Author: David Yochim

Carbs and Obesity

While I am quite sure most people, including my former self, know and understand why they have a weight control problem, I am equally positive there are many who suffer weight problems because they indeed do lack nutritional understanding. This would be an oversimplification, but we do encounter some people whose understanding of nutrition is not much beyond eating to satiate an immediate hunger. Many people eat to satisfy their hunger with little to no understanding of how the foods they consume are affecting their weight. We have found through interactions with people in our personal lives and from our readers, that while they may be familiar with the macro-nutrient terms carbohydrate, fat, and protein, they really do not understand the role these macro-nutrients play in the body and with their overall health. Think about how many times you might have heard someone mention how bad a fast food hamburger is for their health while having no clue that despite the sodium and saturated beef fat, the actual burger patty is quite possibly the healthiest portion of their fast food meal when you consider all the sugar and simple carbs the rest of the meal contains. For instance, a McDonalds Quarter Pounder with Cheese Value Meal contains  69 grams of sugar!

From McDonald’s website.

Look at the number of total of carbohydrates in this one meal!

This is more than I even target for myself over an entire day of eating.

Now, if you consume these types of meals on a regular basis, and the rest of your meals and snacks are equally high in carbohydrates, you are going to most likely have a weight problem, and are also a candidate for type 2 diabetes.

Some people truly do not know what constitutes a carbohydrate. 

We have found that a good amount of time when you ask an individual what is a carbohydrate, they will answer; sweets and pasta. Ask the same person what a vegetable or fruit is, and they will probably answer that they are vegetables and fruit, as if that is a food type all it’s own. We know from interactions with clients and readers that many people have the misguided notion they can eat unlimited amounts of fruits and vegetables without gaining weight.  We also know this to be true from following and studying a major weight loss company’s social media. We have found that many people are surprised to learn that sweets, pasta, fruits and vegetables are all carbohydrates. What they do not understand is carbohydrates are all merely different forms of simple sugar linked together in polymers akin to edible plastic.

Contrary to the “Cult of Keto” we need carbohydrates in our diet!

Our body’s require a certain amount of carbohydrates in our diet for optimum health. We need carbs to fuel our brains which use glucose as it’s primary energy source. Our brains can be gluttonous for glucose considering it uses two thirds of the glucose circulating within your bloodstream even while you are at rest. To feed your brain alone, your body continuously converts carbohydrates into glucose.

Now, here is where it begins getting a bit complicated when it comes to carbohydrates. When your body does not immediately use the carbs you have consumed, they will be stored as glycogen. Our bodies have two storage vessels for this glycogen, they are the liver and our muscles.  The glycogen stored in our muscles is not accessible by the brain. Only the glycogen stored within our liver can be broken down and released back into the bloodstream in order to maintain proper blood sugar levels for proper brain function.

While our liver is a storage vessel for glycogen, it is limited in it’s capacity. The liver can be depleted of glycogen within 10 to 12 hours, therefore the glycogen reserves must be maintained. This is why we need to consume complex carbohydrates.

What happens when you eat too many carbohydrates? 

No matter whether they are being stored in the muscle or liver, your body’s storage capacity for them are limited. If you are of average weight, you can store about 300 to 400 grams of carbohydrates in your muscles, however, you cannot access these carbs. In the liver, where carbs are accessible for glucose conversion, we can only store about 60 to 90 grams. This is equivalent to about 2 cups of cooked pasta, or about 3 candy bars. This quantity is your total reserve capacity to keep your brain functioning at it’s optimum.

Once the glycogen levels have been filled in both the liver and muscles, there is only one thing which happens with the excess – it gets turned into body fat! Even though carbohydrates are not made of fat, they end up as excess fat in your body.

Now, we know that we have a limited storage capacity for the carbs we consume, lets add insult to injury. Any meal or snack you consume that is high in carbohydrates, with an emphasis on simple carbs and sugar, will cause you to experience a rapid rise in blood sugar. To adjust for this rapid rise, your pancreas secretes insulin into the blood stream to lower the levels of blood glucose. While that is all fine and dandy, the issue is one of insulin being a storage hormone which puts aside excess carb calories as fat for future use.

Insulin that is stimulated by excess carbohydrates aggressively promotes the accumulation of body fat!

When we eat more carbohydrates than our body requires, we are actually sending a hormonal message via insulin to make our body’s fat. To rub salt into an open wound, not only does insulin cause our body to store fat, it also prevents it from releasing any of it.  Our own insulin, which we can control through healthy nutritional habits, makes it damn near impossible to use fat as energy. No matter the type of carb, excess amounts in your diet not only make you fat, they ensure you remain fat! This double whammy can prove to be detrimental to your health at best, or even lethal in the worst case scenario.

 

 

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Holy Cow, The BionicGym Review!

Holy cow, an entire gym in such a tiny box!

It almost has to be too good to be true, don’t you think?

500 Calories burned from the couch!

This just makes me giddy as a school girl!

I really just can’t believe this, I believe I will sell off all of my home gym equipment to purchase this fine product.

Such a killer deal too at $649.00 US!

What a perfect gift idea for the couch potato in your life. Since they are too lazy to get their butt up off the couch, now there is no excuse for them to still maintain a beer gut, is there?

Their bold claim:

Now, let’s be real. This is such a bunch of hogwash, and anyone with two brain cells that can rub together should know this. But, since these scam products have such a huge market, it is apparent that just maybe there are a lot of folks who were born just last night. This huge  market leaves me wondering just how many have recently fallen off a turnip truck only to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous marketers. It is mind blowing when you think about the sheer numbers it takes in order to make these scam products sell. And here is the kicker, because each and every one of us have what is known as a Basal Metabolic Rate, we all, already can burn 500 calories while sitting on our couch doing nothing. Yes, your body burns a number of calories each day simply by you existing, your heart beating, your lung taking in oxygen, all of your bodily functions are burning calories during the day as it is. Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to keep vital functions going.

Burn calories rapidly – at levels equivalent to intense exercise

Increase a person’s heart rate – to levels equivalent to intense exercise

Enable sustained cardio exercise – once you had trained up with it

Increase a person’s VO2 Max levels, i.e. boost aerobic fitness

Deliver the benefits of exercise in a way that is gentle on the joints

There is a bit of truth in the italicized claims, however, they are greatly exaggerated. Which I will address next.

Perhaps what is most revolutionary about BionicGym is it requires less willpower.  Or at least a different type of will-power.  At intense levels you still get all the body’s signalling that it is intense exercise but you can distract yourself by watching TV, etc.

Many forms of exercise require constant mental-effort to complete. For example, when using an exercise bike or treadmill, a person must choose to keep pushing themselves. If they are mentally fatigued, they often can’t exercise for long.

However, stimulated shivering via BionicGym is different. As electrical impulses trigger the legs to move repeatedly, users can simply put BionicGym on, dial up the intensity, and via a kind of remote-control exercise, watch their legs move. This makes it possible to do passive exercise while engaged in another activity – like watching TV or playing a computer game. This also means that many normal environments, from working at a desk to lying on a couch, can become places where exercise can occur.

This company is marketing their gadget to people who are lacking willpower. It is in their own words above. It takes willpower coupled with good nutrition and true exercise to achieve a fit and trim body. Even if one who might be a bit lazy and lacking in will power decides to use this gadget, it is going to be a distraction to their TV watching if the intensity is set very high. After all, it is shocking the hell out of your legs.

The most important thing stated, which is really kind of glossed over in their ad is the line, “Diet PLUS exercise = weight control”.

Not many people can out exercise a bad diet even with vigorous activity. Your nutrition is always key to having a healthy, fit and trim body.

It is a universal truth that abs are “made in the kitchen”.

Can I sell you a bridge?

Look, gullible or desperate people are being sold a bunch of hooey when they are told they can build and tone muscle while burning fat with these scam gadgets. Think about this, yes they do work to stimulate muscles electrically and you will feel them tingling and contracting. But his really means little to you, snake oil might have made people feel better in the moment too. However, you can take a frog that has recently died, hook it up to a muscle stimulator and you can see his dead muscles twitch too. These people are playing on your lack of basic knowledge when they sell these gadgets.

Electrical muscle stimulators are used in physiotherapy for only two uses:

1. To help people re-strengthen injured areas not to burn fat or tone muscle effortlessly. To strengthen weak muscles, the key is to be actively exercising the muscle while the machine is on. The muscle stimulator must be synchronized with your active movement in order to be effective. Physiotherapists have used this principle extensively since the 1940’s and the Russians used it in the 1970’s with their weight training athletes. For example, a weight would be placed on the ankle and the stimulator pads are placed on the front of the thigh (quadriceps muscle). The person then straightens their knee making their muscle contract while the stimulator works on the quadriceps muscle also making the muscle work. By working the muscle along with the stimulator there will be an enhanced strengthening effect.

2. Muscle stimulators are also used to help with pain and muscle spasm relief. Physiotherapists will use them on the back muscles for example to help reduce muscle tension and spasm. They are set to go on for 10 seconds and off for 10 seconds. This repeated contraction and relaxation of the muscles tells the brain to relax the muscles and kill the tension. They are often used in combination with heat which has a great relaxing effect. A muscle stimulator is really a specialized form of TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator). As well as causing muscles to release their tension, a muscle stimulator will also reduce pain. It sends electrical signals through the nerves to the brain which helps to release endorphins and block pain signals. Endorphins are your body’s own natural pain killers, fifty times more powerful than morphine.

A portion of their Terms of Service:

SECTION 3 – ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS AND TIMELINESS OF INFORMATION

We are not responsible if information made available on this site is not accurate, complete or current. The material on this site is provided for general information only and should not be relied upon or used as the sole basis for making decisions without consulting primary, more accurate, more complete or more timely sources of information. Any reliance on the material on this site is at your own risk.
This site may contain certain historical information. Historical information, necessarily, is not current and is provided for your reference only. We reserve the right to modify the contents of this site at any time, but we have no obligation to update any information on our site. You agree that it is your responsibility to monitor changes to our site.

So, the information they provide to get you to buy their scam gadget is not necessarily reliable and apparently it is your tough luck if you did not do your due diligence with research before plopping down your hard earned cash.

Is there any actual use for electronic muscle stimulators?

Per the FDA; While an EMS device may be able to temporarily strengthen, tone or firm a muscle, no EMS devices have been cleared at this time for weight loss, girth reduction, or for obtaining “rock hard” abs. Electric muscle stimulators are federally regulated devices most often used in physical therapy. The majority of these stimulators are administered by a health care professional to ensure proper use and safety for rehabilitation purposes. However, you will sometimes see where professional athletes have incorporated them into their fitness programs, but most of us are not professional athletes. The benefits of EMS have been discussed extensively in theory but the real challenge is the successful incorporation of EMS into a training program. EMS works best as the last training element of the day, separated from other work by at least two hours. You are not going to get the results you might want if you are just sitting on the couch with the dream of getting stronger. The use of EMS is used in conjunction with other strength programs and is not a stand alone program in itself.

From the weight training website T-Nation:

Most users never come near the level of contraction they need for best results, especially in clinical settings. To understand the intensity the athlete needs to experience, have him contract the quads as hard as he possibly can voluntarily, and then have him imagine a goal 30% higher than that! The contraction is massive, and it feels that way! Don’t worry about “burning” the muscle though, as it takes only five-millionths of an amp to maximally contract the quad.

To give you an example of what I mean by cranking it up, my athletes would often have to bite down on a piece of leather or a stick while being “stimmed.” Is it really that painful? Well, it should feel like riding up a very steep and long hill on a bike. That’s the type of “burn” you should feel.

Look, if you are serious about wanting to lose weight and to get in shape, save your money and do not buy this scam gadget. You can do better things with $649.00 than to throw your money away on something that will eventually find itself in the back of your closet, buried under a pile of shoes or something. Here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we offer you free subscriptions to access any and all of our great articles to help you achieve the body you want. We are rapidly closing in on 900 health, nutrition and fitness articles and we provide you with a plethora of recipes which are as healthy as they are delicious. You have nothing to lose by following us except unwanted body fat. If you cannot lose weight to a healthy body fat percentage by following our plan, I will fully refund you for every penny you spent.

Abs Muscle Toning Stimulator Review, Don’t Be a Rube!

Have you seen this product being advertised?

Rocking that hard body through electrical stimulation!

Would you just look at those claims above!

Are you ready to throw down your hard earned cash yet?

At such a cheap price, you might consider it…

Wouldn’t it be the best thing since icing on cake if you could spend $48.98 US on a product that will give you the results pictured below?

Hot damn!

This product is scientifically proven!

Just look at those before and after results!

Do the people in the before and after pictures look like the same individuals to you?

Me neither!

Have you lost any brain cells reading this yet?

Does this contraption make you feel as if you might have lost a few IQ points?

Thirty minutes per day and not a single mention of nutrition being a part of the equation to be able to rock such a hard body in their ad.

I am not in any way, shape or form trying to be disrespectful in what I am going to say next. But, I surely hope you are not naive, or gullible enough to believe these hucksters. Please, consider how ludicrous these claims are before handing over your hard earned money to these people. These claims are indeed too fantastic to be true. I know you are smarter than this…

Of course, I fully understand there are people who have become desperate enough to try anything in order to lose weight. It is sad that these good folks are preyed on by by nefarious groups who know their products are worthless, especially those who need help losing weight the most. I have to say I have nothing but contempt for those who take advantage of others in this manner. My friends, this device is not going to work for you. If you want to achieve a healthy and fit body, it is going to take more than thirty minutes per day with a electrical ab stimulator. You must get your nutrition in order by changing your entire mindset about, and relationship with food. You must make permanent and lifelong changes to your nutritional habits. There is no easy way towards losing weight and gaining a fit and trim body.

For instance, the saying that abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym, is an absolute truth. You can do all the sit ups in the world, and never lose your gut.

And, it is a truth that you cannot spot reduce any areas of your body.

Even if you could spot reduce, your body would only look odd from the imbalances in your appearance and you would not be any healthier.

In order to rock the hard bodies pictured in this ad, you will need to consume fewer calories than you burn each day, and then be willing and able to put in the work with physical exercise that raises your heart rate into the fat burning zone.

The following is from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

Q. Why does FDA regulate electrical muscle stimulators?

A. Electrical muscle stimulators are considered devices under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Under this law and the agency’s regulations, the FDA is responsible for regulating the sale of all electrical muscle stimulators in the United States. Therefore, firms must comply with appropriate FDA premarket regulatory requirements before they can legally sell their stimulators. Most electrical muscle stimulators (EMS devices) that have been reviewed by FDA are intended for use in physical therapy and rehabilitation under the direction of a health care professional. If a company wants to sell EMS devices directly to consumers, the company needs to show FDA it can be used safely and effectively in that setting.

Q. These electrical muscle stimulators are advertised not only to tone, firm, and strengthen abdominal muscles, but also to provide weight loss, girth reduction, and “rock hard” abs. Do they really work?

A. While an EMS device may be able to temporarily strengthen, tone or firm a muscle, no EMS devices have been cleared at this time for weight loss, girth reduction, or for obtaining “rock hard” abs.

Q. Is FDA concerned about the unregulated marketing of these devices?

A. Yes. FDA has received reports of shocks, burns, bruising, skin irritation, and pain associated with the use of some of these devices. There have been a few recent reports of interference with implanted devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators. Some injuries required hospital treatment. It is very important that these devices be properly designed, manufactured, and labeled with clear and complete instructions for use and that anyone using them follows the instructions carefully. FDA is also concerned because many of these devices have cables and leads. If those cables and leads do not comply with electrical safety standards, there is the possibility of electrocution by users and other household members. FDA is currently investigating firms that are illegally marketing EMS devices.

Q. What does FDA regulation accomplish?

A. Firms that market EMS devices are required to comply with appropriate FDA premarket regulatory requirements before they may legally sell their devices. The firm must be able to demonstrate that these devices are as safe and as effective as similar devices that are legally marketed. Devices may only be marketed for uses that are established for the device or for uses that the firm can support with data. At this time, FDA is not aware of scientific information to support many of the promotional claims being made for numerous devices being widely promoted on television, infomercials, newspapers, and magazines.

Q. If I use an electrical muscle stimulator that has met FDA regulatory requirements, will it give me the same kind of effect that lots of sit-ups, stomach crunches and other abdominal exercises will?

A. Using these devices alone will not give you “six-pack” abs. Applying electrical current to muscles may cause muscles to contract. Stimulating muscles repeatedly with electricity may eventually result in muscles that are strengthened and toned to some extent but will not, based on currently available data, create a major change in your appearance without the addition of diet and regular exercise.

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we have dedicated ourselves to helping others to lose body fat to healthy levels through nutrition and exercise. We have not in the past, or now sugar coat how you can achieve this. There are no short cuts, and a healthy body dictates that you are committed to yourself enough to make a true commitment to a healthier body for the rest of your life. If you are not prepared to dedicate yourself to healthier living for he rest of your life, you have already lost your battle.

Your life expectancy can easily be shortened as a direct result.

It can be said that “Life aint fair”.

While this might be true, it is the reality we live in. But we can help you along the way if you choose to follow our methodology which can be found at this link.

Subscriptions to David’s Way to Health and Fitness are easy and free for all. Our content will always be free to our wonderful readers, that is my pledge. Our work is a direct result of personal experiences, along with diligent study and research to ensure our integrity is never compromised. We welcome questions and comments and will answer all.

David

No Hill For a Climber, Radio-Necrosis

Loraine completed her final radiation treatment on June 15th. That should have been the end of the doctor visits until later this month, but that is not how things turned out. The radiation treatments burned her pretty good, second degree burns to be exact. We were not expecting this, nor were we prepared for what came next which was radio-necrosis combined with a bacterial skin infection. Radio-necrosis can occur when eradiating the cancer.  Radiation therapy can cause significant harm to healthy surrounding tissue. As we have learned the hard way, this skin injury can cause considerable pain and suffering to patients who are already stressed by the diagnosis.

How long does radiation burn last?
For it to heal, the skin needs time to regenerate, a process that may take two to four weeks for mild reactions, or several months or more for serious injuries.

Before Loraine’s radiation treatments were completed, her skin began showing signs of being burned by the procedures. About a week or so before her final treatment, one of her physicians instructed her to begin using Silvadene cream on the burns to help ward off any infections. This medication is often used with other treatments to help prevent and treat wound infections in patients with serious burns. It is supposed to work by stopping the growth of bacteria that may infect an open wound. This helps to decrease the risk of the bacteria spreading to surrounding skin, or to the blood where it can cause a serious blood infection. However, while Silvadene can be used as an anti-microbial, the downside as we have since learned, is it can also delay wound healing.

Having never been through any of this, there is no way we could know the effects radiation therapy could have on an individual. We know what we were told, but as with everything else about breast cancer, there is a lot we have had to learn after the fact, and on the run. The learning curve with cancer is huge to say the least.

Loraine’s skin was burned, therefore it was warm to the touch as any burn will be. Then it began to blister which also was not unexpected given the severity of the burns. Still we were not worried until her skin began tearing and essentially ulcerating in the burned areas. This has been quite painful for Loraine and I often awaken to her moaning in pain at night when I am not on the road. The radiation treatments we believed were going to be fairly mild for side effects, but obviously this has not been the case. Sunday, while I was out on the road, Loraine called me because she was in pretty bad pain and she was draining pus and fluids from the burned area where her left breast had been. She said she was going to go to the emergency room which really scared me. In 34 years of marriage, this tough woman has never, not a single time, ever visited an emergency room for herself. Turns out, she now had a bacterial infection working on her. The emergency room doctor prescribed her an antibiotic and pain reliever and then instructed her to get in to her wound care doctor as soon as possible. Today was Wednesday, we got her in to be seen this morning. That is when we learned that the infection was a result of the radio-necrosis, and, it was aggravated by the daily application of Silvadene which she had been directed to use.

Loraine has endured enough pain with these side effects, that she has begged me to not ask her to ever go through radiation again.

I will respect her wishes when it comes to her treatments.

 

Quit Shunning the Fat!

Have you ever sat back and pondered why it is that with all the low fat and zero fat products we can find stocked in our grocery store aisles today, we have an ever increasing problem with obesity? You can visit any of the weight loss social media sites and find people who are making it a point to eat low to zero fat, yet they are having an almost impossible time in achieving their weight loss goals.

This could be seen as quite the irony, right?

Except it is not an irony in any way shape or form.

Dietary fats are not nearly the boogeyman they have been portrayed to be over the past few decades. This is because not all fats are created equal. Some fats are better for you than others, and even help to promote good health. Knowing the difference between your fats can help you determine which fats to include in your diet, which to avoid, and which to eat only in moderation. We know that the “bad” fats such as artificial trans fats and saturated fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, an increased risk of certain diseases and so forth. But “good” fats such as unsaturated fats and omega-3s have the opposite effect. Good fats should always be a part of a healthy diet. Fat is as essential to your diet as protein and carbohydrates are in fueling your body with energy. Certain bodily functions also rely on the presence of fat. For example, some vitamins require fat in order to dissolve into your bloodstream and provide nutrients.

First, what are the “bad” fats?

There are two types of fats which have been identified as potentially harmful to your health, saturated fat and trans fat . Most of the foods that contain saturated fats should be eaten very sparingly. These are foods where the fats are solid at room temperature, such as:

butter

margarine

shortening

beef or pork fat

Trans fat should be avoided altogether! Trans fat is short for “trans fatty acids,” this bad fat can be found in foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These are the worst fats for you. You might find trans fat in:

fried foods (French fries, doughnuts, deep-fried fast foods)

margarine (stick and tub)

vegetable shortening

baked goods (cookies, cakes, pastries)

processed snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn)

Like saturated fat, trans fat can raise LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol. Trans fat can also suppress high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, or “good” cholesterol.  Trans fats are also known to increase the risk for inflammation in our bodies. This inflammation can cause harmful health effects that may include heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. If you like margarine on your foods, remember they will contain trans fats if they are made with hydrogenated ingredients, so make sure to always choose non-hydrogenated versions.

Labeling laws allow food companies to round down to zero and claim “no trans fats” or “zero grams of trans fats” despite still containing hydrogenated oils, so ignore the front-of-package marketing and always read the ingredient list.

What started this low to no fat craze?

If you want to trace Americans’ fear of fat, the place to start is the U.S. Senate, during the steamy days of July 1976. That’s when Sen. George McGovern called a hearing to raise attention to the links between diet and disease. The concern was the connection between diet and heart disease. Scientists had evidence that foods with saturated fat such as eggs and meat could raise LDL cholesterol. But there were a lot of complexities that scientists didn’t yet understand, and not a lot of data. When Sen. McGovern, a Democrat from South Dakota, called his hearing, he summoned the likes of Nathan Pritikin, a longevity guru who believed you could reverse heart disease with diet changes. And he called as a witness a Harvard University professor who pointed to the harms of over-consumption of fat. The hearing led to the creation of the first set of dietary guidelines for Americans.

The thinking of the day is that you wanted to reduce fat from your diet. Once fat was identified as being an unhealthy part of the American diet, the thinking was that any way Americans could get fat out of their diets would be a good thing. And this was accomplished by merely replacing milk and cheese and fatty meat with carbohydrates, with pasta and potatoes and rice.  The misguided theory was that we would live longer, and be thinner if we took this action.

 One of the top goals listed in the original dietary goals was to eat more carbs.

The types of carbs the authors of the guidelines had in mind were whole grains, fruits and vegetables. But this message was lost in translation. What did Americans hear? Fat is bad; carbs are good. And the food industry saw the low-fat, high-carb mantra as an opportunity to create a whole new range of products. Fat-free frozen yogurt, fat-free muffins and cookies became quite common everywhere we shop. The formula was: Take out the fat and then add lots of sugar to make up for the now bland tastes of low to zero fat foods. Now, we are fatter than we have ever been as a society. There were definitely unintended consequences of the original guidelines. In trying to address one problem — heart disease — by cutting way back on fat,  the new dietary goals have helped fuel other problems such as diabetes and obesity.

Fats you should be consuming in your diet!

The  helpful types of dietary fat are primarily unsaturated fats:

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids. This type of fat is found in a variety of foods and oils. Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids instead of saturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease and may also help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids. This type of fat is found mostly in plant-based foods and oils. Evidence shows that eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids instead of saturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease and may also help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. One type of polyunsaturated fat is made up of mainly omega-3 fatty acids and may be especially beneficial for heart health. Omega-3, found in some types of fatty fish, appears to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. There are plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. However, it hasn’t yet been determined whether replacements for fish oil — plant-based or krill — have the same health effects as omega-3 fatty acid from fish.

Foods made up mostly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, such as canola oil, olive oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and corn oil.

Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring. Plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed (ground), oils (canola, flaxseed, soybean), and nuts and other seeds (walnuts, butternuts and chia seeds).

How can I start eating healthier?

Focus on replacing foods high in saturated fat with foods that include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Try these tips to make over the fat in your diet:

  • To avoid trans fat, check food labels and look for the amount of trans fat listed. By law a serving of food containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fat can be labeled as 0 grams. Therefore, it’s important to also check ingredient lists for the term ʺpartially hydrogenated.֞
  • Use oil instead of solid fats. For example, saute with olive oil instead of butter, and use canola oil when baking.
  • Prepare fish, such as salmon and mackerel, instead of meat at least twice a week to get healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Bake or broil seafood instead of frying it.
  • Choose lean meat and skinless poultry. Trim visible fat from meat and poultry, and remove skin from poultry.
  • Snack smart. Many popular processed snack foods are high in fat, especially solid fats. Be sure to check food labels for saturated and trans fats. Better yet, snack on whole fruits and vegetables.

 Be aware and mindful that most foods contain a mix of different kinds of fat and varying levels of each type. Don’t get bogged down in the details. Instead, focus on choosing foods that contain unsaturated fats, instead of foods that contain saturated or trans fats. For example, canola oil contains some saturated fat but is mostly a monounsaturated fat. It’s a great replacement for butter, which contains some unsaturated fat but is mostly a saturated fat.

What we now know!

We now know that, for most people, cutting fat from our diets has failed to help many people in weight loss, nor has this reduced our risk of heart disease. An eight-year trial involving almost 50,000 women, roughly half of whom went on a low-fat diet, found that those on the low-fat plan didn’t lower their risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or heart disease. Additionally, they didn’t lose much weight either.

We know that excess sugar has been linked with weight gain and obesity. A systematic review of 50 years of studies published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition in 2006 found a link between the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages people consumed and weight gain and obesity. The science base linking the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to the risk of chronic diseases is clear, yet here we are today with sugar in every damn thing we eat if we are not mindful of our nutrition.

Healthy fats, like those from nuts, fish, and avocados, are good for us, so long as we eat them in moderation. So add them back into your diet if you haven’t already, and look to cut back on your intake of refined carbs and sugary snack foods instead. You will find that healthier food choices that contain beneficial fats will not only taste much better, but you will also notice that you will remain satiated far longer after a meal or snack when you consume them.

Vibro Shape Slimming Belt Review, Do They Think We are Stupid?

Oh God, please make it stop. I feel as if I lost IQ points just stumbling upon this worthless product!

What they promise

Vibro Shape Belt to lose weight

Vibro shape is a AB toning system which uses a unique oscillating massage action to tone up specific body parts – waist and abs, hips, buns, thighs, arms and other problem areas. It is a smart and easy way to get the body you want without effort and in the comfort of your own home. Vibro Shape has dual motors and is an upsell for Vibro Belt. The Vibro-Shape Belt is a professional vibrating belt conceived to efficiently tone parts of the body including abs, thighs, butts, calves, and shoulders. This belt makes use of a distinct oscillating massage move for improving blood circulation whereby detoxifying and reducing weight. Fat deposits are broken down and water retention if any is eliminated. Its integrated heat feature is great for relieving your calf, leg, and back muscles. Get the benefit of a complete exercise session but without actually working hard. This slimming waist belt is designed to easily fit waist sizes in the range of 24 – 55 and comes with 5 high power and 5 low power options to choose from. Since the belt includes a carrying case, you can carry it anywhere easily while its universal adapter lets you charge it wherever you are.

Their target customer

Face it, anyone who understands physical fitness and what it takes in order to become fit and trim already knows what it takes in order to achieve these objectives. This product is targeted towards those who have little understanding of physiology and nutrition and might also be the proverbial couch potato who puts little to no effort into anything other than trips to graze in the kitchen.

You cannot spot tone or spot reduce problem areas on your body!

These hucksters promise that you can spot tone areas as you can see in their advertisement; tone up specific body parts – waist and abs, hips, buns, thighs, arms and other problem areas.  Targeted fat loss, often referred to as spot reduction, is not possible and there is absolutely no scientific evidence to suggest that you can burn fat on specific areas of your body. Building strong abdominal muscles will never give you 6-pack abs if those muscles are hiding behind body fat. It is not possible to reduce fat in one area by exercising that body part alone. Muscle growth in a region does not reduce fat in that region. Instead, fat is lost from the entire body as a result of diet and regular exercise. Anyone who tells you otherwise are either ignorant of the facts, or a bold faced liar. This is the truth!

Weight loss and toning takes planning and effort. It is not always easy!

They sell you on this being a smart and easy way to get the body you want without effort and in the comfort of your own home. No, there is nothing smart about this product, it is designed to those who want to only exert minimum effort at getting a better body. If your health and your body are not worth a little effort, save your money or throw it my way. Smart weight loss and toning require effort on your part. You have to have your nutrition under control by eating only wholesome foods. You have to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose body fat. You cannot continue to sit on the couch, watching television while eating ice cream and think you are going to get a better body with this worthless device.

This belt will not detoxify your body, and water loss is not body fat loss!

They claim this belt makes use of a distinct oscillating massage move for improving blood circulation whereby detoxifying and reducing weight. Fat deposits are broken down and water retention if any is eliminated.

Your liver, kidneys, and sweat glands are the primary players in your body’s ongoing effort to remove toxins and waste products naturally. You might find articles that make claims that you can detox through sweating, however, what you lose through your sweat glands is insignificant to that which you lose through your liver and kidneys. It’s up to your kidneys to filter your blood for the waste products your body doesn’t need. Drinking more fluids — especially water — ensures that your body is working to eliminate as many toxins through your urine as it needs to each day.

Get the benefit of a complete exercise session but without actually working hard.

The bold red line is straight from their advertisement. If you believe that you can get the same benefit from this worthless piece of junk as you can from a complete exercise session, you might actually deserve to be parted from your money.

Please, do not ever buy into anything so ridiculous, you are better and smarter than this!

Old School Labs Vintage Burn, Fat Burner Review

This product review kind of pains me to do, it is not exactly an unfavorable one to write, but neither is it going to be favorable for a few reasons that I will get into.

Pictured above is part of a very exciting email I received last month on May 21. Old School Labs, a supplement company I am very familiar with approached me about a collaboration and partnership with their brand. I know from personal use, and from several of my friends who are also into weight training, these folks put out great products. I was stoked to say the least they contacted me without any solicitation on my part. It was thrilling to receive this email as there are many great names behind this product line. Old School Labs ambassadors include some of the greats from the Golden Era of bodybuilding such as Tom Platz, Samir Bannout, Ric Drasin, Mario Da Silva, and John Hanson.

All the shaded countries are where we have readers. In the US, we have over 72,000 readers to date.

I was super stoked this quality brand supplement company had reached out to me. After all, I am pretty much an unknown entity, except for this humongous health and fitness website I have built up over a little more than two years now. While my name might not be well known, my work and that of my lovely co-author Brenda Sue has now reached people in over 100 countries around the world. We have helped a great deal of people through our writings and have also helped a great deal of people privately without having ever charged a single one even a penny. We have helped people of all walks of life, and have never cared a wit about who or what they might be.

We discriminate against no one!

My mission from day one has been to help people, and some of the people who need our help the most, also do not have an expendable source of extra capital. This website is first and foremost a “labor of love”, and it always will be going forward. Although it would be nice to one day have proper backing to carry us to even greater heights. But this can only happen if I never lose creative control over my website. I will die a broke man before I ever let another entity take control of my work and turn it into something even remotely similar to Weight Watchers and a few others. We will always provide you with well researched information, coupled with our own personal experiences, and will never compromise our integrity by telling you sweet and easy lies over uncomfortable truths.

We cannot help you if we sugar coat anything.

We cannot help you if we allow you to believe that we have bought into any type of excuses you might have.

The Review

Old School Labs have a variety of great supplements in their product line. Being as Brenda Sue and I have been exploring an avenue into quality health and fitness supplements to sell ourselves, there are a lot of pitfalls to consider while going into this endeavor. Partnering with a great company would be a great win for us. I do have full respect for Old School Labs business model, they have been doing their part in cleaning bunk products out of the supplement market.

Old School Labs Mission

With a mission statement like this, I would be happy if I could get involved in selling their products in order to off set the cost of running my website. A little bit of personal profit would be the proverbial “icing on the cake”. My desire in doing this is solely to always be able to keep the rest our content free to everyone who follows, and or subscribes to David’s Way to Health and Fitness.

Before Vintage burn

However…

The product they sent for me to do a first review on was their Vintage Muscle Preserving Fat Burner. I have sworn I would never sell fat burner products for any reason as I do not believe in them. I believe more harm can come from most fat burners than any type of good. My mission is to help people with proper nutrition with only a few supplements at best to provide elements they might need for better health. Fat burners are an easy way to fat loss, if they truly work. But, that is taking the easy way out and does not bring health and fitness to anyone. Losing body fat and then keeping it off is not easy, this endeavor must be worked at for it to truly bring benefit to your health and well being. If you can simply just take a pill to lose fat, you are not likely to care a wit about improving your nutrition to keep healthy. Too many people falsely believe that being at a low weight in itself is healthy, when the reality is, low weight means nothing if you are still what we refer to as “skinny fat”. Skinny fat is where your body does not actually look too bad, it is not lumpy from fat deposits, but it is still soft and has little to no definition. Skinny fat is no better than obesity, especially since this condition often brings about a false sense of security when it comes to good health.

With considerable trepidation, I opened the bottle of Vintage Burn when it arrived and began using it as advised. One capsule twice a day for the first few days, and then two capsules twice a day for the remaining product.

I began this test at 180.2 pounds and ended it at 180.2 pounds.

I am 57 years old and still have loose skin on my belly and chest from losing close to 80 pounds a few years back. The loose skin can mask how lean my body is from the front, but not much anywhere else.

Just this week, I had blood labs done as I do twice a year to monitor my health. All my lab readings were excellent except one of my liver enzymes had become slightly elevated.

Was it the Vintage Burn that raised this enzyme?

I cannot say it did, yet I can say it was the only deviation to my nutrition and fitness routine.

What they promise:

Taken from Old School Labs web page.
After Vintage Burn, you can see some bloating.

I did feel better focus during my workouts at first, but felt I built a tolerance to Vintage Burn fairly rapidly. The downside to this would be that many people will either quit using the product, or they will double down on the dosages which could eventually have detrimental effects on their health.

Pictured above is my weekly weights while on Vintage Burn. While the deviation is not anything to get concerned about, there was some weight gain and bloating that came during the use of this product as you can see in my after picture. There was absolutely nothing different about my dietary habits or daily routines during this month long trial except for the addition of Vintage Burn.

Vintage Burn Ingredients

From Old School Labs web page.
  1. Green tea leaf extract. Like green tea, green tea extract is a great source of antioxidants. These have been credited with a range of health benefits, from promoting heart, liver and brain health to improving your skin and even reducing the risk of cancer.
  2. Green coffee bean extract. In 2012, green coffee extract was promoted as a miracle weight loss supplement by American celebrity physician and talk-show host Dr. Oz. Many health experts have since refuted the notion that it has any significant impact on weight. Even so, green coffee extract remains one of the most popular weight loss supplements on the market. Several small studies have treated mice with the extract and found that it reduced total body weight and fat accumulation significantly. However, studies in humans have been far less conclusive.
  3. Raspberry ketones. Raspberry ketone is a chemical from red raspberries that is thought to help with obesity. Some research in animals or in test tubes shows that raspberry ketone might increase metabolism, increase the rate at which the body burns fat, and reduce appetite. But there is no reliable scientific evidence that raspberry ketone improves weight loss in humans.
  4. Olive leaf extract. Olive tree leaves contain oleuropein, which is a polyphenol that may help prevent weight gain. In a 2016 study, researchers orally administered oleuropein to rats with obesity that were consuming a high-cholesterol diet. After 8 weeks, the rats had a lower body weight, less fat tissue, and an improved metabolic profile. Another study from 2014 found that oleuropein supplementation reduced body weight and weight gain in mice that were consuming a high-fat diet. These findings suggest that olive leaf extract containing oleuropein may have the potential to reduce weight gain and lower the risk of obesity. However, further studies are necessary to confirm this possible health benefit in humans.
  5. Caffeine. Caffeine alone won’t help you slim down. It may slightly boost weight-loss efforts or help prevent weight gain, but there’s no solid evidence that caffeine consumption leads to noticeable weight loss.  Be cautious about using caffeine products to help with weight loss. When used in moderation (400 milligrams or less) by healthy adults, caffeine is generally safe. But too much caffeine might cause nervousness, insomnia, nausea, increased blood pressure and other problems.
  6. Bacopa leaf extract. Bacopa is generally safe, but some people may experience nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Pregnant women should avoid this herb, while those on medications should speak with their healthcare provider before taking it. Test-tube and animal studies show that Bacopa may have potent anti-inflammatory properties and suppress pro-inflammatory enzymes and cytokines.
  7. Garcinia fruit extract. Its biggest claim to fame is that extract supplements can help speed up weight loss, reduce appetite, and boost exercise endurance. Garcinia cambogia contains a compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) that may inhibit an enzyme that helps your body store fat. Theoretically, the fat would instead be burned as calories. Allegedly, garcinia cambogia can increase the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a feel-good messenger in your body. This may enhance your mood and reduce stress-related eating. The first rigorous research on the effectiveness of garcinia cambogia was conducted in 1998. The study concluded that it doesn’t perform any better than a placebo when it comes to helping you lose weight.
  8. Chrysin. Athletes are interested in chrysin for bodybuilding because laboratory research suggested that chrysin might increase the male hormone called testosterone and improve bodybuilding results. But research in humans hasn’t found any effect on testosterone levels. The amount of chrysin that is absorbed from the intestine may be very small, which would make treatment effects unlikely.
  9. Forskohlii root extract. Many studies have investigated the effects of forskolin on fat metabolism. Most of them are test-tube experiments or animal studies, so the result may not be applicable to humans. Put simply, forskolin allegedly stimulates the release of stored fat from fat cells. The same thing happens whenever the body needs to use body fat for energy. On its own, the release of stored fat is not enough to promote weight loss – it needs to be accompanied by a calorie deficit. In other words, for weight loss to happen, energy expenditure (calories out) must exceed energy intake (calories in).

Did I just sabotage myself from what could have been a possible great partnership?

Maybe, maybe not.

Do I care?

How about a resounding NO!

While there may not be anything inherently bad about Vintage Burn, there is also nothing inherently good about it. I believe you might derive a placebo effect only from this product. At the end of the day, the trust in my readers to know that I will only provide them the best of information, and maintaining my credibility and integrity are what is most important to me. No, I cannot recommend this product to you, not even when there is a possible financial benefit to myself.

Hormones, Mental Health and Obesity

See that fat guy in the picture above?

Yes, that is me. Yes, I have had my own struggles with weight in the past.

Do I have personal experience with mental health and hormonal issues?

You better believe I have had these issues, and without being diligent to keep them at bay, I could have them again during my life despite the shape I am in now.

Women often assume that men have an easier time taking off weight than they do.

Do we?

I can’t say for sure, men struggle too. I will say from my own personal experience, I believe we gain weight just as easy as the ladies. I’m not so sure we are as different when it comes to weight loss as some might believe, our mental health status can certainly have an effect on us and our body chemistry can get just as out of whack. This, I know from the course of my own life. I also know from my own experience that it all can be turned around once we become fully committed to making changes that must be adhered to for the rest of our lives.

I used to be quite the chow hound when it came to junk food and anything with sugar and simple carbs. One of my favorite snacks would be two packages of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts with a large Starbucks Double Shot Espresso Mocha to wash them down with. I could stop at a convenience store on my way home from work while knowing that there would be dinner ready as soon as I got there. I used to get those hunger pains, those cravings for junk foods that are often referred to as being “hangry” multiple times a day. I could eat a five gallon bucket full of salad and not be satisfied until I had something that was loaded with simple carbs, fat and salt. I have had cravings so bad when stressed, that on more than a few occasions I have found myself sitting on the kitchen floor with a package of Oreo cookies, a can of cake frosting and a knife. I was loading those cookies up with big dollops of that sugary frosting in an attempt to quell the stress that was eating me from the inside, harming my health, and leaving me with a sense of shame for being such an out of control glutton. The cravings were no different than that of a junkie looking for a dope fix. Actually, the craving is almost identical as that of an alcoholic craving their next sip of alcohol.

It is a sickness that is driven by multiple factors that drive us to this point!

In my personal case, it has been driven largely by a major depressive disorder coupled with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. To anyone who may think there is no way I can relate to their obesity, you need to know I can, I understand what is happening with mental health and the hormonal issues that often accompany obesity. I also know that even if you feel as if you have no hope, there can be hope for you, but you will have to commit to a lifetime of healthy habits and never allow yourself to return to those which got you fat in the first place. Case in point, I am severely carb addicted, therefore I know that it is not okay for me to even indulge in a slice of cake and scoop of ice cream at birthday parties because like and alcoholic, I will be binging on more in pretty short order. Want to know how I know that I can eat a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting? It’s because I have consumed an entire half gallon of ice cream in one sitting. I cannot and will not risk ever returning to that life again. It is not just because I do not like how I look when fat, it is because I value and treasure my good health. I do not want to end up prematurely in a nursing home because I can no longer take care of my basic life functions. This thought was cemented into my mind even further over the last year as I cared for my morbidly obese brother in law in my home as he was terminally ill. Towards the end, on several occasions, I had to help the man with getting dressed, caring for his weeping legs from lymphedema, and assisting him with bathing and personal hygiene when he could not do this for himself.

Have you ever tried to help a sick and weakened four hundred pound man off the toilet and helped clean him because he could not do it himself? It is an eye opening experience and can happen to any one of us when we allow ourselves to get to that point. Never, ever think it cannot happen to you. It most certainly can.

Pictured below is my departed brother in law of 34 years, and my best friend. We lost Howard February 23, 2020 and I miss him dearly.  He was a good man, but a large part of his obesity was driven by mental health issues. When he first moved in with us, I began working with him on nutrition and got him down to 364 pounds from 587 pounds. He was on a transplant list for a new liver if we could get his BMI down to under 40. Just as we were making good progress with his weight, and was gaining hope he might have had a chance to live, he began his old habits of eating junk food again while knowing it was going to bring about his demise. I’m pretty sure I have a full and clear understanding that for many people, their obesity is a mental health issue as well as a physical one. I have lived as one with issues too, and then I was a caretaker for one who had severe issues.

Feel Good Hormones and the Brain

Have you ever noticed that when you bite into sugary foods that your mouth seems to come alive and you instantly feel good for a moment? That is because eating prompts the brain to release “feel good” hormones we know as endorphins. The regulation of these naturally occurring opioids, which can produce a sense of pleasure or euphoria, may help the body know when it’s satisfied. On the flip side, overeating associated with the over-stimulation of this system can damn sure contribute to obesity. Face it, we all know it feels good to eat foods full of added sugar and or simple carbs. Have you ever been one to binge on a bowl of Brussels Sprouts? Probably not, they do not contain the added sugar or simple carbs to release your endorphins. While you might enjoy the taste of those little morsels. they will never bring the joy which comes from a slice of cake or a couple of chocolate chip cookies. There is no denying this fact.

There was a Finnish study where the brains of 10 male volunteers  were scanned by positron emission tomography (PET). The participants were instructed to fast overnight and were injected with a radioactive compound, which binds to opioid receptors in the brain. Using the PET scans, the scientists measured the radioactivity in the men’s brains after they broke their fast and ate a pizza. The scans were repeated after the volunteers consumed a less mouth-watering liquid meal that contained the same amount of calories as the pizza. The investigators found that both meals triggered a significant release of endogenous opioids in the brain. However, only the pizza led to a notable increase in pleasant feelings. (1)

Another integral part of the equation with how food affects our mood is Dopamine which is released during pleasurable situations and stimulates one to seek out the pleasurable activities such as eating. Sex, and several drugs of abuse are stimulants of dopamine release in the brain as well as many of the foods we eat! Dopamine is a so-called messenger neurotransmitter that conveys signals between neurons. It not only controls mental and emotional responses but also motor reactions. Dopamine is particularly known as being the “happy hormone.” It is responsible for our experiencing happiness. The downside to all this feeling good is little different from that which comes from doing drugs.  Certain foods, particularly those rich in sugars and fat, are potent rewards that promote eating even when we are not truly hungry and trigger learned associations between a stimulus and conditioning reward. We eat a glazed doughnut, we feel good in the moment. In evolutionary terms, this property of palatable foods used to be advantageous because it ensured that food was eaten when available, enabling energy to be stored in the body as fat for future need in environments where food sources were scarce and or unreliable. However, in modern societies, where food is widely available, this adaptation has become a liability. We are getting fatter than ever as a society. (2)

When we consume an unsound diet of calorie dense, low nutrition foods we throw our body chemistry out of balance. While some of us may have conditions to leave us more prone to being out of balance than others, we can still largely control this through our diets. Our endocrine system is greatly affected by our nutritional habits whether good or bad. Our endocrine systems are a complex network of glands and organs. It uses hormones to control and coordinate your body’s metabolism, energy level, reproduction, growth and development, and response to injury, stress, and mood. While playing a central role in a healthy, functioning human body, the endocrine system unfortunately receives relatively little attention. The system of hormones works by carrying healthy levels of hormones into the circulatory system to be distributed to organs throughout the body. Proper endocrine health begins where all healthy habits do—eat right and exercise! You are never going to keep your hormonal balance in order as long as your habits keep it out of balance. This is a simple truth for everyone, and this is a point of contention I have with weight loss businesses such as Weight Watchers where they tell their clients they can still eat the same crap that got them fat and out of shape in the first place – so long as they track it. This is like telling a drug addict a little hit of heroin once in a while is not going to throw them off the rails in their health initiative. This does not work!

The endocrine system consists of:

  • Pineal gland (modulating sleep)
  • Pituitary gland (Known primarily for affecting growth, but also plays a role in blood pressure, management of energy, metabolism, and some aspects of sexual reproduction)
  • Pancreas (digestion)
  • Ovaries and testes (sexual reproduction)
  • Thyroid/hypothyroid (mood, metabolic rate)

Your skeletal structure, kidneys, liver, and heart are organs with secondary endocrine functions. Accordingly, the entire body is affected by the health—or lack thereof—of this particular system. A healthy diet helps to ensure proper, long-term function.

The list of foods to add and to avoid for proper endocrine health looks a lot like most similar lists—with a few interesting additions or subtractions:

Pineal Gland: Anyone who is an insomniac recently or experiences any unexpected disruption to their schedule can tell you all you’d ever want to know about the effects of disturbances to the sleep cycle. Foods rich in vitamins B5 and B6 will help to regulate the pineal gland, while aiding in the production and distribution of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the all-important circadian rhythms. These foods include: lentil beans, avocados, sweet potatoes, tuna and turkey.

Generally speaking, you’re looking to cereals, fish, grains, and beans in this category.

Pituitary Gland: It’s kind of ironic that such a small gland—approximately the size of a pea—is primarily responsible for regulating growth in living organisms. But this small-but-mighty engine runs primarily on vitamins D and E, which means your basic group of high-protein meats, fish, eggs, and nuts. Manganese is naturally stored in the bones, but the pituitary gland craves the mineral for added function, meaning leafy green vegetables, beans and whole grains can only help the cause.

Pancreas: For proper pancreas function, the list of ‘don’t eat’ foods is much longer than the advisable foods. Olive oil, in particular, is cited as being good for the pancreas, in addition to many of the food groups covered in the pineal and pituitary sections.

The list of foods to avoid is a long one, but not one that requires much thinking. It’s basically populated with every type of food you’d expect to be advised to avoid. Red meats, fried foods, butter, mayonnaise, and pastries all find their ways onto this list.

People with inflammation or conditions affecting the pancreas may benefit in particular from increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Ovaries and Testes: Remember, we’re talking about foods that revitalize health here, not necessarily aphrodisiacs. So you won’t find anything as enjoyable as strawberries and whip cream on this list. But there are some dietary considerations for proper sexual health, which is primarily about proper blood flow.

For males, zinc has received a great deal of positive attention lately—leading to a great deal of discussion around oysters. When seafood isn’t available, zinc is readily available as a supplement. More generally speaking, foods rich in amino acids such as walnuts, almonds and whey proteins are advisable for this category.

Most attention on healthy foods for female reproduction focuses on boosting fertility, which may or may not be a goal at any particular time. In any case, these tips include adding non-animal proteins (nuts and beans rather than chicken and beef), vitamins and supplements, and perhaps surprisingly, high-fat dairy products. You read that right, high-fat dairy products because low-fat dairy products have a link to ovulatory infertility.

Thyroid: Stop me if you’ve heard this one—eat lots of nuts and vegetables. Hey, there’s a reason they’re called “health foods”—they have a positive effect on most, if not all, parts of the body .

Hypothyroidism!

Yes, this condition can cause one to gain a lot of weight. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain crucial hormones. Hypothyroidism may not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages. But, over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease. This is a serious condition that cannot be taken lightly, but you should know that not being able to control your weight does not necessarily mean you have a thyroid problem.

Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
  • Thinning hair
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)

Accurate thyroid function tests are available to diagnose hypothyroidism. Treatment with synthetic thyroid hormone is usually simple, safe and effective once you and your doctor find the right dose for you.

Foods to avoid if you have hypothyroidism:

  1. Foods With Soy, Including Edamame, Tofu, and Miso. There’s long been concern over the potential negative effects that certain compounds in soy — called isoflavones — may have on the thyroid. Some researchers believe that too much soy may increase a person’s risk for hypothyroidism.
  2. Cruciferous Vegetables Like Broccoli and Cauliflower. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, are full of fiber and other nutrients, but they may interfere with the production of thyroid hormone if you have an iodine deficiency. So if you do, it’s a good idea to limit your intake of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and bok choy, because research suggests digesting these vegetables may block the thyroid’s ability to utilize iodine, which is essential for normal thyroid function. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, you would need to consume a significant amount of cruciferous vegetables for it to truly impact iodine uptake.
  3. Gluten, Found in Bread, Pasta, and Rice. Those with hypothyroidism may want to consider minimizing their intake of gluten, a protein found in foods processed from wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. If you do choose to eat gluten, be sure to choose whole-grain varieties of bread, pasta, and rice, which are high in fiber and other nutrients and can help improve bowel irregularity, a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Also be sure to take your hypothyroidism medication several hours before or after eating high-fiber foods, to prevent them from interfering with the absorption of your synthetic thyroid hormone.
  4. Fatty Foods Such as Butter, Meat, and All Things Fried. Fats have been found to disrupt the body’s ability to absorb thyroid hormone replacement medicines.Fats may also interfere with the thyroid’s ability to produce hormone as well. Some healthcare professionals recommend that you cut out all fried foods and reduce your intake of fats from sources such as butter, mayonnaise, margarine, and fatty cuts of meat.
  5. Sugary Foods.Hypothyroidism can cause the body’s metabolism to slow down. That means it’s easy to put on pounds if you aren’t careful. “You want to avoid foods with added sugar because they contain a lot of calories with no nutrients. It’s best to greatly reduce the amount of sugar you eat or try to eliminate it completely from your diet.
  6. Processed Foods in Packages and the Frozen Aisle. Processed foods tend to have a lot of sodium, and people with hypothyroidism should avoid sodium. Having an underactive thyroid increases a person’s risk for high blood pressure, and too much sodium further increases this risk. Read the “Nutrition Facts” label on the packaging of processed foods to find options lowest in sodium. People with an increased risk for high blood pressure should restrict their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day, according to the American Heart Association.
  7. Excess Fiber From Beans, Legumes, and Vegetables. Getting enough fiber is good for you, but too much can complicate your hypothyroidism treatment. The government’s Daily Guidelines for Americans currently recommends that adults up to age 50 should take in 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day. Amounts of dietary fiber from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and legumes that go above that level affect your digestive system and can interfere with absorption of thyroid hormone replacement drugs.
  8. Coffee. According to a study in the journal Thyroid, caffeine has been found to block absorption of thyroid hormone replacement. People who take their thyroid medication with their morning coffee can experience uncontrollable thyroid levels. Only take your medication with water. You should wait at least 30 minutes after taking your medication before having a cup of Joe.
  9. Alcohol. Alcohol consumption can wreak havoc on both thyroid hormone levels in the body and the ability of the thyroid to produce hormone.  Alcohol appears to have a toxic effect on the thyroid gland and suppresses the ability of the body to use thyroid hormone. Ideally, people with hypothyroidism should cut out alcohol completely.

As with many health conditions, some factors are out of your control, including your family history and the environment around you. But diet also plays  quite a prominent role — and since you’re the one in charge of your plate, you can decide which foods you choose to eat.

Choose smart, be well!

 

(1) https://www.WebMD.com

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Understanding Obesity

Back when I was much younger it seemed the reason behind obesity was quite obvious – people ate too much. Now days, it seems with the ever growing epidemic of obesity, many people either do not understand how it is caused, or have just accepted it as a normal part of life and do not even consider doing anything about it. As a result, our cost for health care and the burden placed on the system is growing daily too. By one estimate, the U.S. spent $190 billion on obesity-related health care expenses in 2005-double previous estimates. Just think, that was fifteen years ago. Obesity greatly increases our risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and some cancers, to name just a few. Yet few understand or do not care that their obesity can and will reduce their life span. Treating obesity and obesity-related conditions costs billions of dollars a year, yet far too many do not care to do anything about it. Sadly, obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Over two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and one in three Americans is obese. The prevalence of obesity in children has increased markedly as well. Can we continue to kick this can down the road?

What is obesity?

Depending on what you read, you might find a variety of definitions. In general, overweight and obesity indicate a weight greater than what is healthy. Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount of body fat. Of course we all need a certain amount of body fat for storing energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions. But, this is not a license to believe there is anything healthy about being a body fat hoarder.

What are the health risks associated with obesity?

Forget all the vanity reasons why obesity is not desirable. The concern for obesity needs to go far beyond the cosmetic considerations, it is harmful to one’s health as it is a risk factor for many conditions. In the United States, roughly 112,000 deaths per year are directly related to obesity, and most of these deaths are in patients with a BMI over 30. Patients with a BMI over 40 have a reduced life expectancy. Just think, we have had the entire nation in a panic over the Covid-19 Corona virus because it may kill an equal number of people as obesity actually does each year. Yet no one blinks an eye when it comes to the many problem associated with being fat.It is perfectly acceptable for me to load a grocery cart with sugary sweet treats and unhealthy foods, so long as I am wearing a face mask while doing so…

Obesity increases the risk of developing a number of chronic diseases, including the following:

  • Insulin resistance. The hormone Insulin is required for the transport of blood glucose (sugar) into the cells of muscle and fat (which your body uses for energy). By transporting glucose into cells, insulin keeps the blood glucose levels in the normal range. But, you cannot keep hammering the pancreas for more by eating large carbohydrate meals and snacks before you develop Insulin resistance (IR) which is the condition where your body now has a diminished effectiveness of your insulin transporting glucose into your cells. Fat cells are more insulin resistant than muscle cells; therefore, one important cause of insulin resistance is obesity. The pancreas initially responds to insulin resistance by producing more insulin. As long as the pancreas can produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance, blood glucose levels remain normal. This insulin resistance state (characterized by normal blood glucose levels and high insulin levels) can last for years. Once the pancreas can no longer keep up with producing high levels of insulin, blood glucose levels begin to rise, resulting in type 2 diabetes, thus insulin resistance is a pre-diabetes condition. A couple good analogies for how too many carbohydrates affect your pancreas is to think about how many cigarettes can one smoke before they have developed COPD and can no longer breath. How much alcohol can one consume before they have trashed their liver with cirrhosis? Just the same, the damage to your pancreas is most often also self inflicted!
  • Type 2 diabetes. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with the degree and duration of obesity. Type 2 diabetes is associated with central obesity; a person with central obesity has excess fat around their waist. Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that often requires the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. However, the development of type 2 diabetes and its complications can be prevented if detected and treated at an early stage. In recent years, it has been discovered that many people with type 2 diabetes are actually able to reverse their diabetes through methods including low-carb diets, medically supervised very-low-calorie diets and exercise. Yet, you will find a great many who will go on about their nutritional habits as they always have, the habits that lead them to having type 2 diabetes in the first place. Seriously, I find this to be utterly stupid when one does not even attempt to manage their disease through a change of lifestyle. It is pure selfishness when one with type 2 diabetes does nothing about making a positive change for the better – these types will eventually become a burden for their loved ones when they have to become caretakers or to plan a funeral and disposition of an estate.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is common among obese adults. Ladies, you need to know that weight gain also tends to increase blood pressure in women more significantly than in men.
  • High Cholesterol.
  • Stroke risk rises with obesity.
  • Heart attack. A prospective study found that the risk of developing coronary artery disease increased three to four times in women who had a BMI greater than 29. A Finnish study showed that for every 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) increase in body weight, the risk of death from coronary artery disease increased by 1%.  In patients who have already had a heart attack, obesity is associated with an increased likelihood of a second heart attack. Think about the implications for one who is 50 to 100 plus pounds over weight.
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cancer. Obesity is a risk factor for cancer of the colon in men and women, cancer of the rectum and prostate in men, and cancer of the gallbladder and uterus in women. Obesity may also be associated with breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women. Fat tissue is important in the production of estrogen, and prolonged exposure to high levels of estrogen increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Gallstones
  • Gout and gouty arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) of the knees, hips, and the lower back
  • Sleep apnea

9 Most common causes of obesity

The balance between calorie intake and energy expenditure determines a person’s weight. If a person eats more calories than he or she burns (metabolizes), the person gains weight (the body will store the excess energy as fat). If a person eats fewer calories than he or she metabolizes, he or she will lose weight. Therefore, the most common causes of obesity are overeating and physical inactivity. However, we do recognize that body weight can also be a result of genetics, metabolism, environment, and culture.

  • Physical inactivity. It is not rocket science that lazy, sedentary people burn fewer calories than people who are physically active. This is a truth for both men and women.
  • Overeating. Overeating leads to weight gain, especially if the diet is high in simple carbs and bad fats. Foods high in sugar and  bad fats such as fast foods, fried food, and sweets) have high energy density (foods that have a lot of calories in a small amount of food). With these poor food choices you can easily consume your daily needs of calories in just one sitting.
  • Genetics. A person is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese. Genetics also affect hormones involved in fat regulation. For example, one genetic cause of obesity is leptin deficiency. Leptin is a hormone produced in fat cells and in the placenta. Leptin controls weight by signaling the brain to eat less when body fat stores are too high. If, for some reason, the body cannot produce enough leptin or leptin cannot signal the brain to eat less, this control is lost, and obesity occurs. The role of leptin replacement as a treatment for obesity is under exploration. However, you cannot just assume you are leptin deficient when you are quite possibly just carb addicted. Your parents and everyone in your family might actually be carb addicted instead of being leptin deficient.
  •  A diet high in simple carbohydrates. The role of simple carbohydrates in weight gain is quite clear. Carbohydrates increase blood glucose levels, which in turn stimulate insulin release by the pancreas, and insulin promotes the growth of fat tissue and can cause weight gain. Simple carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, desserts, soft drinks, beer, wine, etc.) contribute to weight gain because they are more rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream than complex carbohydrates (pasta, brown rice, grains, vegetables, raw fruits, etc.) and thus cause a more pronounced insulin release after meals than complex carbohydrates. This higher insulin release contributes to weight gain. Weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers who tell their carb addicted patrons they can continue to eat simple carbs know this, these people are an easy source for a perpetual income stream. By telling their carb addicted patrons they can still eat sugary foods as long as they track it is no different than if Alcoholics Anonymous told their members they could still have the occasional drink.
  • Frequency of eating. The relationship between frequency of eating (how often you eat) and weight is somewhat controversial. There are many reports of overweight people eating less often than people with normal weight. Scientists have observed that people who eat small meals four or five times daily, have lower cholesterol levels and lower and/or more stable blood sugar levels than people who eat less frequently (two or three large meals daily). One possible explanation is that small frequent meals produce stable insulin levels, whereas large meals cause large spikes of insulin after meals. One huge problem that cannot be ignored is those who eat less frequently are also more prone to eat excessively when they do. Binge eating is a common issue with the obese.
  • Medications. Medications associated with weight gain include certain antidepressants, anticonvulsants used in controlling seizures such as Tegretol, Tegretol XR , Equetro, Carbatrol, Depacon, and Depakene. Other medications such as for  diabetes used for lowering blood sugar such as insulin, sulfonylureas, and thiazolidinediones along with certain hormones such as oral contraceptives, and most corticosteroids such as prednisone can cause weight gain. Weight gain can also come from some high blood pressure medications and antihistamines. The cause of weight gain from medications are multiple and differ for each medication. If this is a concern for you, you should discuss your medications with your physician rather than discontinuing the medication, as this could have serious effects. You may have little control over the effect of medicines on your body, but you do have control over what you put in your mouth. If you are on medicines that might cause weight gain, it is paramount that you remain disciplined with your dietary habits.
  • Psychological factors. For some people, emotions influence eating habits. Many people eat excessively in response to emotions such as boredom, sadness, stress, or anger. While most overweight people have no more psychological disturbances than normal weight people, about 30% of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating.
  • Diseases such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Cushing’s syndrome are also contributors to obesity. Some diseases, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, can lead to obesity.
  • Social issues: There is a link between social issues and obesity. Lack of money to purchase healthy foods or lack of safe places to walk or exercise can increase the risk of obesity.

Childhood obesity.

A person’s weight during childhood, the teenage years, and early adulthood can and will influence the development of adult obesity. With each passing year we see more and more children with weight issues and the ailments associated with them. Therefore, decreasing the prevalence of childhood obesity is one of the areas Brenda Sue and I try to focus on in the fight against obesity. For example,

  • being mildly overweight in the early 20’s was linked to a substantial incidence of obesity by age 35.
  • being overweight during older childhood is highly predictive of adult obesity, especially if a parent is also obese.
  • being overweight during the teenage years is even a greater predictor of adult obesity.

While we obviously want to give our children and grandchildren the best lives we can, pampering them with poor nutritional choices and not encouraging them to be physically active only serves to hurt them in the long term while we make them only feel a little better in the very short term.

As a society and a culture, we must do better by our children.

Their future health depends on us to do them right, not what is comfortable in the moment..

Obesity and Insulin

We are often asked the question by people professing to want to lose weight how they can best go about it. It seems at times, that most are looking for some type of hack, or gimmick, which comes as no surprise when it appears that weight loss hacks and gimmicks are more prevalent than legitimate weight loss plans.

Hacks and gimmicks may work in the short term, but they will always lead you to failure in maintaining weight loss. They fail you because they are not nutritionally sound. They fail you exactly because hacks and gimmicks are for the short term fix, when what you need is a life long solution! There are no short cuts to having a fit and trim body with a healthy percentage of body fat. Nutritional habits need to be a permanent lifestyle, and not something you just want to get through. It is a sad state of affairs when so many people either do not care what is making them fat, or simply just do not know the cause of their obesity. I blame this largely on our education system where nutrition and health are not subjects taught as they used to be when I was in school. This ignorance of basic nutrition is causing a significant rise not only in obesity, but Type 2 Diabetes too. Sadly, we now have children with Type 2 Diabetes when it used to be that you only heard of adults getting it.  More and more people are developing type 2 diabetes during youth. This trend is growing across all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

34.2 million Americans—just over 1 in 10—have diabetes.

88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have prediabetes.

Nearly 20 percent of children and adolescents are obese, a percentage than has more than tripled since the 1970’s. The recent rise in type 2 diabetes is directly related to the rise in obesity rates in the United States.

Our message is SIMPLE!

Quit eating refined sugar, foods with added sugars, and simple carbohydrates except for fruit.  Cut out processed foods as much as you can, and when you cannot avoid a processed food, be sure to make choices that do not have added sugars, unhealthy fats and preservatives. By doing this and only eating whole foods that are nutritionally dense, you will manage to lose weight down to a healthy level of body fat as long as you are not consuming in excess of your daily needs in calories.

The main obstacle we encounter when telling people to quit eating sugar and simple carbs is society’s ignorance of sugar’s effects and their tendency to ignore what it is they do not want to hear. It is not rare that a person who is obese will also be addicted to sugar and simple carbohydrates. They do not want to hear they need to give up that which is making them fat. The addiction to sugar is really no different than the alcoholics addiction to alcohol. Putting it bluntly, if you are not in the frame of mind to give up sugar in order to improve your weight and health, a half hearted effort at weight loss will only result in failure, more obesity, and at some point a poor nutrition related ailment such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome to name a few.

Insulin

Insulin is created and secreted by the pancreas which stores about 200 units of the hormone. People of a healthy weight and good dietary habits will secrete about 25 to 30 units of insulin per day. You might think of insulin as being like a broom, as it sweeps glucose, amino acids and free fatty acids into cells where they are stored as fat and glucose to be used later.

For those at a healthy body fat percentage, blood sugar levels  do not vary much because of the harmonious and compensating actions of insulin and glucagon which is also created by the pancreas. Insulin keeps blood sugar from rising too high, while glucagon prevents blood sugar from falling too low. A healthy and nutritious diet keeps these hormones in harmony with each other. Humans can actually survive without glucagon, but must have insulin on order to survive. For the diabetic, what they need to know and understand is insulin given by injections is not nearly as efficient as the pancreas in supplying a steady stream of insulin for your body’s needs. When you become obese, you stand the risk of becoming insulin deficient or your body becomes insulin resistant. Either way, you are jeopardizing your health and well being. I want to emphasize,

“YOU ARE JEOPARDIZING YOUR HEALTH”.

No one is doing it to you!

After you have consumed carbohydrates, your digestive system breaks down the food. The blood in your intestines will absorb the digested food and as a result your blood sugar will rise. This action stimulates the release of insulin from you pancreas which causes glucose to be stored as fat. Once the blood sugar, or glucose has dropped too low, glucagon is secreted which converts the stored fat into glucose and restores your blood sugar to a normal level. When these two hormones get out of balance, people tend to become obese. Obesity causes increased insulin production as a result of excessive stimulation of the pancreas through over eating. Over eating most often occurs through an over consumption of sugar and simple carbs which only serve to make foods calorie dense and low in nutrition.

Increased insulin levels promote the storage of sugar as glycogen in both the liver and muscle. After proteins and fats are ingested, insulin promotes the storage of protein in muscle and fat in fat cells as triglycerides. Because insulin also prevents the breakdown of glycogen and triglycerides, it becomes almost impossible to lose body fat when your insulin levels are elevated.

Insulin also activates the enzyme, lipoprotein lipase that promotes the removal of triglycerides from the bloodstream and their position in fat cells. Insulin also inhibits hormone sensitive lipase that breaks down stored fats. The net result of these two activities is an increase in stored fat that results in your increased weight and obesity. Insulin is a major hindrance to fat breakdown and is a major facilitator of fat storage. When you are munching away on those cupcakes with icing piled sky high, you are causing your pancreas to pump excessive amounts of insulin. Over time, you may quit producing insulin, or you may become insulin resistant which is a condition where your body has a decreased response to insulin and your fat cells, liver cells, and muscle cells are now insensitive to the circulating insulin in your system.

Obesity is the most common cause of insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. Whether you want to admit it or not, the power is in your control to not be afflicted with either condition. Yet many refuse to give up their sweet treats in exchange for good health. Obese people without diabetes usually have elevated insulin levels with normal blood sugar levels. However, the obese person with high insulin levels may be well on their way to becoming diabetic. What occurs is their pancreas becomes exhausted from constant stimulation by glucose and will eventually fail which results in diabetes. Obese individuals will also often have elevated insulin levels in both the fasting and fed states. These people will also often have elevated lipoprotein lipase levels which is important in the storage of fat. The result of which is the obese individuals are metabolically ready at all times to store fat from everything they consume. It is not rocket science why an obese individual with an elevated insulin level can not lose weight. But, there is something that can be done about this through first making the personal choice to stand with a strong resolve to do so.

What can be done?

  1.  Get more sleep. A good night’s sleep is important for your health. Several studies have also linked poor sleep to reduced insulin sensitivity. For example, one study in nine healthy volunteers found that getting just four hours of sleep in one night reduced insulin sensitivity and the ability to regulate blood sugar, compared to getting eight and a half hours of sleep.
  2. Exercise more. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to increase insulin sensitivity. It helps move sugar into the muscles for storage and promotes an immediate increase in insulin sensitivity, which lasts 2–48 hours, depending on the exercise. A study of overweight men with and without diabetes found that when participants performed resistance training over a three-month period, their insulin sensitivity increased, independent of other factors like weight loss.
  3. Reduce stress. Stress affects your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. It encourages the body to go into “fight-or-flight” mode, which stimulates the production of stress hormones like cortisol and glucagon. These hormones break down glycogen into glucose, which enters your bloodstream for your body to use as a quick source of energy. Unfortunately, ongoing stress keeps your stress hormone levels high, stimulating nutrient breakdown while increasing blood sugar. Stress hormones make the body more insulin resistant.
  4. Lose weight. Excess weight, especially in the belly area, reduces insulin sensitivity and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes who lost 5–7% of their total weight over six months reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by 54% for the next three years.
  5. Eat more fiber. Fiber can be divided into two broad categories — soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber mostly acts as a bulking agent to help stool move through the bowels. Meanwhile, soluble fiber is responsible for many of fiber’s associated benefits, like lowering cholesterol and reducing appetite. Several studies have found a link between high soluble fiber intake and increased insulin sensitivity. For example, a study in 264 women found that those who ate more soluble fiber had significantly lower levels of insulin resistance. Soluble fiber also helps feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, which have been linked to increased insulin sensitivity. Foods that are rich in soluble fiber include legumes, oatmeal, flax seeds, vegetables like Brussels sprouts and fruits like oranges.
  6. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in plant compounds that help increase insulin sensitivity. But be careful not to eat too much fruit in a single sitting, as some types are high in sugar.
  7. Watch your intake of carbohydrates. Carbs are the main stimulus that causes insulin blood levels to rise. Reducing your carb intake will help increase insulin sensitivity. That’s because high-carb diets tend to lead to spikes in blood sugar, which put more pressure on the pancreas to remove sugar from the blood. Spreading your carb intake evenly throughout the day is another way to increase insulin sensitivity. Eating smaller portions of carbs regularly throughout the day provides the body with less sugar at each meal, making insulin’s job easier. This is also supported with research showing that eating regularly benefits insulin sensitivity. The type of carbs you choose is also important. Low-glycemic index (GI) carbs are best, since they slow the release of sugar into the blood, giving insulin more time to work efficiently. Carb sources that are low-GI include sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa and some varieties of oatmeal.
  8. Quit eating sugar and or foods with added sugars! There’s a big difference between added sugars and natural sugars. Natural sugars are found in sources like plants and vegetables, both of which provide lots of other nutrients. Conversely, added sugars are found in more highly processed foods. The two main types of sugar added during the production process are high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar, also known as sucrose. Both contain approximately 50% fructose. Many studies have found that higher intakes of fructose can increase insulin resistance among people with diabetes. The effects of fructose on insulin resistance also appear to affect people who don’t have diabetes, as reported in an analysis of 29 studies including a total of 1,005 normal and overweight or obese participants. The findings showed that consuming a lot of fructose over less than 60 days increased liver insulin resistance, independent of total calorie intake. Foods that contain lots of added sugar are also high in fructose. This includes candy, sugar-sweetened beverages, cakes, cookies and pastries.

Obesity and insulin levels are within your control if you make the choice to do something about both. We know that insulin is an important hormone that has many roles in the body, and that when your insulin sensitivity is low, it puts pressure on your pancreas to increase insulin production to clear sugar from your blood. Low insulin sensitivity will result in chronically high blood sugar levels, which are known to increase your risk of many diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to naturally increase your insulin sensitivity.

You just have to decide which is more important, a cupcake or your health and well being.

Choose wisely!