Wednesday, January 30, 2008

See Red This Friday

This Friday is National Wear Red for Women Day. Sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA), Go Red for Women is a nationwide campaign that seeks to inform women about heart disease, which is the number one killer in women, and steps we can take to prevent or reduce our risk for the killer disease.

Now, you already know that I’m a huge proponent for living a heart healthy lifestyle. I mean hey, I wouldn’t promote the heart healthy benefits of margarine and other foods if I didn’t think they could help us all lead a better, longer life. Here some other steps you can take to reduce your risk for heart disease.

See your physician for an annual exam.

Have your cholesterol screened when you have your physical exam.

Monitor your results as often as your physician recommends.

Exercise 3 to 5 times per week for 30 to 45 minutes each time. Such aerobic exercise as walking, biking or calisthenics is best.

Eat a heart-healthy diet. Eat a variety of foods and also reduce fat, cholesterol and salt intake. Margarine just so happens to be part of a heart healthy diet.

Learn to reduce stress. Relaxation tapes, exercise and deep breathing can help.

Avoid cigarette smoking.

Please help join the fight against this killer disease and wear red this Friday. For more information, check out americanheart.org.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chips Ahoy Ice Cream Cake

For some reason I have been craving chocolate more than usual. I’m not sure if it’s the dreary, cold weather, stress from the job or the fact that I’m a chocoholic but the craving is there. This recipe rocks!!!

Chips Ahoy Ice Cream Cake

Yield: 12 Servings
32 Chips Ahoy chocolate chip
¼ cups Margarine, melted
1 cups Chocolate fudge topping
2 qt Ice cream, any combination
prepared whipped topping for garnish strawberries or maraschino cherries, for garnish

Finely roll (with a rolling pin) 20 cookies. Combine cookie crumbs and margarine. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan or pie plate; stand remaining cookies around edge of pan or pie plate. Spread ¾ cup fudge topping over prepared crust. Freeze about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, soften 1 qt. ice cream. Spread softened ice cream over fudge layer. Freeze about 30 minutes. Scoop remaining ice cream into balls; arrange over ice cream layer. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours overnight. To serve, garnish with whipped topping, remaining fudge topping, strawberries or maraschino cherries. Serve immediately. Makes 12 servings.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Public Suffering From Overload of Advice

Wow, I really couldn’t have said it better so I won’t. Actually Kim brought this point up in the comments section on one of my previous posts. Enjoy!

Twenty-four hour news channels constantly squawk about the latest studies on food, drink and health. "Groundbreaking" articles on diet and wellness flood the papers every day. And science headlines increasingly read like the style section. Rather than educate people about healthy choices, this revolving door of health reports only fans the fears of an already anxious public.

The prognosis: Americans are suffering from an overdose of conflicting advice.

If you need an example, look no further than your fridge. "Experts" used to tell us eggs were little more than cholesterol bombs served sunny side up. Now, eggs are back at the top of the grocery list. Nutritionists have crowned them the perfect food, delivering tons of protein and vitamins for a mere 75 calories a pop. Same egg, new spin.

This paradox extends to other dietary debates: butter vs. margarine, regular vs. decaf, carbs vs. protein.

Over the past several decades, the health community has even been sending us mixed messages about sunshine. Following the invention of sun protection factor (SPF) in the last half of the 20th century, health reports drove Americans to hide from the sun. People lathered on sunscreen, layered their clothes, or simply stayed indoors. Time magazine brought the sun out of exile this winter by naming Vitamin D one of the "Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs" of 2007. In a number of prominent studies, researchers discovered that Vitamin D not only helps to strengthen bones, but can also ward off diabetes, prevent multiple sclerosis, and even thwart many different cancers. Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 180 million Americans are not getting enough.

From eggs to sunlight, the advice dispensed by modern health reports illustrates the law of unintended consequences. For instance, nutrition activists have convinced many cities across the nation to ban trans fats (aka "margarine") and force local businesses to switch to a new oil, interesterified fat. Now, it looks like the replacement oil is actually worse.

Of course, we are sometimes faced with incontrovertible evidence, like the dangers of smoking. But clear-cut cases are few and far between.

Normally, decisions about our health involve a complex trade-off between risks and benefits that can't be boiled down to catchy headlines or news clips. There are no absolutes, no good vs. evil, no all-or-none.

As the saying goes, it's the dose that makes the poison. And a day without sunshine is like, well … a day without sunshine.

James Bowers is the managing director at the Center for Consumer Freedom

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Global Warming's Got Nothin' on ATL

All I’ve to say today is IT SNOWED IN ATLANTA!!!! You see Atlanta, or Hotlanta as it is commonly referred to, very rarely sees snow and its temperatures are usually very mild even during the winter. This rare occurrence of snow is mindboggling for those of us that reside here, and when the snow came last night I can say with absolute certainty that the city freaked out.

Traffic was horrendous, with people driving five miles an hour on the major highways. A commute of twenty minutes took most people an hour and a half. Children everywhere were outside screaming, laughing and playing in the now. Even today, the conversation at my workplace is centered solely on the fact that IT SNOWED IN ATLANTA!!!

It’s almost Friday people, hang in there.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Misinformation Regarding Margarine in Bon Appetit

As many of you know, I have a really serious issue with misinformation when it comes to people’s health. It’s hard enough to keep track of the latest health news without articles that present information that is erroneous and without merit.

An article in the February issue of Bon Appetit features an article in which the author advocates the use of butter of margarine, which is ludicrous. Most health professionals as well as the American Heart Association and the Federal government’s National Cholesterol Education Program strongly encourage the use of margarine over butter.

The Bon Appetit article notes that margarine contains harmful trans fat but you won’t find any soft or liquid margarine that contain trans fat, and trans fat levels of stick margarines have been greatly reduced. Margarine manufacturers continue to be the leaders in the food industry in removing trans fats from products, and they continue to innovate the market by adding healthy, functional ingredients such as antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins to products.

In addition margarine, compared to butter, actually lowers the risk of heart disease. Compared to butter, the typical 60 percent oil soft margarine product contains significantly less total fat and saturated fat than butter. Additionally, this 60 percent oil soft margarine product has 20 percent fewer calories than butter and no cholesterol.

Okay, I’ve said my piece and now I’m done…for today. I hope everyone is enjoying their week and I’ll see you back here soon!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Hospitals are Not the Best Places to Have a Heart Attack

Ah, the irony. A new study indicates people may have better luck being treated for a heart attack in a casino than a hospital. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients suffering from cardiac arrest in a hospital often do not get treatment from a defibrillator in the recommended two minutes at hospitals. In addition, the study suggests a cardiac patient’s survival rate at a hospital is less than the 50 percent rate among people who suffer heart attacks in places such as casinos, airports and other locations where defibrillators are prevalent.

Such delays in treatment are often due to a patient being admitted to the hospital for reasons unrelated to heart problem or when cardiac arrest during 5 p.m. and 8 a.m., which is when hospitals have the fewest number of people on staff.

It just goes to show you that things we often assume to be true are often not. Happy Monday everyone!