Saturday, March 27, 2010

All You Need to Know about Olive Oil

Many people are not aware of the usage of olive oil for health and beauty. In fact, if it is traced one by one, we could be surprised by the usefulness of this vegetable oil.

As reported by Reuters, people who consume olive oil regularly can avoid the danger of cancer. This is proved by the research with 182 people as samples.

The results mentioned, olive oil can reduce levels of secondary metabolic results and it can be a factor on triggering the cancer cells. Therefore, the researchers recommend European to include olive oil as part of their diet.

Dr Henrik E Poulsen of Copenhagen University Hospital, Danish, strongly recommend to replace the animal fats contained in butter and meat with vegetable fats, particularly olive oil. "Olive oil contains phenols which are believed as cancer-preventing antioxidants," he explained.

In addition to the anticancer, olive oil also contains vitamin E which is very useful to maintain skin elasticity. By consuming olive oil, our skin will be tighter, smoother, and healthier. Of course it is supported also with the good care.

In addition, olive oil is also useful to moisten dry skin when it is used as a mask. Another benefit is that it can protect the skin from bad effects of the sun. It is said that the queen and princess in ancient Greece use olive oil for their beauty rituals.

Why does it so? Because this oil is proved efficaciously can make the skin looks smoother and younger. In fact, single-saturated oil content extremely useful in removing black stains on the skin.

Each olive fruit contains 80 % water, 15 % of oil, 1 % of protein, carbohydrate, and fiber. In addition, olive oil also contains omega-9 which is closely related to cholesterol. Omega 9 can suppress levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), aka bad cholesterol and raise levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. Therefore, olive oil is also highly recommended in dietary cholesterol and heart patients.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's wrong with eating too full?

Don't overeat and don't encourage your family members and friends to overeat - unless you wish to shorten their healthy living and perhaps die younger!

An interesting article about eating too full....
In Today's Dr Lee Newsletter Issue:
"What's wrong with eating too full?"

"The more you eat, the sooner you die. The lesser you eat, the longer you live." This is what Dr Lee always says in his health talk. He also mentions, "Eating too full causes all sort of health problems such as hypertensiondiabetes, stroke, etc."

Why eating too full is so harmful to your health? What can you do about it?

Mice experiment

To see how eating habit affects life span, a professor from University of Texas did an experiment on mice.

For the first group of 100 mice, he let them eat without any restriction, just like a buffet meal. The second group was fed only 60% full. And the third group was given food without restriction too. But this time, he reduced protein content to half. After 2.5 years, guess how many mice were still alive out of 100?

* First group (eat without restriction) - only 13 mice was alive. Opsss...
* Second group (eat 60% full) - 97 mice was still alive. Only 3 mice died.
* Third group (eat without restriction with protein cut half) - 50 mice still alive.

What can we learn from these results?

Firstly, eating too full is really harmful to your body. Secondly, eat 60% full if you want to live longer and healthier. Thirdly, taking too much protein is harmful to your body too. We don't need so much protein after all.

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Overworking body
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Imagine having a small family car. Instead of using it for short travel between home and office, you use it for long distance travel between different cities every day. Instead of using it 1 hour a day, you use it for 10 hours a day. Instead of driving at 70 km/h, you always speed up to 170 km/h, hitting engine's red line.

Can you estimate your car life span? Do you expect having various problems with your car after a short time?

Driving your car at high speed for a long time is like always eating too full. You force your body to always work at its red line.

Do you know
 digestion is the most demanding work for your body? Think about the organs involved such as your mouth, stomach, liver, pancreas, duodenum and intestine. Think about the length of digestive tract from your mouth to intestine.

Eating too full zaps up much of your body energy for digestion. Otherwise, this energy may be used for other purpose such as enhancing your immune system.

Do you realize you become very tired easily after a big meal?That is the sign of your body working hard to digest all the food you take in.

If you eat an extra bowl of noodle, your pancreas has to produce extra insulin hormone to process the extra carbohydrates you take.

Your liver, stomach and intestine also have to produce extra enzymes to digest and process specific nutrients from that bowl of noodle.

Therefore the more you eat, the harder your body has to work to process it. Of course, we must eat to survive. But we don't have to eat that much!

If you drive your car slowly and handle it gently, you can use it for a long time. But if you always floor the accelerator and drive like a rally driver, you know the consequence on your car life span.

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Side effect of eating
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Your car engine burns fuel to move your car and bring you to anywhere you like to go. As a result, the engine produces exhaust smoke which is toxic. It must be dispersed out from your car. Similarly, your body cell burns nutrient for energy to survive. In the process, it produces free radicals. Since free radical is toxic to your body, it has to be neutralized and expelled.

"Just metabolizing food especially fatty and carbohydrate- rich fare causes the body to produce free radicals, which attack cells and can promote the development of chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes and cancer," says Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D.

Of course, your body can control free radicals in small quantity. But the more you eat, the more free radicals your body produces. Without adequate control, these free radicals easily attack your body cells and eventually cause all sort of diseases.

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Good eating habit
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After knowing the harmful effect of eating too full, what's your choice? Do you want to live longer, just like the second group mice in the experiment? Or do you want to risk ending your life earlier, just like the first group mice? If you wish to live longer, here are some tips you can follow:

1.. Always eat until 70% full. Do not exceed 80% full. You may want to stop eating when you feel slightly full.

2. Avoid having buffet style meal which makes it harder to control how much you eat. Instead, prepare the food you want to eat in a plate. After finishing it, don't add anymore food.

3. Leaving the dining table earlier may prevent you from picking some extra food to eat.

4. It is always a good idea to prepare lesser food in the first place. Some people are afraid of having not enough food for everyone. Actually, lesser food is beneficial for everyone..In a restaurant, order in small amount first. You can always add in some extra order if necessary. But if you can get by with the original smaller order, that's great.

Remember this: You have higher chance of overeating if you serve more food on the table. You have better chance of not overeating if you serve less food

5. Avoid stuffing your fridge with ice cream, chocolate or other dessert. You cannot eat what you do not have.

6. When someone prepares a big plate of food for you, look at it first. Ask yourself, "Do I want to stuff it all into my stomach?"

If your answer is no, just put aside some food to another empty plate first. After finishing your food, look back at the extra food on that new plate. Say to yourself, "Phew! Luckily I didn't stuff that portion into my stomach."

7. When you get too hungry before your meal time, just take some fruit instead of heavy meal. The tendency to overeat is very high for modern people. Do you know most monks only eat twice a day?

They wake up at 4am, meditate and say their prayer. Later they have their simple breakfast at 7am. Before 12pm, they have their lunch. That's all for them. They eat no more after that. No tea break. No dinner. No supper. They still look strong and energetic.

Of course, we don't have to eat like them. But it reminds us we can eat less and stay healthy.
 So remember to eat only 70% full if you want to stay healthy.   

Monday, March 22, 2010

The World's Healthiest Diets

Rebecca Ruiz03.02.10, 04:00 PM EST

Stealing a few eating tips from abroad may keep you healthy into a ripe old age.

Is the American diet really so bad that it's time to look to other countries for help?

That's the premise behind a spate of recent books and Web sites touting plant-heavy diets of various far-away places. Looking at traditional diets has become something of a fad in recent years. Numerous books, including The Jungle Effectand The China Study, have tried to document the link between diet and great health in various countries and regions. Researchers, for example, are still trying to understand how a sweet-potato-based diet may boost longevity on the Japanese island of Okinawa, home to a large population of centenarians. But you don't have to wait for the definitive answer--The Okinawa Diet Plan can be bought right now.

The latest entrant is The Five Factor World Diet by celebrity trainer and author Harley Pasternak. During his far-flung travels with stars like Jessica Simpson and Hillary Duff, Pasternak noticed that people in many of the countries he visited were slimmer and ate a more nutritious diet than most Americans. The experience left Pasternak (who has a master's degree in exercise physiology and nutrition) convinced that Americans have a lot to learn from the rest of the world.

His book lists countries with healthy diets that also have long life expectancies and low obesity rates. These metrics best capture the effects of a lifetime of good eating and exercise habits, he argues. Japan tops his list because it has a 1.5% obesity rate (for men) and an 82-year life expectancy, vs. a 36.5% obesity rate and a 78-year life expectancy in the United States. South Korea, China and Singapore also do well. France makes the list with a 6.6% obesity rate and an 81-year life expectancy, as do Italy, Spain and Greece. Pasternak's rankings aren't scientifically rigorous, but they may shed light on how other countries eat well and manage to stay healthy.

In Pictures: The World's Healthiest Diets

What virtually all these countries have in common are low-fat diets rich in fish, lean protein, vegetables, fruits and beans. Plant-based diets can reduce cholesterol levels, while fruits and vegetables also contain antioxidants that may protect against cancer. Consumption of certain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may reduce heart disease risk. Many of the traditional diets only include small amounts of red and processed and salt-cured meats, whose consumption may increase risk of colorectal and stomach cancers.

Most of the countries in question practice portion control. Although they indulge in high-fat cheeses, cured pork and condensed milk coffee drinks, they rarely pig out like Americans. "Whether you adopt one or multiple things [from these countries] and bring them into your life," says Pasternak, "you'll be healthier and lose weight and keep it off."

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Beyond this common-sense message, science doesn't have much to say about which traditional cuisines are the healthiest. It's impossible to tell whether the long life expectancies of some countries are actually the result of better health care systems, not better eating habits. No researcher has developed a method to accurately measure the comparative health benefits of one country's diet vs. another, says Harvard epidemiologist Dimitrios Trichopoulos. "We have no evidence because we don't have a yardstick," he says. There are indications that Japanese and Chinese diets, for example, are protective against chronic diseases and improve longevity, but Trichopoulos says that they haven't been studied enough to say that conclusively.

The one exception, he says, is the Mediterranean diet, high in olive oil, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. A 2008 meta-analysis of 12 studies of 1.6 million subjects found that people who stick closely to the Mediterranean diet had a 9% lower death rate than people who ate the same diet less stringently, according to the results published in the British Medical Journal. Numerous other studies show it can protect against heart disease.