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Five myths about the ‘runner’s diet’: why living off lentils might not work – Varsity Online

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 9:49 pm


Many people who want to get into running are put off by the daunting prospect of painstakingly counting out individual grains of rice or choking down vile protein shakes. There is certainly no shortage of books explaining exactly which foods you simply must eat to maximise your performance, and no lack of tanned, toned, flat-tummed individuals smiling magnanimously from the cover in the safe knowledge of their own unassailable superiority. You know the ones I mean.

Books with such inspiring titles as This Is Going To Hurt, Willpower Doesnt Work and Skinny B*tch (all real names) make a running lifestyle seem exclusively achievable to those who do 5am 10-mile cross-country runs with rucksacks full of rocks, and then eat the rocks for breakfast. As someone who calls themselves a runner, and also as someone whose eating habits single-handedly keep Terrys Chocolate Oranges in business, I can tell you this simply isnt true. And so, without further ado, here are my Top Five Myths about the so-called runners diet.

1. Different people need different types of diet

Everyone is different. We all have that annoying friend who eats like a pig but looks (and runs) like a gazelle. However, as Micaela Karlsen points out, many people confuse differences in degree with differences in direction. What this means is that, whilst some people may have a lower tolerance to unhealthy food, they dont therefore need to follow a vegan diet, or a keto diet, or a sugar-free diet because its the only thing that works for them. All human digestive systems are fundamentally the same, and so eating generally healthy, balanced food will always win out over a wild goose chase for your perfect nutrition programme. Unfortunately, that also means theres no-one out there who will thrive off the McDiet

Eating generally healthy, balanced food will always win out over a wild goose chase for your perfect nutrition programme.

2. Your diet has to be precise

Food packaging labels outline each individual calorie, adding a second to our parkrun time and pushing us ever closer to our unavoidable demise. Its easy to become obsessed with the exactitudes of weekly mileage, km splits and PBs - it seems natural that this precision should also transfer to what we eat. However, the reality is that a far more rough-and-ready approach works just as well. In 2006, 20,000-year-old human footprints were found to be running for several miles at a breezy 37 kph Usain Bolts top speed. There is a lesson to be learned here: our ancestors certainly didnt worry about exactly what they were consuming. Its far healthier to have a common sense attitude about what you eat; listen when your body is telling you its hungry or full, and not beat yourself up for that extra slice of cake.

3. You need processed food

A common misconception is that expensive, fancy runner-y bars are an essential part of ones daily food intake. Some runners think its necessary to squeeze every possible microgram of sustenance out of each bite: the nutritional equivalent of Dwayne Johnson with a used-up tube of toothpaste. This may be true in very specific scenarios; energy gels are useful for refuelling during events typically around half-marathon length or longer. However, in day-to-day life natural foods will do just fine. In fact, subsisting on energy bars can mean you end up with mineral imbalances, impacting the bodys ability to absorb other substances.

What you eat and what you do need to work in harmony.

4. If you do enough running, you dont have to worry about what you eat

It always amuses me when I see jumbo-packs of Jaffa cakes with Enjoy as part of a healthy lifestyle on them. Sure, these are the closest Ive come to fruit in four weeks but not to worry, runnings a famous cure for scurvy. You can have the fastest car in the world, but if you ditch the motor oil and try to run it on deep-fat fryer oil instead, it wont be going anywhere. To clarify, Im not advocating runners drink motor oil (although I did get a 5k PB in the ambulance), but the principle remains. As much as Ive said that you shouldnt worry too much about what you eat, there is a limit, and you cant expect your body to perform if youre not giving it anything to go on.

5. and if you eat healthily enough, you dont have to do any running!

On the other side of the coin, youre not magically going to improve at running just by eating healthily. Without training, your VO2 max will drop and your performance will suffer. When more glucose is consumed than can be used or stored as glycogen it is converted to fat. Therefore, even if youre not ingesting many calories, what you do ingest will just lead to weight gain.

And there we have it: my Top Five Myths about the runners diet. Hopefully this will leave you feeling slightly less stressed about KitKats recently going up to 518 calories. After all, mental is just as important as physical health when it comes to running. Speaking of which, I think all this writing has earnt me a snack

Varsity is the independent newspaper for the University of Cambridge, established in its current form in 1947. In order to maintain our editorial independence, our print newspaper and news website receives no funding from the University of Cambridge or its constituent Colleges.

We are therefore almost entirely reliant on advertising for funding, and during this unprecedented global crisis, we expect to have a tough few months and years ahead.

In spite of this situation, we are going to look at inventive ways to look at serving our readership with digital content and of course in print too.

Therefore we are asking our readers, if they wish, to make a donation from as little as 1, to help with our running costs at least until this global crisis ends and things begin to return to normal.

Many thanks, all of us here at Varsity would like to wish you, your friends, families and all of your loved ones a safe and healthy few months ahead.

Five myths about the 'runner's diet': why living off lentils might not work - Varsity Online

Aging Starts at 30 In Your Body. Here’s What to Do About it – The Beet

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 9:49 pm

You know how every decade your body loses muscle mass, and adds more fat, in what is considered an inevitable downward spiral into aging? This process is called sarcopenia and "sad to say, it starts inyour 30s," according to Susan Vannucci, RD, Ph.D. Asyour body's lean muscle mass decreases, "we not only lose strength but our basal metabolic rate or the amount of energy or calories your body needs every day becomes reduced." And that means weight gain! This process accelerates with age, making it more and more difficult to even maintain, much less lose, weight.

Well, there is a way you can fight it. But first, you have to acknowledge that the changes that happen over time don't just pop up one day, but rather are insipient and gradual, and they have everything to do with the choices you make at the table and in your workout routine.Here's the good news: You can control all that.

Just as the beauty industry has taught young people to wear sunscreen at the beach when they don't have a wrinkle in sight, so does the nutritionist savvy authorities (not the food industry, but theprofessionals who you pay to give you smart nutrition advice), want you to think about eating the healthiest foods and doing resistance traininglike burpees, kettlebells, weights, and HIIT workouts) that put your muscles under stresson a regular basis.

The only debate is: What are the right foods to eat? And how can you harness the powers of antioxidants to spring your cells into action, to fight off inflammation, repair their own cellular infrastructure, andfunction optimally, as they do in a young person, for decades to come?

"Aging is not a disease. There are diseases of aging, but it doesn't mean they are inevitable," says Vannucci, RD, Ph.D. a wellness expert in New YorkCity who provides individual wellness counseling in-person and online for individuals age 45 and up nationwide. Su, as her patients call her, has a strong academic and medical background, having gotten her degree in cellular biology, as well as training in nutrition. She is currently working on a book, Age Strong, Live Long with her kick-ass trainer, Antoinette Vo, who has her doing 60-pound deadlifts at the age of 71.

"I ran my last marathon for my sixtieth birthday, and it was my fastest," Vannucci explains. She retired her running shoes to save her back, after a few issues, but her current workouts of strength training, Pilates and power walking, and what she calls "heavy lifting" have made her stronger than she was decades ago. "My attitude is that you can forestall aging, and by and large, unless you have a genetic condition, all of the diseases related to aging are not inevitable. Loss of muscle mass and body fat are not inevitable. You just have to work at it."

Because she started her career asa scientist her patients are likelier to listen to her. So when her patients askher the mechanisms of how something works and why, if she doesn't know the answer she will find it out.The questions we asked her today are simple: How can you eat and workout to reverse the clock, or at least slow the hands of time, to make sure when you hit your 60th or 70th birthday your body is as fit or fitter than it was at half that age?

Susan Vannucci: The thing about food is it definitely impacts aging.If you want to forestall the process of aging, you need to reduce systemic inflammation. Because it's reallythe same thing. Inflammation causes aging, on a cellular level. So first you have to get everything out of your body that causes inflammation. That is red processed meat, chemicals, added sugar, and anything that is processed.

Years ago, Time magazine did a big cover story on inflammation, calling it the Silent Killer. Inside the writer calls it"Inflam-aging." It is such a great term! You think about inflammation, such as when you cut yourself or bruise yourself, but that is a momentary stream of helpful fluid to repair a site. The concept we are talking about is not that temporary state of cell repair. It's more like a flood-state that suppresses all cellular functions. When you have systemic inflammation in your bodythatis chronic, thatis one of the biggest contributors to aging.

Susan Vannucci: I tell clients: The biggest problem is junk food and added sugar in the diet.The fact that people don't even know how big the basket of junk food is. They might think they are eating healthy but even if it is vegetarian or vegan, just because it is lacking animal product does not mean it's healthy! it may be so processed that it's junk food. Read the label. Most packages foods are so full of chemicals.

In the effort to lower inflammation, eat more plant-based foods.But eat them in their whole form. potato chips and corn chips are still plant-based.

Susan Vannucci: When my daughter was a teenager, said she wanted to go vegetarian. I worried that to her, that meant a diet high in potato chips. I made a deal with her. She was a competitive athlete, a sprinter, and hurdler, a competitive horsewoman and I made a deal with her: You heed a healthy diet, and I will totally support you. You have to be able to eatall the beans and legumes and plant-based proteins that are whole foods and recognize what makes a complete protein.

She and I were always going to write this book together on what to do when your child announces they want to go vegetarian or vegan. She stuck with it until she married a guy who likes meat, then she got pregnant and so now the way she eats is thatany meat in her diet is more of a condiment than the main part of the meal.

Susan Vannucci: The first thing is we talk about what they are already doing to get a sense of where they arein this journeybecause I always say I don't put people in diets. We don't talk about being "good" or "bad," and I don't weigh anybody. I provide the information they need and assume we are all responsible adults and if you want to do this, you can.

Susan Vannucci: Get rid of all the white stuff. Things that are processed. Most things that come in bags, boxes, or containers of any kind can sit on a truck or a shelf for a long time ... the chemicals in it are the problem. Get rid of that stuff. Flip to whole grains, whole foods, lots of water, and move more! That should not be so hard to do.

When people start to read the labels of boxes that hold the food they are about to eat, thinking they are healthy foods, like whole wheat crackers, they can be horrified. How many names do we have for sugar? Not uncommonly if you look on a label there will be three to five kinds of sugar in there.

Susan Vannucci:If someone isreally hungry (not bored or in need of a diversion) cut-up vegetables. carrots, celery with a little bit of hummus, or some edamame is a really good snack. A lot people come to me with the same complaint. When they worked all day in an office and get to the end of the day, and leave to go home,by the time they get home, they are starving. They walk in the front door and eat everything in sight. While waiting for dinner. Usually, that sets their cravings up. Now when we work from home it's constant snacking.

If you know you're a snacker keep healthy ones on hand: Rice cakes, hummus, and make avocado slices. Rice cakes can be healthy but not the caramel corn ones loaded with sugar. Just basically talking about whole grain rice cakes. They keep! And also keep nuts around.

Susan Vannucci: As for eating plant-based, of course, most people should eat more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. But that doesn't mean that just because you're vegan or avoiding animal products that you're eating healthy. You have to avoid all processed foods. I am an advocate for healthy foods and what works best for people is not all the same.

For the planet, and because I absolutely hate, loathe, and detest the food industry, I would saychoosing a diet of mostlyplant-based eating is smart. But I know people like my husband who especially don't do as well on a solely plant-based diet.

Susan Vannucci:Normally, people are worried about protein but unless you are over 80 a lack of protein is unlikely to be your biggest problem. People who are older can sometimes be deficient because they don't eat enough calories in general. But if you're not in that category it's not something to worry about.

Susan Vannucci:For keeping muscle mass and not gaining fat you need to put your muscles into a state of stress. I enjoy heavy lifting. As you get older and by that, I mean anyone over 30, with the awareness that this aging process of losing muscle mass starts in your 30s, you have to do resistance training, and it has to be heavy.

For the most part, women are not going to bulk up. The way I started this was when I stopped marathon running I just felt I was losing my strength, so I got a trainer who got me into kettlebells, and it's been fabulous. I am stronger than ever at 71, and I am pretty strong. I have my cadre of kettlebells and I can deadlift 100 pounds.

The idea is not to lose muscle mass, so you need to add in resistance training several days a week. and go heavy. I can swing a kettlebell that is 40 pounds, and lift 60, but not over my head (that's dangerous). I will lift 18 pounds over my head.This is how women, especially can maintain muscle mass. The reason we lose it is that the equilibrium in our body between muscle synthesis and muscle breakdown starts to shift as we get older. So you breakdown more than you build back up. And slowly over time, you lose your muscle mass. That's what causes aches, pains, falls, and lack of balance. The stronger the body, the less you age.

Susan Vannucci: Vitamin D3 is absolutely important.Almost no one gets enough D3 naturally. And Omega-3 is important, either from algae or fish oil. We have come to learn that vitamin D is essential in so many pathways. Way beyond just bone health. It's vital in fighting cancer, MS, and more. And because of sunscreen, and working indoors, staying out of the sun, people are vitamin D deficient. Yes, cases of COVID-19 have been worse for those who are D deficient, so taking D is a good idea to strengthen your ability to fight viruses.

Why Omega 3 because what's happened is we need all the omegas, the Omega-3s the Omega-6s, and the Omega-9s. But because of the food industry, ourdiets lack Omega-3. They have taken out the Omega-3 from foods, and increase the Omega-6 to increase things like shelf life. So for most people, the ratio is way out of balance. And what happens is our cell membranes are made of fat. They have a lipid bilayer and they are constantly turned over, like most things in the body, so if you have too much Omega-6 in your body, that gets overrepresented in your cell membranes, and then when anything happens, like internal stress and those Omega-6s get broken down, and they are pro-inflammatory. So you need to supplement with Omega-3 to keep your cell membranes healthy and intact.

Susan Vannucci: So that is why people are living with this internal fire.Inflammation is a precursor of a lot of diseases, and this is inflammation is something you can't see because it's going on inside of you on a cellular level. You can see the effects, like high blood pressure or you can take a blood test and test for what's called C-reactive protein.

That can be tested for, andthat's probably the easiest and most common marker for people. C-reactive protein is a marker that indicates there is inflammation in the body, and if yours is elevated it can be a signthat there's inflammation in the arteries of the heart, and that you are at risk for heart attack or stroke.High blood pressure is another sure sign of inflammation. If there should be an impetus to go to a plant-based diet it's hypertension. I tell people that the DASH. diet works which are mostly made up of plant foods.

To connect with Susan Vannucci, visit her website, Wellnesswith Susan Vannucci, Ph.D.

1. How old are you?20 or less = 0; 21-30 = 1; 31-40 = 2; 41-50 = 3; 51-60 = 4, >60 = 5

2. Have you had a heart attack or stroke? Yes = 5; No = 0

3. Do you have high blood pressure (>140/90), or high cholesterol ( >220; HDL<35)? Yes = 5; No = 0

4. Do you currently smoke?Yes = 5, go to question 5; No = 0, skip to 6

5. Do you smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day?Yes = 5, go to question 7; No = 0, go to question 7

6. Have you ever smoked regularly?No, never = 0; quit more than 10 years ago = 1; 5-10 years ago = 2; quit within the past 5 years = 3

7. Do you have diabetes- either type 1 or type 2? Yes = 5; No = 0

8. Do you have periodontitis (severe gum disease)? Yes = 3; No = 0

9. Do you have medical complaints but doctors cant find anything wrong? Yes = 3; No = 0

10. Are you often fatigued, even after a good night sleep? Yes = 5; No = 0

11. Do you have trouble falling asleep and/or wake up too early and cant go back to

sleep?Yes = 3; No = 0

12. What is your Body Mass Index (BMI)? Weight (lbs) x 704.5 / height (in)2 < 25 = 0; 25 29.9 = 3; >30 = 5

13. Do you feel depressed or sad most of the time? Yes = 3; No = 0

14. On an average day, how much pain do you have?No pain = 0; minor aches, nothing serious = 1; annoying pain = 2; sometimes a lot of pain, depends on the day = 3; usually in pain = 4

15. How often do you eat fish/ take omega-3 supplements/week? None = 3; 1 or 2 = 0; >3 = -3

16. How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you eat/day? None = 5; 1-3 = 3; 3-7 = 0; >7 = -5

17. What is the population size of where you live?> 1 million = 5; 500,000 1 million = 3; < 500,000 = 0

18. What fuel do you use for home heating?Kerosene burner/wood stove = 5; oil or gas furnace = 3; heat pump or electric = 0

19. How often do you use heavy-duty cleaning products (bleach, ammonia, bath, and shower cleaners, mildew removers, etc) in your home?

Never, only use natural cleaners = 0; rarely = 1; often = 2; daily = 4 20. Do you regularly use air fresheners, either spray or plug in? Yes = 2; No = 0

21. How often do you feel stressed?

Rarely = 0; About average = 1; Often = 2; Always = 5

22. How often do you exercise?

Never = 5; rarely (1x week or less) = 4; 1-2/week = 1; regularly,

3 or more/week = -523. Do you regularly take steroids either by prescription or performance- enhancing?

Yes = 5, No = 024. Do you take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other NSAIDs, or statin medication?

Yes = -5; No = 025. Are you exposed to pesticides?

Frequently = 5; Sometimes = 3; Never = 0 Total Inflammation Score =

Max = 98, Lowest = 18Your Score: 50- 98: High inflammation risk. Dont panic!! This only means you have a higher than average risk of developing the disease- but there are things you can do! Talk to your doctor ask about testing your C-reactive protein (CRP). And follow guidelines to reduce your risk score.Your Score: 20-49: Moderate inflammation risk. Look for areas where you scored the highest and plan ways to change those risk factors, especially with increased age.Your Score: < 20: Congratulations!! This is a great place to start towards a lifetime of wellness and disease prevention. Pay attention to areas that will increase risk in the future!

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Aging Starts at 30 In Your Body. Here's What to Do About it - The Beet

5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick Right Now, According to a Nutrition Expert – Eat This, Not That

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 9:49 pm

As if the new COVID-19 strain wasn't enough of a stressor, it's also high time for the flu and common cold, which means it's all the more important to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Thankfully, there are several ways you can do this naturallyand on a daily basis.

Nicole Avena, Ph.D., nutrition expert and author of Why Diets Fail,specializes in functional nutrition and holistic health. Here, she shares five tricks you can employ to best prepare your immune system for illness this winter through diet and supplements alone. And after, be sure to read The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

This one's a no-brainer, right? We all know vitamin C is crucial for combatting the common cold, in addition to myriad other viruses, but do you know why? Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects against oxidative damage in white blood cellsas well as in other important immune cellsso that they can function optimally, says Avena. Essentially, the antioxidant builds a strong barrier around these cells so that environmental pathogens and pollutants don't weaken or destroy them.

If you already have a cold, Avena suggests aiming for consuming anywhere between 1 and 2 grams (1,000-2,000 milligrams) of Vitamin C per daywhich can be attained through a high-powered supplement. If you don't have a cold, the recommended dietary allowance of the vitamin for women 19 years and older is 75 milligrams and for men, it's 90 milligrams.

Be sure to check out 5 Foods High in This Vitamin That Can Help Protect You From COVID-19 for tips on which foods are the richest sources of the antioxidant.

"A quick walk during the day can do wonders for the body, especially when the sun is shining," says Avena. "Make sure to apply SPF and head outside for 10 to 30 minutes per day to take advantage of the sun's natural form of Vitamin D, as this vitamin helps protect against common colds and can decrease inflammation."

Of course, you could always reap the health benefits of vitamin D3 from a supplement, but making it a point to go outside also gets you some exercisewhich is ideal to do every day. There are a few foods you can source the vitamin from, as well, but they aren't many options.

"Vitamin D can be tough to get from foods since fewer foods naturally contain it," Avena explains. "Salmon is one source that can be good. Also, many dairy products and cereals are fortified with Vitamin D, so check the label and opt for those."

RELATED: 5 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency You Should Never Ignore

"Vitamin C and zinc are cofactors that help your cellular immune system work better," Brittany Busse, MD, associate medical director at WorkCare told Eat This, Not That! in another article. The vitamin and the mineral work in tandem to support the immune system, which can shorten the duration of the common cold.

"Macrophages and other white blood cells that attack pathogens need zinc to function at full capacity," says Avena. You can source zinc naturally from oysters, pumpkin seeds, crab meat, and beef or you can get your daily dose by way of a supplement. Avena suggests trying vitafusion's zinc gummy vitamin.

You've probably heard mixed reviews about Elderberry in 2020. At the beginning of the pandemic, Elderberry was believed to play a role in spurring what's called a cytokine storm, however, more recently, experts have come out to say that isn't necessarily true.

William Schaffner, an infectious disease doctor at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, told North Carolina Health News that while taking Elderberry syrup likely won't prevent COVID-19, it wouldn't be harmful either. But, taking the supplement as a means to prevent the common cold is a different story.

"The berries and flowers of Elderberry are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system and reduce recovery time after a cold or flu by activating the body's immune response, increasing antibodies, and expanding immune cell production," says Avena. If you're not a fan of syrup, opt for Nature Made's Elderberry gummies.

In fact, you should be getting at least 300 milligrams of the mineral every single day.

"There's evidence that magnesium plays a major role in brain function, sleep regulation, and emotional stability," says Avena. "The mineral contains calming properties while activating your parasympathetic nervous system and can be found naturally in leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and milk."

Many foods offer magnesium, which may make attaining the recommended dietary allowance through diet alone a bit easier. One ounce of dry, roasted almonds provides 80 milligrams of magnesium, for example, and one cup of soymilk offers just over 60 milligrams of the mineral.

Now, be sure to readThese Vitamins May Help Prevent COVID, Study Finds.

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5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick Right Now, According to a Nutrition Expert - Eat This, Not That

Health Matters: Thinking about weight loss pills? Heres what you should know – The State Journal-Register

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 9:49 pm

By Qing Yang and Kevin Parker| State Journal-Register

Weight loss is one of the most popular New Years resolutions. However, it often fails, due to a lack of motivation, poor planning and not enough support. Even after achieving a weight loss goal, keeping the weight off is hard. Wouldnt it be nice if there was a magic pill you could take and the excess fat would just melt away forever?

Theres a huge demand for weight loss agents. Forty-two percent of American adults and 19% of children are obese based on the body mass index (BMI), which calculates whats the appropriate weight for a given height. Climbing obesity rates is a boon for pharmaceutical companies. In fact, several new prescription weight loss drugs have been introduced recently. Are they right for you? Before you decide, lets review what these pills are and how they work.

Six prescription weight loss medications are currently approved by the FDA. All are indicated for people with BMI > 30 or BMI > 27 and suffering from diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Orlistat (brand name Xenical) inhibits the enzymes that break down fat in the stomach, reducing fat absorption. A lower dose formulation is available over-the-counter (Alli). Side effects are oily stools, diarrhea and gas, which can be alleviated by adopting a low-fat diet. You must also take supplements for fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D and K). Rare instances of liver injury and kidney stones have been reported.

Liraglutide (Saxenda), originally created for treating diabetes, mimics a naturally-occurring hormone called GLP-1 to enhance satiety; you feel full, so you stop eating. It's injected once a day under the skin. Gastrointestinal side effects are common. It carries a small theoretical risk of inducing thyroid cancer.

Naltrexone + bupropion (Contrave) modulates signals in the brain to suppress appetite. Headache, dizziness, nausea and constipation are common. Exercise caution if you also take other agents that alter your nervous system such as seizure medicines, antidepressants and opioids.

Phentermine (various brands and generics) is an amphetamine derivative that decreases appetite. Once shunned by doctors for being part of the fen-phen (fenfluramine-phentermine) combo that was withdrawn in 1997 for causing deadly heart diseases, phentermine has gradually regained popularity and become the most widely prescribed weight loss medicine today. Similar to other stimulants, it can affect your blood pressure and heart rate, cause insomnia and problems with attention and memory.

Phentermine + topiramate (Qsymia) exploits synergistic appetite control. Side effects include dry mouth, anxiety, depression and worsening of glaucoma, in addition to whats associated with phentermine alone. Stopping the medicine suddenly can cause seizures.

Amfepramone is an older stimulant not commonly used nowadays.

Weight loss medications have a notorious track record of safety issues. In the 1960s, people died from amphetamine diet pills. Then came the fen-phen scandal. In 2004, the FDA banned ephedra for elevating blood pressure and causing stroke. In 2010, sibutramine (Merida) was withdrawn from the market for increasing heart attacks. Last year, lorcaserin (Belviq) was withdrawn due to cancer risks. Importantly, all weight loss medications should be avoided in women who are or want to be pregnant because of adverse effects on the fetus.

Ironically, these medications are clearly labeled only effective as adjuncts to caloric restriction and physical activity. In other words, they only work when used together with diet and exercise the two ultimate pillars of weight management. Also, dont expect immediate, dramatic results. Typically, people lose 3-7% of their starting weight after several months.

They arent cheap, either, costing hundreds of dollars per months, and not always covered by insurance.

Lastly, a word of caution about non-prescription weight loss agents marketed as herbal extracts or nutritional supplements they arent regulated by the FDA, so theres no way of knowing whats actually in them and no stringent clinical experiments to demonstrate their effects.

In conclusion, weight loss medications are not magical at all. Theres no shortcut to building a healthy body sorry! These pills can lend you an extra hand, but only if youve already built a foundation of moderation and discipline with diet and exercise. Given their side effects, they may not be worth the expense to your wallet and your overall health.

Qing Yang and Kevin Parker are a married couple and live in Springfield. Dr. Yang received her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and completed residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is an anesthesiologist at HSHS Medical Group. Parker has helped formulate and administer public policy at various city and state governments around the country. He is formerly the group chief information officer for education with the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology. This column is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The opinions are those of the writers and do not represent the views of their employers.

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Health Matters: Thinking about weight loss pills? Heres what you should know - The State Journal-Register

Mat Fraser Told Stefi Cohen What He Eats to Be the ‘Fittest Man on Earth’ –

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 9:49 pm

Mat Fraser held onto his title of "Fittest Man on Earth" for another year in October 2020, when he won the annual CrossFit Games for the fifth year running. In a recent conversation with powerlifter Stefi Cohen on her YouTube channel, Fraser spoke about how his diet plays an important part in his overall fitnessand why he doesn't believe in cheat days.

While plenty of other CrossFit athletes might have those defined six-pack abs, Fraser says his nutrition has never been about eating to look a certain way. "My previous sport was weightlifting, all I cared about was being strong, not looking strong," he says. "When I got into CrossFit, I never cared about looking fit as long as I was fit."

He adds that he has found that a higher percentage of body fat can have some benefits when competing, and that this "extra cushion" can be an advantage when it comes to longer events. "By day three or four, these guys that have these incredible abs, they don't have the fuel."

During the periods when he is preparing for a competition, Fraser rarely has an appetite, and has to force-feed himself so that his body is able to recover during his intense training. "If I have a 90-minute training session, I have a pile of Snickers next to my bike and I'm just piling them in," he says. "I'm taking in a huge amount of calories in liquid form, in Gatorade, just slugging it down. Just carbs, carbs, carbs. Is it great for my performance? Absolutely, I feel great, I recover off that, but what's it doing for my body composition? For 99 percent of people, that's why they're working out, they want to look better in day-to-day life."

He adds that his go-to foods during competition are all about packing as much fuel into his body as possible: breakfast burritos, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, rice bowls with meat and vegetables and then calorie-loaded meals at night such as tacos, cheeseburgers, and pizzas.

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When asked about his favorite cheat day meals, however, he says he doesn't really do them, preferring to incorporate sensible amounts of treats into his everyday routine. "I struggle with moderation, it's either all or nothing," he says. "I have two chocolate truffles every night. And that for me is my treat, that's what I look forward to... I don't cut out sweets altogether, I just try to have one or two a day."

However, when the competition season is over, all bets are off. "As soon as the gains are done, I go overboard," he says. Once a year for a couple of weeks, I'll just binge." Then there'll come a stage where his body naturally starts to crave salad after being loaded up with so much sugar and salt. "I get excited from wanting to eat healthy again."

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Fend Off Heart Failure with Sodium and Potassium: Partners in Crime – The Great Courses Daily News

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 9:49 pm

By Roberta H. Anding, MS, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Childrens HospitalEdited by Kate Findley and proofread byAngelaShoemaker, The Great Courses DailyBalanced sodium and potassium electrolytes in the bloodstream prevent irregularities in bodily functioning. Photo By Angelus_Svetlana / ShutterstockAre Sports Drinks Unhealthy?

A lot of people are confused about sodium and its partner in crime, potassium. Because the mainstream media largely portrays sodium as unhealthy, health-conscious people tend to shun foods and beverages that are high in sodium, such as sports drinks.

In my clinical practice, I end up going out and doing a lot of public speaking, Professor Anding said. I was at a local swim club not too long ago and I started to talk about sports drinks. I could feel the crowd kind of shift, and I had a mom raise her hand and say, You know, I really cant believe that youre a sports dietician. I cannot believe you would recommend that my child drink something thats artificially flavored, has high-fructose corn syrup in it, and has all this salt.

Professor Anding asked the mother to critique how much sodium was in the sports drink versus the glass of milk her daughter had earlier in the day. As it turns out, an eight-ounce serving of a sports drink has 110 milligrams (mg) of sodium, and an eight-ounce glass of milk has approximately 120 mg. The more accurate thought would be: High sodium in relationship to what?

Sodium and potassium are two electrolytes that play an important role in regulating fluid exchange within body compartments.As such, blood levels of these electrolytes are rarely affected only by dietary means, and that should make sense.

Since they are so integral for bodily function, your body needs many defense mechanisms to keep the blood values of sodium and potassium within a narrow range.

These two minerals consequently play a major role in blood pressure. Keeping blood pressure within normal range reduces your risk of congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

In general, the higher the persons salt intakeand keep in mind, salt is sodium chloridethe higher the individuals blood pressure, according to the USDA guidelines for Americans. This is one of the major public health initiatives.

Sodium intake in the United States regularly exceeds the recommended daily amount of less than 2,300 mg. Since sodium makes up about 40% of salt, this would be the equivalent of about one teaspoon of table salt a day.

You might be thinking, I dont salt my food. I cant possibly be getting that amount. In fact, the typical Western diet contains about 4,500 mg of sodium, depending on the region of the United States you live in.

Being born and raised in Wisconsin, I might have had sodium in cured meats, but I certainly didnt eat the spicy food that I experienced in New Orleans and in South Texas, Professor Anding said.

Since the body actually only requires 500 mg of sodium per day, that means many of us take in almost 10 times what we need. However, its not practical to only consume the biological requirement.

Many types of foods contain sodium, and some are foods you wouldnt consider as having sodium. That 4,500 mg average is almost 20 to 30 times the amount of sodium needed to replace normal sodium loss.

Normally, we lose about 25 mg a day in our urine; 25 mg a day in feces; and for people who spent most of their time indoors, normal skin losses are about 100 mg per day. However, the normal skin loss amount is much higher for individuals who are physically active.

Along with this issue of sodium overconsumption is the underconsumption of its antagonist, or the mineral that acts as its counterbalance, which is potassium. Higher potassium intake helps to lower blood pressure by blunting the effects of sodium.

Diets rich in potassium are also associated with a reduced risk of developing kidney stones, as well as the reduction of bone loss caused by age. Again, potassium and sodium work in concert with one another, and trying to get them to work in harmony is often difficult.

Tomorrows article will explore the functions of these two electrolytes and also go into more detail about sodium loss during exercise.

Professor Roberta H. Anding is a registered dietitian and Director of Sports Nutrition and a clinical dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Childrens Hospital. She also teaches and lectures in the Baylor College of Medicines Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent Medicine and Sports Medicine, and in the Department of Kinesiology at Rice University.

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Fend Off Heart Failure with Sodium and Potassium: Partners in Crime - The Great Courses Daily News

Learn How Diet & Supplements Can Jump Start Your System For Better Overall Health With The East West Way –

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 9:49 pm

Posted: Jan 18, 2021 / 12:02 PM CST / Updated: Jan 18, 2021 / 12:02 PM CST

Wellness Expert Taz Bhatia, MD. Explains How to Put Yourself Back Together & Recover from the Stresses of 2020

2020 has been a very stressful year with challenges that we havent faced in recent times. We have collectively experienced trauma which can wreck havoc on the body, and as a result, many people are experiencing new health issues. So, how do we recover? We have one of the top integrative medicine physicians in the nation available to share timely tips for making a full recovery from 2020 and getting back on track for 2021.

Dr. Taz Bhatia will tackle a critical topic as we move into the New Year. Shell share her 2020 Recovery Checklist and explain how some new supplements can help with better sleep, boost energy, lose weight and maintain overall health. Dr. Bhatias practice is nationally recognized for creating specialized treatments plans. Her unique approach has earned her guest appearances on the Today Show, Dr. Oz, and numerous other network TV shows. Some of her best-selling books include: WHATDOCTORS EAT, THE 21-DAY BELLY FIX and SUPER WOMAN RX.

Dr. Taz Bhatia, M.D. is an integrative medicine physician and wellness expert who gained national recognition as a best-selling author of the books, What Doctors Eat, The 21 Day Belly Fix, and Super Woman Rx. Her integration of Eastern medical wisdom with modern science has led to featured segments on The Today Show, Dr. Oz, Live with Kelly & Ryan and eventually the premiere of her own PBS special Super Woman RX with Dr. Taz. She is also the host of the Super Woman Wellness with Dr. Taz podcast. Personal health challenges in her twenties led Dr. Bhatia to opening her now nationally recognized practice. Today, Dr. Taz and her team work to help patients understand their core health issues and develop personalized treatment plans, pulling from multiple systems of medicine, including integrative, functional, Chinese, and holistic medicine.

For more information visit &

Sponsored by The East West Way. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.

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Learn How Diet & Supplements Can Jump Start Your System For Better Overall Health With The East West Way -

Watch What Happened When This Guy Ate and Trained Like Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali –

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 9:49 pm

Legendary boxer, civil rights activist and all-round icon Muhammad Ali has never really fully left the cultural conversation, but he is well and truly back in the zeitgeist right now thanks to Eli Goree's portrayal of him in the new movie One Night in Miami, which depicts a fictionalized meeting between Ali (then still going by Cassius Clay) and Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown in 1964.

Goree recently shared with Men's Health how he got into The Greatest shape to play Ali on-screen, but meanwhile, on YouTube, fitness vlogger Will Tennyson has been paying homage to the man by spending a day following his rigorous diet and training regime.

The day starts with a 4:30 a.m. wakeup and a 6-mile run, which Ali would traditionally do while wearing heavy boots. This would work his legs, contributing to that famous endurance, but as Tennyson points out, it's also rough on the knees.

Run done with, Tennyson eats Ali's staple breakfasteggs, toast and orange juicebefore heading to the gym for a calisthenics workout and boxing drills. This includes practicing his footwork with ladders, 20 minutes of jump rope, sparring and speed work.

Following the workout, Tennyson eats a cheeseburger (another of Ali's favorites) before preparing one of his all-time favorite dishes, baked chicken with mac and cheese, spinach and peas, and finishing the day with a contemplative walk.

"A lot of people give 110 percent at whatever it is they're doing, without focusing on their mental wellbeing," he says, "and all that does is create problems. So it's nice to see that [Ali] spent some time on himself, focused on his inner wellbeing. I think that positively translated to a better, more successful career."

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To Be Healthier, Boost Immunity, Reduce Pain, Just Go Plant-Based – The Beet

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 9:49 pm

Feeling young is great, but acting like an adult means taking care of your health

Mentally, 73 percent of Americans feel younger than they really are. So while they are feeling oldphysically they are young at heart, but perhaps this youthful spirit could be misleading them to believe they can eat and drink as they did in high school. It's time to change our diets to reverse the clock, not replicate our happy days.

The top struggle of growing up is being responsible for their physical health, 4 in 10 people said, including making their own doctors appointments.The same proportion of respondents admitted to not buying nutritious food when grocery shopping.

Sixty-three percent of respondents say they feel much older than they expected to at their current age.

The survey data reveals that nutrition gaps are more than common among adults in this age group, but thats not necessarily a surprise. For example, its understandable that busy adults dont necessarily have time to cook the recommended servings of fish per week, even though it is an excellent source of Omega-3s that support heart and immune health, said Dr. Taz Bhatia, Integrative Medicine Physician. (Note that the Mediterranean Diet includes fish while a plant-based diet gets Omega-3s from algae and plant-based sources.)

If you cant add more of these foods to your diet, one of the best ways to mitigate these nutrient gaps is with high-quality supplements, she added. Look at how the supplements are sourced, the quality and quantity of the ingredients, and any third-party testing.Sixty-three percent of respondents said that as theyve gotten older, the number of vitamins and supplements they take has increased. However, two-thirds still feel like they should be taking more than they currently do.

The biggest challenges ofbecomingan adult, according to the survey

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To Be Healthier, Boost Immunity, Reduce Pain, Just Go Plant-Based - The Beet

What to take for nausea: What medications and home remedies work well? – Medical News Today

Posted: January 19, 2021 at 9:49 pm

Nausea is the feeling of needing to vomit. Various medications are available for treating nausea, including antiemetics and antihistamines. Eating different foods or changing other dietary habits may also help relieve nausea.

Nausea has many possible causes, including viruses, pregnancy, and anxiety. The most effective treatment for nausea will depend on its cause.

This article discusses medications and home remedies for nausea.

Antiemetics are drugs that treat nausea or vomiting. The appropriate type of antiemetic will depend on the cause of these symptoms.

Several broad classes of antiemetics are useful for treating nausea:

Different eating patterns and some foods may help alleviate nausea.

If someone regularly feels nauseated, they could implement some of the following eating habits to help reduce nausea:

Some diets can also help reduce nausea.

For example, the foods that make up the BRAT diet could help ease nausea as they are easy to digest. These foods, which give the diet its name, are:

Learn more about the BRAT diet here.

However, due to the restrictive nature of the BRAT diet, a person should be mindful of the number of nutrients they are consuming. This diet is not a long-term solution, and people should only follow it when they feel nauseated.

If nausea lasts for more than a few days while a person is following the BRAT diet, they should contact a doctor.

Some herbs may also alleviate nausea. A 2015 study suggested that ginger could be a promising treatment for nausea and vomiting. However, the researchers note that more research is necessary to support these findings.

Nausea and vomiting are common during pregnancy. However, some pregnant people experience severe sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum. Those who find that the sickness affects their day-to-day life and becomes a cause for concern might need treatment.

People need to be cautious about most treatments during pregnancy, including those for nausea, as side effects could harm them or the fetus. For example, ondansetron can prevent nausea, but researchers remain unsure whether it affects the fetus.

Metoclopramide is one first-line treatment option for people who are pregnant. Antihistamines such as doxylamine are also an effective medication for treating pregnancy-related nausea, and they do not harm the fetus.

Learn more about morning sickness and pregnancy here.

Aromatherapy can involve diffusing essential oils into the air to produce aromas that a person then inhales. Proponents of aromatherapy suggest that it may reduce nausea.

A small 2016 study that included 123 participants found that inhaling peppermint oil could reduce feelings of nausea following an operation.

However, a comprehensive 2018 review noted that there is not enough quality research to confirm aromatherapy as an effective remedy for nausea.

Research investigating the antinausea properties of aromatherapy is mixed, and researchers need to conduct more robust studies to understand if and how essential oils exert these effects.

However, some individuals may wish to try using aromatherapy alongside nausea medication to see whether it helps them feel better.

Learn more about aromatherapy here.

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves using needles to apply pressure to specific points on the body to relieve pain and relax muscles.

Acupressure is similar, but instead of using needles to stimulate points on the body, a person just applies pressure using their fingers or thumb.

Some research suggests that acupuncture could help alleviate nausea. For example, a 2013 review observed that acupuncture could treat nausea and vomiting following an operation. The review noted that stimulating pressure point 6 (P6, or Nei Guan) was particularly effective in reducing nausea.

If a person wants to try acupressure, they can find P6 below the wrist by the inner arm. Applying pressure with a thumb or the fingers for 23 minutes may help someone feel less nauseated.

However, a 2015 review noted that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of P6 stimulation in alleviating nausea is weak and that more robust studies are necessary.

Therefore, it is advisable to try antinausea medication or dietary changes before trying this method.

Learn more about acupuncture here.

Nausea is a common problem with many possible causes. Antiemetic drugs are medications that can prevent nausea.

The most suitable type of drug will depend on what is causing nausea. For example, during pregnancy, people are limited to medicines that healthcare professionals consider safe for the fetus.

People can also try various home remedies to see whether they help reduce nausea. These include eating and avoiding certain foods, adjusting the frequency of meals, aromatherapy, and acupressure.

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What to take for nausea: What medications and home remedies work well? - Medical News Today

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