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Health and Life Style.


Which spread is better for my heart — butter or margarine?


People become confused when faced with the choice of whether to purchase butter or margarine. Butter gets points for taste; margarine for being easy to spread. Butter is high in saturated fats and when consumed in excess amounts can increase LDL (BAD) cholesterol levels, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Margarine usually tops butter when it comes to heart health. Margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains unsaturated "good" fats — polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. When substituted for saturated fats, these types of fats help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol fats which help to increase HDL (GOOD) cholesterol and potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Butter, on the other hand, is made from animal fat, which is why it contains more saturated fat.


Butter contains about 50% saturated fat, while margarine has a maximum of 20% saturated fat. The fat content of "light" or fat-reduced margarine is lowered by replacing some fat with protein and water, meaning many are much lower than 20%.


But not all margarines are created equal, some margarines contain trans fat. In general, the more solid the margarine, the more trans fat it contains. Trans fat, like saturated fat, increases blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease and also lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol levels. In the supermarket, look for a spread that doesn't have trans fats and has the least amount of saturated fat. When comparing spreads, be sure to read the Nutrition Facts panel and check the grams of saturated fat and trans fat.


To call a spread margarine, the product must be a spreadable food made of edible oils and water, containing at least 80 grams of edible oils per 100 grams. It may also include water, edible proteins, salt, lactic acid-producing microorganisms, flavour-producing microorganisms and milk products.


For a product to be called butter, it must be derived exclusively from milk and ingredients that are obtained from milk, including at least 80% milk fat. It may also contain water, salt, lactic acid producing microorganisms and flavour-producing microorganisms. When you see products in the supermarket that are packaged up like butter, or use words such as "butter-flavoured" without specifically stating the product is butter, it's likely they have been altered in such a way that it no longer meets the content requirements above.


If you choose a full-fat spread (best for cooking), aim for less than 27 grams of saturated fat and one gram of trans fat per 100 grams. For fat-reduced spreads (best for bread and toast), aim for less than six grams of saturates and 0.2 grams of trans fat per 100 grams.


Some margarines contain added plant sterols and stanols, a type of fat found in vegetable oil, nuts, legumes, grains, cereals, wood pulp and leaves, which are able to reduce cholesterol absorption from the small intestine into the bloodstream. If you have high blood cholesterol, you may want to use such a product, though you need to consume 20 to 25 grams per day for the maximum effect.


As soon as the edible oil content of margarine drops below 80 grams per 100 grams, it cannot technically be called "margarine". This is why the word "margarine" does not appear on labels for spreads that are fat-reduced – they are called “spreads”. These are the healthiest options if you are trying to reduce your total fat and kilojoule intake.


If you are trying to lower your salt intake, check the sodium column on the nutrition information panel and aim for less than 400 milligrams per 100grams.


Although the debate rages about the potency of specific fats in raising blood cholesterol, most Australians consume too much saturated fat from animal products. Saturated fat from foods and drinks gets manufactured in your body into low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or commonly referred to as "bad" cholesterol, which then appears in your blood. Excess LDL cholesterol that cannot be cleared by the liver ends up lining your artery walls. This makes your blood vessels hard and inflexible and they gradually become blocked. From there, it is just a matter of time before the blockage triggers a heart attack or stroke.


Saturated fat is a solid at room temperature and is the predominate fat found in the white fat in meat and dairy products, including milk, cheese, cream and butter.


What to look for:

Choose margarines that are low in saturated fats and high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.


What to avoid:

Avoid trans fats – always look for margarines with the lowest levels of trans fats. Trans fats are ‘bad fats’ that raise LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. They can be created during the manufacturing of some table margarines. Check the labels of all margarines you buy, to make sure they contain less than 1% trans fat.


Plant Sterols:

Plant sterols have been shown to lower cholesterol by 10%, through a mechanism in which they block the body's ability to absorb cholesterol. In order to maximise the benefit obtained from plant sterols, 2-3g should be consumed daily. This corresponds to 1-1½ tablespoons of plant based sterol margarine. Consuming more than this amount will confer no additional benefit with regard to an effect on lowering cholesterol. So too, if less than this amount is consumed, no benefit will result.


For best results, plants sterols should be consumed in conjunction with a healthy diet that is balanced with physical activity.



Do illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?



Does grass-fed beef have any heart-health benefits that other types of beef don't?


The way cows are fed can have a major effect on the nutrient composition of the beef. Whereas cattle today are often fed grains, the animals we ate throughout evolution roamed free and ate grass. Many studies have shown that the nutrients in beef can vary depending on what the cows eat. It’s not only important what we eat. It also matters what the foods that we eat, ate.


The difference between grass-fed and grain-fed cows.


Most cows start out living similar lives. The calves are born in the spring, drink milk from their mothers and are then allowed to roam free and eat grass, shrubs or whatever edible plants they find in their environment. This continues for about 6 to 12 months. After that, the “conventionally” raised cows are moved to feedlots.


There, the cows are rapidly fattened up with grain-based feeds, usually made with a base of soy or corn. The conventionally raised cows are often given drugs and hormones to grow faster, as well as antibiotics to survive the unsanitary living conditions. The cows live there for a few months and are then moved into the factory for slaughtering. Compare that to grass-fed cows, which may continue to live on grassland for the remainder of their lives. Of course, this isn’t really that simple and the different feeding practices are complicated and varied. The term “grass-fed” isn’t even clearly defined but generally speaking, grass-fed cows eat (mostly) grass, while grain-fed cows eat (mostly) an unnatural diet based on corn and soy during the latter part of their lives.


Grass-fed beef may have some heart-health benefits that other types of beef don't have. When compared with other types of beef, grass-fed beef may have: 

  • Less total fat.

  • More heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

  • More conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that's thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks.

  • More antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E.

Lean beef that's 10 percent fat or less, whether it's grass-fed beef or another type of beef, can be part of a heart-healthy diet. Although many people think grass-fed beef tastes better, it's generally more expensive and there is limited long-term research to definitively prove that grass-fed beef is better for you.



What's the difference between sea salt and table salt?


The most notable differences between sea salt and table salt are in the taste, texture and processing of each. Sea salt is produced through evaporation of ocean water or water from saltwater lakes, usually with little processing. Depending on the water source, this leaves behind certain trace minerals and elements which add flavour and colour to the salt. Sea salt also comes in a variety of coarseness levels.


Table salt is typically mined from underground salt deposits. Table salt is more heavily processed to eliminate minerals and usually contains an additive to prevent clumping. Most table salt also has added iodine, an essential nutrient that helps maintain a healthy thyroid. Sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value, despite the fact that sea salt is often promoted as being healthier. Sea salt and table salt contain comparable amounts of sodium by weight.


Whichever type of salt you enjoy, do so in moderation. It is recommended that you limit your intake of salt to less than 2,300 milligrams a day (about 1½ teaspoons) — or 1,500 milligrams (about ¾ teaspoon) if you're age 51 or older, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.



So Moses is up on Mount Sinai and he says to God,

"God, I have a pounding headache!"

And God says, "Here, take these tablets."

Sorry Rupe!



Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease.


Ready to start your heart-healthy diet? Here are eight tips to get you started.


Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it's often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you'll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.


1. Control your portion size.

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs. Use a small plate or bowl to help control your portions. Eat larger portions of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and smaller portions of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or fast foods. This strategy can shape up your diet as well as your heart and waistline.


Keep track of the number of servings you eat. A serving size is a specific amount of food, defined by common measurements such as cups, ounces or pieces. For example, one serving of pasta is 1/2 cup, or about the size of a hockey puck. A serving of meat, fish or chicken is about 60 to 85 grams, or about the size and thickness of a deck of cards. Judging serving size is a learned skill. You may need to use measuring cups and spoons or a scale until you're comfortable with your judgment.


2. Eat more vegetables and fruits.

Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fibre. Vegetables and fruits contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods. Featuring vegetables and fruits in your diet can be easy. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you'll remember to eat it. Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredients, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.


Fruits and vegetables to choose.

Fruits and vegetables to limit.

Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits.

Low-sodium canned vegetables.

Canned fruit packed in juice or water.


Vegetables with creamy sauces.

Fried or breaded vegetables.

Canned fruit packed in heavy syrup.

Frozen fruit with sugar added.


3. Select whole grains.

Whole grains are good sources of fibre and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. Or be adventuresome and try a new whole grain, such as whole-grain farro, quinoa or barley.


Grain products to choose.

Grain products to limit or avoid.

Whole-wheat flour.

Whole-grain bread, preferably 100% whole-wheat bread or 100% whole-grain bread.

High-fiber cereal with 5 g or more of fibre in a serving.

Whole grains such as brown rice, barley and buckwheat (kasha).

Whole-grain pasta.

Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular).

White, refined flour.

White bread.


Frozen waffles.

Corn bread.



Quick breads.



Egg noodles.

Buttered popcorn.

High-fat snack crackers.


4. Limit unhealthy fats.

Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a build-up of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.


The American Heart Association offers these guidelines for how much fat to include in a heart-healthy diet:


Type of fat


Saturated fat.

Less than 7% of your total daily calories, or less than 14 g of saturated fat if you follow a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.

Trans fat.

Less than 1% of your total daily calories, or less than 2 g of trans fat if you follow a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.


The best way to reduce saturated and trans fats in your diet is to limit the amount of solid fats, butter, margarine and shortening, you add to food when cooking and serving. You can also reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet by trimming fat off your meat or choosing lean meats with less than 10 percent fat. You can also use low-fat substitutions when possible for a heart-healthy diet. For example, top your baked potato with low-sodium salsa or low-fat yogurt rather than butter, or use sliced whole fruit or low-sugar fruit spread on your toast instead of margarine.


You may also want to check the food labels of some cookies, biscuits and chips. Many of these snacks, even those labelled "reduced fat", may be made with oils containing trans fats. One clue that a food has some trans fat in it is the phrase "partially hydrogenated" in the ingredient list. When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, found in certain fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.


An easy way to add healthy fat (and fibre) to your diet is ground flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have found that flaxseeds may help lower cholesterol in some people. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal.


Fats to choose.

Fats to limit.

Olive oil.

Canola oil.

Vegetable and nut oils.

Margarine, trans fat free.

Cholesterol-lowering margarine, such as Benecol, Promise Activ or Smart Balance.

Nuts, seeds.




Bacon fat.


Cream sauce.

Nondairy creamers.

Hydrogenated margarine and shortening.

Cocoa butter, found in chocolate.

Coconut, palm, cottonseed and palm-kernel oils.


5. Choose low-fat protein sources.

Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs are some of your best sources of protein. But be careful to choose lower fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties. Fish is another good alternative to high-fat meats. And certain types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. You'll find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Other sources are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil.


Legumes, beans, peas and lentils, also are good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat. Substituting plant protein for animal protein, for example, a soy or bean burger for a hamburger, will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake.


Proteins to choose

Proteins to limit or avoid

Low-fat dairy products such as skim or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt and cheese.


Fish, especially fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon.

Skinless poultry.


Soybeans and soy products, such as soy burgers and tofu.

Lean ground meats.


Full-fat milk and other dairy products.

Organ meats, such as liver.

Fatty and marbled meats.


Hot dogs and sausages .


Fried or breaded meats.

6. Reduce the sodium in your food.

Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends: 

  • Healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of salt a day (about a teaspoon and a half of salt).

  • People age 51 or older and people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease have no more than 1,500 mg (a bit over half a teaspoon) of salt a day.

Although reducing the amount of salt you add to food at the table or while cooking is a good first step, much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods, such as soups and frozen dinners. Eating fresh foods and making your own soups and stews can reduce the amount of salt you eat.


If you like the convenience of canned soups and prepared meals, look for ones with reduced salt. Be wary of foods that claim to be lower in sodium because they are seasoned with sea salt instead of regular table salt — sea salt has the same nutritional value as regular salt.


Another way to reduce the amount of salt you eat is to choose your condiments carefully. Many condiments are available in reduced-sodium versions and salt substitutes can add flavour to your food with less sodium.


Low-salt items to choose

High-salt items to avoid

Herbs and spices.

Salt substitutes.

Reduced-salt canned soups or prepared meals.

Reduced-salt versions of condiments, such as reduced-salt soy sauce and reduced-salt ketchup.


Table salt.

Canned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners.

Tomato juice.

Soy sauce.

7. Plan ahead: Create daily menus.

You know what foods to feature in your heart-healthy diet and which ones to limit. Now it's time to put your plans into action. Create daily menus using the six strategies listed above. When selecting foods for each meal and snack, emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources and healthy fats, and limit salty foods. Watch your portion sizes and add variety to your menu choices.


8. Allow yourself an occasional treat.

Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. A candy bar or handful of potato chips won't derail your heart-healthy diet. But don't let it turn into an excuse for giving up on your healthy-eating plan. If overindulgence is the exception, rather than the rule, you'll balance things out over the long term. What's important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.


Incorporate these eight tips into your life, and you'll find that heart-healthy eating is both doable and enjoyable. With planning and a few simple substitutions, you can eat with your heart in mind.



Food energy density: Feel full on fewer calories.


Who doesn't want to fill up on fewer calories? Find out how eating the right foods can help you do just that!


Energy density is just another way to say caloric density — after all calories provide energy. In a nutshell: 

  • It is the number of calories in the amount or weight of food you eat.

  • Foods that don't have a lot of calories packed into each bite, like fruits and vegetables, are low in energy density. They also tend to be low in fat and high in water or fibre content.

  • Foods high in energy density pack a lot of calories into a small volume of food; these include fatty foods, such as many fast foods, and foods high in sugar, such as sodas and candies.

Eat more low-density foods.

How full you feel is determined by the volume and weight of food, not by the number of calories you consume. If you choose foods with low energy density, few calories for their bulk, you can eat more volume but consume fewer calories because of two key factors:



Most vegetables and fruits contain a lot of water, which provides volume and weight but few calories. For example, half of a large grapefruit is 90 percent water with just 50 calories.


The high fibre content in foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains adds bulk to your diet, so you feel full sooner. Fibre also takes longer to digest, making you feel full longer. Adults need about 25 to 35 grams of fibre a day, but the average adult consumes much less. Increase your fibre gradually while you increase the fluids in your diet.


Use these visual comparisons to help guide your selections.



For about 300 calories, you could have...


High-density meal:

A single large glazed doughnut or

Low-density meal:

A bowl of bran flakes with skim milk, blueberries and a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter.



For about 275 calories, you could have...


High-density meal:

A candy bar or

Low-density meal:

A warm bowl of soup, loaded with fibre-rich beans and vegetables.



For about 600 calories, you could have...


High-density meal:

A bacon cheeseburger or

Low-density meal:

A sandwich with soup, fresh fruits and veggies, and a few crackers




For about 150 calories, you could have...


High-density snack:

30 grams of potato chips, or

Low-density snack:

3-4 cups of air-popped popcorn.


As you can see, you can eat fewer calories yet feel more satisfied by choosing foods that are low in energy density, in other words, you can have more food. Try reducing the fat and increasing the amount of fibre-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, in your favourite dishes.




Are you a current or former Defence member who resided in Canberra in the 1970s or 1980s?


On 1 July 2015 the ACT Government Asbestos Response Taskforce released a register of residential addresses in the ACT affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation (also known as Mr Fluffy insulation).


If you resided in Canberra in the 1970s and/or 1980s and suspect that you may have been exposed to asbestos as a result of your employment and housing with Defence call 1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362) and ask to be put through to the Defence Asbestos Exposure Evaluation Scheme (DAEES), or click HERE.


For more information regarding the ACT Government Asbestos Response Taskforce click HERE.


A list of affected houses is available on the ACT Taskforce's website HERE.


There’s more info HERE




Coordinated Veterans’ Care.


The Coordinated Veterans’ Care (CVC) Program is a team-based program designed to increase support for Gold Card holders with one or more targeted chronic conditions or complex care needs and those who are at risk of unplanned hospitalisation. CVC focuses on improving the management of chronic conditions and quality of life for eligible Gold Card holders who are most at risk of unplanned hospitalisation. Gold Card holders can include veterans, war widow/widowers and dependants. The programme is aimed at Gold Card holders with the following chronic conditions:


·       congestive heart failure

·       coronary artery disease

·       pneumonia

·       chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

·       diabetes.


GPs are paid to enrol Gold Card holders onto the CVC Program and to provide ongoing, comprehensive and coordinated care with the assistance of their practice nurse or a community nurse (from a DVA contracted provider).


If you are DVA Card Holder, speak to your GP today to see if you can be enrolled in the CVC Program.




Good Advice.


It is more important to live longer than to have more wealth.


·       In a ‘high end’ hand phone, 70% of the functions are useless.

·       In an expensive car, 70% of the speed is not needed.

·       In a luxurious villa, 70% of the space remains un-occupied or un-utilized.

·       In a whole wardrobe of clothes, 70% of them are seldom worn.

·       Out of whole life’s earnings, 70% stays behind for other people to use.

·       70% of talent is not utilized.


So, how to make full use of our 30%?


·       Go for a medical checkup even when you feel fit.

·       Drink more water even if you’re not thirsty.

·       Let go your ego, whenever you can.

·       Give in even if you are ‘right’.

·       Be humble even if you are very powerful.

·       Be contented even if you are not rich. Have a very good Life!!!











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