IFA News and Opinion
Issue Date:  February 1, 2004


Cheese is delicious and full of calcium, but don't eat too much

It has been more than 4,000 years since cheese was accidentally discovered by an Arabian merchant. Over time, the delicious stuff spread to Europe where the process was improved by monks in the Middle Ages. It later became an English favorite. Cheese came to America with the Pilgrims, and the rest is history. Today, the average North American eats about 30 pounds of cheese each year.

While it contains a lot of high-quality protein, calcium, and other nutrients, cheese also contains a lot of fat. That's because it's a concentrated food. It take five quarts of milk to make a pound of cheese. Some cheeses are relatively low in fat such as feta and goat cheeses. An ounce of Swiss cheese (about the size of two dominoes) has 272 milligrams of calcium, the most of any cheese, and has just 74 milligrams of salt, the least of any cheese. It contains 107 calories per ounce. Low-fat Swiss has 80 calories.

American cheese has 45 calories per slice, 3 grams of total fat, and 330 milligrams of salt, the most of any cheese. Reduced-fat cheddar and Monterey Jack have about 75 calories per ounce and five or six grams of fat. In his book, Low-Fat Cooking to Beat the Clock (Chronicle Books), Sam Gugino says if you buy the cheese you like best, you'll be satisfied with eating less of it.


Atkins quitters face weight gain

Dieters who pick the Atkins plan find that the weight comes off fast as long as they follow the rules correctly. It sounds simple. You eat almost no carbohydrates, but you can eat steaks, burgers, bacon, cheese, and eggs as long as you don't gorge yourself.

The problem for most Atkins dieters is that they miss fruits, vegetables, bread, and sweets. When they add any of these into their daily fare, along with the burgers and bacon, they can gain weight instead of losing it. Atkins people who can maintain the diet requirements until meeting the lifetime maintenance phase have more choices. It can take months to get there, however, and people give up or cheat.

Other diets don't penalize you much for sneaking a piece of cake or a dinner roll. On the Atkins, however, the fat-burning state is easily broken by cheating. At Atkins Health & Medical Information Services, they say a piece of cake won't ruin your diet, but you lose some serious fat burning for a couple of days.

If you give in twice a week, you're in trouble.


Vitamin D for strong bones

While calcium is the most widely known nutrient for bone building, vitamin D plays an important role. Millions of North Americans, however, don't get enough of it. Some doctors now urge that breast-fed babies get vitamin D supplements to fend off a return of rickets, the soft-bone disease most often seen in children.

Because the sun's rays produce vitamin D, the problem is worse in winter when the rays aren't intense enough in many places to help bodies make the sunshine vitamin.

The best natural sources are fatty fish such as salmon, organ meats, egg yolks, and mushrooms.


CDC finds people not exercising

In 2001 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started a new kind of study. They wanted to find out how active people are in their everyday lives. They looked at how much time people spend doing routine things like walking to the bus, cleaning the house, and playing with the kids.

The first results are in, and they show what the researchers feared. More than 30 percent of those responding didn't get 30 minutes of moderate activity every day. Worse, about 26 percent of all respondents reported no moderate activity at all.

The survey suggests that America's weight problem is caused by the fact that we don't move very much for any reason. We have successfully engineered activity out of our daily lives. We drive even the shortest distances, use the elevator instead of the stairs, e-mail instead of going to talk to people, and telecommute instead of going to work.

Health specialists say this insufficient activity affects physical and mental health. It contributes to diabetes, heart disease, depression, and hypertension. People living in big cities like New York appear to be better off than those living in sprawling communities. They weigh an average of six pounds less, and they walk to lunch, to the train, and up the steps. They survey showed that 35 percent of respondents living in walkable neighborhoods were overweight, compared with 60 percent in less walkable areas.

Consider this. If a 150 pound person walked briskly to a store or bus stop that was five blocks away every day for a year, that person would weigh 10 fewer pounds at the end of that time, according to the CDC.


Your body's powerhouse: The heart

Located behind the breastbone and in the middle of the rib cage, the heart is the body's most protected organ. This little powerhouse pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through the circulatory system each day by expanding and contracting more than 100,000 times.

Though the heart is one of the body's most resilient organs, it needs a little help. Often it doesn't get it, which is one of the reasons heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, according to the American Heart Association.

Decide now what your risk factors are and what you can do about them. You can't control your age or family history, but there are risk factors you can control:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Lower your blood pressure by getting your weight under control and eating less salt.
  • Limit alcohol to a drink or two a day.
  • Eat better. Eat fewer foods containing trans fats (hard margarine, baked goods), and more fruits and vegetables.
  • Use olive oil instead of butter or margarine for cooking.
  • Include folate. It lowers levels of homocysteine in the blood, a big risk factor for heart disease. Cold cereal is fortified with it. Vegetables, fish, and beans have folate.
  • Get out. Brisk walks are good. A combination of vigorous activity, resistance training, and flexibility exercise is better. It helps your heart, controls your weight, and makes you look and feel good.


  • Quotes

    "Things are always at their best in their beginning."
    - Bliase Pascal

    "When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not."
    - Mark Twain

    "The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
    - Harlan Ellison, science fiction author

    "History is a race between education and catastrophe."
    - H.G. Wells

    "I couldn't wait for success, so I went on ahead without it."
    - Jonathan Winters

    "I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn't like it..."
    - Samuel Goldwyn

    Medical History

    In ancient Japan, teeth were extracted by dentists who used only their fingers.

    In the times of Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, people thought that the liver, not the heart, was the center of emotion.

    After reading the books that interested him, Hippocrates (for whom the Hippocratic oath of medicine is named) supposedly burned down a library, so that his competitors would not have access to the same information.

    The barber's pole dates from the time when barbers were also surgeons. It represents a bandage wrapped around an injured arm.

    The Rx sign that pharmacists use was originally the astrological sign for Jupiter.

    Surgeons used to have to operate quickly, before the patients died of extreme pain or blood loss. Robert Liston worked so fast that one day he accidentally cut off his nurse's fingers.

    After the public introduction of anesthesia, some doctors refused to use it saying that the shock of pain is a necessary ingredient to recovery. Others were afraid, because some preachers said that anesthesia was the work of the devil.

    The average doctor goes to medical school for four years, yet gets only two and a half hours of education on nutrition as it applies to preventive medicine or curative medicine.

    Q & A

    Q: In regards to insertion and origin what is the scentific definiton of insertion.

    A: Origin: The point of attachment or end of a muscle which is fixed during contraction.

    Insertion: The point or part by which a muscle or tendon is attached to the part to be moved.

    Q: Are fatty acids and carbohydrates both needed for energy production?

    A: No, ATP is produced using fatty acids and glucose for the aerobic energy system only. The anaerobic system uses mainly glucose and phosphagen, which is limited in its ability to produce energy. Further, lactic acid is one of the by products causing the burning sensation after a hard workout.