The Executive Health Scoop
A simple annual physical? Not in the Executive Health Program at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth!
In tune with your New Year's resolution, visit the Executive Health Program for your comprehensive physical!
The Executive Health Program takes a comprehensive approach to your health. We in Executive Health pride ourselves in giving individualized care to each patient that walks through our door. Two physicians on the medical staff at Texas Health Fort Worth — Dr. Robert Machos, Medical Director of the Program, and Dr. Carla Castaneda — work with the program's registered dietitian to provide you with nutritional information and education necessary to help you make lifestyle changes to improve your health.
If you have an immediate nutrition or exercise question please visit www.texashealth.org/askamy and our registered dietitian will get right back with you!
For more information, please contact Clint Sanders at 817-250-3877 or visit our website at www.TexasHealth.org/EHP.
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Cleaning Out the Kitchen: Out with the Old...Rejuvenate with the New!
It's a New Year . . . and time for a new, fresh and healthy you! This year as you clean out the closet, pack up the holiday decorations and clean your house, don't forget to clean out your kitchen and replace old foods with new, fresh, whole foods that are nutrient-rich. Nutrient-rich foods are those that have more vitamins, minerals and nutrients per bite.
So where do you start? Let's start with the pantry. Throw away canned foods, vegetables and fruits that are out of date or are loaded with sodium and sugar. Replace with fresh or frozen vegetables that are less processed and thus higher in fiber. Next, throw out all the open bags of chips and snack foods. Replace these snacks with 100 percent whole wheat crackers and pretzels, nuts and dried fruit. Finally take a look at your cereal selection. Do you have boxes of rainbow-colored or frosted cereals? If so, throw those away and replace with whole grain cereals like Kashi®, All Bran®, Total® and Wheaties®. Also, make sure to add some hot cereal like oatmeal to your morning ritual. Oatmeal is full of fiber and B vitamins which is a nutrient-rich breakfast choice!
Next take a look at the refrigerator. Start by removing all foods that are out of date. Take a look at your dairy selection. Do you have choices like low-fat milk, 2% cheese and yogurt? Dairy foods are rich in calcium, potassium and a great source of protein. Throw out your sugary yogurts and try low-fat Greek yogurt; it is much higher in protein and has no added sugar. Next look at your snack choices. If your refrigerator and freezer are full of pudding, ice cream and frozen desserts, replace them with fresh fruit, 100 percent fruit bars and yogurt smoothies. The replacement choices are full of vitamins and minerals. Finally make sure your refrigerator has a rainbow of vegetable colors. Vegetables are great snacks with hummus or avocado, which can quickly be mixed in salads or casseroles or added to sandwiches and wraps.
It is important that you don't waste food. If you have unopened, non-perishable goods, consider donating them to a local food pantry. Make a New Year's resolution to rejuvenate your kitchen with fresh, nutrient-rich foods!
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Myth vs. Fact
Myth: "I started exercising in the New Year and I am much hungrier . . . my metabolism must be speeding up!"
Fact: Exercise makes you hungrier! It does speed up your metabolism a little bit after the workout, but overall the increase is not significant. If you are trying to lose weight, let the calories you burned from exercise be part of the deficit! Many people accidentally eat back the calories they have burned off exercising.
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Executive Health Program Highlight
The Executive Health Program aims to stay on top of the medical game! As a result, we have added Vitamin D testing to our comprehensive blood panel. Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a pandemic, with more than half of the world's population currently at risk.
In the United States alone, Vitamin D inadequacy has been reported in approximately 36 percent of otherwise young healthy adults and up to 57 percent of general medicine inpatients.
In our program, we will test your levels and see if you are categorized as deficient, insufficient or sufficient and make both food and supplement recommendations to improve your health.
For more information on the Executive Health Program or to schedule an appointment, visit our website at www.TexasHealth.org/EHP or contact us directly at 817-250-3933.
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Why Exercise Doesn't Make You Lose Weight
Have you ever started a workout program and not lost weight? Have you seen people at the gym religiously and not seen a pound melt off of them? Why is that you ask? Doesn't exercise make you lose weight? Let's look at the facts!
Fact 1: Exercise burns calories. You can estimate about 100 calories burned every 10 minutes of moderate to intense cardiovascular activity. So if you work out for 30 minutes you burn 300 calories, 45 minutes is 450 calories and a whole hour would be 600 calories. Strength training does not burn as many calories during the actual workout, probably only 200-300 calories for a moderate hour of training. However, strength training does increase your metabolism throughout the day.
Fact 2: Exercise is good for your heart. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend that every person get at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense activity most days of the week to prevent illness and disease. Exercise can help to lower blood pressure, decrease bad cholesterol levels (LDL), increase good cholesterol levels (HDL) and improve blood glucose numbers. Plus, it helps you feel more energized all day!
Fact 3: Exercise makes you hungrier. Because exercise gets the metabolism up and running, it also increases appetite for most people. If you think about it, you burned calories off so your body naturally wants to eat them back. However, if your goal is weight loss, the deficit of calories from exercise needs to stay a deficit! Herein is where the problem lies...
Thought 1: "I exercised today so I can eat that cookie! I already burned it off!"
Thought 2: "My metabolism must be speeding up from working out . . . I can finally eat more!"
Thought 3: "I can cheat more than once or twice a week . . . after all, I work out!"
So, why don't people lose weight? It's simple really. People eat back the calories they burned off and thus no deficit remains. For example, say you power-walk 45 minutes on the treadmill and you follow that up with a breakfast of a tall low-fat latte and a bran muffin from the local coffee shop. All sounds healthy right? In this case you burned 450 calories, but then ate about 525 calories. So you are now in the plus category instead of a deficit.
The answer is NUTRITION! You have to watch what you eat, even when you start exercising. Focus on eating small meals often throughout the day and having a whole grain carbohydrate/fruit and a lean protein/healthy fat at each meal and snack! Then pile up on non-starchy vegetables as they make you feel full without many calories because of their fiber and water content. And remember, if you are trying to create a deficit to provoke weight loss . . . you might be a little hungry. Try to eat until you are "not hungry" instead of "full." Eventually your stomach will adapt and you will not feel as hungry. Hey, if it was easy, everybody would be doing it!
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Shopping the Perimeter. Do you have a case of the grocery shopping blues?
For many of us, grocery shopping is just one more necessary evil in an already hectic schedule. It can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience if you don't have a plan in place. "Shopping the perimeter" of the store can really help to increase the nutrition of the foods you choose and reduce the amount of time you spend wandering the aisles.
The Plan of Attack
Think about the layout of your local grocery store. As you will probably notice, most of the "healthier" choices are found along the outer walls. The fresh produce, seafood, meat, dairy and maybe even grains are usually located there. These foods tend to be in their whole, unprocessed form and thus more nutrient-rich. A nutrient-rich food is one that is chock-full of vitamins and minerals and is less likely to have added sugar or fat. Typically the foods found amongst the isles are more processed and contain additives.
Focus your time along the store's perimeter and it's pretty likely you will make healthier choices. Now, that's not to say that you won't come across a cookie, pastry or other temptation, but it's much less likely that you will be bombarded with these things. Avoid the center aisles as much as you can because the majority of the high sugar, high fat, high calorie foods are located there. Unfortunately, these foods are less likely to have the same health benefits of those found along the perimeter.
Don't forget, however, that stores hide some healthy items along the center aisles like whole grain pasta, brown rice, peanut butter, etc. Overall, it's about directing most of your attention to the perimeter and only heading to the center aisles for the items you need.
Other Tips to Streamline Your Shopping Experience:
- Plan meals and make a list. Try to plan for a set amount of time (1 week usually works well) and list all of the ingredients you will need to make meals and snacks for your family during that time. Don't forget to take "inventory" to see what you already have. This helps prevent constant trips to the store and overspending.
- Group items on your shopping list. Categorize your shopping list by areas you would find things in the grocery store. For example, group all dairy, all frozen foods, all fresh produce, all deli items, etc. You are much less likely to run back and forth because of a forgotten food on your list if everything is listed together.
- Don't go shopping on an empty stomach. You are more likely to buy things you don't need if you are starving as you browse the aisles of the store. This isn't good for your health or your wallet!Don't "browse" the aisles. Grazing through the store will most likely help unhealthy foods to sneak their way into the shopping cart. Stick to your shopping list as much as possible.
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Healthy Bites Recipe of the Month
"The Breakfast Bite" . . . Looking for a nutrient-rich breakfast that's quick and easy?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but often gets overlooked by many Americans. If it's not quick, it's not an option! However, breakfast is essential to building a base of nutrition for the entire day. Research shows that a breakfast of carbohydrate, protein and healthy fat jump-starts the metabolism and helps people eat less throughout the day.
Let's break down "The Breakfast Bite" ingredients. The key ingredient to this bite is oatmeal. Rich in fiber and B-vitamins, oats are a great whole grain for breakfast. Oats actually contain soluble fiber that helps lower total cholesterol. Non-fat dry milk powder is a good source of protein and calcium that contributes to the maintenance of bone health as we age. Natural peanut butter is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (the "good" fat), vitamin E and protein. Finally honey is a natural sweetener, made with no artificial ingredients.
"The Breakfast Bite" Recipe
Mix honey and peanut butter together. Stir in the non-fat dry milk powder and the oatmeal. Mix well and roll into 24 bite-size balls.
Nutrition Facts per Serving (1 ball)
Calories 66, Carbohydrate 5 gm, Fiber 1 gm, Protein 2.5 gm, Fat 3 gm, Cholesterol 0 mg
Grab five breakfast bites and a glass of low-fat milk and you are ready to go with a 400 calorie, nutrient-rich breakfast! Also, two or three bites can be great for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.
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The Dietitian's Product Pick: Red Wine
To Drink or Not to Drink
The Thought: Many years of research has touted the pros and cons of consuming alcohol, especially regarding heart health. New research has given insight into what the link between red wine and a healthy heart might be, but the real question is, "To drink or not to drink."
The Research: Antioxidants, such as flavonoids, are generally thought to be one of the main components in red wine that promote heart health. Resveratrol has gotten the most fame for its suspected role, but studies have yet to confirm a heart-protective effect. Resveratrol is thought to help decrease inflammation and prevent blood platelets from sticking together, thus reducing blood clot formation. This, in theory, would decrease the risk for stroke. Resveratrol, among many other antioxidants, is also found in whole plant foods and juices, like cranberries and red grape juice. The jury is still out, however, regarding whether these foods or juices may be equally as helpful in protecting the heart as red wine or other alcohol.
Studies have also shown that alcohol consumption, in moderate amounts, may help slightly raise HDL ("good") cholesterol, prevent artery damage from high LDL ("bad") cholesterol and reduce blood clot formation. Studies have not concluded, however, that red wine is the only form of alcohol that can provide such benefits.
The Recommendation: The bottom line with alcohol consumption is moderation. Just because red wine is potentially helpful to heart health, more is not better! In fact, too much alcohol can cause triglyceride levels and weight to increase. Increased risk for high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke and breast cancer are just a few other problems related to excessive alcohol consumption. Moderate alcohol consumption is no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Remember, one drink is not equal to whatever will fit in your glass! One drink is: 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.
It is also important to note that the American Heart Association does not recommend that you start drinking alcohol for heart-protective reasons if you do not generally consume alcohol. Remember, nothing is a cure-all or substitute for healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight! Certain health conditions and medications may contraindicate alcohol consumption. Check with your doctor about whether it is safe for you to drink alcohol.
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Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Executive Health Program
1325 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 50
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Contact: Amy Goodson, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D.