Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Make Yourself Heart Attack Proof

With heart disease the number one killer of both men and women in this country, you would think a cure that could dramatically reduce these deaths would be big news. And yet the most effective remedy is so simple that most people can't seem to believe it works. "In traditional societies, where people don't eat processed foods, heart disease is rare. If you start with a healthy diet in childhood, heart attacks are almost completely preventable.

Studies have shown that up to 70% of heart disease can be averted with the right regimen, according to Walter Willett, MD, chair of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. But is diet alone as powerful as drugs? "Oh, no, it's much more powerful," says Dr. Willett. "Statins, the most effective single medications for reducing heart disease, only cut risk by 25 to 30%."

Research now shows that the sugar and refined flour in our bagels, pizzas, cookies, and sodas are even more problematic. Stripped of fiber (and other nutrients), these unhealthy carbs zip-line through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream, where they deliver a triple dose of heart damage--raising harmful triglycerides, lowering protective HDL, and raising blood pressure.

A truly healthy diet features a broad range of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes--not a select few. Hippocrates understood the concept more than 2,000 years ago: "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.



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Monday, April 9, 2012

Need Water



Did you know 60 to 70 percent of your body is water? You need water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to your organs and tissues. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs.

How Much Do You Need to Drink?
Some experts believe you can estimate the amount of water you need by taking your weight in pounds and dividing that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces you may want to drink each day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you might want to drink at least 80 ounces of water or other fluids per day. Other factors include amount of physical activity and the climate where you are located.

Signs of Dehydration
You lose water through urination, respiration, and by sweating, and you lose more water when you're active than when you're sedentary. Diuretics, such as caffeine pills, certain medications and alcohol may increase the amount of water your body loses. Energy drinks with large amounts of caffeine may also have a diuretic effect. Most caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea don't appear to have much of a diuretic effect. Lost fluids must be replaced by the fluids in the foods you eat and the beverages you drink.
If you don't get enough water, you may suffer from hydration. Symptoms of mild dehydration include chronic pains in joints and muscles, lower back pain, headaches and constipation. Thirst is an obvious sign of dehydration, and in fact, you need water before you feel thirsty.

At least twenty percent of the water you need comes from the foods you eat. The rest comes from the beverages you drink. Water is probably the best choice because it's cheap and has no calories or added ingredients. Sports drinks contain minerals that may help keep your electrolytes in balance, which is good for recovering after a hard work out, but look out for added sugar and calories that you may not want. Fruit and vegetable juices can be a good choice because they have vitamins and minerals your body needs (read labels, however -- vegetable juices may be high in sodium and sugar). Caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee count too, but too much caffeine can make you feel jittery.

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