Hey Tough Guy! Are You Avoiding the Doctor? You May Want to Rethink That Plan!

There just aren’t enough hours in a day! You’ll make that doctor’s appointment another day, right? Especially because nothing hurts and you have no pain, aches, bumps, or bruises? Think again! It is all too common for men to skip their annual visits to their doctors, which could be a big step in the wrong direction. Although we all like to believe that since we feel fine there must be nothing wrong, there are far too many health risks and potential diseases for men to ignore their doctors, and their health altogether. June is Men’s Health Month and we encourage all men to take precautions and check up on your health! Preventative medical tests can detect diseases early, before they start to cause the aches and pains that would send someone to the doctor immediately. Here are some recommendations for screening tests and lifestyle adjustements to consider so that you can take control of your health now and prevent illness later: Check your cholesterol levels regularly, especially after the age of 20. Having high cholesterol puts men at a greater risk for heart disease and should be checked every five years, or more often if your cholesterol is high. Keep a close eye on your body weight, activity level and diet, as these lifestyle choices have a direct effect on cholesterol levels. Consider taking the Fasting Plasma Glucose Test to screen for type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. If you are experiencing increased thirst and frequent urination, as well as weight loss and increased hunger, you may be experiencing diabetes symptoms. As with many other diseases, warning signs are not...

Changes to Make for A Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Do you know how to properly fuel and protect the most vital organ in your body? The heart is the center of the cardiovascular system and needs proper care and nourishment to remain healthy. Nearly half of Americans are at risk for heart disease, a large percentage of which are due to poor diet. Luckily, making changes in one’s diet is a quick and easy way to start to protect your heart from heart attacks, strokes, and coronary artery disease by controlling your weight and keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure in check. Here are some tips to get you started: Avoid fats! Cut out the foods filled with trans-fats and saturated fats, as well as those high in cholesterol. There are many healthier alternatives to these problematic food items, such as Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or skim milk in place of heavy whipping cream. Well-rounded diet! Try to include foods from several food groups to keep meals healthy and well rounded. Make sure to include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet as they are a great source of fiber and are low in calories. Fish is an excellent addition to your diet, rich with anti-inflammatory omega-3-fatty acids that may assist in lowering the risk of heart disease. Count calories! Although the task seems daunting, monitoring your daily caloric intake to manage your weight can help prevent stroke, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. It’s best to talk to your healthcare provider to gain insight on calorie intake for your weight, age, gender, and level of activity. Watch out for salt! Take note of your sodium...

Can We Stop Obesity From Starting So Early?

When did you first become addicted to french fries? To chips and ice cream? For many American children it was probably before they can remember. Food addictions, while prevalent now, are not part of our genetic makeup.  They are learned behaviors that can be reversed. This month  is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and the focus is on preventing and correcting the obesity epidemic that is now a problem not just for adults, but for our children. Nearly one in three children in the United States is overweight and obese, leaving them at risk for adult health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. The increase in childhood obesity appears to be slowing, but how do we help those children who are already obese and overweight? Recent research conducted by the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and at Massachusetts General Hospital shows that food addiction can be reversed. You, and your child, can learn to crave salads instead of french fries.  Ideally, children would never learn to crave junk food, but if they do and it’s more than likely that they will, we can help them to undo that habit.  Obesity can be prevented and you can help. Provide smaller portions at mealtimes with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Encourage daily activity at home and at school. Support your school’s efforts to provide healthier menu options. A lifetime of eating habits begins with what you put on the table and how you act every day. Set a good example and help your child live a long, healthy life. Reach for the...

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Are You Moving Yet?

Why should you care?  Again? Warnings about getting exercise?  Yes, again.  Less than 20% of adults meet the minimum requirement of 30 minutes of physical activity per day.  Are you one of them? Obesity in US adults has doubled since the 1970s and it is linked to multiple health conditions and disorders that are preventable.  Health conditions like diabetes, stroke and heart disease can leave you disabled. But, physical activity reduces your risk of serious health events and death significantly. Not a fan of physical activity?  There are many ways to squeeze in some movement during the day without going to a gym, sweating profusely or purchasing a lot of expensive gear.  Walking your dog, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the other end of the parking lot…all of these burn calories and get your heart moving a little more.  If you sit at a desk all day, get up every 30 minutes and get some water and stretch out. If you don’t know your risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, find out.  It’s never too late to work on improving your health.  Put one foot in front of the other and start moving towards better...

Going Red? Remove Sugar and You’re On the Way!

Have you seen advertisements and publicity for National Wear Red Day and the Go Red for Women campaign?  Maybe you’ve heard that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US?  More bad news has been found for those trying to prevent heart disease: A new study released in the JAMA Internal Medicine has found that there is another cause of heart disease: added sugar in your diet!  Many Americans consume 15% of their calories from added sugar.  This is a recipe for disaster and can increase your risk of heart disease.  The study showed that people who consumed between 17 and 21% of their calories from sugar have a 38% higher risk of death from heart disease than people who consume less than 10% of their calories from added sugar.  21% of a 2,000 calorie per day diet is the equivalent of 420 calories or 3 cans of regular soda per day. We’ve all known that too much sugar causes obesity and can lead to diabetes, but the news that it is linked with cardiovascular disease is surprising.  Although the American Beverage Association claims that the study is is an observational study and doesn’t indicate that added sugar causes heart disease, it’s worth reducing sugar in your diet and looking more closely at the level of sugar added to the food you consume.  Most women still believe that heart disease is a “man’s” disease and that they are immune.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and women need to pay attention to their health, get tested for heart disease risk factors and make exercise a habit.  The American Heart...