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Kefir: even better than yogurt for gut health? – Seattle Times

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It’s another way to ferment milk, using a kefir culture, known as kefir grains. Nutritionist Carrie Dennett explores a couple different ways to make it and shares her tips.
You likely know the benefits of yogurt for your gut microbiota, but do you know about kefir? Kefir is another way of fermenting milk that has more probiotics (beneficial microbes) than yogurt, often carrying twice as many bacterial strains along with some beneficial yeast strains. Bacterial diversity is good for your gut microbiota, which means kefir may have even greater benefits for gut health.
A kefir culture — known as kefir grains — is a community of microbes that form milky-white clumps that self-reproduce and grow over time (which means you can give some away to friends). Kefir cultures produce a thicker-than-milk, thinner-than-yogurt beverage that can be gently tart or quite sour. Sometimes it’s even bubbly. I’ve long used kefir in smoothies, in overnight oats and as a substitute for buttermilk in pancakes, waffles and biscuits.
According to Sandor Katz’s “The Art of Fermentation,” most commercially produced kefir is not cultured using actual kefir grains, mostly for logistical reasons. Kefir grains are complex, living things, which don’t lend themselves well to a consistent end product or reproduce fast enough to allow for the demands of large-scale production. Plus, kefir grains can produce beverages with a slight alcohol content, which presents a challenge commercially.
So how is that kefir in the dairy case made? With lab-produced starter cultures. The end result is a beverage that is also rich in beneficial microorganisms, but it’s questionable whether it should technically be called kefir. In my fledgling kefir experiments, I decided to try it both ways. I bought some freeze-dried kefir starter culture in the refrigerated section of my local PCC Natural Markets, and ordered some actual kefir grains from Yemoos Nourishing Cultures, based on a recommendation from another dietitian. I was pleased with both the grains and the how-to information on the Yemoos website.
Using the live kefir grains could not have been easier. I removed them from the package, rinsed them in a plastic strainer with a bit of milk, then put them in a clean jar with a cup of milk, covered with a cloth secured by a rubber band, and let it sit on my counter. Roughly 24 hours later (time will vary based on room temperature), I strained out the kefir grains, then put them back in the jar with a fresh cup of milk to start my next batch.
To use the starter culture, I heated a quart of milk to boiling (repasteurizing it) before adding the cultures and allowing it to sit on the counter for 24 hours. With either method, if you aren’t ready to drink your kefir, put it in the refrigerator. For flavored kefir, try blending one cup of frozen berries with two cups of kefir. Delicious!
The kefir grains are much easier to use, but they are more expensive and harder to get your hands on. However, they can be used over and over again if cared for properly. Once you use a packet of starter culture (there were six included), it’s done — which could count as a “pro” if you don’t want to make kefir regularly. Kefir grains, like all living things, need to be cared for — if you don’t use them regularly, they could die.
The general advice is to use raw or pasteurized — not ultrapasteurized — whole milk. Lower-fat milks also work, and it’s worth noting that kefir grains and cultures contain strains of yeast that feed on lactose. If you’ve wanted to try home fermentation, kefir is a low-effort way to test the waters.

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Coaching restructure at BAM – New Straits Times

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The Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Workouts For Swimmers – Swimming World Magazine

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The Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Workouts For Swimmers
The correct management of aerobic and anaerobic sets within a swimmer’s training will influence performance. This balance includes sharpening cardiovascular endurance and sprint speed. For instance, sprinters are more anaerobic-oriented. On the other hand, distance swimmers rely on the benefits of aerobic sets. In analyzing these types of workouts, the primary difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise is the workout’s intensity.
Swimmers increase their cardiovascular conditioning by maximizing the amount of oxygen in the blood. The goal is to build cardiovascular conditioning and improve the muscles’ oxidative capacity. For that reason, athletes should perform the sets at a moderately high intensity with minimum recovery between sets. However, since swimmers can consistently breathe and send oxygen through their bodies, aerobic workouts are categorized as “less stressful.” Subsequently, since oxygen is the main source of energy, swimmers should breathe faster and deeper when their heart rate is at rest. Subsequently, athletes can do aerobic workouts for longer periods.
Aerobic training is fundamental at the beginning of the season, approximately during the first eight to 12 weeks. Following this training approach will prepare athletes for high-intensity workouts and competitions that arise later in the season. Meanwhile, sme of the benefits of aerobic exercise include an increase in a swimmer’s stamina and a decrease in fatigue during exercising. Equally important, aerobic workouts also improve a swimmer’s ability to perform more efficient strokes with less energy.
The purpose of anaerobic exercise is to improve the muscles’ ability to lessen lactate. Lactate, also known as lactic acid, is a byproduct produced in the body after cells produce energy without oxygen around. Furthermore, during this process, the body grabs energy through glycogen. Glycogens are stored calories that the body uses when oxygen is not being pumped to the muscles to continue working out.
Anaerobic sets involve short-distance and high-intensity intervals. These strength-based workouts also include exerting a swimmer’s maximum effort. Since it is fundamental to reach maximum effort within the sets, anaerobic workouts can include long periods of rest. Then again, due to their high physical and mental demand, anaerobic sets sometimes are considered “more stressful.”
When done properly, anaerobic workouts benefit a swimmer’s muscle strength and mass, reduce soreness, and boost joint protection.
These sets occur when the athlete holds 1650 yards or 30 minutes (without stopping) pace. While doing so, the swimmer should tolerate the buildup of lactate. To sum up, a threshold set is a long workout in which the swimmer must speed through the set. For that reason, the required effort should be located between the aerobic and anaerobic zones.
Some of the benefits of doing thresholds include improving the swimmer’s stamina, the ability to process lactate, generating aerobic fitness and developing anaerobic explosiveness. Consequently, swimmers will be able to perform more repetitions of high intensity. The threshold set gives the swimmer a better idea of what the desired race pace feels like.
Usually, sprinters do not feel the need to perform aerobic sets. In the same way, long-distance swimmers may exclude anaerobic workouts. However, swimming has evolved and its training methods, too. Therefore, new training phases have emerged such as the threshold. It is best for coaches and swimmers to identify the correct balance between aerobic, anaerobic and threshold workouts. Additionally, it is fundamental that each swimmer keeps straight communication with his or her coach to avoid burnout, injuries and overtraining.
All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine or its staff.
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The #1 Root of Diabetes, According to Science — Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

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We’ve consulted with our team of licensed nutritionists and dietitians to bring you informed recommendations for food products, health aids and nutritional goods to safely and successfully guide you toward making better diet and nutrition choices. We strive to only recommend products that adhere to our philosophy of eating better while still enjoying what you eat.
The number of people living with diabetes is staggering. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, “34.2 million people, or 10.5% of the U.S. population, have diabetes. An estimated 26.8 million people – or 10.2% of the population – had diagnosed diabetes. Approximately 7.3 million people have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.” Eat This, Not That! Health talked to experts who explained what diabetes is, what causes it and how to help prevent it. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

1

Diabetes and Causes


Dr. Ani Rostomyan, a Doctor of Pharmacy , Holistic Pharmacist and Functional Medicine Practitioner who specializes in Pharmacogenomics and Nutrigenomic says, “Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease which has multifactorial pathogenesis, which means many factors are involved in disease formation, the root cause of type 2 diabetes is only partially understood even in current day’s medicine. It is a heterogeneous disease and both genetic and environmental components are involved. The combination of these factors, such as obesity, genetics, some ethnicities, certain unhealthy lifestyles, affect insulin release and responsiveness, causing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is accompanied with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), insulin resistance, and impaired insulin secretion, and it is clear that Western lifestyle and diets attribute greatly to vastly growing numbers in the United States as well. Diabetes is getting younger, affecting more and more teens and young adults as well, which again correlates that lifestyle has a tremendous impact on management and prevention of it.”

2

Insulin Resistance


Dr. Pri Hennis, M.D. Family Physician and Functional Nutrition Coach explains, “Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease caused by a dysregulation of cell response to insulin. Insulin is endogenous to our body and is created in the pancreas. Insulin helps break down the sugar we eat into energy. In type 2 diabetes cells in the body do not respond normally to insulin over time. This causes a rise in blood sugar in the body leading to blockages of small and large blood vessels and nerves. Although type 2 develops typically as an adult, the rise in obesity in America is causing a rise of type 2 diabetes in the young adults, teens and even children. When getting a new diagnosis of diabetes to prediabetes it is important to start some type of lifestyle change in addition to medications if your doctor suggests. Why, you ask? Diabetes is a progressive disease, and the symptoms and damage of the high blood sugars go on much before the actual diagnosis. For most people, without any other risk factors, it can take 10 years to go from normal blood sugars to prediabetes and then to full blown diabetes. So, what can you do to prevent this? Talk to your doctor about your labs checking for diabetes at least annually, if not sooner. If the numbers are not abnormal yet, put in the work with lifestyle changes, ask for support from your doctor sooner than later. Everyone’s journey before and after getting the diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes is different, so it’s important to ask for help if you are not seeing results in three months.”
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3

Environmental and Genetic Factors


“It comes naturally to blame someone or something when it comes to a new diagnosis,” Dr. Hennis says. “But remember our current state is the result of our past actions whether self-inflicted, environmental, or genetic. The effects of some of these factors are not always reversible, but if you don’t change your habits today you create more problems. Medications help some but cannot stop you from having the highs and lows of blood sugar if you continue to eat high glycemic index foods. Exercise helps the cells of your body become more efficient with managing insulin. So, walk past the donut in the lunchroom; opt to go for a walk instead. Sugar is addictive and requires a lot of support, so get the help you need from your doctor.”
RELATED: The #1 Cause of COVID-19, According to Science 

4

Poor Nutritional and Lack of Physical Activity


Dr. Hennis states, “It is important to incorporate a healthy lifestyle with both the right foods and right activity to help you. You might have heard your doctor say, “eat better, move more.” But how do you do this, each new habit feels like it needs some drastic changes in your lifestyle. You make a goal and stop after a week because it becomes unsustainable. I can start by sharing some important tips to get you started. Let’s talk about specifics:
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5

Prevention


Dr. Rostomyan explains, “There is a great body of evidence showing that by the time people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 50% of beta cell function is already impaired so reversal oftentimes refers to managing Diabetes to a degree where major micro and macro vascular complications are prevented, we cannot fully reverse diabetes or cure it, since it’s a metabolic disease and prevention here is the key. Although in some instances it is possible to partially regain insulin sensitivity through weight loss, exercise, healthy Mediterranean Diet, and certain Diabetes medications as well.”
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6

Ways to Put Diabetes in Remission


“Prevention and diabetes awareness is the only proven way to avoid type 2 diabetes complications and living and breathing a healthy lifestyle and making core life changing habits is the way to go,” says Dr. Rostomyan. “I suggest the Mediterranean Diet. Adopting diets that exclude refined carbs, sugars, a variety of added sugars and adding foods that don’t increase insulin levels, such as healthy fats and lean protein is the key to keeping the insulin levels low and preventing carbohydrate overload . High insulin levels promote weight gain and more insulin resistance, which is the mechanism of progressing type 2 diabetes to a higher degree.”
Dr. Hennis recommends other methods of prevention. “One habit is drinking one 8 ounce cup of water before putting any food in your mouth. This helps you stay fuller, so you don’t overeat. Another habit is not shopping for processed or complex sugars which include: white flour, candy or juice. If you don’t keep it in your home, you are less likely to consume it. You can buy almond or coconut flour, sugar free gum or real fruit to replace those foods. Another habit is setting aside 15-mins at least three times a week to do some sort of moderate physical activity. This can include doing jumping jacks when your kids are playing, or using a skipping rope. Remember, you don’t have to complicate how to exercise, the important thing is getting it done. Your doctor is always a good support system, and can refer you to a dietician if you need more direction!”

7

The Difference Between Prediabetes and Diabetes


“If your body is starting to become insulin resistant, your blood sugar after an 8 hour fast will show numbers between 100mg/dl – 125mg/dl. If you are diabetic these numbers will be greater than 126mg/dl. For a non-diabetic numbers are below 100mg/dL upon fasting,” Dr. Hennis explains. “You have three options when you are diagnosed with prediabetes: lifestyle change, medication + lifestyle, or medication only. Your doctor can talk to you about what medication options you might be eligible for; however I cannot stress the importance of incorporating lifestyle changes. As humans we don’t like change, but choosing one item you could incorporate in your daily habits can make a big impact. If you change one habit per week, that’s at least 52 habits you can change in one year!” And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
© 2020 Galvanized Media. All Rights Reserved. EatThis.com is part of the AllRecipes Food Group

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