Tag Archives: diet

Mayo Clinic Minute: Putting pen to paper to lose pounds

a woman's hand on a journal near a tray of oranges and juiceIf you’re trying to lose weight, a food diary can be an valuable tool. Logging what and how much you eat can reveal forgotten calories and hidden patterns that may be thwarting your work to trim extra pounds.

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, psychologist Dr. Karen Grothe explains how even a simple pen-and-paper diary can offer important information. Jeff Olsen reports.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:06) is in the downloads. Read the script.

Nutrition News: Whole Grains, Diet and Metabolism, Sleep and Weight

The whole truth about whole grains

We know whole grains are good for us, but do they have the same health benefits if they are ground up and used, say, as an ingredient in smoothies or flour in cereals? The New York Times’ Well blog has taken that question to nutrition experts and the answer is, basically, yes. “Whole” grains, in which the bran, the germ and the endosperm are all left intact (as opposed to “refined” grains, where the bran and the germ are stripped away), are beneficial either way. Some grains lose a bit of their fiber when ground, but taste better that way, the experts say, whereas others, like flax seed, are more nutritious when ground, because the body can absorb them better. The most-important thing, dietitian Maria Elena Rodriguez tells the Times, is to make sure products have three or more grams of fiber per serving and are marked “whole grains.”

Diet and metabolism

If you have the sense that your diet has messed with your metabolism — that the more weight you lose, the less you can eat without gaining weight — you’re not imagining things. In a Reuters video, Dr. Holly Lofton of NYU School of Medicine explains that it takes less food to power a smaller body — the same way a smaller car needs less gas to propel it than a big tractor-trailer. “So if you’re going from a larger mass to a smaller mass, your metabolic rate will be less,” she says. The best way to lose weight without messing up your metabolism too much, she says, is to have protein in your diet. This will keep you from losing muscle in addition to fat.

Lose to snooze?

Your body weight and diet may also affect your sleep. Researchers at University of Pennsylvania have determined that overweight adults spend a higher percentage of their sleep time in the REM stage of sleep — the stage where you dream, your heart beats more quickly and you breathe faster and that is characterized that is “less restorative” than non-REM stages of sleep. What’s more, the researchers found, those who ate more protein tended to have less stage 2 sleep — the phase when heart rate and breathing are fairly normal and body temperature lowers slightly — and more REM sleep as well.

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.

Nutrition News: Coffee-Benefit Boosters, Fatty-Food Sleep Effects, Health Perks of Curcumin

Getting the most out of your cuppa joe

Coffee — it not only wakes us up and elevates our mood, but, research suggests, may also protect us against dementia and boost our memory and metabolism. However, Fox News warns, we may be unintentionally undercutting some of coffee’s benefits. The site lists eight caffeine-consumption mistakes to avoid, including buying coffee preground and storing it in its original bag, which increase the level of free radicals, using up the health-promoting antioxidants, as well as drinking it too early, drinking too much, overdoing it with the sugar and drinking the wrong roast. Also, if you’re the sort of person who lets your coffee sit there forever, which increases its acidity, you may be upping your risk of heartburn and indigestion. Plus, if you drink your cuppa joe within 20 minutes of brewing — when, let’s face it, it tastes best anyway — you maximize the antioxidant benefits as well.

Fatty foods and sleep

Indulging in a diet filled with fatty foods may make you sleepier during the day, according to a new study published in the journal Nutrients. Researchers at the University of Adelaide, in Australia, found that men in the highest 25 percent for fat intake were 78 percent more likely to experience daytime sleepiness and nearly three times as likely to suffer from sleep apnea as those in the lowest 25 percent. “Extremely high fat intake is not good for sleep,” the study’s lead author, Yingting Cao, told The New York Times. “So the key message here is to eat healthy.”

Spotlight on curcumin

Does research back up claims that curcumin aids digestion and reduces inflammation? The New York Times’ Well blog recently tackled that question, and reports that, while the compound behind turmeric’s bright orangey-yellow hue has been shown to have “antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and neuroprotective properties in lab and animal studies,” it would be “premature” to claim that it has the same effects on humans because a) there haven’t been that many human clinical trials and b) curcumin has “very poor bioavailability,” according to Barbara Delage, of the Linus Pauling Institute’s Micronutrient Information Center (meaning that because curcumin doesn’t stay in the human body for long, not much of it is absorbed). While scientists are currently working to develop more easily absorbed versions of the plant compound, the Times notes that those “will need to be tested for safety and effectiveness.”

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.

Childhood Obesity: The Role of Physical Activity

Childhood Obesity is Now an Epidemic

Let’s face it. Childhood obesity is now an epidemic. It has the potential to affect our entire society for decades to come. Children from all over the world can become obese in their early years. However, childhood obesity is much more prevalent among children who live in developed countries. The United States has more than 16% of all children today considered to be obese. The percentage keeps growing every year.

The Consequences

Overweight children tend to be bullied by their peers. They are also the most susceptible to diseases and health conditions. These include diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Shocking trends and eye-opening statistics.

Cause for concerned parents to develop a lengthy list of questions.

More Playing but Less Moving

Well, it should be common knowledge that a lack of physical activity is one of the main culprits of childhood obesity. Seriously, there’s absolutely no denying that American kids aren’t as active as they once were. Some believe that this is because the activities performed during spare time of modern children. Typically spent watching TV, on the computer or on their cellphone. This has led parents, educators, school board members and mentors all over the country to search for ways to inspire active children. To put down the gadgets and turn the TV off.

Get moving again!

What Can I Do?

The e-book also details the best ways to keep your family active and healthy. I put it together in order to share my knowledge. I hopes it helps parents. Understanding just how to ensure your child gets the proper amount of physical activity each day is so important. The book covers exercise recommendations. Everything you need to know. The vital role that increased physical activity will play when it comes to reducing obesity rates among our children.

Your Free e-book

Download my comprehensive 16 page PDF e-book.

Learn more about the specifics associated with the childhood obesity epidemic.

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