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Can diet be an essential therapeutic strategy for cancer patients?

Learning From Nutrition and Diet Experts

Medscape recently spoke with two renowned diet, nutrition and food experts on the subject of nutrition and its effects on cancer patients.  Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, is a dietician; author; speaker; and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, health, and cancer.  She commented on the Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS). “This is an important study because women with estrogen-receptor negative cancer have fewer treatment options.  The low-fat diet had a profound effect on recurrence in this group.”  Evidence is mounting toward the belief that diet can, in fact, prevent cancer and its recurrence involving breast cancer patients who were on curative therapy.

diet

A Plant Based Diet and Exercise

Additionally, in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) study, an intense plant-based diet high in fruits and vegetables did not appear to improve survival, but when combined with a regular schedule of moderate exercise, it did reduce recurrence.  Dixon added that women with breast cancer often have a difficult time shedding excess weight, so even if you don’t buy into the effect your diet may have on the disease; it’s still a much healthier choice.  She points out that having cancer does not serve as a deterrent to other maladies such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension and other chronic diseases, so choosing a healthy diet is always the better path.

The second individual who spoke with Medscape on this subject is Rebecca Katz, MS, who is a chef, nutritionist, national speaker, and award-winning author.  Her books include: One Bite at a Time, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen and The Longevity Kitchen.  In her book, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Katz discusses foods that a patient and their family can prepare to help them surpass that feeling of helplessness.  She believes that too much emphasis is placed on what shouldn’t be done and chooses to shift that to a more positive message; sharing what is good to do through her healthy recipes.  In The Cancer-fighting Kitchen, Katz dedicates an entire chapter to an A-to-Z resource that details the evidence-based cancer-fighting properties of foods, herbs, and spices.  These are, of course, the foundation of the book’s recipes. The more these compounds are utilized and combined; the greater the chances of realizing their benefits.

Foods have many cancer-fighting properties, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and pro-immune system effects.  Along with regular exercise, maintaining a healthy attitude, and avoiding illness and infection, research indicates that diet does influence cancer progression, risk of recurrence, and survival.

Eating a Healthy Diet Assists You In Preventing and/or Healing From Cancer

So, whether you’re healthy and want to do all you can to continue on that path or you’re currently in the process of releasing cancer from your system (or that of a loved one) the evidence is quite compelling to lead you toward these healthier lifestyle choices.  The foods you put into your body are a major factor.  How could they not be?  You wouldn’t put a low octane gasoline in your Ferrari and expect it to run at its peak performance level for long.  Food is fuel.  It really matters.

Wishing you the happiest and healthiest New Year, -Dr. Sass

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FDA nears ban of trans fats in processed foods

A Ban Of Trans Fats Is Good For All

ban of trans fatsIn last month’s Boston/Washington Reuters article by Toni Clarke and Ros Krasny, I read that the FDA is finally closing in on the ban of trans fats, a very important issue.  They have actually proposed banning artificial trans fats in processed foods because of the risk of heart disease linked to their consumption.

Simply put, hydrogenation is a chemical process that converts liquid vegetable oils into solid or semi-solid fats.  Partially hydrogenated oils extend the shelf life of foods, and many processed foods rely on their taste and texture.

A Ban of Trans Fats Would Save Lives

By now, certainly, we’ve all heard that trans fats are dangerous and we need to buy products with labels that read “NO TRANS FATS”, and for very good reason.  These partially hydrogenated oils increase our bad cholesterol and may be responsible for approximately 7,000 deaths and 20,000 heart attacks, annually.  Rest assured, Smart for Life® products never have and never will have trans fats or any toxic ingredients.

According to experts, it may take about two years for a company to complete an ingredient switch-over from the time they are introduced to the alternative.  There is considerable research, recipe experimentation, and subsequent cost involved in any such project.  Thankfully, we never used these types of ingredients.

Even though it’s taken the FDA some time to get to this point, many companies have felt the pressure to move in the right direction over the past several years.  Since the FDA’s 2006 requirement to disclose these harmful fats on food labels, their presence in the marketplace has declined, significantly, but the task is far from complete.

Some specifics to be very cautious of include certain brands of the following processed foods:  pies, fish sticks, microwave popcorn, crackers and cinnamon rolls, to name a few.  Be sure that you read the actual labels, not just the name of the product or a descriptive tag line printed on the packaging.

Until The Ban of Trans Fats- Check Your Labels

Until an FDA ban of trans fats comes to fruition and these large companies are forced to eliminate these dangerous products from our grocery store shelves; don’t buy them, period!  We must be our own best advocate in our daily pursuit of healthy choices and lifestyle changes… stay informed, stay aware and treat ourselves and our families to the gift of delicious whole foods and healthy alternatives, such as Smart for Life®.

I’ll keep you posted on this ban of trans fats and in the mean time, to your health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

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Smart For Life Releases Results Of Its First Clinical Weight Loss Study

Smart For Life Releases Results Of First Clinical Study On Its Weight Loss Program

On a review of 46 weight loss patients: 40 female and 6 males clients who used their portion-controlled, protein-rich, low-fat cookie with unique fiber technology,  all subjects lost weight with an average 13.1 pounds loss in 35 days. Five people lost more than 20 pounds, and 20 people lost more than 15 pounds in 35 days. The 46 participants lost a total of 601 pounds. One patient lost 38.7 pounds in 35 days. This study was a significant success for the SmartforLife® weight loss program and it’s clients.

SmartforLife weight loss

This is very clinically significant because a weight loss of 5% to 10% has shown clinical improvements in someones health. Their clients lost far greater than the 5-10%, thus helping them achieve even greater success in their overall health.

Weight Loss By Eating Healthy Cookies

Their clients were allowed to eat 6 SmartforLife® cookies or cupcakes daily (SmartforLife® also offers bagel chips, shakes, crunch cereals and more that are cookie equivalent). Clients also had a lean protein dinner with 5 servings of vegetables. All clients were seen by a physician before starting with their first weigh-in. They then weighed-in weekly and had a choice to see a counselor or a physician and were also offered telephone support if needed.

SmartforLife® has proven that their program is easy and gives quick, safe weight loss results.  They are only one of the so called “cookie diets” that have released such a case study. They have always known that they have the best weight loss products and support.  “This study goes farther to support our thinking. We offer the widest and healthiest choice of products using organic ingredients and we pack our cookies with nitrogen to avoid preservatives”, says Dr. Sass Moulavi, Founder of SmartforLife®.

The average client lost 8% of their body weight and dropped their BMI by 2.5 points. The study was finalized on February 23 , 2010.

SmartforLife® has seen its growth explode in the last few years due to how easy and inexpensive their delicious program is, and how supportive their team is.

To get more information on weight loss with SmartforLife® products: get started weight loss plateau

 

Your beliefs are at the core of your weight loss success

Weight Loss Success Using Positive Beliefs

weight loss successI recently read an article in Huffington Post Healthy Living by William Anderson on weight loss success.  He’s is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in weight loss, eating disorders and addictions.  Anderson is the creator of “Therapeutic Psychogenics”, which is the technique he teaches country-wide to individuals, therapists and about which he authored his book.

Anderson highlights the very magical power of faith in his teaching.  As he says, according to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, the first definition of faith is “trust or confidence in a person or a thing” and the second definition is “belief that is not based on proof”.  At its most basic level, his technique shows that your mind/body will create what you think.  This refers to what you really think (and believe) at a subconscious level.

As Anderson explains, your mind/body affects everything in your body and life every minute of every day.  Your subconscious runs your habits, cravings, immune system, memory, muscles, organs, desires, everything – without fail – 24/7.

Weight Loss Success Through Hypnosis and Meditation

Now, if you’ve attended a seminar or experienced a self-hypnosis session and you immersed yourself for an hour or so in thoughts about eating healthy foods, exercising and how great it will feel to lose weight, you probably spent a few days in a state of increased motivation.  You were able to control cravings and stay on course for a while, but that probably didn’t last.

After some time passes and the inspirational “cloud” clears, you’re left with your default settings, once again.  These thoughts are at the base of everything and who you are.  They are constantly at work.  If you actually believe that you’re destined to be fat or that being overweight is your genetic programming, you must convert those thoughts to ones that will support you on your healthy journey of weight loss success.

As we all know, there are many aspects to healthy, successful weight loss.  There are no quick fixes, but the process can be extremely rewarding and fun.  Set forth a good, solid plan that you can stick with.  Stay informed, stay inspired and every day will bring you closer to your goals. To your weight loss success, health and happiness, -Dr. Sass.

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Obesity recognized as a disease by American Medical Association

Obesity Classified As A Disease

In just this past month, a majority of delegates (I’m surprised it wasn’t unanimous) in the A.M.A. voted to tag obesity as a disease. “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans,” Dr. Patrice Harris, a member of the association’s board, said in a statement.  She believes this new determination will help in the fight against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which are clearly linked to obesity.

Not all who voted were in agreement, however; and the A.M.A. has no legal authority.  Additionally, the waters are further muddied by the absence of a universally agreed upon definition of what actually constitutes a disease.  Regardless of these controversies, there are doctors and obesity advocates who believe having the nation’s largest physician group come forth with this declaration will bring a greater focus to the growing problem of obesity.  If it helps from an insurance standpoint to improve reimbursement for drugs, surgery and counseling this decision could have a positive impact.

obesity

Obesity A.M.A. Conclusion

As the controversies continued, the A.M.A.’s Council on Science and Public Health concluded that obesity should not be considered a disease.  Among their reasons is the opinion that a B.M.I., the measure most commonly used to define obesity, is believed to be simplistic and flawed and because there are no specific symptoms associated with obesity.  It’s more of a risk factor that leads to other conditions, rather than a disease in its own right.

After all was said and done, the delegates rejected the Council’s conclusion and the resolution was voted in, arguing that obesity is a “multimetabolic and hormonal state” that leads to negative outcomes such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  “The suggestion that obesity is not a disease but rather a consequence of a chosen lifestyle exemplified by overeating and/or inactivity is equivalent to suggesting that lung cancer is not a disease because it was brought about by individual choice to smoke cigarettes,” the resolution said.

Opinions will always differ on such global subjects, but those of us who are true advocates can take heart that any discussion which keeps the topic of obesity in the forefront, will help in the long run.  Hearing contrasting opinions and causing us all to think about the solutions are key players in moving our social consciousness forward.  As a practicing bariatric doctor, I knew obesity was a disease a long time ago.  It’s about time!

To eliminating obesity, your great health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

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Studies Report The Effects Of Water Consumption On Weight Loss

Faster Weight Loss By Drinking Water

Although the evidence is not overwhelming, the scales are beginning to tip in favor of plentiful water consumption as an aid in weight loss strategies, according to the article recently posted in Reuters Health by Kerry Grens.

As a researcher at the Berlin School of Public Health, Rebecca Muckelbauer was often being asked if drinking water would aid in weight loss and decided to review numerous weight and water studies in search of an answer.  Rebecca and her team found eleven studies that fit their criteria.  Three of these studies provided evidence that weight loss was positively influenced by increased water consumption.  Another study, with middle aged and older individuals, showed that drinking two cups of water prior to a meal caused an increase of four additional pounds lost, compared to those who did not begin their meals with water.  Another study showed that the women who increased their water intake while dieting lost more weight than the women who kept their intake below a liter a day.

Water Helps Weight Loss By Making You Feel Full

drinking waterIt’s not clear, from these studies, why water has this effect on weight loss.  Perhaps, suggested Brenda Davy, a Virginia Tech professor who assisted in the reviews, it’s as simple as the water providing a feeling of fullness, which in turn would keep calorie consumption lower.  Muckelbauer agreed and added that it may also have to do with the lesser-known idea of “water-induced thermogenesis”.   According to Muckelbauer, “drinking water itself increases energy expenditure of your body.  It has an energy consuming effect.  This is not very well studied.”

The Institute of Medicine recommends that adult female adults consume around 90 ounces of water per day and male adults around 125 ounces per day.  This total can be reached through plain water, other beverages and foods.

Muckelbauer concludes that it would be beneficial to have larger experiments exploring the potential benefits of adding more water to our diets in our weight loss endeavors.

At Smart for Life we have believed in and experienced the benefits of generous water consumption for years.  Take the effort to provide clean, pure water for yourself and watch the improvement in your overall health and complexion.  Many of us have been dehydrated for years and don’t even know it.  Water up and see just how good you’ll feel!

To your weight loss, health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

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WHO calls for healthier marketing to curb childhood obesity

Healthier Marketing Is Critically Needed

WHO-healthier marketingWe need healthier marketing on TV! Just over a week ago, in London, Kate Kelland published an article in Reuters stating that the World Health Organization (WHO) is claiming the marketing techniques geared toward children to push unhealthy foods has proven to be “disastrously effective”.

Television is the largest contributor, but certainly not the only medium being used to target our children.  Inexpensive new marketing channels such as Social media and smart phone apps are flooding our kids with advertising for products high in saturated and trans-fats, sugar and salt.  Even in environments where we would expect to find protection, such as schools and sports facilities, these dangerous foods are readily available. Healthier marketing is needed badly to help children.

Leading culprits include, but are not limited to: soft drinks, sweetened breakfast cereals, cookies, sweets, snacks, prepared foods and fast food outlets.

Healthier Marketing On TV

Most children watch at least two hours of television; daily.   If you combine the passive time spent with the unhealthy influence of these advertisements, the negative impact multiplies exponentially.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of the WHO’s regional unit for Europe is quoted as saying; “Overweight is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century: all countries are affected to varying extents, particularly in the lower socioeconomic groups.”

Although some countries (Denmark, France, Norway, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) have taken action to curb this by means of legislation, self-regulation or co-regulation, most rely on general regulations which offer no real protection.

As with most things, we really need to rely on ourselves for regulating what matters in our lives.  Those who are influenced by our words and actions will tend to follow our lead, so we must be self-aware and practice what we know to be healthy choices.  We all have a very important role in this on-going health conscious revolution.  Let Smart for Life®make it a bit easier.  Keep some Smart for Life protein bars and cookies on hand for the kids when they want a snack.  They’re so delicious, affordable, healthy and easy.  What’s not smart about that?

To more healthier marketing, your health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

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A cola and a smile? Not so fast….Diabetes Kills

Sodas And Lots Of Daily Sugar Can Cause Diabetes

In an on-line article by Kate Kelland (Reuters) I read of a very disturbing study done on the consumption of sugary drinks and Diabetes.  You know the ones to which I’m referring; Coke, Pepsi, and any of the other brands of soft drinks in that category.  Those of us who drink these on a regular basis consider these 12 ounce wonders to be a true friend.  They give us a boost of energy and refresh us with their effervescence.  Well, don’t be fooled.  These are the bad guys hiding behind clever commercials, fun packaging and a burst of ice-cold bubbles.

diabetes

Hold onto your hat for this statistic.  Drinking just one of these sugar-rich beverages a day can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22%!  This study was done throughout eight European countries, utilizing information from 350,000 individuals.  They questioned these people about their diet, including the number of sugary and artificially sweetened soft drinks and juices they consumed each day.  The research team at Imperial College London was headed up by Dora Romaguera.  She has great concerns about the fact that Europeans have increased their consumption of these sugar-laden drinks and wants to get the information out to the public.  It’s also interesting to note that, according to this study, fruit juice consumption was not linked to diabetes incidence.  Actually, Smart for Life® believes that in the weight loss phase, no fruit or fruit juice should be consumed.

Type-2 Diabetes Is A Long Term Condition

The research that’s been done in the United States shows alarmingly similar results.  Several studies have linked the consumption of these beverages to being overweight and developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition characterized by insulin resistance and affects more than 310 million people, worldwide.

Patrick Wolfe, a statistics expert from University College London, who was not involved in the research, said the message is quite clear.  “The bottom line is that sugary soft drinks are not good for you – they have no nutritional value and there is evidence that drinking them every day can increase your relative risk for type 2 diabetes.” Wolfe was quoted to say.

So, there it is.  It’s time to steer away from what I call “dumb” calories.  For those of us who need to kick the habit, believe me, I know it’s tough.  We drink our 8-10 glasses of water a day and feel great about it, but really look forward to that occasional sweetness.  Personally, I’ve turned my diet cola habit into a Smart for Life® water enhancer habit.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but between the Peach Mango and Acai Pomegranate, I’m able to satisfy that craving and reap the benefits of this natural appetite suppressant supplement.   A few squirts in my water bottle, and I get great flavor along with an energy boost from the Vitamin B6 & B12.  But honestly, the biggest benefit is feeling the relief from knowing I’m no longer ingesting the colas.  Whether we’re trying to eliminate the sugar or the artificial sweeteners, we know it intellectually, but we have to line it up on a deeper level to be successful when we go to change these types of habits.  It feels like we’re saying goodbye to a dear friend; but believe me, some relationships just run their course.  This is one that’s best seen through your rear view mirror as you move on down the road to your healthier lifestyle.

To a Diabetes-free life, your health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

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Smart For Life iPad Mini Giveaway

Smart For Life iPad Mini Giveaway Contest

iPad Mini Giveaway

Smart for Life is hosting a free iPad Mini and Smart for Life Coaching Membership Giveaway Contest!

Were you bummed that the Smart BMI App was released, but you don’t have a device to use it on? Worry no more! Smart for Life is giving away an iPad Mini and Coaching Membership for those who dig down deep to share the Smart for Life lifestyle. Like us on Facebook to unlock the contest page!

After you like us on Facebook, you can start participating in the contest. Below are ways that you can “rack up” entries to become the owner of a brand new iPad Mini and Smart for Life Coaching Membership. Want to learn more about Lifestyle Coaching?

The first thing you need to do is viewing and liking our Facebook page!

Ways to Enter:

  • Follow @Smart4Life on Twitter
  • Tweet about the contest
  • Join our mailing list
  • Follow us on Pinterest
  • Repin us on Pinterest
  • Refer to Friends (up to 10 entries per referral!)

Keep in mind, the more entries you have, the better the chance you have to win. Each option is worth 1 entry, but referring a friend will give you bonus entries (up to 10 for sharing). Every option can only be performed once, except for sharing.

Prizes:
One winner will receive an iPad Mini and a Smart for Life Coaching Membership. As a coach, you will receive 25-40% all personal purchases, plus a starter package with everything from cookies, protein bars, granola squares and much more. Coaches will also be able to use the new Smart for Life Smart BMI App. This Smart giveaway is valued at over $500! Contest Ends July 5th, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.

Good luck! Coaches, don’t forget to sign up for the new BMI app!

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