Current Science vs. The Tainted History of Heart Healthy Nutrition How Common Advice is Wrong and Why You Should Know the Truth

Your first heart cells begin beating four weeks after conception and don’t stop until you take your last breath.

This coordinated effort happens 100,000 times a day, beat after beat, without rest.

Each time I lay my stethoscope over the heart’s pulsating chambers, I marvel at its faithful, steady beat.

As a medical weight loss specialist, my goal is to keep hearts ticking in top form. I share this goal with my patients, who cite heart health as one of their most powerful motivators for weight loss and overall health improvement.

While many factors influence heart health, none are talked about as much as food.

It’s for good reason: food is one of the most powerful substances that we put into our bodies. It can have both positive and negative effects on the heart.

I prescribe low carbohydrate eating because it has been proven to be optimal for heart health.

Low carbohydrate eating reduces or eliminates many of the risk factors for heart disease—type II diabetes, prediabetes, insulin resistance, elevated blood fats, elevated blood pressure, and inflammation. And it induces weight loss, which in itself is good for the heart.

It’s not just medical journals and professional presentations that prove these benefits—I see it every day in my clinical practice.

When patients reduce their intake of refined grains and added sugar and replace them with whole foods, I see reductions in:

  • Blood Sugar
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • LDL Particles
  • Blood Pressure
  • Inflammation
  • Fatty Liver Disease

When people add meat, eggs, cheese, butter, olives, and nuts to their diets, their waists get smaller and they get healthier.

I know this flies in the face of the low-fat dogma that’s been pushed since the 1970s.

But a growing body of evidence suggests that low-fat, high carbohydrate eating is anything but “heart healthy.”

Two prominent physicians, Robert Lustig and David Ludwig have called it “an experiment that failed.”

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The Weight Loss Science of Hope Triumphs of Health: The Victories that Thrill and Inspire Me - Part 2

When people lose weight and improve their health, a whole host of wonderful things happen.

Life improves.

Hope grows.

Research shows that losing just 5-10% of initial body weight can greatly improve metabolic, physical, and mental health.  For someone who weighs 200 pounds, a 10-20 pound loss moves them to higher ground.

Better health begins as the first pound is shed and amplifies with each subsequent pound.

Many strive to lose more, thinking it’s only worth it if they lose it all in one big, inspiring push. Then they wind up feeling overwhelmed…and that they’ve failed by not reaching their big goals.

Yet, losing just a few pounds positively improves your current and future health.

The 6 pounds you lose on your way to your big goal of 60 has a greater impact than you imagine.

As a medical weight loss specialist, it is a joy to see how much better people feel—and are—when they lose weight. Whether you have 5-10 pounds to lose or more, health always improves with weight loss. And the risk of developing new conditions declines.

And if the weight loss is maintained, the benefits continue—indefinitely.

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Make Courageous Change One Step at a Time Triumphs of Health: The Victories that Thrill and Inspire Me - Part I

What thrills me most about my work is seeing people transform their lives in remarkable ways.

Not sudden, giant swoops that might land them on the cover of a magazine, but in steady, powerful steps that take them further into health.

They wrestle with discouragement and internal voices urging them to quit…

But they don’t.

No matter how badly things go, they get up the next day and start again, with a desire for health tugging at their souls.

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The Light in the Darkness on Your Health Journey

On this, the darkest day of the year, we know one thing for sure—the light will return, bringing brighter, better days.

This makes it one of my favorite days of the year.  I’m grateful for the powerful reminder that no matter how dark it gets, new life is always gestating.

In early November I attended a TED-X conference where each speaker conveyed how the light and darkness of the past inspired him or her to create a new future.

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The final speaker, a Hip Hop artist named Xola Malik, rapped about how growing up in the ’hood led him onto a dark path of negativity, misogyny, and substance abuse until a remarkable inner shift illuminated a new way. Now, with profound respect, he honored women for their courage and progress in the fight for full gender equality.

As he looked out into the audience, his gaze deepened.

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5 Steps to Stick to Your Healthy Diet in Someone Else’s Home

Jill was afraid to discuss her new dietary needs with her family for the first time.

Actually…she was terrified.

Jill has struggled with her weight all her life, a fact that her family reminds her of every time she sees them. Her slender sister—a self-appointed weight loss expert—lectures Jill endlessly about what she should be doing to lose weight. Then her mother chimes in, expressing “concern” about her weight, while her dad remains silent. Jill sits there frozen, waiting for it to end.

And when it does, her mother plops a carby treat on Jill’s plate and responds with hurt if she doesn’t eat it.

It’s a mixed message—one that she’s been getting her whole life.

And now…in just a week…she will travel with her sister to Atlanta for Thanksgiving with their parents.

As she thinks about it, her brain whirls with worst-case scenarios. But after all the progress she’s made with healthy eating…and feeling in control…she doesn’t want to stop now!

She asks herself, “What if I fall into bad habits again? What if I start eating carbs and can’t stop? What if I start feeling the way I used to? I don’t want that.”

And neither do you.

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Upcoming Engagements:
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners Leadership & Specialty Conference, Sept 28-Oct 1, 2017 in Reno
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    My Talk: Reducing Barriers to Treatment: Billing, Bias & Advocacy

    Research shows that many with obesity face weight bias and stigmatization from their healthcare providers, resulting in missed screenings and treatment. Learn to deliver care with knowledge and sensitivity and advocate for the health of those with obesity.
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