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Kathleen Zelman

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Contributing Experts

Kathleen Zelman

Nutrition, Diet, Healthy Eating

Tips to Lose Weight without Being Hungry

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – March 29, 2013

Going on and off diets can be maddening. Diets are often restrictive and leave dieters hungry most of the time. Start by ditching your diet, concentrate on making wise food choices and limiting portions.

If you choose the right 'filling' foods, you won't have to deal with nagging hunger all the time.

When you are eating foods high in protein and fiber, you are more likely to trigger the chemicals in your brain that let you know you are comfortably full. Eating too fast, mindlessly or with distractions can lead to fullness resistance so you don't get the signal for satiety.

To start living healthy and losing weight (about 1-2 pounds a week is the recommended rate), don't leave home without breakfast. People who eat breakfast are generally more successful at losing weight and keeping it off. Enjoy an egg and piece of whole grain toast or a high fiber cereal with low fat Greek yogurt and fruit.

Start each meal with filling foods like a green salad and/or a bowl of vegetable soup. These foods take time to digest and eat so they can crowd out the more calorie dense foods on your plate. When filling foods are on the menu, let them take the edge off your appetite so you can be more discriminating and control the portion size of the higher calorie foods.

Make sure you keep these filling foods stocked in your kitchen:

Whole grains, oatmeal, vegetable soups, low-fat dairy, skinless poultry, fish, fresh fruit, vegetables, sweet potato, beans, peas, lentils, popcorn and nuts.

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Does Being Overweight Really Hurt Your Health?

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – March 18, 2013

Extra pounds can raise the risk of serious health issues such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke. A 2010 study in the New England Journal of Medicine evaluated 19 different studies showing very clearly that people who are overweight have higher health risks.

Healthy weights are defined by a normal body mass index (BMI) of less than 25. A BMI is a ratio of height to weight and can be calculated with this online tool.

Being overweight is not good for your health but when that extra weight is around your middle, it can spell trouble.

Your waist circumference is an important health measurement that may more accurately assess health risk than the number on the scale. Studies show that abdominal obesity is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The problem is that the abdominal fat surrounding the liver and other organs is a type of fat called 'visceral fat' that is metabolically active and can lead to higher LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose and blood pressure.

Take out that tape measure and if your waist measurements are 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men, the time is now to engage in regular physical activity and cutting calories to whittle your waistline.

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Must Eat Foods for You and Your Family Webinar Questions

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – March 13, 2013

We were delighted that so many of you took time out of your busy schedules to join us and engage in Must Eat Foods for You and Your Family webinar. Hopefully you were inspired with tips and ideas on how to upgrade your kitchen with healthy cooking tips, simple recipe swaps, and how to make your favorite recipes and meals healthier.

You won't want to miss my next webinar on The Magic of the Mediterranean Lifestyle: The Gold Standard for Heart Health, Longevity and Wellness on May 14. Discover how the Mediterranean diet, one the healthiest diets and lifestyles on the planet, can improve your heart health and longevity.

Now for your questions:

  • Flaxseed – Some call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. There's some evidence it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. It's tempting to think of flaxseed as a super food because of its many potential health benefits. But keep in mind there is no magic food or nutrient that guarantees improved health. Grind flaxseeds and add it into mixed dishes.
  • Best frozen foods – You must read labels to determine if the product is healthy and free of excess additives. Some premade meals tend to be high in sodium so be sure to check the numbers.
  • Kids in the kitchen – Get started early, most grade school children can be given simple tasks like stirring or measuring to engage them in cooking.
  • Enjoying veggies – One of the easiest ways to get kids, picky eaters or anyone to enjoy vegetables is the stealth approach. Sneak shredded or pureed vegetables into casseroles, meatloaf, soups, stews and sweet breads. Another healthy option, try low sodium vegetable juice. Sometimes a dip with baby carrots, red pepper strips or broccoli makes them more desirable. Grilled, roasted or lightly steamed then chilled are some ways that make veggies better tasting.
  • Fat free vs. regular products – In order to avoid highly processed products, you need to look at the list of ingredients. Look for products that simple remove the fat without substituting a long list of artificial ingredients like fat free yogurt.
  • Grains – Farro is an ancient grain. It looks and tastes somewhat like a lighter brown rice. It has a light yet complex, nutty taste with undertones of oats and barley. It is lighter than many whole-wheat grains. Like all grains, it must be cooked.
  • Gluten free pasta grains – Black rice, brown rice, corn and soy are all good options but don't forget about spaghetti squash, a vegetable that after cooked can be shredded and used just like pasta.
  • Dried fruit – It is another way to help meet your fruit recommendations but because it is dried, it is more concentrated in calories. Enjoy dried fruit but keep your portion small, if you want a larger portion, go for fresh fruit.
  • Reducing carbs in pasta – Cooking pasta al dente, or a little undercooked, reduces the total amount of starch.
  • Eating fruit only in the morning – This is a myth. There is no basis for only eating fruit at a certain time of day. Fruit is a nutritious food to be enjoyed anytime.
  • Washing fruits and vegetables – It is always a good idea to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables although you don't need to use vinegar. Even fruits like cantaloupe should be washed before cutting.
  • Fresh vs. frozen fruits and vegetables – Fresh is best, especially in season and when grown locally. Frozen is next best, choose fruits and vegetables without any added ingredients.

UHC.tv is another way to get your questions answered. Go to Expert Alley to send me your questions and review my answers to a wide variety of food and nutrition related issues.

Check our our collection of healthy recipes.

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Do Colons Need Cleansing?

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – March 6, 2013

Take a walk down any aisle of a health food store and you will see a variety of products designed to cleanse your body.

From detox formulas, liver, colon and gastro cleansers to kidney health pills. These supplements imply the need to take supplements or perform cleansing rituals in order to be healthy.

But do you really need to cleanse your colon or any other organs?

Experts say most of these products are unnecessary and lacking scientific evidence that they are safe and effective. Our bodies are equipped with kidneys, liver, colon and an immune system that is designed to detox the body by removing harmful toxins. No additional pills, cleanses, potions or diets are necessary. Not only are most of these products unfounded, but they can potentially cause harm or uncomfortable side effects. Check with your doctor before engaging in any cleansing rituals.

If you want to cleanse your colon or detox your body, do it the natural way. Drink plenty of water, eat a diet close to the earth – one that is rich in natural, unprocessed foods – and make sure you get plenty of fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

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Eat the Mediterranean Way

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – March 1, 2013

Recently another study confirmed the heart healthy benefits of eating a Mediterranean style diet.

Improve your heart health, reduce your risk of stroke and live longer by following the eating patterns and lifestyle habits of people who live along the Mediterranean.

There is no one Mediterranean diet but most variations include a diet rich in olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes and limited amount of dairy and meat. Red wine at meals is also included in the plan.

Researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that after a five year study period people who ate a Mediterranean diet had a 30 percent reduction in relative risk of a heart attack, stroke or death from cardiovascular disease. Study participants did not eat red or processed meats.

Do your heart a favor and adopt the Mediterranean way of life where eating is savored, enjoyed at a leisurely pace and includes a bounty of fresh, delicious and nutritious foods. And don't forget to be physically active, another important aspect to a healthy heart.

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Is the low fat diet passť?

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – Feb. 22, 2013

February is "Heart Month" and a good time to take a closer look at the fats in your diet.

For years, low fat diets have been touted as heart healthy but recent evidence suggests that the type of fat is more important than the total amount of fat.

Saturated fats, found in meats, fried foods, and high fat dairy and trans-fats, found in margarines, processed and fried foods such as chips, cookies and treats, should be limited. Why? Because these fats have been fingered as culprits that raise the risk for heart disease.

Unsaturated fats found in fatty fish, olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts, and vegetable oils are the preferred, heart healthy fats. These fats, in moderation, can be cardio protective.

But all fats have nine calories per gram which is more than twice the amount found in carbs and protein and need to be controlled.

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Smart Fitness: Fueling Your Exercise Goals Webinar Questions

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – Feb. 14, 2013

We were delighted that so many of you took time out of your busy holiday schedules to join us and engage in Smart Fitness: Fueling Your Exercise Goals webinar and hopefully you were inspired with tips and ideas how to better fuel your fitness routine for maximum energy, weight loss and muscle building.

You won't want to miss my next webinar on Must Eat Foods For You and Your Family on March 12. Upgrade your kitchen with healthy cooking tips, simple recipe swaps, ways to pump up the protein and make your favorite recipes and meals healthier.

Now for your questions:

  • Meal replacements – Enjoying a liquid carb rich drink before working out is just fine to fuel your activity. Choose a meal replacement drink designed for sports.
  • How to increase your metabolism – Muscles are the engine that helps determine your metabolic rate so by increasing muscle mass, you can improve your metabolic rate. Increase muscle mass by doing strength training.
  • Post workout chocolate milk – If you prefer almond, soy or regular, most chocolate milk will be fine to hydrate, provide carbs and protein for recover.
  • Best time to eat breakfast – Try to eat within two hours of waking. Learn more about breakfast.
  • Meal ideas to eat before early morning workouts – Early risers don't often feel like getting up much earlier to eat a meal. Eating an easily digested carb rich food or fluid like a banana, sports drink or carb gel 5 minutes before exercise may be adequate.
  • Is fruit alone a good pre workout snack? If you are not exercising rigorously, a piece fruit can give you an energy boost, especially if it is quickly absorbed.
  • Ideal breakfast – There are so many options but among my favorites are Greek yogurt + fruit; eggs and whole grain toast; whole grain cereal, dairy and fruit; half a whole grain bagel, cream cheese and smoked salmon and the list goes on.
  • Diabetic considerations for pre and post workout meals – Check with your health care advisor. In general, diabetics should follow their meal plans for approved carb rich snacks for pre workouts and protein and carb snacks for post workouts.
  • Exercise after a meal – It all depends on the size of the meal and intensity of the exercise. In general, you should wait about an hour before exercising.
  • Working out on an empty stomach – If you have eaten within a few hours, chances are the empty stomach won't be a problem. Fasting all night then working out in the morning may be a challenge because your circulating blood sugar is low and needs a boost to help you get through your workout. Eating an easily digested carb rich food or fluid like a banana, sports drink or carb gel 5 minutes before exercise may be adequate.
  • Caffeinated and enhanced waters for hydration – Many athletes use caffeine as an ergogenic aid to improve endurance and delay fatigue. Be careful with the amount of caffeine as it is also a diuretic and could promote fluid loss. If you prefer enhanced waters to help you drink more fluids just check the label and be aware of the calories and additives.
  • Should I eat differently when I work out with weights versus when I do cardio? Before you work out, be sure to fuel your exercise. After you finish, you need to replenish fluids and promote muscle recovery.
  • What to eat before working out – Get more from your workouts by eating the right foods before you hit the gym. Carbs fuel the exercise and when paired with protein will provide energy for peak performance.
  • Exercise to lose belly fat. Get the facts

UHC Television is another way to get your questions answered. Go to UHC.tv and click on 'expert alley' to send me your questions and review my answers to a wide variety of food and nutrition related issues.

Looking for articles and past webinars on diet, nutrition and health? See a list of webinars and nutrition articles.

Also, see ouer healthy recipes.

While you don't need to follow a low fat diet to be healthy, you do need to control your portions of all fats, even the healthy ones. Even though the unsaturated fats are good for you, they are concentrated in calories so moderation is the best approach.

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Is Your Diet Heart Healthy?

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – Feb. 6, 2013

February is National Heart Month and a good time to assess your eating and lifestyle habits to be sure you are doing your part to have a healthy heart.

Heart health is vitally important since heart attacks remain the leading killer of American men and women - responsible for 48% of all deaths. Each year 1.5 million heart attacks occur in the U.S. resulting in 500,000 deaths.

Prevention is key and it starts on your plate!

According to cardiologist Dean Ornish, MD, "99% of heart disease is preventable by changing your diet and lifestyle". Lifestyle changes include eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, smoking cessation, being at a healthy weight and stress management.

A heart healthy diet includes lots of high fiber fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains along with healthy unsaturated fats, fatty fish twice weekly, lean meats, nuts and poultry. Even an egg a day is OK, says the American Heart Association, for healthy adults.

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Spring Clean Your Refrigerator

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – Jan. 30, 2013

You don't need to wait for the daffodils to pop out to get a jump on spring cleaning. Get a head start by cleaning out the foods that are the most tempting and likely to spoil your healthy diet.

Out of sight, out of mind works wonders when it comes to saving calories. Studies show when calorie-rich foods are in sight, you are more likely to consume more of them.

Conversely, when healthy foods are made available and at eye level in the refrigerator and pantry, you will be more likely to choose them.

Stock up on healthy foods like delicious, easy-to-peel clementines, sliced apples, baby carrots, low fat yogurt, nuts, whole grain air-popped popcorn, plain crackers and all of your favorite healthy foods and ditch the sugary beverages, sweets and empty-calorie junk foods.

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Stay Well Hydrated to Combat the Flu

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – Jan. 22, 2013

Cold and flu season in upon us with vengeance. At the first sign of not feeling well, do your part to recover as quickly as possible by staying well hydrated.

Here are a few simple tips to help you get back on your feet.

Fluids are essential when you are feverish, weak, tired and have no appetite. Water is good but fluids that contain some nutrients are better. Sports drinks, 100 percent fruit juice, caffeine free drinks, clear broth, fruited gelatin and even fruit bar popsicles are all sources of hydration with a little something extra.

Grandma was right, chicken soup works wonders when you are not feeling well. Salty broth, noodles, carrots and chicken are easy on the stomach, promote hydration and help nourish the body to bolster your immunity.

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Best Weight Loss Tips Ever, Q&A – Part 2

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – Jan. 18, 2013

  • Best fish: Pretty much all fish is good for you and a good source of protein. Fatty fish such as salmon are a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Try to enjoy fish that is not fried.
  • Breakfast: All your questions are answered in this newly published article.
  • Detox to start a diet?: Kick starting a diet plan with a detox can give immediate results and help motivate you to begin your journey. My suggestion to detox: avoid added sugars, cut back on salt, alcohol and processed foods and drink lots of fluids.
  • Are super healthy sources of nutrients and fiber with very few calories. Enjoy them in unlimited quantities.
  • Calculate B: Go to this government site to calculate your body mass index.
  • Food frequency and weight loss: Many studies show that eating every few hours can help regulate blood sugar, keep your energized and promote weight loss by more effectively controlling hunger. The challenge is to eat frequently but not consume too many calories.
  • Juices: 100% fruit juices are nutrient rich beverages and perfectly acceptable on any weight loss plan in controlled portions. Enjoy your juice along with other foods so it won't cause swings in blood sugar.
  • Dried fruit: A healthy snack in small portions. Dehydrating fruit reduces the water and concentrates the calories but the same nutrients are contained.
  • Low impact exercise: Walking, biking, and swimming are examples of exercises that are good for you and least likely to cause injury.
  • Plant based omega-3 fatty acids: If you do not enjoy fish, you can get omega-3 fatty acids from walnuts, soybeans, canola, flax seed and oils made from these products. Supplements can also deliver the same nutrients.

UHC.tv is another way to get your questions answered. Click on 'expert alley' to send me your questions and review my answers to a wide variety of food and nutrition related issues.

Looking for articles and past webinars on diet, nutrition and health? See our list of webinars and nutrition articles.

Looking for healthy recipes? Check out our collection.

Warm beverages like hot herbal teas can be very comforting but if you prefer cold, either works fine to help keep your body well hydrated.

When your stomach is upset, crackers and ginger ale or cola without the bubbles can help.

As soon as you have an appetite, start eating easy to tolerate sources of protein like eggs, yogurt or protein drinks to help rebuild and replenish your body.

Beyond nutrition, get plenty of rest, consult your healthcare provider and wash your hands frequently to control the spread of germs.

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Best Weight Loss Tips Ever, Q&A – Part 1

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – Jan. 10, 2013

We were delighted that so many of you took time out of your busy holiday schedules to join us and engage in The Best Weight Loss Tips Ever webinar and hopefully you were inspired with tips and ideas to help get your New Year resolutions on the path to success.

You won't want to miss my next webinar on Smart Fitness: Fueling Your Exercise Goals on Feb. 12. Whether you're a "weekend warrior" trying to stay fit, lose weight or an athlete in training, what you eat can affect how you perform. Learn which foods can give you the edge to help energize your workout or reach your weight loss goals.

Now for your questions – part 1:

  • Many of you are struggling on a plateau and not losing. In order to get off the plateau and lose weight, you need to change your routine. Try interval training - intersperse high intensity activity throughout your workout. You need to push your body and get into the aerobic zone to burn fat. Most women need about an hour to work out hard enough to result in weight loss. You can also trim calories from your diet. Pass on the glass of wine or dessert and eat more filling foods like vegetable, fruits, whole grains, beans and lean protein for the winning ticket for continued weight loss.
  • Calories, portion sizes, raw vs. cooked vegetables: Choosemyplate.gov is a great resource to track your diet, learn how many calories and protein you need as well as proper portion sizes to plan your diet.
  • Supplements for weight loss: Apple cider, metabolism boosters, fat burning pills and more flood the market but in general the promises are greater than the results. Save your money and buy a good pair of sneakers and healthy food - proven to help weight loss.
  • Protein: You can use protein powder to boost protein content of your diet.
  • Breads: Whole grain is best, look for breads with the first ingredients lists 'whole' as in whole wheat. Claims that protein in wheat suppresses appetite are not founded.
  • Diet Beverages: Diet drinks satisfy the sweet tooth without the extra calories. In general, moderation is recommended and unless your healthcare provider recommends otherwise, these beverages are fine and help promote weight loss when they replace sweetened beverages.
  • Baked Chicken: The slide that caused confusion is from the government and indicates that fried and baked chicken were among the foods that contributed the most to American diets. That does not mean chicken is not recommended but that we eat a lot of it. Trim calories by enjoying chicken that is not fried or in high calorie casseroles.
  • Yogurts: When choosing yogurts read labels to choose ones low in fat and sugar but keep in mind the natural sugar of plain yogurt is listed but not of concern. Added sugars from flavorings and sweeteners should be kept to a minimum.
  • Weight maintenance: Follow the secrets of successful losers who have kept weight off - 60 minutes walking/day; daily breakfast; keep food diary and weigh in regularly.
  • White food: These are foods that are made with refined white flour or white grains such as white bread, pasta, rice and more.
  • Dangers of fast weight loss: When you lose weight too quickly it is often fat, fluids and valuable muscle mass. And fast weight loss tends to return and when it does, it comes back as primarily fat. Making lifestyle changes that lead to slow weight loss is much more successful and sustainable.
  • Apps for weight loss: Many of you recommended the following apps: myfitnesspal, myfooddiary and myplate. The benefit of using an app is to learn how many calories you are consuming each day.
  • Losing lots of weight: Check out my video for tips to losing 50 pounds safely.

UHC.tv is another way to get your questions answered. Click on 'expert alley' to send me your questions and review my answers to a wide variety of food and nutrition related issues.

Looking for articles and past webinars on diet, nutrition and health? See our list of webinars and nutrition articles.

Looking for healthy recipes? Check out our collection.

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Five Easy Realistic Resolutions You Can Adopt

Posted by Kathleen Zelman – Jan. 4, 2013

Surveys suggest that 65 percent of Americans did not make resolutions this year. Frustration over failed resolutions is one of the reasons that many people don't even bother trying to improve their health and wellness.

It's never too late to improve your diet and your health. Here are a few realistic resolutions that you can incorporate into your lifestyle that are easy, doable and can enhance your well-being. Adopt one, two, or all of these as often as you can.

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  2. Walk instead of driving your car whenever you can.
  3. Eat dinner together as a family at least twice a week.
  4. Skip the meat and enjoy a vegetarian meal once a week.
  5. Vow to improve your skills around the kitchen by cooking healthier more often.
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