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Abalone Shell (shi jue ming)
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Ailanthus Bark (chun pi)
Akebia Fruit (ba yue zha)
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Arisaema (tian nan xing)
Ark Shell (wa leng zi)
Arnebia (zi cao or ying zi cao)
Arnica (arnica montana)
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Carpesium (he shi)
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Chrysanthemum (ju hua)
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Corn Silk (yu mi xu)
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Corydalis (yan hu suo)
Costus (mu xiang)
Cranberry (vaccinium macrocarpon)
Cremastra (shan ci gu)
Croton Seed (ba dou)
Curculigo (xian mao)
Cuscuta (tu si zi)
Cuttlefish Bone (hai piao xiao)
Cymbopogon (xiang mao)
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Dendrobium (shi hu)
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Dittany Bark (bai xian pi)
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Eclipta (han lian cao)
Elder (sambucus nigra or sambucus canadensis)
Elsholtzia (xiang ru)
Ephedra (ma huang)
Epimedium (yin yang huo)
Erythrina Bark (hai tong pi)
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Fenugreek (hu lu ba)
Fermented Soybeans (dan dou chi)
Flaxseed (ya ma zi)
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Gambir (gou teng)
Gardenia (zhi zi)
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Kadsura Stem (hai feng teng)
Katsumadai Seed (cao dou kou)
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Knotweed (bian xu)
Knoxia root (hong da ji)
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Lapis (meng shi)
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Leonorus (yi mu cao)
Lepidium Seed (ting li zi)
Licorice (gan cao)
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Lophatherum (dan zhu ye)
Loquat Leaf (pi pa ye)
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Lotus Node (ou jie)
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Lotus Stamen (lian xu)
Luffa (si gua luo)
Lycium Bark (di gu pi)
Lycium Fruit (gou qi zi)
Lygodium (hai jin sha)
Lysimachia (jin qian cao)
Magnetite (ci shi)
Magnolia Bark (hou po)
Magnolia Flower (xin yi hua)
Maitake (grifola frondosa)
Marigold (c. officinalis)
Massa Fermentata (shen qu)
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Millettia (ji xue teng)
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Morinda Root (ba ji tian)
Mugwort Leaf (ai ye)
Mulberry Bark (sang bai pi)
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Mulberry Twig (sang zhi)
Mullein (jia yan ye)
Musk (she xiang)
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Notoginseng (san qi)
Notopterygium (qiang huo)
Nutmeg (rou dou kou)
Oldenlandia (bai hua she she cao)
Omphalia (lei wan)
Onion (yang cong)
Ophicalcite (hua rui shi)
Ophiopogon (mai dong)
Oroxylum Seed (mu hu die)
Oryza (gu ya)
Oyster Shell (mu li)
Passion Flower (passiflora incarnata)
Patrinia (bai jiang cao)
Pau D'Arco (tabebuia avellanedae)
Peach Seed (tao ren)
Pearl (zhen zhu [mu])
Perilla Leaf (su ye)
Perilla Seed (su zi)
Perilla Stem (su geng)
Persimmon (shi di)
Pharbitis Seed (qian niu zi)
Phaseolus (chi xiao dou)
Phellodendron (huang bai)
Phragmites (lu gen)
Picrorhiza (hu huang lian)
Pinellia (ban xia)
Pine Knots (song jie)
Pipe Fish (hai long)
Plantain Seed (che qian zi)
Platycodon (jie geng)
Polygala (yuan zhi)
Polygonatum (huang jing)
Polyporus (zhu ling)
Poppy Capsule (ying su qiao)
Poria (fu ling)
Prickly Ash Peel (hua jiao)
Prinsepia Seed (rui ren/zi)
Prunella (xia ku cao)
Prunus Seed (yu li ren)
Pseudostellaria (tai zi shen)
Psoralea (bu gu zhi)
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Pumice (fu hai shi)
Pumpkin Seed (nan gua zi)
Purslane (ma chi xian)
Pyrite (zi ran tong)
Pyrrosia Leaf (shi wei)
Quisqualis (shi jun zi)
Radish (lai fu zi)
Realgar (xiong huang)
Red Atractylodes (cang zhu)
Red Clover (trifolium pratense)
Red Ochre (dai zhe shi)
Red Peony (chi shao)
Red Sage Root (dan shen)
Rehmannia (shu di huang)
Reishi (ling zhi)
Rhubarb (da huang)
Rice Paper Pith (tong cao)
Rose (mei gui hua)
Rosemary (mi die xiang)
Safflower (hong hua)
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Sandalwood (tan xiang)
Sanguisorba Root (di yu)
Sappan Wood (su mu)
Sargent Gloryvine (hong teng)
Saw Palmetto (ju zong lu)
Schefflera (qi ye lian)
Schisandra (wu wei zi)
Schizonepeta (jing jie)
Scirpus (san leng)
Scopolia (S. carniolica Jacq.)
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Sea Cucumber (hai shen)
Sea Horse (hai ma)
Seaweed (hai zao)
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Siler Root (fang feng)
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Teasel Root (xu duan)
Tiger Bone (hu gu)
Torreya Seed (fei zi)
Tortoise Plastron (gui ban)
Tremella (bai mu er)
Trichosanthes Fruit (gua lou)
Trichosanthes Root (tian hua fen)
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Tsaoko Fruit (cao guo)
Turmeric (jiang huang)
Turtle Shell (bie jia)
Tussilago (kuan dong hua)
Urtica (xun ma)
Uva ursi (arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Vaccaria Seed (wang bu lui xing)
Valerian (jie cao)
Veratrum (li lu)
Viola (zi hua di ding)
Vitex (man jing zi)
Walnut (hu tao ren)
Watermelon (xi gua)
White Atractylodes (bai zhu)
White Mustard Seed (bai jie ze)
White Peony (bai shao)
Wild Asparagus (tian men dong)
Windmill Palm (zong lu pi/tan)
Xanthium (cang er zi)
Zedoary (e zhu)
Diet With a Purpose

Beyond weight loss: how a targeted diet can help your patients.

By Tina Beaudoin, ND

Every patient is unique and as such, they will have varying needs based on the individual's genetics and current state of health. Some patients prefer to accomplish their health goals through diet and lifestyle alone, while others may opt to rely heavily on supplementation or pharmaceutical interventions. Nutrition, exercise and mental health are important predictors of whether or not they enjoy health and vitality versus illness and lethargy.

In terms of nutrition, Socrates said it best; "Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food." Sleep, hydration and environmental exposures also play a considerable role in wellness, but for the purposes of this discussion, we will explore nutrition and diets that target specific elevated cholesterol and diabetes.

Pop media has shone the spotlight on many fad diets like the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet, but there additional options that can help you target specific health conditions that go beyond the goal of losing weight. For instance, the Mediterranean diet supports cardiovascular health using Mediterranean-style cooking that focuses on primarily plant-based foods, as well as fish, poultry and olive oil.

There is also the Anti-Candida diet, which eliminates intake of foods that contain yeast and high-glycemic foods to help rebalance intestinal flora. The Elimination diet is the gold standard when your objective is to identify and remove food sensitivities. The D.A.S.H. diet has a list of recommendations to help control elevated blood pressure that focuses on limiting sodium intake while emphasizing vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products.

Elevated cholesterol and diabetes are prevalent conditions for which a targeted diet plan can offer tremendous benefit. Nearly 71 million Americans have elevated cholesterol and less than half of them seek treatment.1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 16 million people are diagnosed with diabetes in our country. In addition, it is estimated that there are 7 million undiagnosed cases and an astounding 79 million people are considered prediabetic. The Portfolio diet and the Low-Glycemic-Index diet are two great examples of how a targeted diet can help individuals "let food be thy medicine."

Portfolio Diet

The Portfolio diet is a twofold plan designed to help reduce elevations in cholesterol. In a review of clinical studies, the Portfolio diet was found to reduce LDL cholesterol by 22-30 percent after one month when all food was provided. A community-based study found a 15 percent reduction in cholesterol after six months.2

The first part of recommendations involves following the Formal Step II dietary guidelines devised from the National Cholesterol Education Project, which permits total fat calories to account for less than 30 percent of total dietary intake; with less than 7 percent from saturated fat and less than 200 mg per day of cholesterol.

As the name suggests, the second part of the diet relies on a business strategy of utilizing a diverse array of nutritional "investments" to increase returns. Four specific types of foods encompass the second set of recommendations:

  • Plant sterols (1 gram per 1,000 calories)
  • Soy proteins (21.4 grams per 1,000 calories)
  • Almonds (14 grams per 1,000 calories)
  • Soluble fiber (10 grams per 1,000 calories)

Sterols are the cholesterol made by plants that block the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive track. Sterols are found in small amounts in legumes, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. To achieve the target recommendation of sterols, it will likely be necessary for your patients to use supplements or consume sterol-fortified foods.

Eating a handful of unsalted almonds (as well as cashews or walnuts) is an easy way to incorporate the nut recommendation. Reading labels and enjoying regular intake of soy and colorful vegetables will help you reach the fiber and soy protein goals.

Low-Glycemic-Index Diet

It does not have the catchiest name, but the results are fantastic when lowering blood sugar is your goal. Glycemic index refers to the amount of glucose released into your blood within two hours of a meal. As diabetes mellitus is one the largest and most costly chronic disease facing Americans, learning to identify and incorporate low-glycemic foods into your diet is a healthy step on the road to preventing or managing diabetes.

Foods with a high glycemic index release glucose faster into the bloodstream than low-glycemic-index foods. A quick rush of sugar into the bloodstream puts a strain on the pancreatic cells that secrete insulin. Chronic strain on these cells will lead to decreased production and insulin resistance – precursors to diabetes.

Balancing meals and snacks with a combination of low-glycemic-index carbohydrates, fats and proteins will help slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream and support healthy blood sugar control.

As you might expect, maple syrup, honey and high-fructose corn syrup are at the high end, while lentils, beans and nuts are at the low end of the glycemic index.

White rice, breads and pasta are also at the high end of the spectrum, along with popcorn and corn flakes. Whole vegetables and legumes nearly all have a low glycemic load, with exceptions including white potatoes, corn, carrots and parsnips that are higher glycemic index veggies. Melons, pineapples and grapes are high-glycemic-index fruits and should be minimized.

At the onset, it be challenging for individuals to remain compliant on a targeted diet plan. This is especially true when foods seem completely foreign. Help your patients gain expertise in learning new foods and recipes, or recommend the support of a licensed nutritionist. There are also low-glycemic-index applications available for smartphones, as well as numerous sites online to help patients make sure they are purchasing specific low-glycemic and low-cholesterol foods. Be sure they enjoy the process by offering ongoing support and urging them to keep an open mind.


References

  1. Vital signs: prevalence, treatment and control of high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. United States, 1999-2002 and 2005-2008. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR, 2011;60(4):109-14.
  2. Harland JI. Food combinations for cholesterol lowering. Nutr Res Rev, 2012 Dec;25(2):249-66.

Dr. Tina Beaudoin maintains a naturopathic family practice and is the president of the New Hampshire Association of Naturopathic Doctors. She is also a medical educator for Emerson Ecologics, a distributor of professional nutritional supplements to health care practitioners. She can be reached at tbeaudoin@emersonecologics.com.

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