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Offline Davydd

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2014, 02:05:21 PM »
In regard to food labels, that generally means processed food in some manner. I have found when tracking calories and sodium as close as you can you quickly find out what foods have value and what foods don't. You quickly learn how bad processed foods really are and if serious you start gravitating away from them because of the excessive empty calories and sodium they provide. Take pizza dear to all of us. Compare a can or jar of pizza sauce sold in stores against what you can prepare for yourself with just tomatoes and your own desired spices.
Davydd


Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2014, 02:46:32 PM »
David,

The nutritiondata.self.com website that November cited is also the one that I use for my analytical work. I might add that the detailed type of nutrition data as is given at that website is also sometimes available from the companies behind any given product. However, they don't usually make that kind of information public. Sometimes  they will provide it upon request but more so for professionals than for ordinary consumers or for guys like me who might be trying to reverse engineer their products. Often that more detailed information will report specific values for nutrients, albeit small in many cases, that show up as zero in the final Nutrition Facts, because of rounding.

As for the matter of rounding and how the FDA requires that nutrients be reported on nutrition labels, the document that I often refer to is the one at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=101.9. For our purposes here, the relevant parts run from "Calories, total" to "Protein". One of the things that you will notice is that the rounding is stricter for certain nutrients than others. For example, the rounding is stricter for "bad" guys like fats (including the current villain Trans Fat), cholesterol and sodium, and less so for "good" guys like dietary fiber and protein. In either case, the swings in possible nutrient values can be quite high. Percentage-wise, they can be more pronounced for small amounts of nutrients than large amounts.

Companies will also play games to keep certain nutrients at zero in their nutrition information. A good current example of this is in the reporting of Trans Fats. Under FDA rules and regulations, so long as trans fats are less than 0.5 grams per serving, it can be reported on labels as 0, with that fact often being trumpeted on the labels and packaging and advertising for all to see. But the 0 number is usually interpreted by consumers as actually being 0. But if more than one serving is consumed, the trans fats number is no longer 0. The entire margarine, margarine-like and shortening industries is being turned on its head because of the Trans Fats rules.

There is also something that is called the 20% rule. What that means is that a reported nutrient value can be off by 20% from its actual value, on either side, and not be subject to scrutiny by the FDA (or USDA). I have read reports that the people who come up with nutrient values often game the system by reporting lower numbers for the "bad" guys and larger numbers for the "good" guys. And they know that they can get away with it because the FDA won't act unless people are getting sick, or false or questionable health or nutrition claims have been made, or their products might be recalled, etc. Also, they know that the FDA does not have the staffing to enforce their own rules and regulations. I have seen cases where I believe even the 20% rule has been violated.

There are also food processors who intentionally overweight their products so as not to lay themselves to claims that they are stiffing consumers by selling them underweight products.

It is also important to consider how nutrition information is created. The two basic methods that I have identified is the use of software or independent test labs that do destructive testing. These days, it seems the more common method is to use software. Some companies, like Papa John's, for example, uses software in its own facilities using its own personnel (or so I was told), whereas others farm the work out to companies to come up with the final nutrition information, usually working off of extensive data bases. Sometimes the specific software used (like Genesis), or the outfit that created the nutrition information, will be stated at their websites where nutrition information or allergy information is given. Using test labs seems to me to be a more accurate way of arriving at nutrient values but that approach seems to be on the wane.

The point of all of the above is that there are enough holes in the nutrition numbers to drive a truck through. In some cases, it might be a small truck but it might also be a big truck.

Peter
I learn something new everyday. Thanks Peter.

David,

I assume you mean grams of salt, not sodium. 5-6 grams of ordinary table salt comes to about 0.9-1.1 teaspoons, or about 2083-2499mg sodium. 7-8 grams of salt comes to about 1.25-1.43 teaspoons, or about 2916-3333mg sodium. Those numbers are in the ballpark of the recommended 2300mg sodium per day, but below the number now recommended by the American Heart Association and other health organizations. That number is 1500mg sodium per day. That number is very hard to achieve because salt is used in so many prepared foods. It will almost be impossible to keep below that number eating in restaurants. A recent study showed that restaurants invariably use more salt in their foods than reported in their own nutrition information for those foods, and not just by a little.

Peter



No, I meant actual sodium intake. Mine is around 5000mg-6000mg(at least according to my tracker) a day and on Saturdays around the 7500mg area. I've had blood work done and I'm in perfect health. I told my doctor and showed him all the food I eat that people think they have to stay away from when trying to lose weight and he was shocked that I wasn't overweight or my tests didn't come back with something bad. My sodium levels are higher now because I'm bulking(gaining weight) so my food intake is far higher than before so the sodium level are there to match. When I was cutting(losing weight) my sodium was around 4000mg-4500mg daily and about 5500-6000 on Saturdays.

When I said obsessing, I was referring specifically to the nutrition labels on product packaging.  In that context, your statement above becomes confusing if not self-defeating.  If you think the "little things" matter, you couldn't possibly care very much about what's on the product packaging because the "little things" aren't listed there.  Along with Peter's elaboration, it must be said there is nothing printed on the package that you can truly trust enough to base a diet as precise as the one you are trying to maintain.

On a separate but related note, I do personally think the precision you are attempting to attain is obsessive and excessive.  I think that because I doubt you are keeping that level of precision in tracking your caloric expenditures.  It is safe to say nobody does.  You could burn an extra calorie by blinking 3% more on a dry day.

- November

It's really not that hard at all and takes no time. I have all the foods I eat in the tracker I use which lets me put in the nutrition facts so I can be as exact as I want. I weigh the food I'm eating input it into the tracker in grams and it does all the math for me. It takes a minute. It's easy.

Offline November

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2014, 03:10:53 PM »
It's really not that hard at all and takes no time. I have all the foods I eat in the tracker I use which lets me put in the nutrition facts so I can be as exact as I want. I weigh the food I'm eating input it into the tracker in grams and it does all the math for me. It takes a minute. It's easy.

I think you missed the point.  I said nothing about difficulty.  It's easy to dream about riding unicorns, but until someone discovers a unicorn, it's a waste of time.  Of course everyone is welcome to use their time in almost any way they want.  Call it a hobby.  It's okay to spend time on impractical endeavors as long as it's with the understanding that nothing useful is actually being accomplished.  Once you know you're taking a placebo, and you continue to believe in its alleged benefits, there begins the problem.

- November

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2014, 06:19:56 PM »
I think you missed the point.  I said nothing about difficulty.  It's easy to dream about riding unicorns, but until someone discovers a unicorn, it's a waste of time.  Of course everyone is welcome to use their time in almost any way they want.  Call it a hobby.  It's okay to spend time on impractical endeavors as long as it's with the understanding that nothing useful is actually being accomplished.  Once you know you're taking a placebo, and you continue to believe in its alleged benefits, there begins the problem.

- November
Thanks for those great words of wisdom. I didn't realize until now that everything I'm doing to better myself physically by tracking my food intake accurately has been a waste of time and means nothing in the grand scheme of the universe. But I probably missed the point of this statement as well.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2014, 11:56:29 PM »
You guys are cracking me up.
I can show you!!   8)




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Offline November

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2014, 12:15:13 AM »
Thanks for those great words of wisdom. I didn't realize until now that everything I'm doing to better myself physically by tracking my food intake accurately has been a waste of time and means nothing in the grand scheme of the universe. But I probably missed the point of this statement as well.

Everything you're doing?  Probably not, but definitely add over-dramatization to the list.  Nobody has called into question the benefits of accurately tracking food intake.  It's only the level of accuracy that's been called into question.  In case you forgot where this started, it was pointed out to you that your argument for counting "macros" and doing separate math on those quantities does not ensure a superior level of precision.  Feign insult all you want; I was just trying to help you realize you weren't accomplishing what you thought.  Most people appreciate disclosure.

Offline Davydd

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2014, 11:37:57 AM »
It all goes back to the question of how precise do you need to be. Weight Watchers doesn't count the calories. They just use a point system. The bottom line is you get on the scale and if you lost weight you are counting right. If not, then examine where you went wrong. It still goes back to fuel in, energy out and some body engines are more efficient than others based on age, activity, genetics, metabolism, etc.
Davydd

Offline November

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2014, 01:26:03 PM »
It still goes back to fuel in, energy out and some body engines are more efficient than others based on age, activity, genetics, metabolism, etc.

And that's just the short list.  Most people also don't consider the full spectrum of carbon utilization.  Carbon can either be metabolized for energy production (what most people often think of); expelled from the skin and orifices in various gasses other than CO2; used in cellular repair, replacement, and growth; or sequestered in structures such as hair and nails.  Then there's the brain: a 5-10W device that can burn a calorie just thinking about burning a calorie.  There are thousands of ways carbon is used by the human body, not to mention countless ways carbon is prevented from being used by the human body.  A significant percentage of what one consumes doesn't become absorbed for reasons that are different for different people.

I think much of what Davydd said strikes pretty close to the mark.  Results are quite independent of a precise system of measurements because there isn't a very precise system one can rely on in this case.  Unless you can track what every molecule is doing in your body, you will always fall short of knowing if an extra three calories a meal will make any difference.  Another disclaimer though: even if you lose weight and losing weight is your goal, you could be losing the wrong weight or causing other problems.  So the weight scale shouldn't be your only diagnostic equipment.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2014, 12:53:42 PM »
And that's just the short list.  Most people also don't consider the full spectrum of carbon utilization.  Carbon can either be metabolized for energy production (what most people often think of); expelled from the skin and orifices in various gasses other than CO2; used in cellular repair, replacement, and growth; or sequestered in structures such as hair and nails.  Then there's the brain: a 5-10W device that can burn a calorie just thinking about burning a calorie.  There are thousands of ways carbon is used by the human body, not to mention countless ways carbon is prevented from being used by the human body.  A significant percentage of what one consumes doesn't become absorbed for reasons that are different for different people.

I think much of what Davydd said strikes pretty close to the mark.  Results are quite independent of a precise system of measurements because there isn't a very precise system one can rely on in this case.  Unless you can track what every molecule is doing in your body, you will always fall short of knowing if an extra three calories a meal will make any difference.  Another disclaimer though: even if you lose weight and losing weight is your goal, you could be losing the wrong weight or causing other problems.  So the weight scale shouldn't be your only diagnostic equipment.
Would you mind proposing a weight loss plan November?  Just a lil quickie friend...not looking to absorb a bunch of your time here and open a can of worms. You are well respected here and I am just curios how you may expound on this issue.
Thank you.

Bob
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Offline November

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2014, 02:17:58 PM »
Would you mind proposing a weight loss plan November?  Just a lil quickie friend...not looking to absorb a bunch of your time here and open a can of worms. You are well respected here and I am just curios how you may expound on this issue.

Thank you for your vote of confidence, but weight loss is mostly a personal issue.  There are of course broad concepts that work for everyone assuming everyone has the willpower; mainly eating less, eating more nutritiously, and exercising more.  Many years ago, partly as a willpower and science experiment, I allowed myself to gain a considerable amount of weight to see how much of it I could lose in how much time with how much effort.  For reference, I am 6' 6" tall and began at a high of 293 pounds.  I determined my ideal weight (based on many factors I won't itemize here) should be around 225 pounds, so that was my goal.  All that I intentionally changed in my diet and lifestyle were the following:

1) Eliminated regular HFCS beverage consumption.  I still had a ginger beer or root beer once in a while, but no more than a few a month.
2) Began drinking green tea on a regular basis.  This amounted to about 900-1200 mL plain, hot green tea, and about the same of sweetened, iced green tea per day.  The sweetened tea contained 20 g of sugar per 250 mL.  I deemed the timing of consumption somewhat important relative to when I ingested food.  However, I don't think it's important enough to go into all the details.  One point worth mentioning was that my first cup of hot tea was consumed about an hour before eating breakfast.  The timing relevance is in how green tea affects metabolism.
3) Began walking more.  I already walked approximately three miles a week before this period.  I simply doubled it to six miles a week.

That's it.  I did not purposely change anything else in my diet.  If I ate less it wasn't due to a conscientious effort.  I just ate until I wasn't hungry.  I didn't track calories or work out in a gym.  After nine months I weighed 222 pounds.  Again, all weight loss regimens are personal to be effective.  This was simply my experience.

- November


Offline November

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2014, 02:32:21 PM »
I should add another note of health importance.  I don't smoke or drink alcoholic beverages.  Never have.  Keeping organs like your liver in well-working order is vital to rebounding from conditions such as obesity.  This is one major reason why weight loss is so personal.  What conditions your organs are in will have a lot to do with how easily you can lose weight.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2014, 01:44:31 AM »
I should add another note of health importance.  I don't smoke or drink alcoholic beverages.  Never have.  Keeping organs like your liver in well-working order is vital to rebounding from conditions such as obesity.  This is one major reason why weight loss is so personal.  What conditions your organs are in will have a lot to do with how easily you can lose weight.
Thank you.
I would like to revisit your thoughts on; in particular, liver function and it's role during weight loss.

For now would you mind please explaining your thoughts in considering the low to no carbohydrate diet/lifestyle?

Bob
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 01:46:58 AM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline EqualSliceGuy

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2014, 10:43:17 PM »
Very impressed will all the in depth calculations. What happens when the pizza is cut unequally? I guess it doesn't matter if one person is eating the whole pizza, but what happens when two or more people are being served from the same unequally cut pizza? How do you calculate the calories, sodium, fats and carbs, comparing the bigger slices to the smaller slices? All the formulating and measuring that went into making the pizza consistent, just got skewed by unequal pizza slices.....Just a thought.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 10:45:43 PM by EqualSliceGuy »
Greg Getzinger

Offline cc2323

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2014, 05:02:03 PM »
On the last few pies I've made, I'm trying to cut down on the cheese and replace with additional olive oil. This is working on the assumption that olive oil not having any sodium is preferable as a fat source to cheese... as well as constantly hearing in the media that olive oil is more heart smart in general compared to a dairy source, if that really is a thing. This pie was only about 9 inches, but still quite filling. I soaked a heap of red pepper, white onion, and calabrian peppers in oil for a couple hours before bake. Only 1.8 ounces of cheese (mozz/prov) yet it was still very delicious. Got some great char by doing an oven hack that got me up to 650 degrees before doing the steel + broiler combo. I estimate this personal pan was about 5 grams of fat and 10% of daily sodium intake lower than my usual recipe.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2014, 08:10:55 PM »
Mighty Alabastro,

It sounds like you are concerned with both the sodium and fat content of cheese.

Looking first at the sodium issue, mozzarella cheeses can vary quite a bit in sodium content per serving size because of the different amounts of salt used in making the cheeses. Depending on the specific type of mozzarella cheese, a typical range of sodium content can be around 115mg-210mg per ounce (serving size). Of course, sodium is present in just about all parts of a pizza, not only the cheese. As you may know, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of sodium for an adult male is around 2300mg. That is equivalent to about a teaspoon of salt. However, the FDA and others, including the American Heart Association, have been lobbying for a decrease in the RDA for sodium to around 1500mg (equivalent to about 5/8 teaspoon of salt) even though recent studies are at serious odds with the lowered value for sodium. But, neither the FDA or the AHA is backing off of its 1500mg number. As an aside, I discussed that number with my doctor in a recent routine physical and I mentioned that it would be virtually impossible to meet that number if one ate a typical meal at a restaurant. He agreed and said that one could not eat at a restaurant if he or she was on a low sodium diet.

As for the fat content of mozzarella cheese, for years people were advised to control their input of mozzarella cheese because of the saturated fats. But a very recent study, as discussed, for example, in a recent New York Times article at http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/study-questions-fat-and-heart-disease-link/, purports to debunk the long held view implicating saturated fats with heart disease, strokes and other ills. You might also note that so-called "heart healthy" oils like olive oil are not left off the hook. However, there are many other studies that support the use of olive oil as part of a heart healthy diet. For example, olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet.

So, where does this leave us. First, there are no trans fats in mozzarella cheese, at least at the single serving level. That is a good thing. In fact, if the FDA gets its way, trans fats may well be taken off of the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list. The comment period on that matter just recently ended.

Second, there is cholesterol in mozzarella cheese so that is something that one might not want to ignore. A typical range for cholesterol for mozzarella cheese is about 15-25mg per one-ounce serving size. People are advised to limit their daily cholesterol input from food sources to about 300mg or about 200mg for those who have high cholesterol. One would need to eat a fair amount of mozzarella cheese to reach that level but it becomes more approachable if one uses meats on a pizza, especially sausage and pepperoni.

Finally, there is the issue of calories, as you noted in the topic heading for your last post. Unless one is judicious in the type of pizza eaten, and the amount eaten, pizza can be quite fattening.

Peter

Offline nick57

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2014, 08:40:34 PM »
You're right Pete, pizza can be fattening. The last pie I made had 594 calories per slice. I used the calculating tool on FatSecret to get my calorie count. It was a 8 slice pie, and I usually eat 3 pieces. I almost blow my 2000 calorie RDI on the pizza alone. I've been on a diet, so I have been limiting myself to 1 pie every 3 weeks or so. I use it as a reward to keep myself on track

Offline cc2323

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2014, 06:02:45 PM »
Thanks for the post. Indeed blood pressure and cholesterol are my primary concerns: family history, ex-smoker, usually quite high when i get blood tests done. Will keep this cheese scaling back thing going, as well as buying more fresh mozz (tends to have lower sodium content). It blows though cause I'm a Wisconsin cliche... beer and cheese are literally my only 2 vices (unless procrastination counts as a vice).

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2014, 07:54:19 PM »
Thanks for the post. Indeed blood pressure and cholesterol are my primary concerns: family history, ex-smoker, usually quite high when i get blood tests done. Will keep this cheese scaling back thing going, as well as buying more fresh mozz (tends to have lower sodium content). It blows though cause I'm a Wisconsin cliche... beer and cheese are literally my only 2 vices (unless procrastination counts as a vice).
You might find these items of interest in connection with the sodium and high blood pressure issues:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/health/panel-finds-no-benefit-in-sharply-restricting-sodium.html?pagewanted%253Dall&_r=0

and

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1791497

Peter

Offline cc2323

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2014, 09:09:53 PM »
   Highly interesting reading, sodium consumption appears to be a more complicated issue than I realized. For anyone who doesn't have a chance to read those links, the gist of the NYT article is that drastically lowered sodium consumption levels might be damaging to overall mortality. Basically, a "less is more" battle plan might not be a good idea. For myself, I happen to be a professional lab rat (yah that's actually a thing) and I started watching my salt intake about 18 months ago after my BP started hitting the 135/90 level or higher. This would preclude me from being able to do most clinical trials, so that meant I needed to take an interest in my BP readings, if only for economic reasons. Once I started reading labels and taking notes I realized that I was habitually ingesting waaaaaaaay too much salt. It adds up faster than I would have thought. Only by really watching it have I gotten my guestimate daily intake down to 2200 mg a day or so. Sure enough, my BP readings dropped into the 122/80-ish range, and I consider it a victory of sorts.

   I personally wouldn't worry too much about the health effects of going drastically low on sodium consumption, because it's already a pain in my balls just to maintain in the midrange. But it's interesting to think going too low will actually hurt you. My great-grandmother was famous in our family for actually needing to be hospitalized once for having a zero sodium diet. Her doctor told her sodium was bad and she literally figured out some crazy diet whereby she ingested no sodium whatsoever... now it all maybe makes sense. In total, it seems like further reason to default embrace a "don't go extreme when dieting" philosophy.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My Pizza Calories,... kind of explored
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2014, 09:55:50 PM »
I think it is important to keep in mind that BP readings can vary quite widely, and you really can't rely on just a few readings. To get a more reliable sense of your BP you should take many readings, which usually means having to get a BP monitor and average the readings over a fairly long period of time and under different conditions and at different times of day. Some people, even those with a cool and calm demeanor, will frequently exhibit especially high readings when they go to medical and dental appointments. That is called 'white coat hypertension'. Some practitioners will take a second set of BP readings after the patient has had a chance to relax but some don't always do that and they can prescribe BP medications based on only one BP reading. The human body tries to achieve homeostasis when it comes to BP. What that means is that the body will try to lower BP when it gets too high and raise it when it gets too low. The usual systolic and diastolic numbers will also vary by age. And there can also be a genetic component. It is when the numbers get out of whack that BP medications usually are prescribed. However, some people are able to control their BP to the point where they can wean themselves off of BP medications. Perhaps the most effective way to do this is through exercise, even something as simple as walking (but at a good pace and decent distance). An otherwise good diet is also a help.

Peter