Posted by: yourhealthradio | November 17, 2011

House Calls – Processed Food & Restless Sleeping

House Calls from the Carrboro Citizen 11.17.11

Dear HOUSE Calls, What is the long-term effect of processed foods on the American public?
That is no small question. First off, let’s recognize that not all processed foods are the same, and some companies are making a real effort to decrease the processed carbohydrates, trans fat and sodium contents in processed foods. Most of what we eat is processed. At the grocery store, usually the stuff around the edges is whole food (produce, meat, dairy) and everything else is processed to some extent. about 90 percent of the American diet is processed, and what may be worse is that 25 percent of Americans eat fast food every day, and 30 percent of children do so. Why do we eat processed foods? It is easier, cheaper and may taste better, but excess fat and carbohydrates can lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure. And there are countless artificial additives with lesser-known long-term health effects, though most are probably safe. One of the important points about processed food is that your diet is made up of what you eat and also what you don’t eat. If you are eating out of a box, you are eating less from the produce aisle. Half our plate should come from the produce aisle in order to get a diet high in fiber, lower in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. Lastly, not to get too sentimental, but eating out of a box or at the drive-through may reflect a cultural or social change from eating with families and talking.
Dear HOUSE Calls, I roll around a lot in my sleep, often keeping people awake. Is there a reason for that? Is it a problem?
That is a really interesting question. First, everybody moves in their sleep. We have studied people during sleep with video and find that sleep movement is universal and more frequent than most of us think. However, if sleep movement is causing problems for you or your bed partner, you may want to talk to your doctor about it. Sleep movement can interfere with deep sleep and leave the person feeling poorly rested after sleep. Often it is accompanied by an uncomfortable feeling in the legs known as restless leg syndrome. Sometimes sleep movement can be a real problem for bed partners, actually hurting them or just interfering with their sleep. We hope that helps you get started.

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