Up to a third of breast cancers could be avoided

"BARCELONA, Spain – Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more, researchers at a conference said Thursday, renewing a sensitive debate about how lifestyle factors affect the disease.
Better treatments, early diagnosis and mammogram screenings have dramatically slowed breast cancer, but experts said the focus should now shift to changing behaviors like diet and physical activity.
"What can be achieved with screening has been achieved. We can't do much more," Carlo La Vecchia, head of epidemiology at the University of Milan, said in an interview. "It's time to move on to other things."
La Vecchia spoke Thursday at a European breast cancer conference in Barcelona. He cited figures from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which estimates that 25 to 30 percent of breast cancer cases could be avoided if women were thinner and exercised more. The agency is part of the World Health Organization.
His comments are in line with recent health advice that lifestyle changes in areas such as smoking, diet, exercise and sun exposure can play a significant role in risk for several cancers.
Dr. Michelle Holmes of Harvard University, who has studied cancer and lifestyle factors, said people might wrongly think their chances of getting cancer depend more on their genes than their lifestyle.
"The genes have been there for thousands of years, but if cancer rates are changing in a lifetime, that doesn't have much to do with genes," she told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. In Europe, there were about 421,000 new cases and nearly 90,000 deaths in 2008, the latest available figures. The United States last year saw more than 190,000 new cases and 40,000 deaths.
A woman's lifetime chance of getting breast cancer is about one in eight. Obese women are up to 60 percent more likely to develop any cancer than normal-weight women, according to a 2006 study by British researchers.
Many breast cancers are fueled by estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue. So experts suspect that the fatter a woman is, the more estrogen she's likely to produce, which could in turn fuel breast cancer. Even in slim women, experts believe exercise can help reduce the cancer risk by converting more fat into muscle.
Yet any discussion of weight and breast cancer is considered sensitive because some may misconstrue that as the medical establishment blaming women for their disease.
Tara Beaumont, a clinical nurse specialist at Breast Cancer Care, a British charity, said her agency has always been careful about giving lifestyle advice. She noted that three of the major risk factors for breast cancer — gender, age and family history — are clearly beyond anyone's control.
"It is incredibly difficult to isolate specific factors. Therefore women should in no way feel that they are responsible for developing breast cancer," she said.
Yet Karen Benn, a spokeswoman for Europa Donna, a patient-focused breast cancer group, said it was impossible to ignore the increasingly stronger links between lifestyle and breast cancer.
"If we know there are healthier choices, we can't not recommend them just because people might misinterpret the advice and feel guilty," she said. "If we are going to prevent breast cancer, then this message needs to get out, particularly to younger women."
That means avoiding becoming overweight as an adult. Robert Baan, a cancer expert with the international cancer research agency, said it isn't clear if women who lose weight can lower their risk to the level of a woman who was never fat.
The American Cancer Society Web site says the connection between weight and cancer risk is complex. It says risk appears to increase for women who gain weight as adults, but not for women who have been overweight since childhood. The cancer society recommends 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity five or more days a week to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Drinking less alcohol might also help. Experts estimate that having more than a couple of drinks a day can boost the risk of breast cancer by 4 to 10 percent.
After studies several years ago linked hormone-replacement therapy to cancer, millions of women abandoned the treatment, leading to a sharp drop in breast cancer rates. Experts said a similar reduction might be seen if women ate healthier and exercised more.
Holmes, the Harvard expert, said changing diet and nutrition is arguably easier than tackling other breast cancer risk factors.
In the 1980s and 1990s, breast cancer rates steadily increased, paralleling a rise in obesity and the use of estrogen-containing hormones after menopause.
La Vecchia said countries like Italy and France — where obesity rates have been stable for the past two decades — show that weight can be controlled at a population level.
"It's hard to lose weight, but it's not impossible," he said. "The potential benefit of preventing cancer is worth it."
International Agency for Research on Cancer: http://www.iarc.fr/"


The Full List: 47 Fruits & Veggies

Click here for the printer-friendly version.

1 (worst)Peach100 (highest pesticide load)
3Sweet Bell Pepper83
10Grapes - Imported66
13Collard Greens60
16Green Beans53
17Summer Squash53
21Grapes - Domestic44
28Winter Squash34
31Honeydew Melon30
33Sweet Potato29
41Sweet Peas - Frozen10
45Sweet Corn - Frozen2
47 (best)Onion1 (lowest pesticide load)

Note: We ranked a total of 47 different fruits and vegetables but grapes are listed twice because we looked at both domestic and imported samples.


Econundrum: 12 Most Pesticide-Laden Fruits and Veggies

Mar. 22, 2010
At my local farmer's market, organic avocados cost as much as $2 a pop. Yet I can sometimes find the conventional version at the supermarket for half that (and some of the cheap ones are even grown right here in California). Considering my homemade guacamole addiction, I'd quickly bankrupt myself buying only organic avocadoes, so I usually go for the cheapos at the grocery store. My reasoning: You don't even eat the skin of the avocado, so presumably, for avocados and other peeled produce, pesticides aren't a problem. Right?
Not always. Some fruits' and vegetables' thick skins do protect the edible part from chemicals. But not all. The Environmental Working Group recently analyzed samples of 47 common produce items in the state that they're usually eaten (i.e., avocados were peeled, apples washed with water, etc.) then ranked them according to the amount and variety of pesticides the researchers found. Good news for my guac addiction: As I suspected, peeled avocadoes contain a small amount of pesticides, ranking 46th on the list. But bananas come in at a surprisingly high 27, and cucumbers at 19. "It’s really hard to use your intuition to figure out what’s going to have high pesticide loads," says EWG spokesperson Amy Rosenthal. "Skin is something to take into account, but it doesn’t always make a huge difference."
More findings: Peaches, apples, and sweet bell peppers were the three most pesticide-laden crops tested, while frozen sweet corn, avocado, and onion were least contaminated. The EWG team estimates you can lower your pesticide intake by as much as 80 percent if you steer clear of the top 12.

In descending order, the EWG's 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables:
1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Kale
9. Lettuce
10. Grapes (imported)
11. Carrots
12. Pears

For the full list of all 47 fruits and veggies, go here.
Kiera Butler is an associate editor at Mother Jones."

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Servan-Schreiber: « Mon combat contre la maladie»

"L'invité du dimanche. David Servan-Schreiber publie une nouvelle édition d' «Anticancer».
Servan-Schreiber: « 
Mon combat contre la maladie»
Servan-Schreiber: « Mon combat contre la maladie»
David Servan-Schreiber est psychiatre. Il a écrit plusieurs best-sellers, dont « Guérir », et « Anti-cancer » (Robert Laffont).
LA DÉPÊCHE DU DIMANCHE : Pourquoi avoir révélé que vous avez été atteint d'un cancer ?
David SERVAN-SCHREIBER : Pendant longtemps, je n'en ai pas parlé. Je gardais ma maladie confidentielle. J'ai fini par être convaincu par mes proches qui me disaient que mon expérience, d'autres approches de santé, pouvaient bénéficier à des malades. Et je ne regrette pas de l'avoir fait. J'ai rendu des services.
DDD : Vous avez fait une rechute. Guérit-on d'un cancer, ou bien faut-il continuer à vivre avec cette épée de Damoclès ?
D. S.-S. : Cela dépend des cas. Il y a des petits cancers dépistés tôt et opérés et pour lesquels on obtient parfois des guérisons. Et d'autres cancers qui ne se guérissent pas, ce qui est mon cas avec une tumeur au cerveau. Il faut vivre avec, en renforçant tout ce qui nourrit la vie dans son corps. Il faut tenir la maladie à distance.
DDD : Le nombre de cancers explose dans les pays occidentaux depuis les années 1940. Vous y voyez plusieurs explications. Lesquelles ?
D. S.-S. : Cela vient en partie du vieillissement de la population. De la systématisation du dépistage. Chez les enfants, le cancer progresse de 1 à 1,5 % par an. Il y a aussi des facteurs sociétaux. Comme le bouleversement de notre alimentation, la sédentarité. Avant guerre, les pesticides n'existaient pas ; la généralisation des contaminants chimiques contribue à la progression du cancer. La réduction massive du réseau social, qui est notre principale protection contre les effets négatifs des grandes crises de la vie sur notre corps, influe également beaucoup. Le manque d'exposition au soleil également. Tout cela est arrivé en même temps.
DDD : Vous avez été soigné par les méthodes conventionnelles. En proposez-vous une nouvelle dans notre livre ?
D. S.-S. : Non. L'opération et la chimiothérapie sont nécessaires. Mais il y a la tumeur, et le terrain. La médecine moderne doit s'occuper des deux.
DDD : Précisément. Vous donnez des conseils très précis pour rester en bonne santé : marcher, bien se nourrir. Les aliments de base ?
D. S.-S. : Très simplement, dans nos assiettes, il faut changer les proportions. Plutôt qu'un gros steak, un petit morceau de viande ou de poisson : 20 % de produits animaux, et 80 % de légumes. Les meilleurs légumes sont les choux, l'oignon, l'ail.. J'ajouterai les herbes, le thym, le romarin, le basilic. Je préconise de boire trois tasses de thé vert par jour, en dehors des repas, et d'introduire le curcuma dans son assiette. Le curcuma est l'inflammatoire naturel le plus efficace : un quart de cuillère à café trois par semaine suffit.
DDD : Vous êtes psychiatre. Le moral, dans le combat contre la maladie, cela compte énormément, non ?
D. S.-S. : Bien sûr. Ce sujet est d'ailleurs un chapitre que j'ai entièrement repris dans mon livre pour être très clair. Le stress ne cause pas le cancer, mais on voit que certaines réponses au stress, le désespoir prolongé, interfèrent avec la capacité du corps à se défense, à mieux lutter. Une femme atteinte d'un cancer et qui va être soutenue par un réseau de copines va multiplier ses chances de guérison.
DDD : Pensez-vous que les chercheurs trouveront l'arme absolue contre le cancer ?
D. S.-S. : Non. Il n'y aura pas de traitement miracle. Le cancer, c'est un peu comme le dérèglement climatique : la conclusion ultime d'une mauvaise gestion des ressources. Il va falloir vivre avec, mobiliser les ressources de son corps, l'aider à se détoxifier.
Interview Sabine Bernède

Ses dimanches

Je cuisine avec ma femme. Je vais faire du sport, ou me balader avec elle et les enfants. Et puis j'aime lire dans le canapé du salon, celui appartient normalement au chat.

Son actualité

David Servan-Schreiber est médecin-psychiatre. Il a enseigné à la faculté de médecine de Pittsburg, aux Etats-Unis. C'est là qu'il a découvert qu'il avait un cancer, ce qu'il n'a révélé que récemment. Ses livres, «Guérir», puis «Anticancer», sont devenus des best-sellers mondiaux. David Servan-Schreiber vient de publier une nouvelle édition de son dernier ouvrage. Il vit à Paris, et continue d'enseigner aux Etats-Unis. Il est professeur adjoint au MD Anderson Cancer Center de Houston au Texas."

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Yoga for Your Tummy

"Yogi tea, also called masala tea, is used to warm and stimulate digestion after a meal, as well as nourish the body, mind, and spirit. Yogi tea consists of four primary spices: cardamom, ginger, long pepper, and cinnamon. Cardamom and ginger are considered sattvic, believed to stimulate spiritual purity. They also help reduce mucus, calm the stomach, and eliminate toxins. Long pepper helps reduce pain and rejuvenates tissue. Cinnamon is similar to cardamom and is also good for the circulation and the heart.
Everyone seems to have a favorite yogi tea recipe, but here is a basic one to try:
Boil two quarts of water. Add one-half tablespoon long pepper, one heaping tablespoon cardamom seeds, six sticks of cinnamon, and four slices of fresh ginger root, peeled. Reduce the heat and let the spice mixture simmer for 30 minutes. Add one and one-half teaspoons black tea and then let steep for no longer than 10 minutes. Strain and add milk, honey, or maple syrup to taste."

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Q. Organic—or Not? Is Organic Produce Healthier Than Conventional?

 "A. There are at least two good arguments for eating organic: fewer pesticides and more nutrients. Let’s start with pesticides. Pesticides can be absorbed into fruits and vegetables, and leave trace residues. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, pored over the results of nearly 51,000 USDA and FDA tests for pesticides on 44 popular produce items and identified the types of fruits and vegetables that were most likely to have higher trace amounts. Most people have no problems eating conventionally grown produce but if you feel strongly about pesticide residues, the EWG’s list below should help you shop.
As for nutrients, in 2007 a study out of Newcastle University in the United Kingdom reported that organic produce boasted up to 40 percent higher levels of some nutrients (including vitamin C, zinc and iron) than its conventional counterparts. Additionally, a 2003 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that organically grown berries and corn contained 58 percent more polyphenols—antioxidants that help prevent cardiovascular disease—and up to 52 percent higher levels of vitamin C than those conventionally grown. Recent research by that study’s lead author, Alyson Mitchell, Ph.D., an associate professor of food science and technology at the University of California, Davis, pinpoints a potential mechanism to explain why organic techniques may sometimes yield superior produce.
It’s a difference in soil fertility, says Mitchell: “With organic methods, the nitrogen present in composted soil is released slowly and therefore plants grow at a normal rate, with their nutrients in balance. Vegetables fertilized with conventional fertilizers grow very rapidly and allocate less energy to develop nutrients.” Buying conventional produce from local farmers also has benefits. Nutrient values in produce peak at prime ripeness, just after harvest. As a general rule, the less produce has to travel, the fresher and more nutrient-rich it remains.
A 2008 review by the Organic Center of almost 100 studies on the nutritional quality of organic produce compared the effects conventional and organic farming methods have on specific nutrients. The report’s conclusion: “Yes, organic plant-based foods are, on average, more nutritious.”
Bottom line: “Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables in general is the point,” says Mitchell. If buying all organic isn’t a priority—or a financial reality for you—you might opt to buy organic specifically when you’re selecting foods that are most heavily contaminated with pesticide and insecticide residues.

Preferably Organic
—Most Commonly Contaminated*

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes - Imported
  • Carrots
  • Pears

If Budget Allows, Buy Organic

  • Collard Greens
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Summer Squash
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Raspberries
  • Grapes - Domestic
  • Plums
  • Oranges
  • Cauliflower
  • Tangerines
  • Mushrooms
  • Bananas
  • Winter Squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cranberries
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Grapefruit

It’s Your Call
—Least Commonly Contaminated

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Watermelon
  • Papaya
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Kiwis
  • Sweet Peas - Frozen
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet Corn - Frozen
  • Avocadoes
  • Onions
*Listed in order of pesticide load
Source: Environmental Working Group. Go to foodnews.org for updates."

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What's Fresh: Trying to save money? 15 foods you don’t need to buy organic

By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D.
"Although I enjoy the grocery store (maybe it’s because I’m a dietitian that I love checking out new products and comparing food labels), lately my husband is doing our grocery shopping.
His budget-friendly buys are great for our bank account. But they don’t always align with my interest in eating organically. We don’t buy everything organic, but pesticides can be absorbed into fruits and vegetables, leaving trace residues, and I’d prefer to not eat pesticides. Long-term exposure to them has been associated with cancer, infertility and neurologic conditions, such as Parkinson’s. (Here are 4 ways to reduce your exposure to pesticides.)
Anyway, one day he called me from the produce aisle. Andy wanted to know what on the list he truly needed to buy organic and what he could skimp on and buy conventional. (Does organic produce have more nutrients? Find out here.)
Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group (EWG, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization) has identified 15 fruits and vegetables that are least likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues. I told him to save money and buy those conventional:
  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocado
  3. Broccoli
  4. Cabbage
  5. Eggplant
  6. Kiwi
  7. Mango
  8. Onions
  9. Papaya
  10. Pineapple
  11. Sweet corn (frozen)
  12. Sweet peas (frozen)
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Tomatoes
  15. Watermelon
EWG also identified 12 fruits and vegetables that are most likely to have higher trace amounts of pesticides. We buy organic:
  1. Apples
  2. Carrots
  3. Celery
  4. Cherries
  5. Grapes (imported)
  6. Kale
  7. Lettuce
  8. Nectarines
  9. Peaches
  10. Pears
  11. Sweet bell peppers
  12. Strawberries"
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FATS: Foods to enjoy, foods to avoid

John McGran

"Not all fats are created equal. That’s according to sports nutrition instructor and author, Kerry McLeod. There’s good fat, bad fat, fat-free, low fat, full fat, and the list goes on. And while "good" fats and oils are absolutely an essential part of good health and maintaining your weight, they should be used sparingly.

McLeod says it’s important for you to know how to identify the healthy fats from the unhealthy fats. She says there are three categories: the good, the bad and the ugly. (Cue haunting spaghetti western music ... wah, wah, wah...).

Facts About Fat
McLeod notes THE GOOD FATS (unsaturated) can actually help you lose weight because they help the body burn fat rather than store it. They also help to lower LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) and maintain or even raise HDL (good cholesterol). It’s important to include good fats at every meal, because they help to absorb other nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K more efficiently. The recommended amount of good fats should be in the range of 20-30% of your total daily calories.

There are two types of good fats:
Monounsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature but can start to solidify in the fridge. The main sources include olives, olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, most nuts and avocados.

Polyunsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature and in the fridge. Main sources include vegetable oils such as safflower, corn, sunflower, soy and cottonseed. Another type of polyunsaturated fat, called omega-3 fatty acids, are well known to provide a wide range of health benefits. They appear to decrease the risk of heart attacks, protect against irregular heartbeats and lower blood pressure levels. In addition, they may protect against some cancers. They are found mainly in fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Lesser amounts are found in flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans and rapeseed oil.

THE BAD FATS (saturated) contribute to arterial aging and heart disease, as well as strokes and many different types of cancer and diabetes, because they raise bad cholesterol and suppress the good. They are solid at room temperature and are found most often in animal products such as red meat, poultry, butter, eggs and whole milk products like ice cream, cheese and cream cheese. Other foods high in saturated fats include coconuts, coconut milk, coconut oil and palm oil.

McLeod says it is important to note that many of the saturated fat-laden products - butter, mayo, cream cheese and salad dressing - are now offered in low-fat or fat-free versions, which are far better choices. The recommended daily amount of saturated fat is an absolute maximum of 10% of your total calories.

THE UGLY FATS (trans fats) along with saturated fats are thought to raise your blood cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. Trans fats are made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil through a process called hydrogenation; this makes the fat more solid at room temperature. It helps to increase the shelf life of foods, and supposedly makes them taste better. Often, trans fats are found along with saturated fats in products such as vegetable shortening, margarine, crackers and biscuits, sweets, commercially baked goods and fried & processed foods.

"If you see the words hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated in the ingredients listed on food labels, you should know the food contains trans fats," McLeod notes. "That’s your cue to try to avoid eating that particular food. However, you will find that it’s quite a challenge to avoid buying processed foods that don’t have trans fats in them. Look at the foods you buy each week, even the ones that you thought were super healthy. You’ll be amazed at how many of them contain trans fats."

In The Last Diet Book Standing , she spells out the best choices by food category that DO NOT contain trans fats, for the food shopper who doesn't have the time to read nutrition label after nutrition label.

There are two interesting fat facts you should know:

- A fat-free diet can actually cause you to gain weight! How can that be? Well, the body stores what is in short supply for as long as possible. So, if you deny your body fat it’s going to hold onto what fat you already have.

- All fats have more than twice the calories (9 calories per gram) of carbs and protein (each has 4 calories per gram). So, good or bad, it is important to watch your fat intake...

Here’s a rule of thumb: if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Apply this theory to most low-fat packaged foods. The low-fat version of a packaged food (biscuits, cakes, crackers, etc.) may sound like a healthier alternative of the regular version. But in actual fact, manufacturers often compensate for the lack of fat by adding more sugar, salt, and thickeners to boost flavour and texture, thereby substituting one evil for several others. So low-fat versions usually have about the same number of calories (sometimes more) as their regular versions.

If you compare the labels, you’ll find "low fat" is not the same as "low calorie". In addition, you’ll quickly realise that because most low-fat versions don’t taste as good, you tend to eat more to satisfy that craving. You’re probably better off eating the full-fat biscuit that you were craving in the first place, but in moderation!

The "too good to be true rule" does not apply to low-fat versions of animal foods (i.e. dairy and meat). These low-fat options are definitely better for you than the full-fat versions because they’re lower in fat and calories, and still taste great!

McLeod wants the savvy dieter to walk away with these nuggets of knowledge:

- Make sure to include foods high in essential fatty acids for optimum health. However, you only need a little bit of even the good stuff to get the protective benefit. Any more will make you fat.

- When using fat as a spread, choose the lower fat versions (low-fat salad dressings, mayo, butter and cream cheese).

- "Low-fat" animal foods (i.e., red meat and milk products) are great options and still taste great. However, low-fat processed goods often contain other unhealthy ingredients, lack taste and are not typically lower in calories.

- Keep consumption of saturated and trans fats to a minimum. They can make you gain weight and are linked to major diseases"


Basic Pancake Recipe

"Sift 125g plain flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, crack in an egg and gradually pour in 300ml skimmed milk. Whisk gently, using a balloon whisk, until you have a lump-free batter. Set aside for 20 minutes. Heat a small, non-stick frying pan and wipe with a little sunflower oil. Pour the batter into a jug and add enough mixture to coat the base of the pan. Cook for around one minute on each side, pile onto a plate and keep warm in a low oven until all the pancakes are cooked.

Makes 12 pancakes.

Nutritional information: 54 calories, 1g fat and 9g carbs (½ Unit) per pancake.

• Roll your pancake up with a banana inside
• Top with chopped fruit and natural yoghurt
• Top the pancake with berries such as blueberries - you can add these to the batter in the pan
• Use up to a half wholemeal flour for a heartier brekkie

• Use pancakes instead of lasagne or cannelloni and fill with meat, cheese or vegetables and pasta sauce
• Fill with pieces of chicken or duck (drain off excess fat) and top with sliced cucumber, spring onions and plum sauce for an oriental touch
• Fill with spinach, sundried tomatoes, a little feta cheese and flavour with chopped mint
• Use in place of a tortilla wrap for chilli or fajitas

• Top with fruit and fromage frais or Greek yoghurt
• Serve with frozen yoghurt or sorbet

• Drizzle over honey or full fruit jam and lemon juice
• Fill with apple sauce and raisins with a sprinkling of cinnamon"


Seven healthy heart habits

"So, you want to decrease your risk of heart disease. You’ve heard it a thousand times before - follow a healthy lifestyle.
That’s a no brainer.

Sure, it boils down to a few basic guidelines that make sense. They include things like: eating a balanced diet, watching your portions, exercising often, and refraining from smoking. Sounds simple enough, right? Then why are so many of us doing just the opposite? Because, we’ve gotten ourselves into an unhealthy lifestyle rut.

Our lives are more hectic than ever, so we look for convenience. Between work, school, socialising, hobbies and the kids, there’s just no time to eat right and exercise! And we’re paying the price with our health!

The question is, how do we get out of this unhealthy lifestyle rut? The answer is really quite simple. It will take a commitment to making a few changes in your current lifestyle - there’s no getting around this. But don’t fret, we’ve figured it out for you. The following are what we determined to be the "lifestyle habits" of highly healthy people.

Make a mental note of how many of these are habits you are already hooked on.

Habit No.1: Highly healthy people make health, nutrition and weight management a priority.

No matter how busy you are, the most important thing is your health. The key to good health is taking preventative measures every day, like eating right, exercising consistently and refraining from smoking. Equally important is early detection of diseases through regular health screenings appropriate for your age group. Visit your doctor for a check up to find out your cholesterol and blood pressure readings. This will help you to know what you need to work on.

Habit No.2: Highly healthy people make better food choices everyday.

Better food habits can help you reduce your risk for heart attack, so it’s important to choose foods that taste great and pack a nutritional punch. The easiest way to do this is to include the healthiest selections from the five food groups with an emphasis on getting your five to 10 fruits and veggies and enough fibre each day. You should also try to reduce your salt intake by not adding it during cooking or at the table, and choosing lower salt versions of foods like baked beans and other tinned foods. By doing this you will retrain your mind and body to go for more whole foods (heart protective), rather than unhealthy, fatty, processed, packaged junk foods.

Habit No.3: Highly healthy people practice safe portion control.

Following the recommended serving sizes from the major food groups automatically helps to keep your weight in check. Restaurants and fast food places serve portions that are two to five times larger than they were in the 1950’s - no wonder heart disease is on the rise! By consistently eating smaller portions of food, you’ll begin to be satisfied with these portions; it only takes a few days for the body to adjust.

Habit No.4: Highly healthy people drink eight glasses of water per day.

Staying hydrated helps rid your body of toxins, reduces stress levels, enhances your metabolism and makes you feel fuller. Try to limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine, as they tend to be dehydrating. Drink at least 8 (200 ml) glasses of water per day, or fill a 2 litre bottle in the morning with water and drink it throughout the day.

Habit No.5: Highly healthy people plan their meals in advance.
Many of the people featured in our Success stories have admitted that weekly menu planning is the key to staying on course with new healthy lifestyle goals. Prepare a shopping list before you go to the store; if you stock your fridge with healthy foods, you’re probably going to eat them. Prepare meals and snacks in advance; it makes it less likely that you will grab something unhealthy if you shop when you’re hungry.

Habit No.6: Highly healthy people exercise consistently.

Exercise is one thing that can help you get your heart in shape immediately. Plus, it can make your bones stronger, it beats stress, fights off mild depression and can help you sleep better at night. Being active on a regular basis reduces your risk of heart disease by up to 25 percent. Just do it, as they say!

Habit No.7: Highly healthy people "chill out" to keep their stress levels in check.

Too much stress can cause blood pressure to rise and is believed to be a major risk factor for heart disease. Controlling your blood pressure can yield a 20 percent risk reduction. The best way to deal with stress is to use a range of coping mechanisms, including yoga, meditation, therapy and a good chat with a friend!

Make their habits your habits!

Now that we’ve given you the lowdown on the habits of highly healthy people, here are a few pointers that will help you make the transition from unhealthy to healthy less traumatic:

• Focus on incorporating new healthy habits, rather than focusing on breaking bad habits; psychologically, it will be easier.

• Instead of stressing out over an all-or-nothing approach, think in terms of moderation. Focus on the things you can do, rather than on the things you can’t. We don’t promote complete abstinence from junk food, mainly because it’s unrealistic, it’s too inflexible, and frankly, it’s no fun! Instead, we promote moderation and making better lifestyle choices.

Still not convinced that you should make some changes?

Here’s some good news. It’s never too late to start eating right and exercising. The sooner you start, the sooner you can start undoing a lifetime of bad habits. Research has shown that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself. It’s a fact that the risk of heart disease can be greatly decreased by living a healthier lifestyle. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what the experts are saying:

• Healthy foods can help you reduce the major risk factors for heart attack - high cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight. (British Heart Foundation)

• Consuming a healthy diet is one of the best ways to prevent or combat heart disease. (Harvard Nurses Health Study)

• For every 1 percent drop in LDL (bad) cholesterol, you get a 2 percent reduction in heart-disease risk. (Heart UK)

• Quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of heart disease within a year. (British Heart Foundation)

• Not smoking, maintaining a normal weight, consuming a healthy diet, exercising consistently and drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may help reduce the risk of heart disease by about 80 percent. (Harvard Nurses Health Study)"


Especialista em obesidade infantil defende comida saudável grátis nas escolas

por Rui Gaudêncio
"Um especialista norte-americano em obesidade infantil defendeu hoje a criação de programas de alimentação saudável grátis para crianças em idade escolar e aconselha os municípios a afastarem os restaurantes de ‘fast food’ das escolas.

Nicholas Freudenberg, professor de saúde pública na universidade de Nova Iorque, participou hoje num debate sobre “As autarquias e a promoção da saúde”, durante o qual defendeu a mobilização dos municípios no combate à obesidade infantil e promoção de hábitos de vida saudáveis nas comunidades, por serem “autoridades com grande impacto na vida quotidiana dos habitantes”.

Freudenberg considerou a agressividade da indústria que promove o "fast food" e a alimentação pouco saudável como uma das grandes responsáveis pela obesidade infantil.

“São precisas políticas que façam a diferença. Se limitámos a publicidade sobre o tabaco, também deveríamos limitar a publicidade acerca da comida pouco saudável”, disse.

O especialista estudou particularmente os casos de Londres e Nova Iorque, onde “as empresas de comida rápida estão concentradas à volta das escolas” e destaca que, para as crianças comerem melhor, “tem de ser mais fácil encontrar comida saudável do que pouco saudável”.

Considerando que em Portugal duas em cada cinco crianças são obesas ou têm excesso de peso no final da escola primária, Freudenberg recomenda aos municípios que “condicionem o acesso à ‘fast food’ e restaurantes pouco saudáveis, limitando-os a uma determinada zona da cidade e, sobretudo, afastando-os de escolas”.

Para Nicholas Freudenberg, o exemplo a aplicar nas escolas vem de Londres, onde o município criou “um programa de refeições escolares saudáveis, grátis para todos, saborosas e nutritivas”.

Na falta de programas como este, chegam gestos simples: “por exemplo, em vez das máquinas de refrigerantes basta ter distribuidores de água grátis à disposição”, afirmou.

Feudenberg sugere ainda a adopção, em escolas e restaurantes, de “limites de calorias, sal e gordura”.

“Em Nova Iorque, nenhum restaurante pode apresentar uma ementa que ultrapasse um determinado nível de gordura”, exemplificou.

O especialista aconselha também os municípios a promoverem a agricultura urbana, através da criação de espaços para hortas, e a construção de ciclovias e espaços verdes, onde as pessoas possam ser fisicamente activas.

Na sessão, promovida pelo Instituto Nacional Ricardo Jorge e pela Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, foi ainda apresentado um estudo que revela que os municípios consideram importante a sua participação na promoção da saúde dos seus cidadãos, mas destacam que para desenvolverem a saúde local precisam de mais dinheiro e de recursos humanos."


Bem-vindo ao mundo biológico

"Para lhe provar que biológico não é sinónimo de comida esquisita e vegetariana, Mariana Correia de Barros foi visitar os quatro supermercados biológicos da Grande Lisboa. E ainda ficou mais surpreendida com o que encontrou nas prateleiras.

Já vai longa a história da cooperativa biológica alfacinha que começou há 17 anos, numa venda de quintal, e que hoje vive num enorme armazém em estilo loja, dividido em duas zonas, com uma padaria e snackbar anexados. Só torcemos o nariz ao sítio, o Prior Velho, para lá do aeroporto (e do sol posto). De resto, pareceu-nos servir bem o efeito. O BioCoop foi o primeiro espaço deste género e continua a ser o que oferece mais variedade. Desde cereais e bolachas, a leites de aveia, queijos, vinhos, licores, pizzas e muita carne. “Temos de importar produtos de Itália, França e Alemanha, que são países bem desenvolvidos no sector”, explica João Cabral, um dos responsáveis do espaço. De França chegam uns cereais especialíssimos, Celnat, “armazenados nos Alpes, num silo a 3200 metros de altitude (respeitando o fresco e seco que exige a conservação)” ou os iogurtes Sojade, “à base de soja, com sabores como pêssego com flor de sabugueiro”. Entre os produtos nacionais estão “todos aqueles que possam existir”. Desde as leguminosas e cereais da Herdade de Carvalhoso, aos leites e iogurtes Agros e aos enchidos da Montanheira. E para os mesmo fanáticos do mundo biológico... há cerveja à medida.

Fazia falta um espaço destes nas imediações da capital e foi com essa carta na manga que três amigos abriram o BioSábio, o único supermercado exclusivamente biológico em Oeiras e toda a Linha de Cascais. Arabela Dias, uma das sócias, entrou no mundo sem tóxicos e pesticidas quando o filho mais novo, por questões de saúde, começou a poder comer apenas produtos biológicos. Em Outubro de 2009 inaugurou o supermercado e, tal como os seus ‘concorrentes’, vende frutas, legumes, carnes, pão, massas, bolachas e por aí fora. Até chegar à cosmética, roupa de bebés e detergentes. Em suma, tudo aquilo que há num supermercado normal, com a diferença dos preços. “Um bocadinho mais caros: em média 30%”. Com tendência a diminuir daqui a poucos anos, se tanto a procura como a oferta continuarem a crescer. Já a secção gourmet, faz subir a parada, com arroz de flores a uma média de 6€ ou patês a rondar os 4€. Mas Arabela não se queixa de falta de clientela. Há quem venha de pé atrás e leve apenas hortaliças e há quem se torne cliente fiel a seguir à primeira visita. Não raras vezes perguntam se é um espaço de produtos dietéticos ou vegetarianos, tipo Celeiro. Estão enganados. “Aqui há de tudo”.

Se for tão desconfiado quanto a senhora velhinha que vive em frente ao Brio, não cometa o mesmo erro de esperar seis meses para meter o pé no supermercado. Mesmo que seja de gostos conservadores, este espaço vale a pena, quanto mais não seja porque tem tudo o que há num supermercado comum... mas em versão biológica. O Brio abriu em Campo de Ourique no Verão de 2008 e o negócio parece correr bem. “Os preços ainda são caros, mas já conseguimos alguns competitivos, como as massas Green a 0,99€”, diz o responsável do espaço, Miguel Monteiro. Também se encontram produtos curiosos como o Daikon (vegetal asiático) ou uns picles de nabo com 50 centímetros. Além disso, há espetadas de carne, hambúrgueres, coxas de frango e peixe congelado. “Para um novato em agricultura biológica sugerimos um bife da Herdade do Freixo do Meio, muito saboroso”. No caso de querer ser mais verde tem à disposição um chef especializado em comida macrobiótica que lhe esclarece qualquer dúvida. Aos sábados, a partir das 17.00, há cursos de culinária vegetariana (15€) com jantar incluído. De resto, há iniciativas para quase todos os gostos: churrascos na rua, degustações e muitas promoções.

Miosótis (x2)
Os criadores da Miosótis já deram provas suficientes nesta área. Em 1985 fundaram a associação Agrobio e anos depois o supermercado Biocoop, onde estiveram durante 14 anos. Há quase três anos, Ângelo e Manuela Rocha decidiram abrir um novo supermercado biológico. Primeiro no Campo Pequeno e mais tarde, em Agosto de 2009, em São Sebastião da Pedreira. Agora, além de serem os únicos a terem duas lojas, são também os únicos a oferecer um talho biológico. “De resto é tudo igual”. Produtos com selo Bio e o máximo de produção nacional. No total são cinco mil referências com uma rota de compras que começa nos arredores de Lisboa e só vai ao estrangeiro “porque ainda há pouca produção nacional”. Portugueses só mesmo os frescos, os azeites, vinhos, compotas e carnes. Têm expositores de leguminosas e cereais a granel. Sacos de plástico é que não. Para transportar as compras, os clientes podem trazer o seu próprio saco ou levar um caixote de cartão da loja. Carrinhos de compras existem, mas são feitos de garrafas recicladas. Às quintas é dia de venda do pão sem glúten e de cada vez que entra um produto novo nacional há degustação com direito a alguma mini-festinha"

Rua Salgueiro Maia, 12
Prior Velho

segunda a sexta, 10 às 20h
sábado, 9 às 18h
Tel 219 410 479

BioSábio: http://www.biosabio.pt/
Rua A Gazeta de Oeiras, 4A, 2780-171 Oeiras

  • segunda a sexta, 10 às 20h

  • sábado, 9h30 às 18h

  • tel 210 987 546

  • Rua Azedo Gneco, 30
    Campo de Ourique
    segunda a sábado, 9 às 20h
    domingo, 10 às 18h
    Tel 213 866 406

    Miosotis: http://biomiosotis.blogspot.com/
    Av. Óscar Monteiro Torres, 15, ao Campo Pequeno (tel. 217959358)

    segunda a sexta, 10 às 20h
    sábado, 9 às 17h.
    metro: campo pequeno
    autocarros (av. de roma): 7, 35, 767
    autocarros (campo pequeno): 21, 36, 44, 45, 54, 56, 83, 91, 108, 727, 732, 738, 745, 780

    Miosotis: http://biomiosotis.blogspot.com/
    R. Marquês Sá da Bandeira, 16, ao Jardim da Gulbenkian (tel. 217959357).
    segunda a sexta, 10 às 20h
    sábado, 9 às 17h.
    metro: são sebastião
    autocarros: 16, 718, 726, 742, 746