Author Archives: Descygna

About Descygna

Descygna is a health journalist who has made her health, and that of her family, a top priority. She loves making over traditional recipes and staying on top of the latest health trends.

More Stores Stop Selling Ground Beef with Pink Slime

Ground beef that includes what the meat industry calls lean, finely textured beef, or pink slime, has been getting a lot of media coverage lately. Consumers have been avidly asking questions about which grocery stores sell it so that they can avoid it. As consumers continue to voice their concern, grocers are listening.

Safeway, SUPERVALU and Food Lion are the latest grocery stores to make the announcement that they will discontinue carrying ground beef that includes pink slime. Safeway released a statement saying, “While the USDA and food industry experts agree that lean, finely textured ground beef is safe and wholesome, recent news stories have caused considerable consumer concern about this product. Safeway will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean, finely textured beef.”

The list of grocers that are issuing statements regarding their ground beef and whether or not it contains pink slime is growing.

While Safeway is the second largest grocery chain in the country, SUPERVALU is the third largest chain. SUPERVALU controls various grocery stores including Albertson’s, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Jewel-Osco, Hornbacher’s and others. Some other heavy hitters like Walmart and Sam’s Club have also made recent announcements that they would stop selling beef that includes pink slime. The nation’s largest grocery store chain is Kroger and they currently offer beef options with and without the product.


Carnie Wilson Has Second Weight Loss Surgery

After having gastric bypass surgery 12 years ago, Carnie Wilson then underwent lap-band surgery on January 18 to lose weight.

Having gastric bypass surgery helped Carnie lose 150 pounds. The surgery reduced the size of the stomach and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. In contrast to that, the lap-band surgery involves having a silicone band inserted around the stomach which creates a small pouch about the same size as a golf ball. Since having her lap-band surgery, Carnie has lost 30 pounds. Although she did have success with the gastric bypass procedure, she found it difficult after having two children to lose her pregnancy weight.

“It was the right decision for me and I’m doing really well so far. It’s all about taking good care of myself,” Wilson says. Wilson is part of the best-selling female group of the 1990s, Wilson Phillips and is currently promoting her upcoming album. She and fellow group members will be starring in their own reality show this April.


Vigorous Exercise May Hurt Your Chances of Getting Pregnant

We know that exercise is absolutely essential to having a healthy body and the benefits of regular exercise are numerous. A recent study has shown that exercise can even help the impact of fertility functions in women of all shapes and body types.

Moderate levels of physical activity for any length of time appeared to give a decrease in the amount of time it takes to conceive for women. The study, conducted by researcher Lauren A. Wise, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health, looked at 3,000 different women that were actively trying to conceive with no outside fertility help or treatments. Each woman’s activity level was tracked through one self-answered questionnaire that was completed after the study began. The key to achieving the improved conception time was to keep the activity levels moderate.

When engaging in five or more hours of vigorous exercise per week, women of a healthy weight dropped their likelihood to get pregnant by 42 percent when compared to women that did no exercise. With women of a normal weight, the more vigorous the exercise, the lower the chance for conception was. “We were surprised to find that even relatively small amounts of vigorous activity seemed to impact fertility,” Wise said. Vigorous exercise didn’t delay conception for women that were obese or overweight though.

“The take-home message for overweight and obese women is that any exercise seems better than none. Being overweight is a risk factor for infertility, and these findings suggest that exercise may improve fertility in these women,” said Wise. (more…)

Sacred Lotus Leaf Promotes Natural Weight Loss

The sacred lotus leaf found in the Far East has recently been identified as a successful aid for weight loss. There have been many health benefits associated with the lotus leaf but medical studies have only recently confirmed that this plant can help people lose weight in a completely natural way.

The technical name for the lotus leaf is the Nelumbo Nucifera and it is also referred to as the bean of India, Indian Lotus or He Ye in Chinese cultures. This plant has been used to treat things like skin disorders, diarrhea, heavy menstrual bleeding, as a treatment for blood in the urine, and now it has been discovered to help in weight loss. The study that has uncovered the weight loss was conducted by Korean nutrition and metabolism expert scientists Ji-Yung Park and Huan Du at the Department of Food and Nutrition at Inha University in Incheon, Korea. The study was conducted in 2010 and the scientists stated that when the sacred lotus leaf is paired with L-carnitine can prevent adipogenesis which is the formation of fatty tissues. This study also found that the lotus leaf slowed the absorption of fat and carbohydrates. Energy expenditures were increased and lipid metabolism was also rapidly increased with the use of sacred lotus leaf.


Cooler Hands Help You Exercise More Consistently

A simple solution has been offered for helping obese women exercise longer and stay faithful to their workouts: cool palms.

Research scientist and exercise physiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine Stacy Sims ran this study and got some pretty amazing results. “If you think about adipose fat tissue, it’s a great insulator. For people who are obese, that means they often get too hot while exercising,” Sims said. Her goal was to see if cooling the palms of the women participating in the study would help them overcome fatigue and overheating while they were exercising. Professional athletes currently use the same palm cooling device that was used in the study. She chose to test this theory on obese women because she found they tend to abandon workouts due to overheating and fatigue.

Within the study, 24 women, ages 30 to 45 were evaluated. None of the participants had a history of long-term exercise and all of them were obese with a BMI between 30 and 35. The women were broken into two groups. Both groups used the cooling device, but only one group had cool water in their device. The other group’s devices held water that was body temperature. The groups did three exercise sessions per week for a total of 12 weeks. The sessions were broken down to include 10 minutes of body weight exercise, 25 to 45 minutes of walking on the treadmill while holding the cooling device followed by 10 minutes of core exercises. On the first and last day of the study there was a timed 1.5 mile walk. The group that used the devices with cool water managed to trim over five minutes off their time for the 1.5 mile walk, took more than two inches off their waist and lowered their blood pressure.


High Fat Diet Linked to Poor Sperm Quality

A new study published online in a European journal titled Human Reproduction has released information that men eating a diet high in saturated fat had lower sperm counts and sperm concentration levels. Although men who consumed less fat had better counts, the study also revealed that men with better formed sperm consumed more omega-3 fatty acids.

“Diets containing higher amounts of omega-3 fat and lower amounts of saturated fat are associated with favorable semen quality parameters and may be beneficial to male reproductive health. Although these findings need to be reproduced, adapting these nutritional modifications may not only be beneficial for reproductive health but for global general health as well,” said Dr. Jill Attaman, author of the study.

A total of 99 Americans participated in the study and all of them were in their mid-30s. The men provided semen samples for analysis from December 2006 to August 2010 and answered questions about their diet. The results showed that the men who took in the highest amount, or around 13 percent of their daily calories from saturated fat, had a 35 percent lower total sperm count and a 38 percent lower concentration than the men who consumed lower levels.


Biggest Loser Visa Rewards Card Gives Perks for Healthy Purchases

Fans and lovers of the hit TV show the Biggest Loser now have even more motivation to live a healthy lifestyle. The newly available Biggest Loser Visa Rewards card allows cardholders to earn rewards points for health expenses including insurance co-pays, prescriptions, prescription eyeglasses, gym memberships and sporting goods equipment.

This new Visa also offers triple rewards points at certain national retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Whole Foods, 24 Hour Fitness, eDiets, The Vitamin Shoppe and many others.

There are numerous rewards available that you can claim once you’ve built up enough points on your card. Some of the rewards cardholders may enjoy include autographed Biggest Loser merchandise, customized healthy vacations with no blackout dates or you can take account credits and pay yourself.


Some other ways that points can be redeemed are for a visit to the Biggest Loser ranch where the show is filmed, a nutritional analysis from a Biggest Loser nutritionist, a personalized workout plan from a Biggest Loser resort trainer, front of the line tickets to a Biggest Loser casting session or a stay at a Biggest Loser Resort.


Dr. Mike Moreno Releases the 17 Day Diet Cookbook

Dr. Mike Moreno has followed up his popular book The 17 Day Diet with a new companion, The 17 Day Diet Cookbook. This cookbook includes 80 new recipes for those following the 17 Day Diet plan.

The 17 Day Diet spent a year on the New York Times bestseller list, with 11 weeks at number one. The program incorporates four different cycles, each of them 17 days in length. The four cycles include Accelerate, Activate, Achieve and Arrive and they are designed to help you lose weight quickly and reset your metabolism.

The 17 Day Diet Cookbook offers more recipe options to those following the program that are full of flavor, easy to prepare and specifically designed to help you stick with the program. All of the foods included in the recipes use ingredients that are easy to find in most grocery stores, and many of them can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.

Red Meat Linked to Higher Risk of Premature Death

 A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health focuses on eating unprocessed red meat like hamburger, roast beef, lamb and pork as well as processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, bologna and sausage. The results of the study show that having one serving per day of unprocessed meat can increase your risk for death by cardiovascular disease by as much as 18 percent. Taking in one serving of processed meat per day can increase that risk by as much as 21 percent. There have been numerous studies conducted previously that have linked high consumption of red meat and processed meats to various cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and early death. “This new study provides further compelling evidence that high amounts of red meat may boost the risk of premature death,” said An Pan, lead author of the study.

It is important to also note that this particular study focuses on association, and the results don’t specifically mean causation. Data was collected on the health and deaths of 37,698 men and 83,644 women. Throughout the study, those that were being analyzed filled out questionnaires on their diet every four years. Over two decades during the follow-up period, 5,910 participants died from heart disease while 9,464 died from cancer. This study does show some direct association between eating high amounts of red meat and unprocessed meat on your health. When preparing your food, moderation is the key.


Dr. Oz Shows You How to Eat What You Love and Still Lose Weight

This week, Dr. Oz’s “Eat What You Love” episode is designed to teach you how you can include some of your favorite items including chocolate, steak, pasta or even cookies into your diet and still lose weight. You don’t have to cut out certain foods or food groups, because that can lead to binges.

Dr. Oz will show that sometimes even the thought of starting a diet can lead to insatiable eating days before you start the diet creating the “last supper mentality.” The Eat What You Love program focuses more on keeping you satisfied while helping you lose weight. Dr. Oz says it’s not a diet, because it’s not something you go on or off. Instead of dreaming about the day when you can have your favorite food again, you will be consuming 1,450 calories per day including foods that are high in protein, fiber and with enough fat to keep you full. You are even encouraged to eat some of your favorite foods to satisfy cravings as long as you are aware of the comfort that food brings and how it tastes.

There are options given for eating out and you can cook one meal at home for your entire family to enjoy. Your daily meals will consist of 300 calories at breakfast, 400 at lunch, 500 for dinner and two 125 calorie snacks each day. Dr. Oz includes recipes and meal ideas as well as substitutions to help get you started.