Archive for April, 2007

Losing Weight By Managing HUNGER

April 30, 2007

imagesrt.jpgOf the many diet fads that are out today… probably the one that I believe has the best physiological basis is limiting intake by preventing hunger.  And of the different foods that we eat, we seldom select which of the many can make us feel full faster without necessarily putting us off balance in weight!

In one study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the lead author Dr Susan Holt established a satiety index. Taking similar portions of popular foods with the same amount of calories… then compare them with a slice of white bread, giving it a rank of 100.  The popular oatmeal ( which I eat every morning) has a high satiety level at 209.  The yummy doughnut on the other hand ranked 68. A similar calorie serving of boiled potatoes ranked highest at 323,  while French fries score just 116.

The above study shows that with the same amount of calories, eating a bowl of oatmeal already makes you feel full.  BUT you need to eat 3 to 4 doughnuts or 2 packs of french fries to reach your satiety level!  But how many calories have you accumulated?

Water on the other hnad play a very important role in achieving satiety BUT not the water we drink with our meals.  Talking about satiety or the feeling of fullness and satisfaction, unfortunately we dont feel that with water alone!  It’s the water or volume coming from the fruits and vegetables and soup that gives us the fullness faster.  THUS, the recommendation ( which I have been advising in the past) is to start ones meal with a broth based soup to help you achieve satiety faster at a lesser calorie load!

Managing hunger in between meals with snacks can also come a long way in helping you curb that urge to eat more when your hungry. Again high in volume from fruits like apple can help achieve that satiey faster with more fiber helping you achieve fullness longer!

The key to successful weight loss is based on what you feel you are comfortable with.  It has to be a discipline or habit change that you can sustain throughout your life…to be effective and lasting!

Eating What’s Right Does Not Mean Feeling Deprived!

Attacking Childhood Obesity: A Major Emergency!

April 27, 2007

imagesdfghj.jpgHere are some important facts I read in the book Food Facts by Dr Brownwell on childhood obesity.  If the facts wont make you wonder what the hell are we doing to the kids…am not sure what will make us wake up to take a closer look at the health consequences of obesity in children….

  • Prevalence of childhood obesity : Increased by 3 fold in US & England; 4 fold in Australia and Egypt
  • Overweight children who develop Diabetes may have heart attacks and need Bypass surgery before they reach age 30!!!!
  • In France; obese children had stiffer arteries and unhealthy changes in the arterial lining… important early findings before they develop stroke.
  • In Canada: obese children who develop Diabetes before the age 17 were experiencing blindness, amputation and kidney failure including premature death as young adults.

Remember… parent have the responsibilities to track the weights of their children.  We are responsible for what we feed our kids.  Simply put…research has shown that…. 

  • Parents diet and exercise patterns predict the child’s likelihood of being overweight giving rise to the term: OBESIGENIC Families…

 Look around the school grounds or the shopping malls… obese parents are strolling around or eating fried chicken with their obese kids inside a fast food resto. Obese parents beget obese kids…what we eat and do is what we show our kids and they then follow what we do even if they’re wrong or unhealthy!

The good news is according to Dr Brownwell, research shows that children can be persuaded to eat healthy foods and be able to differentiate between ” persuasion” and “information”:

  • Children who watched public service announcements focusing on nutrition chose more vegetables and fruits.
  • A Canadian study showed children ages 5 to 8 picked more candy than fruit following a candy commercial but showing fruit commercials encouraged children to eat more fruits.
  • A Stanford study showed reduction in TV time decreased the frequency of meals eaten while watching resulting in effective weight control.

The above studies therefore prove that as parents we have the say as to how to shape our kids future health! My kids rooms have no cable TV as a result less viewing time to watch Nickelodeon or Cartoon network and more play time and more activities. Now that its summer, I join them in swimming and do at least 10 lapses across my pool while playing and swimming leisurely in between. I likewise do swimming competition to make them do lapses while enjoying the fun on their faces by making them win! Walking together or biking should do the same in terms of bonding and increasing activity.

Lets take care of our kids.  Obesity among our kids is now becoming a medical emergency…let’s all act together before this becomes a global pandemic!

Loving Our Kids Does Not Mean French Fries As Treats!

A Way To Permanently Remain THIN

April 25, 2007

3582380440.jpgHave you experienced being envious to a friend who eats but never gets fat?  It may really be in the genes but now a new study can make this a reality if the problem is resolved early in life.  We know that by the time we drink milk… we see babies getting bigger and bigger because of the saturated fat and the high sugar content in full cream milk.  Once the habit of over feeding is in place… then the difficulty in losing the accumulated fat results when we reach adulthood.  Needless to say, the parents or the grandparents just want the babies to look fat so they can look CUTE!

29037632431.jpgIn a recent article published in the January 2007 issue of the American Journal of Physiology, incorporating LEPTIN in a baby formula resulted in subjects remaining slim with lesser chances of developing obesity related illnesses like diabetes even on a high fat meal.

Leptin, a breakthrough hormone in the field of obesity is the fat hormone that turns off hunger in the brain.  In the study, the rat subject fed with formula supplemented with leptin, remained slim even if they were fed with high fat diet!  SOUNDS GREAT! 

 This is the first study that looks so promising that incorporating leptin in a meal may hopefully mean the end to our quest to combat obesity!  It is still far from reality but again this can lead to more studies to exploit the finding and hopefully be funded to become what we hope to be reality!

The studies therefore help us understand that the effect of leptin in a human body may start early in life even before we are born.  In fact, feeding the hormone to pregnant rats resulted in a  animals born to remain lean even when fed a high fat diet, compared to animals born of untreated mothers suggesting the impact of leptin in the developing fetus!  The authors believe that “the difference boils down to energy expenditure. such that the offspring of leptin-treated mothers burn up more energy.”

More good news to us who love food and want to remain thin! The thought of just putting a pinch of leptin to a pound of steak of a pan of pizza seems Magic!

BUT…definitely for now… the recommendation remains: 

…eat the right food….

…..exercise daily and live positively…

Stay Healthy To Be Wealthy!

The Magic Way To Lose Weight….

April 23, 2007

3755688817.jpgThe rising obesity epidemic and the need for better and safer drugs for weight loss, has made a lot of doctors and patients in need for better alternatives.  As a result, you hear a lot of patients going after alternative forms of therapy and herbal preparations devoid of any scientific proofs and opt to try medications advertised on TV with image models like Judy Ann Santos claiming weight loss in front of all of us!

The truth of the matter is… weight loss depends solely on YOU!  One’s discipline to achieve the goal of weight loss depends solely on ones will to do it and achieve that goal.  There is no easy way out or a magic pill that will allow us to eat and yet lose weight! PERIOD! I have made some recommendations in this website that are deemed safe, effective and practical.  If you are willing to follow the rules of the game, then you should make it big time in weight loss. Am sure we all know how to lose weight BUT we just cant bring ourselves to cut the meat and the fat, or to bring ourselves outside to run or walk because the comfort of the bed and TV is so tempting match it with chips and soda! HOLA…. more fat is welcome and less energy is utilized!

The magic formula for the year 2007 if you want to lose weight big time is SURGERY!  There’s no other MAGIC way at the present time.  The only one procedure I will recommend to my patients at the present time if they are deemed candidates to it is the so called LAP BAnd.  It is now the widely accepted procedure in the US and in our country.  But IS IT SAFE?

4119225528.jpgA small pouch in the upper part of the stomach is created with a controlled and adjustable stoma, without stapling, thus limiting food intake.  A gastric band device is introduced through tiny (1cm) incisions laparoscopically without making a big cut in the abdomen and is placed around the upper part of the stomach.  The whole procedure can be done in 30 minutes to 1 hour and the band that is fitted in the stomach and be inflated or deflated reversibly.  Within 48 hours…you are discharged from the hospital.

In a recent article published in March 2007, Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases,

a 5-year study of the safety of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) was compared to laparoscopic Roux-en Y gastric bypass (LRYGB), two bariatric surgical procedures performed in the United States for the treatment of morbid obesity. All patients undergoing LAGB received the LAP-BAND(R) System, which is the only FDA-approved adjustable implant device for individualized weight loss. found it to have a significantly fewer complications, shorter operative times, and shorter hospital stays when compared with LRYGB….

In that study the patients who were advised surgery were categorized a morbidly with either a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more or a lower BMI of 35 or more with at least one obesity-related co-morbidity, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, or hypertension. 

Weight loss from these procedure can be dramatic.  But again, you should be ready enough to stop eating once you feel full.  Since your stomach is now literally small… you feel full easily and therefore, the WANT to eat should take a back seat and the NEED to stop eating because your ” small” stomach is now full to its capacity should supersede the WANT!

A Magic Pill definitely is better…but there is still NONE available… and definitely NOT the ones advertised on TV! The ads just take advantage of the people’s despair to lose weight fast!

I still and will continuously recommend and promote the safest way to lose weight … through discipline, determination and will to eat what is right and what is healthy!

Eat Right and Bright To Stay Light!

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How Much Sugar Is In My Food?

April 20, 2007

imagesasdf.jpgAlmost any food we eat may contain sugar.  Even those with marketing ads saying the product is sugar free…may actually mean “no added table sugar” BUT contains other sources of sugar hidden under a different name so BE AWARE! 

It is important to remember that sugar can come in many forms.  You may think you are eating sugar free foods but hidden in the ingredients are the likeness of sugar that can still contribute to calories.

Sources of sugar that you should check in the food labels include the words that end in “ose” or “ol” . These are all forms of sugar. Very important to note is that syrups such as corn sweetener, sorghum syrup and high fructose syrups are sweeteners that are often added to drinks and therefore high in calories.  Remember also that brown sugar, molasses and honey are said to be better than regular sugar because they are “natural” but they all give you the same calories as regular table sugar! So BE AWARE!

Common sources of sugar added to our daily food include:

  • fructose
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • maltose
  • lactose
  • dextrose
  • mannitol

When you read food labels, take note that the Ingredients listed: they are usually in order by weight, meaning from the most to the least amount. So when a type of sugar is the first ingredient, you know there is more sugar in that food than any other ingredient. Likewise some foods may contain more than one kind of sugar so when they are added up, the total may be more than any other ingredient in that food. So BEWARE!

Lastly…One important  fact about sugar that I want everyone to remember and share:

One culprit of a bad “food” that we all at one time or another have “enjoyed” is softdrinks.  But . we may not be aware that a 12-ounce can of cola contains about ten teaspoons of sugar which actually provides more calories and put on more body fat than the same amount of table sugar taken dry by the spoonful !

Sugar in the body can cause tooth decay, diabetes and more importantly OBESITY! Be more attentive to what you eat or drink because you may actually be taking hidden sugars that you thought were non existent!

Sugar in Your Food: Beware and Be Aware!

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The Seattle Experience: The Depression Factor

April 19, 2007

1ebfscd.jpgJust came back from a fruitful and educational meeting in Seattle where I attended the Annual Convention of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.  I was therefore off my usual schedule in updating my blog.  Attending the AACE meeting also afforded me the chance to say hello to my mentors at Mayo especially this year where more than 8 of the plenary speakers and workshop facilitators were my former mentors at the Mayo Clinic. 

I also make it a point to also explore the place in between serious learning to learn more about the people and the culture  especially Seattle where we heard most from the movie Sleepless in Seattle.

It is indeed true that it rains 70% of the time in this part of the world.  It was almost always cloudy and that there was only 1 day out of 7 that I saw the sun!  In fact the newscaster was saying …” this is your chance to get out and enjoy because were not sure when the sun will come out again”.

The place reminds me of an important and yet unrecognized aspect in treating hospitalized patients. When I see patients in the hospital and if I know that  they will be there for quite sometime, I usually request them a room with a window.  For me light therapy is as important as my medications. It is not easy to be hospitalized and be worried about the illness.  Therefore being able to enjoy and see the light from the sun can be a bonus to early recovery.  This is already known in the world of depression especially during winter wherelight therapy in fact has been shown to be as effective as antipsychotic medications in the treatment of depression.  And experience wise… it almost always works.

The Seattle Experience therefore brought back memories of my days in Rochester Minnesota where winter is at its worst and therefore light is at its minimum.  Beautiful places but nothing beats the SUN in Cebu!

So if you have the chance… enjoy our year round sunlight.  Its one beautiful bonus that we have which we seem to take for granted.  The sun gives us the perk we need to stay alert,and  the Vitamin D we need to help our bones and muscles strong.  Unfortunately…as is true to everything we own… be it a person or a thing…we only start missing the value of a thing or a person when they’re gone!

The Seattle experience made me take a second look at Cebu and value each day that we have the sun! Enjoy the benefits of it … be it for fun or for health!

Beat Depression…Enjoy the SUN! 

Tips To Avoid Getting Tired…

April 9, 2007

2950510993.jpgGetting tired has a lot of reasons.  But it may signal an illness especially diabetes or an underactive thyroid gland.  Most often however, patients start to consult us when the feeling of tiredness last more than 6 months which obviously may mean something else.  It is imprtant to remember however that tiredness can also happen during the normal changes in our lives…like stress from work or family, during menopausal state or just due to aging.

Eat for energy : a Health Tip From the Harvard Medical School

The tried-and-true advice for healthful eating also applies to keeping your energy level high:

• Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats with an emphasis on vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils. Taking a daily multivitamin will ensure that you get the vitamins and minerals you need, but taking extra amounts of individual nutrients won’t give you more energy.

• Eating certain types of foods in particular amounts can help prevent fatigue. Because different kinds of foods are converted to energy at different rates, some — such as candy and other simple sugars — can give you a quick lift, while others — such as whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats — supply the reserves you’ll need to draw on throughout the day.

• Eat small, frequent meals. Where energy is the issue, it’s better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day. This approach can reduce your perception of fatigue because your brain, which has very few energy reserves of its own, needs a steady supply.

Reduce stress

The most common cause of persistent fatigue is stress and the emotional response to it. People who feel fatigued most of the time don’t necessarily have more stress in their lives than other people, but they may be more sensitive to its effects. Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy. Relaxation therapy can be an effective tool for reducing stress and naturally boosting your energy, particularly when used in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy. Meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and tai chi are all relaxation techniques. One of the easiest techniques to use is progressive muscle relaxation, which involves systematically tightening and releasing sets of muscles, beginning with your toes and progressing up your legs, torso, hands, and arms. You might also consider other relaxation therapies, including aromatherapy and massage.

My Advise? 

Be Bappy, Relax So You Can be “Tired-Free”

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The Practice of Eating Low Fat ….

April 7, 2007

This week since Thursday has been a long holiday in our country as we celebrate the Holy Week in commemoration of the Death and Suffering of Jesus Christ.  As such… it is both discipline and our catholic practice to adhere to sacrifices by not eating meat and not to do things you like best like…blogging:). 

This practice is really good since you only are allowed: Fish and other seafood and vegetables! This is what I call the practice of losing weight that’s really low fat: fresh food mainly Fresh fish, Water and water to fill you up and veggies for fiber and lasting satiety!

Unfortunately though, by eating low fat does not allow one to eat as much as we want.  The cartoon below sourced from Crazy Laughs Website illustrates the point I want to make!


I just hope everybody after this week will continue to practice the way of healthy eating and onward to a healthier way of life!  Thanks to Holy Week!

Remember… Fresh Fish…Veggies and Plenty of Water!

Fracture: Another Reason To Be Careful With Aging…

April 3, 2007

2296240349.jpgThis weekend I attended a well organized meeting and a certification course in Osteoporosis in Singapore.  So I thought of sharing with you some new information about this condition.

Why do we worry about fractures due to osteoporosis? 

Osteoporosis is a state where your bones are thin because of poor calcium intake, an effect of menopause and aging resulting in a decrease bone strength that can lead to increase risk to fracture at low trauma.

Those at risk to this state includes: thin built, postmenopausal, a family history of osteoporosis ( look at your mom- check if she is hunched back already) especially above the age of 60 plus a previous history of fracture…  If you have any of the above, then be careful and be aware because complications arising from this disease can be prevented.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation has the following facts:

  • The rate of hip fractures is two to three times higher in women than men

  • The one year mortality following a hip fracture is nearly twice as high  for men as for womenIt is estimated that 10-20% die within 6 months after a hip fracture!

  • A woman’s risk of hip fracture is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

  • An average of 24 percent of hip fracture patients aged 50 and over die in the year following their fracture.

  • One in five of those who were ambulatory before their hip fracture requires long-term care afterward.

  • At six months after a hip fracture, only 15 percent of hip fracture patients can walk across a room unaided.

  • 1 in 5 will end up in nursing homes for chronic care!

BUT remember… not just hip fractures, but also the more prevalent vertebral fractures are also linked with an increased risk of death… a progressine increase in excess mortality in the next 5 years.  And a previous fracture predicts ones risk to further fractures.  Therefore addressing a fracture as a disease rather than as a consequence of aging is of paramount importance to prevent complications and death!

We are so aware of the risk to die due to breast cancer but take note: ones lifetime risk to die with an osteoporotic fracture is similar to that of having a breast cancer

The GOOD NEWS is: we have ways to help! The meeting emphasized the availability now of drugs that not only help prevent further bone loss due to aging but to those with spinal deformities already and have lost height… we now have the availability of durgs to prevent further bone loss but more importantly we now have a product called Teriperatide that also can BUILD bone!

Maintain Your Bone Health For Long Life!

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