New Mothers – 10 Health Tips for Women After Delivery

December 29, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

This video features 10 health tips for new mothers. These recommendations are based on expert clinical guidelines published in UpToDate online version 19.3, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. This video was produced by Nicholas Cohen, MD in 2011.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

“Quick Weight Loss Tips For Women: Importance of Fiber…” (Orange County Boot Camp)

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it! – Quick Weight Loss Tip – Fitness tip about the importance of adding more fiber to your diet. L, Laura

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Fiber and Why It’s Good

April 29, 2008 by  
Filed under OBESITY

In nutrition circles, one often hears “eat fiber, it’s good for you”. But fiber is a carbohydrate and those are supposed to be bad, or at least severely limited. What gives?

The resolution to this dilemma lies in examining more closely just what fiber is and what it does for you.

What Is Fiber?

Fiber is, it’s true, a type of carbohydrate. That is, fiber compounds are composed of molecules whose chief elements are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in combination. But there is a key difference between fiber and other types of carbohydrate: it doesn’t break down during digestion.

Both simple sugars (simple carbs) and starches (complex carbs) are broken down by digestive enzymes, releasing energy the body uses for an infinite variety of vital processes. Fiber is not, at least not much. That simple difference leads to a number of beneficial effects.

Why Is Fiber Good?

Insoluble fiber, by definition, does not dissolve in water. As such, it moves through the digestive system where it helps increase the bulk of stools. That helps prevent constipation. It also moves through the intestines relatively fast, which generates signals to the brain that you’re full. In that way, it discourages overeating and the accompanying excess consumption of calories.

Insoluble fiber is contained in whole-wheat flour and wheat bran, many types of nut and several vegetables that contribute ‘roughage’ to the diet.

Soluble fiber, by contrast, does dissolve in water and so forms a type of gel that makes its way through the digestive system. As a result it helps regulate blood glucose levels. On route it helps cleanse the tract of bacteria.

Soluble fiber is part of a wide variety of foods, including oats and barley, carrots and peas, apples and citrus fruit, and beans.

A high fiber diet helps decrease the odds of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol (the undesirable type).

It slows the absorption of sugar contained in food consumed, which helps smooth out any spikes. That helps improve a number called the Glycemic Index, one key to a healthy diet according to some diet programs such as the South Beach Diet.

Controlling blood glucose levels has another beneficial effect, according to many studies. Insulin levels are related to blood glucose levels. Excess glucose over long periods increases the odds of acquiring Type 2 diabetes. A high fiber diet can help decrease those odds.

Since fiber is not broken down, it adds bulk without calories. That contributes to a feeling of fullness and satiation without the accompanying potential for storing excess calories as fat. Thus, it contributes mightily to any weight loss program.

How Much Daily Fiber Is Good?

There is no official RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for fiber as there is for many other nutritional components. But official sources put the desirable amount at roughly 25 grams per day. The average consumption is often much lower, around 15 grams per day.

One study of over 500 subjects conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical School over one year showed that those who consumed 22 grams or more were 63% less likely to have high CRP levels. High CRP (C-reactive protein) is linked with higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.


Like any aspect of diet and nutrition, the value of fiber can be (and sometimes is) overstated. But numerous studies agree that a high fiber diet has definite benefits. As with any proposed change in diet, consulting your physician first is wise.

Choosing The Proper Diet

October 22, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

The title is something of a misnomer. There is no such thing as ‘the’ proper diet for every individual. Nevertheless, all humans are similar enough that there are broad categories, and many specifics, that are correct for almost anyone.

Despite all the fads of the last 30 years or more, it remains true – backed by a large amount and variety of nutritional research – that a good diet is the old-fashioned ‘balanced diet’ that has remained largely unchanged for 60 years or more. The keyword deserves repeating: balanced.

There are fad diets that emphasize protein over carbohydrates, or fruits one day with meat the next or eating vegetarian exclusively. All these may have valid elements, but they almost all tend to go too far in one direction or another.

Everyday, at regular intervals, a person interested in optimizing health should eat daily meals consisting of fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy and a protein source. Of course, there will be exceptions for those with special dietary needs. Some people, for example, can’t process dairy products. Others are sensitive to peanuts or other things.

But the four traditional food groups, in the proper proportion, remain the undisputed recommendation of every reputable nutrition scientist. The reasons are that studies continue to support the notion that these supply the compounds needed by the body. From those it can perform muscle maintenance, proper electrolyte balance, cellular repair and other essential activities along with the needed energy to carry out all of them.

Nature, as discovered by science, determines what the body needs – not marketing.

Insoluble fiber, for example, (as gained from fruit, vegetables and grains) isn’t readily digested. As a result it helps digestion and in cleansing the digestive system.

Certain vitamins (D, B, E, K) and minerals (lithium, calcium, postassium) are needed for carrying out the thousands of biochemical reactions critical to proper health. Sodium and potassium, in moderation, are used by the heart muscle in order to keep pumping blood through the body.

Proteins are needed so the body can lyse (split) them into essential amino acids. Those amino acids are then used to build up new proteins used for muscle and other important components.

Carbohydrates (chiefly those easily converted to glucose) are needed to supply the starting point of the cycle that generates energy to fuel all the other processes. This is a fundamental process called the Krebs cycle that converts sugars into ATP, which is then converted to ADP, releasing energy.)

Fad diets can supply many of these essentials, but typically do so in the wrong proportion or with too much at one time, not enough at another. They also frequently contain additional components that are not helpful, and – in excess – may be harmful, such as excessive fats or complex sugars.

In the world of diet, moderation and regularity may not sound glamorous, but it’s the key to good health.

Put Fiber In Your Diet

August 24, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

Despite the hype that too often accompanies the praise, fiber is a very healthy addition to a good diet. It’s no miracle cure, but a substantial amount of insoluble fiber does help move material through the colon faster. It has a cleansing effect on the digestive system.

By improving the solidity and bulk of solid waste it also helps to keep those who are aging more regular, less constipated. The result, supported by many studies, is (among other benefits) a reduction in the odds of colon cancer.

Insoluble fiber, so-called because it doesn’t dissolve readily in water, can be found in nuts, wheat bran, whole grains and many vegetables. But there’s another kind called, not surprisingly, soluble fiber. As the name suggests it does dissolve readily in water. It, too, has benefits.

Soluble fiber is found in citrus fruit like oranges and lemons, apples, beans, oats and barley grain. Among its other virtues, studies strongly suggest that some soluble fibers (beta glucan) can help reduce cholesterol.

But, as with every other aspect of diet, it’s best to have everything in the proper proportion. What is that, in the case of fiber? The recommended consumption for the average adult over 50 years of age is 21g for women and 30g for men. For those under 50 the amounts are 25g for women, 38g for men.

Of course, that’s only an average (for men about 170lbs, women around 120lbs). You’ll want to consult tables to find out the needed amounts for your weight. There are those rare individuals who are sensitive to certain foods and they will need to seek out sources of fiber that suit their particular circumstances.

But, as a rough starting point, there are several common foods that will be right for most.

A cup of raisin bran cereal has 7g of fiber, and is usually manufactured with helpful vitamins as well. A cup of oatmeal is a good source, even though it only contains 4g. A half-cup of cooked black beans contains about 7.5g. A half-cup of tomato paste has nearly 6g, while a half-cup of cooked Lima beans has nearly 7g.

Bran muffins have been touted as a good source of fiber, and that’s true, they are. But many also are high in fat and sugar, so exercise moderation and seek out a low-fat type. A couple dozen peanuts can also be a good source of fiber, but here again they are high in fat. Control the urge to get large amounts of fiber from them. You don’t want to pile on the calories when getting needed nutrients.

Many fruits are a good source of fiber, including raspberries (1/2 cup contains 5.5g), blackberries (1/2 cup has 3.8g) and apples (3.3g per apple). Even pumpkin is a good source (3.5g in 1/2 cup), but this too can be a source high in fat and sugar, if it’s in the form of pumpkin pie.

A slice of bread has 2g, so the average sandwich will supply 4g. But be sure to get whole grain bread, not the ultra-processed white.

Put both soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet and be good to yourself.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.