Health Educational Information

Weight Loss

Losing weight and maintaining the proper weight is essential for good health. The concept for losing weight is fairly straightforward, consume less calories than your body uses within a day. When people eat too many calories, their bodies store the extra calories in the form of fat. Here is an interesting fact, did you know that 3,500 calories are the equivalent of one pound of body fat? Therefore, in order to loose one pound of fat in a single week, you would need to either consume 3,500 less calories than what your body requires during the week, burn and additional 3,500 calories throughout the week or a combination of fewer calories and increased exercise. Looking at these numbers on a daily basis, this equates to 500 calories per day. Of course, consult with your doctor prior to starting any kind of exercise routine.

Nutrition For Kids

Our children are inundated with commercials and advertisements that promote unhealthy eating, everything from fast food commercials to junk food. It is essential that our children learn how to eat healthy and develop those good eating habits because children that exhibit healthy & nutritious eating tend to maintain those good habits as adults and thus maintain healthy & active lifestyles. The real benefit in healthy nutrition habits for our children is to reduce obesity and reduce health problems.

High Fiber Diets

A diet that is high in fiber has been shown to have many health benefits such as reducing the following problems: constipation, hemorrhoids, inflammation of pouches in the digestive tract and irritable bowel syndrome. Cholesterol levels in your body may also be reduced by consuming a diet that is high in fiber. High fiber diets also help to curtail your risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Adding fiber to your diet is easy. Here are some types of food to consider when looking to increase your fiber intake.

Fruits: Prunes, Pears, Mangoes, Apples, Raspberries, Raw Blackberries, Raw Strawberries, Seedless Raisins

Legumes: Navy Beans, Pinto Beans (cooked), Kidney Beans, Baked Beans (canned), Lentils (cooked), Black Beans (cooked), Lima Beans (cooked), Split Peas (cooked)

Nuts & Seeds: Almonds, Pistachios, Peanuts, Walnuts, Pecans

Breads: Rye, Bran Flakes, Wheat Bread

Senior Diets

There are many benefits to eating well as we age. Some of these benefits include sharper mental awareness, increased energy levels, building up a stronger resistance to illness, speedier recuperation intervals to name just a few. There is also a mental benefit to eating well, maintaining a positive outlook and a balanced emotional well being. Here are some tips to healthy eating over the age of 50:

  • Reduce your salt intake
  • Increase the consumption of good fats (avacado, salmon, olive oil, walnuts, etc)
  • Add more fiber to your diet
  • Stay away from “bad” carbohydrates like white flour, refined sugar, etc.
  • Be a smarter cook – steam and saute vegetables instead of boiling them

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is called the silent killer. This is because people with high blood pressure may not exhibit any other symptoms. It is essential to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. High blood pressure is an indicator that the blood traveling through your body’s arteries is moving at a pressure higher than normal. When left untreated, high blood pressure may lead to significant health problems.

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When patients have HDL or LDL levels that are not within the norms, they are usually treated with a combination of low-fat diets, exercise and statin medications. Cholesterol needs to be checked by your doctor, typically with a lipid panel blood test, and you should be checked if:

  • Male, 35 years or older
  • Male or Female with known family history of cholesterol
  • Individuals with other risk factors for heart disease

Smoking Cessation

It is no big secret that smoking can lead nicotine addiction and to some serious health problems. Stopping to smoke can significantly reduce an individual’s risk for smoking related diseases. Did you know that tobacco smoke contains many toxins? There are more than 7,000 chemicals in this smoke and about 70 of which are known to cause cancer. Some of the benefits to breaking the addiction to smoking include:

  • Lowering the risk of lung cancer
  • Decreasing the risk of heart disease
  • Decreasing the risk of stroke
  • Decreasing the risk of vascular disease
  • Reducing the risk of coronary heart disease with 1-2 years of quitting
  • Reducing the risk of developing COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

Consult with your doctor to discuss methods to quit smoking.

For more information on any of these topics or other health related issues, please feel free to talk to the medical staff at Westgate Family Medicine.