Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Health Notes

This is an interesting article on acrylamide, a chemical that is created in the process of cooking at high temperatures, and that is suspected of being a carcinogen. I remember reading something about this a number of years ago, probably in regard to bread, but I chose to ignore the warning. I don’t eat as much bread now as I used to. And I don’t eat French fries, potato chips, or drink roasted coffee, which is where a lot of acrylamide is supposed to occur, so I’m still not going to worry about it. But it does go to show you that there are things out there lurking in the food that can make you sick. And if we don’t worry and think about our health, the big corporations certainly are not going to look after us. They want to sell more French fries and make more money.

A link may have been found between a person’s weight and his IQ. Research has shown that those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 performed worse on memory tests than did those with a BMI of 20. Just another reason to lose weight?

If a person eats saturated fats, which I really don’t if I can help it, then eating walnuts may counteract some of the ill effects of eating those fats. And walnuts proved better than olive oil in limiting inflammation and oxidation in the arteries, as well as in maintaining arterial elasticity. Wow, good for walnuts. It sounds like a great idea for someone to add them to his/her diet.

It is important to eat breakfast. Here’s why.

People with congestive heart failure should not take omega-3 fatty acids.

I bought an interesting book recently: Secrets of Longevity: hundreds of ways to live to be 100, by Dr. Maoshing Ni. It has interesting tips on lowering blood pressure, preventing cancer, unclogging your arteries, losing weight, etc. Lots of good information, and you don’t have to read it cover to cover. You can skip around and just read what interests you at the moment.

And now red wine is said to possibly protect the brain from damage due to a stroke! The key ingredient seems to be resveratrol, a substance found in the skins of grapes. I have been taking resveratrol since 2000 when research showed that it had anti-cancer properties. Since that time, resveratrol has been shown to have more and more beneficial properties for human health. Hey, you know, it might not work, but then again it might, and in the meantime I have a feeling that at least I am doing something positive instead of sitting back and passively waiting to get sick.

People who eat slowly eat less? I can understand that. Also I think I have heard of some forms of meditation that center on chewing your food mindfully, and I think some spiritual traditions may advocate chewing food slowly. One thing that helps me is that I use the same bowl or plate every night for my food, so I am able to control my portion size. That is one way to control your weight, I think.

Does where a woman lives make her more likely to suffer from bulimia? Those who live in cities may be more likely to have it than those who don’t.

Pomegranates may help against prostate cancer. There are lots of articles on this subject. Take your pick.

Eating almonds blunts the body’s insulin response; helps prevent oxidative stress; and reduces LDL cholesterol. In other words, almonds help prevent diabetes and heart disease. (Journal of Nutrition, 12/1/06)

Sequencing the human genome: is that a good thing? Some people say that the more we know about a person’s genetic makeup, the better doctors will be able to treat that person, and that is a good thing. However, we are already beginning to have big privacy issues in this country. The more we know about a person’s genetic makeup, the less privacy he might have. Let us hope that genetics will be used for good and not for bad. I fear, however, that just as with most other things, genetics will be mainly used so that corporations can make more money.

I hope I live to be eighty years old, and with all my faculties. If I do, I’ll probably still be blogging.

Green leafy vegetable like spinach may protect a person from skin cancer? Wow, that’s pretty big news if it’s true. So in this case, at least, what you eat may protect you. Sounds like a pretty good reason to eat lots of green leafy vegetables.

Green tea may keep prostate cancer from spreading. (Cancer Research, December 1)

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am totally against genetically engineered potatoes. As one commenter pointed out, we have plenty of potatoes. Why do we need GM potatoes? Why mess around with something that works? There is plenty that does not work upon which we could focus our efforts. It baffles me. I think it’s all about money.

Here are some possible ways to avoid Alzheimer’s disease: exercise, watch your weight, watch your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol. Click here for more.

There is evidence to suggest that stress can increase the brain proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It is my opinion that stress is one of the major health risk factors that we can actually control.

Can Vitamin D cut the risk of breast cancer?

Plant sterols added to orange juice have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, as well as the C-reactive protein associated with inflammation and heart disease. I have taken products like Cholesterin before. Now all I need is the orange juice.

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