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Finding a Nutritionalist
Old 03-10-2009, 02:51 PM   #1
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Finding a Nutritionalist

Hello. This may seem a little basic, but I'm looking for someone to help me plan healthy, nutritious meals. I'm a little lax in this area, partly because I don't have much time. Would the person to see be a nutritionist? Has anyone seen one? What is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician? What were your experiences? In a way, it seems like a waste to pay someone for what I can theoretically do myself, but I'm not doing it. I want to have a healthy retirement, and want to change my eating habits now.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #2
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You might ask your primary doctor to refer you to a nutritionist at the local hospital. Many have wellness programs which cover nutrition.
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:18 PM   #3
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I'm not a doctor or medical professional.
But from what I've read, because of many relatives with Type II diabetes and/or heart disease (it's a powerful motivator to learn about such things), the current "diabetic diet" is a healthy diet for everyone, whether or not you're prone to diabetes. So until you can consult with a professional, you may want to head to the local library and get a book published in the last couple of years, about a good healthy lifetime diet for diabetics. Don't get an older book, because knowledge has really grown in the last few years.
Although it doesn't work for everyone, I changed my diet around and my blood test results are now good on all levels. They weren't always.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:23 PM   #4
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Two of us at my work are now eating based on this book and the main book on the diet itself.

This seems to be based on the latest science and it pretty sensible for a long term eating plan and not really a short term diet.

The food is delicious but it does take a while to prepare the recipe.

Amazon.com: The UltraMetabolism Cookbook: 200 Delicious Recipes that Will Turn on Your Fat-Burning DNA: Mark, M.D. Hyman: Books
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:18 PM   #5
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Mods may want to split this off into a "Low Carbohydrate Diet" thread...

I've become intrigued by low carb diets and finally -- after much encouragement by DW and a particular patient of mine -- I decided to research it and ultimately am drinking the Kool-aid myself. The evidence to support diets of around 150 grams of carbs a day (much lower during active dieting, more like 30-50g per day) is impressive but not conclusive. I'm pretty skeptical of lifestyle alterations which are not well studied, but am getting convinced that this is meaningful.

Read Taubes' "Good calories, Bad calories" if you can get through it. Not a diet book, but a collection of evidence, articles, and interesting political anecdotes about how mainstream health leaders seem to be ignoring mounting evidence.

Recent studies have proven it to be at least as safe and effective as traditional low fat diets. It feels weird eating steak, eggs, bacon, etc. regularly, while watching my lipids improve (all fractions), and my fasting glucose and weight drop into the low normal range (it was getting upper normal before even though I was only 180 lbs at 6').

It may be that excessive refined carbs and sugar, and high glycemic carbs are actually fairly toxic through their stimulation of insulin surges. The over-arching theory is that insulin converts the carbs into fat, and basically almost blocks it from getting out. The fat and muscle cells develop resistance to insulin after a while, which in turn causes the pancreas to produce even more insulin due to rising blood sugar. High levels of insulin might accelerate atherosclerosis and other problems. Eating large amounts of protein (meat, eggs, cheese) does not stimulate insulin, and it's hard to eat enough of it to gain weight without the carbs. Protein meals induce more heat production in the body than do carbs, and that might be the body's way of releasing the energy from these foods without causing obesity.

Protein Power (Eades) and South Beach Diet (Agatston) are fairly sane. Taubes' book is very interesting, too. The medical literature is moving from frankly defiant to "hmm.. maybe you've got something there." We'll see where this leads.

There are some people who should not go on such a diet or need to have it closely monitored medically. For that reason, I believe that everyone should get their doc's OK before embarking on this or any other "drastic" diet (or is it our current carb-oozing diets that are drastic?).
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:22 PM   #6
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unless you have a very specific medical reason for seeking a pro, i'd read up on it and DIY. if you are educated and involved, it may last longer
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Mods may want to split this off into a "Low Carbohydrate Diet" thread...

I've become intrigued by low carb diets and finally -- after much encouragement by DW and a particular patient of mine -- I decided to research it and ultimately am drinking the Kool-aid myself. The evidence to support diets of around 150 grams of carbs a day (much lower during active dieting, more like 30-50g per day) is impressive but not conclusive. I'm pretty skeptical of lifestyle alterations which are not well studied, but am getting convinced that this is meaningful.

Read Taubes' "Good calories, Bad calories" if you can get through it. Not a diet book, but a collection of evidence, articles, and interesting political anecdotes about how mainstream health leaders seem to be ignoring mounting evidence.

Recent studies have proven it to be at least as safe and effective as traditional low fat diets. It feels weird eating steak, eggs, bacon, etc. regularly, while watching my lipids improve (all fractions), and my fasting glucose and weight drop into the low normal range (it was getting upper normal before even though I was only 180 lbs at 6').

It may be that excessive refined carbs and sugar, and high glycemic carbs are actually fairly toxic through their stimulation of insulin surges. The over-arching theory is that insulin converts the carbs into fat, and basically almost blocks it from getting out. The fat and muscle cells develop resistance to insulin after a while, which in turn causes the pancreas to produce even more insulin due to rising blood sugar. High levels of insulin might accelerate atherosclerosis and other problems. Eating large amounts of protein (meat, eggs, cheese) does not stimulate insulin, and it's hard to eat enough of it to gain weight without the carbs. Protein meals induce more heat production in the body than do carbs, and that might be the body's way of releasing the energy from these foods without causing obesity.

Protein Power (Eades) and South Beach Diet (Agatston) are fairly sane. Taubes' book is very interesting, too. The medical literature is moving from frankly defiant to "hmm.. maybe you've got something there." We'll see where this leads.

There are some people who should not go on such a diet or need to have it closely monitored medically. For that reason, I believe that everyone should get their doc's OK before embarking on this or any other "drastic" diet (or is it our current carb-oozing diets that are drastic?).
Ordinarily I don't quote such large posts but just about everything mentioned by Rich has been identical to my own reading and experience.

I switched from what I thought to be a very healthy, high fiber diet consisting of mainly whole wheat, brown rice, beans and potatoes along with lots of fruits and vegetables and oatmeal. I avoided all animal fat. I ate fish often.

Being fairly active I wasn't quite obese at 5'11" and 180 lbs. but I couldn't loose any weight without depriving myself and eating a lot less than normal. I felt good and considered myself to be very healthy. With no other reason than my age being 57 I decided to find out what was flowing through my veins. I was shocked to discover that my lipids and glucose were pushing the upper boundaries of "normal".

Frightened, I was. Disappointed too.

I switched to a low carb, almost Atkinson type diet. Ham and omega3 eggs for breakfast. Beef and fish with small portions of low carb vegetables. Cheese and meat for snacks. Emotionally I felt that I was eating crazy, guilty. When I got hungry, I ate. I ate as much as I wanted to, whenever I felt like it. I did develop a longing for pizza, whole wheat toast and baked potatoes but I stuck to my commitment.

At the end of 90 days, I went to have blood drawn in the morning and immediately went to the diner for an omelet breakfast INCLUDING whole wheat toast and home fried potatoes. The toast and potatoes that I had been craving were ok, but I discovered that they provided no special satisfaction. Since that breakfast I have no craving for the absent carbs in my breakfasts. Similarly, when I finally allowed myself the pizza I had been missing so much I realized that going forward I'd have no problem doing without it.

The results of the blood test delighted my internist and made me feel good about my decision to change my diet. Oh, by the way, my bathroom scale read 155 lbs. that day.

Now, here's the factor that confuses everything. Concurrent with the change in my diet I became more serious about exercise, subscribing to the approach advocated in "Younger Next Year" as recommended by TromboneAl (thanks Al). I'm unable to separate the effects of diet and exercise as the reason for my improvement.

After that first ninety-day period, I have intentionally moderated my diet somewhat, allowing some more carbs in but still avoiding the staples of my earlier high fiber regimen. Unintentionally, due to the winter season and a bout with medial epicondylitis my exercise level has been dramatically reduced. I have gained about 12 pounds and I値l be having another blood test at the end of this month. I知 prepared for some disappointment but I知 curious about what I値l find.

Now that the weather is getting friendlier and my elbow has improved I値l be getting more exercise again.

The future痴 so bright I致e got to wear shades!
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:54 AM   #8
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I liked this book:

Amazon.com: Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating: M.D. Walter C. Willett, P.J. Skerrett: Books
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:59 AM   #9
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Between RiT and Cantlogin looks like a few more converts.
Following the low carb method dropped triglycerides from high 300s to 100.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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Between RiT and Cantlogin looks like a few more converts.
Following the low carb method dropped triglycerides from high 300s to 100.
We have had threads on this topic every now and then for several years.

I am gluten intolerant, and after some years of being ill I was finally diagnosed about 10 years ago. I read up on the diet (no wheat, rye, barley or similar) and on what people do to get around that. I decided it was easy, just drop all that crap, and rice and beans and potatoes too while I am at it.

I never had had much weight problem, but I was getting high normal sugar readings like some others here.

All gone now. I lost about 15# right away, and have continued to lose about a pound every 6 months or so. I look good, feel good, have fewer allergies and better blood chemistries than before.

The only downside is that one does spend more on food, and it makes going to people's houses for meals a bit trickier. Though in my case that comes more from needing to completely avoid gluten than from wanting to avoid carbs.

Interesting thing is that although earlier in my life I had a sweet tooth, I don't miss desserts at all. If I miss anything it is really good New England pizza, but since I haven't lived in New England for an eon, big deal.

I find that I need to use copious spices and herbs, and buy quality foods to keep me happy.

Ha
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:30 PM   #11
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DW was reently diagnosed with high cholesterol. I am type II diabetic, although my cholesterol and BP are pretty decent. In order to eat together we're tending toward vegetarian, with a little chicken and fish (for me) occasionally. It's sort of the opposite of the low carb diet, but the glycemic index numbers are very low. We've just started in the last couple weeks, so we'll have to see how it works. But from a tasty POV, it's been very good.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:43 PM   #12
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I did the low carb diet too. Do it every 5 or 6 years, or when I get fat... My total cholesterol stayed the same (195), but the good went up, the bad went down, by 35% or so. Plus I lost 45 lbs. I LOVE the diet, as I am am a meat lover. I usually do it in the summer, when the grill is out.

My DW works at a wellness/diabetic center that puts on nutrition classes. They also do cooking classes and all sorts of stuff. Check for one of those in your area. They have one on one meetings with nutritionists.
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:15 PM   #13
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What is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician?.
About a year ago my doctor sent me to see a dietitian. About a month ago he sent me to see a nutritionist. She turned out to be the same person.
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:50 PM   #14
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What is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician?
OK, I'll bite. I don't know.

While we're waiting for your response...

Q: What's the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers?
A: Mechanical engineers build weapons, Civil engineers build targets

Q: What's the difference between a Northern fairy tale and a Southern fairy tale?
A: Northern fairy tales begins, "Once upon a time...", Southern fairy tales begin, "Y'all ain't gonna believe this sh**..."

Q: What is the difference between a Harley and a Hoover?
A: The position of the dirt bag

Q: What's the difference between Elvis and Abraham Lincoln?
A: Elvis was bloated BEFORE he died

Q: What's the difference between a buffalo and a bison?
A: You can't wash your hands in a buffalo.

Q: What's the difference between Princess Di and Tiger Woods?
A: Tiger Woods has a reliable driver

Q: What is the difference between a supermarket shopping bag and Michael Jackson?
A: One is made of plastic and is very dangerous to children; the other holds groceries
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:20 PM   #15
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One way to get a great deal of very personalized attention from a nutritionalist or dietitian is to volunteer for an appropriate dietary study at your local university (assuming you have something close enough). It seems like universities are always begging for human lab rats; and, these studies range from fairly minor dietary changes to some very siginifant ones. So, you can probably find something that matches your personal goals. And, as a bonus, they generally pay you (rather than you having to pay a nutritionalist or dietitian) not to mention that you would be furthering potentially important research.

I am personally very interested in the Duke calerie study: CALERIE Home Page

Unfortunately for me, this study requires a larger time commitment than I can make until I RE (w*rk travel at corp. whim). The same travel makes Calorie Restriction (CR) diffilut to practice; but, that is the path I am currently taking in the hopes of maintaining my health and extending my time post RE.

Good luck with your changes.
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