Top 5 Most Popular Types of Diet for Weight Loss

Good health is an invaluable asset. It’s not just because a healthy weight is aesthetically appealing, but also because it indicates self-control, discipline, and dedication. Unfortunately, misleading information, insufficient knowledge, and people purposely lying to their fellow humans have confused us which road to take to achieve the body we’ve always dreamt about. 

Aside from exercise, proper diet is also one of the essential steps to see the figure that you have always wanted to see when you step on the scale. One thing, however, that people always think when they hear the word “diet” is to eat less when it is not. You can eat all the favorite foods you want, sate your hunger, satisfy your cravings, but still, stay on track. It’s not about eating less; it’s about eating right. That’s what diet is.

With hundreds of diet fads being promoted, people striving to be fit, if they don’t end up getting the opposite results, get confused and discouraged. Currently, five of the most popular diets right now are ketogenic, paleo, whole30, vegan and vegetarian, and the MIND diet. Let’s break them down one-by-one.

The ketogenic diet is probably one of the most popular diets out there. The idea behind this diet is to induce the kidneys into producing ketones (where this form of diet got its name from), by the state of ketosis. Simply put, you go into a low-carb, high-fat diet. Since insulin level is directly related to carb intake, lower carbohydrate intake equates to lower insulin levels. The body then uses the water stored within the fat cells to be burned as fuels for there is very little to no carbs to burn. One reason why most people fail at this diet is that they cannot keep it up. Results can vary depending on the individual. Someone may concentrate, sleep, and lose weight better, while the other, also consuming the same diet may experience the exact opposite. 

The next one is the paleo diet, with the idea coming from the Paleolithic era where people used to eat vegetables, meat, fruits, and healthy oils. This eliminates grains, sugars, dairy, sugars, and all processed foods—the culprits of weight gain. People did this by going back to the old way humans eat to achieve better nutrition and health, which is the essence of any diet in the first place. This promotes better hydration levels, lowers body fat percentage, increases bone density, and promotes muscle growth.

In our bucket list also comes the Whole30 diet. The “30” at the end of what they call this diet stands for 30 days. But 30 days of what? Eliminate foods that cause inflammation, and instead, eating foods from their sources or “whole” foods. The catch about this is to “reset” the body and rid it of any toxicity. 

Also comes the vegan and vegetarian diet. To simplify things, both the vegan and vegetarian diet abstain from “all animal protein,” but vegetarians eat anything except meat and seafood, while vegans only stick to plant-based sources so they avoid milk since milk comes from cows. The main purpose of this type of diet is health; such as reducing the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. But who wouldn’t love its other objectives such as maintaining ideal body weight and a fit body? Additionally, this diet promotes the proper treatment of animals. 

And the last but not the least is the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay or MIND diet. The key here is eating similar to the Mediterranean: fruits, whole grains, low-fat and high in protein. Paired with reducing sugar intake, this is one of the best diets for weight loss. Fans of this diet dub this as “brain-healthy” that’s why it suits its acronym. This kind of diet also reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Acid Reflux: What It Is, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Good health isn’t something money can buy. It is also something no one can take away or ask from us. It is earned and when you have it, there’s no better feeling like it. Life isn’t always sunshine, though. There may be days when you feel better, but there may also be times when you feel worse. This is especially true when your gut is affected. Research says that gut health is directly related to emotional health. Thus, your mood swings are truly inevitable if you’re suffering from digestive problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as acid reflux.

The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a ring of muscle located between the lower part of the esophagus and the stomach. Its normal function is to open to allow food to pass through then close afterward. However, if the LES doesn’t fully close, or if it opens unnecessarily, the acid and other digestive juices from the stomach rise all the way up into the upper part of the esophagus, thus causing what is known as acid reflux. 

Symptoms

The symptoms can vary from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms are heartburn, the burning feeling moving from your abdomen, chest or throat. Heartburn can last for long hours and most often occurs after a meal. Another notable symptom most of us may have experienced is regurgitation. It the sour-tasting liquid (but is acid) taste we feel rising from the throat into the mouth. Other symptoms include bloating, dysphagia (the discomfort that something is in your throat), sore throat, black stools, burping, nausea, and even weight loss.

Causes and Treatment

Treatment of acid reflux or GERD usually includes over-the-counter medicines or herbal remedies, and without visiting the physician. Having a healthy lifestyle by exercising which will aid in losing weight, quitting smoking, and eating smaller meals usually help to avoid this disease from recurring. Practical suggestions such as avoiding tight clothing, not lying down right away after eating, avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux can do greater good than treatment. Also, slippery elm, chamomile, and licorice root are the most commonly used herbs to treat acid reflux.

But, in the worst-case scenarios and you feel like you need medical attention, do not hesitate to do so. You can expect the doctor to let you swallow a barium solution, and afterward, you will undergo an x-ray imaging for examination. Other diagnostic procedures include esophageal pH monitoring, upper endoscopy, and esophageal manometry. These procedures may vary slightly differently depending on the information that the doctor wants to know about your current condition and the severity of your case.

Prevention is Always Better than Cure

But, of course, the cure will never be better than preventing this condition at all. This can be done if you avoid lying down right away after eating, or simply avoid overeating. If you are really tired and want to rest after a meal, try sleeping on your right instead of lying on your back, especially if you just ate a heavy meal. This will go in favor of the position of the stomach and allow your digestive system to break down food efficiently. Eating early in the evening and not close to bedtime will also help you not to keep yourself awake when you have just finished eating. 

There are cases where alcohol triggers acid reflux. Thus, it can be avoided by drinking only small amounts or taking it in moderation. In the case of pregnant women, the change in the production of hormones coupled with the growing fetus inside the womb causes the esophageal muscles to relax, increasing the risk of acid reflux.

Diabetes Symptoms and Risk Factors

Glucose is a lifegiving sugar, as it is a source of energy for cells that compose our tissues and muscles. Glucose is also the brain’s source of power. But sometimes our bodies mismanage how blood sugar is used. This condition is referred to as diabetes.

There are at least three known types of diabetes, but they all mean there is an excess of sugar in the blood. Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are persistent and serious issues. Gestational diabetes is fortunately reversible since it seems limited to the period of pregnancy.

Here are the warning signs shared by diabetes 1 and 2: extreme hunger, frequent urination, Increased thirst, traces of ketones in the urine (signifying there is insufficient insulin in the body), blurred vision, fatigue, irritability, slow-healing sores, unexplained weight loss, and frequent infections, such as in the gums or skin.

People have observed that for those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, symptoms are sporadic and seem to be no cause for concern. It is the opposite of type 1 diabetes, where symptoms tend to be frequent and more intense.

Both types can occur at any age, but what differentiates the two is that Type 1 diabetes could be present already during adolescence. Type 2 diabetes tends to be more common in people past 40.

Diabetes risk factors depend on the type. The following would influence the chances for type 1: Family history (increased risk if a family member has type 1 ); Environmental factors (increased risk in case patient was exposed to a viral illness); damaging immune system cells (a slightly increased risk for those who have these autoantibodies); Geography (higher rates of type 1 occurrence for those who originate from Finland and Sweden).

On the other hand, these are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes: Weight, Inactivity (increased risk for those with more fatty cells and sedentary lifestyles); Family history (increase risk if there’s a family member with type 2); Race (increased risk for black people, American Indians, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans); Age (increased risk as one gets older); Polycystic ovary syndrome (increased risk for those with this condition); High blood pressure (increased risk for those with a BP over 140/90 ); Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels (low levels of good cholesterol will increase risk of type 2).

How does one know if it’s time to call the doctor? Again, based on the common diabetes symptoms, for those 45 or older, getting tested is important. Go to the doctor right away if you are feeling very thirsty, peeing a lot, experiencing acute belly aches, breathing more deeply and faster than the usual, and a breath that smells less like mints and more like solvent (a giveaway for very high ketones, which in turn signal a lack of insulin).

When it comes to prevention, healthy lifestyle choices can help. Go for foods low in fat and calories but higher in fiber. Have more physical activity; 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day is recommended. Lastly, try to do away with excess pounds. In the case of pregnant women, it is best to check with your doctor on how to achieve a healthy weight. It is important to keep your weight in a good range through exercise and good eating habits. By doing so, you will reap amazing benefits such as more energy and a lower risk of diseases like diabetes.

The Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are one awesome way to level up your overall look. Dental veneers are a high-end way to remedy chipped, worn, discolored, rotated or fractured teeth. Since veneers are quite an investment, it is good to consider some factors before buying (more on this ahead). Also, the state of your back teeth determines the health of your front teeth; this has long-term consequences on your veneer project. Your dentist would also check your bite (literally, how your teeth mesh) first before recommending veneers at my Plantation Dentist. Lastly, you would want to ask questions to get the best possible results, see before and after photos, and a preview of the look you will have.

Veneers come at a pretty penny and are permanent too. These are the reasons why extra research is needed before one goes into veneers. Here are six pros and cons to iron out with your dentist.

Pro #1: Solve Minor Cosmetic Issues

The veneers’ procedures do not just focus on the custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials, but also make quick fixes for slightly crooked or gapped teeth. These are usually addressed with orthodontic treatments such as braces. Please note that veneers are not a replacement for orthodontic treatment; in some cases, an orthodontist will take over and the veneers will have to be canceled.

Pro #2: Whiter Smiles

Bland shades of yellow or brown teeth are caused by months worth of layers of smoking cigarettes or drinking coffee, and-or eating highly pigmented foods. A dentist could always help bleach teeth enamel, but stains can return in a matter of months. The plus point for veneers is that these are a longer-lasting way to whiten one’s smile. Veneers are mainly stain-proof too so there is no need to have veneers whitened.

Pro #3: Do Away with Damaged Enamel

Enamel is a tough material, but not necessarily indestructible. Enamels are under threat from other mundane challenges such as being worn away by highly acidic food or drink and vigorous tooth brushing. Stomach acids related to acid reflux disease also may take a swipe at your enamel. Lastly, enamel does not grow back. But the good thing is that it can be replaced. Veneers are a good remedy for teeth that underwent enamel erosion or abrasion.

Dental veneers may seem like the perfect option. But, if you want to know what you are signing up for, it is also important to know the cons of this procedure.

Con #1: High Cost

The price tag for veneers will vary based on the client’s location, the clinic of the dentist and how many teeth need attention, but there is one clear thing: They are investments, in the real sense. But if an investment works for you, then why not?

Con #2: Increased Sensitivity

Something for would-be veneer clients: some people report an increase in tooth sensitivity after the veneer procedure. Specifically, it is possible to feel sensitivity to high or low temperatures for the next few days soon after the procedure, but which may eventually go away. Sensitive teeth can be too annoying at times, but any inconvenience could be handled with the right response and remedy.

Con #3: Procedures with no returns nor exchange

Veneers are deemed permanent since a dentist essentially alters the structure of natural teeth to able to fit them well. The outer layer of one’s enamel (the “skin” of one’s teeth) may be overhauled to make room for the artificial enhancement.

To end, dental veneers are a popular and impressive method to completely disguise off-color or disfigured teeth, but it pays when you consult your dentist if dental veneers are indeed the fitting solution for you.

Top 5 Most Common Childhood Diseases

Children are more vulnerable to illnesses compared to adults since the former’s immune system are still works in progress. Knowledge of the symptoms and signs can help show the right treatment.

Among the most important steps to take is a balanced diet for healthy youngsters for protection against diseases and infections. Diet fads come and go but fresh fruits and vegetables are trusty staples, including whole grains and lean proteins.

Here is a list of diseases that your children will need to face and handle well. If properly planned, together with careful followups, the kids are more than ready:

1.Gastroenteritis: Commonly known as the stomach bug, this problem causes vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Most viruses that are the main culprits relent in a matter of days or a week and get resolved through plenty of rest. Nevertheless, children need to have enough fluids to ward off dehydration. Many anxious parents sometimes try to give too much fluid, so here are some tips on how to ensure the child takes it well. Begin with just a tablespoon of an electrolyte solution in a corresponding ratio of water every 15 minutes; your family physician would know what amount is appropriate based on the child’s weight. In case your child is partial to Gatorade or juice, add more water down to around to dilute the high sugar. If the child is fine to eat, the most helpful would be the BRAT diet, or bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Soon he or she would be able to retain these, and it means it is fine to resume regular meals. You might also consider giving Greek yogurt, which is rich in probiotics (promoting a healthier gut) and has less sugar compared to most snacks.

2. Common cold: On average, most kids will get a cold once every 2 or 3 months and end up skipping school. Symptoms are sore throat, mild fever, headache, and a runny nose, among others. While drinking plenty of water and bed rest will help a lot, it is possible to hasten the healing with supplements with Echinacea, added zinc and vitamin C.  

3. Hand, foot and mouth disease: the source of this is enteroviruses. Symptoms come in the form of low-grade fever, accompanied by blisters in the mouth, on the extremities, and the buttocks. More bad news: it is contagious and requires pain management. Some studies have drawn a link between a lack of vitamin A and the worsening of the disease. So take action against HFMD and encourage your children to have more veggies and squashes.

4. Chickenpox: an infectious illness that produces red spots all over together with an itchy rash. Some 14 or 16 days after exposure to the virus, symptoms like a fever, cough and sore throat start to appear. Vitamins that may help alleviate the pox include vitamin A with beta carotene, Vitamin B12 and vitamins D, E.

5. Roseola: Roseola has some unusual characteristics. By age 2, it is no cause for concern anymore. Just the same, it is good to be aware that it could be contagious, and could infect adults too. Symptoms include high fever (and it remains contagious until one or two days after the fever subsides), coughing, congestion, and a rash that breaks out on the chest and spreads from there. Roseola would abate within a week, but if the child’s fever lasts beyond three days, you may need to have a pediatrician check your child. Any discomfort may be addressed with ibuprofen and the kid would need to stay home well until the rash disappears.    

At times, no matter how parents try to protect their kids, these diseases seem unavoidable. Still, it helps to have knowledge on how to prevent these common childhood diseases from taking its toll on your kids.  Most of these diseases can be prevented through vaccination and some will experience mild symptoms only. However, if more severe symptoms such as Dehydration, High fever, Breathing difficulty, Not eating, and weakness appear, it’s best to take the child to the doctor.

Common Factors that May Heighten Risk of Cancer

The “Big C” is a hot topic usually best approached with delicacy. Fortunately, advances in medicine have enabled us to have some big wins here and there in our fight against this devastating disease. But what exactly are the latest scoop on factors that raise the risk of cancer? Here is a list of quite surprising sources of risk, to help you live more and live smart.     

Drinking very hot tea

Don’t get us wrong: drinking green tea indeed has cancer-fighting properties. But believe it or not, some researchers insist the real issue is to not let your cup get rid of most of its heat. A 2018 Chinese study drinking tea that is way too hot could cause a spike in cancer risk. Experts think that the heat of the tea adversely affects the esophagus’ lining, which leads to higher damage if the tea drinker also happens to be a regular smoker and alcohol drinker.

Sedentary lifestyle

Exercise is a surefire way to lower any risk of cancer. Statistics show that exercise brings down the risk of lung, breast and colon cancer by 7 percent. A downside to this is that researchers have yet to pinpoint how exactly exercise brings down people’s risk of cancer. With that, the next major challenge for the public health sector is how to get more people to have more healthy exercise to reduce cancer risk.

Being tall

Did you know that taller people have a higher cancer risk than shorter people? There is evidence to argue that for every extra 5 cm in height the increased risk for some type of cancers is as follows: Kidney (10% increased risk); Pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer (9% and 11% increased risk respectively); Ovarian (8% increased risk).

When it comes to this unusual risk factor, it doesn’t end there. The enigma deepens as a 2016 study associated longer legs and the chance of colon cancer. Again, according to experts, growth factors in the body may be a major culprit in the link.

Smoke and fumes

We know the cliche about the kingly role of controlling the barbecue grill; get to know the risks too. People who spend way too much time searing the steak slabs risk getting chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through their skin. These PAHs are certified as carcinogens or cancerous agents.

But there is a workaround, grill fans: experts think that people got higher levels of PAHs through absorption in the skin than they did by breathing in the smoke. Covering up while doing the barbecue grilling may look weird, but you can be sure you catch lesser carcinogens through the skin over the short term.

Breast enhancements

Despite advances in reconstructive plastic surgery, some breast implants are still major carcinogens that may spiral into cancer. What makes it more complicated is that lymphoma does not mean breast cancer, but instead are cancers that originate from the immune system.

Alcohol

As in everything, moderation is key, and this applies to alcohol. Research has found a link between drinking alcohol and cancer deaths. Alcohol is associated with a sobering range of cancers such as colorectal, breast, liver and esophageal cancers, as well as cancers of the throat and mouth. An interesting 2018 study conducted in mice has shown that the breakdown of alcohol in the mice’s body may release a chemical that adversely affects the DNA among stem cells in the blood, and which further on, may lead to cancer.

Obesity

Finally, overweight or obese people need to take action. Excess weight leads the way to more than a dozen types of cancer, recent studies have found.

As in most of the cases above, there is more work to be done to get to the bottom of obesity leading to cancer. Some scientists think there is promise in finding a link between higher levels of hormones and abnormal cell growth, which in turn can heighten cancer’s risks.

This article on cancer risk factors is not complete without a discussion on what it takes to win the fight against the big C: a healthy lifestyle, starting with lower body weight. It goes without saying that while the best time to start being healthy was months ago, the next best time is now!

All About Allergies: Symptoms and Triggers

As unusual as it sounds, allergies are bodily reactions very similar to the way our immune system responding to an infection. At the same time, we need to point out that allergies are hypersensitive responses; some people handle their allergies well, but others don’t. Substances that commonly trigger an allergic reaction include pollen, pet hair/fur, or bee venom, but it depends as everyone has an immune system that reacts differently.  

Allergen is a term applied to a substance that triggers an inappropriate immune reaction. These substances–usually harmless to some– can range from food to anything in the environment. When a substance proves to be a source of an adverse reaction, then it can be an allergen for that person.

Studying how the body handles an allergy is a fascinating look at the human immune system. Normally when an allergen is detected, the immune system slowly develops sensitivity and defenses against the substance before overreacting.

Interestingly, this sensitization process may not get completed even after some months or several years. The patient may have some symptoms, but not develop an allergy. And some remain incapable of handling some allergic reactions.

Below is some information on symptoms, causes and risk factors for allergies. Take time to review them as it is said the number of people worldwide with allergies is increasing, and you could just possibly save lives with the valuable information you gain through study.

Let’s talk about the symptoms of allergies. It’s mostly different from person to person since it depends on what allergy the person has, and how severe it is. In some cases, preempting an allergic response by taking the medicine ahead of time may reduce the severity of the symptoms.  

The common symptoms of food allergies are hives, fatigue, swelling, and nausea, among others. You need to see a medical professional immediately in case you develop an adverse reaction after a meal, but you’re not sure what brought it about.  

Seasonal allergies are anticipated by most sufferers. For example, hay fever may seem like a spell of colds, with symptoms like irritated eyes, runny nose, and congestion. Home remedies can help to keep these symptoms in check, otherwise, see a specialist.

Allergy sufferers need to be aware of anaphylaxis. It is a severe allergic reaction that can be fatal. Anaphylaxis could be brought about by peanuts, insect stings, tree nuts, fish, milk, shellfish, and even medication. People experience throat or tongue swelling, get an itchy rash, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, vomiting, and low blood pressure. These symptoms may linger over minutes to hours.

Here are more substances that are known allergy triggers: cockroach waste (self explanatory!); allergy medicine (some people are sensitive to the dyes and additives found in the medicines); sweat (true for people with cholinergic urticaria, who react to too much heat or sweat); odor of Fish( also happens when proteins spread in the air when cooking fish); pool (considering pool water contains chlorine); post-pregnancy (it is a painful pregnancy-related skin allergy called pemphigoid gestationis); pancake mix (to be exact, not the mix but instead possible molds in very old mixes stored for too long in the shelf); wine (because of sulfites, or the compounds found in red wines and dark beers which trigger stuffy nose and itchy eyes); and tattoos.

What is the science behind an allergic reaction? The main culprit, so to speak, is a particular antibody known as immunoglobin (IgE), and it causes adverse allergic responses. Antibodies are responsible for fighting foreign and other possibly dangerous substances in our bodies. In the case that IgE is released, it homes in on the allergen to get rid of it and starts making and producing chemicals that trigger the allergic response (which are still part of the body’s plan to fight off the infection). 

One of the chemicals involved in this reaction is called histamine (notice how many allergy drugs have this name in their trademark). Histamine causes the constriction of the walls of blood vessels and also the muscles in the airways too. The chemical also makes the lining of the nose make more mucus, essentially to start flushing out the allergens, like pollen for example. 

Here is also some important factors that can make someone relatively more vulnerable to allergies: having a family history of asthma or allergies; being a child; having asthma; lack of sunlight exposure; and being born via Caesarian section. It is best to consult your doctor if you are experiencing allergic reactions every time you are exposed to allergy triggers so they can provide you the right allergy treatment.