Diet and Weight Loss
Recently, a book bearing the title “The Fast Diet” was released in England. Thus far, sales of the book, co-authored by Dr. Michael Mosley, have been brisk and are likely to follow suit in the US where it was just published a few weeks ago. The underlying message of The Fast Diet is that adopting a 5:2 eating plan, in which you eat regularly for five days and semi-fast for two days, will reduce overweight and various risk factors associated with advanced aging, diabetes and heart disease. In the medical literature, this style of eating is commonly referred to as “intermittent fasting” (IF). Since the media and public have taken an interest in IF, I thought this would be a good opportunity to review the most current findings about this practice and a related form of dieting known as alternate day fasting (ADF) which calls for a semi-fast every other day.
Tags: Diabetes, Fasting, Heart Health
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition | 4 Comments
The clients I work with subscribe to a wide range of views about alternative and complementary medicine. Some are receptive to trying virtually any evidence-based modality I suggest. For them, I’ll sometimes recommend practices as diverse and unconventional as reflexology, Senobi breathing and Tai Chi. Other clients are more comfortable utilizing therapies that are generally accepted in the conventional model of modern health care. Progressive muscle relaxation, structured exercise routines and therapeutic diets fall into this category.
Tags: Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Mental Health | No Comments;
Homemade cashew milk is a valuable resource for anyone who’s interested in improving hydration, nutrient density and/or promoting weight gain. The first two objectives are fairly commonplace. Many people admit that they don’t drink enough water or eat enough whole foods. The issue of healthful weight gain isn’t as prevalent a concern. However, it does apply to a significant portion of the population for various reasons ranging from weight loss associated with disease states to eating disorders.
Tags: Cashews, Dates, Milk, Weight
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Recipes | 2 Comments
I’ve long believed that there is a psychological component that partially explains why natural therapies are met with resistance in the modern health care environment. The current medical paradigm is centered on advanced technology such as gene testing, nano-pharmaceuticals and stem cell treatments. Therefore, the idea that traditional practices, used by our distant ancestors, can be even more important than modern technology in promoting health is often perceived as impossible.
Tags: Fiber, Low Carb, Paleolithic Diet
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Product Reviews | 2 Comments
Last week a slew of studies were presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions. Among them, was a trial funded by Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. – a leading manufacturer of cranberry juice. The details of the study reveal that the daily consumption of “low calorie” cranberry juice moderately reduces blood pressure (by about 3 mmHg diastolic and systolic) as compared to a placebo beverage. But, before you go out to the market to stock up on low-cal cranberry “cocktails”, consider the details that weren’t included in the mainstream press converge.
Tags: Cranberries, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Heart Health, Nutrition | No Comments;
What if you really could have your cake and eat it too? I’m not asking you to consider a profound philosophical concept, but rather posing the question quite literally. The dream of many dieters is to one day be able to eat high carbohydrate foods without familiar consequences such as high blood sugar, an unhealthful lipid panel and weight gain. Until recently, this was universally accepted as “pie in the sky”. However, nutritional scientists have uncovered certain food based extracts that may, in fact, offer hope in this arena.
Tags: Low Carb, Sugar, Triglycerides
Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments
When I consider the concept of holistic health care, a hierarchy comes to mind. If you imagine it as a ranking system based on importance, here’s what it would look like: diet, regular exercise/physical activity, mind-body techniques or stress management practices and the judicious use of dietary supplements. The food we eat, the movements we make and supplements we take to “fill in the gaps” present a scenario much like taking care of a valuable piece of machinery. How you care for your car is a good analogy. Without driving it from time to time, gas and the addition of various fluids, sooner or later it will stop working in peak form. However, unlike machines, the human existence is complicated by the influence of emotions and the stress response.
Tags: Chia Seeds, Low Carb, Probiotics
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Exercise | No Comments;
Natural sweeteners, whether agave nectar, honey or stevia are often perceived and/or represented as reasonably healthy, especially when used in moderation. Support for this theory typically stems from two prevalent beliefs. The first asserts that natural substances are more compatible with the human body than synthetic counterparts, such as aspartame (Equal), saccharine (Sweet’N Low) and sucralose (Splenda). Secondly, there are claims that some natural sweeteners are actually good sources of nutrients. In both instances, modern science can help “separate the wheat from the chaff” when it comes to sweeteners of all kinds.
Tags: High Blood Pressure, Liver, Osteoporosis
Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink | 2 Comments
One of my favorite condiments is organic Dijon mustard. I slather it on most of my sandwiches – peanut butter and jelly not withstanding. As with most of my other culinary and dietary choices, my decision to use this ingredient is based on the fact that I enjoy the flavor, while hopeful that it will impart certain benefits. If you’ve never thought of mustard as a health promoting ingredient, then please read on.
Tags: Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Health
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 6 Comments
Some time ago, I was approached by an overweight gentleman who was familiar with my line of work. He explained that he planned to lose weight eventually, but wasn’t quite ready to adopt many of the principles espoused on my site and elsewhere. He went on to ask a rather provocative question: Apart from making major changes to my diet and exercising, are there any small steps I can take to protect myself? At first, my thought was: What’s the point? You can’t put out a fire with a squirt gun! If you want to get healthy, a commitment needs to made! However, as I listened further to his circumstances and history, I relented and decided to offer what I hoped would be the first steps in his path to a genuine lifestyle change.
Tags: Cocoa, Fish Oil, Green Tea
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | No Comments;
For better or for worse, bariatric or weight loss surgery has been become a mainstay in modern medicine. Obesity and related health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, are on the rise and more and more physicians are recommending gastric bypass as a last ditch solution. Given this reality, I’ve researched this topic thoroughly with the knowledge that I’d likely be working with quite a few bariatric clients as part of my consultation service. Today, I’d like to share some of findings I’ve encountered along the way.
Tags: Diabetes, Hair, Whey Protein
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 1 Comment
Every so often, a product hits the market that has the potential to genuinely improve both health and quality of life. The newly introduced, “Carb Zero Bread” by Julian Bakery is a rare example of precisely that – a true innovation in the baked goods sector. In the past, there really wasn’t a good option for individuals who were seeking both gluten-free and low carb breads. You can find a few low carb breads that contain gluten. There are also many carb laden, gluten-free breads available in specialty shops. But, a combination of the two? Until recently, that didn’t exist.
Tags: Fiber, Gluten, Low Carb
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 16 Comments
The fact that I embrace science as a means of validating natural remedies occasionally puts me at odds with strict holistic advocates. In a recent encounter, I was accused of aligning myself with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – an organization which, by most accounts, has a contentious relationship with the natural health community. My response was that if I were affiliated with the FDA, prescriptions for statin medications (used to lower cholesterol) would become obsolete and avocados would be stocked in pharmacies throughout the land.
Tags: Diabetes, Heart Health, Olive Oil
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Memory, Nutrition | No Comments;
The term “low carbohydrate diet” conjures up certain stereotypes in the minds of many patients and physicians alike. A common misconception about this controversial way of eating is that it is inevitably rich in dairy and meat, and severely lacking in fruits and vegetables. Another myth about low carbing is that it raises various cardiovascular risk factors. But, perhaps the most prevalent mistaken notion about carbohydrate restriction is that it is damaging to the kidneys. All of these assertions have been summarily rebutted in the scientific literature in recent years. Still, not everyone is aware.
Tags: Kidney Health, Low Carb, Potassium
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 6 Comments
When news outlets cover the current state of health care and weight, an image of a heavy-set person with a particularly large midsection is often featured. Due to recent changes in diet and exercise patterns, abdominal obesity has become increasingly common in the population at large. No longer does the term “beer belly” primarily apply to those who are problem drinkers. Nor does youth protect against it, as evidenced by higher rates of central obesity and metabolic syndrome frequently found in adolescents.
Tags: Body Fat, Fiber, Metabolic Syndrome
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 4 Comments
New research from UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine reveals that daily consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) impairs learning and memory in rats. This finding has lead to a slew of headlines this past week with titles such as, “Sugar Makes You Stupid”. If accurate, this may come as a surprise to anyone who’s encountered one or more of the television commercials financed by the Corn Refiner’s Association. In the slickly produced ads, the prevailing sentiment is that HFCS affects the body in the same way as any other sugar source. In fact, there’s currently a push to rename HFCS to “corn sugar”.
Tags: Heart Health, Memory, Sugar
Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink | 3 Comments