Jun 222015
 
Fruit made of marzipan

Fruit made of marzipan

If you find yourself feeling confused by the many and contradictory messages about food and diet and supplements, you’re not alone. It’s a maze!

Believe it or not, medical students do get training in nutrition. Here are some general guidelines to help you figure out the weird and wacky world of food and supplements today!

1. Eat as broad a variety as you can. Include as many vegetables and fruit as you can. It doesn’t need to be fresh vegetables. They can be frozen or canned, or even processed. But the variety helps you get vitamins and minerals, and is tasty too.

2. Don’t bother with organic. There’s no nutritional difference or health benefit. You’re better off saving the money and using it to buy more vegetables.

3. Be reasonable with salt and fat. Don’t go on a very low salt/fat or very high salt/fat diet. Your body needs both, but too much of either may increase your risk of heart disease.

4. Unless you’ve been told otherwise by your doctor, don’t take multivitamins, vitamins, or supplements. Not even antioxidants! They don’t do healthy people much if any good, and may cause harm. Exceptions to this rule include calcium for women who don’t get enough calcium in their diet and iron/folic supplements for pregnant women to prevent anemia and birth defects.

5. Eat less and move more. You don’t need to run a marathon unless you want to. But moderate exercise is definitely good. So is being a “normal” (not overweight, obese, or underweight) weight.

6. Try eating less meat. Eating lots of meat is associated with cardiac disease. Try eating a little less and getting your protein from lentils, beans, tofu, nuts, dairy, or plain ol’ whole wheat. Besides, meat is expensive.

7. Ignore fads. Yes, this includes low-carb, high-carb, low-fat, high-fat, no-gluten, many food intolerances…and the list goes on!

8. Tell your doctor about your nutrition and if you take any supplements, including herbs. Some foods may interact with your medications (grapefruit is notorious for this). If you’re trying to change a habit for the better, consider mentioning it to them. They may know some resources that would help.

Got any more? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!!

Aug 062013
 

CC BY-NC 2.0 - flickr user springfieldhomerTime for the monthly summary of the latest gender and sexual minority, and sexuality, related news!

  • The American Heart Association released a consensus that physicians should counsel people about resuming sex after a heart-related illness (e.g., heart attack, stroke, pacemaker installation). Apparently physicians have not be doing that. Oops! More information here.
  • Risk factors for developing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) after exposure to a traumatic event have been further explored in adolescents. 61% of teens in this study were exposed to a potentialy traumatic event, but only 4.7% of the teens in the study actually developed PTSD. Risk factors included: previous diagnosis of a mood or anxiety disorder, being female, and the type of event. Interpersonal traumatic events (e.g., being raped or assaulted by another person) were associated with a higher risk of PTSD. Why bring this study up? Because GSM youth are at high risk for traumatic events! More info.
  • Virginia Johnson passed away due to natural causes. She was one half of the Masters and Johnson team that did pioneering work on sexuality in the 1960s. Condolences to her friends, family and loved ones. More info.
  • The X chromosome may have a role in sperm production. Not at all surprised by this – after all, the idea of the X chromosome as the “female” chromosome and the Y chromosome as the “male” chromosome are based in human perception, not pure biology. More info.
  • Female survivors of childhood sexual abuse may benefit from writing about their experiences. A study found that female survivors who specifically wrote about how the abuse changed the way they thought about sex had improved sex lives. Abstract.
  • PSA, prostate-specific antigen, may be useful as an indicator of testosterone level. While PSA’s usefulness as a screening tool for prostate cancer is still under debate, this other use is an interesting idea. It’s not currently in use for detecting low levels of testosterone, but it might be in the future. Cool! Abstract.
  • The average penis size has been determined. Again. Sorta. This study was internet, self-report based. So who really knows? This study reports that the average erect penis is 14.15 cm (5.57 in) long with a 12.23 cm (4.81) circumference. The racial makeup and age of the sample was not reported in the abstract. Abstract.
  • Sex addiction does not appear to be an addiction, according to a study out of UCLA. Interesting and not altogether surprising. Press release.
May 022013
 

 

CC BY-NC 2.0 - flickr - Jonathan Gill Summary of some of the interesting news bits from April 2013.

  • Researchers in Sweden find that early vaccinations against HPV are more effective than late vaccinations (93% effective before 14 years, 76% after 14 years and before 20 years). Abstract. Open Source Full Text.
  • Despite low risk of side effects and mild side effects, fewer U.S. parents were less likely to vaccinate against HPV in 2010 than in 2008 (43.9% unwilling to vaccinate in 2010 vs 39.8% unwilling in 2008). AbstractOpen Source Full Text.
  • Anal cancer rates have dramatically increased since 1973. Abstract.
  • Roughly 3/4ths of men who show “hypersexual” behavior report being distressed by it or having functional problems. Slightly more than half have relationship problems. Abstract.
  • Attitudes about female circumcisions have been assessed via Facebook in the “Middle East”. Female circumcision is done by doctors about half of the time, and was more common in rural areas than urban areas. Nearly half of the sample indicated that female circumcision was “necessary” or “very necessary.” Abstract.
  • Persistant genital arousal disorder may be caused by a mass, according to a recent case study.
  • In women with menstrual cycles, estrogen may have a delayed positive effect on libido. Progesterone may have a negative effect on libido. News article.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice has issued new guidelines for medical examinations after a rape. These guidelines now emphasize the survivor’s emotional and physical needs over any forensic needs. News articleGuidelines.
  • Recent cases of meningitis in gay men raised concerns that gay men may be at risk. After analysis the cases appear not to have been related. Gay men who have been sexually active in or around New York City since September 1st are still advised to get a meningitis vaccine to be on the safe side. News article.

Why the flower picture? It’s a tongue-in-cheek reference to the “flower of the month.” Besides, it’s pretty!

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

Hope you all had a lovely month!