Fiber is key to good health

From Cooking Light

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The American Academy of Personal Training

Want to lower your risk of heart disease?  Start eating more fiber.  The National Cancer Institute reports that eating a diet rich in fiber can reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by 22%.  Eating more fiber can also lower your risk of getting some cancers, diabetes and obesity.  The USDA guidelines encourage Americans to up their fiber by eating certain fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  You should try to eat 25 grams of fiber per day.




New Guidelines: Hold the Salt

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The American Academy of Personal Training

The government is telling Americans to take a pass on the salt.  According to new dietary guidelines, consumers are now being asked to drastically cut their daily intake of salt.  For the first time, the guidelines target people who are 51 and older, all African Americans, and people at risk for high blood pressure and diabetes, which basically means anyone that is overweight or obese.  That group should reduce their daily salt intake to a little more than half a teaspoon a day.  Everyone else should limit their sodium intake to about a teaspoon a day.

One way to limit your salt is to eat more fresh foods and avoid the processed foods.  When eating out, ask the restaurant not to add salt.  Other recommendations in the new guidelines include eating less than 10% of you calories from saturated fats; that includes full fat cheeses and meats.

Obese teens more likely to become obese adults

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

As the number of obese teenagers rises, so does their risk of becoming severely obese later on in life as adults.  That’s according to a new study published in this weeks JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association.  Obesity carries with it serious health risks – life threatening illnesses including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, even arthritis.  Obese adolescents were significantly more likely to become severley obese by their early 30s than individuals who were normal or overweight as adolescents.

In this first of its kind study, more than 8000 teens who were normal weight and overweight, were tracked until they reached adulthood.  For the normal weight teens, about 1-2% became severely obese.  In those who were already obese, 75% of them continued to be severely obese as they became young adults.

The study demonstrates the need for early interventions like teaching young kids the need for a healthier lifestyle long before they become teenagers.  Small changes like going for a family walk and cutting out soda can make a big difference.

7 steps to a healthier heart

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

Here’s seven steps that can improve your heart health and save your life.  Experts say that simple lifestyle changes can prevent you from having a heart attack.  These seven steps include:

  1. Giving up smoking
  2. Maintaining a normal body mass index (BMI)
  3. Getting regular exercise
  4. Eating a healthy diet
  5. Controlling your cholesterol
  6. Controlling your blood pressure
  7. Controlling your blood sugar

These are all things you probably already know, but are you doing them?  The reality is most Americans are falling short.  In this study by the American Heart Association, only 29% of the U.S. had four or more ideal healthy factors.  The difference can literally save your life.  Just by meeting five or more of the healthy factors, you can decrease your chances of dying by 55%.

She works ‘too’ hard for her money?

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

As the song suggests, “She really does work hard for the money.”  A new study maintains that women who have stressful jobs are at greater risk for heart attacks, and may need coronary bypass surgery.  The research presented by the American Heart Association also contends that when women worry about losing their jobs, it can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  This is a first of its kind study to examine the overall impact of work related stress on women’s health.  Previous studies have only focused on the effects on men, and yes, they are at greater risk as well.

Americans are fatter than ever

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

There’s no doubt about it…Americans are fatter than ever.  By some estimates as many as a third of all adult Americans are overweight.  Being overweight is not just an esthetic problem.  It greatly increases your risk of serious diseases like high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.  Unfotunately, Type 2 diabetes goes hand in hand with obesity; and as more Americans become obese, they also become diabetic.  That puts you at risk for a whole host of diseases and conditions because diabetes can harm literally every organ system in the human body.

With Type 2 diabetes you can’t manage your sugar properly because the body either doesn’t make enough insulin or its resistent to the insulin you produce.  Insulin helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.  If left untreated, the consequences can be life threatening.  Researchers have now identified a hormone produced and released by the liver which may contribute to the insulin resistence seen in Type 2 diabetics.  The discovery may offer a new target for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes because studies in mice show that when that hormone production was blocked, insulin resistence improved…hence blood sugar levels went down.

In the meantime, we need to take back control of our bodies and get FIT!  Losing weight can reverse these harmful effects and the diabetes can improve…and even GO AWAY.