The friendly side of certain fats

The guidelines for fat intake are that we consume no more than 20 – 35 % of calories from fat.

A little fat in food adds more than flavor to your meal. It also helps satisfy your hunger by making you feel full after eating. Why? Because fats take longer to leave your stomach than either carbohydrates or proteins do.
 

A certain amount of body fat serves several functions: to cushion and position your body organs, to protect your bones from injury and to form a layer under your skin. This fat layer offers insulation, helping you stay warm. And the soft fat pads on your buttocks and the palms of your hands protect your bones from bumps, bangs and jolts.  A VERY useful chart follows so make sure to read the rest of this article. [Read more...]

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Don’t fall for those ’shortcut’ diets

by Holly Robinson Peete, Shine staff

You’ve heard about them in email forwards and late-night infomercials, but these five “miracle diets” just plain don’t work. From straight-up starvation to a steady diet of boiled cabbage, here are diets to steer clear of:

#1 The Grapefruit Diet

The claim is that eating grapefruit with protein triggers a “magical” fat burning process. We’re always wary of the word “magic” in regards to a diet, and this one is no exception. While grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C and fiber and is a great way to start your morning, there’s no evidence to support its reputation as a “fat-burner.”

#2 Juice Diets

While a liquid diet has the potential to starve your body into shedding excess pounds, a super low-calorie diet like this one kicks your metabolism into survival mode. Unsure where the next meal is coming from, your body hangs on to the nutrients it has, slowing your metabolism, and burning fewer calories overall. The minute you switch back to solid foods, there’s a good chance those pounds will “magically” reappear. [Read more...]

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Gaining muscle rather than fat

From DrMirkin.com

If you think you’re too thin and want to gain weight, don’t just sit on the couch and stuff yourself with food. Weight gain should always be in the form of muscle, not fat.

To build muscle, start a weight-bearing exercise program. Go to a gym and learn how to do the weight training circuit. Build up those arms and legs! As you exercise, your appetite will respond to meet your needs. It only takes 15 extra grams of protein a day to build a pound of muscle a week — so you really won’t need to eat a lot more.

(Remember that muscle weighs more than fat and also burns calories while fat simply stores calories. Think of a car engine versus a car trunk — Lori)

It’s never too late to start a weight training program. Underweight older people look and feel frail because they have lost most of their muscles, not because of lack of fat.

If you are inactive, you lose muscle mass to the point where you are unable to carry out daily activities — climbing stairs, getting up out of a chair — because your muscles are not strong enough to move the weight of your own body. [Read more...]

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FDA: Truth suffers in battle of the bulge

The Food and Drug Administration is moving toward a more active role in seeing that packaged food consumers have accurate, adequate nutrition labels to guide purchasing decisions.

Please read this article by Andrea Thompson of LiveScience.com  –  FDA cracks down on defective nutrition labels

If you’d be willing to participate in a simple, 10-question study about how consumers evaluate nutrition labels, please click this link to provide contact information and we’ll send you the survey form.

Thanks for making a difference in your world.

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Gut bacteria may cause weight gain

The following article is one more bit of information explaining how amazing our bodies are but also points to the fact that our bodies can get out of balance because of the foods we eat, antibiotics we take or those that are in our food supply and by other environmental factors. This imbalance can start a domino effect leading to a multitude of health-related issues.

I know first-hand the ill effects of having a gut imbalance but also have found the solution to restoring my good health. Imbalances in the gut called dysbiosis can be hard to recognize if you don’t know the signs or symptoms for which to look. When the digestive system is out of balance, the following symptoms may occur:

* Bloating, belching, burning, flatulence after meals
* A sense of fullness after eating
* Indigestion, diarrhea, constipation
* Systemic reactions after eating
* Nausea or diarrhea after taking supplements
* Rectal itching
* Weak or cracked finger nails
* Dilated capillaries in the cheeks and nose in the non-alcoholic
* Post-adolescent acne or other skin irritations such as rosacea
* Iron deficiency
* Chronic intestinal infections, parasites, yeast, unfriendly bacteria
* Undigested food in the stool
* Greasy stools
* Skin that’s easily bruised
* Fatigue
* Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)
* Chronic vaginitis (vaginal irritation)

(This list borrowed from Women to Women; accessed 3/7/10)

If your experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, you might have dysbiosis of the intestinal tract. Some simple steps can help you restore your health. For the help you need, contact me at Lori@goodhealthconsulting.com to set up an appointment to help you find solutions and get back to good health.

By ALICE PARK of Time magazine

If you’re fighting the battle of the bulge, most of your attention – and frustration – is probably aimed at your midsection. It makes sense, since that’s where the extra pounds tend to gravitate, especially with the creep of middle age, piling on to form that dreaded spare tire.

But a growing body of research suggests there’s another, less visible reason to focus on your gut if you want to lose weight. Scientists led by Andrew Gewirtz at Emory University reveal that your intestines harbor a universe of bacteria – the so-called gut microbiota – that may play an important role in whether your body will store the food you eat as extra pounds. [Read more...]

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Do the math, prevent the gain

Here is a simple article to help you balance your bread intake with your weight management goals. You don’t need a genius IQ to manage this topic. Just some self-discipline since good bread is SO good to the taste.

Johns Hopkins University

By Margaret Furtado, M.S., R.D. 

Those super-heavy, “all-natural” loaves of bread may look and sound like they’re healthy, but their density signals that they probably contain more calories than most other loaves. Plus, they’re typically made with simple sugars like high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and maltose that will add even more calories.

If you’re watching your weight and wondering, “Can I eat bread?”–don’t despair. I’m here to tell you that you really can have your bread and eat it too without automatically putting on weight. There’s a simple rule–the weight and starch connection–that will help you choose a loaf wisely.

What’s the weight and starch connection?  [Read more...]

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Living lazy = living large

Teen Obesity: Lack of Exercise May Not Be to Blame
By Alice Park of TIME magazine

You don’t have to spend much time with teenagers to know that the average adolescent would rather devote an afternoon to sitting in front of the TV, computer or video-game console than working out in a gym. And in recent years, as physical-education classes have been progressively cut from cash-strapped public-school curriculums, teens have had even more time to lounge, slouch, hang out or do anything but break a sweat.

It’s no surprise, then, that obesity rates among U.S. youngsters have skyrocketed, tripling from 1976 to 2004. Public-health experts and obesity researchers attribute the trend in part to kids’ increasingly sedentary lifestyles. As teens spend more and more time anchored before a screen — burning fewer and fewer calories each day — they’re storing more of that unused energy as fat. Hence, the ballooning rates of obesity. (See TIME’s video “Obesity and Social Networks.”) [Read more...]

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Study: Processed food feeds depression

Can healthy eating habits combat depression? According to recent research from the University College London it’s very possible.

Many people eat diets that are high in fat, but are comprised mainly of trans fat or saturated fat from fried or fast foods. Not good, says Dr. Martinez-Gonzalez.

“The membranes of our neurons are composed of fat, so the quality of fat that you are eating definitely has an influence on the quality of the neuron membranes, and the body’s synthesis of neurotransmitters is dependent on the vitamins you’re eating,” Martinez-Gonzalez said.

It’s important to eat fats, but choosing the right type of fats is key. In simple language, fats are essential for the utilization of vitamins that assist with proper brain function. Our brains use fatty acids from fat to create the specialized cells that help us to think and feel.

We need a balance of fats so that our diets are comprised of 20% of total fats, with only 10% of total fat coming from the saturated kind like milk, coconut oil, butter or fats that are solid at room temperature. (Read more by Lori on this topic after the article below).

LONDON (AFP) – A diet heavy in processed and fatty foods increases the risk of depression, according to British research published on Monday.

Researchers at University College London also found that a diet including plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish could help prevent the onset of depression. [Read more...]

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Beans do more than you think

One thing I’ll never forget and often share with clients is a line from one of my college professors. She would always say, “A day without a bean is a bad day.” Our student dietetic association even used this line for our T-shirts!

Tip of the week — A New Twist on an Old Saying

Beans, beans, the magical fruit! The more you eat, the more you … may reduce your cholesterol.

It may not be as catchy as the popular children’s rhyme, but beans (that are actually vegetables) may indeed be magical for your health. Rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, folate and iron, popular dried beans include black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, pink beans and pinto beans.

The 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating 3 cups of dried beans per week to reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 16 percent. Most Americans eat about a third of this amount. Recent research shows eating one-half cup of pinto beans daily can reduce serum cholesterol by 8 percent.

Full of complex carbohydrates yet fat-free, beans can play a role in weight management by making you feel full without a lot of calories.

Beans are a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber, with 6-8 grams in a half-cup. They promote a healthy digestive tract, may reduce your risk of some types of cancer and can help control diabetes and maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Produced by American Dietary Association

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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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