Archive for the ‘diet’ Category

Food Intolerance or Allergy?

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Food intolerance is difficulty digesting different foods, or in other words  non-allergic food hypersensitivity. Food intolerance differs from food allergies because it doesn’t trigger the immune system and allergies do. An example would be people who are lactose intolerant. It can often be difficult to determine whether you are suffering from an allergy or if you are intolerant to certain foods. One important difference when deciding which one you have is that food intolerance takes longer to emerge than allergies. Allergy symptoms occur relatively quickly while food intolerance can take up to 48 hours to show. You may experience bloating, migraines, irritable bowel, and hives among many other things. Food intolerance can often be chronic while allergies can be outgrown. One out of five people outgrow their peanut allergy. However, some people with intolerance to certain foods have found that abstaining from these foods for a while and then reintroducing them has built tolerance, so they no longer suffer side effects after consuming it. There are blood tests you may have done in order to determine whether or not you are sensitive to any foods. These tests are called Alcat and they are offered on our website www.HealthOneLabs.com

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Whenever people think of fats they automatically assume they’re not good for them, but that’s not always the case. There are well known healthy fats and they are called unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are either monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and they help decrease disease risk. Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of the healthy fats. They are a crucial for your health and development, but your body does not produce it so the only way to get it is by consuming foods high in Omega 3s.They can be found in sardines, salmon, anchovies, and herring.

omega 3 imageIt can help reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and depression. Fish also contains proteins, selenium, and vitamin D that are beneficial for the body. It is important to get a good ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 which is another essential fatty acid. You should aim to eat a bit more of Omega-3s because it helps reduce inflammation and Omega-6s promote inflammation. It is recommended you get at least 2 servings of fish and 1 serving of oily (dark meat) fish.

Need to know if you are getting sufficient fatty acids?  Test your levels.

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What is Glycemic Index?

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Glycemic index(GI) is a scale from 0 to 100 that ranks carbs on how they will affect your glucose levels. Similarly, glycemic load(GL) tells you how much carbs you are eating based on the GI value and quantity of carbs in a meal. A high value of consumed GI carbs is absorbed and digested faster thus, spiking your glucose levels right after eating said food, and then quickly dropping glucose levels. On the other hand, consuming foods with a low GI value increase glucose levels slightly and tend to keep you fuller longer.

glycemic chart

A GI of 0-55 is low, 56-69 is medium, and 70-100 is high. Some examples of low GI foods are wholegrain bread, porridge, and oils. A few foods high in GI are baked goods, pasta, and rice. It is important to know your GI because it is a possible indication of your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Eating a low GI diet is linked with reduced chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, acne, obesity and even certain cancers. The following are a few ways you can lower your GI intake.

  • You should aim to eat fresh fruits and vegetables that aren’t starchy such as broccoli and asparagus
  • Try to consume soluble fibers like oats, barley, and chia seeds
  • Consume whole grains that aren’t processed like whole rolled oats
  • Eat balanced meals that are rich in good carbs, protein, and a little bit of good fat

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Nutrients Combat Disease

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Everyone knows certain foods are better for you than others but what many don’t know is that certain foods can actually be medicine to fend off various diseases. Eating foods that help prevent disease is very different then taking drugs because foods are not isolated substances. Food contains vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that work together to reduce risks of diseases. Studies have shown diets such as the Mediterranean diet are high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and actually reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation and even some cancers. The following are some examples of foods with medicinal benefits:

Berries:

    • Blackberries cause the self destruction of colon, breast, oral, and prostate cancer and has antibacterial action
    • Blueberries are not only antioxidants but are also rich in Omega-3 and help protect the Aorta blood vessel
    • Raspberries may help to prevent the growth of cancer cells

Broccoli:

Triggers cells in the body to produce enzymes that protect against inflammation and oxidative stress which in turn is beneficial for cardiovascular health and cancer prevention

Fish:

Is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which has anti-inflammatory properties.Omega-3 fatty acids also help lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, reduce irregular heartbeats, and reduce risks for heart heart failure

Ginger and turmeric:

These have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Ginger may also help relieve nausea and vomiting

Nuts:

Full of good fats and fibers which are very good for cardiovascular health. They also promote health blood sugar and weight levels

Food is medicine and you should put the best in your body to improve your health!


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Foods that Help Boost Satiety

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Maintaining a healthy weight is a struggle for many people because they let themselves get to the point to where they’re starving and just go on a junk food binge because it’s the only thing they feel will satisfy them. Starving yourself is never a good idea and can actually cause you to gain weight as opposed to losing weight. If you’re looking to maintain your weight or even lose weight it is vital that you eat foods that will keep you full. Satiety-boosting foods are rich in fiber, monounsaturated fats, and protein. Such foods take longer to digest thus making you feel full for a longer period of time. Eating satiety-boosting foods can prevent a junk food binge and will keep you feeling full for a while. Processed and sugary foods may make you feel full for a little bit, and then extremely hungry later which can cause overeating. The following are some examples of satiety-boosting foods:

  • Oatmeal: Contains β-glucan which is type of soluble fiber that promotes feeling full because the body takes longer to digest fiber. The soluble fiber creates a gel in your stomach which slows down digestion. Studies show that people who eat oatmeal for breakfast ate 31% less calories than those who ate processed cereal
  • Avocado: Is high in monounsaturated fat which not only increases satiety, but is also great for cardiovascular health. Eating one-half if  an avocado with a meal may reduce hunger by 40%
  • Almonds: Are high in fiber, protein, and monounsaturated fats, a triple threat. Eating almonds do not cause weight gain because they reduce the calorie intake on your next meal/snack. Eating 1 ½ ounces of almonds a day can decrease hunger
  • Greek Yogurt: Is high in casein protein that helps slow down digestion keeping you full longer. Eating a high protein greek yogurt snack in the afternoon promotes satiety and reduces calorie intake at dinner. You should opt for plain greek yogurt to avoid added sugars

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What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?

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Flu season is upon us which means that almost everyone is sniffling, coughing and sneezing so you have to take many precautions if you don’t want to get the flu as well. The University of Arizona found that when even one person is sick in an office, it only takes about four hours for surfaces like copy machines, door handles, etc. to show trace of the flu virus. The 2014-2015 flu season was one of the worst the U.S. has had, it was even considered an epidemic. It is important that you take all the precautions possible to prevent getting the flu this season.

flu-and-sneezing-image

Everyone knows you should wash your hands often, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes, cover your mouth when you sneeze and so forth. It is also imperative that you are getting enough quality sleep. Lack of sleep can actually weaken your immune system, thus making you more susceptible to get a virus if exposed to one. Excessive amounts of stress can also weaken your immune system and prevent you from getting enough sleep, so it is important you maintain your stress levels as low as possible. Furthermore, your diet can also affect whether or not you get the flu, or any other virus for that matter. You should try to get enough protein in your diet like fish, beans and lean beef. Diets that are low in protein may deplete the immune system as well. You may also want to consider drinking a lot of tea… and sniffing it. It has been found that the steam of the tea stimulates the cilia to move out germs. Adding lemon thins the mucus and honey is an antibacterial. Lastly, one of the most effective precautions you can take is getting the flu vaccine.

  •  avoid touching your face
  • wash hands often
  • minimize stress
  • eat well and hydrate often
  • sleep

So, as you can see there are so many ways to prevent the flu and stay healthy this time of year. Remember, getting the flu vaccine doesn’t mean you are immune so you should still take other precautions to stay healthy. The holiday season is here and you are not going to want to miss it because you have the flu, stay healthy!


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Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

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With holiday season just around the corner, it is important to realize how the food you eat this time of year affects your health. We tend to put on weight around the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas which shouldn’t be surprising at all, but there are ways for you to avoid gaining weight this time of year.

avoid-holiday-gain

Choosing to maintain healthy habits during the holiday season doesn’t mean you will be eating a bowl of vegetables while your family is indulging in your favorite dishes. You can start by modifying the recipes of these dishes with healthier ingredients or the cooking technique, this can go a long way. You may also decide to eat smaller portions so you can enjoy a little bit of everything without overeating. It is important that you eat slowly, it can be easy to get carried away and eat your food fast so you can get to the next dish. Pacing yourself allows your body to really register how full you are, which prevents overeating. You should also drink water, low fat milk, or unsweetened tea as opposed to alcoholic or sugary beverages. Your choice of beverage is often responsible for many of calories you get from your holiday meal. Lastly, don’t try to starve yourself all day prior to your holiday meal because this will actually cause to overeat. Instead of preventing weight gain, it might actually cause you to gain weight.

Remember to be conscious of what and how much you eat this holiday season and you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite dishes without the burden of weight gain. Holiday season shouldn’t have to mean you’ll put on a few extra pounds, as long as you make healthy eating choices.


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Do You Have Carb Phobia?

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When you are trying to lose weight you often try to reduce or eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet, but in the process you will also be eliminating some vitamins, minerals, fibers and phyto-nutrients. It is important to not group all carbs as the same because there are different types; some are more beneficial than others.

Everyone knows that bread, pasta, cereal, etc. are high in carbs; but so are some vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. Carbs have such a negative connotation so it’s important for you to be able to differentiate the “good” vs “bad” carbs.

Why Do People Avoid Carbs?

Generally, carbs are avoided by many people because they are thought to cause weight gain; and in some cases that is true. All carbs are equivalent to 4 carbs per gram, but the quality of the carb you eat can determine whether it will make you gain or lose weight. Any sugar sweetened foods or refined grains such as white bread are related with weight gain. On the other hand, consuming whole grains, dairy, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables are associated with weight loss.

Furthermore, the quality of the carbs consumed may also increase or decrease risk of type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating quality carbs like total fiber, grain fiber, and fruit fiber decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent. It also showed that consuming a lot of starchy carbs like white bread, corn, and white potatoes are related with 23 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Consuming carbohydrates is an important part of your diet, without them you may even struggle with everyday activities. They are like fuel for your muscles. It is important for you to choose quality carbs instead of completely cutting all carbs out of your diet.

 

 


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Chocolate – Healthy or Not?

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Some argue that chocolate may help prevent cardiovascular disease and better your memory, but is it true? There have been studies conducted to see if chocolate really was correlated with the prevention of heart disease and dementia and it seems that it’s not really the chocolate that is helping but the flavanols that the cocoa beans contain. Flavanols are bioactive compounds that have a unique blend of phytonutrients which can only be found in the cocoa bean. Although there has not been enough clinical trials to determine whether or not flavanols can help prevent heart disease, flavanols can relax blood vessels and stimulate blood flow to the brain.

chocolateChocolate is made with many components but cocoa solids and cocoa fat are the main ones. Cocoa solids are rich in flavanols but the cocoa fat doesn’t have any flavanols at all. Using those two components, plus other ingredients, you can make the four most popular types of chocolate; cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate.

Cocoa powder is produced by fermenting, roasting, and crushing cocoa beans into a paste-type of substance. Then the fat is removed and ground into a fine powder. Naturally processed unsweetened cocoa powder is great for you because it is rich in flavanols and low in calories.

Dark chocolate is made of cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar. The amount of flavanols you get from dark chocolate varies: You might be getting a high dosage of flavanols but in the process you will also be digesting a lot of calories.

Milk chocolate contains cocoa powder, cocoa butter, milk solids and sugar. It has less cocoa than dark chocolate therefore having less flavanols.  In order to get a high dosage of flavanols from milk chocolate you would have to consume over 1,000 calories of it.

Chocolate is a great source of flavanols but just make sure you watch how much chocolate you eat because it is also high in calories.  Eating chocolate is a great alternative to eating baked goods, so if you eat it in moderation it shouldn’t do you any harm!

Flavanol-rich Food for Thought


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Practice Mindful Eating

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Many times you eat meals, and a couple of hours later you don’t even remember what you ate. It is important that you acknowledge what you’re eating and that you are mindful because this can help lead into healthier eating habits. Lack of awareness of the food you eat may be a huge contributor to the national obesity epidemic. Mindful eating is focusing on what you’re consuming without doing anything else. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change what you eat, but rather how much of it you eat. While practicing mindful eating take into consideration the following:

  1. where you bought your food,
  2. how it was prepared and served, and
  3. how much you consume of it.

Practicing these mindfulness and making them a habit often leads to consuming less junk food and maybe eating smaller portions.

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When trying to practice mindful eating you try using the following checklist to help guide you:

  1. Consider the health value of the food or meal you want to eat, don’t make impulse decisions. If you are at the grocery store, try to get the majority of your food from the produce section and try to avoid processed food.
  2. Eat when you have an appetite but not when you are starving. Skipping meals can cause you to just want to fill the void in your stomach as opposed to actually enjoying your food. You should eat every meal and small snacks in between so that you don’t eat excessively.
  3. Start off with a small portions
  4. Before you begin eating, take a few minutes to appreciate your food and everyone who prepared it
  5. While eating, try to identify all the different ingredients
  6. Take small bites, this allows you to be able to taste all the flavors
  7. Chew thoroughly, you should chew each mouthful 20 to 40 times depending on the food
  8. Eat slowly, if you practice the steps above then this step is a given.

Bon Appetit!


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