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EXERCISE IS NOT THE SOLUTION FOR REDUCING FAT

Exercising for a better quality of life is a very wise decision. One can build muscle and get stronger, have more endurance and maintain your flexibility. All very important things in life.

But the two things that exercise has been credited with but has no effect on are (a) prevention and management of diabetes, and (b) loss of weight through the loss of fat. Plain and simple one cannot shed body fat by exercising.

The above statement is not an error or a misprint. Rather, it is just a very blasphemous, seemingly ridiculous and impossible-to-believe statement (at least for most misled people) that, shockingly, is the absolute scientific truth.

 

WHY WE GET FAT
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Body fat, unlike what is wrongly taught, is not a store of excess unwanted energy. It is direly needed energy obtained from carbohydrates, but due to hormonal and enzymatic reasons is converted into triglycerides and stored in adipocytes as visceral (inside the abdominal cavity) and subcutaneous (under the skin) fat.

It is the high release of insulin from the pancreas in response to the intake of sugars that causes most of the energy ingested to be stored and locked up as body fat, leaving the body in constant need for more energy. So, it results in further encouraging the consumption of carbohydrates.

More technically, ingestion of carbohydrates leads to hyperglycaemia, which leads to a spiking of insulin levels, that, in turn, leads to rapid onset of hypoglycaemia as the body converts most of the carbohydrates eaten into triglycerides (via the ATP-citrate lyase enzymatic pathway), and makes fat cells open and available for the storage of these triglycerides (via the lipoprotein lipase enzymatic pathway). This expands the fat cells in size.

Now that is the true genuine science that leads to fat gain in humans. It has nothing to do with eating more than you need. It has nothing to do with humans being more sedentary, and definitely has nothing to do with eating calorically-dense dietary fat.

THE REAL CULPRIT
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We must stop wrongly implicating dietary fat and lack of activity as the reasons for fat gain. In this process, the real culprit is going scot-free and that lucky culprit is sugar in all its forms.

But don’t most health-conscious people already know that sugar is bad? Don’t most health-conscious people stay away from sweets, pastries, cakes and desserts?

They do. But they still get fat and cannot seem to lose fat simply because most ‘sugars’ are not sweet. They have been going unnoticed because they have been given the euphemism ‘carbohydrates’. It’s high time we drop this safe-sounding name and understand that all carbohydrates, or carbs as they are popularly called, are more accurately defined in genuine nutritional science by the term ‘sugars’.

Let us explain by illustrating certain truths of life, which all of us can observe around us and verify.

It is a known fact that athletes engaged in ultra-endurance sports such as marathons and triathlons rely on copious quantities of carbohydrates for endurance and to perform in their immensely energy-demanding sports. They also steadfastly keep their dietary fat intake very low.

But a little-known fact is that many of them suffer fat gain, even though their activity levels are through the roof. Some even succumb to insulin resistance due to this hyper loading of carbohydrates or sugars.

The above two facts clearly indicate that no volume of intense activity can ever save us from gaining fat if our diet is sugar-loaded.

Fat cannot be lost by so-called fat-burning exercises. Any intense activity that requires a challenging effort, done by a person on a carb-dominated diet, will always solely use glucose and glycogen, while converting the majority of the ingested carbohydrate into triglyceride packages that will then be stored as body fat (adipose tissue).

Exercise cannot save a regular person from insulin resistance and obesity; especially if, as per the conventional nutritional wisdom, the individual partakes in a grain-based, high-carbohydrate, very-low-fat, low-protein diet.

HOW WORKOUTS HELP
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Exercise is a stimulus for improved performance in the parameters of strength, endurance, mobility, speed and agility. It has a bearing on muscle gain as hypertrophy (enlargement of an organ or tissue from the increase in size of its cells) of skeletal muscle cannot happen just with the inclusion of the right quantum of first-class animal-source protein. It will also require a stimulus such as micro-trauma initiated to the muscle cells through intense weight training, so as to provide a reason for the body to adapt to the stress inflicted by weight training with increased thickness of muscle fibres.

In the sense of muscle gain, exercise is as important as diet when it comes to positively impacting body composition. If protein in its right quantum and quality is not provided, the body cannot get the raw materials needed to repair and build skeletal muscle tissue. Conversely, given adequate raw material, the body will not see a need to increase skeletal muscle mass unless we provide the micro-trauma to the muscle fibres as a stimulus, and a very good reason for the body to adapt to that stress by adding to the thickness of the muscle fibres.

WEIGHT LOC
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From the perspective of fat loss, no matter how intensely we work out, we cannot make the body burn existing body fat stores unless we blunt the insulinemic response of the body by giving up sugar in all its forms and relying predominantly on dietary saturated fats in our food. The prime reason for people getting frustrated with their gym workout efforts to lose weight is that they continue to eat sugar.

We are not fat due to our sedentary lifestyles. We get fat due to the predominance of sugar (carbohydrates) in our diets.
The same factor that causes insulin resistance (type-II diabetes) causes the human body to store a big chunk of energy coming from carbohydrates as body fat every time we ingest sugar (carbs).

Carbohydrate intake causes the insulin to spike. That also ensures that energy stays locked up in fat cells and the body uses energy from ingested sugars (carbohydrates).

 

BLAME IT ON CARBS
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Thus, it’s a double whammy when it comes to ingesting a big quantum of carbohydrates. First, when we ingest carbohydrates such as grains, rice, fruits, honey, table sugar, breads of all kinds, potatoes and pasta, more than half the amount gets converted into triglycerides and is stored in adipose tissue and just about half is used as the energy source as the raised insulin, through enzymatic pathways, keeps the fat stores locked and unavailable as energy.

Thus, carbohydrates are not only lipogenic (body fat creating) but also anti-lipolytic (hampering fat breakdown), that is, they not only make you fat but also prevent you from losing fat, irrespective of their quantum and perceived quality. Once we are insulin resistant, there is no such thing as good or bad carbohydrate. All carbohydrates are sugars, and all sugars are carbohydrates.

SUGAR FACTS
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The biggest problem is misinformation. People are convinced that sugar is harmful and causes diabetes and obesity. But people are wrongly taught and, thus, believe that giving up all sweet-tasting foods, mainly desserts, cola beverages and table sugar (sucrose) in tea and coffee means that one has given up sugar.

They need to be educated that most sugars do not taste sweet. Rice is sugar; wheat/ jowar/bajra is sugar; bread is sugar; pasta is sugar; potato is sugar; chips is sugar; corn is sugar; an idli is sugar; milk contains sugar (lactose); breakfast cereals (oats, muesli, flakes) are all sugars. Plus, to make matters worse, they are sweetened by extremely diabetogenic high-fructose corn syrup. Many still wrongly consider sweet fruits as an exception and actually consider fruits to be sugar-free.

Some have been misinformed to such an extent that they actually believe honey and jaggery to be so-called natural, safe sweeteners that are not actually sugars. Many still associate the word sugar to purely denote just one measly form of sugar, and that is sucrose (table sugar, or chini).

Thus, millions think wrongly that they should give up dietary fats to lose fat, and actually think that sugars are fine as long as they are not deep fried. And millions who do believe that sugar must be given up also, unfortunately, do not recognise their staple foods such as rice, chapattis, potatoes, pasta, cereals and fruits as sugars.

This is complete and utter misrepresentation of the term sugars as something that is different from carbohydrates. Moreover, the erroneous concept that sugars are bad and carbohydrates are good is the single most important reason why a very curable disease such as type-II diabetes mellitus is very conveniently called an incurable condition that can only be managed with pharmaceuticals.

LIVING SUGAR-FREE
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To really live sugar-free, we have to be carbohydrate-free. That is when type-II diabetes will be cured (blood sugar will be maintained tightly between 80mg and 100mg per decilitre over a period of time, without medication); and the body will start to use stored body fat reserves as its primary source of fuel and, in the process, provide one with immense energy while causing super fat loss. The path to cure diabetes and obesity is the same — a high-fat, very-low-carb dietary lifestyle.

Today, the science behind obesity is clear. High intake of carbohydrates leads to type-II diabetes, and type-II diabetes, while, more accurately, insulin resistance, leads to obesity. Ergo, the culprit in the obesity epidemic is dietary carbohydrates (sugars).

Coming back to the crux of this article — now perhaps, it is clear that no amount of activity or exercise will contribute to fat loss if the diet is carbohydrate-based, but significant fat loss can be achieved while the body heals from insulin resistance simply by changing our diet to a high-fat, very-low-carb dietary approach, even if we are sedentary.

While the number of people engaging in regular, fairly intense exercise is rising at a furious pace, diabetes and obesity are growing at an alarming rate too.

DIABESITY PANDEMIC
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Over the last two decades, the number of people conscientiously trying to eat healthy and working out has exploded and continues to grow exponentially. The country’s population two decades back had an incredibly scary percentage of people that were diabetic and fat. It was 20 per cent (one out of every five Indians). The boom in the people getting health-conscious did absolutely nothing to curb that rate, let alone reduce the numbers.

Today, the health of our population, including urban, educated, health-conscious, fitness freaks, has been completely put in disarray by an even scarier percentage of the diabetic and obese, which stands at a whopping 33 per cent, while the fitness industry booms!

Diabetes leading to obesity has been given a new name by science — diabesity (they are two sides of the same coin).

At least now, good sense should prevail and one must question the current conventional wisdom on how to combat diabesity. The current accepted approach to fat loss — of burning away the calories by working out and curbing caloric intake through a drastic reduction in dietary fats and relying on a preponderance of fat-free complex carbohydrates (erroneously considered ‘slow release’ and eliciting a very stable insulin response) is clearly not working. In fact, it seems to be actually fuelling the diabesity pandemic.

THE SOLUTION
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We must remember that:

We are not fat because we are sedentary.

We are not fat because we eat too much fat.

We cannot lose fat, no matter how hard we exercise, on a carb-loaded diet.

We can only lose fat by giving up on all dietary sugars and relying on dietary fats for energy.

Just making a dietary switch to a scientifically-correct, carb-restricted, high-fat diet will make us lose fat.

Just working out hard on the traditional, so-called healthy, low-fat diet will not make us lose fat.

Of course, the best approach would be to practise correct scientific ‘performance nutrition’ and work out regularly, consistently and progressively, with an emphasis on strength, endurance and mobility training.

This is the comprehensive approach that will help lose body fat, plus build and retain muscle.

THE FINAL ANALYSIS:-

To build muscle, gain strength, increase endurance and maintain full mobility, exercise and nutrition are equal contributors. Results cannot be achieved if any one of them is compromised.

But, when it comes to losing weight in terms of loss of body fat, nutrition is the key and exercise has hardly any role to play in it.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

 

 

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Medical Palmistry

Medical Assumtions through Palmistry
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Praying Hands  is a famous pen-and-ink drawing by Albrecht Dürer. A close look at the drawing makes several medical assumptions possible.

The person is middle-aged or older.

The hands have been used to manual labour.

The person is diabetic or will shortly become so.

Diabetes produces changes in the structure of the hands so that when they are folded, as in prayer, a small gap is visible between the two little fingers.

As people walk, they unconsciously move their arms. Watch to see the position of the thumb. If it is rotated inwards, the person has a body mass index (BMI) over 29 and is already obese or heading there.

The creases and lines on our palms, formed when the foetus is 12 weeks old, are genetically determined. Normally, three lines are formed. If there are only two lines (single palmar crease), the child must be followed up for Down’s syndrome, or other genetic abnormalities. It is rare for normal people to have a single palmar crease but some do have it only on one palm, a trait shared by many in the family.

Some people are prone to chronic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. They too tend to have only two lines but their single abnormal line is situated just above the thumb.

Hormone levels in the uterus influence finger length. A person (irrespective of sex) whose index finger is shorter than the ring finger will have had more testosterone (male hormone) in the womb and a person with an index finger longer than the ring finger will have had more estrogen (female hormone). The difference in the lengths can as little as two or three per cent but is important. Professional women and female scientists tend to have higher levels of testosterone relative to their oestrogen level, while the converse is true of men in the fine arts and social sciences.

Marfan’s syndrome is a genetic disease in which the person has abnormally long fingers (arachnodactly), like that of a spider. Congenital hypothyroidism, certain renal diseases and some forms of dwarfism are associated with a tripartiate hand where the index, middle and ring fingers are of the same length. Palmar creases, tripartate hands and archnodactly can be picked up on ultrasound examination after the 12th week.

All of five fingers are essential for the hand to function properly. The thumb is the most important as it helps us to grasp something securely. If there are extra fingers, they need to be surgically removed. They may be associated with internal organ abnormalities, particularly of the kidney.

The tips of the fingers have loops and whorls, some closed and circular, others open ended. No two individuals have identical fingerprints. Strangely, people with mental illnesses have more open loops and fewer whorls.

Smokers have yellowish brown nails. In chronic respiratory ailments or congenital heart disease, nails bulge with a convex parrot beak appearance and are blue in colour.

The skin of the palm may be yellow. Jaundice causes this. It can also occur because of excessive consumption of yellow vegetables and fruits.

Hard labour can make the fingers gnarled and knotted; housework, which involves dealing with harsh detergents, makes the skin rough. Office work makes the hands soft and smooth. Regular manicures keep the hands looking good. The occupation and financial status of a person can be determined by looking at the hands.

Fingers may get fixed in the flex position with sudden painful release, the “trigger finger”. The tissues of the hand may get thickened, causing them to contract. These conditions need to be seen by an orthopaedic surgeon.

Osteoarthritis sets in with age and is commoner in women. The fingers become painful and work becomes difficult. This is a localised condition and other body systems are not affected. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in younger people. The joint deformities give the fingers a spindle shaped appearance. This disease can affect other organs as well. Treatment is long drawn and includes medication, physiotherapy and regular exercise. Most joint pains, whatever the cause, respond well to immersion in hot salted water and underwater exercises.

Involuntary shaking movements called tremors can be first seen in the hands and may be associated with tingling. Sometimes these are familial and harmless. Tremors can also be the result of too much coffee, medication induced or the manifestation of a neurological disease like Parkinson’s. Tremors need to be evaluated by a physician.

Hands reveal a great deal if observed carefully. No wonder palmistry is a successful profession!

Source :The Telegraph. May 21.2012
Written by Gita Mathai

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Brain attack (Stroke)

 

An elderly person’s worst nightmare is suffering a stroke. It conjures up visions of being confined to bed with the inability to move or speak and, worst of all, loss of bowel and bladder control. A cerebral stroke occurs when blood supply to a part of the brain stops for any reason. Though strokes can occur at any age, they are more common after 65 years. With the increase in life expectancy in India, the incidence of stroke has doubled from 175 to 350 per 1,00,000.

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Although it is uncommon for strokes to occur in young people, it can happen in youngsters born with a malformed blood vessel in the brain, brain tumours or those who suffer severe dehydration. Also, at any age, irregular heartbeats can lead to small clots in the brain called emboli, which can block vessels. The chances of having a stroke increase in those above 65 years if they have diabetes, hypertension, obesity, elevated blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), are smokers, take more than 60ml of alcohol a day and do not have an active life.

Pregnant women can also suffer a stroke because of an increase in clotting tendency . In fact, the number of such women having a stroke has increased internationally. This upsurge has been blamed on older age at first pregnancy, an inactive life prior to and during pregnancy and obesity.

The manifestations of a stroke are giddiness, weakness or paralysis of muscle groups, blurring of vision, inability to speak or loss of consciousness. This is followed by paralysis of a limb, or a side of the body. A stroke occurs when blood supply to an area of the brain is cut off, either as a result of a block or a bleed.
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Usually, there are a few warning TIA (transient ischaemic attacks) before a stroke or cerebral attack. There can be sudden blurring of vision, inability to speak or weakness of a limb. These signs are due to spasm of a diseased vessel in the brain or to small amounts of blood leaking. Many people do not take these symptoms seriously since recovery is spontaneous and complete. But appropriate preventive treatment at this point can prevent a full-blown stroke.

In the absence of treatment, TIAs are soon followed by the real thing — a stroke. The devastation caused by it depends on the extent of damage to the brain. This in turn depends on the site and size of the block or leak. Thirty three percent of stroke victims recover, 33 per cent have permanent disability and another 33 per cent die. Cerebral stroke is responsible for 1.2 per cent of the recorded deaths in India.

The most common effect is paralysis of a part of the face or one side of the body. Muscles in the throat and mouth lose co-ordination, making it difficult for the person to swallow and talk. Speech may become slurred and distorted. If the speech centre in the brain is affected the person may understand everything that is said but be unable to reply. Memory loss may make recollection of present events a blur. Quite often though past memories are intact. A person may also lose the ability to make judgements, reason and understand concepts. This makes them appear unnecessarily stubborn. A strange numbness or pricking sensations may occur in the paralysed limb. Since all these effects are because of damage to the brain, they are difficult to treat with medication.

All injuries heal given time and treatment, the brain is no exception. It is capable of rewiring itself so that lost skills are regained to an extent. A person who is predominantly right handed can learn to write with his left hand. Physiotherapy makes the paralysed muscles flexible and stronger. Since a few muscle spindles may be still active, they can be retrained to enlarge and take over the function of the paralysed muscles. The bladder can be trained to empty itself every 3-4 hours. By speaking slowly and using simple sentences, it is often possible to be understood. The brain can be stimulated with puzzles and poetry to enable faster healing.

Better still, try to prevent a stroke. :-

• Keep diabetes and hypertension in control.

• Take medications to reduce lipid levels.

• Take aspirin and clopidogrel, usually prescribed to diabetics and those with high pressure, regularly to prevent a stroke.

Walk, swim or cycle for at least 30 minutes a day.

• Stimulate yourself intellectually by learning new skills and doing puzzles.

When it comes to brain circuits, the correct mantra is “use it or lose it!”

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Cuddling May Be Key to Long-Term Happy Relationship

A new study that looked at middle-aged and older couples found that cuddling and caressing can boost satisfaction.  The study also revealed that:

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•Tenderness is more important to men than to women
•Men are more likely to report being happy in their relationship
•Women are more likely to be satisfied with their sex life
According to Yahoo Health:

“Both women and men were happier the longer they had been together and if they had higher levels of sexual functioning … Sexual satisfaction for both women and men was associated with frequent kissing and cuddling, sexual caressing by a partner, high sexual functioning, and frequent sex. For men, having had more sex partners in their lifetime was a predictor of less sexual satisfaction … Sexual satisfaction for women increased over time.”

Resources:
*Yahoo Health July 6, 2011

*Archives of Sexual Behavior August 2011; 40(4):741-53

Posted By Dr. Mercola | July 25 2011

How to Recover Your Cell Phone if it Drops in Water

Did you just drop your cell phone into water? According to Yahoo News, all may not be lost! Here are their suggested steps which might enable you to rescue a drowned phone:

Step 1: Do NOT turn on the phone

Step 2: Pull out the battery and SIM card

Step 3: Rinse quickly in freshwater if you dropped your phone in salt water (to rinse out the salt)

Step 4: Dry your phone using compressed air (DO NOT dry it in the oven)

Step 5: Cover your phone with uncooked rice (in a ziplock bag) for at least 24 hours (to absorb moisture)

Step 6: Turn your phone back on and see if it works!

Sources: Yahoo News June 1, 2011

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