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Obesity Can Lead To Diabetes

Reasons For Obesity Leading To Diabetes

serious disease - diabetesMany diagnosed with diabetes are listed as being ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’, but is there a correlation between the two realities or is it a simple coincidence? There are some people who believe diabetes and obesity are not interlinked, but research studies have shown these two to have a deeper connection. Let’s take a look at why obesity tends to lead to diabetes for patients.

 

Individual Cells Stressed

Diabetes occurs at the micro level as the body is unable to produce insulin that is required to sustain homeostasis (i.e. internal balance). When the insulin is not being made on a consistent basis, the body will start to become frail and weaken.

This is a general case of obesity, but what happens when the individual is overweight. The chances of recovering for diabetes tends to falter because the individual cells are being routinely stressed.

As you are eating more and more, the cells and their receptors start sending signals to the rest of the body. The signals are saying ‘it is time to shut things down so we can process the excess nutrients’ and this means insulin cannot be pumped in.

As the stress on the individual cells start to accumulate more and more, it will lead to severe diabetes in the individual. The cells will start to shut down and the issue worsens.

Production of Resistin

The body is designed to handle nutrients and proteins in a certain manner. There are limits in place that make sure the body does not overdo things which causes imbalance internally.

Over time, the body will start to develop resistin if there is excess weight in place. This is to help the body save energy and focus on handling the excess weight that is present.

What does resistin do for the patient? It will disable the insulin from getting to the cells at a normal level. This reduced access to the cell makes it impossible for the body to remain healthy.

As weight is shed, the body is able to get rid of the resistin that has developed and make sure everything returns back to normal.

Sugar Remains in Bloodstream

sugary drinks - diabetesDiabetes requires the sugar inside to be circulated in a manner that is healthy for the body in the short and long-term.

When the body starts to shut off at the cellular level, the sugar will begin to remain inside the bloodstream. Not only will this lead to diabetes, it will lead to a sustained growth in weight which worsens the issue.

To refresh the body and make sure the insulin is going where it is supposed to, the patient has to lose weight as soon as possible and start heading in the right direction.

PEDF

This is a protein that is released into the body that can become the catalyst for the individual becoming a diabetic.

What does PEDF have to do with diabetes? Generally, this protein is going to come in contact with the liver and/or muscles which results in them becoming desensitized to insulin. They will simply not read the emergence of new insulin that is coming in and that causes issues and results in diabetes.

The more the insulin is resisted, the pancreas will try to overcompensate and produce more. This will result in the insulin stopping as a whole internally.

These are four of the most important reasons for diabetics generally being obese. Being overweight can lead to a number of issues as the body is taxed to hold the excess weight in place. Diabetes is one of those issues that becomes more and more apparent as time goes on.

To get help with your weight loss and get your Diabetes or obesity under control, contact the #1 weight loss doctor in Boca Raton, Dr, Sasson Moulavi today at 877-701-7277. We look forward to helping you.

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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Can a diet in high-fructose corn syrup make you “dumb”?

What Is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)?

Though we may not have fully come to terms with it, in theory we know that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an adversary of health.  Lots of work has been done looking at the effect of fructose on weight, liver function, diabetes risk, and even the growth of cancer cells.  But not much has been looked at the role of fructose in brain function, until now.  Researchers have just reported that among the list of bodily illnesses fructose contributes to, it  may also “make you dumb.”  Luckily, eating a diet rich in the healthy omega-3 fatty acids seems to counteract this phenomenon.

High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup_infographic

In the new study, UCLA researchers had rats spend a few days learning to navigate a maze. Then some of the rats ate diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids or deficient in them; some rats also drank a fructose solution in the place of their regular drinking water. After six weeks on their respective diets, the team put the rats back in the maze to see how well they recalled it.

High Fructose Corn Syrup Affects You In Many Negative Ways

The rats that had eaten omega-3-deficient diets were slower at completing the maze than the ones who ate diets rich in omega-3s. Those who drank the fructose solution instead of water were the worst-off of all when it came to their cognitive capabilities.

The rats also had important differences in how their bodies – and brains – were metabolizing sugar and functioning overall. The rats that had eaten diets without omega-3s had higher triglyceride levels as well as higher glucose and insulin levels. In fact the rats seemed to enter a state of insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes), but this too was reversed by the addition of omega-3s.

Perhaps most interesting was the fact that the brains of rats without omega-3s showed a decrease in synaptic activity, the means by which brain cells “talk” to one another and which is critical in learning and memory. “The DHA-deprived animals were slower,” said study’a author, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, “and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier.”

Insulin influences not only blood sugar, but it also affects the ways in which brain cells function. So being in a state of insulin-resistance might be what’s behind the problems in brain function. Gomez-Pinilla suggests that fructose might somehow block insulin’s effect on brain cells, and specifically how it signals neurons to store and release the sugar that is needed for the brain to function efficiently – and for us to think crisply and clearly.

The study also points to the fact that metabolic syndrome, which is plaguing so many Americans these days, can also adversely affect our cognitive abilities.

The important thing to remember is that not all fructose is created equal. “We’re not talking about naturally occurring fructose in fruits, which also contain important antioxidants,” explained Gomez-Pinilla. “We’re more concerned about the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup, which is added to manufactured food products as a sweetener and preservative.”

Luckily, omega-3s seem to counteract the effect of fructose in part, although it’s probably a good idea to cut down on highly processed, high-fructose foods in the first place. And since our bodies are not very good producers of DHA and EPA, taking in the healthy fatty acids through diet or supplements may also be wise. The best sources of DHA/EPA are cold-water fish like tuna and salmon, and for the vegetarians out there, these forms may also be found in seaweed and algae (in small amounts), or in concentrated seaweed/algae supplements.  Gomez recommends consuming about one gram of DHA every day.

The bottom line is that omega-3s may protect our brains – not just now, but in the years to come. “Our findings suggest that consuming DHA regularly protects the brain against fructose’s harmful effects,” said Gomez-Pinilla. “It’s like saving money in the bank. You want to build a reserve for your brain to tap when it requires extra fuel to fight off future diseases.”

Remember that Smart for Life® products contain no sugar alcohols or high fructose corn syrup and are made with natural ingredients that are 60% organic.  I created Smart for Life products to keep your body in a low glycemic index, which in turn keeps your sugar and insulin low, in a fat burning no- hunger zone.

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Dr. Sass

New Sugar Recommendations For Adults

Sugar Recommendations 325WI recently read a report stating the new sugar recommendations for adults and wanted to share this information with all of you.

The American Heart Association has come up with the first-ever recommended sugar intake levels for adults, in hopes of spurring healthy eating habits.  This report suggests avoiding all processed foods as much as you can.

Rodale News, Emmaus, PA suggests that while a teaspoon of sugar may make your medicine go down, exceeding your recommended sugar intake could lead to obesity, heart disease, and not so healthy eating habits.  So, how much sugar is sweet, and how much turns your health sour? For the first time ever, the American Heart Association (AHA) has released guidelines giving people an idea of what a healthy daily sugar intake really is.

The Details: The AHA statement, pushed online in the journal circulation, makes the point that added sugars, such as high-fructose corn syrup or ordinary table sugar added to sodas, breads, and other processed foods, are likely responsible for the increase in calorie consumption and the subsequent rise in obesity of the past few decades. Furthermore, people who have unhealthy sugar intake levels also consume lower levels of vital nutrients, such as zinc, iron, calcium, and vitamin A.  One study even suggested that too much sugar can raise blood pressure levels.  I would like to point out that the report also notes that over the past 30 years, we’ve consumed an average of 150 to 300 more calories per day than we used to.   50% of these consumed calories come from beverages.  Keep in mind also that our physical activity levels remain unchanged, so the extra calories do not get burned off.

Do SmartforLife® Products Follow The Sugar Recommendations?

I’d like to bring to your attention that all of our Smart for Life products are not only low in sugar, but are suitable for most diabetics.  Smart for Life cookies are made with just 2-5 grams of sugar per serving, as well as our cupcakes.  Even our delicious cereals contain just 8 grams of sugar per serving. I created Smart for Life products to keep your body in a low glycemic index, which in turn keeps your sugar and insulin low, in a fat burning no- hunger zone. This unique blend of protein then suppresses your hunger while the fiber expands like a sponge to fill you up.

To make a comparison, surveys have also found that the average American consumes around 22.2 teaspoons of added sugar each day. According to the new guidelines, we should really be eating a fraction of that amount. The Smartforlife® sugar recommendations for adult women is 5 teaspoons (20 grams) of sugar per day, while for men it is 9 teaspoons (36 grams) daily.  For children, it is just 3 teaspoons (12 grams) per day.

Start losing weight with us and feel the best you’ve ever felt!

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Dr. Sass

The Foods Keeping You From Weight Loss!

Foods Keeping You From Weight Loss

Foods keeping you from weight loss? As reported recently, potato chips and french fries, and generally any potato products, contribute to the biggest weight gain over time, according to a new Harvard study, which researchers say is the first to look at long-term weight gain pegged to specific foods.

Dr. Sass has known these facts to be true for some time and the study, conducted over 20 years and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that among more than 100,000 men and women whose weight was evaluated at four-year intervals, the average weight gain over each period was 3.35 pounds. This corresponded with an average weight gain just shy of 17 pounds over 20 years.

The researchers also tracked how much weight specific foods led people to gain over each four-year period.  Potato chips were the worst culprit, associated with a weight gain of 1.69 pounds, followed by potatoes in general at 1.28 pounds. (French fries were worse than boiled or mashed potatoes.) This, explained Dr. Dariush Mozzafarian, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and the study’s lead author, could be because starches and refined carbohydrates produce bursts in blood glucose and insulin, increasing hunger and thus upping the total amount of food people eat at their next meal.

Non-Potato Foods Keeping You From Weight Loss:

There were plenty of non-potato culprits, too: Sugary beverages accounted for a one pound weight gain, while alcohol was linked with an average gain of 0.41 pounds over four years. Unprocessed meats accounted for a 0.95-pound uptick in weight, while processed meats were right behind at 0.93 pounds.

“Our findings indicate that small dietary and other lifestyle changes can together make a big difference, for bad or good,” Mozzafarian wrote in an email, adding, “For diet … eat fewer starches and refined foods like potatoes, white bread, low-fiber breakfast cereals, processed meats, sweets and soda.”

Instead, the study suggests, opt for healthier options if you want to lose weight.

“Common sense is very uncommon” Dr. Sass says and adds that “The age old adage of you are what you eat rings so true time and time again”.  People who added a daily serving of vegetables lost an average of 0.22 pounds over four years, the researchers found. People who added whole grains lost 0.37 pounds, and those who ate fruits shed almost half a pound. Nuts and yogurt also resulted in weight loss — all under one pound, but those losses can add up over time.

The authors point out that while these foods contain calories and fat as well, eating them usually causes people to avoid unhealthier, more calorie-dense options — “displacing” them, in a way — which ultimately leads to weight loss.

Also, because they have higher fiber content, they may be more satisfying.  “Satiety is a big thing,” said Jeannie Moloo, R.D., a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “Consuming these foods [i.e. chips, sweet beverages and meat] could be less satiating and less filling, triggering hunger signals.” Moloo praised the study, saying it was important to have finally documented the advice that dietitians and medical practitioners have been giving for years.

Another example of this advice? The fact that being sedentary isn’t good for the waistline.  The study showed that changes in physical activity were related to long-term changes in weight, singling out TV watching as an example. Watching an hour of TV per day led to a 0.31 pound weight gain over each four year period — a finding the authors chocked up to people’s tendency to snack while they watch.

Sleep also plays a role: Participants who slept between six and eight hours a night were less likely to gain weight than those who got fewer than six hours or more than eight.

“Be active,” Mozzafarian said, “turn off the TV, and get enough sleep.”

Dr. Sass couldn’t agree more with this article and lists the foods associated with the most pounds gained and the least pounds gained over a four-year period.

  • Potatoes account for 1.28 pounds gained over a four-year period, with French fries being worse than mashed or boiled potatoes.
  • Sugary beverages account for 1 pound gained over a four-year period.
  • Unprocessed meat accounts for 0.95 pounds gained over a four-year period.
  • Processed meat accounts for 0.93 pounds gained over a four-year period.
  • Alcohol accounts for 0.41 pounds gained over a four-year period.
  • Yogurt accounts for 0.82 pounds lost over a four-year period.
  • Nuts account for 0.57 pounds lost over a four-year period.
  • Fruit accounts for 0.49 pounds lost over a four-year period.
  • Whole grains account for 0.37 pounds lost over a four-year period.
  • Vegetables account for 0.22 pounds lost over a four-year period.

Start eating healthy today and lose your unwanted weight with SmartforLife®!

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Dr. Sass in DietsinReview: How PepsiCo Could Build a Better Snack

DietsInReview- In the May 16 edition of The New Yorker, John Seabrook delves into the ways that PepsiCo is working to reposition itself in light of the global obesity crisis. “Snacks for a Fat Planet” is bookended with the author’s interactions with Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s C.E.O. Nooyi argues that it’s not enough for the company to make snacks that taste good, but also be “the good company.”

Nooyi is clearly a leader who understands the huge potential for corporate good, both for the bottom line and for society. She also sees that the health crisis created by obesity does not bode well for the future of PepsiCo’s profits, no doubt a factor in the company’s efforts to make healthier products. Earlier this year, the company began making a number of Frito-Lay products with natural ingredients. They also have plans to reduce the amount of sodium and sugar in their products by 25 percent by the year 2015, under guidelines created by Derek Yach, the former World Health Organization cabinet director.

PepsiCo’s removal of artificial coloring and their reduction of sodium seems encouraging, considering the company’s vast market share. But Seabrook’s article shows that PepsiCo’s plans to make “better for you” snacks and beverages revolve around new technology, huge research facilities and the development of new additives. Although the company is moving towards using “all natural” products, these products will still be highly processed. It’s also worth noting that because the term “all natural” is in no way regulated, it is one of the most common and abused packaging gimmicks.

Reading through the article, it seemed to me that many of the changes are token gestures, not meaningful improvements in the nutritional quality of PepsiCo’s products. “When you make something that is full of sugar and chemicals, it doesn’t take much to make it a little better,” Ann Rosenstein, the author of Diet Myths Busted: Food Facts Not Nutrition Fictionwrote me. “But healthier isn’t necessarily healthy! Going from an 80% junk food product to a 60% junk food product still makes food junk.”

Perhaps my conclusion is too easy, a knee-jerk reaction from someone who spends her days thinking and writing about healthy food. There are certainly plenty of nutrition experts who argue that we shouldn’t eat pre-packaged, processed foods at all, from those espousing the Paleo diet to those who favor the raw diet. However, this does not reflect the way the vast majority of Americans eat.

“Unfortunately we are a snack machine society, so until that changes I think it’s great that companies are attempting to make things healthier,” said Jessica Forbes, MS CCN. “Even if I don’t necessarily agree on how they are doing it.” Forbes said she’s wary of foods containing lab-engineered chemicals. “I believe if it doesn’t exist in nature in some form, then we shouldn’t be eating it!”

Stacy Goldberg, R.N. and Chief Nutritionist of Daily Gourmet, agrees that we should eat foods that come as directly from nature as possible. “The challenge is that’s not always reality.” Goldberg explains that while eating natural, whole foods will have more benefits in the long run, eating better snack foods can have immediate benefits for individuals who are not going to make such a radical change. “If someone’s consuming a large amount of sodium and they’re getting it from their snack foods, they may in fact be better off choosing a product that’s lower in sodium because their blood pressure is so high.”

Seabrook reports that one of the new substances that PepsiCo will soon be using in its U.S. products is a “15 micron salt,” a new kind of salt that contains 25 to 40 percent less sodium than the current formulation. I can’t help but wonder, what exactly does it mean to create a new salt? How will the body break it down? Many of the experts I spoke with also seemed skeptical of the new molecule. “We don’t know the long-term effects,” said Goldberg. She has similar concerns about Splenda, which is used in a large number of PepsiCo products, including Pepsi One, all Propel beverages, Diet Mountain Dew and Amp Energy. “We don’t have any clinical research studies behind them with long-term data to show what are the effects of these new particles or these new creations that they’re coming up with.”

Dr. Sasson E. Moulavi, M.D. and Medical Director of Smart For Life, is similarly cautious. “We don’t know what they’re going to do” in the body he said. “What [PepsiCo] really should be doing is cutting the salt down without adding anything else instead of it.”

Dr. Moulavi is a particularly interesting person to talk about the nutrition of processed foods with, because his company has created a weight-loss program that’s centered around prepackaged, portion-controlled cookies, bars and shakes. “If you can see the ingredients in it, then generally it’s minimally processed and it’s generally good for you.” He argues that there a number of natural additives that companies like PepsiCo could use to improve the nutritional quality of their snack foods, instead of simply replacing sugar and salt with substitutes that are not used by the body. He cites ingredients such as flax seed, fish oil, blue green algae and pomegranate extract, which can all help the body perform essential functions.

Forbes also suggested a number of ways that snack foods could be made with ingredients that would better serve the body. “If I could design my own snack machine contents, it would contain food bars made from raw nuts or nut butter with dried fruit and honey or whole stevia, root vegetable chips fried in coconut oil or olive oil (to me the unhealthy fat is just as much an issue as sodium), and high protein items like salmon jerky that contains enough natural spices to not require a ton of salt.” That’s a long way from Nooyi’s concept of “drinkified snacks” and “snackified drinks,” supposedly healthy products that would be so heavily processed that the original food would undergo a material change of state.

Dr. Moulavi also argued that companies need to be more honest about portion sizes. “They’ll say a portion is a handful of chips, or seven chips, or they’ll give a very small number of grams. Companies have to become truthful and make their portions realistic.”

Everyone I spoke with agreed that consumers need to read the ingredients list on packaged foods before purchasing them, despite any claims made on the front of the package. “I think it’s always important to know what you’re putting into your body, and into your children’s bodies,” said Goldberg, who also advocated for more transparency on the part of food manufactures. “Use the company as a resource. Go to Pepsi, go to Nestlé, go to whatever company, ask them, ‘What is this food?’ and ‘How is it created?’ As a consumer, I think you’re entitled to that information.”

Read more at http://www.dietsinreview.com/diet_column/05/forget-drinkified-how-pepsico-could-build-a-better-snack/

Sugary Drinks Linked to Diabetes

Consumption of at least 1 sugary drinks per day is significantly associated with the development of diabetes, according to a report by Vasanti S. Malik, ScD and his colleagues with the Harvard School of Public Heath, as reported in Diabetes Care.

Sugar-sweetened beverages were defined as soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy and vitamin water, sweetened iced tea, punch, cordials, squashes and lemonade.  Not included were 100% fruit juices without added sweeteners.

Dr. Malik notes that although consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks has been associated with weight gain, their role in the development of diabetes has not been reviewed.  According to Dr. Malik and the researchers, the high content of rapidly absorbable carbohydrates in sugar-sweetened drinks may increase risk of diabetes not only through obesity, but also by increasing glycemic load, leading to insulin resistance and inflammation.

How About One Sugary Drink?

One single extra sugary drink has about 200 calories.  That is equivalent to a 20 pound weight gain per year.

This study further supports my reasons to stay away from sugar-sweetened beverages and switch to healthy alternatives, such as water. Get started with SmartforLife® today and lose weight fast.

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Another Reason To Keep Your Kids Away From Soda

keep your kids away from sodaYou’ve heard me talk about it before but there is yet again another study that shows how bad soda is for your kids and that you need to keep your kids away from soda.

Besides adding to childhood obesity, a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics shows 75% of children aged 5 to 12 consume caffeine and it may be keeping them up at one night.  And what is the primary source of their caffeine?  You guessed it – soda.  And the more caffeine the children had, the less they slept.

“I would suggest that parents simply be prudent and regulate the amount of caffeine their children consume,” says study author William J. Warzak, PhD, a professor of psychology in the department of pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical in Omaha. “They will not be the worse for wear if their caffeine consumption is restricted,” he says. The caffeine in the children’s diet came mainly from soft drinks.

So what is a moderate amount of caffeine in a 5-year-old or 10-year-old? “I don’t think we know the answer to that question,” he says.

“Most of the research into the health effects of caffeine has been with adults [and] there really is very little pertaining to children,” he says. “The FDA has not established recommended amounts of caffeine consumption in children, although the Canadian government has issued such guidelines and our respondents indicated that quite a few children push those limits.”

Avram Traum, MD, a pediatric nephrologist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, tells WebMD.com that the amount of caffeine children consumed in this and other studies is “shocking, staggering, and disturbing.”

Other Reasons To Keep Your Kids Away From Soda:

The new study looked at how caffeine may affect sleep and bed-wetting, but drinking so much soda may also have an effect on obesity and diseases associated with obesity, including high blood pressure in children, he says.

“There is no reason that school-aged children need caffeine. Period,” he says. The occasional cup of soda on a special occasion is OK, but children should not drink caffeine on a daily basis.

“Sodas are junk food and have no nutritional value,” says Charles Shubin, MD, director of pediatrics at Mercy FamilyCare, a division of Family Health Centers of Baltimore.

Ihuoma U. Eneli, MD, medical director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is surprised at the amount of caffeine that children in the new study took in.

Smartforlife® healthy products are the answer. Get yours HERE.

Junk Food Is Everywhere

potato-chips-junk-foodJunk food is now everywhere on our planet.  High in calories but low in nutritional value, junk food is available in the most unlikely places:  museums, cruise ships, city parks, and school hallway vending machines.  It is inescapable in grocery stores and fast-food restaurants.

In all children 12-18 years old, critical growth, bond building and amassing of nutrients such as calcium are taking place.  Your grandchild’s body will never be as efficient at performing those functions to ensure a healthy future as it is while they are teens.  Eating large amounts of junk food has far-reaching consequences.  Here are just a few:

 

  • Teens have greater access to junk food and more control over how they spend money than your younger grandchildren.  Teens who fill up on empty calories will have less appetite for a nutritious main meal, and it’s unlikely they are taking in all the nutrients necessary for growth and development.  Key nutrients such as calcium from dairy and protein from meats help bones and muscles strengthen and grow.
  • Teens who don’t consume enough of the needed nutrients tend to feel fatigued.  This can lead to poor concentration and test performance.  Instead, encourage them to eat “brain foods” such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables and dairy foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium.
  • Weight gain is a consequence of regularly consuming high-fat, high-sugar and high-calorie junk food.  Kids who become overweight or obese during adolescence are likely to maintain an unhealthy weight as adults, with associated healthy consequences that include heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, poor self-esteem and even cancer.  By encouraging healthy food choices during your grandchild’s teenage years, you can give them a higher chance of a healthy adult life.

 Tips to help your teen eat more healthy with less junk food:

  1. If you must have fast-food, choose a fast-food restaurant that offers healthier choices.  And no matter where you are, opt for food and beverages that are high in nutrients.  Avoid sweetened beverages and fried foods.  Good choices include: freshly squeezed orange juice, whole-wheat bagel, bean burrito, pizza topped with veggies, grilled chicken sandwich on a whole grain bun.
  2. Look for products low in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, refined grains and partially hydrogenated oils.  Choose a 100 percent whole-wheat cracker made with canola oil, for example or snack on a cheeses and fruit plate instead of a bowl of cheese puffs.
  3. Limit TV viewing when the grandkids visit.  Certain shows seem to attract more junk food commercials than others, so you might want to discourage your grandkids from watching these shows.  Get them involved in outdoor activities!

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