Why you need to ditch the soda habit    

Standard

181768562_94bd887ccd_o

I work with clients across all ages, many who are actually healthy already when they start seeing me, but often times they have a habit that quite frankly counteracts all of the benefits of their otherwise healthy diet—soda! It’s addictive—caffeinated or not, diet or not, soda destroys your health. If there is one “bad” food you want to challenge yourself to remove from your diet, I suggest soda! Here are some of the ways soda is harmful to your health.

Soda can make you gain weight, yes even diet soda.

Most people who see me are concerned about their weight. Some want to fit better in a wedding dress. Some have serious health problems related to being overweight or obese. As this is concern is probably at the forefront of peoples’ mind more than other serious concerns, I will address the weight issue first.

Soda causes weight gain. Sugar and even the artificial sugars in diet sodas can make you feel hungrier, leading you to eat more. This means you consume all that sugar or artificial sugar (which bot store as fat) in the soda, and more food than you would’ve eaten had you not had the soda! That all adds up, especially if it is a daily habit!

Let’s move on to more detrimental health concerns caused by soda.

Soda can cause diabetes.

Do you know that a can of soda has over nine teaspoons of sugar in it? That’s insane. Drink a can of soda and that already exceeds the American Heart Association’s recommended daily allowance of added sugar, which is nine teaspoons for men, and six teaspoons for women. All that sugar can spark diabetes. In fact, a 2010 meta-analysis of several studies found that people who consume 1-2 cans of soda a day or more are 26 percent more likely to get Type 2 diabetes than people who rarely drink soda.

Soda can make your bones brittle.

Most of my clients who are young to middle-aged rarely think of their bones. But get this, soda drinkers’ bones are more brittle. Soda has phosphate and when your diet has more phosphate than calcium, your bones suffer. Think about changing up your soda for milk, even chocolate milk, so you get that much-needed calcium for your bones!

Soda can break your heart.

Sugar was first linked to heart disease over 50 years ago, yet soda is still flying off the shelves! This saddens me because several studies have established that sugar-sweetened drinks increase several risk factors for heart disease. It can increase your blood-sugar levels, your triglycerides, and your LDL (Bad) cholesterol.

Studies have linked soda to an increased risk of heart attacks as well. One study for example followed 40,000 men for two decades and found that the men who had one sugary drink a day had a 20 percent increased risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack compared to those who rarely drank sugary drinks.

Soda can cause cancer.

I rarely write about the “C” word because it freaks people out, but in cases where a plethora of studies have shown correlations with eating/drinking a certain food and having an increased risk of cancer, I think it’s important to address.

Let me start by saying that cancer risk increases when you have a chronic condition like Type 2 diabetes or heart disease. This is one way that soda is linked to an increased risk of cancer.

And there are several studies that have shown soda drinking as directly linked to certain types of cancer. For example, one study found that men and women who drank two or more sodas a day had an 87 percent higher chance of developing pancreatic cancer than those who did not. Another study found that postmenopausal women who drank soda were at greater risk of getting endometrial cancer.

There are several more reasons not to drink soda, like damage to your teeth, increased risk of gout, and even increased risk of dementia. So, If there is one food addiction you are trying to defeat, try to kick soda out of your life. I promise, after a while, you won’t even miss it!

 

 

Advertisements

Spring into Health: What in the World is Kohlrabi?

Standard

kohlrabi

I incessantly encourage my clients to eat more cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, bok choy).  They are loaded with phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can help with hormone balancing, cancer prevention, and heart disease prevention. Their natural anti-inflammatory properties can avert any form of inflammation.

If you dislike any of the aforementioned vegetables, no worries! There is an unfamiliar cruciferous vegetable that I love more than all of the above. It’s sweeter and more succulent. It’s called Kohlrabi–find one at a farmer’s market near you! Kohlrabi has more than 100% of your daily vitamin c needs and it is loaded with minerals as well as the cancer-fighting phytonutrients.

Try this recipe: kickin Kohlrabi Slaw.

Ingredients:

  • –          1 Kohlrabi, peeled and shredded
  • –          ½ cup plain yogurt
  • –          2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • –          3 Tablespoons of honey or agave nectar
  • –          2 shredded carrots
  • –          Handful of raisins
  • –          Sea salt to taste

Directions

Mix the yogurt, vinegar, and honey or agave nectar. Mix the kohlrabi and carrots. Pour yogurt mixture over the kohlrabi and carrots. Season with sea salt and toss in the raisins!

Enjoy the sunshine and fuel yourself with healthy choices like this! Two keys to vitality!

Help prevent cancer this New Year

Standard

vege-1-1

The scary “c” word is hard to think about. Chances are you have known someone diagnosed with cancer. In fact, 40 percent of all men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime! It’s a terrible, terrible disease, one that you wouldn’t wish upon even your worst enemy.

Unless the person has been previously diagnosed with cancer, it’s rare that I have a client who creates a New Year’s Resolution about developing a cancer prevention plan. In my series about New Year’s Resolutions, I am including this because I think it’s a great one for everyone to have! Here are my top tips to help prevent cancer through your food choices.

Tip # 1: Focus on eating mostly WHOLE foods.

You don’t have to become a vegetarian on my cancer prevention plan, rather, just eat food in their most original form. Eat potatoes, not potato chips or French fries. Aim to have half of your plate be vegetables and include dairy and a lean meat. Try to kick out most of the processed food in your diet.

Tip # 2: Get serious about increasing your fruit and veggie intake!

Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They contain minimal fat, sodium, and calories. These characteristics are what your immune system requires to protect against illness, including cancer! Try to get in at least five servings of veggies and fruit!

Tip # 3: Reduce your meat intake and increase your fiber!

While I mentioned that you don’t need to become a vegetarian on my cancer prevention plan, you should at least reduce your meat intake. Research does show that vegetarians are 50 percent less likely to get diagnosed with cancer. The main reason for this is that meat lacks fiber, so reduce your meat intake and increase your fiber intake.

You will automatically increase your fiber intake by following tip # 2. Another way to increase your fiber is by consuming whole grains, which in part, is what tip # 1 includes. Have oatmeal for breakfast. Have whole-grain bread when you eat sandwiches. Have brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, or millet with your dinner.

When it comes to meat, pay special attention to reducing red meat and processed meats (deli meat, hotdogs, sausage, bacon, etc.). Reduce the portion sizes of meat. Consider adding it for flavor in a casserole instead of having a whole hunk of it as the main portion of your meal—see it more as a condiment!

Tip #4: Get 30 minutes of exercise a day!

Most people don’t associate exercise with cancer prevention, but there is a huge association! Physical activity decreases the risk of colon, endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer. As fitness improves, aim for 60 minutes or more of moderate, or for 30 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity every day. Definitely be under a doctor’s guidance if you are not used to regular exercise.

I sincerely hope you follow these tips not just for the New Year, but as a lifestyle. Not only will they help lower your risk of cancer, they will help you live a healthier life for a long time!

 

Powerful Pomegranates

Standard

 

pomegranate

Pomegranates are one of the top a super foods you can consume; super foods contain an abundance of nutrients with superior health benefits. These red, round fruit are tricky. You don’t want to bite into them; you want to break them open and consume the seeds. I know it’s weird; we’ve been taught to not eat the seeds of the majority of fruits, but you have to trust me on this one. Pomegranates have an eye-opening amount of benefits for your body. For starters, pomegranates are packed filled with fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium. Another good thing about pomegranates is that they are filled with powerful antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is known to cause heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even obesity.

Eating pomegranate seeds contain the necessary components to aid with the reduction of inflammation to help you live a healthier life. Pomegranates help fight against prostate and breast cancer as well! Pomegranate juice can inhibit cancer growth and lower the risk of death. Having trouble with maintaining your blood pressure? Adding pomegranates to your regular diet can lower your blood pressure, which can reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Gaining years in your life can lead to becoming wiser, but it also leads to arthritis and joint pain. No fun! Consuming pomegranates has been shown to reduce arthritis and joint pain. Also, they contain an antibacterial property that can be used to fight off germs and disease within your mouth. If these aren’t enough reasons to start eating pomegranates, then how about the benefit of increasing your memory? This benefit is great for any age. Do you ever get that 2 o’clock slump? Don’t grab that cup of coffee, reach for your pomegranate seeds because they can wake you up just as much. Healthy is kind of the new trend nowadays. So why not jump on the bandwagon and be a healthy version of yourself? Eating pomegranates will be the right start to improve your health.