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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Sources and Resources:


Lowe, M.R. and Butryn, M.L. (2007) Hedonic hunger: a new dimension of appetite?

Physiological Behavior. 2007 Jul 24; 91(4):432-9. WebMD (2017) Food and Recipes Overview. (www.webmd.com/food-recipes/default.html)

Obesity and weight management are the focus of many people’s lives. Recognizing people have struggled for centuries to manage weight, the challenges continue to present problems in the 21st century, and they are getting worse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an annual increase in obesity at the rate of 11 percent for the past five years. Weight-loss products include food, drugs, supplements, services, ingredients, devices, accessories and cosmetics.


Human beings are designed to consume food. They eat to maintain the nutrition necessary for survival. So why is it so difficult to manage or lose weight? Obesity is not just caused by a lack of knowledge or laziness, nor is it an indication of emotional instability.


Several factors play a role in obesity, including genetics, biology and environment.


Each person has to make choices about when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat. In contrast to our ancestors, whose primary task was to seek out any food that would provide energy and nutrients, the choices have become more difficult in today’s world. In Western or Westernized societies in particular, food is cheap and abundant, available through a considerable variety of outlets. In our society, eating is fundamentally a rewarding behavior. The choices we make and how much

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

we consume affects how we feel, thus influencing our moods, emotions and resulting behavior, according to WebMD.


Once we make up our minds to change a bad habit, why do we find ourselves falling back into it? Why can’t we simply make a decision and get on with it? Eating can be triggered even in the absence of hunger or extended beyond satiation (Lowe and Butryn, 2007). Numerous factors are known to determine or guide eating behavior implicitly. For instance, eating may be initiated or prolonged by the presence of other individuals with whom we associate and by their thinking and behavior.


Food choices and consumption are also strongly influenced by environmental factors that include advertising, packaging, emotion, lighting and incentives to buy bigger things. As a consequence, constantly monitoring and self-regulating your eating behavior is necessary in order to eat healthily. The psychology of weight man- agement is in our patterns of thinking and translating that thinking into behavior. We want to eat healthily and enjoy the rewarding aspects of food without falling prey to the loss of control we sometimes experience because of poor choices.  

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller