The Sugar Holiday

I’ve written a few posts on sugar (impact on brain health and public health efforts to decrease intake) and of course limiting sugar consumption is on my ten tips for well-being. Halloween kicks off the season of sugar- lasting until New Years Eve- with a bang; some estimating that the average US child eats 3…

Is Juice Good Fuel?

Juicing fruits and vegetables has been promoted as a way to improve health since the 1930s. Over the years this health trend has taken many forms, from juice fasts to green smoothies to cold pressed juices. But is it actually good for you? Juicing vs Smoothies The primary difference between juice and smoothies is the…

Go Nuts!

What Can Nuts Do For Your Health? A study published earlier this month in The Journal of American College of Cardiology supports the benefits of regularly consuming nuts for heart health. Nuts are included in most healthy dietary patterns- from Mediterranean to plant based and DASH– with health benefits for metabolism- aiding in blood sugar…

Pressured to Lower Blood Pressure

New recommendations from a coalition of leading public health groups lower target blood pressure for health maintenance to 130/80 mm Hg. As leaders in shaping recommendations for US healthcare, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology- key members of the coalition- support the “lower is better” approach to blood pressure. Currently, 45.6%…

Socialize Without Excess

The holiday season can be full of food focused social events; surrounding us with temptations and excess that may leave you feeling over-full, lethargic and unhealthy. Here’s a breakdown of how quickly a meal can become more than a days worth: There are some basic strategies you can employ in any social occasion to keep…

Alkaline Diets

Is your diet too acidic? Proponents of the alkaline diet believe that the answer is yes for the typical Western diet. The alkaline theory Certain foods stress the body’s pH balancing mechanisms,  causing damage to organs, cells, and bones resulting in disease and poor functioning. As with many health approaches, the alkaline diet claims to…

Move Your Mood

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The benefits are well known and seemingly never-ending. The CDC summarizes it well: Control your weight Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome Reduce your risk of some cancers Strengthen…

Diabetes Prevention: Food vs Pills

Last week I reviewed some research on lifestyle changes and cardiovascular disease. This week we turn to another major chronic illness in the US: diabetes. As with heart disease, treatment options include medicine and lifestyle- what you eat, how you move, how you sleep, and how you manage stress. First a few sobering statistics: 1…

Veg Out for Better Cholesterol

Studies consistently show vegetarians are less likely to develop chronic diseases that plague our nation: diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  But why is this the case? One way that many diseases develop is through changes in the compounds in our blood- namely sugar, insulin, and fat (cholesterol). In a recently published meta-analysis, (an evaluation of all…

Weight Gain and Menopause

A recent review of the science published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings shines a light on aging women’s health, in particular the influence of body weight on heart disease risk. What is the Issue? On average women gain 1 1/2 pounds per year in their 50s and 60s. This has resulted in high levels of overweight…

Befriending your Appetites

Last week’s blog explored intermittent dieting as a solution to the psychological and physiological resistance to long term dietary change. Today we’ll look at another approach that addresses the common struggle to maintain efforts at improving nutrition: becoming a connoisseur. Enjoy Your Food This may sound like a paradox: enjoying food more will help you…

Take a Break to Improve Weight Loss

Fact: 80% of people who lose at least 10% of their body weight will regain it. This is known as obesity rebound. Why does this happen? Theory #1 metabolic suppression: There is growing evidence that extended periods of caloric restriction (dieting) result in a prolonged reduction in metabolic rate. What this means is that the…