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Have You Heard About the Flat Belly Diet?

The Kashmir Monitor

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The flat belly diet — the name says it all. If you wish to flatten your tummy in no time, then you may give this diet a try.

If other weight loss diets out there tell you to stay away from fat, the flat belly diet actually encourages you to add fat to your every single meal. This is a good thing because fat makes everything taste better and satisfying.

But before you start stepping foot inside your favorite fast food joint which is where all the most fat-rich foods lurk, it’s important to note that the kind of fat encouraged by the diet for you to consume each time is the healthy kind.

 

Yes, there’s bad fat and there’s good fat — the bad kind contributes to weight gain and heart disease, while the good kind promotes a slimmer figure and better overall health.

If you’re familiar with the Mediterranean diet, then the flat belly diet won’t alienate you — it’s very much similar to it in that it also recommends a diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables, lean type of protein and also healthy fat.

Nuts, seeds, olive oil, fatty fish — these are some of the top sources of healthy fat. Needless to say, being on the flat belly diet requires you to add healthy fat to your diet each time in order for a flatter belly to be attained after 32 days.

Yes, the flat belly diet stretches for 32 long days. And after doing the diet correctly, you are also guaranteed to lose 15 pounds by the end of it.

Unlike most other weight loss diets out there, the flat belly diet actually encourages you to eat more than usual — you should have a meal after every 4 hours.

Clearly, being on the flat belly diet won’t leave you feeling deprived as you get to enjoy 4 meals a day. However, there is one very important thing about the flat belly diet that you need to keep in mind always: daily, you should not exceed the recommended amount of calories.

The flat belly diet is actually divided into 2 phases: the first phase lasts for 4 days, and the second phase lasts for 28 days.

During the first phase, your daily caloric intake should be limited to 1,200 only. And also, you have to avoid anything that contains sodium and has lots of carbohydrates. Processed and gas-forming foods are a no-no, too. The goal of the first phase of the flat belly diet is to eliminate bloating rapidly, which is something that can make your tummy protrude.

Fruits, vegetables (except for those that can make you gassy), chicken (with the skin removed) and fatty types of fish are allowed during the first phase. Of course the addition of healthy fat is highly encouraged.

After 4 days, the second phase begins. This raises your allowed daily intake of calories from 1,200 to 1,600. The types of foods that you may eat during the second phase of the flat belly diet are the very same ones that you are allowed to have in the first phase.

Everyone knows that there are a couple of very important components to weight loss: healthy eating and regular exercise. The flat belly diet requires you to eat healthily. It does not really encourage exercising on a regular basis, however. Despite of this, the official book of the flat belly diet includes workouts that promote faster flattening of the abdominal area.

It’s no secret that the Mediterranean diet is regarded by doctors as one of the healthiest diets on the face of the planet. Since the flat belly diet is pretty much similar to it, you can rest assured that it’s not just a smaller waistline that it can offer, but also an assortment of health perks.


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Health

Hepatitis A Causes and Symptoms

The Kashmir Monitor

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Generally speaking, hepatitis A is more common in parts of the planet that are developing. It’s for the fact that sanitation and food handling practices are by and large poor. However, medical experts say that living in developed countries can also put you at risk of having hepatitis A, but it’s really a rare occurrence.

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus or HAV. It can be spread around by someone who has hepatitis A because he or she is a carrier of the virus behind it. It is said that a person with hepatitis A is most infectious about 2 weeks before he or she begins to experience signs and symptoms.

Here are some of the ways that hepatitis A is spread around:

 

Consumption of food that is prepared by a person who has hepatitis A. This is most especially true if he or she has not properly washed his or her hands.

Drinking of water that is contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.

Intake of raw or undercooked seafood obtained from contaminated water.

Close contact with someone who has hepatitis A. This includes having sexual intercourse with an infected person, especially when the rectal or anal area has been touched with the fingers, mouth or tongue.

Using illegal drugs, especially when paraphernalia contaminated with the hepatitis A virus are used.

Symptoms

Medical experts say that it may take a while before the various signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A show up. They say that someone may experience them about 4 weeks after getting infected. It’s even possible for someone with hepatitis A to not experience any sign and symptom at all.

Some of the initial signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

Tiredness and malaise
Achy muscles and joints
Pain in the upper right section of the abdomen
Loss of appetite
Mild fever
Headaches
Sore throat
Diarrhea or constipation
Hives or raised rash that’s itchy

These initial signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A can last anywhere from a few days only to a couple of weeks. Afterwards, as the infection of the liver progresses, the following may be experienced by the individual:

Jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes (sclera)

Pale colored stools
Dark colored urine
Skin itching

Tenderness and swelling of the upper right section of the abdomen

Although it rarely happens, hepatitis A can cause liver failure. When such develops, the person who is infected may experience severe vomiting, frequent bruising, bleeding of the nose and gums, drowsiness and confusion.

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Health

Busting myths around blood donation

The Kashmir Monitor

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As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

Contrary to the myth about blood donations making a person weak or anaemic, the body replenishes the lost blood in a matter of a few days, say experts.

“A healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets, so there is no question of becoming weak, much less anaemic. It is a myth and should not deter people from donating blood,” says Dr RK Singal, chairman, internal medicine department, BLK super-speciality Hospital.

 

The donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components, as there is sophisticated equipment available these days that extract relevant components from blood and the rest of the blood can be transfused back to the donor.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

About 65% of India’s population is young and if this section donates blood regularly, chances of the country facing blood shortage will be remote. Hence, there is all the more reason for people, especially youngsters, to come forward and be regular blood donors.

How to prepare

Have enough fruit juice and water in the night and morning before you donate

Have a full meal 3 hours before donation; never on an empty stomach

Have some rest for about 10-15 minutes after donation

Have some snacks or a juice with high sugar content after donation

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Health

Erectile dysfunction’s connection with lifestyle

The Kashmir Monitor

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By Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal

healthy-lifestyle-can-reverse-effects-of-hypertensionAll over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED).

All over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). From my research, I have found a strong link between ED and stress. Other major causes include smoking, drinking, diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. My advice to these patients is — do not get even more stressed over this situation. Instead, focus on taking the right medication and making some changes to your lifestyle, so you can once again enjoy a satisfactory sexual life.

 

DIAGNOSIS OF ED

We normally diagnose ED and its underlying causes by asking the patient a few questions about his medical and sexual history. This is sometimes done by sharing a questionnaire with the patient. The questions that we ask are designed to help us understand the cause of ED in the particular patient.

We also do a physical exam, ask for certain blood tests to rule out other medical conditions responsible for erectile dysfunction, and recommend imaging tests (if required) to determine whether the person is physically able to have an erection or not.

SHORT-TERM SOLUTION, LONG-TERM CURE

Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels) can cause ED. In these cases, ED can be reversed once the patient starts treatment.

In my experience, many men suffer from ED because of work stress, family pressure and anxiety. So, changes in lifestyle with regular exercise, yoga, abstaining from alcohol and smoking, and proper counselling help in treating ED. Along with this, medicines for ED are usually prescribed for about 3 to 6 months by which time lifestyle changes start to take effect and the patient is physically and mentally healthier, which helps resolve the problem.

An estimated 16% to 25% of men experience ED at some point in their lives. I would urge them not to be embarrassed about it. Seek medical help from a urologist or andrologist; get the necessary advice/medication; and go on to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sexual life.

The author of this article is Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal, head, andrology, department of urology sciences, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket

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