What High Blood Sugar Could Do to Your Brain by: Cindy Kuzma

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As you ReFit yourself for the new you, making healthy eating choices is critical. You can’t keep eating food that harms while expecting health and fitness. Read this article to learn how sugar is not as sweet as it seems…

Sugar rots more than your teeth. People with high blood glucose levels are 18 percent more likely to develop dementia, even if they don’t have diabetes, according to new University of Washington research.

In the study, the scientists found that people with fasting blood sugar levels that measured 115 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) were at significantly greater risk than those whose blood glucose qualified as “normal.” Normal fasting blood sugar is 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL); 101 to 125 is considered “prediabetes”; 126 and above is classified as diabetes.

Chronically elevated blood sugar—even if it’s not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes—could damage small blood vessels in the central nervous system, the study authors note. And while most cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia don’t strike until age 65 (or older), controlling blood glucose during your younger years helps you keep it in check as you age, says study author Paul Crane, M.D., M.P.H.

Read the rest here: http://news.menshealth.com/what-high-blood-sugar-could-do-to-your-brain/2013/08/13/

The Fruit that Lowers Blood Sugar

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by Jessica Girdwain

Look beyond apples and oranges: Obese adults who ate about half a mango a day for 12 weeks saw a significant reduction in blood sugar levels, according to research presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

The results likely translate to normal-weight men, too, says study author Edralin Lucas, Ph.D. Mango’s power could lie in active compounds like plant polyphenols, which may inhibit the development of fat cells and reduce their size, says Lucas. The fruit is also high in fiber, reducing the absorption of sugar, she adds.

Though the study is preliminary—read: no reason to fill your fridge with mangos just yet—one sliced cup of the fruit only contains 100 calories, and is a healthy add-on to any diet. But your best bet to keep blood sugar in check? Exercise and a diet generally rich in all sorts of fruits and vegetables, says Lucas. In fact, people who ate produce-packed diets had a decreased diabetes risk and lower blood sugar levels than those who didn’t, according to a 2012 meta-analysis.

http://news.menshealth.com/the-fruit-that-lowers-blood-sugar/2013/04/30/

Lifelong exercise can improve brain function in later life, study finds

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Lifelong exercise can improve brain function in later life, study finds
Research found those who had regularly exercised from age of 11 scored higher in brain function tests than those who had not

Government guidelines say that adults aged 19 to 64 should exercise for at least 150 minutes per week.

Lifelong exercise can lead to improved brain function in later life, a study has shown. People perform better in mental tests at the age of 50 if they have engaged in regular intense activity, such as playing sport, running, swimming or working out in the gym, since childhood.

More than 9,000 individuals took part in the research from the age of 11.

Interviews were conducted at regular age intervals to monitor levels of exercise. Participants also undertook tests of memory, attention and learning.

Those who had exercised two to three times per month or more from the age of 11 scored higher in the tests than those who had not.

Study leader Dr Alex Dregan, from King’s College London, said: “As exercise represents a key component of lifestyle interventions to prevent cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, public health interventions to promote lifelong exercise have the potential to reduce the personal and social burden associated with these conditions in late adult years.”

The findings are published on Tuesday in the journal Psychological Medicine. Government guidelines say that adults aged 19 to 64 should exercise for at least 150 minutes per week.

“It’s widely acknowledged that a healthy body equals a healthy mind,” said Dr Dregan. “However, not everyone is willing or able to take part in the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. For these people any level of physical activity may benefit their cognitive wellbeing in the long-term and this is something that needs to be explored further.”

http://m.guardiannews.com/society/2013/mar/12/lifelong-exercise-brain-function-study

Adult Obesity Facts

Obesity is common, serious and costly

More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.

In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Obesity affects some groups more than others: Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (49.5%) compared with Mexican Americans (40.4%), all Hispanics (39.1%) and non-Hispanic whites (34.3%).

Among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men, those with higher incomes are more likely to be obese than those with low income.
Higher income women are less likely to be obese than low-income women.
There is no significant relationship between obesity and education among men. Among women, however, there is a trend—those with college degrees are less likely to be obese compared with less educated women.

Between 1988–1994 and 2007–2008 the prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all income and education levels.

New baseline established in 2011 for state Obesity rates

Changes to the CDC’s BRFSS and to exclusion criteria result in a new baseline for estimated state adult obesity prevalence starting with the 2011 data. Because of these changes, estimates of obesity prevalence from 2011 forward cannot be compared to estimates from previous years.

Shifts in estimates from previous years may be the results of the new methods, rather than measurable changes in the percentages. The direction and magnitude of changes in each state varies. These variations may depend on the characteristics of the population.
State prevalence of obesity remained high across the country in 2011.

Obesity prevalence in 2011 varies across states and regions

By state, obesity prevalence ranged from 20.7% in Colorado to 34.9% in Mississippi in 2011. No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. 39 states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states had a prevalence of 30% or more: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

The South had the highest prevalence of obesity (29.5%), followed by the Midwest (29.0%), the Northeast (25.3%) and the West (24.3%).

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Read the rest of the report here: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

What’s the Right Workout for You?

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by Jessica Girdwain

Exercise with this in mind: Research reveals that when it comes to reaching a specific goal, the kind of workout you do may matter as much as how many hours you clock at the gym. These five fitness routines get results—choose the one that’s right for you.

Your goal: Lower your type 2 diabetes risk.

The game plan: Cardio plus strength training. Aim for a 30-minute cardio workout five days a week. And do strength exercises, like three sets of squats, push-ups, and biceps curls (eight reps each), three times a week. [Get step-by-step instructions for how to do these moves like a pro]

The proof: A 2012 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who did both cardio and strength training for at least 2.5 hours a week each had a 59 percent lower risk of diabetes—lower than those who did only one type of exercise. While the study was done on men, researchers believe it could work for everyone, because the heart-pumping cardio incinerates body fat, while strength training helps keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

Your goal: Build muscle.

The game plan: Weight lifting with light weights on two to three nonconsecutive days a week. Using three- to five-pound dumbbells, perform three sets of 20 to 25 reps of the following moves: shoulder presses, dumbbell rows, chest presses, biceps curls, and squats.

The proof: A recent report from McMaster University suggests that doing more reps with lighter weights to the point of exhaustion leads to similar gains in muscle mass as fewer reps with heavier weights. Because fast-twitch muscle fibers (which contribute most to strength) are activated longer, researchers believe this could even bring about greater muscle growth.

Your goal: Lose postpregnancy pounds.

The game plan: Circuit training—a series of exercises with little to no rest in between—three days a week. Cycle through three sets of push-ups, squats, and side lunges, doing as many as you can without stopping. Take a one-minute break between circuits.

The proof: Research from Shippensburg and California State Polytechnic Universities found that circuit training boosts your metabolism better than a similar-intensity treadmill workout. In fact, you burn 30 percent more calories doing circuits than you would with strength training alone, says exercise scientist and physical trainer Brad Schoenfeld.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Best-Workouts-How-to-Get-Better-Results-at-the-Gym_1#ixzz2Kxy9OVR2

Dangers of Obesity Video | American Health Journal

Watch this short, but sobering video. Don’t get depressed if you’re here. Do something about it. I have. In less than 60 days, I’ve moved from being obese to overweight (according to my BMI score). You can do it.

Dangers of Obesity Video | American Health Journal.