The Planetary Diet’s Greatest Benefits

Originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Early this year, an international team of 37 scientists, with specialties ranging from agriculture to nutrition and from health to economics and government, commissioned by the EAT-Lancet Commission published a landmark study that focused on the environmental impacts of various diets. The study concluded that a diet rich with plant-based foods and scarce on animal-sourced products leads to overall improved health and environmental benefits.

The authors of the study offered a warning in their publication: a global change in diet and food production is needed now as it can lead to sustainable food production, reduce further environmental damage, and end the malnourishment of three billion people across the globe, and could result in up to 11 million fewer premature deaths without harming the planet.

Because the world’s population is set to reach 10 billion by 2050, the commissioned scientists warn “current diets are pushing the Earth beyond its planetary boundaries, while causing ill health. This puts both people and the planet at risk.”

After reviewing the results, the commission recommended everyone on the planet to change their diet to 50 percent lower in red meat and sugar than the average western diet and much much more fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Walter Willett, a Harvard University nutrition expert who was part of the commission, stated that the diet they and the commission have suggested “allows flexibility to accommodate various food types, agricultural systems, cultural traditions, and individual dietary preferences, including omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan diets.

Take a look at this example of the precise diet recommended by the Commission that would provide optimal calories and nutrients, based on 2,500 calories per day:

  • 811 calories of whole grains such as rice or wheat
  • 39 calories of starchy vegetables such as potatoes
  • 15 calories of beef or lamb
  • 15 calories of pork
  • 62 calories of poultry
  • 19 calories of egg – about three eggs every two weeks
  • 40 calories of fish
  • 172 calories of beans, lentils or peas
  • 112 calories of soy food
  • 142 calories of peanuts
  • 149 calories of tree nuts
  • 153 calories of dairy
  • 68 calories worth of vegetables
  • 126 calories of fruit
  • 354 calories of unsaturated vegetable oil
  • 60 calories of saturated palm oil
  • No dairy fat at all
  • 36 calories of lard or tallow
  • 120 calories of sweeteners

This diet would include about two small servings of red meat and two servings of fish a week and about one glass a day of fat-free milk.

Based on this diet, all three different analyses done came up with the same projection: millions fewer would die prematurely, and the earth would sustain far less damage.

Healthy and Creative Salad Toppings

When it comes to salads, most have a very black and white idea of how a salad should look: mixed greens, carrots, onions, tomatoes, croutons, cheese, and your favorite dressing. While salads are always a healthy option, adding different toppings throughout the week helps to increase the variety of nutrients gained from the salad and help to “spice” it up.

Check out these top ideas for adding more flavor and nutrition to your salad.

Tofu – For those who have never tried it, it may not be the easiest choice to put it on a salad. But don’t let its uniqueness stop you. Tofu lowers risk for diabetes, obesity and heart disease, while also acting as a versatile topping: grill it for a firmer texture or use it as a mix for an (eggless) egg salad. Did we mention tofu has also been associated with cancer prevention?

Nuts & Seeds – It is no secret that nuts and seeds are loaded with nutrition. However, it is less known how well they go with a salad. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds and walnuts and almonds make for the best salads. Along with the added crunch they provide, nuts and seeds are packed with Omega-3 fats, vitamin E, protein, fiber and more.

Chickpeas – These jack of all trades improves bone, heart, and gut health, as well as improves memory and sleep. Jam-packed with protein, chickpeas are a perfect addition of any salad. All you need is a small handful added to your daily salad!

Avocado – The benefits of eating avocados don’t even need to be mentioned at this point, right? On top of the low-calorie count and the improved blood pressure and cholesterol, avocados are an excellent substitute for that creamy texture often looked for in calorie-loaded dressing.

Berries – Darker berries are known for their superior vitamin and nutrients content, but all berries offer important sources of fiber, vitamin C, and more. Adding these fruits to your salad helps to curb sweet-tooth cravings and helps the body absorb the iron in the greens.

Egg – This salad topping isn’t the most creative, but it does offer benefits for your health. One added hard-boiled egg provides six grams of protein and more than 15 minerals and vitamins at the cost of 77 calories. Add to the fact that they make meals feel more fulfilling and take about ten minutes to cook; they should essentially be a go-to salad topper.

This article was originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com.

Pain’s Role in Curbing Opioid Addiction

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Opioid addiction has become an increasingly serious issue in our country. The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 recognizes addiction as a health problem more than a legal problem. Both the Senate and President Trump’s appointed commission agree that we should focus on treatment rather than punishment.

One question we should all be asking is, “What is the root cause of our current crisis?” It has been found that pain plays a huge role. Understanding how pain and opioid addiction are connected is the first step to finding effective treatments.

Primary Prevention

Much of the Senate bill calls for “secondary prevention,” such as prescription monitoring programs, illegal drug seizure protocol, improving drug disposal systems and training healthcare professionals in proper prescribing practices.

Primary prevention is mentioned a few times in the bill, but it is not covered extensively. What it does mention is school and media programs that will inform children and parents about the dangers of opioid use. However, this plan only scratches the surface of what needs to be done.

These are all great steps, but what is arguably more important is addressing reasons people turn to opioids in the first place.

Why Start Taking Opioids?

Most people begin taking opioids because of mental or physical pain. Former abuse and improperly treated ailments are two common culprits. If your employers, family members and healthcare providers aren’t helping you with the pain you’re feeling, you might think that opioids are the only way to feel better.

Facing America’s pain epidemic is crucial to curbing the painkiller epidemic. The Senate bill addresses how the National Institutes of Health will make efforts to improve the scientific understanding of prevention, treatment and management of pain. This is a step in the right direction.

Other Considerations

Opioid addiction has affected some communities more than others. It is a widespread problem, but data on the opioid epidemic indicates that the addiction especially impacts males in working class and low-income communities. It is also rapidly expanding to Hispanic communities.

Addressing low social capital, social isolation and weak community ties and economic issues could help solve the root cause of opioid addiction.

Helping people manage their pain without opioids could curb the addiction epidemic in our country. We have a long road ahead of us, but recent research and policies have put us on the right path.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Alternatives to CPAP

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Receiving a diagnosis of sleep apnea can be a jarring experience for any individual. People may worry about the serious health issues that can result from sleep apnea, and they may also feel frightened by the common mode of treatment, continuous positive airway pressure therapy (or CPAP). While speaking with a doctor is absolutely necessary for patients to obtain the right treatment plan for themselves, they can consider and mention some of the alternatives to CPAP.

Losing Weight

When obesity is connected to sleep apnea, losing weight is often a viable solution. Individuals interested in this mode of treatment should not just haphazardly lose weight, however. Instead, they should discuss how much weight they will need to lose to see improvements in their sleep apnea. Having an attainable goal is important. Also, people should remember that obesity is not the only cause of sleep apnea; losing weight is not a guarantee that the problem will go away entirely.

Surgery

It is also possible to have surgical procedures to eliminate sleep apnea. For example, some individuals may decide that they want weight loss surgery, and the reduction or elimination of sleep apnea may be a byproduct of that procedure. However, it’s also possible to have a surgery that is specifically designed for sleep apnea. Discussing the potential risks and complications with a doctor is necessary so that patients can discover if this method is the best one for their needs.

Using Other Devices

While the CPAP is the most common and often the most known tool for eliminating sleep apnea, patients can look into other options too. For many, the thought of a device covering their mouth and nose while they sleep is too frightening. Therefore, they can look into a tool that covers only one. They may also purchase devices that are not electronic, thereby giving them greater peace of mind. Another option is to consider a strap that helps to keep the mouth in proper position while sleeping.

Many products and tools are available on the market for individuals who suffer from sleep apnea. In certain cases, the resolution might be as simple as sleeping on the side as opposed to one the back. It’s important to know that a CPAP is not the only possibility and that patients can find solutions that they are comfortable with.

Healthy Snacks to Assist in Weight Loss

Trying to take off a few pounds is tough. Snacks can help keep the hunger at bay, but they also contain calories and can derail even the most conscientious weight loss efforts. The good news is that nutrition professionals generally agree on one thing — snacking to lose weight can be a boon or bust depending on how it’s done. For a slimmer waistline, choose some of the following foods to nosh on between meals.

Apples and Peanut Butter

Peanut butter has about 200 calories per not-so-generous serving, but it’s also packed with filling protein. Dip slices of a fiber-rich apple in a tablespoon full and get a serving of fruit plus a dose of heart- and gut-healthy flavor in one quick snack.

Pistachios

Nuts were once off limits to dieters because of their high-calorie content, but their protein and beneficial fats are now known to help mitigate hunger. Almonds are a popular choice, but pistachios have half the calories for the same size serving and feel like a decadent indulgence.

Greek Yogurt and Strawberries

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, but it also contains calcium, an essential mineral thought to increase fat metabolism and give dieters an edge. Avoid brands with excess sugar. For sweetness and a punch of Vitamin C, add a half-cup of sliced strawberries.

Whole Fruit

Whole fruit is the original convenience food. It needs little preparation and comes in enough varieties to keep snacking both exciting and filling. Full of fiber, micronutrients, and fluid, fruit like pears, oranges, grapes, melons, and bananas are a sweet treat no dieter has to sacrifice.

Olives

Olives are a healthy Mediterranean staple with enough salt to be a satisfying substitute for junk food like chips. A generous serving has only 150 calories and contains compounds that fight insulin resistance and weight gain.

Broth

A cup of warm, low-calorie broth on a cold day feels like a meal any time without the calories. Research shows that having it twenty minutes before lunch or dinner helps dieters eat less, and if it’s vegetable-based, it also offers valuable fiber and vitamins.

The wrong snacks can spell diet disaster, but these nutrition-packed choices are just what the doctor ordered for controlling hunger while trying to peel off those extra pounds.

This article was originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com.

The Importance of Exercising Regularly

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Although it can be difficult to find the time or energy to exercise throughout the week, staying active offers many benefits. There are many different ways to stay physically active and get moving instead of practicing a sedentary lifestyle. If you are looking to incorporate exercise within your daily routine more often, there are a few advantages to understand.

Manages Weight

Exercise is important because it can allow you to manage your weight and reduces the risk of obesity as you age. By running, lifting weights, or cycling, for example, you’ll burn more calories in addition to building your muscles.

Reduces the Risk of Disease

Many different health conditions and diseases can be avoided by simply exercising regularly, which can increase your lifespan as well. Whether you suffer from high cholesterol or metabolic syndrome, staying physically active is necessary to prevent or manage these health problems.

Avoid Stress

According to EverydayHealth.com, one of the main benefits of exercising is reducing stress by dissipating excess energy in the body. Exercising is also a proven way to release endorphins, which can allow you to feel happier throughout the day. You’ll be able to have mental clarity and can feel more confident navigating challenges when your stress levels are lower.

Increase Your Energy Levels

Although low energy levels are common, you can boost these by staying physically active and by participating in activities that boost your heart rate. Brain chemicals are often stimulated by physical activity, which can allow you to feel more energized and avoid suffering from an afternoon slump.

Beat Smoking Use

Studies show that exercising on a routine basis can make it easier to quit a smoking habit by becoming more fit due to increased mobility. Those who make exercise a priority and value their health are also less likely to use tobacco use in the future, which can protect your heart and allow you to live longer because the blood vessels in the body won’t become damaged.

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the most common causes and symptoms of different diseases and health conditions. By exercising, you can reduce inflammation that may be present and find relief for chronic health conditions that you may be suffering from, which will improve your overall health.

Dangerous Medication Mistakes to Know

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Medication is used for a variety of different purposes, whether to improve ailments or offer pain relief. Unfortunately, many mistakes can be made with taking medications, which can lead to adverse and potentially dangerous effects. If you want to protect yourself and use your medication safely, there are a few common mistakes to avoid making.

Picking Up the Wrong Prescription

In some cases, patients may pick up the wrong prescription and take medication that they may not need. To avoid this mistake, ask your doctor to write down the name of the prescription during your appointment to ensure that it matches the medication you are picking up at the pharmacy. You also want to read the name on the bottle to confirm that the details are accurate.

It’s important to avoid visiting multiple pharmacies when you’re taking different prescription drugs because the pharmacists won’t be able to determine if everything can be mixed. Visit one pharmacy for all of your medication to protect your health and have the aid of a pharmacist who can look out for your safety.

Mixing Medications

Many people make the mistake of mixing their prescription drugs, which can interact adversely by increasing the sedative effect of one another. Avoid mixing painkillers and different supplements, even if some of the medications are over-the-counter. Antibiotics are also known to reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

Consuming Alcohol While Taking Drugs

Consuming alcohol while taking medications is not recommended by health experts because it can create an additive effect. You’ll find yourself falling asleep at the wheel or having a lack of energy, which can be dangerous when performing different types of activities. Alcohol and painkillers should also not be paired together, as it can lead to liver damage over time.

Failing to Ask Questions

Many people fail to get enough of their questions answered when their doctor decides to prescribe the medication. Not knowing when to take the medication, how frequent, or the dosage can all lead to complications if you fail to get clear directions from a medical professional. You can consider asking the pharmacist for help if you’re unsure of the instructions to protect yourself. The doctor may also say that a family member needs to assist with the dosage for certain individuals.