As your child progresses in school, their backpacks get heavier and heavier. Once your child enters middle school, they have to carry everything from textbooks to notebooks to sports supplies. But can a heavy backpack pose serious health risks for your child? Here are just a few health issues that come with children carrying a heavy backpack: Continue reading “Choosing the Right Backpack for Your Child”
Healthy Diet Tips from Our Pentucket Medical Specialists
Winter is a time for family, gift-giving, traditions and delicious food. Unfortunately for those trying to lose weight, being surrounded by many unhealthy food options can be detrimental to all the hard progress you’ve made this year. How do you deal with staying healthy without sacrificing the joys of delicious winter comfort food?
1. Potatoes are bad!
Since we eat the highly processed version of the white potato—for instance, french fries and potato chips—consumption of this root vegetable has been linked to obesity and an increased diabetes risk.
But white potatoes are actually loaded with fiber and higher in essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and potassium compared to lot of root vegetables.
The bottom line: The form in which you consume a potato—for instance, a whole baked potato versus a processed potato that’s used to make chips—is important to consider.
2. Sugar? What about it?
Table sugar is as bad as High fructose corn syrup.
The bottom line: HFCS and regular sugar are empty-calorie carbohydrates that should be consumed in limited amounts. How? By keeping soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and prepackaged desserts to a minimum.
3. Salt causes high blood pressure and should be avoided.
Large-scale scientific reviews have determined there’s no reason for people with normal blood pressure to restrict their sodium intake.
Now, if you already have high blood pressure, you may be “salt sensitive.” As a result, reducing the amount of salt you eat could be helpful.
What to do is you can simply consume more potassium-containing foods.
Why? Because it’s really the balance of the two minerals that matters.
The bottom line: Strive for a potassium-rich diet, which you can achieve by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Do you suffer from seasonal allergies?
Did you know that Spring cleaning could be just what the allergist ordered?
More than 40 million Americans suffer from allergy problems. After a long winter of being stuck inside, it’s important to clear your house of lingering dirt, dust and mold. Spring cleaning can reduce, and even remove some allergens. Here are a few tips to clean effectively:
- When dusting, use moist cloths or special dry dusters designed to trap and lock dust from hard and soft surfaces.
- Certain cleaning products can also contribute to airborne irritants, especially if they contain harsh chemicals, strong odors or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Choose products that contain none of these irritants, but also beware of “green” labels, as some of these solutions may be made with natural allergenic ingredients, such as lemon, coconut or tea-tree oils.
- Use a Certified vacuum that has a high efficiency filter with tight seams and seals to prevent particles from leaking out while you vacuum. Also, choose a style that requires minimal exposure during canister emptying or bag changes.
- Whether you have a cat or dog, pet dander is present in most U.S. homes. If it is possible, keeps pets out of the bedroom. If not, your cleaning routine should include frequently washing linens in your bedroom, where cat or dog dander can settle.
- Place Certified allergen-barrier bedding on your mattresses and pillows. Wash your bedding at least once a week in 130+ degree hot water to kill mites and their eggs.
- Mold, a common allergy trigger, can grow anywhere in your home where moisture is present. Look for cleaning products that help kill and prevent mold from returning. Also, keep household humidity below 50 percent and fix leaky pipes and cracks to reduce standing puddles of moisture where mold can prosper.
- If children live in your home, look for Certified plush toys. Dust mites, mold and pet dander can accumulate on plush toys over time. Certified toys can be placed in the freezer for 24 hours, then rinse in cold water to remove dead mites, and dry completely. Do this monthly.
In addition to reducing allergens in your home, Spring cleaning can also:
- Provide your family with a healthier living environment.
- Reduce stress and renew your calm by removing clutter.
- Be a form of cardio exercise
Spring-cleaning is a great way to improve your living environment while boosting your mental moral and physical health. It’s the time of the season!
Homemade cleaning products:
Did you know that white vinegar is a natural deodorizer? It absorbs odors instead of just covering them up. It can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, or on hardwood flooring.
Just mix these two ingredients in a spray bottle:
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
Did you know that rubbing alcohol could replace windex?
Just mix these 3 ingredients in a spray bottle:
1 cup (isopropyl) alcohol
1 cup water
1 tbsp. white vinegar
Differentiating between hunger and boredom is more complicated than it seems. Follow these simple tips to stop yourself from snacking when bored:
1. Have a glass of water instead
Thirst can often be misconstrued for hunger. Try having a glass of water and waiting 30 minutes to see if you’re still hungry.
2. Question yourself
If you find yourself standing at your refrigerator door for a snack when you have nothing else to do, stop and ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Figure out if you’re eating because you’re stressed, bored or upset before grabbing a handful of potato chips.
3. Cut back on TV time
A majority of people have a habit of snacking while watching their favorite TV shows. If you catch yourself snacking with watching TV, try to get up and move around instead of being a couch potato. You could also replace a bowl of popcorn with a set of free weights to sneak in exercise while keeping up with your favorite shows.
4. Plan out healthy snacks
Snacks get a bad rap, but they could also be a health addition to any diet. Plan out one or two small, healthy snacks in between meals so you’re in control of your cravings. Adding just one cup of fruit to your daily diet can help curb late-night snack cravings
5. Chew gum
Chewing gum keeps your mouth busy and may even help you burn calories. Try sugar free gum that comes in fun flavors such as birthday cake, root beer float and even mint chocolate chip to satisfy your sweet tooth for fewer calories.
6. Make a hunger diary
For the first few weeks of a weight loss journey, recording your food and thoughts when consuming food is a good idea. Writing down your thoughts will help you identify the times you eat out of boredom and will also help you stop eating out of boredom in the future.