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This is definitely one of those topics that only gets more confusing the more you read. So, you need to have a philosophy about it and fit each new bit of information into your overall framework. That way, you're not constantly reeling from 'no carbs' to 'low fat' to 'grapefruits only' to whatever is in. Among physicians, there isn't any consensus about what is best for you. The only thing we can probably agree on is that no one diet suits everyone. In this section, over time, we hope to provide enough helpful information so you can make healthful decisions on your own.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is that fruits, vegetables and whole grains should make up most of your intake. Lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey or tofu should comprise the rest. Most important to me is eating 'whole foods' as they come out of the ground, and limiting processed foods as much as possible. The food industry has studied and perfected combining the most tempting , and at times addictive, combinations of fat, salt and sugar in restaurant and supermarket offerings. They know how to keep you coming back for more.

Varying what you eat can keep your meals interesting. I aim to include 'super foods' such as spinach, tomatoes, pumpkin, blueberries and hemp seed, which i think are delicious. Experiment with foods that contain antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, lycopene (think tomatoes), beta-carotene (pumpkin and carrots). These and many others are beneficial when eaten in 'whole foods' but not when taken in pill form. Many spices are felt to be helpful, such as turmeric, otherwise known as 'Indian gold' for the good health that is attributed to its frequent use. You'll see much more on these foods and spices on future entries.

Of course, no one nutrition plan suits everyone, since food preferences or intolerance and medical issues must be considered. But for the majority of people, if you eat whole foods, and nourish your body and soul with a wholesome variety of nutritious foods, your mind and body will thank you. Often people don't realize that fatigue, insomnia, depression, and other issues are closely tied to what we eat. In our posts in this section, we'll provide some practical information and keep you posted on the latest and greatest in nutrition news. Send us your questions!

Why Is Weight Loss So Difficult - A Scientific Explanation
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going to a Smithsonian sponsored talk by Dr. Hall, who is a Senior Investigator at NIH and chief of one of the research programs at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases that reaches across different branches of the institute. It was the first talk in a series called “Pulse on Modern Medicine”. ...

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Tomato Day: A Morning at Carrboro Farmers Market
written by Thu Tran, MD,FACOG
on Saturday, 21st July, 2018

Every time we are in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, visiting my parents-in-law, we make sure to join them for the Saturday ritual of going to the wonderful Carrboro Farmers Market. The market is quite extensive, with cheese, pasta, gourmet soup or bread makers, mushroom farmers, and flower growers, in addition to the usual vendors of fruits and vegetables. There are also organic ...

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Carrots as Medicine
written by Vanita Rahman, M.D.
on Tuesday, 2nd May, 2017

When my patients tell me that their blood pressure has been running high, the first thing I ask them is what they have been eating. After a careful discussion, it often becomes clear that the blood pressure increased after a meal high in sodium. We then focus on the diet, rather than medications alone, to control the blood pressure. Diet doesn’t simply affect blood pressure ...

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Food, Glorious Food - A Valuable Resource
written by Aruna Nathan, M.D.
on Friday, 3rd February, 2017

“You waste life when you waste good food” - Katherine Anne Porter Not a soul would go to bed hungry if we did not waste the food we grow. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that one-third of food produced for human consumption worldwide is lost or wasted annually. That accounts for 1.3 billion ...

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What is Lifestyle Medicine - and what can it do for me?
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Saturday, 29th October, 2016

Lifestyle medicine - just the name conjures up thoughts of docs lying on a beach, drink in hand, stethoscope dangling just above the sand, doesn’t it? I just returned from a conference hosted by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine with four other doctors from our group. Even the T-shirt for the event has palm trees with a light and breezy effect, suggesting that ...

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Sprouting Lentils - Getting More From These Legumes - Toasted Lentils or in a Lentil Salad
written by Aruna Nathan, M.D.
on Saturday, 27th August, 2016

I used to sprout lentils a lot when my kids were younger but stopped for a while as some of the cooking patterns changed at our home. Recently, I started sprouting beans and lentils again and am enjoying using them in any recipe that call for lentils or beans. Basically, you can use the same lentil or bean as mentioned in the recipe, but just sprout them a few days ahead of time. ...

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Besides the fat and calories in fast food - now we need to think about phthalates
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Wednesday, 11th May, 2016

A few weeks ago, there was an article in the Washington Post about consumption of fast foods that I thought would get more press. It reported on a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives that looked at phthalate levels and how they relate to fast foods. First, to explain, phthalates are used to improve flexibility in plastics. They are ubiquitous, as they are ...

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You Want Me to Eat a Fungus?
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Tuesday, 1st March, 2016

Mushrooms, technically speaking, are the fleshy, fruiting body of a fungus. Not so enticing so far, right? But, they are quite versatile. Some have a meaty texture and can be added to dishes to reduce or eliminate meat and calories, assuming you have another source of protein. One cup of raw sliced mushrooms has only about 20 calories. As with other vegetables, they are rich ...

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Vitamin C Revisited - Food Sources and Recipes
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Saturday, 12th September, 2015

Vitamin C A recent Health Pearl by Dr. Tran noted that Vitamin C can have one positive effect on the body that is related to heart disease. It can decrease endothelia-1, which can constrict blood vessels. The article mentioned that Vitamin C, like exercise, can decrease this level. Of note, however, is that Vitamin C itself has NOT been proven to decrease heart disease in ...

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What Do Back Pain, Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease Have in Common?
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Sunday, 23rd August, 2015

More than you would think, it turns out. A few weeks ago, I attended a conference about Nutrition in Medicine that focused on prevention of cardiovascular disease. It was hosted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In 2013, their conference focused on nutrition and the brain, showing how a plant-based diet, ...

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