Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Heart Disease Prevention - Excessive Salt Is Harmful Even Without Causing Hypertension

High intake of salt can, however, cause high blood pressure, which in turn would lead to other medical conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Recent study warned that even if one does not develop high blood pressure from consuming too much salt, his or her blood vessels, heart, kidney and brain might still be damaged. Find out more at:

Friday, July 22, 2016

How Is White Rice Linked To Diabetes?

Obesity and sugary drinks have long been accused as the major culprits of diabetes in the West. But several studies indicated that Asians are more predisposed to diabetes than Caucasians, and people do not have to be obese to be at risk. White rice, a staple of most Asian diets, has been identified as the cause.

White rice has high glycemic index (GI), meaning it can cause spikes in sugar levels, and heighten the risk of diabetes. In fact, a bowl of rice has more than twice the carbohydrate content compared to a can of soda drink.

GI is a measure of the extent to which a carbohydrate-containing food raises glucose levels in blood. The higher the GI, the more is the blood sugar produced leading to a sudden spike in glucose levels in the blood. This causes the pancreas to produce more insulin and such frequent spikes can lead to diabetes. Foods with lower GI, on the other hand, break down slower and they usually take longer to digest. A GI of 55 is considered low and better while a GI of 70 or more is considered high.

A meta-analysis of 4 major studies involving 352,384 people who were tracked for 4 to 22 years by Harvard School of Public Health reported that each plate of white rice eaten in a day, on a regular basis, raises the risk of diabetes by 11 percent in the overall population. Asians like Chinese had 4 servings a day of cooked rice as compared to Australians and Americans who just ate 5 times a week. The findings were published in March 2012 in the ‘British Medical Journal’.

Diabetes, if left uncontrolled, can lead to various medical conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, and gum disease. Diabetes can harm the nerve, too. As many as 70 percent of diabetics will get this kind of damage.

Nevertheless, there is no need for Asians to fully replace what they eat. Instead, they should turn to healthier varieties of rice like long grain white rice that is better than short grain white rice due to their lower glycemic index levels. Meanwhile, experts also suggest that 20 percent of brown rice could be mixed to white rice, which is sufficient to cut the risk of diabetes by 16 percent.

Since white rice is part of most Asian’s daily diet, majority of them are still unaware of the possible harmful effects of white rice and its potential in increasing the risk of diabetes. Increased awareness is definitely a necessity. Letting them know there is a need to choose healthier options, like eating foods with lower GI and controlling the portion size, may help them reduce the risk of diabetes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Heart Disease Prevention - Why Mediterranean Diet Is Healthy?

Mediterranean diet is the traditionally living habits of people from countries around the Mediterranean Sea, including Italy, France, Greece and Spain. Though Mediterranean cuisine may vary from region to region and has many definitions, it is basically based on vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, cereal grains, olive oil and fish. Some may even include red wine. But why is it healthy? Find out more at:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Heart Disease Prevention - Is Bubble Tea Linked To Diabetes?

Bubble tea, also called pearl tea or Boba, is a drink that is originated from Taiwan. It is made by mixing black tea with non-dairy creamer or milk and adding round pearl tapioca. It is not only high in calories but also high in sugar with about 30 to 40 grams per cup, or about 6 to 9 grams of sugar per 100 ml. So it is certainly a sugary drink. But is it linked to diabetes? Find out more at:

Friday, July 01, 2016

Would Rise Of Childhood Obesity Cause Higher Diabetes Rate?

On April 2, 2016, ‘The Lancet’ journal published an article indicating that the number of people globally with a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 has risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014. People who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of developing many health disorders as adults. These include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, joint problems, endometrial, and cancer.

Despite the fact that the percentage of obese individuals in Singapore is lower than that in other nations, its obesity rate is also on the rise. The last National Health Survey in 2010 found that 11 percent of Singaporean adults aged between 18 and 69 were obese, up from 7 percent in 2004.

Main reason for the obesity rate to rise at a faster rate in people below the age of 40 is that there is a big drop in physical activity when people start working. Most of them continue to eat the same amount of food, or even more as they have higher disposable income.

In January 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) also published a report stating that the number of fat children to increase from 42 million in 2013 to 70 million by 2025. WHO warns that obese infants and children are likely to continue being obese during adulthood. Obesity in schoolchildren in Singapore has risen from 11 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2014, while it was 10 percent in 2000.

Rising obesity in children and young adults will certainly push up the rate of diabetes in Singapore, who is already among the highest in the developed world. Based on projection, 34 percent of people aged between 24 and 35 this year will be expected to become diabetics by the time they are 65. In fact, diabetes rates have risen, from 8.6 percent of the adult population in 1992 to 11.3 percent in 2010, and this would have gone up to 12.9 percent in 2015.

According to The International Diabetes Federation’s estimate, there are 387 million diabetics globally, and just over 500,000 diabetic adults in Singapore in 2014. Its prevalence has grown from only 4.7 percent about 30 years ago to almost 13 percent of adults. The number will grow exponentially if no intervention has been done.

Fortunately, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) in Singapore has taken measures to curb the rise of childhood obesity. For instance, HPB has encouraged the stallholders in school canteens to use healthier ingredients, and sell drinks that meet the HPB’s reduced-sugar requirement.

Schoolchildren are now also eating more fruit and vegetables. In 2012, only 1 in 5 consumed at least 2 servings each of fruit and vegetables a day but almost half did so last year (2015). Almost half of the more than 6,000 overweight primary and secondary school children who took part in the programs were able to bring their weight down to a healthy level.