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Twitter Thursday Health Tips

April 8, 2010 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

In this week’s edition of Twitter Thursday I’m going to focus on practical ways to avoid some common pitfalls of 21st century living. Our expert line-up today includes a few familiar faces, such as Dr. Michael Eades, author of The 6 Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle and Rick McGuire, one of the most informative and prolific health figures on Twitter. But there are also some new contributors in the bullpen: Dr. Soram Khalsa, a founding member of the American Holistic Medical Association; Joy McCarthy, an influential nutritionist from Toronto, Canada and last, but not least, some words of wisdom from Neatorama – one of the more enjoyable and entertaining sites on the worldwide web.

A recent post by Dr. Eades warns us to “Beware of the small amount of trans fats that don’t have to be disclosed on the labels of processed foods. They add up”. He bases this comment on a current study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. That review explains that trans fat are “a significant risk factor for cardiovascular events” and a “2% absolute increase in energy intake from trans fat has been associated with a 23% increase in cardiovascular risk“. A few other key points made in the piece specify that: a) less than 1% of dietary fat should come from this dangerous variety of fatty acids and; b) processed foods can claim to be trans fat free even though they contain small amounts of hydrogenated oil (<.5 grams or less per serving). The authors of the paper call for greater transparency in food labeling. Until that days comes, you can virtually eliminate your intake of trans fat by eating a whole food diet. (1,2)

There must be something in the air or in the medical literature because both Rick McGuire and Dr. Soram Khalsa tweeted new information this past week about the dangers of chemicals contained in plastic. It seems that two new studies prompted these precautions. The first trial focused on the danger of a substance known as bisphenol A (BPA) found in “packaged food, household dust, air and dental fillings”. The startling finding of this investigation is that infants appear to be exposed to the higher amounts of this hormone-disrupting chemical via BPA present in plastic baby bottles. Phthalates are a separate class of chemicals commonly found in nail polish and soft plastic products. An analysis presented in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives correlates higher levels of maternal exposure to phthalates to an increased risk of behavioral problems and possibly attention deficit disorder (ADD) type symptoms in developing children. Dr. Khalsa adds – “This is one of the reasons why I advise all of my pregnant patients to use only health-food store nail polish, no perfumes, non-toxic makeup and an organic diet when they are pregnant”. (3,4,5,6,7)

Joy McCarthy was just featured in a segment on AOL’s β€œThat’s Fit”. There, she offers up a great looking recipe that’s sure to please your brain as well as your palate. She describes her creation as a “scramlet” that provides “easy brain food”. But what is it about an egg and vegetable scramble that nourishes the mind? In a word: choline, “a component of acetylcholine – a brain chemical essential for sending messages and speaking to the rest of the body, ie. your muscles”. I’m also fond of this breakfast idea because it features broccoli, coconut oil and onion – all of which are dietary superstars in my book. All in all, this seems like an “eggsellent” low carb, whole food meal that will sustain your body and mind throughout the day. (8,9)

Trans Fat Elevates LDL (“Bad”) Cholesterol and Reduces HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol
Source: Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2008; 79(3-5): 147–152. (link)

Modern man is in a constant tug of war with technology. In some ways it makes our lives seem infinitely better and more efficient. But, let’s be honest. Certain mainstays of 21st century living end up being a drain on precious time. E-mail is one of the best examples of the love-hate relationship. Thankfully, a guest post on Neatorama by Leo Babauta is here to help. Leo is the author of the book The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential … in Business and in Life. Here are a few of his suggestions.

  1. Avoid checking your e-mail at the start of the day. “By checking email in the morning, you’re allowing email to dictate the rest of your day, instead of deciding for yourself what your Most Important Tasks will be for today. You’re putting yourself in danger of getting stuck in your email and not getting out of it. Focus instead on getting your important projects done first thing in the morning instead of checking email”.
  2. E-mail notifications only seem helpful. “Most email programs have a way to give you an alert (through a sound or a pop-up message or a blinking icon) that lets you know you’ve received a new email. If you use such an alert, I highly recommend that you turn it off. It interrupts whatever you’re working on, and draws you back to email based on the schedule of anyone who chooses to email you, not at a time you determine. Instead, turn off alerts and only check email at predetermined times. You’ll get a lot more done this way”.
  3. Let your colleagues, family and friends know that you’re trying to simplify your e-mail life. “A great strategy for reducing emails is to pre-empt them by letting people know not to send you certain types of emails, and tell them where to go for commonly requested information. You can post policies and Frequently Asked Questions on your blog or website, email them to other people, publish them on the web, or send out a memo to co-workers”. (10,11)

There really are simple ways to improve the quality of your health and life. Twitter is an ideal platform to learn about tips and tricks that may help you better navigate through the maze of daily living. Every time I sign on to Twitter, I find intriguing posts by celebrated figures and everyday people that dig deep to find useful content to share with loved ones and strangers alike. Social networking is a fantastic way to be heard and to get the word out to the most unlikely places. You really never know who might be reading what you have to say. That’s part of the reason it’s so much fun. Only part of the joy is in the things you may learn.

Be well!


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Posted in Children's Health, Heart Health, Nutrition

7 Comments & Updates to “Twitter Thursday Health Tips”

  1. anne h Says:

    Egg-sellent post, JP!

    I like the email alerts, though – they make me feel “important!”
    As in – “Hold on a minute; I’ve got to get this….”
    Only halfway joking….and wish I weren’t!

  2. Kevin Says:

    I like email alerts as well, they drag me away from aimless surfing and actually make my time more productive. πŸ™‚

  3. JP Says:

    Anne and Kevin,

    Whatever works! πŸ™‚

    I often joke with my wife that our home sometimes sounds like an arcade because of the all the different sounds our computers and mobile devices make. As John Lennon once sang, “Strange days indeed”.

    Be well!


  4. Rose Says:

    Namaste JP!
    If you enjoyed and found Leo Babauta’s book “The Power of Less” helpful you might wish to check out “LESS Accomplishing More by Doing Less” written by Marc Lesser and published by New World Library. It’s a wonderful little book and I have been giving away copies to clients and friends. Between LESS and the Four Agreements I think we can get a lot of lives aligned with what is truly important, the old adage about busy hands I do not believe apply to most of us. I believe happy hands make play of being busy. BTW thanks for all the great research you do and your willingness to pass along such important information.

    Just as with favorite books I pass on your blog and twitter info so others can also benefit.

    Hugs, Rose

  5. JP Says:

    Thank you, Rose!

    I appreciate the book recommendations, sage comments and all your support! πŸ™‚

    Be well!


  6. Liz Says:

    Great article!!!

  7. JP Says:

    Thanks, Liz! πŸ™‚

    Be well!


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