This increased risk of heart disease in young Indians is due to a combination of inherited genes as well as environmental factors. Unfortunately, these environmental factors have only worsened the risk over time. Working long hours, often in stressful jobs and sleeping less has become the new normal in our lives. Modern work setups involve sitting a lot and not exercising and this can nearly double the risk of poor heart health.
A study conducted by Saffolalife in 2019 states that 58 per cent of people in top cities, between ages 30 to 40, who do not exercise regularly, are at greater risk of heart disease. Despite this 92 per cent of them do not consider lack of exercise among the top 3 risk factors for heart disease. This lack of awareness further exacerbates the issue.
Among younger people, we do see an increasing awareness about the importance of food in maintaining good health. But the reality also is that after a long and tiring day, it has often become easier to order in and give in to unhealthy food urges. With less exercise and eating junk food frequently, there is an increased chance of belly fat, which is another major risk factor for heart disease.
Thankfully, there is good news. Caring for your heart is not difficult. Once you are aware of the risk factors, you can take the right steps to reduce their impact. Making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can really make a difference. The most important thing, however, is to be proactive; changes we make in our 30s and 40s can go a long way in keeping us heart-healthy.
In your 30s, it is a good idea to assess your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and general health every year. This can let you be aware of symptoms earlier and corrective action can be taken immediately. Develop healthy lifestyle habits like brisk walking for about twenty minutes a day, at least thrice a week. Try to take breaks between work hours for deep breathing exercises. Control stress with exercise and yoga, rather than emotional/stress eating or staying up late and binge-watching. Make simple and easy changes to your diet, like eating one portion of raw fruits and vegetables during snack-time every day. Try to include heart-healthy ingredients like nuts, green leafy vegetables, avocados and oats. Using heart-healthy oil can also be a great and easy change you can make.
Remember good lifestyle habits developed early on can help reduce heart risk. So make heart health a priority today.
(Sheryl Salis, Registered Dietitian, Founder -- Nurture Health Solutions)
Beijing, Aug 15 (IANS) Researchers have identified that low microRNA (miRNA) immunity increases the risk of Covid-19 infection in older adults and people with diabetes.MicroRNAs are a key class of gene expression regulators which play an important role in inflammation and immune response.The study led by researchers from Nanjing University in China identified four circulating miRNAs -- miR-7-5p, miR-24-3p, miR-145-5p and miR-223-3p -- which are high in healthy people and much lower in older people and diabetic patients.These miRNAs could effectively inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication by directly targeting the S protein, said Chen-Yu Zhang from the varsity's School of Life Sciences.Serum exosomes containing these miRNAs from young people could strongly inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication, but this inhibitory effect was low in older people and diabetic patients, the researchers said.Long-term exercise was found to increase the level of these miRNAs in the blood offering better protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.The team found that three out of the four circulating miRNAs are significantly increased in the serum of healthy volunteers after 8-weeks' continuous physical exercise. Serum exosomes isolated from these volunteers also showed stronger inhibitory effects on S protein expression and SARS-CoV-2 replication.The study also provides an interesting observation that continuous physical exercise could boost miRNA immunity against SARS-CoV-2, which gives you another reason to hit the gym after work. Working out every day would therefore help all of us, old or young, to stay out of Covid-19's way.Further, the findings, detailed in the journal Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, also demonstrates for the first time that our own endogenous miRNAs could directly inhibit SARS-CoV-2 virus.Previous studies led by the tema have shown that approximately 89 per cent of viruses that infect humans could be targeted by human miRNAs. The new study provides strong and direct evidence supporting the theory that miRNAs, particularly extracellular miRNAs, could function as "RNA defense" and protect cells against foreign nucleic acids, Zhang said.The study indicates that miRNAs are an important component of the endogenous RNA-based immune system to fight virus infection. This new understanding of miRNA function may provide new perspectives for prevention, surveillance and treatment of Covid-19, Zhang added.--IANSrvt/dpb
Beijing, Aug 2 (IANS) Cooking with wood or coal can increase the risk of major eye diseases that can lead to blindness, according to a study involving nearly half a million people in China.The study led by a team of international researchers from the University of Oxford and the Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking University, Beijing, showed that long-term use of solid fuels for cooking was associated with conjunctiva (32 per cent), cataracts (17 per cent), and disorders of the sclera, cornea, iris and ciliary body (DSCIC - 35 per cent), compared with those who cooked using clean fuels.Individuals who switched from using solid to clean fuels for cooking had smaller elevated risks (over those who had always used clean fuels) compared to those who did not switch. People who switched had 21 per cent, 5 per cent and 21 per cent higher risk for conjunctiva, cataracts, and DSCIC, respectively, according to the results published in the journal PLOS Medicine."The increased risks may be caused by exposure to high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide, which can damage the eye surface and cause inflammation," said lead author Dr. Peter Ka Hung Chan, research fellow in the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford.Burning wood also increases the risk of eye injury from sparks or wood dust.Further, there was no association found between solid fuel use and risk of glaucoma, because this disorder affects internal eye structures, which are less exposed to pollutants in the air, the researchers said."Among Chinese adults, long-term solid fuel use for cooking was associated with higher risks of not only conjunctiva disorders but also cataracts and other more severe eye diseases. Switching to clean fuels appeared to mitigate the risks, underscoring the global health importance of promoting universal access to clean fuels," Zhengming Chen, Professor of Epidemiology and Director of China Programmes at the Nuffield.--IANSrvt/pgh
Chennai, July 27 (IANS) Tamil Nadu health minister, Ma Subramanian has directed the state health department to immediately start micromanaging operations in the 11 districts of the state that have detected slight increase in fresh Covid cases.The minister has already directed the state health secretary, Dr Radhakrishnan, to immediately take action and a high-level meeting of district administrators, health officials, revenue and police officials will be held online on Tuesday to take the stock of the situation in these 11 districts.While Tenkasi, Thanjavur, and Villupuram were reporting a marginal increase since the past three days and the government is launching special drives at these places to curb the rise of fresh Covid cases.However, Tamil Nadu as a whole reported fall in fresh Covid cases and the total number on Monday was 1,785 while it was 1,808 on Sunday. Except for Coimbatore (164), Chennai (122), Thanjavur (103), Erode (127) and Salem (102), all other districts reported fewer than 100 fresh cases. This, according to the health officials is a good signal and that the number of cases is declining. Subramanian told IANS, "It is indeed worrisome that some districts are reporting fresh cases while the rest of the state is showing drop in cases. A high-level virtual meet will be conducted and strategies will be adopted for micro level management in these districts so that things don't turn worse."Tamil Nadu has been in the forefront of increasing the volume of testing as well as increase in vaccinations against Covid-19. The vaccine awareness programmes, produced by the health department roping in Tamil actors and celebrity cricketers and widely circulated through social media platforms, have tuned into a major hit leading to a reduction in hesitancy factor for the people. A large number of people including tribal population had been vaccinated in the state following the awareness programmes as hesitancy was rampant among the rural population at the time of the commencement of the vaccination drive.The state government has also knocked on the doors of the central government to immediately replenish the vaccine stocks as soon as it gets exhausted. In several areas of Coimbatore and Erode, there were protests from the people for not getting the required vaccines even after standing in overnight queues. This showed the drive of the state health department has been successful, the minister said. --IANSaal/skp/
Protein intake is a widely-discussed issue among those trying to achieve their fitness goals like building muscle mass or muscle loss after intensive fitness training. Since women tend to have lower quantities of lean mass and more fat mass compared to men, boosting protein can sustain the lean mass.
It has also been observed that most men are interested in hypertrophy, or a visible increase in the size of muscle cells. For women, who may not want to bulk up but rather lose visible fat and build lean muscle, nutritional requirements like protein needs can look different.
Protein and Protein Sources
Rightly called the 'building blocks of your body, protein is a macronutrient that serves various anatomical functions like the adequate flow of blood and oxygen through the body, digestion and regulation of hormone levels. Protein helps our muscles to repair and regrow after exercise and injury. It should also be noted that every gram of protein contains four calories, whereas that number for one gram of fat is nine calories.
Rich protein sources for both men and women include animal and plant-based sources like milk products, eggs, meat, soy, tofu, pulses, beans, black gram, and legumes, and a healthy person should consume all of these in combination to get high-quality proteins. ICMR-NIN says that protein requirements vary with age, physiological status and stress. More proteins are required by growing infants and children, pregnant women and individuals during infections and illness or stress. For people doing fitness training, protein requirements differ as well.
According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), while the recommended daily allowance for a 55-kg woman (whether doing sedentary or heavy work) is 55 grams of protein, for pregnant women and breastfeeding women, this goes up significantly. When it comes to health supplements as protein shakes, women often have to make do with products made for men, since the market is saturated with those.
Doctor's Choice, a 2018-established health supplement brand, is launching a new range of women-centric protein supplements that also aid fat loss. DC's Lean Pro, a high-protein meal replacement for a lean and fit body, balances weight, having zero trans-fat, is sugar-free, has no preservatives and is gluten-free which is safe to use. Suggested by Nupur Vats, Co-Founder, Doctor's Choice, here are things female fitness enthusiasts should keep in mind about their protein intake:
1. Try to build and maintain a high-protein diet that significantly aids weight loss and helps with fitness performance. Just increasing protein intake won't magically give results and needs to be complemented with healthy food choices and regular workouts.
2. If you are taking protein supplements, avoid fake products that saturate the market and do more harm than good. Go for makers who swear by the quality and international standards. Put health before money.
3. Most protein powders are formulated focusing on male body requirements. Women simply need smaller doses of protein to reach their macronutrient needs. While some proteins do have male-specific ingredients, like testosterone boosters. These products should not be taken by women. It's suggested to women consume soy-based protein more since it has agents which boost estrogen levels in women and hence it's advised for males to consume it less.
4. Beyond just the protein content, women's protein powders have additional ingredients that a body needs. There are brands in the market that aim at different kinds of whey protein made just for women. Folic Acid is essential for pregnant women or is trying to be. It helps women fight the risk of strokes, heart disease, and several kinds of cancer. Vitamin B6 helps women maintain a healthy immune system and reduce heart disease.
Iron assists red blood cells in the transferring of oxygen throughout the body. As women lose a lot of blood in their menstrual cycles, women need more iron than men in order to fight fatigue or anaemia. Women's specific protein powders typically have a higher content of folic acid, vitamin B6, and iron, which is required for growth in females.
5. To improve the taste, the sugar content that many brands use in their protein powder formulas are high. Especially true for powders that are marketed directly to women. But the finest protein powders for women won't add a lot of sugars just to give users a boost in flavour. For a natural solution instead of processed sugar, look for brands that use natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia.
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With hectic lifestyles, meeting deadlines, erratic work hours, nutrition intake is severely impacted. Hence, lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension etc are on the rise and it's time to face some hard facts, says an Indian nutrition expert.
The latest survey by the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) to ascertain the levels of protein deficiency and awareness about protein in India showed 73 per cent of urban rich are protein deficient with 93 per cent of them unaware about their daily protein requirements. In fact, despite the urban populace eating poultry products as a source of animal protein, India's consumption of poultry meat products remains one of the lowest in the world at less than 4 kg per capita for poultry while other developed countries have a per capita consumption of as much as 40 kg.
To create awareness about the need to incorporate the essential component of protein in our diets, Protein Week is celebrated from July 24-30 each year.
Detailing the importance of including protein in one's diet, leading nutritionist Ritika Samaddar shares, "As a building block of life, protein is present in every cell of the body. Protein is crucial for growth and development and to fight against diseases. The RDA for protein for an average Indian Adult is 0.8-1.0g per kg body weight, which is around 50-60 g of protein per day for the healthy adult population. There is a need to create awareness on the importance of protein on our health, how much to take and the sources of protein in our diet. India is a crab loving country. We as a nation consume excess starch and fat and grossly inadequate in proteins and there are multiple reasons for this."
Debunking the common myths around protein consumption, Samaddar said, "Firstly the common perception is that "protein is difficult to digest", "leads to weight gain" and "protein is only for bodybuilders"."
So how do we make sure that we get adequate proteins in our diet? Protein is of two types complete and incomplete, which is determined by the composition of amino acids. Complete proteins are found in poultry, egg, milk, fish etc. Complete protein sources like chicken, turkey, duck and egg are high in quantity and quality and 100 per cent digested. Eggs and poultry, besides being an excellent source of protein, are also loaded with micronutrients like vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Iron, Selenium.
"One egg gives around 7 g of protein, whereas 100g of chicken, duck or turkey is around 20-21g. So the focus should be not just on the quantity but also on the quality of protein one takes. Eating high-quality protein like egg and poultry increases metabolism, improves satiety and keeps energy levels high. Inadequate intake of protein leads to weakness and fatigue and delays wound healing and over a long period of time can precipitate into lifestyle diseases like central adiposity, diabetes and high triglyceride levels, besides malnutrition."
Recommending a guideline on protein intake, Samaddar added, "To have adequate protein in one's diet, including a source of protein in every meal. Start your day with a healthy breakfast and include an egg daily or milk. Meals should include some protein food like chicken or lentils. Also snack on protein-rich foods like nuts, sprouts or eggs. In this pandemic too the nutrient most talked about and of utmost importance is protein. Protein is required to build immunity and also fight the disease. Post recovery too, increasing intake of protein is important to rebuild muscle loss, immunity and energy levels."
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