So, as we head toward Memorial Day – and the summer months – enjoy our top 5 posts from the first part of 2018, in order of popularity:
March 20, 2018
On top of all the other wonderful things about spring, it can also be a great time to work on improving your health.
While working on your health goals may not be as fun as watching spring training or walking through a blossom-filled park, your health is important. Very important. And not only to you but also to those close to you. So why not take a little time to improve your health at a time of year that can give a you a leg-up toward success?
You can re-up on a New Year’s resolution – which for some people can get a bit wobbly around this time of year – or you can leave winter in the rearview mirror and pick something brand new to work on.
And Washington University in St. Louis’s re-designed website, Your Disease Risk, can help. First launched in January 2000, it provides disease risk estimates and personalized prevention tips for 12 different cancers, plus heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and COPD.
Newly updated to work on all screen sizes – from desktop to phone – it is an evidence-based resource that translates the latest science on health and disease prevention into simple messages people can use. And its new behavior rankings function can now show you at a glance which healthy changes may lower your risk of disease the most.
“We designed Your Disease Risk to be an engaging tool to help people learn about their risk and improve their health,” says Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, Professor of Medicine and inventor of the site. “And the new behavior rankings provide added information that can help with setting health goals.”
by Hank Dart
In my many years of writing about and promoting healthy behaviors, I’m happy to say that I’ve at least tried to put into practice just about everything I’ve espoused. Of course, like many people, my success at doing so can be uneven. Some behaviors I do pretty well with – like exercise, olive oil, and fruits & vegetables. And some I admittedly struggle with – like, whole grains and added sugar.
But there’s one behavior I’ve written about a great deal but have never actually done myself. Regular weighing. Stepping on the bathroom scale every day (or every week) and logging my weight.
Studies show that regular weighing can be a good tool for maintaining weight, especially in those who have lost weight and are working to keep it off. Because weight gain can creep up on people – a pound here, two pounds there – it’s pretty easy to step on the scale after some months or years away and be surprised at the number staring up at you. Regular weighing can keep such jolts at bay and help us make small adjustments to how much we eat and how active we are so we can keep moving toward our long-term weight goals – whether it’s keeping weight steady or trying to slowly lose some weight.
And weight is a struggle for most of us in the United States. Over two-thirds of the population is overweight or obese, and this has a huge impact on the health of individuals and the nation. Being overweight is a cause of numerous cancers as well as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also hamper mobility and overall quality of life.
So, after years of writing about the benefits of regular weighing, it was time to put down my keyboard and hop on the scale. On November 18, the week leading into Thanksgiving, I weighed myself for the first time in probably nine months and began my (almost) daily weighing program (see figure).
It’s March, which means it’s both National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and National Nutrition Month. And that’s an apt combination.
A number of healthy diet tips can help lower the risk of colon cancer. And they’re all pretty straightforward.
Eat whole grains
Whole grains are filled with fiber and other healthy nutrients. And eating more of them can help lower the risk of colon cancer. Instead of foods like sugary cereals, white rice, and white bread, choose whole-grain cereals, whole-wheat bread, and brown or wild rice. If you’re not used to eating whole grains, add them to your routine a bit at a time – building up to three or more servings a day. They taste great but can take a bit of getting used to.
Limit red meat, especially processed meat
Eating too much red meat – like steak, hamburger and pork – increases the risk of colon cancer. And processed meats – like bacon, sausage and bologna – raise risk even more. Try to eat no more than three servings each week. Less is even better. Fish, chicken breasts and healthy plant-based proteins (like beans) are great alternatives…< continue >
January 2, 2018
Parents grow up wanting their kids to be healthy and happy. And taking control of your child’s health may be easier than you think with evolving research. We know that with healthy eating, encouraging exercise, staying safe in the sun, and getting scheduled vaccinations your child is on the right path to having a lower cancer risk later in life.
What’s even better news is that within the past decade, a specific vaccine has also been created to protect against at least five different types of cancers. This vaccine, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, is now recommended for all girls and boys during their annual check-ups.
Unfortunately, nationwide only 65 percent of girls initiate the HPV vaccination series and 49 percent receive the two recommended doses, while only 56 percent of boys initiate and 37 percent complete the series.
The good news is now the HPV vaccine is available for boys and girls to protect thems before they become sexually active…< continue >
February 27, 2018
A recently published clinical trial out of Stanford University found that high-quality low-fat and high-quality low-carbohydrate diets could be equally effective for weight loss.
It was a positive finding from a well-designed study.
In the trial, approximately 600 overweight and obese adults were randomly assigned to one of two diet groups (low-fat or low-carbohydrate) and followed over a 12-month period. During the study, participants attended regular nutrition classes where emphasis was placed on healthy, high-quality foods – such as whole grains, healthy fats, and minimally processed foods.
Participants were not specifically instructed to lower their calorie intake…< continue >