plan for health and weight loss - How to
Have a Healthy Diet (most of the time) by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.
Many cases of serious illness and premature death are caused by poor diet. Insufficient consumption of fish, fruits and vegetables is as bad for human health as smoking. This article, updated regularly, provides you with information on healthy diet choices and basic supplements to take on a regular basis. Please keep in mind that you don't have to eat perfectly all the time. I personally strive to live my life as an A or A- rather than an A+. It's too difficult and stressful to try to be perfect all the time.
Make changes slowly and accept the fact that there may be times when you binge on unhealthy snacks and foods. I personally try to do my best and have a healthy diet, but I have my weaknesses too. For instance, I love chocolate and once a week or so I treat myself to dark chocolate or another sweet. So, don't be hard on yourself if you can't follow the recommendations perfectly.
Diet influences almost every
The types of foods and drinks we ingest have an influence on a vast number of chronic diseases. In simple terms, many chronic diseases, such as heart disease or arthritis, are due to inflammation. Diet has a great deal to do with inflammation. What we eat influences the formation of certain inflammatory prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and a number of other substances that cause inflammatory changes within our tissues, organs, including the lining of blood vessels. Most doctors do not recognize the extent of the influence of diet on health. Even mood disorders can be influenced by inflammation. Therefore, as much as you can, eat a diet that has a wide variety, includes plenty of fish and fresh produce, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats. Reduce or avoid white bread, sugar, baked goods, trans fats and foods cooked at very high temperatures. What you eat affect the populations of viruses and bacteria that live in your gut
Dietary supplements for better health
I am often asked which supplements I recommend to take on a regular basis in addition to a healthy diet. First makes sure you are doing your best with good dietary choices. sleeping deeply and engaging in adequate physical activity. The following are some ideas of basic supplements to take on a regular basis. Take a day or two break each week and a few days off each month. Except for the psyllium, calcium and vitamin D which can be taken with any meal, the rest are best taken in the morning before or with breakfast. Many doctors are not yet convinced that taking supplements provide health benefits so the issue is controversial. I think supplements, when used appropriately, can provide benefits.
Fish oils 2 to 4 sofgels daily if you don't eat fish regularly. Vegetarians may substitute flax seed oil which is not as effective but still of benefit to supply some omega-3 fatty acids.
Multivitamin supplements -- There are hundreds or thousands of brand names each with its own formula and dosage of the basic vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, minerals, and other nutrients. No matter which multivitamin product you choose, I think it is a good idea to skip a day or two a week. I have formulated a multivitamin product called MultiVit Rx which I think is an excellent combination. One capsule a day is often enough, with two days off each week.
CoQ10 helps with energy production and heart health. Thirty to 50 mg two or three times a week should be sufficient for most healthy individuals. Some promote higher daily amounts, up to 200 or 300 mg a day, but I think this it too much and it can cause insomnia.
Psyllium half or one teaspoon in a glass of water twice daily with food as a good fiber supplement and for the prevention of constipation. This fiber may help lower cholesterol levels. If you get plenty of fiber in your daily diet you may not need to take psyllium supplements.
Calcium for postmenopausal women up to 400 to 600 mg a day. Higher amounts, such as 1,000 to 1,500 mg, have been associated with an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.
Vitamin D 400 to 2000 units a day depending on how much sun you are exposed to and your dietary intake of this vitamin through milk, salmon, etc. If you are exposed to sun on a regular basis, you may not need to take any vitamin D.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that are good for colon health. Most people would probably benefit from taking them, at least a few times a week.
Lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant, 20 to 50 mg twice a week, especially if you have a tendency for high blood sugar.
There are many other herbs and nutrients that could be taken in addition to these. For instance acai, acetylcysteine, astaxanthin, basil, bee pollen, carnitine, cinnamon, curcumin, garlic, glucomannan, goji berry, grape seed extract, graviola, green tea extract, mangosteen, pomegranate, resveratrol, royal jelly, spirulina, green food powder supplements, and others. There are no hard and fast rules and there is no consensus in the medical community regarding which of these supplements, if any, are beneficial for health in the long run. And we won't find out for sure for decades to come. One option is to alternate different ones rather than taking too many at one time.
I eat a healthful diet and would like to
natural vitamin C
with bioflavonoids pills and
E complex supplement. Would, for most
people, 100 mg of vitamin C and 20 units of vitamin E be a reasonable dosage,
what about using
Yes, 100 mg to 500 mg of vitamin C and 20 to 100 of natural E are fine, and 1 to 2 times the RDA for the B vitamins is also a good option, with a break of a day or two a week.
If you would like to eat less, consider a product called Diet Rx. This natural appetite suppressant works without stimulants. Diet Rx has no added caffeine, ephedra, ephedrine alkaloids, synephrine, hormones, guarana, ginseng, or stimulating amino acids.
Basic healthy lifestyle habits
Eat less and live longer. Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as opposed to the same ones all the time.
Drink a glass or two of cold water first thing in the morning to eliminate the bowels. Add more fiber to your diet - one option is psyllium. Dietary fiber is thought to decrease the transit time of food in the colon and to dilute carcinogens, thus minimizing the body’s exposure to toxins.
Drink 4 to 8 glasses of water per day, more in hot weather. Studies indicate that 5 to 8 glasses of water a day helps maintain good health. Water makes up more than 70 percent of solid body tissue and helps regulate body temperature, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, removes waste, cushions joints and protects organs and tissues. Lack of adequate water intake leads to headaches, grogginess and dry, itchy skin. Severe dehydration affects blood pressure, circulation, digestion, kidney function and nearly all body processes.
Eat more protein and fat at breakfast and lunch, and switch to more complex carbs at night if you have trouble falling asleep. Carbs, such as vegetable soup, pasta, or grains help induce sleep at night.
It's better to eat small frequent meals than two or three large meals, although each person has his or her own routine and schedule and some people may prefer infrequent large meals.
Sleep has a major influence on health — Good sleep enhances libido. See also how to improve sex drive with herbs.
Alcohol such as beer and wine are acceptable in moderation, such as a glass a day.
Dental cleaning and flossing floss and brush at night before bed. Ideally do so after every meal.
Limit exposure to excessive sun, more than an hour or two a day, in order to avoid wrinkled and damaged skin.
Limit caffeine intake. People who consume caffeine may experience an increase in blood pressure, feel more stressed and produce more stress hormones than on days when they opt for decaf. The effects of caffeine appear to persist until people go to bed, even if they don't consume any caffeine after lunch.
At least 20 to 30 minutes four to five times per week. Improves cardiovascular fitness and energy, improves mood and sleep, reduces anxiety, and may help those with chronic pain. Avoid exercising within 3 hours of bedtime since the increased body temperature could interfere with sleep. Find new neighborhoods or trails to walk and enjoy.
Regular stretching over a few days or weeks before sports or exercise appears to improve performance, while performing stretches only just before these activities may actually decrease performance.
People over 55 who start an exercise program can expect to lose a significant amount of fat in six months, but not bone mass. These results contradict long-held concerns that losing fat might also mean losing bone, since studies show that people who carry more body fat also tend to have stronger bones.
Weights, pushups, situps
At least 5 to 15 minutes per day. Improves muscle tone and body image. Situps strenghten and tone the abdominal muscles and thus lessen the look of a pot belly. Try to do 10 to 30 situps twice a day and 5 to 20 pushups twice a day.
Stretching and yoga
At least once a week. Yoga improves joint, tendon, and ligament flexibility, helps you relax, improves mood, and increases energy. If you're new to yoga, buy a beginner's yoga video and start with 5 to 10 minutes a day. Stretching before exercise reduces the risk of muscle injury. Yin yoga, or relaxation yoga, is a great option.
Try to have a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrate. Avoid extreme and fad diets. Frequent, small meals are preferable to large meals. Try to have more protein during the day, and switch to slightly more complex carbs in the evening. Protein helps with alertness while carbs induce sleep. Limit your intake of simple carbohydrates, choose carbohydrates with low glycemic index. A daily serving of meat can increase risk of heart disease or cancer so you may consider eating meat less frequently.
Food Glycemic index
Instant rice 90
Baked potato 85
Corn flakes 84
White bread 70
Broccoli very low
Protein helps with muscle strength and maintains steady blood sugar levels. Chicken, turkey, eggs, lean beef, lamb, tofu, low fat milk, yogurt, kefir, or cheese are good sources of protein. Occasionally have goat milk instead of cow milk.
Fish has omega-3 fatty acids that thin the blood, lower blood pressure, improve vision, are good for the heart, reduce inflammation, and have many other benefits. Salmon, halibut and sardines have high concentrations of fish oils specifically EPA and DHA. Use a small grill, such as the Foreman grill, to cook fish within minutes. People who eat several servings of fish each week lower their risk of heart disease, heart rhythm disturbances, and death.
Salmon goes well with mustard, especially Dijon mustard
Tuna packed in water -- add chopped onions, lemon juice and a bit of olive oil
Halibut mixes well with salsa
Choose sardines packed in mustard or tomato sauce
Buy and cook other fish and shellfish such as catfish, sole, mahi mahi, cod, oyster, swordfish, etc. They are great sources of protein.
should be included in a healthy diet
Beans / legumes contain good amounts of protein, lots of fiber, and help lower cholesterol levels. Include Black beans, chickpea (garbanzo), fava, green, kidney, lima, lupin, navy, pinto, soybean, and lentils. Soybean contains isoflavones such as genistein.
Whole grains contain lots of fiber and lignans. The bran of cereal grains contains beta glucan. Choose 100 % whole wheat without sugar added or preferably sprouted multi-grain bread. These are usually found in health food stores. Avoid white or refined breads since they are mostly empty carbohydrate calories. Just be careful if you have celiac disease.
Eat a variety of unprocessed and whole grains such as barley, kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, rye. Avoid refined breakfast cereals. Whole-grain foods, such as fiber-rich bread and bran cereal, may lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer by reducing cholesterol and making the body more responsive to insulin.
Nuts and seeds
Eat a variety but in small portions, and preferably raw. Examples include almond, brazil, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, peanut, pecan, walnut. Seeds include chia seeds, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower.
Less than a quarter of Americans eats the five daily servings of fruits and vegetables that the National Cancer Institute recommends. Try many different ones. Each fruit has a different set of beneficial plant substances such as carotenoids and flavonoids that have antibacterial, antiinflammatory, antitumor and antioxidant properties. Reduce your fruit intake if you are diabetic. Avoid drinking lots of fruits juices since they contain a large amount of fructose. Fructose can elevate blood sugar and lead to weight gain.
Wash all fruits before eating to reduce pesticides and contamination by germs. Buy organic when possible. Include the following: apple, banana, berries (blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry) cantaloupe, cherry, coconut, fig, guava, grape, grapefruit, kiwi, lemon, lychee, lime, mango, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, prickly pear fruit, quince, and watermelon.
Try many different ones. Each vegetable has a different set of beneficial plant substances called carotenoids -- such as lutein and zeaxanthin -- and flavonoids, such as quercetin, that have antibacterial, antiinflammatory, antitumor and antioxidant properties. Buy a new vegetable each week listed below. Wash all vegetables before eating to reduce pesticides. Buy organic whenever possible.
Artichoke, asparagus, avocado, beet, broccoli (has sulforaphane), Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, endive, garlic, ginger, kale, lettuce, mushroom, okra, olive, onion, parsley, pepper, radish, scallion, spinach, sprouts, squash, tomato, yam, yucca, zucchini....
Reduce your intake of white potatoes since they are mostly carbohydrates. Substitute yams or yucca.
Flaxseed oil and extra virgin olive oil are good choices. I am still uncertain of the benefits, if any, of additional coconut oil intake, although small amounts seem reasonable to add to one's diet. You can also add flaxseeds to vegetable soups. Use less safflower, sunflower, and corn oils since they contain omega-6 oils that compete with good oils such as omega-3s. In our country we consume a high ratio of omega-6 oils to omega-3 oils and some scientists think this may cause many health problems.
Reduce saturated fats found in animal products such as meat, poultry, whole-milk dairy products, lard, and in certain vegetable products such as palm oil, cocoa butter.
Reduce or eliminate trans fats. Trans fats are formed when vegetable oils are partially hydrogenated to make them more stable and solid, and recent evidence suggests that they may be as bad for the heart as saturated fat. They are usually found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, etc. Margarine also has trans fats.
Blood flow to the heart is hampered after high-fat meal. Olestra consumption reduces blood levels of carotenoids.
Baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, edamame (soybeans in pods), grapes
Nuts raw cashews, almonds, filberts, walnuts
Dried fruits raisins, dates, papaya, pineapple, prunes. Use small amounts.
Cheese with slices of apple or tomatoes. Queso fresco (a Mexican cheese) goes great with apples.
Cooked Kashi at night with milk, raisins, or a small amount of 100% maple syrup.
Boil a few Brussels sprouts and snack on them throughout the day.
Boil some sweet potatoes and eat portions of them as snacks.
Make your own chocolate or cocoa with stevia. Buy unsweetened chocolate or cocoa and add stevia, vanilla extract, milk, and water.
Reduce consumption of sugared soft drinks or any fluids with added sugar, fructose, or corn syrup . Have a variety of herbal teas or decaf coffee. Keep several types of herbal teas on your kitchen counter and alternate (I have close to a dozen different herbal teas on my counter).
Vegetable juices, such as tomato juice or V8 are great options (they contain lots of carotenoids and flavonoids). Even though fruit juices have healthy ingredients, limit your intake since they contain a lot of fructose, or dilute them with water.
It's okay to occasionally have diet soft drinks. However since most of them contain caffeine, try to drink them in the early part of the day.
Herbal teas There are quite a number of herbal teas that are delicious. Use stevia as a sweetener. Try these various teas: alfalfa, chamomile, cinnamon, earl grey, fennel, ginger, green (contains caffeine), hibiscus, hops (for nighttime), hyssop, lemon balm, licorice (avoid drinking daily since high doses of licorice cause high blood pressure and loss of potassium), milk thistle, mint, nettle, peppermint, rose hips.
Drink 4 to 8 glasses of water a day.
Coffee has antioxidants, but limit regular coffee intake to less than 2 cups a day due to caffeine content. Decaf is fine, but even decaf at night can interfere with sleep since there's still some caffeine in it.
Use a variety of herbs and spices. Many of them have antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. For instance, curry has curcumin, rosemary has rosmarinic acid and ginger has vanillin and zingerone. All of these compounds have health benefits.
Basil, bay leaves, cumin, chili powder, coriander, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, oregano, pepper, rosemary, sage, and thyme. If you prefer to take capsules instead, consider taking these supplements including basil and thyme.
Garlic appears to protect against fungal and bacterial infections, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood clots and even cancer. But there is very little solid research to show how much garlic or what form of the plant holds the most promise as a disease-fighter.
These are foods that have a very high concentration of beneficial and perhaps unique substances. Some of these superfoods include colostrum and caviar (or salmon roe, salmon eggs).
Reduce your intake of these foods
Don't try for perfection. If you have an urge to eat chocolate or an unhealthy snack or meal, it's okay to do so once in a while.
Sugar, fructose, glucose, corn syrup, syrups, honey, jams and jellies, baked goods, brownies, cake, candy bars, cookies, ice cream, excess fruit juices, energy bars with sugar, muffins, refined white bread, white rice, regular sodas, sugared drinks (including Gatorade, sugared iced tea).
Unhealthy fats include lard, bacon, hot dogs, pork rinds, ribs, sausages, lunch meats, hydrogenated oils, corn chips, potato chips, fried foods, trans fatty acids, and margarine. Small amounts of butter are acceptable.
Baking or frying carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes or cereals forms acrylamide, a much studied substance classified as a probable human carcinogen. An ordinary bag of potato crisps may contain up to 500 times more of the substance than the top level allowed in drinking water by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Reduce your intake of bread, bagels, baked goods, donuts, and biscuits. Avoid baking or frying at high temperatures.
Blood type selection of food
Can eating for your blood type be proving scientifically? Changing the way you eat according to your blood type.
There are countless genetic influences that determine each person's digestion, absorption, metabolism, hormone levels, enzyme activity, along with countless environmental influences including the part of the country or the world we live in, climate, etc. If blood type has an influence on the ideal food selection of each person, it's role is minimal compared to the countless other genetic and environmental factors. For these reasons, I don't think one should focus on dietary choices based on blood type but rather focus on eating as healthy as possible along with several lifestyles changes that improve overall wellbeing.
Diet Research review
Eating beans, nuts and cereals could help to prevent cancer because the foods contain a natural compound that inhibits the growth of tumors. The substance is called inositol pentakisphosphate, and also found in lentils and peas. Inositol pentakisphosphate inhibits an enzyme called phosphoinositde 3-kinase, which promotes tumor growth. When researchers tested inositol pentakisphosphate in mice and cancer cells in the laboratory, it killed the animal tumors and enhanced the effect of drugs used against ovarian and lung cancer cells.
Cereals, breads and other products containing whole or milled barley grain can now claim to reduce the risk of heart disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ruling allows companies to immediately begin advertising the benefit on their product packages, which many food makers hope will help boost consumer sales. "Consumers can expect to see whole barley and dry milled barley products such as flakes, grits, flour, meal, and barley meal bearing the health claim," the FDA said in a statement.To qualify, barley-containing foods must provide at least 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per serving. Like other grains, barley contains fiber that health experts say can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, which can restrict blood flow and lead to chest pain and heart attacks. The barley trade group, in its request, said new data showed 3 grams of barley lowered cholesterol by about 5 percent -- similar to oatmeal.
Researchers may have come up with another
reason to eat well. A new study suggests diets rich in fruits, vegetables and
dairy foods can prevent the disabilities that often come with age. The study,
which followed 9,404 middle-aged Americans for nine years, found that a healthy
diet seemed particularly beneficial among African-American women, who are
generally at greater risk than white women of developing physical limitations as
they age. Researchers found that African American women who ate the most fruits
and vegetables on a daily basis were about one-third to one-half less likely
than those with the lowest intakes to develop problems with activities such as
walking, climbing stairs and doing household chores. High intakes of dairy
products such as milk, cheese and yogurt showed an even stronger protective
effect. Similar benefits were found among white women -- at least when it came
to fruit and vegetable intake -- though the protective effect was not as great.
The findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Fatty acid profile, tocopherol, squalene and phytosterol content of walnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and the macadamia nut.
Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2004.
Nuts are high in fat but have a fatty acid profile that may be beneficial in relation to risk of coronary heart disease. Nuts also contain other potentially cardioprotective constituents including phytosterols, tocopherols and squalene. In the present study, the total oil content, peroxide value, composition of fatty acids, tocopherols, phytosterols and squalene content were determined in the oil extracted from freshly ground walnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and the macadamia nut. The total oil content of the nuts ranged from 37 to 59%, while the peroxide values ranged from 0.19 to 0.43 meq O2/kg oil. The main monounsaturated fatty acid was oleic acid (C18:1) with substantial levels of palmitoleic acid (C16:1) present in the macadamia nut. The main polyunsaturated fatty acids present were linoleic acid (C18:2) and linolenic acid (C18:3). alpha-Tocopherol was the most prevalent tocopherol except in walnuts. The levels of squalene detected ranged from 9.4 to 186 microg/g. beta-Sitosterol was the most abundant sterol, ranging in concentration from 991.2 to 2071 microg/g oil. Campesterol and stigmasterol were also present in significant concentrations. Our data indicate that all five nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acid, tocopherols, squalene and phytosterols.
Making the switch from a regular meat-and-dairy diet to an all plant-based, vegan diet may be easier than it would seem, new research suggests. Among a group of overweight, postmenopausal women, most of those who followed a vegan diet -- which contains no animal products such as dairy, meat or eggs -- said they enjoyed the diet. Most women also said they were mostly or completely used to the vegan diet after 14 weeks, and planned to continue it, for the most part at least, in the future. Moreover, women eating only vegan foods lost an average of 13 pounds, more than women who followed a standard low-fat diet.
Some of the benefits of a Mediterranean-type diet -- rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes and olive oil and light on red meat -- may stem from the diet's effect on inflammation. In a study from Greece, markers of inflammation and blood clotting that are related to heart disease were lowest in people who adhered most closely to the traditional Mediterranean diet.
High intake of fatty foods is associated with GERD.
Consuming too much fructose -- a form of sugar found in corn syrup, honey and fruit -- appears to alter levels of hormones involved in appetite regulation in such a way as to encourage overeating, a new study suggests.After people in the study ate a meal followed by a drink flavored with the same amount of fructose found in two cans of soda, they showed relatively low levels of insulin and leptin, hormones that help people know that they are full. On the other hand, they showed relatively high levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates eating. These hormonal changes could promote overeating,. Sugar occurs in two forms, fructose and glucose. Glucose, but not fructose, stimulates insulin secretion, which in turn regulates leptin production. Both fructose and glucose are naturally found in fruit and fruit juices. However, over the years manufacturers have sweetened sodas and some foods with corn syrup, which contains concentrated amounts of fructose. To investigate whether drinking fructose plays a role in obesity, Teff and her colleagues asked 12 normal-weight women to wash down balanced meals with drinks sweetened with either fructose or glucose. When the women drank the fructose drink, their levels of insulin and leptin were lower than when they consumed a drink flavored with glucose, and levels of ghrelin were higher, the researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. In addition, drinking the fructose drink was associated with a spike in levels of blood fats, a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Downing a big fast-food breakfast may spur a temporary but large inflammatory response in the blood vessels, a small study suggests. Researchers say that while an occasional indulgence in such high-fat, high-carbohydrate fare probably poses no concern, the new findings suggest that making it a regular routine could lead to chronic blood vessel inflammation and complications, such as heart attack and stroke. The study included nine healthy, normal-weight adults who were fed a breakfast of one Egg McMuffin, a Sausage McMuffin and two servings of hash browns from McDonald's. The meal weighed in at 910 calories, 81 grams of carbohydrates, 51 grams of fat and 32 grams of protein.
Foods cooked at high heat
linked to inflammation
People may be able to lower their risk of heart, diabetes, and possibly other diseases by consuming cool foods, or dishes cooked at relatively low temperatures, such as salads and tuna fish, preliminary research suggests. Foods cooked at high temperatures spurred the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), compounds in the blood that stimulate cells to produce inflammation-causing proteins, which are potentially harmful in diabetes. While AGEs are normally produced in the body at a slow rate, they can be toxic and form more quickly when food is heated to high temperatures. Inflammation is associated with heart disease among all people, but people with diabetes are thought to be particularly vulnerable. People who consumed foods cooked at lower temperatures had lower levels of both AGEs and inflammatory proteins than people who consumed the same foods cooked at higher temperatures. After 6 weeks, levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and concentrations of the inflammatory protein C-reactive protein (CRP) had also risen among those consuming the diet high in AGEs and declined among those in the reduced AGE group. TNF-alpha and CRP are both markers showing increased inflammation.
Mediterranean diet, South beach, zone, Atkins, and low carb diet.
Can you tell me about glyconutrients?
You can find information on diet and glyconutrients at the website.