The demon in yellow mee and fish balls

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/03/25/the-demon-in-yellow-mee-and-fish-balls/

KUALA LUMPUR: Know how much salt is contained in instant noodles, yellow mee and fish balls?

The three items are enjoyed by many Malaysians on a daily basis, but their excessive consumption doesn’t bode well for the heart and blood pressure due to their high sodium chloride – known commonly as table salt – content, says a dietician.

In an interview with FMT, National Heart Institute (IJN) chief dietician Mary Easaw said processed foods, such as instant noodles and fish balls, contained a lot of salt.

“If you look at noodles, you’ll see that mee hoon and kuey teow contain only 6mg of sodium chloride per every 100gm.”

In the case of instant noodles, every 100gm contains 104mg of sodium chloride, while every 100gm of yellow mee contains 177mg of sodium chloride.

“In the case of fish balls, 10 fish balls contain 800mg of sodium chloride. In comparison, 10 small slices of fish only contain 100mg of salt.”

But Easaw said Malaysians had to be aware of more than just how much salt a food item contained.

“People need to know where salt comes from. It’s more than just table salt. Salt is also contained in large quantities in processed meats, preserved foods and sauces such as soy and oyster sauce, as well as tomato and chilli sauce.

“So, when we eat out or cook at home, sauces would be mixed alongside ingredients which already contain salt. It’s more salt than we need.”

Easaw said awareness of how much salt foods contained, and where they came from, was especially important in Asia as Asians had a greater tendency to consume foods which had a higher salt content compared with Westerners.

“This is down to us Asians having a ‘fifth’ taste sense known as umami, which is sensitive to a type of amino acid known more commonly as glutamate,” she said, adding that ‘umami’ was something which was still being studied by scientists.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults consume less than 2,000mg of sodium a day, but according to a 2015 New Straits Times article, Malaysians consume some 2,575mg of salt. This is 25% more than the recommended amount.

Last June, Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam revealed that 6.1 million Malaysians suffered from hypertension and 9.6 million had a high cholesterol level. He said 3.3 million Malaysians were obese.

All three diseases are linked to a high intake of salt.

In 2008, the World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) in the UK launched a global movement to improve the health of populations across the world by a gradual reduction in salt intake.

WASH runs Salt Awareness Week from March 20 to 26 every year to highlight the importance of salt reduction.

 

Unhealthy eating is linked to 400,000 US deaths per year: Study

MIAMI — Unhealthy eating habits can be blamed for more than 400,000 US deaths a year due to heart disease and related illnesses, researchers said Thursday (March 10).

The problem is twofold: Americans are eating too much salty, fatty and sugary fare, and not enough fruit, vegetables and whole grains, experts said at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Portland, Oregon.

“Low intake of healthy foods such as nuts, vegetables, whole grains and fruits combined with higher intake of unhealthy dietary components, such as salt and trans fat, is a major contributor to deaths from cardiovascular disease in the United States,” said lead study author mr Ashkan Afshin, assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Trans fat has been largely phased out of the food supply, but can still be found in some margarines, biscuits, cookies, frosting and other processed foods.

If Americans were to alter their eating habits, many lives could be saved, Mr Afshin said.

“Our results show that nearly half of cardiovascular disease deaths in the United States can be prevented by improving diet.”

The study was based on data from a variety of sources going back to the 1990s, including the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

More than 600,000 people die annually because of heart disease, or one in four of all US deaths.

Smoking, obesity, diet, exercise and hereditary factors can all contribute to person’s likelihood of developing heart disease.

By examining data on US cardiovascular deaths in 2015, researchers found that dietary choices played a role in the deaths of an estimated 222,100 men and 193,400 women.

Experts at the American Heart Association encourage people to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish and poultry.

People should avoid or limit their intake of fatty or processed red meat, sugary soft drinks, salt, saturated and trans fats. AFP

http://www.todayonline.com/world/americas/unhealthy-eating-linked-400000-us-deaths-year-study

Enter hospitals alive, exit dead – BN MP jabs deputy minister

Read more:  http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/374943

PARLIAMENT:    A BN lawmaker grilled Deputy Health Minister Dr Hilmi Yahya over hospital equipment and lack of specialist doctors, claiming that in remote areas in Sarawak, those who go to hospitals end up dead.

“In government hospitals, if an equipment breaks down, it is not a matter of how many days (to fix it) but months.

“In Bintulu, if patients want to meet specialists, they have to wait for months (too).

“In Sarawak’s remote areas, people walk in to the hospitals, but leave on a trolley. They are gone (dead),” said Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu).

He had initially asked how much the Health Ministry was spending to improve the infrastructure of rural hospitals, as well as the reasons why hospital equipment were not well maintained.

In his reply, Hilmi said the ministry was facing challenges with their equipment because it was often old or in need of maintenance.

On the upside, Hilmi said that in 2016, the uptime for hospital equipment was at 98 percent, with some exceptions where spare parts had to be procured from overseas.

He added that the Health Ministry was constantly monitoring the maintenance of hospital equipment to ensure that it is done properly and quickly.

As for specialists, Hilmi said the Bintulu hospital had 10 such doctors.

Tiong, however, disputed this.

“This answer is wrong. There are no specialists in Bintulu. All the experts go to Kuching or Sibu, don’t ‘kong kali kong’ (say empty words) again,” he said.

Tiong also rubbished Hilmi’s answers on equipment maintenance and drew parallels between the low quality of maintenance and the state of the newly re-opened and renovated parliament building.

“This House is new, but if we step on the carpet too much, the carpet fuzz comes out,” he said, describing it in Malay as “kalau kita pijak lebih-lebih di karpet sana, dia keluar bulu, bulu-bulu keluar.”

“This is not quality, this is low quality and hospitals are the same,” he added.

His comments about carpet fuzz confused deputy speaker Ismail Mohammad Said at first, who said he did not hear the remarks properly.

This provided Tiong with another chance to take a swipe.

“This is the problem with our sound system, when the mouth is near (the microphone) you can (hear what is said) but if you are far then you can’t hear,” he added.

 

 

Breast cancer study shows soy reduces the risk of mortality

LOS ANGELES, March 7 — A new study published in the journal of the American Cancer Society, Cancer, encourages breast cancer patients to increase their chances of survival by eating soy foods.

According to an American study conducted by Tufts University, Massachusetts, isoflavones contained in soy, which have the capacity to mimic the action of estrogen, can improve the prognosis for women affected by an aggressive form of breast cancer.

In the wake of of several controversial studies on this topic, which affirmed that these phytoestrogen compounds reduced the efficacy of hormone therapy and contributed to the growth of cancer cells, researchers at Tufts sought to evaluate the impact of dietary soy on the risk of mortality among breast cancer patients.

Of the 6,235 American and Canadian women who were monitored by the study for a period of nine years, those who had a high intake of dietary soy benefited from a 21 per cent lower risk of dying when compared with participants who consumed smaller quantities.

This protective effect of soy was largely confined to patients suffering from hormone receptor-negative tumors and to a lesser extent, patients who were not treated with anti-estrogen therapy.

In contrast to previous studies, a high intake of soy was not associated with higher levels of mortality among hormone therapy patients, point out the researchers.

Approximately 20 per cent of breast cancers are of the hormone receptor-negative (HR-) variety, which is more aggressive and has a lower survival rate than hormone receptor-positive (HR+) cancer.

To increase their chances of survival, the researchers recommend that women consume soy-rich foods as part of a balanced diet, take regular exercise, reduce their alcohol intake, avoid smoking and take steps to manage their levels of stress.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. — AFP-Relaxnews

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/features/article/breast-cancer-study-reports-that-soy-reduces-the-risk-of-mortality-by-21pc#sthash.gKhWkw4F.dpuf

Exercise more effective than meds at relieving fatigue for cancer patients

Psychological interventions, such as therapy to help change personal behavior and the way a person thinks about his or her circumstances, also had a similar, beneficial effect.

Exercise could be a more effective way of reducing cancer-related fatigue than medications suggests new research published this week in JAMA Oncology.

Led by the Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester in the state of New York, the study analyzed more than 11,000 patients across 113 unique studies that tested various treatments for cancer-related fatigue.

All were randomized clinical trials, the highest standard for evaluating effective treatments.

Nearly half of the studies’ participants were women with breast cancer, with ten studies focusing on other types of cancer and including only men.

All of the participants suffered cancer-related fatigue, the most common side effect during and after cancer treatment.

This type of fatigue is different from being chronically tired, explains lead author Karen Mustian, and is a “crushing” sensation that’s not relieved by rest or sleep and that can persist for months or even years.

Even more concerning, Mustian explained, is that this fatigue can decrease a patient’s chances of survival because sufferers are less likely to complete medical treatments, with the National Cancer Institute putting cancer-related fatigue as a top research priority.

After analyzing the data, Mustian and her team found that exercise alone — including both aerobic or anaerobic — had the most significant effect on reducing cancer-related fatigue.

Psychological interventions, such as therapy to help change personal behavior and the way a person thinks about his or her circumstances, also had a similar, beneficial effect.

However, perhaps surprisingly, studies which looked at a combination of exercise and psychological therapy had mixed results, with the researchers unable to say for sure what is the best combination of both to make them effective.

With exercise and/or psychological therapy working better than medications used for treating cancer-related fatigue, the team now believe that these methods should be recommended first to patients.

“The literature bears out that these drugs don’t work very well although they are continually prescribed,” commented Mustian, “Cancer patients already take a lot of medications and they all come with risks and side effects. So any time you can subtract a pharmaceutical from the picture it usually benefits patients.”

“If a cancer patient is having trouble with fatigue, rather than looking for extra cups of coffee, a nap, or a pharmaceutical solution, consider a 15-minute walk,” she suggested.

Mustian has been studying exercise and cancer alongside Wilmot colleagues for almost 15 years. Much or her work looks at gentle yoga, walking, resistance bands, and other forms of movement to help ease side effects.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2017/03/05/exercise-more-effective-than-meds-at-relieving-fatigue-for-cancer-patients/