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Diet (15th Nov 11 at 7:31pm UTC)
Keeping a healthy diet as part of your efforts to get the best quality of life,

http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/Goodfood/Pages/Goodfoodhome.aspx
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Re: Diet (15th Nov 11 at 7:31pm UTC)
Cholesterol information.

Dr Trisha Macnair from the BBC web site


What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol forms part of the outer membrane that surrounds every cell. It's used to insulate nerve fibres (and so make nerve signals travel properly) and make hormones, which carry chemical signals around the body.

Without cholesterol, your body wouldn't work - it's vital to ensure the body's normal function.

Too much cholesterol in the blood, however, increases the risk of coronary heart disease and disease of the arteries.
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Cholesterol and food

One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that food's packed with cholesterol. In fact, very little cholesterol is found in foods. The main culprits are eggs, offal and shellfish.

What's important is the type of fat in the food you choose, especially saturated fat. Once inside the body, the liver turns this fat into cholesterol.
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Lipoprotein levels

Knowing your cholesterol level isn't, on its own, enough to tell you your personal risk of heart disease. You also need to know about lipoproteins. These are special molecules that carry or transport cholesterol around the body.

There are three main types:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often known as bad cholesterol - this carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells and, if supply exceeds demand, can cause harmful build-up of cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol - this takes cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it's either broken down or excreted
Triglycerides

The greatest danger is when someone has high levels of LDL cholesterol and trigylcerides, and low levels of HDL cholesterol.
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Healthy cholesterol levels

The average total cholesterol level in the UK is 5.5mmol/l for men and 5.6mmol/l for women, which is above a normal level. So does that mean that most people need to take anticholesterol drugs?

In recent years, we've come to realise that to decide whether an individual's cholesterol levels are dangerous, these levels need to be considered in the light of the person's overall risk of heart disease.

In particular, it's the balance of different types of lipoproteins, rather than the overall total cholesterol level, that matters.

This overall risk is determined by a combination of factors, including age, gender, family history of heart disease, and whether someone smokes, is overweight, has high blood pressure or diabetes.

The higher the risk of heart disease (for example, a male smoker with high blood pressure and diabetes), the greater the need to get cholesterol levels down.

But what constitutes a healthy cholesterol level is controversial, even among doctors.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and Department of Health cholesterol guidelines, which is the policy doctors follow, are:

Total cholesterol - less than 5.0mmol/l
LDL cholesterol - less than 3.0mmol/l

However, the Joint British Societies (a group of the main UK expert societies involved in cardiovascular disease) recommend different cholesterol limits for people who have, or are at risk of, coronary heart disease:

Total cholesterol - less than 4.0mmol/l
LDL cholesterol - less than 2.0mmol/l

These guidelines match the more stringent recommendations used in Europe.

NICE is currently reviewing its national policy guidelines.
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Low cholesterol

How hard people who have little risk of heart disease should strive to keep their cholesterol levels down below 5mmol/l is even more controversial.

Some believe the lower the cholesterol level, the better in terms of preventing heart disease. These people argue that because cholesterol-lowering drugs mostly appear to have minimal side-effects, almost everyone should take them.

But other experts argue that the research evidence doesn't show any particular benefit for certain low-risk groups, such as women who don't have a history of heart disease, and some point to recent concerns about side-effects, such as damage to muscles or the kidneys.

With anticholesterol drugs now being sold without prescription at the pharmacy, the decision about how far to control cholesterol is being pushed into the consumer's hands.

One in 500 people has high cholesterol because of an inherited problem, called familial hyperlipidaemia. If this includes you, you can get more information from Heart UK.
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Treatments for high cholesterol

The first steps in treating high cholesterol levels are:

Regular physical activity
Healthy eating

The latter means cutting down on fats, especially a type called trans fats, and replacing saturated fats with unsaturated alternatives. There are also some foods that may help to lower cholesterol levels, particularly garlic, soya, oats, corn and selenium-enriched cereals.

For advice on healthy eating for hearts, contact the British Heart Foundation.

After taking steps to lower cholesterol, lipid-lowering drugs should be used.
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Re: Diet (15th Nov 11 at 7:32pm UTC)
Some links to more information from the British Heart Foundation these downloads come as Adobe acrobat documents

http://www.bhf.org.uk/publications/view-publication.aspx?ps=1000912

and another source of advice if you have a high cholesterol level from the same source,

http://www.bhf.org.uk/publications/view-publication.aspx?ps=1000139

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Re: Diet (15th Nov 11 at 7:33pm UTC)
Hydration > how much to drink ?

Article by James Collier BSc (Hons)

Water is crucial for us to remain healthy and alive, but all too often it is taken for granted as to why it is so important and to what extent it helps us perform better in exercise. Water is the second most important element to life next to oxygen. The body can survive for weeks without food but merely days with out water, and often for a lot less in warm temperatures and high altitudes. The body and all its organs are comprised mainly of water making the average person about 60-75% water.

Water is essential to all bodily functions. It aids our digestive system with the absorption of nutrients, it's involved in the regulation of body temperature and blood circulation, it helps in the transport of nutrients and oxygen to cells and removes waste products from the body. Alongside these functions water also helps to reduce wear on joints providing lubrication and cushioning, including the spinal cord. Without sufficient water supply (dehydration) we open up our bodies to all kinds of problems. Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj et al noted in the book Your Body's Many Cries for Water that dehydration can lead to hypertension, asthma, allergies and migraines.

The main function of water is its role in temperature regulation. We generate heat when we train and there are numerous mechanisms which the body calls upon to lose heat. Obviously the surrounding environment plays a role, but a significant method of cooling is sweating: The evaporation of fluid from the skin is very effective. During prolonged exercise it is possible to lose as much as two litres of sweat per hour. This would be ideal in keeping us cool, but unfortunately not all sweat evaporates, as some drops off the skin and is wasted.

Losses of fluid corresponding to as little as 2% of body weight can seriously impair the capacity to perform muscular work. In temperate climates, most athletes lose 1-5% of body weight in prolonged exercise, even when taking regular fluid throughout. In extreme conditions, losses of 8-10% have been reported. In severe dehydration and electrolyte loss, a reduction in blood plasma volume can occur, which could result in circulatory failure.

Water transports oxygen, nutrients, hormones and antibodies through the blood stream and lymphatic system (used to fight cancer, viruses, bacteria and infections). This is obviously important to us as we push our bodies hard in the gym and by doing so we greatly increase the amount of water that our body excretes. When we are dehydrated our immune system is therefore open to invasion from outside entities and we are more susceptible to the attack. Thus good hydration helps to protect us from this.

Brain tissue is 85% water and it uses a twentieth of the body's blood supply. When you are dehydrated you have less water in the blood and this lack of water can reduce brain functions and can cause fatigue, depression, stress and can also lead to migraines which may be also be an indicator or poor body temperature regulation.

Muscle is 75% water, so it is important that a high water level is maintained in order to prevent muscular dehydration. When muscles become dehydrated they are open to possible loss of strength and cramps. Cramps are a muscle spasm where a muscle contracts abnormally and locks into an awkward position. Although the direct cause of cramp remains unknown, it is known that muscles that are over-worked, injured or exposed to extreme temperatures are more likely to succumb to cramp. Water helps to regulate our body temperature and aids in the transport of nutrients to cells, so by increasing water intake we can reduce the risk of cramp.

Water is a lubricant for the joints and the cartilage between the vertebrae and at the end of long bones at synovial joints there is also a significant amount of water. Cartilage needs to be well hydrated as this prevents abrasive damage occurring when the opposing surfaces of the cartilage make contact with each other. Long term inadequately hydrated joints can lead to friction damage resulting in joint deterioration and pain.

Another reason that water is also important is due to the fact that when we dehydrate, our body's solution loses viscosity, which, in turn, reduces the efficiency of the protein and enzyme functions of the body. So when we are trying to increase our protein absorption water is a fundamental aspect as acids and enzymes in the stomach break food down into a more fluid state as part of the digestion process. Lack of fluid means you will not be able to break down the food easily and efficiently.

Water is also essential to us as it is fundamental with regards to strength. Being slightly dehydrated will reduce a muscles lifting capability, and training when in this state will reduce strength gains that you might normally get. If you can't lift as much as when you are adequately hydrated, then how can you expect to push harder and make gains?

Water can be one of your most useful tools for weight loss. Water is calorie free. When you are on a restricted diet, by drinking water you can fill yourself up and alleviate some of the hunger.

How do you know if you are drinking adequate an amount?
The problem lies in how we know if we are well hydrated? The body will lose nearly 6 pints of water per day under average conditions. Most water is lost through urine and this is the best way to gauge your level of hydration. By checking the quantity and colour of your urine you can roughly measure how well hydrated you are. When your urine is dark and produced in small quantities you know you are dehydrated.

The sensation of thirst is your body's way of telling you that you are already dehydrated, it is not a reliable indicator of hydration state. By the time this sign emerges it is too late as some damage may have been caused. Also in some people thirst appears thirst through habit, e.g. if you are due a coffee break at work, at other times you may not feel thirsty, even though hydration is suboptimal. By keeping your fluid intake regular and at sufficient levels you will notice that your urine will be virtually colourless and in greater quantities. This is the ideal state to be in.

The kidneys need a large water supply as they remove waste products such as uric acid, urea and lactic acid. The colour of your urine is partly due to the level of urea that is present in your urine. Urea is a bi-product of protein synthesis and, as bodybuilders generally eat a high protein diet, our natural urea levels will be higher than that of an individual following a 'normal' diet. It is therefore a good idea to make sure water intake is adjusted to compensate for this extra burden.

In practice therefore, you should get used to drinking plenty of water and/or other fluids throughout the day, even when you do not feel thirsty.

Other factors affecting hydration
The main limitation to fluid replacement, is not merely how much you can drink, but how quickly the drink can leave the stomach (Wootton 1988). This is known as the rate of gastric emptying and is influenced by:

How much you drink
The temperature of the drink
How hard you are exercising
Current hydration state of the body
How much water is in the stomach
Relative concentration of electrolytes in the fluid
Relative concentration of carbohydrate in the fluid (less an effect, but does significantly affect the rate of fluid absorption directly)

Although larger volumes, up to 600ml, are emptied from the stomach more rapidly than smaller portions, it is generally more uncomfortable to exercise with too much fluid in the stomach. It may cause nausea and reflux, or may interfere with breathing. It is generally better to drink little and often, but how much and how often depends on the individual. Sip water during training, as it feels comfortable.

Colder solutions empty form the stomach more rapidly than warm ones. A cup of tea or coffee during your workout lies on your stomach more, and hot drinks pre workout are a big no-no. Optimum water temperature during exercise is 8 - 13°C, but it is better to have a drink too cold than too warm. Don't worry about over-chilling the stomach, as cramps are more likely to occur as a result of an over-concentrated solution than from a cold drink. There is also psychological relief from drinking lovely cold water during a hard training session, especially on a hot day - this is therefore advantageous!

Exercise duration has little effect on the rate of gastric emptying, but exercise intensity is very important. The harder you are working, the more difficult it is to replace fluids lost as sweat. Remember, though, that bodybuilding is a train-rest pastime, i.e. during a workout, you may do a very ferocious and intense set, but then you rest for a couple of minutes. This helps gastric emptying, and explains why during weight training we do not need as much water as when we are doing cardio session.

Fluids containing electrolytes at optimum rations can be of use during and after training, they do not replenish lost electrolytes, but do help the rate of gastric emptying and the absorption of water in the intestine. Also small amounts of carbohydrate in water will speed up the rate of gastric emptying, and benefit hydration after exercise.

How much should a bodybuilder drink?
The 6 pints of water loss per day previously mentioned is based on an average person's activity. Bodybuilders are far more active physically and many of us are also bigger than average people, thus our bodies will lose a much greater percentage of fluid through perspiration. With this in mind it is a good idea to break your daily intake down and try to follow some guidelines as to when and why to drink water.

First thing in the morning is essential as over night your body will lose water and this needs to be replaced. It will also help to aid your digestive system at breakfast. Have at least a cup of fluid before or during breakfast.
Before a meal. It is also a good idea to consume fluid 30-45 minutes before a meal again to increase the efficiency of your digestive system.
During the day it is advisable to consume a cup every hour. This will maintain a constant level of fluid in your system and help to keep your hunger at bay.
Before a workout. Somewhere around 250 - 500 ml of fluid about twenty minutes before training is roughly optimal. This is not too much fluid taken too soon before exercise to make you feel bloated, but sufficient in order to keep you well hydrated for an intense workout.
During training. Sipping water during training as it feels comfortable will help to keep the body hydrated and increase muscular performance.
Before bed. Although being woken in the night needing the toilet can be annoying, it is a good idea to consume a cup of water before going to sleep to help maintain bodily functions over night.
After alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic so will increase your body's excretion. It is recommendable to drink a pint of water before bed (assuming you are coming home from a bar or a club) as a minimum as your body will be highly depleted of water. This will also reduce the severity of a hangover!

One final side note for males: By remaining well hydrated you can actually increase your natural libido by increase alertness and raising energy levels and you can make your private life more enjoyable by being able sustain an erection for longer periods of time (will that make you drink more water??!!).

Diuretics
A diuretic acts to reduce water retention in the body by increasing the rate of excretion of water through the kidneys. Diuretics can be prescribed medically but there are some commonly consumed diuretics. Alcohol and caffeine are two commonly used diuretics. It may take up to 48 hours to fully re-hydrate after a heavy drinking session - so, avoid the booze! Caffeine is a diuretic in larger amounts but a cup or tea or coffee or two will not provide enough caffeine to have any effect on hydration state.

Final note
Don't wipe sweat off during training (unless it's getting in your eyes), and splashing water on the skin is also a useful way to aid the loss of heat through evaporation. Wear suitable clothing, to help keep cool - avoid heavy sweaters and thick training bottoms
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Re: Diet (15th Nov 11 at 7:57pm UTC)
Some advice on Fad diets,

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Newyear/Pages/NYdiettips.aspx

more food for thought,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2036867/Cancer-buster-broccoli-healthier-wasabi-horseradish.html

Unrealistic expectations behind most diet fails ?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14882832
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Re: Diet (15th Nov 11 at 7:58pm UTC)
Supplements: Who needs them? A special report http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/05May/Pages/supplements-special-report.aspx


Miracle Foods

A look at food myths in the media

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/02February/Documents/BTH_Miracle_%20foods_report.pdf
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Re: Diet (8th Dec 11 at 1:44pm UTC)
Advice from the Food Standards Agency

http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/synthesisofevidence.pdf
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Re: Diet (13th Dec 11 at 11:10am UTC)
Nutrition http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/treatments/healthy_living/nutrition/index.shtml
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Re: Diet (24th Dec 11 at 10:21pm UTC)
Heartburn reflux rise 'triggered by fatty diet

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/12December/Pages/heartburn-acid-reflux-fatty-diet.aspx
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Re: Diet (2nd Jan 12 at 11:45am UTC)
Eating well on a low budget, http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/Pages/change-for-life.aspx
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Re: Diet (4th Jan 12 at 2:38pm UTC)
Many 'healthy snacks' are high in calories, http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/01January/Pages/wcrf-energy-dense-foods-humous.aspx
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Re: Diet (22nd Jan 12 at 10:20am UTC)
Heart attack on a plate: What not to eat at big chains... including JD Wetherspoon's gut-busting 2,000-calorie mixed grill

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2089124/Heart-attack-plate-Guide-eat-big-chains.html#ixzz1kBIAc82w
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Re: Diet (22nd Jan 12 at 2:15pm UTC)
Saw a photo of that mixed grill and it did look good - mind you, would probably only be able to eat half of it {Tongue Out}
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Re: Diet (22nd Jan 12 at 2:41pm UTC)
Had to agree with one of the comments that it should be baked beans with a mixed grill {Smile}
digesting that little lot would be a days work so not so bad when it is spread out a bit {Grin}
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Re: Diet (22nd Jan 12 at 5:20pm UTC)
This massive mixed grill – which includes gammon, rump and pork steaks, lamb chops, chips, a fried egg, six beer-battered onion rings and two pork sausages


Guess who's going to Wetherspoons tomorrow? {Grin}
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Re: Diet (22nd Jan 12 at 9:36pm UTC)
See you there!!! {Grin}
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Re: Diet (22nd Jan 12 at 10:08pm UTC)
I trust this is the name of research? H'mm {Tongue Out}
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Re: Diet (22nd Jan 12 at 10:28pm UTC)
Not really sure who would fund a research project, such as this laudable though it is {Tongue Out}
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Re: Diet (23rd Jan 12 at 7:49pm UTC)
High-fibre diet reduces risk of chronic disease in overweight adults,

http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/clinical-specialisms/nutrition/high-fibre-diet-reduces-risk-of-chronic-disease-in-overweight-adults/5040488.article
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Re: Diet (25th Jan 12 at 12:45pm UTC)
Massive mixed grill might be safe to have on the menu {Grin}

Fried breakfasts aren't bad for the heart - as long as you use sunflower or olive oil

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2091550/Fried-breakfasts-arent-bad-heart--long-use-sunflower-olive-oil.html#ixzz1kTQDaYif
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