Tag Archives: Diet

Celiac Disease, Food Additives and the Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet

November 13th, 2017
0
Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Celiac Disease Food Additives and Benefits of Gluten-Free Diet - Dietary Rehab

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly reacts to gluten. Glutens are proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale.

Put simply, celiac sufferers cannot properly digest gluten. Instead, the body starts to destroy part of the small intestine, making it difficult to absorb vital nutrients. If you or a loved one has celiac disease, or you simply want to be your healthiest self, consider a gluten-free diet.

About Celiac Disease and Gluten

Celiac disease affects everyone differently, and can be difficult to diagnose. There are more than 200 known symptoms of this disease, including:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Malnutrition
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Abdominal bloating and pain

Symptoms can affect the entire body, and can appear in children and adults. Celiac disease is hereditary, and affects as many as 3 million Americans. About 97 percent of celiac disease cases go undiagnosed.

The only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet. Gluten acts as “glue” that holds foods together, and exists in many products. It’s what gives bread a chewy and elastic texture, and is an important ingredient in making baked goods.

Beer, cereal, bread, pasta and many other foods contain gluten. Gluten is a completely indigestible protein that can slip through the lining of the intestines and cause inflammation in people with celiac disease.

Normally, the small intestine has villi that line the inside to help the body absorb nutrients. If one has celiac disease, ingesting gluten irritates this lining and causes the immune system to attack the villi.

Over time, this can lead to damage or destruction of the villi, and the inability to absorb important nutrients. This can cause malnutrition and a variety of related health problems. Adhering to a gluten-free diet can stop the symptoms of celiac disease, and allow the body to function normally.

Food Additives as Hidden Sources of Gluten

The number of hidden sources of gluten that exist in everyday products may surprise you. Identifying the more latent sources of glutinous material found in processed foods can be challenging, especially early on during your diet change.

Many people overlook one very significant source of gluten: food additives. Food additives for protein, texture, flavor or color may very well contain a source of gluten that causes a flare-up.

Companies may add ingredients to products to improve some element of it, such as the look or taste. Unfortunately, these additives can render the product inedible to people with celiac disease or gluten intolerances.

Always check labels for additives before consuming a product. Take a smartphone with you while you shop, and look up additives you aren’t familiar with. When in doubt, call the company to see if the product is gluten-free.

Percentage of Americans on Gluten-Free Diet Without Celiac Disease Chart - Dietary Rehab

Celiac Disease Foods to Avoid

If you’re new to a gluten allergy or celiac disease, you’re probably wondering what foods you can and cannot eat on your new gluten-free diet. Luckily, scientists have increased their understanding of gluten intolerances in the past few years, leading to a trend of gluten-free food production. Nowadays, it’s relatively easy to find gluten-free alternatives to your favorite dishes.

The list of foods to avoid is long, but common foods that contain gluten include:

  • Barley
  • Beer
  • Bleached bread, cake, graham or granary flour
  • Couscous
  • Malt
  • Pasta
  • Rye
  • Soy and teriyaki sauce
  • Wheat
  • Edible starch
  • Filler

Gluten-containing additives include:

  • Wheat protein
  • Textured vegetable protein
  • Flour
  • Food starch
  • Dextrin
  • Caramel color
  • Anything with the word “wheat”

Avoid vague descriptions such as “artificial flavoring,” “spices” or “natural flavor.” It’s unclear where these ingredients came from, and they could have a source that contains gluten.

The list of foods and additives that may contain gluten is even longer: Dried fruit, flavored coffee, ice cream, candy and many other food items can potentially contain gluten. Get in the habit of reading ingredients labels carefully if you’re adhering to a strict no-gluten diet.

What You Can Eat

Going gluten-free isn’t just about what you can’t eat. People with celiac disease can still eat some grains that are naturally gluten-free, including brown rice, wild rice, and quinoa.

Other naturally gluten-free foods include:

  • Unprocessed beans and nuts
  • Fresh eggs
  • Fresh meat and poultry
  • Fresh fish
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Most dairy products

Safe grains and starches include (as long as they aren’t processed with additives that contain gluten):

  • Buckwheat
  • Flax
  • Corn
  • Cornmeal
  • Sorghum

The Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet

Receiving a celiac disease diagnosis isn’t the only reason to consider going gluten-free. There are many other medical conditions that eating gluten can exacerbate. For example, eating gluten-free can ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Removing gluten from your diet can solve many mysterious issues you have with digestion, energy levels and other issues. You may have a non-celiac gluten intolerance, or gluten sensitivity if you can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong.

Going gluten-free can result in benefits such as:

  • Better digestive health
  • Increased energy
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Weight loss from cutting out processed and unhealthy foods
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Less bloating and gas
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Improved conditions such as IBS and arthritis

Note that if you don’t need a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, eliminating gluten completely may actually do more harm than good. You could miss out on a healthy, well-balanced diet and beneficial whole grains if you go gluten-free by choice.

Work with a dietician for a meal plan that’s suited to your individual needs, whether or not you have celiac disease. Visit your doctor for more information about celiac disease and gluten-free diets.

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Mediterranean Diet: Truth or Consequences Help Shape Personal Lifestyles

July 10th, 2017
0
Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Mediterranean Diet Truth or Consequences Help Shape Personal Lifestyles - Dietary RehabFinding healthier, easier ways to eat with enjoyment is a favorite American pastime. One of the premier diets getting a whole lot of attention is the Mediterranean diet.

In actuality, the diet itself isn’t new. In fact, it’s been in existence for centuries. Its origin comes from the name, Mediterranean, mimicking the eating patterns of people from that region of the world.

And while this eating plan may be many years old, how we view its merits brings something new to the nutrition industry. In truth, the Mediterranean diet sheds light on a term widely misused: the word diet.

Moderation Is the Meme of Mediterranean Diet Truth

People generally defer to a specific diet seeking weight loss, preferably quick weight loss. But the results, like the diet itself, are temporary. One of the many key differentiators in the Mediterranean diet is that it isn’t a diet, in the traditional sense of the word, but in truth – a lifestyle.

You may have had a friend or family member, even yourself, give the Mediterranean diet a try in the past. It isn’t just about what you eat. It’s about adding the element of moderation to your world. Moderation implies reasonable serving sizes and balance in other lifestyle choices, such as exercise, whom you spend time with and how often.

How a Mediterranean Diet Improves Health for Life

How a Mediterranean Diet Improves Health for LifeAs the Mediterranean diet, followed in its entirety, creates a big picture mapping out a person’s day-to-day behaviors, committing to this program engages a more holistic lifestyle shift. Other diets, due to their temporary nature, do not support long-term use by the participant, setting up a recipe for failure.

The Mediterranean diet provides life choices that promote happiness and socialization while increasing heart health and other benefits that extend longevity. Because the transition into “living Mediterranean” is somewhat seamless, the sense of self-sacrifice in not being able to eat many of the foods one loves, common during dieting, is near nonexistent.

Instead, these dieters have a greater sense of well-being and a feeling that, with this life plan, personal goals are achievable and likely permanent.

Eat Mediterranean Like You Were Born There

It isn’t difficult to adopt a Mediterranean lifestyle. What you eat is hearty, robust and full of texture and color. The choices are vitamin-rich and full of nutrients. Try to focus on what you can eat and not what you need to do without, and the experience will be that much more rewarding.

Limit your intake of red meat and processed foods including sugars, complex carbohydrates (white rice and foods made with white flour), unhealthy fats, or preservatives. Key words to remember are fresh, whole and of the earth.

Eat Mediterranean Like You Were Born There - Salmon Nuts Oil Avocado

Find excitement in what you CAN eat:

  • Legumes
    • Nuts (1 oz. daily)
    • Beans, peas, lentils, hummus (1/2 cup serving, cooked, 2 times a week or more)
  • Whole grains
    • Brown or wild rice, bread or pasta made with whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, popcorn and quinoa (4 small portions per day and ALWAYS eat with protein and healthy fats)
  • Fresh fish or seafood (4 oz., 2-3 times a week)
    • Grilled, baked, poached or steamed
  • Eggs (2-3 times a week)
    • Cooked in olive oil, poached or hard-boiled
  • Vegetables (5-10 servings a day, ½ cooked/1 cup raw)
    • Fresh or lightly cooked to stay slightly crunchy
  • Fruits (4-6 servings a day, ½ cup per serving)
    • Fresh or lightly cooked
  • Healthy fats (4-6 servings a day)
    • Extra virgin olive oil (1 tbsp.) or 5 olives
    • Avocado (1/8 of an avocado) or avocado oil
  • Dairy (moderate consumption), low-fat or skim (1-3 servings daily)
    • Fresh curd cheeses (1 oz.)
    • Yogurt (1 cup)
    • Kefir (1 cup)
    • Milk (1 cup)
  • Beverages
    • Water
    • Tea
    • Coffee
    • Red Wine (5 oz. per day for women; 10 oz. per day for men)

Mediterranean Diet Truth or Consequences You Can Live With

Mediterranean Diet Increases Odds Of Aging Healthfully - Dietary RehabThe benefits of living a Mediterranean lifestyle are backed by science. Those who practice this diet regularly realize healthy weight loss while minimizing their risk of heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke and early death. In addition, the risk for certain cancers, such as head, neck, prostate and colon, is reduced.

There is also evidence that Mediterranean diet followers are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Before trying this diet plan, make sure that your body can digest raw fruits and vegetables well. If you have certain health conditions such as IBS, this diet could be cumbersome to maintain.

Ask us, the nutritionists at Dietary Rehab, if this is the right program for you.

Live Mediterranean Now

Live Mediterranean Now Working Wake Up Peach Smoothie - Dietary RehabTo get a taste of how the Mediterranean diet can make a difference in how you feel, try this:

Working Wake Up!

½ cup, ripe peaches chopped, skin removed
½ cup skim milk (1% is fine too)
6 ice cubes
½ cup low-fat plain or vanilla yogurt
Sprinkling of cinnamon (optional)

Blend until all ingredients come together to a thick and frothy consistency. Pour into a to-go cup. Add a straw for fun. Start your day!

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Nutrient Timing Healthy or Harmful? Let’s Examine

May 22nd, 2017
0
Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Nutrient Timing Healthy or Harmful Let’s Examine

There’s been a lot of buzz about how food is meant to be for nutritional benefit. Some even refer to food as medicine. When eating food that is rich in nutrients, the body receives what it needs to work optimally and help generate a sense of well-being.

About 15 years ago, the media caught wind of what professional athletes already knew: that eating the right food at the right time could enhance fitness, increase physical performance and maximize weight loss. Once this information trickled down to the masses, the diet and nutrition industry took hold and applied it to mainstream America.

Let’s assume the intentions were for the greater good, but the healthful benefits of nutrient timing may not apply to the general population.

What Is Nutrient Timing?

The premise of nutrient timing is simple. A person eats:

  • Specific foods
  • In specified amounts
  • In specified combinations
  • At specified times

Usually, small meals take place five to six times a day to include varied selections of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and proteins that together are no larger than the size of a person’s fist.

Depending on a person’s reasons or goals for using nutrient timing, the amount of foods may shift. For example, a person training for a marathon will use nutrient timing to help maintain lean muscle mass.

Comparatively speaking, someone looking to shed fat or maintain current weight may use the nutrient timing system as a means to ward off hunger throughout a workout regimen. Much of the difference – and potential risk – comes down to the intake of protein.

Excess Protein Is too Much too Soon

There is a link between protein intake and lean muscle mass. With protein, the body can maintain or build greater muscle mass. But without enough protein, muscle is lost.

Many diet programs have beefed up protein intake to help force the body to shed fat instead of lean muscle. However, there is some backlash about excess protein and what it can do to the body’s internal systems.

Although the recommended daily allowance of protein intake seems high, it’s easy to see how quickly a person can get the necessary amount.

Physical Activity, Associated Weight and Recommended Protein Intake

How the Body Uses Protein

Protein, unlike other nutritional components, cannot be sourced within the body, meaning that once a person has depleted their existing level of protein, there is no other internal supply. Although proper protein intake is vital, it does not supersede the importance of carbohydrates. With nutrient timing, a healthy balance is more readily achieved by design.

With an increased protein intake, metabolism converts to what’s known as a state of ketosis. Instead of using carbohydrates to generate fuel or energy, the body will process or burn its fat. During ketosis, one can feel less hungry and the need to release excess water.

Sounds good, right? Not so fast.

In order to break down protein effectively, the body generates ammonia – seriously. The body can only handle so much ammonia. To release higher levels of ammonia, the body needs to sweat it out.

An imbalanced nutrition regimen with higher levels of protein can increase ammonia levels, which can somewhat be compensated through more strenuous exercises or athletic conditioning. What about average Joe? What about plain Jane? Should they even think about nutrient timing?

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

Nutritional balance is everything. Using food as a method to maintain or alter physical shape, and to keep or increase internal health, is wise. What’s even more amazing is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Sustenance and fitness are not fixed but flexible, just as nutrient timing was meant to be.

When Your Body Talks, Listen

The right nutrition differs per the individual. Many contributing factors help dictate which foods to eat and what time to consume them.

Daily Protein Intake for Individuals Over 18 Years OldExamine the following when considering entering into a nutrient timing eating plan:

  • Genetics
  • Metabolism
  • Environment
  • Lifestyle or Schedule
  • Level of Physical Activity

Realistic expectations also play a big role in the planning and success of nutrient timing for healthy living. Take a moment to think back: Have you ever been on a diet or nutrition program, due to the testimonials of other people, believing you would achieve the same or similar results? More than likely, you didn’t.

Every nutrition plan works differently for each person. Nutrient timing, like any other sustenance program, is a lifestyle model that can be adjusted to fit your needs. Take into account the goals, the duration required to get there and, throughout the process, how the body reacts and how you feel.

Signs that Healthy Intake Is Off

The purpose of nutrient timing is to use healthy food as the catalyst to better body functionality and, in some cases, appearance.

There are also contraindications that suggest a change in the plan is needed:

  • Perspiration has ammonia odor
  • Dehydration
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Diminished performance

The Healthy Advantages of Nutrient Timing Outweigh the Risks

By using nutrient timing as a tool to ensure a balanced, healthy diet in easy-to-digest portion sizes can provide long-lasting benefits to all people. When physical activity changes, so too should the amount of food and/or the frequency of the nutrient timing.

Additionally, consuming carbohydrates and protein together within 45 minutes before or after a strenuous workout can provide the bones and muscles what they need to boost performance and build strength. As the metabolism kicks into high gear during and for up to 90 minutes after a workout, nutrient timing then supports the caloric intake and the training session, diminishing the risk for unhealthy weight gain.

Nutrient timing can complement the immeasurable value in daily nutrition for the short and long term.

Read More About Nutrition and How Dietary Rehab Can Help Build a Healthy Lifestyle Program That’s Right for You

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4 Reasons Why Athletes Should Use The Paleo Diet

August 28th, 2015
0
Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

If you are an athlete, you may be wondering whether the Paleo Diet is the best eating plan for you. Our distant ancestors were definitely in good physical shape; their very survival depended on being able to respond quickly to physical threats. We may not be living in caves any longer, but if you are leading an active lifestyle, you’ll want to make sure you are eating right so that you have the resources necessary to push yourself to new limits. The Paleo Diet contains elements that can help you perform at your best, no matter what sport you choose.

4 Reasons Why Athletes Should Use The Paleo Diet-DietaryRehabilitation

Reasons Why Athletes Should Use The Paleo Diet

The following are a few beneficial reasons why athletes should eat Paleo.

1. Carbs For Energy

This low-carb diet is chock full of fruits and vegetables, which means you won’t be putting on the pounds. Instead, you will have the energy you need during a workout, a practice or on game day – exactly when you need it.

If you have ever had the feeling of being weighed down, it was likely because you were eating foods that contained the wrong kinds of carbs. After only seven days on the Paleo Diet, you should be able to notice a real difference in how you feel and the way you will be able to perform on and off the court, field or track.

2. Protein To Build Muscle

We now know from updated sport nutrition info that going fully low carb only isn’t the best way to eat for athletes. The Paleo Diet is a high-protein eating plan which will give you ample opportunity to build lean muscle in order to improve your skill at your chosen sport. It is an excellent eating plan, since it can be adapted to the needs of each athlete. If you need to slim down, you can. In a case where you need to put on muscle, you can and due to the high amount of protein, it will be easier for your body to build new muscle.

3. Fiber To Maintain A Healthy Weight

With the amount of fiber you’ll be eating, it will be easier to maintain a healthy weight. Eating Paleo also helps you stay regular, which helps with bloating, energy and overall health. You’ll want to make sure that your fiber intake is kept up so that your digestive system is running at an optimum level. If it slows down, it will affect your athletic performance and as well as other areas of your life.

4. Healthy Fats Are Built In To The Diet

You need a certain amount of fat in your diet to stay healthy, and eating Paleo satisfies this requirement. They help you shed pounds, if you need to, and keep you feeling full and able to focus between meals. Being able to stay alert mentally while keeping energy levels up is definitely a benefit you want to get from your diet.

The fat you get from foods like almonds, olive oil and avocados are included in the Paleo Diet. You can also include saturated fats from macadamia nuts and coconut oil.

Nutrition Plans For Fitness And Wellness

Need to bulk up or get lean? Here at Dietary Rehab, you can shop for nutrition plans for fitness and wellness that are oriented to work for your individual needs.

Call Us Now To Learn More About How We Can Help You Reach Your Goals –
Whether Big Or Small!

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Easy Paleo Side Dish For BBQ’s

August 5th, 2015
0
Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

The Paleo Diet is one where focusing on eating unprocessed foods is the goal. It should be referred to as an eating plan instead of a diet, since the word “diet” implies that it is solely about weight loss.

Eat Healthy-Easy Paleo Side Dish For BBQ's- Dietary RehabThe “Caveman” approach to eating is far from being some type of fad diet. Early humans ate whole, unprocessed foods – and thrived on them. This way of eating merely takes us back to our (relatively) recent past and offers us the types of food that we would be eating if we were living a simpler and arguably, healthier, lifestyle.

If you feel (and studies have shown) that many of the diseases that we suffer from are the price we pay for eating “modern”, which would include sugar, stripped grains, and anything processed, this plan may be right for you.

Paleo Diet Benefits

The Paleo Diet is flexible enough that you can approach it in a way that makes sense to you and your taste buds. You go low-carb if you wish or add in carbs like potatoes and rice if you enjoy them.

You can improve your health on a Paleo Diet, but don’t think that it’s all about shedding pounds in a hurry. It is a way to eat well that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds prepared in tasty and interesting ways.

This recipe for jicama carrot slaw is just one easy example and is great for BBQ’s or any get-together!

Jicama Carrot Slaw

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup jicama, shredded
2 Tablespoons Chipotle mayo – click here for the delicious recipe
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Use either a food processor with a shredder blade or a box grater to shred the jicama and the carrots. If you want to save time, buy pre-shredded carrots, even though they are usually more expensive to purchase.

Combine the jicama and shredded carrots into a large bowl. Add chipotle mayo, cilantro and lime juice. Stir ingredients until they are well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill to allow flavors to blend before serving.

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Great Paleo Diet Recipe For A Summer Get Together

July 27th, 2015
0
Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Summer is a great time for family and friend get-togethers; and this featured Paleo Diet recipe is a great choice for summertime.

But first, a little more about the Paleo Diet.

The Paleo Diet is a very popular way of eating these days. It is also known as the Stone Age Diet and the Primal Diet. Its basic premise is, “What would our cave-dwelling ancestors eat?”

5 Basic Types Of Foods In The Paleo Diet

Healthy Lifestyle-Paleo Diet Recipe For Summer-Dietary RehabilitationIt includes five basic types of foods:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Nuts

Benefits Of The Paleo Diet

Choosing to go Paleo in your eating habits can benefit you in several ways. If you choose organic foods, you get natural, preservative-free foods and can eat a clean diet. The high fruit and vegetable content means you won’t have any trouble getting your recommended amount of servings per day.

This type of eating is actually quite filling. Since it is protein-rich and full of fiber, you shouldn’t have an issue with feeling hungry in between meals.

The following is a tasty and healthy Paleo Diet recipe:

Tomato Avocado Burgers

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

Tomatoes-Paleo Diet Recipe For Summer-Dietary Rehabilitation4 large tomatoes
1 lb. / 453 grams grass fed organic ground beef
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ + ¼ teaspoons fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 ripe avocado, divided
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon mayo (DIY Paleo mayo by following this recipe)
2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
A handful of alfalfa sprouts

Directions:

  1. Slice the tomatoes in half horizontally. Carefully scoop out the seeds and membrane with the handle end of a spoon or a fork and set aside.
  2. Place half of the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork until almost smooth. Add yogurt, mayo, lime juice and cumin. Stir to combine.
  3. Dice the remaining half of the avocado and add it along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir until just blended. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl, season ground beef with chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Mix well. Divide into four equal portions and gently portion each one into a 1/2 inch patty.
  5. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill patties three minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness is reached.
  6. While patties are cooking, lightly grease a medium no-stick pan with olive oil. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add tomato halves face down and cook for two-three minutes (they should just begin to brown).
  7. Flip the tomatoes and cook for 20 seconds on the other side so they have a bit of color there as well.

To assemble burgers: Place a pinch of sprouts on the bottom of each half tomato, then top with a beef patty, two Tablespoons of avocado sauce. Finish with the other half of each tomato. Serve immediately.

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Welcome To Dietary Rehab

June 24th, 2015
0
Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Welcome To Dietary Rehab-Solutions to Nutrition, Health, Exercise

Food quality has certainly been a hot topic lately, and justifiably so. Within the past decade, and after living the previous 60 odd years with a collective veil over the source of our food, a select group of food “commentators” began asking tough questions about the nature of our food. Incredibly simple questions that should have sensibly been asked before such as “what is actually in this pizza?” and “where did this pork actually come from?”

As a society we probably never thought to ask these questions simply because we assumed the question to be self-evident. The pork chop, we thought, was from a plump, pink pig with a curly tail who spent his life on an idyllic farm. In our minds he was probably Babe’s unlucky cousin; simply unable to get the sheep-herding trick down enough to save his own bacon, but having a wonderful and fulfilling life up until the trip to the bacon gallows.

Attitudes Changing Through An Increase In Knowledge And Dialogue

It comes as a tremendous shock to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Q. Public that green fields and red barns is not a reality to the cows, pigs, chickens, or human beings which consume them. The harsh realities of commercial farming like feedlots, CAFOs, and other aspects of industrial food are just beginning to weave their way into open conversation and honest national dialogue. Thankfully our attitudes are changing because of this increase in knowledge and dialogue, and our behaviors are being changed by our attitudes.

More people are returning to their roots to buy local food in the manner of their grandfathers. People are increasingly demanding higher quality food for themselves, their children, and other loved ones. They are applying pressure to the federal government and to the big agricultural companies for more transparency in the food chain and food processing systems. These are all wonderful developments, and although there are miles to go at least the conversation is now taking place.

Dietary Rehab – A Place To Openly Share Thoughts And Solutions On Nutrition, Health, Exercise And More!

Dietary Rehab was conceived as a place for that conversation to take place, and as a venue to come to for an unfiltered view of the science of our modern diet, its correlation to many of our modern diseases, and solutions to help break free from the chains of the poor nutrition of modern food. We examine important topics related to food quality one at a time, shining the light on the dietary influence of conditions such as low testosterone, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, and many others.

The correlation of diet to some of the aforementioned conditions are probably not surprising to you, but some probably do come as a surprise. The truth is, all of the above mentioned disease states are strongly influenced by dietary choices and the modern food system. However, simply discussing these problems is not enough. I am confident that many run-of-the-mill nutrition blogs already do that.

As the name states, Dietary Rehab exists to offer science-based solutions to these problems so that you may rehabilitate your body and mind from years of inferior food choices.

Aesthetics and athletics are influenced by food quality to a more precise and greater degree than any other population. I have a special place in my heart for both disciplines, and have competed in each personally. We also examine topics such as food quality, nutrient timing, performance enhancing supplementation, nutraceuticals in sports, and yes things as common and popular as losing your spare tire and getting ready for the beach. If your ultimate goal is to look your best and perform at your highest level, the devil is in the details.

In keeping with my promise for open and honest discussion of any and all health-related topics, we also host a free forum on the site. We will have ongoing and lively discussions about topics such as diet, exercise, herbs and nutraceuticals, weight loss, life extension, bio-identical hormone optimization, anti-aging, athletics, and even traditional medical and pharmaceutical topics. Lively debate is encouraged for both sides of the issues, within the limits of the topic of course.

So welcome to our website. I hope that you find it both educational and entertaining.

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Top 5 Common Mistakes for New Year’s Diets

January 3rd, 2013
0
Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

images‘Tis the season! Well, not that season.  It is the annual season after the “season.” Post- New Year’s Day is when we awake from our national eight week collective stupor and remember that diet and exercise are actually kind of important. Gyms are now overflowing with new zealous members, and Wal-Mart is completely sold out of Slim Fast and Shake Weights. So, why is it that so many eager new dietary Cinderellas turn back into pumpkins in February and March?  Here are 5 common mistakes that dieters make:

Turning It Up To 11

I love people who give great effort. Growing up, I always admired the ball players who gave it everything they had every play rather than the extremely talented individuals who succeeded on their skills alone. And while I do admire new dieters often extreme efforts in the first few weeks of January, I also know that it is a very big reason that they ultimately fail to achieve their goals. Far too often people look at a “diet” as a project; something that must be accomplished.  The fact is that a sound diet and exercise plan cannot be accomplished, because it is never over. Focus on the process, not the results.

Taking Their Diet Too Seriously

I overheard a lady today standing in line at the checkout at my local pharmacy lamenting about a poor decision that she had made at lunch. Being the interested party that I am about nutritional matters, I happened to overhear that she felt bad about eating some carrots on her salad at lunch. She was on an “Atkins” type diet and was afraid this had completely thrown a monkey wrench into her diet.  Whatever was wrong with her figure had nothing to do with carrots.

Being too zealous with extreme elimination diets doom many dieters to failure. Many of these folks spend many weeks eating Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pies, Christmas cookies, egg nog, and New Year’s Champagne but feel like a failure if they eat 35 grams of carbs in a day instead of 30 on January 5. Dietary compliance is about doing what you are supposed to do in PRINCIPLE most of the time and 10% of the time not worrying so much about your diet at all. The dirty little secret from those with nice physiques is they don’t sweat the small stuff nearly as much as you think they do.  Follow your diet, but also live life.

Not Planning

The first time most New Year dieters think about their diet plan is usually when they are drinking their first weight loss shake on January 2. Even then most of their thoughts usually are consumed more with “I’m miserable” and “when will this diet be over”, rather than the actual diet. The stark reality is your diet is crucial to your health, and what you put in your mouth not only determines what you look like but how long you may be around. Low calorie diet shakes and frozen 200 calorie meals with ingredient lists three paragraphs long are not what your body is designed to consume. Educating yourself on WHAT to eat is much more important in the long term than HOW MUCH to eat. Admittedly, some are just people of action who really don’t want to know the “why”, they just want results. In that case I suggest letting a either letting a nutrition professional do the planning for you, or investing in a high quality  pre-designed program like our 12 Week Start Up Plan.

Lack of Accountability

When you boil it down to its bare essence, long-term dietary success really comes down to establishing accountability for your nutritional decisions. Those who have the greatest success are usually those who establish guidelines for themselves which hold their feet to the fire on a regular basis. Whether it is weekly trips to the bathroom scale or measuring your waistline with a tape measure, those who adopt accountable habits are those who tend to have real and lasting success.

070725_obese_woman_02One of my favorite methods of accountability is a simple wall calendar. Every year, I buy a calendar for the expressed purpose of tracking my dietary and exercise compliance. For a given day, I make a left slash if I have met my diet goals for the day, and a right slash if I have met my exercise goals making an “X”. Each night there is a tremendous sense of accountability when it is time to mark your calendar for that day. As time passes and habits form, you will make sure that you have done what you needed to do that day for the satisfaction of marking your “X”.  Give it a try.

Unrealistic Expectations

fat-belly2I blame this one on two culprits; our instant gratification society and deceptive but very well-funded marketing campaigns by the weight loss industry.  You simply aren’t going to look how you want to look in eight days eating cabbage soup, two weeks on a “Hollywood” diet, or 3 weeks using the latest ab gadget. Most everyone knows what they would like to look like, and that look is simply the result of long term sound nutritional and exercise principles.  Of the 5 mistakes, this one is the most difficult to overcome due to the massive marketing machine constantly hypnotizing individuals to spend their hard-earned money on junky exercise gadgets, cheaply made but expensive supplements, and fad “quick loss” diet books that have more advertisements than information. A novice dieter would be much better served by spending their discretionary fitness dollars on a little expert nutritional guidance and a lot of wholesome, natural food.  After all, quality food and the knowledge about what to do with that food IS what dietary success is all about, no matter what the supplement guys say.

Enhanced by ZemantaAnd there you have my five quick observations. Whether you are starting a new diet or are a wiley old veteran,  I hope your New Year and new goals are off to a great start. Keep your eye on your objectives and a positive attitude, and success will come your way.

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Mark’s Paleo Experience

May 13th, 2012
1
Mark Shields

Experimenting With The Paleo Diet

During the last month I’ve been experimenting with the Paleo Diet. I have however made some changes that are detailed below. I wanted to see firsthand what the hype is about. In fact, to actually call my trial run as a Paleo Diet may not be fair… its more like a Paleo template. Having known some of the specifics of the diet for a while, I felt no need to dive further into the details. Rather than endlessly researching, why not actually give it a trial run.  If you’re not familiar with the Paleo Diet you will soon as it starts to go mainstream. Essentially, the key components are to avoid grains, legumes and dairy. At this point many people will start to feel a little uncomfortable. Give up bread, milk and beans? Well, no one is really sad to give up beans. However, peanuts are a legume, so no peanut butter, that part kind of sucks. At least there are alternatives though.

Paleo Diet – Not A Typical “Diet”

A Suitable Alternative

Some call it just another “fad” diet. But I don’t think the Paleo Diet has fallen victim to false advertising; in fact, it’s full of scientifically and logically-based principles. Anytime the word “diet” is attached to something, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. A “diet” often means a few short-lived habits that can’t be sustained, containing numerous nutritional myths.

Dr. Loren Cordain, author of two of the most notable Paleo Diet books including “The Paleo Answer”, made numerous valid points about health and the potential benefits of excluding dairy, grains, and legumes. His views inspired me to dig a little deeper into my own habits and give Paleo a shot. As a wellness professional, I’d already cut wheat out of my own diet, and for some time I already knew of the unsettling distress dairy has on my digestive system.

Adjusting The Paleo Diet To Fit You

But as a naturally thin guy, I’d hit an impasse. The Paleo Diet emphasizes the inclusion of pasture-raised meats, seafood, veggies, nuts, seeds, some oils, and fruit. While this does provide a variety of food options, someone like me might have difficulty gaining weight with these choices. So, I began following a slightly modified Paleo plan.

To get those extra calories, I’ve reintroduced small amounts of low-lactose dairy, or Kefir, and fortunately I haven’t felt any digestive stress. I include a “wheat-like” product once a week, and through some great Paleo recipe blogs I’ve even found ways to satisfy my cookie addiction! So it’s important to understand that though Paleo has some tight guidelines, it can be the foundation to finding the perfect nutrition lifestyle that’s right for you. Rest assured the Paleo Diet won’t make you feel like you need to sacrifice your favorite foods.

As a Precision Nutrition Fitness Nutrition Coach, I’ve been putting my clients on a modified version of the Paleo Diet even before I knew what Paleo entailed, and often they’d complain of having too much food to eat; they were stuffed but kept losing weight. There’s so much power in not feeling deprived, and actually nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs. Should you make the switch to Paleo?

Research shows that when we try to change too many habits at once, the rate of actual success is abysmal. Thus, for the vast majority of clients, I ask them to make one nutritional change at a time. But there are always exceptions, and such a case involved a senior client who had suffered from acid-reflux and IBS for years. Several specialists tried to help her, and the medications they prescribed not only didn’t work, but they also led to other health issues. After only three weeks of following a modified Paleo approach eliminating wheat and limiting carbs, her symptoms were almost completely gone. And after six weeks, completely gone.

Something to consider when following a Paleo Diet that restricts grains, is that there are people who do not react negatively to all grains, and in proper quantities and timing won’t necessarily lead to weight gain. Amaranth or wild rice for example can still be part of a well-rounded nutritional approach, but probably should be limited in quantity. It’s also important to take into account how those grains are prepared, which we’ll dive into the details in a later article. What about bread? It’s my belief that the vast majority of people who do eliminate “healthy whole wheat”, are actually able to avoid many of the common diseases wheat-eaters suffer from.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for me now, aside from getting enough calories to gain weight, is the elimination of protein powder. I haven’t completely eliminated it, but I have relied on these supplements too much in the past. Protein powder does shake my long-held beliefs about avoiding all processed foods; but there is new research showing benefits to some whey protein consumption in relation to cancer prevention.

Overall, my body is responding extremely well to a diet that many “experts” would say is not optimal because it excludes some foods that are promoted as “healthy”. I’ve modified the diet in a way that fits my lifestyle, goals, and preferences so I know I can stick with it. It’s more important to follow the reliable nutritional habits of the Paleo lifestyle, than it is to sign up with the latest fad diet and fall off the wagon after only a few weeks. The Paleo Diet can be your ticket out of the classic diet rut. If you adjust the Paleo Diet to your comfort levels, you can finally feel good in your body.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll share the results of my blood work. What are the results internally of a Paleo style diet? Is my doctor going to say she told me so?

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Cholesterol Made Easy- Part 1

May 5th, 2012
2 responses
Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.
Cholesterol Made Easy Part 1
By John Meadows CSCS, CISN and Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

It seems kind of funny to say “made easy” and cholesterol in the same sentence. The truth is that many facets of cholesterol are actually extremely complicated and beyond the scope of our knowledge by a long shot. Cholesterol synthesis is one such facet. There are at least 12 steps to get 2 acety Co-A to its end form of cholesterol, and there are a ton of big words through these steps like, geranyl pyrophosphatase, squalene, and other words that give me a headache. Knowing the terms and complex biochemical reactions are completely unnecessary for the average guy or gal who simply wants to be be healthy, have a great life, and someday bounce their grandchildren on their knee. Seeing the need for both clarity and simplicity in the subject of cholesterol, we decided to write an article where 95% of the technical and medical  jargon is thrown out. Only the bare necessities are here in easily digestible, but physiologically sound form. By the time we finish we hope to have presented  cholesterol in the clearest and simplest manner possible in a way everyone can both understand and utilize.

We will attempt demystify the things that you usually hear associated with cholesterol though like “good” and “bad” cholesterol. We will talk about the basics, and also talk about what tests are out there in regards to cholesterol and what they really mean. I think you’ll enjoy this part, as it’s fairly easy to understand, and you’ll very quickly realize how the information that is out there, is mostly incorrect. So hang on tight, and get ready for some cholesterol truth!

How many kinds of cholesterol are there?

There are at least 2 right? Good and bad? WRONG. There is only one kind of cholesterol. It is inheritantly good, and it looks like this.

Riveting pic, I know. Exactly what does cholesterol do in the body? Why is it so important?

  1. It is the beginning structural building block for sex hormones like testosterone
  2. It is very important for cell membrane integrity and fluidity. No cholesterol would mean your cells would be like mini blobs with no rigidity
  3. It is a crucial component of Vitamin D synthesis, with a little help from the sun of course.
  4. It is a primary structural component of your brain and CNS, comprising up to 60% of its overall dry weight. In fact, the highest concentrations of cholesterol in your entire body are in your brain and nervous system.
  5. It is used to make bile acids which are crucial in digestion and absorption of fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins.

So it goes without saying, we need cholesterol. So far so good, we have established that there is only kind of cholesterol, and it’s very important.

Lipoproteins

When someone is speaking of their “cholesterol” levels, what they are actually talking about is a group of molecules called lipoproteins. These lipoproteins act as the carriers of cholesterol. They make it possible for very oily components such as triglycerides and cholesterol to travel through the water-based body. Oil and water don’t mix except with the help of lipoproteins! There are many numerous types of lipoproteins known to us today. Medical science are constantly subdividing them based upon various factors such as size, density, and constituency.But there are five main types which we will discuss today.  The first three you may not know much about, but hang tight for the cool stuff.

  1. Chylomicrons – In size, chylomicrons are the largestof the  lipoproteins. They are created in the small intestine in response to eating a meal, and their main “job” is to be filled with the dietary fat (triglyceride) and cholesterol after you eat a meal (mostly triglyceride),  and then transport these substances to the liver, muscle, and other body components which need them. Once the chylomicron has finished delivering its triglyceride packages to the various body addresses, it is much smaller than when it started. It then travels back to the liver where it is broken down, and possibly reassembled into other lipoproteins like VLDL…
  2. VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein) – VLDL is the second largest in size of the five lipoprotein classes. It is manufactured in the liver and has a similar role in transporting  oily substances through the body. But while the chylomicron’s job is to transport the oily substances that you eat, VLDL’s job is to transport the oily substances which are already in your body from place to place. In comparison to chylomicrons, the triglyceride content is usually a little lower, while the cholesterol content is usually a little higher. As VLDL moves about in the body delivering its packages to the various organ systems, an enzyme called LPL (lipoprotein lipase) removes triglyceride for use by the body. As VLDL gradually loses the triglyceride, it becomes smaller and changes in to….
  3. IDL (Intermediate Density Lipoprotein) – By the time VLDL changed into IDL it is usually carrying about half cholesterol and half triglyceride.  IDLs are further acted upon by enzymes (hepatic lipase), lose more triglyceride and turn into LDL. Ah finally. We made it to something familiar…LDL..the bad stuff!

I know what you are thing, so Matt and John, that’s cool and all, but what does this have to do with anything???

Well remember we said there is only one kind of cholesterol, and you probably thought if there is only one kind, then what exactly are HDL (good), and LDL (bad) cholesterol?

As we said previously, cholesterol does not dissolve in water (thus not blood either).  To get from point A to point B it must move through these lipoprotein carriers. I feel that this situation calls for an analogy. Imagine a road with delivery trucks traveling to and fro with passengers. The trucks are the lipoproteins, the people cholesterol, and the packages in the back are triglycerides. The “HDL” trucks are carrying “cholesterol” people on the road to the Liver Station (your liver). Going the opposite direction are “LDL” cars carrying “cholesterol” people from Liver Station to other places such as Heart City. Keep this fresh in your mind because we are going to return to this analogy often in this discussion.

  1. LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) – By the time we get to LDL, we only have a few packages left. They are sliding back and forth on the floor. I hope they aren’t fragile! We now have a molecule carrying about 90% cholesterol and 10% triglyceride. When a cell needs some cholesterol, it hangs out a vacancy sign ( in the form of an LDL receptor) The delivery driver is tired of hearing these cranky passengers by now. They have been saying “are we there yet?” for the past 3 hours! So the LDL whips into the LDL recpetor and is transported into the cell. His job is done.  Aha, you say. Now it will wreak havok! Well not so fast. More on this later.
  2. HDL (High Density lipoprotein) – Of course we have to mention these carriers too. They are the taxis of the body, stopping along the way to pick up straggling cholesterols who may have had too long of a night out on the town. They  head back to the liver hopefully not running too many red lights. There the excess  will be removed by the body as bile or broken down and re-allocated to other places in the body for other tasks.

lipoproteins

Now that we have laid some groundwork for what is truly going on with cholesterol in your body, lets address a few of the more common myths in our society about cholesterol.

MYTH  #1 – Eating fat will raise LDL levels. BUSTED- As was described above, dietary fat (yes even the saturated kind) is shuttled via chylomicrons from your intestines to the rest of the body. This does nothing to the LDL level in your blood. The amount of dietary fat  that reaches the liver also has little to do with the level of total cholesterol production. We know that in general if you eat less fat, your liver makes more cholesterol, you eat more fat, and your liver makes less due to the fact that there are more chylomicrons circulating. Your body is extremely efficient at regulating itself.

maple bacon donut

Probably a Bad Idea

So take a step back, where does the LDL come from? It originally comes from the VLDL once it has some fat removed from it. Now remember that VLDL’s job was to transport oily substances which were already in the body, not the dietary fat we have eaten (chylomicrons job). So what raises VLDL? Not dietary fat. Think excess carbohydrates. Excess carbohydrate turns into triglyceride very efficiently in the liver, and since it is already IN the body it is the responsibility of VLDL and ultimately LDL to transport it through the body. It is actually proven that generally a lower carb and higher fat diet LOWERS VLDL level. So eating fat will lower VLDL, and in turn the harmful types of LDL. Oh, there are different types of LDL? Absolutely. We will get to the different  types of LDL in just a minute.

We didn’t think of this on our own I am sad to say, the American Journal of Medicine did (Seshadri et all, A randomized study comparing the effects of a low carbohydrate diet and a convention diet on on lipoprotein subfractions and C-reactive protein levels in patients with severe obesity. Amercian Journal Of medicine 117 (5) 2004 pages 398-405), as they were trying to prove the Atkins diet was bad for you. Oops.

Also, in November 2002 studies were published espousing lower carbohydrates for improvement in cholesterol levels. In one study Duke researchers found that “after six months, participants on the Atkins diet had lost 31 pounds, had an 11 percent increase in HDL (good cholesterol) and a 49 percent drop in their tryglyceride levels. Atkins dieters had a 49% reduction in VLDL levels, versus 17% for those on the low-fat group”.

Ok back to your regularly scheduled programming.

How Big is Your Truck?

Slowly but surely the word is getting out that LDL comes in various sizes. Larger particles are more buoyant and fluffy, and don’t lodge into endothelium as easy as smaller particles do. So if this is true, then the semi trucks, and Escalades on the road carrying it’s passengers (cholesterol) are less likely to crash and do damage. They just sort of bounce off the guardrails and keep moving.

The smaller delivery cars, the freaking Miatas, and especially those dang Dodge Darts have the potential to wreak some havoc. They can get stuck under the guardrails (endothelial cells) when they crash. When they get stuck, tons of emergency vehicles have to come to try and get them out of the mess. (Circulation 2002; 106: 3143-3421). And that is when things get messy and very dangerous through plaque formation and ultimately cardiovascular disease.

How Many Cars Can Be On the Road?

traffic jam

So we know that having smaller cars on the road is bad, but what about having so many cars you have a traffic jam regardless of whether they are big or small? Yes that is also an important factor in this discussion. This is called particle concentration. High LDL particle concentration is also considered a player in increased cardiovascular events. El Harchaoui K et al. Value of Low Density particle Number and Size as Predictors of Coronoary Artery Disease in Apparently Healthy Men and Women. J Am Coll Cardiol 2007;49:547-53.

This area is a little grey, but at some point if you just get overloaded with particles bad things are going to happen.

MYTH BUSTER #2 – The myth is that if you have an in range LDL reading (< 100) you are good to go. This is not always certain. LDL readings in standard blood tests  only measure the amount of LDL cholesterol (the number of delivery vehicles)! There is no biological rule that all cars have to be full of people/cholesterol. In some of us, we might have trucks that are only partially full of people, but have a lot more trucks. So think of it this way if this still doesn’t make sense. You can have 10 containers each containing 1 lb of mag 10, or you could have 20 contains that each contain .5 lbs of mag 10. It’s still 10 lbs total, but you have more containers in the second example.

If this sounds far-fetched let me explain. When you eat a lot of sugary food, such as HFCS , your LDL carriers/trucks will fill up with excess triglyceride leaving less room for cholesterol, which requires more delivery trucks to be made and put on the road. The lesson is sugary crap in your diet will give you a higher particle number or concentration that could lead to heart disease and diabetes.

Summary

 

Key points from part 1:

high cholesterol diet

  • There is only one kind of cholesterol, and it is inherently good for us
  • In order to transport oily substances like cholesterol and triglycerides, there must be carrier molecules called lipoproteins. There are five major types of lipoproteins, with HDL and LDL the most well-known.
  • Common LDL lab tests only show the percentage of  total cholesterol that is LDL. It does not show how big the LDL is, or how many particles there are.
  • Larger, more “fluffy” LDL particles seem less likely to cause CV issues down the road.
  • Smaller LDL particles are much more dense and lodge more easily into endothelial tissue, becoming stuck and oxidized, causing an inflammatory response, and leading ultimately to cardiovascular disease.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will discuss:

  • LDL pattern B. How its really the villain in the story and why we produce it
  • How modern commercial food preparation, not dietary fat, is to blame for heart disease
  • Dietary strategies to correct a bad cholesterol test like low HDL, high LDL, and high triglyceride.
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