Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is There a Downside to Eating Chocolate?

You've heard a lot of hoopla about how good chocolate is for your health. Indeed, studies show that chocolate could be good for you. But before running out and stocking up, let's take a closer look. Is chocolate really all that good? Or is there a downside to eating chocolate? Let's take a closer look.

On the good side: Studies show that eating 1.6 ounces of dark chocolate could be good for you. The magic of dark chocolate is that it contains a large amount of powerful compounds called flavonoids, have been proven to protect the heart and blood vessels. Dark chocolate can also help to boost your immune system as well as lift your mood.

With all of those health benefits, does that mean you should sit down and pack in a whole box of your favorite chocolate covered candy or a handful of chocolate bars?

To answer that question, you must know that not all chocolate is created equal. In fact, most of the chocolate bars you buy in your local supermarket are loaded with sugar and fat, which puts them high on the list of high-calorie foods. And they are also likely to contain less than 50 percent of the health-promoting flavonoids found in dark chocolate.

So, the downside of eating chocolate is simply this: Eating chocolate candy bars can lead to an excessive intake of calories from sugar and fat. This could be bad for you, particularly if you are overweight, or if you have diabetes, heart disease or other condition for which you must cut calories, sugar or fat.

The information provided on this blog is for information and education only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. See your personal healthcare provided for treatment of any medical condition that you might have. And consult a registered dietitian about making changes to your diet when necessary.


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Is a High Protein Diet the Best Way to Lose Weight?

High-protein diets often produce amazing results for people who are trying to lose weight. They seem to work for several reasons. One being that eating a large amount of protein can have you feeling full and therefore reduce the chances of nibbling and consuming excess calories. Another reason that high protein diets work is that when your diet is low in carbohydrates, you begin to burn fat.

Unfortunately, most people who lose weight on a high-protein diet regain the weight after going off of the diet. That simply reminds us that it takes a lot of commitment to maintain a healthy, balanced diet that meets but does not exceed calorie needs.

There are several other drawbacks to a high-protein diet. For example, cutting back on carbohydrates can result in low levels of essential nutrients that are found mostly in carbohydrates. Additionally, it will take careful planning to ensure that you are getting enough fiber in your diet to prevent constipation.

A high-protein diet is also likely to be high in meat. A diet that is high in meat is also more likely to be high in saturated fat. Too much saturated fat is associated with an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Renal disease is another concern when going on a high-protein diet. If your kidneys are not functioning properly, there is a chance that you could make the situation worse, since your kidney must get rid of the excess nitrogen produced on a high-protein diet.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Could Dark Chocolate Really Be Good for People with Diabetes?

If you have diabetes, you are probably wondering if it is okay to have a bite of chocolate or to continue your usual cup of cocoa tea.

While consuming sugary chocolate bars might not be a good thing, studies show that just the opposite is true when it comes to dark chocolate, made from real cocoa. Cocoa is rich in polyphenols. 

According to a study reported in "Diabetic Medicine," a journal of the British Diabetic Association, researchers found that feeding about 1.5 ounces of polyphenol-rich chocolate to a small group of diabetics for 8 weeks was effective in improving HDL or "good" cholesterol levels. On the other hand, when the individuals were fed low-polyphenos chocolate no changes in cholesterol was seen.



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Friday, November 11, 2011

LunchBox Seminars

We're glad you found us. We are currently developing our websites to provide answers to your most challenging questions about food, nutrition, diet and health. Meanwhile, please take a moment to visit the websites listed below and send us your questions and comments.

We are constantly updating the following websites to bring you up-to-date information, tips and guidelines. So, check back often.

Dr. Carter's Nutrition Journal
Daily Diet Guide
Medical Nutrition Therapy
LunchBox Seminars