Posts Tagged ‘WebMD’

As featured in January 3rd’s edition of WebMD’s Real Nutrition

By David Grotto, RD, LDN

Do you have a bunch of “don’t eats” in your resolution package this year? I sure hope not — how depressing! Nothing sets you on the course to Failuresville like stating “I won’t ever eat that”. Forget about it. And why would you forego anything unless there was a good sound reason to do so? Besides, “adding in” healthy food is so much more enjoyable and beneficial to your health than “giving up” supposed bad foods, and it’s more likely to be a sustainable behavior that you can live with.

However, are the bad really bad? I picked five “picked on” foods that I thought were worthy of keeping in your diet just in case you were thinking of excluding them this year. I thought I’d set the record straight on what the latest science has to say about them.

 photo courtesy of www.beef.org

1.      Beef. Heart disease continues to be the number one killer of both men and women in this country and controlling cholesterol levels is thought to be the most effective way of reducing the risk of heart disease. Meat is usually the first diet element to get the old “heave-ho” when it comes to cholesterol management. However, a study that appeared this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that including lean beef, such as sirloin, in a heart-healthy diet was as effective for lowering cholesterol as traditional heart-healthy diets.

In this study, two heart-healthy diets, such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, that contained up to 1 ounce of beef per day and a modified DASH diet containing upwards of 5.4 ounces of beef per day (renamed BOLD for Beef in a Optimal lean Diet) were randomly assigned to participants. All diets were equally effective in reducing LDL cholesterol (about a 10% reduction). “What’s so unique about this study is that though all of the diets provided less than 7% saturated fat, this was the first time that lean beef was included and found to be as effective for lowering LDL cholesterol,” says distinguished professor Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD from Penn State University. “The take home message is that lean beef can be included in a heart healthy diet and, best yet, there are twenty-nine cuts of beef that fall into the ‘lean’ category.” You can find those lean cuts listed at www.beefnutrition.org.

photo courtesy of www.nuthealth.org

2.      Roasted nuts. I’ve always heard that roasting nuts kills off many of their nutrients and health benefits. Many of my raw foodie buds think you have to soak nuts too in order to make them more digestible and to release their inner nutrients. But a recent study conducted by Joseph Vinson, PhD from the University of Scranton found little nutritional difference between raw and roasted nuts. He found that the polyphenol (plant antioxidant) content were virtually the same. Myth busted! But don’t forget, most roasted nuts are salted. If you must eat them salted, try to stay within the recommended amount of 1 ounce a day, which typically provides less than 200 mg of sodium.

3.      Chocolate. Something that tastes so good can’t possibly be good for you, so it’s easy to assign blame to chocolate for a whole host of health woes. However, a review of several short-term studies (meta-analysis) conducted by researchers from Harvard revealed that those participants who regularly consumed flavanol (plant antioxidant) -rich cocoa had significantly improved blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood flow and also reduced insulin resistance. Most health experts suggest about an ounce a day for good health. Remember — it’s the cocoa in chocolate that’s the healthy ingredient NOT the added calories and saturated fat found in confections made with cocoa. Bottom line? Enjoy in chocolate confections in moderation.

 photo courtesy of  wikipedia.org

4.      Whole Eggs. Like beef, eggs have been relegated to the hall of shame for foods associated with heart disease. However, research spanning some 40 years has not made the connection between egg consumption and heart disease. Though eggs are high in cholesterol, what’s different about them compared to other cholesterol-containing foods is that egg yolks contain powerful antioxidants that may help protect LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized and turning into a more harmful form associated with heart disease. Regardless if whether the theory holds water or not, most agree that one whole egg a day, which supplies about 185mg of cholesterol, fits well within the heart-healthy guidelines of 300mg of cholesterol a day. Let me be the first to egg you on!

 photo courtesy of likecool.com

5.      Coffee. Next to alcohol, no other beverage has been blamed more for causing health problems ranging from cancer and heart disease to reflux disease (chronic heartburn) and dehydration. And to be clear, I’m referring to straight up coffee without all of the fixin’s here. Lots of added cream and sugar can change this healthy beverage into liquid candy. Yes, that’s right, I said healthy.

Back in 2005, coffee was found to be the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet, finally establishing that coffee wasn’t just caffeinated fluid anymore. In fact, several studies have correlated coffee drinking with health benefits such as reduced or no increased risk of colon, prostate, breast and endometrial cancers. The research on diabetes has been mixed depending on whether your cup of Joe has caffeine or not. Some research has suggested that coffee drinkers may be at lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia when compared to those who don’t drink coffee. A recent Australian study was unable to find any correlation between coffee consumption and gastroesophageal reflux disease even though coffee always appears on the top of the list of “no-nos” for chronic heartburn sufferers. Regarding dehydration, up to two cups (16 ounces) of coffee a day was found to be as hydrating as water. After that the diuretic effects of caffeine may kick in for some and increase your need for additional fluids.

Worry not citizen. Including these supposed “bad boys” in your healthy New Years diet seems to fit just fine. Now you’re only problem is to come up with something else to give up in their place. How about giving up “giving up”?

Need to know the low down on the health worthiness of a food? Hit me up in the comment section. I’m ready to take on your dietary demons. Happy New Year!

 

Here’s my weekly post on WebMD! This week it’s all about three yummy dishes you can eat throughout Thanksgiving day that are amazing good tasting as they are good for you! Please try them and let me know what you think. Of course, I’d love to try some of your favorite holiday recipes, too! Got any for me??

By David Grotto, RD, LDN aka “The Guyatitian”

Nobody likes a party pooper. Especially one of them there high and mighty, judgmental nutrition-types who would never be caught eating your triple-fudge holiday death bars (until nobody was watching) if their life depended on it. Maybe that’s why I don’t get invited to parties anymore?

Truth be told, I (and most of my colleagues) stopped being the food Gestapo a long, long time ago. We realized that for good habits to be sustainable, diets must include your favorite foods (healthy or not), especially around the holidays. Of course, our mission is to prove to you that “healthy” and “favorites” can co-exist as one. Well, tasting is believing, my friend. So for this blog post, I give you three holiday recipes that my family loves and craves.

Sharon’s Simple Berry Sauce*

Serve over pancakes, waffles, French toast, Thanksgiving turkey or anything that you want to taste “berry-good”!

Servings: 4

Prep time and cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

1-10 ounce package frozen mixed organic berries

¼ cup agave syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

Directions:

Place frozen berry blend. Agave syrup, vanilla extract and salt into a sauce pan. Cook over low heat until frozen berries are defrosted. Bring to boil. Let simmer, uncovered until sauce becomes think – about 20-30 minutes.

Calories: 95; Fat: 0gm; Cholesterol: 0gm; Saturated fat: 0gm; Trans fat: 0gm, Sodium: 75mg; Sugars: 21gm Protein: 0 gm; Fiber: 1 gm; Total carbs: 24gm

Click here to see the rest of the article featured on WedMD!

* Recipes excerpted with permission from 101 Foods That Can Save Your Life Bantam Books 2007.

Well, I’ve taken the easy way out. If you haven’t heard yet, I’m now a food and nutrition blogger for WebMD – yay! The easy way out? I have to write a weekly post to their new blog called, “Real Life Nutrition: A Fresh Take on “Good for You”.”  So, as soon as the post is up, I will feature the beginning of the article with a link to the blog site for the remainder of the article. I hope you like it – my posts are all from the “guyatitian’s” perspective. Hit me up in the comments – I’d really like to know what you think. Enjoy!

Why do I refer to myself as the Guyatitian? For starters, I’m a male in the predominately female profession of dietetics who’s also outflanked at home by estrogen from my wife, three daughters, two female cats and two female dogs. But when it comes to eating, I’m just a regular guy. I enjoy all sorts of foods but don’t always make choices based on whether a food is “good” for me or not. Admittedly, for me, taste and satisfaction trumps nutrition.

Over the years, I’ve found that my food philosophy is not that different from other guys. So when it comes to approaching guys about changing their eating habits for health’s sake, not surprisingly, they are the most challenging.

Guys aren’t always driven to make lifestyle changes simply based on a diagnosis or a set of bad lab tests. Unless there is compromised physical, mental or sexual performance at stake, most guys won’t budge on their daily routine. If there is the slightest hint of deprivation or feeling that they’re being sentenced to lifelong dietary boredom, any hopes of adopting healthy habits will come crashing down like a house of cards.

Salient advice for the caretakers of men. Taste and satisfaction must come first.

Don’t come out of the gate with “Honey, try this…it’s good for you!” That’s certain death for any hope of change. I find the easiest thing to do is to start with dishes guys like and make simple and delicious, yet meaningful, modifications.

  • Swap out/reduce saturated fats like butter for healthier fats such as olive, canola, or soy oil, avocado and nut butters
  • Swap out fatty meats for lean cuts of beef, turkey, chicken or vegetarian meat substitutes, beans or mushrooms.
  • Overload his plate with lots of salad, veggies, and fruit and make traditional center-of-the-plate items side dishes. For a visual of his, check out the MyPlate icon at www.MyPlate.gov .

To see the rest of this article, click on this link -

http://blogs.webmd.com/food-and-nutrition/2011/10/what-guys-want-taste-satisfaction-and-performance.html