, chicken, pork, and lamb
  • fish and seafood: salmon, trout, and shrimp
  • eggs: whole eggs with the yolk
  • plant-based proteins: beans, legumes, quinoa, tempeh, and tofu

Low carb and leafy green vegetables

Don’t be afraid to load your plate with leafy green vegetables. They’re packed with nutrients, and you can eat very large amounts without greatly increasing calories and carbs.

Vegetables to include for low carb or low calorie eating plans:

  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • lettuce
  • cucumber

Healthy fats

Don’t be afraid of eating fats.

Your body still requires healthy fats no matter what eating plan you choose. Olive oil and avocado oil are great choices for including in your eating plan.

Other fats such as butter and coconut oil should be used only in moderation due to their higher saturated fat content (12Trusted Source).

3. Move your body

Exercise, while not required to lose weight, can help you lose weight more quickly. Lifting weights has particularly good benefits.

By lifting weights, you’ll burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

Try going to the gym three to four times a week to lift weights. If you’re new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice. Make sure your doctor is also aware of any new exercise plans.

If lifting weights is not an option for you, doing some cardio workouts such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, or swimming is very beneficial for weight loss and general health.

Both cardio and weightlifting can help with weight loss.

What about calories and portion control?

If you opt for a low carb eating plan, it’s not necessary to count calories as long as you keep your carb intake very low and stick to protein, fat, and low carb vegetables.

If you find yourself not losing weight, you may want to keep track of your calories to see if that’s a contributing factor.

If you’re sticking to a calorie deficit to lose weight, you can use a free online calculator like this one.

Enter your sex, weight, height, and activity levels. The calculator will tell you how many calories to eat per day to maintain your weight, lose weight, or lose weight fast.

You can also download free, easy-to-use calorie counters from websites and app stores. Here’s a list of 5 calorie counters to try.

Note that eating too few calories can be dangerous and less effective for losing weight. Aim to reduce your calories by a sustainable and healthy amount based on your doctor’s recommendation.

Breakfast ideas

Lunch ideas

  • smoked salmon with avocado and a side of asparagus
  • lettuce wrap with grilled chicken, black beans, red pepper, and salsa
  • kale and spinach salad with grilled tofu, chickpeas, and guacamole
  • BLT wrap with celery sticks and peanut butter

Dinner ideas

  • enchilada salad with chicken, peppers, mango, avocado, and spices
  • ground turkey bake with mushrooms, onions, peppers, and cheese
  • antipasto salad with white beans, asparagus, cucumbers, olive oil, and Parmesan
  • roasted cauliflower with tempeh, Brussels sprouts, and pine nuts
  • salmon baked with ginger, sesame oil, and roasted zucchini

Snack ideas

Source: How to lose weight: A doctor shares 6 essential tips to make it easier

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References

Ruiz, F. J. (2010). “A review of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) empirical evidence: Correlational, experimental psychopathology, component and outcome studies”. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. 10 (1): 125–62.

Long Working Hours Killing 745,000 People a Year, Study Finds

 

The first global study of its kind showed 745,000 people died in 2016 from stroke and heart disease due to long hours.The report found that people living in South East Asia and the Western Pacific region were the most affected.

The WHO also said the trend may worsen due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The research found that working 55 hours or more a week was associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease, compared with a working week of 35 to 40 hours.

The study, conducted with the International Labour Organization (ILO), also showed almost three quarters of those that died as a result of working long hours were middle-aged or older men.

Often, the deaths occurred much later in life, sometimes decades later, than the long hours were worked.Five weeks ago, a post on LinkedIn from 45-year-old Jonathan Frostick gained widespread publicity as he described how he’d had a wake-up call over long working hours.

The regulatory program manager working for HSBC had just sat down on a Sunday afternoon to prepare for the working week ahead when he felt a tightness in his chest, a throbbing in his throat, jawline and arm, and difficulty breathing.

“I got to the bedroom so I could lie down, and got the attention of my wife who phoned 999,” he said.While recovering from his heart-attack, Mr Frostick decided to restructure his approach to work. “I’m not spending all day on Zoom anymore,” he said.

His post struck a chord with hundreds of readers, who shared their experiences of overwork and the impact on their health.Mr Frostick doesn’t blame his employer for the long hours he was putting in, but one respondent said: “Companies continue to push people to their limits without concern for your personal well-being.”

HSBC said everyone at the bank wished Mr Frostick a full and speedy recovery.”We also recognise the importance of personal health and wellbeing and a good work-life balance. Over the last year we have redoubled our efforts on health and wellbeing.

“The response to this topic shows how much this is on people’s minds and we are encouraging everyone to make their health and wellbeing a top priority.”

line

While the WHO study did not cover the period of the pandemic, WHO officials said the recent jump in remote working and the economic slowdown may have increased the risks associated with long working hours.

“We have some evidence that shows that when countries go into national lockdown, the number of hours worked increase by about 10%,” WHO technical officer Frank Pega said.

The report said working long hours was estimated to be responsible for about a third of all work-related disease, making it the largest occupational disease burden.

The researchers said that there were two ways longer working hours led to poor health outcomes: firstly through direct physiological responses to stress, and secondly because longer hours meant workers were more likely to adopt health-harming behaviours such as tobacco and alcohol use, less sleep and exercise, and an unhealthy diet.

Andrew Falls, 32, a service engineer based in Leeds, says the long hours at his previous employer took a toll on his mental and physical health.”Fifty to 55 hour weeks were the norm. I was also away from home for weeks on end.”

“Stress, depression, anxiety, it was a cauldron of bad feedback loops,” he says. “I was in a constant state of being run down.”After five years he left the job to retrain as a software engineer. The number of people working long hours was increasing before the pandemic struck, according to the WHO, and was around 9% of the total global population.

In the UK, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that people working from home during the pandemic were putting in an average of six hours of unpaid overtime a week. People who did not work from home put in an average of 3.6 hours a week overtime, the ONS said.

The WHO suggests that employers should now take this into account when assessing the occupational health risks of their workers. Capping hours would be beneficial for employers as that had been shown to increase productivity, Mr Pega said. “It’s really a smart choice to not increase long working hours in an economic crisis.”

Source: Long working hours killing 745,000 people a year, study finds – BBC News

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References

“Spain introduces new working hours law requiring employees to clock in and out”. Idealista. Retrieved 30 April 2020.

Beware Sugar Highs: Seven Healthy Ways To Get More Energy

Screenshot_2021-04-12 Edit Post ‹ onlinemarketingscoops com — WordPress com

The twin gods of conquering the post-lunch slump are caffeine and sugar. But such pick-me-ups are temporary: while a syrupy latte will help you power through until dinner time, you may well end up lying awake at 3am, staring at the ceiling. What if there were a way to have more energy that wasn’t unhealthy, addictive or expensive? (Those takeaway coffees add up.) Here, some experts weigh in.

“Use exercise to nourish you, not punish you,” says Sarah Russell, a clinical exercise specialist who works with people with cancer. “Find a way to move that will give you energy, rather than using exercise to tire yourself out.”

To find motivation to get moving, even when you are feeling worn out or low, Russell encourages her clients to focus on achievable goals. “Even 10 minutes of movement will energize you,” she says. “Push away those images the fitness industry is always trying to sell you, of people in Lycra with weights or out running. Do some stretching, if you feel up to it. Because something is always better than nothing – and it will always lead to more.”

Carbohydrates are your friend

“The main reason people struggle with low energy is because they’re either not eating enough throughout the day or they’re not eating enough carbohydrates,” says Priya Tew, a registered dietitian. Contrary to what diet culture teaches us, carbohydrates are not the enemy. “Carbohydrates provide us with glucose, which is the body’s preferred energy source,” says Tew. “You want to balance the energy coming from carbohydrates by eating protein and healthy fats, too, as this helps stabilise your energy levels, giving you more lasting energy over the day.” This is all to say: pass the lockdown sourdough.

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Parents have been telling us for years, that if you give a child candy and cola it will hype them up and make them go nuts! But, how much truth is there to the ‘sugar rush’, and how much of it is just in the parents perception? Thanks for watching and supporting our channel. If you would like to support us financially to help us work on Debunked full time and make more regualar release, our Patreon page is here: https://www.patreon.com/debunked Sources for this video:
What Happens To Your Body An Hour After Eating Sugar? (The Guardian) The Truth About Sugar (Mens Health) How Does The Liver Work? (US National Library of Medicine) Does Sugar Make Children Hyper? (Yale Scientific) Do Children Really Get Sugar Rushes? (The Guardian) The Effect of Sugar on Behavior or Cognition in Children (The Journal of the American Medical Association Effects of sugar ingestion expectancies on mother-child interactions (Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology) Does Sugar Make Kids Hyper? (Live Science) Does Sugar Make Kids Hyperactive? (bbc.com) Kids’ Sugar Cravings Might Be Biological (npr.com) No Evidence of ‘Sugar High’ in Children Found (Los Angeles Times)
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Check your iron levels

Iron deficiency, also known as anaemia, can cause symptoms including tiredness, lack of energy and shortness of breath. It is more common in women, often due to heavy periods or pregnancy, and can be treated by changes to your diet. Include more dark-green leafy vegetables, iron-fortified cereals and pulses, as well as iron supplements, if necessary. “It’s always a good idea to have your iron levels checked by a doctor if you’re feeling fatigued,” Tew says.

Same goes for vitamin D

“The first sign of vitamin D deficiency can be fatigue,” says Tew. “So do take a vitamin D tablet in winter if you feel you may be deficient.” In April 2020, Public Health England recommended that Britons take a daily dose of vitamin D, as a result of the public’s reduced exposure to the sun during lockdown.

Be wary of sugar highs

Look, sugary snacks work: you do feel more awake afterwards. But a doughnut a day will certainly not keep the doctor away. “High-sugar foods will give you an initial surge in energy, but then your energy levels will plummet down,” says Tew. “I call it the blue Smartie effect.”

Instead, “focus on eating balanced meals and snacks with fibre-rich wholegrains, carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and vegetables, plus healthy fats,” says Tew. “The B vitamins found in wholegrains will help you release energy from foods.” Also, avoid alcohol. “It will make you feel tired the next day as your body processes it,” says Tew.

Go outside

Research from the University of Rochester, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, has found that spending time outside in nature can have a powerfully invigorating effect. “When people walk out in nature, they get a boost in vitality or energy,” says Prof Richard M Ryan from the university. “This brighter mood lasts for longer and has a more powerful effect than things like drinking coffee or eating chocolate.”

Crucially, you need to be engaged with nature when out walking in it. “You can’t be on your mobile phone,” says Ryan. “You need to allow yourself to be immersed in the world around you.” But the walk doesn’t have to be long – just 10 minutes will have a rejuvenating effect for several hours. “A lot of us feel draggy in the day and reach for that cup of coffee,” says Ryan. “But the evidence shows that we would be better served by taking a break and walking outside.”

Don’t slam yourself in the gym

“People often beat themselves up if they feel like they’re not doing hard enough workouts,” says Russell. “And then they end up not doing anything at all.” The best exercise routine is a consistent one. “If people are struggling to find energy to exercise, it becomes a vicious circle,” says Russell. “They lose more muscle and become less active – and even more lethargic.”

Russell recommends home-based strength work, such as chair squats or bicep curls using small hand weights (or tins). Pilates is also a great way to strengthen your core without having to pay for expensive equipment; there are plenty of free YouTube videos online. Above all, Russell says, “find the exercise that works for you”.

Sirin Kale

By:

Source: Beware sugar highs: seven healthy ways to get more energy – from stretching to sourdough | Fitness | The Guardian

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How To Lower Resting Heart Rate: 5 Practical Steps To Take Today

How to lower resting heart rate

Wondering how to lower resting heart rate but not sure where to start? We’ve got the expert answers you’re looking for. Heart rate is a great key indicator of overall health and fitness levels. The heart is one of the hardest working muscles in the body so making sure it’s functioning properly is key.

Your heart rate will naturally spike throughout the day depending on how much you move and other factors such as stress levels and stimulants such as coffee, but it’s your resting heart rate that’s most important.

Resting heart rate simply refers to how many times your heart beats per minute whilst in a rested state. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends taking your resting heart rate when you wake after a good night’s sleep.

You can check your resting heart rate by holding two fingers against one of your pulse points for a minute and counting the number of beats. However, technology can help provide a more accurate reading. The best heart rate monitors can be used in a resting state as well as during physical activity to help you monitor your heart rate zones, whilst today’s best fitness trackers (which include the best Fitbits) also provide heart-rate stats.

Generally speaking, the lower resting heart rate you have, the healthier your heart is and the fitter you are – although factors such as age can play a role. The AHA advises that for most people, a normal resting heart rate should be between 60 – 100. However, for those who are particularly active – professional athletes, for example – it’s okay for it to be between 50 and 60.

Studies have shown that elevated resting heart rates are linked with higher body weight and blood pressure, along with lower levels of physical fitness. If yours is above the recommended range, then there are steps you can take to reduce your resting heart rate. Here are five practical ways to make a start…

Increase your activity levels

There’s a reason that professional athletes have a very low resting heart rate – exercise strengthens the heart muscle. So just like when we get stronger if we increase other muscles, when the heart muscle gets stronger it means it works more efficiently – pumping blood quicker around the body.

Dr Zoe Williams, an NHS GP and wellness ambassador for Garminagrees: “There are a variety of ways you can lower your resting HR, but fitness is a great way to start.  “While it might seem counterintuitive to exercise, as this usually brings your heart rate up, the more frequently you exercise the more your heart will learn to be stronger and be more efficient at pumping blood. Then, when you’re in rest mode, your heart is more easily able to maintain a lower heart rate.”

If you are new to exercise, start slow. You could try walking to lose weight, download one of the best fitness apps, or try the Couch to 5k beginner’s running plan. Alternatively, work with a personal trainer to build a workout routine that is tailored to you. The key is to find something you enjoy doing to ensure you stick with it.

Eat a balanced diet

Of course, one of the main benefits that people talk about when cleaning up their diet is weight loss – but when you start to eat healthily, it has a major effect on how your heart performs too.

Brad Emmott, a personal trainer and Head of Recovery at Manor London explains: “If you’re someone who carries excess weight, your heart is having to work harder to pump blood through it. If you lose that excess weight, it won’t need to work as hard.”

Rather than drastically changing your diet overnight and restricting entire food groups (which is never usually a good idea), take it one step at a time. Try to see it as a lifestyle change, rather than a diet.Start small by increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat every day – five is the recommended daily intake. This will naturally decrease your consumption of processed foods, which are typically high in salt and saturated fat.

From here, start to ‘balance’ your plate at every meal, roughly aiming for half vegetables, a quarter protein and a quarter carbohydrates – the perfect mix for feeling full and fueled. See our portion size guide for more information.

Decrease alcohol and sugar consumption

Most of us like to enjoy the odd glass of wine or gin and tonic with friends. But the effects of regular drinking – especially above the recommended guidelines (14 units a week for Brits, two drinks a day for US men and one drink a day for US women) – can result in an elevated heart rate, high blood pressure and the weakening of the heart muscle over time.

Williams says that too much sugar can have similar effects: “For some, eating sugar in excess can mean the body interprets this significant rise in sugar and energy as the result of stress, and releases cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones cause the heart rate to increase, which will in turn cause blood pressure to rise.”

The guidance in the UK is that adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars a day. In the US, the recommended daily limit is 10 teaspoons.

Get more sleep

Williams says creating better sleeping habits is key to lowering your resting heart rate. “One of the best ways to promote consistent sleep is having a healthy sleep routine. By following a standard schedule, the mind and body become accustomed to a healthy sleep pattern.”Many of the best fitness watches now also have sleep monitoring, which can be a useful tool in understanding your existing sleep patterns.

“By monitoring your sleep you can track improvements and adjust your bedtime accordingly to ensure you are getting between seven- and nine-hours sleep, which should ultimately help lower your resting heart rate overtime,” advises Williams. The best sunrise alarm clocks can also help to establish healthy and regular sleep patterns.

Manage your stress levels

Whether it’s down to your job, home life or personal issues, stress will take its toll on your health. Emmott believes we need to learn to manage it so it doesn’t negatively impact our resting heart rate and overall health.“Stress of any kind, physical or emotional does increase heart rate and can have long-term adverse effects on your health,” he says.

“There is no way to eliminate stress in daily life, but managing it is important to keeping a healthy heart.”In addition to the action points outlined above, he recommends that meditation, social interaction (virtual included) and being in nature can help manage stress levels.

Once again, using a fitness tracker to help assess your stress levels is also a good idea. “Knowing your stress level can help you identify stressful moments throughout your day and could help identify triggers of your stress, so you can begin to eliminate and manage stressful situations,” Williams says.

“For example, if your stress scores were high, it would be a great time to take five minutes away from what you were doing to do some deep breathing. This doesn’t have to impact your day, you can do it while boiling the kettle, but breaking the chronic stress cycle is so important for your long-term health and short-term mental wellbeing.”

 

 

Source: How to lower resting heart rate: 5 practical steps to take today | Fit&Well

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Can Substituting Sugar With Stevia Benefit Weight Loss?

https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/signs-of-weight-loss-te-main-200727_98506497de17b6072ca7c8c987525d54.jpg?resize=924%2C462&ssl=1

The bottom line is that the only way to lose weight is to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than your body burns for energy. There are many ways to accomplish this, and targeting added sugars and replacing them with stevia is an easy and tasty fix.

Research has shown that subjects given stevia-containing foods or beverages consumed fewer calories throughout the day. (2,3)

The Truth About Added Sugars

It seems like everything we read talks about avoiding carbs and sugar.In the U.S., the average intake of added sugars reaches up to 270 calories or more than 13 percent of calories per day based on an average 2000 calorie diet.

Not surprisingly, the largest source of added sugars in the typical diet is beverages, including soft drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, and flavored waters. They account for almost half (47%) of all added sugars consumed by the U.S. population.

The other major source of added sugars is snacks and sweets.(1) Most people don’t realize how much sugar they consume from other sources like marinades, sauces, salad dressings, yogurt, crackers and other items that don’t “seem sweet.”

The 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting added sugars to less than 10% of total calories or about 50 grams per day based on 2000 calories.

If your body needs fewer calories based on size, age, and activity level, the gram limits are even lower.

To take it a step further, the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 24g grams per day (6 teaspoons) for women and 36 grams per day (9 teaspoons) for men.

It’s obviously an area of concern in our standard American diet as the term “added sugars” appeared 138 times in the dietary guidelines report!

Knowing Your Limit for Added Sugars

Simply put, consumption of added sugars can make it difficult for people desiring to lose weight to meet their nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits.

Whenever anyone restricts total calories, everything eaten needs to contain more nutrients to make sure you get what you need for proper fueling while limiting total calories. One of the simplest strategies is to limit added sugars.

Why? Because they are more often found in foods that do not provide quality vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that we look for to help prevent lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.

That’s where products like stevia fit in.

Can Stevia Help with Weight Loss?

Since stevia is a plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener with a taste 50-350 times sweeter than sugar, a little goes a long way. By substituting stevia for sugar in your daily routine, there are many ways to cut total calories and sugar grams.

  1. Using stevia to sweeten your coffee or tea (hot or iced), saves 16 calories per teaspoon over sugar. A few cups per day with a few teaspoons each can really add up quickly. Each stevia packet is formulated to equal the sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar. Take some with you to your favorite coffeehouse or restaurant and add your own.
  2. Instead of eating pre-sweetened Greek yogurt with up to 20 grams of sugar, start with the plain variety and add your own stevia, vanilla extract, cinnamon and fruit.
  3. Swap stevia for sugar, honey or maple syrup in your oatmeal, homemade salad dressings, baked goods and other recipes that call for sugar. Even subbing in ½ the amount in a recipe can make a big difference.

We would love to hear your sugar swap success stories. How do you enjoy Pyure Organic Stevia?

References:

  1. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015- 2018, 8th edition, Added Sugars page 54: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf
  2. Anton SD, Martin CK, Han H, Coulon S, Cefalu WT, Geiselman P, Williamson DA. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite 2010;55:37–43.
  3. Tey SL, Salleh NB, Henry J, Forde CG. Effects of aspartame-, monk fruit-, stevia- and sucrose-sweetened beverages on postprandial glucose, insulin and energy intake. Int J Obes (Lond) 2017;41:450–7.

Source: Can Substituting Sugar with Stevia Benefit Weight Loss?

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Is stevia dangerous for our health? Can stevia affect fertility levels? If stevia is safe, what amount is safe for us to eat? What other sweeteners are safe to eat? What sweeteners does Dr Greger recommend? Are there any studies on the safety of stevia? Keep listening as Dr Michael Greger answers these questions…….
This is for educational purposes only and no copyright infringement is intended. Videos; Dr Greger’s Q & A https://www.facebook.com/pg/Nutrition… Stevia vids http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search… Erythritol http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eryth… Studies; Gut bacteria and Stevia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8… World Health Evaluation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… Effects of stevia on health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… Stevia and Fertility https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… Dr Greger’s YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Nutritio…
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