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The FDA’s New Sugar Label Could Seriously Reduce Heart Disease and Diabetes—And Boost Longevity

The FDA’s New Sugar Label Could Seriously Reduce Heart Disease and Diabetes—And Boost Longevity



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A new study from Tufts University finds just how beneficial an added sugar label can be for our health and our wallets.

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Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are two leading causes of death in the US, responsible for over 715 thousand deaths in 2016 alone, yet both are preventable and reversible. And one of the major risk factors for both of these chronic diseases is a poor diet, partially due to excessive sugar consumption. This is something the FDA is hoping to address by making changes to nutrition labels that give consumers better access to the exact amount of added sugar they're eating.

The FDA mandated labeling added sugar content on all packaged foods and beverages back in 2016, and the rule is supposed to go into effect by January 1, 2020 for the biggest food manufacturers, and January 1, 2021 for everyone else. But will that new label make much of a difference?

Not only is the answer yes, but according to a new study conducted by Tufts University, the change may have far-ranging impacts on Americans' health and longevity—as well as our wallets.

This study analyzed the effects of implementing added sugars content on nutrition labels and further accounted for the effects of corresponding industry reformulation of products with fewer added sugars. The researchers calculated that between the years 2018-2037, 354,000 cases of CVD disease and 599,300 cases of diabetes could be prevented if added sugars was clearly labeled. They also found the change would save $31 billion in health care costs and help Americans gain back 727,000 quality-adjusted life years—years where one is in perfect health.

Interested in learning more about added sugars and understanding nutrition labels?

The statistics surge even higher if the food and beverage industries respond to this rule by reformulating their products to include fewer grams of added sugar. This would lead to 700,000 fewer cases of CVD disease, 1.2 million fewer cases of diabetes, 1.3 million more quality-adjusted life years, and $57 billion saved on health care.

"Clear, easy-to-understand nutrition labels help guide everyone on the path to healthy eating," says Linda Van Horn, PHD, RDN., American Heart Association volunteer expert said in a press release. "Consumers are better empowered to make more informed food choices that will help reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke and live longer, healthier lives."

Researchers for this study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the CDC’s Wonder Database, policy and diet-disease effects from various meta-analyses, and policy and health-related costs from established sources. The lead author of this study noted their findings may be conservative and even underestimate the implications on our health and economy, as they only focused on two chronic diseases.

The bottom line: Americans currently consume an average of 300 calories from added sugars per day—the largest source being from sugary beverages, followed by baked goods, candies, and ice cream. The FDA advises consuming only 10% of our calories from added sugars, and keeping track of our intake with new labeling will hopefully become much easier.


How Diabetes Drugs Help Your Heart

by Kimberly Goad, AARP, November 5, 2020 | Comments: 0

Volha Maksimava/Getty Images

En español | Arguably the biggest game changer for people with type 2 diabetes happened almost by accident. More than 10 years ago, researchers reviewing dozens of studies found that a group of drugs commonly prescribed to help control blood sugar in people with diabetes had potentially grave side effects. At the time, the drugs known as TZDs (thiazolidinediones) were a go-to treatment for people with type 2 who needed help improving their insulin sensitivity. But that came to an abrupt halt after the review of studies, published in 2007 in The New England Journal of Medicine, detected a link between TZDs and cardiovascular disease. Specifically: People with type 2 diabetes taking TZDs had a 43 percent greater risk of heart attack than those not taking TZDs. What's more, their chances of dying from a cardiovascular event — meaning heart attack, stroke or heart failure — were elevated.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) promptly issued a mandate: Going forward, drug companies must prove that their glucose-lowering drugs wouldn't damage the heart. Pharmaceutical companies went back to the lab, and their results began to roll out. In a surprising turn, studies showed that not only are the new diabetes drugs safe for the heart many of them actually help prevent cardiovascular disease. Why is that so important for the 34 million adults in the U.S. living with diabetes? Because they are two to four times as likely to have a cardiovascular event as those without diabetes. In fact, cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes.

"The FDA basically said, ‘If we're going to approve these drugs for the reduction of glucose, you have to prove they don't harm the heart,'” says endocrinologist Daniel Stein, M.D., a professor of medicine and principal organizer of the Cardiometabolic Clinic at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. “Then, lo and behold, all of these drugs not only end up being safe, but they reduce cardiovascular disease outcomes. That was the great surprise.” And a welcome one. “Having diabetes is the equivalent of having known cardiovascular disease,” Stein says. “The risk is identical."

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Even prediabetes may hurt your heart

The culprit in diabetes’ toll on the heart was long thought to be a lone offender: elevated blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar (glucose) can damage blood vessels and lead to hardening of the arteries, which in turn leads to heart disease. But, as it turns out, there's more at play. People with diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions that raise the risk for heart disease and stroke, including too much LDL (bad) cholesterol, not enough HDL (good) cholesterol and high triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood). That triad — known as diabetic dyslipidemia — is a deadly combination that puts people with diabetes at risk for cardiovascular disease. Even more concerning: These conditions can develop even before diabetes is diagnosed.

Mounting research suggests the damage may begin at the prediabetes stage. A large review of studies published in a July 2020 issue of BMJ gives credence to what research scientists have suspected for a while: People with prediabetes — meaning their blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes — are at substantial risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In reviewing the 129 studies, which involved more than 10 million people, researchers found that prediabetes was associated with a 15 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes drugs with heart-health benefits

Jardiance, Invokana, Farxiga

These three oral meds belong to a class of diabetes drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors. They lower blood sugar by helping the body excrete it in urine. They also act as a diuretic, preventing excess fluid from building up in the body, and that reduces the risk of developing heart failure. “The net result is you're reducing the glucose level and all the damaging effects of the glucose you're losing calories, which helps you lose weight and because you're also pulling fluid along with the glucose, it's acting as a mild diuretic, so it's good for the heart,” Stein says. “Your blood pressure comes down and there's less stress on your heart."

Steglatro

The newest diabetes drug in the SGLT2 inhibitor group does not reduce overall cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers found that those taking the drug did, however, show a 30 percent lower risk of heart failure than those who didn't take it.

Victoza, Ozempic, Trulicity

These three injectable drugs fall within a class known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. They work by helping your pancreas release the proper amount of insulin (which helps keep blood sugar levels in check). These drugs also slow the emptying of the stomach, so you feel full longer, which can lead to weight loss.

"It's not the blood sugar itself that raises the cardiovascular risk, but it's the other risk factors that are quite prominently associated with prediabetes, just like they are with diabetes,” says Om Ganda, M.D., medical director of the Lipid Clinic at Joslin Diabetes Center and associate clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The risk is especially pronounced in the years immediately following a diagnosis of prediabetes. “The first five years are crucial because that's when those who are going to get cardiovascular disease may get it,” Ganda says. “If you do nothing about prediabetes — and this has been studied very well — the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is about 10 to 11 percent per year. So in the first five years after diagnosis, your chance of developing cardiovascular disease is about 50 percent.”

Problem is, 88 million adults in the U.S. have prediabetes and 84 percent of them don't know it. So the overwhelming majority of people with prediabetes are missing out on their best window of opportunity to slow the progression of the disease and the complications that go along with it. “Diabetes affects almost every system in the body — not just the cardiovascular system, but the kidneys, eyes, even the brain,” Ganda says. “The longer it takes to act, the harder it becomes to reverse course."

Of the new diabetes drugs with cardiovascular benefits, none is approved for use in people with prediabetes. However, new research shows that two drugs, Farxiga and Jardiance, lower the risk of cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure in people with or without diabetes.

But that doesn't mean these or any of the new drugs are for everyone. (See “Diabetes drugs with heart-health benefits.") For one thing, they're still quite expensive, Ganda notes. And, like all drugs, they have side effects, some of them significant. In the end, say experts, the real prescription for both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes — and by extension cardiovascular disease — may not come in a bottle.

"Losing weight and exercise are the two most effective means of reducing risk for cardiovascular disease, particularly if you have prediabetes,” Stein says. “That improves everything: glucose metabolism, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. Not to mention the fact that if you lose weight, that puts less stress on your bones and joints so you can move around easier — and there's less stress on your heart.” Plus, these new drugs “don't work that well unless you're also on a good lifestyle regimen,” he hastens to add. “A good lifestyle regimen supercharges how beneficial they are."


New nutrition label could help Americans curb their sugar habit

First lady Michelle Obama announces a makeover for food nutrition labels with calories listed in bigger, bolder type and a new line for added sugars, while speaking to the Building a Healthier Future Summit in Washington, Friday, May 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

The Nutrition Facts label, which appears on the back of thousands of packaged foods, is getting a makeover to reflect new nutrition research. Medical experts say that its biggest change &mdash a new call-out that lists the amount of added sugar in foods &mdash will be a huge win for public health.

&ldquoIt&rsquos a victory for consumers. The impact is going to be incredible,&rdquo said Pat Crawford, director of research at University of California&rsquos Nutrition Policy Institute. &ldquoIt&rsquos something in the nutrition field we&rsquove waited for years and years: to educate the public on how absolutely critical added sugar is and about the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and dental caries.&rdquo

Unveiled Friday by first lady Michelle Obama, the Food and Drug Administration&rsquos new label also has a bigger and bolder display of calorie count and includes adjustments on serving sizes. But the most significant change is the inclusion of added sugar, and its recommended percentage in an average diet. Added sugar is any kind of sweetener that is not naturally found in foods like fruit and dairy products it is found in nearly 75 percent of packaged foods.

&ldquoNow the public will have information they need in order to make rational choices about what they want to feed their children and themselves,&rdquo said Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics at UCSF and a leading researcher on the dangers of sugar in the diet.

The larger impact will likely be if the new labels cause manufacturers to make changes to products. Once the new information is available to consumers, food manufacturers may reformulate products with less added sugar, as happened after trans fat information was added to food labels in 2006 &mdash the last significant change to the label.

&ldquoOnce (trans fat) was on the label, (manufacturers) lowered the trans fat. They just wanted their products to be competitive,&rdquo Crawford said.

The Obama administration had already targeted added sugar when it released the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans in January, recommending new limits on sweeteners to 10 percent of daily calories, which adds up to about 4 tablespoons in a 2,000-calorie diet.

&ldquoScientific data shows that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar,&rdquo reads the FDA&rsquos explanation of changes to the new label.

Naturally occurring sugars are not associated with the health risks that come with sugars added during processing, said Crawford.

Yet tracking added sugars is almost impossible with the current Nutrition Facts label, which lists only total sugars. A shopper buying a tub of vanilla yogurt, for example, wouldn&rsquot know how much of the sugar in a serving comes from natural lactose in the milk and how much from added sugar. The new label, on the other hand, will list the added sugar separately, and it will also call out what percentage of the USDA&rsquos recommended daily value those added sugars represent.

&ldquoPeople are going to say, &lsquoHey, I&rsquom getting 90 percent of my daily value (of added sugar) from this Coke &mdash maybe I should rethink this,&rsquo&rdquo said Lustig.

Crawford noticed the difficulty of trying to determine added sugars in foods when a friend, whom she calls &ldquoa highly educated lawyer,&rdquo asked her to help him figure out how much added sugar he got in his daily bowl of Raisin Bran, which has both natural sugar from the raisins and added sweeteners for flavor.

&ldquoI poured out a cup of cereal. I counted the raisins,&rdquo said Crawford, who then subtracted the amount of natural sugar in the raisins from the total sugar listed on the cereal box.

The new changes to the label also include changes on serving sizes for certain foods that will more accurately reflect how much a person eats or drinks, such as the possibility that someone may down an entire 20-ounce Coke as readily as a 12-ounce Coke. As the label works now, a 20-ounce Coke may have calorie counts that reflect several servings, even though a single person may drink the whole thing.


Public health takes aim at sugar and salt

The war on obesity and other lifestyle ills has opened a new battlefront: the fight against sugar and salt.

It may be a fight for our lives.

In the last few years, evidence has mounted that too much of these appealing ingredients—often invisibly insinuated into beverages, processed foods, and restaurant fare—harms health.

Research at the Harvard School of Public Health and elsewhere, for example, has tied sugary drinks to an epidemic of obesity in the United States. The average 12-ounce can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, and the average teenage boy consumes nearly three cans of sugary drinks a day. Is it any wonder that about two-thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese?

Obesity, in turn, raises the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and certain cancers. Meanwhile, studies have linked salty diets to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.

At HSPH, the Department of Nutrition is helping to lead the charge for healthier consumer fare. In April, at a widely covered press conference, the department’s faculty publicly challenged beverage makers to create a class of drinks with 70 percent less sugar—a partial reduction that could lower obesity and diabetes rates within a year, they believe. On the salt side, experts estimate that cutting average sodium consumption by one-half could prevent at least 150,000 deaths annually in the United States.

Bolstering this two-pronged public health campaign has been a shift in national political philosophy. “The previous administration believed that market forces solved everything and that regulation was off the table. But market forces, left alone, damaged the economy,” says Walter Willett, Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition. “That also applies to the food supply and health. Market forces don’t promote a healthy diet—in fact, they do exactly the opposite. We made a lot of progress on trans fat. Now the biggest issue, outside of too many calories, is the huge amount of sugar and salt.”

As in many recent public health campaigns, New York City has been ahead of the pack. Its “Healthy Heart-Cut the Salt” program, now a nationwide effort by a coalition of health organizations and public agencies, works with food industry leaders on a voluntary framework to cut salt in their products. “New York City created a market for trans-fat-free foods, and it will create a market for lower-sodium foods,” Willett predicts. In May, President Barack Obama picked Thomas R. Frieden, New York City’s health commissioner, to direct the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), installing a fierce advocate for lowering salt and taxing sugary beverages in a position to bring about change.

SPOONFULS OF SUGAR

In the School’s current battle plan, the prime target is sugar in sodas, fruit juices and other cloying drinks. Here’s why:

  • Downing just one 12-ounce can of a typical sweetened beverage daily can add 15 pounds in a year.
  • In children, one sweetened beverage a day fuels a 60 percent increase in the risk of obesity—and American teenaged boys drink almost three times that much.
  • This April, an HSPH study linked sugary drinks to increased risk of heart disease in adults. Scientists have long known that sugar reduces the “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood. Consistent with this effect, the April study showed that it wasn’t just weight gain that raised heart disease risk, but sugar itself—eating an otherwise healthy diet or being at a healthy weight only slightly diminished the risk.
  • In 2004, the Nurses’ Health Study found that women who had one or more servings a day of a sugar-sweetened soft drink or fruit punch were nearly twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who rarely imbibed these beverages.

As a dietary enemy, sugar is cleverly camouflaged, because it is dissolved in liquid. A typical 20-ounce soda contains 17 teaspoons of sugar. “If people thought about eating 17 teaspoons of sugar, they’d become nauseated,” Willett says. “But they are able to drink it right down and go for another.” While we normally balance a big meal by taking in fewer calories later, that compensation doesn’t seem to occur after guzzling soft drinks—possibly because fluids are not as satiating as solid foods, or because sweet-tasting soft drinks whet the appetite for high-carbohydrate foods.

Willett and Lilian Cheung, lecturer in the Department of Nutrition and editorial director of The Nutrition Source, urge people to choose drinks far lower in sugar and calories: options such as water, tea, seltzer with a splash of juice, coffee with one lump of sugar.

“If we can shift the present American norm back to a lower expectation of sweetness, people will adjust their palates, particularly the younger population,” says Cheung.

PASS (UP) THE SALT

Almost 80 percent of the salt in the American diet comes not from the salt shaker, but from processed or restaurant foods. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2005 and 2006, the average American on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet devoured more than 3,400 mg of salt per day (mg/d). That’s substantially more than current dietary guidelines, which recommend that adults in general consume no more than 2,300 mg/d—about a teaspoon.

Several years ago, the National Institutes of Health’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-Sodium clinical trial (DASH-Sodium), led by HSPH’s Frank Sacks, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention, found that the biggest blood-pressure-lowering benefits came to those eating at the lowest sodium level tested, 1,500 mg/d. For those prone to high blood pressure, people over 40 and African Americans—groups that together represent nearly 70 percent of the population—the CDC likewise advises no more than 1,500 mg/d.

That 1,500 mg/d threshold would require cutting sodium in processed and restaurant foods by about 80 percent. Though it may sound drastic, the goal is more urgent than ever. In 1982, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called on the food industry to voluntarily reduce sodium levels in processed foods—yet sodium consumption has steadily drifted upward. By 2000, men were eating 48 percent more salt than they did in the early 1970s, and women 69 percent more.

REFINING THE AMERICAN PALATE

To wean ourselves from excess sugar, the Department of Nutrition’s challenge uses a benchmark of one gram of sugar per ounce, which equates to a 12-ounce soda that contains three teaspoons of sugar and 50 calories. “We’ve suggested that manufacturers provide an option in between high-sugar and sugar-free drinks,” Willett says, “to help people step down if they can’t go cold turkey from full sugar to no sugar.” The department is currently discussing the challenge with Obama administration officials. While Willett and others are not directly in contact with manufacturers, the challenge’s press coverage has stirred debate within the beverage industry, and several small start-ups are introducing low-sugar drinks.

The HSPH challenge further proposes that the FDA require manufacturers to label the fronts of their cans and bottles with information on total contents rather than per-serving quantities. Currently, most consumers assume that a single package of chips or bottle of soda is a single serving. Only upon close inspection do they discover that there are two or more “servings” in the package. Willett has called for an initial reduction of salt in processed foods of up to 20 percent—a change that studies show does not perceptibly affect taste.

LAUNCHING A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN

In its forceful call to action, HSPH joins a growing chorus of health experts demanding change. “New Horizons for a Healthy America: Recommendations to the New Administration,” a report issued in April by the Commission on U.S. Federal Leadership in Health and Medicine: Charting Future Directions, describes sugary beverages and salty processed foods as “serious concerns” for the Obama administration. The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has also pressed Congress and the administration to act.

Looking to economic levers to cut consumption, Willett proposes a national sales or excise tax of up to 18 percent on sodas and candy. Along with CSPI, the Department of Nutrition submitted a letter to Congress in June supporting a tax on full-sugar beverages Willett has also testified before the Massachusetts Legislature in support of such a bill. Some of this tax could be used to subsidize healthy but relatively expensive alternatives, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Willett would also rewrite government procurement policies to help set new industry standards. In his view, food services at military facilities, hospitals, government organizations, and schools should all phase out highly sweetened beverages in favor of low-sugar options.

And Willett has called for a ban on child-focused marketing for sweetened drinks—since children and teens drink most of their sugary calories at home. “There should be strong regulations, with real teeth in them, against advertising to children. It’s immoral—criminal, even—to have children’s health undermined for the sake of profit,” he says. To this end, Willett has also contemplated lawsuits on behalf of children: “If a child is encouraged to consume these beverages by a fast-food chain, without being warned of the consequences, and they develop diabetes, is there not some liability?

“We will use all levers possible, as we have done for trans fat elimination,” he adds. “Public education is central to this effort, and talking to journalists is a great multiplier of information.” A Reuters news service story on the department’s industry challenge was picked up from Canada to China, and in JuneUSA Today ran a major story on the topic. Nutrition department investigators are also preparing a scientific review article for a leading medical journal about the deleterious consequences of high-sugar drinks.

The HSPH Department of Nutrition is raising funds to set up a research and information center that would conduct, compile, and disseminate studies on the health implications of sugar-sweetened beverages. The center’s mission: to educate policy makers and the public.

So far, food manufacturers have not widely reformulated their products, for fear of losing customers and getting ahead of taste trends. But other nations, such as Finland, have proven not only that palates can grow more refined when governments embark on full-scale efforts steering people toward more wholesome fare, but that population health dramatically improves when they do. (See: What Other Countries Have Done)

For now, Willett intends to point public health’s artillery toward sodas and other sweetened drinks. “Going for the low-hanging fruit is the first step, and the sugared beverage area is the place,” he says. “These products are in a class with tobacco. There’s only harm, no benefit.”

Photograph: Kent Dayton/HSPH

Larry Hand is associate editor of the Review.
Madeline Drexler is guest editor of this issue of the
Review.


Causes

For the majority of people who experience reactive hypoglycemia, there's no apparent or diagnosable reason for the characteristic blood sugar dips. However, there are a few known potential causes:  

  • Insulinoma, a rare, usually benign tumor made up of abnormal beta cells—the cells that produce insulin needed to maintain normal blood sugar
  • Excessive intake of insulin by someone who has diabetes , which may cause food to pass so quickly through the digestive system that not all of it is digested and therefore is absorbed as glucose into the bloodstream  
  • Hernia surgery
  • Certain inherited metabolic disorders—specifically known as endogenous hyperinsulinism linked to non-insulinoma pancreatogenic hypoglycemia syndrome (NIPHS) or very rarely, inherited fructose intolerance  
  • Enzyme deficiencies that interfere with the body's ability to break down food

To Drink or Not to Drink Diet Sodas

The American Beverage Association said in a statement that the FDA and other health organizations consider artificial sweeteners safe, and no research has shown otherwise .

“Scientific evidence does show us that beverages containing these sweeteners can be a useful tool as part of an overall weight management plan. America’s beverage companies support and encourage balanced lifestyles by providing people with a range of beverage choices -- with and without calories and sugar -- so they can choose the beverage that is right for them.”

Seattle-based dietitian Angel Planells encourages people to choose water over soda of any kind. But, he says, diet soda can fit into your diet as long as you make other healthy food choices.

“If you drink a diet soda, that won’t make up for eating a super-size fast food meal,” says Planells, a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Breaking the diet soda habit, if you choose to do so, can be tough, says Planells. He recommends starting with baby steps rather than going cold turkey. If you drink five or six diet sodas a day, drop down to two, to three, and then to one. Just be sure to drink water so you stay hydrated.

Ludwig advises people who want to get off sugary drinks to consider diet soda a temporary choice.

“I tell my patients to continue making the transition to unsweetened beverages,” he says. “We know that diet sodas are better than sugary beverages in terms of body weight, but we don’t know if better is actually good.”

Sources

Christopher Gardner, PhD, director of nutrition studies, Stanford Prevention Research Center professor of medicine, Stanford University.

David Ludwig, MD, PhD, endocrinologist and professor of nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and author of Always Hungry.

Matthew Pase, PhD, researcher in neurology, Boston University School of Medicine.

Angel Planells, registered dietitian and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

American Beverage Association statement.

Bleich, S. American Journal of Public Health, March 2014.

CDC: “Consumption of Diet Drinks in the United States, 2009-2010 .”

Ebbeling, C. New England Journal of Medicine, October 11, 2012.

FDA: “High-Intensity Sweeteners”

Gardener, H. Journal of General Internal Medicine, September 2012.


A Word From Verywell

Although holy basil may be one of the most promising herbs for promoting health and wellness, there are not enough long-term, quality studies to definitively prove its safety and effectiveness in the treatment of many conditions. This does not diminish the many potential health benefits that have been identified by scientific studies.

In fact, according to Marc Cohen, in a study published by Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, “Ayurveda's use of medicinal and culinary herbs draws upon India's incredible biodiversity with a variety that is unsurpassed by any medical system yet, of all the herbs used, none has a status comparable to tulsi or holy basil (Ocimum sanctum).”  


Shop it: Vida Kids KN95 Mask, $35 for 10, shopvida.com

This is a cool feature: Each order includes a prepaid return label so you can send your used masks back as part of the company's sustainability program.

The masks are designed for kids ages 3 and up, and come in three colors—black, grey, and sky (a pretty blue hue).

Keep in mind that, while the masks are currently in stock, they're unlikely to stay that way. KN95s are massively popular right now, and it's not common to find them from a trusted brand in kids' sizes. Basically, stock up while you can.


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Diabetes "You are in Control Fact Sheet

Focus on the "Stars" . Healthier Holiday Cooking Article Audio
“Healthy” and “Holiday” don’t usually find themselves in the same sentence when discussing food. That doesn’t have to be the case, though! Even though research shows a distinct correlation between our food choices and our risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, that doesn’t mean you have to eat flavorless food and give up enjoying your favorite foods for the holidays.

Focus on the Stars Fact Sheet

My Holiday Plate Recipes Recipes
Saving a few calories here and there in your holiday meal can add up to a lot less calories, which, in turn, can help guard against those extra pounds that can add up to unwanted weight gain and higher risk of chronic disease.
Consider these delicious but "lighter" versions of five traditional holiday favorite foods that can reduce calories and fat without sacrificing flavor. They might just become part of a new tradition on your holiday plate.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Celebrate the Holidays Safely Article Audio
As holiday season approaches, I hear a lot of questions about what the holidays will look like this year. The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, had, and still is having, a huge impact on everyone.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Easy Meals For Two or Just For You Article Audio
Do you feel like it just isn’t worth the time it takes to prepare a meal for only one or two people? Do you find yourself settling for less healthy frozen dinners or take-out food more often than you would like?

Healthy Snacks as Meals Handout
Short on time, or not hungry for a full meal? Eating small amounts of food as snacks throughout the day makes it easy to get the nutrients you need. Check out this handout from our Stay Strong, Stay Healthy program to see how you can make eating easy.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Joys of Fall Food Article Audio
Like it or not, the fall season is here. I know not everyone enjoys the fall and winter months like I do. At the same time, I have not found many people who dislike the flavors available during the fall.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Want to Brush Up on Home Cooking Skills? Article Audio
For many, if not most, of us one result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that we are staying at home and cooking more family meals. However, healthful, and great-tasting food preparation can be overwhelming if you are new to cooking or need a refresher. If you are among those who would like to brush up on kitchen skills, the Cooking Basics fact sheets can help you get organized and plan and prepare nutritious and great tasting meals.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Rethinking Your Evening Snack Article Audio

In our very busy lives, we often find ourselves eating on the go or eating close to when we go to bed. Although it is understandable (who wants to go to bed hungry, right?), eating too late can lead to a variety of health issues. At some point, everyone has eaten a meal or a snack right before bed.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Healthy Eating in a Hurry Article Audio

With back-to-school time quickly approaching, families may be looking at a more hurried lifestyle. Whether kids are going back into the physical classroom or being schooled at home, there may well be less time to prepare those home-cooked meals that benefit both our health and our pocketbook.
If this dilemma sounds all too familiar to you, be encouraged. There are some things we can do to maximize the food prep time we have available and still accomplish our healthy eating goals even when time is in short supply! Consider the tips in this article.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Nutrition and Health Article Audio

Now more than usual, people are looking for ways to stay healthy. In addition to good hygiene, good nutrition and hydration are essential. Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking enough water increases your immune system and lowers your risk of most chronic and infectious diseases.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Preserve Fresh Produce with Safety in Mind Article Audio

If you are PLANNING on home canning some of the wonderful produce from your garden, orchard, or from the Farmer’s Market this summer, it is also a good idea to be PLANNING for food safety. This article is full of timely tips to help make sure your home preserved foods are safe and of the highest quality.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Food for your Brain and Mood Article Audio

Normally, there are a number of actions we can take to help improve our mood. Many of these same behaviors also promote brain health. For example, if you are stressed from work, usually a dinner with coworkers or friends help ease some of the stress.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Time to Grill? Think Safety First Article Audio

The summer grilling season is here and many are enjoying wonderful meals prepared outdoors on their backyard grill. Burgers, hot dogs and steaks are among grilling favorites. and cooking them to the correct level of doneness is critical. The color of meat is NOT a good indicator of doneness, so a food thermometer should be kept close at hand. Read more about food thermometers and other tips for safe grilling.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent


Cooking Throughout the Day: Article Audio
Suggestions for those working at home or spending weekends at home
Depending on where you live, work, and play, any number of changes happened to your daily routines over the last few months. Initially, these changes impacted our lives in a major way. For many of us, this impact is continuing, but it may be felt in other areas of our life or in different ways.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Frugal Foods: Spend Less – Get More Article Audio
During the coronavirus pandemic, it has become even more important to find ways to get the most for our grocery dollars. Building meals based around the most low-cost, health-promoting foods is one way to cut costs while still providing good nutrition for our families. Read on to learn about some nutritious yet “frugal foods.”

Hurry-Up Baked Apples Recipe
Use your microwave to prepare this easy and tasty apple dessert or snack in just a few minutes.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Rethinking How You Shop Article Audio

Depending on where you live and what you usually eat during the week, your shopping trips may have become stressful and full of anxiety. First off, I want you to know that you are not alone, this stress and anxiety is hitting everyone.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Leg​umes: Budget Friendly Nutrition Powerhouses Article Audio

Are you looking for ways to provide healthy family meals while staying within a tight budget?Legumes — a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Yet legumes are among the least expensive foods to include in your family’s meals. For more information read the complete article.

Find an informational fact sheet about cooking dry beans at: https://food.unl.edu/documents/cooking-dry-beans.pdf.

Old Settler' Beans Recipe

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Creating a Home Pantry Article Audio
Don’t have a home pantry? Now is the time to create one. For many people, going to the grocery store is a chore. Depending on how busy, tired, or stressed you are, this chore might be frustrating as well. Trips to the grocery store seem to be particularly stressful recently.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Food Planning During the Coronavirus Pandemic Article Radio
During the coronavirus pandemic, you may be taking extra precautions to keep you and your family safe and prepared, including making sure you have everything you need at home. This guide from USDA’s ChooseMyPlate contains information on food planning, including what to buy, how much to buy, and preparation tips.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Nutrition and Health During the Quarantine Article Radio
Now more than usual, people are looking for ways to stay healthy. In addition to good hygiene, good nutrition and hydration are essential. Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking enough water increases your immune system and lower your risk of most chronic and infectious diseases.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Add Physical Activity Throughout Your Day Article Radio
Do you struggle with finding time to get the physical activity needed for optimal health? Most of us have busy lives, and finding time to go to a fitness center is difficult. However, getting the recommended 2 1/2 hours of physical activity each week can be easier than you think. Read on for some helpful ideas!

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Eat Healthy on a Budget Article Radio
Welcome to March! You might see or hear more about nutrition this month than usual. March is National Nutrition Month. Participate in some of the healthy eating habits being promoted this month. I encourage you to find a habit or two to continue in the months to come. In order to eat healthy, you need to prepare yourself in many ways.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Walk Kansas Program Helps Combats Chronic Disease Article Radio
Did you know that chronic diseases are responsible for more than 70% of health care costs in Kansas? Did you know that making healthy lifestyle choices can help protect against chronic diseases? Read on to learn about how you can get involved in making better lifestyle choices that could improve your health and your healthcare costs!

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Spice it up Article Radio
Do you want to add more flavor to your food? If you are one of many people who like different flavorful foods, but are not sure how to make them yourself, this article should help. There are many ways you can add more flavor to your favorite foods.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent


Taming Those Sugar Cravings Article Radio
If you’ve found that munching sugary snacks just makes you crave more sugary snacks, you’re not alone. Eating lots of simple carbohydrates, like cakes, candy and sodas -- without the backup of proteins or fats -- can quickly satisfy hunger and give your body a short-term energy boost. But, they almost as quickly leave you famished again and craving more. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help you tame those pesky sugar cravings. Read the complete article for some helpful tips.

Fruity Chocolate Almond Bark Recipe
It’s easy to understand why chocolate is a favorite expression of love. It tastes delicious, has a pleasing aroma and has a luscious texture. If you are wanting to share chocolate with a special person in your life but you’re concerned about all that sugar and fat, be encouraged! This recipe can easily fit into a healthy eating plan, and can help tame those sugar cravings!

Dark Chocolate is high in antioxidants and can be lower in sugar than other treats. Add in a handful of nuts and some dried fruit and this Fruity Chocolate Almond Bark can be an indulgent and satisfying treat. Just remember to be conscious about portion sizes and indulge in moderation.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Hidden Sugar Article Radio
With the start of the new year, many people make resolutions to eat healthier. One way to eat healthier is to cut back on added sugar. Eating a lot of added sugar is bad for your health. At the same time, many people unknowingly eat more added sugar than they think.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Soup. Versatile Comfort Food Article Radio
Few foods are more comforting than a warm bowl of soup on a cold day. With some planning and creativity, soups and stews can be an easy, healthy, affordable, and delicious dinner idea. Read on to gain tips for making great soups and stews as well as ideas for your own “no-recipe” soup using leftovers.

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe
This recipe from Iowa State University Extension is perfect for a busy day. All the ingredients can go to into the slow cooker in the morning, cook on low for 8 -10 hours, and you have a delicious soup ready to eat in the evening. The recipe is also easy to put together, no cutting up or chopping needed. Just shred the chicken right before serving this soup. It uses dried beans which are tasty, inexpensive and nutritious, and perfect for the slow cooker. Fair warning, the dark color of the black beans changes the outer color of the chicken.
In addition, the recipe freezes well, so can be measured out into single servings and frozen for lunches. Also, it’s great for a party. This soup tastes delicious with different toppings such as avocado, crushed tortilla chips, sliced jalapenos, plain Greek yogurt, or shredded cheese. So, you can serve the soup out of the slow cooker and let your guests add any toppings they would like.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Making a Meal from What's on Hand Article Radio
Wondering what to do with those holiday meal leftovers? If you have leftovers from holiday get-togethers or from meals at any time, you may want to consider mixing them together into some type of casserole. To save time and money, and reduce food waste, check out this guide for making your own great meal from what you have on hand.

Cleaning the Kitchen Cupboard: Toss or Save? Article
With the end of the holiday season and the extra food prep that season often brings, now might be a good time to do some cleaning and organizing in your kitchen to get ready for the new year. Is it time to bid some food items a fond farewell? Should others be moved to a more handy location or storage container? Check out this link for food storage and storage container tips, along with tips to help you decide whether to toss, move, or try to save common kitchen cupboard foods.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Healthy Eating During the Holidays Article Radio
The holidays are a time of family, friends, and food. At the same time, many of us unknowingly eat a few days’ worth of calories in one sitting. There are a number of tips and tricks you can use to keep the dreaded holiday weight gain from happening. They can be done at different times centered around the meal too. That way if you do not remember, you can still make your holidays healthier.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent

Reduce the Hassle of Holiday Food Prep Article Radio
Are you hosting a holiday meal? Do you wish you could spend more time with your guests and less time in the kitchen? Last-minute hurried food preparations can drain any cook’s holiday spirit. Try these ideas to take some of the hassle out of your holidays, while keeping food quality and food safety a top priority…..

Pumpkin Angel Cake Recipe
Yummy holiday flavors, as well as some extra nutrition, makes this easy angel food cake recipe a nice choice for a holiday dessert.

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

The Vegetable and Fruit Rainbow Article Radio
Have you ever been told to eat the rainbow? Many people have but few are told why they should eat the rainbow when it comes to vegetables and fruits. There are many ways you can add more vegetables and fruits to your diet. You can put them in smoothies, roast them, make stir-fry, or have them for a snack or dessert.

Tyler Johnson, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Agent


Tips for a Food Safe Thanksgiving! Article Radio
It’s November! The month when millions of Americans will gather with friends and family around the dinner table to give thanks. However, for those preparing the meal, it can be a stressful time. Not to mention, for many it is the largest meal they have cooked all year, leaving plenty of room for mistakes that could cause foodborne illness. Read on for tips to help you have a food safe Thanksgiving…

Barbara Ames, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

The Story of Your Dinner
Food safety is the foundation of preparing and serving healthy, safe meals. Join us as we highlight the importance of food safety from the farm to the processor to the retailer to your dinner table!

Stay Healthy, Drink Water Article Radio
Most people know the importance of drinking a lot of water during the spring and summer. It is important to drink plenty of water during the fall and winter as well. Hot and dry air can dehydrate you in the summer time, but did you know dry cooler weather can dehydrate you too? Before talking about how much water your body needs, we need to address some myths around hydration.

Keep Your Spice Rack On Track For Fall Flavors! Article Radio
Have the cooler temperatures and turning leaves got you thinking of flavors like pumpkin spice or apple cinnamon?
For many, fall means comfort foods and incorporating spicy autumn flavors into homemade chili and stews and holiday baking. Herbs and spices not only add wonderful flavors, but they also add the healthy benefit of allowing cooks to use less added fats, sugar and salt when creating flavorful meals. The fresher the spice, the more great flavor. So, when was the last time you checked out your spices? Do they still have a bright color, or a strong fragrance? Read on for tips to help keep your spice rack on track…

Pumpkin Pudding Recipe
No cooking required for this tasty pumpkin pudding which includes flavorful pumpkin pie spice. Kids can help prepare with supervision.

Got Milk? Article Radio
In my professional life, I have frequently answered questions regarding health qualities of different types of milk and dairy-free alternatives. In this short article, I will talk about the most popular types of milk and their health benefits. If you have other questions, feel free to contact me.

Family Meals…Worth Making a Priority Article Radio
When was the last time you sat down for a meal with your family?For many, family mealtime has been lost in our overscheduled lives. School, work schedules and extracurricular activities can make it difficult to find time to eat together and some go days or weeks without sitting down to share a meal as a family. However, family meals have many benefits…some you may not have ever thought of. Read on to find out more.

Make Time For Family Meals
As back-to-school routines fill calendars with homework and after-class activities, it may be tempting to skip family dinners. However, Kate Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic dietitian, says that time around the table can offer some of the most important lessons of the day.

How to Read the Nutrition Facts Label Article Radio
Pretend you standing in front of a dozen different types of pasta sauce. They all look good, but you need to know what is best for your family. Have you ever had this happen?

Kick-Start Your Day with Breakfast Article Radio
Back-to-school means busy mornings getting everyone ready and out the door for school and work. Breakfast might be the last thing on your morning to-do list, but don’t skip this important meal. Breakfast refuels your body, jump-starts your day and may even benefit your overall health.

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos Recipe
Looking for a way to provide a nutritious breakfast for your family even on busy mornings. Check out these make-ahead burritos.


After School Snacks. Part of Good Nutrition Article Radio
Are you looking for ways to be better prepared for when your kids come home from school asking for a snack before the evening meal? Snacks can actually help children get the nutrients needed to grow, do well in school, and maintain a healthy weight.

Strawberry Yogurt Pops Recipe
Strawberries and yogurt are all you need for this healthy frozen snack! They’re a great after school snack or late night dessert!

Small Changes for Healthier Snacking
Healthy snacks aren’t just for kids. Adults can benefit from making wise snack choices as well. Find a healthy eating style that works for you by making small changes to your snack choices. The #MyPlateMyWins for Snacks video features small changes you can make to the foods you typically snack on. For example, choose dips and toppings made from vegetables, rather than cheese or butter to cut down on saturated fat and sodium. Vegetables also are a good source of fiber and will help you stay full until your next meal.

Food Safety in the Great Outdoors Article Radio
Picnic and barbecue season offers lots of opportunities for outdoor fun with family and friends. But these warm weather events also present opportunities for foodborne bacteria to thrive. To protect yourself, your family, and friends from foodborne illness during warm-weather months, safe food handling when eating outdoors is critical. Read on for some simple food safety guidelines for transporting your food to the picnic site, and preparing and serving it safely once you’ve arrived.

How Do I Know When It’s Done?
Use this handy chart as a guide to safe internal temperatures of food when grilling indoors or outdoors.

Summer is a great time to be outside- but proper precautions are important as the temperatures rise. Article Radio
It is especially important to stay hydrated because heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious health conditions that can result from dehydration


Infused Water Flavor Ideas Recipe
As outdoor temps start to rise, so does our need to be drinking more water. However, if plain water doesn’t appeal to you, why not try infused water. Add thin slices or small cubes of washed fruit or veggies, or even herbs into a container of cool water. Let the water sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow the flavors to infuse, and enjoy. Hydration never tasted so good.

High Stress: The Heart of the Matter Article Radio
Work Stress. Home Stress. Financial Stress. We all have it in some form or another.The toll of chronic stress isn't limited to emotional suffering. A new issue of the medical journal BMJ, confirms links now exist between mood disorders such as depression and high stress can set the stage for heart disease.

Freezing Foods for the Fair Article
County fairs will be here before we know it. To help save time and stress at county fairs, prepare food entries early and freeze them. Most baked goods freeze well and can still be blue ribbon quality. This includes cookies, yeast and quick breads, and cakes. Read on for some helpful tips.

Preserve It Fresh, Preserve It Safe Article Radio
A few of my friends are already picking cherries and preserving some for pies this winter, so preserving garden produce won’t be far behind! If you are planning on home canning some of the wonderful produce from your garden, orchard, or the Farmer’s Market this summer, it is also a good idea to be planning for food safety. Read on for some tips…

The Facts about E-Cigarettes and JUULing Article Radio
Electronic cigarette usage among High School students jumped by 78 percent between 2017 and 2018. This startling rise did prompt the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restrict some sales of flavored e-cigarettes. However, there is a new form of e-cigarette product on the market every week.

Staying Active. What's Your Move? Article Radio
Walk Kansas, K-State Research and Extension’s eight-week healthy living challenge ended on May 11, but we are still encouraging everyone to keep up an active lifestyle. Being physically active is one of the best things you can do for your health, and it doesn’t have to be hard or involve the gym, and it CAN fit into your busy schedule.

Connect, Create, Contribute with Older Americans Month 2019 Article Radio
Each year, more and more older adults are making a positive impact in and around our Wildcat District Communities. As volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates, and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit the entire community. That’s why Older Americans Month (OAM) has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years.

Food Product Dating. Addressing the Confusion Article Radio
The subject of food product dating came up in my last column regarding Food Waste, and has come up in several conversations with consumers in the last few weeks. So, I decided to share a bit of information to help clear up some of the misunderstanding surrounding these dates.

Mindful Conflict Resilience, Not Reactivity Article Radio
As I write this, I realize just how much I need to talk about the uncomfortable word…. conflict! Whether it be with my family or working relationships, I must say, I either avoid it or do the complete opposite by overreacting. Tell me I am not alone!

Fighting Food Waste: We can make a difference! Article Radio
Did you know that about 40 percent of the U.S. food supply goes uneaten. Of that uneaten amount, food thrown away in homes and foodservice makes up over half of the total amount of food waste. Read on to learn some things you and your family can do to help fight food waste while saving some money and conserving natural resources as well.

“Love Letter To Food”
Roughly 40 percent of the U.S. food supply (1,500 calories/person/day) is never eaten, which is among the highest rates of food losses globally. Addressing this loss could help reduce food insecurity and the environmental impacts of agriculture.

Partnership with K-State will help promote a ‘Culture of Health’ Article Radio
It's clear: People's health, longevity and well-being are connected to their communities — the places we live, learn, work, worship and play.Kansas State University has awarded a grant for $8,000.00 to support a budding health initiative within the Wildcat Extension District of Crawford, Labette, and Montgomery Counties.

Boost Brain Power with Better Nutrition Radio

Feeling forgetful? There could be a number of reasons, but studies show there are some things we can do to improve our mental function. Key components to better brain health include sleeping well, exercising regularly, and, of course, getting good nutrition.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at https://www.eatright.org/ has identified four types of food that specifically help boost our brain power. Read on to find out more… Article

Very Berry Smoothie Recipe
Celebrate National Nutrition Month with this refreshing smoothie. Made from pineapple, banana, and berries this brain boosting recipe contains two cups of fruit per serving.


Staying Young at Heart&mdashLiterally!

I&rsquove said many times that taking care of your health is a great act of love. And that also allows you to get older in better ways. Without a healthy heart, it&rsquos hard to have a healthy body. That&rsquos why I&rsquom delighted to have Sarah A. Samaan, MD, FACC as my guest today. She&rsquos a cardiologist with Legacy Heart Center in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, and co-director of the Women&rsquos Cardiovascular Institute at the Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death yet Dr. Samaan says upwards of 85% of heart disease and stroke can be prevented. She has made preventing heart disease her mission and passion. Her new book, Best Practices for a Healthy Heart: A Cardiologist&rsquos 7-Point Plan for Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease, is geared to helping you learn how to take better care of your heart. The better care you give, the younger your heart can stay. Here are some of her tips:

How to Stay Young at Heart
Sarah Samaan, MD, FACC

Imagine a revolutionary medical breakthrough&mdasha fabulous new drug that could cut your chances of heart disease by more than seventy percent. This new therapy would also be guaranteed to boost your mood, make you appear more youthful and attractive, liven up your sex life, slash your risk of diabetes, protect you from cancer, and reduce your risk of dementia and stroke. Moreover, it&rsquos all natural, nearly 100% safe, and virtually free.

Who could refuse such cutting-edge treatment that would undoubtedly transform healthcare while saving billions of dollars every year? The answer: most people in this country, and maybe even you.

Heart disease kills more than nine times as many women each year than does breast cancer, yet 85% of heart disease is preventable. About 70% of heart disease can be directly attributed to lifestyle, including poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and obesity. These unhealthy behaviors can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, all of which are major risk factors for heart disease. Of course, you may do everything by the book, and still have one of these conditions. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of life-saving medications available, but so often, we physicians have to resort to medical therapy when a good dose of healthy living might have done the trick.

Here are my top ten tips to help you stay young at heart. If you are just getting started in your quest for optimal health, it&rsquos fine to take it one step at a time. Don&rsquot stop, and don&rsquot give up. In a few short weeks, you will begin to feel re-energized, stronger, and more alive.

1. Take charge of your numbers. Get ahead of the game by knowing your waist size, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar.

2. Explore the Mediterranean. Enjoy the fabulously healthy foods of the Mediterranean islands, including fresh fish, luxurious olive oil, whole grains, and rich green vegetables.

3. Journey to Japan. Discover the longevity secrets of soy, green tea, and sweet potatoes, and follow the time-honored Japanese custom of finishing a meal before you feel full.

4. Don&rsquot fall for fakery. Stay away from artificial sweeteners and other imposters. Just like the perfect handbag, the real deal is always the smartest choice.

5. Enjoy a good cup of tea or coffee without a spoonful of guilt. As long as you don&rsquot overdo it, this is one little indulgence that will keep your heart happy and your mind snappy.

6. A glass of wine is perfectly fine. The redder the better, but even white will do. If alcohol is not your thing, purple grape juice is a brilliant alternative.

7. Get a move on. Walk like you mean it, dance to your own music, or hit the gym. Whatever your inclination, commit to two and a half hours every week to achieve optimal health and vitality.

8. Be smart about hormones. While there are still many nagging questions about who, what, and when to take them, medical science is finally taking women&rsquos health seriously. Avoid rumors and hearsay. Find a good doctor whose opinion you trust, and stay up to date on the latest news about hormones and your health.

9. Listen to your mother. Keep your pearly whites shining, sleep at least seven hours a night, and never, ever skip breakfast.

10. Nurture your friendships. A friend will lift your heart when your spirits are sagging and support you when your willpower is lagging. A good laugh with a friend may be the best therapy of all.
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Watch the video: Η ενεργειακή ετικέτα αλλάζει- Χρήσιμα στοιχεία για εμπόρους λιανικής.