Expert Advises Against Detox Diets

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This article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

doctorIf you’re looking for a way to get rid of the toxins in your body through detox or cleansing diets, keep in mind that your body already has an all-natural way to do this, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

“There are a lot of detox and cleansing diets that claim to cleanse your body of toxins and reset your metabolism, but toxins in your body already are filtered through your gastrointestinal system, kidneys and liver every minute of every day,” said Molly Gee, a registered dietitian with Baylor. “Our body already has a built-in system to take what it needs from food – the nutrients, the energy – and then eliminate the products that are not needed.”

Gee cautions against diets that promise quick weight loss by eliminating certain types of foods and only allowing for other types of foods, such as raw fruits or vegetables in a juice form. Many of these diets then add supplements, herbs, vitamins and minerals to make up for the missing nutrients from foods.

“When the diet calls for you to include supplements while eliminating other foods, that should be your first clue that you are missing something,” said Gee. “Your diet needs to provide the adequate nutrients for your body to operate, like any piece of efficient machinery.”

Gee also cautions against diets that withhold a significant amount of calories from your body.

“Can you run your car on an empty gas tank? Think about what you’re doing to your body when you’re not putting any fuel in the form of food into it,” said Gee. “You’re putting your body under great stress when you eliminate foods as fuel.”

Gee said to never start any type of extreme diet without consulting with your primary care physician, who is the gatekeeper of your overall health. This is especially true for those with a compromised immune system, older adults, children and teens.

According to Gee, the best diet is the diet that works for you, and she believes that all foods can fit into a diet – it’s a matter of portion control.

“Try to be moderate in all of the foods that you eat,” she said. “Use good common sense, but don’t take the fun out of food.”

If you’re trying to lose weight, Gee said that a reasonable goal to aim for is half a pound or a pound a week, and the best way to do this is to cut back on your portions.

Reasonable portion sizes are usually a half cup to one cup of most foods, and for an animal protein, about three ounces cooked. Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber with 6 to 8 cups of water are keys to a successful diet. Don’t forget regular physical activity like walking.

“Most extreme diets don’t work because you can only follow them for a couple of weeks,” said Gee. “You need to develop your own plan that will work for you.”

Baylor College Of Medicine Expert Dispels Nutrition Myths

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newsThis article was submitted by the Baylor College Of Medicine…..please share your comments below…..

Diet and exercise typically comes down to common sense, but we don’t always want to believe it, according to Roberta Anding, registered dietitian with Baylor College of Medicine. Instead, we’re more likely to believe the sensationalized information or fads.

Anding breaks down some common myths for us and simplifies how to eat healthy:

Myth #1: I should eat more protein because of my new exercise program

Your intensity determines your nutritional need – whether you should add more protein to your diet depends on the intensity of your workouts, and most of us are not working out at that intensity to need additional protein than what is recommended for us.

Anding says to divide up your protein throughout the day, and especially be sure to combine protein with carbohydrates for breakfast to fuel you for the day and help you control your appetite all day long. A bagel and cream cheese is not the ideal breakfast – consider half a bagel with scrambled eggs. Don’t backload your protein at the end of the day – start adding protein with breakfast.

Myth #2: BMI is the best tool for goal setting

If you never work out, you may have a higher percent body fat, whether or not you are obese according to your BMI. This can put you at risk for sarcopenic obesity, a condition in which you are losing muscle mass and adding body fat. It is possible to be normal weight but metabolically obese. Anding says the best way to determine your percent body fat is to get a Bod Pod test done. This can tell you how much of your weight is lean weight and how much is not.

Myth #3: Eating healthy is confusing

One of the keys to eating healthy is to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Anding suggests if weight loss is your goal invest in smaller plates so that your portions are automatically smaller. Be sure to distinguish between a meal versus a snack. A snack for women should be less than 150 calories, and for a man should be less than 200 calories. To limit snack portions, put your snack on a plate rather than picking at food – this will hold you more accountable for your portion size.

Myth #4: Organic food will prevent chronic illness

There is no scientific data to support this. Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and focusing on a plant-based diet has been shown to prevent chronic illnesses. Consider purchasing a fruit and vegetable brush to wash your produce with before consuming it if you are worried about pesticides.

Myth #5: High fructose corn syrup is the reason for America’s weight crisis

applescaleCompared to Americans in the 1970s, we now eat 500 calories more and exercise less. This is what’s contributing to the weight crisis. Americans eat too much sugar in all forms. The new Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sugars. Focus on added sugars, not the natural sugar in milk or fruits.

Myth #6: Muscle weighs more than fat

Muscle is more compact than fat, but one pound is one pound. Anding says that what you choose to put in your body is what makes all the difference. However, increasing your weight through adding muscle is advantageous. Increasing your muscle mass increases the amount of calories you burn at rest since the muscle is the metabolic engine.

Expert Answers Questions About MERS

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine…..please share your thoughts below…..

newsAs concern increases about Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, in the Middle East and in Asia, Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, answers questions on what we need to know about this emerging infectious disease.

What is MERS?

Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome is a serious lower respiratory infection caused by the MERS coronavirus, an emerging viral pathogen initially acquired from camels, but now with limited human to human transmission.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms include fever, cough and respiratory symptoms that could lead to respiratory failure and other organ system breakdown. The infection produces a disease similar to that caused by SARS (severe acute respiratory transmission) that caused a severe and highly lethal outbreak in South China in 2002-2003.

How is it spread?

The mode of spread is still not well established but generally involves close contact, especially in healthcare settings. ‎For SARS, a related coronavirus, sneezing and cough seems to facilitate transmission.

Who is at risk? Any groups more at risk?

The mortality of MERS coronavirus infection is estimated between 30 to 40 percent, with those at greatest risk of dying being the elderly and those with underlying cardiopulmonary disease or diabetes. Some data from previous SARS outbreaks indicate that 13 percent of cases may be asymptomatic and possibly this is also true for MERS.

Is there a treatment? Is there a vaccine?

There is no proven antiviral treatment for MERS, although several prototype vaccines are in different stages of development. At Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, we have developed a new SARS vaccine soon to undergo manufacture, with a prototype MERS vaccine also beginning. The NIAID NIH is supporting development of our SARS vaccine.

Should we be concerned?

In terms of concern, the MERS epidemic in South Korea looks as though it will be contained soon with all new cases appearing among the estimated 3,000 people in quarantine. However, in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, new cases continue to appear. Individuals contemplating travel to the Arabian Peninsula should consult their physician if they are elderly or have underlying chronic disease conditions.

Baylor Expert Offers Tips For Successful College Transition

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Thank you to the Baylor College of Medicine for submitting this article…..

teensBack-to-school takes on new meaning for students heading off to college, with the focus shifting from new school supplies and clothes to developing time management and study skills and living on their own for the first time. A Baylor College of Medicine expert in family psychology offers some helpful tips.

“There are a number of issues that teens heading off to college for the first time may face,” said Dr. James Bray, professor of family and community medicine at Baylor. “It’s their first time away from home and living independently, and they don’t have the usual support system. For some, it’s the first time they’ve had to buckle down and study hard. It’s important for students to be prepared to develop new habits and seek out help if needed.”

Develop new routines and habits

Creating new habits and routine is key, Bray said. He suggests setting up regular study times and sticking to them. Students who struggle with getting to class on time or studying effectively may be able to find campus assistance. Many colleges and universities offer courses or workshops on these topics. Students also can seek out advice and help from a dormitory resident assistant, or RA.

Eating healthy and finding time for exercise also should be part of the new routine, Bray said. It will help students deal with stress, and keep off the so-called ‘Freshman 15.’ Many colleges have gym facilities and group exercises classes included as part of their fees, so students should take advantage of those programs. On the other hand, watch out for the unlimited food available in school dining halls.

Recognize feelings

Bray acknowledges that some students will start to feel anxious and homesick, or even depressed.

“It’s important to recognize these feelings and not just suffer in silence,” he said.

If needed, college students should head home for a weekend visit. Again, they should take advantage of campus resources such as counseling centers and RAs. Without seeking help, grades may begin to fall, Bray said.

Be aware of alcohol abuse

Another issue for college students to be mindful of is binge drinking, Bray said. This is more common among college freshmen and sophomores. By junior year, there is a decline in alcohol abuse; however, if it persists after this point, students may have trouble finishing school and moving on with successful careers.

He points out that underclassmen are typically underage, and drinking can have legal consequences with lifelong implications on their careers.

There also are serious potential health effects of binge drinking. “Anytime you drink five or more drinks on one occasion, it has implications for your health, including putting you at risk for injury and increasing your risk of sexually transmitted diseases and, for women, being victims of sexual assault.” What’s more, alcohol abuse can affect brain development, which continues until about age 22 or 23.

“College students need to be aware of the situations they are in, such as at parties or other college events where there is alcohol,” he said. Stick with friends, have a cell phone charged, limit alcohol intake and trust instincts.

Finally, Bray said to remember that students living in dorms are in close quarters and illnesses can spread quickly. Students should stay up to date on vaccinations and seek out healthcare if they aren’t feeling well, before it leads to missed class time.

Healthy Tip # 211

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Healthy tips courtesy of Corey Enman

healthytomatoesWith the advances in technology and the hyper increase in smartphone use, things that used to be hard in the past, like counting calories, have become very simple and actually fun. One thing that people can do this year to get one step closer to health is to start counting calories again…with apps! A basic
calorie guideline for women to lose weight is 12-1500 calories a day and men 16-1800. Calorie tracking is one of the only guaranteed ways to lose weight and calorie counting apps like Myfitnesspal and Livestrong make counting calories not only easy, but fun. These apps on the Iphone and Android markets have databases of thousands of foods and restaurants to choose from and also allow you to scan barcodes for easy adding. . Not only do you become aware of how many calories you are taking in, writing it down will actually stop you from taking in certain calories because you see how much EXTRA is going into your body. If you can begin to limit the calories that you take in, you will also limit how big your waistline gets over time!

Corey Enman, NASM CPT, PES, CES, TRX Certified Instructor, Founder & CEO, Fitamorphosis

Healthy Tip # 210

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Healthy tips courtesy of Ilana Fishof Muhlstein

fruitswhiteBoost the satisfaction of your foods by incorporating color, flavor, and variety in your diet. The natural color in fruits, vegetables and herbs signifies that the food is rich in powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals. For instance, the purple-red color found in beets is derived from betalain, a powerful antioxidant that may have cancer fighting properties. Natural flavor enhancers, such as onions, herbs, spices and vinegars, can also be added to several dishes and are wholesome, low calorie ways to elevate food’s flavor and help boost your satisfaction with your meal. Also, when your diet consists of a variety of healthy foods, you are more likely to stimulate your senses and meet your nutritional needs.

Ilana Fishof Muhlstein, Nutritionist

Healthy Tip # 209

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Healthy tips courtesy of Rebecca Sadek and Jen Morris

fruitsalad– Set a goal and focus on the attainable

– Drink two glasses of water daily upon rising to hydrate your body

– Eat your veggies! Fill your plate 3/4 with greens at each meal

– Eat breakfast every day, and make it your largest meal

– The kitchen closes at 8pm – avoid eating after this hour

– Nix soda and other high sugar drinks, including alcohol. Consume water throughout the day

– Begin cardio AND weight training. Move every day

– Eat at home – attempt to cook 80% of meals in your kitchen

– Don’t go at it alone – tell your friends, family, and ask for support. Every little bit helps!

– Track your progress. Keeping a journal or food log helps you really understand what you’re eating and where you can make changes.

– Rebecca Sadek and Jen Morris, founders of Urban Detox Club

Healthy Tip # 208

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Dr. Lori L. Shemek

waterbottleMost people are walking around mildly dehyrated and are not even aware of it. They are suffering from joint pain, headaches, fatigue, lethargy, weight gain, hunger and much more – all due to a lack of hydration. Our bodies are mostly water, our brain is 80% water – so when the cells in the body are not adequately hydrated, cellular function slows down and so do our bodies. For example, without adequate water, our brain function slows resulting in headaches and/or foggy thinking, our metabolism slows resulting in weight gain and fatigue. Do not rely upon thirst as an indicator to drink water – by the time we are thirsty, our bodies are already 1-2% dehydrated. It is essential that we hydrate for optimal health and weight loss. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 120 lbs, drink 60 ounces of water every day.

Lori L. Shemek, PhD, CLC, NC is the Health Expert for the ABC Show ‘Good Morning Texas’
and the author of the best-selling book “Fire-Up Your Fat Burn!”

Healthy Tip # 201

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Coco Coco O’Donnell

saladheartI am a pharmacist and wellness coach, and work with clients to get off prescription medications AND stay healthy. I recommend that everyone add cultured vegetables into their diet. It has been discovered that cultured vegetables have more active cultures and bacteria than expensive probiotics.

The reason we need more live cultures is to enhance the function of our gut. This organ, disregarded by most until it starts acting up, is the foundation of our immune system and is involved in much more than just digesting our food and assimilating the nutrients into our body.

When we eat cultured vegetables, these organisms help to replenish the naturally occurring bacteria that is destroyed when we eat sugar, processed foods, refined grains or take antibiotics. Examples are sauerkraut, kimchee, relishes, and you can make your own using an endless number of vegetables.

Kefir and yogurt are examples of fermented dairy. Often, the addition of cultured vegetables can eliminate problems with constipation, diarrhea and have been know to offset some types of food poisoning.. It may be an “acquired” taste for you, but one that is well worth it!

Coco Coco O’Donnell, RPh, CPCC Clean Living Coach Clean body. Clear mind. Crave Life!

Healthy Tip # 200

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Kim Evans

saladplateIn talking with people who are trying to make changes in how they eat, I always suggest that they keep a food diary for a week or so. I like to stress that it is just for their eyes…and that they need to be brutally honest about what goes in their mouth. Then after the week is over, they can see what they eat, when they eat, and how much. When you can actually see what you are eating, it is easier to make small changes that can make a difference. If they want me to look it over, I will….and make suggestions such as:

– Eat less or not any processed foods

– Substitute water for pop

– Drink plain coffee in place of a coffe drink

– Find ways to add more vegetables and fruits into your daily eating

Baby steps can make a big difference.

I also suggest that if they have issues with being out of control with certain foods…..don’t have them in the house. Seems like a no brainer to me, but lots of people do not consider that. And when they make the big step of going to the gym, I try my hardest to tell them to take it easy! There is so much enthusiasm at the beginning of the year, and lots of people overdo it, and are either too sore or get injured and then never go back to the gym. Again….those baby steps. No one got out of shape overnight, so it is unrealistic to think that you will be back in shape in a week. Patience grasshopper…….it is the journey not the end result. (I actually say that once in awhile)

– Kim Evans, BS AFAA, USATF Fitness Professional, and track and field coach Holland Aquatic Center Holland MI