Archive for November 2016

A Second Thought for Some Nutrition Tips

Comments from our nutritionist, Yunman Liu:

This is an article whose link is from the one posted yesterday. The analyses are as the following:

meal time clockAdvise 1: yes and no. It depends on a person’s specific routine life. For example, if one sleep at 10:00 p.m., no eating after 8:00 p.m. may have more benefits since this allows time to digest the foods for dinner. No one would feel great to go to bed with a heavy stomach. However, in some cases where people have to stay late due to work, a small, nutrient-dense while low-calorie snack between dinner (e.g. 7:00 p.m.) and sleep (1:00 a.m.) may do good to them.

Advise 2: agree. Small frequent meals are more for people with special needs, e.g. digestion issues, high activity level like athletes, being ill with stress, having a schedule that does not allow sufficient time to eat a proper meal. If a person has adequate nutrients and calorie from the three meals, there is no need to split them into more than three times.

Advise 3: probably not. First, when frozen foods are thawed, there may be the loss of soluble nutrients such as vitamin B in the fluid. Moreover, there is a comparison from USDA Food-A-Pedia. Apparently, fresh broccoli wins. More importantly, fresh foods taste better if we do not talk about aged cheese or pickles.

broccolibroccoli 2

Advise 4: if you choose to stay away from white bread but turn to the whole-grain types, it is wise. However, produce being naturally white does not mean they are low in nutrients. For example, button mushrooms are good source for vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B6. Onions are rich in potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B complex. Cauliflowers are from the Brassica oleracea family, the one having broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc. They are abundant with vitamin C, B6 and B9.

my cheat dayAdvise 5: yes and no. Cheat day may work for some people who behaves well on non-cheat days and their appetite would not go crazy on cheat days. For another group, all whose need is only a small piece of dark chocolate (about 1 oz.) in the day, the so-called cheat day could be every day. Therefore, making moderate intake of everything a habit is the key, since binging is a desire that should be regulated.

Advise 6: strongly agree. Another posting (Sep. 16) on our website talks about how easy it is to overeating protein. Again, building muscle requires adequate exercise combined with proper protein intake.

Advise 7: non-pesticide or non-GMO foods are the less expensive choices for healthy eating.

Advise 8: hydration before eating breakfast helps adjust meal times so that one can be hungry when they have time to eat. Moreover, whether eating before exercise or not depends on the individuals: if no appetite, take a light snack in case, while if hungry, a small snack before exercise.

stk74585corAdvise 9: being clear about food categories is helpful for managing carb intake. Moreover, adequate intake of non-starchy vegetables helps reduce calorie intake to lose weight and keep an energy balance to maintain body weight.

The article is from the following link:


These May Solve Some of Your Nutrition Questions

Comments from our nutritionist, Yunman Liu:

All the analyses target at the contents of the article from the link below. Discussions about the links embedded in the paragraphs of the article will be found later.
what to eatAdvice 1: I could not agree more with this one. If one gives him/herself a chance to  make a dessert with a standard recipe, she or he will have a clear idea how much sugar is used in only one piece of cake or pie.  Moreover, Rome was not built in a day. So are the diseases.

Advice 2: another good point. Whole foods, not the chained supermarkets, consists of a delicious meal and provide a diversity of nutrients meanwhile.

Advice 3: this is No.1 thing to take into consideration when a person orders dishes at a restaurant or cook at home. A plant-based diet, not vegetarian or vegan, boosts health, prevent and fight against diseases.

Advice 4: this also works for families and friends. If parents are concerned about nutrition and active nutrition learners, their children will have lifetime benefits – food preference, eating habits, disease prevention, etc.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Advice 5: in addition to the discussions in the article, one can ask him/herself: “what is the reason for eating a snack? How long does it take to finish the meal? How full do I feel when I put down my forks or chopsticks?”

Advice 6: this is the only one I disagree with the author. A food label is a helpful tool to give the customers what is inside the food they are purchasing. At least, the foods are examined by the government before they are in the markets. Whether trusting the government or the apps developed by some company is a question.

Advice 7: nutrition keeps being updated by numerous research and findings, which is great since people know better than previously and take more control of their health.

Advice 8: whether sugar, salt, cream, etc. are health-friendly depends on how much they are used in a dish.

Sautéed Spinach with Lemon and Garlic Olive Oil Beauty A140924 Food & Wine Nancy Silverton January 2015   cream spinach

The article is from the following link:


Be an Energetic Man!

Comments from our nutritionist, Yunman Liu:

Research from Paul T. Williams and Barry Franklin suggests that among individuals who ran more than 16 km per week, antidiabetic, antihypertension, and LDL-C–lowering medications are inversely related to vigorous physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Medication Antidiabetic Antihypertension LDL-C–lowering
Use Reduction 69% 48% 64%

energetic menThe 2015 study in this article mainly indicates a significant negative relationship between the change in serum testosterone levels and that in central systolic blood pressure.

Exercise and healthy eating go hand by hand. Vitamin D and zinc may play an important role in modulating testosterone level.

Vitamin D are found rich in fish, including carp, halibut, eel, mackerel, salmon, swordfish, trout, catfish, tuna, sea bass, etc. Do not forget 15 minutes of sun exposure provides about 1000 IU vitamin D, which is free of charge.

Zinc-rich foods are oysters, scallop, shrimps, red meat, turkey, oatmeal, whole wheat products, quinoa, black beans, chickpeas, mung beans, blackeye peas, almonds, peanuts, sesame, sunflower seeds, etc.

Gaining more drive for exercise from the following link:


Dealing with Your PMS in a Low-Calorie Way

Comments from our nutritionist, Yunman Liu:

There are no definitive answers as to why women experience a range of symptoms during the seven to ten days before their periods, including why some crave chocolate, despite the research on hormone regulation, mineral needs, or psychological factors.

However, what you want is at least weight maintenance.

Woman with taped mouth reach for chocolate

  • About 1 week before period, check and make sure there are no inducing snacks around you
    • Candies, ice creams, potato chips, cookies, soft drinks, alcohol, butter popcorns, etc. especially when they are in giant bags or bottles
    • Some snacks such as dried fruits and nuts can be tricky now and recommended not to be around
    • At home or office, in the fridge or purse, etc.
    • Prepare only 7 pieces of miniature dark chocolate
  • At most 1 piece per day just in case that you can’t hold it
  • Tag your fridge – “how much do you weigh?”
  • Focus on activities that has nothing to do with eating
    • Moving is better than sitting which may increase the chance of eating
    • Plan your favorite activities to reward your self-discipline

  Happy young woman jumping

More details are from the following link:


A New Small Bariatric Surgery

Comments from our nutritionist, Yunman Liu:

gastric tube feedingThis device works the opposite way than gastric tube feeding does, and shares the similar symptoms with dumping syndrome in which food and gastric juices from your stomach move to your small intestine in an uncontrolled, abnormally fast manner after gastric bypass.

Although patients in the experiment using AspireAssist lost an average of 12.1 percent of their total body weight compared to 3.6 percent for the control patients in one year, if they do not reestablish their eating habit and manage their portion size by self-monitoring and lifestyle change, they would get nowhere health improvement.

The article is from the following link:

FYI (excerpts from FDA statement of AspireAssist):

The AspireAssist device should not be used on patients with eating disorders, and it is not intended to be used for short durations in those who are moderately overweight. It is intended to assist in weight loss in patients aged 22 and older who are obese, with a body mass index of 35 to 55, and who have failed to achieve and maintain weight loss through non-surgical weight-loss therapy.

To place the device, surgeons insert a tube in the stomach with an endoscope via a small incision in the abdomen. A disk-shaped port valve that lies outside the body, flush against the skin of the abdomen, is connected to the tube and remains in place. Approximately 20 to 30 minutes after meal consumption, the patient attaches the device’s external connector and tubing to the port valve, opens the valve and drains the contents. Once opened, it takes approximately five to 10 minutes to drain food matter through the tube and into the toilet. The device removes approximately 30 percent of the calories consumed.

Side effects related to use of the AspireAssist include occasional indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea.

Risks related to the abdominal opening for the port valve include abdominal discomfort or pain, irritation, hardening or inflammation of the skin around the site where the tube is placed, leakage, bleeding and/or infection around the site where the tube is placed and device migration into the stomach wall. All have the potential to necessitate removal of the device. After device removal, there may be a risk of persistent fistula, an abnormal passageway between the stomach and the abdominal wall.

AspireAssist is contraindicated in those with certain conditions, including uncontrolled hypertension, diagnosed bulimia, diagnosed binge eating disorder, night eating syndrome, certain types of previous abdominal surgery, pregnancy or lactation, inflammatory bowel disease or stomach ulcers. AspireAssist is also contraindicated in patients with a history of serious pulmonary or cardiovascular disease, coagulation disorders, chronic abdominal pain or those at a high risk of medical complications from an endoscopic procedure.


Non-Guilt Eating Out When You Are on Your Way to a Stunning Shape

Comments from our nutritionist, Yunman Liu:

think about your goalIf losing weight is still your goal;

If you agree that an excessive-calorie meal is against health or losing weight;

If you do not want your one or two-hour exercise in vain;

This article provides helpful tips for how to eat on social occasions, whether it is birthday parties, business lunch/ dinner, Friday dinner, family/ friends getting together, etc.

sharingMoreover, the moment you are 100% determined to lose weight, it is the perfect time to plan how to deal with these occasions, rather than struggling when a big dinner is coming.

Regarding the bread basket, it is the signature bread of the restaurant, having a palm-size slice is no big deal – but just one palm-size slice, since you may also want to try or “have to” eat the desserts to finish the meal.

Even though high-protein foods such as fish, shrimps, and poultry are good choice for eating out, the way they are cooked and the portion size can be tricky: eating a greasily grilled half-chicken is completely different from the palm-size one that is light grilled.

bbq half chicken           grilled chicken

broken glass of winespoon dessertsDesserts and drinks are the evilest roles for social eating. Knowing how much to eat or drink is still different from doing. Always a glass of wine/ a standard drink of spirits, or two spoons of shared desserts. Numbers are helpful to manage your calorie intake.

Useful tips are from the following link:


Predisposition of Having Bad Fat Does Not Mean We Can Do Nothing to Diabetes

Comments from our nutritionist, Yunman Liu:

Chaurasia et al 2016_Graphical AbstractCeramide, one trigger of insulin resistance, is a prime sphingolipid signaling molecule. This research suggests that the reduction in adipose sphingolipids increased brown and beige adipocyte numbers, mitochondrial activity, and insulin sensitivity.

There are 3 types of adipose tissues in human bodies: brown, beige, and white adipose tissues.

  • The brown type has abundant mitochondria and is an efficient energy-burner.
  • The beige type can be converted into the brown one.
  • The typical white type is visceral fat.

People who have more ceramide despite normal weight should be more careful with their lifestyle. Normal weight is not equal to good health. In addition, the article mentioned, “when we overeat…”; the question is: WHY DO WE OVEREAT?

Moreover, more efforts on a healthy lifestyle not only fight against diabetes but also improve overall health and fitness: beautiful blood work including blood glucose, lipid profile, and inflammation markers, healthy organs, good appetite, sound sleep, great exercise performance, and being energetic to cope with life.

The image is from the related research paper by Bhagirath Chaurasia et al. and more details can be found from the following link:


Let’s Destroy the Bridge between Low Mood and Craving!

Comments from our nutritionist, Yunman Liu:

To deal with the low mood or stress, the most logical and reasonable way is to think about why and how. However, it is easy to say than do.

Then think about the way that you would feel the least guilty – exercise.

Again, it is a habit. Remember the posting that talks about cue, routine, and reward?

Add a fridge magnet saying “Put on Your Shoes and Go Out for a Walk!” Then you may at least think twice about opening the fridge door since you do not ruin the 2 or 3 pounds you just lost.

mood exercise

As the article pointed out, too strenuous exercise puts equally heavy demands on the cardiovascular system. Researchers found that after finishing extreme running events, athletes’ blood samples contain biomarkers associated with heart damage. To general populations, that would also happen.

Research also suggests that sugar craving and depression are associated. In other words, sugar does not help improve the mood but rather do the opposite job.

One may also be a little careful with other mood-relieving foods such as chocolate, banana, nuts since they are high in energy despite the fact that they are rich in vitamins and minerals. For example,

banana chocolate nuts1.5 oz. dark chocolate: 215 Cal

1 7” banana: 105 Cal

1 oz. roasted almonds (22 items): 172 Cal

1 cup of cooked brown rice: 216 Cal.

In addition, David Belton et al found that vitamin B such as B1 (thiamin) and B9 (folate), and iron are conducive to improving mood. According to Garden Parker et al. deficits in omega-3 fatty acids have been identified as a contributing factor to mood disorders and offer a potential rational treatment approach. Salt foods craving/ salt pica and iron deficiency may exist, which requires further research.

The article from the following link provides both analysis and strategies for craving:


You Can Have Superfoods Every Meal Which Would Hurt Nothing

Comments from our nutritionist, Yunman:

Thanks to our medical assistants, I have the aspiration to write this comment.

They said I ate a lot for breakfast.

  • 1/2 6” purple yam (sweet potato)
  • 1 cup 50/50 leafy vegetables
  • 1 soft boiled egg
  • 1/2 California avocado
  • 1 glass of whole milk
  • 1/2 persimmon
  • 1 6” banana

purple yam  soft boiled eggs  5050 mix

avocadopersimmon  glass of milkbanana

I did not make them a jar of smoothie. Rather, I enjoyed chewing them, feeling the texture, and tasting the flavor. I loved their colors stimulating my appetite.

Foods deserves human’s respect and attention. Should one have ever thought about what and how much he or she eats every day, wise selection of foods and elegant intake would be far more likely to happen.

Ask yourself 3 questions.

  • First, how many types of foods, especially plants, do you eat every day?
  • Second, are the meals today completely different from those from yesterday, respectively?
  • Third, how much for each food do you eat?

Never claim that you eat healthily until you have a clear idea of what and how much you eat.

Here are some examples to include the recommended foods in your meals.

Add this to your breakfast

  • Microwaved avocado and egg (very fast!)
  • Oatmeal and blueberries

avocado egg     blueberry oatmeal

Add this to lunch

  • Slightly grilled broccoli with garlic and olive oil
  • Boiled quinoa and beans
  • Chopped apple, walnuts, and cinnamon as desserts

broccoli garlicquinoa beans  apple walnut cinnamon

Add this to dinner

  • Stir-fried chicken with orange peels and ginger/garlic
  • Orange flesh as desserts

orange peel chicken

This article is from the following link:



Good Mood and a Strong Brain Cannot Live without a Healthy Diet and Exercise

Comments from our nutritionist, Yunman Liu:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

a healthy plate

Brain is desperate to be nourished by colorful vegetables and fruits; whole grains, nuts and legume; lean protein; healthy fats; and of course, clean water. The nutrients in these foods not only constructs the brain, e.g. hypothalamus as mentioned in the article, but also guarantees the its normal function, e.g. vitamins and minerals from grains and vegetables are part of the enzymes or cofactors that participate in numerous pathways of the brain.

food mood

In addition, the magic power of exercise on mood cannot be neglected. According to National Quality Assurance Framework for Exercise, exercise has CAUSAL impact on mental health problems including depression. The National Consensus Statements on exercise and mental health published by the Health Education Authority (Grant 2000) state that exercise has a consistently positive effect on mood and psychological well-being.

exercise mood

Again, Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants

Why eating a healthy diet is important to support a well-functioning brain:

A simple way to eat healthily: