Welcome to another Ask Dr. Ty! Today’s topic is nutrition.
Q. Are there any studies that suggest that soymilk helps lessen the negative effects of menopause?
- Joan B. asks on Facebook
A. Not really. This theory that soy can decrease menopause symptoms came about because menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes come from low estrogen, and some components of soy are similar to estrogen.
The thought is that if you replace the lost estrogen with soy, the symptoms may go away.
But, neither soy nor soymilk has been shown to decrease hot flashes or any of the other symptoms, namely loss of libido or vaginal dryness.
Q. What are nutritional advantages of exclusively eating free-range or grass-fed meat products?
- Caleph W. tweeted via Twitter
A. The verdict is still out.
Beef from grass-fed cows are higher in both antioxidants and healthy fats like Omega-3. However, whether this increase actually affects our bodies positively is unknown.
Free-range, by the way, just means that at some point, the animals were allowed to roam outside of their cages. It doesn’t dictate what they’re fed. They could still be fed antibiotics or the grains that speed up growth.
Q. The problem I’m facing right now is my weight. Most people I know want to lose weight, but I’m the opposite. I want to gain some weight. Please help.
- Dedeh W. wrote in a Facebook message
Your goal should be health first, not fitting into a certain size or getting to a particular weight. If you’re in fact underweight, then there are some things you can try in order to add pounds.
Instead of eating three times a day, increase to five or more. When you do eat, increase the amount of healthy carbohydrates you eat — whole grains, breads, starchy vegetables and even fruit.
Eat a lot of protein – you can drink protein shakes, so you get more in without getting full so quickly.
But, pick healthy foods, not junk. You don’t want to just pounds of fat. Remember, you can be thin and still be unhealthy. Thin people can have heart attacks and strokes.
Dr. Tyeese Gaines is a physician-journalist with over 10 years of print and broadcast experience, now serving as health editor for MSNBC’s theGrio.com. Dr. Ty is a practicing emergency medicine physician in New Jersey and clinical instructor of emergency medicine at Yale School of Medicine. Follow her on twitter at @doctorty.
Note: The information included in this post is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.