Tag: Diet

Skinny Hot Cocoa Drinks

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Categories: Recipes


Depression- There is a diet for that!


This is the best diet for treating depression

By Nicole Lyn PescePublished: Oct 10, 2019 1:24 pm ET

A new study suggests that diet can help mental health

Load up on fish and leafy greens.

Load up on fish and leafy greens.

Stop feeding into your depression. 

Many of us turn to comfort foods when we are feeling down, which are generally defined as those dishes and snacks that are easy to make (or order out — thanks, GrubHub GRUB+1.46% and Postmates — or open from a package) that are filled with nostalgic or sentimental value. (They’re also often loaded with sugar, salt, fat and/or refined carbs.)

But new research shows that we’re doing comfort food all wrong. In fact, cutting out processed foods and adding in more fruits, vegetables and fish doesn’t just make you healthier — it may also make you happier. 

A small, randomized trial published in PLOS Onethis week (just in time for World Mental Health Day) looked at 76 adults ages 17 to 35, who all scored “moderate to high” on a scale of depression symptoms used by doctors, and who also consumed diets that were high in processed foods, saturated fats and refined carbohydrates.

The subjects were split into two groups. One was encouraged to eat healthier by receiving money for grocery shopping, a small hamper of pantry items, as well as tips to eating healthier, whole foods. Researchers checked in on them twice a week for three weeks to see how their diets were going. The control group, on the other hand, didn’t receive any food, money or nutritional guidance. 

And at the end of three weeks, those on the diet who ate more fruits, vegetables and fish — aka a Mediterranean-style diet — saw their moods significantly improve, and their “moderate to high” depression scores dropped within a normal range. Those in the control group who had stuck to their less healthy diets didn’t see change to their moods or scores. Three months later, the subjects who continued with the healthy eating habits continued to have elevated moods and more improved life outlooks. 

Now, this was a very small trial, and more randomized control trials are needed to establish whether there really is a cause-effect relationship between diets and depression. The control group in this case did nothing, for instance. Future research should compare the outcomes of people who eat healthy with those trying a different intervention, such as social support, to show how effective a new diet would be in comparison. 

And no one is saying that simply eating more vegetables can take the place of therapy and medication in treating depression and other mental health conditions. 

But as study co-author Heather Francis, a nutritional neuroscience researcher from Macquarie University in Sydney, told Live Science, “These findings add to a growing literature to suggest that healthy diet can be recommended as an effective therapy to improve depression symptoms, as an adjunct to pharmacological and psychological therapy.”

One in five U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and one in six U.S. youth ages six to 17 also have a mental health disorder. It’s estimated that serious mental illness causes $193.2 billion in lost earnings in the U.S. alone each year, and costs the global economy $1 trillion annually, NAMI reports.

Previous studies have also suggested that changes to diet — and following a Mediterranean diet, in particular — could improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

A 2018 meta-analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults found that those who most closely followed a Mediterranean diet had a 33% lower risk of developing depression over eight to 12 years compared with those whose diets were the most opposite. What’s more, a 2018 study published in the World Journal of Psychiatry came up with an Antidepressant Food Scale. And topping its list of the 12 best foods loaded with nutrients that influence depression were bivalves (clams and mussels) and seafood packed with vitamin B12, iron, zinc, copper, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as leafy greens, lettuces, peppers and cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli) also packed with iron and vitamins.

On the flip side, those familiar sweet or salty comfort foods that provide a pick-me-up in the moment can end up making you feel worse. Foods that spike your blood sugar (like sweets, white breads and processed starches like pasta and french fries) often lead to a “crash” later on — like feeling shaky, lethargic, irritable or anxious in the afternoon.

In fact, a systematic review of 12 studies that looked at diet and mental health in children and adolescents found that eating more saturated fat, refined carbs and processed foods led to worse mental health.

Thank you for reading 🙂


Categories: Health Information


Optavia Diet-Did You Know

What is the Optavia Diet?

It’s basically a meal delivery service. Yes, it’s created with the help of a credentialed advisory board. Yes, the meals (or, ahem, “Fuelings”) are designed to restrict calories while providing nutrients. Yes, it’s convenient. But Optavia, in its structure, is very similar to Nutrisystem or the more modern Kettlebell Kitchen, in which the company ships you prepared meals and you eat those prepared meals.

Optavia offers more than 60 food options (excuse me, “Fuelings,” geez) to choose from, including oh-so-exciting delicacies as “Beef Stew,” “Chicken Cacciatore,” “Turkey Meatball Marinara,” and I’m sorry if you just fell asleep.

High Angle View Of Soup In Bowl On Table


Can the Optavia Diet help me lose weight?

Well, here’s the tricky thing. Any diet involving calorie restriction may help you lose weight. In the short term.

If you go from a diet heavy in calorie-dense foods, a diet that includes a lot of (let’s just pick a totally random example here) red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, to a diet that includes a lot of, ahem, beef stew in small portions, well then you’re going to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight. In the short term.

What about in the long term? That’s entirely on you.

2017 study reviewed the results of 25 weight loss programs and found that “commercial weight-loss programs frequently fail to produce modest but clinically meaningful weight loss with high rates of attrition suggesting that many consumers find dietary changes required by these programs unsustainable.”

Maybe you can sustain eating the same 60-ish Optavia Diet Fuelings over the course of a few months, but can you sustain eating them over the rest of your life?

I mean, that’s a lot of stew.

Is the Optavia Diet healthy?

Here’s where you need to be careful.

Look, if you’re the kind of uber Type A person who can stick to regimen of basically eating the same thing every day for months on end, maybe the Optavia Diet is for you.The Lathe of Heavenamazon.comBUY IT NOW

But if you’re an actual human, you’re going to grow bored of beef stew. You’re going to start to hate beef stew. And when you start hating what you eat, you start hating the process of eating. And you start feeling guilty when you veer off your Fuelings and back to food.

Think about that for a moment: Is hating what you eat worth losing weight? Is it worth feeling guilt and shame about eating something that isn’t labeled as a Fueling?

Young parents arguing while having lunch with their kids at home.

The National Eating Disorders Association reports that 95 percent of people who diet regain their lost weight in five years.

PAUL KITAPaul is the Food & Nutrition Editor of Men’s Health.

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Categories: Did You Know?


The Mind Diet!

Just found this new diet. I thought I’d share with you.

A diet that zeros in on foods that promote brain health, including vegetables, berries, fish and olive oil, helps to substantially slow cognitive decline in stroke survivors, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.
The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, or MIND, is a combination of the nutritionally healthy DASH and Mediterranean diets, but with modifications based on the best scientific evidence on nutrition and brain health. Other foods featured in the MIND diet include nuts, beans, poultry, whole grains and moderate wine consumption. It limits red meats and red meat products, butter, trans fat margarines, cheese, sweets and pastries as well as fried and fast foods.
Study co-author Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, is the lead creator of the MIND diet, which has been associated with reduced Alzheimer’s risk in seniors who adhered closely to its recommendations.
“We know that stroke survivors are twice as likely to develop dementia compared to the general population. I was really intrigued by the results of a previous MIND study, which showed that the people who were most highly adherent to the MIND diet cognitively functioned as if they were 7.5 years younger than the least adherent group. It made me wonder if those findings would hold true for stroke survivors,” said Laurel J. Cherian, M.D., M.S, co-study author and vascular neurologist and assistant professor of neurological sciences at Rush University Medical Center.
Cherian and colleagues studied 106 stroke survivors for cognitive decline, including decline in one’s ability to think, reason and remember. They assessed people in the study every year, for an average of 4.7 years, and monitored patients’ eating habits, grouping them into those who were highly adherent to MIND, moderately adherent and least adherent to the diet. They also examined factors that are known to affect cognitive performance, including age, gender, education level, participation in cognitively stimulating activities, physical activity, smoking and genetics.
They found:
Those in the most adherent MIND group had a substantially slower rate of cognitive decline than people who adhered least to the diet.
The estimated effect of the diet remained strong even after taking into account participants’ level of education and participation in cognitive and physical activities.
While adherence to the MIND diet was highly associated with slower rate of cognitive decline in stroke patients, the Mediterranean and DASH diets, were not associated with slower cognitive decline.
“The Mediterranean and DASH diets have been shown to be protective against coronary artery disease and stroke, but it seems the nutrients emphasized in the MIND diet may be better suited to overall brain health and preserving cognition,” Cherian said.
According to Cherian, studies have found that folate, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids and flavonoids are associated with slower rates of cognitive decline, while things like saturated and hydrogenated fats have been associated with dementia.
“I like to think of the MIND diet as a way to supercharge the nutritional content of what we eat. The goal is to emphasize foods that will not only lower our risk of heart attacks and stroke, but make our brains as resilient as possible to cognitive decline,” she said. “Our study suggests that if we choose the right foods, we may be able to protect stroke survivors from cognitive decline. This is a preliminary study that will hopefully be confirmed by other studies, including research looking specifically at stroke survivors. For now, I think there is enough information to encourage stroke patients to view food as one of their most powerful tools to optimize their brain health.”
The main limitation of the study is that it’s observational and findings cannot be interpreted in a cause-and-effect relationship. The study is also relatively small.
Source: American Heart Association

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Categories: Health Information


KetoCrotch~ Is it a real thing?

‘Keto crotch’ may be a side effect of the diet. Here’s what you need to know.

Rachel Murphy Mar. 26, 2019, 3:50 PM

MEAT eating meat
The low-carb, high-fat diet, for some, has apparently lead to “keto crotch.”
  • People on the keto diet,a diet based around eating low-carb, high-fat foods with moderate amounts of protein, are apparently experiencing what they call “keto crotch.”
  • This may be because drastic dietary changes can cause a pH imbalance in the vagina, according to Lisa De Fazio, a registered dietitian nutritionist.
  • A pH imbalance can cause “bad” bacteria to grow, causing problems like irritation and odors in the vaginal area.

The keto diet is having a moment right now. Originally developed to treat epilepsy patients who were not responsive to traditional medicine, the trending, low-carb diet aims to put the body into ketosis, a state in which it burns fat, not carbs.

The keto diet isn’t without side effects, though. According to Lisa De Fazio, a registered dietitian nutritionist, the keto diet can put followers at risk for kidney problems, dehydration, the “keto flu,” and more. That’s not all, though. Some Reddit users are talking about one strange side effect known as “keto crotch.”

Keto crotch refers to a change in vaginal odor

bacon cooking keto diet
A high-fat diet can change a person’s vaginal pH levels.

Since the keto diet calls for a mix of high-fat, low-carb foods with moderate proteins, it can be an adjustment for your body to get used to — and it may cause some funky side effects like a change in your vaginal odor. 

Though there is no research done on the topic, the medical phenomenon may happen when you drastically change your diet by incorporating large amounts of certain macronutrients like fat and protein, according to De Fazio. 

“Foods change the pH of the body. When this happens, the body will emit certain odors,” De Fazio told INSIDER. “The keto diet [may] change your vaginal pH, which alters your vaginal odor — and it may not smell like roses.” 

So, why does all of this matter? Well, a pH imbalance can bring upon “bad” bacteria growth.

Additionally, De Fazio said people with a pH imbalance can develop irritation, odor, and infections such as bacterial vaginosis— the most common vaginal infection for menstruating people.

To better understand keto crotch, it’s important to know how pH works

First of all, pH stands for potential of Hydrogen. It uses a number scale of zero to 14 to measure the amount of acid or alkaline of a substance.

According to De Fazio, a pH of less than seven is considered acidic and a pH of more than seven is basic. 

“The pH-balance is an important factor in maintaining vaginal health,” she said. “A high-fat diet, particularly saturated fat like on the keto diet, increases vaginal pH, and therefore increasing the risk of bacterial vaginosis.”

A vagina should have a pH level between per De Fazio. This means that it is moderately acidic. De Fazio, however, is quick to point out that what constitutes a normal pH level can vary slightly based on your stage of life.

“During your reproductive years, ages 15 to 49, your vaginal pH should be below or equal to . But, before menstruation and after menopause, a healthy pH tends to be higher than ,” said De Fazio. “An acidic vaginal environment is protective. It creates a barrier that prevents unhealthy bacteria and yeast from multiplying too quickly and causing infection.”

A high vaginal pH level may lead to keto crotch

A high vaginal pH level might lead to a “fishy” smell.

A high vaginal pH level — above 4.5 — provides the perfect environment for unhealthy bacteria to grow. It also puts you at risk for certain infections, according to De Fazio. Luckily, keto crotch can be treated and it may even go away on its own, she said. 

“It may go away, otherwise you should see your OB/GYN for treatment,” said De Fazio. “Your doctor may advise you to go back to a balanced diet. Any extreme changes to the body or pH is not a good idea.” 

Thank you for reading 🙂

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Categories: Keto Stuff


Want A Flat Stomach? Stay Away From These Things

Slide 1 of 16: Stomach bloating is natural, but certain foods are more likely to cause it than others.Examples include lentils, beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, dairy, apples, and grains.Many of these foods have nutrients that our bodies can't digest, so they're instead fermented by bacteria, which can lead to gas and bloating. Stomach bloating is unfortunately a  normal and natural part of life. But some foods cause more bloat than others. That's because many of these foods contain nutrients that our bodies can't digest, like lactose, a natural sugar that's found in dairy.FODMAPs are another example. These short-chain carbohydrates can't be digested by the small intestine, so instead they end up in the large intestine, which is where they're fermented by bacteria. This fermentation process causes gas and bloating. While not eating or drinking the foods and beverages listed below won't help you lose weight or get washboard abs, it will help you avoid bloating, and will thus have you looking leaner.

15 things you should never eat or drink if you want a flat stomach

Stomach bloating is natural, but certain foods are more likely to cause it than others.Examples include lentils, beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, dairy, apples, and grains.Many of these foods have nutrients that our bodies can’t digest, so they’re instead fermented by bacteria, which can lead to gas and bloating.

Stomach bloating is unfortunately a normal and natural part of life.

But some foods cause more bloat than others.

That’s because many of these foods contain nutrients that our bodies can’t digest, like lactose, a natural sugar that’s found in dairy.

FODMAPs are another example. These short-chain carbohydrates can’t be digested by the small intestine, so instead they end up in the large intestine, which is where they’re fermented by bacteria. This fermentation process causes gas and bloating.

While not eating or drinking the foods and beverages listed in this slide show won’t help you lose weight or get washboard abs, it will help you avoid bloating, and will thus have you looking leaner.


Dairy products like cheese and milk can cause digestion issues – especially if you’re lactose-intolerant or sensitive. Lactose is a natural sugar that’s found in dairy products, and those who are lactose intolerant don’t have the enzymes needed to break down this sugar.

Luckily, there are plenty of dairy substitutes out there, like soy or almond milk, which are ideal for those who are lactose intolerant or just looking to avoid dairy.

Cruciferous vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale all fall under the category of cruciferous vegetables. These foods are high in a number of nutrients like folate, vitamin C, and fiber. They’re even thought to help prevent cancer.

But they also contain raffinose, a type of carbohydrate that our bodies can’t break down because we lack a certain enzyme to do so. Instead, raffinose is fermented by bacteria, a primary cause of gas and bloating.

If you don’t want to give up these vegetables, try roasting or steaming them to make them easier to digest.

Foods high in sodium

Most Americans consume more salt than the recommended daily amount. Our bodies’ natural reaction to eating too much salt is to retain water, and when the body holds on to water, it bloats.

As a guideline, most healthy people should be capping their sodium intake at 2,300 mg per day. Those who have diabetes or high blood pressure, or who are over 50, should only be consuming 1,500 mg per day.

Packaged and processed foods, like canned soups, deli meats, and pre-made sauces, commonly contain large amounts of sodium


Just like high-sodium foods, alcohol causes the body to retain water, leading to puffiness and bloating. Drinking can also trigger constipation, which leaves people feeling bloated as well.


It might be hard to believe that watermelon could do anything to your body, considering it’s mostly water. But it contains plenty of fructose, a natural sugar that gives the fruit its sweetness. Many people are unable to absorb fructose, which is why watermelon can lead to bloating.


Legumes refer to plants that grow fruit in the form of a pod. Examples include beans, peas, lentils, and soybeans. These foods are all high in fiber and protein, which is what makes them good for you, but also what makes them hard to digest.

Because legumes are packed with fiber that our bodies can’t absorb, our gut bacteria goes to work on them instead, which causes gas and bloating.

To avoid this, try eating legumes with whole grains that are easy to digest like rice or quinoa, or soak dried beans overnight, which helps to break down non-digestible fiber.


When it comes to yogurt, it all depends on what kind you’re consuming. Plain yogurt can actually help your stomach because it contains probiotics, which are known to regulate digestion.

However, if you’re eating flavored yogurt that’s high in sugar, you’ll have more fermentation going on in your body, which means more gas and bloating.


Grains like rye and wheat contain fructan, a carb that many people have a hard time digesting.

According to multiple gastroenterologists, people often think gluten is irritating their stomachs when really it’s the fructan. When a carb can’t be absorbed, it’s instead fermented by gut bacteria, which leads to gas and bloating.1

Carbonated beverages

No matter if it’s soda or sparkling water, any sort of fizzy beverage can lead to bloating. That’s because the bubbles present in these drinks cause your stomach to inflate.


Surprisingly, onions contain carbs. More specifically, they contain the same carb that’s found in grains: fructan.

Fructan is not only hard for your body to absorb, but also leads to more water being stored in the intestine. This, in turn, can cause bloating.

Artificial sweeteners

Many people gravitate toward artificial sweeteners because they have no calories. But calories aren’t everything, and sweeteners like xylitol and sorbitol take a long time for the small intestine to digest, which is why substances like these can lead to bloating.

The five artificial sweeteners that the FDA has approved – and therefore some of the most common – are: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose.


There isn’t anything specific in this popular snack that causes bloating; it’s simply the volume of popcorn that most people eat which causes your stomach to expand more than usual.

One serving of popcorn is anywhere from three to four cups. One cup is about the size of a tennis ball, which is a lot of popcorn for your stomach to hold.

Sugar-free gum

As stated earlier, artificial sweeteners are a big culprit when it comes to bloating. Because sugar-free gum contains these sweeteners – mostly sugar alcohols – it can also cause gas and bloating.

Plus, the actual act of chewing gum isn’t great for your stomach either, because you swallow a lot of air doing that.


Apples contain three things that contribute to gas and bloating: fiber, fructose, and sorbitol. Fructose and sorbitol are natural sugars – although sorbitol is often used as an artificial sweetener in foods – that many people can’t tolerate.

Other fruits that contain sorbitol include peaches, pears, prunes, and plums.


While coffee is a diuretic, it’s also acidic, which is why it can lead to a swollen and irritated stomach for those who are sensitive.

And if you’re lactose-intolerant or even sensitive, adding milk to your coffee will only make things worse.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.Stomach bloating is natural, but certain foods are more likely to cause it than others.
Examples include lentils, beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, dairy, apples, and grains.

Many of these foods have nutrients that our bodies can’t digest, so they’re instead fermented by bacteria, which can lead to gas and bloating.

Stomach bloating is, unfortunately, a normal and natural part of life.
But some foods cause more bloat than others.
That’s because many of these foods contain nutrients that our bodies can’t digest, like lactose, a natural sugar that’s found in dairy.
FODMAPs are another example. These short-chain carbohydrates can’t be digested by the small intestine, so instead, they end up in the large intestine, which is where they’re fermented by bacteria. This fermentation process causes gas and bloating.
While not eating or drinking the foods and beverages listed in this slide show won’t help you lose weight or get washboard abs, it will help you avoid bloating, and will thus have you looking leaner

Thank you for reading 🙂

New Diet Out There~ Optavia

Optavia is actually a new version of an older diet, Medifast, which was created by a doctor in 1980 and involved packaged shakes, bars, and snacks. The plan was updated a few times, and in 2017 a new iteration for the digital age, Optavia (rhymes with Mamma Mia), was launched. When you sign up for Optavia, you purchase foods online and get connected to a personal coach, who is in most cases a former client eager to share the gospel of Optavia (and who also gets paid a commission on all the food you order, plus bonuses and additional commissions for recruiting and supporting other coaches). The coach helps you work through a “Habits of Health” program—commonsense health goals like using the stairs instead of the elevator and drinking lots of water—but the main sell of the program is still those packaged shakes and bars.

How does the Optavia diet work?

In the initial “Optimal Weight 5 & 1” phase—which can last 12 weeks, 6 months, or longer, depending on how much weight you want to lose—you eat six small meals a day, spread out every 2 to 3 hours so you don’t get hungry and your blood sugar levels remain steady. So far, great idea! But there’s a catch: Five out of the 6 “meals” consist of processed, packaged meal replacements called Fuelings.

There are about 60 different kinds of Fuelings available for sale on the site (a starter pack that includes 119 servings costs $392). Choices include savory dishes like pasta, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, and soups (all of which come in dehydrated packs; you add water and pop in the microwave), but the majority of the items are shakes, bars, cookies, and crunchy snacks (Chili Nacho Cheese Puffs, anyone?). Each of these Fuelings has around 100 calories and contains what Optavia calls “a high quality protein” and a probiotic for digestive health.

a bowl of food on a table: A selection of Optavia’s Fuelings, founds on its website.

© Optavia A selection of Optavia’s Fuelings, founds on its website.

“Once we start referring to meals and snacks as Fuelings, we’re already in trouble,” says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, director of the Nutrition Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, who is also the author of Dressing on the Side (and Other Diet Myths Debunked). “Food is meant to be enjoyed in order to provide nourishment in any and every form, and labeling it as fuel ignores that fact.”

In this phase, you’re allowed to eat fresh food just once a day, for your “Lean & Green” meal, which you prepare yourself (or, with some effort, order in a restaurant): It should include 5 to 7 ounces of a lean protein, such as fish, chicken, eggs, or steak; up to 2 servings of a healthy fat such as avocado or canola oil; and a heap of non-starchy vegetables. No fruit, potatoes, dairy, bread, or grains are allowed, and alcohol is a definite no-no.

This all adds up to 800 to 1,000 calories per day. To put that in perspective, a woman in her forties needs a minimum of 1,800 calories a day, according to USDA dietary guidelines; 1,000 calories is the recommended amount for an average 2-year-old.

So, when do you go back to real food?

After you’ve reached your goal weight, you switch to a transition phase, in which you can eat 3 Lean & Green meals a day, slowly adding in fruit, dairy, and whole grains, but continuing to supplement with 3 Fuelings per day. “We give clients guidance to help them stop being in the fat-burning phase and transition to a balanced, healthy state,” says Optavia Coach Jan Paxman. She points out that clients can eventually transition to a completely whole-food diet, though, she says, “Most of them find that it’s helpful to continue to use the Fuelings, because it keeps it very simple and cost-effective. If they’re grabbing fast food or snacks at vending machines, they end up spending at least the same amount or even more.”

Well, you’ll certainly lose weight. There’s no question that if you stick to the extremely-low-calorie plan, you will shed pounds fairly quickly. (Though the site has many stories of people who lost 100 pounds or more on Optavia, the company is careful to point out that the typical weight loss is 12 pounds over 12 weeks.) Pamela,* a small-business owner in New York, says she’s lost 50 pounds in 6 months, and it’s been a good experience, though she hasn’t transitioned yet to the maintenance phase. “My husband and I consistently lost week after week, even when we ate out for dinner,” she says.

It’s easy. You don’t have to think about your food much at all on this plan. Once a day, you throw some protein on a pile of vegetables for a meal; the rest of your meals require nothing more than tearing open a package and putting it in the microwave.

There’s community support. In addition to the coaches, who check in by phone, text, or email once a day for the first four days, then once or twice a week for next 12 weeks, there are also Facebook pages and webinars. “Accountability and community are key components to any behavior-change program, so if there is one gold star to give here, it’s for the support,” says London, who points out that you should check in with your physician before starting any extreme diet plan, especially if you’ve had a history of eating disorders or you’re on any medications.

You’re eating a lot of packaged, processed food. Optavia is adamant that these dehydrated mashed potatoes, shakes, and bars are healthy, nutritionally balanced, “all natural” meals. One look at the ingredients, however, shows that “natural” is in the eye of the beholder. The first five ingredients on the basic chocolate shake, for example, include: Soy protein isolate, fructose, dextrin, cocoa powder (processed with alkali), and whey protein concentrate. “‘No artificial ingredients/preservatives’ does not mean it’s a real food,” says London. Especially when the first ingredient is a soy protein isolate, which means a nutrient found in food is isolated to create a new, man-made food product.”

“There are so many snacks you can make with whole foods that are healthy, low in calories, and filling,” adds Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It—Taking You from Label to Table. “Just take nonfat milk and mix with a banana and ice for a smoothie, and you’ll have a healthier shake. Instead of eating a pack of dehydrated pasta, why not have a bowl of zucchini noodles or a small portion of whole-wheat pasta topped with fresh veggies and a protein?”

And the tastes aren’t for everyone. “I couldn’t stick with Optavia because the food wasn’t very tasty and I got bored with it quickly,” says Justin, a periodontist in Maryland who lost 10 pound in two months on Optavia, and then gained it all back. “I had a shake every morning and ate a couple of the pastas, but you there’s only so much powdered food you can eat in your life.” Even Pamela, who is still on the plan, says she only likes a handful of the Fuelings—the bars, shakes, and sticks—though her husband is a bigger fan of the savory meals. “Countless surveys have shown that the top reason we choose our food is first for taste, and then for convenience,” says Taub-Dix. “This may ring all the bells on convenience, but it falls short on taste.”

It’s hard to sustain over the long run. Optavia points to a recent study that shows Optavia (and its sister diet, Medifast) help dieters lose more weight over 16 weeks than a regular low-calorie diet, but—surprise!—the study was paid for by Medifast, Inc. There don’t appear to be any independent studies that have assessed the long-term success of this diet. “The diet may help short-term, since you’re restricting total calories by limiting carbs, but restriction long-term can be unsustainable,” says London. Taub-Dix adds that this type of restrictive diet makes it difficult to eat with the rest of the family or go out to social events without feeling like an outcast.

“Eating real, nutrient-dense, delicious and health-promoting food for long-lasting behavior change that sticks is the only way to lose weight and actually keep it off,” says London. “Why consume vitamins and minerals in a powdered shake or bar when you could eat real food from which you’ll benefit mentally, physically, and psychologically—through shared experiences around meals and snacks that provide flavor and nutrition.”

a variety of vegetables on a cutting board with a knife: Plant-based diets are trendier than ever before. Everyone from your favorite celebrities to your co-workers are eating less meat, dairy, and eggs—or giving it up completely and going full-on vegan or vegetarian. That change isn’t just beneficial for your own health—it also makes a huge difference in helping the planet and the animals.There have been multiple studies over the years that have shown just how much eating a plant-based diet can better your overall health. Think about it: When you’re filling your plate with mostly plants and few to no animal products, how can it not?”Plant-based diets are associated with numerous health benefits including—but not limited to—lowering BMI and decreasing obesity risk, reducing the risk of (and possibly even reversing) the effects of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and specific types of cancers, such as gastrointestinal cancer,” says Whitney English, MS, RDN, of Plant-Based Juniors. “Plant-based diets may also help decrease blood pressure, cholesterol, HbA1C (a marker of diabetes), and blood sugar levels.”While those health benefits are all impressive, one of the biggest draws for people is the diet’s ability to help with weight loss. Especially since it’s something you can stick with long-term opposed to fad diets like keto or low-carb.”Research shows regularly eating staples of a plant-based diet, such as pulses, can help with weight loss. In one study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found eating pulses like chickpeas, white beans, and lentils daily can lead to a weight loss of close to a pound in about six weeks,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area.”Research aside, all the foods a plant-based diet is centered around—including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and pulses—are bursting with health-helping vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that are helpful for good health,” Gorin adds.By transitioning to a more plant-based diet—and maybe eventually ditching animal products entirely!—you’ll do you and the world good. Here are some expert-approved tips to help you transition to a plant-based diet and maybe even become a vegetarian. Start grocery shopping with these 20 Meatless Foods So Delicious You Won’t Know the Difference.

Thank you for reading 🙂


Categories: Health Information


Keto Diet Dangers~ You Should Know The Risks

keto rash

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keto rash Keto flu, keto breath, keto crotch… What’s next? Unfortunately, new side effects of the keto diet continue to emerge. People are now breaking out in full-body, painful rashes after going on the extremely low-carb diet. And perhaps the worst part is that this “keto rash” can leave brown marks on the surface of the skin that stick around for life.

One of the most popular diet trends of this decade, the idea behind the keto diet is that restricting carb intake to an extremely low number while eating large amounts of fats will trick the body into entering ketosis, a state in which the body burns fats for fuel. Ketosis is difficult to maintain, but once it is achieved, the body can react in strange (and in this case painful) ways.

If you search “keto rash” on Reddit, you’ll find dozens of dieters begging for help with the condition, sharing anecdotes of excruciating itching and discomfort. The rash tends to start near the chest and spread, reaching every part of the body, including the scalp.

“I noticed a rash across my left boob within 3 days,” one Reddit user recalled. “By day 14 (Saturday), my rash was up and down both of my boobs, in my cleavage, along my bra line in the back and all over my neck, into my hairline. It was PAINFUL, burning, itching. I was insanely irritable. It looked horrific.”

One Reddit user, ketoko, said they had been wearing gloves to bed to prevent from scratching throughout the night. “I’m starting to develop scabs and blisters and it just hurts really bad,” ketoko said in a post.

Even once the rash subsided, some found that the marks stuck around for good.

“I spent years trying to overcome insecurities. I decided to try keto to finally change for the better,” user donut-peach said, “but now I have a totally different problem that prevents me from showing my skin … it was spreading too rapidly and left behind discoloration. I now am off keto and have hideous marks all over my chest, shoulders, neck, and back.”

The condition is called prurigo pigmentosa. Existing scientific literature shows a link between ketosis and the rash, though studies show other intervening factors (such as sunlight, extreme heat, allergens and sweating) may worsen the condition. Going on the keto diet is not the only way humans can enter ketosis. Conditions such as diabetes mellitus and anorexia nervosa can also lead to this state, as well as fasting and dieting.

A 2018 case study showed that prurigo pigmentosa can only really be treated by eating a lot more carbs — i.e., quitting keto. Other options, such as topical creams and anti-inflammatory drugs, may temporarily relieve symptoms — but if you don’t quit the diet, the rash is likely to return in full force once you stop using them. “There is no dietary treatment option to successfully treat the rash without sacrificing ketosis,” the study reads. And once the rash disappears, there is no known method of getting rid of the dark brown spots prurigo pigmentosa leaves behind.

Not everyone on the keto diet experiences this symptom. But you should know if there are serious risks to a diet before you try it.

Thank you for reading 🙂


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