Tag Archives: diet

The Non-Diet Diet

The Non-DietSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Come January first, many resolve to lose weight and exercise more days than not. For some, even the thought of dieting is depressing, especially those who have felt the effects of caloric deprivation in the past while diligently striving for permanent weight loss. But what if you could reach your body’s ideal or “set point” weight without feeling stressed, obsessed, deprived or excessively hungry? Could a better approach to weight management actually be a non-diet? What if we stopped all-consuming thoughts of what we can and cannot eat, and instead ate what we wanted when we wanted without guilt or shame? If that sounds like a radical concept, think of it as a healthy approach to eating based on intuitive eating principles. In other words, making peace with both your food and your body so you can stop obsessing and once again enjoy your food.

While not actually a new approach, intuitive eating may be particularly useful to chronic dieters, individuals whose dietary restrictions eventually lead to increased binging, an unhealthy relationship with food, lower self-esteem and ultimately, weight regain over time. It appears that weight regain is the typical long-term response to dieting rather than the exception. Yes, self-control matters, but not as much as one might expect. While willpower or self-control may play only a small role, there are theories as to why we regain the weight we struggled so hard to lose. One explanation holds that the body physiologically defends a genetically-based set weight. There is evidence for the idea that there is biological control of body weight at any given time. In our world of abundance, an intuitive lifestyle and mindfulness are preconditions for effective biological control and stable body weight.

We do know that calorie deprivation leads to changes in metabolism and hunger hormone regulation that can last for years, making it difficult to keep weight off. As well, caloric restriction can result in changes in cognitive and attentional functions that can lead dieters to become primarily focused on food. As compared to non-dieters, dieters feel hungrier due to a progressively more efficient metabolism, requiring a need to further reduce daily calories to continue to lose weight. Dieting is a common practice, especially among individuals who are persistently overconcerned with body shape and weight, and therefore restrict their food choices to achieve weight loss without success, or with temporary success and weight regain.

What is intuitive eating exactly? Basically, an intuitive eating approach consciously rejects the dieting mentality, allowing for a healthier, more authentic relationship with food. Some may think of this as a holistic approach that respects both physical and psychological wellbeing. Intuitive eating allows unconditional permission to eat and enjoy food, rejects the burden of chronic dieting, and advises listening to inner cues regarding hunger, satiety and satisfaction. Intuitive eating puts the spotlight on enjoying your food while tuning into your body’s health cues. While intuitive eating suggests you can eat what you like, it assumes that you respect your health and won’t see this as a green light to eat mainly non-nutritive processed and fast foods.

Although the intuitive eating approach doesn’t condemn any foods, those who eat mindfully know that the best way to support good health, fulfill hunger and maintain a feeling of satiety between meals is to eat whole foods containing fiber and protein. Ultra-processed foods high in unhealthy fats and added sugars should be eaten sparingly, but still without shame, to not overpower the normal hormone-driven fullness signals. Intuitive eating is meant to relieve the stress and guilt that often accompanies weight management. It rejects the diet mentality and honors hunger, fullness and health, allowing an intuitive eater to think of food as nourishment rather than the means to an end.

Those who truly progress toward better relationship with food find other ways to comfort and nurture themselves without appeasing their anxiety, boredom or loneliness by overeating. Leaving behind a preoccupation with thoughts of food, as well as an obsession with thinness, may be a difficult adjustment for some. After a few months of eating intuitively, many find they reach their natural set point weight, which may be higher or lower than imagined. Those who continue to take a respectful approach to nourishment tend to be less critical of their bodies, even with an increase in weight. Intuitive eaters report higher levels of overall satisfaction, as well as enhanced feelings of wellbeing and self-esteem.

An intuitive lifestyle means engaging in healthy behaviors yet having the freedom to enjoy that occasional slice of cheesecake without monitoring calories. The freedom to choose a natural healthy weight means that weight is most likely to be maintained. One does not need a perfect body to feel well, nor have a perfect diet to be healthy. Additionally, being physically active and taking note of how it good it feels to move the body shifts the focus towards the health benefits of exercise and away from the calorie burning effects. Minimizing weight loss as a motivating factor, encourages daily exercise simply for the energizing, strengthening and health benefits of movement. It appears that mindfulness and consistency over time are what really matter to long-term physical health and psychological wellbeing.

References:
Why do dieters regain weight? https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2018/05/calorie-deprivation.aspx
The big diet this year could be no diet at all. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/article-the-big-diet-this-year-could-be-no-diet-at-all/
What Is Intuitive Eating? https://benourished.org/intuitive-eating/
10 Principle of Intuitive Eating. https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/
A Point of References: Weight and the Concept of Set Point. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-gravity-weight/201506/point-reference-weight-and-the-concept-set-point
Metabolic assessment of female chronic dieters with either normal or low resting energy expenditures. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/71/6/1413/4729378
Is there evidence for a set point that regulates human body weight? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2990627/

Can Alzheimer’s Be Prevented?

AlzheimersPreventedJacquie Eubanks RN BSNPresently, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) tops five million. Unless an effective treatment is developed that number is expected to increase exponentially as the population ages. Increasing age is still the primary risk factor, and according to statistics, by the age of 82, the prevalence rises to 42 percent. Signs of late-onset AD often appear in a person’s mid-60’s, although researchers believe that damage to brain heath begins years earlier. AD is characterized by the accumulation of two types of protein in the brain, known as tangles, or tau, and amyloid-beta plaques. As well, there is also a loss of connections between brain nerve cells, known as neurons, that transmit messages within the brain, and from the brain to muscles and organs.

With AD, once healthy neurons stop functioning, brains cells begin to die off, and eventually the brain shrinks in size. While tangles and plaques are closely associated with AD, family history, genetics, inflammation, and vascular disease, as well as environmental and lifestyle factors may contribute. As with other chronic debilitating diseases, lifestyle habits are seen to play a major role in both contribution and prevention. Are there healthy lifestyle habits you can adopt to stave off or ameliorate Alzheimer’s Disease? Although science has yet to discover the cause or cure for AD, the National Institutes of Health suggests that modifiable risk factors may help protect cognition and mental activity.

Modifiable risk factors that appear to protect against AD are many and varied. These include mental activity to increase cognitive reserve, lifelong learning, physical activity, social engagement, wellness activities, healthy sleep, nutritious diet, omega-3 intake, mindfulness, optimism, and purpose in life. Risk factor prevention should target diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome; as well as high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and coronary heart and renal disease. Additional factors include systemic inflammation, sleep-disordered breathing, traumatic brain injury, and alcohol or tobacco use.

Sleep – Since many of us don’t prioritize sleep, most of us are just not getting enough of it. The perfect amount of sleep varies with age and by individual. However, seven to eight hours of sleep nightly appears to be sufficient to wake refreshed and energetic. Insufficient sleep is linked to chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression and cognitive decline. A recent study by Washington University researchers showed an association between disrupted sleep and higher levels of two AD associated proteins. Researchers found that just one night of disturbed sleep led to a 10 percent increase in amyloid beta. A full week of insufficient sleep showed an increase in the tau protein. While no one can confirm that regular quality sleep reduces AD risks, it does appear that those who are chronically sleep deprived may have increased levels of proteins associated with AD. The good news is that the negative effects of an occasional night of restless sleep may be reversed with good sleep habits.

Exercise – Convincing evidence shows that 30 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise three to four days each week may help prevent AD, or slow the progression in people who have symptoms. According to a recent UW-Madison study, those at a high genetic risk of AD who perform moderate-intensity activity, such as a brisk walk or run, are more likely to have healthy patterns of brain glucose metabolism. Dependent upon the type of exercise and its intensity, physical activity may lower AD risk by up to 65 percent by addressing underlying mechanisms, such as improved pulmonary function, increased cell survival and a proper inflammatory response.

Diet – While the Mediterranean diet and the MIND diet are often recommended for overall good health, a low carb, high fat, no sugar, no starch ketogenic diet has been shown to be of benefit in neurodegenerative disorders. A ketogenic diet, along with consumption of ketone-producing medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s), fights brain insulin resistance (type 3 diabetes) by helping to control blood glucose, calming inflammation, and enhancing insulin sensitivity. The diet helps to maintain energy levels by fueling the brain with ketones, a more concentrated and efficient energy source.

Diabetes – Those with diabetes and insulin resistance are at a higher risk of developing AD and other neurogenerative diseases. The relationship between diabetes and AD is so close that AD is now recognized as another form of diabetes referred to as type 3. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to produce sufficient insulin to properly regulate blood glucose. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can produce a normal amount of insulin, but the cells have become resistant or unresponsive to its action, resulting in insulin resistance. In type 3 diabetes, the brain has insulin deficiency, as in type 1, plus insulin resistance, as in type 2. Dysregulation of insulin results in an increased risk for cognitive impairment. The good news is that diabetes type 2 can often be reversed with weight loss, regular exercise and a proper diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Found in fish, algae, some plants, nut oils and supplements, omega-3’s play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Highly concentrated in the brain, research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and appear to be important for cognitive and behavioral function. Studies show an association between reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids and an increased risk of age-related cognitive decline or dementia.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other fine quality supplements to support brain and overall health:

Sleep AideSleep Aide by Vital Nutrients: This synergistic formula provides well-studied botanicals and melatonin to provide a safe, natural way to calm the central nervous system and encourage restful, restorative sleep. Independently tested to be gluten, wheat, soy, egg, sugar, heavy metal, and pesticide free.

 

M.C.T. Liquid ...M.C.T. Liquid by Douglas Laboratories®: This product supplies 100% structured lipids in a convenient liquid form. MCT oil aids in weight management and energy production. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy and artificial ingredient free formula.

 

Diabetter Advanced...Diabetter™ Advanced Glucose Support by Zahler: This product includes vitamins, minerals, and botanicals that work synergistically to help support and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Kosher formulation.

 

PGX DailyPGX® by Bioclinic Naturals: This clinically studied natural fiber complex supports healthy weight loss, reduces cravings, improves regularity, and helps to normalize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Gluten, wheat, and dairy free formulation.

 

Easy Swallow MinisEasy Swallow Minis by Wiley’s Finest™ Wild Alaskan Fish Oil: These easy swallow minis provide a concentrated and balanced dose of EPA and DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids. Manufactured at a family-owned and operated c-GMP facility, and sourced from sustainable Alaskan pollock or pacific whiting. Sugar, gluten, starch, yeast, wheat, dairy, artificial ingredients, nuts, shellfish, soy and corn free.

References:
Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/dont_underestimate_the_importance_of_sleep
Bad Sleep Found to Increase Alzheimer’s Related Brain Proteins. https://www.sciencealert.com/bad-sleep-may-increase-your-alzheimer-s-risk
Alzheimer’s disease study links brain health, physical activity. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170622103818.htm
What can you do to avoid Alzheimer’s disease? https://www.health.harvard.edu/alzheimers-and-dementia/what-can-you-do-to-avoid-alzheimers-disease
Alzheimer’s Prevention: A Summary of What We Know. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/884615
Ketones to combat Alzheimer’s disease. http://blogs.plos.org/neuro/2016/07/16/ketones-to-combat-alzheimers-disease/
Can omega-3 help prevent Alzheimer’s disease? Brain SPECT imaging shows possible link. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170519124034.htm
Omega-3 fatty acids. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids

 

 

Fight Chronic Inflammation with Nutrition

InflammationFoodJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The body’s truly amazing inflammatory response can be considered both a friend and a foe. Acute inflammation can begin within seconds of an injury or pathogenic invasion and involves an influx of white blood cells – the body’s first responders that seek to attack and destroy injurious pathogens and initiate the healing process. Once the threat is neutralized, anti-inflammatory compounds move in to complete the course of healing. An inflammatory response that turns on and off as needed signifies a healthy, well balanced immune system. Chronic inflammation happens when the body overcompensates, sending an inflammatory response to a perceived threat when an inflammatory response is not required, and leaving the immune response on high alert. This misguided and unfocused immune response can result in attacks on healthy cells and internal organs, opening the door for illness and disease. Unresolved, low-grade chronic inflammation is believed to be at the core of a wide range of chronic conditions.

While often symptomless until a loss of bodily function occurs, slow simmering chronic inflammation stokes the fires of a variety of conditions including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, depression, and unrelieved chronic pain, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Inflammation triggers can include genetics, obesity, chronic stress, poor nutrition, dysbiosis, allergens, pollution, a sedentary lifestyle, alcohol abuse and smoking. Because the Standard American Diet (SAD) relies heavily on processed and manufactured foods and refined sugar, flour and oils, many of us live in a pro-inflammatory state of health. Optimizing nutrition with anti-inflammatory foods, eliminating toxins, reducing stress, staying hydrated, exercising, and prioritizing sleep are all ways to rein in chronic inflammation.

Support for a normal inflammatory response remains at the center of a healthy, pain-free life. In addition to healthy lifestyle habits, one of the best ways to quell inflammation is through a nutrient dense diet. Studies have identified certain foods that can either inflame or douse the fires of uncontrolled chronic inflammation. Inflammatory foods to avoid include fried foods, soda, refined carbs, and red and processed meats. A steady diet of these foods burdens the body with free radicals and, in turn, can lead to a shortened lifespan. Gluten, dairy, soy and other known dietary irritants may also result in inflammation in those with sensitivities or allergies. Anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, tomatoes, berries, cherries and oranges. Along with Tulsi and Matcha teas, spices such as turmeric, rosemary, ginger, and cloves pack a powerful anti-inflammatory punch and are very effective at subduing the inflammatory response.

Given the proper nutrients, the body has the ability to put out the fires of inflammation. Dietary components can either trigger or prevent inflammation from taking hold in your body. Choosing the right foods may help reduce the risk of illness, and improve mood and overall quality of life, while choosing the wrong foods could accelerate inflammatory disease processes. When the body lacks essential and critical nutrients, it is unable to function properly and cannot keep inflammation in check.

To help reduce inflammation:

  • Focus on your diet. High-glycemic index foods, such as snack foods, refined carbs and sugar laden foods, raise inflammatory markers along with blood sugar. Avoiding fried foods is key to reducing free radical formation believed to be at the root of low-grade inflammation. Following a largely plant based diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, which has lots of veggies, fruits, fish, whole grains, healthy oils and moderate amounts of red wine, will provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which help to curb inflammation. The best advice is to eat real whole foods, especially foods high in antioxidants and phytonutrients.
  • Strive for a healthy weight. Excess body fat contributes to insulin resistance, which leads to high blood glucose levels known to cause inflammation that can damage blood vessels and organs. Keeping insulin levels low is key to preventing chronic inflammation.
  • Reduce your toxic burden that creates free radicals. As much as possible, switch to natural cleaning and beauty products to reduce toxic exposure. Choose organic fruits and veggies when you can. Foods such as garlic and onions help to detoxify the body. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts, help to maximize your phytonutrient intake and increase your body’s ability to detoxify.
  • Take a breather. High stress and anxiety levels increase inflammatory activity. Studies show that people who suffer from chronic stress or long-term anxiety also experience high levels of inflammation. Gentle exercise such as yoga or tai chi, mindful breathing and relaxation techniques can help to reduce stress, which in turn cools inflammation.
  • Seriously, get moving. Between commuting, working and TV watching, the average American sits for 10 hours or more each day. Research shows that this level of inactivity is not easily offset even for those who exercise an hour each day, have a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight. If you must sit for long periods of time, get up and move around for at least 5 minutes every hour. As often as possible, limit the amount of time you spend sitting.
  • Helpful nutritional supplements include omega-3 essential fatty acids, selenium and antioxidants. Omega-3’s fight overall inflammation and help reduce oxidative stress. Ginger and turmeric are great tasting spices that have strong anti-inflammatory properties. One often overlooked nutrient is the essential mineral selenium. Selenium, especially in combination with vitamin E, offers not only antioxidant protection but also supports thyroid and immune function.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products that support overall wellness, healthy aging and a healthy inflammatory response:

Celapro® by Metagenics®Celapro by Metagenics® – This highly concentrated blend of tissue protective phytonutrients includes D-limonene, curcumin, green tea extract and lycopene formulated to provide free radical protection and support healthy cellular aging and proper DNA replication. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Zyflamend Whole Body by New ChapterZyflamend Whole Body by New Chapter15% OFF This botanical formula provides a full spectrum of whole herbal extracts traditionally used to support a balanced whole body inflammatory response after exercise, relieve minor pain and soreness, and support movement and flexibility. Gluten free, Non-GMO, vegetarian formulation.

 

AntiOxidant Formula by Pure EncapsulationsAntiOxidant Formula by Pure Encapsulations – This formula offers a broad spectrum range of synergistic antioxidant nutrients to promote cellular health and enhance the body’s natural defenses against free radical damage in all bodily cells. Gluten free, soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

PGX Daily by Bioclinic NaturalsPGX Daily by Bioclinic Naturals – This clinically studied proprietary complex provides three high viscosity fibers to help normalize blood sugar levels, support balanced blood cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Gluten and dairy free formulation.

 

Phytoganix™ by Metagenics®Phytoganix™ by Metagenics® – This powdered formula provides a highly nutritious and diverse daily supply of phytonutrients from certified organic sources in support of good nutrition and overall wellness. Gluten free, vegetarian formulation.

 

References:
Inflammation: Causes, Symptoms & Anti-Inflammatory Diet. http://www.livescience.com/52344-inflammation.html
Reducing Whole Body Inflammation? http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401013/Reducing-Whole-Body-Inflammation.html
Put Out the Fires of Diabetes Inflammation. http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/put-out-the-fire-of-diabetes-inflammation/
A 3-Step Plan to Get Rid of Inflammation Naturally. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7079/a-3-step-plan-to-get-rid-of-inflammation-naturally.html
The Enemy Inside you. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/chronic-inflammation
10 things I Tell Anyone Who Wants to Fight Inflammation. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14686/10-things-i-tell-anyone-who-wants-to-fight-inflammation.html