Category Archive for: ‘Diets’
Gout – Not just a Kings affliction any more

If you look up images of Gout on Google (don’t), you will thank me for not posting one here.  Trust me it is bad enough suffering through the pain of without seeing pictures of how bad it can get.


Gout is a form of arthritis that effects the joints.  It is caused by a build up of uric acid which crystallizes and collects in the joints.  The crystals have sharp pointed ends like crystals tend to do and can cause swelling, severe pain and redness in the joints.


An attack of Gout can come with out warning, usually over night.  Any joint in the body can be affected but usually attacks begin in the big toes, feet and ankles.  A bad attack can cripple you for as much as a week.  If treated with ani-inflammatory meds, pain and duration can be reduced.

When I say cripple, I mean cripple.  You won’t want to have the bed sheets even touch the painful area.

Who gets Gout?

In by-gone days it was thought that Gout was a rich man’s problem.  Not so much today.  The body can retain uric acid for many reasons.  A diet high in Uric acid such as wine and red meat can contribute but isn’t the only way to get Gout.  Men tend to be affected more than women and anyone over 40 is much more likely to get Gout than a younger person.

If your blood work shows an elevated uric acid level of 6.0mg/dL or more you are at risk of an attack.


The good news is that changes in diet, exercise and alcohol consumption can help.  Also, your doctor might prescribe medications such as colchicine or allopurinol which are very useful in the treatment.

Conclusions and Recommendations

If you start to suffer “with the Gout”, go to your Urologist as soon as you can get an appointment.  Get a physical and blood work.  If you have Gout it is likely you have other problems.  My gallbladder that was full of stones and was removed that week.  I still take a daily 300 mg tablet of allopurinol and haven’t had a severe attack since.

If none of that works,  what the hell, cut back on rich foods and alcohol and start an exercise program – jughandle 



Foods that raise your metabolism – Jughandle’s Fat Farm

Foods that raise your metabolism.  These are the Holy Grail of dieting and losing weight.  My wife used to eat almost as much as I do but she weighs 122 and I weigh 300 lbs.  The difference is that her metabolism is that of a hummingbird.  She can lose weight by just saying the words.  I can look at a picture of food and gain 2 lbs.

What I need are foods I can eat that will raise the rate my body metabolizes it.  I know that it sounds like a pipe dream but if you keep reading you just might learn something like I did. – jug

Milk, Whole Grain Cereal, Oats

Fuel for the furnace to start the day


Milk, Whole Grain Cereal, Oats – 10%

Secret Ingredients: Calcium, complex carbohydrates, and fiber

How they work: Complex carbohydrates and fiber pump up metabolism by keeping insulin levels low after you eat. That’s good, because spikes in the production of insulin send a signal to the body that it’s time to start storing fat. In order to stockpile fat, your body has to slow down your metabolism, causing you to burn fewer calories, says Margaret McNurlan, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition and medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Since oatmeal breaks down slowly in the stomach, it causes less of a spike in insulin levels than foods like bagels, she says.

Besides helping to keep insulin production down, eating breakfast can also help stoke your daily calorie burn. When the U.S. Navy studied the metabolisms and eating habits of a group of its personnel, it found that eating breakfast helped raise the men’s metabolisms by as much as 10 percent. “By skipping meals, you slow down your metabolism and prime your body to store fat,” says McNurlan.

The calcium in milk is a metabolic trigger as well. A University of Tennessee study found that dieters who consumed between 1,200 and 1,300 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day lost nearly twice as much weight as dieters getting less calcium.


Jalapenos, Habaneros, Cayennes – 25%

Secret Ingredient: Capsaicin—the chemical in peppers that gives them their bite

How it works: By speeding up your heart rate.

A study from the late ’80s found that eating a single spicy meal can boost your metabolism by up to 25 percent, with the spike in calorie burning lasting for up to 3 hours after you finish eating. More recently, a study from Laval University in Quebec found that men who consumed coffee plus red pepper-packed snacks and meals were able to burn nearly 1,000 more calories a day than a control group.

Small snacks can also help keep your body from running out of fuel-preventing those 3 p.m. office blahs. “When you restrict the number of calories your body has for fuel, your metabolic rate can drop temporarily,” says Susan Roberts, Ph.D., chief of the energy-metabolism laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. That makes it easier to pack on the pounds and harder to burn them off again

Read more:

Green Tea and Coffee

A Good Team for burning fat

Green Tea, Coffee – 80 calories a day

Secret Ingredients: Caffeine and a chemical in the tea called EGCG

How they work: Caffeine helps speed up your heart rate. The faster your heart beats, the more calories you burn. EGCG works in a similar way, but instead of revving up your heart, it causes your brain and nervous system to run more quickly-also helping you burn more calories.

In studies, researchers found that a combination of caffeine and a 90-mg dose of EGCG taken three times a day can help you burn an extra 80 calories a day. And that’s just when your body’s at rest. A study conducted by the Canadian government found that soldiers who consumed caffeine in the 12 hours prior to a physical-fitness test not only were able to work out longer before becoming exhausted, but also consumed more oxygen while working out. The body’s oxygen requirements are directly related to the speed of-guess what-your metabolism, so the more oxygen you use, the more calories you burn during your workout.


Lean meat

Lean Protein

Lean Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey – 5%

Secret Ingredient: Protein

How it works: It takes more energy for your body to digest the protein in meat than it does for it to digest carbohydrates or fat, according to Doug Kalman, R.D., director of nutrition at Miami Research Associates, a nationally recognized pharmaceutical-research facility. “That means that the more protein you eat, the harder your body has to work to digest it, and the more calories you’ll burn in the process,” he says.

When researchers at Arizona State University compared the benefits of a high-protein diet with those of a high-carbohydrate diet, they found that people who ate a high-protein diet burned more than twice as many calories in the hours following their meal as those eating carbs. Even better, researchers in Denmark found that men who substituted protein for 20 percent of the carbs in their diets were able to boost their metabolisms, increasing the number of calories they burned each day by up to 5 percent.

Read more:

Salmon, Tuna and Mackerel

Cold water fish

Salmon, Tuna, Sardines

Secret Ingredient: Omega-3 fatty acids

How they work: By altering levels of a hormone called leptin in your body. Several recent studies suggest that leptin directly influences your metabolism, determining whether you burn calories or store them as fat.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that mice with low leptin levels have faster metabolisms and are able to burn fat more quickly than animals with higher leptin levels. The best way to lower your leptin? Eat fish.

Mayo Clinic researchers studying the diets of two African tribes-one of which frequently ate fish and one of which didn’t-found that fish eaters had leptin levels nearly five times lower than the levels found in tribes that primarily ate vegetables.

The good news, if you don’t like fish: Fish-oil supplements may work just as well as the stuff with scales. French researchers found that men who replaced 6 grams of fat in their diets with 6 grams of fish oil were able to boost their metabolisms and lose an average of 2 pounds in just 12 weeks.

Read more:


Observations and Conclusions

If you are trying to find ways to help yourself loss weight, I can’t think of a better way to start than by eating your way to a smaller body.  If you count the percentages beside each of the headings above you’ll see that you can raise your metabolism by at least 40% just by eating.

I’m giving it a shot and I’ll let you know how I’m doing.  Please do the same. – jughandle

How to Test Your pH

Snake Oil

When talking about pH my biggest concern in discussing this topic is to be taken seriously.  When a health method isn’t totally embraced by the traditional health community, it seems as though the snake oil salesmen display an inordinate number of cure-all methods and substances you can take to cure everything from gout to cancer.

As with most things you should stay toward the middle of the road.  Don’t believe anyone who says they can cure you over night.  Most of our problems took a long, long time to develop and will take almost as long to fix.  There are no silver bullets, just rational science.

Why Test Your pH?

pH is an indicator that our body chemistry is either good or bad.  If your pH is out of range for a long period of time, changes in our blood, organs and skin will take place to compensate for an acidic condition.  These changes aren’t good and can be dealt with before real damage is done.  An acidic pH level is an indicator that something is out of balance.  Make corrections.  Don’t ignore the “engine warning” light.


Now to Test Your pH

My Urologist is trying to bring my very acid urine pH from a 5.0 to some where close to 7.0.  He has me on 45 mg of  Potassium Citrate three times a day.  Because your pH changes throughout the day it is important to test it several times during the day, maybe once a week or so.

Urine – Test your second pee of the day by placing the test strip in the urine stream for a few seconds.  You test the second pee (before coffee) because the first pee from storing it overnight will be more acidic.  The kidney’s job is to remove acid from the system.  Wait 10-15 seconds or what ever your brand of test strips recommends and compare the color to the chart provided in the test kit.  Write down this number and time and do it again 2 – 3 more times during the day.  Remember to test either before eating a meal or 2 hours after a meal for most accurate results.

Saliva – First thing in the morning, either flush your mouth with your own saliva and spit or rinse with water and wait 30 mins before testing.  Wet the strip with your saliva and check against the chart as with your urine.  Write the number and time down.  As with the urine, test 2-3 more times during the day.

You can average the numbers then chart them over time to see what difference changes in your diet can make.

ph - ion


The Chart

Remember that the pH chart with your kit is like an earthquake chart, it is logarithmic which means each step, ie; 4.5 to 5.5 is ten times the previous.


Which Strips?

You can find test strips in most pharmacies and health food stores or you can find them on line.  On my blog page there is a tab for “Company Store” which houses links to products I use and recommend on a daily basis.  I research these products to find the lowest prices and I don’t profit from you purchasing from my page.

I personally use PHion Balance Diagnostic pH Test Strips.  They are available through my store for 90 strips.

Please let me know if you can find them less expensively, I will pass it along.

What Results Should we Expect?

What’s normal pH…
There are a number of body systems which all have their own specifically preferred pH. Overall, the body’s internal chemical environment normally changes from a weak acid to a weak base within a 24-hour period, usually more acid at dawn and most base at sunset. These physiolical changes occur on a sine curve during this period. The slightly acid time period early morning: pH < 7.0 is optimal for the activity of the nerves, hormones and neurotransmitters such as adrenaline. thyroxine, histamine, acetylcholine and other biogenic amines. In this pH, the acidic connective tissue substances (stored acidic wastes) are dissolved by the hyaluronidase into liquid form and thereafter excreted from the body as wastes.

Blood pH:

The bloodstream is the most critically buffered system of the entire body, far more sensitive than any other. Arterial and venous blood must maintain a slightly alkaline pH: arterial blood pH = 7.41 and venous blood pH = 7.36. Because the normal pH of arterial blood is 7.41, a person is considered to have acidosis when the pH of blood falls below this value and to have alkalosis when the pH rises above 7.41.

Figure 3. Range of Arterial pH Values


pH = 1 to 7.40
pH = 7.41
pH = 7.42 to 14.0




Interstitial fluids and connective tissue pH:

A normal pH in these areas is 7.34 and 7.40, a slightly more acid profile, because body cells dump as much free hydrogen (H+) as possible, buffering the blood as much as possible. However, pH in these areas can dangerously drop to concentrations of pH = 5.0.


Urine pH values:

In a pH balanced body. urine is slightly acid in the morning, (pH = 6.5 – 7.0) generally becoming more alkaline (pH = 7.5 – 8.0) by evening in healthy people primarily because no food or beverages are consumed while sleeping. Whereas, during the day the body buffers the pH of the food and beverages consumed by releasing electrolytes and the pH level goes up. This process allows the kidneys to begin the elimination process slowly.

Outside the range implies that cells are being burdened with caustic pH fluids within and without surroundings. Long term experience outside this range is unhealthy. However, the pH of urine can range from an extremely unhealthy low of 4.5 to a high if 8.5, which it tolerates a little easier, depending on the acid/base status of the extracellular fluids. A high pH value may indicate the body is over buffering to compensate for a physiological system that is too acidic.


 Range of Urine pH Values.


pH < 6.0
pH = 6.5 TO 8.0
pH > 8.5




Generally, when urine pH is 6.0 and below for extended periods of time, it is an indication that the body’s fluids elsewhere are too acid, and it is working overtime to rid itself of an acid medium. Thus, when urine pH is normal, then the blood pH is normal, but when the urine pH is overly acid, the body releases too many electrolytes to keep the pH level normal and maintain life. Easy to take urine buffer test strips are available to indirectly determine the safety of all body fluids, including blood.

Results may vary. These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S.A. Food and Drug Administration and this product is not intended to treat, cure or prevent disease.

What to Do?

More later – jughandle

Diets or “A diet that makes sense”

I think we’ve discussed before that weird diets don’t work. Sure, you might lose 10 or 15 lbs on the cabbage diet, then wham, a plateau and you’re stuck. That’s because your body adjusts to your new calorie intake and if it is too low your body shifts into “starvation” mode to keep you from starving to death and you lower your metabolism making you feel crappy and depressed because you aren’t losing weight. You need a diet that makes sense.


Most diets deprive you of something you need to be healthy. That’s why you can’t binge diet. To be healthy you need to:


Drink 80 to 120 oz of water per day

Yes, you can get water from coffee, tea, coke zero, etc, etc, but those other drinks add toxins and sugar that your system will need to fight to eliminate. Drink water. Actually, better yet, drink water with lemon in it. As much lemon as you want, just no sugar. Lemon in your water helps to neutralize your pH because even though lemon juice is acidic it is processed by the body making it a base.

Eat a diverse, well balanced diet 

We’ve heard that line all our lives, but what does that mean?  It means that you should have a protein at every meal.  Eat different proteins, mix it up.  Eat beef or pork for breakfast, chicken for lunch or fish for diner.  Don’t stop there.  Try new stuff.  Eat lots of vegetables.  All colors of vegetables.

Lots of fruit too.  Try eating vegetables or fruit for snacks.  You can almost eat a much as you can hold.  But its important to lower your desire to stuff your self to the gills.  You do that by not eating sugar or carbohydrates high on the GI scale.

Remember, sugar begets more sugar.  Yes, you do need carbs, but make sure they are complex carbohydrates, allowing your body to convert them to energy over a longer time, using more of the energy instead of storing it as fat.  That brings up the “f” word, Fat.  Don’t fear fat.  Eat natural butter, not margarine.  Eat lean meat but don’t worry about that too much.  Eat and use olive oil in cooking and salad dressings.  You get the drift.  We’ll talk more about it as time goes by.

Exercise when you can

Do what you can to exercise.  Take the stairs, walk the dog, etc. Exercise not only burns calories but also raises your metabolism making your body burn more calories even at rest.

Eat healthy foods

Most importantly, when you put something into your body, make sure it’s good for you.  Read the label, if you don’t know what the ingredient is don’t eat it.  Try to make your own food.  Don’t eat out as much.  If you eat packaged or processed food, don’t eat anything that has more than 5 ingredients on the label.

If you drink alcohol

Try to reduce your intake and drink more red wine than any thing else.  If you normally have a drink or two a night, don’t drink on Wednesdays for a couple of months.  You’ll be surprised at the difference.

It used to be thought that alcohol was treated by the body as a carbohydrate.  It isn’t.  When you take a drink, your body gives priority to metabolizing the alcohol first.  So alcohol is really treated like a fat in the body.

“This is because alcohol is oxidised by the body in preference to fat, thus ‘saving’ fat for storage. Therefore, alcohol affects the diet in the same way as an increase in the percentage of fat eaten. This is something to remember in your weight loss quest.” – BYC


In Conclusion

So, if you do all five of the things above and you still aren’t losing weight, the only thing left is portion control.  You are now healthy, just not at your ideal weight because of the stored calories in your past.

You only have one option:

1. eat fewer calories than you burn

But you can do that in two ways:

1. eat less

2. exercise more

Here at the Fat Farm we consider these suggestions as a diet that makes sense and recommend tracking your caloric intake at

Their online tracking method will tell you the number of calories you need and even calculate the nutrition for you. If you are diabetic they will track your glucose readings among other things.  Ask me how I use it to keep my recipes and normally eaten (grouped) foods charted.


Later – Jughandle


Diabetes – if you are reading this rant you more than likely either have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, know someone close to you who does, or have been diagnosed as “pre-diabetes” by your doctor.

My wife Darlene has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes within the last year.  She isn’t your typical over weight, sugar eater.  Darlene is 5′ 9″ tall and weights just 122 lbs, but diabetes DOES run in her family.  Darlene’s symptoms didn’t jump out at her.  She was a little more thirsty and had to pee more often.

Darlene has had a terrible time with menopause .  Her “change” has lasted over 15 years with nightly bouts of hot flashes, cold sweats, leg cramps and other symptoms.   The reason I mention the menopause is that because of her problems with it she signed up for 3 clinical trials that tested drugs that were supposed to help with the symptoms.  The bad news is that with the first two she got the placebo.

The third time, when she was getting her blood test to see if she was healthy enough to take the trial, her glucose numbers were dangerously high.  In fact the nurse reading the results told Darlene to go to a doctor or ER right then.  Darlene’s glucose was close to 500!

The general practitioner found scary numbers.  Darlene’s A1C (3 month average blood glucose average)  that for a normal person is supposed to be between 5 and 7, was 14!!!!!

Long story short, Darlene was first treated as a Type 2 diabetic.  The drugs didn’t do the job which lead her Doctor to believe she is a Type 1 diabetic.  Monitoring her blood glucose level as much as 10 times a day and taking long and short term insulin injections have brought her A1C down to 6.7.  The biggest problem she has had is trying to avoid hypoglycemia.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that causes your blood glucose level to be too high. Glucose comes from the food you eat.   Your body needs glucose on the cellular level to give you energy, fuel cell growth and promote brain function.  Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, helps the glucose get into your cells to give them that energy.  When your pancreas stops producing insulin you have Type 1 diabetes.  When your pancreas has trouble producing enough insulin, our your body has trouble utilizing the insulin,  you have Type 2 diabetes.


Having pre-diabetes means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called Type 2 diabetes.  Having pre-diabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.  It doesn’t mean you are going to get diabetes, it just means you need to make some changes.

Health Problems Associated With Diabetes

Over time, elevated glucose levels can cause serious problems.  Diabetes can damage your eyeskidneys, and nerves. It can also lead to heart disease, stroke and reduce blood flow to your extremities ending even with the need to remove a limb.  Having diabetes can also put you at a higher risk for bone and joint disorders. Other complications of diabetes include skin problems, digestive problems, sexual dysfunction, and problems with your teeth and gums. Pregnant women with diabetes is usually gestational diabetes.

What To Do

If you have been diagnosed with any form of diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions.  Diabetes is not going to just go away.  With type 2 diabetes it is possible to get to the point that you may not need medications any more.  Diet is very important to all forms of diabetes so the Fat Farm is going to post recipes with the diabetic in mind.

Many Small Meals

The importance of maintaining a blood glucose level between recommended standards can not be over stated.  Eat 5-6 smaller meals rather than 3 larger meals.  Don’t skip meals and always try to eat carbs that break down more slowly over time (low on the Glycemic Index) which keeps from spiking your glucose level.  We will talk more about the Glycemic Index in the near future.

Glucose Chart

Blood Sugar Chart


Please Farmers, I haven’t even begun to touch on all aspects of diabetes and how it can effect your life.  Ask me any question and I will do the research.  My doctor does a blood panel on me every 4-6 months to check for anything out of the norm.  You should do the same. – jug

Spring Cleaning

I know it is a touch early for Spring, but not to early to clean the toxins out of our systems and get ready for a healthy Spring and Summer, maybe with a detox diet.

 Start Properly

There are dozens of detox diets out there and some are down right bad for your kidneys and liver.  Be careful and use common sense, these diets are not for the faint of heart.  It is important to be prepared both mentally and physically for this diet.  Detox diets are not intended to cure disease, just to allow the body to run more efficiently, kind of like a car tune up.  If you have problems like high blood pressure, kidney disease or heart disease, consult your doctor before starting any diet.  Take the Detox Screening Quiz.

What the Mayo Clinic Says about Detox Diets

Detox diets: Do they work?

Do detox diets offer any health benefits?


from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Detox, or detoxification, diets are popular, but they’re not scientifically proven.

Detox diets are touted as a way to remove toxins from the body. Specific detox diets vary — but typically a period of fasting is followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, and water. In addition, some detox diets advocate using certain herbs and other supplements along with colon cleansing (enemas) to help empty the intestines. Most detox diets last seven to 10 days.

Some people report feeling more focused and energetic during and after detox diets. However, this may be due to a belief that they’re doing something good for their bodies. There’s little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. Most ingested toxins are efficiently and effectively removed by the kidneys and liver and excreted in urine and stool.

It’s also important to consider possible side effects. Among other problems, detox diets can lead to:

  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

If you’re considering a detox diet, get the OK from your doctor first — and remember, the best diet is a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein.

What is a Detox Diet?

A detox diet is a good idea when you might have been over indulging in the wrong things for a period of time, or if you’d like to get a jump start on losing weight and/or are interested in getting the toxins and chemicals floating around in and on your body, out and off.  A good old detox can get rid of that bloated feeling and restore energy.  Your body will be able to accept more water and oxygen from the food you eat and your skin will look and feel better.  Detox diets generally last from 3 to 21 days.

Why Detox?

As I mentioned before, we ingest an amazing amount of chemicals, pesticides and hormones in the food we normally eat.  Even if you are trying to maintain a healthy life style, you are bound to have eaten some processed or canned food.  Been sick, having headaches, stomach problems, bloated,  had some drugs administered?  You need to detox.  Our bodies naturally remove toxins that we consume but a detox diet gives that body time to remove more toxins before we put more back in.

How to Start

As with most things, I recommend that you start slowly.  If you’ve never been on a detox diet before, start with a 3 day diet and see how it goes.

Juice fasts:

The Master Cleanse – Also know as the Lemonade diet. Nothing but lemonade, maple syrup and cayenne pepper – click here for details

Liquid Diets and Juice Fasting – Nothing but juice – click here for details

Raw Food Diet:

The 28 Day Raw Detox – Basically you can eat anything that isn’t cooked or processed.  click here for details

Conclusions and Recommendations

The Fat Farm does not recommend extreme diets of any kind.  If you must try these diets, start small and don’t go longer than a couple of days.  Here is a link to several more.  click here.

Best Food To Eat In Winter

Food For Winter

Winter food.  Winter is a time to refit.  To assess the foundation and structure of our body and make adjustments if necessary.  The first and most important thing to look at is our diet.  If you are the type of person that eats the same things year in and year out or even worse, Monday is salad night, and Tuesday is pizza night, etc.  You are causing a number of problems with your health.  Like any organism the body adjusts to the stimuli that confront it.  Food is a very powerful stimulus to the body.  Did you know that you can lose or gain weight eating exactly the same food, but eating it in different combinations or at different times of the day?


Surprise your body.  Make it adjust to different foods and different schedules.  It is good for you.  God forbid that you might have to actually think about it!

winter landscape


Back to winter.  Everything slows down in the winter.  Your body’s metabolism slows to maintain the fat you have stored in case food becomes scarce.  Your immune system is compromised by the lack of water soluble and sunlight provided vitamins, such as B-complex and C which are not stored by the body and must be replaced every day and while Vitamin D, is stored by the body, it is also harder to come by in the winter because our main source is sunlight.  That is why you are more likely to get a cold or the flu during the winter.

Serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain, is lost during the winter causing a winter depression.  All of these negative factors are all increased when you stay on your warm weather diet.



Winter Foods

If you can’t find sunshine to get your Vitamin D, you can get it in abundance from fresh fish not to mention omega 3 fatty acids:  The following is from Ask DrSears ranking seafood by nutrition:

  • Best sources of omega 3 fatty acids: salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, Alaskan halibut, sardines, herring.
  • Highest in protein per serving: tuna, salmon, snapper, swordfish. Most fish are similar in protein content. Best source of protein in grams per calorie of fish are: lobster, shrimp, tuna, cod.
  • Highest vitamin B-12 content: clams, mackerel, herring, blue fin tuna, rainbow trout, and salmon.
  • Highest in iron: clams, shrimp, mackerel, swordfish.
  • Lowest in iron: orange roughy, snapper, sea bass.
  • Highest in zinc: crab, lobster, swordfish, and clams.
  • Highest in calcium: canned salmon with bones.
  • Highest in total fat, saturated fats, and calories: mackerel.
  • Lowest in total fat and saturated fat: lobster, orange roughy.
  • Highest in cholesterol: shrimp, mackerel, lobster.
  • Lowest in cholesterol: yellowfin tuna, albacore, tuna, snapper, halibut, grouper.
  • Most risky fish for pollutants: wild catfish, shrimp, lake trout (warm-water fish and those in lakes from agrochemical run-off).
  • Least risky fish for pollutants: deep-water ocean fish, salmon and tuna.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Most important to eat daily are the foods containing your water soluble vitamins, B-complex and C.  Not only are they important to maintain your energy levels, they contribute to your appetite, vision, blood and nervous system.  The following is a table from the Colorado State University extension site about Water soluble vitamins.

Considerable losses during cooking.Uncommon due to availability in most foods; fatigue; nausea, abdominal cramps; difficulty sleeping.

Table 1: Water-soluble vitamins and their characteristics.
Common food sources Major functions Deficiency symptoms Overconsumption symptoms Stability in foods
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, melon, green pepper, tomatoes, dark green vegetables, potatoes. Formation of collagen (a component of tissues), helps hold them together; wound healing; maintaining blood vessels, bones, teeth; absorption of iron, calcium, folacin; production of brain hormones, immune factors; antioxidant. Bleeding gums; wounds don’t heal; bruise easily; dry, rough skin; scurvy; sore joints and bones; increased infections. Nontoxic under normal conditions; rebound scurvy when high doses discontinued; diarrhea, bloating, cramps; increased incidence of kidney stones. Most unstable under heat, drying, storage; very soluble in water, leaches out of some vegetables during cooking; alkalinity (baking soda) destroys vitamin C.
Thiamin (vitamin B1 )
Pork, liver, whole grains, enriched grain products, peas, meat, legumes. Helps release energy from foods; promotes normal appetite; important in function of nervous system. Mental confusion; muscle weakness, wasting; edema; impaired growth; beriberi. None known. Losses depend on cooking method, length, alkalinity of cooking medium; destroyed by sulfite used to treat dried fruits such as apricots; dissolves in cooking water.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Liver, milk, dark green vegetables, whole and enriched grain products, eggs. Helps release energy from foods; promotes good vision, healthy skin. Cracks at corners of mouth; dermatitis around nose and lips; eyes sensitive to light. None known. Sensitive to light; unstable in alkaline solutions.
Niacin (nicotinamide, nicotinic acid)
Liver, fish, poultry, meat, peanuts, whole and enriched grain products. Energy production from foods; aids digestion, promotes normal appetite; promotes healthy skin, nerves. Skin disorders; diarrhea; weakness; mental confusion; irritability. Abnormal liver function; cramps; nausea; irritability.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine)
Pork, meats, whole grains and cereals, legumes, green, leafy vegetables. Aids in protein metabolism, absorption; aids in red blood cell formation; helps body use fats. Skin disorders, dermatitis, cracks at corners of mouth; irritability; anemia; kidney stones; nausea; smooth tongue. None known.
Folacin (folic acid)
Liver, kidney, dark green leafy vegetables, meats, fish, whole grains, fortified grains and cereals, legumes, citrus fruits. Aids in protein metabolism; promotes red blood cell formation; prevents birth defects of spine, brain; lowers homocystein levels and thus coronary heart disease risk. Anemia; smooth tongue; diarrhea. May mask vitamin B12deficiency (pernicious anemia). Easily destroyed by storing, cooking and other processing.
Vitamin B12
Found only in animal foods: meats, liver, kidney, fish, eggs, milk and milk products, oysters, shellfish. Aids in building of genetic material; aids in development of normal red blood cells; maintenance of nervous system. Pernicious anemia, anemia; neurological disorders; degeneration of peripheral nerves that may cause numbness, tingling in fingers and toes. None known.
Pantothenic acid
Liver, kidney, meats, egg yolk, whole grains, legumes; also made by intestinal bacteria. Involved in energy production; aids in formation of hormones. None known. About half of pantothenic acid is lost in the milling of grains and heavily refined foods.
Liver, kidney, egg yolk, milk, most fresh vegetables, also made by intestinal bacteria. Helps release energy from carbohydrates; aids in fat synthesis. Uncommon under normal circumstances; fatigue; loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting; depression; muscle pains; anemia. None known.


 Bottom Line

If you want to get the message without doing the reading, eat the following in larger quantities during the winter months:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Water – stay hydrated year round
  • Chocolate – has many mood elevators
  • Citrus – especially oranges, limes and lemons
  • Nuts and Seeds – they contain selenium which will help you avoid the winter blues
  • Whole gains – remember whole grains
  • Cultured Yogurt – will help maintain your digestive system
  • Dark Green Vegetables – spinach, peas, kale all have iron which will help your blood
  • Legumes
  • Turkey
  • Cranberries
  • Winter Squash


Eat healthy and feel better.  Click on the highlighted links above for much more information on each subject and as always please ask me anything you’d like – jughandle