Sit Less Often to Reduce Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Levels

Sit Less Often To Reduce Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Levels

Even if you exercise regularly at the gym or on your at-home weight bench, sitting for prolonged periods of time can still lead to increased blood sugar and cholesterol levels, concludes a new study published July 31 in the European Heart Journal.

The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study used activity monitors to track the length of time 789 participants spent sitting or lying down, standing, walking, and running during their day. Monitors were worn and data was compiled for a full seven days – 24 hours a day. They were also measured for vital statistics including blood pressure, height, weight, and waist circumference. Blood samples were also taken. Participants included both men and women ranging in age from 36 to 80.

Researchers discovered that substituting just two hours of sitting with standing per day was associated with a reduction of average triglycerides by 11 percent and a two percent reduction in blood sugar levels. A drop in bad cholesterol, or LDL and an increase in good cholesterol, or HDL, was also associated with increased standing vs. sitting.

Lead author, senior research fellow at the University of Queensland in Herston Genevieve Healy, said that merely substituting some sitting time with standing could benefit your heart, blood sugar levels, fats in the blood and cholesterol levels – even your metabolism. In fact, two hours of walking or running instead of sitting was also associated with an approximate three-inch decrease in waist size and an 11 percent decrease in average body mass.

So even if you play by the rules with a dedicated strength training and cardio routine, be mindful of your activities during the hours in-between. Avoid long periods of sitting by walking or standing whenever possible to break-up long sedentary stretches.

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Ground Turkey vs. Ground Beef

In a recent article, Medical News Today discussed the nutritional benefits and other interesting information about turkey. The article on turkey consumption noted that even though the holiday season sees the most turkey consumed, it has also become a popular everyday sandwich meat and is now used more frequently as a ground beef alternative. It’s becoming the norm for recipes to feature turkey meatballs, turkey burgers, turkey fried rice and even turkey meatloaf as a substitute for ground beef.

If you live in the United States it should be no surprise to learn that the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of turkey meat. In fact, the U.S. produces around 2.5 million tons of turkey per year. If you take a look at all the countries in the EU combined, you’ll find that they only produce a mere 1.75 million tons.

The article also included a section on what kind of turkey you should buy and mentions potential health risks from consuming turkey.

Let’s Talk Turkey!

Here’s a brief summary of the article’s findings on the breakdown of turkey and a few other considerations you may be interested in when planning your meals this holiday season or just simply considering adding more turkey into your diet.

The USDA National Nutrient database shows the following information about turkey breast: 3 ounces (85 grams) of turkey, breast, from whole bird, non-enhanced, meat only, roasted, contains 125 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrate (0 grams of sugar and 0 grams of fiber) and 26 grams of protein.

It then goes on to note that the same amount of dark turkey meat (85 grams), roasted, contains 147 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrate (0 grams of sugar and 0 grams of fiber) and 24 grams of protein.

As a side note, turkey does contain vitamins B-6, B-12, niacin, choline, selenium and zinc. Dark turkey meat usually contains more vitamins and minerals, but also has more fat and calories.

How does ground beef compare to ground turkey?

There is an argument that ground turkey can come close to the calorie/fat numbers as ground beef. This argument actually has merit if you look at the labels on ground beef vs. ground turkey. In fact, turkey can rate worse for those who are used to cooking with the leanest ground beef.

On his website, Dr. Gourmet, Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, answers the question of ground beef vs. ground turkey with a comparison of Butterball turkey and ground beef.

  • (4 oz) 90/10 ground beef = 197 calories, 22.4 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat
  • (4 oz) Butterball ground turkey = 230 calories, 17 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat

In this case, turkey did not come out as the healthier option. Still, Harlan noted “ground turkey can be leaner but it depends on what you purchase and where it comes from. There’s a wide variety of results when I look at different packages.” He also went on to say that looking for good quality ground turkey breasts or dark meat can save a lot of fat and calories. One good trick is to purchase boneless, skinless turkey breast and grind it yourself using a food processor. It takes only a few pulses and you have a great product.

The bottom line? Turkey breast contains less fat and calories than most other cuts of meat, but don’t assume that just because a meal is made from turkey that it is better or healthier for you. As an example, a burger cooked with ground turkey can easily hold as much saturated fat as a beef burger. It depends on how much dark meat is included in the ground turkey.

Interested in trying a few recipes made with turkey? Here are a few recipes to check out, followed by an interesting infographic on turkey.

Turkey Mini Meat Loaves

Barbeque Turkey Burgers

Curry Turkey Salad

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

Roasted Turkey Breast with Glazed Vegetables

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The Anatomy of Walking

We all know that walking can have great benefits when it comes to your health and fitness.  Here’s a cool infographic from Everybody Walk! The Movement to Get America Moving.

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10 Easy Homemade Soups

As we head into winter, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of soup to nourish and bring comfort. Articles with information or food news are great but there’s just something inviting about a colorful infographic.  Here’s 10 easy to make soups compliments of Shape magazine.

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Taking Steps for Holidays, Health and Humor

by Clarissa Mayse, Social Media Director, Walkingspree

It’s Cyber Monday and people everywhere are recovering from Black Friday and the holiday weekend in the United States. This week’s “Move!”will focus on ways to increase your steps during the holidays. Take a moment to strap on your wearable fitness device and think of all the ways you can be active during the holidays.  Just take 5 minutes out of your life to jot them down. It could be the beginning of a lifelong habit that increases your life span, improves your health, triggers that weight loss you’ve been wanting to work on for the last few years, improves your focus, heart health and beyond.

Mall and Store Walking.  Be Intentional.

The holidays are a busier time than usual.  Parents are walking a lot more while looking for Christmas gifts.  Often this means visiting multiple toy and game stores.  If you aren’t searching for children’s gifts, you’re traipsing through the mall with your friends after work in the evenings.  This means extra steps. Take the time to be intentional about noticing your steps taken. If it’s more than you’ve taken in some time, stop and really FOCUS on how cool that is! It’s a big deal. This is your health. This is your personal wellbeing. Notice your small steps because they lead to big accomplishments.

Make Standing in Line Fun and Funny

It’s possible you are the person who stands in lines for hours before stores open to make sure you get that ONE thing for your loved one. March or jog in place. If you are with a friend, take turns walking in circles around each other. You’ll log more steps, you’ll laugh and make memories. Especially if you get dizzy and trip. So, be careful!

Ways to Log Your Steps if You Hate Shopping

Yes, it’s true. There are those of us who do not like the malls. We aren’t Scrooge. Still, overfilled parking lots and insane drivers cause us to say more than just “Bah, Humbug!”  Throngs of people shoving to get somewhere, crazy traffic, and long lines make us want to run screaming from the store while we pull our hair and froth at the mouth. We do not get all happy at the thought of being a new type of “first responders.”  You know who they are: the people who get there first so they can video other people pulling each other’s hair and slugging each other in the nose on Black Friday. Let it be said; we hope the police Taser everyone stupid enough to go shopping on Black Friday. Alrighty then… we should be excused from extra walking, right? Guess what? You may think that because you go shopping on Amazon, Groupon, and various online stores to avoid the craziness, there’s no need to strap on your fitness wearable. Think again. Don’t be tempted to sit down when you could be working on your wellness in such an easy way. Take your iPad, tablet or laptop to the gym and put it on the treadmill or elliptical while you browse those stores. You’ll save money when you put your ideas on hold until you get finished walking and come up with better ones while you think. Trust us, this works!

Other ways to get more steps in…

Don’t Fight for a Parking Spot

That’s right. I know it goes against the grain but just give up the fight for that prime parking spot and go to the back of the parking lot and walk. You’ll get more steps and spend less time in the parking lot, less time in the stores.  Plus, if it’s cold outside, you’ll probably burn more calories because you’ll walk faster.

Grocery Store Cover Ops

Don’t forget, you still have to go to the grocery store for holiday meals.  You’ll probably have to do some fancy moves with the grocery cart to cut that other lady off before she gets to that empty check out line before you – that’s an extra 30 steps right there! And don’t forget, you and your bags will have to play human “Frogger” to get to your vehicle once you’re out the door.  Crazy drivers will be vying for your parking place so be careful out there.

Lose Your Tail

Have you seen those movies or television shows where someone is being followed by someone else in a car and they try to lose them? Well, this is a tip for those of us who are playful in errant ways. Parking lots get crazy at Christmas time. You’ll see cars stalking you as you walk to yours. They want your parking spot. You need to increase your steps. Why not take the long way to your car? Weave in and out of those parked cars. Remember that your car isn’t on this row, it’s on the other you just passed. Giggle when your stalker has to figure out to turn around. Yes, it’s kind of mean. But, hey, they should have parked at the back of the parking lot anyway, which is where you are now headed.

Remember, it’s the little things that count. So, put on your wearable fitness device and take that next step to a better you and remember to laugh a lot and have fun.

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