Integrative Health Blog

Are Calories Important?

Posted by on Tue, Jun 09, 2015

 

Calories in, calories out. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie....

As long as you expend the same amount of calories that you take in then you can be healthy, not gain weight and feel good, right?

This has been taught - and still is being taught - by health professionals around the country and the world.

But is it sound advice?

Read More

Tags: carbohydrates, healthy fats, holistic nutrition

My Big Fat Experiment: Fat Makes You Fat, Right?

Posted by on Wed, May 27, 2015

Is it really possible to grow a 6 pack of abs and still eat butter? I had to find out.  

November 2013: I sat in my NYC hotel room looking into the mirror. I felt swollen in my jeans as my muffin-top was puffing out of them. It was actually difficult to zip them but I squeezed in anyway. It was time to start getting ready for a formal, black tie event. I was not feeling pretty. In my head I thought, "So I guess this is 45"...argh.
Early February, while hosting doctor day at the Raw Living Expo, in Los Angeles, I met a handful of physicians that looked amazing in their 50's and 60's. Re-inspired, I returned home with a new commitment to hit the gym for 3 full hours every single day. I was faithful to this for 3 months. Guess what? I got bigger, not better. I started to get some joint and back injuries too, due to my lack of recovery and over-exercising. I had to start seeing a chiropractor and I was now taking anti-inflammatory supplements such as MSM and bromelian. So that was lousy. I was no better off than before this experiment and had wasted a lot of time.
Plan #2: Abandon plan #1 and start incorporating healthy fats, including raw grass fed butter and ghee. Start Intermittent Fasting regularly and cut back on my exercise. I was skeptical of this plan, but kept going. My only regret is not taking photos of my puffy belly in the hotel room that night, because the results are difficult to believe.

Read More

Tags: carbohydrates, healthy fats, holistic nutrition

My Breakfast Experiment

Posted by on Fri, Apr 17, 2015

What do you eat for breakfast? Most of us have grown up thinking that cereal and orange juice is a good way to start the day. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Cereal may start out with real food from nature like wheat or corn or rice (probably all genetically modified) but by the time it’s refined and added to and heated some more, it becomes a processed food with all that that implies. Not to mention that most breakfast cereals are loaded with carbohydrates - especially oatmeal!

Read More

Tags: carbohydrates, holistic nutrition

Sugar, Carbs and the New Dietary Guidelines

Posted by on Mon, Feb 23, 2015

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

Every 5 years the U.S. government revises our national dietary guidelines. This past week the nutrition advisory panel that helps to formulate those guidelines came out with new recommendations. Among them was their new sugar consumption guideline. They now advocate consuming no more than 12 added teaspoons of sugar/day, or roughly 10% of the diet due to the link between sugar, obesity and chronic disease like heart disease. While this recommendation is certainly a step in the right direction, the American Heart Association has a tighter restriction, and advises no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar/day for women and no more than 9 added teaspoons of sugar/day for men.

Read the full article here:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/nutrition-panel-calls-for-less-sugar-and-eases-cholesterol-and-fat-restrictions/

How Much Sugar Are You Consuming? 

Processed foods generally contain high levels of sugar and it’s estimated that Americans, due to high consumption of processed foods, consume in excess of 22 teaspoons of sugar per day!

Real food is always the winner over processed food when it comes to nutrient value and density. 

Among all the “real” food choices though, there are things to consider when planning your next breakfast, lunch or dinner fare such as:

-   Which foods will give me the most energy?

-   Will I be hungry in an hour if I choose to eat this now?

-   Is this really enough food for lunch? (always the culprit when dieting!)

-   Do I see carbohydrates, protein AND good fats on my plate?

Read More

Tags: carbohydrates, sugar

Cut the Carbs and Lose the Weight

Posted by on Tue, Dec 30, 2014

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

Have you been enjoying the hustle and bustle, the parties and leisure time spent eating and drinking with family and friends this holiday season?

Are you ready to start the new year with healthy habits as your main focus?

Many people tell me that the extra weight they carry around is their main concern - they want to look better and feel better.

As a nurse and a health coach I understand that what’s at stake isn’t just how our reflection looks in the mirror, it’s how our future health will be 5 or 10 years down the line. The connection between the foods we eat and the health we get to enjoy is very real.

Every time that we eat or drink something it affects our internal biology for better or for worse. During the holidays we get our fill of sweets, Xmas cookies, cakes, breads, chocolates, alcohol, cheese, crackers, candies, you name it!

We can all guess that none of the above named foods is affecting our internal biology for the better!

The quicker we can refocus our attention towards healthy habits, the faster the pounds will melt away!

Good health always starts with good nutrition.

A low carbohydrate, moderate protein, high healthy fat lifestyle is my approach. Carbohydrates come in many forms from processed foods like chips and cookies to real foods like salads, fruits and vegetables. Understanding the effect that carbs have in the body is crucial to navigating the way towards better health. In a nutshell, excess carbs create inflammation in the body and that paves the way for chronic diseases to develop, like Type II diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

I’ve written in previous blogs about the effects of excess carbohydrates and insulin response in the body - http://info.nihadc.com/integrative-health-blog/bid/73043/Diabetes-Awareness-The-Truth-About-Carbohydrates

Read More

Tags: carbohydrates, weight loss, pre-diabetes, blood sugar

Diabetes Awareness: The Truth About Carbohydrates

Posted by on Tue, Nov 11, 2014

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

I have long been talking about pre-diabetes and Type II diabetes as conditions that we DO have control over. The foods that we choose to eat and our lifestyle choices are of paramount importance.

November has been designated as National Diabetes Awareness month.

Personal awareness has to be the starting point to turn the tide of this chronic disease. So what can you do to prevent or slow the progression of diabetes?

It’s all about the carbs!

Carbohydrates raise blood sugar and insulin levels. When a large part of the diet is made up of carbohydrates, insulin levels remain high throughout the day. Eventually, even though there is plenty of insulin in the bloodstream,  the body stops responding to it- creating insulin resistance- and body fat increases and insulin can no longer do it’s job of escorting sugar out of the blood and in to the cells for energy. Blood tests then reveal high blood sugar and a diagnosis of pre -diabetes or Type II diabetes is made.

All carbs get broken down in to sugar. Period. What’s important is whether or not that carbohydrate has fiber. Fiber slows down the absorption of sugar and that’s a good thing because it lessens the amount of insulin needed to remove the sugar from the blood. The goal is always to reduce the amount of insulin needed to get the job done and that happens when we eat foods that are low in carbohydrates.

Read More

Tags: carbohydrates, weight loss, diabetes, pre-diabetes

Have You Heard the News Today?

Posted by on Wed, Sep 03, 2014

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

Some GREAT news just came out in the medical and scientific community, which has been widely reported by many mainstream publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine and NPR.

Low Carb V. Low Fat Diet          

A new randomized controlled clinical study was published in the Sept. 2 issue of the

Annals of Internal Medicine looking at the effects of a low carb vs. a low fat diet.

I have copied the results here:

Conclusion: The low-carbohydrate diet was more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction than the low-fat diet. Restricting carbohydrate may be an option for persons seeking to lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.

Primary Funding Source: National Institutes of Health.

After decades of “low fat” and “no fat” foods which never made anybody feel satisfied, and didn’t do much to lower the incidence of heart disease in the United States, this news is welcome indeed!

Read More

Tags: carbohydrates

Is Low Carb for Everyone?

Posted by on Mon, Aug 04, 2014

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

Buzzwords change over the years, don’t they?

In the 80’s it was “low fat” and “no fat” and 6 servings of carbs per day!!

But today the buzzword in nutrition seems to be “low carb”.

 


What does low carb mean exactly and why should we pay attention?

In the United States, our government has revised the nutritional guidelines 5 times since WWII.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_USDA_nutrition_guides

Most of us grew up learning about the 4 food groups : meat, dairy, fruits/ vegetables and starches. Your plate was supposed to have food from each group to create a balanced meal.

In the 1970’s we were told to ditch butter, eggs and cheese because they were harmful and that margarine, egg substitutes and low fat dairy were needed to prevent heart disease. Type II diabetes and obesity rates have skyrocketed since then as people have replaced fats with processed carbohydrates which contain boat loads of refined sugar. And…..heart disease is still the #1 cause of death in the U.S. So, you could say that we’re sicker now than we were before.

How times have changed

Last month, Time magazine’s cover story said “Eat Butter” with the tagline :

“Scientists labeled fat the enemy. Why they were wrong.

Mainstream publications are slowly/finally giving copy to these facts:

1. To the body a whole wheat bagel and a bag of M&M’s are the same — sugar

2. Sugar causes inflammation in the body.

Read More

Tags: carbohydrates, pre-diabetes, blood sugar

Finally...Help for Blood Sugar and Carbs with Transglucosidase

Posted by on Thu, Aug 01, 2013

Warren M. Levin MD

Read More

Tags: insulin resistance, carbohydrates, blood sugar, world wellness store