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It is of little surprise to anyone who pays attention to what they eat (if I ever neglect to eat properly I find my tempter shortens very quickly) but here’s more evidence to support the importance of a healthy diet As a mum, I am particularly concerned about the food choices we make at home and how this will impact my children and so am very conscious of what they eat regularly. It’s also a difficult balancing act to let them try process food (when out/ at parties etc) to demystify it without it becoming something they are allowed too often.

Eating a diet high in processed food increases the risk of depression, research suggests. What is more, people who ate plenty of vegetables, fruit and fish actually had a lower risk of depression, the University College London team found.

Data on diet among 3,500 middle-aged civil servants was compared with depression five years later, the British Journal of Psychiatry reported. The team said the study was the first to look at the UK diet and depression. “ The UK population is consuming less nutritious, fresh produce and more saturated fats and sugars ” Dr Andrew McCulloch, Mental Health Foundation

They split the participants into two types of diet – those who ate a diet largely based on whole foods, which includes lots of fruit, vegetables and fish, and those who ate a mainly processed food diet, such as sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products. After accounting for factors such as gender, age, education, physical activity, smoking habits and chronic diseases, they found a significant difference in future depression risk with the different diets. Those who ate the most whole foods had a 26% lower risk of future depression than those who at the least whole foods. By contrast people with a diet high in processed food had a 58% higher risk of depression than those who ate very few processed foods.

Mediterranean diet

Although the researchers cannot totally rule out the possibility that people with depression may eat a less healthy diet they believe it is unlikely to be the reason for the findings because there was no association with diet and previous diagnosis of depression. Study author Dr Archana Singh-Manoux pointed out there is a chance the finding could be explained by a lifestyle factor they had not accounted for. “There was a paper showing a Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk of depression but the problem with that is if you live in Britain the likelihood of you eating a Mediterranean diet is not very high. So we wanted to look at bit differently at the link between diet and mental health.”

It is not yet clear why some foods may protect against or increase the risk of depression but scientists think there may be a link with inflammation as with conditions such as heart disease. Dr Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “This study adds to an existing body of solid research that shows the strong links between what we eat and our mental health. Major studies like this are crucial because they hold the key to us better understanding mental illness.” He added people’s diets were becoming increasingly unhealthy. “The UK population is consuming less nutritious, fresh produce and more saturated fats and sugars. We are particularly concerned about those who cannot access fresh produce easily or live in areas where there are a high number of fast food restaurants and takeaways.”

Margaret Edwards, head of strategy at the mental health charity SANE, said: “Physical and mental health are closely related, so we should not be too surprised by these results, but we hope there will be further research which may help us to understand more fully the relationship between diet and mental health.”

Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/health/8334353.stm

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fat-bellyExperts from Oxford University have published an article in the medical journal The Lancet detailing their findings that being obese is as hazardous to your health as a lifetime of smoking.

The report suggests that even moderate obesity can shorten your life expectancy by a few years. About 25% of UK adults are considered obese with a BMI of over 30.

BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a measurement that uses a scientific formula to determine an adult person’s safest, healthiest weight based upon their weight and height. BMI is a powerful tool you can use to help create your personal path to improved health as a high BMI can be associated with serious health risks including:

  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • cancer

What is your personal BMI calculation?

Click here to find out using the online BMI calculator from our international store!

Your BMI can be a good starting point, but you should also consider your body composition (ie fat vs lean muscle tissue and water) and also your body shape. If you are especially muscular, are pregnant or breastfeeding, then your BMI will not be an accurate refelction of your health risks. See our previous post on body shape when determining your overall health risks.

If you are interested in a Personal Wellness Evaluation from SK Nutrition, or you’d like advice on incorporating the Herbalife Weight Management or Nutrition Programmes into your healthy lifestyle, contact us via our website.

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You can read the BBC’s coverage of the Oxford University report by clicking here.

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thiamin1Doses of vitamin B1 (Thiamin) can reverse early kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes, research shows. The team from Warwick University tested the effect of vitamin B1, which is found in meat, yeast and grain, on 40 patients from Pakistan.

The treatment stopped the loss of a key protein in the urine, the journal Diabetologia reports. Charity Diabetes UK called the results “very promising” – but said it was too early for any firm conclusions.

You can see the full report via BBC NEWS | Health | Thiamine ‘reverses kidney damage’.

Because it is water soluble, Vitamin B1 is not stored in the body and must be supplied daily.

Good sources of Vitamin B1 include:

  • chickpeas
  • beans
  • lentils
  • brown rice
  • lean pork
  • peas

Whilst it’s too soon to say that supplementation should be used in an attempt to reduce kidney complications at this stage, existing SK Nutrition clients may like to note that Thiamin (B1) is present in the Core Nutrition products, Herbalife Formula 1 & Formula 2 that form the basis of our Weight Management, Healthy Breakfast and Energy & Fitness programmes.

A list of the vitamins and minerals in Formula 2, and what they do in your body can be found by clicking on the FAQs tab at the top of this page.

For more information on improving your health and well-being through optimum nutrition and an active lifestyle, visit our website:

sknutrition101

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As a reasonable proportion of SK Nutrition clients are looking to improve their risk factors in relation to heart disease, through improved lifestyle and eating habits, I thought the following article may be of interest to you.

It is not clear why it’s the case, but it seems that having a sibling with cardiovascular disease (CVD) is bad news for your own odds of developing CVD. It seems that an early shared environment may be a factor, with people developing poor eating or exercise habits in childhood that continue into their adult lives, but further research is needed.

In case you missed the article, here is the link to the BBC’s coverage: BBC NEWS | Health | Sibling link to heart health risk.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Herbalife Healthy Heart programme, please feel free to contact us or you can visit the Targeted Nutrition page of our website for specialist items that combine with our core products to help support your heart health.

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A scary video but an important message that I thought worth sharing.

Ahmed Al Haj is only 48 and looks healthy on the outside, yet this Bangladeshi waiter has ended up on the operating table for a triple heart bypass.

As a Muslim, Ahmed does not smoke or drink, but his diet has been rich in ghee, the clarified butter in which many south Asian dishes are drenched. Instead of a healthy pink muscle, his heart looks like a pulsating lump of lard after a lifetime of eating too much saturated fat.

The layer of fat encasing Mr Haj’s heart was so thick the surgeons doing his triple bypass could not see his coronary arteries. Surgeon Shyam Kolvekar from The Heart Hospital at University College London, who performed Mr Haj’s triple bypass, said cases like this were increasingly common and highlighted the dangers of eating too much saturated fat. (more…)

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Another interesting article from the BBC Health News webpages today: A vitamin found in meat, fish and milk may help stave off memory loss in old age, a study has suggested.

Older people with lower than average vitamin B12 levels were more than six times more likely to experience brain shrinkage, researchers concluded. The University of Oxford study, published in the journal Neurology, tested the 107 apparently healthy volunteers over a five-year period.

Some studies suggest two out of five people are deficient in the vitamin. (more…)

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I found an interesting story on the Daily Mail website and BBC Health News today that I wanted to share, as many of my clients originally started taking the Herbalife products as part of a healthy lifestyle in preparation for pregnancy (we have several babies on the way in the next few months!!) For all current clients who are intending to get pregnant, and have some fertility issues, this may be of interest:

Just four cups of coffee a day could significantly reduce a woman’s chances of having a baby, research suggests. A study of hundreds of women revealed that those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day were 26 per cent less likely to have a baby. (more…)

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