Missing The Forest For The Trees On High Fructose Corn Syrup

There’s been a lot of hate going around in the media for high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and fructose. Some “nutritionists” may even tell you to cut back on fruit because fructose is so dangerous. But is this all true?

What We Know

hfcs obesity

We know in studies of mice, feeding them diets upwards of 40-50% of their diet from HFCS leads to development of cancer, obesity, and other side effects.  We can also see a graph (right) of  obesity rising significantly in the 30+ years after HFCS was introduced to the food supply in the 1970’s. Meanwhile other studies are finding there are no significant negative effects attributed to HFCS. Continue reading Missing The Forest For The Trees On High Fructose Corn Syrup

Is Protein As Deadly As Smoking?

Obviously not, although some news outlets thought so recently…

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 10.01.03 PMFrom TMZ: “High protein diets ‘nearly as bad as smoking'”

From LiveScience: “High protein diets raise cancer risk as much as smoking”

From the LA Times: “High protein diets: bad in middle age, good for the elderly”

Let me start out by saying that I’m not going to tell you to eat less animal protein. But I saw this headline earlier and felt like having a rant.  Continue reading Is Protein As Deadly As Smoking?

The Great Label Lie – All Natural

IMG_0757In response to our collective interest in eating healthier, food companies have started trying to make healthier products. Well, sort of. They are trying to make products that LOOK and FEEL healthier, though they may not be. Hence the emergence of things like veggie chips and other “natural products”. (As a side note, my biggest pet peeve these days is a bag of veggie chips proudly bragging “1 serving of vegetables in each portion”. Um, NO because fried potato and corn with some salt is not a serving of vegetables! But I digress).

What does the natural label mean? Continue reading The Great Label Lie – All Natural

Kale And The Thyroid

5905454471_7e0ce0ef97_nKale is, and has been, the new “it” vegetable for a while now. I think it was also the “it” vegetable a few decades ago, then went away and came back. Anyone who wore bell bottoms in the 90’s thinking it was so new, only to see pictures of mom rocking the same thing in the 70’s knows that sometimes happens.

But now, we have a few articles – like this one on “The Dark Side Of Kale” – discussing the potential for kale and other cruciferous vegetables – including broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and brussels sprouts –  to cause problems with our thyroid. Here’s the gist of the article: Continue reading Kale And The Thyroid

Should You Try Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) has emerged as one of the many trendy diet options these days. Basically, “intermittent fasting” is the practice of periodically alternating between fasting – drinking just water and perhaps low calorie drinks like coffee – and non-fasting, i.e. eating normally.

Fasting Plans 

IF comes in a variety of plans and structures. The most popular of these are:

Empty Dishes

Periodic Fasting – eat normally for 5 days of the week. For 2 non-consecutive days, reduce calorie intake, usually to 500-600 calories. You can spread out the calories into smaller snacks or eat one meal after 24 hours of fasting (so, say you started at 7 pm the night before, you could eat 500-600 calories at 7 pm the next day).

Restricted Eating Period – eat normally, but only for a set window during the day. Most people using this plan eat during an 8 hour window starting around 10 am – 12 pm and lasting until 6 – 8 pm. This essentially equates to skipping breakfast and making lunch your first meal. Continue reading Should You Try Fasting?

Pros and Cons of Protein Powders

ProteinPowderProtein powders were once the stuff of pro athletes and ultra meatheads, but have gone mainstream over the past 10 or so years. I first tried it when I was 15. When I told a personal trainer I’d been seeing with my mom that my goal was to get a 6-pack, he recommended I take 2 scoops of muscle milk powder 1-2 times per day. So mom and I dutifully trekked down to GNC and bought the vanilla flavor. And it was AWFUL. I don’t think I took the recommended dose even once, and I certainly never got said 6 pack. I couldn’t get it to dissolve in anything – not water, not milk, not a smoothie. Only now, looking back with educated eyes, do I see how completely ridiculous it was for this bro to tell a 15 year old athlete to take a mostly unregulated supplement! The industry has gotten much better since then in terms of taste and palatability, but it is still mostly unregulated and athletes should pay attention to ingredients and types of protein.

There are many types of protein powder, but the most common are milk proteins, soy, and egg. Continue reading Pros and Cons of Protein Powders

Coconut – Magic Healer or Major Hype?

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Once shunned due to its high saturated fat content, coconut has been regaining favor recently. There was a New York Times article on coconut oil last year, and it has been embraced by vegans and followers of the Paleolithic (caveman) diet alike. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut fruit and its variety of products can heal or prevent a slew of medical conditions. So can coconut really be this awesome super food or is it all hype? Continue reading Coconut – Magic Healer or Major Hype?