Despite ‘Healthier’ Options, Fast Food Is Still High in Calories

A trip to your local drive-through may present you with more options than you would have had a decade ago. Salads, oatmeal, fruit smoothies – at a glance it’s easy to think that fast food restaurants have upgraded their typical fries and burger fare. However, a closer examination reveals that despite the explosion of ‘healthy’ options, fast food still will not do your waistline any favors.

Katherine W. Bauer of the Temple University Department of Public Health and Center for Obesity Research and Education led a study examining the calorie counts of offerings at eight popular fast food chains. The menu selections and average calorie counts of the last 14 years were tabulated and compared.

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Knowing the Difference Between Good and Bad Cholesterol

The word cholesterol is associated with mostly bad connotations, but what not everyone knows is that there are both good and bad types of cholesterol and getting the balance right is crucial to our well-being.

Good cholesterol, known also as HDL or “High-Density Lipo Protein”, is used by the body in order to clear other cholesterol and arterial plaques and carry them away from the major organs.

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Is Bradycardia Unhealthy?

Bradycardia is a condition where the heart beats slower than normal. This reduction in the heartbeat can lead to a number of health problems and most of them are related to supply less oxygen rich blood to the various parts of the body. There are a number of reasons that can cause bradycardia and most of these reasons can be corrected without the help of surgery. The symptoms of bradycardia are related to the lack of oxygen.

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Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (previously known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes) is a disorder that affects over 20 million people in the US. It is a chronic condition in which your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to metabolize sugar (glucose), and thus maintain normal glucose levels in the blood.

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Breast Cancer – The Best Way to Survive

To hear the diagnosis that you have breast cancer, or that someone you love has breast cancer, it can be devastating. It may have taken you by surprise, it may have been a suspicion or a possibility for some time. Either way, surviving cancer may seem like an impossible goal, and it can take a while for everything to sink in, and to come to terms with the diagnosis and plan the future treatment.

Accepting treatment is important in aiding your survival. Your doctor will discuss you options with you, and give you details about the treatment they believe will best increase your chances of survival. Although treating breast cancer may be a long and often hard experience, without this treatment the chances of survival can significantly drop, and grabbing every chance you can get to beat cancer will help.

The most important thing to remember when coming to terms with breast cancer is how important it is to fight the disease. Treatment is a great way to do this, but perhaps the most important way is to adjust your mindset to one which is focused on beating the disease. Breast cancer can seem for many to be a terrifying prospect, and who can deny the upheaval and darkness it can cause. But, though it may seem hard to do at first, turning this terror into determination can give you more of a sense of control over the situation. Don’t give in. If this seems hard on your own, encourage those around you to encourage you with their support. Friends and family will want to help you and join you in this battle, as do thousands of other breast cancer sufferers through other mediums, such as hospital support groups, the internet and help lines where they can offer you advice and support. For some, counselling or other forms of therapy can provide the security blanket they need. Whichever support form you prefer, make sure that you are not alone in this battle.

Fighting breast cancer, as well as getting treatment, also means not letting the disease define who you are. Holding cancer so closely to your definition of yourself means it can be very hard to separate yourself from it, and as a result you can find that you are constantly unable to forget the disease. Instead, try holding the disease as something you need to beat, instead of something who you are, and take time out away from the disease. Spend time with your family, do the things you want to do, go to your favourite places, and treat yourself. Even if this escape is only for an hour or so, it is an hour spent on you and what you want to do, and taking this opportunity to distract yourself can help to increase your resolve to beat the disease.

article written by Mack LeMouse

Why Bad Sleep Leads to Weight Gain

Want to lose weight and improve your physique? Then go to bed! That might sound like a rather conveniently easy piece of advice, but in fact it’s one of the most effective things you can do. Going to sleep will help you to lose weight in a number of ways and if you’re currently struggling to make any headway with your dieting and exercising then it may in fact be a lack of sleep that’s letting you down.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that sleep impacts on weight loss or weight gain and at how getting more of it will help you achieve the body you really want.

How Sleep Impacts on Weight Loss

Energy: There are numerous mechanisms through which sleep impacts on weight loss. For starters, if you don’t get enough sleep then you will immediately find that you lack energy the next day and that you feel groggy and demotivated. As you might expect, this is hardly conducive to getting a good workout so you can expect any exercise to suffer as a result.

Processes in the Body: When you sleep your body gets to work building muscle and burning fat, as well as repairing damaged tissue, fighting infections and cementing memories. Essentially this is like leaving your car in the shop for a tune up, only that tune up actually includes weight loss. This is controlled by a number of hormones such as growth hormone and testosterone which are at their highest when we sleep or work out. In effect, sleeping has some of the same benefits as exercise when it comes to burning fat and building muscle so it’s paramount you don’t skip it.

Meanwhile, if you’ve done a big workout recently, then there will be lots of damage in your body that needs repairing in the form of microtears in the muscles. As such, you will need to sleep in order to recover the muscles and to be able once again to train. Sleep is the best treatment for ‘DOMS’ or ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’.

Snacking: When you sleep you are in effect fasting. In other words, you’re not eating which means your blood sugar drops and your body is forced to burn fat for basic processes. Moreover, because you’re unconscious you can’t eat, and this in turn means you aren’t gaining more calories as you probably are throughout the course of the day. If you don’t sleep though, then you’re going to be consciously aware of the fact you haven’t eaten and in turn this will likely make you feel hungry. To cut a long story short, sitting up for hours in the evening means more trips to the kitchen and that increases weight gain.

Stress Levels: A lack of sleep can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is associated with weight gain as it encourages lipogenesis – the storage of sugar as fat.

So there you have it. For a whole bunch of reasons, sleep is crucial for weight loss. Get enough of it and your body will burn fat while you sleep and build muscle, then be raring to go the next day. Skip it, and you’ll snack through the night, fail to make the necessary repairs in your body, then wake up feeling groggy and unmotivated to do anything.

article written by Adam Sinicki

Using Caution With Home Remedies

There are hundreds of home remedies that have been passed to us through the generations. Some of them are quite harmless and actually work to ease things like upset stomach, while others are a bit more drastic and may even be dangerous. For example, there are home remedies for insect bites which call for pouring gasoline on the bite in order to draw the venom out. This is dangerous on many levels. Then there are even home remedies which instruct a person who is suffering from an asthma attack to swallow a spider web. It is very important that you understand that home remedies can be hazardous and should always be taken with a grain of salt. If someone told you that jumping from a three story building would cure your headache, would you do it? If your answer is yes then you are right because a jump such as this would surely cure your headache, in fact you would most certainly never have to worry about a headache again! If your answer is no (and it should be) then you will want to give the same consideration to the idea of pouring a foreign substance into your ear.

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How to Prevent MRSA

MRSA is an acronym for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus. This means that it is a strain of the staphylococcus virus that has become resistant to methicillin – a medication often used to treat it thus meaning that the condition is very hard to combat. It is highly prevalent in hospitals due to the fact that they have such high concentrations of people in the same room, who have open wounds and low immune systems.

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Premature Aging May Indicate Heart Disease

In research presented at a recent meeting of the American Heart Association in Los Angeles, Danish scientists presented their findings from a 35-year study that sought to determine whether visible signs of aging were a better predictor of heart disease risk than the presence of physical symptoms that could only be detected with scientific tests. When asked to explain why she and her fellow scientists were examining these things, senior study author Anne-Tybjaerg-Hansen said, “The visible signs of aging reflect physiologic or biological age, not chronological age, and are independent of chronological age.” The scientists’ working hypothesis was that indications of premature aging might reveal more about a patient’s heart risk than had previously been assumed.

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