A holistic approach to pediatric care in Frisco and Plano, Texas

Award winning, top rated Pediatrician serving Frisco, Plano, Allen and North Dallas


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The dangers of Salt

Most kids are getting too much salt. Although it’s commonplace to add salt (or sodium) to meals for seasoning purposes, many of us consume exorbitant amounts of it each day without even realizing it. The recommended amount of sodium intake per day for adults is 2-1.5 grams, equivalent to 6-5 grams of salt, which amounts to only one teaspoon per day, and the recommended amount for children up to the age of 9 is up to 1.2 g of sodium per day. It’s already known that there is a direct connection between high blood pressure, heart attacks and brain aneurysms, and the amount of salt intake per day, which makes the subject even more pressing. Therefore, we must become familiar with the various foods which contain high amounts of sodium.

Excessive salt intake can be dangerous for kids
Excessive salt intake can be dangerous

How much sodium are children and youth in the U.S. eating?

On average, kids ages 2 to 19 eat more than 3,100 mg sodium per day, about double the amount the American Heart Association recommends. The older children get, the more calories and sodium they tend to eat.

In the 2 to 19-year-old age group of boys and girls, boys 12 to 19 eat the most sodium — an average of 4,220 mg/day. Girls in the same age group eat about 2,950 mg/day.  

Where do kids get their sodium?

Children 6 to 18 get about:

  • 14 percent at breakfast
  • 31 percent at lunch 
  • 39 percent at dinner 
  • 16 percent at snack time 

Grocery store and restaurant foods make up 81 percent of the sodium they eat, which means it’s in their food from the get-go and they can’t take it out.

According to national data about Americans’ eating habits, these foods are the leading contributors to the sodium kids eat:
  • Pizza
  • Bread and rolls
  • Cold cuts and cured meats
  • Savory snacks (such as chips and pretzels)
  • Sandwiches (including burgers)
  • Cheese
  • Chicken patties, nuggets and tenders
  • Pasta mixed dishes (like spaghetti with sauce)
  • Mexican mixed dishes (like burritos and tacos)
  • Soup

Brands and restaurants make versions of the same foods with different sodium levels, and some options are even purposefully made with less sodium. You can make smarter choices about the foods you eat by comparing labels to pick the product with the lowest amount of sodium you can find.

How can too much sodium hurt my child’s health?

Eating too much sodium is associated with higher blood pressure in children and teens, and the effect is even greater if they’re overweight or obese. Kids with high-sodium diets are almost 40 percent more likely to have elevated blood pressure than kids with lower-sodium diets. 

There is a link between high blood pressure in childhood and high blood pressure in adulthood. High blood pressure in childhood is linked to early development of heart disease and risk for premature death. Kids with high-sodium diets are almost 40 percent more likely to have elevated blood pressure than kids with lower-sodium diets.  

Luckily, lowering blood pressure during childhood can help lower the risk for high blood pressure as an adult. And it can be as simple as helping them eat less sodium, which can help lower blood pressure in children and teens.

How can I help reduce the sodium my kids get?

Making sure your kids get less sodium today can help prevent heart disease tomorrow, especially for kids who are overweight and obese. 

1. Bread

One slice of bread usually contains 150 mg of sodium, and a pita or a decently sized baguette can easily contain twice that amount: If you usually eat grilled cheese for breakfast, a small sandwich at lunch, and a slice of bread with soup in the evening, along with other salty foods, you’re most probably going over the recommended daily intake of sodium. Try to cook dishes with whole grains such as quinoa, season them with herbs and avoid adding salt, which will help you reduce salt intake in general and bread in particular.

2. Sausages

The best way to fill a sandwich is with cold cuts such as salami or turkey, however, these tend to contain high amounts of sodium. In three ounces of turkey lunch meats contain 780 mg sodium, while in just one gram of salami (about 3 slices), there is 450 mg sodium. This is why you should avoid eating processed sausages as much as possible. Doing so will help you significantly cut back on your salt intake.

3. Muffins and other baked goods

It’s very tempting to go into a bakery and buy muffins or any other baked good, and enjoy its delicious taste, all without considering the amount of sodium they may contain. The tempting treats contain many calories, saturated fat, sugar, and some 570 mg of sodium, if not more. This is close to half the recommended daily amount, so opt for baking your own pastries.

4. Cereals

A great way to start the day is with a bowl of cereal, which is especially popular among young children and teens. Many kinds of cereal contain less than 200 mg of sodium per serving, but there are also quite a few that contain 300 mg per serving. You can easily avoid salt in the morning by making healthier whole grain meals, such as oatmeal, which has great taste and uncompromising quality.

5. Sauces

We often season our food with different sauces, whether it’s salad, hamburgers or sushi, while we don’t always pay attention to the high salt they contain. Sauces and condiments are actually at the top of the list of high-sodium food items. One tablespoon of barbecue sauce contains 175 mg of sodium, while the same amount of teriyaki sauce contains 690 mg sodium. Therefore, it is important that you choose low sodium options of the same sauces.

6. Instant meals

Many people that don’t have time slaving over a stove to make soup or stews from scratch often take a shortcut by pouring some hot water into a cup-o-noodles. However, by doing so, you are compromising the quality of the food. These high-speed meals contain high amounts of sodium, which is linked to heart disease and high blood pressure. Therefore, it’s important to critically examine the ingredients of those foods and soups. It should be noted that in a regular serving of chicken flavor cup-o-noodles, there is 1070 mg of sodium.

7. Pizza

We all love pizza – whether we eat it for lunch, dinner, or breakfast the next day, it’s simply delicious. However, it’s important to know that pizza contains various sources of salt, including tomato sauce, breadcrumbs and of course, cheese. It’s no wonder that pizza is a bomb of sodium waiting to explode and threaten our health if we do not know how to consume the right amount. In fact, only one slice of pizza contains 650 mg of sodium, before you add olives or any other added salt, not to mention that most of us eat more than one slice, which means that without even trying you can easily reach half of the recommended daily intake of sodium. Therefore, the next time you order one, be sure to eat as little sodium as possible that day.

8. Canned beans

While making soup, rice or a stew, a good way to enrich the dish with protein and fiber is by adding canned beans, because of the convenience it offers. The problem is that the same can of beans contains a large dose of sodium, but this can be fixed. All you have to do is rinse off the beans, reducing the amount of sodium on them, or you can buy a can of sodium-free or salt-free beans. However, it is always better to purchase dry, salt-free beans and cook them on your own.

9. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese, whether fat-free or regular, is a great source of protein, but when it comes to sodium, it’s something to be wary of. One cup of this cheese contains 920 mg of sodium, which is almost half of the recommended daily intake, so you should look for cottage cheese with no sodium or salt at all, and enrich its flavor by adding fresh or dry herbs.

Source: AHA & Others

Photo: by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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The power of Turmeric

Turmeric is a flowering plant, Curcuma longa of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the roots of which are used in cooking. Turmeric is a common spice that contains a chemical called curcumin, which might reduce swelling. But did you know that turmeric is actually roughly as potent as many kinds of medication?

Turmeric powder for better health, Super spice
Turmeric – a super spice

Lipitor/Atorvastatin (cholesterol medication)

A 2008 study revealed that a standardized preparation of curcuminoids from turmeric had very similar effects to atorvastatin (trade name Lipitor) when it came to treating endothelial dysfunction, a driver for atherosclerosis. It was also associated with reductions in oxidative stress and inflammation in type 2 diabetic patients.

It is also found effective against the buildup of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). Taking turmeric extract by mouth reduces markers of liver injury in people who have this condition. It also seems to help prevent the build-up of more fat in the liver.

Aspirin (blood thinner)

Research shows that curcumin has even more anti-platelet and prostacyclin modulating effects than aspirin. This goes to show that it could be useful to patients prone to vascular thrombosis, who often require anti-arthritis therapy.

Corticosteroids (steroid medications)

Numerous studies have found that turmeric can be just as effective as many kinds of steroids. One found that the curcumin found within turmeric compared favorably to steroids used to treat the inflammatory eye disease known as anterior uveitis. Other studies also found that chemicals found within turmeric are just as effective as steroidal drugs that tackle lung ischemia-reperfusion injuries and those that protect injuries caused by lung transplants.

Prozac/Fluoxetine & Imipramine (antidepressants)

A 2011 study that can be found in the journal Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica showed us that curcumin also compares favorably to both Imipramine as well as Prozac/Fluoxetine when it comes to tackling the root causes of depression.

Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Curcumin has also been found to be an effective alternative to a whole host of anti-inflammatory drugs. These include ibuprofen, aspirin, phenylbutazone, naproxen, sulindac, dexamethasone, celecoxib, indomethacin, diclofenac, and tamoxifen, particularly when it comes to exerting anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activity against tumor cells.

Oxaliplatin (a chemotherapy drug)

A 2007 study concluded that curcumin also compares favorably with oxaliplatin as an antiproliferative agent in colorectal cell lines, which is certainly good news for any patients who are undergoing chemotherapy.

Metformin (diabetes drug)

Curcumin has also been touted as being highly valuable in the treatment of diabetes. One study found that it suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression (which suppresses glucose production in the liver) in hepatoma cells, while simultaneously activating AMPK (which increases glucose uptake). What’s more, the researchers actually discovered that curcumin is between 500 and 100,000 times more powerful than metformin in activating AMPK and its downstream target acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC).

Allergy medicines

Taking turmeric by mouth seems to reduce hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion.

A note of caution:

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with TURMERIC

Turmeric might slow blood clotting. Taking turmeric along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Source: Internet & Other sources

Photo: by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Eat this, instead of that!

diverse little girls eating carrot while celebrating easter
A few minor changes to your dietary intake can make a tremendous impact on your health and well-being, and that is certainly some food for thought!

1) Eat Healthy Snacks instead of Junk Food – It seems as if junk food is everywhere we look. The supermarket shelves are stocked full of candies, potato chips, cakes, donuts and assorted baked goods. The grease, oil, refined sugar and saturated fats found in these foods are the major contributors of many unnecessary health problems.

You can still enjoy a quick snack and get the essential nutrition by replacing junk food with healthier alternatives. Fresh fruits, such as apples and oranges, make for excellent substitutes to candy bars. A handful of almonds replaces a bag of potato chips, baked potatoes replace French fries and skim or low fat milk replaces whole milk. You can also choose low fat frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit over ice cream. Snacking can still be fun after all.

2) Dried Herbs and Spices Instead of Salty Foods – A High daily intake of sodium can result in certain heart problems over time. Rather than adding salt to your meals, consider the healthier alternative of cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, clove, garlic, ginger, sage, parsley and basil. Not only will you be adding delicious flavors to your favorite dishes, you’ll also be limiting any risk of heart diseases in the future. Go ahead and spice things up!

3) Choose Whole Grains Over Refined Ones – Refined grains are consumed daily with nearly every meal. They are commonly found in white rice, white flour, white sugar and white breads. Cereals also contain large amounts of refined grains and tons of sugar.

The healthier solution here would be to replace the refined grains with whole grains. Substitute brown rice for white rice, whole grain bread over traditional white bread, and healthier bran cereals over the sugary variety of cereals. Oatmeal is an ideal replacement for refined cereal. Try cooking with quinoa and barley as well.

4) Eat More Cold-Water Fish and Less Red Meat – We all love our steaks and beef, but they also contain a high amount of saturated fats. Consuming a regular diet of red meat on a daily basis may increase the risk of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and strokes.

Cold-water fish, such as tuna, swordfish, whitefish, mackrel, salmon, anchovies, and trout all contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are the essential fats the body needs. Omega-3 helps combat depression, boosts memory production and greatly reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Fish can also be frozen for long periods of time, so it never goes to waste.

5) Add Avocados to Your Diet Instead of Mayonnaise or Jam – Mayonnaise is most commonly used while preparing sandwiches and in dips. Mayonnaise gives that dry turkey sandwich a bit of extra taste. Mayonnaise is also loaded with plenty of trans and saturated fats, which are very unhealthy for you.

Avocados are the healthy alternatives to mayonnaise. They contain over 25 essential nutrients which are all vital health components. These specific nutrients protect against cancer, prevent heart diseases and prevent bone diseases from occurring. Avocados are also the main ingredients used for making guacamole, which perfectly complements whole wheat tortilla chips.

6) Eliminate Butter with Extra Virgin Olive Oil – You can’t hear a frying pan sizzle without the sweet sound of butter being applied to it. Some of the most popular dishes are cooked exclusively with butter. Butter is delicious but extremely unhealthy. Butter significantly increases high cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart diseases.

Use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter to give your meals a solid dose of essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Olive oil can be substituted for butter when baking or cooking.

7) Go Organic! – What exactly does organic mean? Simply put organic means natural. Organic farming relies on the usage of natural fertilizers and pesticides, which do not contain harmful toxins.

Non-organic foods are generally exposed to harmful pesticides and other dangerous chemicals. So, the next time you’re outside fruit and vegetable shopping, consider visiting your local farmer’s market instead.

8) Drink Water Instead of Sugary Beverages – Soda contains high amounts of refined sugar with absolutely no nutritional values whatsoever. Sugar found in sodas and other sweetened drinks leads to fatigue, causes dental problems, triggers depression and can eventually lead to diabetes.

Avoid sugary beverages and drink water as often as possible. Water flushes out all the toxins in the body and helps to promote regular digestion. Filtered water is even better because it removes all chemicals found from the tap. Make sure you carry a bottle of water wherever you go.

9) Make the Switch from Regular Breakfast Cereals to Oats – Walk down any cereal aisle in the supermarket and you’ll be bombarded with a tremendous selection of unhealthy cereals that are loaded with refined sugars.

Cooked oats make for the best substitute for a healthy morning breakfast. You can add a pinch of cinnamon, brown sugar, chopped nuts or fresh fruit to give it a little extra flavoring. A healthy bowl of oatmeal can drastically reduce heart diseases, stabilize blood sugar, and lower cholesterol.

10) Drink Green Tea Instead of Coffee – Most people prefer to start their day with a cup of coffee. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee can be very difficult to resist. Coffee also carries a list of health problems that include; acid reflux, intestinal problems, heartburn, anxiety, nausea and can induce unwanted stress.

Green tea is the healthier hot beverage alternative from coffee and provides a quick caffeine boost as well. Green tea is a staple in Asian culture and served with nearly every meal. Green tea also contains powerful antioxidants which fight off diseases and lower the risk of cancer.

11) Replace Granola with Nuts – While granola may seem like an innocent yogurt topper, it’s almost always loaded with added sugar. To get the crunch you crave without the extra calories and sugar, top your yogurt with some nuts instead.

12) Swap Bagels for English Muffins – One bagel is equivalent to roughly four slices of nutrient-void white bread. Not only is this morning staple super caloric, but it’s also missing nutrients like fiber and protein to keep you energized through the morning.

13) Swap Bowl for Burrito – Depending on the size of the tortilla, a flour-based wrap could tack up to 470 calories and 98 grams of carbs on to your order. To get the flavor you crave—without overdoing it—opt for a bowl instead or choose a corn tortilla. Load it up with tons of veggies, go light on the rice, and choose salsa over sour cream to ensure a healthy meal.

Source: Internet & Other sources

Photo: by Eren Li on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Food to improve our immune system

flat lay photography of vegetable salad on plate
Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

Our immune system’s ability to fight disease depends on the food that we consume. The immune system and white blood cells work together to deal with various infections, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, and even treat cancer cells. The normal range of white blood cells in the body is 4,300 -10,800 cells per microliter of blood.

Below you will find the recommended nutrients and foods that can be used to improve the production of white blood cells:

Vitamin C

It is very important to include different vitamins in your daily diet, but vitamin C is the most important for increasing the production of white blood cells. Foods that include citrus, chili, broccoli and green and red peppers are rich in vitamin C, making them essential to your diet. Also, it should be noted that broccoli not only helps to increase white blood cells, it also contains many antioxidants thanks to its high vitamins A and E content.

Zinc

The consumption of zinc accelerates immune system function, which is linked to increased production of white blood cells. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency may increase the risk of infection, and other studies have found evidence that zinc intake of 75 mg or more per day may reduce the duration of a cold and also the severity of the symptoms associated with it. Natural food sources include beans, sunflower seeds, chicken, nuts, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, wheat grass, and spinach.

Folic acid

Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed to create and maintain new cells, and the consumption of this nutrient is especially important during periods of rapid cell division, such as during pregnancy or during the development and growth of infants. Vegetables such as spinach, turnips, peas, legumes and other fruits and vegetables are rich in folic acid, so it is recommended to add them to your regular weekly menu.

Selenium

The recommended daily amount of selenium for an adult is 55 micrograms, and a lack of this mineral may increase the chances of developing angina, myocardial infarction, and coronary heart disease. In addition, selenium can increase the production of white blood cells and can be found in beef, tuna, salmon, chicken, beans, and Brazil nuts.

Beta-carotene

This substance helps protect the thymus gland, which creates immune system cells. Foods that contain beta-carotene increase the production of white blood cells, and they have the ability to fight infections if you make sure to consume them daily. Daily consumption of this nutrient should range from 2 -7 mg per day and it can be found in fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, oranges, loquat, pumpkin, mangos and dark leafy green vegetables.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory substance that relieves both types of arthritis; Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, the main active ingredient is curcumin, which has proven its ability to reduce inflammation and fever, thanks to its positive effect on the proper functioning of white blood cells.

Kale

Just one cup of kale will give you all the vitamin A you need a day, which can help your body fight cancer cells. Also, kale increases the production of white blood cells and helps antibodies respond to invasive infections and even neutralize them.

Garlic

Garlic contains elements that stimulate the immune system. Furthermore, it has an impressive ability to fight infections, thanks to the large concentration of allicin, created by crushing fresh garlic cloves.

Prebiotic and Probiotic

A high-fiber plant-rich diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes appear to support the growth and maintenance of beneficial microbes. Certain helpful microbes break down fibers into short chain fatty acids, which have been shown to stimulate immune cell activity. These fibers are sometimes called prebiotics because they feed microbes. Therefore, a diet containing probiotic and prebiotic foods may be beneficial. Probiotic foods contain live helpful bacteria, and prebiotic foods contain fiber and oligosaccharides that feed and maintain healthy colonies of those bacteria.

  • Probiotic foods include kefir, yogurt with live active cultures, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, and miso.
  • Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, bananas, and seaweed. However, a more general rule is to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains for dietary prebiotics.

Green tea

Cell studies have shown that tea catechins such as those found in green tea can prevent flu and some cold viruses from replicating and can increase immune activity. Human trials are still limited.

Takeaway

  1. Eat a balanced diet with whole fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of water.
  2. Perform moderate exercise
  3. Sleep 7-9 hours every night
  4. Manage stress
  5. Wash your hands

Source: Internet & Other sources

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.

faceless woman with pill in teeth and nose piercing


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Metallic Taste in Your Mouth!

If your mouth constantly tastes like old pennies, you’re not alone. There are actually several different conditions that may cause this to arise, some of which are far less serious than others. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common causes for a metallic taste in your mouth.

1. Over-the-counter vitamins or medicines

Multivitamins that contain heavy metals (such as zinc, copper or chromium) or certain types of cold remedies (like zinc lozenges) can cause a metallic taste to develop in your mouth. Calcium or iron supplements can cause this too, as can prenatal vitamins. The taste will often go away as your body breaks down the vitamins or medicine. If it doesn’t, check your dosage to ensure you are not taking too much. Also if you lack vitamin B-12, your nerves might not function properly, and you might develop tinnitus or a metallic taste.

2. Infections

Certain kinds of infections, such as colds, sinusitis, and upper respiratory infections can alter your sense of taste. Such sensory changes are typically temporary and will usually go away as soon as you get better.

3. Poor oral hygiene

If you don’t brush your teeth and floss regularly, then you may end up with teeth and gum problems like gingivitis, periodontitis and certain kinds of tooth infections. These usually get better with a prescription from your dentist, with any metallic tastes leaving along with them.

4. Prescription drugs

These medicines include the gout medicine allopurinol, antibiotics such as tetracycline, lithium, used in the treatment of certain psychiatric conditions, and particular cardiac drugs. Certain drugs which cause your mouth to go dry may also be the cause, since they may be absorbed close to your taste buds.

5. Dementia

Persons with dementia often experience taste abnormalities. This is because there is a connection between the taste buds and the brain. As a result, taste abnormalities often arise when the part of the brain related to taste is not functioning properly.

6. Chemical exposure

If you find that you have been exposed to lead or mercury, such as through accidental inhalation, then you may find that you have a metallic taste in your mouth, which should be seen to by a professional.

7. Cancer treatment

A metallic taste in your mouth may also arise if you are being treated for cancer via radiation therapy or chemotherapy. This is a normal side effect and should not be anything to worry about.

8. Pregnancy

During some of the earliest stages of pregnancy, some expectant mothers find that their sense of taste has been altered drastically. One of those changes may be a metallic taste in the mouth. Consult your doctor if it is causing you any distress.

9. Hay Fever or allergic rhinitis

Hay fever can leave a metallic taste in your mouth due to inflamed nasal passages that disrupt your ability to taste.

10. Covid-19

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a strand of coronavirus discovered in late 2019. COVID-19 can cause a wide range of flu-like symptoms 2 to 14 days after exposure.

11. Pine nut syndrome

Pine nut syndrome is a rare reaction to pine nuts that begins 12 to 48 hours after eating them. It causes a bitter metallic taste in your mouth that can last up to a month.

Treating the underlying cause

  • Allergies are usually treated by making lifestyle changes to reduce contact with dust, mold, and other allergens. Non-drowsy antihistamines are available over the counter to help you manage your symptoms.
  • If you have a viral infection, such as a sinus infection or COVID-19, it’s important to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest to allow your body to recuperate. Nasal decongestants may help you improve your breathing. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories may help with body aches and pains.
  • If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, a fever over 103 degrees, or pressure in your chest, you should seek medical attention.
  • If your medication is causing your symptoms, a doctor may recommend changing your dose or the medication.

Source: Internet & Other sources

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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SAD: HOW OUR DIET HAS CHANGED IN THE LAST 20 YEARS

THE GOOD

Fat consumption is down

THE BAD
The world is also eating way more meat, cheese, milk, and sugar than we were just two decades ago — and less rice, cereal, and wheat.

Most of that protein is coming from animal sources. Wealthy countries — where people already eat too much protein — account for most of the increase.

THE UGLY

People are eating way less grain.

People are drinking way more alcohol and eating way more sugar.


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WHY I AM WARY OF SUPPLEMENTS?

1. Because they are virtually unregulated

2. The regulation lacks teeth

3. People are too eager to rush for a silver bullet than take the slow but sure road to better health.

· According to a new Harvard study today, as many as 11 supplements on the market contain the potentially dangerous ingredient. They were all available at popular retail stores and online, and are advertised as "all-natural."

· A similar study, carried out by the FDA in 2013, found BMPEA in 9 of 21 tested supplements, but no regulatory action was taken. No public warning was issued.

· Just this week, Human breast milk sold were found to be tainted with cow’s milk.

· In 2013, Researchers identified 27 supplements available for purchase online that were among 274 recalled during 2009-2012. Among sports enhancement or bodybuilding supplements, 85% of those purchased by the researchers remained adulterated with dangerous compounds, including anabolic steroids

· Any more recently, in Feb 2015, GNC, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens were accused of selling adulterated ‘herbals’. The investigators tested 24 products claiming to be seven different types of herb — Echinacea, garlic, gingko biloba, ginseng, saw palmetto, St. John’s wort and valerian root. All but five of the products contained DNA that was either unrecognizable or from a plant other than what the product claimed to be.

Still not Convinced?

Here are more from Medscape

So, What should a consumer do?

From FDA: consumers should heed these potential warning signs of tainted products marketed as dietary supplements.

  • Products claiming to be alternatives to FDA-approved drugs or to have effects similar to prescription drugs.
  • Products claiming to be a legal alternative to anabolic steroids.
  • Products that are marketed primarily in a foreign language or those that are marketed through mass e-mails.
  • Products that provide warnings about testing positive in performance enhancement drug tests.

Generally, if you are using or considering using any product marketed as a dietary supplement, FDA suggests that you

  • check with your health care professional or a registered dietician on any nutrients you may need in addition to your regular diet
  • ask yourself: Does it sound too good to be true?
  • Be cautious if the claims for the product seem exaggerated or unrealistic
  • Watch out for extreme claims—for example, "quick and effective," "cure-all;" "can treat or cure diseases; or "totally safe"
  • Be skeptical about anecdotal information from personal “testimonials” about incredible benefits or results obtained from using a product
  • ask your health care professional for help distinguishing between reliable and questionable information


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BREAKING NEWS: DEATH FROM BLUEBELL

Texas grocery chain H-E-B is pulling Blue Bell Ice Cream from shelves as a precaution after a recall of some of the ice cream maker’s products that were connected to three deaths in Kansas.

Blue Bell on Friday suspended operations at its Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, plant that officials previously had connected to contaminated ice cream. The company recalled products there and at a Texas plant that’s been linked to a food borne illness connected to three deaths.

Clear out your freezer of Blue Bells for a while.


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BET YOU DID NOT KNOW THESE ABOUT FRUITS AND VEGGIES?

We love fruits in our home. But here are some cool facts about fruits and veggies that you should know:

a) Some fruits and veggies don’t go well with medication. (for example: Never mix grapefruits with cholesterol medications)

b) In many fruits and veggies, such as carrots, apples, and cucumbers, a high percentage of the nutrition is actually stored in the skin. This means that when you peel it off, you’re actually peeling away nutritious benefits. Make sure to wash your fruits and vegetables well before eating them and you’ll get used to eating them with the peel in no time.

c) All fruits and all vegetables are low in calories, this is why you hear nutrition professionals and doctors tell you to eat them for snacks. But be careful. Eat fruits with the fiber. Don’t make it into a fuit juice, which just extracts the sugar and eliminates the good fiber from the diet. A single fruit is about 125 grams on average; where ¼ of it is only water.

d) Calorie for calorie, there is more protein in broccoli than there is in an average steak, and with no saturated and trans fats or cholesterol, you can get all the protein you need with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease. So if you are trying to grow and strengthen your muscles, broccoli is the food for you.

e) The skin of the fruit can be better than the fruit itself. Orange peels have over four times the amount of fiber then the actual fruit, and contain more antioxidants than the "flesh" inside. Grate up the skin, add cheese and make into an orange zest. You can use is to season all sorts of foods, add to baked goods or mix with your yogurt or cereals. Also, Oranges contain antioxidants that help fight the free radicals that damage and age our skin.

f) Peppers are good. While most people use them as a spice and not as a whole food, peppers (spicy ones in particular) can work wonders to promote the clotting of blood over wounds.

g) There are no negative calorie foods. While there are foods that have very few calories, you still only burn about 10% to 20% of their calorie intake. There is a metric called TEF (Thermal Effect of Food) that measures how many calories are used to digest food. Let’s take, for example, a stalk of celery that’s about 10 calories. While eating and digesting it you will burn about 2 calories, which means you still had an intake of 8 calories.

h) Eating an apple is a more reliable method of staying awake than consuming a cup of coffee. The natural sugar in an apple is more potent than the caffeine in coffee. If you’re finding yourself a little low on energy during the afternoon then consider eating an apple in the morning. Thanks to its high carbohydrate, vitamin, and mineral content, an apple can give you a steady supply of nutrition to help you stay energized all day.

i) Bananas is actually a herb. It has a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief. Because bananas are easy to digest and are very nutritious they are the first fruit offered to babies.

j) Lemons can kill bacteria-as they have high content of acid which makes them suitable for cleaning. Lime oil is useful to cool fevers. It can also stimulate and refresh a tired mind and helps with depression

k) An apple is a very refreshing tonic for oily skin. It makes an excellent remedy for fine wrinkles, cracked skin, itching and inflammation

l) Eating fresh figs during pregnancy helps from prolonged labor and weakness after childbirth. A half-cup of figs has as much calcium as a half-cup of milk.

m) They have tons of fiber. It can help keep your bowel movements regular, help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, and help you feel fuller for longer.

Enjoy.

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Food and PH level

“pH” stands for power of hydrogen. It is a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in the body. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 considered to be neutral. A pH level lower than 7 is considered acidic and pH levels greater than 7 are basic (or alkaline). The ideal pH in humans is slightly alkaline (7.30 to 7.45).
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Eat Balanced food

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WHICH MILK IS THE BEST MILK?

Here’s a nutrient breakdown on the most popular choices per 8-ounce serving:

You were looking for a “MAGIC SILVER BULLET” weren’t you?

Look at the chart above. All have their + and -.

When choosing a "milk", a lot of it comes down to a taste preference — which varies from person to person.

If you don’t have any allergies, then any of them can be included in a healthy diet.

Look out for protein, added sugar and saturated fat.


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RESEARCH NEWS: DIET SODA INCREASES BELLY FAT

The trend among obese kids is to drink diet colas.

The new study, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, set out to determine whether there was any connection between diet soda consumption and Belly Fat. The researchers followed 750 European-American and Mexican-American people over the age of 65 for almost 10 years.

It turned out that people who drank the most diet soda (at least one drink per day) had a much steeper rise in waist circumference over the years than those who didn’t drink the stuff at all. After adjusting for other variables like smoking status, age, activity level, the results were still striking: Waist circumference increased 0.8 inches for “non-users” (that is, non-diet-soda-drinkers), 1.83 in for occasional users, and 3.16 inches for daily users.

WHY?

Artificial sweeteners may shift the assortment of friendly bacteria in the gut. A study last fall found altered ratios of gut bacteria (along with glucose intolerance) in both mice and men after drinking artificially sweetened drinks for a week. Gut bacteria are well known to affect how we digest and metabolize food, and if their ideal ratios are altered in any way, this may pave the way for overweight and obesity.

Last month a highly publicized study suggested the caramel color in some sodas, 4-methylimidazole, was found in amounts sufficient to increase our cancer risk, prompting the authors to call for federal regulation.

REMEMBER

Diet product doesn’t mean being consequence-free!

Source: Forbes & Others