Tag Archives: healthy eating

What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is one of the critical and least understood aspects of our health. For that reason, I am reblogging this post I wrote five years ago. This is a perfect example of ‘what you don’t know can hurt you.’

Tony

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

Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushed against the the wall of the arteries, according to Nurse Practicioner Deborah Bergman, MS, RN, speaking to the Northwestern Memorial Healthy Transitions Program®.

Bergman explained that blood pressure depends on the strength of the heartbeat, thickness and volume of the blood, the elasticity of the artery walls and general health. It is the arterial pressure of the circulation. It is a dynamic process and fluctuates all day.

She said that blood pressure (BP) varies between a maximum (systolic) pressure – working phase. And the minimum (diastolic) pressure – the resting phase. Average blood pressure decreases as the blood moves away from the heart through the arteries. It drops most rapidly around the small arteries and continues to decrease as it moves through the capillaries and back to the heart through the veins.

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The Worst Breakfast is No Breakfast

There are lots of good ideas here. I know that in the hustle and bustle of working (career or school) folks are sometimes willing to skimp on breakfast. This shows why it is a big mistake.

I did have one small quibble with the general statement on healthy fats. I am a giant believer in coconut oil, a saturated fat. Check out my Page – Coconut oil – Why you should include it in your diet. I start every morning with a spoonful of peanut butter dipped in coconut oil. I eat it; I love it; I recommend it.

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I couldn’t resist sharing this.

Tony

Athletic Performance Training Center

Breakfast[1]I always enjoy traveling to different schools and organizations to discuss Strength & Conditioning, Speed & Agility, and Nutrition.  Invariably, when discussing nutrition, we touch upon the importance of breakfast.  When I tell the audience that any breakfast is better than no breakfast, I usually get a few sarcastic responses like, “what about donuts?” or some other sweets or junk food.  Although I differentiate between a healthy, nutritious breakfast and a less sensible option, the point is this:  Eat something — anything — within 30-90 minutes of waking.  It will set the tone for the rest of your day.  It’s not that the quality of what you eat is unimportant, but the benefits of eating breakfast are indisputable:

  • Improves physical and mental health
  • Improves behavior and performance
  • Kick-starts your metabolism
  • Improves your mood
  • Boosts your energy level
  • Helps to minimize daytime hunger

Like any other meal or snack, the…

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Research Reveals How A Single Choice Affects Mental Health More Than Medications

Regular readers know that I have stressed the importance of exercise for the brain. So, it seems a logical corollary that food also affects the brain as well as the body.

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Tony

Our Better Health

“We need to get serious
about the critical role played by nutrition.”

– Julia Rucklidge, Clinical Psychologist

We pretty much all agree that good nutritional habits are vital to good physical health, yes? But what about mental health? Do good nutritional habits translate to a healthier mental state? On the surface, it would make sense. After all, the food that we eat contains nutrients – and these nutrients are transported throughout our entire body via our bloodstream. We already know that the brain requires nutrients to operate effectively…so, yeah, it makes sense.

But is eating right more important to mental health than prescription medicine?

Ah, this is a bit trickier. After all, pharmaceuticals are research-intensive and science-based products that have undergone extensive trial and error, often over a period of multiple years. These same products have earned the coveted “seal of approval” from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…no easy…

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Lack of fresh food choices linked to signs of early heart disease – AHA

It seems that while our reliance on fast foods and processed foods might be saving us some time, in the long run it is costing us dearly.

A lack of access to nearby stores selling fresh food may increase residents’ risk of developing the signs of early heart disease, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) journal Circulation.

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“The lack of healthy food stores may help explain why people in these neighborhoods have more heart disease,” said Jeffrey Wing, Ph.D., M.P.H., co-lead author and assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan. “The thought is that greater access to healthier foods may have promoted healthier diets and, in turn, less coronary plaque formation.”

Study results point to a need for greater awareness of the potential health threat posed by living in neighborhoods with scarce healthy grocery options. Continue reading

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Low blood pressure diet also cuts risk of kidney disease – Johns Hopkins

People who ate a diet high in nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and low in red and processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages and sodium were at a significantly lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease over the course of more than two decades, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

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The diet, known as DASH for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was designed to help reduce blood pressure, but research has shown it to be effective in preventing a series of other chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease. The findings, published online in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, suggest that kidney disease now can be added to that list.

“In addition to offering other health benefits, consuming a DASH-style diet could help reduce the risk of developing kidney disease,” says study leader Casey M. Rebholz, PhD, MPH, MS, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School. “The great thing about this finding is that we aren’t talking about a fad diet. This is something that many physicians already recommend to help prevent chronic disease.”

Researchers estimate kidney disease affects 10 percent of the U.S. population — more than 20 million people. Less than one in five who have it are aware that they do, however. (my emphasis)
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MEDICATION

This is absolutely worth reading. It is good thinking and meets all my biases regarding living a healthy life.

Tony

All About Healthy Choices

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Webster’s dictionary defines MEDICATION as, “a SUBSTANCE used for medical treatment, especially a medicine or drug.

Webster’s dictionary defines FOOD as, “any nutritious SUBSTANCE that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to MAINTAIN LIFE AND GROWTH.

We have a tendency to separate the two words MEDICINE and FOOD believing they are INDEPENDENT of each other. Hippocrates (the founding FATHER OF MEDICINE) quoted, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates understood that food provided the body an ESSENTIAL COMPONENT necessary to maintain healthy FUNCTION. He understood the body was under constant “attack” by environmental, emotional and physical factors and needed FOOD (as Webster’s dictionary states) “to MAINTAIN LIFEAND GROWTH.” He recognized that GOOD HEALTH was the body’s NATURAL STATE of EXISTENCE. Hippocrates understood that DISEASE only manifested when the body was unable to…

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Some foods make you hungrier – Time

Deciding to eat intelligently is a step in the right direction when it comes to living a long healthy life. But it is only an early small step. You can get tripped up even with the best of intentions.

Eating right is not as easy as it sounds. Time magazine recently produced a page entitled 9 Foods that make you hungrier.

It seems that “’The sight, smell, or taste of some foods will trigger the cephalic food response,” according to Dr. Belinda Lennerz, an endocrinologist and researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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The bread basket is a prime culprit in restaurants because it triggers your body’s ‘give me more’ responses and spikes your blood sugar levels.

Eating a small amount of anything around meal time will probably goose  your appetite rather than mellow it out. But some foods are worse than others. Continue reading

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I Changed My Fuel And It Changed My Health’s Trajectory

Lots of good straight information here. So much of weight control has to do with making good decisions, like having small meals, choosing good snacks, etc. As a snacker, that one resonated with me. Check out my Page – Snacking – the good, the bad and the ugly for more details. probiotics yogurt

Tony

Our Better Health

All calories are not equal. Yet we continue to count them in hopes of managing weight and health. Correcting this flawed thinking will forever change your relationship with food, calories and your weight. Changing your fuel just may change your health trajectory.

Consider the significance of changing the fuel you use in your body. It could make the difference between getting promoted, being injury and illness free, lean and healthy, and even finding romance (or not). It can, and I am living proof. When I began to think of calories as more than just a number, I lost 84 pounds, reclaimed my health and looked years younger. When I only counted calories, not considering their source, I was obese and unwell.

Many know the value of this truth about calories. Professional athletes serve as ideal evidence for this argument. The difference between first and last place is often seconds of…

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Dave & Buster’s, Uno Among 2016 Xtreme Eating Award Recipients – CSPI

We really do have to use our heads when we decide to eat out. Some chains’ offerings make a joke out of our attempts at portion control.

One Chain’s Burger Platter Has Nearly 3,000 Calories and 10,000 Milligrams of Sodium

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Perhaps you’ve eaten a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese.  Picture having a second one.  And a third.  And then a fourth.  Along with two medium orders of fries doused with a combined 18 packets of salt.  For most people, that’s unthinkable.  At Uno Pizzeria & Grill, it’s lunch:  The chain’s Whole Hog Burger has hamburger, sausage, bacon, prosciutto, pepperoni, four types of cheese, garlic mayo, and pickles and comes with fries and onion rings.  All told it’s more than a day’s worth of calories (2,850), three days’ worth of saturated fat (62 grams), and six days’ worth of sodium (9,790 milligrams).

That burger is just one of nine recipients of the 2016 Xtreme Eating Awards—conferred annually by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and published in its Nutrition Action Healthletter.  Far from doing their part to reverse the obesity epidemic, America’s chain restaurants are pouring gasoline on the fire, crossing fried chicken and waffles with Eggs Benedict, merging cheeseburgers and egg rolls, and repurposing macaroni and cheese as a sandwich filling. Continue reading

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Health benefits of coffee vs. tea – Infographic

Thought you might be interested in this. Seems most of us have a beverage of choice first thing on arising.

When I worked in the Reuter newsroom on Fleet Street, I  was surprised that most of my British fellow journalists drank coffee while I, the resident Yank,  was thrilled to discover English tea with milk in it.

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Tony

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5 Clean and healthy treats – Infographic

I ran across these in my web wandering and thought they looked useful.

As a total peanut butter lover, I thought number one especially clever. I start every morning with a spoon full of peanut butter dipped in coconut oil. If that appeals to you, consider it number six free.

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Lastly, I am not much of a drinker, my girlfriend considers me a cheap date as I rarely exceed one beer on a night out. So, number five doesn’t do much for me.

Please feel free to share any clean and healthy treats you favor.

Tony

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Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, eat healthier

What we eat for lunch in the cafeteria and buy in the supermarket for dinner depends on the order in which the dishes are presented to us, and how easy it is to get to the products. This is the conclusion of a collaborative review of existing research at the Faculty of Science – University of Copenhagen.

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Is it possible to change our behavior when it comes to food choices only by presenting the food to the guests in a cafeteria in a different order, or by making it more difficult to reach the less healthy food? Yes, a review of existing research in this area concludes. The review shows that manipulation of food product order or proximity can influence food choice and that healthy food nudging seems promising. Eighteen studies were included in the review. Sixteen of the studies showed nudging made a positive impact. Continue reading

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AM I HEALTHY?

Some really good thoughts here that coincide with my own feelings about working at being healthy and living a long and happy life. We really need to get our heads straight and quit trying to lose a couple of extra pounds instead of focusing on the big picture and living a healthy life. Sadly, the only time most people focus on their health is when they think they need to lose some weight. Living a healthy life is positive. Just trying to lose weight is negative.

Eat less; move more; live longer.

Tony

All About Healthy Choices

insecureHow do we know? What do we base our answers on? What are the signs we’re transitioning from healthy to unhealthy?

Most people assume if they can go about their daily tasks without “feeling” sick, they are healthy. Is this a good way of determining our health status? What about symptoms? Do we base our health on their severity? Do we often base our health on their absence?

What do the following conditions all have in common?

  • High Blood Pressure

  • High Cholesterol

  • Blood clots

  • Pancreatic Cancer

  • Sudden Onset Heart Attacks

  • Diabetes

  • Positive Testing For The HIV Virus

  • Osteoporosis

  • Aneurysm

Typically, none of these conditions produce SYMPTOMS early on. What about early breast cancer, early prostate cancer and early colon cancer? What about hepatitis C? Again, no sign of SYMPTOMS!

There are countless conditions we may develop, yet we haven’t become a paranoid society fearing the ABSENCE OF SYMPTOMS? WHY?

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Harvard study links high unsaturated fat consumption to reduced mortality

Consuming higher amounts of unsaturated fats was associated with lower mortality, according to a study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

In a large study population followed for more than three decades, researchers found that higher consumption of saturated and trans fats was linked with higher mortality compared with the same number of calories from carbohydrates. Most importantly, replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats conferred substantial health benefits. This study provides further support for the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that emphasize the types of fat rather than total amount of fat in the diet.

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The traditional meat and potatoes dinner is not the way to go.

The study is the most detailed and powerful examination to date on how dietary fats impact health. It suggests that replacing saturated fats like butter, lard, and fat in red meat with unsaturated fats from plant-based foods—like olive oil, canola oil, and soybean oil—can confer substantial health benefits and should continue to be a key message in dietary recommendations. (My emphasis)

The study was published online July 5, 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Continue reading

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Harvard on Simple Weight Loss Principles

Seconds on the lips; a lifetime on the hips.

We have all heard that old cliche and nodded knowingly. But the fact that two-thirds of us are overweight and half of the heavies are actually obese demonstrates that not enough of us are acting as if we believed it.
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I have written an entire page entitled How to lose weight – and keep it off breaking down the principles and techniques I have used for the past several years to reach my ideal weight and maintain it. I am a regular guy not a saint or superhuman. You can do it, too.

Now comes Harvard Medical School with an item echoing and elucidating my sentiments on weight loss and weight maintenance.

“The pleasure of eating a candy bar lasts but a few minutes. Burning off the calories it delivers can take nearly three-quarters of an hour. Continue reading

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Calcium and your health – Infographic

I think calcium is one of the under-appreciated minerals around.

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To read further on bone health and calcium, check out:

Calcium – The key to strong bones

Bad to the bone – WebMD

Strength training builds more than muscles – Harvard

Tony

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