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Weight Loss and a Low-Fat Diet May Limit Hot Flashes

MyHealthNewsDaily Staff

Losing weight by eating a low-fat dietmay reduce menopausal women’s symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats, according to a new study.

The researchers studied 17,473 women and found that those who lost either 10 pounds or 10 percent of their body weight were 89 percent less likely to have hot flashes or night sweats one year after the weight loss, compared with women who didn’t lose any weight. Women who lost more than 22 pounds experienced an elimination of their symptoms altogether, the studyfound.

The women ate a diet of low-fat, high-fiber, whole-grain foods, and were not taking hormone therapy.

“Since most women tend to gain weight with age, weight loss or weight gain prevention may offer a viable strategy to help eliminate hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause,” said study author Bette Caan, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research.

Because fat insulates the body, increased body fat may worsen hot flashes and night sweats, which are caused by a complex interaction between hormones, brain chemicals and sweat glands during menopause. The less fat a person has, the more easily the body can dissipate heat, Caan said.

The researchers noted that two-thirds of people in the U.S. are overweight, and according to Axelrod, could benefit from weight loss. It’s been shown that women who are overweight experience more severe hot flashes, Axelrod added.

It was not only the amount of weight loss that made a difference among the women in the study — the low-fat diet itself seemed to have an effect.

Among the women in the study who did not eat the low-fat diet, those who still lost 10 pounds or 10 percent of their body weight were 23 percent less likely, and 56 percent less likely, respectively, to have hot flashes or night sweats after a year, compared with those who didn’t lose weight.

The results of the study are impressive due to the large sample size, according to Dr. Deborah Axelrod, director of Clinical Breast Programs and Service at New York University Langone Medical Center, who was not involved in the study. But Axelrod also noted that of the women involved, only 26 percent reported having any menopausal symptoms at all, only 1 percent reported severe symptoms.

Previous research has linked higher body weight and weight gain to worse menopausal symptoms; this is the first study to suggest that eating a healthy diet and losing weight can reverse these symptoms.

While there are other treatments for menopause symptoms, such as hormone replacement therapy or other medications, a low-fat diet may be a non-drug option for women, according to Axelrod.

The researchers used data gathered during the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification trial, in which researchers tracked U.S. women between 1993 to1998 to study the effect of a low-fat diet on a variety of health concerns, including heart disease to cancer risk.

Weight loss was not a goal of the diet, which focused on reducing fat and increasing whole grain, fruit and vegetable consumption, but participants on the diet lost an average of 4.5 pounds yearly, the researchers found.

The study is published today (July 11) in the journal Menopause.

Pass it on: Eating a low-fat diet with plenty of fruits, veggies and whole grains could lower menopausal women’s hot flashes and night sweats.

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Editorial Note: This article has been updated to include Axelrod’s comments.

http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/2823-fat-diet-menopause.html

Cattlemen’s Association Has Beef With Study

 

Diet Drinks: Helpful or Harmful to Kick the Sugar Habit? Written by Mark Hyman, MD

Diet Drinks: Helpful or Harmful to Kick the Sugar Habit?

If you saw the recent 60 Minutes segment by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the dangers of sugar, you might be scared off the sweet stuff for good. It causes heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer and it makes super bad, super dense, super dangerous cholesterol particles. The data is pretty strong on this. Scientists even locked kids in a hospital, fed them sugar and measured their blood every 30 minutes. It didn’t take long for things to turn bad inside.

But if you are thinking that diet soft drinks or artificial or even natural sweeteners are the answer for getting off sugar, think again. Diet drink consumption has increased 400 percent since 1960. It may or may not cause cancer, but the evidence is mounting that it leads to weight gain rather than weight loss. Those who consume diet drinks regularly have a 200 percent increased risk of weight gain, a 36 percent increased risk of pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and a 67 percent increased risk of diabetes. A study of 400 people found that those who drank two diet sodas a day or more increased their waist size by five times.

Read the rest at:  http://californiawomensconference.com/blog/item/diet-drinks-helpful-or-harmful-to-kick-the-sugar-habit

57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan as Taught to Nurses

57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan

From NursingDegree.net

Vegans are frequently misunderstood as fringe eaters with an unnatural passion for animal rights. While many vegans do feel passionately about animals, its time for others to see that a vegan diet and lifestyle go way beyond animal rights. Following a healthy, balanced vegan diet ensures a host of health benefits as well as prevention of some of the major diseases striking people in North America. Read these blogs to find out about the health benefits or going vegan or just provide better information to your patients.

Nutrition

All of the following nutritional benefits come from a vegan diet full of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products.

  1. Reduced saturated fats. Dairy products and meats contain a large amount ofsaturated fats. By reducing the amount of saturated fats from your diet, you’ll improve your health tremendously, especially when it comes to cardiovascular health.
  2. Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide energy for your body. When you don’t have enough carbohydrates, your body will burn muscle tissue.
  3. Fiber. A diet high in fiber (as vegan eating usually is) leads to healthier bowel movements. High fiber diets help fight against colon cancer.
  4. Magnesium. Aiding in the absorption of calcium, magnesium is an often overlooked vitamin in importance to a healthy diet. Nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium.
  5. Potassium. Potassium balances water and acidity in your body and stimulates the kidneys to eliminate toxins. Diets high in potassium have shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
  6. Folate. This B vitamin is an important part of a healthy diet. Folate helps with cell repair, generating red and white blood cells, and metabolizing amino acids.
  7. Antioxidants. For protection against cell damage, antioxidants are one of the best ways to help your body. Many researchers also believe that antioxidants helpprotect your body against forming some types of cancer.
  8. Vitamin C. Besides boosting your immune system, Vitamin C also helps keep your gums healthy and helps your bruises heal faster. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant.
  9. Vitamin E. This powerful vitamin has benefits for your heart, skin, eyes, brain, and may even help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. A diet high in grains, nuts, and dark leafy greens is full of Vitamin E.
  10. Phytochemicals. Plant-based foods provide phytochemicals, which help to prevent and heal the body from cancer, boost protective enzymes, and work with antioxidants in the body.
  11. Protein. That protein is good for your body is no surprise. It may be a surprise to learn that most Americans eat too much protein and in forms such as red meat that are not healthy ways of getting protein. Beans, nuts, peas, lentils, and soy products are all great ways to get the right amount of protein in a vegan diet.

Disease Prevention

Eating a healthy vegan diet has shown to prevent a number of diseases. Find out from the list below what you could potentially avoid just by switching to a healthy, balanced vegan way of eating.

  1. Cardiovascular disease. Eating nuts and whole grains, while eliminating dairy products and meat, will improve your cardiovascular health. A British study indicates that a vegan diet reduces the risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Vegan diets go far in preventing heart attack and stroke.
  2. Cholesterol. Eliminating any food that comes from an animal and you will eliminate all dietary cholesterol from your diet. Your heart will thank you for that.
  3. Blood pressure. A diet rich in whole grains is beneficial to your health in many ways, including lowering high blood pressure.
  4. Type 2 diabetes. Not only is a vegan diet a weapon against Type 2 diabetes, it is also “easier to follow than the standard diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association.” Read more about it here.
  5. Prostate cancer. A major study showed that men in the early stages of prostate cancer who switched to a vegan diet either stopped the progress of the cancer or may have even reversed the illness.
  6. Colon cancer. Eating a diet consisting of whole grains, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, can greatly reduce your chances of colon cancer.
  7. Breast cancer. Countries where women eat very little meat and animal products have a much lower rate of breast cancer than do the women in countries that consume more animal products.
  8. Macular degeneration. Diets with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, can help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration.
  9. Cataracts. Much the same way macular degeneration is headed off by a vegan diet, cataracts are also thought to be prevented through the intake of the same fruits and vegetables. Produce high in antioxidants are also believed to help prevent cataracts.
  10. Arthritis. Eliminating dairy consumption has long been connected with alleviating arthritis symptoms, but a new study indicates that a combination of gluten-free and vegan diet is very promising for improving the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
  11. Osteoporosis. Bone health depends on a balance of neither too much or too little protein, adequate calcium intake, high potassium, and low sodium. With a healthy vegan diet, all four of these points set a perfect scenario for preventing osteoporosis.

Physical Benefits

In addition to good nutrition and disease prevention, eating vegan also provides many physical benefits. Find out how a vegan diet makes your body stronger, more attractive, and more energetic.

  1. Body Mass Index. Several population studies show that a diet without meat leads to lower BMIs–usually an indicator of a healthy weight and lack of fat on the body.
  2. Weight loss. A healthy weight loss is a typical result of a smart vegan diet. Eating vegan eliminates most of the unhealthy foods that tend to cause weight issues. Read more about weight loss and a vegan diet here.
  3. Energy. When following a healthy vegan diet, you will find your energy is much higher. This blog post in Happy Healthy Long Life describes how NFL tight-endTony Gonzalez started eating vegan and gained energy–while playing football.
  4. Healthy skin. The nuts and vitamins A and E from vegetables play a big role in healthy skin, so vegans will usually have good skin health. Many people who switch to a vegan diet will notice a remarkable reduction in blemishes as well.
  5. Longer life. Several studies indicate that those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle live an average of three to six years longer than those who do not.
  6. Body odor. Eliminating dairy and red meat from the diet significantly reduces body odor. Going vegan means smelling better.
  7. Bad breath. Vegans frequently experience a reduction in bad breath. Imagine waking up in the morning and not having morning breath.
  8. Hair. Many who follow vegan diets report that their hair becomes stronger, has more body, and looks healthier.
  9. Nails. Healthy vegan diets are also responsible for much stronger, healthier nails. Nail health is said to be an indicator of overall health.
  10. PMS. When switching to a vegan diet, many women tell how PMS symptoms become much less intense or disappear altogether. The elimination of dairy is thought to help with those suffering with PMS.
  11. Migraines. Migraine suffers who go on vegan diets frequently discover relief from their migraines. Read more about the food-migraine connection in this article.
  12. Allergies. Reduction in dairy, meat, and eggs is often tied to alleviation of allergy symptoms. Many vegans report much fewer runny noses and congestion problems.

Too Much in the American Diet

The typical American diet not only consists of too much food, it also relies on too much of unnecessary food products or toxins. The following list explains how a vegan diet can eliminate these problems.

  1. Animal proteins. The average American eats twice as much protein as necessary for a healthy diet and much of that is from red meat. Getting protein from beans and grains is much healthier and reduces the risk for osteoporosis (see above).
  2. Cow’s milk dairy. The human body is not designed to digest cow milk and cow milk dairy products, yet the idea of milk being healthy is pushed through advertising. As many as 75% of people in the world may be lactose intolerant and many people suffer from undiagnosed milk allergies or sensitivities. By eliminating cow’s milk from your diet, you are improving your overall health.
  3. Eggs. Many nutritionists believe that the number of eggs in the American diet is too high. While sometimes disputed, it has been shown that eggs can raise cholesterol levels.
  4. Mercury. Most of the fish and shellfish consumed has mercury in it. While some fish have less than others, it is almost impossible not to be putting mercury in your body when you eat fish.
  5. Sugar. Most people have heard that Americans consume way too much sugar. Relying on other sweeteners that are not synthetic, processed, or derived from animal products is a healthier way to eat. Many vegans do not eat processed sugar due to the fact that most of the cane sugar is refined through activated charcoal, most of which comes from animal bones.

Other Benefits

In addition to the health benefits above, following a vegan lifestyle and diet also provides these benefits as well. From helping the environment to avoiding serious bacterial infections, learn other benefits to eating the vegan way below.

  1. Animals. Many people begin a vegan diet out of concern for animals. Whether opposed to the conditions of animals intended for food or eating animals in general, going vegan will help your conscience rest easily.
  2. Environment. Growing plants takes much fewer resources than growing animals. By eating vegan, you can help reduce the toll on the environment.
  3. E. coliE. coli comes from eating contaminated red meat and is the leading cause of bloody diarrhea. Young children, those with compromised immune systems, and elderly people can become extremely ill or die from E. coli. Eating vegan means completely avoiding the risk of E. coli infection.
  4. Salmonella. Another gastrointestinal illness from animal products, salmonella food poisoning is closely related to E. coli. The most frequent way people contract salmonella food poisoning is through contact with raw eggs or raw chicken meat from chickens infected with salmonella. Again, going vegan means eliminating this risk altogether.
  5. Mad cow disease. It’s safe to say that most people would want to avoid contracting a fatal, non-treatable disease. One way to ensure you don’t get Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is by not eating animals infected with mad cow disease. While the incidence of mad cow disease is not reportedly so high in North America, it does exist.
  6. Global food supply. Feeding grain to animals meant as food sources reduces the amount of food that is available to underdeveloped nations. Many people will go hungry while that same food they could be eating is given to animals raised for slaughter. Eating vegan ensures that you have removed yourself from the participation of this imbalance.
  7. Hormone consumption. Eating animals that have been given hormones to speed growth (a common practice in the meat industry) means those hormones go into your body. Not only can this disrupt the natural balance of your hormones, but some of the hormones given to animals have shown to cause tumor growth in humans.
  8. Antibiotics. Antibiotics are frequently given to feed animals, which can lead to bacterial resistance. Many of the antibiotics used to treat human infections are also used in feed animals.

Read the rest at:  http://www.nursingdegree.net/blog/19/57-health-benefits-of-going-vegan/

Why Our Food is Making Us Fat

Who is responsible for making us fat?

This is such a good article.

http://digg.com/newsbar/topnews/why_our_food_is_making_us_fat

Fast Food Burgers Have Tripled in Size since the 1950s PLUS My Restaurant Tips

CDC graphic about how portion sizes have been growing over the years.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/fast-food-burgers-tripled-size-1950s-cdc-graphic-article-1.1083573

 

America’s restaurant portion sizes are out of control and our waistlines are showing it!  Do you know how many servings are in a pasta entree at your favorite chain Italian restaurant?  Four!  Some helpful tips to navigate eating out:

1.  Do Your Homework:  Look up the restaurant’s website and check out the nutritional info.  Make the decision at home, not when you’re hungry and everyone else wants you to hurry up and order.

2.  Call ahead and ask if they can accommodate vegans, vegetarians or whatever dietary restrictions you follow.  I’ve been automatically put right through to the chef!  He was so kind, said he prepares vegan dishes often and has some regulars that are vegan also.

3.  Ask the server to box half the entree before it is brought to your table or split it with someone at your table.

4.  Order an appetizer as your entree.

5.  Ask lots of questions.  How is it prepared?  Ask for no oil or butter, cheese, or sauce, etc.  Restaurants want return business.

6.  Look for ingredients used in different dishes and ask the chef to use the individual ingredients in one dish for you.

7.  Be pleasant to your server.  They want to please you.

Just Dropping a Few Pounds Can Reduce Risk of Getting Breast Cancer

Want to lose weight for summer but can’t find the motivation to start making healthier choices?  How about reducing your Breast Cancer Risk?

CLEVELAND – Need a reason to drop a few pounds? A new study finds that even a moderate decrease in weight could help reduce breast cancer risks.

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle compiled date from sedentary post-menopausal women who were overweight or obese.

They found even a five percent, weight loss can reduce the levels of circulating estrogens. Those hormones are linked with an increased breast cancer risk.

Researchers said a healthy diet is also key and that it’s never too late to make lifestyle changes.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/health/just-dropping-a-few-pounds-can-drop-your-risk-of-getting-breast-cancer#ixzz1vinrTjtm

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