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Keep the baby food diet for babies

A lot of people have asked me about developing a weight loss plan that revolves around baby food. Because I deliver babies, they think that I know all about baby food; so I looked into this diet. Below are the facts about it, including its plan and how it works:

The Diet

On the so-called “Baby Food Diet,” you literally do as the name suggests. You replace several meals and snacks with jars of baby food, from sweet potato mash to pureed peas and blended chicken. Many people on the diet will eat 10–14 jars of baby food throughout the day and end with a regular-sized dinner.

Why do people like this diet? It gives them an easy way to control their portion sizes while still getting in fruits and vegetables.

Since the snack and meals take little time to make, they also don’t have as much motivation to eat out and can get on with their busy lives. They do not have to spend half an hour or more cooking meals.

Health Concerns

There are many health concerns that come with replacing adult-sized meals with portions made for little babies. First of all, babies’ digestive systems are just developing, meaning that they have to take eating slowly and easily so that their stomachs can process it.


On the other hand, adults have fully developed digestive systems. They get great satisfaction from tasting and chewing food, then letting the heavy substance settle in their stomachs.

Their active digestive systems will zip right through baby food, leaving them hungry and unsatisfied throughout the day. You can probably guess what will happen if this cycle of hunger continues. The person will launch right into a binge after a while, undoing any “progress” he may have made.

Second, adults can suffer nutritional deficiencies. Aside from needing over a dozen baby food jars to accommodate an adult’s metabolism, adults can easily get too little nutrients.

Baby food does not have enough fiber for a grown human body, and some people may limit their choices if they do not like the taste. For example, adults might find it hard to stomach pureed meats. Also, while baby food consists of mainly fruits and vegetables, its small size likely will not suffice for an adult’s nutrient needs.

In addition, health professionals have no research to show that the Baby Food Diet is actually safe for people to use. Therefore, dieters are proceeding with unknown risks to their safety.

Not an Effective Diet Program

While many people do not realize this fact, those promoting the Baby Food Diet actually use it for maintaining weight, not losing it. They recommend losing weight on a different diet regimen before starting the Baby Food Diet.


In fact, you should not rely on this diet for weight loss at all. It does not provide a safe, effective route for it.

The Baby Food Diet may lead to severe caloric restriction, slowing down your metabolism. In addition, because you need high motivation to keep up with it, you risk binge-eating or resorting back to your old habits.

Also, professionals have absolutely no research to back this diet, making it entirely unsafe. In fact, the diet does not even have rules or guidelines to help each person obtain similar results.

One person might replace two entire meals with one or two jars of baby food. Another person might eat four or five at a meal and pick through a few more for snacks.

Then, on a busy day, a person could forget to eat all of their dozen jars and experience dizziness, nausea, or weakness. They have no consistency.


Last but definitely not least, the Baby Food Diet does not teach adults the essential rudiments of a healthy diet. Adults who go back and forth between normal food and baby food will find themselves regaining any weight they may have lost before or during this diet. They may also have more temptation to cheat, undercutting their health and learning little about a truly healthy lifestyle.

The Baby Food Diet simply does not work—unless you’re a baby. It does not have adequate research to prove its safety nor guidelines to help people gain consistent, healthy results. Dieters risk getting nutritional deficiencies due to the small portion sizes and lack of fiber, and they do not learn the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Do yourself a favor and toss out this diet fad in place of a more balanced plan. You will see healthier, longer-lasting results.

This article first appeared on AskDrManny.com.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel’s senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny’s work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.

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To improve your diet, know these four food myths

Did the healthy-eating resolutions you made a few months back not quite stick? The onset of warmer weather might motivate you to make some better choices. Think of it as a kind of spring cleaning.

But with so much nutrition “noise” out there — eat this, don’t touch that — it’s difficult to know which changes have the biggest impact. Here, Consumer Reports tackles a handful of common food myths to make smart eating easier and more enjoyable.

Myth 1: You should avoid fruit if you’re cutting back on sugar.

Truth: Eat more whole fruit, not less.

When experts say you should limit your sugar intake, they’re talking about added sugars, those sprinkled into baked goods, candy, cereal, fruit drinks, tomato sauce, soda and the like. “The natural sugars in fruit are processed a bit differently by your body, because the fiber in the fruit minimizes the sugars’ impact on blood sugar levels,” says Nancy Z. Farrell, an adjunct professor of nutrition at Germanna Community College in Fredericksburg, Va. “In addition, you also get vitamins, minerals and other healthy nutrients.”

Fruit juices are different. They contain vitamins and minerals, but most are lacking in fiber. So their sugars get into your system much faster than those in whole fruit. And juice is a more concentrated source of sugars and calories. For example, a cup of apple slices has about 50 calories and 11 grams of sugars, while a cup of apple juice has about twice those amounts.

Myth 2: You should take the skin off chicken before you cook it.

Truth: Removing the skin doesn’t save you much saturated fat.

This advice dates back to a time when all things fatty were considered unhealthy, Farrell says. Yes, the skin contains saturated fat, but it has more of the unsaturated kind. A 3½ -ounce roasted chicken breast with the skin has about eight grams of fat, only two of which are saturated. Taking the skin off saves you about 50 calories and one gram of saturated fat. If you’re eating several pieces, those calories and fat will add up, but if you practice portion control, you can enjoy the extra flavor from perfectly crisped skin. If you prefer to remove the skin, do it after the chicken is cooked. The skin keeps the chicken moist, and its fat doesn’t migrate to the meat.

Myth 3: Vegetarians/vegans need to combine foods to get enough protein.

Truth: Your body does the work for you. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are found in plant and animal foods. You need them for digestion, muscle and hair growth, and to make various enzymes and antibodies, among other things.

The difference is that animal foods contain all nine of the amino acids your body can’t make itself. Some plant proteins, such as those found in buckwheat, quinoa and soy, are complete as well. But a majority of plants contain just some of these nutrients, which are called essential amino acids.

“We used to think you had to combine certain incomplete proteins — like the ones in rice and beans — in the same meal to get all the essential amino acids,” says Dana Hunnes, an adjunct assistant professor at the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA. “Now we know that you can meet your needs by eating a variety of plants throughout the day.”

Myth 4: White vegetables have little nutritional value.

Truth: Good nutrition comes in a variety of hues, including white.

The compounds that give vegetables those vivid colors have antioxidant (disease-fighting) benefits. But paler veggies, such as cauliflower, mushrooms and turnips, deserve kudos, too. “The ‘eat the rainbow’ advice stemmed from the 1980s, when experts were trying to get people to eat vegetables besides white potatoes and corn,” Hunnes says. (To be fair, even white potatoes are packed with nutrients.) Cauliflower and turnips are part of the powerhouse group of cruciferous vegetables, which also counts broccoli and kale as members. They’re high in compounds called glucosinolates, which may have a protective role against cancer.

Mushrooms, especially enoki, maitake and oyster, may have anti-cancer and immune-boosting benefits. A 2016 study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention found that the lectins in oyster mushrooms may help reduce the toxic impact of arsenic on the liver and kidneys. Emphasizing a variety of plants (and colors) on your plate will help ensure that you get a healthy array of vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients.

Copyright 2017. Consumers Union of United States Inc.

For further guidance, go to ConsumerReports.org/Health, where more detailed information, including CR’s ratings of prescription drugs, treatments, hospitals and healthy-living products, is available to subscribers.

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Jake Arrieta’s Incredible Diet ‘Cheat Days’ Include 10,000 Calories …

Jake Arrieta details his diet with Bernstein Goff

(CBS) Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta eats well, aiming to make 80 percent of his diet healthy. But the remaining 20 percent is pretty incredible.

The 2015 NL Cy Young winner, Arrieta has what he calls “cheat days” on his diet. He explained it in great detail to the Bernstein Goff Show on Wednesday in his regular appearance with the show.

“We start with a flight of french toast, which is blueberry, strawberries, pecan, a cookie french toasts, and then I’m going with a chicken and waffles,” Arrieta said. “Probably two pancakes, three eggs and a side of bacon. That’s breakfast.

“I’m carb-loading. I’m getting a ton of sugar, high fat. And then I’ll probably end up at the park with the kids for an hour, as long as I can stay awake. I’ll have to hit a nap then, and I kind of plan out my food accordingly if I know I’m really going to get after it.

“Usually, around lunch, before dinner, I’ll probably eat a pint of ice cream, just as a snack — a nice little snack. And then we’ll go to dinner. We’ll go to DMK (restaurant), we’ll go there. I’ll get two double-doubles, probably an order of fries, maybe two, and then a shake — at least one shake after dinner.

“I’m probably throwing down close to 10,000 calories. And then I don’t eat for three or four days.”

Arrieta’s typical diet is mostly plant-based and consists of organic foods. He maintains excellent physical condition and a extensive workout regimen. But the cheat days can be just as important to maintaining a healthy diet. Arrieta sure does his right.

This season has been a struggle so far for Arrieta, who’s 4-3 with a 5.44 ERA. He pins the struggles on mechanical issues.

“I wasn’t too far off from where I want to be last start,” Arrieta said. “But it’s just a continuous process, trying to work through it, find that comfort zone and go from there.”

You can listen to the full Bernstein Goff shows here and can subscribe here.

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Cook yourself slimmer with ‘real’ home-cooked food and you could drop a dress size in two weeks

Forget everything you thought you knew about losing weight .

The latest research supports a view long held by many scientists – that shop-bought ‘diet’ foods can actually make us fatter.

Not only that, a second new report claims eating ‘naughty’ fats, such as cream and butter, isn’t bad for our hearts or waistlines after all.

So now our experts have used the new medical advice to help you drop up to a dress size in two weeks – just in time for the summer holidays .

And luckily there’s not a kale smoothie in sight. Instead it’s all about enjoying real home-cooked food, including pancakes, spaghetti bolognaise and even steak.

Apple slices with peanut butter make a good snack
(Photo: GETTY)

Fish is good for you
(Photo: Cultura RF)

How could that possibly work? Well, it’s all down to the science.

The first study, by the University of Georgia, found rats fed food high in sugar but low in fat (imitating popular diet foods) put on weight, despite not consuming any more calories.

Lead researcher Dr Krzysztof Czaja explains: “Most so-called diet products containing low or no fat give the impression they are healthy, but they have an increased amount of sugar, which can damage the liver and lead to obesity.”

Meanwhile, another group of leading doctors, led by cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, announced that the widely held belief that saturated fats (found in meat and dairy foods) clog the arteries is misguided.

As long as they’re home-made, you can even eat cakes
(Photo: Getty Images)

You can also eat canned vegetables
(Photo: Getty Images)

Instead, they said, people can best avoid heart disease and obesity by eating ‘real’ home-cooked food, walking daily and avoiding stress.

Dr Malhotra said: “Eating real food low in refined carbohydrates (sugars) and high in fats, ideally cooked at home – is the way forward.”

Admittedly, not all experts support the view that saturated fat is harmless, but one thing they do largely agree on is people who eat home-cooked meals are slimmer and healthier.

What is a real food diet?

Rather than yet another faddy spin on the idea of eating more or less of individual food groups – be they fats, carbs or proteins – the simple idea behind a real food diet is to avoid processed foods and only eat meals you’ve cooked yourself.

You need to be avoiding crisps
(Photo: Image Source)

After all, as acclaimed US food writer Michael Pollan points out, the recent decline in home cooking “closely parallels the rise in obesity”.

And the benefits go beyond weight loss.

Multiple studies show diets rich in whole foods, such as wholegrain carbs, nuts, fruit and veg, and low in processed foods, such as ready meals, biscuits and fast food, can reduce the risk of life-threatening conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even certain cancers.

While home cooking does require a little more effort in the kitchen, with a bit of planning it’s surprisingly easy to whip up tasty meals from scratch in half an hour or less.

Provided you use unprocessed ingredients, pretty much anything is allowed in moderation – from roast dinners to home-made cakes.

How cooking helps you shift weight

You might think a diet of home-made lasagnes, cottage pies and stews isn’t likely to shift that spare tyre, but cooked the right way it could do just that.

Lentils will fill you up without the calories
(Photo: GETTY)

More and more weight-loss experts now believe successful dieting isn’t simply a case of counting calories in versus calories burnt – it’s understanding what those calories are made up of.

“Fresh, natural foods tend to be more satisfying and rich in nutrients, such as protein and fibre, than processed ones,” explains nutritionist Linda Foster.

“This slows the breakdown of sugar into the bloodstream, keeping you fuller for longer.”

There’s also evidence to suggest we need to eat a certain physical amount of food a day to feel satisfied – regardless of the type or calories it contains.

For example, to eat 350 calories you could munch through a portion of the healthy shepherd’s pie in our meal planner (around 325g of food) or gobble two Cadbury’s Creme Eggs (around 70g in weight).

You will almost certainly be left feeling fuller and more satisfied after the much larger serving of pie.

You can have delicious pancakes
(Photo: GETTY)

The sugary chocolate, meanwhile, would leave most of us feeling hungry again half an hour later.

Your real food diet

On our food plan, rather than limit calories, the idea is to eat better-quality, freshly-cooked food.

You’ll be steering clear of diet foods labelled ‘low-fat’ and ‘sugar-free’ and other processed foods with ingredients you don’t recognise.

But the good news is, you’ll be cooking and eating meals both easy to make and so delicious you’ll completely forget you’re eating ‘healthy’ food.

Follow our food rules and meal planner– and you could drop up to a dress size in two weeks, just in time for summer.

You can eat delicious meals like spaghetti bolognaise
(Photo: GETTY)

Your five food rules

1 Only eat what your gran would recognise as food

This means buying everyday unprocessed ingredients – ie. fruit, meat or dairy – to turn into meals at home, and avoiding processed and packaged foods.

For example, use whole oats, milk and blueberries to make porridge instead of eating sugar-frosted factory cereal.

At times when you do have to eat packet foods, only buy ones with ‘real food’ ingredients you recognise.

In other words, the ingredient list should be the same one you – or your gran – would use to cook the food from scratch in your own kitchen.

2 Keep meals simple

Delicious, healthy food doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. Keep your ingredients to a minimum – just be sure to include a source of wholegrains (brown rice or bread), vegetables, lean protein and healthy fat at every meal.

Processed foods are a no no
(Photo: Birmingham Post and Mail)

For example, lean beef and red pepper stir-fried with a little soy sauce and served with basmati rice takes around the same time to cook fresh as a Chinese ‘ready meal’ takes to heat up – and definitely less time than a takeaway takes to arrive.

All the meals in our plan take half an hour or less to cook.

3 Slow your eating speed

Numerous studies have found that the faster we eat, the more we consume. Not to mention that we also enjoy the food less.

So chew slowly, rest your cutlery on the plate between bites to reduce your pace and savour the flavour of your meal.

4 Stick to three regular meals

Never let more than four hours go by between meals or snacks. This will help regulate blood sugar, keeping you energised and curbing your appetite.

5 Learn to listen to your body

It sounds simple, but only eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full – meaning satisfied, not fit to burst.

You can feast on home-made breads
(Photo: Dorling Kindersley)

Unlike most diets, the recipes below don’t include precise amounts – that’s because real-food dieting is all about learning to listen to your natural hunger and fullness cues to tell you when to eat and when to stop.

Foods to avoid

  • Ready meals
  • Shop-bought cakes and biscuits
  • Jars and packets of sauce
  • Margarines
  • Sausages, ham and bacon
  • Sausage rolls and pastries
  • Crisps
  • Fizzy drinks

Foods to enjoy freely

Eggs are a good way to fill up
(Photo: Getty Images)
  • All fresh fruits and vegetables (including canned and frozen)
  • Beans and pulses, such as lentils
  • Meat – chicken or lean red meat
  • Fish – aim for at least one portion of oily fish, such as salmon, and one of white fish per week
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Eggs – free range or organic if possible
  • Wholegrains, such as wholemeal bread and pasta, popcorn, oats and brown basmati rice
  • Dairy – cheese, milk, butter
  • Olive oil

Your meal planner

Prepare and eat one of the following for your three meals a day, serving sensible portion sizes.

Also allow yourself two snacks from the list below. Drink water, tea or coffee (no sugar) freely, but avoid all soft drinks – diet and full-fat – and have no more than one small glass
of juice a day.


  • Spinach and mushroom two-egg omelette
  • Porridge, make with whole oats, semi-skimmed milk and a handful of berries
  • Small pot of full-fat Greek yoghurt with berries and a handful of almonds
  • Banana and nut smoothie made with banana, milk, a teaspoon of almond or peanut butter and a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pancakes made with wholemeal flour, milk and one egg, served with raspberries and blueberries


  • Lentil and vegetable soup with a granary roll
  • Salmon salad made with fresh salmon, green leaves, one can of kidney or cannellini beans, handful of cherry tomatoes, half a sliced avocado, and balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing
  • Tuna and salad wholemeal wrap with half a chopped red pepper
  • Grilled chicken with avocado slices on a bed of spinach and pine nuts
  • Baked sweet potato with home-made veggie or beef chilli topping


  • Shepherd’s pie made with half lean minced lamb, half canned green lentils, onions, carrots and tomato puree, and topped with sweet potato mash
  • Chicken and any mixed veg stir-fry with soy sauce, ginger and garlic
  • Prawns cooked with green peppers, cherry tomatoes, mango slices, coconut milk, grated ginger and three chopped spring onions, served with brown
    basmati rice
  • Pan-fried sirloin steak with a tablespoon of Boursin cheese melted on top, served with oven-roasted red peppers, tomatoes and courgette
  • Spaghetti bolognaise, made with lean mince beef, canned tomatoes, onion, chopped carrot, served with wholemeal pasta


  • Full-fat fruit yoghurt with no additives
  • Hummus with carrot sticks
  • Small handful of any unsalted nuts
  • Piece of any fruit
  • Matchbox-sized piece of any cheese
  • Apple slices with peanut butter

This New Food Delivery Tool Makes Sticking to Your Diet SO Much Easier

Sticking to a diet is hard—even if you have the willpower. I tried living on a Paleo diet once, but the sheer number of restrictions that complicated my grocery shopping list meant it wasn’t long before I was back to eating boxed pasta.

An Alexandria meal delivery service is seeking to change that.

Formerly known as Power Supply, the healthy meal service has been up and running since 2011. Now operating under the new name Territory, the company has recently relaunched to make it easier to select more diet-specific options into their line-up of pre-cooked, healthy meals that customers can choose from the online menu and have delivered to their homes.

Territory meals can be delivered to your doorstep.

Prior to the relaunch, the service offered meals that fit under the categories of “mixitarian,” vegetarian, and Paleo. Now, Territory has set the filters on their online menu to pull up meals that fit a much longer list of diets, including the initial three plus trendy diets like Whole30 and Mediterranean, as well as commonly practiced low-carb or low-fat diets, in addition to some eating plans of Territory’s own design: the “Air, Sea, Plants” diet and one for new and expecting moms.

Territory’s co-founder, Patrick Smith, says that the goal of these new filters is “helping people sustain their commitment to healthy eating over time.” While some diets, like Whole30 or Paleo, may sound good in theory, they can be much harder to stick to when you’re standing in front of your refrigerator at 8:30 on a Tuesday night, wondering how to turn frozen chicken and wilted lettuce into dinner. 

The new filters are also intended to emphasize just how personal nutrition is—that choosing a healthy eating plan for yourself isn’t a one-size-fits-all model. Rather, the service allows customers to try on different diets for size, to see which one suits them the best.

The filters for the different meals were set in place with the help of consulting nutritionists. The nutritionists outlined the guidelines for each diet, and those rules were applied to the meals that Territory chefs were already making to identify which meals fit the diet. In some cases, such as the “new and expecting moms,” the nutritionists came up with the rules from scratch.

Ashley Koff, the DC-based nutritionist who designed the “new and expecting moms” meals, created guidelines by not just looking at the long list of foods pregnant women can’t eat, but also looked at what nutrients pre- and postpartum moms should be getting more of in their diets. Additionally, Koff planned for the meals to be broken up and eaten as two or three mini meals, since pregnant women sometimes have difficulty keeping down food. Included in the “new and expecting moms” category are meals such as basil chicken with garlic broccoli or apple BBQ pulled pork with beet slaw.

Cooked by a chef, eaten by you.

One diet that Territory offers wasn’t designed by their team of nutritionists. Rather, the “MedStar Healthy” meal filter on the site represents a collaboration between the meal delivery service and the DC-area hospital group. The partnership was inspired by MedStar’s Health for America fellowship program, in which four recent college graduates were challenged to find an innovative way to improve care for diabetics. The fellows worked to develop a system of healthy meals for diabetics, then tapped Territory to help with the delivery side.

According to Dr. Michelle Magee, director of the MedStar Diabetes Institute and lead physician mentor for the fellowship, the meals are intended to be diabetic and pre-diabetic safe. But because the meals—which range from pistachio-crusted tuna to ginger scallion pork patties—are low in saturated fat and sit in a good calorie range, they’re really healthy for anyone, even those with no diabetes concerns. 

Ultimately, it may not be cost effective for everyone to order all of their meals online—Smith says that most of their customers order five or six of their meals through Territory each week—but by getting to know what a tasty Paleo or a Whole30 or vegetarian meal looks like, people can become familiar with how to make healthy meals on their own. If nothing else, the delivery service can make it easier for those who have healthy eating goals without the time to fulfill them.

“I believe that the way that we identify and enable our health is by having better tools,” says Koff. “Cooking can be what we call ‘some assembly required’—and sometimes we don’t even have time for some assembly required.”


Food, diet and supplements: The story behind the story – The San Diego Union

For my in-depth article about dietary supplements and nutrition, I was asked to write about how it came to be. Here’s how:

Q: What made you decide to write about this topic, which has already been extensively covered?

A: I saw the need for a balanced look at what we know and don’t know about diet and nutrition. The public gets a lot of nutritional guidance from various medical and governmental authorities, but much of it is poorly supported by science. The mainstream media often doesn’t comment on this, perhaps because of fear of contradicting the putative experts.

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