Can A Plant-based Diet ‘Reverse’ Heart Disease?

Could eating a strict low-fat vegetarian or vegan diet really ‘reverse’ coronary heart disease, and if so should everyone be eating this way?

BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor says:

The idea that a low-fat vegetarian or vegan diet could ‘reverse’ heart disease has been circulating for more than 20 years. This way of eating has become more popular in the last couple of years. It has lots of benefits, but the truth is more complex than headlines suggest.

A study published in 2014 looked at 198 patients to further investigate whether eating a strict plant-based diet could stop or reverse heart disease. It found of the 177 patients who stuck to the diet, the majority reported a reduction in symptoms and 22 percent had disease reversal confirmed by test results. But that study didn’t just rule out animal products – it also cut out added oils, processed foods, sugar, refined carbohydrates, excess salt, fruit juice, avocado, and nuts. Physical activity was also encouraged and prescribed medication continued.

Should I switch to a plant-based diet?

We do know that a Mediterranean-style diet, which includes plenty of fruit, veg, pulses and fish, and only small amounts of meat, may be easier to follow than a strictly plant-based diet. It’s also linked to lower rates of heart disease than a conventional Western diet.

Remember, a plant-based diet isn’t automatically healthy. Too much-saturated fat, sugar, and salt from any source can harm your health. There is an increasing number of manufactured plant-based snack foods available, from cupcakes and coconut yogurts to vegan burgers, pizzas, and nuggets. It’s still important to read food labels and understand what you are eating.

British Heart Foundation

Are GMOs bad? Science Says They’re Safe

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are hotly debated all around the world. Many people are very concerned about engineering crops and animals because of the long-term effect this might have on our planet and our bodies. It’s no wonder then that the opinions people have about GMOs are so polarizing.

According to a 2016 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, “about half of Americans (48%) say the health effects of GM foods are no different than other foods, 39% say GM foods are worse for one’s health and one-in-ten (10%) say such foods are better for one’s health.” About one in six Americans are deeply concerned with GMOs and predominantly believe GM foods pose health risks.

Are GMOs safe?

Despite the public having polarized opinions on the safety of GMOs, scientists overwhelmingly agree that GMOs pose no hazard to consumers. In sharp contrast to public views about GMOs, 89% of scientists from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) believe genetically modified foods are safe, the Pew Research Center study found.

“There are several current efforts to require labeling of foods containing products derived from genetically modified crop plants, commonly known as GM crops or GMOs. These efforts are not driven by evidence that GM foods are actually dangerous. Indeed, the science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe. Rather, these initiatives are driven by a variety of factors, ranging from the persistent perception that such foods are somehow “unnatural” and potentially dangerous to the desire to gain a competitive advantage by legislating attachment of a label meant to alarm. Another misconception used as a rationale for labeling is that GM crops are untested,” reads an AAAS statement.

Read more at ZME Science

The Keto Meal Plan for Beginners

So you’ve decided you want to try out the high-fat, low-carb diet, better-known as the fat-burning ketogenic diet. Whether it’s to lose weight, have more energy, or fuel workouts differently, going keto is a popular choice right now. But figuring out a keto meal plan on your own is no easy feat, especially since eating a diet super high in fats doesn’t come naturally to many people who are accustomed to the traditionally carb-heavy American diet.

What’s more, it’s especially important to make sure your diet is well-planned when you’re eating keto-style, because the foods you can choose from are limited. In addition to checking in with a dietitian if you’re able, Stefanski recommends that you “talk to your doctor and make sure she or he is aware that you’ll be starting a diet that completely changes how your body metabolizes energy.”

One area where food tracking can be especially helpful, though, is ensuring that you’re hitting the right ratios of macronutrients—protein, carbs, and fat. “The most researched version of the ketogenic diet derives 70 percent of calories from healthy fats, 20 percent from protein, and only 10 percent from carbs,” explains Charles Passler, D.C., nutritionist, and founder of Pure Change.

Lastly, if you’re active, you might need to make some adjustments to take that into account. “For the first one to two weeks, temporarily reducing your exercise load can be helpful as your body adjusts to being in ketosis,” he says. “Additionally, for those who have an intense workout schedule, carb cycling may be a good option.” Carb cycling essentially means you’ll increase your carb intake on the days you’re doing exercise, ideally just two to three days per week.

Full article in Shape

Herbal Remedies With Prescription Drugs ‘Harmful’

London [UK], Feb 5 (ANI): Mixing herbal remedies with conventional drugs can result in a wide range of dangers, according to a study.

The researchers uncovered dozens of cases in which alternative treatments appeared to have altered the effects of prescription medication, either diluting it, making it more potent or causing potentially dangerous side effects.

The paper turned up examples of patients who had suffered serious problems after taking herbal medicines alongside drugs including antidepressants and medication for HIV, epilepsy, heart disease.

Recent studies have shown it is possible for some active ingredients in herbal medicines to affect drug metabolism, speeding up the rate at which other medicines are broken down in the liver and reducing their effectiveness.

Previous research has suggested that St John’s wort, an over-the-counter herbal remedy for depression, could interact with a large number of medicines. It is thought to increase side effects of antidepressants and there is evidence it could reduce the effectiveness of drugs including warfarin, statins, antihistamines, birth control and HIV medication.

“If you are taking herbal remedies you should disclose it to your clinician,” said Awortwe. “A potential interaction and its consequences can be very detrimental to the health of the patient.”

ANI

7 Women Share What “Wellness” Means to Them

2017 was a hard year for women’s health. From the roller coaster of legislation threatening to repeal the ACA to the federal de-funding of Planned Parenthood — not to mention the general stress and anxiety of living in our socio-political climate — this past year made very clear how important it is for us as women to protect our own health.

1. Emily, St. Louis, MO: “Wellness means a lot of things for me in this season — primarily taking care of my body and mind. I try to remember to wear supportive shoes so my body doesn’t get achy and I will want to exercise. Also, I monitor my social media intake.

2. Rachel, Europe via Kansas: “For me, wellness meant leaving the country — my husband and I are currently traveling Europe with our dog. American politics were giving me literal anxiety attacks, probably because I let myself get way too involved without putting proper boundaries in place. Still, it felt like the ‘noise’ of it all was around me nonstop.

3. Lily, Berkeley, CA: “Wellness for me, especially given the current sociopolitical climate, is all about radical self-care. As a mother, I want to model to my kids that a strong body leads to a strong mind. It’s difficult to help the world if you barely have the stamina to get through the day, riddled with anxiety and panic over the latest news headline.

Continue Reading at Brit+Co

Health and Wellness: Understanding And Treating Hearing Loss

One of the most common health conditions facing older Americans is also one of the least treated. More than 36 million Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss, including 17 percent of all adults and more than a third of adults over the age of 65.

Unfortunately, treatment is frequently delayed for years, with only about 20 percent of people seeking necessary treatment. Here are five things to know about hearing loss, including who it affects and how treatment can improve quality of life.

• It is common
• Hearing loss has several causes
• It affects more than your ears
• Untreated, it can lead to depression
• It can be treated

There are a variety of treatments that can help a person with hearing loss improve their hearing and quality of life. A visit to a health professional is crucial to determine the cause and extent of hearing loss and to find the best solution.

Hearing loss is common, but it does not have to diminish a person’s quality of life. With the help of health professionals, family and friends, a person who is losing their hearing can get appropriate treatment and continue to live a full life.

Read the full article at Utah Mom Click

NO YOLK! Boiled Egg Diet: Does it Work?

Entering a new year is a good time to correct some dietary deficiencies. So this article revisits a topic I covered eight years ago. When it comes to injuries such as muscle strains, ligament tears, nerve irritation, tendon tears, tendonitis, etc., most people would think about taking Advil, getting a cortisone shot, receiving physical therapy, chiropractic treatment or even surgery.

In particular, there are three main dietary components that can have a positive influence on the recovery and prevention of injury. These three components are simple yet elusive: calcium/magnesium and zinc; hydration; and an anti-inflammatory diet.

Calcium and magnesium are essential minerals for all of our bodily systems. Calcium is required for all muscle contractions and nerve functions. Without calcium, it is difficult for our systems to function at their best, whether you are competing in a marathon or healing from an injury or surgery.

9 to 18 years: 1,300 mg

19 to 50 years: 1,000 mg

50-plus years: 1,200 mg

Remember that these doses are for the general public. Athletes in training or a patient recovering from an injury who gets the “minimal” dose through their diet will still need to take a calcium supplement to make up for the calcium that is used for aggressive exercise, rehabilitation and/or recovery.

More of this news at Auburnpub.com

Do You Happily Eat Genetically Modified Foods?

Talk about genetically modified (GM) foods causes angst for some people who’re concerned about eating healthily because they worry that too little is known about the long-term effects of modified foods to label them safe.

But others say that controlling our food’s characteristics is nothing new, having been practiced in agriculture for hundreds of years. For example, being selective about the fruit and vegetables we propagate means that we now have products that are larger, are more resistant to natural elements and taste better.

The Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Website explains that “today’s techniques use new ways of identifying particular characteristics and transferring them between living organisms”. For example, the site explains that it’s now possible to make a copy of a particular gene from the cells of a plant, animal or microbe, and insert the copy into the cells of another organism to give it the same characteristic.

What are the health concerns?

Some of the health concerns that have been brought up since the inception of GM foods range from the possibility of new diseases being spread among crops or transmitted to humans, to an increase in allergic reactions.

In 1996, a study found when desired genes from a brazil nut were transferred to a soybean, the allergenic properties were too. While this prompted a ban on using gene modification on allergenic there have been cases of genetically modified foods escaping into the wild.

Continue Reading at 60 Starts at 60

Popularity of Botanical in the U.S. Market

Botanical dietary supplements continue to be popular in the United States. The American Botanical Council (ABC) recently published the Herb Market Report 2016, which listed a number of reasons behind the current interest by consumers.

Botanicals that are believed to be beneficial for overall health—rather than a specific health condition—showed greater increases in sales. In alignment with this is the uptick in sales of a number of adaptogens–substances that allow the body to better resist various stress factors. Plants in this category include ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, mushrooms and Rhodiola.

The increased interest in herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine has also been obvious by the fact that Boswellia, turmeric, and fenugreek posted some of the largest gains in 2016. But the success of these herbs is not only based on an increased interest in Ayurvedic medicine, but also due to the fact that these herbs have a large body of scientific data supporting their health benefits.

In addition, inflammatory conditions are very common in our society; thus, ingredients with sound data that may be used to alleviate the symptoms of some of these conditions, e.g., turmeric and Boswellia, have a large pool of potential consumers.

Read more at Natural Products Insider

Antibiotics or Home Remedies

For parents, it can be hard to tell whether your child’s illness requires antibiotics or if there are other ways to effectively treat his or her symptoms. To prevent overuse of these drugs, it’s important to know when home remedies can be used instead of antibiotics.

“If your child has an ear infection, consider using over-the-counter pain relievers in place of antibiotics,” says Tiffany Casper, D.O., a Mayo Clinic Health System family physician. “Children’s ear infections usually improve within two to three days, especially for kids who are 2 years or older. If your child’s health does not improve within a few days, it would be wise to take them in to see their provider.”

“Instead, Dr. Casper suggests offering your child warm liquids, such as tea or soup. These can have a soothing effect and loosen mucus. Over-the-counter saline nasal drops or saline spray also can loosen nasal mucus. Try running a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room or using steam from a hot shower for additional relief.

Strep throat is caused by bacteria. However, most children with the symptoms of strep throat have a virus, explains Dr. Casper. “You should ask for a strep throat test before turning to antibiotics to cure your child’s symptoms,” she says.

Read more at Medical Express