Bad eating habits can affect everyone – even avid runners

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Conventional wisdom says you can pretty much eat whatever you want if you’re an avid runner, as your body is burning off all of the excess calories. But is that really true? New research now suggests that avid runners need to pay attention to their diets as well when it comes to the potential for heart disease.

As a 10-mile-a-day runner, Dave McGillivray thought he could eat whatever he wanted without worrying about his heart. “I figured if the furnace was hot enough, it would burn everything,” said McGillivray, who is 59.

But a diagnosis six months ago of coronary artery disease shocked McGillivray, a finisher of 130 marathons and several Ironman-distance triathlons. Suddenly he regretted including a chocolate-chip-cookie recipe in his memoir about endurance athletics.

“My first reaction was, I was embarrassed,” he said.

As race director of the Boston Marathon, McGillivray is a high-profile exhibit in a growing medical case against the devil-may-care diets of many marathoners. Their high-mileage habit tends to lower their weight, blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels, leading them (and sometimes their doctors) to assume their cardiac health is robust regardless of diet.

“‘I will run it off’—that attitude clearly prevails among the marathoners themselves, almost sometimes to an arrogance,” said Paul Thompson, a veteran marathoner who is chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital.

A growing body of research shows the error of that thinking. A study published in the current edition of Missouri Medicine found that 50 men who had run at least one marathon a year for 25 years had higher levels of coronary-artery plaque than a control group of sedentary men. A British Medical Journal study published this year compared the carotid arteries of 42 Boston Marathon qualifiers with their much-less active spouses. “We hypothesized that the runners would have a more favourable atherosclerotic risk profile,” says the article. As it turned out, that hypothesis was wrong.

Many assumed that extreme-endurance sports could help prevent heart disease, but now the research suggests this extreme activity may actually cause problems.

We should be careful of course to jump to conclusions after several studies, but certainly this raises questions and challenges old assumptions.

It also brings us back to some common sense notions that moderation in diet and excercise can be the best combination. Pushing anything to the limit – whether its your diet or your activities, can lead to risks.

Spices and hot sauces can replace salt in your diet

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For many people, salt is a huge part of their diet, and cutting back can be very difficult. Unfortunatley, when battling heart issues or high blood pressure, cutting back on sodium intake is critical.

The firts step is identifying all the foods in your diet loaded with sodium. You might be shocked as to how many foods, particularly procressed foods and breads, are loaded with sodium. Things like soups are obvious culprits.

Then you need to consider how much salt you use with cooking. And this is one of the toughest adjustments for people, as salt makes food taste great.

But there are alternatives. This article has the excellent suggestion of using spices and hot sauces to augment the flavor of foods.

I’ve been using hot sauce for years. It works great with many dishes, and soup happens to be one of them. A bland lentil soup for example can taste incredibly good with some chili pepper sauce. Even with canned soup, you can buy the low sodium options and then splash in some hot sauce to make it taste better.

So educate yourself, but also be open to new flavors. You cna eat healthier but also make things more delicious.

Handy sports betting tips

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For those who do like at least one sport, once you have chosen a suitable one to bet on, make sure that you know how much you can afford to wager each month – and do not exceed this amount, even if you experience a large loss or win. Remaining in control of your betting in the wake of this is what separates the smart, responsible gambling punter from the addict. The next handy tip would be to study the actual betting, as understanding the sport is only half the information you need. Learn about the different types of sports bets you can place, how the bookies odds work and how you work out the “value” of a potential bet – as all these will help you maximise your potential winnings.

This may seem like quite a lot of information to take on board, but most types of gambling will involve some form of learning process. For example, if you are keen to play blackjack you can do so on your phone from a mobile casino such as online casino Canada these days, but you will still have to learn how the game works – including both the player and dealer advantage and when you should split your starting hand. Most casino games will need to be learned, but there are always slot games that can be played with no prior knowledge or instruction. This has led to slot machines becoming the favored casino games amongst casual players, with the jackpot and low-cost betting simply being enjoyable bonuses.

How to control nervous sweats

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Anxiety sweats have the ability to affect us at the worst of times. Hence the name anxiety. You could be preparing for a massive presentation at your new job. It’s the first one you’ve had to do and you spent all week preparing for it. However, despite being a 10 degree temperature outside, you notice a sudden dampness under your pits before you’ve even made it to the office. The mere thought of having to speak in front of people has turned you into a sweaty nervous mess. The enemy is now spreading fast and your levels of stress is increasing. You consider calling in sick, but your boss has just noticed you and given you the big thumbs up. What a jerk.

Does this scenario sound familiar? At least the sweating and the nervous part of it? Hyperhidrosis is a common condition that affects more people than you know. The reasons as to why people experience excess sweating is different for each. Some only need to imagine having a conversation with people and they start sweating. If you’re at your wits end and unable to control nervous sweating, here’s some tips to help you out.

Wear breathable clothing

When you’re nervous your body temperature tends to increase resulting in those undesirable wet patches. The level of sweat you produce can reduce significantly if you are wearing clothing that is light and breathable. Try to avoid cheap synthetic materials opting for fabrics like cotton and silk.

Recognise your triggers

Anxiety attacks are overwhelming and besides sweating, you are likely to experience tightening in the chest, overactive heart rate, intrusive or unwanted thoughts, obsessive thinking or compulsive behaviour patterns. If you can recognise a few of the things that trigger your anxiety, find ways to redirect your focus on anything other than how you are feeling. This may be talking to others, exercise, playing or listening to music, watching a movie and painting a picture to hang in the hallway.

Adopt deep breathing techniques

This sounds far too simple to be effective, however breathing is a calming technique that cools down the body and reduces the need to sweat. By sitting down and taking a deep breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, you’ll begin to notice results within a few minutes.

Clinical Strength Antiperspirant

If you’re currently using a deodorant over an antiperspirant, it’s time to make the switch. Along with sweating, also comes body odour. An unpleasant aroma that is not only embarrassing but makes you even more anxious in social and professional environments. Curb this with a strong antiperspirant like Rexona Clinical for Men, which will block the pores stopping excessive sweating in its tracks.

Watch what you eat

An overlooked cause for anxiety sweats is eating foods that your body can’t tolerate. For many people this may mean dairy products or gluten. By eating foods that make your body unhappy, it has to work overtime to protect your tissue from the harmful components of the food your body disagrees with. When your immune system kicks into overdrive, your sympathetic nervous system mistakes this for stress, which activates stress coping mechanisms like sweat. Not sure if you’re intolerant to anything? Pay a visit to your naturopath, what they say might surprise you.

While there are plenty of quick fixes to excessive sweating like Botox and anti-depressants, make sure you talk to your doctor before deciding whether these options are right for you.

12 Foods that Will Lower Your Cholesterol

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Medication isn’t the only way to fight cholesterol. You can help control your levels by eating foods that are linked to decreasing cholesterol. Medical News Today lists the following scales as an indicator of high cholesterol levels. If you’re above 200 mg/dl, you should consider changing your eating habits.

Total Cholesterol: Milligrams/Deciliter (mg/dL)

• Less than 200 mg/dL – Desirable
• 200 to 239 mg/dL – Borderline High
• 240 mg/dL and Above – High

Medical News Today also lists the following scale as an indicator of high LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is often referred to as the “bad” type of cholesterol. It’s important to keep these levels low as well.

LDL Cholesterol Millimoles/Liter (mmol/liter)

• Less than 5 mmol/liter – Optimum
• 5 to 6.4 mmol/liter – Mildly High
• 6.5 to 7.8 mmol/liter – Moderately High
• 7.9 mmol/liter and Above – Very High

You can keep both of these numbers at a good level with a low cholesterol diet and LDL reduction. Here are a few foods that can help get the job done.

Spinach

Sautéed and raw are the most common ways to eat and prepare spinach. Saute and eat it as a side to a protein like salmon or chicken. Then anytime you can, substitute lettuce, which has few nutritional values, for spinach. And if raw or sautéed spinach isn’t your thing, blend it into a fruit smoothie in small quantities.

Oats

Check the labels of your favorite cereals and select the one with the highest amount of natural oats. Or go big with a bowl of straight oatmeal in the morning. You can also make oats a side item by tossing them in a cup of yogurt or a smoothie or make them the main ingredient in oatmeal cookies and snackbars.

Red Wine

Red wine is good for fighting cholesterol but it must be done in moderate. One glass a day is recommended for woman, and two for men. When sitting down for dinner and a drink, select a glass of red over a white wine, a beer, or a cocktail.

Lentils

If you want to sneak some lentils into your diet, find soup and casserole recipes that incorporate them. Or mix them with rice and stuff them into vegetables like peppers. Or you can simply add them to a salad or bake them into a loaf of bread.

Tea

Oolong tea is said to fight against cholesterol as well as obesity, diabetes, and eczema. It can also boost the immune system giving it an added bonus.

Chocolate

Dark chocolate is the best type of chocolate if you’re looking for health benefits. To get the health benefits of eating chocolate, you can’t overdo it. Eat a piece of chocolate a day, not an entire candy bar.

Avocado

Avocados can be crushed into guacamole and added to pretty much any food. Avocados also make great replacements for mayo on sandwiches and in egg salads. They’re tasty in salads or sushi and dishes both hot and cold, making the avocado recipes almost endless.

Garlic

Garlic is a seasoning that can make your food full of flavor and cholesterol levels better. Try garlic roasting your proteins or mixing garlic to make a spread for bread and pita chips. Or chop up garlic and add it on top of side dishes or in soups.

Salmon

Salmon can be paired with a few other items on this list to make a full meal (with sautéed spinach, in a salad with avocado, served over lentils). Bake the salmon over a cedar plank to get the best flavor out of this healthy, fatty fish.

Fruits

Certain fruits can also help lower cholesterol levels. Look for citrus fruits, grapefruits and oranges, as well as grapes, strawberries, and apples when finding healthy choices.

Edamame

Edamame, or fresh green soybeans are a great steamed snack. Or they can be added to side dishes, salads, stews, and stir-frys.

Nuts

Snack healthy; put away the chips and reach for walnuts, cashews, and almonds instead. These mixed nuts fight cholesterol and are a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, and phytochemicals that are linked to a healthy heart.

What Not To Eat

These 12 foods are easy to prepare and mix into your regular eating habits. Make sure to select those healthy items instead of foods that raise your cholesterol:

• Egg Yolks
• Butter
• Shrimp
• Cheese
• Fast Foods
• Processed Meats

So if your cholesterol levels are getting a bit too high, considering changing your diet and incorporating these 12 foods that lower cholesterol.

Author Bio: Samantha Ducati is a loving wife and a mother of 2. She loves reading and writing so much that during her free time she writes about anything and believes that a pen is mightier than a sword.