Tuesday, May 28, 2013

ChartsBin.com Review

Calorie Supply Per Capita from Animal Products

Are you a data fanatic who dreams in stats?  Maybe you have a public health interest or are in grad school and want to show off to a professor?  This is a great link to demonstrate which countries rank high on calories supply per capita, nutrition and BMI, Genetically Modified Crops, and more.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

'Tis The (Swimsuit) Season: Do Certain Foods 'Burn Fat'?

Can I shot gun hot sauce because it’ll rev my metabolism as the ads claim?  Do those added boosts at the over-priced cafĂ© protein shakes really work? 

Fat burning is such a great clichĂ© term to get people to buy stuff: green tea, chia seeds, ‘energy shots’, spicy food.  But with swimsuit season amongst us, what do we really need to eat to burn fat? 

·         Eat less.  This is the number one way that no one really wants to hear.
·         Vegetables that are NOT corn, peas, beans.  Green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower) use more calories than they contain which would help keep you full with a calorie deficit.
·         Protein sources (tofu, meat, beans, nuts) can help increase the release of human growth hormone (HGH).
o   Side Note: HGH is a somatotropin or somatropin.  These are peptide hormones (peptides are the building blocks of protein) that increase growth through cell production in humans.  It only works on certain kinds of cells.  Growth hormone is used to treat children’s growth disorders and is only available legally from pharmacies, it’s use is also in livestock and you’ll notice milk labels that are rBST free or free from this growth hormone.  The safety of HGH has not been tested in clinical trials but the body can make its own naturally and regulate itself in the pituitary gland.
·         Another way is to help thyroid function by eating (notice not taking oral supplements) foods that are high in selenium and zinc (eggs are a good example as are oysters). 
·         Dodging processed foods or the inner aisles of the grocery store helps as well. 
·         As always, the best way to burn fat is to exercise.

Gina Lesako RD, LD is the SCAN blog coordinator, those interested in writing for SCAN can email her directly at glesako@gmail.com.  (Resolve to increase your online exposure in 2013!)

She can also be found blogging at http://dietitianseatchocolatetoo.blogspot.com/).  Find her on SCAN: http://www.scandpg.org/dietitians/15720/

Monday, May 13, 2013

More Brainpower!

Remember back in grade school discussing the brain & the different parts of the brain? Chuckling at the possible fact that boys used the left side of their brain and girls used the right side of their brain. Let's take a quick look at the five sections:

1. The cerebrum which controls your thinking and voluntary muscles 
2. The cerebellum controls your coordination including balancing and movement.
3. The brain stem is the main channel for sending messages all throughout your body. It regulates breathing, blood circulation and the involuntary muscles such as the regulation of the heart 
4. The pituitary gland controls hormonal growth and the hormones responsible for metabolism 
5. Last but not least the Hypothalamus which regulates body temperature

The Nervous System is so complex with millions of neurons connecting to other neurons and as you grow the brain creates more connections between the neurons making it easier to perform many other functions. So when you were presented with those brain-teasers, you were making more neuron connections in your brain! Technically your brain is getting bigger! 

Well, just like those brain teasers regular exercise has been shown to substantially improve memory also showing that certain types of exercise improve different cognitive functions.

In a study conducted at the University of British Colombia, they recruited dozens of women between the ages of 70-80 with mild cognitive impairment randomly assigning them to six-months of supervised exercise in three different categories: lifting weights, brisk walking and stretch/toning groups. 

After six months, the toning group scored worse on memory and the women who walked or weight trained performed greater on any of the cognitive test with a variation that the women who walked showed greater gains in verbal memory then those who lifted weights.

This suggested that different types of exercise improve different types of cognitive function. "Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an associate professor in the Brain Research Center at the University of British Columbia who oversaw the experiments with older women, is that for the most robust brain health, it’s probably advisable to incorporate both aerobic and resistance training. It seems that each type of exercise “selectively targets different aspects of cognition,” she says, probably by sparking the release of different proteins in the body and brain."

Christa Petersen is currently the Student Blog Coordinator for SCAN students & enjoying every minute of it! She currently is finishing up her Bachelors Degree at Montclair State University and will be entering into her Dietetic Internship at the College of Saint Elizabeth this coming fall. Christa is an outdoorsy person found running on a sunny day, growing a herb garden, working out to high intensity workouts and creating recipes that have optimal nutrition in them. She also has dabbled into keeping up-to-date her own blog named "Teaspoon of Delight" incorporating healthy recipes, tools for portion control and fun facts sheets to leading an overall healthy lifestyle. She can't wait to become a Registered Dietitian & share her passion with many other individuals! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Junk In The Trunk: The Body Fat Post

Fat fits into fashion trends between curvaceous Botticelli paintings to lean 20’s flappers and super skinny supermodels.  These three feminine body times present with one common thing: varying levels of body fat.  So call it what you must but it plays a Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde role in the body.
Body fat, formally known as adipose tissue to your sophomore level anatomy course acts as a layer of protection from the elements .  Depending on its storage location will determine if it’s helpful to your body or harmful.  Studies show that abdominal fat that is nicely packed around organs, AKA visceral fat acts as the Darth Vader of the adipose tissue solar system.  Visceral fat can decrease metabolism by increasing the stress hormone cortisol.  Other nasty habits of visceral fat include: insulin resistance (a precursor to Diabetes), increased risk for heart disease/high blood pressure, and the always under the radar, fatty liver disease.
There is a Luke Skywalker to this equation with subcutaneous fat.  It acts as “the good” fat that annoyingly bulges over too tight jeans creating a ‘muffin top’.  It’s not terrible.  It’s the creator of curves and junk in the truck.  Subcutaneous fat is a piece in the weight regulation system.  It has leptin (which keeps you full but also lets the body know to release or store fat), adiponectin acts to help lower blood sugar (it decreases triglyceride content in muscle).

Ahima, Rexford, et al. "Role of leptin in the neuroendocrine response to fasting." Nature. 382 (1996): 250 - 252. Web. 1 May. 2013. <http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v382/n6588/abs/382250a0.html>.
Yamauchi, T., et al. "The fat-derived hormone adiponectin reverses insulin resistance associated with both lipoatrophy and obesity." Nature Medicine. 7. (2001): 941 - 946 . Web. 1 May. 2013. <http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v7/n8/abs/nm0801_941.html>. 

Gina Lesako RD, LD is the SCAN blog coordinator, those interested in writing for SCAN can email her directly at glesako@gmail.com.  (Resolve to increase your online exposure in 2013!)

She can also be found blogging at http://dietitianseatchocolatetoo.blogspot.com/).  Find her on SCAN: http://www.scandpg.org/dietitians/15720/