A Healthier U

Sun Safe on the Slopes Infographic

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Be Sun Safe on the Slopes
If your winter activities include some skiing, remember that sun safety is as important in winter as it is in summer. In fact, it’s even more important on snowy mountains.

Check out the infographic from the Huntsman Cancer Institute to learn why and to see how you can protect your skin.

 

Detox diets debunked

January is the time for New Year’s resolutions. Diet and exercise resolutions quite often top the list and include goals to reduce weight, get fit and toned or become healthier overall. Instructions for detox diets (also known as cleanses or elimination diets) are easily found online, in current magazines and at your local bookstore. Although the specifics vary, a typical detox diet plan involves eliminating foods such as sugar and artificial sweeteners, refined grains, dairy, meat and poultry, alcohol and caffeine.Fruits and veggies Some diets are stricter than others, and advocate living on little more than water, fruit and veggies for up to a month. Detox diets are typically low in calories, which can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and lessen the ability to concentrate. These plans promise to help our bodies “detox”—eliminate the extra gunk and junk that has accumulated in our cells over past months and years.

Claims may include helping us lose weight, feel healthier, detoxify our body organs, have clearer skin, thicker, shinier hair, restore natural energy levels and prevent future health problems. However, most health experts agree that our bodies have evolved over time to have built-in detox systems—our liver and kidneys. These two organs main jobs are to help our bodies filter out harmful toxins and chemicals, cleansing our systems 24 hours a day. As long as you have a healthy kidney and working liver, you can skip the low-calorie detox diet and concentrate instead on improving the overall quality of your diet for long-term health.

If you’d like more information regarding detox diets (and why one physician recommends reducing added sugars instead), click here.

Show me sugarIf you are feeling motivated to improve the overall quality of your diet or are interested in learning how much added sugar you take in each day, why not try out the new app, Show me the Sugar, now available for Android, ios8, GooglePlay and iTunes for 99 cents. This app uses your mobile device’s camera to scan pictures of any packaged food item or barcode and displays the amount of added sugar within the product. The best part is it will convert the grams (usually seen on nutrition food labels) into easier-to-understand teaspoons. The American Heart Association recommends a total of 9 teaspoons per day for men and 6 teaspoons per day for women.

Would you use an app to help monitor your added sugar intake? Have you ever participated in a detox diet? Let us know at wellness@utah.edu.

HealthFeedlazycoupleBeing Inactive May Be Worse Than Being Overweight
Even if you’re not overweight, you need to get moving.

A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that inactivity creates adverse health effects in everybody. In fact, the researchers behind the study say that being inactive could be twice as dangerous as carrying too much weight. Read the full article here.

Outdoor Workouts

Outdoor Fun at Your Doorstep: Winter Edition
It’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for stuffy gym workouts until spring. Salt Lake City is an adventure wonderland, with plenty of winter activities within a half-hour drive. Click here to see the rest of the story.

For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.