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The Science Behind Diet Trends Like Mono, Charcoal Detox, Noom & Fast800

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Every year a new batch of diets become trendy. In the past, the blood group, ketogenic, Pioppi and gluten-free diets were among the most popular. These have made way for the mono diet, charcoal detox, Noom, time-restricted feeding and Fast800.

So what are these new diets and is there any scientific evidence to support them?


Read more: Health Check: six tips for losing weight without fad diets


1. Mono diet

The monotrophic or mono diet limits food intake to just one food group such as meat or fruit, or one individual food like potato or chicken, each day.

The mono diet has no scientific basis and no research has been done on it. It’s definitely a fad and should not be followed.

It leads to weight loss because your food intake is so limited (one food per day) that you get sick of that food very quickly and so automatically achieve a reduced kilojoule intake.

If you ate three apples at each main meal and had another three as between-meal snacks then your total kilojoule intake from the 12 apples would be about 4,000 kilojoules (950 calories).

The mono diet is nutritionally inadequate. The nutrients most deficient will depend on the individual foods consumed, but if you follow the mono diet long term, you would eventually develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

2. Charcoal detox

The charcoal detox diet claims to help people lose weight by “detoxing” them. It involves periods of fasting and consumption of tea or juice drinks that contain charcoal.

It is definitely not recommended.

Medical professionals use activated charcoal to treat patients who have been poisoned or have overdosed on specific medications. Charcoal can bind to some compounds and remove them from the body.

There is no scientific evidence to support the use of charcoal as a weight loss strategy.

Avoid the charcoal detox diet. Andasea/Shutterstock

Read more: Five supplements that claim to speed up weight loss – and what the science says


Charcoal detox plans also include dietary restrictions or fasts, so people might lose weight because they’re consuming fewer kilojoules.

Charcoal is not selective. It can bind to some medications and nutrients, as well as toxic substances, so there is the potential for charcoal to trigger nutrient deficiencies and/or make some medications less effective.

Side-effects of using charcoal include nausea and constipation.

3. Noom diet

The Noom diet isn’t actually a diet at all. It is a smartphone app called Noom Coach that focuses on behaviour change techniques to assist with weight loss. It allows users to monitor their eating and physical activity, and provides support and feedback.

The Noom diet does not provide a diet plan, but it gets users to record within the app, all foods and drinks consumed. It then uses a traffic light system (red, yellow, green) to indicate how healthy the foods are.

One advantage of Noom is that is doesn’t eliminate any foods or food groups, and it encourages healthy lifestyle behaviour change to assist with weight loss.

A disadvantage is that while you can download the app for a free short-term trial, membership is about A$50 per month for four months. And additional services cost extra. So consider whether this approach suits your budget.

One study has examined the app’s effectiveness. In a cohort of 35,921 Noom app users over 18 months, almost 78% reported a reduction in body weight. About 23% of these people reported losing more than 10% of their body weight.


Read more: Health Check: should you weigh yourself regularly?


Although the data are observational and don’t compare Noom app users to a control group, the results are promising.

In other weight-loss interventions in adults at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, researchers found losing 5-10% body weight and being active for about 30 minutes a day lowered the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than 50%.

4. Time-restricted feeding

Time-restricted feeding is a type of intermittent fast that involves restricting the time of day that you are “allowed” to eat. This typically means eating in a window lasting four to ten hours.

While energy-restriction during this period is not a specific recommendation, it happens as a consequence of eating only during a shorter period of time than usual.

It’s unclear whether weight loss results from changes in the body after you fast, or if it’s just because you can’t eat as much in a short period of time. Best_nj/Shutterstock

The difference between time-restricted feeding compared to other intermittent fasting strategies is that recent research suggests some metabolic benefits are initiated following a fasting period that lasts for 16 hours, as opposed to a typical overnight fast of ten to 12 hours.


Read more: Health Check: what’s the best diet for weight loss?


Researchers have reported some promising effects on the amount of body fat, insulin sensitivity and blood cholesterol with time-restricted feeding windows, although some studies have reported benefits for weight but not for fat mass, blood cholesterol or markers of type 2 diabetes risk.

Further research is required to determine whether any health effects of time-restricted feeding are due to regular 16-hour fasting periods, or simply because eating over a small time window reduces energy intake.

If this approach helps you get started on a healthy lifestyle and your GP gives you the all clear, then try it. You will need to follow up with some permanent changes to your lifestyle so your food and physical activity patterns are improved in the long term.

5. Fast800

The Fast800 diet by Dr Michael Mosley encourages a daily intake of just 800 calories (about 3,350 kilojoules) during the initial intensive phase of the Blood Sugar Diet.

This lasts for up to eight weeks and is supposed to help you rapidly lose weight and improve your blood sugar levels. You can buy the book for about A$20 or pay A$175 for a 12-week online program that says it includes a personal assessment, recipes, physical and mindfulness exercises, tools, access to experts, an online community, information for your doctor and advice for long-term healthy living.

Michael Mosley’s diet program is based on a very low daily energy intake. Screenshot of https://thefast800.com/

Two recent studies provide some evidence that supports these claims: the DiRECT and DROPLET trials.

In these studies, GPs prescribed patients who were obese and/or had type 2 diabetes an initial diet of 800 calories, using formulated meal replacements. This initial phase was followed by a gradual reintroduction of food. Participants also received structured support to help them maintain the weight loss.

Both studies compared the intervention to a control group who received either usual care or treatment using best practice guidelines.

They found participants in the 800 calorie groups lost more weight and more of the adults with type 2 diabetes achieved remission than the control groups.

This is what you would expect, given the intervention was very intensive and included a very low total daily energy intake.

But the low energy intake can make the Fast800 difficult to stick to. It can also be challenging to get enough nutrients, so protocols need to be carefully followed and any recommended nutrient supplements taken.


Read more: What are ‘fasting’ diets and do they help you lose weight?


Fast800 is not suitable for people with a history of eating disorders or health conditions such as liver disease. So if you’re considering it, talk to your GP.

When it comes to weight loss, there are no magic tricks that guarantee success. Have a health check up with your GP, focus on making healthy lifestyle changes and if you need more support, ask to be referred to an accredited practising dietitian.

If you would like to learn more about weight loss, you can enrol in our free online course The Science of Weight Loss – Dispelling Diet Myths.

Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle

 

 

Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Newcastle

 

 

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Newcastle

 

Clare Collins is affiliated with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, the University of Newcastle, NSW. She is an NHMRC Senior Research and Gladys M Brawn Research Fellow. She has received research grants from NHMRC, ARC, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Meat and Livestock Australia, Diabetes Australia, Heart Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, nib foundation, Rijk Zwaan Australia and Greater Charitable Foundation. She has consulted to SHINE Australia, Novo Nordisk, Quality Bakers, the Sax Institute and the ABC. She was a team member conducting systematic reviews to inform the Australian Dietary Guidelines update and the Heart Foundation evidence reviews on meat and dietary patterns.

Lee Ashton is affiliated with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Rebecca Williams is affiliated with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Debunking some common diets, and seeing which work! More Food and Health Science videos! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztiHR… Subscribe for more! http://bit.ly/asap Eating Disorder Information: http://www.nedic.ca/ Created by: Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown Written by: Annik Carson, Rachel Salt, Greg Brown and Mitchell Moffit Illustrated: by: Max Simmons Edited by: Sel Ghebrehiwot GET THE ASAPSCIENCE BOOK: http://asapscience.com/book/ FOLLOW US! Instagram and Twitter: @whalewatchmeplz and @mitchellmoffit Clickable: http://bit.ly/16F1jeC and http://bit.ly/15J7ube AsapINSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/asapscience/ Snapchat: realasapscience Facebook: http://facebook.com/AsapSCIENCE Twitter: http://twitter.com/AsapSCIENCE Tumblr: http://asapscience.tumblr.com Vine: Search “AsapSCIENCE” on vine! SNAPCHAT US ‘whalewatchmeplz’ and ‘pixelmitch’ Created by Mitchell Moffit (twitter @mitchellmoffit) and Gregory Brown (twitter @whalewatchmeplz). Send us stuff! ASAPSCIENCE INC. P.O. Box 93, Toronto P Toronto, ON, M5S2S6 Further Reading — Weight Loss Overview Studies http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/66/… http://www.jstor.org/stable/25457080?… Low Carb http://annals.org/aim/article/717452/… http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/… https://login.medscape.com/login/sso/… http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/… http://content.onlinejacc.org/article… High Protein http://www.pnas.org/content/110/26/10… https://www.researchgate.net/profile/… Metabolic Slowing https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… Biggest Loser http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/hea… White Tongue http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/wh…

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Fad Diets Come And Go, But Restaurants Are Finding Plenty Of Success Catering To Health-Conscious Consumers

Remember when McDonald’s launched the McLean Deluxe in the early ’90s to ride the wave of the low-fat diet era? The burger featured a 91% fat-free beef patty (the secret ingredient was a seaweed extract) and lasted a few years on the menu before it was yanked due to poor sales.

It is now considered one of McDonald’s top five biggest menu flops.

This example brings up an important question: What role, if any, should restaurants play in the latest fad diet or in the chase for the fickle health-conscious consumer in general? After all, restaurant visits have long been considered an indulgence and, from A (Atkins) to Z (Zone), diets come and go quicker than most operators can change a static menu board.

But that hasn’t stopped restaurant concepts from trying. And lately it seems as though there has been a higher degree of success in doing so—at least more so than the McLean Deluxe.

Noodles & Company, for example, just expanded its zucchini-noodle based offerings with two new menu items as part of a new category, “Zoodles and Other Noodles.” In a release, the company said the expansion is in response to overwhelmingly positive guest feedback to its initial Zoodles launch last year. During the company’s Q4 earnings call, executive chairman Paul Murphy said the zucchini noodle is an important step toward the brand’s objective of resonating from a health perspective.

Chipotle launched its Lifestyle Bowls in the beginning of the year. During the company’s latest earnings call, CEO Brian Niccol also said they have resonated with consumers in “a big way.”

“In fact, during the first few days, it generated over a billion earned media impressions,” he said.

The company is now testing several other menu items highlighting “the ideas of lifestyle goals,” Niccol said. This comes on the heels of the chain’s vegan and vegetarian bowls launch in 2018, which made up 12% of Chipotle’s total meals sold last year.

Even the most famous doughnut concept is getting involved. During Dunkin’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Dave Hoffman specifically called out the success of the brand’s Power Breakfast Sandwich.

“It’s a terrific first step for us into the better-for-you category and proves customers are open to more menu options at Dunkin’,” he said. The company is building off that success with a new egg white power bowl.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes just jumped into the specialty diet space with its new line of Lifestyle Burgers, including The Paleo, The Keto, The Low Cal, The Vegetarian and The Gluten-Free. For the former three burgers, the bun is replaced by iceberg lettuce.

Natalie Anderson Liu, Mooyah’s vice president of Brand, said restaurant chains should be quick to respond to consumer dietary preferences and lifestyle trends, no matter how quickly they come or go.

“This is simply a matter of being a good listener to guests. Beyond want, we have found that consumers expect us to have menu items that help them achieve their goals,” she said.

So far, the Lifestyle Burgers launch has been “huge.” Thirty-one percent of guests who ordered one of these options were first-time visitors, Liu said.

“This is incredibly exciting and confirms the relevance of featuring our menu this way,” she said.

Liu believes more chains will toe this line of healthier (“lifestyle”) menu offerings.

Two years ago, Scott Davis was named president of CoreLife Eatery after serving as an executive at Panera for nearly two decades. He has a deep perspective of the industry and confirms there is a growing connection between consumers’ dietary demands and restaurants’ responses.

“Over the last couple of decades, as healthy eating has become more popular, restaurants have mostly played role of a ‘marketplace’–essentially providing healthy options or special menus,” he said. “The key is not getting stuck on one style of eating or dieting. Promoting general wellness, clean sourcing and ‘what works for you’ can help. ‘Healthy’ is different for everyone.”

Davis concurs with Liu that we’re now in an era of “expectation” versus “want” when it comes to restaurants providing healthier options.

“On the flip side, consumers do not want to be told what they should or should not be eating. They do not want to feel judged about eating,” he said.

That being said, it’s important for restaurant brands to stick to their core competencies.

“Chasing trends and expanding menus beyond logical extensions of the concept almost always fails. You must be able to gain credibility with your customer,” Davis said.

Great Harvest Bread Co. CEO Mike Ferretti agrees, noting that restaurant companies should be conscious of consumer diet trends, but only adapt to the ones that make business sense for the brand.

“You can’t do them all, and they impact different parts of the country at different times,” he said. “It is easier to steer customers to the things we believe in that fit our brand.”

If a brand swings and misses on a specialty diet offering, Ferretti said it can have an “extreme” impact on the business. Conversely, if it’s a hit, it can have the same effect for the positive.

“Think of all the low-carb businesses that popped up and were gone in a year,” he said. “Alternatively, things like Atkins and Keto hurt us at first, but eventually people come back to whole grains, so it swings.”

Because of this unpredictability, expanding menus to appeal to a broader group of consumers who are chasing a broader variety of diets can be both risky and rewarding.

“Fads are fads. People and businesses will do what they do,” Ferretti said. “What has staying power—the broad ones really driving the industry—is healthy, simple, clean.”

Davis adds that vegan and vegetarian diets have had such staying power since the 1970s and will continue on that path while contributing to a growing cohort of consumers who identify as flexitarians. About one third of consumers now consider themselves to be flexitarians, meaning they simply want another choice than traditional protein every now and then even if they’re not technically vegan or vegetarian.

Don’t expect this pace to slow anytime soon. And don’t expect restaurants to stop trying to reach this growing number of consumers.

“Lifestyle demands are not going away and restaurants will endear themselves and earn loyalty by keeping their menus relevant,” Liu said. “This has resulted in a competitive advantage for us and, more importantly, an increase in sales.”

I have covered the restaurant industry since 2010 when I was named editor of QSRweb.

Source: Fad Diets Come And Go, But Restaurants Are Finding Plenty Of Success Catering To Health-Conscious Consumers

Many Intermittent Fasters Skip Breakfast Here’s Why That’s Not a Good Idea – Ellie Krieger

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As if there isn’t enough whiplash-inducing nutrition advice out there, now skipping breakfast is being lauded by some as a good thing. The meal has become a casualty of a popular diet called intermittent fasting, which requires going extended periods of time without eating. The diet is such a big trend that, according to an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, Google searches for “intermittent fasting” have increased tenfold over the past three years, to rival the number of searches for the words weight loss……..

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/many-intermittent-fasters-skip-breakfast-heres-why-thats-not-a-good-idea/2018/10/23/976aba7e-d311-11e8-83d6-291fcead2ab1_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.adf2d2d9f80e

 

 

 

 

 

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This Is The Best Time To Eat Breakfast, According To A Nutritionist – Noma Nazish

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Growing up, we’ve all heard the saying – “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Famous sci-fi writer Robert A. Heinlein went so far as to say, “one should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.” And he couldn’t be more right. A healthy breakfast doesn’t just provide you energy to seize the day, it jumpstarts your metabolism, balances blood sugar levels, assists in weight management, even promotes heart health and improves cognitive function…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2018/10/25/this-is-the-best-time-to-eat-breakfast-according-to-a-nutritionist/#60233146d55e

 

 

 

 

 

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A Diet Guru Explains Why You Should Eat Dinner At 2pm – Dr. Jason Fung

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There have been two main changes in dietary habits from the 1970s (before the obesity epidemic) until today. First, there was the change is what we were recommended to eat. Prior to 1970, there was no official government sanctioned dietary advice. You ate what your mother told you to eat. With the publication of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we were told to cut the fat in our diets way down and replace that with carbohydrates, which might have been OK if it was all broccoli and kale, but might not be OK if it was all white bread and sugar…….

Read more: https://qz.com/1419105/a-diet-guru-explains-why-you-should-eat-dinner-at-2pm/

 

 

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Eating for Heart Health — Musings of Phoebe, MD

Diet, as most people know, is a big component of healthy living. There’s even much truth to the idiom, “You are what you eat!” However, when it comes to living with chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, having the right diet becomes even more important, as the foods you eat can make a huge difference not only in the symptoms you experience day to day, but also in the way your chronic conditions progress over time.

What this means is that with the right diet, when incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, you can take control of your health by helping to slow or even reverse your chronic conditions. When it comes to heart disease, being on a heart-healthy diet can protect you against further narrowing of your heart’s blood vessels and in turn help prevent further complications such as heart attack and strokes.

In this post we will discuss what types of foods make up a heart healthy diet. In a subsequent post, we will cover the essentials of a specific component of heart healthy eating–the low salt diet.

via Eating for Heart Health — Musings of Phoebe, MD

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How To Get the Body You Deserve, No Matter What Your Age, Fitness Level or Current Weight

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Does any of this sound like YOU?

  • You’ve tried every program out there but still haven’t achieved the results you want.
  • You’re frustrated by not knowing exactly what to eat and how to workout for your goals.
  • You want to change for the better but feel discouraged by the lack of support in your life.
  • You’re prepared to do what it takes if only you could trust someone who will guide you.
  • You’re willing to follow a program if it’s effective, flexible and fits into your life
  • Obviously you haven’t given up because you are here… And…

I know this is how you feel because I used to be in your shoes. Now I help people just like you turn the tables by transforming their bodies and their lives.

If you’re not happy with your body and your health please keep reading because no matter what your age, fitness level or body type, this can be the first day of your “dream come true” transformation.

1.jpgStarting today I want to help you change, transform, and experience the deep fulfillment of being the best you can be, want to be, and deserve to be — NOT just in a physical sense, but on a deeper level of inner peace and feeling good about where you’re going in life.

I’ve had a lot to learn, but the most important lesson is this: I can be anybody I want to be. It’s my choice. And you also have the ultimate choice about your life and your goals…

Not only have I dramatically transformed my own body in my 40’s after never exercising in my life but I’ve also had a 100% success rate with my personal clients. Today I want to share my secrets so you have the chance to replicate this success without having to hire me personally or waste your money on diets, pills, programs or trainers who don’t know what they are doing.

Note to Personal Trainers: many trainers like Olivia in the Testimonial section of this page are using the Get Lean System with their own clients with outstanding long-term results.

With Get Lean you will NEVER hit a plateau so the changes you see will just keep getting better over time – re-shaping and sculpting your body while losing that extra body fat (even in those stubborn areas). You will develop a sexy, ultra-fit and beautifully balanced physique.

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  • Fire up your fat burning metabolism and get lean fast with the right combination of metabolic nutrients from natural whole foods combined with the synergy effect of High Intensity, Resistance and Circuit Training.
  • No more super strict unrealistic diets. Many people tell me that on Get Lean they have never eaten so much healthy food in their life, they never feel hungry and consistently keep losing weight. Imagine 90 days of knowing exactly what to eat and with regular Treat Meals. Within weeks, your new way of eating will set you up for a life-time of results.
  • Hit the ground running and see fast results even if you are a newbie or a hard-core gym junkie. You won’t need an expensive gym membership because everything can be done at home with minimal equipment. All the workouts have beginner, intermediate and advanced levels so you can begin according to your current condition and experience knowing you will be challenged beyond that when you are ready.
  • Dramatically accelerate your progress by discovering how to exercise naturally with the full range of motion, proper tempo and correct form. You will see consistent progress and avoid plateaus by constantly stimulating your muscles and challenging your body with a variety of workouts and exercises to prevent adaptation.
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With Get Lean you can commit 110% knowing you have the right information, tools and support to achieve the body you’ve always wanted. Full Stop, Period

The 12-Week Get Lean Nutrition Manual:

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  • Follow this 90-day plan in combination with The Get Lean Workouts for accelerated fat burning and rapid body re-shaping
  • It’s a proven fact that losing weight depends on knowing what to cook so here are my Top 50 Fat Burning Recipes to make your Get Lean Life a breeze including metric and imperial measurements, easy to follow steps and short cuts.
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Note: The Get Lean Program includes eBooks in PDF format with online and downloadable videos. Everything is viewable on any computer (no special software required). Since no physical products will be shipped, there’s no wait and no shipping charges. You get the whole package instantly! This program is NOT available in stores, so you can only access it through this website.

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Unfit in Middle Age & You Doomed – Alex Therrien

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Are you someone in middle age who keeps putting off that planned health kick for another day?

If so, a couple of new studies may give you a sense of urgency.

One paper found that elevated blood pressure in middle age increases the risk of dementia, while another says being frail at this time raises your chances of an early death.

So how bad is a lack of fitness in mid-life and is it condemning you to bad health in the future?

What’s the dementia risk?

A study published in the European Heart Journal found those who were aged 50 with a systolic blood pressure of 130mmHg or above were nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to develop dementia than those with ideal blood pressure.

It’s noteworthy that this is below the level of blood pressure considered to be high in the UK (140mmHg).

Researchers suggested a possible explanation for the link was that raised blood pressure could cause damage from “silent” or mini-strokes which can easily go un-noticed.

It’s worth pointing out that the study of 8,639 people shows a link between elevated blood pressure at 50 and dementia but cannot prove cause and effect.

Researchers found no such association for people who were aged 60 or 70.

And any increase in risk needs to be seen in the context of your overall likelihood of getting dementia at some point in your life.

It is estimated that the risk of getting Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, is one in 10 for men and one in five for women from the age of 45.

Nevertheless, Alzheimer’s Research UK said it added to the evidence of a link between high blood pressure and dementia.

What about frailty?

Frailty is known to be a health risk to people in later life because, among other things, it increases the likelihood of falls.

But a new paper, which examined data from 493,737 people involved in the UK Biobank study, found that being frail earlier in life also appeared to be a predictor of ill health and early death.

The study, published in the Lancet Public Health journal, defined frailty as anyone who had at least three of the following health problems:

  • Weight loss
  • Exhaustion
  • Weak grip strength
  • Low physical activity
  • Slow walking pace

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After accounting for other factors (including socio-economic status, a number of long-term conditions, smoking, alcohol and BMI), researchers found men between the ages of 37 and 45 were over two-and-a-half times more likely to die than non-frail people of the same age.

The figures were similar in all the other age groups (45-55, 55-65, and 65-73).

Similar associations were found in women who were judged to be frail and were 45 or older.

Frail people were also far more likely to have conditions such as multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Lead author of the study, Prof Frances Mair, from the University of Glasgow, said the findings suggested there was a need to both identify and treat frailty much earlier in life.

So what can we do?

Dr Peter Hanlon, a co-author on the frailty study, said the good news is that frailty might be reversible in people, particularly if it is identified early.

The key for those who are unfit in middle age is making healthy changes “as soon as possible”, says Ilaria Bellantuono, professor of musculoskeletal ageing at the University of Sheffield.

“The key is a healthy diet and exercise. It’s the only thing we know that works,” she says.

Losing weight, stopping smoking, cutting back on alcohol, exercising regularly and eating less salt are just some of the things you can do to lower your blood pressure.

And similar advice applies to reducing your risk of dementia and helping to keep your brain healthy as you age, says Dr Laura Phipps from Alzheimer’s Research UK.

But the million pound question is how do you get people to change their habits?

Prof Bellantuono said that for some, health warnings won’t be enough.

Instead, finding an “internal motive that speaks to them” will be key to getting some people to exercise and be healthier.

“That could be picking up the grandchildren or going to watch the football,” she adds.

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The Dangers of Belly Fat – Jane E. Brody

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If you do nothing else today to protect your health, consider taking an honest measurement of your waist. Stand up straight, exhale (no sucking in that gut!) and with a soft tape measure record your girth an inch or two above your hip bones.

The result has far greater implications than any concerns you might have about how you look or how your clothes fit. In general, if your waist measures 35 or more inches for women or 40 or more inches for men, chances are you’re harboring a potentially dangerous amount of abdominal fat.

Subcutaneous fat that lurks beneath the skin as “love handles” or padding on the thighs, buttocks or upper arms may be cosmetically challenging, but it is otherwise harmless. However, the deeper belly fat — the visceral fat that accumulates around abdominal organs — is metabolically active and has been strongly linked to a host of serious disease risks, including heart disease, cancer and dementia.

You don’t even have to be overweight or obese to face these hazards if you harbor excess fat inside your abdomen. Even people of normal weight can accumulate harmful amounts of hidden fat beneath the abdominal wall. Furthermore, this is not fat you can shed simply by toning up abdominal muscles with exercises like situps. Weight loss through a wholesome diet and exercise — activities like walking and strength-training — is the only surefire way to get rid of it.

Until midlife, men usually harbor a greater percentage of visceral fat than women do, but the pattern usually reverses as women pass through menopause. Few females seem to escape a midlife waistline expansion as body fat redistributes and visceral fat pushes out our bellies. Even though in my eighth decade I weigh less than I did at age 13, my waist is many inches bigger.

Here’s why visceral fat cells are so important to your well-being. Unlike the cells in subcutaneous fat, visceral fat is essentially an endocrine organ that secretes hormones and a host of other chemicals linked to diseases that commonly afflict older adults. One such substance is called retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) that was found in a 16-year study of nurses to increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. This hazard most likely results from the harmful effects of this protein on insulin resistance, the precursor to Type 2 diabetes, and development of the metabolic syndrome, a complex of cardiac risk factors.

The Million Women Study conducted in Britain demonstrated a direct link between the development of coronary heart disease and an increase in waist circumference over a 20-year period. Even when other coronary risk factors were taken into account, the chances of developing heart disease were doubled among the women with the largest waists. Every additional two inches in the women’s waist size raised their risk by 10 percent.

Cancer risk is also raised by belly fat. The chances of getting colorectal cancer were nearly doubled among postmenopausal women who accumulate visceral fat, a Korean study found. Breast cancer risk increases as well. In a study of more than 3,000 premenopausal and postmenopausal women in Mumbai, India, those whose waists were nearly as big as their hips faced a three- to four-times greater risk of getting a breast cancer diagnosis than normal-weight women.

A Dutch study published last year linked both total body fat and abdominal fat to a raised risk of breast cancer. When the women in the study lost weight — about 12 pounds on average — changes in biomarkers for breast cancer, like estrogen, leptin and inflammatory proteins, indicated a reduction in breast cancer risk.

Given that two-thirds of American women are overweight or obese, weight loss may well be the single best weapon for lowering the high incidence of breast cancer in this country.

Perhaps most important with regard to the toll on individuals, families and the health care system is the link between abdominal obesity and risk of developing dementia decades later. A study of 6,583 members of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California who were followed for an average of 36 years found that those with the greatest amount of abdominal obesity in midlife were nearly three times more likely to develop dementia three decades later than those with the least abdominal fat.

Having a large abdomen raised dementia risk in the women even if they were of normal weight overall and lacked other health risks related to dementia like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Among other medical problems linked to abdominal fat are insulin resistance and the risk of Type 2 diabetes, compromised lung function and migraine headaches. Even asthma risk is raised by being overweight and especially by abdominal obesity, a study of 88,000 California teachers found.

Over all, according to findings among more than 350,000 European men and women published in The New England Journal of Medicine, having a large waist can nearly double one’s risk of dying prematurely even if overall body weight is normal.

All of which raises the question: How best to shed abdominal fat and, even more important, how to avoid accumulating it in the first place?

Chances are you’ve periodically seen ads on the internet for seemingly magical ways to reduce belly fat. Before you throw good money after bad, let it be said that no pill or potion has been scientifically shown to dissolve abdominal fat. You have to work at it. And that means avoiding or drastically limiting certain substances in your diet, controlling overall caloric intake and engaging in exercise that burns calories.

Perhaps the worst offender is sugar — all forms and especially fructose, which makes up half of sucrose and 55 percent of high-fructose corn syrup. One of the best ways to reduce your sugar intake is to stop drinking sodas and other sweet drinks, including fruit juices. Limiting alcohol, which may suppress fat-burning and add nutritionally empty calories, and avoiding refined carbohydrates like white bread and white rice are also helpful.

Make sure your diet contains adequate amounts of protein and dietary fiber, including vegetables, beans and peas and whole grains.

Get enough sleep — at least seven hours a night. In a study of 68,000 women followed for 16 years, those who slept five hours or less were a third more likely to gain 32 pounds.

Finally, move more. In a major national study, inactivity was more closely linked to weight gain and abdominal obesity than caloric intake.

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Healthy Eating – Eat Right, Be Bright

If you were going to hire an expert on this, to show you how it’s done, you could easily find yourself investing hundreds of dollars for this sort of coaching. In fact, many people invest hundreds and thousands of dollars to get into coaching programs or attend workshops…

But, you won’t have to invest anywhere near that today. This cheat sheet is a handy checklist that makes it easy to get started. It breaks up the entire guide into easy-to-follow steps so that you can make sure you have all the highlights of everything covered inside right at your fingertips.

This makes it easy to track your progress and stay focused every step of the way. Some people learn better by looking at a mind map. This mind map gives you an overview of everything covered inside the guide. You can also print it out for quick reference anytime you need it!

 

A hectic lifestyle has made it difficult to maintain a healthy food habit, leaving the body vulnerable to health risks. Without realizing, it creates health problems which could lead to diseases. People realize the importance of healthy eating only when they suffer from diseases like malnutrition, obesity, etc.

A healthy diet plan can help the body to remain active for longer periods and allow a healthy living. A healthy and balanced diet helps to maintain the required body weight with increasing general well-being. A healthy diet has a balance of bread, potatoes, cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, fish or milk/meat alternatives, and minimum quantity of fat and sugar.

The body cannot get all the essential nutrients from a single food. The body has to depend on a wide variety of healthy foods with adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

The importance of incorporating healthy eating habits is not just limited to the food that’s eaten, it is also about how it is eaten. A healthy eating habit is possible by choosing and eating nourishing and enjoyable foods.

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