Low-carb diet poses no risk to heart health.

Though low-carb, high-fat diets have suffered a bad rap for being a health hazard, a pair of new studies suggests they pose no immediate risk to vascular health in obese people. It’s a finding that’s likely to drum up more debate about the effectiveness of high-protein diets, which yield quick, visible results but are much maligned for being high in fat.

In the first study, presented June 3 at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Denver, researchers from Johns Hopkins University found no harmful vascular changes in a group of 23 overweight participants who followed a low-carb, high-fat diet.During a six-month weight-loss program that involved moderate exercise and a diet made up of 30 percent carbs and 40 percent fats like meat, dairy and nut products, the group — with an average individual weight of 218 pounds (99 kg) — lost an average of 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in 45 days.
Meanwhile, another group assigned to a low-fat diet took on average a month longer to lose the same amount of weight. Participants followed a diet that consisted of 30 percent fat and 55 percent carbs.

The findings prompted researchers to give the low-carb diet a ringing endorsement in a statement that seems to make the high-protein option an unequivocally healthy diet alternative. The report itself was prompted by concerns from people who wanted to follow a low-carb diet like Atkins, South Beach or the Zone but were wary of the diets’ higher fat content.

“Our study should help allay the concerns that many people who need to lose weight have about choosing a low-carb diet instead of a low-fat one, and provide re-assurance that…[a] low-carb approach does not seem to pose any immediate risk to vascular health,” said lead author, Kerry Stewart.”More people should be considering a low-carb diet as a good option.”

A second study that will also be presented separately at the conference found that after feeding participants high-fat breakfast meals from McDonald’s, no immediate or short-term impact on vascular health was detected. In fact, the study found that participants’ blood vessels were less stiff when tested four hours after the meal. Participants ate two muffin sandwiches — one with egg and one with sausage — hash browns and decaf coffee.

Meanwhile, Pierre Dukan, the French equivalent of Robert Atkins for also touting a high-protein diet, has been busy lately putting out fires set by archrivals, doctors and French food authorities who have slammed his low-carb diet as dangerous. Disciples of The Dukan Diet include Carole Middleton, Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bundchen. The book was launched in North America in April.

This week, for example, Dukan took his archrival and another best-selling diet book author Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen to court, suing him for libel. Last year, Cohen, who advocates a 1,600-calorie diet in his book Savoir Maigrir (“Know how to lose weight”), slammed the Dukan diet to a French magazine, saying it can lead to future health problems and heart disease.

An investigation carried out by French women’s magazine Journal des Femmes found that 75 percent of people regained the weight they’d lost within two years. And last year, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety slammed the diet for depriving the body of certain nutrients like magnesium and being overly high in others, like calcium and sodium.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

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Mangoes & Almonds Can Improve Male Infertility

According to the latest research out of the University of Western Australia, men who consume antioxidant-rich foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and mangoes have healthier sperm, which can help their baby-making abilities.

The study, published July 18 in the journal Ecology Letters, found that the best defense against sperm damage was the combination of two powerful antioxidants: vitamin E and beta-carotene. The study, which was performed on crickets, suggests that dietary intake of foods like cantaloupe, carrots, apricots, pumpkin and mangos — orange-colored foods rich in beta-carotene — and almonds, soybean oil, and broccoli, which are rich in vitamin E, could help maintain healthy sperm in men.

To carry out their hypothesis, scientists used crickets to pit the sperm of several different males in direct competition to fertilize the female’s egg — some were put on antioxidant-rich diets, and others went deprived.
In the animal kingdom it’s typical for females to have the sperm of several males inside them at any given time, said researcher Leigh Simmons. In their experiment, the antioxidant-fueled sperm proved to be faster swimmers.

“It is fair to say that the sperm are at war within the female, and we can expect that the most competitive sperm will win the race to the egg,” Simmons said. “Our study showed that the sperm of males who were fed antioxidants were easily able to outclass the sperm of rival males who were deprived of antioxidants.”
The Australian study follows on the heels of another review published in January in The Cochrane Library, which also found that men with low sperm counts or sperm mobility who took oral antioxidants like vitamin E, zinc and magnesium improved their chances of impregnating their partner.

Foods rich in vitamin E: almonds, wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils; mangos, nuts, broccoli
Foods rich in beta-carotene: orange foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, and mangos, as well as leafy green vegetables like collard greens, spinach and kale.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

 

Allow Your Eyes to Rest

1. Stop staring at your computer screen

A healthy tear production is required to keep our eyes moist, said Raymund Song, senior professional service manager of Bausch+Lomb. However, the environment and lifestyle factors, such as those mentioned above, can alter the quality and the quantity of tears.

Among the various factors, the eye experts said that spending long hours doing near work – staring at the computer screens, watching flickering images at close range on a tiny screen, et cetera – is probably the main culprit for dry eyes.

Song explained: “When we’re doing near work, there is a tendency for our eyes to blink less. This results in tears evaporating away, which causes our eyes to feel dry.”

Age is another factor – the older we get, the less tears we produce and drier our eyes become.

2. Lubricate your eyes regularly

Dr Lee advises to “moisture” their eyes whenever they are red or starting to feel tired, scratchy, or itchy.

“Many people feel that using lubricant eye drops is a ‘treatment’. This is a misconception. After all, many people also use moisturiser on their hands and face daily. You should treat your eyes like your skin,” he said.

3. Tips to keep your eyes well-lubricated

According to Raymund Song, the pH of healthy tears lies within the range of 7.3 to 7.7. Pure water has a pH of 7. Maintaining a healthy tear production can help keep dry eyes at bay.

– Have a balance diet and keep yourself well-hydrated.

– Seek medical advice from a doctor to get to the root of your dry eye problem.

– If you wear make-up, avoid having them enter your eyes. Certain oil-based cosmetics can irritate the eye, especially if you are wearing contact lenses.

– Contact lens wearers should clean their lenses properly with an appropriate lens care solution, and follow the recommended wearing hours advised by their optometrist.

– Keep those blasts of air – from the fan, air-conditioning – away from your eyes.

– Don’t forget to blink. Take eye breaks from long periods of reading or working on the computer.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

Tips on Getting Fit Fast

1. Being fit and exercising is part of a healthy lifestyle and overall wellbeing. Getting fit can be a tough and slow route to go down, especially for beginners, however knowing what works and what doesn’t will greatly improve the effectiveness of your workout. Get the most out of your workout and follow these tips to help you to get fit fast.

2. Cardio exercises are the best way to burn calories, which is your main goal. Pick one which you enjoy doing and do it for 30 minutes three to four times per week for maximum results. If you bore easily, pick a couple of cardio exercises and switch each time you workout.

3. Interval training is a great way to burn fat and increase your fitness. Short bursts of cardio, such as sprinting followed by walking and then sprinting again, while help the heart and cardiovascular system to strengthen and improve, allowing you to increase the intensity of your workout over time and increase your fitness levels.

4. Rather than push ups or stomach crunches, try burpees. Get into the push up position, but do a small jump bringing you knees up under you (while keeping your hands on the floor) as though you are in a crouched/squatted position. Its a full body exercise which works all the muscles, increases strength, condition the body and burn fat.

5. One of the best ways to ensure you get fit fast is to make sure that you give your muscles and body enough time to rest, rebuild and recover between bouts of high intensity workouts. Not doing so will cause muscle damage and strain which can make you inactive and set your fitness goals back by limiting your ability to train.

6. Alternating between cardio and strength training, also known as cross training, is a great way to allow your leg muscles and core to recover from cardio, for example, while you arms and upper body focus on conditioning and toning.

7. Many women avoid strength training as they think it will make them bulk up, but actually building muscles helps to burn fat and speed up your metabolism. If you want to burn more calories then you need to build more muscles. Use small dumbbells and leg weights to add muscles. These aren’t heavy enough to make you look like a body builder.

8. Making sure that you are consistent when it comes to your workout will help you to get the results you want. Exercise for the allotted time you set yourself each time and put your full effort into the workout. This will ensure that you achieve the success you set yourself rather than just a gradual change and progress.

9. It may seem that we are pointing out the obvious here, but a healthy diet will also ensure you reach your fitness and weight goals quicker. Foods that are full of vitamins, protein, complex carbohydrates and nutrients are you best option as is avoiding junk foods and those with little nutritional benefits and you’ll only be eating empty calories.

Source: xinmsn/lifestyle

The Health Benefits of Fasting

As Muslims observe the month of fasting, here is a list of the benefits you might find worth reaping.

1. Fasting can help many people with weight loss, as the body dissolves the extra fat it stores for energy. As the stomach starts to shrink, so too does as person’s hunger and the less a person eats, the more the body uses the fat storage. Even if you ate as much as you could after fasting, it won’t add up to the calories that are missed during the day.

2. Many people’s diet improves during fasting month as they are more aware of eating nutritional food that will give them sustained energy and the right amount of vitamins and fuel that the body needs.

3. One of the great advantages of fasting is that the body and organs benefit from the detox, as toxins can be flushed from the liver, skin, kidneys and various glands. The chemical found in stored fat and fatty acids are released during fasting and got rid of by these organs.

4. Fasting can also provide emotional and mental stability. Being reminded to show restraint in all things can have a positive effect on someone’s mental health.

5. The cells in the body also benefit from fasting as they aren’t exposed to as much oxidative stress which damages them. This gives them the chance to repair and also prevents more harm. Damaged DNA in the cells usually develops into cancer.

6. The cells in the body also benefit from fasting as they aren’t exposed to as much oxidative stress which damages them. This gives them the chance to repair and also prevents more harm. Damaged DNA in the cells usually develops into cancer.

7. Fasting has been found to lower bad cholesterol levels. The veins and arteries respond by breaking down the deposits and this is thought to be due to a lower fat intake and increased fibre. Recent research has also found that fasting from water can lower your risk of developing coronary artery disease and diabetes.

8. The digestive system also benefits as fasting can alleviate stomach problems, inflammation and indigestion as the stomach, colon and intestines are given complete rest and can therefore repair.

9. Fasting can also improve the quality of a person’s sleep. The process of repair on the body and brain takes place while we sleep and a couple of hours during fasting can be more satisfying and refreshing than a full night of regular sleep. Fasting helps to reset a person’s sleep cycle

10. The immune system is also strengthened due to the restorative process that the body goes through as energy is focused away from the digestive system and towards the metabolism and immune system. An example of this is when someone is ill they lose their appetite and that’s because all energy is being directed towards the immune system so it’s working at its optimum.

11. There is a lot of evidence that suggests eating less and regulated fasting can contribute to a longer life. This is due to a slower metabolic rate, a stronger immune system, an increased production of hormones and due to an accumulation of the benefits previously mentioned. Increased production of anti-aging hormones are also released during fasting.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

Gain the Advantages from Tea

Have a cup of tea at least twice a day and enjoy its health benefits.The phytochemicals found in them reduce the risks of diseases.

1. Regular tea drinkers have been found to have a higher bones density that those who don’t drink it. Making sure you have strong bones will decrease your risk of osteoporosis, which many women are vulnerable to, especially after menopause.

2. Drinking tea can protect the heart. Researchers have found that drinking tea on a regular basis can help to lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots.. By having low cholesterol, you reduce your risk of high blood pressure and protect the heart from disease.

3. Tea can also help to keep your teeth white and protect against decay as it contains tannins and fluoride which helps to prevent plaque. It’s the sugar that people add to their tea which makes it bad for their teeth.

4. Tea is good for weight loss as it doesn’t have any calories, except when milk or sugar are added. Studies have shown that green tea extract fights obesity and flavonoids, found in green tea can help increase the speed of your metabolism and therefore calorie burning.

5. Drinking black tea has been found to increase and improve a person’s blood circulation therefore, reducing risk of heart disease and ensuring that plenty of blood and oxygen reach all the vitals. Adding milk however, decreases the beneficial effect.

6. Tea, especially green tea, contains plenty of antioxidants which are important for maintaining good health. They fight free radicals which cause damage to the cells and studies found that they have anti-carcinogenic effects by inhibiting the growth of cancer.

7. These antioxidants also help repair and regenerate the cells, including the skin cells which indicates they could have anti-aging benefits. Tea is believed to slow the process of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots, all associated with aging.

8. Many cultures around the world drink tea after a meal. The benefits of this is that the tannins found in tea have been found to help with digestion and improve it.

9. Black tea has been found to be good for the brain as it has calming effects and reduces stress hormones which damage the brain. Studies on green tea in Japan have also found that it can help to reduce the risk cognitive decline.

Make yourself a cup of tea today after your lunch, and try to reduce the sugar or not have them at all.

Until then, stay healthy!

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

Health Article: Mangoes and almons can improve male fertility

Mangoes are rich in both beta-carotene and vitamin E.

1. The study, published July 18 in the journal Ecology Letters, found that the best defense against sperm damage was the combination of two powerful antioxidants: vitamin E and beta-carotene. The study, which was performed on crickets, suggests that dietary intake of foods like cantaloupe, carrots, apricots, pumpkin and mangos — orange-colored foods rich in beta-carotene — and almonds, soybean oil, and broccoli, which are rich in vitamin E, could help maintain healthy sperm in men.

2. To carry out their hypothesis, scientists used crickets to pit the sperm of several different males in direct competition to fertilize the female’s egg — some were put on antioxidant-rich diets, and others went deprived.
In the animal kingdom it’s typical for females to have the sperm of several males inside them at any given time, said researcher Leigh Simmons. In their experiment, the antioxidant-fueled sperm proved to be faster swimmers.

3. “It is fair to say that the sperm are at war within the female, and we can expect that the most competitive sperm will win the race to the egg,” Simmons said. “Our study showed that the sperm of males who were fed antioxidants were easily able to outclass the sperm of rival males who were deprived of antioxidants.”

4. The Australian study follows on the heels of another review published in January in The Cochrane Library, which also found that men with low sperm counts or sperm mobility who took oral antioxidants like vitamin E, zinc and magnesium improved their chances of impregnating their partner.

5. Foods rich in vitamin E: almonds, wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils; mangos, nuts, broccoli
Foods rich in beta-carotene: orange foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, and mangos, as well as leafy green vegetables like collard greens, spinach and kale.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle