Monthly Archives: May 2012

Digesting Animal Protein

Digesting Steak

photo used under a creative commons license, flickr user adactio

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

Anytime we ingest food, our body releases digestive enzymes to break the food down or digest the food. Because animal protein (meat) is a more complex food, our body expends a much larger amount of digestive enzymes to digest it. The process of cooking meat destroys most of the naturally-occurring enzymes that are needed to break down meats complete proteins into amino acids that the body can utilize; the more the meat is cooked, the more naturally-occurring enzymes are destroyed. This is the main reason that a well-done steak is more difficult to digest than a rare steak. It’s also important to note that as we get older, our bodies naturally start to produce fewer digestive enzymes. Some meats take longer to digest than others; pork takes the longest to digest, followed by beef and lamb. The longer the meat takes to digest, the more digestive enzymes are exhausted.

Protein Digestion Times

There are several things we can do to make the digestion process of meat easier, especially when it comes to the harder-to-digest meats like pork, beef, and lamb. There are a few foods and supplements that naturally contain digestive enzymes including fresh, raw pineapple and fresh, raw papaya. By eating these fruits as accompaniment to meat, our bodies are less likely to be depleted of its own digestive enzymes. Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, while fresh papaya contains an enzyme called papain; both help the body to break down protein quickly. Sometimes, it may not be possible to eat fresh pineapple or papaya with your meal, especially if you are eating away from home.  In this case, there are combination bromelain and papain supplements available. Remember to always check the labels of your supplements for unwanted ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, MSG, and other neurotoxins.

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

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Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:
http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/diet-bodybuilding/common-digestion-times-449044.html
http://www.drheise.com/beef.htm
http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/14432/1/How-to-Help-Digestion.html

News You Can Use – May 20 – 27 2012

News You Can Use

“As an Eating Disorder Professional, I know that many of my clients that are in treatment for Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, Binge Eating Disorder or Obesity are overwhelmed by all the information in the news about our health. In hopes of relieving some of the stress this can inflict on both my patients and readers, I’ve highlighted some of the weekly health news that was of particular interest to all of us at The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity. From my eating disorder and obesity treatment center in Cincinnati, here is your news update for the week of May 20 – May 27 2012!”

Friend groups may encourage kids to be more active

Obesity not always tied to higher heart risk: study

Over Half of Americans: Figuring out Taxes Easier than Nutrition

Here’s why kale is called the ‘beef’ of a plant-based diet

Fructose makes you stupid; DHA makes you smart

A Calorie Is a Calorie, Or Is It?

Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food

Were there any news articles that you saw this week that really grabbed your attention? Leave a comment with a link. If the article helped you, it will likely help some of my other readers!

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

What’s the Deal with Nuts?

Macadamia Nuts

photo used under a creative commons license

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

There have been numerous studies that show that people who eat a healthy diet that incorporates nuts typically experience greater health benefits (such as weight loss, and lower levels of bad cholesterol) than those who eat a healthy diet that does not incorporate nuts. Do all nuts offer the same health benefits? Are all nuts created equal? There is one kind of nut that stands head and shoulders above the rest; the macadamia nut! High in protein, fiber, and healthy fat content, macadamia nuts are the most energy dense nut available.

Macadamia nuts contain the highest level of monounsaturated fat than any other natural, commercially available food. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to be beneficial in lowering bad cholesterol levels. A study published by UC Irvine demonstrated that foods that contain unsaturated fats curb the appetite and makes people feel fuller longer. Combine this with the high fiber content of macadamia nuts and they quickly become one of the most satisfying nuts on the store shelf.

Macadamia nuts also contain the best ratio of omega-3:omega-6 fatty acid ratio. The ideal diet contains an 1:1 ratio of omega-3:omega-6 fatty acids. The typical person eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) is estimated to be at a 1:30 omega-3:omega-6 fatty acid ratio, mainly due to the increase of soy and corn in our food supply. Diets that have an unbalanced omega-3:omega-6 ratio lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. With the exception of macadamia nuts, the majority of nuts contain too little omega-3 fatty acids and too much omega-6 fatty acids. Check out these nutrition stats from Nutrition Data:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (mg)

Omega-6 Fatty Acids (mg)

Macadamia

60

360

Almonds

2

3400

Hazelnuts

20

2200

Pistachios

70

3700

Brazil Nuts

5.1

5800

Cashews

7

2200

Walnuts

2500

10100

Pecans

280

5800

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, macadamia nuts:
  • Are low in polyunsaturated fats
  • Are low in linoleic acid
  • Are cholesterol-free
  • Contain all essential amino acids; and a few non-essential amino acids
  • Are a good source of vitamin e, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate
  • Contain antioxidants, such as squalene
  • Are rich in the minerals iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcum, zinc, copper, and selenium

Aside from coconut oil, macadamia nut oil is the healthiest cooking oil. Its low omega-6 fatty acid content makes it a highly stable oil that is least likely to oxidize when exposed to heat. The rich, buttery- tasting oil is also high in monounsaturated fat; even higher than the olive oil found in most kitchens today. Macadamia nut oil contains palmetoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty acid that is rarely found in food. Macadamia nut oil can be used for sautéing, stir frying, and salad dressings, basically anything you would typically use olive oil for.

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

Are Macadamia Nuts Superior to All Other Nuts?


http://nutritiondata.self.com/

Mmmmmmmmmmmm… Fat


http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-10/uoc–uss100608.php

Smart Fuel: Macadamia Oil

More on Omega


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909

Food for Thought – May 2012

‘Food for Thought’ is The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity’s monthly e-newsletter designed to keep readers and clients (both past and present) up to date on the latest health, fitness and nutrition information. Many of my clients and readers find having this newsletter emailed directly to them is a quick and convenient way to receive this information. You can subscribe to my e-newsletter by sending your email address to drnortonPR at gmail dot com with the subject line ‘Sign me up for Food for Thought”.

May 2012
Food for Thought

Popular Articles:

Childhood Obesity

Working-In vs. Working-Out

Characteristics of the Traditional Diet

News You Can Use:

Brain Activity Gives Scientists a Clue About Eating Disorders 

Spike in US Autism Rates Linked to High-Fructose Corn Syrup Consumption

Why Pasture Eggs Taste Better Than Those From Factory Farms

Connect with me! 

Twitter

Hello and Welcome

Thank you for taking the time to check out the newsletter! This information is meant to provide you with up the minute news you can use on your journey to becoming a more mindful consumer and a healthier version of yourself! To that end, I invite you to submit requests and/or give your input. Maybe you have a recipe that you think others would enjoy. Or perhaps you have a question about food, exercise, or how to develop good habits. Please use this form to submit your question and I will make every effort to get back to you in the next issue.

Be well, be wise, be happy and healthy!

Renae Norton

Childhood Obesity

The average child spends almost 53 hours/week (7 hours 38 min/day) watching television, playing video games, using computers and/or cell phones. Add another 1 hour 25 minutes/week if you include texting. Clearly our children need more physical activity. However, parents who come home from work exhausted, have a difficult time being good role models. Likewise it is a challenge for overworked parents to ensure that their children are less sedentary and more active. Schools are generally not in a position to help. In 2011 the median Physical Education (PE) budget in elementary schools in the U.S. was $460/year. Many PE programs are optional, depending upon the grade. Some PE classes can even be taken online…..READ MORE.

 

Maji and Mongo Have Arrived!

As some of you may know, I recently completed a series of children’s books on Lifestyle issues designed to help parents protect their children from the dynamics that would otherwise rob them of their health and well-being. The books delight readers from age 3 to 10, because the adorable pups, Maji and Mongo make being healthy an exciting and fun-filled adventure. The first book in the series is entitled “How Maji Gets Mongo Off the Couch” and was released on May 1 2012.…..READ MORE

The Connection Between Eating Disorders, Obesity, and Our Food Supply

I was recently asked to contribute an article to the Fooducate Blog about “The Connection Between Eating Disorders, Obesity, and Our Food Supply”. The article received an excellent response from both the Fooducate staff and readers of the blog. You can read the full article on the fooducate blog.

Recipe: Tunegg Salad

Fresh tuna, organic eggs and coconut oil mayonnaise make this delicious salad an excellent source of protein and healthy fats! It’s become a favorite recipe with both my family and clients….READ MORE.

Dr. J Renae Norton’s Center for Eating Disorders & Related Problems

drnorton@eatingdisorderpro.com

 

News You Can Use – May 13-20

News You Can Use

“As an Eating Disorder Professional, I know that many of my clients that are in treatment for Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, Binge Eating Disorder or Obesity are overwhelmed by all the information in the news about our health. In hopes of relieving some of the stress this can inflict on both my patients and readers, I’ve highlighted some of the weekly health news that was of particular interest to all of us at The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity. From my eating disorder and obesity treatment center in Cincinnati, here is your news update for the week of May 13 – May 20 2012!”

How to Avoid Weight Gain: Eat on a Schedule

Obesity: Why Baby Steps are Not Enough

Watch HBO’s Newest Mini-Series “Weight of the Nation” for Free, Online

New technology can detect as little as 0.1 percent GMO contamination in crops, food

Added sugar is the number one culprit in the American health crisis

A Dire Sign of The Obesity Epidemic: Teen Diabetes Soaring, Study Finds

Eating Disorders in Men: An Interview with Dr. Roberto Olivardia

I Want to Like My Body….But How?

The 11 Best Hot Dogs

Were there any news articles that you saw this week that really grabbed your attention? Leave a comment with a link. If the article helped you, it will likely help some of my other readers!

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Wheat – The Staff of Life or the Kiss of Death?

Wheat

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

Today’s wheat is not the same wheat eaten during biblical times, when wheat was referred to as the “Staff of Life”. The wheat consumed in the United States today is a product of many, many years of hybridization with the purpose of creating a greater yielding crop that is resistant to heat, drought and cold, making it a more lucrative crop for industrial farmers.  (Shouldn’t “industrial farmer” be an oxymoron?)  Besides being cheap and plentiful, it is virtually impossible for humans or animals to digest without significant health consequences.

How did the Staff of Life become the Kiss of Death?

The first variety of wheat, called Einkorn, was grown by man more than 12,000 years ago. Einkorn is a fairly simple plant with only 14 chromosomes. Today’s wheat is much more complex, it has 42 chromosomes.  This is how we arrived to the type of wheat we consume today:


During the mid-18th century, there were 5 different varieties of Triticum Aestivum (commonly known as Bread Wheat), today there are 25,000 varieties.

It is no secret that the number of calories consumed by Americans has increased. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition documented a 440 calorie per day increase from 1977 to 2006 in 28,400 children and 36,800 adults. That is an extra 3080 calories per week.  It only takes 3500 extra calories to gain a pound. At the same time that calorie intake began to increase, a new variety of wheat was introduced into the American food system. This wheat was unique, because it contained a protein called gliadin. According to Dr. William Davis, author of The Wheat Belly, gliadin “exerts opiate-like effects”. Gliadin binds to the opiate receptors in the brain but instead of resulting in a “high” that would typically be experienced with the use of an opiate drug, gliadin causes us to experience food cravings (for wheat products as well as for other foods). This explains why so many Americans began gaining weight around this time.

Dr. Davis has also seen a link between wheat consumption and the development of eating disorders. He recently published an article stating that “we know that when people with celiac disease remove all wheat/gluten from the diet, calorie intake goes down 400 calories per day. We know that normal volunteers administered an opiate-blocking drug, such as naloxone or naltrexone, reduce calorie intake by around 400 calories per day. We also know that people with eating disorders, such as binge eating disorder, reduce calorie intake, yup, 400 calories per day when injected with an opiate-blocking drug. We also know that a drug company filed its FDA application in 2011 for naltrexone, a drug already on the market for heroin addiction, to be prescribed for weight loss.

Einkorn, the original wheat, can still be purchased today and may be an alternative for those looking for a wheat replacement. A company called “Jovial Foods” sells organic einkorn flour, organic einkorn berries, and einkorn-based cookies and pasta. Jovial Foods grows their einkorn on five different organic farms in Italy. All the ingredients in their products are completely non-GMO. As an added bonus, they use palm fruit oil in their cookies! None of their foods contain excitotoxins, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, or any other concerning food additives. You can buy their products directly from their website, or in some stores.

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

News You Can Use – May 6-13

News You Can Use

“As an Eating Disorder Professional, I know that many of my clients that are in treatment for Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, Binge Eating Disorder or Obesity are overwhelmed by all the information in the news about our health. In hopes of relieving some of the stress this can inflict on both my patients and readers, I’ve highlighted some of the weekly health news that was of particular interest to all of us at The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity. From my eating disorder and obesity treatment center in Cincinnati, here is your news update for the week of May 6 – May 13 2012!”

How to Be Happy Without the Perfect Body
Don’t Lose Sleep Over Weight
Major Overhaul of US Life Urged to Cure Obesity
Long Commutes Linked to Obesity
Eat Your Way to Better Brain Health|
What You Don’t Know About Organic Milk
Why Are We Eating So Much More Than We Used To?

Were there any news articles that you saw this week that really grabbed your attention? Leave a comment with a link. If the article helped you, it will likely help some of my other readers!

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Coconut Oil: Refined vs. Unrefined, Expeller-Pressed vs. Cold-Pressed, Virgin vs. Extra Virgin

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

Today there are a lot of varieties of Coconut Oil on the store shelf, trying to figure out what type to purchase can quickly become quite confusing. What are the differences between the different varieties available? What type of coconut oil yields the greatest health benefits?

Refined Coconut Oil vs. Unrefined Coconut Oil

Refined (Commercial Grade) Coconut Oil is both tasteless and odorless. It is the most processed coconut oil on the store shelf. It goes through a pretty intensive process that deodorizes and bleaches the oil. Sometimes Refined Coconut Oil is hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated, which results in the creation of trans-fats.

Unrefined Coconut Oil has a richer flavor than Refined Coconut Oil. The oil is minimally processed, which results in an oil that has a much higher nutrient content (proteins, vitamins and anti-oxidants).

The Winner? Unrefined Coconut Oil

Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil vs. Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil

Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil involves squeezing the coconut oil out of the coconut meat in a screw-like machine. The pressure and friction in the expeller can lead to temperatures of around 99°C. At this temperature there are some, albeit minimal, nutrients lost.

Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil involves pressing the coconut milk out of the coconut meat at low temperatures, usually below 60°C. By utilizing this method the greatest amount of nutrients are preserved.

The Winner? It’s a close one but Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil wins.

Virgin Coconut Oil vs. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Surprisingly, according to Tropical Traditions, “there is no official classification or difference between ‘virgin’ and ‘extra virgin’ as there is in the olive oil industry, since the two oils are completely different in fatty acid composition, harvesting procedures, and terminology.” The classification of “extra virgin coconut oil” is completely arbitrary.

The Winner? It’s a tie!

Overall Results? Unrefined, Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil with Unrefined Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil being a very close 2nd.

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:
http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/what_is_virgin_coconut_oil.htm
http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/unrefined-coconut-oil.html
http://goldenbarrel.blogspot.com/2012/01/truth-about-coconut-oil.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/318185-refined-vs-unrefined-coconut-oil/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/287991-what-is-the-difference-between-expeller-pressed-coconut-oil-cold-pressed-coconut-oil/

Photo Used Under Creative Commons License, Flickr User Alex the Great.

News You Can Use – April 29-May 6 2012

News You Can Use

“As an Eating Disorder Professional, I know that many of my clients that are in treatment for Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, Binge Eating Disorder or Obesity are overwhelmed by all the information in the news about our health. In hopes of relieving some of the stress this can inflict on both my patients and readers, I’ve highlighted some of the weekly health news that was of particular interest to all of us at The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity. From my eating disorder and obesity treatment center in Cincinnati, here is your news update for the week of April 29 – May 6 2012!”

My Kid Likes Junk Food. And That’s Ok.
Obesity is Bankrupting America, Disease Costs Soar
Fast-food Diet Increases Risk of Depression by 50%
8 Best Sodas
Burger King is Going Cage-Free
Losing Weight When Obese Can Prevent or Cure Diabetes, Whatever the Initial BMI, Study Suggests

Were there any news articles that you saw this week that really grabbed your attention? Leave a comment with a link. If the article helped you, it will likely help some of my other readers!

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sugar Consumption Among US Children and Teenagers

Sugar Consumption in the US

photo used under creative common license

“For the past 10 years, I have noticed a connection between childhood obesity, eating disorders, and the increasing complications of both in my clinical work as well as in my research.  As part of my mission to shed light on these problems, particularly as they relate to US children, I find it important to provide both by readers and clients with relevant informative articles.”

Recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a data brief which examined the consumption of “added sugar” among American children and teenagers. On average, today’s children and teens obtain 16% of their daily calories from added sugar; the USDA recommends that no more than 5-15% of daily calories come from a combination of added sugar AND solid fats. CDC defines added sugar as “all sugars used as ingredients in processed and prepared foods such as breads, cakes, soft drinks, jams, chocolates, ice cream, and sugars eaten separately or added to foods at the table”. Examples of added sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose, and dextrin.  Other key findings from the study include:

  • Non-Hispanic white children and teenagers consume more added sugar than Mexican-American children and teenagers
  • There was no difference in consumption by income among children and teenagers
  • More added sugar calories are coming from foods than beverages
  • More added sugar is consumed at home rather than away from home

Although it is unrealistic to remove all added sugar from our children’s diets, there are several dietary changes that can be made that will greatly reduce sugar consumption:

  • Cut out sugary sports drinks, soda and flavored milk.
  • Cut out artificially sweetened foods. “Diet” foods, such as diet soda, tend to increase cravings for sugary foods.
  • Replace sugary foods with foods that are low in added sugar. This can include fresh fruit, small amounts of unsweetened dried fruits and unsweetened cacao nibs.
  • Avoid foods that contain sugar, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup. Look for foods that contain “no added sugar”, “reduced sugar, or that are “low in sugar”, just make sure that the sugar hasn’t been replaced with an artificial sweetener.
  • Avoid processed foods that are marketing as being “low fat”. When food manufacturers remove fat from a product, they often add in more sugar to compensate for the reduction in flavor and texture.
  • Avoid products that contain “hidden” sources of sugar such as, flavored yogurt, processed cereal, granola bars, dried (sweetened) cranberries, energy bars, fruit snacks, sweetened apple sauce, ketchup, flavored instant oatmeal, fruit spread, store-bought salad dressings, store-bought bread.

Diets high in added sugar reduces the production of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Reduced levels of BDNF has been linked to reduced memory function, learning disabilities, depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s Disease (HD), dementia, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder (BED). Decreased levels of BDNF negatively affect leptin and insulin signals in the brain, resulting in an increased tendency to overeat.

There are several simple lifestyle changes that can be made to increase and maintain brain levels of BDNF:

  • The most effective way to increase BDNF levels in the brain is through aerobic exercise. After exercising, levels of BDNF surge. Exercise regularly and BDNF levels remain increased.
  • BDNF can also be increased through dietary changes. Acetyl-L-Carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids (such as those found in fish oil), pantethine (found in foods like dairy, eggs, sweet potatoes, peas, spinach, and mushrooms), blueberries, and the curry spice curcumin have all been shown in increase or maintain BDNF levels.
  • Anti-depressants are proven to increase BDNF levels in the brain, so if prescribed anti-depressants be sure to take them as directed.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

BDNF Prevents and Reverses Alzheimer’s Disease
Consumption of Added Sugar Among US Children and Adolescents
What Eating Too Much Sugar Does to Your Brain

Chronic Sugar Intake Dampens Feeding-Related Activity of Neurons Synthesizing a Satiety Mediator, Oxytocin
Tips for Reducing Your Child’s Sugar Intake