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  • Top Ten Foods 

      What are some best bets for eating well?  Mark Glen, a registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic offers his top picks.  These 10 health foods are some of the healthiest because they meet at least three of the following criteria:

      - Are a good or excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients
      - Are high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds, such as vitamins A and E and beta carotene
      - May help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions
      - Are low in calorie density, meaning you get a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories
      - Are readily available

      Find out more about these foods and what makes them good choices.

      Why eat apples?  Apples are an excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Fresh apples are also good sources of the vitamin C — an antioxidant that protects your body's cells from damage. Vitamin C also helps form the connective tissue collagen, keeps your capillaries and blood vessels healthy, and aids in the absorption of iron and folate.

      Why eat almonds? These tear-shaped nuts are packed with nutrients — fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron and calcium. In fact, almonds have more calcium than any other nut — 70 milligrams (mg) in 23 almonds. And one serving of almonds provides half of your body's Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin E.

      Like all nuts, almonds provide one of the best plant sources of protein. And they're good for your heart. Most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat — a healthier type of fat that may help lower blood cholesterol levels.

      Why eat blueberries? Blueberries are a rich source of plant compounds (phytonutrients). As with cranberries, phytonutrients in blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections. Blueberries may also improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging.

      Blueberries are also a low-calorie source of fiber and vitamin C — 1 cup of fresh blueberries has 83 calories, 3.5 grams of fiber and 14 mg of vitamin C.

      Why eat broccoli? Besides being a good source of calcium, potassium, folate and fiber, broccoli contains phytonutrients — a group of compounds that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamins A and C — antioxidants that protect your body's cells from damage.

      Red beans
      Why eat red beans? Red beans — including small red beans and dark red kidney beans — are good sources of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and thiamin. They're also an excellent low-fat, low-calorie source of protein and dietary fiber. Red beans also contain phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

      Why eat salmon? Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids — a type of fat that makes your blood less likely to form clots that may cause heart attacks. Omega-3s may also protect against irregular heartbeats that may cause sudden cardiac death, decrease triglyceride levels, decrease the growth of artery-clogging plaques, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.

      In addition to being an excellent source of omega-3s, salmon is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and is a good source of protein.

      Why eat spinach? Spinach is high in vitamins A and C and folate. It's also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B-6, calcium, iron and magnesium. The plant compounds in spinach may boost your immune system and may help keep your hair and skin healthy.

      Sweet potatoes
      Why eat sweet potatoes? The deep orange-yellow color of sweet potatoes tells you that they're high in the antioxidant beta carotene. Food sources of beta carotene, which are converted to vitamin A in your body, may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of some cancers. Sweet potatoes are also good sources of fiber, vitamins B-6, C and E, folate and potassium. And like all vegetables, they're fat-free and relatively low in calories — one small sweet potato has just 54 calories.

      Vegetable juice
      Why drink vegetable juice? Vegetable juice has most of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found in the original vegetables and is an easy way to include vegetables in your diet. Tomato juice and vegetable juices, which include tomatoes, are good sources of lycopene, an antioxidant which may reduce the risk of heart attack, prostate cancer and possibly other types of cancer. Some vegetable and tomato juices are very high in sodium, so be sure to select the low-sodium varieties.

      Wheat germ
      Why eat wheat germ? At the center of a grain of wheat is the wheat germ — the part of the seed that's responsible for the development and growth of the new plant sprout. Though only a small part of the wheat seed, the germ is a highly concentrated source of nutrients, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc. The germ also contains protein, fiber and some fat.



  • The Scoop About A Banana   

      After  Reading THIS, you'll NEVER look at a banana in the same way  again!

      Bananas Containing three natural sugars -  sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana  gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.  Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy  for a strenuous 90-minute workout.   No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit.  It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and  conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

      According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst  people suffering from depression, many felt much better after  eating a banana.  This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a  type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel  happier.

      Forget the pills -- eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which  can affect your mood.

      High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

      Blood Pressure:
      This unique tropical  fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it  the perfect way to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food  and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to  make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

      Brain Power:
      200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams  this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a  bid to boost their brain power.  Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

      High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

      One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to  make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood  sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

      Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

      Morning Sickness:   
      Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

      Mosquito bites:
      Before  reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin.  Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

      Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the  nervous system.

      Overweight and at work?
      Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads  to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at  5,000 hospital patients,  researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs.  The  report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood  sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

      The banana is used as the  dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft  texture and smoothness.  It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases.  It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of  the stomach.

      Temperature control:
      Many other cultures see  bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical  and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand,  for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is  born with a cool temperature.

      Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
      Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the  natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

      Bananas can also  help people trying to give up smoking.  The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

      Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance.  When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels.  These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

      According to research in "The New  England Journal of Medicine," eating bananas as part of a  regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

      So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills.  When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.  It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.  So maybe its time to change that well-known  phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"




  • Vài Hình Ảnh Việt Nam   

    - Vịnh Hạ Long

    - Gồng Gánh 

    - Tát Nước










  • Recognizing A Stroke

      Stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within a few minutes to a few hours, brain cells begin to die. Prompt treatment could mean the difference between life and death. Early treatment can also minimize damage to your brain and potential disability.

      Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify.  Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

      1. *Ask the individual to SMILE.

      2. *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

      3. *Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (ie: It is sunny out today)

      If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

      After discovering that a group of non-medical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting last February. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke, and possibly prevent brain damage.





Enter the Federal Trade Commision government web site to learn about the law.  Then click on the "Free Annual Credit Report" link to order your free annual reports.




  • Safety Tips For Women   



      Safety tips for Women - reminders - we have all read before but it's always good to keep them fresh in your mind!  After reading these 9 crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.


      1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

      2. Learned this from a tourist guide in New Orleans. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM.  Toss it away from you....chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

      3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

      4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.

      If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

      5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

      A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.

      B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

      C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.
      IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

      6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

      7 If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably ! in a zig -zag pattern!

      8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP. It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

      9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door."  The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over.  The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby.  He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

      Please pass this on and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby ----This e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana.
      Shannon LaForge
      Courtroom Deputy to Judge Robert Junell
      U.S. District Court for the West Safety Tips - Must Read












  • Compulsive Gambling (The Mayo Clinic)            


      Gambling odds, as the saying goes, are stacked in favor of the house. But that doesn't stop people from trying to beat the odds.

      Approximately 85 percent of American adults report having gambled at some point in their lives, and about 60 percent say they've gambled at least once in the past year. Gambling results in hundreds of billions of dollars in annual wagers — and, for some people, a big problem with compulsive gambling, an addiction.

      Most people who wager don't have a problem with compulsive gambling. But some people — an estimated 2 million American adults — become compulsive gamblers at some point in their lifetimes. People who exhibit compulsive gambling lose control of their betting, often with serious consequences. Other people don't meet the diagnostic criteria for compulsive gambling but are considered problem gamblers.

      Many people are able to control their compulsive gambling after receiving treatments with medications and psychotherapy, and with the aid of self-help groups.

      Signs and symptoms

      You may have a gambling addiction if:

      §  You take time from work and family life to gamble.

      §  You secretly gamble.

      §  You feel remorse after gambling and repeatedly vow to quit. You may even quit for a while, but then start again.

      §  You don't plan to gamble. You just "end up" gambling. And you gamble until your last dollar is gone.

      §  You gamble with money you need to pay bills or solve financial problems. You lie, steal, borrow or sell things to get gamblin money.

      §  When you lose, you gamble to win back your losses. When you win, you gamble to win more. You dream of the "big win" and what it will buy.

      §  You gamble both when you feel "down" and when you feel like celebrating


      Imbalances in the brain chemicals serotonin, norepinephrine (adrenaline) and dopamine may be factors in compulsive gambling.

      These chemicals all are neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that enable nerve cells (neurons) to communicate. They're released into the gaps (synapses) between nerve cells to help nerve messages flow from one cell to another. If neurons don't produce enough of these chemicals, nerve messages aren't communicated effectively. Alterations in neurotransmission have been associated with a variety of other mental health problems, including addiction.

      Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that plays a key role in regulating mood and behavior. Norepinephrine, a hormone released in response to stress, has been linked to arousal and risk-taking in compulsive gamblers. Brain cells release dopamine as part of the reward system through which you learn to seek pleasurable stimuli, such as food and sex, and dopamine plays a role in developing addiction.

      Risk factors

      A number of factors increase your risk of a gambling addiction:

      §  Other behavior disorders. People who gamble compulsively often have substance abuse problems and experience mood and personality disorders.

      §  Age. You may be more likely to develop an addiction to gambling if you begin to gamble at a young age.

      §  Gender. Men are more likely than are women to develop a gambling addiction.

      §  Location. People who live close to a casino are more likely to develop a gambling problem as are those who live farther away.

      §  Family influence. If your parents had a gambling problem, the chances are greater that you will too.

      §  Medications used to treat Parkinson's disease. Studies have identified a link between the use of certain Parkinson's disease medications, called dopamine agonists, and the onset of compulsive gambling. These medications also may increase your risk of other compulsive behaviors, such as hypersexuality and compulsive overeating. If you are taking these medications and start behaving in a way that's out of character for you, talk to your doctor.

      When to seek medical advice

      If your gambling has gotten out of your control, see your doctor for help or for referral to an addiction specialist. Your gambling has gotten out of control if:

      §  It's affecting your relationships, your finances or your work life

      §  You're devoting more and more time and energy to pursuing gambling

      §  You're unable to stop or cut back on your gambling

      Seeking help early reduces the risk that your compulsive gambling will lead to severe family problems and financial difficulties.

      Because denial is nearly always a characteristic of addictive behavior, it may be difficult for you to recognize a gambling addiction and to seek help on your own. It often takes family members, friends or co-workers to persuade a person with a gambling addiction to seek treatment.

      Screening and diagnosis

      The American Psychiatric Association (APA) classifies compulsive gambling as an impulse-control disorder. To meet the APA's diagnostic criteria for compulsive gambling, a person must show persistent gambling behavior as indicated by at least five of the following criteria:

      §   Being preoccupied with gambling (for example, reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble)

      §  Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve desired excitement

      §  Having repeated unsuccessful efforts to cut back or stop gambling

      §  Being restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling

      §  Gambling as a way to escape problems or to relieve a dysphoric mood (feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)

      §  After losing money gambling, often returning another day to get even ("chasing" one's losses)

      §  Lying to family members, therapists or others to conceal extent of involvement with gambling

      §  Having committed illegal acts, such as forgery, fraud, theft or embezzlement, to finance gambling

      §  Having jeopardized or lost an important relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling

      §  Relying on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling


      Like other addictive behaviors, compulsive gambling can affect many areas of your life, possibly causing:

      §  Estrangement of family and friends

      §  Financial problems

      §  Legal problems, as you may resort to illegal activities to fund your addictive behavior

      §  Workplace problems

      §  Development of associated problems, such as excessive alcohol consumption or drug abuse


      Treatment for compulsive gambling is similar to therapies for other forms of addiction. Your doctor or mental health professional may use these approaches:

      §  Psychotherapy. A form of psychotherapy called cognitive behavior therapy focuses on identifying unhealthy, irrational and negative beliefs and having you replace them with healthy, positive ones. Group therapy also may be helpful. In group therapy, you're able to tap into the advice, feedback and support from other people on how to deal with a gambling addiction.

      §  Medications. Antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be effective in treating compulsive gambling. SSRIs that your doctor may prescribe include fluvoxamine (Luvox), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and citalopram (Celexa). Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) may be effective for pathological gamblers with mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder. Naltrexone (ReVia), a narcotic antagonist used to treat alcohol or narcotic addiction, has shown some promise as an effective treatment for compulsive gambling, but more research is needed.

      Coping skills

      Gamblers Anonymous provides a 12-step program patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. For people who wonder whether they may have a gambling problem, Gamblers Anonymous publishes a list of 20 questions as a screening tool and provides a list of local chapters.

      Your doctor or counselor may be able to refer you to a Gamblers Anonymous group. You may also find state-sponsored help groups in your local telephone directory. Gamblers Anonymous has more than 1,200 U.S. locations and 20 international chapters.








  • Carcinogens in the environment: A major cause of cancer? (The Mayo Clinic)   

      Explore how carcinogens in the environment might contribute to cancer risk. Learn why it's difficult to tell what causes cancer and what doesn't.

      In a study of cancer myths, 40 percent of people agreed that city air pollution was a bigger risk for lung cancer than was smoking. Pollution certainly may contribute to some cases of lung cancer, but not anywhere near the number caused by smoking. Yet the idea that chemicals in the environment are a major cause of cancer persists.

      Researchers estimate that cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens) in the environment cause fewer than 5 percent of cancer deaths in the United States. Most cancers are believed to be caused by lifestyle choices, such as what you eat, whether you maintain a healthy weight and whether you smoke. So why do some people still believe their environment is a major cause of cancer? Here's an in-depth look at the issue.

      Why is there so much confusion over whether certain chemicals are carcinogens?

      Most cancers take years to develop, making it difficult to determine if a chemical exposure today will cause cancer in the future. Tumors usually develop for 15 to 20 years before they become evident. Blood and lymph cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, usually take five to 10 years to develop.

      Chemicals — both natural and man-made — are everywhere in our environment. People are exposed to so many chemicals and combinations of chemicals that it's nearly impossible to pinpoint one chemical that could have caused an individual's cancer. It's even more daunting when you factor in the nonchemical causes of cancer, such as family history and lifestyle choices.

      It's unlikely that one carcinogen or a single lifestyle factor could be responsible for a person's cancer. Instead, genetics, lifestyle choices and environmental carcinogens work together. For instance, smokers who work around asbestos are more likely to develop lung cancer than are smokers who don't. Carcinogens in cigarette smoke and asbestos work together to increase the chance that a person will develop cancer — a process sometimes called synergy.

      What evidence is needed to determine whether certain chemicals are carcinogens?

      To reach a definitive answer, scientists would need to conduct a controlled clinical trial in which half the people were exposed to a suspected carcinogen. Most people would be unwilling to enroll in such a trial, and the institutional review boards that monitor trials to ensure safety wouldn't allow these types of trials.

      With that in mind, scientists rely on other types of studies to decide whether chemicals are carcinogens. These include:

      §         Human observation studies. These studies compare a group of people who are more likely to be exposed to potential carcinogens to a group of people in the general population. For instance, people who work around asbestos are more likely to be exposed to asbestos particles, so that group might be followed over a number of years. However, one observational study usually provides insufficient evidence to prove something does or doesn't cause cancer.

      §        Animal studies. Scientists expose animals — usually mice or rats — to very high levels of suspected carcinogens to see how their bodies react. Whether diseases in animals are comparable to diseases in humans, however, is a subject of debate.

      Two groups determine whether substances are carcinogens — the National Toxicology Program, run by the Department of Health and Human Services, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, run by the World Health Organization. Both groups review the latest in scientific evidence and rule whether a chemical causes cancer, is likely to cause cancer or doesn't cause cancer. Sometimes there isn't enough evidence to make a ruling. Though both groups examine many of the same chemicals, they don't always agree.

      Common misconceptions about environmental carcinogens: Recognize myths and explore realities

      Because cancer is such a complicated process, it's difficult to know how to react to news reports of chemical spills and air pollution. Before you panic, get the facts about these common myths about carcinogens:

      Even tiny amounts of carcinogens can cause cancer
      Most carcinogens won't cause cancer unless you're exposed to a great deal of the substance. For instance, radiation causes cancer, but getting your arm X-rayed to look for broken bones isn't likely to cause cancer because you're exposed to X-ray radiation for a very short period of time. Other carcinogens require many years of daily exposure to cause cancer.

      Man-made carcinogens are more dangerous than carcinogens that occur naturally
      Carcinogens aren't solely man-made. They can also occur naturally in the environment. For instance, asbestos and cadmium — both listed as known carcinogens by the federal government — are both found naturally in the earth. Eliminating all man-made carcinogens wouldn't remove all the carcinogens in the environment.

      Being near a carcinogen is all it takes to cause cancer
      Most carcinogens are absorbed into your body in a very specific way. Cadmium, for example, only increases the risk of cancer if it's inhaled through polluted air or ingested through contaminated food or water. Touching a rock that contains cadmium won't increase your risk of cancer. Other carcinogens are absorbed through your bloodstream, your mucous membranes or your skin.

      Cancer rates are on the rise because there are more carcinogens in the environment
      Many factors contribute to the rate of newly diagnosed cancers. There's no evidence to suggest that environmental carcinogens have anything to do with the increases in newly diagnosed cancers that occurred from 1975 through the early 1990s. Most researchers attribute that increase to smoking and the fact that more people were being screened for cancer. In addition, the population is increasing and people are living longer — making them more likely to develop cancer. The incidence rate of cancer — the number of cancer cases per 100,000 people — has remained stable for most cancers.

      How can you protect yourself from carcinogens?

      It's impossible to stay away from all environmental carcinogens. While it may be scary to know that you can't control whether you get cancer, you can take measures to reduce your risk. You can:

      §          Control what's within your reach. You make choices every day that could reduce your risk of cancer. Though eating a healthy low-fat diet full of fruits and vegetables can't guarantee that you won't get cancer, it may reduce your risk. Avoiding cigarette smoke, excessive alcohol consumption and excessive amounts of sunlight reduces your risk of certain cancers.

      §         Know what carcinogens you work with. In the United States, your employer is required to inform you about the hazards of any chemicals in your workplace. Follow all safety precautions at your workplace. Ask your doctor what more you could do to protect yourself.

      §         Get screened. Though cancer is difficult to prevent, most cancers can be treated if found at an early stage. Screenings for cancer can help your doctor identify cancers at a treatable stage.

      §         Be conscious of chemicals around your home and use them properly. The bug spray in your home isn't likely to cause cancer, especially when used correctly. Follow the directions on any household chemical containers. Open a window in the room where you're using chemicals and wash up when you're done. If you're worried about household chemicals, choose alternatives, but know that the alternatives may do more to calm your mind than to actually reduce your risk of cancer. Use the National Library of Medicine's Household Products Database to learn more about the ingredients in household chemicals.


  • Diabetes diet: Create your healthy-eating plan (The Mayo Clinic)   

      Diet plays a key role in controlling your blood sugar. A healthy-eating plan tailored to your needs will do that and more.

      Contrary to popular belief, having diabetes doesn't mean that you have to start eating special foods or follow a complicated diabetes diet plan. For most people, having diabetes simply translates into eating a variety of foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes.

      This means choosing a diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Rather than a restrictive diabetes diet, it's a healthy-eating plan that's naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. In fact, it's the best eating plan for anyone who wants to manage his or her weight and adopt healthier eating habits.

      Planning your meals

      Your meal plan is an eating guide that helps you:

      §        Establish a routine for eating meals and snacks at regular times every day

      §       Choose the healthiest foods in the right amounts at each meal

      If you're already eating healthy foods, you may not need to make many changes to keep your blood sugar (glucose) under control. If you tend to eat at irregular times, overeat or make poor food choices, ask your doctor for tips to help you change your eating habits.

      If you need to lose weight or you're taking diabetes medications or insulin, you may need to follow a more deliberate plan — eating only a recommended number of servings from each food group every day. Your doctor may suggest working with a registered dietitian to tailor your diet based on your health goals, tastes and lifestyle. Together you'll determine which meal-planning tools might work best for you — such as carbohydrate counting or exchange lists.

      Counting carbohydrates

      Carbohydrate counting can be a helpful meal-planning tool, especially if you take diabetes medications or insulin. Eating the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal or snack will keep your blood sugar from going too high or too low throughout the day. If you're taking insulin, your diabetes educator can teach you how to count the amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack and adjust your insulin dose accordingly.

      The amount of protein or fat in the meal or snack generally isn't a factor when determining the insulin dose. However, that doesn't mean that you can go overboard on low-carbohydrate foods or those that don't contain carbohydrates, such as meat and fats. Remember, too many calories and too much fat and cholesterol over the long term may lead to weight gain, heart disease, stroke and other diseases.

      Some people who have diabetes use the glycemic index to select foods — especially carbohydrates. Foods with a high glycemic index are associated with greater increases in blood sugar than are foods with a low glycemic index. But low-index foods aren't necessarily healthier. Foods that are high in fat tend to have lower glycemic index values than do some healthy foods.

      If you're counting carbohydrates, work with your dietitian to learn how to do it properly to meet your specific needs.

      Using exchange lists

      Your dietitian may recommend using the exchange system, which groups foods into categories — such as starches, fruits, meats and meat substitutes, and fats.

      One serving in a group is called an "exchange." An exchange has about the same amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat and calories — and the same effect on your blood sugar — as a serving of every other food in the same group. So you can exchange — or trade — half of a medium baked potato (3 ounces) for 1/3 cup of baked beans or 1/2 cup of corn because they're all one starch serving.

      Your dietitian can help you use an exchange list to figure out your daily meal plan. He or she will recommend a certain number of servings from each food group based on your individual needs.

      Consistency and variety are key

      Consistent eating habits can help you control your blood sugar levels. Every day try to eat about the same amount of food at about the same time. Include a variety of foods to help meet your nutritional goals. Your dietitian can help you plan a program that meets these guidelines:


      Aim for


      45% to 65% of daily calories


      15% to 20% of daily calories


      20% to 35% of daily calories

      If you stick to your meal plan and watch your serving sizes, you'll eat about the same amount of carbohydrates and calories every day. This helps control your blood sugar and your weight. On the flip side, the more you vary what you eat — especially the amount of carbohydrates — the harder it is to control your blood sugar.

      Keep your eyes on the prize

      Embracing your healthy-eating plan is the best way to keep your blood sugar under control and prevent diabetes complications. And your planned meals and snacks need not be boring. For greater variety, work in your favorite foods and foods you haven't tried before. Get creative within the guidelines of your healthy-eating plan. Look for inspiration from others who are following a plan — and enjoying the benefits.



Questions / Comments: email to trungthu@trungthu.us
Last updated: 10/11/07