While it’s important to look after yourself, it’s also important to look after the environments you spend a lot of time living in, like where you work.
December 19th, 2014 by Rachel | Comments Off
Via: NYC Office Cleaner
While it’s important to look after yourself, it’s also important to look after the environments you spend a lot of time living in, like where you work.
December 19th, 2014 by Rachel | Comments Off
Via: NYC Office Cleaner
A major cause of overeating is eating too many flavors all at once, triggering the hypothalamus in the brain to ask for more food, according to David Katz, M.D., of the Prevention Research Center and the Rudd Food Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University.
This is the premise of his new book, “The Flavor Point Diet” , based on a phenomenon he said is well studied, but is well known only to appetite researchers–sensory specific satiety.
“We stay hungry longer the more diverse the flavors in a meal or snack,” said Katz, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine. “If flavors are thoughtfully distributed, we fill up on fewer calories. This explains why, for instance, people can eat a holiday meal to the point of feeling unpleasantly full, yet still have room for dessert. No, that’s not because you have a ‘hollow leg!’ It’s because of sensory specific satiety; the hypothalamus is hard-wired to respond to flavors.”
A pilot study of Katz’s eating plan was conducted with 20 men and women, and their families, for 12 weeks. Katz said the mean weight loss over that time was 16 pounds with persons losing from 10 to 31 pounds. The study participants also lost body fat and saw their cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin, and blood pressure decline.
He said ethnic foods, such as Italian and Indian, are good examples of flavor thematic eating. Top chefs also plan meals around a harmonious blend of flavors. Katz said sensory specific satiety likely evolved because dietary variety was difficult to achieve when humans had to gather and hunt for food, but was nonetheless vital for survival. It takes a variety of foods to provide all of the nutrients we need. But the survival advantage this trait offered is now a disadvantage because we are exposed constantly to an unprecedented variety of foods. The result is an over-stimulated appetite center, too much eating and weight gain.
Another problem, Katz said, is that the food industry appears to spike processed food with superfluous flavors such as sugar in salty food and salt in sweet food. Often, the consumer cannot even detect these additions because they are accustomed to eating processed foods, and one flavor masks another. For instance, some breakfast cereals have nearly as much salt as potato chips and many types of crackers, sauces, salad dressings and other foods are loaded with sugar. This may not register on your tongue, but it does influence the hypothalamus, where the result is more appetite.
“Flavor additions stimulate the hypothalamus to produce more neuropeptide Y, a hormone that increases appetite, and this is a major reason why people have difficulty exercising portion control,” he said. “We say that variety is the spice of life, and in this regard, our diets are just way too spicy.” He notes that controlling flavors through subtle repetition and thoughtful distribution so that there is variety over time, without too much variety at any one time, has a soothing influence on the appetite center.
Katz said his motivation for writing the book was the epidemic rise of obesity among children as well as adults, and the fact that obesity is the driving force behind all of the chronic diseases in this country. He also cites the national preoccupation with weight control, and the need to give people an empowering alternative to unbalanced, fad diets.
Katz said his book has three goals: to empower people to pursue their weight loss goals immediately and responsibly; to play a significant role in changing the way America thinks about the very concept of dieting, and to change the food supply.
“There are lots of ways to change the food supply,” he said. “You can legislate, litigate or you can change what people demand. If people start buying more and more healthy food, there will be more healthy food available. The food industry, after all, wants to keep the customer satisfied.”
The Flavor Point Diet has three phases, each of which makes use of flavor themes, more obvious in the beginning, subtle by the end. The nutritional profile of the diet never changes, and meets or exceeds all prevailing dietary guidelines in every phase. Because of this, Katz notes, a dieter could remain on any phase of the plan indefinitely. In addition, the meal plan is appropriate for all members of a household, from the youngest to the oldest.January 6th, 2006 by Rachel | 16 Comments »
In a clinical trial of over 48,000 post-menopausal women, a low-fat diet that includes increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is not associated with weight gain over an average of 7.5 years, according to a study in the January 4 issue of JAMA.
The prevalence of obesity in the United States has increased dramatically during the past several decades, according to background information in the article. A number of popular diet books have suggested that increasing obesity may be attributed to the diets recommended for chronic disease prevention by various national health organizations, specifically, diets that are lower in total and saturated fat and high in carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains or fiber-rich foods. Proponents of the popular alternative diets have claimed that the higher proportion of carbohydrates in the standard diets may promote weight gain.
Barbara V. Howard, Ph.D., of the MedStar Research Institute, Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined long-term data on the relationships between weight changes and specific changes in dietary components and macronutrient composition. The data were from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Modification Trial, which was designed to examine the long-term benefits and risks of a dietary pattern low in fat, with increased vegetable, fruit, and grain intake, on breast and colorectal cancers and cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. Between 1993 and 1998, 48,835 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to either a low-fat dietary intervention or self-selected dietary control group. The data included body measurements and nutrient data through August 31, 2004, with an average follow-up of 7.5 years. Forty percent (19,541) of the participants were randomized to the intervention and 60 percent (29,294) to a control group. The intervention included group and individual sessions to promote a decrease in fat intake and increases in vegetable, fruit, and grain consumption and did not include weight loss or caloric restriction goals. The control group received diet-related education materials.
“Results show that after losing 2.2 kg [4.8 lbs.] in the first year, women in the intervention group maintained a modest weight loss, compared with the control group, during an average 7.5 years of follow-up and showed no increase from their baseline weight at any point during the study. Weights in the intervention group were lower than those of the control group, who followed their usual eating pattern during the follow-up period, suggesting that a low-fat dietary pattern may help attenuate the tendency for weight gain commonly observed in postmenopausal women,” the authors write.
No tendency toward weight gain was observed in intervention group women overall or when stratified by age, ethnicity, or body mass index. Weight loss was greatest among women in either group who decreased their percentage of energy from fat. A similar but lesser trend was observed with increases in vegetable and fruit servings, and a nonsignificant trend toward weight loss occurred with increasing intake of fiber.
“In summary, the results of this long-term trial of diverse postmenopausal women demonstrate that long-term recommendations to achieve a diet lower in total and saturated fat with increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and without focus on weight loss, do not cause weight gain. Long-term effects of this dietary pattern on other health outcomes will be available after confirmation of end points and data analyses are completed, and long-term weight-loss studies designed to compare hypocaloric diets of varying macronutrient intake will be needed to establish the relative merits of different weight-loss regimens,” the researchers conclude.January 6th, 2006 by Rachel | 2 Comments »
Reducol has been launched in the UK. Reducol contains plant sterols and stanols, commonly known as phytosterols, or “Sterols”. The combination of a prudent diet and consumption of products containing the recommended amount of Reducol may help people lower their cholesterol by up to 24%.
The initial products carrying Reducol will be sold through the UK’s largest retailer, Tesco, under their own private label. Forbes Medi-Tech will announce further details about this new line of cholesterol-lowering products early in the new year as they become available on store shelves.
“Although Coronaries are the most frequent cause of death, very few people have any knowledge of what constitutes a health risk. Over 65% of those aged 45-54 do not know their cholesterol level,” said Gwyneth Dunwoody. “I am delighted to see that a collaboration between Forbes Medi-Tech and Tesco, to produce cholesterol-lowering functional food products is a genuine attempt to help consumers lower their cholesterol safely. The Government’s initiatives to assist adult health are encouraging sensible diet and this is a positive development.”
“The Reducol launch in the UK is the culmination of growing demand for heart healthy products and strong strategic partnerships producing a cholesterol-lowering product mix that the public will soon be able to enjoy,” said Charles Butt, President and CEO of Forbes Medi-Tech. “Unlike other brands, Tesco will be able to launch a wide range of cholesterol-lowering food products under a single brand name.”
More information can be found at reducol.comDecember 21st, 2005 by Rachel | Comments Off
The holidays may not seem like an ideal time to watch one’s weight, but for those working to end a lifelong battle with food addiction, there are no vacations. Teri Quatman, professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University, and exercise physiology and nutrition expert Susan Martin, have developed an innovative method to treat compulsive over-eaters and veteran dieters, focusing on uncovering the “why” behind the foods people eat to better understand, and ultimately overcome, their addiction to food. Their program is called “Getting Real.”
Seven Bay Area women, many of whom are obese and pre-diabetic, have been meeting once a week for nearly a year as part of the Getting Real program. “Within the group, the women have lost and gained hundreds of pounds over the years. Short-term diet programs will not work for them. These women need a long-term program that will not only teach the physiological impact of over-eating, but help identify the psychological triggers that drive them to eat in the first place. That’s what we’re here to do,” said Quatman.
Getting Real is not a fad diet. There are no scales, no prescribed menus, no weight goals looming over the participants’ heads. This program is about identifying the sources that trigger the urge to over-eat, teaching what physiological impact over-eating has on one’s body, and connecting with people who are going through similar experiences. “We teach our clients how to exercise their emotional muscles so they are strong enough to treat their addiction and soothe their body,” says Quatman, who experienced her own battle with being overweight as a young adult.
The group meets each Tuesday in Cupertino. If you would like to interview Teri Quatman, Susan Martin, or any of the Getting Real participants, please contact Karen Crocker Snell at 408-554-5126.December 21st, 2005 by Rachel | Comments Off
Women who were victims of childhood sexual abuse have long been assumed to be at a higher risk for eating disorders. The results of research, however, have been mixed, with some studies showing a link and others none.
A recently published study of college-age women shows there is a connection between the two, though not a direct one. Childhood sexual abuse is not a significant risk factor on its own, but it is when combined with psychological distress (depression or anxiety) and a condition of emotional disconnection known as alexithymia, say study authors Anita Hund and Dorothy Espelage, both with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Those factors appear to play an important role not only in how eating disorders get started, but more importantly in how they keep going,” according to Hund, a doctoral student in educational psychology at Illinois and the lead author of the study, published in the October issue of the Journal of Counseling Psychology.
“What sends one woman over the line, and not her classmate (with a similar background), probably has a lot to do with how they experience emotions,” Hund said. If those factors can be addressed through counseling, it holds promise for reducing a woman’s risk for developing a disorder, she said.
The study’s results validate a lot of what many counselors and clinicians already believe or suspect, according to Espelage, a professor of educational psychology at Illinois and co-author of the study. The results also have consequences for the treatment of eating disorders and related behaviors on college campuses, she said.
Many women on campuses engage in disordered eating behaviors, from severe restriction or dieting, to binging and purging, Espelage said.
Among those are women who come to campus with no history of such behaviors, “but begin to feel dissatisfied with their bodies in a very competitive environment and engage in disordered eating for the first time,” she said.
But many campuses devote few resources to counseling women engaged in those behaviors, she said. And there is a movement toward sending those with fully developed eating disorders to off-campus treatment centers, in part because the treatment is so expensive.
“I think this research lends support to the idea that we can do something in college counseling centers and have a tremendous effect,” she said.
Previous research on the association between childhood sexual abuse and eating disorders had produced inconsistent and confusing results because it did not take multiple factors into account, Hund said. “In reality, the association between a history of childhood sexual abuse and disordered eating behaviors is very complex,” she said.
The researchers believe their study is the first on this topic to take those multiple factors into account, using a research technique called structural equation modeling.
Using results from previous research, including work by Espelage and Suzanne Mazzeo, now a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, the researchers developed a hypothetical model or map of associations between various factors. The factors in the model included childhood sexual abuse, general psychological distress, alexithymia, restrictive eating behaviors and attitudes, body dissatisfaction, and bulimic eating behaviors (such as binging and purging).
Alexithymia (uh-lex-uh-THIGH-me-uh) is defined as a condition in which a person is unable to recognize or describe his or her own emotions. Hund described it as “a disconnect between emotions and the rest of you.”
Their data was gathered through a written survey administered to 608 undergraduate and graduate women at a large Midwestern university, producing 589 usable responses.
What the researchers found when they sorted out the data was that it fit their hypothetical model of how the various factors were associated and how they affected the level of risk for an eating disorder, Hund said.
“These study results fit into the idea that eating disordered behaviors actually have a purpose,” she said. “Somebody who’s abused is of course going to have some issues around dealing with emotions, and this is their solution to functioning.”
Therefore, it may be important for counselors and clinicians not to move too quickly to take away those behaviors, except when immediately life-threatening, and to deal with the woman’s “underlying emotional structure,” Hund said.December 20th, 2005 by Rachel | 1 Comment »
Socially informed perceptions of which foods are appropriate to eat, when they should be eaten and how much should be consumed have a greater impact on our food intake than feelings of hunger or fullness, says a University of Toronto review paper published in Physiology & Behavior.
U of T psychology professors Peter Herman and Janet Polivy examined more than 30 years of research to survey the principles governing overeating and obesity. They found that while medical approaches continue to emphasize hunger and satiety as the root of the obesity epidemic, these two factors are usually not the most significant causes of overeating.
Instead, people allow environmental cues to dominate their eating choices, rather than adhering to selections that would satisfy their physical or nutritional needs. Portion size, palatability, variety and the food intake of fellow eaters are all potent influences on individual consumption. Norms may also become elevated depending on the social context in which they function, such as the case of the individual who, wishing to avoid appearing overindulgent, may refuse second helpings at a formal meal but accept them when eating at an all-you-can-eat buffet or among family and close friends.
“It’s an insidious effect,” Herman says. “People are often rudderless in eating situations and they look to the activity of others, their own previous behaviour or other social cues to guide them and thereby consume more than they need. Frequently, eating occurs within what we have termed a zone of biological indifference, in which the individual is neither genuinely hungry nor genuinely sated. Without any particular biological reason to start, continue or stop eating, we are particularly vulnerable to socially based influences.”
“Norms of appropriateness have yet to achieve mainstream status in current medical research into obesity and overeating and in public policy concerned with curbing the obesity epidemic,” Polivy says. “No one seems to be aware of the power that social influence has on eating, but if such considerations are integrated more deeply into this area, we may see some more practical results.”December 20th, 2005 by Rachel | 1 Comment »
With 2006 quickly approaching, losing weight is on the minds of many people considering a New Year’s resolution. Doctors with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) suggest a new approach to weight loss based on a recent study showing that a low-fat vegan diet is an effective way to shed unwanted pounds.
PCRM’s weight-loss study, published in September in The American Journal of Medicine, showed that a low-fat, plant-based diet is more effective at helping women lose weight and improve insulin sensitivity than an omnivorous diet.
“The study participants following the vegan diet enjoyed unlimited servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthful foods that enabled them to lose weight without feeling hungry,” says Dr. Neal Barnard, the study’s lead author. “Anyone who wants to make healthy changes in the New Year will do well to try a plant-based diet.”
Other scientific studies support the obesity-fighting power of plant-based diets. In a recent study of more than 55,000 Swedish women, Tufts University researcher P. Kirstin Newby and her colleagues found that 40 percent of meat-eaters were overweight or obese while only 25 to 29 percent of vegetarians and vegans were. Worldwide, vegetarian populations experience lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
The simplicity of a vegan diet appeals to people busy with work and family, and many familiar recipes are easy to adapt. At least four studies published in peer-reviewed journals show that patients give the low-fat vegetarian diet a high rating in terms of acceptability, and that the transition only takes about three weeks or less.
PCRM offers a free Vegetarian Starter Kit, which includes recipes, nutrition information, and a three-step plan for moving to a healthier diet. The kit is available online at www.GoVegetarian.org.December 20th, 2005 by Rachel | Comments Off
This year, before the big ball drops in Times Square, millions of Americans will make a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and lose weight. Hass avocados provide a delicious way for consumers to stick to healthy resolutions. Registered dietitian and nutrition communications expert Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., offers the following five tips to help get your new year off to a healthy start, and keep it that way.
– Reframe Resolutions from Can’t-Haves to Must-Haves: Diets by elimination rarely work and don’t have staying power. Instead of dwelling on the foods you can’t have, focus on all delicious, healthy foods you can have to help make eating better a success. As long as you base your diet on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, there is always room to enjoy treats in moderation.
– Substitute Avocados for Other Sources of Fat: Avocados are a great replacement for spreads or dressings that may be rich in saturated fat. Some spreads or dressings also may be lacking beneficial carotenoids, like lutein and zeaxanthin, which avocados contain. Use avocado slices on top of salads to replace some salad dressings, on sandwiches to replace high saturated fat spreads or as a spread on toast.
– Choose Slimming Appetizers: An appetizer that is low in calories, but big in volume will help reduce overall calories consumed at meals. Instead of reaching for the bread bowl, start meals with some crunchy vegetable sticks dipped in guacamole or a tomato-based soup topped with diced avocado.
– Curb Cravings: While eating breakfast can help to control overeating later in the day, lunch, dinner and the occasional mid-afternoon snack cannot be overlooked. Eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day help to maintain blood sugar levels and keep hunger and cravings at bay. Avocados, which are a good source of fiber, offer a great way to meet the USDA’s recommendations of seven or more servings of produce a day.
– Progress, Not Perfection: It’s okay to occasionally throw your diet out the window for a few days, but don’t let that become the habit. Learning to eat healthy is a lifestyle change and will not happen overnight. If you find yourself getting off track, bring the focus back to eating fresh fruits and vegetables during meals and snacks, as they help you get the most nutrients per calories. Engaging in regular physical activity also will help get your eating back in line.
“Avocados are a great addition to any meal and a great way to help consumers meet the USDA Dietary Guidelines, which recommend that Americans consume seven or more servings of produce a day. A 55-calorie serving of avocado (1/5 of an avocado) provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, 12 percent of the Recommended Daily Value for fiber and 25 other nutrients,” says Julie Upton, M.S., R.D. and a nutrition communications expert. “The people who are most successful in keeping their resolutions are committed to change, set realistic goals and are not deterred by slight setbacks.”
For people who are looking to start a diet, or just eat better, experts suggest reframing resolutions to include more great-tasting and satisfying foods like Hass avocados.
New Year’s Guacamole (Courtesy of the Hass Avocado Board)
6 large ripe Hass avocados, peeled, seeded, cut in chunks
2 tbsp. chipotle sauce or chipotle salsa
4 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh orange or tangerine juice
2 fresh red chili peppers, seeded and diced
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Salt to taste
Additional pomegranate seeds, for garnish
White corn tortilla chips, for serving
In small bowl, whisk chipotle sauce and maple syrup together until creamy. In large bowl, mash avocado with juice. Add chipotle-maple mixture and blend gently. Add diced chilies, pomegranate seeds and chopped cilantro, and stir to combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt if desired. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with additional pomegranate seeds for garnish. Serve with white corn tortilla chips. Yields about 16 appetizer servings.
For more delicious Hass avocado recipes, please visit avocadocentral.com.December 20th, 2005 by Rachel | Comments Off
Ventana Health, Inc. today announced the launch of Zsweet– a new, all natural, zero calorie sweetener approved by the FDA. Zsweet is an all natural sweetener that provides a safer alternative to chemical sugar substitutes. Zsweet flows, measures, and tastes like sugar without the unpleasant aftertaste.
Zsweet has been favorably mentioned in the New York Times best selling book, “The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet” written by Nicholas Perricone, M.D. According to Dr. Perricone, artificial sweeteners and hidden sugars, such as fructose corn syrup, commonly found in beverages, are causing a host of serious health problems including obesity. To combat obesity and other such health problems, Perricone identifies Zsweet as an alternative all natural sweetener.
“Zsweet was developed to enhance the healthy and balanced lifestyle of our community with a nutritious product of the highest integrity and quality without sacrificing taste,” says Tim Avila, creator of Zsweet and chief executive officer of Ventana Health Inc. “Our goal was to produce a sweetener that was sweet in taste and good for the body,” explains Avila.
Zsweet is made with a blend of Erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol, and food extracts commonly found in fruits and vegetables. Zsweet does not use herbal extracts or dietary supplements and does not chemically alter any ingredients.
Benefits from Zsweet are numerous especially since Erythritol has been shown not to increase blood sugar levels and is healthy for diabetics. In addition, tests have displayed that the basic ingredient in Zsweet has the highest level of digestibility and tolerability of the sugar alcohols. Studies have also revealed that Erythritol prevents dental cavities.
“Unlike other sugar substitutes such as Splenda(R), Equal(R) and Sweet ‘n’ Low(R), Zsweet uses no caloric or carbohydrate fillers,” says Avila. “Zsweet does not contain any chemically altered materials, not even in trace amounts.”
Zsweet can be used like sugar in equivalent measurements in hot or cold beverages, blended drinks, over cereal, and in a wide variety of recipes.
Zsweet will be available online January 2006 and will have distribution throughout the US. For more information about the Zsweet, please visit http://www.Zsweet.comDecember 19th, 2005 by Rachel | Comments Off