“Doctor... I don’t understand”
New health words you must know to keep your family healthy
So you’re all caught up on last year’s hip health buzz words and phrases like HIIT (high-intensity interval training), or hygge (a Danish term meaning cosiness)? Well, there’s a new wave of must-know words out there, like lagom, poke and deprescribing. Here’s what they mean – and how they can help your health.
This buzz phrase has come from the US, where body neutrality workshops are the new way to boost self-esteem. “Being body neutral is the bridge between body shaming and body positivity – simply learning to accept your body for what it is,” says Christine Morgan from The Butterfly Foundation.
A good place to start is to acknowledge your body for what it helps you do, rather than how it appears. Try spending a few minutes each day thinking of three things you couldn’t have done without the body you have. This word comes from Sweden, and it’s been called the next big trend after hygge. Lagom means ‘not too little, but not too much’ in Swedish; in fact, its literal meaning is ‘enough is as good as a feast.’ It’s suggested that we apply this concept to everything in life – from eating to spending to how we work and play.
According to the principles of lagom, it’s okay to have a piece of cake every day (as many Swedes do), but only a very, very small one. Ditto alcohol – it’s not bad to have a drink every day, but limit it to just one small glass, which is enough. It’s claimed that no more than five per cent of our daily calories come from ‘free sugars’: According to the World Health Organisation, they are any sugars added to a food (either by a manufacturer or by you when you’re cooking or eating), and the sugars in honey, fruit juice and syrups like agave. These are the sugars we need to cut back on.
Free sugars don’t include those found naturally in milk and whole fruit and vegetables. These are ‘intrinsic sugars’, and don’t need to be limited. You may have heard of white noise, which helps screen out background noise and aids sleep. Pink noise is a similar idea, but uses a slightly different frequency, which experts claim is more relaxing. That’s not why it’s a buzz phrase, though – that’s come about as it might also boost brain health. One new study shows that older people sleeping with pink noise in the background actually improved their memory by 33 per cent the next day. Try the Pink Noise app, which can be downloaded for free on the App Store and Google Play. This healthy food concept from Hawaii is springing up in cafes and restaurants all over Malaysia – just look at Paperfish, Kurin and The Fish Bowl. It includes raw chopped fish (usually marinated in a soy-based sauce), served with ingredients like avocado, carrot and sea vegetables, all served on a bed of sushi rice. It makes a great light meal, and is packed with healthy omega-3 fats.
To make it yourself, try recipes in The Poke Cookbook by Martha Cheng (available at bookdepository. com), or Poke by Celia Farrar and Guy Jackson (available on amazon.com).