Integrative Health Blog

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

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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.

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

Carbs, Belly Fat and Processed Foods: A Link to Diabetes?

Posted by on Mon, Aug 18, 2014

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

In my last blog, “ Is Low Carb for Everyone?”, I spoke about low carb diets and why I believe that everyone can benefit from reducing the amount of carbohydrates in their diet.

As a recap, I said that from my unofficial research, it seems as though Americans eating the Standard American Diet take in anywhere from 250-400+ grams of carbs/day which would be roughly 50% or more of the total food intake/day.

The SAD Diet

The SAD, or standard American diet, is full of flour products like bread, sweets, cookies and pasta, sugar from low fat processed foods and beverages, and starchy grains and vegetables like rice and potatoes - all of which are carbohydrates.

Beware of the Grocery Stores

The food industry, in their quest for sales, finds the “bliss point” in those chips, cookies and ice cream which keeps us coming back for more. In his book, “Salt, Sugar, Fat -How the Food Giants Hooked Us”, Michael Moss writes that we should "think of the grocery store as a battlefield, dotted with landmines itching to go off."

Those “landmines” contribute to the high levels of obesity and chronic disease we see in this country.

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Tags: belly fat, pre-diabetes, blood sugar

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.

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Tags: carbohydrates, pre-diabetes, blood sugar

Holistic Nutrition: The Thing About Fruit Is...

Posted by on Tue, Jun 24, 2014

Anita Capizzi RN, CH

 

Summer is here!

One of the biggest reasons I love summertime is the fruit!  Beautiful berries, watermelon, cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums - all make my mouth water. They also bring back memories of trips to the local farm when I was a kid to buy fresh produce, long before farmer’s markets were “en vogue”.

Now that I am older, I am also wiser when it comes to eating fruits.

As you know from reading my blogs, I am interested in helping people understand how blood sugar problems can lead to insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and Type II diabetes.

You’ve heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder”, right?

I want to remind you of a tip I have given you before to help you make smart decisions when it comes to enjoying all the beautiful and luscious fruits that are in season now.

Here is my healthy tip:

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Tags: holistic nutrition, diabetes, pre-diabetes, blood sugar

Prediabetes is a Slippery Slope

Posted by on Tue, Jan 28, 2014

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

I had a disturbing thought the other day while I was thinking about the slippery slope towards diabetes and it was this -- most people don’t even KNOW what their blood sugar is!!!

Can you be sure that you are not at risk for pre- diabetes without knowing your blood sugar level? No, I don’t think you can.

Prediabetes May be the Start of Future Serious Health Problems

According to a recent article, nearly 80% of people with pre-diabetes thought that they were in great or very good health! That tells me that there is a lot of public eduction that needs to be done!! Prediabetes leads to full blown diabetes, which is associated with heart disease, heart attack, stroke, blindness and more. Click here to read the complete article - http://www.counselheal.com/articles/8420/20140125/people-with-prediabetes-think-they-are-healthy.htm

If you are overweight..... you need to know your blood sugar level.

If you don’t get much exercise.......you need to know your blood sugar level.

If you are on blood pressure medicine.......you need to know your blood sugar level.

If you have stubborn belly fat or metabolic syndrome…you need to know your blood sugar level.

If you are Native American, African American , Hispanic or Asian......you should know what your blood sugar level is.

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Tags: diabetes, pre-diabetes, blood sugar

Let's Prevent Diabetes Now!

Posted by on Mon, Sep 23, 2013

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC            

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Tags: insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, pre-diabetes, blood sugar

Diabetes and Prevention Seminar Oct. 5, 2013: Control Your Blood Sugar

Posted by on Mon, Sep 16, 2013

Take Control of Your Blood Sugar Now!

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Tags: insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, pre-diabetes, blood sugar

Easy 4th of July Picnic Dessert

Posted by on Tue, Jul 02, 2013

Anita Capizzi RN

Anita's Healthy Tips

Today, in honor of the most patriotic day of the year, July 4, I offer you a recipe for a nutritious and EASY dessert to accompany any picnic or barbecue!

 

Creme Filled Strawberries  -   read through recipe first!

1 carton strawberries

1 carton of organic heavy cream

blueberries

Wash and hull strawberries, cutting ends so that they sit flat on plate.

Make a batch home made whipped creme using organic heavy whipping cream.

If you have never done it before, it’s easy! It’s best to use a bowl that has been chilled in the freezer for 30 min or so. To the bowl, add 1 carton of organic heavy whipping cream and sweetener, if using. It’s perfectly fine without sweetener, though!

Using an electric beater, beat on high until soft peaks form, which should take only a few minutes.

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Tags: holistic nutrition, diabetes, pre-diabetes, blood sugar

Holistic Nutrition: When Fruit is Not a Healthy Choice

Posted by on Mon, Jun 17, 2013

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

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Tags: holistic nutrition, diabetes, pre-diabetes, integrative nutrition, sugar, pesticides