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Jun 8

Plant-Based and Fish Diets May Help Lessen Severity of COVID-19 Infection – SciTechDaily

A plant-based diet is associated with 73% lower odds of moderate to severe COVID-19.

Associated with 73% and 59% lower odds, respectively, of moderate to severe disease.

Plant-based and/or fish (pescatarian) diets may help lower the odds of developing moderate to severe COVID-19 infection, suggest the findings of a six-country study, published in the online journalBMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health.

They were associated with 73% and 59% lower odds, respectively, of severe disease, the findings indicate.

Several studies have suggested that diet might have an important role in symptom severity and illness duration of COVID-19 infection. But, as yet, theres little evidence to confirm or refute this theory.

To explore this further, the researchers drew on the survey responses of 2884 frontline doctors and nurses with extensive exposure to SARS-CO-v2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 infection, working in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US.

The participants were all part of a global network of healthcare professionals registered with the Survey Healthcare Globus network for healthcare market research. The researchers used this network to identify clinicians at high risk of COVID-19 infection as a result of their jobs.

A pescatarian (fish) diet is associated with 59% lower odds of moderate to severe COVID-19.

The online survey, which ran between July and September 2020, was designed to elicit detailed information about respondents dietary patterns, based on a 47-item food frequency questionnaire, over the previous year, and the severity of any COVID-19 infections they had had, using objective criteria.

The survey also gathered information on personal background, medical history, medication use, and lifestyle.

The various diets were combined into plant-based (higher in vegetables, legumes, and nuts, and lower in poultry and red and processed meats); pescatarian/plant-based (as above, but with added fish/seafood); and low carb-high protein diets.

Some 568 respondents (cases) said they had had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection or no symptoms but a positive swab test for the infection; 2316 said they hadnt had any symptoms/tested positive (comparison group).

Among the 568 cases, 138 clinicians said they had had moderate to severe COVID-19 infection; the remaining 430 said they had had very mild to mild COVID-19 infection.

After factoring in several potentially influential variables, including age, ethnicity, medical specialty, and lifestyle (smoking, physical activity), respondents who said they ate plant-based diets or plant-based/pescatarian diets had, respectively, 73% and 59% lower odds of moderate to severe COVID-19 infection, compared with those who didnt have these dietary patterns.

And compared with those who said they ate a plant-based diet, those who said they ate a low carb-high protein diet had nearly 4 times the odds of moderate to severe COVID-19 infection.

These associations held true when weight (BMI) and co-existing medical conditions were also factored in.

But no association was observed between any type of diet and the risk of contracting COVID-19 infection or length of the subsequent illness.

This is an observational study, and so cant establish cause, only correlation. It also relied on individual recall rather than on objective assessments, and the definition of certain dietary patterns may vary by country, point out the researchers.

Men outnumbered women in the study, so the findings may not be applicable to women, they add.

But plant-based diets are rich in nutrients, especially phytochemicals (polyphenols, carotenoids), vitamins, and minerals, all of which are important for a healthy immune system, say the researchers.

And fish is an important source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties, they add.

Our results suggest that a healthy diet rich in nutrient dense foods may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19, they conclude.

The trends in this study are limited by study size (small numbers with a confirmed positive test) and design (self-reporting on diet and symptoms) so caution is needed in the interpretation of the findings, comments Deputy Chair of the NNEdPro Nutrition and COVID-19 Taskforce, Shane McAuliffe.

However, a high quality diet is important for mounting an adequate immune response, which in turn can influence susceptibility to infection and its severity.

He adds: This study highlights the need for better designed prospective studies on the association between diet, nutritional status and COVID-19 outcomes.

Reference: Plant-based diets, pescatarian diets and COVID-19 severity: a population-based case-control study in six countries 7 June 2021, BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health.DOI: 10.1136/bmjnph-2021-000272

Funding: Survey Healthcare Globus, National Institutes of Health

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Plant-Based and Fish Diets May Help Lessen Severity of COVID-19 Infection - SciTechDaily


Jun 8

Losing 30 Pounds and Getting Fit Ended Up Changing Every Aspect of My Life – menshealth.com

37-year-old Joan tells Men's Health how relocating and starting a new chapter in his life led to a physicaland mentaltransformation.

The same as many people over the last year, our lives were hit hard by lockdown. We were stuck at home, having to work remotely, and due to a huge increase in workload, I was frequently working late hours, while also helping to take care of our daughter, who was seven months old at the time. That means I wasn't doing any exercise at all, despite trying a couple of times. This lack of activity, combined with a bad diet and drinking alcohol a few times a week, led to me being in pretty bad shape.

I wasn't feeling good at all, and I didn't like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I was noticeably more tired, and it was hard for me to wake up every morning. Around that time, my company decided to open an office in Dubai. I decided to move there with my family; I saw this as a life change, and a great opportunity to work on myself. I really wanted to get fit and feel good again.

I knew that this would be a major challenge, and that I needed someone to help with this journey. I also know myself, and that I need someone to help keep me motivated. I signed up with Ultimate Performance Dubai, and my trainer Giorgio was the perfect companion on this journey; he understood me from the very beginning. My stress levels were high due to work, and I realized that my training sessions could be a time for myself, to forget about work problems and focus just on me.

I changed everything; my diet, my exercise routine, my daily activity, even my sleeping habits. And I learned so much, the first thing being that in order to make a change, diet is extremely important, as is how much you move each day, and finally, consistency in your training. Ultimate Performance has an app that helps me check my daily progress, and Giorgio designed a diet specifically for me. This way, I was able to understand exactly what is happening to my body, and how easily food and exercise affect my progress.

I started losing around 1 kg per week. Some weeks I struggled, like over Christmas, but thanks to Giorgio we kept going and didn't lose the progress I had made. In the span of 15 weeks, my body was completely different. I lost 13 kgs (29 pounds), and my body fat has dropped from 22.6 percent to 11.6 percent.

I felt like a new person, not only because my physical appearance changed, but also my sleep improved, and I generally felt much better. I was more confident, felt better equipped to manage work stress, and as I now lived away from my family, was making more of an effort to call my sisters and catch up with friends. I learned just how important it is to take care of yourself, and if you're good to yourself, you'll be good with the people you love.

After my transformation, I have been discussing what to do next with Giorgio. I've maintained my weight at 71.6 kgs (175 pounds) for a few months, and now I'm training hard to grow some more muscle.

To anybody who is just getting started, the most important thing I can say is you can do it. No matter what your situation or starting point, you can do this. I won't lie, it's not easy, but with persistence and dedication, it's something anyone can achieve. There will be ups and downs, as with everything in life, but keep in mind that with every day, you are getting closer to your goals.

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Losing 30 Pounds and Getting Fit Ended Up Changing Every Aspect of My Life - menshealth.com


Jun 8

Stephen Kings Daily Routine Involves Four Hours of Writing and a Nap in the Afternoon – The Wall Street Journal

In our series My Monday Morning, self-motivated people tell WSJ. how they start off the week.

Before Stephen King gets out of bed at 6 a.m., he makes a mental inventory of the things hes grateful for. Its a nice way to start the day because you get a chance to almost do a review of your current life, your current status, says King, 73. His family, friends and doga corgi named Molly, whom he also refers to as the Thing of Evilare mainstays of his list. I try to remember to be grateful for not being in pain, you know? Because everybody has some of that in their life. Next, he gets up and does a round of sit-ups and push-ups, shaves and eats breakfast before sitting down to write.

During his five-decade career, King has published over 60 novels and 200 short stories that mostly fall into or combine the genres of horror, suspense and science fiction and fantasy. His 2000 book On Writing, a memoir and how-to guide for aspiring authors, recounts how he and his brother, David, were raised by their single mother, frequently moving to different cities across the country. In 1966, King went to the University of Maine, working various jobs to pay tuition, including janitor and gas station attendant. He met his wife, the author Tabitha King, at the universitys library. After graduating, he started selling short stories to magazines while teaching high school; he published his first novel, Carrie, in 1974. He and Tabitha have three children: Naomi King, 51, Joe Hill, 49, and Owen King, 44.

Among the many TV shows and films based on Kings books are Carrie, The Shining and The Shawshank Redemption. His favorite book hes ever written recently joined the list; Liseys Story, an Apple TV+ series directed by Pablo Larran, premiered on June 4. In Liseys Story, Lisey Landon, played by Julianne Moore, is a widow grieving the death of her husband, Scott, a famous novelist (Clive Owen). While cleaning out Scotts papers, Lisey is contacted by a threatening fan of Scotts who eventually begins to stalk her; she also starts to remember parts of her marriage that she had repressed. King, who often leaves the adaptations of his work to other writers, wrote the script for the series. Call me a sap, call me a sucker if you want, or soft or spongy, but I like a love story, King says of his affinity for the book. But it has to be good, it cant be too corny.

Here, the author talks to WSJ. about his love of Diet Pepsi and why the pandemic will change fiction going forward.

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Stephen Kings Daily Routine Involves Four Hours of Writing and a Nap in the Afternoon - The Wall Street Journal


Jun 8

Morning Bloating: Causes, Prevention, and More – Healthline

If you wake up in the morning with a larger or fuller feeling in your stomach (abdomen), you may be experiencing bloating, one of the most common digestive complaints, according to a 2020 research review.

Occasional bloating may leave your stomach feeling larger and uncomfortable. In more severe cases, bloating can be painful and accompanied by more serious symptoms.

The key to avoiding morning bloating is to learn what causes it so you can make changes to your diet and lifestyle. If you continue to have severe bloating, or if you suspect an underlying medical condition, its important to talk with a doctor regarding next steps.

Learn more about some of the more common causes of morning bloating and what you can do to help alleviate it.

Occasional stomach bloating in the morning may be a result of lifestyle choices from the day or night before. These may lead to constipation or gassiness, or even swelling and fluid retention.

Chronic bloating that occurs daily could indicate more than just diet and lifestyle alone. If you wake up with a bloated stomach every morning, you should talk with a doctor. They may rule out some of the possible causes of chronic bloat below are a few to consider.

Certain diseases and issues with the gastrointestinal (GI) system are some possible causes of bloating. These include:

Other medical conditions that may lead to bloating include:

Bloating may also be a side effect from certain medications you take. These may include over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription products, such as:

If your doctor rules out an underlying medical problem as a cause of your bloating, you may be able to help reduce occasional morning bloating with diet and lifestyle changes. Ideally, such changes should be implemented the day or night before so you dont wake up feeling bloated.

Eating too many beans, cruciferous vegetables, and legumes may lead to morning bloating, particularly if you consume these foods the night before. Eating smaller meals throughout the day and avoiding eating before bedtime can also help reduce stomach bloating.

Reducing sodium has also been proven to decrease stomach bloating. A 2019 study found that bloating from a high fiber diet may be reduced by cutting down on high sodium foods.

If you suspect a food intolerance, it can be helpful to keep a food diary to share with your doctor. Dont cut out essential nutrients without discussing it with your doctor first.

In addition to increasing your water intake, drinking certain herbal teas may help alleviate bloating. The following herbs may decrease occasional bloating:

Digestive enzyme supplements may help some people who dont have enough enzymes in their GI tract. These enzymes typically help you break the foods you eat and extract their nutrients. Without them, malnutrition, bloating, and other side effects may occur.

If youre curious about digestive enzymes, talk with a doctor first. They can help you determine whether your bloating and other symptoms may be related to enzyme deficiencies and recommend the right products for you.

Regular exercise may help improve digestion, thereby decreasing the risk for bloating. However, even short bursts of activity throughout the day can help. One small 2021 study found that light walking for 10 to 15 minutes after meals helped decrease chronic bloating in participants.

If you have an underlying medical condition, such as an intestinal disease, diet and lifestyle changes may not be enough to help address chronic bloating. Its important to speak with your doctor for possible treatment modifications and testing.

Its possible to wake up with both a bloated face and stomach. This is most likely attributed to fluid retention. Possible causes for morning face bloating include:

If you have an underlying medical condition, such as Cushings syndrome or hypothyroidism, your treatment may help gradually reduce morning facial bloating.

Occasional face swelling may be prevented with some of the same strategies as those for stomach bloating, including:

If you have chronic morning bloating despite making changes to your lifestyle, talk with a doctor about possible causes. An imaging test, such as an X-ray, may be ordered to take a look at the inside of your stomach. They may also help you rule out food intolerances.

Waking up with an occasional bloated stomach isnt necessarily a cause for concern. Diet and lifestyle modifications may help ease minor bloating problems, including exercise, eating smaller meals, and more.

However, if you wake up with bloating every day despite making changes to your habits, it may be time to talk with a doctor. You should especially make it a point to contact your doctor if you experience other symptoms, such as pain, bleeding, and unusual stool changes.

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Morning Bloating: Causes, Prevention, and More - Healthline


May 15

The #1 Unhealthiest Diet You Should Never Try, According to a Dietitian | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Atkins, Keto, Nutrisystem, South Beach, WWthe list of different types of diets is truly endless. But the question is: Which one, if any, is right for you?

Whether you're trying to lose weight or clean up your diet for other health reasons, picking a new diet to follow can feel overwhelmingand some are misleading. In fact, there are many fad diets that you shouldn't even bother trying because they could cause more damage to your physical and mental health in the long run. (Related: 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work)

Alyssa Pike, RD and manager of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council, explains what the unhealthiest diet may look like for you. Here are some of the potential red flags when picking out a new approach:

While there's no concrete definition of crash dieting, it's often described as a "quick fix" that only lasts for a week or so, Pike says. It may also involve extreme calorie restriction, omission of certain foods or even entire food groups, and even be marketed as a "detox." Not only is this type of dieting inconsistent, but it can also be dangerous.

Following a diet such as the Mediterranean style diet, for example, allows for a diversity of foods and doesn't call for major calorie restriction. Instead, it encourages the consumption of a range of healthy, calorie-rich foods, including beans, fatty fish (think salmon), and nuts. This type of diet can not only help you shed some pounds, but it also keeps your heart healthy, supports your immune system, and may even reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

"The opposite of crash dieting's often chaotic experience is a more flexible approach that focuses on long-term health and often has other goals in mind than just trying to reduce the number on the scale," Pike says.

The answer? There's not only one.

"Any rigid diet that relies on lots of external rules for when, what, and how much to eat and promotes a pass/fail mentality is the worst type of diet," Pike says. She also mentions how long-term consequences associated with fad diets include binge eating, disordered eating, intense fear and anxiety around eating, social isolation, and even the development of an eating disorder.

"Fad diets are not benign," she says. "What might start as an innocent attempt to lose weight can become isolating or obsessive, which is why engaging in dieting behaviors also increases the risk of eating pathology and eating disorders."

Again, there's no one right answer here. Instead, the healthiest diet to follow is one that makes the mostsense for you and isn't difficult to maintain long-term.

"Ideally, this way of eating is nourishing, satisfying, and contains a wide variety of foods that meet your calorie and nutrient needs," Pike says. "The bottom line is that nutrition is highly individualized. There is never going to be one diet that fits all."

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The #1 Unhealthiest Diet You Should Never Try, According to a Dietitian | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That


May 15

Why diets don’t work in the long term, lifestyle changes do – The Statesman

For decades, diet conversations globally have ranged from the simple and straightforward to elaborate and convoluted, the latter sometimes even bordering on crazy. In todays digital age, before you can say cheese, a new diet would have garnered a global following, with everyone from a lay person to experts swearing by its efficacy.

However, just a few weeks or months later, the same experts have moved on to another miraculous weight-loss or diet program. That is what you get when you dont follow science, just fads. Health though, is not a fad. It is a lifestyle habit.

Amid all these fads, one cannot help but wonder if each of these programs are a sure-shot way to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, why dont they survive the test of time?

According to a study published in the BMJ, most diets help with weight loss and lower blood pressure in the first few months, but the desired effects dont last. So, people keep returning to new fads. But fad diets can be damaging. They often lack essential nutrients and teach you nothing about healthy eating. Excessively restrictive diets also take pleasure out of eating and may lead to eating disorders, slow down your metabolism, causing more harm than good in the long run.

One of the reasons for crash diets to fail is because the body views dieting as a form of starvation. When you eat much below your desired energy intake for a long time, your metabolism slows down and tries to fight back. The hormones that regulate our hunger and satisfaction waver making it harder to sustain the diet and hence weight loss. Further, the idea of taking extreme steps such as quitting certain foods can often lead to one feeling low and disappointed. Sooner or later you bounce back to prior unhealthy eating habits. And a few months later, you are trying another new weight loss diet.

No wonder that the diet and weight loss industry around the world is growing leaps and bounds from $192.2 billion in 2019, expected to be over $295 billion by 2027. However, more and more studies show that if you are truly interested in losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle you need a more sustainable plan than a fad diet. We must also understand the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Not all weight loss might be healthy, you might just be losing muscle or water weight due to crash dieting and doing copious amounts of cardio.

To lose fat, a few components are proven to work: these are eating slightly less than your energy requirements, having adequate protein intake to preserve muscle mass, and strength or resistance training. Doing this regularly, will slowly help manage your weight in a healthy manner, and also boost your metabolism and tone your body.

Consider making these small, incremental changes to your lifestyle to embrace a healthy relationship with food and, indeed, life. Suggested by Habbit CEO and Co-founder Dhruv Bhushan.

Make healthy eating a daily habit

It is important to be in tune with your specific needs, and not feel deprived. The same plan might now work for everyone. Nutrition need not be complicated, and crash diets are not sustainable. Dont think about giving up the bad foods, instead focus on choosing foods that are holistic, nourishing, and pleasing for the palate. Dont be taken in by jargon-filled technicalities on nutrients. Opt for easy to use, nutritious products.

Play with your food choices, mix and match ingredients. Health and taste can go hand in hand. Even foods that you crave or are addicted to, have a healthier alternative out there. Ensure a balanced diet of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables for vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Balance these with whole grains and healthy fats. Meet your daily protein intake, whether from foods, or supplements using natural proteins. This cant be stressed enough since protein deficiency is one of the leading causes of lifestyle diseases, including obesity. Drink plenty of water.

Add physical activity into your regular routine

Make exercise, activity and movement a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth. In case you have very busy schedules, try and exercise first thing in the morning before the day consumes you.

Just like your food, pick activities that you can stick to, and not things that will peter out after a few weeks of initial enthusiasm. You dont need to be spending hours in the gym or hiring a personal trainer. Even a relaxing walk or jog while listening to your favourite music, a dance class or a yoga session can be a good starting point. Also, stay active throughout the day. Take stairs instead of the lift, walk around while on the phone, contribute to household chores, play with your kids or pets, enjoy a sport, have sex, walk or cycle to neighbourhood areas instead of driving there, just simple choices without the need to take out extra time also go a long way. And for more dedicated individuals looking to burn fat, lose kilos and tone up, research shows that strength or resistance training, and high intensity workouts offer more sustainable outcomes. More than how much or what you do everyday, what matters is that you do exercise everyday.

Start small and stay consistent.

Make sleep a priority

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of our well-being today. We should aim to get adequate restful sleep every night, which may range from 6 to 9 hours for different individuals. It is during this time that the body repairs and recovers. Essential hormones that also aid weight loss are at play only during sleep. Not getting enough sleep can have a detrimental impact on your physical, mental and emotional health.

If for some reason, you have trouble falling asleep, address it as a priority. Make time to sleep. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Unplug your digital devices before bedtime. Instead, unwind with a bath or some light reading. Create an environment that is conducive and free from distractions, with a bed and bedding that is comfortable..

Manage your stress levels

Stress might feel like a default response to the challenges of a modern lifestyle, but constant stress can pose serious health problems.

Stress causes an increase in cortisol and adrenaline levels which influences blood pressure, heart rate, eating habits, sleep patterns, blood sugar, fat metabolism, and immunity. Long-term stress can also increase your risk of heart attack or stroke and contribute to depression. You can manage stress by adopting some of the above healthy habits, and by making conscious efforts to relax. Breathe deeply, enjoy your favorite activities, spend time with your loved ones. And ask for help, by speaking to those who care for you, or a trained professional..

Eating and living healthy, or trying to manage weight should not be a punishment or a sacrifice. There is no one size fits all definition or path to good health. It is a combination of different small steps that add up to big results over time. Health is a lifestyle. Trusting your instincts with food and actions that feel good, go a long way towards overall well-being. Eat food you enjoy without the guilt, just maintain a balance. With the right mix of natural organic ingredients, an indulgent low calorie Blueberry Crumble wise cream will be better and more delightful than so-called magic fat burner pills.

The next time, someone tempts you with the next-best diet fad, show them your intuitive eating and healthy lifestyle plan. You will develop a better relationship with food when you tune in to your bodys needs and cues, and incorporate this into your everyday life.

Remember not to think of lifestyle changes as daunting behavioural changes. They are small steps on a journey towards good health ones that combine science, taste, and sustainability.

(Dhruv Bhushan is Co-Founder and CEO of Habbit aimed at building one of the largest full-stack nutrition ecosystem that makes everyday nutrition simple and rewarding)

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Why diets don't work in the long term, lifestyle changes do - The Statesman


May 15

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) diets and how to choose one – Medical News Today

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that causes digestive symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. A person may find that what they eat has an effect on how IBS manifests.

However, symptoms of this condition are highly individual. People can react differently to different foods, and their other symptom triggers can vary as well.

As a result, there is no single IBS diet that will work reliably for everyone. Often, people have to try different options to find what suits them best.

In this article, we look at some of the IBS diets that could help, what they involve, and how to choose one. We also look at other factors that can cause IBS to flare up, and suggest when to contact a healthcare professional.

There is no single diet that can help all people with IBS. This is because a person with IBS may have specific foods that trigger their IBS symptoms.

The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) recommends a person keep a diary for 23 weeks to try to identify trigger foods or food groups.

People can use the diary to track:

People can also bring this diary to medical appointments with a doctor or dietitian.

If the diary does not help a person understand their IBS triggers, they may benefit from trying an elimination diet.

An elimination diet is one where a person removes specific foods or food groups from their diet for a period of time to see whether this improves their symptoms.

The IFFGD recommends trying elimination diets over a period of 12 weeks by following these steps:

The IFFGD suggests removing fiber from the diet first, as it can be an IBS trigger, even in those who experience IBS with constipation.

It is important to get supervision from a doctor or dietitian while trying this approach. Eliminating foods from the diet can make it difficult to get the required amount of nutrients. A medical professional can help ensure this does not happen.

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These are types of short-chain carbohydrates that are present in certain foods. Some people with IBS find that foods high in FODMAPs can trigger their symptoms.

Researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, developed the Low FODMAP Diet to help with this. The diet involves eating low FODMAP foods in the right portion sizes for a set period of time.

Research from 2016 reports that up to 86% of people with IBS found that a low FODMAP diet reduced their symptoms.

The following table provides some examples of foods that contain either high or low levels of FODMAPs. However, it is not a complete list of foods or portion sizes that are low FODMAP. People can find the full list on the Monash University website. Monash University has also developed a mobile app.

To try the diet, follow these steps:

After this period, people can balance low FODMAP foods with higher FODMAP foods that they may be able to tolerate.

For some people, increasing fiber intake can relieve IBS symptoms, such as chronic constipation.

There are two main categories of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is present in foods such as fruits, oats, and beans. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is present in whole grain foods.

Doctors often recommend soluble fiber to people with IBS. However, both forms of fiber can help with different IBS symptoms in some people.

Foods that are high in insoluble fiber can help add bulk to a persons stool, making bowel movements easier to pass. However, insoluble fiber may also cause diarrhea, bloating, or pain.

Soluble fiber can help reduce bloating and excess gas production. However, some sources of soluble fiber are also high FODMAP.

Generally, it is best to try this approach by gradually increasing fiber intake. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends a person add 23 grams of fiber to their diet per day until they reach a level that works for them.

If increasing fiber intake makes symptoms worse, a person can try increasing the intake more slowly. If that does not help, they may wish to try a different approach.

There are other factors, aside from the foods a person eats, that can contribute to IBS symptoms. These include:

A person may wish to use a symptom diary to track these factors too. It may be that a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes can help. For example, people can try:

Chewing food slowly and thoroughly helps with digestion. It can also prevent a person from swallowing air, which may contribute to feeling bloated. It is advisable to avoid carbonated drinks, particularly at mealtimes.

A person should also get regular exercise, if possible. This can benefit both mental and physical health and may reduce constipation.

While IBS is a physical disorder, people with the condition are more likely to have experienced traumatic events in early life, according to the NIDDK.

A 2018 meta-analysis found that early trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder increased the likelihood of IBS across over 648,000 participants. Trauma can have a long-term impact on mental and physical health.

Some people may find it helpful to discuss this with a trauma-informed therapist. Reducing stress overall is also generally beneficial for digestion, even if it is not a direct IBS trigger.

Learn more about the effects of stress on the body here.

There are numerous IBS diets that people can try in order to manage their symptoms and gain better quality of life.

However, it is important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another. Sometimes, a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes are necessary.

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) diets and how to choose one - Medical News Today


May 15

10 Weight Loss Snacks That Actually Satisfy, Recommended By Dietitians | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Anyone who's ever tried a traditional "diet snack" knows that there's just something about those tiny snack packs covered in "low calorie!" and "low fat!" claims that always seem to leave you raiding your pantry for something else to take the edge offsending you on an overeating spiral sure to derail your weight loss efforts.

There's a reason many of these diet snacks aren't so satisfying. They lack the optimal amounts of nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats, to help fill you upwithout filling you out. Plus, many of these snacks don't actually deliver the flavor or texture you're craving. But by opting for snacks that include the right mix of nutrients and satisfy your cravings, you can enjoy a delicious treat and lose weight, too.

Here are a few of our favorite snack-time staples sure to keep your taste buds and your stomach satisfiedwithout sending your diet on a detour (Bonus: Some even help give your metabolism a boost!). Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.

For a convenient, pocket-friendly weight-loss snack, opt for meat jerky. Research suggests bumping up your dietary protein while reducing the carbohydrate content in your diet can increase your metabolic rate while your body is at rest and when you're asleep. Meat snacks, in particular, are a great protein source if you're looking to lose weight because they're dried, which rids excess fat (and calories) and concentrates the protein.

Not all jerkys are created equal, though. Some are loaded with additives, chemicals, and sodium, all of which increase inflammationa condition that's associated with weight gain. Look for meat snacks that are low in sodium and have nothing artificial (fillers, flavorings, colors, or chemicals). Preferably, they should be made of 100% grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef or chicken.

We're fans of Simply Snackin' jerky, which meet all of the aforementioned requirements. They come in exciting flavors, like Teriyaki Beef with Pineapple and Black Bean Chicken Salsa. With a whopping 11 grams of protein in one 60-calorie chicken snack (an excellent calorie to protein ratio), energy dips aren't in this wrapper, only satisfaction is.

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Move off the couch, potato chips. Chickpea snacks are the new tasty crunchy snack, and they may just give your waistline an edge. In one study, when calories were restricted, people who ate pulses (a fancy word for chickpeas, lentils, split peas or beans) four times a week lost 2.5 more pounds over eight weeks than their non-pulse-eating peers. And if you'd like to tighten your belt another notch, chew on this: chickpeas' protein fiber combo (which is MIA in potato chips) will help keep you feeling fuller longer, and prevent your blood sugar from spiking then crashing, which can leave you hungry and at risk of overeating.

To reap the weight loss-promoting benefits of chickpeas, we recommend Saffron Roads Bombay Spice organic chickpeas and Hippeas Vegan White Cheddar crunchy organic puffs. In a one-ounce serving of these snacks, you get four to six grams of organic plant-powered protein and three to five grams of filling fiberin just 130 calories.

Read more:The Worst Bags of Chips You Should Never Buy

Greek yogurt goes down on most lists as one of the healthiest snacks whether you're looking to lose weight or not. It's a good source of vitamins and minerals, is a great substitute for high-calorie ice cream, and its protein helps to keep you feel full for longer.

Because some Greek yogurts are high in sugar, low in protein, and lack beneficial probiotics, it's important to shop for better-for-you options. We recommend Chobani Complete, a lactose-free yogurt that is just 120 calories, contains a generous 15 grams of protein, and is free from added sugar. Instead, it's sweetened with real fruit like peach, mixed berry, and key lime. As a bonus, Chobani Complete packs in 3 grams of filling, prebiotic fiber. Prebiotic fiber supports weight loss since prebiotics block the hunger hormone, ghrelin and positively effect satiety hormones and gut microbiota, which can greatly reduce excess calorie consumption.

Pistachios are one of the lowest-calorie nuts, but that's not the only reason they're a great pick for those seeking a healthy weight. Research suggests that cracking open pistachio shells may actually help you eat more mindfully: Something about seeing those empty pistachio shells piling up caused subjects in one study to eat fewer calories than their peers whose shells were removed from view. But both groups reported feeling equally full.

The satiety benefits don't stop there. This sturdy on-the-go snack boasts 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of plant protein. Plus, about 90% of the fat found in these pistachios is unsaturated (the "good" kind), for a trio of nutrients that may help keep you fuller longer with each little green bite. Crack into all the satisfying benefits of pistachios with Wonderful in-Shell Pistachios: They come in crunch-worthy flavors like Sweet Chili and Sea Salt and Vinegar, as well as Roasted & Salted, Lightly Salted and No Salt.

Time and again, research points to the benefits of consuming nuts when trying to lose weight. In fact, several studies have demonstrated an inverse association between higher nut consumption and lower body weight. Other studies have found that increasing nut consumption is associated with lower weight gain over relatively long periods of time. Experts contend that the healthy fats in nuts take longer to digest, which means you're less likely to need a second snack or a meal soon after consuming them.

Get in on the satiating benefits of nuts with the help of KIND. Their Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt Bars deliver 6 satisfying grams of protein and 7 grams of filling fibermostly from nutswhich means that they've got the right balance of nutrients to enable gradual digestion and leave you feeling fuller, longer.And chocoholics, you're in luck: These delicious bars are drizzled in just enough decadent dark chocolate to quell those sweet treat cravings, but with a portion-controlled, 180 calories and only five grams of sugar, they won't sabotage your slim-down.

The quintessential breakfast of champions also makes a great weight loss snack thanks to its low calorie count and high protein content. That's because eggs rank high on the satiety scale, meaning they do a great job of keeping you feeling full. Plus, researchsuggests that eating an egg with a meal can significantly reduce calorie intake over the rest of the day compared to eating a bagel.

While you can easily make your own hard-boiled eggs at home, for a precooked, pre-peeled version, we recommend Eggland's Best Hard-Cooked Peeled Eggs. Thanks to their proprietary all-vegetarian hen feed, Eggland's eggs have 25% less saturated fat, more than double the omega-3s and vitamin B12, and six times the vitamin D content than conventional eggs. This is of extra importance to those trying to slim down since research shows that getting adequate vitamin D canincrease weight loss while reducing body fat.

Whether your goal is abs that show or a leaner body, protein shakes can be an easy way to get a decent amount of hunger-fighting protein at snack time. You'll want to avoid protein shakes that are loaded with sugar, additives, chemicals and boatloads of calories that would sooner expand your waistline than shrink it, and opt for healthy protein shake options.

We recommend Orgain's Chocolate Organic Protein Grass Fed Shake. At just 150 calories and a whopping 26 grams of grass-fed protein, this tasty treat can actually help with your weight loss efforts. In addition to the great calorie to protein ratio, this snack dishes out 750 mg of calcium, which is 60% of the recommended daily value. This matters because research suggests that increasing dietary calcium while restricting calories can significantly enhance weight and fat loss. Interestingly in this same study, those who increased calcium intake while in a calorie deficit also experienced increased fat loss from the trunk region of their bodies.

Related:The Best Store-Bought Protein Shakes, According to Experts

It's salty, it's crunchy, it's delicious, and it can help you lose weight. Research suggests that popcorn is more satisfying than chips and that choosing this whole-grain, high-fiber snack over chips at snack time can actually help you consume fewer calories at your next meal.

Healthy popcorn options are going to be air-popped and have few ingredients. These tend to be lower in fat and calories than your typical microwave popcorn bag that's covered in saturated fat-laden oils. Our favorite pick is Lesser Evil's Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn, which has two grams of protein and four grams of fiber per 3-cup servingall for about the same amount of calories you'll get in just nine potato chips.

Cottage cheese has been a staple of many weight loss diets for decades, and with good reasonit's packed with protein, low in carbs, and relatively low in calories. The predominant type of protein in cottage cheese is called casein; it's a type of dairy protein that is absorbed more slowly so it's better for stabilizing blood sugar levels, providing more sustained feelings of fullness and prolonging muscle protein synthesis after a workout for better growth of metabolism-boosting muscle. (Related:14 Best Foods for Better Workout Results, According to Experts.)

Get in on the weight loss benefits of cottage cheese with organic and low-fat Good Culture single-serving cups of low-fat cottage cheese. In each 120-calorie serving, you get an impressive 19 grams of satisfying protein, making this tasty snack a great option when you're looking to shed a few pounds. Especially since it contains probioticslive and active good-for-your-gut bacteria. Although the exact mechanism isn't completely understood, research suggests that probiotics can help with weight loss. The thinking is that probiotics positively impact the hormones that help to regulate appetite, fat storage and fat burning. Studies also suggest that probiotics may reduce inflammation, which is important since an inflamed body can lead to obesity.

If you've found yourself tearing through snacks feeling as empty as when you ripped open the first package, get ready to meet your match: lupini beans. Like all legumes, a diet that regularly includes lupini beans may help with weight control thanks to the fiber, protein, and slowly digested carbohydrates that they contain that have been shown to aid in satiety. And if you're really looking for the most filling bang for your bean buck, lupini beans really score with nearly twice the plant-based protein compared to most beansand more fiber too.

Lupini beans have made their delicious debut at snack time, thanks to BRAMI's delicious spin on the lupini bean. BRAMI's beans are marinated in delicious Mediterranean-inspired flavors like sea salt and vinegar, rosemary and garlic, hot chili peppers, and chili and lime, so there's something for everyone. And their appeal goes well beyond their flavor: In just one, 60-calorie serving, these super snacks pack in a whopping seven grams of satiating plant protein, and five grams of filling fiber. For more ways to lose weight, try these25 Best High-Fiber Snacks to Buy That Keep You Full.

Disclaimer: The Nutrition Twins have partnered with Simply Snackin', Wonderful, KIND, Eggland's Best, and Chobani. All thoughts and opinions are their own.

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10 Weight Loss Snacks That Actually Satisfy, Recommended By Dietitians | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That


May 15

Should we rethink the role of carbs in obesity? – Medical News Today

For decades, the causes of obesity and the most effective way to lose weight have been the subject of fierce debate among scientists and healthcare professionals.

According to one theory, known as the carbohydrate-insulin model, food and drink that contain large amounts of carbohydrates cause a spike in circulating insulin levels.

The hormone drives fat cells, or adipocytes, to store the excess calories, which reduces the availability of these energy sources for the rest of the body.

This, in turn, increases hunger and slows metabolism, which leads to weight gain over time.

Dietitians often cite the carbohydrate-insulin model to explain the success of high fat, low carbohydrate diets such as the ketogenic diet.

Unlike carbohydrates, dietary fat does not cause a spike in insulin levels immediately after a meal.

On the other side of the debate, the energy balance model makes less of a distinction between fat and carbohydrates.

This model focuses instead on the balance between total calorie intake through eating and drinking, and total calorie expenditure through physical activity.

According to this model, if calorie intake exceeds expenditure, the result will be weight gain over time. But if expenditure exceeds intake, the eventual outcome will be weight loss.

Writing in the journal Science, two scientists argue that the carbohydrate-insulin model is overly simplistic.

John Speakman, from the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, and Kevin Hall, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Bethesda, MD, do not dispute the success of high fat, low carb diets for some individuals.

They also acknowledge that insulin plays an important role in body fat regulation.

But they question whether the effect of insulin on adipocytes after eating food high in carbohydrates is solely responsible for weight gain.

They write:

[W]e propose that the role of insulin in obesity may be better understood by considering its action on multiple organs that is driven by factors mostly independent of carbohydrate intake. Reconsidering the role of insulin may improve our understanding of the causes of obesity and its treatment.

They cite a 2020 study in mice that compared the effect of 29 different diets on body fat.

Of these, 16 diets maintained a constant intake of protein while varying the relative contribution of fat and carbohydrate to total calorie intake.

The carbohydrate-insulin model predicts that the more carbohydrates are in a diet, the higher insulin levels will climb after eating.

As a result, according to the model, the mice should lay down more fat and increase their total calorie intake.

However, after 12 weeks roughly equivalent to 9 years in humans mice that ate high carb diets consumed fewer calories and had gained less fat and overall body weight.

This was despite having higher circulating insulin levels following eating.

Acknowledging that studies in mice may not reflect what happens in humans, the authors cite research in people that produced similar results.

For example, another recent study compared the effect of two diets on people with excess weight.

Each diet lasted for 2 weeks. One comprised around 10% carbohydrate and 75% fat, while the other consisted of approximately 75% carbohydrate and 10% fat.

Participants were allowed to eat as much or as little as they wanted.

As predicted by the carbohydrate-insulin model, the high carb diet resulted in a larger spike in insulin levels following meals.

However, participants on the high carb diet consumed fewer calories and reported that they felt just as satisfied after eating compared with those on the low carb diet.

Only the high carb diet resulted in a significant loss of body fat.

Speakman and Hall argue that insulin affects many organs around the body, and not just after mealtimes.

They write that its role in regulating body fat is best understood as part of a dynamic network of factors controlling and mediating the effects of energy imbalance.

For example, they say high insulin levels, combined with signals from fat tissue, tell the brain to reduce energy intake when the amount of body fat rises above a critical threshold.

David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, a leading proponent of the carbohydrate-insulin model, questioned the research cited in the article by Speakman and Hall.

He told Medical News Today that the study in mice was strongly biased because the low carb diets contained large amounts of saturated fat.

In rodents, saturated fat causes severe inflammation and metabolic dysfunction, precluding a meaningful test of the [carbohydrate-insulin model], he said.

He added that other studies have found that rodents on high carb diets rapidly develop obesity.

He also challenged the validity of relatively short studies in humans, such as the 2-week study cited by Speakman and Hall, which he said do not give the body sufficient time to adapt to the change in nutrients.

His own meta-analysis suggests that longer studies consistently show higher energy expenditure on low carb diets. Dr. Ludwig has also written an opinion piece as a retort to Speakman and Hall.

Several reviews of clinical trials have shown that low carb, high fat keto diets promote weight loss.

Prof. Naveed Satar from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Science at the University of Glasgow in the U.K. told Medical News Today that low carb diets can help people lose weight.

He believes the diets owe their success to lower total calorie intake as a result of reduced appetite, but not from how some experts envisioned the workings of the carbohydrate-insulin model.

People who go on low carb diets tend to eat less as they increase protein intake, which tends to suppress appetite a little, he explained.

He added that his own research suggests that the excess calorie intake of individuals with excess weight tends to come from fat rather than sugar.

This suggests that, along with reduced calorie intake, reduced fat intake should remain an important component of weight-loss diets.

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Should we rethink the role of carbs in obesity? - Medical News Today


May 15

The Keto Diet and Migraine: 8 Things You Need to Know – Everyday Health

If youve considered changing what you eat in the hopes of preventing migraine attacks, youre in good company. Many people subtract certain foods from their diets that they believe to be migraine triggers. Others look for a comprehensive, migraine-specific approach to diet, of which several have been proposed over the years.

One diet thats been the subject of a number of studies and reports in professional journals, as described in aJune 2020 article in Nutrients, is the ketogenic diet or keto diet, for short.

The keto diet calls for people to get about 70 to 80 percent of their daily calories from fats, by consuming foods such as eggs, grass-fed meat, full-fat dairy products, and nuts, and smaller percentages of calories from protein and carbohydrate. Low-carbohydrate vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, and zucchini, are recommended for their nutrient and fiber content, while foods that are high in carbohydrate, such as fruit, grains, sugar, and other caloric sweeteners, must generally be avoided.

There is evidence that the ketogenic diet can have such short-term benefits as weight loss, lowered insulin resistance, and reduction of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. But severely limiting carbohydrates can also come with health consequences; side effects including hunger, fatigue, constipation, headaches, and brain fog are common.

But can the keto diet help you manage migraine? Some experts believe that fueling your body and brain with more healthy fats and less carbohydrate could help reduce headaches and migraine pain, while others are more cautious about recommending low-carbohydrate diets.

Simply put, a ketogenic diet is a diet that produces ketone bodies, according to Angel L. Moreno, NP, at the UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program in Los Angeles, who spoke on the keto diet and migraine in 2019 at the annual Migraine World Summit.

Ketones are [acids that are released into the bloodstream] when we start burning for fat for fuel, when there is no readily available sugar or glucose from carbohydrates. Most people never form [measurable] ketones, because they usually eat too high of a carbohydrate load to ever allow the body to switch over to a different fuel source, he says.

While many cells in the body, particularly brain cells, prefer glucose as an energy source, the body can also use ketones as an alternative energy source if glucose is not available.

RELATED: Whats the Difference Between Ketosis and Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

In the early 1900s, researchers found that starvation was an effective way to stop seizures in people with epilepsy, with seizures typically improving after two to three days, according to a history of the ketogenic diet published in Epilepsia. Soon after, researchers began successfully treating some patients with the ketogenic diet and other carbohydrate-restricting diets, including the Atkins diet and the modified Atkins diet.

Migraine and epilepsy have a lot of overlapping mechanisms, says Moreno. We use antiepileptic medications for some people who have migraine, including Depakote (divalproex sodium), Topamax (topiramate), and Neurontin (gabapentin) these are all anti-epileptic medications, he says.

The causes of migraine are multifactorial, with one potential factor relating to metabolism, says Moreno.

This means the ability for the body to extract energy from the food that eat, the water we drink, the air that we breathe all of that has to be metabolized so that the brain can use it as a fuel source. If theres ever a deficit of energy thats being delivered to the central nervous system, one theory is that it can cause irritation in the nerves and then trigger migraine, he says.

Stress can trigger migraine as well, because when were stressed, our metabolic demand increases, says Moreno. Our heart beats faster, our blood rushes from our core to our extremities to either run or fight. Theres a lot of metabolic demand, he says.

If were burning carbohydrate as our only fuel source, the carbohydrate has to break down into glucose, which then gets transported into cells via the insulin transport process, he explains. Insulin takes the glucose and moves it from the outside of the cell to the inside of the cell, where it can be used for fuel, says Moreno.

The problem is that there is evidence that right before and during migraine our cells become insulin-resistant or less sensitive to the effects of insulin for a period of time, he says.

If were solely dependent on carbohydrates and glucose and other kinds of sugars, then were out of luck; our cells arent going to get nourished. But if we also have ketones in our system, ketones have three different pathways to passively go into cells and nourish them, versus only one path for glucose to go into cells, he says.

The path for glucose is solely dependent on insulin, and so if you develop any kind of resistance to that insulin, thats a problem, says Moreno. If youre resistant, you can be swimming in all the glucose in the world, but youre not going get it into where you need it.

Several small studies or case reports have described positive results when the subjects followed a ketogenic diet, but the cumulative number of participants has been very low.

A somewhat larger pilot study with 96 participants, published in the European Journal of Neurology, compared overweight women with migraine who followed a very-low-calorie keto diet for one month, followed by a standard, low-calorie diet for five months, with a similar group of women who followed a standard, low-calorie diet for six months. The study found that the keto diet was more effective at bringing about improvement.

In the first month of the trial, the keto group adhered to a restrictive diet of 800 calories and only 30 grams of carbohydrate per day. Their attack frequency dropped from 2.9 to 0.71, number of days with headaches went from 5.11 to 0.91, and acute treatment taken dropped from 4.91 doses to 0.51 doses per month.

After the keto diet was stopped, all of those measurements temporarily worsened, but then the group continued to improve through the end of the study.

In the standard-diet group, significant decreases in the number of days with headache and in medication use were observed only starting in month 3, and in attack frequency at month 6.

Theres evidence that the metabolic breakdown of carbohydrate is proinflammatory, and inflammation is associated with migraine, says Moreno. The standard American diet can cause a lot of metabolic harm to our bodies; some people need to be on a lower-carb or ketogenic diet to heal from eating an unhealthy diet.

Moreno often recommends a low-carb diet rather than a keto diet. I dont know that everyone needs to go into ketosis and stay in ketosis 24/7. I dont think thats how humans are meant to function, he says. Its been my experience that a lot of people get benefits just by reducing carbohydrates.

Moreno recommends following a diet of whole foods and real ingredients, which could include diets such as the Whole30, Paleo, or the South Beach Diet. A low-carb diet starts out at about 100 grams of carbohydrates a day, he says.

Its also important to note that not all carbs are created equal, he notes. If you eat a bowl of pasta, thats going to cause more inflammation than eating a bowl of veggies, he says.

A study published in January 2018 inAgri: The Journal of the Turkish Society of Algologyfound that a low-glycemic diet reduced the number of migraine attacks and headache intensity in 147 people with migraine without aura.

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Following a Low-Carb Diet

Headache experts are divided on whether the benefits of the keto diet outweigh the downsides. Although there is some evidence that using a ketogenic type diet can positively influence migraine, its not necessarily strong evidence, according to Elizabeth Leroux, MD, headache clinic director at Montreal University Health Center in Canada in her presentation at the 2020 Migraine World Summit.

The other problem is that the ketogenic diet is not necessarily safe for everyone, and it may have consequences on your health, says Dr. Leroux.

A keto diet can also be hard to stay on, she points out. If you have migraine and want to improve your diet, Leroux recommends trying something like the Mediterranean diet, which is healthier than the average diet but less strict than the keto diet.

Why not try a step that is a little bit easier and less extreme, and see how that works for you first, because it will be way easier to sustain not only for you, but also for your family, she says.

If youre considering restricting carbohydrate in your diet or following a full-fledged keto diet, its a good idea to work with your doctor or a dietitian to make sure you continue to get the right amount of nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals, including salt, says Morena.

One of the pitfalls I often see when people undertake a low-carb, ketogenic diet is not eating enough salt or replacing enough electrolytes, he says.

If you make the decision to make lifestyle changes in an effort to improve migraine, seek out the support of friends, family, or an in-person or online community, he suggests. Find ways to stay inspired; staying inspired can lead to a lot of wellness benefits, he says.

Migraine doesnt kill you, but it steals your life while youre alive. It forces you into a dark room and isolates you from social connections. Because of pain, migraine can keep you from realizing your ultimate potential, says Moreno.

It can be hard to cut carbs, because so many things that are high in carbs taste so good, but there can be a price to pay for what tastes good, he says. I think feeling good is better than anything that tastes really good. Being able to wake up and not have pain, or going about your day without a migraine attack there are a lot of benefits there, says Moreno.

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The Keto Diet and Migraine: 8 Things You Need to Know - Everyday Health



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