Archive | February 2017

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. If you have a healthy lifestyle, your diet and nutrition are set, and you’re working out, you’re going to feel good.”

Jason Statham (n English actor and former model dan competitive diver.

Part II Foods Bad in our diet and to avoid (on a routine basis)

 

Gluten-Free Junk Food

Gluten-free is all the rage these days.

About a third of people in the US are actively trying to avoid gluten, according to a 2013 survey.

The problem with many gluten-free diets, is that people replace the gluten-containing foods with processed junk foods that happen to be gluten-free, what good is that going to do you in healthy eating (nothing).

These gluten-free replacement products are often high in sugar, unhealthy oils and refined grains like corn starch or tapioca starch. These refined starches lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar, and are extremely low in essential nutrients.

Alternatives: Choose foods that are naturally gluten-free, like unprocessed plants and animal foods. Gluten-free junk food is still junk food.

Agave Nectar 

This is a sweetener that is often marketed as healthy.

However, agave nectar is not as healthy as some people think. It is a highly refined sweetener that is extremely high in fructose.

High amounts of fructose from added sweeteners (not whole fruit) can be absolutely a disaster for your health.

The truth is, agave is even higher in fructose than other sugars.

Whereas table sugar contains 50% fructose, and high fructose corn syrup around 55%, agave nectar is 85% fructose.

Alternatives: Stevia and erythritol are healthy, natural and calorie free=stevia and erythritol..

Low-Fat Yogurt-it can be incredibly healthy.

Unfortunately, most yogurts found in the grocery store are extremely bad for you.

They are frequently low in fat, but loaded with sugar to make up for the lack of taste that the fats provided.

Put simply, the yogurt has had the healthy, natural dairy fats removed, only to be replaced with something much, much worse.

Additionally, many yogurts don’t actually contain probiotic bacteria, as generally believed. They have often been pasteurized.  This occurs after fermentation, which kills all the bacteria.

Alternatives: Choose regular, full-fat yogurt that contains live or active cultures (probiotics). If you can get your hands on it, choose yogurt from grass-fed cows.

Low-Carb Junk Foods

Low-carb diets are very popular these days, and have been for several decades.

There are plenty of real foods that you can eat on a low-carb diet, most of which are very healthy.

However, this is not true of processed low-carb replacement products, such as low-carb candy bars and meal replacements.

These are generally highly processed foods that contain very little actual nutrition, just a bunch of artificial ingredients mixed together and then sold as food.

Alternatives: If you’re on a low-carb diet, eat foods that are naturally low in carbs. Low-carb junk food is still junk food.

Ice Cream

Ice cream is one of the most delicious foods on the planet.

Unfortunately, it is also one of the unhealthiest. Most commercial ice cream is loaded with sugar.

Ice cream is also high in calories, and it is very easy to eat excessive amounts. Eating it for dessert is even worse, because then you’re adding it all on top of your total calorie intake.

Alternatives: It is possible to make your own ice cream using healthier ingredients and significantly less (or no) sugar.

Candy Bars

Candy bars are incredibly unhealthy

They are high in sugar, refined wheat flour and processed fats. They are also very low in essential nutrients.

Processed foods like candy bars are generally engineered to be super tasty (so you eat more), and have been designed so that it’s very easy to eat them quickly.

A candy bar may taste good and cause some short-term satiety, but you’ll be hungry again very quickly because of the way these high-sugar treats are metabolized.

Alternatives: Eat a piece of fruit instead, or a piece of real high-cocoa dark chocolate.

Part I foods bad in our diet and to avoid (on a routine basis).

            

         

There is a lot of confusion out there about which foods are healthy, and which are not.  Let us start with  a list of 20 foods that are generally very unhealthy.  If you want to lose weight and avoid chronic disease, then you shouldn’t eat much of these foodsif you know you can treat yourself to these foods once and awhile (eat them moderately where 80% of your diet during the week is healthy foods with doing some form of exercise than your doing good).

In many cases, the best choice is to avoid them completely but if you know you can treat yourself to these foods once and awhile with actually doing it  meaning eating them moderately where 80% of your diet during the week is healthy foods with doing some form of exercise than your doing good.

 In this article, healthy alternatives are mentioned whenever possible.

Sugary Drink

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.

However, some sources of sugar are worse than others, and sugary drinks are the absolute worst.

When people drink sugar calories, the brain doesn’t “register” them as food.

For this reason, people don’t automatically compensate by eating less of other foods instead, and end up drastically increasing their total calorie intake.

Sugar, when consumed in large amounts, can drive insulin resistance in the body and is strongly linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is also associated with various serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Sugary drinks are the most fattening aspect of the modern diet, and drinking them in large amounts can drive an increase in weight/fat gain and obesity.

Alternatives: Drink water, soda water, coffee or tea instead. Adding a slice of lemon or lime to water or soda water can add some taste if you don’t like it plain.

Most Pizzas

Pizza is one of the world’s most popular junk foods.

This is not surprising, given that it tastes awesome and is incredibly convenient to eat.

The problem is that most commercially prepared pizzas are made with seriously unhealthy ingredients.

The dough is made from highly refined wheat flour, and the meats on them are usually processed. Pizza is also extremely high in calories.

Alternatives: Some pizza places use healthier ingredients. Homemade pizzas can also be very healthy, as long as you choose wholesome ingredients.

White Bread

Bread is generally made from wheat, which contains the protein gluten.

For this reason, all wheat-based breads are a bad idea for people who have celiac disease or  gluten sensitivity.

However, most commercial breads are unhealthy, even for people who do tolerate gluten.

This is because the great majority of them are made from refined wheat, which is low in essential nutrients (empty calories) and leads to rapid spikes in blood sugar.  Keeping that in mind remember you have a large meal it goes to your stomach and gets digested sent to the blood eventually with the sugars in it.  If you have high sugar amounts your tissues in the body can only utilize so much than your liver storing extra sugar not needed making it inactive converting it to glycogen but if there is still extra sugars hanging around in the blood now it goes into the fat tissue for storage and becomes fat in the tissue.   Eat most of your foods high in sugar and obesity results.

Alternatives: For people who can tolerate gluten, another type of  bread is an excellent choice called ezekiel bread. Remember whole grain bread is also definitely better (or “less bad”) than white bread.

Most Fruit Juices

Assumed to be healthy, but this is a mistake=most fruit juices.

Many fruit juices are actually little more than fruit-flavored sugar water.

It is true that the juice contains some antioxidants and vitamin C, but this must be weighed against the large amount of liquid sugar.

In fact, fruit juice contains just as much sugar as a sugary drink like Coke or Pepsi, and sometimes even more.

Alternatives: There are some fruit juices that have been shown to have health benefits despite the sugar content, such as antitoxin juices (blueberry or pomegranate juices).   However, these should be considered as supplements, not something you drink every day to quench thirst.   The best drink for supplementing everyday your quench of thirst is water.

Industrial Vegetable Oils

In the last 100 years or so, people have increased their consumption of added fats.

However, this is entirely explained by a drastic increase in the consumption of refined vegetable oils like soybean, corn, cottonseed and canola oils.

These oils are very high in omega-6 fatty acids, which humans never consumed in such large amounts before.

There are many serious concerns with these oils. They are highly sensitive to oxidation and cause increased oxidative stress in the body. They have also been linked to increased risk of cancer.

Alternatives: Use healthier fats like coconut oil, butter, extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil instead.

Margarine

Considered a healthy alternative to butter once is no longer the fact.

Fortunately, most people have now realized that this is far from being true.

Margarine is a highly processed pseudo-food that has been engineered to look and taste like butter.

It is loaded with artificial ingredients, and is usually made with industrial vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated to make them more solid. This increases the trans fat content significantly.

Keep in mind that manufacturers can label “no trans fat” to their products as long as it contains less than 0.5 grams per serving, which is still a significant amount.

Alternatives: Use real butter instead, preferably from grass-fed cows.

Pastries, Cookies and Cakes

Most pastries, cookies and cakes are extremely unhealthy but most of us know this already.

They are generally made with refined sugar, refined wheat flour and added fats, which are often disturbingly unhealthy fats like shortening=trans fat content is high.

These tasty treats are literally some of the worst things that you can put into your body besides it having no essential nutrients with tons of calories and ingredients totally unhealthy.  Foods to have holidays, once in a while.

French Fries and Potato Chips

Potatoes whole and white, that are very unhealthy.

However, the same can be said of the products that are made from them, such as potato chips and with our typical burger french fries .

These foods are very high in calories, and it is easy to eat excessive amounts. Several studies link consumption of french fries and potato chips with weight gain.

Stay tune tomorrow for part II on more unhealthy foods in your routine diet.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

.Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

The danger of Fructose Corn Syrup for Many Reasons!

Some might think that the increase of the use of fructose corn syrup during the past 30 years, would be safe.  High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an “artificial” sweetener made from a complex process with corn; a process of brewing, separating, breaking down, injecting enzymes, filtering, mixing and blending. Still sound safe enough?

High fructose corn syrup is extremely soluble and mixes well in many foods. It is cheap to produce, sweet and easy to store. It’s used in everything from bread to pasta sauces to bacon to beer as well as in “health products” like protein bars and “natural” sodas.

HFCS is less expensive, lasts longer, and is more easily transported and handled than natural sugar; thus food producers prefer it for their manufacturing processes.

Research has shown that “high-fructose corn syrup” goes directly to the liver, releasing enzymes that instruct the body to then store fat! This may elevate triglyceride (fat in blood) levels and elevate cholesterol levels. Because it is metabolized by the liver, fructose does not cause the pancreas to release insulin the way it normally does. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. Fructose reduces the affinity of insulin for its receptor, which is the hallmark of type-2 diabetes.

Some research claims that HFCS does not metabolize in the body like regular “natural” sugars; and that it might cause obesity-related glitches within the liver and other organs which normally deal with metabolizing, storing and using sugars in the body.

HFCS is Often Contaminated with Mercury. Recent studies of samples of HFCS and food products containing it in the United States conducted via two studies found that between 31% and 45% of the samples contained mercury. Mercury is toxic in even small quantities. For years, there have been suspicions that mercury used in vaccines may be related to the rise in autism in the United States. But this mercury contamination issue is much bigger and affects common foods widespread throughout the nation’s food supply. Products tested from big-name manufacturers such as Minute Maid, Coca-Cola, Hershey’s, Quaker, Hunt’s, Manwich, Smucker’s, Kraft, Nutri-Grain, and Yoplait had detectable levels of mercury.

Today, Commercial fruit juices and any products containing high fructose corn syrup are more dangerous than sugar and should be removed from the diet.

Read Labels! You’ll quickly see that this ingredient has been added to half the supermarket. So read under Ingredients carefully and look for High Fructose Corn Syrup or even just Corn Syrup.

 

Americans are being poisoned by a common additive present in a wide array of processed foods like soft drinks and salad dressings, commercially made cakes and cookies, and breakfast cereals and brand-name breads.

This commonplace additive silently increases our risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.

The name of this toxic additive is high-fructose corn syrup. It is so ubiquitous in processed foods and so over-consumed by the average American that many experts believe our nation faces the prospect of an epidemic of metabolic disease in the future, related in significant degree to excess consumption of high-fructose corn syrup.

The food industry has long known that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down in the most delightful way.” And cane sugar had been America’s most delightful sweetener of choice, that is, until the 1970s, when the much less expensive corn-derived sweeteners like maltodextrin and high-fructose corn syrup were developed. While regular table sugar (sucrose) is 50% fructose and 50% glucose, high-fructose corn syrup can contain up to 80% fructose and 20% glucose, almost twice the fructose of common table sugar. Both table sugar and high-fructose sweetener contain four calories per gram, so calories alone are not the key problem with high-fructose corn syrup. Rather, metabolism of excess amounts of fructose is the major concern.

The alarming rise in diseases1,2 related to poor lifestyle habits has been mirrored by an equally dramatic increase in fructose consumption, particularly in the form of the corn-derived sweetener, high-fructose corn syrup.3-12 In this article, we’ll examine the evidence for these associations, and we’ll attempt to determine if high-fructose corn syrup is a benign food additive, as the sweetener industry has lobbied us (and the FDA) to believe, or a dangerously overlooked threat to public health.

Rising Concern

While cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer in America,1 scientists have noted that “we are experiencing an epidemic of [heart and kidney] disease characterized by increasing rates of obesity, hypertension, the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease.”2 Add to this list a disturbing rise in new cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and you have a public health crisis of enormous proportions.

With a growing sense of urgency, scientists are examining the relationship between consumption of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and numerous adverse medical conditions. And they’re coming away with a sour taste in the mouth. Emerging research shows that excessive dietary fructose, largely from consumption of HFCS, represents “an important, but not well-appreciated dietary change,” which has “…rapidly become an important causative factor in the development of the metabolic syndrome,”9 a conglomeration of risk factors that greatly elevates the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Other research suggests that high dietary fructose consumption contributes to obesity and insulin resistance,5,7 encourages kidney stone formation,13 promotes gout,14-17 and is contributing to an upsurge in cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.4,18,19 Furthermore, high dietary fructose consumption is associated with increased production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are linked with the complications of diabetes and with the aging process itself

 

High dietary intake of fructose is problematic because fructose is metabolized differently from glucose. Like fructose, glucose is a simple sugar. Derived from the breakdown of carbohydrates, glucose is a primary source of ready energy. Sucrose (table sugar) comprises one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose. Thus, excessive sucrose intake also contributes to the rise in overall daily fructose consumption. Glucose can be metabolized and converted to ATP, which is readily “burned” for energy by the cells’ mitochondria. Alternatively, glucose can be stored in the liver as a carbohydrate for later conversion to energy. Fructose, on the other hand, is more rapidly metabolized in the liver, flooding metabolic pathways and leading to increased triglyceride synthesis and fat storage in the liver. This can cause a rise in serum triglycerides, promoting an atherogenic lipid profile and elevating cardiovascular risk. Increased fat storage in the liver may lead to an increased incidence in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and this is one of several links between HFCS consumption and obesity as well as the metabolic syndrome.7

Fructose may have less impact on appetite than glucose, so processed foods rich in fructose can contribute to weight gain, obesity, and its related consequences by failing to manage appetite.20 Additionally, loading of the liver with large amounts of fructose leads to increased uric acid formation, which may contribute to gout in susceptible individuals.

The high flux of fructose to the liver, the main organ capable of metabolizing this simple carbohydrate, disturbs glucose metabolism and uptake pathways and leads to metabolic disturbances that underlie the induction of insulin resistance,9 a hallmark of type 2 diabetes.

So you may want to look at labels of the food you eat more closely to prevent obesity or disease like diabetes.  Just a thought.

 

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“When you begin to notice that disordered eating habits are affecting your life, your happiness, and your ability to concentrate, it is important that you talk to somebody about what you’re going through.”

NEDA nationaleatingdisorder.org.

Part IV Last section on Treatments for Eating Disorders.

          

Setting up a treatment plan:

You and your treatment team will determine what your needs are and come up with goals and guidelines. This will include a plan for treating your eating disorder and setting up treatment goals. It will also make it clear what to do if you’re not able to stick with your plan or if you’re having health problems related to your eating disorder.

Your treatment team can also:

  • Treat physical complications. Your treatment team monitors and addresses any medical issues that are a result of your eating disorder.
  • Identify resources. Your treatment team can help you discover what resources are available in your area to help you meet your goals.
  • Work to identify affordable treatment options. Hospitalization and outpatient programs for treating eating disorders can be expensive, and insurance may not cover all the costs of your care. Talk with your treatment team about financial issues ― don’t avoid treatment because of the potential cost.

Ongoing treatment for health problems:

Eating disorders can cause serious health problems related to inadequate nutrition, overeating, bingeing and other factors. The type of health problems caused by eating disorders depends on the type and severity of the eating disorder. In many cases, problems caused by an eating disorder require ongoing treatment and monitoring.

Medications can’t cure an eating disorder, but they may help you follow your treatment plan. They’re most effective when combined with psychological counseling. Antidepressants are the most common medications used to treat eating disorders that involve binge-eating or purging behaviors, but depending on the situation, other medications are sometimes prescribed.Taking an antidepressant may be especially helpful if you have bulimia or binge-eating disorder. Antidepressants can also help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder, which frequently occur along with eating disorders.

You may also need to take medications for physical health problems caused by your eating disorder.

Hospitalization may be necessary if you have serious physical or mental health problems or if you have anorexia and are unable to eat or gain weight. Severe or life-threatening physical health problems that occur with anorexia can be a medical emergency.

In many cases, the most important goal of hospitalization is to get back to a healthy weight. Achieving your healthy weight can take months, so you’ll probably need to continue outpatient treatment to accomplish your goals once you get out of the hospital.

Health problems linked to eating disorders may include:

  • Electrolyte imbalances, which can interfere with the functioning of your muscles, heart and nerves
  • Heart problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Dental cavities and erosion of the surface of your teeth from frequent vomiting (bulimia)
  • Low bone density (osteoporosis) as a result of irregular or absent menstruation or long-term malnutrition (anorexia)
  • Stunted growth caused by poor nutrition (anorexia)
  • Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Lack of menstruation and problems with infertility and pregnancy

What is being done to better understand and treat eating disorders?

Researchers are finding that eating disorders are caused by a complex interaction of genetic, biological, psychological, and social factors. But many questions still need answers. Researchers are studying questions about behavior, genetics, and brain function to better understand risk factors, identify biological markers, and develop specific psychotherapies and medications that can target areas in the brain that control eating behavior. Brain imaging and genetic studies may provide clues for how each person may respond to specific treatments for these medical illnesses. Ongoing efforts also are aimed at developing and refining strategies for preventing and treating eating disorders among adolescents and adults.

Taking an active role:

You are the most important member of your treatment team. For successful treatment, you need to be actively involved in your treatment and so do your family members and other loved ones. Your treatment team can provide education and tell you where to find more information and support.

There’s a lot of misinformation about eating disorders on the Web, so it’s important that you follow the advice of your treatment team and get suggestions on reputable websites to learn more about your eating disorder. Examples of helpful websites include the National Eating Disorders

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Eating disorder treatment depends on your particular disorder and your symptoms. It typically includes a combination of psychological counseling (psychotherapy), nutrition education, medical monitoring and sometimes medications.”

MedlinePlus.com

Part III Treatments of eating disorders Section 1

 

The eating disorders anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, and their variants, all feature serious disturbances in eating behavior and weight regulation. They are associated with a wide range of adverse psychological, physical, and social consequences. A person with an eating disorder may start out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food, but at some point, their urge to eat less or more spirals out of control. Severe distress or concern about body weight or shape, or extreme efforts to manage weight or food intake, also may characterize an eating disorder.

Eating disorder treatment also involves addressing other health problems caused by an eating disorder, which can be serious or even life-threatening if they go untreated for long enough. If an eating disorder doesn’t improve with standard treatment or causes health problems, you may need hospitalization or another type of inpatient program.

Having an organized approach to eating disorder treatment can help you manage symptoms, regain a healthy weight, and maintain your physical and mental health.

Eating disorders are real, treatable medical illnesses. They frequently coexist with other illnesses such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. Other symptoms can become life-threatening if a person does not receive treatment, which is reflected by anorexia being associated with the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.

Eating disorders affect both genders, although rates among women and girls are 2½ times greater than among men and boys. Eating disorders frequently appear during the teen years or young adulthood but also may develop during childhood or later in life.

How are eating disorders treated?

Typical treatment goals include restoring adequate nutrition, bringing weight to a healthy level, reducing excessive exercise, and stopping binging and purging behaviors. Specific forms of psychotherapy, or talk therapy—including a family-based therapy called the Maudsley approach and cognitive behavioral approaches—have been shown to be useful for treating specific eating disorders. Evidence also suggests that antidepressant medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may help for bulimia nervosa and also may be effective for treating co-occurring anxiety or depression for other eating disorders.

Treatment plans often are tailored to individual needs and may include one or more of the following:

  • Individual, group, or family psychotherapy
  • Medical care and monitoring
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Medications (for example, antidepressants).

You may start by seeing your family doctor or mental health counselor, such as a psychologist. You may also need to see other health professionals who specialize in eating disorder treatment. Other members of your treatment team may include:

  • A registered dietitian to provide nutritional counseling.
  • A psychiatrist for medication prescription and management, when medications are necessary. Some psychiatrists also provide psychological counseling.
  • Medical or dental specialists to treat health or dental problems that result from your eating disorder.
  • Your partner, parents or other family members. For young people still living at home, parents should be actively involved in treatment and may supervise meals.

It’s best if everyone involved in your treatment communicates about your progress so that adjustments can be made to your treatment as needed.

Managing an eating disorder can be a long-term challenge. You may need to continue to see your doctor, psychologist or other members of your treatment team on a regular basis, even if your eating disorder and related health problems are under control.

Some patients also may need to be hospitalized to treat problems caused by malnutrition or to ensure they eat enough if they are very underweight. Complete recovery is possible.