I take supplemental calcium to strengthen my bones. With an inability to consume much dairy, and the importance of calcium in combating osteoporosis, calcium supplements are a necessity for me.
But, life is never that simple. Calcium must be supported by other vitamins and minerals to work properly. For example, supplemental calcium depletes the body's stores of magnesium.  Therefore, magnesium may need to be added as a nutritional supplement when calcium is involved. When deciding how much calcium and magnesium to take, most sites recommend a ratio of 2:1 So, if a person takes 1,000 mg of calcium, he/she would need about 500 mg of magnesium. 
Vitamin K2 is also needed, when calcium is taken, in order to direct the mineral into the bones, rather than allowing it to take up residence in the arteries. (For more on this, see blog post #2 on Vitamin K2.)
Finally, Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb supplemental calcium.  There is no point in taking any vitamin or mineral if the body cannot absorb it.
The benefits of calcium supplementation, as well as contraindications, are outlined in an excellent article on the mayoclinic.org site.  Please visit the site below!
Timing considerations are also important. For example, some articles suggest that magnesium and calcium should not be taken at the same time.  They are both minerals, and they compete with each other for absorption.  But, for me, there are not enough time slots to separate these minerals. I take a liquid combination calcium/magnesium/Vitamin D supplement daily.
Most forms of calcium need to be taken with a meal. But, calcium citrate can be taken with or without food. It is recommended for people like me who have low stomach acid. 
Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 are both fat soluble. These vitamins must be consumed with a meal containing some fat in order to be absorbed effectively. I take Vitamins D and K2 MK-7 in the morning with breakfast (a meal containing 35 g of fat). Refer to the blog post #11 My Typical Daily Food Diary detailing the fats I am referencing.
There are even more limitations surrounding calcium supplementation. According to Consumer Labs , people should not consume more than 1,000 mg of supplemental calcium per day. Also, it should be noted that a maximum of 500 mg of calcium can be absorbed at a time. Therefore, a greater dose of this supplement would need to be divided over the course of the day.
Proper calcium supplementation is vital for those of us with bone concerns. Research demonstrates that 1,000 mg of calcium paired with 400 iu of Vitamin D works to reduce fractures of women who are on hormone replacement therapy due to hysterectomies. 
As you can see, decisions regarding supplementation can be a bit tricky. Much research needs to considered before adding any vitamin or mineral supplements to the diet. And, each person's doctor should be consulted prior to starting any supplement regimen.
ConsumerLab.com information is available for members. I have a subscription to this site, and I recommend it for anyone who is taking supplements. The information is unbiased, paid for by subscribers, and not influenced by manufacturers of supplements.
I have low stomach acid. In order to digest the food that I consume, I must take digestive enzymes and HCL with Pepsin. HCL stands for hydrochloric acid.
I realized that I had this condition about 20 years into taking 1500 to 2000 mg of calcium carbonate each day in an effort to strengthen my bones. I did not learn until it was too late that this particular calcium supplement could permanently destroy my stomach acid. Doctors prescribe forms of calcium carbonate to lower stomach acid in people who produce too much. Tums is one example. But, I did not have that problem.
The amount of calcium that literature recommended I take for my bones was too much. Over the years, I was developing more food sensitivities, stomach bloating, leaky-gut, and undigested food in my stool. And worst of all, once I was able to connect the dots with more recent research, I realized that likely much of the nutritious foods, vitamins, and other minerals I was consuming were not being properly absorbed by my body.
I later began seeing a medical doctor, specializing in internal medicine, functional medicine, and nutrition. She has been overseeing my hypochlorhydria (official name for low stomach acid), diet, nutritional supplements, and meds ever since.
I am confident that my diet and supplements are fairly well-regulated now. I will likely always have low stomach acid. But, the digestive enzymes and HCL with Pepsin work well.
I must add that I was a bit uncomfortable sharing this post. Yet, I am doing so in the hopes that anyone who is indiscriminately popping TUMS will be careful.
A must read article follows, explaining how 90 % of people who are taking medication or supplements for acid reflux are doing exactly the opposite of what they need. These individuals actually have low stomach acid. If you have symptoms such as bloating, burning, indigestion, or nausea, please read the following article:
Below is another article explaining how low stomach acid may be related to antacids such as calcium carbonate.
The following article shares 10 symptoms of low stomach acid.
There is much conflicting information regarding the amount of toxic mercury in various fish. But, there is agreement that the benefits of eating fish far outweigh the dangers of mercury. 
Fish are among the healthiest foods that humans can eat. They provide an excellent source of protein, important nutrients, and healthy fats for the brain, the nervous system, and heart.
So, what is the ideal amount to consume? The FDA recommends that adults may safely eat up to 12 ounces of fish per week, as long as they avoid the large predatory fish.  The smaller the fish, the less mercury it stores.
The 12 ounce limit amounts to about two meals per week. Healthline  lists the amount of mercury found in various fish species.
Shrimp, scallops, sardines, oysters, and anchovies have only trace amounts of mercury.
Salmon, catfish, and canned light tuna (not albacore) have slightly more of this toxin.
Haddock, crab, trout, whitefish, lobster, cod, and canned albacore tuna contain medium amounts of mercury.
According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) , it is best to avoid the following fish, due to their large content of toxic mercury:
- Ahi tuna,
- King Mackerel
- orange roughy
The American Pregnancy Association  has a handy list of fish that can be consumed two times per week:
Trout (fresh water)
It is recommended to avoid eating the following fish more than 3 times per month:
Chilean Sea Bass
canned white albacore tuna
Besides mercury content, the decision regarding consumption of farmed vs. wild-caught fish needs to be considered.
Wild-caught fish are strongly recommended over farmed fish by Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain. Farmed fish are contaminated with 16 times more cancer-causing PCBs than wild-caught. Farmed fish are pumped with antibiotics, and they contain a much greater proportion of inflammatory omega-6 oils. 
Unfortunately fresh wild-caught salmon is not available all year. It is generally available late spring through early fall.
Generally, if the fish is labeled Atlantic, it is farmed. If it is labeled Alaskan, it is wild-caught. Otherwise, if not expressly stated as wild-caught, assume it is farmed.
One final note regards tilapia. It is one of the most popular fish consumed in America. Ironically, it is one the most important fish to avoid. Farmed tilapia is the only type available in America. This fish is highly toxic, inflammatory, and can lead to serious health concerns. Many sites advise against its consumption.
Joe and I rarely eat farmed fish. Our one exception is salmon. But, we always select wild-caught salmon when it is available at the grocery store or a restaurant.
Protein along with fats and carbohydrates are the three macronutrients (macros) needed by the body in large amounts. All three are necessary. But questions arise, similar to what Goldilocks experienced, as dietary choices need to be made. Am I consuming too little? Am I consuming too much? What is the “just right” amount for me?
When I first started a low-carb diet in 2001, my focus was on eliminating sweet and starchy carbohydrates. Gone were breads, pasta, potatoes, rice, corn, and sweets. I paid little attention to the amount of protein and fat that I was consuming. With the carbohydrate modification alone, I was able to drop 40 pounds. My energy level increased dramatically, and I was content.
But, I began to notice that if I did not eat all three macros in a meal, I would become somewhat foggy-brained, weak, and hungry. I could not get away with just eating a hunk of cheese or a chicken breast for lunch. If I did not have an adequate amount of fat in a meal and some vegetables, along with the protein, the brain fog, weakness, and hunger would again plague me.
On the other hand, if I consumed too many carbs or ate low-carb desserts, not only would my brain and energy level suffer, but I would begin to have cravings along with weight gain. I think the body tries to communicate its needs in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
By trial and error, listening to my own internal cues, I have gained insights into the quantity of macronutrients that my body needs. I had to reduce my protein somewhat, add healthy fats, and include a variety of non-starchy vegetables. I now consume the equivalent of 2 to 3 tablespoons of total fat with each meal. Both non-starchy vegetables (carbs) and 3 to 5 ounces of animal protein are also contained in my lunch and dinner. Over these past 10 years, without trying, I have gradually lost an additional 14 pounds. And, I am still the same size 6 that I have been since 2001.
Since stabilizing my weight, I have shifted my focus to other areas, including the micronutrients in food. The vitamins and minerals within the 3 food groups are necessary for every process in the body, protecting each of us from disease and deficiencies.
A major purpose of this blog is to chronicle my search for the most recent and relevant information in order to determine the appropriate micronutrients that I need to protect my heart, brain, vision, and overall health.
The following article gives more information about these 3 macronutrients.
I have osteoporosis, as my mother did. Each of us had a hysterectomy in our mid-thirties which we believe contributed to the condition due to a loss of estrogen and progesterone.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease causing the bones to weaken and become susceptible to breakage. As the disease progresses, a fracture may occur not only due to a fall, but from a sneeze or a bump.
I watched my mother go through the pain of breaking bone after bone in her lumbar spine (with compression fractures), starting in her 60s. At the age of 94, she finally broke her hip and passed away within a week of the break. For several decades, my mother dutifully took the recommended drugs for osteoporosis. She took Fosamax for many years. After developing esophageal hernia, she switched to Prolia injections.
By my late 30s, I was experiencing significant bone loss. But, after seeing my mother’s pain and suffering from spinal fractures and problems with her esophagus (which I associated with her meds), I declined my own doctor’s advice to begin taking bisphosphates. I was committed to finding natural alternatives. I then began taking calcium, magnesium, and vitamin d, each of which will be discussed in separate blog posts.
I have now added 180 mg of vitamin k2 in the form of MK7 to my supplement regimen. A number of studies are showing a correlation between vitamin K2 (in the form of Mk7) and positive impacts on bone strength, as well as improvements in other areas of health (as noted in a separate blog post).
Along with the supplements, I have since added a number of bone strengthening strategies, including absorption of natural vitamin D from sun exposure, nearly hour-long daily walks, “earthing” in wet sand, and slow-cadence weight training. A DEXA scan, after 18 months on this regimen, showed some modest improvement. Each of these strategies is covered in a separate blog post.
Here is an article that explains osteoporosis and treatment options.
Given that it is important for me to maintain a healthy weight, and understanding how calories ultimately impact body weight, why don’t I count calories? The reason is simply that since I started consuming a healthy low carb diet, the pounds have never come back. I have had no reason to count calories.
Since I started limiting sweet and starchy carbs over 20 years ago, I no longer have cravings. My appetite is under control, and I eat until I am pleasantly full. Eating a diet rich in healthy protein, fats, and vegetables, I am not lacking nutrients, and I have adequate energy to handle the tasks of the day. I do not have an urge to overeat. I look forward to, and enjoy, the quantity of each meal and snack.
Out of curiosity, I recently computed my daily total of calories, fat, carbs, fiber, and protein. I was interested to discover how my numbers compare with recommended caloric guidelines for my weight and height. Could I be eating fewer calories than what is advised? Perhaps I have been eating more than the calories that correspond with my height and weight bracket? It would not seem to matter much either way. But, I was curious.
According to WEBMD, for my age at 5 foot 4 inches, my recommended calorie intake should be 1600 to 1800 calories. I spent a good part of a day calculating my totals in order to compare them to this recommendation. Not surprisingly, I discovered that I am naturally eating within this recommended framework. It is then no wonder that I am able to maintain my weight of 118 lbs. (Note: I take a 50 minute beach walk 5 to 7 days per week which, I believe, helps me to maintain at this level. I would likely gain 4 or 5 pounds if I did not walk.)
Over the past two decades, I have not counted calories. I pay attention to carbs, more than any other factor. I try to stay under 10 net carbs per meal to not wake the sleeping giant, insulin. This ogre is waiting to grab the sugars and starches I consume, converting them to glucose, and storing a good portion of them in my shrunken fat cells. (It is my understanding that the number of fat cells, once created, are with us for life.)
I also take fats and protein into consideration as I plan meals. I make sure that I have ample fat needed by my body for fuel. On a low carb diet, fat will not make me fat. If insulin is not released (signaled by carbs), the body cannot store fat. I also need enough protein, but not too much. Once the body utilizes the protein it needs, it actually turns the remainder into glucose to be stored as fat!
I calculated that on any given night, I consume…
- 1800 to 1900 calories
-165 grams of fat
- 30 grams of net carbs (carbs minus fiber)
– (a few nights a week - closer to 50 g of net carbs)
- 77 to 80 grams of protein
A few nights a week, I am able to splurge with my no-sugar-added blueberry sundae or some mixed nuts. These few deviations keep me happy and satisfied. Curiously, they do not end up on my hips.
I have seen a few articles recommending occasional controlled carb uploading. It may be beneficial if done in moderation. I will be doing a bit of research on this in the near future.
Here is an article with caloric guidelines:
For curiosity’s sake, here is a site to quickly calculate one’s own caloric needs. But, I would not count calories on a daily basis. It would be impossible to accurately keep track of this total daily for the rest of my life. Additionally, the carb cravings which arise from eating breads, sweets, and other high carb foods would quickly derail any serious intentions.
A ketogenic diet allows me to eat plenty of food. I am happy, satisfied, and confident in my plan.
Here are the basics of a typical ketogenic diet:
For a 2,000 calorie diet, this would translate to...
- 165 grams of fat
- 40 grams of carbohydrates
- 75 grams of protein
Here is an excellent article explaining the ketogenic diet.
I have always loved candy, cakes, pasta, and breads of all kinds. One might ask why someone so fond of carbohydrates would choose a plan to limit them forever. For me, it is a matter of the quality of life. I will explain, here, how I came to realize that excess sugars and starches were harming me.
With each passing year, I was progressively more aggravated as I entered my walk-in closet which was crammed with clothes ranging in size from 6 to 14. I tried not to think about how much money I had wasted on all of these outfits, most of which no longer fit me. Shopping for clothing was both frustrating and time consuming as I searched for apparel that I could accept.
But more importantly, I was “fed” up with the brain fog, lack of energy, and a body that was getting more and more resistant to any attempt to shed pounds. I was never hitting a plateau.
In 2001, I resolved to stop “dieting”. As mentioned in my original post about my reasons for starting this blog, I realized that for me, there was no short-term program that would prevent the pounds from creeping back. I needed a life-style plan, something I could adhere to consistently for the rest of my life. I began to pray that the Lord would help me to find a sensible and effective approach that I could follow for the remainder of my days. It was then that I became interested in carbohydrate restriction.
Given that sugars and starches are addictive, my first step was to drastically reduce them. I realized that if I did not control the carbs, they would continue to control me. As I read more and more about the damaging impact on my body from sugars and starches, I began to understand that I was in an abusive relationship with certain carbohydrates. I firmly resolved, then and there, to walk away from the offenders.
I need to mention that I do value carbohydrates. In fact, a large portion of my diet consists of carbs in the form of vegetables, mostly non-starchy varieties. But, foods such as bread, pasta, flour, potatoes, corn, and sugar had to be eliminated.
Here is my simplistic understanding of the role sugar and starch. Both sugar and starch covert to glucose in the body. Glucose’s main function is to provide the body with energy. Once glucose is in the bloodstream, the body releases insulin to process it and remove the excess glucose from the blood. Some of the glucose is burned for energy. What remains is stored in cells, mostly as fat.
Here is an article explaining the role of glucose.
With a diet heavily laden with carbs, more and more insulin needs to be released. At some point, the cells stop listening to the insulin. This is called insulin resistance. It is at this point that sugar builds up in the bloodstream causing type-two diabetes. Damage to the heart, the vascular system, vision, and kidneys become ever-present concerns.
Type-two diabetes is not the only problem with a high sugar, high starch diet. Here are some of the other concerns I have with glucose and related related refererences:
High carb diets lead to obesity.
Proper low carb diets can help in the prevention of heart disease.
It has been discovered that glucose feeds cancer. For an excellent explanation, please click on the following website:
Excess sugar can damage the brain.
Ketones are a source of fuel produced from fat, rather than from glucose, providing excellent fuel for the brain.
Here are two articles explaining the role of ketones:
Sugars and starches are damaging to cells.
As mentioned earlier, glucose is addictive. There used to be a famous Lay’s potato chip ad with the slogan, “Bet you can’t eat one!” This is true of most carbohydrates. After taking a few bites, cravings for more follow.
Healthline offers 15 easy ways to reduce your intake of carbohydrates.
A Basic low sugar/low starch diet that you can print is available on-line from Jennifer C. Debruler, M.D.
I believe the benefits associated with following a sensible low carb diet, in preventing issues related to obesity, type-two diabetes, dementia, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, will positively impact the quality of my life.
Quality sleep is vital. Five stages of sleep have been identified, ranging from light to deep to REM (the dream stage). Each one plays an important role in both health and productivity. Within a 7 to 9 hour window, deep sleep impacts memory, mood, concentration, healing, metabolism, the immune response, brain detoxification, and so much more. The following article provides excellent information about sleep.
Through research, it has been discovered that during sleep, cerebrospinal fluid washes in and out of the brain, clearing away brain waste. Some of this debris would otherwise accumulate in the brain, forming toxic protein plaques leading to memory loss and cognitive impairment. This article explains the process.
If you are not having trouble sleeping, you might skip this article. But, if you are looking for ideas, read on…
I normally sleep between six and seven hours per night. When, I sleep less than six hours, my memory and ability to think are directly impacted. I am sharpest when I am able to get seven full hours of sleep. Achieving adequate and deep sleep has been a challenge for me for many years. My goal has been to improve my sleep in both duration and quality without turning to medications.
The internet is filled with recommendations for achieving a good night’s sleep, beginning with finding a comfortable mattress and pillow. (I am still searching for an ideal pillow.) But, I am avoiding these two areas since I do not wish to endorse any products. However, I have implemented a number of interesting strategies that seem to work for me. Perhaps, a few of them might be worth trying if you are not satisfied with your sleep.
- Use ear plugs.
I use ear plugs every night. I am a light sleeper, and foam plugs prevent me from waking up when my husband lightly snores. If inserted properly, ear plugs are considered safe to use at night. This article sheds more light on the use of ear plugs for sleep.
-Maintain a dark room with no light.
An individual’s sleep-wake cycle is strongly dependent on circadian rhythms. Exposure to light at bedtime disrupts these rhythms, blocking the production of melatonin that is needed for sleep. Even when the eyes are closed, light filters through translucent eyelids, impacting circadian rhythms.
Being highly light-sensitive, I cannot sleep if there is any light within my visual field. I have found a number of strategies to effectively block out the light.
The single most important light-blocking action for me was to invest in high quality floor length 100 percent black-out draperies, curtains, or liners. I tried both blackout shades and blinds. But, they failed to stop the sunrays from seeping through the sides of the window. “Room darkening” draperies did not help me at all. Fashionable “tab top” draperies were also useless due to light beaming through the slats. I have found that to be effective, the black-out draperies should be hung close to the ceiling and the floor. They also need to extend at least one foot wider than the width of the window on each side. If I had very tall ceilings, I would build a tight cornice above the curtain panels. I have made so many mistakes in this area over the years in feeble attempts to be fashionable. Now, I just settle for something that does not look ridiculous.
I turn hallway lights off at bedtime so that light does not enter through gaps under the door.
I turn off all electronics in the room, including the television and cable box which have annoying blue and red lights. (We rarely ever watch television in our room, and never in the evening.) Thankfully, our smoke alarm is very near the tall ceiling, and it has a nearly invisible white light. (Our previous home had a smoke alarm with a neon green light that shined directly across from me, constantly waking me up through the night. We were never completely successful in blocking the bright beam emitting from it.
If I am not in my own bedroom, I can sleep successfully with a sleep mask. The following article gives suggestions for sleeping in a dark room.
-Go to bed at about the same time every night.
- Avoid caffeine after noon.
- Try to avoid snacking or drinking within three hours of bedtime.
- Limit water consumption right before bedtime, and use the bathroom just before getting into bed.
- Determine the best timing for medications and supplements that might interfere with the quantity and quality of sleep.
- Read the Bible or a devotional at bedtime.
- Count your blessings.
- Avoid stressful television programs, including the news right before bed.
- Work on a Sudoku (or other) puzzle until falling asleep each night.
- Unplug or remove most electronic digital devices from the bedroom because they are known to arouse the nervous system.
- Use a box fan.
The white noise from the fan is helpful. (I also use a fan since we conserve energy in Florida by keeping the thermostat set no lower than 70 degrees F at night. Although a setting of 65 degrees F is recommended for sleeping. The following article has more information on the importance of modifying the room temperature for sleep.
- Sleep with a large, firm king-size pillow under your knees to keep your spine in alignment.
- Wear cotton socks to bed.
- Use 100 percent cotton sheets and a light blanket.
- Try sleeping with your stocking feet exposed, outside the covers.
My husband, Joe, thinks this suggestion is ridiculous. But, a sleep specialist recommended this, and it does seem to work for me.
- Use a 33 inch long wedge pillow (shorter ones will hurt your back).
I started using a long wedge pillow a few weeks ago. I am no longer waking up in the night, gasping for breath.
Several helpful sleep strategies are explained in the following article.
Here are my thoughts on sleeping pills. I have never taken sleeping pills. From what I have read, those who use them develop a tolerance and must continue to increase the dose to maintain the same effect. Eventually, the users may be unable to sleep without them. Sleeping pills may be helpful if used for just a short time to reset one's sleep cycle. This brief article may be helpful if you are considering a short term sleep aid.
As you can see, given the outrageous number of modifications I have made in attempting to get a good night’s sleep, I consider this area of prime importance. If you are having trouble achieving quality deep sleep, I hope the information in this blog will be of some help.
Direct sunlight is an extraordinarily valuable gift from the Lord, supporting both mental and physical health. Exposure to the sun is linked to impressive physical benefits in the areas of sleep, immunity, depression, bone strength, cancer prevention, and more.
But, the sun also has a dark side. This post will highlight the benefits, the recommended practices, the dangers, and the steps I am taking to avoid problems with sun exposure.
The most widely recognized value of the sun relates to Vitamin D. The body has the ability to produce this vitamin from moderate sun exposure to skin. Depending on skin tone and absorption rate, some sites suggest that as little as 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure to the uncovered arms and legs (without sunscreen) two or three times per week can produce an adequate amount of Vitamin D.
Timing is also important. It is recommended that the sun bath occur between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm.
This article gives practical information about Vitamin D and sun exposure.
To reap the benefits, attention must also be paid to location and season. Regions between 37 degrees north and 37 degrees south latitude have access to UVB rays all year. However, areas north of this in the US, and south of this in other countries, must rely on food sources and supplements during late fall and winter months for optimal Vitamin D.
Some sites note that there are other factors affecting the availability of Vitamin D. Whens sun tan lotion of SPF 8 or higher, is used, Vitamin D cannot be produced. Vitamin D is only available on clear days with no haze blocking the sun. Finally, if a person’s shadow is longer than him/her , Vitamin D is unavailable.
The following articles explains how low levels of vitamin d are associated with cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, osteoporosis, and hypertension. Vitamin D is also needed for building strong bones and teeth.
The sun is considered the best source of Vitamin D. But, even for those living in the sun-belt, Vitamin D from both food and supplements may be needed by certain groups. For example, it has been shown (as explained in the article above), that the elderly have decreased ability to synthesize Vitamin D from the sun.
Also, it should be noted that supplemental Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and must be consumed with fat to be absorbed. A separate blog post will highlight foods that are rich in Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is not the only benefit of the sun’s rays. Exposure to sunlight also aids in sleep. 10 to 30 minutes of daily morning sunlight, throughout the year in all latitudes, impacts each person’s circadian rhythms. Exposure to the morning sun assists the body in producing melatonin at night, signaling the body to sleep. The benefits of sleep are discussed in a separate blog post.
Exposure to natural sunlight also assists the body in producing endorphins, leading to feelings of well-being and warding off seasonal affective disorder. This form of depression impacts a significant number of people during winter months. The following article explains seasonal affective disorder.
Compelling long term studies demonstrate the vast disparity between breast cancer rates in northern states, compared with states receiving more direct sun light all year.
The map below shows the breast cancer numbers per 100,000 people in the United States. This is stunning evidence supporting the importance of sunlight’s Vitamin D production in limiting breast cancer.
Research is demonstrating that there is a higher risk of death corresponding to higher latitudes from not only breast cancer, but ovarian, colon, prostrate, pancreatic, lymphoma, and others, compared with lethality from these forms of cancer from lower latitude states.
Finally, the sun is being shown to strengthen immunity to disease by boosting the infection-fighting T cells of the immune system.
This article suggests 7 health benefits of sunlight:
As noted earlier, there is, ironically, a “dark side” to the sun. Over-exposure to the sun’s rays can lead to skin cancer, aging skin, and damage to unprotected eyes. Because of these very real dangers, it is essential to limit unprotected sun exposure.
Most sites recommend covering unprotected skin with sunscreen after 15 to 30 minutes of sun exposure. SPF 30 is highly recommended. Lotion should be re-applied every two hours. A wide-brimmed hat will protect the face and eyes, along with high quality sun glasses. The sun glasses should offer 99 to 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays.
Here is a good article explaining the difference between Polaroid and UV protection.
The following article suggests ways to safely get sun exposure and briefly explains the dangers of overexposure.
Since 2018, my husband and I have been taking a late-morning beach walk at least 5 days per week. We wear shorts, sleeveless tops, and high quality 100 % UV sun glasses. Joe uses SPF 30 on his entire body. I use SPF 30 on my face alone. He always wears a hat. I have recently begun to wear a light-weight wide-brimmed hat. We make it a point to get out of the sun after 50 minutes.