Tag Archives: nutrition

Eat Well

Eat Well, Exercise Well, Be Well: Dietary and Fitness Guidelines

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Eat Well

When it comes to the secrets of living a healthy life, it seems that there are no secrets. From diet gurus to celebrities, everyone seems to have the answers on healthy living. Since the 1980s, the United States government has also weighed in, with dietary guidelines that it publishes every 5 years. The intent is to provide research-backed diet and physical activity recommendations to reduce the risk of diseases linked to poor diet and activity, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Here is a round-up of the government’s latest key recommendations from the publication, 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

EAT WELL

Calories, Calories, Calories
In recent years, obesity has been a national concern, since it has been associated with serious conditions like cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Controlling total calorie intake is essential to maintaining ideal body weight. If you are trying to lose weight, you will need to expend more calories than you take in. This means getting plenty of exercise and cutting down on foods that are high in calories.

So how many calories should you be consuming? This depends on several factors, such as age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level. To keep calories under control, you want to focus on eating foods full of many nutrients, especially potassium, fiber, vitamin D, and calcium. You may want to talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian about an eating plan that is right for you. In general, try to keep calories in check. Aim to meet calorie needs, but not exceed them. Reducing portion size and eating more meals at home are great ways to avoid exceeding calorie needs. In addition, eating foods high in nutrients but lower in calories can help.

Foods to Enjoy

  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables—Fresh fruits and vegetables are lower in calories compared to processed foods. Focus on color when eating fruits and vegetables. Dark green, red, and orange vegetables are especially packed with good-for-you nutrients. When preparing a meal, try and fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat a lot of whole grains—Examples of whole grains are brown rice, oatmeal, bulgur, and whole-wheat pasta. Your goal should be to make half your grains whole grains.
  • Have more dairy—Focus on low- or non-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt.
  • It is okay to eat certain fats—Some fats are okay to consume in moderation. These are monosaturated or polyunsaturated fats, which are found in foods like nuts and fish.
    Power up on protein—Seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, and soy products are good sources of protein. Be sure to choose protein foods that are low in saturated fat and calories.

Fruits and Vegetables

Food to Eat Less

  • Limit refined grains—Examples of refined grains are white bread, corn flakes, grits, regular pasta, and white rice. These foods tend to be high in calories and sugar but low in fiber.
  • Limit foods containing added sugars—This includes sugar-sweetened drinks and snacks.
  • Limit foods high in saturated fats—This includes certain kinds of meat and dairy products (whole milk, cream, and butter). Less than 10% of calories should come from saturated fats.
  • Keep trans fat consumption as low as possible—You can do this by limiting foods containing solid fats and partially hydrogenated oils, such as margarine and baked goods.
  • Limit salt intake—Too much of it can increase your risk for high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney damage, heart disease, and stroke. On a daily basis, adults should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation —Women should consume no more than 1 alcoholic drink a day, while men should consume no more than 2 drinks a day. Also, keep track of the calories in each drink. Mixed drinks tend to have higher calories.

Preparing Your Plate
Remembering which foods to limit, and which to eat more of, may be daunting. To help you remember, the United States Department of Agriculture created a simple image of a sectioned plate as a guideline for healthy eating. The Choose My Plate guidelines emphasize nutrient-dense foods and beverages, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat milk, beans, and nuts. If remembering how much and what to eat is a chore, you can just keep these simple things in mind to ensure that you are eating well when you sit down for a meal:

  • Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • When eating grains, make sure half your grains are whole grains.
  • Choose fat-free and low-fat (1%) milk products.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
  • Enjoy your food, but be mindful of how much you are eating. Try to eat less.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
  • When cooking, try to use less or no salt in the recipe. When you eat your meals, do not add any extra salt. Over time, you will adjust to less salt in your food.

You can find specific information on the ChooseMyPlate website.

Exercise Well
A nutritious diet and exercise go together for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity each week. Some examples of activities are brisk walking, biking, and swimming. Before starting any kind of exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor if you have any health issues that may limit your exercise program.

Be Well
Guidelines provide the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. But living a healthy lifestyle takes discipline and a positive attitude. Working with your doctor and perhaps other professionals, like a dietitian or fitness trainer, can be helpful in keeping you motivated and on track for reaching your health goals. Also, a healthy lifestyle should not be a chore, but something enjoyable.

Make exercise fun—a weekend hike, a lunch-hour walk with co-workers, or a pick-up game of basketball with your neighbor are just some ideas. And when mealtimes roll around, put on your creative chef hat! Come up with new approaches to breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus that incorporate fresh, nutrient-dense foods, and get friends and family involved in preparing meals. Experiment with herbs and spices to flavor your meals instead of the old salt standby. Armed with guidance, support, and motivation, a healthy lifestyle is within your reach!

Written by Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg, MA

RESOURCES:
Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture
http://www.choosemyplate.gov

Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
http://www.eatright.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Dietitians of Canada
http://www.dietitians.ca

REFERENCES:

2015-2020 Dietary guidelines for Americans. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed February 14, 2017.

BMI calculator. ChooseMyPlate—US Department of Agriculture website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/weight-management.html. Accessed February 14, 2017.

Dietary interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 5, 2015. Accessed March 9, 2015.

What is MyPlate? US Department of Agriculture ChooseMyPlate website. Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate. Accessed February 14, 2017.

Last reviewed February 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

Sports Drinks

Hydration & Supplements: Sports Drinks vs. Energy Drinks

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hydration, energy drinks, sports drinks, chocolate milk, muscle, cramps, electrolytes, nutrients, supplements, nutrition, water, hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated during physical activity. While water is still the best choice for hydration, other acceptable options are available. Do you know what is most effective for your workout?

Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are ideal for athletes looking to hydrate and replenish after long, intensive exercise (usually greater than 60 minutes). Sports drinks contain a combination of electrolytes, carbs, minerals, and vitamins. This combination of nutrients serve to restore lost fluid and sodium levels. Additionally, the sugary carbs found in sport drinks provide athletes a boost of natural energy to aid in recovery.

hydration, energy drinks, sports drinks, chocolate milk, muscle, cramps, electrolytes, nutrients, supplements, nutrition, water, hydrated

Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are never a good option for athletes. While these beverages do provide an apparent energy boost, the effects are temporary. Energy drinks contain few helpful macronutrients, like carbs, and instead use the stimulant caffeine to create an artificial boost of energy. These high concentrations of caffeine can act as a diuretic thus increasing dehydration risks. Too much caffeine can also cause jitters, dizziness and headaches leading to decreased performance. High doses of caffeine have been linked to cardiac emergencies.

Chocolate Milk?
Effectively recover with chocolate milk. Low-fat chocolate milk makes a simple yet effective post-workout snack. Offering just the right mix of carbs and protein, this tasty drink refuels your body and helps muscles through recovery. Drink up!

Out Smart Muscle Cramps:
Painful muscle cramps can quickly sideline an athlete. While the root cause is still being researched, dehydration, muscle imbalances and improper warm-up are likely factors. Follow these basics to help prevent muscle cramps:

  • Stay hydrated, make sure your athlete does not start the practice/game dehydrated.
  • Pack a refillable water bottle to drink throughout the day.
  • Consume a balanced diet with healthy amounts of sodium.
  • Bolster weak muscle groups with functional, plyometric and strength training.
  • Practice foam rolling and static stretching in tight areas.
  • Incorporate a dynamic warmup.

Written by the Therapy Team at the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Grand Rapids, Michigan.
To learn more about the Center for Physical Rehabilitation click here.

Lymphedema

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Lymphedema?

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Lymphedema

Lymphedema can occur in any body part. Some common early symptoms include:

  • Tightness, swelling or thickening anywhere in the extremity. Initially the swelling may fluctuate but over timeit worsens.
  • A burning sensation or tingling sensation radiating down the extremity.
  • Complaints of heaviness or aching of the extremity.
  • Inability to wear rings, jewelry, watches or clothing secondary to edema.

STAGE 1 – Reversible Lymphedema

  • Lymphedema disappears with bed rest and/or elevation especially over night.
  • Edema is soft and pitting, no resistance is felt. Indentations are easily made.
  • No or little fibrosis. No alteration of tissues.

STAGE 2 – Irreversible Edema

  • Protein enriched edema which does not decrease with elevation/nights rest.
  • Connective and scar tissue formation (i.e. fibrosis). Fibrosclerotic changes.
  • Non pitting edema, strong pressure is able to produce pitting.
  • Edema becomes hard. Indentions are difficult to make.

lymphedema

Precautions and Guidelines

  • Maintain a well balanced diet, with low sodium intake. Keep a healthy weight, avoid obesity. Good nutritional guidelines are provided by the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.
  • Keep the affected arm or leg, clean, and well moisturized. Lotion should be at a relatively low pH balance. The goal is to prevent skin breakdown.
  • Use antibacterial and hypo-allergenic soap when washing.
  • Avoid injections, vaccinations, flu shots, blood draws and IV lines in the affected extremity. Remember, if this is an emergency, it is more important to treat the patient than to worry about putting an IV in the affected arm.
  • If at all possible, avoid having blood pressure taken in the affected arm.
  • Many people enjoy having a manicure. There is always a risk with this but you can decrease your risk by keeping your cuticles moist with lotion and push them back instead of cutting them. You could also consider buying your own manicure set and have the salon use only your tools.
  • When cleaning the house, wear a good quality rubber glove when handling harsh chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, furniture polish, abrasive cleansers etc.
  • Avoid using a razor or depilatory creams for the armpit or leg hair. The safest tool would be an electric razor.
  • When cooking, wear long protective mitts (to the elbow) when taking food out of the oven and when boiling a pot of hot water.
  • It is important to avoid pet scratches, insect bites, spider bites etc. Using an insect repellent may be necessary but remember some brands are very harsh. Look for a natural insect repellent if possible.
  • Avoid sunburn at all cost! Especially if you have received radiation therapy.
  • Be aware of items that can cause a burn such as a curling iron, an iron, space heaters etc.
  • Avoid saunas, hot tubs, and hot showers. Avoid extreme temperatures, very cold or very hot.
  • Avoid lifting or moving heavy objects.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothing or jewelry.
  • Exercise, and be knowledgeable of how exercise effects the lymphedema.
  • Check your skin daily, and call your physician immediately if you notice any adverse changes in your lymphedematous body part or if you have fever and redness.

 

Additional Precautions for Leg Lymphedema

  • Proper shoe wear is essential in avoiding blisters and ingrown toenails, avoid high-heeled shoes.
  • Do not walk bare foot, especially outside.
  • Get all fungal infections treated immediately.
  • Do not receive injections to remove varicose veins in the affected leg.

This information is for educational purposes only. This information should not be used without consultation with your healthcare professional. If you have questions regarding the material or its application, seek professional assistance from your provider. This information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace healthcare professional consultation.

 

Healthy Recipes 101

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Healthy Recipes 101 features fit and lean recipes from online health resources!
SPINACH QUICHE
This recipe uses the prepared pie crusts found in the freezer section of your supermarket. You can find some alternative brands with more fiber and less saturated fat at health food and specialty stores. Since prepared pie crusts are usually high in fat, we’re keeping the filling nice and light. Read More

Written by WebMD.com

Healthy Recipes 101

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Healthy Recipes 101 features fit and lean recipes from online health resources!

HEALTHY MULTIGRAIN MUFFINS
This recipe makes delicious, healthy and versatile muffins. I have tried cranberries, apple pieces, almonds and macadamias as well. You can use any fruit or nut that you especially like. Read More

Written by contributor to Food.com

PT News

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This Month in PT News. Featuring articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Decreasing Cartilage Loss in Osteoarthritis
Written by the Therapy Team at The Jackson Clinics Physical Therapy – Northern Virginia

Although some over-the-counter nutritional supplements have been advertised as capable of rebuilding cartilage in arthritic joints, the claims most often do not stand up under scientific scrutiny. Read more

2. Treating Degenerative Meniscus Tears
Written by the Therapy Team at The Jackson Clinics Physical Therapy – Northern Virginia

During the aging process, the fibrous cartilage between the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia) within the knee can degenerate and become prone to tearing. Read more

3. Five Stretching Tips Before You Workout
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy – San Antonio, TX

As temperatures start to warm up, many of you will start to hit the streets, trails, and parks to exercise outdoors. Read more

whiplash

PT News

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This Month in PT News. Featuring articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

serious car accident

1. Seeing a Physical Therapist After an Accident
Written by Cody Kenison, PT, DPT, CSCS at Parkside Physical Therapy – Spokane, WA

Anyone who has been involved in an accident and is now struggling to cope with a resulting injury should seriously consider visiting a physical therapist. Read more

thinking healthy

2. What You Eat Affects Inflammation and Healing
Written by Meghan Russo, PTA at the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Grand Rapids, MI

Did you know that many foods can decrease or increase inflammation and help to decrease pain? Read more

running couple

3. Tips for Beginner Runners
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy – San Antonio, TX

If you think running is not for you – think again. Read more

Healthy Recipes 101

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Healthy Recipes 101 features fit and lean recipes from online health resources!

SLOPPY JOE’S
The reduced-sodium tomato soup in this sloppy joe recipe cuts out 281 milligrams of sodium per serving. Using extra-lean ground beef and thoroughly draining off the fat after cooking reduces the fat content of the recipe. Read More

Written by the Mayo Clinic Staff at Mayo Clinic

PT News

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This Month in PT News. Featuring articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Exercise after Knee Replacement Surgery
Written by the Therapy Team at Cornerstone Physical Therapy – Gahanna, OH

If you’ve been undergoing treatment for knee arthritis and haven’t gotten any pain relief yet, your doctor may recommend a total knee replacement surgery. Read more

2. Low Back Pain and Sciatica Workshop
Written by the Therapy Team at Oregon Spine & Physical Therapy – Eugene, OR

If you are suffering with chronic back pain or sciatica and you’re looking for some help… why don’t you start by attending one of our Educational Workshops so you can make a better, more educated and more informed decision about your options to ease it. Read more

3. Inflammation and Your Diet
Written by Cheryl Schwieters, Physical Therapist Assistant at the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Grand Rapids, MI

Throughout the day the body is constantly being bombarded with substances that can trigger inflammation. Read more

high blood pressure

Recommendations to Help Prevent High Blood Pressure

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PreventHighBloodPressure_FBsize

Hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure. High blood pressure puts extra strain on the heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys. It carries with it an increased risk of death and disability from coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease.

High blood pressure is very common but can’t be seen or felt. Many people with high blood pressure don’t know they have it. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to keep track of your numbers. You can get your blood pressure checked at your doctor’s office, at home, or at your local pharmacy. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

Defining High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is defined by 2 numbers (systolic and diastolic). The systolic or top number measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The diastolic or bottom number measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats.

The normal blood pressure varies with age, usually increasing as we get older. In general, systolic blood pressure (SBP) less than 120 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) less than 80 mm Hg are considered normal and prehypertension is a SBP120-139 mm Hg or DPB 80-89 mm Hg. Abnormal levels include:
• Stage 1 hypertension—SBP 140-159 mm Hg or DPB 90-99 mm Hg
• Stage 2 hypertension—SBP more than 160 mm Hg or DBP more than 100 mm Hg

In people with diabetes or kidney disease, the targets numbers are lower. Check with your doctor to see what your target range should be.

Common Risk Factors
There is no single cause for high blood pressure, but there are several factors that can increase your risk.

Some risk factors for high blood pressure include:
• Age: middle-aged or elderly—onset generally happens at 20-50 years, but likelihood increases with age
• Race: African American
• Gender: Male

Medical factors, such as:
• Diabetes
Obesity
Metabolic syndrome—A condition marked by elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and body weight. Excess weight centered around the midsection is of particular concern.
• A family history of high blood pressure
Sleep apnea
• Prehypertension

Lifestyle factors, such as:
Smoking
• Being physically inactive
• Taking birth control pills
• Having diet high in red meat, salt, and saturated and trans fats
• High alcohol intake

Risk factors don’t mean you will get high blood pressure, but that you have an increased chance of developing it. Fortunately, there are also factors that can help you prevent high blood pressure or lower your blood pressure if you already have elevated blood pressure.

blood_pressure

Lifestyle Guidelines to Prevent or Reduce High Blood Pressure
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s recommendations to help prevent or lower high blood pressure include:
• Losing weight if you are overweight
• Increasing levels of physical activity—Aim for 30 minutes per day on most days of the week.
• Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products
• Eating a diet that is low in saturated and total fat
• Limiting consumption of sodium (salt) to less than 2,300 milligrams per day
• Drinking alcohol only in moderation—This means 1 drink or less per day for women and 2 drinks per day or less for men.

Another approach endorsed by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is use of the DASH diet. This is a special low-salt diet which has been shown effective in both preventing and treating high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a major player in heart disease and stroke. Protect yourself and know your numbers. The next time you take a trip to the pharmacy, check your blood pressure. If you do it on a regular basis and follow the lifestyle guidelines, you may be able to avoid future problems.

by Michael Jubinville, MPH

RESOURCES:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov

American Heart Association
http://www.heart.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Heart & Stroke Association
http://www.heartandstroke.ca

REFERENCES:
Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, et al. Seventh report of the Joint National Committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure. Hypertension. 2003;42(6):1206-1252.

How can high blood pressure be prevented? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp/prevention. Updated September 10, 2015. Accessed August 2, 2016.

Hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 12, 2016. Accessed August 2, 2016.

Hypertension treatment in patients with diabetes. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 11, 2016. Accessed August 2, 2016.

Preventing high blood pressure: Healthy living habits. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/what_you_can_do.htm. Updated July 7, 2014. Accessed August 2, 2016.

Understanding your risk for high blood pressure. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandYourRiskforHighBloodPressure/Understand-Your-Risk-for-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_002052_Article.jsp#.V6CgG02FPIU. Updated June 29, 2016. Accessed August 2, 2016.

Whelton PK, He J, Appel LJ, et al. Clinical and public health advisory from the National High Blood Pressure Education Program. JAMA. 2002;288(15):1882-1888.

Last reviewed July 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 8/2/2016

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.