Contents

If I collected a dime for each time Ive seen or heard the word carbohydrate - or picked up a book on the subject, for that matter - Id be a wealthy woman. And of course weve all heard the buzzwords: simple carb; complex carb; high carb; low carb; no carb. But do we really know what a carbohydrate is? And are carbs really as bad and fattening as were told they are?In this article, Ill make my best attempt to unveil the mystery of the carbohydrate - and why its gott...

Carbohydrates: Why Size Matters

Carbohydrates: Why Size MattersIf I collected a dime for each time Ive seen or heard the word carbohydrate - or picked up a book on the subject, for that matter - Id be a wealthy woman. And of course weve all heard the buzzwords: simple carb; complex carb; high carb; low carb; no carb. But do we really know what a carbohydrate is? And are carbs really as bad and fattening as were told they are?In this article, Ill make my best attempt to unveil the mystery of the carbohydrate - and why its gotten such a bad rap. After all, its the molecule both scientists and nutritionists know is the main source of the bodys energy.Basic Chemistry:First the boring stuff. The basic chemistry of a carbohydrate. Ill keep it brief: Carbohydrates contain a carbon atom attached to water molecules. This is important because its the structure and size of a carbohydrate which influences the speed by which its converted into glucose (sugar) and then into energy.Why Are Carbs Useful?Before we take a look at the different sizes of carbohydrates, lets look at why they are useful to us. Aside from supplying the bodys energy, carbs are also useful for the proper functioning of internal organs, as well as proper function of the muscles and nervous system. The most exciting feature of a carbohydrate, in this writers opinion, however, is its ability to aid in protein and fat metabolism. So as it turns out, when used wisely, carbohydrates are actually useful in burning fat.The Three Principal Carbs Found In Foods:Next lets take a look at the three basic carbohydrates found in foods (Still boring but stay with me). They are: simple sugars, starches and fiber.Simple Sugars come in two varieties. The monosaccharide (meaning one sugar) are quickly digested and almost immediately utilized by the body due to their simple structure (think fruits, fruit juices and honey).The second, disaccharides, act in almost the same way and are one molecule larger. The disaccharides, however, tend to be more of the refined sugars are very sweet to taste (think white sugar, candy etc.)The second basic type of carbs are the starches or what we would consider complex carbs (the polysaccharides): foods such as potatoes, wheat, rice, corn. These carbs are slow to break down and take some time to be converted into energy.Finally, theres the fibers (think bran). Fibers dont have a lot of energetic value, however, they do lend some support to the body. Because they dont add much sugar to the system, they make it further through the pipeline to help with intestinal function and elimination. Moreover, they reduce cholesterol and slow fat absorption.Why Size MattersThe theory behind a low carbohydrate diets is, when the body consumes too many carbohydrates the excess will become stored by the body as fat. This is true.When the body ingests a carbohydrate, it aims to convert it to glucose as soon as it can, so that it can be utilized by the body. If there is some excess, no problem, it will get stored as glycogen in the limited space of the muscles. The trouble arises, when the stores exceeded capacity: the remaining molecules are stored as fat in fat cells that can infinitely expand (horrors!).Yet, what if there was a way to outsmart this system by using the different sizes of carbohydrate molecules to your advantage? What if you could keep the body burning carbs at a steady rate according to the speed of your metabolism and your activity level?Enter the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a scale which tells you (on a food-by-food basis) the rate at which a carbohydrate is converted into glucose. The scale is calibrated by glucose itself (which is rated at 100). The higher the number the faster the conversion.First used by diabetics to prevent flux in blood sugar, the glycemic index (GI) has become a popular way to get all the benefits of carbohydrates without the threat of fat storage.Heres what the scale looks like:Low GI = 55 or lessMedium GI = 56 - 69High GI = 70 or moreTo see a chart with samples of some favorite foods visit: http://thecompounder.com/GlycemicIndex.htmlHow Is The GI Helpful?If weight loss or weight maintenance is your goal (isnt it everyones?), creating a diet around lower GI foods will decrease peaks in glucose levels. Its as simple as that. You can implement this eating pattern by scanning the low glycemic foods and aiming to consume a serving at each meal, this will also help you avoid both the highs and lows of the refined sugar rush.Higher glycemic foods can be useful, too, and are considered the recovery foods. Medium and high GI foods should be consumed for up to two hours after exercise to recover lost carbohydrates and maintain steady blood-sugar levels.Because metabolism varies from person to person, it would be well worth your time and effort to continue a personal study of the glycemic index. Enjoy your carbs by checking in on your favorite foods and decide when its best to consume them.Where To Get This Information?You can get the skinny on the glycemic indexes of all your favorite carbohydrate foods. Check out the searchable data base at: www.glycemicindex.comIn closing, heres a few guidelines to help you put your carbs to good use:*Aim to eat several small meals during the day. Choose one serving of carbs for each, preferably low GI.*When in doubt choose carbohydrates that are naturally occurring such as vegetables and fruits.*Minimize refined sugars whenever possible.*When consuming breads aim for wheat instead of white.*Try to substitute white potatoes with sweet and substitute brown rice for white.

Stop Smoking, Regain Your Health

Stop Smoking, Regain Your Health

No one would say that it is easy to stop smoking. But since millions of people have successfully quit smoking, it simply means that kicking the tobacco habit is not impossible. Quitting smoking does not only make one feel better, it also entails making drastic yet positive changes in one's life. Putting an end to one's nicotine addiction will enable a person to have better health, gain savings by no longer spending on cigarettes, enhance social acceptance, and set a good example for the younger generation to follow. Taking care of one's health is the most obvious and equally the most important reason why a person should "stop smoking" . Almost everyone knows that smoking can cause lung cancer, but only a few know that smoking also increases the risk for other types of cancer, lung diseases, heart attacks, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. The said habit also causes premature wrinkling of the skin, bad breath, yellow fingernails, pregnancy problems (miscarriage or low birth weight), and higher risks of heart attacks, stroke, and clot formation for women who uses oral contraceptives. It really does not matter how long one smoked, but as long as one stops smoking, this will definitely bring benefits to one's health. In fact, those who stopped smoking before 35 avoid 90 percent of the health risks associated with nicotine and tobacco. The next thing to consider would be the actual financial cost of smoking. Smoking is expensive, and the economic cost of smoking is estimated to be about $4,000 a year for an average smoker. Figure out how much a person spends on smoking by multiplying how much money is spent for tobacco each day by 365. Now multiply this by the number of years that a smoker used tobacco. This equals to how much one spends on smoking. Another way would be multiplying the amount spent per year by 10. This will be the cost if one keeps smoking for another ten years. Think of other ways to spend that kind of money. This computation does not even include higher costs of health and life insurance, and the medical costs due to tobacco-related conditions.Smoking is less socially acceptable now that it was in the past. In fact, employers nowadays prefer to hire nonsmokers. Some workplaces even restrict smoking. The reason for this is probably because past studies reveal that smoking employees cost businesses more because they are "out sick" more frequently. Smoking in a building also increases the maintenance costs of keeping cleanliness and odors at an acceptable level. Landlords, too, may choose not to rent to smokers since maintenance costs and insurance rates may rise when smokers occupy buildings. Friends may ask you not to smoke in their houses or cars. Public buildings, concerts, and even sporting events are largely smoke-free. And more and more communities are restricting smoking in all public places, including restaurants and bars. In fact, finding a place to smoke nowadays can be quite a hassle. It can be frustrating but that's only because smoking is an inconvenient habit. It is really much easier to stop smoking than try to change or adapt the circumstances, things, and people around you to accept smoking.

Decompression Sickness: The Perils of Excessive Air Pressure

Decompression Sickness: The Perils of Excessive Air Pressure

Adventure, thrill, and courage --- these are the things that define scuba diving. Scuba stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. This this kind of diving is the act of swimming under water with the use of self-contained breathing equipment and oxygen tanks. By carrying a source of compressed air, a scuba diver is able to stay underwater for longer periodsof time using simple breath-holding techniques. Scuba diving enables individuals to explore deeper undersea, rather than a few meters under the surface. However, this form of diving also carries with it the risks that other sporting activities possess. Recent studies show that the chance of dying while scuba diving is somewhat higher than boxing and is almost 40 times higher than playing football or water-skiing. Many of the dangers that this activity posses are associated with pressure. A condition called decompression sickness usually occurs among scuba divers. As a diver breathes air into his lungs at the pressure that resembles that of the depth of water, pressure on his body also increases. The pressure increases rapidly underwater with the pressure doubling every 30 feet. After inhaling from a scuba cylinder at 30 feet, the act of rising to the surface results in the expansion of air in the chest as the air pressure declines. Because of this, the expanding air will need to escape, normally from the mouth or nose, bubbling its way to the surface. If the air passages become closed, the air may not be able to escape and will expand within the lungs, this may cause the lungs to erupt and cause life-threatening consequences. Air can escape from the erupted lung into the chest cavity, escape into the blood vessels, and carry bubbles to the heart and brain, which can be very fatal. This condition may cause breathing difficulties, chest pain, and sometimes death. Some of the usual symptoms of decompression sickness may include joint pain (most common symptom and may last for days or weeks) extreme fatigue, numbness, light-headedness, and skin rash. Other symptoms may include weakness in the arms or legs, loss of consciousness, and chest pain. To minimize the risk of decompression sickness, divers should do the following: Dive and rise slowly in the water, and don't stay at your deepest depth longer than recommended. Scuba divers typically use dive tables that show how long you can remain at a given depth. Do not fly within 24 hours after diving. Don't drink alcohol before diving. Avoid hot tubs, saunas, or hot baths after diving. Make sure you are well hydrated, well rested, and physically prepared before you scuba dive. If you recently had a serious illness, injury or surgery, talk to your doctor before diving. Certain individuals should avoid scuba diving because of the health risks they might encounter. People who have a defect, asthma, history of ruptured lung, or heart disease should ask the approval of doctors and other health specialists before deciding to dive. Individuals with groin hernia that has not been repaired should avoid scuba diving since expanding gas in the hernia may cause symptoms. Maintaining blood pressure and administering oxygen are some of the regular treatment for emergency sickness associated with scuba diving. The primary remedy for decompression sickness is the use of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. This chamber is a high-pressure chamber that allows the patient to receive 100% oxygen. This remedy can reverse the pressure changes that allowed gas bubbles to form. The chamber also helps drive nitrogen back to its liquid form, which is usually achieved in a couple of hours. Most cases of decompression sickness can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen. Doctors may suggest repeated treatments if symptoms of decompression sickness still remain. Like other sports and hobbies, the dangers of scuba diving can be minimized if individuals will take the necessary safety measures. Individuals who want to engage in this activity should seek the approval of doctors to avoid other unwanted ailments from developing.

Why Do We Age? | 7 Theories of Aging

Why Do We Age? | 7 Theories of Aging

Why do we age? Currently, there are seven theories on the aging process. Actually, we do not have a good scientific explanation for aging. We just know that our bodies were designed to grow old. There are seven major theories about why we age. All of them have some credibility.
The first is that our genes program ourselves to divide a certain number of times and once this division has reached the maximum number our bodies will begin to fail. This is the Telomar Theory. These are genetic elements that are controlling the number of allowable cell divisions.
The second is the general degradation of the neuroendocrine system. The neurological and hormonal systems that regulate the body finally wear out and make us susceptible to a host of diseases.
The third is that our body builds up so many toxins and other waste products that our systems begin to shut down. This toxic waste build up can even affect the structure of our genes.
The fourth is the wear and tear theory that living itself causes our joints and body parts to wear out.
The fifth theory is the free radical damage of aging. The body builds up free radical oxidants that damage our organs and our DNA causing us to age quickly.
The sixth theory is the glucose toxicity theory, which also has to do with waste build up, and the poor utilization and control of glucose within our physiological system.
The seventh theory of aging derives from the law of entropy that means that in the universal there is continual movement from order to disorder and that in our bodies this movement is marked by aging.
Why Do We Age? | What Gets Old
So what part of our body ages? Aging happens in particulars, our arteries get clogged, our joints flare up with arthritis, our parts start to slow down and wear out, and we do not heal as quickly as we used to.
Scientists have found that we all have certain genes in our make up that we are born with and today we cannot change, yet, but how we age is primarily up to us. Our environment, our tendencies, our activities, and our interactions are what matters. As a matter of fact, our inherited genetics account for less than 30% of all aging effects and the importance of genetic inheritance matters less and less as we age. By the age of 80, behavioral choices account almost entirely for your overall health and longevity.
Some people are biologically predisposed to early onset of arterial aging. They have inherited a tendency toward high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and weight gaining. While other people are culturally predisposed to the disease because they are far more likely to develop bad eating habits, high in saturated fat, that will accelerate the aging process within the artery. Many say you are as old as your arteries. When your arteries become clogged, they diminish the amount of oxygen and nutrients that can get to your cells. When this happens, our entire body ages more quickly. Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of adult Americans that claim 40% of us and seriously effecting more than half of us.
Genetic controls in your cells protect your cells from becoming cancerous. When these cellular controls slip you have total body wide systems that help control any pre-cancerous cells that develop. This is your immune system. Many types of arthritis are good examples of a break down in the immune system.
How you react to environment biologically, psychologically, and socially all have to do with how young you stay. Living and working in a hazardous environment obviously has a negative effect upon your health. While maintaining increased mental activity, becoming a life long learner, and maintaining close personal relationships with a few people and having several other good friends that are not so close but where you can laugh, have fun and enjoy life. Developing some passionate life producing interests keeps one young.
Why Do We Age? | Men and Women
Men reach their peak of performance curve in their late twenties and women in their mid thirties. Our bodies are fully matured, we are strongest and at our most mentally acute then. Somewhere between 28 and 36 years of age most people reach a turning point, a transition from growing into an aging process. Most people experience significant backaches between the age of 28 and 36 in my practice. When they reach that turning point and their ability to compensate, musculoskeletal and physiologically it starts to turn. This can be quite momentous event for men and women, for the first time in their life that they are really suffering.
Statistically, our physiological function and cognitive ability performance declines as we age. Each biological function decreases 3% to 6% per decade after age 35. But the good news is certain functions such as mental acuity and IQ have some people show almost no decline or even improve as they progress from 35 to 75 years old.
You may wish to take the online questionnaire at http://www.realage.com to determine what your real age is according to their approach. The resulting age you will get there is based on epidemiological research.

Basic Crunches For Abs!

Doing yoga on the ball can benefit anyone, including strong, limber athletes. Raise the bar on your yoga workout by adding ball work. Poses done on the round surface challenge balance and build core muscles while helping you develop inner focus.Basic Crunches for AbsWith your feet flat on the floor, place your lower back on the ball, and your upper body and thighs parallel to the floor. Do crunches as usual, lifting only your shoulders and upper back off the ball, using your abs.In normal everyday activity and traditional exercise, larger muscles tend to do most of the work, so the small ones weaken from lack of use, she explains. However, when you do yoga movements on the unstable surface of a ball, you strengthen those tiny, overlooked muscles through the micro-movements you make to stabilize yourself. Just sitting on the ball at your desk engages those smaller muscles effectively!Caring For your Balance BallBefore use, check the area for sharp objects that may puncture the ball. If possible, use a carpeted surface or exercise mat when using the ball. The ball is not intended for outdoor use as the risk of puncture is high. The ball should be inspected for gouges and deep scratches prior to use.Getting the Right Fitness BallFitness balls come in different sizes. The basic rule for choosing the correct size is that when you're sitting on the ball, you should be able to easily balance with your feet on the ground. Your hips and knees should both be at right angles. The following list matches you up with the right size ball, based on your height:This is a simple, cheap way to get a little more use out of your exercise ball. The ability to add resistance bands (without safety being an issue) adds a whole new dynamic to how you use your exercise ball.

Dangers Posed By Smoking on Women's Health

Everybody is aware of the dangers of smoking. It is absolutely damaging to the human body. While carcinogens in cigarettes pose a hazard to everyone, women are three times as likely as men to get aggressive forms of lung cancer and more likely to develop it at an earlier age. Women are also more likely to die of lung cancer than breast cancer.Quitting smoking is easier said than done. And women, it turns out, have an even harder time quitting than men. Stronger withdrawal symptoms may be attributed to hormones or the bigger nicotine dose absorbed by smaller female bodies. Regardless of women's age, the "dangers of smoking" contribute to infertility, anxiety, blindness, and osteoporosis. Pregnant women who smoke risk not only their health but their babies' as well. Second hand smoke affects the children and other people around mothers who smoke.Smoking is a vice that almost always begins during adolescence. When teenagers finish from high school without ever smoking regularly, they probably never will. However, while boys and girls are equally likely to start smoking, the latter get the worse health complications. Young people may exhibit symptoms of addiction within a few days or weeks right after they started smoking. While cigarette smoking was rare in women during the beginning of the 20th century, the tobacco industry realized the potential of women as a market for the expansion of the cigarette industry. In fact, tobacco companies launched the campaign slogan Instead of a sweet, reach for a smoke to encouraged women to smoke so as not to gain weight. This was followed by You've come a long way, baby as a tribute to the burgeoning women's liberation movement. These marketing campaigns not only depicted women smokers as beautiful, independent and fun, but also sent subliminal messages that smoking helps women control their weight. Cigarette ads are banned in kids and teens magazines but billion of dollars are spent on t.v., billboards, and adult magazines which can easily be accessed by the youth.Since 1987, lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. About 87% of all lung cancer cases in America is directly attributed to smoking. Smoking causes heart disease, which is the number one killer of women in the U.S. The dangers of smoking contribute to respiratory diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, as well as many kinds of cancer.Women who smoke also harm their appearance as smoking speeds up the aging process and produce more facial wrinkles, gum disease, dental decay, and halitosis. Mental health is also affected due to depression and anxiety disorders. Women are more likely to be depressed than non-smokers, and that women with anxiety disorders are more likely to smoke.Some women, however, are finding creative ways to break the habit for good. Engaging in activities where smoking wouldn't fit, such as exercising, biking, mountain-climbing, as well as turning to a non-smoking lifestyle that includes going to smoke-free places with your kids.The dangers of smoking for women has increased attention and awareness from women's organizations, resulting in a number of projects that focus on supporting tobacco cessation efforts specifically for women.

Summary

If I collected a dime for each time Ive seen or heard the word carbohydrate - or picked up a book on the subject, for that matter - Id be a wealthy woman. And of course weve all heard the buzzwords: simple carb; complex carb; high carb; low carb; no carb. But do we really know what a carbohydrate is? And are carbs really as bad and fattening as were told they are?In this article, Ill make my best attempt to unveil the mystery of the carbohydrate - and why its gott...