Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Egg Trivia

Know why we have different sizes of eggs?  The answer is simple. Young hens lay small eggs. The older the chicken, the bigger the eggs.

Did you know that some pretentious restaurants want their menu to sound so fancy they list eggs as....hen eggs. And you thought they were rooster eggs?  Sometimes you pay extra for nothing more than words!


Add Club Soda to Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are loaded with sugar. Read the labels as many have sugar added and juices are concentrated natural sugar from the fruit.  Make a refreshing drink by adding calorie-free club soda to fruit juice and serve over ice. This will not only give you a sparkling beverage, it will reduce the calories in the drink.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Use Fresh or Frozen Fruits and Veggies

When possible it is better to feed your family using fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.  While facts are scarce and sometimes confusing we know there are less chemicals in fresh and frozen foods and that canned fruits and vegetables are often loaded with sodium as a preservative and with sugar. One exception may be tomato products. Tomato products often offer more protection properties after being cooked.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

BEWARE OF SALADS

As we approach a new year it is amazing the number of people who will say their goal for the new year is to lose weight.  Nothing wrong with that goal but most people will not succeed and will drop the idea as one of their goals before the first month is up. One does not have to go on some strick, complicated, do away with everything good, or fad diet to lose weight. That plan alone is a setup for failure.  Unless your doctor puts you on a specific diet for health reasons, just watching what and how you eat is all you need to do to watch the pounds drop off! One of the biggest mistakes people make without even realizing it is salads.  How many times have you heard someone say, "But I just had a salad!" Believe me, not all salads are created equal! Here is a perfect example:  You go out for lunch with your coworkers or friends. They want to go to California Pizza Kitchen.  You think that's not so bad, I'll not have pizza. So you opt for a salad.  Would you believe the CPK's Chicken Waldorf Salad comes in at a whopping 1,561 calories and 31 grams of saturated fat.  That's not healthy fats, that's just the saturated fat!  You would be better off with the meat cravers pizza! You can probably lower those numbers by choosing a different dressing, etc.  However, the point I want to make is this: You can use up a whole days worth of calories on one salad! When selecting a salad, be careful which one you choose! If you aren't sure, ask for the nutritional information on each salad before making your decision.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

TEA FOR BAD BREATH

According to a study from the University of Chicago, a cup of black or green tea may edge out gum for fighting bad breath.  Both black and green teas contain compounds that suppress bacteria in the mouth, deodorizing every exhalation.


EATING TO CURB FORGETFULNESS

It happens to all of us. You know, that moment when you walk into a room, stop, look around, then say to yourself, "What did I come in here for?"  Admit it, you know it has happened to you!  According to a 2011 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, munching on celery or green peppers just might help to boost your memory! Both vegetables are high in the plant extract luteolin which may help boost memory.  Scientist found that feeding luteolin to mice helped fight aging in the brain and improved memory.  I'm not sure how much that relates to the human brain but it sure is a simple and healthy way work on improving our memory!

Friday, December 27, 2013

HOW ABOUT A BISON BURGER

Have you ever eaten or considered eating bison? If you are looking to cut back on cholesterol, fat, and calories, you may want to consider trying bison.  Bison meat has less of all three, cholesterol, fat, and calories, than even a skinless chicken breast.  But beware if you choose to go with a bison burger, for example, of the toppings you use.  Adding bacon, mayo, etc can add the cholesterol, fat, and calories right back in.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

AN OCCASIONAL TREAT IS OKAY!

When you refuse yourself an occasional treat you are setting yourself up for failure.  Barry Franklin, PH.D. had the following to say when asked about his everyday good health habits: "I am a physiologist in a cardiac rehab lab and a heart patient, so I exerciese at least three times a week......and I make very healthy food choices: grilled fish, lots of fruits and vegetables. I allow myself a once-in-a-while piece of cheesecake, because an occasional treat isn't going to do damage; it's your everyday choices that make the difference." So don't feel too bad when you throw in an occasional treat!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

FRONT-LOAD YOUR CALORIES

When asked about his everyday good health habits, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, replied with the following:
"One time-tested tip I try to follow is to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.  Breakfast is often eggs, whole-wheat toast, a bowl of fruit, and oatmeal.  I try to eat slowly; it can take up to 15 minutes for the brain to recognize that your stomach is full, so this helps me avoid overeating. And when I am hungry, I have some water first and wait a bit - thirst and hunger can be easily confused by the body."
  • Sanjay Gupta is an American neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Calcium to Keep The Weight Off?

When asked what she recommends for keeping weight off and staying at a healthy weight, Dr. Sharon Phelan, professor, department of ob/gyn at the School of Medicine Health Science Center, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, said the following: "I milk it. I have a 12-ounce skim latte every day. I also snack on low-fat cheese sticks and treat myself to frozen yogurt at night-it's cool and calcium-packed, which is key for muscle function and bone health."


Thursday, December 19, 2013

PEPPERMINT FOR STOMACH BLAHS

Does your stomach ever rebel when you eat a spicy Mexican meal, etc? Next time your stomach gives you a hard time after a spicy meal, try eating some peppermint.  Now this needs to be something with actual peppermint in it and not just peppermint flavoring.  A study published in the journal Pain a couple of years ago says that peppermint can soothe abdominal discomfort.  A cooling agent called icilin activates a receptor in the colon that desensitizes the area. Have a cup of mint tea, etc to soothe your abdomen!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

You Really Should Eat Breakfast

We are all familiar with the fact that we need to eat breakfast and I like to add a healthy breakfast.  And the Cleveland Clinic gives us another reason to do so.  According to the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Editors, studies done at Cardiff University in Wales, show that those who eat breakfast  are less likely to suffer from colds, etc.  So this winter be sure you eat breakfast!


Monday, December 16, 2013

How Much Water Do You Need?

There is no need for overkill on hydration according to Michael Hyman, M.D., chief of urology at Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank, California.  He says the average healthy person needs around 6 to 7 8-ounce glasses a day of water.  He went on to say, "You see some people walking around with a 2-liter bottle in their hands, but that's overkill." Are you getting your 6 to 7 glasses a day?
















Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dr. Travis Stork on Fighting Colds and Flu

When Travis Stork, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee and cohost of the TV show The Doctors, was ask how he kicks colds and flu he replied, "When I get a scratchy throat, I gargle with warm salt water and eat more fruits and veggies........." He went on to say, "I also rinse my nasal passages with saline mist when I feel stuffy, once in the morning and once before bed. It's like washing away the cold virus."  Sounds like some pretty good advice for us. Ever notice how many times the experts talk about eating fruits and vegetables?


Saturday, December 14, 2013

CASHEWS

Enjoy all the cashews you like but be thankful you buy them already shelled.  Did you know cashew shells cause nasty rashes when touched? This is one nut you do not want to shell yourself!


Friday, December 13, 2013

Can You Cut Your Breast Cancer Risk with Coffee?

Another reason to enjoy your morning cup or cups of coffee is that it could cut your risk of a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer according a study by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. This study of around 6,000 women found that those who drank one to three cups of coffee a day lowered their risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer by 27%.  Women who drank more coffee had even better numbers.  In women who drank three to 5 cups a day, the number went up to 42%.  The study author, Jingmei Li, Ph.D. explained, "Coffee is a top source of cancer-preventing antioxidants."  So go right ahead and enjoy that morning coffee.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

GORGE ON GREENS

A group of famous doctors were asked a couple of years ago what they do to stay healthy especially during the cold and flu season.  Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Super Immunity, replied, "The best foods you can eat to fuel your immune response are green vegetables - they are loaded with antioxidants that keep free radicals in your body under control.  A refrigerator stocked with lettuce, kale, and broccoli is my secret weapon during flu season." Sounds like good advice we should all follow!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DIABETICS - CALORIES DO COUNT!

Diabetics should keep in mind that calories do count! There is a lot more to diabetic eating than just eliminating or cutting back on sugar!  Diabetics should make it their goal to eat three meals and two healthy snacks a day. Three meals of 400 to 500 calories each and a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack of approximately 200 calories each.  If you need more calories a day, adjust the above numbers proportionally.  I will admit I don't manage this everyday but most of the time I do.  


Calorie counting apps are available.


Monday, December 9, 2013

WARNING REGARDING GARCINIA CAMBOGIA SUPPLEMENTS

I am most certainly against most "wonderful medical, weight-loss, etc general products lining the shelves in the market place today. And I believe many people are suckered into a lot of nonsense when they become avid followers of guys like Dr. Oz. Now before you explode let me explain what I mean.  I know there are a lot of good products out there but rest assured the majority of what you see in the malls, etc is a lot of hype and expense for a little of nothing.  Manufacturers are quick to make a buck off those who want to be slim, trim, beautiful, etc yet think they can eat whatever they want, never exercise, etc and reach that goal. That simply is not so. No matter how many products you buy, if you eat everything you can get your hands on - mostly fast foods, fats, sugars, etc, sit on the couch watching TV and playing video games in your spare time, and swallow a bunch of expensive pills, your health, weight, etc will not improve!

Now I have nothing against Dr. Oz. In fact, I often quote him on this blog but it is almost always an intelligent quote in context. People who hang on his every word, often miss what he is saying. He cannot usually change your life or go completely into an area during a 1 hour show that is cut way down because of commercials! He went to school for years and reads medical journals, goes to seminars, etc and you think he can tell you everything you need to know on a subject in a matter of minutes. Another problem is that humans, who are only half listening anyway, tend to hear what they want to hear and miss the rest.  That is where the title of this blog post comes in!

Americans have gone crazy buying Garcinia Cambogia because Dr. Oz claimed it to be the holy grail. Really?  Did they listen to what he really said? Doubtful!  Well now, guess who else was listening. That's right, manufacturers!  So they started packaging the stuff as fast and as cheaply as they could.  And guess what! They knew people weren't listening beyond what they wanted to hear. Whoa!

Check the package of Garcinia Cambogia that is in your house right now. Does it contain calcium? If so you might as well throw it away, flush it down the toilet, etc. Dr. Oz warned to make sure your product contains NO calcium. Why? It blocks the absorption of the HCA or hydroxycitric acid, the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia that makes it work! Studies have shown that adding calcium to a garcinia cambogia product makes the product unusable by the body.

I continually suggest reading labels on anything that goes into your mouth. But that doesn't do a lot of good if you don't know what you are looking for!




I went to the internet and just randomly pulled up a couple of garcinia cambogia product labels. And there it is, calcium on both labels. Dr. Oz also said to buy product with 75% HCA. Note these labels both say 60% HCA. The manufacturers aren't trying to fool anyone. They know they don't have to because humans don't pay attention to the details of this type of product. They are playing you a little on the first label by saying the serving size is 1 Veggie Capsule.  That is a mind game with you because we are living in a society right now that is big on promoting vegetables so they know that will get your attention and perhaps have you choose their product over another.  Also, when you read the two labels you will see the ingredients list is the same for both. But notice the dosage. One says the serving size is 1 "Veggie" Capsule and the other says it is 2 Capsules.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

THE LINK BETWEEN FIBER AND HEART DISEASE

You really must be sure to get enough fiber in your diet for many different reasons. But are you aware of the connection between fiber in your diet and heart disease risk?  Getting more fiber in your diet is an easy way to perhaps decrease your chances of heart disease. If you don't already, start using whole-grain fiber and completely get rid of all the refined foods in your pantry.  Here is some information on the link between fiber and heart disease plus some other ways fiber in your diet is beneficial to your health:

What’s the link between fiber and heart disease risk?

Researchers reported that previous studies suggest that dietary fiber protects against heart disease by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and biomarkers of inflammation, all of which play a major role in the development of heart disease, the leading killer of Americans.
In addition, a diet that is rich in fiber has been linked to weight loss (by helping people feel full) and improved insulin sensitivity. Obesity and insulin resistance can contribute to risk for both heart disease and type 2 diabetes, which in turn, also increases the threat of developing heart disease.
In a 2011 study of nearly 400,000 older adults, conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and American Association of Retired People (AARP), those who ate a fiber-rich diet had the lowest death rates during the 9-year study.
The study found that men ages 50 or older who ate the most fiber had an up to 56 percent lower risk for dying from cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses, or infectious diseases, compared to men who ate the least fiber. In women ages 50 and up, a high-fiber diet reduced fatalities from those conditions by up to 59 percent.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

EATING TO IMPROVE YOUR CHOLESTEROL NUMBERS

Are you one of the unlucky millions, like me, who have high cholesterol? If so you might think that eating low-cholesterol foods would be the best way to improve those numbers.  But you may not be right.  Lilian Cheung, D.Sc., R.D., director of health promotion and communication at the Harvard School of Public Health, stated the following; "Although it is important to limit the amount of cholesterol you eat, especially if you have diabetes, for most people dietary cholesterol isn't the villain it's been portrayed to be." She went on to explain that the biggest influence on blood cholesterol level is the mix of fats and carbohydrates in your diet - not the amount of cholesterol you eat from food.

There are actually foods you can eat that help to lower your cholesterol level naturally.  Here are 7 of them:

  • Oats. Studies have shown that eating 3 servings a day of the fiber found in oats may reduce total blood cholesterol.  It also lowers by 5% to 7% the "bad" LDL cholesterol that is known to clog arteries. "Soluble fiber binds to fatty substances in the intestines and carries them out as waste, lowering cholesterol," says Cheung.
  • Wild Salmon. "An excellent way to get omega-3 fats, an important type of polyunsaturated fat that can improve blood cholesterol levels, is by eating fatty fish.  That includes wild salmon and sardines, two or three times a week,"Cheung says.
  • Walnuts. Every time you eat walnuts or walnut oil, your HDL, or good cholesterol, gets a power boost and is better able to remove excess cholesterol from your body.  This information is from a June 2013 joint study between Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania, and Penn State.
  • Legumes. Beans, chickpeas, and lentils are some of the most fiber-rich foods you can eat.  A half cup of black beans equals 8 grams of soluble fiber! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 21 grams of fiber daily for women and 30 grams daily for men. Studies have shown that a diet high in cholesterol-lowering foods, including legumes, led to an average drop of 8 mg/dL in LDL cholesterol.
  • Olive Oil. "The types of fat in the diet determine to a large extent the amount of total HDL and LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream," explains Cheung.  According to Harvard School of Public Health, replacing carbohydrates with monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil, can boost levels of good cholesterol and lower the levels of bad cholesterol.
  • Avocado. Research in 2010 by the Canadian Medical Association suggests that the monounsaturated fats in avocados can help lower triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol levels. This can reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Kale. Steamed leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, and cabbage, deliver insoluble fiber, and kale is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. Kale in particular delivers a super dose of vitamins K, A, and C.

Information for this article contributed by my healthcare company UnitedHealthcare.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

HIGH-RISK MEDS FOR OLDER PEOPLE

Did you know there are certain medications that are high-risk for geriatric patients?  You can check out the list at www.americangeriatrics.org/ You will find a list of such medications and possible alternatives.  Always check with your doctor before dropping or changing medications.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

WHAT CAUSES BREAST CANCER?

What causes breast cancer? If I could answer that question with accuracy I would be a wealthy woman! Unfortunately I nor anyone else can give you a good answer to that question. I recently read an article in a medical publication that said, "Many factors can increase the chances of developing breast cancer.  Some include a family history of breast cancer, excessive alcohol use, and being overweight or obese...."

I am writing this post today because of my personal experience.  As of this week, I am a 26-year-survivor of breast cancer.  I am telling you this to let you know early detection is key to survival and it is important to do self-exams, have recommended mammograms, and contact your doctor with any questions or suspicions.  I am sharing this with you to let you know I was only 40-years-old and I did not have any of the reasons listed above.  No one in my family had ever had breast cancer at that time, I had never drank alcohol (or smoked), and I was and always had been slender. So I was surprised to have breast cancer and to be facing a bilateral mastectomy.  I want others to be aware and check themselves regularly. I also want people to know that with early detection, breast cancer does not have to be fatal.  Chances of survival are good.

Here are some things to look for to protect yourself:

  • The most common symptom is a new lump or mass of tissue in the breast (I had a problem with fibroid tumors).  If you feel a new lump, contact your doctor right away.  Do not wait around to see if it will go away.
  • Unusual swelling of any part of the breast.
  • Skin irritation of the breast with no noticeable reason.
  • Pain in the breast or nipple.
  • Nipple turning inward.
  • Nipple discharge (excluding breast milk)
Any of these symptoms should be reported to the doctor right away.  Don't put off contacting your doctor. Breast cancer does not disappear and the sooner it is treated, the better your chances of survival.

Breast cancer usually occurs in women because of the female hormones but men can also have breast cancer.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Make Realistic Promises

Doctors suggest that we should avoid using the word 'never' when referring to dieting or other health habits.  As we close out this year and start to think about the new year so many people start promising they will never do this or that again or they won't do it in the new year.  As an example, people often say they will never eat dessert again when trying to diet or lose weight.  But that is not realistic.  One might be able to keep that promise for a few weeks then they start to eat all the dessert than can get their hands on.  Doctors say we should allow for little indulgences from time to time and that we should avoid the word 'never'.  Never  is just not realistic according to Dr. Yael Varnado, a preventative health specialist in NYC.  He suggests that instead of 'never' you promise to limit how often you eat something or choose a healthier type.  In the dessert example for instance, you can choose a healthier dessert such as fresh fruit or berries rather than a slice of pie or cake.  Don't set yourself up for failure.  Make changes that are realistic so you won't disappoint yourself.