November 2013 - Advanced Physical Medicine
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Say Goodbye To Trans Fats

November 7, 2013 was a big day for the American heart. The FDA announced its plan to phase out trans fats from our diet by moving it from a category recognizing it as a safe food additive to one making it unsafe and illegal for use.

What are trans fats?

Trans fats are created artificially when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to create a more solid substance often referred to as partially hydrogenated oil. It is not the only fat we encounter. Saturated fats can also be rough on our bodies, but it does have some of the more devastating effects on our health.  Trans fats not only raise the level of bad cholesterol in our bodies, they also work against us by lowering the good cholesterol we consume.
There is no way to avoid fats all together, nor would we want to. Consuming mono-saturated fats provides us energy, keeps hair and skin healthy and helps us absorb fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K.

What does this mean?

This biggest difference this ruling will make is that restaurants and manufacturers still hanging on to trans fat use will have to rework their process to comply with the new standards. It sounds like a big undertaking, but a schedule is in the works that will give everyone time to adjust to new standards.

We as a nation aren't the first to crack down on this harmful additive. Although Mayor Bloomberg of New York has been quite vocal regarding his prohibition against trans fats throughout his city's restaurants that began in 2008, it is the example of entire countries like Sweden and Denmark that prove an entire nation is able to change.

How will this help us?

According to the FDA, simply removing trans fats from our diet will prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7000 deaths annually. ANNUALLY! And what do we have to do? Nothing. It's actually very doubtful that we will actually notice a difference in our food considering that trans fats have been phasing out of our foods for quite some time now without protest.

What we do need to understand is that this doesn't solve all of our health problems. Saturated fats will still raise cholesterol levels and sugars in excess will still harm our bodies. We still need to take care of ourselves with a conscious diet and active lifestyle.

Popular Foods Currently Containing Trans Fats

Frozen Pastries: pie crusts, biscuits/rolls, cookies, frozen desserts

Miami Beach: Joe's Stone Crab - Joe's Original Key Lime Pie

Coffee Creamers (non-dairy)

File:Cofee-Mate French Vanilla & Hazelnut 3 packs.JPG

Fast Foods (anything fried or battered): Popeye's, Long John Silver's.

Long John Silver's Sampler

Crisco: Although they are listed as no longer using trans fats, they were once the poster child for trans fat use. Currently they contain the minimum amount allowed (.5 grams) to be able to say they contain 0 grams. Sneaky.


Canned Frosting, Packaged Pudding, Cake Mixes

Mike asked me to please make him a cake mix cake with canned frosting for Faturday. I did, but I have to say I make a pretty mean scratch cake. We're taking it with us to the He-Men-Ways. Lucky them!

Bisquick, Pancake and Waffle Mixes

1957 General Mills Ad, Betty Crocker Bisquick with Recipe

Margarine. It turns out that butter, a saturated fat, is actually better for you. Sorry Fabio.

HEB Margarine

Check out the Trans Fat and Menu Labeling Legislation for more information.

Defeat Winter Depression

File:Vincent Willem van Gogh 002.jpgWinter can be a beautiful season filled with blankets of white snow, friendly gatherings and the smell of peppermint and fresh cut pine permeating the air. However, these simple joys of the season are missed by many who suffer through Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or the somewhat milder Winter Blues, that will bury them under the weight of depression throughout the winter months. Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, a renown expert in cyclical mood patterns and a current Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, tells us;

"Six percent of the US population, primarily in northern climates, is affected by SAD in its most marked form. Another 14 percent of the adult US population suffers from a lesser form of seasonal mood changes, known as winter blues."

Both conditions are more prevalent in women than men, and are theorized to be related to genetic traits. Also, although the
symptoms are triggered by dark winters, anyone has the potential to experience SAD or the winter blues. What this means is, someone from a Southern environment who's never had a problem, can visit the Netherlands in January and be affected.

Common Symptoms of SAD and the Winter Blues

When days get shorter, people affected often:

  • Sleep longer and have a harder time waking up. Studies show that SAD sufferers average 2.5 hours more sleep in winter and winter blues sufferers sleep 1.7 hours more, which is much longer than the average population at the same time of year.
  • Experience depleted energy levels. Staying home and sleeping or eating comfort foods is all they can manage to do for themselves. Anything else is much harder to conceive as possible.
  • Gain weight. The initial onset of depression promotes a sedentary lifestyle that cuts out most activity causing weight gain. The weight gain, in return increases depression.
  • Become disinterested in life causing their work, school and social lives to suffer the consequences of neglect.

What You Can Do

On your own you can:

    #coffee #friends #handlettering #lettering #type #typography

  • Regulate your diet and alcohol consumption. Heavy foods, sugars and alcohol can be major downers in the long run. Try to add plenty of veggies and seasonal fruits to your diet to keep your energy levels up. Caffeine isn't a bad way to gain some extra pep mid morning, it's actually been related to mood enhancement, just don't over do it with the sugary additions to avoid the quick energy crash that follows.
  • Activated your social life. Give yourself a reason to get out of the house. Meeting a friend just to talk over lunch exposes you to fresh air and gives you personal contact and reassurance that you are not alone.
  • Move your body. As tough as it is to get going, even a small amount of exercise can boost serotonin levels and get your blood flowing.
  • Meditate. Stress has been proven to cause a number of ills and increases cortisol, a hormone that can increase weight gain (making you more depressed. It's a vicious cycle). Using your downtime effectively by relaxing through calming deep breathing, centers your mind and body, and clears your head to continue your productive day.

Outside help: File:Light Therapy Lamp.jpg

  • Talk to a pro. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great way to sort out what's keeping you down, and gain some professional knowledge on how to combat your blues.
  • Light Therapy. 60%-80% of SAD sufferers benefit from Light Therapy. Lights are widely available online, just make sure you find one that sticks to clinical recommendations. Check out the Mayo Clinic's "Seasonal affective disorder treatment: Choosing a light box" to make sure your device meets therapeutic standards.


Source: 1. Rosenthal NE. Winter Blues: Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder. New York, NY: Guilford Press; 2006.


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