Low-carb? Cut pro­cessed foods, but keep fruits and veg­gies

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Your Daily Break - Con­tact Dr. Roach at [email protected] cor­nell.edu.

DEAR DR. ROACH >> Would you be so kind as to send a copy of your low-car­bo­hy­drate diet? — K.H. DEAR READER >> There is no spe­cific diet I feel com­fort­able rec­om­mend­ing for ev­ery­one. For peo­ple who want a low­er­carb diet, I rec­om­mend elim­i­nat­ing pro­cessed starches, like white bread, pasta and rice, while eat­ing veg­eta­bles and fruits. There is very good ev­i­dence that a plant-based diet, with no more than mod­er­ate amounts of an­i­mal pro­tein, is a healthy over­all diet for most peo­ple. In­creas­ing fats from olive, nut and veg­etable oils is rea­son­able, and there is some data to show this may help with weight con­trol and to pre­vent and treat di­a­betes. A di­eti­cian nu­tri­tion­ist is an ex­pert in help­ing cre­ate a per­son­al­ized diet.

DEAR DR. ROACH >> As I’ve aged, I find sleep­ing to be more and more dif­fi­cult. When I take a prod­uct whose chief in­gre­di­ent is diphen­hy­dramine, I sleep well with no side ef­fects, but I worry about long-term con­se­quences. Is this safe to take daily? — T.C. DEAR READER >> Most peo­ple take diphen­hy­dramine and have no prob­lems; how­ever, I still don’t rec­om­mend it, es­pe­cially for older peo­ple. These drugs in­crease the risk of fall­ing, lead to a higher risk of mo­tor ve­hi­cle col­li­sions, and may cause symp­toms of con­fu­sion and dry mouth. Men who take this can have de­creased abil­ity to uri­nate, some­times pro­foundly. Although there are some stud­ies that sug­gest an in­creased risk of de­men­tia with use of this prod­uct, I don’t think it is likely to be a big risk, but there are still enough rea­sons not to use this med­i­ca­tion for me to rec­om­mend against it.

I rec­om­mend avoid­ing med­i­ca­tion and fo­cus­ing on be­hav­ioral tech­niques proven ef­fec­tive: a reg­u­lar sleep sched­ule; don’t try to force sleep; avoid al­co­hol, caf­feine, and us­ing bright lights or com­puter screens be­fore bed.

Fi­nally, many older adults need less sleep. If you are sleep­ing fewer hours than you think you should be but aren’t sleepy dur­ing the day, then you are prob­a­bly getting enough sleep.

Keith Roach To Your Good Health

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