Thursday, July 31, 2008


Say ‘yes’ to salmon


Taking fish oil helps reduce cardiovascular disease.
Taking fish oil helps reduce cardiovascular disease.

Oily fish benefit health in many ways, writes YAM CHER SENG.

FISH has fed millions of people for thousands of years.

Oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon and herring in particular, are good sources of the biologically active omega-3 fatty acids; Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that have been proven to benefit health in so many ways.

Studies have shown that people who eat oily fish or take fish oil supplements score 13 per cent higher in IQ test and are less likely to show early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, the researcher found that the mental speed in the brains of fish oil users seemed to be faster and younger than the non-users.

Intervention studies using fish oil concentrates that provide EPA and DHA at intakes of up to 2 to 4g/day over a few weeks have also shown that these fatty acids can favourably attenuate various risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The effects include an anti-thrombotic effect, lipid lowering and improvements in membrane cell function. Omega-3 fatty acids accumulate in various sites including circulating blood platelets, the heart and serum phospholipids. The accumulation of EPA and DHA in platelets is associated with decreased platelets adhesiveness and aggregation and an overall reduction in thrombogenicity. Anti-atherogenic effects of omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown in animal studies.

Evidence from prospective secondary prevention studies suggests that a combination of DHA and EPA supplementation ranging from 0.5 to 1.8 g/d (either as fatty fish or supplements) significantly reduces subsequent cardiac and all-cause mortality.

Anti-inflammatory effects in humans are further suggested by trials demonstrating benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disorders.

American Heart Association Dietary Guidelines recommend at least two servings of fish per week (particularly fatty fish). However, fish can also contain mercury, which can cause severe neurological damage to the foetus. Now it seems that mercury poses yet another risk, premature birth!

Technology used to concentrate and purify fish oil minimises impurities by removing heavy metals (for example, mercury and lead), environmental pollutants (for example, dioxins) and oxidative impurities to ensure highest quality products. It selectively concentrates EPA and DHA to provide a high potency source of biologically active omega-3 fatty acids.

Higher concentration using 330mg of EPA and 220mg DHA in the form of capsules has the benefit of convenience, a bonus for those who dislike eating fish.



Broccoli to the defence

British scientists have found a chemical in the cruciferous vegetable that can protect men from prostate cancer
Michael Kahn

a few more portions of broccoli each week may protect men from prostate cancer, British researchers reported.

The researchers believe a chemical in the food sparks hundreds of genetic changes, activating some genes that fight cancer and switching off others that fuel tumours, said Richard Mithen, a biologist at Britain’s Institute of Food Research.

There is plenty of evidence linking a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables to reduce cancer risk. But the study published in the Public Library of Science journal, PLoS One, is the first human trial investigating the potential biological mechanism at work, Mithen added in a telephone interview.

"Everybody says eat your vegetables but nobody can tell us why," said Mithen, who led the study. "Our study shows why vegetables are good."

Prostate is the second leading cancer killer of men after lung cancer. Each year, some 680,000 men worldwide are diagnosed with the disease and about 220,000 will die from it.

Mithen and colleagues split into two groups 24 men with pre-cancerous lesions that increase prostate cancer risk and had them eat four extra servings of either broccoli or peas each week for a year.

The researchers also took tissue samples over the course of the study and found that men who ate broccoli showed hundreds of changes in genes known to play a role in fighting cancer.

The benefit would likely be the same in other cruciferous vegetables that contain a compound called isothiocyanate, including brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, rocket or arugula, watercress and horse radish, they added.

Broccoli, however, has a particularly powerful type of the compound called sulforaphane, which the researchers think gives the green vegetable an extra cancer-fighting kick, Mithen said.

"When people get cancer, some genes are switched off and some are switched on," he said. "What broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer developing and switching off other ones that help it spread."

The broccoli eaters showed about 400 to 500 of the positive genetic changes with men carrying a gene called GSTM1 enjoying the most benefit. About half the population have the gene, Mithen said.

The researchers did not track the men long enough to see who got cancer but said the findings bolster the idea that just a few more vegetable portions each week can make a big difference.

It is also likely that these vegetables work the same way in other parts of the body and probably protect people against a whole range of cancers, Mithen added.

"You don’t need a huge change in your diet," he said. "Just a few more portions makes a big difference." – Reuters


Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Top 10 Reasons Why you should NOT "go" on a Diet

by: Holly Rigsby

The only thing growing faster than the $65 billion diet industry is the American waistline. If one of your New Years resolutions was to Go on a Diet, the only place I guarantee you will up in weight. It's a Fact - Diets will only make you fatter.

When it comes to the latest in Diet fads, we are quite gullible and easily tempted by a Diet's empty promised. Reason being....the diet industry KNOWS we are in search of the "quick fix" and will only play with our emotions - our desperation for the quickest way to relieve looking and feeling fat.

Diets are nothing more than Temporary Solutions with many lingering, negative side effects. Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why you should NOT "go" on a Diet

1. Diets do NOT work. Diets have a 99% Failure Rate.

Have you noticed a pattern yet? Lose weight....quickly regain it? Over time, studies show if you diet you are more likely to be overweight than people who eat normally and make small gradual changes to their lifestyle. No, the Law of Averages does not apply to this faulty system.

2. Dieting can be Dangerous. Any time you severely restrict the amount or types of foods you eat you put your health and life at risk. Dieting has been related to injuries and sudden deaths from electrolyte imbalance, malnutrition, and heart arrhythmia's. Weight cycling, or yo-yo-ing weight, is associated with higher death rates - especially if some type of pills are being used. At no point should you ever place weight loss above your health.

3. Dieting Destroys your Metabolism. Diets will cause your weight to quickly cycle up and down. Sure, you may lose weight quickly because you are simply not eating enough. In the initial stages, the first seven to nine pounds lost are water, presenting a real danger of dehydration and mineral deficiencies. Even more terrifying ins the break down of lean muscle due to inefficient nutrients and calories. If you are losing more than 3-4 pounds a week, you can be sure this is what is happening - very little fat is lost this state. Now, any muscle loss will cause your metabolism slow to a crawl. The cumulative effect takes place for you cannot survive very long on very low calories (1200 or less) and you will eventually eat more - on top of a slower metabolism. All those excess calories will be stored as fat - causing rapid weight gain.

4. Dieting is Exhausting. Diets are just reduced calorie Fads disguised by a clever gimmick. "Lose weight while you sleep" "Eat all you want and still lose weight" Not eating enough or cutting out certain food groups means your body may not be getting the energy it needs, or may lack certain nutrients. You will feel exhausted, light headed and experience some not-so-fun mood swings.

5. Dieting is Disruptive. Dieting negatively affects your normal eating patterns. Diets can lead to binge eating, overeating and chaotic eating. When you diet, it is common to override your internal signals telling you to eat. You end up trying to use willpower or resist hunger signals and may even go as far as taking appetite suppressants. This results in being unable to know when you really are hungry or wore....when you're full.

6. Dieting can lead to eating disorders. Experts state that the high rates of eating disorders in the U.S. are due in part to people dieting, losing weight, rebounding, and becoming chronic dieters.

7. Dieting Causes Food Obsessions. If you spend a large amount of time and energy depriving yourself of food or certain types of food - you will spend more time thinking about food and become obsessed attempts to control your weight by what you choose to eat or not eat. How long do you want to live like this?

8. Dieting Diminishes Women. There is way too much attention focused on our appearance and an arbitrary number on the scale. In the midst of this focus - we end up avoiding what really matters to us - our dreams and ambitions. Even worse, it erodes our confidence and self-respect.

9. Dieting Intensifies Negativity. If you diet, you are more judgmental and critical of yourself and others. Once again, wasted time and energy.

10. Diets Put Your Life on Hold. Does this sound familiar...."I'll be happy when I weigh "x pounds." Guess what, the issues in your life are not related to your weight. Take responsibility and take back control of your life. Decide to be happy now and do what it takes to live a lifestyle that reflects your priorities. So this year resolve to NOT go on a Diet. Set Yourself Free from this miserable, guaranteed to fail weight loss cycle. Do NOT let the diet industry make money by taking advantage of you. It is time to stand up for yourself and take control.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008


General Knowledge of Plastic Surgery

by Naisarasri Sri

Back in the old times, they were not open to anything superficial such as plastic surgery. They believe that if one should grow old, one must do so naturally. Moreso, there were less surgeons who specialized in this field of medicine, and there was little marketing to fuel it. Except from a few plastic surgeries done to fix faces or body parts from mishaps of accidents, there was not much support for it.

But times have changed and looking at its popularity nowadays, plastic surgery seems to be the next normal resort to wrinkles, excess fat, unsightly blemishes, dissatisfied complexions, misaligned noses or sagging skin. Almost anything physical can be done by plastic surgery now, making it a service that is in demand. Plastic surgery fees are outrageous but still, this holds no barrier from being patronized.

There are two kinds of plastic surgery: Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery. These two cater to different purposes, although both of them are as expensive and critical. Reconstructive Surgery reshapes body parts that have been deformed or misaligned by accidents, injuries, deformities and physical afflictions like cleft lips or palate.

This is usually done to women, men and children who wish to achieve a normal state of appearance after certain traumas. These procedures are performed by qualified plastic surgeons to those with congenital abnormalities (those that have been born naturally with) and those with developmental deformities (injuries that have been induced by eventualities.)

On the other hand, Cosmetic Surgery seeks to correct whatever feature that someone is dissatisfied with, a physical abnormality or a much wanted enhancement. In this category, examples include surgeries that are done to enhance breast size, align or shaping of nose, fat elimination or liposuction, facelift, eyelid creases, birthmarks, etc. From the two, the latter is much more popular and marketed.

Many people may think of considering plastic surgery once in their lives since there may be a feature or two that we are dissatisfied with or wish to enhance. But despite the fact that it can be costly, there are things that should be considered when thinking about going under the knife. Plastic surgery may not hold the perfect realization to its promise and we must take note of these certain things:

1.Think it first before deciding to pursue it. Thinking about the pros and the cons will get you ready for the possibilities of whatever that may ensue as a result of the operation. Your physical appearance may not be the same, and you might be quite surprised about the changes.

2. Find a good doctor. Not all plastic surgeons are certified or good. You must always be sure that you are not jumping into the impulse of doing with someone who offers a cheaper price or simply don't do it with a doctor you barely know. Check on his clients, get plenty of referrals and see his certificate for real. Legitimate organizations may have lists of all qualified plastic surgeons that you may choose from.

3. Research about your desired procedure. This will help you decide about whether to do it or not. Being knowledgeable with the procedures to be done will enlighten you.

Plastic surgery is not a simple matter to decide on. Those who have undergone it will attest to that. So be inquisitive, do your research and listen to referrals.

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Friday, July 25, 2008


7 Foods To Make Your Diet An Anti Aging Diet

by Marcus Ryan

Nobody ever left planet Earth younger than when he or she arrived, and you won either. Aging is simply the natural consequence of being alive, and while you can do nothing to stop it, you can do plenty of things to keep the physical signs of aging at bay.

One of the most important weapons you have in the struggle to remain youthful is you diet. By committing yourself to following a diet which contains the following seven items, you will not only look younger than your chronological years; you feel much younger as well.


The monounsaturated fats in avocado oil will boost your cardiovascular function by lowering your cholesterol, but even better, they will hydrate and smooth your skin so that wrinkles are minimized. Any fats which can keep your skin supple are the right fats to be eating.

Avocados make great additions to salads and sandwiches, and who doesn't love fresh guacamole? You should, however, limit yourself to half an avocado each day because of their calories.


Salmon, especially wild salmon, is loaded with both lean protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, which like the fats in avocados, will work wonders on your skin. Eating salmon three times each week will get you all of its heart and skin rejuvenating benefits.

Salmon is delicious grilled, roasted, or baked, served hot or added to salad, with a simple sauce of lemon juice and fresh dill. But even canned salmon will get you the Omega-3 fatty acids you need.


In spite of what you may have heard about eggs being bad for you cholesterol levels, that only applies if you eat them to excess. Eggs are high in protein, cheap, and can be easily prepared in all sorts of dishes.


Probiotics are all the rage in healthy eating circles, and yogurt is simply bursting with probiotics. It also contains plenty of the lean proteins which will slow the rate at which your body metabolizes carbohydrates, keeping your blood sugar stable and helping you burn fat more efficiently.

Yogurt's probiotics not only help you digest your food more completely; they will rid your intestinal tract of the unfriendly organisms which can wreak havoc on your intestines. You get the most benefits from all-natural or plain vanilla yogurt, free of the additives which simply take up space that could be given to the probiotics and protein.

Tofu and tempeh

Both tofu and tempeh are rich in both bad cholesterol-bashing flavonoids, and in lean protein. Tofu is exceptionally versatile as a protein source because it will assume the flavor of the foods with which it is cooked. Tofu has even been used as the base for delicious ice cream-like desserts, which except for t heir much lower fat content are amazingly close to the real thing!


The humble blueberry has not found tremendous respect as a source of free-radical destroying antioxidants, and blueberries make delicious additions t breakfast cereals, pancakes, and yogurt.

Spinach, broccoli, and Chinese broccoli

These leafy green vegetables are, like blueberries, high in antioxidants so they can minimize the free radical damage which plays such a significant role in the rate at which you will age. They will also regulate your body's insulin levels, so that you can lose weight more easily and age more slowly.

By eating a large serving of leafy green vegetables with your protein meals, you will also counteract the protein acidifying affects on your body normal pH with the alkalizing effects of the vegetables. Keeping your body pH its natural alkaline state is one of the best ways to avoid degenerative diseases.

As you can see, simply adding these seven foods to your diet will go a very long way to keeping you young and healthy. But eating these foods is also going to add some real enjoyment to your meals, so you really have no reason not to eat them, do you?

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Sunday, July 20, 2008


Food Poisoning Symptoms

Symptoms of food poisoning depend on the type of contaminant and the amount eaten. The symptoms can develop rapidly, within 30 minutes, or slowly, worsening over days to weeks. Most of the common contaminants cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. Usually food poisoning is not serious, and the illness runs its course in 24-48 hours.

  • Viruses account for most food poisoning cases where a specific contaminant is found.

    • Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause a mild illness (often termed "stomach flu") with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, and low-grade fever. These symptoms usually resolve in two to three days. It is the most common viral cause of adult food poisoning and is transmitted from water, shellfish, and vegetables contaminated by feces, as well as from person to person. Outbreaks are more common in densely populated areas such as nursing homes, schools and cruise ships (hence why the virus is also known as the "Cruise Ship Illness"). The term norovirus has been approved as the official name for this group of viruses. Several other names have been used for noroviruses, including Norwalk-like viruses, caliciviruses (because they belong to the virus family Caliciviridae), and small round structured viruses.

    • Rotavirus: Causes moderate to severe illness with vomiting followed by watery diarrhea and fever. It is the most common cause of food poisoning in infants and children and is transmitted from person to person by fecal contamination of food and shared play areas.

    • Hepatitis A: Causes mild illness with sudden onset of fever, loss of appetite, and feeling of tiredness followed by jaundice, which is a yellowing of the eyes and skin. It is transmitted from person to person by fecal contamination of food.

  • Bacteria can cause food poisoning in two different ways. Some bacteria infect the intestines, causing inflammation and difficulty absorbing nutrients and water, leading to diarrhea. Other bacteria produce chemicals in foods (known as toxins) that are poisonous to the human digestive system. When eaten, these chemicals can lead to nausea and vomiting, kidney failure, and even death.

    • Salmonellae: Salmonellae are bacteria that may cause food poisoning; the illness itself is often referred to as Salmonella or Salmonella infection. Salmonellae cause a moderate illness with nausea, vomiting, crampy diarrhea, and headache, which may come back a few weeks later as arthritis (joint pains). In people with impaired immune systems (such as people with kidney disease or HIV/AIDS or those receiving chemotherapy for cancer), Salmonellae can cause a life-threatening illness. The illness is transmitted by undercooked foods such as eggs, poultry, dairy products, and seafood.

    • Campylobacter: Causes mild illness with fever, watery diarrhea, headache, and muscle aches. Campylobacter is the most commonly identified food-borne bacterial infection encountered in the world. It is transmitted by raw poultry, raw milk, and water contaminated by animal feces.

    • Staphylococcus aureus: Causes moderate to severe illness with rapid onset of nausea, severe vomiting, dizziness, and abdominal cramping. These bacteria produce a toxin in foods such as cream-filled cakes and pies, salads (most at risk are potato, macaroni, egg, and tuna salads, for example) and dairy products. Contaminated salads at picnics are common if the food is not chilled properly.

    • Bacillus cereus: Causes mild illness with rapid onset of vomiting, with or without diarrhea and abdominal cramping. It is associated with rice (mainly fried rice) and other starchy foods such as pasta or potatoes. It has been speculated that this bacteria may also be used as a potential terrorist weapon.

    • Escherichia coli (E coli): Causes moderate to severe illness that begins as large amounts of watery diarrhea, which then turns into bloody diarrhea. There are many different types of this bacteria. The worst strain can cause kidney failure and death (about 3%-5% of all cases). It is transmitted by eating raw or undercooked hamburger, unpasteurized milk or juices, or contaminated well water. Outbreaks of food poisoning due to E. coli have also occurred following ingestion of contaminated produce.

    • Shigella (traveler’s diarrhea): Causes moderate to severe illness with fever, diarrhea containing blood or mucus or both, and the constant urge to have bowel movements. It is transmitted in water polluted with human wastes.

    • Clostridium botulinum (botulism): Causes severe illness affecting the nervous system. Symptoms start as blurred vision. The person then develops problems talking and overall weakness. Symptoms then progress to breathing difficulty and the inability to move arms or legs. Infants and young children are particularly at risk. It is transmitted in foods such as home-packed canned goods, honey, sausages, and seafood.
    • Because botulism can be released in the air, it is considered a potential biological weapon for terrorists.

    • Vibrio cholerae: Causes mild to moderate illness with crampy diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting, and fever with chills. It strikes mostly in the warmer months of the year and is transmitted by infected, undercooked, or raw seafood.

  • Parasites rarely cause food poisoning. When they do, they are usually swallowed in contaminated or untreated water and cause long-lasting but mild symptoms.

    • Giardia (beaver fever): Causes mild illness with watery diarrhea often lasting one to two weeks. It is transmitted by drinking contaminated water, often from lakes or streams in cooler mountainous climates.
    • The infection can also be spread from person to person by food or other items contaminated with feces from an infected person.

    • Cryptosporidium: Causes moderate illness with large amounts of watery diarrhea lasting two to four days. May become a long-lasting problem in people with poor immune systems (such as people with kidney disease or HIV/AIDS or those on chemotherapy for cancer). It is transmitted by contaminated drinking water.

  • Toxic agents are the least common cause of food poisoning. Illness is often an isolated episode caused by poor food preparation or selection (such as picking wild mushrooms).

    • Mushroom toxins: Illness can range from mild to deadly depending on the type of mushroom eaten. Often there is nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some types of mushrooms produce a nerve toxin, which causes sweating, shaking, hallucinations, and coma.

    • Ciguatera poisoning: Caused by eating fish that contains toxins produced by a marine algae called Gambierdiscus toxicus. It can cause moderate to severe illness with numbness of the area around the mouth and lips that can spread to the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and weakness, headache, dizziness, and rapid heartbeat. The toxin may cause sensory problems in which hot things feel cold and cold things feel hot. It is transmitted by eating certain large game fish from tropical waters—most specifically barracuda, grouper, snapper, and jacks. According to the CDC, ciguatera has no cure. Symptoms may disappear in days or weeks, but may persist for years.

    • Scombroid: Causes mild to moderate illness with facial flushing, burning around the mouth and lips, peppery-taste sensations, a red rash on the upper body, dizziness, headache, and itchy skin. Severe symptoms may include blurry vision, respiratory distress, and swelling of the tongue and mouth. Symptoms typically last from four to six hours, and rarely more than one or two days. It is transmitted in seafood, mostly mahi-mahi and tuna, but can also be in Swiss cheese.

    • Pesticides: Cause mild to severe illness with weakness, blurred vision, headache, cramps, diarrhea, increased production of saliva, and shaking of the arms and legs. Toxins are transmitted by eating unwashed fruits or vegetables contaminated with pesticides.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Why We Are So Stressed

by Philip S Donahoe

Stress, much as we all hate it, we all have it in our lives. We're living in very trying and difficult times and things don't seem to be getting any easier. Sometimes life can seem terribly painful and unfair, yet somehow we manage to struggle on, day after day, hoping and praying that things will soon get better.

But day by day the world is becoming a crazier and more uncertain place to live in, not to mention stressful. Nothing seems safe anymore. Millions of people are in record levels of debt. Many are losing their jobs, their homes, their health and sometimes even their sanity. Worry, depression and anxiety seem to have become a way of life for way too many people.

We seem to have entered the Age of Anxiety. In fact, in 2002, the cover of Time magazine proclaimed this loud and clear on one of their covers as the featured story in that issue. The constant stress and uncertainties of living in the 21st century have certainly taken their toll, and as a result many of us seem to live a life of constant fear and worry.

When the terrorist attacks happened on September 11, this constant stress and worry seemed to just be magnified. In fact, many people even now four years later report they are still scared that something of that magnitude could happen again - perhaps closer to them.

Turn on the news or open up a newspaper and we are bombarded with disturbing images and stories. We begin to wonder if we are safe anywhere. In this, the information age, never before have we had so much access to so much data.

The economy is another stressor. Our country is in debt and so are many Americans. Soaring gas prices, outrageous housing costs, even the cost of food has sent many Americans to work in jobs that are unsatisfying and tedious. They work these jobs because they need a paycheck. Today, it's more important to bring home the bacon rather than work in a dream career.

Having more women in the workplace adds to the stress. So many women feel the need to be everything to everyone and that includes a paycheck earner, house keeper, mom, wife, daughter, and sibling. The only problem with that is some women just don't make any time for themselves thus contributing to their stress levels being at an all-time high.

Even children can feel the pressure of stress and anxiety. Teenagers who want to go to college find themselves pushing themselves during their studies to try and obtain scholarships so they can attend schools that have ever increasing tuition costs.

They find themselves having to hold down part-time jobs on top of all that to earn money for extras that their parents can no longer afford. Add peer pressure into the mix and you have a veritable pressure cooker!

Cell phones, internet, palm pilots, blackberries, i-pods- we are always on the go and always reachable. We don't make time to relax and enjoy life any more. Why not? We certainly should!
We feel pressure to do these things because we think we HAVE to, not because we WANT to. All too often, it's difficult for people to just say 'No'. Not saying that one little word piles up un-needed expectations and obligations that make us feel anxious.

All of us will experience situations that may cause us to become stressed or feel anxious. The reasons are too many to note but can include, buying a property, having guests stay over (in-laws!), being bullied, exams, looking after children, managing finances, relationship issues, traveling etc.

Stress is a 'normal' function of everyday life. Only when it appears to take over our lives does it then become a problem.
Everyone will have different reasons why a situation causes them pressure. As a rule it's usually when we don't feel in control of a situation, then we feel its grip tightening around us causing us to feel worried or 'stressed'.

If stress is caused by us not feeling in control of a situation, the answer is to try and reverse this, and regain that control. The good news is: YOU CAN!

You have everything inside you that you need to overcome your stress and the accompanying anxiety. The problem is, often we don't realize that we are in control because we feel so out of control at time. But the tools are there, you just have to use them so do not give up hope.

You can get rid of your stress. Luckily once you have identified what may be the cause of your stress there are plenty of resources available online that can help you relieve your stress.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008


Obesity opens death’s door

Watch your diet and learn how to eat right as obesity can lead to cancer.


OBESITY causes cancer’ reads the plaque that greets us as we enter the restaurant. The same plaque is displayed at all school canteens and office cafeterias. Mamak shops are obliged to display this sign before their licences can be renewed.Far-fetched? For the moment.How soon? Not soon enough.

The report prepared jointly by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) last year details the findings of the most authoritative investigation ever undertaken into the link between lifestyle, diet and cancer. The message is overwhelmingly clear.

‘Obesity causes cancer’.Smoking is the most important lifestyle cause of cancer. Obesity ranks a close second. In other words, after smoking, obesity is the highest preventable cancer risk. We used to say that one-third of all cancers can be prevented if smoking were to completely cease.

We can now say that two-thirds of cancers — for instance eight out of 12 million new cancer cases which are diagnosed each year in the world — would not occur if we are all miraculously transformed to slim, fit non-smokers.What did the report say about the kinds of food we should not eat to avoid cancer? For starters, we should avoid all processed meats including bacon (bak kua in our local context) and most sausages. It also advises against eating more than six grammes of salt per day.

I can’t imagine what six grammes of salt is like but I do not add any salt at the table and I would reject all foods that taste perceptibly salty.In any case, why would you foodies and food aficionados want to adulterate the pristine flavour of food by sprinkling salt on your food. In the same vein, salted or cured meats are out. There is no clear safe dose for salted and cured meats, says Martin Wiseman, project director of the report.One reason for avoiding processed meats is that they often contain nitrates — preservatives that may contribute to the production of suspected carcinogens called N-nitroso compounds. Processed meats also contain high levels of salt, which is linked to stomach cancer.

The fat and thin of it all is this. If you wish to avoid cancer — lung cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, cancers of the oesophagus, kidney, pancreas, the list goes on — stop smoking and maintain a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 23 (as per international ‘European’ recommendations) - i.e. the healthy range.A word or two about BMI. This figure is obtained by dividing your weight in kilogrammes by the square of your height in metres (metre2).

In Asian societies, a woman who is 1.5 metre, looks suspiciously overweight when her BMI is 23. Endocrinologists and dietitians have come up with our own Asian BMI which is lower than the accepted BMI. So, for all you women out there from 15 to 85, please try to achieve a BMI of 18.5 to 21.The nearer the lower figure, the better. Lots of exercise and a strict low-calorie diet will enable you to achieve many goals — beauty, attractiveness, good mates and a much lower chance of getting cancer, diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart disease.

What then should we eat? Eat five portions of fruit and non-starchy vegetables (brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, mushrooms to name a few) each day and limit refined starchy food. White meat — chicken, turkey, rabbit — is much more preferable to red meat. Most of all, count your calories.Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Brisk walking is the easiest and most accessible activity.

Diet and exercise go together. One or the other will not achieve your goal.The science is there but the interventional methods to achieve a healthy lifestyle are something else. I don’t have the answers. How do you overcome the virtue of white rice (and lots of it) in Malaysia and Asian societies? They tell me there is semangat (spirit or life force) in rice.White rice is an energy-dense food that is diabetogenic, has a high glycaemic index and is a major culprit of obesity and getting cancer? How do you tell the common folk that their 10 favourite foods are a no no from the scientific health-wise point of view?

Nasi lemak, roti canai, curry mee, wanton mee, burger, doughnuts, fries, char kuay teow, chicken rice and mee goreng are out.How do you politely reject your mother-in-law’s incessant heaping of seconds on your plate? How do you decouple the Asian-African notion of prosperity and a protuberant abdomen?We spend billions of US dollars a year on research to treat cancer and rightly so.

We also spend millions of US dollars on how best to get people to quit smoking and eat wisely and equally rightly so. I only wish we were more successful in our second endeavour.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008


How to avoid obesity

Not all overweight toddlers grow up to become obese adults. There are many things that can keep you a healthy, fit young person.

  1. Food. Eat the right amount of the right stuff, and don't snack when sitting around. There are many topics in the 'Your food' section of this web site which can help you - but you can't do it alone. Get mum, dad or whoever cares for you to help you. Maybe you could plan a week's menu and then go food shopping together.
    eating the good stuff (food)
  2. Exercise. Look for ways to do more exercise. Our topics on exercise and fitness have lots of good ideas.
  3. be activeGet a good night's sleep. Don't stay up late playing video games or watching TV. Get up early and keep busy all day so that you are ready to sleep at night.
  4. Get involved. Join in things at school or after school, so that you have an interest and can spend more time with other kids having fun.
  5. Be determined to change and make the most of yourself. You only get one body so try to look after it and feel good about it. Our topics on Self-esteem and Body image may be helpful.
  6. Being happy. Everybody has bad days, and often this means going for the comfort food (mine is dark chocolate!) However, if you are having one of those days, it is much healthier, and you feel much better afterwards, if you do some exercise. Run, walk, dance, skip, hit a ball or do anything else you can think of for a while, and those feel-good chemicals will start coming into your brain, making you feel that life's OK after all!

Helping your friend

If your friend has a problem with obesity, then you can be a good friend by:

* eating good stuff yourself and encouraging her to do the same
eating healthy foods
* playing with her in an active way exercising - playing sports
* getting her to join in sports lessons by encouragement
* helping her to practise sports skills
* doing something active together after school, like walking the dog or bike riding, rather than watching TV or playing video games
* telling the teacher if your friend is being teased or called unkind names - this is harassment and a type of bullying that no one should have to suffer
* commenting on the things that she is good at.


Sunday, July 6, 2008


7 Tips To Help Keep Your Back Healthy

by Ted Perkins

As a chiropractic care and wellness practitioner in Vero Beach Florida, I know about back pain quite well. I also know that prevention and wellness is always the best medicine. Here are some tips to avoid back pain and maintain a healthy, pain-free back.

1. Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity can create a wide variety of back problems as well as other health related issues. Lose weight if you need to.

2. Sleep on a good quality mattress. This is always important. Not only is a high quality mattress better for your back.. but you will get a better night sleep.

3. When you walk, keep your ear, shoulder, hip and ankle in line. Avoid locking your knees when standing.

4. Exercise regularly to keep your back muscles strong and flexible. This is important for total health and wellness in all areas of your life.

5. Use proper lifting techniques. Lift objects close to your body and avoid bending and twisting when you are lifing. Do not lift obects that are too heavy for you.

6. Wear proper shoes. Poor shoe quality can throw off your body alignment. Nowadays it is not hard to get a well made quality sneaker or sandal.

7. Get a back check-up, especially if you are suffering from chronic back pain. Visit a local chiropractic care physician to diagnose, treat, and find healthy solutions to your problem.


Friday, July 4, 2008


Eating The Right Food To Lower Cholesterol

by Jan Richards

People have to eat in order to have energy to do certain things. Some are able to make three or four trips to the buffet table while others are satisfied after one round. In any case, the type of food brought to the plate could be healthy or harmful and the choice is really up to the person.

Those who love to eat red meat and other dishes that are fatty or oil are at risk of getting sick. This isn't diarrhea but something worse which could be life threatening because of the amount of bad cholesterol that is being taken into the body.

The high levels of cholesterol in the body are happening more often now than ever before. This is because of the variety of food offered now in the grocery and in restaurants. The person can still recover from this by eating foods that are not high in saturated fats.

Is there one food product that can be called the best to lower cholesterol? The answer is no because a well balanced diet must come from all the food groups.

Instead of drinking full cream milk or mixing this with cornflakes or whole grain, it is best to use non fat milk instead. The taste is almost the same is much healthier than the regular brand bought in the supermarket.

Instead of having steak when having a cookout or picnic, this should be changed with lean meats instead. These things don't have that much fat in the center or in the edges and taste just as good as the big slab served with mash potatoes.

The healthiest thing to have either for lunch and dinner is food that comes from the ocean. This can be fish or shellfish that is known to carry Omega 3, which is very effective in lowering the levels of cholesterol in people.

Eating a candy bar or a slice of cake doesn't see so bad but these things are rich in fat. Those who need to fill the stomach with something should try nuts or fruits instead. These products are rich in fiber as well as have vitamins and minerals that are healthier to consume.

In each meal, the person must not forget to add some fruits in the plate. A salad works best or having a few carrots or potatoes as a side dish. There must always be a balance whenever the individual decides to have meat or fish.

Chicken is not good if this is fried. Those who want to eat it for a change can still do as long as the skin has been removed. This can also be steamed which is a healthier way of cooking it before this is served in a plate.

There are many ways to cook the food mentioned. The individual can get a cookbook or download some recipes from the Internet to be able to come up with something delicious and at the same time lower one's cholesterol levels.

If following the instructions are hard, there are always shows on television that teach homemakers and other people the basics into cooking something fat free which is good for the diet.

It is never too late to make some lifestyle and changes in order to live a longer and healthier life.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Full-Body Aerobics

by sas_chris

Full-Body Aerobics

We all know that it is important to be as healthy as we can be. Working out is something that most people take for granted, either they are the kind of people that do it, or they don't. However, doing aerobics has much more behind it than simply that. If you truly want to be healthy, and you think that you know what you should do, you should add aerobics into your work out.

Even though some people like to target different parts of their bodies when it comes to aerobics, is also very important that you have a routine that works on each of your body parts as a whole, together. This kind of routine is something that you can do to strengthen your whole body, while you are working out.

When you are working on your entire body, there are several things that you have to keep in mind. First of all, you should be sure that you are working each of your muscle groups and that you are working all of them for an extended period of time. This is something that some people fail to do and can result in uneven and unhealthy training.

The best aerobics that you can do are going to be aerobics where you work each of your muscles in turn. Remember that you have to have a session where your heart is pumping, so a good thing to do is to be constantly moving while you are doing your aerobics. Then, you can move each of your muscles as well. The best whole body workout would be to start at a brisk walk in place. Get your heart rate up and going, and then you can start to work other muscles. Use your arms and do repetitive reaches into the sky, which will target your arms.

At the same time, begin to do leg stretches, which will target your lower body, and then you can do side to side movements that will work on your abdomen. Remember that the best way to get a full body workout is just to remember to include each of your muscle groups in everything that you do.

This is something that some people fail to do as they are working out, and therefore their aerobics aren't going to be as helpful to them as your aerobics are going to be to you. Remember to include all of your muscles, and you'll be losing weight and feeling healthier in no time flat.