Sugar Hiding in Plain Sight

Uncategorized Dec 07, 2017

Hi I’m Dr. Lisa Schwartz.  Today I want to let you in on a little secret.  There may be sugar hiding in your food and you don’t even know it.  Whether you are trying to watch your waistline or just being mindful of consuming more natural and whole foods, you need to know if you are being sabotaged by hidden sugars.


Consuming added sugar in a food can lead to extra calories and an increase in insulin secretion which in some cases increases your risk for breast cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.  So this is important. 


It would be really helpful if food ingredient labels had to say “sugar” when they added sugar, but the truth is that sugar has many, many different names.  And you may not recognize it in spite of your diligent label reading.


In my last post, I talked about processed foods, what they are, and why we should be avoiding them.  One of the big reasons to avoid processed foods is that they...

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The Single Most Important Dietary Change You Can Make: Give Up Processed Foods

nutrition processed foods Nov 14, 2017

Hi there!  I’m Dr. Lisa Schwartz and today I would like to discuss what is probably the single most important dietary change you can make for your health.  And that is cutting out processed food.  So in this short video I am going to teach you how to recognize processed food, and you’ll find out why you want to avoid it.


So let’s start with what is meant by “processed food”.  Well, it will probably help to contrast processed foods with what I consider to be their opposite.  And that is a whole food.  Whole foods are things like fruits and vegetables that you find in the produce aisle, whole meats without added sauces, flavoring, or chopped up into something that doesn’t look like it came from nature at all like bologna or hot dogs.


If you do any grocery shopping at all, you will see that grocery stores are laid out with fresh meats and produce on the outer edges of the store.  That’s generally...

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Do you have a hidden food sensitivity?

Uncategorized Oct 26, 2017

Hi, I’m Dr. Lisa Schwartz.  Many people suspect that they have food intolerances or sensitivities.  They just don’t feel well after eating certain foods, they have symptoms that get exacerbated when they eat certain foods, or they have found that symptoms disappear when they stop eating certain foods.


This is not uncommon, and you have probably had friends insist that you try going gluten-free or paleo just to see how you feel.  Well, your friends that have found miracle cures in eliminating certain foods through these diets may just have gotten rid of foods that they are sensitive to.  It may not have anything to do with a miracle diet.


If we look at just gluten which is the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, only about one in 250 people in the US actually have an autoimmune disorder called celiac disease that is triggered by gluten.  These folks must avoid gluten at all costs in order for their intestines to heal. 


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Grass Fed or Organic Beef...what do I need to know?


Hi there!  I’m Dr. Lisa Schwartz.  I often get asked about the wisdom of eating red meat.  So many people love it but have been told they should limit what they eat.  They also wonder about the difference between organic meat, grass fed beef, and grain fed beef.  So let me address those questions


First, is red meat healthy?


If you were to rate protein sources according to the value they add to the diet, red meat would not be at the top of the list.  That would be where vegetable proteins and wild caught, non-predatory, high content omega-3 fish come in.  Some examples would be soy, salmon, sardines, herring, and anchovies.


Next on the list would be white meats like chicken and turkey.  And yes, in last place, red meats like beef.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t have it.  You just need to limit how much of it you enjoy.  Red meats are considered less healthy than the other options because...

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What has sugar got to do with breast cancer?


Hi there!  I am Dr. Lisa Schwartz and today I am going to talk about the impact that sugar consumption can have on cancer and other chronic diseases.  This involves talking about something called the glycemic index and chronic inflammation.


Sugar is a carbohydrate.  Carbohydrates serve as an immediate source of energy for our cells.  When you eat a carbohydrate, it can release its sugar into the bloodstream very quickly or relatively slowly.  This fact alone plays a very important role in determining how healthy that carb will be for you. 


So carbohydrates can be categorized according to how quickly they release sugar into the bloodstream.  A spoonful of table sugar gets absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly and rapidly raises blood sugar levels. 


As a consequence, your body releases a big batch of insulin to bring the blood sugar down to a normal level.  Insulin takes the sugar out of the bloodstream and puts it...

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The Power of Mindfulness, Dr. Shauna Shapiro

meditation mindfulness Jun 30, 2017

I've got a very special treat for you with this week's post.

If you have been following along with me for a little while and have read a few of these posts, then you know that my goal as a physician is to help patients get to wellness.

That will surely be defined differently for everyone, but it has at least these components: eating well to nourish your body, some physical activity to strengthen your body, and some mental practice to grow your mind.

I have done a little extra training to learn about these components of wellness. I've had the privilege of completing a fellowship in Integrative Medicine under Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona. That experience completely changed my practice and my approach to patient care.

One of the many lessons I took away from that training was how important it is for everyone to have some sort of relaxation practice. You may have heard people talk about meditation or mindfulness and wondered if their feet were firmly planted on the...

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Do You Need Genetic Testing?


Most breast cancer patients are familiar with the BRCA 1 and 2 genetic test, but did you know there are a lot of other genetic tests that can be done?

You might be surprised to learn that you actually qualify to get genetic counseling or testing.

In this video I cover the current recommendations on who should get genetic counseling and testing.

Even if you don't have cancer, you may need to get tested.

Download the handout here.   


Hey there, it's Dr. Lisa Schwartz and today I am going to go over the reasons you might be asked to undergo genetic testing. Not everyone needs to, so I am going to discuss the situations in which genetic testing might be a good idea.

So I’m going to do a little something different today and actually show you some slides while I talk since this is a lot of information to digest.  Feel free to just listen as I go through this with you because I’m going to give you the slides as a handout in the link below this...

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Can Vitamin D Cut Your Risk of Breast Cancer?


There has been so much in the news about the benefits of vitamin D that you might believe it's the cure all for any ailment.
Well, it's not quite that, but it may be very important to breast cancer patients (or those who don't want to be breast cancer patients). 


Hi there!  I’m Dr. Lisa Schwartz and today I wanted to answer some questions about vitamin D and breast cancer.


First, why is vitamin D important, anyhow?  Well, it plays a role in hundreds of metabolic reactions in the body.  Our bodies can actually make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun.  Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium from the gut, it helps keep normal amounts of calcium in the blood, and it helps us use that calcium to build bones.  Along with calcium, vitamin D helps protect older adults from osteoporosis and fractures.


What happens when you don’t have enough vitamin D?  Well, severe deficiency in children causes a condition...

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4-7-8 Breathing for Anxiety


One of the things that bothers most breast cancer patients at some point in their journey is a feeling of anxiety.  For some this is pretty persistent and can interfere with relationships, sleep, the ability to focus, and most importantly the ability to just feel well.  Here's a simple technique to fix all of that.


Hi there! One of the things that bothers most breast cancer patients at some point in their journey is a feeling of anxiety.  For some this is pretty persistent and can interfere with relationships, sleep, the ability to focus, and most importantly the ability to just feel well.


In the program that I’m going to be introducing in a few weeks, I will give you a detailed plan of many techniques that you can use to get over your anxiety.  For now though I wanted to give you something simple that you can use today and use many times a day.  And that is a simple breathing exercise.


I can hear some of you...

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Follow-up and Staging Tests for Breast Cancer

Uncategorized May 14, 2017


One of the most disconcerting processes involved in a new breast cancer diagnosis is the process of getting staging studies. These are done to see whether or not the breast cancer has it is reasonable to be a little bit nervous. In this short video I'll review just what tests you need.



Hey there! It's Dr. Lisa Schwartz and today we are going to talk about something that I get a lot of questions about. And that is… what tests do I need to have when I am diagnosed and after I’ve finished treatment?

Most patients are diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.  The staging studies are really pretty simple.  First, you should have a thorough physical exam by your oncologist and routine labs.  Routine labs are a complete blood count to assess your white cells and your red cells, and chemistries. The chemistries help us assess your liver and kidney function, among other things.  That's all the basic labs you need.


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