Tag Archives: nutrition information

Grains, Explained.

“Making informed nutrition and fitness-related decisions can be somewhat overwhelming for those in therapy for eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, binge eating disorder) and obesity. To this end, I’ve compiled a set of handouts to provide handy reference guides to both my readers and clients. You can view all my Nutrition and Fitness Handouts here. Be sure to check back frequently, as I am always adding new handouts to my list!”

Many of my readers and patients have asked me how to choose healthy grains. As a general rule, I believe in eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. This makes ‘ancient grains’ a perfect choice. ‘Ancient grains’ are grains or seeds that have not been genetically modified – they are completely unaltered by plant science. They have not been bred to be easier to grow, harvest, process and refine; to increase yield; or to have favorable commercial baking characteristics.

To help you choose healthy grains, I’ve created a “grain cheat sheet” to have on hand in the kitchen or even at the grocery store, to make cooking and shopping easier. For a print-friendly version, click here.

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. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:
photo used under creative commons license by flickr user rigues
Vitality Magazine – Ancient Grains for the Modern Table
All nutrition information from’My Fitness Pal’

News You Can Use – January 15 – 22

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 treatment center in Cincinnati, here is your news update for the week of January 12-22 2012”

Obama says NO to WhiteHouse.gov petition to legalize raw milk at federal level
Popular orange juices flavored with secret “flavor packs” not listed on the label
New scientific study links bee deaths to pesticides
Watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ may increase anti-fat attitudes
A randomized controlled trial of adjunctive family therapy and treatment as usual following inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa adolescents
Children Diet To Keep Off Pounds And Ward Off Bullying, Survey Says
Good Intentions Ease Pain, Add to Pleasure
Mindful Eating Restaurant Study

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. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Your Health in the News – Dec 12 – 19

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 treatment center in Cincinnati, here is your news update for the week of December 12-19 2011.” 

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!

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.© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Your Health In The News – Nov 27 – Dec 4

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 treatment center in Cincinnati, here is your news update for the week of November 27-December 4 2011”

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!

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Appetite Hormones 101: Ghrelin

“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.

This is the second part of the series, “Appetite Hormones 101”.  This series is designed to explain the role of hormones on both appetite and body weight goals, whether it’s weight loss or weight restoration. “Appetite Hormones 101” will be made up of three articles that describe the major appetite hormones: leptin, ghrelin, and peptide YY.

Ghrelin

Ghrelin, discovered in1999 by scientists, is known as “the hunger hormone”. Produced in the stomach and pancreas, Ghrelin stimulates the appetite with the purpose of increasing the intake of food and promoting the storage of fat.  So when Ghrelin levels are high, we feel  hungry.  After we eat, Ghrelin levels fall and we feel satisfied.

Leptin and Ghrelin have a “teeter-totter” relationship. When leptin levels rise, ghrelin levels fall. Likewise, when ghrelin levels rise, leptin levels fall.

Ghrelin levels are highest right before eating meals and lowest right after eating meals.

Leptin, acts on regulatory centres in the brain to inhibit food intake and increase energy expenditure, acting as a long-term regulator of body weight. Whereas Ghrelin is a fast-acting hormone that operates as a meal-initiation signal for short-term regulation of energy balance.

There are distinct abnormalities in the production of Ghrelin among obese and eating disordered individuals. Those with anorexia tend to have high levels of ghrelin which often normalize with weight restoration.  Among those with bulimia, Ghrelin does not respond as strongly when food is eaten, which could contribute to binge eating as the individual suffering from Bulimia does not “get full” even if they have overeaten. Obese individuals tend to have low levels of Ghrelin, probably because they are Leptin Resistant, since Leptin and Ghrelin are inversely related. Research also shows that Ghrelin levels are higher after an individual loses weight, which may make it more difficult to maintain weight loss.

There are several easy things we can do to help manage ghrelin levels:

  • Eat a diet high in good quality protein (organic, grass-fed, free range etc. when possible)
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep
  • Practice meditation and relaxation techniques to reduce everyday stress
  • Drink plenty of water, since ghrelin levels are affected by thirst
  • Avoid processed fructose (especially high fructose corn syrup)

Although these things can make irregular ghrelin levels tolerable, the best way to normalize ghrelin levels is to address the root cause head on. In most cases, irregular ghrelin levels can be corrected by committing to living a healthier lifestyle through exercise, healthy dietary choices, weight restoration (for the anorexic individual), or weight loss (for the obese individual).

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

Medscape News – Sibling hormone to appetite-boosting ghrelin has opposite effects, raising hopes for a new obesity treatment – //www.medscape.com/viewarticle/538867

WiseGEEK – What Is Ghrelin? – //www.wisegeek.com/what-is-ghrelin.htm

Journal of Pediatrics – Ghrelin levels in obesity and anorexia nervosa: effect of weight reduction or recuperation – //www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(03)00737-6/abstract

Three Minute Brownie

“In my experience, clients that are in treatment for eating disorders such as bulimia, binge eating disorder, anorexia or bulimarexia are typically faced with an increased risk of inadequate nutrition. To this end, I try to provide my clients and readers nutritious and delicious recipes to enjoy both during and after their recovery journey at ‘The Norton Center for Eating Disorders & Obesity’.”

A treat that some of my patients enjoy regularly, a quick and easy brownie. Prepared in less than three minutes, it’s a dream come true during times of choco-emergency. This really satisfies a chocolate craving without any guilt. Not to mention, each brownie has 15 grams of protein!

 

 

This recipe was inspired by SmoothieGirlEatsToo. Definitely check out her blog for some delicious recipes!

I have recently discovered a line of products called Coconut Secret. In the past, we have used stevia to sweeten these brownies, but we have switched to using raw coconut crystals. It’s a completely natural sweetener that contains 17 amino acids. It’s also low glycemic and non-GMO.

This brownie is great just on it’s own, but is also great with peanut or almond butter, greek yogurt, or TruWhip….the possibilities are endless!

Three Minute Brownie

2 tablespoons peanut flour

1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder (leave this out if you want a pumpkin spice muffin)

1-2 teaspoons raw coconut crystals

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons canned organic 100% pumpkin

3 tablespoons organic, pastured egg whites

cinnamon

a few drops if vanilla

Combine all the ingredients and mix til combined.

Grease a small ramekin, pour the brownie batter mixture.

Cook for 2 minutes in the microwave (might need longer depending on your microwave).

Nutritional Info: 120 calories, 1.5 g fat, 15 g protein, 10 g carbs

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Appetite Hormones 101: Leptin

This series is designed to explain the role of hormones on both appetite and body weight goals, whether it’s weight loss or weight restoration. “Appetite Hormones 101” will be made up of three articles that describe the major appetite hormones: leptin, ghrelin, and peptide YY.

Leptin

Leptin, discovered by scientists in 1994, is also known as the “starvation hormone”. According to leptin expert, Dr Robert Lustig, leptin sends a signal to our brains that fat cells have enough stored energy to engage in normal metabolic processes. Every individual has an optimal level of leptin, which is thought to be determined genetically. When leptin levels are below optimal levels, the brain receives a message to conserve energy because the body is in a state of deprivation. When this occurs, the brain sends a message to the body that it is hungry (in an attempt to get the individual to eat) so that leptin levels can be restored to an optimal level.

Leptin levels are typically high in obese individuals and low in severely underweight/malnourished individuals. When leptin levels are too high, the individual experiences leptin resistance.

When an individual becomes leptin resistant, the body prevents leptin from passing through the blood brain barrier, which also prevents the brain from receiving the signal that leptin levels are at an optimal level. Instead, the brain senses that the body is in a state of starvation, and the individual becomes hungry. Leptin levels go up as a result.

High triglyceride levels also contribute to the prevention of leptin passing through the blood brain barrier. Triglyceride levels are often high in obese individuals as a result of poor dietary choices. In the individual with anorexia, triglyceride levels are often high because of liver damage and anorexia-induced hormone disruption.

If you think that you may be suffering from Leptin Resistance, there are several things that you can do.

  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep disrupts many hormonal processes, including leptin levels.
  • Avoid non-fruit sources of fructose. Studies show that fructose raises triglyceride levels, blocking leptin from crossing the blood brain barrier.
  • Avoid lectins, (carbohydrate-binding proteins that are found in most plants, particularly seeds and tubers such as cereal crops, potatoes, and beans) especially those from cereal grains (rice, wheat, barley, corn and oats) as they tend to bind to leptin receptors, preventing leptin binding. This intensifies the affect of leptin resistance.
  • Cook and supplement with healthy fats, like coconut oil. Coconut oil lowers triglyceride levels, increases metabolism, and promotes healing in the gut (and liver for those recovering from anorexia).
  • Eat a high protein, low carb diet and stay active! Diet and exercise have the greatest effect on overcoming leptin resistance.

Sources:

BMC Endocrine Disorders – “Agrarian diet and diseases of affluence – Do evolutionary novel dietary lectins cause leptin resistance?” (//www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6823/5/10)

Mark’s Daily Apple – “A Primal Primer: Leptin” (//www.marksdailyapple.com/LEPTIN/)

The Fat Resistance Diet – “Leptin Resistance”

Live Strong – “High Cholesterol Levels in Anorexia” (//www.livestrong.com/article/86767-high-cholesterol-levels-anorexia/)

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton.

News You Can Use

There is so much information in the news about our health these days, that it can become quite overwhelming. In hopes of relieving some of the stress this can inflict on both my patients and my readers, I’ve decided to start a new weekly series. This series will highlight some of the weekly health news that was of particular interest to me. With no further ado, here is your weekly health news summary for the week of October 9th-16th. Enjoy!

The Health Benefits of Raw Cheese

Eat your fruits and veggies and improve your memory

Eating Disorders a New Front in Insurance Fight

The Latest Class Action Lawsuit Against General Mills

Healthier Foods Earn Healthier Profits

The Dangers of Transfats

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!

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

What Whole Foods Market Is Doing To Help Us Reduce Our Exposure to Obesogens – Part II

Whole Foods

As discussed yesterday in the first installment of  “What Whole Foods Market Is Doing To Help Us Reduce Our Exposure to Obesogens“, Whole Foods Market  is taking steps to make us more aware of products containing obesogens. Yesterday, we discussed their use of obesogen-free take-out containers, and changes that are being made in their “Cleaning Supply Aisle”. What else is Whole Foods Market doing?

Whole Foods Market is also helping us make more informed choices when it comes to personal care products. They clearly label products that they have rated “premium” or “organic” body products. All of these products had to meet a strict set of criteria, set by Whole Foods Market. They have banned the use of over 400 chemicals in the personal care products they sell. Whole Foods implemented this rating system because there are few government standards set in regards to what the word “natural” means when it came to body care products.

◦ “Premium Body Care Products” do not contain parabens, polyproylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates or sodium laureth sulfates. The only permissable “fragrances” will be those made from “natural essential oils” and “components of natural essential oils”.

◦  “Organic Body Care Products” will meet all the requirements of “Personal Body Care Products”, but will also be required to meet other standards. These products are the highest quality products available.

▪ If a company labels their product “organic”, the product must contain at least 95% organic ingredients and meet USDA National Organic Standards

▪ If a company claims their product is “Made with Organic X”, the product must contain 70% organic ingredients and meet USDA National Organic Standards

▪ If a product is labeled “Contains Organic X”, the products must contain 70% organic ingredients and meet NSF/ANSI 305 standards

Whole Foods Market is making many positive advances in their product packaging. According to their website, they have done more than any US retailer when it comes to keeping the customer informed and taking the actions needed to find safe packaging alternatives. Some of the advances they have made include:

◦ They use Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE) in packaging for their ‘private label’ products, when possible. PETE is a plastic that is not known to leach any carcinogenic or hormone- disruptive chemicals.

◦ They have banned child cups, baby bottles, and individual refillable water bottles that are made of polycarbonate plastic.

◦ When there are safe alternatives to packaging containing BPA, Whole Foods Market uses that alternative.

◦  They are putting pressure on their current suppliers to switch to BPA-free packaging.

It doesn’t stop here! Whole Foods Market is continually doing research to do everything they can to go completely BPA free. They hear us when we tell them we are concerned about the use of BPA, they are on our side. I feel relief that they are thoroughly investigating all of their   options, instead of making an uneducated change.

The standards set by Whole Foods Market are helping us make more informed purchases. They are allowing our voices to be heard in telling the industry that we want full disclosure of the substances that we are allowing in our households, that we want non-toxic cleaning products!

Sources:

Whole Foods Market – Products (//wholefoodsmarket.com/products/)

Inhabitat – EATware Compostable Food Containers (//inhabitat.com/compostable-containers-by-eatware/)

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

What Whole Foods Market Is Doing To Help Us Reduce Our Exposure to Obesogens.

Whole Foods
“Is Your Shampoo Affecting Your Weight Management Goals?”
revealed a lot of information about the presence of obesogens in our environment. Since that post, I’ve found some really comforting news! Whole Foods Market is taking steps to make us more aware of products containing obesogens.   This means we will be able to make more informed decisions without having to read every label for every product we purchase, they’ve already done some of the work for us. What are they doing to make us more informed consumers?

  1. The take-out containers in their Prepared Foods Area are made of uncoated “molded pulp”. As mentioned in “Is Your Shampoo Affecting Your Weight Management Goals?”, many leaders in the food industry line use BPA-lined take-out containers to prevent grease and other liquids seeping through the containers.

According to ‘Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World’, some of the take-out containers at Whole Foods are manufactured by a company called ‘EATware’. EATware manufactures the containers using natural raw pulp fibers. The organic containers are water resistant, oil resistant, and free of chemical and insecticides. They are also biodegradable, recyclable and renewable. So, not only are we protecting ourselves, but we are protecting the environment too. Double win!

  1. On September 23, Whole Foods Market announced that they are moving towards an “eco-scale rating system” on their cleaning products. This new system is expected to be implemented by Earth Day 2012. This will allow time for their current suppliers to meet the new standards being set by Whole Foods Market. According to the Whole Foods Market blog, they are the first major retailer to set standards on their household cleaners.
  1. No phthalates will be permitted in any cleaning products sold at Whole Foods Market (for a complete list of ingredients that will be considered ‘unacceptable’ .  View Here.  All products will be reviewed by a third-party company.
    • An “orange” rating will be assigned to those cleaning products that are free of phosphates, chlorine and fake colors.
    • A “yellow” rating will be assigned to those cleaning products that contain 100% natural fragrance and have minimal safety concerns
    • A “green” rating will be assigned to those cleaning products that contain 100% natural ingredients and non-petroleum ingredients.
    • Any products that are rated “red” will contain ingredients that Whole Foods Market has deemed ‘unacceptable’. These products will not be sold in Whole Foods stores.

It doesn’t stop here! Check in tomorrow to read more about what Whole Foods Market is doing to help us reduce our exposure to obesogens!

Sources:

Whole Foods Market – Products (//wholefoodsmarket.com/products/)

Inhabitat – EATware Compostable Food Containers (//inhabitat.com/compostable-containers-by-eatware/)

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Swimming Into a Cultural Health Crisis

photo used under a creative commons license

Many people would say that we are becoming less and less healthy as a nation because we overindulge. On the surface, this appears to be a safe assumption. At present we have the distinction of being one of the top ten countries in the world for overweight adults! Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the population at large with a whopping 60% of all adults being overweight and one out of four being morbidly obese. Break out the numbers specifically for the aging Baby Boomers and the stats are even more distressing- practically three out of four mature U.S. adults are classified as overweight or obese. But the worst part is that obesity is increasing at such an alarming rate among U.S. children at present, that they will be the first generation in decades that are projected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents! So the future looks even worse than the present. Eating disorders are also proliferating, affecting new segments of the population that include younger and younger children, as well as older women and men.

The complications of obesity alone have wreaked havoc with our health care system as well as our national economy. For example, “Health care costs related to obesity- which is associated with conditions like hypertension and diabetes- would total $344 billion in 2018, or more than one of every five dollars spent on health care, if the trends continue. If the obesity rate were held to its current level, the country would save nearly $200 billion a year (or $1.4 Trillion) by 2018, according to the study.” (Sack 2008) In terms of Eating Disorder’s, Anorexia alone, kills more women between the ages of 15 and 24 than any other cause of death.

The question is why is this happening? The answer is that if you are a fish, you do not see the water. Because you are immersed in it, you take it for granted. In much the same way, we are immersed in a culture that we assume to be safe. This is our underlying assumption. The fish may remain in polluted water until it becomes so polluted that it is no longer life sustaining. By then, it is too late. Like the fish, we are oblivious to the forces surrounding us. To change our culture, we must first be able to identify the underlying assumptions that are driving the current epidemic of obesity and eating disorders in the U.S. We must each then act to change our lifestyle and advocate for our safety.  Stay tuned for Dr. Norton’s soon to be released book that details the problems, their causes and the solutions.

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Is There Really a Connection Between Full-Time Working Moms and Child Obesity?

photo used under creative common license

Over the past 35 years, the percentage of U.S. mothers who hold down a job while raising kids have soared from less than 50% to more than 70%. During this same time frame, the childhood obesity rate-which is now close to 17%- has more than tripled. Many researchers are claiming that there’s a direct connection between these two figures. The journal of Childhood Development just published a study, which showed that the longer a mother is employed, the more likely her children are to be overweight or obese. The study demonstrated that for each additional five-month period that his or her mother is employed, a child of average height could be expected to gain 1 extra pound over and above normal growth. In addition, six graders with working mothers were found to be six times more likely than those with stay-at-home moms to be overweight.

Another study published in Business Week supports this same concept, finding that was a correlation between the number of hours a women works outside the home and the BMI of her children. This research found that for a third grader of average height, the increase in BMI was equivalent to an extra one and a half to two extra pounds over what that child would normally gain in a year.

With studies like these being done, the idea that American kids are getting fat because women work outside the home now, could seem convincing. But hold on. These are correlative studies, not experimental research. The problem with these conclusions is that there may be several other things occurring simultaneously “causing” or contributing to this dietary epidemic.

Obviously, if women are spending long hours at work, as many do, home cooked meals are less of an option. In our nation it has become far too common for the wife to pop something pre packaged into the oven at night or pick up a pizza on her way home in order to accommodate her family with a meal that is quick and tasty.

The issue is that convenience foods have become a way of life for Americans. The ability to buy ready-made food is so much the norm that cooking for yourself seems like overkill, like you’re trying to win the best mom ever trophy. When push comes to shove, and it often does, most moms say the heck with it! Bring on the pizza. But that’s when the real problem kicks in, as processed foods are loaded with MSG, HFCS, Aspartame and Acesulfame, all of which are neurotoxins and all of which contribute to weight gain or disturbed eating. It doesn’t matter if the wife had the WHOLE DAY to cook a meal anymore because she wouldn’t anyway. Not when she can just run down the street to KFC and have a bucket of chicken in less than 10 minutes.

Thus it is the additives in these convenience foods that are directly responsible for why our nation and our children have become so fat. The percentage of mothers working full time may have gone up over the past 35 years, but so has the amount of MSG and high fructose corn syrup being poured into the foods we buy. They are found in just about all prepackaged, frozen and fast foods. They keep our stomachs saying “yum!” and “more,” and our blood sugar levels on a constant rollercoaster.  Working mothers who have jobs don’t directly cause weight problems in their children. Reliance on and trust in processed foods containing dangerous addictive additives should be getting blamed. Unfortunately, most people don’t even know they’re there!

Sources:

Verropoulou G, Joshi H. Mothers’ Employment and Child Development. London, UK: Center for Longitudinal Development. 2006.

Business Week (online version) – WHAT! WORKING MOTHERS = FAT KIDS??? (//www.businessweek.com/careers/workingparents/blog/archives/2007/05/who_knew_seems.html)

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Is There Such Thing as a Healthy Sweetener?

Yes there is! Coconut Crystals and Coconut Nectar are the best tasting, safest, most nutritious way to sweeten up your life I have found yet. This is it, the mother load of nutrition and great taste! A company called “Coconut Secrets” makes them. Check them out: //www.coconutsecret.com/index.html.

They also have a Coconut Nectar, Coconut Vinegar and Coconut Aminos (a substitute for “Bragg’s” Aminos which is loaded with MSG) that are all fantastic! Here are some recipes from their website. I tried the dressing, the marinade and the Gluten Free Brownies. Excellent! //www.coconutsecret.com/recipies2.html.

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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How and When Are Glutamic and Aspartic Acid Good For You?

Both are amino acids. In general amino acids are critical to life. They are the building blocks of proteins, which are nothing more than linear chains of amino acids. Twenty-two amino acids form the polypeptides that are known as the “essential” and “nonessential” amino acids.  The essential amino acids cannot be created from other compounds but must be taken in as food by humans.

Essential Nonessential
Isoleucine Alanine
Leucine Asparagine
Lysine Aspartic Acid
Methionine Cysteine*
Phenylalanine Glutamic Acid
Threonine Glutamine*
Tryptophan Glycine*
Valine Proline*
Selenocysteine*
Serine*
Tyrosine*
Arginine*
Histidine*
Ornithine*
Taurine*

 

Glutamic Acid, which is the most abundant amino acid in the body, provides many health benefits in it’s naturally occurring state including:

  • Increasing Protein synthesis which is needed for muscle development
  • Increasing nitrogen retention
  • Decreasing muscle breakdown
  • Enhancing immune functions

Protein also plays a critical role in metabolism, in that it helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.   This is particularly important for weight management, as erratic blood sugar levels can lead to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and Type II Diabetes.

Aspartate is a metabolite that participates in gluconeogenesis, a process that results in the generation of glucose (blood sugar) from non-carbohydrates. It is one of the two main mechanisms humans have for keeping blood sugar levels from dropping too low (hypoglycemia). Gluconeogenesis occurs during periods of fasting, starvation, low-carbohydrate dieting and/or intense exercise. At these times it is needed to restore blood sugar levels.

Like so many other health-promoting components of nature, when Glutamic and Aspartic Acids are genetically modified, by separating and isolating them from their natural state, and then subjecting them to various chemical and heating processes, they become toxic.  (For detailed information on this topic, read my other blog posts: Baby Formula: MSG, Excitatory Neurotoxins & HFCS!!!, Regulating Our Glutamate Intake, and An Intro to MSG: The Nutritional Truth. In this genetically modified form they become MSG and Aspartame or Splenda respectively.

Sources:

Peptide Guide – What are Amino Acids? Properties, Types, Benefits (//www.peptideguide.com/amino-acids/)

The Medical Biochemistry Page – Gluconeogenesis: Synthesis of New Glucose (//themedicalbiochemistrypage.org/gluconeogenesis.html

Livestrong – Glutamic Acid (//www.livestrong.com/glutamic-acid/)

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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Diet Foods and Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain

So if sweeteners are so bad, why are so many people using them? Because they believe the alternative, weight gain, is worse. Think again: Research shows that people who use artificial sweeteners eat more than those that do not. We know that MSG, HFCS, and artificial sweeteners are all excitoxins, which means that they stimulate neurons to death. Excitoxins over-stimulate and damage the parts of the brain that regulate healthy eating behavior. In a study that included more than 18,000 people, researchers found that healthy adults who consumed at least one diet drink a day significantly increased their chances of gaining weight.

I find that my patients with the most intense food addictions consume diet soft drinks and diet gum in huge quantities. Many of them chew sugar free gum or drink diet soft drinks all day long. Some of them go through a pack of gum an hour while others have 5 to 10 cans of diet soft drinks a day and some do both. This is often a conscious decision to help them avoid eating. Of course, it doesn’t work. By evening, they are starving and usually end up overeating. For those with Bulimia, the intense hunger can trigger a binge/purge cycle. The research above would predict such an outcome. They are not experiencing normal hunger, they are voraciously hungry, psychologically and emotionally starving. This intense drive for food can take over their lives. They pass on social events, give up relationships and even put academic or career goals aside in the service of their nightly feeding ritual. At some point, they cannot wait until evening and that is when the addiction really becomes unmanageable.

“In a Purdue study, rats whose diets contained artificial sweeteners appeared to experience a physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories that drove them to overeat.”

The article goes on to say: “The information may come as a surprise to the 59 percent of Americans who consume diet soft drinks, making them the second-most-popular low-calorie, sugar-free products in the nation, according to a consumer survey from the Calorie Control Council, a nonprofit association that represents the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry.”

(The Purdue’s researchers’ study, “A Pavlovian Approach to the Problem of Obesity,” appears in the July issue of International Journal of Obesity. Follow this link: //news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/2004/040629.Swithers.research.html)

Most of these sweeteners also contain MSG, known for its propensity to destroy the body’s natural weight regulatory systems, as well as for its potential to increase the odds of heart attack and stroke. Is it worth it? Of course not! But this isn’t like smoking or drinking. You know when you light up or take that drink that you are putting a toxin into your body. And you know that it might be habit forming. But who would think that organic baby food, milk, or chicken broth would have a carcinogenic, neurotoxin in it? No one would knowingly eat toxic food additives while pregnant or feed them to their newborn baby, let alone have a steady diet of them for themselves and their families. But that is what’s happening. The result is that majority of us have unknowingly become addicted to these substances. For many, the problems are so severe, and the causes so obscure, that they suffer life-threatening medical and/or psychological consequences before seeking help. The saddest thing is that they blame themselves. Who else are they going to blame, none of the food producers take responsibility. There appears to be no accountability whatsoever. And where is the FDA? Isn’t its sole purpose to protect the consumer?

There is an epidemic of obesity in this and every other country that has become westernized and adopted our eating habits. A man in France went to jail for actively protesting against having a Micky D’s put up in his town. We have much to learn from the French! Other countries have not been so fortunate to have a brave man like this Frenchman. We are in the top ten fattest countries in the world. Of the other nine, eight are countries that import our food and have adopted our lifestyles. What more is there to say?

Want to help? We are presently putting together a list of grocery store chains as well as specific food brands that do not contain MSG or HFCS. Please help us. If you are an organization that produces food without these additives, please contact us at the address on my website. We will publish the information if it checks out. If you are a consumer and you find a brand or a specific food item, let us know! We can help each other.

Here is something else to try. Be an proactive consumer. I have been asking my local grocer every time I shop there for the past 5 years if they carry a particular item in an organic version. Whether it has anything to do with my efforts or not, the organic section at my Krogers is getting bigger all the time. In the past 6 months, I have started asking if they can help me find a box of cereal, or carton of milk, or a drink, for example, with no MSG and no HFCS. The saddest thing is that most of the time, they genuinely have no idea what to look for. They almost always tell me that all of their organic products are free of these substances! When I explain to them that this not so, and point out how many organic foods contain those substances, they find it hard to believe. I patiently explain how many different names the substances have, and whip out my list. I’m quite sure that they take me for a flake. But as often as not I end up leaving it behind at their request. I often see them looking at the list and shaking their heads. It’s overwhelming and a bit daunting to see how far we have to go, but it’s a start. Don’t be discouraged at the lack of information. Five years from now, most people will know much more about these things. Right now, my grocers run when they see me coming. One manager waves the list at me from across the store. I’m not sure if he is trying to look cooperative, or if he is trying to discourage me from approaching him again! I do anyway 🙂

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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HFCS: Ties to Obesity and Increased Mortality

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a clear liquid sugar product made from corn starch. It has a long shelf life and is relatively cheap to use, which is why it is so common in inexpensive foods like chips and soda. It has been tied to increased rates of obesity, which can lead to heart disease and cancer.

“When HFCS is ingested, it travels straight to the liver which turns the sugary liquid into fat, and unlike other carbohydrates HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin; which acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. So we get stuck in a vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full.” [Source: //healthmad.com/nutrition/dangers-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup/#ixzz19GBfSKwl]

HFCS is temporally tied to obesity as well, for “the consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990,” which corresponds to an increase in obesity. [Study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, //www.ajcn.org/content/79/4/537.full?ijkey=3a74469113059287563c0dbc3f9b874276f46666]

Extensive studies show this correlation between HFCS and obesity, which can lead to further health problems and diseases. Take precaution to avoid foods that contain “high fructose corn syrup,” “fructose,” and “modified corn starch.” Reducing consumption of HFCS will improve mental and physical wellness, creating a more healthy and energetic lifestyle.

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): A Guide for Foods to Avoid

MSG is used as a flavor enhancer and salt replacement, and does not commonly appear on food labels. Here are some foods to avoid:

“low sodium” items
soy protein concentrate
whey protein concentrate
stock and broth
milk powder
ranch dressing
gravy
dipping sauces
powder flavoring
flavored salty snack chips
corn syrup
vitamin enriched items

source: //msgtruth.org/avoid.htm

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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Regulating Our Glutamate Intake

The term “glutamate” refers to a number of forms of glutamic acid, an amino acid found naturally in many foods and in our bodies. It is a powerful excitatory neurotransmitter that is released by nerve cells in the brain. It is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells, and under normal conditions it plays an important role in learning and memory. There are two general ways, however, that glutamate can actually be damaging to nerve cells and the brain as a whole.

First, there can be too much glutamate around; abnormally high concentrations of glutamate can lead to overexcitation of the receiving nerve cell. Second, the receptors for glutamate on the receiving nerve cell can be oversensitive so that less glutamate molecules are necessary to excite that cell. People who are often oversensitive as so, are those diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, people with depression, Hypoglycemic patients, pregnant women, people with kidney problems, people who get migraine headaches, people with pre-existing vascular disease, and people with Congestive heart failure. Babies and children are also more sensitive to glutamate.

In these cases, cells activated by glutamate become overexcited. This overexcitation can lead to effects that can cause cell damage and/or death. For this reason, glutamate is referred to as an excitotoxin.

Food that contains high levels of glutamate like milk, eggs, meat cheese, peas, and mushrooms do not usually cause overexcitation to a person’s neurons because it consists of glutamate in its bound form. Glutamate in its bound form is slowly broken down with digestion so you’re delivering the amount in slower and smaller quantities. Glutamate never acts as an excitoxin in its bound form. What we as consumers must be watchful of is Glutamate in it’s free form. When we ingest glutamate in it’s free form, it doesn’t have to be broken off of a protein chain so it can be absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly and in higher doses.

Monosodium Glutamate, also known as MSG, is the most dangerous substance containing the highest concentration of glutamate in its free form. Glutamate in the form of MSG almost always acts as an excitoxin- especially to those who are sensitive to glutamate. This is why it is important to avoid MSG at all costs.
Despite the increased knowledge of the health complications MSG causes, thanks to the food industry, Americans are consuming 300 times the amount of Monosodium Glutamate than they did in 1950. Because MSG enhances the flavor of food so drastically (since it is almost completely made up of glutamates and glutamates excites the brain), this harmful chemical has filled the shelves of our local grocery stores, and is being poured into the food we eat at restaurants with no restraints from the FDA. A person must truly go out of their way to avoid this additive.

The most successful way I can tell you to avoid monosodium glutamate is to make the effort to buy organic certified foods. Certified “organic” foods by the USDA cannot legally contain monosodium glutamate. However, what organic foods can contain are ingredients like Yeast extracts, Maltodexrin, Autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, whey protein concentrate, monopotassium glutamate, and hydrolyzed protein products. All of these do contain substantial amounts of glutamates in its free form but nowhere near the concentration found in MSG. In some cases, when we ingest too much of these ingredients in our diet, they will act as an excitotoxin as well. Therefore, even when buying organic people must be careful in regulating the intake of foods with these substances on their label. Grocery Stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are both safe places to shop because none of their products may contain MSG. Other than shopping organic, read food labels and try to eat whole, unprocessed foods in order to regulate your glutamate intake!

Sources:

Russell Blaylock, MD (//www.russellblaylockmd.com/)

Truth in Labeling (//www.truthinlabeling.org)

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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An Intro to MSG: The Nutritional Truth

The article below is a summary of the video from Dr. Vincent Bellonzi which discusses the origins, facts and effects of MSG. Watch his video, “The Truth about MSG Monosodium Glutamate Clinical Nutrition” here: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-pnzj0c06Q.

What if I were to tell you that there is a chemical being added to food that has been scientifically proven to effect how the body’s nervous system is formed so that as a person’s brain develops, they may have learning or emotional difficulties? Would it concern you to know that there is also credible evidence that this chemical could permanently damage a critical part of the brain that controls hormones, which could consequently cause a person to experience endocrine problems? To continue, I could tell you that this chemical has been identified to hasten brain tumors, and furthermore, that this chemical has been demonstrated to aggravate and even generate several epidemic neurodegenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, ALS, ADD, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The chemical that I am describing, known as MSG or Monosodium Glutamate was introduced to the food industry a long time ago because it was found to enhance the taste of food. At first, it was only added to babies’ food because it made babies who would not eat, become more excited about eating; but today it is being added in significant amounts to almost all processed foods, fast food items, and even sit down restaurant foods items. The food industry knows that they can make anything taste good by adding MSG. To be honest, they can even make dirt taste good if they add MSG to it! This is because the glutamate that’s in MSG excites the body’s reward system as it’s being consumed. So, it sends an excitatory message to the brain and as a result, a person thinks whatever they’re eating tastes a lot better than it actually does.

The problem with MSG and the food industry is this: the food industry is constantly competing for consumers. To make their food taste better than competitors they add more MSG to it. As a result, the amount of MSG that is being added to our food today has become far too concentrated for our nerves to handle properly. Thus, our nerves overexcite when we consume the chemical and by frequently overexciting our nerve impulses we are severely damaging our neurons. Damaging neurons as so, causes a person to lose control of their emotions and their ability to think. This is a really terrible combination that can create or worsen a number of behavioral health related conditions. For example, for children suffering from autism it makes a bad situation worse. There have been countless cases of autistic children whom could not even speak, completely recover by entirely eliminating MSG from their diets. Same story holds true for people who have suffered from obesity, depression, bulimia, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders.

Statistics also show that with the increase in MSG consumption there has been a correlating increase in several neurodegenerative brain diseases, behavioral disorders, and brain tumors. For example, Alzheimer’s disease was not even an identifiable healthcare cost before MSG, but since the food industry began adding this chemical to their food the number of people who suffer from this disease has sky rocketed. It now ranks third, after cancer and heart disease, among the most costly health problems in America.

The science behind what the chemical is doing to our body is clear. Countless amounts of evidence justify it, and the statistics prove it. MSG is extremely harmful. So why on earth is the FDA doing nothing to regulate our consumption of MSG? In fact, the FDA has classified MSG as “generally regarded as safe,” (GRAS). Therefore, sets no limit as to how much MSG gets poured into the food we consume and today Americans are consuming over 300 million pounds of it! When will this stop?

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.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’