Keto Diet-Friend or Foe?

“Keto here, keto there, keto everywhere!” It is inevitable, whether attending social gatherings, visiting the grocery store or interacting on social media you have probably heard about the keto diet and been tempted by its promises. In fact, the keto diet was the most searched weight loss diet in 2018. But is this diet the weight loss solution we’ve all been waiting for?

The ketogenic diet (better known as ‘keto’) is a high fat (70-80% of total calories), low carbohydrate (less than 50 g of carbohydrates (5-10% of total calories), moderate protein (10-20% of total calories) diet that adjusts the way the body produces energy. On a normal healthy eating plan that typically has 25-35% of total calories from fat, 45-60% of total calories from carbohydrates and 20-35% of total calories from protein, the body relies on burning carbohydrates for energy. On the other hand, in the ketogenic approach the body becomes dependent on burning fat producing ketones bodies to fuel itself. This is where the theory of keto diet for weight loss came from. It is difficult to know when one enters ketosis, unless you check for ketones in the blood/urine. However, it is very easy to leave this state, since the slightest increases in carbohydrate intake may resume regular energy production, adding to the challenges faced on this restricted diet.

Like other weight loss diets with restricted intake, individuals may notice rapid weight loss in the first week (about 2-10 lbs), primarily related to water loss and glycogen stores depletion. Shortly afterwards, the rate of weight loss slows down, similar to other weight loss diets, to about 1-2 lbs/week. Whether this diet is sustainable and improves overall health outcomes is in doubt.

The ketogenic diet is not a new trend. In the 1800’s, scientists discovered its efficacy in treating epilepsy and other similar seizure disorders in kids. Therefore, most available research, especially long-term studies, is concentrated on that rather than weight loss. Long-term studies linked the keto diet with increased risk for kidney stones, osteoporosis, hyperlipidemia, possible nutrient deficiencies and risk for liver abnormalities. Short term effects recorded in adults include constipation, brain fog, irritability, increased levels of both good (HDL) and bad blood cholesterol (LDL), binge eating and relapse, adequate muscle maintenance and building and mild improvements in serum glucose levels.

Well, is it a friend or a foe? As a registered dietitian nutritionist, there is too much risk and not enough research to prove that following the keto diet will lead to greater weight loss and better health outcomes than other less restricted more realistically sustainable diets. Therefore, I would consider losing weight on the ketogenic diet as a foe for now. However, there are some positive sides of this diet that we can learn from to improve our health and wellness that include:

  • Being mindful with the quality and quantity of carbs we eat
  • Practice portion control
  • Overcome fear from fat and work in more healthy fats
  • Listen to hunger and fullness cues.

Please remember that there is no one size fits all when it comes to eating. We are all unique with different health issues, so it is important that we base our diets on what our individual body needs rather than following mainstream food trends.

 

Thanks to R. Farra, MDS, RD, LD for co-authoring this article with me.

 

Resources:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/ketogenic-diet/

https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/6FD9F975BAFF1D46F84C8BA9CE860783/S0007114513000548a.pdf/verylowcarbohydrate_ketogenic_diet_v_lowfat_diet_for_longterm_weight_loss_a_metaanalysis_of_randomised_controlled_trials.pdf

Savvy Snacking

Your daily food choices fuel your body, mind and mood. In order to stay energized all day and combat potential food cravings and temptations, it’s important to pay attention to when and what you eat.

Well-planned, healthful snack choices can help you avoid break room or vending machine temptations and can keep you from overeating when meals are delayed. Kids need snacks throughout the day to meet their increased energy needs for growth and activity. If you are trying to lose weight, snacks can help you stay on track without hunger.

What are healthy snacks? The best snacks include a good source of fiber and some protein. They often include food groups that you may not have been able to fit into your previous meal and can be anything from small portions of leftovers, to mini-breakfasts, fruit or vegetables combined with dairy foods, beans or other proteins.

Here are some unique snacks ideas to try.

  • Overnight Oatmeal in a Jar
  • Homemade Granola Bars
  • Bell Pepper Pizza
  • Cheese and Pretzel Dippers
  • Cucumber, Hummus and Turkey Roll-ups
  • Avocado, Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers
  • Fresh Fruits with PB2 Dip

For more ideas go to my Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/lindafrd

For kids and big kids alike, it is important to have the snacks ready to go for quick access and no thinking necessary. These are some recommendations for kids, from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as posted on: www.eatright.org.

Here’s the key to healthful food choices: very visible, convenient, effortless and great taste. Follow these seven how-tos for smart snacking.

  • Ask your kids what food group foods they’d like to have on hand. Buy them!
  • “Walk” your kids through the kitchen so they know where these foods are kept.
  • Keep fresh fruit on the counter where kids see it.
  • Wash and cut up veggies ahead, so they’re ready to eat.
  • Use see-through containers, clear plastic bags or containers covered with plastic wrap so kids can see what’s inside.
  • Put nutrient-rich food where kids can reach it, perhaps on lower shelves in your refrigerator, pantry or cabinet. Keep “sometimes” foods, such as cookies and chips, away in cabinets where they’re less convenient to reach, especially for impulse eaters.
  • Buy food in single-serve containers for grab-and-go eating ­— for example, milk, raisins, juice, fruit cups, pudding and baby carrots. 

 From American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 3rd Ed.

5 Free Apps for a Healthy Lifestyle

Looking for easy ways to stay healthy and meet your nutrition goals in the New Year? These 5 free apps are a great way to manage weight loss, plan menus, track activity and fitness and navigate dining out.

  1. Lose It!

    A weight management app that allows users to track food intake, exercise, and water consumed, Lose It makes it easy to input goals, manage progress, and see real results. This app even has a barcode scanner to quickly add foods, graphs to show visual progress day over day, and even import data from other health and fitness apps.

    PROS: Able to save meals and scan barcodes to quickly track foods; connect with friends for accountability

    CONS: May feel a little time consuming to start; limited restaurant database

    SIMILAR: MyFitnessPal

  2. Foodily

    Foodily is an online catalog of recipes, indexed by hundreds of search criteria, allowing users to find just the right recipe in an instant. Get new ideas to update the standard chicken or crock pot dinner, find an innovative way to use up leftover vegetables, or just get inspiration for your next meal. Foodily incorporates user ratings, allergy information, and a social aspect to let you connect and share your recipe finds with friends. A forum of community recipes, Foodily provides realistic recipes by other home cooks, making it easy to find and create new meal ideas at home.

    PROS: Ease of use, photographs of recipes, save and share recipes with friends and social media

    CONS: Recipe index and limited depending on user uploads

    SIMILAR: Yummly

  3. Strava

    Log and track your fitness goals with this easy to use new fitness app. Strava uses a GPS tracker to map routes and log miles and paces for runners, walkers, and bikers. The app helps keep users motivated by connecting you with friends and incorporating monthly challenges to compete against yourself or others.

    PROS: Easy navigation; able to share activities to other social media platforms; connect with friends for motivation.

    CONS: Only tracks miles for running, walking, and cycling; GPS can drain phone battery.

    SIMILAR: MapMyFitness

  4. Healthy Out

    Not sure how to eat out and still stick to your healthy goals? Have specific diet restrictions or allergies? Healthy Out allows you to enjoy eating out without the stress or hassle of not knowing what options are available at many favorite restaurants.

    PROS: Easy access to filter menu items and restaurant listings based on wide variety of dietary needs; ability to save and share results with friends.

    CONS: limited city and restaurant availability but continuing to grow; must connect via Facebook

    SIMILAR: Food Tripping

Thank you to SD, dietetic intern, 2015 for input on this blog.

Wise Nutritional Choices for Cancer Prevention, Part 1: Processed Meats and Red Meats

[Portions of this article have been copied verbatim from resources listed below.]

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US and has probably had an impact on most of us. So when guidelines change it can be confusing and frustrating. On October 26 of 2015,The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, released it’s monograph summary evaluation on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. Here is a brief summary of what was reported.

Processed Meat was classified as “carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”. “For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” says Dr. Kurt Straif, head of the IARC Monographs Program. Experts conclude that for every 2 ounces of processed meat consumed daily, the risk of colorectal cancer increases 18%. Processed meats are foods that have been modified through the use of chemicals, sodium nitrates, and heat to improve flavor and preservation. They include hot dogs, sausage, ham, pastrami, corned beef, beef jerky, and canned meats.

Red meat is “probably carcinogenic to humans based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect.” The summary also stated “there is limited evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat.” This association was observed mainly for colorectal cancer but associations were seen for pancreatic and prostate cancer. Red meats include beef, pork, lamb, veal, and goat.

What does this mean in layman’s terms? The IARC has concluded that diets high in processed meats may lead to an increase in cancer risk, especially colon and rectal cancer. The summary was less conclusive on whether red meat causes cancer or not, but the IARC did recommend limiting dietary intake of red meat. This is not new information, however. While the IARC just published their findings, other organizations including The American Cancer Society (in 2007) and the USDA have already published guidelines recommending limiting consumption of red and processed meats. That the WHO now also confirms these recommendations further highlights the importance of limiting these foods.

What does this mean for my family? Cancer is a very complex disease, and it is unrealistic to isolate one single food, including beef, as an independent cause of cancer. It’s all about moderation, as many health professionals, including myself, teach. All foods eaten in moderation can be enjoyed and savored without guilt or fear. So eating an occasional hot dog at the baseball game is not going to give you cancer. But processed meats should be avoided as much as possible.

Red meat contains beneficial vitamins and minerals including iron, vitamin B12, niacin, and zinc. It is generally recommended that 10% of your total calories, or about 2 small servings per week, can come from eating red meat as part of a balanced diet. When cooking meat, poultry or fish be sure to use medium (not high) temperatures, so that you avoid charring the exterior of the meat, because toxic substances will be produced. If you happen to get any char on your meat, trim it off before serving.

Click Here for Part 2 of this series.

 

References:

Anselmo, Cara. What the WHO said – and didn’t say – about meat and cancer. Food and Nutrition Magazine. 2015. http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/November-2015/What-the-WHO-Said-and-Didnt-Say-about-Meat-and-Cancer/

IARC Monographs evaluate consumption of red meat and processed meat. World Health Organization. 2015. https://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf

Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. World Health Organization. 2015. http://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/

Scientific Evidence Submissions: IARC. Beef Research. 2015. http://www.beefresearch.org/scientificevidencesubmissionsiarc.aspx

Website: http://factsaboutbeef.com

 

Thank you to SD, Dietetic Intern, 2015  for your help with this blog.

Dietary Fructose Malabsorption

Dietary Fructose Malabsorption

The pain of gas and bloating can be debilitating and can limit your desire and ability to socialize around food. If these are your symptoms, I suggest that you contact your gastroenterologist and ask to be tested for fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance and small bowel bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). If you find that you have one or more of these, then I can help you implement a specific diet to avoid the offending substance. If you are not sensitive to any one of these, your doctor may call your symptoms functional bowel disease of irritable bowel disease (IBS) and recommend that you try the FODMAP diet, which can help reduce your symptoms by limiting a variety of foods that can cause gas and bloating. I can provide detailed guidance on this diet.

But for those of you who have been diagnosed with fructose malabsorption, there is a diet that will help you. I have worked with GI doctors and studied fructose malabsorption for several years. Most of my clients report feeling better in just a few days, by following my diet for fructose malabsorption. All of my fructose malabsorption clients are invited to attend my fructose malabsorption support group.

Symptoms: My clients diagnosed with fructose malabsorption report symptoms such as painful gas and bloating, distended abdomen area after eating, diarrhea or constipation, and nausea or vomiting. Many report that these symptoms started occurring after a significant stressful life event such as a death, divorce or surgery.

Diagnosis: A GI doctor will diagnose you via a non-invasive hydrogen breath test. You will drink a sweet beverage on an empty stomach, followed by blowing into a tube periodically over a 4-hour period. Hydrogen gas should not be produced if your body properly absorbs fructose. It is only produced after intestinal bacteria metabolize carbohydrates/fructose.

Fructose Malabsorption Process: Dietary fructose malabsorption is caused by impaired absorption of fructose. It is not life threatening. Fructose is a type of sugar that is naturally found in fruits, honey, agave syrup and some vegetables. It is always in combination with glucose. After food is digested in the stomach, a carrier protein and glucose help transport fructose into the small intestine for absorption. The process is not entirely understood, but when the glucose content of a food is equal to or higher than the fructose content, there is no malabsorption of fructose. However, foods with more fructose than glucose can result in inefficient absorption of fructose. This allows fructose to reach the large intestine, along with extra water. Intestinal bacteria rapidly ferment fructose into hydrogen, carbon dioxide and short chain fatty acids. When the bacteria multiply and migrate back up to the small intestine (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO), gas/flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain and motility changes (diarrhea or constipation) occur.

How did I get this? Fructose malabsorption may be inherited (primarily from central European descent), but non-genetic factors may also play a role. The amount of fructose tolerated varies widely among individuals: some may have problems with less than 1 gram of fructose, and others can easily eat 20 grams without any problem. It is estimated that approximately 35-50% of the population is unable to completely absorb more than 25 grams per day. Average daily intake of fructose around the world is estimated to be 11-54 grams.

What foods are high in fructose?

Fructose is found in 3 main forms in the diet:

  • As Free Fructose—present in fruits, honey, and agave syrup.
  • As a component of Table Sugar (sucrose). Sucrose is a disaccharide made up of equal parts of glucose and fructose.
  • As Fructans—a long chain of several fructose molecules (fructo-oligosaccharide) found in some vegetables and wheat.

Fructose accounts for 10% of total calories from sweetened beverage, baked products, and fruit juice. All Fructose is absorbed, digested, and metabolized in an identical manner, no matter if it is from fruit juice or a food additive. Total removal of fructose from the diet is nearly impossible due to its abundant presence in our food supply.

Set and appointment with Linda: If you want more detail on this diet and individualized help to avoid excess fructose intake, call me today!

Contrave–New Weight Loss Drug

Prescription Contrave was just approved by the FDA in September 2014, making it the fourth prescription weight loss drug approved by the FDA for long-term use.

The other 3 prescription weight loss drugs include Qsymia and Belviq (approved for use in 2012) and Alli (Orlistat) the over the counter version of Xenical. But don’t forget that diet and exercise are still key components for any of these drugs to be most effective.

Last year, the weight loss industry in the U.S. brought in a wopping 60.5 billion dollars. Despite a small 1.8% dip in revenue last year, there’s no denying this industry is still booming.  From do-it-yourself diet books to weight loss surgery, the options for weight loss and maintenance are endless.

Contrave is actually a combination of two drugs that are already on the market, naltrexone, which is used to treat addictions, and bupropion, which is an anti-depressant.  The exact way that Contrave works is not fully understood, but it did outperform the placebo in clinical trials.

In order to receive a prescription for Contrave, adults must fall under the obesity classification with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.  Overweight adults may also be eligible for a prescription if they have a health condition that can be related to their weight, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, in addition to a BMI of 27 or higher.

Before deciding whether or not to take a prescription weight loss drug, it’s important to consider a few other factors besides eligibility. Contrave is not a miracle drug.  Participants who took Contrave and followed a diet and exercise plan in the clinical trials, lost an average of 4.1% more weight than placebo users at the end of one year.  That’s right, diet and exercise are still part of the deal.  In fact, the FDA recommends that doctors stop Contrave if the patient doesn’t show a 5% weight loss in the first 12 weeks on the prescription.  In other words, you can’t just pop a Contrave and eat whatever you’d like.  Dust off your gym pass and be ready to skip the drive-thru, because if you’re thinking about asking for a prescription for this pill you’re going to have to back it up with health conscious eating and activity!

In addition to a lifestyle change, you will also need to consider possible side effects.  Contrave users reported experiencing nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness.  Constipation, dry mouth, diarrhea, and insomnia were also among the more common side effects reported.  Uncomfortable as these may be, they appear mild compaired to the list of risks associated with this drug.  The FDA warns that using Contrave can cause seizures, increase blood pressure, and raised heart rate.  When taken for other conditions, the two drugs that were combined to make Contrave have been associated with increased risk for suicidal thoughts and “serious neuropsychiatric events.”

Finally, even though it’s been approved for use, Contrave is still undergoing clinical trials.  The FDA is still evaluating cardiovascular risks that go along with its use, as well as performing studies on the relationships between Contrave and memory, impaired liver and kidney function, other drug interactions, and possible use in children.

Ultimately, the way you lose weight is up to you.  If you’re thinking about using Contrave or another prescription weight loss drug, be sure to talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian nutritionist in order to make the best, safest choice for you, and to make the most of your prescription.

Thank you to Meghan P., dietetics student at Eastern Michigan University, for her help with this blog!

 

Resources:

http://www.marketresearch.com/Marketdata-Enterprises-Inc-v416/Weight-Loss-Status-Forecast-8016030/

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm413896.htm

http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/prescription.htm#b

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3138366/

Has the Story Changed on Sodium?

Nutrition can be a puzzling issue for many people, and if you caught the recent headlines on the “dangers” of reduced sodium intake, no one would blame you for feeling a little exasperated. For years, the most trusted sources have said to cut back on sodium to reduce high blood pressure and lower the risk of associated disease. Have the recommendations to lower sodium intake been wrong all along?

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) was recently asked to investigate new research on the potential health risks from low sodium intake (1,500 mg/day to 2,300 mg/day). Unfortunately, the IOM’s report on these studies led some news outlets to claim that a diet low in sodium can be detrimental to health.

What the IOM really said in their report, published May 2013, was that the recent research on the risks of low sodium intake was inconsistent and had many limitations. In fact, the journal that originally published two of these research studies has since retracted the articles after finding issues in the use of unreliable data. As a result, the studies cannot be cited as sufficient evidence to change the current recommendations on sodium.

The IOM committee concluded that current efforts to help the public reduce excessive sodium intake should continue, and they stand behind the established evidence that a diet low in sodium can decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

However, the committee also suggested the need for increased research when it comes to reductions in sodium intake to 1,500 mg/day for the general US population and/or certain subgroups. So how much sodium should we consume each day?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which represents a network of over 70,000 dietitians and nutrition professionals, recommends looking to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  These guidelines are evaluated and revised every 5 years, providing the most reviewed, researched, and up-to-date recommendations available to the public.

The Dietary Guidelines suggest consuming less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day for the general U.S. population, which equals about 1 teaspoon of salt. Further reduction to 1,500 mg of sodium per day is recommended for groups who may be at higher risk of hypertension and its complications. This includes those who are 51 years of age and older, African Americans, or people with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.

The average American consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium each day, or about 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Clearly, we still have some work to do to reach our goal of 2,300 mg per day, let alone 1,500 mg! It may seem daunting at first, but we can take small steps each day to significantly decrease our sodium consumption. Talking to a registered dietitian nutritionist is one of the best ways to learn how to develop a healthful eating plan that is appropriate for your individualized needs.

The following suggestions adapted from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics can give you some ideas on how to reduce your sodium intake and enjoy the benefits of better health:

  1. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh foods are important because they do not contain the excess salt added during the manufacturing of processed foods. As a result, these foods have little to no sodium, not to mention the numerous other benefits for your health like high vitamin and mineral content. Other fresh foods essential to a low sodium diet include fresh meats, poultry (look for the ones that have not been injected with broths or sodium), fish, beans and peas, unsalted nuts, eggs and low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt.
  2. Limit food away from home as much as possible. Unfortunately, restaurants are not watching your sodium intake for you, and some plates contain more than a full day’s worth of sodium in one meal. Instead, try to bring your lunch more often or create a list of go-to recipes and low-sodium snack ideas. The more you can eat from home, the more you are in control of what goes into your body and the overall quality of your health!
  3. Taste food before you reach for the salt shaker. Cutting back on the shaker may seem difficult at first, but over time your taste buds will become accustomed to unsalted foods and will actually prefer less salt!
  4. Replace salt with flavor, such as herbs and spices. Using the zest or juice from citrus fruit is another strategy to season foods without missing the salt. Also, keep your eye on the amount of high-sodium condiments you use like soy sauce, dressings, and sauces; choose lower-sodium versions whenever possible.  
  5. Leave out the salt when cooking. At first you may feel that something is missing, but this is an easy way to re-train your taste buds and will slash hundreds of milligrams of sodium from your day.
  6. Choose lower sodium food products. Become friends with the Nutrition Facts label to find the best options when it comes to foods like soups, broths, and breads. Be especially careful when choosing frozen dinners and canned foods – these products can pack loads of hidden sodium. For a quick rule of thumb, if you eat three meals per day and two snacks, each meal should contain less than 600 mg of sodium and snacks should stay under 250 mg of sodium. When looking at a food label, anything that says “low sodium” must be 140 mg or less (this can be useful when looking for low-sodium snack item. As always, fruits and vegetables are your best option!).

 

Sources

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Press Release: In wake of new report, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds consumers to follow Dietary Guidelines’ sodium recommendations. (May 14, 2013). Retrieved from website: http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=6442476390

Daniells, S. Heart journal retracts Italian meta-analysis used in IOM sodium reduction report. (May 28, 2013). Retrieved from http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Heart-journal-retracts-Italian-meta-analysis-used-in-IOM-sodium-reduction-report

Institute of Medicine. Sodium intake in populations: assessment of evidence. (May 14, 2013). Retrieved from http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2013/Sodium-Intake-in-Populations-Assessment-of-Evidence.aspx

Jacobsen, M. F. The New York Times bungles the latest salt report. (May 20, 2013). Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-f-jacobson/sodium-health_b_3294901.html

Quinn, B. Here’s what’s shaking with sodium. (May 29, 2013). Retrieved from http://www.montereyherald.com/living/ci_23341129/heres-whats-shaking-sodium?IADID=Search-www.montereyherald.com-www.montereyherald.com

 

Thank you to M.M., Master’s of Dietetics Studies, for writing this article

Green Coffee Extract–Weight Loss Truth or Myth?

It is no new news that overweight and obesity rates continue to increase not just in the U.S but also worldwide. With concern for good health and hope to achieve faster and better weight loss results, the use of dietary supplements has also increased among consumers. Current scientific research finds most of the supplements to be ineffective for many reasons. Some may not contain the adequate dosage to produce a positive effect on health, some may be poorly absorbed and others may become inactive in the presence of other substances. One “slimming” supplement worth discussing because of the gained popularity among dieters in the recent past years is the green coffee extract (GCE) dietary supplement. After being endorsed by celebrity health experts and extensively marketed by well-known manufactures, the sales of green coffee extract as a weight-loss aid have skyrocketed.

But what is green coffee extract?
Green coffee extract (GCE) is present in green raw coffee beans. It is also present in the roasted coffee but much of the GCE is destroyed. The major GCE constituent is cholorogenic acid (CGA). It is estimated that 100 grams of raw coffee can provide about 5 to 12 grams of CGA. Besides coffee, CGA can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Research indicates that CGA is highly absorbed and metabolized in humans; however, there is large variation among individuals on how much is absorbed in the body.

Green coffee extract has been marketed as a weight loss supplement in the capsule form under a wide variety of brands using the patented name Svetol. In the U.S market, Svetol – manufactured by the French company Naturex, is listed as an active ingredient on 25 dietary supplements. Svetol is also found in Norwegian Coffee Slender products such as instant coffee, decaffeinated tablets and mints, and chewing gum.

What are some of the suspected benefits of cholorogenic acid (CGA)?
The chlorogenic acid in the green coffee extract is believed to have antioxidant properties and in animal studies, it has been shown to inhibit fat accumulation. In humans, the consumption of caffeinated coffee can lead to long-term weight loss; this is believed to be a result of the effects of caffeine intake possibly working along with green coffee extract on metabolism.

The findings of current research indicate, but not convincing evidence, that intake of green coffee extract fortified with chlorogenic acid may promote weight loss. These results must be interpreted with caution, as the methodology in many studies is poor and further investigation is needed. More rigorous trials with larger sample size and longer duration are required to assess the effectiveness and safety of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement.

As a consumer, you have the power of your purchasing decision. However, informed choices can prevent you from wasting your money on products that may not give the expected results and that may have long-term adverse effects on your health and body. The best approach to avoid weight gain or promote weight loss, one must use all the calories consumed on a daily basis. Researchers, physicians, registered dietitians and dietary supplement industry agree that eating a variety of whole foods, practicing portion control and exercising regularly is the foundation to maintaining a healthy weight.

Thank you I.I. UTHSCSA Dietetic Intern, March–2013

References
1. Onakpoya I, Terry R, Ernst E. Use of green coffee extract as a weight loss-supplement: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2011; 2011:1-6.
2. Vison J, Burnham Bryan, Nagedran M. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subject. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. 2012; 5:21-27.

Choose Mindful Eating–Not Diets

Mindful EatingIf you, like many others, have set a new years resolution to lose weight, there is a good chance that by now you have already given up. And no wonder! Diets can be depriving and can’t be sustained over a lifetime. They can cause a decrease in your metabolism, a preoccupation with food and a sense of failure. Why don’t you do something different this year? Start a new lifestyle rejecting the diet mentality and instead utilizing Mindful or Intuitive Eating. The basic principle of Mindful Eating is that we are all born with an internal mechanism that lets us know when we are hungry or full. Unfortunately, after years of being told to clean our plate, eat by the clock, and choose this food as advertised, our intuitive eating behaviors become suppressed. It may be challenging to modify your current dieting rules, but a new, healthier lifestyle will probably last much longer. Imagine a new year without guilt and totally tuned into your natural body signals!

So how can you develop a healthier lifestyle without dieting? Here are a few principles to consider.

  • Do you dislike your body shape? You can be healthy at any size. Embrace the body you were intended to have. Focus on having a healthy body from the inside out, instead of being a certain size or weight.
  • Can you recognize your body’s hunger and fullness signals? Pay attention to what your body is telling you. When you feel that you are about 80% full, stop eating. Eat slowly so you can recognize your body cues and analyze if you are truly still physically hungry. Focus on enjoying the aesthetics of every bite of food—the taste, temperature, texture, color and smell.
  • Do you allow yourself to eat when you are hungry? Keeping your body fed in smaller more frequent meals will help you eat in moderation. There is no magic number of meals required per day. Choose moderate portion sizes.  Don’t allow yourself to become excessively hungry, because you will experience a natural drive to overeat.
  • Do you eat to feel better? Using food for emotional comfort is not the answer. Being active can make you feel better and helps burn the energy/calories from foods you have eaten.  Could you start off by just walking 2 minutes a day?
  • Do you think you are a bad person because you consume a certain food or beverage? Get rid of the food police mentality. Give yourself permission to be imperfect and time to adjust to a healthier way of living. No one is a perfect eater. All foods should be able to be worked into your food choices, as long as you are mindful when eating them.

Let’s see if making peace with food and being mindful of your own body signals works for you! The good thing is that if you need assistance or more information, you can contact me–Linda Farr, RD/LD. I can provide you with personalized guidance throughout your progress to a healthier way of living!

References:

Tribole, Evelyn, and Resch, Elyse. Intuitive Eating: a Revolutionary Program that Works. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2003. Print.  http://www.evelyntribole.com

The Center for Mindful Eating: The Principles of Mindful Eating. http://www.tcme.org/principles.htm