Ahad, 27 Oktober 2013

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

Food cravings and body type


Nibble like a rabbit but still can't control your size? Or eat like an elephant but remain stick-thin? Here's why...

EVERYONE knows at least one person like that – the ones who eat like there's no tomorrow, yet maintain their petite shape.

Conversely, there will be some who barely eat, restricting themselves to one main meal a day, yet still change (bigger!) dress sizes with each passing year.

Why do some people seem immune to weight gain, whereas others have trouble just maintaining their normal weight?

Forget food choices, lifestyle, even the amount of food eaten. The secret lies in our Body Types.

Our Body Types are actually our type of metabolism. The way the body metabolises food determines the spots where you are most likely to put on weight, your energy patterns, even your food cravings (which makes you eat more and put on more weight!)

Knowing your Body Type will help you understand your metabolism better and develop strategies to successfully keep your weight down.

Body Type is determined by the domineering gland in your body. Women can be Thyroid Types, Adrenal Types, Gonadal Types or Pituitary Types, whereas men have only three body types - Thyroid Types, Adrenal Types or Pituitary Types – because the Adrenal and Gonadal Types are combined in men.

Here is an outline of the Body Types:

Thyroid (T-Type)

If your dominant gland is the thyroid, you will tend to have long limbs, a high waist, fine bone structure, an oval or long face. Many dancers and models belong to this body type.

Danger spots for weight gain in T-Types are between the shoulders and knees, including the thighs, upper hips, and round waist. T-Type people tend to crave sweets, starches, caffeine, nicotine and artificial sweeteners, and may miss meals.

As a result, their energy levels tend to be erratic, with sudden highs when there is a sugar rush, and crashing into depression or irritability when tired or stressed.

Generally speaking, thyroid types do not gain weight easily and have a very high metabolic rate. Of all the body types, they are least likely to develop cellulite, and if it does occur, it is on the buttocks and back of the thighs.

Adrenal (A-Type)

The adrenal gland is dominant in people with a muscular body shape, who tend to be bigger above the waist.

In women, this includes having larger breasts and slim hips, while in men, this is manifested as the coveted V-shape.

Android types have an anabolic metabolism, which means that they tend to be "body-building" and will gain weight in the upper part of their body so that they may become apple-shaped.

Most of their weight gain occurs on the front of the abdomen. They build muscle mass easily and make good athletes. They tend to produce more male hormones than do the other body types.

The danger spots for A-Types are mostly above the waist, such as the upper back, breasts or stomach, although the hips and legs remain nice and shapely.

A-Types tend to crave salty foods, high-fat foods (such as fast foods) and alcohol, and are usually able to maintain steady energy levels all day, tapering off only at nightfall.

Personality-wise, A-Types are friendly and outgoing, with an even temper that can get explosive when provoked.

Gonadal (G-Type)

The gonads or ovaries are the dominant gland in G-Types, which is why it is more common among women.

G-Types tend to have a pear-shaped body shape with slender upper bodies. Weight gain occurs only on the lower buttocks and thighs and gives a very feminine and curvy shape.

Many G-Types will have a big problem with cellulite accumulating around the upper thighs and buttocks. If they try to lose weight with just any old low-fat low-calorie diet, it can be quite frustrating because weight will tend to come off easily from areas where there is not a problem, while the buttocks and thighs retain their cellulite and fatty deposits.

They often have a hormonal imbalance called "oestrogen dominance", which means that there is too much oestrogen compared to progesterone.

G-Type people tend to crave rich, creamy and spicy food. They are known to have strong energy fields that keep them going even when physically tired, which makes G-Types people warm and nurturing.

Caring and emphatic, G-Types put themselves at risk of stress and exhaustion when they frequently put others ahead of themselves.

Pituitary (P-Type)

P-Type people have dominant pituitary glands, which makes them look petite and youthful all the time.

The only danger is that their weight gain would be distributed throughout the body, resulting in a "cuddly baby doll" appearance.

Their characteristics even extend to their food choices, as they tend to crave dairy foods and sweets. Weight gain occurs very easily because the P-Types have a very low metabolic rate.

They also have a dysfunctional lymphatic system, resulting in generalised fluid retention, which makes them look fatter than they are. They are prone to deposits of fat swollen with lymphatic fluid, which can cause severe cellulite. This type of cellulite gives them thick puffy limbs so that it is hard to see their bone structure.

Often sunny and cheerful morning people, P-Type people are idealistic and intelligent. As their energy levels taper off after dusk, they prefer to stay indoors and chill with close friends instead of clubbing or socialising outside.

Cravings and body types

What exactly is the connection between Body Types and food cravings? The answer is simple – your dominant gland relies on those foods for energy boosts. When you are feeling tired, stressed or upset, your first response would be to seek those foods that will give your dominant gland a jumpstart.

The problem is that most of these foods are high in fat and cholesterol, which do not help in weight management. Throw in a sedentary lifestyle, and you would spend a lifetime battling against obesity and excess weight!

As everyone has a different Body Type, it only makes sense that everyone needs a different diet plan. When you know your Body Type and the gland that is turning your life upside down, your doctor will then be able to customise a diet plan for you.

Thyroid Type: The diet that makes them healthy and slim: Mostly fish and poultry, protein with every meal, plus vegetables, and not too much carbs.

Adrenal Type: The diet that makes them healthy and slim: Mostly vegetarian, low in red meats and fats.

Gonadal Type: The diet that makes them healthy and slim: Mostly vegetarian, low in spicy foods that stimulate the food cravings.

Pituitary Type: The diet that makes them healthy and slim: High purine protein, high in red meats and fats, minimal carbs.

Knowing your Body Type means knowing something important about yourself. When you know your Body Type, you can target your trouble spots, lose weight, eliminate food cravings and boost your energy.

The first action would be to control your food cravings. This is done by avoiding the very foods that you crave, so that the weaker glands can catch up in strength with your dominant gland. At the same time, foods that stimulate the less-dominant glands are increased to strengthen them.

Besides assessing your Body Type from your body shape, you can also do hormonal and DNA genetic profiling to confirm the diagnosis. These scientific measurements, coupled with the right supplements and exercise regime, will help you get your dream body shape, without trial and error!

> Datuk Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar is a consultant obstetrician & gynaecologist (FRCOG, UK). For further information, visit www.primanora.com. The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader's own medical care. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

Facts and myths about vitamin D


Vitamin D3 is required by the body to function well and is crucial for strengthening immunity and improving the body's natural defence system.

FACT or Myth 1: I get plenty of vitamin D from sunlight because I live in sunny Malaysia.

Myth. Living in tropical Malaysia does not mean we are getting enough of the sunshine nutrient, vitamin D3. Factors affecting vitamin D production from sunlight range from the angle of the sun's rays, the time of the day, skin type, etc.

According to the US-based Vitamin D Council, a non-profit organisation responsible for spreading reliable information on vitamin D, vitamin D deficiency is estimated to affect up to 50% of the adult population worldwide.

Most white collar workers (i.e. professionals, managers, administrative staff) suffer in this aspect, as they spend all day in their offices.

Although our skin makes vitamin D3 when exposed to the sun, ageing makes the skin less productive. The problem is made worse by older people spending more time indoors.

Another interesting fact is that a mere SPF-8 sunscreen cuts vitamin D3 production by about 90%, while an SPF-30 cuts off a whopping 99%.

What would be advisable is to wear a wide-brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses to cover your face, while exposing as much of your body as possible to the sun for at least 15-20 minutes between 10am and 2pm two to three times a week to ensure maximum production of vitamin D3.

If you are unable to do this, it is then advisable to take vitamin D3 supplements.

Fact or Myth 2: I get sufficient amount of vitamin D from my diet.

Myth. According to American translational physician-scientist Dr Michael F. Holick, it is virtually impossible to obtain an adequate amount of vitamin D from our diet. He notes that more fortified food and beverages are likely to emerge on the market to fill the gap.

Few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, so the main dietary sources of vitamin D are fortified foods. Good sources include fortified milk and breakfast cereals. However, if you check the nutritional facts on our local milk cartons, you will find that only one to two brands contain vitamin D.

Natural sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, canned sardines and mackerel with smaller amounts in egg yolks and certain mushrooms.

Fact or Myth 3: Vitamin D can strengthen the immune system and help ward off cancer.

Fact. Researchers now confirm that our immune cells have receptors for vitamin D, which means that it is needed at optimal levels for the immune system to function well. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity and an increased susceptibility to infection. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to 18 types of cancer.

Japanese researchers reported that daily supplementation of vitamin D3 reduces the risk of getting influenza A by over 40%. Another study found that people who maintained normal or optimal levels of vitamin D levels developed fewer viral infections, including influenza, and were sick for fewer days than participants with lower levels of vitamin D (PloSONE, June 14, 2010).

Vitamin D may help boost the immune system, according to new research (Mac, 2013) from Boston University School of Medicine. The study published online in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE, found raising levels of vitamin D in the blood markedly impacts genes linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases.

Dr Holick has noted that previous studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk for many of these diseases, but the new research goes a step further and provides direct evidence that boosting the "sunshine vitamin" plays a big role in improving immunity and lowering the risk for many conditions.

Fact or Myth 4: Not all Vitamin D supplements are equal.

Fact. Two forms of vitamin D are used in supplements: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 ("cholecalciferol"). Vitamin D3 is the type of vitamin D the body naturally produces in the skin in response to sun exposure. Vitamin D2 is produced naturally when fungi (yeast or mushrooms) are exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun or to artificial UV light.

Regardless of which form you use, your body must convert it into an active form, and vitamin D3 is converted five times faster than vitamin D2.

Fact or Myth 5: Vitamin D is fat soluble and can easily cause toxicity.

Myth. The safety limit is much higher than commonly believed. Based on the latest evidence, it is determined that 10,000 I.U. a day is non-toxic. After all, your body can easily make 20,000 I.U. after 30 minutes at the beach between 10am and 2pm.

Published cases of toxicity, for which serum levels and doses are known, all involve intake of over 40,000 IU (1,000mcg) per day. Many health experts recommend 1,000 I.U. to 2,000 I.U. of vitamin D3 supplements a day.

The Institute of Medicine was able to set a recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin D in 2010. The RDA for children and adults up through age 70 is 600 International Units (IU) per day. The RDA is 800 IU a day for adults older than 70. The safe upper limit for adults was set at 4,000 IU per day.

> This article is courtesy of Live-well Nutraceuticals, for more information, please consult your pharmacist or call Live-well INFOline: 03-6142 6570 or e-mail info@livewell2u.com. The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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