Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Can Prayer Keep You Healthy?

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, Can Prayer Help You Stay Healthy?

A. Several large studies suggest that people with an active religious life tend to stay healthier, live longer, and be happier. For example, a review article published in 2000 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society cited an international study of nearly 170,000 men and women from 14 countries that found religious affiliation and attendance at services significantly increased the likelihood of happiness and satisfaction. Twelve years of data from 2,800 older adults enrolled in the Yale Health and Aging Study, reported in 1997 in theJournals of Gerontology, showed members of religious congregations had a slower onset of physical disability. Other studies on how religion affects health have noted less hostility and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and better quality of life among people with strong beliefs.

But the power of prayer is not easy to document. A 2002 study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine sifted through research claiming religion and spirituality have positive effects on cardiovascular disease and hypertension. The investigators disputed these results, citing numerous flawed or irrelevant supporting studies.

But prayer offers solace and comfort to many people. Religious communities can be part of a larger social network that keeps a person afloat with emotional support and outright assistance . By reinforcing positive emotions, religious belief might stimulate healthy physiological responses through complex nervous system pathways much as a constant flood of negative thoughts may set the opposite reaction in motion. And, of course, certain religions encourage better health habits, such as avoiding alcohol and tobacco.

If prayer is meaningful to you, it can enhance the relaxation response and perhaps your health as well. You may want to use your favorite prayer or a phrase from it to help you focus.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."

Yours in good health

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lower cholesterol safely and cheaply

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, How can I Lower my Cholesterol?

A. One of the safest and cheapest ways to treat high cholesterol is to change your eating habits. In a nutshell: Eat less saturated and trans fats.

Your goal: no more than 25% to 35% of your total daily calories from fat, keeping your saturated fat intake to less that 7% of total calories and limiting dietary cholesterol to 200 mg or less per day. How can you tell how much and what kind of fat you’re getting? The labels on packaged foods and a calorie counter that includes fat grams are useful tools to help you determine fat calories.

Another tip: saturated fats are solid to semi-solid at room temperature and include the fats in meat, dairy products, and eggs, as well as some vegetable oils, particularly the tropical oils (palm, palm kernel, coconut, and cocoa butter). Most saturated fats stimulate LDL production in the body. Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet can lower your LDL.

On the other hand, unsaturated fats, which tend to be liquid at room temperature, include both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Olive, peanut, sesame, and canola oils are rich in monounsaturated fats, while soybean, corn, cottonseed, safflower, sunflower, and fish oils are high in polyunsaturated fats. In contrast to LDL-raising saturated fats, both monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats have some ability to lower LDL.

Avoid trans fats, which are created when food manufacturers solidify unsaturated liquid oils to create firmer margarines and shortenings. Trans fats have been shown to raise LDL and lower HDL levels in the blood. These fats are a greater risk to heart health than even saturated fats. An expert panel from the Institute of Medicine concluded that trans fats have no known health benefit and that there is no safe level of consumption. Growing data on the hazards of trans fats prompted the FDA to pass a regulation that now requires nutrition labels to include trans fat content.

Monounsaturated fats do not undergo modification, and, when substituted for saturated fats, can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats — for example, using olive oil instead of butter — is one way to improve a wayward lipid profile, as long as you aren’t just adding monounsaturated fats and forgetting to cut back on the saturated fats.

Other diet changes that will help lower cholesterol include eating more fiber, such as that found in oat bran, and increasing your consumption of plant stanols and sterols, which are found in a number of food products. Plant stanol margarines such as Benecol and Take Control are worth trying, since regular use can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Research shows that genetic and physiological differences influence how dietary fat affects cholesterol levels. To maximize the benefits of modifying fat intake to lower cholesterol, you should:

1. Determine whether diet changes work for you. Say you decide to try a lower-fat, lower-cholesterol diet for three to six months, but at the end of the trial period, a blood test shows that your cholesterol levels haven’t budged. You may belong to the nonresponder group and need a different kind of diet, or medication, to control your cholesterol.

2. One size doesn’t fit all. When a friend or relative tells you how much his or her cholesterol level dropped after trying a particular diet, you may be tempted to try it too. But if after a few months you discover that the diet has no effect, remember, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all recommendation for fat or cholesterol consumption. You may have to try several different diet and exercise approaches to find one that works for you.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."

Yours in good health

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

Insanity Are you committed?

P90X Men Now it Begins!

P90X Women Now it Begins!

Polar Heart Rate Monitor FT40 FT60

Polar Heart Rate Monitor FT80

TRX Suspension Training Now offered at Fitness Builders 4 Life

Proform Better

About Me

My photo
Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

Any Questions? Ask Glen!