Tag: Health

What makes chocolate chip cookies so addictive?

(CNN)When I reflect on my childhood baking memories, one that stands out is a tray of warm chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven. It was so tempting to eat the raw dough while making them — talk about a lesson in delayed gratification — but in 20 or so minutes, delicious buttery, sugary cookies dotted with chocolate chips would be ready to enjoy.

Never mind fancy desserts; chocolate chip cookies have always been one of my favorite treats. And if you are like me and find them irresistible, you probably can’t stop after a few bites.
“Even today, after eating and living with them for 40 years, I still can’t stop eating them,” said Kathleen King, founder of Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, New York, and creator of the top-rated chocolate chip cookie according to Consumer Reports. “I am either eating no cookies, or I am eating several. I can’t have one.”
    But what exactly makes chocolate chip cookies so universally craved in the first place?

    The emotional attachment to chocolate chip cookies

    “I think a lot of it has to do with the connection to our past, whether it was a grandmother, a mother, a place visited, a summer home or family time. It’s also usually the first cookie every child learned how to make, and so I think there’s a tremendous emotional attachment and remembrance with the chocolate chip cookie,” King said. “Lifestyles are changing, but that connection is still hanging on.”
    Eating chocolate chip cookies can be associated with a range of emotions. “If I’m celebrating, I can have a couple of cookies, but if I’m sad, I want 10 cookies,” she said. “While the cookie is in your mouth, that moment is happiness — and then it’s gone, and you’re sad again, and you have another one.”
    The happiness that comes from sharing homemade chocolate chip cookies cannot be underestimated. King, who started baking chocolate chip cookies and selling them when she was 11 years old, said her biggest motivator for baking them was the joy they brought other people. “That really made me happy — and probably, a lot of people that bake will say the same thing: Sharing [chocolate chip cookies] makes people happy.”

    Addictive ingredients

    Aside from the emotional comfort that chocolate chip cookies may provide, there may be scientific explanations for why we salivate for them. Some research suggests that ingredients in chocolate chip cookies may have additive properties. Take sugar: Evidence in humans shows that sugar and sweetness can induce rewards and cravings comparable in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs, including cocaine.
    A traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for ¾ cup of granulated sugar and ¾ cup of brown sugar, yielding 10 grams, or 2.5 teaspoons, of sugar per cookie.
    Then there’s the chocolate, which, in addition to sugar, contains small amounts of a compound known as anandamide. Interestingly, anandamide is also a brain chemical that targets the same cell receptors as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana that is responsible for its mood-altering effects. That’s not to say chocolate will produce the same “high” as marijuana, but there may be a chemical basis for the pleasure we get from eating chocolate.
    According to Gary Wenk, director of neuroscience undergraduate programs at the Ohio State University and author of “Your Brain on Food,” high-fat, sugar-rich cookies will raise the level of anandamide in our brains independent of what’s in the cookie, because it’s our body’s response to eating such a tasty item. “The fat and sugar combine to induce our addiction as much as does the anandamide,” Wenk said. “It’s a triple play of delight.”

    Texture and flavor: Key to a cookie’s addictive characteristics

    All of this science may sound intriguing, but the simplest explanation for why chocolate chip cookies are so delectable may have to do with the mix of ingredients that combine in a way that appeals to our senses.
    “A chocolate chip cookie is a brilliant contrast among the flavors and among the textures,” said Gail Vance Civille, founder and president of Sensory Spectrum, a consulting firm that helps companies learn how sensory cues drive consumer perceptions of products.
    The flavor of chocolate chip cookies, according to Civille, is “a beautiful amalgam of caramelized butter and sugar,” the result of the browning of butter and caramelizing of sugar while it bakes. The combination of the toasted grain with the browned butter, caramelized sugar, vanilla and chocolate are “the beautiful rich flavors that blend together in a chocolate chip cookie,” she said. And as the chocolate melts, it becomes more aromatic and punches up the flavor.
    It sounds counterintuitive, but salt is important too, even in sweet treats. “It is what adds interest to food, even if it’s a sweet food, because it makes the sugar and other ingredients taste better and come together better,” Civille said. “A pinch of salt in cookies really makes a difference, and it enhances sweetness a little bit.”
    King noted that “with Tate’s, we were the first to do the thin and crisp, which is kind of an addictive mouthfeel, and we were also the first to do a little bit heaver on the salt. People don’t even put salt in cookies, but [without salt], it tastes flat.”
    Other secrets to making delicious chocolate chip cookies include using butter instead of shortening or margarine; brown sugar, which has a molasses-like quality to it; and pure vanilla, according to King. A high-quality flour and a really good chocolate chip are also important.
    The texture of chocolate chip cookies also plays a big role in their appeal. “Just on the texture side, [the chocolate chip cookie] has a lot going for it,” Civille said.
    “Every bite will be interesting. … You will hit the cookie, which has crispness due to air pockets in the cookie crumb, and then the chocolate, which is dense and uniform when you bite through it. It’s like a symphony orchestra playing together. … It’s very harmonious,” she said.
    One of the simplest ways to test whether the flavor and texture of chocolate chip cookies are “addictive enough” is to observe people eating them.
    “When I would create any product, if I put it out as a sample to my staff and if I didn’t watch them unconsciously go back and take some more, then I felt it wasn’t good enough. There’s a lot of good, but I didn’t want good. I wanted that addictive thing,” King said.

    Personal preferences

    Although there are some universally appealing qualities of chocolate chip cookies that make them so addictive, specific preferences may vary from person to person. One may crave chocolate chip cookies that are soft and gooey; another may long for crispy, crunchy cookies.
    Most people prefer semisweet chips, which have a soft melting quality that can lend itself to a more addictive mouthfeel with the crunchy caramelized cookie, according to King. But some may opt for milk chocolate, and others may like the taste of bittersweet chocolate in their cookies.
    The optimal ratio of chocolate chips to cookie is also a personal preference. “I’ll put a bag on the table, and my husband will turn them over and look for the least amount of chips, but I’ll look for the most,” King said.

    A happy indulgence

    Whatever one’s individual chocolate chip cookie preference — or “addiction” — it’s fair to say that these beloved cookies can have a place in a balanced diet, as long as you are willing to keep portions in check.

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    “The main thing is not to think of food as good food and bad food. It’s all good. It’s how much you eat of it,” King said. “I used to be overweight, and I had that in my mind, if I ate a cookie, that was bad and now the day is ruined, instead of just, ‘that’s cool.’ “
    So whether it feels like a true “addiction” or not, indulging in a chocolate chip cookie or two should be a happy experience.
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    Obesity now linked to 12 different cancers

    Earlier studies found links between excess body mass and seven different cancers, but new evidence has found five more

    Obesity is linked to as many as 12 different forms of cancer, according to a major new report which advises giving up bacon and swapping sugary drinks for water as part of a 10-point plan for avoiding the disease.

    Up to 40% of cancers are preventable, says the World Cancer Research Fund, launching its updated report on the reasons for the global spread. While smoking is still the biggest cause of cancer, WCRF says obesity will overtake it within a couple of decades in countries like the UK. The fund advises that our unhealthy modern lifestyle and the promotion of junk food has to end if people are to avoid the disease.

    Watching screens, whether computers at work or the TV at home, is bad for adults and children because it is sedentary. Physical activity, including walking, is protective. Processed meats and too much red meat are linked to bowel and other forms of cancer. Sugary drinks cause people to put on weight. Alcohol is also calorific and linked to bowel, breast, liver, mouth and throat, oesophagus and stomach cancers.

    Ten years ago, WCRF identified links between obesity and seven cancers. Today, the evidence shows links to 12, says the report presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna. They are cancers of the liver, ovary, prostate (advanced), stomach, mouth and throat, bowel, breast (post-menopause), gallbladder, kidney, oesophagus, pancreas and womb.

    It is impossible to work out how many cancer-free years a better lifestyle could buy people, says WCRF, but a spokesperson said we do know that around 40% of cancer cases are preventable and that eating a healthy diet, being more active each day and maintaining a healthy weight are after not smoking the most important ways you can reduce your cancer risk.

    WCRF says one in six deaths globally are already caused by cancer. As more countries adopt western lifestyles, moving less and eating more junk food, the number of new cases of cancer is expected to rise. At the current rate, the number of cases around the world will increase by 58%, reaching 24m per year by 2035. The global cost of cancer, it says, is projected to be an astonishing US$458bn by 2030.

    It is the whole diet that matters not just giving up sugars or salami. WCRF recommends that people cut down on fast and processed convenience foods. In February the Guardian revealed that more than half the UK diet was made up of ultra-processed foods.

    Our research shows its unlikely that specific foods or nutrients are important single factors in causing or protecting against cancer, said Dr Kate Allen, WCRFs executive director of science and public affairs.

    Rather, different patterns of diet and physical activity throughout life combine to make you more or less susceptible to cancer. Our cancer prevention recommendations work together as a blueprint to beat cancer that people can trust, because they are based on evidence that has now proved consistent for decades.

    This is the third expert report on global cancer prevention that WCRF has published the others were in 1997 and 2007.

    Individuals can help reduce their cancer risk by living a healthy life, but governments have a responsibility too, it says. Public health policies and regulations that reduce the advertising and marketing and discounting of junk and processed foods and make it easier to walk, cycle and be active are vital, the report says.

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    Prof Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UKs prevention expert, said: This report supports what we already know the key to cutting cancer risk is through our way of life. Not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating and drinking healthily and getting more active all helps. A bacon butty or glass of wine every so often isnt anything to worry about, its the things you do every day that matter most. Building small changes into your daily life, like choosing sugar-free drinks or walking more, can add up to a big difference for your health. She also called on the government to act to curb junk food marketing.

    Quick guide

    WCRF’s 10-point plan for avoiding cancer

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    • Keep your weight within the healthy range and do not put on the pounds in adult life
    • Be physically active
    • Eat a diet rich in wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and beans
    • Limit fast and processed foods high in sugar, salt and fat
    • Limit red and processed meats – for processed meat like bacon and salami the evidence is very strong. Red meat should not be consumed more than three times a week
    • Limit sugar-sweetened drinks
    • Limit alcohol – to prevent cancer it is best not to drink
    • Do not consume food supplements – get your vitamins and minerals from healthy foods
    • Breastfeed babies if you can – good for the mother and child
    • After a cancer diagnosis, follow the WCRF recommendations if you can

     

     

     

     

     

    Thank you for your feedback.

     

     

     

    The WCRF has launched an online cancer health check tool to allow people to assess their own lifestyle and risk.

    A separate presentation at the conference suggests that obesity plays a part in malignant melanoma a form of skin cancer that is the fifth most common in the UK, causing 2,000 deaths a year. Magdalena Taube and colleagues at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have shown that obese people who undergo stomach-shrinking bariatric surgery and lose a quarter of their weight have a dramatically decreased risk of the cancer.

    The data showing a 61% drop in risk came from the long-running 4,000-strong Swedish Obese Subjects study, with follow-up of 20 years. Half had bariatric surgery and half did not. Our study indicates it is not the sun exposure, said Taube. It is the obesity that drives this melanoma. The subjects are all Swedish residents who do not have a great deal of sun exposure.

    Taube also cites a study in the US of war veterans, in which black subjects had a higher rate of malignant melanoma than those with more sun-susceptible white skins. One possibility, she said, is that this is a different type of melanoma which is not affected by the suns radiation.

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    ‘I had this time-bomb inside me’ – BBC News

    Image copyright Helga MacFarlane
    Image caption Helga Macfarlane was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, (HCM)

    Helga Macfarlane says she is “horrified” to think that she was unknowingly living with a faulty gene that put her at high risk of coronary heart disease or sudden death.

    The 52-year-old, from Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, seemed to be fit and healthy all her life and took part in numerous sports, including squash and running.

    Ms Macfarlane was diagnosed last year with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, (HCM), which is an inherited condition.

    Her diagnosis came almost 20 years after a brief episode of irregular heart rhythm in her 30s, the cause of which was not found.

    “In hindsight it absolutely frightened me that I had run and played squash and I had this time-bomb inside me,” she told BBC Scotland.

     

     

    Image copyright Helga Macfarlane
    Image caption Helga’s son Murray was tested for the faulty gene

     

    According to new research from the British Heart Foundation, more than 50,000 Scots are thought to be carrying a faulty gene that puts them at high risk of heart disease.

    The majority of those affected are undiagnosed and unaware that they may be at risk of a sudden heart attack.

    Each week in the UK about 12 seemingly healthy people aged 35 or under are victims of sudden cardiac death with no explanation.

    Ms Macfarlane says she had first noticed irregular heart beats and palpitations when she was in her 30s but nothing was found.

    “Then in my mid-40s I started getting more severe palpitations, light-headedness and I passed out a couple of times,” she says.

    “I was referred back to the cardiology department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, who did various tests and echo scans, ultrasounds, a treadmill test and they could not find anything at all.

    “There was certainly nothing lifestyle related like blocked arteries or anything so it was a bit of a mystery.”

    Ms Macfarlane says she was “starting to feel like I was some kind of hypochondriac” but doctors persevered with their tests.

    Cardiac defibrillator

    Eventually she was fitted with a reveal monitor, which was implanted into her body for two years.

    “For 18 months it didn’t pick up anything,” she says.

    “Then in the last six months it picked up what’s called tachycardia, which is a very fast heart beat.

    “They were able to analyse this and see that it was something a bit sinister.”

    Another episode of fainting last June led to an MRI scan which showed that the wall of her left ventricle, which is the lower chamber of the heart, was thickened.

    That suggested the possibility of an inherited heart condition.

    She was sent for a gene test which gave the positive result.

    Ms Macfarlane says that her father had died of a heart condition but doctors could not tell from his notes whether he had carried the faulty gene.

    They also tested Ms MacFarlane’s son and her brother to see if they had the gene. Both tested negative.

    As a result of her diagnosis, Ms Macfarlane was fitted with a cardiac defibrillator.

    She says: “That gave me a complete new lease of life because I had lost all my confidence, knowing that I had the condition that could possibly lead to sudden cardiac death.

    “The cardiac defibrillator constantly monitors my heart and if the rhythm goes off or my heart stops for any reason it will kick in and I am extremely lucky to have that.”

    ‘People just have less time now’: is the Mediterranean diet dying out?

    Parents and experts in southern Europe digest the WHOs warning this week on fast food

    Possible suspects in the demise of the Mediterranean diet are not hard to find in the food court of Plenilunio, a giant mall not far from Madrid airport that offers customers 138 shops, a multiscreen cinema and dozens of restaurants.

    If visitors are not in the mood for a McDonalds, Burger King or Subway, theres a KFC, a kebab restaurant, a noodle place, a sandwich bar, a tex-mex joint, a US-style diner or two Italian chains. Steak lovers can choose between Argentinian, Brazilian or American options, while a lone outlet meekly peddles healthy Asian food.

    Conspicuous by their absence barring a couple of tapas restaurants are places offering the kind of traditional Spanish food that forms part of the celebrated Mediterranean diet.

    This week the World Health Organization said the fabled healthy way of eating was dead, as far as children in Spain, Italy and Greece were concerned. Fruit, vegetables, fish and olive oil had given way to sweets, fizzy drinks and junk food, leaving more than 40% of nine-year-olds in those countries overweight or obese.

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    The Mediterranean diet for the children in these countries is gone, said Dr Joo Breda, head of the WHOs European office for prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases. There is no Mediterranean diet any more.

    Bredas lament met with a little scepticism from Mara Reguera, who was sitting in the food court at Plenilunio with her parents and three-year-old daughter. I dont think its so much of a problem because if you look at the nurseries and schools, they teach children about good habits like eating fruit and vegetables, she said. People just use places like this at the weekends or for after-school snacks. I still cook at home and Im not worried.

    Her mother, Cristina Rojo, said social changes had brought about a break with past conventions. I think the problem is that young people work nowadays and they have less time to cook, she said. Before, women werent working and they had more time to cook. People just have less time now. They just do whats easiest.

    Despite that, said Rojo, home-cooked weekend lunches were still a sacred part of Spanish life.

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    This Is What Kourtney Kardashian Eats To Stay Healthy

     
    I’ll be totally honest that I don’t exactly Keep Up with the Kardashians, but like, I hate-stalk Kylie with every fiber of my being, so that’s got to count for something. But in terms of the OG Kardashian sisters, I don’t know a whole lot about them, other than what I gather from other Betches articles. Like, Kim is the vain one (I am the Kim of my family), Khloé is the funny one, and Kourtney is the healthy one who like, cares a lot about eating organic and gluten-free shit. Right? I think I’ve got the bases covered. And given that Kourtney is also the hottest one (don’t fight me on this; her face has changed the least over the years compared to her sisters), it’s understandable why people would want to know what Kourtney Kardashian eats. How does she look better at age 38 with three kids than I do after a good week where I stick to my diet and fitness regimen? I mean, probably because she has a very expensive plastic surgeon personal trainer and her livelihood literally depends on her having a desirable physique. But other than that, her diet probably plays a role. So what does Kourtney Kardashian eat to stay skinny? Let’s investigate. Diet-Banners-250x250

    On Kourtney’s members-only website (who is paying for this?), she revealed some key ingredients she swears by. As we all know, Kourtney went gluten- and dairy-free last spring, but she also has a serious sweet tooth, because LOL! She’s just so relatable. Kourtney previously told that she uses gluten-free flours like almond and sweet rice flour. Groundbreaking stuff. She also uses lots of coconut products like coconut oil and coconut flour. Apparently, behind the paywall on Kourtney’s website, you can find recipes for some of her fave coconut recipes, like coconut macaroons and pudding. And that’s how she sticks to her diet while still “indulging” in bootleg desserts that sound gross. IDK, I feel like if you’re about to go bake a cake out of coconut flour, you should either just make a regular fucking cake or eat some fruit. It’s like Ron Swanson says: Don’t half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.

    If there are people out there who are really paying to see Kourtney Kardashian’s coconut macaroon recipe, please comment below because I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.

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    Is Alzheimer’s disease preventable?

    Atlanta (CNN)There is no test doctors can use to conclusively determine whether someone will get Alzheimer’s disease. “If you are in your 20s or 30s and want to know if you will get the disease, we don’t have information to determine that now,” said Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer’s Association.

    Programming note: Join CNN anchors and correspondents for “Champions for Change,” as they get involved in important causes, ask questions and share what they’ve discovered, Saturday, June 23 at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. This story was first published in 2015.
    One thing everyone agrees on: There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease. “We don’t know the exact cause of Alzheimer’s, we have hints and some pieces of information,” Snyder said. One thing that is known, if you have a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, with the disease, you are at an increased risk. “But that is by no means definitive that you will get the disease,” she said.
    Snyder also points out that Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and, she said, “the only one in the top 10 that we don’t have a way to stop or slow or prevent.”
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    For more about inspiring people and causes, including how CNN anchors and correspondents are getting involved, go to CNN.com/Champions.

    That could be on the verge of changing. Doctors at three U.S. medical centers are gathering as much information as they can about patients and using it to give them an early intervention plan to slow or prevent the disease, even though it’s not known whether the patient will actually get it.

    Personal and professional

    Dr. Richard Isaacson’s interest in Alzheimer’s disease is personal and professional.
    When he was a child, his great Uncle, known as a crotchety, old, senile man, had Alzheimer’s, although they didn’t know it then. When he was in high school his Uncle Bob was diagnosed. As a neurologist specializing in the field, he has been involved in the care of two family members and describes it as “intense.”
    He hears the same from family members in his practice, which was part of his motivation to start the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. The clinic offers care to patients who want to reduce their risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
    “My perfect patient is someone like me,” he said, meaning a person with a family history of Alzheimer’s but no symptoms, although he notes he’s not a patient just yet. The treatment is based on the premise that Alzheimer’s starts 20 to 30 years before there are signs or symptoms. Research shows that one in three cases of Alzheimer’s is preventable.
    Isaacson’s youngest patient is 27, with parents who have Alzheimer’s, and his oldest is 91, with siblings who have the disease. Most of the patients are children of someone with the disease. But everyone is at risk and age is the biggest factor. That could explain the eight-month waiting list to get an appointment.
    “I’m not a magician. I’m doing the best I can based on science now,” Isaacson said.
    He said he spends hours, not minutes, with each patient, assessing cognitive performance (on paper and on a computer). Lab work is done to check cholesterol, inflammation and metabolic markers, as well as others. A physical assessment is also done for body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio. All are factors that could increase a patient’s risk.
    Patients leave with recommendations for stress reduction, sleep management, exercise and sometimes medication, both prescription and over the counter (such as vitamins). Education is also a big part of the process, including an online program called Alzheimer’s Universe, which offers short courses on Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment. Patients return for follow-up every six months.
    “We basically suggest risk factor modification and follow them over time to see if their risk factors improve. The Holy Grail is to look if their cognitive function stabilizes or declines,” Isaacson said.

      Alzheimer’s researcher talks about his life’s work

    In Los Angeles, Dr. Dean Sherzai is also personally invested in the disease. His aunt died earlier this month from Alzheimer’s and he has lost three grandparents to the disease. This propelled him to the helm of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Cedars Sinai.
    Patients are assessed by genetic factors, blood tests and imaging (using a retinal scanner to look for amyloid protein accumulation in the eye). The focus is on lifestyle (i.e. music exposure, word games), nutrition, physical activity and socialization. These measures have shown that they can delay the progression of the disease.
    Sherzai is also doing research treating patients early with a diabetes drug to target insulin resistance in the brain, and an inflammatory drug used to treat multiple sclerosis. Early intervention is key. “I think we fail good studies because we are doing it too late,” he said.

    Risk assessment

    At the University of Alabama at Birmingham Alzheimer’s Risk Assessment and Intervention Program, if you are between 45 and 65 you can get an assessment and walk away with a numerical estimate of your chances for developing dementia within the next 20 years. Patients over age 65 can get that estimate narrowed down to a six-year window.
    Neurologist Dr. David Geldmacher, the program’s director, said he is not misleading patients. He gives estimates based on published studies. “I am careful to say I can’t make a specific calculation for any one individual but I can say people with this profile have this risk, you may vary but this is where you would fit in if you were part of these studies,” he said he tells patients.
    That’s why he doesn’t see younger patients. “Fourty-five is just too far away to get quantifiable risk measurements,” he said.
    The assessment starts with an initial screening over the phone. Then he takes a detailed clinical history focusing on risk factors that could be indicators of dementia, including education, history of anesthesia and brain injury. Those who have had none or very little memory change over the past five years are invited to join. Those with more memory change are referred elsewhere. He conducts an assessment of thinking and function. Patients then undergo an MRI to measure the degree of brain atrophy and ischemic change, both of which are predictors for memory loss within the next five to six years.
    He gives patients a plan with targets that include weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and exercise: the modifiable behaviors that researchers believe can lower risk. “We can’t change our genes and we can’t change our birthday but we can modify some factors, including blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight (obesity), alcohol intake, and those are primary factors that people can change themselves,” Geldmacher said.
    That difference can be significant. Geldmacher has a hypothetical model patient made up of two women in their early 50s that he uses for an example. Based on her profile, he explained, she has a 4% risk of developing dementia in the next 20 years, but if she modifies just one behavior, that risk drops to 2% and if she improves three risk factors she would have just a 1% chance, he said, noting that she can theoretically drop her dementia risk by 75% just by changing preventable behaviors.
    Patients walk away with a plan and no follow-up. If symptoms begin, they can return. The program has been open for a year. So far, no patient has returned, but Geldmacher said if they do, the plan can be modified and goals can be reset.

    Good for your health

    These programs are designed around scientific evidence, offering patients a possible chance to change the course of their future by delaying the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It’s no guarantee, which is why Isaacson pointed out that some people do everything right and still get the disease. “It’s all about winning the tug of war against your genes,” he said.
    That is why the Alzheimer’s Association created a list of 10 things that are good for your brain and good for your health. It’s possible these are also beneficial at slowing or preventing Alzheimer’s or related dementia. Tips include getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising a few times a week and not smoking. They also encourage enrollment in a clinical trial. The association website can help direct and connect people with research going on in their area.
    So, while there is no treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s, it’s possible an ounce of prevention could go a long way. “Taking care of yourself when you are 50 can make a big difference when you are 70, not just for heart attack and stroke but for Alzheimer’s and dementia as well,” Geldmacher said.
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    300lbs Woman Reveals What 3 Years Of Workout Did To Her Body, And Her Transformation Photos Are Unbelievable

    At 22 years old, Laura Micetich AKA ‘The Iron Giantess’ weighed over 300lbs and was facing a raft of health issues including hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure and prediabetes. She realised that without a radical change in diet and lifestyle, her precious youth would be lost already and she was facing a short and difficult life.

     

     

    “I decided to take charge of my life and make a change,” she said. “After trying and failing to get a handle on my health numerous times, my weight had become a serious enough concern that I was considering weight loss surgery.”

    However, she instead began to go down to her local gym, where she quickly found an affinity with lifting weights. So much so, that it became clear that surgery wasn’t going to be necessary at all. “What initially began because of consideration for weight loss surgery quickly grew into an intense love of health, fitness and nutrition,” she writes on her website. “I started by going to the gym, lifting weights and eating a clean diet tailored to my body’s needs. It only took a few weeks for me to realize that I didn’t need to go under the knife. I needed to get under the bar.”

    “In the first year, I shed more than 100 pounds without surgery and significantly changed my unhealthy habits. I am now health issue free and my life has changed for the better with the simple realization that what we want and what we do are completely in our own control.”

    It all sounds so simple doesn’t it? While there are a billion techniques, fad diets, pills, nutrition plans and other methods out there, Laura’s story proves that a little discipline, hard work and common sense can produce amazing results. “I just adjusted my diet. I ate lots of clean foods and removed all starches and processed sugars. I stopped eating out. I stopped getting takeout. I stopped buying junk at the grocery store. I stopped having alcoholic drinks with friends. I stopped binging on crap. That was it.”

    Combined with the new found routine and discipline that lifting weights at the gym offered her, Laura saw the pounds begin to shed rapidly with none of excess skin that many other rapid weight loss diets tend to leave behind. What began as a weight loss journey has become a life long passion for Laura, and she shares her results and tips on Instagram where she has over 330,000 followers.

    Scroll down below to check out how she did it for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!

     

    “I grew up heavy. I also grew up a ball buster. So there was no chance I was going to admit I was insecure about my appearance”

     

     

    “I played it cool and a lot of people bought it. After finally having time to think about who I wanted to be, I decided to make a change”

     

     

     

     

    In 2014 Laura weighed over 300 pounds and that’s when she decided she wanted to change

     

     

    It all started with the barbell. “I fell in love with weightlifting and that changed the game for me”

     

     

    “It only took a few weeks for me to realize that I didn’t need to go under the knife. I needed to get under the bar”

     

     

    “I started weight training almost daily, spending hours in the gym and studying research and scientific findings relating to health, fitness, and nutrition”

    Related : The product that helps you reach your weight loss goals 

     

     

    “In the first year, I shed more than 100 pounds without surgery and significantly changed my unhealthy habits”

     

     

    “I just adjusted my diet. I ate lots of clean foods and removed all starches and processed sugars”

     

     

     

    Image credits: theirongiantess

    “I stopped eating out. I stopped getting takeout. I stopped buying junk at the grocery store”

     

     

    “I stopped having alcoholic drinks with friends. I stopped binging on crap. That was it”

     

     

    “This is my heaviest – over 300lbs in 2014. My thinnest – at 180 in May 2017. My current  at about 195”

     

     

    “Every single day”

     

     

    “There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now”

     

     

    “I am now health issue free and my life has changed for the better with the simple realization that what we want and what we do are completely in our own control”

     

     

    More than 330k people follow Laura on Instagram looking for inspiration and advice

     

     

    She also likes to motivate her followers with beautiful inspirational messages:

     

     

    “If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit”

     

     

    “With patience, age, and a little self-love, your smile won’t quite catch on your insecurities the same way it once did. Give it time..”

     

     

     “You’re not too old. It’s not too late”

     

     

     “It’s hard. It’s worth it”

     

     

    “You are who you choose to be”