Eat less meat without missing it; reverse p.m. slump – by MDs

reverse p.m. slump

 

By MICHAEL ROIZEN & MEHMET OZ, M.D.s

Dec. 21, 2008, 6:10PM

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Bob Fila McClatchy Tribune

Dry beans, peas and lentils are packed with soluble fiber that soaks up cholesterol and escorts it out of your body. Low in fat, legumes are loaded with protein and folate, a B vitamin that helps lower blood levels of a type of amino acid linked to heart disease and stroke.

 

Consider this: Dropping meat lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease — in fact, postmenopausal women who substituted vegetable protein for their usual red meat lowered their coronary-heart-disease death rates by a whopping 30 percent.

 

Here’s how you do it:

 

 

Go halfway: You don’t have to go cold, uh, tofu. Instead of nixing meat entirely, just choose appropriate portion sizes and low-fat cooking methods. A serving of meat is equal to 3 ounces, about the size of a deck of playing cards. Limit red meat to one serving per week.

Get all the nutrients: It’s easy to miss out on important dietary compounds when you cut back on a major food source. So when you trim the meat, fill the nutrition hole with enough protein, vitamins B-12 and D, calcium, iron and zinc. Get them with soy products such as tofu or soy burgers; legumes, lentils or garbanzo beans; low-fat dairy; dark-green, leafy vegetables; nuts; and whole grains. And add a vitamin supplement twice a day.

Reverse an afternoon slump

Scientists call it the postprandial dip, the post-lunch dip or the secondary sleep gate. You call it a face-plant in your keyboard in the middle of the afternoon. No matter how you refer to it, an afternoon slump rarely helps you get ahead. Compensate for it with these strategies:

• Make every meal count: Don’t blame lunch for heavy afternoon eyelids — the post-lunch dip can even hit people who skip that meal. Your energy level is affected by what you do or don’t eat the whole day long; try not to eat foods with added sugars, syrups or grain that is less than 100 percent whole.

•  Try a little caffeine: It helps you sustain afternoon attention, but beware: It also might keep you from going to bed, creating an even worse dip tomorrow morning.

•  Take a hike: Or just walk to lunch the long way. People in one study felt less afternoon fatigue on days when they worked out during lunch. Regular activity is key; one workout on one drowsy day won’t give you afternoon energy all month.

The best fix for serious wrinkles and other secrets

Q: Smoking for years left me with fine lines and deep wrinkles around my mouth. What moisturizer should I use to decrease them? Hrefna, Renton, Wash.

A: Even moisturizers packed with the antioxidant vitamins C and E can’t undo the damage from years of smoking. If you really want to minimize those grooves, here’s what to do:

Quit smoking! Cigarettes steal a gas called nitric oxide from your arteries. This gas gives skin some of its flexibility, so your looks suffer when it’s not around. After you quit, nitric oxide levels will return to normal, allowing your skin to regain some flexibility.

Get a prescription for tretinoin cream (Retin A): This cream can actually reverse wrinkles, increasing the skin’s stretchy fibers, rebuilding some damaged collagen and replenishing the skin’s natural moisturizer, hyaluronic acid.

• Get those wrinkles “filled”: An injectible filler — such as one using hyaluronic acid — will temporarily plump up the crevices.

• Get a heavy hitter: To erase lines permanently, you need a heavy hitter, such as laser resurfacing, which blasts away the top layers of skin.
 

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