Wednesday, December 31, 2014

START THE NEW YEAR OFF RIGHT. EAT LEGUMES

Legumes are the richest plant based proteins and contain the third highest protein content in a single serving after meat and fish. However, as compared to meat and fish, it contains much less calories and fat yet gives a whole lot of fiber which helps to prevent diabetes and heart disease. The high fiber content contributes to a low glycemic index (GI) which means that glucose is slowly being released into the bloodstream. This effect control spikes in blood sugar especially after meals and is very beneficial to managing a diabetic blood sugar. 

If legumes are not currently a part of your diet, I suggest you correct that to start off this new year. If you don't enjoy a bowl of legumes, add them to soups, salads, etc. but work them into your diet.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

VITAMINS

We are bombarded with all kinds of vitamins and supplements but do you need them or not? You should probably discuss with your doctor to see exactly what you need. A study funded by the Council for Responsible Nutrition found that 79% of doctors recommend some type of vitamin to their patients for bone, joint, heart, and overall health.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

POLLEN ALLERGIES AND FOOD

Some people who are allergic or sensitive to certain pollens may also be sensitive to some foods. In some people, eating raw fruits and vegetables and some tree nuts can cause reactions such as swollen lips, itchy mouth, or scratchy throat. This is known as oral allergy syndrome and affects at least a third of all allergy sufferers.  According to Dr. James Sublett of Family Allergy and Asthma in Louisville, Kentucky, "Produce and pollen contain similar proteins. Sometimes the immune system can't tell the difference."

If you think you have this problem, see an allergist. Shots or prescription meds may take care of the problem. And notice above it says raw fruits, etc. Cooking eliminates the problem.

Here are a few examples:

Allergic to Ragweed - You may have a problem with bananas, cucumbers, melons, kiwi, zucchini.
Allergic to Birch - You may have a problem with apples, almonds, carrots, celery, cherries, hazelnuts, kiwi, peaches, pears, and plums.
Allergic to Grass - You may have a problem with celery, melons, oranges, peaches, tomatoes.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WHAT TO EAT FOR AN ENERGY SLUMP

So often, mid-afternoon usually, we hit an energy slump. And often we reach for a candy bar or other sweet to give us a boost. What a wrong choice. A recent study from the University of Cambridge found that it is protein, not sugar, that activates the cells responsible for keeping us awake and burning calories. Suggested items for snacking during that energy slump are low-fat cheese (I like string cheese), a couple slices turkey breast, hard-boiled egg, a handful -approximately 10 - nuts, or a cup of Greek yogurt just to mention a few.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

WEIGHT AND TYPE 2 DIABETES

Not all people who have type 2 diabetes are fat as many people suppose. Personally I am 5'6", weight 142 lbs and I am a type 2 diabetic. I could stand to be slimmer but I am not fat. People are often surprised to discover I am a diabetic. Here is a statistic for you - 20% of people with type 2 diabetes are not overweight! So don't think just because you aren't 'fat' you are protected from diabetes. Ruth Loos, Ph.D., leading researcher for the British Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit, says, "Regardless of your size, aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week and eat a diet rich in whole foods. If type 2 diabetes runs in your family, ask your doctor about glucose testing.




Monday, December 8, 2014

HAVE TROUBLE GETTING TO SLEEP?

Are you one of those people who have trouble getting to sleep after getting to bed? A good night's sleep is important to your health so you need to start working on getting to sleep well before bedtime. That's right, start working on getting to sleep at about two o'clock in the afternoon. Ann Romaker, M.D., director of the Sleep Disorders Center at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, says the effects of caffeine can linger up to 8 hours. Therefore for a 10 pm bedtime, you should switch to caffeine-free drinks by two in the afternoon.

Another tip is from Chin Moi Chow, Ph.D., a senior sleep lecturer at The University of Sydney in Australia. Eat bold flavors for lunch and milder flavors for your evening meal. Acidic and heavily spiced dishes eaten late in the day may cause sleep-disturbing acid reflux in the night.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

INTERESTING INFO FOR ASTHMA SUFFERERS

Twenty-six million Americans have asthma. If you are one of them, ask your doctor about a bone density screening as you may be more prone to develop osteoporosis. A study of over 7,000 asthma patients published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that some asthma treatments, such as oral steroids, can raise a person's risk of developing osteoporosis, Osteoporosis is the brittle bone disease. In addition to the steroids, some asthma patients refuse to walk, jog, dance, etc - all bone strengthening exercises - because they are afraid of having an asthma attack. Asthma patients should be sure to get plenty of calcium and vitamin D.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

PINE NUTS AND VITAMIN E

Did you know that pine nuts are a good source of vitamin E? And did you know that regularly consuming foods high in vitamin E can make your skin less susceptible to UV damage from the sun? Now that is a good reason to include pine nuts in your diet!


RED POTATOES IN SKINS

Whenever possible, do not peel red potatoes. Studies have shown that red potatoes contain nutrients that promote heart health and lower one's cancer risk when left in the skins.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

IS FAT OKAY IN SALAD DRESSINGS?

Actually the answer to the title question is yes. Yes, but! Research has shown that many essential vitamins such as A, D, E, and K need a little fat to help the body absorb them. Here is where the but comes in. Some fats do need to be avoided, trans fat being the main one. Also saturated fats should be low, no more than 2 grams per serving and non if they come from partially hydrogenated oil.

The best salad dressings to use should be ones that are low-fat made with one of the following oils - olive, canola, or walnut, all of which can actually help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

WHAT IS FIBER?

I am sometimes ask, "Just what is fiber?" The answer is very simple. Fiber is the part of plant foods that the body does not digest. Adults should eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. You will find fiber grams listed on the nutrition label of foods under Total Carbohydrate. Total Carbohydrates includes fiber, sugar, and starches but fiber will be separated out in the count.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

LEAFY GREENS FOR HEALTHY BRAIN FUNCTION

A study at the Harvard Medical School found women who reported eating the largest amount of leafy greens and vegetables such as broccoli had a markedly lower rate of brain function decline than those who ate the least. Load up on those green leafy vegetables and keep your brain sharp!


Friday, November 28, 2014

HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU NEED A DAY?

What we eat/drink does have an effect on our brains. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has suggested that wise food and beverage choices can fuel our brains to work better, sharpen our memory, improve our concentration and may help to prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease. And it doesn't take complicated or expenses items to do so. One of the simple things recommended by Nutritionist Amanda Albers is to follow the simple 8x8 rule. That is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This one simple thing is an easy way to improve our health and our minds.



UNDERSTANDING FAT INFORMATION ON NUTRITION LABELS

Understanding fat in the diet is important. Yes, your body does need fat. There are healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats and unhealthy fats such as trans fats and saturated fats. When you read the nutrition label on a food product it will list total fat. This number includes both the healthy and unhealthy fats. What is more important to you is what is listed under that number. There will be a breakdown of the unhealthy fats. Total the unhealthy fats number to decided where this product will fit into your diet. The lower the unhealthy fats number, the better the product is for you.

As you can see in this example almost half of the fat grams are unhealthy fats. Not a good choice. By the way, if you look on down you will see this item has only 1 gram of sugar per serving. I have no idea what this product label is for but it is a perfect example of a food product where they remove sugar and add fats for flavor. Always be aware of the fat grams on sugar-free or low-sugar products.

Friday, November 21, 2014

OPAL APPLE

Have you heard of the opal apple? It is described as lemony yellow and celery crisp and is said to be a sweet, tangy apple. This new variety is a cross between the Golden Delicious and Topaz apples. These apples are being harvested in Washington State currently. But they aren't expected to be around after January until next Fall.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

PROTEIN

A recent article I came across from Diet and Nutrition (in part):

With dieting’s emphasis on low-fat, low-carb, and low-calorie, one essential ingredient for weight loss is often left out of the mix: protein. Numerous studies, including one recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have shown that skipping high-protein foods may lead to overeating and is often one of the biggest causes of excess weight gain. And as any devoted exerciser knows, protein is essential for the growth and repair of muscle and organs, especially after a hard workout.
When planning your healthy meals, keep in mind that 10 to 35 percent of your daily food intake should be lean protein. For women, that’s 46 grams a day; for men, 56 grams. If you make the right choices throughout the day, you can easily hit your protein targets.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SLEEP TO HELP PREVENT DIABETES

Researchers at the University of Warwick in England conducted a multistudy analysis and found that persons sleeping less than 5 to 6 hours a night were 28% more likely to develop diabetes than persons who slept 6 to 8 hours a night. And yes, in this case, you can catch up on sleep on the weekend. Another study found that persons who added more sleep hours on the weekend found their insulin sensitivity was improved.  Get your zzzzzzs!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

ARE YOU EATING TOO MUCH SUGAR?

Are you eating too much sugar? The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons a day for men, but most Americans consume more like 22 teaspoons daily! You can get an idea how much you’re eating by taking the number of grams of sugar per serving in your food (back to reading those food labels) and dividing it by four — that’s how many teaspoons of added sugar are in each serving.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

% DAILY VALUE ON NUTRITION LABEL

People often overlook the % Daily Value when reading nutrition labels because they simply don't know how that computes to their entire day of eating. Here is a simple way to understand those numbers a little better:

5% daily value or less means that food is low in said nutrient while 20% or more daily value means that food is high in said nutrient.



Friday, November 7, 2014

SERVING SIZE

What you choose to eat is important but just as important is knowing how much you eat. You regular readers know I am always saying to read the nutrition labels of everything you eat and serving size is one of the reasons why. It doesn't matter how many calories, fat, etc it says per serving if you don't look to see how many servings are in the bag, can, package, bottle, etc. If you pick up a bag of candy, for example, and you read the nutrition facts thinking, "Oh that's not too bad", you could be wrong. That information is listed per serving so if that bag contains 2 or 3 servings and you eat the whole bag, well you just ate 2 to 3 times what you think you did in calories, etc. With nuts, chips, etc, the serving size is often counted per nut, chip, etc. Pay attention to your serving sizes and eat accordingly.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

LOW BLOOD SUGAR (HYPOGLYCEMIA)

The following things can cause one to experience low blood sugar:

  • Taking certain medications and eating too few carbs, or skipping or delaying a meal.
  • Taking too much insulin or other diabetes meds, especially without eating.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar:
  • Shaking
  • Sweating excessively
  • Dizziness
  • Weak or Tired
  • Headache
  • Become nervous or upset
What to do if you suspect you have low blood sugar:
  • Check your blood sugar reading right away. If you do not have the means available to check it immediately, treat the symptoms anyway.
How to treat low blood sugar quickly:
  • Drink 1/2 cup (4-ounces) of regular fruit juice such as orange, apple, or grape.
  • 1/2 cup (4-ounces) of regular soda - NOT diet soda.
  • Chew 3 or 4 glucose tablets
  • Quickly chew 6 or 6 hard candies - NOT sugar-free
After doing one of the above treatments wait 15 minutes and recheck your blood sugar levels. If they are still low, repeat the treatment. Once the blood sugar level is normalized, eat a meal or at least a snack.

Warning: If low blood sugar is not treated, it can become severe and cause you to pass out.



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CUT BACK ON FAST FOOD TO HELP WITH ASTHMA?

A study published in Thorax analyzed 50,000 children from around the world over a 10-year period and found that eating three or more burgers a week could boost a child's risk of having asthma. The risk was prevented or greatly lowered when the children were fed a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and fish. Those foods are low in saturated fats and are packed with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties.

If you or your child have asthma and you eat fast food several times a week, I suggest trying to get more of the fish, fruits, and veggies into your diet. You just might breathe easier!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

CAN DIABETICS EAT 'REGULAR' FOOD?

One of the most common myths surrounding diabetes is that diabetics have to eat 'special' food. Diabetics can eat mostly the same foods that others eat but it is better for diabetics and others to follow certain guidelines. Some of those guidelines are whole-grain products rather than refined products, lower sugar amounts, and portion control. In this post I will stress portion control, especially with desserts. If a diabetic wants to eat a piece of 'regular' pie for example that pie should be cut into 8 slices, not 6! If served a larger slice, cut it in half before starting to eat. A piece of 'regular' fudge should be cut into a very small square not a 1-inch square. If I am served a piece of layer cake I ask for a thin slice then I cut off the bottom layer with the filling and only eat either the bottom or the top. You can see how easy it is to cut portion size, all you need is willpower.

Please note this information applies to the average diabetic. If you have a serious blood sugar problem you may have to eliminate sweets altogether. You and your doctor should discuss your diet.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

FYI

Just a simple FYI for those who may not know. Both milk and yogurt are very good sources of calcium and of protein even when they are fat-free.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WHY DO WE NEED FIBER IN OUR DIETS?

Here is a list of some of the reasons it is important to have fiber in our diets. If you have any of these problems perhaps you should increase your fiber intake. Nutrition labels on food products list the fiber quantity.


  1. Helps control blood sugar levels.
  2. Lowers blood cholesterol levels.
  3. Reduces blood pressure.
  4. Helps with weight loss.
  5. Helps prevent constipation and diarrhea.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

BANANAS FOR DIABETICS

There is always confusion about whether or not diabetics can eat bananas. Personally, I eat them often and cook/bake with them all the time and I never have a blood sugar problem from them (yes, I am diabetic). I do, however, eat them just barely ripe and I only eat a small to medium one. I make banana bread but add cinnamon and nuts, both blood sugar stabilizers. I also make banana pudding using Splenda and I use the just barely ripe bananas in it.  Here are some facts from Amy Reeder, registered dietition, about bananas.


  • Bananas are a healthy way to get nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
  • Bananas do contain carbohydrates.
  • Bananas are sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and fat-free.
  • Counting the carbs in a banana is tricky because it depends on the size and the ripeness of each banana. This chart will help you figure the carb grams in bananas based on size:
6 inches or less: 18.5 grams
6-7 inches: 23 grams
7-8 inches: 27 grams
8-9 inches: 31 grams
9 inches or larger: 35 grams
  • If a medium banana has 31 g carbs this would be the breakdown: 19 g would be sugar, 11 would be starch and that includes 3 g of fiber.
  • Bananas are considered low glycemic index foods. A medium banana has a glycemic index of 51(anything under 55 is low glycemic). But as with carb grams, glycemic index numbers change with the banana depending on its ripeness. Check the chart that follows:
Medium fully ripe = 51 gi
Medium under ripe (still some green on peel) = 42 gi
Medium over-ripe (some brown spots starting to appear on peel) = 48 gi
  • Plantains are members of the banana family. Plantains fall into the green banana catagory and are eaten cooked, usually fried.
  • Note: Be cautious of dried banana chips as they usually have a higher sugar and fat content due to preparation. Read labels carefully and it you eat them, eat them with nuts.

MAKE SIMPLE CHANGES WITH SLOW COOKER COOKING

This is a message I received from an email today. I thought it was very interesting and simple to do. I am going to try it, why don't you try it, too?

This is called a 'Slow-Cooker Switcheroo'.

Halve the amount of starch (potatoes, pasta, rice, etc), double the veggies, use the amount of protein called for in the recipe to make healthier meals.

Brian Wansank, Ph.D. did a study some time ago trying to teach people to use slow-cookers to produce healthy meals. They asked participants to cook a recipe in a slow-cooker and report back as to how it tasted. The next week, they asked the same people to prepare the same recipe with the same amount of meat but to double the vegetables and to half the starch (see above). When the participants came back and were questioned the next week they reported they didn't notice any difference in taste.

Bottom line, you can halve the starch, double the vegetables and not notice a difference in taste but your meal with be healthier. So if you are tired of grilled chicken and steamed veggies, get out the slow-cooker and change your recipe around a little.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ANOTHER IMPORTANT REASON TO EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST

Yes, eating breakfast is important to get your body adjusted to its daytime regimen. But it is also important that you eat a healthy breakfast. Forget that Danish or doughnut and eat something healthy. It has been shown that eating a healthy breakfast can help keep short-term memory and attention at top performance levels all day long. (Remember this when sending the kids off to school!) Some of the superstar foods for the brain are high-fiber whole grains, lean protein, and whole fruit, all healthy breakfast foods. And have a cup of coffee or hot tea with that breakfast. The mild stimulant found in coffee and some teas improves mental acuity and boosts your ability to concentrate. Note: Many teas do not actually contain tea. Drink one that does in the morning, you can enjoy other teas later in the day.


BASIC HEALTHY EATING HABITS

If you follow this blog you know I have several auto-immune diseases including diabetes. Since my diabetes diagnosis at age 60 I have done extensive nutritional research and sucessfully learned to control my diabetes and improve my overall health. At age 67 I am healthier than I have ever been, including as a child. I do not have to follow a yucky diet as many may believe and you don't have to, either. I eat small meals about every 4 hours and I watch what I eat and how it is prepared. I try not to eat anything after 7 pm. If I need something I make sure it is a small quantity of a healthy food. I have gone from a blood sugar level of almost 500 at my diagnosis to an average of around 100 daily. I take 1 pill a day for by blood sugar and do the rest with diet. It is amazing how this has improved my overall health. My cholesterol is about half what it used to be and I have gone from extremely high liver enzymes to normal. I have routine blood work every 3 months to follow up and it continues to be excellent. If you are interested in improving your health here are some simple guidelines to follow:

  • Eat a variety of foods. Do not drop any particular catagory of foods without discussing it with your doctor first.
  • Watch your portions. You can eat too much even of a good thing!
  • Read food labels. Know what you are eating! Check calories, carbs, protein, fat (avoid trans fats), sodium amounts on everything you buy.
  • Eat on a regular basis, no skipping meals.
  • Eat small meals several times a day instead of large meals once or twice a day.
  • Always eat breakfast. The word breakfast means breaking the fast. This is how your body knows you are up and it needs to leave sleep mode.
  • Match the amount you eat to your activity level. Don't eat for mountain climbing if you will be sitting at a desk all day!
By practicing healthy eating habits you will quickly see how easy it is and how much your health (and weight loss is usually an added bonus) improves.



Monday, October 13, 2014

FORGET DIETING, EAT HEALTHY

I shudder everytime I hear someone say they are going on some expensive diet. That is so silly and usually a waste of money. You don't need to be on some fad diet or buying into a diet program. If you want to be healthy and/or lose weight, all you have to do is change your eating habits and develop a healthier lifestyle. Would you believe that studies show one out of three women and one out of four men, at any given time, are on some diet. And guess what? Yes, it is true that within one year two-thirds of those dieters will regain the weight they lost and almost 100% regain the weight in five years. Don't allow yourself to get caught in the fad diet trap. Change your eating habits and that is not as hard to do as you may think. There are dozens of posts on this blog to assist you. And once you lose a little weight and start to feel better you will actually enjoy getting some exercise. Simple walking is a great exercise. You don't have to join a gym or buy expensive equipment to be healthy. Why not make up your mind right now to get started making those changes.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE TO EAT CHOCOLATE?

If you are one of the many chocoholics out there, I have good news for you. If you are always looking for any excuse to eat chocolate here is a good one for you. Dark chocolate (always eat dark chocolate) assists in the production of seratonin and can help ease you into sleep. But only a bite of dark chocolate, not a bag or bar! This is not an excuse to gorge on chocolate.




DID YOU KNOW ORANGES ARE DE-STRESSORS?

Everyone knows there are healthful benefits to eating oranges but did you know they cam also help relieve stress? According to a German study a few years ago in Psychopharmacology the vitamin C found in oranges boosts the immune system and helps regulate blood pressure after a stressful incident. Now you have another reason to reach for an orange.


EATING TO CONTROL STRESS - PART 4

Continuing my posts on 'Eating to Control Stress' we get into another catagory of foods and that is whole-grains. Yes, whole-grain cereals such as oatmeal, whole-grain breads and pasta can help you reduce stress. Dr. Judith J. Wurtman, co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet has stated that serotonin can only be made when we have certain building blocks in our bloodstream. In order for tryptophan, vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids to assist in the production of serotonin, you need carbohydrates. Carbs slow down the digestion process, giving the body time to release that feel-good chemical known as serotonin. Note: Be sure you are choosy healthy whole-grain carbs to avoid that big stressor - weight gain!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

EATING TO CONTROL STRESS - PART 3

Today I am continuing to write about eating to control stress. Our society seems to be stressed to the max and some of that may be due to the fact that we grab quick meals, often fast food and we may not be eating properly in our stressed out state. Have you ever noticed that everyone feels rather lazy after the Thanksgiving meal? We usually blame it on eating too much, which we usually have to admit we actually did. But that may not the be reason we feel so relaxed. Turkey has an abundance of tryptophan, discussed in the previous articles, so after consuming a good amount of turkey most people find their mood has improved, they have less anxiety, and a reduced craving for carbs. This is due to a surge in serotonin and not only does it make us less stressed, eating turkey helps to build muscles. So don't save turkey just for the holidays. Enjoy it on a year-round basis especially if you need to destress.




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

MORE ON EATING TO CONTROL STRESS

In yesterday's post I started discussing how what we eat can help us to control stress by supporting our serotonin levels. In that post we discussed eating spinach, avocado, brown rice, green peas, and collard greens. Today's post turns to fish oil and omega-3s. Nutritionists and many doctors recommend eating fish instead of taking supplements to get your fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids. Fish that are high on the list include tuna, salmon, sardines, and shellfish. In addition to being proven serotonin boosters, omega-3 fatty acids help us combat stress by increasing memory and cognitive performance as well.




Monday, October 6, 2014

EATING TO CONTROL STRESS

Yes, what you eat can have an effect on your level of stress. Medical research has shown that low serotonin, the chemical in our brains that regulates emotion, may be the main cause of anxiety and depression. Nutritionist DeAnna D. Irving has said that the serototin levels in the body can be depleted by stress and poor health if one isn't eating right. Serotonin is not found in food but is released into the bloodstream after the digestion of tryptophan, Vitamin B or Omega-3 fatty acids. Feeling a little stressed out? Try adding some of the foods that have large amounts of the previously mentioned nutrients to raise your serotonin levels without medication. One such food is Spinach. Spinach has high levels of vitamin B6 which helps to increase both energy and serotin levels. When you increase your energy and serotonin levels that can lead to better moods and overall better health. Don't like spinach? Avocado, brown rice, green peas, and collard greens are also rich in vitamin B6.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY IN OLDER ADULTS

Studies have shown that half of all older adults are deficient in vitamin B12. If you follow my blogs you probably know I have had several colon surgeries and have lost part of my colon thus I am susceptible to this deficiency. My husband suffers from depression and dementia. We both take vitamin B12. My husband has been on the pills prescribed by his doctors for several years now and his dementia is stable. I have to take the shots, currently a shot a week. So you can see why I am bringing this to the attention of older adults. Did you know that vitamin B12 only comes from meat, poultry, and seafood? That is alot of my problem, I'm sure, could it be yours? If you feel tired, have trouble sleeping, walk around 'in a fog', etc, ask your doctor to check your vitamin B12 levels. Here are what some of the experts have to say on the subject:
  • "Being even mildly deficient in vitamin B12 may put older adults at a greater risk for accelerated cognitive decline."[6] - Tufts Nutrition News, 2013
  • "B12 deficiency is common, with troubling symptoms...that are similar to many other problems related to growing older."[8] -The Mayo Clinic Health Letter, September 2013
  • B12 deficiency can be sneaky, harmful and is relatively common, especially among older people."[9] -The Harvard Medical School's health blog January 10th, 2013
  • "B12 is the most important nutrient you aren't thinking about...B12 deficiency can mimic all of the effects of aging."[7] - Dr. David Katz of the Yale University Prevention Research Center in 2012

Monday, September 29, 2014

SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PEPPER

I was surprised when I ran across this information about pepper. I like pepper and have always used it liberally and I guess that is a good thing. Perhaps it is why I am a 26-year breast cancer survivor and have also survived colon cancer, who knows? Here are a couple of the surprising things I discovered about black pepper:

  • Black pepper is a digestion aid. Black pepper stimulates the taste buds to signal the stomach to produce hydrocholoric acid. Hydrocholoric acid aids in digestion.
  • Black pepper is antibacterial. No explanation needed there, we all know what antibacterial means.
  • The outer layer of peppercorns contains piperine. Piperine is an alkoloid that increases the body's ability to assimilate cancer-fighting nutrients including beta-carotene, curcumin, and selenium. The National Cancer Institute says piperine also may have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

WHOLE EGG OR EGG WHITE OMELET?

Remember a few years ago when we were all going to have heart attacks and die if we ate the whole egg? Restaurants started adding egg white omelets to their menus and everyone felt like they were eating healthy when they left out the yolk. As with most well-hyped food fads we later found that the egg yolk is actually good for us. Imagine that, God didn't give us egg yolks to kill us but to nuture us! Well add that yolk back into your omelet unless your doctor tells you otherwise (always follow doctors orders and not internet articles if you have doubts or questions).  Here's why you should eat the whole egg; almost half the protein is in the yolk, yolks are rich in vitamins and are one of the best sources of choline. Choline is a nutrient that's important for brain health and may lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.


BUY LOCAL SEASONAL PRODUCE

If you look at the labels on a lot of the 'fresh' produce in the market you may notice that much of it is imported. I recommend buying the freshest and most local produce that you can find. Why? There are a couple of reasons:

  • Imported produce takes a long time to get to your kitchen. The less time between harvesting and your kitchen, the better. Key nutrients such as vitamins B and C degrade rapidly after harvest. When you buy imported you may not be getting all the nutrients you think you are.
  • Produce from other countries is 3 times more likely to harbor such illness-causing bacteria as salmonella, and is 4 times more likely to contain illegal levels of pestisides than their local counterparts.
  • Note: Out of season produce is likely to cost 50% more than in season produce so keep this in mind when on a tight budget.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ALCOHOL AND SURGERY

If you are having surgery and you drink alcohol you need to discuss this with your doctor. And be honest with the doctor, after all hiding your addiction could cause major problems for you! If you have more than one or two drinks a day, you could be putting yourself at risk with surgery. Severe withdrawal can cause death during or after surgery. Some of the problems caused by severe withdrawal are seizures, nervous system damage, irregular hearbeat, and respiratory failure. Moderate drinking, one or two drinks a day, is not usually a problem but more than that just might get you into serious trouble. If you are planning to have surgery and you drink very much you should be very forthright with your surgeon and you should cut back on the alcohol in preparation for surgery. Afterall, your life could depend on it.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DO YOU GET CONFUSED ABOUT DIETS?

If you find yourself getting confused about diets you aren't alone.  We, the American public, get so much stuff thrown at us about what to eat, what not to eat, that it can get very confusing. One reason we get so confused is that everyone who has a study, whether it was done scientifically or not, writes a book, puts out a line of food products, etc. Everyone who has a health problem and changes their diet accordingly thinks everyone else should do the same to feel as good as they do now. How silly is that? If you have a heart attack and the doctor puts you on meds are you going to try to get everyone you know to takes the same meds? Of course you aren't! The medication that is saving your life could kill someone else. The best thing to do about your diet is to eat responsibly and healthy. If you have needs or concerns discuss them with your doctor and not your neighbor or friends. Your doctor knows your body and any problems it has and is therefore best able to guide you with your diet.


Monday, September 22, 2014

GINGER FOR MOTION SICKNESS

Did you know that taking powdered-ginger capsules right before traveling can help with motion sickness? Studies have shown that taking the capsules right before travel can both delay the onset of nausea and help you to recover more quickly. One recent study showed that people who were spun in a motorized chair but took up to 2,000 mg of ginger 20 minutes before went twice as long before getting sick than did those who took drugs. If you have a problem with motion sickness, give ginger capsules a try.

Note: This picture is not an endorsement of this particular brand.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SWEET POTATO CHIPS

I think most of us know that sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins A, C, and B6, plus fiber. Healthy? Yes. But healthy doesn't necessarily mean buying a bag of sweet potato chips is a good thing. As I constantly stress on this blog, read the nutritional labels on all foods you buy. Are the chips you are buying loaded with fat from grease? Buy baked chips or chips fried in healthy fats (no trans fat and watch out for saturated fat, too). Better yet, why not make your own at home?

Note: This picture is not meant to endorse or not endorse this name brand.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gluten-Free Foods (If You Don't Suffer From Celiac Disease)

People are constantly trying to get me to go gluten-free. When I tell them no that my doctors have told me that would be dangerous for me they seem appalled. "WHAT?", they say. Now I am not writing this to knock gluten-free as it is important for those suffering from celiac disease. If you will notice in the title it says, "If you don't suffer from celiac disease." What I am saying is to talk to your doctor before going gluten-free if you don't suffer from celiac disease, gluten allergy, etc. Gluten-free is a fad thing right now and everyone seems to want to jump on the bandwagon, just like it was with fat-free diets a few years ago. If you are one of those people, have you discussed this with your doctor? That's all I am asking. If you and your doctor think it is the thing for you, go for it.

Don't take my word for it. Here is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared in Redbook magazine and there are many more similar articles out there:

"If you’re anything like the pedestrians Jimmy Kimmel recently interviewed, you may think that cutting out gluten is healthy—without knowing exactly what gluten is. “If you swap out foods for their gluten-free alternatives, you may actually be depriving yourself of key nutrients while adding on more calories and fat,” says registered dietitian andHealthy Habits author Laura Cipullo. Take frozen pizza: Half a gluten-free personal pizza, like Udi’s three-cheese pizza, has more saturated fat and cholesterol and significantly less fiber and protein than Kashi’s four-cheese pizza, its gluten-containing frozen pizza counterpart. The lesson: Unless you're actually gluten intolerant, be sure to read the labels carefully when it comes to gluten-free foods."

Note: I am not here to argue this point with you. I know what my doctors tell me. I am just giving the other side of this story. Talk to your doctor and know what you are doing before going on any diet, especially one that omits any one food.



Sunday, September 14, 2014

DOES EATING FAT MAKE YOU FAT?

For decades we were told how important it was to give up fat, especially if you wanted to lose weight. Dr. Walter Willett, noted nutritionist and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health has said, "The whole idea that reducing fat intake is the most important thing you can do was never supported by any good evidence." That said, there are different types of fats and some should be avoided.

Trans fats, usually listed on food labels as 'partially hydrogenated oils' are artificially manipulated fats that food producers use to enhance the shelf life of processed foods and these fats should be avoided. Studies have shown they raise LDL 'bad' cholesterol which usually leads to heart disease. As I always say on this blog, any foods that are artificial or artificially manipulated are not good for the body.

Polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids that are found in olive oil and some fish, are very good for ones health. Polyunsaturated fats have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Saturated fats found in red meat, cheese and butter, are better than trans fats but not as good as polyunsaturated fats.

As you can see, fat is not just fat. However, we need some fats to be healthy so totally eliminating fats from your diet is not a good thing.

Gary Taubes, whose internatinal best-seller Good Calories, Bad Calories has said the idea that eating fat makes you fat drove national nutritional policy for decades and may have contributed to our current health problems as everyone rushed to replace fat with carbs.

Choose your fats wisely and you won't gain weight.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

LACK OF SLEEP COULD SABATOGE YOUR DIET

It's true, a lack of sleep may sabatoge your diet! Studies have shown that persons who don't get enough sleep are not only crabby, they are hungry! Dr. Oz, who so many of you follow religiously, warns that "People who don't sleep crave carbs." A University of Chicago study showed that persons who only slept 5 1/2 hours a night snacked more the next day. Most people need 7 hours of sleep for their bodies to be rested.

Researchers at McLean Hospital in MA did a study by hooking people up to functional-MRI machines and showed them pictures of high-calorie foods such as chocolate cake. Those who had earlier report daytime sleepiness had lower activity in the "willpower-regulating" areas of the brain than when they viewed salads, etc. The lead author of the study, William D.S. Killgore, Ph.D. stated, "If your zzz's get cut short, a siesta may help strengthen your resolve."

Sorry for the red background. I accidently posted this to the wrong blog and couldn't get rid of the red when I transferred it. I am not tech savy!


Friday, September 12, 2014

LET THE KIDS MAKE CHOICES

Your job as the parent, grandparent, caregiver, etc is to offer your children healthy, nutritious foods. But start teaching them early to tune in to their body cues for hunger and when they are satisfied. Place healthy foods before them and allow them to make their choices from what is offered. Talk to them about portion size allowing them to only take healthy portions. Then don't insist they clean their plates when they say they are done.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

EXCHANGE TRADITIONAL FUDGE FOR A SQUARE OF DARK CHOCOLATE

Traditional fudge is a huge dose of sugar! If you exchange a piece of fudge for a square of dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa, you can save about 8 grams of carbs per ounce. Cut back on carbs, cut back on sugar and calories!