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BE HEALTHY, QUIETLY

March 8, 2011Read: Matthew 6

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." --Matthew 6:1

We've been talking a lot lately about the importance of our physical health as a means of praise, and if that has reached your heart, we're so blessed. If the mere prospect of a new day is reason enough to praise God with smarter choices at the dinner table, then great. Because you're right...it's not about the body.

With that said, perhaps the challenge is to be healthy, quietly. In truth, if our health is praise, there's no need for a declaration of independence from a sedentary lifestyle, and no need to sound the alarm against a less-than-stellar diet. No speeches, no"look at what I'm doing for God" announcements. We're called to take care of the body that carries the soul, period. So let's allow the byproducts of our obedience do the talking.

Push away from the table sooner, quietly. Turn the TV off earlier to go outside, quietly. Praise God with your health, quietly.

--J.P.

STUDY: A SWEET RISK

One of the most common obstacles that people cite in their quest for healthier living is an inability to shake their soda habit. While it's pretty widely known that having these sugar-laden drinks on a regular basis can lead to excess calorie consumption, huge swings in energy and cavities, new research is suggesting that such beverages can also be a danger to your heart health.

Professor Paul Elliott, senior author of the study, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said: "It's widely known that if you have too much salt in your diet, you're more likely to develop high blood pressure. The results of this study suggest that people should be careful about how much sugar they consume as well."

His study, published in the journal Hypertension, did not examine the mechanism that might link sugary drinks with blood pressure. However, the researchers suggest that raised uric acid, which has been linked to sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, might raise blood pressure by reducing the levels of nitric oxide, a chemical that relaxes the lining of the blood vessels.

Want an easier way to reduce your risk of hypertension and to keep your waistline in check? Drink more water and limit your soda consumption to special occasions.

Source: Imperial College London

Related Story: High blood pressure linked to high-sugar diets

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