Posts Tagged "eating"

15May

Men suffer from eating disorders, too — so why do we ignore them? – National

by BBG Hub

In a recent interview, Twitter CEO and tech giant Jack Dorsey said that he only eats one meal a day during the workweek (dinner) and on weekends, he fasts.

“The first time I did it, like Day 3, I felt like I was hallucinating,” Dorsey told fitness influencer Ben Greenfield.

“It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centred around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer — how time really slowed down.”

READ MORE: Signs of eating disorders that often go unnoticed — ‘They’re not about food’

Dorsey said his diet allowed him to “feel so much more focused,” and it was widely lauded as the secret to his success.

In some instances, Dorsey’s diet was described as “biohacking,” a practice common to Silicon Valley that promotes the use of restrictive diets and fasts as a way to optimize productivity.

However, critics were quick to point out that Dorsey’s habits sounded a lot like those of an eating disorder. People also took issue with his extreme fasting being spoken about in a positive light.

Dr. Simon Sherry, a registered psychologist who specializes in eating disorders, says these concerns are valid because, oftentimes, men aren’t made aware that their food habits can be a sign of disordered eating.

(Editor’s note: Sherry made it extremely clear that he cannot diagnose Dorsey with any eating disorder, but he is concerned with the narrative around his diet. Dorsey himself has never claimed to struggle with an eating disorder, either.)

READ MORE: ‘Clean eating’ trend has eating disorder specialists concerned

“There is a problem where eating disorders are mischaracterized as female or as feminine… and that’s just not the case,” Sherry said.

According to Sherry, about 0.2 to 0.3 per cent of the male population will have anorexia nervosa at some point in their life. For bulimia nervosa, that number rises to between 2.1 and 2.5 per cent of the population. For binge eating disorders, it’s between one and three per cent.

“This is far from an exclusively female problem,” said Sherry.

Masculine stereotypes

Sherry attributes much of the misunderstanding about male eating disorders to a perceived disconnect between eating disorders and masculinity.

“Since eating disorders are cast as a feminine issue… (they) run counter to masculine gender norms,” Sherry said.

“It’s hard to imagine John Wayne suffering from an eating disorder. You’re silent, you’re tough, you’re independent.”

Sherry says men are taught that they’re not supposed to be sick or struggling — especially not with a “woman’s illness” — and this prevents them from coming forward with their illness.

“We can be especially stigmatizing of men who don’t conform to masculine gender norms,” he said.

WATCH: ‘Clean eating’ trend has eating disorder specialists concerned





Aryel Maharaj, outreach and education co-ordinator at the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), sees this often in his work.

“Boys and men are less likely to seek help,” he said.

“When someone identifies as a male and they contact us on our helpline, for example, we’ll do some extra validation.”

NEDIC operates a helpline for those struggling with eating disorders from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

This can look like extra encouragement or reassurance that the person calling in is not alone in his struggle.

“We even have pamphlets and resources specifically for men and boys,” Maharaj said. “It’s probably been a big fight for them to contact us in the first place.”

The “choice” narrative

According to Maharaj, anyone can have an eating disorder, and it’s a mental illness that needs to be taken seriously.

NEDIC characterizes an eating disorder as “persistent disturbances to eating and eating-related behaviours that result in harm to one’s physical health, mental health and/or psycho-social functioning,” he said.

“People always want to know the causes… but the development of an eating disorder can’t really be contributed to a specific person or event or gene.”

READ MORE: Sophie Grégoire Trudeau opens up about her former struggle with bulimia

Without a clear single cause to blame, eating disorders are sometimes — dangerously — attributed to choice.

Part of the stigma surrounding eating disorders is constructing it in terms of personal responsibility — these are choices that you can or cannot make,” said Sherry.

“To reduce an eating disorder to a question of personal responsibility is a wild discrepancy from what research tells us. Research tells us an eating disorder is a biologically based disorder involving genetic risk factors and high heritability estimates.”

Limits to diagnosis and treatment for men

Securing the funding for research on disordered eating in men is even harder because of the stigma that surrounds it.

“Stigma is driving slower recognition of eating disorder symptoms and stigma is driving delayed help-seeking,” said Sherry.

This appears to be especially true for men who admit themselves to an eating disorder clinic.

“They have a lower body mass index on average and they’re at a higher age on average,” he said. “That suggests that we’ve got someone who’s finally getting help, but they’re older… and they’re arguably suffering from a more severe version of the problem, compared to women, as expressed in their lower body mass index.”

READ MORE: Experts say sharing weight-loss resolutions online can be harmful to those with eating disorders

This stigma is amplified by the stigma of eating disorders more broadly, too.

“There is a heavy stigma surrounding disordered eating for men and for women alike… and it runs deep,” he said.

“To give you a concrete example… in Canada, per person with an eating disorder per year, we spend about $2.41 on someone with an eating disorder. In contrast, for someone with autism, we’re spending about $462.14.”

Education is key

For Sherry, change begins with increased mental health literacy across the board.

“Mental health literacy surrounding eating disorders is very low, and that needs to be corrected on several levels. Practitioners and researchers need more information. The general public also needs more information,” he said.

Sherry is also determined to eliminate the “choice” narrative.

“We have to challenge (people when they) mistakenly admire certain aspects of disordered eating,” Sherry said.

When it comes to helping men specifically, the stigma has to go.

“The stigma often involves a deep and profound sense of shame… We have to start challenging the myths and misconceptions about the data,” he added.

In his work at NEDIC, Maharaj is focused on intersectionality.

“Especially for folks who come from underserved populations — whether that’s queer and trans folks, people of colour or Indigenous people,” he said. “We need to make sure that those people also have a voice at the table.”

READ MORE: Laxative abuse is the eating disorder that’s rarely talked about

Eating disorders are serious, but there are effective treatments available.

That’s why Dr. Allan Kaplan, senior clinician and chief of research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, believes it’s of the utmost importance to teach men how to recognize the signs and symptoms of disordered eating.

According to Kaplan, there are three major recognized eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

“Anorexia nervosa is characterized by being a low weight, which compromises a person’s physical and emotional functioning,” Kaplan said.

“Bulimia nervosa is characterized by binge eating and purging, usually at a normal weight. (It) has a lower mortality, but it certainly has a high morbidity — it affects people’s quality of life.

“Finally, binge eating disorder generally affects obese people, but they do not compensate — they don’t purge, they don’t starve themselves, they don’t over-exercise.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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30Apr

Will eating peanuts dull your child’s allergy? Experts are divided – National

by BBG Hub

Exposing a child with a peanut allergy to a small amount of peanuts over a period of time has long been considered an effective way to lessen the impacts of the allergy, but a recent study has found that oral immunotherapy (OIT) can increase a child’s risk of severe allergic reaction by three times compared to if they were to avoid peanuts altogether.

“We’re not outright saying that this treatment doesn’t work for anyone or that this treatment should be abandoned … but right now this is an experimental treatment,” said Dr. Derek Chu, a fellow in clinical immunology and allergy at McMaster University.

READ MORE: Half of adults who think they have food allergies actually don’t — study

Led by Chu, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 12 controlled studies of peanut oral immunotherapy. Altogether, the analysis involved more than 1,000 patients between the ages of five and 12.

The results were clear: the frequency of anaphylaxis was 7.1 per cent for those on a placebo or practicing avoidance (which is the practice of avoiding exposure to the allergen at all costs).

For those undergoing a peanut treatment, it rose to 22.2 per cent.

An allergy to peanuts is different from other allergies, according to Chu. It’s thought to be lifelong and it’s often associated with severe allergic reactions.

“It’s one of the most common causes of food-induced anaphylaxis presenting to the emergency room,” said Chu.

WATCH: U.S. teen with peanut allergy dies after accidentally eating cookie parents deemed ‘safe’





The severity of the allergy has long perplexed doctors, which is why OIT as a possible way to mitigate those omnipresent and often life-threatening symptoms has excited the medical community.

As both a doctor and someone who has had a peanut allergy his entire life, Chu hopes OIT will one day be an effective way to manage symptoms. However, he is skeptical about the practice as it stands. 

“(OIT) may work for some, but we don’t know who and we don’t know how to optimize that yet. We need to make improvements,” Chu said.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t suffer in silence’ — How to treat your seasonal allergies

Food allergies are extremely common, and peanut allergies even more so.

According to Food Allergy Canada, more than 2.6 million Canadians self-report having at least one food allergy, and peanut allergies affect two out of 100 children in Canada.

Depending on its severity, a peanut allergy can cause a range of symptoms — from hives and nausea to shortness of breath and trouble breathing.

Severe allergies can make everyday activities difficult

Burlington mom Hiromi Okuyama has a four-year-old son with food allergies so severe that they affect her entire family.

“Our grocery bill is much higher than the average family. We hardly ever eat out, (and) fast food isn’t in his vocabulary,” said Okuyama. “We pack his food all the time, we’re nervous about eating at restaurants and travelling is hard.”

Okuyama’s son has anaphylactic reactions to dairy, wheat and eggs so she needs to watch him almost constantly.

“He is so sensitive that he reacts just by touching something with the allergen,” she said. “We have to clean all surfaces before he eats. When he goes to public places and there is carpet, I can see rashes appear sometimes because the carpet probably has food particles in it that he’s allergic to.”

READ MORE: Unvaccinated — Should vaccinations be mandatory for school-aged kids?

For Okuyama, her son’s allergies can be extremely stressful — especially when her family wants to do something relatively “normal,” like join their extended family at a restaurant for a special event.

“We usually bring his own food because we worry about cross-contamination,” she said.

“Some people may think my husband and I are overprotective, but they don’t understand how lethal dairy, wheat and egg is to my son. (They) can have fatal consequences.”

In the view of Dr. Harold Kim, president of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI), OIT could be an effective way to ease some of the anxiety that often accompanies severe allergies.

He believes the treatment could lead patients to a “more normal life where they don’t have to be paranoid about trace amounts of food.”

“Some patients can have quite a lot of anxiety around eating out … I would say, on average, it does have a big impact on quality of life,” said Kim. 

OIT can have positive outcomes

That’s why Kim believes OIT should be offered to patients.

“The science behind it is very good … but, of course, we want to warn people about the potential side effects. You could extrapolate that to any medical therapy that we have,” he said.

“If we use a blood thinner to treat blood clots, there’s an increased risk of bleeding for those patients, but the benefit is that they won’t have life-threatening problems with blood clots.”

Kim believes that Chu’s findings were to be expected.

“(During OIT) we’re giving children the food they’re allergic to,” Kim said. “We warn all patients that there is an increased risk of systemic side effects and milder effects as well.”

Despite these side effects, Kim thinks OIT still helps people with severe peanut allergies lead more normal lives.

More research is needed

The outcomes of OIT treatment can be unpredictable, which worries doctors like Dr. Elana Lavine, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at Humber River Hospital.

“I have been avidly following the oral immunotherapy research and I would hope to be able to provide this service to my own patients in the future, but I’m still working on concerns regarding the pragmatics of how to operate in a safe way,” said Lavine. 

Her concerns are mostly about how to provide patients with around-the-clock care in case of an anaphylactic reaction — which can happen, since they’re consuming their allergens on a regular basis.

“The real-life application of this therapy does carry certain risks,” said Lavine. “Parents and patients would have to be given appropriate informed consent before they began this process.”

WATCH: Is it worth it to get a food sensitivity test?





There’s also the chance that OIT could have a negative impact on your quality of life, as it can come with several side effects.

“The most common side effects seem to be discomfort associated with ingesting the food that you’re allergic to,” said Lavine.

This can include but is not limited to stomachaches, abdominal pain and problems with the esophagus. There’s also, of course, the risk of have an anaphylactic reaction. 

Add peanuts to your child’s diet as soon as possible

One way you can reduce your child’s risk of developing a severe peanut allergy is to introduce peanuts at a young age — ideally, between four and six months of age.

For this preventative measure to be effective, your baby should be ingesting peanuts regularly.

This is the official stance of the Canadian Pediatric Society, and it’s one both Kim and Lavine wholeheartedly endorse.

“That’s absolutely something I recommend to all of my patients, and it’s not altered at all by the recent publications about oral immunotherapy,” said Lavine. 

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




Source link

30Apr

Will eating peanuts dull your child’s allergy? Experts are divided – National

by BBG Hub

Exposing a child with a peanut allergy to a small amount of peanuts over a period of time has long been considered an effective way to lessen the impacts of the allergy, but a recent study has found that oral immunotherapy (OIT) can increase a child’s risk of severe allergic reaction by three times compared to if they were to avoid peanuts altogether.

“We’re not outright saying that this treatment doesn’t work for anyone or that this treatment should be abandoned … but right now this is an experimental treatment,” said Dr. Derek Chu, a fellow in clinical immunology and allergy at McMaster University.

READ MORE: Half of adults who think they have food allergies actually don’t — study

Led by Chu, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 12 controlled studies of peanut oral immunotherapy. Altogether, the analysis involved more than 1,000 patients between the ages of five and 12.

The results were clear: the frequency of anaphylaxis was 7.1 per cent for those on a placebo or practicing avoidance (which is the practice of avoiding exposure to the allergen at all costs).

For those undergoing a peanut treatment, it rose to 22.2 per cent.

An allergy to peanuts is different from other allergies, according to Chu. It’s thought to be lifelong and it’s often associated with severe allergic reactions.

“It’s one of the most common causes of food-induced anaphylaxis presenting to the emergency room,” said Chu.

WATCH: U.S. teen with peanut allergy dies after accidentally eating cookie parents deemed ‘safe’





The severity of the allergy has long perplexed doctors, which is why OIT as a possible way to mitigate those omnipresent and often life-threatening symptoms has excited the medical community.

As both a doctor and someone who has had a peanut allergy his entire life, Chu hopes OIT will one day be an effective way to manage symptoms. However, he is skeptical about the practice as it stands. 

“(OIT) may work for some, but we don’t know who and we don’t know how to optimize that yet. We need to make improvements,” Chu said.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t suffer in silence’ — How to treat your seasonal allergies

Food allergies are extremely common, and peanut allergies even more so.

According to Food Allergy Canada, more than 2.6 million Canadians self-report having at least one food allergy, and peanut allergies affect two out of 100 children in Canada.

Depending on its severity, a peanut allergy can cause a range of symptoms — from hives and nausea to shortness of breath and trouble breathing.

Severe allergies can make everyday activities difficult

Burlington mom Hiromi Okuyama has a four-year-old son with food allergies so severe that they affect her entire family.

“Our grocery bill is much higher than the average family. We hardly ever eat out, (and) fast food isn’t in his vocabulary,” said Okuyama. “We pack his food all the time, we’re nervous about eating at restaurants and travelling is hard.”

Okuyama’s son has anaphylactic reactions to dairy, wheat and eggs so she needs to watch him almost constantly.

“He is so sensitive that he reacts just by touching something with the allergen,” she said. “We have to clean all surfaces before he eats. When he goes to public places and there is carpet, I can see rashes appear sometimes because the carpet probably has food particles in it that he’s allergic to.”

READ MORE: Unvaccinated — Should vaccinations be mandatory for school-aged kids?

For Okuyama, her son’s allergies can be extremely stressful — especially when her family wants to do something relatively “normal,” like join their extended family at a restaurant for a special event.

“We usually bring his own food because we worry about cross-contamination,” she said.

“Some people may think my husband and I are overprotective, but they don’t understand how lethal dairy, wheat and egg is to my son. (They) can have fatal consequences.”

In the view of Dr. Harold Kim, president of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI), OIT could be an effective way to ease some of the anxiety that often accompanies severe allergies.

He believes the treatment could lead patients to a “more normal life where they don’t have to be paranoid about trace amounts of food.”

“Some patients can have quite a lot of anxiety around eating out … I would say, on average, it does have a big impact on quality of life,” said Kim. 

OIT can have positive outcomes

That’s why Kim believes OIT should be offered to patients.

“The science behind it is very good … but, of course, we want to warn people about the potential side effects. You could extrapolate that to any medical therapy that we have,” he said.

“If we use a blood thinner to treat blood clots, there’s an increased risk of bleeding for those patients, but the benefit is that they won’t have life-threatening problems with blood clots.”

Kim believes that Chu’s findings were to be expected.

“(During OIT) we’re giving children the food they’re allergic to,” Kim said. “We warn all patients that there is an increased risk of systemic side effects and milder effects as well.”

Despite these side effects, Kim thinks OIT still helps people with severe peanut allergies lead more normal lives.

More research is needed

The outcomes of OIT treatment can be unpredictable, which worries doctors like Dr. Elana Lavine, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at Humber River Hospital.

“I have been avidly following the oral immunotherapy research and I would hope to be able to provide this service to my own patients in the future, but I’m still working on concerns regarding the pragmatics of how to operate in a safe way,” said Lavine. 

Her concerns are mostly about how to provide patients with around-the-clock care in case of an anaphylactic reaction — which can happen, since they’re consuming their allergens on a regular basis.

“The real-life application of this therapy does carry certain risks,” said Lavine. “Parents and patients would have to be given appropriate informed consent before they began this process.”

WATCH: Is it worth it to get a food sensitivity test?





There’s also the chance that OIT could have a negative impact on your quality of life, as it can come with several side effects.

“The most common side effects seem to be discomfort associated with ingesting the food that you’re allergic to,” said Lavine.

This can include but is not limited to stomachaches, abdominal pain and problems with the esophagus. There’s also, of course, the risk of have an anaphylactic reaction. 

Add peanuts to your child’s diet as soon as possible

One way you can reduce your child’s risk of developing a severe peanut allergy is to introduce peanuts at a young age — ideally, between four and six months of age.

For this preventative measure to be effective, your baby should be ingesting peanuts regularly.

This is the official stance of the Canadian Pediatric Society, and it’s one both Kim and Lavine wholeheartedly endorse.

“That’s absolutely something I recommend to all of my patients, and it’s not altered at all by the recent publications about oral immunotherapy,” said Lavine. 

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




Source link

4Apr

It’s not just fat and salt that’s killing us — it’s also what we aren’t eating – National

by BBG Hub


Instead of focusing solely on disease when it comes to risk factors of death, a new study suggests diet is just as important.

According to a recent study published in The Lancet on Wednesday, globally, the number of people eating healthy food and getting enough nutrients was suboptimal in 2017.

The study found globally, one in five deaths (that’s about 11 million deaths) in 2017 were linked to poor diet, with cardiovascular disease being the largest contributor, followed by cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

The study, which looked at 195 countries over a 27-year period is part of the annual Global Burden of Disease report, where researchers track premature death and disability from more than 350 diseases and injuries in those countries, CNN reported.

READ MORE: 5 physical signs your diet needs to change

“In many countries, poor diet now causes more deaths than tobacco smoking and high blood pressure,” lead author Ashkan Afshin told the news site.

“While traditionally, all the conversation about healthy diet has been focused on lowering the intake of unhealthy food, in this study, we have shown that, at the population level, a low intake of healthy foods is the more important factor, rather than the high intake of unhealthy foods.”

Afshi, who is also an assistant professor at University of Washington, added there were 15 dietary risk factors and the highest ones included eating too much salt and not eating enough whole grains, fruits and nuts and seeds. Some of the risk factors lower on the risk scale included too much processed meat, red meat, trans fat and sweetened drinks.

According to the study, the proportion of diet-related deaths was highest in Uzbekistan and the lowest in Israel. The U.K. ranked 23rd, the U.S. 43rd, China 140th, and India 118th. A majority of countries were grouped in categories like tropical Latin America, Southeast Asia, Oceania and southern sub-Saharan Africa. Canada was part of a grouping of “high-income North America.”

CNN noted in Asia, there was a high consumption of salt, while in Mexico, there was a lack of nuts and seeds in people’s diets.

This is ‘not surprising’

Author and registered dietitian Abbey Sharp of Abbey’s Kitchen said it’s not surprising poor diet was a leading cause of death around the world.

“While I do think it’s hard to tease a lot of these risk factors apart in a lot of cases (that’s the challenge of doing nutrition or health-related population research), we have decades of quality research suggesting that what we put or don’t put into our bodies has an enormous impact on disease, longevity and quality of life.”

And when it comes to risk factors like salt, Sharp said most of us are unaware of how much salt is actually in our food.

“Most of the food we’re eating is no longer cooked from scratch,” she explained. “If we were to make all of our meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks — the way our grandparents did, we would be able to visibly see what salt we’re adding in food preparation and at the table.”

But it’s not just salt that dietitians are concerned about.

“Most of the salt in our diet is coming from packaged foods, processed foods, or fast foods where salt is not only added for flavour, but for preservation purposes,” she continued. “Even the seemingly ‘healthy choices’ in restaurants or the store-bought prepared meals can be loaded with sodium. Food doesn’t have to taste ‘salty’ to have a lot of salt.”

Why aren’t we eating enough fruits, whole grains and nuts?

Health Canada recommends making at least half your plate vegetables and fruits on a daily basis, and varying the type of fruits and veggies you eat from berries to leafy greens to cabbage.

To eat more veggies in general, try pre-bagged veggies for a quick salad or stir-fry or serve raw vegetables like peppers and cucumbers with dinner or lunch. For fruit, replace sugary desserts with fruit salad or oranges, and add frozen fruit to baking.

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive

“I think it’s largely to do with convenience again,” Sharp explained. “Typically, whole grains, fruits, veggies and nuts and seeds are not found in abundance the same way that refined grains like corn, oils and highly-processed meats are.”

She said these foods tend to be a bit more expensive, and restaurants’ or food manufacturers’ “bottom line,” often skimping on some of these more nutritious ingredients in favour of cheaper filler carbs, salt and fat.

Tips to eat healthier

But eating healthier on a daily basis is hard with our busy, stressful and fast lives. Prepping a grocery list and meal planning are good ways to have more control over what you eat, but Sharp said it’s also about focusing on what we need to eat more of.

“Ultimately, by including more of those whole grains, fruits and veggies into our diet, we’re going to edge out some of the more processed, high sodium, low nutrient foods,” she said. “But I find that talking about what to eat more of rather than eat less of is more approachable and palatable to most Canadians.”

READ MORE: Why diets aren’t working for you – or anyone else

Start by including one new whole grain, fruit or veggie, into our meals or snacks. She added by default, we will cut back on other less healthy options. Over time, this can become a habit.

“I think that we really need to invest more pride and love in what we put into our bodies. Food should not just be seen as fuel. We need to prioritize shopping, cooking, and eating food as part of our daily routine, which will reduce our reliance on overly processed, high salt, low nutrition convenience foods.”

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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5Mar

Pizza and chocolate can be just as addicting as drugs and alcohol, study suggests – National

by BBG Hub

Have you ever opened a bag of chips, only to polish it off moments later?

There could be a scientific reason for that.

According to a new study, pizza, chocolate, chips, cookies and ice cream are the foods most often associated with “addictive-like eating.”

READ MORE: More than half of food produce in Canada is wasted: ‘It would horrify our grandparents’

The goal of the study was to better understand which foods, and properties of those foods, were associated with addictive overeating.

It’s no coincidence that your favourite junk foods (as opposed to fresh produce and other natural foods) top the list.

“The level of processing” is the largest predictor for how addicting a food will be, nutrition expert and study co-author Nicole Avena told Global News.

WATCH BELOW: Health benefits of yogurt





Researchers suggest that food with added amounts of fat and refined carbohydrates (such as sugar and white flour) may have qualities similar to those of drugs, like nicotine or alcohol.

These ingredients “have been shown in other studies to activate reward-related regions of the brain,” Avena said.

“The foods we often tend to overeat and feel compelled to eat might have those effects on our behaviour because of something about them is causing addiction-like changes in our behaviours.”

READ MORE: Eight unhealthy foods that aren’t bad for you

During the study, participants were asked to analyze 35 foods and choose which they most associated with addictive-like eating behaviours.

Researchers then used the hierarchy to investigate which food attributes — for example, fat grams — were related to addictive-like eating behaviour.

Other foods near the top of the list were french fries, cheeseburgers, pop, cake, cheese and bacon. Of 35 foods, the ones least associated with addictive-like eating behaviours were brown rice, apple, beans, carrots and cucumber.

WATCH BELOW: The food insecurity problem is worse than you think





One limitation of the study is that it only included 35 foods, Avena said.

“Larger studies are being planned that include more foods, so we can get a better sense of the different types of foods that people tend to eat, and how they might be associated with addictive eating,” she said.

In addition, Avena admits that it can be difficult to define a “processed food.”

READ MORE: National ad blitz promotes benefits of Canadian beef

“We defined ‘processed’ as marked by the addition of fat and/or refined carbohydrate,” Avena said. In the study, “non-processed” foods were considered to be things like bananas, broccoli and apples.

“For the average person out there shopping and trying to decide which foods are more processed than others, those that are shelf stable are likely to be more processed and contain additives and preservatives,” Avena explained. “Fresh foods, like fruits, vegetables, plain nuts, and meats, are better options as foods that are minimally processed.”

WATCH BELOW: New campaign calls for national school food funding





Another trick for knowing if a product is processed is the ingredients list. “When there are many [ingredients] listed, this is usually a sign that the product is highly processed,” Avena said.

But how do you know if you’re addicted to a food? “Negative consequences” are the biggest indicator of food addiction, according to Avena.

“If you are overeating and it causes you to develop diabetes or be unhappy and you still can’t stop, then there may be an addictive process involved,” she said. “Also, needing to eat more and more to feel satisfied.”

READ MORE: Don’t follow J. Lo’s ‘unhealthy’ 10-day no carb and sugar challenge

To be addicted to food is to have difficulty “reducing intake or saying no to eating something,” said Avena.

It’s a chronic issue, not something that happens once and a while. Eating a slice of pie on Thanksgiving (even though you’re full) is not an indication of food addiction.

It becomes an addiction when it negatively impacts your health and well-being.

WATCH BELOW: Why do you feel so bad when you overeat?





In her book Why Diets Fail, Avena provides advice for fighting overeating caused by food addiction. In her view, distraction is key when a craving presents itself.

“When people indulge a little, it can lead to them to eating more than they intend. A hedonic craving (or a craving for something when we aren’t physically in need of calories) will pass in time, so the key is to distract yourself or remove yourself from the cues that are causing the craving,” she told Global News.

Social cues that can prompt a hedonic cravings — such as ads or logos — are pretty much everywhere we go.

“We can’t avoid them, but we can be aware of the powerful effect they have on us.”

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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19Feb

Nuts are high in fat, but will eating them make you gain weight? – National

by BBG Hub

The key to eating anything is focusing on moderation, even when it comes to nutrient-dense nuts.

Nuts have long been dubbed a healthy snack for those trying to lose or maintain weight, but some experts say some people fear it.

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“Nuts are very calorie-dense and often, people stay away from them if they are looking to lose weight,” said registered dietitian Anar Allidina. “Studies have shown that including nuts in your diet can help with meeting your weight-loss goals.”

READ MORE: Why Canadian scientists say you should add nuts to your daily diet

The problem is portion control

Eating anything in excess can lead to weight gain, so this isn’t about nuts in particular. The tricky part with nuts, Allidina added, is that most people don’t know how to control portions.

“A handful (1/4 cup or 28 grams) is the recommended portion per day for nut intake,” she explained. “Overeating any foods can result in weight gain and this includes nuts as well.”

WATCH: Reach for nuts at snack time




To avoid overeating, measure out 1/4 cup of nuts and portion them into small containers to take with you as a snack or to add to a salad or a stir-fry.

“Keep in mind that portion needs to be accounted for nut butter as well. If your intake of nuts and nut butter during the day is high, then this can potentially lead to weight gain.”

One review of more than 30 studies in 2013 found people who ate nuts did not have an increase in body weight, body-mass index or waist circumference compared to those who didn’t eat nuts, Science Alert reported.

READ MORE: Why are nuts good for us and how many should we eat?

The site added another study found when people repeatedly ate nuts with the goal to lose weight, they lost more body fat compared to those who didn’t eat nuts. Some experts believe one of the reasons nuts won’t lead to weight gain is because our bodies don’t absorb all of the fat. 

Others, like Ryerson University nutrition professor Dr. Rena Mendelson, previously told Global News it’s not that nuts offer nutrients that other foods don’t, but people who regularly eat nuts may eat healthier overall. 

“It’s very likely that people who chose nuts chose them over other treats. Choices are as important as anything to health outcomes and that shows up in study after study. What’s important to recognize is no single food is likely to account for health, but a pattern of eating,” she said.

Choose the right nuts

Dietitian and blogger Abbey Sharp of Abbey’s Kitchen, told Global News people are still fear fat in general, even in nuts. “But fatty foods can also help us feel full for longer so we don’t over indulge on certain foods and better control our appetite,” she said.

“Eating a handful of nuts each day are also a great snack substitute for less satisfying nutritious foods foods like cakes, chips and chocolate”

Previously speaking with Global News, Cleveland Clinic Canada registered dietitian Jennifer Sygo said nuts are packed with protein, and are rich in vitamins, minerals and flavonoids.

She recommended eating Macadamia nuts, walnuts and almonds.

Almonds are high in vitamin E, magnesium, and are natural antioxidants, she said. Almonds can also help with heart health and healing skin over time.

Allidina said we should also try to stick with unsalted nuts.

READ MORE: Researchers want the world to eat differently. Here’s what that diet might look like.

“The flavoured and salted versions can contain sugar, salt and additional oils that tend to have higher calories,” she said. “If you have nut allergies or work in a nut-free environment, stick to unsalted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds — they offer a similar nutrient profile and make a perfect nutrient-dense snack during the day.”

If your focus is weight loss or maintaining weight, replace your afternoon sugary snack with 1/4 cup of nuts or seeds with a piece of fruit such as an apple, she said.

“The protein, fat, and fibre from the nuts/seed and fruit will keep you feeling full for longer and give you sustained energy for you to power through until dinner.”

Sharp said high nut consumption also has to be paired with other healthy activities.

“It’s not necessarily the high nut consumption, but really just the excess calories that can lead to weight gain,” she said. “It’s more about how we eat a food coupled with a lack of physical activity, and not that the food itself that causes weight gain.”

— with files from Carmen Chai

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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30Dec

Here’s a $65 grocery list for a week of healthy eating for one – National

by BBG Hub

When you live alone, it can be hard to stick to a grocery budget and not overspend.

According to a recent study by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, the average Canadian family is going to spend $411 more next year on groceries. Roughly, this means food prices are projected to increase between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent. If you’re the type of shopper that tends to overspend, this could mean spending even more in 2019.

Last year, we did create a grocery list for a week of healthy eating for one for $50. This year, keeping the new research on grocery budgets in mind (as well a bit more wiggle room), we decided to set a budget of $65.

Shahzadi Devje, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator based in Toronto, told Global News when you’re planning trips to the grocery store for a single-income household, try buying dried goods like rice, pasta and beans in bulk.

READ MORE: Here’s a $50 grocery list for an entire week of healthy eating

“Only buy the items you enjoy eating though,” she explained. “Frozen fruits and vegetables are a great budget-friendly option, and you don’t have to worry about eating them before they go bad. With a little bit of planning, you don’t have to eat the same thing every single day.”

Shopping for one

There’s often the advice for freezing everything for people who live on their own, but Devje said it is important to mix things up.

“If you’re not keen on freezing everything, shake up your lunch routine with layered meals in jars. They’re super easy, can be made ahead of time and you can have fun creating balanced meals.”

It’s also a good idea to stock up on canned beans and lentils, as well as roasting a bunch of vegetables at the same time.

“These can be thrown in to all sorts of dishes like soups, salads, casseroles, pasta and more,” she said. “Roast a bunch of vegetables at once and store in your refrigerator. That way, they’re ready to be used in simple recipes like in an omelette or sandwich.”

When it comes to produce, opt for loose vs. packaged goods. “Prepackaged fruits and vegetables tend to cost more. Most fruits and vegetables are readily available all year-round, but seasonal tend to be more affordable.”

READ MORE: How a family of four can eat healthy on a budget of $200 a week

How to not overspend

Avoid overspending by meal planning in advance.

“As food prices are projected to rise next year, meal planning becomes even more critical in order to save money,” she said. “Pick one day in the week to scan your fridge, freezer and pantry to create your grocery list.”

Planning ahead of time means knowing what you need versus buying what you think you need. “You don’t want to resort to throwing away produce that you don’t use.”

Devje recommends avoiding grocery shopping when you’re tired — you end up choosing “convenient” food that is often pricier and not as nourishing as fruits and vegetables.

READ MORE: Here’s how much more Canadians will likely spend on groceries in 2019

And sometimes, it’s OK to go with a cheaper option.

“Enjoy more plant-based sources of protein. Many of these are lighter on the wallet, and are an integral part of many healthy eating patterns. Think tofu, beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas,” she continued. “If you enjoy meat, poultry and seafood or opt for cheaper cuts.”

Below, we break down a grocery list with a budget of $65 for one — of course, this can change depending how many people you have in your household as well as where you live in Canada. The prices of these items can also change depending on where you live.

Devje has also included some recipe ideas.

Condiments and flavours


Lemons
Oranges
One to two of your favourite dried herbs
Chilli sauce
Mustard
Soy sauce

Protein and dairy

Beans
Lentils
Tofu
Canned fish
Eggs
Milk
Yogurt

Fruits and vegetables

Bananas
Apples
Canned tomatoes
Green cabbage
Frozen mixed vegetables
Frozen berries

Grains

Brown rice
Oats
Wholewheat pasta
Potatoes
Corn

Breakfast recipes

Overnight oats with milk, apple, cinnamon and dash of maple syrup
Breakfast smoothie bowl with oats, frozen berries and milk
Omelette with potatoes

Lunch recipes

Tuna sandwich with a cabbage slaw
Vegetable pasta
Soup with tofu

Dinner recipes


Brown rice and lentil bowl
Tomato-based mixed vegetable pasta
Tuna bake with vegetables on the side

Snack ideas

Boiled eggs
Banana
Air-popped popcorn
Smoothie with banana and a handful of berries and water

[email protected]

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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15Oct

Peanut butter: Why experts say you’re likely eating too much of it – National

by BBG Hub

Peanut butter is good for a lot more than a classic sandwich with jelly.

Drizzled on apple, spread on crackers, and pressed into protein balls, peanut butter is a good source of protein, healthy fats and fibre. But nuts are high in fat — and peanut butter is no exception. So how do you know if you’re eating too much of the sticky stuff?

WATCH BELOW: The nutritional power of peanuts






If you’re eating it straight out of the jar, chances are you’re overdoing it, said Jennifer Sygo, a Toronto-based registered dietitian and sports nutritionist.

“It’s a relatively high-calorie food,” Sygo told Global News. “If someone is eating it mindlessly, especially if it’s in front of the TV, or they’re eating it emotionally, it would be certainly easy to get more calories than you might expect from snacking on peanut butter.”

The health benefits of peanut butter

Just because you shouldn’t eat an entire jar in one sitting doesn’t mean you should stay clear of peanut butter.

Nuts are nutrient-dense foods. They’re full of protein, rich in a number of vitamin and minerals, are a good source of dietary fibre, and high in unsaturated fat (the healthier kind). Because of their nutritional profile, peanut butter can satisfy your hunger for a longer period of time, preventing mindless snacking between meals.

READ MORE: Too much of a good thing: Is there such a thing as eating too much avocado?

Research shows that eating nuts may help reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as diabetes in women. Nuts are also a good source of vitamin E, which can be hard to get from other foods in our diets, said Sygo.

But it’s best to consume the natural stuff  — not peanut butter that’s loaded with salt and sugar, said Felicia Newell, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and personal trainer at Sustain Nutrition in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

“Peanut butter is made from ground peanuts, but some products have extra additives such as sugar, additional oils, and other additives to help prevent separation,” Newell told Global News.

WATCH BELOW: Yes, it’s OK to eat dessert every day – in moderation, says registered dietitian






“In some products, sugar is the first or second ingredient, so you really want to watch out for that. Ideally, the best choice is a peanut butter with one ingredient listed: peanuts.”

How much peanut butter should you be eating?

A tablespoon of natural peanut butter — which is just the nuts, no added salt or sugar — has around 90 calories and seven grams of fat. If you generously scoop two to three spoonfuls on toast, that’s easily upwards of 200 calories and 14 grams of fat.

With that in mind, it’s important to know what your health needs and goals are, and portion accordingly, said Newell.

“If someone’s daily calorie needs were only 1400 calories per day …  four tablespoons could take a chunk out of that quickly, especially if you’re consuming a varied diet,” she said.  “Again on the other hand, an athlete may need 3000-4000 calories per day or more, so four or even six tablespoons per day wouldn’t have much of an impact on that.”

READ MORE: LeBron James says his kids drink wine at home — is this dangerous?

Consult your doctor or dietitian if you’re not sure how much PB you should eat, but a good general rule of thumb is around one to two tablespoons a day. Newell said a healthy serving of any high-fat food is roughly two tablespoons.

Tips to prevent yourself from overdoing it

Just like with raw nuts, portion is key. While peanut butter is a great source of protein, it’s also high in fat, and it’s tasty texture makes it easy to overdo it.

To prevent yourself from eating too much, measuring out your peanut butter is a good idea. You can mix half a tablespoon of peanut butter into your morning oatmeal to keep you full for longer into the day, or spread a tablespoon over crackers as a snack. Homemade peanut butter protein balls are also a good way to portion your intake, as you’ll know how much you’re consuming compared to buying store-made products.

Having your peanut butter with some fruit, like an apple or banana, Sygo said, is another way to keep your PB intake in check. Pairing it with another food also gives you a variety of flavour.

“The key is to take your portion and have it with that other food and be done with it rather than eating it straight out of the jar,” Sygo said.

“Eating the food without any sense of portion, like the old trick where you’re standing with the knife and just putting it back in the jar over and over again … we’re better off to have it as part of a deliberate and conscious snack.”

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© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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9Oct

Too much of a good thing: Is there such a thing as eating too much avocado? – National

by BBG Hub

Avocados are everywhere. They’re topped on toast, sliced in salads, and smashed into guacamole. But according to experts, you’re likely eating too much of the superfood.

Unlike other fruits, a recommended serving of an avocado is not the entire thing. Instead, a healthy portion is about one-third of an average-sized avocado, according to Shauna Lindzon, a Toronto-based registered dietitian.

WATCH BELOW: 3-tonne guacamole made in Mexico breaks world record






“This [portion] would give you 80 calories, 8 grams of fat… and 3 grams of fibre,” Lindzon told Global News.

To put things in perspective, a whole avocado can have anywhere between 240 to 400 calories depending on size, and upwards of 24 grams of fat.

So what does this mean for your avocado toast addiction? If you aim to eat 300 to 400 calories at breakfast, which is what’s recommended by health experts, an entire avocado on two pieces of toast would take you over your suggested caloric intake.

READ MORE: Vitamin D supplements aren’t helping your bones: study

Even snacking on guacamole can throw your avocado portions overboard — especially if you aim to eat snacks that have around 200 calories.

“If people sit down to an avocado guacamole with a big bag of chips, they may eat too much of both the chips and the guacamole,” Lindzon said. “It is a good idea to pre-portion it out from the beginning, instead of sitting down with the entire bag of chips and a large container of guacamole.”

But aren’t avocados good for you?

It’s true that avocados are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K and lutein. They are also a good source of healthy fat and fibre. But you can get these benefits from eating a healthy portion of the food, and don’t need to overdo it.

READ MORE: Reality check: Is eating dessert every day really that bad for you?

“I think that people who love avocado feel that if they over-consume it, they are still eating a healthy food,” Lindzon said. Over-consuming foods rich in fat — even healthy fat — isn’t necessarily good for you.

One of the reasons avocados are touted as a superfood is because they contain both healthy fat and fibre, which keeps you full longer and helps prevent you from overeating other foods. But you only need a suggested serving of avocado to reap these health rewards and others, including helping control blood sugar and managing weight.

What happens when you eat too much avocado

Eating more than a standard serving of avocado typically means consuming more calories and fat than you need. This can be detrimental for weight-loss goals, and can also throw off your daily caloric intake if you’re not careful.

Plus, Lindzon said that too much of the tasty fruit can upset your stomach.

READ MORE: World’s largest sleep study shows too much sleep as bad as too little: Western University

“Avocados contain substances called polyols or sorbitol which are carbohydrates that may affect people who have sensitive stomachs or irritable bowel syndrome,” she explained. “If they eat too much avocado in one sitting, it can cause bloating, diarrhea or intense pain in the gut.”

How to keep your avocado portions in check

To make sure you don’t eat more of the fruit than you need to, Lindzon suggests cutting your avocado into portions. If you’re someone who experiences digestive discomfort from avocados, start out with an eighth of an avocado and go from there.

If you’re trying to curb your avocado addiction, mixing the fruit with other ingredients might do the trick. Lindzon suggests pairing avocado with other fruits and vegetables in salsas or salads.

“I love making an apple pomegranate guacamole, which is loaded with colourful fruits and herbs,” Lindzon said. “This way you are getting loads of fibre, healthy fats, and of course lots of flavour.”

READ MORE: Will too much Thanksgiving dinner ruin your healthy diet? Here’s what experts say

Although it’s advised to eat a healthy portion of avocado, Lindzon said eating a whole avocado is a lot better than eating refined or processed foods. In other words, eating more than you should of the superfood won’t kill you.

“Eating a box of refined crackers, which is mainly carbohydrates, you will take in the same amount of calories, but feel much more satisfied from the avocado,” she said.

“Therefore, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with eating more than the recommended serving size of avocado, as long as you have a balanced whole foods-based diet with lots of variety.”

[email protected]

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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2Oct

Reality check: Is eating dessert every day really that bad for you? – National

by BBG Hub


Supermodel Gisele Bündchen says she eats dessert every day. Yes you read that right: every single day.

In a recent interview with Vogue, the 38-year-old said she never goes a day without a treat because “it makes [her] happy.” She also revealed she eats dark chocolate daily, too.

“My thing is I have dessert with lunch,” she said. “Most of my desserts are avocado- and coconut-based because those are the best fats for the brain.”

READ MORE: What is ‘fitness snacking’ and is it key to improving your health?

Bündchen then detailed a recent dessert she ate: a pie made out of avocado, coconut and bananas.

“The crust is made out of dates and nuts, and these little coconut nibs on the top and then coconut yogurt on top, then the top part is 70 per cent dark chocolate — my favourite ever — with little pecans and things on top, because it’s the best thing for your brain and for your heart, and for your happiness.”

So is there something behind Bündchen’s daily dessert habit? According to registered dietitian Abby Langer, it depends on what you’re eating.

All dessert is not created equal

“Dessert means different things to different people,” Langer told Global News. “One person may consider dessert a piece of layer cake, while another may consider dessert to be two squares of dark chocolate.”

Langer said you can eat dessert every day without it affecting your weight or health, but you have to be really careful about what you’re eating and how much of it. Having a couple of squares of dark chocolate a day won’t hurt you, but eating an entire bar might.

READ MORE: Are there benefits to doing a liver cleanse?

On top of keeping your portion size in check, Langer said people need to consider their regular eating patterns, too. If you eat a healthy diet filled with whole foods, it’s fine to have a little dessert.

“You can have a couple of cookies, or a small scoop of ice cream, and it really won’t make that big of a difference,” she said. “The overall dietary pattern of a person really is the deciding factor.”

Does when you eat dessert matter?

Bündchen said she eats her sweets with lunch instead of after dinner. While experts caution against eating meals late at night, Langer says if you want a small treat in the evening, it won’t do serious harm.

“People think if you eat [dessert] earlier in the day, you burn it off and it’s not going to affect your weight,” Langer explained. “Yes, the metabolism does slow when you go to sleep, but not so much that you shouldn’t be eating something after dinner.”

READ MORE: Health benefits of cranberries: Why you should eat more of the superfood

“You can have [dessert] after dinner if that’s the time you’re normally hungry for it.”

But, Langer cautioned, it’s important to think about if you’re really hungry for dessert after dinner, or if you’re just bored and want some sugar. If you don’t really need something sweet, don’t eat it.

“There’s no physiological need for sweet, so it may just be a habit,” she said. “If you feel like it, have it, and… keep it small. But if you don’t feel like it, don’t feel like you’re entitled to it.”

Be cautious of celebrity health advice

Celebrities like Bündchen live in a way most of us don’t, with access to personal trainers and private chefs. Most stars also follow strict or unrealistic diets, so people should consider the source when it comes to health advice, Langer said.

“When you see a headline that says, ‘Gisele eats dessert every day,’ make sure you read past the headline, and consider what these celebrities eat on a regular basis aside from that dessert — and what they’re eating for that dessert,” Langer said.

Like Bündchen pointed out, her desserts are often fruit- and nut-based. This is an important distinction from cake and whole chocolate bars.

“A lot of people will say, ‘Oh well Gisele eats dessert every day, so let’s have a brownie,’” Langer said.

“There’s a lot more to the story.”

[email protected]

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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