Gen Nakaji writes:
Mrs. Yuki Masuda is a 48-year-old
native Japanese housewife who has recently returned to Japan after living
in Canada. She is worried about developing breast cancer, because many
of her friends in North America have had breast cancer. She is cancer-free
according to tests. But she has four problems about her life style, her
way of thinking, and particularly her eating habit. Let's check her problems
and advise her about ways to overcome them.
Her first problem is that she doesn't have enough vegetables and fruits. Vegetables contain various vitamins (particularly carotene and B-2), minerals like Fe, Ca, K etc. And they contain fiber, so they are very useful for smooth excretion. Fruits also contain vitamins and minerals, but the amounts of vitamins and minerals are not as great as in vegetables. So fruits can't be used as substitutes for vegetables. And many fruits contain sugar, so if you eat many fruits, fruit sugar is stored under the skin. And one can continue to get fat. In addition to the above, vegetables and fruits have vitamin C. Vitamin C makes the wall of arteries broad and strong. So eating more fruits and vegetables will be useful to Mrs. Masuda for preventing many kinds of adult diseases such as arteriosclerosis and cancer.
The second problem is that Masuda's LDL-cholesterol level is above normal. That is caused by her eating habit. She likes beef and pork, coconut oil or margarine, cakes, ice cream etc. These foods contain high levels of LDL-cholesterol. Well, why is the LDL-cholesterol bad? Because the LDL-cholesterol is stored in Mrs. Masuda's arteries and causes them to become narrow. The amount of the LDL-cholesterol in an artery wall may be so large that the artery becomes blocked. And it will be one factor of arteriosclerosis and heart diseases. Well, what should she do?
First, she should change her foods as follows.
1. Eat more vegetables and fruits, broiled or grilled fish and skinless chicken.
2. Eat fiber rich foods like oats, whole grain breads, because fiber helps reduce cholesterol levels.
3. Choose lean cuts of beef.
4. Refrain from eating ice cream, coconut oil, margarine.
Second, she can raise her HDL-cholesterol level by exercising. HDL-cholesterol is good for her body, and helps reduce her risk of diseases.
Her third problem is that she is 15 kilos overweight and she doesn't exercise. Being overweight equals excess fat in the body. That raises risk of breast cancer. So she must keep normal weight. Well, what should she do for keeping healthy weight? She has to have more vitamins and fiber, and avoid eating fat and sugar too much. Another way is that she needs to take regular exercise. For example, do fast walking for 20 to 30 minutes in a day so fat in the body is burned. Another way is that she must eat various kinds of food. Generally, foods that man likes and eats over and over contain much fat, salt and sugar, so she needs to include other, less fatty and sugary foods.
Mrs. Masuda's last problem is that she skips eating breakfast. Why is skipping breakfast bad? Because a hunger time-lag takes place when she skips eating breakfast. Then she eats between meals, for example, four meals in a day, and she becomes overweight in the end. When she is hungry, she eats without thinking about nutrition. And when she has unbalanced nutrition, she raises her LDL-cholesterol level. So she must change her way of thinking about eating habits, and keep having balanced diet in her mind.
Last, a sudden change in her daily life is bad for her body and does not make exercise and diets last. She needs to increase the amount of her exercise little by little, and change her diet slowly.
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