Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Is having one or two drinks a day bad for you?

There's nothing like a glass of wine after a long day's work to take the edge off, wouldn't you agree?  Or, should you prefer instead, a couple of beers after dinner?

As long as you don't reach the point of inebriation, no harm, no foul...right?

Not according to a study released by The European Association for the Study of the Liver on April 25th of this year.

Their data shows that "the cirrhosis burden" caused by alcohol increases by 11.13% when moving from moderate to what they classify as heavy drinking:  up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 6% of deaths worldwide are caused by drinking alcohol.  The majority of these deaths come from alcoholic cirrhosis (half of all cirrhosis cases are caused by alcohol.)

Here are a few other interesting statistics about alcohol:

-Worldwide 16% of drinkers aged 15 years or older engage in heavy episodic drinking. (WHO)
-In general, the greater the economic wealth of a country, the more alcohol is consumed and a smaller number of people abstain. (WHO)
-Almost 50% of men and two-thirds of women do not consume alcohol. (NCADD - National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Inc.)
-Alcohol is the world's largest risk factor for disease burden; it's the highest risk factor in the Western Pacific and the Americas and the second largest in Europe. (NCADD)

- "Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction." - Bob Marley

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Finally some good news for smokers...who exercise.

Worldwide, over six million people die each year from tobacco related illnesses according to the Center for Disease Control.  That figure is expected to jump to 8 million people annually by the year 2030.

On average smokers die ten years earlier than non-smokers according to the article 21st-Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

So what's the good news?

A study out of the University of Texas Science Center found that cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with reduced metabolic syndrome risk among smokers.

Metabolic syndrome is when you have three of the following five things: 1) abdominal obesity; 2) elevated blood pressure; 3) elevated fasting glucose; 4) high serum triglycerides; and 5) low high-density cholesterol levels. The presence of metabolic syndrome is known to increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

The study found that the risk for metabolic syndrome was reduced for smokers who were either highly fit (risk reduced 48 percent) or moderately fit (risk reduced 27 percent) compared to those in the low fitness category.

In addition, moderate and high fitness participants were found to have reduced their risk for the development of elevated fasting blood glucose.   

Want some more good news?

The New England Journal of Medicine mentioned above concludes that if you quit before the age of 40 it reduces your "risk of death associated with continued smoking by about 90%."


"Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times." - Mark Twain

Monday, June 15, 2015

Do e-cigarettes work as promised?

In 2014, worldwide electronic cigarette sales totaled $7 billion. So even if you don't smoke, you've probably heard the term "e-cigarette."

But you may be a little fuzzy on what exactly an e-cigarette is.

An e-cigarette is basically an electronic nicotine delivery system.  Each cigarette has a battery-powered vaporizer in it which produces a similar feel and sensation as a regular cigarette.  There are both one-time and reusable versions.  The basic idea is that they are safer than regular cigarettes and a way to help you gradually quit smoking for good.

Sounds good, however a new study by the University of California, San Diego Health Sciences published in April of this year found that smokers who used e-cigarettes were 49 percent less likely to decrease cigarette use and 59 percent less likely to quit smoking compared to smokers who never used e-cigarettes.  The study followed 1,000 California smokers over a one year span.

California Department of Public Health director and state health officer, Ron Chapman, MD, MPH has this to say...

“There is a lot of misinformation about e-cigarettes.  That is why, as the state’s health officer, I am advising Californians to avoid the use of e-cigarettes and keep them away from children of all ages.”


"When it looks like I may live longer than five minutes, I'll drop cigarettes like a hot potato." - actor Patrick Swayze (a heavy smoker right up to his death from pancreatic cancer in 2009.)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dealing with your Picky Eaters

It's right before dinner time and you hear the dreadful...
“Eeeeww, yuck!!”

Yes, it’s the familiar sound of a mealtime battle about to begin.

“That’s gross! I’m not eating that!”

Or worse:

“Phhhbbtt”… all over the wall.


You are trying to set a healthy example. But, when you are challenged by a picky-eater child or teen (or in some cases spouse) you end up banging your head against the wall.

This is especially true if you’re trying to change from unhealthy to healthy habits. Often it is hard to get everyone on board, especially if you have a young family.

Good news! There is hope.

Here are some guidelines for helping you get your entire family on board, including the picky ones.

  • Do a kitchen clean-out and ensure that unhealthy foods are simply unavailable.
  • Make healthy foods convenient and accessible for snacks and quick meals. For example, have a fruit bowl on the counter; pre-washed baby veggies in the fridge; raw nuts as quick-grab snacks; etc.
  • Use inconvenience to your advantage. 

    You want ice cream? Hmm, well, we don’t have any in the house. We’d have to go to the store to get it, and right now we’re doing homework. How about a banana instead? There’s one right here.
  • Use the “forbidden fruit” impulse to your advantage. Fuss over healthy foods or imply that they’re slightly special or off-limits. Serve them on the fancy plates or dole them out like it’s a big deal. Nothing is more appealing to kids than stuff they think they shouldn’t do!

I hope this helps you ease the pain of getting your family on board to healthier nutrition habits. To get more help with nutrition, give me a call at 561-880-5799 or click the link to schedule a FREE consultation.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Boost your immune system by eating a Shiitake mushroom a day.

Your immune system is responsible for keeping your whole body healthy.

And with all the emotional, physical and environmental stresses we face each day, having a strong one is more important than ever.

So you may be interested in the results of a study recently posted online.  The study was done in 2011 by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

What researchers found is that over the four-week trial period, people who ate one four-ounce serving of shiitake mushrooms per day, not only experienced an enhancement of their immune system, but a reduction in inflammation that the immune system produces.  Specifically researchers found that study participants had better-functioning gamma delta T-cells and reductions in inflammatory proteins.  In other words, they were found to be good for the immune system and they helped reduce inflammation.

Shiitake mushrooms are native to East Asia, but available for sale around the world.  Dating back as far back as 100 A.D, people have considered them a medicinal medicine.  They are thought to possess antibacterial properties in addition to other anti-disease properties.  Studies in animals have found shiitake mushrooms have anti-tumor, cholesterol-lowering, and virus-inhibiting effects.


"I didn't know what shiitake mushrooms were when I was 10 - most kids today do." - Chef Emeril