Sunday, February 21, 2016

Eight tips for healthy eating

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. It doesn't have to be difficult either. Just follow these eight tips to get started.

The key to a healthy diet is to do the following:
  • Eat the right amount of calories for how active you are, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight. It is recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules). Most adults are eating more calories than they need, and should eat fewer calories.
  • Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
Get started
These practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating, and can help you make healthier choices:

Base your meals on starchy foods
Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties (or eat potatoes with their skins on) when you can: they contain more fibre, and can help you feel full.
Most of us should eat more starchy foods: try to include at least one starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.

Eat lots of fruit and veg
It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day. It’s easier than it sounds. A glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice (150ml) can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How to Actually Get a Good Workout on the Elliptical Machine

To reap maximum benefits, put away distractions and pick up interval training.

Doing the same workout day after day may be effective at first, but it will eventually lead to a fitness plateau.
Out of all the cardio machines, the elliptical probably gets the most side-eye. People tend to think it's boring and ineffective (research even says so!), and the go-to source for an easy, mindless workout, if even that. But it turns out there are plenty of science-backed benefits to the elliptical, like raising your heart rate even more than the treadmill and improving fitness just as efficiently as the treadmill or Stairmaster.

What's more, there's actually a right and wrong way to use it. With the correct form and plan of attack, you can get a truly killer workout on the machine. To find out how to make the most of every stride, we asked top fitness experts for their best advice, plus an effective 20-minute workout.

Do: Make a plan before hitting “start.”

Before even stepping foot on the machine, set an intention for the workout. “Ask yourself what you want to achieve that day,” says Leanne Weiner, a personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. “Then monitor your perceived level of exertion — where zero is like going for a leisurely stroll and at 10 you’re completely out of breath — throughout the workout to make sure you’re not just dialing

4 Healthy Ways to Make Sex Feel Better Tonight

By Amy Levine, MA, CSE, Special to Health

Three simple letters that elicit myriad thoughts and feelings. Sex has the potential to involve all of the senses, turn us on, happen solo or with a partner, allow us the opportunity to give and to receive, and be incredibly pleasurable. But for many people, sex isn’t the connected and fulfilling experience we know is possible. Sometimes pain or discomfort is to blame. Other times it’s sabotaged by common issues like body-bashing thoughts, anxiety, or stress. Often with subtle adjustments, sex can feel and be a lot better.

As a sex coach, I often play detective with my clients to figure out what they need to elevate their sexual experiences. Here are some of the solutions I share with them that I think will help you have a more pleasurable sex life too.

1. Sex Shouldn’t Require Mind-Reading
Here’s a four-letter word that will make sex better: T-A-L-K.

We can’t expect our partners to read our minds. It’s essential we know what we need, want, and desire. Communication is directly related to our pleasure potential.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

5 Reasons Why Skin Cancer Surgery Isn’t So Scary

Get the inside scoop on Mohs surgery, the most popular treatment option for basal and squamous cell carcinomas.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat to minimize your sun exposure.

Veva Vesper has dealt with more than her fair share of skin cancer in the last 25 years. The 69-year-old Ohio resident has had more than 500 squamous cell carcinomas removed since the late 1980s, when the immunosuppressant medication she was taking for a kidney transplant caused her to develop them all over her body — everywhere from the corner of her eye to her legs.

While Vesper’s story is unusual, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. In fact, it’s currently estimated that one in five Americans will get skin cancer in his or her lifetime.

Mike Davis, a 65-year-old retired cop, and like Vesper, a patient at The Skin Cancer Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, has a more familiar story. Earlier this year, he had a basal cell carcinoma removed from his left ear — the side of his face most exposed to UV damage when driving on patrol.

The buildup of sun exposure over your lifetime puts you at greater risk for developing basal and squamous cell skin carcinomas as you age. Both Vesper and Davis had Mohs surgery, the most effective and precise way to remove the two most common types of skin cancer.

“The benefits of Mohs surgery are twofold: One, you’re going to remove just the cells you need to without having to take a lot of unnecessary tissue, and two, Mohs surgery can tout cure rates of 99 percent,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in New York City and the

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sex Secrets You Should Know

By Dennis Thompson Jr. | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

Men who want to enjoy a good sex life should know their partner can be the best source of sex secrets. From erection to orgasm, communication is key.

Good sex with your partner can get even better. There are many ways men can both enjoy sex more and better please their partners. Just keep in mind that while there are some solid guidelines for improving your sex life, the best kept sex secrets are the ones waiting to be unearthed in your relationship.

"I think each guy is different and each relationship is different," says Paul Joannides, PsyD, a research psychoanalyst in Waldport, Ore., and author of The Guide To Getting It On. "You need to appreciate that what might work for your best friend and his wife might not work for you and your partner."

Start Talking About Sex
Ironically, some of the best sex secrets are those men and women keep from each other, Dr. Joannides says. To have good sex, you need to talk about your likes and dislikes.

"One of the most important things to do is to ask and to listen," says Joannides. "A lot of guys are terrified that some people may think they don't know all the answers. Also, some guys think they do know all the answers."

It can be difficult to broach the subject of sex. But here are tips from Joannides that can clue you in to 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

80% of heart attacks in men can be prevented through healthy lifestyle behaviors

Due to the results of a recent study, researchers stress that people can save a lot of money and preserve their well-being by living a healthy lifestyle. The study examined various aspects of healthy living as well as the rates by which men experienced myocardial infarction (MI) or a heart attack.

An estimated 1.5 million cases of MI occur in the U.S. each year. This condition leaves the muscle tissue in the heart irreversibly damaged, according to Medscape.

The study's aim was to examine the benefit of a combined low-risk diet with healthy lifestyle practices on MI occurrences in men. To explore this goal, the researchers reviewed detailed questionnaires filled out by men regarding their diets and lifestyles.

Medical records were also examined, which included checking the men's history for cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and high cholesterol levels. The participants included more than

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

The number of hours of sleep you need to stay healthy and alert differs according to your age.
Teenagers need between 8 to 10 hours of sleep, while adults should get 7 to 9 hours.

Sure, you’re eating your vegetables and fruits and squeezing in exercise at least 20 minutes a day, but are you getting enough sleep, too? The latest sleep recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation may make you want to think twice about skimping on essential shut-eye. Sleep is key to your physical health and emotional vitality, but just how many hours of sleep you need depends on your age and stage of development.

“Sleep is important for mental function: alertness, memory consolidation, mood regulation, and physical health,” says Phyllis C. Zee, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Too few hours of sleep or poor sleep could pave the way to a myriad of emotional and physical problems, from diabetes to obesity, explains Dr. Zee. “In fact, data shows that with sleep loss, there are changes in the way the body handles glucose, which could lead to a state of insulin resistance (pre-diabetes),” says Dr. Zee. “There is also evidence that lack of sleep alters appetite regulation, which may lead to overeating or food choices that can also contribute to overweight and obesity.”

Monday, February 8, 2016

Are you putting Monsanto in your vagina? 85% of tampons and feminine hygiene products contaminated with cancer-causing glyphosate herbicide

 Are you putting Monsanto in your vagina
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, over 50 American women were killed by their tampons. Although the FDA and the feminine hygiene industry have gone to tremendous lengths to try to memory hole this true history (and label it just a "rumor"), tampons made from certain non-natural fibers were found to harbor deadly bacteria and release a sufficient quantity of chemicals to kill or injure over a thousand women.

As the Organic Consumers Association has published:

The worst offenders were Procter and Gamble’s ultra-absorbent Rely tampons. According to the book Soap Opera: The Inside Story of Procter and Gamble, the company dismissed consumer complaints about the tampons for years. A 1975 company memo disclosed that Rely tampons contained known cancer-causing agents and that the product altered the natural organisms found in the vagina. Rely tampons were taken off the shelves in 1980, but many women claim they left a legacy of hysterectomies and loss of fertility.

Among health-conscious women, the toxicity of mainstream tampons has long been an issue of concern. "Just as I say heck no to Cottonseed oil, it is for the same reason I say heck no to sticking

Sunday, February 7, 2016

What You Need to Know About Vaginal Dryness

By Laura Berman, PhD
A dry vagina is a common problem for women that affects their enjoyment of sex.

Although many women are embarrassed to discuss vaginal dryness, the truth is that it is something most of us will grapple with a dry vagina at some point in our lives. There are many causes for vaginal dryness, but perhaps the most common is menopause. In fact, research indicates that 40 to 60 percent of women suffer from vaginal dryness as a result of menopause.

Menopause causes a dip in estrogen which can sometimes lead to vaginal dryness. Estrogen plays a role in vaginal lubrication, and it also helps to balance the pH of the vagina; so when menopause strikes, women are more likely to suffer from vaginal dryness along with yeast infections (which result from the pH being off-balance). As if hot flashes weren’t bad enough!

Menopause isn’t the only culprit behind vaginal dryness. It’s also linked to hormonal birth control, douching, infection, and stress. Sadly, some women don’t ever discover the cause for their vaginal dryness because they are too embarrassed to broach the topic with their doctor. Yet a dry vagina can negatively interfere with a woman’s sexual enjoyment. It can make sex painful and lead to problems in a couple’s relationship. If the pain and dryness a woman experiences continues untreated for a long period of time, she may begin to cringe at the very idea of sex. This can lead her to resist sexual advances from her partner altogether, and even if the

Ask Dr. Berman: Low Self-Esteem Can Plague Your Relationships

By Laura Berman, PhD
Does low self-worth negatively impact your relationships?
Q: I struggle with maintaining healthy self-esteem in my relationships. Sometimes I don’t feel like my partner really wants to be with me or that I am worth the effort a relationship takes. What are some ways I can improve my self-esteem and have better relationships in the future?

A: You are certainly right that healthy self-esteem is crucial in establishing and maintaining a long-term happy relationship. If you don’t feel worthy of a loving, passionate relationship, then you are probably going to settle for less when it comes to picking a mate who is deserving of you. Or, perhaps you will find a wonderful mate, but your own lack of self-esteem will lead to trust and insecurity issues within the relationship. Whatever the case, low self-worth can definitely throw a wrench into your love life — and into your bedroom. After all, how can you really let go and enjoy sexual pleasure if you feel ashamed or unhappy in your own skin?

The good news is that there are several ways you can improve your self-esteem.

First, it’s important to find the source of where your feelings are coming from so you can address the root of the problem. For example, does your low self-esteem stem from negative experiences in your childhood or from being cheated on or mistreated by partners in the past? Figuring out where your low self-esteem

Friday, February 5, 2016

Infection-Protection: 10-fun-Ways-to-Boost-Immunity

Several million years ago, it is hypothesized, the first Stone Age human caught the first cold. Ever since then, doctors, nurses, herbalists, shaman and healers of every sort have been confounded by colds and flu. Over the years, these devilish pathogens have been treated with cold baths, wet feet, chili peppers, tobacco, and the application of blood-sucking leeches.

Now we understand that colds and flu are caused by viruses -- but we're still no closer to a cure. The only defense is a good offense. But who says it has to be a drag?

Besides eating right, washing your hands regularly and getting enough sleep, you can maximize your pathogen-fighting potential with a handful of entertaining activities.

Source :

Fast-Tracking Drugs Leads to Weaker Post-Market Review, Study Finds

By Susan E. Matthews, Everyday Health Staff Writer
New research shows that drugs that are expedited for approval are tested on fewer patients and don't get proper follow-up research.

A new paper out in JAMA Internal Medicine questions whether FDA fast-tracking of drugs is safe for patients.

Researchers at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Horsham, Penn., and at Wake Forest School of Medicine looked at track records on the 40 percent of new drugs the FDA approved in 2008 that were fast-tracked. They found that fast-tracked drugs had been tested in fewer patients than drugs that went through the regular approval process, and that required post-approval follow-up studies still have not been conducted on many of the drugs.

“We’ve placed all this emphasis on approving drugs quickly,” said study author Thomas Moore, A.B., of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. “The questions we left on the table get answered very slowly.”

The researchers analyzed all of the drugs the FDA approved in 2008. Of the 20 that were approved, 8 had been expedited to increase the speed of the process, which is done for particularly promising or novel drugs, or those for life-threatening diseases.

The drugs that were expedited that year were approved after only an average of 5.1 years of clinical development, with the shortest time to approval being 1.6 years and the longest 10.6 years. For drugs on a normal track, the average length of clinical development was 7.5 years, with the fastest being 4.7 years and the slowest coming in at 19.4.  Additionally, the researchers found that expedited drugs had been tested only on a median 104 patients, while normal-track drugs had been tested

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Train Like an Olympian With Lindsey Vonn's Lower-Body Workout

Lindsey's lower-body workout torches calories and builds muscle in all the right places.

Lower-Body Workout-1

1.Tone your legs and thighs
by Alison Prato

Lower-Body Workout-2
Why not train like an Olympian? Lindsey is sharing her secrets. These moves tone and trim everything from your core to the floor. Do this series three or four times a week, and a better bottom half awaits. 

2.Single-Leg Box Squat

Stand on right leg in front of a plyo box (or bench), with toes of left foot resting on box and arms at sides, an 8-pound dumbbell in each hand (A). Lower body down until right leg forms a 90-degree angle (B). Return to "A." Do 10 to 12 reps, then switch legs and repeat.
Lower-Body Workout-3

3.Single-Leg Lift

Start on hands and knees, with abs tight (A). Squeeze butt as you lift left leg up to form a 90-degree angle (B). Return to start. Do 10 to 12 reps, then switch legs and repeat.

Best and Worst Foods for Sex

Libido-boosting foods
by Ashley Macha
                                                                                                                                           It can take more than just a few candles and a Marvin Gaye song to feel sexy. A healthy lifestyle—from the food you eat to the exercise you do—can make you look and feel better, and improve your sex life, too. At the same time, some foods can be mood- and libido-killers. 

"The link between food and sex drive isn’t just wishful thinking" says Cynthia Sass, RD, author of S.A.S.S Yourself Slim "Studies show that certain foods or nutrients do play a role in boosting libido and supporting a healthy sex life."

Here are a variety of foods that can put some sizzle—or fizzle—in your sex life.   

We'll say it: Strawberries are sexy. Here's why. Good circulation is thought to be crucial for sexual functioning in both men and women, and strawberries are rich in antioxidants that benefit your heart and arteries.

What's more, they're rich in vitamin C, which along with antioxidants, has been linked to higher sperm counts in men. Try dipping the berries in dark chocolate, which contains methylxanthines that may activate the libido. 


A glass of wine can make you feel relaxed and chatty on a date, and it's the social lubricant that often gets strangers talking to one another in a bar.

But in reality, alcohol can be one of the worst things for your love life. Too much alcohol dampens sexual desire, decreases

Monday, February 1, 2016

Effects of cancer screening on overall mortality overstated, says report

There is insufficient evidence to claim cancer screening saves lives, argue experts in a report published in The BMJ, who call for future studies to assess the impact of cancer screening on overall mortality rather than disease-specific mortality alone.

Screening tests are available for a number of cancers, including breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, prostate and ovarian cancers.

Numerous studies have suggested cancer screening can reduce disease-specific mortality risk. A study reported by Medical News Today last month, for example, claimed ovarian cancer screening can reduce long-term mortality from the disease by 20%.

But what about the effect of cancer screening on overall mortality?
According to Vinay Prasad, assistant professor at Oregon Health & Science University, and colleagues, despite most studies finding a reduction in disease-specific mortality with cancer screening, few have shown reductions in overall mortality, and some have even found an increase in overall mortality.

Furthermore, the authors note that in cases where cancer screening was associated with falls in both disease-specific and overall mortality, the effect was still stronger for disease-specific mortality.
Screening studies 'underpowered' to identify benefits to overall mortality

In their report, Prasad and colleagues suggest two key reasons why studies have identified a significantly greater reduction in disease-specific mortality than overall mortality.

They say studies may be "underpowered" to identify small benefits in overall mortality, explaining that such studies fuel assumption and uncertainty about benefits rather than a true assessment of the scientific evidence.

Additionally, the team suggests any reduction in disease-specific mortality could be offset by deaths as a result of the negative effects of cancer screening. "Such 'off-target deaths' are particularly likely among screening tests associated with false-positive results, overdiagnosis of non-harmful cancers, and detection of incidental findings," they explain.

The authors use prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing as an example, noting that the screening method - which leads to more than 1 million prostate biopsies annually - often leads to false-positive results.

Such results have been associated with increased risk of hospital admission and death, and some studies have linked prostate cancer diagnosis to increased risk of heart attack and suicide.

"The overall effect of cancer screening on mortality is more complex than a disease-specific endpoint can capture, owing to the harms of further testing, overdiagnosis, and overtreatment," note the authors
General public have an 'inflated sense' of cancer screening benefits

But despite these shortfalls in scientific research, Prasad and colleagues say data has indicated that the general public have an "inflated sense" of the benefits of cancer screening, but they are less aware of the harms such screening may cause.

The authors cite a study that found 68% of women believed mammography - a screening method for breast cancer - would reduce their risk of developing breast cancer, 62% believed the screening halves breast cancer rates, while 75% believed mammography would prevent 10 deaths from breast cancer in every 1,000 women.

However, they point to a Cochrane review of mammography that found no reduction in breast cancer deaths "when adequately randomized trials were analyzed."

So, what is driving this "inflated sense" of cancer screening benefits? The authors believe supporters of cancer screening have focused on promoting the benefits of screening rather than harms, and they suggest that some screening advocates even engage in fear-mongering.

"But as long as we are unsure of the mortality benefits of screening," say the authors, "we cannot provide people with the information they need to make an informed choice. We must be honest about this uncertainty."

Zika Update

The virus continues to spread as countries issue pregnancy advisories and drug firms pick up on vaccine development.                
As the mosquito-borne Zika virus has now spread to at least 23 countries in the Americas in recent months, the World Health Organization (WHO) is convening an emergency meeting on International Health Regulations Monday (February 1), Director-General Margaret Chan announced today (January 28).

Meanwhile, four countries—Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Colombia—have asked women to delay getting pregnant for fear the virus can cause severe brain damage in fetuses. And some airlines have offered refund to pregnant travelers who booked trips to countries where Zika is circulating.

President Obama chimed in this week, calling for an acceleration of “research efforts to make

Exercising With Physical Limitations

As Dom Lassonde felt the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis creep into his body, the 40-year-old Vancouver Islander knew he needed a different way to stay fit. The autoimmune disease inflamed his synovial membranes—a connective tissue in joints that produces lubricating fluid for smooth movement—so much it felt like shards of glass were lining his joints. Ultimate Frisbee and hockey, two of his regular activities, were no longer feasible. 

After beginning a new medication regime about a year after his diagnosis, Lassonde could cycle and swim—activities that put less stress on his joints. He was right to keep moving: according to the American College of Rheumatology, regular aerobic exercise, especially when combined with strength training, can reduce joint pain.

Lassonde is one of many Canadians living with a physical limitation that makes exercise difficult. Two common issues, chronic pain and heart disease—which affect 3.9 million and 1.3 million Can­adians, respectively—make it challenging for individuals to achieve the 150 minutes of weekly moderate aer­obic exercise, or cardio, recommended by the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (CPAG).