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High cholesterol, BP in mid-age tied to memory problems

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Monday, February 28, 2011 0 comments

London: Middle-aged men and women having high cholesterol and high blood pressure may not only be at risk for heart disease, but possibly develop early cognitive and memory problems as well. 

For the study, 3,486 men and 1,341 women with an average age of 55 underwent cognitive tests three times over 10 years. The tests measured reasoning, memory, fluency and vocabulary. 

Participants received a Framingham risk score that is used to predict 10-year risk of a cardiovascular event. 

It is based on age, sex, HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, blood pressure and whether they smoked or had diabetes, according to the statement of the French National Institute of Health & Medical Research, Paris. 

The study found that people who had higher cardiovascular risk were more likely to have lower cognitive function and a faster rate of overall cognitive decline compared to those with the lowest risk of heart disease. 

A 10-percent higher cardiovascular risk was associated with poorer cognitive test scores in all areas except reasoning for men and fluency for women. 

For example, a 10 percent higher cardiovascular risk was associated with a 2.8 percent lower score in the test of memory for men and a 7.1 percent lower score in the memory test for women. 

'Our findings contribute to the mounting evidence for the role of cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, contributing to cognitive problems, starting in middle age,' said study author Sara Kaffashian, with INSERM, the French National Institute of Health & Medical Research in Paris. 

The findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 63rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu April 9-16. 

London: A mother's sweet tooth affect girls more than boys, especially when the baby is in the womb.

Excess sugar can block nutrients from reaching female foetuses and affecting them. But male foetuses seem to be be least affected, say researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Tests on mammals showed that the intake of sugar affected unborn male and female offsprings differently, reports the journal Endocrinology.

'There has been a marked increase in the consumption of fructose-sweetened beverages and foods, particularly among women of reproductive age,' said Mark Vickers of Auckland University, who led the study, according to a university statement.

Female foetuses of rats fed the equivalent of 26 teaspoons of fructose solution daily, found in honey and fruit, had smaller placentas than those on a low sugar diet.

Fructose and blood glucose levels noted in the female foetuses of fructose-fed rats were higher than their male counterparts or any of the rat foetuses given only water.

London: Resveratrol, a compound which gives red wine its colour, makes breast cancer drug rapamycin more potent.

Lab tests found the ingredient can prevent cancer cells from developing resistance to the drug.

Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant produced by plants such as grapes, raspberries, cranberries and peanuts to fight off fungal and bacterial infections, the journal Cancer Letters reports.

Scientists have been exploring its potential in reducing the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer's and even the ageing process, according to the Daily Mail.

Prof Charis Eng from Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute in Ohio, said: 'Rapamycin has been used in clinical trials as a cancer treatment. Unfortunately, after a while, the cancer cells develop resistance to rapamycin. 

'Our findings show resveratrol seems to mitigate rapamycin-induced drug resistance in breast cancers, at least in the laboratory.'

Resveratrol is also available in supplement form. In high doses it causes side effects such as insomnia, joint pain, diarrhoea and acne.

Breakfast key to good health

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Sunday, February 27, 2011 0 comments

London : Good breakfast is the key to a healthy lifestyle determining the quality of your whole day's nutrition, according to research.

And the best way to start the morning is with a simple bowl of a healthy cereal, as it makes people less likely to turn to fatty, sugary food through the rest of the day, reports

The study, by nutritionist Sigrid Gibson revealed the healthiest breakfast choice is cereal with milk because it is a good source of calcium and numerous other key nutrients, such as fibre, protein and carbohydrate.

The research team analysed 12,068 food records from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, which interviewed Britons aged from 19 to 64.

The results showed that one in five adults ate no solid food for breakfast, one third chose cereal and 45 percent enjoyed a non-cereal breakfast. The most popular item was tea or coffee, taken on 84 percent of breakfast occasions.

Milk was consumed with 82 percent of breakfasts, followed by cereal (39 percent), bread (33 percent) and fruit (14 percent).

The healthiest breakfast choice is cereal with milk.

Women were less likely than men to choose bread, sausage, bacon or eggs and more likely to have fruit instead.
The study found that eating breakfast was associated with a lower fat and higher carbohydrate intake over 24 hours compared with skipping breakfast.

But this was mainly attributable to cereal-based breakfasts as non-cereal meals were associated with a higher intake of saturated fatty acid and lower protein intakes.

London : Scientists have invented a tiny computer to track glaucoma -- a potentially blinding disease.

A network of such units could one day track pollution, monitor structural integrity, perform surveillance or make virtually any object trackable.

Just a square mm in size, the device can be implanted in a person's eyeball, packing in a hefty punch.

Powered by an ultra low-power microprocessor, it also has a pressure sensor, memory, a thin film battery, a solar cell and a wireless radio.

The yet to be named device, expected to hit markets soon, is already being touted as the future of the computing industry, the Daily Mail reported.

One of its creaters, Dennis Sylvester, a professor in the University of Michigan, claim that as the device's radio needs no tuning to find the right frequency, it could link to a wireless network of computers.

Sylvester added: 'When you get smaller than hand-held devices, you turn to these monitoring devices.

'Because they're so small, you could manufacture hundreds of thousands on one wafer. There could be tens to hundreds of them per person and it's this per capita increase that fuels the semi-conductor industry's growth.'

The system wakes every 15 minutes to take measurements and consumes an average of 5.3 nanowatts.

To keep the battery charged, it requires exposure to 10 hours of indoor light each day or 1.5 hours of sunlight. It can store up to a week's worth of information.

Blocking enzyme cut cancer spread

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Saturday, February 26, 2011 0 comments

Scientists at the UK's Institute of Cancer Research have prevented breast cancer spreading to other organs in mice by blocking a chemical.
In their experiments, they showed that blocking the enzyme LOXL2 prevented metastasis.
They said their findings, published in Cancer Research, provided a "fantastic drug target" and were "highly likely" to be used in a clinical setting.
Cancer charities say the research shows great promise.
The authors of the report say 90% of cancer deaths are due to tumours migrating around the body.
When they looked at patients with breast cancer, they showed that high levels of the enzyme LOXL2 were linked with cancer spread and poor survival rates.
They also showed that LOXL2 was important in the early stages of cancer spread. It helps cancerous cells escape from the breast tissue and get into the bloodstream.
In their studies on mice, they used chemicals and antibodies to block the activity of LOXL2. This stopped breast cancer spreading to other tissues.
Lab to Medicine
Dr Janine Erler, team leader at the Institute of Cancer Research, said: "LOXL2 is a fantastic drug target, it's highly likely to be used in a clinical setting."
She said the findings were not just important for drug development, but also for developing a test which can predict the likelihood of cancer spreading and as a result, patient outcomes.
Arlene Wilkie, Director of Research and Policy at Breast Cancer Campaign, which funded the study with the ICR and Cancer Research UK, said: "Dr Erler's results are very exciting, as although currently we can treat breast cancer that has spread, we cannot cure it.
"By using LOXL2 to predict whose cancer will spread and drugs to block the enzyme to stop this from happening, many more lives could be saved. This laboratory research shows great promise and we look forward to seeing how it translates into patients."
Dr Julie Sharp, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Cancer spread is an important problem in breast and other cancers, and scientists are searching to find new ways to stop cancer spread and save many more lives.
"The team have shown that targeting the molecule LOXL2, which plays a key role in spread, could offer new approaches to tackle this problem."

This laboratory research shows great promise and we look forward to seeing how it translates into patients”
Arlene WilkieBreast Cancer Campaign

An alcoholic drink a day can help keep heart disease at bay, according to a review of 30 years of research.
The work, published in the British Medical Journal, showed a 14% to 25% reduction in heart disease in moderate drinkers compared with people who had never drunk alcohol.
Another article, by the same Canadian research group, showed alcohol increased "good" cholesterol levels.
But experts said this was not a reason to start drinking.
For many years, studies have suggested that drinking alcohol in moderation has some health benefits.
Scientists at the University of Calgary reviewed 84 pieces of research between 1980 and 2009.
Reduced risk
One unit of alcohol in the UK, equivalent to half a pint of normal beer, contains 8g of pure alcohol.
The researchers also say regular moderate drinking reduced all forms of cardiovascular disease by up to 25%.
However, while consuming small quantities of alcohol had a beneficial effect on the number of strokes and stroke deaths, the risk increased substantially with heavier drinking.
Professor William Ghali, from the Institute for Population and Public Health at the University of Calgary, told the BBC: "Our extensive review shows that drinking one or one to two drinks would be favourable.
"There is this potentially slippery slope, most notably with social problems and alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, but the overall mortality including cancer and accidents shows you would be better with alcohol."
Cathy Ross, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This analysis of previous studies supports what we already know about moderate drinking reducing our risk of cardiovascular disease.
"However, drinking more than sensible amounts of alcohol does not offer any protection and can cause high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers and damage to our heart.
"If you don't drink, this is not a reason to start. Similar results can be achieved by being physically active and eating a balanced and healthy diet."
The researchers believe any beneficial effects are down to the alcohol itself, rather than anything else in a drink.
Their second study suggests that drinking up to 15g a day for women or 30g for men increased levels of good cholesterol, adiponectin and apolipoprotein, which have been linked to a healthy heart.
They said this pattern was true for all types of beverage.
The research group believes that governments may have to change their messages on public health to argue for drinking alcohol in moderation.
Prof Ghali said: "There's no doubt a public health campaign would be controversial. We need to ponder the message of how a doctor talks to a patient and how the government talks to the people."
Professor Lindsey Davies, president of the Faculty of Public Health, added: "It just strengthens the argument that a little bit does you good, but a lot does you harm, but that always makes a public health message hard."
Reference: BBC health 

The disease "traps" people in their own body, able to think, but incapable of moving or talking.
The study of 65 patients, published in the British Medical Journal's BMJ Open, found 72% reported being happy, with just 7% wanting help to commit suicide.
Experts said it showed it would be unwise to make assumptions about people's mental state.
The findings could also have implications on the assisted suicide debate, the researchers said.
However, they warned that there could be some bias in the study with the most unhappy patients refusing to take part.
The participants, from the French Association for Locked in Syndrome, responded by blinking or moving their eyes.

  • t
About half of those questioned, 55%, had recovered some speech and 70% had recovered some limb movement.
The majority, 72%, said they were happy and 68% said they never had suicidal thoughts.
The longer people were locked-in, the more likely they were to be happy.
Researchers at the University of Li├Ęge, Belgium, said: "We suggest that patients recently struck by the syndrome should be informed that, given proper care, they have a considerable chance of regaining a happy life.
"In our view, shortening of life requests are valid only when the patients have been give a chance to attain a steady state of subjective wellbeing."
Dr Adrian Owen, from the Centre for the Brain and Mind at the University of Western Ontario, said: "This is an extremely important study with a clear message - we cannot, and should not, presume to know what it must be like to be in one of these conditions.
"I think most of us feel that life in a lifeless body would not be a life worth living, but this study demonstrates that this is not always the case.
"On the basis of the results, it would be unwise for us to make assumptions about the mental state of those individuals."

Locked in Syndrome

  • Condition in which patient is mute and totally paralysed, except for eye movements, but remains conscious
  • Usually results from massive haemorrhage or other damage, affecting upper part of brain stem, which destroys almost all motor function, but leaves the higher mental functions intac

Six pack abs possible with artistic cosmetic surgery

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Friday, February 25, 2011 0 comments

Phew! Still huffing and puffing away in a gym to get six pack abs like your favourite actors Hrithik Roshan and Shah Rukh Khan? Experts say you can now get illusionary abs - with artistic cosmetic surgery.

Introduced in the country about three years ago, Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance (VASER) is a revolution of sorts as it's not only used for body contouring but also helps in getting illusionary abs.

Rajesh Khurana, president of Timpac Healthcare, says the illusion can be created by an artistic cosmetic surgeon.

"In this, the hands and designing aspect is very important. First, the fat is removed from the body in longitudinal lines by creating humps in such a way that it creates an illusion," Khurana said.

Timpac Healthcare is known for offering clinical obesity management, cosmetology, medical aesthetics, wellness, medi-spas and anti-aging treatments.

"This is done by etching the skin and removing superficial fat by segregating it from surrounding tissue through liposuction," said senior plastic surgeon Ajay Kashyap.

"VASER uses third generation internal ultrasound technology that artfully, selectively and permanently contours the body into a more proportioned, smoother shape without compromising on comfort and safety."

The procedure can't be performed by every plastic surgeon because it requires special training to master the art.

VASER, if explained in a more technical way, is an ultrasound-assisted liposuction system where fatty tissues are extracted from the body by using sound waves and they emulsify targeted fat cells.

The sound energy gets transmitted through small probes. These sound waves enter the holes and vibrate rapidly to produce ultrasound energy. This energy that penetrates inside the body breaks the cellular membrane and discharges the lipid content.

In India, there are only 10 machines available for the procedure because both the equipment and the process, which is still evolving, are expensive, says Khurana.

"Not many Indians opt for this procedure as it is very expensive and not every surgeon can perform it. A lot many people are not aware of this technology and a lot many can't afford it," he said.

In fact, when Shah Rukh made headlines for his six pack abs for "Om Shanti Om", his fans worshipped his perfection while fitness experts wondered.

Khurana is not sure, but he believes the superstar might have taken the help of technology for a quick-fix.

Noida-based fitness expert Aashu agrees. "It takes discipline, perfection and a lot of hard work to get six pack abs. You don't have to sacrifice food, but a lot many things to maintain them. A person can't achieve it in a few months, it takes time and patience," he said.

The cost for this procedure can be anywhere between Rs.100,000 and Rs.200,000 and recovery takes about a week.

Anup Dhir, senior cosmetic surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, said there is less blood loss and quick recovery, but "the disadvantage is if the cuts are not done in the right manner, the entire idea will flop".

Also, Kashyap says, one needs to work out to maintain those abs. A cardio routine for half an hour is essential. Brisk walking for 20 minutes helps and there should be some diet control as well in the initial weeks.

There are not too many takers for this right now. "It is around one to two enquiries per month, 

but operations take place once in three months because it's expensive," said Dhir.


Washington: Little girls are often expected to be neat and tidy, "all ribbon and curls". But this cleanliness may be linked to higher rates of allergies and asthma in adult women, says a new study.

Oregon State University philosopher Sharyn Clough, who studies science and gender differences, points out that women have higher rates of allergies and asthma and many autoimmune disorders, the journal Social Science & Medicine reports.

Clough documents a variety of sociological and anthropological research showing that society views young girls differently from young boys, according to an Oregon statement.

"Girls tend to be dressed more in clothing that is not supposed to get dirty, girls tend to play indoors more than boys, and girls' playtime is more often supervised by parents," said Clough, adding that this is likely to result in girls staying cleaner.

"There is a significant difference in the types and amounts of germs that girls and boys are exposed to, and this might explain some of the health differences we find between women and men."

However, that doesn't mean that parents should let their daughters go out into the back yard and eat dirt, Clough points out.

"What I am proposing is new ways of looking at old studies," she said. "The hygiene hypothesis is well-supported, but what I am hoping is that the epidemiologists and clinicians go back and examine their data through the lens of gender."

The link between increased hygiene and sanitation and higher rates of asthma, allergies and autoimmune disorders is known as the hygiene hypothesis.

Washington: Boys seem to get a greater kick out of caffeine than girls, according to the results of a double-blind study.

Boys also credited caffeine with having a positive effect on their athletic performance, not so girls.

The study, conducted by Jennifer L. Temple, neurobiologist and assistant professor of nutrition sciences at the University at Buffalo in the US, is the first to show how genders respond to caffeine consumption.

"We are hoping that our findings from studies on caffeine will help us determine why males and females differ in susceptibility to drug abuse," says Temple, the journal of Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology reports.

The study involved a group of boys and girls aged between 12 and 17 years. They were required to have previous experience with caffeine but no adverse reactions, and not using hormone-based contraceptives, not smoking, etc.

Participants were instructed not to drink caffeine 24 hours before each visit and to eat nothing or drink nothing but water for two hours before each visit, according to a Buffalo statement.

The study revealed several differences in response to caffeine between girls and boys.

Boys who were regular "high consumers" of caffeine showed greater increases in blood pressure than low-consuming boys.
Refernce: Manorama

Women may be risking a low intelligence quotient (IQ) for their unborn babies by dieting during pregnancy, a new research indicates.

Cutting back on vital nutrients and calories in the first half of pregnancy stunts the development of an unborn child's brain, says a new study.

Although it was carried out on primates, researchers say the same findings are likely to be true for women, reports the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Thomas McDonald of the University of Texas Health Science Centre US, who conducted the study, said: "This study is a further demonstration of the importance of good maternal health and diet."

"It supports the view that poor diets in pregnancy can alter development of foetal organs, in this case the brain, in ways that will have lifetime effects on offspring, potentially lowering IQ and predisposing to behavioural problems."

Past studies have shown that severe diets, famines and food shortages during pregnancy can harm unborn babies, according to the Daily Mail.

But the new study looked at the sort of "moderate dieting" typical of women in Britain and America. They compared two groups of baboon mothers at a primate research centre in San Antonio, US.

One group was allowed to eat as much as they wanted during the first half of pregnancy, while the other group was fed 30 percent less, a level of nutrition similar to what many prospective mothers experience, the researchers said.

In the second group, cells did not divide as much as they should and connections between neurons were not made.

Lack of nutrients interfered with the way brain cells connected in the unborn babies and altered the expression of hundreds of genes - many involved in cell growth and development, the researchers reported.

Reference: Manorama

Plants and flowers boost up your creative thoughts

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Thursday, February 24, 2011 0 comments

Keep plants and flowers in your office desk. They can help you fight the afternoon slump and boost up your creative thoughts.

Research has shown that green potted plants and vibrant flowers kept in your office desk can produce a sense of peace, calmness, and freshness. Fill up empty corners with dracaenas and adorn your work desk with kalanchoe, cyclamen and azaleas. You would feel less stressed while staying close to nature. Try getting few plastic flowers and plants, if for some reason you cannot maintain flowers and plants in your office. They will give you the same effect though not as good.

Health benefits of Banana

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy 0 comments

Health Benefits of Banana
Bananas are a great food for all round health benefits. For the average person, dieter or even athletes, bananas may provide greater benefits than most fruits. The combination of carbohydrates and B vitamins present in a banana helps provide an energy boost.
Bananas are originally from Malaysia. They were then brought to India around the 6th century. By 200 A.D., there were banana plantations set up in southern China. Here they were considered to be exotic fruits. It is said that when Alexander the Great visited India during his campaign in 327 A.D., he savored bananas and took them to the western world.
This fruit comes in yellow, green, and red varieties and has been proven to have a number of medicinal benefits:
  • Boost of Energy: At only about 100 calories, bananas will give you a natural boost of energy. They contain sucrose, fructose, and glucose which will give you an instant and sustainable amount of energy. Athletes eat bananas frequently for this reason. A good way to start the day is to slice up a banana and add it to your whole grain cereal.
  • DysenteryMashed banana together with little salt is a very valuable remedy for dysentery. Ripe bananas are also very useful in dysentery of children, but they should be thoroughly mashed and beaten to cream before use in these cases.
  • Intestinal Disorder: The banana is used as a dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and blandness. It is the only raw fruit which can be eaten without distress in chronic ulcer cases. It neutralizes the over-acidity of the gastric juices and reduces the irritation of the ulcer by coating the lining of the stomach. Ripe banana are highly beneficial in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Being bland, smooth, easily digestible and slightly laxative, they relieve acute symptoms and promote the healing process.
  • Constipation and Diarrhea: Bananas are of great value in constipation and diarrhea as they normalize colonic functions in the large intestine to absorb large amounts of water for proper bowel moments. Their usefulness in constipation is due to their richness in pectin, which is water-absorbent and this gives them a bulk producing ability. They also possess the ability to change the bacteria in the intestines from the harmful type of bacilli to the beneficial acidophilus bacilli.
  • Cure a Hangover: A great remedy for a hangover is a banana milkshake with honey. The banana soothes your stomach. Along with the milk, it rehydrates your system. The honey also comforts your stomach and brings your depleted levels of blood sugar and potassium back to normal.
  • Helps Quit Smoking: The combination of magnesium, potassium, vitamins A1, B6, B12, and Vitamin C help the body with nicotine withdrawal.
  • Reduced Risk of Stroke: Bananas are an extremely good source of potassium and low in salt. Potassium is important for the body as it helps keep the body fluids and electrolyte balance in body cells and helps in regulating blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Research has shown that regular intake of bananas can reduce the risk of stroke by 40%. A medium-size banana contains at least 450 mg of potassium.
  • Improve Your Mood: Banana contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is responsible for serotonin production. Serotonin is a hormone that is known to improve your mood and reduce stress.
  • Keeps You Alert: It's widely known that bananas help improve brain function. Once again, it's a good idea to add a banana to your breakfast before you start the day.
  • AnemiaBeing high in iron content, bananas are beneficial in the treatment of anemia. They stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood.
  • Allergies: The fruit is very useful for those who are allergic to certain foods and who suffer in consequence from skin rashes or digestive disorders or asthma. Unlike other protein foods, many of which contain an amino-acid which these persons cannot tolerate and which causes allergy. Bananas contain only benign amino-acids which in most cases are not allergic. The fruit, however, does cause allergic reactions in certain sensitive persons and they should avoid it.
  • Kidney Disorders: Bananas are valuable in kidney disorders because of their low protein and salt content and high carbohydrate content. They are useful in uremia, a toxic condition of the blood die to kidney congestion and dysfunction. In such cases, a diet of bananas should only be taken for three to four days, consuming eight to nine bananas a day. This diet is suitable for all kidney troubles, including nephritis.
  • Menstrual Disorders: Cooked banana flower eaten with curd is considered an effective medicine for menstrual disorders like painful menstruation and excessive bleeding. Banana flower helps increase progesterone hormone which reduces the bleeding.
  • Urinary Disorders: Juice from banana stem is a well-known remedy for urinary disorders. It improves the functional efficiency of kidney and liver thereby alleviating the discomforts and diseased condition in them. It clears the excretion organs in the abdominal region of toxins and helps to eliminate them in the form of urine. It has been found to be of great help in the treatment for the removal of stones in the kidney, gall bladder, and prostate. It is advisable to mix this juice whenever possible with the juice of ash pumpkin (petha).
  • Over-weight: A diet consisting of bananas and skimmed milk is considered an effective remedy for weight reduction.
Bananas need to be treated with care as they bruise easily. The ideal way to store bananas is to keep them at room temperature. In order to ripen bananas, you can either wrap them in a newspaper or keep them in a brown paper bag. If you store a banana in a fridge it will turn black. However it will still be edible.

What is Balanced Diet?

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Wednesday, February 23, 2011 0 comments

Eat a healthy, balanced diet and stay active

The key to a healthy balanced diet is not to ban or omit any foods or food groups but to balance what you eat by consuming a variety of foods from each food group in the right proportions for good health.
The five food groups on the eatwell plate are:
Fruit and vegetables
These should make up about a third of your daily diet and can be eaten as part of every meal, as well as being the first choice for a snack.
You should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Research suggests this can help to protect against cancer, obesity and various chronic diseases such as heart disease. This is because of the unique package of nutrients and plant compounds they contain.
Bread, rice, potatoes and pasta
This food group should also make up about a third of your diet and contains the starchy carbohydrates that are the body's main source of energy.
When selecting products from this food group, choose unrefined carbohydrates over those that have been refined, as they will contain the whole of the grain. Wholegrain foods are rich in fibre and other nutrients that have many health benefits, and people who consume wholegrains seem to have a reduced risk of certain cancers, diabetes and coronary heart disease.
The final third of the eatwell plate is made up of three groups containing foods that need to be consumed in smaller proportions than the other two principal categories. These food groups also contain nutrients essential to our diet, so it's important not to leave them out altogether.
Milk and dairy foods
These should be eaten in moderation because of their high saturated fat content, but they're an important source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth. Choose low-fat or reduced-fat versions.
Meat, fish, eggs and beans
This food group includes both animal and plant sources of protein, which is a major functional and structural component of all cells. Protein provides the body with between 10 and 15 per cent of its dietary energy, and is needed for growth and repair.
Foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar
This group makes up the smallest section on the eatwell plate and includes foods that should only be eaten sparingly because, although they're an important energy source, they contain very few nutrients and are often known as 'empty calories'.
Foods from this group are high in unhealthy components such as saturated fat, trans fatty acids, sugar and salt - all of which are associated with an increased risk of developing certain diseases.
They should only be eaten as occasional treats, or to increase the palatability of other important foods (such as olive oil on salads, a scraping of spread on bread, or a sprinkling of sugar on some tart fruits).
How to eat a balanced diet
  • Eat a variety of foods to obtain all of the essential nutrients
  • Too much as well as too little can be bad for you – balance is required
  • Everyone's plate will look slightly different as we all have different requirements depending on our body’s shape and size, and our levels of activity.
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet
The Food Standards Agency's eight tips for eating well are:
  1. Base meals on starchy foods
  2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
  3. Eat more fish
  4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
  5. Try to eat less salt - no more than 6g a day
  6. Get active and try to be a healthy weight
  7. Drink plenty of water
  8. Don't skip breakfast
Portion size
In recent years, portions have been gradually getting bigger with the introduction of king-size chocolate bars, bigger bags of crisps and super-sized meals.
Larger packets and plates can encourage us to eat greater quantities of food, which increases our energy intake. Studies have found that consuming additional food doesn't increase your sense of fullness, so think of 'down-sizing' rather than 'super-sizing' for most foods, except fruit and vegetables.
Energy density
This is the amount of stored energy in food. Just 1g of fat provides nine calories, which is more than double the calories in 1g of protein or carbohydrate. This means you can feel fuller on fewer calories if you choose the right foods, and in the long term you're less likely to gain weight.
Healthy living
Food is there to enjoy, which is often forgotten amid all the media hype surrounding various food items. Just remember to keep a check on portion size and energy density.
Food habits change slowly, but
  • try new foods
  • join a local cookery club to boost your culinary confidence
  • have a positive attitude about food – it's one of life's pleasures
Exercise helps to maintain your body weight by balancing your energy intake (food eaten) with energy output (exercise).
Take small steps if you're new to exercise - use the stairs instead of the lift at work, get off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way, or try to exercise with a friend.

About Me

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Warm welcome to my health blog! This was introduced with an objective to educate and spread awareness among people, encouraging them to live healthier lives with longevity. Let me emphasize that our contemporary situation in individual’s life are so fast moving that we tend to neglect and spare some moments for our own health. My inspiration has turned into passion in a health care that turned into a blog. The ample of support and response was tremendously changed into positive results. I dedicated this blog for all those people who are very conscious for their health and life style. Hope so, I can bring differences for healthy living the fore my viewer comments are always valuable and your continued patronage is important for me. Wish you a happy and healthy life ahead!

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