Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

July 2024 // Archive

Date based archive
18 Jul

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are an American favorite. They’re found countless lunchboxes of children at school. There is no exact origin, but soldiers during World War II ate them as one of their primary foods. Food was rationed and they could eat these sandwiches quickly. Peanut butter wasn’t invented until the 1920s, the first being Peter Pan and Skippy. For jelly, Grapelade was popular at the time. During the great depression, jelly hit the sweet tooth and peanut butter was a primary source of protein. The introduction of sliced bread at this time really made the sandwich popular. When soldiers came home from the War, they were surprised to see the popularity of the very sandwich they ate under dire circumstances. Whoever actually put these two ingredients together is unknown, but he or she has certainly put many smiles on many people’s faces and pleased many people’s taste buds.

This sandwich is sometimes called PB & J or in the UK and Canada it is called peanut butter and jam. Over the years people have added other ingredients such as raisins, honey, Nutella, or hazelnut. Marshmallows and bananas are also popular. The sandwich can have one or more layers of peanut butter, one or more layers of jelly, and even more than two slices of bread. Sometimes it is eaten open-faced or with one slice of bread. Sometimes it is eaten on crackers or rice cakes. Sometimes it is on a bagel. Some people even toast the bread. It really is a flexible food that can please almost anyone’s taste buds. It is a staple of American childhood, but many adults can’t help but love to eat them too.

It has been said that the average American eats 2,984 of these sandwiches in their lifetime. That’s a stack higher than the Statue of Liberty. It actually used to be a delicacy and high-end sandwich because peanuts were costly. Now they are a staple in most people’s homes. Pre-sliced bread was the game changer because children could start to make the sandwich themselves. They aren’t entirely bad for you and of course label reading when it comes to ingredients amongst the peanut butter, jelly, and type of bread is the key. They now even sell containers of jelly and peanut butter mixed together and frozen sandwiches. The food industry caters to our popular picks. Soggy or toasted, we like our peanut butter and jelly 😊 When was the last time you had one??

09 Jul

Genetics role in that number on the scale

There are a number of factors that influence obesity. These include behavioral choices, environmental circumstances, and genetics. Genes don’t always predict someone’s weight future, but science has shown that genetics play a role in obesity. Genes increase a person’s susceptibility to become overweight, but this is not an isolated causality due to behavior and environment.

Take for instance the number of people living in a certain environment with all the same living conditions. How is it so that in an environment that promotes inactivity and high calorie foods that not all of these people become obese?? Not all these people will have the same resulting health problems or body fat distribution. Even people in the same family, of the same race, and of the same ethnicity, will not all become obese given this environment. The diversity in body types leads one to believe that genetics do play a role in weight.

Genes are what instruct the body. They map out how the body will respond to a given environment. Genes dictate behaviors including a person’s choice to be sedentary, to overeat, and their metabolic functions. Genes tell the body how to store fat and how to use food for fuel as energy. Both hunger and food intake are associated with genes. For example, take two siblings or twins raised in very similar environments, still may not have the same body weight distribution.

For now, science does not have genetic testing which would determine one’s weight future. There is no science that shows a personal diet plan or exercise regimen will result in exact body types. Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) and Prader-Willi syndrome are the only two directly related obesity causing genetic factors. BBS is associated with increased body fat in the abdominal area, poor functioning kidneys, eyes, and genetelia, as well as intellectual impairment. Prader-Willi syndrome is associated with a constant desire to eat. This causes dangerous weight gain, stunted growth, and poor health. Research is still being performed on genetic response to weight gain. Knowing one’s family history won’t change the path to obesity, but lifestyle behavior and environment can be adjusted as a proactive and preventable method. For example, children of obese parents are more likely to become obese themselves due to their lifestyle and environment. Marketing has also become a strong influence for eating patterns.

The finger can’t be pointed at genetics alone for weight problems. However, we do know that even under exact circumstances, two bodies can react entirely different. The research is not entirely there YET, but hopefully in the near future we can have helpful answers to help fight the obesity epidemic.

04 Jul

Our body normally uses glucose from carbohydrates as our main source of energy. Ketosis is a popular word used in the diet and diabetes worlds. Our body goes into a state of ketosis to keep itself working when carbohydrates are lacking. Our body makes ketones when carbs are scarce in order to now use fat as the main energy source. A normal diet doesn’t cause this, but when experiencing a pretty extreme caloric or carbohydrate deficit, the body kicks into ketone mode. This can also occur in diabetics who are not properly using insulin. The problem is that the body is only meant to temporarily perform this function. When asked to do so for prolonged periods of time, those ketones start to really build up in the blood. Now your blood becomes chemically imbalanced, and dehydration can result.

Ketosis hit the diet world by storm when Atkins and Paleo were introduced. The concept of cutting carbs for weight loss had people using protein as their main source of energy instead. This advocacy for protein was that it burns fat and keeps muscle mass. The latest version is the Ketogenic diet that uses fat instead of protein as the main source of fuel. Making a cut down to 50 grams of carbohydrates or less usually puts a person into ketosis a few days from the start. Fasting is another method to jump start ketosis.

This low carb approach is also used for other reasons besides weight loss. Ketogenic diets have been known to reduce seizures. Often time doctors put people with epilepsy on this diet or eating plan. Eating low carb can also help diabetics, lower the risk of heart disease, and help people who are insulin resistant. When cutting carbs, processed food is reduced in the diet which has been shown to improve acne.


 There are a few different versions of the ketogenic diet. The standard is to consume 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. You can also do a cycling version which has re-feed days. An example would be eating ketogenic for 5 days and then 2 days of re-feeding which Is raising the carbohydrate count. Some people use their workouts to add carbs in. Others use more protein and do more of a 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs approach. Most people enjoy that they don’t have to count calories, they effectively lose weight, and they feel a new sense of energy. Sugars, grains, fruit, and alcohol are recommended to be eliminated in this process. More meat, butter, nuts, cheese, oils, and avocado should be consumed.  

Testing your ketones

You can actually self-check your ketone level at home. There are over the counter sticks to urinate on in which the color matches the level. Ketones can also be measured in your blood.

Side effects

Some people initially experience the keto flu which is feeling nauseous, fatigued, extra hungry, and having insomnia. You may need to add sodium and potassium supplements into your day. Once carbs are re-introduced the weight can come back. The ketogenic diet must be kept up in order to achieve long term weight loss results.

Taking it too far

Ketoacidosis is when the ketones have over accumulated in the blood. Your blood becomes acidic and this can lead to a coma or even death. This can occur in diabetics who do not take their insulin. Signs of ketoacidosis include frequent urination, dry skin, feeling very tired, throwing up, confusion, or your breath smelling fruity.