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Current Topic: Health and Wellness

Sushi Nutrition Chart
Topic: Health and Wellness 5:39 pm EDT, May  5, 2005

Good listing of many kinds of sushi, and the associated nutritional content of each type.

Sushi Nutrition Chart

RE: Dim Sum Too High in Fat, Sodium - Study
Topic: Health and Wellness 12:50 pm EDT, Apr 14, 2005

Decius wrote:
] You think I'm rolling out of bed at 11:00AM on Sunday
] for my health? :)

Heh. Personally, I find the entire article kind of silly and hysterical.

It really baffles me the way that some people seem to think about nutrition: that there are certain foods that are just plain bad, and should never be eaten, or that there are other "good" foods (like carrots), and if they eat a lot of them, that they'll lose weight. In reality, neither is true.

There is nothing wrong with eating Dim Sum (or french fries). Also, just because carrots are good for you, does not mean that eating a diet of nothing but carrots is even better (indeed, I've been reading articles lately about something called "Vitamin A Toxicity").

The secret is balance. :) For example, for someone of my body size, the recommendation is a max of 22 grams of saturated fat per day. My total "all kinds of fat" target: A minimum of 40 g, max of 97 g/day. Sodium intake recommendations are a bit more controversial, but I personally try to shoot for a minimum of 500 mg/day, max of 3300. If I had high blood pressure or some other salt-sensitive condition, that max would probably be lower.

Now where I choose to get my 2 g of sodium or 22 g of saturated fat from, is up to me. Like if I have an Egg McMuffin, that's 5 g of saturated fat. Or a Big Mac (11 g). Or if I head to a restaurant and order a meal with lemon/butter dipping sauce, that's 15 g of saturated fat. None of which are pushing me over my daily max, and any of which I could eat on a *daily* basis, without a problem, as long as it was part of that oft-repeated to the point of cliche "balanced diet". :) In other words, along with the saturated fat that day, did I also get a couple hundred grams of carbs? 25 of fiber? 50 of protein? Was cholesterol intake under 300 mg? And all within the constraints of a healthy calorie max for a typical desk job person? (ballpark 2000/day)

The article panics that steamed bean curd has 12 g of fat. So what? That's not saturated fat, and even if it were, it still wouldn't be a problem, depending on how *much* of it was eaten, and what's going on in the rest of the diet.

Now if someone is wolfing down dim sum, *every day*, and regularly consuming twice their recommended max of saturated fat, then yes, that's a problem. But they could do the same damage with Dim Sum, or McDonald's, or too many mixed nuts, or even yogurt and oatmeal (granted, it would be faster to do with McDonald's than oatmeal).

So my advice is, especially to those that are smart enough to crunch the numbers (and I'm still highly recommending the program "Diet Organizer" as a way of charting the spreadsheet):

Eat what you want. Don't feel guilty about Dim Sum. Just try to pay attention to *how much* of it that you're eating, and make sure you're eating enough other kinds of stuff that you're getting *all* the nutrients you need, and not just the saturated fat part.

Elonka :)

RE: Dim Sum Too High in Fat, Sodium - Study

RE: 'Diabesity,' a Crisis in an Expanding Country
Topic: Health and Wellness 2:47 pm EST, Mar 31, 2005

Decius wrote:
] Elonka wrote:
] ] In any case, we have such a relatively small community here.
] ] When I check the "who's posting" calendar at User Weblogs, I
] ] see there are several posts per day, but that's not exactly
] ] slashdot traffic. :)
] Well, I know this is an aside but one shouldn't assume the
] number of readers is related to the number of posters. There
] are many more lurkers here. Your MemeStream in particular is
] enormously popular. Over 5000 views so far this month. Mine
] only had 300 or so, and many of those are probably me.

Oh absolutely. :) Within my own communities, I find that it's usually a 10-1 ratio (on average) of regular readers to regular posters.

5000 though, eh? I'd love to see some sourcing data on that. Are they linking in from google, or coming in straight? If it's anything like my website(s), most are probably coming in from searching on Kryptos and "Da Vinci Code" stuff.

RE: 'Diabesity,' a Crisis in an Expanding Country

RE: 'Diabesity,' a Crisis in an Expanding Country
Topic: Health and Wellness 12:35 pm EST, Mar 31, 2005

noteworthy wrote:
] To the extent you think about America's global competitiveness
] in the decades ahead, you fixate on our ability to fabricate
] the best techno-gizmos, music, and movies.

I'm not quite sure how to respond to your post. You seem to be attacking a general stereotype of the entire tech community, but in that case, who exactly are you expecting to respond?

In any case, we have such a relatively small community here. When I check the "who's posting" calendar at User Weblogs, I see there are several posts per day, but that's not exactly slashdot traffic. :)

I've also posted several things that I was surprised that no one memed or replied to. But I don't feel that I was ignored. I'm pretty sure that most of what I post does get read by most of the more frequent meme-ers here. We just have different threshholds of what we find interesting or reply to. For example, I rarely follow the "two-headed frog" or "kitten found abandoned in tree" threads.

Health posts, I've been following. I saw your other obesity posts, and agree with them. Yes, obesity is a crisis in our country. The numbers I've been seeing in the health magazines are actually higher than what you found -- More like 75% of our country is overweight or out of shape, not 60%. It's something that I think about when I go to the gym, and look around at the other folks on the treadmills and exercise bikes -- in one way of looking at it, we're like the "133t" of the country, the small percentage who are trying hard to live healthy.

I went for my annual checkup a couple weeks ago. The doctor actually looked bemused as he went over my numbers and lifestyle checklists: "You don't smoke, you drink in moderation, you're eating the right proportions of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, you're exercising regularly, your cholesterol, LDL and HDL are all within normal ranges... You're living a healthy lifestyle, good job!" I got the feeling that he doesn't get to say that often, and that it was unusual for him to get through a patient visit without having to repeat a mantra of, "You need to stop smoking / cut back on fatty foods / exercise more". I feel like most doctors have given up on actually being listened to in this regard: That they feel like they're being treated like the kid who's crying wolf, and no one's taking them seriously.

So in any case, yes, I agree with you. But no, I don't think the new reports are going to change behaviors. But yes, obesity rapidly *is* becoming the #1 *preventable* cause of death in our country.

As for where to place the blame, I agree that everyone has a personal responsibility to take care of their own lifestyle, but I also think that fast food chains and heavy marketing share a lot of the blame. I mean, if McDonald's *really* wanted to promote a healthier lifestyle, they'd put those promotional "instant win" stickers on the salads and fruit plates, not just on the fries and burgers, right?

RE: 'Diabesity,' a Crisis in an Expanding Country

Nutrition Software Review 2005
Topic: Health and Wellness 7:21 pm EST, Mar 15, 2005

Looks like a useful site. Reviews different software packages in a variety of different categories.

I can't speak for the other categories, but I took a close look at the "Nutrition Software" section. They rated about 15 software packages -- summaries were included on a "side by side" comparison chart, and then there were links to lengthier reviews.

All of which is fine and good, but I found their list of software incomplete. There are several other major diet software packages ("Weight by Date", "Food and Exercise Diary for Windows", "Diet Organizer"), which weren't even included on their list, which makes it hard for me to trust the reviews of the ones that *were* on the list. For example, "Diet Organizer" is still my favorite pick, and though it wasn't included in their set, it's definitely above (in my opinion) the #3 title on this "Top Ten" site, Diet Power.

The reviews of the other packages do make this site useful though. I plan on checking out several of the titles they've listed, before making my final decision on what to purchase.

Nutrition Software Review 2005
Topic: Health and Wellness 5:35 pm EST, Mar 15, 2005

] What nutrients are in your food? Find out in the Nutrient
] Data Lab's searchable database, which contains
] listings of over 6600 foods. Get accurate information
] about fats, carbohydrates and protein and learn what
] foods contain the most nutrients you're looking for.
 . . .
] USDA National Nutrient Database, Versions for Windows PC
] and Palm OS® Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)
 . . .
] Contains free downloads of USDA National Nutrient
] Database for both Windows PC and Palm OS® personal
] digital assistants (PDAs). Allows users to search and
] display nutrient content of thousands of foods.

This database has an impressive variety of food. It doesn't have some of the more exotic combinations (like I can't type in just "sushi"), but it does have thousands of natural foods, and a good sampling of processed foods, from Big Macs to Hostess Ding Dongs to Kellogg's Corn Flakes. And for the foods it does have, it analyzes them *really* thoroughly. Not just fat/protein/carbohydrates, but every different type of vitamin, right down to the milligram of caffeine, or microgram of selenium, and a bunch of other nutrients I didn't recognize. All in a single package which I can download directly to my desktop or handheld. For free.

Every so often I find a resource from the government which is actually personally useful . . .

Glossary of Psychological Terms
Topic: Health and Wellness 7:12 pm EST, Mar  1, 2005

] Neurosis: a form of psychological suffering involving
] unconscious inner conflicts around basic anxiety and
] partially determined by cultural factors. All neuroses
] include anxiety, the defenses against it, numerous fears,
] a dissipation of energy, pretense, and impairment in
] vitality, spontaneity, freedom, enjoyment, and
] achievement. "The neurotic personality of our time"
] refers to the similarities in neuroses in a given
] culture; in ours, they include an excessive dependence on
] affection or approval, feelings of inferiority or
] inadequacy, inhibited self-assertion, hostility,
] inhibited or compulsive sexual activity, and
] competitiveness. Origin: lack of warmth and affection in
] childhood (children who feel wanted can healthily endure
] trauma and frustration) kept alive and urgent by
] present-day defenses
] The essence of a neurosis is the neurotic character
] structure whose focal points are neurotic trends
] organized around the central inner conflict between
] neurotic and healthy dynamics. These in turn constitute
] three early relationship-management strategies: moving
] toward people (emphasizes the helplessness aspect of
] basic anxiety), against people (hostility), or away from
] people (isolation). The first tend to be dependent
] personalities, the second narcissistic, and the third
] schizoid. These attempts at solution gradually harden
] into personality traits and pervade the entire character
] structure.The healthy counterpart is growing with people.

I was surfing around the web today looking for a definition of "neurotic conflict" (I'm dealing with a couple friends here in St. Louis who have some serious emotional problems right now). While surfing, I found this page, with a variety of definitions. The "neurosis" definition in particular I found interesting, because of its perspective on the most common modern-day neuroses.

Glossary of Psychological Terms

CalorieKing Food Database
Topic: Health and Wellness 11:51 pm EST, Feb 28, 2005

Excellent search engine for nutritional data.

This is the best online database I've found for food info. It has not only the basic foods, and nearly every item from the fast food chains, but also many exotic items from restaurants. Chef salad, miso soup, tuna sashimi, movie popcorn with and without butter... It's all here, and frequently with multiple listings from different sources, so it's possible to compare different sets of information.

CalorieKing Food Database

DietOrganizer - Diet software for calorie counting and weight loss
Topic: Health and Wellness 11:47 pm EST, Feb 28, 2005

] The food log shows your daily food intake broken down and
] subtotaled by meal.
] * Simple direct spreadsheet entry
] * Searches as you type
] * Full undo and redo
] * Make new foods from marked lines
] * View daily calorie breakdown and carb-prot-fat percentages

I've been reviewing various calorie-counting programs lately. Most of them are pretty pathetic. Small or nonexistent databases, tedious and difficult to use interfaces, etc.

This one, DietOrganizer by MulberrySoft, isn't perfect, but is the best I've found so far, and I may well buy it when my free trial runs out. It's extremely easy to use.

For example, when I'm entering in the list of everything I eat over the course of a day, I just type in a few letters of whatever I want, and it automatically suggests what it thinks I'm trying to type **even if the letters aren't consecutive**. And then it gets even better -- if I didn't have a full portion of something, like I ate a quarter of an apple, 2.5 strips of bacon, or drank 1/3 of a cup of orange juice, I can just enter in my best guess of the quantity, and it'll automatically calculate the correct relative percentages of calories, protein, carbs, etc., based on the other values that have been entered for "full" servings. And any items that it doesn't already have in its database, can easily be added, along with completely customizable "portions" suggestions. Like I've been entering in my favorite types of sushi, and I can set it to suggest portion sizes of "roll" "ounce", "piece", "serving", or anything else I want.

It also displays a very easy to understand color-coded bar chart that instantly shows the relative percentages of fat/protein/carbohydrates on each item, as well as how my total day's intake is looking, or it'll chart out the last week, or any other range I want.

Where it still needs improvement, is in the category of tracking exercise levels (it has a few basic categories, but I'd like to see something with more detail). On the plus side though, it does factor in what it can. For example, if I spend 30 minutes on an exercise bike, the software correctly calculates probable calories burned, and can factor it in to my daily total to see how my day is balancing.

Another area where the software gets confused has to do with combining foods. It does have excellent copy/paste functionality, and I can shift-click to select multiple different individual foods and then easily combine them into a single menu item (which is *very* handy for frequently-eaten sandwiches), but parts of the charting system break when I do this -- For example, it can easily tell the food groups of bread, tunafish, and mayo if they're entered individually, but when I combine them into a sandwich, it just shows up as "undefined" on the daily food group chart.

Overall though, the rest of the interface and functionality is head and shoulders above everything else I've looked at.

- Elonka

DietOrganizer - Diet software for calorie counting and weight loss

Health and Fitness Calculators
Topic: Health and Wellness 5:39 pm EST, Feb 21, 2005

] This Health and fitness calculator from Includes:
] Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, Heartrate Zones, Ideal Weight,
] Percent Body Fat (Circumference), Percent Body Fat (YMCA), Risk
] of Chronic Disease.

I've been surfing around the web trying to find free exercise resources, like how to properly use gym equipment, count calories, etc. You'd think that as diet-obsessed as our country is, this would be easy to find. Quite the opposite though, the vast majority of stuff out there is nearly 98%+ advertising, "buy my book before I tell you anything" or "lose weight fast" BS.

Every so often though I find something useful -- Free sites that are relatively low on ads, which actually have some useful information or tools. This is one of them, with a webpage that has several handy little utilities for calculating various fitness percentages.

Other sites with relatively good information to ad ratios: (I'll get around to meme-ing them at some point):

Health and Fitness Calculators

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