Taz Bhatia, M.D., assistant professor at Emory University in Preventive/Integrative Medicine, director of the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine, and author of “What Doctors Eat” “I swear by avocados! The heart-healthy unsaturated fat in a delicious serving of avocado helps me stay full, which keeps me from snacking too much. Avocados are packed with vitamins C, K and B6 and they contain pre- and probiotics — keeping my gut healthy!” Dave Zinczenko, ABC News nutrition and wellness editor, is a New York Times No. 1 bestselling author. His latest book, “Eat It to Beat It!” is full of food swaps, meal plans and the latest food controversies.
Robert Lustig, M.D., M.S.L., director of the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) Program at the University of California, San Francisco, president of the nonprofit Institute for Responsible Nutrition, and author of “The Fat Chance Cookbook” “Eggs! They have lots of high quality protein, especially tryptophan. Protein is satiating, and also you spend more energy converting it to a metabolite that can be burned, which aids in weight management. Eggs got a bad rap in the 1980’s because of the cholesterol in the yolk. But it does not raise the small dense LDL, which is the atherogenic particle [the one that forms plaques in your arteries]. Eggs are great by themselves, with many different ways of preparation, or they can be added to foods easily.”
Yoni Freedhoff, M.D., medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute at the University of Ottawa, author of “The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work” “The one kind of food that most helps me live healthfully is nuts, and for me, any nut will do. I love them of course because they’re delicious, but also because study after study suggests that their inclusion in my diet helps prevent many chronic diseases. I also love them because they are full of protein and healthy fats that leave me feeling fuller longer, which in turns helps me all day long with dietary restraint. One trick I like to do is buy a cheap 1/4 cup measuring cup to store with my container of nuts. Nuts are quite energy dense, with each 1/4 cup of whole nuts coming in at around 200 calories.”
|Whey protein shakes|
Holly Lofton, M.D., director of the Medical Weight Management Program at NYU Langone Medical Center “I am always in favor of having a homemade whey protein shake with almond milk and 1 cup of frozen berries. Whey is highly bioavailable, so I know that my body is actually using this type of protein to build muscle, which keeps my metabolism fast. Many ‘pseudo-health’ drinks, while made with natural ingredients like fruit, provide the body with large doses of sugar. Though they may also have vitamins, your body sees those types of drinks as nothing more than taking a vitamin and following it with a sugar drink. With my busy lifestyle, I can count on the whey protein shake to be convenient, vitamin-rich, and most importantly, keep me full for about 4 hours. It’s also good for minimizing bloating when fitting into the latest fashions
Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., Guthrie Chair in Nutritional Sciences, Penn State University, and author of “The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet” “A favorite for me is the tomato. It is nutrient-rich and low in calorie density and it can be added to many types of meals to make them more satisfying. I look forward to the summer with the huge variety of heirloom tomatoes at the local farmers markets. At one market near me, the misshapes are sold by the basket and I eat myself silly along with the rest on my family.”
Scott Rankin, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Food Science Department at the University of Wisconsin “Cheese, for me specifically, Madison Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese. My reasoning: for me it strikes many chords. It’s made locally by people who I regard as scholars of cheese manufacturing — both in science and in craftsmanship. The complex flavor reflects so many elements of the company — small-scale production, scholarship, grass-fed dairy and craftsmanship. The flavor really tells a terrific story.”
David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P.M., F.A.C.P., director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and author of “Disease Proof” “Chickpeas. They are, of course, a nutritional powerhouse like most legumes. They are a good protein source, and I especially like turning to chickpeas for protein so I don’t need to eat meat. They have figured in the human diet since the very dawn of civilization, so they are nice connection to our ancestral roots. And they figure as well in some of my favorite cuisines from the Middle East. I love good hummus!”
|Dark, leafy greens|
Donald D. Hensrud, M.D, M.P.H., chair of the Division of Preventive, Occupational, and Aerospace Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and author of “The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook” “For me the best food is dark greens, such as arugula, spinach, and lettuces. They are very low in calories, very high in nutrients, and can be prepared in a variety of ways that taste great — many different types of salads, pasta dishes, lasagna, sandwiches, pesto, soups, or even a spinach pie! Locally in the summer is best and I always feel good about eating them, there’s no downside.”
Gerard Mullin, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Integrative GI Nutrition Services and author of “The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health”
Yogurt “Greek yogurt for palatability, satiation and protein content. Yogurt is also great for feeding the good bugs that live in your intestine, which improves the health of your microbiome, the community of microorganisms that live in your body. More and more research is pointing to probiotics as an effective treatment for weight management and obesity. It’s amazing that feeding the good bugs actually helps people lose weight. Organic, grass-fed yogurt is best because you are getting a better omega fatty acid profile. When animals are fed corn they produce dairy with more omega-6s, but grass-fed animals produce dairy with more healthy omega-3s.”
Apples The old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” isn’t only applicable to a healthy immune system. According to a new study from the University of Iowa, eating apples might even boost muscle growth. Researchers discovered that a natural compound called ursolic acid, which forms the waxy coating on many fruits [it’s also found in cranberries, pears and prunes], reduced muscle breakdown [atrophy] and stimulated muscle growth [hypertrophy] when fed to mice. One of the study’s lead researchers reported that ursolic acid promotes two hormones that build muscle while counteracting genetic changes that cause them to weaken. Mice that ingested ursolic acid had lower body fat and better glucose levels than those that were not fed the compound, reports menshealth.com.
Olive Oil’s 9 Good Reasons
What exactly do the virgin and extra virgin varieties provide in terms of health benefits?
1. It protects your DNA and RNA cells from damage caused by free radicals or oxidation.
2. It helps create a balance between omega 6 and 3 fatty acids. Too much omega 6 (which comes from foods that cause cancer such as meat and other saturated fats) can stimulate cancer cells to prosper and grow.
3. The extra virgin and virgin varieties can kill helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that causes gastric ulcer. Gastric ulcer can lead to cancerous cells in your stomach. This is based on a study done on olive oil by Dr. Concepcion Romero and her team at the University Hospital of Valme in Spain and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The findings from the study is definitely a breakthrough because the bacteria is already becoming resistant to antibiotics.
4. It can help heal gastric ulcer. This is one of the health benefits of olive oil that was discovered by researchers in a Russian study done on patients with gastric ulcer. (Taits NS, cited in de la Lastra A, et al.,Current Pharmaceutical Design)
5. It prevents inflammatory breast cancer. The virgin and extra-virgin varieties are rich in oleic acid. Oleic acid is found to decrease high levels of Her-2/neu protein, which is one of the risk factors for inflammatory breast cancer. This is also a positive discovery as IBC is getting to be common among young women. Related Article: Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symptoms
6. It stimulates your body to produce compounds that can fight cancerous cells. Just as your body can produce cancer cells, it can also produce “killers” to control them. The extra-virgin and virgin varieties can even induce cancerous cells to self-destruct and die and those tumors that survive become less aggressive.
7. It boosts the action of chemo drugs. If you’re diagnosed with the disease and you’re undergoing chemotherapy, make it a part of your daily diet. It pushes Herceptin (a chemo drug) to be more effective against breast cancer cells . These health benefits are results of a study published in the Annals of Oncology.
8. It protects from precancerous colon or rectal polyps. This is a step forward against colon cancer because polyps are risk factors for it. When meat is cooked at very high temperature it excretes a carcinogenic substance known as heterocyclic amines (HAs) but when extra-virgin or virgin olive oil is used, it is able to minimize the amount of HAs. I also read that cases of colorectal cancer are very low among those who live in Mediterranean countries and whose daily meals are composed of Mediterranean diet foods. The healthy oil is one of the basic ingredients in the Mediterranean diet. In fact, it is their only source of fat. Its health benefits are effective against constipation because of its mild laxative properties.
9. It is being considered as prevention against ALL leukemia. Various studies are currently being done on how the oil can work against aggressive cancers like Acute Lymphatic Leukemia which affects kids mostly.
Coconut Oil | Dr. Mercola
Coconut oil has been a dietary and beauty staple for millennia. It’s a powerful destroyer of all kinds of microbes, from viruses to bacteria to protozoa, many of which can be harmful, and provides your body with high-quality fat that is critical for optimal health. Around 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. In fact, coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on Earth. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can actually destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes, influenza, measles, gram-negative bacteria, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. This is undoubtedly part of what makes it so medicinally useful—both when taken internally and applied externally. Coconut oil is comprised of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are easily digested and readily cross cell membranes. MCFAs are immediately converted by your liver into energy rather than being stored as fat. This is in part why I recommend coconut oil as an ideal replacement for non-vegetable carbohydrates. Coconut oil is easy on your digestive system and does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream, so for a quick energy boost, you could simply eat a spoonful of coconut oil, or add it to your food. In the video above, I also share my recipe for a scrumptious yet healthful chocolate treat, courtesy of the healthy fat from coconut oil. To get more coconut oil into your diet, you can add it to your tea or coffee, in lieu of a sweetener. It will also help improve absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, so taking a spoonful of coconut oil along with your daily vitamins may help boost their effectiveness. Coconut oil is ideal for all sorts of cooking and baking, as it can withstand higher temperatures without being damaged like many other oils (olive oil, for example, should not be used for cooking for this reason). Furthermore, coconut oil does not go rancid, which is a huge boon when you’re making homemade concoctions. Coconut oil that has been kept at room temperature for a year has been tested for rancidity, and showed no evidence of it. Since you would expect the small percentage of unsaturated oils naturally contained in coconut oil to become rancid, it seems that the other (saturated) oils have a powerful antioxidant effect.
Blueberries | Dr. Weil
Any way you buy them – fresh, frozen or dried – blueberries are packed with nutritional power. If you need reasons beside taste to snack on blueberries, keep these nutrition facts in mind. Blueberries:
- Provide antioxidants. Anthocyanins, the pigments that make blueberries blue, are potent antioxidants: A half cup of blueberries provides the antioxidant power of five servings of peas, carrots, apples, squash or broccoli.
- Are a healthy, low glycemic-index carbohydrate, an especially good choice for diabetics.
- Are a source of vitamin C, important for a healthy immune system.
- Help meet your need for daily fiber – two grams per one-half cup serving.
- Have shown promise in addressing the effects of aging: animal studies have demonstrated improved motor skills and a reversal of age-related short-term memory loss associated with consuming blueberries.
- May have health benefits ranging from preventing cancer and defending against urinary tract infections to protecting the brain from stroke damage and reducing heart disease risks.
Salmon | Dr. Perricone
Wild Salmon contains essential fatty acids and powerful antioxidants such as the carotenoid, astaxanthin, that have important anti-inflammatory properties. My decades of research show that chronic, sub-clinical inflammation is the single greatest precipitator of aging and age-related diseases. These include heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, certain forms of cancer, and wrinkled skin. Salmon is also probably the world’s most heart healthy source of protein. It is rich in long-chain omega-3 essential fatty acids—the most beneficial kind—which protect heart health, inhibit inflammation, act as natural anti-depressants, increases feelings of well-being, and help keep skin young, supple and radiant. With the average age of menopause at 51 here in the US, at the age of 50, Madonna, a fan of the anti-inflammatory diet, needs to be sure that her food choices are especially cardio-protective. This is because after menopause, the risk of heart disease in women becomes comparable to the incidence in men. As a physician, I was quite astonished to learn that heart disease kills 10 times as many women as breast cancer.