Weight Loss Programs For Women

Weight Loss Programs For Women
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Corn oil, canola oil, and breast cancer

December 22, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

The typical American diet includes a lot of omega 6 fats. And women of reproductive age who have high intake of these fats may be increasing their children’s risk of having breast cancer – at least at the genetic level. This is according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Seventh Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research. The study was conducted using laboratory mice and still has to be confirmed in humans.

According to study leader  Dr. W. Elaine Hardman of the Marshall University School of Medicine

“We’re seeing changes in gene expression up to five months after the animals were exposed to a diet containing omega 6 fatty acids during gestation and lactation.The only explanation is that during gestation and lactation, the mother’s diet must be imprinting the genes of the baby.”

Corn oil, which is commonly used by Americans in food preparation, is especially rich in omega 6 fats. Canola oil – also known as rape seed oil, on the other hand, seems to have lower omega 6 fat content and may therefore be a better alternative.

In the study, two groups of mice were compared, one groups was fed with corn oil containing diet and the other group on canola oil containing diet. The incidence of breast cancer was then evaluated in the next generation of mice. The results show that offsprings of the corn oil group had higher incidence, and more and bigger tumors than offsprings of the canola group. The differences were also observed at the genetic level, specifically genes that are involved in fatty acid synthesis and cancer cell activation.

Americans consume high amounts of omega 6 fats. Polyunsaturated fats such as corn oil and soya oil were recommended by doctors 40 to 50 years ago because they were thought to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Hardman thinks there is a link between this increased polyunsaturated fat intake and the rise in the incidence of hormonally-influenced cancers such as prostate, breast, colon cancers.

“…50 percent of corn oil is made up of omega 6 polyunsaturated fats, which have previously been linked to increased rates of breast cancer. In comparison, canola oil has only 20 percent omega 6 fats. Omega 3 fats, which have been linked to lower cancer risk, vary as well. Corn oil has less than .5 percent omega 3 fats while canola oil has 10 percent.”

A shift from corn oil to canola oil is therefore recommended to protect the next generation from breast cancer.

 Photo credit: stock.xchng

Nutrition 101

May 28, 2008 by  
Filed under OBESITY

In order to optimize your health a good diet is essential. But, with all the fad diets around it can be difficult to know what is ‘good’. Nutrition science to the rescue! Though some things are still controversial, numerous studies reinforce the following basic information.

A healthy diet requires not just items from the four basic food groups, but in the proper proportion. The average person will need about 2000-2500 calories (sometimes more for larger men, less for women and those looking for rapid weight loss). About 50% of those calories should come in the form of carbohydrates, with 30% from fats (yes, fat is good!) and 20% from proteins.

Carbohydrates are the main source of compounds needed for energy. Simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose, are rapidly broken down in the intestine and absorbed. Some processing starts the minute they hit your tongue. Complex carbohydrates – starches, such as those found in potatoes – take longer, but are also healthy in moderation.

Fats are chemically similar to carbohydrates, and contain fatty acids essential to health. Proteins are lysed (split) to make amino acids, that are then recombined to form proteins used in muscles and other structures.

Meat is a valid and healthy source of proteins for almost everyone. About 3 ounces per meal is about right for the average sized person. A cup of pasta is a good source of carbohydrates. Two cups of leafy green vegetables supply fiber, minerals and vitamins.

A balanced meal can be made up of a serving of meat or other protein source, starchy carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, corn or potatoes, and fruit. Easy on the butter or margarine, go light on cheese, sauces and anything high in sugar or fat.

Though you could get the basics from a variety of sources, when considering weight control in addition to getting the proper balance, it’s important to know which sources are high in what.

Fat contains nine calories per gram, which is double than other energy sources. Thus, you need to keep those foods high in fat down to modest levels. That also helps control cholesterol levels.

All sources of carbohydrates have four calories per gram. But healthy sources also contain needed minerals, vitamins and fiber. Some examples are fruits (apples, pears, peaches), nuts (walnuts are lower in fat than peanuts or cashews, for example) and grains (for fiber and minerals).

Why is candy bad, unless consumed in very modest portions? Because they are designed to be high in fat, high in sugar with much lower amounts of helpful nutrients. Neither fat nor sugar are harmful in moderation. Indeed, they’re essential to good health. But when consumed in a form that contains an excessive proportion, they provide enormous calories and fewer other nutrients.

Making a list of items you consume will show you the relative amounts of helpful nutrients – and how many calories each contains. Putting a little arithmetic into your diet plan will help you reduce the number you obsess over – your weight.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.