Study Reports Emerging Triggers Of Rare Food Allergy In Infants

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News from the Baylor College of Medicine…..

BaylorCollegeA study led by the section of immunology, allergy and rheumatology in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine researches an uncommon food allergy known as ‘food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome’ (FPIES) that occurs mostly in infants. The findings of the study determine the responsible foods triggers, as well as the characteristics and management of FPIES. 

“One of the main problems with FPIES is that it can be challenging to diagnose,” said Dr. Aikaterini Anagnostou, associate professor of pediatric allergy at Baylor, director of the food immunotherapy program at Texas Children’s Hospital and the lead researcher in the study. She stressed that FPIES symptoms can mimic other illnesses, such as viral gastroenteritis or sepsis in infants.

“I often find that this condition is misdiagnosed and that many people are not aware of it,” Anagnostou said. “There is also a significant delay in the diagnosis, and I have heard many stories from patients coming into my clinic and raising all of these concerns. The aim of our study is to further investigate FPIES, and to raise awareness of this uncommon food allergic disorder.”

The main symptoms of FPIES include vomiting, lethargy, pallor and diarrhea, which are triggered by typical weaning foods such as cow’s milk, soy, rice and oats. Anagnostou explains that weaning foods are introduced to infants when they are being weaned off breast milk or formula and onto solid foods. In contrast to other food allergies, FPIES presents with a delayed reaction two to four hours after ingesting the food.

The study took place over a three-year period from 2015 to 2017 and included 74 infant cases of FPIES in the area. The findings reveal that rice is the most common trigger amongst children affected by FPIES in Houston (cow milk is the most common cause in other U.S. geographic locations). Rarer triggers such as banana and avocado also were identified as more common for this population. Anagnostou also reported that a significant percentage of children had multiple food triggers, an unusual observation for FPIES-related studies.

“It is difficult to ascertain why we see different triggers in this area,” Anagnostou said. “We suspect that this observation is related to different dietary and weaning habits, with certain foods preferred as weaning foods in our area compared to other areas in the United States.”

Additionally, Anagnostou reported a six-month delay in the diagnosis of FPIES in the Houston population. “This finding highlights once more how challenging FPIES can be to recognize and diagnose,” she said. “For instance, we found that 22 percent of infants in our study received a sepsis work-up because it is often difficult to differentiate between FPIES and sepsis in young infants, especially at initial presentation.”

Due to the profuse vomiting caused by FPIES, infants can experience dehydration or in more severe cases, go into shock during the acute phase of the disease. In more chronic cases, Anagnostou said failure to thrive and malnutrition may occur if parents do not seek medical help.

“Another new finding of our study was the significant percentage of infants at risk for malnutrition because the parents become worried about introducing other foods,” Anagnostou said. “As a result of this, infants may suffer from a very limited and restricted diet.”

Anagnostou said that consulting a dietitian is one of the crucial parts of managing the disease so that families can receive education on proper food introduction. Also key to managing the condition is fluid resuscitation for severe dehydration and oral rehydration for mild cases. Anagnostou notes that giving epinephrine will not work for this type of allergy.

After a diagnosis of FPIES is made, Anagnostou recommends avoiding the triggering food. Subsequently, the food may be tried in the hospital setting under medical supervision, every 12 to 18 months to assess whether FPIES is outgrown.

“Different people outgrow FPIES at different time points,” Anagnostou said. “The food can be tried in a controlled environment and if there is a reaction, it will be treated appropriately. If the food is tolerated and there is no reaction during the observation period, then it can be reintroduced into the diet.”

mombabyAnagnostou advises parents who notice repeat reactions (usually profuse vomiting) after introducing a new food into their child’s diet to seek medical help and potentially consider this diagnosis. “I am not suggesting that for every child that vomits after a food introduction the diagnosis will be FPIES,” she said. “Of course, there are several factors at play here and many other diseases to consider, but this is something to keep in mind if the reaction is consistent with certain food triggers.”

One of the reassuring facts about FPIES is that most children outgrow the disease once they are older and that it rarely carries into adulthood. Anagnostou said there have been a few recorded cases of adult FPIES, with the main triggers being nuts and shellfish.

“There is a lot of information that is still missing,” Anagnostou said. “We don’t know much yet about the disease’s mechanism or any specific risk factors that could predispose an infant to having FPIES. What is clear is that we need to raise awareness about FPIES so that we minimize the delay in the diagnosis, which can be a significant source of anxiety for families.”

The full study was published this month in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology journal.

Get Nutrients From Food

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publications, please share your comments below…..

fruitswhiteNutrients are most potent when they come from food. Supplements may be helpful for people who are unable to get enough nutrients from the diet or who have a genuine deficiency in a particular nutrient.

The typical American diet is heavy in processed foods, refined grains, and added sugars, all of which come up short on essential vitamins and minerals. But even a healthy, well-balanced diet can fall short of needed nutrients, especially among older adults, reports the June 2015 Harvard Health Letter.

“As we get older, our ability to absorb nutrients from food decreases. Also, our energy needs aren’t the same, and we tend to eat less,” explains Dr. Howard Sesso, an epidemiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dietary supplements would seem to be the obvious way to plug vitamin and mineral gaps in the diet. But supplements make it easy to get too much of a particular nutrient without realizing it. With some vitamins and minerals, too much can be harmful.

It’s best to improve the diet before using supplements, advises Dr. Sesso. That’s because vitamins and minerals are most potent when they come from food. In food, they are accompanied by many other beneficial nutrients, including hundreds of carotenoids, flavonoids, minerals, and antioxidants that aren’t in most supplements. Plus, food tastes better than supplements and is often less expensive.

For people who aren’t able to make dietary changes, or those with genuine deficiencies in one or more nutrients, a supplement may be helpful. Look for a multivitamin with B vitamins (especially folate), vitamin D, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Choose a well-known brand that’s been around for a long time and is likely to have been carefully tested, says Dr. Sesso.

Read the full-length article: “Should you get your nutrients from food or from supplements?”

Also in the June 2015 Harvard Health Letter:

* Tips to stay healthy while caregiving

* How to choose and adjust to a walker

* Working more chocolate into the diet

Must Have Foods To Get Your Body Ready For Summer Vacation

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By Connor Christopher

fruitswhiteNow is the time where everyone is jetting off with summer plans, and that means squeezing into bikinis and swimsuits. If you have booked a city break in Berlin or even a lovely warm summer holidays in Greece as well as getting into shape you will need a valid passport and to renew your E111 card. If getting into that bikini sounds worrying then get your body ready by eating the foods that will help you to stay healthy and fit. Choosing fat-blasting foods is only one part of staying fit and healthy, you will need regular exercise routines to stay in fighting shape as well.


Apples are great as they are filled with fiber and rich in pectin, a substance that stops cells from absorbing fat, this super-food is one of the easiest health foods that you can fit into your day too. It can be a part of your breakfast in the morning or just a snack on its own or even blend it into a smoothie.


Wild-caught fresh salmon spurs the body’s production of leptin which naturally suppresses the appetite so you will be less likely to indulge. It is naturally low in calories, saturated fat, and sodium as well as being a great source of protein. Salmon with wilted spinach and olives is an incredibly healthy dinner dish as well as being delicious and packed with nutrition.

Leafy Greens

By simply swapping out iceberg lettuce to spinach in your salads will add volume and nutrients into your diet. Leafy greens are naturally filling and include vitamins A, C, K , folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber. Add mustard greens, collards, or even a side of sautéed kale to ensure you are full at dinner times.


Fresh avocados sliced are not only one of the tastiest foods but fat-burning too. They deliver hunger-busting fiber and a serving of monounsaturated fatty acids, which contribute to belly fat burn.


Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and all berries are loaded with nutrition. All berries are packed with antioxidants and fiber which will help you stay fuller for longer. The antioxidants will also help with your workouts by improving blood flow to your muscles. Especially raspberries as they offer ketones, compounds that help the body break up fat more effectively. Berries taste delicious and can give you that fix if you fancy something sweet.

Lentils& Quinoa

Pulses, beans and lentils are low in calorie, but incredibly high in protein. They are also very filling which makes them the ideal for food when you want to stay in shape. Quinoa also offers the perfect healthy replacement to rice and pasts, it’s a super-food packed with protein.

Raw Nuts

Steer clear from the flavored and salted kind as they are high in salt and fat. However raw nuts are high in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eating raw almonds, walnuts, and Brazil nuts regularly has shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and possibly prevent breast cancer.

How To Keep Your Food – And Your Insulin – Down During The Holidays

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

partycelebrateDon’t let holiday feasts come back to haunt you – planning meals can help those with acid reflux and diabetes enjoy the festive foods, said experts at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Advanced meal planning will ensure that people with stricter diets have items to enjoy,” said Dr. Mohamed Othman, assistant professor of medicine – gastroenterology at Baylor.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux occurs when the contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus, which can result in heartburn or belly discomfort. By standing upright after eating, gravity helps keep the contents of the stomach down.

“Do not lay down immediately after your meal,” Othman said. “It takes four hours for the stomach to empty solid contents and two hours for liquid content.”


For those with diabetes, overindulgence can lead to more serious health concerns, said Dr. Alan Garber, professor of medicine – diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism at Baylor.

“Holiday food tends to be rich in carbohydrates and fats, and both of these may increase insulin requirements,” he said. “You should be aware of the amount of sugar in holiday treats.”

What to do

Modifying eating habits can alleviate reflux symptoms. If suffering from acid reflux, Othman recommended avoiding the following foods and drinks:

* Chocolate
* Mint
* Fried foods
* Wine
* Coffee

Brief walks after meals and adopting a more active lifestyle in general can improve reflux symptoms, he said.

Garber offers these tips to help diabetics manage holiday eating:

* Look for sugar-free items at the grocery store

* Control your portions

* High-fat meals independently produce insulin resistance and raise insulin requirements, so be sure sugar-free items are not high in fat

* Avoid alcoholic drinks

While it is important to be aware and cautious of what you are eating and how it affects your health, Baylor experts advise focusing on the fun of the holidays rather than the restrictions.

Labeling “Calories In” And “Calories Out” Plays A Positive Role In Food Choices

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts in the comments section below…..

kidseatinghealthyA recent study in Pediatrics (January 2015) and another in Appetite (July 2013), support the positive benefits of calorie labeling on smarter food choices in the fast food world. Calorie experts and authors of The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook are pioneers in bringing calorie information and physical activity labeling to the cookbook world.

Calorie labeling is the new trend, and it looks like it’s here to stay. As calorie awareness increases among the general population — with the use of weight-tracking apps and other devices and menu postings — the public is beginning to expect this information on all foods. The authors of The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook think it should be in cookbooks too. They are the first to offer both calories in and calories out values in the cookbook arena.

The power of labeling has positive effects on food choices. “There is no question that knowing how many calories are in a dish and how much exercise is needed to burn them off affects the decision to eat that food,” said Catherine Jones, chef and award-winning author and blogger turned health-focused home cook and project director of the Share Your Calories Nonprofit.

New research has found that parents shown menus with calorie labels may order fast food meals totaling fewer calories for their children. Adding labels that reveal the minutes to walk to burn the calories in the food item, or calories plus miles to walk to burn the calories in the food item, may be more likely to influence parents to encourage their children to exercise.

The study that came out on January 26, 2015 in the journal of Pediatrics, surveyed parents and asked them to choose items for their children from a fast food menu. The parents were given menus with either no labels, calories only, calories plus minutes, or calories plus miles needed to walk to burn the calories. Parents were asked to choose what they would order for their child.

Interestingly, parents whose menus displayed calorie and or physical activity information ordered approximately 200 fewer average calories for their children than those parents whose menus displayed no labels. The calorie differences were mostly due to differences in burger and dessert calories.

The results are not surprising to co-authors of the critically acclaimed new cookbook, The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook, Catherine Jones, and Elaine Trujillo, MS RDN. “Providing calorie and physical activity information can be a helpful tool in making healthy choices. It’s very encouraging to learn that parents exposed to labels made better choices,” said Jones and Trujillo.

In a similar study in adults in July 2013, those shown fast food labels depicting calories and miles to walk to burn those calories ordered on average about 100 fewer calories than when shown calorie information alone (Appetite 2013;62:173).

In light of the fact that about one-third of the average American’s diet is consumed at restaurants, the findings from these studies become even more relevant. The FDA recently ruled that chain restaurants list calorie information on menus and menu boards. List physical activity values to burn calories may be an additional way for consumers to understand calorie information.

foodlabelAlthough in the Pediatrics study, physical activity labeling did not seem to have a greater influence on parent’s decision-making of food choices, calorie labeling of any type led parents to choose lower-calorie items.

The study also found that providing labels with physical activity equivalents, regardless of whether shown in minutes or miles were significantly more influential at prompting parents to encourage their children to exercise.

“This is good news, especially since the majority of our children are not getting enough exercise,” says Trujillo. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Unfortunately, only 42% of 6- to 11-year olds and only 8% of 12- to 15-year-olds approach this level of physical activity, these findings are relevant.

CATHERINE JONES a chef is the award-winning author or coauthor of numerous cookbooks including The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook, Eating for Pregnancy, and Eating for Lower Cholesterol. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit Share Your Calories, an app developer, blogger, and a freelance journalist. ELAINE TRUJILLO, MS, RDN, is a nutritionist who has years of experience promoting nutrition and health and has written numerous scientific journal articles, chapters and textbooks.

Factors That Boost Blood Glucose Levels Besides Food

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By Jeremy Lim

diabeteswordIf you have high blood sugar, you absolutely must alter your diet to manage the disease. It’s not optional. Sadly, many diabetics are non-compliant and choose to eat whatever they wish, to the detriment of their own health. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. If you care about your life, stick to your prescribed diet. But, also consider making these important lifestyle changes.

Watch Medications

Some medications can negatively affect your blood sugar, so make sure you’re telling your doctor everything about your medical history and any drugs you’re taking. Even if you don’t think your drug has the side-effects that would account for odd glucose readings, mention it anyway. Some side-effects aren’t common, so they’re not listed as prominently.

Take It Easy With Caffeine

Caffeine affects diabetics differently than non-diabetics. And, even within the community of diabetics, not everyone reacts the same to it. Caffeine can raise blood sugar in some, especially if you tend to put sugar in your coffee. In others, it lowers blood sugar. When in doubt, test your blood. It will tell you everything you need to know.


Exercise is almost universally beneficial for diabetics, helping them to stabilize their blood sugar levels. In general, exercise will lower blood sugar, but you should always test before and after a workout, and watch the amount of insulin you take prior to heavy weightlifting or aerobics. Speaking of which, you should include both aerobics and weight-bearing activities in your exercise routine.

Illness Affect Blood Sugar Too

Getting sick can throw off normal blood sugar readings. Generally, illness raises blood sugar levels, but not always. So, don’t go pumping yourself full of insulin. Always check first and confirm. And, every illness can bring different blood sugar readings.


womanIt shouldn’t be a surprise that stress can negatively affect blood sugar levels. Both physical and emotional stress can influence blood sugar. It can go in either direction, but that direction is usually up.

Reducing stress can also help keep your blood sugar under control, so try to find outlets for stress if you live a hectic lifestyle. Even going to a day spa once a month, getting regular massages, and chilling out with an epsom salt bath a few times a week can really help you manage your stress levels.

An infrared heat lamp can also be very calming, as can infrared saunas, hot tubs, and even regular sunbathing. Or, doing something as simple as reading or playing video games could do the trick. Experiment with different methods and find out what works best for you.


It’s more difficult to control your weight when you have diabetes. However, you should do everything you can to maintain a normal weight because excess body fat contributes to high or hard-to-control blood sugar levels. Usually, dietary changes will include maintaining a low-carb diet, while exercising should consist of both weight-bearing and aerobic fitness.

– Jeremy Lim has been involved in the family health field for some time now. When he gets some free time, he likes to sit down and write about his experiences in an effort to help others. For more information on blood glucose levels view the glucometer at OneTouch.

Bel Marra Health Reports On Harvard Study To Solve Food Addiction

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What are your opinions of this article provided by PRWeb? Can the brain be trained to like healthier foods? Please share your thoughts on this article written by Bel Marra Health.

garlictomatoBel Marra Health, who offers high-quality, specially formulated vitamins and nutritional supplements, is reporting on research that suggests a new way to tackle food addiction.

As Bel Marra Health reports in its article (, a new study has found a way to train the brain to like healthy foods that some find less than palatable.

The study, conducted by Harvard Medical School and Tufts University and published in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, has revealed that unhealthy foods like donuts and chips can be made less appealing to the brain while healthier food can be made more appealing.

The brain is “plastic” when it comes to food addiction. Circuits in the brain’s reward center can be completely reversed. That can mean good things for your health, if the new information is used properly.

“We don’t start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta,” says senior author Susan Roberts, who teaches at Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

“This conditioning happens over time in response to eating – repeatedly – what is out there in the toxic food environment.”

Researchers looked at the brains of 13 overweight and obese men and women. Eight of the participants were enrolled in a six-month behavioral weight-loss program designed by Tufts University while the remaining participants were not. All participants underwent brain scans at the beginning and end of the program.

The researchers found those who followed the weight-loss program lost a significant amount of weight, 6 kg on average, while the others put on an average of 2 kg.

The first group also saw an increase in the activity of their brain’s reward center that was only activated as a response to seeing images of low-calorie healthy foods at the end of the program – and decreased activity in response to high-calorie foods.

Spokesperson for Bel Marra Health Dr. Victor Marchione says, “Food addiction is a very real concern. Make sure you notice the signs and take steps to make changes. Bad food habits can be hard to break the longer you hold onto them.”

A common sign you may be experiencing a food addiction is if you are using food to feel better, or as a reward for overcoming an emotional issue. Food addicts will need to break the cycle of “eating for reward” to overcome the addiction.

This study brings new hope to overweight individuals looking to break the cycle and establish good eating habits.

(SOURCE: Deckersbach T., et al., “Pilot randomized trial demonstrating reversal of obesity-related abnormalities in reward system responsivity to food cues with a behavioral intervention,” Sept. 2014; doi: 10.1038/nutd.2014.26.)

Bel Marra Health is the maker of Liver Rescue, a high-quality nutritional supplement to help support and maintain liver health. All ingredients are backed with scientific evidence. Every product is tested for safety, quality and purity at every stage of the manufacturing process.

Bel Marra Health products are produced only in Health Canada approved facilities to ensure our customers are getting top-quality products. For more information on Bel Marra Health visit or call 1-866-531-0466.

How Does Our Body Utilize The Food We Eat?

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By Leanne Thompson

healthychoiceHave you ever wondered how does your body utilize the food that you eat? Think about it. When you eat bacon and pancakes for breakfast, where do they go? Of course, in the comfort of your tummy—safe and sound! Where would they be if not in your acid-filled stomach, right? Yikes! Now, that doesn’t sound too comfortable!

Your stomach is filled with concentrated hydrochloric acid, a strong acid that helps break down the food that you eat. It’s so strong that if you were to drop a piece of wood, it would eat right through it. That’s right! Your favorite donut cannot retain its perfect round shape inside your tummy, not even that carrot you patiently julienned. You do know that your stomach is not really picky when it comes to food, right? Unless, of course, when you are allergic to a certain food item and you cannot tolerate it.

It turns out you don’t really have to think too hard when deciding what food to eat. Eat that hamburger, pizza, and salad all at once and just let them fight it out inside! They will all get mixed up anyway. After all, your stomach is not some kind of celebrity chef to judge the food you’re presenting to it based on its appearance. All it does is its job, to digest. But, do you ever wonder how your body “views” the food that you eat, or how does your stomach protects itself from auto-digestion (stomach digesting itself)? I’m sure you’ve heard of carbohydrates, protein, and fats and how important it is for us to get enough of them from our diet for optimum health. But, what are they? Is it true that carbs make you fat? How about calories? They are the ones that make it hard for someone to fit into her skinny jeans, right?

If you have ever wondered about those things, then read on. We’ll give you all the information you need to understand what a crispy chicken wing or a banana does to keep your body up and running.

The Fate of Food

When you chew food, you are breaking it into little pieces that are easier to swallow. These pieces travel down your esophagus, which is like a pipe, to your stomach and get mixed into “liquid mush”. Think of this liquid mush as the result of acid-bathing in your stomach (you knew it was going to happen!), a necessary process in order to pass through the small intestine. In your small intestine, the mush is then broken down into even smaller pieces, so tiny that they can’t be seen with the human eyes. These are called the nutrients. They go into your blood and travel to other places in your body where they are needed. Food components that cannot be digested by your body pass the large intestine for excretion (if you know what I mean).


Think of the foods you have eaten today or the ones that you are about to eat. Maybe you had a glass of milk and two slices of toasted whole wheat bread with peanut butter and banana slices for breakfast. Now, you are thinking whether you’ll have fried chicken and garlic rice for lunch or stick to your usual chicken salad—because salad is always a good choice, says your health-conscious friend. If only it’s socially acceptable to bathe your salad with gravy! Of course, you can always do that in private. But as the saying goes, ‘what you eat in private, you wear in public’. Ah, priorities! Priorities!

If eating is too much of a hassle then why do we have to do it anyway? Let me take that back, eating is not a hassle at all. In fact, it’s sort of rewarding and comforting. Think of those times when there’s nothing a tub of ice cream can’t solve or that time you were pretty sure your life sucks only to realize ‘hey, at least I can still eat more than three times a day’. The things that you must consider in order to ensure that you’re eating with the “health benefits” in mind are what leave some people frazzled. Why can’t we just eat bacon all day? Ah, that’s right! Because what nutrients can we get from doing that?

We’ve all heard it, eat a variety of foods to ensure that you are getting all the “nutrients” needed to properly nourish your body. But, what are nutrients and how are they different from carbohydrates, protein, and fats? Or, do they differ at all?

carrotsAccording to the British Nutrition Foundation, nutrients provide energy and are essential for the growth and maintenance of the body. Carbohydrates, protein, and fats do not differ from nutrients. In fact, they are all nutrients. Nutrients can be broken down into two types, the macronutrients and the micronutrients. The macronutrients include carbohydrates, protein, and fats. “Macro” means big. Macronutrients are the nutrients you need to get in relative large amounts in your diet as they provide your body with energy and building blocks for growth and maintenance. Pretty much everything you eat contains varying amounts of these nutrients. If we were to study the anatomy of a hamburger, you can think of the bun as the carbohydrate, the burger patty as your protein source, and the oil used to fry the patty as fat. Of course, it’s not as simple as that. One can argue that fat can also come from the burger patty itself, even without getting fried. Sure, but it did give you a picture of how to classify food whether it’s carbs, protein, or fat, right?

Next stop: micronutrients. If macronutrients are the big guys, then you bet micronutrients are the smaller ones! “Micro” means small, so micronutrients are the kind of nutrients you need in small amounts and these includes the dietary supplement superstars, vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are categorized whether they can dissolve in fat (fat-soluble) or water (water-soluble). Minerals are divided in 2 groups, the major minerals and the trace minerals (needed in small amounts). These nutrients are needed by your body to grow and develop normally. Take vitamin D for example. It “strengthens” your bones because it helps your body absorb calcium efficiently, since your body cannot produce calcium.


In case you’re wondering which among these nutrients is responsible for your muffin top—which you’re not quite sure whether you hate or not, it’s the macronutrients. They are the nutrients that provide your body calories or energy.

While calories often get a bad rap when it comes to weight management—people constantly counting and cutting them, they aren’t necessarily bad. Actually, a calorie is a unit of energy. Knowing how many calories a certain food item has gives you an idea of how much energy your body could get from eating or drinking it. If calories give you energy then why are people so anxious in keeping them counted? Isn’t that a good thing? Sure, it is! But, we all know for a fact that too much of a good thing can be bad for you, too. Calories, whether from carbohydrate, protein, or fat, when consumed in excess are stored as body fat—and nobody wants fat. Well, excess body fat.

Some fad diets require reducing your intake of any of the macronutrients. However, all of them are crucial for your health.


“Skip the carbs! It’ll make you fat!” just like calories, carbohydrates get its fair share of bashing from hopeful dieters. Carbohydrate is the preferred energy source of the human body. Your body needs carbohydrates like a car engine needs gasoline. According to the Nutrition Source of Harvard School of Public Health, the type of carbohydrate you chose to eat is more important than its amount in your diet.

junkfoodThere are two types of carbohydrates in food: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates tend to give a sudden burst of energy followed by a slump. They are found in processed foods and anything with refined sugar. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are broken down slowly providing a steady release of energy which helps in keeping you feeling full, longer. When you eat any type of carbohydrate, it will be broken down into simple sugars, such as glucose—the main form of fuel used by your body. If you choose to cut back on your carbohydrate consumption, your body will start to break down protein and fat to get the glucose it needs.

You may be thinking, ‘isn’t it great that I’ll burn protein and fat for energy?’ however, it’s important for you to know that protein is needed by your body for its growth and repair. Using protein as an energy source means there will be little left to carry out these vital functions. The same goes for fat. If fat is used as energy source then its other functions will be affected.


You can find protein in your muscle, bone, skin, hair, and pretty much in every other part of your body. According to the Nutrition Source of Harvard School of Public Health, protein makes up the enzymes that are responsible for many chemical reactions in your body, including hemoglobin, carrying oxygen in your blood. Since macronutrients are “big” nutrients, they cannot enter the bloodstream without being broken down into their “smaller” forms. The digestive system breaks down protein into its building blocks, amino acids in order to enter the bloodstream.

Protein digestion begins in the mouth with chewing, making it easier to swallow. It continues in the stomach with the help of digestive juices (hydrochloric acid and pepsinogen) and muscles surrounding the stomach, squeezing and squishing the food and the stomach fluids together. Hydrochloric acid converts pepsinogen into pepsin, which then helps break down the bonds between the amino acids.

In order to protect the small intestine (where the next step of protein digestion will occur) from the harsh hydrochloric acid, your pancreas will release bicarbonates to neutralize the effects of the said acid. It will also release an enzyme called trypsin, which helps further break down amino acids so that they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Some amino acids are essential—you need to get them from food because your body cannot make them, while others are nonessential.

Some protein sources include meats, poultry, fish, cheese, legumes, milk, and nuts. Protein that comes from animal sources contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs. Plant source of protein, on the other hand, do not.

Dietary Fat

Ah, the “fat” everyone’s dreading about! But, what counts as fat? Have you heard about the “healthy fats” in avocado? They say it’s the kind of fat you definitely don’t want to avoid. Then, is it really true that some fats are better than others?

Fat is essential for our survival. We need it for normal growth and development, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K), cushioning for the organs, and maintaining cell membranes. It also provides taste, consistency, and stability to foods. When fat enters your digestive system, it meets with an enzyme called lipase. Lipase breaks fat into its parts, glycerol and fatty acids, which are then reassembled into triglycerides for transport in the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, triglycerides are absorbed by muscle cells and fat (adipose) cells to store them or to burn them to fuel your everyday activities.

healthyheartbpThere are 3 main types of fat, unsaturated fat, saturated fat, and trans fat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diets high in saturated fat have been linked to coronary heart disease and other chronic diseases. Saturated fat can be found in foods like butter, lard, and meat. Another type of fat, trans fat is often used by food manufacturers to increase the food’s shelf life, stability, and texture. Consumption of trans fat decreases the high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good) cholesterol and increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol. It is commonly found in baked goods, fried foods, and margarines. Replacing saturated and trans fat in your diet with unsaturated fat (found in foods like avocados, canola oil, and olive oil) have been shown to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.


What are nutrients (British Nutrition Foundation) –

Understanding Carbohydrates (Harvard) –

Understanding Protein (Harvard) –

Fat (CDC) –

Saturated fat (CDC) –

– Leanne Thompson is a writer and a blogger who has contributed to some of the most well-known Health, Fitness and Nutrition blogs. She has struggled with her weight in her teenage years, which has driven her to undertake a Bachelors of Nutrition degree in the renowned Iowa State University, mostly to study the needs of a human body and how to make the most out of her life. She has made it her life goal to spread awareness about the importance of healthy weight loss and the wellbeing of people she has contact with. Find out more on her health blog or connect with her on Google+ / Twitter.

Food Label Facelift For 2015

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

nutritionpanelNutrition Facts labels are getting an overhaul. The proposed update, announced last spring, is the first major revision in 20 years and marks the White House’s continuing efforts to improve the eating habits of Americans and to help quell obesity. Food manufacturers will then have a couple of years to comply while the final drafts are undergoing review and approval.

Below is a brief summary of the proposed changes.

* More realistic serving sizes. Serving sizes will be updated to reflect what people typically consume. For example: who eats just a half-cup of ice cream? (The new serving will be listed for 1 cup.) Manufacturers will also have to declare certain packages (such as 20-ounce soda bottles) as 1 serving (rather than the current 2.5 servings).

* No more “calories from fat.” Dropping this line acknowledges that the type of fat is more important than the amount of fat. Not all fats are bad Knowing the good fats vs. the bad fats should be on your to-do list for 2015.

* Hello “added sugars”—finally. The current label does not distinguish between sugars naturally present (such as the sugar in milk and fruit) and sugars added during processing (such as the sugar added to fruit yogurts and breakfast cereals). Added sugars are a source of “empty” calories that contribute to weight gain.

* Hello potassium and vitamin D. Potassium is key in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, while vitamin D is essential for bones and may have a range of other health benefits. Yet most people’s diets fall short in both. Highlighting these nutrients in the new label may encourage people to consume more of them. It may also encourage manufacturers to fortify more foods with vitamin D, since few foods naturally contain it.

Although the new label format will continue to list trans fats, the loophole will likely still exist whereby a product with less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving can legally claim to have 0 grams. However, be advised that no amount of trans fat is healthful.

Note the daily sodium limit is being reduced from 2,400 to 2,300 milligrams to reflect the general sodium recommendation in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans—but most people (including everyone over 50 and all African Americans) should aim for 1,500 milligrams a day, According to the American Heart Association.

Gravely missing in the proposal is an upper limit for added sugars—the American Heart Association advises no more than 25 grams a day (about 6 teaspoons) for women and no more than 40 grams (10 teaspoons) for men. [1]

The biggest challenge ahead for all of us is to make sure we read the labels, digest the information and weigh our choices carefully. Fresh fruits and vegetables don’t need packaging or labels to be a healthy choice for you.

Kac Young, a former television director and producer, has earned a PhD in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. In the Heart Easy Cook Book sound nutritional advice is followed by family favorites that have been turned into heart healthy meals anyone can make and everyone will love.

[1] Food Label Overhaul by John Swartzberg MD writes for Berkeley Wellness

The Influence Of Media On Our Food Choices

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By James Lopez

familytvMass media which includes radio, television and the print media is a great source of information for the society. Every day we are bombarded with images that come out of the television, magazines or the newspapers. The radio is yet another medium that has the potential to captivate our attention. While there are several useful and important messages that are disseminated by these instruments of mass media, it is also important to note that there are some messages that may not be in the best interests of humanity as a whole. The images that we see every day and the message that we hear from these media instruments can have a very profound impact on almost all of the choices that we make. In fact, the choices that we make with regards to our food are also influenced by these very same instruments of the media.

Advertising is the primary source of income for the media. Through advertising, we see several messages on a daily basis. A majority of them will be connected with food and the food industry as a whole. Television channels, radio, print media and the internet are all used to deliver the message about various food items that are in the market. Food manufacturers market their products in these mediums in order to ensure that their products are sold to their target audiences. Millions of dollars are spent by manufacturers in order to make their advertisements attractive. Techniques like attractive jingles, catchy phrases and attractive photography are employed to create an illusory world where the food item that is being marketed will seem irresistible.

Even though this may not have an immediate impact on the consumer, it does make an impact the next time he/she is in a supermarket aisle or in a queue at a fast food outlet. Such aggressive advertising can have a very adverse impact on children and teenagers. This is because children and young adults may not have the intellect to understand that advertising is not for marketing a good product but for selling a product that does not sell well. They will be attracted to the product without even being aware of the ramifications that it may have on their health. In fact, even babies are not spared. The mass media has made young mothers believe that formula feeding is better for the child whereas doctors advise that breast feeding is the best for the baby.

Television in particular has a very profound impact on our food habits. It is the primary influence for children and young adults. A typical American child spends thousands of hours watching television. In fact the child would have spent less time in his/her classroom. The impact that the number of advertisements that he/she must have watched can only be imagined. The messages that are portrayed by these advertisements are then remembered by the child that will then manifest as his/her choices. The media also has a tendency to portray a particular kind of body image as ideal. Celebrities and models are portrayed on television and the viewer is made to get the impression that theirs is the perfect body type. This may lead to many misconceptions about the relation between health and body shape.

obesityMedia instruments like television are also directly responsible for obesity and overweight. Children who watch a lot of television will demand the food items that are in commercials. These need not be healthy food items. Television viewing has even been inversely related to the intake of healthy food items like fruits and vegetables. It also needs to be said that media can also have a positive influence on food habits. When the messages that are being transmitted are accurate and promote healthy food choices, it may have a positive impact on the food habits of the general public. It can be said without any doubt that the media does have an impact on our food habits. It is therefore important to ensure that the messages that are broadcast are accurate and advocate healthy diets and healthy food.

– I’m James Lopez concerning in moderation and preservation of essay writing companies an online community that serves as a stage for college students to cooperate and clarify their doubts about their essay writing requirements.