Category Archives: Diet and Nutrition

American Diet Report Card: Needs Improvement

How healthy is your diet? If you were to be graded and given a report card based on the choices you make, would you receive a passing grade? The Center for Science in the Public Interest used data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the dietary habits of the average American and their report showed that there is a lot of room for improvement for the majority of us!

When compared to previous comparable report cards, there have been some areas where the scores were better, but there were also some areas in which the grades were slipping. For example, the average American did manage to decrease the consumption of red meat, scoring a B grade in the subject of Meat, Poultry, and Seafood. At the same time, the consumption of fruits and vegetables has risen, bringing the grade to a B- in that area.

However, one of the areas in which we aren’t doing as well is in our obsession with sweets. This consumption of sweeteners is primarily in the form of drinks, such as soft drinks and sugar-sweetened juices. In the consumption of sugars, the average American earned a dismal D+, an especially influential low score, give that the overconsumption of sugars is associated with increased risks of diabetes and obesity. Also lacking was adequate consumption of healthy grains. Although grains are being consumed quite highly, the majority of them are greatly processed, such as in products made out of white flour instead of those made from whole grains. In the area of grains, the average American earned only a C on the report card.

In terms of dairy, although we are eating a bit less 4% fat whole milk (which was viewed as positive), that habit may be offset by a considerable increase in the consumption of cheese and a large increase in the amount of yogurt being eaten. In terms of fats, some improvements are being made in that the amount of saturated fat in the form of shortening being consumed is dropping by quite a bit, being replaced by oil.

Overall, the grade point average or GPA that the average American received on this report was a dismal 2.42. When all was said and done, keeping improvements and declines in mind, we are eating about the same quantity of food and the dietary choices we are making in our diet has about the same health score as it did a decade ago. Looking further back, however, the average American in 2010 was eating nearly 500 calories more, per day, than was consumed in 1970. This represents an increase in 23 percent in daily calories. As vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts, meats, and lean dairy are approximately the same during that time, it appears clear that the increase in caloric intake is primarily from the consumption of unhealthy fat sources, sugars, and carbs.

Familiarity with proper portion size, on top of general knowledge of nutrition is generally lacking among most Americans. Addressing these issues will be vital in helping to overcome the obesity problem across the country.

Mark Cutler is the Director of Sales & Marketing for Zone Labs in Marblehead, MA. He received his Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications from University of Massachusetts Amherst. Mark has spent the past 12 years working in the diet, wellness, and supplement industry with a focus on omega 3 fatty acids and insulin control.

How to Eat Smartly To Have Everlasting Teeth Whiteness

Eating for having a pearly white smile? Yes, you heard it right. Oral health care is not all about brushing your teeth twice like a goody two shoes and then eating unhealthy food like a glutton. What you eat that reflects not only on your skin but also on your teeth colour. Eating smartly can save you the trouble for undergoing expensive teeth whitening procedures in cosmetic dentistry. You just have to eat food correctly without compromising on your taste.

Eating raw vegetables

  • You can use homemade teeth whiteners: Homemade teeth whiteners are a great substitute for teeth whitening toothpaste if you prefer natural remedies. You can rub baking soda on your teeth to make them whiter. However it shouldn’t be done more than once a week. If your teeth are not sensitive then applying lemon juice to the teeth and washing it off as soon as you start to feel sensation can also be a teeth whitening solution.
  • Eating raw vegetables after meals can improve oral health: Having a pearly white smile is the dream of every person. But that smile can only be achieved if your teeth remain clean without any slightest presence of plaque. Instead of soft items, you should prefer to eat raw vegetables like sea cucumber, carrots and cabbage because these food items are very helpful in keeping the teeth surface clean. Being teeth wise is not about spending hundreds of dollars on cosmetic dentistry; it’s about doing oral care smartly.
  • Ditch food items that cause staining of your teeth: Stained teeth look too bad and you feel like getting your teeth bleached. If stained teeth are a major problem for you even after you take proper care of your oral hygiene, then you must understand that the main problem lies with your diet. A close self scrutiny of your diet will reveal the major food culprits which cause the staining problem. It could be the beetroot juice, cocoa drink, chocolates and curry with turmeric etc. So, you must avoid these items if you truly crave for a mesmerizing smile. Also, if you really feel like having these things, then go for a juicy variation and drink with straw.
  • Don’t eat food with temperature extremities: So many people belonging to all age groups complain of teeth sensitivity. Do you know the reason for it? If you are not negligent about oral health, then the sensitivity problem may be arising from your frequent consumption of very hot of very cold food. A sweetened ice bar seems harmless but it can cause teeth sensitivity if you bite into the ice bar instead of licking it slowly. Same logic goes with the consumption of very hot soups. You should eat your meals which have been brought to moderate room temperatures.

Author Bio: This is a guest contribution by freelance author Subodh, who currently writing for http://dentimplants.co.uk/.

Diet For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Nervous diarrhoea, spastic constipation and acute pain in the lower abdomen are common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. The disorder is often stress-related. Although there is no cure for this disorder as yet, careful attention to diet and stress management helps keep symptoms under control.

Diet For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

If stress seems to trigger the symptoms, then a diary should be maintained to record the symptoms and the events associated with them. This would help clarify the connection between the two. Once the events or situations have been identified, ways to deal with them can be devised. Regular or vigorous exercise or any hobby may provide a hreak from stressful situations.

Diet

Eat fewer greasy, high-fat foods. Spicy foods bother some people. Instead of raw fibre, cooked fibre is better tolerated in case of an acute attack. For instance, vegetable soups are better than fruit juices; cooked vegetables are better than salads. Drink water instead of caffeine, alcohol or sugary drinks (they’re intestinal stimulants). In general, the diet is based on whether the main symptom is constipation or diarrhoea.

For constipation, add fibre to your diet in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and pulses, and also increase the intake of water. Fibre absorbs water and softens the stools. Regular exercise also maintains bowel regularity.

For constipation, add fibre to your diet in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and pulses, and also increase the intake of water. Fibre absorbs water and softens the stools. Regular exercise also maintains bowel regularity.

For diarrhoea, limiting the intake of certain foods helps, e.g., beans, cabbage, apples, citrus fruits, milk and milk products, coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, alcohol, spicy and fried foods.

Essentially, it’s getting to know about your body’s tolerance or intolerance for specific foods. Keep a track of what you can tolerate. A food diary may help figure out your food intolerance. Mint in any form has been found beneficial in an acute attack.

Diet For Liver Diseases

The liver is a very important organ of our body in which many metabolic processes occur. Toxins and bacteria absorbed from the intestine may directly reach the liver and cause injury. Dietary deficiencies may make the organ susceptible to the injurious effects of infections and toxins.

Methionine is an amino acid that prevents liver damage caused by any dietary deficiency. Since milk and animal proteins are rich in methionine, the consumption of milk or animal foods prevents damage of the liver cells.

Glycogen also protects the liver cells against damage. Carbohydrates are useful not only for meeting energy requirements but also for reducing the endogenous breakdown of proteins by their ‘protein sparing effect.

Diet for Liver Diseases

In general, vitamins of the B group have a beneficial effect on the liver.

Alcohol supplies calories but it cannot be stored in the liver as glycogen. When alcohol is taken, there is a proportionate increase in the need for protein and vitamins of the B group. Further, the gastritis produced by alcohol may reduce the appetite and thereby the intake of proteins. A chronic alcoholic is often deficient in proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins, which makes his liver highly vulnerable to any infection or toxin.

Jaundice

Jaundice is the yellow discolouration of the skin with bile pigments, due to rise in the serum bilirubin. Jaundice may be produced due to excessive breakdown of red blood cells or due to the damage of the cells either by viral infection or by toxic drugs. The commonest cause of jaundice is viral hepatitis.

Viral jaundice is usually a self-limiting disease. Most patients recover with only rest, diet and vitamins. Viral hepatitis tends to run a more severe course in undernourished patients than in the well nourished.

Diet

In severe jaundice (serum bilirubin over 15 mg) a moderate intake of protein is required, through cereals like porridge, rice, biscuits, bread, rusks and ahapatis. When the intensity of jaundice is less, or on recovery from jaundice, a high-protein diet containing dals, beans, eggs, fish and meat is recommended.

There is no evidence that when the usual amount of protein is taken, the average consumption of fat is harmful. In severe jaundice fat may be avoided. In moderate to mild jaundice about 50-60 gm of fat may be given daily (to be used in cooking-fried foods are not permitted). Pickles, dried fruits and nuts should be avoided in all cases of jaundice.

Carbohydrates are necessary to provide energy and reduce the endogenous breakdown of proteins to a minimum. Fruits, fruit juice, vegetables and vegetable juices, soups, sugar, gur, and honey should be given liberally, as they not only provide carbohydrates but also supply adequate minerals and vitamins.