Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Foods that are high in sugar

When you pick up a box of doughnuts or cookies, you are typically not surprised to see that the offering contains loads of sugar. However, there are also foods that aren’t typically thought of as overly sweet that actually pack a shocking sugar punch. A few things to always keep in mind: Be wary of a product that is labeled as nutritious, and do not assume   a food is low in sugar just because its brand sounds healthy. Here are   foods that are loaded with sugar. 

Canned or packaged fruit 
Make sure you do not assume that everything labeled as fruit is healthy. According to experts, packaged or canned fruit is packed with sugar, even those items with labels that say “in light syrup” or “made with real fruit.” This includes products like apple sauce, fruit chillers, and canned fruit. Specifically, experts have suggested keeping an eye packaged fruits, reasoning that they are in the same ballpark as a standard-size chocolate candy bar, which contains 27 grams of sugar. 

Flavoured yogurt 
Not all yogurt is equal when it comes to nutrition. Take Greek yogurt, for example. It’s filled with protein and calcium, creating a delicious food that can be eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient in a meal. But when you opt for a flavoured yogurt, Cosmopolitan reports that it can contain up to 20 grams of sugar. An unflavoured yogurt contains about a third of the sugar that flavoured yogurts have. 

Similarly, in a typical six-ounce container of fruit-flavoured yogurt, there are 26 grams of sugar, more than half of which is added sugar, according to reports. Two fruit-flavoured yogurts are the equivalent to two chocolate glazed donuts.

To be continued next week...

This story was published in Newswatch Times on May 16,  2015.

New HPV vaccine can prevent 80% of cervical cancers

A vaccine to help protect against some forms of cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) has been on the market for years. But new research shows that a newer version, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2014, can prevent more than 80 per cent of cervical cancers. 

The new 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine, which guards against seven cancer-causing HPV types, also has the potential to protect against other cancers including anal, oral, and penile cancers. All of the HPV vaccines available defend against HPV types 16 and 18, which are known to cause about two-thirds of cervical cancers in the United States. The 9-valent vaccine also guards against five additional types of HPV, which combined cause about 15 per cent of cervical cancer cases. According to the National Cancer Institute, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. The virus causes nearly all forms of cervical cancer and five per cent of all cancers. 

The vaccine’s benefits were analyzed in a joint study initiated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Cervical cancer affects more than 12,000 women in the U.S. each year and kills more than 4,000 annually, according to the CDC. That number has declined significantly over the past 40 years due to more women getting regular pap tests, which can detect precancerous growths that may lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is most commonly detected via pap test, which the American Cancer Society recommends women receive regularly. The timeframe varies by age: Women ages 21 to 29 should get a pap smear every three years and those who are 30 to 65 should get one every five years. Women who are older than 65 can stop testing if they haven’t had any pre-cancers detected from regular testing in the previous 20 years. 

Lead researcher Marc Goodman, MD, director of cancer prevention and genetics at Cedars-Sinai’s Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, called the results “monumental.” “I’ve been working on human papilloma since the 1980s,” he told Yahoo Health. “This is a huge victory.” While cervical cancer is treatable if it’s caught in time, preventing its development altogether is definitely preferable, said Amanda Nickles Fader, MD, associate professor and director of The Kelly Gynecologic Oncology Service at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “A vaccine that can prevent a life-threatening cancer is an excellent thing. We can save lives,” she told Yahoo Health. Not only that, it can also save women from stress associated with the discovery of a precancerous lesion and time spent on follow-up visits to the doctor, said Anna Giuliano, PhD, founding director for the Center for Infection Research in Cancer at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. 

While the new version of the vaccine has a huge potential to impact the health of women, Goodman stressed that the vaccine is for girls and boys since anal, penile, and oral cancers are linked to HPV as well. He also cited a “herd immunity” — if a boy is vaccinated and he has sex with a girl who isn’t, he could reduce the odds that HPV will be transmitted to her.

This story was published in Newswatch Times on May 16,  2015.

Foods that are high in sugar

Continued from last week... 

Protein bars 
If you rely on protein bars for the occasional meal or snack, it may be time to re-evaluate. Research shows that there are 20 grams of sugar in a Clif Builder’s Protein Bar. Many protein bars are advertised to be healthy options for diet-conscious people, but they’re usually packed with sugar and carbs. Need more proof? According to Women’s Health, a PowerBar Performance Energy Bar in Citrus Burst contains a staggering 29 grams of sugar.If your diet is already high in sugar, you may want to consider switching out your bars for raw almonds, peanuts, or seeds instead, according to Men’s Fitness. Also, always make sure to read labels first to ensure you are not buying a protein bar that is oozing with sugar and artificial ingredients. 

Fruit juice 
Juice is usually thought of as a healthy, good-for-you option. However, its sugar content can be through the roof. Take grape juice, for example. Women’s Health writes that an 8-ounce glass of grape juice is packed with a whopping 36 grams of sugar! Additionally, a 10-ounce bottle of pure apple juice can have as many as 32 grams of sugar, according to Everyday Health.This goes for juice that is labeled as 100 per cent natural juice in addition to those that are labeled as only containing natural sugars. It always pays to read the label, but you should anticipate juice usually being extraordinarily high in sugar. The worst part? Juice is not filling, and it certainly would not curb your hunger. Rather than reaching for juice, experts have recommended choosing fresh fruit instead. Yes, it will have sugar, but it also has filling fiber, making it a more satisfying choice. 

Bottled teas 
Just because it has the word ‘tea’ in its title does not mean it is good for you. Many people reach for a bottle of iced tea when they are thirsty – after all, it is a cool, refreshing drink that is often deemed as a healthy food. The next time you reach for a bottle of sweet tea, though, take a moment to look at its label. You will probably have to do a double take when you see the sugar content. Experts believe that drinking one 20-ounce bottle of Arizona Iced Tea with Lemon contains a staggering 59 grams of sugar. If that does not seem like a lot, think about it like this: You could eat two normal-size chocolate bars for 54 grams of sugar. Your best best here is to forgo the iced tea and stick to good old-fashioned water. If you need a hint of flavor, try soaking some lemon or lime slices in a pitcher of water overnight for a taste of citrus. 

Dried fruit 
Dried fruit has its advantages. It’s high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, offering plenty of overall health benefits. However, indulging in too much dried fruit can cause a sugar overload. According to Everyday Health, just five to six pitted dates can contain 32 grams of sugar.This is not something you need to give up entirely. Instead, make sure you monitor how much you are eating, and stop after a few pieces of dried fruit. Avoid dried pineapple, banana chips, cranberries, and watermelon, experts have warned. Dried pineapple is usually coated in refined sugar, while banana chips are typically deep fried and sweetened. Cranberries usually have sweeteners added, and dried watermelon contains plenty of sugar, but not very many nutrients. Instead, aim for dried apples, apricots, mangoes, cherries, figs, papayas, blueberries, and raisins, according to reports. 

Frozen breakfast foods 
When you think of frozen breakfast foods that include items such as sausage and cheese, you might not expect them to be high in sugar. Sodium? Yes. But sugar? No. Surprisingly, these foods are typically bursting with sugar. For example, studies show that a Jimmy Dean sausage and cheese croissant breakfast entree can contain up to 21 grams of sugar per serving.

This story was published in Newswatch Times on May 23,  2015.

‘Skipping breakfast has grave health consequences’

Studies have proved that skipping breakfast is dangerous to the health. Experts are worried over the rising number of people who miss breakfast in today’s society in view of its grave consequences. About 18 per cent of males and 13 percent of females between the ages of 35 and 54 are breakfast skippers, according to a 2011 study. 

Benefits of breakfast: 

Diabetes: Skipping breakfast may increase a woman’s diabetes risk, according to a study published recently, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Women who ate breakfast an average of zero to six times per week were at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who ate breakfast every day. 

Heart disease: Eating breakfast was associated with a lower incidence of heart disease in men between ages 45 and 82, according to another study in the journal, Circulation. The study also found that skipping breakfast was associated with hypertension, insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar levels. 

Weight loss: In one recent study, people who ate breakfast as their largest meal lost an average of 17.8 pounds over three months. The other participants consumed the same number of total calories per day, but ate most of their calories at dinner, according to the study published recently, in the journal, Obesity. The large-dinner group only lost an average of 7.3 pounds each over the same time period. Experts insist on eating the right breakfast foods as this can help in concentration, provide strength – even as it helps in maintenance of a healthy weight. 

Memory: A 2005 Journal of the American Dietetic Association review of 47 breakfast-related studies found that eating breakfast is likely to improve cognitive function related to memory and test grades. Eating breakfast is important for everyone, especially for children and adolescents. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.

Many studies, in both adults and children, have shown that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers.

This story was published in Newswatch Times on May 23,  2015.

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