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Posted by MovistarPlus on 2018-10-01 17:20:08

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Is the Keto Diet Good For You?

Is the Keto Diet Good For You?

The keto diet is inarguably the most debated diet of 2017; while some dietitians are warning against it, there are countless success stories of massive weight breakthroughs through the use of keto. But regardless of what camp you fall into, we need to debunk something here and now: the keto…


Posted by Naser Ch on 2017-12-23 03:10:59

Tagged: , Diet , Good , Keto

Menopause Help is Good News to Our Mothers


Menopause is a stage in every middle aged woman's life that often happens naturally. Contrary to what many may believe, this condition is neither a disease nor a disorder and for this reason, it does not require any form of treatment to correct or reverse it. However, menopause may come together with a series of severe cases of either physical, emotional or mental effects that may at times force a person to seek for any type of menopause help that is both appropriate and available to her. It is for this reason that numerous types of treatment have been availed to the public so as to try and ensure that menopausal women who may be suffering can easily access them.

Hormone replacement therapy is one form of menopause help that can be provided to menopausal women. Due to the fact that some of the problems being experienced during menopause are caused by some of the hormone levels in the body dropping, hormone replacement therapy helps to replace them and eventually bring their level back to normal. In order to replace these hormones, supplements of estrogen combined with progesterone are usually administered to the patient. Once the hormones have been replaced, most women tend to feel relieved and happy with their decision to undertake this form of treatment. However, there is a dark side to this form of treatment. As much as it is used to help heal menopausal problems, it may at times place the patient at greater risks of suffering from stroke, cancer among other fatal diseases.Therefore, patients are often advised to take small doses of the supplements whenever they get to use them so as to minimize chances of experiencing their negative effects.

Another way that one can get menopause help is through the use of Femarelle (DT56a). Femarelle are drugs that help decrease the frequency and effects of hot flashes during menopause. To add on to this, Femarelle is also known to increase what is known as bone mass density something that helps make it very protective against osteoporosis fractures. To achieve maximum benefits of Femarelle, an agonistic interaction with both estrogen receptors in the brain and bone has to be established.

When depression episodes are being experienced during menopause, antidepressants can be used to help the patient. Antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil and Effexor have over the years been used to treat these episodes as well as hot flashes, sleeping problems among many other menopausal problems. Recently, Prozac was repackaged as Sarafem and was approved for treatment of mood disorders that often occur during perimenopause and early stages of menopause.

For women who may be suffering from conditions of high blood pressure, blood pressure medicines are the best menopause help options that can be easily used. These medicines are as effective as antidepressants when it comes to relieving menopausal women from effects of hot flashes but lack the ability to treat depression conditions. An example of blood pressure medicine is Clonidine (Catapres). This drug has the ability of treating both high blood pressure related cases as well as help reduce frequencies and intensities of the hot flashes. To benefit from blood pressure medicines, instructions provided by your doctor need to be strictly followed so as not only to get helped by the medicines but also to avoid being harmed by them due to improper usage.


Source by Wangeci Kinyanjui

The Good And Bad About Soy


Soy has been promoted as a health food for many decades. Due to its high protein content, soy is also very popular among vegans and vegetarians. So is soy really a health food? Are all soy products the same? What is the latest research regarding soy and disease?

Soy is cheap to grow and cheap to process, so it is truly a food manufacturer’s dream. The industry has marketed soy as an ancient health food. They claim that Asian cultures have eaten soy for thousands of years and associate their longevity and health with the consumption of soy. But if you examine the diets of Asian cultures closely, you will discover that:

  • first, they only use soy as a condiment and do not eat it as a main item or in large quantities,
  • second, they eat fermented soy which is remarkably different from the unfermented soy that Americans typically eat, such as the following:

Examples of Unfermented Soy Foods

soy milk

soy ice cream

soy cheese

soy yogurt

soy protein isolate in energy bars and protein powders

textured vegetable protein (TVP)

edamame (green soybeans)

soy hot dog or sausage



soy nuts

soy flour

soybean oil

soy chips

soy nut butter

soy lecithin

In traditional Asian diets, people eat soy which has been fermented, that means the soy food has been cultured with beneficial bacteria, yeast, or mold. This type of soy is entirely different from the unfermented, processed soy products (like the ones listed above) that are sold in American grocery stores.

Why Unfermented Soy Is Not Recommended

Humans do not have a history of eating much unfermented soy. It was not until the last fifty years that we have introduced a variety of processed, unfermented soy foods.

If you are getting more than 35 grams of soy protein each day from unfermented soy, you should be aware of the following anti-nutrients that are present in this type of soy and their potential effects on your health.

Phytic acid that impairs mineral absorption. Plant seeds, such as nuts, edible seeds, beans/legumes, and grains contain phytic acid. Soy is particularly high in phytic acid, which impairs the absorption of iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and calcium. Mineral deficiencies caused by phytic acid are rarely a concern among meat-eaters because their diets are more diverse. However, vegans and vegetarians who consume a lot of high phytic acid foods at every meal can be at increased risk of developing mineral deficiencies overtime.

Oxalates that have been linked to kidney stones. Calcium oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stones. Oxalate is a natural substance found in many foods but highest in spinach, wheat bran, nuts, beer, coffee, soybeans, and chocolate. Oxalate cannot be metabolized by the body and is excreted through urine. When there is too much oxalate and too little urine, the oxalate can bind to calcium in the urine and form crystals that stick together into a solid mass (kidney stone). To prevent calcium oxalate stones:

  • Drink enough fluids like water.
  • Reduce sodium in the diet as salt causes more calcium to be excreted in the urine.
  • Eat high calcium foods with oxalate-rich foods (e.g. spinach salad with cheese) so that the oxalate can bind with calcium in the stomach and intestines rather than in the kidneys.
  • Cut down on the oxalate-rich foods.

Goitrogens that suppress the thyroid gland. Goitrogens may prevent the thyroid from getting the necessary amount of iodine and disrupt the normal production of thyroid hormones. Raw vegetables from the cruciferous family (e.g. broccoli, kale, cabbage) and soy contain goitrogens. An overconsumption of soy may eventually lead to an underactive thyroid creating symptoms like weight gain, mood swings, feeling cold, fatigue, insomnia, and an inability to concentrate and remember details. To overcome this problem, make sure your iodine intake (eg. seaweed, seafood, dairy) is adequate when consuming soy.

Trypsin inhibitors that interfere with digestion. Trypsin is a digestive enzyme needed to properly digest protein. Trypsin inhibitors are a plant’s defense mechanism. By having this harmful component, wild animals learn that any food with trypsin inhibitors is a food to avoid. Soybeans are rich in trypsin inhibitors, hence, taking in too much soy may lead to gastric distress like bloating and gas in some individuals.

Lectins that clump red blood cells. Plants produce damaging proteins called lectins as self-defense against hungry animals. Soy contains a specific class of lectins called hemagglutinin that promotes clotting in the blood and impairs blood flow. Hemagglutinins can also tear holes in the gut lining, allowing bacteria to get into the bloodstream and causing autoimmune and allergic problems for people who are sensitive to lectins..

Why Fermented Soy Is Better

Fermented soy is much healthier than unfermented soy. The lengthy fermentation process reduces some of its anti-nutrients, resulting in a form of soy that is:

  • rich in probiotics or healthy bacteria that is extremely important for gut health and the immune system,
  • lower in phytic acid that prevents the absorption of minerals,
  • easier to digest and less likely to cause gastric distress,
  • lower in lectins (hemagglutinins) that promote clumping of red blood cells, and
  • high in the MK-7 form of vitamin K2, an important nutrient for supporting bone and heart health. (Unfermented soy does not contain vitamin K2.)

Top 4 Fermented Soy Foods

Natto. Fermented soybeans that are sticky and gooey with a strong, distinctive taste. A popular breakfast side dish in traditional Japanese cuisine.

Tempeh. Originated from Indonesia, it is a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and an earthy flavor.

Miso. Fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture. It is commonly used to make miso soup in Japanese cooking.

Soy sauce. Originated from China, it is a liquid condiment made from fermented soybeans and roasted grain (wheat). Tamari is soy sauce made without the grain, hence, it is gluten-free.

Considerations When Eating Fermented Soy

Quantity may be the key. Asian cultures do not eat a huge amount of soy. They generally use fermented soy foods as a condiment rather than as a main item. The average intake of soy protein in Asian populations is about 10-20 grams per day. This is in stark contrast to how much unfermented soy Americans consume.

The following shows the soy protein content of some common unfermented soy products. Are you eating multiple servings of these everyday?

Unfermented Soy Foods_____Serving Size_____Protein (grams)

Soy protein isolate____________1 oz_____________25

Soy nuts, roasted_____________1/2 cup___________22

Soy burger__________________1 patty___________14

Tofu, firm___________________4 oz_____________14

Edamame, boiled_____________1/2 cup__________12

Soy milk____________________8 oz______________8

Soy nut butter________________2 Tbsp.___________8

Soy cheese__________________1 oz______________6

Soy yogurt__________________4 oz______________4

Furthermore, unfermented soy is a hidden component of the American diet. Research estimates that soy is present in 70% of all supermarket products and widely used in fast food chains.

  • Soy is used to bulk up and bind many processed foods so that food firms can put a higher protein value on them.
  • The husk of the soybean is used for fiber in breads, cereals, and snacks.
  • The big one is soybean oil which is the most consumed vegetable oil in the world. It is used in frying oils, salad dressings, and many processed foods.
  • Last but not least, 70% of the soybeans grown in the U.S. are used for animal feed, with poultry being the highest livestock sector consuming soybeans, followed by hogs, dairy, beef, and aquaculture. These soy-fed animals are then eaten by us.

Soy is largely genetically modified. 94% of the soy planted in the U.S. is “Roundup Ready”, which means it is genetically bioengineered to survive heavy application of Monsanto’s toxic Roundup herbicide. In March 2019, a San Francisco federal jury unanimously agreed that Roundup caused a man’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The verdict is the second in the U.S. to find a connection between the herbicide’s key ingredient glyphosate and cancer. Therefore, even if you are eating fermented soy, make sure it is organically grown.

Soy is one of the top eight allergens. They are cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybean. These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies. If you have a soy allergy or sensitivity, watch out for “hidden” soy as it is often used in many processed food products.

Research On Soy And Disease

Soy is unique in that it contains a high concentration of isoflavones or plant estrogens (called genistein and daidzein) that are structurally similar to human estrogen but with weaker effects. They can bind to estrogen receptors in numerous tissues, including those associated with reproduction, as well as bone, liver, heart, and brain. In human tissues, isoflavones can have totally opposite effects – they can either mimic estrogen or block


Soy is a controversial food that has been widely studied for its estrogenic as well as anti-estrogenic effects on the body. Proponents claim that soy can tame hot flashes, prevent osteoporosis, and protect against hormonal cancers. Opponents worry that it may actually increase the risk of cancer, cause thyroid problems, and other health issues.

Up to now, there is yet concrete conclusions about soy, but it is probably due to the wide variation in how the studies have been designed – the types of soy used (fermented vs. unfermented), quantity consumed, and duration of exposure (since childhood vs. adulthood). That said, Asian populations have eaten a traditional diet of fermented soy for thousands of years and have reported a neutral to beneficial effect on many health conditions.

Average Isoflavone Intake in Asia is 25-50 mg/day.

Fermented Soy Foods_______Serving Size____Isoflavone content (mg)

Natto______________________1 oz_____________23

Tempeh, cooked_____________3 oz_____________30

Miso______________________1 oz_____________12

Soy sauce__________________1 Tsbp.___________0.02

Breast Cancer

Excessive estrogen stimulates the growth and multiplication of breast cancer cells. So it was once thought that soy foods increase the risk of breast cancer because soy contains isoflavones that may mimic our estrogen.

However, it has also been suggested that the lower risk of breast cancer in Asian countries compared to Europe, North America, and Australia/New Zealand is attributed to a lifelong intake of traditional soy foods. So who is right?

So far studies have not provided a clear-cut answer. Some have shown a slight benefit while others show no association. Nonetheless, no research has demonstrated that soy causes breast cancer, even in women who have had the cancer before. In fact, it appears that soy may have a mild estrogen-blocking action in breast tissues, resulting in a slight reduction of breast cancer risk and recurrence of breast cancer.

In addition, the protective effect seems to be more pronounced for women who start eating soy early in life. Women from Asian countries generally start consuming fermented soy foods found in traditional Asian diets at an early age. Fermented soy contains healthy bacteria that can convert isoflavone daidzein to equol. Equol is believed to block potentially negative effects of estrogen. Studies found that 50-60% of adults in Asia possess the equol-producing gut bacteria compared to only 25-30% of adults in Western countries. This may also explain why women from Asia who eat fermented soy seem to derive more benefits than Western women who generally consume unfermented, processed soy.

Menopausal Symptoms

In theory, the potential estrogenic effects of soy isoflavones could help to tame hot flashes and night sweats that accompany menopause by giving an estrogen-like boost during a time of dwindling estrogen levels. Hence, soy has been a popular alternative treatment though it is not clearly supported by research which shows conflicting results. Nonetheless, in Asian countries where fermented soy is eaten daily, women do report lower rates of menopausal symptoms (10-20%) compared to women in the U.S. (70-80%).

Memory and Cognitive Function

Menopause has been linked with mood changes and memory impairment. Low levels of estrogen in women can reduce the number of estrogen receptors in the brain that are necessary for cognitive functions like memory and learning. The soy isoflavone daidzein has been hypothesized to reduce cognitive decline. Unfortunately, trials have yielded contradictory results with some showing benefits and others no benefit.

Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer

It is thought that the development of endometrial cancer could be related to prolonged exposure to unopposed estrogen, i.e., estrogen not counterbalanced with the hormone progesterone. Excess estrogen relative to progesterone may result in endometrial thickening and ultimately, endometrial cancer. A number of studies have examined whether high intakes of soy with anti-estrogenic activity in uterine tissue could be associated with a lower risk of endometrial cancer. The results are inconclusive.


The decline in estrogen production that accompanies menopause places middle-aged women at risk of osteoporosis (loss of bone mineral density). As estrogen receptors are present in bone, whether the estrogenic properties of soy might play any role in preserving bone health and preventing bone loss has been proposed. To date, the results of observational and intervention studies examining the potential protection of soy against osteoporosis have been inconsistent.

Prostate Cancer

The incidence of prostate cancer is highest in Western countries and lowest in Asian countries, where fermented soy foods are a regular part of the daily diet. Soy isoflavones, specifically genistein and daidzein, are found to collect in prostate tissue and may act as weak estrogens and exert a protective effect against the development of prostate cancer.

Interestingly, observational studies have found an increased risk of prostate cancer in Chinese and Japanese men who move to Western countries and adopt a Western diet, but not in those who continue eating the traditional diet.

Heart Health

Based on a number of studies that showed eating substantial quantities of soy protein daily reduced harmful LDL cholesterol, in 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed food companies to claim products that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol and contain soy protein “may reduce the risk of heart disease”. The FDA also suggested that eating 25 grams of soy protein per day may lead to reductions of total and LDL cholesterol levels.

However, since then subsequent scientific findings have not presented sufficient evidence to show a clear connection between soy protein and reduction of heart disease risk. In October 2017, after reviewing additional research, the FDA proposed to revoke the heart health claim regarding soy. At present, the agency has yet made a final decision.

Conclusion On Soy

  • Always avoid unfermented, processed soy due to the presence of anti-nutrients.
  • Eat traditional fermented soy foods but always buy organically grown soy. The fermentation process reduces the anti-nutrients, introduces probiotics to the soy, and makes it more digestive-friendly.
  • It seems that eating a traditional Asian diet that includes small amounts of fermented soy foods on a regular basis has resulted in lower breast and prostate cancer rates in Asia. Women in menopause also report less symptoms than those in the Western countries.
  • Studies show that it is safe for breast cancer survivors to consume a small to moderate amount of soy.
  • Research findings on the benefits of soy regarding memory and cognitive function, endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease are inconclusive.
  • Although scientific studies have failed to provide concrete evidence that soy can help prevent various diseases, this may be due to the wide variation in how soy is studied – types of soy used, quantity consumed, and duration of exposure.


Source by Carol Chuang

Lose Weight For Good – No Tricks – No Kidding!


I was a svelte 118 pounds when I graduated from high school in 1974. With my height being 5'8 ", I was not considered" fat, "overweight", "obese" or any other popular tags that society loves to hang on the ears of such people. Several years later, after having a baby, quitting smoking, and being married to a man who constantly told me I was beautiful regardless of the fact that I had packed on more than 100 pounds, I decided to try to lose weight. I joined a popular weight-loss club that used a "revolutionary" way to monitor one's food intake. A calculation method was used to factor in the calories, fat and fiber content of foods and then the resulting value was what a member was to "count" as a part of the weight-loss plan. Keeping a journal of food intake, exercise, water consumption, and weight readings was required.

Now, this probably doesn't sound too bad. It sounded reasonable to me at the time I joined. There was a membership fee, plus the cost of buying the books and materials for the program. It was explained that spending money on these fees and items would make the member feel "committed" to the program and more likely to succeed. Evidently this was true because I discovered there were several people in this club who had reached their goal weight – several times.

The meetings were held each Tuesday evening, which meant I spent all day Tuesday in a perpetual fasting state, just barely downing a few sips of water in hopes of maximizing the amount of weight loss that the scale would show when I weighed in at the meeting . Sometimes it worked – sometimes it didn't. Regardless of whether I had a successful weight loss that week, the meeting that followed the weigh in was miserable because we listened to a lecture, and participated in a discussion, that was all about the foods that we were (and were not) supposed to eat. By the time I left the meetings, I was ravenous! Upon arriving home afterwards, I almost always binged on a big bowl of ice cream because, after all, I had not eaten anything all day; and, besides, I had a whole week now before I had to worry about getting on those scales again! Yee haw!

After a few months of this cycle with no appreciable weight loss, I dropped my membership in this program.

I tried the low carb diet when it became popular, and did lose weight; but, I found out that eating so much protein was hard on the kidneys. So I stopped the diet.

I tried the popular shakes – you know, the ones where you substituted two shakes for two meals, then you were told you could "enjoy a sensible dinner." This one was flawed for me on more than one point: 1. What is a sensible dinner? 2. Each shake has 220 calories – I could have had a sandwich or salad for the same amount (or less) of calories and been less hungry afterwards!

I did not try the diet programs that promised to do all of the counting for you if you would just pay their fees and buy their food. I did have enough sense (God only knows why) to see that I could not afford their food and that the failure rate for these programs was nearly 100%.

In the meantime, as I experimented with these various diet plans, I continued to pack on the pounds. By the time I reached my mid-50's, my weight was not just embarrassing – it was affecting my health. My knees and back ached almost constantly. My blood pressure was running almost 20 points too high.

I was beginning to give up when I saw an interview that Kirstie Alley gave on the Oprah show. After suffering a similar ordeal that I had with the seesaw of weight levels, she said something that made a lot of sense to me: "If you go on a program, you will go off of the program." Well … hello common sense!

As I mulled that newfound wisdom, I struggled to walk up the steps to my house one day and my husband was behind me. I suddenly turned and told him, "I've made up my mind. The lard is coming off. I'm losing this weight. Just thought I'd share that with you." I told him I didn't expect him to change the way he was eating at all (he was overweight too, but we have too much respect for each other to ever criticize on that point). But, I did ask him to please not encourage me to have a cookie when he was having one, or anything else. He promised to help me and he kept his word.

Being a bit of a computer nerd, I found a website ( www.sparkpeople.com ) that was just the tool I needed to get started on my new lifestyle. I would be lying if I told anyone that it was easy because, for the first few days, I thought I was going to starve! But, sheer stubbornness paid off and by the third day I wasn't very hungry at all! I learned that it's perfectly satisfying to just eat a burger and leave off the fries. I promised myself initially that I would just order the burger and then, after eating it, if I was still hungry I would then order the fries. Guess what? I wasn't hungry after eating the burger! I can't even begin to say how liberating it felt to be able to say that! I also discovered that I could choose one dessert from a buffet, a small piece at that, and not feel at all deprived!

I could plan ahead what I was going to eat and found that I could actually eat quite a bit more than I was eating on those so-called "diet plans". And, if a special occasion was coming up – for instance, if someone brought donuts to work, I discovered I could go ahead and eat one – as long as I counted it on sparkpeople. However, I soon discovered that doing so would mean I would have to give up something later in the day. Before long, I found that it wasn't really worth it and had no problem turning down the offer of a donut or other pastry.

I also learned another valuable lesson: people don't want to hear every single detail about your diet. It is not necessary to report to friends and co-workers regularly about what you ate today and what you are going to eat later. You will only set yourself up for feelings of failure as people have a tendency (sad, but true) to watch for a slip-up.

I just felt it was best to keep my change in eating habits my own secret. As the weight finally started to come off, people noticed and that was the greatest reward ever!

It took almost a year, but I am now 40 pounds lighter than when I began my new way of life. I have remained at my current weight for about six months now. I still need to lose about 60 pounds, but I know that I can do it – for good! I plan to add a daily walk to my regimen and it's also time to reconfigure my weight loss profile on sparkpeople. Since I am not as large as I was when I started, my daily calorie maximum needs to be recalculated.

I said all of that to say this: You are the best judge of your own behaviors. Don't try to go on a program that you will eventually have to vacate. One of the most common boasts of most diet programs is that "you will never be hungry" and "you won't have to exercise". We, as a society, tend to shy away from things that cause discomfort and hunger is not comfortable. Just make sure that you begin your new life at a time when you will be busy and the hunger will be less noticeable. And, never forget, it is not permanent! And every hunger pang will be worth it when, a few days later, you discover that you are no longer enslaved to eating!


Source by Janice L Barrett

Why Do We Need Good Fats in Our Diet?


Why good fats? What are these good fats, and why are they so good for us? Why do we need these good fats in our daily diet?

We used to try to avoid fat, but we still gained weight. Now we know that we need some fats in our daily diet to keep ourselves healthy, avoiding all fats can be detrimental to our health. The healthy fats are know to us as the “good” fats.

So what exactly are these good fats? and why are they so important in our diet?. We know natural fats as either saturated or unsaturated, the saturated fats are mainly from animal fats like butter, cream, beef. These fats are solid fats and are not good for us in large quantities over time.

Unsaturated fats are mainly oils from vegetables like olive oils, as well as the oils that we get from seeds, nuts, eggs, oily fish and leafy green vegetables. These are all needed, as they give us the essential fatty acids that we need from the groups Omega 3 and Omega 6. It is important that you are getting the correct ratio of Omega 3:6 in your daily diet, it is essential for good health and can protect us against certain disorders and food allergies.

These essential fatty acids are needed in the body for many reasons:

Healthy hormone production

Healthy immune system

Protect our internal organs

Help improve cholesterol levels

Fuel to burn when needed

Keep our skin & hair healthy

Maintaining our mental stability

To assist in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E & K, which we need for healthy growth and development.

We all tend to eat too many saturated fats, it is hard to avoid them with the packaged and processed food that we find on the supermarket shelves. Experts have agreed that we should limit our total fat intake to 30 percent, with no more than 10 percent of that coming from saturated fats. Which means that we should be cutting back on our intake of meats, butter, ice-cream and commercial products. Then increasing our intake of fish, flaxseed, eggs, avocado and olive oils to ensure a healthy diet.

When you are next thinking about cutting the fat on your diet to lose weight, don’t include the “good” ones as you need them for a healthy diet.


Source by Kym Crawford