Scientists are discovering that nearly all organs have internal clocks. Not only does the brain regulate the 24 hour sleep and wake cycle, but there are interactions of this clock with the other organs. When these organ clocks are out of sync it can impact blood pressure, blood sugar control, and other hormones. So while the occasional all-nighter isn’t going to disrupt the clock for the long term, if this is a common occurrence it can seriously impact metabolism. It can set the stage for weight gain and metabolic problems. Late night eating contradicts the brain’s cycles, and the competing clocks may upset the balance. The science points to meal timing impacting who is more successful in losing weight. Those with a larger meals at breakfast than dinner were more successful at losing weight.
Everyone is thinking about improving their health and diet for a new year, and the government is no exception. Later this month the USDA is planning on releasing new preliminary dietary recommendations. The most notable changes will be decreases in recommended sugar, caffeine, salt, and meat intake. It seems that the guidelines are not only looking at what is good for overall health but also what is good for the environment. The committee has drafted a recommendation for people to eat less meat, especially red and processed meats. A diet with less animal-based foods and more plant-based foods promotes healthy eating and has less environmental impact. For pregnant women, the recommendations are going to suggest less caffeine: 200 mg/day, which is around two cups of coffee. Currently, Americans get about 16% of their daily calories from added sugars, so the recommendations are going to suggest only 10% of daily caloric intake should come from sugar. Lowering sodium intake can be important for heart health. The average American consumes about 1 ½ teaspoons of salt daily, but the new recommendation for sodium intake will be about 1 teaspoon or less.
While no diet is one-size-fits-all, these general guidelines are a good start to eating better for a new year. However, knowing your individual genetic makeup can also help with your resolution of losing weight. Inherent Health® offers genetic testing that allows individuals to better understand their unique genetic makeup and how this can help them to meet their weight loss goals. The Inherent Health® Weight Management Test allows individuals the best chance of weight loss based on their macronutrient profile. Kick off your New Year with a healthy start!
A recent Reuters Health article reported on a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that looked at real eating habits of Americans compared to U.S. dietary standards. Researchers found that people from all groups fall short of nutritional recommendations, and that some groups are worse than others. Children and the elderly seemed to eat a healthier diet than younger and middle-aged adults, and women had a better diet than men. Hispanics also tended to have better quality diets than either blacks or whites.
For the study, researchers used responses to a large national health survey to compare what 8,272 Americans said they ate in the course of one day to what the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggested they should be eating. According to the study’s lead author Hazel Hiza of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), “Regardless of socioeconomic status, age, race and education, the American diet as a whole needs to be improved.” Hiza added that Americans should also take into account their physical activity levels, and not just their diets.
“I think it’s a really important piece of science because it demonstrates what many of us suspected for a long time: there are many profound disparities in the American diet,” says Gary Bennett, who studies obesity prevention at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “Overall, Americans would benefit from policies that encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables. Most policy decisions have advanced the production, processing and consumption of inexpensive grains… If we can figure out policy that could do the same for fruit and vegetables, our health would benefit.”
There are many resources available to help individuals meet dietary standards, including tools to track diet and exercise. While no one diet is appropriate for every individual, there are general guidelines that we have been taught to follow. Inherent Health offers genetic testing to allow individuals to better understand their unique genetic makeup and learn about their individual weight management and nutritional needs. We also offer support through our Diet and Nutrient Analyzer on our Member’s Page where we offer useful tips, tools, news and support 24 hours a day.
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/UsLfDG Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, online November 19, 2012.
The obesity epidemic continues to grow and it is essential that we find effective ways to treat obesity and transition individuals into healthier lifestyles. The search for a magic bullet in weight loss continues to drive companies to discover new drugs and treatments for obesity. This month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved two new weight loss drugs which are the first weight loss drugs approved in 13 years. Belviq contains a new medication called lorcaserin and Qsymia is a combination of two medications that have already been on the market, phentermine and topiramate. Belviq and Qsymia showed a 5% and 10% weight loss respectively in clinical trials and could prove useful in the fight against obesity. Both drug makers reported side effects of the drugs which have to be taken into consideration when prescribing for certain patients. In addition one needs to remember that weight loss cannot be accomplished simply by taking a pill and will also require focusing on nutrition and exercise in combination with a drug.
Both drugs will be available only by prescription and the drug makers stress that neither of these drugs should be utilized as the sole treatment for obesity. Belviz and Qsymia like other drug treatments for obesity will require that individuals couple the use of these drugs with lifestyle changes including dieting and exercising. Utilizing the Inherent Health Weight Management Test will allow doctors and patients to identify the macronutrient diet that will provide them with the best chance of weight loss coupled with these new drugs. This combination approach of genetic testing, diet/exercise choice and drug treatment has the greatest chance of success for weight loss in obese patients.
Lynn Doucette-Stamm, Ph.D.
Vice President of Development
Since September 12, 2011, Ed has lost 119 pounds. He continues on his weight loss journey to lose another 98 pounds by the end of 2012. “The Inherent Health Weight Management program has given me a path to sustained health, says Ed. “I’m getting good nutrition, increased energy and gaining muscle tone while I lose the weight.”
At a starting weight of 392 pounds, Ed contemplated how he could lose weight and keep it off without starting “another diet” that promised fast and lasting results. He had tried many of the popular weight loss programs; he drank the powdered shakes, sipped bowls of cabbage soup, reduced fat, cut carbs among other programs. While Ed had succeeded at losing some weight while dieting, he had always gained the weight back plus much more.
With his body sore, bloated and tired Ed was angry at himself for allowing the vicious cycle of bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle to continue so long that his health was in real jeopardy. He had developed loud snoring with early stages of sleep apnea, high blood pressure, fluid retention in his legs, and he was unable to comfortably stand without joint pain or walk without becoming winded.
Determined to be successful in reaching his weight loss goal of 175 pounds (which meant losing 217 pounds), Ed researched his weight loss options. While he dreamed of a magic pill or operation that would solve his weight problems forever, he knew that it was his own self-destructive behaviors that needed to change. From his experience and long history with diets, Ed had learned that one diet doesn’t work for every person and he didn’t want to fall into the same rut of feeling hungry, deprived and then overeating.
The Inherent Health Weight Management test made a lot of sense to Ed because it tailored a nutrition and exercise program that matched a person’s own genetic profile. The test results showed he was a Carb Reducer with a High Met exercise profile. Seeing immediate weight loss results when he started only casually following the Weight Management nutrition program recommended for him, Ed’s confidence increased. He finally felt assured that he was on the right track to lose the weight and reach his health goals.
Two months later, Ed was surprised when he realized that he had already lost 27 pounds. He also noticed a significant increase in his energy level since he started the program. Wanting to continue his progress and follow the Weight Management program more closely, Ed began to incorporate High Met exercise by joining a gym and working out on the elliptical and stair machine. He found that for the first time he was able to maintain muscle tone while he was losing weight. He eventually took up kick boxing and other activities he enjoyed. Eight months into the Weight Management program, Ed signed up and took part in a 5K charity walk/run event and ran the entire last kilometer. A few months prior, running would have been impossible for Ed as he would be out of breath just walking up a flight of stairs.
The diet and exercise combination had somehow reduced Ed’s craving for food and he was surprised that he could lose weight without feeling hungry. After consistently losing weight over several months, Ed felt much healthier and enjoyed the increased energy he had in the morning and throughout the day. He was sleeping much better, his snoring and sleep apnea began to disappear and his knees and ankles didn’t hurt as much. The water retention in his legs had also improved.
A new obesity study conducted in New Zealand over the past 40 years was published this month in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. The study supports the growing body of evidence that genes play a very important role in increasing one’s risk for obesity. It also emphasizes that environment has a role to play and that the risk of becoming obese can be mitigated through healthy nutrition and regular exercise.
According to Daniel Belsky, a research associate in psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, “Our research suggests that, even for those who have the genetic predisposition to becoming obese, there are things you can do to mitigate that risk.” He explains, “For kids who eat healthy and are active early in life, these genetic risks for obesity pose less risk across the life course.” The take away is that while genes are a significant factor in determining obesity risk, they do not have to be our destiny. You just need to figure out what the “right” things are that help manage your own healthy weight.
While human genetics has not changed over many generations, the “food” environment we live in has changed significantly starting during the 1970s. Since then, McDonald’s – like many waist lines in the United States – has expanded to every street corner and high fructose corn syrup was introduced into processed foods and sodas.
The Inherent Health Weight Management Genetic Test is not designed to predict obesity risk. It was purposely designed to help individuals meet their weight loss goals by allowing them to take the guesswork out of knowing what diet and exercise solution will be most effective for their genetic profile. The test is a good first start for individuals to find that “right” combination of fats, carbs, and protein to manage their individual risk and change their genetic weight destiny.
Director, Genetic Test Brands
Gene testing can reveal a lot about a person’s health. Scientists are able to decode genes associated with the risk of everything from cancer to stuttering. So why shouldn’t they be able to decipher how our bodies respond to different combinations of food and exercise?
Click the link below for more.
If you have traveled by air in the past few years, you’ve probably noticed the lack of healthy food options at the airport. Like shopping malls, the majority of airports are populated with the typical fast food places, leaving little hope for those trying to avoid unwanted calories.
However, things are starting to turn around as more and more airports are offering passengers a broader spectrum of culinary choices. We’ve taken the liberty of identifying the healthiest choices at fast food stops as well as some noteworthy restaurants at airports around the country.
Healthy eats at not-so-healthy places
If you happen to find yourself with limited airport choices, here are some suggested alternatives at popular fast-food restaurants:
- McDonalds: Although a Double Quart Pounder with Cheese (740 calories, 26 grams of fat) sounds like a great way to relieve traveler’s stress, it is not great for your waistline. Instead, consider the Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken (without dressing) that weighs in at 230 calories, 9 grams of fat and 30 grams in protein.
- Wendy’s: Everyone loves the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger (400 calories, 24 grams of fat) but Wendy’s offers other alternatives with fewer calories and less fat. For example, you could order the Apple Pecan Chicken Salad in the half size at 170 calories, 6 grams of fat PLUS a Small Chili side at 210 calories, 6 grams of fat and still have taken in less than if you had ordered the burger.
- Burger King: Who doesn’t love the King? Well, you probably were not aware that the Whopper packs in 670calories and 40 grams of fat. Instead, you should consider the Tendergrill Garden Salad which has only 230 calories, 7 grams of fat.
- Pizza Hut Express: Pizza Hut Express is one of the most common airport food staples, perhaps because it is quick, cheap and tasty. However, a 6″ Personal Pan Pizza, the typical go-to at any Express, contains 590 calories and 24 grams of fat. While there may not be any legitimately healthy choices here, you could opt for the Classic P’Zone Half Order at 470 calories and 16 grams of fat.
- Starbuck’s: You want the Caramel Frappuccino (410 calories, 15 grams of fat) and a slice of the Banana Nut Loaf (490 calories, 19 grams of fat). However, you should opt for Starbuck’s Perfect Oatmeal which is 140 calories, has 5 grams protein and just 2.5 grams of fat. Not only is it better for you, it will keep you fuller longer.
Legitimate healthy restaurant offerings
If you find yourself at any of these airports, these restaurants are worth a visit:
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): Longtime Atlanta caterer, Proof of the Pudding, aims at trimming fat and sodium while incorporating the “Super Foods” concept at its three “gourmet fresh” kiosks. A menu highlight is the Turkey Sandwich with yellow bell peppers and a Red Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Marmalade instead of mayonnaise.
- Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW): Cereality serves up cold and hot cereals with your choice of milk (skim, 2%, or soy) and add ins. Try the 309-calorie “Health Kick,” a mix of two popular dry cereals, dried cranberries and walnuts for 4 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein, and plenty of vitamins A and C.
- New York La Guardia (LGA): Angelina’s Metro Market dishes up fresh made-to-order salads, or cobble together your own meal from fresh fruits, yogurts, artisan cheeses, and breads. About half of the choices are organic or have some organic ingredients.
Some additional food for thought:
- When looking for healthy snack options, opt for low-fat takeout options including sandwiches, wraps and burritos. Many of these options are made-to-order and can be deconstructed to meet the criteria for Fat Trimmers, Carb Reducers or Better Balancers.
- Check out newsstands or airport convenience stores for low-fat yogurts, fresh fruit and whole-grain cereals or snacks. However, watch out you don’t fall into the candy bar trap as many of these newsstands offer less healthy options. When in doubt, always remember small portions of mixed nuts or trail mixes are a great go-to. Also, don’t forget to plan ahead for in-flight hunger; the last thing you want is to encounter an empty stomach at 30,000 feet.
As a final word of advice, to avoid drinking high-calorie sodas or spending more on bottled water, bring an empty water bottle to fill from a fountain once you are through security.
The Inherent Health Team
Recently, a panel of experts recommended that the FDA approve a new weight loss drug called Qnexa – a compound that was previously rejected by the FDA due to serious safety concerns. Qnexa, a combination of the appetite suppressant phentermine and anti-seizure drug topiramate, is another example of society’s desperation for a wonder drug to treat a problem of our own doing, and one that is largely preventable. Unfortunately, Qnexa will likely end up as another Band-Aid on what is proving to be a gaping wound.
Obesity rates continue to rise with no end in sight. One of the leading causes of diabetes and heart disease, obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with about a third of the population obese and more than half overweight. Unfortunately, history (and common sense) dictates that a pill will not fix the problem.
In fact, the FDA has not approved a new weight loss drug in 13 years and many of those that were previously approved were pulled from shelves due to safety concerns. In 1997, the now notorious diet pill “fen-phen” was withdrawn from the market after reports of fatal heart-valve problems in users. Meridia, another diet drug, was pulled from in 2010 after being linked to heart problems. The only prescription weight loss drug currently approved for use is Xenical, which is marketed over-the-counter as Alli. However, that drug is associated with several serious side effects, including liver problems and uncontrolled bowel movements. In fact, these bowel movements are so uncontrollable that users are encouraged to wear dark pants. Even if you are willing to deal with such embarrassing side effects, the drug offers only modest weight loss.
The takeaway from all of these failed drugs is that there is no easy and quick way to fix the obesity epidemic plaguing our society…and there certainly is no magic pill. Ultimately, if you want to lose weight, it all comes back to diet and exercise. How we move our feet and watch what we eat will be the predictor for success.
The FDA is scheduled to vote on whether Qnexa will be approved for sale by April 17. Despite serious side effects such as potential heart risks and birth defects, the drug could end up being prescribed for millions, and possibly tens of millions, of people. Although these people may lose some weight, they will have no better understanding of what their body needs in terms of food and exercise.
Director, Genetic Test Brands