You scraped your knee a few days ago. Now your cut is surrounded by angry, red skin that’s sore, warm to the touch, and emitting a gross amount of pus. Are you suffering from an infected wound? Chances are the answer is “yes.” Here’s what to … Read More
low carb diet
Carbohydrates make up the majority of our diet. They provide glucose, which our body uses as energy. According to dietary guidelines, half or more of our total daily calories should come from carbohydrates; fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Low carb diets limit these carbohydrate sources, and increase intake of protein and fat to encourage weight loss.
Carbs come in two types: simple and complex. When you eat carbs, your body converts them into sugar and your blood sugar rises. Then your pancreas releases insulin to move that sugar into the cells to be used as energy. Whatever sugar you don’t need right away is stored as fat. The two types of carbs have different effects on your blood sugar. Simple carbs such as cookies, brownies, pastries, white bread and pasta, and candy are made with white flour and white sugar. Your body breaks simple carbs down quickly and blood sugar spikes as a result. Complex carbs digest slowly, so they have less of a dramatic effect on blood sugar.
Low carb diets lower insulin levels, so less sugar is stored as fat. Several different types of low carb diets, from Atkins to South Beach, exist. Each diet recommends a slightly different composition of carbohydrates to fats and protein. Some low carb diets are very restrictive, allowing almost no carbs. One of the Atkins diet plans allows only 40 grams of “net carbs” (total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols) a day. Compare that to the Dietary Guidelines, which recommend 225 to 325 grams of carbs a day. Other low carb diets are less strict. They allow small amounts of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
One of the biggest concerns with low carb diets is that they may replace carbohydrates with unhealthy protein and fat sources, such as red meat. Anyone who is considering switching to a low carb diet should consult a doctor to make sure the plan is healthy and appropriate for them.
Fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains and low-fat/fat-free dairy products, are cornerstones of the heart- and blood-pressure-friendly DASH diet. Not only are they generally low in sodium, but many of them are good sources of other nutrients that are associated with lower blood pressure:
- Potassium: Good dietary sources include … Read More
The sensation of twitching while sleeping is a common occurrence, but many people who experience sudden but brief muscle movements at night aren’t even aware that they’re happening. Sometimes, however, the twitching or jerking of your hand or foot—a condition known as sleep myoclonus—is enough to … Read More
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a rating system that measures how much a carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood-sugar levels. The lower a food is on the GI, the lower the effect on your blood sugar. Low-glycemic foods also can reduce your risk … Read More
Alternative treatment options can be a good adjunct to medication when it comes to managing arthritis symptoms. Some of the options address physical causes of pain, but don’t forget that chronic pain is complicated.
In arthritis, tissue inflammation, bone erosion, and nerve impingement can combine to “rewire” your nervous system, making … Read More
Have you ever been warned that you should cut bread out of your diet because it's full of carbohydrates, makes you gain weight, and is bad for your health? If you’re a bread lover, sourdough bread may be a great option.
Sourdough bread's health benefits make it an … Read More
Close your eyes and sit up straight. Take a deep breath while you count to five, then count to five again as you exhale. Go ahead and try it right now for six breaths. It feels good, doesn’t it? Here’s what happens when you do easy breathing exercises:
- First, you … Read More
There are several reasons why certain foods are good for your cholesterol and your heart health. Some have direct effects on reducing LDL and/or triglycerides. Others are more filling and, if they’re low in calories, will help with weight loss. Plus, by filling up on these healthier options, you’re not … Read More
The “abs” get most of the attention in advertisements for strength devices, and a big waist is something almost everyone tries to avoid. But the first sign of weak core muscles is poor posture—both standing and sitting. Other signs are back pain and muscle weakness.
The American Physical Therapy Association … Read More
SIBO treatment (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is often needed for many people with chronic gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. (Find a full discussion of SIBO symptoms by clicking here.)
An increasingly recognized problem, SIBO occurs when bacteria that normally occupy the colon migrate to the Read More