Your Road to Wellness

Weight gain

If your weight goes up you may need more vitamin D.

Posted by on 11:53 am Health, Lose fat, Vitamin D, Weight gain, Weight loss, Women | 0 comments

Low vitamin D levels are commonly found with obesity. The first study reviewed here investigated the effect of weight loss through diet and exercise on serum levels of vitamin D (Mason, et al. 2011). Vitamin D concentration was measured at the start of the study and 12 months later.

The results showed that greater weight loss was associated with increased vitamin D. As weight loss increased vitamin D levels increased.

The next study reviewed evaluated vitamin D levels in normal weight, overweight and obese cancer patients (Vashi PG, et al. 2011). The participants were both females and males with different kinds of cancer.

The conclusion of the research was that obese cancer patients had significantly lower levels of serum vitamin D when compared with the other groups.

If your body mass index is on the high side you need to supplement with more vitamin D, but what is interesting is that your vitamin D level would increase somewhat just by losing some weight.

 

 

 

Mason C, Xiao L, Imayama I, Duggan CR, Bain C, Foster-Schubert KE, Kong A, Campbell KL, Wang CY, Neuhouser ML, Li L, Jeffery RW, Robien K, Alfano CM, Blackburn GL, McTiernan A. Effects of weight loss on serum vitamin D in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May 25.
Vashi PG, Lammersfeld CA, Braun DP, Gupta D. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is inversely associated with body mass index in cancer. Nutr J. 2011 May 16;10(1):51.

The food that will keep you lean and reduce cardiovascular risk

Posted by on 12:58 pm Cardiovascular Disease, Low glycemic meals, Vegetables, Weight gain, Womens health | 0 comments

It does not matter how much of it you eat, you will not gain weight from it. The more you eat of it, the more your cardiovascular disease risk will go down.

What kind of super food could that be? You might have guessed it, it is vegetables.

We all have heard that vegetables are good for us. This is exactly what a large recent study involving 13,355 men and 15,724 women living in Japan documented (Nakamura K, et al, 2008). It showed that the highest quartile of vegetables intake for women was associated with a 38% reduced risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease compared with the lowest quartile intake.

Eat at least one salad a day and of course you could even have two. When you eat something hot include some steamed or stir-fried vegetables.

If you add beans or lentils to a salad it will be a really low glycemic index meal that will give you prolonged energy.

 

References:

Nakamura K, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and mortality from cardiovascular disease are inversely associated in Japanese women but not in men. J Nutr. 2008 Jun;138(6):1129-34.

Eating irregularly is a risk factor for the metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.

Posted by on 1:14 pm Bloodsugar, Diet, Energy, Glucose, Insulin resistance, Sugar, Weight gain | 0 comments


The metabolic syndrome is a condition consisting of multiple symptoms including elevated blood glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, LDL (the bad cholesterol) and decreased HDL (the good cholesterol). A part of the metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance which occurs when the insulin is not able to transfer the blood sugar into the cells as efficiently as it used to. This will first result in elevated insulin levels as the pancreas compensates trying to transfer the glucose into the cells so it can be used for energy. Later the blood glucose may also increase as the pancreas is not able to compensate and the insulin resistance get worse. Symptoms are usually weight gain especially around the waist, less energy and increased low grade inflammation.

Risk factors associated both insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome are not enough physical activity, stress and high glycemic index foods. Skipping meals can also be added to the list of risk factors, this was documented in a Swedish study recently (Sierra-Johnson J, et al, 2008). This makes sense since going a long time without eating results in glucose production in the liver to avoid low blood sugar. With time, the liver may produce more glucose than needed which will result in increased blood sugar.

Triggering this response is the hormone glucagone which stimulates the body to break down its own protein. The protein (amino acids) are then converted to glucose in the liver. This is a quicker way to produce energy than using fat which the body also will do.

The results is usually weight gain especially around the waist, the break down of muscle tissue because that is a big source of protein, and lack of energy.

The best way to ensure that you have high energy and stay lean is to eat high nutrient, low glycemic index foods regularly and not skip meals. Many smaller meals are better than 1 or 2 big meals. Exercise should of course also be a part of your routine.

References:

Sierra-Johnson J, et al, 2008. Eating meals irregularly: a novel environmental risk factor for the metabolic syndrome. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Jun;16(6): 1302-7.

Be aware of what you drink

Posted by on 1:44 pm Calories, Fructose, High fructose corn syrup, Hot Beverages, Insulin resistance, Sugar, Sweet beverages, Type 2 diabetes, Weight gain | 1 comment

What you drink can affect you in many ways.

High fructose corn syrup, which commonly is added to both food and beverages, favors fat metabolism even more that regular glucose.

When we ingest fructose we get less feedback on when we are full, because fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or affect leptin production, both of which are key factors in the regulation of food intake. Fructose may for that reason result in over consumption of calories and lead to weight gain (Bray GA, et al. 2004). By drinking sweet beverages, it is extremely easy to consume more calories than we need. A large container of a sweet beverage may even amount to as many calories as in a whole meal.

Sugar sweetened beverages are also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (Palmer JR, et al, 2008). This was documented in a study including 43,960 women. These types of beverages are often marketed as healthy juices and natural fruit drinks, with the intention of making the product sound healthy to the consumer.

A recent study showed that when fructose was consumed, the lipogenisis which is the conversion of sugar to fat was twice as great as when it was absent, leading to increased triglyceride levels (Parks E.J. et al, 2008)

I have for a long time observed that when patients change their eating habits from eating high glycemic index meals (which means foods that elevate the blood sugar high), to low glycemic index meals (which are foods which rather stabilize the blood sugar at a good level instead of elevating it really high), both triglycerides total cholesterol, and LDL, the bad cholesterol all go down substantially. The good cholesterol HDL, however, usually goes up.

According to the research referenced here, you need to pay close attention to what you drink because beverages can be a big source of sugar elevating your blood sugar and lead to all the negative effects from that. Not only can it make you gain weight, but it is also a risk factor for diabetes, because it can contribute to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance which is caused by high glycemic index food and drinks (sweets), weight gain, and lack of exercise can lead to diabetes and can put you at risk for many chronic diseases. It affects your eyes, heart, and brain, as well as other tissue, because it affects the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body which again is a risk factor for these types of conditions.

References:

  1. Bray GA, Nielsen SJ, et al. Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;79(4):537-43.
  2. Palmer JR, Boggs DA, et al.Sugar-sweetened beverages and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in African American women.Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jul 28; 168(14): 1487-92.
  3. Parks EJ, Skokan LE, et al.Dietary sugars stimulate fatty acid synthesis in adults.J Nutr. 2008 Jun; 138 (6):1039-46