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Posts for: July, 2016

By Doug Williams D.C.
July 26, 2016

The New Nordic Diet

In this week’s blog post, we are going to look at something called the New Nordic Diet. The New Nordic Diet is actually relatively recent (thus the word “new” in the title!). It was developed to incorporate foods found in the Nordic Regions into a healthy eating plan.

Research into this type of eating/diet has shown improvement in:

  • Blood lipid panels (risk of heart disease)
  • Improved insulin sensitivity (risk of diabetes)
  • Blood pressure
  • Weight loss

The easiest way to think of the New Nordic Diet is to take the Mediterranean Diet and move it 1200 miles north! Now, obviously some things are going to be a little different in Norway than Italy.

For instance:

Similarities in the New Nordic Diet and the Mediterranean Diet:

  • Both emphasize plant based foods (fresh fruits and vegetables)
  • Both encourage moderate amounts of fish, eggs
  • Both encourage whole grains
  • Both limit dairy
  • Both incorporate healthy fats
  • Both limit red meat, processed foods and sweets

Differences in the New Nordic Diet and the Mediterranean Diet:

    • The New Nordic uses canola oil, instead of olive oil
    • The New Nordic emphasizes rye, barley and oats for whole grains
    • The New Nordic emphasizes lots of berries
    • The New Nordic focuses on seasonal, regional foods

Let’s Make It Work:

  1. More fruit and vegetables every day (think: berries, cabbages, root vegetables, legumes, potatoes and herbs)
  2. More whole grain, especially oats, rye and barley
  3. More food from the seas and lakes
  4. Higher-quality meat, but less of it
  5. More food from wild landscapes
  6. Organic produce, whenever possible
  7. Avoid food additives
  8. More meals based on seasonal produce
  9. More home-cooked food
  10. Less waste

You can see where I got this list and read more about the New Nordic Diet here. You don’t have to run out and look for a reindeer burger just yet. However, checking into the New Nordic Diet is another healthy-eating alternative that will help to lower inflammation and all of its related diseases and pain that attack our bodies caused by the Standard American Diet. It may also be a little more functional to obtain and maintain for those of us who live north of Interstate 70 in the U.S. than the Mediterranean Diet.

To Your Health,

Dr. Doug Williams
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana


By Dr. Doug Williams
July 20, 2016
Tags: nutrition   Healthy Eating  

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is named, well, because it reflects what the people in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea eat!

According to the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean Diet emphasizes the following:

  • Plant-based foods (fruits and vegetables)
  • Whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Olive oil and canola oil, instead of butter and margarine
  • Herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Eat more fish and poultry, less red meat and “sausage”

Interestingly enough, it isn’t all about what you eat! It may also be about other lifestyle factors – namely, getting a lot of exercise and eating with others.

Some of the benefits associated with this type of eating plan include:

  1. Reduced risk of heart disease
  2. Lower bad cholesterol
  3. Reduced risk of death
  4. Reduced risk of cancer
  5. Reduced risk of Parkinson’s Disease
  6. Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s’s Disease
  7. Possibly a reduced risk of Breast Cancer
  8. Weight Loss
  9. Reverse Diabetes (Type II)

The other thing that is pretty cool about the Mediterranean Diet is that it is fairly easy to follow. According to the U.S. News and World Report, the Mediterranean Diet ranks number 4 out of 38!

Let’s Make It Work!

PLANT BASED FOODS: Start and end your shopping in the produce aisle. Your grocery basket should be at least 2/3 full with fresh (not canned) fruits and vegetables.

WHOLE GRAINS, LEGUMES AND NUTS: Switch your grains to whole grains (bread, pasta, etc). Eat cashews, almonds and walnuts, etc. for snacks. Try natural peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter (less trans fats).

USE OLIVE OIL AND CANOLA OIL, INSTEAD OF BUTTER AND MARGARINE: Quit cooking in vegetable oil and beef fat. Start cooking in olive oil. Recognize that anything with a shelf life (cookies, chips, crackers etc) is full of bad fats! Please understand – not all fat is bad. You need fat, you just don’t need bad fat!

USE SPICES AND HERBS, INSTEAD OF SALT: Who doesn’t know that salt is bad for you? Most of us think of salt in our diet as something we add when we eat, but the reality is that most of the salt we get in our diet is from processed foods. Anything that is canned and has a shelf life is likely to have a lot of salt in it (I am talking to you again, chips, crackers and cookies!). First line of defense is to eat fresh! It may take getting out of your comfort zone, but there are other flavorings besides salt and pepper!

FOCUS YOUR MEATS: More fish and chicken, less red meat and processed meat (sausage, lunch meats, hot dogs, etc).

Honestly, the Mediterranean diet is probably one of the easiest eating plans to follow. It is so popular, you can just type in Mediterranean diet in your web search and you will get more recipes than you know what to do with. They aren’t that hard to follow, even I can follow them! Changing how you eat is always a bit of a chore, but review the health benefits above and get to work – you’ll start seeing yourself healthier and feeling better!

To your health,

Dr. Doug Williams
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana


By Dr. Doug Williams
July 12, 2016
Tags: nutrition   diet   food   lifestyle  

The oldest person ever documented was a French woman who was 122 years old when she passed! Her name was Jeanne Calment. She was born in February 1875 and died in August 1997. She remembered the Eiffel Tower being built and she actually met Vincent Van Gogh! Almost as fascinating as how long she lived was her lifestyle:

  • At 85, she took up fencing.
  • She rode her bike until she was 100.
  • She continued to walk until she was 110.
  • She smoked two cigarettes a day until she was 117.
  • She used a lot of olive oil.
  • She drank Port wine.
  • She ate two pounds of chocolate per week.

So, if you are like me, after reading about Jeanne's lifestyle, you probably have several questions:

  1. What was it that made her quit smoking at 117? Did she suddenly decide: "Man, I have to quit these, they will be the death of me someday!"
  2. What am I wasting my time on eating healthy for? Bring on the Italian food, Port wine and chocolate!

To be fair, Jeanne also attributed her longevity to attitude as well:

"If you can't do anything about it, don't worry about it."
- Madam Calment

This, in fact, may have been her most important contribution to longevity, especially in today's society.

On the surface, Jeanne appears to have defied all reason and lived how she wanted, and still made it to 122. But consider the following:

  • She obviously stayed active and "exercise" was a part of her lifestyle.
  • She lived in a time and place where preservatives and additives in food either did not exist, or were not likely present for many, many, many years!
  • She utilized olive oil, which is a healthy fat.
  • She lived her entire life close to the ocean and in a rather temperate climate, meaning her food source likely consisted of seafood, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • The wine she drank has a high content of resveratrol, a strong antioxidant.
  • The chocolate she ate was not likely a Snickers Bar, but dark chocolate, which is also known for it's strong antioxidants and health benefits.
  • And she smoked... I have no idea what to say about that!

And finally, there is her attitude about stress. How do you find fault with that?

There is a lot more you could explore in the French culture, especially regarding how they eat. But I think I will leave it at this. Since Jeanne lived (a very long time) and died in the Mediterranean, we are going to take a closer look at the Mediterranean Diet next week, one of the more common approaches to healthy and tasty eating!

To Your Health,

Dr. Doug Williams
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette. Indiana


By Dr. Doug Williams
July 07, 2016
Tags: nutrition   diet   food  

If you read last week's blog, you know that we just began a summer series on Nutritional Transformation. This week, we are going to look at the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.). This will lay the ground work for looking at four templates on how to approach healthy eating.

Does food really "evolve"?

Much of today's scientific literature, including the field of nutrition, assumes that humans have been around for 50,000 years or longer. It is not the intention of this blog to debate evolution versus creation (there are much wiser minds than mine that have done that). I personally am a Christian who believes in a "Young Earth" and that God created it in seven days. To some, that may sound ridiculous; to others, it may make total sense. However, whether you believe people, plants and animals have only been around for a few thousand or tens of thousands of years, all of us can agree that the food we consume now looks vastly different than it did a few hundred years ago, let alone a few thousand years ago. It is this difference (the last few thousand years) that many authors attribute to our health issues today. From this vantage point, I can say that our food has evolved.. unfortunately, in the wrong direction!

What exactly does the Standard American Diet consist of, and why is it so bad?

In a nutshell, the Standard American Diet (SAD) consists of about 50% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 35% fat. However, this breakdown is only part of the picture. Other things to consider are:
  • Total Calorie Intake
  • Sources of each constituent (ie, is the carbohydrate from fruit or straight cane sugar)
  • Breakdown of types of each constituent (ie, "good fat" or "bad fat")
  • Additional non-food items (salt, carbonation, etc.)
Dr. Axe has a great article with nine charts detailing why Americans are fat, sick and tired and how it relates to our diet. You can read the whole article here.

He relates the following issues:
  1. Too many calories from added fat and sweeteners
  2. 45% increase in grain consumption
  3. Increase in medication use
  4. Decrease fruit and vegetable consumption
  5. Increase in sugar consumption
  6. Increase in hydrogenated oils and decrease in saturated fat
  7. Processed foods make up 63% of calories
  8. Prevalence of GMO food in our diet
  9. Increase in consumption of sodium (salt)

A few years ago, my father- and mother-in-law were at our house visiting for a few weeks. They had purchased a boxed set of the 1970's TV show Mash. One day, I was watching it with them and what really caught my eye was how narrow all of the characters waists were! I bet most of the men on the show had a 32 inch waist or less, and many of the women smaller than that! It wasn't just a select few either, it was almost all of them! Contrast that with television shows today, and you would likely be hard-pressed to find more than 50% of the shows' characters having that small a girth.

In literally a generation, our accepted normal has changed. Most of the actors from the 1970's TV shows grew up on a very different diet, pretty much the exact opposite of the points Dr. Axe lists above.

The old adage "You Are What You Eat" really is true! Next week, we will start to look at some healthy alternatives to what most of us have been eating for way too long.

Specifically:

  • The Mediterranean Diet
  • The New Nordic Diet
  • Traditional Okinawan Diet
  • French Paradox Food

To Your Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana