How the Mediterranean Diet Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a common condition that primarily affects older men and women. This form of cancer is found in the colon or rectum. Researchers have determined that anyone with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis is at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. Additional causes for colorectal cancer include consuming a diet that is high in red meat, fat and processed meats. If you eat a diet that is low in fiber, then you are also more likely to develop colorectal cancer.

What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

Today, experts are recommending the Mediterranean diet for the prevention of colorectal cancer. This type of diet is consumed in Greece, France and Italy. If you are living on a Mediterranean diet plan, then you will consume these foods and beverages:

• Fish
• Vegetables
• Fruits
• Unrefined cereals
• Legumes
• Olive oil
• Yogurt
• Cheese
• Wine

The Mediterranean Diet Includes Seafood Instead of Red Meat

The individuals who follow the Mediterranean diet seldom consume foods that contain refined sugar, eggs or processed meats. To get enough protein, you should eat high levels of seafood or poultry rather than red meat. Most of the fat in a Mediterranean diet comes from high-quality olive oil, but it is considered a healthy plant-based fat. This type of diet is also high in natural fiber, helping to reduce intestinal distress from problems such as constipation. A medical study in 2016 revealed that consuming a Mediterranean diet could reduce your chances of developing colorectal cancer by 6 percent.

A Mediterranean Diet Is Easier to Digest

Colorectal cancer typically develops from lesions or polyps in the intestinal tract. When you consume red meat, it is difficult for your body to digest this food, and red meat moves slowly through your intestinal tract, causing inflammation. Over many years, this inflammation can cause the polyps that eventually become cancerous. Alternatively, with the Mediterranean diet, the foods are digested quickly to move faster through the digestive tract, preventing inflammation.

Olive Oil Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

At the same time, if you are consuming olive oil, then your body is able to digest foods quickly. Olive oil may also have anti-inflammatory properties to protect your body from cancer cells. If you add olive oil to certain foods such as tomatoes or dark leafy greens, then the substance helps you to absorb the antioxidant nutrients in these foods. Antioxidants also fight against cancer cells by reducing the free radicals in your body. By consuming a Mediterranean diet, you can protect your body from several diseases, including colorectal cancer.


8 Quick Ways to Slash Calories

8 Quick Ways to Slash Calories

If you are interested in losing weight, you may feel as though you have already tried everything and nothing seems to work. However, just by following a few simple tips, it can be easy for you to find quick ways to lose weight and keep it off in the future.

Drink Water

One of the most important things that anybody can do for their diet is to drink more water. Water is needed not only to help transfer nutrients into the cells but also to remove unwanted contaminants and waste materials from the body.

Reduce Sugar

When individuals reduce their sugar intake, they always stand a better chance of enjoying more weight loss results. Unnecessary sugars in the body can be responsible for all types of issues, such as the development of imbalances in the future and unwanted weight gain.

Reduce Processed Chemicals

Processed foods are notorious for having a large amount of chemicals present in their makeup. These chemicals are bad for the body because of their unnecessary composition, and reducing the amount of processed foods an individual eats is one of the best ways for them to see more immediate weight loss.

Walk More

Studies show that even relatively small amounts of physical activity can provide the body with invaluable health benefits. Individuals who walk regularly stand a better chance of enjoying a higher overall quality of health. These walks can be regular or performed on the fly, but as long as they are done, the health changes will occur.

Sit Less

Sitting around all day can lead to weight building up and the body’s metabolic processes slowing down. Even if individuals do not have the time to exercise regularly, it is important for them to break up their sitting time and stretch every now and then to wake the muscles up.

Snack Healthy

Snacking is inevitable, but it does not always have to be unhealthy. Those who love to snack should be sure to do so at a relatively healthy pace. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as snacks and avoid processed foods in order to improve the metabolism.

Eat Slow

Studies show that individuals who eat more slowly tend to feel fuller for longer. Do not rush to finish your meal when you are sitting down to eat. Try to take your time and savor each bite, as this can have a psychological and physical effect on your appetite.

Balance Meals

Try to balance your meals as well as you can. Have plenty of fibers, vegetables and proteins on the plate in order to balance your lifestyle. Avoid having too much meat, and always make sure to reduce calories where you can in order to get the best results.

Poll Finds Most Americans Believe They Eat Healthily

Poll Finds Most Americans Believe They Eat Healthily

According to the most recent estimate, 36 percent of American adults are obese. However, an NPR poll found that 75 percent of adults on the United States believe they have a healthy diet. This is according to a 3,000-person poll NPR conducted with Truven Health Analytics in May 2016. There’s clearly a bit of a disconnect that could explain why obesity rates in the United States remain steady.

More than 80 percent of adults in the United States do not eat the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables each day, but many eat too much sugar and refined grains, which the body breaks down into yet more sugar.

Seventy-five percent of poll respondents considered their eating habits to be “good, very good, or excellent.”

Could it be that Americans do not know what constitutes healthy? Do they believe they’re healthier than they are? Or perhaps is it confusion regarding proper portion sizes? Many foods are healthy in moderation but become unhealthy when you eat too much.

Many nutritionists think promoting education and understanding of portion sizes could help reduce the obesity rate.  Many people pay more attention to including healthy foods in their diet than they do to overall calories consumed. If you’re eating plates full of vegetables and leans meats, it can still lead to weight gain (or prevent weight loss) if you eat too much.

Monitoring overall consumption is also more difficult than simply remembering to add a piece of fruit or side salad to a meal.

The culture of eating every few hours does not help. Although many health conscious people swear by five small meals a day, some people may be overeating five times a day, rather than eating three square meals. People tend to do the best they can with their circumstances and the knowledge they have, but it is often not enough.

Relentless and constant food marketing does not help either. The industry spends billions every year promoting sugary drinks and junk food. Celebrity endorsements also influence foods’ popularity and eating habits. Among other things, the industry has led the general public to believe certain foods are healthy that actually are not. This includes granola bars that are often packed with added sugar.

The effective marketing has contributed to the disconnect between what nutrition experts believe and support and what the general public understands to be healthy.

To improve obesity rates and the population’s health, more education is needed on nutrition and healthy eating habits, separate from celebrity endorsements and corporate advertisements from the food industry.

Do Whole Grains Help With Longevity?

The USDA recommends at least three servings per day of whole grains.
Health Benefits Of Whole Grains
According to a new study conducted by researchers at Harvard University in 2016, eating whole grains daily can positively impact the longevity of your life. Whole grains can do some pretty amazing things for your health. Grains lower your risk for cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes. Whole grains also can reduce your risk of cancer and it can also help your body lower its cholesterol production.Researchers discovered that eating three servings of whole grains every day are three times less likely to die prematurely than people who do not eat whole grains. Daily servings of whole wheat lowers the chance of dying from heart disease by approximately 9% and if you swap out red meat in favor of whole grains then the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease decreases by 20%.

Whole grain foods are ultra-rich in nutrients when compared to refined grains. In comparison to processed grains such as white bread and white rice, whole grain foods contain significantly more magnesium, vitamin E, and a very important plant based compound called a phytochemical.

Whole Grain Foods For A Long Life
Fiber rich whole grain foods are not stripped of bran. Bran is the outer coating of a grain. Whole grain foods also preserve the inner part of the grain, which is known as the germ. These are very nutritious part of the grain, so it is better to eat whole grains than to strip nutrients away from it. It is not always clear what types of grains are contained within a food product, so it is always important to check the food label to determine what type of grain you are putting into your body. Particularly with bread, make sure that the words “whole grains” are among the top ingredients. Here are a few different fiber-rich whole grain foods to incorporate into your diet:

  • Bran, whole oats, quinoa, 100% whole wheat flour, and brown rice
  • Buckwheat, whole grain barley, and bulgar (cracked wheat)
  • Amaranth, corn, and whole rye
  • Triticale, sorghum, and wild rice
  • Millet, oatmeal, and popcorn
  • whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat crackers

Tips For Eating Whole Grains
There are several ways to go about getting enough whole grains every day. Try starting your day off with a whole grain cereal, such as whole grain bran flakes, oatmeal, or a shredded bran flakes. Instead of eating “plain” or yellow bagels, substitute a whole grain bagel as often as possible. White rice can substituted with wild rice, brown rice, bulgar or even kasha to add an instant boost in whole grains to your meal. Eating a lot of whole grain foods while avoiding refined grains not only ensures your body will get a wide variety of nutrients but it also makes your meals a lot more fun and interesting.

Physical Activity and Kids’ Brain Health

Physical Activity and Kids’ Brain Health

A child’s level of physical activity and their weight could affect their learning and thinking skills, according to a new study.

The study involved 45 kids of normal weight and 45 kids considered overweight from ages 7 to 11. Twenty four of the 45 normal-weight kids were active, which means they partook in organized activities like gymnastics, swimming, dance, or soccer, for at least one hour each week.

Kids of normal weight and who were active had lower body fat percentages and a lower resting heart rate than the kids who were inactive and/or overweight. In addition, researchers found the active kids of normal weight also scored better on mental skills tests, such as those that test paying attention and planning, than inactive kids.

The study verified that being physically active influences brain function. This study’s results are positive in several ways. First, it’s easy to increase activity levels in kids. Second, cutting empty calories and increasing physical activity can help kids grow into their weight while achieving better brain function.

The study focused on weight, and not on body fat percentages, which could be more accurate. Future studies should include overweight, active kids to examine whether they see the same mental benefits of physical activity.

The Relationship Between Sodium and Weight Loss

Summary: Sodium can cause weight gain due to water retention or excess calorie intake when trying to quench thirst. Achieving the right balance of sodium and water in your body is a vital part of keeping your weight in a healthy range.

Sodium’s ability to help or harm the body can be rather vexing, and one of the areas where it is particularly frustrating to deal with is weight loss. If the balance of sodium to water in your body is thrown off, you can experience a range of problems including weight gain. Understanding why sodium can affect your weight will help you get a handle on what it does to you.

Sodium Is Necessary, but Balance Is Key

Your body does need some sodium; it’s one of the substances that helps water move into, out of, and around cells. Your body can self-regulate sodium to an extent by retaining or releasing water to achieve a certain balance between the two.

However, if your body has too much sodium in it, it will grab enough water to cause weight gain through water retention. This is why drinking a healthy amount of water daily can reduce the bloating associated with water retention, make the number on the scale drop and make your clothes seem looser — you’re providing more water daily, so your body doesn’t need to hold onto extra water on its own.

However, drinking too much water and cutting back drastically on sodium in food is not a smart move. This can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, an abnormally low level of sodium in the body. Not only can hyponatremia lead to nausea, confusion, seizures, and other side effects, it can be deadly.

Drop That Soda

One other way sodium affects weight is much more mundane: If you eat something really salty, you can get thirsty — and you often end up grabbing a drink with calories to quench your thirst instead of grabbing something like water or plain tea. If you do that enough, of course, you can gain weight just because you’re taking in too many calories.

If you feel like you’re having trouble regulating thirst or think you are becoming chronically dehydrated, it’s essential that you see your doctor. Chronic dehydration is a particular problem in people as they age and as their bodies’ thirst mechanism becomes less stable.

The More H2O You Drink, The Thinner You Are

The More H2O You Drink, The Thinner You Are

Drinking water is not only good for your skin and digestion, it apparently can help you maintain a healthy weight. According to a study of over 10,000 people, folks who stay hydrated have a lower body mass index than those who do not drink enough H2O. Water is a dark horse diet drink.

The study also showed that people who did not hydrate properly were also 50% more likely to be obese than those who drank water regularly. This association is the same across the board, regardless of gender, age or income. Still the study cannot officially prove that that water directly effects weight.

The scenario that was made clear, is that people who drink more water on a daily basis, or eat fruits and vegetables that contain water are more likely to be at a healthy weight.

So how can you know if you drink enough water? Researchers say the information is in your urine. Urine that runs more clear and light indicates a healthy amount of hydration, whereas dark, yellow urine indicates a deficiency.

The study assessed urine samples from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. One third of the participants who were aged between 18 and 64 were considered insufficiently hydrated. The hydrated folks had an average BMI of 28, which although is still considered overweight, is in the healthy category. The participants with poor hydration had an average BMI of 29, dangerously close to 30, which is considered obese.

The study was not able to officially report why this link occurred, but speculations were made. For instance, people who are obese might be more likely to eat than drink water when they are thirsty, confusing the cue for hunger. Those who drink plenty of water may actually feel more full and eat less, which keeps them from gaining too much weight. And people who drink plenty of water may also focus more on eating healthier foods in general.

For a healthy weight and diet, men should drink about 125 ounces of water per day, and women should consume about 91 ounces. The hydration can be obtained through drinking any beverage that contains water and from water filled foods like apples, cucumbers, watermelon, plums and celery.

People with a higher BMI should drink even more water than slimmer folks. Other beverages like coffee and tea can count as a fluid intake, but are not as effective for hydration. Water is the best diet drink out there. And it’s free.

If you are looking to shed some pounds or stay within in a healthy weight, make sure water is the first item on your menu at every snack and meal throughout the day.