Category Archives: Nutrition

The Healthy Effects of Red Wine

 Over the past ten years there have been numerous studies on the healthy effects of red wine, which we’ve heard snipets about on the news or read about in the paper.  My clients sometimes ask me about it, so I’ve looked into it.  My own research has determined that there are three particular types of wine that produce those positive benefits.  They are:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir, in that order.   The benefits include:  reducing ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, increasing ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and reducing harmful blood clots.  All are obviously good for your cardiovascular system. 

The studies identified specific amounts too.  For women it’s one 4 ounce glass per day, and for men it’s one or two 4 ounce glasses per day.  The studies also point out that this applies to ‘otherwise healthy individuals’.  Which means that if you already have cardiovascular disease, or any other disease including alcoholism, you should not assume that you will reap the same benefits and should speak with your treating physician about it.

Researchers have also found that the antioxidant in red wine inhibits tumor development in some cancers and aided in nerve cell formation, which can be helpful in treating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Most recent studies, identified one more area: liver disease.

Researchers determined that one glass of red wine a day may reduce the the odds of a liver disease known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by 50%.  This is a relatively new development, so we may be hearing much more about it in the future.

 

What should I buy at the grocery store?

This is a question I get a lot, so here is the grocery list I put together.  You can copy and paste it to your hard drive and print it to take with you when you shop.  There are some basic rules, which I bulleted at the end of the second page.  For the most part, you need to avoid certain isles in the store.  It’s best to just shop the perimeter isles, except for the health food isles.  Also, when you need canned, dry or bottled items, check the ingredients for sugar and partially hydrogenated oils and do not buy them if it’s listed.

GROCERY LIST

APPLES
ORANGES
PEACHES
CHERRIES
CRANBERRIES
PLUMS/NECTARINES
MANGOS
PINEAPPLE
BANANAS
FIGS
LEMONS/LIMES
BLUEBERRIES, BLACKBERRIES (FROZEN OKAY TOO)
FRUIT SORBET (NO SUGAR ADDED)
NON FAT/LOW FAT FROZEN YOGURT

PLAIN COLE SLAW (PRE-MADE IN BAG)
ROMAINE LETTUCE
CELERY
CARROTS
SWEET POTATOES
SQUASH
MUSHROOMS
GREEN PEPPERS/RED PEPPERS/YELLOW PEPPERS
EGGPLANT
TOMATOES
FRESH OR FROZEN GREEN VEGETABLES: BROCCOLI, BRUSSEL SPROUTS, GREEN BEANS, SPINACH, ETC
GARLIC
ONIONS

OLIVES
ARTICHOKE HEARTS
BLACK BEANS
SUN DRIED TOMATOES (NO OIL)
TOMATO SAUCE (NO SUGAR IN INGREDIENTS)
LENTILS
WHITE BEANS

GREEN TEA BAGS
BOTTLED WATER

TUNA FISH PACKED IN SPRING WATER

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
NEWMAN’S OWN OIL & VINEGAR DRESSING
BALSAMIC VINEGAR
HONEY
MUSTARD
COCKTAIL SAUCE
PICKLES

NEWMAN’S OWN LOW FAT FIG NEWMANS
RAW ALMONDS
WALNUTS
HAZELNUTS
RAISINS

EGGS OR JUST EGG WHITES IF YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT CHOLESTEROL
LOWFAT COTTAGE CHEESE
LOWFAT/NON FAT YOGURT
PART SKIM RICOTTA CHEESE
FETA CHEESE (LOW FAT)
HARD WHITE CHEESE
SKIM MILK
ORANGE OR GRAPEFRUIT JUICE (100% JUICE MUST BE ON THE LABEL)
LOW FAT SOUR CREAM

TOMATO & VEGGIE ONLY SALSA (CHECK LABEL FOR SUGAR AND OTHER JUNK)
TORTILLA CHIPS (PLAIN FROM THE HEALTH FOOD ISLE)
RELISH OF ANY SORT IF NO SUGAR LISTED ON LABEL

WHOLE GRAIN PITA BREAD
WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

CHICKEN BREASTS
BUFFALO FOR RED MEAT
SHRIMP (FRESH OR FROZEN)
SCALLOPS
ANY FISH FRESH OR FROZEN

BROWN RICE
STEEL CUT OATMEAL
WHOLE GRAIN CEREALS (KASHI IS A GOOD BRAND)

ANY SEASONING/CONDIMENT/SPICE THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE SUGAR OR PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OIL ON THE LABEL

OTHER NOTES:
• CHECK LABELS CAREFULLY FOR HIDDEN SATURATED FAT, ESPECIALLY PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OIL OR ANY KIND AND SUGAR. 
• THE FEWER THE INGREDIENTS LISTED ON THE LABEL, THE BETTER
• SHOP AT THE HEALTH FOOD STORES WHEN YOU CAN
• SHOP IN THE HEALTH FOOD ISLES OF YOUR GROCER FOR AS MANY ITEMS AS AVAILABLE
• STAY AWAY FROM THE JUNK FOOD, SODA AND COOKIE ISLES COMPLETELY
• SHOP THE PERIMETER OF THE STORE EXCEPT FOR THE NATURAL FOOD ISLES AND CANNED AND BOTTLED ITEMS

Burn Those Calories

I recently read a study which determined that just tapping your foot while sitting will burn more calories than just sitting.  In fact, a completely sedentary person burns between 800 and 1,500 calories per day, creating the energy for the daily functions of all the cells in the body. This is called our basal metabolic rate, or BMR.  Researchers also found that exercise burns calories not just while you are doing the workout, but also in the hours following the exercise.  You use energy and burn calories to bring your body back to its normal resting state.  

So that’s the good news, you burn calories when you’re not exercising and you burn calories after your exercise session is over, but, you burn the most calories while you are actually exercising. 

Researchers found that the two most important contributors to burning calories during exercise are the contracting muscles and the increased work of the heart and lungs. The frequency and power of muscle contractions are by far the major factors in determining the number of calories burned during exercise.  Faster heart rate and breathing also burn calories, but not nearly as much as movement of legs, arms, abdominal and back muscles.  In fact, moving the biggest muscles in your body – your back, legs and abs – burn the most calories.

Over time, your metabolism changes as you convert your flabby muscles into firmer and leaner muscle mass.   The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate, the higher your BMR the more calories you burn even when you’re NOT working out.

It takes resistance or strength training to get this calorie burning benefit from exercise.  However, cardio exercise will not only burn calories it will strengthen your heart muscle, the best way to avoid a heart attack.  A good exercise regimen includes both resistance training and cardio training.
You can determine how many calories you should take in on a daily basis with the following formula:

 Activity Level                           Calories per Pound 
Very light (sedentary)                14

Light (if you walk)                     15 – 17

Moderate (if you jog)                17 – 19

Heavy (if you’re a gym rat)       20 – 23
Use your “ideal” body weight, the weight you want to be, not the weight you are.

 Example:
120lb X 18 (Moderate) = 2160 calories per day are needed to maintain 120 pounds of body weight daily
But choose those 2000+ calories wisely – keep this in mind:

Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram

Protein = 4 calories per gram

Fat = 9 calories per gram