The Skinny on Diet and Nutrition Myths

False news is a popular topic these days, but it’s really nothing new. We’ve been inundated with “information” that is so far from accurate about so many things, and among them, diet and nutrition just might be the most myth-filled subject of all. Here are some truths to help you make healthy decisions:

Myth: Grain products such as bread, pasta, and rice are fattening. I should avoid them when trying to lose weight.

Fact: A grain product is any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain. Grains are divided into two subgroups, whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel—the bran, germ, and endosperm. Examples include brown rice and whole-wheat bread, cereal, and pasta. Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.

People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet may lower their chances of developing some chronic diseases. Government dietary guidelines advise making half your grains whole grains. For example, choose 100 percent whole-wheat bread instead of white bread, and brown rice instead of white rice.

Myth: “Low-fat” or “fat-free” means no calories.

Fact: A serving of low-fat or fat-free food may be lower in calories than a serving of the full-fat product, but many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as the full-fat versions of the same foods—or even more calories. These foods may contain added flour, salt, starch, or sugar to improve flavor and texture after fat is removed. These items add calories.

Bread nutrition factsMyth: Eating healthy food costs too much.

Fact: Eating better does not have to cost a lot of money. Many people think that fresh foods are healthier than canned or frozen ones. For example, some people think that fresh spinach is better for you than frozen or canned. However, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables provide as many nutrients as fresh ones, at a lower cost. Healthy options include low-salt canned veggies and fruit canned in its own juice or water-packed. Remember to rinse canned veggies to remove excess salt. Also, some canned seafood, like tuna, is easy to keep on the shelf, healthy, and low-cost. Canned, dried, or frozen beans, lentils, and peas are also healthy sources of protein that are easy on the wallet.

The bottom line: To lose weight, reduce the number of calories you take in and increase the amount of physical activity you do each day. Create and follow a healthy eating plan that replaces less healthy options with a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and low-fat dairy:

  • Eat a mix of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
  • Limit added sugars, cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fat.
  • Eat low-fat protein: beans, eggs, fish, lean meats, nuts, and poultry.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for treatment for obesity and the health issues related to it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his team can help you find the right treatment for you.

 

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GERD and Asthma Life: Changing LINX® Could be the Cure

AdobeStock_64426910.jpegGastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that occurs when acidic stomach juices, food, and/or fluids back up from the stomach into the esophagus. GERD affects people of all ages—from infants to older adults.

You might be surprised to learn that people with asthma are twice as likely as those without asthma to develop GERD at one time or another. In fact, research has shown that more than 75 percent of adults with asthma also have GERD. The exact connection between GERD and asthma isn’t entirely clear, but researchers have a few theories as to why the two conditions may coincide.

Asthma flare-ups can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach contents to flow back, or reflux, into the esophagus. In addition, some asthma medications may worsen reflux symptoms. Another possibility is that the repeated flow of stomach acid into the esophagus damages the lining of the throat and the airways to the lungs. This can lead to breathing difficulties as well as a persistent cough. The frequent exposure to acid may also make the lungs more sensitive to irritants and environmental conditions such as dust, pollen, smoke, and cold air which are all known to trigger asthma.

Heartburn is the main GERD symptom that adults face. In some people, however, GERD can occur without causing heartburn. Instead, symptoms may be more asthmatic in nature, such as a chronic dry cough or difficulty swallowing.

Your asthma may be connected to GERD if:

  • asthma symptoms begin in adulthood
  • asthma symptoms get worse following a large meal or exercise
  • asthma symptoms occur while drinking alcoholic beverages
  • asthma symptoms happen at night or while lying down
  • asthma medications are less effective than usual

If you have both GERD and asthma, managing your GERD will help control your asthma symptoms. Studies have shown that people with asthma and GERD saw a decrease in asthma symptoms (and asthma medication use) after treating their reflux disease.

Lifestyle changes to treat GERD include:

  • Elevate the head of the bed 6-8 inches
  • Lose weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Decrease alcohol intake
  • Limit meal size and avoid heavy evening meals
  • Do not lie down within two to three hours of eating
  • Decrease caffeine intake
  • Avoid theophylline for treating asthma (if possible)

Your physician may also recommend medications to treat reflux or relieve symptoms. Over-the-counter antacids and H2 blockers may help decrease the effects of stomach acid. Proton pump inhibitors block acid production and also may be effective. In severe and medication intolerant cases, surgery may be recommended.

In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment device called the LINX® Reflux Management System to offer a new approach to treating GERD. The LINX® System is comprised of a small expandable ring of linked magnetic beads. The ring is laparoscopically implanted around the esophagus to mechanically augment the function of the lower esophageal sphincter.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are suffering from uncontrolled GERD, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. You could be a candidate for life-changing LINX surgery.

Exercise and its Role in Treating Obesity

Obesity — everyone knows it’s bad and that it’s everywhere. Nearly 78 million adults and 13 million children in the United States deal with the health and emotional effects of obesity every day. The solution to the problem sounds deceptively simple; take in fewer calories a day, while energizing the calorie-burning process with regular exercise. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

Exercise is an essential part of any weight-loss program and should become a permanent part of your lifestyle. The benefits of exercise can include:

  • burning off calories and losing weight
  • maintaining muscle tone
  • increasing metabolic rate (the amount of calories the body burns 24 hours a day)
  • improving circulation
  • improving heart and lung function
  • increasing sense of self-control
  • reducing level of stress
  • increasing ability to concentrate
  • improving appearance
  • reducing depression
  • suppressing appetite
  • helping one sleep better
  • preventing diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
  • decreasing risk of some cancers, such as breast, ovary, and colon cancer.

To gradually increase your physical activity, your doctor may suggest that you:

  • Walk every day.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Do errands on foot, if possible. If you need to drive, park farther away, and walk to your destination.
  • Go to a spa, gym, or exercise class. Water aerobic classes are especially good if you have back, knee, or joint problems.
  • Do some form of strength training using gym equipment or your own body weight. In addition to making your muscles stronger and able to work longer without getting tired, strength training helps you burn more energy when you are at rest. Muscle mass burns more calories than fat, so as muscle increases so does the ability to burn calories.

To maintain an exercise program, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid setting your expectations too high. Start out slowly and build your stamina gradually.
  • Find a friend to exercise with.
  • Avoid being competitive. Try to improve on your last effort instead of compAdobeStock_89524788 (2).jpgaring yourself with someone else.
  • Recover completely from illness before resuming exercise. Then start with less exercise and increase the amount you do gradually to avoid injury.
  • Remember that exercise needs to be continued throughout your life.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for long-term answers for potentially life-threatening obesity, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his team of experts can find the right treatment for you.

 

Heart Health after Bariatric Surgery

Obesity has become a global pandemic affecting virtually all ages and socioeconomic groups and is majorly contributing to the international burden of chronic illness, including diseases of the cardiovascular system. Traditional treatments to achieve weight loss such as diet, lifestyle, and behavioral therapy have proven relatively ineffective in treating obesity and associated cardiovascular risk factors in the long term. These treatments have been specifically ineffective on the morbidly obese subgroup of patients.

Weight-loss (bariatric) surgery can be a useful tool to help break the vicious weight gain cycle and achieve long term weight loss and improved overall quality of health and life.

  • Bariatric surgery has been shown to help improve or resolve many obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more.
  • Bariatric surgery, such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, works by changing the anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract or by causing different physiologic changes in the body that change energy balance and fat metabolism. It is important to remember, however, that bariatric surgery is a “tool.” Weight loss success also depends on many other important factors, such as nutrition, exercise, behavior modification, and more.
  • Bariatric surgery may improve a number of conditions and hormonal changes to reverse the progression of obesity. Studies find that more than 90 percent of bariatric patients are able to maintain a long-term weight loss of 50 percent excess body weight or more.

Most, if not all, of the cardiovascular risk factors associated with obesity are improved or even resolved after bariatric surgery. The amount of improvement in cardiac risk factors is generally proportional to the amount of weight lost. The degree of weight loss varies with different bariatric procedures.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and want to learn more about your bariatric surgery options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his team of experts can help you find the right treatment for you.
Male doctor showing a red heart

 

Robotic Gallbladder Surgery

A horrendous pain hits you in the upper right side or middle of the abdomen. You might think it’s a gas pain because your abdomen might feel especially full, or maybe it’s bad indigestion because you are also very nauseous and vomiting. These are all symptoms of a problem with the gallbladder. If the pain and/or nausea isn’t enough to send you to your doctor or the emergency room, symptoms such as fever, clay-colored stool, or yellowing of skin and whites of eyes (jaundice) should be assessed by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Gallbladder disease is very common, affecting about 10-15% of adults in Europe and the U.S. Treatment for gallbladder disease may include lifestyle changes and medication. However, if your symptoms worsen, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your gallbladder.

Fortunately, your gallbladder is an organ that you can live without. The surgery to remove Gallbladderthe gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy. This surgery can be performed using open surgery through one large incision or through minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy). Minimally invasive surgery can be done either through a few small incisions in your abdomen or one incision in your belly button. In laparoscopic procedures, surgeons use long-handled instruments to reach your gallbladder. One of the instruments is a tiny camera that takes images inside your body and sends them to a video monitor to guide surgeons as they operate.

Cholecystectomy through the belly button can be done using traditional single incision laparoscopy or da Vinci® Single-Site® Surgery. The da Vinci System features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and flexible Single-Site instruments. These features enable your doctor to operate with enhanced vision and precision.

It is important to discuss all treatment and surgical options with your doctor, as well as the risks and benefits of each. If your doctor believes you are a candidate for da Vinci Single-Site Surgery, your doctor removes your gallbladder using state-of-the-art precision instruments. With da Vinci, surgery is performed through one incision in the belly button, which dramatically limits visible scarring.

As a result of da Vinci technology, da Vinci Single-Site Cholecystectomy offers the following potential benefits compared to traditional laparoscopy:

  • Low rate of major complications
  • Low conversion rate to open surgery
  • Virtually scarless surgery
  • High patient satisfaction
  • Minimal pain

Though it is often called a “robot,” da Vinci cannot act on its own. Surgery is performed entirely by your doctor. This state-of-the-art technology must be operated by an experienced and specially trained surgeon like Dr. Tsuda.

If you need gallbladder surgery, contact Dr. Shawn Tsuda to see if you are a candidate for this type of procedure. Da Vinci surgery allows one to get back to normal life much more quickly than with traditional open and even laparoscopic surgeries.