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Avoid Diabetes Through Exercise

A mix of strength, aerobic and stretching exercises may reduce diabetes risk

Walking and running are common aerobic exercises that can reduce diabetes risk. However researchers also found that strength training (weight lifting) or muscle conditioning (stretching, etc) helps too. From a national sample of 99,000 women aged 36-81, they found that at least one hour of strength training and conditioning plus at least 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise per week led to a 67% reduced risk of diabetes.

PositiveTip: Choose a variety of aerobic, strength and conditioning options to your exercise regime.

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Sodium and Your Arteries

Less salt may keep your arteries more flexible

Arteries tend to stiffen after age 30 and can increase risk of heart attack, stroke and memory loss because they can’t dilate (widen) when increased blood volume is necessary. Australian researchers studied 25 overweight or obese subjects with normal blood pressure and found those on a diet with lower sodium levels (2600 mg/day) had arteries that could dilate more than those on a diet with normal sodium levels (3600 mg/day).

PositiveTip: Choose to pass over the salt at mealtime and select low-sodium foods.

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The Myth of Resveratrol

Think again before you spend on resveratrol!

Resveratrol, a polyphenol antioxidant found in the skin of grapes, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, peanuts, and some berries has been hailed as the possible agent responsible for the benefits of red wine. However, research found it did not correlate with longevity or lower risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer. In fact, adjusted hazard ratios favored those with the lowest intakes, and there were no significant findings for all measured biomarkers.

PositiveTip: Eat a balanced diet, get plenty of physical activity, and live a positive lifestyle for the best health.

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Inactivity Tops Women's Cardiovascular Risk

Exercising 150 minutes per week could save thousands of lives!

A study of 32,154 women found physical inactivity had the greatest impact on lifetime risk of heart disease after age 30 when compared to excess weight, high blood pressure, and smoking. For those under the age of 30, smoking was the biggest contributor to heart disease. The authors estimated 2000 lives could be saved every year in Australia alone if every woman exercised moderately 150 minutes each week.

PositiveTip: Ladies, keep moving everyday--and invite your husbands and kids to join you!

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Doctor's Modeling Healthy Behaviors!

Doctor's effect positive change by modeling healthy habits to patients.

Here is a great idea! At a primary care clinic in Wisconsin patients and their families are invited to join the clinic staff to cook meals and exercise together to stimulate lifestyle change. Spouses and children get excited about supporting changes for the whole family. Doctors and staff follow up on the phone with families, asking questions like "what's working, what's not, and how can we help you?"

PositiveTip: Encourage your physician to model good behavior for their patients! You could do the same for your friends.

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Are Berries the Perfect Food?

The health benefits of berries are many, especially when consumed with other good foods.

Berries are great for adding color and intense flavor to the meals you serve. They also provide great nutritional benefits as well. They can be an important source of vitamins and the protective phytochemicals. Fresh, frozen or dried berries have similar nutrition profiles, although some Vitamin C may be lost in processing. Find tips for selecting and storing berries here.

PositiveTip: Include a variety of berries in your diet regularly. Just don't drown them in sugar!

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Drinking is Hazardous to Your Health

The hard truth about alcohol--it increases risk of cancer.

The conclusion of the chapter on alcohol consumption in the 2014 World Cancer Report is clear: no amount of alcohol is safe when it comes to cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer declared alcohol to be a carcinogen in 1988, and the evidence has been building ever since. Solid data supports a causal relationship  with cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, liver and female breast.

PositiveTip: No amount of alcohol is safe for cancer risk!

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Tomato Sauce and Prostate Cancer

Improved research finds lycopene may reduce risk of some prostate cancers.

Researchers following 50,000 men for 23 years found those who consumed the most lycopene had a 28% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer. This study improves on previous research: it took into account that lycopene is more easily absorbed from cooked rather than raw tomatoes, it measured lycopene intake more regularly and showed lycopene may only affect certain lethal prostate cancers.

PositiveTip: Enjoy tomato sauce regularly, but don’t use it as a license to eat excess cheeses on pizza or pasta dishes!

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Bravo! FDA to Regulate All Tobacco Products

"Wild West" of tobacco regulation to be tamed.

The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) finally proposed regulations that will cover e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. Also covered are cigars, pipe and water pipe tobacco along with dissolvable tobacco products and nicotine gels. The regulations would ban sales to minors and require photo identification to purchase. This is a huge step for the FDA. There is a 75 day public comment period and a 24 month time frame for companies to apply for product approval.

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Cardiovascular Events and Cannabis Use

Dearth rate was 25% in adverse events associated with cannabis use.

A small, 5-year French study of cannabis-related reports of adverse events found an association with cardiovascular complications. The death rate was 25.6% and the average age was 34 years old. This is difficult to study because of the extreme variation in THC concentrations, the frequent use of other drugs, and the lack of strong control groups. More research is needed to determine if this association is causal.

PositiveTip: Though widely believed that cannabis use is harmless, evidence suggests it may be very risky.