A heartbeat away

Did you know that your heart is the strongest muscle in your body? That it completely circulates your blood every 20 seconds? That your circulatory system is 62,000 miles long?

I have a new dietitian friend who works in Stuart, Florida who sent me an amazing YouTube video today. It has a very important heart health message that everyone needs to see and hear because either we ourselves are at increased risk for heart disease or someone is that we know. The music is pretty cool, too!

Follow this link to see… YouTube Preview Image

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The whole grain truth

In my business, I see a lot of diabetics or folks that just want to lose weight and want to know the best foods to eat. When it comes to grains, I always let them know that the less processed the better because whole grains provide more nutrients such as vitamins, minerals plus more fiber than ground grains. The following is an excellent article explaining the digestive benefits of whole grains — Lori

By Diana Mirkin
co-author of The Whole Grains Cookbook

When grains are processed into flour or cereals, the primary concern is loss of nutrients. However, if you grind your own grains or use products that are made from the whole grain without discarding anything, you get all or most of the nutrients of the original grain. But grains that have been broken apart in any way will be digested quicker. That’s a big disadvantage for diabetics and dieters.

Carbohydrates are long chains of sugars, and only single sugars can be absorbed from your intestines into your bloodstream. The foods that cause rapid rise in blood sugar are those that are digested most quickly; the worst offenders are sugar and anything made from flour.

When you eat whole grains (seeds), it takes a long time to break apart the capsule, separate the carbohydrates from the fiber, and completely digest each grain. Your blood sugar rises slowly, stays slightly elevated for a long time (so you don’t feel hungry again soon after eating) and never reaches the high levels that come from sugar or flour. [Read more...]

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The Coffee Connoisseur’s question

I’m often asked if coffee is harmful or good for you. From my recent survey of some the latest research, coffee isn’t as harmful as once thought and can actually have some healthful benefits.

I’ve been a coffee drinker since my early 20s. I’ve typically enjoyed one or two cups a day with an occasional cup in the afternoon or evening for a pick-me-up. You coffee connoisseurs know what I’m talking about.

There have also been seasons where I stopped drinking coffee and decided to drink only herbal teas in order to reap their benefit. The point was to give my body a break from the caffeine. I have not discerned any noticeable difference in my level alertness or general health, however. I’m sure some would beg to differ.

Coffee has been found to have the B-vitamin niacin, magnesium, and is a rich source of antioxidants. (Manach, et al 2004) It is well known that antioxidants fight the harmful effects of free radicals and the cell damage they cause.

In a study by Dogasaki et al (2002), they found that brewed coffee possessed antibacterial activities exhibited by certain acids such as caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid. In a recent meta-analysis regarding coffee consumption and risk of coronary heart disease, the researchers concluded that their findings did not support the hypothesis that drinking coffee increases the long-term risk of heart disease.

They also found that coffee consumption in moderation was associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease in women. (Jiang-nan, et al 2009). [Read more...]

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Junk food alters gut bacteria in one day

What type of microbacteria are lurking in your gut? The following article by Dr. Gabe Mirkin of www.DrMirkin.com demonstrates amazing evidence that a diet consisting of high sugar, high fat and processed foods significantly affects our bacterial gut health. This could be one of the pieces of the puzzle in explaining the mystery of why many seekers of weight loss struggle to lose the pounds even when they eat less.

After just one day of switching from a plant-based diet to a high-fat-and-sugar diet, mice with human intestinal bacteria developed bacteria associated with obesity in humans, and soon became grossly obese (Science Translational Medicine, November 11, 2009)

Dr. Jeffrey Gordon of Washington University in St Louis first showed that certain types of bacteria in the human intestinal tract can break down food more efficiently and help you absorb a greater percentage of calories from the food that you eat. He also showed that humans whose intestinal tracts are dominated by these bacteria tend to be overweight. [Read more...]

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The facts are in: better diet limits cancer

Cancer is becoming more prevalent in our society. You’ve not just read about it, but you’ve seen it among those you know or perhaps experienced it yourself.

It’s tough news to hear even in the best of circumstances. But this article might provide a boost to your commitment to battle the affliction, whether personally or vicariously  –  Lori Drummond, R.D., L.D..

Dr. Dean Ornish and other research physicians recently published a randomized controlled trial showing that the progression of early-stage prostate cancer may be stopped or perhaps even reversed by making similar changes in diet and lifestyle.

This was the first randomized controlled trial showing that the progression of any type of cancer may be modified just by changing what we eat and how we live. What’s true for prostate cancer may be true for breast cancer as well.

Recent studies by the Preventive Medicine Research Institute continue to show how dynamically lifestyle changes can improve our health and well-being, even on a genetic and cellular level. [Read more...]

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Recipes for success: Healthy wings

The fall sports season is here in full force and with it comes greasy hot wings and a range of fried foods. Try something different for your favorite game with this healthy twist on a game time favorite suggested by the American Institute for Cancer Research.  Hot sauce and creamy dressing top this chicken and potato-based recipe, but they don’t drive up the fat totals like breaded wings.

BuffaloChickenSaladBuffalo Chicken Salad

2 medium red or white potatoes
2 1/2 cups diced skinless roast chicken breast, in 1″ pieces
1 large celery rib, cut in 3/4″ pieces
1/2 cup diced red onion
4 inch piece seedless cucumber, peeled
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 Tbsp. canola-based mayonnaise
5-6 drops hot sauce
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Salt, to taste
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup (1 oz.) crumbled blue cheese
Place potatoes in deep saucepan and cover to a depth of 2 inches with cold water. Cook potatoes over medium-high heat until thin knife easily penetrates center of potatoes, about 15 minutes. Drain and set potatoes aside until cool enough to handle. Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Place potatoes in mixing bowl. Add chicken, celery and onion. Cut cucumber lengthwise into 4 pieces. Cut each piece crosswise into 3/4-inch chunks and add to salad.

For dressing, whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, hot sauce, black pepper and salt. Pour dressing over salad and toss with fork to combine.

On serving plate, arrange bed of lettuce. Mound salad on top of lettuce. Sprinkle on blue cheese. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 250 calories, 8 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 14 g. carbohydrate,
31 g. protein, 2 g. dietary fiber, 330 mg. sodium.

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Sleep more, weigh less?

Want to lose weight?   Perhaps you should get more sleep.

Researchers from Case Western University in Ohio monitored 70,000 women for over a 15-year period and determined that those getting five hours or less of sleep each night 30 percent more likely to gain weight than were those getting seven hours or more of sleep.

Light sleepers also have a significantly higher risk of becoming obese, according to the study supervised by Dr. S. Patel of the university.

What surprised the researchers was that sleeping patterns had a much greater influence on women’s long-term weight than eating habits or physical activity.

At the start of the study, the women who slept up to five hours a night weighed 5.4 pounds more than those who got 7 hours or more. They also put on 1.6 pounds more each year than the good sleepers. [Read more...]

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Key health care reform? Cut obesity

By Karen Pallarito
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 11 — A diverse alliance of payer, provider and consumer organizations, girded by two former U.S. Surgeons General, on Wednesday urged policymakers to address the nation’s obesity epidemic as part of federal health care reform legislation.

Former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, whose 2001 report on obesity recognized the problem as an “epidemic,” emphasized the need to invest in health promotion and disease prevention, particularly for the health of the nation’s youth.

“We are in essence addicting our children to sedentary lifestyles; we’re addicting them to high-salt, high-sweet, high-fat diets,” he said, “and then we pay for it later on when they come to us with cancer, heart disease, [and] diabetes.” [Read more...]

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Pass this quiz for a longer life

chicken wrap
Heart Healthy Quiz: How Much Do You Know?

1. Which of the following foods is not specifically linked to a reduced risk of heart disease?
a. Garlic
b. Oats
c. Corn
d. Grape juice
e. Nuts

2. The fiber in which of the following foods will lead to a reduction of blood cholesterol?
a. Whole-grain bread
b. Brown rice
c. Bran cereal
d. Carrots
e. Oats

3. What percentage of total deaths in the United States is linked to heart disease?
a. 20%
b. 30%
c. 40%
d. 50%
e. 60% [Read more...]

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