Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

No Need To Soak Your Oats

Posted by terrepruitt on April 3, 2012

All in the quest for something quick and easy to eat before I teach my Nia classes . . . . I am on my sixth oat post.  The last post was about why some people believe we need to soak our oats before eating them. This post is about why some people believe we should not bother soaking our oats before eating them and even a little bit about we should not soak the oats before eating them.

One of my favorites sites wrote up information from the point of view of “I”, so I am thinking that it is George Mateljan’s point of view since he is the founder of The George Mateljan Foundation for the World’s Healthiest Foods.  He says he doesn’t even consider oats to be particularly high in phytic acid.  Given that the phytic acid is in the outer layers his belief is that cooking reduces the levels of it.  He states that studies have shown that absorption rates of zinc and copper do not get much higher when ALL the phytic acid is removed and in an average kitchen not all of the acid will be removed so soaking is not really contributing that much to the grains nutrition.

I’ve seen articles call phytic acid the “antinutrient”, but in fact it contains antioxidant properties along with a phosphorus (mineral) and inositol (Inositol is a key B vitamin necessary for the metabolism of fat and cholesterol.).  Dr. McDougall stated in one of his newsletters:

“It acts as a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to reduce blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides. Phytic acid is linked to a reduction in heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases in people.”

The Oxford Food & Fitness Dictionary states:  “There is some evidence that those who regularly eat high fibre diets adapt to the high phytic acid content by secreting an enzyme which can break phytic acid down into inositol and phosphorus.”

And the Wiley Dictionary of Flavors in regards to Phytic Acid states:  “An acid found in grains that would normally block the absorption of calcium in the body. However, phytase is present in most of these grains and allows for the hydrolysis of phytic acid by the body as well, nullifying the effect.”

Everything I’ve read seems to agree that phytic acid can bind with minerals and keep the body from absorbing them.  But nothing states that it happens to ALL of the minerals, nothing states that it happens all the time, and nothing states that it happens in every BODY.  Also some people and research believe that it is a GOOD thing that phytic acid binds to minerals because it helps remove toxins that are in the body.  So it could be that a portion of it DOES keep the body from absorbing minerals but the other portion takes out some bad metals and toxins in the body.

Another site states a study, from the Journal of Nutrition, showed that phytic acid stimulates the production of phytase in the gut.  Phytase activity increased the absorption of some minerals.

One study states that while this type of activity might interfere with the absorption of minerals it “may protect against the development of colonic carcinoma” when left undigested in the colon.  Research is showing that phytic acid “is the major ingredient responsible for preventing colon cancer and other cancers”.

Many people stated that with a healthy diet there isn’t really a threat of malnutrition from lack of minerals and bone loss because we do eat other foods that supply us with minerals.

The more I look the more I see the subject being very controversial.  Yet, I see many sources stating why it is not necessarily necessary, it seems the only reference I see stating that it is necessary is Nourishing Traditions.

My posts are obviously not here to tell you what to do.  They are here to share with you what I have learned, what I have found.  I have found two different sides to the story (well, that is excluding the sides that say we shouldn’t eat grain at all, and the side that says we should eat more grain).

Since it seems as if there are benefits to soaking and benefits to not soaking, I would say soak your oats and see how that works for you.  If you sense that they are more easy to digest and you have the time and forethought to do it, then do it.  Why not?  But if you don’t sense a difference and/or you don’t have the time and forethought, I would think that you would be receiving the mineral binding toxic eliminating benefit.  Basically like EVERYTHING else, it is up to you.  There is always going to be information saying the opposite things, so we need to research it and then do what we think, what we feel, what we sense is best for us.

So, what do you think?  Do you think it is necessary to soak oats?

Posted in Food, Oats | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

RDA Is Not For Everyone

Posted by terrepruitt on September 22, 2011

The Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA is part of old guidelines that were first brought about by concern for our country.  The government wanted to make certain that military personnel were receiving the nutrients they needed to remain healthy.  The standards would be used for more than just the military, but the military was the initial thought.  Over the years the RDA has been modified and revised.  The modifications and revisions can be results of new scientific information or as new foods become available.  Eventually the recommend dietary allowance became part of the RDI, Recommended Daily Intake, which has four separate values to consider.  This post is just a quick reminder of the RDA.

The RDA is actually for healthy people . . . .if you are the one of the “one in three” Americans that have high blood pressure, or the one of the “one in three” Americans that have high cholesterol, or one in the large percentage of Americans that doesn’t exercise regularly and/or eat a diet of fast food and/or have a high stress job and/or are overweight/obese/morbidly obese then these guidelines are not necessarily for you.  The recommended dietary allowance is for healthy people.  The estimated Daily Values that are disclosed on nutrition labels are for healthy people and the people eating a 2000 calorie a day diet.

As you can see the D in RDA stands for dietary, not daily, because we don’t need to eat each recommended amount daily.  But I didn’t see the information that explained how that is supposed to average out.  But even so, the amounts are based on averages and people who are healthy so it is kind of no wonder that Americans as a whole are not getting healthier.  If what we have to follow doesn’t even apply to 1 in three of us.  The recommendations really should be taken as very loose guidelines.  If you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol and you are on medication that brings you back into the normal ranges, then it could be that the RDA might work for you.  But it could also be that if you weren’t concerned with the RDA (which remember is meant for healthy people) and you actually ate to be healthy then it could be that a proper diet could make the medication no longer needed.

A great example to point out proof of this is diabetes.  You probably know someone who has it.  You know they don’t follow the RDA.  If they are concerned with controlling it they have a very different diet to follow.  You might even know someone who HAD diabetes and they were able to control it and get off the medications with a change in their diet.  I have heard a lot of testimony of exactly that happening.

Guidelines for healthy people also applies to the 30 minutes of exercise a day.  That 30 minutes is to MAINTAIN health.  Again . . . if you are unhealthy and want to improve your health exercising just 30 minutes a day might not do it.  More than likely you’re going to need more.

So this is just to help you remember that the dietary guidelines are just there to advise or guide on how one does not become deficient in a nutrient.  That is why they are really actually explaining how to stay healthy because they were created for healthy people.  And the recommended 30 minutes a day is to maintain health.  So for the people with health issues that actually want to use diet and exercise to improve their health they shouldn’t stick to the recommendations.  They are only guidelines and they do not apply to us all.  We all are individuals and we need to find out what works best for us.  There are doctors, nutritionist, personal trainers, dietitians, and a whole group of people who can help.  Don’t necessarily rely on the government recommendations to GET you healthy.  It is really up to you.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Omega 3 – The Fat We Should Eat

Posted by terrepruitt on September 1, 2011

I have mentioned Omega 3 before, but I haven’t said a lot about it.  I thought sharing a few things about it would be nice.  Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid required by the body.  “Essential” means that our body must have it but can’t make it so we need to obtain the nutrient from our diet.  Since our cell membranes are made up of fatty acids it makes sense that our body needs fatty acids to function properly.  The key is making sure our bodies have the right kind of fat.  Omega 3 contains three fatty acids, a-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and is considered a polyunsaturated fat.  Polyunsaturated fat, unlike saturated fat, does not harden at room temperature.  Wanting a fat that makes up cell membranes that does not harden is another thing that makes sense, right?  Nutrients and waste have an easier time passing in and out of a cell membrane with a liquid consistency than one that is solid.

Research has been done in regards to Omega 3 on diseases and ailments with varied results.  Studies continue to reveal Omega 3 helps reduce heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Omega 3 helps reduce inflammation.  We know chronic inflammation is not good because it is linked with or even thought to be the cause of many diseases.   Omega 3 could help with autoimmune diseases of which inflammation is present such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes.   With many diseases there is often multiple issues so it makes sense that if something helps with one thing it might help with another if it is a symptom or a result of a disease.  For instance, many people with diabetes have high cholesterol so, if Omega 3 helps lower the LDL and raise the HDL, that would be of assistance to someone with diabetes.  Science is continuing to discover things about Omega 3 and how each fatty acid has different effects on the body.

Omega 3 is interesting in that one of the three ALA is actually not used by the body until it is converted to the other two.  Some foods contain ALA, some contain EPA, and others contain DHA or a combination of them.  So as always recommended it is good to eat a variety of foods.  Eating a variety of foods containing Omega 3 will help ensure you get what you need.  Some of the food Omega 3 can be found in is cold water fish, flax seed, walnuts, and what some are calling “Omega 3 eggs”.  At present there is not a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Omega 3, but the consensus is that Americans should be eating more.

According to a the World’s Healthiest Foods website:  “the National Institutes of Health recommended that people consume at least 2% of their total daily calories as omega-3 fats.”

You might have heard the claim that Canola Oil is a good source of Omega 3, but then you might have also heard the processing the rapeseed plant goes through and the way the oil is made actually burns off the Omega 3 and becomes transfat.  This is one of those things you might want to research and decide for yourself.  It is your health.

Other foods containing Omega 3: beans, olive oil, hemp seeds, kale, collard greens, spinach, soybeans, cloves, oregano, green beans — yay, not just fish!  I am not a fan of fish although, the Omega 3 in fish is hard to beat, so I probably should start eating it.

Like so many nutrients being discovered as being necessary almost everyday it seems as if the best way to get what the body needs is to eat a variety of foods.  The less we eat of over-processes and packaged foods the better.  Finding a balance is also important.  It just really sounds as if, from all the information I have read, Americans consume less Omega 3 than we should, so — to me — it sounds good to add more to my diet.  What about you?  Are there ways you can add more healthy foods that contain Omega 3 into your diet?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A New Report On Obesity

Posted by terrepruitt on August 21, 2010

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems (according to Wiki).  The measurement of obesity is primarily BMI – Body Mass Index. The formula for determining BMI is divide a person’s weight by the height squared. This is just a guide as it does not always work well in determining excess body fat if the person is primarily muscle. Just like all of the information put out to the general public is a guide made to be easy and simple.

BMI Categories:

•  Underweight = <18.5
•  Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
•  Overweight = 25–29.9
•  Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

A report recently published* revealed is America’s BMI is going up. Adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, and declined only in the District of Columbia (D.C.). Other information reported:

■  33 States have adult obesity rates above 25%
■  No state had an obesity rate above 20% in 1991
■  Colorado has the lowest rate of obesity at 19.1% of its population being obese
■  The number of adults who report they do not engage in any physical activity rose in 12 states in the past year
■  The number of states where adult obesity rates exceed 30 percent doubled in the past year, from four to eight —
Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia.
■  Ten of the 11 states with the highest rates of diabetes are in the South
■  Ten of the 11 states with the highest rates of hypertension are in the South
■  California’s percentage of obese is 24.4

One way to change these numbers is to eat better . . . I really believe that most of us could eat better . . . and move more. Most of us could move more too. Find something you love to do because odds are if you love it you will stick with it. This is not about looking good it is about reducing a condition that leads to a reduction in life expectancy and/or increased health problems. Feeling good is an added benefit.

Regardless of where you fall on this type of scale, what can you do to eat better? Share here. Tell me what you are going to do in order to improve your diet. What about movement? What type of movement do you love? What can you add to your day? Let me know.

*F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010, a report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Posted in Just stuff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »