Category Archives: Diet and Nutrition

Straight, No Chaser Reminder: Processed Meats Cause Cancer

processed-meats-cause-cancer

Perhaps this should be filed under things you already know, think you know, or know but don’t care enough for it to change your lifestyle (we are a bacon-loving nation), but at least after reading this, you can consider yourself an informed consumer.

bacon-wrapped-hot-dog-maple-bar

What’s the news? The World Health Organization has reaffirmed that processed (and cured) meats cause colorectal cancer. This places these foods in the same category of danger as smoking, alcohol intake and asbestos exposure. Furthermore, red meats such as beef, lamb and pork have been upgraded to “probable” carcinogens, which means the research is mounting in that direction but isn’t yet definitive.

bacon cigarettes

Which meats pose the danger? Bacon, ham, hot dogs and sausage, as well as processed meats like salamis and cold cuts.

Red-Meat-1

Can I trust this information? You should. These recommendations were based on data from over 800 different research studies.

Is this an example of “everything in moderation is ok?” Doesn’t everything cause cancer? If you want to believe that, fine. It’s more accurate to say there are levels of risk at every amount of consumption. However, to quantify the risk for this topic, approximately 3 slices of cooked bacon eaten daily was shown to increase the risk for colorectal (bowel) cancer by 18%. The average American eats about 18 pounds of bacon per year, well above that standard. The difference here is this level of consumption is well within the normal eating habits of Americans, as opposed to theoretical consumptions that aren’t practically realized due to insufficient lifetime exposure.

hotdogeating

 

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Advertisements

Advertisements

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser Reminder: Processed Meats Cause Cancer

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Gastrointestinal, Hematology & Oncology/Blood Disorders/Cancer

Straight, No Chaser In the News: New Guidelines on Fruit Juice and Fruit Intake for Kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics has offered revised recommendations regarding children’s intake of fruits and fruit juice. If you’re wondering why such a thing is necessary, think no further than avoiding a lifetime of bad teeth and reducing the risks of childhood obesity and failure to thrive. The recommendations are adjusted by age, but the most fundamental consideration is parents should age giving any fruit juices during the first year of a child’s life. In short, it’s time to toss the sippy cup.

Here are the recommendations:

Birth to Age 1:

  • Breast milk or formula should be the only nutrient fed to infants for the first six months of life.
  • After six months of age, parents can introduce fruits (either mashed or pureed) but not fruit juice.

Ages 1-4:

  • At this age, children need one cup of fruit a day.
  • Up to 4 ounces (half a cup) can come from 100% fruit juice.

Ages 4-6

  • At this age, focus on whole fruits.
  • Fruit juice shouldn’t exceed 4-6 ounces a day.

Ages 7-18

  • At this age, children and teens should get 2 to 2.5 cups of fruit daily.
  • Fruit juice shouldn’t exceed 8 ounces (1 cup) a day.

Don’t worry. Kids adopt the habits you introduce. Nutritious eating is a lifestyle. Develop the habits of fruits in cereals, yogurt or smoothies. Introduce apples and oranges as snacks or deserts. You can even use mashed apples or applesauce as a sugar replacement in baked good.

A final reminder is to avoid fake fruit. Fruit chews, strips or gummies don’t deliver the same nutritional content (especially fiber) as whole fruit. And definitely avoid fruit “drinks,” “beverages” or “cocktails.” These are typically signs that it’s not 100% juice.

Here’s to your health!

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser In the News: New Guidelines on Fruit Juice and Fruit Intake for Kids

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, General Health and Wellness, Pediatrics/Kids Health

Straight, No Chaser: Prevention and Treatment of Food Allergies

FoodAllergies_enHD

Whether or not you personally have a food allergy, it is likely you will find yourself in a situation with someone who does. Food allergies affect approximately 15 million Americans. Given that this could be a life-threatening event, it’s important for you to know some basics about addressing allergic reactions to food as they occur.

Tips to Prevent

Let’s start with some tips for you to better prevent allergic reactions, because once you become aware that you have a food allergy, avoidance means everything. Remember from this post that allergic reactions can occur without you eating the food; simple exposures such as touching or breathing the food can prompt a reaction.

 Peanut-warning-sign

  1. Develop a habit of carefully checking the ingredient labels of food products. You don’t get to live life casually. You must be diligent and make sure you’re not exposing yourself.
  2. Learn other names for the food or foods that you and your doctor think it best to avoid. Especially when you’re eating out, you should present these names on a list to your kitchen staff to ensure your safety. Have the waiters check with the cook or chef. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may wish to do this before entering restaurants, as vapors may be enough to trigger reactions in some.
  3. Have your physician provide you a list of symptoms and instructions in case of an allergic reaction. Keep it within easy reach, and share it when out and about eating. Yes, you need to be this diligent.

 med bracelet

Tips to deal with emergencies

  • The first consideration is you need a plan. Your life probably isn’t as simple as the movies, where you get to stab yourself with some epinephrine and go about your business five minutes later. Rummaging through a pharmacy looking for Benadryl while your throat is closing isn’t your best course of action.
  • Wearing a medical alert bracelet can be life saving in the event you pass out. It can be the only tip available to a medical professional trying to save you.

epipen

  • If you’ve been instructed by your physician on how to self-administer epinephrine (adrenaline), go for it under the correct circumstances.
  • In the absence of that, or while you’re following your physician’s instructions, calling 9-1-1 (i.e., emergency services, an ambulance) is your best bet. They will have the medicine needed to rescue you and the equipment needed to help you if things go wrong. Because you might not have much time, getting help can be more important that attempting to treat yourself.
  • You should be aware that once in the emergency room, treatment focuses on blunting the immune response with steroids and various medicines called antihistamines (histamines are substances that are released by the body in response to perceived threats; inappropriate histamine release causes many of the symptoms of an allergic reaction).

Advances in Food Allergy Treatment

There is no cure for food allergy. Researchers in food allergy treatments are focusing on new methods of treatment, some of which your primary care physician or allergist may consider.

  • Oral and sublingual immunotherapy: This involves providing small amounts of the allergic substance either by mouth or under the tongue, and treating reactions as they occur. The idea here is to allow you to better tolerate increasing exposures to the allergen.
  • Chinese herbal medicine: An herbal remedy known as FAHF-2 is being studied to assess effectiveness against those serious, life threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
  • Anti-IgE therapy: IgE is the molecule our bodies use to fight off allergic threats. Anti-IgE molecules bind to IgE in an effort to curb that response and provide possible short-term relief treatment from food allergies.

While these treatments are still in ongoing studies to determine safety and long-term effectiveness, these potential advances represent the best source of optimism in food allergy research in recent memory. If you have any additional questions, certainly contact your Sterling Medical Advice expert consultant or your physician.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Prevention and Treatment of Food Allergies

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Endocrine/Metabolic, Hematology & Oncology/Blood Disorders/Cancer

Straight, No Chaser: Food Allergies

I often say whatever you put in your mouth either helps or harms you. Today, we discuss food allergies, which sound like a cruel trick or something out of a horror movie, but unfortunately, they’re all too real. Let’s address questions on the topic.

 food.allergies.101.cnn.640x480

Why do I get allergies anyway?

Food and other types of allergies result from your body mistaking harmless substances for potential threats. The resulting immune response is an attempt to defeat that threat. You are caught in the crossfire, and you exhibit symptoms as a result.

Why do I get allergies to foods I’ve eaten before without a problem?

In many instances, the first time you’re exposed to a certain new food, your body is only primed, and you won’t experience symptoms. A subsequent exposure will prompt the full allergic response.

Is there a way to know if I’m at risk?

Food allergies are more likely in those who have a family history of allergies, asthma or eczema. Take a minute today and ask your parents if they have any allergies to foods or medicines. It’s good to be aware.

How do I know my symptoms are an allergic reaction?

We’ll discuss symptoms shortly, but one big clue is the timing of symptoms. Allergic reactions due to food take place within minutes to a few hours after exposure. It’s not as important for you to know the symptoms as to realize that you’re not well and that evaluation is needed.

 food allergy sx

So what are the symptoms?

Let’s start with the life-threatening considerations. If you have any shortness of breath, mental status changes (e.g. confusion, severe dizziness) or sensation that your throat is closing, get to an emergency room as soon as possible. Other symptoms may include the following.

  • Itching or swelling of your mouth or the tissues between your mouth and throat
  • Hives, wheals, or an eruption of your eczema
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Drop in your blood pressure

food allergy touch

Can you get food allergies from touching foods?

Yes. As an example, those with peanut allergies can have an allergic reaction from breathing in peanut residue, touching peanuts or using skin products that contain peanuts.

 food-allergies

Which foods are most likely to cause allergies?

Here is a partial list of foods commonly causing food allergies.

  • Cow’s mik
  • Eggs
  • Fish/shellfish
  • Peanuts/tree nuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat

Cow’s milk? Is that the same as lactose intolerance? 

No. That’s a different consideration and an upcoming post.

What about treatment?

That’s tomorrow’s post. Obviously knowledge and avoidance are key.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Food Allergies

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Endocrine/Metabolic, Hematology & Oncology/Blood Disorders/Cancer

Straight, No Chaser: When Eating Goes Wrong, Part II – Bulimia

Bulimia…-nerviosa-1

If you read Part I of this conversation on eating disorders (anorexia nervosa), you will recall that eating disorders are a mix of an abnormal body image combined with abnormal behaviors that lead to medical consequences. Today’s Straight, No Chaser is on bulimia, yet another dangerous eating disorder.

The ‘Bizz-Buzz’ of bulimia nervosa is ‘binge-purge.’ What that means is bulimics engage in frequent episodes of eating excessive amounts of food (bingeing) followed by one of several methods of eliminating what was just ingested (purging). This methods include forced vomiting (most common), use of diuretics or laxatives, fasting or excessive exercise. It is important to note that the bulimic feels a lack of control over these episodes.

bulimia_nervosa_1

Bulimia is an especially dangerous disease because it usually occurs in secret, and victims are able to hide it. This means symptoms will typically be further along when discovered. Bulimics usually manage to maintain a normal or healthy weight despite their behavior and may appear to be the person who ‘never gains weight’ despite ‘eating like a horse.’ This is a key differentiator between bulimia and anorexia. Otherwise, the two diseases do share some of the same psychological pathology, including the fear of weight gain and the unhappiness with physical appearance.

Treatment considerations for bulimia are similar to those for other eating disorders. A combination of psychotherapy, reestablishment of normal nutritional intake and medications usually leads to marked improvement. Again, the particular challenge with bulimics is discovering the condition in the first place. As with anorexia nervosa, treatment for bulimia nervosa often involves a combination of options and depends upon the needs of the individual. Medications may include antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac), if the patient also has depression or anxiety.

Let’s recap by revisiting where we started with our conversation on anorexia. Our society doesn’t do the job it should in promoting a normal image of health. The typically promoted American ideal of beauty sets standards that lead many to pursue unrealistic means of meeting that ideal. In the setting of an actual American population that is obese by medical standards, this becomes even more of a problem. The levels of stress, anxiety and depression resulting from this reality sometimes leads to eating disorders. Remember, eating disorders aren’t just habits. They are life-threatening conditions. If you or a loved one is suffering, please seek help immediately.

bulimia

Post-script: If you’re wondering about the above picture of the teeth, you’re viewing the effects of all that regurgitated acid on the enamel layer of your teeth.  I know. It’s not your best look.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: When Eating Goes Wrong, Part II – Bulimia

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Gastrointestinal, Mental Health

Straight, No Chaser: When Eating Goes Wrong, Part I – Anorexia

anorexia_nervosa11

Simply put, our society doesn’t do the job it should in promoting a normal image of health at either end of the body size spectrum. The typically promoted American ideal of beauty sets standards that lead many to pursue unrealistic means of meeting that ideal. In the setting of an actual American population that is disproportionately obese by medical standards, this becomes even more of a problem, as individuals give up on realistic goals and settle into unhealthy eating habits that lead to disease due to obesity.

Most people are aware of two eating disorders (on the low side that is; obesity is another conversation): anorexia and bulimia. It is important to note that eating disorders are real medical and mental diseases. It is equally important to understand that they can be treated. It is vitally important to understand that when left untreated these disorders lead to a much higher incidence of death than in those without these conditions. These diseases cause severe disturbances in one’s diet, so much so that individuals spiral out of control toward severe disease and death in many instances. Sufferers of eating disorders often have a distorted self-image and ongoing concerns about weight and appearance. (This is as true for those pathologically overweight and in denial as it is for those pathologically underweight.)

anorexia-nervosa

Today’s Straight, No Chaser discusses anorexia. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder with nearly a 20 times greater likelihood of death that those in the general population of a similar age. Why, you ask? Simply put, anorexics are suffering the consequences of starving themselves. Anorexics have a maniacal and relentless pursuit of thinness, even in the face of being extremely thin. They couple an unwillingness to maintain a healthy weight with an intense fear of gaining weight. They possess a distorted view of their bodies and severely restrict their eating in response. They are obsessed.

Other symptoms and habits of anorexics include a lack of menstruation (among females, though men suffer from anorexia, too), binge-eating followed by extreme dieting and excessive exercise, misuse of diuretics, laxatives, enema and diet medications. The medical manifestations of anorexia are serious and can include osteoporosis or osteopenia (bone thinning), anemia, brittle hair and nails, dry skin, infertility, chronically low blood pressure, lethargy and fatigue, and heart and brain damage. It’s worth noting again that people die from anorexia. It is a disorder to be taken seriously.

The key components of treating eating disorders in general are stopping the behavior, reducing excessive exercise and maintaining or establishing adequate nutrition. The pursuit of adequate nutrition is vital enough that when patients develop dehydration and chemical imbalances (i.e., electrolyte abnormalities), they need hospitalization to correct deficiencies.

Specific management of anorexia involves addressing the psychological issues related to the eating disorder, obtaining a healthy weight, and consuming sufficient nutrition. This may involve various forms of behavioral therapy and medication. Regarding medication use, although some (such as antipsychotics or antidepressants) have been effective in addressing issues related to anorexia such as depression and anxiety, no medication has been proven effective in reversing weight loss and promoting weight gain back to a healthy/normal level. Similarly, behavioral therapy has been shown to assist in addressing the roots causes of anorexia but insufficient in addressing the medical issues that the disease contributed to or caused. Ultimately, it appears that a combination of medications, other medical interventions and behavioral therapy is the most effective course. As is the case with most illnesses, the earlier treatment is initiated, the better the outcome tends to be.

Please maintain a sufficient sensitivity toward those with anorexia. It’s a life-threatening condition, not the punch line of a joke about someone’s appearance.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: When Eating Goes Wrong, Part I – Anorexia

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Mental Health

Straight, No Chaser: The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate, aka Happy Valentine’s Day!

happy-valentines-day-2014-300x223

Happy Valentine’s Day! Got Dark Chocolate?

dark-chocolate

As you may know if you’re a regular reader, Straight, No Chaser is big on you enjoying life and making healthy choices while doing so. In that spirit, on this day of roses and chocolates, we’re here to share with you the benefits of dark chocolate.

That’s right. Chocolate does have health benefits, but all chocolate is not created equal. If your loved one gives you chocolates today, that’s great (if that’s your thing). If s/he gives you dark chocolate, that’s an extra level of loving!

Straight, No Chaser has previously discussed the health benefits of antioxidants. Here’s the thing: antioxidants are substances that prevent or delay cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are byproducts of many activities that create cell damage. Think about cigarette smoke, trauma (even excessively vigorous exercise), excessive heat and sunlight (and its radiation), to name a few examples. The process of creating and releasing these molecules is called oxidation. The key point is free radicals are unstable and too many of them lead to a process called oxidative stress. This process is implicated in the development of many illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cataracts and other eye diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Antioxidants fight this process; this is why foods rich in antioxidants are called superfoods!

antioxidantsawesome

Here are the known benefits of dark chocolate:

  1. It lowers blood pressure.
  2. It increases the levels of antioxidants, which reduces the incidence of heart disease of other conditions.
  3. It potential slows the onset of many (if not any) disease made likely by increased levels of free radicals. This points to benefits for brain health, slowing aging, cancer prevention and many other conditions.

dark chocolate_types1-e1423973494873

Here’s how to enjoy the benefits of dark chocolate:

  1. Remember, it’s dark chocolate (not white chocolate or milk chocolate) that provides these health benefits.
  2. Offset the extra calories you’re ingesting by exercise or otherwise eating less.
  3. Don’t drink milk while enjoying your dark chocolate; it appears to interfere with the body’s absorption of the dark chocolate.
  4. Go for European dark chocolate if available. It’s richer in cocoa phenols (the specific compounds known to lower blood pressure).
  5. Remember that a dark chocolate diet is not a thing! This is you making healthy choices even as you enjoy sweets.

dark-chocolate-health-food-get-fit-in-shape-

So if you’re going to chomp down on a truffle or bon-bon today, make it dark chocolate. And hold the milk. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate, aka Happy Valentine’s Day!

Filed under Cardiology/Heart, Detoxification, Diet and Nutrition, General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention