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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: obesity

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.

Kids, Obesity & TV

We all love our children and grandchildren, right? Did you know a huge study linked childhood obesity to having a television in their bedroom?  A huge study out of London found that children with TV’s in their bedrooms by the age of 7 were far more likely to be overweight or obese by the age of 11, compared to kids who did not have the TV in their room.  Girls were 30% more likely to be overweight and boys were 20% more likely.  The researchers found that having a TV in the bedroom was an independent risk factor for being overweight and increased body fatness.  Just think, we now have added computers, phones, tablets and other electronic media to the whole mix.  Time to kick the kids outside and let them play, get dirty and experience the world again!!

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.

Sugar, Kids & Health

I hope you are enjoying the World Series! Now that Halloween is over and sugary treats are everywhere, did you know sugar has the same effect on the liver as alcohol?  Sugar (especially fructose) is metabolized in the liver just as alcohol is and that is why kids are getting the diseases of alcohol such as type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.  “These are diseases that were unheard-of in children prior to 1980” according to doctors.  “Sugar doesn’t cause disease because of its calories. Sugar causes disease because it’s sugar.”  Even thin people get metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. Sugar is its own risk factor apart from calories or obesity.  Even adolescents are getting metabolic syndrome more often including increased blood pressure, excess fat around the waist , diabetes and increased risk of heart disease.  The key is distinguishing good sugar from bad and when it comes to kids, there must be a strategy.  More on this on Friday!

Obesity, Health & Disease

If you love to eat, as I do, then you may want to consider the following information from the CDC relative to American weight gain.  We are now as fat a country as ever.  Forty one percent of women and thirty five percent of men are obese compared to a decade ago.  That is up 4% for women and 1% for men.  Teen obesity is at 21% which is up from 17%.  The good news is that obesity rates for kids ages 2-5 have declined to 9% from 14% and kids 6-11 have remained about the same. These stats are the latest from 2014 but it is definitely not good news.  It is not the fact that as a society we are getting fatter, it is all the health ramifications that go along with that including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, just to name a few.  We can be heavy but healthy, however it does take effort, education, persistence, informed food choices and timely but consistent exercise.  This is an epidemic and as a society it must be addressed now, as we are failing in our attempts to help our selves and educate our future generations to the ramifications of the choices we make with our foods.  The first step is to hold ourselves accountable, for the health of our nation.

Weight Loss & Noise

Did you know if it is loud when you eat, you may consume more calories than if it was quieter?  A study of 71 people, divide into two groups, had people listen to white noise through a headphone while they ate pretzels.  The group listening to soft noise ate roughly 50% fewer pretzels than those who listened to louder noise.  The researchers speculated that hearing yourself eat may serve as a “consumption monitoring cue”.  The bottom line here is that keep it quiet as possible while you eat, and your body will thank you for it!!

Ectopic Fat, Cardiovascular Risk

Fat Distribution

Ectopic fat is important! Have you noticed a little more chub around your waist lately? Did you know that one risk factor relative to health is exactly where this lipid  is stored on the body? Growing evidence associates the location of fat in the body, to increased risk of disease. This risk is not so much associated with how much fat we carry but where we carry it. If we carry this lipid tissue along our waist, liver, heart, pancreas or muscle, we are generally more at risk for disease. Tell tale signs include an apple-shaped fat distribution pattern, primarily in the abdomen, chest and shoulders. Even people with the same BMI measures can have different risk factors based upon where fat is located. Unfortunately ectopic fat can be present even if one is not clinically obese or even overweight. On the flip side of this coin, the presence of obesity does not necessarily mean there is ectopic fat present.

Risks

Since these lipids are more dangerous to health ( cardiovascular issues) when it is located along our waist and internal organs, there must be some risk factors. There are risk factors that we can control and some we cannot.  Controllable risk factors include, stress, sleep, activity levels and smoking. Other controllable risk factors include calorie intake higher than calorie burn, the standard western diet, night eating and high fructose corn syrup. Demographics include age, ethnicity, gender and genetics, all which are uncontrollable.

Physical and Lab Measures

There are some physical and lab evaluations that are associated with ectopic fat than can provide important details if one wishes to pursue them.  Though finding out your BMI is helpful, a better way is to get a Bio impedance analysis which uses electrical measurements to provide measurements of lean tissue, fat tissue, and fluid distribution. There are also several biochemical assessments such as salivary cortisol, C-reactive protein, ESR, hemoglobin A1c, fasting glucose and insulin as well as fructosamine and C-peptide.

All this information is fine, except what are the solutions?  Solutions include diet, exercise, lifestyle and nutrition via nutraceuticals.  I will discuss this in detail next time!

Keep Moving, Get Thinner

As a follow-up to a few days ago, my “reasons to keep moving” message, I found some more interesting facts.  Some school kids can spend at least 65 to 70% of their waking hours sitting and we all know how bad that is.  Sitting burns about 100 calories per hour while standing burns about 30 calories more per hour than sitting.   Thus 2 hours sitting burns 200 calories while standing burns 260 calories etc. A study in Texas found that those first graders with standing desks burned 17% more calories than those who sat. For those students who were overweight, the effects were more dramatic with those students burning 32% more calories. Take home point, move it and lose it !!

Movement vs Sitting

Reasons to keep on the move. Many studies have shown that the amount of time we sit during the day can have a significant (negative) impact on our health.  But, do you know how much you should stand each day to improve your health? A recent study found that an extra 2 hours a day standing instead of sitting was linked to improved blood sugar levels, lower blood fat (triglycerides) levels and improvement with cholesterol levels. An extra 2 hours of moving was also linked to lower body mass and waist circumference.  Find spots in your busy day to stand and move, be more active and less sedentary.  It is a matter of health!