Stress and Overeating!

Nowadays, many people consider themselves as ‘stress eaters’. In fact, 3% of Americans are characterized as ‘binge eaters’ (1). Most individuals do face stressful events, but not everyone copes the same way. Some will have a tendency to drink alcohol, smoke, consume drugs or have different habits. In general, people will mainly overeat, especially food high in sugar and/or fat when feeling stressed.

Firstly, it is important to understand the relationship between stress and overeating. Does stress cause someone to overeat? Or does overeating cause someone to feel stressed? To help illustrate this mechanism, some may have a bigger appetite in certain situations which in turn causes overeating or ‘binge eating’ and make them feel more stressed. On the other hand, some may already feel stressed due to certain factors which will then result in ‘binge eating’. In consequence, binge eating can cause an increase in body weight which is related to many health conditions such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and other chronic problems (1). People who binge eat also have a higher risk of suffering from depression and other mental illnesses (1). 

After understanding the relation between stress and overeating, it is crucial to target the triggers that cause someone to overeat. Is it stress itself? Is it personal issues? Is it problems occurring at work? In brief, every individual comes from a different environment and faces different life events that may cause them to overeat.  

In conclusion, there are many factors that can have an influence on overeating. Therefore, it is important to seek health professionals advice focused on that area of practice. A multidisciplinary team composed of a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Registered Dietitian, Psychotherapist, Rehabilitation specialist and Registered Nurse are usually the best advisors to help improve people’s lifestyle if living with an eating disorder or disordered eating. If you feel that you are a overeating when stressed, do not hesitate to contact your SNC’s Registered Dietitian and get the help you need to develop healthy eating strategies. Do not forget to enjoy every meal with pleasure and in moderation! -SNC-     

Reference:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27367316

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Iron deficiency anemia on child development

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common nutrient disorder affecting many people worldwide, especially women and children (1,2). Hemoglobin values below 11.0 g/dL in children will lead to IDA (3). Although IDA affects mainly people from developing countries, it is also a major public health issue in industrialized nations. In Canada, 3,5-10% of children suffer from IDA (4).

Firstly, IDA has a negative impact on child development. IDA has been an indicator of Attention deficit and/or hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children (5). Children with ADHD and IDA tend to be more inattentive, hyperactive and also show memorization  difficulty compared to healthy children, especially during schooling. Finally, IDA is also linked with fatigue, feeling cold, hair loss, poor appetite, paleness, impaired behavior and other health conditions (5,6).

Therefore, it is very important to acknowledge the risk factors of IDA in children. Children from mothers with IDA during pregnancy have a higher risk of suffering from IDA during development compared to children from iron sufficient mothers (4). Iron deficiency is also the most common cause of IDA. Canadian Aboriginal children show a higher prevalence of IDA with 14-50% due to high consumption of evaporated milk and cow milk after six months of age, prolonged exclusive breastfeeding and significant load of Helicobacter pylori infection (4). Other groups of Canadian at risk of iron deficiency include children from families with low socioeconomic status, Chinese background, infants with low birth weight and children that have consumed cow’s milk before 12 months of age.  Finally, other risk factors of IDA include vegetarian diets by the family.

To help reduce the negative outcome of IDA seen in children, an adequate dietary iron intake is required to replace the lost of iron, with respect to age and gender, and to compensate for the enhanced demand during development in order to maintain balance.  If your blood values are showing signs of IDA or even low iron, do not hesitate to contact your SNC dietitian and get the help you need to help normalize your iron level and live a better lifestyle. -SNC-

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Iron-deficiency+anemia%3A+reexamining+the+nature+and+magnitude+of+the+public+health+problem.+Summary%3A+implications+for+research+and+programs.+Journal+of+Nutrition.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Stoltzfus+R.+Defining+iron-deficiency+anemia+in+public+health+terms%3A+a+time+for+reflection
  3. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/5/1040
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Iron+sufficiency+of+Canadians
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Relationship+of+Ferritin+to+Symptom+Ratings+Children+with+Attention+Deficit+Hyperactivity+Disorder%3A+Effect+of+Comorbidity
  6. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/symptoms-causes/dxc-20266514

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Orthorexia for a healthy lifestyle?

Orthorexia is a common eating disorder which is characterized by a fixation or desire to eat ‘ONLY’ healthy food or avoiding an entire food group (1). Now, some may wonder what is the problem with eating healthy food? Actually, the problem goes above eating only healthy food to jeopardizing personal relationships and other dimensions of life.

It is also important to distinguish between healthy eating and orthorexia. People who usually have a healthy eating habit will not be obsessed over food and meal preparation during their entire day, whereas people living with orthorexia will and will also isolated themselves as they think that others do not have a healthy eating habit.

Another important fact about orthorexia is that by limiting certain food groups, you can have a higher risk of suffering from nutritional deficiencies which in turn, can have a negative impact on your overall health. In fact, you do not have to eliminate certain food groups for weight loss or a better lifestyle. However, it is still recommended to choose an overall nutritious food over food with less better quality, although you can still sometimes enjoy your favorite ‘sweets’ or ‘cheat meal’ by not feeling guilty or ashamed afterwards.

If you feel that your eating habits to ONLY eat healthy food occupy your entire thoughts and environment, contact your SNC’s Registered Dietitian to help you develop appropriate coping mechanisms against Orthorexia for a better lifestyle. Again, you are not alone! -SNC-

References:

  1. https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/information/orthorexia-excessive-exercise

 

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Interdisciplinary sciences for better health!

In today’s research and clinical practice, it is very well known that the combination of different disciplines by health practitioners helps optimize better patients’ health results. However, many health professionals will still try to improve their clients’ health condition with respect to their area of practice. Indeed, disciplinary sciences are still very common in private practices characterizing one type of service such as psychology, nutrition, kinesiology, audiology and many other health fields.

Interdisciplinary sciences involve the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (1). In other words, the combination of several disciplines will cross the boundaries of what one health professional mainly knows about their own field. Hence, the variety of different tools and information will better help understand client’s health condition. For example, a child struggling with obesity may need; a dietitian to help improve eating habits, a personal trainer for a specific work out plan, and maybe a psychologist to help resolve interpersonal problems in schools. All those different disciplines will help optimize better results and also enrich the quality of life for those in need.

It may be challenging trying to solve some clients’ health condition if we only focus on one area of practice. A client struggeling with their excessive body weight may consult a personal trainer trying to follow an exercise program with the aim of losing weight. However, the goals may be more difficult to achieve if the personal trainer does not realize the external factors (nutrition, interpersonal relationships, work, family, environment) preventing that person from losing weight. 

In fact, referrals by other health professionals must be encouraged to help improve clients’ health condition and quality of life. Furthermore, policymakers should also encourage prevention over intervention between health professionals to improve people’s health condition which in turn, will reduce the risk of numerous chronic conditions such as obesity, cancers, diabetes, heart disorders, osteoporosis and many other health conditions.

It is very important to describe in clarity your health situation to your health professional or advisor, including everything you have tried to achieve your goals. Also, do not hesitate to ask for another health professional’s opinion to better understand the root of your problem. Hence, if you are hesitating between different health practitioners, privilege a team that collaborates and works together for a better lifestyle.

Reference:

  1. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/28651583

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Is Vegan necessary for weight loss?

Today, many people are wondering if they have to be completely vegetarian to lose weight. To help answer that question, it actually depends on the context including the person’s health. In fact, you do NOT have to be Vegan to lose weight! Vegan diets consist on removing all animal and dairy-animal products from the food list. This can be quite challenging for people who have consumed animal products all their life and willing to start a vegan lifestyle to lose weight.

Indeed, there are some people that would benefit from a vegan diet to help improve their body weight loss such as people living with diabetes (1). Vegan diets also contribute to reduce the body weight in people suffering from obesity and heart conditions (1,2). However, this does not necessarily mean a person suffering from any health related nutritional condition needs to be totally vegan to help reduce their body weight.

A person struggling with just health related nutritional condition can still consume animal products in the diet by making healthier food choices, except if any cases where an allergy reaction occurs. There are also some barriers when consuming a vegan diet such as health concerns resulting in vitamin B12 deficiency and also the enjoyment of eating meat (3,4). Furthermore, Vitamin B12 deficiency is also linked with depression in women (5). Removing all dairy and milk-animal product from your child’s diet may have a negative impact on their growth (6).

In fact, there are a wide variety of meats in the market that are not always the healthiest option such as processed meat (sausages, cold meat, meat burgers, fried meat) or meats from many food chain restaurants (fried or high in fat) since they can be lead to an increase the body weight or because they are linked to chronic diseases such as cancers (7). Hence, Health Canada encourages Canadians to consume more often meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu to help improve their overall health (8).

In summary, there are benefits from eating a vegan diet to help improve weight loss. However, it does not necessarily mean that you have to go fully Vegan or even vegetarian to help improve your body weight and lifestyle. If you feel like you need to make changes in your diet and need some help with weight loss, contact your SNC’s Registered Dietitian today and get the help you need for a better lifestyle. Remember, there is no magical diet that will help improve your body weight, but only a balanced and moderated diet! -Enjoy your meals with pleasure everyone-SNC     

Reference:

  1. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/28630614
  2. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pmc/articles/PMC5466935/
  3. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pmc/articles/PMC5188422/
  4. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/27871943
  5. http://www.passeportsante.net/fr/Nutrition/Dietes/Fiche.aspx?doc=diete-depression
  6. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/28592600
  7. http://www.pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/diet-cancer/facts/meat-consumption-and-cancer-risk
  8. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/canada-food-guide/choosing-foods/meat-alternatives.html

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Cowmilk or Noncow Milk? Which is better for an optimal growth?

In today’s market, two types of milk are mainly available such as cow milk and noncow milk beverages (soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk). However, many people are wondering what type of milk should be recommended for an optimal child’s growth: cow milk or noncow milk beverages?

To help answer this very common question: It depends! There are many factors to take into consideration before providing any nutritional advice or recommendations regarding cow milk or noncow milk beverages consumption and child’s growth. Firstly, it is important to understand that noncow milk beverages are lower in protein and fat which are actually critical for children’s growth. Children consuming one glass of noncow milk daily tend to be 0.4 cm shorter than children consuming one glass of cow milk (1). Furthermore, children consuming three glass of noncow milk beverages are 1.5 cm shorter compared to children drinking three glasses of cow milk daily.

Secondly, it is important to know if your child is lactose intolerant. In North America, 79% of Native, 90% of Asians, 75% of African Americans, 51% of Hispanic and 21% of Caucasians are lactose intolerant which side effects include; diarrhea, gas and bloating after dairy or milk consumption (2,3). In fact, dairy products are critical for children’s bone health and also reduce the risks of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and lower blood pressure (2). To help reduce the adverse outcome of lactose intolerance and optimize a better growth, you can simply add LACTAID supplements to your child’s diet which will help absorb and digest the lactose (sugar) from cow milk. Lactaid supplements are available in most stores over the counter.

On the other hand, your child may have an allergy to bovine protein deriving from cow milk. In this case, it would be recommended to provide noncow milk sources such as soymilk to help reduce the impact of bovine protein in their health.

Finally, the human body follows critical periods during development and each one will require specific nutritional guidelines for optimal health. If you think that your child and even you need more information or advice regarding milk consumption, contact your SNC’s Registered Dietitian today and get the help you need for better health! Now, you can mention to your children that two glasses of milk is better than one!

References:

  1. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/28592600
  2. http://www.lactaid.ca/whos-affected.html
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lactose-intolerance/basics/definition/con-20027906

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When Cooking becomes more Fun!

Cooking can be challenging for big families and even for a single parent living with one child. Hence, not all family members have similar food preferences. Furthermore, some may even change their preferred food choice as time elapses. The person in charge of cooking at home may find it overwhelming, especially if some of the children refuse to eat the family dish.

It is also very common to see many parents giving up after trying to force their child to eat their homemade dishes. In turn, this leads many to order outdoor foods elevated in sugar and fat to please their child which is not always the best option. In Canada, one in three children are suffering from being overweight and obese which is linked to diabetes and other health related nutrition conditions (1).

Now many are wondering how to encourage their children on privileging homemade meals instead of outdoor foods. One of the simplest strategies is to involve children in the kitchen by providing them different tasks. Moreover, it is very important to ask them about their preferred food choices and also according to the day of cooking. By showing children on how to prepare and cook certain meals, this also strengthens the bond and relationship between the parent and child. As mentioned previously, your child may like a specific food today, but their preference may be different another day.

Being that efficient role model as a parent by promoting healthy eating to the entire family increases the chances of your child to develop similar eating habits when entering adulthood. In relation, healthy eating habits optimize a better healthy lifestyle.

In conclusion, the kitchen may look more beautiful and enjoyable by involving children at a younger age to help prepare homemade dishes. Meanwhile, appreciate your food with pleasure by keeping a healthy balanced lifestyle with your entire family! -SNC-

Reference:

  1. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2012003/article/11706-eng.htm

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Summer time activities keep love!

Many families are wondering what to do with their children during school breaks especially during Summer. Some parents may already have planned trips to travel overseas, whereas others may find it more challenging since they will be spending most of their time with the children at home. Hence, parents question themselves on what to do with their family to enjoy the Summer breaks.

Today, it is very common to see children spending many hours on video games and eating junk food which in turn is linked to obesity and diabetes (1,2,3). Adults with obesity may have more difficulty losing weight if they were also suffering from childhood obesity compared to adults who just gained weight recently (4). Therefore, it is very important to take into consideration those modifiable risk factors during younger age to help prevent those negative health outcomes in your child’s health.

Firstly, it is very important to enjoy your time with your children outside in the sun. One good idea is to do fruit picking such as apples, strawberries or blueberries. Not only are you bringing nutritious food at home, but you are also being an efficient role model when it comes to provide healthy eating advices to your child. Children tend to consume more fruits and vegetables from parents promoting healthy eating habits versus parents not emphasizing on healthy eating habits at early stage (5). 

Spending time outside in the sun also helps provide some vitamin D which is critical for your child’s growth and bone density. Furthermore, low vitamin D levels  are linked to chronic diseases such as certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, type 2 Diabetes and osteoporosis (6). Hence, doing some nutrition activities in the sun will help benefit both of you and your child’s health for a better outcome.

Many families also enjoy doing barbecue near their pool or even public pools. Involving your children at early age in the kitchen will help strengthen parent-child bond and also encourage them preparing home made food instead of buying food elevated in fat and/or sugar.

Since the school breaks are approaching, why not establish a list of outdoor nutrition activities with your children to enjoy your summer at the fullest and make it also memorable for them!

References:

  1. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/23985186
  2. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/22849438
  3. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/28330444
  4. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/28540434
  5. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/26381609
  6. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/28224090

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Artificial sweeteners and Obesity!

Today, the consumption of low-calorie sweeteners has doubled among US children over the past decade (1). Many people try to substitue sugar table with artificial sweeteners to help improve their weight loss. For some, results can be successful, whereas others may be a little more disappointed after realizing an increase in their body weight instead of an efficient weight loss. 

Artificial sweeteners are known for their benefit of providing zero calories in our diet (2). They can be found in many variety of food and beverages such as soft drinks, chewing gums, jellies, candies, yogurts, ice creams and other food sources. They are often labeled as ‘sugar-free’ or ‘diet’.

Although artificial sweeteners provide zero calories in our diet, carbohydrates (glucose) are still the number one fuel of energy to our brain. When you start eliminating all food sources added with sugar from your diet wether it is sugar table, pops, ice cream, candies or yogurts, your brain gradually starts to crave the real sugar for its preferred source of energy. In the long term, people will have a higher risk of dropping their ‘sugar-free diet’ and in turn, return to their previous eating habits with food rich in real sugar to help compensate with that lack of sugar in their body. Results have shown that sugar sweetened beverages in children and adults contribute to excess energy intake and are linked to weight gain, obesity, diabetes and dental caries (3). Although a tax is added to all sweetened-beverages to help reduce this negative outcome in people’s health, many are still buying them due to the side effect of artificial sweeteners in their body. Another study found that pregnant women who consumed artificial sweeteners during pregnancy had infants with higher BMI (body mass index) and risk of being overweight at 1 year old (4).

In contrast, artificial sweeteners are more suitable for people living with diabetes to help regulate their blood sugar level in the normal range (2). Despite the dietary recommendation of adding artificial sweeteners in their food and beverages, people living with diabetes are still recommended to consume carbohydrates in their diet to help normalize their blood sugar level, especially with the use of medication for diabetes.

Weight loss does not only require healthy eating habits, but also to develop mindful eating strategies to overcome food cravings and increase our awareness in our food environment. If you feel that you are struggling with your body weight and body image, contact your SNC’s Registered dietitian today and get the help you need for a better lifestyle, especially to establish a more peaceful relationship with food. Remember to enjoy your food with pleasure everyone. -SNC-

 References:

  1. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/22854409
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/artificial-sweeteners/art-20046936?pg=1
  3. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/28208034
  4. https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/pubmed/28179381

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Travelling and Food choices!

Summertime is coming and people are slowly preparing for the vacations. Many enjoy being in a warm environment, seeing friends and/or families and also tasting cultural cuisine. Some people bring back beautiful souvenirs, whereas others come back a bit more disappointed due to accumulated weight gain during their travel.

Now many wonder how is then possible not to gain weight while travelling. It is very simple! Firstly, I always tell my clients to mainly enjoy their vacation as much as they can by discovering new cultures and especially, trying to make healthier food choices. For some, this may sound very reasonable, while for others, it may be a little bit more complicated. 

Alcohol is actually one of the main factors contributing to weight gain while travelling. Furthermore, 4 to 5 million Canadians engage in excessive alcohol drinking also known as ‘binge drinking’ (1). Excessive alcohol intake is also linked with higher risk of liver disease, car accidents, verbal abuse and sexual impotence (1,2,3). The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse recommends for men and women not to exceed three and two glasses of alcohol daily, respectively, with one more drink on special occasions to help reduce the risk of injury and harm (4). Hence, it is strongly recommended to limit your alcohol intake to help prevent weight gain. Alternatively, carrying a bottle of water will help keep you hydrated and also increase your satiety during your vacation.

Next, I always recommend to enjoy cultural meals by choosing healthier options. If you are travelling to a warm or south country, take the opportunity to choose the plenty of seafoods or fatty fishes (none fried) available due to their elevated amount in omega 3 (essential fatty acids) which are beneficial for our cognitive functions, heart conditions, brain development including depression symptoms (5,6).

If you are also travelling during the summer period, enjoy the sun since your vitamin D level gets mostly synthesised from it compared to the Canadian winter limited in sun exposure (7). Studies also suggest that low levels of vitamin D are associated with obesity seen in children. 

While travelling, always remember to enjoy your trip with your family, friends or even by yourself by exploring the new communities and be curious about the cultural cuisine. Since the summer is approaching, prepare yourself to make healthier food choices for a better lifestyle by making every day a sunny day! –SNC-

References:

  1. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/alc/index-eng.php
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28414020
  3. https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Alcohol-and-smoking/Alcohol-and-Nutrition.aspx
  4. http://www.cclt.ca/Eng/topics/alcohol/drinking-guidelines/Pages/default.aspx
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28410668
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28289069
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5379647/

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