Nutrition Articles

Low-Carb, High-Protein Diets

One of the most popular question patients ask us in our clinical practice is, "What do you think about the Atkins Diet?" We would like to restate the question and give a response that, hopefully, puts some of the hype into perspective. First, clear definitions are important when asking and answering this question. There is a wide spectrum of low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets ranging from the literal Atkins diet as prescribed, to the eating pattern recommended for diabetics, who need to be especially careful about foods that affect their blood sugar (primarily carbohydrates). Other choices include Protein Power, Sugarbusters, The Zone, and the many variations of these specific plans that people adapt for themselves in the process of making a diet work for them. The major advantage of a low-carbohydrate/high-protein diet is that it eliminates, or at least severely restricts, refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates (such as white bread, white rice, white pasta, most crackers, tonic, sweets, jams and jellies) give you a sugar jolt. By reducing these types of carbohydrates, the blood sugar and insulin levels can be better controlled. In addition, there are other potential health benefits, such as weight loss and reduced blood-triglyceride levels. The down side to the carb-free or very-low-carb diets is that in eliminating all or most carbohydrates, you do so at the expense of some healthier carbs that are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains (such as brown rice, stoned ground whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta and the like). (Locked) More »

School Lunches

Working all morning at school burns up a lot of energy, so children need healthy lunches to refuel. Children also need lunch to provide enough energy and nutrients to keep healthy and grow as well as possible. Be sure you encourage your child to eat a nutritious lunch every day, either from the school cafeteria or brought in from home. However, just because the cafeteria offers healthy food or you pack a nutritious lunch for your child, doesn't mean your child will actually eat it. You must teach your child to make healthy choices. Remember to start by setting a good example at home with your own eating habits. More »

Ask the doctor: Microwave's impact on food

Microwave cooking is one of the least likely forms of cooking to damage nutrients. That’s because nutrients tend to break down the longer they’re being cooked, and microwave cooking takes less time than other forms of cooking. More »

Considering a vegetarian diet: Is meat-free really better?

Vegetarian diets may improve long-term health. Plant-based diets are associated with lower body mass index, a reduced risk of developing cancer, and a lower risk of death from all causes. To switch to a meat-free diet, one can start by trying a few meat-free dishes a week. It’s important to remember that the diet will consist of vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Instead of focusing on a large chunk of meat for protein and fat, vegetarians mix proteins, fats, and vegetables together. Meal ideas include stews, soups, and one-pot meals with beans and whole grains and vegetables. (Locked) More »

Flavonoids: The secret to health benefits of drinking black and green tea?

Black and green tea contain flavonoids, which are beneficial plant chemicals that may lower heart disease risk. Drinking tea may lead to modest drops in cholesterol, blood pressure, and other factors linked to heart problems. Flavonoids also help quell inflammation and thus may lower plaque buildup inside the heart’s arteries. While drinking tea in moderation is safe, evidence about the safety and efficacy of green tea extracts and supplements is limited. More »

Sugary drinks may raise levels of harmful blood fats

Sodas and other beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup may boost levels of harmful LDL cholesterol in the blood. Drinking the equivalent of just a can and a half per day of regular soda for two weeks may raise LDL into an unhealthy range. (Locked) More »

The importance of staying hydrated

To ward off dehydration, healthy people should get 30-to-50 ounces of water per day (about 1-to-1.5 liters), but not all at once. The kidneys lose some ability to eliminate water with age. It’s important to stay hydrated gradually, throughout the day. One can do that by drinking water or juices, and eating water-rich foods such as salads, fruit, and applesauce. An easy way to stay hydrated gradually is by getting fluids at meals, with medicine, and socially. (Locked) More »

Iron and your health

Fatigue is usually not related to a shortage of iron. In adults, iron deficiency is most common in women of childbearing age. Anemia caused by low iron does become more common with aging, affecting 10% or more of people 65 and older. This is sometimes caused by internal bleeding related to cancer or gastrointestinal disease. Most people can meet their daily iron needs from food. Red meat, poultry, eggs, and fish supply the most iron per serving. Plant foods also supply iron, but in a form that is harder for the body to absorb. People who eat few or no animal foods need to compensate by eating a larger amount of iron-rich plant foods, such as leafy greens, legumes, whole grains, and mushrooms. Foods fortified artificially with iron also help Americans to meet their iron needs. (Locked) More »

To lower stroke risk, be sure to get this B vitamin

People with high blood pressure should be sure they’re getting enough of the B vitamin folate in their diets, which may lower the risk of a stroke. The recommended daily intake of folate is 400 micrograms per day. Folate occurs naturally in many foods, but especially green leafy vegetables, beans, and citrus fruits. Most grain products (including wheat flour, cornmeal, pasta, and rice) are fortified with the synthetic version of the vitamin, known as folic acid. (Locked) More »