Our Overweight Teenagers Are At Risk For Serious Health Problems
Okay, so this does not come as a surprise. More than half of the overweight teens (ages 12 through 19) in the United States (and probably the world) have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar and this places them at a very high risk for heart attacks and many other serious heart problems. In fact, according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics (May 21, 2012), “the percentage of adolescents who were diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, went from 9% to 21%.” Much more needs to be done to get our kids back on the healthy track. Even more needs to be done to identify teens with potential health risks. Bottom line: have your kids get a check up at your medical provider. If they are obese, overweight or even just a bit over their BMI, make sure you get the blood sugar (glucose), cholesterol and blood pressure checked also.
Regular Eating Times Are Important In A Healthy Diet
It seems that eating at a regular interval is very important to maintaining a healthy weight. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies found that “regular eating times and extending the daily fasting period may override the adverse health effects of a high-fat diet and prevent obesity, diabetes and liver disease in mice.” According to senior author Satchidananda Panda, an associate professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory, “our findings, however, suggest that regular eating times and fasting for a significant number of hours a day might be beneficial to our health.” The research team also found that “the body stores fat while eating and starts to burn fat and breakdown cholesterol into beneficial bile acids only after a few hours of fasting. When eating frequently, the body continues to make and store fat, ballooning fat cells and liver cells, which can result in liver damage. Under such conditions the liver also continues to make glucose, which raises blood sugar levels. Time-restricted feeding, on the other hand, reduces production of free fat, glucose and cholesterol and makes better use of them. It cuts down fat storage and turns on fat burning mechanisms when the animals undergo daily fasting, thereby keeping the liver cells healthy and reducing overall body fat.” Bottom line: this is good news for dieters. It means that we shouldn’t keep eating all day long and restrict our feeding to set hours. And we need to give our bodies a rest from food for a period of time as well. This “extended fasting” allows the body to break down and fully digest the foods and make better use of them instead of storing most of them as fat.
Can Sugary Foods Make You Stupid?
A new study published in the Journal of Physiology (May 15, 2012), from a group of researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, has shown that a steady consumption of foods containing the sugar-fructose, can slow the learning and affect the memory. But that adding foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, can help decrease and minimize the damage. The UCLA group focused on high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which is a sweetener and preservative added to processed foods, soft drinks, chocolate milk, baby food and many more foods. According to the USDA, the average American consumes approximately 40 pounds of HFCS yearly. HFCS has been implicated in the childhood (and adult) obesity epidemic by blocking the body’s ability to determine satiety. HFCS may also block insulin’s ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar. The other interesting finding of this study was that by consuming foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, flaxseed oil and DHA-docosahexaenoic acid), which help prevent damage to synapses in the brain, you can protect yourself from the harmful effects of fructose. Bottom line: stay away from lots of sugary foods and ones that have HFCS. Choose natural fruits first. And if you are going to be indulging in the sugary/HFCS foods, make sure you eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids like walnuts, salmon and flaxseed too.
Stay fit and healthy the Nerdel Way!