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"Let Food Be Thy Medicine"

April 2018

Jean Varney
Jeannie Varney
 Nutrition Consultant


Welcome to the Eat Right Be Fit Live Well monthly link roundup.
Each week I read many interesting articles relating to nutrition, fitness and wellness. Here are some of my favorites from the past month. While every article may not be relevant to your personal circumstance, I hope at least one will spark your interest and provide you with a healthy tip you can incorporate into your daily routine.  



6 'Healthy' Snacks a Nutritionist Will Immediately Cut From Your Diet:   I trust by now you know better than to fall for junk food disguised as health food. But in case not, avoid these supposedly healthy snacks.  Add pretzels, rice cakes and frozen yogurt to the list. (

The Top 17 Foods for Heart Health:  
Heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans each year - so unfortunate, given that 80-90% of it can be avoided with diet and lifestyle. Eating a whole foods, plant-based diet is heart healthy but these foods in particular pack a bigger punch than most. How many do you eat daily?

Organic Egg Scorecard:   Not all organic eggs are the same quality and yes, quality matters! If you're an egg eater, this is a must read. Buy eggs from your local farmer's market or purchase brands listed in category 4 or 5 of this list.   ( 

Yogurt Scorecard:   How healthy is the yogurt you're eating? Does it contain antibiotics? Growth hormones? Choose brands listed in the top two categories on this chart to ensure you're consuming a high quality dairy product. Mind the sugar - stick to varieties with 10 grams of sugar or less per 6oz carton. Plain, unsweetened varieties are best.   I love my Smari. What's your favorite?  (

Dirty Dozen EWG's 2018 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce:  Consuming pesticides can have devastating consequences on our health. To avoid high concentrations of chemicals , choose organic varieties of this produce. ( 

Societies must work together to change the perception that red meat - particularly beef - is the mainstay of an affluent and healthy diet':   " The concept of eating meat as the paramount source of protein has become deeply ingrained in the psyche and culture of Western Countries."  This must change if we want to feed 9 billion people by 2050. Not only is red meat (beef, lamb and pork) less healthy for us, factory farms are disastrous for our environment. Do your part while taking charge of your health, and substitute red meat with beans, lentils, and/or soy 1-2 times a week and fish or seafood another couple times a week.  ( )

Beans: The Superfood You've Always Known:  If I believed in superfoods, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) would top my list. They are the perfect food in my opinion - a great source of fiber, plant-based protein, slow digesting carbs and a host of vitamins and minerals. Not only are they great for you but they are also gentle on the environment. At least one serving of edamame, lentils, chickpeas, or any variety of bean should be eaten daily. Start with 1/4 cup and work your way up to 1/2 to 1 cup. Toss them in salads and pasta, soups, chili, and eggs dishes or blend them into a dip (hummus anyone?) and enjoy with veggies. To improve your health, replace your meat with legumes a few times a week.  ( 

4 Seeds You Need:  Seeds, like nuts, are loaded with much needed nutrients. Add them to your diet daily. I love this list but would add pumpkin seeds to it.  Make sure you're enjoying a handful of nuts and a handful of seeds (4TBSP) a day for optimal health. ( 

Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit:  Antidepressants have negative side effects and can be very difficult to discontinue. Before taking one, please consider diet changes. See WSJ article below. A whole foods diet can be equally as effective for many suffering from mood imbalances. (NY

The Food That Helps Battle Depression:  Feeling down? A bit depressed? Research continues to show just how effective a healthy diet can be in treating mood issues. Might be time to discuss replacing your antidepressants with these foods.  (

This is why our phones are making us miserable: happiness isn't the same thing as pleasure, and our brain knows it:  Looks like sugar consumption and cell phones have a similar effect on our brains. They are both addicting and while they may produce pleasure they do not promote happiness. Rid your diet of sugar and implement "tech-free" hours into your day. GREAT ADVICE!  (

The Germs That Love Diet Soda:   Want to reduce your risk of obesity, type II diabetes, and IBS? Keep your gut bacteria healthy by avoiding these foods ... artificial sweeteners included.   (NY Times)

Are you taking too much anti-inflammatory medication?  Do you take AdVil, Motrin, Aleve or other pain medication frequently? If so, you might be damaging your kidneys and liver or suffering from other side effects. Need occasional pain relief? Consider Tylenol instead. ( 

Calorie Smackdown: Cola vs. Broccoli:  This is why you need to stop counting calories and focus more on the quality of the food you eat. Best diet tip EVER. (

UK anti-obesity drive at risk from new US trade deal, doctors warn:  Makes me sad to think we're pushing our unhealthy habits on the rest of the world. Shame on us - talk about bad Karma!!! Choose your health over the profits of big food industry - stick to whole, real food. If you eat animal products (dairy, eggs, poultry, fish, pork, beef, lamb) choose the highest quality.   ( 

About Jean Varney 
Jean Varney is the founder and president of Eat Right, Be Fit, Live Well LLC, a health and nutrition consulting firm committed to empowering men and women to improve their health through sustainable changes to their diet and lifestyle.  Based in the Washington DC metropolitan area, Jean coaches clients nationwide by phone and in person.  She focuses on helping individuals make smart choices about the foods they eat in order to maintain high energy levels, avoid unwanted weight gain and decrease their risk of heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes and other chronic illnesses.  Jean received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City.  To learn more about her practice, please visit her website at: