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Jul 30, 2015 - 0 comments

Reducing your intake of calorie-dense carbs automatically reduces the amount of calories you’re consuming on a daily basis, which forces your body to burn fat from your frame for energy, rather than the sugars it takes from carbohydrates. That's one of the ways this dietary change leads to weight loss. Simple, refined carbs are perfect for wanting more of them. They’re high in calories, low in fiber, lacking in protein. All these factors add up to a sluggish, hungrier you who wants more.
Foods high in fiber and healthy fats like Greek yogurt, eggs with vegetables, chia pudding, nuts and seeds into your diet will keep you satisfied throughout the day and also result in greater weight loss.

Most Americans only take in 15 of the recommended 25 to 38 grams per day, according to the Institute of Medicine. Some of the best sources of fiber are complex carbs, including powerful weight loss foods like beans, whole grains, oats and nuts. It’s a simple switch, you’ll feel the difference. “Bumping up fiber can help promote healthy regularity or bowel movements,” says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian.

Simple carbs are simple sugars, and eating too many can cause havoc in your body in both the short and long term. After a meal filled with this quick-hit sugar energy, your energy levels will crash, leaving you tired, hungrier and hungrier than you were before. The biggest danger comes over time, though. The more of these quickly digested carbs you consume, the more insulin your pancreas produces, causing insulin resistance and possibly leading to type 2 diabetes.  You’ll see it in the numbers on the scale. When the liver becomes resistant to insulin signals that tell it to stop making glucose, the extra sugar left in your blood is stored as fat.

Fiber rich complex carbs are harder for your body to digest, preventing the blood sugar spikes that cause insulin release. “The lower and more steady we keep blood sugar, the less insulin is released on a consistent basis and the more insulin sensitive our tissues remain  which is a good thing,” Smith explains. So, cutting back on the simple stuff means you’ll be able to maintain stable blood sugar levels and reduce your risk for diabetes.

Simple carbs are not completely balanced, and eating too many means you’re missing out on key nutrients. If you keep filling up on the same simple sources of carbs, that means you’ll crave even more bad stuff to fill the void. “Cutting back on carbs may mean eating more healthy fat and protein, which is more satisfying because it slows digestion keeping you fuller for longer  and helps prevent blood sugar spikes. With spikes comes subsequent sugar lows that can leave us feeling hungry and unsatisfied, and as a result reaching for less nutritious foods,” Smith explains. If you get hungry between meals, try replacing them with high-protein snacks. like the following

Chia Pudding
1 ripe banana
2 Tbsp protein powder
1/2 c + 1 Tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 1/2 tsp chia seeds
How to make it: Blend together the protein powder, banana, and milk. Stir in chia seeds and let sit until
gelled, about 3 hours. Serve plain or with berries on top. Makes 1 to 2 servings.

Protein Ice Cream Sundae
1 frozen banana
1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
How to make it: Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Use less almond milk for a thicker
consistency or more for a thinner consistency. Add toppings like dark chocolate, shaved almonds, or
fruit. Makes 1 serving.

Banana Walnut Oatmeal
1/3 c rolled oats
1 banana, sliced
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1 c water
How to make it: Combine water and oats in a bowl, and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir and let sit
for 1 minute. Mix in the protein powder, sliced bananas, and walnuts, and serve. Makes 1 serving.

Chocolate Balls
8 pitted dates
1 scoop (about 25g) protein powder (can use unflavored powder, or chocolate or vanilla for a sweeter
1/4 c finely chopped peanuts
4 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
How to make it: Combine the dates, protein powder, half of the 1/4 cup of peanuts, maple syrup, and
cocoa powder in a food processor. Pulse until combined. The mixture should be slightly sticky so that it
can be rolled into a ball. If it's too dry, add another date. If it's too wet, add a bit more peanuts or
protein powder. Roll a heaping tsp into a ball and roll in the remaining peanuts. Yields 8 to 10 balls.

Blueberry Pancakes
2 eggs
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 tsp of oat bran or wheat bran
1 handful of blueberries
How to make it: Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Lightly spray a pan or skillet with non-stick cooking
spray and set your stove top to medium heat. Scoop 1/4-cup portions of the batter onto the skillet. Cook
until small bubbles form in the top of the batter, and then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Yields
approximately 3 pancakes.

Almond Apple Spice Muffins
2 c almond meal
5 scoops vanilla protein powder
4 eggs
1 c unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 stick butter
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp baking powder
How to make it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in microwave (about 30 seconds on low
heat). Thoroughly mix the butter and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Spray muffin tin with nonstick
cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Pour mix into muffin tins until they're about 3/4 full. Place
tin in the oven and cook for 12 minutes. Yields 12 muffins.

The lowest safe amount of carbohydrates is about 50 grams per day.

Soy products may decrease testosterone levels in men.

Jul 29, 2015 - 1 comments

One study found that soy products may decrease testosterone levels in men. This could conceivably cause problems for men with infertility or erectile dysfunction.

Gardner-Thorpe D, O'Hagen C, Young I, et al. Dietary supplements of soya flour lower serum testosterone concentrations and improve markers of oxidative stress in men. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003;57:100-106.

Soy might not be safe for women who have already had breast cancer. In addition, there are concerns that intensive use of soy products by pregnant women could exert a hormonal effect that impacts unborn fetuses.

hypomagnesemia and prediabetes

Jul 29, 2015 - 0 comments

A study of people with hypomagnesemia and prediabetes in Mexico found that, after 4 months of taking 382 mg of magnesium daily (as a magnesium chloride liquid supplement), 50.8% had improved glucose status versus 7% of those receiving placebo. On average, those taking magnesium had a 22% improvement in fasting glucose levels. During the study, both groups were advised to follow a balanced diet and to engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes three times a week.

Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis.
Larsson SC1, Wolk A.
Author information

To assess the association between magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes.

Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.

We retrieved studies published in any language by systematically searching MEDLINE from 1966 to February 2007 and by manually examining the references of the original articles.

We included prospective cohort studies reporting relative risks with 95% confidence intervals for the association between magnesium intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes.

The seven identified cohort studies of magnesium intake [from foods only (n = 4) or from foods and supplements combined (n = 3)] and incidence of type 2 diabetes included 286,668 participants and 10,912 cases. All but one study found an inverse relation between magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes, and in four studies the association was statistically significant. The overall relative risk for a 100 mg day(-1) increase in magnesium intake was 0.85 (95% CI, 0.79-0.92). Results were similar for intake of dietary magnesium (RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.77-0.95) and total magnesium (RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.77-0.89). There was no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.99).

Magnesium intake was inversely associated with incidence of type 2 diabetes. This finding suggests that increased consumption of magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains, beans, nuts, and green leafy vegetables may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Exercise without setting foot in the gym

Jul 28, 2015 - 2 comments

"Compound 14" mimics the effects of exercise without setting foot in the gym

Enjoying the health benefits of a back-breaking workout without actually working out sure is a tantalizing prospect. This goes a long way to explaining the torrent of exercise equipment that promises to do more for our figures with less of our sweat and tears, and recently, the development of drugs that could imitate the beneficial effects of exercise. The latest advance in this area is the development of a molecule that mimics the effects of exercise by influencing the metabolic process, giving it the potential to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity.

The scientists at the University of Southampton who developed the molecule initially set out to target the central energy sensor in cells called AMPK. Pointing to previous research, the team believed that if a small molecule could be used to selectively activate AMPK, it could boost the uptake of glucose and oxygen in the cells by mimicking the effects of exercise.