Saturday, 11 October 2014

Eating Healthy to Lower Your Blood Pressure {吃健康降低您的血压}

Eating Healthy to Lower Your Blood Pressure {吃健康降低您的血压}

High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart and kidney failure, stroke and other health problems. There are usually no signs or symptoms associated with high blood pressure, which is why it is so important to “know your numbers” and have your blood pressure checked regularly (see box below).
Fortunately, high blood pressure can be treated with lifestyle changes and medication. One of the easiest ways to maintain normal blood pressure is to eat a healthy diet. Dietician Cynthia Finley, RD, recommends a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins. “You also should decrease or eliminate foods that are high in sodium, fat and sugar, which are known to increase blood pressure,” she says.  [My personal experience – During my dialysis day, I met a guy with end stage kidney failure where his systolic number is about 200.  He admitted he has high sodium diet most of the times.]
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a flexible and balanced eating plan that studies have shown helps lower blood pressure. It is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat, focusing instead on fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts. The DASH diet contains fewer sweets, sugars and sugary beverages, sodium and red meats than the typical American diet.
“Different diets work for different people and should be customized to ensure compliance,” says Finley. “If you want to lower your blood pressure by changing your diet, you should schedule an appointment with a dietician. He or she will be able to customize a plan that best suits your needs and will meet your individual goals.”
Know Your Numbers
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps. It is measured as systolic (blood pressure when the heart beats) and diastolic (blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats).You most often will see blood pressure numbers written with the systolic number before the diastolic number, such as 120/80.
Below is a table that illustrates normal blood pressure numbers and ranges that put you at greater risk for health problems. What are your numbers?

(top number)
(bottom number)
Less than 120
Less than 80
High blood pressure, Stage 1
High blood pressure, Stage 2
160 or higher
100 or higher

Controlling Your Blood Pressure
·             Maintain a healthy weight.
·             Be moderately physically active on most days.
·             Follow a healthy eating plan, which includes foods lower in sodium.
·             If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
·             If you are prescribed “medication for high blood pressure”, always take it as directed.

For further details, here is the “Original Article, courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Type 2 Diabetes - 10 Myths & Facts [10个神话&事实关于第二类型糖尿病]

Type 2 Diabetes - 10 Myths & Facts [10个神话&事实关于第二类型糖尿]

1.        Eating Too Much Sugar Causes Type 2 Diabetes

FACTS - Experts don't fully understand what causes type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't produce enough insulin. Healthy eating—limiting fat, sugar, salt and cholesterol—is an important part of staying healthy for all adults. {My view – Eat healthy with regular exercise}

2.        Only Overweight or Obese People Develop Type 2 Diabetes

FACTS - Certain risk factors make it more likely for someone to develop type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese is one of them. But being overweight or obese doesn't necessarily mean someone will develop type 2 diabetes. That's because there are other risk factors. This includes having a family history of the disease and being over age 40. {My view – Eat healthy with regular exercise}

3.        Type 2 Diabetes Always Causes Symptoms

FACTS - The telltale symptoms of type 2 diabetes are increased urination, thirst and hunger. Other symptoms include weight loss and fatigue; slow healing wounds and blurred vision typically occur later in the disease. {My earlier post, “Urine with Bubbles”, worth a read}

4.        Pre-diabetes Is Nothing to Worry About

FACTS - You either have diabetes or you don't. Having pre-diabetes puts you at very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that you can do something about it. Research suggests that you can cut your risk by 58% if you lose 7% of your body weight and exercise moderately for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

5.        Type 2 Diabetes Is Not As Serious As Type 1 Diabetes

FACTS - Left uncontrolled, both types of diabetes can cause serious complications and even be deadly. Complications include kidney disease, vision loss, neuropathy, amputations, heart attack, and stroke. Fortunately, controlling and managing type 2 diabetes can help prevent or delay these complications.

6.        People with Type 2 Diabetes Don't Need Insulin

FACTS - Many people manage type 2 diabetes with healthy eating, plenty of exercise, weight loss, and oral medicines. As the disease progresses, most people eventually need insulin. Starting insulin for type 2 diabetes does not mean you have failed to manage your disease. It means your disease is changing. Experts recognized this when they changed the name from "non-insulin dependent diabetes" to "type 2 diabetes."

7.        Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Cured

FACTS - There is no cure for type 2 diabetes. The disease is controllable with lifestyle changes, oral medicines, and insulin. In some cases, people have been able to return their blood glucose levels to normal and stop their medicines. Doctors refer to this as remission instead of cure because the risk of relapse is very high. People have achieved remission through sustained weight loss, healthy eating, and making physical activity part of their daily routine

8.        People with Type 2 Diabetes Can't Eat Sugar, Sweets or Starches

FACTS - Glucose—or blood sugar—comes from carbohydrates. Starches, fruits, sugar, alcohol, and even grains contain carbohydrates or carbs. The key to eating carbs with type 2 diabetes is portion control. With proper portion control, no foods should be off limits. {My view – Work with a Dietitian to derive a “RIGHT” diet portion for you.  Even consume too much brown rice may spike your post meal glucose }

9.        People with Type 2 Diabetes Have to Eat a Special Diet

FACTS - Eating diabetic or dietetic foods is not necessary. In fact, these foods may cause digestive problems and they are expensive. Instead, people with type 2 diabetes should eat a healthy diet. This includes limiting fat, cholesterol and salt. It also means eating fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains.  {My view - A friend with renal failure admitted he has a high sodium diet resulting his systolic number at around 200}

10.     People with Type 2 Diabetes Can't Lead an Active Life

FACTS - Leading an active life is vital to controlling type 2 diabetes. In fact, exercise can help your muscles take up and use glucose independent of insulin. Exercise also increases insulin sensitivity so your cells can use insulin better. People with type 2 diabetes should make exercise part of their daily routine. {Too much fat will reduce the sensitivity of insulin. My earlier post, “Neighborhoods That Encourage Walking Reduce Obesity and Diabetes” worth a read}

For further details, here is the Original Article, courtesy of CNN Health.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Recipe #1 – OATMEAL (食谱#1 – 燕麦粥)

Recipe #1 – OATMEAL (食谱#1燕麦粥)

  • 200ml of water
  • 100g of chopped spinach (good source of “WBC”)
  • 1 whole onion - Cut them into slices of equal 1/4-inch thickness to help them cook more evenly (Human studies have shown that onion can help increase our bone density).
  • 4 – 7 table spoons of rolled oats (I use those from Down Under)
  • 1 table spoon of light soy sauce (compare the sodium content of each brand)
Cooking method:

·       Add water and onion to the great invention by the Koreans – “Kessler Multi-Function Electric Lunch Box” and cook for 15-20 minutes, depend on your preference for the onion texture

·       Add spinach and rolled oats into the Lunch Box

·       Cook for another 8-10 minutes

·       When the meal is ready to be served, add soy sauce to it and mix well

There you go, a meal in 30 minutes.

Disclaimer – The recipe may or may not be suitable. Consult your dietitian to tailor a suitable diet plan for you.