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Live Healthier by Managing your Salt and Sugar

Yearly, 2.3 million death are attributed to excess salt intake while its 180, 000 death are attributed to sugar consumption. The salt statistics comes in second after alcohol and followed by car accidents as a cause.

Every year, the average American consumes 130 lbs sugar. Two of its major source is sodas and candies. And refined sugar found in many food people consumed today is linked to obesity, hypertension, diabetes, nervous tension, hypoglycemia, depression, headaches, acne and violent behavior.

Salt on the other hand, is consumed in excess by 9 out of 10 Americans. Too much of it may result to stroke, heart failure, kidney stones, osteoporosis, kidney problems and headaches. Its major sources include supermarkets and convenience store products and food in restaurants. Its recommended daily intake is 1,500 mg or less.

So say you are threatened by these mentioned medical conditions, how do you address this? Cut back on both. How? There can be simple yet effective ways to reduce salt and sugar intake.

Tips to Cut on Salt

Here are some simple ways to cut on salt.

  1. Reduce fast food. Fast foods such as hamburgers, pizza can carry a whooping amount of salt. Eat less fast-food, consume little salt.
  2. Ask for it. When eating in fine restaurants, you can request the chef to use or even omit salt from your menus. You can do the sating in your own through a controlled amount form the shaker.
  3. Read your labels. Sodium is always present in the goods you buy. When you have the option, choose those that have lesser ones compared to others. Your sodium intake as suggested should be below 2300mg per day.
  4. Use spices. Instead of salts, sue spices to keep up with your palates needs. Have some parsley, ginger, lemon grass, chives, etc instead. Dried spices are also recommended. It may help hide strange tastes from meat which what needs to sodium in the first place.
  5. Go for the frozen instead of the canned. Canned vegetables may contain sodium to help preserve it. Frozen ones are just frozen to preserve it and won't need food to protect the food.
  6. Choose the right sauce. Some sauce contains more salt than the others. Or you can try to cut down on sauces.
  7. Practice to love less salty foods. Have yourself get use to foods that are less salty, reduce salt slowly everyday nod in no time you may find all foods enjoyable even minus the sodium.
  8. Put away the salt shaker. Salt shaker in the table is always a temptation. Keep it and use it wisely.

Tips to cut on Sugar

  1. Cut on sauce. Same with the salty sauce, many sauce options are filled with sinful sugary components.
  2. When craving, chew a gum. You can't help it when you crave for sweets. But you can overcome it by keeping a chewing gum in your pockets. Chew n it as it can give you the initial sweetness.
  3. Instead of artificial sweeteners, go for dried berries and cinnamon instead. Their naturally sweetening and are healthy as well.
  4. Instead of a dessert, go for a fruit.
  5. Limit your daily sugar intake. Discipline mostly is the key. Have a daily quota and stick with it.
  6. Have some rules. Like no desserts for lunch or for dinner or both. Or you can only have it on weekends or odd days of the month. Until then, you may try to lessen and lessen sweets in your over-all diet.
  7. Don't keep ice creams at home. An ice cream tub in the freezer is a temptation.
Image credit: "Fleur de sel1" by Christian Mertes (Mudd1 12:26, 18 April 2007 (UTC)) - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fleur_de_sel1.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Fleur_de_sel1.jpg

Braces, Keeping them in Tip Top Shape

Dental Braces The teeth are the second facial feature that is most remembered after meeting someone. And mostly, people perceive straight teeth as better and equated it into all positive qualities for a person. People with straight teeth are perceived to be happier, friendly, healthy, popular, trustworthy and confident compared to those who have crooked ones according to studies.

According to statistics, in the US, there are 4 million people who have dental braces. Most of these are children and teens but about 25% are adults. And just last 2013, the rise in dentists performing orthodontic treatments, dental braces specifically, has risen by 34%.

Aims of dental braces usually are to correct teeth alignment, perform minor jaw form changes and improve smile. But what may be a rather a simple procedure may become a tasking thing after. It requires different care; it requires a specific maintenance for it to be clean and won't induce the formation of plaques and cavities.

Maintenance Tips

Cleaning braces is tasking. When you failed somehow to remove some food particles tucked in brackets and wires, it becomes a magnet of plaque and teeth staining. Plus the fact that food bits sticking in your teeth is a major turn off and is unsightly. So instead of landing that job and acing those interviews, you may risk getting denied.

A simple brushing you used to do prior to your braced teeth won't do. So what do you do now? Take these simple tips below:

Brush teeth regularly. Though simple brushing won't do, but regular brushing can make a difference. Pay attention to brackets and fixtures, go around it. You can use regular and manual toothbrush they can do fine given you put time into it but an electric brush can be an easier option. Use the right toothpaste; choose one with fluoride to protect your enamel.

Floss. You may be discourage since flossing with dental braces isn't an easy job but do it anyway. Try and try and you'll get used to the trick later. Or if you have one, you can use a floss threader to get between your braced teeth. Remember that due to braces, it is easier for food particles to stay there and result to decay, discoloration and even tooth scarring.

Use a Interdental Brush. Interdental brush or wire brush is that small brush that can get through the wire, get close to brackets, go between braces and can even pass through your teeth spaces. But remember; don't push it too hard in between your teeth spaces since it might cause some discomfort and even pain.

Use Mouthwash. But do it less frequently. Use it after brushing to make sure it finishes off what was left to be removed. Although it can help clean off spaces in braces that brush can't reach, it may strip your mucous shield in your mouth which may have bacteria penetrate tissues later; it's called a rebound effect. It can help, but use it sparingly.

Wear Guards During Activities. When you're exercising, playing sports or in an activity that requires contact and injuries can't be helped, use mouth guard. It can cause lesser damage when you bump your mouth and it can protect it as well from germs and bacteria.

Visit your Dentist regularly. Once you have your wires cut and the rubber band son brackets changed and removed, always request for a brush. Brushing minus the wires and the bands can help in reaching those hard to reach places.

Avoid Hard, chewy foods. OF course you shouldn't limit yourself just because you have braces, but if you can certainly avoid chewing on hard foods that can break your wires or disengage your bracket, then do it.

Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Osteoporosis Stopping it in its Track Naturally

A bone disease which usually develops over many years without any major symptoms in the early stages is called osteoporosis. Loss of height, developing a curved upper back, back pain, or broken bones are one of the first signs of osteoporosis. The bones become progressively porous, brittle and fragile in time. These fracture easily under simple stresses and would not break normal, healthy bone.

The fracture risk increases and is greatest in Caucasian women with increasing age.  The relaxation of the abdominal muscles and a protruding abdomen is the reason for postural changes. Fatigue is also felt by many people with osteoporosis.

Causes of Osteoporosis

There are a of causes of osteoporosis like gender, race, genetics, aging, low body weight, nutrition, lifestyle choices like smoking, caffeine, consumption of carbonated soft drinks and alcohol, and physical activity some of the key factors in the development of osteoporosis. Women have greater risk to develop osteoporosis than men, and it's more common during the postmenopausal periods because of the decreasing level of estrogen. Family history of osteoporosis, lack of weight-bearing exercise, slender body frame and Asian or European heritage are some of the risk factors of osteoporosis. Also those women who smoke or drink are at greater risk also. One precipitating factor of osteoporosis is hyperthyroidism.

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

As we grow older, our skeletal system degenerates that makes our bones weak and prone to fracture. But, if you start living a healthy lifestyle early in your life, you may be able to delay the development of this disease. There are some ways to prevent your chances in developing osteoporosis:

  • Engage in weight-bearing exercise like walking, jogging, climbing stairs, dancing, or weight lifting. These exercises help keep bones strong and decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • A healthy diet that includes plenty of calcium and vitamin D is necessary. These are needed for building healthy, strong bones. Fortified milk will boost your vitamin D and by spending 10 to 15 minutes in the sun each day.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Stop or limit your alcohol intake to 1 drink per day or less.
  • Cut down caffeine because it increases calcium loss from your body. It also puts you at risk for osteoporosis.
  • Talk with your doctor about the medications that can help prevent osteoporosis.

Home Remedies and Natural Cures for Osteoporosis Treatment

Potassium

In a recent study, it found out that women who were given regular potassium supplements were better to absorb calcium. This is important for maintaining strong bones. Bananas are a natural source of potassium, so they are highly recommended to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Milk, yogurt, chicken, fish, turkey, celery, spinach carrots, and tomatoes are other foods rich in potassium.

Broccoli

Broccoli is an excellent source of calcium, which is important for maintaining strong and healthy bones. It is also high in vitamin c. it is also high in fiber that helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity and colon cancer.

Fish oil

Some studies have found out that the omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D content in fish oil may help increase bone mineral density. Take 1000mg of fish oil once daily with a meal, this is a simple osteoporosis remedy.

 

Sunscreen 101

suntan lotion We all know that we should be wearing sunscreen now that the sunny days of summer are here, but do you know what you are doing wrong with that sunscreen? Here are the biggest mistakes we are making when it comes to sunscreen.

  • You wait until you are outside to apply your sunscreen. : According to experts, you should apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going out in the sun.  That way it has time to absorb into your skin, plus you won't get those harmful UV rays during those crucial minutes when you are first in the sun.
  • You apply your sunscreen around your clothes and/or swim gear. : If you are applying your sunscreen around your clothes or swimsuit then you may be missing parts of your body because you are worried about getting the lotion on your clothes or swimsuit.  It's best to apply your sunscreen when you are naked and you can better make sure that you aren't missing any important spots.
  • You forget about your lips. : Your lips are vulnerable to harmful UV rays just like the rest of your body.  You shouldn't use the same sunscreen that you use on your body though; be sure to purchase a lip balm that contains SPF and is thicker so it stays on longer.
  • You miss other important areas. : According to experts, the most common areas missed are: the toes and feet including the bottom of the feet, underarms, back of the neck and under the hairline, ears and especially the tops of your ears, eyelids and inner upper arms.  Sunscreen should be everywhere as the sun doesn't discriminate.
  • You sweat or rinse it all off. : Be sure to read your sunscreen label and make sure you are choosing the correct sunscreen for the activity you will be participating in : like swimming or working out outdoors.  Make sure you choose a water-resistant lotion for swimming or activities where you may be sweating a lot.
  • You are using a face sunscreen on your body or vice versa. : Different types of sunscreens are made for different reasons on purpose.  Sunscreen created for your face is created with special chemicals and formulas so it does not cause irritation to your face : and the same goes for body sunscreen.  Body sunscreen tends to contain alcohol which can dry out the skin on your face.
  • You only use sunscreen when it is nice outside. : Many people only slather on the sunscreen when the sun's rays are in full bloom. But that can be one of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to sunscreen and when to apply it.  Experts say that you can indeed still get UV rays even on the grayest of days, actually 80% of UV rays still come through on cloudy days.
  • You think you are safe indoors or in a car. : Driving can be a major source of incidental sun exposure. Windows and windshields block out UVB rays, but UVA rays can still seep in and those rays are on the spectrum that can cause the most skin aging and skin cancer.