Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation

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Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation

A diagnosis of constipation is based, in part, on a defecation frequency of fewer than three bowel movements per week. Other symptoms may include the passage of hard stools and excessive straining during defecation. In some cases, a person’s perception of constipation may be due to a mistaken notion of what constitutes “normal” bowel habits, so the person’s expectations about bowel function may need to be addressed. Constipation is particularly prevalent among women and all adults over 70 years of age.

Causes of Constipation

The risk of constipation is increased in individuals with a low-fiber diet, low food intake, inadequate fluid intake, or low level of physical activity. All of these factors can extend transit time, leading to increased water reabsorption within the colon and dry, hard stools that are difficult to pass. Medical conditions often associated with constipation include diabetes mellitus and hypothyroidism. Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord lesions, and multiple sclerosis may cause motor problems that lead to constipation. During pregnancy, women often experience constipation because of the enlarged uterus presses against the rectum and colon. Constipation is also a common side effect of several classes of medications and some dietary supplements, including opiate-containing analgesics, tricyclic antidepressants, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, and iron and calcium supplements.

Treatment of Constipation

In individuals with low fiber intake, the primary treatment for constipation is a gradual increase in fiber intake to at least 25 grams per day. High-fiber diets increase stool weight and fecal water content and promote a more rapid transit of materials through the colon. Foods that increase stool weight the most include wheat bran, fruits, and vegetables. Bran intake can be increased by adding bran cereals and whole-wheat bread to the diet or by mixing bran powder with beverages or foods. The transition to a high-fiber diet may be difficult for some people because it can increase intestinal gas, so high-fiber foods should be added gradually, as tolerated.
Fiber supplements like methylcellulose (Citrucel), psyllium (Metamucil, Fiberall), and polycarbophil (Fiber-Lax) are also effective; these supplements can be mixed with beverages and taken several times daily. Unlike other fibers, methylcellulose and polycarbophil do not increase intestinal gas. Several other dietary measures may also help to relieve constipation. Consuming adequate fluid (usually 1.5 to 2 liters daily) can help to increase stool frequency in people who are already consuming a high fiber diet. An appropriate fluid intake prevents excessive reabsorption of water from the colon, resulting in wetter stools. Adding prunes or prune juice to the diet is often recommended because prunes contain compounds that have a mild laxative effect.

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation

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The truth about fats

The truth about fats

The truth about fats

Dietary fat is terribly misunderstood and mistakenly maligned nutrient. Myths and messages that have persisted since the 1960s warn that “fat is bad.” That dangerous oversimplification has helped launch dozens of largely ineffective diets and the development of thousands of fat-free but calorie-laden foods. It has also helped fuel the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The message “fat is bad” is problematic because there are four main types of dietary fat with dramatically different effects on health.

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The truth about fats

Trans fats

Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are undeniably bad for the cardiovascular system and the rest of the body. These largely man-made fats elevate harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, reduce protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, stimulate inflammation, and cause a variety of other changes that damage arteries and impair cardiovascular health. Higher intake of trans fat has been associated with an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, gall stones, dementia, and weight gain.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats

fats from vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and fish—especially the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids— are important components of a healthy diet and are also essential for cardiac health. Eating polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated and trans fats lowers harmful LDL, elevates protective HDL, improves sensitivity to insulin, and stabilizes heart rhythms.

Good Sources of Essential Fats

Many delicious foods deliver essential unsaturated fats that are good for the heart and the rest of the body. Try to eat at least one source of these every day.

Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fats

• cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout
• canola and soybean oil (as long as they aren’t partially hydrogenated)
• flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
• walnuts
• dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, mustard greens, and collards
• omega-3 enhanced eggs

Saturated fats

from red meat and dairy products increase harmful LDL but also increase HDL. A moderate intake of saturated fat (under 8% of daily calories) is compatible with a healthy diet, whereas consumption of greater amounts has been associated with cardiovascular disease.

Foods Rich in Omega-6 Fats

-soybean, safflower, sunflower, corn, and other vegetable oils
-sunflower seeds, walnuts, and pine nuts
Dietary fat per se is not associated with the risk of chronic disease. In fact, diets that include up to 40% of calories from fat can be quite healthy if they are low in trans and saturated fat and emphasize polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Although definitive data are not available on the optimal proportions of dietary fats, a low intake of trans and saturated fat and a higher intake of unsaturated fats reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Reference
1. Chowdhury R, Warnakula S, Kunutsor S, et al. Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary RiskA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med2014;160:398-406.
2. Harcombe Z, Baker JS, Cooper SM, et al. Evidence from randomised controlled trials did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Open Heart2015;2:e000196.Abstract/FREE
3. Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr2010;91:535-46.Abstract/FREE

4. Hooper L, Martin N, Abdelhamid A, Davey Smith G. Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev2015;6:CD011737.
5. Doell D, Folmer D, Lee H, Honigfort M, Carberry S. Updated estimate of trans fat intake by the US population. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess2012;29:861-74.

6. Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol2014;63:2960 /1/9789241548441_eng.pdf.
7. Chien KL, Lin HJ, Hsu HC, et al. Comparison of predictive performance of various fatty acids for the risk of cardiovascular disease events and all-cause deaths in a community-based cohort. Atherosclerosis2013;230:140-7.
8. Wakai K, Naito M, Date C, Iso H, Tamakoshi A, Group JS. Dietary intakes of fat and total mortality among Japanese populations with a low fat intake: the Japan Collaborative Cohort (JACC) Study. Nutr Metab (Lond)2014;11:12.

Why Healthy Eating Is Important?

Why Healthy Eating Is Important?

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Why Healthy Eating Is Important?

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Healthy eating contributes to an overall sense of well-being and is a cornerstone in the prevention of a number of conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, dental caries, and asthma. For children and young people, healthy eating is particularly essential for healthy growth and cognitive development. Eating behaviors adopted during this period are likely to be maintained into adulthood, underscoring the importance of encouraging healthy eating as early as possible.

Keywords: Healthy eating, Healthy diet, Healthy, Eating

It’s a simple, obvious truth. You need food for the basics of everyday life to pump blood, move muscles, think thoughts. But what you eat and drink can also help you live well and live longer. By making the right choices, you can avoid some of the things we think of as inevitable penalties of getting older. Eating well teamed with keeping your weight in the healthy range, exercising regularly, and not smoking can prevent 80 percent of heart attacks, 90 percent of type 2 diabetes, and 70 percent of colorectal cancer.
1 It can also help you avoid stroke, osteoporosis, constipation, and other digestive woes, cataracts, and aging-related memory loss or dementia. And the benefits aren’t just for the future. A healthy diet can give you more energy and help you feel good today. Making poor dietary choices overeating of the wrong kinds of food and too little of the right kinds or too much food altogether can send you in the other direction, increasing your chances of developing one or more chronic conditions or dying early. An unhealthy diet during pregnancy can cause some congenital disabilities and may even influence a baby’s health into adulthood and old age. When it comes to diet, knowing what’s good and what’s bad isn’t always easy. The food industry spends billions of dollars a year to influence your choices, mostly in the wrong direction.
Diet gurus promote the latest fads, most of which are less than healthy, while the media serves up near-daily helpings of flip-flopping nutrition news. Supermarkets and fast-food restaurants also offer conflicting advice, as do cereal boxes and thousands of websites, blogs, Facebook pages, and tweets. Healthy eating contributes to an overall sense of well-being and is a cornerstone in the prevention of a number of conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, dental caries, and asthma. For children and young people, healthy eating is particularly important for healthy growth and cognitive development. Eating behaviors adopted during this period are likely to be maintained into adulthood, underscoring the importance of encouraging healthy eating as early as possible.

Conclusion

Conclusion

An important take-home message is to focus on the types of foods you eat and your overall dietary pattern, instead of on individual nutrients such as fat, dietary cholesterol, or specific vitamins. There are no single nutrients or vitamins that can make you healthy. Instead, there is a shortlist of key food types that together can dramatically reduce your risk for heart disease. -Eat more of these foods: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and seafood, vegetable oils, beans, nuts, and seeds. – Eat less of these foods: whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods, red meat, processed meats, highly refined and processed grains and sugars, and sugary drinks.
Reference:

1. Willett, W. C. “Balancing Lifestyle and Genomics Research for Disease Prevention.” Science 296 (2002): 695–8. 2. Wang, D. D., et al. “Improvements in US Diet Helped Reduce Disease Burden and Lower Premature Deaths, 1999–2012; Overall Diet Remains Poor.” Health Affairs 34 (2015): 1916–22. 3. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 8th Ed. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, December 2015. www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/ 4. Pollan, M. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. New York: Penguin, 2009. Chapter Two: Of Pyramids, Plates, and Dietary Guidelines 1. Foxcroft, L. Calories, and Corsets: A History of Dieting over 2,000 years. London: Profile Books, 2012. 2. Banting, W. Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public. London: Self-published, 1863. 3. Davis, C., and E. Saltos. “Dietary Recommendations and How They Have Changed over Time,” in E. Frazão, America’s Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences. Economic Research Service, 1999: U.S. Department of Agriculture Information Bulletin AIB-750. www.ers.usda.gov/publications/aib-agriculturalinformation-bulletin/aib750.aspx 4. U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Institutes of Health. “History of Dietary Guidance Development in the United States and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” 2013. www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-BINDER/meeting1/historyCurrentUse.aspx 5. Kennedy, E. T., et al. “The Healthy Eating Index: Design and Applications.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 95 (1995): 1103–8. 6. McCullough, M. L., et al. “Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Risk of Major Chronic Disease in Men.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72 (2000): 1223–31; “Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Risk of Major Chronic Disease in Women.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72 (2000): 1214–22. 7. Willett, W. C., et al. “Mediterranean Diet Pyramid: A Cultural Model for Healthy Eating.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 61, Supplement 6 (1995): 1402S–1406S. 8. Trichopoulou. A., et al. “Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Survival in a Greek Population.” New England Journal of Medicine 348 (2003): 2599–608. 9. Estruch, R., et al. “Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet.” New England Journal of Medicine 368 (2013): 1279–90.

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The vitamin D miracle: Is it for real?

The vitamin D miracle: Is it for real?

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The vitamin D miracle: Is it for real?

The vitamin D miracle: Is it for real?

Vitamin D isn’t exactly a vitamin. Instead, it is a hormone made by a rather unusual gland: your skin. Sunlight striking the skin turns a cousin of cholesterol into pre-vitamin D. This is first processed by the liver and then activated by the kidneys or by cells in the heart, immune system, breast, or prostate. Although calcium usually gets all the credit for building bones and preventing fractures, vitamin D should get equal billing. It helps on several levels. Vitamin D ensures that calcium and phosphorus (another integral part of the bone) are absorbed as they pass through the digestive system. It signals the kidneys to hang on to these minerals so they aren’t lost in the urine. It also inhibits the breakdown of bone and boosts bone-building activity. Many studies showed that many women who break a hip have an unsuspected vitamin D deficiency. A growing body of research suggests that many Americans could reduce bone loss by getting extra vitamin D. In fact, doing this more effectively reduces hip and wrist fractures in older women and men than does dramatically increasing calcium consumption. There are other reasons to get more vitamin D besides strong bones. Here are a few of them: fewer falls, probably less cancer, as well as the possibilities of better blood pressure, a stronger heart, fewer serious infections, reduced likelihood of asthma, and protection against multiple sclerosis. Recommended intake: The current recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D for men is 600 IU a day (15 micrograms) after age nineteen. It’s the same for women, except they should get 800 IU a day (20 micrograms) after age seventy. The optimal intake of vitamin D remains a topic of debate. I believe that the evidence shows that most people need to get at least 800 to 1,000 IU a day of vitamin D, and possibly 2,000 to 3,000 IU to get the full benefits of this vitamin. People who have darker skin or spend little time in the sun may need even more. In a 2014 study among African Americans living in Boston, increasing the daily intake to 4,000 IU offered metabolic benefits, although it did not examine actual disease risks. Ongoing research will, I trust, give more precise guidance about the best daily dose of vitamin D. You don’t need regular blood tests for vitamin D, because the level varies over time and we just don’t know the right target. Instead, it’s best to take a vitamin D supplement to make sure you have enough onboard.

Good food sources

Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Cold-water fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, and bluefish contain good doses of this fat-soluble vitamin; their livers contain very high levels. Most of what we get from food comes from dairy products (which by law must be fortified with vitamin D); vitamin-fortified breakfast cereals; and eggs from hens that are fed vitamin D.

Recommended intake

The current recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D for men is 600 IU a day (15 micrograms) after age nineteen. It’s the same for women, except they should get 800 IU a day (20 micrograms) after age seventy.

there are several things you can do to keep your blood pressure in check without the need for medication.

there are several things you can do to keep your blood pressure in check without the need for medication.

there are several things you can do to keep your blood pressure in check without the need for medication.

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Making Better Food Choices

Making Better Food Choices

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Making Better Food Choices:

Making Better Food Choices:

While there are no superfoods that contain every single nutrient needed for good health, some foods pack more nutrients per calorie than others. By choosing nutrient-dense foods, the overall quality of your diet will improve practically overnight. For the most part, that means eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables at every meal. Here are some tips to get you started. Add dark leafy greens to salads. Dark leafy greens contain more nutrients than iceberg lettuce. Spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce, for example, contain everything from iron to folate to fiber. Iceberg lettuce, on the other hand, is mostly water. A good rule of thumb: The darker the green, the more nutrients a leafy vegetable contains. Sprinkle wheat germ on cereals, casseroles, or yogurt. Adding 2 tablespoons of wheat germ boosts the fiber nearly 2 grams but adds only 51 calories. Use the toasted variety for a nuttier flavor. Serve a whole grain as a side dish instead of potatoes. White potatoes and grains like bulgur and wheat berries are considered starchy side dishes. But the potatoes have nowhere near as much fiber and are not as nutrient-dense as whole grains. In addition, the body quickly turns the starch in white potatoes into sugar, causing a quick spike in blood sugar and insulin. Whole grains are digested more slowly, causing a lower and more even rise in blood sugar. Snack on whole-grain crackers rather than those made with processed flour. Wholegrain crackers such as Triscuit or Ak-mak contain more fiber than those made with refined flour. That fiber can add up if you’re a regular snacker. Even better, think of nuts as an alternative. They are probably the healthiest hunger-blunting snack you could have. Try the “three pleasures” for dessert instead of ice cream or cake. Instead of a traditional calorie-laden dessert, create one from three of the healthiest foods you can eat: fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate.

superfoods

While there are no superfoods that contain every single nutrient needed for good health, some foods pack more nutrients per calorie than others. By choosing nutrient-dense foods, the overall quality of your diet will improve practically overnight.

Here are some tips to get you started.

Add dark leafy greens to salads. Dark leafy greens contain more nutrients than iceberg lettuce. Spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce, for example, contain everything from iron to folate to fiber. Iceberg lettuce, on the..

Making Better Food Choices

Making Better Food Choices

Making Better Food Choices

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