Vegetarian Diet Linked to Lower Stroke Risk

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A study published in Neurology showed people who ate a vegetarian diet rich in nuts, vegetables, and soy may have a lower risk of stroke than people who ate a diet that includes meat and fish. According to the study’s author, Chin-Lon Lin, MD of Tzu Chi University in Taiwan, “Stroke is the second most common cause of death worldwide and a leading cause of disability. Stroke can also contribute to dementia”.

The first group of 5050 people were followed for ix years. The second group of 8,302 people were followed for an average of nine years.
One limitation of the study was that the diet of participants was only assessed at the start of the study. Another limitation was that the participants didn’t drink or smoke, so results may not reflect the general population.

Seven tips to stain-proof your smile!

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As we relax with a glass of red wine during this winter season here are some tips to keep teeth white and bright.

1) Use baking soda on a toothbrush to instantly neutralizes acids to protect enamel from erosion.

2) Wash out your mouth. As soon as you finish a glass of red wine or cup of coffee, rinse with water or brush your teeth.

3) Eat an apple or celery stock (organic if possible) for dessert. Malic acid and fiber naturally clean teeth making this produce the perfect ending to any meal.

4) Chew gum. Chewing sugarless gum (Spry being one of the safest due to their ingredients) can circulate saliva and help to clean the surface of your teeth.

5) Sip through a straw. Use a metal or hard plastic straw to protect teeth from stain-makers such as tea, coffee, colas, energy drinks, and red wine.

6) Avoid certain mouthwashes. Mouthwash may rinse away plaque, but certain brands contain cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) and artificial colors that can stain or discolor teeth.

7) Maintenance is key! See your dentists every six mouths for a cleaning.

Pros and Cons of using Meat Substitutes

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Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, CSO recently wrote an informative article in “Today’s Dietitian” as the popular vegan and vegetarian meal plans continue to grow. She states the many types of foods that make up meat substitutes as mushrooms, green peas, beans, soy, wheat gluten, etc.

The pros of using meat substitutes range from increasing fiber and decreasing saturated fats to positive environmental outcomes and dietary diversity.

Other benefits include chronic disease prevention, reducing the risk of E coli or Salmonella infection. Likewise, meat substitutes mostly made from plants may need to be heated but not cooked like meat. Cost is also a huge positive factor for incorporating more bean and quinoa burgers, etc.

Drawbacks include lack of B12 which is found only in foods of animal origin as eggs, dairy, and meat. A vegetarian and vegan client must take an appropriate and well made B complex. ( You are welcome to call 610-359-1700 or email me at should you have a question in this area.)

Also, prices fluctuate for meat substitutes and can cost more than certain meats.

Meat substitutes are higher in sodium and may have coconut or palm oil both of which are high in saturated fats but give texture to the product. Additives and flavorings are also added.

Another concern is that meat substitutes contain top food allergens as wheat, soy and tree nuts.

I’ll stick to making homemade bean and quinoa burgers!

Meal Replacement Products Criteria

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It’s important to keep in mind that meal replacement products aren’t recommended as a total substitute for food, as per KC Wright, MS, RDN, LD.

Her article featured in Today’s Dietitian list tips that clients should be aware of when purchasing close to 175 possible meal replacement product manufacturers snacks and convenient foods:

1)Adequate fiber should be available to increase satiety and aid in proper digestion.
2) Macronutrients ( carbohydrates, protein and fat) should be nutrient dense with minimal sugar added. Protein should be at least 20 grams. Bars are typically low in protein and real ingredients.
3) Whole food ingredient bars including vegetables, fruits, and nuts would add to increased energy and healthy monounsaturated fats, respectively.
4) Vitamin and mineral content and quality should be considered and analyzed along with any supplements already included in the diet.
5) Because the FDA doesn’t routinely text meal replacement products for quality before sale, the content of nutrients and toxic substances can be determined only with laboratory testing. It’s imperative to thoroughly review ingredient and nutrition labels.
6) Retain a small supply of whole foods in the car, office, handbag and suitcase. Whole foods are less expensive than meal replacement products and many times healthier.
Contact a dietitian to “help navigate the vast marketplace for products that are safe and serve their purpose”, per KC Wright.[

Grocery Store Counseling leads to Healthier Eating

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Adults with hypertension who received grocery store-based nutrition counseling by registered dietitians moved towards a healthier eating pattern and reduced consumption of sodium, fats, and added sugars, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. It was conducted at Case Western Reserve’s Department of Nutrition. Thirty adults ( ages 18-60) diagnosed with Hypertension were recruited. Researches said a grocery store-based intervention may be an effective way to provide lifestyle counseling that may not be available in a primary setting. These adults were educated on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. The DASH diet limits saturated fats, sugared drinks, sweets, and salt. It encourages more fruits, vegetables, grains, and low fat dairy.

Vitamin D-A Wonder Nutrient

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PLOS Journal recently published studies from Creighton University of Omaha suggesting that certain levels of Vitamin D correlate with a “markedly lower” risk of breast cancer. It is capable of lowering a person’s risk of different forms of cancer and research now confirms that people with high enough levels of this vitamin in their blood have a significantly lower risk of breast cancer. Low blood levels of Vitamin D have also been associated with a raised risk of bladder cancer.

Before purchasing any over the counter supplement, call the company asking for medical proof in writing that “their” Vitamin D and other vitamin/mineral supplements have been tested for absorbability. Few companies have that proof.

Honey Fraud

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In our most recent Food and Nutrition Magazine, “honey fraud” was alluded to which I’d like to share!

There’s a number of ways fraudulent honey can occur:

#1) Bees are fed syrup instead of foraging nectar from flowers
#2) Falsified country of origin documents or
#3) Dilution of honey by blending it with a sweet syrup such as high fructose corn syrup, or saccharose syrup, aka beet sugar.

Most adulterated honey isn’t going to hurt you but consumers are being cheated as good honey will cost ~ $2 per pound and the diluted honey cost $0.12 a pound.

The True Source Certified Label is an independent third party certification program in the USA that allows participants to show their sourcing practices comply with US and international trade laws.

Integrating Food as Lifestyle Medicine

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Nutrition clients are acutely aware that obesity, mood disorders, various cancers, Type 2 diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, types of cancers, etc. may be preventable and treatable via a myriad of lifestyle approaches.

The flagship medical organization, American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) defined the founding 2004 movement of “Lifestyle Medicine” as the therapeutic use of evidence-based life style interventions to treat and prevent lifestyle related diseases in a clinical setting. It empowers individuals with the knowledge and life skills to make effective behavior changes that address the underlying causes of disease”.

Primary features of ACLM’s Standards of Life Style Medicine as outlined in Today’s Dietitian (December 2017) by author, Vicki Shanta are as follows:

* to promote behavior changes that allow the body to heal itself;
* to focus on evidence-based optimal nutrition, stress management, and fitness prescriptions;
* to have patients be active partners in their care;
* to treat underlying lifestyle causes of disease’
* to have provider educate, guide, and support patients to make behavior changes;
* to use medications as an adjunct to therapeutic changes;
* to realize that the patient’s home and community environment are assessed as contributing factors.

Working together to incorporate environmental, behavioral, fitness/stress reduction factors along with tailored meal and safe supplemental plans will enhance, enrich and empower our 2018 (and beyond) “individualized” Lifestyle Medicine movement!

Telomere length marker of overall health

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Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, 2009 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Shaklee Scientific Board Advisor, discovered an enzyme that lengthens and protects chromosomes. Telomeres are caps on the end of each chromosome that protect against deterioration. Over time, our telomeres gradually become shorter. Telomere length is thought to be a marker of overall health.

The better our telomeres are preserved, the less chance we have of getting serious diseases (Alzheimer’s, etc.).

What to Do to stop erosion of telomeres:

1) A statistical analysis using specific food based supplements projects that an 80 year old Shaklee user would have the same telomere length as a 41 year old.

2) The worse the stress and the longer we feel it, the more telomeres wore down.

3) Varied exercise proves better telomere results! A study published in Preventive Medicine found that people’s telomeres (the parts of the DNA that get shorter as we age) were significantly longer in those who exercised compared with sedentary people.

Sodium Concern with Kid’s diets

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A recent study in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that “children’s and adolescent’s sodium intakes are incredibly high- almost 90% of children aged 6-18 in US consume diets that contain far more than current recommended intakes”.

The average intake in this age range was 3,255 mgs per day. The highest intake was among adolescents aged 14-18 at 3,565 mgs per day. To put this in perspective, 1 teaspoon of salt = 2300 mgs of sodium. The recommendation is an intake of 1500 mgs of sodium per day for an adult since it could result in a decrease of 25.6% in blood pressure. Easily, a single kid’s fast food meal could exceed that 1500 mgs amount.

Another study found that a “1,000 boost in sodium intake was associated with a 28% increase in childhood obesity and is partially linked to higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages” as per the article in Today’s Dietitian.

The CDC found that one on six children (ages 8-17) already have above normal blood pressure.

Seventy seven % of sodium intake comes from processed and prepared foods written in Facts: Salt of the Earth.

Start looking closely at labels for ingredients but also sodium and portion sizes. Less is best!