Daily Archives: September 27, 2016

Eggs or Egg Whites?

maxresdefault

Image 1

When you think of breakfast options, eggs are one of the most popular choices out there especially because they are known to be one of the most nutritious food sources out there. Whether they are scrambled, fried, or in an omelet you can’t go wrong with eating eggs because of their eloquent taste. But the toughest decision is which part of the egg do you want, the whole egg or the egg white? Lately egg whites are looked as one of the healthiest possible choices of foods on the market while regular eggs are perceived as the more unhealthy and even dangerous option. These interpretations aren’t necessarily true because they are both extremely healthy and both offer health benefits that the other doesn’t.

Egg whites are a a great quick source of protein, as one egg white is loaded with 4 grams of protein according to PopSugar Fitness. Protein is an essential macronutrient that must be incorporated in your diet because your body needs it in order to stay healthy, increase muscle, and have blood flow successfully throughout the body. Egg whites are beneficial for people who want to loose weight because there are a lot less calories in an egg white. For example their are 17 calories in one egg instead on 72 in a whole egg. Those 17 calories are fully made from the protein because eggs whites don’t contain any carbs or fats.  Another benefit of the egg whites is they have absolutely no cholesterol! The American Heart Association  reveals that a person shouldn’t consume more than 300 of cholesterol per day in order to keep their body a healthy. This demonstrates the importance of egg whites because they don’t contain any cholesterol, while one regular egg has 213 milligrams. The egg white is a healthy option for people who want to cut their calories but they don’t contain all the vitamins and minerals a persons body needs.

By looking at the numbers it seems to be obvious that regular eggs aren’t as healthy as egg whites. Eggs were given a bad reputation because in a 1984 study  by Harvard researches.  17 students were given a jumbo egg for three weeks. In the end this concluded their bad cholesterol levels raised 17 percent which scared people into thinking it would cause heart disease. Again 22 years later another study “The Journal of Nutrition” tested  Brazilian men to see if the bad cholesterol would go up as one group was given 3 egg whites per day opposed to 3 regular eggs. In the end the group given regular eggs had cholesterol levels rise 30 percent compared to egg white eaters and have a greater chance of obtaining a heart disease. These studies definitely have many faults which make them inaccurate especially because their sample size was extremely small. It is now known that regular eggs don’t cause heart disease and a small portion of cholesterol is actually important for a person. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  studied 1,032 healthy men and found men averaged 2,800 milligrams of cholesterol a week. In the end they didn’t find a correlation between heart disease and cholesterol consumption. But it is now known trans fat and saturated fats cause heart disease not dietary cholesterol.                                                                              Image 2

Child's hands breaking an egg for pastry in a glass bowl

Child’s hands breaking an egg for pastry in a glass bowl

The truth is the egg yolk is healthier than the egg white because they contain all of the important vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that your body needs. Whole eggs are a rare food source that contain Vitamin D, they also contain vitamin A, E, and K. The yolk has 90 percent of iron, calcium and even contain omega 3 fatty acids which are actually essential for the body and even prevent heart disease. Egg yolk also contains L-aginine which increase hormones and boost testosterone which increase overall energy. Also, if you are interested in obtaining more protein PopSugar Fitness shows us that is beneficial to eat the whole egg because there is 6 grams of protein opposed to only 4 grams in one egg white.

Next time you think about ordering that egg white omelet just remember the only true benefit is their are less calories and fat in the egg white. If you want to obtain vitamins, minerals, more protein, and healthy nutrients it would make sense to order a full egg that has the yolk as well as the egg white. Egg yolk do contain more cholesterol and fat which definitely may scare a consumer but those ingredients are important in  persons diet.truthabouteggyolks

Image 3

Works Cited

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Egg-Whites-Healthier-Than-Egg-Yolks-364527

http://www.jillianmichaels.com/fit/lose-weight/myth-eggs

http://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/are-egg-whites-better-than-whole-eggs

http://www.medicaldaily.com/cholesterol-eggs-heart-health-374040

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6142348

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/4/971.abstract

http://www.livestrong.com/article/311013-are-egg-whites-healthy/

Alcohol: How Can A Substance Do So Much Damage?

 

The concept of alcohol has always intrigued me; how could a substance do so much damage? What is in alcohol that makes good people make poor decisions? Don’t get me wrong, I love my nights out as much as the next girl, but while at college, this question has been prevalent in my mind. In order to try and find an answer to this question, I wanted to look at the bad effects versus the good effects of alcohol and pose the question as to why we drink and what exactly is in alcohol that makes it so bad?

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-21-14-pm

While looking at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it highlighted some of the things that alcohol does to your body — and after looking at this, I realized how detrimental this drug can be. In this article, it subcategories all the parts of the body alcohol affects, starting with the brain and heart. When consuming alcohol, it impedes communication passageways in the brain and affects the way we look and act towards things. It causes mood and behavioral changes and challenges us to think and move normally. Drinking can affect your heart in serious ways over time or if you drink too much at once. Such issues include cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, stroke, or high blood pressure. On the contrary, studies have proven that a moderate amount of alcohol can help adults to avoid developing coronary heart disease. Heavy alcohol consumption can be very damaging to your liver and can lead to developing steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Pancreatitis can be a result of heavy drinking due to detrimental inflammation and swelling in the pancreatic blood vessels which ultimately causes complications with digestion. Cancer is always a possible outcome with putting toxic substances in our boy. Consuming too much alcohol can increase our risk for certain cancers such as: mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast. In addition to all these effects, our immune system is depressed by drinking because it makes our bodies an easier target and weakens our immune system’s natural ability to fight off infection or viruses.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-21-35-pm

I know after reading all of that, I started to question why I even drink. I mean with all those horrible outcomes at stake why even risk it? I found through research that all of these outcomes come from heavily drinking and are associated with alcoholism. Moderate drinking on the other hand can have some beneficial effects. I found in this article, #3, 4, and 5 have good points to make. In the third it talks about how moderate drinking can actually improve brain health. It was studied and Dr. Zakhari notes that by drinking a little bit, it can aid in stopping cognitive decline and enhancing brain function. The explanation for this is due to the need for oxygen which usually is the source behind cognitive decline. By drinking, alcohol make the blood more fluid and this keeps the blood supply in the brain consistent. Another beneficial point made is that drinking can help avoid strokes. “Why?” you ask? Strokes are usually caused by blood clots and since alcohol is a blood thinner is reduces the risk of clotting. Even when a clot forms, the drug can aid with dissolving the clot. Not only can alcohol help your brain and reducing risk of stroke, it can also help you sleep better. Alcohol is a somnogen which is also known as a sleep inducer and although it can help you to fall asleep it will most likely keep you tossing and turning later in the night. Another article, that highlights the good effects of drinking can be found here. So if you’re looking for a new source of antioxidants or B vitamins, check this article out… if you’re 21…

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-21-50-pm

So now after looking at some of the good effects it can have on our bodies, it makes the question of why do we drink a little bit easier to answer. However, I wanted to look and find out the reasons people have behind drinking and this is what I found:

  • Dealing with issues
  • Having a good time
  • Makes you happy
  • Makes you cool
  • Keeps you warm when it’s cold out
  • Peer Pressure

All of these reasons we’ve heard time and time again and we probably all fall into one of these categories. And to be clear, I’m not saying alcohol is good or bad, I just want to find out what makes it so bad and why we continue to drink even though we know the effects.

After researching I found through this article, that the ingredient behind making you drunk (and dumb) is called ethanol. When yeasts forms with sugar in certain carb filled foods or substances, such as grapes or grains, ethanol is produced. Many of you probably knew the cause behind alcohol being so powerful however, even though I now know the scientific cause, I still find it mind-boggling that this can happen. However, something that I thought of as a possibility of our poor decision making besides the chemical excuse would be a psychological effect. Maybe the third variable of “thinking” we should be acting a certain way can also contribute to the brain effects we have while drinking.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-22-14-pm
I think the takeaway of this blog post would we to reflect on why we drink and just be aware of the effects it has on our bodies in order for us to be able to make smarter decisions.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-27-14-pm

Cell Phone Addiction

“If you turn your phone in at the beginning of class, you will get 1% extra credit.” I couldn’t believe it. All I would have to do to get one whole percent of extra credit was separate myself from my phone for an hour and fifteen minutes? What a piece of cake. Would this really be a challenge for some people? I was rather taken aback (but grateful nonetheless) by this proposition. Unlike most of my professors assume, I am not addicted to my cell phone. Sure, I am susceptible to the occasional distraction of it, but I am fine taking a break from it. In fact, I even like it- I felt laser-focused without my cell phone by my side. However, it got me thinking- is my generation really that addicted to technology?

Just as we have learned in class about the dangers of cigarettes addiction, I was curious about the dangers and reality of cell phone addiction. Recently I had to go on a nature walk for my BiSci class. In order to do this, we had to leave our cell phones behind with our TA. Again, as someone who is not emotionally attached to my cell phone, this was no issue for me. However, I can’t say the same for my other classmates. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they missed their phone or where anxious without it, I would have been able to buy my way out of going on that walk. It was absolutely mind blowing how much they genuinely missed their phones. This experience made me even more curious about the reality of cell phone addiction.

According to a study done by Science News for Students, many college students find themselves addicted to their cell phones. Out of the 24 hours in the day, the average college students finds themselves spending a whopping 9 of those on cellphone use alone. When students tried to distance themselves from their phones, they experienced similar symptoms that a drug addict may experience when going through withdraw. This study helps explain why so many of my classmates were agitated and upset when they were not by their phones.

Another study done by Psychology Today showed that cell phone addiction is more serious it may sound. While many adults love to joke about teens being addicted to their devices, it can actually be quite a serious thing. In a study conducted in England, almost half of the people surveyed admitted to having separation anxiety from their cell phones when they lose it or are away from it. People who are so consumed in their cell phones may even experience symptoms such as having the impulse to constantly check their phone, slipping grades due to cell phone consumption, and they even may experience the sensation of getting a cell phone notification when there really was no notification at all. Many of these potential symptoms are very similar to the symptoms addicts of drugs experience, further perpetuating the notion that cell phones can be highly addictive.

Granted, some of these “symptoms” of addiction could be due to numerous confounding variables. For example, I do not consider myself someone who constantly needs to be on their phone, yet even sometimes I find myself thinking my phone buzzed even when it didn’t. I feel as though we all think we hear one sound when in reality it is another from time to time. Also, the bit about cell phone addiction causing grades to slip is a bit of a shaky point. Grades can slip for a multitude of reasons such as stress, busy schedules, etc. Again, correlation does not mean causation, so just because someone may use their phone a lot and also have bad grades does not mean their phone usage is the reason for their grades. However, there is no denying that high cell phone usage can be very detrimental to some people and it can have negative effects.

It is crazy that cell phones have become a rather dangerous piece of technology. Some people have actually been impacted so badly by cell phone addiction that they have had to seek help from therapy groups . I am to have evaded this crippling addiction, and I hope that those who were not as lucky as me can soon kick their addiction and focus on the important things in life. If you do believe you are addicted and simply don’t know where to start in order to overcome it, this article will give you a good idea of where to start. Now, get off your phone and start living life!

Works Cited

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/watch-out-cell-phones-can-be-addictive

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201307/smartphone-addiction

https://www.thefix.com/content/rehab-cell-phone-addicts90679

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-mark/beating-iphone-addiction_b_5014593.html

Picture

https://insiderupg.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cell-phone.jpg?w=295&h=395

 

Is Smoking a Gateway?

During the past few SC 200 classes, we’ve learned that, after years and years of observational studies and experiments, smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. When I was a child, one of my mother’s friends passed away from cigarette-induced lung cancer, so I found these lectures very engaging.

When we discussed the risks associated with cigarette smoking (before the results of the experiments were confirmed), we also discussed confounding variables that might have caused the cancer. Some of the studies we examined suggested that sometimes people only smoked when they were stressed or while they were drinking. And I wondered, is there a correlation between smoking and drinking? What about smoking and other drugs?

My hypothesis is that people who smoke cigarettes are more likely to both consume alcohol and do drugs than non-cigarette-smokers.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-8-09-22-pm

Image Found Here
One study I came across on the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, cigarettes and alcohol use complement each other. Some people were given regular cigarettes, and others were given nicotine-free cigarettes. The people who smoked nicotine-filled cigarettes ended up drinking more alcohol. It also showed a reverse relationship, that the pleasure of cigarette use improves when simultaneously occurring with alcohol consumption. This is very interesting as a non-smoker. I never really knew that there was a pleasurable feeling that came from cigarettes–I kind of always just assumed people smoked because they were simply addicted and craved it.

At the University of Missouri, according to author Dana Dovey on Medical Daily, the nicotine intake from smoking cigarettes counteracts the drowsy-effect alcohol had on drinkers. Who knew?

The article also confirmed that the sensations that come from alcohol and cigarettes complement each other when simultaneously occurring. It stated that 90% of alcoholics were also cigarette smokers!

Ok, so smoking and drinking usually happen together. But do cigarettes lead to use of other drugs? An experiment to find the answer to this would probably be unethical–people can’t really randomly be assigned to use illegal drugs (and it obviously wouldn’t be a double-blind experiment, either).

According to Tobacco Free Kids, over 2/3 of 12th graders who’d smoked weed had smoked cigarettes first, and 98% of the 12th graders who’d used cocaine and cigarettes  preceded the cocaine use with cigarette smoking. Tobacco Free Kids also explains that kids who start smoking before the age of 15 are multiple times more likely to use illegal drugs like cocaine and marijuana. The article also describes that heavier smokers are also more inclined to do drugs than non-heavy smokers.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows the same results as Tobacco Free Kids, and emphasizes the fact that youthful smoking is the worst problem, causing kids to later turn to cocaine, weed, and crack. Cocaine is the most common drug used by childhood cigarette smokers.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-8-11-45-pm

Image Found Here

All in all, my hypothesis was correct. People who smoke usually also drink, and are more likely to turn to other illegal drug use later in life.

The only issue is–the illegal drug and cigarette use correlation is simply that–correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Perhaps there could be other confounding variables.What if teens who start smoking young come from abusive households, and abusive households cause people to turn to drugs? There could be many possibilities.

Sometimes when I watch TV at night, I see a commercial that claims our generation could be the one to completely eliminate cigarette use. Maybe, with the end of cigarette use, drug and alcohol use and consumption might decrease, overall increasing the health of our society.

Oreos or Cocaine?

This past week in class we have been discussing the use of cigarettes. Cigarettes are highly addictive things that a large portion of the population uses. Addiction has always interested me in a way. I have always wondered how our bodies can become so dependent on one thing. I guess one reason for this is that addiction runs in my genes. Past family members of mine have succumbed to alcohol addiction, so I know when the time comes and I am legal, I will have to be careful of that. I also know both of my grandparents used to smoke, but luckily they beat their addiction.

I have fortunate to avoid addiction so far in my life. However, there is one exception to that statement. If I had to pick one things that I may be addicted to, it would definitely be…OREOS! Now, I know, many people out there love the classic crème filled cookie. I feel like my love of Oreos goes beyond that. When I eat one cookie, I simply can’t stop. Just having one turn into having three, and before I know it half of the box is gone. Ok, maybe that is an exaggeration, but you get the point. I just can’t stop.

The other day I was sitting in my apartment doing some schoolwork when I remembered that my one roommate had bought birthday cake Oreos. I was stressed out from studying for an exam and I really just needed something sweet. Therefore, I went into the cabinet in search of those Oreos (don’t worry, I asked permission first). I had a few, and then a few more. I started to get up and reach for a third round of Oreos but stopped myself for fear of making myself sick. “Oreos are so addicting,” I remarked to my other roommate, “I really can’t stop eating them.” Much to my surprise, she remarked that studies have found that Oreos may be as addicting as cocaine.

This really peaked my interest. Oreos are as addicting as cocaine? It couldn’t be. I know I love to joke about this Oreo addiction, but I had no idea there were studies done on the matter. Therefore, I sat down and did some research and what I found amazed me. According to this article, Oreos do in fact have the capability to be as addicting as cocaine.

At Connecticut College researches conducted a study with rats. In one experiment, they were placed in a maze with a rice cake and Oreo. During the study the rats gravitated towards the Oreos. The same study was done with small cocaine injections and saline injections. The rats behaved the same way towards the cocaine as they did towards the Oreos. According to another article done by Forbes, the reason for this is that Oreos trigger the the portion of the brain that gives us the feeling of pleasure.

Now if we look at this experiment, we can see many flaws in it. First of all, the rats tendency to gravitate towards Oreos does not necessarily mean they were addicted to them- it just means they preferred the Oreos to the alternative option. And let’s face it- who wouldn’t? I feel as though a better test as to whether the rats were addicted or not would to be to feed them a large amount of Oreos for an extended period of time and then cut the rats off. By monitoring their reaction to being cut off, I feel as though researches could get a better grasp on just how addictive Oreos are.

Although an Oreo addiction would be better than a cocaine addiction any day of the week, it still can be rather detrimental to your health. As Forbes magazine put it, the addicting qualities of sugary sweets create negative eating habits that worry many health professionals. It is pretty safe to say Oreos aren’t exactly the healthiest option for a snack. Knowing what I know now, I definitely will be laying off the Oreos. While they certainly are a joy to eat, the harmful effects of the cookies will not be so fun later on in life. Bye-bye Oreos- no more addiction for me.

Image result for oreo addictWorks Cited:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/1016/Oreos-addictive-Rats-treat-Oreos-like-cocaine-study-suggests

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2013/10/16/why-your-brain-treats-oreos-like-a-drug/#189851036fd2

Picture:

http://www.repmanblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/oreosmontana.jpg

Does drinking water before an exam help you do better?

 

Sitting at my desk I looked at the multitudes of empty plastic water bottles that I was waiting to recycle. I noticed that I had consumed more water than usual, and that I also had a great week academically. Could the two be connected? I found an interesting article that answered that question. It discussed the possibility that drinking water before an exam could make you a better student. Is this true? Could doing such a simple task actually improve my grades? After watching the people around me and realizing the number of students with and without bottles of water on campus, I decided to dig deeper. Is there another combination of events that causes this? It could be that a third variable is increasing the scores of those students whom are drinking water before an exam.

This possible third variable could be anything from prior experience with exams, students being more physically active and therefore are thirstier, or it could be that smarter students in general tend to be healthier and drink more water than the average student. That being said, we can safely rule out reverse correlation, because receiving a higher grade cannot cause you to go back in time to drink water before the exam.

A study conducted by the universities of East London and Westminster, examined the testing scores of 447 students. Only 25% of the students had a bottle of water with them during the exam. The researchers accounted for the students’ previous academic ability, and found that who drink water before an exam could expect 10% higher scores than those who do not. The study also showed that students who drink water before an exam are likely to have less test-anxiety. The action of drinking water briefly distracts the student and can alleviate stress and anxiety which can positively affect exam scores.

Water is necessary for our everyday life. Every part of our body utilizes water, including our brains. Water has been proven to aid certain processes such as absorbing metabolic heat. It has also been noted that water not only aids in the transportation and distribution of nutrients, but also helps us maintain blood volume. A recent study said that dehydration can negatively influence our cognitive functioning, specifically our short-term memory and our mathematic ability. In the experiment, participants were dehydrated up to 2.8% by physical exercise, or exposure to high temperatures. They were later given a series of test for memory, visual perception, and psychomotor skills. The study proved that dehydration negatively affected the participant’s cognitive ability.

So what can you take away from all of this? First, drinking water aids a number of bodily functions including cognitive function. Second, drinking water can reduce your test-anxiety. And third, student who consume 8 ounces or more of water before an exam are 10% more likely to receive a higher grade than those whom do not. Because a lack of water is proven to negatively affect cognitive ability, we can say with certainty that the consumption of water, and performance on an exam are directly related. Although we cannot completely rule out a third variable, it is unlikely the cause. These articles have shown that drinking water before an exam does positively influence your score and can ultimately improve your grades making you a better student. I because this is such an easy task, I can’t think of a reason why any reasonable person wouldn’t at least give it a shot. I know that I certainly will be drinking a bottle of water before Andrew’s next exam.

Images: https://pixabay.com/en/photos/water/                                                                                                     https://blog.earlyshares.com/university/reg-a-meet-the-newest-way-to-do-real-estate-crowdfunding/

Sources:     http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/                                                                    http://www.bbc.com/news/education-17741653                                                                                      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/minding-the-body/201205/can-sipping-water-make-you-smarter