Dietary Supplements Are No Substitute For a Healthy Lifestyle – DISCOVER Magazine

The key to good health generally lies in eating a balanced diet, getting enough exercise, and sleeping adequately. However, living a healthy lifestyle is no easy feat. For many individuals, time is a luxury they don’t have enough of to prepare a well-balanced meal, exercise, and get enough sleep while working a demanding job (or two) every single day. 

To fill perceived nutrient gaps in their diet and maintain overall health and wellness, people often take health supplements, says Jeffrey Linder, chief of general internal medicine in the department of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Just last year, Americans spent almost $50 billion on dietary supplements. However, research shows they might not be as beneficial as advertised. 

Limited Benefits for a Healthy Adult 

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) — an independent panel of national experts in disease prevention — recently released a recommendation saying there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that multivitamins and dietary supplements help prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer in otherwise healthy, non-pregnant adults. In particular, they recommended against the use of vitamin E supplements, which have no benefit in reducing mortality or preventing the aforementioned conditions, and beta carotene supplements, which have been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in people who smoke or have been exposed to asbestos.

“The average person does not have appreciable benefits from dietary supplements,” says JoAnn E. Manson, chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It’s important that the intake of supplements doesn’t lead to complacency about following healthy lifestyle practices, she adds.  

In an editorial published in JAMA, Northwestern Medicine scientists supported the updated USPSTF recommendation, saying that the prevention of chronic diseases must focus on evidence-based approaches. For instance, public policies must ensure that all U.S. residents have access to healthy foods and environments for physical activity, which are proven to be beneficial.  

“In our editorial, we make the point that if we are missing a benefit, it’s likely to be very small,” says Linder, one of the authors of the JAMA editorial. “Since the recommendation was last published in 2014, the Task Force included 52 new studies. Despite these new publications, there remains insufficient evidence to recommend for or against multivitamins and supplements.”  

It’s important to emphasize that the USPSTF recommendation only applies to healthy, non-pregnant adults, which means that pregnant people and those who have certain health conditions or deficiencies do benefit from supplements.  

Older adults, individuals with bone health issues and those with medical conditions that interfere with nutrient absorption or metabolism — such as pernicious anemia, fat malabsorption conditions, inflammatory bowel disease, and celiac disease — may benefit from taking certain vitamins, says Manson. “The key group that benefits is pregnant women, who should take prenatal vitamins and ensure they get adequate folic acid to prevent spina bifida and other neural tube defects in the baby,” she adds. 

A Healthy Lifestyle Is Key 

Many individuals view supplements as benign, preventative products at worst. However, more is not necessarily better when it comes to dietary supplements because they may cause toxicity, liver and kidney damage and other risks, says Manson. For example, vitamin A excess is associated with decreased bone density, hip fractures and liver problems, while too much vitamin D can cause elevated calcium levels and kidney stones, says Linder. 

Instead of relying on vitamins and supplements, experts recommend having healthy lifestyle practices such as getting enough sleep and exercise, drinking in moderation, avoiding smoking and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  “While the evidence is insufficient for taking a multivitamin or supplement, there’s excellent evidence that eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is associated with a whole host of health benefits,” says Linder. 

Vitamins and minerals tend to be better absorbed from food than from supplements, and they just can’t be packaged into a pill, says Manson. The emphasis should be on meeting nutritional needs from a healthy diet high in plant-based foods and whole foods that don’t strip vitamins and minerals through excessive processing, she adds. Ultimately, healthy lifestyle practices may be more challenging than simply taking a pill each day, but they are more beneficial in the long run. 

5 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally — Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

High cholesterol doesn’t make the headlines that other health concerns do, but it’s a hidden danger that affects millions of Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Nearly 94 million U.S. adults age 20 or older have total cholesterol levels higher than 200 mg/dL. Twenty-eight million adults in the United States have total cholesterol levels higher than 240 mg/dL.” High cholesterol often doesn’t show signs, but a blood test can indicate if your levels are too high. If left untreated high cholesterol can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with  Sean Marchese, MS, RN, a registered nurse at The Mesothelioma Center with a background in oncology clinical trials and over 15 years of direct patient care experience who shares five ways to help naturally lower your cholesterol. As always, please consult with your physician for medical advice. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

woman choosing healthy apple instead of junk dessert as a food swap to cut calories
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Marchese tells us, “Many foods naturally lower cholesterol levels, and you can take steps to remove sources of cholesterol from your diet. Avoid saturated fats, such as red meats and full-fat dairy, and trans fats from oil, crackers, cookies and cakes. Soluble fiber reduces cholesterol absorption in the blood and is found in oatmeal, kidney beans, apples, and Brussels sprouts. Whey protein from dairy products has been shown to lower LDL and total cholesterol and may improve blood pressure. Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts and flaxseed, don’t directly affect cholesterol levels. Still, they contribute to healthy heart tissue and blood vessels.” 

Sad woman drinking wine at kitchen.
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Marchese says, “Moderate alcohol use can contribute to higher HDL levels or “bad” cholesterol. Healthy adults should avoid alcohol as much as possible or aim for no more than one to two daily drinks. In addition to high cholesterol, recurrent alcohol use can lead to hypertension, heart failure and stroke.” 

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“Tobacco use can increase heart pressure and heart rate, compounding the adverse effects of atherosclerosis from high cholesterol levels,” Marchese explains. “Quitting tobacco improved HDL cholesterol levels by improving blood circulation and lung function. A year after quitting, heart disease risk is cut in half for most ex-smokers.” 

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According to Marchese, “People who carry weight around their abdomen tend to have a higher ratio of visceral fat, which can adversely affect sensitive organs like the liver. Extra weight contributes to high cholesterol and increases the workload on arteries and blood vessels. Reducing sugary foods, incorporating healthy snacks, and finding ways to increase activity throughout the day are all great ways to improve weight loss.” 

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Marchese shares, “Physical activity raises the production of HDL in your bloodstream, which helps clear LDL and reduces atherosclerosis. The recommendation for healthy adults is about 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times per week or vigorous aerobics for 20 minutes three times per week. Try finding ways to incorporate more activity throughout your days, such as a walk during the afternoon, evening bike rides, sports or an active hobby like hiking or swimming.”

Heather Newgen

Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more

Anxiety affects up to 20% of the older adult population, and is rising – Florida Today

Feeling anxious or nervous is a common emotion for people of all ages.

Support local journalism. A digital subscription is incredibly affordable and makes you the most informed person around. Click here and subscribe today.

Q: My Mom worries about everything. How can I help with her anxiety?

A: Feeling anxious or nervous is a common emotion for people of all ages.

It is a normal reaction to stress and can even be helpful in certain situations — like avoiding danger.

We all may feel anxious over a new illness, important social interactions and frightening events.

Problems arise when stress becomes overwhelming and affects everyday life and relationships. 

Previous three One Senior Place columns:

Barbara Fradkin is the Director and a Social Worker at One Senior Place

Anxiety affects up to 20% of the older adult population.

It is the No. 1 mental health problem for women, and the second most common problem for men, after substance abuse.

Often, these disorders go undiagnosed because seniors may not recognize or acknowledge their symptoms.

A senior’s reluctance to discuss mental health issues with their doctor is when adult children need to step in.

Being their advocate is very important, helping them to see certain symptoms and talking with them about it.

Seniors who deal with anxiety for prolonged periods may think it is a normal part of aging. But it is not.

Left untreated, anxiety can lead to cognitive impairment, disability, poor physical health and reduced quality of life. This is particularly true of bereaved spouses.

The pathway through grief can go awry, if accompanied by persistent anxiety and constant thought of the deceased.

There are several types of anxiety disorders. 

• Phobias, An intense, irrational fear of a place, thing or event that actually poses little or no threat. These include agoraphobia (fear of the outside world), social phobia, fear of certain animals, driving a car, heights, tunnels or bridges, thunderstorms and flying.

• Panic disorder. This is characterized by panic attacks, or sudden feeling of terror that strike repeatedly and without warning. Physical symptoms include: chest pains, heart palpations, shortness of breath, dizziness, fear of dying.

• Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Recurrent unwanted thoughts or rituals, seemingly beyond one’s control. Rituals, such as hand washing, counting, checking or cleaning, are often performed in hope of preventing or alleviating obsessive thoughts.

• Post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Persistent symptoms that occur after experiencing traumatic events. Common symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks, depression, irritability and distraction.

• Generalized Anxiety disorder. Chronic, exaggerated worry about everyday routine life events and activities, lasting longer than six months.  Accompanied by fatigue, trembling, muscle tension headache and nausea.

Fortunately, anxiety is treatable. Talk to your primary care doctor if you experience symptoms to rule out other medical conditions. They may suggest resources for you.

Alternately, you can use the treatment services locator on MentalHealth.gov.

Bottling it up is not the answer. Get help.

One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com, call 321-751-6771 or visit The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com.

Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director of One Senior Place, Viera.

6 Best Fidget Toys for Anxiety – CNET

Fidget toys have exploded in popularity and are no longer limited to being toys for kids only. Thankfully, we’re long past the days of just flashing fidget spinners. Now, there’s a wide array of gadgets specifically designed to alleviate stress and anxiety

There are no peer-reviewed studies that support the effectiveness of fidget toys for anxiety. However, anecdotally, people state that those afflicted with anxiety, OCD or ADHD may benefit from fidget toys by helping them concentrate and channel nervous energy. If you’re someone who bites their nails or bounces their knee in stressful situations, a fidget toy for anxiety can normalize fidgeting and help ease stress. 

Read more: Best Mental Health Apps

Amazon

Before fidget toys, we used to click our pens in the office when we were anxious. Enter the Fidgi Things Pen — a fidget toy made to be discreet. In addition to being a working pen, Fidgi has several fidget features, including a spin disk, a rolling ball, a click switch and a textured grip. With so many features, it earns our spot as the best fidget toy for the workplace. 

I know what you’re thinking — I’ll spend $15 bucks on a fidget pen, but what happens when it runs out of ink? Thankfully, Fidgi Pens use the universal ink pen refill sticks. You can get a 30-pack on Amazon for under $10. It comes in various colors like slate, rose gold and blue. 

Fidgi pen’s best features:

  • There are seven special features: a pen click, side click switch, bouncy clip, spin disk, rolling ball, smooth dip and textured grip.
  • The Fidgi Pen uses universal ink pen refills, so you’ll never need to buy another pen. 

Things to consider:

  • Since it has so many extra features, it’s a little chunkier than a normal pen. Writing with it may take some getting used to. 
  • Some reviews found that some parts broke after frequent use. 

Amazon

While they aren’t limited to only children, the Pop Fidget Toy relieves anxiety with rows of poppable bubbles. Think of it as reusable bubble wrap that never loses the coveted “pop.” The Pop Fidget Toys come in all shapes, sizes and colors, making them the best fidget toy for kids with anxiety. Popular shapes include ice cream cones, fruit and dinosaurs. They also come in small, travel-size fidget toys that can clip to backpacks or belts. 

This sensory toy promotes relaxation and concentration as you push the bubbles until they pop. Then you flip it over and repeat. They offer the repetition that some with anxiety, ADHD and OCD benefit from.

Pop Fidget Toy’s best features:

  • This product is made from high-quality silicone that’s easy to clean. 
  • They are great for kids and adults who need to relieve stress or focus. 

Things to consider:

  • They are not as discreet as other fidget toys for anxiety. However, there are simple keychain options. 
  • In my experience, the Pop Fidget Toys don’t pop like bubble wrap. While some favor that, those who want the auditory distraction may expect more. 

Amazon

For those who always want their fidget toy to be close at hand, consider an Alextina Anxiety Ring. What I like about this anxiety ring is how sleek it is; you really can’t tell it’s anything other than a ring, and it isn’t chunky on your finger. You have many design options — some have cutouts or embossed patterns, while others are classic gold or silver bands. 

The concept of this anxiety ring is simple. You slip it on your finger like a normal ring, and when you feel anxious or stressed, you spin the outer band. It can help relieve stress or tension and help you focus anywhere — social situations, in the office or at home. 

Alextina Anxiety Ring’s best features:

  • This anxiety ring is made from stainless steel and is anti-allergy. 
  • Has a lifetime 100% money-back guarantee on Amazon. 

Things to consider:

Amazon

The Appash Fidget Cube is one of my favorite fidget toys for anxiety. With six different sides equipped with unique fidget features, it’s got a lot of variety. The sides include click, glide, flip, breathe, roll and spin features. Three of the buttons on the Appash Fidget Cube make noise, while two are silent. 

Like other fidget toys, it’s designed to give you something to do when you’re anxious or stressed. And I think it does that really well. The variety of mechanisms gives you the option to find your go-to anxiety reliever — mine is the switch. And if personalization is your thing, you can opt for a fidget cube in all types of colors and patterns. 

Appash Fidget Cube’s best features:

  • It’s made from soft, textured rubber and is small enough to take on the go.
  • The Appash Fidget Cube is a budget-friendly option at only $7 on Amazon. 

Things to consider:

  • It’s a cube, making slipping into your pocket awkward. It would likely need to be kept in a bag when away from the home or office.

Amazon

The Fidgetland Nolah toy is a discreet fidget gadget that’s easy to slip into your pocket. It looks like a bike chain with two interlocking rings that glide over each other when moved. The links that hold it together feature silicone bands that move, which creates a mini treadmill for your fingers. This fidget toy is small, so you can use it anywhere, even while your hand is in your pocket. 

Fidgetland Noah’s best features:

  • Many reviews praise this fidget toy for its durability and quality construction. 
  • The Fidgetland Noah toy is small enough to slip into your pocket for discreet use. 

Things to consider:

  • It’s a little more expensive than most of the other options on the list at $15. 

Amazon

The Tangle Therapy Relax Toy is a long, interconnected loop fidget toy. It’s designed to be twisted, reshaped and taken apart. It’s also available in ridged textures, which is great for people who prefer tactile sensations to help them relax. It’s a great option for adults and kids, and it is often recommended for classrooms because it doesn’t make any noise. 

Tangle Therapy Relax Toy’s best features:

Things to consider:

  • This fidget toy comes apart, which could introduce a choking hazard for smaller children. 

How we chose the best fidget toys

The jury is still out on scientific support for fidget toys reducing anxiety. When choosing the best fidget toys, we considered a few key factors, including the price, construction, durability, and user reviews. Only fidget toys with generally positive reviews were included. 

Things to consider when buying a fidget toy:

  1. How often you’ll use it: If you plan to use your fidget toy a lot, you need one that is durable and will stand up to significant use. When shopping, make sure you assess what it’s made from and read reviews on the quality of construction.
  2. Where you’ll use it: Depending on where you will use it to help relieve anxiety, you may want your fidget toy to be discreet. For instance, if you’re planning to use it at work, you may opt for a ring or necklace that passes for normal jewelry.
  3. How it feels: The material of your fidget toy is important if you plan to use it to help ease stress. Some options are made from metal, silicone or plastic and offer different textures.

Frequently asked questions

What are fidget toys?

The name is deceiving, but fidget toys aren’t toys in the traditional sense. Fidget toys or gadgets help you focus and relieve stress and anxiety by way of repetitive action. They are typically small, handheld and easily transportable. Oftentimes, they have buttons or clickers that help you dispel nervous energy. 

Can fidget toys help anxiety?

There is little scientific evidence outside of anecdotal support that fidget toys help with anxiety. Still, it can help some people focus on breathing and lessen anxiety symptoms. Fidget toys can alleviate anxiety by distracting you from negative thoughts and giving you an outlet for nervous energy. Those with OCD are often comforted by repetitive actions to offset obsessive thoughts and anxieties. Fidget toys can provide immediate relief to these symptoms. 

Fidgeting is a natural and beneficial short-term stress reliever. These gadgets give you something to do when you’re feeling stressed. They won’t help you get to the bottom of your anxiety, but they can help you manage symptoms throughout the day. 

Read more: Best Online Therapy Services for Anxiety 

What is the best type of fidget toy?

There is a lot of variety in the fidget toy market — from squishy stress balls to stylish necklaces. With such a wide range of options, it’s difficult to crown a specific type of fidget toy as being the best. It will depend on preferences and fidgeting habits. The various types of fidget toys include but are not limited to fidget cubes and puzzles, wearable options like rings and necklaces, silicone poppers and stress balls.

What is the best fidget toy for kids?

Many of the fidget toys on the market are small and, as such, are unsuitable for children. When choosing the best fidget toy for kids, you want to avoid options with small parts they can put in their mouths. Many fidget toys — like pop-its — are soft and easy to clean, making them perfect for kids. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Foolproof Ways To Lead an Incredibly Healthy Lifestyle, Science Says — Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

If there’s one big, fat, juicy secret you may want to listen in on, it’s how to add more healthy years to your life. Of course, there can always be uncontrolled obstacles along your journey that can negatively impact your plan, like genetics, illness, or fate. But there are plenty of things you can control, and we are here to share seven foolproof ways to lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle, according to science. If that intrigues you, read on.

The big secret to living a better, longer life consists of adopting seven simple, healthy lifestyle habits. The greatest key to succeeding in keeping these habits is consistency. It’s one thing to know what positive changes you need to make; it’s another thing to actually bring them to fruition. The reward will be worth every bit of time and effort you put into your journey. Not only will you look and feel much better as you age by leading an incredibly healthy lifestyle, but you will also be able to enjoy your family, friends, hobbies—whatever you choose—for a greater length of time.

Harvard researchers reviewed two studies of 123,000 women and men for a 30-year period and approximated the life expectancy of the participants who did not live with a healthy routine. They estimated the lifespan for 50-year-old women who did not follow a healthy routine to be 79 years old; for men, it was 75. For those participants who kept a regular healthy routine and maintained some key habits we are about to share with you, life expectancy increased dramatically. Drumroll, please! For 50-year-old women, life expectancy skyrocketed to 93 years old, and lifespans for men increased to 87 years of age. Pretty astounding, don’t you agree? Although the study was observational and cannot guarantee you live longer, the researchers observed that even adopting just one healthy habit can greatly decrease the risk of early death.

Dr. Frank Hu, senior author of the study and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health points out, “It’s never too late to make positive lifestyle changes. Even for those who are 70 or older, following a healthy lifestyle such as eating a healthy diet and being physically active can add more years to life.”

If you’re ready to implement positive changes and increase your life journey, let’s get to it right away! Read on to learn more about the foolproof ways to lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle, and next, don’t miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

happy mature couple demonstrating the cardio habits that slow aging
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Exercising offers an extraordinary number of healthy benefits. Working out each day can lift your mood, strengthen your bones, and prevent a ton of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and so much more. Aerobic activities are extraordinarily healthy for your heart; even walking each day can make such a difference in your overall well-being.

Ready to lace up those sneakers and kickstart your cardio? Research shows that you should get in a minimum of 3.5 hours every single week with a level of moderate to vigorous activity (via National Institutes of Health). Sure, you can start small and work your way up. But the point is to get moving every single day, and by doing so, you will give yourself the gift of enjoying many more of days to wake up in the years to come!

Related: What Science Says About the Exercise Habits That Slow Aging

woman cooking with bell peppers to lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle
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You are what you eat. Kick any bad habits of consuming empty or unhealthy calories to the curb. Instead, be sure to fill your meals with the recommended amounts of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Limit your intake of processed and red meats, in addition to any drinks that contain added sugar, sodium, and trans-fat (via National Institutes of Health).

Make it a habit of reading labels when you shop, too. To make it much easier, If the ingredient label has enough items listed to make your head spin, chances are, it’s not all that healthy.

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Simply put, upholding a healthy weight will extend your life. What’s healthy? Your body mass index should fall between 18.5 and 24.9 (via National Institutes of Health). Women should have a waist of less than 35 inches, and men should have a waist less than 40 inches, according to AARP. Anything higher puts you at a higher risk of getting ill. Although it’s easy (and normal) for weight to creep up on you at 50, it’s not healthy.

AARP explains that as you get older, you require fewer calories. The problem is, some people keep eating the same amount of food. You’re not going to like hearing this, but if you’re 50 and keep eating as though you’re still 40, you can put on over a pound of fat every single month. Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut, explains, “It’s simple, really,” adding, “If your calorie burn goes down and you don’t change the way you eat, then you’re going to put on weight.”

What to do about it? Once you turn 50 years of age, it’s time to think about the 200-calorie rule. Just try eating 200 less calories each day. But even better than focusing on consuming less calories? Consume better calories. By choosing snacks with protein and fiber, you can cut 200 calories off of your intake in just about no time at all.

Related: The #1 Workout To Lead an Incredibly Healthy Lifestyle, Says Trainer

happy man sleeping in his clean home to lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle
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Not getting enough sleep has been related to serious chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, leading to a shortened life. Getting enough sleep is as much of a healthy ingredient to your overall wellness as getting exercise and proper nutrition, so don’t skip out on those Zs!

woman saying no to red wine to lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle
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What’s a long life if you can’t enjoy it, right? Okay, we didn’t say to not drink at all. All we’re saying is to drink moderately. That typically means one drink on any given day for women and two drinks in one day for men should be the maximum, according to AARP. Anything more than that can shorten your longevity.

One trick that could make it easier to consume less alcohol is to use a white wine glass (which is slimmer) when you’re drinking red wine. Another tip? If you pour wine into a glass while it’s placed on the table (rather than holding it in your hand to pour), you will tend to pour less, according to Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab.

no to smoking to lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle
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Smoking does so much harm to your body. In fact, according to one study, each cigarette you smoke can apparently take 11 minutes off of your life. And that’s just one! Each time you puff, carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) elevates in your bloodstream, bringing on damage to just about every single one of your organs.

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The final key habit that’ll help you lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle is staying in touch with those you love. Friendships are good for the soul. Research has proved that having strong relationships can lower your risk of death by as much as 50%. Those who are lonely increase their risk of death by 26%.

2022 Texas Pro Bodybuilding Results — Andrew Jacked Wins Men’s Open Title – BarBend

The 2022 Texas Pro bodybuilding show is in the history books, and the Men’s Open contest was one of the closest shows of the 2022 season. The top four contenders in the lineup — Chinedu Andrew Obiekea (also known by his preferred name, Andrew Jacked), Steve KucloKamal Elgargni, and Martin Fitzwater were neck-in-neck and trading places on the stage throughout the evening of Aug. 14, 2022, in Irving, TX. 

The top 10 for the men’s open are below:

2022 Texas Pro Bodybuilding Show Results

  1. Andrew Jacked
  2. Martin Fitzwater
  3. Steve Kuclo
  4. Kamal Elgargni
  5. Quinton Eriya
  6. Jephte Cherenfant
  7. Carlos Emmanuel Longoria Rodriguez
  8. Phil Clahar
  9. Joe Mackey
  10. Eddie Bracamontes

In the end, Jacked was declared the champion. Fitzwater came in second in what was considered just as big of a surprise, and Kuclo finished in third place.

[Related: Reigning Ms. Olympia Andrea Shaw Breaks Down Her Off-Season Workout Program]

Winner — Andrew Jacked

There are very few people that can outsize Kuclo, but Jacked certainly did. At 6’2”, he was the tallest man in the lineup, and he appeared to have as much muscle as the “King Snake,” if not more. The 2022 Arnold Amateur winner made his pro debut, and he joins a list of champions such as Hunter Labrada, Sergio Oliva Jr, Phil Heath, and Flex Wheeler as athletes who won their first shows in their first contests. He will also go to the 2022 Olympia as a competitor for the first time, but he’s already committed to competing in the Arnold Classic UK contest before that.

Second Place — Martin Fitzwater

Fitzwater didn’t have the size that Jacked on Kuclo did, but he was ripped and holding little water underneath his skin. This is his highest placing as a pro, and it’s boosted his confidence that he beat more experienced veterans in this lineup. If he does another show this year, he will be a threat to win a title and move on to the Olympia as well.

Third Place — Steve Kuclo

The home state contender had his fans behind him at this show. This is the second straight year that Kuclo was considered the favorite going into the contest but was unable to convert the victory. The judges had him squarely in third for both rounds of judging. As was the case in 2021, the men that placed ahead of him this year were simply on their A games. There is no word on if or when Kuclo will compete again.

Other Division Winners

Over 100 IFBB Pro League competitors faced the judges in Irving. The winners of each of the eight divisions are all moving on to the 2022 Olympia, while the second through fifth place finishers will earn Tier 4 points in the Olympia Qualification System.

  • Second – four points
  • Third – three points
  • Fourth – two points
  • Fifth – one point

The top 10 final standings for the other seven divisions are below. 

212 Division

  1. Kerrith Bajjo
  2. Cody Drobot
  3. Jordan Janowitz
  4. Ricky Moten Jr.
  5. Martin Gomez
  6. Ahmed Elwardany
  7. Stephen Didoshak
  8. Carlos A. Rodriguez Hernandez
  9. David Robinson
  10. Kevin Johnson

Classic Physique

  1. Courage Opara
  2. Valentin Petrov
  3. Jorge Luis Guerrero Gallagos
  4. John Le
  5. Florian Poirson
  6. Ashwin Lucas
  7. Jared Thompson
  8. Vincent Krause
  9. Matt Maldonado
  10. Adam Thomas

Men’s Physique

  1. Daniel Ammons
  2. Andrei Lincan
  3. Charjo Grant
  4. Jeremiah Maxey
  5. Jeremy Coleman
  6. Stan Morrison
  7. Micah Thomas Jr.
  8. George Brown
  9. Anthony Gilkes
  10. Zach Savole

Women’s Physique

  1. Melissa Teich
  2. Pamela Canfield
  3. Ana Harias
  4. Ashley Jones
  5. Gessica Campbell
  6. DeSunka Dawson
  7. Heather Grace
  8. Ashlynn Richardson
  9. Rulying Bian
  10. Michele Steeves

Figure

  1. Jessica Reyes Padilla
  2. Autumn Cleveland
  3. Tamera Barrett
  4. Felisha Livezey
  5. Jennifer Zienart
  6. Jessica L. Kendrick
  7. Larhannah Robinson
  8. Ashley Felperin
  9. Amie Mock
  10. Martina Yabekova

Bikini

  1. Daraja Hill
  2. Jodie Yuncker
  3. Roxana Marquez
  4. Jordan Brannon
  5. Shelby Pierce
  6. Anya Nicholson
  7. Hope Castelli
  8. Tamekla Carter
  9. Carla Garthwaite
  10. Monica Rubio

Wellness

  1. Devyn Cambre
  2. Lili Dong
  3. Amanda Burnett
  4. Diana Laura Verduzco Carreno
  5. Jen Scarborough Zollars
  6. Priscilla Lynd
  7. Haley Johnson
  8. Brooke Donnelly
  9. Daniela Esquivel Castillo
  10. Celeste Morales

Featured image: @andrewjacked | photo by Will Wittmann (@w_wittmannphoto on Instagram)

Watch out! Yellow nails, excess sweating are warning signs of bad cholesterol – Health shots

Listen to this article

Health is wealth, ladies! We may know it already, but let ourselves loose sometimes, without thinking about its implications. Bad eating habits and improper lifestyle can lead to bad cholesterol accumulation which can further cause health problems. So, it’s important to know what warning signs of high cholesterol.

“Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance produced in the body essential to building healthy cells. However, when produced in bulk, cholesterol can cause serious health problems for individuals,” says Dr Subrat Akhoury, Director – Interventional Cardiology, Asian Hospital, Faridabad.

How does high cholesterol affect your body?

High cholesterol levels can result in the formation of fatty deposits in the blood vessels. Sometimes, these deposits can break without any warning and form a clot that in turn causes a stroke or heart attack, explains the expert.

Therefore, it is important to get your cholesterol levels checked at regular intervals to be in the safe zone.

“Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol, is not good for your health. Excess build-up of LDL causes narrowing of blood vessels which can lead to chest pain or more serious health events like a heart attack. However, not all cholesterol is bad for your bod,” adds Dr Akhoury.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as good cholesterol and high levels of this lipoprotein are a sign of good health. A lower risk of heart disease and strokes.

Also read: Freedom from Cholesterol: These 4 careless habits may be causing a spike in your cholesterol levels

High cholesterol levels
Keep your cholesterol levels in check. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Reasons for high cholesterol

High cholesterol can either be a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, being physically inactive, being overweight and obese or it can be inherited.

A healthy lifestyle, coupled with regular exercise and sometimes medication, can help reduce high cholesterol. The condition usually has no symptoms, due to which it is often dubbed as ‘silent’.

Signs of high cholesterol levels

Accoding to Dr Akhoury, some warning signs might show up in your body that can help you identify high cholesterol early on. Watch out for the following signs of high levels of cholesterol:

1. Yellowish nails

The excess plaque deposited in the arteries narrow them down, with large deposits blocking them completely. When the arteries are blocked, it limits the blood flow to several parts of the body, including nails. This can cause your nails to have dark lines underneath them that usually run in the direction of nail growth.

Nails and cholesterol levels
Your nails can tell you about your cholesterol levels. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Numbness in legs and feet

This could be another tell-tale sign of high cholesterol which signals the development of plaque in your arteries and other blood vessels. Interruptions in the blood flow can result in the prevention of oxygen-rich blood from reaching the arms and feet. This may lead to pain and an uncomfortable, tingling sensation. Other symptoms of high cholesterol in the legs and feet include cold legs or feet, sores that won’t heal, and cramps.

3. Sweating

Sweating is a commonly ignored symptom and bells should ring if you start sweating profusely. If you do not have a fever or flu ruled out, you should start thinking about other causes.

4. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

This condition referred to as the accumulation of excess cholesterol in the blood vessels. It leads to clogging, resulting in pain in the extremities. PAD causes discomfort in the hands and feet and can affect day-to-day activities like walking and running thereby, affecting your quality of life.

Cholesterol can cause leg pain
Listen to your body! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Takeaway
High cholesterol causes narrowing of blood vessels that can lead to chest pain or more serious health events like a heart attack.

The best way to reduce high cholesterol is by adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Some of the lifestyle changes that you can start right away to maintain healthy cholesterol levels include avoiding alcohol and tobacco consumption, eating a diet rich in fiber and low in saturated fats, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.

A guide to the new COVID-19 Omicron subvariants BA.5 and BA.4 in Orange County – The Daily Tar Heel

As students prepare for the upcoming semester, COVID-19 continues to spread, with new mutations leading to infections and reinfections in students and local community members.

Two new Omicron subvariants, BA.5 and BA.4, are currently the primary variants of concern.

Over the past several months, the Omicron BA.5 and BA.4 subvariants have chipped away at other coronavirus strains to become the two most prevalent. 

During the week of Aug. 6, BA.5 comprised 87.1 percent of cases in the U.S., while the BA.4 variant comprised 6.7 percent of cases. 

Dr. David Wohl, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at UNC, said that the current dominant subvariants are highly transmissible. He explained that this represents the broader evolutionary progress of COVID-19, as the virus has mutated to spread to more people.

“The good news is the virus has no pressure to become more lethal,” he said. “There’s no advantage of the virus to kill people. But there is an advantage for it to spread to as many of us as possible.”

Orange County response

Public health experts and local leaders continue to encourage community members to take many of the same precautions they have recommended throughout the pandemic in response to the subvariants. These precautions include staying up to date with booster shots, wearing masks in crowded indoor spaces and prioritizing outdoor gatherings.

In Orange County, the COVID-19 positivity rate on Aug. 8 was 18 percent, with a daily average of 51 cases. One hundred and fifty-eight patients were hospitalized in the week of July 29 to Aug. 4, a 13 percent increase from two weeks prior.

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils said that Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough continue to coordinate their pandemic response, as they have been doing since March 2020.

Although Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger encourages Chapel Hill residents to wear masks in crowded indoor spaces, the Town does not intend to enact mask mandates in response to the current increase in cases. 

Susan Romaine, mayor pro tem of Carrboro said the Town does not plan to institute a mask mandate in response to these subvariants.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 77 percent of Orange County residents aged five or older have been vaccinated with at least two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or at least one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as of August 10. 

However, just 60 percent of Orange County residents have received at least one booster shot.

“We know that protection against the infection from the vaccines declines over time, so people really do need to get boosted,” Romaine said.

Dr. Myron Cohen, professor of medicine, microbiology and epidemiology at UNC, said the vaccines continue to be effective against severe cases of COVID-19. He said three or four vaccine doses are most effective against Omicron and its subvariants.

“It’s going to help you to be vaccinated, and for people who are at greater risk, getting four shots and keeping up with what we’re doing with the boosters is really important,” Cohen said.

Wohl added that the current vaccines and booster shots have helped reduce hospitalizations. He added that while the vaccines may not be as effective against BA.5 as prior strains, vaccinated people are less likely to be infected than unvaccinated people. 

He said that, on average, each person who gets COVID-19 infects between four and 10 other people, which he cited as a reason for people to continue to take the pandemic seriously. 

“I don’t understand why people are not masking when they’re indoors in crowded places,” Wohl said. “That doesn’t make sense to me.”  

Cohen said wearing masks and limiting exposure to crowded indoor settings, such as restaurants, are effective measures for anyone who does not want to get infected. 

He also said that an increased understanding of how COVID-19 works should help the fall semester at UNC operate more smoothly than in previous semesters.

“Students should enjoy their semester while respecting this virus and doing what they can to stay healthy,” he said.

@ianwalniuk

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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Try These Tasty Milk Alternatives to Lower Your Cholesterol – Woman’s World

We all love a good milkshake, but we don’t love getting to the doctor’s office and hearing that we need to be worried about our cholesterol. Cow’s milk has many important health benefits but can also contribute to high cholesterol levels. That’s why we’ve gathered up all the best milk alternatives (e.g., non-dairy milks) to satisfy your doctor AND your taste buds. 

What is cholesterol, anyway?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance composed of lipids, a category of organic molecules that includes fats and oils. Cholesterol is naturally produced in your liver and is important for creating the tissues, hormones, and cell walls your body needs to function properly.

We most often hear about cholesterol in a negative light — maybe your girlfriends only buy egg whites at the grocery store these days, skipping the yolk in order to reduce their cholesterol. Or maybe your husband got a talking-to from his doctor about cholesterol. But that negative perception is only part of the story.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are two main types of cholesterol — low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. 

You want to watch out for LDL cholesterol, the kind that has given all cholesterol a bad rap. Too much LDL can increase your risk for heart disease, including coronary artery disease.

But while LDL cholesterol is what you need to watch out for, HDL cholesterol can improve your overall health. HDL cholesterol carries LDL cholesterol from your arteries to your liver, where it can be further broken down and excreted.

Only about a third of your LDL cholesterol is carried away by HDL cholesterol, which is why lowering your total cholesterol levels is still important. But a healthy amount of HDL in your diet can help you do just that.

Should I worry about my cholesterol?

First, there’s no need to panic — you might not have anything to worry about. If you haven’t done so already, having your doctor or healthcare provider check your cholesterol levels is a good idea. They can tell you whether you have high cholesterol and, if you do, how to manage it. Millions of Americans have high cholesterol, especially older Americans, because cholesterol tends to increase after the age of 20.

High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes, but you can definitely manage it. Finding out your cholesterol levels and what you can do to keep them in check is an important first step toward taking charge of your health.

How can I find out if I have high cholesterol?

If you haven’t done so, ask your doctor for a cholesterol screening. A cholesterol screening, or cholesterol panel, is similar to other blood tests. Your doctor might ask you to fast for nine to 12 hours beforehand, and after drawing blood, they will check your levels of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood). After the panel is complete, your doctor can tell you everything you need to know about your cholesterol levels. Easy peasy!

If you do have high cholesterol, your doctor will make suggestions and give you a game plan to lower it. They may suggest cutting certain foods from your diet, such as those that are high in saturated fat.

Or they may recommend substitutions such as replacing cow’s milk with nut milk, dairy-free milk, or other milk alternatives.

Why should I try a milk alternative?

Cow’s milk is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, so anyone trying to lower their cholesterol should consider skipping it. But even if you don’t have high cholesterol, finding a milk alternative is smart for other reasons; specifically, if you’re lactose intolerant or generally concerned about your heart health.

Below are all of our favorite nut milks and plant milk alternatives.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is one of the most popular milk alternatives out there, and it has a slew of health benefits. It’s made by soaking almonds in water and straining out the liquid, and it’s a super tasty option for people aiming to cut cholesterol. Almond milk comes in several varieties, including vanilla, sweetened, or unsweetened almond milk.

Aside from being low cholesterol, almond milk has other health benefits. It’s low in carbohydrates and reinforced with antioxidant vitamin E, which can help support brain, skin, and blood health.

Just watch out for added sugars — many manufacturers add all sorts of flavors and sugars to their almond milk, which can bump up your blood sugar and have the opposite effect on your health. And, of course, avoid this one if you have any sort of tree nut allergy.

Cashew Milk and Macadamia Milk

While not quite as popular as almond milk, nut milks like cashew milk and macadamia milk are gaining traction among alternative milk drinkers. Other nut milks have a similar nutritional profile to almond milk and may even be slightly lower in calories than almond milk. If you’re a fan of nut milk and can find them at your grocery store, give cashew or macadamia milk a try. You might find your new favorite dairy alternative!

Soy Milk

Soy milk is another hugely popular milk alternative. It’s often fortified with calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D, so it closely resembles the nutritional profile of cow’s milk, and it’s naturally high in protein (approximately eight grams of protein per cup), thanks to the substantial protein in soybeans.

Soy milk tends to have a stronger flavor than other alternatives like almond and oat milk, so consider testing out a smaller carton before committing to it as your milk alternative of choice.

Oat Milk

Get excited for our favorite milk alternative: oat milk! Like almond milk, oat milk is made by soaking oats in water (and usually a bit of sugar) and then straining out the liquid. While not quite as nutritionally dense as oats, oat milk contains soluble fiber, which expands in your stomach and helps you feel fuller for longer. Plus, soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol — one study showed that those who replaced cow milk with oat milk had lower LDL cholesterol levels after just five weeks.

If you decide to use oat milk as your milk alternative, choose the unsweetened option, and check the label for added sugars. The natural sugar in the oats means that oat milk is usually sweet on its own — no need for artificial flavors or sweeteners. Better still, oat milk doesn’t contain common allergens, unlike nut milk and soy milk.

Hemp Milk

You might see the phrase “hemp milk” and wonder if we’ve gone a little mad. But don’t worry —hemp milk is made from ground and soaked hemp seeds, which don’t contain any of the psychoactive substances of the cannabis plant. Hemp seeds are possibly even more nutrient-rich than other types of plant milk ingredients, including almond milk and soy milk, because of their high protein and omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of healthy fat important for maintaining your overall health. Plus, natural hemp milk has zero carbs. Swap cow milk for hemp milk in your latte, and you can take care of your heart health and waistline simultaneously. One drawback: Hemp milk is just gaining popularity, so it will likely be less readily available at the grocery store. 

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is squeezed from the flesh of the coconut and has a fresh, distinctive smell. You can certainly drink coconut milk right from the coconut, but store-bought coconut milk is often diluted with water to more closely match cow milk’s consistency.

Contrary to popular belief, coconuts are not a type of tree nut, so coconut milk is a great lactose-free alternative for those trying to avoid allergens. Coconut milk has a small amount of protein content but is often fortified to give it more nutritional value. As always, watch out for those pesky added sugars! They’ll turn a healthy milk alternative into a health trap in no time — look for unsweetened varieties for a low-sugar option.

Pea Protein Milk

An up-and-coming non-dairy milk alternative uses pea protein. This option has more potassium than cow’s milk and is packed with protein. Pea milk also contains b vitamins, fiber, and many other nutrients. Swap out your normal smoothie milk with pea protein milk for a vitamin-rich breakfast.

So… are you ready to do your body good?

Whether you’re trying to take charge of your health by lowering your cholesterol, have a newly developed milk allergy or lactose intolerance, or just prefer the taste of nut milk to dairy products like cow’s milk, now is a great time to get into milk alternatives. Find the best non-dairy milk for your preference — your heart and your taste buds will thank you for it!