Health Talk

The NUS Health Blog for Undergraduate Articles

Month: September 2018

Fad Diets Dangerous for One’s Health


When deciding to start a new and healthier lifestyle change, a person must first be cautious when conducting personal research about the best diet for them. Every person is individual and their diet should be as well. Unfortunately, as the media often dictates what information consumers obtain, they are often the advertisers behind trends and fads that take the internet and society by storm.

Everyone is told what they need to stay up-to-date on the latest and best thing. This can cause major issues when health and food advertisers are more focused on profits, than actual fact-based and scientific research when it comes to nutrition. Everyone’s diet should be unique to them. It is something that is as unique as a human’s own DNA. Not everyone can eat the same food or be on the same diet and see the same results.

Nutritional and dietetic scientists and researchers exist for a reason. They are there to be the fact-finders, the healers, the discoverers, and the science behind the human body.

One of the most recent trends in food fad diets has been the keto diet. There are too many things to list as to what is severely wrong with this diet. The main problems with this diet is that it is advertised as being a high fat, high protein diet and will shed pounds fast for people. It essentially eliminates carbohydrates from the daily diet without even explaining the difference in carbohydrate break down in the body.

When a diet is consistently high in protein and doesn’t actually allow any room for carbohydrates, it can be difficult for someone to have proper organ function. The body requires for main macromolecules and carbohydrates are one of them.

A high protein and low carb diet can actually inhibit proper kidney and brain functioning. High protein without a heavy amount of water ruins the kidneys. Carbohydrates are essentially brain food. Eliminating all carbs from the diet will slow brain function, cause fatigue, and slow healing processes.

The reasoning behind cutting carbohydrates is actually because of the carbohydrates found in starchy foods like breads and pastas, if not burned off properly during exercise, are broken down into sugars and stored as fat energy. Simple scientific understanding of human nutrition would help consumers understand the foods they are eating and how it used as energy in their body.

Fads and trends are meant to be marketing explosions that help companies make large quarterly profits while the rest of their product breadth stabilizes normal supply and demand. Food advertisers are not food scientists, thus they have no place in understanding the empty claims behind their farly stretched advertisements. They use the reviews of other consumers when developing marketing messages rather than using research papers that are published in food science journals.

The severe lack of communication between food scientists and food advertisers makes it hard for consumers to understand what types of foods they should be putting into their bodies. For this reason, consumers should take the time to understand and do their own research and visit a nutritionist at a health and wellness center to discuss an individualized plan of action for their diet.

Technological Advancements Assist Parents in Encouraging Babies to Sleep


Being a parent is incredibly rewarding, and exhausting. An online study conducted in 2015 found that the biggest challenges for new parents after the birth of a child was not enough sleep for the parents, followed by the baby sleeping.

Not surprisingly, the milestones most parents look forward to after bringing that infant into the world are baby sleeping through the night and the completion of potty training. Even better is when you’re potting training your little one and he or she wakes up dry after a good night’s sleep. While toilet training the Brazelton way is an excellent option for the former, these tips will help ensure mom, dad and baby all enjoy plenty of shut-eye.

Take Advantage of Light

Darkness triggers the release of a key hormone melatonin, while light helps us wake. By keeping your baby’s days brighter and his nights darker it will naturally help get your infant into a good sleep/wake pattern. During the day, keep those curtains open, letting sunlight in, or spend time outside. Even when it’s naptime, be sure the room is well-lit. To induce sleepiness in the evening, lower all the lights (dimmers are really helpful), about two hours before bedtime which will help trigger that melatonin.

Put Your Baby to Sleep When Drowsy

While it can be difficult, if you can figure out the timing, allowing your baby to drift off on his own will help teach him to soothe himself at night. The best time to put him to bed is just before he’s about to nod off.

Don’t Let Baby Nap Too Long

Waking a sleeping baby isn’t something many parents want to do, but if you let your infant sleep too long during the day, you’re setting yourself up for a long night. Try to limit naptime to no more than two hours if possible. If you can break up sleep into shorter periods during the day time, it can go a long way toward helping baby sleep better at night.

Get a White Noise Machine

Many babies sleep better when using white noise as it will block out startling noises that can wake them. White noise machines can be a big help, or you can simply put a fan on in the baby’s room, provided it doesn’t blow directly on him.

A Consistent Routine

Babies and children of all ages thrive on routine. Creating a consistent routine now is not only going to help baby sleep much better over the short-term, but can help long into the future, bringing order to a chaotic world. This means going through a routine before bedtime like giving him a bath, dressing him in his pajamas, reading him a book or singing a lullaby before a quick cuddle and a kiss good night. If you can follow the same routine as consistently as possible, over time, your child will automatically understand that sleep should follow.

Note: Don’t encourage the start of a bad sleep habit by rushing in as soon as your baby makes a sound or starts rustling around. It’s common for babies to wake up, move around and babble a bit before going back to sleep again, which means you should give baby a little time to see if he’ll resettle on his own.

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