Posted: 7th June 2014 by Med Test in Health News
The result of the industry-funded study shocked many, the results manifested that diet soda performs better than water to lose weight. However, experts say that the findings must be interpreted and dealt with caution.
The study lasted for 12 weeks, the researchers studied how the participants will rate after the weight loss program. The diet includes drinking diet beverages, diet teas and diet sodas. After 12 weeks, the participants who were under diet beverage program lost 13 pounds. The figure was 44% higher than those participants who are under the water program. Those who had water lost an average of 9 pounds.
Also, the researchers found out that about 64% of the participants under the diet-beverage program lost almost 5% of their total weight while only 43% of the participants under the water program lost weight. The 5% weight loss of the total body weight is a big factor because it can help reduce risks of diabetes, heart diseases and other health related problems. However, there are still speculations especially from the researchers who were not part of the study. There are still many questions left unanswered.
In addition, the study did not thoroughly evaluate what type of beverage was consumed and their quantities. The study did not include information about the exact diet of the participants as well as the physical activities undertaken. Another problem is the duration of the study, many experts say that it is too short.
The study involved 303 participants and they were drinking a minimum of three diet sodas each week before the study. During the study, they followed the same physical activity plan and diet they had prior to the study. The only difference is that they were assigned a specific drink.
This study received many speculations because two of the authors received consultation fees from Coca-Cola. It is evident that the study was conducted as part of their marketing strategy to keep their consumers and persuade more.
Posted: 26th April 2014 by Med Test in Health News
There are two main factors that make the whole experience of eating pleasurable. The first factor is the taste and how it feels in your mouth. The second factor involves the food’s macronutrient content.
For these factors, food manufacturers are going to great lengths just to produce the perfect combination of sugar, salt, fat and other flavorings to give the consumers something to crave and excite for. The blend they create will excite the reward center of the brain, in effect, they can be assured that the consumers will patronize more and more. Aside from creating a perfect blend of flavors, the food industry is also employing other strategies so that the addictive nature of the product increases. Other tricks they create are the following:
- Dynamic contrast. This happens when they create a product that can produce contrasting sensations like eating a crunchy chocolate on the outside followed by a creamy and soft filling inside.
- Salivation response. This boosts feelings and taste of pleasure. Examples of foods and ingredients that can promote salivation are chocolate, butter, mayonnaise and cream.
- Vanishing caloric density and rapid food meltdown. According to studies, foods that melt quickly in your mouth can trick the brain, it feels like you have not eaten as much as you really had. Also, you will not be able to notice that you stuffed in many calories than you have imagined. A great example of a company that perfected this trick is the Cheetos.
- Sensory specific response. Flavor overload or repetitive flavors tend to decrease pleasure sensations. This means that someone gets tired of eating the same flavor of food again and again. The person’s palate gets tired too if introduced with the same flavor within minutes. To address this, manufacturers of processed foods create more complex flavors including sensory profiles. The greatest successes in beverage or foods lies on their craveability of the formulas they create. The formulas they create will pique the consumers’ taste buds in the right amount but not overpowering.
- Calorie density. Junk foods are created to convince the brain that you get the nutrition but will not make you full. This is attained by combining the right calorie ratio to avoid satiety signals to stop.
With these tricks, how can you get out from the trap? Eat less of these processed foods and your cravings will be reduced too, as a result, you will get weaned from the addictive hooks of these foods. The key factor is to boost your nutrition, if the body gets all the needed nutrients, it will send a signal to stop eating.
Posted: 10th April 2014 by Med Test in Health News
The brain controls the body but did you know that your body can influence the brain too? Scientifically yes, it happens when the body sends the feedback to the nervous system. The mind and body work together in order to create the people’s perceptions.
Recently, researchers were able to identify body postures that can help promote better brain.
- Smiling. This is one body posture that can trick your brain and make you feel happier and less stressful. In an experiment, the participants placed the chopsticks in their mouths, making it appear that they are smiling. After the experiment, the researchers found out that the participants of the experiment did better during the stress-inducing tasks compared to those who performed the tasks without the chopsticks. In another experiment conducted in 1998, the participants were told to hold the pens in their mouths to force them to smile. After the experiment, these participants rated the cartoons funnier than those who were not forced to smile.
- Open your arms. Taking certain poses like opening your arms can create a feeling of becoming powerful. In various researches conducted by professionals, they suggest that a posture that expands personal space and opens up your body can alter the levels of hormones, in effect, the person will feel more powerful and is more willing to take various risks. Also, in another study, when the participants were told to take whether a high or low power poses for just a few minutes and they were given $2 to gamble or keep. The results showed that participants who chose the high power poses took more risks to double their money.
- Nap. Taking a nap has greater benefits than by giving your exhausted brain a rest. In studies, taking a nap can provide similar benefits to having a good sleep at night. Naps during daytime can boost learning, mental performance and memory.
If you are mentally exhausted, follow these tips to promote better mental muscles.
Posted: 3rd April 2014 by Med Test in Health News
Deficiency in Vitamin D is very common all over the world but it has been mistakenly addressed and accepted. Foods containing vitamin D are very few and even the fortified foods cannot naturally provide the right level needed by the body.
Despite the name, vitamin D is not really a regular vitamin. In reality, it is a steroid hormone designed to source primarily from sun exposure and not from your diet. The exact way to determine if you are vitamin D deficient is through blood testing but there are some symptoms and signs that you must be aware too. If you happen to experience one or more of the signs explained below, you must consult your doctor immediately.
- Darker skin. African Americans will experience greater risk of being vitamin D deficient because a dark skin needs at least 10 times more exposure to the sun than those who have lighter skin so that they can produce similar amount of vitamins that a person with pale skin can get. The reason behind this is that the skin pigment will act as the natural sunscreen, for darker people they have more pigment. In effect, they have to spend more time under the sun to get enough amount of vitamin D.
- You feel “Blue”. Serotonin is the brain hormone that is associated with the person’s mood elevation. If you are exposed to bright lights, serotonin rises but if you lack sun exposure, it falls. In a research study conducted by scientists in 2006, they evaluated 80 elderly patients to be knowledgeable of the effects of this vitamin on their mental health. The results showed that patients who have the lowest levels were eleven times more to experience depression than those who have healthy doses of vitamin D.
- You are 50 years old or older. When a person gets older, his skin also reduces the capacity to take the much needed levels of vitamin D through sun exposure. Also, the kidneys are becoming less efficient to convert vitamin D into a form that can be used by the body. Older people do not spend more time outdoors, as a result, they are less exposed to the sun and could lead to vitamin D deficiency.
- Overweight, obese or people who have higher muscle mass. You must remember that vitamin D is a hormone-like vitamin and fat-soluble which means that body fat works like a sink. If you are overweight or obese, you need more vitamin D.
- Your bones ache. Most of the people who complain about aches and pains and a combination of fatigue to their doctors are often misdiagnosed with having chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. However, most of these symptoms are typical signs of being vitamin D deficient.
These are the most common signs that you may have vitamin D deficiency.
Posted: 23rd March 2014 by Med Test in Health News
Summer is fast approaching and so are the environmental woes and microbes that can affect your summer fun. The infections during summer can be mild and even deadly. To help you plan a fun and wonderful summer, you must be aware of the health hazards it can bring.
Valley fever also known as coccidiodomycosis is an infection caused by a fungus found in soil. People are infected through the fungus spores present in the air. This fungus grows best in the soil after a heavy rainfall and it will disperse in the air during hot and dry weather conditions. Researchers found out that there is an increase incident of infection during summer where it is hot and dry. It is difficult to avoid breathing in the fungal spores but for people who travel or live in places where these fungi are common, avoid dusty places. If you are infected with valley fever, you will experience similar symptoms of flu and will get better on its own after two to three months. However, some cannot avoid the need to undergo antifungal medication.
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is present in mosquitoes and birds and can be transmitted through mosquito bites. In the US, this kind of infection increases starting June and the cases will peak around August. The most infected people do not show any symptoms but in some cases, they develop headache, nausea and fever. Also, about 1% of affected people develop serious neurologic illness like meningitis, encephalitis or paralysis and 10% of this group will die. To avoid or reduce the risk of infection, you can use an insect repellent and wear protective clothing like pants and long sleeves.
Otitis externa or the swimmer’s ear is the most common ear infection in the outer ear canal. This infection results in an average of 2.4 million visits to the doctor and about $500 million of health care costs every year. To prevent an ear infection, use an ear plug or bathing cap as well as drying your ears thoroughly with towel after swimming.
These are some of the summer health hazards that you must be aware of to enjoy the hot and dry weather condition to the fullest.
Posted: 9th March 2014 by Med Test in Health News
In the last three decades, the rate of people suffering from becoming overweight and obese has increased to 2.1 billion from 857 million. This is the latest figures of the overweight and obese people all over the world.
The highest percentage goes to the United States at 13%. The study showed that obesity is now an epidemic to both developed and developing nations according to the researchers of the University of Washington under the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation.
The analyzed data were collected from 1980 to 2013 in 188 countries for both adults and children. The rates of obesity and overweight problems increased by 37% from 29% for men and 38% from 30% among women. The rates of obesity and overweight in men are higher in nations that are developed while more women in developing nations. Also, the researchers found out that peak obesity occurs at younger ages in nations that are developed.
The rates of children who are overweight and obese increased by 50% in the last three decades. In 2013, Over 24% of boys and about 22% of girls are overweight or obese in developed nations while the rates are lower in developing nations, it is 13% for boys and girls.
The increasing rates of obesity in children are happening in most of the middle and low income countries. Health professionals say that there are more severe health effects downstream because of childhood obesity like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many types of cancers. They added that now is the perfect time to turn the trend around and the authorities must not delay the strategies to address the pressing problem.
During the study, researchers found out that over 50% of the obese people worldwide live in these countries: The United States, Russia, Mexico, Germany, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Brazil and China.
With these rates, obesity must be addressed properly because it is an issue that affects people of all incomes and ages everywhere in the world.
Posted: 19th February 2014 by Med Test in Health News
You seldom find an article that tells you how to destroy your heart but sometimes, the best remedy is to inform you straight. The bad habits you do for a long time can have a negative impact to their hearts.
Remember, you cannot control the factors like aging or family history but in reality, you can do more than you think. There are so many reasons to promote a longer and healthier life even if you have a family history by focusing on the risk factors at the early stages so that you can control them.
Here are the bad habits that you must change to protect your heart.
- Sit too much. Experts say that sitting too much is the new smoking. Spending so much time sitting is a bad habit because inactive people will develop heart disease twice than those people who are more active. Lack of physical activities like exercise is not good for your heart in so many ways. For instance, it can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Also, physical activity is not just about exercising but it is about being mobile or moving all throughout the day. To fix this bad habit, move more often as it can make a great difference like getting up from your office chair more often.
- Ignore heart symptoms. This is very common, people try to convince their selves that any chest discomfort is just a heartburn. It can be but this warning sign should not be ignored because it signals a heart condition or even a heart attack. Do not underestimate any discomfort in your chest because this is an opportunity to protect yourself. If you have the following symptoms, call 911 instantly because prompt treatment can save your life.
- Discomfort or chest pain
- Unexplained short breathing
- Discomfort in the back, jaw, neck, shoulders or one or both of your arms
- Unusual tiredness.
Delay checkups. You can delay a lot of things but seeing a doctor must never be delayed or else your heart may be at risk. If you feel any discomfort, consult a doctor to let you know about your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. If you keep on delaying, each condition may damage your heart. For some, they may be too lenient and delay checkups since it does not run in the genes but doctors say to have these levels check every five years.
If you want to have a healthy heart, avoid the things that can destroy it like the bad habits explained above.
Posted: 13th January 2014 by Med Test in Health News
People’s reliance on snacks and processed foods is one of the major reasons for the skyrocketing rates of diseases and obesity. In fact, even people who are knowledgeable about the bad effects of these kinds of foods have a hard time quitting.
Junk foods contain orchestrated flavors and sensory factors to become addictive. This is totally different with the taste of whole foods because they are created by nature, in effect, they work perfectly with the body to satisfy nutritional and hunger cravings.
The collaborated effort of the whole industry of processed food in creating addictive products has unfortunate side effects to the body’s metabolism. When your body is under the mode of burning carbohydrates, there is a strong craving for junk foods. However, carbohydrates must be refilled with healthy fats to achieve a successful metabolic switchover.
For the protection of your health, 90% of your budget for food must be allocated for whole foods and the remaining 10% or even less for processed or junk foods. This can be a very difficult shift but if you are committed, gradually you can live with healthy eating habits. Also, for people who have stringent budget, choosing whole food diet is very challenging but to help you, here are some strategies:
- Be Resourceful. This tip makes you wish that your grandmother is still around because she has a fountain of information about how to make a healthy meal with what is available in the fridge. Also, the old generation knows how to stretch the limited budget yet keeping in mind to serve healthy foods. Becoming resourceful means that you must go back to the cooking basics like using the bones of the roasted chicken for chicken stock, extend the Sunday roast for weekday dinners, learn how to create hearty stews out of inexpensive meat cuts, create new meals from leftovers and many more.
- Plan your meals. Planning your meals means that you can have all the time to create a good meal. Planning a meal includes scouting a local farmer’s market to choose the seasoned fruits and vegetables. By doing this, you can save and buy other necessities because the fruits and vegetables in season are more affordable. Generally, you can create a one-week meal plan, just make sure that the ingredients are available and you can prepare ahead of time especially for days when your time is limited.
- Avoid wasting food. In a study, every American waste about 1,400 calories every day. By following the two tips explained above, you will reduce food wastage. Also, becoming knowledgeable on how to keep your fresh products stay longer and fresh is one way to avoid wasting food.
Following the helpful tips and keeping in mind the negative effects of junk foods in your body will help you make the necessary shift of eating habits as soon as possible.
Posted: 4th January 2014 by Med Test in Health News
With over 50 million Americans experiencing seasonal allergies, it is about time to give you about the misconceptions about allergies. If you happen to experience seasonal allergies, there is nothing to worry because it is totally treatable. The key to treat allergies is to have a clear plan.
Here are the common mistakes about seasonal allergies to help you avoid them.
- Unwise spending on medications that can be bought over-the-counter. Most of the time, if people with allergies are feeling lousy, they go directly to drugstores and buy different products like antihistamine, eye drops and nasal sprays. This is not a smart way to address seasonal allergies and most of all, it is not cost effective. The best thing to do is to visit an allergist, he can exactly tell you of your allergies and can create an effective allergy action plan.
- Open the windows. For most people with allergies, they open the windows to let the cool breeze and fresh air get inside their homes. However, this is a mistake since opening the windows mean that you allow the wind to enter your home or car, as a result, you allow the pollen to visit you. The next time you are experiencing an allergy attack, keep the windows closed and allow the air conditioner to run so that the air can circulate inside your home. Also, use filters that are high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) in order to trap pollen.
- Do not take necessary measures to keep away from pollen. Your clothes, hair, shoes and glasses are just examples of the things that can trap pollen outside your home. Also, pets bring pollen inside your home, so make sure they take a bath regularly. With your hair, wash it when you arrive home so that pollen cannot be transferred in your pillowcase. It can help to have a saline nasal spray readily available in your home because it acts like a shower to your nose.
Taking into consideration the information explained above will help you stay healthy and allergy-free.