Category Archives: Health

A Healthy Guide To Good Nutrition

fruits-and-vegetables-pics

Whether you are at your ideal weight or striving to reach your weight goal is it simply a matter of burning more calories than you take in? The answer, I suggest, is no! Overall body health improvement as well as weight gain or loss must be factored in to the equation or you could be heading for problems. Correct nutrition can help to reduce the risk of a miriad of health-related problems, the most frightening of which are surely heart disease and cancer.

Proper nutrition, however, entails eating many different foods, monitoring your consumption of some food and beverage items, and counting calories. Good diets offer balanced nutrition that reduces cholesterol, blood pressure, and helps with weight control. To function properly, your body must have the correct combination of nutrients:

Carbohydrates. They are the primary source of ammunition in your diet. The body uses carbohydrates to build glucose which can be used immediately or stored in your body for later. Too much glucose, however, is stored as fat. There are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex. Sugars are simple carbohydrates. Starches and fibers are complex carbohydrates.

Proteins.

Proteins help your body build and maintain muscles and other tissues. They also function in the creation of hormones. Like carbohydrates, excess protein is stored as fat. Animal and vegetable are the two major types of proteins. Too much animal protein can cause high cholesterol, as it is high in saturated fat. Fat. Strange as it may seem; fat is another nutrient your body requires. It comes in both saturated and unsaturated forms. Saturated fat puts you at risk of health problems. Unsaturated fat is healthy, but if it goes through any type of refinement process, it can become saturated fat.

Vitamins. These are also required nutrients. Different vitamins perform different tasks within the body. They can work with the metabolism to help with energy levels for any task you can think of that you need your body to perform. It has also been noted that certain vitamins can prevent disease. For example, vitamins A, C, and E, also called antioxidants, can assist with the prevention of coronary artery disease by keeping build up from occurring on artery walls. Vitamin B-1 is needed for digestion and proper nervous system function. Vitamin B-2 is needed for normal cell growth. Vitamin B-3 helps to detoxify your body. Folic acid assists with production of red blood cells. Vitamin D assists with the absorption of calcium. Vitamin K helps your blood clot.

Minerals and trace elements. These are another nutrient your body requires. Both are used in many different body processes. Minerals like chlorine help make your digestive juices. Phosphorus helps build strong bones. Both can be found in the foods we consume, but with a trace element, your body just needs a tiny amount. Salt is one final nutrient your body requires. You should not consume more than 2400 milligrams per day, though, as it might raise your blood pressure. You should follow several guidelines to create a well balanced, nutritional diet. First, try to consume two and one half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit each day. When making your selections for each day, be sure to choose a good variety. A good rough guide is to eat as many different colors as possible, this will help you to select from all five vegetable subgroups at least four times per week. You should eat at least three ounces of whole grain products each day. At least half of your grain intake should be whole grain based. Milk should also be part of a healthy diet. Consume at least forty-eight ounces of low fat milk or milk products on a daily basis. Your total fat intake should only be between ten and thirty percent of your calories. Most of the fats you consume should be in the form of unsaturated fats, as saturated fats can do much to damage your health. Meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products should all be lean, low-fat, or fat-free. Less than ten percent of your calories should come from saturated fats, and you should always try to avoid trans-fatty acid. Fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be a regular part of your diet as should potassium rich foods. Alcoholic beverages should only be consumed in moderation. Excellent nutrition is the basis of a healthy diet.

10 Tips to a Healthy Football Season

 

From the word go, the Football season seems provide a plethora of reasons to eat badly. It starts near Labor Day, and goes right on past to New Years. Typically during this time of year our eating habits include foods and drinks that are so delicious, yet carry negative effects.  So I thought how could someone have a fun football (holiday for the Ms.) season, and still fit in their clothes that they wore during pre-season. Below are 10 that could possibly help you reach that goal they may seem like no brainers, but if you take heed you will survive another year without moving to the next waist size. Enjoy the season.

  1. First things first, don’t even think about dieting during the holiday season. That is, don’t start a new diet. Your biggest goal during our most favorite season is to maintain your weight. This way you can partake in your favorite beverage and snacks without any guilt.
  2. Another good way to avoid packing” on the purge is to stay seated, and far away from the food table.
  3. Something simple and delicious. I would recommend bringing a light dip with either multigrain or wheat bread, so you have something that is somewhat healthy to munch on. There is a company (I think it has the title of chef in its name) that sells dips and breads that anyone can make, and are a healthy alternative to normal snacks. Just ask your wife, girlfriend, or any woman where you can find a beer bread mix.
  4. The beverages tend to favorites for many during this time of year, so be wise in your selection. If you must have a mixed drink, try something like clear liquor and diet soda, a light or ultra-light beer, or a nice glass of wine. I know wine doesn’t scream manly, but it is an alternative. Remember this shouldn’t be painful, just well thought-out. 5. Good or bad, football games tend to be lengthy, use this to your advantage, and take part in the eating and drinking at a slow pace. The slower your intake, the better chance you will fit in those size 38’s come spring time.
  5. Chase the kids, or take a walk, whatever it is, make sure you keep up on some type of activity other than couch coaching, and channel surfing. Winter time is hard enough for many people with the cold and darkness, so some activity will help you gain or maintain physical and mental acuity. 7. Eat at home before you head to the football stadium, or over a buddies house. This should help prevent a complete submersion in to the food and drinks. Believe me when I tell you, you will feel much better knowing you don’t have to drive home with your pants unbuttoned, either because of pressure or an untimely stomach pain.
  6. Eat some chicken wings, not the entire chicken. I think that’s clear, and best of all it applies to all food! And anyway, who wants to get stains all over their new Dallas Terrell Owens jersey.
  7. If you have the chance to host a football game, stack the odds on your side by putting veggies, and light snacks out rather than the pizza and wings. I mean really, do we as men pay any attention to what we eat while we are watching a game. So long as the drinks are cold, and our food crunches, we are in heaven.
  8. This rule applies all year long. Stay far and away from fast food joints.

It may seem like a good idea while you’re on your way to the game, but we all know it’s not filling, and it’s to exit.

10 Tips To Stop Smoking For Good

With so many tips and suggestions on how to stop smoking it is really easy to see why so many people really do not quit.  The vast majority of people are completely confused by the entire process!  What of the conflicting messages passed around?  The fact is that with so much information passed around that is confusing to people it is often much easier to just continue smoking and hoping for a simple solution.  Actually taking the necessary steps to really quit smoking is not easy.  It means coming to terms with the fact that stopping smoking really is best for you, as well as your health.

Most people are readily aware that stopping smoking can improve their health, but learning how to really conquer the urges to smoke is not easy.  With so many temptations circulating around, as well as the stresses of daily life it is easy to see why jumping into a pack of cigarettes seems like a good idea.

Tip #1 You need a good reason to quit.  Simply deciding to quit because the sky is blue is not a sufficient reason.  The need to quit smoking is obvious, but the desire to quit needs to come from inside in order for the process to be successful.

Tip #2  Look for small rewards that you can give yourself as you make progress.  You are not likely to just quit cold turkey with no complications.  Set up small rewards that will help you to want to make progress towards ultimately quitting.  This can be a great motivation to keep you on target.

Tip #3  Plan out your quitting strategy.  Decide how you want to try to quit and stick to it.  Set a specific amount of time for your plan.  If after a time, say six weeks you have not quit, work on a new plan.  This will allow ample time to try each method, while still giving yourself flexibility to try something else.

Tip #4  Work to overcome your struggles.  If you are smoking due to stressful things in your life, you need to deal with the stress before you can successfully quit.  Regardless of the reason why you are smoking, it needs to be dealt with in able to quit for good.

Tip #5  Set up a punishment for yourself.  For example, if you generally stop at Starbucks each day for a coffee you might consider skipping that on days when you have fallen short of your goals for smoking.  Whatever punishment you select, make sure it is something that you care about.

Tip #6  Seek out help from your friends and family.  You need support as you are trying to quit, and this will help you to ensure that you are not alone in the entire process.

Tip #7  Look for someone to quit with you.  If you are entirely on your own, you are going to be much more likely to slip back into smoking.  If someone is working with you and holding you accountable, you are more likely to struggle to succeed.  Working to quit smoking is not easy, but hard tasks are much easier to accomplish with a partner.

Tip #8  Ensure you are getting plenty of sleep.  The job of quitting smoking is quite difficult.  If you are not getting the rest you need, you are much more likely to be cranky, upset and angry with the world.  This is very counterproductive to your goal of quitting smoking for good.

Tip #9  Aim to quit for good.  This might seem a bit strange, but if you are just planning to quit for a weekend you are not going to put much effort into the process.  If you are planning to quit for good, a lot more time and effort is going to go into the process as well as your plan to quit.

Tip #10  Look for ways to take your mind off cigarettes.  If you are always thinking about cigarettes, you may find that you are much more tempted to smoke.  Reading a book, exercising, talking on the phone, surfing the internet and even cooking are all great ways to occupy your mind and keep from thinking about when your last cigarette was.

10 Ways to Sneak Some Extra Fruits and Vegetables in Your Family’s Diet

fruits-and-vegetables-pics

We all know by now that we should be eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they? Sometimes it is just not easy to get them all in there. We are constantly tempted to fill up on convenience and junk food. If your family is anything like mine, they’d much rather fill up on a bag of chips or a bowl of rice or pasta instead of trying an apple or a plate of steamed broccoli. So we’ll have to get creative. Here are a few ideas to ‘sneak” some extra vegetables and fruits in your family’s diet.

  1. Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yogurt and ice in a blender. You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure. Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go. I like to sip mine in a thermal cup on the way to work. To make it even more appealing for your kids, use some frozen yogurt or a scoop of ice cream in the smoothie. They won’t believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast.
  2. Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day. Add some small cartons of raisins to your child’s lunch box pack some yogurt-covered raisins in your husband’s briefcase and keep some trail mix sitting around for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning. My family loves banana chips in their breakfast cereal.
  3. Add some fruits and vegetables to your family’s sandwiches. You can add some banana, sliced apples or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and anything else they will eat. You can even make a sub shop style vegetable sandwich by combining several different vegetables with some mayonnaise and cheese on bread.
  4. Have a salad bar at dinner. Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, some cheese and croutons as well as several choices of salad dressing along with the lettuce and let everybody create their own perfect salad. 5. Let them drink their fruits and vegetables. Keep an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge and encourage everyone to drink them as a snack. Get creative. You could start “family cocktail hour” by pouring everybody a glass of his or her favorite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went.
  5. Try this for dessert. Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt in a bowl and top it with lots of fresh or frozen fruit.
  6. Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks. You can cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes. Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with ranch dip. And of course there are ants on a log. Spread some cream cheese or peanut butter on the inside of a stick of celery and sprinkle raisins on it (wow, fruit and vegetable in one snack).
  7. Try some new fruits and vegetables. Pick something exotic to get your family’s curiosity. With a little luck their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to trying something new. You could try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find in the produce department of your local store.
  8. Make a pot of vegetable soup or a stew that’s heavy on veggies and easy on the meat. Both of these make some great comfort food when the weather gets cold.
  9. Start “My Veggie Day”. Each family member gets to pick a vegetable one day of the week. They qualify to pick a vegetable as long as they tried each vegetable the week before, otherwise they lose a turn and Mom gets to pick. Incorporate a few of these ideas and you will have everyone in your family eating more fruits and vegetables in no time.

Here is another tip: Now that everyone in the family has gotten a taste for it, make sure you always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies available and ready to snack on.

22 Reasons to Drink Mangos teen Juice

 

A coworker of mine at work brought in a mangos teen supplement drink and she was selling it for $30 (her price) for a 25 fly oz. bottle.  She also gave me information and these 22 reasons why everyone should be drinking mangos teen juice:

  1. Prevents hardening of the arteries
  2. Protects the heart muscle
  3. Anti-Parkinson, anti-Alzheimer and other forms of dementia
  4. Anti-depressant
  5. Prevents and arrest fungus
  6. Prevents bacterial infections
  7. Viral fighters and prevention of infections
  8. Prevents fume disease
  9. anti-diarrheal
  10. Lowers fevers
  11. Eye care-prevents glaucoma and cataracts
  12. Pan systemic – a synergistic effect on the whole body
  13. Energy boosters – anti-fatigue
  14. Anti-aging
  15. Weight loss (woo, I’ll drink to this!)
  16. Lowers blood fat (what the heck, I didn’t know there is fat in our blood!)
  17. Anti-tumor benefits
  18. Cancer: Mangos teen helps in the prevention of cancer with its powerful anti-oxidants.
  19. Lowers blood pressure
  20. Numerous references to “Immunostimulants”
  21. Blood sugar lowering
  22. It tastes good thought to me, holy smokes!

Who in the world would buy that? What are mangos teen? I have never heard of it nor have the slightest idea what it looks like. Upon further research, the mangos teen (Garcia mangostana) is a tropical evergreen tree, believed to have originated in the Sundae Islands and the Moluccas. The tree grows from 7 to 25 meters tall. The edible fruit is deep reddish purple when ripe. In Asia, the mangos teen fruit is known as the “Queen of Fruits,” while the durian (Dario spp.) is known as the “King of Fruits.”

It is closely related to other edible tropical fruits such as button mangos teen and lemon drop mangos teen. The outer shell of the fruit is rather hard, typically 4-6 cm in diameter. Cutting through the shell, one finds a white, fleshy fruit 3-5 cm in diameter. Depending on the size and ripeness, there may or may not be pits in the segments of the fruit.

The number of fruit pods is directly related to the number of petals on the bottom of the shell. On average a mangos teen has 5 fruits (round up figure). I have eaten a lot of exotic fruits in my life, including the King of Fruits – durian, but I have never seen or tasted this Queen of Fruits.  I bought the $30 bottle from my coworker and chucked down the mangos teen juice.  I do feel more energetic for the rest of day, and I will have to let you know in the near future if it will help lose some weight!

A Bipolar Overview, Discovering Bipolar

Many illnesses abound the world today. Before, people live longer and with only a handful of illnesses. But today’s times are very much different because of the many changes that take place. New technology has brought new things into this world. Many inventions, new foods, and all the new stuff that people now enjoy seem to contribute to the many illnesses suffered by millions of people; not to mention the different day to day experiences that people encounter as they go through life.

The typical life of an individual begins as he wakes up in the morning. He then goes through his life everyday doing his routine activities. He goes to work, meet deadlines, attend meetings, and deals with different kinds of people. At home, he has to do chores, and spend time with the family. He also does other activities like going to the supermarket, church, and other important places. And not only that, he encounters different situations every day that either he welcomes or resents. Many factors contribute to making an individual ill.

Individuals suffering from bipolar disorder have to deal with such condition all the days of their life. Talking about such disorder can be very embarrassing for some people but this should not be so since the illness can be managed especially if you know how to do it.

Before, the condition was popularly called manic depression. But now, it is called bipolar because of the two extreme poles that make up the condition. A good example is the globe having a north and a south pole. When an individual experiences different symptoms associated with one pole, then he’s having an episode.

Episode

The episodes are divided into four types: depression, mania, hypomania, and mixed mood.  When a person feels depressed, he or she feels sad and don’t want to do the usual things. Those that exhibit mania usually start having a high feeling, and become angry and irritable. They are the ones who tend to do risky things. The milder form is known as hypomania which can lead to either depression or mania; this episode also starts with feeling good and the person may think that more things are done. Others who have episodes with feelings of depression and mania mixed together is called mixed mood.

Symptoms

Symptoms are divided into depression and mania. Depression symptoms include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt. These individuals sleep too much or too little and experience changes in appetite or weight. They always feel tired, restless, and can’t make a sound decision. The worst case is when the person thinks about suicide and death. Mania symptoms include an increase in the level of energy, racing thoughts, sleeps less, easily distracted, more self-confident, more talkative, focused but accomplishes little, and often do extreme or unusual activities.

Types

The four main types of bipolar are the following:

  1. Bipolar I – this type involves manic and mixed episodes, as well as major episodes of depression. The bipolar patient may experience more than one episode for several days, weeks, or even months. Seasonal changes also seem to affect the symptoms exhibited by the person.
  1. Bipolar II – this involves major episodes of depression and a hypomania episode. Normal functioning can also take place in between the said episodes.
  1. Cyclothymic Disorder – this is a fluctuating disturbance in mood with hypomania and depression episodes. This is considered the milder form since episodes do not occur regularly and happens for shorter and less severe times.
  1. Not Specified – this is a treatable disorder and the symptoms exhibited by the individual does not fall into any of the three types mentioned; the disorder varies from one person to another.

There is no known cause of bipolar disorder. Some say that it has something to do with genetics. But that alone is not enough to cause such disorder. Perhaps other factors contribute to the disorder and that is why further studies are underway.

People from different races, ethnic groups, children, teenagers, or young/older adults can suffer from bipolar disorder. The brain cells of each individual don’t work normally if there is an imbalance in the neurotransmitters. These are special chemicals that seem to be involved in the disorder.

If you think you’re experiencing bipolar symptoms, then you’d better check with your doctor as soon as possible.

A Brief Guide to Hoodia Diet

There have been so many diet trends that promised so much but delivered little that people are now desperate to lose weight. Most of these diet programs require a lot of time and work (and a huge amount of willpower) that most people give up. Most of us simply don’t have the time to prepare portion measured meals. Weight gain has turned into a more serious problem that most people will resort to any means necessary. Fortunately amidst all the scams and promises a new diet has now surfaced. Hoodia diet is the latest most effective diet to come out today.

With so many diet trends it natural for us to question this new craze. The diet has been featured in several television shows such as The Today Show, BBC, 60 minutes and Oprah. Like the others before, will it become just another trend to be swept off under the rug and followed by the rich? What difference does have it have with others that have come before it and many more that are continually sold in the internet?

The Hoodia diet

More often than not nature still provides the best answers to our problems. The diet comes from a plant named Hoodia gardenia. It’s also the main component which makes it more effective and safe than any other diet that has come before. It works by naturally suppressing a person’s appetite.

It specifically works by targeting the satiety center of the brain which is located at the hypothalamus. It releases a chemical compound which acts on this area. This causes the hypothalamus to send a signal to the brain that it has already consumed enough food.

This way the individual’s appetite ceases and his/her cravings are controlled. The main problem with weight gain and obesity is eating, so why not stop it? The diet’s main source of ingredient is a plant which makes it 100% natural and safe. It is not chemically formulated unlike other drug supplements and diet pills. It does not contain ephedra, caffeine and other stimulants.

You don’t have to prepare meals and calculate your calorie intake. All you have to do is take the pill to control your appetite. The less food you eat the fewer calories to burn. It has been proven by studies and testimonials that it is effective in losing weight.< in different forms other than pills such as powder (used as shakes), and liquid. There are also other variations such as desert burn diet pills or diet pills with green tea. The individual can choose which diet is best for him or her.

Due to its cheap popularity cheap imitations have also surfaced over the internet. When buying the drug be sure to read the read the label. No other ingredient should be indicated except Hoodia gardenia. Other diet pills have fillers and flowing agents to scam people out of their money.

We live in the era of commercialism. We may choose not to eat a midnight snack but our brains are too bombarded with advertisements to ignore these thoughts. More often than not it’s not the food or the diet which is the problem but the individual. People also have to remember that this diet pill is for maintenance only. Anything in excess like obesity, even for products with good intentions, can go awry.

10 Ways to Get More Antioxidants into Your Diet

It’s no secret that antioxidants are incredibly beneficial to good health. It’s believed the antioxidants in food can help prevent cancer, reverse or slow aging, enhance your immune system, increase your energy and improve heart and other organ health. Given all we know about antioxidants and their beneficial properties, it’s amazing more people don’t get enough fruits and vegetables, the primary sources of antioxidants. Experts recommend a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, but say getting 7-10 servings is best. There are 10 steps to getting more antioxidants into your diet.

  1. Breakfast Breakfast doesn’t have to be a hurried toaster tart on the way out the door. Throw some strawberries, 100% juice and yogurt into a blender; pour your delicious mixture into a cup and head out the door. You’ve just added one to three servings of fruits to your daily intake. Or throw some berries onto your cold or hot cereal. Say you truly have no time in the morning and usually grab something on the run. Even the Golden Arches can be some help here. Order a fruit and yogurt parfait and some apple slices. For about $2, you have a breakfast providing one to two servings of fruit.
  2. Snacks Here are an easy way to get more antioxidants in your diet. How about a handful of raisins for a snack, or some fresh red grapes? Dip some strawberries in yogurt. You’ll feel decadent, but the berries provide the color you’re looking for. Need crunch? How about some baby carrots dipped in hummus? Consider a handful of pecans for crunch and a nice antioxidant boost.
  3. Lunch and dinner it might sound trite, but adding a salad to each of your main daily meals can add loads to your overall health and well-being. They don’t have to be boring, and they don’t have to be just salad greens. If you’re going classic, add some red pepper slices to your green salad, some tomatoes to the Greek salad, or tart cranberries to your field greens. Whip up a broccoli salad for lunch, or be adventurous and mix up a rice salad with a mélange of fresh vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, peppers and red onions.
  4. Dessert Berries, with or without whipped cream or chocolate are a wonderful way to end your day of healthy, antioxidant-rich eating.
  5. Beverages replace your soda with tea or coffee, both of which boast antioxidant compounds. Have a glass of wine with dinner, or for a real change of pace, pour a glass of chai tea.
  6. Think outside the box we know we can get our antioxidant fix from berries, salads and the like, but researchers say powerful antioxidants can also be found in a variety of unexpected foods, like russet potatoes, artichokes, and small red beans. The beans, in fact, may have more antioxidant power than blueberries, experts say. So to your rice salad full of vegetables, add some beans for even more antioxidants.
  7. Cook lightly you think you’re being good, preparing vegetables each night for your family’s dinner. But if you’re overcooking the vegetables, you’re cooking out a lot of the beneficial properties of the antioxidants. Steam (don’t boil) vegetables, and stop cooking them when they will have all of their bright color and most of their bite.
  8. Plant a garden Experts believe that people who plant and harvest vegetables from their own yards are far more likely to eat more vegetables and fruits than people who buy their produce from the store. So plant a garden, watch it grow and eat the fruits (literally) of your labor.
  9. Take your healthy diet on vacation Too many of us consider going on vacation an opportunity to take a vacation from everything, including healthy eating. Think of vacation as a way to be introduced to new foods. Order an interesting vegetable dish in a restaurant and then pay attention to how the chef prepared the dish.
  10. Learn to cook If you’re cooking, you’re not opening bags and boxes. Cooking involves scrubbing and peeling vegetables, preparing whole foods and paying attention to how things are cooked.

If you’re ordering out every night, you’re far less likely to be eating the whole foods and natural fruits and vegetables that provide the base for our antioxidant intake.

10 Small Steps To Improve Your Health

Many of us make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the neighborhood health club. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health. “Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine,” says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change.” Here are 10 to try:

  1. Stop gaining weight. Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly.
  2. Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days.
  3. Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, top Whole Grain Total® with fresh fruit slices and low-fat or fat-free milk.
  4. Switch three grain servings each day to whole grain. If you’re like the average American, you eat less than one whole grain serving a day.
  5. Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits.
  6. Trim the fat. Fat has a lot of calories, and calories count. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, switch to lower-fat cheeses, use a nonstick pan with only a dab of oil or butter.
  7. Consider calcium by including two or three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt. Dairy calcium is good for bones and may also help you lose weight.
  8. Downsize. The smaller the bag, bottle or bowl, the less you will eat. 9. Lose just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. The health benefits are huge-lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
  9. Keep track of your eating. Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem spots.

Often, just writing things down can help you eat less. Mindy Hermann Note to Editors: This is Series V-16 of 26.

10 Possible Causes Of The Obesity Epidemic

It’s well accepted that reduced physical activity and fast food are linked to obesity. But the evidence that these are the main causes of obesity is largely circumstantial. To stimulate debate, experts suggest 10 other possible causes of obesity, outlined in the International Journal of Obesity.

  1. Sleep debt. Getting too little sleep can increase body weight. Today, many get less shut-eye than ever.
  2. Hormones control body weight. And many of today’s pollutants affect our hormones.
  3. Air conditioning. You have to burn calories if your environment is too hot or too cold for comfort. But more people than ever live and work in temperature-controlled homes and offices.
  4. Decreased smoking. Smoking reduces weight. People smoke much less than they used to.
  5. Many different drugs including contraceptives, steroid hormones, diabetes drugs, some antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs can cause weight gain. Use of these drugs is on the upswing.
  6. Population age, ethnicity. Middle-aged people and Hispanic-Americans tend to be more obese than young European-Americans. Americans are getting older and more Hispanic.
  7. Older moms. There’s some evidence that the older a woman is when she gives birth, the higher her child’s risk of obesity. Women are giving birth at older and older ages.
  8. Ancestors’ environment. Some influences may go back two generations. Environmental changes that made a grandparent obese may ‘through a fetally driven positive feedback loop” visit obesity on the grandchildren.
  9. Obesity linked to fertility. There’s some evidence obese people are more fertile than lean ones. If obesity has a genetic component, the percentage of obese people in the population should increase.
  10. Unions of obese spouses. Obese women tend to marry obese men, and if obesity has a genetic component, there will be still more obese people in the next generation.

These other contributing factors deserve more attention and study. Even more explanations include: a fat-inducing virus; increases in childhood depression; less consumption of dairy products; and hormones used in agriculture. What do you think can be attributed to the epidemic?