This little handmade chart shows the calories, fat and protein in each candy bar, AND the exercise we have to do to strip those calories back out!
To your health!
Some frightening stuff for Halloween! I owe this one to my friend Regina. But how appropriate for today with all of that Halloween candy we'll be passing out and munching on tonight.
This little handmade chart shows the calories, fat and protein in each candy bar, AND the exercise we have to do to strip those calories back out!
Halloween is great fun! Enjoy it -- in moderation! I think I'll have the Twix and the Kit Kats.
To your health!
This is sort of a ‘wrap up’ post on the health myths. In this post I am sharing several links to other sites and articles that provide additional information about what I have been writing about during the last couple of weeks.
There is a lot of bad or confusing information out there. Having the right information can help us to make better health decisions. The links below can offer good information that is easy to read, understand and apply to your daily routine.
About the Myths
Top 9 Fitness Myth – From WebMD
Myths About Exercise in Older Adults – from WebMD
16 Ridiculous Exercise Myths
If you want a quick overview on good vs. bad fats, either of the two articles below might be helpful
Good Fats, Bad Fats: How to Choose – a 10 side overview of the good and bad fats, from health.com
Dietary fats: Know Which Types to Choose – An easy to read article on this topic from Mayo Clinic
If you want a quick reference overview on fats and cholesterol, the article below is a good starting point.
Fats and Cholesterol – An article with five suggestions from the Harvard School of Public Health
There has been a lot said and written about diets and what is good and bad for you. The link below offers the most recent recommendations from the government. This was issued in 2010 and a new and updated version with new recommendation is due out next year. While most of the information is current, I will be interested to see if the new guidelines take into account the recent studies that indicate a lower level of carbs and higher levels of good fats in our diets.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans – From the US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services
In an earlier post, I mentioned that the 17 Day Diet and the Mediterranean Diet are both healthy diets. If you are interested in learning more about either of these, you can start with the sites below.
17 Day Diet – To get the book (But I’d review all of the free stuff before buying the book!)
A Review of the 17 Day Diet – an objective review of the diet by WebMD.
The 17 Day Diet Blog – This blog offers some free advice on the diet and also some products for purchase. I have purchased a recipe booklet from this site that has some great recipes. But if you google 17 Day Diet you can also find a bunch of free recipes and chat groups.
Mediterranean Diet for Beginners – This is just one of many diet books that follow the diet. Go to Amazon and browse around if you are interested. Also, there are a bunch of free recipes online if you google the diet.
A Review of the Mediterranean Diet – An objective review of the diet by Mayo Clinic.
A few Other Resources
The Grain Brain. This book by Dr. David Perlmutter challenges many of our long held assumptions about diet and how it can impact our health. You may not agree with all of his conclusions, but there is so much good information in this book that I am recommending it to everyone who is interested in getting control of their diet. You can also check out Dr. Perlmutter’s blog.
Dr. Joseph Mercola is another popular health writer. He has a blog with a lot of interesting and timely articles that is worth exploring. One of his best resources is his Food Facts page which lists the health benefits of many popular natural foods.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my Myths Series. Beginning Friday I will begin adding some healthy recipes and information about preparing for a healthy winter season.
To Your Health!
Don’t forget to check out my Specials page and definitely check it out this Wednesday morning!
Continuing in my series on the myths of weight loss, healthy eating and exercise, I will focus on three more myths that deal with exercise and weight loss.
Myth #5: Exercise will lead to quick weight loss
FACT: Exercise can help you to lose weight, but it will not be quick. While exercise has an immediate health benefit, the weight loss is usually not as immediate as most people hope. We have been conditioned to count calories and this leads many to oversimplify the “calories in” vs. “calories burned” relationship. We tend to think that whatever number of calories we burn in a workout will result in the same amount of weight loss. (In other words, if we burn 100 calories we should see a net 100 calorie reduction applied immediately. This is not the case. Here’s why. Imagine that your one hour workout is replacing sitting at your desk at work for an hour. Since you would have burned 60 calories by just sitting at your desk, the 100 calories that you burned working out instead is really a net calorie reduction of only 40 calories burned – since you would have burned the 60 doing what you always do. Of course, your workout will result in more than 100 burned calorie, but you get the idea of why the calorie burned is not a 1:1 calories in/calories burned situation when it comes to calculating your weight loss goals.)
In fact, the best way to lose weight and improve overall health is to follow a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly. Exercise alone will certainly give you important health benefits, but relying on only exercise to lose weight will likely give you disappointing weight loss results over the short-term. Does this mean you should skip the exercise in your weight loss plan? NO! Exercise has important health benefits such as improving heart and brain health and reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes, depression and a host of other ailments. Exercise is also a “Keystone Habit” which often leads to other good habits. Studies have shown that people who add regular exercise frequently embark on other “good” habits such as improving their diet or eating habits, reducing sugar, and quitting smoking – to name just a few.
Bottom line: Definitely exercise. If you want to lose weight faster, exercise and a healthy diet is your best approach.
Myth #6: Exercise takes a lot of time
FACT: Exercise does take time, but it doesn’t have to be an all-consuming activity. According to the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines for Americans (page 17 &18), adults should do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity activity. That’s just 21 minutes per day.
A recent study published in the Journal of Physiology (March 2010) reported that doing just 20 minutes per day of moderate exercise can have significant health benefits. Moderate exercise can be something as simple as walking or working in your garden. The key is to do it daily.
Of course, you can do more vigorous exercise and even do it for longer periods of time and gain additional health benefits. This more intense exercise will burn calories faster and result in quicker weight loss – especially if coupled with a good diet plan.
Whichever way you choose to exercise, follow the NIKE slogan: Just do it!
Myth #7: “No Pain, No Gain”
FACT: The truth is you should never feel pain while you are working out. Perhaps a bit of strain, but no actual pain. Pain is an indication that there is something not quite right about the exercise that you are doing. If you feel pain, stop before you injure yourself.
Your workouts should be challenging but not painful. Some minor soreness the day after a moderate or challenging workout is not uncommon. This is a normal response, especially if you are new to exercising. This muscle soreness is usually caused by very small tears in your muscle that occur as you exercise. These microscopic tears result in inflammation and soreness that may last a couple of days. The good news is that these muscle tears are an essential step in the process of building more muscle.
Bottom line: Pain during exercise is bad. Minor soreness after exercise is usually good.
If you want see other other myths not included here, check out one of these articles:
I hope that you have enjoyed reading about and thinking about some of the diet and exercise myths that I have covered over the past two weeks. If you are interested in going further in learning about these and other related health topics, check out my post next Monday. It will include about a dozen links to articles and other websites that contain information on these and related topics.
Also, check out my specials. And please feel free to share this information with your friends and family.
To your health.
FACT: Carbohydrates are one of the body’s main sources of energy and should be limited but not eliminated. Carbs generally fall into two broad categories: Simple carbs (sugars) and complex carbs (fiber and starches).
You already know that too much sugar is definitely bad for you for a bunch of reasons. That’s why it is a good idea to avoid the carbs that convert to sugar. Cakes, candy, sugary desserts, sweetened drinks, alcohol, and all those products made from refined grains that you buy in boxes should be limited in a healthy diet.
The good carbs primarily come from vegetables and fruits, which should figure prominently in any healthy diet.
So what kind of diet should you consider? I have been reading about diet a lot recently and it is amazing how many different opinions there are on this topic. I have already told you that I like the diet outlined in The 17 Day Diet. The Mediterranean Diet is another one that has been well-researched and provides many great health benefits and is worth considering, not just to lose weight but as an ongoing healthy lifestyle choice.
Recently the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on the effects of three popular diet strategies. Here is what they found.
Strategy 1: Low Fat/high carbohydrate diet (60% of calories from carbs, 20% from fat, 20% from protein)
Strategy 2: Low-glycemic diet (40% of calories from carbohydrates, 40% from fat, 20% from protein)
Strategy 3: Low Carbohydrate/high fat diet (10 of calories from carbs, 60% from fat, 30 % from protein)
The low carbohydrate/high fat diet had the best results. Those on the diet burned the most calories (lost the most weight!), resulted in the better insulin sensitivity, and had the best triglycerides score. And they lost an average of 10 pounds in 45 days.
The low fat/high carbohydrate diet performed the worst and resulted in changes in blood chemistry that left them more vulnerable to weight gain and other health issues. And it took this group 70 days (twice as long!) to lose 10 pounds.
Low Carb Does Not mean NO carb!
All carbs are not created equal. There has been a lot of recent research that shows both the value and the problems with carbs. Clearly, carbs are necessary for a healthy body – in moderation. The best carbs are found naturally in nature and should be found abundantly in our diets if we want to maintain or improve our health.
On the cautionary side, refined carbs should be limited. In fact, there is a good argument for limiting grains that convert to sugar and paying attention to the amount of fructose that you allow into your daily diet. (Even healthy fruit must be balanced.) If you want to read more on this subject, check out this low carb article by Dr. Joseph Mercola. He goes deeper into this topic and also includes a very helpful table that shows the amount of fructose in each kind of fruit. I was surprised by some of these!
To your health!
Check out the October Specials here!
FACT: Cholesterol is essential to your health. In fact, LDL, commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol, is actually good for you! I’ll tell you why in just a moment.
Cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) in particular, has been closely associated with coronary artery disease. However, recent studies are showing that it is oxidized LDL that is the real culprit in coronary artery disease. In addition, oxidized LDL is so damaged that it can no longer deliver cholesterol to your brain. Cholesterol is essential to healthy brain function. When LDL is reduced too much, the brain suffers and brain function is diminished.
How does LDL become damaged? The most common way that this damage occurs is through physical changes to the LDL caused by glucose. According to Dr. David Perlmutter, sugar molecules attach themselves to the LDL and change the LDL molecule’s shape, which decreases its usefulness while also increasing free radicals – which we all know are definitely not good for the brain. Research during the past decade indicates that oxidized LDL is a key factor in the development of atherosclerosis. So, LDL that is damaged is bad for the brain and bad for heart.
Since oxidized LDL is bad, then shouldn’t lowering the LDL provide positive results? Not necessarily. Cholesterol is actually one of the “good” fats that our bodies crave and need. If we lower it too much we may actually impair the effectiveness of our brain function. Here is just some of the good that cholesterol does for us:
So I should stop taking my cholesterol-lowering statin medicine, right? NO!! But you should talk to your doctor about getting the right balance of cholesterol in your body. Having cholesterol that is too low can obviously have a negative impact on your long-term health. But don’t take my word for it, get a copy of Grain Brain and read chapter 3 for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Then take to your doctor.
I don’t want to leave you hanging, but the next post will add information about how carbohydrates, sugars and refined grains ties into all of this. But if you can’t wait until Monday, you can check out this article by Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of two NY Times Best Selling books.
To your health!
FACT: According to David Perlmutter, MD, Author of Grain Brain, “Our bodies thrive when given “good fats”. Eliminating good fat actually can have a negative impact on both your brain and heart health.
That sounds odd, right? For as long as any of us can remember we have been told that fats are bad for us and should be reduced or avoided at all costs. But there are a host of recent studies that indicate that we have been traveling the wrong road when it comes to avoiding fats. In fact, fats are good for us and are a necessary part of a healthy diet. I’m not advocating that you binge on red meat and butter, but the truth is that our bodies need good fat in order to function properly.
Two studies that I think you might find interesting:
A 2012 Mayo Clinic study found that those people whose diets were highest in healthy fats were 42% less likely to have cognitive impairments that are the precursor to Alzheimer’s Disease. In fact, the study showed that those who had the highest consumption of healthy fat sources like chicken, fish and meat actually had reduced their risk level by 21 percent!
In 2007 the journal Neurology published a study that showed that regularly consuming healthy fish contributes to both heart and brain health. In fact, those who ate fish daily reduced their risk of developing the cognitive impairments that often are precursors for Alzheimer’s by 44% while those who never ate fish actually increased their risk by 37 percent! This positive effect is attributed to the high levels of Omega-3 fats found in fish.
Unfortunately, many of us fail to consume enough Omega-3s and instead consume too many Omega-6 fats. Although we need both Omega-3 and Omega-6, it has become clear that most of us are consuming way too much of the Omega-6 fats. Many scientists believe that a major reason for the high incidence of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, and some types of cancer is due to the significant imbalance between our intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
These Omega-6 fats are most commonly found in the vegetable oils that we use in preparing and cooking meals. The healthier Omega-3 fats are found in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, and marine plankton and fatty fish.
Our ancestors evolved while eating a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of about 1:1. A huge change in our dietary habits over the last few centuries has changed this ratio to about to 20:1 and this out of balance situation is what leads to many of our modern day health problems.
Which leads me to my main tip for today: Check your pantry for the oils that you are using and get rid of those that contain lots of Omega-6 and stock up instead on those with higher Omega-3s. Most oils have both Omega-6 and Omega-3. So the trick is to use those with the best (lowest) Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratios. Below is a partial list of the most common oils and the amount of Omega-6 and Omega-3 content in each. (Source: Grain Brain)
Oil Omega-6 Content Omega-3 Content
Canola 20% 9%
Corn 54% 0%
Cottonseed 50% 0%
Fish 0% 100%
Flaxseed 14% 57%
Peanut 32% 0%
Safflower 75% 0%
Sesame 42% 0%
Soybean 51% 7%
Sunflower 65% 0%
Walnut 52% 10%
A popular oil not included on this list is coconut oil. It is not an Omega-3, but is considered one of the better oils. I use it for cooking instead of the other oils. Not included on the above list is the ever-popular olive oil, which has a 13:1 Omegas ratio. While this oil has a worse ratio than flaxseed oil, it is often used in cooking because it has a higher smoke point (420 degrees) than flaxseed oil which has a much lower smoke point (225 degrees). Lastly, the also popular grape seed oil is not on the above list, you probably want to avoid it due to its high ratio of 676:1.
There is so much more info out there on the Omega-6/Omega-3 balance. If you are interested check out this article about Omega-3s or what the health author Cris Kresser has to say about Omega-6s making us sick.
When talking about fats the issue of cholesterol often comes up. Check out my post on Friday where I provide some interesting information about cholesterol that will shock you!
To your health!
Don't forget to check out the October Specials!
“Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!” You’ve seen this type of diet promise before. We all have. But the truth is that most diets that we read about fall more in the category of being a “fad diet” rather than a healthy diet. These fad diets might work well for a week or even a month. But eventually they fail us.
Fad diets are not the best way to lose weight and keep it off. The promise of quick weight loss is what draws us in. Often you are narrowly limited to a small group of foods and you have to follow the program rigidly. You may lose a few quick pounds, but staying with the program and keeping that weight off is difficult. Another problem with these types of diets is that they may cause more harm than good. Nutrients critical for a healthy body are often missing from these diets. In fact, following a diet of less than 800 calories per day for an extended period of time has been known to lead to serious heart problems.
So, what’s the answer? It’s really about healthy lifestyle habits. Healthy habits can help you to permanently lose weight. Here are three habits that will lead to a healthier, smaller you!
Make healthy food decisions. In general, your plate should be at least half full of vegetables and fruits. Including a smaller portion of a lean protein such as fish, chicken or turkey is also a good decision. Pay attention to the amount and type of carbs you are eating, favoring natural carbs rather than processed ones. (Look for a future post on healthy carbs in your diet.)
Pay attention to portions. You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. But you do need to make sure you don’t overeat. Limiting your portions is the first step to controlling eating habits. Some people starting diets will go so far as using a smaller plate and even using a scale to measure food portions. I don’t think you need to go to that extreme, but deciding on portions in advance is usually a good decision. Decide on your food portions and put only that much on your plate and avoid taking another helping.
Add exercise to your daily routine. Going to the gym or joining a boot camp are great. But that’s not for everyone. Studies have repeatedly shown that simple daily exercises such as walking can have a dramatic impact on both your health and weight. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day can produce significant health improvements. And the thirty minutes don’t even have to be all together. You can break it down into smaller intervals.
Research has shown that safe weight loss involves combining a healthy diet with appropriate physical activity. This approach is a little slower than the fad diets (about ½ to 2 pounds per week) but results in sustained weight loss.
You’re probably asking “but is there a safe diet that I can follow?” My personal answer is yes! I have known several people who have had successes with a recently popular diet that is not a fad. I have tried the diet and it does produce weight loss. It is healthy and easy to follow. But before I tell you the name of the diet I want to make sure you that you understand that I am just sharing information. I am not promoting this diet and I have no monetary interest in recommending it. I am just pointing to it as an example of a diet that is a lifestyle choice that promotes health and wellness. It was created by a medical doctor. He has written a book about it and has a bunch of people blogging about it and sharing recipes and ideas on line. His philosophy is that he wants people to be healthy and he encourages people to share the information.
The diet has a title that makes it sound like it might be a fad diet! Don’t let that fool you. It is based on the idea that until you attain your healthy goal weight, you should periodically modify your healthy food choices in order to shift your metabolism. The name of the diet is The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno. I am also including a link to one of the blogs that offers some free information and also some for sale. The My 17 dd blog is not associated with the author or the book but it does offer a few free things, including a free Quick Start Guide. Or just google 17 Day Diet and see what people are saying. Again, I am including this information as a starting point if you are looking for a healthy dieting option, but there are others that are also healthy and based on real nutritional science.
Check back on Monday for my next posting: Myth #2: You have to Avoid All Carbs
Don't forget to check out the October Special.
To your health!
Summer is over. Swimsuit season is behind us and the cooler weather is upon us. For some of us the kids or grandkids are back to school. Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner and the winter holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years are speeding towards us! If you’re anything like me, you are thinking about all that you wish you had gotten done in those dog days of summer. At the top of my list is always what I wish I had done more of to get or stay in shape.
In a lot of ways this was a good summer for me. For the last few years I have been on a mission to live a more healthy lifestyle, and this summer I made a few more tweaks to my lifestyle that have me feeling more energized and healthy. I learned about a diet that is healthy, easy to follow and is not a “Fad Diet” that messes up your metabolism or your normal lifestyle. While doing research on diet and weight loss for a client, I also learned about several diet and weight loss myths that cause us to make the wrong diet decisions. (I found that I was guilty of following two of them myself!)
My plan over the next few weeks is to use this blog page to share the Six Diet and Weight Loss Myths with you. I will also share a few recipes for healthy meal drinks, cleansing drinks, healthy snacks, and a few easy meal recipes. I will also tell you a little about a heathy diet that is easier to follow than any other diet I have seen.
If you are interested in these topics, look for new postings on Mondays and Fridays for the rest of October.
To your health!
Click here to check out the October Special.
Welcome to my Blog!
Thanks for checking out my blog. I have had a life-long interest in all things related to health and wellness, which is part of the reason I became a massage therapist. I am constantly on a mission to increase my knowledge and I like to share what I learn with others. My hope is that these posts will be interesting and provide you with information and tips that can improve your health. If I can ever answer a question or if you think you might benefit from therapeutic massage, please give me a call or send me a note.