HEALTHY HABITS Jan/Feb/Mar 2009 GO FAST, SEE BETTER You could turn that daily walk into More Ways to Watch Out for Eyes. eye protection just by adding a few Hats and sunglasses can help guard minutes of jogging each day. you eyes also. References: Fletcher, A.E. et al., Archives of Ophthalmology Research shows that a little vigorous 2008 Octo: 126 (10): 1396-1403. exercise can lower the risk of devel- oping two kinds of sight stealers: Simple Don’t-Get-Fat Formula. macular degeneration and cataracts. It’s a fact of life: We tend to gain Why Fruit Salad is Better than a Banana Run for Your Eyes. One study re- weight as we get older. But you’ll vealed that joggers who, on average, pack on fewer pounds over the years Are you stuck in a banana-a- day rut? Here’s a good reason ran a little over a mile a day reduced with this simple formula. to chop up that ‘nana with their risk of developing age-related some strawberries, apples, Walk 2 to 4 hours a week (that’s as grapes and oranges. It’s called macular degeneration by a whopping little as 30-40 minutes every other synergy. You don’t just get a 36%. Even better, people who day). People in a 15-year study who wider variety of nutrients by jogged about 5 miles a day reduced did this gained less weight during the eating more fruits. Those nutrients actually work to- their risk by 54%! But it you haven’t study period than folks who didn’t gether to produce even more exercised much, talk to your doctor walk at all. powerful health benefits than before you kick it up that high. any single fruit could alone. Although the results were similar for Think of it like compounding Another study showed that physical interest—but with fruit! We both men and women, the weight all know that the antioxidants activity helped spare people from benefit was strongest for women who from fruits and veggies work cataracts. No matter how hefty or were also heaviest. Overall, the hard to protect your body skinny the men in the study were, from aging and disease. But heaviest women in the study gained what you may not know is that those who ran more than 5 1/2 miles about 1 pound less per year for every those antioxidants work even a day had a 35% lower risk of cata- additional 30-minute walk taken each harder when they have the racts than did the men who ran less week. Regardless of your gender of company of other antioxidants. That’s why researcher recom- than 1 1/2 miles a day. size, walking is a super-accessible, mend people eat 5-10 servings easy-to-maintain activity that can of a wide range of different Salad Bar: A Sight for Healthy fruits and veggies each day. If Eyes. Did you know that the eye has help you not only keep extra pounds you tend to eat the same fruit its own special defense system? It’s off but also lose weight, if done regu- over and over, consider break- larly. ing the mold next time you’re true. But you’ve got to feed it this: at the grocery store or farm- salad. Not a fan of walking? That’s okay. ers market, and pick up some- thing you’ve never tried be- Research suggests that people age 65 Pick any activity you love, and do it fore. And choose whole fruit, or older could preserve the health of regularly to help keep your waist in so you get the most antioxi- check. dant bang for your buck. their retinas by getting lots of vitamin References: Wilkinson, A.S. et al., Journal C, zeaxanthin, and alphatocopherol (a References:Gordon-Larsen, P. et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009 Jan; 89(1): 19:26. of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 2008 form of vitamin E). Luckly, a veg- May 14;56 (9): 3037-3042. gie-rich salad bar can load you up on all three. PAGE 2 H E A LT HY HA B ITS How to Avoid Doubling Your Cut Fat, Protect Your Colon Dementia Risk Cheeseburgers and ice cream. We love to eat ‘em, even though they clog our arteries and pad our bel- If you’re hoping to dodge age-related dementia lies. But here’s one more good reason to cut back: down the road, best to get a handle of your blood Cancer of the small intestine. sugar now. A large long-term study showed that high intakes Both chronically high blood sugar (prediabetes) of saturated fat-the kind found mainly in dairy and and diabetes increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and other animal-based foods-may bump up the risk for other forms of dementia. And that risk more than this rare but particularly dangerous form of cancer. doubles if diabetes strikes in middle age rather than later in life. Saturated fats nay increase the risk for this cancer because of the bile acids your body uses to digest How does diabetes hurt cognition? Diabetes- the fat. These acids can cause oxidative stress and related inflammation and oxidative stress are two subsequent cancer-causing damage to the DNA in possible bad-for-your-brain effects. And when the small intestine. And cancer of the small intes- those effects happen in midlife rather than later life, tine may be extra hazardous because it could in- the worse it may be for you. crease the risk of other forms of cancer, including Whether you have normal blood sugar or diabetic colon and rectal cancers. levels, it’s important to control it—not just for your In the study, saturated fat from dairy seemed par- body, but for your brain, too. That means kicking ticularly harmful. However, other research has to the curb any unhealthy habits, like a poor diet shown that high calcium intake may be protective and excessive couch lounging. of your colon. So choose low-fat or nonfat dairy Her are more tips on protecting your blood sugar products. and your brain: References: Cross, A.J. et al., Cancer Research 2008 Nov 15;68 (22): 9274-9279. • Squeeze in a mini workout. • Eat your bread. • Work your mind. References: Xu,W. et al., Diabetes 2009 Jan;58 (1): 71-77.
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