Guest post: Your Diet vs Your Health

You don’t HAVE to be an expert to write about a topic. I’ve written about cooking, finance, small business, marketing and health. I’m pretty confident in everything I’ve written on the subjects, but I’m not an expert in any of those fields.

So when when Healthline.com approached me, asking if I’d be interested in their writing up a few “guest posts” for me, it was a great opportunity to have an actual expert post on these pages.

”  Healthline’s mission is to make the people of the world healthier through the power of information. “

Big thanks to Healthline.com !  Be sure to comment at the end and let them know what you thought of the piece, would you?   ~ Laura


The Link between Diet and Health Conditions

It seems that everyday researchers are proving yet again that we really are what we eat and that those of us who opt to eat a healthy diet are healthy, and those who eat an unhealthy diet, well, you can guess the rest.

The link between diet and health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is something that we’ve known about for a long time; still the number of people with these diseases continues to rise at an alarming rate with a good percentage of these cases being directly related to poor diet and lifestyle choices. As a matter of fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 30 percent of cancer deaths –which equates to approximately 2.4 million deaths—are the result of poor diet and lifestyle choices. Imagine being able to save a good portion of those lives simply by making smarter food choices!

How Diet is linked to Disease

Poor diet has been linked to a myriad of health conditions. Here is a look at some of those conditions and how they are linked.
Heart disease
Heart disease is made up of many different health conditions and those that are closely related, just some of which include hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary artery disease, and heart attack. When the heart is unable to do its job, which is to act as a pump that continuously pumps in oxygen-rich blood and pumps out oxygen-poor blood throughout the arteries, these conditions can be the result. Diet is often the culprit and in particular one that’s high in fat, cholesterol, and salt. A poor diet and excess weight places pressure on the heart and restricts blood flow by hardening and clogging the arteries. It can also cause high blood pressure which can lead to stroke and kidney failure.
Diabetes
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), obesity is strongly associated with the development of type 2 diabetes because excess weight causes insulin resistance. As we know, eating a healthy diet can help keep our weight in check which has been found to greatly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is especially important for those who carry their weight in the middle. Excess belly fat causes your body to produce more of the hormones that damage blood vessels and put you at risk for all kinds of disease.
Cancer
There is ongoing research about the link between diet and cancer. What we know so far is that there are indications that diet can reduce a person’s risk of getting cancer. One of the best examples of this is brightly colored fruits and vegetables and whole grains. These foods contain phytochemicals that have been linked to the prevention of the formation of cancer-causing agents known as carcinogens.

Osteoporosis
Diet plays a major role in the prevention and management of osteoporosis. Our bones naturally lose calcium as we age, yet few people bother to add more sources of calcium to their diets. If anything, most people drink less milk as they age and a lot of times avoid dairy products. Calcium from the foods you eat is better absorbed by your body than calcium supplements, so adding low-fat dairy products to your diet can actually help to prevent osteoporosis.

Though you can’t replace the calcium that’s already been lost, increasing the amount of calcium in your diet can slow the progression of bone deterioration. And, vitamin C and D helps your body to better absorb calcium. Deficiency of both vitamins has also been linked to the development of certain cancers, scurvy, and a poor immune system.

The Benefits of a Healthy Diet

Now that you have a clearer picture of how a poor diet can lead to disease, let’s end on a positive note and look at the benefits of a good diet on your health.

A healthy diet, which is considered one that’s rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, offers the following benefits:
• A stronger immune system
• Reduced risk of infection
• Less inflammation
• Lower risk of diseases like cancer and heart disease
• Longevity
• Better moods
• Improved endurance
• Stronger muscles and bones which lowers your risk of injury
• Healthy pregnancy
• Lower body weight
• Healthier skin, nails, and hair
• Younger looking skin

If you’d like to learn more about diet and the diseases and benefits linked to healthy eating, click here.
References
• Cancer Fact sheet N°297. (February 2014). World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved on March 11, 2014, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/
• Heart Disease. (August 2009). The Heart and Stroke Foundation. Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3484021/k.7C85/Heart_Disease.htm
• Mayo Clinic Staff. (January 2013). Heart Disease: Risk Factors. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on March 12, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/basics/risk-factors/con-20034056
• National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC). (September 2013). Causes of Diabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/causes/#type2
• Nutrition to Reduce Cancer Risk. The Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI). Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://cancer.stanford.edu/information/nutritionAndCancer/reduceRisk/
• Diet-Related Diseases. Purdue University. Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://www.four-h.purdue.edu/foods/Diet-Related%20Diseases.htm


Adrienne is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and fitness for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.

 

 

Guest post: What is the “Dirty Dozen” and why should I care?

I hope you know that I ADORE writing for my blog, talking to all of you, and sharing my products, recipes and thoughts with you.

But when Healthline.com approached me, asking if I’d be interested in their writing up a few “guest posts” for me, I couldn’t say YES fast enough! Come on, it’s like someone asking “May I cook dinner for you and I’ll even clean the kitchen afterwards”!

”  Healthline’s mission is to make the people of the world healthier through the power of information. “

Big thanks to Healthline.com !  Be sure to comment at the end and let them know what you thought of the piece, would you?   ~ Laura



The Dirty Dozen – Why Some Foods Are Better Bought Organic

The dirty dozen, when referring to fruits and vegetables and not the 1967 classic starring Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, is a list of the dozen conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue as put out by the Environmental Working Group. Read the rest of this entry

How it’s made: Spiced Chocolate Bark (part 1)

Have you ever looked at something and wondered how it is made?

I do,  all the time.  Ridged rigatoni, a ball of twine, a violin– they’ve all captured my curiosity.

Chocolate bark is nowhere as complex as a violin, but it is still interesting to think about all of the steps required to get from this:

to this:

IMG_1662 Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Spicy, Sweet ‘n Smokey Cowboy Chili

It’s that time of year that this owner of a spice company looks forward to the most:  the annual Chili Contest at Catamount Ski Resort!

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This great event brings together chili competitors from all over — home cooks, caterers, chefs, restaurants. It’s great fun but also a great cause, as both the competitor registration fee and the tasters’ entrance fees are donated to the Roe Jan Food Pantry.Chili cookoff image

According to Heather White, Communications Manager for Catamount,

“A total of $676 for the Roe Jan Food Pantry during the event, so please give yourselves a hand!  We had 95 people as taste testers, who voted for the winners.”

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19 bubbling pots of chili were available for tasting this year. Read the rest of this entry

Tips for Small Business Success: what I’ve learned so far

Depending on who you ask, Your Spice of Life will be celebrating with either iron or sugar, when we reach our 6 year anniversary in a few months.

I am very proud of what I have accomplished. Could it have been more — bigger, better, smoother, more profitable, more products, more stores? Of course. But the fact that it is still standing, in fact growing and appreciated by many, makes me happy.

Your Spice Banner 3

So rather than receiving gifts of iron or sugar, I have a small gift for you:  I’d like to share some observations from these last few years, when I went from a corporate-all-the-way, software training, pearls and pumps-wearing gal to a sole proprietor of quirky seasoning company in the Berkshires. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Wintery Spiced Fruit Compote

My younger sister likes to tell people that I went through a period,  early in my cooking life, where almost everything I made was stewed. I claim no recollection of this and yet, here I am with a stewed fruit compote recipe.

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Why? Because it’s delicious and warming and fragrant and elegant. Not to mention, it was THE perfect dish to bring to a brunch potluck during the holidays. Did I mention, it has no added sugar? Read the rest of this entry

Kitchen resolutions: Recycle, Repurpose, Renew

How about making some New Year’s resolutions that feel good and do good?

Like many of you, the kitchen is the center of my home.  So, I thought this would be the perfect place to focus some of my resolutions.

Let’s get a fresh start here, focusing on recycling, repurposing and renewing. The beauty is that it is fairly quick to do; you will be doing a good deed; and your meals will thank you afterwards.

Recycling

I’m not talking about your glass and plastic, here. It’s your pantry that I’m interested in – those items that are months (years?) beyond their expiration dates, and need to go to that great compost pile in the sky. Read the rest of this entry

Elegant, Easy Holiday Menu with Spanish flair

Recipe: Roasted Orange-Fennel Salad

Epic Christmas Eve dinner 2013,  continued:

Sicilian Roasted Salad

Sicilian Roasted Salad

Our menu was coming along swimmingly, but there was a marked absence of greens. I said something about how elegant whole romaine leaves can be as a salad; my sister Peggi said something about once having a broiled salad with oranges; my sister Lisa said something about “stop talking, start cooking!” and we were off and running. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Sage Butternut Lasagna

Another recipe in the series of “Christmas Eve dinner 2013″:

The plan was to make 3 very different types of raviolis, from scratch:

  • porcini mushroom with black truffle oil
  • butternut squash with brown sage butter
  • two cheese with roasted tomato and caper sauce

The thing with planning, is that not everything cooperates, right? The kitchen sink backed up during the prep phase, which put a stop to all washing of dishes, pots and utensils. I had already prepared the butternut squash filling, so I decided to make a lasagna out of it, and skip the other 2 raviolis in the interest of reducing cookware that would need to be washed.

Butternut-Sage Lasagna

Butternut-Sage Lasagna

Not a bad move, all told;  it was freaking delicious. Read the rest of this entry

Rick Bettencourt

A writer of fun, cool and thought provoking fiction involving gay characters.

The Cheese Traveler

A Cheese, Meat and Specialty Food Shop in the Heart of DelSo, Albany, NY

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A Healthy Lifestyle Designed For You

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Your Spice of Life

~ "Yummy. Easy. Organic."

tamara lea

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