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Roach column: Which diet is the right diet? – Marshfield News

Dear Dr. Roach: I am taking Zetia and niacin for extremely high cholesterol and triglycerides. Exactly what type of diet should I be on to lower my cholesterol and triglycerides? Many of the processed (cheese, ice cream, cookies, etc.) fat-free, cholesterol-free foods are high in sugar. Should I be on the South Beach Diet or a strictly vegetarian diet? How many calories, carbohydrates and fat grams should I consume daily to lose weight? I am a 5-feet-4-inch-tall female who weighs 160 pounds. When I was on the Atkins diet for more than 20 years, I was always slim and had no health problems. Thank you. — J.D.

Answer: You are asking how to lower cholesterol, but I think what you really want to know is what diet reduces risk of heart disease. The right question is: What diet should you be on that will help you be healthier in the long term? All of the diets you mention have their strengths and weaknesses. Almost everyone agrees that avoiding sugar and processed grains is a key factor in reducing heart disease risk, but, despite decades of research and controversy, there isn’t agreement on the best diet for overall health.

I think it’s possible to take some wisdom from all the diets you mention, and to avoid some of their potential pitfalls. Both the Atkins and South Beach plans avoid simple sugars and excess carbohydrates, and I would emphasize that red meat and saturated fats should be kept at reasonable levels. A vegetarian diet emphasizes vegetables and fruits, but some people will gain weight on this diet, especially if they aren’t careful to choose good sources of protein and healthy fat, or choose refined carbohydrate sources like the cookies you mention.

I have often recommended the Mediterranean diet, since there is high-quality evidence that it reduces heart disease risk. This diet calls for lots of vegetables and fruits, lean proteins such as fish, healthy fat such as from olive oil and nuts, and whole grains.

The medications you are taking, ezetimibe (Zetia) and niacin, do lower cholesterol, but it isn’t certain whether either of them really reduces risk of heart disease. The statin class of drugs is best shown to reduce heart disease risk in people of above-average risk.

Dear Dr. Roach: Nine weeks ago, my 76-year-old dad went to Punta Cana in the Dominic Republic for a two-week vacation. On the second day there, he began having diarrhea, and it has persisted since then. He has lost 15 pounds (and was not overweight to start). He went to a GI doctor, who ordered a single stool culture for ova and parasites, giardia, shiga, campylobacter, salmonella, shigella and C diff (toxin B screen cytotoxin), which all were negative. He will occasionally vomit. He has not had a fever or abdominal pain. Many foods cause violent symptoms, something that never happened before. The GI doctor recommended probiotics, which is being followed. The GI doctor says he is stumped, and has now started him on a lactose-free diet. We need some resolution to this. What are your thoughts? What else can be done to find out what is wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated. — B.I.

Answer: Normally, we would repeat the stool cultures, since ova and parasites especially can be missed on one. Most specialists recommend three cultures.

I agree with the lactose-free diet and probiotics for now. If it persists, he should probably get an upper and lower endoscopy as well.

Readers may write Dr. Keith Roach at PO Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

International Raw Food Day Diet: 10 Best Recipes

The international raw food day is commemorated every year on 11th July. As the name suggests, the day attempts at spreading awareness about the benefits of raw food consumption and also celebrating its long term advantages over our health. The 21st century has seen a rapid increase in the trend of fast food and other processed foods that have led to the increase in obesity levels and other non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc. In the wake of such trends catching up, health experts point at the emergent need to go back to the basics, to turn to nature and turn to into a raw food enthusiast.

So what exactly is raw foodism and where can we trace back its origins? The history of raw food consumption – as a dietary and health movement- can be traced back to 1830 when an American Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham propagated the benefits of raw food diet to combat the cholera epidemic that the country was grappling with. Apparently, the Swiss would take away the credit for being amongst the first to develop raw food as a dietary health treatment. In the late 19th century, a Swiss doctor, Maximilian Bircher Benner stumbled upon the benefits of raw food diet. It was when he was suffering from jaundice that he ate a lot of raw apples and after his recovery he conducted experiments to study the effects of raw foods on human health and the immune system.

Shifting gears to the contemporary scenario now, raw food diets have been rapidly gaining popularity all across the world. From raw food movements like raw foodism and raw veganism to special raw juice camps held in places like Portugal. Raw food, simply speaking, is food that has not been cooked, processed or exposed to any kind of chemicals or food engineering. It is consumed in its rawest and freshest form, technically, it is food that is not cooked or heated above 118 degrees. The thrust of the raw food diet is the consumption of unprocessed, whole plant-based, ideally organic foods. Nutritionists suggest that a minimum of three-quarters of a person’s diet should consist of uncooked food. The higher the proportion of raw foods in our diet, the healthier we will be.

Why is raw food beneficial for one’s health? Experts and researchers in the field of health and nutrition have long stood by the benefits of raw food consumption. It is believed that just a little raw food in your diet can do wonders to your health. Raw food consumption can be an ideal way to get your daily quota of five portions of fruit and vegetables. It can help you get rid of stress, energizing your mind and body. Raw foods are full of essential nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, which are usually lost when processed or cooked. Not only this, raw foods are tad low on calories, they can help you maintain healthy skin, lustrous hair, better eyesight and can also help you boost your immunity and shed weight. (More: Busted! Common myths about raw food consumption.)

As they say, every good thing has a flip side to it, so does the raw food diet. Experts advise to exercise a little caution while consuming raw foods. Make sure that the foods and fruits are fresh. Wash them properly and if needed boil them. Do not use foods that have been stored for a long period of time. Take notice of the slightest of change in the natural colour or smell of the food. Ensure proper storage. Maintaining hygiene is of the utmost importance.
In India raw food consumption has not yet picked up as a trend. There are many factors that we can point to, the most important ones are poor hygiene and our extreme weather conditions. I personally remember the instance when I had consumed sliced raw cucumber from a local shop and ended up throwing up for a couple of days. Eating raw foods from the local shops can prove to be quite a daunting experience, as you never really know what kind of water is being used, how clean the cutlery is and above all, how hygiene friendly they themselves have been while handing over that plate of fruit salad to you. It is best to buy food items and make your own salads, smoothies and chaats at home, make sure that they are cleaned and washed properly.

Having said that, whether you plan to include a little raw food in your daily intake or want to be that dauntless enthusiast to plunge headlong into a full fledged raw food diet, we can ensure that you’ll never run short of recipe ideas. One of the best things about raw food is that you can cut them, mix them together with a bit of spices and herbs and add a little glamour to the otherwise bland affair. Read ahead to explore your options, from garden fresh salads to refreshing smoothies, here is our bumper list of recipes that will make you fall in love with raw food. Forget your cola and junk and get down to some serious raw food cooking!

Beet Feta and Orange Salad

Recipe by Vicky Ratnani

Experience the freshness and rich colours adorning your plate. Beetroot, oranges and lettuce come together, bathed in yogurt dressing and topped with nuts, herbs and feta.

5 Best smoothies

Blend together some of your favourite fruits along with some milk or yogurt. Sip on the goodness or raw food and energize yourself.

Mediterranean Watermelon Salad
Recipe by Vicky Ratnani

Here is a raw food treat that is wholesome and satisfying. Some of the best hydrating raw foods come together and create a colourful melange with an addition of subtle herbs and dressing.

Mixed Vegetable Salad
Recipe by Niru Gupta

is the world’s healthiest deal for you. A medley of greens and
colourful veggies tossed in tangy vinegar and pepper. Add a bit of yogurt for
that creamy texture and a dash of honey for the perfectly balanced flavour.

Raw Papaya Salad

Recipe by Roopa Gulati

Grated raw papaya, tossed in chilli sauce, red chillies, peanuts and lime juice and crowned with fresh coriander

Green Salad With Feta
Recipe by Ritu Dalmia

Bright and fresh salad with crunchy nuts, salad greens, tomatoes, onions, lime juice and a drizzle of light dressing.

Sproutamin Salad
Recipe by Vicky Ratnani

Indulge in a wholesome and nourishing goodness of this super salad. Throw in all your favourite fruits and bean sprouts. From kiwis, olives, cherry tomatoes to chowli, methi and other bean sprouts. Theses are mixed together with an addition of pepper, feta cheese and olive oil dressing.

Aam Rass
Recipe by Niru Gupta
Sip on the nectar of on of your favourite fruit. Delighting, fresh, hydrating and energizing.

Tabbouleh Salad
Recipe by Aditya Bal

It can’t get healthier than this! Bring on a healthy treat packed with daliya, mint, parsley and olives bathed in olive oil and pepper.

Apple and Celery Salad
Recipe by Aditya Bal

Fresh apples and garden fresh celery brought together with simple olive oil, honey and lime juice dressing.

Other Links:

Sports Drinks May Adversely Affect Players’ Performance: Study

Your Food Can Affect the Internal Clock

International Raw Food Day: 5 Common Raw Food Myths

The Secret Powers of Chocolate Milk

A New Test Can Predict if Your Teen Will Be a Binge Drinker

10 Best Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Eating Dark Chocolate May Make Walking Easier

6 Foods That Keep You Full For Longer

A Squad as Intense as Its Enchiladas

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A diet of education: Project FINE, others educating community on healthy …

The Project FINE conference room turned into a kitchen on a recent weekday in June.

The front table was covered in a red-checkered tablecloth, with a blender and hot plate. Across the back of the room lay a spread of veggies, fruit and other snacks. Project FINE’s clients — many of them speaking Spanish or Hmong — found their seats for the hour-long Health and Wellness Initiative program.

Project FINE director Fatima Said greeted the group, explaining how after months of discussing the need to eat healthy, tonight’s session would show the audience how.

“Tonight we have a special treat,” Said said. Interpreters echoed her words in Spanish and Hmong. “We have the opportunity to taste some of this healthy food.”

Annette Shepardson, a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program educator with the University of Minnesota Extension, stood behind the table and pointed to three cans: red peppers, tomatoes, and fat-free milk. Blended together, she explained, along with a little basil, they created a soup with little salt but a lot of flavor and nutrients.

The soup offered another perk, too. All of its ingredients could be obtained at the food shelf.

Responding to a problem

Earlier this year, Winona Health published its 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment, identifying mental health, access to preventive care, and obesity as key areas that needed growth across the board.

The report, based in part on two surveys — one to random addresses in the 55987 zip code and another to Project FINE clients — found needs specifically related to food and nutrition. Fifty-one percent of general survey respondents agreed that cost is a hurdle for including fresh fruit and veggies in their diet. Sixty-six percent of Project FINE respondents agreed.

Immigrant population-specific needs also included concerns about the cost of health care, access to health care and adequate nutrition.

Focus group participants noted in the report that more education on food preparation is necessary, also remarking that food shelf resources are often starches, not vegetables.

Growth is already happening in the food arena. Since September 2013, Project FINE’s Health and Wellness Initiative has combined group sessions and home visits to provide education to its clients. Other organizations, such as Winona Volunteer Services, reach out with educational opportunities as well.

Shepardson said eating well on a limited budget is not an impossible goal, but success depends on learning how to combine healthy ingredients. Shepardson works in 18 counties across southern Minnesota and said she tries to bring affordable, nutritious recipes to everyone from teen parents to elderly shut-ins.

“I don’t do anything gourmet,” she said, laughing.

The theme for the June Project FINE event was “cooking healthy together,” with the session as well as a kitchen hygiene session, where Shepardson used a blacklight to show participants how to wash their hands after touching raw meat.

Once the tomato soup was warm, Project FINE staff passed out sample cups. The recipe met rave reviews, with several audience members asking for the recipe.

In her work as a food educator, Shepardson looks for just that: audience response leading to a change in behavior, even a very small one.

“When I hear ‘I can do this,’ I know I’ve had a behavior change,” she said.

Changing attitudes through education

The road to healthy living is not always easy for newcomers or low-income residents.

Said said many newcomers struggle with preventable diseases, such as diabetes and high cholesterol, due to extreme lifestyle changes. For some, unfamiliarity with Western medicine makes preventive care not the comfortable, normal option it is for most people who are used to sticking out their tongues and saying “Aaah.”

And although preventive care may be familiar to many Winonans, healthy eating is not.

Nadine Bayer, nutrition and health educator at Winona Volunteer Services, said the old maxim about leading the horse to water applies to food education.

“The difficulty in food education comes with the motivational component of it,” she said.

Unless a client’s doctor makes a dire proclamation like change-your-diet-or-else, it’s tough to convince people that there’s still a need to make better food choices, she said.

Statistics show that people living at or near poverty have more health issues. Bayer said she believes this is largely tied to diet, which is in turn tied to education: people simply have not learned how to eat well.

When Bayer meets a client who voices a desire to eat more healthy food, the next step is to teach him or her how to prepare multi-ingredient meals with the sometimes elusive combination of affordability and nutritive goodness.

“It’s not just what to eat, but also how to prepare it,” Bayer said.

Bayer said she also teaches her clients how to shop sales for affordable basics, adding that produce is a good place to start. Winona Volunteer Services offers weekly farmers market classes, where clients can learn how to cook with farmers market produce, then receive vouchers to purchase food at the market on Saturday.

Getting healthy, moving ahead

Moving Ahead to Financial Freedom, a Winona community initiative led by area businesses and organizations, offers free public classes each month at Volunteer Services. Most of them concern eating well and saving money at the same time, implying a connection between healthy, budget-conscious eating and moving up the income ladder.

Bayer said it’s not a stretch of the imagination to relate the two. For one thing, an average fast-food meal, while appearing cheap, has a high cost compared to the nutrients it provides.

For another thing, Bayer said, being active and eating better can lead people to feel empowered and confident. That one small area of control can lead to presenting better at job interviews or performing better at work.

Young mothers are often most willing to make changes, she said, motivated by a desire to improve the lives of their children. “They are very much wanting to break the cycle,” Bayer said.

Children were the motivation for Nayeli Perez, a Spanish-speaking mother of two who attended Project FINE’s cooking event.

Perez is from Mexico, but has lived in the U.S. for eight years. She attended the class to learn more about nutrition, so she can keep her daughters healthy.

She has also embraced other dimensions of wellness, attending computer and exercise classes through Project FINE, she said.

More exercise education is something Bayer would like to see at Winona Volunteer Services as well. “As I learn what works well here, I’d like to see us somehow have an impact on physical activity,” she said.

Woman reveals how she lost 283 pounds with high fat low carb ketogenic diet

When it comes to using food as medicine, an increasing number of patients and physicians are finding that low carb diets are effective for conditions ranging from epilepsy to cancer. Now a man who was battling double vision as a result of Graves’ eye disease has used a gluten-free low carb diet to avoid a second surgery and reverse most of his symptoms, reported Medical Xpress News on July 10.

When Don Parker was advised by ophthalmologist James McDonnell, MD, of Loyola University Medical Center that his eye disease might be controlled without surgery or medication, he was enthusiastic. The results: Parker lost 35 pounds and discovered that the bulging in his eyes and double vision were almost gone.

The plan involved a gluten-free, low carb diet. “My double vision is almost gone and there is so little bulging in my eyes that they look almost completely normal,” said Parker.

But what of obesity and food addiction? Can a high fat low carb ketogenic diet help in those situations, particularly for people who have tried everything and failed to win at weight loss? Yes, says Amy Bell, who lost 283 pounds.

Before trying a high fat low carb diet, Amy weighed 446 pounds, she told the St. Louis Dispatch on July 10. She believes that she is a food addict, and compares it to drug addiction.

As a result, she created a weight loss plan that helped her “withdraw” from the foods to which she was addicted. “I’m a food addict. It’s like a drug,” she says candidly.

Now that she’s recognized her food triggers, Amy’s diet is strict. She eats three eggs and a cup of spinach for breakfast, with between-meal snacks of almonds or protein shakes.

And when Amy says she eliminated sugar, she includes fruit. “I haven’t eaten sugar since 2011,” she said. “It’s out of my life.”

Amy’s lunch and dinner are identical. She eats vegetables plus four ounces of chicken for each meal. She views this as a plan for life.

“Nothing is going to change what I’m doing. I’m an-all-or-nothing-kind of girl,” Amy says firmly. Article – Crazy celebrity diets

Bizarre diets are no secret but of course celebrities and their creative eating habits are more intriguing than your average no carbs rule.

We know a lot of female celebs try really hard to stick to a strict diet so they can look amazing all the time – but there are some things we just have to draw the line on. Like Gwyneth Paltrow, who used to stick to a macrobiotic diet, eating only all-natural foods that haven’t been processed. That means no meat, eggs, fish or dairy. But that’s a walk in the park for most vegans. Reese Witherspoon’s go-to weight loss plan is baby food. She reportedly eats it for breakfast and lunch, then has real food for dinner…yum. And Christina Aguilera got real colorful with her diet at one point…literally. She went on the 7 day Color Diet, eating foods of one color each day – starting with white, then red, green, orange, purple, yellow, and then all of the colors on the 7th day.

We get it – Celebs have access to all kinds of diets so it’s not uncommon for some of them to skip over the trendy ones like South Beach and Atkins. But Victoria Beckham takes the cake…but not at all really…Her Alkaline Diet revolves around the pH levels, or acidity, of the body and its fluids. On this particular diet, 70 percent of all food is raw, cow dairy isn’t consumed, and even protein is eaten in moderation.

Just in case you’re NOT a celebrity – there’s still a few stars that you can look to for easier diets. Like Whitney Port, who credits her slim figure to avoiding carbs, sugar and fried food.And Jennifer Aniston gave some advice to Women’s Health readers: “just stop eating sh*t every day.”

How to lose weight: Eat like a man; don’t diet; eat steak and not just salad.

It’s a cliche that it’s easier for men to lose weight than it is for women. And while testosterone has a lot to do with that, registered dietitian Jim White says another big reason is how men approach food. In an article on Fitness magazine’s website, he suggests seven “dude-style habits” that might help women shed a few pounds, including:

∎ Don’t always order the salad instead of the steak. Some nutrients that come along with protein, such as vitamin B12, are helpful for weight loss.

∎ Forget the “beer belly” stigma. If you’re going to drink alcohol, consider that mixed drinks often have more calories than beer. In addition, beer is more filling, which might help you resist the bar snacks.

∎ Don’t diet. Depriving yourself just sets up your need for a high-calorie reward. “Because they (men) make lifestyle changes rather than go on diets, their eating strategies have no real end date. They just keep going and going . . . and losing and losing.”

∎ Boycott low-cal foods. They tend to be completely unsatisfying and can make you eat more in the long run. Go for the full-fat cheese.

∎ Eat constantly. “Guys are a bit like constantly running garbage disposals. They eat and eat and eat, but where does all that food go? Not on their waistlines. Why? Because they are keeping their metabolisms stoked and burning calories like crazy.”

Women on a diet tend to try to go without food for hours at a time, White says, which actually slows their metabolism and makes it harder to lose weight.

Will these ideas really work? Can’t tell – but they sound like more fun than a lot of diet tips.