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Health Checkup: May 8, 2008

DEBUNKING DIET MYTHS

Nixing carbohydrates is a good way to lose weight.

By focusing on high-protein foods like meat, cheese and eggs (all foods that are high in cholesterol) you could be risking a heart attack. Cutting out carbohydrates, which the body craves for a reason, can make you irritable, nauseous and weak.

Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.

Skipping meals is not only unhealthy, but you'll also often ingest more when you eventually do eat. Studies prove that people who eat a wholesome breakfast and small meals throughout the day weigh less than those who buy into this diet myth and skip meals and eat fewer times throughout the day.

Don’t eat after 7 p.m.

Calories can’t tell time. Your calorie count over a 24-hour period matters more than that bucket of popcorn you had at 10:30 p.m. What might be more important to note is not to eat just before you're about to hit the sack.

Fat is bad for me

As in the case of cholesterol, there are good kinds of fat and bad kinds of fat. Fat is a key player in the overall health of the body. Make sure your diet is rich in unsaturated fats like olive oil, flaxseed oil, trout, salmon and avocado.

If I exercise I can eat what I want.

While exercise does burn calories, you’re still susceptible to weight gain if you’re eating large portions of unhealthy food. A half-hour on the treadmill doesn’t come close to balancing the calories contained in the average super bacon cheeseburger meal with onion rings and a strawberry milkshake.

Low-fat food is healthy.

Low-fat versions of food are often full of added ingredients like sugar and flour, which are supposed to improve the flavor. To be sure that a low-fat version is really healthier for you, compare ingredients and nutritional information in both varieties.

Source: Askmen.com

GO FIGURE

740 - The number of calories in a margarita -- 200 more than in a Big Mac.

Source: Forbes.com

LINK OF THE WEEK

www.menshealth.com/eatthis/index.php

Men's Health offers up an eye-opening no-diet weight loss program.

Where the heck is my prostate?

Dr. Dan Dietrick, M.D., F.A.C.S. from Chesapeake Urology answers your questions about the often misunderstood male sex gland.

*Q. What is the prostate?

*A. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is shaped like a doughnut and surrounds the tube (called the urethra) that carries urine out of the bladder. The prostate produces fluid that mixes with sperm when a man ejaculates.

*Q. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

*A. In its early stages, prostate cancer has no symptoms at all. Other symptoms, like trouble passing urine, frequent urination (particularly at night), weak or interrupted urine flow, pain when urinating and blood in the urine are all symptoms of prostate enlargement, as well as cancer. Men experiencing any of these symptoms should consult a urologist specializing in prostate cancer and prostate problems. In our region, the prostate cancer specialists at Chesapeake Urology are among the most advanced in their treatment and care of prostate cancer patients.

*Q. What tests can be used to detect prostate cancer?

*A. The PSA blood test is an important tool in helping to detect prostate cancer, especially when it is done along with a digital rectal examination. The results of these tests help us decide whether to check the patient further for cancer. All men over 50, or those over 40 who are black or have a family history of prostate cancer, need to visit their doctor annually for these tests.

*Q. Who is most at risk?

*A. About one in six men will get prostate cancer. black men are at greatest risk. Men who have a father or brother who has prostate cancer have a lifetime risk two or three times higher as well.

*Q. Can prostate cancer be cured?

*A. Yes. Early diagnosis is important. When caught early, treatment is highly successful. Modern techniques minimize side effects. However, when the cancer is advanced and spread, it normally cannot be cured.

*Q. If I'm diagnosed with prostate cancer, what should I do?

*A. Don't wait. See a board certified urologist immediately. Sometimes prostate cancers are so slow growing that no treatment is needed. However, when treatment is necessary, it’s critical to seek the most experienced, informed urology specialists, such as those at the Chesapeake Urology Prostate Center, to explain your options and treat your cancer.

Daniel D. Dietrick, M.D., F.A.C.S. Chesapeake Urology Associates, P.A.

For more information about Dr. Dietrick and the services available at Chesapeake Urology Associates, call 1-866-955-0002 or visit our website at www.chesapeakeurology.com.

Chesapeake Urology Associates’ 42 board-certified urologists serve patients from more than 20 offices in 7 Maryland counties, with 10 technologically advanced surgical centers. We treat prostate, kidney, bladder and testicular cancers and disorders; bladder and continence problems; erectile dysfunction, male infertility and vasectomies.