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Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight!

Archive for November, 2008

Reduce Brain Damage by Eating Fish

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 28, 2008

If you eat fish three or more times a week, studies find your risk of developing dementia and stroke to be reduced.

The Cardiovascular Health Study examined over 3600 participants over the age of 65. The study focused on “silent brain death”. Silent brain death occurs when small areas within the brain die due to lack of oxygen, but the individual shows no symptoms of this occurring. Individuals who eat fish regularly had a 26% reduction in silent brain death.

The protective benefit may be related to omega 3 fatty acids, specifically DHA and EPA. The results were seen when fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids, such as tuna and salmon. There was no positive benefit from eating fried fish, such as fish sticks made from fish low in omega 3’s.

On the plus side for those who dislike fish or won’t prepare it three times a week. Eating fish once a week reduced silent brain death 7%. Also, using a supplement to increase omega 3 fatty acids in your diet is an option.

Be sure to discuss all supplements with your MD!

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD
eNutritionServices

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It’s not the turkey’s fault!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 25, 2008

Have you heard the news? Turkey is not to blame for the post-meal Thanksgiving naps. It’s been well-known for years that turkey contains tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, the neurotransmitter than regulates sleep.

However, tryptophan makes up 1% of the protein in turkey. One percent is the typical content of meat and actually half the tryptophan content of milk (2.34%).

Instead of turkey being at the root of Thanksgiving Dad sleepiness, it’s the carbohydrates in all those side dishes – stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. The extra carbohydrates boost insulin production. It’s speculated that this extra insulin may result in amino acids (excluding tryptophan) to be pulled into muscles for use, leaving a high level of tryptophan in the bloodstream, hence the need for a nap.

Have a great turkey day!

Lisa Nelson, RD
eNutritionServices

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It’s not the turkey’s fault!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 25, 2008

Have you heard the news? Turkey is not to blame for the post-meal Thanksgiving naps. It’s been well-known for years that turkey contains tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, the neurotransmitter than regulates sleep.

However, tryptophan makes up 1% of the protein in turkey. One percent is the typical content of meat and actually half the tryptophan content of milk (2.34%).

Instead of turkey being at the root of Thanksgiving Dad sleepiness, it’s the carbohydrates in all those side dishes – stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. The extra carbohydrates boost insulin production. It’s speculated that this extra insulin may result in amino acids (excluding tryptophan) to be pulled into muscles for use, leaving a high level of tryptophan in the bloodstream, hence the need for a nap.

Have a great turkey day!

Lisa Nelson, RD
eNutritionServices

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Be Heart Healthy – Switch to diet soda.

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 18, 2008

Do you drink a couple cans of regular soda each day? If so, make the switch to diet. Switching from 24 oz (two cans) of regular soda each day to diet soda will save you 280 calories/day and 78 grams of sugar! This change promotes weight loss (~1/2 pound/week) and triglyceride control.

I can “hear you” arguing with me that there’s no way you can tolerate the taste of diet soda. Well, there are now many products on the market comparable in taste to regular soda without the extra sugar and calories. Start experimenting until you find one you like. Or cut out soda all together and opt for water:)

Diet soda doesn’t eliminate the issue of carbonation and tooth decay or the possible link between caffeine and blood pressure. However, diet soda is the better choice in the long run for your heart health and weight loss goals.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD
eNutritionServices

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Lose Weight – Shut off the tv!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 14, 2008

You’re probably aware that watching too much tv is linked to weight gain. The weight gain is usually due to mindless snacking while watching tv. Well, scientists from the University of Birmingham in the UK found that those who eat while watching tv have increased food intake even after the tv is shut off!

The study followed 16 undergraduates who ate a 400 calorie lunch with either the tv on or off. Those who ate lunch while watching tv snacked on substantially more cookies throughout the day and had vague memories of meal time.

A small study, but gives you something to think about. According to this study if you remember the tv program you watched more than what you put in your mouth, you’re more likely to snack throughout the day. Is it time for you to shut off the tv?

All the best on your heart health and weight loss journey!
Lisa Nelson, RD
eNutritionServices

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Let’s Talk About Medications

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 11, 2008

j-s-ellingtonJanie Ellington

http://www.pharmacymatters.blogspot.com/

I want to share with everyone a great resource. Janie Ellington is a pharmacist that runs the blog – Let’s Talk About Medications. I’m an “Ask the Expert” for The Health Central Network and frequently see questions related to medications. Medications are not my specialty, which is why I’m sharing this resource with you. I’ve posted a recent interview with Janie below.

1. What is your current position?

I am a registered pharmacist. I manage an in-house pharmacy for a nonprofit pediatric clinic for children of low-income families who do not have health insurance. We are only open weekday mornings. During the cold and flu season, our patient load requires that we stay into the afternoon a bit, but I still have some time for other pursuits. That’s where my article writing and blogging comes in.

2. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

Over my career as a pharmacist, I have come across so many misconceptions with regard to medications and general health concerns and I have wished I had an opportunity to clarify some of those issues for the public on a wider scale than just the one-on-one that I get when I counsel when dispensing a new medication. I enjoy helping people who want to take more responsibility for their health and to understand how to use medications safely.

3. What services can you offer to someone struggling to be heart healthy?

My best advice to people who are struggling with any health concern is to educate themselves as much as they can. I have found that people who fail to take responsibility, by learning about issues concerning their health, often have worse outcomes overall. I would encourage people to participate fully in their own care.

My interests in health in general are not limited to prescription drugs. I also enjoy studying and writing about the benefits of natural approaches.

4. Are you able to benefit individuals struggling with weight loss?

In general, I do not agree with taking medications for weight loss. If they are used, it should be for a very short time while you are learning new habits. I have been a pharmacist for thirty years and I have not seen people have health improvements due to these drugs. On the contrary, weight loss drugs can be addictive and otherwise go against the goals for good overall health. Taking a drug to help with weight loss denies the role that self responsibility plays in any health concern. You simply cannot continue bad habits and expect good outcomes. Dieting and taking medications for that purpose usually creates a vicious cycle which seems to add more fat and less muscle as the years go by.

5. Do you have a forum where questions can be submitted?

Yes, I would especially enjoy answering questions about health issues that I have written about in my blog. Go to http://www.pharmacymatters.blogspot.com/ to view articles I’ve written and submit questions via email. I can only answer specific questions based on what is known about the drug you are taking. Without access to your health information, I cannot effectively answer questions specific to your treatment.

6. What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed with high cholesterol or blood pressure?

I think most doctors assume that people don’t want to change their bad habits. That’s pretty much what I have seen over the years in patients who are sickest. Further, doctors are not wellness experts. They are trained to treat disease.

The first step after diagnosis would be to ask your doctor if it would be safe for you to have a trial period to get your cholesterol and/or blood pressure under control through natural means. Educate yourself. There are so many approaches to cholesterol control, including plant sterols, increased fiber intake, eating better, and the list goes on. Blood pressure can often be controlled naturally too. Exercise, weight loss, stress reduction measures, proper salt intake and many other lifestyle changes can be tried before one goes on prescription drugs. Drugs can create problems of their own. They change the ecology inside the body’s systems and there are side effects and drug interactions to consider, not to mention the increased cost.

If you are willing to educate yourself and value your health and take pride in what you can do on your own, you are on your way to better health and a great feeling of accomplishment.

Thank goodness we have effective medications for people who must have them to lower cholesterol and/or blood pressure. Even if improving your diet and lifestyle doesn’t get you all the way to your goals, and your doctor still recommends drug therapy, you can start therapy armed with some valuable tools to help your medications work better and to get better results. If you do start on drug therapy, make it your goal to know more about the drugs you are taking than your doctor or pharmacist does. When you read a long list of side effects, such as you will find with cholesterol and blood pressure medications, bear in mind that all drugs have side effects.

Find out what the most common side effects are and what to be on the lookout for. Certain drugs have side effects that can be dangerous. Know if that is the case for the drug you are taking and how to recognize its onset. If you have a worrisome side effect, report it to your doctor. Sometimes a different drug within the same class of drugs will not cause the same side effects. Everyone, and their reaction to every drug, is different.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and visit Janie’s blog to learn more.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

eNutritionServices

Posted in heart health, high blood pressure, lose weight, lower cholesterol | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Let’s Talk About Medications

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 11, 2008

j-s-ellingtonJanie Ellington

http://www.pharmacymatters.blogspot.com/

I want to share with everyone a great resource. Janie Ellington is a pharmacist that runs the blog – Let’s Talk About Medications. I’m an “Ask the Expert” for The Health Central Network and frequently see questions related to medications. Medications are not my specialty, which is why I’m sharing this resource with you. I’ve posted a recent interview with Janie below.

1. What is your current position?

I am a registered pharmacist. I manage an in-house pharmacy for a nonprofit pediatric clinic for children of low-income families who do not have health insurance. We are only open weekday mornings. During the cold and flu season, our patient load requires that we stay into the afternoon a bit, but I still have some time for other pursuits. That’s where my article writing and blogging comes in.

2. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

Over my career as a pharmacist, I have come across so many misconceptions with regard to medications and general health concerns and I have wished I had an opportunity to clarify some of those issues for the public on a wider scale than just the one-on-one that I get when I counsel when dispensing a new medication. I enjoy helping people who want to take more responsibility for their health and to understand how to use medications safely.

3. What services can you offer to someone struggling to be heart healthy?

My best advice to people who are struggling with any health concern is to educate themselves as much as they can. I have found that people who fail to take responsibility, by learning about issues concerning their health, often have worse outcomes overall. I would encourage people to participate fully in their own care.

My interests in health in general are not limited to prescription drugs. I also enjoy studying and writing about the benefits of natural approaches.

4. Are you able to benefit individuals struggling with weight loss?

In general, I do not agree with taking medications for weight loss. If they are used, it should be for a very short time while you are learning new habits. I have been a pharmacist for thirty years and I have not seen people have health improvements due to these drugs. On the contrary, weight loss drugs can be addictive and otherwise go against the goals for good overall health. Taking a drug to help with weight loss denies the role that self responsibility plays in any health concern. You simply cannot continue bad habits and expect good outcomes. Dieting and taking medications for that purpose usually creates a vicious cycle which seems to add more fat and less muscle as the years go by.

5. Do you have a forum where questions can be submitted?

Yes, I would especially enjoy answering questions about health issues that I have written about in my blog. Go to http://www.pharmacymatters.blogspot.com/ to view articles I’ve written and submit questions via email. I can only answer specific questions based on what is known about the drug you are taking. Without access to your health information, I cannot effectively answer questions specific to your treatment.

6. What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed with high cholesterol or blood pressure?

I think most doctors assume that people don’t want to change their bad habits. That’s pretty much what I have seen over the years in patients who are sickest. Further, doctors are not wellness experts. They are trained to treat disease.

The first step after diagnosis would be to ask your doctor if it would be safe for you to have a trial period to get your cholesterol and/or blood pressure under control through natural means. Educate yourself. There are so many approaches to cholesterol control, including plant sterols, increased fiber intake, eating better, and the list goes on. Blood pressure can often be controlled naturally too. Exercise, weight loss, stress reduction measures, proper salt intake and many other lifestyle changes can be tried before one goes on prescription drugs. Drugs can create problems of their own. They change the ecology inside the body’s systems and there are side effects and drug interactions to consider, not to mention the increased cost.

If you are willing to educate yourself and value your health and take pride in what you can do on your own, you are on your way to better health and a great feeling of accomplishment.

Thank goodness we have effective medications for people who must have them to lower cholesterol and/or blood pressure. Even if improving your diet and lifestyle doesn’t get you all the way to your goals, and your doctor still recommends drug therapy, you can start therapy armed with some valuable tools to help your medications work better and to get better results. If you do start on drug therapy, make it your goal to know more about the drugs you are taking than your doctor or pharmacist does. When you read a long list of side effects, such as you will find with cholesterol and blood pressure medications, bear in mind that all drugs have side effects.

Find out what the most common side effects are and what to be on the lookout for. Certain drugs have side effects that can be dangerous. Know if that is the case for the drug you are taking and how to recognize its onset. If you have a worrisome side effect, report it to your doctor. Sometimes a different drug within the same class of drugs will not cause the same side effects. Everyone, and their reaction to every drug, is different.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and visit Janie’s blog to learn more.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

eNutritionServices

Posted in heart health, high blood pressure, lose weight, lower cholesterol | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Self-Improvement Gift Giveaway!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 7, 2008

I’m participating in a joint venture with hundreds of other businesses. We’ve teamed up to put all our free gifts in one location – Self Improvement Gifts. I wanted to share this site with you, because the gifts cover a wide variety of topics – inspirational, motivational, health, self-esteem, financial, success, law of attraction. . .the list goes on.

You have to “sign-up” to enter the website for the free gifts, but it’s a free to be a member.

If this interests you, check it out!

Self Improvement Gifts

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

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Lose Weight by Slowing Down

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 4, 2008

Eating slowly will help you feel fuller and decrease the calories you eat each meal, all of which leads to shedding the unwanted pounds! It takes ~20 minutes for your head to tell your stomach it’s full, so aim for at least 20 minutes to eat each meal.

Those who eat quickly until they are full are three times more likely to be overweight (research published in the British Medical Journal).

If you’re use to eating at a frenzied pace, slowing down won’t feel natural. Small steps, such as setting down your utensil between bites, will help you slow down. You may find you now have a chance to actually taste and enjoy your meals!

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
Lose Weight the Healthy Way

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