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How do you sleep at night? Sleeping well and adequately is so very important health-wise. A recent study found that weight loss, especially in the belly, in obese or overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes improved the quality of their sleep. Isn’t that interesting?
Common sleep problems in folks:
Chronic sleep problems can lead to:
Even a modest 15 lb. weight loss makes a difference in sleep. And in the study it did not matter if folks lost weight by just making changes in their diet, or a combo with added exercise, there was a sleep benefit.
Sleep health – that means sleeping restfully and long enough – is important for physical as well as mental health. Sleep well…..and losing weight might help you to do just that!
National guidelines for fruits and vegetable intake are not being met by young adults aged 19-30 years of age. At least 2 cups of fruits and 2-3 cups vegetables are suggested. A 10-year study of over 1,000 teens and young adults had some interesting results about what factors promote a great intake of produce.
Current produce intake by teens and young people only ½ cup per day of fruits and 1 cup/day of vegetables. Far below the recommendations.
What predicted a higher produce intake when the youth reached young adulthood?
When raising kids, it is so important to let fruits and vegetables be front and central in your daily menus. Serving limp, colorless, dull over-cooked produce will never be appealing to your family. Think opposite… interesting, colorful, in-season, slightly cooked, and flavorful!
It’s the Fall. There’s a nip in the air and many of us are enjoying football games over the weekends. And that means tailgating! Healthy ideas…..
Tailgating, protein foods for the grill:
Make-ahead one-dish tailgating ideas:
Feature locally fresh apples at the tailgating party:
It helps to plan ahead, have foods that are pretty easy to eat, wrapped and packed for simplicity. And be sure to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold for the safety of all who are there.
For many years the American Heart Association has suggested that egg yolks be limited to 3 per week. A recent study 1,200 folks suggests that we might want to heed the AHA suggestions.
There is nothing like a poached egg on toast or an egg salad sandwich. But many times, egg whites will work very nicely in place of the whole egg.
This study published in the journal Atherosclerosis showed that independent of smoking, cholesterol, blood pressure having diabetes, and body mass index, eating more egg yolks per week slightly increased plaque in the arteries.
An apple a day is an old saying that has some health merit to it. In a recent study, post-menopausal women who ate 2 apples daily (in dried apple form) saw total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol drop! With more than $15.5 BILLION spent on statin drugs in a year, apples seem like an economical choice, too.
For the women who ate 2 apples/day, in 6 months, total cholesterol dropped 13%, from 250 to 218. The harmful LDL-cholesterol lowered 24% (!!) from 160 down to 132.
Why do apples seem to be fabulous for cholesterol reduction?
Apples, apples, apples….
In the U.S., 81million adults have cardiovascular disease, and over 800,000 die from this disease. Reducing cholesterol is one tool to lower risk. And a diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts – all sources of dietary fiber – seem to be a health (and economical) way to get a handle on this disease.
Wow, where did summer go? Already backpacks are full, buses are busy picking up kids for school, and lunches are being packed. There are certainly easy ready-made lunch items found in the grocery stores, but what you gain in convenience you lose out in good ole nutrition because they are often far too high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium.
The foundation for a packed bag lunch should be:
(1) Protein: eggs, cheese, poultry, meats, nuts & nut butters, legumes
(2) Starch: bread, rolls, tortilla, crackers, muffins, pasta, rice
(3) Vegetables and Fruits
(4) Beverage: milk or water
Three brown bag lunch ideas:
(1) leftover rice, cheese cubes and veggies combo
(2) string cheese, apple muffin and fruit cup
(3) whole-grain tortilla with hummus and avocado slices.
Treats to add to lunches: teddy grahams, simple wafer cookies, sunchips, pudding cups. And don’t forget little notes occasionally to let your children of all ages know how special they are. (Personally I think our teens really need these love-you notes).
Keep packed lunches safe – include a solidly frozen ice pack. And be sure to wash out the lunch bag or box every single night to keep bacteria at bay.
Gallstones. It is estimated that ~25 million Americans have them, although many will not have symptoms for years. The gallbladder stores and releases bile into the intestinal tract- and bile helps you digest fat. Gallstones can form if the bile becomes too concentrated in cholesterol – it gets super-saturated.
Risk Factors for developing gallstones:
Symptoms of gallstones:
What might offer protection from developing gallstones? Having food sources of omega-3 fatty acids (nuts, fish, olive and canola oils), eating LOTS of fruits and vegetables, and selecting whole-grains rather than refined carbs and sugars.
Friday, August 24
The safe bet for prevention of gallstones is to have a healthy weight, choose healthy foods, and regular physical activity. Nothing unusual or heroic is needed to keep the gallbladder safe and sound.
Millions diabetes, and they work hard to keep their blood glucose levels in a safe range. But for some, they have high and low blood glucose readings that are troublesome, and even dangerous. It’s important to keep those glucose levels on an even keel.
Symptoms of LOW blood glucose:
What can happen if glucose levels are low frequently?
Health problems with running HIGH Glucose levels:
Consistently having high or low blood glucose readings is not physically good for your body. It takes a toll when this goes on for months and even years. It is never too late to get those glucose levels back to the normal and safe range by
Check out the many diabetes-related classes that Martha Jefferson offers. Call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.
Okay, another year older and a bit wiser. And as I welcome another birthday this month perhaps a few reminders about body maintenance would be good for this week. Fortunately we are all living much longer and in pretty good health, but it is good to keep an eye on things.
Have your yearly physicals to check:
Catch things moving out of range earlier than later is my motto!!
Other maintenance checkups:
YOU can keep eye on your weight and waistline. A healthy waist measurement is less than 40 inches for men and less than 35 inches for women.
Just like our car, our body needs regular maintenance to run smoothly, and to stay ahead of potential health problems. And birthday time is the opportunity to be reinvigorated to eat well and move more in the upcoming year.
If you are like me, you would like to live a long healthy life with a sharp mind – right? So the question is – how can you keep your mind and brain in tiptop shape as you age? Well, your memory can improve, or at least stay intact over time. And the cool thing is that it all seems to come down to your lifestyle habits as you age.
Eat well to protect and improve your brain. Three key dietary pieces:
Other brain-protection tips:
A couple additional brain protectors…. Don’t smoke and be cautious with alcohol. Heavy drinkers have more brain shrinkage (yikes!).