After Holiday Weight Gain Blues

22 01 2019

Travel and Food Go Together – Pacing oneself is the challenge.

Last updated 22 Jan 19, by Marc Woodard

Another year has gone by with all the Holiday decor and cheer with it. I understand some of you had a tough time with the food choices and amount that you consumed; and last year’s weight loss resolution didn’t work out so well.

With that being said, should I dare say some of you are not only bummed out after you stepped on the scale, you have the weight gain blues.

There are many reasons weight gain occurs. I would never tell you I know exactly what you are going through. However I do know, out-of-control weight gain is often attached to an emotional lifestyle change. And those changes often trigger over consumption of food and drink – especially during and after the Holiday season, or vacations. And this can lead to acute-to-chronic depression for many.

There is also an illness-disease relationship associated with unhealthy body weight – especially once we become obese. At this point the mind-body becomes susceptible to greater health risk. For example, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), congenital heart disease, fibromyalgia-phantom pain, etc. A daily habit of over eating may also increase other bad habits, i.e., smoking, drinking, illicit drug or unnecessary pharmaceutical use.

In general, stressful life events cannot be avoided. But can be stress-minimized through understanding the environmental triggers causing them. Regardless of season, or any day for that matter… you must learn how to target and identify the physical, mental and/or social triggers causing the emotional stress keeping you overweight and unfit and do something about it.

Unfortunately for some – the over weight condition may be the result of a genetic or metabolic factor, Which may have less to do with lifestyle habits and behavior – but more to do with an inefficient calorie burning furnace. Any long-term weight gain that threatens health should seek medical attention immediately from a physician.

Recreational Activity Does a Body Good.

Below I’ve listed a few behavioral habit forming relationships that can be changed before and after any holiday season or vacation to help reduce body fat weight gain and achieve the weight loss goal.

8 Lifestyle Changes You can Make to Achieve Your New Years Resolution Weight Loss Goal.

  1. Holiday Cheer Weight Gain – What can I say about Holiday Cheer that I haven’t mentioned in my previous writings.  Have a Holiday battle meal plan before you set down at the table.  Read the following article, “10 Step Basic Weight Loss Tips.”
  2.  Last Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Failed – You know why you failed your weight loss program from previous years. You did not resolve, or change your eating, drinking, or exercise habits. To do so is still too painful for whatever the reason. Until you resolve and/or get serious about your weight loss goal, or seek professional help, regardless of who provides you weight loss tips, services or program… you’ll likely continue to struggle with body weight.
  3.  Pain factor – All pain is directly related to illness, disease and/or injury. And with pain comes more sedentary habits. It is for this reason, it is more important than ever you work with your primary physician and pain management specialists to find treatment and activity that’s right for you. If you have mental and physical pain that’s not been diagnosed – seek advisement and referrals from your primary care physician.
  4.  Stressful life events cause excess calorie consumption– For many the habit of eating more calories than needed may come from everyday stresses caused by work or home environment, or bad relationship with spouse, friend or family member. Or the stress could be caused by some other non-diagnosed physical and mental pain from childhood. Stress events can culminate and increase a depression mood that causes one to eat more in an attempt to feel better. Once you target the cause of your stress induced bad habit and/or behavior and remove it… it’s more likely you’ll succeed in a safe weight program over a set period of time.
  5.  Carry the party into New Year – Some carry the end of year festivities into the new year. This behavior can last for months, or the entire year. This continued habit will not help you lose weight or remove the depression umbrella. “First and foremost, you must understand this is occurring and must break this unhealthy habit.” As one ages and the habit continues – health risk increases.
  6.  Fast foods after the Holiday’s. Too many Americans consume fast foods especially during the Holidays. Here lies a crux for much of the American obesity problem. During this time of year there is a huge spike in fast foods and alcohol sales. Yes, business booms almost in every sector of the economy. Fast foods are convenient, chemically addictive and bad for health in the long run. I know you’re thinking, what if I just give up the fast food places and eat out at restaurants? While this is a better concept, you don’t know how much of those meals are processed with unhealthy garbage causing your weight gain. Also when you eat out – most tend to eat more. Instead develop a healthy whole foods shopping habit and limit yourself to 1 fast food meal a week. I highly recommend you read, “Restaurant and Grocery Foods Healthy?
  7.  Love of Baking – I know, some of you carry your new found baking habits into the new year. Although there is nothing wrong with cooking your own food, the pitfall is when you love everything you bake just a little too much. I know the kids love your home made cookies, cakes and pies. Remember moderation with deserts. Too much sugar, fat and salt is not good for anyone, even children with fast metabolisms. If you’re having a tough time changing up your baking habit – try becoming a little more creative by offering different types of deserts… fresh fruits, jello, pudding, etc. Mix it up and break away from the continuous high fat baking habit.
  8.  Empty Nester’s Bake for an Army – Regardless of season, there are many who continue to cook for an entire family after the children have left home. There are many things tied into this habit. This is a tough habit to change – especially if the spouse demands traditional family recipes. If you continue to cook this way, you’ll not reduce food portions – it will be more challenging to meet your weight loss goal.

Once you target the cause of your weight gain nemesis and make healthier lifestyle choices that include daily exercise activities – your fitness levels and health will improve dramatically, while achieving your weight loss resolution once and for all.

Good health to you and your family!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET2019 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

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“FDA Bans Hydrogenated Trans Fats”

14 11 2018

Be sure to eat healthy and get your daily walk exercise on. It does a body good.

Updated:  14 Nov 2018, Marc Woodard

In order to understand how unhealthy Trans Fats are it is necessary to first define and relate to them and how this unhealthy fat got into our food in the first place.  And why the FDA agrees it’s not fit for human consumption.

Hydrogenated Trans fats were invented in the 1890s.  What took the FDA so long to put a ban on the hydrogenation of vegetable oils?  And even with a ban does this keep Trans Fats out of our diet?

Much of the hydrogenated Trans Fat story has to do with low product cost and hyper palatable fat that addict consumers to purchase those products repeatedly. Which in turn generates huge profits for the food processing companies.  These basic facts explain the longevity of Trans Fats in the marketplace.

The FDA ban of trans fats occurred after decades of studying the effects of it on human health.

“Although saturated fat is the main dietary culprit that raises LDL (Low Density LipoProtein), added Trans Fat and dietary cholesterol also contribute significantly to increased LDL’s [which represent unhealthy blood chemistry and related cause to cardiovascular disease].  Trans fat can often be found in processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils such as vegetable shortenings, some margarines (especially margarines that are harder), crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, and baked goods (FDA 2017).”

In the past consumers sought low cost, tasty and convenient processed foods and praised the hydrogenation process because of cost and exceptional flavor. But now the FDA agrees with consumer safety advocates – banning this fat completely over the next few years would be best for consumer health and health care industry.

To learn why the FDA is now taking action it is necessary to define Trans Fats, hydrogenation, poly hydrogenated oil and how this man made fat causes disease.

Adding more hydrogen to oil is simply the process of man infusing more hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation) to a vegetable oil(s) mono-poly unsaturated fatty carbon molecule chain.  The vegetable oil than becomes a “Partially” or fully hydrogenated (fat saturated) “Trans Fat.”  i.e., Listed on food labels as Partial hydrogenated and/or Trans Fats are the same thing of varying atomic degree. 

But not obvious to most consumers…  through hydrogenation the oil becomes a more solid Trans hard fat that’s very unhealthy for us.  That is vegetable oils are artificially hardened to achieve “firm” convenience soft spreads with long shelf life e.g., margarine, cooking oils and shortening.

To identify Trans Fats in food products, manufacturers list these values on ingredient labels.  Note the words Partially Hydrogenated soybean Oil (PHO) on margarine and butter labels below.  This is code for Trans Fats. You can find PHO listed as an ingredient in many snack, dessert foods, vegetable oils and even health supplemental products, etc.   And when you see 0g Trans Fats on the label, food manufacturers are allowed up to .5grams Trans Fats per serving and can list this value as zero while simultaneously displaying PHO.

The good news for consumers as previously stated, the FDA now requires food manufactures to follow more stringent Trans Fat label laws.  For instance if a food product has .5g Trans Fats or more, that value has to be listed on the label (FDA 2017).

This means all Trans Fats in foods must be identified.  Even if the words Trans Fat equals 0 grams, the food product is allowed up to .499grams per serving when PHO is listed.  Many don’t know Trans Fats are also in organic wholefoods.  Ever wonder how they get into animal and vegetable products?

Live stock graze on vegetation which contain a certain amount of poly unsaturated oil in them.  Through animal grazing PHO’s (Poly Unsaturated Oil) are digested and some of this oil is stored in saturated fat cells.  Hence all products have varying amounts of naturally stored PHO or Trans Fats in them.  Just like humans.

Unlike organic dietary fats, hydrogenated Trans fats are not essential to the diet and significantly increase health risk when consuming too many of them.

I know conscientious consumers remove animal fat before eating a steak, or  ladle the fat from broth to reduce fat intake calories.  This is easy to do because it is easily seen.  However Tran’s fats blend into processed baked and convenience foods and can’t be seen or removed.  This is why it’s important to understand where Trans Fats come from and how to identify them in the foods eaten daily.   This knowledge becomes even more important if you now suffer from obesity, diabetes or heart disease.

Over consumption of fatty foods in general is bad.  But far worse when too many deceptive Trans-fats are mixed into baked goods.

In the past hydrogenation of cooking oils was used excessively by food industries until it was determined Tran’s fats were worse for you than natural occurring organic fats.  Early 2006, companies began removing the Trans fat hydrogenation processes from foods and labeling “0” amounts of Trans Fats as required by the FDA.  But as you now know “0” does not mean “0 Trans Fats and there a connection to organic food PHO chemistry.

In 2015 the “U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized its determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS for use in human food.  Food manufacturers will have three years to remove PHOs from products (FDA 2015).”

Even through the FDA recently determined Trans Fats are not safe for humans the end to manmade Trans Fats won’t end until 2017-18…  this will not ban all Trans Fats from all foods because of the natural occurring PHO found in livestock and plants.  But food manufacturers will be required to continue listing Trans Fats, mono-poly and saturated fat values.

Is this a win for everyone?  I guess it depends on individual and company perspective.

For the health conscious consumer and those suffering from obesity, diabetes and other related illness and disease these changes could be of great dietary health benefit.  For those on fixed and low incomes it may cost more and limit choice of healthy foods in the marketplace.  For a manufacturer it may increase the cost of doing business.  Unfortunately his increase in cost is usually passed onto the consumer.

There will be winners and losers no matter how you look at this thing.

Reference

US Department of Health and Human Resources. FDA Food and Drug Administration (FDA 2015-2017).

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2018 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Foods and Drugs that Don’t Mix Well

7 04 2013
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Many natural foods don’t mix well with medications

Many don’t realize some foods can interact badly with prescription drugs when consumed together.  Those that fail to read the dietary warning’s listed on specific pharmaceutical labels, or disregard the prescription use instructions can cause health risk to the body.

Listed below are 7 common prescription drugs and foods that when consumed together can increase health risk and/or cause severe ill-health side effects.  There are many chemical reactions that occur within our bodies to keep the metabolism and overall physiology balanced.  And when using pharmaceuticals it is important to understand, even the most benign appearing foods can cause an unhealthy chemical reaction within our bodies.

    The prescription drugs, incompatible foods, side effects and treatment use for various medications listed below are not fully disclosed.  The point is, one only needs to understand everything we put into our bodies causes some kind of chemical reaction.  Therefore, it is important if you take any pharmaceutical, ask your pharmacist if there is any food that would cause an ill-health effect, or risk to overall health when taken together.

Listed are commonly prescribed medications & foods that don’t interact well.

1.  Anti-depressants – SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) – Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.  MAOI’s (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) – Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine, Selegiline, Tranylcypromine, etc. Their relative generic counterparts are: Marplan, Nardil, (Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar) and Parnate.

Drug treatment purpose:  Anti-depressants are effective in treating depression, panic and other anxiety disorders.  They also require special considerations with regard to diet restrictions.  MAOI’s are normally used when other anti-depressants fail.  When used as prescribed they will boost mood by improving brain cell communication.

Side effectsDiarrhea, dry mouth, sleepiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, low blood pressure, nervousness, muscle aches, insomnia, weight gain, sense of taste, hampered sexual drive, erectile dysfunction, difficult urinating, tingling, or prickling sensation on skin.  If removed from anti-depressants too fast the following withdrawal effects are likely: insomnia, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, irritability and anxiety may follow.

Non-compatible foods:  Aged cheeses, pickled, or fermented sausages (pepperoni, salami), luncheon meats, beef liver, chicken liver, yeast-containing foods and beverages that have the compound tyramine in them.  This compound has an effect on blood pressure.  If the bodies MAO (Monoamine Oxidase) enzyme is inhibited by MAOI medication, it is necessary to avoid the foods that contain this compound.  If this diet restriction is not followed, then blood pressure can increase towards critically unhealthy levels.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherHigh levels of tyramine in the body can lead to high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia and brain hemorrhage.

2.   Anti-anxiety – Benzodiazepines are the most common anti-anxiety drugs, e.g., Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, etc., and Generic: lorazepam, clonazepam, diazepam and alprazolam are all sedatives and bind with the brains natural sedatives to calm you down.

Drug treatment purpose:  To help relax and reduce anxiety.  Anti-anxiety drugs are also known as tranquilizers.  Anti-anxiety medications work by slowing down the central nervous system [reduced brain activity] and have a relaxing effect on the mind and body.  They are also prescribed for sleeping and muscle spasm disorders.  Often antidepressants will be prescribed to relieve symptoms of anxiety.

Known side effects:  Addiction, inability to focus-learn, uncoordinated, clumsiness, confusion, disorientation, blurred vision, upset stomach, lightheadedness, sleepy, impaired judgment, nausea, memory loss.  Long term users of these medications also experience depression.  High dosages and long term use will likely increase suicidal thoughts and feelings.  Benzodiazepines can also cause the opposite of a calming effect like mania, aggressive behavior, or hostility, rage and even hallucinations.

Non-compatible foods:  Alcohol.  When these drugs are mixed with alcohol the sedative properties on the brain and body is amplified.  Not only do you feel more drunk, but more tired and forgetful.  Coffee and drinks with caffeine in them affects anti-anxiety and asthma medications.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherYour breathing rate is significantly slowed down and risk of respiratory failure increases.

3.  Antibiotics – Monodox, Dynacin, Sumycin, Cipro, Levaquin, etc. Generics: minocycline, tetracycline and doxycycline, etc.  This listing represents a few of many antibiotics that could be prescribed.

Drug treatment purpose:   Antibiotics are used to kill bacterial infections.  They are not effective against fungal (ringworm or vaginal yeast infection), flu, or the common cold.

Side effects – Antibiotics are relatively safe when used appropriately.  However, like any medication unwanted side effects do occur.  If you experience any skin rash, hives, wheezing, anaphylaxis (shortage of breath), swelling of lips, tongue or face seek medical attention immediately.

Non-compatible foods:  Dairy products have calcium in them.  Calcium tends to bind with the antibiotics if a dairy product is consumed within a two hour window after taking the medication.  Vitamins and Antacids can also decrease the efficiency of antibiotics.  For example, ciprofloxacin an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract and abdominal infections among other things; when mixed with antacids becomes less effective when it binds to magnesium and calcium.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherThis binding prevents the antibiotic from absorbing into the body to fight an infection rendering various antibiotics useless.  When this happens the medication stays in the intestine and leaves the body at the next bowel movement.  Yet there are other antibiotics used for strep throat and ear infections where dairy products have no impact on those medications.

4.  High blood pressure, or anti-hypertension medications – Univasc, Zestril and Monopril can raise your potassium levels.  Common generics: Hygroton, Lozol, Mykrox, Diuril, Lasix, Esidrix, etc.  There are many specialized medications that are designed to treat both diuretic and high blood pressure cases.

Drug treatment purpose:  To lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting risk.  Many classes of blood pressure medications include a diuretic treatment component.   These medications help to rid the body of excess water and sodium and help to control blood pressure.  Diuretics are often used in combination with other medications like anti-clotting prevention treatment that use aspirin and Plavix.  When patients are at high risk of stroke or heart attack, doctors often prescribe Plavix as an anti-platelet drug for blood clotting prevention.  The first line of attack is aspirin.  Both anti-clotting and blood pressure medications may likely be prescribed together, but not always.

Known side effects:  Gout,increase in blood sugar level, leg cramps, weakness, impotence may occur.

Non-compatible foods:  Limit foods high in potassium like bananas, salt substitutes with potassium, spinach, leafy greens and sweet potatoes.  Eating a banana one day, or leafy green the next should be ok.  But you’ll want to confirm diet and frequency of consumption with your prescribing physician.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherToo much potassium in the body can cause your heart to beat irregularly and in severe cases can cause cardiac arrest.  Also, two foods that can keep blood clotting medications from working are garlic and ginger.  They can cause excessive bleeding as they both have high doses of blood thinning agents in them.

5.  High cholesterolStatin drugs (blood cholesterol lowering medications) include: Lipex, Mevacor, Zocor, Crestor, Vytorin or Lipitor, to include generics like simvastatin, lovastatin, or atorvastatin, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Lower High Blood Cholesterol.

Known side effects and health risk:  As of recent studies, the following health risks are possible; memory loss, diabetes and muscle pain.  The food and drug administration has officially linked statin drugs with forgetfulness, confusion and increased blood sugar levels that would be of concern for diabetics.  Liver injury is also possible and is rare.

Non-compatible foods:  Some cholesterol medications can be affected by grape fruit juice or the fruit.  It is the inhibiting properties of this fruit that keeps the intestine and/or liver from breaking down the drug and increases the risk that the drug will accumulate in the body and become toxic.  It is the citrus that blocks the enzyme in the intestines and prevents the metabolism of these drugs.  The active component in this fruit is not yet known.  Check with your prescribing doctor about grapefruit products in the diet.  There are some statin medications that are not influenced by this fruit.  It is also true some immune drugs and allergy drugs like Allegra are affected by grapefruit.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherGrapefruit and its juice should be avoided using heart medicines and a number of other prescriptive drugs for cardio and immunological health related problems.  Be sure to consult with the prescribing physician with foods you should consume when on these medications.

6. Blood thinner – Coumadin (generic: warfarin) Aggrenox, Aspirin, Jantoven, Heparin, Lovenox, Plavix, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  The job of blood thinners is to thin the blood for patients that are high risk of heart attack, or developing blood clots.

Known side effects:  Each medication listed can cause a combination of the following side effects; Nausea, irritated stomach, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and indigestion.  Coumadin and Heparin can cause serious bleeding inside the eye and intestine, or cause bruising, blood in the urine, nose bleeds.  Other problems include kidney function, difficulty breathing and muscle aches.

Non-compatible foods:  Since Vitamin K (thickens blood) is found abundantly in leafy greens, they can block the effects of the blood thinners.  Leafy greens that can effect of blood thinners are Brussels sprouts, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, kale, Swiss chard and Green tea.  Other foods that may impact blood thinner medications include:  cranberries, as well as the juice, garlic and ginger.  They can actually increase the blood thinning properties of the blood thinners that could amplify their effect.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken together:   Increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

7.  Thyroid – Synthroid, Armour thyroid, Levoxyl, Cytomel, etc.  Generic: Levothyroxin, thyroid desiccated, levothyroxine, liothyronine, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Used to regulate the thyroid glands to normalize hormone functions throughout the body when they fail to produce enough thyroid hormone.  Effective treatment can increase energy, mood disposition and body weight regulation.  To include supports male and female characteristic traits.

Known side effects:  Thyroid medications do not cause side effects if taken in the correct dose.

Non-compatible foods:  Tofu, soymilk (soy products) and walnuts can prevent your body from absorbing the thyroid medication.  It may not be necessary to give up these foods, but let your physician know about your dietary preferences.  It is very possible your soy diet preference can be resolved with a modification of dose.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherWeight gain, obesity and other ill-health and disease complications.

References,

American Heart Association.  Types of Blood Pressure Medications.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Types-of-Blood-Pressure-Medications_UCM_303247_Article.jsp

Ankrom, Sheryl.  Dietary Precautions While Taking MAOIs.  Former About.com Guide, updated June 17, 2009.  http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/treatments/tp/MAOIDiet.htm

Club Red.  Some Foods and Medications Just Don’t Mix.  January 2012.  http://www.clubreduva.com/food/food-articles/food-for-thought/january-2012-food

Drugs.com.  Common Side Effects, Allergies and Reactions to Antibiotics.  http://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotic-sideeffects-allergies-reactions.html

Drugs.com.  Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism) Medications.  http://www.drugs.com/condition/hypothyroidism.html

Harris, Gardiner.  Safety Alerts Cite Cholesterol Drugs’ Side Effects.  The New York Times.  February 28, 2012.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/health/fda-warns-of-cholesterol-drugs-side-effects.html?_r=0

Helpguide.org.  Anxiety Medication.  http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_medication_drugs_treatment.htm

Rodgers, Linda.  Foods and Medications that Don’t Mix.  Grand Parents.com http://www.grandparents.com/health-and-wellbeing/health/food-drug-interactions

Mayo Clinic Staff.  Depression (major depression).  Monomine Oxidase Inhibitores (MAOIs).  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/maois/MH00072

NBCNews.com. Foods to Avoid When You’re Taking Meds.  26 October 2006.  http://www.today.com/id/14785552/ns/today-today_health/t/foods-avoid-when-youre-taking-meds/#.UUeuPBesjTo

Vega, Jose M.D., Ph.D.  Side Effects of Coumadin, Plavix and Other Blood Thinners.  About.com.  http://stroke.about.com/od/caregiverresources/a/blood_thinners.htm

WebMD.com.  Hypothryroidism.  http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hypothyroidism-medications

Woodard, Marc.  41 Drugs to Die For.  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets.  24 October 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=909

Woodard, Marc.  Defeat Anxiety and Panic Attacks.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  24 November 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=966

Woodard, Marc.  How to Deal with Depression.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  25 August 2008.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=38

Woodard, Marc.  The Thyroid is a Powerful Weight Regulating Gland.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  21 May 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=1341

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, CPT, MSC ARNG Retired.  2013 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Incompatible Food and Drug Mixes

7 04 2013
Visit our Home Site "Click on Image"

Many natural foods don’t mix well with medications

Many don’t realize some foods can interact badly with prescription drugs when consumed together.  Those that fail to read the dietary warning’s listed on specific pharmaceutical labels, or disregard the prescription use instructions can cause risk to the body.

Listed below are 7 common prescription drugs and foods that when consumed together can increase health risk and/or cause severe ill-health side effects.  There are many chemical reactions that occur within our bodies to keep the metabolism and overall physiology balanced.  And when using pharmaceuticals it is important to understand, even the most benign appearing foods can cause an unhealthy chemical reaction within our bodies.

    The point is, one only needs to understand everything we put into our bodies causes some kind of chemical reaction.  Therefore it is important to understand, if you take any pharmaceutical, ask your pharmacist if there is any food that would cause an ill-health effect or risk to overall health when taken together.

Listed are commonly prescribed medications & foods that don’t interact well.

1.  Anti-depressants – SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) – Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.  MAOI’s (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) – Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine, Selegiline, Tranylcypromine, etc. Their relative generic counterparts are: Marplan, Nardil, (Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar) and Parnate.

Drug treatment purpose:  Anti-depressants are effective in treating depression, panic and other anxiety disorders.  They also require special considerations with regard to diet.  MAOI’s are normally used when other anti-depressants fail.  When used as prescribed they will boost mood by improving brain cell communication.

Side effectsDiarrhea, dry mouth, sleepiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, low blood pressure, nervousness, muscle aches, insomnia, weight gain, sense of taste, hampered sexual drive, erectile dysfunction, difficult urinating, tingling, or prickling sensation on skin.  If removed from anti-depressants too fast the following withdrawal effects are likely: insomnia, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, irritability and anxiety may follow.

Non-compatible foods:  Aged cheeses, pickled, or fermented sausages (pepperoni, salami), luncheon meats, beef liver, chicken liver, yeast-containing foods and beverages that have the compound tyramine [protein containing foods] in them.  This compound has an effect on blood pressure.  If the bodies MAO (Monoamine Oxidase) enzyme is inhibited by MAOI medication, it is necessary to avoid the foods that contain this compound.  If this diet restriction is not followed, then blood pressure can increase towards critically unhealthy levels.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherHigh levels of tyramine in the body can lead to high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia and brain hemorrhage.

2.   Anti-anxiety – Benzodiazepines are the most common anti-anxiety drugs, e.g., Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, etc., and Generic: lorazepam, clonazepam, diazepam and alprazolam are all sedatives and bind with the brains natural sedatives to calm you down.

Drug treatment purpose:  To help relax and reduce anxiety.  Anti-anxiety drugs are also known as tranquilizers.  Anti-anxiety medications work by slowing down the central nervous system [reduced brain activity] and have a relaxing effect on the mind and body.  They are also prescribed for sleeping and muscle spasm disorders.  Often antidepressants will be prescribed to relieve symptoms of anxiety.

Known side effects:  Addiction, inability to focus-learn, uncoordinated, clumsiness, confusion, disorientation, blurred vision, upset stomach, lightheadedness, sleepy, impaired judgment, nausea, memory loss.  Long term users of these medications also experience depression.  High dosages and long term use will likely increase suicidal thoughts and feelings.  Benzodiazepines can also cause the opposite of a calming effect like mania, aggressive behavior, or hostility, rage and even hallucinations.

Non-compatible foods:  Alcohol.  When these drugs are mixed with alcohol the sedative properties on the brain and body is amplified.  Not only do you feel more drunk, but more tired and forgetful.  Coffee and drinks with caffeine in them affects anti-anxiety and asthma medications.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherYour breathing rate is significantly slowed down and risk of respiratory failure increases.

3.  Antibiotics – Monodox, Dynacin, Sumycin, Cipro, Levaquin, etc. Generics: minocycline, tetracycline and doxycycline, etc.  This listing represents a few of many antibiotics that could be prescribed.

Drug treatment purpose:   Antibiotics are used to kill bacterial infections.  They are not effective against fungal (ringworm or vaginal yeast infection), flu, or the common cold.

Side effects – Antibiotics are relatively safe when used appropriately.  However, like any medication unwanted side effects do occur.  If you experience any skin rash, hives, wheezing, anaphylaxis (shortage of breath), swelling of lips, tongue or face seek medical attention immediately.

Non-compatible foods:  Dairy products have calcium in them.  Calcium tends to bind with the antibiotics if a dairy product is consumed within a two hour window after taking the medication.  Vitamins and Antacids can also decrease the efficiency of antibiotics.  For example, ciprofloxacin an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract and abdominal infections among other things; when mixed with antacids becomes less effective when it binds to magnesium and calcium.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherThis binding prevents the antibiotic from absorbing into the body to fight an infection rendering various antibiotics useless.  When this happens the medication stays in the intestine and leaves the body at the next bowel movement.  Yet there are other antibiotics used for strep throat and ear infections where dairy products have no impact on those medications.

4.  High blood pressure, or anti-hypertension medications – Univasc, Zestril and Monopril can raise your potassium levels.  Common generics: Hygroton, Lozol, Mykrox, Diuril, Lasix, Esidrix, etc.  There are many specialized medications that are designed to treat both diuretic and high blood pressure cases.

Drug treatment purpose:  To lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting risk.  Many classes of blood pressure medications include a diuretic treatment component.   These medications help to rid the body of excess water and sodium and help to control blood pressure.  Diuretics are often used in combination with other medications like anti-clotting prevention treatment that use aspirin and Plavix.  When patients are at high risk of stroke or heart attack, doctors often prescribe Plavix as an anti-platelet drug for blood clotting prevention.  The first line of attack is aspirin.  Both anti-clotting and blood pressure medications may likely be prescribed together, but not always.

Known side effects:  Gout, increased blood sugar levels, leg cramps, weakness, impotence may occur.

Non-compatible foods:  Limit foods high in potassium like bananas, salt substitutes with potassium, spinach, leafy greens and sweet potatoes.  Eating a banana once a day, or leafy green the next should be ok.  But you’ll want to confirm diet and frequency of consumption with your prescribing physician.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherToo much potassium in the body can cause your heart to beat irregularly and in severe cases can cause cardiac arrest.  Also, two foods that can keep blood clotting medications from working are garlic and ginger.  They can cause excessive bleeding as they both have high doses of blood thinning agents in them.

5.  High cholesterolStatin drugs (blood cholesterol lowering medications) include: Lipex, Mevacor, Zocor, Crestor, Vytorin or Lipitor, to include generics like simvastatin, lovastatin, or atorvastatin, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Lower High Blood Cholesterol.

Known side effects and health risk:  As of recent studies, the following health risks are possible; memory loss, diabetes and muscle pain.  The food and drug administration has officially linked statin drugs with forgetfulness, confusion and increased blood sugar levels that would be of concern for diabetics.  Liver injury is also possible and is rare.

Non-compatible foods:  Some cholesterol medications can be affected by grape fruit juice or the fruit.  It is the inhibiting properties of this fruit that keeps the intestine and/or liver from breaking down the drug and increases the risk that the drug will accumulate in the body and become toxic.  It is the citrus that blocks the enzyme in the intestines and prevents the metabolism of these drugs.  The active component in this fruit is not yet known.  Check with your prescribing doctor about grapefruit products in the diet.  There are some statin medications that are not influenced by this fruit.  It is also true some immune drugs and allergy drugs like Allegra are affected by grapefruit.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherGrapefruit and its juice should be avoided when using heart medicines and a number of other prescriptive drugs for cardio and immunological health related problems.  Be sure to consult with the prescribing physician with foods you should consume when on these medications.

6. Blood thinner – Coumadin (generic: warfarin) Aggrenox, Aspirin, Jantoven, Heparin, Lovenox, Plavix, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  The job of blood thinners is to thin the blood for patients that are high risk of heart attack, or developing blood clots.

Known side effects:  Each medication listed can cause a combination of the following side effects; Nausea, irritated stomach, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and indigestion.  Coumadin and Heparin can cause serious bleeding inside the eye and intestine, or cause bruising, blood in the urine, nose bleeds.  Other problems include kidney function, difficulty breathing and muscle aches.

Non-compatible foods:  Since Vitamin K (thickens blood) is found abundantly in leafy greens, they can block the effects of the blood thinners.  Leafy greens that can effect of blood thinners are Brussels sprouts, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, kale, Swiss chard and Green tea.  Other foods that may impact blood thinner medications include:  cranberries, as well as the juice, garlic and ginger.  They can actually increase the blood thinning properties of the blood thinners that could amplify their effect.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken together:   Increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

7.  Thyroid – Synthroid, Armour thyroid, Levoxyl, Cytomel, etc.  Generic: Levothyroxin, thyroid desiccated, levothyroxine, liothyronine, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Used to regulate the thyroid glands to normalize hormone functions throughout the body when they fail to produce enough thyroid hormone.  Effective treatment can increase energy, mood disposition and body weight regulation.  To include supports male and female characteristic traits.

Known side effects:  Thyroid medications do not cause side effects if taken in the correct dose.

Non-compatible foods:  Tofu, soymilk (soy products) and walnuts can prevent your body from absorbing the thyroid medication.  It may not be necessary to give up these foods, but let your physician know about your dietary preferences.  It is very possible your soy diet preference can be resolved with a modification of dose.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherWeight gain, obesity and other ill-health and disease complications.

References,

American Heart Association.  Types of Blood Pressure Medications.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Types-of-Blood-Pressure-Medications_UCM_303247_Article.jsp

Ankrom, Sheryl.  Dietary Precautions While Taking MAOIs.  Former About.com Guide, updated June 17, 2009.  http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/treatments/tp/MAOIDiet.htm

Club Red.  Some Foods and Medications Just Don’t Mix.  January 2012.  http://www.clubreduva.com/food/food-articles/food-for-thought/january-2012-food

Drugs.com.  Common Side Effects, Allergies and Reactions to Antibiotics.  http://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotic-sideeffects-allergies-reactions.html

Drugs.com.  Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism) Medications.  http://www.drugs.com/condition/hypothyroidism.html

Harris, Gardiner.  Safety Alerts Cite Cholesterol Drugs’ Side Effects.  The New York Times.  February 28, 2012.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/health/fda-warns-of-cholesterol-drugs-side-effects.html?_r=0

Helpguide.org.  Anxiety Medication.  http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_medication_drugs_treatment.htm

Rodgers, Linda.  Foods and Medications that Don’t Mix.  Grand Parents.com http://www.grandparents.com/health-and-wellbeing/health/food-drug-interactions

Mayo Clinic Staff.  Depression (major depression).  Monomine Oxidase Inhibitores (MAOIs).  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/maois/MH00072

NBCNews.com. Foods to Avoid When You’re Taking Meds.  26 October 2006.  http://www.today.com/id/14785552/ns/today-today_health/t/foods-avoid-when-youre-taking-meds/#.UUeuPBesjTo

Vega, Jose M.D., Ph.D.  Side Effects of Coumadin, Plavix and Other Blood Thinners.  About.com.  http://stroke.about.com/od/caregiverresources/a/blood_thinners.htm

WebMD.com.  Hypothryroidism.  http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hypothyroidism-medications

Woodard, Marc.  41 Drugs to Die For.  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets.  24 October 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=909

Woodard, Marc.  Defeat Anxiety and Panic Attacks.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  24 November 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=966

Woodard, Marc.  How to Deal with Depression.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  25 August 2008.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=38

Woodard, Marc.  The Thyroid is a Powerful Weight Regulating Gland.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  21 May 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=1341

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, CPT, MSC ARNG Retired.  2013 Copyright, All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Cholesterol Dietary Guidelines

23 09 2010
Walk, See, Exercise… A Great Way to Live Life to the Fullest

    Many of today’s adults and children are not only overweight, but outright obese.  During my days as a kid the only obese people I recalled seeing around were adults between the ages of 30 and above.  In contrast, you see obesity and hear about high blood cholesterol as a problem for many more people today.  And much of our ill-health problems are occurring due to the high quantities of consumed processed, fried and baked fast foods.  And hidden within these fast foods there is a lot of saturated and Trans fats.  It is also understood genetic predisposition to the body manufacturing more cholesterol than it needs presents health problems and dietary challenges for many people.  However, the fact is American’s simply get too much fat with cholesterol in their diets that is also causing obesity for our children in epidemic proportions. 

     In an earlier article I wrote “Successful Weight Loss Based in Blood Chemistry Fuel,” In this article I talk about various dietary food fuels, weight management and the effected blood chemistry which includes fats and cholesterol from diet.

      “Doctor’s and Dieticians tell us to limit bad fats “saturated (animal products, meat, eggs, etc.) including Trans fats, which also correlates with bad LDL cholesterol and plaque buildup in the arteries.”  Both of these fats are associated with risk for cardiovascular heart disease.”  (MAE, Successful Weight Loss Based in Blood Chemistry Fuel, Woodard, Feb 24, 2010).

     Tran’s fats can be worse for your health than consuming saturated animal fats.  This is because Tran’s fats are blended “unseen” into the baked-processed foods we consume every day.  This should be obvious to anyone that has been watching our fast food and super market stores grow for the last 30 years.  And as these industries grow so does our population’s weight and health problems.

   “A Trans Fat is simply the process of “man” adding more hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation) to a vegetable oil(s) mono-poly unsaturated fat carbon molecule chains.  The vegetable oil than becomes a “Partially” or fully hydrogenated (fat saturated) Trans Fat.”  (MAE, Trans Fats Dangerous for Your Health?  Deceitfully Yes, Woodard, April 23, 2010)

     And lastly, I provide an article that discusses an obesity problem in epidemic proportions for our children and parents like no other generations have experienced before.  Our processed food industries have saturated the fast food restaurant chains and now impact many more of our family dining establishments throughout our communities. 

     “Remember, processed foods have been preserved with man-made chemicals for long shelf life.  There are now literally thousands of preservatives, food substitutes and imitation ingredients and other additives that have replaced organic foods.  Don’t you find it interesting that when you go into a grocery store, it is required by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) that food ingredient labels require nutritional information be disclosed to the public. But when you go to a restaurant there is no requirement to disclose what ingredients, or what processed-organic foods make up the meal you order.”  (MAE, Restaurant Foods Healthy? Woodard, August 25, 2008).

     And when one looks into the meat of the matter (no pun intended), you’ll see that poor dietary habits, processed foods and increased cholesterol counts are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, they have more of a linear relationship.  If you have bad eating habits that include processed and fast foods, it is “more likely than not” you also have high blood cholesterol and carry more weight than you want.

     In order to keep our cholesterol count under control, it is necessary to follow some dietary guidelines for lowering blood cholesterol and to manage weight.  This does not mean you have to give up foods you enjoy.  Just the opposite, once you become more aware and experience healthy foods, you’ll become just as addictive to the natural and organic flavors as you did with the processed baked good blends and fast foods.  “And of course, I recommend you check with your physician for advisement and treatment if you suffer from high cholesterol and obesity problems, or any form of serious ill-health condition(s).”

     Below the Dietary Guideline Tips and Healthy Food Choices  will show you which foods can help you lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing the healthy “good” cholesterol (HDL) count.  Changing dietary habits is one of the first preventative measures you can take against high cholesterol and obesity problems caused by poor diet habits.  Also visit our health repository and use the search box to find other great articles.  In the search box simply enter exercise, fitness, obesity, weight, diet etc., also “walking” as the best form of aerobic fat burning activity.

 Dietary Guideline Tips and Healthy Food Choices,

      1.  Choose Complex Carbohydrates such as starch and fibers over saturated fats.  Breads, pasta, beans, rice, cereal, fruits and vegetables are all good sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber, they are also excellent substitutes for foods high in saturated fats.  The mistake many people make with high carbohydrate diets, they tend to add a lot of butter, cheese, cream, whole milk or rich sauces.  Many of these additives are processed foods that are high in saturated and Tran’s fats that equates to excess calories and cholesterol.

     2.  Eat less dietary cholesterol which appears as a waxy fat-like substance found in all animal products.  A good way to describe animal cholesterols appearance is simply to note how any meat cooked than cooled separates the fat.  Recall frying ground beef and after the meat cools, you see the wax like hardened fat substance coagulated around the meat.  Or if you cook a pot of meat broth, after the broth cools, the fat floats on top and many people ladle the fat off the broth surface top.  This is easily seen and can be extracted from many meat dishes that are cooked.  It is also easy to separate the skin from chicken-turkey and trimming fat off of meat before you cook it.  Note: Separation of fat in this way will not remove all the cholesterol from meat dish, but will make it very “fat lean” with little cholesterol.  This is the way my family prepares our meat and poultry dishes.

     3.  Sources of Unsaturated Fats – Polyunsaturated Fats; when cooking with oils, use: Corn, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed, safflower oils.  Mono-saturated; sesame, canola, olive and peanut oil.  Olive oil is my family’s favorite cooking oil for which we use in 95% of all our pan fried dishes.  However, if you cook above sautéing temps, you need to read the Smoke Point of oils and how cooking temperatures can denaturize and remove the healthy properties of vegetable oils, especially olive oil.  Since my family rarely fries dishes, this is not a problem.  (MAE, Best Cooking Oils, Smoke Point is Important Why? Woodard, March 19, 2010).

 Balanced food selections to maintain weight and lowering cholesterol.  This is not an all inclusive list of dietary low cholesterol food choices but a significant listing.

     1.  Meats, poultry and fish – Choose sirloin, chuck, loin and 10% fat ground beef.  If 20% ground beef is chosen, cook, set pan elevated to an angle, push “cooked” beef to the elevated level, leaving bottom of pan clear of meat, fat will settled to low end of pan.  When cooled, separate and remove liquid or waxy appearing fat.  Also choose lean cuts of pork-tenderloin ham and Canadian bacon to diversify as other good lean protein dish choices.  Prior to cooking poultry, remember to remove chicken and turkey skin before/after cooking.  All meat and poultry dishes can be set elevated cooled and skimmed of excess cholesterol fat.  Other good sources of low fat, low cholesterol healthy dishes include fish, shellfish and tuna packed in water.  All wild game such as elk and deer is very lean and a good source of protein.

     2.  Dairy products – Consume low-fat yogurt, skim milk 1%, or low fat -buttermilk, or condensed/dry nonfat milk.  Low-fat cottage cheese, or cheese labeled with  no more than 5-7g of fat/oz are preferred over High fat cheeses, i.e., cream cheese, processed, or cheddar, Brie, Swiss, blue, American.  If recipes call for soups, cream soups made with nonfat/1% milk is okay infrequently.

     3.  Eggs – Eat no more than 3 eggs per week.  Otherwise, remove egg yolk and consume egg white.  You can also purchase cholesterol-free egg substitutes.

     4.  Breads, pasta, rice, dried peas, beans and cereals – Eat Granola-type cereals, hot and most dried cold cereals are okay.  Plain pastas and rice (white, brown, or wild) prepared with low-fat cream, butter or cheese sauces is okay.  Beans, “split-black-eye peas,” kidney beans, navy, black garbanzo, lentils, soybean, vegetarian refried bean and tofu all good choices seasoned to taste (light on the table salt).  Breads – Whole grain wheat “I prefer” over white, pumpernickel, rye, English muffins, rice crackers.

     5.  Fruits and vegetables – All fresh fruits, vegetables, juice concentrates are good in promoting a low cholesterol and high dietary fiber diet.  Exception: Beware, over consumption of olives and avocados have a high fat content so use sparingly.

     6.  Sweets & Other Snacks– Granola bars, frozen desserts; sherbet, low-fat yogurt, juice bars, popsicle’s, fig bars, gingersnaps, jello, fresh fruit, honey are all good sweet treats.  Angel food cake, homemade cookies, pies are fine, using Unsaturated oils sparingly.  Avoid cooking these baked goods with lard, shortening or Tran’s fat oil substitutes.  See “oils and smoke point” link above for healthy baking recommendations.  Other healthy choice snacks:  Crackers, breadsticks, saltines, pretzels, graham crackers, popcorn, rye krisp, matzo, Melba toast, corn tortillas.

     7.  Beverages – Consume nonfat beverages such as coffee, tea and decaffeinated carbonated drinks without artificial sweeteners.  Juices made of concentrate are healthy, and of course drink plenty of water.  Avoid high fat drinks such as milkshakes and eggnog.  Also read the following article pertaining to alcohol.

       “There is only one type of alcoholic beverage science has documented having a health benefit with moderate consumption… Red wine, “one to two 5 oz glasses with the evening meal.  The “Resveratrol” found in the red grape skin and seed has proven to increase HDL and lower cholesterol, antioxidant benefits, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, assist digestion and prevent plaque from forming on the artery walls [“If you would like to receive healthy heart benefits, with all the other benefits listed without the alcohol, “seek our “affiliate” Purity Products Patent Grape Extract Formula“].”  (MAE, Alcohol Consumption Good, or Bad for your Body? Woodard, September 25, 2008).

     Fast food restaurants should be avoided if weight management and cholesterol presents health problems.  However if you must eat out… Salads, broiled/grilled meat, fish, seafood, or chicken, vegetables, fruits, sandwiches, hamburgers without cheese and light on mayonnaise are okay.  Avoid the fried, breaded and vegetable/fries (fried foods).  Also avoid fast food breakfast sandwiches and ordering “super” or “extra” portions.  (See “Restaurant Foods Healthy” link above.).

     A rule of thumb I apply to myself.  Never eat out more that once every other week.  And if you eat out with family, choose a restaurant that you know prepares healthy foods; or you can make food choices without processed canned ingredients included in the meal.  Stay away from fried foods and avoid fattening desserts.  Another tip, if you take your time and allow your stomach and brain to register what you put into your stomach, you simply will not want the dessert.  All too often, we get our foods, eat them within 15-20 minutes and then order dessert.  How many times have you experienced the following scenario?  By the time the dessert comes, you realize your full, but can’t resist eating the dessert once it arrives.  Many of these desserts, regardless of dining establishment are loaded with fat calories and cholesterol.  My model is to avoid this temptation and learn to bake your own healthy deserts at home.

     I’m very conscientious of these dietary guidelines and tips I’ve provided to you.  However, to be honest, I don’t always follow them to the letter, but instead am more aware of what to avoid while moderating my consumption habits.  In the long run I’ve been able to reduce weight and maintain good cholesterol counts without feeling I’ve given up anything.  I also have a greater appreciation for how good food in its natural form tastes.  Once you cut out fast-processed foods from your diet and replace them with healthy food choices you’ll begin to physically and mentally feel better.  In fact, you’ll begin to crave more organic foods and question why you succumbed to harmful processed foods.  At this point, many open their eyes to the world around them without question of what’s causing our nation’s obesity and ill-health epidemic.

Special Thanks to Providence Medical Group, Portland OR for dietary informational food choices.

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2010 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com





"Trans Fats Dangerous for Your Heath? Deceitfully Yes!"

23 04 2010

In order to understand why Trans Fats are bad for you, first we must define what a Tran’s fat is and how to identify it in products.  A Trans Fat is simply the process of “man” adding more hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation) to a vegetable oil(s) mono-poly unsaturated fat carbon molecule chains.  The vegetable oil than becomes a “Partially” or fully hydrogenated (fat saturated) “Trans Fat.”  You will note this as listed “one or the other” product tag ingredients:  Listed Partial hydrogenated and/or Trans Fats are the same thing to varying atomic degree although not obvious to most consumers.  Through hydrogenation the oil becomes a more solid consumable fat food by adding hydrogen atoms to vegetable oils.

Another way to put this; partially hydrogenated also means vegetable oils have added hydrogen atoms to the “organic dietary” mono-to-poly unsaturated fat chains turning them into soft “trans-unsaturated fats.  “I know this sounds complicated, but I will break it down further for you to where it actually makes sense.”  When these carbon chains are fully hydrogenated they become saturated “Tran’s hard fats.”  During hydrogenation vegetable oils are hardened to achieve “firm” soft spreads with long shelf life and great for baking, e.g., margarines and shortening, “but not so great for your health.”  As noted on margarine tubs and butter cubes you “now” see the words, “Trans Fat 0 grams” and on the ingredients of both products: “Partially Hydrogenated, Soybean Oil (Also means – partially converted to Trans Fats).”  The oil has been partially hydrogenated to achieve the desired soft spread and preserves the products life. 

Unlike other dietary fats, Trans fats are not essential to the diet and don’t promote good health.  This is because, science has found, unlike natural occurring saturated fats in animal and vegetable… The equivalent partial hydration (man-made) product is more akin to “dietary saturated fats!”  The best analogy I can come up with that you could relate when looking at total fat consumption per day and impact on health:  If you use a lot of “partially hydrogenated” margarine and shortening [instead of a vegetable oil for example] for daily baking, cooking, etc., this would be the equivalent of eating the fat off of beef and pork, or eating chicken skin, or lard disregarding good healthy eating habits.  I know most are conscious of eating too much animal fats and remove it from the meat, or ladle it from broth before consumption because you can see it.  Tran’s fats can’t be seen because it’s blended into the food you consume.  Those that consume too many Trans fats through baking, processed, fast foods tend to put on weight faster than if one just consumed dietary fats through organic vegetable and animal foods.

How does a dietary saturated fat differ from a “man-made” Trans-fat?  With a dietary saturated fat, these carbon atom chains are “naturally” filled with hydrogen atoms (high concentrations in animal products: Fatty cuts of meat, poultry skin, 2% dairy products, butter, cheese; Oils: Coconut, palm and palm kernel.  Our bodies need only about 20grams of these fats daily.  Too much of any saturated fat (more than 20 grams daily) may cause bad cholesterol (LDL) to rise.  This can increase blood pressure and predispose one to certain types of cancer and many other health risks.

Although over consumption of daily fat is bad, it’s worse by consuming deceptive Trans-fats (man-made) mixed into many processed and fast foods.  It appears almost everything in our food chain manipulated by man is worse for your health than if you were to consume dietary organic foods daily; with the exception of too many dietary fats, sugar and salt.  We know too much of these dietary foods daily in the diet are not good for us either.

In the past this hydrogenation process of our cooking oils was used extensively by the food industries until it was determined Tran’s fats were worse for you in the diet than dietary saturated fats!  Early 2006, companies began removing Trans fat hydrogenation processes from foods and labeling “0” amounts of Trans Fats in their products.  Beware that products with 1-2g or less Tran’s fat per serving can report zero grams on the product label!  If you see the words “partially hydrogenated” before the oil ingredient(s), you know it has “hydrogen” Trans Fats added to the oils carbon chains.  Fat servings can add up fast “out of sight, out of mind.” Food manufacturers are now replacing hydrogenated fats with “natural saturated fats” in processed products.  They realize man-made Tran’s fats are more prone to increase the risk of heart disease and other ill-health conditions than natural occurring fats.  Be sure to check the nutrition labels to keep your unhealthy fat consumption down.  Natural Mono-Poly unsaturated oils as found in fish, vegetable oils: Olive, canola, peanut and in most nuts and nut butter does not cause cholesterol to increase and also promotes good cholesterol (HDL’s) from going down.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





“Trans Fats Dangerous for Your Heath? Deceitfully Yes!”

23 04 2010

In order to understand why Trans Fats are bad for you, first we must define what a Tran’s fat is and how to identify it in products.  A Trans Fat is simply the process of “man” adding more hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation) to a vegetable oil(s) mono-poly unsaturated fat carbon molecule chains.  The vegetable oil than becomes a “Partially” or fully hydrogenated (fat saturated) “Trans Fat.”  You will note this as listed “one or the other” product tag ingredients:  Listed Partial hydrogenated and/or Trans Fats are the same thing to varying atomic degree although not obvious to most consumers.  Through hydrogenation the oil becomes a more solid consumable fat food by adding hydrogen atoms to vegetable oils.

Another way to put this; partially hydrogenated also means vegetable oils have added hydrogen atoms to the “organic dietary” mono-to-poly unsaturated fat chains turning them into soft “trans-unsaturated fats.  “I know this sounds complicated, but I will break it down further for you to where it actually makes sense.”  When these carbon chains are fully hydrogenated they become saturated “Tran’s hard fats.”  During hydrogenation vegetable oils are hardened to achieve “firm” soft spreads with long shelf life and great for baking, e.g., margarines and shortening, “but not so great for your health.”  As noted on margarine tubs and butter cubes you “now” see the words, “Trans Fat 0 grams” and on the ingredients of both products: “Partially Hydrogenated, Soybean Oil (Also means – partially converted to Trans Fats).”  The oil has been partially hydrogenated to achieve the desired soft spread and preserves the products life. 

Unlike other dietary fats, Trans fats are not essential to the diet and don’t promote good health.  This is because, science has found, unlike natural occurring saturated fats in animal and vegetable… The equivalent partial hydration (man-made) product is more akin to “dietary saturated fats!”  The best analogy I can come up with that you could relate when looking at total fat consumption per day and impact on health:  If you use a lot of “partially hydrogenated” margarine and shortening [instead of a vegetable oil for example] for daily baking, cooking, etc., this would be the equivalent of eating the fat off of beef and pork, or eating chicken skin, or lard disregarding good healthy eating habits.  I know most are conscious of eating too much animal fats and remove it from the meat, or ladle it from broth before consumption because you can see it.  Tran’s fats can’t be seen because it’s blended into the food you consume.  Those that consume too many Trans fats through baking, processed, fast foods tend to put on weight faster than if one just consumed dietary fats through organic vegetable and animal foods.

How does a dietary saturated fat differ from a “man-made” Trans-fat?  With a dietary saturated fat, these carbon atom chains are “naturally” filled with hydrogen atoms (high concentrations in animal products: Fatty cuts of meat, poultry skin, 2% dairy products, butter, cheese; Oils: Coconut, palm and palm kernel.  Our bodies need only about 20grams of these fats daily.  Too much of any saturated fat (more than 20 grams daily) may cause bad cholesterol (LDL) to rise.  This can increase blood pressure and predispose one to certain types of cancer and many other health risks.

Although over consumption of daily fat is bad, it’s worse by consuming deceptive Trans-fats (man-made) mixed into many processed and fast foods.  It appears almost everything in our food chain manipulated by man is worse for your health than if you were to consume dietary organic foods daily; with the exception of too many dietary fats, sugar and salt.  We know too much of these dietary foods daily in the diet are not good for us either.

In the past this hydrogenation process of our cooking oils was used extensively by the food industries until it was determined Tran’s fats were worse for you in the diet than dietary saturated fats!  Early 2006, companies began removing Trans fat hydrogenation processes from foods and labeling “0” amounts of Trans Fats in their products.  Beware that products with 1-2g or less Tran’s fat per serving can report zero grams on the product label!  If you see the words “partially hydrogenated” before the oil ingredient(s), you know it has “hydrogen” Trans Fats added to the oils carbon chains.  Fat servings can add up fast “out of sight, out of mind.” Food manufacturers are now replacing hydrogenated fats with “natural saturated fats” in processed products.  They realize man-made Tran’s fats are more prone to increase the risk of heart disease and other ill-health conditions than natural occurring fats.  Be sure to check the nutrition labels to keep your unhealthy fat consumption down.  Natural Mono-Poly unsaturated oils as found in fish, vegetable oils: Olive, canola, peanut and in most nuts and nut butter does not cause cholesterol to increase and also promotes good cholesterol (HDL’s) from going down.

Reference

US Department of Health and Human Resources. FDA Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/NFLPM/ucm274590.htm

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.