Study: healthy fats won’t boost weight

olive-oil-968657_640Healthy Fats in Mediterranean Diet Won’t Boost Weight
Vegetable oils, nuts can be a part of a healthful diet, experts say
By Robert Preidt
Monday, June 6, 2016

An eating plan that includes healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts isn’t likely to cause weight gain, a new study finds.

That’s good news for people who’d prefer to try the Mediterranean diet — which includes healthy fats — over a diet that’s low in fat. And the study authors suggest that current health guidelines may be creating an unnecessary fear of these healthful fats.

“More than 40 years of nutritional policy has advocated for a low-fat diet, but we’re seeing little impact on rising levels of obesity,” said study lead author Dr. Ramon Estruch, of the University of Barcelona in Spain.

“Our study shows that a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetable fats such as olive oil and nuts had little effect on body weight or waist circumference compared to people on a low-fat diet. The Mediterranean diet has well-known health benefits and includes healthy fats, such as vegetable oils, fish and nuts,” Estruch explained in a journal news release.


The Zika Virus: What You Should Know

Updated 8-11-16

What is Zika?

  • Zika is a virus related to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile virus.

Zika virus
How is it spread?

  • Zika is spread to humans primarily by the Aedes species of mosquito. This species is rarely, if ever, found in Utah.
  • Sexual transmission is possible, but rare.

What are the symptoms and how dangerous is it?

  • Only about 20% of those infected will develop symptoms, which include fever, rash, joint/muscle pain, and red eyes. These symptoms usually last from 2-7 days. Zika illness is usually mild and rarely results in hospitalization or death.
  • Zika is associated with microcephaly (a birth defect causing an abnormally small head) in infants due to their mothers being infected while pregnant. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a Global Emergency in order to try to contain the spread of the disease. Zika has also been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS).
  • While the WHO has not recommended any travel restrictions at this time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advised pregnant women to postpone travel to affected areas. Women who are trying to become pregnant should consult with their doctor before such travel and should follow strict mosquito bite prevention methods. The WHO advises that couples planning a pregnancy, living or returning from a Zika active area, should wait at least 8 weeks before trying to conceive, or 6 months if the male partner was symptomatic.

How is Zika prevented?

  • If you travel to a country where Zika is active, you can prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent , wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and removing standing water where mosquitoes live and breed.
  • Mosquito control efforts in areas where Aedes  mosquitoes are found.
  • Sexual abstinence or protection if living in an area where Zika is active, and for at least 8 weeks after travel to an affected area.

Where is Zika occurring?

  • Locally-acquired Zika infections were first detected in the Americas in May 2015. Local infections have now been reported in over 50 countries or territories in Central and South America and the Pacific Islands. Brazil remains the epicenter of the current outbreak. There have been local mosquito-acquired cases reported in the United States (Miami, Florida area).

How will the United States be affected?

  • With Zika outbreaks in other countries, cases among U.S. travelers will likely increase for a period of time. However, it is unlikely that any large Zika outbreaks will occur in the United States. Most U.S. cases have been infected during travel overseas.

Who should be tested to see if they have the virus?

  • Laboratory tests for Zika virus infection diagnosis are of limited availability. People can contact their healthcare provider, who should then consult with the Utah Department of Health for approval, if they meet the following criteria;
    • Pregnant women with a history of travel to an area with active Zika transmission, up to 12 weeks after returning.
    • Men returning from an area with active Zika transmission who have a pregnant partner, up to 12 weeks after returning.

Is there a Zika vaccine?

  • No, however there are cooperative efforts being started to develop one.



Utah Department of Health: Zika 

CDC: Zika Virus

CDC: Travel Infromation

Washington County Mosquito Abatement District

New Year’s Resolutions

By Kylaas Flanagan, SWUPHD Health Educator

Here are some familiar examples of New Year’s resolutions you’ll hear every year:
– I’m going to lose weight!
– I’m going to the gym every day!
– I’m not going to eat junk food!
– I’m going to quit smoking!
– I’m going to spend time with my family!
– I’m going to travel to new places!

Do you see a problem here? All of these are too vague – and too big – to accomplish with just willpower alone, and most New Year’s resolutions are built on a foundation of willpower instead of planning and preparation. The most effective way to accomplish your resolutions is through gradual, predictable, and incremental changes.

Here are two rules to use when making any change:
1) Create a S.M.A.R.T. goal
2) Keep your time frames short – only one or two weeks per goal

Rule #1: S.M.A.R.T. Goals
These goals have five characteristics. They are:
1) Specific
This means having a clear objective. You know what you have to do to accomplish the goal. “I’m going to spend time with my family” is a great idea, but at some point, you need to get down to the details.
2) Measurable
You need to have some type of outcome that can be measured. It doesn’t matter how big or small that measurement is, just that you can keep track of it.
3) Achievable
Ask yourself “Can I actually do this thing in this time frame?” you can set a goal of dead-lifting 800 pounds by tomorrow, but there’s really no way to accomplish that goal without the use of a forklift.
4) Realistic
Every goal can be too easy or too difficult. Find a middle ground that allows you to stretch your body and mind.
5) Time-Bound
At what point will you hold yourself accountable?

Let’s re-frame the New Year’s resolutions mentioned above:.
– By January 15th, I’m going to lose three pounds by eating from home and taking a 20 minute walk each day.
– I’m going to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the next two weeks.
– I’m going to rid my pantry of junk food this Saturday. On Sunday, I will plan my meals for next week.
– By the end of the week, I will contact and see what quit services would be best to help me quit tobacco use.
– By next Thursday, I will identify four activities that my family would enjoy which use less than $20.
– On Friday, I will spend 20 minutes with my spouse to find three places we’d like to go this year. On Saturday, I will spend one hour to calculate how to finance those trips.

Much better (and more do-able), right? You’ll I feel great when you check your first goal off the list, then making another one for the next two weeks.

Rule #2: Two Weeks or Less

Try to set your time frames for under two weeks. You can easily plan for those goals because two weeks from now isn’t a long span of time, unlike months or years. Having an overarching goal of “by the end of the year I want to fit into these pants without struggling” is great, but having 25 two-week goals to get there will definitely be more effective.

Another problem of the common New Year’s resolutions is that they are just that – common. I Why not spice it up a little bit? Consider making a competition between:
– Taking the stairs and taking the elevator
– Consecutive hours sitting and the number of five minute walks you take in a day
– Miles walked and hours in front of a screen
– Servings of fruits & vegetables and the number of sweets you consume
– Hours at the gym and hours on the couch
– Servings of sugary drinks versus servings of water

Keep track of your progress in a visual way. Write it down in a notebook, hang a chart on your fridge, or make a note on your phone; just make sure you’ll see it every day. Constant reminders that you are working on positive changes in your life are influential to your success.

The goal should be to improve. Try to increase the positive and decrease the negative even if the change seems small right now. You can easily move your intensity up over the course of several days.

Remember, keep it short! Start out with one of these for a week, then move up. Later on in the year, you’ll keep remembering that you did that one challenge, and it felt good. So why not do it again? Also, having a pro and a con to work on helps because you’re not “just” depriving yourself of the things that you want to do; you’re also substituting healthier options that make you feel better in the long run.

What do you do for New Year’s resolutions? Have you had success in previous years, or is this the year to buck the trend? If you try these ideas out, feel free to tell us how it went, along with any tips that might help others along their journey to a healthier year.

All the best!