Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

Always Coca Cola

coke-logo-10

Coca Cola, Pepsi , Mountain Dew, Sprite. You name it. I’m not a fan. Patients and loved ones often wonder why I’m so against drinking soda. One can of Coke has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. 10. Almost 13 billion gallons of cola were consumed in the U.S. last year. That’s 130 billion teaspoons of sugar just from drinking colas. High sugar content is just one of the reasons I recommend avoiding soft drinks.

Toxic Ingredients

* Phosphorus- weakens bones and decays teeth. A major contributor to osteoporosis.

* Formaldehyde. Yes. An ingredient in plywood and fungicides. A known carcinogen.

* High fructose corn syrup- Increases body fat, cholesterol, diabetes risk,and triglycerides. Also stimulates appetite.

* Fake sugars. Known to be neurotoxic, carcinogenic, and damage optic nerve. More info.

* Food dyes and coloring- linked to hyperactivity, impairment of brain function, lack of impulse control, cancer.

* A diuretic. Makes you pee and dehydrates you. Leading to fatigue, headaches, constipation, irritability, rapid heart rate, and more.

I hope now you’re looking for healthier options. But still feel you need the sugar and caffeine boost?

For bubbles- kombucha or sparkling water with lemon or lime

Energy- chlorophyll rich foods- sea vegetables, spinach, kale,
parsley, cilantro, blue-green algae, sprouts, wheatgrass.

Sugar buzz- the best source. Nature’s finest. Fruit.

Another consequence of soda consumption is plastic consumption. It hurts your health and the environment. Listen to my interview with Beth Terry on how you can use less plastic.

Next time your thirsty or looking for more energy, have a water and a smile.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Are YOU Addicted?

 

 

Got you, didn’t I? Addiction is such a buzzword. Most people associate addiction with skid row types or the weak willed. The very opposite is true. All of my patients are addicted to something, but usually it’s to socially acceptable things. Coffee, soda, love, alcohol, shopping, approval, and dairy are at the top of the list. The hardest to give up? And the most prevalent? Sugar. Yep. Sugar. This epidemic of abuse of sugar in this country has gotten so bad that a 12 year old needed a liver transplant due to his intake of soda.

 

It is now a common occurrence to see children taking blood pressure medication and having what used to be called adult onset diabetes- type 2 diabetes. 5-year-olds weighing more than 100 pounds is normal. 100 pounds. Almost 13 percent of children ages 6 to 17 are obese. Something is very wrong. Teenage boys consume an average of 34 teaspoons of sugar a day. It’s recommended that adult males should eat no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day.

 

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study conducted at Harvard proving that sugar consumption and foods that drastically raise blood levels triggers activity in the brain associated with addiction. Sugar and other stimulating addictions increase dopamine in the short term, leading to wanting more. Dopamine is released when you experience pleasure. Since 1970, American sugar consumption has gone up 17 percent. See the connection?

 

Unless you make all your own food from home, sugar is hidden in everything including tomato sauce/ketchup, salad dressing, soup, flavored chips, yoghurt, cereal, canned vegetables, breakfast bars, bread, fast food and chain restaurants, Do you think you’re choosing the healthier option at fast food places by ordering a salad? Think again. A McDonald’s Big Mac has 9 grams of sugar and the chicken salad raspberry vinaigrette has 13 grams. Jarred pasta sauce isn’t any better. A serving of Prego tomato sauce has more sugar than one serving of Oreos.

 

Tips for getting off the junk.

 

* Daily acupuncture is an effective way to ease the suffering of withdrawal.  It helps with cravings.  It also safely and effectively aids a patient in dealing with whatever emotions might come up.

 

* Avoid having sweet breakfasts, such as sweetened yoghurt and fruit, sugared cereal, and sugar-laden oatmeal.  Starting your day off with sugar sets up your entire day to wanting more.

 

* Eat healthy snacks to give you energy instead of reaching for an energy bar, coffee with sugar, or donuts.  Try hummus, veggie sticks, and nuts.

 

* Stop eating and drinking all sugars, sweeteners, and fruit juice. The slightest amount can retrigger your cravings.

 

* Enjoy plenty of omega 3 rich foods- walnuts, kale, hemp seeds, and seaweed snacks. They help with insulin control and healthy brain function.

 

* If you are having something sweet, add a little cinnamon to help regulate blood sugar levels.

 

Addiction. It can be an action or substance that is in any way negatively affecting your daily life, and you find it virtually impossible to stop.  How many times have you said to yourself, “No more,” only to reach for another piece of cake?  It’s time to take charge of your health and give up sugar.

 

Live natural.  Live well.

 

Heather

 

The Truth About Dairy

 

Another question I get asked a lot: “Don’t you need milk for calcium?” The answer is a big “NO.” On top of dairy not having much calcium compared to many plant foods (see below), a lot of people are allergic/lactose intolerant. This means they can’t access the calcium in dairy anyway and it can make them really sick. Dairy has also been linked to heart disease, prostate cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.

 

The dairy industry paid almost $200 million in the US in 2011 on advertising. So that’s pretty much everyone believes you can only get enough calcium from eating dairy. Marketing. The guys at Mad Men would be proud.

 

A staggering statistic that also disproves this myth- On average, Americans eat the most dairy and have the highest rates of osteoporosis. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, we eat almost 300 pounds of dairy per year.

 

Besides not having the highest levels of calcium, eating a lot of dairy and animal protein makes your body acidic. To alkalize itself, the body leeches calcium from your bones.

 

Inuits have the highest dietary calcium intake of any other people in the world– above 2000 mg per day from fish bones. Their diet is also the highest in the world in protein- up to 400 g a day mostly from fish and have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world.  The Bantu of Africa consume an average of 350 mg of calcium a day and have almost no cases of osteoporosis.

 

Still don’t believe me? Look at these numbers.

 

Calcium Sources

In milligrams per 100 gram serving

Butter                                 20
Whole milk                       118
Chickpeas                        150
Collard greens                203
Parsley                              203
Soybeans                         226
Almonds                           234
Sesame seeds                1160

 

In milligrams per 8 oz (1 cup)

Soybean sprouts            50
Alfalfa sprouts               25
Nori                                 1200
Kombu                            2100
Wakame                         3500
Tofu                                350
Quinoa                           80
Kale                                72
Okra                                81
Corn meal                     50
Oats                               40
Carrot juice                  57
Navy beans                  140
Pinto beans                  100
Lima beans                 60
Black beans                 60
Lentils                           50
Hazelnuts                     450
Walnuts                         280
Sunflower seeds          260

 

 

Recommended Daily Allowance

 

* 0-6 months                           200 mg

* 6-12 months                         260 mg

* 1-3 years                               700 mg

* 4-8 years                              1000 mg

* 9-18 years                            1300 mg

* 19-50 years                          1000 mg

* pregnant/lactating               1300 mg

* 51-70 years male                1000 mg

* 51-70 years female             1200 mg

* 70+ years                             1200 mg

 

So as you can see, ‘Milk it does the body good” campaign just isn’t true. Do yourself a favor. Go to your local farmers market this weekend. Try some fresh, green veggies. Buy yourself a juicer and enjoy. Grab a handful of almonds. Eat some hummus. Your bones will thank you.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

 

Note: Oxalic acid, which is found in spinach, rhubarb, chard, and beet greens binds with calcium and reduces its absorption. They should not be considered good sources of calcium.

Pumpkins Aren’t Just for Decoration

It’s that time of year! Pumpkins everywhere. Not only are they are great decoration for Halloween, they’re great for you. One of my fondest childhood memories is carving up a pumpkin in anticipation of dressing up and all the sugar I was about to consume. Luckily, now I look forward to all the pumpkin I get to eat instead.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is naturally low in calories and rich in health-promoting nutrients, including:

Fiber

* reduces bad cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease
* controls blood sugar levels
* promotes healthy digestion
* encourages weight loss

Potassium

* Balances fluid levels
* promotes strong bones
* necessary for energy production
* maintains healthy blood pressure

Alpha-carotene & Beta-carotene

* improves vision & reduces risk of cataracts
* reverses sun damage to the skin & slows the aging process
* is an anti-inflammatory
* prevents tumor growth
* boosts the immune system
* protects against heart disease

Vitamins C

* boosts immunity
* reduces high blood pressure and heart disease
* regulates cholesterol levels

Vitamin E

* slows aging by protecting the skin from sun damage
* reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers

Magnesium

* promotes a strong immune system
* strengthens the bones
* supports heart function

Pantothenic acid/vitamin B5

* balances hormone levels
* manages stress levels

My favorite pumpkin dish is a really simple soup- Just cook some vegetable broth, 4-6 cups of pumpkin, onion, garlic, a little curry powder and a potato or two on simmer for 20 minutes. Add coconut milk at the end. Puree in blender and serve. Delicious!

Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and are an excellent plant-based source of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. The seeds protect against prostate cancer and prevent osteoporosis.

One way I love to eat pumpkin seeds is to slightly toast them, put them in a blender with silken tofu, nutritional yeast, and Bragg’s amino acids. This makes a great dip any time of year.

So this year, make it a new tradition to use the whole pumpkin and make healthier choices during the holiday season.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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