- Study shows this type of woman lost more weight after 3 months on low-carbohydrate diet than traditional low-fat diet with same number of calories.
- Not all people have the same response to diets.
- The hormone that may be responsible for your weight loss – or lack of weight loss.
- Why ignoring this hormone (and eating the wrong foods) can lead to not only weight problems – but early death.
Chicago – Eating fat is bad. No…wait… it’s carbohydrates that are evil. One expert says one thing and then, another Doctor says something else. Back and forth…back and forth. Maybe that new infomercial selling the latest miracle weight loss product is the way to go? Who knows? In the meantime, you’re confused and not losing any weight. Well, get ready for some possible answers… and a few more questions…
First, The Results Of A New Study
The June 19th, 2010 edition of The Endocrine Society reports, “[According to a new study ,] Obese women with insulin resistance lose more weight after three months on a lower-carbohydrate diet than on a traditional low-fat diet with the same number of calories…” The study’s lead author, Raymond Plodkowski, MD, Chief of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno wrote, “The typical diet that physicians recommend for weight loss is a low-fat diet… However, as this study shows, not all people have the same response to diets.”
According to the researchers, for this group of women, the lower carbohydrate diet is more effective, at least in the short term. The study lasted 12 weeks and was funded by Jenny Craig. It found the insulin resistant women on the lowest-carb diet lost 3.4 pounds more than those on the low-fat diet. Total calories for all groups were the same. The low-fat diet included 60% of its calories from carbs, 20% from fat, and 20% from protein. The low-carb diet included 45% of its calories from carbs, 35% from primary unsaturated fats, and 20% from protein.
Both diets included a minimum of 2 fruits and 3 vegetable servings a day. The use of prepared meals made the structured diets easier and more palatable for the dieter. “These data have potential widespread applications for clinicians when counseling people with insulin resistance to help improve weight loss as part of a calorie-restricted diet,” Plodkowski said. “They should at least initially lower their carbohydrate intake.”
What Is Insulin Resistance?
Since the women in the above-mentioned study were all insulin resistant – you might be wondering, “what isinsulin resistance?” Insulin resistance is a condition where the body produces insulin but does not use it properly. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas to break down glucose in the blood so it can be used for energy.
Glucose is a form of sugar and is the body’s #1 source of energy. After your digestive system breaks food down into glucose, glucose is then transported to different parts of your body via the bloodstream. Glucose in the blood stream is called “blood glucose” or “blood sugar.” After you eat, blood glucose levels rise and your pancreas secretes insulin to allow cells to absorb and use the glucose.
When people are insulin resistant, they do not respond properly to insulin. In other words, even though the pancreas secretes insulin, it is not effective in getting the glucose from the blood into the cells. More insulin is needed so the pancreas works harder and secretes more. Eventually, the pancreas cannot keep up with the increased demand and glucose builds up in the blood. This is the beginning of diabetes. It is common for diabetics to have high levels of both glucose and insulin circulating in the bloodstream. Insulin resistance not only sets the stage for developing Type 2 Diabetes, it increases the odds of the number one killer in America: heart disease.
According to the American Diabetes Association: “People with diabetes have a higher-than-average risk of having a heart attack or stroke. These strike people with diabetes more than twice as often as people without diabetes.”
What Causes Insulin Resistance?
Very good question. There seem to be several contributing factors. The first factor may be genetic. Some scientists think specific genes make certain people more susceptible to insulin resistance. But, genes aren’t everything. Weight and lack of physical activity also seem to play a major role. Then, there are the types of food you eat… The more junk sugars (ice cream, candy bars, etc.) you eat, the more your little pancreas has to work to keep up with all the sugar that has been dumped into the bloodstream. Just like everything else, there is only so much work your pancreas can do. If the pace is too high for too long, it will basically burn out and quit. It is important to stop this process before it gets too far. Exercise, weight loss and proper diet can reverse many cases of insulin resistance and pre-diabetes.
According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, “The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and other large studies have shown that people with pre-diabetes can often prevent or delay diabetes if they lose a modest amount of weight by cutting fat and calorie intake and increasing physical activity; for example, walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. Losing just 5 to 7 percent of body weight prevents or delays diabetes by nearly 60 percent. In the DPP, people aged 60 or older who made lifestyle changes lowered their chances of developing diabetes by 70 percent.”
With all of this information, the most important message to take away is this: Lifestyle has a major impact on your health. Different people react to different foods and diets in different ways, and it is important to pay attention to what you eat and figure out what is best for you. But no matter what, regular exercise and staying away from junk food loaded with bad fats and sugar is a very good idea. Research may not have all the answers yet, but to our knowledge, there is no study that says sitting on the couch stuffing your face with candy bars and ice cream is good for your health.
World’s Oldest Person
Alive At 130?
Do you take good enough care of your body for it to last that long?
“If I knew I was going to live this long, I would’ve taken better care of myself.” Those words by Eubie Blake couldn’t possibly have any more meaning than they do for Antisa Khvichava. Authorities from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia claim this remote villager recently turned 130, making her the oldest person on earth. She retired from picking tea and corn in 1965, when she was 85. She said she has always been healthy and worked her whole life. It is difficult to verify her age due to wars and the collapse of the Russian empire, but she has two soviet-era documents that attest to her age. For all accounts, her mind is as sharp as ever, but her body has all but quit on her. Her fingers are so deformed she can no longer knit, and she struggles to walk. But, she refuses any help to get around when she has to. While her mind-set and determination are admirable – but also realize how important it is to take care of the one body you are given. You never know how long you will need it. One has to wonder if she ate low-carbs or low-fat?
Lowers Blood Pressure?
If you love chocolate, you don’t need a reason to eat it. On the contrary – you need a pretty darn good reason not to! For years, chocolate was considered a delightful sin… a little guilty pleasure.
Well, the results of 15 studies may change all that. Here is why… According to a recent press release, “For people with hypertension, eating dark chocolate can significantly reduce blood pressure. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Medicine combined the results of 15 studies into the effects of flavanols, the compounds in chocolate which cause dilation of blood vessels, on blood pressure.”
According to the press release, the reduction seen for people with hypertension is comparable to the known effects of 30 minutes of daily exercise and might theoretically reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event by around 20%.
And don’t forget, if you ever have any questions or concerns about your health, talk to us. Contact us with your questions. We’re here to help, and don’t enjoy anything more than participating in your lifelong good health.
This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history. We cannot be held responsible for actions you may take without a thorough exam or appropriate referral.
Health Update: Whiplash
Did you know the car you choose can improve the odds of crash survival by 400%? In the popular magazine Consumer Reports, they wrote, “Ultimately, safety is active and passive, balancing the ability to avoid an accident and to survive one.” Typically, the first thing we do as consumers when we consider safety in a particular car is to look at the crash-test results. While this is important, we must first consider the size and weight so we compare crash-test results between cars in the same weight class since statistics show there are two times as many occupant deaths annually in small vs. large cars. Keeping size and weight in the foreground, when evaluating crash-test results, the front and rear end “crumple zone” of the car should be designed to absorb crash forces by buckling and bending in a serious collision. If you’ve ever watched race cars crash, you usually see car parts bend and break off as they bounce off the guard rail or other cars, sometimes to the point where all that is left is the cage surrounding the driver. Amazingly, the race car driver often climbs out of the cage and walks away, seemingly unharmed.
The next important car feature to consider is a car with a structurally superior passenger compartment. Look for a high quality “restraint system” made up of 3 components: seat belts, airbags, and head restraints. These work together to keep us safe and in place during a crash while the outside of the car crumples, absorbing the energy of the crash.
So where do you look to get this information? There are several resources available:
- The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) tests front end impacts at 35 mph, and in 1997 added side impact tests at 38 mph. They also test for the rollover potential for SUVs and trucks and grade the results for each category from 1 to 5 stars representing the likelihood of suffering a life-threatening injury in a crash.
- Since 1995, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has used a method reviewed by Consumer Reports as being more realistic by crashing only half of the vehicle at similar speeds into fixed barriers, since most crashes are not direct, whole car strikes.
- Consumer Reports is a 3rd option. They integrate the data from both NHTSA and IIHS and gives us their “CR Safety Assessment,” and run 40 new cars each year through numerous individual tests.
Other important “accident avoiding” features often overlooked include: Tires – greatly impact braking and emergency handling so REPLACE them as needed; Braking-check for the distance required to stop the car at different speeds- the shorter, the better; Emergency Handling-data about accident avoidance and choosing a vehicle with electronic stability control (ESC), especially in SUVs is wise; Acceleration-the quicker a car can get to highway speeds, the better; Driver position and visibility-a good view of the surroundings, especially the “blind spots” is important. We realize you have a choice in where you go for your health care needs and we truly appreciate your consideration in allowing us to help you.
Health Update: Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel syndrome or, CTS, is a condition where a nerve (called the median nerve) is compressed in a relatively tight or restricted space (called the carpal tunnel), resulting in altered nerve function that includes numbness and weakness. In order to fully understand what CTS is, let’s devote this Health Update to better understanding the anatomy of the carpal tunnel.
The carpal tunnel is made up from 8 bones (2 rows of 4 carpal bones that are stacked on top of each other) that are arranged in the shape of a horse shoe. The “roof” of the tunnel is a ligament (transverse carpal ligament) that stretches tightly across the two ends of the horseshoe completing the formation of a tunnel – actually, an upside down tunnel when looking at the palm side of the wrist). The contents of the tunnel include 9 tendons and their covering (sheath), blood vessels and on top of all that just under the roof is the median nerve – the culprit that creates most of the symptoms of CTS. The cause of CTS is simply anything that causes the contents inside the tunnel to swell, which then compresses the median nerve up into the roof or ligament, pinching the nerve. This can create numbness, tingling, the falling asleep sensation and weakness. It’s important to point out that the median nerve starts out from the neck, passes through the shoulder, past the elbow, through the wrist’s carpal tunnel and ends in the hand – specifically fingers 2,3, and 4. Therefore, the ENTIRE nerve must be looked at for all CTS cases as pinching can occur anywhere along its course from the neck to the hand. It’s said that pictures say a thousand words, so let’s take a look!
Using the pictures here, familiarize yourself with the words and re-read the 2nd paragraph above, periodically looking at these pictures until you feel you understand where everything goes. Once you’ve accomplished that, you’ll be able to better appreciate CTS, how the anatomy relates to the condition, and appreciate the need to reduce the swelling inside the tunnel when symptoms occur. The treatment is simple: “PRICE” – P protect R rest I ice C compress E elevate – accomplished by bracing (especially at night), ice cup massage (5 min. until numb 5x/day), rest (light duty work), and therapy (see your chiropractor!).
We realize that you have a choice in who you are considering for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs. If you, a friend or family member require care for CTS, we would be honored to render our services.
Health Update: Back Pain
“Doc, I try to do my exercises but I have to hit the ground running in the morning….to get the kids ready for the school bus….I have morning meetings….I’m not a morning person….I’m pulled in 100 directions during the day….I forget about them until I’m in bed….I exercise on my job and that’s enough….”
I’m sure we’ve all rationalized our inability to keep up with exercises, especially after our episode of low back pain (LBP) subsides. In fact, only about 4% of LBP patients continue doing their exercises after their pain subsides. That means 96% of us with chronic, recurring low back pain DO NOT exercise even though we know we should. We feel bad, even guilty for not exercising. So, what can we do to “trick” ourselves into being more compliant with our low back exercises?
First, let’s accept the fact that most of us cannot consistently “fit in” exercise into our busy schedules. With that said, the TIMING of when to do the exercise may be more important than even doing them at the same time every day. In other words, do a few exercises when you need them the most. For example, if you’re working at a computer for more than 1 hour, and you start to feel back pain from the prolonged sitting – especially if your work station set up is less than ideal – do one or two sitting exercises right at your work station, BEFORE your back pain gets any worse. If you wait too long, the exercises may not be of much benefit. Setting a timer next to your screen that beeps every hour is a good reminder to do one or two simple exercises and only takes a minute or two. Many inexpensive digital watches can be set to beep on the hour/every hour or, you can set a “timer” to beep after 60 minutes as a “gentle” reminder. Some cell phones also have a timer feature. Here are three sit down low back exercise options (try them all and decide which one(s) feel most productive/helpful):
- “Crossed Knee Stretch”: Cross your legs; pull the crossed knee towards your opposite shoulder (feel the pull in your buttocks); arch your low back and at the same time, twist or rotate to the side of the crossed knee. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat up to 3 times. Repeat this on the opposite side.
- “Sit Twists”: Reach across with your right hand and grasp your left leg at mid-thigh. Twist/rotate your back to the left and pull with your arm. Hold 5-10 seconds / repeat 3 times. Repeat this on the opposite side.
- “Sit Floor Touches”: Bend over as if to touch the floor or tie a shoe. Hold 5-10 seconds.
If you do the math, it would take a minute for #1 and #2, 30 seconds for #3 (total 2.5 min.). If that’s too long, hold for 5 seconds. If that’s too long, do 1 rep, not 3. You get the idea…..MAKE IT WORK! Modify the dose to fit your schedule or ability to stretch. If you do this AT THE TIME you start to feel tight or sore, you can PREVENT a LBP episode!
We realize you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services. If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future
Health Update: Neck Pain
Have you ever noticed how many people have terrible posture? One of the most common faulty postures is called “forward head carriage” or “anterior based occiput.” Other terms are “hump back” or slouching. There are several reasons for this common postural fault. One is the weight of the head is, on average, approximately 10-13 pounds and if it’s positioned too far forwards, the muscles in the upper back and neck tighten up much more than normal, fatigue and become painful. Also, the muscles that attach to the skull have different degrees of strength. They also attach and pull at different angles, contributing to the common forward head carriage posture. The muscle of the chest are much stronger than those in the mid and upper back and tend to pull our shoulders forward. The following pictures offer a good view of both a faulty posture as well as a “good” posture. Notice the forward shift in the line in the pictures of poor posture and backwards shift in the good posture pictures.
As you can see, the weight of the head is back over the shoulders and the shoulder posture is appropriately positioned back in the image titled “Good Head Posture.”
It is important to understand correcting Forward Head Carriage takes time – in fact, it takes a minimum of 3 month before this becomes an automatic new “habit.” Of course, it could take longer or, completely fail IF you are not VERY conscientious about CONSTANTLY reminding yourself to position your posture as shown above in the “Good Head Posture” image (above). An exercise based on this posture correction technique is performed by retracting your chin / head as far back as you can and holding that position for 5-10 seconds. Doing this multiple times a day, between the time you maintain a partial chin tuck (“Good Head Posture”) position will further facilitate the posture retraining process.
If you, a family member or a friend require care, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our service. We are proud that chiropractic care has consistently scored the highest level of satisfaction when compared to other forms of health care provision and we look forward in serving you and your family presently and in the future.