Even though weight loss comes down to a simple formula — eat fewer calories than you burn — dieters should exercise caution when choosing how to eat. Not all diets are created equal when it comes to protecting or improving heart health.
According to the Harvard Heart Letter, all older adults should pay attention to their heart health, and for people who want to lose weight, low-carb diets may not be the best choice. Dieters who stick to a ketogenic or Atkins-style diet tend to eat lots of red meat and high-fat, high-salt processed meats, like bacon — not exactly heart-healthy choices. But low-carbohydrate diets aren’t completely off-limits — for dieters who prefer to avoid carbohydrates, doctors recommend choosing unprocessed or minimally processed foods and high-quality fats, such as those found in nuts.
But in general, experts caution, dieters should think twice about any diet that restricts a specific category of food, such as carbohydrates or fats because they are less sustainable for people who want to lose weight and keep it off. Instead of restrictive diets that eliminate entire food groups, experts urge dieters to eat a variety of heart-healthy foods.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a variety of whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes and non-tropical vegetable oils (such as olive oil) are all good choices for heart health. In addition, the AHA recommends that dieters limit saturated fats (such as butter), trans fats, sodium, red meat, sweets, and sugary drinks.
September is Cholesterol Education Month: Time to check up on LDLs and HDLs
Accountants aren’t the only ones who go by the numbers. Increasingly, doctors gauge your health by your numbers as well. Better numbers mean better health and a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.
You can make healthy choices that add up to better numbers every day. To do it, keep LDL cholesterol numbers in mind and choose smaller portions of high-fat foods like hamburgers, cheese, and French fries.
The two faces of cholesterol:
According to the American Heart Association, an acceptable total cholesterol reading is 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or lower. Above 200, you should take some steps to lower it. The number includes two kinds of cholesterol.
The bad: Low-density lipoproteins, the LDLs: This is the stuff that clogs arteries. You need some, but too much is bad news. Shoot for an LDL reading of less than 100.
If your total cholesterol level is high, you have two choices: You can pay more attention to eating a low-fat diet and getting some exercise, or you can get your doctor’s advice about cholesterol-lowering drugs.
According to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, eating high amounts of soluble fiber from sources like oat bran and beans can also help lower cholesterol. In the colon, fiber may interfere with the body’s production of LDL.
The good: High-density lipoproteins, the HDLs: The minimum good reading here is 35 mg/dl. If you have an HDL as high as 80, despite high total cholesterol levels, you may not have to worry about heart disease.
To increase good cholesterol in your blood, eat more fruits and vegetables. Aerobic exercise can raise levels of the protective HDL and may also help to lower LDL.
If the names HDL and LDL confuse you, remember that, in most areas, high is better than low!
Meat diet draws fire; proponents defend
Proponents of the all-meat “carnivore diet” claim it can aid with weight loss, combat chronic diseases, decrease inflammation, lower blood sugar and improve sleep, among other things. There’s just one simple rule: Eliminate everything from your diet except animal products. Before long, advocates claim, you’ll be a slimmer, healthier, happier you.
Nutritionists and physicians are skeptical, if not openly antagonistic, of the diet, which is the antithesis of vegetarian or vegan diets. Instead of eschewing meat and animal products, carnivore diet adherents eliminate all plants — no exceptions. And while it has vocal fans, no research has been conducted to investigate the long-term effects of an all-meat diet, whether positive or negative.
According to Jonathan Jarry, writing for McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, it’s easy to make impressive claims about extreme diets without any real scientific scrutiny. No data backs up these claims.
One study did review the health status and claims of people on the diet. In a 2019 study of 2029 people who followed the carnivore diet for 14 months, about 95 percent reported high levels of satisfaction with the diet, including improved health, weight, and medical conditions. Just over five percent of dieters reported any adverse symptoms, but diabetics reported weight loss and decreased need for medication. Among those reporting their lipid profiles, the bad LDL cholesterol was elevated, but the good HDL cholesterol was optimal.
Ample research has shown that excessive red meat consumption can be risky, causing severe constipation from lack of fiber, elevated cholesterol, elevated uric acid levels (which can lead to gout), and increased risk of colorectal cancer. And instead of fighting inflammation, as advocates claim, the saturated fats in red meat are more likely to cause it.
According to Cleveland Clinic registered dietitian Kate Patton, the carnivore diet isn’t good for anyone. Instead, she urges dieters to consider eating plans emphasizing balance, variety, and long-term sustainability.
The carnivore diet is similar but not identical to a low-carb diet. Low-carb dieters do allow some carbohydrates into their diet — between 20 and 100 grams, or at least enough to provide fiber. The carnivore diet, on the other hand, allows zero carbohydrates. Many of the highest profile fans claim that it can help with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and acts as the ultimate elimination diet. In elimination diets, foods are eliminated one at a time to see if symptoms of allergies or immune disorders improve.
Astronauts lose bone in space
A few months in space can lead to decades of permanent bone loss, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.
Researchers followed a group of 17 astronauts — 14 men and three women with an average age of 47 — for a year after they returned from four to seven-month missions aboard the International Space Station. All the astronauts experienced significant bone loss — equivalent to about two decades of bone loss for an older adult on Earth. Scans taken a year back on Earth showed that only about half the damage had been reversed for most astronauts.
Weight-bearing bones thin and weaken during spaceflight, and bone rods can eventually disconnect, said Leigh Gabel, study researcher, and professor at the University of Calgary, in an interview with Reuters. While remaining bone connections can be strengthened again, the disconnected spots can’t be rebuilt.
Researchers found that astronauts who prioritized strength training, particularly deadlifts, were more likely to recover bone after their return to Earth.
A deeper understanding of the health effects of microgravity — and how to mitigate those effects — is crucial as humanity sets its eyes toward more ambitious space voyages. One 2020 study in the journal PLOS One indicated that a three-year round trip to Mars could put 33 percent of astronauts at risk for osteoporosis. Astronauts also experience higher solar radiation and fluid shifts that can impact their cardiovascular systems and vision.
4 tips for a successful manicure
Do you have some extra time on your hands? You can give yourself a beautiful manicure for fun or a special occasion. Here are four tips to help you get the perfect look.
Prepare your nails
Shape your nails using a high-quality nail file. Make sure you only file in one direction. Carefully push back your cuticles and finish with a buffer to smooth the surface.
Choose the right nail polish
Select professional products to minimize the risk of flaking. Gel polishes are quite popular and are a good choice because they’re chip resistant. Just bear in mind that some require a UV lamp to dry properly. Make sure you read the label before buying.
Above all, take your time. Additionally, don’t over-soak the brush to ensure a smooth application. Start by placing a polish line in the middle of the nail and then spread it out to the edges. If necessary, use a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover to eliminate any smudges.
Apply multiple coats
Apply a clear base coat to protect your nails and prevent the polish pigment from penetrating your nail bed. Then, apply two or three coats of colored polish. Finish with a clear topcoat.
Apply the polish in thin layers for maximum durability. Make sure you allow ample drying time between coats. Freshly applied nail polish remains fragile for about 30 minutes.
Do you want a gorgeous manicure that’ll last? Look for an expert nail technician near you.
Overview of the main types of diabetes
Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, enables the glucose circulating in the blood to reach the various cells in the body. Diabetic people produce too little or no insulin, or their bodies don’t react to insulin normally. Here’s more information about the three main types of diabetes.
Occurring between infancy and early adulthood, this form of diabetes is characterized by a complete lack of insulin or the body’s inability to use it properly. The glucose can not penetrate the body’s cells, and its accumulation in the blood leads to hyperglycemia. Daily care is necessary to ensure the affected person’s survival.
This form of diabetes, occurring primarily in adulthood, is increasing frequently and accounts for about 90 percent of diabetic cases. People with type 2 diabetes either produce insufficient insulin, or their bodies don’t use it effectively. As sugar levels rise in the blood, lifestyle modifications related to diet and exercise can help, and medical treatments may be prescribed.
Gestational diabetes affects some women and babies during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Essentially symptomless, this form of diabetes usually disappears after childbirth but may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information and advice on your condition.
How to treat eye injuries
About 2,000 people suffer a job-related eye injury daily, and about a third of these injuries are treated in emergency rooms.
Most injuries can be prevented with proper safety gear, but responding properly is helpful if you experience an eye emergency.
- Speck in the eye. This isn’t necessarily serious, but it could become more serious if you rub your eye, so don’t do it. Flush with large amounts of water. If the speck does not wash out, see a doctor.
- Foreign objects, cuts, or punctures in the eyeball. Your goal is to get to the emergency room. Do not wash your eye. Do not touch or rub it. Do not try to remove an object stuck in the eye.
- Chemical burns. Your goal is to immediately flush the eye with water for at least 15 to 20 minutes, then get to a doctor. If the chemical is caustic — a burning or corroding chemical — start flushing and continue to flush for about 30 to 60 minutes as you call an ambulance. The first seconds can be critical. If an eyewash station is available, use it instantly. If the victim is wearing a contact lens, flush over the lens with the understanding that the flushing may dislodge the lens.
- Minor blows to the eye. Your goal is to reduce pain and swelling. Apply a cold compress without putting pressure on the eye. A plastic bag with ice can rest gently on the injury.
- Severe blows to the eyeball. Your goal is to get to an emergency room. A severe blow to the eyeball can cause reduced vision, double vision, numbness around the eye, pain with eye movements, and severe pain in the eyeball, among other things. Do not apply pressure to the eye. Cover the eye lightly with a clean, cold cloth and immediately seek medical treatment.