Top 3 Reasons Protein Is NOT Overrated

On a few separate occasions, I’ve heard people from various health occupations declare that protein is “overrated.” It seemed to me those folks were thinking of “body” protein – for muscle building and the like – rather than brain protein. This brief post covers the top 3 reasons to take a different view of protein. 1. Protein provides amino acids. Amino acids are the precursors of several key brain chemicals 

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3 Questions Never To Ask About Sugar

These days, everyone seems to know that sugar is bad news and should be avoided. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve heard every possible question about it, but a few sugar questions pop up over and over again. Here are 3 of them. • If I quit sugar, will I have to do it forever? No nutrition question is ever wrong or out of bounds. But this one is asked 

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Could Your Food Cravings Be Sabotaging You?

Food cravings would be no problem if they were for broccoli and kale. How perfect would that be? But those aren’t the foods – or kinds of foods – we tend to crave, mainly because they don’t cause much (if any) change in brain chemistry. Cravings tend to be for foods that feel like comfort foods: from Christmas cookies and other holidays treats to plain old mac and cheese. Foods 

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Alcohol, Holidays, and Weight Gain

With the holidays rapidly approaching, we’ll soon feel the stress they bring. Did you know one of the top stresses is weight gain? Alcohol can contribute to that in several ways. It’s often a big part of holiday celebrating and socializing, so let’s look at the ways. • Alcohol has lots of calories. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram. Protein and carbs yield 4 calories per gram. Only fats have 

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What Binge Eaters Do When They Crave

Not every binge eater has binge-eating disorder (BED). But even those who binge less frequently than people with BED, or on less food, may struggle to control their eating. That can be especially true when holiday treats – and holiday stresses – are all around us. My PhD research was on women with BED. Before that, I ran a class for women who didn’t have BED but still binged at 

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Do Your Sugar Cravings Mean You’re Dehydrated?

One thing I probably don’t write about enough is dehydration and the problems it causes. Dehydration can start with a drop of as little as 1.5% of the body’s water. The average level is around 60%. One of many problems dehydration can cause is craving for sugar. This post is about how that happens. Did Our Ancestors Crave Sugar When Thirsty? When our bodies need water, it does make sense 

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Binge Eating Is Not a Victimless Crime

Binge eating is legal, of course, and fairly common. It also appears to be a victimless crime. Who cares if you eat 3 quarts of mashed potatoes, or finish off a few pints of ice cream? But what if we view the victim concept more broadly? Health Not many people binge on broccoli or kale. When someone binges, it’s usually on junk that can affect health negatively. In general, binge 

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What To Do About Night Cravings

Do you get cravings at night? Are they often for alcohol, or for sugar? Do you have trouble getting to sleep without at least one of them? This post covers a simple plan for handling night cravings. Foods change brain chemistry (and more, but let’s stick with brain chemistry for now). Both alcohol and sugar can change brain chem in a big way – and in almost the same way. 

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Do You Chew, Or Do You Smoothie?

Are your mouth and jaw getting the food workout they need? Here’s why we should eat – rather than drink – our food and chew it thoroughly. Chewing Starts the Digestive Process Digestion begins in the mouth. Saliva contains amylase and lipase, enzymes needed for starch and fat digestion. Adequate chewing increases saliva to lubricate food, which eases its passage through the esophagus when we swallow. Chewing signals the GI 

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How A Food Intolerance Can Become an Addiction

My last post covered food intolerances and the changes that occur over time, from the acute reaction to a more chronic one. The immune response to a triggering food involves a release of stress hormones, opioids, such as endorphins (beta-endorphin), and chemical mediators like serotonin. The combination can produce temporary symptom relief through the analgesic action of endorphin and serotonin, plus mood elevation and a feeling of relaxation. In that 

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Milk: It Does a Body No Good

Clients ask me about lactose all the time. A brief survey of facts about lactose had to begin with milk. Many books and articles exist on the health problems associated with milk. They include breast, prostate and ovarian cancers; allergic reactions in infants; and increased risk of bone fractures, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, acne, ear infections, and constipation. Obviously, the health hazards of milk deserve a full discussion of 

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