Nutrition Articles

Stop the carb confusion

Unprocessed carbohydrates, such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are an important part of a healthy diet. One should avoid processed carbs, which are unhealthy, such as refined grains and sugar-sweetened treats and drinks. Eating too many carbs of any kind can lead to weight gain and its associated problems. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that healthy adults limit their consumption of carbs to between 45% and 65% of their daily calories. (Locked) More »

Add more nutrient-dense foods to your diet

For people who are not already eating a healthy diet, or are not eating enough healthy foods, nutrient-dense foods can help fill in the gaps. Nutrient-dense foods contain an abundance of nutrients and other healthful substances—vitamins and minerals, fiber, lean protein, and unsaturated fats—but are not excessive in calories. This is compared to foods of low nutrient density that are high in calories. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include leafy greens, whole grains, fruits, oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and vegetables. (Locked) More »

Can you eat your way to brain health?

The evidence is limited that specific foods help to enhance or protect brain function with aging or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The evidence is better that leading an overall heart-healthy lifestyle can help. That includes controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, eating a plant-based diet, and getting regular exercise. Two eating plans have been proved to enhance cardiovascular health and could possibly help the brain: the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. A new diet based on these is the Mediterranean–DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet. A study found people who ate a MIND diet were less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but the findings may be only coincidental and need to be confirmed to justify significant changes in a person’s diet. (Locked) More »

How to sneak in more dietary fiber

Most men should get 30 to 35 grams of fiber per day from food. Fiber improves nutrition, is linked to lower risk of heart disease and colon cancer, and prevents constipation. To increase dietary fiber, add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds to your usual diet. Add fiber gradually to prevent gas or bloating. (Locked) More »

Mediterranean diet: Good for your mind and your heart

A Mediterranean diet—enhanced with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts—may help improve memory and thinking skills in addition to preventing cardiovascular problems. The plant-based diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. The healthy fats and polyphenols provided by the diet help prevent oxidation and inflammation, which are harmful to blood vessels and the brain. (Locked) More »

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 »

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 »