Dear Dr. Mo: Is gluten-free food generally a healthier option?
Dear reader: The trouble with gluten-free products is that they tend to have a health aura around them, which sometimes blinds people from seeing what they’re really eating.
There is nothing necessarily healthier about gluten-free bread or cookies or pasta or any other food you can think of. Often, if one took a closer look at the label, the product would likely be lower in protein and fiber than a non gluten-free alternative. The catch is that the calorie counts remain the same or similar but because we may think that being gluten-free automatically means healthier food, we may eat more of it.
Many people who eat gluten-free foods say they think they’re healthier and also many believe it will help them lose weight but be cautious of this trap as you may actually be gaining weight by eating more and by eating foods with more fat, more sugar, less protein etc.
Legs could be windows into health – if they’re tired, you need a recharge
Dear Dr. Mo: My legs feel tired relatively often and I’d like to know if there is something I can do about it? Should I be worried?
Dear reader: The feeling of tiredness in legs is a relatively common complaint and the reasons for this feeling could be different. If the feeling is more than just tiredness and it extends into pain and cramps, swelling, numbness and other more severe symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately as these could signal a more serious underlying condition.
Use a healthy diet in your favour to get rid of tiredness in your legs and in some instances even pain (but like I said, for pain, always see your doctor first and discuss your options, including your diet).
Include foods that are rich in calcium, fiber, proteins and vitamin E in your diet as well as foods that will clean up your blood vessels and regulate your blood pressure. These ingredients will maintain your health and specifically improve the strength and fitness of your legs.
What exactly do I mean? Here are 5 important points that you can use in your diet to improve the health of your legs and reduce the feeling of tiredness:
Dear Dr. Mo: Are beans really any good to eat? All I know is that they give me gas and cramps, but I’ve heard they might be really healthy so, are they?
Dear reader: Beans are one of the fiber-richest foods out there, especially when it comes to cholesterol lowering soluble fiber. Eating a cup beans, any beans really, a day can lower your total cholesterol levels by as much as 10% and that’s significant.
In fact, beans are so nutritious and healthy that the latest dietary guidelines recommend a triple of our current suggested intake, from 1 to 3 cups per week, and like I told you, a cup a day would be the best way to go.
Beans are a good meat protein substitute but they are even more than just a simple substitute. Beans have similar calorie count as meat and their water and fiber content will make you feel fuller for longer, which helps in weight management and weight loss and will allow you to cut total daily calories in your diet without starving yourself or skipping any meals. Meat however, contains zero fiber!
How much fiber?
One cup of cooked beans contains about 12 grams of fiber, which is almost half the recommended dose of 25 grams (women) to 35 grams (men) on average. 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: I can’t seem to make myself really start with a weight loss program – I always come up with a reason not to. I really have to lose some weight and it is a number 1. priority but I am failing to start. What can I do?
Never start tomorrow!
Dear reader: It’s like with any other activity we feel a pressing need to perform – if we have to do it, most of us will rather do anything else instead.
This neat and classic evasive tactic our minds are using to postpone something into the future is called Procrastination, and I am sure you are aware of it. Continue reading …
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’ve been eating a lot of Avocados lately (not really sure whether they are fruit or vegetable) – are these any good for my health or is it just a
The only trick is to know when it’s ripe enough to eat
quirky addition to a salad?
Dear reader: Avocados are very interesting and old food originating from South and Central America – they are fruit, not a vegetable.
My baby girl loves to eat them, which is great because Avocados are extremely healthy.
Personally, I will never learn to immediately tell a difference in my head between Avocados and Mangos, as for some strange reason my mind confuses these two words and no amount of mental effort will ever help; of course I always know an Avocado when I see one. Continue reading …
Dear Dr. Mo:How important is breakfast for my health? Should I skip it if I want to lose some weight? I see some of my friends do this.
Dear reader: To answer simply – breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you should never skip it.
That said; let me quickly give a few important reasons for this.
Make it a healthy choice
Fist and foremost, if you want to lose some weight or just maintain the one you have (especially if it is a healthy one and feels good to you) eating breakfast every morning is the way to go.
I’ve spoken to people whose strategy was to skip breakfast thinking they would reduce their daily amount of calories – you are guessing already – they have failed at that. The reason such a strategy doesn’t work is because without a proper breakfast, you become very hungry by lunch time and not only that but you drive your body into energy conservation mode in which calories are being conserved and stored rather than spent and where your metabolism slows down – all of which is bad news for weight loss. Continue reading …
Dear Dr. Mo: I am currently on a weight loss diet – I am trying to make it a healthy one. I’ve heard lots about carbs and fat but what about protein?
Dear reader: Very often, while trying to lose some weight, people obsess around planning their carbs, counting calories, avoiding fats and forget about a very important part of every healthy diet – protein.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and they are not just an essential ingredient for a healthy weight loss, they are also essential for our bodies serving as building material for growth and repair and as a fuel source in times of need.
Turkey meet is high in protein and low in calories
Without protein in your diet, you run a risk of overeating, which, coupled with eating fast is one of the leading causes of weight gain and obesity.
If you overeat on a high-fat, low-protein diet, weight gains may be slower to show but you will be gaining more fat and you will be losing more muscle down the road.The weight as such needs to be considered in a broader perspective, beyond just the BMI (Body Mass Index) or the number on the scale – it is what makes up your total weight that counts the most – whether it is fat or lean muscle; and without protein in your diet, you will be leaning towards more fat and less muscle.
Whether or not you are trying to lose weight, remember that 10 – 35 % of your daily food intake should be lean protein. For men, this comes up to about 56 grams of protein every day and for women, 46 grams to avoid deficiency. Athletes, pregnant women and children may require more, to satisfy their increased demands for building blocks. Continue reading …