When is Stress a Sign of Something More?

While stress is a normal and everyday experience for most people too much stress could be a sign of a deeper mental health issue.

It is a normal human response to any strain, emotional of physical, on the person.

Experts even agree that acute stress (that which arises during a specific moment for a short amount of time) can be helpful in navigating the situation. Physical symptoms include increased heart rate in the moment.

Chronic stress occurs after the body’s system is triggered repeatedly.

Stress isn’t bad but sustained chronic stress (stress experienced for long periods of time after the situation is over) can be mentally and physically damaging.

It can be hard to tell when stress is becoming something more—like anxiety or depression. If the worry is intrusive after the stressor is over that could be anxiety. If one can’t move beyond sadness is a continuous mood and one can’t move beyond the situation that could be depression.

However, if one is able to resolve their negative emotions soon after the incident that caused the stress, it is probably just that, stress. Discussing one’s extended stress with their physician or a licensed mental health professional is the best way to determine if one has an issue beyond everyday stress.





Weight and Exercise

If you are fighting being overweight, exercise alone is not the answer. There was a recent study by the American Diabetes Association done with mice. They had running wheels in their cages but they would lock them for several days at a time. What they found was interesting.

When the wheels were locked, the mice roamed around the cage expending energy through walking around. When the wheels were then unlocked, they would run the wheel, but decreased expending their energy off the wheel.

Let’s equate that to us. When we exercise at a gym, on a treadmill, take a walk or however we get our spurts of exercise, do we tend to sit around more because we “got our exercise in” rather than keep the momentum going?

Do we tend to eat more when we do more vigorous exercise thinking you can because you exercised? We may need to take a step back and look at what we are doing with exercise and eating regimen.

What’s So Great About Garlic?

Let’s talk about garlic. It can be pungent, it can be sweet. They grow in a bulb comprised of cloves. A bulb can contain about 10-20 cloves. It grows all overthe world. At one time, it was used mostly for medicinal uses.

Garlic is healthy in many ways. It can help combat the common cold. A study found that it reduced colds by 70% and also reduced the number of days of the cold. It can help reduce LDL cholesterol. It has antioxidants. Some people use garlic supplements.

There are many ways people prepare garlic. Peel off the cloves and remove the peel. Even that has a few different ways to accomplish it. You can just peel it off – sometimes it is difficult to remove them. One trick I like to use is to lightly smash it with a knife and sometimes it peels right off. Another way is to put the cloves between two a couple of bowls and or some kind of closed container and shake it.

After you have the peels removed from the cloves, you can do several things. Some people may put whole cloves in their dishes, you can slice them, mince them, crush them.


New Study Finds Kid’s Diets Nationwide Average 67% Ultra-Processed Food

A new research study has found that the diets of children and teens in the United States now consist of nearly 2/3rds ultra processed food calories.

Ultra-processed foods, like frozen pizza, microwave meals, packaged snacks and desserts, accounted for 67% of calories consumed by those demographics in 2018. Which is up from 61% in 1999.

The study analyzed the diet of almost 34k children and adolescents from across the nation.

Industrial processing of food is a mixed bag. While it does allow foods to keep much, much longer than nature allows and some foods to have added nutrients it can also modify foods in a variety of ways including taste, texture, color. Relatedly it makes foods extra tasty, cheap and convenient. All of this takes place via methods not possible in-home cooking. Additionally, they are marketed aggressively in general and often directly at children and teens.

While some foods like whole grain breads and dairy foods benefit from ultra-processing and are much healthier than other ultra-processed foods, many others are less healthy and contain much more sugar and salt, but less fiber than minimally or unprocessed foods which makes them far less healthy than other options.

This is what makes the increase in childhood consumption so concerning.



New Study Finds A Single Hotdog Could Shave 36 Minutes Off Your Life

While no single study is definitive, new research from the University of Michigan may have many of us rethinking what we eat. The study developed a formula and found that eating a single hotdog could shave 36 minutes off your life span.

The researchers looked at almost 6,000 foods in the US diet and measured their effects in minutes on the lifespan of the eater. The goal of the study was to make more visceral the impact individual foods have on our health.

Researchers developed an index that calculates the net benefit or determent to health according to minutes of life by consuming a single food. It is based in part on the Global Burden of Disease study that measures morbidity by a person’s food choices.

Some other examples from the index include: 0.45 minutes are lost per gram of processed meat a person consumes. Don’t worry, the index works both ways. 0.1 minutes are gained per gram of fruit consumed.

As stated, one food researched was a standard beef hot dog on a bun. With 61 grams of processed meat, one would lose 27 minutes of life. But when other ingredients like sodium or trans fatty acids were factored by the index, the final value was 36 minutes of life lost.

Unsurprisingly the study found that eating things like legumes, nuts, seafood, non-starchy vegetables and fruit had positive effects on health and longevity.

Consumption of foods such as nuts, legumes, seafood, fruits and non-starchy vegetables, on the other hand, have positive effects on health, the study found.

Study authors warned that the point of the study is not to say if you eat this bad food, eating that good food will end in a zero sum. But rather to make the choosing the best calories to consume. The point isn’t even to say never eat a hot dog, but it is certainly a food you want to limit in your diet. The study is not intended to tell us exactly what to eat day to day, but just one metric to help make better choices.