Adopting a healthy diet is not always as easy as it sounds. And even harder, is figuring out where to start? As you consider the parade of healthy diets in magazines and cookbooks, consider looking at the following to help you make sure you’re on the right healthy eating tract. Ensure your food:
- Includes a variety of foods from the major food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein including beans and other legumes, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats
- Provides guidelines for how much food to choose from each group
- Includes foods you can find in your local grocery store — rather than specialty or gourmet store items
- Fits your tastes, lifestyle and budget
What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a substance that's found in the fats (otherwise known as lipids) in your blood. Although your body needs cholesterol to continue building healthy cells, having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. What is High Cholesterol? Having high cholesterol, can cause you to develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits can cause difficulties with blood flow through your arteries. Not allowing your heart may not get as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs, which increases the risk of a heart attack. Additionally, decreased blood flow to your brain can cause a stroke. High cholesterol can be inherited, but is also often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, and thus preventable and treatable. A healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication can go a long way toward reducing high cholesterol. Risk factors Risk factors for high cholesterol include:
- Lack of exercise. Exercise helps boost your body's HDL, or "good," cholesterol while increasing the size of the particles that make up your LDL, or "bad," cholesterol, which makes it less harmful.
- Obesity. Having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater puts you at risk of high cholesterol.
- Poor diet. Eating saturated fat, found in animal products, and trans fats, found in some commercially baked cookies and crackers, can raise your cholesterol level. Foods that are high in cholesterol, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, will also increase your total cholesterol.
- Large waist circumference. Your risk increases if you are a man with a waist circumference of at least 40 inches (102 centimeters) or a woman with a waist circumference of at least 35 inches (89 centimeters).
- Smoking. Cigarette smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels, making them likely to accumulate fatty deposits. Smoking may also lower your level of HDL, or "good," cholesterol.
- Diabetes. High blood sugar contributes to higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. High blood sugar also damages the lining of your arteries.
As if living with psoriasis isn’t enough. When one has psoriasis, there are other conditions that those living with it are prone to. See the full list below. Psoriatic arthritis. One in every three people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, a condition that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. However, some people have psoriatic arthritis without developing psoriasis. Cardiovascular disease. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, if you have severe psoriasis, your chance of having a major cardiac event is 58 percent higher than that of people who don't have psoriasis, and your risk for stroke is 43 percent higher. Diabetes. People with severe psoriasis are 46 percent more likely to also have type 2 diabetes, and those with mild psoriasis are 11 percent more likely — even in the absence of traditional risk factors for this form of diabetes, such as obesity. Inflammation can cause or exacerbate insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Mood disorders. One in every four people with psoriasis experience depression, when they have psoriasis. This likely results from the pain, anxiety, and decreased self-esteem that often accompanies the disease. Cancer. Psoriasis has also been associated with an increased risk for certain cancers, such squamous cell carcinoma and lymphoma. One study found that people with psoriasis are 40 percent more likely to develop certain types of cancer than the general population are, but the actual cause of this increased cancer risk is still unclear Obesity. People with psoriasis are more likely to be obese than people without psoriasis, with a 30 percent increased risk for those with mild psoriasis and an 80 percent increased risk for those with severe psoriasis. Kidney disease. Researchers found a 36 percent greater risk of kidney disease for those with moderate psoriasis and 58 percent greater risk for those with severe psoriasis. However, if your psoriasis is mild — defined as affecting 2 percent or less of your total body surface — your risk usually will be no greater than that of the general population. Peptic ulcers. People with psoriasis are 22 percent more likely to get ulcers than people without psoriasis. High cholesterol. High levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (or LDL) cholesterol are also more common among people with psoriasis. In fact, psoriasis brings a 28 percent increased risk for high cholesterol compared to the risk among the general public. If you have psoriasis and have questions about other conditions that may arise, speak with your doctor.
National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. This awareness month was created to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. The goal is to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. This video will enlighten you about how immunizations work:
Back to school is just around the corner. With the summer full of fun, most children need help transitioning back into a routine with deadlines for a successful start to the school year. It's also a good time for kids to visit the pediatrician, dentist and eye doctor to make sure their health makes the grade. Sleep Routines: No more staying up late and sleeping in. Start with getting your kids back into their school year sleep habits. To help your child transition back to waking up early, establish a new sleep routine. Consider starting to go to be one hour earlier every night and waking up early until the new routine is established. Start a week or two in advance, to get your school year sleep routines established. Get your vaccinations and Sports Physicals: Pediatrician's office are full of patients the week before school starts. Annual checkups should be done by a pediatrician before each new school year to ensure that your child's medical records and vaccinations are up to date. Additionally, if your child participates in athletics, they will need their yearly sports physical in order to participate. Eating Schedules: With the summer packed full of activities, eating schedules may be different than those at school. Before the new school year starts, get your child back into the habit of eating three regular meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Consider sitting down for meals together to help the child reset the routine. Backpack Basics Backpacks full of books and school supplies can put strain on your child's neck, shoulders and back. Make sure your child’s backpack fits properly and is strong enough to carry a heavy load. Also make sure your child is carrying their backpack over both shoulders, according to the, single backpack over the shoulder can strain muscles. Talk to your pediatrician about additional tips to help you get your child back into the school routine.