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Dr. Ayala
Pediatrician, artist, mom and serious home cook, blogs about nutrition and health
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To maintain healthy blood pressure what you do eat (plant foods) is as important as what you limit in your diet (alcohol, salt, highly processed food). Food, however, is only one modifiable variable that affects your blood pressure. Exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are also important, as is controlling stress. Continue reading
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Excess sugar can lead to weight gain. Obesity and type 2 diabetes – which is a common consequence of obesity – increase the risk of cancer. But is excess sugar by itself – in the absence of weight gain – risky? Continue reading
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Obesity and a poor diet are both established risk factors for a long list of chronic diseases and for early death. Obviously, it’s recommended to maintain a normal body weight and to eat a healthy diet, but if you had to choose one over the other, which is more important? Continue reading
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A new study finds that when an expert reminds kids of the benefits of fruit they'll pick fruit over candy. Kids are in front of screens like never before, due to Covid-19, so inserting reasoned nutrition public messages can help. Continue reading
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Sourdough’s flavor and mouthfeel are its main selling points – devotees swear it’s the best bread with no parallels – and it’s a more natural and traditional loaf. But is it nutritionally superior to other breads? Continue reading
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The number of sugary drinks people drink a week declines as income rises. The inverse relationship between socioeconomic status and sugary drink intake may help illustrate some of the health disparities we see, now more than ever, with Covid-19. Continue reading
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Whether it's stress, boredom, the proximity of the fridge, the ready-for-Zoom loose clothes, food shortages, or comfort seeking, the coronavirus crisis got many of us worried about overeating. Continue reading
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Now, more than ever, healthy eating habits should be a top priority, as they can reduce our susceptibility to severe Covid-19 and its complications. Continue reading
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Belly fat is serious risk factor, and although fat distribution has a genetic component, food choices and lifestyle changes affect abdominal obesity -- even without weight loss. Continue reading
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School food isn't ideal, but the pandemic, and with it, shuttered schools, makes things worse, hurting those most at risk of poor diets, weight gain and obesity. Continue reading
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You can help your body mediate inflammation through your food choices, but what if you still want that occasional burger with French fries? Can you make it less inflammatory by adding anti-inflammatory foods to the pro-inflammatory ones? Continue reading
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Weeks are turning into months, yet many of us are still under shelter-in-place and lock down orders. Physical distancing, unthinkable last year, is shaping into a new norm. These are strange and difficult times, but many of the people I talk to are surprised by how they’ve adapted; they sheepishly admit that amid the storm and collective suffering they’re feeling calm, healthy, even happy. What’s the secret? Continue reading
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Why aren’t people eating wholesome grains? Why is it that despite repeated recommendations to eat at least half of total grains (and at least 3 ounces) as whole grains fewer than 10 percent of Americans do so? Continue reading
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Stay-at-home orders make food preparation a necessity, but it seems like what we’re longing for is more than a satiating meal, we want to bake bread. Why do we derive such pleasure from kneading dough, seeing it rise and tearing its crackly crust? Continue reading
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A few reports interpret the booming sales of processed and packaged foods as the reversal of the healthy trends. This is highly unlikely. We’re more likely to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with a renewed respect for healthy habits, for good food, and for the very many people who feed us. Continue reading
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Infectious diseases have always been around, but it takes a new scary one to once again become aware of microbial threats -- the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is our wakeup call. Learning wellness lessons from this outbreak can be the silver lining of living through these turbulent times. Continue reading
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In both distracted and mindless eating people are eating while doing something else, and the food is secondary, and although used interchangeably, they're not the same. Continue reading
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Healthy aging is in your hands and in your plate. Healthy diets don’t just add years – they add healthy ones. Continue reading
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Contradictory information about diet and food is obviously confusing, but sometimes media overload by itself erodes people's confidence in important nutritional recommendations and leads to poor decisions Continue reading
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It’s a new year, a good time to improve upon old habits, but most resolutions are hard to keep, because resolve is in short supply. Instead, I suggest picking a goal that will enhance your life and elevate your sense of wellbeing almost straightaway. Continue reading
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This holiday season, in the spirit of self care, look for foods and eating habits that give comfort, inner calm and health. Continue reading
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Can an old practice – which has re-emerged as the latest health and fitness trend – of giving your digestive system a rest, be the key to sustainable weight loss? Continue reading
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Excessive gratitude has no known side effects, but Thanksgiving overeating is a concern that’s on many people’s mind. Is holiday weight gain myth or fact? Continue reading
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Why aren’t people excited about fruits and vegetables? Could it be because we’ve pushed fruits and veggies as good-for-you chores? Are we marketing veggies all wrong? Continue reading
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One of the pleasures of Halloween is that on and around this day kids are out and about, walking from home to home, trick-or-treating. They fill the streets. Other days of the year, not so much. Why's that? and does it matter? Continue reading