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Staying Healthy on a Low Carbohydrate Diet

Staying Healthy on a Low Carbohydrate Diet
Marjorie Geiser

It is estimated that about 32 million Americans are following some type of low carbohydrate diet. This is the result of fad diet authors claiming that carbohydrates are the cause for Americas rising obesity problems. The backlash against carbohydrates is a result of the low fat craze that started in the 80s.When consumers started cutting down their fat intake, manufacturers figured out that they could create low fat processed food products that the public would buy. Because these products claimed to be fat free, Americans didnt pay attention to the fact that they were not also calorie free, and as a result, the total amount of daily calories has slowly been increasing. In fact, although the total percentage of calories from fat has decreased, the actual amount of fat intake has increased by 10# per year since 1975! The increase of carbohydrate has also increased, at a rate of 20# per year, mostly as a result of highly processed foods.

It is estimated that 3800 calories are now produced for every American man, woman and child. We have evolved from a world of feast or famine, but were in a state of perpetual feast, although our bodies have not changed. We have no defenses against excess calories: Every year, 300,000 to 400,000 deaths in the US are attributed to obesity.

Meanwhile, Asian and Middle Eastern populations consume 50-75% of their calories from rice and have some of the lowest rates of obesity and heart disease in the world. People living in the Mediterranean also have fewer health conditions commonly seen in the US. This diet consists of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruits. Their diets are rich in fish and low in meats and poultry. Although their fat intake is about the same as in America, the type of fat is primarily monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, where Americans eat primarily saturated animal fats.

Regardless of the actual advantage or disadvange to following a low carbohydrate diet, there are three recommendations for maintaining good health while following such a diet. The first is to choose healthy fats over the unhealthy, saturated fats, when considering fat intake. Examples of healthy fats would be plant fats that have not been hydrogenated, which makes the fat more solid at room temperature. It is believed that hydrogenation is actually more harmful to health than saturated fats found naturally in animal products. Plant fats would include nuts, avocados, and olives. Oils such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil are better choices than fats that come from animal sources, such as butter, lard or bacon grease. Multiple studies over the years have shown that excess animal fats lead to higher risks of cancer, heart disease and other inflammatory disorders. Saturated fats have been linked to increased cholesterol, LDL (the bad) cholesterol as well as to increased LDL cholesterol oxidation. In fact, in January 2004, an Atkins representative put out a press release advising the public to decrease their amounts of steak, eggs, and saturated fast to less than 20% of their total fat intake.

The next recommendation to ensure good health is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Although fruits and most vegetables are restricted in the initial phase of some low carbohydrate diets, they are then allowed back in limited amounts. The phytonutrients that come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have been shown to decrease blood pressure, as well as protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Its easy to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, once you get in the habit. Examples are; add some berries to breakfast, eat a tomato at lunch, include broccoli with dinner, drink some vegetable juice with snacks, and have a large salad with your meal.

The final tip to ensure good health is to eat a diet of whole foods, rather than fall back on the easy snack, convenience foods of today. If Americans had just cut down their amount of fat intake in the 80s, without finding new ways to snack, we may not be seeing the epidemic of obesity we see, today. When people started going on the low carbohydrate diets, they eliminated a large number of calories by eliminating snacking, especially at night, where common snacks are chips, crackers, and other high fat, high refined carbohydrate foods, such as ice cream. Today, though, much like in the 80s, manufacturers are now developing low carb and low net carb snack foods. We can now find low net carb chips, crackers, ice cream, popcorn, even low carb pizza! As Americans start to increase their intake of these foods, we will soon see a slowing of the weight loss many had seen initially. In order to call themselves a low net carb food, manufacturers subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates in the product, rather than produce products without carbohydrate. There is no actual FDA standard for what a low net carb food is, yet, though, so right now its anything the manufacturer wants to say it is. These foods also are very high in fat and saturated fat, usually through hydrogenation. So, not only will calories be added back into the diet through resuming unhealthy snack habits, but they will be calories consisting of high amounts of the unhealthy fats.

So, while following a low carbohydrate diet, in order to ensure continued good health, follow these three recommendations: 1) Make most fats you eat the healthy, plant fats, rather than eating a diet high in animal or hydrogenated fats, 2) Eat plenty of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, which are high in disease-fighting antioxidants, and 3) eat mostly whole, fresh foods and very little processed snack foods, even if they say low carb, in order to avoid hidden and unnecessary fat and calories.

Marjorie Geiser has been teaching health, fitness and nutrition since 1982. She is a nutritionist, registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and life coach. As the owner of MEG Fitness, Marjories goal for her clients is to help them incorporate healthy eating and fitness into their busy lives. To order her 30-Day Health & Fitness Challenge e-course and learn more about Marjorie, go to her website at www.megfit.com or email her at Margie@megfit.com


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Men And Food Allergies What’s Healthy and What’s Not

Men And Food Allergies What’s Healthy and What’s Not Part 2
Robert Walker

Tips for Managing Specific Food Allergies
Milk, Egg, Peanut, Tree Nut, Fish/Shellfish, Soy, Wheat
Traveling with Food Allergies
Other Resources
E-mail this Information to A Friend
Other Topics in the Consumer Focus Archive
The Basics of Food Allergies

Food Labels
Food labels usually list all the ingredients in any given food thats why its important to

read the labels. If you see one of your food allergens listed, dont eat the food. The problem,

though, is that a food protein can have more than one name. Different names for some food

ingredients, along with some tips for managing the specific food allergy, appear below:

Tips for Managing Specific Food Allergies
Milk Allergy

Other names for milk proteins may include:

Casein, caseinates, rennet casein
Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate, lactoglobulin, lactulose
Some hidden sources of milk:

Many restaurants put butter on steaks after they have been grilled for extra flavor but the

butter it is not visible after it melts.
Some brands of tuna fish contain casein (a milk protein).
Some meats contain casein as a binder be sure to check the labels carefully.
Deli meat slicers are frequently used for both meat and cheese products.
Commonly asked questions:

Q: Is goat milk a safe alternative to cow milk?
A: No, it is not a safe alternative. Goats milk protein is similar to cows milk protein and

may cause a reaction in milk-allergic individuals.
Q: Do these ingredients (Calcium lactate, Calcium stearoyl lactylate, Cocoa butter, Cream of

tartar, Oleoresin, Sodium lactate, Sodium stearoyl lactylate, and Lactic acid) contain milk?
A: These ingredients do not contain milk protein and need not be restricted by someone avoiding

milk. However, lactic acid starter culture may contain milk and should be avoided.

Egg Allergy

Other names for egg proteins may include:

Albumin (also spelled albumen), and meringue or meringue powder.
Some hidden sources of egg:

Some commercial brands of egg substitutes contain egg whites.
For you coffee drinkers be aware that, in some instances, eggs have been used to create the

foam or milk topping on special coffee drinks and are used in some bar drinks.
These items may include egg protein: artificial flavors: lecithin; macaroni; marzipan;

marshmallows, and nougat.
Most commercially processed cooked pastas (including those used in prepared foods such as soup)

contain egg or are processed on equipment shared with egg-containing pastas. Boxed, dry pastas

are usually egg-freefresh pasta is usually egg-free, too. But, as always, it is important to

read the label or ask about the ingredients before eating pasta.
Eggs are used in some salad dressings.
Commonly asked questions:

Q: Is a flu shot safe for an individual with an egg allergy?
A: If you are allergic to eggs, speak to your doctor before receiving a flu shot. Influenza

vaccines are grown on egg embryos and may contain a small amount of egg protein.

Peanut Allergy

Some hidden sources of peanuts:

Arachis oil is peanut oil.
Artificial nuts can be peanuts that have been de-flavored and re-flavored with a nutty taste,

such as pecan or walnut.
Peanut butter, peanut flour.
Mandelonas are peanuts soaked in almond flavoring.
Cold pressed, expelled or extruded peanut oil.
African, Chinese, Indonesian, Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes often contain peanuts, or are

contaminated with peanuts during preparation. Dishes to avoid include: baked goods; candy; chili;

egg rolls; enchilada sauces; flavoring; marzipan; nougat, and sunflower seeds.
Foods sold in bakeries and ice cream shops are often in contact with peanuts.
Many brands of sunflower seeds are produced on equipment also used for peanuts.
Keep in mind most experts recommend peanut-allergic individuals avoid tree nuts.
Learn More Man Health Issues At http://todays-man-health-advocate.com
Commonly asked questions:

Q: Can a peanut allergy be outgrown?
A: Recent studies indicate up to 20 percent of children diagnosed with a peanut allergy outgrow

it.

Note: Peanuts can be found in many foods check all labels carefully as they can cause severe

allergic reactions. If your doctor has prescribed epinephrine, be sure to carry it with you at

all times. Individuals allergic to peanuts are often told to avoid tree nuts as well.

Tree Nut Allergy

Some hidden sources of tree nuts:

Artificial nuts can be peanuts that have been de-flavored and re-flavored with a nutty taste,

such as a pecan or walnut.
Mandelonas are peanuts soaked in almond flavoring.
Mortadella may contain pistachios.
Tree nuts have been used in many foods including barbecue sauces, cereals, crackers, and ice

cream.
Kick sacks, or hacky sacks, and bean bags are sometimes filled with nut shells.
Commonly asked questions:

Q: Should coconut be avoided by someone with a tree nut allergy?
A: Coconuts are not usually restricted in the diet of an individual allergic to tree nuts. But

some people have reacted to coconut, therefore, discuss this with your doctor before introducing it into your diet.
Q: Is nutmeg safe?
A: It is considered safe for someone who is allergic to tree nuts but, as always, consult your

physician.
Q: Should water chestnuts be avoided?
A: They are not a nut but an edible portion of a plant root, and are considered safe for

someone who is allergic to tree nuts.

Note: Individuals allergic to specific tree nuts are advised to avoid all tree nuts and peanuts

as well.

Fish and/or Shellfish Allergy

Allergic reactions to fish and shellfish are commonly reported in both adults and children.

Fish-allergic individuals should be cautious when eating away from home. You should avoid fish

and seafood restaurants due to the potential risk of cross-contamination in the food-preparation

area of your non-fish meal from a counter, spatula, cooking oil, fryer, or grill exposed to

fish. Also, fish protein can become airborne during cooking and cause an allergic reaction some

individuals have had reactions from walking through a fish market.

Some hidden sources of fish/shellfish:

Suriimi (imitation crab meat) contains fish.
Caesar salad dressings and steak or Worcestershire sauce often contain anchovies.
Caponata, a traditional sweet-and-sour Sicilian relish, can contain anchovies.
Commonly asked questions:

Q: Should iodine be avoided by fish or shellfish-allergic individuals?
A: Allergy to iodine, allergy to radiocontrast material (used in some lab procedures), and

allergy to fish or shellfish are not related.

*Allergic reactions to fish and shellfish can be severe and are often a cause of anaphylaxis. It

is generally recommended that individuals who have had an allergic reaction to one species of

fish or positive skin tests to fish avoid all fish – the same rule applies to shellfish.

Soy Allergy

Avoiding products made with soybeans can be difficult since soybeans have become a major part of

processed food products. Keep in mind, soybeans and soy products are found in baked goods, canned

tuna, cereal, crackers, infant formulas, sauces, and soups. Some brands of peanut butter list soy

on their labels. Soy-allergic individuals should consult their doctor whether or not to avoid

soybean oil and soy lecithin.

Wheat Allergy

Some hidden sources of wheat:

Keep in mind to read food labels carefully some brands of hot dog buns and ice creams contain

wheat.
Some types of imitation crabmeat contain wheat.
Wheat flour is sometimes flavored and shaped to look like pork, beef and shrimp, especially in

Asian dishes.
Many country-style wreaths are decorated with wheat products.
Commonly asked questions:

Q: Are kamut and spelt safe alternatives to wheat?
A: No. Kamut is a cereal grain which is related to wheat. Claims that spelt is safe for

wheat-allergic individuals are untrue. Wheat-allergic individuals can react as readily to spelt

as they do to common wheat.

Note: If you have food allergies, dont be shy about asking restaurants, friends, or anyone else

serving you food to list the foods ingredients.

For More Man Health Information Benefits Click Here http://todays-man-health-advocate.com

Traveling with Food Allergies
Remember, your food allergy will always travel with you. To ensure that your next trip is

relaxing and enjoyable, you should plan for the changes in your environment that may affect your

food allergies.

Pack all medications you will need on your trip in your purse, briefcase or carry-on luggage so

you dont lose them if your luggage is delayed.
Make sure you bring more than enough, and store your medications in their original containers,

which list instructions on how to take the medication and obtain refills. Also, when flying

abroad, the original container identifies the medicines for custom officials.
Be extremely cautious when eating airline food. Since the food comes from a vendor, no one on

board may be able to tell you the specific ingredients of the foods.
Make sure to carry your portable, injectable epinephrine in case you have a severe reaction while

in flight.

About the Author

Robert Walker is a health information marketer and writer that writes for
The Men’s Health Advantage Report at http://todays-man-health-advocate.com.


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