Tag Archives: obesity

Childhood Obesity: New Research Released in New England Journal of Medicine

A new article in the NEJM sheds light on the origins of obesity. It seems obesity starts earlier than expected, and obese 5 year olds are at risk for life-long obesity.

Listen to Dr. Galati’s podcast here.


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New Research Study: Fatty Liver Disease (NASH)

We have started screening for a new research study for those patients with fatty liver disease, also known as NAFLD and NASH. The study is a randomized, double-blind, controlled, multi-center phase 2 study evaluating the role of two medications called Roflumilast and pioglitazone.

Study candidates will receive one or both medicines, and will be evaluated to determine the degree of fat in the liver, as well as improvements in their liver enzymes (ALT and AST).

Participants will need to first meet all eligibility criteria of the study. Once enrolled in the study, all treatment related medicines, testing, and care will be paid for by the sponsor of the study. The study will last approximately 5 months.

If interest, contact our office at 713-794-0700 and ask for Paula.

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Salad for Breakfast: Really? Another Twist to Try

Salad for Breakfast: Really? Another Twist to Try

Over the years, I have written about the benefits of eating salad for breakfast. Usually, this is received with an assortment of facial expressions, and the obligatory polite statement that they would “give it a try”. To date, numerous colleagues and patients have admitted that they’ve made salad for breakfast. Others frown. Despite this, I continued to eat it myself, as well as preach the benefits of eating a fresh salad for breakfast.

Mark Bittman, an author and columnist for the New York Times, is quite serious about preparing salad for breakfast. In his new book, VB6, he outlines the benefits of eating salad for breakfast, and supplying a number of wonderful recipes to readers.

This morning, I prepared an off the top of my head salad for breakfast. This included a bed of fresh romaine lettuce. Side note: I am rethinking bagged salad, which is proliferating at grocery stores around the country. I’m a bit concerned about foodborne illnesses that are becoming routine stories on the nightly news related to a wide assortment of prepackaged salads.

More on this morning’s salad.

After cleaning the romaine lettuce, I used half a can of white navy beans, rinsed them thoroughly, and mashed them with a fork in a bowl. I added copious amounts of extra-virgin olive oil, along with salt and garlic powder to taste. With a little more time, I would’ve used a clove of freshly crushed garlic. Placing this in the center of the romaine bed, I added to it the following items:

Half of a banana sliced
One whole fresh tomato sliced
One green pepper chopped into small pieces (normally I would’ve tried for a red pepper but the green one is all I had handy)
One fresh orange divided and sliced

I drizzled a small amount of a prepared raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing low in sodium, sugar, and overall calories.

I won’t bother with analyzing the nutritional content with regard to fruit and vegetable servings, dietary fiber, phytonutrient content, calories, and fat. It’s clear from any observer that this is a nutrient rich breakfast, that is inherently high in nutritional value and simply good for you. There’s no chemicals, artificial flavors, or ingredients that are not natural.

This breakfast took me less than 10 minutes to prepare. The contents should be readily available in a house that takes nutrition serious. I feel good about myself this morning, and I’m confident that I am off to a good start.

Seriously think about having salad for breakfast at least once a week. I believe you’ll find it’s not as bad as it sounds.

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Lentils: A Super Food to Love

Lentils: A Super Food to Love

LentilsDay 20.

Hard to believe we are almost finished with the 31 Days of Wellness. Don’t fear, there are 334 days in the year left afterwards.

There is a very nice entry from the New York Times Recipe for Health section, that features an assortment of healthful recipes you should all bookmark and check in with from time to time. Today I chose the entry on Lentils.

If you have lentils, you have dinner. This high-fiber, protein-rich legume cooks in 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the dish, and requires no soaking. Lentils are the basis for many starters and salads, soups and stews, side dishes and Middle Eastern pastas. The distinctive flavor has been adapted to a variety of classic cuisines, from France to the Mediterranean, from India to Mexico and North America.

The usual supermarket offerings are brown lentils, but there are other varieties and they’re all worth looking out for. Chefs prefer the pricier small black “beluga” lentils (in their raw state they glisten like caviar, but the resemblance stops there) and the firm green Le Puy lentils from France, because when cooked both types stay intact and maintain a firmer texture. But the flavors of all three are similar enough to make them interchangeable in this week’s recipes.

Red lentils, available in Indian and Mediterranean markets, have a different taste, more akin to dried favas or split peas, and a very different texture when cooked, so do not attempt to substitute these for the brown, black or green varieties.

One fact worth noting: unlike other beans, lentils do not contain sulfur, the gas-producing element in legumes. And in addition to being an excellent source of soluble fiber and a good source of protein, manganese, iron, phosphorous, copper, vitamin B1 and potassium, lentils are an excellent source of molybdenum, a mineral important in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and iron. — Martha Rose Shulman

Like so many foods, the key message all of us are stressing is the need to experiment, and leave your comfort zone of what you are used to. Discuss it over with your family, and each week select one new vegetable to try. If you don’t like it, try another.

Send me your feedback, and share your experience. Keep trying.

Dr. Joe Galati

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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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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

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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Too Much Dietary Sodium: Interview with Jolene Vanderzyl, R.D.

Too Much Dietary Sodium: Interview with Jolene Vanderzyl, R.D.

Jolene Vanderzyl, a Registered  Dietitian with Sugar Lakes Family Practice, will join Dr. Galati tonight to discuss the problem of excessive dietary sodium (salt) in the American diet. For the past five years, we have been discussing the salt problem in our food, and while there have been some strides in changing our behavior, educating the general public is still priority number one.
Salt is everywhere in the food we eat. A day does not pass where I am instructing my own patients, as well as their family, on how to maintain a low sodium diet.  For patients with advanced liver disease and cirrhosis, we strive for a diet with no more than 2000 mg of sodium daily. In some cases, we need to go even lower. There is always great confusion regarding salt and sodium, and the foods to stay away from. Many times, patients will state “I haven’t used salt in years”, yet on a quick scan of their diet history, they are well over 2000 mg. How does this happen, you ask? I do not doubt the patient is telling the truth and retired their salt shaker years ago, yet the sodium content of prepared foods is huge, and this is what throws most everyone over the limit. Eating out regularly, or consuming prepared foods that you nuke, are all loaded with sodium. In addition, both of these activities will lead to obesity.
Links related to dietary sodium are listed here. Let us know what you think on this subject by commenting below.
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More on First Lady Michelle Obama and Let’s Move

More on First Lady Michelle Obama and Let’s Move

Today in the office, it was another hectic day seeing patients. I was struck by how often I had to discuss obesity with patients and their family. The educational need in this area is overwhelming. Basic facts on calorie, salt, sugar, and fat content of foods is lacking.  You can direct patients to web sites all day to seek out information on food, nutrition, and fitness – but in the end my feeling is that they will still fail to really grasp this issue at hand. It is not that these people are not smart-not at all-it is simply the fact they there is a very high level of intensity that is required in getting the real message across. In has to be face to face education.

We have a great staff in our office, Liver Specialists of Texas. I simply don’t have the time to allow the staff to spend any more time with the patients. We could spend all day talking about obesity with them.

Enter Michelle Obama. One family brought up her name, and the Let’s Move effort she has outlined. They seemed to have the basic facts on the program, and the issues at hand. Michelle Obama did seem to connect with them. The First Lady has limits to her time I would imagine. She would need to be pounding the pavement 12 hours a day for the next three years to even make a minor dent in the problem of obesity. So where do we all stand with this?

We have to reach the youth, their parents, educators, school administrators, and corporate leaders. One clear message needs to be in tune. Obesity is killing us. Obesity is killing our children. Obesity is going to bankrupt the economy. If we can fix this problem of obesity, healthcare reform (aka address obesity), and cost savings, would be a true victory.

Do the following starting tomorrow and everyday thereafter:

  1. Reduce your salt (sodium) intake to 2,000 mg per day.
  2. If you go out to eat, order one meal and split in two with you partner.
  3. Weigh yourself daily and record it.
  4. Start a food diary and record everything you put down the trap.
  5. Exercise 5 days per week. Remember 3500 calories burned is a pound lost.
  6. Don’t eat anything out of a can, box, or bag. Fresh fruits and veggies are the only way to go.
  7. Look in the mirror at yourself every morning.

Take responsibility for yourself, and your health.

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More Bad News on Dietary Sodium

More Bad News on Dietary Sodium

A day does not go by on the radio or in the office that I am sitting with a patient discussing the health hazards of dietary salt (a.k.a. sodium).  I believe that this is one of the greatest threats to our health, in addition to excessive intake of calories and obesity. This past week in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Lawrence J. Appel commented on a new study looking to reduce dietary sodium.

Health care reform is front and center on the U.S. political agenda. Actively debated are fundamental changes to the health care delivery system, which largely focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of existing disease. Prevention of disease, commonly accomplished through public health interventions, appears to be an afterthought, perhaps because the benefits are mistakenly perceived as small and the cost savings delayed.

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