Tips

Consuming Too Much Refined Sugars Could Cause Death from Heart Disease

Consuming Too Much Refined Sugars Could Cause Death From Heart DiseaseConsuming added or refined sugars in copious amounts on a daily basis could be fatal. Adding two teaspoons of sugar every time you consume a cup of coffee or tea or add spoonfuls to your milkshake during breakfast increases your chances of dying prematurely from heart disease. And it is not that only obese people were exposed to death risks resulting from consumption of high amounts of processed sugars.

Even people with normal weights who ordinarily consume 2000 calories every day were at high risk of jeopardizing their health if they drank too many cups of tea or coffee laced with sugars or consumed sweetened colas. A report on a groundbreaking study which appeared in an issue of the ‘JAMA Internal Medicine’ corroborated the above claim. The calories in the added sugars that a typical American consumes each constitute nothing less than 10% of his total calorific intake on a daily basis.

However, one out of every ten Americans takes added sugars whose calorie content makes up 25% of their total calorie consumption. The study which was spread over a 15-year period endeavored to establish a correlation between heart disease and intake rate of added sugars. The researchers came up with findings that were revealing and had substantial evidence to back up their claims.

The study found that participants who received one-fourth of their daily calorie requirement from added sugars were twice as vulnerable to die from a heart attack compared to those who took less than 10% sugar with their meals. Taken as a whole, an individual’s chances of dying from infarction (heart attack) went up concomitantly with a corresponding rise in added sugar intake. This assertion or finding was not affected by an individual’s sex, age, level of physical activity, and weight. A majority of Americans tend to obtain a substantial quantity of added sugar from energy drinks, sports drinks and sweetened colas and sodas which they consume heavily.

Of the total amount of refined sugars that all the Americans consume on a cumulative or collective basis, cold beverages sweetened with sugar represent over 33%. Breakfast cereals, cakes, ice-creams, cookies, biscuits, fruit juices and drinks, caramelized toffees, chocolates, frozen yogurts, and a host of other sweetened food items also accounted for intake of added sugar. Nutritionists, dieticians and health experts always suggest people consume a minimal quantity of added sugars and for good reasons.

Firstly, a high intake of processed sugars increases one’s weight abnormally leading to obesity and causes cavities in the teeth. Secondly, sugar supplies calories to your body that do not have any nutritional value. In other words, added sugars do not contain any mineral, fiber or vitamin. Taking a high amount of added sugar elbows out wholesome and healthy food items from your diet depriving your body of the essential nutrients it needs every day to keep you in the pink of health.

Was there a possibility that researchers involved in the trial may have erred at some stage while carrying out the study implying that added sugar wasn’t as harmful as it was made out to be? Chances of the scientists faltering were negligible as they took note of the ‘healthy eating index’ of the participants. The index was a measure or indicator of the conformity of their diets with nutritional guidelines outlined by the US federal authorities.

Dr. Teresa Fung of the Harvard School of Public Health opened ‘regardless of their ‘healthy eating index’ scores, people who ate more sugar still had higher cardiovascular mortality’. Nevertheless, the researchers have not been able to figure out in what way or ways could intake of excess added sugar could adversely affect the normal functioning of a heart. Dr. Fung advises you to include fresh fruits in your everyday diet without adding sugar if you wish to keep your heart in good health.

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Exercising for Better Brain Health

Exercising for Better Brain HealthThere is an increasing body of scientific literature which shows that exercising is not only good for your physical fitness, but also for your mental health as well. A recent review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows this effect in the 50+ year old population in particular. The results were seen in groups which had a previous cognitive decline in their medical histories as well as those who were healthy with no mental notes in their medical history. In total, the review looked at 39 different studies published over the last 25 years and looked at the impact of moderate or high-intensity exercise done over a 45 to 60-minute period.

The review hypothesizes that the reason for this benefit may be due to increased blood vessel and brain cell density which comes with exercise in certain parts of the brain. This would make sense from a physiological standpoint and is perhaps explained by the increased blood flow attributed to exercise including blood flowing to the head and brain. However, no conclusions can be made on the physiological impact that exercise has without further study specifically looking at that.

It is important to critically evaluate the review as well as the studies included in it before coming to any conclusions as there are different methodologies, each with its own ups and downs. Furthermore, some of the control groups displayed changes in their mental health as well, suggesting potential impact from extraneous variables too. This study is really good from a hypothesis-generation standpoint, however, and may lead to more conclusive support in the future.

Based on the review, and if the findings hold true, there are several tips that may eventually be of benefit for patients to follow. One is to opt for aerobic exercise which can not only help the brain but also the heart- the latter which has a strong body of evidence behind it. Aerobic exercise includes things like running, walking, and swimming. Incorporating any of these activities into your schedule in a regimented and regular way can have a very big positive impact on your health. In addition, doing some resistance-based exercise can help too. Tai chi may be a gentler option for someone looking for a more meditative experience. This may have other positive mental effects too and help reduce stress, etc. It is also great for people who may not be able to do very strenuous exercises due to other conditions or limitations. Finally, combining exercises is the best option if possible as you are likely to get something different from each type of exercise. Again, this should be catered to your personal goals as well as medical limitations. Consulting your doctor on a new workout plan is the best route if you have that option.

Exercising can have many health benefits from improving your cognitive function to cardiovascular benefit to potentially even increasing strength and reducing the risk of accidental injuries. Try to find something you like and stick with it and you are bound to see some sort of results.

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Sleep, The Best Remedy

Sleep, The Best RemedyFar too many people underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep. Let there be no mistake here. Sleep is a major necessity for the survival of the organism on all levels.
Sleep isn’t just closing your eyes and resting. Sleep involves a number of processes that the body and mind need to go through to sleepnot only keep the person alive but alive on systematic failsafe that nature intends us to live by. Sleep allows the body to basically do diagnostics and repair.

Cells, tendons, muscle, all need sleep to make the best of the nutrients and repair systems the body has built up and operate on. Everything from repair to damage from injury, stress, disease, need sleep to function properly. If that’s not enough, the mind itself needs sleep in order to operate at peak efficiency. Sleep deprivation can cause accidents and even death. It can affect production and efficiency and costs untold tens of millions of dollars in lost wages, revenue, and services.

We see sleep deprivation in many hospital workers. Some nurses and doctors working ridiculous hours without proper sleep and making deadly mistakes. Cab drivers, truck drivers, are all noted for incidents where horrific accidents occur when these people are low on sleep.

It’s a major problem because many people have to work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. They catch sleep whenever they can and in doing so compromise their health and mental well-being and then cause accidents, provide less than stellar service, make errors, and eventually cascade the infrastructure of their particular employers business model into disarray and chaos.

If the mind doesn’t get enough sleep, all sorts of havoc can occur. The mind needs to process trillions of bits of data each second. It needs to orient the organism to better survive. Without sleep, the natural diagnostics and healing procedures just can’t take place and the mind then becomes its own worse enemy. Hallucinations, miscalculations, stress, delusions, can all occur if the mind doesn’t get enough sleep. Stress is the silent killer and without sleep, stress takes hold and grows. Without warning the mind then cannot command the body to regulate, operate, or repair itself and the result can be catastrophic illnesses and even death.

What’s tragic is that government is often helpless to track down and force employers to allow for reasonable work times. Also, people who are desperate will avoid sleep regardless of the health warnings. Combining all these things means danger for the person and the rest of the civilization because you’ve got millions of people wandering around, driving, operating machinery, tending to the ill, seniors, children, animals, all while half asleep. The amount of money government has to lose because of this is a major issue that doctors and health officials have been pounding the pulpit over for decades.

The best remedy for all this is for people to realize that lack of sleep is dangerous. It helps no one. The authorities need to step in and make sure that people, especially those who work in high responsibility jobs, get good sleep regardless of corporate pressure. As for those who deny sleep because of their survival, that’s an issue on another scale altogether that won’t be solved until social and economic issues are addressed with efficiency and sympathy.

Overall, sleep is a health life saver. Do not fall into the pit of denying a good night’s sleep or you may surely live to regret it.

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