Dear Dr. Mo:I’ve put my self on a weight loss program by combining advice and ideas from your posts. My largest meal has always been lunch and I figured to move it earlier in the day. I would like to know if timing of this meal would make any difference in my diet? Does a timing affect weight loss outcome?
When we eat is just as important
Dear reader: Your hunch that eating your largest meal – lunch – earlier in the day would be better for your weight loss efforts is very accurate.
Data from a relatively recently published large-scale prospective study on the subject proves this to be the case.
The study had followed 400 overweight adults for 20 weeks and demonstrated that timing of meals predicted weight loss effectiveness; the results were published on January 29, 2013 in the International Journal of Obesity. Continue reading …
Dear Dr. Mo: Should I or shouldn’t I eat eggs and are they healthy in any way? People keep saying eggs are full of cholesterol and should be avoided but, is this true?
Dear reader: Contrary to a wide-spread belief (or myth), eggs are very healthy food and a healthy individual can and should eat them on a regular basis. If a person loves eggs vey much and eats too many of them, this can increase cholesterol levels and associated risks for heart disease but if you stick to 4 whole eggs or fewer a week, evidence suggest that any risks you may have will not increase.
Dear Dr. Mo: What exactly are the artificial sweeteners and what are their pros and cons?
Jellies often contain artificial sweeteners
Dear reader: Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes, usually synthetic , but may also come from naturally occurring substances like herbs or sugar itself (like sucralose, which is derived from sugar).
Dear Dr. Mo:Is it true that most people are to extent lactose intolerant? Does dairy long term slows ones’ metabolism or truly have a power to boost it? Would you recommend substitutes for dairy for those people with lactose intolerance?
Dear reader: I’ve been drinking milk my whole life – I grew up on it, as was the case with many other kids and as it is the case today. Kids need milk to grow, that’s for sure.
Adults? As with most things, there are benefits and there are risks.
So what’s good in milk and other dairy?
It’s a good and relatively inexpensive source of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D does not really naturally occur in milk but in most countries, milk is fortified with it so you find it there. Continue reading …
Dear Dr. Mo: I want to know some basic facts about alcohol and what it does to me when I drink. Is there a safe amount that’s actually good for health?
Don’t drink and drive!
Dear reader: Sometimes you might hear from a doctor that moderate alcohol consumption is good for health.
The peril lies in the word “moderate” for it is arbitrary; it is not the same for everyone and one could easily slip from moderation to amounts that are not at all useful to health. We could certainly argue if alcohol is useful in any amount because while it may be beneficial to one part of the body, it is damaging to another.
We don’t really need alcohol as far as maintaining our health is concerned so if you’ve never drank, don’t start as risks outweigh potential benefits.
Dear Dr. Mo:What is the link between being overweight and developing Type 2 diabetes? Can diabetes be prevented or cured somehow?
Dear reader: First of all it is worth pointing out that diabetes is a chronic condition. For most types (except gestational type) this chronicity means that once it occurs, it stays for life – this is not a disease we can effectively cure with our present knowledge but we can quite successfully manage it.
Before I go into your question, let me first explain the diabetes landscape and basic mechanisms behind it as Type 2 is not the only game in town.
Diabetes occurs either when the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
The danger of diabetes lies in a condition called Hyperglycaemia – raised blood sugar level – which is a common result of uncontrolled/undiagnosed diabetes, which over time causes serious damage to the body, especially to blood vessels and nerves.
Food choices affect our health
Diabetes has its types and these differ in both the ways they start and the ways in which we manage them.
Type 1 Diabetes
This type had previously been known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset diabetes. Here, our pancreas gland becomes deficient in insulin production and there is simply no longer enough of it to properly regulate our blood sugar levels. Management requires daily administration of insulin and this type cannot be prevented with our current understanding as the cause is not known although we do think it is due to the self-inflicting damage to pancreas (process called “auto immune response”). Continue reading …
Dear Dr. Mo: I drink soda every day and I love its sweet taste. I keep hearing this is bad for my health. If that’s true, why is that so?
Dear reader: Yesterday I was out riding my bicycle with several hundred other cyclists of all ages to mark the beginning of the European Mobility Week. There were people of all kinds of fitness levels and from different parts of the world. There were even entire families with children on bikes big and small and we all took a nice ride down the streets of the city while the traffic was closed just for us. Perfect.
Sodas are sweet – too sweet for health
What a celebration of health and exercise, I thought to myself.
The ride was over in about 45 minutes as we had arrived to our destination in one of the city’s big parks outside the central area. What happened next inspired me to write today’s post and answer your question.
Organizers were thoughtful enough to prepare a supply of drinks to deliver for free to all the thirsty cyclists. There were several types of sodas available and bottles of water.
90% of people took sodas and very few opted for water. Children, adults, seniors.. without exception.
Drinking 500 ml of soda after 45 minutes of nice bike ride entirely defeats the health-related purpose of biking and erases the potential health benefits one may have incurred on a bicycle. Continue reading …