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!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

SUPPLY NUTRITIOUS SNACKS

For the sake of your and your loved ones, keep healthy nutritious snacks available and cut back on purchases of sugary and fatty foods. Between meals or just to quiet hunger pangs you can eliminate unhealthy snacking by having healthy snacks available. If you or your children/grandchildren have a choice between a candy bar or sliced apples, the choice will probably be the candy bar. If sliced apples are what's available you have eliminated the unhealthy choice.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

EAT MORE NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES

Fill your plate with non-starchy veggies like green beans, broccoli, kale and spinach. Not only are these foods low in carbs, but they’re high in fiber to boot. This means they'll keep you full for longer than their starchy counterparts — potatoes, peas and corn. This is especially important advice for diabetics.


Friday, September 5, 2014

POLLEN ON FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

This is copied from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Produce with pollen-like proteins
If you're sneezing and sniffling, you could also have a problem eating some fruits and veggies. It's called oral-allergy syndrome (OAS), and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates up to a third of pollen allergy patients may be affected. You can blame a protein found on the surface of some raw produce, including apples, tomatoes, and cantaloupe, though each pollen allergy has its own set of trigger foods.
"Pollen and food proteins are like first cousins," says Cliff Bassett, MD, founder of Allergy and Asthma Care in New York City. "So your body thinks you're swallowing pollen."
This usually leads to bothersome symptoms, like an itchy throat and mouth as well as cough. Peeling produce may help to reduce your reaction, Dr. Bassett says. Even cooking the produce may help. Just be careful—research shows about 2 percent of people with OAS have symptoms than can progress to potentially life-threatening anaphylactic shock, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

DRIED FRUIT VS FRESH FRUIT

Dried fruit can be handy to add to cereals, baked goods, salads, etc. But remember this: As the fruit shrinks when it dries, you also need to shrink your portion size! Sugar counts and calories jump up when fruit is dried and the Vitamin C is sensitive to heat and and it's value drops. Below are a few facts about dried fruit vs fresh fruit.


  • Apples - 1 small apple has around 77 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and 12% of your daily value of Vit C. 1/2 cup of dried apples has 104 calories, 4 grams of fiber and only 3% of your daily value of Vit C.
  • Plums - 3 medium plums have 91 calories, 3 grams fiber and 31% of your daily value of Vit C. 9 dried plums have 205 calories, 6 grams fiber, and only 1% of your daily value of Vit C
  • Grapes - 1 cup grapes has 104 calories, 1 gram fiber, and 26% of your daily value of Vit C. 1/2 cup raisins has 217 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and only 3% of your daily value of Vit C.
These are just a few examples but they clearly show the differences in dried fruit and fresh fruit.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

EASY WAY TO CUT BACK ON SUGAR

If you are a diabetic or you are just trying to cut back on sugar, here is a tip for you. Bake your cakes in a sheet instead of layers. Rather than use sugary frostings, icings, and fillings just sprinkle with a small amount of powdered sugar or sprinkle with some bittersweet chocolate shavings.


Monday, September 1, 2014

WHICH WILL IT BE - DESSERT OR A BEDTIME SNACK?

If you are trying to lost weight, this is an important decision for you. Pick only one each day! Have your choice of a small dessert after dinner or a small bedtime snack but don't have both! Learning to make this decision daily, and it may be a different choice from day to day, will help you control your weight, get control of your eating habits and give you a psychological feeling of being in control.