Men’s Health Month

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As started by the congressional health education program, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country in June. The goal of this national observance is to increase awareness about the preventable health problems in men and promote early detection and treatment of disease among boys and men.
This month gives healthcare providers, friends, family, and the media a chance to encourage men to seek regular medical advice for disease and screenings. See what activities are going on in your community that relate to this month and don’t forget to wear blue on the Friday before Father’s day to support the cause! Check out the list of standard exams:

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Physical Exam. Needed every year or more often if recommended by your provider. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner to determine how often you should get an exam.

Testicular Exam. As the number one cancer for men between 15-35 years of age it is important to check yourself frequently and discuss an exam with your doctor during your physical exam.

Blood Pressure Screenings. Needed every 2 years unless it is elevated, then it may need to be checked more frequently. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner to determine how often you should be screened.

Cholesterol Screenings. Needed every 5 years unless it is elevated, then it may need to be checked more frequently. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner to determine how often you should be screened.

Diabetes Screenings. Needed if your blood pressure is above 135/80, you have a BMI of over 25 in addition to other risk factors, or you have an out of range glucose or A1C reading.

Dental Exam. Needed 1-2 times per year. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner to determine how often you should get an exam.

Eye Exam. Needed every 2 years or more often if recommended by your provider.

Other. Immunizations, infectious disease. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner to determine how often you should get an exam.

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What your eyes say about your brain

What your eyes say about your brain

By Cassie Shortsleeve

Published July 14, 2013

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    iStock

Eyes are the window to the . . . brain? A breakthrough study in Psychological Science finds that the small vessels behind your eyes could reveal how healthy your noggin is. (Feeling fried? Go green and Recharge Your Brain in 10 Minutes.)

The scientists found that people with wider veins scored worse on IQ tests in middle age. Other factors like smoking, diabetes, or socioeconomic status couldn’t be to blame for the scores, says Idan Shalev, the study’s lead author.

What gives? Your eyes’ vessels may reflect the condition of your brain’s vessels because they’re similar in size, structure, and function, says Shalev. “Eye vessels are developed from the same cells that brain vessels are developed from,” he adds.

Previous studies have linked the size of blood vessels in your eyes to risks for other diseases like dementia, cardiovascular disease, or stroke—but those studies were done in older people, says Shalev. This study found that the health of your eyes could indicate brain health at a much earlier age. The results were seen even in children.

(Dodge this leading killer with these 5 Steps to Save Your Heart.)

So what does it mean for you? Pencil in the eye doctor. Even if you’re blessed with 20/20 vision, retinal imaging (a fancy term for the photo eye docs take of your eyes) does far more than test vision: It could be the easiest way yet to check in on your brain.  It’s also a good way to keep track of changes if you’re at high risk for a disease like cardiovascular disease, Shalev says. Being able to compare images over time could help ID changes in midlife that hint towards problems. Otherwise, these changes could go unnoticed as they may not show symptoms until much later, he says.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/07/14/what-your-eyes-say-about-your-brain/?intcmp=features#ixzz2ZHNXuH5A

How to Have a Lean Belly

Countdown to a Lean Belly

By: Travis Stork, M.D.

How did they do it? That’s the first question anyone asks when they see a friend or colleague who’s lost a lot of weight, or remade their body into a healthier, leaner version. How did they do it?

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Well, it’s no mystery. In fact, one of the most important and intriguing studies ever conducted was put together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) back in 2006. This is our tax dollars at work, and I’d say we got our money’s worth.

The pages of the study—its catchy title is “Dietary and Physical Activity Behaviors Among Adults Successful at Weight Loss Maintenance”—take all the world’s weight-loss theories and compare them to what works for real people in the real world. It looked at people who won the fat war by losing at least 30 pounds and then keeping the weight off using strategies that will work for you, too.

Keep in mind: It wasn’t a 100 percent success story. The CDC studied 2,124 people, and only 587 of them actually lost the weight and kept it off. But those who succeeded used many of the same strategies, the strategies outlined here.

And for even more ways to revolutionize your diet and get lean for good, check out The Lean Belly Prescription by Dr. Travis Stork. It’s filled with simple strategies that will help you lose weight the same way you gained it: By making easy lifestyle choices that will transform your life—for the better.

Lean-Belly Strategy #1

Pay Attention to What You Eat
Mindless eating is excessive eating. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts discovered that people who watched TV while they ate consumed nearly 300 more calories than those who dined without an eye on the tube. You need to pay attention to the messages your stomach is sending to your brain; if the TV is blaring, you won’t see the “slow” and “stop” signs.

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Lean-Belly Strategy #2

Slow Down
Fast eaters become fat people. If you consciously stop to take a breath between bites, you can cut your food (and calorie) intake by 10 percent, according to researchers at the University of Rhode Island. Special bonus: You can do this in social situations—Thanksgiving dinner at Aunt Marge’s—and nobody will even notice. That is, until you show up next year minus 20 pounds of flab.

Lean-Belly Strategy #3

I Said Slow Down!
It takes 20 minutes for the news that you’ve had enough to eat to travel from your gut to your brain. The reason: Hormones that trigger the “I’m full—stop!” sensation are at the end of your digestive tract, and it takes a while for digested food to reach there. If your mouth is filled with conversation, it won’t be so full of food. Talk more between bites, and weigh less when the conversation/meal is over.

Lean-Belly Strategy #4

Beware the “Healthy” Menu
If you order the stuff that’s supposed to be good for you, you’re likely to underestimate a meal’s calorie total by more than a third, according to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research. The restaurants know that; now you do, too. So be especially aware when ordering “healthy,” and make sure you have a “to go” box handy to carry leftovers home.

Lean-Belly Strategy #5

Beware the Community Chest
Always serve snacks in a bowl or dish, and put away the packages. Never eat from the bag or container. That way you won’t ever eat an entire bag of something in a single sitting.

Lean-Belly Strategy #6

Beat Hunger with Your Mind
Have a craving even though you ate just an hour ago? Before you indulge your mystery hunger, here’s how to test whether your appetite is real or not: Imagine sitting down to a large, sizzling steak. If you’re truly hungry, the steak will sound good, and you should eat. If the steak isn’t appetizing, it means your body isn’t actually hungry. You might be bored, or thirsty, or just tempted by something you don’t need. Try a change of scenery: Researchers at Flanders University in Australia found that visual distractions can help curb cravings.

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Lean-Belly Strategy #7

Redecorate, Repack, Remember
If you don’t have a countertop fruit bowl, buy one so you can grab a peach, banana, pear, or other piece of fruit on your way out the door in the morning, to munch on during your commute. (Plus, it’s fun to throw the core out the window.) Plan a 10 a.m. apple-a-day break. Toss an orange in your briefcase to help you past the mid-afternoon lull (otherwise known as Temptation Time). Make fruit part of your entourage, and it will beat up lesser foods.

Lean-Belly Strategy #8

If You Can’t Bear to Eat Vegetables, Drink Them Instead
That’s right, you could have had a V8—as long as it was the low-sodium variety. It has pureed tomatoes, beets, carrots, celery, spinach, lettuce, parsley, and watercress, and 8 ounces supplies two of your five recommended daily servings of vegetables. It also heats up nicely as a base for soups.

Lean-Belly Strategy #9

If You Can’t Bear to Eat Vegetables, Hide Them in Your Pasta Sauce
And no, neither you nor the kids will notice. Using a fine grater on your food processor, grate 2 cups total of onions, garlic, carrots, beets, and zucchini (or any combo thereof), then sauté the microscopic vegetable bits in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add 4 cups of basic marinara sauce and simmer to an anonymous tomato flavor.

Lean-Belly Strategy #10

If You’re Not Yet Drinking Smoothies, Why Not?
Have you read the label of your fruit juice? Lots of sugar (however “natural” it is) and not much fiber, which means it’s a carb bomb when it hits your bloodstream. Not so with a blended smoothie, because ingredient number one is whole fruit, making the sugar content drop and the fiber climb.

Two tips: Use frozen fruit; buy it by the bag in your store’s freezer section. And buy a wand mixer and a small pitcher so you can mix your smoothie in the same container you drink it from; it’s much easier than washing out a blender. Almost any fruit-and-berry combo will do, but you can start with this recipe: 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 banana (peeled ones freeze well), 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons whey powder (it’s in the supplements aisle in the grocery store), 1 cup 2% milk, and 1 cup water.

Lean-Belly Strategy #11

Buy Smaller Dishes
According to the food scientists at Cornell University, people tend to eat as much food as will fit on their plates. That’s where “duh!” overlaps with dangerous. Over the past 100 years, our plates have grown, decade by decade. And we also know that the nation’s obesity rates have grown exponentially in that time as well. No, it’s not a coincidence. If you dine off of smaller plates, you’ll grow smaller, too. Shoot for 9 inches in diameter, and you’ll be on your way.

Lean-Belly Strategy #12

Drink out of Skinny Glasses
As have gone dinner plates, so have gone drinking glasses. And if you fill the newly cavernous ones with any kind of sweetened beverage, you’ll overindulge in calories. But here’s a smart tip: We tend to gauge our drink sizes by how tall, not how stout, our drinking glasses are. So if you buy tall, skinny ones, you’ll think you’re drinking more even though you’re drinking less.

Lean-Belly Strategy #13

Never Eat from the Box, Carton, or Bag
Those same clever food scientists at Cornell did an experiment in which they gave one set of moviegoers giant boxes of stale popcorn and another set smaller boxes of stale popcorn. The big-box people ate more than the small-box people. The theory: You gauge the amount that’s “reasonable” to eat by the size of the container it’s in. Put two cookies on a plate, put a scoop of ice cream in a bowl, or lay out a small handful of potato chips on your plate, then put the container away; you’ll eat far less of the treat.

Lean-Belly Strategy #14

Limit the Fried Stuff
Fun fact: Fast-food burgers and chicken from KFC and McDonald’s are the most frequently requested meals on death row. It kinda makes sense. The inmates won’t be around to suffer the aftermath. Fried foods are packed with calories and salt, and that crunchy, oily coating beats down any nutritional qualities that whatever is entombed inside might have.

That said, eating one piece of fried chicken won’t be, um, a death sentence, if it’s surrounded on the plate by generous helpings of vegetables and you follow with fruit—not more fat—for dessert. What’s more, the fat in the chicken will help you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in the veggies.

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Lean-Belly Strategy #15

Eat the Good Stuff
Make sure your diet is filled with healthy fats in the forms of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines), fatty fruits (avocados), extra-virgin olive oil, eggs (among the healthiest foods known to humankind), and healthy-fat snacks (nuts are nutritional powerhouses and keep you feeling full). I even give bacon in moderation a green light; at only 70 calories per strip, it carries big flavor and belly-filling capabilities.

Lean-Belly Strategy #16

Wear Your Milk Mustache with Pride
Milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and cheeses all contain slow-to-digest protein and healthy fat, so they can be excellent belly fillers. And studies have suggested that the calcium in dairy products may aid weight loss. Make them part of your diet and you’ll find the cow elbowing aside lesser members of the food kingdom.

Lean-Belly Strategy #17

Eliminate Sweetened Beverages
If you’re going to follow only one piece of advice in this article, make it this one. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: Drinks with added sugar account for nearly 450 calories per day in the average American’s diet. That’s more than twice as much as we were drinking 30 years ago. If you’re looking for a way to cut unnecessary daily calories to help you lose a pound a week, wean yourself from the overload of sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages.

No, artificially sweetened sodas are not okay. Even if they have few calories or no calories, they maintain or increase your taste for highly sweetened foods, so you seek out the calorie payload elsewhere. Worse yet, they crowd out the healthy beverages. My prescription: Out with the bad, in with the great—in taste and nutrition.

Lean-Belly Strategy #18

Reduce Your Intake of High-Carbohydrate Foods
As I’ve mentioned, simple carbs enter your bloodstream as sugars and are likely to be stored as fat when you’re inactive. They also set off a binge/crash cycle that can give your appetite the upper hand and have you reaching for the doughnut tray and candy bars throughout your day. To rein in your appetite, limit your simple carbs found in sugary drinks, processed foods, and refined breads (i.e., whole-wheat bread carbs good, white bread carbs bad; strawberry carbs good, strawberry-flavored candy carbs bad).

Lean-Belly Strategy #19

Reduce Your Intake of Food Prepared Away From Home
When you let somebody else prepare your food—especially if it’s a teenager in a paper hat—you lose control over what you eat. And the fast-food companies, being what they are, encourage all of your worst eating habits by stuffing their products with crave-inducing ingredients like unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt. If you can stay out of the drive-thru, you can shrink your calorie intake every day.

Lean-Belly Strategy #20

Keep a Food Diary
Clearly, this weight-loss technique isn’t for everybody. It’s a hassle to write down every little thing you eat, day after day. But it’s strikingly effective for those who do it. My advice: Try it for a week so you can get a handle on how many sodas you drink and under what circumstances, when you’re most likely to veg out with a bowl of chips in front of the TV, and when your dessert cravings strike. That will help you identify your dietary danger zones and lead you to strategies that save pounds.

But it wasn’t just dietary changes that helped all those folks lose all that weight. Becoming active was another enormous factor in leading the successful losers into the promised land of the lean (but not hungry): exercising for 30 or more minutes per day, and adding physical activity to daily routines. Clearly, these are Lean Belly Prescription kind of people. And that provides a great segue to talking about the activities that these “successful losers” used to shed fat and keep it off .

Here’s why it’s so important to keep both healthy eating and exercise going as your one-two punch against belly fat. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology reported that when people chose healthier foods and combined that benefi t with exercise, they torched 98 percent of their weight directly from their fat stores. People who changed their diets alone were much more likely to break down muscle for fuel, and that’s a big problem. Muscle is one of your prime metabolism boosters, so it will help you burn fat for up to 24 hours after a workout. So let’s tackle the activity list, and give you strategies to make the most of it.

Lean-Belly Strategy #21

Walk for Exercise
I consider that great news. Is there a simpler exercise than walking? Is there a better way to incorporate talking with friends and loved ones into your fitness plan? Is there anything else that gets you out among your neighbors at a pace that lets you say hello? And is there anything that makes your dog happier than your saying the magic word walk?

A study from the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada (a lovely place for a walk, mind you) found that largely sedentary people who wore a pedometer for 12 weeks increased their total steps by 3,451 a day, to about 10,500. By walking more, they also lowered their resting heart rates, BMIs, and waist measurements. Once you start paying attention to footsteps, you’ll find ways to bank the extra strides. Thirty here, 300 there, 1,000 after dinner, and suddenly you’re walking away from your old weight. Why not start right now? The closer you pay attention, the more you’ll walk. And the more you walk, the greater the temptation will be to mix in an even bigger calorie burner: running.

Lean-Belly Strategy #22

Lift Weights
I suspect that for 81 percent of you, the picture that just flashed in your mind was of a no-neck Bulgarian weight lifter straining as he hoisted a steel beam over his head in the last Olympics. I know that isn’t you.

But you should still be taking advantage of the weight lifter’s advantage: Muscle is the all-night convenience store of fat burning—it never shuts down. Not only do you burn a ton of calories while you’re actually exercising, but there’s also a big afterburn effect that kicks in. Your body has to expend energy to cool you down and repair the small tears in muscle fibers that happen when you lift. (Don’t freak out. If you lift reasonable-size weights, you won’t tear muscles, you’ll just push the muscle fibers hard enough to make them grow.)

Lean-Belly Strategy #23

Exercise Regularly
Believe it or not, “none of the above” is a legitimate option when it comes to physical activity, because there’s nothing magical about running or weight lifting or even walking. They’re just the most common activities people choose in order to add more activity to their days. The only one that’s important to you is one that a) you enjoy, b) fits into your life well enough that you can do it most days, and c) allows you to up your energy expenditure.

You can do that by adding three 15-minute walks to your day or by scheduling 2-hour bike rides on weekends. Or simply by walking more, standing more, lifting more, and sitting less.

Just look at your whole day as an opportunity to make the smart choices that will help you lose weight and feel better. Achieve that, and where might you be next month? Or next year? Some place far better than where you are today!

ABS Breakfast Ideas for Men

 

ABS DIET: PERFECT BREAKFAST RECIPES

Breakfast wakes up your metabolism and tells it to start burning fat, decreasing your risk of obesity

Posted Date: June 29, 2004
Banana Split Smoothie

(number of Powerfoods: 3)

What you need:

1 banana

1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1/8 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

1/2 cup 1% milk

2 teaspoons whey powder

6 ice cubes, crushed

 

How to prepare: Blend until smooth in blender. Makes 2 8-ounce servings.

Calories per serving: 171; Protein: 8 g; Carbs: 33 g; Fat: 2 g; Saturated fat: 1 g; Sodium: 94 mg; Fiber: 2 g

Very Berry Smoothie

(number of Powerfoods: 4)

What you need:

3/4 c instant oatmeal, nuked in water or skim milk

3/4 c skim milk

3/4 c mixed frozen berries

2 tsp whey powder

3 ice cubes, crushed

 

How to prepare: Blend until smooth in blender.

Makes 2 8-ounce servings

Per serving: 144 calories, 7 grams (g) protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 4 g fiber, 109 milligrams (mg) sodium

Breakfast Bacon Burger

(number of Powerfoods: 4)

What you need:

1 Thomas’ Honey Wheat English Muffin

1/2 teaspoon trans fat-free margarine

1 egg

1 slice low-fat American cheese

1 slice Canadian bacon

Vegetables of choice

 

How to prepare:

1. Split the muffin, toast it, and add margarine.

2. Break the egg in a microwavable dish, prick the yolk with a toothpick, and cover the dish with plastic wrap.

3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Let stand for 30 seconds. Add cheese, egg, and Canadian bacon to the muffin, then nuke for 20 seconds.

4. Add vegetables to taste.

Makes 1 serving.

Calories per serving: 300; Protein: 22 g; Carbs: 28 g; Fat: 11 g; Saturated fat: 3.5 g; Sodium: 868 mg; Fiber: 3 g

The I-Haven’t-Had-My-Coffee-Yet Sandwich

(number of Powerfoods: 3)

What you need:

1 1/2 teaspoons low-fat cream cheese

1 whole-wheat pita, halved to make 2 pockets

2 slices turkey or ham

Lettuce or green vegetable

 

How to prepare:

1. Spread cream cheese in the pockets of the pita.

2. Stuff with meat and vegetables.

3. Put in mouth. Chew and swallow.

Makes 1 serving.

Calories per serving: 225; Protein: 10 grams; Carbs: 42 g; Fat: 3 g; Saturated fat: 1 g; Sodium: 430 mg; Fiber: 6 g

Eggs Beneficial Breakfast Sandwich

(number of Powerfoods: 5)

What you need:

1 large whole egg

3 large egg whites

1 tsp ground flaxseed

2 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted

1 slice Canadian bacon

1 tomato, sliced, or 1 green bell pepper, sliced

 

How to prepare:

1. Scramble the whole egg and egg whites in a bowl.

2. Add the flaxseed to the mixture.

3. Fry it in a nonstick skillet treated with vegetable-oil spray and dump it onto the toast.

4. Add the bacon and tomato, pepper, or other vegetables of your choice.

Makes 1 serving.

Wash it all down with 8 ounces of orange juice, and make it the high-pulp kind. More fiber that way.

Per serving: 399 calories, 31 g protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat (3 g saturated), 6 g fiber, 900 mg sodium

Read more at Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/abs-diet-perfect-breakfast-recipes#ixzz2GKJ0KGbY

Men’s Health – Men Die Earlier

Men die earlier than women for a number of reasons, though the gap is not as wide as it once was.  Men are more susceptible to the number one killer – heart disease at a younger age, thought the odds are even after women reach menopause.  Here are some other examples from Medline Plus, A Service of the National Library of Medicine, of the National Institute of Health.

While the life-expectancy gap between men and women has decreased, it’s no secret that men still need to pay more attention to their bodies. Several things work against men. They tend to smoke and drink more than women. They don’t seek medical help as often as women. Some men define themselves by their work, which can add to stress.

There are also health conditions that only affect men, such as prostate cancer and low testosterone. Many of the major health risks that men face – like colon cancer orheart disease – can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat. It’s important to have regular checkups and screenings.