Monday, November 23, 2015

Metabolism - Are you Helping or Hurting Yours?

Good article from Eat This, Not That! titled "25 Things You Did Today That Ruined Your Metabolism" that gives your a checklist to ensure your are not disabling or degrading your metabolism which not only affects your immune system, but ability to control your weight. Twenty pounds or so that you don't need surely affects your joints, especially the knees, so take note!

Metabolism. It’s the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms. It’s such a big concept that you might believe you’re at the mercy of it. Well, you are! It’s thermodynamics at work, after all. But there are a bunch of simple — even easy — things you can do to boost your metabolism and make your body run more efficiently. Make tomorrow a great day by learning from the common metabolism mistakes you probably made today.

1. You didn’t get a good night’s sleep If you're chronically sleep deprived, don’t be surprised if you gain a few pounds without eating a morsel of extra food. “A lack of sleep can cause several metabolic problems,” says nutritionist Seth Santoro. “It can cause you to burn fewer calories, lack appetite control and experience an increase in cortisol levels, which stores fat.” Lack of sufficient sleep — which experts say is 7 to 9 hours a night for most people — also leads to impaired glucose tolerance, a.k.a. your body's ability to utilize sugar for fuel. “We all have those less-than-adequate nights of sleep,” says nutritionist Lisa Jubilee. “But if it's a regular thing, you're better off lengthening your night's sleep than working out, if fat loss or weight maintenance is your goal.”

2. You started your day dehyrated For Jubilee, one of the best and cheapest ways to give your metabolism a jolt is to drink water (she suggests 20 to 32 ounces) shortly after waking. Why? During sleep, your body’s metabolic function slowed, and unless you woke up in the middle of the night to swig some water, it didn’t receive any fluids. Jubilee suggests completely rehydrating before stressing your body with any other food or drink. “My clients who have implemented this report less bloating, more energy and a smaller appetite,” she says. Her motto for getting your inner furnace stoked and ready for the day: “Rehydrate, then caffeinate!”

3. You drank too much caffeine Plenty of studies indicate that caffeine can boost your metabolism in the AM. But nutritionist Amy Shapiro says that guzzling coffee and other caffeinated drinks all day could actually work against you. Caffeine is a natural appetite suppressant. If you’re constantly consuming it, you may not eat much — or realize how hungry you really are — until you get home for dinner. “Not eating enough throughout the day can make your metabolism sluggish,” she says. “By the time you eat dinner, instead of immediately using that food for energy, your body is aggressively storing it as fat, just in case it will be deprived again.”

4. You sit too much Ideally, we sleep about eight hours for every 24. Most people spend another seven to ten hours sitting at their desk. That means most of us spend the overwhelming majority of our time sedentary. Our bodies weren't designed for this level of inactivity — most of humans’ evolutionary history involved being active, searching for food and fuel. Jubilee says that one way to burn more calories daily is to stand more and sit less. She cites a British study which found that standing at work burned 50 more calories per hour than sitting. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, consider this: If you stand for just three hours of your day, in one year you’d expend more than 30,000 extra calories — which amounts to about 8 lbs of fat! Another good office habit: Set a phone timer to remind you get up every hour and walk around, even for a few minutes, says Jubilee.

5. You didn’t eat organic “Hormones dictate how our body utilizes the energy we give it,” says Jubilee. “Between our reproductive, thyroid and growth hormones, appetite, insulin and hunger hormones — leptin and ghrelin — our bodies have to perform a tricky balancing act to keep us lean, energized and viable reproductive beings.” Those tasks have become much more difficult because of the hormone residues we consume via cage-raised foods. If you want to give your metabolism a leg up, Jubilee says, switch to organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, eggs and dairy products, thereby avoiding those nasty hormones at mealtime.

6. You ate too many calories too late in the day “Not eating enough calories in a day is an easy way to slow your metabolism,” says Santoro. “It’s a common mistake people make.” When you don’t consume enough calories, your body switches into starvation mode, and your brain tells your body to store fat. This can increase cortisol levels, leading to belly-fat storage, which comes with health risks. “Eating a large dinner, especially too close to bedtime, can be detrimental to your metabolism,” says Shapiro. “It’s likely to throw off your inner clock and make you not hungry in the morning, which can ultimately lead to weight gain.” It’s at this point in the day that people are more likely to have an alcoholic beverage, which can bedevil your metabolism even more. “When a person drinks, acetate is formed,” says Santoro. “The body spends time trying to detoxify itself rather than burn calories.” He adds that drinking alcohol can impair protein synthesis and anabolic (muscle-building) hormones. Shapiro suggests that you prepare for busy or unpredictable days by packing healthy snacks to keep you from overeating or making unhealthful food choices.

7. You sprinkle food with sea salt Sea salt has cachet, especially when paired with chocolate or caramel. What it doesn’t have is iodine, a key element that gives your thyroid gland what it needs to get the job done. The thyroid gland helps to regulate your metabolism. If you don’t have enough iodine, it’s unable to produce thyroid hormones, and your metabolism can grind to a screeching halt. Most table salt is iodized; just a half-teaspoon will provide 100% of your RDA for iodine. You can also eat seaweed, cod, shrimp, and eggs, all of which are great sources of iodine.

8. Your home or workplace is too warm If you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly a mammal. It follows that you’re also an endotherm. This means that you can set heat free from within your own body to regulate your body temperature, rather than relying solely on the ambient temperature. It’s not just a neat trick common to both mammals and birds — it also burns calories. So turn down your thermostat and let your body do the heavy lifting. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that participants who slept in bedrooms cooled to 66°F for a month doubled the amount of brown adipose tissue they burned. Brown adipose tissue is a type of fat that burns calories rather than stores them. "Brown fat becomes more active in cooler temperatures to help keep us warm," explains Aaron Cypess, MD, an endocrinologist at the NIH. The take-home? Turning down your heat, sleeping in cooler temps, and spending time outdoors is going to help to stoke your metabolism, so chill out to get lean.

9. You've nixed carbs completely Although it’s true that eating too many refined carbs can get in the way of your health and weight-loss goals, eating too few can have a similar effect. That’s because when we exercise, our muscles need carbohydrates’ stores of glycogen for energy; if they don’t get enough, they can’t grow. That’s bad because the more muscle you can get and keep, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. But that’s not all. With your muscles starved of energy, you won’t be able to exercise as intensely as you otherwise would. That means fewer calories burned while active. Have a serving (about the size of once cupped palm) of oatmeal, sweet potato or brown rice prior to working out.

10. Your entire focus is on lifting weights, not lowering them It feels great to work out in an efficient amount of time, but when it comes to cranking your metabolism, haste makes waste. That’s because there are big metabolism-boosting benefits that come from the eccentric (a.k.a. lowering) aspects of these movements. Eccentric movements damage muscles more than the act of lifting them. They require more effort from your body to repair and demand more caloric energy to do so. Greek researchers demonstrated that women who performed one weekly strength workout that focused on eccentric movement increased their resting energy expenditure and fat burning by 5 and 9%, respectively, over a period of eight weeks.

11. You don't snack like a nut A review of research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly those contained in walnuts, could enhance the activity of certain genes that control fat burning, meaning that a nutty snacker may burn more calories throughout the day than one who grabs another type of lower cal snack. One to 1.5 ounces amounts to a small handful of walnuts. Have a snack of this size once daily for better burning.

12. You're not being intense Researchers in Australia found that when women performed a 20-minute HIIT workout three times per week, they shed nearly 6 pounds more than those who exercised for 40 minutes three times a week at a steady pace. Why? Researchers explain that while high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is of shorter duration than a regular cardio workout, it results in greater post-exercise oxygen consumption, meaning that you continue burning calories for a period of time afterward.

13. You're working out at the wrong time Northwestern University scientists have suggested that getting out and about in the early morning sunlight could help to regulate your circadian rhythm. That controls the many functions your body performs, including how much and well you sleep, how much you eat, and how much energy you burn. Try stepping outside for a jog or walk first thing in the a.m. Studies have shown that people who are up-and-at-’em first thing have a lower BMI compared to those who take their sunshine later in the day.

14. You’re eating inconsistent amounts at irregular times Ready to do some simple math? Figure out how many calories you need to achieve your desired weight and evenly divide that number by the 3, 4 or 5 meals and snacks you eat per day. Aim for each of your meals to be roughly this size. Why? Research from John Moores University in Liverpool found that women who fluctuated between eating low- and high-calorie meals were less happy with their bodies than those whose plates contained a similar number of calories from meal to meal. But it's not just a fluctuating size that can derail your weight-loss goals. A Hebrew University study from 2012 found that mice that were fed high-fat foods sporadically gained more weight than mice that ate a similar diet on a regular schedule. Experts suspect that eating at the same times every day trains the body to burn more calories between meals.

15. You’re consuming too many pesticides A Canadian study has found that chemicals in pesticides called organochlorines can mess with your body's energy-burning process and make it more difficult to lose weight. The researchers found that dieters who ate the most toxins experienced a greater-than-normal dip in metabolism and had a harder time losing weight. Dr. Whitney S. Goldner of the University of Nebraska Medical Center has noted that there is growing evidence for a link between exposure to pesticides and thyroid problems. Your move is to buy organic fruits and veggies whenever possible.

16. You’re consuming dietary toxins in processed foods Studies have shown that mice that have had sustained exposure to chemical preservatives develop significant abdominal weight gain, early insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Limiting your exposure to dietary toxins, sugars, refined carbohydrates and processed foods will help keep your metabolism revved.

17. You’re Drinking Water Containing Fluoride and Chlorine If your thyroid is dragging, your metabolism will slow down and may even become dysfunctional. Drinking fluoridated and chlorinated water supplies have been linked to dysfunction in metabolic processes — both chemicals interfere with normal thyroid function. Drink filtered water whenever possible.

18. You’re taking unnecessary meds We’ve come to rely on various medications to deal with lifestyle diseases. For many people, these medications do for them what bold lifestyle changes have not. For others, drugs for diabetes, cholesterols and high blood pressure have been taken too soon and for too long. That’s bad because in they can interfere with critical metabolic processes, which dramatically reduce the expenditure of energy. It’s well worth talking to your doctor about what can be achieved with non-pharmaceutical interventions, such diet, exercise and meditation.

19. You’re eating too little This one sounds counterintuitive, but bear with us. When you don’t sufficiently fuel your body, it can switch into starvation mode. In effect, your metabolic rate slows and your body clings to the remaining fuel. That’s because in our evolutionary past — before the advent of agriculture — food was often scarce and the body adapted to conserve fuel. Even if you’re cutting calories and creating a calorie deficit, your best move is to eat often and in a way that enables you to be active without getting exhausted.

20. You’re not eating enough protein Protein is a one-stop metabolism shop. It fills you up, making you less likely to forage for less metabolism-boosting food. It can rev post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35%, according to research, and it helps you grow muscle, which is like a calorie-incinerating body cloak that’s hard at work blasting calories while you’re at rest. It ought to be a component in every meal. Eat protein-rich foods such as fish, egg whites, lean meat or nuts daily.

21. You're not catching enough D Vitamin D. Wild salmon has plenty of it. In fact, you can get 90% of your recommended daily value (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of this delicious fish. Don’t have a taste for salmon? That’s alright, alright, alright: Go all McConaughey and take your shirt off. Exposing your full torso to the sun for at least 30 minutes will produce approximately 10,000 IU.

22. You’re not getting enough calcium Calcium plays a key role in regulating the way your body metabolizes. Specifically, it determines whether you burn calories or sport them as a tire. According to research conducted at the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, a diet that's high in calcium could help you burn more fat. Consume dairy, Greek yogurt and these calcium-rich foods.

23. You’re eating refined carbohydrates When a carb is complex, the body has to work a little harder to break it down. White bread, pasta and rice are broken down more easily because the complex carbohydrates have been taken out of them and their carb content has been refined. The result? A slower metabolism. Refined carbs don't offer much nutritional value in the first place, so you’re way better off choosing whole-wheat breads, pasta and brown rice.

24. You’re eating too many sweets Avoiding sugary foods is a great idea. Why? Sugar creates a spike in blood glucose levels and is very quickly absorbed into your system. Both of these mechanisms are putting the brakes on your metabolism. Replace candy, chocolate and ice cream with fresh fruit for weight loss. It will help to satisfy your sweet tooth without causing a spike in your glucose levels.

25. You're drinking too much alcohol Sad news, folks: When you have an alcoholic drink, you burn less fat. What fat you do burn, you burn more slowly than usual. That’s because the alcohol is used as fuel instead. Quaffing a couple of martinis can reduce your body's fat-burning ability by up to 73%! That’s a scientific finding that should leave you shaken and stirred.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The 9 Most Nutritious Foods You Can Eat Right Now

I always like these little articles that point out decent foods and snacks that can have a positive effect on your health. This article was written by Josh Axe and published on Yahoo! Health.

The 9 Most Nutritious Foods You Can Eat Right Now

The word “superfood” has gained popularity in recent years, as people are more in pursuit of optimal health and longevity than ever. Superfoods, described as nutritionally rich foods that provide solid overall health benefits, are characterized by having high levels of vitamins and minerals as well as other beneficial nutrients like antioxidants, protein, fiber, and healthy fats — all of which boost health and are thought to ward off illness. Additionally, superfoods are typically plant-based and notoriously versatile, meaning they can be consumed in a number of ways. And given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms that people who consume more fresh fruits and veggies are less likely to struggle with chronic disease, there are ever more reasons to start eating some popular superfoods.

But it’s not enough to grab just any superfood and plop it on your plate. Those that are in season provide even greater nutritional bang for your bite, as they are more likely to be produced locally — not picked well before their peak and subjected to chemical processing in order to withstand a lengthy transit to your local grocery store. And they’re tastier and easier on your wallet too.

So, now that the weather is cooler and the leaves are changing color, it’s time to take advantage of some of the best superfoods that are either in season now or that pair beautifully with autumnal dishes. Check them out below.

A cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower is rapidly rising in the superfood ranks, both for its versatility and its broad range of health benefits. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this colorless cousin of broccoli provides an excellent source of fiber and omega-3s and brings with it countless health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it’s thought to have properties that combat or prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. Not a fan of cauliflower? You’re in luck! Its mild flavor means it can be combined with other foods and slipped into the diet in any number of ways, like in this macaroni and cheese.

In addition to making a delicious accompaniment to the standard Thanksgiving dinner, cranberries are a superfood that provide an impressive amount of health benefits. Most widely known for their role in fighting urinary tract infections, cranberries are also rich in antioxidants and play important roles in promoting heart health and, thanks to their high fiber content, digestive health.

Turmeric is thought to be highly effective as an anti-inflammatory agent, helping ease the pain of those who suffer from arthritis or other joint issues. But its reputation doesn’t stop there. In fact, benefit-rich turmeric has been found to help calm heartburn and nausea (though that could also be due to its anti-inflammatory values). Find it in pill form, or grab a jar from the spice aisle of your grocery store and sprinkle it into recipes to enjoy its benefits. The rich spice is delicious in all of fall’s savory soups and stews, or you can sip on this healing turmeric tea to stay warm on cool evenings.

When it comes to superfood lists, people tend to gravitate to more exotic offerings, and the humble apple rarely gets its due. But when it comes to all-around benefit, few foods are as nutritious as apples. Apples are a close runner-up to berries in antioxidant power, and their high fiber content helps heal digestion issues. That fiber also helps lower cholesterol, fight diabetes, and maintain healthy weight. The secret to reaping all of the apple’s health rewards is to eat the whole fruit — most of its nutrients are in the peel.

The new supernut on the block is the nutrition-loaded walnut, a tree nut that has countless health benefits. Its omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in maintaining heart health and aiding in the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. And walnuts are a jackpot source of fiber, protein, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, copper, and the ever-beneficial antioxidants.

Butternut squash
Fall is the season of the gourd, and for butternut squash fans, every autumn brings the welcome return of this delicious superfood. Butternut squash is orange in color, meaning it is naturally rich in carotenoids, which are known for their cancer-preventing properties as well as their role in promoting eye health. Additionally, butternut squash plays an important role in heart health, as it’s another plant-based source of omega-3s. Need ideas for how to prepare this super-versatile superfood? These recipes should keep you satisfied for a bit.

If you’re looking for an alternative to quinoa to satisfy your gluten-free needs, meet amaranth. A native crop of Peru, it’s cooked in a similar fashion to quinoa and can stand in for rice in most dishes. Amaranth is highly regarded for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and it is also high in protein, iron, phosphorus, and carotenoids, making it a versatile superfood that aids in digestion while also benefitting heart and bone health. As the weather cools, we typically reach for heavier, more filling meals. Amaranth is the perfect grain-free addition (it’s actually a seed) to fall’s comforting dishes.

Sweet potatoes
I don’t encourage people to eat a diet that’s high in potatoes — white potatoes, that is. But while standard russets are high in starch and a key contributor to weight gain when eaten is excess, sweet potatoes are the exact opposite. In addition to offering a lower glycemic load, sweet potatoes are full of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. That makes them great for weight loss, skin health, prostate health, and even preventing and fighting cancer.

Pumpkin seeds
After you finish carving the jack-o’-lantern for your front porch, make sure to hold on to those pumpkin seeds. Packed with magnesium, iron, protein, and zinc, pumpkin seeds are as tasty as they are nutritious. By saving them from the trash bin and incorporating them into your diet, you’ll maximize bone health and stabilize blood pressure.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Information on Blood Pressure

A new study about blood pressure will change the way doctors practice medicine. A single study will change the way I practice medicine, with guidelines from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health soon to follow, says Marc Siegel in an article written for Slate and posted on Business Insider. Marc Siegel, M.D., is a professor of medicine and medical director of Doctor Radio at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

It's easy to get confused by the overly dramatic daily news about health and medicine. One day coffee is great for you; the next day it interferes with sleep and leads to illness.

One day the plague is back; the next day it's Ebola or West Nile virus that is capturing attention. Healthcare stories ebb and flow as seen through the skewed eye of TV news.

But every now and then, a story comes along that literally changes the way I and other doctors practice medicine. It is difficult to overstate the importance of such a story.

One of the clues that we are in the medical-research big leagues is when a study is stopped early for dramatic, clear findings. That is what occurred this past week with the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, or Sprint.

Another clue is when the study is prospective (studying patient outcomes looking forward rather than looking backward at past behavior), successfully divides participants into two distinct groups, and provides an important answer to a lifesaving health question.

In this case the question is: What is a healthy blood-pressure goal? Doctors and their patients have long wondered what the magic number is for people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. Convention as well as guidelines have always been to keep a patient's blood pressure below 140 millimeters of mercury systolic.

By systolic I mean that first jet of blood pressure that shoots into the elastic arteries when the heart pumps; it's the first number given of a pair when blood pressure is measured. The diastolic blood pressure, or the lower number, is a measurement of the pressure left in the arteries when the heart rests.

One-third of all Americans suffer from high blood pressure, and everyone has a loved one with high blood pressure, so this concern is relevant to the entire country. Just half of those who are diagnosed with high blood pressure have it under control. Now we are redefining what "under control" means.

The Sprint study looked at more than 9,000 patients in 30 medical centers around the country from 2010 to 2013. When blood pressure was lowered to below 120 systolic as opposed to 140 systolic, there was a 30% decrease in heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes as well as a 25% decrease in death.

The study included the elderly, with an average age of 68. Fortunately, even with aggressive blood-pressure management, side effects did not increase.

In my experience, fear of side effects such as dizziness, impotence, and fatigue keeps many high-blood-pressure sufferers from maximizing their treatment options. Targeted diet, exercise, and weight loss are good first-line approaches, but many people require medication as well.

Now that I know there is a dramatic difference between a systolic blood pressure of 140 and 120 in those I treat, I will be much more proactive in trying to persuade my patients to target the lower number.

A single study will change the way I practice medicine, with guidelines from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health soon to follow.

That's a pretty good day for a new health report in the media. It's also a solid reminder to me and other medical reporters not to hype the next diet or vitamin study. When a medical home run like this one comes along, I want to be taken seriously when I get excited.

MyAchingKnees comment: My blood pressure was always around 138/96 for the almost 30 years I would get routine checkups. I was routinely flagged for week long BP measurements and tracking. Eleven years ago I started taking high quality nutritinal supplements. My routine BP has always been around 122/82 since then. In fact, nurses taking my BP during vitals triage for medical and dental appointments always remark that I have good BP. Wasn't always that way. If people out there have high BP, I would suggest finding and taking a high quality nutritional supplement to see if they can obtain the same results.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

DMAA Warning for Workout Supplements

The Defense Department’s Human Performance Resource Center is warning troops that DMAA, an ingredient found in some workout supplements banned by federal regulators in 2013, remains widely available online.

Nearly 40 supplements containing 1,3 dimethlyamylamine, sometimes called “geranium extract,” can be purchased through online retailers, according to the center. Go to the list of supplements here:

Roughly a quarter of those products are made by Georgia-based Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, which has filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration, alleging it illegally seized products containing DMAA in 2013 and failed to take the legal steps required to restrict the substance.

The government contends that DMAA is an unapproved food additive, and because the FDA considers it unsafe, the agency acted legally in banning it and confiscating products containing the ingredient, since those products are considered “adulterated.”

While the suit makes its way through the judicial system — a judge in April denied the government’s motion to dismiss — some DMAA products remain available online.

"Many [products with DMAA] are still being produced (or produced again), and some are even new," HPRC officials stated in a news release. "That means it’s very important to read dietary supplement product labels carefully to make sure yours doesn’t contain this potentially dangerous ingredient."

Originally developed and sold as a nasal decongestant, DMAA is advertised as a fat-burner or body-sculpting product. It is known to elevate blood pressure and can cause health problems ranging from heart attacks to shortness of breath, the FDA says.

Before it sent warning letters requiring manufacturers to remove DMAA products from the market, the FDA had received 86 reports of illnesses or death associated with the substance.

However, these "adverse event reports” indicate only that a patient either developed symptoms or died after or while using the product — and does not necessarily mean the ingredient was responsible for the illness or injury.

The Defense Department removed DMAA products from military exchanges and on-base GNC stores out of concern it may have contributed to the deaths of at least two soldiers who suffered heart attacks during physical training.

After the deaths and several other incidents involving DMAA, defense officials launched a two-year review of the ingredient that concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove it caused the service members’ deaths.

But the authors of the review also agreed that the ingredient posed enough of a health risk to keep it off the shelves of military stores.

DMAA is banned by the World Doping Agency and its use is strongly discouraged among service members.

According to the HRPC website, the FDA's declaration of DMAA as illegal for use as a dietary supplement ingredient specifically means “service members should not use dietary supplement products that contain it.”

The families of the two troops who died, Pvt. Michael Sparling and Sgt. Demekia Cola, filed lawsuits against GNC and USPLabs, the manufacturer of Jack3d, OxyElite Pro and other products containing DMAA. A jury trial has been postponed in the Sparling case until 2016; the mother of Demekia Cola reached a settlement with USPLabs on July 13.

Muhammed Islam, CEO of Total Body Nutrition, marketers for 1,3 D Bomb, a product that hails itself as the “most potent 1,3 dimethylamylamine available,” said he is breaking no laws by selling a pure DMAA powder online, because "it is pure and not actually 'adulterating' any product."

He said that as with any substance that is ingested, it should be consumed with caution.

“If you consume a lot of anything, you can get sick. If you eat too much chicken, you would be sick,” Islam said. “I can see people in the military thinking, 'I’m in the military, I can handle it.' But it must be taken carefully."

But HPRC officials say troops should steer clear of DMAA altogether, since the FDA considers it illegal and "DoD follows federal policy with regard to the use and possession of substances and products considered illegal."

“Not only could it be dangerous to your health, it could also be dangerous to your military career,” HPRC officials wrote on their website. “Keep in mind, though, that pre-workout, weight-loss or other performance dietary supplements without DMAA also may not be safe for your health.”

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Friday, October 16, 2015

10 Foods You Love to Eat That Are Surprisingly Healthy

If nutritionists are to be believed, eating healthy isn’t that much of a challenge. All you need to do is deny yourself any sensations of pleasure, all the time, every day, until you’re whisked away by the sweet relief of death.

But maybe a diet of water, quinoa, and chronic dissatisfaction doesn’t sound all that exciting to you. In that case, here’s permission to start enjoying life again. These surprisingly healthy foods manage to taste good without cutting your life span short, and some are actually pretty good for you.

Dark chocolate
Augustus Gloop may have been on to something. While overindulging in chocolate isn’t the best idea ever, dark chocolate does appear to have antioxidant effects. It can also lower blood pressure, improve vascular function, and comfort your soul the night after a break-up.

Potatoes Potatoes won’t save your life if you’re frying them, covering them in cheese sauce, and giving fate the finger while eating them, but on their own, they’re a strong source of potassium.

Red wine
A glass or two of red wine guards against heart disease, thanks to antioxidants. On top of that, science has shown that abstaining from alcohol in general can actually lead to a shorter life span. By this point, it’s like, irresponsible not to be drinking the stuff.

Oysters offer an almost ludicrous amount of zinc, as well as vitamin D. And they are ludicrously delicious. They are the center of the world’s most ludicrously amazing Venn diagram.

Chicken wings
Chicken’s already a good source of protein. Chicken wings are required, by law (basically), to be consumed while watching sports. Throw some wings on the grill — maybe remove the skins if you want the healthiest option — and be a proud American.

Hey, good news, movie fans: a cup of air-popped popcorn contains 3.5g of fiber. That’s actually pretty good. Just know that all health benefits are lost when you order a barrel of the stuff, drench it in movie theater “I can absolutely believe it’s not butter,” and chow down on it while watching Michael Bay’s latest crime against humanity.

MyAchingKnees comment: Just don't eat the microwave popcorn. The bags are almost always lined with perfluorooctanoic acid which is a toxin and an carcinogen. Another toxin that can be found in many versions of microwave popcorn is diacetyl butter flavoring which as been linked to brain and lung health issues. Tertiary Butylhydroquinone is yet another toxin found in some microwave popcorns. This stuff, also called TBHQ has links to ADHD, increased allergies and asthma, dizziness and intestinal tract cancers.

Whole-wheat English muffin pizzas
English muffin pizzas are the best snack ever, and whole-wheat English muffins are high in fiber and low in cholesterol and completely free of trans fats and I can’t worry about proper grammar and syntax now because I’m gonna go make some.

Before I do that, just a heads up: according to Harvard, whole grains help to lower cholesterol, maintain steady blood sugar levels, and could even protect against some cancers. You just have to pay attention to be sure you get the real thing, since the labeling standards for whole-grain products need some more work.

Just make sure you use more beans than meat. That way you’ll get a good dose of fiber. And maybe don’t throw it on top of a hot dog.

Quality cheese – that is, organic and grass fed – is shockingly good for you, offering a hefty dose of vitamins, as well as omega-3 fats, and a whole bunch of other nutrients. Based on what we know about red wine, we can only assume people at wine and cheese events are essentially superheroes.

We’ve already established that alcohol isn’t always bad for you. And beer… well, there’s a good chance you like it. If you’re gonna indulge anyway, take comfort in the fact that 12oz of Guinness contains a mere 125 calories, not much more than a light beer. Those extra calories are definitely worth it.

MyAchingKnees comment: My suggestion - substitute the Guinness with Chimay. This is holy beer. Chimay is made at the Scourmont Abbey, a Trappist monastery, and therefore God wants you drink it.

Written by Thillist and published on Yahoo!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

11 Serious Lack of Vitamin D Warning Signs did a good deed publishing these warning signs of Vitamin D deficiency, in their article "11 Serious Lack of Vitamin D Warning Signs". I have long thought that Vitamin D supplements are a great optimizer and I take between 3,000 and 5,000 IU each day, while the FDA recommends between 400 and 800 IU - but again, they work for the government. What this article doesn't address is the potential boost to your general immune system. I haven't been sick in over 11 years, while working in cold weather, around animals and all sorts of chemicals and toxins. Vitamin D is a keeper in my nutrient regimen.

Muscle Weakness Muscle weakness is usually caused by a Vitamin D deficiency. Muscles have Vitamin D receptors. They must have a constant supply of Vitamin D to function. If your body has a deficiency of Vitamin D, your muscles will have trouble functioning.

Bone Pain Shunning the sun and being lactose intolerant can leave you with a deficiency of Vitamin D. This can lead to bone pain, which can be difficult to distinguish from muscle or joint pain, but generally manifests as a deep, full pain that can't be isolated to an exact area.

Constant Respiratory Problems Studies show that Vitamin D may help defend against respiratory illness. This is especially true in children. If your child has severe asthma, you may want to increase their Vitamin D intake.

Sweaty Head Years ago, doctors used to ask new mothers if their newborns' heads were sweating more than normal. This is apparently a very early sign that a baby is Vitamin D deficient. If you're breastfeeding, you'll need to increase your sun exposure or consume more foods rich in Vitamin D.

Depression According to the Vitamin D Council, this essential nutrient helps your brain's neurotransmitters produce the fluid serotonin. This produces our feelings of happiness. Studies have linked low levels of Vitamin D with episodes of depression. This happens especially during the winter months, because of the lack of sun during that time of year.

Chronic Infections The Mayo Clinic has advised that Vitamin D is crucial to our body's health. It is a necessary vitamin in helping our body fight infections. If you notice you or your child is prone to getting infections, you might want to ask your doctor to give you a Vitamin D blood test.

Cardiovascular Disease Articles published by the National Institutes of Health have shown that deficiencies in Vitamin D can lead to congestive heart failure. Make sure your body maintains the proper amounts to guard against the risk. Home tests are available to check if you have a lack of Vitamin D.

Psoriasis Although psoriasis is not always caused by a lack of Vitamin D, it's used in treatment. The Mayo Clinic claims that if you have a lack of Vitamin D it will be harder for your body to defend itself against psoriasis.

Chronic Pain Studies have shown that low Vitamin D levels impact a person's chances of having chronic pain. People with darker skin are more prone to these effects, because they need more sun exposure to actually absorb any Vitamin D.

Tiredness Vitamin D is one of the necessary vitamins for your body to create energy. Without it you can end up feeling tired most of the day. This will make it hard for you to get around or even get to work. You should consult your doctor if you have constant feelings of tiredness.

Hypertension Harvard University conducted a study on women. The study showed that women with low levels of Vitamin D have a 67 percent increased risk of hypertension. If you suffer from anxiety, you may want to consider purchasing Vitamin D supplements and adding them to your daily routine.

Crankiness Vitamin D also affects the levels of serotonin in your brain, which is what impacts your mood. If you're feeling cranky, it might be because you're not producing enough serotonin!

Chronic Kidney Disease Kidneys are necessary to making the active form of Vitamin D for our bodies. Plus, as you get older, your kidneys are not as efficient at processing Vitamin D. Be sure to get some sun or take a supplement (and if you take a supplement, also take Vitamin K2 to activate the right proteins).

Reduced Endurance If you're an athlete and you're seeing your endurance decay for no apparent reason, it might be because you have low Vitamin D levels. Get enough Vitamin D to stay in your top performance level. You can obtain it in powder form to mix with your smoothies or protein shakes.

You're 50 or older If you're 50 or older, chances are you have a Vitamin D deficiency. The body simply doesn't produce as much Vitamin D as you get older, and so you should always make sure you're getting enough Vitamin D through other sources.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

15 Most Surprising Sources for Omega-3s — Ranked!

Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids are likely one of the nutrients people don't get enough of. Lack of Omega 3's in the diet, or a larger than recommended ratio of Omega 6's to Omega 3s are thought to adversely affect cognitive function, joint pain and cholesterol levels. One of the things I tell parents with ADHD or ADD children is to try adding Omega 3's to the daily nutritional plan for their children and see if that has a positive affect.

This is from an Eat This, Not That! article.

Imagine if you could take a pill that prevented you from ever feeling fat, dumb or depressed. Oh, and imagine that same pill happened to protect against heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis, too. Not too shabby, right?

Well, omega-3 fatty acids can do all of that, and this life-saving fat comes as a natural ingredient in many of our healthiest (and most delicious) foods, especially salmon, which has more than 1,500 mg in a 3 ounce portion. But as for popping omega-3 pills? “Supplements just don’t cut it,” says Elizabeth Chew, a NIH official who conducted a recent study on omega-3 pills and found zero benefits, at least when it comes to the cognitive abilities of older folks.

So if you’re shelling money for fish oil tablets, consider this good news: You can stop swallowing those horse-pill sized gel caps and go back to eating real food—including burgers, cheese, and even pizza. The researchers at Eat This, Not That! magazine have identified some of the most unlikely, and most delicious, ways to get your 1,100 mg of daily omega-3s recommended by the National Institutes of Health (men should get 1,600 mg daily)—we call it The Ultimate Omega-3 Countdown! You won’t believe what’s #1.

And don’t be fooled into thinking that just any fish will be good for your health.

Omega-3 Superfood #15 Grass-fed Beef
Omega-3 Payoff: 160 mg per 6-ounce steak

Because they wander around in fields eating things like flax and purslane (about which you’ll read, below), grass-fed cows yield meat that contains about 4 times more omega-3s than grain-fed animals.

Omega-3 Superfood #14 Mustard Seed
Omega-3 Payoff: 230 mg per tablespoon

One tiny teaspoon of ground mustard provides 100 milligrams of omega-3s, plus serious fat-burning potential. Scientists at England’s Oxford Polytechnic Institute found that a teaspoon of the hot stuff was enough to boost the metabolism by up to 25% for several hours after eating. Researchers attribute the weight loss benefits to allyl isothiocyanates, compounds that give the mustard its characteristic flavor. You can use ground mustard seed as you would black pepper—put a dash on your salmon for a double dose of omega-3 goodness!

Omega-3 Superfood #13 Omega-3 Eggs
Omega-3 Payoff: 225 mg per egg

Eggs turn up on many of our “best lists” because they are chock full of protein, vitamins, antioxidants, and a fat-fighting nutrient called choline. Omega-3 enriched eggs are laid by hens that are fed flaxseeds, chia seeds, and fish oil, thereby automatically improving your cluck! Speaking of turning off fat genes, blast fat quickly green tea. In a recent study, participants who combined a daily habit of 4 to 5 cups of green tea each day with 25 minutes of exercise lost 2 pounds more than those who didn’t drink the tea. That’s why we made it part of our brand new weight-loss plan, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Diet and Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in just one week!

Omega-3 Superfood #12 Wild Rice
Omega-3 Payoff: 240 mg per ½ cup (uncooked)

Diet experts go ga-ga for brown rice, but it’s wild rice that tugs on our heartstrings as a weight loss wonder food. After all, the native American grain has nearly double the fiber and protein, and fewer calories than its arguably more popular cousin. Whole grains have a proven reputation as a weight-loss staple. In one study, Penn State researchers found dieters on a calorie-restricted diet who ate whole grains like rice lost significantly more belly fat than a group who consumed the equivalent number of calories from refined carbohydrates. Another grain high in omega-3s: kamut, which, along with a fruit that tastes like chocolate pudding—yes, chocolate pudding—is one of our 8 Stupendous Secret Superfoods That Burn Fat!

Omega-3 Superfood #11 Purslane
Omega-3 Payoff: 300 mg per ½ cup

What the heck is purslane? While not a common food in most of the U.S., this sour, slightly salty green is often used in Greek and Turkish cooking. You can find it at farmers’ markets in spring and summer, but the most likely place you’ll encounter it is growing in the cracks of your driveway. A weed to most, it was a regular part of Gandhi’s diet, and a mere half cup has more than 1,000 IUs of vitamin A. This might be the cheapest stealth health food in the world!

Omega-3 Superfood #10 Winter Squash
Omega-3 Payoff: 332 mg per cup (baked)

More squash = less squish. A cup of winter squash provides one-third the recommended daily intake of vitamin C — a nutrient researchers say is directly related to the body’s ability to burn through fat. In fact, one study by researchers from Arizona State University showed deficiencies of vitamin C were strongly correlated with increased body fat and waist measurements.

Omega-3 Superfood #9 Spinach
Omega-3 Payoff: 352 mg per half-cup (cooked)

At only 40 calories per cooked cup, spinach is also rich in vitamin E and two compounds called “betaine” and “choline” that work together to turn off fat storage genes. Recent research suggests compounds in the leaf membranes called thylakoids may also serve as a powerful appetite suppressant. Participants in the three-month study who drank a breakfast smoothie containing spinach thylakoids had fewer cravings and lost 5.5 pounds more than the placebo group.

Omega-3 Superfood #8 Fontina Cheese
Omega-3 Payoff: 448 mg per 2-ounce serving

Dairy has made a dietary comeback, with new research suggesting the high-fat products like cheese may help reduce the risk of obesity. Cheese-eaters lost more belly fat than a control group who took a calcium supplement, one study found. The group that nibbled cheese also exhibited increased levels of butyrate, a fatty acid found in the gut proven to improve fat metabolism. So enjoy a piece guilt-free and then maximize your fat burn with these sweet and salty 50 Best-Ever Snacks for Weight Loss!

Omega-3 Superfood #7 Red Lentils
Omega-3 Payoff: 480 mg per cup (raw)

Lentils are an inexpensive dietary pulse, touted by weight loss experts for their ability to boost fat metabolism and regulate appetites. Researchers say the slimming benefits can be attributed to resistant starch, a form of slow-digesting fiber that triggers the release of acetate, a molecule in the gut that signals the brain when it’s time to stop eating. In fact, people who ate a daily serving of lentils (about ¾ cup) felt an average 31 percent fuller compared to a control diet, a systematic review of clinical trials on legumes found.

Omega-3 Superfood #6 Anchovies
Omega-3 Payoff: 597 mg per 1 oz boneless

The debate over pizza toppings is settled. While salmon, tuna, halibut and other popular fish grab all the omega-3 glory, the humble anchovy is often forgotten about. But just a couple of slices of anchovy pizza get you more than halfway to your daily quota. The superfish is also rich in calcium and potassium (both essential weight-loss minerals) as well as vitamin A. If you’re adventurous, eat them with the bones still in: a 2015 study in Food Chemistry Journal found that the traditional way of eating anchovies yields 8 times as much calcium and twice as much iron as the cleaned-up, boneless option.

Omega-3 Superfood #5 Firm Tofu
Omega-3 Payoff: 814 mg per 3-ounce serving

It has the reputation of being bland and slimy, but like the high school nerd-turned-successful hottie, tofu is worth a second look. A solid curd made from mashed soybeans, it’s a terrific source of plant-based protein with proven weight-loss potential. One study published in the journal Nature showed dieters who followed a 12-week meal plan that included a soy-based protein replacement lost twice as much weight and saw greater reductions in cholesterol and belly fat than a control group whose equicaloric weight loss diet included protein from lean meats. And the omega-3 count is off the chart.

Omega-3 Superfood #4 Walnuts
Omega-3 Payoff: 2,500 mg per ¼ cup

Walnuts pack the most omega-3 punch of any nut or seed, and they’re also high in disease-fighting antioxidants. This combination, according to a recent study, is highly protective against heart disease. Walnuts help reduce blood pressure and decrease inflammation in the blood vessels during times of stress. Toss some into salads or eat a handful as an afternoon snack.

Omega-3 Superfood #3 Navy Beans
Omega-3 Payoff: 1 cup has 1,190 mg

Not only are beans a great source of belly-fat-fighting fiber, a single cup gives you nearly an entire day’s worth of omega-3s. Navy beans are packed with satiating protein, and brimming with vitamins and minerals. Studies show that navy beans in particular can help battle diabetes and obesity.

Omega-3 Superfood #2 Chia seeds
Omega-3 Payoff: 2,500 mg per tbsp

Yes, those same chia seeds of Chia Pet fame. These nutty-tasting seeds can be added to salads, smoothies, stir fry and more to give your meals an omega-3 boost, and just a tiny shake each morning on your cereal ensures you’re hitting your daily quota.

#1 Omega-3 Superfood is…. Flaxseed Oil!
Omega-3 Payoff: 7,300 mg per tbsp

While whole flaxseeds are high in omega-3s, their hard exteriors often resist digestion, meaning you don’t necessarily get the nutritional bang for your buck. Go for the ground version (also known as flax meal), or get nearly a week’s worth of the good stuff by drizzling a little of the oil onto your salad. Studies have found flax to be helpful for cardiovascular disease symptoms like hypertension, according to a recent study in the journal Hypertension. That’s why flaxseed oil fits in among our 8 Best Oils for Weight Loss.

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