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"Let Food Be Thy Medicine"

December  2019

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.  



EWG's Tap Water Database - 2019 Update:   How contaminated is your drinking water. Plug in your zip code and find out. (Environmental Working Group)

Is Full-fat Dairy Heart Healthy?    Full fat dairy is experiencing a renaissance of sorts but before you indulge, read this. Spoiler alert, butter is not back. And while cheese seems to be a little less concerning than butter, full fat varieties can raise cholesterol and contribute to heart disease/increased blood pressure. If you consume dairy, stick to low-fat or no-fat varieties of plain yogurt, cottage cheese and kefir. A little cheese once in  awhile  is okay too.  (Nutrition Action)

How to End Mental Illness:  If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or any other mental health issue, listen to this podcast!  (Dr. Hyman)

Plant-Based Beverages:  Non-dairy "milks" are all the rage but some are highly processed and contain preservatives, additives and other unhealthy ingredients. How healthy is your plant-based drink? Check out Cornucopia's scorecard to see. (Cornucopia Institute) 

Memory: Myth Versus Truth:  Alzheimer's is one of our most feared health issues. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect your brain as you age. The internet is filled with suggestions many of which, unfortunately, are "memory myths." This article helps separate fact from fiction. (John Hopkins)

Food Can Help Control Some Chronic Health Conditions, In Some Cases Eliminating The Need For Drugs:   Before you commit to taking medications to control, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure, change your diet to manage, if not eliminate, these chronic diseases. Your heart, waistline, brain and wallet will appreciate it. (Washington Post)

How Top Restaurants Rate on Reducing Antibiotic Use in Their Beef Supplies:  Did your "fast food" chain of choice receive a passing or failing grade for sourcing beef that limits antibiotic use? Kudos to Chipotle and Panera ... (BattleSuperbugs)

How Much can Exercise Help with Weight Loss?   I highly encourage my clients to be physically active each day. Exercise is wonderful for our heart, mood, brain, and bones. But, if weight loss is your main goal, focus more on your diet than minutes in the gym. In general, exercise isn't an effective weight-loss tool. (Nutrition Action)

Our Diets are Killing Us and Doctors aren't Trained to Help:  Sad but true ... most of us never receive specific advice from our doctor on how best to eat to reduce or reverse chronic disease. Why? Because they don't know themselves.  "Obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States, are closely linked to diet and nutrition and yet, fewer than 14 percent of physicians report feeling equipped to advise on diet or the connection between food and health."  (The Hill)

Battle of the Meats: Red vs. White:  Chicken and turkey might be better for your heart than beef, lamb and pork, but does that make them good for you? Not necessarily. See which source of protein actually benefits your health. (Berkeley Wellness)

A Cardiologist's Diet Built for Improving Cholesterol:  Hallelujah! A doctor that is prescribing dietary changes not statins for high cholesterol. The vast majority of us can successfully address elevated cholesterol levels by swapping processed carbs, coconut/palm oils and red meat for veggies, fruit, whole grains, beans, soy, fish, nuts and seeds. (MedPage Today)

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: