March 2012 | Dr. Stephen Gullo

Monthly Archives: March 2012

MUFAs vs. PUFAs: The Battle of the Acronyms

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Healthy Types of Oils

Image source: fitnessfinger.com

MUFAs and PUFAs might sound like a cuddly toy poodle and a bad hairstyle, respectively, but they’re actually types of fats. You probably already know that saturated fats and trans fats are bad for you and that there are indeed some healthy fats out there… somewhere. This is where MUFAs and PUFAs come into play. MUFAs are monounsaturated fatty acids – they’re the good guys. Eating MUFAs can help lower your total cholesterol and improve regulation of blood sugar levels. This isn’t to say that you should stick a funnel in your mouth and start guzzling olive oil – it still contains calories. In fact, all fats contain 9 calories per gram. But, if you swap out trans fats and saturated fats for MUFAs as part of your weight loss diet, it can help improve your general health.

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A Day in the Life of a High-Protein Diet

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Frying Bacon, Eggs, and Sausage

Image source: vancouversun.com

Remember the Atkins diet craze in the early 2000’s? It even caused a dip in the sale of Krispy Kreme donuts. The Atkins diet never really went away; it just evolved into the royally famous Dukan diet, the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet, and other weight loss disasters. High-protein diets advise their followers to eat lots of beef, bacon, chicken, turkey, eggs, and cheese, while severely limiting or altogether abolishing other food groups. On a high-protein or all-protein diet, a dieter might eat some eggs with cheese and bacon for breakfast, an artery-clogging cheeseburger without a bun for lunch, and chicken breasts or fish for dinner.

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Ackee

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Ripe Ackee on Tree

Image source: flickrhivemind.net

Ackee, also called akee apple or akee, is a member of the soapberry family, related to lychee and longan. It is a tropical fruit that is native to West Africa. Unripe ackee is green and should never be eaten due to toxins that can cause severe, life-threatening illness. Similarly, the ripe ackee, which is a yellow-orange, should always be peeled; never eat the rind. The seeds should also be avoided. It’s easy to tell if an ackee is ripe or not because the fruit will dramatically split open as it ripens.

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Lentils

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Lentil Soup with Chard

Image source: myrecipes.com

Lentils are legumes. While most dried beans require a great deal of soaking in water prior to cooking, lentils only require a quick rinse before adding them to your favorite recipes. You can purchase the ubiquitous green and brown lentils or try yellow, red, or orange varieties. One cup of cooked lentils contains 230 calories. It’s also a good source of protein for vegetarians, containing about 18 g of protein per cooked cup. The same serving size has nearly 16 g of fiber, making it a great food for those who need to lower their total cholesterol levels.

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Usain Bolt Jokes Around With His Diet

By | High-Carbohydrate | No Comments
Usain Bolt Celebrates a Win

Image source: guardian.co.uk

The perpetually easy-going Olympic track legend, Usain Bolt, had nutritionists in a tizzy when he claimed that he was powered by chicken nuggets. This record-breaking sprinter informed a reporter that he never eats breakfast. Instead, Usain Bolt claimed that he usually sleeps in until 11 a.m., at which point he watches a little TV while chowing down on chicken nuggets. Bolt went on to state that he usually goes to sleep for a couple more hours after that, followed by more chicken nugget eating, before he finally moseys on over to the track.

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Barack Obama’s Presidential Diet

By | Balanced Diets | No Comments
President Barack Obama Speaks in the Rose Garden

Image source: article.wn.com

Michelle Obama’s campaign to end childhood obesity has made national headlines. So has the First Family’s affinity for junk food. They’ve been photographed eating everything from ice cream to chili dogs. The press, it seems, can’t get enough of the Obamas’ eating habits. Despite preaching fresh garden goodness, it’s well known that Barack’s favorite food is fried chicken and that Mrs. Obama isn’t above sampling the occasional burger and fries. So just how is one to reconcile these two very different types of eating habits?

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Eating Citrus Fruits for Weight Loss

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Array of Citrus Fruits

Image source: diabetesandlife.com

Eating sweet, tangy citrus fruits on a weight loss diet can help you satisfy your sweet tooth and bypass the chocolate ice cream. Citrus fruits also tend to be lower in calories with lots of fiber to help keep your stomach satisfied between meals. Choose a variety of different citrus fruits to take advantage of their numerous health benefits, like antioxidants. Many citrus fruits, like grapefruits, have a low Glycemic Index value. This means that they avoid creating harmful blood sugar spikes and crashes.

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Losing Weight Safely While Breastfeeding

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Mother Holding Newborn

Image source: information-on-surrogacy.com

Mothers who breastfeed should never attempt to drastically cut calories or otherwise have a restricted diet. Your body will burn about 500 calories a day just by breastfeeding. Plus, giving birth and taking care of a newborn requires a TON of energy. Before attempting to lose weight while breastfeeding, consult your doctor. A reduced-calorie diet can limit the amount of milk your baby will get. That said, it is certainly possible to lose weight safely while breastfeeding – just do it gradually. Eat a varied diet with plenty of fresh produce, complex carbs, and lean proteins. Buy organic whenever possible to limit the amount of pesticides in your food.

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Bake a Better Cookie

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Basket of Cookies

Image source: pittsburghfudge.com

When we diet, we often tell ourselves that eating just one cookie won’t wreck our weight loss efforts. And it won’t – the problem is that it’s almost impossible to eat just one cookie. Instead of relying on willpower, make your favorite treats at home from scratch so that you can control the ingredients that go into them. Instead of using table sugar or brown sugar, use a healthier sugar substitute. Swap out all or part of the white flour for healthier whole grains or nut flours. Add healthy ingredients like berries to increase the vitamin content. This way, you can have your cookie and eat it too – without relying on tasteless, nutrient-devoid diet cookies.

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Transcending Trans Fats

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Shelves of Doughnuts in Bakery

Image source: jsd-cpe.blogspot.com

Trans fats, also called trans fatty acids, have a bad reputation – with good reason. We all know that eating saturated fats can increase our LDL cholesterol levels. But trans fats take it a step further by simultaneously lowering HDL cholesterol – which is the good type of cholesterol. Trans fats occur naturally in small amounts in animal products like beef and full-fat dairy products. Most of our dietary intake of trans fats comes from artificial sources.

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