Sunday, May 31, 2009

Starting a weight control program

Anytime we start a weight control program there seems to be so much enthusiasm. Then the difficulty sets in and it gets hard. But you can take one step at a time. I give people the tools to start and keep at it and encourage them to find the support they need because it can get rough. Eating well takes effort particularly in our fast food culture. But it can be done. The step by step weight control plan offers the steps to overcome the obstacles and make eating and food simple but delicious.
Here are the steps-Remember to take it one at a time.

Step by Step Weight Loss Plan
Take it one step at a time
Eat 5-6 small meals daily.
Have Breakfast
Snack (if desired)
Have contact with food only 4 times a day.

1. Eat lean protein at every meal.
2. Eat breakfast every morning
3. Eat vegetables or fruit at every meal. Fill ½ your dinner plate with vegetables.
4. Drink enough fluid. Choose water, sparkling water, and unsweetened iced green, black or herb teas. Add lemon, lime or a bit of berry juice for flavor. Enjoy a cup or two of coffee or tea with low-fat milk or lemon. Avoid sweet drinks of all kinds including juice and sports drinks.
5. Avoid processed foods made with white grains and white sugar. For a sweet tooth have a piece of dark chocolate and a few nuts. Choose chocolate with 70% or more cocoa butter.
6. Benefit from red wine or other alcohol by drinking it with meals.
Daily recommendation: One 5 oz glass for women and two 5 oz glasses for men.
7. Take your supplements everyday.
8. Journal-people who journal lose weight.
9. Exercise 5-6 days a week. Start slow…
10. Join a weight loss group or start one with friends.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Americans are not following health advice

Fewer Americans are following healthy lifestyle advice than in the past despite more evidence pointing to the fact that lifestyle directly impacts health outcomes. Researchers compared data from two large scale National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)studies from 1988-1994 and from 2001-2006.

They looked at adults aged 40 to 74 years, because this is the age group where a first diagnosis of cardiovascular risk factors and disease usually arises. For the first period (1988 to 1994) the number in this age group was 7,340 (representing nearly 80 million people). The number for the second period (2001-2006) was 7,811 (representing about 65.5 million people).

The results showed that for this age group, during the 18 years between the two survey periods:

* The proportion of people with a BMI higher than 30 went up from 28 to 36 per cent.

* People doing exercise 12 times a month or more went down from 53 to 43 per cent.

* Smoking rates have not changed much (26.9 down to 26.1 per cent).

* People eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day went down from 42 to 26 per cent.

* People drinking moderate amounts of alcohol went up from 40 to 51 per cent.

* Overall, people adhering to all 5 healthy habits has gone down from 15 to 8 per cent of this population group.

* People with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or risk factors for these conditions, were no more likely to be following a healthy lifestyle than people without such factors.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

normal weight and cancer prevention

Maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing you can do for cancer prevention. Evidence shows that being overweight puts people at increased risk of cancer and it is is the strongest contributer after smoking.

Advisers for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)recommend that people stay as thin as possible without becoming underweight. Scientists believe that about a third of the most common cancers would be preventable if people ate healthily, were physically active and maintained a healthy weight.
In fact thousands of cases could be prevented each year if people maintained a BMI below 25. Body mall index is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared
Normal: 18.5 - 24.9
Overweight: 25 - 29.9
Obese: Above 30
This is of grave concern since the number of people who are overweight continues to rise.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Asthma and Folic acid

Folate, a vitamin found in green leafy veggies, citrus fruits and fortified cereals, may decrease allergies and asthma.
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH),reviewed medical records of about 8,000 patients who participated in 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES.) Serum folate levels and total IgE levels were measured. IgE, or immunoglobulin E, are antibodies that rise during allergic reactions. Asthma and respiratory symptoms were also measured.

Researcher found that patients with higher levels of folate also had lower IgE levels, fewer allergies, less wheezing and less asthma. People with the lowest folate levels had a 40 percent increased risk of wheezing, 30 percent increased risk of having elevated IgE levels, 31 percent increased risk of allergic symptoms and a 16 percent higher risk of asthma compared to those with the highest levels of folate (above 18 nanograms per milliliter of blood).

However, additional research is needed to confirm these early findings and to determine exactly how folate may work. The researchers plan to compare the effects of folic acid to placebo in people with allergies and asthma.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Winning the prize for Vitamin D

Dr. Michael Holick, from Boston University Medical School, a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics won the Linus Pauling Prize for Health Research for his work investigating how vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of cancer, autoimmune diseases, infectious and cardiovascular disease. This deficiency has become epidemic and more than 50 percent of the children and adults in the United States are vitamin D deficient. Through his work, Holick determined that anyone living north of 35 degrees latitude can't make enough vitamin D in the skin during winter exposure to sunlight. He has also influenced fortification of more foods and brought the deficiency to the forefront. Though using sunscreen is necessary it has contributed to the problem since Vitamin D is produced in the body by sunshine.

So most of us should take a supplement of vitamin D3. It is easy to take and very beneficial.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Risky behavior and energy drinks

According to researchers energy drinks, filled with caffeine, may offer a signal to parents that their children may be risk takers. It is not that the drink itself is so bad for kids but kids who drink them also are more prone to taking risks. Tara Parker-Pope reports on this in a NYT article, Taste for Quick Boost Tied to Taste for Risk. The study, published in the March Journal of American College Health, showed a link between energy drinks, athletics and risky behavior. Dr. Kathleen Miller, an addiction researcher from the University of Buffalo, suggests that high consumption of energy drinks is associated with “toxic jock” behavior, a group of risky and aggressive behaviors.

The data suggest that a regular intake of energy drinks may offer a red flag for parents that their children are more likely to take risks with their safety and health.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Exercise and execise tips


Aerobic exercise burns fat: It is any activity using large muscles done for an extended time both burning calories and providing cardiovascular benefit. Examples include biking, jogging, swimming, dance classes and walking.
Anaerobic exercise builds muscle. It includes resistance or weight training.
Yoga and Pilates strengthen the core, stretch and sculpt muscles.

Quicker weight loss
Interval exercise involves mixing high intensity bursts of exercise with moderate intensity recovery periods. This boosts the metabolism and burns more calories.

Exercise Tips
Move daily for 30-90 minutes
Pick a partner or exercise buddy
Set goals
Be active in 10 minute spurts
Plan ahead and plan a regular exercise time
Track your exercise program and success
Think frequency, not duration
Start slow
Wear a pedometer and work up to 10,000 steps a day (about 5 miles)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Protect yourself-Avoid Vit C and E when exercising

When we exercise we metabolize glucose and when this happens reactive oxygen molecules escape and attack all other cells around them. These reactive oxygen compounds damage the bodies tissues. Oxidative damage increases as we age.

Yet our wonderous body has its own defense system and when it doesn't do enough antioxidant, which stop reactive oxygen compounds, may seem like an excellent solution.

Perhaps not according to researchers at the University of Jena in Germany. They tested this idea by giving half of a group young men,who were exercising, moderate doses of vitamins C and E. When they measured sensitivity to oxidative damage they found that the vitamin takers were in worse shape than the group who did not.
It appears the activation of the body’s natural defense mechanism against oxidative damage did not respond.

The reason they suggest is that the vitamins short-circuit the body’s natural response to exercise.

Researchers suggest, “If you exercise to promote health, you shouldn’t take large amounts of antioxidants,” and "that antioxidants in general cause certain effects that inhibit otherwise positive effects of exercise, dieting and other interventions.” The findings appear in this week’s issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The advice does not apply to fruits and vegetables, researchers say; even though they are high in antioxidants, the many other substances they contain presumably outweigh any negative effect.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nutrition in the News

Want great nutrition advice? Go to the Harvard nutrition web site and read current research in the news. Walter Willett heads the Harvard School of Public Health and offers a balanced, research based view. Check out the web site.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kidney stones in children?

Upon reviewing nutrition news reports this morning I was surprised to see this headline, "Kidney Stones In Children On The Rise, Expert Says"

Typically, kidney stones are found in adults between the ages of 35 and 60 but the risk of kidney stones in kids is rising. Why? Well, the reasons are the same as why so many children are gaining weight. Our lifestyle puts them at risk. Children today are drinking sugar-filled drinks and a fast-food diet that is high in sodium, a known risk factor in the formation of kidney stones.

Our sedentary lifestyle also puts children at risk because children are gaining weight. As overweight and obesity rate rise for adults the rates in children are also rising and obesity increases the risk of forming kidney stones.

So, I come back to my rant for a public health campaign. It is all of us folks. The majority of Americans are gaining weight and the results are health issues in various forms-kidney stones in kids one more for the record books.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Beware diet drugs

Federal drug regulators warned consumers Friday to stop using the popular Hydroxycut line of weight-loss products. There has been a report of a death due to liver failure. There are also other instances of serious health problems. The FDA reported 23 reports of illess resulting from this supplement. Natasha Singer writes about it in an article in the NYT.

Ask the nutritionist

Q: How do you know how to choose whole grain products?

A: If you are confused about finding whole-grain bread and cereals, first read the food label. A true whole-grain product lists whole wheat, whole oats, or another whole grain product as the first main ingredient. If the label’s first ingredient says “wheat flour” it probably means it is refined. Even highly processed cake flour is made with wheat flour. All foods bearing the Whole Grain Stamp offer at least a half serving (8 grams) or more of whole grain.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ask the nutritionist

Q: I am confused about fats? Are they good for me?\

A: Choose healthy fats, limit saturated fat, and avoid trans fat. The total amount of fat you eat, whether high or low isn't linked with disease for all people. What really matters is the type of fat you eat. The "good" fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats will help lower disease risk. The key is to eat a healthy diet and to replace good fats for bad fats. Always avoid trans fats also called partially hydrogenated fat. These fats contribute to disease.