Perhaps you've seen the warnings on medication bottles - do not consume alcohol with this medication or avoid grapefruit juice when taking this drug. Are you aware of the numerous combinations of food and drugs to avoid? Many common foods interact with drugs by either increasing their absorption or interfering with their mechanism of action. Here are some foods that often interact with medications.
Green leafy vegetables, which are high in vitamin K, can decrease the ability of blood-thinners to prevent clotting. Blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin® (warfarin) interfere with vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. It is not necessary to avoid greens altogether, but problems arise from significantly and suddenly increasing or decreasing intake, as it can alter the effectiveness of the medicine.
Grapefruit juice increases the absorption of several drugs, for example cholesterol-lowering statins, so it is recommended to avoid grapefruit when taking statins. Unlike other citrus juices, grapefruit contains furanocoumarins, a class of compounds that alter characteristics of medications. Thus, grapefruit juice can cause the body to metabolize drugs abnormally, resulting in lower or higher than normal blood levels of the drug. Many medications are affected in this way, including antihistamines, blood pressure drugs, thyroid replacement drugs, oral contraceptives, stomach acid-blocking drugs, and the cough suppressant dextromethorphan. It's best to avoid or significantly reduce intake of grapefruit juice when taking these medications.
Glycyrrhiza, a natural ingredient used to make black licorice, can deplete the body's potassium while causing an increased retention of sodium. With potassium depletion, the activity of the heart failure medication digoxin, can be greatly enhanced, resulting in an abnormal heartbeat. Glycyrrhiza also can decrease the effectiveness of high blood pressure medicines and can break down warfarin, causing an increase in the body's clotting mechanism. Excessive amounts of natural licorice should be avoided when taking all of these medications. However, artificially-flavored black licorice is not a concern because it doesn't contain glycyrrhiza.
Salt substitutes typically replace sodium with potassium, and the increased intake of potassium can reduce the effectiveness of digoxin, resulting in heart failure. Additionally, ACE inhibitors might cause a significant increase in blood potassium levels, as these drugs are known to increase potassium.
Tyramine is an amino acid found in chocolate, aged cheese, smoked meats, fermented soy, and draft beers. Several medications interfere with the breakdown of tyramine, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors used to treat depression and drugs used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Always read drug warning labels and ask your physician or pharmacist about which foods or other drugs you should avoid when receiving a prescription for a new medication or trying a new over-the-counter drug.
Simply put, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that exist in our gastrointestinal tract. Prebiotics promote, or feed the bacterial colonies and work synergistically with probiotics. In other words, prebiotics nourish and maintain probiotics, which restores and can improve gut health. Probiotic sources include yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and cultured non-dairy yogurts. Some good sources of prebiotics are bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans and whole-wheat foods. Products that combine both together are called synbiotics. For best results, try combining both in your usual diet by enjoying bananas atop yogurt or stir-frying asparagus with tempeh.
Are probiotic supplements needed? Probably not. By consuming regular food sources of probiotics, you can maintain the integrity of your gut and avoid disrupting your body's natural microbiome. At a minimum, prebiotics and probiotics are keys for good gut health. Research indicates that the gut bacterial environment is important for more than just digestive health.
Incorporating health-promoting functional foods, such as foods containing prebiotics and probiotics contributes to a healthier you!
For more advice on obtaining prebiotics and probiotics for your own specific health needs, especially if you have GI issues or a weakened immune system, our registered dietitian, Nasira, is here to help. Contact her today!
(425) 445-3914 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to Perfect Illusions, Eating Disorder and Family, five to ten million American women suffer from eating disorders, which means they also are facing body image issues as well. Females can have body image issues even without being diagnosed with an eating disorder. Children can easily pick up on comments about dieting concepts that might seem harmless, such as setting a boundary to high fat foods or eating less. When girls enter their teen years, they develop perceptions about dieting can lead to body distortion. Many factors can be stimulus for weight anxieties in girls and add influence to their eating habits in harmful ways, including:
Signs a Child Has a Negative Body Image
Warning signs of an unhealthy body image in children can help parents recognize problems early. Parents should watch for these signs:
Encourage open dialogue: Talk with your children about weight and try to inspire them to share their thoughts and feelings about body image whenever they arise. Children need to feel supported when they want to share their feelings about their weight struggles. Be sure to listen and recognize that all feelings are real. It is okay to share your experiences if you have had body image issues. It is best to explain that children and teens come in all different shapes and sizes and support inner beauty exploration.
Take action: Children learn quickly, and they learn best by example. Teach children habits that assist them to stay healthy for life. If your child is elementary age or younger and you have weight concerns, don’t talk about it negatively, rather start making lifestyle changes as a family. The goal should be to serve regular, balanced family meals and snacks. Try to reduce the time a child spends watching television or playing video games. Be creative in finding ways to spend time together actively.
A united front: Parents and other important adult relatives are should be on the same page. Mixed messages about weight can make unhealthy concerns for a child’s self-esteem.
Talk with a doctor: Speak with your family doctor privately about weight concerns without your children being present. Talk about precise concerns and solutions about a growth pattern and ask for suggestions for positive changes in your family’s eating habits and activity levels.
Seek advice: Check out local programs and professionals who specialize in youth advocacy. Look for a registered dietitian nutritionist with experience in pediatric weight management. Many hospitals and clinics have comprehensive programs with educational activities for both kids and adult family members. Some of these options may be covered by reliable health insurance plans.
Personal perceptions of weight gain for individual teens can be a struggle. All communication between parents and teens should be a fair and non-judgmental interaction; otherwise, teens will not want to talk to their parents when they most need their support. Parents need to have open communication with other teen advocates, such as family doctors and registered dietitian nutritionists to find healthy solutions to teen weight problems.
The autumn chill makes fall a perfect time for comforting recipes with pumpkin, cinnamon, apple, and squash. Delicious inspiration is abundant in restaurant menus, grocery store aisles, and online cooking forums. Unfortunately, we typically consume these fall foods as calorie-rich desserts and processed snacks. The good news is, a registered dietitian is here to help! There are plenty of simple, smart and healthy strategies to help you enjoy your favorite fall flavors without sabotaging your health. Here are a few suggestions:
Focus on produce. Keep recipes simple by filling them with apple slices, pureed pumpkin, chopped pears, or cubed winter squash. Plain whole apples are a delicious snack alone, but also consider using them to improve your oatmeal, or try one of the following recipes:
Bring out the winter squash. Acorn and butternut squash are another rich in fiber and important vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin A and C.
Try scrambled egg whites, tomatoes, peppers, and butternut squash, then add your favorite seasonings and herbs for a nutrient-rich and low-calorie breakfast. Here are some other ideas for incorporating squash into recipes:
A common misconception is that frozen foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, are inferior to their fresh counterparts. This is not always the case! The freezer case is usually stocked with convenience foods, from dough, to waffles and cookies, to TV dinners and pizzas. While some sections of the freezer aisle are not nutritious, frozen produce actually provides a nutrient-rich and convenient option for getting fruits and vegetables in the diet. Freezing preserves some of the nutrients and prevents degradation. Enjoy healthy frozen foods with little time or effort with the following tips.
Frozen Vegetables and Fruits
Do you have a persistent sweet tooth? Are you aware of the many dangers of giving into your cravings? In general, Americans consume too much sugar and the supporting statistics are appalling. The daily average consumption of added sugar by individuals is 300 calories (20 teaspoons or 80 grams). The current recommendation for added sugar by the American Heart Association is less than six teaspoons (24 grams) per day for women and nine teaspoons (36 grams) per day for men. That means the average American is consuming 11-14 teaspoons (44-56 grams) above the recommendation. Although most people could not imagine eating 14 teaspoons of white sugar, it is easy to do consume that quantity because our food has so much sugar added to it.
The most common sources of added sugar in our diets (Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare in 2015) are:
There are several alternatives to high-calorie sweeteners, such as sugar alcohols (Xylitol, Sorbitol, Maltitol, Mannitol), which naturally exist in plants, are not completely absorbed, have lower glycemic index than white sugar, have fewer calories per gram and do not promote tooth decay. The FDA recognizes Erythritol, Stevia, Isomalt, Sorbitol and Maltitol as being safe alternatives to white sugar because they are extracted from fruits, fermented foods, natural herbs, beets, stone fruits, berries, and starches.
Another alternative to traditional sweeteners is to use one of the FDA-approved sweeteners, such as Saccharin (Sweet-n-Low), Aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal), Sucralose (Splenda), although several of these have a bitter after taste and are chemically altered. Even though sweet foods exist naturally, like fresh fruits, our food supply has been overtaken by highly stimulating and overly sweet foods, so that natural sugars are less satisfying to a sweet tooth. This can be changed by replacing sugary desserts with fresh fruit, or fruit and yogurt-based desserts. Consuming less refined sugar will readjust your taste preferences so that you find natural sweetness more satisfying.
What are the dangers of added sugars?
Added sugar consumption contributes to weight gain and obesity. More than 60% of the global disease will be associated with obesity by 2020. In addition to extra calories, excess sugar elevates cholesterol imbalance and deregulates the body’s insulin response so that it takes more insulin to balance blood glucose. Excess sugar also promotes visceral and intrahepatic fat deposition and increases triglyceride levels and blood pressure. Sugary treats displace nutrient-dense healthy foods, so vitamin and mineral intake is compromised.
How can we take control of added sugar intake?
If you love sweets, consider taking some important steps to control your sweet tooth to improve your oral health and to avoid systemic disease.
Bones and teeth are made of the same material, and diet has an important role in maintaining bone tissue. Weakened bones can cause osteoporosis and increase fracture risk. This silent disease often goes undetected until a fracture occurs. It can strike at any age, however, osteoporosis most often occurs in people over age 50, and according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, half of women and one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Maintaining bone health in youth will impact the density of your bones as you age. A healthful diet and regular weight-bearing activity are extremely important to ensure bone tissue continues to build.
Bones are living tissue, constantly under construction. Special cells break down bone tissue (osteoclasts) and other cells (osteoblasts) use the calcium and nutrients from foods you eat to build new bone. If you are not physically active or getting the nutrition you need, bones become less dense, weaker and more likely to fracture.
Calcium, is the major nutrient needed to form new bone cells. Dairy foods are calcium-rich foods including milk, yogurt and cheese, and calcium-fortified soy milk, and fortified cereal. Some plant sources also provide calcium, such as soybeans, dark green leafy vegetables and calcium-fortified tofu.
Calcium needs vary at different stages of life, and the following lists the calcium need for various age groups:
If your oral surgery requires a soft food diet, here are some tips from our registered dietitian on getting enough nutrients:
Yield: 4 servings, serving size is 1 quesadilla.
Per serving, calories: 335, fat: 8 g, protein 24 g
Feeling fatigued? Can't lose weight? Marketers and friends would tell you that you need is a shot in the arm of the trendy vitamin B12 injections. Don’t be so easily convinced. The truth is that unless a B12 deficiency has been identified by a physician or primary care doctor, there is no need for B12 shots.
Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include:
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, so when you consume more than you need, the body excretes the excess. So, toxicity is not a major concern, however, the cost of B12 injections (ranging from $15 to $50) might be!
If you suspect that your B12 intake is inadequate, aim to include some of the following foods in your diet: