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Benefits of a Low-Carb Plant-based Diet

Low carbohydrate, plant-based diet helps lose weight.

Researchers wanted to find a heart healthy alternative to the typical low-carb Atkins-style weight loss diets. This small, randomized, controlled trial used 23 participants. Those on a low-carb, plant-based diet lost 4 more pounds and had 10% lower LDL (bad cholesterol) than those on a high-carb, plant- based diet. Most low-carb diets increase the intake of animal proteins and fats which can boost LDL (bad cholesterol).

PositiveTip: Replace high calorie, fatty foods with plant-based options for better health.

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Your Kids and the Internet

The average age of a U.S. child has a smart phone by age 11.5!

Did you know the average U.S. teen types over 150 texts each day? Texting consumes at least one hour of time normally used for sleep by that same teen! Are you looking for some practical tips on tech savvy parenting? Brian Housman shares realistically how parents can prevent the dangers 'out there' from waltzing in through the front door of their home! Listen to three podcasts or purchase his book.

PositiveTip: Make your home a safe, tech-savvy place for your kids.

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What Helps Kids Choose Healthier Foods?

Your child CAN enjoy healthier foods; here's three simple tips.

Three behavioral patterns that help kids eat healthier emerged from an editorial by two physician-scientists at the University of Pennsylvania.

  1. It's logical to choose food that tastes better; take the time to find healthy foods and recipes kids enjoy.
  2. Keeping healthy snacks visible and available (eg.fruit bowl on kitchen table) increases their consumption.
  3. Incentives work. One study found even $0.25 reward doubled fruit & vegetable consumption, even after the testing period.

PositiveTip: Make the healthy choice the easy choice in your home.

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Exercise Can Protect Against a Broken Heart

As few as 5 consecutive days of exercise provides cardioprotection in lab animals.

Coronary artery disease is a major cause of death around the globe. When the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle become blocked damage occurs. This is known as a heart attack. Fortunately, there is a simple countermeasure that is known to protect the heart--regular physical activity! Exercise-induced cardioprotection is gained in just a few weeks, and it can also be lost as rapidly. 

PositiveTip: Make 30-60 minutes of endurance exercise a part of your daily program.

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Celebrity Nutrition

Nutrition celebrities draw millions with beautiful food photography and fascinating blogs.

The messages are everywhere: clean eating, go paleo, avoid all fat, quit sugar. It is amazing how some without any formal nutrition or biochemical training can make a name for themselves in food and nutrition. Rebecca Reynolds, a nutritionist from Australia, writes candidly about the pros and cons of nutrition celebrities and the magical elixirs they so often promote.

PositiveTip: Avoid the marketing hype and stick with evidence-based, reliable nutrition advice!

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Guide to Healthy Carbs

Carbs come in two basic types. Do you know the difference?

'Carbs' often take a beating in ordinary conversation. But do they really deserve the negative rap? It all depends on the type. Here is a  slideshow to educate you on making the right choice of carbs

PositiveTips: Choose to include a variety of complex carbohydrates in your diet daily--minimize most of the simple ones.

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Too Much Sitting is Not Good for the Heart

Reducing daily sitting time may have a positive impact on cardiovascular risk.

A study presented at the American College of Cardiology 2015 meetings reports there are serious health consequences to 'sitting too much' and this may be different from the impact of not enough exercise. After adjusting for the traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease, researchers found each hour of daily sedentary time was associated with a 10% higher risk of having increased coronary artery calcium scores

PositiveTip: Reduce your daily sitting time by 1-2 hours for better heart health.

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Not So Fast with the Alcohol

Alcohol no longer seen as beneficial for heart disease risk.

Earlier research appeared to show that moderate drinkers lived longer than non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. However, many of those studies included former heavy drinkers who had poorer health than never drinkers. Research from the U.K. which removed the former drinkers from comparison groups did not find the same benefits. The authors note they are skeptical there is any benefit from alcohol.

PositiveTip: Avoid all alcohol as it appears not to protect from heart disease and is a definite risk factor for breast and colon cancer.

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Exercise Intensity and Weight Loss

High-intensity or low-intensity physical activity will both help take off the pounds.

When it comes to weight loss, both high and low-intensity workouts are beneficial. Researchers randomized 300 abdominally obese adults to four groups: controls maintained baseline activity level, low (30 minutes)-low (intensity) group, high-low exercise, and high-high exercise. Each exercise group received 5 weekly sessions of the assigned intervention. After 24 weeks all in the exercise groups had smaller waists and had lost weight with little difference between the groups. 

PositiveTip: Just get moving more results in improved weight control.

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Eat Vegetarian and Reduce Risk of Colon Cancer

Vegetarian diets are associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

During a 7 year follow-up of almost 80,000 adults, researchers found that compared to non-vegetarians, all vegetarian dietary patterns combined had significantly reduced risk for colorectal cancer (22% lower hazard ratio). Replacing red meat with vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes will most likely help lower the risk of cancer of the colon and rectum.

PositiveTip: Choose a balanced, healthy vegetarian diet to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer--and obesity, hypertension, diabetes and all-cause mortality!