Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • A fatty acid, a ketone, and a glucose molecule walk into a bar… Ha! No, just kidding. Human fuel metabolism is no joke. What’s the optimal human diet? Is there one? Is it reasonable that someone who lives in the frozen far extreme north of Canada should eat the same foods as someone who lives on a tropical island, with year-round access to bananas and mangoes? Even we health professionals like...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Are we teetering on the edge of a diabetes pandemic? Where diabetes was once a solo condition occupying a quiet role in healthcare, it is now a loud and vicious beast that rages in three classifiable forms. Its most common form – type 2 diabetes – is becoming less preferential of age, weight, physical activity, and diet, calling researchers to seek other factors that may be responsible for the ...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Functional and integrative medicine focuses much attention on the gut microbiome as the root of many chronic health conditions. This exciting new field of research has allowed us to understand the significance of the relationship between human health and the microorganisms that exist in our body. As we continue to focus on optimizing the microbial balance within the gut, we may negle...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Bilberry: cousin of the blueberry, cranberry and huckleberry, just not as well known. And like its berry relatives, bilberry contains phytochemical compounds that hold promise for supporting particular health conditions. Bilberries resemble North American blueberries, and have a similar flavor. Like other boldly colored berries, bilberries owe their black/purple pigment to anthocyanos...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Drugs that are frequently prescribed for older individuals (and not-so-old individuals) often come with unintended and undesirable side-effects. Cholesterol-lowering statins are a good example of a nearly ubiquitous drug with some potentially alarming consequences (including increased risk for type 2 diabetes). Prescription antacids are another example, be they proton pump inhibitors (...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
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  • We know for sure that a woman’s health before and during pregnancy has a powerful influence on the health of her children, not only in their earliest days, but throughout their entire lives. Mothers with gestational diabetes may have children who are predisposed to obesity and abnormal glucose metabolism as well as elevated risk factors for cardiovascular disease. From a poor diet, to ...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • With Thanksgiving looming close, it’s only natural that we shine a spotlight on turkey. Millions of American families will be roasting, deep-frying, or preparing their bird in some other way, and in the days after the big day, there’ll be turkey sandwiches, turkey hash, turkey casserole, turkey stock, and finally, when everybody is all turkey’ed out, there’s the turkey carcass. Some pe...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Gratitude is a trait we often associate with Thanksgiving, coupled with family gatherings, pumpkin pie and turkey. It’s the time of year we reflect on our blessings and give thanks. Although setting aside a specific time of the year to express thankfulness is important, studies show us that a daily attitude of gratitude can have a profoundly positive impact on our health. Recently coi...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Phytic acid. It’s a nutritional whipping boy emphasized by those who adhere to strict Paleo diets. Phytic acid is one of the reasons some nutrition professionals warn against high consumption—or, indeed, any consumption—of grains and legumes. Also known as inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), phytic acid is the storage form of phosphorus in these plant foods. Nutritionists and dietitians wh...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • It isn’t every day that you find out a processed food product might offer more nutrients than its unprocessed counterpart. But that is exactly the case when it comes to the lycopene content of tomato paste and ketchup, versus that of fresh tomatoes. Lycopene is a reddish carotenoid found in fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, red peppers, watermelon, guava, and pink grapefruit. An...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
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  • Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, have gained quite a bit of popularity. Roasting pumpkin seeds has become a notable tradition, especially throughout the Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons. But these delicious seeds can also be enjoyed raw or roasted, unhulled or naked, salted or plain. In any form, they are certainly among the elite of all seeds. Nutritional Profile One nutritio...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • As early as the 1960s, doctors noted a phenomenon of “diabetes in bearded women.” They observed a clustering of blood sugar abnormalities or overt type 2 diabetes, hirsutism, and virilization in women. Originally found primarily in postmenopausal women, this phenomenon was called Achard-Thiers syndrome (after the physicians who identified it). It has become much more common among young...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • We know, we know – we’re starting to sound like a broken record. We’ve made connections between chronically elevated insulin and several disorders that have reached epidemic levels in modern times. Chronic hyperinsulinemia might be at the root of disorders we would never expect it to be connected to, such as vertigo, tinnitus, and Ménière's disease, and perhaps even male-pattern baldne...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Recommendations to eliminate dairy are often followed by a plethora of “what about” questions from patients. What about goat milk? What about sheep cheese? What about A2 milk? There is something about dairy that we all love and which makes it one of the most challenging dietary categories to abandon, despite the negative health consequences. Giving up the glass of milk seems to be an ...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • The battle against stubborn body fat is one many patients are all too familiar with. For some people, even a healthy diet and properly designed exercise plans aren’t enough to get unwanted excess pounds to go away for good. While no supplement can be considered a magic pill or silver bullet, when someone is already doing “all the right things” but results are lackluster, there are cert...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Pet therapy, also known as animal-assisted therapy, is an underutilized alternative healing modality, but one with growing interest. Assisted living facilities, hospitals, schools and universities, mental health facilities, and addiction centers are quickly understanding the therapeutic value of this inexpensive, yet effective adjunct therapy. A calm pet can provide a distraction from ...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • For people following a strict Paleo diet, almonds get all the love. Owing to the restriction on legumes, peanuts and cashews are out, so almonds figure prominently in snacks, whether eaten as is, or as almond butter with fruit, or ground up almond meal in an endless variety of grain-free cookies, cakes and other baked goods. As for other nuts, low carbers with the financial means may m...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Without question, the 21st century is an age in which digital technology is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. It’s the digital revolution.  According to the Pew Research Center, the awakening of the 21st century saw nearly half of all adults using the internet regularly, but today – 17 years later - 9 out of 10 adults are regularly connected. Over 95 percent of adults own a cell ph...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • The letters CF can stand for a few different things in the medical and nutrition world. Chronic fatigue and cystic fibrosis are two that spring to mind immediately. Let’s explore a third item that can be abbreviated CF: Coleus forskohlii.  Coleus forskohlii is a perennial plant in the Lamiaceae family, which also includes mint, oregano marjoram, basil, rosemary and sage. The plant als...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • In the functional, naturopathic, and allopathic medical communities, there’s usually a lot of focus on children’s health: autism spectrum disorders, the increasing incidence of food allergies, proper diagnosis of ADD and ADHD, and more. But what about the health and wellness of older people? When there are discussions about health concerns among aging people—which, really, is every sin...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Broccoli: it’s the bane of existence of many a toddler and adolescent whose health-conscious parents withhold dessert until they’ve managed to get down every last bit of green vegetable on their plate. But like their cruciferous cousins—Brussels sprouts—when cooked the right way, broccoli transforms from ho-hum to holy cow! From bitter, boiled, soggy and bland, to something that will h...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Hemoglobin A1c, or glycated hemoglobin, is typically taken to represent a three to four month average blood glucose level. This is because red blood cells are assumed to live approximately 120 days. But is this true for everyone? Or do different pathological conditions or genetic polymorphisms affect the lifespan and behavior of red blood cells? Research indicates that hemoglobin A1c (...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • As we know, compounds that give vegetables and fruits their eye-catching colors do more than make these foods pretty. They are bioactive molecules that impart health-promoting effects across different tissues and systems. Among these bioactive molecules are the carotenoids responsible for the yellow, orange and red pigments in carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, bell pepper...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Now that dietary fat is no longer public enemy #1, healthy high-fat foods are reclaiming their rightful and delicious place in people’s meals. For starters, Time magazine publicized the exoneration of butter not long ago, and then there’s coconut, which is rich in health-promoting medium-chain triglycerides, and fatty fish, rich in DHA. No one needs to feel guilty for indulging in fat-...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Not too long ago we posted a blog on alpha-lipoic acid in regards to improving complications of type 2 diabetes. This nutrient is also helpful for chelating heavy metals, and owing to its capacity for recycling glutathione and vitamins C and E, it’s been called “an antioxidant of antioxidants.” But alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) doesn’t stop there. This workhorse compound may also be benefici...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • When we hear the phrase bone mineral density (BMD) we typically think of osteoporosis, and when we hear that, we typically think of women. More specifically, what comes to mind is the image of a frail, hunched-over elderly woman. But the loss of bone strength in older age isn’t the exclusive purview of women. While hormonal changes after menopause certainly play a role in the loss of b...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • Tarragon: it’s a culinary herb that, like cilantro, has lovers and haters. For cilantro, it’s the notorious “soapy” flavor that turns people off. With tarragon, it’s the taste of licorice or anise, and depending on your taste buds, it’s either a selling point or a total turnoff. For those who enjoy the flavor, tarragon joins the ranks of rosemary, basil, parsley and other herbs that no...

Designs For Health
Designs For Health
Blog Post
  • The growing popularity of Paleo, low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets has led to increased awareness of the massive—and we might even say pathological—overconsumption of refined sugar. Whether it comes in the form of cane sugar, beet sugar, coconut sugar, agave nectar, or the whipping boy that bears the brunt of the backlash against sugar—high fructose corn syrup—sugar is sugar is suga...

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