4 Steps to Achieve a Healthier Life

Maintaining health through proper diet and exercise should not a difficult pursuit. Here are 4 things to do daily that will facilitate your road to health:

  1. Walk! Don’t wait to buy the latest fitness gadget from an infomercial (who needs another ab machine? How many shirts can you hang on your neatly folded treadmill?), instead turn off the television and walk for 45 minutes. It will lower your blood pressure and blood sugar at the same time increase your metabolism so that even at rest you are still burning calories. Try to get in about 10,000 steps per day. You may want to get a tracking device that will remind you of how you are doing.
  2. Eat Fresh! Fresh fish, chicken, vegetables, nuts and fruit along with healthy oils like olive oil are the mainstays of a healthy “Mediterranean diet”. Remember beans are a great source of protein so getting your protein doesn’t always require meat. Remember, processed meats are not fresh. Just because Subway advertisements say eat fresh doesn’t mean what they are serving is fresh, deli meats in general have added chemicals to increase the shelf life of food but are associated with a lower life expectancy. Eat as naturally and organically as possible.
  3. Read labels! There are a multitude of added chemicals in food added to enhance color and shelf life. Some investigators are suspecting some of them as being obesogenic I.E. may promote weight gain. Remember, we have evolved to digest whole foods, our bodies are not a lab experiment food processors who add chemicals to their food products. Avoid these chemicals and review the list of 75 additives and chemicals to avoid. For reference you can pin it to your smart phone for easy reference when grocery shopping.
  4. Be educated! Try to read one health blog article twice week. It’ll take less than 5 minutes of your time. I try to make scientific research available for you in understandable, everyday language. There are a lot health blogs filled with misinformation by authors trying to promote a “fix all” health product. In this blog, I just want to share real scientific data in an easy to read format to increase your awareness and health, information I have learned to become healthier myself. My goal is to help you become an educated decision maker for you and the one’s you love.
  5. Happy healthy eating and walking!

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Food by the Numbers, the numbers you want to avoid!

If you look at labels of candy, soda and some of our favorite cereals you will find ingredients that have numbers. These are ingredients added to give food a nice bright color so we will want to buy them and eat them. Food is more attractive when it is colored. But is it healthy? These are ingredients that I ate daily for years and gave them to my children.

Artificial dyes are derived from petroleum are found in thousands of food products. Synthetic food dyes are banned in many countries around the world because of their health hazards. Placing food dyes in candies amounts to experimenting with our children’s health. Petroleum belongs in gasoline engines not our bodies. We have evolved to process food products over millions of years. Synthetic food colors derived from gasoline is not meant to be a food additive.
Synthetic dyes are linked to cancer and behavioral problems.

Examples: Yellow number 5 and 6 and Red number 40. Look for these. Food doesn’t have a number.

Natural alternatives to synthetic dyes do exist:
Food manufacturers still use plant-based colorings in some countries. For example, in the United Kingdom Fanta orange soda is colored with pumpkin and carrot extracts while the U.S. version uses Red 40 and Yellow 6. McDonald’s strawberry sundaes are colored only with strawberries in Britain, but Red 40 is used in the United States. With many U.S. consumers desiring fewer synthetic additives, “companies may be better off switching to [plant-based colors],” Jacobson says.”

From PubMed
Link to the evidence:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957945/

Bottom Line: Synthetic foods dyes are linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.
Action Item: Pay attention to Food by the Numbers. Avoid ingredients with a number. Numbers belong on spreadsheets, arithmetic, mathematic and calculus books not our food. Eliminate food by the numbers in your diet and your children’s diet.

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Time to Rethink Rice? (Arsenic in Rice)

A Simple Guide to Safely Consume Rice

Arsenic in Rice? Yes

Changes of Arsenic levels in rice compel us to rethink the amount of rice we eat, as well as the type of rice and where it is grown. More than ever we need to read labels if we are going to make choices that will have a positive effect on our health.

Rice consumption is rising. As more individuals are finding themselves gluten intolerant, we have seen a rice as a replacement for wheat products. In addition, many of us are sushi lovers. We would never have suspected something as benign and presumed healthy to contain Arsenic.
Continue reading Time to Rethink Rice? (Arsenic in Rice)

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Acesulfame-K: Bad Sweetener #1

Acesulfame Potassium or Acesulfame-K was discovered in 1967.It was approved by the FDA in 1997 for use in soft drinks, the number one product that includes sweeteners. Its use in our food supply is widespread. It has 150 times the sweetness of sugar on a per weight basis. Our bodies do not metabolize it and it is excreted in our urine. It is found as a sweetener in many processed foods, including dessert, chewing gum, , alcohol containing beverages, syrup, candies, sauces, and yogurt. As well as soft drinks. Some common manufactured goods include Hershey’s Lite Syrup, Trident gum and sugar free Jell-O.
Continue reading Acesulfame-K: Bad Sweetener #1

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Why I’m a Fitbit fan!

My friends at ZebraHealth gave me a Fitbit a few months ago and while I had heard of Fitbits, I was not overly impressed at first. It’s a little device you put in your pocket or wear on your belt. When you pick it up in the morning it gives you a little message of encouragement, “I like U”, “It’s on” “You Rock”, etc. You actually grow to like these little messages. It also tells you the time, steps you’ve taken, distance you covered, floors you climbed and calories burned. Not bad.
Continue reading Why I’m a Fitbit fan!

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Are canned foods healthy? How can we avoid BPA?

There are a lot of canned foods including beans, soup, soft drinks and beer. Aside from the ingredients, are they healthy and can they be part of a healthy diet?

Many patients tell me they eat canned soup on a regular basis and stay away from additives that are on my “Nasty List”. It is a good start to look at additives, but let’s take a closer look at the can and containers that foods are stored in. Most cans are made of tin or aluminum, and are lined with a plastic to prevent the food from interacting with the metal, because it’s not attractive to have rust in your canned goods.
Continue reading Are canned foods healthy? How can we avoid BPA?

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“Natamycin in Cheese …really?”

Generally, you would not think that there is a problem with grated cheese. It’s a good source of fat and protein and goes on everything from tacos to omelets. However, recently when looking at a package of grated cheese at home, I noticed Natamycin on the ingredient list. I was shocked, it is on my “Nasty List” of ingredients to avoid. Natamycin in Cheese …really? I was consuming it and hadn’t bothered to read the ingredients. I thought the cheese just contained cheese. I was wrong. Natamycin is a medication used to treat vaginal and topical yeast (fungal) infections. It is a useful antifungal agent. It is not a food and should definitely not be in our cheese and should not be consumed on a regular basis.
Continue reading “Natamycin in Cheese …really?”

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10 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Many think that getting cancer is just because of “Bad Genes” and they cannot Reduce the Risk of Cancer. But, analysis by the World Cancer Research Fund shows that more than 1/3 of all cancers can be avoided by making some simple changes in our diet and life style. Some individuals and their family members do have inborn higher vulnerability to some cancers. Every person has inborn or acquired susceptibility to a myriad of different diseases.
Continue reading 10 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Cancer

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Eight Habits to Improve your Sleep!

Here is sleep advice that has worked well for me and my patients:

  1. No exercise for at least 6 hours before sleep. Exercise is good for you but raises your adrenalin levels. Exercise early afternoon or morning as late workouts will hinder a good sleep.
  2. Do not watch television for at least one hour before bedtime. High action shows and news that upsets you is not the way to relax before bedtime.
  3. Continue reading Eight Habits to Improve your Sleep!

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Diabetes, your risk is 40%

Learn how to reduce your risk.

A recent study published in Lancet shows the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is at almost 41% for men and almost 40% for women. That is each of us has a 2 in 5 chance of developing diabetes. For Hispanic men and women, the rates exceed 50%. This is a terrible reality for all of us as well as our national health care expenditures.
Continue reading Diabetes, your risk is 40%

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