Why You Don't Know What to Eat

Why is it that no one seems to have a straight answer on what to eat?

 

We know that good nutrition and good health are inextricably linked. What we eat directly influences our health, our weight, and our future. Wouldn’t you think that the health care providers, the media, the weight loss experts, the diabetes experts, the heart health experts, and so many more...wouldn’t you think that they could all agree on what’s healthy and what’s not??

 

Though it may be hard to believe, it’s just not that simple. Here’s why.

 

Most of the confusion comes from how we actually conduct nutritional studies. A lot of nutritional studies are what we call observational.  Basically, researchers observe what people eat and compare their health outcomes. The gold standard of research is a randomized controlled trial where you control the variables that could have an impact on the outcome and randomize subjects to a treatment group or a control...

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Eating Awareness

Tell me if you’ve ever done this:

 

Ate your entire dinner while standing at the kitchen sink…

Ate in front of the TV, in your car, at your desk, while holding your phone in one hand…

Looked down at the empty bowl in your lap and wonder who ate all of your popcorn/chips/pretzels…

Didn’t dirty a single dish for dinner because you ate your meal from a container…

 

You get the picture, right?

 

Most of us would benefit from a practice that I call “eating awareness”. I am not asking you to meditate while eating or roll a raisin in your mouth for 5 minutes (although that is a mindfulness exercise that is really beneficial). I would just like to get us all to slow down and be aware of what we are stuffing in our mouths.

 

Here are some of the tips you can use to become more aware of what you are eating. This will let you enjoy your food more and probably lead you to consuming less. Yes, this could even lead to a...

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Can Breast Thermography Replace Mammograms?

Don’t you just love mammograms? The comfort, the privacy, the instant and clear results? All so much fun right?

 

Isn’t there a better way?

 

I often get asked if there are any options other than a mammogram for breast cancer screening or follow-up. One of those options that you may have heard about is breast thermography. In this post I’ll discuss what breast thermography is, how effective it is at picking up breast cancer, and whether or not it can replace the incredibly enjoyable mammogram.

 

Thermography or thermal imaging is supposed to detect differences in temperature on the surface of the breast at the skin. The idea is that since cancer cells are so metabolically active, dividing rapidly, and may have more blood flow than surrounding tissues, they are generating heat that can be detected on the skin of the breast by one of these devices.

 

This idea has been around for a long time and makes sense on some level. After all, we have...

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What to Do About Hot Flashes

hot flashes May 08, 2019

One of the most distressing things about going through breast cancer treatment can be the onset of menopause and the hot flashes that go with it. In this post I'll give you some helpful tips on dealing with hot flashes and avoiding triggers.

What exactly are hot flashes?

If you have had a hot flash then I don’t have to tell you what they feel like.  But for some of you, they are something you still have to look forward to, so let me explain what they feel like.  Most women describe a sudden feeling of warmth in their face, neck and chest associated with intense sweating and then sometimes chills.  Your heart rate can increase, and you may feel it “fluttering” (called a palpitation). You may feel tingling in your fingers or even light headed.  Some women have one a month, others have one every hour.

They are thought to be due to the changes in reproductive hormones associated with menopause, especially a drop in estrogen.  In women with...

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The Ketogenic Diet and Cancer

Is there any benefit to a ketogenic diet for a cancer patient? That’s a question that some researchers have begun asking. Theoretically, there may be reasons to consider a ketogenic diet, and we have some evidence in primary brain tumors that being on a ketogenic diet might be helpful. To get to the heart of why this might be so, researchers are asking why the ketogenic diet seems to be especially helpful in treating one type of illness involving the brain, and that is epilepsy or a seizure disorder. (To review what a ketogenic diet is and how it is helpful for weight loss, read parts I and II of this series)

 

The Beginnings of the Ketogenic Diet and Epilepsy

 

To talk about why the ketogenic diet may be useful in the treatment of epilepsy, we have to look at this diet’s cousin, fasting. Short term fasting has been used since Hippocrates (around 400 BCE) for the treatment of various ailments including seizure disorders. Like the ketogenic diet, fasting causes...

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Should you go keto to lose some weight?

The ketogenic diet has become very popular for weight loss. With good reason. If you can stick to it, it is an effective way to lose weight. In the last post we covered exactly what the ketogenic diet is and the many metabolic benefits of nutritional ketosis including the impact it can have on several chronic health conditions. To get all of that information, just click here.

 

Today though, we are going to cover the most common reason people think about going keto and that is to lose a little weight.

 

Why does keto work for weight loss?

 

Yes, the ketogenic diet does work for weight loss. There are several reasons for this.

 

  1. You are paying attention to what you eat.
  2. With fewer carbs you will lose some water weight in the first week or two.
  3. Eating fats and protein leaves you feeling fuller than consuming carbohydrates.
  4. Some people really do need to limit their carbs because their body has become “carbohydrate intolerant.”

 

The first reason...

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Should You Go Keto? (Ketogenic Diet)

ketogenic diet Oct 31, 2018

The ketogenic diet gets a lot of coverage in the health media. And that coverage is well-deserved. There have been very few dietary interventions that have the impact on blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and weight that the ketogenic diet does. Yet, the “medical establishment” still frowns upon its use largely because it requires that you consume fat. And for at least a generation, we have been misled by the unsubstantiated claims that low-fat diets are the healthy way to eat. First, let’s take a look at exactly what the ketogenic diet is. Then we’ll cover the pros and cons of the ketogenic diet with regard to heart health, diabetes, weight loss, and cancer.

 

What exactly is the ketogenic diet?

 

Most of you can probably answer “low-carb” right away.  But the real health benefits come from being on what has been called a “well-formulated ketogenic diet” and not just low-carb. The well-formulated...

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Are You at Risk for Broken Bones if You Are On an Aromatase Inhibitor?

This is the second post on bone health and why it is so important for breast cancer survivors.  In the first post, we covered the causes of bone loss, who is at risk, and what you can do to keep your bones strong. To read that post, just click here, and then you can come back to this one.

 

As you were going through breast cancer treatment, you knew to ask about the side effects of the chemotherapy and radiation, how long it would take to recover from surgery, and when you would be able to get back to a normal schedule.

 

But, as most of you have found out, the treatment can have subtle and long-term effects that you might not have thought of. Bone loss is one of those effects that can be overlooked. But you can’t blame treatment completely. Bone loss happens to us all as we age even if you are not a breast cancer survivor.

 

How do you know whether or not you have strong bones?  The easiest and most accurate way to know your bone strength is with a...

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What’s Your Bone Density?

bone density Oct 16, 2018

An often-overlooked part of managing our maturing bodies is keeping our bones strong and healthy. This is especially important for breast cancer survivors since some of the medications you take can weaken your bones. In this week’s post we’ll cover the causes of bone loss, who is at risk, and what you can do to keep your bones strong.

 

The most common cause of bone loss is surviving past the age of 30. That’s right.  Bone loss is a normal part of aging.  As you grow your bone is constantly going through a process called remodeling which involves destroying and building bone. This process continues throughout life. Before the age of 30, you make more bone than you break down, and after the age of 30, you break down more bone than you make.

 

Since surviving past 30 is generally a good thing, what are some of the causes of bone loss that we might actually want to change? Here are some things that impact bone health that you have control over:

  • ...
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Triple Negative Breast Cancer: Why this is different?

If you have been told you have triple negative breast cancer, you might not understand what that means with regard to the treatment you will get and your prognosis.  Triple negative breast cancer is in a class by itself because the treatment is different.   

First let’s look at what the term “triple negative” means.  There are three tumor markers that all breast cancers are tested for.  Most breast cancer patients know what these markers are.  Tumors are tested for estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors and for overexpression of HER2 receptors.  The estrogen and progesterone receptors determine whether or not your cancer’s growth is hormone dependent and hence whether or not you will be treated with hormone blockers.  The HER2 status determines whether or not you will receive a year’s worth of a therapy called Herceptin or some other HER2 blocker.  Triple negative tumors do not have the hormone...

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