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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: nutrition

Forget “low fat” & “heart healthy”

Wow, what weather we have had in our area.  Hope everyone and their vehicles and houses made out ok.  Lots of tree damage and hail damage.  Speaking of damage, did you know that many years ago one doctor decided that dietary fat was what caused heart disease?  This ideology was then sanctioned by the WHO.  They determined that animal fat and cholesterol in our diet was the culprit.  Did you know that 75% of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol?  The more our society has tried to lower cholesterol and trim the fat, the worse heart disease in this country has gotten.  Talk about damage! The enemy is sugar, and foods labeled “low fat” and “heart healthy.”  These foods equate to significantly more sugar in the diet and perpetuate inflammation within our bodies.  Those are the factors that increase the risk of heart disease.  We must eliminate most processed foods from the diet, read the labels, stay informed.  It might help you avoid meds such as Lisinopril, Metoprolol, Norvasc, Diuril.

Mac & cheese & phthalates

We all know that there are certain chemicals in our foods that are not that good for us, but much of it is often unavoidable, as toxins, it seems, are in almost everything we touch or consume.  The scientist and/or government may say that trace amounts of a single toxin are not harmful.  My theory is that if you are getting trace amounts of chemical toxins from multiple sources, they will add up to toxic levels at some point.  I read that study of packaged macaroni and cheese products were found to have “phthalates” in them. Phthalates are man-made chemicals that are hormone disrupting.  They have been linked to a “plethora” of behavioral and brain development issues in fetal and childhood development.  The phthalates are not added directly to the products but are infused into the packaging material which then leaches, over time, from the package into the cheese powder.  Experts say to try and make the mac and cheese from scratch and avoid the packaged products if possible. Phthalates are in so many products it is almost impossible to avoid.  As I stated, you are only exposed to trace amounts, but what is acceptable to you?

Baby food and lead..!!

If you have kids or grand children, then this is a bit of a disturbing news. Researchers analyzed 11 years of federal data and found detectable levels of lead in 20% of over 2100 baby food samples.  As you may or may not know, there is no safe blood levels for lead in kids. The toxin was found most often in fruit juices such as grape and apple, root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots and cookies such as teething biscuits. Lead can cause problems with cognition, attention and behavior as well as the cardiovascular system and immune system. None of the samples, unfortunately, were identified by brand name so I cannot provide that information. Another researcher who analyzed an EPA study that was released earlier this year, found that food is the major source of lead exposure in 2/3 of the toddlers.  It may be a wise choice to eliminate these specific food items from your kids diet. Do your own research on this topic also!!

Arthritis and Fiber

I just read an interesting article about fiber and arthritis?  Did you know that a study of more than 1200 adults found that those who consumed the most fiber had a significant reduction in their risk of knee arthritis. The top 25% of fiber consumers had a 61% lower risk of osteoarthritis of the knees, than those at the bottom levels of fiber intake.  It also showed that eating fiber earlier in life had even more positive effects on arthritis later in life.  The authors concluded that there may be two reasons: 1) a reduction of inflammation which causes pain and 2) helping maintain a healthier weight which puts less stress on the joints and bones.  Either way, seems like a good reason to eat more fiber…!!

Eggs for all…!!

Did you know eggs are so much better for you than you probably know? I admit that I love eggs, mostly for breakfast. For years many people avoided the yolk to have a healthier egg based meal.  The truth is, eating just the egg whites is NOT doing you any health favors.  Though there are a few less calories without the yolk, the nutritional value of the egg reduces significantly and the you lose the protein value.  Forget the cholesterol also, as research shows the cholesterol (HDL) is good for you and it really doesn’t have any substantial effect on serum cholesterol values, nor does it have any substantial impact for increasing the risk for coronary heart disease or stroke! Two eggs over easy please, with whole wheat toast!

Avoid “Dietary Crack”

Last time I spoke of an article that reported the average American gets 60% of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils.  In fact, the article called foods with these ingredients “dietary crack” as they can become addicting.  There are ways to make better food choices. Here are some challenges for you. Cultivate a proper eating mindset about these foods, as they literally are disease promoting refined foods.  Remember, almost everyone likes the taste of dietary crack. Partake only occasionally, just not on a regular basis. Eat more protein and veggies as they tend to promote satiety. Respect the feeling of gut fullness, stop eating there. Keep the dietary crack out of the house, thus less temptation. Drink more water. Exercise more and at a level that promotes appetite suppression. Sleep well. Get at least 6-7 hours nightly. Fight stress with exercise, not food. Accept that the previous list of challenges can be utilized throughout your life!!

Food Choices?

I read some startling information the other day.  Did you know the average American consumes 60% of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils? One of the reasons, is that these foods are easily accessible and producing foods made from these “refined” ingredients, is fairly low cost with a modest profit margin for the manufacturers. Think donuts, French fries, ketchup, or soda as examples of foods with these calorie sources. Most people love the taste of these types of foods but the human cost comes from the fact that 34% of American individuals, 20 years and older, have metabolic syndrome. The problems that one can experience after developing this disorder are too many to list, however think diabetes, hypertension, cancer, liver disorders and depression, just to name a few. The ironic thing is, that if you had invested in companies that make these products, such as Coca-Cola, or McDonalds since 1995, you could probably have retired easily. Next time we discuss how to make better food choices!

Low fat, high sugar diets…probably not good..!

Did you know that those diet products you eat are probably making you fat?  This may be why.  Keep in mind that this is a study about rats, however, those rats that were fed a low-fat, high-sugar diet, added the same amount of fat as the control rats who were fed a balanced diet. Unfortunately, they only needed HALF the amount of calories to add the same amount of body fat.  In other words, those rats on the low fat, high-sugar diets needed less than half the calories to generate the same amount of fat.  Scary eh!  This diet also resulted in chronic brain inflammation and intestinal tract inflammation as well as possibly contributing to non-alcoholic fatty liver.  Please take heed of this information. We know that inflammation is also a driver in cardiovascular disease..!!

Reduce the bad carbs, live longer?

I touched on a study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine in which they concluded that we should rethink worrying about lowering saturated fat in our diets to prevent heart disease.  They conclude it is more important to focus on decreasing insulin resistance and inflammation in the body by targeting exercise, diet and reducing stress. During a review of previous studies the researchers found that even those people who lowered there LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol and replaced their saturated fat with omega-6 fatty acids, still had a higher rate of death. Researchers went on to say that we should concentrate on a Mediterranean style diet.  The problem is that when people try low fat diets (to avoid saturated fats) they tend to eat more refined carbs which leads to insulin resistance, higher blood sugar, higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and obesity.  The bottom line is that we as a society must be more focused on lifestyle changes that prevents insulin resistance and reduces inflammation.

Eggs to lose weight?

If you like eggs, and want to lose some weight, this might be just for you. A recent study of men and women who ate two eggs at breakfast (as part of a reduced-calorie plan) lost a whopping 65% more weight than those who ate a bagel breakfast of equal calories. The egg eaters also felt more energetic. As far as the yolk, nutritionists are encouraging you to eat the yolks in that they contribute to the weight loss, but also increase the HDL cholesterol as well as being a good source of vitamin B12 and choline. I wouldn’t recommend the buttered toast, hash browns and bacon to go along with those eggs, if you are trying to lose some weight, however, having protein to start the day, helps reduce appetite and keeps blood sugar levels from wild fluctuations.