Good Carbs Lead to Weight Loss

You read that correctly. Consuming good carbs can lead to sustained weight loss, according to a study in The American Journal of Epidemiology. People who ate more refined grains, starchy vegetables, white flour and similar carbohydrates were significantly heavier than people who ate foods with “good carbohydrates” such as whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds. It wasn’t the total amount of carbohydrates that made the difference, it was the type of carbohydrates eaten that tipped the scales. “There are many factors involved in obesity, but our study found a clear association with eating certain carbohydrates and body weight,” said Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at UMMS, and lead author of the study.
Dr. Ma’s team analyzed data collected from 572 people in Worcester County from 1994 to 1998, as part of a National Institutes of Heath-funded blood cholesterol study conducted by Ira S. Ockene, MD, the David J. and Barbara D. Milliken Professor of Preventive Cardiology and professor of medicine at UMMS. Each subject was followed for one year, with his or her eating patterns charted at five different times during that year. Ma’s team also examined the physical activity of the subjects to control for the variables of exercise and energy consumption, thereby focusing the analysis solely on the connection between eating various food containing carbohydrates and body weight.

The carbohydrates were classified based on their glycemic index (GI) which is a measure of how much and how fast a food raises a person’s blood sugar level. Foods with a high GI value rapidly spike blood sugar, while foods with a low GI value can help control blood sugar levels. Several other studies have shown that blood sugar levels are related to fat deposition in tissues because, when blood sugar spikes, insulin is elevated and that prompts the body’s fat and muscle cells to absorb the sugar in the blood and store it as fat.

Carbohydrates are the foods that most severely affect the GI of a person’s diet. Items like potatoes, refined grains, pasta, overly processed breads, starchy vegetables and ingredients such as refined sugars and flour, have the highest GI values. For example, a baked potato has a GI of 85 and an ear of corn’s GI is 60. Other carbohydrates such as whole grains, nuts, many fruits and most vegetables, have lower GI values. A cup of broccoli, for example, has a GI of 0.

Based on the population in Dr. Ma’s study, people weighed 9.6 pounds less for every 10-point reduction in the combined glycemic index of their diet. In other words, a person with a GI of 95 typically weighed nearly 10 pounds more than someone in the study with a GI of 85, all other factors being equal. “Nearly 10 pounds is a clinically significant difference,” said Barbara Olendzki, RD, MPH, an instructor in medicine at UMMS and a co-author of the study. “One of the takeaway messages of these findings is that if people can lower the GI of their diet by choosing the best carbohydrates to eat, they should be able to lose some weight. Those lower GI foods can also be helpful for appetite control.”

Recent national studies have shown that the number of Americans who are obese has jumped 61% since 1991. Today, some two-thirds of Americans are overweight (BMI of 25 to 30), with nearly 30 percent of the country’s adult population now considered obese. The rise in obesity is believed to be a key factor in the dramatic increase in type 2 diabetes in the United States. During the same time frame, several studies have documented a significant drop in the overall fat content of the American diet. That data, coupled with the findings published this month from Dr. Ma’s study, suggest that it is the type of carbohydrate in a person’s diet, along with proper exercise and overall caloric intake, that is most relevant in affecting body weight. “We must continue to examine all the factors that play a role in obesity. In the meantime I hope these findings will help people make better choices in their diet and help those who are motivated, to lose weight and improve their quality of life,” Dr. Ma said.

So, don’t think you need to avoid eating carbs in your life. Just make wise choices and your waistline will thank you.

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Top 6 Best Fruits for a Low Carb Diet

Looking for the Top 6 Best Fruits for a Low Carb Diet? What…you can’t have any fruit on a low carb diet?

If you think sticking to a low carb diet plan means shunning fruit, you’re not alone. In a survey, 30% of low carb dieters said they had reduced their fruit intake and 14% had stopped eating fruit altogether. This means roughly 11 million Americans have dropped some essential nutrients from their diets.

Eliminating fruits is a common misconception. Fruits, especially the ones below, will provide building-block nutrients in your diet while not raising your blood sugar, AND they provide an excellent source of fiber.

Which fruit packs the biggest nutrition punch? It’s the lowly Kiwi! So be sure and include 1 cup of fruit a day in your low carb diet plan.

Here’s my Top 6 Best Fruits for a Low Carb Diet and their carb count per one cup serving:

KIWI 14gm

AVOCADO 12gm

PAPAYA 14gm

CANTALOUPE 18gm

STRAWBERRIES 11gm

GRAPEFRUIT12gm

See? Now wasn’t that easy and tasty? It’s no problem having fruit on a low carb diet if you choose wisely.


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Frozen Food Meals for The Menopause Diet

Quick frozen food meals that work with The Menopause Diet

In a hurry and want something from the frozen food section? If the cooking fairy never taps you on the head, then stock your freezer with a few of these products.These frozen meals are acceptible ONLY because of the calorie count, which is between 250-300. . .they are not ideal but better than a bagel with jam! Remember, if you keep your meals between 250-300 calories, your insulin levels will remain smooth as silk REGARDLESS of the composition. Yes, I know they have pasta and other items that are high glycemic, but the portions are teeny. Again, these are NOT IDEAL (lots of salt and 19g of sugar) but it’s the best I could find on the market for those of you who are “cooking impaired.”

From Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine meals

Cafe Classics selections-

Oven Roasted Beef (240)
Tender cuts of roasted beef in a rich brown sauce, accented with carmalized onions and butter. Accompanied by a creamy cheddar cheese, broccoli, carrot and rice casserole.

Chicken Carbonara (260)
Roasted chicken tenderloins in a creamy Parmesan cheese sauce with turkey bacon, mushrooms, basil and garlic. Served over a bed of linguini tossed with roasted red peppers.

Glazed Chicken (230)
Roasted chicken tenderloins in a classic savory glaze with accents of herbs, lemon and mushrooms. Served with a white and wild rice pilaf accented with French cut green beans.

Fiesta Grilled Chicken (270)
Seasoned and grilled chicken tenderloins with hand-picked red and yellow peppers. Served with a Santa Fe-style medley of long grain white rice, black and pinto beans, whole kernel corn, green poblano and red chiles, topped with a creamy sour cream sauce with Mexican tomatillos and cheese.

From Healthy Choice

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo (300)
Alfredo sauce is a rich blend of condensed skim milk and Parmesan cheese, with a small amount of strongly flavored Parmesan cheese to create the distinctive Italian-style flavor for fettuccini cooked al dente.

Beef Tips Portabello (310)
Portabella mushroom sauce – gently seasoned with rosemary, cabernet sauvignon, and pepper – complements the flavors of the lean, tender beef sirloin and the creamy, whipped potatoes. An apple-cherry crisp completes this home-style meal

Salisbury Steak (210)
a flavorful blend of tomato, garlic, pepper and cabernet wine. Seasoned redskin potatoes.

Blackened Chicken (220)
Fire roasted red pepper sauce compliments the moist, blackened chicken breast while the seasoned rice is the perfect side dish. An apple praline crisp dessert tops the meal.

Country Herb Chicken (280)
Chicken breast with a blend of herbs consisting of whole marjoram, thyme and celery seeds. The redskin potatoes are roasted with the skins on to bring out their natural flavor.

Grilled Turkey Breast (260)
made with lean turkey tenders, and covered in a sweet cranberry-apple sauce. Roasted sweet and redskin potatoes, and tender beans with shoestring carrots.

From Weight Watcher’s frozen dinners

Salisbury Steak with Macaroni and Cheese (260)

Bistro Selections -

Pepper Steak (230)

Baked Garlic Chicken (280)

Basil Chicken (270)

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Herb and Drug Interactions

If you take medication and use natural herbs, you need to be aware of possible drug interactions that can not only render your medication less effective but possible cause damage to your liver or other organs. So check out this extensive list.
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Does Medication Really Expire?

Does the expiration date on a bottle of a medication mean anything? If a bottle of Tylenol, for example, says something like “Do not use after June 2006,” and it is August 2009, should you take the Tylenol? Should you discard it? Can you get hurt if you take it? Will it simply have lost its potency and do you no good?

In other words, are drug manufacturers being honest with us when they put an expiration date on their medications, or is the practice of dating just another drug industry scam, to get us to buy new medications when the old ones that purportedly have “expired” are still perfectly good?

Here are the simple facts:

First, the expiration date, required by law in the United States, beginning in 1979, specifies only the date the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of the drug — it does not mean how long the drug is actually “good” or safe to use.

Second, medical authorities uniformly say it is safe to take drugs past their expiration date — no matter how “expired” the drugs purportedly are. Except for possibly the rarest of exceptions, you won’t get hurt and you certainly won’t get killed. A contested example of a rare exception is a case of renal tubular damage purportedly caused by expired tetracycline (reported by G. W. Frimpter and colleagues in JAMA, 1963;184:111). This outcome (disputed by other scientists) was supposedly caused by a chemical transformation of the active ingredient.

Third, studies show that expired drugs may lose some of their potency over time, from as little as 5% or less to 50% or more (though usually much less than the latter). Even 10 years after the “expiration date,” most drugs have a good deal of their original potency. So wisdom dictates that if your life does depend on an expired drug, and you must have 100% or so of its original strength, you should probably toss it and get a refill, in accordance with the cliché, “better safe than sorry.” If your life does not depend on an expired drug — such as that for headache, hay fever, or menstrual cramps — take it and see what happens.

One of the largest studies ever conducted that supports the above points about “expired drug” labeling was done by the US military 15 years ago, according to a feature story in the Wall Street Journal (March 29, 2000), reported by Laurie P. Cohen. The military was sitting on a $1 billion stockpile of drugs and facing the daunting process of destroying and replacing its supply every 2 to 3 years, so it began a testing program to see if it could extend the life of its inventory. The testing, conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ultimately covered more than 100 drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. The results showed that about 90% of them were safe and effective as far as 15 years past their original expiration date.

In light of these results, a former director of the testing program, Francis Flaherty, said he concluded that expiration dates put on by manufacturers typically have no bearing on whether a drug is usable for longer. Mr. Flaherty noted that a drug maker is required to prove only that a drug is still good on whatever expiration date the company chooses to set. The expiration date doesn’t mean, or even suggest, that the drug will stop being effective after that, nor that it will become harmful. “Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons,” said Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA until his retirement in 1999. “It’s not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover.”

The FDA cautioned there isn’t enough evidence from the program, which is weighted toward drugs used during combat, to conclude most drugs in consumers’ medicine cabinets are potent beyond the expiration date. Joel Davis, however, a former FDA expiration-date compliance chief, said that with a handful of exceptions — notably nitroglycerin, insulin, and some liquid antibiotics — most drugs are probably as durable as those the agency has tested for the military. “Most drugs degrade very slowly,” he said. “In all likelihood, you can take a product you have at home and keep it for many years, especially if it’s in the refrigerator.” Consider aspirin. Bayer AG puts 2-year or 3-year dates on aspirin and says that it should be discarded after that. However, Chris Allen, a vice president at the Bayer unit that makes aspirin, said the dating is “pretty conservative”; when Bayer has tested 4-year-old aspirin, it remained 100% effective, he said. So why doesn’t Bayer set a 4-year expiration date? Because the company often changes packaging, and it undertakes “continuous improvement programs,” Mr. Allen said. Each change triggers a need for more expiration-date testing, and testing each time for a 4-year life would be impractical. Bayer has never tested aspirin beyond 4 years, Mr. Allen said. But Jens Carstensen has. Dr. Carstensen, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin’s pharmacy school, who wrote what is considered the main text on drug stability, said, “I did a study of different aspirins, and after 5 years, Bayer was still excellent. Aspirin, if made correctly, is very stable.”

Here is my advice: if you have anything in capsule form, discard it after its expiration date as capsules are not airtight and oxygen is the key factor in rendering drugs unusable. If you have tablet forms, keep the drugs as they are compressed and no oxygen damage can be done other than a very slow natural degredation. Your savings could be significant, and you won’t have to make an ER visit for that prescription you know always treats your condition.


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