Sitting disease

SItting DiseaseTim Cook, the CEO at Apple, reportedly said yesterday at a conference that “a lot of doctors believe sitting is the new cancer.” And people still wonder why standing desks were innovated? Here is the reason why; Tim Cook, CEO at Apple, reportedly announced at a conference that several doctors believe sitting is like the new cancer. Not only is sitting the new disease, but is also related to the increased cancer risks.

Sitting disease is on the rise and is associated with myriads of health issues regardless of whether you workout or not. Another ensuing research revealed that the inactive lifestyle can distraught an individual’s mental health, breathing, and also increase risk of cancer. However, are these assumptions about sitting disease true or false?

Marc Hamilton, Ph.D. professor at the Inactivity Physiology Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, who has decades of experience in conducting researches of the effects of inactivity on the body, claims that he has conducted over 1,000 studies on the sitting disease since the year 2004. Mr. Hamilton compares the sitting cancer to smoking habits. He says that people used to smoke without knowing its health risks.

According to Marc’s research, sitting too much does not compare to very minimal exercise. He believes that every hour of the day is very significant to human physiology; therefore you can not only depend on the few hours you exercise. Marc’s most recent research indicates that the most inactive people have two times probability of contracting diseases such as diabetes, compared to the most active people throughout the day. The risk is even higher than people who consume a lot of sugar.

The bottom line is, Tim Cook and the rest are simply trying to make people realize the danger they put themselves in when they spend the better part of their day just seated- be it at home or in the office, and it is high time people start dealing with this issue. Exercise is great, but for some reasons such as enhances blood flow, builds muscle, slows aging and great health in general. Light activity on the other hand is different from exercise, but it too has its benefits, which exercising cannot cater for.

Same case scenario; you can’t miss working out simply because you are eating healthy, or indulge in unhealthy eating simply because you work out. The good thing is that the problem has been discovered, and the next thing after establishing the problem factor is finding a way to solve it or manage it. Just like before when people used to smoke and weren’t aware of the dangers they were exposing themselves to. Now that people know what smoking can do to one’s health, those who still do are fully aware of the health problems they may likely incur as a result of smoking.

With the same mind set, we now know what the sitting cancer can do to oneself. So what do you do about it in order to avoid incurring diabetes or mental issues? The answer is simple; Stay active

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The Link Between Obesity and Cancer

We are living in the ‘age’ of obesity. Within the last century, there hasn’t been as much people obesity as now. Due to the huge rise of this disease, there has also been a sharp rise in the number of cancer cases directly linked to obesity. Annually, hundreds of thousands of cancer cases are associated with obesity, as claimed by National Cancer Institute. In fact, Obesity is fast overtaking tobacco as the number one, avoidable cause of cancer. But still, most people fail to see the how obesity increases the chances of being diagnosed with cancer.

Moreover, it is believed that obesity also affects the effectiveness of cancer treatments.
With the growing numbers in obesity cases especially in children, it’s vital to know how the two are linked in order to minimize your risk.

A major steering factor contributing to the obesity pandemic is the large sugar consumption, Obesity and cancer occurs when the body is unable to burn fat as fuel (insulin resistance). Moreover, sugar also brings about persistent inflammation, thereby raising cancer risk. Fat tissue produces hormones known as adipokines, which inhabits or stimulates cell growth. When these hormones are imbalanced, the body is unable to efficiently prevent cell damage.

One of the most fruitful ways of reversing insulin resistance is by sporadic fasting. Also, making some principal diet alterations such as limiting fructose and sugar intake, and opting for healthy fats instead of carbs will decrease your risk of becoming obese and getting cancer.

Several studies have linked obesity to escalating risk of various cancers such as colon cancer, kidney cancer, esophagus cancer, pancreas cancer and breast cancer.
In a research conducted in 2003, it was reported that over 900,000 obese Americans had a greater chance of dying from cancer, in contrast to those who weighed normally.
The death percentage from cancer is likely to increase in the next decade, mostly because of the increase in obesity rates. Another recent research study that involved 80,000 breast cancer patients revealed that pre-menopausal women with BMI (Body Mass Index) of more than 30 had a 21% chance of dying, whereas women with average body mass index had a 16.6% chance of expiry from the cancer.

Most people obtain their calories from added sugar every day. This is definitely a recipe for persistent poor health. Excessive sugar intake fuels cancer. The main issue with processed fructose and sugar is the fact that the liver has very limited volume to metabolize it. All the extra sugar is normally transformed into fat, which results in long-term metabolic diseases, one of them being cancer.

Another thing that contributes to obesity is lack of exercise in both children and adults. Exercise is essential for optimal health. However, no-one can exercise their way out of a poor diet. The two work hand in hand.

In order to minimize or even do away with cancer risk as well as other persistent diseases, limit sugar and fructose intake daily. The less processed sugar you eat the less chance you have of becoming obese. Also, give sporadic fasting a shot and exercise regularly. Remember that exercise does not make amends for a high sugar diet. A healthy lifestyle is the way to go.

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Too Much TV

Kids love to watch television. They can become engrossed in it, and if we’re not careful it can take over their lives. Children can become too addicted to it that they will avoid meals, throw a tantrum if taken away from it, and even believe that what they see on TV is real life. It can be very scary if limits aren’t established in the household.

Television isn’t bad. There are many positive reasons to have it on in your home. When your children are young, the shows that they watch are useful for teaching and for their development. They teach our kids how to count, spell, language and especially certain life skills, such as, manners and politeness. They also show values such as love, what is right and wrong, and trust.

As parents we need to set specific times for watching television. Some kids turn the television on as soon as they get in the house after school. On weekends it may also be the first thing to do as soon as they get out of bed. If left unregulated, TV can take over your child’s life.

During the week, television viewing should be kept to a maximum of two to two and a half hours. Focus on getting your kids involved in other things when they come home, finishing homework and chores, helping out with dinner, taking the dog out for a walk, or playing outside with friends are all great ways to keep your kids busy and away from the television set.

Try turning off the TV during dinner, use this time as family time. It’s a way to communicate with the family and take interest in what happens in their lives every day. Maybe something really exciting and out of the ordinary happened that you now get the opportunity to hear about. We sometimes miss out on getting to know each other if we don’t spend time talking to one another.

Obesity and being overweight is becoming more of a problem in our kids today. Sitting and watching TV hours on end cause over-eating. With over-eating and the sedentary behavior it is a recipe for unhealthy living. By turning the TV off and giving them this time to get outside and do something active can help eliminate this issue.

Television is meant to be entertaining, but not to take over your life. Children need to be active and not sedentary. Regulate the amount of TV time for your kids and promote outdoor or other mental development games and exercises. After all, real life is much more interesting than anything on TV anyway.

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Heart Smart

Heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death in many countries. Excess weight and obesity are among the major contributing factors in heart problems. It is extremely important to have a heart smart diet such as one that is low in cholesterol, sodium and trans fats.

A Heart Smart diet works by helping you reduce your consumption of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. These two are replaced with lots of fiber-rich foods that are famous for lowering LDL. Foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and cereals are great for heart smart options. Also, heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from food such as olives, fish, avocados, and nuts are great for eating heart smart. Equally important is the low amount of salt to help defend the health against high blood pressure. This diet ensures 50-65% of calories from carbohydrates, 20-25% of calories from protein, and less than 30% of calories from fat. Out of the fat content, saturated fat makes up less than 10%.

Here’s some tips on eating heart smart:

  1. Eat complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and rice. They fill you up, help increase your fiber intake, and make you less prone to eating sugary desserts and fatty meats. They also do not clog your arteries.
  2. Chicken and turkey skins contain a lot of saturated fat, and should definitely be avoided if you do not want coronary artery disease.
  3. Grill, Broil or Steam your food. Avoid frying your meat.
  4. Eat less egg yolks and organs. Egg yolks are more that 50% fat and have high amounts of cholesterol. Organ meats, like liver, may be rich in iron and protein, but they are extremely high in fat and cholesterol. Limit these items in your diet.
  5. Reduce meat portions and eat more fish. Eat 3-ounce of meat instead of 6-ounce or choose a fish option instead of steak.
  6. Pastries should be only a once in a while treat. They are usually high in saturated fat because they are made with shortening or butter. Choose healthier heart options such as whole grain breads or rolls.

Here’s a delicious heart smart sample meal plan for a day:

Breakfast: cinnamon banana toast, served with 125ml of low-fat yogurt, 1 tbsp of raisins, and 1 chopped apple.
Lunch: roasted beef pita with mango chutney and yogurt, cucumber, mixed salad leaves, and 1 small granola bar of about 21g.
Dinner: grilled fish with lentils and rice, 75g of steamed broccoli, and 1 apple.

Take care of your heart and your heart will take care of you for years to come. It is the starting point to a healthy you.

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The Link Between Weight and Breast Cancer

Obesity and being overweight has been attributed as the cause of many diseases and body disorders in numerous medical studies. Diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer are some of the many dangers of being overweight. Concentrating on the latter, this article looks at how being obese can affect breast cancer in women.

It’s important to remember that weight can affect women differently depending on their age. Pre and post menopause plays a role due to the hormones present in the body.  Before a woman reaches menopause, the female hormone estrogen is produced in the ovaries. Post menopause however, a woman is no longer releasing eggs via the ovaries, and so estrogen levels are lower. The body has to compensate for this change and does so in the form of an enzyme called aromatase. Aromatase can be found in fat cells and can efficiently convert androgens (another hormone) into estrogen. The more fat someone carries, the more aromatase they have, which leads to more androgens being converted into estrogen. This spike in estrogen is thought to be a cause in in some  breast cancers and would explain why post menopausal woman who are obese are more susceptible to breast cancer.

A medical study conducted on weight gain and breast cancer, the largest of its kind, concluded that women who added twenty or more pounds after entering adulthood had in excess of fifteen percent, and in some cases as high as forty-five percent higher risk of breast cancer after their menopause. This is compared to women who gained little  or no weight after entering adulthood.

It’s not all hormones and weight gain however, as body shape can play a huge part when it comes to breast cancer. “Apple” shaped women, typically defined as woman who put weight around their mid section, are at small increased risk of breast cancer, compared to woman who are labelled as “pear shaped”.

As mentioned in our introduction, obesity and being overweight carries numerous risks and dangers to your body, not just breast cancer; and so it is important to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. A good diet and regular exercise is key to leading a happy and healthy life.

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