Yo-yo Dieting

It’s the start of a new year, which is a typical time for many women to adopt fad diets — only to gain the weight back almost immediately. This behavior now comes with a validated warning.

Recent medical research has upheld the belief that “yo-yo” dieting, losing weight then gaining it back again, can be harmful for older women’s hearts.

“Women with a normal weight who experience yo-yo dieting throughout their adult life are at an increased risk of sudden cardiac death and coronary heart disease death,” said study leader Dr. Somwail Rasla, an internal medicine resident at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket.

Experts have long known that being overweight at midlife is linked with a higher risk of death from heart disease. This extra weight can also boost the chances for sudden cardiac death. Rasla found that sudden cardiac death was approximately 3.5 times higher and the risk for death linked to coronary heart disease was 66% higher for those that habitually gain then lose weight.
Women who began the study at healthy weights, then repeatedly gained and lost weight over the years had the strongest risk of death from coronary heart disease or sudden cardiac death, the researchers found.

Adopting a sensible, nutritional lifestyle can improve your overall health as well as reducing your risk for heart disease and sudden cardiac death. We can help you get on this healthy path. Speak to your doctor about your specific nutritional requirements and appropriate medical recommendations to preserve your health and your heart.

Prenatal Diet

Your prenatal diet is important to you and your baby’s health.

You may need additional vitamins and minerals to not only help your baby but to also support the changes occurring with your body.

Your doctor may recommend that you take a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement. Remember that vitamin and mineral supplements do not replace a healthy diet. It is important to follow the nutritional guidelines your doctor shares with you. Also, supplements like folic acid and iron are good for your baby in moderation. Exercise caution, though. Too much can be harmful. You and your obstetrician will determine your specific dosage.

The term “you are what you eat” also applies to the foods you are passing on to your baby. Make choices that limit empty calories from added sugars and saturated fats. These non-nutritive ingredients are found in soft drinks, desserts, fried foods and fatty meats. Always choose water over soda. Also, share with your provider if you are going to breastfeed your child. If so, your nutritional needs will be even more important and over a longer period of time!

It is imperative that pregnant women never drink alcohol. This includes any beverage containing beer, wine or liquor. Research has shown that even moderate drinking during pregnancy can cause behavioral or developmental conditions with the child, including malformation and developmental delays.

Your care team is ready to answer any questions you may have about your prenatal diet and nutritional needs. Together we can make certain that you are eating the right foods and taking the right supplements to give your baby a healthy start.