Live chat: top ten things you can do to clean up your diet

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2007-07-02 12:51:42.0Administrator2: Hello and welcome to Top Ten Things You Can Do ToClean Up Your Diet! We'll be starting the chat momentarily, but feelfree to submit your questions now.

2007-07-02 12:56:04.0 Administrator2: My name's Rosie Mestel--I'm deputy editor of thehealth section and I'm here to moderate the chat. We're talking withSusan Bowerman, of the Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA.

2007-07-02 12:56:28.0 Administrator2: Susan, let's start by listing some of your top tenways to clean up one's diet.

2007-07-02 12:56:54.0 Administrator2: [And please don't tell me I have to give up bacon]

2007-07-02 12:57:04.0 Susan Bowerman: Hello Rosie, Here are a few things to get started....and I realized these are obvious, but...

2007-07-02 12:57:23.0 Susan Bowerman: First, eat more fruits and vegetables. We are learningmore every day about the health benefits of produce, and it's such aneasy thing to do...

2007-07-02 12:57:36.0 Susan Bowerman: Try a new fruit or vegetable every week, or a newvariety as a place to start. Second,

2007-07-02 12:58:05.0 Susan Bowerman: if you are a milk drinker, switch from 2% milk to 1%milk. It's such an easy thing to do, and for each cup you drink eachday, you'll save enough calories to lose two pounds a year.

2007-07-02 12:58:37.0 Susan Bowerman: Third, try eliminating sodas and 'fruit drinks' whichare all sugar. These beverages are a huge waste of calories, and arefull of sugar.

2007-07-02 12:59:06.0 Administrator2: We'll get back to your list in a few, Susan, but nowwe'll take some questions.

2007-07-02 12:59:09.0 Guest1: so, have you all heard of the three day diet plan or thecabbage soup diet?

2007-07-02 12:59:51.0 Susan Bowerman: The cabbage soup diet has been around for a long time.Basically, the idea is that the cabbage soup has so few calories thatit actually takes more calories to digest it, than there are caloriesin the soup...

2007-07-02 13:00:18.0 Susan Bowerman: So, if you only consume the soup for a few days,you'll lose a lot of weight quickly. Any diet designed to take weightoff that fast, including a 'three day diet' will not lead toeffective, permanent weight loss.

2007-07-02 13:00:32.0 Administrator2: Why, Susan?

2007-07-02 13:01:14.0 Susan Bowerman: Because most of the weight you lose when you crash itoff that quickly is water weight, not real fat weight, so it'sdeceiving. Once you start eating again, the weight comes back. Somepeople use these as a way to jump-start a weight loss, and for acouple of days it probably won't hurt you...

2007-07-02 13:01:29.0 Susan Bowerman: But you will likely be tired, have headaches, etc. Idon't recommend these quick fixes.

2007-07-02 13:01:34.0 Leda: How can I Stay healthy as a college student?

2007-07-02 13:02:29.0 Susan Bowerman: Great question, and a once close to my heart as I haveone going off to college in the fall. I think the biggest issue is thecost factor - healthy foods are more expensive. If you are going to beliving in the dorm, keep in mind that free access to foods will bevery tempting...

2007-07-02 13:03:14.0 Susan Bowerman: Make sure that you approach the salad bar first, andthen look for some healthy lean protein to load up on. I know thatdomitory fare is high in carbs, to keep you full, but you want to tryto consume the healthier ones like brown rice, beans, whole fruits andveggies. Keep healthy snacks in your room, too.

2007-07-02 13:03:25.0 Nia: How can modify my diet so that I have more moisture in my skinand hair? Is there something I am doing wrong?

2007-07-02 13:04:51.0 Susan Bowerman: I'm not a dermatologist, and I believe to some extentthat dry skin and hair is what you are born with. Make sure you drinkenough fluids to hydrate your skin; a well-balanced diet whichincludes whole grains will provide B-vitamins which promote healthyskin and hair. Vitamin E, found in vegetable oil and nuts, is alsogood to support the health of skin and hair.

2007-07-02 13:05:04.0 Irvin Shiffman: Susan, What do you know about apple cider vinegarfor both diet and good health?

2007-07-02 13:06:22.0 Susan Bowerman: Apple cider vinegar has been touted for years as anagent for weight loss, but there are no clinical studies to myknowledge that have been able to support this. Apple cider vinegarwould presumably have the similar nutritional properties as applejuice; the fact that it is more acidic does not give it anyadditional health-promoting properties. On the other hand, it's agreat low calorie seasoning for lots of foods, so enjoy!

2007-07-02 13:06:36.0 learn23: how do u feel bout "detox" diets?

2007-07-02 13:07:29.0 Susan Bowerman: Your body is designed to take good care of itself,assuming that you put the right nutrients in it. Your digestive tractdoes a great job at taking up what it needs and excreting what itdoesn't, assuming that you consume the requisite amount of healthyfiber a day (25-30 grams)....

2007-07-02 13:08:03.0 Susan Bowerman: Your liver is also your body's primary organ fordetoxification. The enzymes that do this are induced when you eatfruits and veggies, so that's the best defense against anypotentially harmful substances you might ingest...

2007-07-02 13:08:37.0 Susan Bowerman: I don't promote detox diets because I feel it's betterto eat well all the time. They appeal to people because it's sort ofthe equivalent of getting an oil change.

2007-07-02 13:08:40.0 KEK: I take a multivitamin, vitamin D and fish oil - do you feelthese can help my health or am I wasting my money?

2007-07-02 13:09:37.0 Susan Bowerman: I believe that a daily multiple vitamin is a goodnutritional insurance policy. Vitamin D is getting a lot of press forits health benefits beyond its role in helping the body to absorbcalcium, so I think you will see the recommended daily value for thisnutrient increase in the future. ...

2007-07-02 13:10:09.0 Susan Bowerman: As far as fish oil is concerned, most people do noteat fish a few times a week, and fish oil supplements provide healthyomega-3 fatty acids that are difficult to obtain otherwise.

2007-07-02 13:10:14.0 Joanne: Hello: I recently started to get arthritis in my fingers. Iam 74. Is there anything, food wise, I can do to help it ?

2007-07-02 13:11:23.0 Susan Bowerman: Arthritis is partly an inflammatory disease. Theanti-inflammatory properties in many fruits and vegetables, as wellas in omega-3 supplements may be helpful to you...

2007-07-02 13:12:41.0 Susan Bowerman: Some people find that glucosamine and chondrotin canhelp, but the clinical studies are not that strong...

2007-07-02 13:12:45.0 Joanne: does sugar have any effect ? Should I try to eliminate itfrom my diet ?

2007-07-02 13:13:37.0 Susan Bowerman: I don't know of any studies that have shown that sugarintake will aggravate the condition. But, there are other reasons toeliminate it, since it is a source of empty calories, and could be'squeezing out' the calories you could be consuming from healthierfoods.

2007-07-02 13:13:42.0 Irvin Shiffman: I am now fassting one day a week and plan to expandit to 2 days a week is this adviseable?

2007-07-02 13:14:18.0 Susan Bowerman: Fasting once in a while may make you 'feel lighter'either physically, spiritually, or otherwise.

2007-07-02 13:14:54.0 Susan Bowerman: An occasional day without food is not reallydangerous, although by the second day I would expect that you mightbe weak, tired and headache-y...

2007-07-02 13:14:58.0 Susan Bowerman: If you feel you want to do this in order to restrictcalories, I think it would be better to just cut back on a dailybasis.

2007-07-02 13:15:04.0 hoohoo: Are fiber supplements good? (Psyllium)

2007-07-02 13:15:53.0 Susan Bowerman: Fiber supplements can help you meet your fiber goal,provided it is strictly fiber, and not a stimulant-type of asupplement. On the other hand, keep in mind that when you eatfiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, you are getting so much morenutrition-wise.

2007-07-02 13:16:00.0 scoobydoo: What are the best ways to reduce the negative effects ofdiabetes? Do cutting carbs help? And is brown rice or wheat productshelpful?

2007-07-02 13:17:11.0 Susan Bowerman: Dietary management of diabetes is a complex subject,but cutting back on refined carbohydrates (white rice, pasta, whiteflour products, sugars, juices, etc) is a good first step, andreplacing them with whole grains. Beans and legumes are particularlygood because they have a low glycemic index and have very littleimpact on blood sugar.

2007-07-02 13:17:34.0 Administrator2: Okay, let's pause from questions for a moment. Susan,how about giving us the next four tips?

2007-07-02 13:18:55.0 Susan Bowerman: Okay.... I do suggest that people try to eat morefish; It has so many health benefits, and it's hard, as I said, toget the omega-3's from plant sources; next, cut out fried foods. Notonly do they have a lot of calories, and are often fried innot-so-good-for-you corn oil, the high temperature cooking canproduce some end products called advanced glycated endproducts thatmight be dangerous;...

2007-07-02 13:19:34.0 Susan Bowerman: Next try whole grain versions of your usual foods(brown rice instead of white; whole grain pasta), and use more herbsand spices - these have amazing health benefits and are one of thebest ways to enhance flavors when you cook with less fat.

2007-07-02 13:19:37.0 Irvin Shiffman: I read your article this morning with regard togout. I have been suffering from gout for about 20 years. I am toldit is hereditary. Both my father and my brother had the gout. Theyare both deceased(not from gout) I agreed with most of the things yousaid about gout. I have tried cherries as well. Fortunately I haven'thad a gout attack in 8 or 9 months. Excessive alcohol consumptionfrequently brings it on for me.

2007-07-02 13:20:13.0 Frank: I experience gout about once a year. I'm a hypertensivetaking 160 mg of Diovan daily and 81 mg of enteric coated aspirin. Iseldom eat meat. Consume vegetables and fruits on a daily basis. At190 lbs,I about 10 lbs over weight. Is there and foods I should avoidor focus on to prevent a re-occurence. Thanks Frank

2007-07-02 13:20:48.0 Susan Bowerman: I'm glad to know that you haven't had an attack forthe last 8-9 months. There is no question that alcohol consumptioncan bring on an attack, but specifically wine and spirits. Wine mayactually have some protective benefits (but drink in moderation).

2007-07-02 13:21:17.0 Susan Bowerman: Sorry, that was Irvin. To answer your questionFrank....

2007-07-02 13:22:11.0 Susan Bowerman: You might try reducing your intake of animal proteinsin general. In other words, if you don't eat meat, but are stilleating poultry, you could try substituting soy proteins for some ofyour meals and see if that works for you.

2007-07-02 13:22:17.0 KEK: What do you think about the new diet pill - alli?

2007-07-02 13:23:32.0 Susan Bowerman: Alli is the same as Orlistat, which was available onlyby prescription until it was recently released over the counter. Itcan produce slightly better weight loss results than diet alone, butkeep in mind that it is meant to block the absorption of about 1/3 ofthe fat that you eat - but you shouldn't eat a high fat diet or you'llhave side effects....

2007-07-02 13:23:47.0 Susan Bowerman: If you consume a very low fat diet start with, you maydo just as well without the Alli.

2007-07-02 13:23:56.0 Mitul: I like most people am trying to lose weight but am too busyto eat multiple small meals, and I am a vegetarian (ovo-lacto), andso I tend to eat something like a glass of milk for breakfast, anapple for lunch, and then eat a massive dinner because I am starvingby then. Do you have any recommendations for me to help me even outmy diet without it taking up too much time? Also how many caloriesshould I eat for breakfast in order to get the supposed weight-lossbenefit from it?

2007-07-02 13:25:03.0 Susan Bowerman: You probably are not consuming enough protein duringthe day to keep you satiated. Protein is extremely satisfying and aglass of milk doesn't quite cut it. Try a protein shake in themorning with milk, a protein powder with soy, whey or a blend, andsome fruit. That should keep you going until lunch....

2007-07-02 13:25:16.0 Susan Bowerman: For lunch, try some plain yogurt or cottage cheesewith fruit and see if that helps you for the afternoon.....

2007-07-02 13:25:45.0 Susan Bowerman: Also, watch your cheese intake. Lacto-ovos tend torely on it for protein, but the calories are high. A protein shake inthe morning would have less than 300 calories.

2007-07-02 13:25:49.0 Guest 34521: What are good foods to lower bad cholesterol. Can I eatthe flavored oatmeal packets for that

2007-07-02 13:26:50.0 Susan Bowerman: Oatmeal consumption has modest benefits oncholesterol. Plain oatmeal is better than the flavored. Dried beans,peas and lentils are also good sources of soluble fiber, as arefruits and vegetables, so focus on those.

2007-07-02 13:27:08.0 Administrator2: are steel cut oats better, Susan?

2007-07-02 13:27:48.0 Susan Bowerman: If you want to take the time to cook them! They tastegreat. You can put them in the crock pot overnight and have them forbreakfast. But the regular rolled oats are fine, too.

2007-07-02 13:27:55.0 kentb: Can you identify the best bread to buy that contain wholegrains. I buy my bread at trader joes and now buy Miltons whole grainbut this does not seem to be exclusively whole grain

2007-07-02 13:28:56.0 Susan Bowerman: Label reading is tricky. It should say '100% wholewheat' or '100% whole grain' somewhere on the label. You can't tellby the ingredients list alone, or by the color. Keep in mind that'wheat flour' is usually white flour.

2007-07-02 13:29:08.0 JoeParks: Without getting into the endless debate on theadvisibility of a daily mulitivitamin. In your experience, whatpercentage of respected nutrition academics personally take vitaminsor supplements?

2007-07-02 13:29:40.0 Susan Bowerman: I don't have an official headcount, but I would tellyou that most of the nutrition academics that I hang out with takethem regularly.

2007-07-02 13:30:32.0 Administrator2: Okay Susan! let's go with the final three top ten tipson how to clean up your diet. glad to see giving up bacon hasn't shownup yet.

2007-07-02 13:31:04.0 Susan Bowerman: Okay, well, the bacon question is pretty specific, butsince you keep asking about it... about the only good thing you cansay about bacon is that it tastes good.

2007-07-02 13:31:10.0 Susan Bowerman: Now, for the last few tips...

2007-07-02 13:32:39.0 Susan Bowerman: If you usual cereal isn't high in fiber, try mixing itwith a high fiber cereal and gradually adjusting the amounts toincrease your fiber intake; next try to balance your animal and plantproteins. Try beans, peas, lentils, and soy products to replace animalproteins and get less fat, no cholesterol, more fiber andphytonutrients. Last, make special treats really special. Rather thanjust habitually having dessert, have it less often and have somethingreally wonderful. A few bites of something incredible can be a lotmore satisfying than a lot of something that's just so-so.

2007-07-02 13:33:14.0 Administrator2: Okay, we'll go back to a follow-up question fromJoanne now, about her arthritis and what she can do about it withdiet....

2007-07-02 13:33:20.0 Joanne: I eat fruits and vegetables. It just started about 4 or 5months ago. I also have adhesive capsulitis in my shoulder. Anorthopedic surgeon told me it was an under productive thyroid . Couldthis be related to the arthritis in the fingers ?

2007-07-02 13:34:11.0 Administrator2: That's a medical question and sorry, but Susan reallycan't answer it. You should probably consult a physician. Back toother questions...

2007-07-02 13:34:35.0 Irvin Shiffman: What are thoughts on pomegranate juice as adeterrent for prostate cancer?

2007-07-02 13:34:38.0 Irvin Shiffman: Clark Urology at UCLA wrote an article on thebenefits of pomegranate juice

2007-07-02 13:35:15.0 Susan Bowerman: We are doing a lot of research here at our Center onpomegranate juice, and it is showing quite a bit of promise in thisarea....

2007-07-02 13:36:21.0 Susan Bowerman: At this point, we don't know if there is an optimalamount that you should take each day, but more research will tell us.Pomegranate has compounds that are unique to red-purple fruits, whichmay be what provides the benefit. There is also a pomegranate extractsupplement that will be on the market soon, which will have thebenefits of the juice without the calories. You will be seeing moreand more reseach on this amazing fruit.

2007-07-02 13:36:55.0 dan m: is their an ideal balance (percentage wise) of protein,carbs, and fats, or is it an individual thing?

2007-07-02 13:37:58.0 Susan Bowerman: I think that most people do well with a protein intakeof about 25-30% of calories, provided it's from lowfat proteins likefish, poultry, nonfat dairy and soy proteins. For carbs, about 50-55%is about right, which leaves 15-20% for fat, which is enough to makefood taste good, but it's not swimming in fat.

2007-07-02 13:38:11.0 Frank: Susan, Are there any other foods besides milk and cherries orherbs that would combat the potential of gout. Frank

2007-07-02 13:39:45.0 Susan Bowerman: Frank, the beneficial compounds in cherries aresimilar to those found in other berries, so it may be that thosefoods may also help to lower serum urate levels. I don't know of anystudies on any herbs that have been shown to be of benefit; thelowfat dairy connection looks fairly strong, so I'd encourage maybesome lowfat yogurt with some berries for your daily breakfast.

2007-07-02 13:39:55.0 Frank: Susan, Thanks for your input. Frank

2007-07-02 13:39:58.0 KEK: How much fiber is considered high in fiber?

2007-07-02 13:40:57.0 Susan Bowerman: The recommended fiber intake for adults is about 25-30grams per day. A food with at least 5 grams per serving is a decentamount per serving.

2007-07-02 13:41:06.0 kentb: Can you quantify the amount of grape juice I would need todrink to improve my hdl or an alternative food?

2007-07-02 13:42:23.0 Susan Bowerman: Grapes contain resveratrol, which may have benefits onyour bad cholesterol, not your good (HDL) cholesterol. There are nospecific recommendations, but make sure that you are consuming 100%pure juice. I would also take note of the calories.

2007-07-02 13:42:32.0 kiki: what is the best diet program ou there?

2007-07-02 13:44:20.0 Susan Bowerman: that's a big question. I think the best diet programis one that recommends about 25-30% of protein from lean sources tokeep you satisfied, then emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables toprovide antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, with small amounts ofgrains thrown in. That way, you get the satiety from the protein, aswell as fullness from the fiber and water in the fruits andvegetables.... you can meet most of your carbohydrate needs fromfruits and vegetables with just a few servings of grains per day.

2007-07-02 13:45:02.0 Administrator2: Since this is such a large topic, we may devote anupcoming chat just to a discussion of diets and dieting. For now,here is our last question of the day:

2007-07-02 13:45:07.0 Nia: I heard that eating too much soy could be bad for you. Is thistrue?

2007-07-02 13:46:26.0 Susan Bowerman: We recommend that people keep their intake at about 50grams per day or less or soy protein. That's a fair amount, and mostpeople don't consume that much. There's a difference between soyprotein and soy protein isolate, which is just the phytochemicalstaken from the soy. Don't confuse the two.

2007-07-02 13:47:40.0 Administrator2: Many thanks to Susan and everyone else for joining ustoday. The transcript of this session will be posted at the Healthhome page in about two hours.

2007-07-02 13:47:46.0 kiki: thank you

2007-07-02 13:47:52.0 Susan Bowerman: Thanks to everyone. Hope to chat again soon.

2007-07-02 13:48:10.0 Administrator2: Yes, we'll arrange another nutrition chat in the weeksto come.

2007-07-02 13:48:19.0 kentb: thank you ms Bowerman

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