Tag Archives: Mayo Clinic Health Letter

Mayo Clinic – What is Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis?

The Mayo Clinic Health Letter asks if something as simple as getting out of your chair can improve your health? Surprisingly, it can.

It’s based on the concept of nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is all of the calories (energy) you burn simply by living, rather than through exercise. This includes carrying in groceries, playing charades or sitting less. NEAT activities can lead to reduced body fat, improved cholesterol levels, a healthier heart and reduced risk of common weight-related conditions. (my emphasis)


Consider working at a standing desk …

The movements you make throughout the day may not provide the benefits of regular exercise. But if you struggle to fit exercise into your day or if you have a sedentary lifestyle, increasing your daily NEAT can provide a boost in your physical activity.

To include more NEAT in your day:
•    Stand while on the phone
•    Walk around the house during TV commercials
•    Park in the farthest spot in a parking lot
•    Dance around the house while cooking and cleaning
•    Tackle yard work — water plants, pull weeds, clear rocks and sticks
•    Tend a garden
•    Invest in a movement-based video game system such as a Wii
•    Wash your car by hand
•    Organize your closets
•    Use a standing desk
•    Take up a new craft
•    Volunteer — set up or take down an event, greet at the door, serve a meal

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Must confess that while I never heard if the term NEAT, I love the principle. This fits right in with eat less; move more; live longer – the mantra of this blog.

I would just like to add that my Page Do you know the dangers of too much sitting? fits right in here.


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Healthy Cooking Tips From the Mayo Clinic

Besides eating less to control our weight, we can also prepare our food in such a way as to minimize empty calories and at the some times add nutrition as well as taste.

Herewith several easy cooking methods that can promote healthier eating from the desk of Dr. Robert Sheeler, Medical Editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.
 •    Invest in nonstick cookware — Instead of pouring oil in a pan, use nonstick cookware and vegetable cooking sprays. One tablespoon of vegetable oil has 120 calories and 14 grams of fat, but a one-second spray has negligible calories and less than 1 gram of fat.

•    Think flavor, not fat — Sauté vegetables such as onions, mushrooms or celery in a small amount of wine, broth, water, soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Keep a supply of onions, fresh garlic, ginger root, Dijon mustard, fresh lemons and limes, flavored vinegars, sherry or other wines, cornstarch (to thicken sauces), and plain fat-free yogurt.
•    Try different cooking methods — Microwave or steam vegetables. Then dress them up with flavored vinegars, herbs and spices. Cook fish in parchment paper or foil to seal in flavors and juices.

A while back I bought the Pasta Boat (Mr. Lazy Cook Cruises on the Pasta Boat) for fixing my pasta. It is also excellent for Steaming Broccoli in the Pasta Boat.
 •    Modify recipes — In most recipes, you can reduce sugar, salt and fat by one-third to one-half without sacrificing taste.
   •    Minimize meat — Decrease the amount of meat in casseroles and stews by one-third and add more vegetables, rice or pasta. Or, replace meat with beans, nuts, eggs or low-fat cheese. Buy lean cuts of meat.

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Why You Should Exercise Regularly – Mayo Clinic

Regular readers know that I feel very strongly about exercising regularly. Eat less; move more is the mantra of this blog. So, I was thrilled to receive a Mayo Clinic Newsletter from Dr. Robert Sheeler, Medical Editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter. So many people think about exercise as an adjunct to dieting to lose weight. Wrong. You need to exercise to stay healthy and also to maintain a healthy body and body weight. You don’t stop after you reach your goal weight.

Here’s what the good doctor had to say, “If you exercise regularly, you may lower your risk of a heart attack and stroke. If you are middle-aged or older and haven’t been exercising regularly or have a chronic health problem, work with your doctor to develop an exercise program.

Running at the fitness club

“To condition your heart safely:
•    Start at a comfortable level of exertion — Try walking five to 10 minutes over a short distance indoors. Increase your time by five minutes a session as you’re able.
•    Schedule regular exercise — Aim for 30 to 60 minutes a day of low- to moderate-intensity physical activity.
•    Include variety — Combine three types of exercise — stretching (flexibility), endurance (aerobic or cardio) and strengthening (weight training). Start each session with a warm-up of lower intensity, and cool down gradually. Mind-body exercises, such as yoga and tai chi, may provide even greater benefits.
•    Cross-train to reduce your risk of injury — Alternate among exercises that emphasize different parts of the body, such as swimming, bicycling and walking.
•    Don’t overdue it — Start slowly and build up gradually, allowing time between sessions for your body to rest and recover. And forget the saying “No pain, no gain.” A little muscle soreness when you do something new isn’t unusual, but soreness doesn’t equal pain. If it hurts, stop doing it.
•    Increase your physical activity — Even routine activities such as gardening, climbing stairs or washing floors can burn calories and help improve your health. You’ll get the most benefit from a structured exercise program, but any physical movement helps. Walk or bike to the store instead of driving, park farther away at the shopping mall or take the stairs instead of taking an elevator.”

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How to Handle Heartburn – Mayo Clinic

I recently learned that I suffer from heartburn so I was fascinated by these tips from the Mayo Clinic. “Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus,” according to Dr. Robert Sheeler, Medical Editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.


” The following lifestyle changes may eliminate or reduce the frequency of your symptoms:
•    Avoid your triggers — Most people have specific foods and beverages that trigger heartburn. Common offenders are fried or fatty foods, chocolate, mint, alcohol, coffee, carbonated beverages, onions, tomato-based and spicy foods, and citrus foods and juices.

•    Lose excess weight — Excess pounds put pressure on your abdomen, which crowds your stomach and can cause acid backup.

•    Avoid tightness at your waist — Reduce pressure on your abdomen by loosening your belt or by not wearing control-top stockings or body-shaping undergarments.

•    Eat smaller meals — Doing so reduces pressure from the stomach on the lower esophageal sphincter and makes it less likely stomach acid will escape into your esophagus.

•    Don’t lie down after a meal — Wait two to three hours after a meal before you lie down. If you nap, try doing so in a more upright reclining chair.

•    Don’t use tobacco — Tobacco interferes with function of the lower esophageal sphincter.

•    Raise the head of your bed — If you’re bothered by heartburn in the night, elevate the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches using blocks under the legs.

“An appointment with your doctor is warranted if these lifestyle changes don’t relieve your symptoms or if you have heartburn more than twice a week.”

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I practice most of these already on my doctor’s orders recommendation. I am sure they will benefit fellow sufferers. The one partially mentioned was that I can’t eat anything within 1-1/2 hours of going to bed for the night. This one brought immediate relief to me.


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Cold Facts About Hot Dogs From the Mayo Clinic

“A typical 2-ounce, all beef frank contains 14 to 16 grams (g) of fat, between 150 and 180 calories, 25 to 40 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol, and over 500 mg of sodium, according to Robert D. Sheeler, M.D., Medical Editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

He suggests that if you must consume them as a summertime treat, don’t overdo it and consider a hot dog that is:

Fat-free or has less than 2 g of fat — Made of beef, turkey or a mixture of meats, these can deliver a decent-tasting hot dog for 50 calories or less. They have little or no fat and 10 to 15 mg of cholesterol. Still, they typically have well over 400 mg of sodium.

Reduced fat — Made of beef, chicken or turkey, these contain between 7 and 10 g of fat, about 100 to 120 calories, 25 to 55 mg of cholesterol, and typically over 400 mg of sodium. Their taste isn’t necessarily better than that of very low-fat hot dogs. All-poultry hot dogs allow you to avoid red meat, which has been linked to colon cancer when eaten in large quantities.

Meatless — These typically are soy based with between 0 and 6 g of fat, no cholesterol, and 200 to 400 mg of sodium. Taste is subjective, but condiments may be needed to liven up their flavor.

Dr. Sheeler recommends boiling or microwaving your hot dogs as “grilling can cause charring and other changes that have been linked to cancer.”

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Buon Appetito!



Filed under eating, fast food, fat, healthy eating, healthy living, hot dog, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Health Letter, Weight