Friday, August 30, 2013

Eyeing Glycemic Index and Diabetes

Glycemic Index: What's It All About?

Good carbohydrates, bad carbohydrates. Low glycemic index, high glycemic index. A great tool to help you manage diabetes or lose weight. You might have heard all these statements associated with the glycemic index. What is this glycemic index all about? Is it worth considering as a way to help you control your blood sugar levels?

The Glycemic Index: Food’s Impact on Blood Sugar in Diabetes

Researchers have spent years debating what makes blood sugar levels too high in those with diabetes. Potential culprits have included sugar, carbohydrates in general, simple carbs, starches, and more. The glycemic index is one attempt to measure each individual food’s effect on blood sugar.
If you're trying to lose weight, calories count more than the types of food in your diet, a U.S. Department of Agriculture-Tufts University study shows.
The study shows that after a year, overweight people on a low-carb low-glycemic-index diet lost just as much weight -- 8% of their original weight -- as people on a reduced-fat, high-glycemic-index diet. That suggests there's a range of healthy diets that can promote weight loss successfully.

High Glycemic Index Foods Are Linked to Health Problems

What researchers have learned is that high glycemic index foods generally make blood sugar levels higher. In addition, people who eat a lot of high glycemic index foods tend to have greater levels of body fat, as measured by the body mass index (BMI). High BMIs are linked to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
High glycemic index foods include many carbohydrates such as these:
  • White bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Low-fiber cereals
  • Baked goods

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eyeing Honourable Dato Sri Najib's speech at the Tun Dr Mahathir Global Peace Award

HE. Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa and Mrs. Zuma,
His Excellency Tun. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Malaysia, and Her Excellency Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali,
Ministers,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen. 
  1. It is a privilege to be here today to present the Tun Dr Mahathir Global Peace Award. On behalf of all Malaysians, I offer my warmest welcome to President Zuma. I thank you for your friendship and for your commitment to strengthening the bond between our two nations. It is a relationship that only grows stronger with time. 
  2. The recipient of today’s award needs little introduction. So before we begin, I thought I might say a few words about the award itself.  
  3. Over the course of history, humans have ascended great heights. We have created language, cured disease, set foot on the moon. These achievements illustrate the best of our nature: the ability to work together in pursuit of common aims. But there is another side to human endeavour. 
  4. Despite the coming of civilization, we have yet to turn our backs on the most primitive pastime of all. Despite millennia of progress, our most powerful tools are used not just to advance our ambitions, but also to destroy them. 
  5. Throughout our history, humans have embarked upon war. In the name of plunder, conquest or religion, we have chosen violent ends over peaceful aims. Motivated by anger, fear and greed, we have killed and maimed at ever greater scale. 
  6. Today, conflict burns in each region of the earth. Whether border skirmish or civil war, sectarian violence or military occupation, conflict continues to take a heavy toll on people and nations: often on those who can afford it least. 
Ladies and gentlemen,  
  1. The progress we have fought for over centuries – and the achievements of our remarkable species – count for nothing if we cannot live in peace as people of one world. 
  2. All nations share a common responsibility to break with the past and create a better future; to secure a just and lasting peace. Here the international community faces perhaps its greatest challenge: peace not just during our time, but peace for all times. 
  3. It is a challenge that must be met collectively. It is imperative that we achieve a peace premised upon a covenant of the willing, not one enforced by hegemony or secured through coercion. Peace can only be achieved if we are willing to constructively engage each other, to substitute dialogue in place of conflict. 
  4. It is this spirit that inspired Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, who stands solidly against war. Speaking at conferences across the world, Tun Dr Mahathir works tirelessly to deliver a simple message: that war should not be the preferred path to peace. 
  5. Today’s award is yet another demonstration of his personal commitment to this cause. It therefore gives me great pleasure to present the Mahathir Award for Global Peace, and to congratulate its inaugural recipient.  
  6. It is rare that a national leader rises to become a global icon; rarer still that they do so by compassion, not conquest. Only a handful earn such recognition that they are known not just to their own people, but to the world; known not only by their titles, but by a single name. 
  7. We count ourselves lucky to find one in a generation; in the twentieth century, there were three. Mahatma Gandhi. Martin Luther King.  And the recipient of today’s award, Nelson Mandela. 
  8. For millions of people, the name stirs deeply held memories: the lawyer in London, telling the world of an ideal for which he is prepared to die. The prisoner on Robben Island, holding seminars with his fellow inmates. The free man, walking from his cell to lead his nation to democracy. And the President who turned his back on retribution in favour of reconciliation. 
  9. It is this Mandela – the leader who brought a nation together when others would tear it apart – that we recognise today. Faced with a choice between settling scores and healing wounds, President Mandela demonstrated that peace begins at home. That the practice of peace begins with a personal commitment: to forgiveness, and to compassion.   
  10. In one bold stroke, he rallied the country to think of the opportunities that avail themselves when a country is united.  His words and his actions, particularly when tensions were at their highest, were chosen with a wisdom born of experience, and the generosity of spirit that equalled the occasion. At a time when dark flames of revenge flickered in the background, President Mandela showed that his commitment to his country burned brightest of all. 
  11. In so doing, he gave hope to the world: hope that national reconciliation – a long and arduous journey, one that may not ever be fully complete – is nonetheless worth every single step. 
Ladies and Gentlemen, 
  1. These achievements were celebrated with a particular passion here in Malaysia. For generations, our people have felt an affinity with South Africa. 
  2. Our nation also spent much of the twentieth century in search of democracy; struggling for majority rule, working to build the institutions on which independence and prosperity rely. We felt a connection with the fight to remove racism and instate democracy, for Malaysia too was trying to create a fairer and freer country. 
  3. Our nation’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, was also the first Malaysian premier to register his opposition to Apartheid. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs rallied the Commonwealth to reject Apartheid. Three months after Malaysia’s independence, we voted to support United Nations resolutions against it, and our stance did not waver until the injustice was ended. Malaysia played a key role in bringing about South Africa’s exit from the Commonwealth, initiated early trade sanctions, and sat on the special UN committee on apartheid.  
  4. But it was our longest serving leader, Tun Dr Mahathir, who did the most to further this tradition. Dr Mahathir worked with the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Zambian administration and the ANC itself. And in 1990, on the eve of negotiations for democracy, he welcomed Nelson Mandela to Malaysia. 
  5. It is this personal connection to the cause – this history of activism and support for one of the defining struggles of our generation – that makes today’s award all the more poignant. And so, on behalf of all Malaysians, it gives me great pleasure to present the Tun Dr Mahathir Global Peace Award to Nelson Mandela. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Eyeing Nazri will always be Nazri by Razak Ahmad The STAR

PETALING JAYA: Those who expect Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to mellow out will be disappointed.
The Tourism and Culture Minister has been in politics for 35 years and he has a reputation for being vocal. The Umno leader would occasionally air views that go against the grain of conventional thinking, either within his party or the Government.
But despite the recent controversy which erupted after he appointed his son as his special officer, Nazri, in a recent interview, said he would remain as outspoken as ever.
“If I have done something wrong, I will apologise but if I know that my stand is a principled stand, I will hold my ground, no matter what people say about me,” Nazri said.
The incident has inflamed some of his critics who, over the years, have accused him of going overboard in voicing controversial opinions.
“I have a few hats to wear – politician, social worker, lawyer. But I am a lawyer first above everything else, even above my political party.
“Upholding the law is the most important thing to me and that is why I am vocal, even if it goes against the grain of my party’s struggle,” he said when asked about the strong opinions about him.
Views about him among Umno members and supporters are also mixed. Some feel that he is a maverick while his critics say he is kurang ajar (insolent) and have not forgiven him for crossing swords with people whom, they say, he has no right to question, namely Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“It is principles and nothing personal. I debate and argue with a clear mind,” said Nazri when asked about the former prime minister.
“When I was the minister in charge of parliamentary affairs, I would argue with the Opposition all the time but I also get along with many of their MPs because they knew it was not personal.”
He attributes his outspokenness to his father Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yeop.
Abdul Aziz studied law in Britain and later became one of Malaysia’s leading public servants, holding positions including as high commissioner to Britain and secretary-general to the Education Ministry.
“My late father was a lawyer who instilled in me the importance of having a strong conviction and principled stand,” he said.
Another trait he credits his father with is a strong faith in multi-culturalism.
“He mixed a lot with people from all races and this also moulded me to become a person some would probably consider unorthodox.
“To me, it’s very simple. I am a Malay but if I want to do something for my race, it should not be a zero sum game whereby it is seen as being at the expense of another race. You love your race but, at the same time, it doesn’t mean that you must hate the others,” he said.
Love him or hate him, the fact is that Nazri is no newbie to politics. Appointed as an Umno Youth exco member in 1978 when he was just a 24-year-old fresh law graduate, Nazri gradually climbed up the party ranks in a political career that has spanned over three decades.
He has been on the Umno supreme council since 1990 and in 1993, became Umno Youth deputy chief.
To many of his supporters, peers and colleagues, he is known simply as “chief”, a moniker he considers more than just a nickname but a term of endearment.
“When I was appointed as an Umno Youth exco member in 1978, I was neither a Datuk nor an elected representative, so many did not know what to call me.
“I was from the Malay College Kuala Kangsar and I was a ringleader among a group of friends. My old friend Datuk Naim Mohamad (currently the deputy president of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation) used to call me chief and somehow, the name stuck.
“To me, when someone calls me chief, it makes that person feels closer to me,” he said.
In the Cabinet, Nazri has served as Entrepreneur Development Minister from 1999 to 2004 after which he served as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department before being appointed as Tourism and Culture Minister following the last general election.
Nazri said that he was worried about the recent spate of shootings and crime as this could scare tourists away.
He said he was equally vocal in the Cabinet, voicing dissenting opinions which his colleagues sometimes disagreed with.
“My views are independent because I believe that what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong, so I will always tell it as it is,” he said