Fibroids rank as one of the most common health concerns for women. Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed new treatment options on his July 24 talk show. In addition, weight loss expert Jorge Cruise joined him to discuss the benefits of carb cycling diets.
An estimated 50 percent of women experience fibroids at some point in their lives. Although these tumors are not malignant, they can result in symptoms such as pain and bleeding. New research has shown that holistic solutions such as dietary changes and hormone therapy can help avoid the need for surgery in many cases.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) reflects the grain-saturated food pyramid by containing foods that rank high on the glycemic index (GI), such as white bread, French fries, doughnuts and instant white rice. However, researchers have found that those foods may promote tumor growth because they increase the concentration of insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF-1).
Foods low on the GI scale that may help prevent fibroids include leafy green vegetables, dairy foods such as milk and eggs. Because obesity increases the risk, it's also important to lose weight if needed.
When it comes to weight loss, Dr. Oz's guest expert Jorge Cruise has become renowned for his knowledge in what succeeds for women. The author of books such as "The 100: Count ONLY Sugar Calories and Lose Up to 18 Lbs. in 2 Weeks," Jorge feels that choosing the correct carbohydrates and diet for different ages and stages is critical in taking off the pounds.
For middle-aged women, therefore, Jorge relies on an approach that uses carb-cycling concepts, detailed in his book "Happy Hormones, Slim Belly: Over 40? Lose 7 lbs. the First Week, and Then 2 lbs. Weekly." You follow a low carb diet for two days that limits your "sugar calories" to 100 maximum. For the next five days, you can eat more carbohydrates from a list designed to balance your hormones and thus boost weight loss.
But not all diet experts agree that carb-cycling diets are useful only if you're older than 40. Celebrity trainers Heidi and Chris Powell, who star on "Extreme Weight Loss," use carb-cycling diets for their clients, who range in age from teenagers to older adults.
What Jorge, Chris and Heidi do agree: When it comes to weight loss, removing sugar from the diet is essential. They also concur that reducing or eliminating white flour is important for curbing hunger and sustaining diet success.
In an exclusive interview, Jorge revealed that he feels what he calls "sugar calories" are the ones that cause insulin spikes. The concern: Your body treats carbohydrates in the same way as sugar, so Jorge calculates sugar calories by multiplying each gram of total carbohydrates in a product by four, which is the number of calories in one gram of carbohydrates.
Thus, you can eat 25 carbohydrates total daily (which equals 100 "sugar calories") on the low carb diet days. His plan also includes what he calls "freebies," which are foods without carbohydrates such as eggs, salmon and poultry.
Jorge's books include recipes that feature low carbohydrate flours such as coconut flour and almond flour. He also relies on sugar substitutes.
In recent years, however, new research has emerged indicating that artificial sweeteners and products such as diet soda may cause weight gain. Manufacturers of such products have felt the fallout from the negative publicity.
Coca-Cola, for example, has experienced a significant hit to their sales caused by consumers' avoidance of diet soda. Ranked as the world's biggest soda manufacturer, Coca-Cola reported reduced revenue because the sales volume in North America fizzled, reported ABC News on July 22.
While sales of sugar-sweetened soda such as regular Coke increased, Diet Coke decreased. It currently ranks as the nation's number two soda.
Executives said that they recognize consumers worry about artificial sweeteners. "We do recognize we have more work to do here," said CEO Muhtar Kent.
The company currently is contemplating a soda made with a natural zero-calorie sweetener called stevia. Several companies do make similar products currently, such as Zevia, but their market share has yet to make a substantial dent in the diet soda market.