Eat And Be Well

Here’s hoping all you mothers – and fathers being both mother and father to your children – had a wonderful Mother’s Day. There are just too many such fathers to mention individually here.

I don’t know where the idea originated that you had to give birth to your children to be their mother, but I see examples every day of non-birth mothers being terrific mothers.  That one’s for you, sweet Sharon.

My step-daughter Kelly and her fiancé Sean made a Mother’s Day bar b q and invited her sister Lara, along with Lara’s love, my daughter Abby, and Bear and me.  That’s my kind of Mother’s Day.  The only thing that could have made it better is if my NY daughter, Nima, had been there.download

As usual, Sean asked me first how I needed my chicken seasoned and if the piece he had chosen for me was small enough. That kind of thoughtfulness is a given with this gracious man.  Alex brought the sweetest watermelon… something else I could eat.  Someone brought potato salad which I admit I had a teaspoon of “just to taste,” and someone else brought potato chips.  I had no trouble eating my limited permitted share of those.  Kelly even made a cup of coffee just for me.

I see today’s blog is going to be about food.  Keeping that in mind, I found this general guideline to healthy eating at: http://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/diabetes/eat-healthy

The Basics

Your body needs the right vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to stay healthy. A healthy diet means that you are eating:

  • Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products
  • Seafood, poultry, lean meats, eggs, beans, peas, seeds, and nuts

Limit foods high in:

  • Cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars
  • Tans fats – Trans fats may be in foods like cakes, cookies, stick margarines, and fried foods.
  • Saturated  fats – These fats come from animal products like cheese, fatty meats, whole milk, and butter.
  • Refined grains – Food products with refined grains include white bread, noodles, white rice, and flour tortillas

 

What I found interesting here is that what the general population is urged to eat is not that much different than what we early stage Chronic Kidney Disease sufferers are told to eat.  We do have to limit the fruits and vegetables to three different sized portions of each.  The portion depends on the particular fruit or vegetable. We also need to cap our limited types of seafood, poultry, lean meats, and eggs to five ounces per day.  As for seeds and nuts, those are no-no’s for us.

Look at the foods the government feels we should avoid.  Look familiar?  Take a look at the renal diet your nutritionist gave you and you’ll find them on that as foods to limit (or avoid), too.glycemic-index

You probably noticed the above information was taken from a website dealing with diabetes.  That’s because diabetes is one of the leading causes of Chronic Kidney Disease and vice-versa. That’s another reason to watch your intake of foods with a high glycemic index – the indicator of how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating the food – which includes not only what we usually consider sweets, but ice cream, too.

P1050446-1024x677You know we need to stay as healthy as possible, including keeping our weight down. One way to do that is NOT skipping breakfast.  Why?  This is how study researcher Dr. Tony Goldstone, M.D., Ph.D. of Imperial College London in the UK explains it:

“Through both the participants’ MRI results and observations of how much they ate at lunch, we found ample evidence that fasting made people hungrier, and increased the appeal of high-calorie foods and the amount people ate.”

You can read more about the study that led him to come to this conclusion at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251709.php

You need to understand that skipping breakfast (literally breaking the fast you incur while you sleep) is a form of fasting.  If you take medication that requires food along with it, you’re also delaying the effects of the medication since you’re not taking it until later in the day.

Here’s an interesting finding on a study publicized in The Journal of Renal Nutrition in 2009:

“Long-term fish consumption was independently associated with improved kidney function among elderly individuals, a finding that extends the current knowledge regarding the benefits of fish intake on human health.”

But we knew that, didn’t we?  Take a look at: http://www.jrnjournal.org/article/S1051-2276(12)00181-1/abstract for more, slightly technical, information on this study.

By the way, are you taking Omega 3 (fish oil) supplements?  There’s a theory it helps retard the progress of CKD. I’ll been taking it all five years since my diagnosis and I’m still at stage 3A.

While that’s something I would suggest – and please remember:  I’m not a doctor.  You need to run my suggestions by your nephrologist before you even think of acting on them! – something I will  caution you  about is grapefruit or grapefruit juice.  Let’s go back to Healthfinder.gov at: http://www.healthfinder.gov/News/Article.aspx?id=670988&source=govdelivery#.ULPppKAFqXI.twitter for the information about this: is

“Even small amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice have the potential to cause sudden death, acute kidney failure, respiratory failure, gastrointestinal bleeding and other serious side effects when paired with these medications. Included are certain cholesterol-lowering medications, blood pressure drugs, cancer treatments and antibiotics such as erythromycin, the researchers said.”

And star fruit (carambola)!! Avoid it at ALL costs, because the cost could be your life.  It is toxic to people with Chronic Kidney Disease.  It’s a tropical fruit so chances are you’re not going to run into it too often.  I am so glad I wasn’t adventurous enough to try it in Nigeria all those years ago.  My daughter, Nima, did try it when our Nigerian friends (Remi Okunoye and her children Moriyika, Oliaton, and Benga) were living with us back on Staten Island, but she immediately spit it out.  She was a young child, not used to the taste, and it was too strong for her. Now that she’s at risk for CKD since I have it, I’m glad she did that.is (1)

I took the following quote from an article beguilingly entitled It’s not just what you eat, but when you eat it: “When a species’ typical daily rhythm is thrown off, changes in metabolism also happen. For example, in people, night shift workers have an increased prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome, and patients with sleep disorders have a higher risk for developing obesity. Also, less sleep means more weight gain in healthy men and women.”  This is discussed more technically at: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-11/uops-inj110612.php

Enjoy what you do feel safe eating – and there is quite a bit of that type of food available, you know.

Until next week,

Keep living your life.

It’s a Weighty Question

There’s a new addition to our family.  Oh, no, no!  Of course, with all our daughters, it’s natural to think it’s a grand child, but it’s actually a “grand” cat.  Let’s see now, we’re up to two grand dogs and three grand cats, plus our own Bella dog.  Little miss Annabelle is just twelve weeks old and cute as a button.  Thinking about cats led me to wonder if you knew that cats can also have CKD. And if you knew that some of the same treatments are used for feline CKD as for human CKD. That’s why you’ve got to be careful when you do your own research that what you’re reading deals with human, not feline, CKD.    

My daughter, Abby, brought Annabelle to the bar-b-q my fiance – Bear – threw to celebrate my 65th birthday yesterday (The bar-b-q was yesterday; my birthday was February 2 – Ground Hog’s Day – just in case you were wondering.) so everyone could meet the little cutie.

Being human, we overate, which got me to wondering about how hard it’s become for me to lose weight, much less maintain a healthy weight.  I remembered a blog I’d read on NPR way back in November and decided to share it with you.  I can’t be the ONLY one concerned with my weight, can I?

Hormones And Metabolism Conspire Against Dieters

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There are some fresh insights from Australia that help explain why it’s so difficult for dieters to keep off the weight they lose.

Willpower will only take you so far, in case you haven’t run that experiment yourself. Turns out our bodies have a fuel gauge, not entirely unlike the gas gauge on our cars, that tell us when it’s time to tank up on food.

The gauge relies on hormones that signal to the brain when and how much to eat. But as Dr. Louis Aronne, who directs the comprehensive weight control program at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, explains, the human fuel gauge can sometimes be way off the mark — especially for dieters.

A study just published in the New England Journal of Medicinedocuments a pretty extreme diet regimen that limited 50 overweight and obese Australian volunteers to about 550 calories a day for 10 weeks.

Most of them, though not all, actually stuck with the diet, and, not surprisingly, lost a lot of weight. While dieting they shed an average of nearly 30 pounds, or 14 percent of their body weight. At a year, they’d still kept a lot of the weight off, but, on average, their loss was down to 8 percent 15 months after the start of the study.

What happened to their hormones? The researchers measured a whole bunch of them, including insulin, leptin (an appetite suppressant) and ghrelin (a hunger stimulator) and found that more than year after the weight loss, the hormones were telling the people to keep eating — a lot.

As Aronne puts it, their internal gas gauges went down 65 percent instead of the 10 percent or so that would have been more in line with the weight lost. In essence, “they think they’re going to run out of gas  very, very soon.”

So it’s not just a lack of willpower that’s tripping people up. Their hormones are sending a strong, confounding signal to chow down.

What’s more, the study found that the metabolic  rate of the dieters remained low a year after the low-calorie diet  ended, making it even harder to burn off those calories.

While this might be a plausible explanation, I don’t find it all that comforting.  Yes, I do understand better why I’m having such a hard time with the weight, but I also know this means more exercise to burn off some of those calories my body is holding on to.  Guess I’d better learn to love exercise all over again, only exercise that accommodates arthritis this time.

You can find the blog at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/11/03/141769832/hormones-and-metabolism-conspire-against-dieters?sc=fb&cc=fp

On another note, the lovely Aaron Milton of the FB page P2P for sufferers of any chronic illness posted an “Add to cart” button for the book there.  I’d like to do that to the blog and the book’s FB page, as well as my person website (www.gail-rae.com) but Aaron’s forgotten how he did it.  Anyone know how to do this?

Until next week,

Keep living your life!

Published in: on February 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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