Fiber for Bowel Movement


Following on my issues about constipation.  I remember a colleague called in the maintenance man because the toilet was plugged up and she couldn’t unplug it.  He joked about the women in the office and suggested they added fiber to their diet.  She countered with, “But that would make it worse!”


Strange isn’t it that they recommend fiber for constipation?  There are reasons for it, but sometimes it seems counter-intuitive.  I guess it really depends on what the constipation problem is.  If someone produces large, hard stools, but has a hard time passing it, fiber might not be a good option.  Fiber bulks up the stool and helps the bowels move.  However, if you already have bulky stools, you wouldn’t want to bulk it up some more.  If you have small, hard stools, fiber might help.


If stools are hard, some use stool softeners.  They are not laxatives in themselves, but because they sometimes soften stools too much, some people complain they get diarrhea.  Perhaps, the best suggestion for some of these people may be to drink more water.  Or even juices.  Some people feel apple or grape juice can induce diarrhea.  But, the one juice most people associate with bowel movements is prune juice.  Prune juice is probably ideal because it contains fiber and liquid. However, it does not work for everyone, either.  Of course, nothing is ever 100% guaranteed to work.  I’ve tried prune juice and sometimes, it can cause cramping when it takes effect.


I know lots of people who resort to over-the-counter laxatives.  Some people actually abuse them, because they wrongly assume they have constipation when it may not be.  Then, there are those anorexics who abuse them for the sole purpose of remaining thin.  However, you look at it, laxative abuse is dangerous.  For that matter, many doctors hate it when people use laxatives, especially when they don’t inform their doctors about their use.  It may interfere with other medications or cause other problems that may be misdiagnosed.


Regular exercise is also supposed to be good as it keeps the body fit and functioning properly.  Yet, how to gauge the effect of exercise is difficult.  I’m not a couch potato, but neither am I excessively active.  But, summer is here, so I should make a conscious effort to engage in real exercise every day.

Unexpected Link Between Cancer & Vegetables


In the promotion of healthy eating, we are all told to have 5-7 servings of vegetables and 3-5 servings of fruits a day. In addition, we are warned to decrease our consumption of meat, especially red meat. This is most likely due to the high quantity of fat found in red meat. On the other hand, the consumption of fish is good for you. All the health experts are constantly inundating us with new findings indicating the link between a poor diet and poor health. No surprise. They further report that red meat is linked to many different cancers.


So it is no surprise that yet another study has shown that those who follow a strictly vegetarian diet have lower rates of cancer than those who eat red meat. It is also no surprise that the consumption of fish reduced the rates of cancer. But wait! There is a surprise. The new study showed that despite the lower risk of overall cancer, those who followed the vegetarian diet had a higher risk of colorectal cancer than those who eat red meat. This goes against prior preachings on eating more vegetables and less meat to prevent colorectal cancer.


It has stupefied scientists, who will now need to look further into this unexpected link. So, it appears that there will need to be a shift in our thinking. I would not suggest that vegetarians eat meat. However, I would caution them to beware lest they are complacent in their belief that all is well for them in health. Perhaps, the best diet would be one that is high in fruits, vegetables and fish, and less in red meat. We will need to wait and see.

Choosing the Right Food


I was placed on hold talking to customer service and instead of just playing music, there were infomercial ads.  This particular one focused on eating healthy.  I was not able to hear all of it, but a couple of the advice given was sensible and reiterated some things I said previously.


If you’re concerned about your weight and would like to lose some, or if you just want to maintain a healthy diet, it can be very difficult to follow through when you’re dining out.   And, let’s face it, most of us get tired of eating the same things day in and day out or struggling to come up with a good meal to fix every night.  So, occasionally, we do need to dine out.  But, there are ways to keep to your resolutions.


The first suggestion is to order a soup like minestrone as a starter.  As I’ve mentioned before, eating a hearty soup does fill you up and the effect lasts longer than eating dry food and washing it down with water.  In effect, having this soup first prevents you from eating more in your main course.


The other suggestion is a little more interesting.  It involves eating seafood.  Of course, we know that fatty fish contains the good fat, omega-3, which is heart healthy.  But, according to this ad, omega-3 also boosts hormones in your brain to help with depression.  I’m not sure of the science behind this, but I guess it would be healthier than the typical comfort food.  So, if you’re feeling down, grab some mackerel sushi.