Does Being Healthy Mean You Have To Be Miserable?

boy-and-vegetablesYes. But like anything else that’s good for you, you’ll get over it. Then, you won’t be miserable any more. And you’ll be healthy and live long enough to pay your grandkids’ college bills. But do you really have to avoid the cookie tray and get a yearly physical? This is an important question. However, a mere “yes” or “no” does not suffice an answer.

Wintertime Depression

concerned-young-manWhen the winter solstice occurs and the sun is above the Tropic of Capricorn, do you turn from Prince or Princess Charming into an ogre? It’s the time of year when people report feeling more depressed—overwhelmed by the impending holidays, bothered by dried out bank accounts, disconcerted by situations at work. Folks get irritated by things that don’t raise a hackle the rest of the year.

Holiday Indulgence

christmas-cookiesIt’s typical to drop your guard at holiday time. Getting caught up in the festivities is probably the biggest excuse to overeat, the definition of which is relative. Generally, it refers to the consumption of an energy intake that is inappropriately large for the amount of energy burned. Overeating has two categories, both being at least a little influenced by cultural and environmental factors.

Shh! I’m Trying To Sleep Over Here

business-woman-sleepyCan too much sleep cause depression, or does depression cause hypersomnia? Not that this is an age-old riddle, but little time and effort have been put to the answer. Part of the reason for that neglect is that sleep has been viewed as something that merely happens to us, as opposed to something we do… passive versus active participation. It’s odd, though, that when we really try to fall asleep, we can’t.

Chocolate Covered Prevention

dark-chocolateChocolate consumption can reduce cardiac risk by a third, according to a very recent pronouncement based on meta-analyses of previous works. Scientists report that chocolate could be a viable factor in the reduction of heart disease and metabolic syndrome by virtue of its polyphenol content, keeping company with fruits and vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, wine and teas. The scientists who offered this report were careful to note that none of the seven trials that were examined had followed all the hallmarks of the scientific protocol, including control and randomization, meaning that a control group / trial group selection was not done to eliminate bias in treatment. On the other hand, empirical results were used to support the hypotheses.

Electromagnetic Headaches

emf-headachesWhen it blows in the wind, we try to find out where it’s coming from. Once in a while, though, there’s so much stench we can’t identify the source. Such is the case with electromagnetic fields—EMF’s— and related wavy things. There’s so much hullabaloo about the good and the bad that we can’t decide if EMF’s are, well, good or bad. They’ve been around forever, so exposure to them is nothing new. Man-made EMF’s, from the generation of electricity, household appliances, industrial equipment and, of course, telecommunications and broadcasting, add to the apparent physiological burden already begun by the simplicity of human metabolism and Earth’s magnetic properties. Is it really a big deal?

You Gotta Have Heart

healthy-heart-smIf you attended high school most days, you might have learned that atoms are made of protons, electrons and neutrons, having charges that are positive, negative or neutral, in that order. If the charges get out of balance, the atom is either negatively or positively charged. The switch between one type of charge and the other allows electrons to move from one atom to the next. It’s this flow of electrons that we call electricity and is the energy that controls everything about the body. This is the source of the signals that allow us to grab the doorknob or turn the ignition switch, or even to think about what to have for dinner. Instead of flowing along a continuous wire, as happens in the house, these signals jump from one cell to the next—and they do it fast.

Understanding the Highs and Lows of Triglycerides

Triglycerides-choiceYou have triglycerides. So do we. Sometimes a lot, sometimes not, sometimes too many. They’re formed by combining glycerol with three molecules of fatty acid, which can be the same or different. Glycerol is a sugar alcohol that provides the backbone of many lipids. It’s an important intermediate in carbohydrate and fat metabolism. High levels of triglycerides have been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease. They’re the natural molecular form that makes up virtually all fats and oils in both plants and animals. Most of us know our cholesterol levels, and we even know about the differences between HDL and LDL. But managing triglycerides (TG’s) is just as important to cardiac health. About a third of U.S. adults have borderline TG levels, between 150 and 199 milligrams per deciliter. Many of those with high TG’s are older whites who smoke, are overweight, and who get less than 150 minutes of exercise a week. Women have a lower risk than men, and blacks and Mexican Americans have even lower risks (Ford, 2009).

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