Dr. Robert Lustig has a new book out called “Fat Chance” that addresses the huge problems caused by excessive consumption of sugar, which is a real problem in this country. Watch this video and you’ll realize that you need to be very cognizant of how much sugar you are consuming. This is particularly important if you’re a parent.
The biggest issue involves hidden sugar in processed foods, like salad dressing, hamburger buns, BBQ sauce etc. It’s a labeling issue and an issue about government subsidies for the sugar and corn industries.
The New Scientist Magazine, September 3, 2012 issue explains the sugar-Alzheimer’s link as the condition by which our muscle, fat, and liver cells stop responding to insulin.
The cells no longer metabolize glucose properly thereby leading to insulin resistance or pre-diabetes.
This, then causes the pancreas to produce excess amounts of insulin even as excess glucose builds up in the blood causing insulin spikes which overwhelm the brain.
Insulin also regulates neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, which are crucial for memory and learning and is also important for the function and growth of blood vessels, which supply oxygen and glucose to the brain.
There’s also research tying brain dysfunction directly to excess sugar consumption. In a 2012 study, UCLA scientists fed rats a heavy ration of fructose (which makes up roughly a half of both table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup) and noted both insulin resistance and impaired brain function within six weeks. Interestingly, they found both insulin function and brain performance to improve in the sugar-fed rats when they were also fed omega-3 fatty acids. In other words, another quirk of the American diet, deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids, seems to make us more vulnerable to the onslaught of sweets.
Another facet of our diets, lots of cheap added fats, may also trigger insulin problems and brain dysfunction. New Scientist flags yet another recent study, this one from University of Washington researchers, finding that rats fed a high-fat diet for a year lost their ability to regulate insulin, developed diabetes, and showed signs of brain deterioration.
Government subsidies of corn and sugar have made these commodities incredibly inexpensive for the food industry which puts sweeteners in almost everything we eat.
This, at the same time Alzheimer’s costs $200 billion a year in health care alone.
Lack of exercise and an abundance of fat cells alter body chemistry and create an environment where fewer calories in cause more weight gain.
And obesity expert Matthew Gillman of the Harvard School of Public Health says the amount of physical activity kids participate in is key. “When you’re less physically active, you actually need fewer calories to maintain your weight,” he explains.
But if that weight is already higher than it should be, that could signal the beginning of a long-term problem.
“Once you become overweight, there are changes in your body that make you different from someone who’s not [overweight],” explains Sophia Yen of Stanford School of Medicine. “You have extra fat cells, and you have different insulin levels,” which can make it feel like you’re eating less than you are.
Being fit at at early age is crucial and tackling weight gain before it begins can provide a lifetime of good health.
Researchers at Stanford University help shed some light on this debate.
In this interview the most common questions are asked and answered to help you understand what you’re paying for and what you’re getting when you choose organic.
So if you ask people, they say that the two main reasons they eat organic food are because it’s nutritious, and because it’s good for the environment. But she also finds there are a whole bunch of emotional values that are tied up with eating organic food. So people who eat organic food tend to value altruism. They tend to value benevolence. They tend to value spirituality. And organic food has gotten wrapped up in all of these values that don’t necessarily have to do with the very specific things that science studies.
Cardiovascular health, lowered blood sugar and healthy weight maintenance are all benefits of polyphenols and antioxidants in red wine, however, research has shown that without the alcohol the benefits are just as effective if not more so.
Although there have been many studies on the impact of moderate drinking on health, the findings have been mixed, with some studies showing a benefit and others suggesting none. The new study found that 3 ounces of gin a day had no impact on blood pressure, while consumption of regular red wine led to a small, but not statistically significant, improvement.
The new study suggests that if you’re going to have a drink, red wine would be the healthiest choice, said Dr. Kelly Anne Spratt, a heart disease prevention specialist and a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chocolate has been lauded in the news for it’s health benefits.
Now a Swedish study has found that men, in particular, may benefit from the flavonoids in cocoa to ward off strokes.
The study, which was funded by a Swedish research council and published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, adds to the growing evidence that chocolate, or rather cocoa, has some heart-healthy properties.
Cocoa contains flavonoids, compounds that have been shown to lower blood pressure, increase “good” cholesterol (HDL) and improve the function of arteries.
Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, also may thin the blood and prevent clotting, which could help stave off heart attacks and strokes.
Although there are definite health benefits from chocolate, moderation, healthy diet and exercise work together to maintain optimal health.
The best vinegars contain the “mother” or the starter.
Prebiotics support the intestinal flora by providing nutrients and energy to good bacteria in the gut.
Preliminary evidence suggests that prebiotics can play a role in boosting the immune system, improving antibiotic-associated diarrhea, colitis and reducing irritable bowel problems.
1. Digestion and food poisoning. Vinegar contains malic acid, which can help common digestive issues like constipation or acid-reflux. And because it’s a trifecta of antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, a tablespoon or two in a 8 oz. glass of water may even help with a case of food poisoning.
2. Sleep issues. Many people swear by a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water with honey before bed, citing its sleep-inducing powers and that it promotes a more restful night’s sleep.
3. Diabetes. A 2007 study published in Diabetes Care, showed potential for apple cider vinegar as a tool to lower glucose levels. (Note that it can interfere with diabetes medication, if you are taking them. )
4. High cholesterol. Its high levels of pectin can help regulate blood pressure and lower cholesterol, showed a 2006 study done with rats.
5. Bones and teeth. Apple cider vinegar has the capacity to extract calcium from fruits, vegetables, and meat in your diet, thereby helping strengthen your bones and teeth.
6. Joint pain. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help provide pain-relief to neck, back, and shoulder joint pain (including arthritis).
7. Detox. High levels of potassium in the vinegar work like a clarifying tonic on the body, helping clear up sinus infections, candida, sore throats, and allergies. Some New Yorkers do a cleanse with it (and clean food) instead of juice.
8. Weight loss. It won’t replace eating well and exercise, but apple cider vinegar may help you feel full longer, and some natural-health experts say its enzymes and soluble fiber can aid in fat metabolism. A study done on mice showed that acetic acid (main component of the vinegar) slowed fat accumulation.
9. Summertime bug bites. It’s an antiseptic that can soothe bug bites and skin allergies almost instantly.
10. Beauty blemishes, burns, and bad hair days. When used as a toner, it helps curbs acne and blemishes with its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Add it to a bath for sunburn relief (about a cup) and rinse your hair with it for instant shine (a few tablespoons).
As expected, more of the women who got specific diet and nutrition counseling lost weight. But Gibbs and colleagues wanted to know what worked for any of the women who managed to lose weight, regardless of which group they were in.
Early on, some of the more obvious diet strategies worked — eating less fried food, staying away from restaurants, avoiding sweets and eating more fish. But these approaches didn’t work for the women in the long term, Gibbs reported in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“What we found at four years is that the women who changed their eating behaviors to eat more fruits and vegetables, who ate less desserts, less sugar-sweetened beverages and less meats and cheeses were more likely to have greater weight loss or less weight gain long term,” says Gibbs, an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Physical Activity.
Building lost muscle with weight training and avoiding sugar are probably the two biggest ways to jump start weight loss.
Regular exercise and a healthy eating along with good sleep habits contribute to well balanced hormones.
There is no quick fix. Real lifestyle changes are key.
This blog is for consumers of health care and medical services. Basically, it’s for everyone. For health issues you should always see a doctor or qualified medical professional - we are not dispensing medical advice. You should, however, be an educated consumer, so we offer information to help you start the process to become educated and to ask important questions. There are many excellent resources on the web, along with all sorts of conflicting opinions and advice. The key is to use a wide variety of resources to learn and access information, so you can ask the important questions when you are with your doctor or health professional.