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Ask JJ: Optimized Brain Health

JJ Virgin | Posted 11.20.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Hopefully, you never need experience what I went through to appreciate optimal brain health. Whether you want to fight dementia or just keep your mind sharp as you age, these 10 simple, science-based, powerful strategies can optimize brain health.

Ask JJ: Skinny Fat

JJ Virgin | Posted 11.12.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Nobody's arguing being overweight or obese doesn't have detrimental repercussions. But this study shows we often neglect the potentially fatal consequences of being normal weight but carrying a little extra midsection fat.

Making Sense of 'Sugar-Free' Claims

JJ Virgin | Posted 11.06.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Recent findings suggest we've rightfully become more focused about sugar's numerous problems. The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons for women and nine teaspoons for men.

Ask JJ: Going Vegan or Vegetarian

JJ Virgin | Posted 10.20.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Unless you're a vegetarian or vegan for spiritual reasons, I personally don't advocate getting all your protein from plant-based sources. When you do, you have to eat either a lot of carbohydrates or fat to get the protein you need.

Ask JJ: Protein Shake Mistakes

JJ Virgin | Posted 10.12.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Dear JJ: I have a friend who insists her protein shakes, which she loads with soy powder and higher-sugar fruits like bananas, are perfectly healthy. ...

Ask JJ: Healthier Halloween Candy?

JJ Virgin | Posted 10.05.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Next time your coworker offers you "healthier" holiday candy or you read one of those swap-this-for-that articles, don't be fooled: It's all high-sugar impact.

Don't Make These 7 Mistakes When You Eliminate Sugar

JJ Virgin | Posted 10.01.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

If you're ready to get off the white-stuff bandwagon, there are some definite ways not to do it that can potentially stymie your efforts. I often see people make these seven mistakes when they give up sugar.

Ask JJ: Protein

JJ Virgin | Posted 09.25.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Fully aware how savvy consumers have become, food manufacturers have created "healthier" versions of your favorite junk foods. I've seen protein-enriched everything, from cookies to chips.

Ask JJ: Eliminating Constipation

JJ Virgin | Posted 09.14.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Let's talk poop. You want one to three bowel movements a day. They shouldn't be urgent, and you shouldn't have to run to the bathroom every time you eat, but you should be having them.

Ask JJ: Eating Out

JJ Virgin | Posted 09.08.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

You've probably encountered some variation of my recent dietary debacle at a super-popular Los Angeles bistro. I ordered an innocuous-sounding chicken dish and didn't quiz my server closely enough (I was a little distracted catching up with my friend).

Ask JJ: Low-Carb Diets

JJ Virgin | Posted 08.28.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Rather than reducing diets to points, carbs, calories, or whatever, let's acknowledge food is more complex and that multiple criteria -- including nutrient density, fructose, fiber, and glycemic load -- determine its overall impact.

Coke's Solution to the Obesity Crisis Is a Massive Failure

JJ Virgin | Posted 08.11.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

At the same time you know, just like I know, that cola ultimately becomes an empty-calorie, health-robbing beverage. Nothing good comes from it. And no amount of PR or the latest campaign spin will change that. But nice try, Coke.

How Chips, Pasta and Mashed Potatoes Can Become 'Free' Foods

JJ Virgin | Posted 08.10.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Really, put a dozen nutritionists in a room and we're apt to agree about very little. We'd probably bicker about whether certain foods become "free." I can practically guarantee, though, everyone will be on board with one "free" food: non-starchy veggies.

Ask JJ: Sleep Supplements

JJ Virgin | Posted 08.03.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Dear JJ: Many nights I struggle to fall asleep. I've seen a wide variety of over-the-counter natural sleep aids. Can you tell me which ones are most e...

Why the FDA's New Added Sugar Proposal Matters

JJ Virgin | Posted 07.30.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Awareness becomes the first step towards change, and reducing added sugar intake could significantly reduce these and other health risks.

That Recent Artificial Sweeteners Blog Overlooked Several Vital Studies

JJ Virgin | Posted 07.30.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Very well played, The New York Times and Aaron E. Carroll. If you intended your recently published article, "The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweetene...

Why a Protein Shake Makes the Perfect Breakfast (or Any Meal)

JJ Virgin | Posted 07.22.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Full disclosure and complete bias: I start every morning with a protein shake and think you should too. Among its benefits, studies show a high-prote...

Ask JJ: Can I Drink Coffee While Detoxifying?

JJ Virgin | Posted 07.22.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Dear JJ: I'm planning a three-week detox. I know alcohol is off limits, I'm going low-sugar impact, but must I give up my morning organic dark roast? ...

Is Juice Really Worse Than Soda?

JJ Virgin | Posted 07.07.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Juicing that fruit strips away its fiber and many nutrients. An apple is medium-sugar impact, but juice it -- strip its fiber and nutrients -- and it becomes a high-sugar-impact fructose bomb.

Double Your Weight Loss With This One Strategy

JJ Virgin | Posted 07.01.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

A new study found people who weighed themselves daily and recorded those results lost more body weight and better maintained that fat loss than those ...

Ask JJ: Weight Loss Resistance

JJ Virgin | Posted 06.19.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Don't despair: Over my three decades as a nutrition and fitness expert, I've worked with the most stubborn weight loss resistance situations, and I can assure you that your case is never hopeless.

Ask JJ: Sneaky Sugars

JJ Virgin | Posted 06.16.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Sugar hides nearly everywhere. So how do you become sugar-savvier and avoid these sneaky sugars without turning sugar sleuthing into a second hobby?

Ask JJ: Ketogenic Diets

JJ Virgin | Posted 06.10.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Dear JJ: My adult son has had considerable success doing a ketogenic diet. You mention how healthy carbohydrates are an important part of your diet, y...

9 Science-Based Strategies for Long-Term Weight Loss Success

JJ Virgin | Posted 06.04.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Fat loss can become lasting, and the right long-term strategies can bolster that success. Science confirms what I've learned over nearly three decades in my own practice: People who maintain their fat loss frequently employ these nine strategies.

Ask JJ: Balsamic Vinegar

JJ Virgin | Posted 05.29.2015 | Healthy Living
JJ Virgin

Proceed with caution, whether you're using balsamic vinegar or its kissing cousin balsamic vinaigrette, which, as a salad dressing, can have added sugar, oil, and seasonings. And don't be fooled by those fancy-sounding commercial balsamic vinegars.