Bacon, sausages and smoked meat are as bad for you as smoking, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). It placed cured and processed meats in the same category as asbestos, alcohol, arsenic and tobacco, due to its causal link with bowel cancer.
After deliberating for a year, experts from WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that each 50-gram (1.8-ounce) portion of processed meat eaten daily increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. WHO also ranked red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Eating red meat has been linked to pancreatic and prostate cancer.
Cancer Research UK analyses these figures further - Out of every 1000 people in the UK, about 61 will develop bowel cancer at some point in their lives. Those who eat the lowest amount of processed meat are likely to have a lower lifetime risk than the rest of the population (about 56 cases per 1000 low meat-eaters)... Among 1000 people who eat the most processed meat, you’d expect 66 to develop bowel cancer at some point in their lives – 10 more than the group who eat the least processed meat.
It doesn't matter whether the salami is organic, home-made or commercial, it's the processing of the meat, or chemicals naturally present within it, that increases cancer risk. For those of us enjoying the new fad in smoked meats and American BBQ meals, this comes as a great blow! So what should we do?
If you find it hard to give them up completely, the first step is to reduce the amount of processed meat you consume. Also, substitute other white meat or vegetable protein instead of processed or red meat. Hot-smoked salmon, for instance, is delicious! The rest is common sense: Eat plenty of fibre, fruit and vegetables, exercise, limit your alcohol intake, and don't smoke!
Being a hayfever sufferer, I almost broke down in tears of joy when I heard on the radio that a spoonful of locally-sourced honey could get rid of the sniffles. The idea behind it is sound - exposure to tiny bits of what you're allergic to may help reduce the severity of your allergic response. So, eating honey made by nearby bees, is said to give you a tiny dose of the pollen that your immune system can get used to.
Unfortunately, as sweet as it sounds, this story is a myth!
Not only is the amount of pollen in honey far too small to be significant, it's also the wrong type. Most people are allergic to pollen produced by trees, grasses and weeds, not pollen from sweet-smelling blooms. If you need some relief from hayfever but don't want to take antihistamines, speak to Lynne our naturopath for a more natural option.
A recent article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine compared the number of injuries between barefoot runners and those wearing regular running shoes. It is not clear from the abstract if the barefoot runners were wearing minimal, thin-soled running shoes or had no shoes at all. The results, gathered over a year, showed that the 107 barefoot runners in the study had fewer injuries overall, but had the same rate of injury as the 94 shod runners.
Barefoot runners tended to suffer from more calf injuries but fewer incidences of plantar fasciitis, knee and hip injuries than shod runners. If you are thinking of transitioning to barefoot running, the worst thing you can do is buy a pair of barefoot shoes and start pounding the pavement straightaway! You need to give your body time to readjust to how your sole lands and build up flexibility and strength in the lower legs.
UK barefoot running coach Lee Saxby. shares a few tips in this video. On a side note, I've been wearing barefoot casual shoes from Vivobarefoot for two years now and they are insanely comfy. We've got some discount vouchers for Simply Well patients, so just mention it to your practitioner if you want to check them out.
It's Mental Health Week here in Victoria, and it's a timely reminder that our mental states are just as important as our physical states. All of us have either suffered from mental illness ourselves or know someone close to us who has. Little steps go a long way, for instance, you can simply make a promise to yourself to improve your mental health, like getting more sleep, spending more time with family or being prepared to ask for help.
Remember, you're not alone.
All entries complied by osteopath Dr Wei Chua unless otherwise stated.