Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

Put vitamin “d” in your diet!

Friday, November 5th, 2010

A new study shows that consumption of calcium and vitamin D while on a diet regimen, actually helps to facilitate further weight loss:

In a study involving an analysis of data collected from a 2-year trial involving 322 subjects (mean BMI: 31 kg/m(2), mean age: 52 years), of which 126 were followed for 6 months for serum vitamin D changes, higher dairy calcium intake and increased serum vitamin D were found to be associated with greater diet-induced weight loss. According to multivariate logistic regression modeling adjusted for age, sex, baseline BMI, total fat intake, diet group, vitamin D concentration, and dairy calcium, a 1 SD increase in dairy calcium intake increased the likelihood of weight loss >4.5 kg in the preceding 6 months (OR=1.45), and a similar increase was seen for serum 25(OH)D at 6 months as well (OR=1.7). The authors conclude, “Our study suggests that both higher dairy calcium intake and increased serum vitamin D are related to greater diet-induced weight loss.”

In addition, vitamin D & calcium can offer some protection against Osteoporosis and are thought to enhance the immune system.  So get plenty of exercise, eat a healthy, low fat diet, drink milk, and be sure to take a highly absorbable calcium/vitamin D nutritional supplement for stronger bones and better overall health.  Your bones, waistline and health will all thank you!

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Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/39386, “Dairy calcium intake, serum vitamin D, and successful weight loss,” Shahar DR, Schwarzfuchs D, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2010 Nov; 92(5): 1017-22. (Address: S. Daniel Abraham Center for Health and Nutrition and the Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. E-mail: dshahar@bgu.ac.il ).

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Just say “no” to scary foods

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Do hamburgers piled high with bacon, cheese, and more bacon make you queasy?  Are you fundamentally opposed to fried Twinkies?  Does the thought of a donut, cake and frankfurter party platter give you the willies?  Yes? That’s good. That’s very, very good.

We all have our weak moments when a chocolate bar or a basket of French fries is the only thing that will complete us.  But it’s extremely important to temper that kind of scary eating.  We all know that consuming a ton of sugar and fried foods will make us gain an unconscionable amount of weight, thereby potentially creating health problems.

And we can also get quickly accustomed to eating high fat foods, which can make it even harder to get excited about carrots and hummus again.  Our advice?  Only give in to decadent foods on very special occasions.  That way, the food you cook at home, the food you keep in the fridge, and the food you naturally gravitate toward at the supermarket will undoubtedly be healthier and replete with nutrition.

Train your palate to enjoy lean cuts of meat by adding a dry rub, or a tangy marinade.  Encourage yourself to eat more vegetables and fruits by seeking out more creative ways of preparing them.  Splurge on a fancy olive oil and balsamic vinegar set for finishing dishes, or use lemon, lime and a pinch of sea salt to flavor veggies without overpowering them (or adding any extra fat).

With a little creativity and discipline, you can eschew most of the fatty, sugary foods out there.  Leave the really scary eating to the kids on Halloween.  If you’re lucky, they may save you a Butterfinger or Hershey bar.

For improved digestion and better absorption of vitamins and minerals, try our Probiotic Buddies™ supplement with 10 billion viable “good” bacteria per vege-capsule!

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Less is Plenty

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I tried something crazy last month.  At first, it was simply impetuous, but now I’ve continued to do it and have actually seen results.  I’m wearing things I had no hope of squeezing into before and feel better than I have in years.

I take my dinner plate, and I cut it in half.  Yep. That’s the secret.  I load up with all the food I think I want and then divide half of it into Tupperware to take to work the next day for lunch.  Not only does this save me roughly $50 a week in lunch costs, but I’ve also lost about 6 pounds with minimal effort.

I don’t feel deprived-I’m eating what everyone else eats for dinner.  But I’m eating less.  And I’ve discovered something fascinating.  Less is actually plenty.

I’m enjoying another unexpected result from this food experiment.  I have more energy.  I no longer experience that stuffed feeling of remorse as I push away from the dining room table, ready for a nap on the couch.  Because the better I feel and look, the less I want to gorge myself.  It’s a very simple concept.

In addition, I feel so good that I find I want to do more to enhance my health.  I am starting to actually look forward to going to the gym-albeit with trashy magazine in hand-and am dedicated to cutting down on the caffeine, alcohol and sugar in general.  My sleep patterns have improved, and frankly, so has my outlook on life.

Sound dramatic?  Maybe.  But it’s working.

Are you ready to find your catalyst for better health?  Try something unexpected and see what happens.  You may just find yourself $200 a month richer and a size or two smaller.

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Our Salad Days

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

The next time you cheerfully chop up avocados, tomatoes, crisp lettuce and anything else you’d put in your “healthy” salad, beware.  Even if you’re using olive oil and not ranch or blue cheese dressing, there are still calories that add up.  For example, a tablespoon of olive oil has about 120 calories.  Not so bad in and of itself, but stop to consider how many tablespoons you are using for a whole salad.  2? 3?

And as much as we LOVE beautiful, creamy avocados, it’s important to think about how caloric they are too.  A medium sized avocado can contain up to 300 calories.  This velvety fruit is a favorite and is considered a “good” fat, full of antioxidants, but again, if you’re trying to cut back on the calories, avocados aren’t going to help you.  Substituting a cucumber, or a few toasted walnuts, shelled edamame, or flavorful herbs like tarragon or basil can liven up any salad without busting the calorie bank.

Or if you must have your avocado and eat it too, add less olive oil, and cut the avocado in half, which not only helps your waistline, but also your pocketbook.

It’s a really wonderful thing to commit to eating more vegetables and consuming fats that are mono-saturated, but remember if you decide to “just eat a salad” for dinner, you might be consuming many more calories than you intended.

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summertime can feel like a “big” deal

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

The birds are singing and the sun is shining brightly.  So why are you feeling down again?  Is it because you can’t squeeze yourself into your bathing suit, no matter how much sun tan oil you slather on?  Or is it that your summer shorts make you feel like a stuffed sausage?

Yep. We’ve been there.

When the hot weather hits and the layers of winter clothes come off, there’s no place to hide.  It’s frustrating we can’t shrug off the extra winter pounds as easily as our heavy overcoats.

However, the great news about summertime is that it stays warmer and lighter in the evenings.  Even if you’re working like the dog days of summer, there’s still enough daylight to take a walk after work, or depending where you live, swim or even hike.

And if you live somewhere really warm, chances are your appetite may be affected.  You may crave things like cold salads for dinner, and choose to eat lighter based upon what your body tells you and not just predilections for certain foods.  You’ll undoubtedly drink more water and other liquids too, which can help fill you up and facilitate weight loss (as long as they’re not too sugary).

Keeping your immune system strong is key.  By eating as healthy as possible, getting plenty of sleep and taking quality supplements, you are providing your body with the fuel it needs to hike, bike, swim and workout.  Beware of insidious summer colds-nothing is more miserable than lying in bed on a beautiful, sunny day.  Strive to stay healthy and active and you’ll be surprised how quickly those shorts and bathing suits magically become the right size for you again.

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quick-change artist

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Ever heard that expression, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”?  I want to tweak that slightly: “the more things stay the same, the less chance they will EVER change.”

The cold, hard fact is this: If we want to change our less-than-stellar health habits, the time is now.  We all have to actually make some sort of concerted effort to do things differently in order to expect different results.

This idea is elementary, I know, but it’s amazing how many of us (myself included) don’t practice what we preach.  Here’s an example:

Last year I noticed that my favorite jeans were becoming harder and harder to button.  I blamed the dryer and the hot water I accidently washed them in one time (months before). Because I didn’t own a scale, I was in relative denial about my gradual weight gain.  I continued to eat my-ahem-nightly bowl of ice cream.  I didn’t have a lot of energy, which lead to me skipping the gym most days.  The less I exercised, the more lethargic I felt and the more I ate (to keep my energy up).  This became a classic vicious cycle.

One day I could no longer deny it and my favorite jeans were banished to the back of my closet, along with the other clothes I couldn’t squeeze into anymore.  That day was my breaking point, my “moment of clarity” if you will.  I forced myself to the gym that afternoon, and most evenings after work.  I stopped eating my beloved ice cream (except on weekends), and tried my best to get enough sleep so I didn’t need to rely on food to enhance my energy.

Everyone has their breaking point, their moment of clarity.  Find yours and then act upon it.  It may take a little while to see some results, but you absolutely will.  Changing your bad habits can ultimately change the course of your health-and life-for the better.  Good luck!

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The Kind of Treat you Don’t Eat

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Are you feeling deprived?  Working hard, running around all day long, trying to exercise and take care of yourself (and everyone else) to the point of absolute exhaustion?  And when you finally have a moment’s peace, you decide that you deserve a treat-something chocolately and gooey no doubt-because you’ve worked so hard and sacrificed for so long.

Maybe that’s not such a good idea.

If you truly are trying to live a healthy and active life, rewarding yourself (and your family) with sweet, fatty, and sugary treats is good for no one.  Aside from the obvious glut of fat and sugar, you are setting a dangerous precedent: food equals reward.

Some people choose food as a reward because it’s cheap.  But I would argue that’s not entirely true.  Healthcare costs are rising, and what about the new wardrobe you’d have to buy after you gain ten pounds from consuming all of the treats you “deserve”?

There is a better way.

Reward yourself and loved ones with a new CD or DVD, a beautiful candle, tickets to a sports event or concert, a pound of gourmet coffee, or even with a massage or pedicure.  Especially if you have kids (or grandkids), this will establish that rewards don’t have to be sugar/fat/food related.

And hey. You could even buy yourself or a loved one some favorite nutritional supplements and give the ultimate reward: Good health!

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Older, Wiser…but not larger

Monday, April 5th, 2010

omega-gel omega-3 fatty acid

As we grow older, it can become increasingly more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.  Our metabolism is slower, and we tend to lose muscle mass, if not motivation.  But recent research has shown that something as simple as taking quality vitamins and supplements can help battle obesity.

In two studies, one a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 45 obese non-consumers of supplements participating in a 15-week weight-reducing program, and the second a cross-sectional study involving consumers and non-consumers of vitamin and/or dietary supplements, results indicate that use of dietary and/or vitamin supplements may be associated with lower body weight and reduced appetite. In the cross-sectional study, male consumers of vitamins and/or minerals had lower body weight, fat mass, body mass index, and a tendency for greater resting energy expenditure, compared to men in the placebo group. The results were similar in women, although statistical significance was not reached. In the placebo-controlled study, the participants received an energy-restricted diet along with a placebo (placebo group) or multivitamin and mineral supplement (active group) for 15 weeks. Fasting and postprandial appetite ratings were significantly reduced among women in the active group, compared with the placebo group. Thus, the results of this study suggest that intake of vitamins and/or dietary supplements may play a role in weight reduction and inhibition of appetite.

If we can encourage each other to commit to healthier lifestyle choices like exercising regularly, eating properly, and taking healthy supplements, we can fight back against the hands of time and the extra pounds that can accumulate too!

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Discover a healthier you!  Try some of our powerful nutritional supplements and antioxidant vitamins for better overall health and improved weight control.

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/36960, “Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study,” Major GC, Tremblay A, et al, Br J Nutr, 2007 Nov 1; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Division of Kinesiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, G1K 7P4, Canada).

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broccoli boon

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables

At the risk of sounding like the proverbial broken record, consuming a lot of fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, and eschewing most fats and sugars, are really wonderful, healthy choices.  But you knew that already, right?  True, sitting down to a plate full of broccoli and tofu doesn’t sound quite as exciting as a plate full of warm chocolate chip cookies, but broccoli and other cruciferous veggies might just make you live longer and can help fight certain diseases like cancer.

In a very recent clinical study, it was discovered that women who maintained a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and soy, had a 30% decrease in breast cancer incidence, and a 64% risk reduction for postmenopausal women with similar eating habits, compared with women who ate a lot of meat and starch.  Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and bok choy, can be particularly protective and help the body fight free radical damage and oxidative stress.

If eating right sounds boring at best, try spicing things up.  Sauté a bushel of broccoli or some boy choy, mixed with low sodium soy sauce and hot pepper flakes.  It’s easy to add rich flavors without adding any fats to the vegetables.  Once you commit to healthier cooking and eating, you’ll be surprised how easy it is.

And after you’ve eaten all your veggies, have a cookie.  One cannot live on broccoli alone.

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For more information about breast cancer and other health concerns, take a look at our articles and health archives on our homepage at Solanova.com.

And don’t forget to follow us on twitter and fan us on facebook. Join the healthy conversation and let us know what health topics interest you!

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38893, “A vegetable-fruit-soy dietary pattern protects against breast cancer among postmenopausal Singapore Chinese women,” Butler LM, Yu MC, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2010 Feb 24; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Environmental Radiological Health Sciences Colorado State University Fort Collins CO, USA).

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ditching vitamin D proves detrimental

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Bone health with Liqui-calcium

On a recent trip to my dermatologist to freeze off some unsightly pre-cancerous spots, which is always a great time, I discovered something that I’ve long suspected.  As we chatted about the weather, vacation plans, and how often I still sunbathed (rarely), the dermatologist’s thoughts turned to vitamin D.  He asked me if I was taking a calcium supplement with vitamin D and when I replied enthusiastically in the affirmative, he was genuinely surprised.  “That’s great.”  He replied.  “You’re ahead of the curve.  Most people still don’t think about taking a supplement.”

The concept of vitamin D deficiency  makes perfect sense.  For most of us, we’ve heard from our various health care professionals that baking ourselves in the sun (even if you are dark skinned) for prolonged periods of time can result in sun-damaged skin, premature wrinkles, and in many cases, skin cancer.  As a result, most of us lather on sun block or moisturizers with sunscreen daily.  This is a good practice because it can really protect our skin from that insidious fireball in the sky, except for one thing.  We need to absorb some sunlight so that our bodies can manufacture vitamin D, which is essential to calcium absorption.

There has been so much research conducted lately about the positive effects of vitamin D on our immune systems and overall health.  Conversely, vitamin D deficiencies are now being examined closely as potentially contributing to various diseases such as cancer, obesity, and heart disease.  Even though much of this information is still being researched, one thing remains clear.  Calcium and vitamin D are essential for good health.  And most of us in the modern world either avoid the sun because of the aforementioned risks involved with worshipping it, or because the majority of us are sequestered in cubicles or offices, venturing out in the sunlight only long enough to procure a sandwich and a cup of coffee.

So I’m hedging my bets and taking a highly absorbable calcium supplement with 1000 IU vitamin D every day because I want to do all I can to lead a healthy life.  And also because I don’t want to see my dermatologist or his freezing apparatus for a very, very long time.

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Take a look at more information about stronger bones and optimal calcium absorption. We offer many excellent and highly absorbable supplements that support bone, immune system, and joint health.

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