Should You Consider the Mediterranean Diet?

In February of this year, we wrote a blog post about National Heart Month. In the post, we covered different ways for both men and women to reduce their risk of heart disease. One of the tips we covered is to consider the DASH or Mediterranean diet. As we explained, unlike the majority of diets that aren’t designed for long-term success, both the DASH and Mediterranean diets are sustainable approaches to eating.

The other reason we mentioned those diets in that post is both have been linked to supporting heart health. Recently, new research about the Mediterranean diet provides even more detailed insights into how this eating strategy can reduce cardiovascular risks. We’re going to cover that research, as well as the basics of the Mediterranean diet.

What the Mediterranean Diet Can Do for Heart Health

The study in question was published in the European Heart Journal earlier this year. It found that older adults who adhered to the Mediterranean diet were at lower risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death than those who followed a Western diet. Specifically, the study found that out of 23,902 healthy adults, the cardiovascular disease and death risk for adherents to the Mediterranean diet is between six and sixteen percent lower. As the researchers explained, “these results add to the pool of evidence on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, even in a non-Mediterranean country where an optimal dietary pattern is unknown.”

The Basics of the Mediterranean Diet

Now that we’ve established why the Mediterranean diet can be so beneficial to heart health, we want to cover the basic elements of this diet. The first issue we want to clear up is the name of the diet. Instead of referring to specific foods like Italian or Greek foods, the word refers to the origins of the diet.

So, what exactly does this diet consist of eating? A big part of why this diet stands out from most others is it consists primarily of guidelines instead of overly strict rules about what to eat and what to avoid. The first principle is to maximize your intake of vegetables, peas, legumes, fruits and wholegrain cereals. Next, red meat intake should be limited. The primary sources of protein for this diet are chicken and fish.

Another principle of the Mediterranean diet is to use mono-unsaturated olive oil or rapeseed oil whenever possible in place of animal fat such as butter or lard. The next principle is to keep your intake of highly processed fast foods and ready meals to a minimum. The reason is those items are generally high in saturated fat and salt, which are both things this diet minimizes. In terms of beverages, water is emphasized. And for alcohol, red wine can be enjoyed with meals but should be limited to two small glasses per day.

If you have any additional questions about yourheart health orweight loss management, you can get 1-on-1 answers byscheduling an appointment with our talented medical team online.

Weight Management Strategies for Teens

Since 1980, the percentage of children and teens in the US who are obese has tripled to 19%. The definition of obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat that results in someone being more than 20% heavier than their ideal body weight.


In addition to the 19% of children and teens who fall into the obese category, another 30% of this age group is classified as overweight. Based on this data, it’s clear that weight is an issue for many teens in the United States. While there are a number of explanations for this, a recent study found that many of the weight management strategies typically used with teens are counterproductive.


Why the AAP Wants Parents to Focus on Health


The American Academy of Pediatrics has had guidelines that address childhood obesity and eating disorders. However, what’s new about the information recently released by the AAP is that the two are often connected.


Research by the organization found that the majority of teenagers diagnosed with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia weren’t initially overweight. However, overweight teens who try to lose weight may develop eating disorders.


Excessive exercise, laxatives, diet pills or fasting are all examples of risky tactics a teen may utilize in an attempt to lose weight. The good news is parents can lessen the risk of those actions by steering teens away from the concept of dieting.


How Parents Should Talk to Teens About Weight


Even when dieting doesn’t go too far, the data shows that it’s generally not effective for teens. In fact, members of this age group who diet are more likely to end up overweight. What’s worse is things get even more complicated for teens who do go too far with their attempts at dieting.


If a teen is overweight, it’s possible for them to develop an eating disorder and parents to miss any signs of the disorder because the teen is not excessively thin. However, that doesn’t change the fact that teens can still experience complications often associated with anorexia like low blood pressure or an unstable heart rate.


So if dieting isn’t what parents should focus on with teens, how can they help a teen who is struggling with his or her weight? The first strategy is to get rid of junk food in the house and keep it stocked with plenty of healthy options.


The next is to eat together as a family as often as possible. Another is to encourage a positive body image. Encouraging this type of body image means not teasing teens about their weight. Although that may seem obvious, it can be easy to overlook for families who are used to constantly joking around with each other.



Kaner Medical Group offersweight management andadolescent healthcare services. So if you want to be sure that your teen is getting the right care from experienced professionals, we encourage you toschedule an appointment with us online.

Should You Be Worried About the Zika Virus?

If you have lots of questions about the Zika virus, you’re definitely not alone. Although there has been an explosion in media coverage of this virus over the past few months, much of that coverage fails to cover what regular people in the state of Texas need to know. Since this is a topic that regularly comes up at the Kaner Medical Group offices, we want to cover the main information you need to know:


The Basics of the Zika Virus


The Zika virus was first isolated all the way back in 1947. However, prior to February of 2016, very few people had heard of this virus. Google Trends shows that there were virtually no searches across the entire Internet for this condition until four months ago.


The reason that media coverage and subsequent concerns about this virus suddenly exploded was due to information about how quickly it’s spreading in Brazil. Researchers believe that there are at least 1.5 million people of all ages in Brazil who have been infected by the virus.


The other element that has kept Zika in the news is the negative effect it can have on pregnant women. The biggest risk factor associated with Zika is microcephaly, which is a birth defect. This condition manifests as an underdeveloped fetal brain and can lead to neurological deformation or death. It’s worth noting that women who get pregnant after being infected are also at risk.


Of the 1.5 million people who are believed to have the Zika virus in Brazil, around 3,500 cases of microcephaly were reported in the country between October 2015 and January 2016.


Recent Spread Into the United States


Another reason that Zika has remained a prominent story in the media is the 2016 Summer Olympics are taking place in Brazil. Given that over half a million people from across the globe are expected to travel to Rio de Janeiro for this event, there are lots of worries about a rapid acceleration of Zika spreading around the world. That’s because in addition to mosquitoes spreading the virus, it can also spread through sexual contact.


Adding to the media’s fixation on Zika is a recent story from Time. According to the article, which quotes a top US health official, Zika is expected to begin spreading in the United States within the next month or so. While there are currently more than 500 cases in the US, those are primarily travel-related. The article focused on the need for forceful preparation based on evidence that mosquitoes will begin the process of local transmission throughout the US.


The Bottom Line



As of now, Zika is unlikely to affect the majority of Texans in a significant way. That being said, if you’re currently pregnant or thinking about trying to get pregnant, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor any additional questions you have about the Zika virus during your appointment. It’s also a good idea for everyone to take basic measures to protect against mosquito bites this summer.

Good Health is a Priceless Father’s Day Gift

June 19th is Father’s Day. On that Sunday, we all recognize the important role that fathers play in the lives of people of all ages. In addition to giving your dad a card or gift on this holiday, it’s also an ideal opportunity to bring up the importance of men’s health. At Kaner Medical Group, we offer excellenthealthcare services for men.


However, research shows that even when men have access to quality healthcare, they’re less likely to be proactive about their medical care than women. One study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that men are 24% less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year.


Why Don’t Men Go to the Doctor More Often?


Researchers have found two main reasons that men are less likely than women to see a doctor. The first is rooted in traditional culture and beliefs related to masculinity. Whether they consciously acknowledge it or not, plenty of guys see themselves as tough and don’t want to compromise that by “showing weakness” in the form of going to a doctor.


Although those types of belief influence countless men of all ages, it definitely does more harm than good. Sports injuries are the perfect example. Instead of getting treatment for a mild to moderate injury, many men simply “ignore the pain.” Unfortunately, this often results in an injury that could have been treated progressing to the point of being debilitating.


The other main reason so many men don’t go to the doctor is they have misconceptions about what they’ll have to do during the visit. Prostate exams are the most common example. Unless a man has a family history of prostate cancer or another specific risk factor, this exam will not be part of every single routine physical after the age of forty.


Guidelines for Men’s Healthcare


In addition to the two reasons covered above, some men also think that going to a doctor once is going to lead to them having to go all the time. For the average man, that’s simply not true. For men over the age of 35, simple screenings can go a long way. By being aware of things like blood pressure and cholesterol, any potential issues can be identified well in advance and addressed before they have a chance to turn into much more serious problems.


At Kaner Medical Group, we have experts who can consult with you about common issues like heart disease. We also provide an environment where men can feel comfortable talking about issues like urinary incontinence. And by being proactive with prostate cancer and other screenings, we’re able to support lifelong health for men. That includes helping men of all ages feel their best on a daily basis.



So whether you’re going to be celebrating Father’s Day as a son, daughter or you’re a dad, using this occasion to make healthcare a priority is the best way to ensure many more years of happy celebrations!

How Men Can Maintain Good Health in 2016 and Beyond

It’s no secret that when it comes to visiting a doctor, men are less likely to get themselves there than women. In fact, recent research found that during the last year, men are 24% less likely to have seen a doctor than women. Men are also 22% more likely to neglect their cholesterol tests.


Although we completely understand that guys are busy and would rather be doing just about anything instead of seeing a doctor, it’s important to know that many of the health problems men face are treatable or preventable with early detection. Additionally, there are other steps men can take to enjoy the best possible health in 2016 and for many years to come.


So whether you’re a man who wants to take better care of yourself or are the significant other of a man who’s stubborn when it comes to health matters, here are the best ways to integrate good health into an existing lifestyle:


See a Doctor


At Kaner Medical Group, we offermen’s healthcare services. We’re not in the business of judging you or wasting your time. Instead, we provide an efficient and discreet environment where you can get the information you need to make smart decisions about your health. Byscheduling an appointment online in a matter of minutes, you can take a major step towards taking great care of yourself without disrupting your normal routine.


Find Time to Exercise


Did you know that just 2.5 hours of exercise a week can make a significant difference in your overall health? The ideal routine is a combination of cardio and resistance exercise. However, as long you as find an activity that gets your heart rate up and you can do on a consistent basis, you will definitely benefit from doing it.


Cut Out Smoking


While some habits are OK in moderation, smoking isn’t one of them. Smoking dramatically increases your risk for illnesses like COPD and cancer. The good news is even if you’ve been a smoker for a long time, you can still lower your risk by quitting now.


Make Sleep a Priority


Over the last few years, there has been much more awareness about the importance of sleep. Despite the fact that plenty of people view minimal sleep as some type of badge of working hard, the short and long-term effects of not getting enough sleep are quite negative. So even though it may take a little time to get on the right track with sleep, you will be very happy you did.


Learn How to Manage Stress



Stress is another big issue for men of all ages. Following the advice covered above is a good starting point for getting stress under control. But those changes alone may not be enough to properly manage a serious issue with stress. There are many other strategies for ensuring stress doesn’t control your life. Exploring those strategies and sticking with the ones that work best for you will help you enjoy the highest quality of life for a long time to come.

5 Summer Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work

If you’ve decided to lose weight this summer, you’re not alone if you’re feeling a combination of excitement and stress. Although the equation of losing weight boils down to burning more calories than you consume, this process is often anything but simple. There are a number of reasons why people of all ages get overwhelmed when they attempt to pursue a weight loss goal.


One of the reasons so many people feel that way is there’s simply too much advice online and out in the world. Even when someone has good intentions with weight loss advice, what they share isn’t going to benefit you if the advice is ineffective. And with a lot of the advice shared by the fitness industry, a big problem is the unrealistic expectations that are created.


Like support, simplicity can play a big role in making weight loss sustainable and allowing you to actually reach your goal. So with that in mind, we’ve put together a list of summer weight loss tips that actually work:


1. Break Your Overall Goal Into Milestones


The most common weight loss goal people set is to lose a certain number of pounds. Regardless of whether that number is 10 or 75, only having your overall goal to pursue can cause a dip in motivation. That’s why a proven strategy for staying on track is to break that type of goal into milestones. By giving yourself targets to hit, you’ll have an easier time staying focused and will also have an opportunity to celebrate as you make progress.


2. Don’t Overthink Your Workout Plan


Trying to find the perfect weight loss or workout plan online is a guaranteed way to feel like you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole. That’s why we recommend worrying about optimization later. Instead of creating an obstacle for yourself, getting started can be as easy as using your lunch break to walk.


3. Make Your Eating Habits a Priority


Getting active is an important part of losing weight. But it’s unlikely that you’ll see the results you want from working out if your eating habits are working against you. Avoiding that type of scenario is why you should start focusing on simple but effective eating strategies like portion control.


4. Switch Things Up


Whether it’s food or exercise, don’t let boredom prevent you from reaching your goal. If any element of your routine starts to feel stale, you should make it a priority to switch things up.


5. Create a Support System


One of the essential elements of weight loss success is support. Having support will keep you on track during the times when pursuing your goal gets especially hard. Whether your support is in the form of a workout partner or someone you use for accountability, the important thing is to have the type of support that works for you.



If you’re concerned about medical conditions related to your weight and are looking for professional assistance with your goal of controlling your weight,learn more about Kaner Medical Group’s weight management services.

Which Diet is Best for Losing and Keeping Weight Off?

People follow all kinds of diets to lose weight. While there are plenty of diets that can help individuals shed anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds, what’s frustrating about most diets is they aren’t designed for long-term success. Instead, they often lead to someone regaining all of the weight they lost. And in the worst cases, individuals regain more weight than they lost.


Since being in a cycle of losing and regaining weight is not only frustrating but also not the most healthy thing for a person to do, a better option is to take a long-term approach to weight loss. What this means is looking for the best way to lose weight and then keep it off. If you’re ready to start moving down that type of path, keep reading to learn which diet is going to provide the best support for doing so.


The 3 Traits of the Perfect Long-Term Diet


As you may have guessed based on the information we discussed above, a rigid diet with a fancy name isn’t what’s best for losing and keeping weight off. Instead, the “perfect” diet may not be exactly the same for everyone. That’s because when researchers have compared different diets, they found that people’s ability to follow a diet was a larger predictor of weight-loss success than the diet they choose.


What people often forget is they didn’t gain an extra ten or twenty pounds overnight. That extra weight came over a period of time. So losing the weight should be approached in a similar way. The longer you can stick with an improved way of eating, the more positive results you will see.


Given that information, there are two ways you can choose to go. The first is to try a few popular diets, make any necessary modifications and then use that as your long-term structure for eating. The second is to come up with your own rules and system to follow. With either approach, the goal is to find a sustainable way to consume fewer calories than you burn each day.


In addition to the main goal of a new approach to eating, there are three important traits you’ll want to keep in mind. First is choosing an approach to eating that’s healthy. For example, opting for only packaged foods isn’t ideal since you’ll take in too much sodium and miss out on important nutrients.


Second, the diet you choose should involve making small changes in many areas, rather than extreme changes in one area. And finally, instead of overly rigid rules, a diet that’s optimized for long-term success will provide tools you can use to make the right eating choices regardless of what situation you may find yourself in.



At Kaner Medical Group, we offer a variety ofweight management services. If you’re interested in getting help with your weight from experienced health professionals, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with usonline.

Creating a Healthy Strategy for Retirement

Most people put in a lot of hard work in order to retire. As a result, they look forward to the prospect of being able to live a more relaxing life. While there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to spend any more 8-hour days in an office, it’s important to understand the impact this transition can have on your health.


What’s interesting about the relationship between retirement and health is there’s actually some conflicting evidence. On one hand, some research shows that quitting work can lead to a decline in health. On the other hand, there are studies which have found that retiring may be more likely to improve a person’s well-being in the long run.


So, what does this mean for you? If you want to retire and are in a position to do so, you should definitely follow through with that plan. The thing that really matters is having a strategy for how you can get the most out of retirement in a healthy way. And that’s exactly the type of strategy we’re going to look at right now.


How to Enjoy a Healthy and Fulfilling Retirement


One of the benefits of retiring is it eliminates what is a source of significant stress for many people. However, losing that source of stress means losing two other things as well. Those losses are a daily sense of purpose and a social structure. The best way to counteract the first loss is to find hobbies that are truly fulfilling.


For some people, that type of hobby may be an outdoor activity like golf or fishing. For others, a truly fulfilling hobby may take the form of volunteering or something similar. Engaging in these kinds of activities can help with the second loss as well, which is developing a new social structure. Making it a priority to spend time around people you enjoy will definitely have a positive impact on the overall satisfaction of retirement.


Another key aspect of maximizing health in retirement is to stay physically active. A lot of people who have spent eight hours a day sitting at a desk for several decades aren’t in as good of physical shape as they would like. The upside is once you retire, it doesn’t mean you have to continue that sedentary trend.


Although you don’t want to dive into any overly rigorous exercise without consulting a doctor, having more free time each day means you can work towards different goals like increasing the number of minutes you’re able to spend walking outside. Different forms of strength training with even modest amounts of weight can also be very beneficial for people who are 50 and older.


In addition to lifestyle, proper medical care is a key part of maintaining good health throughout retirement. Kaner Medical Group offers a variety ofsenior healthcare services. If you have any questions about our healthcare services or would like to schedule an appointment, you can easily get in touch with us through ourcontact page.


Understanding Stroke Risk for Adults Under 55

In 2013, strokes dropped from the 4th to 5th leading cause of death in the United States. Although less people are dying in the US from strokes, this medical event still occurs every 40 seconds. Not only is that still a very high rate, but new research shows that strokes may actually be on the rise for people under 55. Multiple studies have been done in the United States that point to this trend, as well as in countries like France and Norway.


More Details About Strokes in Younger Adults


Before we look at why strokes may be on the rise in this specific age group, it’s worth putting the prevalence of this condition in the right context. While a stroke occurs in the United States every 40 seconds, only 10% of those cases occur with people between the age of 18 and 50. But just because that’s not a huge number of strokes in younger adults doesn’t mean this issue should be ignored.


According to the CDC, the same “traditional, modifiable” risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity associated with strokes in older adults are also behind the increased number of strokes in younger adults. The specific type of stroke that seems to be increasing in this younger age group is an ischemic stroke.


An ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, and it occurs when the brain’s blood supply is cut off by a blockage. Based on the previously mentioned studies, there has been an increase in the annual number of younger adults admitted to hospitals for ischemic strokes. While this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously, there’s not necessarily a clear cause behind the increase.


Some doctors believe that the actual root of this increase is the number of diagnoses for strokes. The reason is modern imaging techniques like MRIs increase the likelihood of a doctor being able to correctly identify a stroke instead of misdiagnosing it as a migraine or seizure.


Additional studies are being done to see if and to what extent risk factors like hypertension and diabetes are contributing to strokes in younger adults who are in their thirties and forties.


How Adults Under 55 Can Protect Themselves


One reason that it’s important for younger adults to be aware of this trend is strokes are a condition that is largely preventable. By being aware of this condition from a younger age, individuals can take preventative action like changing to eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, not smoking and keeping track of blood pressure. Medication can also play an important role in protecting younger adults who are especially at risk of suffering a stroke.



If you’re in need of ageneral checkup to learn more about vital signs like blood pressure or are require more specialized medical service likecardiology stress testing, you can count on Kaner Medical Group’s expert team to provide considerate and comprehensive medical care.

Important Tips for Living with Type 2 Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, your diet is one of the best tools you have to keep your blood sugar levels within a safe range and your heart healthy. In terms of general guidelines for an optimal type 2 diabetes diet, it starts with consistency. By eating meals and snacks on a schedule, you will be able to better keep your body in check. The next part of managing your condition via diet is to choose your foods wisely. You want to maximize nutritious intake and minimize empty calories. This often means spending a little extra time carefully reading labels.


How can you keep empty calories to a minimum? One effective option is to eat plenty of healthy carbs with ample fiber. Examples of foods that fall into this category include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes like beans. Although their name can be a little misleading, omega-3 fatty acids are actually very important for heart health. Cod, halibut, mackerel, salmon and tuna are all good sources of omega-3. Just keep in mind that even healthy foods can be high in calories, which is why moderation is always key.


Foods to Avoid as a Type 2 Diabetic


Knowing what to eat as a type 2 diabetic is important. But you also need to know the types of foods to avoid. And even if you can’t avoid these foods 100% of the time, you’ll benefit from limiting them as much as possible. The first category to avoid is foods that are heavy in saturated or trans fats. As mentioned above, the only way to know which foods have these traits is to take time to read nutrition labels.


Processed meats, shortening, processed snacks, sugary drinks and fried foods should all be consumed as infrequently as possible. Other foods worth limiting include beef, shellfish and baked goods, as well as any foods that have a lot of sodium.


Consistent Exercise is a Must


Insulin and medication may be necessary for maintaining your blood glucose level. However, in addition to the standard benefits of exercise, one of the biggest for those with type 2 diabetes is it makes it easier to keep your blood glucose level in the correct range. In fact, consistent exercise can play a direct role in helping to prevent certain long-term complications of this condition like kidney disease or nerve pain.


While you may need to start at a slower pace, you should set a goal of getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. In addition to that form of exercise, strength training two to three times a week for a similar duration will be very beneficial.



In addition to making diet and exercise a priority, it’s also important to have consistent medical care. If you need help managing this condition, we encourage you toschedule an appointment with us. Kaner Medical Group can help you take care of yourself and assist you with creating a customized plan to help manage your condition.