Revamp Your Health Habits Now
The Bitter Truth about Artificial Sweeteners
Dieters may think they're cheating calories by using artificial sweeteners, but studies reveal that the body may know better. Those who eat food and beverages containing artificial sweeteners tend to gain more weight and have more body fat than those who don't.
Scientists posit that eating sweet-tasting food with little or no calories can cause the brain to overcompensate by craving more calories.
"People want to get the taste of sugar without the calories, but there's no free lunch," Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Prevention, says. "And the food marketers are on to that."
One teaspoon of sugar has a mere 15 calories. "You're better off using less of a normal sweetener such as honey or agave nectar, rather than going the artificial route every single time," E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. "Just because it's fat-free doesn't mean it's good for you."
How to Recognize Processed Foods
Processed foods are natural foods that have been altered in some way. Not all processed foods are bad for you, but the rule of thumb is that the farther away a food is from its natural state, the worse it is for you. For example, strawberries are healthy foods, but if processed and made into a strawberry gelatin snack that contains ingredients such as sugar, high fructose syrup and preservatives, then they are no longer healthy.
Look younger, feel better and live longer by eating foods in their natural or minimally processed state. To change your diet, plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon suggests taking baby steps. "Don't try to do it all at once," he says. "You have to re-adjust your taste buds."
Strike a balance with the 80/20 rule, wherein your diet consists of 80 percent natural foods and 20 percent processed. When in the grocery store, check the labels on food and think twice before putting anything in your cart that contains high-fructose corn syrup, trans or hydrogenated fats, sodium or refined grains such as enriched flour.
"Processed foods are made to taste good; they're not made to be good for you," Dr. Travis adds. "As much as possible, switch to foods that are natural. Your health will benefit in the long run."
Secrets of the Biggest Loser
Several years ago, Danny Cahill, 39, tipped the scales at 430 pounds. He participated on the hit TV show The Biggest Loser, lost 239 pounds and won the eighth season of the show. He reveals the secret to his success came down to good, old-fashioned exercise and calorie counting.
"It's a combination of both things," Danny says. "When you workout, you burn calories. The more you workout, the more calories you burn, the more weight you're going to lose. But if you eat too many calories, you can workout all the time, but you're not going to lose weight."
People who experience extreme weight loss will often have excess skin that hangs off their body, and Danny is no exception. Dr. Ordon demonstrates how the extra skin can be surgically remedied, and offers to perform the surgery for him, compliments of The Doctors!
• Prostate cancer is a malignancy that originates within the prostate.
• It is the most common cancer in American men. More than 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the United States, and about 40,000 men die of prostate cancer per year.
• Risk factors for prostate cancer include a diet rich in fatty foods, family history of prostate or breast cancer and older age. Risk of prostate cancer is lower in Asian countries than in the U.S., presumably due to Asian diets being rich in Bioflavanoids (found in soy beans).
• Screening for prostate cancer includes a blood test called PSA and a digital rectal exam (DRE), whereby the physician palpates the prostate through the patient's rectum. Ultrasonography of the prostate is performed in some situations to look for abnormal areas in the prostate.
• Diagnosis of prostate cancer requires performing a biopsy of the prostate with the guide of an ultrasound probe placed in the rectum.
• Treatment of prostate cancer depends on the physiologic age and health of the patient, the degree of aggressiveness (Gleason Score) of the cancer and the stage of the cancer. Treatment options for prostate cancer include active surveillance, hormone therapy, cyrotherapy, various types of radiation therapy, open prostatectomy, robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy and chemotherapy. Only after a careful evaluation and discussion between a physician specializing in prostate cancer and the patient, should the patient decide on the proper course of therapy for his prostate cancer.
For more information on prostate cancer, visit www.knowyourstats.org
A prostate exam is a test to screen for prostate cancer. The goal is to detect cancer early, when treatment is most successful. The most common prostate exam is the digital rectal exam (DRE), performed by a doctor inserting his or her gloved, lubricated finger into a man's rectum to blindly feel the prostate gland and surrounding tissue.
A PSA test measures prostate-specific antigens (PSA) in the blood, a substance produced by the prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels may indicate prostate cancer or a noncancerous condition such as prostatitis, or an enlarged prostate.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends annual prostate exams for men beginning at age 45. They recommend a prostate exam accompanied by a PSA blood test for the following:
• All men beginning at age 50
• African-American men beginning at age 40
• Men with a family history of prostate cancer beginning at age 40 (or younger, if recommended by a doctor)
• Men who develop persistent urinary symptoms