Monday, March 31, 2014

Are You a Junk Food Addict?

A gallup poll in 2011 showed that Americans were 20% heavier than they were in 1991! I realize it is now 2014 but I wonder how much that number has changed in the past couple of years. The experts say that food addiction may be the biggest culprit in this increase! Research suggests that highly processed, calorie-dense treats may actually be both physically and psychologically addicting and may lead to some of the same changes in the brain as do heroin and cocaine! Paul Kenney, Ph.D., an associate professor of molecular therapeutics at Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida stated the following, "We tend to look at obesity as a lack of willpower - that if you'd just put down the cheeseburger and go for a run, you'd be fine." He continued by saying, "It is not that simple. There's a population of overweight people who have problems with highly palatable food, so called 'junk food,' the way others do with gambling or crack cocaine."

It is important to note that not every overweight person is a food addict nor are all food addicts overweight. Many food addicts control their weight with excessive exercise, purging, etc. Food addiction is not measured by body size but by behavior.

Dr. Kimberly Dennis, medical director for Timberline Knolls, a residential treatment center for eating disorders and addiction (in Illinois) said this, "Food addicts lose control when they eat because their brains react on a neurochemical level either to their relationship with food - habitually eating when something unpleasant happens - or substances in the food itself. It is very different from the sedentary person who just eats too many chips."

Tomorrow's post will deal with how food can be equal to crack cocaine.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Saw this article recently and thought it worth passing on. I love tea, both hot and iced. If you aren't currently drinking tea, maybe you should add a cup a day to your diet.

Drinking tea – black and green – may also have heart-healthy benefits.

“Tea in general seems to have cardiovascular benefits,” says Dr. Messerli, also a cardiologist and director of hypertension at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan.

“The benefits of tea are probably due to its antioxidant properties,” he says. 

But not all teas are created equal. Herbal ones, such as chamomile, rosebud and elderberry, don’t have the same antioxidants. 

Plus, “when you add cream or milk, you may abolish the benefits,” Dr. Messerli says, “because it seems that the milk or the cream prevents the antioxidant substance from acting.”

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Diabetic Diet For The Heart

If you have diabetes you are at an increased risk for heart disease. But the good news is that once you start following a healthy diabetic diet, that same diet will lower your risk of heart disease. Once you start eating low carbs, lean protein, increase your intake of fresh fruits and veggies, etc, you will learn to control your blood sugar and lower your risk for heart disease at the same time.  Actually, if everyone followed the basics of a diabetic's diet we would be a healthier people!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Do Americans Eat Too Much Fat?

Are Americans eating too much fat? Or are we Americans simply eating the wrong fats? According to Chef Dr. Dr. John La Puma, the answer is that we are eating the wrong fats. We are eating too many bad trans fats that are in most packaged, processed foods and unfortunately the good essential fats are getting left out.We are not eating enough good fats such as Omega 3s. Dr. La Puma, author of Chef MD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine, "Omega 3s are anti-inflammatory and help protect the immune system, brain, heart, and arteries. The doctor has stated that Omega 3s can help lower high triglyceride levels in the blood, a silent risk for heart disease.

The American Heart Association has said the omega 3s can protect against irregular heart rhythms that can cause sudden death, slow the rate of arterial hardening, and help to reduce blood pressure. Those are some pretty important reasons to be sure you are getting the omega-3s you need!

Here are a couple of simple ways to increase the omega 3s in your diet; trade the chips in your diet for nuts and some of the steak for salmon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Did you realize that one of the best weight-loss tips is to add more veggies to your meals? Now we aren't talking mashed potatoes with gravy, greasy French fries, etc. We are talking about colorful healthy vegetables. The reason this will help you lose weight? According to Katherine Tallmadge, R.D., eating veggies actually makes you feel fuller causing you to eat less. One small easy tip to help you on your journey to losing weight and improving your health!

Friday, March 21, 2014


Fiber is especially important to a diabetics diet. We should have fiber, along with Vitamin D, Calcium, and Omega-3s at every meal. (These guidelines for these 4 particular fat-fighters are a good idea for anyone, diabetic or not.) Here are a few examples of the fiber content of some common foods: 1 medium apple = about 3 grams, 1/2 cup fresh raspberries = 4 grams, 1 cup cooked fresh spinach = 4 grams, and 1/2 cup chickpeas = 6 gram.

Note: I copied and pasted this from my diabetic blog, thus the colored background. This is good advice for anyone, not just diabetics.

Remember This!

For all my readers who are constantly struggling with weight and making the mistake of weighing everyday or 2 or 3 times a day. Just remember this and don't get discouraged:

Thursday, March 20, 2014


For those who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis they will do almost anything to reduce their pain and discomfort. One important thing to remember is that excess weight puts more stress on already painful joints. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy can improve overall health and help one to lose weight. Losing weight can reduce the stress on those sore, swollen joints.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


This is advice for diabetics but it is advice that should be heeded by everyone. How you combine the foods you eat can be as important as what you eat! Sugar is almost always blamed as the first culprit but it is not as evil as you may think. While we need to avoid sugar as a general rule, there are other factors just as important.  According to Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution, refined flours and sugar cause huge spikes in insulin and get absorbed quickly, which causes problems.  Jackie Mills, MS, RD, explains you should look at the whole meal rather than the individual parts. Pairing carbohydrates with protein, fat, or fiber helps to slow down the absorption process. When you slow down the quick absorption process, you greatly lessen or in some cases eliminate the problem.

It pays to be very aware of how we combine the foods we eat!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Did you know that halibut is considered an all-star fish? This particular fish is called an all-star fish because it is loaded with protein, B vitamins, minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and selenium. It also contains the healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If halibut isn't currently a part of your diet, you should consider adding it as another "healthy" food!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Dr. Melina Jampolis, an internist specializing in nutrition for weight loss and disease prevention suggests our snacks should include protein plus fiber. She has stated that protein and fat trigger the release of hormones in the gut that keep us feeling satisfied for hours. Protein also puts the brakes on the body's insulin pump and we know that high levels of insulin can lead to tummy fat. Fiber slows digestion, another key to feeling full. Dr. Jampolis says that many high-fiber carbs such as oatmeal, fresh fruits and veggies are water-rich which means we get to eat a bigger serving for fewer calories!  Below are some of her snack combo suggestions:

  • hummus and nuts + carrots or whole-grain crackers
  • a hard boiled egg + 1/2 cup grapes
  • a packet of instant unsweetened oatmeal with cinnamon and chopped nuts
  • a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt + a cup of your favorite berries
  • 1/2 cup high-fiber cereal with skim milk
  • a 100-calorie pack of almonds + a kiwi
Remember snacks should be no more than 200 calories!

Monday, March 10, 2014


Melina Jampolis, M.D., an internist specializing in nutrition for weight loss and disease prevention, states, "It's tempting to 'save' your calories if you know you're having dinner at your favorite Italian restaurant." She continued by saying, "But if you do, you'll be famished and eat too much too quickly." She recommends a high-volume and low-calorie snack such as a piece of fruit or a vegetable around 3 or 4 o'clock before going out for a big dinner. She says that snack can actually help you cut calories.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Do you worry when you hear there is arsenic in apple juice, chemicals in seafood, etc? While that fact would no doubt be true, it isn't really cause for concern. The fact is you would have to heat or drink the particular food/beverage regularly and in a pretty good quantity for is to put your health at risk.  To avoid such a problem, do not become a "mono-eater/drinker". In other words, do not have the same food/beverage for breakfast, etc everyday. As long as you include a variety of healthy foods and drinks in your diet, you do not need to be concerned.

There is an exception to the above. Parents of babies whose diet consists only of formula need to be aware of any consumer alerts on the brand of formula their babies are using. As an example, a few years ago a study found that some organic formulas were sweetened with a brown rice syrup that contained a concerning amount of arsenic. In that case you would want to talk to your doctor about switching formula since that was basically all of your baby's diet.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Would you believe 40% of parents surveyed said their children do not eat breakfast daily. Come on parents, making sure your children have a healthy breakfast everyday is very important! The experts seem to agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for adults and for children. Just the word breakfast gives us a clue as to why. The word simply means break the fast or tell your body it is time to go to work and refueling is an important part of that process. A balanced healthy breakfast helps to kick start your metabolism for the the day. Research also shows that eating breakfast can help with weight control in both children and adults. You don't have to spend an hour to serve a healthy breakfast. A balanced breakfast should include food from at least three groups. You can easily do that with cereal but make it a healthy whole-grain cereal that is not loaded down with sugar. Take your healthy cereal, add fresh fruit for sweetness, and use low-fat or fat-free milk. You have covered grains, fruit, and dairy in one quick simple meal. Another quick breakfast might be a slice of whole-grain toast spread with peanut butter and sliced fruit or low-sugar jelly or jam and a glass of milk. Just make sure you and your family are starting your day with a healthy breakfast!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Stress is a major contributor to health problems.  If you suffer from stress, eat more fruits and vegetables. That may sound too simple but it is a proven stress reliever. Eat at least two servings of fruit and three of vegetables a day to help your body deal with stress. Would you believe a banana, for instance, can help alleviate stress? A banana is loaded with vitamin B6 and vitamin B6 can help the body create mood-boosting serotonin. Having a stressful day? Grab a banana.

Have a Meat-Free Meal

Did you know you can lower your risk of heart disease by 4% and your risk of stroke by 6% just by replacing meat with extra veggies at least one day a week.  So why not pick a day of the week to go meatless? Even lowering the risk a small percent would be worth it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I have discussed the benefits of walnuts on this blog several times but wanted to point out another reason walnuts should be a part of your diet. Walnuts contain compounds that help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol! It is also believed walnuts can even help repair damaged arteries. Walnuts, as with everything, should be eaten in moderation. I am not saying to sit down and eat a bag of walnuts but to include them in salads, etc and it is okay to eat a handful from time to time.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Baked Potato - Did You Know?

Let me start off by saying, "Diabetics Beware"! Potatoes are high in starch which quickly turns into sugar in the body. If you choose to eat a baked potato, have it with a lean protein source rather than making it your whole meal.

Did you know that a small to medium simple baked potato seasoned only with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil can supply you with heart-healthy potassium and magnesium, around 3 grams of fiber, and the important immune boosting B vitamins?