GOING GLUTEN-FREE

Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.

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A DIET FOR HEALTH & WEIGHT LOSS

Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....

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ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.

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Other popular diet plans include the Mediterranean diet, which features whole foods and allows for a chance at steady weight loss. The Dash Diet lowers sodium and is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This diet works to lower blood pressure. The Flexitarian Diet is geared toward eating mostly vegetables and fruits, although some meats are allowed. The Mayo Clinic Diet lets you shape your own diet plan and emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Other top choices are the Atkins Diet, the Biggest Loser Diet, the HMR program and Nutrisystem. Before starting any diet program, be sure to consult with your primary care physician.


Sources and Resources

http://health.usnews.com/diets

http://www.simplethriftyliving.com

Commercial diets have become all the rage, although they are systemized and often expensive.


Weight Watchers is listed among the best of these diets. Pros of this plan include the freedom to eat what you want. No food is off limits, so this gives you the flexibility to shape your own diet. One of the cons is participation can be pricey, though this program is often considered to be a good investment. The program gives every food and beverage a smart points value. Foods with higher saturated fats and sugar levels have higher points. Choices that are filling have the fewest points. A balanced diet is optimal. Meetings are optional or you can go solo and opt for online only. However, proponents emphasize the value of the support system. For an extra cost, you can have a personal coaching subscription at $54.95 per month. A mobile app offers personalized food and fitness tracking. Many Weight Watcher members stick with the program even after they have shed unwanted pounds.


In late 2015, Weight Watchers introduced its new Beyond the Scale Program, emphasizing eating healthier, having better fitness and learning skills that shift your mindset. According to the program, you can eat more fruits and vegetables because they are free foods. There are a set number of points for each day and an extra number for the week to use as needed or desired. Exercise is emphasized. Cost varies.

COMMERCIAL DIETS: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

Go to www.weightwatchers.com/us/ to find out more.


The Jenny Craig Commercial Weight Loss Program is also considered safe and effective. It is consistently at the top of the list of best diet programs. This program emphasizes delivered prepackaged meals low in calories and fat. It restricts caloric intake to 1,200 to 2,000 calories per day. One of the cons with this program is that home-cooked and restaurant meals are discouraged. Also, it can be rather expensive at $100 a week. Jenny Craig customers have access to an online meal planner, progress tracker and food journal. There is also a mobile app that allows tracking on the go. Nutrition experts who tout this plan emphasize the importance of satiety. It includes the best energy-dense foods so you feel full longer. For example, before a meal, you might have a “soupatizer,” and you are free to add as many vegetables to each meal as you desire. Jenny Craig offers a variety of entrees running the gamut from new global flavors such as cheesy chicken enchiladas to desserts such as chocolate lava cake. Portions are small, but you eat three meals and two snacks a day. Exercise is tailored to your fitness level and requires about 30 minutes most days of the week. You get a personalized meal and exercise plan plus one-on-one counseling sessions with a Jenny Craig consultant.