Protein seems to be one of those nutrients where people resort to extremes. Some people consume more protein than they need because they want to be strong and lean, while others aren't getting quite enough because they haven't fine-tuned their plant-based diet. High-protein diets are among some of the most popular for weight loss, but they may actually come with unwanted side effects like weight gain and greater risk of death in people with heart disease risk factors. But somewhere in the middle is a healthy, balanced protein diet that is just right for the average man or woman.
Minty guacamole! It’s healthy, it’s tasty, and it’s sure to impress your friends and family this Cinco de Mayo. Let’s guac and roll!
Do you eat a good portion of your daily calories at night, when you finally have time to wind down? If so, you’re not alone! Most of us know that we should be eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. But we don’t. So what are the consequences if we don’t?
Sodium and potassium are electrolytes. They drive many of the chemical reactions that occur in the body, causing everything from heartbeats to nerve impulses to digestion of food. And although both sodium and potassium are important, too much of one isn’t a good thing. While the body can usually balance these electrolytes itself, it doesn't take much to disrupt their balance and cause health problems.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a processed food has undergone a transformation to extend shelf life or to make it more palatable. Examples include dehydrated fruits, frozen vegetables, and sausages. Frozen produce would be considered “minimally” processed, while the sausage, especially if it is filled with nitrates and flavorings, fits our more common perception of processed food.
Your body constantly fights off a multitude of minor infections, but some still persist. And when they do, they may cause you problems. There’s increasing evidence that chronic low-grade infections may cause inflammation affecting the whole body. This is because inflammation is the body’s attempt to protect itself and remove the harmful issues. Let’s look at the heart for example. There appears to be a link between infections and heart disease. In certain cases, chronic infections may cause inflammation such as arteriosclerosis (“narrowing of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque”) in your heart and make your heart age prematurely. Infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses or even parasites.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease. It is considered a brain disease because studies have shown that drugs and alcohol physically change the structure of the brain and how the brain works. Research has shown that a majority of addicts suffer from biochemical, nutritional, and metabolic disorders, including depleted or malfunctioning brain chemicals called neurotransmitters and hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar), which causes a wide range of symptoms.
Inadequate consumption of fiber is reported to be one of the biggest public health concerns for the majority of the U.S. population. So a good recommendation during this nutrition month of March is to incorporate more fiber into our diets. However, as consumers, we may not be clear why we really should include more fiber in our diets. It is one thing to say that we need to increase our fiber intake, but the message might be more readily accepted if it was more clearly explained to us what fiber is, what it does and where to find it. With so many misconceptions out there, many people don’t really have a clear understanding about the critical role fiber plays in our bodies.
Evidence has been mounting that it may not be enough to try quick fixes and over the counter aids (alka seltzer, antacids, H2-blockers, laxatives, etc.) to resolve your health issues. It seems this is the norm, plus maybe watching your diet a little, but you may be missing the bigger picture … a healthy gut!
The milk industry, with its star-studded advertisements, tells you to drink milk every day for strong bones. But then you hear things to the contrary – that your body doesn't digest milk well and you’re probably allergic, it’s inflammatory, it contains hormones – the list goes on. Each side is armed with research showing that milk is either good for you or that it isn't, leaving everyone else confused. Let’s make sure you have all the facts.
Extensive research has shown a link between the food you eat and your health. But even still, nutrition receives little, if any, attention in medical practices, due in part to the lack of nutrition education in medical school curricula. Nutrition is considered one of the most important prevention strategies for obesity-related conditions including heart disease, cancer Type 2 diabetes, stroke and hypertension. This is a big issue -- more than a third of American adults are obese, the CDC says.
Antioxidants seem to be a “cure-all” for just about anything and everything. We hear about antioxidant-rich superfoods in the news, and advertisements are dripping with promises for better health. They're known for their ability to fight free radicals, and this is good news. Free radicals make you age faster and deteriorate your health. But does that mean you should load up on anything labeled “antioxidant”? Not necessarily. Here’s why.
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