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The benefits of plant-based diets include flexibility and sustainability

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It’s amazing that a sentence from 1826 would be so relevant today.

“You are what you eat” is attributed to the French lawyer Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote in the 1800s, although it was American nutritionist Victor Lindlahr who translated the phrase into English in the 1930s and advanced the link between diet and health.

This story speaks for the deeply ingrained connection, a fact that is overwhelming in contemporary science. With Americans struggling with their weight and COVID-19 causing many to rethink their personal health, finding the right diet is as intense as it has ever been.

At the heart of every approach is the ability to achieve your individual goals and maintain your eating habits over time. With literally thousands of diet programs, there are clearly a number of options. A plant-based diet is an approach of growing interest and one that I am following for its balanced and achievable structure.

Almost 10 million strong

Ipsos Retail Performance examined how the plant-based diet has developed in recent years. The research company found that 9.7 million Americans are following a plant-based diet. That’s only 290,000 people 15 years ago. Other studies have reported that 6 in 10 Americans have switched to a plant-based diet since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not an all-or-nothing proposal

Harvard Medical School defines a plant-based diet as a diet that focuses primarily, but not exclusively, on plant-based foods. This includes fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grain products, legumes and beans. According to Harvard, eating a plant-based diet does not mean that you are a vegetarian or vegan and that you will never eat meat or dairy products. Rather, choose proportionally more of your food from plant sources. To capture this approach, the term flexitarians was coined.

In fact, research published in Consumer Reports has shown that flexitarians – those who make plant-based foods the star of their diet, with meat, fish, dairy, and eggs playing a supportive role – were healthier than common meat eaters – disease risk and risk – in categories like colon cancer and heart All-cause mortality.

For context, it’s important to note that some well-known healthcare institutions like the Cleveland Clinic and Kaiser Permanente exclude animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, and processed foods or candies from their definitions of a plant-based diet. Still, the preponderance of thinking seems to allow these foods to be a smaller part of your meal.

The Mediterranean diet

Among the best-researched plant-based diets, and one that most closely resembles my personal practices, is the Mediterranean diet. Aside from the flexibility, I like that it comes from the Mediterranean, which is known for the longevity of its people.

A publication from the National Center for Biotechnology Information named the Mediterranean diet the gold standard in preventive medicine due to the combination of many elements with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The Mayo Clinic confirms that the Mediterranean diet contains fish, seafood, dairy products, and poultry in moderation, with red meat and sweets only occasionally eaten. According to Mayo, numerous studies have confirmed that the Mediterranean diet helps prevent heart disease and stroke.

Additional health benefits

While the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of colon cancer, heart disease, and stroke, there are other notable benefits of a plant-based diet.

The American Heart Association is putting obesity and type 2 diabetes on its list of improved health and well-being caused by a diet low in meat. And to add flexibility to a plant-based diet, mayo suggests that lean meats, skinless poultry, and fish can be good sources of protein.

Mental health and wellbeing

In addition to the benefits for your physical health, a plant-based diet can also have positive effects on your mental health and well-being. Nutritionfacts.org, a science-based non-profit, says studies have shown that plant-based foods can improve emotional conditions such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, well-being, and daily functioning. MD Anderson adds mental illness to its list of diseases that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk.

Dr. Uma Naidoo, director of Nutritional & Metabolic Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, cites vegetables as a great source of fiber and reports that high-fiber diets have been linked to reduced risk of anxiety, stress, and depression because of the anti-inflammatory effects of fiber. Naidoo says inflammation is high in people with these mental illnesses.

Finally, motivation for trying a plant-based diet can be found in an article by Advances in Nutrition, reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The article explains how dietary patterns that emphasize plant foods can exert neuroprotective effects against the effects of age-related cognitive decline.

Started

The University of Tennessee Medical Center offers a number of practical tips to get you started with your plant-based diet. Think of your favorite vegetables as the main course and, if they contain meat, use them as a side or side dish. Choose good fats like olives, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and avocados. Eat fruit for dessert and avoid artificial sweeteners.

In addition, the center suggests involving your family or a friend. Start the diet with a friend and share recipes. Take your kids out shopping and let them choose vegetables for dinner. Challenge your spouse or partner to try the diet with you.

Harvard experts suggest building a meal around a salad, including whole grains for breakfast and preparing a vegetarian meal at least one night a week.

You are what you eat

Do you want to be healthy? Eating healthy. There’s a reason plant-based diets are growing in popularity. They represent a sensible compromise that recognizes Voltaire’s famous adage that perfection is the enemy of good.

If you have the willpower and interest to eat all animal products free, then you should definitely do it. For those of us who appreciate being flexitarians and maintaining some level of healthy eating practices in the long run, plant-based diets can be a welcome option in a crowded field.

Louis Bezich, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Cooper University Health Care, is the author of Crack The Code: 10 Proven Secrets that Motivate Healthy Behavior and Inspire Fulfillment in Men Over 50. Read more from Louis on his website.

Whole Grains Health

Harness the power of the body’s hormones for better health

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When a hormone is out of whack, you can feel like you’re stuck in the mud or strapped to a runaway horse. Just ask someone with untreated Graves’ or Hashimoto’s disease (these are high or low thyroid levels), hypogonadism (low testosterone or estrogen deficiency), or uncontrolled diabetes. Because hormones are the chemical messengers of your body and have a direct influence on your metabolism, energy level, hunger, cognition, sexual function / reproduction and mood.

There are around 50 hormones in your body and many more hormone-like substances (brain neurotransmitters like serotonin and active vitamin D2 for example). Your pituitary is the “master gland,” it tells other glands to secrete hormones. The other hormone-producing glands are the pineal and adrenal glands, as well as the thymus, thyroid and pancreas – men also produce hormones in their testicles (testosterone) and women in their ovaries (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone). Aside, about 25% of testosterone in women is produced in the ovaries, a quarter in the adrenal gland and half in the peripheral tissue.

It only takes a tiny amount of a few hormones to make big changes in every inch of your body. Therefore, if they are out of whack, it can cause you serious problems. In America, type 2 diabetes is the most common hormone-related disease. This happens when you become insulin resistant and this hormone, which is produced in the pancreas, can no longer regulate blood sugar levels, causing a cascade of health problems from atherosclerosis to neuropathy to kidney disease.

Here’s how you can calm your hormones – and restore your health:

Eat Smartly. The endocrine glands are happy when you eat healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds; high fiber foods like fruits and vegetables; lean animal protein such as salmon; and plant-based proteins like 100% whole grains and legumes / beans. This mix of nutrients lets your appetite regulating hormones leptin (I’m full) and ghrelin (I’m hungry) signal you accordingly so you don’t overeat. Overeating and obesity regulate many hormonal systems.

In addition, a healthy diet will nourish your thyroid hormones, which also help regulate weight. Perhaps most importantly, a healthy diet regulates the work of trillions of microbes in your gut biome that help regulate hormone production and produce hormone-like substances.

Cope with stress, sleep peacefully. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal gland in response to stress. When chronically elevated, it can reduce the activity of your hypothalamus, which in turn can lead to imbalances in the messenger substances that affect sleep, eating, sexual activity, and cognition and mood. Then you can get tired and gain weight. Therefore, it is important to regularly exercise, meditate, take deep breaths, hang out with friends, volunteer to help others, and / or talk to a therapist. Healthy sleeping habits are also important for reducing stress and regulating hormones. Growth hormones, testosterone, cortisol and insulin are released during sleep. And studies show a link between chronic lack of sleep and depression and weight gain. For sleep hygiene information, visit DoctorOz.com.

Reduce Chronic Inflammation. Chronic inflammation occurs when your immune response is overstimulated to conditions that interfere with the peaceful functioning of your body. This can happen if you are overweight or obese, addicted to sugar and fast foods, smoke or drink too much, or are constantly under stress. These factors can trigger hormonal changes, such as insulin resistance, low testosterone and vitamin D levels, and increased cortisol, and they power your sympathetic nervous system, increasing your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and pupil size, and making your blood vessels narrow .

Plus: Eating healthy foods and managing stress and sleep will help reduce inflammation throughout your body and stabilize your hormones, but you can’t get real success if you’re sitting – 150 minutes or more of exercise per week is essential.

So make friends with your hormones and these powerful messengers will send you good news about your energy levels, sleep satisfaction, aging rate, and happiness.

Mehmet Oz, MD is hosting “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, MD is the Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus. For the healthiest way to live, tune in to The Dr. Oz Show or visit sharecare.com.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, MD

and Mehmet Oz, MD

King Features Syndicate

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Whole Grains Health

Types of Millets And How Beneficial it is in Losing Weight

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Weight Loss Tips: Millet is an essential part of the whole grain family like rice, oats or quinoa. It is originally grown in Asia thousands of years ago. It’s gluten-free, filled with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Millet is not only famous in India but has also gained in value in western countries.Read also – Weight Loss in Real Life: I was 104 kg, a visit to my daughter’s school changed everything

Millet is high in protein. It contains five grams of protein and one gram of fiber. Both of these ingredients help keep the stomach fuller for longer and reduce the snack habit between meals. This helps in shedding those extra pounds without compromising on your diet. Also Read – Weight Loss: Is It Safe To Eat Only Liquid Food When Losing Weight? Expert speaks | Exclusive

What Are The Health Benefits Of Millet?

Millet is high in antioxidants that help flush harmful radicals out of the body. It contains antioxidant components like quercetin, curcumin, ellagic acid, and other beneficial catechins. These help in eliminating toxins and neutralizing enzymes. It prevents health problems. Also Read – 6 Possible Reasons For Unexpected Weight Gain Explains The Nutritionist

Not only is millet very nutritious, it also has a good amount of fiber stored in it. It helps with digestion and prevents constipation, gas and acidity. It helps avoid digestive problems and prevents gastrointestinal cancer and kidney / liver problems.

  • Reduction of cardiovascular risks

Millet is high in and essential fats that help provide the body with natural fats. It also helps in preventing fat from being stored in the body. Along with this, it lowers the risk of high cholesterol, paralysis, and other heart problems. It contains potassium, which helps to keep an eye on blood pressure and increases blood flow.

What are the different types of millet?

Ragi is known for its iron content. It helps in the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells. It is high in calcium and potassium. Due to the high proportion of fiber, it keeps the stomach fuller for a longer period of time.

Jowar is loaded with nutrients like vitamin B, magnesium, and antioxidants like flavonoids, phenolic acids, and tannins. It helps boost metabolism and improves the quality of hair and skin. The presence of magnesium helps in strengthening bone and heart health.

Bajra is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, and calcium. It’s low in calories and considered the best grain for shedding pounds. It keeps your stomach fuller for a long period of time without increasing your daily calorie count.

Amaranth is high in fiber, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. It helps improve brain function and prevents certain neurological diseases. It helps build muscle and maintain digestive health. It is also noted that amaranth has more nutrients than quinoa.

Kangni is known as semolina or rice flour. It helps in strengthening the immune system and balancing blood sugar levels as it is high in iron and calcium. It also serves as a better option for shedding those extra pounds. It usually includes low cholesterol, good digestion, and helps in building good heart health.

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Adherence To a Mediterranean Diet Lowers Risk of Diabetes

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Author: Kenya Henderson, 2021 PharmD. Candidate, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Role of the Mediterranean Diet: Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight can potentially reduce the risk of developing diabetes for the US population.

A Mediterranean diet is one of the few healthy eating habits that has been linked to significant health improvements. It is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes, and olive oil and is more common in European countries. It is recommended by the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help reduce the risk of chronic disease. In addition, it is linked to a reduced risk of diabetes in Mediterranean and European countries. However, it is unclear that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of developing diabetes in the US population. In a large US cohort study with black and white men and women, this study investigated whether Mediterranean eating behavior is linked to the risk of diabetes.

This study was a prospective cohort study that included patients in previous research, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, which looked at the causes of heart disease in over 400,000 adults in the United States. In this study, data were collected from 11,991 participants on their first visit. Participants were excluded if they were Asian or Indian due to the small sample size; were black and from Maryland and Minnesota, unable to decipher the influence of geographic region on race; if they have a history or history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer; or if they were derived from the answers to the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) or if they had ten or more missing FFQ elements.

One of the statistical methods was an FFQ questionnaire to record the food intake of each patient on their first and third visits. The data recorded from the survey was used in the scores for the Mediterranean Alternative Diet (aMed). The scores ranged from 0 to 9 points, with 1 point being awarded if the patient reported consuming vegetables, fruits, or legumes himself, and 1 point if the patient reported consuming red or processed meat. The higher the aMed score, the higher the adherence to a Mediterranean diet. They also used Cox’s proportional hazard regression models to estimate the hazard ratios and confidence intervals for the associations between aMed scores and incidents of diabetes. Incidence diabetes was defined as: if the patient was diagnosed by a doctor, had taken diabetes medication in the past two weeks, had a fasting blood sugar of 126 mg / dL or more, or a non-fasting blood sugar of 200 mg / dL or above. Variables were also used in the Cox regression analyzes, including energy intake, age, gender, race, educational level, smoking status and physical activity, and clinical mediators of diabetes. They were all stratified by race and body mass index (BMI).

During a median follow-up of 22 years, this analysis found 4,024 cases of diabetes among the 11,991 participants. In summary, aMed scores and incidents of diabetes were higher in blacks than whites, but the risk of diabetes was reduced by up to 17% in both races. In addition, the associations between aMed scores and incidents of diabetes were found to be stronger in patients with a healthy baseline BMI, indicating that obesity or overweight outweighs the benefits of a healthy Mediterranean diet, as shown in the ARIC study and other U.S. Population. Therefore, the results of this study indicate that following a Mediterranean diet without weight loss may not reduce the risk of diabetes in overweight or obese populations. While following a Mediterranean diet could lower the risk of diabetes in people with healthy BMI, the discussion about restricting calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight should remain one of the most important tasks of diabetes prevention. Overall, eating and following a Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of diabetes in a community-based US population, especially for black and normal weight individuals. Future studies should be conducted to determine whether a Mediterranean diet that results in clinically meaningful weight loss can reduce the future risk of diabetes in those who are overweight or obese.

Practice pearls:

  • Diets high in fiber, fruits, vegetables, fish, and olive oil have been linked to a lower risk of developing diabetes in the US population.
  • There are stronger associations between adherence to the Mediterranean pattern and incidents of diabetes among blacks compared to the US white population.

O’Connor, LE, Hu, EA, Steffen, LM et al. Adherence to Mediterranean eating habits and risk of diabetes in a prospective US cohort study. Nutr. Diabetes 10, 8, (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41387-020-0113-x

Kenya Henderson, 2021 PharmD. Candidate, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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