Healthy Meals

New study: blood pressure drops big time on low carb

Remember that toe-tapping reggae song “Pressure Drop” covered by groups like the Clash and the Specials? The lyrics repeated: “Pressure drop, oh pressure, oh yeah, pressure gonna drop on you…https://www.dietdoctor.com/new-study-blood-pressure-drops-big-time-on-low-carb

https://www.dietdoctor.com/new-study-blood-pressure-drops-big-time-on-low-carb
Fermin RedondoNew study: blood pressure drops big time on low carb
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Thousands of cancer diagnoses tied to a poor diet, study finds

FACTS: *1 in 6 deaths worldwide is due to cancer *40% of people in US will be diagnosed with cancer during their life.
An estimated 80,110 new cancer cases among adults 20 and older in the United States in 2015 were attributable simply to eating a poor diet, according to the study …
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/22/health/diet-cancer-risk-study/index.html

Fermin RedondoThousands of cancer diagnoses tied to a poor diet, study finds
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Life lessons from the native tribe with the healthiest hearts in the world

… On average, the Tsimane (Bolivian native tribe) take about 17,000 steps a day. While there is so much advice we all get about the optimal types of exercise — cardio, high-intensity interval training (aka HIIT), resistance training — those with the healthiest hearts in the world are constantly active but not intensely active. And they hardly ever sit…
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/health/bolivia-heart-disease-chasing-life-gupta/index.html

Fermin RedondoLife lessons from the native tribe with the healthiest hearts in the world
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Are you heavier or shorter than the average American?

BMI, a formula involving height and weight increased. In 2015-16, the average BMI was 29.1 for men and 29.6 for women. Both numbers have increased since 1999-2000 when they were 27.8 in men and 28.2 in women.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/20/health/us-average-height-weight-report/index.html

Fermin RedondoAre you heavier or shorter than the average American?
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Food security is the answer to a healthy weight

The government obsession in fixing poverty makes Americans too fat. Among the states, the prevalence of food insecurity ranged from 14.1% in Kansas to 24.9% in Alabama. South Carolina, had a prevalence of >20% according to the study done by the Borgen project.org.

Food insecure adults had a significantly higher incidence of obesity. Approximately 1 in 3 US adults are obese, and they are at increased risk of adverse health consequences, including premature death, coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Food insecurity implies a limited ability to secure adequate food due to insufficient household resources. They are more prevalent among low-income populations because:

  1. Individuals could overcompensate when food is readily available, and so the overall food intake is higher. Studies found that food expenditure and energy intake increased dramatically after food stamps are received. 
  2. In response to food shortage, the body increases its fat storage. When food is restricted periodically, not only there’s an increase in body fat, but also a decrease in lean body muscle mass, and a quicker weight gain. Weight cycling due to food insecurity could make the body use dietary energy more efficiently. 
  3. Energy-dense foods such as high in added sugar and fat, are often less expensive. Overconsumption of low-cost, energy-dense foods may result in higher energy intake and lead to obesity. Food insecurity correlates with low food expenditure, low fruit and vegetable consumption, and a less-healthy diet. 
  4. Food insecurity independent of socioeconomic status is also related to negative psychological consequences, such as anxiety and depression, these may also contribute to obesity.

Therefore to lower the prevalence of food insecurity for all adults that will help maintain a healthy and active life is to increase not only access to affordable healthy foods that is safe and nutritious but also include safe environments, adequate income, meaningful and valued social roles, secure housing, higher levels of education, and social support.

At Doctor for Life, our staff recognizes the importance of Food Security. Whether you, your child or your whole family want to embrace a healthy lifestyle, we can help. Doctor for Life has a full team dedicated to creating a doctor-guided, patient-centered program individualized to your needs. We address all aspects related to living a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition, exercise, behavior, and pharmacotherapy.

Work cited

  1. https://borgenproject.org/what-is-global-food-insecurity/
Cheryl SarmientoFood security is the answer to a healthy weight
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Good Reasons to Eat a Salad a Day

With the hot summer weather arriving quickly, a cool crisp salad can be the basis for a light and refreshing meal. They’re easy to make at home, and to order in a restaurant when dining out. And, with their multiple health benefits, consuming a serving of leafy greens each day can be one of the best habits to get into, summer or winter.

To get the most nutritional impact from your salads, let’s look at some of their benefits, what ingredients add extra dietary punch, and what to avoid to ensure that your dish stays nutritious and healthful.   Aside from their natural good taste and great crunchy texture alongside wonderful colors and fragrances, eating a large serving of fresh, raw vegetables each day can have significant health benefits.

It makes a substantial contribution to disease prevention, healthy weight and youthful energy – and who isn’t interested in a bit more energy and vitality?

Your leafy greens and raw veggies are a superb source of natural fiber, and consuming enough fiber each day has several health advantages:

  • Fiber helps to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
  • It helps to control blood sugar.
  • Adequate fiber intake helps with weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.
  • It normalizes bowel movements, and aids in the prevention of bowel disease.
  • Proper fiber intake has been shown to reduce the recurrence and prevention of a number of cancers including colorectal, breast, mouth, throat and esophagus (1).

The idea that fresh vegetables and fruits are essential to our good health and well-being isn’t anything we haven’t heard before, but it’s good to be reminded of it every so often. The following quote is from an article at the Harvard School of Public Health:

“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check” (2).

It’s important to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, in as many different colors as possible. Combining them in a salad is both easy and delicious! Loaded with vitamins and minerals, eating a salad a day will also increase the level of powerful antioxidants in your blood. 

The basis of any salad, leafy greens, offer a huge nutritional benefit. Among the best of the super greens group are: kale, spinach, beet greens, watercress and Romaine lettuce (3). For something a little different, try adding fresh dandelion greens and mizuna as well.

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables in the “red” family are of particular nutrition benefit. This includes produce with orange, purple, red and burgundy flesh. Some examples are tomatoes, red and orange peppers, carrots,strawberries, nectarines, peaches, plums, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and pomegranates.

Carotenoids are a class of compounds synthesized from the yellow, orange and red pigments of plants. This includes vitamin A and all its varied compound forms: beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All of these have substantiated positive effects, plus antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits within the body.

Eating a fiber-rich salad before your entree will help you to feel full faster, so you’ll consume less calories than you might when a meal is served without this appetizer. The more raw vegetables you can incorporate into your salad, the greater the potential positive effects will be.

Add a couple of tablespoons of mixed raw or roasted seeds like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and ground flax or chia to boost your daily intake of good fats. Experimenting with different kinds of oils in your dressings will help with this, too.

Slicing a quarter of an avocado and adding it to your greens will also give you a boost. These foods also help the body to absorb all of the protective compounds, phytochemicals, and lutein.

Adding a healthy fat to your salad via the dressing, or by adding healthy raw nuts or avocado will also make it more filling, as fats are among the most satiating.

Low vitamin K levels have been linked with low bone mineral density in women. For healthy bone growth, a recommended full daily serving can be found in just 1 cup of watercress (100%), radicchio (120%) or spinach (170%).

The carotenoids found in the green leafies like spinach, Romaine and Red Lettuce help the eyes to adjust from bright to dark, and to filter out high intensity light levels, protecting them from the formation of damaging free radicals.

The nutrients found in spinach not only help to build strong bones, they also help to improve the performance of the mitochondria – little structures inside our cells that help to produce energy, as well as inform and power our muscles.

Romaine lettuce contains two key nutrients in significant levels that help to protect the heart muscle: folate and fiber. High levels of folate have been shown to assist in the prevention of stroke and cardiovascular disease (4).

The high levels of water found in salad veggies improves hydration in our bodies, which is necessary for youthful skin tone and various basic bodily functions.

You can give your salads an extra dose of antioxidants by making your own oil-based salad dressings and including power herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme, cilantro, dill, rosemary, oregano, garlic and lemon. Choose your favorite herb combos, mix with a healthy oil plus lemon juice or vinegar, and season to taste.

Adding fresh herbs goes a long way toward improving your nutrition, as many are densely packed with vitamins and various phytonutrients. Because these vitamins and phytonutrients are produced so intensely, they’re especially nutritionally dense – meaning they’re thermogenic, and may help to naturally increase your metabolism.

Adding sprouts to your salad is like turbo-charging the nutritional value of your veggies. And, if you want fresh and organic, they’re easy to grow at home, and economical as well.

Some of the popular choices for sprouting your own come from a variety of common grains, vegetables and nuts, such as:

  • Wheatgrass, which has good amounts of vitamins B, C and E.
  • Alfalfa, good for vitamins A, C, and K, with significant amounts of phytoestrogens.
  • Mung beans, with a nice protein count, fiber and vitamins A and C.
  • Pea shoots, rich in vitamins A and C, and folic acid from the B family, they offer some of the most significant protein levels in the sprout family. And, they taste like garden peas.
  • Lentils, since the sprouts contain over 25% protein.
  • Clover, high in isoflavones.
  • Broccoli, a noted source of the anti-cancer enzymesulphoraphane.
  • Sunflower, also offering significant levels of protein along with healthy fats and fatty acids, fiber and minerals.

If you’re planning to sprout some at home, pretty much any untreated, whole seeds will germinate if given the right environment, and most offer significant nutritional benefits.

Baby Greens

In general, leafy greens are highly nutritious because of the large variety of vitamins and minerals they have to offer. And they contain naturally occurring phytochemicals from plant compounds such as carotenoids, found in the leaves due to synthesis with sunlight.

Leaves that are exposed to the greatest amount of sunlight contain the highest amounts of these healthful compounds, such as beta carotene. And when plants are young, their form is loose, so all leaves receive equal amounts of light. This is opposed to mature plants, where only the outer leaves of heads of lettuce receive direct sunlight.

As these nutrition-packed phytochemicals have been shown to offer a range of potential benefits, including anti-cancer and cell protection properties, selecting baby greens provides the highest concentration of these important compounds.

Among baby greens, the young leaves of watercress, spinach and arugula contain the highest levels of potent phytochemicals and other nutrients.

Salad Mistakes to Avoid

The many potential health benefits of adding a salad to your daily diet can be quickly counteracted with the addition of certain cooked ingredients, and commercially produced additives.

Among the worst offenders are salad dressings, as they’re often loaded with high fructose corn syrup for flavor and processed trans fats to prolong shelf life. Low-fat dressings usually have increased sugar levels, with fructose added to compensate for the loss of flavor.

As excess fructose in your diet drives insulin and leptin resistance, major contributors to diabetes and other chronic diseases, it’s a good idea to avoid these added sugars when possible.

Make your own dressings instead, with a healthy oil, herbs and lemon or vinegar for a healthful condiment that will work with your salad, not against it. The healthy fats found in olive oil actually assist the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. Just don’t get carried away.

Another common “mistake” is the addition of cooked or processed foods to a salad. Ingredients such as deli meats (which contain high levels of preservatives and nitrates) full-fat cheeses, croutons, and salted or candied nuts all add flavor and texture, but they come with a price tag of calories, unhealthy fats and extra sugar. Use these ingredients sparingly to get the most out of your salad’s nutritional potential.

Protein for Salads

If your salad is going to be your main course, make it a balanced meal with the addition of some lean protein. Good quality protein sources for serving with your greens include tofu, eggs, tuna, salmon, prawns (or shrimp), nuts and seeds, lean chicken and turkey, as well as hard cheeses, cottage cheese and yogurt.

Kale

Kale is one of the super greens that packs a substantial nutritional wallop, but it can have a bitter taste. To take advantage of its many positive properties, try “massaging” your kale to soften it and remove the bitterness – this actually causes the kale to wilt, as its cellulose structure breaks down. It will soften, change color, and take on a silky texture, minus the bitterness… well worth the few minutes required.

At Doctor for Life, we believe adding high-quality plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to your diet can only be beneficial to your health in the long run.  We offer expert help here at Doctor for Life in getting you started on your Healthy Weight Lifestyle program.  Give us a call today to schedule your first step.  864-640-0009

Citations and Resources

(1) Mayo Clinic. “Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet.” http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983?pg=1

(2) Harvard School of Public Health, The Nutrition Source. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/

(3) Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids

(4) American Heart Association. “Stroke.” http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/33/5/1183.full

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Healthy Benefits of Eating Breakfast: The case for a healthy morning meal.

Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. Whether your goal is weight loss or simply to be healthy, it is imperative that you make eating breakfast a regular habit. The benefits are numerous, ranging from lower rates of diabetes to increased satiety and weight loss. 

When you skip your morning meal, you are telling your body that food may be hard to come by and that it should conserve energy. Thus, what happens is, is your metabolism slows and your body attempts to store fat.  

Fortunately, we are no longer attempting to survive in the wild and we have a plentiful source of food and calories. However, your body does not know this. By eating breakfast to start your day, you will jump-start your metabolism and be well on your way to reach your health goals.

But why is breakfast so important? Quite simply, eating breakfast supports good health.  Coming as it does after the day’s longest period without food, breakfast seems to influence metabolism more strongly than lunch or dinner. Failing to break your fast with a meal shortly after rising might strain your body, which could in theory lead to insulin resistance, and perhaps even other heart risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol problems

A healthy morning meal also appears to be helpful in maintaining a good body weight. It may be a coincidence, but the downward trend in breakfast consumption over the last 40 years has coincided with the surge in obesity rates over the same period. In contrast, breakfast eaters are about a third less likely to be overweight or obese, and tend to be more successful in maintaining weight loss after dieting. They also show greater restraint when it comes to impulse snacking and overeating at other meals.

A well-crafted breakfast should include lean protein, whole-grain carbohydrates, healthy fat, and fresh fruit. These components can be assembled to make a variety of quick and tasty meals, such as a serving of Greek yogurt topped with fresh berries and a handful of nuts; a whole-wheat English muffin spread with a dollop of peanut butter; or an egg scrambled in extra-virgin olive oil along with some spinach, mushrooms, or other vegetables.

As you can see, eating a healthy breakfast has numerous health benefits. If you are serious about your health and want to lose weight, it is important that you make regular breakfast consumption a regular aspect of your daily routine.

At Doctor for Life, we believe adding high-quality plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to your diet can only be beneficial to your health in the long run.  We offer expert help here at Doctor for Life in getting you started on your Healthy Weight Lifestyle program.  Give us a call today to schedule your first step.  864-640-0009

rfosterHealthy Benefits of Eating Breakfast: The case for a healthy morning meal.
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A healthy take on Easter Sunday lunch

HE IS RISEN! In celebration of the fact that our King rose from the dead and in welcoming the birth of spring take a look at these menu suggestions for Easter.  Since a lot of traditional Easter food is chocked full of sugar and various other unhealthful ingredients, here are some tasty Easter menu suggestions that will keep you on track with keto, and just about any other low-carb way of eating.

As you’re eating, remember to keep your body’s cues in mind. Eat just until you’re full, don’t gorge yourself no matter how yummy the food is. And just because we might recommend a lot below doesn’t mean you’re supposed to make all of it. The suggestions are here to give you ideas, so pick and choose and leave the rest.

Baked Ham- For the simplicity of the main event, check your local market and buy a previously cooked ham that is low in sugar content glaze. All you will have to do is warm, plate and serve saving time in the kitchen.

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Spicy Smoky Salmon Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 6 ounces smoked salmon ¼ cup low or no sugar mayonnaise
  • 2 ounces ⅓ fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce
  • dried dill, for garnish

Instructions

Cut all the eggs in half lengthwise. Pop out the yolks into a medium sized bowl. Mix together the remaining ingredients except the dill until well blended. Spoon the mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with dill.

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Garlic cauliflower mashed

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets and steamed until very soft
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. crushed garlic
  • 4 oz. cream cheese

Instructions

Steam the cauliflower until it’s very soft. Drain the cauliflower very well and blend it with the other ingredients until completely smooth (use a stick blender or food processor for ease). You may need to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula on occasion. Reheat if desired. Top with some melted butter and sprinkle with some dill weed.

Note: Be sure to drain the cauliflower very well so you don’t have cauliflower soup.

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Creamy & Crunchy Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 large broccoli crowns, chopped
  • 12 strips of bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups cheddar, grated
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp stevia extract powder

Instructions

Dump broccoli, bacon, onion, sunflower seeds, and cheddar into a large bowl. Stir mayo, sour cream, vinegar, and stevia together in a measuring cup to make the dressing. Pour over salad and stir to coat. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

rfosterA healthy take on Easter Sunday lunch
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What does eating healthy really mean?

If you want to practice healthy living every day, implementing tried-and-true health tips that help you live and cook healthier is a must.

While cooking your own meals is a good start to eating healthier, it doesn’t necessarily define “healthy.” To eat healthy, it’s all about understanding the foods that you eat and achieving a balanced meal.

We don’t like to omit anything entirely, because we believe that eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself in any way. Keep in mind, though, that everything is best eaten in moderation!

Also, remember that healthy doesn’t always mean low-cal, and in reverse, eating less calories does not make it healthy. By understanding the caloric value of the foods you eat, you will be able to get a better understanding of how to eat healthy, and in turn, achieve new health milestones.

At Doctor for Life we use the approach of evaluating the whole person: the family history, the medical history, current medical conditions, and evaluation of goals. Give us a call and get started on your Healthy Weight Lifestyle Journey and learn how to live a healthy life through healthy food. 864-640-0009

rfosterWhat does eating healthy really mean?
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