viernes, 26 de julio de 2013

Foods you should avoid during pregnancy (3º part)

And finally these are the foods you should avoid for containing too much vitamin A (Retinol) which in large amount is teratogenic (cause malformations in the fetus):

  • Liver: Avoid liver, liver sausages or its spreads, such as pate.
  • Cod liver oil supplements.
    • The plant form of vitamin A found in fruit and vegetables (Carotene) is safe. 
  • Multivitamins supplements or any other supplements containing vitamin A.
You also should limit Caffeine while pregnant: don't drink more than 200mg of caffeine a day because too much caffeine can cause babies to have a low birth weight or even miscarriage. Remember that caffeine is also found in tea and coke. 

You should avoid drinking alcoholic drinks if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Too much exposure to alcohol can seriously affect your baby's development, what is known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a pattern of mental and physical defects that can develop in a fetus when a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy.

Foods you should avoid during pregnancy (2º part)

And these are the foods you should avoid for their high risk of being contaminated with heavy metals:
  • Fish: some fish contain large amount of methylmercury which affect unborn baby's brain and nervous system. You should avoid completely:
    • Shark
    • Swordfish
    • King Mackarel
    • Tilefish
  • Seafood: Apart from having some amount of methylmercury, it can also have cadmium, so don't abuse of these kind of food. It's concentrated on shrimps' heads, so don't eat them or add them to soups.
    • Maternal exposure to Cadmium increase early delivery, which leads to a lower birth weight. 
    • You can eat up to 2 average meals a week of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury, such as shrimp, salmon, pollock, catfish or canned light tuna (albacore -white- tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna).
Cadmium and Mercury are also transferred in part to the next generation through breast milk after birth. So when you are breastfeeding keep in mind these recommendations about fish and shellfish.

Food you should avoid during pregnancy (1º part) (because of their high risk of causing infections
Food you should avoid during pregnancy (3º part) (because of their high content in vitamin A)

Food you should avoid during pregnancy (1º part)

You should take extra precautions to avoid food that could harm your baby, e.g. with pesticides or methylmercury, too much vitamin A or with a high risk of food poisoning.

We should be concerned specially about these infections: 

  • Toxoplasmosis. Animals are infected with this parasite by eating infected meat, by ingestion of feces of a cat that has itself recently been infected, or by transmission from mother to fetus.
  • Listeriosis. A rare but potenctially lethal food-borne infection.
  • Salmonellosis. This bacteria (Salmonella) can't pass through to your baby, but it's advisable to avoid it anyway).

These are the foods that you should avoid for their high risk of causing infections: 
  • Unpasteurized milk: Avoid raw milk from cows, sheep and goats. 
    • Only drink pasteurized, sterilised or UHT milk. 
    • It's safe to eat any kind of yoghurt, fromage frais, soured cream and creme fraiche.
  • Soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk: Soft ripened cheeses such as Brie, Camembert or Cambozola; or blue-veined cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton, Blue Brie or Danish Blue. 
    • It is safe to eat hard cheeses such as Swiss, Parmesan, Mozzarella, Gruyere, Gouda, Cheddar, Babybel. 
    • It's also safe to eat soft and processed cheeses such as Mascarpone, Philadelphia, Ricotta, Quark, spread or Cottage cheese.
    • If you''re not sure you can check the label to know if it's made from pasteurized milk.
  • Undercooked eggs: The white and the yolk must be firm. Avoid also food containing raw eggs such as homemade mayonnaise or mousses. 
    • Commercially prepared food, made with pasteurised eggs are safe to eat (you can eat industrial mayonnaise).
    • Make eggnog with a pasteurized egg product or buy pasteurized eggnog.
  • Undercooked meat: Cook thoroughly the meat and all meat products until it is well done so that the juices run clear.
    • Even if the label says that the meat is pre-cooked, reheat the meat to steaming hot (sausages, burgers, luncheon meats, cold cuts, and other deli-style meat and poultry).
    • If you are not to cook with very high temperature de cold cults such as ham, DON'T EAT IT.
  • Undercooked fish: Avoid sushi or any other fish that is not cooked with high temperature.
  • Smoked meat or seafood: Refrigerated smoked meat, fish or seafood is not safe unless it has been cooked at a very high temperature.
  • Shellfish: You shouldn't eat it unless you cook it very well.
    • If you want to eat prawns for example, buy them from a reputable shop, pre-packaged and date-stamped. Make sure they have been thoroughly cooked or eat them in a trustworthy restaurant. 
    • Never suck or use the head of the shrimps because they are very contaminated with Cadmium. This is another reason why you shouldn't eat seafood very often.
  • Pate: Avoid any type of pate unless it is tinned. Anyway apart from the possible infections I'd avoid it because the liver is the organ which filter and get rid of the contaminants, so it may have unwanted substances, plus it's too high in vitamin A which in excess can harm your baby.
  • Raw dough or cake batter: Bake the cookies and cake. And don't lick the spoon!
  • Unpasteurized juice or cider (including fresh squeezed): Drink only pasteurized juice.
    • You can have it if you boil it for at least one minute before drinking.
  • Avoid soft-whip ice cream from machines and homemade ice cream made from unpasteurized eggs. 
    • Make it with a pasteurized egg product safer by adding the eggs to the amount of liquid called for in the recipe, then heat the mixture thoroughly.
  • Salads made in a store, such as chicken or seafood salad.
    • Make salads at home, following the food safety basics: clean, separate, cook, and refrigerate.
  • Raw sprouts (alfalfa, radish...): They need to be well cooked.
In the next posts I'll write about the foods you should avoid for having too much concentration of heavy metals such as methylmercury, cadmium or lead. (click here) or because they have a large amount of vitamin A which in excess can cause malformations in your baby (click here).

jueves, 25 de julio de 2013

Sexercise: How to lose weight in the most enjoyable way

We have good news! having regular sex can ward off several illnesses apart from energise and help you burn up to 200 calories per hour (if you are lucky to last that long ;) ).

When you are having sex your pulse rate increases from an average of 70 to 150 beats a minute. Just one love-in burns off the same number of calories as running for almost 15 minutes, and it's much more fun, isn't it?

100 calories in half an hour may not sound like much, but it adds up. So if you have 35 romps, you will lose 500g (more than 1lb), without even modify your diet. And if you want to lose even more weight, you can make love standing up to burn up to 600 calories per session.

But the benefits of sex go beyond of the fitness effect. Prior to an orgasm, the brain emits a dose of the oxytocin which results in the production of sedative endorphins (natural derivatives of morphine). This explain why after this exercise all the pains go away. Many people with joint problems such as arthritis find that they feel better one hour after intercourse because of the anti-inflammatory effect. So women can't use the "migraine excuse" to avoid having sex anymore, as orgasms can ease migraines faster than any medicine.

Making love lowers your blood pressure for up to a week, so you can lower the risk of heart attacks having sex regularly and moreover it will help you to live longer and improve your quality of life.

Here you have some easy ways to burn even more calories when having sex:
  • Make your partner sweat: Put some oomph into your love-making. Take the lead so you do the most work. 
  • Tone your butt and legs. Your bottom muscle perform a major function during the thrusting phase of sex. It has the same effect as squatting at the gym!
  • Go for the missionary position if you want to fatten your stomach (you have to be on top, of course). Hold tight your abdominal muscles as you move up and down.
  • Use your imagination to improve your flexibility. Try as many different positions in as many different places as possible.
  • The key to burn extra calories is to make it hot and make it last.
Although it's true sex is a great exercise, we can't considerate it as a true cardio workout because despite it increases your heart rate for an extended period of time and make you sweat (it has more to do with hormones and what's going on with your nervous system), sex doesn't normally use major muscle groups. So you shouldn't rely on sex as your only form or exercise. 

And remember your bottom is not there just to appeal to your partner, make it work hard! ;D

jueves, 4 de julio de 2013

Facts about alcohol you want to know

  1. Drinking water can lessen the effects of a hangover. If you don't want to feel awful the next day, drink water between alcoholic drinks and just before you go to bed. Remember that water won't make you any less drunk or protect your liver.
  2. Women are affected by alcohol doubly than men. Women have half of enzymes that metabolize alcohol, so we get twice the toxicity than men. Moreover, men have higher body water content than women (62% compared to 52%), meaning men are better able to dilute alcohol than women.
  3. Women who drink a lot find it more difficult to get pregnant. As few as five drinks every week may decrease a woman's chance of conceive. Alcohol also affect the fertility of men by its effect on sperm quality and quantity.
  4. One unit is 10 ml (8 g) of pure alcohol. Depending on your weight, it takes about one hour to process one unit of alcohol so there is none left in our blood. This is the equivalent to half a pint of lager, a glass of wine or a measure of a spirit.
  5. There is nothing that can sober you up except for time. Not even a cold shower, fresh air or hot coffee (you'll just feel less sleepy).
  6.  Alcohol is very fattening. It has 7 calories per gram (almost double than pure sugar!!!). For example, a large glass of red wine provides you with almost 200 "empty" calories. And any sugar in mixers or cocktails comes on top of the alcohol content of the spirits.
  7. Alcohol reduces our self-­control, making it easy to overeat.
  8. Alcohol reduces the amount of fat our body burns for energy. As we can't store alcohol, our body wants to get rid of it, and doing so takes priority. All of the other processes that should be taking place (including absorbing nutrients and burning fat) are interrupted.
  9. You should have a proper meal before you drink, high in carbohydrates and proteins. Lining your stomach with a big meal before drinking will delay the absorption of alcohol and it will take longer to get into your bloodstream, but it won't prevent it.
  10. Switching between different drinks won't make you more drunk. Mixing beer, wine or spirits may make you sicker by upsetting your stomach, but not more intoxicated.
  11. The more you drink, the more tolerance your body develops, but the more your body is harmed. Tolerance can actually be seen as a warning sign that your body has started to be affected by alcohol.
  12. Alcohol is a depressant. Although initially you may feel more energetic or cheerful because it depresses your inhibitions, at the end it is going to steal your energy and happiness and you'll lose the control of your emotions and reactions.

miércoles, 3 de julio de 2013

10 false beliefs about what makes you put on weight or lose it

Here are some common and enduring food myths:
  1. Bread makes you put on weight. What increases the calories of bread is usually what you spread on it (butters, sauces...) or you accompany with (sausages, bacon...).
  2. If you have fruit as a dessert, you´ll put on weight. You are going to get the same calories either you eat the fruit before or after the meal. But if you eat it before, thanks to its high amount of water and fiber, you´ll feel full sooner.
  3. Drink water during meals make you put on weight. Water doesn´t have calories, so it doesn´t matter when you drink it, except for the satiety it produces. That´s why it´s recommended to drink a glass of water just before you are going to eat.
  4. If you eat carbs and proteins in the same meal you´ll put on weight. The ¨dissociated diet¨ doesn´t make any sense as most of the foods contain both nutrients.
  5. Light food make you lose weight. Light products are those which have a minimum of 30% less calories. But they still can be very fattening. For exemple, the regular potato chips have an average of 530 calories per 100g, and the light chips have 460 calories. If we compare the light chips with a regular yogurt, which have around 50 calories, do you still think that the "light" version of chips is going to help you to lose weight?...
  6. Acidic fruits make you lose weight.  No food has the capability make you lose weight. There isn´t any food with "negative calories" that make your body spend more calories than that food is providing you.
  7. Mono-diets help you lose weight. These diets consist of eating only one type of food for that day. They are very low in calories so you are going to lose weight, but not only from fat, but also from lean mass. This is going to provoque your metabolism you slow down, so you´ll gain back all the weight you lost plus some extra grams.
  8. Vitamins make you put on weight. They don´t have calories, so it´s imposible they make you gain weight.
  9. Foods rich in carbohydrates are forbidden for diabetics.  They just have to adjust the intake of carbohydrates with the insulin and their physical activity to achieve adequate control glucose levels.
  10. Skipping a meal will make you lose weight. Actually what happens is the opposite, you are going to get very hungry and with anxiety to the next meal and you are going to overeat. You should have 5 or even 6 small meals a day.