Saturday 28 February 2015



Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrums, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many diseases in the baby. Milk contains many other nutrients  and the carbohydrate lactose. The majority of the world's people are lactose intolerant.

Milk is nature’s wonder beverage. It helps build strong bones and lower blood pressure. It may reduce the risk of diabetes and it can help you maintain a healthy weight. It is both tasty and satisfying. 
There is no other food or beverage that provides the same health benefits as milk.
It’s a powerful package of goodness, containing important nutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, high-quality protein and vitamins A and D. 
Milk is a great nutrition deal for your food dollar.
Spend some time with these fun brochures and info graphics to learn more about milk and cheese:
Milk Processing

Most milk undergoes processing before you buy it at the store. The three primary steps include: pasteurization, homogenization and fortification.

Pasteurization heats the milk to destroy harmful microorganisms and prolong shelf life. Normal pasteurization keeps milk safer while maintaining its valuable nutrients. Ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk is pasteurized at a much higher temperature to make it sterile. UHT milk is then packed into special containers that keep it safe without requiring refrigeration.
After pasteurization, milk undergoes homogenization to prevent separation of the milk fat from the fluid milk. Homogenization creates a smooth, uniform texture.

Finally, milk is fortified to increase its nutritional value or to replace nutrients lost during processing. Vitamin D is added to most milk produced in the United States to facilitate the absorption of calcium. Vitamin A is frequently added to reduced-fat, low-fat and fat-free milks. Vitamin A promotes normal vision, particularly helping the eyes to adjust to low-light settings. Check the Nutrients in Milk page for a complete listing of the key nutrients found in milk.

Types of Milk

 The primary types of milk sold in stores are: whole milk, reduced-fat milk (2%), low-fat milk(1%), and fat-free milk. The percentages included in the names of the milk indicate how much fat is in the milk by weight.

Whole milk (3.25% fat) is what comes from the cow before, while reduced-fat milk (2% fat), low-fat milk (1% fat), and fat-free or skim milk (0% fat) undergo processing to remove extra fat that comes from the cream. Besides the noticeable difference in taste, whole milk and low-fat or skim milks differ in their fat, nutrient, and calorie content.
Of the four options, whole milk has the highest amount of saturated fat and calories, with around 150 calories(compared to skim milk’s 90 calories) and four grams of saturated fat per eight-ounce serving. While whole milk has more saturated fat, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing—more and more research suggests saturated fat may not actually be unhealthy. Whole milk does contain more cholesterol per eight-ounce serving—24 milligrams of cholesterol compared to skim milk’s five milligrams, but some studies have found that whole milk might not increase total cholesterol, and may actually raise good HDL cholesterol levels   
Skim milk is made by physically separating and removing the fat content from whole dairy milk. Since fat removal also strips the milk of all its fat-soluble vitamins, skim milk must be fortified with vitamins A and D to make up for the loss of nutrition. For the general population, skim milk serves as an excellent nutritional substitute for whole milk. It is the more favorable choice if you are on a reduced fat diet or have a higher risk of heart disease. However, there are experts who question the safety of the skimming process and argue that drinking skim milk instead of whole milk can result in adverse health effects.
reduced-fat milk contains 2% milk fat and low-fat milk contains 1% milk fat.
Fat-free milk, also called nonfat or skim, contains no more than 0.2% milk fat.
Making low-fat and fat-free milk involves skimming the cream from whole milk out of the final product. Unfortunately, fat-soluble vitamins D, A, E, and K (which are found in the milk fat) go along with it. As a result, reduced-fat, low-fat, and skim milks contain lower amounts of many nutrients, but milk companies (even some organic brands!) have figured out how to add these vitamins back in during processing to fortify the final product with nutrients, particularly vitamins A and D. Some brands also boost their product with powdered milk solids to achieve the thick, white texture we’re accustomed to seeing (since fat-free milk is naturally blue-tinted and pretty watery). Fortification ensures that lower-fat milks are nutritionally similar to whole milk and can remain a significant source of vitamins in the diet. Regardless, whole milk proponents argue that fat-soluble vitamins are not as easily absorbed without the milk fat present.
All of these milks contain the nine essential nutrients found in whole milk but less fat. The United States government sets minimum standards for fluid milk that is produced and sold. Reduced fat milks have all of the nutrients of full fat milk; no water is added to these types of milk.
Organic Milk

All milk must comply with very stringent safety standards and is among the most highly regulated and safest foods available. Organic milk is produced by dairy farmers that use only organic fertilizers and organic pesticides, and their cows are not given supplemental hormones (rBST). Dairy farmers and producers make many specialty forms of milk to meet consumer preferences and needs. Organic milk is also available as lactose-free and ultra-pasteurized.
The organic label is not a judgment about the quality or safety of the milk. As with all organic foods, it's the process that makes milk organic, not the final product. The nutrient content of organic milk is the same as standard milk and offers no additional health benefits compared to standard milk. Stringent government standards that include testing all types of milk for antibiotic and pesticide residues ensure that both organic milk and conventional milk are pure, safe and nutritious.1

lactose-free milk. It has added lactase to break down the lactose. It also has about the same nutrients as regular milk.

How to choose milk?
Dairy milk comes in many varieties to match the wide range of consumer preferences. 
§  Do you like your milk creamy but not too rich? Then low-fat milk is a good choice.
§  Do you prefer a light taste and low calories? Then fat-free milk might be for you.
§  Do you have trouble digesting lactose? Then lactose-free milk might be your best choice.
§  Is your baby a year old and being weaned from the bottle? Then select whole milk for their second year of life.
§  Need boxes of milk to put in your child's lunch box? The single portion, shelf-stable milk boxes will meet your need. 

There is a variety and choice to fit every age and lifestyle.

Choosing between whole, skim, or low-fat milk is largely a matter of personal choice in terms of diet, use, and preference. Skim or low-fat milk might be a better choice for people who are trying to hit specific daily caloric goals or those who already obtain a lot of fat from other foods in their diet. For people trying to gain weight, build muscle, or obtain more natural nutrients, whole milk makes a lot more sense. Each option has both benefits and drawbacks, so picking “the best milk” is more about balance than one right or wrong choice—a little skim milk with cereal, some whole milk in a protein shake, and a dash of 2% in a cup of coffee seems like a good compromise.


              How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

Humans, like all animals, need sleep, along with food, water and oxygen, to survive. For humans sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. We spend up to one-third of our lives asleep, and the overall state of our “sleep health ” remains an essential question throughout our lifespan.
Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority. For many of us with sleep debt , we’ve forgotten what “being really, truly rested” feels like.
To further complicate matters, stimulants like coffee and energy drinks, alarm clocks, and external lights—including those from electronic devices—interferes with our “circadian rhythm ” or natural sleep/wake cycle.
Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. To determine how much sleep you need, it's important to assess not only where you fall on the "sleep needs spectrum," but also to examine what lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep such as work schedules and stress.

Why Is Sleep Important?

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.
The way you feel while you're awake depends in part on what happens while you're sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.
The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.

Healthy Brain Function and Emotional Well-Being

Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information.
Studies show that a good night's sleep improves learning. Whether you're learning math, how to play the piano, how to perfect your golf swing, or how to drive a car, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.
If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.
Children and teens who are sleep deficient may have problems getting along with others. They may feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation. They also may have problems paying attention, and they may get lower grades and feel stressed.

Physical Health

Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, andstroke
Sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity. For example, one study of teenagers showed that with each hour of sleep lost, the odds of becoming obese went up. Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity in other age groups as well.
Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested.
Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.
Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a role in puberty and fertility.
Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.

Daytime Performance and Safety

Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps you function well throughout the day. People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school. They take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes.
After several nights of losing sleep—even a loss of just 1–2 hours per night—your ability to function suffers as if you haven't slept at all for a day or two.
Lack of sleep also may lead to microsleep. Microsleep refers to brief moments of sleep that occur when you're normally awake.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

·         Newborns (0-3 months ): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)

·    Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)

·    Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)

·    Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)

·    School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)

·    Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)

·    Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)

·    Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours

·    Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category) 

Improve Your Sleep Today: Make Sleep a Priority

Try to keep the following sleep practices on a consistent basis:

1.    Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.

This helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.

2.    Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.

A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.

3.    Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.

Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.

4.    Exercise daily.

Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.

5.    Evaluate your room.

Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes a bed partner's sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.

6.    Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.

Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.

7.    Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms.

Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will keep your circadian rhythms in check.

8.    Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening.

Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. It is good to finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.

9.    Wind down. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading.

For some people, using an electronic device such as a laptop can make it hard to fall asleep, because the particular type of light emanating from the screens of these devices is activating to the brain. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid electronics before bed or in the middle of the night.

10.  If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.

It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine.
If you’re still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or to find a sleep professional. You may also benefit from recording your sleep in a Sleep Diary to help you better evaluate common patterns or issues you may see with your sleep or sleeping habits.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Problem Sleepiness?

Sleep deficiency can cause you to feel very tired during the day. You may not feel refreshed and alert when you wake up. Sleep deficiency also can interfere with work, school, driving, and social functioning.
How sleepy you feel during the day can help you figure out whether you're having symptoms of problem sleepiness. You might be sleep deficient if you often feel like you could doze off while:
  • ·         Sitting and reading or watching TV
  • ·         Sitting still in a public place, such as a movie theater, meeting, or           classroom
  • ·         Riding in a car for an hour without stopping
  • ·         Sitting and talking to someone
  • ·         Sitting quietly after lunch
  • ·         Sitting in traffic for a few minutes

Sleep deficiency can cause problems with learning, focusing, and reacting. You may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, remembering things, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. You may take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes.
The signs and symptoms of sleep deficiency may differ between children and adults. Children who are sleep deficient might be overly active and have problems paying attention. They also might misbehave, and their school performance can suffer.
Sleep-deficient children may feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation.

Friday 27 February 2015




The number of calories you need to eat each day depends on several factors, including your age, size, height, sex, lifestyle, and overall general health. A physically active 6ft 2in male, aged 22 years, requires considerably more calories than a 5ft 2ins sedentary woman in her 70s.

It has been discovered that even factors such as how you eat your food can influence how many calories get into your system. The longer you chew your food, the more calories the body retains, a team from Purdue University found.
If you would like to learn more about calories - what they are and what they are important for - you might want to take a look at our Knowledge Center article all about calories. The rest of this article will discuss how your body uses calories and how many your body might need to achieve optimum energy levels.

How many calories do I need to eat per day?
The Harris-Benedict equation, also known as the Harris-Benedict principle, is used to estimate what a person's BMR (basal metabolic rate) and daily requirements are. The person's BMR total is multiplied by another number which represents their level of physical activity. The resulting number is that person's recommended daily calorie intake in order to keep theirbody weight where it is.
This equation has limitations. It does not take into account varying levels of muscle mass to fat mass ratios - a very muscular person needs more calories, even when resting.
How to calculate your BMR

§  Male adults
66.5 + (13.75 x kg body weight) + (5.003 x height in cm) - (6.755 x age) = BMR
66 + ( 6.23 x pounds body weight) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.76 x age) = BMR

§  Female adults
55.1 + (9.563 x kg body weight) + (1.850 x height in cm) - (4.676 x age) = BMR
655 + (4.35 x kg body weight) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age) = BMR

BMR calculators
You can use our BMR calculators below to work out your BMR. One uses metric measurements and the other uses imperial measurements - the choice is yours.
1) Metric BMR Calculator
Please note that both of these calculators require JavaScript to be enabled in your browser settings. Results will appear in the box underneath these calculators.
Top of Form
(in cm, e.g: 183)
(in kg, e.g: 63)
Bottom of Form

BMR Calculator Result
Your BMR value is 1822. This means that your body will burn 1822 calories each day if you engage in no activity for the entire day.

Working out your daily calorie requirement
To work out a figure for your calorie requirement per day, we apply levels of physical activity to the equation as per the guide below:
§  Sedentary lifestyle - if you do very little or no exercise at all
Your daily calorie requirement is BMR x 1.2

§  Slightly active lifestyle - light exercise between once and three times per week
Your daily calorie requirement is BMR x 1.375

§  Moderately active lifestyle - if you do moderate exercise three to five days per week
Your daily calorie requirement is BMR x 1.55

§  Active lifestyle - if you do intensive/heavy exercise six to seven times per week
Your daily calorie requirement is BMR x 1.725

§  Very active lifestyle - if you do very heavy/intensive exercise twice a day (extra heavy workouts
Your daily calorie requirement is BMR x 1.9

The human body and energy usage

For the human body to remain alive, it requires energy. Approximately 20% of the energy we use is for brain metabolism. The majority of the rest of the body's energy requirements are taken up for the basal metabolic requirements - the energy we need when in a resting state, for functions such as the circulation of the blood and breathing.
If our environment is cold, our metabolism increases to produce more heat to maintain a constant body temperature. When we are in a warm environment, we require less energy.
We also require mechanical energy for our skeletal muscles for posture and moving around.
Respiration, or specifically cellular respiration refers to the metabolic process by which an organism gets energy by reacting oxygen with glucose to produce carbon dioxide, water and ATP energy. How efficiently energy from respiration converts into physical (mechanical) power depends on the type of food eaten, as well as what type of physical energy is used - whether muscles are used aerobically or anaerobically.
Put simply - we need calories to stay alive, even if we are not moving, and need calories to keep our posture and to move about.
How much should I weigh?
As with how many calories you should consume, your ideal body weight depends on several factors. These include your age, sex, bone density, muscle-fat ratio, and height.
§  BMI (Body Mass Index) - some say BMI is a good way of working out what you should weigh. However, BMI does not take into account muscle mass. A 100-metre Olympic champion weighing 200 pounds (about 91 kilograms), who is 6 feet (about 1mt 83cm) tall, who has the same BMI as a couch potato of the same height, is not overweight, while the couch potato is overweight.

§  Waist-hip ratio - this measurement is said to be more accurate at determining what your ideal weight should be, compared to BMI. However, waist-hip ratio does not properly measure an individual's total body fat percentage (muscle-to-fat ratio), and is also limited.

Waist-to-height ratio - this new way of determining ideal body weight is probably the most accurate one available today. It was presented by Dr. Margaret Ashwell, ex-science director of the British Nutrition Foundation, and team at the 19th Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France, on 12th May, 2012. It is also a very simple calculation; easy for lay people to work out. Put simply, to achieve and/or maintain your ideal body weight, "Keep your waist circumference to less than half your height."
If you are a 6ft (183cm) tall adult male, your waist should not exceed 36 inches (91 cm).
If you are a 5ft 4 inches (163 cm) tall adult female, your waist should not exceed 32 inches (81 cm)

How do I measure my waist? - according to the World Health Organization (WHO), you should place the tape-measure half-way between the lower rib and the iliac crest (the the pelvic bone at the hip).

Fast facts on daily calorie intake

Here are some key points about daily calorie intake. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
§ Recommended calorie intake depends on factors such as age, size, height, sex, lifestyle and overall general health.
§ The longer you chew your food, the more calories your body retains.
§ Recommended daily calorie intakes in the US are 2,700 for men and 2,200 for women.
§ Eating a big breakfast could help with weight reduction and maintenance.
§ When food is eaten may matter as much as what and how many calories are eaten.
§ Average calorie consumption in industrialized nations and a growing number of emerging economies is higher than it used to be.
§ Approximately 20% of the energy used in the human body is for brain metabolism.
§ Ideal body weight depends on several factors including age, bone density and muscle-fat ratio.
§ The types of food that calories are acquired from are highly important in terms ofnutrition.
§ A 500-calorie meal consisting of fruits and vegetables is much better for your health and will keep you from being hungry for longer than a 500-calorie snack of popcorn.
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