ADHD and Obesity

 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that can cause much turmoil in a young person’s life. The difficulties associated with this disorder can last a  lifetime if left untreated, leading to more problems later on in life. If left untreated, ADHD can lead to a lack of development in the brain, immaturity for age, social disconnectedness, and it puts them at higher risk to develop an addiction.

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ADHD causes problems in the child’s home, school, and social life, which can in turn lead to a variety of other disorders. It is important that parents, doctors, and educators are aware of the symptoms and ask the questions that need to be put forth.

A significant number of cases are diagnosed each year, leading to more and more children being put on medications and families seeking therapy. There are a significant number of interventions that can be used to treat ADHD, medication being recommended for the most severe cases. A combination of counselling and lifestyle changes can often make a large difference in the child’s life. ADHD may carry over into adolescence and adulthood, however, many develop coping strategies to combat the symptoms.

There have been links made between ADHD and obesity. Links have been made to obesity and the use of medication, as well as the impulsive nature of some of those diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD and obesity in childhood can predispose you to obesity in adulthood. Dieting and children are not something that go hand in hand, so what can you do to help your child?

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Making healthy lifestyle choices (i.e. eating right, exercising, etc.) is an easy and effective way to combat obesity in your family. Choosing to educate your child about eating habits and awareness of eating choices can help them develop a better sense of themselves and their choices. Allowing enough time for sleep, meals, and exercise will contribute to a happier and healthier child. Often times we may choose to stimulate our children with things like television and the computer. But everything has their time and place. Finding a balance between physical activity and time spent indoors is important.

We all want our children to grow up feeling happy, healthy, and loved. Let’s work together to make the next generation stronger, more aware, and empowered.

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Inflammation and Nutrition

Julie Daniluk RHN, NNCP, is a nutritionist, television co-host, and an award winning author. Julie is the author of Meals That Heal Inflammation (Random House Canada), a book based exploring the causes of inflammation while teaching about nutrition and its connection  to inflammation. In addition to her book, Julie has a blog containing information on food and health as well as delicious recipes. Julie also co-hosts Healthy Gourmet on OWN, a show that explores the choices we make about food and the ongoing struggle to produce meals that not only taste great but are great for you as well. Julie has been recognized as an author and nutrition expert. She received the prestigious awards  in 2012 for Organic Achievement and ‘Healthiest Cookbook’. She is a guest on Mind Matters discussing the Anti-Inflammation Diet.

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Pain. Heat. Redness. Swelling. Loss of function.

These are some of the more common signs that you are experiencing inflammation. So what is inflammation? Put simply, inflammation is your body attempting to protect you from harmful stimuli. These harmful stimuli can be anything from a sliver in your foot to the food that you eat. Inflammation can occur in many different parts of the body. Not only does the inflammation affect your body, it also impairs your cognitive abilities and can lead to a decline in mood. The important thing to remember about inflammation is that it is preventable and treatable.

There are some foods that can cause inflammation. Foods that are processed, packaged, and prepared are just the tip of iceberg when it comes to foods that cause inflammation. Some other types of foods that cause inflammation include:

  • Dairy

  • White Sugar and Sweets

  • Alcohol

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The anti-inflammatory diet is comprised of foods that will help heal your body. These foods are healthy, wholesome, and unprocessed. Fruits and veggies, the cornerstones of any healthy diet, are part of the anti-inflammatory diet, as are proteins that are rich with omega-3 (salmon, walnuts, etc.). That being said, taste does not have to be sacrificed in the name of the nutritional quality. Julie Daniluk’s blog showcases some great and tasty recipes, as well as meal ideas for those new to the anti-inflammatory diet.

Natural supplements are a great addition to the anti-inflammatory diet. It is important to consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplements as they may interact with other medications or aggravate other current conditions.

Whether it is caused from diet or other factors, inflammation is a natural response from your body. However, it is not a necessary one. By modifying your diet and being aware of what you are putting into your body, inflammation does not have to be a persistent and recurring issue.

For more information, please visit Julie Daniluk’s website.

An In Depth Look at Carbs and Cravings: Part 1

Dr. Natasha Turner ,founder of the Clear Medicine Wellness Boutique in Toronto, is a best-selling author, clinician, and highly sought after speaker.  Dr. Turner’s book, The Hormone Diet, was #1 bestseller a week into its release in 2009. Dr. Turner has made appearances on The Dr. Oz Show (as well as many others) to educate people on the importance of hormonal balance.

Insulin is an essential part of the human body. Insulin is central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. It is so important to carefully consider what you are putting into your body.

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We all have habits that are detrimental to our insulin levels. An insulin overdose can cause type-2 diabetes. So what causes insulin overload?

Overeating causes a surge of insulin in the body to deal with the incoming carbs and fats. Late night eating is also a cause of insulin overload. The habit of eating late at night is disruptive to regular sleep patterns. Failing to eat a balance of proteins and carbohydrates is also going to cause an insulin overload. Long term these things can lead to an excessive appetite, overeating, as well as weight gain. A hormonal imbalance will ensue, leading to insulin resistance (type-2 diabetes).

Things that we eat can also cause an insulin overload. Foods heavy with sugars and white flours are very likely to cause a spike insulin, spur inflammation, and increase leptin resistance (the hormone responsible for regulating energy intake and expenditure). Products containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as well as an increased intake of alcohol can result in insulin resistance and obesity.

So what can we do? Switching out our sweets for insulin-sensitizing foods is a great way to reduce the risk for an insulin overload. Some of these foods include:

  • Blueberries
  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Avocados
  • Chai seed and Flaxseed
  • Spices
  • Olive Oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Eggs
  • Cherries
  • Vinegar
  • Nuts & Nut Butters

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Some may even reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes for those who are already at a high-risk. There are many health benefits to consuming these types of foods that will stretch not only to your body, but your mind and soul as well.