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Eating Well September 28, 2011

Filed under: Advice — Fall into My Eyes @ 1:52 am

Overview – Eating Well

The food you eat is the source of energy and nutrition for your body. Eating should be a pleasurable experience, not one that causes guilt or remorse. Getting enough food is rarely a problem, but getting enough good nutrition can be a challenge. What should you eat to stay healthy? Nearly everyone has an opinion, from your best friend to the daily newscaster. There is a lot of advice available, but the basics for good health have not changed since the first fad diets were introduced centuries ago.

 

Nutrients

Your body needs over 45 different nutrients every day. These nutrients are essential for health and must be provided in the foods eaten. These nutrients can be divided into five classes:

These nutrients work together and interact with body chemicals to perform several functions.

  • Provide materials to build, repair and maintain body tissues
  • Supply substances that function in the regulation of body processes
  • Furnish fuel for energy needed by the body

Each nutrient has a certain special job to do in the building, maintenance, and operation of your body. Some jobs require that nutrients work together as a team. These jobs are nutrient-specific. They cannot be done by other nutrients—an extra supply of one nutrient cannot make up for a shortage of another. That’s why a balanced diet including all food groups is so necessary. Your body needs all of these nutrients, not just a few. Some nutrients need to be replenished every day from food, while others can be stored in the body for future use.

The Energy Providing Nutrients

Of the six classes of nutrients, only 3 provide energy: Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins. Energy is the body’s most basic need. Energy is used when you breathe, when the heart pumps blood, and when you sit, stand and walk. The more vigorous the activity, the more energy is required.

The energy contained in a carbohydrate, fat or protein is measured in kilocalories, commonly shortened to “calories” in the United States. The calorie is a measure of energy available to the body. When you eat something, the number of calories it contains is the number of energy units it provides to the body for its needs. The calorie is also a measure of energy your body uses in everyday life or exercise.

Where the Numbers Come From

A bomb calorimeter is a special instrument used to measure calories in food. The food is first dried to remove water and then placed in a special container that rests in water. When the food is burned, heat is transferred to the water. The amount the burning food heats the water is the measure of calories. One calorie is the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree centigrade.

The energy values of the 3 calorie-providing nutrients are as follows:

  • 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
  • 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fat = 9 calories

Calories may also be added to food intake by consuming alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is not a nutrient because it cannot be used in the body to promote growth, maintenance, or repair. It is a toxin that is broken down as an energy (calorie) source and can be converted to fat.

  • 1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories

Nearly all foods supply energy or calories. However, some provide more calories than others. No single food or kind of food is “fattening” by itself. When the energy provided in food is not used – whatever food it is – the excess is stored in the body in the form of fat. Storage of too many excess calories results in being overweight.

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Understanding Hypoglycemia

Filed under: Advice — Fall into My Eyes @ 1:50 am

Understanding Hypoglycemia

Eating to Prevent Low Blood Sugar

— By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian

Your body breaks down the food you eat into a type of sugar called glucose. After you eat a meal or snack, that glucose makes its way into the bloodstream, causing the level of sugar in your blood to increase. Your pancreas responds by releasing the hormone insulin, which allows glucose to leave the bloodstream and enter into body tissues (including the liver, for later use). When the sugar supplied by your last meal is more or less used up, insulin levels go back down to keep your blood sugar from falling further. In addition, stored sugar is released back into the bloodstream from the liver with the help of another hormone called glucogon. Normal levels of blood glucose levels vary depending on when levels are measured and can range from 70- 145 milligrams per deciliter. Most people’s systems are remarkably adept at maintaining a fairly steady blood sugar level.

However, for people with hypoglycemia, which technically means “low blood sugar,” this process doesn’t come as easily. While it is not considered a disease itself, hypoglycemia is a medical condition that has many uncomfortable symptoms. Frequent episodes of hypoglycemia can also be related to other medical diagnoses, most commonly diabetes. There are two types of hypoglycemia.

Fasting hypoglycemia occurs when you have not eaten for eight or more hours. It can be caused by certain conditions that disrupt your body’s ability to balance the levels of glucose in the blood: eating disorders, and diseases of the kidney, liver, pancreas, and pituitary or adrenal glands. Taking a high dose of aspirin may also lead to fasting hypoglycemia.

Non-fasting (reactive) hypoglycemia occurs after eating a high-carbohydrate meal or snack. If your body is unable to respond appropriately, it releases insulin too late and in excessive amounts. This causes your blood glucose levels to drop too low.

Hypoglycemia can also be caused by:

  • Diabetes. Taking too much medication, eating inappropriately, changing your exercise routine, or illness can cause low blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Prolonged exercise
  • Waiting too long between meals and snacks, especially during pregnancy.
  • Prolonged fasting
  • Eating large amounts or the wrong types of food after certain stomach surgeries, such as gastric bypass surgery
  • Diseases of the glands that produce hormones important in blood glucose control, such as the pancreas, pituitary gland, or adrenal glands. (These are rare and generally require the care of an endocrinologist.)
  • Kidney failure, severe liver disease, severe congestive heart failure or severe widespread infection
  • Medication interactions

Signs of hypoglycemia include weakness, nausea, hunger, headache, sweating, nervousness, mental confusion, anxiety, shakiness, drowsiness, dizziness, and trembling.

Because these symptoms are similar to many other problems, including panic attacks and stress, it’s important to get appropriate testing and an accurate diagnosis from you physician.

Eating with Hypoglycemia
The food you eat can play an important role in preventing the symptoms you experience when your blood sugars drop too low. While there are many causes of low blood sugar, the dietary recommendations are similar for all types of hypoglycemia. These general guidelines include:

  • Eating three balanced meals a day with two or three planned snacks. It is important that you don’t skip meals and snacks. Try not to go any longer than 3-4 hours between eating.
  • Eating the right amount of carbohydrates during each meal and snack. This helps to keep your blood glucose and insulin levels in balance. Ask your doctor for a referral to meet with a registered dietitian in your area. She can determine the correct amount of carbohydrates for you based on your health status, body size, lifestyle activities, work routine, and fitness program.
  • Avoiding concentrated sugars such as white sugar, brown sugar, honey, corn syrup, and molasses. These are found in cookies, candy, cakes, pies, soft drinks, jams, jellies, ice cream and other sweets. Click here to learn more about hidden sugars.
  • Eating foods high in complex carbohydrates and fiber such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. High-fiber foods digest more slowly and help keep glucose from “dumping” into your blood stream too quickly.
  • Eating a high protein food at each meal and snack. Protein-rich foods include fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef and pork, tofu, cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt, milk, eggs, peanut butter, nuts and seeds. Protein can help to maintain your blood sugar levels between meals by delaying how quickly the carbohydrate is digested.
  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption. Always include a snack when drinking an alcoholic beverage. If you drink alcohol, limit your daily intake—no more than two drinks for men and one drink for women.
  • Avoiding caffeine, found in regular coffee and soda.
  • Avoiding large meals.

Sample Meal Plan for Hypoglycemia
Not sure how to get started? While SparkPeople strongly encourages you to follow the advice of both your doctor and your dietitian, the following meal plan incorporates the general principles of eating with hypoglycemia. (Please note that the meal times given are merely examples to illustrate eating every 3 to 4 hours.)

Breakfast (7 a.m.)
1 medium banana
1 cup bran flakes with 1 cup skim milk
1 cup decaffeinated coffee

Snack (10 a.m.)
1 slice whole wheat toast with 1 slice low-fat cheese

Lunch (1 p.m.)
1 whole wheat bagel with 2 oz. turkey breast, 1 lettuce leaf, and 2 tomato slices
1 medium orange
1 cup skim milk

Snack (3 p.m.)
1 whole grain muffin
1/2 cup sugar-free, fruit-flavored yogurt

Dinner (6 p.m.)
2 oz. lean roast beef
1 medium baked potato
½ cup steamed broccoli
1 slice whole wheat bread with 1 tsp. margarine
1 cup decaffeinated tea

Snack (9 p.m.)
3 graham cracker squares
4 apple slices with 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

If you suspect that you are experiencing hypoglycemia, visit your physician for medical testing and diagnosis and see a registered dietitian in your area for individualized dietary recommendations.

For more specific information or help, talk to your health care provider.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Amy Poetker, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.

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Obese Now Outnumber Hungry Worldwide: Report

Filed under: Advice — Fall into My Eyes @ 1:44 am

Obese Now Outnumber Hungry Worldwide: Report

There are now more obese people than hungry people in the world, but a growing food crisis is increasing the hardship for those who don’t have enough to eat, the International Federation of the Red Cross says.

In 2010, there were 1.5 billion obese people and 925 million undernourished people worldwide, the humanitarian group noted in its annual World Disasters Report released Thursday, Agence France-Presse reported.

The figures highlight the disparity between rich and poor, as well as problems caused by recent increases in food prices, according to the Geneva-based organization.

“If the free interplay of market forces has produced an outcome where 15 percent of humanity are hungry while 20 percent are overweight, something has gone wrong somewhere,” IFRC secretary general Bekele Geleta said in a news release, AFP reported.

 

Childless Men May Face Higher Heart Disease Risk

Filed under: Advice — Fall into My Eyes @ 1:42 am

Childless Men May Face Higher Heart Disease Risk

Study suggests infertility may explain the link

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) — Men who do not have children appear to face a higher risk of dying from heart disease than those who become fathers, a new study suggests.

The findings also showed a slightly increased risk of cardiovascular trouble among men who had only one child. The researchers noted that the results may indicate a link between infertility and heart disease risk rather than a link between choosing not to have children and heart disease.

In the study, researchers analyzed more than a decade’s worth of survey responses completed by roughly 135,000 male AARP members. The men were either married or had been married, and none had a prior history of heart disease or stroke.

Researchers tracked deaths and cause of deaths, and correlated that to the number of children the men had.

About 10 percent of the men died during the study period, including about 20 percent from heart disease.

After accounting for a wide range of factors such as race, cigarette and alcohol use, education and income status, age, exercise habits and body-mass index, researchers found that men who had no children had a 17 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease.

While the study found an association between childlessness and heart disease, it did not prove a cause and effect.

Researchers used married men as a “rough proxy” for men who had the opportunity to have children and wanted to have children, while the number of children men had was an indicator, albeit not a perfect one, for a man’s fertility.

“This opens up a window into men’s health,” suggested study author Dr. Michael L. Eisenberg, an assistant professor in the department of urology at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. “It shows that fertility may protect against later health problems. And if so it could mean that when men seek medical attention for infertility, which is often the first time they seek medical attention for anything, we could have a unique opportunity to intervene and help with their overall health.”

And yet, researchers acknowledged neither marital status nor number of children was a precise measure of infertility. None of the men were actually screened for infertility status or other physiological markers for infertility, such as fluctuating testosterone levels.

So, while shared biological factors such as hormone deficiencies could be driving both childlessness and heart disease death risk, it’s also possible that other environmental/behavioral issues might also contribute, researchers said.

For example, the authors noted that men who have children may end up embracing healthier lifestyles, thereby lowering their risk for heart disease.

“And it is certainly the case that things that are good for fertility are also going to be good for your heart,” said Eisenberg, a urology resident at the University of California, San Francisco, when he did the study. “Good exercise habits, a good diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking. All these things can impact both.”

Researchers also stressed that their findings show an “association” between being childless and having heart disease, rather than cause-and-effect.

The study is published in the Sept. 26 online edition of Human Reproduction.

The authors pointed out that more than one-third of the human genome is involved in the process of reproduction. That fact led the team to theorize that fertility status might be significantly correlated with a man’s long-term health and disease status.

Dr. Robert Myerburg, a cardiology professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, called the findings “compelling,” but said childless men shouldn’t worry.

“Given the large population they looked at, I think they have identified an association that is worth exploring,” he noted. “And there may certainly be clues about what’s going on here that are interesting and should be examined. But this is going to take a lot of studying for a very long time.”

And, he noted, “population risk is not always the same as individual risk — an 18 percent higher mortality risk among a group of childless men does not actually mean that any one childless man will face a noticeably higher risk. There might, in fact, be no consequences, especially if an individual’s risk is very low to begin with. So while this research continues, childless men should not view these findings with alarm.”

 

Extra Pounds Linked to Weaker Legs in Older Women

Filed under: Advice — Fall into My Eyes @ 1:40 am

Extra Pounds Linked to Weaker Legs in Older Women

Heavier seniors had less power in their legs relative to their weight than slimmer peers: study

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) — Older, overweight women have about the same power and strength in their legs as normal-weight women. But when their leg strength and power was assessed relative to their weight, older overweight women performed much worse than those of normal weight, a new study has found.

The finding challenges the belief that thin elderly people are most likely to become disabled due to the loss of muscle mass, according to University of New Hampshire researchers.

Instead, the study authors suggest, carrying all that extra weight over time makes it more difficult to walk and to perform activities of daily living that ward off disability.

Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese and the number of elderly people is expected to double by 2030, which means a large part of the population could be at risk for disability due to loss of muscle mass, lead author Dain LaRoche, an assistant professor of kinesiology, explained in a university news release.

Compared to normal-weight older women, those who were overweight had an average of 24 percent less leg strength-to-weight ratio, 38 percent less leg power-to-weight ratio, and they walked 20 percent slower, the investigators found.

“Everything pointed to the fact that it was the extra fat that these people were carrying that was really limiting their mobility,” LaRoche said in the news release. “Being of a normal body weight lets you perform activities of daily living and live on your own longer.”

He said the findings, published in the October issue of the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, suggest that normal-weight adults should try to maintain their weight and strength as they age.

Overweight older adults can improve their strength-to-weight ratio by either boosting strength or losing weight, LaRoche added.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about strength training for older adults.

 

Playing catch up

Filed under: Blogs — Fall into My Eyes @ 1:35 am

Okay…wow. It has been a while since my last post- I am SO sorry everyone! You know how things get, priorities take over and it gets hard to take a break and catch readers up. So, let me know how you are and what you have been up to as well…:) let’s stay connected as much as we can 😀 Hehehe.

What have I been up to? Well, I really am unsure what my last post told everyone and I do not want to click out of this post to see it…So I am going to start where I think I left off…

I have done a lot lately… been looking for a job non-stop. That itself is pretty dern exhausting! Have you checked out the current job market??? It’s crazy out there! The messed up thin is that most companies that do happen to be hiring want people with degrees and experience in the field in which they are seeking a candidate. I mean, the wants of the companies are not messed up, it’s the idea behind the wants. I have an Associate degree in Business Management and I am halfway through with obtaining my Bachelors degree in Business Administration. I have a ton of skills involving customer service and computer software, I am a dedicated person and would be a dedicated employee. I have great personable skills, and I committed work ethic. Do I have a job yet? No. It’s crazy. I would be an excellent employee and really give my all to a company…but…I do not have experience in the fields required. Eh. how am I suppose to get experience if no one will hire me b/c I lack the experience? These companies have no clue what type of employee they are missing out on. Anyhow…I know I am venting…lol…buy hey, that’s what blogs are for, right? I actually have done three interviews with one particular company…and they are supposed to make hiring decisions this week. I hope I can get on with them…they have a great rapport with the community. I could see myself being happy there, as long as I have room for advancement. I want a job that will be a career for me…not a “just get me through a few months or years” job. I want to grow with a company and be a large part of the company in the end. I know I have the dedication and commitment it takes…now if only a great company would see that. I am tired of filling out applications and imputing my resume info into boxes online and on hiring systems…but I know that is what it takes, so until I can find a company worth going all they way for, that is what I will continue to do.

Okay, enough ranting on that topic! LOL!

I am currently in finals week for one of my marketing courses 🙂 YAY! Next up- another Business course :). The marketing course has not been to bad so far. Of course this week consist of a 6000 word team paper, a 20 slide team power point presentation, two discussion questions, eight responses, a 1700 word individual paper, and a three-hour final exam. Yeah…it reall is as much as it sounds…lol. So, I have been hitting the MS word program hard over the last few days so that I can savor at least one day of my weekend for myself…lol.

The last hurricane knocked a HUGE tree down on my father-in-law’s sheds, so everyday the hubby has come in from work he has been going to help rebuild them. I myself find a man sweating while doing construction work kind of hot…never knew I thought that until the other day! LOL! But seriously, he has been working his butt of. He is such a wonderful man…I am very lucky to have such a great, family oriented husband.

My step-son was bitten by a baby rattlesnake the other day too. SOmeone told me that baby snakes always use their venom..and I thought it was true…but our son was lucky and it was only a dry bite! Thank goodness! However, his dad and grandpa spent the night between two hospitals while they confirmed he would be okay. Needless to say, everyone slept in the next day…lol.

Hmmm, other than that, not much has happened… The hubby and I made a few new friends a few weeks back..and have enjoyed the friendship and conversations very much. I also got to see my BF Susan not too long ago..which was awesome! I miss her so much…:) She is actually having a wrap party this Saturday. From what I gather..it is some kind of wrap that helps you lose weight…not really sure yet… But I am hoping I can break away from all my homework to attend her party.

This past weekend was also my hubby’s best friend’s birthday, along with his wife’s birthday- happy birthday Larry and MJ :). And Monday was officially the my 2 year anniversary of being married to my wonderful husband, YAY! Thanks to those of you who messaged me congratulating us…it means a lot! The hubby actually bought me a “name a star” package…so I got to go and register a name for a star. It’s pretty cool 🙂 Somewhere our there..there is a star named 4ourlove092609 LOL. 😀

I am hoping I covered everything..if not, maybe it will come to mind soon…

Oh wait! I joined the Cooking Club of America. Which has been awesome so far…:) I get to test and keep products for free…plus I have access to a ton of recipes and information. It’s pretty cool so far :).

Until next time…

 

stay open 🙂

 

Long week…..LOL September 8, 2011

Filed under: Blogs — Fall into My Eyes @ 10:15 pm

Whew! What a week! I have been job hunting, doing schooling, and helping the little guys with their schooling…it doesn’t seem like much, but it takes a toll on me…LOL. I actually had a job interview yesterday and I think it went awesome. I will know by the end of the week if I got the job or not 🙂 Wish me luck!!! The job it only a part-time job (2 days a week), but it pays well I think… So, now, I need to find another part-time job to fill the gap…LOL. Is it normal to work two-part time jobs instead of one full-time job? There are really no places around here hiring full-time employees, so this has become my best option I think. Either way, I hope I get this part-time job…it will definite;y help out! 😀

On another note, I still have not caught up on my sleep. The hubby gave me ambien a few nights in a row, and it helped knock me out on those nights…but I do not want to be dependent on a pill to get a good night’s sleep. I know part of the reason I cannot sleep is this tension pain I have had know for weeks. My shoulders and neck are killing me…they just will not loosen up already! Eh. But, I am gonna be positive.

I got the entire house scrubbed the other day! YAY! And today, after I get my son from VPK (which I am about to leave and do), I am going to chop down some small trees and cut down tall weeds by the fence. My yard needs some cleaning..and what better thing to do with some of my time then get what needs to be completed finished up? 🙂

So, I bid you adue. I will BB soon I hope and I will write again soon too!

Stay open minded and strong!

Brandy

 

 
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