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"Let Food Be Thy Medicine"

August 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.  



As if we need another reason to reduce added sugar intake!  For healthy aging and lower risk of most ailments/chronic diseases, the single most important food to limit in your diet is sugar. It's in everything - juice, sugary coffees, teas and flavored waters, flavored yogurt, jams, baked goods, ice creams, frozen yogurts and sorbets, marinades, salad dressings, breads, candies, cereals, flavored oatmeal, pasta sauces, soups, crackers, peanut and other nut butters ... the list goes on. Read food labels and choose foods that contain little to no added sugars.

#HappinessHacked:  How many teaspoons of sugar are you consuming in your 16oz Starbucks habit? Chai Tea = 10 teaspoons, Green Tea Frapp = 16 teaspoons, and a simple vanilla latte = 9 teaspoons. I encourage limiting added sugars to just 2-4 tsp/day, if that. These drinks, as well as most sweetened beverages, contain 2-3 days worth of recommended amount. OUCH! (

Feed Your Head: Foods That Target Depression and Anxiety:  We don't need to struggle with attention issues or depression to benefit from eating these foods. But for those that do, they may help. Keeping our gut bacteria healthy not only can ease our mind but it can lower our risk of aging and chronic diseases like arthritis, heart disease, obesity, type II diabetes, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, to name a few. (WSJ)

Why Nitric Oxide Is So Important:  Too little Nitric Oxide (NO) might be the root of your high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, and even cancer. See which foods you should be eating to lower your risk of a NO deficiency ... choose food not supplements to boost your levels.  (  

Milking Dairy Data for More Than They Are Worth:   Before you believe the latest sensational headlines vindicating full-fat dairy, read this. The study that prompted such headlines, did anything but confirm that full-fat dairy is good for you. Butter, whole milk and full fat yogurts are not back - ice cream either. Sorry! (

Drink Wine Daily? You Won't Believe How Many Cheeseburgers That Amounts To:   If you drink even 1 alcoholic beverage daily, the calories add up. And, 1 glass of wine is just 5oz not a heavy pour into a big-bowled wine glass that we so frequently pour. How many hamburgers could you eat instead? Surprisingly lots! Your daily cocktail could be one reason why the waist is expanding. Buzz kill, I know. The health benefits of a daily drink have come into question of late, for good reason. Limit your alcohol consumption to 2-3 drinks a week, if that for optimal health. Avoid altogether if you're at an increased risk for breast and colon cancer. (

A Spike In Liver Disease Deaths Among Young Adults Fueled By Alcohol:  This is disturbing on so many levels. Please educate your children on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption. The good news - liver disease, caused by too much alcohol, can be reversed if you stop drinking.  (  

What Are Lectins and Are They Bad for Me?  If you're even remotely considering trying this diet, please read this. Foods that contain lectins are NOT bad for us. Instead they're some of the healthiest things we can and should consume daily. Dr. Gundry is doing all of us a disservice by spreading this message while laughing all the way to the bank. ( 

Here's Why a Diverse Diet May Not Be the Healthiest Choice:  Another example of a sensational, misleading headline that means NOTHING. In a nutshell, an unhealthy diet that is varied is not good for us ... DUH!!!! But, a diet filled with a variety of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes (peas, lentils and beans), whole intact grains and lean protein is very good for us. Are we really spending money on studies like this? (

Eat meat and reduce carbon emissions. How? Feed cattle on grass:  Can eating red meat actually help reduce our global warming? Quite possibly yes, but only if we eat small amounts that are 100% grass-fed. Don't be fooled by manufacturers' claims of "grass-fed." This can mean some grass but mostly grain. If you're a meat eater, look for 100% grass-fed, lean cuts (wild bison, elk or antelope included) and keep your consumption to 4oz a week. (

You might not have to give up (lean) red meat, after all:  For red meat eaters (pork, beef and lamb) this headline may sound like good news, however, understand participants in the study ate a healthy, Mediterranean diet consisting mostly of plant-based, whole foods absent of processed foods (sugar and flour). At most, they ate just 4.5oz of LEAN red meat a WEEK that was neither processed or chargrilled. (

Makeup of an individual's gut bacteria may play role in weight loss, Mayo study suggests:  The research around the importance of a healthy gut is EXPLODING and suggests an unhealthy microbiome contributes to chronic disease, ADD, depression, allergies, food sensitivities, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer's, and even obesity/inability to lose weight. (

Your Chicken's Salmonella Problem Is Worse Than You Think:  If you eat chicken, READ this. Chicken from factory farms is so unhealthy for us and the environment. Love your farmer's market, organic vendors and or course plant-based meals. ( 

The Problem with Money:  Excerpts from this book make me want to read it ... NOW! Who doesn't want to stay motivated to live better, longer lives. ( 

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: