Q: They keep telling us to look at the nutritional information, but the truth is that sometimes they don’t make a lot of sense. Could you please give a tour on how to read all of this?
Casey P., Columbia, Mo.
A: Nutritional information can be confusing, so let’s start at the top.
First, you will learn how many servings there are in the product, how big each serving size is, and how many calories it contains. The portion size rarely bears much resemblance to what you serve on a plate. An example is frozen macaroni and cheese (which we think you should leave out entirely). His 1 cup serving size is far less than what most people eat while sitting. So instead of consuming the 330 calories that the label proudly displays, there’s a good chance you’re consuming 600 or more. Beware!
Then there is the mysterious percentage of the daily value. DV is based on the assumption that you consume 2,000 calories a day. The label then tells you what percentage of the required nutrient intake a serving provides. For example, if it says “Vitamin D 10 percent,” it means that for someone who consumes 2,000 calories a day, one serving provides one-tenth of what they need.
The quantities in a serving are somewhat more helpful: For example, the list for vitamin D also says that a serving contains 20 mcg. Unfortunately, not everyone needs 20 mcg a day; The need is determined by a blood test and influenced by gender, age and health.
We are pleased that added sugar is on the label. It is an intestinal biome-destroying, pro-inflammatory, insulin resistance-causing no. However, the label may indicate that you are getting just a little bit of your DV – but we do say that added sugar has no daily value; You should always avoid it.
The labels can be helpful, but you also need to do some homework and learn about the nutrients your body needs and the healthiest ways to consume them each day. For instructions, see “System OZ: 4 Week Meal Plan and Buying Guide” on Doctor.Oz.com.
Q: I have chronic pain everywhere and no one could figure out why? What Kind of Doctor Should I See and What Should I Look For?
Shamika G., Atlanta
A: We are sorry that you are struggling with the discomfort and frustration of not receiving treatment effectively. Certain conditions are difficult to diagnose and certain types of pain are difficult to treat.
Chronic pain, for example, can be an indication of fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, there is no test to tell. Nowadays it is considered a neurological syndrome that causes pain and tenderness that can come and go and move around your body. It presents as a collection of symptoms, such as pain in various joints and muscles, migraines, and stomach problems, all of which fall under the same umbrella. A diagnosis is made with all relevant symptoms in mind, not just by adding up the number of sensitive areas on your body that an exam will identify.
Rheumatologists have traditionally treated fibromyalgia, but you can also see a neurologist and pain management specialist. There are very effective alternatives to opioids for treating pain – from meditation and diet changes to cognitive behavioral therapy, NSAIDs, exercise therapy, stress management programs, and nerve blocks. And other types of medication can treat your specific symptoms.
It is also possible that you have had an injury or illness that resulted in long-lasting changes in your sensitivity to pain. Again, a pain management specialist may be the best option to reduce and manage the pain.
If your pain persists and doctors dismiss it as psychosomatic or simply untreatable, there is one last option. The federally funded undiagnosed disease network with 12 clinical centers across the country may be a solution. Read more about it and apply as a patient at commonfund.nih.gov/diseases.
Contact Dr. Oz and Roizen on sharecare.com.