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Showing posts from March, 2019

Coffee

When trying to be healthy, doctors and care providers will often recommend you cut out coffee. But, what’s the deal? Is it really bad for your health? This question can certainly spark passionate debates on either side for or against coffee, but ultimately, one should look at the research and hard evidence to make a final decision.
Based on the extent of research on coffee, caffeine and green tea, a common theme seems to be that those who regularly drink these beverages, experience some associated benefits. We all know that staying hydrated, especially with water, has its benefits. One study (6) has shown that over a 4-year survey, those who regularly drank water, coffee and teas experienced a slight decrease in weight. On the other hand, those who regularly consumed sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas and juices experienced weight gain over that same time period. While data from research is not completely conclusive, it does show an association of favorable adiponectin levels (a hor…

Weight Loss Pills - What’s the Verdict

Quick and easy weight loss methods are highly sought after these days. In recognizing the financial benefits, pharmaceuticals quickly acted to fill the demand. With various drugs and supplements available that claim to aid weight loss, people are drawn to an “easier” solution of taking a pill rather than examining their dietary and physical activity habits and making improvements. Contrave is one of the newer combination drugs approved by the FDA for use. Initially, Contrave was denied for approval by the FDA in 2011 due to concerns of cardiovascular risks (1). Additionally, the FDA did not initially approve Contrave because it only led to a 5% body weight loss compared to subjects on the placebo who lost 10% body weight. As a result, the FDA concluded the risks of use of Contrave did not outweigh its benefits (2). But later in 2014 after reapplying, the FDA approved Contrave for the market. It is recommended for persons obese with a BMI over 30 or overweight with BMI over 27 with a…

Benefits of Fiber

You’ve probably heard it over and again that fiber is good for you and you should include more fiber in your diet!
But what is fiber?
Fiber is essentially a carbohydrate. It’s made up of chains of glucose (sugar) connected in a particular way that cannot be digested nor absorbed by the human gut or enzymes. Fiber serves as a structural component of plants, similar to the bones we have in our bodies. So then why eat something that you cannot digest?
Even though we don’t digest and absorb fibers, they still offer many health benefits. Fibers help to bulk up foods to increase their volume and help with the feeling of fullness, referred to as satiety and also slows digestion to keep you feeling full longer (2). Diets rich in fiber have also proven to help manage cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity and decrease risk of colorectal cancers (1). While we don’t digest fibers, research has shown a fiber rich diet helps to promote activity and growth of healthy gut microflora, whereby ser…

What are Macros?

You have probably heard this term at one point. You may have even been told that you need to track macros to help you lose weight. Okay, great! But what does that mean? The term “macros” refers to your macronutrients. Your macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fats or lipids. These macronutrients are a source of energy for your body when they are digested and absorbed. Based on USDA Dietary Guidelines, the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) are as follows:
45-65% of daily kcals from Carbohydrates 10-35% of daily kcals from Protein 20-35% of daily kcals from Fats
So, for example, if you are sticking to a 2,000 kcal daily diet, about 900-1300 kcal are from carbs, 200-700 kcals are from protein, and 400-700 kcals are from fats. Now obviously you would adjust the numbers and proportions in a way that you still stick to your intended calorie intake. Then how do you count out your macros?
Macros are typically counted in grams. Once you find out what percentage you wan…

3 Ways to Add More Vegetables to Your Diet

1.  Buy “Snackable” Veggies
Stock up on vegetables that are easy to snack on and don’t require a lot of prep. Foods like baby carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower. These are easy to prepare as they typically only require a wash and some minimal chopping. You can eat these by themselves or add dips for flavor! Bell peppers are so juicy and fresh that I like to eat them plain to enjoy the full flavor. More cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower require a bit more chopping to get smaller bite-size florets and they are greatly complemented by a simple hummus or yogurt/Tzatziki dip.
Personally, I like to prep my snacks in a Tupperware container, but these particular vegetables are mess-free and can even be portioned into sandwich size zip lock bags. The only thing left to arrange is a container for your dip, if you choose to have one. See the end of the post for my 2 favorite dip recipes.
2.  Blend it!
Leafy and fibrous veggies are extremel…