Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

14 Feb

Great Health Hits

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

All the news links you want to click! Mark’s favorite articles from the world of health:

1) Take heart!

Women, like men, are at risk for heart disease and heart attacks. But according to the following link, about one in five women who have heart attacks show no signs of heart trouble before the attack. The usual diagnostics and symptoms just don’t send up any red flags. The Boston Globe‘s online news source, Boston.com, reports:

“For the last 40 years, doctors have relied on five factors to evaluate a patient’s risk of heart disease: their age, whether they smoke, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and levels of good cholesterol, known as HDL.”

redflag

The news that doctors want to add inflammation – hello, a no-brainer! – to the list of red flags is a great step in the right direction for heart health, and one that is long overdue. Inflammation can be a factor in many health conditions and diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Stress, sugar, and plain old sloth all contribute to inflammation, as do smoking, alcohol, and other free-radical sources like trans fat in fried foods.

2) Oh, FDA, what will you goof on next?

More FDA shenanigans. This time, infants are affected. This is an important article if you are a new parent (or know someone who is).

pacifier

3) Real men eat lettuce

Men, if you care about your prostate, it’s time to make vegetables your best friend. Like Mark always says, it’s not like they meow – so get over the veggie aversion already!

prettygood

4) The worst health advice, ever!

According to this article, eating carbs – and not just any carbs, but starchy carbs – is a great way to assure yourself a good night’s sleep. It’s also a great way to put yourself at an increased risk for depression, obesity, and diabetes. The article cites a study which found that carbs stimulate tryptophan and serotonin, the body’s natural sleep aids. However, exercise and fruits and vegetables also have this effect, and they won’t sabotage your health!

Here are a few quick, healthy ways to fall asleep fast, and they won’t spike your blood sugar:

- eat a tablespoon of peanut butter before bed – the natural chemicals help soothe your racing mind.

- drink a little warm organic milk – it really does help!

- try 5 minutes of deep breathing or some light stretches.

- wash your hands and face in warm water, wear socks, and keep your room nice and cool!

sockssss
14 Feb

Viva La Revolución!

The popularity of blogging and social-networking has reached an all time high and people are beginning to realize that these tools can be applied to personal healthcare. It seems like every day another site pops up that is designed to bring people together and help them achieve health and well-being. We have brought you a number of health sites with a social-networking bent in the past like OrganizedWisdom, Daily Plate, and Traineo, but we can hardly keep up with the surge!

Here are our latest favorites:

revhealthlogo

Revolution Health: Chairman Steve Case’s (co-founder of AOL) rally call for the site is ‘Let’s revolutionize health care!’ We are right there with you on this one Steve. Personal profile pages, dozens of health and fitness tools, help finding the best doctors and insurance plans, info on medical conditions and treatments. This site aims to have it all and does a pretty bang up job. It is still under construction, but offers a thorough preview in the meantime.

dailystrenghtlogo

Daily Strength: Here you can keep a wellness journal, make friends and share advice and personal stories, and join support groups. This site is not nearly as comprehensive as Revolution Health, and is also in a preview stage, but is definitely worth a look.

logo

Sermo: This site is ‘by physicians, for physicians’ so it won’t apply to everyone, but the objective is so laudable it is well worth the mention. Additionally, if their goals are achieved we all win by receiving better healthcare from more informed physicians.

 

Sermo is a forum for healthcare providers to collaborate on the latest clinical findings and discuss their experience from their daily practice. This collective knowledge can then be used to apply more accurate and precise diagnoses to patients. All physicians out there should be using this resource.

 

dlife home logo

The next three sites provide communities and support for specific groups of people: dLife for those managing a life with diabetes; Real Mental Health for those dealing with depression, bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions; The Wellness Community which provides support and education for those affected by cancer. The format, design and philosophy may change slightly from site to site, but they all have a few things in common. They challenge us to be the masters of our own health destinies. They encourage us to arm ourselves to the hilt with the latest health information, so we can make informed decisions. And they want to see us connect with one another to share our personal experiences and advice. As you well know, these are just a few of the goals found here at Mark’s Daily Apple.

 

The social-networking revolution for healthcare is no longer on its way. It is here! We are happy to be at the forefront of this change – bringing useful, humorous, enjoyable, and easy-to-digest health information to all. Viva La Revolución!

Thanks to Diabetes Mine for sharing great new Web 2.0 health information.

 

13 Feb

Here Comes the Buzz

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Hey kids! Here’s the latest from the world of health:

1) I’m not sure, but I think I might want…

Is your heart hungry? This is a great little piece about food cravings that has lots of helpful encouragement. Don’t miss this Valentine for the body.

heart

2) Scrub your stomach clean the tasty way

Healthy fats have antioxidant properties that may provide an extra immunity kick against ulcers.

oil

3) We just really don’t give a fig, now that you mention it.

The FDA is now taking applications for executives with IQ’s above 45. They’re hoping this will help the mess they’ve made, but it’s too soon to tell. If you know of an available fire hydrant, pair of scissors or reasonably colorful goldfish you think might be a good fit for the job, you should definitely contact the FDA.

Lawmakers, journalists, speakers and Bees everywhere are in a big snit about all the egregious regulatory corruption and safety bungling from the FDA. On top of scandals, the Alli approval, and the recent news that a large percentage of FDA scientists are manipulated and threatened when they report undesirable findings, amazingly, the honchos don’t plan to change much anytime soon. Case in point: the FDA’s new leader is anything but fearless. Hey, we’re not expecting magic feats and a cape, but at least be honest in a press conference.

And Apples, lest ye forget:

The same great folks who approved Vioxx, Celebrex, Prempro, Alli and Ketek bring you Labelman, everyone’s favorite inflamed nubbin of nutrition. Loved by dogs everywhere.
labelman

13 Feb

Top 10 Health Scams

The Tuesday 10:

There are hundreds of scams for weight loss, health, disease cures, and fitness, but here are the current rotten stinkers:

10. Hoodia

The only kind that works must be eaten fresh. And it’s banned from export because it’s a protected flora. This weight-loss gimmick even comes with the #1 dead giveaway of scams everywhere: a heretofore undiscovered culture/tribe has finally, miraculously, revealed their secret, conveniently, to a white man who can’t wait to share this magical product with the world. Give me a break. That’s called a movie, not science. Here’s my expose.

9. Cellulite shoes

Again with the mysterious culture shrouded in lore. These don’t work – period. Though I do hear they help you fall and bruise your butt. Here’s a piece of my mind.

8. Cellulite creams

Sara frequently rants about this subject near and dear to many women’s hearts (or other parts). The best way to deal with cellulite – which isn’t curable no matter what the quacks like Mesunique claim – is to cut down on sugar, which stores itself in outer fat cells, and get some daily exercise. The more muscle and less fat you have, the smoother you look.

7. Colon cleansers

The colon is important, delicate, and needs to stay in top shape. That said, it does not have a brain, and your body does not store fecal matter for years on end just waiting to finally be emptied by some miracle cleansing product. What comes out is just buildup of a few days, and anything beyond that is, well, b.s. This myth was actually completely debunked by surgeons a century ago. I am in favor of probiotics, such as those sold by Natren (a great company) but extra fiber from psyllium or other “miracle” cleansers is totally unnecessary. So: hooray for fiber from fruits and vegetables.

6. Algae

Yes, this slimeball is abundant in protein. If you eat a truckload of it. Pay attention to serving size – often companies make claims about a product being extremely potent, but hope you’ll remain blissfully ignorant about how this potency relates to serving size. Supplementing with algae for aminos and other health benefits is about like relying on water for your vitamin and mineral needs. I like Perrier as much as the next guy, but I’ll stick with a multivitamin, thanks.

5. Male “enhancement” products

Guys, come on! Try enhancing intimacy and your skills instead.

4. Female “enhancement” products

Ladies, let it go. You don’t need these gimmicks – the folks selling them are just boobs (sorry). We men like you the way you are. If you still aren’t convinced, and don’t mind some PG-13 content, head on over to Bill Stieg’s blog at Men’s Health for the scoop on what we guys really think about the gals.

3. Bottled waters

Read my expose on mock waters. You cannot oxygenate or enhance water. You can’t penta it, hydro it, living cell it, or do anything else but drink it. Drink up, but don’t fall for the water hype.

2. Vegetable oils

Refined oils like canola, soybean and corn oil are free radical oil slicks that manage to get a bill of health from Uncle Sam. Lobbying gets the credit for that.

Avoid these oils like the plague, and go for healthy fats like organic butter, Smart Butter (rich in Omega-3′s), olive oil, avocado oil, or nut oils.

1. Alli (orlistat)

I’ve been ranting about Alli quite a bit. This ineffective, unproven, no-good OTC weight-loss pill offers nothing but side effects and oily spotting. Yes.

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13 Feb

Puppets

Food manufacturers research, test, market and manipulate like you wouldn’t believe – it’s worse than the cheesiest of romantic comedies and more nauseating than Nick Cage’s Southern accent in Con Air (isn’t that a hair dryer, anyway?).

Just an update to the Fuji’s rant – and I am quoting Nestle here:

It’s difficult to find chocolate that is easy to eat while multitasking with both hands. Poppable formats like Mars M&Ms and Hershey’s Bites enable the consumer to eat while doing something else. The rod form [of Stixx] allows the consumers to hold onto the product in their mouth or fingers while multitasking with both hands. Multiple textures of crunchiness and the rod shape also allow ‘ritualized’ eating behavior (do I eat the top, the bottom, other sections or suck on it?). 

Do we need to have multitask-friendly food available? Is this a crisis I am unaware of? Make no mistake – food marketers aim to make you their little Pavlovian success story.

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple