This is Gypsy Soup, Cheesy Cornbread, and fat-free milk. It is a typical lunch or dinner. I don’t distinguish between the two. Most of my food is eaten from a bowl, not a plate. I typically eat soups, ethnic dishes and full meal salads; I rarely eat meat with a side and I cook from scratch.
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Is Dr. Oz more showman than doctor? His theatrical endorsement of dubious weight loss products points to the former. On his show this week, in a 75-second segment, he introduced a ‘revolutionary metabolism booster that you’ve never heard of’: raspberry ketones. While displaying a generic purple jar of capsules, Dr. Oz said, “I have vetted these; I’ve looked at them carefully; I am absolutely enamored. I know they work.” His segment assistant Lisa Lynn, a supplement-selling personal trainer, was by his side, along with a morbidly obese woman who had “tried everything.” Was Dr. Oz laying it on thick for a questionable product? No, not when you consider Dr. Oz is on TV.
Raspberry ketones are compounds that give red raspberries their aroma. In the US, they are used primarily in the food flavor industry. In Japan, however, raspberry ketone capsules are used as a weight loss supplement. Raspberry ketones are not to be confused with blood ketones produced in diabetes and on very low carbohydrate diets.
The hypothesis is that raspberries ketones affect biological activities that alter lipid metabolism. That fat-blasting claim rests on two small mice studies that show when mice are fed a high-fat diet supplemented with raspberry ketones they gain less body fat than expected. But be clear: raspberry ketones have not been studied in humans and they have not been proven to work. To be fair, Dr. Oz said, “There have not been a lot of human studies, but animal studies are favorable.” Somehow, for me, that got lost in the hype.
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Heart disease happens when a number of ‘risk factors’ add up. Some of the risks – gender, genetics and age – are uncontrollable; but others – smoking, inactivity, excess weight, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes – are within our control. The key to preventing heart disease is to eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and take medications as prescribed. Use this Heart Attack Risk Assessment from the American Heart Association to find your risk for heart disease.
Men Need Help
Women take much better care of themselves. They might be programmed in to the system through OB-GYN care or maybe it’s taking care of the kids, but women visit their doctors for checkups, while men do not.
Over the past ten years, men have gotten fatter while women have stayed the same. In 2000, 27.5% of men were obese, but in 2010, it was 35%. In women, the obesity level remained stable at 33%. Along with obesity, men have more diabetes and high blood pressure, which places them at much greater risk. To their credit, men now smoke and binge drink less and they’re a bit more active. (1)
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Sometimes, good intentions go horribly wrong. How often does that happen with food and fitness goals? You aim to do the right thing but you don’t quite get it. If only the rules would stop changing! Here are a five diet errors I commonly see. Don’t let them happen to you.
You Eliminate Entire Food Groups
We all need a balanced diet to get a full complement of nutrients. The elimination of an entire food group – be it milk, meat, starchy grains, or whatever – calls for fancy diet maneuvers to make up for missing nutrients. In nutrition school, they teach us that eliminating entire food groups places people at risk for malnutrition.
You Neglect Healthy Fats
The focus is no longer on how low can you go with your fat intake. Those old, low-fat diets were often high in sugar and did not deliver health benefits as well as diets rich in healthy fats. The Mediterranean Diet, featuring nuts and seeds, olive oil and fatty fish, is the way to go. Just remember to eat healthy fats within your calorie budget.
The concept is fascinating: message receptors in the brain tell your body you’ve eaten. Introducing Vaportrim, a new entry into the diet market. It is a plastic cylindrical device, the size of a ballpoint pen, that looks like an embellished electronic cigarette. The cylinder, or cartridge, contains a liquid solution of water and flavors (natural and artificial) in a glycerin base, along with an atomizer, a tiny heating element. When you inhale with your mouth, the liquid passes through the atomizer, turning into a vapor. The vapor is held in your mouth and exhaled, just like smoking. Vaportrim comes in 14 flavors including raspberry cheesecake, milk chocolate, vanilla cupcake, and cinnamon bun.
The manufacturer says it works because our smell receptors message our brain, which, in turn, release hormones that tell the body it’s full. Legitimate research does show that appetite and smell are closely connected and smell can trigger fullness before the stomach can, but whether Vaportrim can curb cravings is unknown. No research has been done using the actual product for appetite suppression or weight control. Le Whif is a similar diet aid, but with it, vapor is not exhaled, and the Sensa Sprinkle Diet, also relies on smell receptors, but calls for sprinkling crystals on your food.
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