Archive for June, 2016

The Real Mayo Clinic Diet

Monday, June 13th, 2016

 

diets_75._300x0For over thirty years, the Mayo Clinic has been combating the rumor that they recommend a version of a quick weight loss diet that touts the consumption of grapefruit, vegetables, fruits and unlimited portions of meat and fat. The clinic has repeatedly issued statements that the so-called ‘Mayo Clinic Diet’ did not originate at the Mayo Clinic and is not endorsed by them. In fact, they have gone so far as to state that it may be unhealthy for some people.

A visit to the Mayo Clinic web site will take you to the REAL Mayo Clinic diet, and their recommendations and guidance for weight loss that is healthy and permanent.

Summary:

dd1b8fa6299bb969fa4a75b77770a956Weight loss results from expending more calories than you consume. The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you use in your daily activities. The only way to achieve permanent weight loss is by adopting a balanced, healthy diet with portions that fit your lifestyle, and engage in regular physical activity.

The healthiest, most beneficial diet for you is one that takes your individuality into account. There is no ‘one perfect eating plan’ – not even one that will work for you ‘for the rest of your life’. Your body needs different things at different stages. Illnesses and allergies, high stress periods – all result in changing nutritional needs for your body.

Basic Recommendations: The Seven Basic Rules

1. Eat more fruit and vegetables.
2. Reduce intake of saturated fats and cholesterol
3. Cut back on sweets and salt
4. Drink alcohol in moderation, if you must drink at all
5. Learn to eat moderate portions of food
6. Control the number of calories you consume
7. Include physical activity in your daily activities

Specifics by Food Group

Carbohydrates

Carbs-in-Limited-AmountCarbs are the body’s main energy source. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes and dried beans and grains are a staple of the Mediterranean diet, where heart disease, diabetes and obesity are extremely low.

Recommendation: 45 to 65% of your daily calories should be from carbohydrates. Focus on the complex carbohydrates, milk and fruit, and keep your intake of sugar, white flour and candy low.

Cholesterol

Your body uses cholesterol to build and help cells function properly. Typically, our bodies make all the cholesterol needed, and additional cholesterol is deposited on the sides of arteries and organs. Cholesterol is found in meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products and seafood.

Recommendations:

Limit intake of cholesterol to no more than 300 milligrams daily

Fat

One of the most concentrated sources of energy—fat—has more calories than protein or carbohydrates. Your body needs it to absorb some vitamins and build healthy cells and neural pathways. The kind of fat is important, though. Trans and saturated fats (from red meats, among other things), can raise your cholesterol level and heighten your risk of heart attacks.

Recommendation:

Aim for 20 to 35% of daily calories from fat. Focus on vegetable oils, nuts and fish oils rather than most animal sources.

Fiber

main matka_Wariatka shutterstock_74724304Fiber is the bulky part of vegetables. There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Your body needs both. Fiber is derived from bran, oats, wheat, green vegetables, apples and other fruits.

Recommendations:

For women: 21 – 25 grams fiber daily
For men: 30 – 38 grams fiber daily

As you can see, the real Mayo Clinic diet emphasizes a balanced diet derived largely from complex carbohydrates, fresh vegetables, little meat, and careful choice of fat. They advocate slow, steady weight loss rather than quick, take-it-off-now methods, and strongly suggest that the best eating plans are those that can become the basis for a lifelong change in eating habits. Along with those general recommendations, the clinic’s Nutrition Center makes specific recommendations for each food group. Specifically:

Protein:

022Protein is an essential nutrient for nearly every system in the body. It’s contained in your skin, bones, muscles, blood, organs, hormones and enzymes. The major sources of dietary protein are meat, seafood, poultry, legumes, seeds and nuts.
Recommendations:

Between 10 and 35% of your daily caloric intake should be from protein-rich sources.

An Interesting Exercise

One of the contentions of the Mayo Clinic is that one-size fits all diets won’t work for everyone. One of the most helpful parts of their Nutrition Center is their Daily Calorie Calculator. A link on the home page will take you to a Healthy Diet Calculator that will help you calculate a personalized eating plan to help you lose weight.

Here’s an example of what your personalized plan could look like:

Subject: Female, 225 lbs, 5 ft 6″
Recommendations:

Daily calorie goal for weight loss: 1200 calories
Sweets and extras: up to 75 calories daily
Fats: 3 servings
Protein/Dairy: 3 servings
Carbohydrates: 4 servings
Fruits: 3 or more servings
Vegetables: 4 or more servings

Further links offer a sample menu at that calorie level, and specific recommendations that will help you lose weight.

Those tips include:

Increase the ratio of fruits and vegetables in meals
Experiment with new foods and combinations.
Start with a soup or salad.
Learn healthy cooking techniques.
Consider energy density of food.

Energy density?

The Mayo Clinic defines energy density as the number of calories in food vs. the amount of food. A sugary dessert may have extremely high energy density – in other words, a small serving provides a lot of calories. Consequently, it takes far more of that food to make your body feel full. Foods like broccoli have a much less energy density – 15 calories in a regular portion. You eat far less of it and feel full more quickly.

The basic recommendations made by the Mayo Clinic aren’t ground-breaking. They advocate sensible eating, low calories and increasing your physical activity. The suggestion to aim for 1-2 pounds lost per week is echoed by nearly every other medically noteworthy institute in the country. It’s a real diet – the real Mayo Clinic Diet.

The Low-Down On Diet Comparison

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

 

tumblr_m5sp6xCVWS1r8pingLow carbs and high protein is the way to lose weight, or so you’ll hear from one diet guru, and he has the testimonials to back it up. Low fat, lots of carbs and fresh fruits and veggies, says another – and he’s got the back up from satisfied users, too. A third swears that you need to count the amount of sugar; another tells you the enemy is white flour – if you want to lose real weight and keep it off, who do you listen to?

Take a look at the brief summaries below for a quick overview of the pros and cons of each of the popular types of diet plans.

Low Carb-Hi Protein Diets

sbd-food-listDiets like the Atkins, the South Beach and the Zone Diet all recommend restricted carbohydrates and allow liberal amounts of protein, including protein derived from animal sources. Generally, they limit the overall amount of carbohydrates, or teach you to differentiate between “good” and “bad” carbohydrates. Bad carbohydrates, which are forbidden, include white flour, white bread, and white sugar.

Pros: The diets all encourage learning healthy eating as part of losing weight. Deriving most of your daily calories from high fiber sources of carbs like leafy green vegetables and grains is generally considered the best diet for nutrition by the established medical community. The popularity of the diets makes it easy to find low-carb foods.

Cons: The allowance of eating all the protein and fats you like flies in the face of conventional medical wisdom. A diet high in saturated fats could lead to heart disease, diabetes, gout and other chronic health conditions. Following the diets’ cautions and advice to keep portions reasonable should mitigate that concern, though.

Weight Loss “Programs”

slim_fast_1Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, Weight Watchers, SlimFast and a number of other weight loss programs rely heavily on pre-packaged ‘diet’ foods. They incorporate professional coaching, social structure and reinforcement.

Pros: The professional coaching and nutritional benefits are a big plus, as are the reinforcement and support aspect of the diets. Meals and supplements are prepackaged in the right proportions, and if you stick to the diets and exercise as directed you will lose weight.

Cons: The weekly fees and cost of meals can be expensive. In addition, if you rely completely on the packaged foods, you miss out on the re-education of your eating habits, which is important to maintaining any weight lost.

The Real Mayo Clinic Diet

the-mayo-clinic-dietThis is not the diet that has circulated for the past thirty or more years and purported to have originated at the Mayo Clinic! The true Mayo Clinic’s nutrition and diet center recommends a healthy eating weight loss plan based on limiting fats, proteins and carbohydrates, counting calories and deriving most of the daily nutrition from vegetables, grains and fruit.

Pros: There’s no ‘diet’. Instead, you’re encouraged to take control of your eating. Portion control and sensible balance of nutrients are the cornerstones of a weight loss plan that takes weight off gradually, and helps you keep it off permanently.

Cons: It may be difficult to stay on the diet. Counting calories and portions can be difficult if you’re eating out or on the run.

There are many diets that promise to take weight off quickly and painlessly, without exercise or changing your eating habits. The three major variations of diets above all will result in 1-2 pounds of loss per week, which most doctors believe is the optimum way to lose weight for long lasting results.

The Low Glycemic Index Diet And Its Benefits For Diabetics

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

 

examples-of-low-vs-high-GI-foodsThe popular Low Glycemic Index Diet is certainly nothing new and is proven to work both as a weight loss plan and in controlling diabetes. An astounding number of Americans currently suffer from diabetes, a good majority of which experience symptoms due to improper weight management.

This Lower GI Diet is especially helpful to diabetics because it incorporates foods with a low Glycemic Index to control the amount of sugars and carbohydrates your body is forced to regulate. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or are looking to create a healthy lifestyle and manage your weight, speak with your primary physician about beginning a proper Glycemic Index Diet.

The best benefits of starting a Glycemic Index Diet for diabetics include:

The inclusion of some carbohydrates:

carbohydratesIndividuals with diabetes are severely discouraged from beginning a diet that restricts the intake of carbohydrates. Even though your carbohydrate level should be monitored since your body turns most carbs into sugar, every adult diet should include at least 130 grams of carbohydrates each day. These carbohydrates work as fuel for the body, providing you with much needed vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The controlling of your diabetes with a Glycemic Index Diet alone:

If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, usually associated as a major side effect from being obese, you may be able to control your condition without medications or injections. By carefully monitoring your Glycemic Index, you can work to control what food items your body must work to process. Since this diet only includes foods that can be successfully processed by a diabetic’s body, your body will not have to try to process foods that can be potentially harmful.

The quality foods included on the Glycemic Index Diet:

tumblr_inline_o3c4ytHWRp1u1ytiz_400The foods allowed on the Glycemic Index Diet are wholesome and healthy. Many fresh fruits and vegetables are included in the diet, as well as whole grains and lean meats. This diet will allow you to eat healthy, and therefore to lead a healthier lifestyle. Furthermore, many of your favorite foods are on the Glycemic Index Diet list, so you can still enjoy the occasional treat.

The prevention of other diseases:

The Low Glycemic Index Diet also affects the body in the prevention of other diseases besides diabetes. Many individuals at risk for heart disease should look into starting a Low Glycemic Index Diet to protect themselves against this deadly disease. Researchers have found that a Low Glycemic Index Diet works better against preventing heart disease than a traditional low fat diet, and it is much more effective than the popular low carbohydrate fad diets.

Before you begin any diet or lifestyle change, be sure to contact your primary care provider. Speaking with this professional individual will allow you to completely understand the correct way of beginning the diet and ensure the diet will work best for someone in your situation. Furthermore, you will want to address any potential medical problems that may result from beginning a Low Glycemic Index Diet to ensure that you will remain healthy while seeking to begin a better lifestyle.

Remember, the Low Glycemic Index Diet is not a typical diet. Instead it is a lifestyle change. Once you begin your trip down this road, you should strive to remain on the diet on a long term basis. If you are a diabetic, you may not be able to allow yourself binges on unhealthy foods without paying a costly penalty, so use this diet to your advantage in controlling your condition.

Weight Loss Helps Prevent Diabetes

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

 

ada08120013A two years ago (March 2015), the American Diabetes Association announced the findings of the comprehensive Diabetes Prevention Program. The DPP was conducted at over 25 medical centers nationwide and involved thousands of participants who volunteered to have their habits monitored and to follow dietary and exercise recommendations. All participants had been diagnosed with ‘pre-diabetes’, a condition where the blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet in diabetic ranges. Untreated, more than half of those people diagnosed with pre-diabetes will develop full-blown type 2 diabetes within a decade.

Yoga1-640x457For the study, the participants were divided into two groups. One half were given dietary recommendations. The other half got the same dietary recommendations, plus the recommendation to exercise at least 30 minutes daily, five times a week.

The results? Those who included daily exercise in their routines and followed the diet recommendations cut their risk of developing diabetes by 58%. The reason? Those who made the recommended changes in their lifestyle lost ‘a moderate amount’ of weight. Even more important, researchers found something that they didn’t expect. Those in the treatment group had a substantial chance of reducing their blood sugar level to normal, something that had been assumed was impossible.

Apparently, losing weight not only prevents a worsening of diabetes, it reverses the damage that obesity causes to the cells that produce insulin.

How much weight loss does it take to have an effect on the progression of diabetes? The key is in the definition of ‘a moderate weight loss’ – 5-7% of your body weight. In other words, depending on your boy weight, a loss of as little as 7-10 pounds can make a difference!

Weight-GainThe recommendations suggested by the American Diabetes Society for a healthy diet to prevent diabetes is an ideal diet for steady, gradual weight loss – the kind of weight loss that stays lost.

The diet includes the following suggested daily diet allowances:

  • Grain – 6-11 servings per day (Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta)
  • Vegetables – 3-5 servings per day
  • Fruits – 2-4 servings per day
  • Milk – 2-3 servings per day
  • Meat – 4-6 ounces per day (Meat, eggs, fish, dried beans, nuts and peanut butter)
  • Fats, Sweets, Alcohol – Occasional treats

(Recommendations for portions are based on gender and activity level. For instance, a sedentary 40 year old woman needs fewer portions than an active 25-year-old woman.)

Look familiar? It’s also the dietary recommendation for the Heart Healthy diet from the American Heart Association, and the recommendations from the USDA’s new MyPyramid. The results just keep coming in, but the message is clear: losing weight, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet can help prevent most major health problems. Why wait till you’re diagnosed? Start today – and it may never happen.

What There is to Know About Diet Pills?

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

 

Measure tape with diet pillsAccording to manufacturers, diet pills use natural ingredients capable of prolonging life and containing alcohol used in medication or flavoring. One thing’s for sure, never take diet pills as substitute for cutting calories without the doctor’s recommendation.

There are simple but important steps to be followed when taking diet pills:

1.Never crush diet pills to mix in drinks or soups. Take it whole with a full glass of water.
2.Diet pills causes a person to urinate more frequently due to its diuretic effect. This could lead to dehydration, thus, causing complications. As a pre-caution, it is best to drink eight glasses of water everyday while on diet pills.
3.Take only the recommended dosage. Taking more than required will not help you lose weight but increase the risk of side effects.
4.Heartbeat should be less than 86 beats per minute. Stop taking the pills if it reaches 90 or higher that is why regular checking of pulse is a must.
5.Always follow the instructions set by the dietician and/or doctor and not only rely on what’s enclosed in the box. Also diet pills will only work as expected if diet plan is being followed.
6.After three months, stop taking the diet pills. Common diet phenylpropanolamine is safe to use only up to sixteen weeks. Other studies show that it can cause health problems if taken under one month.

There are two kinds of diet pills; one is the prescription only diet pills and the over-the-counter diet pills.

phentramin-d-tablets-new-big2Prescription Diet Pills – are drugs regulated by the Food and Drug Administration agency which side effects are monitored, maybe advertised and prescribed under certain dosages. The most popular of these is Xenical, which is licensed for long-term use. However, this too has it’s own side effects, diarrhea, oily and unexpected fecal discharge are just some. Therefore, users are advised to take a low fat diet plan.

While Over-the-Counter Diet Pills are categorized as food substitute and are unregulated. Beware that these diet pills are not Federal authorities tested and may cause serious side effects up to and including death.

Aside from a dietician, local pharmacists can also help in determining the pills that are safe and not for each person’s case. Just be extra careful about the so-called “natural” or “organic” ingredients. Not everything that comes from a natural source is safe. One example is Ma Huang, which is a botanical source of ephedrine known as a stimulant and being studied for potential side effects.

Those who have or have a family history of prostate problems, thyroid disease, mental illness, high blood pressure, and heart problems should avoid taking diet supplements. The same applies to those who’ve had seizures or strokes. If someone is taking cold medicines, especially those with decongestants, diet pills should not be taken. Whether it be a prescription or an over-the-counter diet pill, the dangers are unvarying with other similar drugs which controls the brain to reduce appetite and includes chest pains, hair fall, fever, depression, and even impotence.

And as a general rule, don’t ever try to take diet drugs if pregnancy is suspected. Persons that are allergic to sulfites and tartrazine should also avoid taking diet pills. And those who are under 18 years or over 60 years of age should consult their doctor first prior to taking any dietary drugs, especially if they rely on over-the-counter stimulants used as a replacement for increase exercise.