A Study on Fats That Doesn’t Fit the Story Line

A Decades-Old Study, Rediscovered, Challenges Advice on Saturated Fat

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There was a lot of news this week about a study, published in the medical journal BMJ, that looked at how diet affects heart health. The results were unexpected because they challenged the conventional thinking on saturated fats.
See more on the NYTimes blog page

 

 


Restoration & Prevention Diets

March 21, 2016


Restoration & Prevention Diets are dietary regimes meant to impact specific health issues rather than weight loss in particular.  These diets contain elements of popular dietary programs, particularly the Mediterranean Diet.

Restoration & Prevention Diets are intended to reduce symptoms that are only sometimes associated with being overweight. While they could be helpful for many people who struggle with weight, their primary goal is to alleviate or even avoid a specific health problem. People for whom extra weight is not a challenge might need to make changes in order just to maintain weight, control high blood pressure or chronic pain, or avoid difficulties with food digestion.

Given the prevalence of neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in our aging population, a proactive approach could involve adopting the MIND diet.

As with any diet, if you have any health issues and would like to see if one of these restoration and prevention diets can help you, please consult a healthcare professional before starting.

We summarize and provide references and links to the following restoration & prevention diets:

  • MIND Diet – this diet is intended to reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. MIND diet is a combination of parts of the DASH and Mediterranean diets. It is promoted broadly by researchers (mostly epidemiologists), physicians, gerontologists & naturopaths.

 

  • DASH Diet is a group of food restrictions recommended to avoid high blood pressure (hypertension). It was designed by scientists working for the US government.

 

  • FODMAP Diet is designed and promoted by some specialist physicians (Gastroenterologists) and alternative practitioners (especially Naturopaths) to assist people with digestive issues that cluster around Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

 

  • ANTI-INFLAMMATORY Diets are designed to avoid a wide array of symptoms associated with the inflammation process, and are especially helpful for people with autoimmune problems. Anti-inflammatory diets are promoted by a wide array of health care specialists. They may also have a beneficial impact on other symptoms and illnesses and weight.

 


Fitness

           

Physical fitness means different things to different people, but most of us would agree that being fit allows us to pursue our daily tasks and leisure activities with plenty of energy and alertness.

Fitness encompasses several elements:  aerobic, strength, balance and flexibility.                                                

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FITNESS PRIMER

 

Aerobic fitness or cardiovascular endurance is the most basic element of physical fitness. The heart, lungs and circulatory system must be able to carry oxygen to every cell in the body. When you exert yourself for more than a minute or two, your heart must pump more blood to deliver the increased supply of oxygen that your muscles require.  

With regular aerobic exercise your heart becomes stronger and more efficient at pumping more blood and delivering more oxygen. Your muscles also become better at using this oxygen.

swimmer     The most effective way to achieve aerobic fitness is to engage in high-intensity exercise HIIT.  Nearly everyone can benefit from it, and there are many ways to do it.  You can use a variety of fitness equipment, such as a stationary bike or an elliptical machine.  You can walk quickly uphill, sprint on a track or work out in a pool.

 

Strength training is another important component of fitness. Strengthening exercises can help prevent injuries and chronic lower back pain.  The simplest and safest way to improve your strength is with body weight exercises.  These include pushups, pullups, burpees and squats.  All of these exercises can be performed without the need of any equipment.  It is important to have good form to prevent injury, and ideally you will have access to a fitness trainer, particularly if you choose weight lifting.  If you don’t have access to a trainer there are numerous excellent videos on YouTube to give you an idea of the proper form. Before beginning any strength training, especially weight lifting, consult your physician if you have any cardiovascular conditions.

 

Balance is very important and often overlooked.  There are many ways to maintain and improve your balance.  If you engage in activities such as yoga and tai chi, you will be focusing on your balance.  Another simple way to improve your balanceyoga is to stand on one foot while you brush your teeth and on the other foot while you floss.

 

Flexibility training is another important component. To be fit your joints need to be able to move freely in all directions without any limitations to their range of motion. Good flexibility protects your muscles from pulls and tears. If you do not yet have a stretching routine, you can look on YouTube and find many good examples. Tai Chi and yoga also improve flexibility.

 

In our Fitness pages we describe various approaches to exercise and note the time and equipment commitments involved for each of them.

We examine HIIT (High–Intensity Interval training a technique that can be effective not just for athletes, but also for beginners, cardiac patients, and men & women with obesity, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

Tai Chi can improve balance

Yoga