Angela

Food Additives: Read the Label Part 2/10

Considering that a typical household in the USA spends 90% of their food budget on processed foods, we are exposed to a multitude of food additives that have negative health side effects.  Since Susan was cured by eliminating red dye # 40 from her diet–consider what ailments you could cure yourself of by eliminating your unknown nemesis?  The long term consequensces and cumulative effects could be your silent killer!

 

The top five food additives to avoid:

Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame is a high intensity sweeter that has hit the market at an alarming rate in food items entitled “diet” or “sugar-free”.  It is classified as a carcinogen and is highly neurotoxic!  Headaches, dizziness, confusion, migraines and seizures can all be caused from it.  Allergy and Asthma suffers should avoid it as well.  Check out the documentary Sweet World: A Poisoned World to learn more.

MSG

MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in many soups, salad dressings, chips, and frozen entrees.  Yes, it’s in a lot more than just Chinese food.  The real trick is that the FDA allows 20 other pseudonames for MSG to be used in package labeling!  MSG has the ability to affect neurological pathways in the brain and neutralize leptin’s (hormone that controls appetite) ability to tell our bodies to stop eating.  That’s why it’s virtually impossible to eat just one or two Cheetos!

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a highly refined sugar that is derived from the processing orf corn.  It is mainly used in prepackaged food.  Since these types of foods are the primary source of calories for most Americans, it is one of the greatest offenders!!!  HCFS contributes to weight gain more than any other substance.

Food Coloring

Food coloring is found in meats, soda, juices, and salad dressings.  It may contribute to behavior issues and play a significant reduction in a child’s ability to learn.  This may be while I had a 2 hour drag out protest from Emma last night when I told her it was bath time!  I caught her drinking a diet coke when I got home from work.  Ironically, most of the dyes used in our foods have been banned in most other countries including Norway, France, and Sweeden.

Trans fat

Trans fat is one of the most dangerous substances to consume.  It is used to enhance the shelf life of food products.  It is found in margarine (yep–still one molecule from plastic), chips, baked goods, and fast foods.  Trans fat increases LDL levels and lowers HDL (good cholesterol) increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, inflammation, and diabetes.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Weight Loss Comments Off on Food Additives: Read the Label Part 2/10

The Celebration Diet

Our friend Kate Chaplin has a charming book entitled “The Celebration Diet” that is a welcome addition to any plan to get healthy.  This blog embraces the mind, spirit, and body.  After all, how can your body be healthy when your mind is cluttered by stress and you start losing faith and spirit?  Kate offers some great ideas on how to center your mind to help improve your overall health!  You can purchase a copy at http://katechaplin.wordpress.com/  Here is an excerpt worth reading.  Thanks Kate for making a difference!

 

 

 

 

“Every January, I make a resolution to lose weight. The year starts with great progress; I am eating healthy and exercising. There are a few holidays and birthdays of long distance friends and relatives, but no parties or triple-layered chocolate cakes to dodge. Then BAMB! We are in February through June, otherwise known as my “weight gaining season”.

Valentine’s Day is the warm up. Some flowers and a few chocolates but I am still on track. What I do not realize is that the Ides of March are fast approaching. In which lies my father’s birthday and my birthday. Somewhere in March, there will be cake and ice cream. I think to myself, “It’s my birthday, I deserve a treat.”

No sooner do I reward myself than my anniversary approaches. “We have to celebrate our anniversary at a nice restaurant” I say. A few glasses of wine later the power to resist the sweets, fats and carbs are fading away.

May comes along with my husband, daughter, and brother’s birthday and they will definitely want cake and why not they each weigh a buck-twenty. Soon Mother’s Day approaches which inevitably will be a repeat of Valentine’s Day filled with flowers and candy. Before I know it, swimsuit season is upon us and I have gained at least ten pounds. It’s the celebrations that kill me. I knew I had discovered my Achilles heel and I had to come up with a way to celebrate without food”

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Green Living, Guest Blog, Humor, Nutrition, Uncategorized, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Deception in the Food Industry

Watch this little tidbit!  Very informative!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Diet, disease, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Father’s Day Anthem 2012

With Father’s Day approaching-I thought I might give a shout out to my own father! He may text and email me, however, I’m not sure he really knows how much I appreciate him! This man not only shaped my life, he formed my future. He is the influence that always said; “Make a career of what you love, be a professional so you don’t rely on anyone else to support you, and find a man who will always cherish you for being you.”  He also made me change a tire, check oil and tire pressure, and learn to drive a stick shift before I was allowed to ride in any car at sixteen years old! To my Dad on Father’s Day–I love you for being hard on me, making me tough, and telling me to mold my life out of reality!  I love you Dad!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet Leave a comment

Peanut Butter Myths

Thanks Kevin for this post!  Patients ask daily about peanut butter and you sum it up beautifully.

Peanut butter is a household staple in the typical American diet. It is most commonly used on bread, fruit, vegetables, and crackers as a convenient and “healthy” spread. However, is peanut butter actually healthy? The short answer is yes, with shades of grey.

Important Things to Consider

1. NEVER buy peanut butter with fully or partially hydrogenated oils. This “ingredient” is in about 90% of commonly consumed peanut butters and is an immediate red flag that should be avoided.

2. There should never be more than 2 ingredients in your product. Peanuts and salt (preferably no salt added is the best option). Look for products with one ingredient, peanuts.  If no products have just one ingredient than opt for the product with 2 ingredients, peanuts and salt.

3. Always buy natural peanut butter with the oil on top. Yes, it is a little bit inconvenient to stir, but this is peanut butter in its natural/unprocessed state.

4. Dont be duped by marketing slogans such as “reduced fat” or “smart balance”. The only thing you should be looking at is the ingredient list.

5. Numerous studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat nuts.

6. Peanut butter is full of vitamins, minerals, and potassium and a great source of protein and calories. With that being said, if you are watching your total calorie intake keep in mind 1 serving of peanut butter (2 tbsp) has ~200 calories.

7. According to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, people who eat a diet high in foods like olive oil, avocados, and peanut butter are more likely to lose weight and keep it off than people following a more regimented, lower-fat diet.

Which Products To Avoid

Any peanut butter with more than 2 ingredients such as hydrogenated oils.

What To Choose

Natural Peanut Butters With Oil On Top And Contains Less Than 2 Ingredients

Notice the ingredients.  Peanuts… That’s it!

or

Natural, Raw, Almond Butter

  • The same principle applies to almond butter. Look for products where the ingredients listed are just almonds. Any unnecessary oils, sugars, or salts, should tell you to avoid that particular product which has gone through more processing with artificial additives to increase taste and shelf life.

Conclusion

Yes peanut butter is healthy. I use natural peanut and almond butter on broccoli, celery, half an apple, or half a banana.  Peanut butter paired with a fruit or vegetable can make for a great snack or side dish. Where people start to run into trouble is when they start mixing peanut butter with sugary jams and processed bread. 99% of Jam is fake/artificial sugar and when you couple that with 25-45 grams of processed carbohydrates from bread the once “healthy” peanut butter it can be transformed into a sugar and carb loaded nightmare. But to answer the question of the article,YES, 1 serving of natural peanut butter or almond butter is healthy as long as you are mixing it with the right foods.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

The Superfood Chia

Chia seeds are a favorite superfood!  The word Chia comes from the Mayan language and means “Strength.”  I’ll say strength  is what this power food offers on all levels.  Recent reports show that after taking chia seeds for a few weeks, arthritis sufferers reported decrease symptoms.  The high concentration of Omega-3 helps to lubricate the joints similar to fish oil.  The Omega-3’s are converted to prostaglandins in the body which have anti-inflammatory qualities.  Another advantage is in the detox area.  Chia has a swelling action in the colon similar to psyllium which absorbs toxins.  Thus, it regulates bowels and cleanses the colon.   The seeds are loaded with antioxidants to fight that free radical cousin Joe. (see previous post -Free Radicals)  They contain 20% protein which is a higher percent then wheat or rice for all you that ask how to get good protein without eating a ton of meat.  Chia helps stabilize blood sugar and provides fiber, zinc, and phosphorus!  It’s a winner on all levels!!! 

For more information on Chia seeds —visit http://www.eatalkalinefoods.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Green Living, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Eat Alkaline Foods

Thanks to Tatiana for allowing AngelaMD to share this great article and site!

Learn What Fruit Stickers Mean

When buying food, we look at the label to make smarter choices. But when it comes to fruits and vegetables, and since they don’t have a label, the choosing becomes a little harder. Well, that little sticker on fruits or vegetables that don’t come in a package has a lot of useful information. It tells you whether they have been conventionally grown, or are organic, or if they have been genetically modified. This is important information if we keep in mind that 7 out of every 10 items in grocery store shelves contain genetically modified ingredients.

The little sticker is called PLU code which stands for Price Look Up Code. These codes have been in use since 1990, and there are over 1300 universal PLU codes assigned. But they all follow some general guidelines, here they are:

  • 4 digits and begin with a 3 or a 4:produce is conventionally grown. This means that this produce was been sprayed with weed killers and chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • 5-digits and start with an 8: produce was genetically engineered or genetically modified. This means the produce’s genes were genetically altered to produce bigger, or faster growing, or better looking produces. Needless to say, this process is detrimental to the produce, and very dangerous to your health. Read the 4 tips to avoid GMOto learn more.
  • 5-digits and start with a 9: produce was raised organically. These are produces that have not been treated with chemicals and that haven’t been genetically manipulated. These are the safest produces out there.

To me learning the meaning of those codes on the sticker was a great discovery, and I wanted to share this because I would dare to say that most people are not aware of this information.

The PLU system is administered by the International Federation for Produce Standards, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association.

To illustrate the code use, here is an example:

  • 3440: Conventionally grown Pomegranate
  • 83440: Genetically Modified (GMO) Pomegranate
  • 93440: Organically grown Pomegranate

As you can see, the last four number are the same in all three codes. The last four numbers refer to what kind of fruit or vegetable it is.

Fruit sticker Learn What Fruit Stickers MeanNow to review and keep in mind, if it starts with an 8, stay away from it, it is man made, or man messed around with to be more precise. These produces benefit only the pocket of the company producing them. Their nutritional value has been altered and very much diminished, and they pose serious health treats to you.

If possible, one should try to eat everything organic. But since this is not always possible for different reasons, it is good to keep in mind which produces are more prone to absorb chemicals and pesticides, and so are recommended to be eaten organic. These produces are called the “dirty dozen”, and are:

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Spinach, kale and collard greens
  9. Cherries
  10. Potatoes
  11. Grapes
  12. Lettuce

When buying those produces, try as possible to get them organic.

On the other hand, the 15 produces that are considered the “cleanest” and that could be bought conventional are:

  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mangoes
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi fruit
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Sweet onions

The reason why some products are safer than others to eat when grown conventionally is because these products do not absorb as much chemicals and pesticides, and so are not passing as many toxics to us as the “dirty” ones do.

I hope you liked the information presented, and I hope it will be of help the next time you go grocery shopping.

For more alkaline related articles visit  http://www.eatalkalinefoods.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Healthy Snacking –by Kevin Deeth

Kale chips are a healthy alternative to typical potato chips. They provide the same great taste and similar to all chips and snacks, most people find it very difficult to have just one. The great thing about kale chips is you can have more than a handful without stuffing yourself with empty calories from processed white flour or potatoes, unhealthy oils,  and salt.

Benefits Of Kale

  •  Kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, delicious flavor, and  is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
  • One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
  • Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K
  • Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
  • Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

Comparison Of Kale Chips With Other Popular Chips

Kale (1 ounce, 28 grams) 

  • Calories-15
  • Fat-0 grams
  • Fiber-2 grams
  • Sodium-12 grams
  • Carbs-3 grams
  • Protein-1 gram
  • Sugars-1 gram

Lays classic original (1 ounce, 28 grams)

  • Calories-150
  • Fat-10 grams
  • Fiber -1 gram
  • Sodium-180 grams
  • Carbs-15 grams
  • Protein-2 grams
  • Sugars-0 grams

Tostitos original tortilla chips (1 ounce, 28 grams)

  • Calories-140
  • Fat-7 grams
  • Fiber -1 gram
  • Sodium-120 grams
  • Carbs-18 grams
  • Protein-2 grams
  • Sugars-0 grams

How To Make them

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and put 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on baking sheet

2. Wash 1 head of kale and let it dry completely before putting it on the baking sheet.

3. Strip the kale from the stems into about 1-2 inch square pieces and rub in the oil from baking sheet. (Keep in mind kale will shrink when cooked.)

4. Lightly season with pepper and garlic powder

5. Cook for 20-25 minutes (Optional: Flip the kale halfway through)

6. Serve as you would chips, with or without the stems.

Conclusion

The nutritional comparison between kale chips and standard snack chips is a little bit ridiculous when you look at the calorie and carb difference alone.  Obviously when you take into account the processed ingredients involved in making generic chips the gap continues to widen. Yes, extra virgin olive oil will add some calories but it will also provide you with healthy fats that are a great alternative to the “vegetable oil” and “sunflower oil” found in generic chips. Anytime you can substitute natural ingredients/whole foods for processed/packaged foods is always a smart choice and will help you on your journey to achieve optimal body composition.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Guest Blog, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Fruit Truths

The Truth About Fruit

Fruits are a summer staple and excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Whether it’s the antioxidants from berries, the cold preventing properties of citrus fruits, or the hydration benefits of water based fruits like watermelon, each fruit has a unique set of benefits. The recommended daily amount of fruit  is dependent on total calorie intake but can lie anywhere between 3 and 7 servings. Here is an example of what you would be looking at to meet these requirements.

  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid oz.) 100% fruit juice
  • 1 medium fruit
  • 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit
Now Comes The Point Of This Article
With summer right around the corner, people start to become more concerned with their body image and composition. Being cognizant of  foods you are putting in your body is essential to a lean physique. Fruits are no exception. Believe it or not, too much fruit or the wrong fruits can lead to increased body fat due to an excess amount of sugar ( in the form of fructose and glucose). Especially for those that aren’t as active as they should be, (you know who you are) limiting carbohydrate and sugar intake is important to keeping body fat off.
What To Eat

Choose 3-4 low carb fruit servings
  • Berries– Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are a staple in my diet. They are loaded with antioxidants, provide a great source of fiber, have a low glycemic value, and taste great. Add 1/2 cup to your oatmeal or breakfast in the morning (1/2 cup)
  1. Calories- 42
  2. Carbs- 12 g
  3. Fat- 0g
  4. Protein- 1 g
  5. Sugar-8g
  • Grapefruit– Grapefruits  have high amounts of water content which helps boost metabolism as well as containing numerous antioxidants. Grapefruits have a low glycemic value and contain soluble fiber which will help fill you up while being low in calories. (1/2 medium grapefruit)
  1. Calories- 40
  2. Carbs- 9g
  3. Fat- 0g
  4. Protein- 1g
  5. Sugar-5g
  • Watermelon– One of the main health benefits of watermelon is its status as a powerful antioxidant, found in vitamins A and C. Watermelons are moderately high in sugar with a glycemic value of 72, but small amounts, especially after a workout can be part of a healthy diet.  (1 wedge- approximately 1/16 of the watermelon)
  1. Calories- 86
  2. Carbs- 22g
  3. Fat- 0g
  4. Protein- 2 g
  5. Sugar-18g
  • Kiwi– Kiwifruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, as one large kiwifruit contains about as much vitamin C as 6 oz of orange juice. They are also a very good source of vitamin K, and a good source of potassium and copper. (1 medium sized fruit)
  1. Calories- 46
  2. Carbs- 11 g
  3. Fat- 0g
  4. Protein- 1g
  5. Sugar-7 g
When To Eat Fruit
  • In the mornings-A low glycemic fruit in the morning before breakfast will kick-start your day with powerful antioxidants and soluble fiber that will keep you feeling full. The sugar in the fruit will be burned off throughout your daily activities and workout as well. NOT AT NIGHT.  A midnight snack is OK but don’t reach for the fruit and think it’s a healthy choice. Fruit digests out of the stomach in 20-30 minutes. If fruit is consumed at night, it will sit on top of the slower digesting foods and cause indigestion/excess fat storage.
  • Before a workout– A simple carb (fruit) 30-60 minutes before a workout  will be converted into glucose and used by the body as energy during your workout.
  • After a workout– A simple carbohydrate within  30 minutes after your workout will help restore glycogen levels and raise insulin levels which will help  muscle growth. This is the only time of the day when a high glycemic fruit is acceptable such as a ripe banana or a dried apricot. Make sure you don’t overdo it on portion size and try to pair the simple carb with a protein source for an optimal recovery source.
Have an orange. Not orange juice

Fruits are essential to a well-balanced diet. Like all food, moderation is key. Whenever possible, stay away from fruit juices as most contain artificial sweeteners and loads of added sugars. Fruits like apples, bananas, and dried fruits have high amounts of sugars and carbohydrates and should be timed appropriately around your workout. Eat fruits that you will give you the most bang for your buck. Things like berries, which are loaded with antioxidants but relatively low in calories, carbohydrates, and sugars will help contribute to an optimal diet and ideal body composition.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
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Depression–just a vitamin deficiency?

I do believe that it is this simple!  Frightening that we haven’t discovered this before the prozac revolution started!

 

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