calories


For those calories watcher, the annual temptation is around the corner. For those who are ignorant, read on.

Chinese New Year aka Lunar New Year is the time when Chinese will go nuts with all the cookies (nuts, seeds, beans, “love letters“, all kinds of drinks, beer, wine, bak-kua (sweet-salty barbeque meat), etc to indulge in during each visitation to relatives, friends and business associates, etc.

.Bak Kwa

I for one love peanuts, black melon seeds & broad beans with my beer much more than those expensive pistachio and cashew nuts. I don’t count calories. I like fried but hate oily food.

Now, I was kinda of shocked when told of how much oil these nuts contain. Eating 12 of my favorite peanuts (approx 20grams) will mean an intake of 110 calorie or 2.75 teaspoons of oil. So, that is why the peanut cooking oil in older days which was so fattening are finally replaced by alternatives such as sunflower cooking oil.

peanuts.jpgpistachio.jpg

From the information, the worst goodies to eat too much is probably the cashew nuts. Just 10 pieces (also approx 20 grams) of the cashew nuts and it will be equivalent to 2.85 teaspoons of oil or 115 calorie.

So what is the problem when each day men consumed from 1,500-4,000 total calories and the total for females varies from 900-2,500 ?

As long as we burn what we eat, we will maintain our weight but if we don’t burn off the excess calorie, we are likely to gain weight. 1,100 calorie a day for a week can gain 1kg of weight.

Are you likely to gobble up 1,100 extra calories easily during this Chinese New Year period ?

growing Belly

Now, according to a nutritionist, to burn off 184 calories for a 60kg adult, it will need 30 minutes of swimming or 1 hour of walking. In other words, if one eats 20 cashew nuts and accumulate 230 calories, it will need more than half an hour to burn off.

For the nuts lovers, during your visitation, ask for oil-dissolving beverages such as green tea, roselle tea instead.

9 ways to protect your heart from diabetes

Diabetes and heart disease often go hand in hand. Here’s how you can uncouple them.

Diabetes and heart disease were once thought to be entirely unrelated disorders. New thinking suggests that they may actually spring from the same underlying cause — chronic, systemwide inflammation — or at least be influenced by it. This intertwining is a bad thing, since developing diabetes usually means developing heart disease as well. It also has a silver lining: Protecting yourself against one of these chronic conditions works against the other, too.

More than one million Americans are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year. Traditionally, up to 80% of people with diabetes develop some form of cardiovascular disease, from heart attack and stroke to peripheral artery disease and heart failure.

The connection between the two diseases isn’t ironclad. The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have joined forces to fight both heart disease and diabetes. Their latest effort focuses on helping people with diabetes whose hearts seem healthy keep them that way.

As you scan the tips below, remember that almost every recommendation is good for diabetes as well as heart disease.

1. Know your risk

Goal: Knowledge is power. Calculate your risk of heart disease, or ask your doctor to do it.
Getting there: The Framingham calculator is a general heart disease–risk estimator. Specific ones for people with diabetes have been developed by two diabetes groups.

2. Exercise

Goal: Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise (like walking) or 90 minutes of vigorous exercise.
Getting there: If you do just one thing on this list, choose exercise. It is a key to controlling blood sugar, strengthens the heart and lungs, improves blood pressure, corrects out-of-whack cholesterol, and has other beneficial effects.

3. Control your weight

Goal: If your weight is in the healthy range, work to keep it there. If you are overweight, try to lose 5% to 7% of your weight over the next 12 months. (That’s about a pound a month for someone weighing 200 pounds.)
Getting there: Cutting out just one 12-ounce can of sugared soda a day (150 calories) is enough to help you lose a pound a month. You can easily double that by burning more calories with exercise.

4. Improve your diet

Goals:

  • Cut back on unhealthy fats: Lower saturated fat to under 7% of calories (about 17 grams), and keep trans fat intake as close to zero as possible.
  • Add more unsaturated fats from fish, grains, and vegetable oils.
  • Include at least 30 grams of fiber a day.
  • Watch the salt — reduce your intake to under 2,500 milligrams a day.
  • Choose whole grains and other slowly digested carbohydrates.

Getting there: The foods you eat can help you control blood sugar and protect your arteries. The main strategy is to get more fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, fish, and vegetable oils (especially olive oil), and less fast food, salty or fried food, and rapidly digested carbohydrates. There is no one-size-fits-all “diabetes diet.” The American Diabetes Association released a comprehensive set of nutrition recommendations in January 2007. But rather than trying to wade through these, ask your doctor to refer you to a nutritionist.

5. Lower your blood pressure

Goal: A healthy blood pressure is 120/80 or below. If you have high blood pressure, aim for a systolic pressure of 130 or lower and a diastolic pressure of 80 or lower.
Getting there: Measure your blood pressure often; home monitors are a good investment. If it is above the goal, try exercise, the DASH diet, and, if needed, weight loss, smoking cessation, or medications.

6. Control your cholesterol

Goal: Aim for and LDL under 100 mg/dL, an HDL above 40 mg/dL, and triglycerides under 150 mg/dL.
Getting there: A healthful diet and exercise can do a lot to reverse risky lipid levels. A cholesterol-lowering statin can help protect against heart attack and stroke even when LDL levels are near the recommended goal. Niacin or a fibrate can improve HDL and triglyceride levels.

7. Quit smoking

Goal: If you smoke, try to stop. Avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible.
Getting there: The most effective quitting strategy includes talk therapy plus nicotine replacement therapy along with drugs such as bupropion (generic, Wellbutrin, Zyban) or varenicline (Chantix).

8. Control your blood sugar

Goal: Aim for hemoglobin A1c to be at least under 7% and, ideally, as close to 6% as possible without causing bouts of low blood sugar.
Getting there: Managing carbohydrate intake and switching to whole grains can help ease the blood sugar roller coaster. Exercise is vitally important. Use medications such as metformin, thiazolidinediones, and insulin as needed.

9. Prevent clots

Goal: Take a low-dose aspirin (75–162 milligrams) every day unless your doctor tells you not to.
Getting there: Aspirin prevents platelets from latching onto each other, an early step in clot formation. Preventing clots helps prevent heart attack and stroke.

For more information on controlling diabetes, order the Special Health Report, Healthy Eating for Type 2 Diabetes, at www.health.harvard.edu/HED.