It happens to the best of us. You maintain a strict habit of exercise and dieting throughout the week. You're disciplined. You're organized. You've got this. Then the weekend approaches and it’s time for date night, or the much-needed opportunity to catch up and hang out with your friends. You, believing you are being a good healthy-eating planner, check out the restaurant's menu online beforehand to pick out a reasonably healthy meal and drill this motivational speech into your head:
"I will not overindulge tonight."
And this time, you're serious.
That is, until you hear what your friends are ordering. And before you know it you’re ordering a side of French fries AND a slice of cake to go.
Seeing the words "gluten-free" stamped onto a box of cookies, crackers, or Twinkies is not a green light that sends you on the road to healthier living. Now that the availability of gluten-free junk foods is legitimized by appearance in "common" large grocery chains, and product offerings expanded faster than waistlines, misinformation about these allergy-friendly foods is increasing.
Oh yes, large packaged food companies are listening to the siren scream of customers for more gluten-free foods choices. But like much in the past history of food companies' service of public wants, it's demand begetting inferior (from a healthful perspective) supply. As more shoppers load their grocery carts with gluten-free pretzels and pasta, grocery suppliers and stores expand their gluten-free aisles. According to a survey conducted by the NPD group in January 2013, approximately 30% of adults in the United States reported trying to reduce or exclude gluten from their food intake.
Despite the fact that a gluten-free diet is beneficial only to folks allergic or intolerant to gluten, many perceive gluten-free foods to be healthier and associated with weight loss. The real truth: gluten-free does not equal sugar free, healthful, skinny, or low fat. In fact, gluten-free foods often are less healthy and more expensive than their healthier, less sugared, whole wheat counterparts. You need to do what is best for your health and your budget—so here's the gluten-free 411.
Juice. It has been a staple of American breakfast tables for decades. Over the years it's been introduced to kids' packed lunches, vending machines and even toddlers' bottles. Not to mention the "adult" juice beverages, some of which are packed with things like antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients.
Marketing tactics would have you believe that juice is a healthy beverage option – far better than sugary sodas or energy drinks. Phrases like "All Natural" and "No Sugar Added" bolster that mentality.
Unfortunately, for you, the consumer, these labels may mean nothing at all.
Anthocyanins are a type of plant-based antioxidant found in abundance but not exclusively in berries. Take, for instance, blue corn, which is regular yellow corn that has a high level of anthocyanins. The anthocyanins are actually what give it a bluish hue.
Fortunately, anthocyanins are good for you from any source, including corn. Just take a look at this short list of benefits that are commonly attributed to anthocyanins:
Enhance glucose metabolism and reduce glucose absorption Induce cancer apoptosis (programmed cell death) in several cancer cell lines. Metabolize toxins and inhibit DNA damage. Inhibit inflammatory gene expression and reduce inflammation. Reduce capillary permeability and fragility and boost nitric oxide. Metabolize carcinogens.
So this is why I am interested in both blue corn and anthocyanins. See where I am headed now?
The Presidents' arteries, and what it means for you and yours.
George W had a positive stress test and received a stent to open up one (or was it more—we do not know) of his coronary (heart) arteries.
Was the stress test appropriate, and was the stent needed? Or could food choices have changed the need?
George W isn't the first President with arteries that show aging and plaque. Clinton's did. So did Reagan, and Ike and Harrison and Roosevelt's times two, and maybe every President. Just look at Obama's hair, or Bill C's heart arteries before he radically changed his diet and stress levels - or you can look at Ike or Harrison or - chose any President - it is a job laden with aging stress.
Inflammation is the way your body responds to a problem. Whether battling an infection or cancer, or healing from a bone fracture, your body needs to deliver powerful immune and repair cells to the impaired location through your bloodstream in order to fight and fix the problem.
Inflammation is really designed to be an acute process that gets in and out quickly. The longer the immune and repair cells stay in a location, the greater the chance they'll actually cause damage to surrounding healthy cells and tissues.
Chronic inflammation, simply put, is acute inflammation that did not resolve properly. The result is damage and disease. This is why we call chronic inflammation the common denominator of all age-related disorders.
As we've all noticed this Summer, heat waves are on the rise. But how can you beat the heat when you don’t have air conditioning?
When Summer Turns Sour
It’s the time of year you’ve all been waiting for, but then you get hit with that unbearable sticky, humid heat. It can leave you wondering if you should even dare to be outside. On nearly every newscast, reporters and health officials are encouraging us to stay indoors. That’s great for those who can rejoice in their AC, but what about those of us who don’t have AC?
Yes, it may come as a surprise to some that people do, in fact, live without AC.
I've been lucky enough that every place that I've ever lived has had it. But, I do distinctly remember visiting my brother and his (now) wife in Milwaukee last summer, during a brutal heat wave.
They don’t have AC, and I remember thinking to myself, "this is just awful. I will never take AC for granted again!"
But, other than nearly losing my mind a couple of times, I did learn some great tricks that allowed us live and to fall asleep, even when the thermometer rose above 100 degrees.
Fancy scientists call it adaption, or the survival of the fittest. We call it eating smart.
But whatever you call it, here are foods that help your body fight off those “endocrine disrupters” (thank you Tori) that we have been talking about on the show.
1. Cruciferous veggies: Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower Brussel sprouts and cabbage contain several powerful nutrients that detoxify bad estrogenic molecules. These nutrients include Indole-3 Acetate, Indole-3 Carbonyl and Diindolylmethane. These cruciferous veggies also contain sulfur containing nutrients such as Sulfuraphane and Phenyl Isothiocyanates that enhance liver detoxification processes and destroy cancer cell formation.
2. Healthy fat-rich foods: These are foods that are rich in saturated and omega-3 fatty acids. It includes plant based fats such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and avocados. Raw nuts (other than peanuts) and seeds contain anti-estrogenic plant sterols. Organic poultry, wild-caught salmon, wild game and 100% grass-fed beef are great for healthy hormone function.
3. Alium family: The aliums include garlic, onions, scallions, chives and leeks. These are all rich in sulfur-containing amino acids and the powerful flavone anti-oxidant quercetin that both help the liver detoxify at a higher level and reduce the production of estrogen.
I did a search on Google for weight loss, weight loss supplements and weight loss nutrients. You can only imagine how many web pages and products Google found. We’re talking millions of web pages and thousands of product pages. No kidding.
But here are my questions. Have we overly complicated weight loss and do we really need thousands of “miracle” fat burners? Well, I think we have complicated it too much and I don’t think we need thousands of products. Let me explain.
Last summer, we were worried about drought. Not so much this summer, as our rain dances seem to have worked, and many parts of the country have already had their fair share of storms (with more on the way).
Yet, with all the rain, moisture and flooding comes another problem: Ticks. Many news sources have reported that this year is expected to be a record breaking season for ticks. Lucky us!
If you live in an urban area, with plenty of concrete and skyscrapers, there isn’t much threat from this blood-sucking parasite. However, if you live in a more suburban or rural area, or plan on escaping the city to go camping or hiking, you'll need to be more vigilant. Ticks are usually most active from April until September and they can attach to you, your children, or your pets.
And ticks are no mere nuisance. They can be dangerous disease spreaders, especially when removed improperly.
Modifying traditional heart disease risk factors is not enough to protect your heart. Many Americans continue to suffer from heart attacks and stroke despite receiving a clean bill of health from their doctors. So what are we missing?
Traditional medicine modifies just 6 risk factors — obesity, smoking, high LDL-cholesterol, low HDL-cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood sugar. However, integrative and alternative doctors have come to recognize 11 additional risk factors.
Here are two additional risk factors to consider if you want to keep your heart healthy …