Less research has been done on herb use during pregnancy than on vitamins or minerals, but it is helpful to recall that herbs have been in use for hundreds and even thousands of years (long before isolated vitamins, minerals or prescription pharmaceuticals were available!)
While research is beginning to establish safety in humans during pregnancy (echinacea for immunity and ginger for nausea, for example), it is generally not advised to take herbs during this time, unless specifically directed by your healthcare practitioner.
As is true at all times, but especially during pregnancy or while nursing, be sure and discuss these questions with your healthcare provider
In general, herbs are very safe, but should not be taken with prescription drugs without the supervision of a healthcare provider. Recall that herbs have been used for supporting health for literally thousands of years.
Remember, however, that herbs are complex compounds containing dozens of different chemicals. When combined with very powerful pharmaceutical drugs there is always the possibility of an effect other than what is desired. For this reason it is always important to discuss any combination of herbs, vitamins, and prescription drugs you are thinking of taking together with your healthcare provider.
Most herbs, when used according to longstanding herbal traditions, are not only effective but safe. Herbs have been used in the treatment and support of human health for thousands of years.
During that time much has been learned about what herbs can do, how to prepare them and which herbs are to be used for what purposes. In the hands of an experienced and qualified professional, herbs can work wonders!
Although herbs contain complex chemicals that, when used improperly, can cause harm as well. It is important to remember that the fact that herbs do work also means that they cause chemical changes in the body (that's how they work!) and that sometimes those changes may not be what is desired.
Caution is particularly advised during pregnancy, when taking herbs and pharmaceutical medications together, or when taking herbs for extended periods of time. For these reasons, it is always advisable to discuss all herbs or supplements you are taking (or considering whether to take) with your health care practitioner.
Here is a link to the NCAA dietary supplement position. We always advise to check with the most recent compliance list first. http://www.ncaa.org/sport-science-institute/dietary-supplements
As is true with vitamins, most minerals are safe (and even required) during pregnancy. Minerals have a relatively narrower safety margin than do vitamins, but still significantly broader than do almost all pharmaceutical drugs.
Unless research has specifically addressed a mineral's relative safety during pregnancy, it is not advisable to take amounts beyond what would be in a normal, healthy diet. If you are pregnant, be sure and discuss any supplement or herbal product you are considering with your healthcare provider.
While the levels of most vitamins and minerals recommended by your healthcare practitioner is considered safe, remember that too much of anything can be potentially harmful.
Even such life-sustaining things as water and sunlight have an upper limit of safety. While certain minerals such as calcium are generally quite safe even when taken in relatively high amounts, your body's requirements for other minerals such as iron or selenium are much lower and therefore have a smaller safety range as well.
Be sure and inform your healthcare provider of all supplements, herbs or medications you are taking so the optimal levels can be determined for you, including an adequate safety margin.
Most vitamins are safe during pregnancy; in fact that is precisely the time when they are most needed! Not only must your diet support the mother's health and vitality, but that of her developing baby as well. A deficiency of certain nutrients (such as vitamin B12 or folic acid) during the early stages of pregnancy has been shown to significantly increase the risk to birth defects such as spina bifida.Some over consumption of vitamins can be risky. Vitamin A for example has been shown in dosages higher than 8,000 IU to increase risk. For that reason it is not advisable to take high levels of vitamins during pregnancy without first consulting your healthcare provider.
Generally Yes, in the ranges that most vitamins are available as supplements. Vitamins are divided into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble.
The water soluble vitamins (B vitamins and vitamin C) cannot be stored by the body, so they are generally quite safe, even in quantities higher than you would normally get in your diet.
The fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A or D can be stored by the body, so it is possible to build up a level that could be harmful. It is therefore important that you discuss ALL your vitamin consumption with your healthcare provider, to make sure you are getting the optimal amount for your health while not running the risk of taking more than would be safe for you.
Sugar in itself does not contribute to the development of diabetes. However, it does aggravate the condition once it exists.
People who have diabetes have trouble keeping down their blood sugar levels, so eating products that contain a lot of sugar makes the problem harder to control.
Nutrition and physical activity can help reduce fatigue. Patients and survivors have fatigue for a number of different reasons. Some fatigue may occur because they do not eat enough or do not exercise enough. Starting slowly with an exercise program, even if only for a few minutes a day, can help to restore energy. You can then increase how often and how long you exercise. Some fatigue is due to specific medical problems like anemia (too few red blood cells), which also can be treated. Talk to your doctor about the reason for your fatigue.
An athlete may need slightly more protein during the initial stages of training or competition, but that need is not very great. Since most Americans already consume more than enough protein, chances are the increased need has already been met by a normal diet.
Genetics play a part in a person's metabolic rate and thyroid function which both impact on the body's ability to burn fat efficiently. However, having overweight parents does not mean you are destined to a lifetime of obesity and disease.
This just means you have a little bit more work to do to train your body to burn fat more effectively. This means you can't get away with cheat meals and skipping exercise as much as others can. It means you have to be more disciplined to get results.
At the end of the day, it comes down to making a conscious decision to adopt a health enhancing lifestyle, and you will soon enjoy the benefits.
Your body needs approximately 3-5 times more potassium than sodium. However, most Americans ingest approximately 3-5 times more sodium than potassium because of the typical diet of highly processed, high-sodium, fast foods.
Sodium causes retention of fluids in the body and increases blood pressure. There is no need to add sodium to any food-there is more than enough occurring naturally in food. You should avoid adding salt to food, and eliminate all processed foods.
Absolutely. In fact, the "fat-free" misconception is exactly the reason why over half of Americans today are overweight, and 1 in 5 are obese. Over the last few years, we have been led to believe that it's just fat that makes you fat, and therefore that high carbohydrate, low fat diets are the best way to lose fat.
It has been proven that these diets are not effective in reducing body fat and do not reduce the risk of heart disease. High carb/low fat diets fail to take into the account the critical importance of stable blood sugar to fat loss and health.
All carbohydrates are sugar-any carbohydrate eventually breaks down into glucose (or blood sugar) in your system. The only difference is the speed at which they break down. White sugar, and any food containing sugar breaks down the quickest-technically speaking, they have a high glycemic index- while whole, raw, unprocessed foods-as-grown carbohydrates such as whole grains, raw vegetables and some fruits, which contain a high fiber content, break down more slowly (they have a lower glycemic index ).
Your brain can only burn glucose, so it is essential that your brain gets sufficient supplies of it. However, if it gets too much glucose, too quickly, like when you eat a meal high in unprocessed carbohydrates or simply too many carbohydrates for your body, sugar rushes in to your blood causing a blood sugar spike.
In order to reduce the level of blood sugar, your brain sends signals to your pancreas to release insulin . Insulin lowers your blood sugar level, but when your blood sugar levels are very high, too much insulin is usually released.
This results in a low blood sugar state which causes you to feel sluggish, crave sugary foods and leads you into a degenerative spiral. Excess insulin also converts the excess glucose into fat and stores it in your fat cells.
So the key is to eat moderate amounts of carbohydrates with the bulk of them being lower glycemic to keep your blood sugars from rising too fast and causing the storage of excess carbohydrates as fat.
It is difficult to tell quality simply by looking at a tablet. Many factors (most of which are hidden to the naked eye) go into a high quality nutritional supplement, but one of the three main variables is quality of the science behind the product: the human body has often been compared to an extremely complex and wonderfully efficient machine. To function normally, it is extremely dependent upon a large variety of raw materials such as protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and so forth. If any of these critical substances are lacking in sufficient quantities, the efficiency of the "machine" suffers. The therapeutic use of nutrition supplements usually involves combining as many of these rate-limiting nutrients together as economically and physically possible, to provide everything required to focus on a particular health goal. If the nutritional supplement is poorly designed, key nutrients may be left out, or less important "window dressing" may be added that doesn't provide benefit. The product may then be inadequate to meet the therapeutic goals, or may be more expensive than needed. A reputable company will be able to provide scientific studies to support the formulation and its therapeutic value.Quality of the ingredients: the same nutrient may be available in different forms. For example, vitamin E can be a natural (derived from food) or it can be synthetic (manufactured). The natural, food-identical vitamin E is called d-alpha tocopherol, while the synthetic form is called dl-alpha tocopherol. That "l" in the dl-alpha tocopherol is the only way you can tell a natural from a synthetic vitamin E by looking at the label, but science has shown that there is a significant difference in the way the body uses it. Natural vitamin E is significantly better in its biological activity that the synthetic. Another example is found in minerals such as calcium or iron. Minerals are not found alone in supplements but as chemical compounds. The nature of that compound is related to the ability of the body to absorb and use the mineral. For example, calcium may be found as "calcium carbonate" which is inexpensive but relatively more difficult to absorb. Other forms of calcium, such as calcium citrate may be more expensive as raw materials, but may also be much better utilized by the body. Quality of the manufacturing process: even if the supplement is well-formulated and has high quality ingredients, care must still be exercised during the manufacturing process to ensure a quality finished product. If the supplement doesn't break down properly during the digestive process it doesn't matter how well it's designed or what is used as ingredients! A manufacturer of high-quality nutritional supplements will perform a number of different tests before, during and after the tableting process to ensure quality in the finshed product, and should be able to provide you with documentation to support their processes upon request.
This is a very important question. Many people have tried herbal products only to be disappointed when they don't work as hoped. A large part of this must be laid at the feet of manufacturers hoping to profit from the explosion of interest in herbs without understanding herbal medicine.
For example, many people know of Echinacea as being an important herb for supporting healthy immune function. But only certain parts of the plant contain the substances that have established benefits. Some companies simply grind up the whole plant (stems, roots, leaves, flowers-everything) and sell that as "Echinacea."
People taking the whole plant expecting to get the therapeutic benefits described will often be disappointed! A high quality product will have the active ingredients necessary to give the health benefits known by traditional herbalists. So if you've tried herbs before and been disappointed in the results, it may not be the fault of herbal medicine.
As is true of nutritional supplements, it is often difficult to see quality in herbs simply by looking at the finished product. This is especially true with herbs, as the standards for quality are still being developed. First and most obviously, quality in herbal products begins with high quality raw materials.
This means that the manufacturer must have an intimate knowledge of herbs. One dried powder looks very much like another, so a reputable herbal manufacturer will exercise great care in the raw material purchasing process.
Additionally, different parts of the herb have different chemical constituents (and different effects in the body), so knowing which part of the herb to select is important.
The delicate active principles of the herb must also be protected during the tableting process, so great care must be taken by the manufacturers here as well.
Although its exact frequency isn't known, the condition is widespread among the adult population in developed nations, and increases in frequency with age. For example, a study in the United States found that about 7% of adults aged 20-29 years had metabolic syndrome, while 43% of those in the age group 60-69 were affected.
So nearly half of the adults aged 60-69 had the syndrome. But this study was based on results obtained in the period 1988-1994, when the rate of obesity was much less than now. The rate of metabolic syndrome among American adults is almost certainly greater now than it was at the time of that study.
It is also starting to appear in affluent adults who have adopted Western diets and lifestyles in developing nations.However, it isn't just adults who are affected - the condition is also afflicting an increasing number of children and adolescents as the worldwide epidemic of obesity spreads across the age groups.
For example, a recent US study found that 20-25% of obese children and adolescents also exhibited insulin resistance, a key element of metabolic syndrome and the condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
When people are overweight or obese, they are more likely to develop health problems such as the following:Hypertension Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)Type 2 diabetes, Coronary heart disease, Stroke, Gallbladder disease, Osteoarthritis, Sleep apnea and respiratory problems.
Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)The more overweight a person is, the more likely that person is to have health problems. Among people who are overweight and obese, weight loss can help reduce the chances of developing these health problems.
Studies show that if a person is overweight or obese, reducing body weight by 5 percent to 10 percent can improve ones health.
To stay healthy, avoid disease, and prevent weight gain, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat dairy products. Watch how many calories you eat, pay attention to serving size, limit alcohol, and cut back on foods high in salt, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and added sugars.
Activity is also an important part of the picture. The guidelines suggest a minimum of 30 minutes of activity per day to reduce disease risk and 60 to 90 minutes per day to maintain or lose weight.
These guidelines, developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are updated every 5 years to promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases.
Recommendations include the following: Get enough nutrients within your calorie needsEat and drink a variety of foods that are high in nutrients from within and among the basic food groups (dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, meats and beans, and oils) while choosing foods that limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.
Eat only the calories you need to maintain your weight by following a balanced eating pattern, such as the USDA Food Guide or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan. The number of calories you need each day depends on your age, gender, and activity level.
To maintain a healthy weight, balance calories from food and drinks with the amount of calories you burn. To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in calories from food and drink and increase activity. Get regular physical activity and limit sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight.
To reduce the risk of chronic disease in adulthood, do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity above your usual activity at work or home on most days of the week. For most people, exercising longer and more intensively will provide even greater health benefits.
To manage weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy weight gain as an adult, do about 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity most days of the week while not exceeding calorie needs. To sustain weight loss in adulthood, do at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding calorie needs. You may need to check with your doctor before doing this much activity.
Achieve physical fitness by including cardiovascular (aerobic) conditioning, stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance exercises or calisthenics for muscle strength and endurance. Eat enough fruits and vegetables while staying within your calorie needs. Two cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day are recommended for someone who needs 2,000 calories daily to maintain weight.
Higher or lower amounts may be needed depending on how many calories per day you need. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In particular, select from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and others) several times per week.
Eat 3 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day. At least half of your grain requirements should come from whole grains. Have 3 cups of nonfat or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products per day. (Equivalents are for 1 cup: 1 cup low-fat yogurt, 1 1/2 oz of low-fat or nonfat cheese, 2 oz of low-fat or nonfat processed cheese.) Saturated fats: Get less than 10% of calories each day from saturated fats and less than 300 mg per day of cholesterol. Keep the amount of trans fats (hydrogenated oils) you eat as low as possible.
Total fat intake: Keep your total fat intake between 20% and 35% of your calories, with most fats coming from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils found in fish, nuts, and olive, canola, and other vegetable oils. When choosing meat, poultry, and milk products, choose lean, low-fat, or nonfat. Limit your intake of fats and oils high in saturated and/or trans fatty acids, and choose products low in such fats and oils.
Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains often. Choose and prepare foods and drinks with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners. Reduce cavities by practicing good oral hygiene and eating foods and beverages with sugar and starch less frequently. Limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (less than 1 teaspoon per day).
Choose and prepare foods with little salt, and eat potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables. If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly and in moderation; 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. Not everyone should drink alcoholic beverages. Don't drink alcohol if you cannot restrict or control your intake, are or could become pregnant or are breast-feeding, are taking medications that may react with alcohol, or have certain medical conditions.
Children and adolescents should not drink alcoholic beverages. Don't drink alcoholic beverages if you are doing activities that require attention, skill, or coordination, such as driving or operating machinery.
There are at least two ways of approaching the question 'how nutritious is a particular diet?' First, it can be considered in terms of the 'completeness' of the diet (that is, does it provide all known essential nutrients in at least the minimum recommended quantities).
It can also be addressed in terms of 'how much does the diet promote good health' (ie, how many components does it contain that are considered health-promoting compared to those associated with adverse health outcome).
Considering the 'completeness' aspect first: Semi vegetarian, lacto vegetarian, and lacto-ovo vegetarian diets--when properly planned--have been consistently found to provide the full range of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and fiber necessary for optimal nutritional status.
In this, they are approximately equivalent to properly planned omnivorous diets. However, as they are often practiced, these vegetarian diets can lead to low iron status. Vegetarian teenage girls and women of child-bearing age are particularly at risk of iron-deficiency anemia because red meat is one the best dietary sources of iron.
Proper planning can help ensure that adequate iron status is maintained when the diet does not contain red meat. For example, combining a source of vitamin C (such as fruit or fruit juice) with wheat-based cereal foods will increase the absorption of the iron available in the cereal. Eggs, legumes (a term that includes peas, beans, chickpeas, lentils, soy foods) and nuts are also significant sources of iron.
The vegan diet, on the other hand, is likely to be low in several essential nutrients. Because foods of plant origin do not contain significant quantities of vitamin B12, vegans need to eat foods that have been fortified with this vitamin to avoid the type of anemia (known as 'megaloblastic anemia') that results from vitamin B12 deficiency.
Other nutrients at risk for vegans include protein, iron, zinc and calcium. Grain foods, legumes, potatoes, seeds and nuts are good sources of protein. Legumes, nuts and dried fruits are quite good sources of calcium, while legumes and seeds provide significant quantities of zinc.
From the point of view of promotion of good health, despite the greater risk of some vitamin deficiencies, is fair to say that vegetarians in Western nations often eat a diet that is closer to the recommended pattern of food intake than their omnivorous relatives or neighbors.
Vegetarian diets include higher intakes of cereal foods, vegetables (including legumes) and fruits--and therefore of dietary fiber--with lower intakes of fat (particularly saturated fat) and salt.
The products are designed for healthy individuals. If you have diabetes or other diseases you should always check with your physician to make sure they are safe for you and don't interfere with any other medications.
Your body is trying to tell you something. All you have to do is look at what you ate for lunch that caused you to feel tired. Was your lunch high in carbohydrates: bread, pasta, rice, fruit, rice cakes, sweets, cake, or other processed carbohydrates?
Was your lunch high in saturated animal fats (like red meat, butter or whole dairy foods like cheese and milk), processed fats (fats found in margarine and most processed foods like cakes and cookies), or fried fats. Did you have any protein, like lean chicken or turkey, salmon, shellfish, or non-fat dairy products. The cause of your mid-afternoon slump is most likely eating too many carbohydrates or eating too much saturated fat.
A meal high in carbohydrates, particularly processed carbohydrates (like sugar, and anything white) breaks down very quickly into glucose in your system, causing your blood sugar to spike, which will give you an initial rush of energy.
However, because your brain cannot handle such a big hit of sugar, it sends a signal to your pancreas to quickly release a powerful hormone called insulin which brings your blood sugar back down. When your blood sugar level is high, too much of this hormone is released causing your blood sugar level drop way below the levels your brain needs to function.
This is called a hypoglycemic or low blood sugar state. This is the cause of your sluggishness. Bad fats interfere with the amount of oxygen that gets to your brain, also causing sluggishness and fatigue. To fix this problem you need to eat a balanced meat of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Then monitor your body's response.
A good example would be a grilled chicken breast with a green salad with a dressing balsamic vinegar, or a Meal Replacement Shake (which is a balanced blend of whey protein, lower glycemic carbohydrates and a small amount of fat).
It's great that you are so diligent with your exercise. Even though you are no longer losing weight, you are toning your muscles and strengthening your heart.
Now that your weight loss has slowed down, try increasing the intensity of your exercise by walking or jogging faster or going up hills. Add weights to your exercise plan to make you stronger and increase your metabolism.
The word 'vegetarian' is not well-defined. It includes people with a wide range of attitudes and eating behaviors with respect to foods of animal origin.
Vegetarians all base their diets on foods of plant origin, but there are different levels of vegetarianism according to how much food derived from animals is also eaten. There are four major types of vegetarian: A 'semi vegetarian' eats poultry and/or fish (but no red meat), dairy foods and eggs; a 'lacto vegetarian' consumes dairy foods but no meat, fish or eggs.
A 'lacto-ovo vegetarian' includes dairy foods and eggs (but no meat or fish); and a 'vegan' eats only foods of plant origin.
The nutritional value of a food's protein is determined by the mix of amino acids that it contains. Amino acids are the 'building blocks' of protein.
Only some amino acids are essential in the adult human diet - that is, they must be obtained from food because they cannot be manufactured in the body. So the nutritional value of protein in a food is determined by the quantities of the essential amino acids in that food.
Apart from human flesh (and there are ethical considerations that generally preclude obtaining protein from this particular source!), the food with the protein of highest nutritional value is usually taken to be the humble egg (although for infants, breast milk is probably the most appropriate 'gold standard').
Therefore, one way of rating a food as a protein source is to give the egg the maximum rating and to compare all other foods against this according to their levels of essential amino acids. Whey is the fluid that remains after the curd has formed (largely from the fat component of milk) in the process of cheesemaking. Whey contains not only protein, but also lactose (milk sugar).
The protein in whey ('lactalbumin') is good quality protein and does make a useful protein supplement. However, it is not correct to state (as some practitioners of alternative nutrition do) that whey is the 'best source of protein'; it is simply another good source.
Protein is derived from a huge range of everyday foods. Many of the foods that are good sources of protein (meat, fish, eggs, milk/milk products, cereal foods, vegetables such as beans and other legumes) are also major sources of other essential nutrients.
This means that it is better to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods rather than try to derive most of your protein needs from one source (eg from whey).
Because the fat takes longer to digest that protein or carbohydrate, nutritionists used to think it was more satisfying. Recent studies show that, overall, carbohydrate satiates better than fat.
Preliminary studies suggest that people who have trouble regulating their body weight may actually be relatively insensitive to the satiety value of fat.
You gained weight during your pregnancy for a reason -- to nourish yourself and your baby. While breastfeeding, your body needs to use some of that extra fat to produce milk.
It is especially important for you to get enough nutrients while breastfeeding because your baby depends on the nutrients that you consume. For this reason, it is not a great idea to actively diet while you are breastfeeding.
Increasing your activity level to try to lose weight is fine, as is eating a well-balanced diet full of healthy nutrients from fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein. This is definitely not the time to be restricting calories or following any sort of fad diet.
If you are trying to lose weight when breastfeeding, even through physical activity and a balanced diet, it is best to be supervised by a qualified healthcare practitioner like a dietitian.
Also, before exercising, check with your doctor to make sure that enough time has passed since your delivery and that it is safe.
As you watch your fat intake, it's critical to remember that fat-free doesn't mean calorie free. For instance, an ounce of jelly beans (about 10) has only 0.1 grams of fat. But at a total of 104 calories, it hardly makes for a low calorie alternative.
Make sure your fat-free choices are not adding to your calorie intake instead of reducing it. To lose weight, the number of calories you take in must be less than the number you expend.
Cholesterol is only found in animal products, and while animal foods are the primary source of fats in the diet they are not the only source. Saturated fats are also present in products made with coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and palm oil, all of which come from plants.
What is more, the fat in coconut and palm kernel oil is actually more saturated than that found in animals. Saturated fats are believed to be more likely than dietary cholesterol to raise the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Each person is unique, so each person's nutritional needs would also be unique to them. This means to avoid highly processed foods (candies, snack foods, convenience foods), or foods high in refined sugar or flour, as these tend to have low levels of important vitamins and minerals. A high quality multiple vitamin-mineral supplement is essential to "fill in the gaps" in the diet. While other nutrients also may be helpful, it is important to remember our individuality and discuss the specific additional nutrients you might need with your nutritionally-oriented health care practitioner.
It is a common misconception that if you eat a well-balanced diet there is no need for supplements. This may have been true 10,000 years ago when the water supply was pure, the air was crystal clear, the soil was unspoiled by toxic fertilizers, and the foods were organic, and unprocessed. But, today our food supply is seriously degraded by use of fertilizers on depleted soils, mass-production methods of ripening, storing, drying, cooking, freezing, blanching, pasteurization, hydrogenation and multiple other practices of modern food processing. The result is that it is likely impossible to get all the nutrients your body needs from food alone. The American Medical Association now agrees that this is the case ( See 19 June 2002 issue of JAMA ). A daily supplementation program is essential. At a minimum, your body needs every day a high quality, broad-spectrum multi-vitamin/mineral (containing B-vitamins), and extra anti-oxidants: beta carotene; vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Active Core Complex provides all of this. Instead of a synthetic version like most multivitamins Active Core Complex comes from whole foods and is the support for your daily nutritional foundation.
This is a misguided practice which takes little account of how the body, and the digestive processes, work. Overnight, the body's blood glucose level drops because you are in a 'fasting' state.
The first meal (literally 'breakfast') should provide plenty of carbohydrate for energy. This is just as important for people who have sedentary jobs as it is for laborers, athletes, soldiers, or anyone else who is physically active.
Unless you are in a state of semi-starvation your brain has only one source of energy - glucose, and it is also the preferred fuel for active muscles. Unfortunately, most fruits are not very good sources of carbohydrate (they are much better sources of vitamins and fiber).
Cereal foods such as bread, muffins and breakfast cereals are much better sources of carbohydrate than fruit. A breakfast of cereal, milk, and toast, or muffins with fruit juice, will provide you with the carbohydrate, protein, vitamins and minerals you need for that early morning 'kickstart'.
This belief dates back at least 100 years and its popularity was recently revived with various publications. In fact, the human digestive system is magnificently designed to cope with an 'omnivorous' diet.
That is, we have the enzymes and acidic conditions in our stomach to digest a huge range of foods, whether eaten individually or together. If we were to follow this advice, milk, yogurt, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and legumes would have to be taken off the menu. These foods are all good sources of both protein and carbohydrate which occur naturally together.
Following this advice would also mean that babies could not drink their mothers' milk. Human breast milk is similar to cow's milk (although specifically designed for human babies) as it also contains significant quantities of protein, carbohydrate and fat all of which are essential for growth and development.
While meat is a good source of protein, egg whites, cheese and seafood also contain this nutrient. Protein is present in plant foods, too, although in incomplete form meaning they are missing one or more essential amino acids.
However, if you pair legumes and grain (beans and rice, peanut butter on whole-wheat bread), grains or nuts with dairy products (macaroni and cheese, pizza, cereal and milk), you can make a complete protein.
A true physical addiction stimulates an increasing need for the "drug," which, if halted abruptly, will bring on withdrawal symptoms. For sugarholics, dependency is all in the mind.
1. Increase activity level. The 'diabetes epidemic' that is sweeping the Western world, and is increasingly affecting affluent groups in developing nations, parallels the obesity epidemic that began a decade or so earlier.
Although being obese is the single most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes, it is also true that being normal weight is not a guarantee of protection against diabetes. Some slim people also develop insulin resistance, and a small proportion of these will progress to diabetes. Physical activity can assist in reducing the risk (or severity) of metabolic syndrome independently of any effects of body weight.
This also means that, even if you are having trouble losing weight, increasing physical activity will help to reduce your risk of developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes. This is the cornerstone of the 'health at any size' movement.
You don't have to be extremely active to gain substantial benefit. By taking part in just 30 minutes of moderately-vigorous activity (such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, light weight-training and so on) daily, you can substantially reduce the risk (or severity) of metabolic syndrome.
2. Improve health through better eating habitsEmphasis should be placed on eating foods with relatively low 'glycemic index' (GI). It is also important to eat only sparingly foods that are high in saturated fats (such as full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, biscuits, cakes, pastries, potato chips and most other fried takeaway foods).
Suitable replacements are whole-grain cereal foods, fruits and vegetables, foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including those that provide high levels of 'omega-3' fats. Fish (especially those with dark-flesh) is an excellent source of omega-3 fats. It is now usually recommended that we eat two or three fish meals (preferably not fried or battered) per week.
Green leafy vegetables are also a good source.Other good sources of health-promoting fats include avocado, nuts, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, and margarine spreads. The increased risk of stroke and heart disease from high blood pressure means that careful attention should be paid to the dietary guideline on salt (sodium chloride): 'Choose foods low in salt'.
Low salt foods are defined in the food regulations as having a sodium content not exceeding 120 mg/100 g. With the requirement to include sodium content in a 'nutrition information panel' on the label, reading the labels on supermarket foods will allow you to identify those processed foods that are 'low salt'.
3. Lose some weight (if overweight or obese).Weight loss should result from increasing physical activity and making appropriate alterations to diet, as recommended above. Weight loss has beneficial effects on several components of metabolic syndrome, including the risk of developing insulin resistance.
Although only a relatively small percentage of those with insulin resistance do progress to type 2 diabetes, everyone who does develop type 2 diabetes did experience insulin resistance first, so it is an indicator that you are 'at risk' of developing diabetes.
Because developing insulin resistance increases with increasing body fat levels, weight reduction should lower the risk of insulin resistance. It has been reported that carrying as little as 11 kg of excess body fat during early adulthood increases the risk of later onset of type 2 diabetes twenty-fold.
Also with respect to weight, if you have recently undergone significant weight gain, despite attempting to use diet and physical activity to maintain normal weight, you would be well-advised to ask your doctor to check for insulin resistance.
You might also like to ask if your doctor believes that a 'glucose tolerance test' would be appropriate, measuring both 'glucose response' and 'insulin response'. A reduction in body fat also almost invariably leads to improved blood pressure.
So losing weight reduces the risk of stroke, because high blood pressure is the strongest individual risk factor for stroke.Losing about 5-10% of your current weight (if you have substantial excess body fat) will have worthwhile effects on several aspects of metabolic syndrome.
Although 5-10% may not seem a lot, it can actually be quite a high percentage of your initial body fat level. For example, if you weigh 165 pounds and have a body fat level of 33% (indicative of mild obesity), your body fat content is ~54 pounds.
Losing 10% (7.5 kg) of your body weight as fat means that you have lost about 30% of your body fat.
4. Quit smoking (if you are a smoker)Smoking is associated with increased risk of heart disease (in addition to other conditions not directly related to metabolic syndrome, including lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema and impotence).
Quitting smoking is one of the healthiest lifestyle alterations that can be made by a person who smokes.
5. Reduce stress levelsAlthough not necessarily a direct cause of metabolic syndrome, our increasingly busy lifestyles and other sources of stress have profound influence on health outcome.
Light physical activity, meditation, yoga, music and/or other relaxation techniques can all be used to reduce stress.
There is a substantial body of evidence supporting the belief that vegetarians in Western countries experience significantly less cancer, less heart disease, fewer strokes, and generally live longer than omnivores.
However, it is also true that people who choose a particular diet for health reasons will probably also look after their health in other ways. For example, they are less likely to smoke, to abuse alcohol and other drugs, and are more likely to exercise for health and general fitness.
It may be that these behaviors explain some of the health benefits associated with being vegetarian. However, this argument does not explain the entire health benefit. It seems increasingly likely that higher intake of beneficial dietary factors--available only in foods of plant origin--also plays an important part in explaining the better overall health of vegetarians.
Much research is still needed to determine the optimal diet for health and longevity (living to a 'ripe old age'). Some nutritionists believe that a predominantly vegetarian diet, with low-moderate quantities of lean meat and moderate quantities of low- or reduced-fat dairy products will produce the best long-term health outcome.
However, it is still true that strict vegetarianism (particularly the lacto and lacto-ovo varieties) is associated with better health outcome than an omnivorous diet. Although the optimal dietary strategy for health and longevity has still not been determined, the emphasis today is on increasing intake of foods of plant origin--breads and cereals (preferably whole grain), vegetables (including legumes) and fruits.
If omnivores make this change at the expense of fatty meats, while continuing to eat moderate quantities of lean meat (including red meat) and fish, an overall increase in health will almost certainly result.
Antioxidants are a group of chemical compounds that protect against free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules produced naturally, or induced by exposure to things like radiation, certain chemical pollutants, or other sources. When free radicals come into contact with healthy cell membranes, they cause damage to the membrane and may ultimately cause the cell to die. Antioxidants prevent this damage by stopping the free radical and thus helping maintain health and proper function of the cell. In food, antioxidants are often the substances that give food their color or strong flavor. Prograde VGF25+ is a great source for antioxidants and provides the essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 to help prevent free radical formation in your body.
Sugar alcohols are carbohydrate derivatives of sugar, which are commonly used to sweeten products like chewing gum, and more recently, food bars.
Popular sugar alcohols include: glycerol, maltitol, xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol. Sugar alcohols do not have 4 calories per gram, like other carbohydrates. They range from 2.2 to 4.32 calories per gram. However, sugar alcohols, have a minimal impact on blood-sugar levels.
Currently, the FDA has not focused on these important biochemical differences and treats all carbohydrates alike.
Each of the components of metabolic syndrome acts to significantly increase the risk of developing one or more diseases. As examples, excess abdominal fat is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease; hypertension is the most important risk factor for stroke; high blood LDL and low HDL increase the risk of heart disease.
Insulin resistance can be the first step on the road to type 2 diabetes. In brief, having type 2 diabetes significantly increases the risk of developing heart disease, kidney disease and blindness, and also of having to undergo limb amputations (due to gangrene).
The rapid increase in incidence of metabolic syndrome, not only among adults but also in children and adolescents, represents a potential 'time bomb' for the future adult populations of developed nations.
Effective preventive measures are needed for the entire population, and ways of reducing the incidence of metabolic syndrome among adults (mainly) are also urgently needed.
First and foremost, if you are undergoing treatment for any of the components of metabolic syndrome (or for the actual diseases associated with it, such as diabetes or heart disease) it is essential that you take the advice of your professional health care provider.
Your doctor and/or dietitian know your particular circumstances and can prescribe treatment that is tailored to best meet your requirements. The advice provided in the remainder of this FAQ is of a general nature only.
Although the incidence of metabolic syndrome is increasing, the situation is far from hopeless. Metabolic syndrome is a reasonably recent phenomenon and its causes, although not entirely understood, include environmental factors.
This means that something has changed in the environment to promote obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance and so on. Examples of environmental changes that may have contributed to the metabolic syndrome include a marked reduction (by most people) in physical activity, and an increase in the number of meals eaten away from home (particularly foods that are rich in saturated fat and salt).
Clearly, if the environment can be changed in one direction, those changes are reversible and the metabolic syndrome can be overcome.
You need a balance of the 3 macronutrients that suit your body. The key is to get the right balance of the three macronutrients, for your body. Listen to your body after each meal. How does it feel?
If you are sluggish, lacking concentration, hungry, or craving sugar (within 1-2 hours after a meal). This means that you need to re-balance your ratio of nutrients and focus on eating lower glycemic carbohydrates along with a good supply of protein and high quality fats.
Minerals have very many important functions. Iron is required for the manufacture of the chemical hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood to all the cells of the body.
Calcium is necessary for strong bones, and for transmission of messages within cells and from cell to cell. Magnesium is required for production of energy from the food you eat; and a selenium-containing molecule protects the body from damage by free radicals.
In order to accomplish all of the thousands of day-to-day functions of your body, the food you eat every day must be converted into energy and raw materials (building blocks for muscles, bones, ligaments enzymes, hormones, and so on). To do all this, vitamins are required. Since we humans lack the ability to manufacture these critical nutrients in our bodies, we have to get them in our diet.Generally, vitamins perform three major functions:1. They are required for the enzymes to do their jobs. The B-complex vitamins B1 and B2, for example are required for every function in the body that requires production of energy (which means every function!)2. They act as antioxidants, which means they prevent highly reactive molecules called free radicals from damaging delicate cell membrane structure. Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants, protecting cell membranes from free radicals.3. They act as "pre-hormones." For example, vitamin D functions as a hormone to facilitate calcium uptake and utilization.
Metabolic syndrome is a condition in which a group of risk factors for cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) and type 2 diabetes occur together.
Although it doesn't have a universally accepted definition, most health professionals would include the following as the principal components: Abdominal obesity (i.e. excess body fat in the region of the stomach); High blood pressure (also known as 'hypertension'); Low blood levels of the 'good' cholesterol, HDL; High blood levels of the 'bad' cholesterol, LDL; High blood levels of triglycerides; and Insulin resistance (that is, an impaired ability of the body's insulin to handle blood glucose).
People with three or more of the above symptoms can be considered to have the metabolic syndrome, greatly increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease and/or type 2 diabetes, two of the most pervasive diseases in Western populations.
As part of healthy growth and development, children's body weight and shape are continually changing. Since children grow and develop at different rates, it is difficult to pinpoint a particular healthy weight for children. There are growth charts for children where weight and height are plotted against a standard according to age. These charts are not recommendations, but simply indicate where a child falls compared to other children.
Liposuction, also called "lipoplasty" or "suction lipectomy," is a medical procedure in which a surgeon removes fat deposits from the body by first dissolving the fat, then withdrawing it from under the skin. Liposuction is not a substitute for diet and exercise and is used only for people who are already normal weight.
It is used to remove small areas of fat from specific areas of the body, such as the back of the arms or buttocks. It is not intended for all-over weight loss. Though liposuction is usually safe, all surgery carries some risk. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of the surgery before you proceed.
Some potential risks include infection, delayed healing, formation of fat clots or blood clots, excessive fluid loss, damage to the skin or nerves, puncture of the vital organs, and side effects from the anesthesia. Some of these may even be life threatening.
Soy protein is a vegetarian protein made from soy flour or soybeans. This protein has been filtered to separate it from much of the carbohydrates and fats that usually accompany it.
Soy is high in calcium, iron, and isoflavones which help fight off cancer.
The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of foods on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Glucose is given a relative number of 100 to provide a baseline to which all others can be compared.
For example, an apple has a glycemic index of 38 which is less than half that of glucose, but higher than soybeans (which have a glycemic index of 18). Other common foods and their corresponding glycemic indices are Corn Flakes (84), dark rye bread (80), and bananas (54).
Results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 1999-2002 indicate that an estimated 16 percent of children and adolescents ages 6-19 years are overweight. For children, overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the CDC growth charts for age and gender.
Results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 1999-2002 indicate that the following percentages of U.S. adults are overweight or obese:An estimated 30 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 years and older - over 60 million people - are obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
An estimated 65 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 years and older are either overweight or obese, defined as having a BMI of 25 or higher.
If you work out aerobically, like taking a brisk walk for one hour each day, you will lose weight all over your body. This is actually more effective than trying to focus your workout on one isolated "problem" area, like the tire around your middle or your outer thighs. With that said, doing sit-ups and leg lifts in addition to aerobic exercise will help build muscle in those particular areas. Be sure to stretch properly and work the muscles opposite those areas (namely, inner thighs and lower back) to help avoid injury.
First, remember that as a society, our dietary habits have changed over the past couple of generations. A healthy diet consists of plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Recent studies indicate that the majority of meals in the US are eaten in restaurants rather than in the home. Restaurant food tends to be too high in fat and sugar. Additionally, convenience foods now make up a much higher percentage of the average diet than in the past. In some people well over 60% of their food is from so-called "empty" calorie foods (candy, sweets, chips, or other highly processed foods that contain very little real nutritional value other than calories). Another factor is the high stresses found in today's fast-paced and busy life. The greater the external stresses, the higher the nutritional demands on the body. Eating a poor-quality diet robs you of the nutritional factors necessary to help you stay healthy. Lastly, many people are simply unaware of how to shop for healthy foods. Convenience and taste become the major criteria for food selection, while nutritional value is given little attention, if any at all. Many nutritional researchers point to the rising problems of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other diseases of modern society as evidence of the deteriorating quality of the diet most people consume.
The reasons for becoming a vegetarian are many and varied. Many people are vegetarians as a result of religious beliefs. In addition, semi vegetarians usually believe that red meat is harmful to health, particularly--but not exclusively--to heart health.
Lacto and lacto-ovo vegetarians might add that there is a moral dimension, based on a belief that animals have the same right to live as we do. Because dairy foods and eggs can be collected without killing (or harming) the animals that provide them, lacto and lacto-ovo vegetarians might be justified in considering themselves more humane than meat eaters.
Vegans would almost certainly agree with the moral argument but would probably add that--unlike milk and eggs--plants contain no cholesterol and most plant foods have little 'saturated fat' (a type of fat that is associated with increased risk of heart disease).
It is worth noting that coconut oil and palm oil are exceptions in that most of the fat from these plant foods is saturated.The higher levels of many vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and other substances believed to be of nutritional benefit in foods of plant origin are also used as arguments for greater health benefits of vegetarian diets.
Many vegetarians believe that, in addition to health benefits and moral considerations, there is also reduced environmental degradation (ie, increased sustainability) associated with vegetarianism. In some countries there are special reasons for considering adopting a vegetarian diet.
Some teenagers--mainly girls--adopt a vegetarian diet because they think it will lead to weight loss. In a few cases, changing to an extreme vegetarian diet can be a smokescreen for an eating disorder. So although many girls follow a vegetarian diet--and only a small number develop an eating disorder--it is worth watching for any changes that lead to severely restricted total food intake.
It is important to understand the differences in carbohydrates, since sugar alcohols and other low glycemic ingredients have a minimal effect on blood sugar levels.
The simplest answer is because most people eat a poor diet. Studies show that the average diet in the US consists of too much fat, too much sugar, not enough fiber and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables. We are eating plenty of calories, but they are often "empty" calories, meaning that they have very low levels of the essential vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. Since the majority of meals in the US are currently eaten in restaurants or "on the run" it makes good sense to take a vitamin supplement to fill in the gaps in our diet. While it is important to remember the value of a nutritional supplement in maintaining health, we should never think that taking a supplement replaces a good diet. In other words, the first and by far most important step is to improve the quality of our diet, and then take a supplement as a nutritional insurance policy to make sure we get all we need.
Despite repeated attempts, carefully controlled studies have not been able to demonstrate that vitamin C megadoses have any significant effect either in preventing or curing the common cold.
While some studies have reported that the vitamin has a slight effect on decreasing the severity of cold symptoms, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals do a better job.