Sunday, April 30, 2006

Oatmeal Benefits To Cholesterol Watchers And Weight Watchers

Oatmeal, or porridge if you live outside the US or Canada, play a major role in our modern diet yet few seem to know the true health benefits it gives. Oatmeal provides two of the required three daily servings of whole grains required in a healthy and balanced diet and this alone should help convince you to use it.However there is an added bonus because oatmeal (porridge) is the only whole grain recognized by the US FDA to help reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Can't you imagine all the Scots jumping in the air, waving their Sporrans in glee telling the world: "We told you so!!!" (Sorry I can't type in a Scottish accent.)

There is also a school of thought that claims that by eating filling foods in the morning you actually suppress appetite later in the day and this makes oatmeal an ideal breakfast for weight-watchers. Research clearly indicates:

*People who eat breakfast, like a bowl of oatmeal for instance,tend to weigh less than those who skip it.

*Adults that eat cereals, cooked or cold, have a lower body mass index than those who eat a combinations of meat and eggs, or those who skip breakfast altogether.

On the subject of healthy eating and weight control - don't forget that you need seven daily servings minimum of fruit and vegetables to maintain health. Again this is also good advice to weight watchers.

The biggest problem you are likely to face if you are trying to lose weight is serving sizes. I've lost count of the number of weight watchers who have told me that they follow a strict diet regime but never seem to lose weight, then they serve themselves at least double recommended serving sizes. Hey it doesn't work that way. Serving sizes are the biggest problem that most weight watchers must contend with and when they come to terms with serving sizes they not only start losing weight they keep it off too.

Quaker has recently introduced Weight Control instant oatmeal,no doubt there are equivalents in all parts of the world and you can get some good tips at:

You can also find a free weight control program at:

Sometimes all it takes is a change in your daily habits to
regain health.


David McCarthy is webmaster of a
website dedicated to freely sharing knowledge about food,
recipes, healthy eating and weight control.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

6 Signs and Symptoms of Folic Acid Deficiency

Folic Acid is an essential nutrient that is required for your
body to achieve or maintain optimal health. It is important for
everything from cardiovascular to central nervous system health.
Folic Acid, also known as vitamin B9, is part of the B-Complex
group of vitamins, and deficiency of Folic Acid is the most
common deficiency of any of the B-vitamins. Folic Acid also
works along with vitamin B-12 for the important task of forming
red blood cells which carry oxygen to all of your body's cells.

Some of the signs and symptoms of Folic Acid deficiency you
would want to be aware of would include:

*Depression- Because folic acid is such an important part in
your central nervous system health, if you are deficient you may
experience symptoms such as fatigue, depression or forgetfulness

*Irritability- Again associated with your central nervous system
health. People that are deficient in Folic Acid often feel
irritable and tense.

*High Homocysteine Levels- Working along with other B-Complex
Vitamins, folic acid works to lower homocysteine levels. People
with high homocysteine levels have been shown to have an
increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks
and strokes.

*Birth Defects and Miscarriage- Folic acid is critical in the
development of your fetus. Neural Tube Defects are a devastating
result of folic acid deficiency that will affect your child for
the rest of its life. It is important that all women that are
pregnant or trying to get pregnant take a folic acid supplement.

*Potential Involvement With Some Cancers- Some cancers have been
associated with abnormally low levels of folic acid.

*Losses of Appetite or Diarrhea- Many different vitamin
deficiencies have been linked to gastrointestinal problems.

It is very important to identify potential causes of a folic
acid deficiency so they can be corrected!

Is your diet complete with foods that are rich in folic acid,
such as spinach and other green leafy vegetables, soybeans,
salmon, or orange juice?

Are you taking any prescription or over the counter drug that
has been shown to either lower folic acid levels, or increase
your bodies need for folic acid such as oral contraceptives,
aspirin or other NSAIDS, antacids, Zantac, Prilosec, Prevacid or

If you want to learn more about why your body needs folic acid
to maintain health please visit:

If you would like to learn more about other medications that
have the potential to put you at risk of other vitamin and
mineral deficiencies please visit:

Don Ford, MD


C. Donald Ford, MD, Diplomate of the American Board Internal
Medicine. Dr. Ford has practiced general internal medicine for
the past 22 years. He is a native Texan and trained at Baylor
University, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston,
and Scott and White in Temple. He is a Clinical Assistant
professor at Baylor College of Medicine.