GOING GLUTEN-FREE

Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.

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A DIET FOR HEALTH & WEIGHT LOSS

Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....

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ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.

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Whatever you do, start small, set goals and reward yourself when you reach them.


Sources and Resources

Medline Plus: Weight Loss with heart disease The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women

Like many Americans, do you believe heart disease affects mostly men? In fact, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.


Heart disease, according to The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women, written by members of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is one of several cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart and the blood vessel system. Others include stroke, high blood pressure and rheumatic heart disease. Coronary heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrow due to a build-up of plaque on the arteries’ inner walls. Plaque is the accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other dead cells. As this sticky substance adheres on the walls of the arteries, blood flow to the heart muscle is reduced. If this blood supply is cut off to a portion of the coronary heart muscle, the result is a lack of fresh oxygenated blood to that part of the heart muscle, resulting in a heart attack.


There are some well-known risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking and high cholesterol. According to the handbook, some women have a group of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, which is usually caused by overweight or obesity and not getting enough physical activity. A healthy weight is necessary for a long active life. In the United States, about 62 percent of American women age 20 years and older are

HEART DISEASE AND THE NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

overweight — and of that number, about 33 percent are obese. The more overweight a woman is, the higher her risk for developing heart disease. Losing weight reduces that risk.


But losing weight effectively and keeping it off requires lifestyle changes, such as changes in eating and physical activity. The institute recommends no more than one-half to 2 pounds of weight loss per week, as well as taking a long-term approach to the subject.


For those considering losing weight, the institute recommends a combination of diet and regular exercise such as walking, swimming or biking. Cutting down on calories, especially from fat, is paramount. These two behaviors are a challenge for many but are not impossible to undertake.


Other tips from The Heart Health Handbook include: