Tag Archives: “fast food”
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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Availability of Unhealthy Fast Foods Adding to Obesity and Healthcare Crisis.

Availability of Unhealthy Fast Foods Adding to Obesity and Healthcare Crisis.

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Airport Food: Trying to Eat Health?

Airport Food: Trying to Eat Health?

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So as I sit here for an evening flight to Minneapolis, I realize that because of the flight delay, I’m going to have to force myself to eat something at the airport. My original plan was to tough it through the flights with nothing more than water, and eat something on the healthier side once I landed. Strolling around the B terminal of Bush Intercontinental Airport, the selection for healthy food is slim to none. Patrons are surrounded by fast food chains that are high in fat, sugar, and salt. Nothing is nutritious.

After a few laps around the terminal, I settle on a veggie bowl at Bullritos. I’m not denying that this is fast food, but with some careful choices, it can turn into a halfway decent meal.

Skipping the meat is a no-brainer. While the choices are a few different varieties of beef and chicken, they appear to be high in fat and salt. The quality of the meat is also suspect. Sitting in a puddle of grease doesn’t seem all that appealing. My selection tonight includes cilantro rice, grilled onions and peppers, grilled corn, medium hot sauce, pico de gallo, and some chopped romaine lettuce. A small scoop of freshly made guacamole topped it off.

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I don’t feel too guilty with the meal I ate at the gate. I was able to manage to get some decent dietary fiber, some vegetables, and most importantly, the avoidance of meat.

So what’s the message for weary travelers, who unfortunately have to do this much more often than I do? The answer is simple. Choose wisely. While it would be optimal to bring food from home, when you are forced to eat the food at the airport, avoid fast food like the plague. Meals where you have the option to add or subtract components gives you the most control, and likely a healthier choice. At the larger terminals, there appears to be a new breed of healthier food choices, including freshly prepared salads and sandwiches. The sandwich choices I’ve seen allows for lots of vegetable toppings, and what would appear to be lean meats. Some even offer a breadless sandwich.

Feel free to share your dietary travel stories with us.

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Thirty-One Days of Wellness: A Recap of the Month

During the month of January, Chuck Garcia and I posted 31 entries to reflect a broad range of topics related to health and wellness – topics that you can review for the entire year. To make them easily accessible, I have re-posted them on a single blog entry. Enjoy them again, and share them with your friends and family.

Day 1
A New Year, a New You

Day 2
Eating Salad for Breakfast

Day 3
Navigating the Grocery Store: Inner vs Outer Isles

Day 4
Foods Never to Eat 

Day 5
Foods Healing Power

Day 6
The Low Down on Wheat

Day 7
Gym Rules 

Day 8
Charles Barkley and Weight Watchers 

Day 9
Blueberries: A Superfood to Love

Day 10
Benefits of Coconuts 

Day 11
It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature

Day 12
Adding Eggplant to Your Diet

Day 13
Wondering About WonderBread 

Day 14
How Bad is Read Meat: Dr. Galati and Matt Patrick KTRH Radio 

Day 15
The Value of Cross-Training

Day 16
MLK Holiday: Off

Day17
Talking Health and Wellness

Day 18
Ultimate Abdominal Exercise 

Day 19
Zucchini: Another Food to Love

Day 20
Beach Body 10-Minute Trainer

Day 21
Exuberant Animal 

Day 22
Dan Campolieta: Number 1 Meal: Breakfast

Day 23
Salad Dressing: Olive Oil and Vinegar 

Day 24
Beets: Good Nutrition

Day 25
Cuisinart Hand Mixer

Day 26
Health Benefits of Boxing

Day 27
Strength Training: Benefits of Lifting Heavy Things 

Day 28
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables: Dr. Galati Explains

Day 29
Paleo Playground: Chuck Garcia Explains

Day 30
Paleo Playground: Part 2

Day 31
Healthy Recommendations and Books We Like

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January 13: A Low Salt Diet-Simple Step to Improve Health

January 13: A Low Salt Diet-Simple Step to Improve Health

If there is one item to include in your quest for wellness, it is to assume a diet low in sodium. Every day, patients ask for the contents of a low salt diet. They have an idea, but never quite get it right. On questioning, the average adult and their family is consuming well over the recommended amounts that have been put forth by several major medical organizations. The American Heart Association is suggesting between 1500-1800 mg of sodium per day. This is restricted compared to the 4,000 mg/day the average American eats. To get in line with a low salt diet, you must read labels. All commercial food will list the sodium content. My opinion is that it is nearly impossible to maintain a low salt diet if you eat your meals out. The art of home cooked meals is a thing of the past. While I may sound somewhat pessimistic, I interview people for a living, and ask every patient what and where they eat. The answers are not pretty.

Here is a list of sodium in fast foods.

Ill effects of sodium include the following: Too much sodium in the diet can lead to health problems. It is one of the risk factors that contribute towards high blood pressure (hypertension), which substantially increases the risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

So what do you do now? Here are my recommendations:

  1. Read all food labels.
  2. Make sure you know how much is in a “serving” of the food you are looking at.
  3. Don’t eat any canned foods.
  4. Don’t eat anything out of a box, or ready to eat meal.
  5. Avoid ALL fast food, as well as chain restaurants.
  6. Learn to use other spices and herbs in your cooking.
  7. Beware of “salt substitutes” – these contain high levels of potassium and can be dangerous with certain health conditions and medications.
  8. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  9. Read all of the other blog entries from this month.

Past “salt” entries from our blog:

Salt: Institute of Medicine

Interview with a Dietitian

Educate Yourself on Salt

Start today on the road to reduced sodium.

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January 6: Improve Your Health – Don’t Eat At Olive Garden

January 6: Improve Your Health – Don’t Eat At Olive Garden

Unlimited Breadsticks

So here we are, talking about health. The previous posts for the most part have dealt with some aspect of nutrition. I cannot over emphasize how important nutrition is with regard to your health. We are surrounded by fast food establishments, and we are pressured to eat around the clock (why must Wendy’s be open all night long in small town USA?).  A few months ago I spoke on the radio regarding an experience at Olive Garden. Being Italian, it is impossible for me to ever consider this food “Italian”.  Attached is a commentary I made several months ago.

For the New Year, make a deal with yourself, and your family, to not eat out, and cook meals at home together. We will give you all the tools you need to succeed.

Listen here: Dr. Galati Discusses Olive Garden Food

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