Fiber Power

Last week Sally Squires of The Washington Post explained that eating lots of plant matter and less animal products is a good way to keep weight in check. She referred to the term “energy density” which is used to describe foods puffed up with air or filled with fiber and water that can help you feel full on fewer calories. Dr. Fuhrman calls this caloric density. In case you missed it, here’s his definition from Eat to Live:
Because meats, dairy, and oils are so dense in calories, it is practically impossible for us to eat them without consuming an excess of calories. These calorie-rich foods can pile up a huge number of calories way before our stomachs are full and our hunger satisfied. However, eating foods higher in nutrients and fiber and lower in calories allows us to become satiated without consuming excess calories.


When subjects eating foods low in caloric density, such as fruits and vegetables, are compared with those consuming foods richer in calories, those on meal plans with higher calorie concentrations were found to consume twice as many calories per day in order to satisfy their hunger.1
Yesterday Squires talked a little more about the importance of dietary fiber. In her report, entitled Building a Taste for Bulk, she examines studies that link increased consumption of fiber with weight-control and weight-loss. Take a look:
University of Rhode Island researchers reported recently that women who ate fiber-rich, whole-grain cereals did better in controlling their calories during a three-month study than did participants who ate less fiber-full fare. Plus, those who ate high-fiber cereal also wound up consuming more of other essential nutrients, especially vitamin B6 and magnesium, the team reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.


This isn't the first study to find weight benefits in eating high-fiber foods. In 2004, Harvard School of Medicine researchers reported high-fiber diets helped women maintain their weight during a 12-year study of 75,000 nurses.
All this makes sense to me. Even as a layman I get it—fiber-full foods like fruits and vegetables take up more space in our stomachs than do equal size portions of foods like steak and oil.

You might also want to check out this post Nutrient Density of Green Vegetables. It’ll show you just how poorly an equal portion of sirloin matches up nutritionally against broccoli, Romaine lettuce, and kale. The data shouldn’t surprise you, especially in regard to fiber.

Now, reports like this usually fire up the low-carbers—“Eating all those things that grow on trees are full of carbs! Don’t do it!” But take a look at this post and you’ll see Dr. Fuhrman believes the right kind of carbohydrates are essential to our bodies and actually encourage weight loss.




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Cold Weather, More Clothes, and Comfort Food

I once heard a chubby comedian say, “Men are like lasagna, we dress in layers.” And for a longtime this was my dress code; two layers of t-shirts, polo-shirt with t-shirt underneath, button-down shirt over t-shirt. Yup, I seldom left the house wearing only one layer. So you can imagine how much I dreaded the warmer summer months. How I’d yearn for winter!

But winter does have its drawbacks. Sure you can cover up those extra pounds with a little more clothing, but for many snuggling into a turtleneck and sweater, also means gobbling up more calorie-rich comfort food, especially around the holidays. Jane E. Brody of The New York Times insists this can be the beginning of a continuous weight-gaining cycle:
Then there’s the coming holiday season, replete with the stress of too much to do, high-calorie temptations at every turn and, it seems, not enough time to expend those extra calories.


The inevitable result for many of us? A few extra pounds that we must struggle to lose when the weather warms up and the days get longer next spring. Unfortunately, though, too often those pounds remain, only to increase further the next winter, and the next, until they undermine our health as well as our psyche.
For help preventing the cold weather weight-gain Brody enlists the aid of Dr. Michael D. Ozner, who as it turns out is a major advocate of the Mediterranean diet. Now, while you won’t hear Dr. Fuhrman singing the praises of Mediterranean diet anytime soon, Ozner does make a couple useful suggestions that might help you avoid winter/holiday weight-gain.

For starters, Ozner is not big on red meat, claiming it contains too much saturated fat , which can lead to an increased risk of cancer, heart attack, and stroke. He also encourages people to avoid processed foods because many of them are loaded with saturated fat, sugar, salt, trans fat, and high-fructose corn syrup. Dr. Fuhrman would definitely agree. Dr. Ozner’s recommendation to get plenty of exercise is another sound piece of advice. Although I can’t say the same for his tip about adding whey to food, according to Dr. Fuhrman whey isn’t exactly a wonder-food.

Health Points: Wednesday

Nor do people crave foods that they have not already tasted. "Think of food cravings as a sensory memory," says psychologist Marcia Pelchat of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a research organization in Philadelphia. "You remember how good it felt the last time you had that food. You have to have experienced eating it before."
Medicine has been too depressing for me lately. I just took care of a guy with life threatening, self-inflicted stab wounds to the neck and chest a few minutes ago. He was arrested during a meth lab bust. He yelled out to the police that he didn't want to go to jail, took a knife, cut his own neck and stabbed himself in the chest. He bagged his internal jugular and put a hole in his ventricle.
It was another appearance by Ingraham's mysterious underground candy salesman, a lanky, A- and B-average senior who has been defying the Seattle Public Schools' nutrition and solicitation policies for about a year. The Seattle Times agreed not to identify him, but around Ingraham, most teachers and administrators have looked the other way, anyway. Some buy from him.
When they were about halfway through their burgers they discovered marijuana on the meat and used a field test kit confirm it. They sought treatment at a hospital while their fellow officers arrested 3 Burger King employees and charged them with possession of marijuana and aggravated battery on an officer, a felony.
The number of alcohol-related deaths last year stood at 8,386, compared to 4,144 in 1991. Death rates among middle-aged men more than doubled to 30 per 100,000 of the population.
Lentils are high in protein, cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, iron, most B vitamins, folate, molybdenum, manganese, phosphorous, copper, thiamin and potassium. The pigment in Beluga black lentils acts like an antioxidant and helps protect against heart disease, and cancer. Cooked lentils have only 230 calories per cup.
Many of the China's environmental disasters have been blamed on companies which, counting on lax enforcement of regulations, find it easier and cheaper to dump poisons into rivers and the ground instead of treating them.
You reach a "goal weight" - How did you come by this number? What is an ideal body weight and who decides what is normal?

You decided that you are happy with your appearance.
Yet what may seem like just another routine odd job around the house is really a vigorous aerobic workout that involves prolonged repetitive motion, twisting, bending, lifting and carrying. Due to the physically strenuous nature of the work, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reminds those charged with the task to take proper safety measures to avoid injury.
A new study in mice suggests that sugary drinks contribute to liver damage. For the research, German scientists either gave mice sugar-sweetened water or water containing an artificial sweetner. They found that mice with the sugar water ate less but still gained more weight and also suffered from "fatty liver." The problem was worse when a specific type of sugar - fructose - was used. According to Reuters, the scientists concluded: "These data support the hypothesis that high fructose consumption may not only (damage) the liver through over-feeding, but may be" toxic to it.

How Many Calories Do "Eat to Livers" Eat?

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

Don’t worry about it. Try to follow my rules for a longevity diet and just watch the weight fall off. If you were never able to lose weight in the past, be happy with about one to two pounds per week. If you are not losing weight as fast as you’d like, write down what you eat and how much, to see if you are really consuming a whole pound of raw vegetables a day and an entire pound of steamed green vegetables a day. If you are an overweight female following my guidelines and losing about one to two pounds per week, you are probably consuming about 1,100-1,400 calories a day. You can count calories if you want, but it is not necessary; you will feel sated and content on fewer calories than you were eating before.

My observations over the years have convinced me that eating healthfully makes you drop unwanted pounds efficiently, independent of caloric intake. It’s as if the body wants to get rid of unhealthy tissue quickly. I have seen this happen time and time again. Eating the exact same diet, many patients drop weight quickly and easily and then automatically stop losing when they reach an ideal weight. Time and time again, I have see individuals who were not overweight nonetheless lose weigh after the switch. In a few months, however, they gravitated back to their former weight as their health improved. It is as if the body wanted to exchange unhealthy issue for healthy tissue.