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Dr. Oz: Ambien sleeping pill side effects, low-carb noodles for weight loss

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Dr. Oz discussed the dangerous side effects of the sleeping pill Ambien and revealed low-carb noodles on the Feb. 20 episode of the Dr. Oz Show ("The Disturbing Side Effects of America's #1 Sleeping Pills Revealed").

Dr. Oz said there has been a rash of disturbing reports about the side effects of Ambien, especially among women.

His guest was Lindsey, who had used Ambien for 10 years without incident. That all changed one night, when she took the popular sleeping pill before going to bed and woke up hours later in a police car.

Apparently Lindsey had hit another car while driving under the influence of Ambien. Shockingly, she had no recollection of getting into her car or driving at all.

"This could happen to you," said Dr. Oz. "If you think it's far-fetched, you could be dead-wrong. And I mean dead. Literally."

Ironically, Ambien was hailed as a "miracle sleeping pill" when it first hit the market years ago because of its alleged lack of side effects. Since then, it has been responsible for a 200% spike in emergency-room visits.

Sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus, author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight through Better Sleep, told Dr. Oz women are more vulnerable than men to falling into a "zombie-like" state on Ambien because of their hormones. He said Ambien can be safe if taken as directed, but you shouldn't take it for more than three or four weeks.

Low Carb Noodles For Weight Loss

On a separate segment of his show, Dr. Oz revealed low-carb noodles that can help you enjoy your favorite pasta dishes without the extra carbs or calories.

Dr. Oz's guest was registered dietitian Ashley Koff, author of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged and Recipes for IBS. Koff suggested the following low-carb pasta substitutes:

  • Zucchini noodles. Koff said these gluten-free, low-carb noodles are great for making lasagna.
  • No-carb Shirataki noodles. Also known as "miracle noodles," these gluten-free, high-fiber noodles are low in calories and have zero carbs.
  • Kelp noodles. These low-calorie, low-carb noodles contain potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and 21 amino acids.

Dr. Oz's Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe With Shirataki Noodles

Ingredients

  • 8 oz tofu Shirataki noodles, Fettuccine shape
  • 1/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp low-fat half-and-half
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat margarine, softened
  • 2 tsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp salt (or more to taste) or 1/8 tsp garlic salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (or more to taste)
  • cooked meat (optional) or broccoli (optional)

Instructions

  1. Drain tofu noodles. Using a scissors, cut them into 3 to 4-inch pieces. Parboil for 2 to 3 minutes to remove the “Shirataki” aroma from the noodles.
  2. Combine ricotta, cream cheese, half and half, margarine, parmesan, salt and pepper and mix slightly.
  3. Spray a small non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Over medium heat, add the garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until it becomes fragrant.
  4. Add the tofu noodles and heat through, stirring. Add pre-cooked meat or veggie here, if desired, and heat through.
  5. Reduce heat to low-medium. Make a reservoir in the center of the pan with the noodles surrounding. Add the sauce mixture and let it soften. Mix it up and stir it into the noodles.
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