According to an article at Medical News Today a survey of several different sources in the Western world place the humble apple atop a list of the 10 healthiest foods.
Some of the apples benefits are great source of antioxidants (slows aging and fights free radicals) and one study shows females that regularly ate apples had a decreased risk of developing heart disease by up to 22%.
The article lists nine other foods, almost all of them really tasty and easy to add to your regular diet, that have proven health benefits if eaten regularly.
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Cover of Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton who’s well known and documented love of things fried and fatty (no offense intended Monica) had literally turned over a new “leaf”.
Mr. Clinton in an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta says that he has eliminated eggs, dairy and meat from his diet and now ” I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat”
Since leaving the White house the president has lost more than 20 pounds but unbeknownst to him at first his health issues were more serious than just being over weight. He was genetically predisposed to heart disease and his old ways of eating what ever he wanted was about to kill him.
Less than 4 years after leaving office he complained about tightness in his chest and had to undergo quadruple bypass surgery to restore blood flow to his heart. In 2010 he had another operation to install 2 stents.
Since then the ex-president has been working with Dr. Dean Ornish, who had created a diet and lifestyle that he claims can actually reverse heart disease.
Dr Ornish is well known in the medical community because prior to his findings it was thought impossible to reverse heart disease without doing a medical procedure.
Says Mr. Clinton, “All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy,”
From omnivore to vegan: The dietary education of Bill Clinton – CNN.com.
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Should you eat before or after a workout?
Generally speaking most experts on exercise and nutrition say that it’s a matter of personal preference as long as you eat something within a one hour window either before or after your workout routine. I know some people that become nauseous and feel ill if they try to eat before going to the gym and I know just as many people that feel light headed and weak if they don’t. But if you’re over fifty I think it’s beneficial to eat a little something before exercise and not doing so consistently may even be counter productive to achieving your fitness goals.
How the body uses fats and carbs and protiens during exercise
During exercise the body normally uses a combination of fats and carbohydrates for fuel. The ratio of this mixture varies with the intensity of the workout. Carbohydrates provide a quick source of energy and therefore while moderate to intense exercise burns more carbs than fat you must also be aware that moderate to intense exercise also burns more calories in the same amount of time as a low intensity workout would.
The body usually burns very little or no protein during exercise, protein is not a good source of quick energy. It is only during really strenuous workouts that the body may turn to protein as an energy source – or when the needed carbohydrates and fats are depleted.
Protein – The key to avoiding muscle loss over 50
In a previous article I wrote about the importance of resistance training over 50 in combating sarcopenia or muscle loss that is a natural part of aging. I explained how after the age of 40 most of us will experience a slow but definite decrease of muscle tissue in our bodies that will only accelerate over time and make us feel and look old.
In addition to resistance training we can also fight this with proper nutrition. One of the most important nutrients in this battle is protein. I’m sure you’ve heard it before “proteins are the building blocks of muscle”
Since proteins are so important for building and maintaining muscle tissue that is so critical to keep a youthful appearance it is necessary that we guard against burning these proteins as much as possible while we exercise, more so than when we were younger and still able to build and maintain muscle easily.
Fueling up before exercise helps prevents loss of protein and muscle
A snack an hour or so before your workout should provide you plenty of energy to fuel your exercise routine without the danger of burning muscle. If you’re following most of the fitness experts suggestions and eating 5 or 6 small meals a day instead of the traditional 3 big meals than your’re probably never on “empty” and should be ready to workout any time during the day. I normally exercise in the morning within an hour after I awake and have found the liquid protein shakes to be the thing for me. Since they’re liquid they deliver energy within 20 or 30 minutes and they not only give me the needed carbs to fuel my workout but provide a little extra protein to my diet to help me recoup after the routine.
How much salt is too much?
It’s well known that too much salt isn’t good for you but how much salt is too much? The Government guidelines are about 2300 mg for younger adults and 1500 mg for those of us over 50. That’s only about 2/3 of a teaspoon. Removing the salt shaker is a good start to reducing your salt intake but did you know that up to 80% of your salt intake may come from processed foods?
How does salt affect aging?
High sodium consumption affects all age groups but due to other health risk that accompany the aging process the dangers of salt are more pronounced in people over fifty and others with salt sensitivities. Sodium can elevate the blood pressure, contribute to bone brittleness and raises the risk of stroke, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease and cataracts.
How to Cut back on Salt
As I mentioned up to 80% of your salt intake is from processed foods. Most Americans eat 3,500mg to 4,500mg a day, thats 2 to 3 times the recommended consumption for people over 50.
Start your reduction at the super market. Read the labels, the sodium content is required by law to be posted on the packaging. Compare brands. I know this can be somewhat time consuming at first but after a while you’ll know what brands contain the lowest sodium level. Canned veggies and tuna are packed in a sodium rich solution as a preservative, rinse the veggies or tuna before heating or eating to remove some of the salt.
Eliminate or reduce eating processed foods like cold cuts, hot dogs, and processed cheese. These are VERY high in sodium content.
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables that are naturally low in sodium.
Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush excess salt out of the body.
One study found that lowering the amount of salt 5 grams a day (about one teaspoon) was associated with a 23% lower stroke rate and up to 17% less total cardiovascular disease. They went on to say that cutting normal salt intake in half “could avert some 1.25 million deaths from stroke and almost three million deaths from cardiovascular disease worldwide.”