Diet, cellphone, etc.

“Eating whole grains instead of bakery products, rice, and pasta lowers high cholesterol, lowers high blood pressure, reduces body weight…and lowers insulin level,” says an article from the Framingham Study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study points our that elevated insulin levels constrict arteries to cause chest pains or even heart attacks. High levels of insulin also stimulate the hypothalamus in the brain to make you hungry, and stimulate the liver to manufacture fat and make you fat. And the opposite is true: everything that lowers insulin levels helps you lose weight, lowers high blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and prevents heart attacks, diabetes and strokes.

Eating rice or foods made with flour leads to a rapid rise in blood sugar level, which is not healthy, and is one of the reasons why there is an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, especially in the Philippines. Whole grains, and other more complex carbohydrates, according to our current knowledge “are like capsules that release their contents very slowly. It takes about an hour to cook whole grains because of this tight capsule, and your body still has a difficult time breaking the capsule, so they are very slow to digest. Whole grains help prevent diabetes and obesity because they keep insulin levels lower.

The culprit
Most of us, including physicians, used to think (till recently) that people who were overweight or fat were “eating too much.” To a significant extent, that may well be true. But the recent discovery of a “Fat Gene,” tells us that not all fat people are eating their way to obesity. Some people are simply “destined” to be overweight.
Researchers stated that “overweight people are predisposed to gaining weight in much the same way that kids born to brunette parents are likely to have, gasp!, brown hair.”
All the studies have confirmed that many individuals genetically programmed to have weight problems have a chromosomal abnormality, which “deprives them of normal amounts of dopamine, the feel-good drug released by the brain in response to stress.”
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1.6 billion adults worldwide are overweight and about half a billion are obese. And this problem is associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and even cancer.
As always, this kind of discovery often leads to a prompt search for a remedy, if not a cure. And scientific “diagnosis” like this one is a welcome find, one that will open a lot of doors for research that will someday arm us with “weapons” to battle and prevent diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

Hormones Curb Cravings
New research suggests that “appetite-regulating hormones and peptides may be involved in the neurobiology of alcohol craving, and has confirmed that appetite-regulating peptides leptin (satiety hormone, reduces appetite) and ghrelin (hunger hormone, increases appetite) do indeed influence alcohol craving, but especially among certain subtypes of alcoholics.” Craving is a significant factor to the development and maintenance of alcoholism.
These new findings are essential in finding a drug that could prevent addiction among those who are more prone to it. Many shun even social drinking, especially among Asians, for fear that frequent parties might lead to a craving for alcohol. And for those who now crave for alcoholic drinks, this discovery could spell a big difference towards the prevention of alcoholism in the future.
For obese persons where diet alone and exercise are not enough to control their weight, gastric bypass is an option. One of the common procedures cuts out the right half (and “tip”) of the stomach that produces ghrelin, reducing stomach size (to make the individual feel full sooner) and at the same time reducing ghrelin.
Electromagnetic risks

At what dose of repeated radiation exposure from medical imaging diagnostic devices, natural or artificial sunbathing, microwave oven, cell phone signals, radiofrequency (radio-TV) signals, extremely low frequency power lines (said to be associated with childhood leukemia) can cause various forms of illnesses, including cancer, is still controversial. But we cannot simply ignore the warnings. In this current situation, the wise and prudent strategy is to minimize exposure to any of these electromagnetic forces as much as we can as we take advantage of the benefits provided by these advances in science and technology. Let’s just be more conscious and careful.

Cellphone warnings

Electrical Hypersensitivity Syndrome is truly a medical condition, characterized by fatigue, dizziness, tinnitus, facial rash, digestive symptoms, following “exposure to visual display units, mobile phones, Wi-Fi equipment, and commonplace appliances, affecting about 3% of all people and about 33% of us to a lesser extent.” Cordless phones and mobile phones emit the same amount of radiation…landline phones don’t. Use of speaker phone for cordless and mobile phones, or a hollow (preferred) wired (hands-free) earpiece is safer. Bluetooth wireless headsets are worse emitters. Texting is safer than calling with the handset against your ear. If the cellphone is carried close to the body as most men do, the battery should be facing away from the body since this acts as the antenna, the dial pad facing the body. If not using a hands-free device, switching from one ear to the other every 15 seconds or so is a good practice. As much as possible do not use cellphone in elevators or close spaces, since the weak signal will make the phone maximize its signal strength (and radiation!). Children should NOT use cell-phones except for emergencies, since they are more vulnerable to the effects of radiation.
Exercise Wonders

The amazing wonders of physical exercise are scientifically proven to keep the body and mind healthy, strengthen the immune system, improve cardiovascular fitness and reduces heart attacks by 33%, lessen the risk of the development of type 2 diabetes by 91%, prevent, if not minimize high blood pressure by more than a third — all these for doing 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week. Tai Chi, Tai Bo, dancing at any speed, walking (moderate to brisk), swimming, bicycling, or any aerobic exercise. There is no age limit to doing exercises. My mother did aerobic exercise up to her mid-80s (at a moderated pace) daily 2-mile exercise following the Leslie Sansone’s DVD aerobic exercise program. At 99, though using a walker and some help, she still feels great, remembering the birthdays of my 10 grandchildren, better than I could.

Besides positive attitude and a cheerful countenance, proper diet, abstinence from smoking and moderation in alcohol intake (red wine preferred), exercise is a major key to health and longevity, as it lowers the risk for cardiovascular and metabolic illnesses, Alzheirmer’s, and even cancer.

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