8 Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

Amy Marturana from My Fitness Pal shared that sugar is delicious. Anyone who denies that is lying. But because life is unfair, sugar, especially in copious amounts, is really bad for your health. In fact, once you learn about all the ways sugar impacts your body, it’s difficult to look at it the same way (despite knowing how heavenly it tastes).

So how do you know if you’re eating too much? Here are eight red flags your body is sending you that it’s time to cut back on the sweet stuff.

1. You constantly crave sugary things.

The more sugar you eat, the more you’ll crave it. “More cravings then equal consuming more sugar—it becomes a vicious and addictive cycle,” Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., author of The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great and Look Years Younger, tells SELF. This isn’t just because your taste buds have adapted and left you needing more and more to get that same taste, but also because of how sugar gives you a high followed by a crash, just like an actual drug. “By eating a high sugar diet, you cause a hormonal response in your body that’s like a wave, it brings you up and then you crash down and it triggers your body to want more sugar.”

2. You feel sluggish throughout the day.

What goes up must come down. After sugar causes an initial spike of insulin and that “high” feeling, it causes an inevitable crash. “Energy is most stable when blood sugar is stable, so when you’re consuming too much sugar, the highs and lows of your blood sugar lead to highs and lows of energy,” Alpert says. Eating a lot of sugar also means it’s likely you’re not eating enough protein and fiber, both important nutrients for sustained energy.

3. Your skin won’t stop breaking out.

“Some people are sensitive to getting a spike in insulin from sugar intake, which can set off a hormonal cascade that can lead to a breakout like acne or rosacea,” Rebecca Kazin, M.D., of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery and the Johns Hopkins department of dermatology, tells SELF. A sugar binge can show up on your face in just a few days. If your skin’s unruly, Kazin recommends reassessing your diet, otherwise “you may be treating skin for other issues without getting to the bottom of what’s really going on.”

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A diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweighs the risks of pesticides

It’s a list of the 12 vegetables and fruits with the most pesticides, and some people only buy organic versions of the items on the list. It’s the companion piece to the “Clean Fifteen,” which showcases the 15 options with the least pesticides.

These annual reports generate a lot of media coverage, and their presence seems to influence our grocery shopping habits. But research shows that the lists — which are being questioned for their scientific validity — may be doing more harm than good.

Organic or nothing?

It’s vital to eat your veggies. Low in calories but rich in vitamins and antioxidants, vegetables and fruits have been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

Yet, most Americans aren’t getting enough. Could the “Dirty Dozen” list may be part of the problem?

That depends on what message we take away when we read about pesticides in vegetables and fruit.

Researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago wanted to know how the list influences our buying habits. They surveyed more than 500 low-income shoppers about their thoughts on organic and conventional vegetables and fruit, and published results in the journal Nutrition Today.

They found that specifically naming the “Dirty Dozen” resulted in shoppers being less likely to buy any vegetables and fruit.

That’s right — it’s not just consumption of the top 12 pesticide-laden items that drops, it seems we buy and eat less of every vegetable and fruit. Misinformation about pesticides breeds fear and confusion, and many find it easier to skip fresh produce altogether.

And when asked about the promotion of organic produce, 61 percent of participants said they felt the media encouraged them to buy organic foods. The problem is that they are often unaffordable.

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Bacon, soda & too few nuts tied to big portion of US deaths

Overeating or not eating enough of the 10 foods and nutrients contributes to nearly half of U.S. deaths from these causes, the study suggests.

“Good” foods that were under-eaten include: nuts and seeds, seafood rich in omega-3 fats including salmon and sardines; fruits and vegetables; and whole grains.

“Bad” foods or nutrients that were over-eaten include salt and salty foods; processed meats including bacon, bologna and hot dogs; red meat including steaks and hamburgers; and sugary drinks.

The research is based on U.S. government data showing there were about 700,000 deaths in 2012 from heart disease, strokes and diabetes and on an analysis of national health surveys that asked participants about their eating habits. Most didn’t eat the recommended amounts of the foods studied.

The 10 ingredients combined contributed to about 45 percent of those deaths, according to the study.

It may sound like a familiar attack on the typical American diet, and the research echoes previous studies on the benefits of heart-healthy eating. But the study goes into more detail on specific foods and their risks or benefits, said lead author Renata Micha, a public health researcher and nutritionist at Tufts University.

The results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Micha said the foods and nutrients were singled out because of research linking them with the causes of death studied. For example, studies have shown that excess salt can increase blood pressure, putting stress on arteries and the heart. Nuts contain healthy fats that can improve cholesterol levels, while bacon and other processed meats contain saturated fats that can raise levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol.

In the study, too much salt was the biggest problem, linked with nearly 10 percent of the deaths. Overeating processed meats and undereating nuts and seeds and seafood each were linked with about 8 percent of the deaths.

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MARCH IS NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH!

Cindy Maloney, R.N, B.A, PEL-CSN, Certified School Nurse at Glenbard North High School, shared this Wellness Tip:

Color your plate! A good variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure nutritional quality. The colors to include regularly are: dark green (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, green beans), yellow/orange (sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, cantaloupe), red (Cherries, strawberries, red peppers, tomatoes) and blue/purple (blue berries, purple grapes, eggplant, plums). Each of these colors contributes a unique health-promoting phytonutrient to you diet. Enjoy!

 

Source: Lynn Dugan, Registered Dietitian – check out Lynn’s web site for great recipes and more nutrition tips http://www.myplate2yours.com/ 

Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free: What Do They Really Mean?

Sandy Getzky, is the executive coordinating editor at The Global Nail Fungus Organization, a group committed to helping the 100+ million people suffering from finger and toenail fungus and is also a registered Herbalist and member of the American Herbalist’s Guild.  She was very gracious and wrote the following article especially for the Healthy Lombard blog:

Not all diets can get you the results that you need. Many fad diets that can be quickly completed only offer short-term results because you go back to eating normally after the diet period. If you’re aiming for a long-term solution, consider diets that offer permanent changes to your eating habits.

Vegan, Paleo, and Gluten-free, for example, are all diets that can change your lifestyle, even more so, if you follow them religiously. Many people adapt these lifestyles because of the nutritional benefits, such as getting more antioxidants and vitamins, that can boost your immune system. These can help reduce the risk of health complications such as diabetes, fungal infection, and arthritis.

Just like any major change in your life, proper planning and accurate information can help you reach your goal more efficiently. Consulting an expert is always a great first step – especially if you already have allergies or dietary restrictions. If you want to try a diet that entails a big lifestyle change, then read on to find out exactly what you may be getting into.

Veganism, A Way Of life

A Vegan diet means that all animal-derived ingredients are excluded from your meals. Yes, this includes meat, egg, and dairy products. Instead, a normal vegan diet usually includes dishes that have grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. Popular food, such as ice cream, cheese, and hot dogs, have their own vegan versions that usually involve the use of soy milk and tofu.

In a vegan diet, you need to correctly plan out all of your meals otherwise you might be missing key nutrients such as protein, omega-3, calcium, and vitamin B12. More often than not, people who rush going through a vegan diet replace animal products with junk food, such as white bread and pasta, that have little nutritional value. Also, carefully read the labels of soy-based products to ensure that they are not laden with sodium and preservatives. Some complications arising from a poorly executed vegan diet include skin disease, tooth cavity, anxiety, and exhaustion.

While it is possible to get all the nutrients you need from a vegan diet, it is difficult to put into practice – often requiring lots of knowledge and discipline. If you are planning to start this diet, it is best to do it slowly while consulting a professional. Read more

15 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Jen Miller shared in her newsletter that chia seeds are a versatile superfood. They are rich in vitamins and minerals the support good health in many ways.

These low calorie, high nutrient grains of goodness are important for both the body and the brain.

Below, Jenn offers 15 amazing health benefits of chia seeds, and 8 recipes to try. It’s easier than ever to add this superfood to your diet!

1. Chia Seeds are nutrient-rich yet low calorie

Chia seeds are rich in nutrition but low in calories, making them superior for anyone looking to cut calories but still keep nutritional value high.

With slightly more than a hundred calories per serving, these healthful little seeds pack quite a nutritional punch for their calorie count.

Chia seeds are high in fiber, antioxidants, protein, and low in carbs and saturated fat.

Chia is high in omega-3 fatty acids (the same good fat found in foods like salmon and avocados), making them a great food for anyone looking to get more Omega-3s but doesn’t like seafood.

They’re also perfect for low-carb diets, and won’t put you over your daily calorie limit. (1)

The nutritional profile of Chia seeds (per one ounce serving) breaks down like this: (2)

  • 138 calories
  • 9 grams of fat
    • 0.9 grams of saturated fat
    • 7 grams of polyunsaturated fat
    • 0.7 grams of monounsaturated fat
    • 0 grams of trans fat
  • 0 grams of cholesterol
  • 5 grams of sodium
  • 115 milligrams of potassium
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates
    • 10 grams of dietary fiber
  • 4.7 grams of protein
  • Vitamins including calcium, iron, and magnesium

Bottom line: Chia seeds are called a superfood for a reason! They are low in calorie count but pack serious nutritional value.

2. Chia seeds are high in fiber and help keep you full

With 11 grams of fiber per serving, chia seeds provide almost half of the daily recommended amount of fiber. This is fantastic news for anyone looking for high nutrient foods that keep you full for a long time.

Doctors recommend you should get between 38 grams and 50 grams of fiber daily, depending on your age and gender.

The fiber found in chia seeds is largely soluble, meaning they’re a great food for anyone with stomach issues. Soluble fiber also binds with cholesterol to help effectively flush it out of the body, adding to its many health benefits. (3)

Bottom line: Fiber helps keep you full, meaning if you’re counting calories, it’s a smart addition to your diet. Chia has tons of fiber per serving, helping you stay fuller, longer. Read more

The reason for supplementation

The Shaklee March Newsletter shared that with busy lives and food choices that are less than ideal, it is hard to get the essential nutrients we need for good health. Based on Daily Values (DV) for just 16 nutrients, 11 of the 16 were deemed to be “gap nutrients”.i And DVs reflect expert consensus about generally adequate amounts to meet basic requirements in most healthy people – not what may be required to achieve optimal health.

Why Supplement? – Ensuring we are getting the nourishment needed to support our bodies’ optimal functions can be a challenge, but nutritional supplementation can help fill in those gaps. Countless research studies and health experts agree that supplementing with key nutrients, including a multivitamin and multimineral complex, phytonutrients, probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids, provides a good nutritional foundation.

The Landmark Study – To understand the relationship between supplementation and long-term health, the first-of-its-kind Landmark Study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Researchers gathered a group of long-term (20+ years) multiple-supplementiii users and compared their health to non-supplement users.

The Findings – Researchers discovered that the overall health of long-term multiple-supplement users was dramatically different from that of non-supplement users. The multiple-supplement users had improved levels of important heart-healthy biomarkers.

As expected, the multiple-supplement users also had substantially higher levels of nutrients in the blood.

Lower Risk of Disease – As a group, the multiple-supplement users had a lower risk of high blood pressure (39%) and diabetes (73%), and multiple measures of cardiovascular risk trended in favor of supplementation.

When you eat and how frequently may benefit heart health

What times someone eats during the day and how frequently may play a role in having a healthy weight and heart.According to an American Heart Association scientific statement published Wednesday, eating breakfast, avoiding late-night eating and mindful meal-planning are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, blood vessel diseases and stroke.

However, current research doesn’t dictate the best approach.

“There’s conflicting evidence about meal frequency,” said Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D., writing group chair and associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University in New York City. She said studies have shown the benefit of intermittent fasting and eating smaller, frequent meals throughout the day.

Fasting every other day helped people lose weight in the short-term, but its long-term effects haven’t been studied, according to the statement. And there’s no guarantee that such fasting can be sustained.

“I can see scenarios where intermittent fasting can backfire,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., a statement co-author and nutrition professor at Penn State University. For example, people who fast one day could eat more than twice as much the next day, she said. She also questioned what would happen if someone who fasted regularly for lengthy periods of time – weeks or even months – then started eating regularly every day.

Because there’s not a lot of information about how people could practice intermittent fasting, Kris-Etherton cautioned against using it as a weight loss or weight management strategy until further information is available.

Eating frequent meals has also been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease risk factors, says St-Onge. One study of men showed that those who ate more than four times a day had a lower risk of obesity than those eating three or fewer times a day. But other studies have found the opposite, with a greater risk of weight gain over time in those reporting eating more frequently. Read more

Is Miso Healthy?

The Power of One Fruit

College of DuPage Nursing Student Aesha Patel asks, “What if I told you that you can achieve optimal health benefits by eating just one green fruit, a zucchini?” That’s right, zucchini is a fruit that is cooked as a vegetable because it is best when eaten in cooked dishes.

You might be surprised to know that consuming zucchini will help you lose weight tremendously. According to LiveStrong Foundation, the calories presented in a zucchini is only thirty-three, but it still satisfies your stomach fully. Not only does zucchini have low calories, it is also rich in fiber and has a high water content. Zucchini is also a source of manganese, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, and phosphorus. Having that one go to vegetable without having the feeling of an empty stomach, makes your life that much more easier.

The easiest way to fill your stomach in a healthy manner is by making zucchini chips. You will need six simple ingredients: olive oil, bread crumbs, freshly grated parmesan, salt,  pepper,  and a zucchini.

Directions are simple:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Slice the zucchini into thick rounds and toss them into a bowl with olive oil.
  • In another bowl mix in the parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper as well.
  • Dip each individual zucchini piece into the mixture, making sure each side of the zucchini gets coated well.
  • Spray cooking spray on a baking sheet and spread each zucchini piece onto it.
  • Bake the zucchini until they are golden brown and crisp. This should take about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Enjoy this simple recipe and enjoy the power of the zucchini.