Tag Archives: Dietary guidelines
31 Days of Wellness: Sipping Ourselves to Death

31 Days of Wellness: Sipping Ourselves to Death

We are surrounded by an ocean of sugary drinks, coming in every possible flavor, color, bottle, can, container, and size known to man. They are all missing one component-nutritional value.

We are sipping ourselves to death. We are told by advertisers that these fluids will make us better athletes, more hip as a person, or simply enjoy life better. What they don’t say is the needless calories they make you pack on with each gulp.

While none of these beverages on their own are lethal, it is the sum of all we consume that causes damage. An occasional soda will not kill you. Having several every day, as you wash down your favorite junk food, will. An occasional “anything” is not what hurts us. Daily dosing of man-made junk does.

For this year, among all of the other rules I’d like you to think about, is to work on eliminating all of these sugary, no-nutrition drinks. Drink water, coffee, and tea. Give it a try.

Have a great day.

Dr. Joe Galati

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Top Five Reasons to Evaluate Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Dr. Rashid Khan adds this blog entry further reviewing important issues related to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

I few weeks ago I wrote on this topic as guest editor on Dr Joe Galati’s blog. We talked about some basic concepts surrounding Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). To recap, this condition involves fat accumulation in the liver of non drinkers. I mentioned the importance of prompt evaluation, necessary investigations and potential therapies. Here I once again write about this common condition, afflicting close to 100 million Americans, highlighting five reasons why NAFLD needs to be taken seriously.

  1. The most relevant reason from a liver doctor’s perspective is the potential transformation of fatty liver disease to liver cirrhosis. Fatty liver is generally benign, but the development of cirrhosis becomes a game changer.
  2. Along with the potential risk of cirrhosis, comes the added risk of developing liver cancer. Studies have shown that this risk is even present in the absence of cirrhosis, though small.
  3. Cardiovascular disease( CVD) is one of the most common medical conditions in the US and globally. NAFLD and CVD go hand in hand. Usually both exist in many patients. Fatty liver is known to be an independent predictor of CVD.
  4. Type II diabetes is another very common medical condition . Numerous studies have shown the propensity of diabetic patients to develop fatty liver . This association is bi directional, meaning some patients with fatty liver will go on to develope diabetes.
  5. Finally, I will mention chronic kidney disease( CKD), another disease afflicting millions of Americans in this day and age. While the association of NAFLD and CKD may not be as robust as with CVD and diabetes, nevertheless it all comes back to the metabolic syndrome entity, which involves dangerous plaque build up in the blood vessels throughout the body.

 

Here at Liver Specialists of Texas, it is our sincere hope that fatty liver disease is recognized and evaluated in its earliest stages. Our practice is specifically geared towards the management of these patients, as well as other liver diseases, and we will be more than happy to see you in our offices.

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Is there a Special Diet for Hepatitis C?

In this video, Dr. Galati explains the commonly asked question about “special diets for hepatitis C”, or for that matter, any form of liver disease.

 

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U.S. Dietary Guidelines Call for More Exercise, Less Food

U.S. Dietary Guidelines Call for More Exercise, Less Food

Finally!  The U.S Department of Agriculture released this past Monday its closely watched dietary guidelines which are published every 5 years.  While I try to lessen any cynicism about the U.S. Government, I am staunch in my conviction that when it comes to eating habits, trust very little that comes out of Washington.

Much to my chagrin, the D.C. legislators are heavily influenced by the farm lobbyists (eat 5-12 servings of grains a day), the fast food lobby, and the mega food and drink companies like Pepsi and Coke.  If we had their way, we would eat Pop Tarts for breakfast, Macdonald’s for lunch, and dinner at Burger King, and snack in between with potato chips and pork rinds, and consume several slices of white bread, and wash it all down with Diet Coke or Red Bull.  God help us!

If our government is the one who produced the ridiculous Food Pyramid, then they have lost all credibility with healthy eaters like me.  People actually followed those guidelines right into the U.S. Obesity Crisis.  To quote our dear departed friend Jack LaLanne, “I am sickened and embarrassed at how we eat in this country.”

However, to the credit of the USDA, the intent of the Dietary Guidelines is to summarize and synthesize the knowledge about individual nutrients and food components into an interrelated set of recommendations for healthy eating that can be adopted by the public.

I must say, they distilled their message into 3 very simple principles that anyone can understand:

1.  Maintain calorie balance over time to achieve and sustain a healthy weight. Message:  Enjoy your food but eat less! Also, increase your level of physical activity.

2Focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods and beverages. Message:  Don’t eat processed foods and don’t consume sugary drinks like soda.  Drink water.

3Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Note:  Strawberry Pop-tarts do not count as fruit.

I am thrilled to communicate that their guidelines are sensible and easy to understand.  It’s not perfect and tries too hard to reduce food into its components.  For instance, one of the rules is:

  • “Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African Americans or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.  The 1,500 mg. recommendation applies to about half the U.S. population including children and the majority of adults.”

My experience has shown when people have to count both calories and reduce foods to milligrams….game over!  They get bored, frustrated, and go back to their old ways.  However, if you must depend on the U.S. government to dictate your dietary habits, this is a tremendous improvement from previous guidelines.

To see the full report, click on the following.

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