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Arghhhhh….Stress!!! How To Handle?

Stress can be defined as the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. Even positive life changes such as a promotion, a mortgage, or the birth of a child produce stress.(1)

The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between stressors. As a result, the person becomes overworked, and stress-related tension builds. The body’s autonomic nervous system has a built-in stress response that causes physiological changes to allow the body to combat stressful situations. This stress response, also known as the “fight or flight response”, is activated in case of an emergency. However, this response can become chronically activated during prolonged periods of stress. Prolonged activation of the stress response causes wear and tear on the body – both physical and emotional.(2)

 

Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress – a negative stress reaction. Distress can disturb the body’s internal balance or equilibrium, leading to physical symptoms such as headaches, an upset stomachelevated blood pressurechest painsexual dysfunction, and problems sleeping. Emotional problems can also result from distress. These problems include depressionpanic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases. Stress is linked to 6 of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.(3)

 

Stress also becomes harmful when people engage in the compulsive use of substances or behaviors to try to relieve their stress. These substances or behaviors include food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling, sex, shopping, and the Internet. Rather than relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances and compulsive behaviors tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems. The distressed person becomes trapped in a vicious circle.

 

It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about your stress level. The bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will be never be more hours in the day for all you errands, and your career or family responsibility will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control that you might think. In fact, managing stress is all about taking charge of your thoughts, your emotion, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationship, relaxation, and fun plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. (4)

 

Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s your procrastination, rather that the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.

 

To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

 

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”)
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

 

Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.




Stress management strategy #1: Avoid unnecessary stress

 

Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.

 

  • Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them.
  • Avoid people who stress you out.
  • Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off. If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route.
  • Avoid hot-button topics – If you get upset over religion or politics, cross them off your conversation list.
  • Pare down your to-do list – Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks

 

Stress management strategy #2: Alter the situation

 

If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Figure out what you can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.

 

  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way.
  • Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same.
  • Be more assertive. Don’t take a backseat in your own life. Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them
  • Manage your time better. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress


Stress management strategy #3: Adapt to the stressor

 

If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.

 

  • Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective
  • Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation.
  • Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress.
  • Focus on the positive. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts.

 

Stress management strategy #4: Accept the things you can’t change

 

Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.

 

  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people.
  • Look for the upside. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist.
  • Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes

 

Stress management strategy #5: Make time for fun and relaxation

 

Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.

 

Healthy ways to relax and recharge

  • Go for a walk.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Call a good friend.
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Take a long bath.
  • Light scented candles
  • Savour a warm cup of coffee or tea.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Work in your garden.
  • Get a massage.
  • Curl up with a good book.
  • Listen to music.
  • Watch a comedy

 

Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.

 

  • Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule.
  • Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life.
  • Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.
  • Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself


Stress management strategy #6: Adopt a healthy lifestyle

 

You can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health.

 

  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress
  • Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat.
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary “highs” caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary.
  • Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body.

 

Reference


  1. Robinson, L., Smith, M. and Segal, R., 2011. Stress Management: How To Reduce, Prevent, And Cope With Stress | Brainline. [online] BrainLine. Available at: <https://www.brainline.org/article/stress-management-how-reduce-prevent-and-cope-stress> [Accessed 15 April 2020].
  2. National Institute of Mental Health. Fact sheet on stress Accessed 12/9/2014.
  3. American Psychological Association. Stress: the different kinds of stress Accessed 12/9/2014.
  4. Office on Women’s Health. Stress and your health fact sheet Accessed 12/9/2014

COVID19 – Masa Untuk Berhenti Merokok!

Pertubuhan Kesihatan Dunia (WHO) telah mewartakan bahawa merokok merupakan risiko yang spesifik bagi mendapatkan COVID19 (1,2). Hal ini adalah kerana, merokok merupakan penyebab kepada komplikasi sistem pernafasan dan organ badan yang lain. Justeru itu, jika virus korona ini menyerang tubuh badan individu yang merokok, peratus untuk individu tersebut pulih lebih rendah berbanding dengan individu yang tidak merokok manakala peratus untuk individu tersebut untuk mengalami kegagalan paru – paru yang serius pula adalah tinggi.

Umum mengetahui, COVID19 adalah virus yang menyerang sistem pernafasan, jadi, individu yang merokok atau yang mempunyai masalah pernafasan dan/atau sakit – sakit kronik yang lain seperti masalah jantung, buah pinggang, kencing manis dan lain -lain jika terdedah kepada virus ini, mempunyai sebanyak 80.7% lebih risiko untuk terdedah kepada kematian berbanding individu yang tidak menghidapi penyakit kronik (3).

 

Statistik juga menunjukkan bahawa, warga emas yang berusia 60 tahun ke atas mempunyai 62.6% risiko terdedah kepada kematian jika terdedah kepada virus ini berbanding individu yang di bawah usia 60 tahun (3). Lebih menakutkan lagi, jika individu yang berusia 60 tahun ke atas, dan mempunyai sejarah penyakit kronik terdedah kepada virus ini, risiko menghadapi kematian adalah sangat tinggi berbanding dengan individu yang yang berusia kurang dari 60 tahun dan tidak mempunyai sejarah  penyakit kronik.

 

Tabiat merokok itu sendiri yang menyebabkan individu  berisiko terdedah kepada pelbagai jenis komplikasi kesihatan, akan tetapi sebelum ini mungkin perokok menghadapi kesukaran untuk berhenti merokok disebabkan faktor rakan sekeliling, tekanan kerja dan sebagainya. Akan tetapi oleh keranan dunia diancam dengan wabak COVID19, individu yang merokok mempunyai lebih sebab untuk berhenti merokok kerana anda mempunya risiko yang lebih tinggi terdedah kematian jika terdedah kepada virus ini.

Antara cara untuk berhenti merokok, yang telah dikumpulkan oleh Pengkalan Data Cochchrane Edisi Istimewa, mengenai cara – cara berhenti merokok adalah dengan menggunakan terapi kombinasi, iaitu penggunaan ubat dan juga sokongan moral (4).

 

 

Penggunaan Ubat – Ubatan seperti Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) telah digunakan sebagai salah satu cara untuk berhenti merokok sekian lama. Terapi ini adalah bagi tujuan untuk menggantikan kebergantungan perokok kepada nikotin dan seterusnya menggurangkan motivasi perokok untuk terus merokok. Ia juga membantu mengawal kesan sampingan akibat berhenti rokok/ kurang merokok (4).

 

 

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) ini memberikan nikotin dalam dos yang rendah kepada perokok tanpa apa apa bahan merbahaya yang lain seperti yang terdapat di dalam rokok. Terdapat pelbagai jenis Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) dipasaran, iaitu sama ada dengan menggunakan  gula getah nikotin (nicotine gum), ‘nicotine inhaler’, ‘nicotine lozenge’, ‘nicotine patch’ atau ‘nicotine nasal spray’. Kesemua jenis produk ini mempunyai dos, cara, dan kekuatan yang berbeza (5).

 

 

Produk bagi terapi nikotin telah direka dengan pelbagai jenis mekanisma untuk penyerapan dan perembesan nikotin di dalam badan. Sebagai contoh bagi gula getah nikotin, inhaler nikotin, lozenge nikotin dan nasal spray nikotin, ia memberi kesan kepada otak dengan lebih cepat berbanding nicotine patch akan tetapi mempunyai  proses perembesan yang lebih lambat  berbanding merokok (5). Nicotine patch pula merembeskan nikotin dos secara perlahan – lahan dan secara pasif, oleh kerana itu terapi  nicotin patch biasanya digunakan bersama produk yang lain.


Kepelbagaian produk bagi membantu perokok berhenti merokok memberikan perokok beberapa pilihan untuk berhenti merokok dengan kaedah yang paling sesuai, berdasarkan kekerapan perokok merokok dan kebergantungan perokok kepada rokok tersebut (4,5). Kesemua produk ini berkesan jika digunakan mengikut kesesuaian terhadap tahap aktiviti merokok seseorang individu. (5).

 

Selain daripada penggunaan ubat – ubatan, terdapat beberapa langkah yang biasanya disyorkan oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM), iaitu yang pertama ialah dengan membaca atau mendapatkan informasi mengenai bahaya rokok dari sumber yang sahih, berkenaan bahaya merokok dan kelebihan berhenti merokok.

 

Terdapat banyak kelebihan berhenti merokok kerana merokok memberi banyak keburukan kepada diri sendiri dan orang sekeliling terutama ahli keluarga, sebagai contoh kanak – kanak yang selalu terdedah kepada asap rokok atau asap rokok basi akan lebih sering sakit seperti batuk – batuk, selsema serta jangkitan telinga, hidung dan tekak. Merokok juga boleh membuatkan paru – paru lemah dan penyakit seperti asma (6).

 

Selain daripada aspek kesihatan bagi orang yang tersayang, merokok juga boleh menyebabkan anda mendapat pelbagai jenis penyakit seperti, kanser paru – paru,  penyakit paru – paru yang kronik, strok dan ulser di bahagian bawah lapisan kulit perut. Individu yang merokok juga mengikut statistik mati lebih awal, kerana statistik menunjukan satu dari dua orang perokok mati disebabkan penyakit berkaitan merokok (6).

 

Tabiat berhenti merokok juga dapat menjimatkan wang, labur wang anda berbanding membeli rokok sebagai contoh

Wang untuk membeli rokok = RM5.00/sehari

Sebulan = RM 150.00

Setahun = RM 1800.00

 

Jika anda melabur untuk 10 tahun, anda sudah mempunyai RM18,000.00 dalam akaun simpanan anda) (6).

 

 

Selain, Ia juga dapat melindungi alam sekitar – Puntung rokok dibuang oleh perokok boleh menyebabkan kebakaran (6).

 

 

Terdapat pelbagai kaedah untuk berhenti merokok. Faktor yang paling penting adalah keinginan anda untuk menjadikannya satu kenyataan. Mula dengan menetapkan tarikh untuk berhenti merokok dan pastikan tarikh tersebut boleh dicapai. Dalam pada masa yang sama, anda mesti yakin dengan keupayaan diri untuk berhenti merokok. Katakan pada diri anda “saya bukan perokok” Ulang beberapa kali sehingga menjadi semangat untuk berhenti merokok. Sentiasa berfikiran positif dan dapatkan sokongan daripada orang sekeliling.

 

Teknik berhenti merokok yang paling selalu digunakan dan disyorkan oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) ialah dengan mengamalkan Teknik 12M (6).

 

1. Melengah – lengahkan

Sebagai contoh jika anda terasa seperti mahu merokok, lengah – lengahkan tabiat tersebut seperti  tunggu 5 minit atau katakan kepada diri sendiri sebentar lagi “saya akan merokok”.

 

2. Menarik Nafas Panjang

Tarik nafas 3 kali secara perlahan-lahan. Ulangi perkara yang sama sehingga hilang rasa untuk merokok.

 

3. Minum air

Anda juga boleh mencuba untuk minum air masak bagi mengalihkan perhatian anda dari tertumpu kepada ketagihan rokok.

 

4. Menyibukan diri

Buat sesuatu bagi mengalih fikiran untuk melupakan rokok. Buat perkara yang dapat mengalihkan tumpuan anda seperti bersenam atau bermain permainan video.

 

5. Menjauhkan diri daripada individu yang merokok

Oleh kerana  musim PKP ini adalah masa yang terbaik untuk berhenti merokok. Anda boleh menjauhkan diri anda dari rakan – rakan dan ahli keluarga yang merokok, gunakan masa yang ada untuk bersama keluarga tersayang.

 

6. Mengelakkan diri daripada suasana atau situasi yang mendorong kepada merokok

Seperti keadaan berseorangan tanpa berbuat apa – apa (keadaan bosan) atau keadaan tertekan.

 

7. Mengunyah sesuatu seperti gula getah atau buah-buahan.

Mengunyah dapat membuatkan rongga mulut sibuk dan mengalihkan perhatian dari ketagihan rokok. Elakkan makanan yang manis kerana ia memberi risiko kepada penyakit – penyakit kronik yang lain pula.

 

8. Membasuh tangan selalu

Membasuh tangan dengan kerap juga dapat menghilangkan ketagihan kerana kita telah mengalihkan perhatian kita daripada keinginan untuk merokok.

 

9. Mandi dengan kerap

Mandi dengan kerap menyebabkan badan menjadi segar dan dapat melupakan ketagihan yang di alami, seketika.

 

10. Meregangkan otot

Senaman yang atau regangan otot apabila ketagihan untuk merokok datang dapat menghindarkan diri dari merokok.

 

11. Meditasi

Meditasi menyebabkan kita ingat kembali sebab – sebab untuk kita berhenti merokok dan boleh membangkitkan kembali semangat kita untuk berhenti merokok.

 

12. Memohon doa

 

Memohon doa agar rasa ketagihan dihilangkan dan dipermudahkan urusan untuk berhenti merokok seperti dihindarkan dari perkara – perkara yang boleh menyebabkan keinginan untuk merokok untuk kembali.

 

Selain daripada Langkah – Langkah yang telah disyorkan anda juga boleh mendapatkan maklumat yang lebih lanjut di laman sesawang KKM. Terdapat banyak bahan – bahan rujukan cara untuk berhenti merokok yang boleh di muat turun di laman sesawang yang sahih seperti di Portal MyHealth Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM)(5). Selain dari bahan – bahan sokongan yang boleh di muat turun, terdapat juga nombor QuitLine yang boleh dihubungi di nombor 03-88834400 bagi keterangan lanjut mengenai cara berhenti merokok dari kaunselor berhenti merokok atau layari laman web jomquit.moh.gov.my (4,5).

 

Rujukan

  1. The Star. Stub It Out Now, Smoking and Added Health Risk for COVID19. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/13/effective-ways-exist-to-quit-smoking-while-under-mco (Diakses 17 April 2020).
  2. The Star. Smokers face high infection rate. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/13/smokers-face-higher-infection-risk (Diakses 17 April 2020).
  3. Ketua Pengarah Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). From the desk of the Director General of Health Malaysia. https://kpkesihatan.com/2020/04/16/kenyataan-akhbar-16-april-2020-situasi-semasa-jangkitan-penyakit-coronavirus-2019-covid-19-di-malaysia/ (Diakses 17 April 2020)
  4. Cochrane. COVID-19 Resources. https://www.cochrane.org/news/special-collection-effective-options-quitting-smoking-during-covid-19 (Diakses 17 April 2020)
  5. Portal Rasmi My Health Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/nicotine-replacement-therapy-nrt/ (Diakses 17 April 2020)
  6. Info Sihat. Bahagian Pendidikan Kesihatan. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). https://www.infosihat.gov.my/index.php/isu-semasa/42-tips-berhenti-merokok (Diakses 17 April 2020)

The Cause of Death in Malaysia

Death is something that is so mysterious and remain uncovered until today. World Health Organization (WHO) stated in 2016, the average lifespan of a human is 72 years (1). The life expectancy for Malaysia in 2019 was 76.07 years, while the current life expectancy for Malaysia in 2020 is 76.22 years, a 0.19% increase from 2019 (2). Hence, what are the factors that influence the number of life expectancy in Malaysia? We will discuss about The Causes of Death in Malaysia 2019.



Based on the statistic provided by Department of Statistic Malaysia on 30th October 2019, Ischaemic heart disease is the main cause of death for both male and female (15.6%) (3). Ischaemic heart disease can be defined as heart problem caused by narrowed heart arteries. When arteries are narrowed, less blood oxygen reaches the heart muscle. This is also commonly known as coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease. This can ultimately lead to heart attack (4).



The statistic is then followed by Pneumonia (15.6%) (3). Pneumonia is an infection that inflames tha air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms including bacteria, viruses and fungi can cause pneumonia. Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. It is most serious for infants and young children, people older than age 65 and people with health problems or weakened immune systems (5).



The third cause of death in Malaysia is cerebrovascular diseases (3). The word cerebrovascular is made up of two part – “cerebro” which refers to large part of the brain while “vascular” means arteries and veins. Together, the word cerebrovascular refers to blood flow in the brain. Cerebrovascular disease includes all disorders in which an area of the brain is temporarily or permanently affected by ischemia or bleeding and one or more of the cerebral blood vessels are involved in the pathological process. Cerebrovascular disease includes stroke, carotid stenosis, vertebral stenosis and intracranial stenosis, aneurysms, and vascular malformations (6).


Surprisingly, transport accident took only 3.7% of the total (3). However, there has been no change in the Malaysian fatality rate for transport accident since 2007. The Global Status Report on Road Safety published by the WHO and the World Bank in December 2018 reported that Malaysia had 7152 death in 2016 which 87% were males and 13% females. More than half of all road traffic deaths are motorcyclists. A study of motorcycle fatalities reported that majority were rider (89%), aged 16 to 20 years (22.5%) (7).

 

The last common cause of death in Malaysia is Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (3). Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (CLRD). CLRD comprises three major disease which are chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma, that are all characterized by shortness of breath caused by airway obstruction. The obstruction is irreversible in chronic bronchitis and emphysema, reversible in asthma. Chronic bronchitis is characterized by a productive cough occurring most days of the month for a least three months of the year for two consecutive years. Emphysema is characterized by abnormal permanent enlargement of the air spaces at the ends of the bronchioles, accompanied by the destruction of their walls. Most emphysema is caused by smoking. However, there is almost half of the patient of emphysema have an inherited condition known as alpha-1 antitrypsin (ATT) deficiency. ATT is a protein produced by the liver which can be deactivated by cigarette smoke. ATT normally works to inhibit the enzyme elastase which acts to destroy a protein called elastin. Elastin forms the underlying structure of the lungs and gives the air sacs their vital ability to stretch and recoil after filling with air. As elastin is destroyed, alveoli wall can break down, forming large, permanent distended air sacs (8).




From the statistics mentioned above, we can conclude that among the common causes of death, diseases took a major part of it. Hence, Malaysian should take a wise step in order to make a breakthrough on our average life span. Health problem is something we can take control over it by changing our lifestyle. Moreover, what we eat do matters too. Have you heard about ‘What you eat is what you become’? Take care of your health starting today by changing your eating habit.

 

 

References

 

  1. World Health Organization. 2020. Life Expectancy. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/gho/mortality_burden_disease/life_tables/situation_trends/en/> [Accessed 17 April 2020].
  2. DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS MALAYSIA, 2019. STATISTICS ON CAUSES OF DEATH, MALAYSIA, 2019. [online] Available at: <https://dosm.gov.my/v1/index.php?r=column/pdfPrev&id=RUxlSDNkcnRVazJnakNCNVN2VGgrdz09> [Accessed 17 April 2020].

Get your Facts on Fiber!

“Eat more vegetables and fruits to get your fiber!” You may have heard these words. But what is fiber, really? How it works to improve our health? Let us take a closer look on it!

 

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our body cannot digest undigested. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules but fiber cannot be broken down into sugar and thus it will pass through our body. These carbohydrates often considered beneficial in which mostly come from fruits, vegetables and legumes (1, 3, 6).

 

Fiber comes in two varieties, both beneficial to health (3):

 

Soluble fiber

 

Dissolves in water; absorb water to form a gel like substance that slow the digestion and cause you to feel full. They have been shown to decrease cholesterol and lower blood glucose. Common source of soluble fiber includes beans, oat bran, fruits and vegetables. It is also found in pysllium, a common fiber supplement.

 

Insoluble fiber

 

Does not dissolve in water; Increase fecal bulk and appear to help food pass more quickly through the digestive tract so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation and irregular stools.

 

 

 Facts About Fiber (3,4)

 

#1 Fiber aids in achieving healthy weight.

 

#2 Fiber fight diseases. It appears to reduce risk of developing various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, constipation and breast cancer.

 

#3 Fiber helps to lower cholesterol.

 

#4 Fiber helps to regulate blood glucose.

 

#5 Recommended dietary fiber intake per day for all age group is 20-30g/day. However, if a person is not currently eating enough of fiber, he or she should increase his or her fiber intake slowly  to avoid gas and bloating.

 


#6 More fiber needs more water. When eating a high fiber diet, be sure to drink at least eight or more glasses of water every day.

 

#7 Fiber aids in improving digestion by increasing stool bulk and regularity. A high-fiber diet may help reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.

 

#8 Too much fiber is a bad thing. You may experience abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, constipation and even diarrhea.

 

#9 Fruit and vegetable peels are rich in several nutrients including fiber. Eating unpeeled fruits and vegetables keep you feel full longer due to its high fiber content. However, certain fruit and vegetable peels may be hard to consume or simply inedible. These peels are best removed and not eaten.

 

#10 Fruits and vegetable juice has less fiber than whole fruits and vegetable. This is because the skin is removed and thus it is more healthful to eat whole fruit and vegetable.

 

#11 Fiber cannot be cooked out.

 

Tips to Increase fiber intake (5,7)

 

Consume products that have whole grain listed as the first ingredients, high fiber content and low fat and sugar content.

 

Replace white rice, bread and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products.

 


Include legumes in your diet (beans, dried peas and lentils)

 


Eat unpeeled whole fruit and vegetables not juice.

 

Snack on fruits and vegetables

 

Take a fiber supplement (e.g psyllium)

 

In conclusion, fiber is an important dietary substance to your diet. This is because high fiber foods are also good sources of vitamins, mineral and antioxidants which offer many health benefits. Therefore, as one of the key ingredients to healthy eating, fiber is something you cannot skip.

 

References

  1. Cleveland Clinic. 2019. Improving Your Health With Fiber. Available from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14400-improving-your-health-with-fiber [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  2. Danielle, D. 2018. How much fiber is too much. Medical New Today. Available from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321286#treatment [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  3. Harvard University School of Public Health. (n.d.). Fiber. Available from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/ [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  4. Karin, L. 2016. 45 Interesting Facts about FIber. Fact Retriever. Available from https://www.factretriever.com/fiber-facts [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  5. Kerri, A., J. 2016. 16 Easy Ways to Eat More Fiber. Healthline. Available from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-to-eat-more-fiber [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  6. Mayo Clinic. 2018. Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet. Available from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983 [Accessed on 23 April 2020].
  7. My Health Ministry of Health. 2012. SERAT DAN KAWALAN DIABETES. Available from http://www.myhealth.gov.my/serat-dan-kawalan-diabetes/ [Accessed on 23 April 2020].

What happen to your stomach when you fast?

Fasting is a longstanding part of many religious traditions, including the Jewish and Muslim observances of Yom Kippur and Ramadan. As you read this, billions of Muslims around the world are engaging in this declaration of faith that involves abstaining from food and drink from dawn until dusk. While fasting for Ramadan is down to spiritual beliefs, many of us choose to fast with the belief that it benefits our health. But what happen to our body when we fast?

 

A person’s primary source of energy is sugar called glucose, which usually comes from carbohydrates, including grains, dairy products, fruits, certain vegetables, beans and even sweets.

 

 

The liver and muscles store the glucose and release it into the bloodstream whenever the body needs it. However, during fasting, this process changes. After about 8 hours of fasting, the liver will use the last of its glucose reserves. At this point, the body enters a state called glucogenesis, marking the body’s transition into fasting mode.

 

 

Studies have shown that glucogenesis increase the number of calories the body burns. With no carbohydrates coming in, the calories in the body burns. With no carbohydrate coming in, the body creates its own glucose using mainly fat.

 

Eventually, the body runs out of these energy sources as well. Fasting mode then becomes the more serious starvation mode. At this point, a person’s metabolism slows down, and their body begins burning muscle tissue for energy. Although it is a well-known term in dieting culture, true starvation mode only occurs after several consecutive days or even weeks without food. So, for those breaking their fasting after 24 hours, it is generally safe to go without eating for a day unless other health conditions are present. (1)

 

“A detoxification process also occurs, because any toxins stored in the body’s fat are dissolved and removed from the body,” he adds, noting that after a few days of fasting, higher levels of endorphins – “feel-good hormones” are produced in the blood, which can have a positive impact on mental well-being. As mentioned previously, the study by Dr.Longo and colleagues suggests prolonged fasting may also be effective for regenerating immune cells. “When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” Dr.Longo explains. In their study, publish in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the team found that repeated cycles of 2 – 4 days without food over a 6-month period destroyed the old and damaged immune cells in mice and generate new ones.

 

 

Moreover, the team found that cancer patient who fasted for 3 days prior to chemotherapy were protected against immune system damage that can be caused by the treatment, which they attribute to immune cell regeneration. “The good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting,” says Dr. Longo. “Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”(2)

 

On the other hand, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), there are numerous health risks associated with intermittent fasting.

 

People who fast commonly experience dehydration, largely because their body is not getting any fluid from food. As such, it is recommended that during Ramadan, Muslims consume plenty of water prior to fasting periods. Other individuals following fasting diets should ensure they are properly hydrated during fasting periods.

 

 

Fasting can also cause heartburn; lack of food leads to a reduction in stomach acid, which digests food and destroys bacteria. But smelling food or even thinking about it during fasting periods can trigger the brain into telling the stomach to produce more acid, leading to heartburn.(2)

 

Finally, to sum up, moderation is the key. Know the precaution step to avoid the potential risk. A person must understand his or her current health condition before proceeding to any sort of diet plan.

 

 

References

 

  1. Medical News Today (n.d). What Happens If You Don’t Eat For A Day? Timeline And Effects. [online] Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322065#can-fasting-promote-weight-loss> [Accessed 29 April 2020].

 

  1. Medical News Today (n.d). Fasting: Health Benefits And Risks. [online] Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295914> [Accessed 29 April 2020].


Organic food, Is it healthier?

Globally, there is increasing demand for organic food (1). In Malaysia, the organic food industry is still small, as more than 60% of organic food products are imported (2).
However, the demand is increasing as well, due to consumers are increasingly concern about nutrition, health and food quality. Major concerns appear also due to food crisis involving pesticide residue on fresh produce, food contamination by chemicals in dairy and seafood products and the unregulated use of additives in processed food (2).

Furthermore, with the rise of obesity, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease people are becoming more aware of the effect of their eating habits on health. Some people opt for organic produce food also due to the environmental awareness and threat posed by pesticides use in the conventional farming activities (2).

 

Generally, consumers perceive and understand that organic produce food is mostly based on not using fertilizers and pesticides thus it is healthier, but is this true? Is this mean that food that is safe is equivalent to food that is healthy?

 


But first, let us see what organic produce mean….

 

“Basically, organic farming utilises natural ways to manage crops. When planting crops, natural fertilisers such as manure or compost are used to feed the soil and plants instead of synthetic fertilisers. Some fastidious parties would even go as far as to ensure that the manure comes from organically bred animals, and that the compost is produced from waste material of organic locations. Instead of using chemicals and insecticides to control pests and reduce plant disease, organic farms use natural ingredients such as enzymes or plant-based pesticides. They also practised companion planting, where certain plants that are known to repel insects (such as marigold or bunga tahi ayam) are planted close to crops (3,4)”

 

In Malaysia, Malaysia Department of Agriculture (DOA) is the body responsible for the National Standard of Organic Food Industry, they also conduct regular checking on all the organic produce food, and certify it, whilst Malaysia Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI) is the body who actively conduct activities to educate farmers on organic farming etc (2).

 

Thus, from the above statement we know that organic produce food is not necessarily healthy but has safe level of pesticides since the farming method use is more environmentally friendly as compared to conventional produce food. Studies show that organic produce food have one third of the pesticides residue as compared to the conventional produce food on the market (4). However, both produce foods have safe level of pesticide residue, so to said it is safe to consume.


Whether a particular food is healthy or not, it cannot be judged on whether it is grown organically or not only. For a food to be consider healthy, there are many factors that play along. It is very important to remember that, there is no “healthy food like really healthy” food, what might be healthy for you might not be healthy for others, and the same food can also be considered healthy and not healthy merely on the portion consumption. (E.g: chicken is healthy but if you consume two whole chicken per day, then its hard to say that it is healthy anymore). So, to say healthy food itself is a concept comprising eating in moderation, food that has high nutritional value, eat variety of food, eat a balance diet and of course food that is safe to be eaten anddd at the same time food must be eaten according to individuals’ health/ medical condition.


But, if we are looking at the effect of organic food to see whether the consumption of organic food has actually improve health, there is a systematic review on the nutritional – related health effect of organic foods that collect all the studies on the effect of organic food published based on the hypotheses organic food production method results in higher nutrient concentration and that these compositional difference would result in different health responses, such as markers of carcinogenesis (cancer marker) or the bioavailability of phenolic substance (compound use to fight cancer) (1).

 

The result of the comparison between 12 studies in this review concluded that, antioxidant activity (compound use to fight cancer) was the most common reported primary outcome. Although antioxidant activity is a useful biomarker that maybe relevant to human health it is not direct health outcome itself. In fact, the mechanism of action that link between the effect of concentration of antioxidant and human health is mixed, thus care must be taken in interpretation of such data (1).

 

So, it is safe to say that, organic food is safer to eat as compare to conventional produce food in terms of pesticides residue but in terms of healthiness of the food, it is healthy to consume food in moderation, variety and balance

References


  1. Dahgour D., Lock K., Hayter A., Aikenhead A., Allen E., Uauy R. (2010). Nutriton – Related Effects of Organic Foods: A systematic Review. American Society for Nutritions Journal. 2020; 92: 203-10
  2. Somasundram C., Razali Z., Santhirasegaran V., (2016). A Review on Organic Food Production in Malaysia. Horticulturae (MDPI)
  3. Datuk Dr, Nor Ashikin Mokhtar. The Star. Understanding Organic labels (2014). https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/viewpoints/womens-world/2014/01/12/understanding-organic-labels  (Accessed May 4, 2020)
  4. Is Organic Food Better For You (n.d). https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/organic-food-better#1 (Accessed May 4, 2020).


 

Tips to eat healthily while fasting in Ramadhan

Ramadhan is the month where Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk. Healthy Muslims need to fast, begin with the pre-dawn meal called ‘suhoor’ and break the fast at dusk which call ‘iftar’. Apart from Ramadhan, there are many other occasions where other religions around the world are also practicing fasting. The difference is only the method and the do’s and don’ts during the ritual. Since according to World Health Organization (WHO) there is evidence suggests that fasting have positive effects on health (1), there are also people who fast in order to lose weight (E.g: Intermittent fasting) and for health purposes.

What happened to your body during fasting?

 

During fasting, when no food and drink is consumed, body uses its stored carbohydrate (in the liver and muscles)  provide energy. Once all the calories from foods consumed have been used up, body will use the excess food that we consume in the form triglycerides (fat) to provide us with energy. This is when people usually loss weight.

 

Our body cannot store water so during fasting the kidneys conserve as much water as possible by reducing the amount lost in urine. However, body cannot avoid losing some water during certain process in the body such as through your skin (perspiration) and when you breathe (2).

 

Due to all these changes during fasting, we must to make sure that we practice healthy eating during fasting in order to make sure body that our body is able to cope with all this changing process by not losing nutrient needed but instead loss the unwanted fats, sugars, and cholesterol in the body.

 

4 Tips to eat healthily while fasting in Ramadhan

 

1.Do not skip ‘suhoor’


This is especially for special groups such as older people, adolescents, pregnant women, nursing mothers and as well as children who choose to fast. The meal for ‘suhoor’ must include vegetables, high fiber food can slow down the empty rates on the stomach and make individuals feel satiety. A serving of carbohydrates such as rice or bread (whole grain product is better) and protein – rich food such as egg or/ and dairy product are also a must.

 

Since ‘suhoor’ is very early in the morning and mostly people do not bother to cook for long time, thus people opt to fry their food, it is healthier to fry using air fryer where less fat (oil) is used, but apart from frying it is actually recommended to use other cooking method such as steaming or just stir fry since it use less oil.

 

During ‘suhorr’ also people tend to cook processed food such as sausages, nuggets etc, all these processed food actually contain high salt, it is better to avoid food that is high in salt, cause it will also makes one very thirsty later, thus food such as pickle, processed foods, salted meat and fish products, salty cheese and various types of ready-to-eat foods are best to avoid (1,2).

 

2. Keep hydrated


Make sure to drink 8 glass of water per day, still. Here is tip on how to drink 8 glass of water in Ramadhan according to Ministry of Health Malaysia (3).

 


Other than this, you can also increase water intake by consuming hydrating food. Try to add hydrating food such as watermelon, cucumber, tomato and green salad. You must also avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and cola, because caffeinated beverages are diuretic (which means it makes one urinate more often when consumed) this will lead to dehydration as well. Soupy food also rich in water thus it is suggested to consume this kind of food when break the fast. During the day of the fasting period, when the temperature is high (E.g: noon) it is important to remain in a cool and shaded place and to avoid the sun (1,2).

 


3. Break the fast gently


When it is time for break the fast, avoid filling up on greasy foods in the form of cakes and deep-fried savory snacks. It is best to go for dates, fruit or nuts to satisfy your hunger. If you often get caught in the rush hour traffic, consider keeping these preferred choices handy in small containers in your handbag or backpack so you do not have to delay your breaking of fast. This will prevent you from getting overly famished at dinner after the prayers, where you risk overeating and causing indigestion (4).

 

In Islam also, it is a sunnah habit to consume dates when break the fast;



You may also try to consume date and water to break fast and perform maghrib prayer first, then only begin to eat  heavy meals, just as the suggestion from Ministry of Health Malaysia.




4. Moderation and variation


The changes to eating habits and lack of fluids during the day may cause constipation for some people. When you can eat and drink, consume plenty of high fiber foods, such as wholegrains, high fiber cereals, bran, fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, dried fruit and nuts alongside plenty of fluids will help to ease constipation. Do some light physical activity, such as going for a walk after iftar or right before iftar in the evening will also helps with the constipation and indigestion after iftar.

 

While Ramadhan is time for people to reunite however during the pandemic of COVID19 it is best for people to not make a celebratory feast together. Iftar meals are often a time for celebration (of the day that you have successfully refrain yourself from eating and drinking) but it is still important not to go overboard when eating during Ramadan. Consuming a lot of deep fried, creamy and sweet foods may cause you to gain weight during Ramadan. Ramadan can be a good time to make changes to improve the balance of your diet that you can sustain in the longer term.

 

Be moderate in preparing ‘iftar’ and ‘suhoor’ menu. Moderation is the key when you go for grocery shopping as well. You can also practice ‘suku – suku separuh’ during ‘suhoor’ and ‘iftar’.

References

  1. World Health Organization (WHO) (2020). Dietary Recommendation for the month of Ramadhan. http://www.emro.who.int/nutrition/nutrition-infocus/dietary-recommendations-for-the-month-of-ramadan.html (Accessed May 8, 2020)
  2. British Nutrition Foundation (n.d). A healthy Ramadhan. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/seasons/ramadan.html?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=75c06dff67f5c87204c0dc2cdd8343844c35c78f-1588901425-0-ATZP71yUnOxiGwGcgpUyrLmtTJ-b_aVnqESs0dUhbMEwJx2CMSYck_sO8RxelwmxumL_jHJv2_mGOGvWSHlXaS_XwkdLczerYyCCTS6sjsdD9iRqqIt7I_CiM5BqvX8mnxfvPxXSNRGVErKJz0u9Z-jdTIY4PV0TvLNPbbPWNeZ0FpQCI0OKjcEl-s-fgzbwiWzuJ6jfRtpYYwc37XdkKv5wE3APFD-rODoj4wdkXGHByASPcLGaYNiPWa_9x1AS7n4g0TY5EsWp3OHEeCmtpv3c4VZ3rn5QKzrtx788z_k0_J4rluYZx1CbGz3DcFaQIdFXGyIZAPcr2CYlI1MMnmlD-genvQspQrMxHnrOn6Ix2p7QlmZSgD0RKHKOIeG80w (Accessed May 8, 2020)
  3. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Pulau Pinang. https://web.facebook.com/jknpenang/posts/3729048157168283?_rdc=1&_rdr  (Accessed May 8, 2020).
  4. Indra Balaratnam (2018). New Straits Times (NST). Eat Well Healthy Eating for Ramadhan. https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/heal/2018/05/367119/eat-well-healthy-eating-tips-ramadan (Accessed May 8, 2020).

7 Tips Penyediaan Menu Sihat & Makan Secara Sihat di Hari Raya!


Setiap tahun Hari Raya Aidilfitri ialah pada 1 Syawal tahun Hijrah. Perayaan tersebut juga dikenali sebagai Hari Raya Puasa atau Hari Raya Fitrah atau Hari lebaran. Hari Raya Aidilfitri merupakan sambutan yang diraikan oleh umat Islam di seluruh dunia setelah berjaya menjalani ibadah puasa sepanjang bulan Ramadhan 

Antara amalam – amalan tradisi yang dilakukan semasa Hari Raya ialah amalan ziarah – menziarahi sanak – saudara dan jiran tetangga. Amalan mengeratkan silaturahim ini sangat digalakkan dalam Islam bagi memohon kemaafan di antara satu sama lain. Akan tetapi oleh kerana Hari Raya Aidilfitri tahun ini ialah pada musim Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Bersyarat maka, ikutlah saranan untuk beraya dengan selamat dalam kita menjauhi wabak COVID19. Walaupun sesetengah daripada kita ada yang telah mendapat vaksin tetapi masih ramai yang belum, dan sudah divaksin bukan bermakna anda tidak boleh dijangkiti wabak COVID19.

 

Semasa bulan Ramadhan sebelum ini, ramai di antara kita mengambil kesempatan menurunkan berat badan dan makan secara sihat. Walau bagaimanapun, apabila tiba musim perayaan, kebanyakan kita mengalami penambahan berat badan. Berat badan yang berjaya diturunkan sepanjang 30 hari menjalani ibadah puasa mungkin meningkat semula hanya selepas 15 hari menyambut Hari Raya. Hal ini adalah kerana, hari raya adalah masa untuk menikmati juadah hari raya yang hanya setahun sekali dimasak dan dimakan bersama – sama oleh kerana itu ramai yang mengambil kesempatan ini untuk makan juadah raya tanpa mengira jumlah kalori dan panduan pemakanan sihat (1).

Sebenarnya pemakanan sihat sangat mudah diikut walaupun ketika hari raya. Makan dengan sihat bukan bermaksud kita tidak dapat menikmati juadah hari raya akan tetapi makan dengan kadar yang betul dan dengan cara penyediaan makanan yang lebih sihat. Kita dapat bahagikan amalam pemakanan sihat ketika hari raya kepada dua kategori iaitu semasa penyediaan makanan dan semasa menikmati hidangan hari raya.

 

7 Tips Sediakan Hidangan Sihat di Hari Raya (1,2,3)

 

1. Kurangkan gula, minyak dan lemak dalam penyediaan biskut dan kek.

 

Gunakan ½ atau ¾ daripada kuantiti gula yang biasa digunakan semasa menyediakan biskut dan kek. Jika perlu, gunakan gula gantian bagi mendapatkan biskut atau kek yang sempurna tekstur dan rasanya.

 


2. Gunakan daging yang telah dibuang lemak atau ayam yang telah dibuang kulit.

3. Kurangkan mensajikan makanan yang bersantan, bergoreng dan berminyak.

 

4. Gantikan penggunaan santan dengan susu rendah lemak dalam penyediaan rendang dan kuah lontong

5. Potong ayam atau daging dalam size yang kecil.

 

6. Gunakan ramuan tinggi serat untuk membuat  biskut dan kuih raya seperti tepung bijirin penuh, oat dan buah prun.

7. Kurangkan penggunaan pewarna tiruan dalam penyediaan kuih-muih, kek dan puding. Sebaliknya gunakan pewarna semulajadi seperti dari sumber daun pandan dan sebagainya.

 

7 Tips Makan Secara Sihat Di Hari Raya (1,2,3)

 

1. Makan dalam saiz hidangan atau kuantiti yang kecil.

 

Pemilihan pinggan yang lebih kecil membantu dalam mengurangkan pengambilan makanan lebih – lebih lagi jika anda makan secara buffet.

 

2. Pilih makanan yang rendah kalori seperti buah-buahan serta makanan yang kurang minyak, lemak dan santan.

 

3. Pilih makanan tinggi serat untuk mengelakkan sembelit.


4. Hadkan pengambilan makanan yang manis dan berlemak seperti biskut raya dan dodol.

 

Anda juga boleh mengehadkan pengambilan kuih-muih atau kek semasa hari raya kepada hanya 5 biji kuih raya sehari dan kurangkan pengambilan makanan manis yang lain.


5. Pilih buah- buahan segar sebagai pencuci mulut.

 

6. Hadkan pengambilan makanan yang tinggi kandungan garam seperti kerepek

 


7. Minum air kosong berbanding minuman berperisa, minuman berkarbonat dan minumam yang manis.

 


Senang bukan? Ikutilah panduan pemakanan sihat semasa hari raya ini, agar usaha anda untuk menurunkan berat badan sepanjang bulan Ramadhan tidak sia – sia. Bagi individu yang mempunyai masalah kesihatan, hari raya bukanlah tiket untuk anda menikmati juadah tanpa mengambil kira faktor kesihatan ya!

 

Akhir sekali, selamat menyambut Hari Raya Aidilfitri, semoga hari raya ini memberi keceriaan kepada kita semua!

 

Rujukan


1. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Perancangan dan Pemilihan Menu Sihat Rumah Terbuka Aidilfitri. http://nutrition.moh.gov.my/wpcontent/uploads/penerbitan/buku/Menu%20Rumah%20Terbuka%20Hari%2 0Raya%202013.pdf

2. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Makan Secara Sihat di Hari Raya. https://www.infosihat.gov.my/index.php/multimedia/bukukecil/item/makan-secara-sihat-di-hari-raya

3. Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Perak. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM), bahagian Pemakanan. Makan secara sihat di hari raya. http://jknperak.moh.gov.my/v4/index.php/my/arkib-berita/69-informasikesihatan/509-makan-secara-sihat-di-hari-raya.html

TINJAUN KEBANGSAAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA (NHMS), Kenapa perlu kita khuatir?

Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan Malaysia atau Nama Inggerisnya, National Health Morbidity Survey Malaysia (NHMS) adalah survei kesihatan yang dibuat setiap empat tahun oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) bertujuan untuk mengenal pasti status kesihatan rakyat Malaysia. Tinjauan ini adalah tinjauan yang melibatkan negeri di seluruh Malaysia.

 

Tinjauan ini mengkaji beberapa perihal aspek kesihatan yang terpenting seperti penyakit tidak berjangkit yang dialami oleh rakyat Malaysia iaitu obesiti, kencing manis, darah tinggi, dan masalah kolesterol. Ia juga merangkumi aspek pemakanan seperti  pengambilan makanan dan minuman sihat, aspek kesihatan mental, kesihatan seksual dan pengambilan dadah. Selain daripada itu, tinjauan ini juga mengkaji aspek yang melibatkan perkhidmatan kesihatan di Malaysia.

 

Terdapat beberapa perkara serius menurut hasil dapatan ini iaitu;

 

1 daripada 2 dewasa di Malaysia adalah obese!

 

Obese atau obesity adalah masalah lebihan berat badan yang di alami oleh individu, yang berpunca daripada pelbagai faktor. Namun, apa yang lebih membimbangkan adalah, menjadi obese ini sendiri adalah merupakan risiko utama kepada masalah kesihatan seperti kencing manis, darah tinggi, kolesterol, masalah jantung serta masalah kesihatan yang lain – lain lagi.

 

Jika perkara ini berterusan, bayangkan setiap orang yang anda jumpai separuh daripadanya adalah obese dan mempunyai kencing manis, darah tinggi dan sebagainya!! Menurut kajian ini, inidividu yang mengalami obesity tertinggi adalah wanita iaitu sebanyak 57.6%, kaum india iaitu sebnayak 63% dan dalam kalangan mereka yang berumur 55 – 59 tahun.

 TINJAUN KEBANGSAAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA (NHMS), Kenapa perlu kita khuatir?

Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan Malaysia atau Nama Inggerisnya, National Health Morbidity Survey Malaysia (NHMS) adalah survei kesihatan yang dibuat setiap empat tahun oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) bertujuan untuk mengenal pasti status kesihatan rakyat Malaysia. Tinjauan ini adalah tinjauan yang melibatkan negeri di seluruh Malaysia.

 

Tinjauan ini mengkaji beberapa perihal aspek kesihatan yang terpenting seperti penyakit tidak berjangkit yang dialami oleh rakyat Malaysia iaitu obesiti, kencing manis, darah tinggi, dan masalah kolesterol. Ia juga merangkumi aspek pemakanan seperti  pengambilan makanan dan minuman sihat, aspek kesihatan mental, kesihatan seksual dan pengambilan dadah. Selain daripada itu, tinjauan ini juga mengkaji aspek yang melibatkan perkhidmatan kesihatan di Malaysia.

 

Terdapat beberapa perkara serius menurut hasil dapatan ini iaitu;

 

1 daripada 2 dewasa di Malaysia adalah obese!

 

Obese atau obesity adalah masalah lebihan berat badan yang di alami oleh individu, yang berpunca daripada pelbagai faktor. Namun, apa yang lebih membimbangkan adalah, menjadi obese ini sendiri adalah merupakan risiko utama kepada masalah kesihatan seperti kencing manis, darah tinggi, kolesterol, masalah jantung serta masalah kesihatan yang lain – lain lagi.

 

Jika perkara ini berterusan, bayangkan setiap orang yang anda jumpai separuh daripadanya adalah obese dan mempunyai kencing manis, darah tinggi dan sebagainya!! Menurut kajian ini, inidividu yang mengalami obesity tertinggi adalah wanita iaitu sebanyak 57.6%, kaum india iaitu sebnayak 63% dan dalam kalangan mereka yang berumur 55 – 59 tahun.

 


Antara lain perkara yang membimbangkan ialah masalah kencing manis dalam kalangan rakyat Malaysia.

 

1 daripada 5 dewasa mengalami masalah diabetes!

 

Diabetes atau kencing manis adalah keadaan di mana paras gula dalam darah menjadi tinggi. Hal ini berpunca daripada kekerapan pengambilan makanan yang tidak sihat. Makanan yang tinggi karbohidrat, gula dan lemak dan gaya hidup yang tidak aktif.

 

Selain daripada peratusan obesity yang semakin meningkat saban hari, yang mengeruhkan keadaan ini juga adalah pengambilan minuman yang manis, menurut tinjauan,sebanyak 53.2% individu di Malaysia minum minuaman manis yang disediakan sendiri setiap hari, 4.2% individu minum minuman berkarbonat setiap hari dan 6.7% individu minum minuam 3 dalam 1 setiap hari.

 

Menurut tinjauan ini, seramai 3.9 juta dewasa berusia lebih dari 18 tahun menghidapi penyakit kencing manis. Kebanyakkan dari mereka yang berumur 18 – 40 tahun tidak tahu bahawa mereka menghidapi kencing manis.

 

Antar negeri yang mempunyai prevalen kencing manis yang tinggi adalah Negeri Sembilan (33.2%), Perlis (32.6%), dan Pahang (25.7%).

 

Antara gejala yang melibatkan masalah kencing manis ialah, keletihan, kerap membuang air kecil, kehausan yang melampau, penurunan berat badan, dan kerap mengalami jangkitan kuman. Sekiranya anda tidak mempunya gejala seperti ini, anda juga boleh melakukan saringan kencing manis jika anda mempunyai berat badan yang berlebihan, BMI melebihi 23 kg/m2 atau ukur lilit pinggang melebihi 80 cm untuk wanita dan 90 cm untuk lelaki.

 

Kegagalan mengenal pasti masalah kencing manis dengan lebih awal akan menyebabkan komplikasi yang lebih serius di masa akan datang.




4 daripada 10 dewasa mengalami masalah kolesterol

 

Seramai 8 juta rakyat Malaysia mempunyai masalah tinggi kolesterol, iaitu 4 daripada 10 orang mengalaminya. Bacaan kadar bagi tinggi kolesterol ialah sebanyak 5.2 mmol dan ke atas. Mereka yang berumur 40 – 59 tahun adalah individu yang paling ramai tidak mengetahui bahawa mereka mempunyai tahap kolesterol yang tinggi. Hanya 63% daripada individu yang mempunyai masalah kolesterol yang tinggi Berjaya mengawal tahap kolesterol dengan pengambilan ubat – ubatan.

 

3 daripada 10 dewasa mengalami  Hipertensi

 

Hipertensi atau tekanan darah tinggi yang tidak dikawal boleh mengakibatkan serangan jantung, strok dan pelbagai penyakit kardiovaskular yang lain. Bacaan kadar tekanan darah tinggi yang tidak terkawal ialah bacaan yang melebihi 140/ 96 mmHg. Lelaki yang berumur 30 tahun ke bawah adalah mempunyai 3 kali ganda lebih ramai menghidapi hipertensi berbanding wanita. Dalam 6.4 juta rakyat Malaysia yang mengalami hipertensi atau tekanan darah tinggi, hanya separuh yang menyedari bahawa mereka menghidapi penyakit ini.

 

Kesimpulannya, masalah seperti obesity, kencing manis, darah tinggi dan tinggi kolesterol mempunyai perkaitan rapat antara satu sama lain. Penyakit – penyakit ini membawa komplikasi yang lebih serius dalam jangka masa panjang dan merupakan risiko kepada masalah kardiovaskular yang juga merupakan penyebab kematian nombor satu di Malaysia. Seramai 1.7 juta individu di Malaysia mempunyai tiga faktor risiko manakala seramai 3.4 juta individu di Malaysia mengalami faktor risiko utama.






Bagi mengatasi masalah ini, individu perlu mengawal bacaan tekanan darah iaitu bacaan perlu kurang dari 140/ 90 mmHg. Individu juga perlu mengamalkan diet yang seimbang dan sihat bagi mengekalkan berat badan yang ideal, selalu bersenam dan menghindari rokok dan alkohol.


 

Rujukan


1. Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Morbiditi (2009). Penyakit tidak berjangkit, permintaan jagaan kesihatan dan literasi kesihatan. Penemuan Utama, Infografik Booklet. Institut Kesihatan Umum.

2. Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Morbiditi (2009). Lembaran Fakta. Penyakit tidak berjangkit, permintaan jagaan kesihatan dan literasi kesihatan. Lembaran Fakta. Institut Kesihatan Umum.


3. Portal Rasmi Pendidikan Kesihatan Malaysia (MyHealth) (2016). Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. Bagaimana Diabetes dikesan? http://pendidikanpesakit.myhealth.gov.my/bagaimana-diabetes-dikesan/


4. Portas Rasmi Pendidikan Kesihatan Malaysia (MyHealth) (2008). Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. Obesity and Overweight. http://pendidikanpesakit.myhealth.gov.my/bagaimana-diabetes-dikesan/

DURIAN!!! Eat whole durian is equivalent to 3 bowl of rice?

Durian or ‘King of fruit’ is a well-known fruit for its smell. Anthony Bourdain, the late renowned food critic describes durian as “It smelled like you buried someone holding a big wheel of Stilton (cheese) in his arms, then dug him few weeks later” (1). That is to describe how horrible the smell of durian is, but to certain people who like to eat durian the smell of durian to them is heaven!

 

Durian actually has more than 30 species but the one that people usually eat are about 8 species only, due to its exotic nature, people have started to commercialized durian even to the international level. The most common durian being exported and widely consumed is Durio Zibethinus (2).


Due to its popularity, people started to questioning about durian health benefits, whether it is good or bad for health? Unlike apple, orange, guava and many other common fruits where people always equate it to “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” which means, consuming all these fruits are going to make you healthier, since it is packed full with nutrients that is good for body. For durian, the opinion regarding its health effect is mixing, some people say that it is good for health and can even be used to alleviate infertility or PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome  and some people say that it is heaty thus cannot be consumed too much etc. (3).

 

In general, durian is considered a safe fruit to eat just like any other fruit, but since durian has high calorie value, thus it is not advisable to consume in large amount unlike other fruits. Look at the infographic below to understand, calorie in durian in comparison with other fruits (4).

 


Here is the calorie of durian per seeds, surprisingly eating  5 seeds of durian is equivalent to a bowl of rice! ANDDDD IF A DURIAN CONSISTS OF 15 SEEDS IT IS EQUIVALENT TO 3 BOWL OF RICE! Thus, the recommended intake of durian is only 2-3 seeds, which is equivalent to about per serving of fruits or 90 kcal.

 



Though, it is crystal clear here that it is safe to eat durian within recommended amount, but there are people who should be even more cautious in consuming durian, that is people who are obese, people who have diabetes and people who have kidney problem. As for people who are obese and diabetes, it is due to its high calorie, high carbohydrate and high fats value thus should be extra careful on the consumption of durian. Whereas for people with kidney problem or undergoing dialysis, due to high potassium content in durian and it is difficult for their body to excrete potassium, thus, they must avoid eating TOO MUCH durian at all cost (4)!

 



Apart from its high calorie content durian has many benefits as well. It has high antioxidant effect, which makes it a potent fruit to fight against cancer. Durian contains high vitamins, nutrients and organic chemicals that function as antioxidant. All these antioxidants are vital in scavenging the free radicals, that potentially mutated and becoming cancer cells. Which is why it is very important to consume food that is high in antioxidant. It also contains high vitamin C, vitamin B complex and vitamin E, as well as phytonutrients that battle cancerous cells (2).

 

Durian also, is found to helps in maintaining healthy bones due to its high potassium content. It can help in alleviating depression and sleeping problem, for it contain tryptophan – a natural sleep-inducing compound, that can increase level of serotonin and melatonin for better sleep and emotion management. Durian also contain high fibre which can aids in digestion and helps in infertility for it has high estrogen hormone for conceiving (2).


Albeit durian has many health benefits, when it comes to its consumption with other foods and beverages such as alcohol, it is said that it can interfere with liver function. In detail, durian contain sulphur-containing volatiles which can inhibit the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (enzyme that helps in process alcohol), thus explaining why consuming durian together with alcohol is a deadly mixed (4).


As for the consumption of durian with paracetamol, there is no study on human has been conducted, so far. But there is study on lab rat regarding this. The study shows that, rat that receive paracetamol and durian gives sign of hypothermic effect (significant drop in temperature) thus explain that the two mixture is toxic. However, the mechanism of toxicity is still unknown. To be safe, it is not safe to consume durian together with paracetamol (5).

 

In conclusion, for people who does not have any health concerns, consume durian within the recommended intake and consume it in moderation, is very much advisable. While for those who have health concerns, eat durian very minimally, it is advisable to eat other types of fruit that have lower calorie count as compared to durian, but since it is in the season thus consume it very minimally with caution towards calorie intake from other food types as well is recommended.

 

 

References


  1. The Star. Benefits of eating durian? Its rich in antioxidant but its fattening (2019). https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2019/09/10/eating-durian-healthy-or-not/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. Tan M.C & Shyamala A. (2018). Exploring the Nutritional Content and Benefits of Durian (Durio Zibethinus). Institute of Bioproduct Development, Universiti Teknologi Mara. https://www.utm.my/ibd/project/exploring-the-nutritional-contents-and-benefits-of-durian-durio zibethinus/#:~:text=Durian%20is%20widely%20celebrated%20for,and%20protect%20against%20cardiovascular%20diseases. (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. Reshma M. Ansari (2016). Potential Use of Durian Fruit (Durio Zibenthinus linn) as an Adjunct to treat Infertility in Polycystic Ovarian Synrdome (PCOS). PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26778225/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. International Medical University (IMU). Can A Durian A Day Keep the Doctor Away? http://imunews.imu.edu.my/people/can-a-durian-a-day-keep-the-doctor-away/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. A. Chua., H. Nurhaslina., S.H. Gan. (2008). Hyperthermic Effect of Durio Zibethinnus and Its Interaction with Paracetamol. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19271022/#:~:text=Because%20durian%20(Durio%20zibethinus)%2C,a%20risk%20of%20toxic%20effects 

Latok? Is the New Hype Really Good for Health?

On the social media recently, many people starts to sell grape seaweed or better known as latok. It is said that, latok has many health benefits, but to people from the Peninsular of Malaysia, latok is the new hype. Since many people saying that it is good for health, so people have starting to try and consume it. But how true is the claimed?

 

 

Latok, grape seaweed or its scientific name is Caulerpa Lentilifera, is a common ‘ulam’ for Sabahan. Study on latok in Malaysia is still very little perhaps because previously there is only small number of people who consume it regularly, but there are actually extensive studies conducted in Philippines on this latok, since it is a very common food in Philippines as well (1).

 

Surprisingly, according to studies, latok has various health benefits! However, the nutrient content in latok, is vary from one another based on its size, the location where it breeds, the ecosystem of its habitat and the maturity of latok when it is harvest (2).

 

Previously in Asian countries, seaweed has been utilized as a source of phycocolloids, thickening and gelling agents in the food industry. Since people have not yet discover it health benefits, perhaps it is about time for people to commercialized latok for its health benefits. Since studies shows that, latok is high with iron, zinc, calcium and fibre (2,3).


 

 


Latok is even recommended to be consumed by pregnant women, adolescents, and teenagers for its high calcium content, since these two groups of people is at the stage of needing high calcium for their growth and development (2,3).

 

Apart from its micronutrients, latok also has large amounts of polysaccharides, most of which cannot be digested by humans without the required enzymes for degradation. These polysaccharides can therefore be regarded as excellent source of dietary soluble fibre. This property therefore can lower the risk of constipation (2,3).

 

There are also studies claiming that, latok has the ability to lower the cholesterol, thus preventing heart disease and it has anti-cancer property (2,3). However, what more important is how people consume it. It is such a culture in Malaysia where people eat ‘ulam’ or vegetables with various kind of gravies such as sambal belacan, budu, cincalok, kicap and many others. It is such a waste to all these high content of nutrients where is supposed to be given benefits to the body but in returns give harm because all these gravies contain high salt content thus can even pose high risk for hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

 

References


  1. Fadzilah A.K., Mohd Fadzely A.B., Maryati M., Noratiqah N., (2018). Utilization of natural resources: Preliminary study on ethnopharmacological application of ‘ulam’ or traditional vegetables among Sama- Bajau of Kampung Menunggui, Kota Belud, Sabah. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5055431

 

  1. James David S. Alacantra., Nancy L.L., (2020). Mineral Availability, dietary fiber contents and short chain fatty acid fermentation product for Caulerpa Lentilifere and Kappaphycus Alvareezii Vol. 31 (1). KIMIKA.

 

  1. Cherry P., Cathal O’Hara., Pamela J.M., Emeir M.M., and Philip J.A., Risk and Benefits of Consuming Edible Seaweed. Nutrition Review. Vol 77(5): 307 -329


Quinoa, is it really superfood?


 

Quinoa, is it really superfood?

Superfood is a non-medical term, usually refers to foods that have health promoting properties. According to American Heart Association (AHA), there is just no specific category when it comes to superfood. It mostly is plant-based food but sometimes it can be fish and dairy that are nutritionally dense as well. Superfoods usually contain unusually high content of antioxidant to ward of cancer, high in fiber which does not spike blood glucose thus have the properties to prevent diabetes and digestive problem. It is also high with healthy fat to prevent heart disease and contain phytochemicals that is responsible for food deep colors. Example of superfoods are green tea, acai berries, salmon and quinoa (1,2).

 


What is quinoa?

 

Quinoa or also known as pseudo-cereals is world most popular superfood, even recognized by Harvard School of Public Health. Quinoa is gluten free, high in protein and one the few plant foods that contain complete all nine essential amino acids (3).

 

It is not only rare to have all the nine essential amino acids in a food, but it is as well is important and easy for us! To make it easy to understand, for amino acid there are two kind of amino acids, essential and non-essential. Essential amino acid is the amino acids that cannot be synthesized by human body, it must be gathered from diet, while the non-essential amino acids is the amino acids that can be synthesized by human body itself. Amino acid is important for the growth, repairing of body tissue, breaking down the food and many others. Thus, when quinoa has its all, this superfood really is NUTRITIOUS (4,5)!


Quinoa also is high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, E vitamin and various antioxidants (4,5).

 

Is Quinoa really superfood?

 

Yes! Even according to Harvard School of Public Health! Quinoa is technically a seed, but due to its nutritious properties it is considered as whole grain. One cup of cooked quinoa provides about 8g of protein and 5g of fiber. Thus, it really promotes satiety and is suitable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 

When it comes to superfood, there are various claim with regards to this. Some critical claim said that, a superfood might be a superfood but the process itself might make the superfood not as nutritious as it would be, which is why, it is really important to understand the cooking process and food process itself.

 

As for quinoa, it has different level of maturity of seeds even in the same plant, thus it must be hand-picked undergo the process of removing saponin – a bitter chemical compound coating the exterior part of quinoa that act as natural pesticides. After this process, quinoa is then healthy and safe to be eaten!

 

But due to its high nutrient content, some people said that, it not really palatable, especially with the Asian or Malaysian palate! Thus, there are few cooking or serving suggestion with regards to quinoa if you are to consume this superfood!

 

Replace your carbohydrate with quinoa

 

Since quinoa is better than the average rice, pasta, and many other carbs, thus it is advisable to replace it with quinoa. As an example, you may replace quinoa in sushi, pasta salad and you can even prepare it as a breakfast cereal by simply cook it with milk or water and diced in some fruits or pop in some cinnamon  and a table spoon of nuts!

 

But, since Quinoa is prominently in cultivated in country such as Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador, thus it is really difficult to get the quinoa in the country like Malaysia, so what can one do with regard to this ?

 

It is to.. choose food product that has quinoa as its main ingredients!

 

You may drink it as it is and still get the benefits from quinoa if its in powder form, or you can even add this product in your salad, as gravy or in less sugar cookies, muffin, bownies or even pancake!

 

Example below on how quinoa can be served as!


    Quinoa as breakfast cereal


Quinoa with salad


Quinoa puffed


Quinoa muffin

      Quinoa bites

References

  1. Christopher Wanjek (2019). What are Superfood?  com.  https://www.livescience.com/34693-superfoods.html (Accessed on July 6, 2020).

 

  1. Mellisa Conrad Stoppler. Medical Definition of Superfood. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=125459 (Accessed on July 6, 2020).

 

 

  1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/quinoa/ (Accessed on July 6, 2020).

 

  1. Kriss Gunnars (2018). 11 Proven Benefits of Quinoa. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-quinoa (Accessed on July 6, 2020).

 

  1. Medline Plus. Amino Acids. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002222.htm (Accessed on July 6, 2020).

 

Red Meat; Is it Good or Bad?


Among Hari Raya celebrated by Muslim all over the world is Hari Raya Aidiladha. There are various reasons behind this celebration, but most importantly, during this celebration Muslims all over the world slaughter animals as to share this meat with those unfortunate. Since it is nearing the celebration of Hari Raya Aidiladha, let us share with you regarding the consumption of red meat, is it healthy? And is it true that people with hypertension cannot consume meat?

 

Meat refers to the muscle or organs of an animal consumed as food. In most parts of the world, it comes from animals raised on large industrial farms. As for red meat, it is referring to meat from the source of pork, ham, cuts from pig, lamb, and beef. Red meat is particularly said to have link with various kind of disease such as heart disease and cancer, the question is, is this true?

 

Well, this statement is partially true. First, there are various kind of red meats on the market. There is lean meat (meat without its fat), meat (meat with its fat), and processed meat. Processed meat refers to a processed where meat has undergone such as salting, curing, fermenting, smoking and other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation. Processed meat include ham, salami, bacon, and sausages such as frankfurters and chorizo. Certain minced meat on the market, also undergo this kind of processed which makes it processed food as well.

 

Meat itself, referring to the lean meat, is a healthy food. It is a good protein source, it contains micronutrient such as zinc, vitamin B12 and iron. Iron that is in meat is easier to absorb or in another word has higher bioavailability as compared to iron from plant-based food. Lean meat also, is part of food that is recommended to be eaten in the Malaysian Food Pyramid.

 


Recommended intake of meat

 

As stated in the fish, poultry, meat, and legumes section on the food pyramid, it is recommended to eat 1 to 2 serving of either poultry, meat, or legumes but and 1 serving of fish every day. This is because in the Malaysia Dietary Guideline (MDG), the key message is to consume balance, moderate and variety of food. Thus, it is recommended to consume from different source, such as protein-based food, it can be from fish, meat, poultry, and eggs. Thus, if you already got your protein that day from fish source for your lunch then for your dinner your protein source must be from meat, poultry, or eggs. Now another question pops up, how much is one serving?

 


Example of serving size of protein, but this portion is for healthy male and female only, not for individual with health problem.

 

Serving is loosely translated into ‘sajian’ or ‘hidangan’ in Bahasa Malaysia, thus picture above shows how much per serving of protein is. As for meat, 1 serving of meat is about 2 matchboxes size of meat. For fish, medium size of fish is equivalent to 1 serving, while for chicken one part of chicken such as drumstick is considered 1 serving of chicken. As for egg, 1 egg are considered 1 serving of protein.

 

As mentioned earlier, it is not advisable to consume protein from the same source, thus it is also not advisable to consume meat every day, since we have protein-based food from variety of source which will give different kind of nutrient as well, such as ‘tauhu’, ‘tempeh’, eggs, seafood and many more.


Picture below show the easy way of knowing how much you should consume, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits and protein just by using your hands!

Good and bad things about meat

 

Study mostly found out that, lean meat has various positive outcome on individual health, especially for those with strength training exercise like athletes, as compared to if they consumed food from carbohydrates source like pasta or rice, their muscle growth is much less and slower. Another meta- analysis study which search on the consumption of lean red meat less than 0.5 servings per day noted that, the consumption of lean red meat does not negatively affect blood lipid and blood pressure. Which means the consumption of lean red meat does not impose risk to heart problem, provided if it is consume within the recommended intake.

 

However, there are also study indicates that the consumption of red meat can impose health problem such as, its saturated fat can lead to colon and breast cancer, the higher the cooking temperature for meat can make it carcinogenic, and heme that is found in meat when cooking, can produce compound that can damage the cells and leading to cancer.

 

Which is why, when it comes to food there is just no healthy food and unhealthy food, it is more than that. It is depending on the health status of the individual consuming it, it is depending on the cooking method and various other factors.

 

In conclusion

 

Limit red meat and processed meat to not more than 70g per day or 2 servings per day is the best. Consume protein – based food from the other sources of protein as well not only red meat and processed meat just as per recommended by Malaysia Dietary Guideline (MDG).

 

References


  1. co.uk. Red Meat (2019). https://www.diabetes.co.uk/food/red-meat.html (Accessed on August 4, 2020).
  2. World Cancer Research Fund. Limit red and processed meat. https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/recommendations/limit-red-processed-meat#:~:text=Dietary%20goal,%2C%20if%20any%2C%20processed%20meat. (Accessed on August 4, 2020).
  3. The truth about red meat. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-red-meat#2 (Accessed on August 4, 2020).
  4. Is red meat bad for you, or good? An Objective Look. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-red-meat-bad-for-you-or-good (Accessed on August 4, 2020).
  5. National Health Service (NHS) UK. Red Meat and The risk of Bowel Cancer (2018). https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/red-meat-and-the-risk-of-bowel-cancer/ (Accessed on August 4, 2020).
  6. Ministry of Health Malaysia. Malaysia Food Pyramid. http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/malaysian-food-pyramid-2/ (Accessed on August 4, 2020)

Fats, Is It Unhealthy?

Various kind of diseases and health complication is said to link with consumption of fat, such as obesity, diabetes, heart problem, and cancer. However, there are also role of fat in our body, such as to transport and helps in the absorption of vitamin A, D, E, and K, which is fat soluble vitamins. Fat also act as insulator to insulate our vital organ and as shock absorber in the body. With all these functions, yet fat still is the culprit for various kind of diseases, is this true? (1,2,3)

 

 

History of dietary fat recommendation (4)

 

The confusion on dietary fat intake, started long ago when nutrition scientist failed to communicate finding of the nutrition studies to the public. Previously based on the classic diet-heart hypothesis, dietary fat was told bad due to two key observations from observational studies and randomized controlled trial.

 

1) Controlled feeding trials demonstrated that dietary saturated fatty acids and cholesterol raised serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
cholesterol (bad cholesterol) level .

 

2) Dietary fat intake increased serum total cholesterol and LDL level (bad cholesterol) which is the predicted factor for cardiovascular disease.

 

 

 

Current finding on dietary fat intake (4)

 

Previously, study was very concentrated on the single causal outcome, but nowadays extensive research has identified that there are multiple pathways that mediate the development of cardiovascular diseases, not only total cholesterol intake or LDL level (marker for bad cholesterol and risk for CVD) but as well as other factors such as, smoking, overweight and obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and many more.

 

Thus, the recommendation on dietary fat intake to people with cardiovascular
disease and for people to prevent cardiovascular disease need to be altered as well.

 

 

Types of fat and cholesterol and dietary recommendation to it (4,5,6)

 

To understand the dietary recommendation to fat and cholesterol intake, first, let’s understand types of fat and cholesterol. There are few types of fat, there are saturated fat which usually consider as ‘bad’ fat, there are ‘good’ fat which further divide into two, which is monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.There are even worse types of fat which called trans-fat.

 

Saturated fat is the fat, that is in the state of solid in the room temperature. It can increase body weight and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. Food source that is high in saturated fat are meat, chicken skin, margarine and dairy product that is high in fat.

 

As for unsaturated fat, it is consider as ‘good’ fat since it can helps in increasing HDL level (good cholesterol) level, lower LDL (bad cholesterol) Level , lower blood  pressure, and lower the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. Unsaturated fat can further be divided into two, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Example of monounsaturated fat includes, palm oil, canola oil, olive oil, and cashew nuts. Whilst the example of polyunsaturated oil is corn oil, sunflower oil, and fish oil. For the best result, study suggests mixing 1:1 ratio of these two types of oil, such as 1- part palm oil with 1 part of sunflower oil in the cooking.

 

Another kind of fat is called trans-fat. Trans fat formed when fat in the liquid form is convert to solid to form such as during the hydrogenation process. Trans-fat or also known as trans-fatty acid is usually found in the processed food, frozen food since it is used to keep the food fresh in the long-time span. Consumption of trans-fat need to be limit, since the consumption is related to the increase in the LDL (bad) cholesterol level, increase risk of cardiovascular disease, and increase risk of certain types of cancer. Food source that contain trans-fat are margarine, fry food using monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat such as sunflower oil, or processed food like ready to eat food, canned food, and pastry.

 

 

In conclusion (4,5)

 

According to study there is no specific standard limit for each types of fat due to various reasons. But in general, World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that fat intake should be in between 20% to 30% of total calories. In Malaysia, this consumption is equivalent to 45g – 67g of fat which is about 3- 5 tablespoon of oil (based on 2000kcal/day).

 

Thus, as a consumer, it is important to know which type of fat is good for health and which one is not, and to limit the intake of bad fat is very much essential in order to incorporate healthy eating habit into lifestyle.

 

Among things that can be practiced is, there are many processed food products on the market nowadays such as tempura, finger food for children and many more. Instead of consuming these process foods, the healthier choice is to consume fresh poultry or seafood rather than the processed one.

 

 

 

Another thing to note is that, cooking method again is very crucial in making sure that food is healthy, choose food that is cook using method such as steam, baked, boil and grill. Especially if you are frequently eating outside, since most of food in the restaurant or stall recycle the oil thus by choosing the better cooking method it is opting the healthier choices.

 

Limit intake of trans fat is very important, apart from processed food, frozen food, food that is high in cholesterol such as mayonnaise, animal internal organs, anchovies head also must be limit as well.

 

 

Being mindful about what to put into your body is just as essential as being mindful about what to put into your mind, flourish your body and mind with good nutrients for the healthier life by choosing the healthy fat for your body!

 


Calcium Supplementation, Who Needs it?

Calcium is among very common micronutrient heard by public and milk advertisement is the contributor to this. Through this many people know that calcium is very important for bone and teeth. Calcium can be found in various food products nowadays not only milk. It has becoming partly marketing strategy for food company to incorporate calcium in their food product especially if the target consumer is children or elderly since many people know that calcium is vital for these two groups, children, and elderly.

 

 

Function of Calcium?

 

Body needs calcium for strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also required to carry out important function such as for muscle to move, for nerves system to carry messages between brain and body parts, for blood vessels to move blood throughout the body, and for body to help release hormones and enzyme that affect almost every function in the human body (1,2,3).

 

How much calcium is needed?

 

Normal adult need about 1000 mg of calcium daily, however there are certain condition which require to consume up to 1300 mg of calcium daily such as for pregnant lady, lactating mother, post-menopausal women, and man who is above 70 years old of age (1,2,4).


Calcium and diet

 

Body does not produce calcium, so it needs to be consumed from foods. Luckily, calcium can be found in variety of foods such as dairy products, dark leafy vegetables, fish, and many other fortified food products (1,2,3).   As for our local food products sardine, anchovies, cencaluk, budu, tofu, tempeh, broccoli, kalian, and tapioca leaves are among food that is high with calcium (4).

 

It is also important to take note that in order to absorb calcium, body needs vitamin D. Only a few foods containing small amount of natural vitamin D, such as egg yolks and salmon with bones. Mostly, we rely on the exposure to sunlight in order to get enough vitamin D, of course in Malaysia the country with sun all year long have no problem with this! However, as currently we are still in the so to say the ‘lockdown’ phase thus it is very important to remind everyone to get the sunlight every day at least 20 minutes for its vitamin D and calcium absorption (1,2,4).

Though all the foods stated above are easily found, but there are conditions which hinder individuals from getting enough calcium from diet thus require it from calcium supplementation.

 


Condition for calcium supplementation

 

Before considering calcium supplement, individuals must understand how much calcium needs by the body (stated above). Then individuals must seek help from nutritionist, dietitian, pharmacist, or doctors, where they will assess your calcium consumption from your diet through diet recall. If the calcium intake falls short thus you need to top up calcium from supplement.

 

Hypertensive individuals and diet with large amounts of sodium.

 

 

Several literature reviews on topic of total calcium intake from food and supplements with regards to hypertension suggested that there is possible link to lowering high blood pressure. However, since most of the study design have small number of subjects, and were tested with people from different background, and not to mention possess various kind of biases thus making it difficult for scientist to draw conclusion (1,2).

 

However, a large study subject (Women’s Health Study), found out that calcium intake was inversely associated with risk of hypertension in middle-aged and older women, in terms of preventing hypertension (1,2).

 

The consumption of high sodium food lead to more calcium excretion through the urine, which will lead to constriction of blood vessels, which in the end resulting  in high blood pressure. Drinking large water after consuming salty food, is not enough, as it may be making blood pressure return to its slightly normal condition, but it is not helping with the loss of calcium (1,2,5).

 

Pregnant and lactating mother

 

Often times, pregnant women is being reminded of how important is folic acid for the baby, even from the trying to conceive period, healthcare providers already advise them to consume folic acid, in order to prevent spina bifida to the baby. However, calcium is as well very important for mothers throughout pregnancy and lactating period especially for mother who is lack of calcium from diet (1).

 

Several professional organizations recommend calcium supplements during pregnancy for women with low calcium intakes to reduce the risk of preeclampsia (a condition where gestational hypertension always occur). For example, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ACOG) states that daily supplementation with 1,500–2,000 mg calcium may reduce the severity of preeclampsia in pregnant women who have calcium intakes less than 600 mg/day. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 1,500–2,000 mg calcium for pregnant women with low dietary calcium intakes, particularly those at higher risk of gestational hypertension (1).

 

As for normal healthy mother, the consumption of calcium is especially important during lactating period, mother may notice symptoms such as cramps which indicates lack of calcium during pregnancy and lactation period. Also if a mother is on iron supplementation as well, it is advisable to not consume both at the same time, it is best to gap several prior the consumption of these two since it can interfere with the absorption (1,2).

 



Post-menopausal women and elderly

 

Throughout the lifespan, bones are constantly being broken down and built up in a process known as remodelling. Bone cells called osteoblasts build bone, while other bone cells called osteoclasts break down bone if calcium is needed. In healthy individuals who get enough calcium and physical activity, bone production exceeds bone destruction up to about age 30. After that, destruction typically exceeds production. This is sometimes called “negative calcium balance,” which can lead to bone loss. Women tend to experience greater bone loss than men later in life due to menopause, a condition that lowers the amount of hormones that help to build and preserve bone (5).

 

Getting enough dietary calcium at all ages may help to slow the degree of bone loss, but calcium intakes at any level are not known to completely prevent bone loss. Calcium is less easily absorbed at later ages, and therefore eating a very high amount of calcium will not always resolve the problem (5).

 

Studies on calcium intake and bone density in postmenopausal women have mixed results that could be due to various reasons. Because the results of some large trials found that higher calcium intakes (usually achieved with a supplement) was associated with improved bone density and slightly lower risk of hip fractures, the RDA for calcium for postmenopausal women is higher than at younger ages. Some studies suggest that frail elderly (80 years and older living in institutions) may benefit from supplementation more than “younger” elderly who live independently in the community (5).

Individuals with lactose intolerance and limit dairy products

 

Individuals with lactose intolerance usually, is unable to consume food that has high amount of calcium especially if it come from milk and dairy source of food. Thus, lactose intolerance individuals need to consume it form dark leafy vegetables and soy-based product. However, in most cases the consumption is not enough or individuals with lactose intolerance consume not enough vegetable rich with calcium or other food source rich with calcium, thus for this specific population calcium supplementation is needed either from fortified food product such as ready to eat cereals or from calcium supplementation tablet itself.

 

Individuals receiving treatment on certain medication in the long period

 

Well, there are certain medication which can influence the absorption of calcium. Medication such as to treat osteoporosis (bisphosphonates), antibiotics (fluroquinolone), medication to treat low thyroid problem (levothyroxine), anticonvulsant (phenytoin), diuretic medication (Lasix and bumex), antacids containing aluminium and magnesium and also glucocorticoids (prednisone). These are all either causing calcium loss in the urine or cause calcium depletion in the bone. Thus, if you are on these medication, it is advisable to take calcium rich foods four hours prior or after the intake of medication, so that it would not interfere with the absorption of calcium, it is also best if you consume calcium supplementation if you do have poor intake of calcium rich food as well (2). 

 

In conclusion, in these situations, calcium supplements may help you meet your calcium requirements. Talk with your doctor or dietitian about whether calcium supplements are right for you.

 

References

 

  1. National Institute of Health (NIH). Department of Health and Human Service. Calcium. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/ (Accessed on November 18, 2020).
  2. National Institute of Health (NIH). Department of Health and Human Service. Calcium. Fact Sheet for Consumers. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/ (Accessed on November 18, 2020).
  3. Mayo Clinic. Nutrition and Healthy Eating. Healthy Lifestyle. Calcium and calcium supplements: Achieving the right balance. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/calcium-supplements/art-20047097 (Accessed on November 18, 2020).
  4. Ministry of Health (MOH). National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition. Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI): A Report of the Technical Working Group on Nutritional Guidelines (2017).
  5. Harvard T.H. Chan. School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source. Calcium. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium/ (Accessed on November 18, 2020).

Grapeseed Extract and its benefits

Grapeseed extract (GSE) is usually extracted naturally from grape seed and it is usually used in dietary supplements for various purposes. It is made by removing, drying, and pulverizing the bitter taste seeds of grape.  It is rich with antioxidant contents such as phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins complexes (OPC). In fact, grapeseed extract is known as one of the best sources of proanthocyanidins.

Due to this there are various benefits of grapeseed extract to human body such as to help prevent disease, to protect against oxidative stress, tissue damages, inflammation and many more. In this article we are going to deep dive into potential health benefits of grapeseed extract (GSE) from studies:

 

Wound healing activity and antioxidant properties.

 

Numerous studies have shown that grape seed extract has high level of antioxidants properties. Studies using punctured wounded mice has shown that mice who were treated with GSE in the wound affected area, grow tissue in that area faster than mice who were treated with normal saline only. Another thing noted is that, more organized tissue formation and higher rate of collagen deposition in mice that were treated with GSE as compared to mice with placebo. Topical application of 2% of GSE cream in the area of post-surgery surgical wound also shows to completely heal wound on an average 8 days as compared to placebo which took 14 days for wound healing. It is as so, due to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) properties of GSE which promotes regeneration of the damaged blood vessels and increases the quantity of free radicals present at the wound site. Free radical helps in killing and clearing pathogenic bacteria and endotoxin from the site and helps in curing wound.

Apart from wound healing and skin health properties, it also has anti-ageing properties. Proanthocyanidins in GSE reduce lipid oxidation on the skin structure therefore delay skin ageing.

 

Cardiovascular and antihypertensive properties.

 

Cardiovascular disorders (CVD) are among one of the major problems that arises due to the modern and unhealthy lifestyles which results in the primary cause of death worldwide. In general, it refers to the disorder related to the condition and function of heart and blood vessels. Alteration of these two may lead to cardiac arrest, heart stroke, hypertension, chest pain and many more. Studies show that GSE may prevent atherosclerosis (condition where there is build-up of fats, cholesterol, etc in the blood vessels walls which can restrict blood flow), inhibit or limit the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol), reducing inflammation, inhibit platelet aggregation, and lower blood pressure. It lowers blood pressure by supressing the oxidative stress, and inhibit the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) and nitric oxide mediate vasodilation, hence making the constricted blood vessels dilate and improve blood pressure.

 

Antimicrobial activity.


GSE has shown that it has effective antimicrobial property against both gram positive ( baccilus cereus, staphylococcus aureus, bacillus coagulans, etc) and gram negative bacteria ( pseudomonal aeruginosa, escherichia coli, etc). GSE contains resevatrol, in which when apply topically it will then increase production of cathelicidin, which inhibits the growth of bacteria.

 

In conclusions, GSE has various benefits to health due to its high antioxidant properties, it is able to scavenge the free radicals which an essential feature that could help with various body functions.

 

References


  1. National Institute of Health (NIH). National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (NICCH). Grape Seed Extract. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/grape-seed-extract (Accessed on March 15, 2021)
  2. 10 Benefits of Grape Seed Extract, Based on Science. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/grape-seed-extract-benefits (Accessed on March 15, 2021).
  3. Gupta, M., Dey, S., Marbaniang, D., Pal, P., Ray, S., & Mazumder, B. (2020). Grape seed extract: Having a potential health benefit. Journal of food science and technology, 57(4), 1205-1215.


Differences between Omega 3, 6, and 9?


Infographic above explains types of good and bad fats. But what about the differences between Omega 3, 6, and 9? All these three fats can be considered as good fat, but there are certain thing which differ it from one another.


 

MUFA or Omega 9


 

Monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) or also known as omega 9, is because of the double bond position which is on the ninth position from the omega end. It is a type of fat that is found in vegetable and animal fat such as in canola oil, sunflower oil, olive oil and in nuts. Unlike Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), Omega 9 is a non essential fat, which means body is able to produce this types of fat. However, there are also benefits when it is obtained from food such as it can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and help to eliminate plague build up in the arteries which can cause heart attack and stroke.


 

PUFA or Omega 3 & Omega 6 

 

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) can be divided into Omega 3 and Omega 6. The difference between these two is that the position of the double bond for Omega 3 is at the third position from the end, whilst for omega 6 is in the sixth position from the end.

 

Among types of Omega 3 with extensive scientific research are Eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA). The difference between these three types of Omega 3 fat is the number of carbon atoms 18, 20, and 22 for ALA, EPA, and DHA respectively. ALA can be converted to EPA and then to DHA, but the conversion which usually occurs in liver is less than 15%, which is why it is recommended to consume EPA and DHA directly from foods or/ and dietary supplement. ALA is present in plant oils, such as flaxseed, soybean and canola oils. DHA and EPA is present in fish, fish oils, and krill oils. But the DHA and EPA in krill oil is not originating from krill but rather from the ingestion of microalgae.

 

Whilst, among types of Omega 6 are linolenic acid (LA) and Arachidonic acid (AA). The difference between these two are the position of double bond in the omega 6 fatty acid chain. Linolenic acid (LA) is the same like ALA, it is essential fatty acids which cannot be produced by human body. Sources of food with  LA are soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil and rice bran oil. Whilst source of food for AA are peanut oil, meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Omega 3 and Omega 6, are beneficial for cardiovascular diseases where it can help with managing cholesterol level, triglycerides level and blood pressure level. There are also certain supporting data stated that it can help with reducing weight and waist size, improving infant brain development in fetus and fighting inflammation. However, other than for cardiovascular health the finding are rathe inconclusive. But as for Omega 3 and 6 (PUFA)  and heart health American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that 8-10% of calories should come from PUFA as there is evidence eating more PUFA up to 15% of daily calories in place of saturated fat can lower risk of heart disease.

 

 

Diagram below shows the comparison between these three types of good fat.


 All in all, Omega 3, 6, and 9 are beneficial for the cardiovascular health, as it can help with lowering LDL level (bad cholesterol), increasing HDL level (good cholesterol) and help with blood pressure level. Several other studies also mentioned that certain good fat can help with inflammatory diseases such as joint pain and skin health such as eczema. However, consumption of all these fat must be in balance since overconsumption of these can lead to serious health effect! However, replacing bad fat (or even good fat) with refined carbohydrates food, does not help with your health either. It is so important to note that everything must be in balance, and consuming healthy food is not about one type of food only, it about variety kind of food and the quality of food, and the food source as well!

 

References


  1. Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH). Hyperlipidemia.
  2. Harvard T.H Chan. School of Public Health. Types of fat. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/
  3. Harvard T. H Chan. School of Public Health. Saturated fat or not does type of fat  matter.  https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2014/05/15/saturated-or-not-does-type-of-fat-matter/
  4. Healthline. Omega 3, 6, and 9. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/omega-3-6-9-overview#omega-6

 

 


Fish Oil Supplement: Who Needs It?

Consumption of fish is really important as it is a good source of protein. It is recommended to consume one fish per day according to Malaysia food pyramid. This is because the consumption of fish in Malaysia is rarely equated to having risk of contamination of mercury etc unlike in western countries. This might be due to types of fish and size or fish that we are consuming here as compared to in the other part of the world. It is said that the bigger fish the more contamination that it has hence there is recommendation for pregnant mother to consume small fish rather than big fish to avoid the risk of contamination.

Research on the benefits of fish oil supplement also vary greatly, which is why in this article we are going to list out who might need fish oil supplement in their daily life!

 

Benefits of fish oil consumption vary greatly from one study to another, there is study link between mental health and disorder with omega, as it said that EPA and DHA can improve brain development ability, even in young children, there are also study noted that it can help with cardiovascular diseases, joint pain, and skin problem such as eczema. The question is, is true that fish oil consumption can help with these all? ?(1)

 

 

Individual with mental health problem/disorder

 

Researchers examined link between suicide and consumption of fatty acids intake among more than 205, 000 participants in three long term studies from 1988 to 2008 found out that there is no evidence that intake of fatty acids or fish lowered the risk of suicide. “The vast majority of previous literature on whether there is a mental health benefit from fatty acid intake has been based on depression screening data. Our study represents one of the few times—and it is certainly the largest of its kind—that this relationship has been studied with hard data on suicide mortality.” (2)

 

Whilst for brain health,  study noted that it is better to eat nutritious diet and be physically active than to take omega 3 fatty acids supplements or fish oil, Study showed little benefit of omega 3 supplements on memory of a 3073 elderly people at risk of macular degeneration (an age related cause of vision loss). The participants of the study were randomly assigned to take omega 3 pills or placebo for five years.  The researcher concluded that supplement cannot replace a healthy dietary pattern, if you eat a healthy diet with high amounts of fruits, vegetables, and marine fish, you probably don’t need to take fish oil supplement. The overall dietary pattern is more important than a single nutrient (2).

 

Individual with cardiovascular disease

 

Recently there are many studies suggesting that Omega 3 will not lower the risk of heart problem. To answer this Dariush Mozaffarian, cardiologist from Harvard Medical School said that, he gathered 20  previous studies involving more than 68, 000 patient since 1989, overall, fish oil supplement neither harm nor good, since they found that the supplements did not significantly reduce people’s risk of mortality, cardiac death, heart attack, and stroke. But according to him, the research and link between the fish oil supplementation and heart problem is rather complex, since it does not only take fish oil to shield heart from various problems and diseases, it also take weight status, exercise frequency, cigarettes’ or substance use and many more (3,4,5).

 

 

Which is why interpreting the study, we would still recommend customers and patients to consume fish more as a first line measure. But, if you do not like fish, or you feel like your consumption of fish is not enough or you simply want to be sure that your body is getting omega 3, there is no harm in taking fish oil, it will certainly help with the nutrient essential nutrient, since omega 3 is a nutrient that your body cannot produce can only get form diet (3,4,5).

 

Individual with skin problem

 

A systematic review for the treatment of atopic dermatitis or eczema using fish oil supplementation is very scarce, the studies available are all only small sample size studies. Not only these three studies are small, it is also described as poor methodological studies from reviewer, as it has many confounding factors, but the outcomes of these studies shows positive outcome from eczema condition and overall daily living as compared to placebo (6,7).

 

Another convinced relationship between consumption of fish oil and skin health is that in a study where pregnant lady were given fish oil during pregnancy and follow up to 6 years found out that, consumption of fish oil during pregnancy lead to positive skin health outcome on babies skin health. The study also concluded that maternal supplementation with fish oil might have prophylactic potential for long-term prevention of asthma in offspring (6,7).

 

 

 


In conclusion, consumption of fish oil has mixing result in studies depending on what kind of problem that we are looking at to solve with fish oil. Since there are various factors influencing a particular health problem. There is no magic pill in this world honey! You need to however eat healthily, consume a lot of vegetables and fruits, and exercise, but if you think that you do not get enough omega 3 from diet, as you dislike fish, or you are afraid to consume fish regularly due to contamination etc, or you simply would like to make sure that your body has enough omega 3, then there is no harm in taking fish oil supplementation. It just that in order to make sure you get the right omega 3 for your body, buy it from pharmacy, make sure the product has Ministry of Health (MOH) notification number, and simply ask healthcare professional on which omega 3 supplementation suits you, simply for the dosage and perhaps current medication that you are on and you are good to go!

 

 

References


  1. Harvard T.H Chan. School of Public Health. Fish: Friend or Foe? https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fish/
  2. Harvard T.H. Chan. School of Public Health. No mental health benefit from fish oil. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/no-mental-health-benefit-from-fish-oil/
  3. Harvard T.H. Chan. School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/fish-stroke-risk-mozaffarian/
  4. Harvard T.H Chan. School of Public Health. Major Meta Analysis in Clinical Trial Omega 3 Supplemeny link with lower risk of CVD.  https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/in-major-meta-analysis-of-clinical-trials-omega-3-fish-oil-supplements-linked-with-lower-cardiovascular-disease-risk/
  5. Harvard T.H. Chan. School of Public Health. Fish Oil Supplementation and Heart Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/mozaffarian-fish-oil-supplements-heart-health/
  6. Schlichte, M. J., Vandersall, A., & Katta, R. (2016). Diet and eczema: a review of dietary supplements for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Dermatology practical & conceptual6(3), 23–29. https://doi.org/10.5826/dpc.0603a06
  7. Huang, T. H., Wang, P. W., Yang, S. C., Chou, W. L., & Fang, J. Y. (2018). Cosmetic and Therapeutic Applications of Fish Oil’s Fatty Acids on the Skin. Marine drugs16(8), 256. https://doi.org/10.3390/md16080256

 


101: Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10 or Ubiquinone) is a naturally occurring quinone that is found in most organisms from bacteria to mammals. It was first identified in 1940, and isolated from the mitochondria of the beef heart, in 1957. Coenzyme Q10 is also known as Coenzyme Q, CoQ, CoQ10, Ubiquinone, Ubiquinone-Q10, Ubidecarenone, or Vitamin Q10. The various types of Coenzyme Q can be distinguished by the number side chains they have. The most common Coenzyme Q is CoQ10. CoQ10 is ubiquitous in human tissues, although its level is varied.

 

Why do we need CoQ10?

 

CoQ10 main function is to act as an energy transfer molecule, where it is a co-factor in the production of energy. Essentially all cellular functions are dependent on an adequate supply of energy, thus explain why coq10 is vital for all the tissues and organs. CoQ10 is also one of the most significant lipid antioxidants that prevents generation of harmful substance production in the body such as free radical, which can lead to modification of protein, lipids, and DNA.

 

Antioxidant: Is defined as substance that inhibit oxidation process, or scavenger of free radical that produce from normal body process hence making body more stable.

Due to its function as antioxidants, not only that it can help with neutralizing free radicals and prevent the damage cause by free radical, but it can also improve energy and augments the immune system.

 

Who need CoQ10?

 

There are certain individuals who need to consume more CoQ10 as the amount of CoQ10 in the body is diminishing.

 

  1. Individual who is consuming/ or on statin medication (Medication used to lower high blood levels of cholesterol or triglycerides to prevent heart problem). This is because studies show that statin interfere with the production of mevalonic acid, which is used to form CoQ10. Thus, individual who consuming statin has low levels of CoQ10 in their body.
  2. Those with heart conditions, such as heart failure and angina, may benefit from taking a CoQ10 supplement. A review of 13 studies in people with heart failure found that 100 mg of CoQ10 per day for 12 weeks improved blood flow from the heart.
  3. As CoQ10 is involved in the production of energy, it can be used by athlete and those who would like to boost physical performance. A 6-week study in 100 German athletes found that those who supplemented with CoQ10 daily experienced significant improvements in physical performance — measured as power output — compared to a placebo group. CoQ10 supplements help reduce the inflammation associated with heavy exercise and may even speed recovery.

 

 

 

How much do we need CoQ10?

 

A typical CoQ10 dosage is about 30 – 90 mg per day, taken in divided doses, but the recommended amount can be as high as 200 mg per day. CoQ10 is fat soluble antioxidants, so it is better to be absorbed when taken with a meal that contains oil or fat. The clinical effect of CoQ10 may take up to eight weeks.

 

Food source with CoQ10?

 

Primary dietary sources of CoQ10 include oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains. Most individuals obtain sufficient amounts of CoQ10 through a balanced diet, but supplementation may be useful for individuals with particular health conditions. CoQ10 is available as a supplement in several forms, including soft gel capsules, oral spray, hard shell capsules, and tablets.

 

 

 

 

Safety precautions

 

Consumption of CoQ10 might not really be suitable for individual who consuming warfarin medication, pregnant lady, and breastfeeding mother.

 

References

 

  1. Saini R. (2011). Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient. Journal of pharmacy & bioallied sciences3(3), 466–467. https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-7406.84471
  2. National Institute Health (NIH). National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health. Coenzyme Q10. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/coenzyme-q10
  3. CoQ10 dosage: How much you should consume per day? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coq10-dosage

 


 

 



Benefits of CoQ10 to Heart Health.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance that is naturally present in the human body, with the highest levels in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is also naturally present in the foods that we eat such as cold water fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines, vegetable oils, and meats. Other than these types of food, individual can consume CoQ10 from supplementation. Here are some of the benefits 0f consuming CoQ10 to your heart health:

Therapeutic benefit in hypertension.

 

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition when the blood pressure level increase more than 120/80. In animal model studies, CoQ10 has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure level but no change in other hypertension related parameters such as plasma renin, serum/ urine sodium and potassium or urinary aldosterone, it is also suggested that varying dosage of COQ10 results in lowered need of medication. While in human study, dosage of CoQ10 60 mg twice daily for 8 weeks able to reduce blood pressure, plasma inulin, glucose, and several lipid compound. Other studies on human are all at varying dosage of 100 – 225mg/day for 4.4 to 10 months.

 

 

Therapeutic benefit in coronary artery disease.

 

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is when your coronary arteries that supply your muscle with oxygen-rich blood become narrowed by a gradual build up of fatty material within their walls. The condition is also known as atherosclerosis. In animal studies it is suggest that pretreatment with CoQ10 might suppressed myocardial ischemia ( occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is obstructed by a partial or complete blockage of plaque buildup  (atherosclerosis)) and cardiac dysfunction .  In human studies, a dose of 300 mg/day for 7 days in a row shows to improve heart efficiency as measured by consumption of oxygen per energy formed. Another study on human with 150mg dosage of CoQ10  also shows that the administration of CoQ10  increased treadmill exercise tolerance. However, these two are not statistically significant as these two studies involved only small number of subjects.

 

Therapeutic benefit of  congestive heart failure 

 

In a small studies among 17 patients with congestive heart failure found out that using 30 mg/day of coenzyme Q10 improved the patients condition in which after four weeks of treatments 53% of the patients were asymptomatic (no symptoms). Another big scale study which involve 2664 patients who took 50 – 100mg/day of coenzyme Q10 in 3 months  revealed that 54% of patients had improvements in the symptoms of insomnia, nocturia, and vertigo.

 

 


CoQ10 recommendation for prevention and treatment for heart health ? 

 

In conclusion, it appears that CoQ10 may be beneficial for prevention and treatment for heart health especially for individual with coronary heart disease, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. This is due to its positive effect in preventing LDL oxidation. It is also appear that among patients who have heart disorder, most of them are somewhat deficient with coenzyme Q10 which then lead to various complication related to heart later.

 

References

  1. Sarter, B. (2002). Coenzyme Q10 and cardiovascular disease: a review. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing16(4), 9-20.

 


The importance of Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our body is unable to digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested.
Fiber helps to regulate sugars in the body and helps to keep hunger and blood sugar in check. Children and adults need at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day for good health. It can be obtained through consuming diet rich with whole grains food, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fruits.

 

There are two types of fiber, which are soluble fiber and insoluble fibre.

 

  • Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that dissolves in water, it can help to lower glucose levels and blood cholesterol levels. Foods with soluble fiber include oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples and blueberries.
  • Insoluble fiber is a type of fiber that does not dissolve in water, it can help food to move through the digestive system, promoting regularity and help to prevent constipation. Foods with insoluble fibers are wheat, whole wheat bread, whole grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

 

There are various studies confirming that consumption of diet high in fiber helps to make overall body function healthier.

 

Heart Health.

 

In a Harvard study with over 40, 000 male health professionals, researcher found out that consumption of high fiber diet reduce 40% risk of getting coronary heart disease. Another study conducted by Harvard among females nurses also found the similar findings, high fiber diet lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome (a combination factor of getting heart disease and diabetes). These factors are high blood pressure, high insulin levels, excess weight, high triglycerides level, and low HDL level (good cholesterol level).


 

 


Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.


 

Diet low in fiber and high in carbohydrates and fat can cause sudden spike in blood sugar, this can lead to increasing risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Both Harvard studies with female nurse and male health professionals, found that this type of diet increase more than doubled risk of type 2 diabetes.


 

Other studies such as Black Women’s Health Study and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition have shown similar results.


 

 

Constipation.

 

The fiber in wheat bran and oat bran is considered more effective than fiber from fruits and vegetables. Experts recommend increasing fiber intake gradually rather than suddenly, and because fiber absorbs water, beverage intake should be increased as well as fiber intake increases.

 

 

Cancer.

 

Fiber is shown to decreases risk of breast cancer through a large-scale study in 2016, where findings of the study indicates that higher fiber intake reduces breast cancer risk, suggesting that fiber intake during adolescents and early adulthood may be particularly important.


 

In another word, women who consume higher fiber foods during adolescents and young adulthood, including vegetables and fruits, may have significantly lower breast cancer risk than those who eat less dietary fiber when young.


 

In conclusion, consumption of sufficient fiber can gives various benefits to human body, according to Malaysia Food Pyramid 2020, it is recommended to consume 3 servings of vegetables and fruits daily.  However, according to National Health Morbidity Survey (NHMS) about 95% of Malaysian do not consume enough vegetables and fruits daily, which is why sometimes consumption of fiber supplement can help to  bridge the gap of poor dietary intake.


 

References


1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Fiber. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/
2. National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) (2019). Chapter 09, Of fruits, veggies, and plain water.  http://iptk.moh.gov.my/images/technical_report/2020/4_Infographic_Booklet_NHMS_2019_-_English.pdf 
3. Malaysia Food Pyramid 2020. Ministry of Health Malaysia. Nutrition Division. 

 


Apakah itu antioksida?

Antioksida adalah bahan yang terdapat secara semulajadi dalam badan dan juga boleh diperolehi dari sumber makanan semulajadi. Ia adalah bahan yang dapat mengurangkan, meneutralkan dan melindungi sel badan daripada kerosakan.

Dari masa ke semasa, badan melalui proses pertumbuhan seperti panjangnya kuku dan pertumbuhan rambut yang melibatkan aktiviti pengoksidaan. Proses  pengoksidaan ini melibatkan pemberian dan pengambilan elektron, di mana akan menghasilkan elektron bebas yang tidak bergabung dengan mana – mana elektron yang lain. Elektron bebas ini juga dirujuk sebagai radikal bebas. Radikal bebas atau elektron bebas ini adalah elektron yang tidak stabil dan dapat memberikan pelbagai risiko penyakit termasuklah kanser. Fungsi antioksida adalah untuk bergabung dengan elektron bebas atau radikal bebas ini dan meneutralkan atau menstabilkan badan dari risiko pelbagai jenis penyakit.

 

Kebiasaannya badan dapat menghasilkan antioksida dengan sendiri, akan tetapi setelah lanjut usia, kebolehan badan untuk menghasilkan antioksida semakin berkurangan, ketidakseimbangan antioksida dan radikal bebas boleh meningkatkan risiko penyakit. Justeru, para profesional perubatan sering menasihatkan kita untuk makan makanan dari sumber semulajadi seperti sayur – sayuran, dan buah – buahan dengan banyak. Ini kerana, sayur – sayuran dan buah – buahan mempunyai tinggi sumber antioksida seperti beta karotena, lutein, likopena (lycopene), vitamin c, vitamin E dan pelbagai lagi.

 

Ikutlah saranan pengambilan makanan sihat oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Makan 3 sajian sayur dan dua sajian buah setiap hari untuk mendapatkan jumlah antioksida yang diperlukan badan. 1 sajian sayur adalah bersamaan dengan saiz satu saiz tapak tangan manakala, saiz sajian buah adalah mengikut kepada jenis buah tersebut seperti di bawah. Jika anda merasakan pengambilan sayur – sayuran dan buah – buahan anda tidak mencukupi di mana ia dapat memberi kesan kepada jumlah antioksida dalam badan, anda juga boleh menggunakan alternatif suplemen untuk mendapatkan jumlah antioksida yang cukup.

 

 

 Rujukan

 

  1. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Portal MyHealth. Antioksida. http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/antioksida/
  2. Hello Doktor. Manfaat antioksida. https://hellodoktor.com/pemakanan/fakta-nutrisi/manfaat-antioksidan/
  3. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. https://nutrition.moh.gov.my/

Suku-Suku Separuh Diet?

Suku – suku separuh diet adalah saranan diet oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) untuk cara pemakanan sihat. Pelbagai langkah dan inisiatif telah dilakukan bagi mempromosikan amalan pemakanan sihat kepada rakyat Malaysia.

MegaLive menyambut baik saranan ini dengan turut sama mempromosikan amalan pemakanan sihat ini kepada semua.

 

Suku – suku separuh adalah diet yang merangkumi suku jumlah karbohidrat seperti nasi, mee, bihun, capati, roti dll, suku jumlah protein seperti ayam, ikan, sotong dll dan separuh jumlah sayur – sayuran dan buah – buahan. Pinggan yang dirujuk dalam saranan diet ini adalah pinggan berukuran 10 inci/ 25sm.

 

Contoh hidangan suku – suku separuh:

 

Capati dengan kuah dhal.
Nasi beras perang dengan ayam tanpa kulit dan sayur.
Nasi putih dengan ikan bakar dan sayur.
Nasi lemak
Roti dengan telur dan salad.

 

Terdapat 5 mesej utama dalam amalan diet suku – suku separuh.

 

Mesej Utama 1: Makan 3 Hidangan Utama yang sihat dalam sehari.

 

Makan sarapan, makan tengah hari, dan makan malam dengan sihat dengan mengikut konsep suku – suku separuh.

Makan pada waktu yang tetap juga membantu pengawalan porsi/ saiz hidangan makanan. Berikut adalah contoh waktu makan seharian.

 

Mesej Utama 2: Makan 1-2 Snek yang Sihat di antara Waktu Makan Jika Perlu

 

Bagi menggalakan pemakanan secara sihat secara holistik atau sebagai gaya hidup, anda juga digalakkan untuk mengambil snek sihat 1-2 kali dari sumber buah – buahan, kekacang, dan sayur – sayuran.

 

Contoh snek sihat yang boleh di ambil 1-2 sajian ialah:

 

 

Mesej Utama 3: Makan Sekurang-kurangnya Separuh Daripada Bijirin Anda Sebagai Bijirin Penuh

 

Malaysia adalah negara di mana, makanan rujinya adalah nasi, oleh itu tidak hairanlah jika kebanyakkan rakyat Malaysia masih berasa tidak kenyang selagi tidak makan nasi. Oleh yang demikian, Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) menggariskan pengambilan karbohidrat hendaklah diambil kebanyakkannya dari sumber bijirin penuh, seperti dari sumber nasi beras perang, roti bijirin mil penuh, jagung, barli dll.

 

Contoh makanan berkarbohidrat yang tinggi serat:

 

 

Mesej Utama 4: Makan Hidangan Tidak Bergoreng dan Tanpa Santan Setiap Hari

 

Seterusnya, lauk -pauk di Malaysia begitu sinonim sekali dengan jenis lauk -pauk yang bergoreng menggunakan minyak yang sangat banyak iaitu menggunakan kaedah ‘deep -frying’. Makanan bergoreng dengan minyak banyak yang digunakan secara berulang – ulang dan makanan yang mengandungi jumlah santan yang tinggi  boleh meningkatkan masalah kesihatan seperti masalah jantung, darah tinggi, kolesterol dan kanser.

 

Justeru, pengambilan makanan dengan cara masakan dan kandungan santan yang tinggi seperti masak lemak, kari, gulai, dan masakkan bergoreng hendaklah dihadkan.

 

Cara mengantikan pengambilan minyak dan santan dalam masakan dan makanan:

 

 

Mesej Utama 5: Makan Makanan yang dimasak di Rumah Lebih Kerap

 

Makanan yang dibeli di luar secara amnya mempunyai kandungan gula, garam, sos, kicap, perasa, dan monosodium glutamate (MSG) yang tinggi, ia juga kebanyakannya menggunakan kaedah memasak yang kurang sihat iaitu dengan cara menggoreng dengan minyak yang banyak dan berulang- ulang.

 

Kandungan makanan yang tinggi garam, gula, sos, kicap, perasa dan MSG boleh menyebabkan tinggi risiko kepada masalah kesihatan seperti diabetes, dan juga darah tinggi.

 

Selain daripada itu, pengambilan makanan dari luar juga seringkali mempunyai jumlah porsi yang tidak mengikut spesifikasi suku – suku separuh, hal ini menyebabkan individu lebih cenderung untuk makaan secara berlebihan dan mendapat lebih risiko untuk menjadi obes.

 

Cadangan hidangan harian di rumah:

 

 

Rujukan:


  1. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Panduan Pinggan Sihat Malaysia. https://bit.ly/3HHHdU6

How can exercise improve blood circulation?

Many experts suggest that to improve blood circulation is by doing exercise or at least by moving around. This is true as exercise muscles require more oxygen, hence improving blood circulation.

 

Current  knowledge of medical science proves the old saying that ‘ A man is as old as his arteries (blood vessels)’, this is because nowadays we know that blood vessels carry vital oxygen-rich blood to all of the body tissue. So, maintaining artery health (blood vessel health) is just equivalently to maintain your overall health.

 

Blood vessels are made up of endothelial cells, in blood vessels these cells play a variety of roles, but among all one of its most important functions is to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is important for keeping blood vessels lining smooth and slippery, preventing white blood cells and platelets from latching on and causing inflammation or blood clot. Other than that, it also relaxed the muscle cells in blood vessels in order to prevent spasm and keep arteries open.

 

A Study of four groups of healthy people: young exercisers, young- non exercisers, elderly exercisers, and elderly non- exercisers found that age took a substantial toll on endothelial function and nitric oxide production, for people who exercised regularly, age had a smaller and more gradual drop in nitric oxide production. This, prove that indeed exercise, keep blood vessels young!

 

 

Regular exercise helps blood vessels by boosting the endothelial cells’ nitric oxide production, hence maintaining oxygen supply throughout the body and maintaining heart health as well!

 

Among area that usually affected when you have poor blood supply is your extremities such as hands and legs.

 

Here are some exercise that can help with improving blood circulation in your extremities;

 

  1. Walking
  2. Ankle rotation
  3. Heel and toe raises
  4. Knee bends
  5. Squat
  6. Using exercise ball
  7. Yoga movement that requires movement of hands and legs

 

In conclusion, as we know that exercise is essential in keeping healthy blood vessels, hence, body movement in some ways will help in having healthy blood vessels. So, move around and do not be a couch potato!

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