MyPlate for Older Adults: Eat Right for Your Age – Tufts

In March 2016, nutrition scientists at Tufts’ Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging introduced an updated MyPlate for Older Adults, revised to reflect the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

MyPlate for Older Adults calls attention to the unique nutritional and physical activity needs associated with advancing years, emphasizing positive choices. It shows how older adults might follow a healthy dietary pattern that builds on the MyPlate graphic below.

One important change as you get older is that your calorie needs typically decrease after age 50; men generally need 2,000 daily calories and women 1,600, depending on physical activity. But your vitamin and mineral requirements stay the same or may even increase—which can make it a challenge to get the nutrients you need from a smaller calorie intake.

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How much do you know about thrombosis? Probably not enough – AHA

I am not even sure what a thrombus is, let alone thrombosis. Medical News Today says, “A thrombus is a blood clot in the circulatory system. It attaches to the site at which it formed and remains there, hindering blood flow. Doctors describe the development of a thrombus as thrombosis.”

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Blood clots in the veins – particularly those that break off and travel to the lungs – can be fatal and have become increasingly so. Yet many adults know little about their risks or the growing evidence that healthy habits can help prevent clots.

“A key barrier in the United States is that awareness of this disease is not very good,” Dr. Mary Cushman said of the condition known as venous thromboembolism.

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People may be wary of health articles on crowdsourced sites

People may be skeptical about medical and health articles they encounter on crowdsourced websites, such as Wikipedia and Wikihealth, according to researchers. While that may be good news for health officials who are worried that these sites allow non-experts to easily add and edit health information, the researchers added that having medical professionals curate content on those sites may not reduce the skepticism.

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“There are major concerns about health misinformation that’s floating around, especially now with COVID-19,” said S. Shyam Sundar, James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects, co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory and affiliate of Penn State’s Institute for Computational and Data Science (ICDS). “Now that anybody and everybody can generate health-related posts, it is natural to be concerned that information on these crowdsourced websites might influence people. Our study suggests that health practitioners need not get too worked up about these sites. Laypersons, like the participants in our study, do not trust the crowd, nor do they think that the information they provide is comprehensive.”

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Drink coffee after breakfast, not before, for better metabolic control

Coffee is now the world’s most popular drink, with around two billion cups consumed every day. In the U.S. about half of the people aged 18 and over drink coffee every day, while in the U.K., according to the British Coffee Association, 80% of households buy instant coffee for in-home consumption.

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A strong, black coffee to wake you up after a bad night’s sleep could impair control of blood sugar levels, according to a new study.

Research from the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise & Metabolism at the University of Bath (UK) looked at the effect of broken sleep and morning coffee across a range of different metabolic markers.

Writing in the British Journal of Nutrition the scientists show that while one night of poor sleep has limited impact on our metabolism, drinking coffee as a way to perk you up from a slumber can have a negative effect on blood glucose (sugar) control.

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How COVID-19 Spreads – CDC

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person, including between people who are physically near each other (within about 6 feet). People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus to others. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.

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COVID-19 spreads very easily from person to person

How easily a virus spreads from person to person can vary. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to spread more efficiently than influenza but not as efficiently as measles, which is among the most contagious viruses known to affect people.

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Weekend funnies …

Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but I found a lot of fun signs this week. I hope you agree. Enjoy your weekend!

Tony

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Stay in touch with your emotions to reduce pandemic-induced stress

I have written about stress and relaxation numerous times in the past 10 years. The coronavirus has created a variation on that theme.

Everybody, it seems, is stressed out to some degree by the coronavirus pandemic.

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It may be anguish over the sickness or death of a friend or family member. It may be anxiety over a job that has been altered or eliminated. It may be disquiet over the competing demands of work and family while working from home.

These are natural emotions during stressful times, says Emily Kroska, a clinical psychologist at the University of Iowa. The good news, she adds, comes from a new study she led that shows how people might reduce their distress.

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Obesity raises risk of COVID-19 regardless of age, sex, ethnicity health

The opposite of a gift that keeps on giving is an affliction that keeps on taking away. Latest research seems to indicate that is exactly that case with obesity in relation to COVID-19. Fat chance.

The probability that an obese person will develop severe COVID-19 is high regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, and the presence of co-morbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart or lung disease, according to a study by Brazilian researchers published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice.

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The systematic review and meta-analysis of relevant data in the scientific literature focus on nine clinical studies, which in aggregate reported the evolution of 6,577 COVID-19 patients in five countries. The authors conclude that obesity is itself a factor that favors rapid progression to critical illness requiring intensive care and significantly increases the risk of death. The associated research project was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP .

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Older people with early, asymptomatic Alzheimer’s at risk of falls

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries in older adults, causing more than 800,000 hospitalizations and about 30,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. Some risk factors are well-known — advanced age, problems with vision or balance, muscle weakness — but an under-recognized factor is early Alzheimer’s disease. Older people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s, before cognitive problems arise, are more likely to suffer a fall than people who are not on track to develop dementia.

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Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that, in older people without cognitive problems who experience a fall, the process of neuro-degeneration that leads to Alzheimer’s dementia already may have begun. The findings, available online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggest that older people who have experienced falls should be screened for Alzheimer’s and that new strategies may be needed to reduce the risk of falling for people in the disease’s early stages.

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22 Ways Dogs Make Humans Better – Infographic

My dog, Gabi, has her 15th birthday coming up and I thought this would be a nice pre-birthday post.

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

As a dog lover and fitness enthusiast, I had to love this poster and share it with you.

Regular readers know that my dog Gabi has been my companion for 14 years. She is my first dog in over 50 years. You can read the peculiar story of how I came to own her in this post: Anatomy of an Act of Kindness.

In case some of these benefits seem nebulous, check out my post What is the Value of Hugging? and also 10 Reasons Why Oxytocin Is The Most Amazing Molecule In The World for some documentation.

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Tony

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Older Adults Using Cannabis to Treat Common Health Conditions – Study

I am currently 80 years old and use CBD oil as well as hemp-based oils and salves to relieve pain from my arthritic hands. These are non-psycho-active and that is my preference. Full disclosure, back in the 1960’s when I first moved out of my parents’ home and lived on Rush St. here, in Chicago, I had a lot of jazz musician friends who smoked weed regularly and I also indulged. I do not now, nor have I for decades.

With growing interest in its potential health benefits and new legislation favoring legalization in more states, cannabis use is becoming more common among older adults.

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University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that older adults use cannabis primarily for medical purposes to treat a variety of common health conditions, including pain, sleep disturbances and psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression.

The study, published online October 7, 2020 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that of 568 patients surveyed, 15 percent had used cannabis within the past three years, with half of users reporting using it regularly and mostly for medical purposes.

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Stay-at-home orders cut noise exposure nearly in half – Study

The ramifications of living through a global pandemic continue to unfold.

People’s exposure to environmental noise dropped nearly in half during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to University of Michigan researchers who analyzed data from the Apple Hearing Study.

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Researchers at U-M’s School of Public Health and Apple Inc. looked at noise exposure data from volunteer Apple Watch users in Florida, New York, California and Texas. The analysis, one of the largest to date, included more than a half million daily noise levels measured before and during the pandemic.

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Weekend funnies …

As we enter the second week of October it’s time to keep an eye peeled for the first Christmas decorations ….

Tony

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Caffeine and Your Brain – NIH

A hot cup of coffee or tea is a highlight of the morning for some people. It can make you feel awake and alert. Caffeine is the chemical that causes these sensations. But does caffeine have other effects on the brain?

Caffeine is found naturally in tea and coffee. But it is added to energy drinks and many types of soda. It’s even put in some snack foods and medications. More than eight out of 10 adults in the U.S. consume caffeine in some form.

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So how does caffeine wake you up? Your body naturally produces a chemical called adenosine. It builds up in your body during the day.

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5 Tips to Loving Exercise … or at Least Not Hating it – AHA

I am rerunning this ‘oldie, but goodie’ because sometimes we just need to be reminded of the basics of good health.

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Over 50 per cent of Americans do not get the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Can it be any wonder that health care costs grow every year when there are so many of us who fail to do the minimum to keep ourselves healthy?

Ask yourself – “Am I making an effort or making excuses?” Some 14 per cent of visitors to a recent American Heart Association (AHA) survey said that they did not like exercising.

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The AHA offers the following tips for those folks:

I thought I would pass them on. They quote Mercedes Carnethon, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine as the source.

1. Find exercise that suits you
If you are social, do something that engages you, a group exercise class, kickball team or walk with a group of friends. If solo is more…

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Cognitive super agers defy typical age-related decline in brainpower – NIA

I will repeat, yet again, my extreme interest in the brain aging stemming from the fact that my family has had three cases of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. My grandfather, my mother and her sister all had it.

Although it’s normal for brainpower to decline as people age, it’s not inevitable, studies show. Some people remain cognitively sharp into their 80s, 90s, and beyond, defying the common assumption that cognitive decline is a natural part of aging, according to the National Institute on Aging.

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These lucky few, called cognitive super agers, perform demonstrably better on memory tests, such as remembering past events or recalling a list of words, compared with other adults their age. NIA-supported researchers are exploring the factors that set these people apart so the knowledge can be used to help others prevent or reverse age-related cognitive decline.

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