General Wellness

Going “Meat-Lite”

Alam naman natin na batay sa mga pag-aaral, ang pagkakaroon ng sobrang taba sa ating tiyan ay sanhi ng hindi balanseng diet. Karaniwan, ito ay dahil sa pagkain ng sobrang saturated fat na nanggagaling sa taba ng hayop — o karne.

Ang pagkain na sobra sa saturated fat ang tinuturing na isa sa mga dahilan ng pagkakaroon ng mga chronic illnesses katulad ng alta presyon, diabetes, sakit sa puso at stroke. Ang pag-iwas sa ito ay makatutulong sa pagbawas sa “risk” sa pagkakaroon ng mga ganitong sakit.

Dahilan dito, nauuso ngayon ang iilang mga diet na walang lamang karne o meat products. Kabilang sa mga tawag dito ay “vegan diet”, vegetarian diet, o “plant-based diet”. Bagamat makakatulong ito sa pagbawas ng saturated fat sa katawan, hindi lahat ng tao ay handa sa ganitong pamamaraan ng pagkain.

Ang pagkain ng “meat-lite” ay transition mula sa usual na diet tungo sa isang diet na mababa o walang meat products. May mga paraan kung paano gawing “meat-lite” ang diet ninyo.

Ways on Gauging how Healthy you are

Bagong Taon na naman and of course most of us want to take the time to rethink and revisit our health goals. In looking how to improve our health, I’ve looked into some ways on how we can measure our health so we can better ourselves.

Body Mass Index

  • Ratio of weight and the square of height.  
  • Normal is from 18.5 to 25
  • More than 25-<30 would mean either overweight or obese; less than 18.5 means undeweight

Waist Circumference

  • Indicator of visceral or belly fat.  And this fat is a predictor of obesity-related disease risk than overall body fat
  • The normal waist circumference for females is  less tthan 35 inches and for men is less than 40 inches.  
  • Some professionals measure the waist hip ratio.  The normal for males is 0.9 females 0.85€

Level of hydration from amount of water you drink.  

  • It is a common notion that 8 glasses is enough but this not always the case
  • Lot of factors to consider such as the gender, activity level, climate.  
  • More practical to gauge using the color of urine.  It should have pale yellow color or lighter

Blood Pressure

  • Increasing blood pressure could be an indication of overall cardiovascular health
  • Anything more than 120/80 would mean regular monitoring

Cholesterol Levels

  • By age 20, cholesterol levels should be checked at least every 5 years; much more frequent if there are other risk factors

Blood Sugar Levels

  • Fasting Blood sugar tells us the amount of sugar that remains in the blood after not eating for 8 hours or so.  FBS of 100 mg/dL is normal
  • People with normal sugar levels should get tested about every 3 years

Servings of Vegetables Eaten

  • The more servings of non starchy vegetables and fruit eaten each day, the better for over all health
  • Eat more vegetables compared to processed food and high glycemic index food
  • Half of your meal plate should be filled with vegetable

Time spent Moving

  • Exercise and physical activity is important to maintain strong bones, reduce risk of diabetes and improve mood
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day to lower risk of early death

Amount of alcohol taken

  • Excessive alcohol can lead to development ceratin cancers, heart disease, liver disease
  • Excessive drinking (CDC) – 3+ drinks in a single occasion for women; 4+ drinks in a single occasion for men; 7+ drinks per week women; 14+ drinks per week for men
  • Drinking moderate is equal to one drink a day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men
  • If you don’t drink alcohol, there is no reason to start

Hours Spent Sleeping

  • Sleep deprivation may lead to hypertension, daibetes and heart disease
  • Adults over 18 should get 7-9 hours of sleep daily

So there you have it. Just by monitoring or looking after these simple ways, you are already helping your body towards being a better you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Weight Changes in Early Adult Life

Being in your early 20s can be both fun and a challenge.  For many, this stage is the beginning of an entirely new phase of life – the prospects of having your first job, entering into new relationships or family, or continuing the challenges of learning new things.

In every new life phase comes new routines.  And this may cause drastic changes in lifestyle.  People may start to become less active in the gym or sports because of new challenges at work, or in the family.  Food habits change because of different environments like being with different set of people with different food habits.

Although some studies may vary in their conclusions (Proper, Picavet, Bogers, Verschuren, & Bemelmans, 2013), the changes in the lifestyle may pose potential problems for some because this may translate to weight gain if unchecked in the long run.  Financial struggles and challenges resulting from new responsibilities from the emerging independent adult can also predispose to weight gain (Conklin, Forouhi, Brunner, & Monsivais, 2014).

Knowing these issues and not losing focus in maintaining a healthy lifestyle not only prevents weight gain, but also decreases the potential for chronic diseases in the future.  Managing your time schedules regularly to incorporate even short periods of physical activity can help burn excess fat from previous overindulgence.  Incorporating mindfulness exercises during meals may decrease the risk of overeating and overconsumption of calories.  Being in the company of health-conscious individuals can further motivate you in carrying on with your fitness goals.

Choose to make your health a priority while in the prime of life. 

References:

Conklin, A. I., Forouhi, N. G., Brunner, E. J., & Monsivais, P. (2014). Persistent financial hardship, 11-year weight gain and health behaviors in the Whitehall II study: Persistent Hardship Increases 11-Year Weight Gain. Obesity, n/a-n/a. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.20875

Proper, K. I., Picavet, H. S. J., Bogers, R. P., Verschuren, W. M., & Bemelmans, W. J. (2013). The association between adverse life events and body weight change: results of a prospective cohort study. BMC Public Health, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-957

Effective Meal Planning may help prevent Obesity and Chronic Illness in the Young

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The issue of excessive weight gain is not only a growing problem of adults.  In today’s world, sedentary lifestyles have become increasingly common even in the young.  Instead of being in playgrounds or other activity areas, children mostly stay at home with their computers and tablets.  The influx of Western and instant cuisine also play a role in the diet of children.  Families are more likely seen eating in fast foods during weekends and holidays rather than enjoying home cooked meals.

With the changing lifestyle patterns also comes the increasing incidence of chronic illness such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.  Now, it is not uncommon to see many young people suffering from these illnesses as well.

The position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is that interventions be made as early as the pre-school and school age so as to prevent the onset of chronic illnesses.  This may be achieved with awareness of healthy eating practices and maintaining healthy weights for kids.

MyPlate is a visual guide originally made by the US Department of Agriculture to remind families on how much of which should be present in the feeding plates of children.  A similar device has been adapted for Filipinos to make it applicable in the local setting and is named “Pinggang Pinoy“.

In the plate graphic, half of the plate should comprise vegetables and fruits during meals.  Vegetables comprises a majority of this portion.  Children are encouraged to eat more dark-green, red and orange vegetables.  The greater in the variation and contrast in colors can also aid in attracting kids in eating vegetables.

Fruits make up the other portion of the first half in MyPlate.  Pears, oranges, berries, watermelon, peaches and raisins are some examples that can be served on to the plates of kids.  Fruit juices may also substitute during occasions but only if 100% juice is served (and not juice concentrate which contains mostly table sugar).

A quarter of the plate should comprise healthy proteins.  Recommended are healthier sources such as fish, beans and peas.

The last quarter of the plate should be filled up with grains – preferably whole grains.  As such, kids are encouraged to eat oatmeal, whole-wheat breads, tortillas or brown rice more often.

To supplement their meals, children are also encouraged to take dairy in their meals.  This may come in the form of low-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt for stronger teeth and bones.

Exercise should come in the form of play or any suitable physical activity for at least 60 minutes daily.

The way for people to adapt to healthy lifestyles that persist is to imbibe them early.  Encouraging healthy eating using MyPlate or Pinggang Pinoy is one strategy that may help ensure this.

 

References:

Ogata, B. N and Hayes D.  Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition Guidance for Health Children Ages 2 to 11 Years.  Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2014-08-01, Volume 114, Issue 8, Pages 1257-1276