Saturday, December 6, 2014

Glitter poop? Really?

Please don't take glitter pills to help you poop rainbows

So I got this questions that I thought was invented, but really, there are people out there that think this way. So, having been asked, my answer was in this online article:

This one just shows how far some people will go. Other than the fact that the product website itself declares the product should not be eaten, one must remember that “non-toxic” and “edible” are not synonymous. The plastic wrap that encloses your lunchtime sandwich is non-toxic, but your unwrap the food before eating it. While there is food grade glitter, nominally made from starch and food-certified colors, this product, and other like it, likely has tiny plastic shards coated with glitter paint. Not toxic, per se, but certainly not edible. Look, you can kiss under the mistletoe, but don’t take a bite of it. Enjoy glitter’s look, don’t look for it’s taste!

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Cholesterol Drug Questions Raised

A new study of cholesterol treatment, called IMPROVE_IT, has raised a question about the choice of medications to use, and whether or not physicians should embrace the new data.  I was asked to comment on this on the MedPageToday website:

Friday Feedback: Will IMPROVE-IT Trial Affect Primary Care?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bad food choices we all make

Our diets are littered with foods that taste good, but are hardly good for us.  Part of that is due to our craving for certain foods, and part of the problem is manufacturers who have learned to tailor foods to our liking, and that encourage us to buy more and more.  Here are a few examples that I have come across, and my thoughts about these products:

DIET SWEETENERS: Just about anyone who has “gone on a diet” has used one of the several products out there to provide sweetness.  The problem is that many put the sweetener in their beverage, while eating a high calorie meal.  The 16 calories that the teaspoon of sugar may have supplied is more than offset by the hundreds or thousands of calories in the food eaten alongside.  Further, that the artificial sweeteners taste “sweeter” than sugar promotes continued sweet seeking behavior, which only leads to further calorie gain.  Better to avoid the artificial sweeteners altogether, use a modest amount of sugar, and eat sensibly.  And, by the way, there is no advantage to “raw” or “turbido” sugar, it is just marketing.

FRUIT FLAVORED YOGURT:   These taste so yummy not because of the fruit, but the added calories with sweetener that accompany the processed fruit.  Studies have suggested that adding your own fresh fruit to fat free yogurt is healthier, lower in calories, and does not promote overeating.

SALADS:   Whether a Caesar salad at a restaurant, or a fast food green salad with chicken or such, just because it is a salad does not mean it is low in calories or fat.  Some of these dishes pack more than 1000 calories, about half a day’s requirement, in one salad.  Added cheese, croutons, meats, and oils can quickly escalate the calorie count into the unhealthy range.  Better to have a garden salad, if it does not grow from the ground you can’t have it on the salad, with some light dressing.  That’s a healthy alternative!

GRANOLA and TRAIL MIX:   With a wonderful healthy facade, these two seemingly natural snacks share one thing, calories.  Most granola is laden with fat and sugar, even if it is honey.  And trail mix may have all kinds of calorie bombs in the mix.  There are many simple home recipes for granola that are low in sugar and calories and high in nutritional value, ditto for trail mixes.  Make it yourself, save some money, and end up with a better product.

SUSHI:   Here’s a food that is popular among the beautiful people, and again, perceived as a healthy alternative to older hors d’oeuvres.  But with the added sauces with mayonnaise or cream cheese, and the wrapping of white rice, or maybe tempura fried, these can reach 500 calories a piece.  Better to forgo the white rice for sashimi, or brown rice, and avoid the sauces and frier.

MUFFINS:   How about a nice bran muffin for breakfast, rather than the eggs and meats so often consumed?  Okay, but you still will get about the same number of calories.  Just because it is made with bran, or granola, or blueberries, does not mean that it is healthy.  An English muffin with jam, or toast and a little Nutella may be a better alternative.  Even that big bagel and cream cheese is problematic, and needs to be downsized from its usual opulence.  

DRIED FRUIT:   These are just little calorie bombs.  When you dry fruit, you remove the water, not the sugar.  So one cup of raisins, dried grapes, contains almost 500 calories, compared to a cup of grapes, at about 60.  You figure this one out on your own!

WHOLE MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS:    The only difference between whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, and skim or fat-free milk is the fat content and its resultant fat calories.  That’s it.  Same protein, same Vitamin D, same calcium – just the fat.  And foods made with low or fat-free milk carry that attribute.  So low fat cheese, fat free yogurt, fat free pudding, and such are all good alternatives to the whole fat variety.  Yes, sometimes there is a taste difference, but life is like that.

WRAPS:    What could be better than a wrap, and who needs all that bread?  Turns out that the amount of “stuff” in the tortilla or other dough used for the wrap is often more than two full slices of bread.  And with extra area to spread the mayonnaise, butter, and fillings, that fancy wrap can easily surpass a plain old sandwich for calorie count.  That is not something to be proud of.  Sometimes a sandwich is really what you need, make it with thin bread to keep it under control.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My continued thanks to you all

Three months ago, I posted a note to my readers that the blog had hit 4000 views, only five months after hitting 3000, with increasing views all along.  Well, now 5000 views have passed.  I hope the articles I have been posting are of interest to you, and perhaps you have shared some of them with others.  There are more in the queue, waiting to be published, and you never know when another will be posted.  So thanks to you all, and please keep reading along.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You want me to do what????

healthAmidst and among all of the cures and potions that we doctors recommend are lots of products steeped in folklore.  Some of them may work, others not so much.  So here is an article I helped with that looks at a few such remedies.  

These home remedies sound pretty disgusting, but they work

Now, if anyone is interested, I may be convinced to expand on this a bit with even more information about some of these, and other, "cures."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Joan Rivers' final lesson for us all

The events of Joan Rivers' final illness and passing seemed sudden, and left many reeling at the news. But from her passing, we can all learn and take action to help our loved ones, and ourselves, should tragedy befall us or a member of our families. Here is an article from Newsmax which looks at the plans we all need to understand, take to heart, and follow through.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Last thoughts on Rivers' passing

No doubt about it, the sudden illness and death of comedienne Joan Rivers grabbed our attention.  She seemed larger than life, and to have her still vibrant career cut short so suddenly made many of stop and take notice.  In a third article in the series, Charlotte Libov asked me about my thoughts of those final days of the star, the question of suffering, and the aftermath.

Joan Rivers Didn't Suffer: Doctor