Well the holiday season is finally here (again!) and I know you’re thinking what I’m thinking; food indulgence marathon! Of course, there’s also that nagging concern about the holiday weight gain that comes from giving into all those guilty pleasures. To let you enjoy the holiday festivities, here are five great ways to keep off the extra pounds without having to go through another ridiculous fad diet that will only make you fatter in the long-run.
But before we get to that, let’s first get to the truth about holiday weight gain.
Okay, so you're wondering what in the heck is Dr. Gloria going to dissect now in her Health Detective investigative work? Well, it’s about helping you to choose healthy choices during the holidays rather than health-depleting ones. I’m going to provide you with gluten-free, nightshade-free, dairy-free alternatives to make those holiday meals just as tasty as the traditional unhealthy, high fat ones.
Here it goes…quick and easy…
We’ve heard about our school nutrition programs banning sugary beverages because of the immediate need to combat childhood obesity—currently in epidemic proportions in the U.S. That said, there’s a sneaky legal way manufacturers are using to offer reduced-calorie milk drinks like chocolate milk, for example. The ban was placed on added sugar or high fructose corn syrup but wait until you read what the industry is up to!
The claims that labeling like “reduced-calorie,” “reduced-sugar,” “low-calorie” or “diet” are terms that “turn-off” kids and teens has given way to another way of marketing to this demographic. According to FDA regulations, any “non-nutritive” additive in food must be boldly listed on the front label as well as included in the ingredient list. Because non-nutritive additives actually change the composition of the food or drink, the FDA does not allow drinks, for instance, to simply be called “milk” or “chocolate milk,” but must be labeled as “low-calories” or “reduced calorie.”
From pizza to pesto, from pretzels to beer, more products— and more people—are becoming gluten-free. What was once the staff of life, wheat bread, has become a source of more than 300 symptoms related to reactions to proteins found in wheat, as well as to its close relatives in rye and spelt. In its extreme form, known as celiac disease, people can get reactions to minute amounts, in the parts-per-million levels, and the effects can be serious, even deadly. Symptoms can affect the cardiovascular, neurological, and skeletal systems, well as mood, and digestion. When it goes undiagnosed, celiac disease is associated with a nearly 4-fold increased risk of death from all causes.1
Over 100 of you wrote to me to ask my opinion on “Red Meat Will Kill You” scare, a study which was published March 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, and gleefully reported by the mainstream media and commented on by just about everyone on both sides of the red meat controversy.
Now this study has been expertly and brilliantly debunked by a number of extremely smart people, so let’s start by giving credit where it’s due. Denise Minger, as always, has written a superb piece on it, as have Gary Taubes and Zoe Harcombe. And look for my good friend Mike Eades, MD to put something up soon-his take on this stuff is always on-the-money.
So rather than repeat what these brilliant folks have already done so well, I’ll just summarize some of the highlights of what they’ve already covered, add my own two cents, and call it a day. Believe me, this won’t be the last you ever hear of the “red meat will kill you” debate, but hopefully it will give you, dear thoughtful reader, a good place to start if you really want to debunk this stuff at your next cocktail party.
Can you take a five-day “vacation” from your low-carb diet every week and still burn fat? A study suggests that possibility. Researchers here found women who cut carbs for just two days each week lost more weight than women who stuck with a permanent calorie-restricted diet. In other words, for five days every week, the low-carb groups ate what they wanted and still lost weight.
The importance of minerals in the diet was brought home to me years ago in the form of an animal study on the effects on serum cholesterol of dietary magnesium in diets that included either butter or polyunsaturated fat in the form of corn oil margarine. Pigs were chosen because their gastrointestinal tracts are very similar to those of humans and they respond to dietary factors similarly, as well. The surprising finding was that the level of dietary magnesium was more significant to plasma total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels than was butter or margarine. When the intake of magnesium was increased substantially (doubled) beyond what was assumed to be an adequate amount for pigs, there no longer was any difference in serum levels of blood lipids between animals ingesting the two different fats.1 The meaning of the study was clear. Mammals possess enzymes known as desaturases and these mineral-dependent enzymes are sufficient to control serum lipids within “normal” ranges. Helping the body to handle fats is merely one of the vast number of roles played by dietary minerals and trace minerals.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found eating a low-protein diet makes your body more likely to store fat around your liver, kidneys, and other organs. You might not think any type of body fat could be good, but trust me: fat hanging around these organs is especially bad. On the other hand, researchers here found a higher-protein diet increases muscle and boosts your metabolism.
In order to maintain an efficient metabolism-especially while dieting, it is imperative to ensure adequate protein intake, with special emphasis on branched-chain amino acids.
Our bodies need protein to build bone, skin, hair, nails, and cell membranes, and to manufacture blood, hormones, neurochemicals, immune cells, and enzymes. That's because proteins contain amino acids, a nutrient that provides our bodies with a constant supply of nitrogen and sulphur. Nitrogen and sulfur are also essential to the ongoing growth, repair and detoxification of all our cells. In fact, nitrogen balance (the measure of how much nitrogen is retained as opposed to excreted) is the measurement researchers use to determine protein requirements.
While excess body fat is often blamed for up to 20 per cent of all deaths from cancer1, the fact remains that many people living with cancer and undergoing conventional cancer treatments sometimes find themselves facing the opposite problem-how to gain weight or at least prevent further weight loss.