Are you looking for ideas for stocking stuffers or Hanukkah gifts this season? This is the perfect gift for your healthy minded love ones or friends. Thanks to Angela Farris for her book review. Read on below:
Book Review: The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.
By Angela Farris, MA
The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth would make a great gift for any nutrition-loving friend or relative. It boasts great photos and information about foods that are familiar favorites (re: broccoli) to interesting new items to try (re: umebosi plums). It is not a typical diet book that preaches a particular diet—it simply outlines the healthiest foods. It’s categorized into 14 chapters and emphasizes 4 key factors: omega-3 fats, fiber, antioxidants, and glycemic index. Below is a quote that summarizes the book perfectly:
“In America, we’ve made a huge mistake by trying to define the perfect diet in terms of protein, carbs, and fats. Endless diet and weight loss books are written trying to come up with the perfect formula…when in fact the actual quality of the food we eat is probably way more important for our health than the proportions of fat, carbs, and protein.” –Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., author
The book truly has 150 foods; from Kohlrabi to Sunflower Seeds to Garlic. Each food item is described and the nutrition benefits are outlined. My favorite chapter is labeled ‘Specialty Food’. Here you’ll find Dark Chocolate, Olives, and Kimchi among others. Other chapters titles include vegetables, fruits, dairy, beans/legumes, nuts/seeds/nut butters, fish/seafood, beverages, herbs, oils, grains, soy foods, sweeteners and meat/poultry/eggs.
Every few pages there is a ‘Worth Knowing’ section that has interesting food facts and/or trivia. I learned all about turkey right before Thanksgiving. It turns out turkey is not what is adding to that post-Thanksgiving food coma—one serving of turkey has less than half a gram of tryptophan, the amino acid blamed for our sluggishness. It’s likely that we just eat too much!
I do wish that the author provided a scientific reference index at the end of the book. Many references to scientific articles were made and it would be useful to have a list of the authors and full titles in case a reader would want to pursue further research.
Overall Grade for The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: A
Friday, December 9, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
I have worked with hundreds of clients, some who come right into my office and tell me they are addicted to sugar. It’s a common theme that is explored individually. After reviewing patterns and lifestyles, recommendations are made to change the makeup of meals as well as the timing and almost always we are able to decrease the intensity of the cravings once we fuel the body correctly.
I was intrigued to read the study led by Yale University and the University of Southern California who reviewed the relationship between glucose drops and responses by the brain. The study was published September 19th in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The Yale scientists manipulated glucose levels intravenously and monitored blood glucose levels while subjects were shown pictures of high calorie foods, low calorie food, and non food items. Each subject underwent MRI scans which showed that when glucose levels dropped, the hypothalamus sensed the change. The insula and striatum, other parts of the brain associated with rewards, were also activated stimulating a need to eat. The prefrontal cortex also proved to lose its ability to curb signals to eat and this was the most significant when subjects were shown high calorie foods.
When results of the study were reviewed, researches from the University of Southern California hypothesize that “obese individuals may have a limited ability to inhibit the impulsiveness drive to eat, especially when glucose levels drop below normal.”
In my opinion and experience it is not just the obese population who is at risk of glucose levels dropping. Any individual who does not eat consistently and healthy is at risk to a low glucose reaction. Do you feel you crave sweets more than the norm? Why not talk it over with a dietitian. You may be able to make some changes including timings of meals and the makeup of your meals to decrease the cravings to a point where they are bearable and not sabotaging.