Thursday, August 30, 2007

Leave the microwave alone!

One of my patients today told me he was microwaving everything he eats, he actually owns 2 microwaves, since he keeps kosher, he has one for his meat meals and one for dairy meals. He was shocked about the research that I told him about relating to microwaving and plastic containers. After our discussion, he is making the switch to toaster ovens.

Microwaving denatures protein, it actually changes the chemical structure of protein. Protein is in all foods except for fruit, and when would you ever microwave fruit, yuck. So, all his foods that he was eating was chemically altered, not conducive to health. Eating microwaved foods may be carcinogenic due to this alteration. Some research is even showing that microwaving water is no good, there was a study done on plants, all other conditions were the same except for the water they were given. The one that received microwaved water, was dead after a couple days, where as the filtered watered plant was thriving beautifully. Basically, microwaving water takes the life out of the water, makes the water dead. Sounds strange, but think about it, what happens during the microwaving process, bombardment of the food/liquid cells, it's like a food boxing match.

Also, try to buy more glass or aluminum or pyrex to store your leftovers in, since the plastic even at room temperature may leach dioxins, which are carcinogenic, I'm sure you heard about the water bottle news, to keep your water in glass bottles instead. I bought a bottle of Voss water and Oxygenizer water at Whole Foods, since they're in glass bottles, and I just keep refilling my water in the glass bottles.

So, instead of heating up your food for 30 seconds, you'll take 5 and have time to make a phone call or check emails while your food is heating up in the toaster oven at ~400 degrees covered with foil, maintaining the food integrity.

Your Livitician, Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Watch out for food label deception!

Buyers beware when you go grocery shopping! One of my chapters in my book is deciphering dietary deception. I just finished the research by looking at all the food labels on the market at Ralph's, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. The most deception was available at Ralph's since it's a general supermarket. The most product deceit was in the bread, cereal and yogurt aisle. Just because a bread says it is 7 grain or multi-grain or whole wheat, still look at the grams of dietary fiber and the ingredients. To be the master of grocery shopping, make sure your bread has 3 grams of dietary fiber per slice and the ingredient list does not have artificial colors and hydrogenated oils and enriched flour nor flax seed. Yes, flax seed does you no good when it's whole flax seeds, it goes right through you, and you get no benefit. Select organic, milled or ground flax seeds in a package at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's that you'll keep in your freezer, in the sealed, transparent package and add a Tablespoon or 2 to your cereal or yogurt to get the most omega-3 benefits. Also, please keep flaxseed oil on the shelf, research is showing that the oil may increase risk for cancer. Fish oil capsules are the best for supplementation.

More details in grocery shopping mastery will be available this Fall when my book comes out.

Enjoy Liviting,

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Strongest evidence for cancer protection

Cruciferous Vegetables - e.g., broccoli, cauliflower and kale. Dark leafy greens, spinach and chard, cooked tomatoes, apples, pears and citrus all show cancer protective effects in some large studies.

Clinical trials are finding that black raspberries, blueberries and pomegranates - staving off cancer recurrence in some patients.

In the U.S>, survey data from the Department of Agriculture have shown that 52% of our overall vegetable consumption comes from iceberg lettuce, potatoes and canned tomatoes. These do not provide an array of nutrients and phytochemicals that we are needing to prevent cancer, so the research that is showing that eating 5 a day for better health is not providing the cancer protective benefits may be because people are not eating enough variety.

Also, how we eat the vegetables has an impact on effectiveness, the lycopene in tomatoes is fat-soluble and most easily enters the bloodstream when cooked or eaten with fat, as in tomato sauce. The Harvard group reconfirmed this in 2002 for 47,365 men followed for 12 years. Men who ate 2 sauce servings a week, versus less than once a month, showed a 23% reduced prostate cancer risk.

The PLCO (Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer) trial found that among nearly 30,000 men followed for a little more than 4 years, those eating broccoli more than once a week had a 45% reduced prostate cancer risk, compared with men who ate it less than once a month. The evidence is showing cruciferous vegetables are among the few vegetables showing significant protection for several cancers, including bladder, lung and prostate. Unlike tomatoes, raw broccoli is better, since the anti-carcinogen chemicals called isothiocyanates, are water soluble and can be lost when cooked.

This year, the PLCO study found that, Spinach - rich source of antioxidants folate and lutein, might help ward off prostate cancer. Also, citrus fruits seem to be protective against esophageal cancer, as were spinach and tree fruits such as apples and pears.

Apples, a rich source of quercetin, anti-cancer compound, showed a protective effect against lung cancer.

Need the whole fruit and vegetable to get the benefits, lycopene didn't work, need the whole tomato. Large doses of B-carotene is dangerous, may increase lung cancer risk.

Eat your pomegranates, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes (and drink wine in moderation, 5 oz. daily), all high in flavonoids- anti-inflammatory or have pomegranate juice to lower PSA counts and black raspberries, highest concentration of polyphenol ellagic acid may help decrease risk for esophageal cancer.

Freeze-dried berries may be more beneficial that fresh for decreasing cancer risk. Have Trader Joe's triple berry O's, or granolas with freeze dried berries.

Move and groove too to help decrease cancer risk - Women who exercised 30 minutes six days per week and had high fruit and vegetable intake cut cancer recurrence by 44% (WHEL-Women's Health Living and Eating, trial).
Weight loss also key factor, close No. 2 to smoking cessation to decrease cancer risk.

Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables because they complement each other to attack all the different mechanisms that cancer works through.

Your Livitician, Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Monday, August 27, 2007

To be in charge of whether the food goes in or not.

Be TRUE and PRESENT. It's all about self-respect. We don't own our body, our body is on loan, when we die, we don't take our body with us, our soul goes with us but not our body. SO, let's focus on nourishing our soul, taking care of our soul, cause that's what lasts. My advice to those who are having a rough time, putting down the fork when your tummy is full and your cells have had enough: think before you go for another bite of food, what is it that you are truly feeling, why are you wanting that other piece of chocolate, why do you want that pint of ice cream? Are you tired, wanting some lovin', feeling deprived... When your answer to am I hungry is no, try something different, step away from the table, and start dancing, I know it sounds silly, but sing a song out loud or to yourself and start moving, "I don't need that cookie, I don't need that cookie, just dance, dance, dance, instead." It really works. Just moving gets us awake, and strengthens us to focus on other things besides food to nourish ourselves, dancing is an expression of our soul, have fun expressing.

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

What is the key to keep a person inspired?

I truly want to help each patient who walks into my door. But, the most frustrating part of my job is I can't help a person who isn't ready to make changes and stay focused on maintaining a healthy way of life for life. What is it, that will keep a person inspired each day to have the mindset to choose life over another mouth full?

I was just at the gym today and saw a patient of mine who was working out, awesome job, but she still hasn't reached her healthy weight, because her emotions are getting in the way of her "control" over her food. She told me she eats and eats when she is angry, lonely, and depressed. How can I help her realize that the food does not have control over her life? The food doesn't have a mind or a heart or a soul. I want to help all of you out there who feel like the food is on the throne and you want to bow down to it, and obey it by eating it no matter what your tummy is telling you. Please let me know how you are feeling out there when it comes to eating when you are not hungry?

Email me at

best of health,

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD
Your Livitician

Friday, August 24, 2007

Weight loss/nutrition/diet news

Did you know that one pound of muscle burns 17 times more calories than a pound of fat? The key to make your body more of a calorie burner is to increase your muscle mass. Try to do some push ups in the am or before you go to sleep, do some tricep dips on the park bench when you're playing with the kids.

10 Tips to Healthy Eating

An article from

Experts agree the key to healthy eating is the time-tested advice of balance, variety and moderation. In short, that means eating a wide variety of foods without getting too many calories or too much of any one nutrient. These 10 tips can help you follow that advice while still enjoying the foods you eat.
1. Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and no single food supplies them all. Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods. How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Use the Food Guide Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels as handy references.
2.Enjoy plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Surveys show most Americans don't eat enough of these foods. Do you eat 6-11 servings from the bread, rice, cereal and pasta group, 3 of which should be whole grains? Do you eat 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables? If you don't enjoy some of these at first, give them another chance. Look through cookbooks for tasty ways to prepare unfamiliar foods.
3. Maintain a healthy weight. The weight that's right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Excess body fat increases your chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illnesses. But being too thin can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities and other health problems. If you're constantly losing and regaining weight, a registered dietitian can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight management. Regular exercise is also important to maintaining a healthy weight.
4. Eat moderate portions. If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it's easier to eat the foods you want and stay healthy. Did you know the recommended serving of cooked meat is 3 ounces, similar in size to a deck of playing cards? A medium piece of fruit is 1 serving and a cup of pasta equals 2 servings. A pint of ice cream contains 4 servings. Refer to the Food Guide Pyramid for information on recommended serving sizes.
5. Eat regular meals. Skipping meals can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in overeating. When you're very hungry, it's also tempting to forget about good nutrition. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but don't eat so much that your snack becomes an entire meal.
6. Reduce, don't eliminate certain foods. Most people eat for pleasure as well as nutrition. If your favorite foods are high in fat, salt or sugar, the key is moderating how much of these foods you eat and how often you eat them.Identify major sources of these ingredients in your diet and make changes, if necessary. Adults who eat high-fat meats or whole-milk dairy products at every meal are probably eating too much fat. Use the Nutrition Facts panel on the food label to help balance your choices.Choosing skim or low-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat such as flank steak and beef round can reduce fat intake significantly.If you love fried chicken, however, you don't have to give it up. Just eat it less often. When dining out, share it with a friend, ask for a take-home bag or a smaller portion.
7. Balance your food choices over time. Not every food has to be "perfect." When eating a food high in fat, salt or sugar, select other foods that are low in these ingredients. If you miss out on any food group one day, make up for it the next. Your food choices over several days should fit together into a healthy pattern.
8. Know your diet pitfalls. To improve your eating habits, you first have to know what's wrong with them. Write down everything you eat for three days. Then check your list according to the rest of these tips. Do you add a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressings? Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back your portions. Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables? If not, you may be missing out on vital nutrients.
9. Make changes gradually. Just as there are no "superfoods" or easy answers to a healthy diet, don't expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much, too fast can get in the way of success. Begin to remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, lifelong eating habits. For instance, if you don't like the taste of skim milk, try low-fat. Eventually you may find you like skim, too.
10. Remember, foods are not good or bad. Select foods based on your total eating patterns, not whether any individual food is "good" or "bad." Don't feel guilty if you love foods such as apple pie, potato chips, candy bars or ice cream. Eat them in moderation, and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Facts About Fat

Below is an article from August 2007 issue of Cooking Light magazine written by Maureen Callahan, MS, RD. Cooking Light is a great resource for healthy cooking, always providing healthy alternatives to make every recipe more nutritious by substituting ingredients and recommending different methods of cooking. Cooking Light is not only for the inspired chef. They also provide interesting facts about a variety of food, beauty tips, and guideline for healthy living.
In this article Maureen Callahan provides the good, the bad, and the ugly, on the various fatty acids to include how much to eat, the effects that fat has on our bodies, and the source of each type of fat. She also brushes upon the trans-fat ban that has recently taken effect in New York City. "It's just a matter of time before tran fat disappear from the American landscape," says Maureen Callahan, MS, RD.

The Facts About Fat
Trans Fat Bans have helped bring awareness to the many roles other fats play in our diets

From curbside snack carts to four-star restaurants, New York City chefs have until next year to rid their kitchens of trans fat. Its a bold move but a necessary one, according to city health officials.

"When you look at the evidence, there's no question artificial trans fat increases the risk of coronary heart disease," says Sonia Angell, MD, director of cardiovascular disease prevention and control at New York City's Department of Health. "The most conservative estimates show that the replacement of these fats with heart-healthy alternatives can decrease coronary artery disease risk by six percent, and it is likely even higher." In fact, a recent Harvard University study showed that women with low blood levels of trans fat are three times less likely to develop heart disease.

The Big Apple's impending trans fat ban is making other cities food companies and scientific experts pay closer attention to the increasingly complex relationships between dietary fat and health. Here's the latest on fats, including where each is found , what it does, and how much or how little to eat.

Trans Fat

There are two types of trans fat-the kind that occurs naturally in small amounts in animal products, and the artificial kind produced by adding hydrogen to liquid oils so they remain solid at room temperature, which helps extend the shelf life. So far no studies have examined how natural trans fat impacts health, but the artificial kind raises levels of LDL("bad") cholesterol and lowers HDL ("good") cholesterol, raising the risk of heart disease.

Where it's found: Most commercially produced fried foods, baked goods, and stick margarine are made with artificial trans fat. Natural trans fat can be found in red meat, butter, milk, and cheese.

How much to eat: As little as possible. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests limiting trans fat to less than one percent of your daily calories, about two grams if you follow a 2,000-calorie-per-day plan. That figure includes artificial trans fat as well as natural, since natural trans fat sources are often high in another type of fat linked to heart-disease risk factors-saturated fat. "If you're mindful that you want to decrease both trans fat and saturated fat, you're in a good position. I think some people are so focused on trans fat that they forget about saturated fat," says Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston.

Latest News: The Food world is working at warp speed to find replacements for artificial trans fat. In addition to New York, eight other large American cities-including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Boston- have legislation pending to limit or ban artificial trans fat. "It's just a matter of time before these fats virtually disappear from the American landscape," says William Connor, MD, a researcher at Oregon State Health Sciences University.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol and sets the stage for heart disease by encouraging the formation of plaque in arteries.
Where its found: Animal products like whole milk, cream, butter, lard, and fatty cuts of meat. Also a component of cocoa butter and tropical oils (palm, palm kernel, and coconut).

How much to eat: Less than 10 percent of your total calories per day (20 grams if you eat 2,000 calories) is a good starting point. For optimal heart health, the AHA recommends seven percent (16 grams).

Latest News: Just one meal high in saturated fat may damage blood vessels and hinder the ability of HDL cholesterol to protect arteries. Normally, HDL guards blood vessels from inflammation that contributes to artery clogging plaque, says Stephen Nicholls, MD, cardiologist at the Cleveland clinic foundation. Not so after a meal high in saturated fat. When Nicholls and colleagues fed 14 healthy volunteers two meals of carrot cake and a milk shake- one made with highly saturated coconut oil and one with polyunsaturated safflower oil-two things happened: The ability of blood vessels to expand and contract (a sign of healthy arteries) and the anti-inflammatory action of HDL were impaired for as much as six hours after the high saturated fat meal. In contrast, when the cake and milk shake were made with polyunsaturated fat, arterial and HDL functions improved. Just how much saturated fat was in that test meal? We likened it to people eating a double cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, which unfortunately, is not that uncommon of a meal," Nicholls says.

Polyunsaturated Fat

This type of fat helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels when substituted for saturated fats. One variety, omega-3 fatty acids, also helps lower blood pressure, control inflammation, and protect against irregular heartbeats.

Where it's found:Vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, sesame, corn and soy, and nuts and seeds. Omega-3's are found in fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, flax seed, and walnuts.

How much to eat: Authorities say 40 to 78 grams in a 2,000-calorie diet should come from fat, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats comprising the bulk. However, there is no specific recommended amount for either.

The AHA puts omega-3s in a separate category and suggests two to three meals of fatty fish a week. Two components of omega-3 fatty acid molecules have different benefits: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) helps alleviate arterial inflammation and prevent blood platelets from clumping together, while DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is valuable to the retina and brain. Plant sources of omega-3s confer heart-health benefits similar to those of other foods rich in polyunsaturated fats, but because the chemical structure of the omega-3 fatty acid they contain (alpha-linolenic acid, of ALA) is different, the body does not convert it as readily to EPA or DHA, Connor says.
Latest News: Two studies from the University of Pittsburgh suggest omega-3s found in fish may help improve mood and increase gray matter in the brain. In the first, researchers demonstrated that people with high blood levels of omega-3s tended to be more agreeable and less likely to report mild symptoms of depression than those with low levels. In the second study, researchers uncovered a possible mechanism behind the mood differences: people with high blood levels of omega-3s have more gray matter in the areas of the brain linked to mood. Although preliminary, the findings provide increasing support for including omega-3s in a healthful diet.

Monounsaturated fat

Monounsaturated fat helps lower blood cholesterol levels when substituted for saturated fat in the diet.

Where it's found: Olives, avocados, and olive, canola and peanut oils.

How much to eat: Again, roughly two-thirds of the fat you eat should be unsaturated, either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.

Latest news: Monounsaturated fat may help protect against heart disease and diabetes, particularly among people with a cluster of conditions-insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and big waistlines-referred to as metabolic syndrome. A recent Italian study put 180 men and women with metabolic syndrome on either a low-calorie Mediterranean-style diet rich in monounsaturated fats, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains or a diet of 30 percent of calories from any type of fat. At the study's end two years later, half of the subjects who followed the Mediterranean-style diet were no longer diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. "Compared to their baseline values the Mediterranean group had a significant increase in HDL and a decrease in both triglycerides and blood sugar, all good changes," says Kathy McManus, MS, RD, of Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.