MINERAL WATER SAFETY
Question: The label on my brand of mineral water states: “Like other mineral waters, this should not be used as a sole source— of drinking water:” Is it safe to drink mineral water?
Answer: Yes, but not liberally. Unlike bottled still watery mineral water is not tested and regulated by the FDA. Most mineral waters contain dissolved solids, sometimes even small amounts of toxic minerals such as arsenic. A daily glass or two shouldn’t hurt you; but, as the label states, mineral water should not be your sole source of drinking water.
WATER AND DIETING
Question: Some diet programs have you drink 10 glasses of water a day. What’s the point?
Answer: The main reason is to prevent kidney stones. Very-low-calorie diet programs can break down the body’s protein stores, resulting in excess uric acid in the blood. When excreted in the urine, the excess acid can lead to kidney stones. Drinking large quantities of fluids dilutes the urine and lessens the likelihood of stones. In addition, drinking water frequently can stop hunger contractions of the stomach and create a temporary sensation of fullness.
Question: We recently moved to the country. Is well water automatically better for my family than city water, or can it be just as dangerous? Also, now that we’re not drinking fluoridated water, what should I do to keep my family’s teeth healthy?
Answer: Well water is by no means automatically safer than city water. In fact, for well-run city systems supplied by protected reservoirs, the reverse may be true.
The quality of well water depends on what’s in the underground aquifer from which it’s drawn. Among potential aquifer pollutants are septic-tank seepage, gasoline from leaking underground tanks, agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, road salt, and industrial wastes. To make certain your well is safe, have the water tested by a reputable laboratory. Your state health department might test your water for you or suggest a lab to do so. Also check with your local water authority to determine whether periodic testing is advisable.
Make sure the initial test covers fluoride, which occurs naturally in some well water. Children under 14 need fluoride to strengthen their developing teeth. If your water doesn’t have the optimal amount, your dentist or pediatrician can prescribe drops or chewable tablets. Using fluoridated toothpaste and fluoride rinses is sufficient to protect against tooth decay in most teenagers and adults.
CAN DIET SODAS ADD WEIGHT?
Question: I know diet sodas have few or no calories. But I seem to gain weight when I drink them. Could that be because they contain more sodium than regular soda and make me retain fluids?
Answer: Diet soda isn’t what’s making you gain weight. That comes from eating too much or exercising too little. Many diet sodas do have more sodium than regular soda does. A 12-ounce can of Diet 7-Up, for example, contains about 70 milligrams of sodium, whereas regular 7-Up has 32 milligrams.
But 70 milligrams isn’t a lot. Since American adults consume an average of 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, you’d have to guzzle lots of diet pop to boost your sodium intake significantly. Even if you did drink so much, the sodium wouldn’t make your body retain a noticeable amount of fluid unless you had heart or kidney problems. People on sodium-restricted diets, however, probably shouldn’t drink more than one or two cans of soda a day.
Question: How can a person lose fat from the lower abdomen when the rest of the body is relatively lean?
Answer: There’s no such thing as “spot reduction” exercises that zero in on fat in a specific area. When you work out, you use energy produced by burning fat from all over your body—not just around the muscles doing the most work. So aside from burning a few calories, all that exercises such as sit-ups do is strengthen your abdominal muscles and help hold your gut in.
However; studies do suggest that people losing weight— whether through any sort of exercise, calorie reduction, or both— tend to shed abdominal fat faster than fat from other parts of the body. That’s good news, not only for your appearance, but also for your health: Abdominal fat seems to pose a higher risk of coronary heart disease than fat deposited in other areas.
Question: What is the best way to control middle-age spread: diet, exercise, or both?
Answer: Both—including exercises to tone muscles and bum fat. People acquire body fat in two distinct patterns. In so-called middle-age spread, fat accumulates in a “spare tire” around the belly, giving you an apple shape. The other distribution is pear-shaped, with fat deposited around the hips rather than the waist. Men are most often “apples”; women, most often “pears.” Exercises that strengthen your stomach muscles, such as sit-ups, can help restrain a bulging belly. But they won’t reduce the amount of abdominal fat. The only way to take that fat off and keep it off is to eat fewer calories and do exercises like biking, jogging, swimming, and walking, which bum a lot of calories.
SKINNY PEOPLE, FATTY DIET
Question: Since I’m very thin and want to gain weight, I eat plenty of fatty foods. Will my low weight keep my blood-cholesterol levels down despite the high-fat diet?
Answer: No. A high-fat diet can increase blood-cholesterol levels in thin people as well as in heavy people. The body’s tendency to convert dietary fat into blood cholesterol is entirely separate from its tendency to deposit that fat on your waist or thighs. To try to gain weight, increase your consumption of a variety of foods, not just fatty ones. But remember that thin people can have just as much trouble gaining weight and keeping it on as most heavy people have losing weight and keeping it off.
WHY THIN PEOPLE DON’T GAIN
Question: Why do some people stay too thin even though they’re trying to gain weight?
Answer: Like their heavy counterparts, thin people seem to be programmed to remain close to a certain weight. They might be able to add pounds by cultivating patently unhealthy habits—avoiding exercise and gorging on high-calorie foods. But most thin people who tried to live that dieter’s dream would actually find it hard to stay underactive and over-indulgent. Eventually, they’d revert to their usual habits and usual weight.
Thin people do have another option: muscle-building exercises. But again, the extra weight will be lost if they stop pumping iron.
Health handbook introducing you to read the article: THYROID MEDICATION AND HEAT
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