Friday, October 19, 2018

These are the Best High-Fiber Foods, According to Experts

Time Health
October 18, 2018

Your body doesn’t like things to be too easy. Challenging it from time to time—with exercise, with the elements, and even with short periods of going without food—is often associated with better health outcomes.

The same is true of your gut and the foods it digests. Foods that break down and slip through too quickly (namely, refined starches and sugars) tend to promote overeating, out-of-control blood sugar surges, and other disease-linked side effects. Meanwhile, foods that put up a bit of a fight against digestion are often the best ones for you. That’s certainly true in the case of fiber, which is the edible part of a plant that resists breakdown and absorption in your small intestine.

“The evidence from prospective studies is remarkably consistent that a higher intake of fiber is related to lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and weight gain,” says Dr. Walter Willett, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

Almost every year, a new long-term review paper reaffirms the links between dietary fiber and lower rates of disease and death. Earlier this year, a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the consumption of dietary fiber was “convincingly” associated with lower risks for pancreatic cancer, heart disease-related death, and death from any cause.

But not all fiber is equal.

“Our FDA now allows purified and synthetic fibers to be included on the fiber line on [a food label’s] Nutrition Facts,” Willett says. For example, polydextrose is a synthetic fiber added to many packaged foods in order to boost the food’s fiber content and cut down its levels of sugar, fat and calories. Synthetic fibers also tend to pop up in nutrition bars or drinks, some breakfast cereals, and other ready-to-eat products. While the FDA has collected some evidence that suggests replacing unhealthy sugars and refined starches with polydextrose may lead to lower blood-sugar spikes and reduced appetite, Willett says synthetic fibers do not contain the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals found in natural sources of fiber—and so aren’t nearly as good for you.

Fiber can be broken down into two subtypes: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and the healthiest varieties of it tend to become viscous or “gel-like” during digestion, says Nicola McKeown, a fiber researcher and associate professor at Tufts University’s School of Nutrition Science and Policy. McKeown says soluble, viscous fiber is associated with lower blood cholesterol and better control of blood sugar levels.

Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, do not dissolve in water and so tend to pass through the digestive system largely intact. This is a good thing. “Insoluble fiber acts like little scrubbies on the inside of your colon to remove old and damaged cells, thus reducing risk for colon cancer,” says Dr. Robert Lustig, a metabolism researcher and professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. Lustig says insoluble fiber also slows digestion and helps support the health of the microbiome.

These are just a handful of the many ways fiber is good for you. Unfortunately, most people aren’t getting nearly enough of the stuff. While the average American eats about 15 grams of fiber each day, the Institute of Medicine recommends that adult men eat 38 grams of fiber each day while women should aim for 25 grams. “I would say 25 is the bare minimum, actually,” says Wendy Dahl, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Florida. As long as it comes from whole foods or whole grains, “there is no upper limit on fiber—you can’t get too much.”

The best foods to eat to up your fiber intake are those that naturally include both soluble and insoluble fiber. “That’s everything that comes out of the ground and is not processed,” Lustig says. Think whole fruits, vegetables, seeds and legumes (beans and peanuts). Beans, in particular, are a cheap, eco-friendly and plentiful source of dietary fiber, Dahl says: “We should all eat more beans.”

Whole grains, too, are a particularly good source of fiber. If the inclusion of whole grains surprises you, you’re not alone. Many popular low-carbohydrate diets call for the elimination of whole grains and other fiber-rich foods. Willett says this is a concern. “We have no long-term studies of these diets,” he says. Meanwhile, “the evidence of benefits for dietary fiber, especially from grains, is strong. If we really consume our grains as whole grains, we can have a relatively low carbohydrate intake and still get plenty of fiber.”

The healthiest whole-grain foods are the ones that can be eaten more or less intact, such as brown rice, wheat berries or steel-cut oats. Other experts add barley, rye and popcorn to his list.

But while whole grains are great, “fiber from a variety of sources is desirable to minimize the chance of missing something important,” Willett says. For example, a breakfast of unsweetened oatmeal and berries is one healthy, fiber-rich way to start your day. (A cup of oatmeal and half a cup of berries include roughly 15 grams of fiber.) But eating other fruits and whole grains—as well as legumes, seeds, nuts and other fiber-packed plant foods—is optimal.

“A variety of plant-based foods ensures the fiber you get in your diet is not exclusively soluble or insoluble, so you can reap the benefits of both,” McKeown adds.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Still Need Convincing?

Long-Term Benefits Of Exercise On Men’s Body And Brain

Men Style Fashion 3 August 2018

Think exercise is just about weight loss and toned abs?

Maybe you exercise in order to build your biceps, have bulging chest and 6-pack abs. But the benefits of exercise far encompass those aesthetic benefits alone.

Here are 9 long-term benefits of exercise on your body and brain!

Strengthen Your Bones

As we age, we lose a lot of bone mass and density which can lead to a huge risk of fractures and injuries. However, with regular exercise, you can strengthen your bone and avoid such risk. As a matter of fact, a study with 3,262 men involved— from 40 to 60 age range, strenuous physical activity significantly reduced the risk of hip fractures by strengthening the bones.

It Is A Powerful Antidepressant

There are numerous studies and research showing that exercise supports good mental health and helps reduce the symptoms of depressions. The antidepressant effects of a regular physical exercise are even comparable to a potent antidepressant such as Zoloft. And it only takes around 30 minutes of exercise every day for 3 to 5 days a week in order to dramatically improve the symptoms of depressions.

Cardiovascular Health

The lack of physical activity is among the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in men. When you exercise, the heart is pushed to pump more blood and oxygen to the body, therefore making it stronger. A stronger heart will have no problem pumping more blood with less effort, making you less susceptible to heart diseases.

Improve Memory

Are you struggling to recall names or constantly misplacing your car keys? Well, allow exercise to help jog your memory. A study revealed that aerobic exercise such as swimming and running can boost the size of the hippocampus which is the part of the brain that is responsible for recognizing and memory.

Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Exercise itself does not melt down cholesterol as it does with fat. It can, however, influence blood cholesterol levels by reducing bad cholesterols, total cholesterols, and triglycerides and boost good cholesterols.

Control Or Prevention Of Diabetes

Got diabetes? Well, there is a strong evidence that moderate physical activity together with a balanced diet and weight loss programs can make up a 50 to 60% reduction in the risk of developing diabetes.

A Better Sex Life

Regular physical exercise can improve and maintain sexual functions, thus providing you with a better sex life. Physical improvements in muscle tone and strength, body composition, endurance, and cardiovascular function can all improve sexual functioning in men. A study revealed that men who regularly exercise are less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction or impotence than men who do not exercise.

A Longer Life

Add all those benefits and active lifestyles only mean a healthier and longer life! A study at the Finland University of Kuopio in 2004 followed 15,853 men aged from 30 to 59. Over the years, men who engaged in physical exercise and active leisure activities such as swimming, skiing, jogging, doing serious gardening or playing ball were up to 21 percent less likely to develop heart disease or die of any cause during the study period.

Boost Happiness Levels

Whether we are fully conscious about it or not, we always look for ways for us to be happy. However, exercise is the most obvious step you can take. Not only does exercise keep you happy because of a nice, toned body by keeps you there by helping you feel good about yourself. It is not a coincidence that you feel great after a workout- science proves it!

A study revealed that men who exercised, whether it is a vigorous, moderate or mild workout, had a more pleasant feeling than those who did not. Those same individuals were also happier on days when they were more physically active than usual. This only means that boosting your workouts can actually provide more happiness boost. What’s more working out can actually make you happier in the long term.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Staying Alive: The Origins of Firefighter Fitness

Original High Rise Carry: MFRI, 1975
It was 1990 and we were looking for a way to objectify fitness or lack thereof in the fire service. Clearly, this was an occupation that needed standards. And while a lot of fire chiefs claimed that they had a fitness program, what was missing was proof.

How do you validate the fact that your department is actually up to the task of interior fire suppression and rescue? I mean, beyond saying “we have a fitness program.” The Fitness Target, an ingenious invention of my then program manager, Al Starck, took the constructs of fitness (strength, power, aerobic capacity, etc.) and arrayed them on multiple axes, with an objective of getting into the bullseye of the target based upon “gym tests.”

We conducted well over 100, 40 hour Certified Fitness Coordinator training programs all over the country. But, what was lacking was a link to job performance. How does an ascendancy from poor to excellent on a fitness dimension predict actual job performance? Do pushups predict job behavior at the scene of a fire?

For an answer to this question, we returned to our roots at the University of Maryland’s Fire Rescue Institute (MFRI) and our published research in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. The Criterion Task Test (CTT) or “Combat Test” was immediately popularized by firefighters who being somewhat competitive, began to throw down, by way of posting their times to completion. So, we skipped the arcane, hard part of what’s called Criterion-related Validity and went to Duck Validity. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.
First Forcible Entry Task: MFRI, 1975

Original Hose Hoist: UoM Fire Rescue Institute, 1975
Same, same with the performance of critical, arduous or frequently performed essential functions. We no longer had to argue about body fat percentages, and other more abstract predictors of fitness and simply ask applicants or incumbents to demonstrate that they had what it takes to do the job.

Fast forward to today; the Challenge now circumnavigates the globe. There is no form of testing or competition using a tower and surrogates for actual job tasks that do not have its origins in our Combat Test™. The idea of objectivity has come. A measurable standard- the time it takes to perform the essential functions of the job- since time is the enemy of all firefighters. By definition, Emergency Services embodies urgency.

For a truly rewarding experience, it’s great to carry on conversations with Challenge competitors who “get it.” Staying alive is no accident. And the safest firefighter is a fit one. Welcome to the most elite global fraternity in the universal fire service, the 3M | Scott Safety Firefighter Combat Challenge.

(Author’s note: 1975 was a time memorialized in Black and White photographs, before digitial cameras, and cameras with ringtones.)

Friday, October 5, 2018

Who Was the Construction Manager or Engineer on this Job?

Keep just keeps getting better.

I have no idea in which country this happened, but if you were the insurance agent, you’d probably be thinking about leaving your office and changing your phone number.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Wisdom of Will Rogers

Too bad Wiley Post crashed his airplane and killed himself and Rogers way back in the 1930s. We'd still be getting Will Rogers' fine advice even though nothing's really changed in the last 80 years, just like these 17 of the best quotes ever made.

Rogers was a Genius.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

How This One Exercise Can Add Years to Your Life

Live longer in just minutes per day.


What if there was one activity you could do for two hours each week that helped you live three years longer? Good news: there is. Better news: you don’t need fancy machines or expensive personal trainers. All you need to do is run. Regular running—even just a few minutes a day—will help make your RealAge younger than your biological age, showing that your body has fewer miles on it than your actual age would suggest.

Pound the pavement, live longer
A March 2017 study published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases analyzed data from more than 55,000 people, as well as the results of other large studies. Researchers concluded that running may offer more longevity benefits than other types of physical activity.

In the study, people who only ran had a 30 percent lower risk of dying early than people who were wholly inactive, while people who were active but did not run had just a 12 percent reduced risk. People who ran and were active in other ways saw the biggest benefit—a 43 percent reduced risk of mortality. The authors concluded that runners could expect to live, on average, 3.2 years longer than non-runners.

Just minutes per day
Participants in the study ran an average of two hours per week, which is actually less than the 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. The authors crunched the numbers and determined that one hour of running translates to about seven additional hours of life.

The March 2017 data was based on an older study, published in August 2014 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). The JACC study suggested that even five or ten minutes of running per day at a slow pace significantly reduces the risk of dying early of any cause or dying of cardiovascular disease. Of course, runners generally tend to have healthier lifestyles; they don't usually smoke, for example. But even after researchers adjusted for these factors, runners still came out on top in terms of longevity.

Start a running routine
You don’t have to sign up for a marathon to get the benefits of a longer life. If you’re new to running, it’s best to start slowly to avoid injury.

Invest in a good pair of running shoes. Local athletic stores or running shops can help fit you for the best pair. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start with a walk. A daily stroll at a moderate pace can still help reduce your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and maybe even cardiovascular diseases.
If you’re ready to run, try intervals. Warm up with a 5-minute walk. Then run one minute and walk one minute. Repeat 10 times before cooling down with a walk. Changing your speed may help improve muscle strength and blood pressure.

As you gain for fitness, increase your running intervals beyond one minute, while decreasing your rest. Before you know it, you’ll be running a mile without stopping

Keep tabs on your progress by using a tracking app. One option is Sharecare (available on iOS and Android), which has a built-in steps tracker. Try to go a little bit further and take a few more steps every run.

Live long and prosper
If you want to age gracefully, in addition to running, you can do what people in Blue Zones do. Blue Zones are areas of the world with a high concentration of people over the age of 100. 
Those who live in Blue Zones:
• Make movement a natural part of their days
• Live with a purpose
• Have a strong sense of community
• Manage stress
• Drink alcohol in moderation
• Eat a plant-based diet, and never until they’re stuffed

Want to know exactly how beneficial your favorite activity is to your longevity? Take the RealAge Test today and find out.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

This couple’s ‘first kiss’ was when she performed CPR on him. They’ve been in love since.

© Washington Post, September 10, 2018

Andi Traynor and Max Montgomery met each other on Facebook through mutual friends. They had gotten together casually and nonromantically a few times, then decided to go surfing early one morning on California’s Capitola Beach last October.

When they finished with the waves and were walking off the beach, Montgomery, 56, fell to the ground.

Traynor, a doctor, was confused for a moment. Then she checked and realized he did not have a pulse. He was having a heart attack.

“I saw him fall, and initially I thought he tripped,” said Traynor, 45, a medical professor at Stanford University and an anesthesiologist who works with high-risk pregnancies. “I turned him over, and I immediately realized something was very wrong.”

She yelled for someone to call 911 and then started CPR. She did a rescue breath and then chest compressions for seven minutes to keep his blood circulating before paramedics arrived. They used a defibrillator on him three times to no avail and then carried him to an ambulance.
She was distraught. She didn’t know at the time that videographer Alexander Baker had set up a time lapse video to record nature on the beach and that the entire frightening episode was being recorded.

Actual time lapse footage of the arrest and CPR

“You can see me breaking down at that point,” Traynor said of the video. “I thought, ‘He’s dead, people don’t live through that.’ I can’t believe this just happened. How did this just happen? I just felt sadness.”

In the ambulance, paramedics used the defibrillator three more times and finally revived Montgomery.

Traynor said she was sure he had died and searched his Facebook to try to find his relatives to let them know. She contacted his sister and was flabbergasted to find out he was alive.

“His sister said, ‘He’s out of the procedure, do you want to talk to him?’ ” Traynor said. “I burst into tears.”

Montgomery, an outdoorsman and avid runner, got on the phone and apologized to her for collapsing. The next day he had triple bypass surgery.

Max Montgomery at the hospital with two of the EMTs who helped him. (Help-A-Heart foundation)

Traynor showed up at the hospital and waited long hours with Montgomery’s family and friends. She had already developed a crush on him before the heart attack, and he had told her that he had a crush on her, as well. But their interaction had never been romantic, and they decided they’d take things very slowly. But seeing so many of Montgomery’s family and close, long-term friends together made her realize what a kindhearted good man her new friend was.

She was divorced with two kids and cautious to start a new relationship. He was divorced, as well.

“I saw so many amazing, lovely, kind people who loved him so much,” she said. “I’d spent some time studying what makes a healthy relationship, and one factor is somebody who has a good relationship with family and long-term friendships.”

After the surgery, which was a success, she went to visit his hospital room. He recalled telling her: “Who wants to be with a guy who had heart attack. I won’t blame you if you run for the hills.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” she told him.

For Montgomery, that was a turning point.

“When she said ‘I’m not going anywhere,’ I felt like my heart started to heal from the inside,” he said. “I had a great and fast recovery. I believe it was because I was madly in love.”

Andi Traynor and Max Montgomery during their first paddle after his heart attack. (Help-A-Heart foundation)

Six days later, after Montgomery was discharged from the hospital, they went back to Capitola Beach where they went surfing — stand up paddle surfing, actually — and had their actual first kiss.

“We do consider the CPR our first kiss,” Traynor said. “But the day he got out of the hospital, we had our first real kiss.”

She told him there was footage of him falling to the ground and that the videographer had given it to him for his personal use. They decided together they wanted to use it to help people.

“We didn’t want to put it up on Facebook and say, ‘The craziest thing happened last weekend,’ ” Traynor said. “We wanted to be intentional about it.”

As their relationship grew stronger, they decided to educate people about the benefits of CPR and try to dispel some of the myths and fears. One of the biggest, Montgomery said, is people fear they will do more harm than good, and so they are hesitant to perform CPR, especially on a stranger.

To that, he points out that when someone doesn’t have a pulse, things can’t get worse for them, so it’s always worthwhile to give it a try.

They’ve started the Help-A-Heart foundation, which offers CPR instruction and outreach. It’s part of another nonprofit Montgomery founded, Paddle-4-Good, which offers adventure activities such as stand up paddling for underserved populations and people with physical and developmental needs.

Both Traynor and Montgomery are now certified CPR instructors and recite statistics from the American Heart Association: Every 90 seconds, someone dies somewhere in the United States from sudden cardiac arrest. Bystander CPR can triple the chances of survival. Most heart attacks outside the hospital happen at home, so if you learn CPR, you are most likely to use it on a family member and save the life of someone you love.

Since they started telling their story publicly, they have been on the receiving end of lots of bad jokes: “You have to get someone’s consent before you kiss them,” or “Some people will do anything to get a woman’s attention.”

They roll their eyes and chuckle politely. They don’t mind. Mostly, Montgomery said, he’s happy to be alive.

“It’s a crazy thing. It’s the craziest story of my life thus far,” he said. “I’m glad to be on the lucky side of it.”