My research saves you time!
What's new, what's trendy, what's up in the world of wellness? I'll share information on topics I feel are current and worth your time. Need some advice, email me and I'll be glad to include what I know about your question on this page. If I don't know, I'll do some digging and see what I can find out.
*The information on this site is meant to be informative in nature, and not to be interpreted as a substitute for medical advice. It is also not meant to be instructional, or used in any way as a diagnosis or as medical advice.
The prevalence of adult obesity rates was 42.4% in 2017-2018, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in 2020. For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years during the same time period, the prevalence was 18.5%, affecting about 13.7 million young people, according to the NCHS in 2017. These statistics make it a issue in the wellness field, as well as the healthcare space. This post is not about some weight loss program, but just one concept, a lifestyle, that more people need to be aware of and understand if weight loss is a goal. I’m referring to the concept of calorie density. It's important to understand how different foods effect our satiety and the impact that has on our weight. This is a very simple approach to weight management. This concept is just as much about increasing nutrient density, as decreasing calorie density. Understanding this principle is extremely beneficial for not only those looking to lose weight, but also those trying to improve their healthy lifestyle overall. Below is a graphic done by the wonderful folks at Forks Over Knives, fantastically demonstrating the concept of calorie density. Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Also, check out this shortened 8 minute Utube video done my one of my favorite nutritionists, Jeff Novick, who I consider one of the leaders in calorie density education.
Rice? Arsenic in Rice?
I think it's fair to say that most American households usually have some form of rice in their pantry. It's a staple around the world. It's usually white rice or brown rice, right? Well actually they are the same rice, just processed differently. White rice is stripped down brown rice. The other forms of whole grain rice are black, red, and purple. There is also wild rice but we'll get to that later.
Seems to me, it's pretty universally accepted that arsenic is found in rice, any rice. The question remains how much is acceptable to human health? Similarly, the same questions are asked about organic or conventional. Or are GMOs an issue? I feel why take chances, especially with so many other great options. Due to the way rice grows from the ground, it's very efficient at absorbing arsenic from the soil. Much of that arsenic is from chemicals and pesticides used for decades in cotton fields. White rice will often have less arsenic since the outer layers are stripped away where much of that arsenic will be. However, white rice doesn't have all the nutrients that brown rice has, so where does that leave the consumer? Again, in a place of confusion. So what other options are there?
First you can avoid all rice and use other great, healthy whole grain options like quinoa, barley, sorghum, teff, millet, oats, spelt, etc.
Second, just limit how often you eat rice and/or boil it in water with a higher water to rice ratio and you tend to take out much of the arsenic. Also, keep in mind that rice from the US tends to be worse in levels than from other countries. The southern US states tend to be the worst, CA tends to be better, and organic basmati tends to have the lowest levels.
The third option and what's become my favorite is to eat wild rice, which just so you know is not rice at all. It's not a grain either. It's an aquatic grass seed that was once a staple of native American cultures. So why am I so fond of it? First of all, it's delicious! It has lower chances of arsenic contamination. The nutritional profile is great. It has double the protein and fiber as brown rice, along with many vitamins like B6, folate, magnesium, zinc, manganese, etc. To top it all off, it's low in calories, and gluten free. Seems to me like a win-win.
Before I wrap this up, there is a new-ish buzz term these days called resistant starch. White rice is one of the suppliers of this type of healthy starch, along with plantains, green bananas, and some other whole grains. Similar to soluble fiber, it doesn't get digested in the small intestine and makes the journey to the large intestine. Some studies have shown many health benefits to this type of starch. So we may hear more in the near future about white rice being potentially healthier than previously thought, due to this resistant starch. For me, for now, it's too new and I'm still limiting my intake.
Here are a couple links for more information on the arsenic issue in rice, and wild rice...
International Plant Based Healthcare Conference
This past September, I was fortunate enough to attend the Plantrician Project’s conference in San Diego. I’ve never been there before, so I was also really excited about seeing the city. However, I had no time to explore since I was so busy at the 4 day conference. Quite frankly, I didn’t want to leave the venue since there was always so much going on. There were many highlights like the importance of fasting and an incredible advanced screening of the upcoming documentary, “The Game Changers”.
I will soon post a full description here of my conference experience.
There has been much talk recently about the potential benefits of fasting. But as with many things, is this just a trend, or a legitimate option for wellness improvement. We too have become very interested in it's proposed benefits. Stay tuned for more information on this topic. In the meantime, I would recommend reading up on it yourself. People are claiming all sorts of benefits like, renewed energy, gut improvements, sleeping better, mental clarity, and even activating important pro-aging pathways in some cases. From past experience, one thing I would recommend is to avoid the juice "cleanses" that have a lot of sugar. These are not healthy fasts. They also are pure liquid since the fiber has been removed, and that means that the sugar is alone without the fiber companionship to help regulate blood sugar. Fasting can become too much of a routine for some people, which could become dangerous. Stick with successful ones you've heard about from trusted sources, and don't let it become a habit.
Always consult your physician before starting a fast.
With all the contradictory opinions in public and online, it's very difficult for the average person to form any sort of confident opinion on how to eat. One of the few reliable sources of information is to look at how others eat around the world and their success with longevity and happiness. That is what the blue zones are all about. Through many years of research and location studies, five locations around the globe have been labeled as "blue zones". They are Ikaria, Greece, Loma Linda, CA, Okinowa, Japan, Nicoya, Costa Rica, and lastly Sardinia, Italy. It is within these 5 communities where you will find the happiest and longest living humans on the planet. You can not dismiss the importance of this information. Through this research, they have compiled a list of nine commonalities that lead to longer, happier lives, including a "plant slant" diet. Here is a link with more information about the "Power 9".
For more general information and research, click the additional link below.
More NuHEALth coaching op-eds
Is the Ketogenic "diet" a trend or fad, or is it something more? No one can dispute it's popularity, but no one can also dispute that popularity has nothing to do with it being a healthy choice. I will tackle more on this later, so stay tuned...