Metabolic Medical Center Turns 20!

Twenty years ago, a physician had a vision. The late Dr. Douglas J. Jones, Jr., M.D., saw a need for South Carolina to have a carefully designed, personally tailored weight-loss program.
Dr. Jones
Taking his specialized knowledge in obesity, diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, and weight management, Dr. Jones developed metabolic programs that factor in your specific weight-loss needs based on your family history, medical lab results, personal goals and your lifestyle.

His mission was to help individuals become healthier and lose weight by maintaining a minimum loss of 10% of their body weight. His approach was to treat each patient with compassion and encouragement in pursuing these challenging goals. 

Full of charisma, Dr. Jones had a knack for being able to help patients who felt that weight loss and diabetes management was hopeless. He also felt that the time had come for middle America to be able to afford a weight loss system accessible and supervised through licensed medical doctors. The development of “Business Best Practices” created a balance in medical protocols within a non-insurance, preventative health model. He further established a positive, supportive working environment that has resulted in many colleagues who have been with the company for years.
Charleston Area Team
Twenty years ago these two seemingly contrasting elements converged and Metabolic Medical Center was born. Beginning in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and spreading to Charleston, Columbia, Murrell’s Inlet and Bluffton, Metabolic Medical Center expanded to help patients all over the state.
Bluffton Area Team
As the Metabolic Medical Centers began to help more and more patients, it also attracted the talents of multiple medical doctors. Dr. Jones’ successor, Dr. Michal Baird, M.D., continues his mission and goal for quality service while enhancing the Metabolic Medical Center’s programs in healthy recipes and practical applications.

With their varying medical backgrounds, Drs. Michal Baird, M.D., John Parker, M.D., Dr. Jane L. Tyler, M.D., Dr. G. Dennis Vaughan III, M.D., and Dr. Peter Zvejnieks, M.D., combine their specialized skills with a dedication to helping patients with weight loss and healthy lifestyle development. Together, they continue the Dr. Jones’ legacy of creating a welcoming, compassionate, and supportive environment for patients and colleagues alike.
Columbia Area Team
For twenty years, Metabolic Medical Center has been helping South Carolinians with weight loss, diabetes management, and developing healthier lifestyles.

Come celebrate our 20th anniversary in July and August!

                            • New patient appointments at our 1996 prices!
                            • Returning patients, enter a weekly drawing to win a free visit!
                            • Other anniversary specials at your local Metabolic Medical Center!

Call 843-971-1919 or click here to start losing weight today! 

Boost Your Nutrition by Cooking Your Vegetables

Vegetables are good for you. We have heard this mantra time and time again. A rich source of vitamins and minerals, vegetables play a vital part in your daily dietary requirements. While vegetables provide important nutrients, the maximum release of those nutrients into your system may be dependent upon how the vegetables are prepared.

Food preparation and consumption are a series of mechanical and chemical changes based on the following basic components that you should know to optimize your nutrition:

     • What nutrients are available in a given vegetable?
     • How well can those nutrients be absorbed into your body based on how the vegetable 
       is prepared?

With these two basic concepts in mind, here are some ways to boost the nutritional content from your food:

Eat Local
There is a big trend to eat local and to support your local farmers. Eating local also helps reduce transportation and energy costs in bringing the produce to market, which often comes from as far away as California or even South America. Eating local also means plucking your produce right from the plant, consuming your produce within a reasonable amount of time (usually 72 hours after the picking). The less time from picking to consumption minimizes the amount of nutrient loss.

Related to eating local, the longer you store your fruits and vegetables, the more nutrients are lost due to heat, light, and oxygen. Storage also has an impact on accessibility: if you store your fruits and vegetables in a location where you are more likely to see them, then you are more likely to eat them. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, herbs should be chopped and frozen with water, vegetables should fare well in the refrigerator, and root vegetables and fruits should be stored at room temperature away from light.

Food Preparation: blend, crush, soak, or chop
Whether you are preparing fruits and vegetables for raw consumption or for cooking, taking extra steps can help release more nutrients, such as removing the fibrous exterior of carrots, or releasing enzymes in chopped onion or crushed garlic that form other compounds to protect against disease, or soaking grains and beans to increase the absorption of minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, and calcium.

Raw Consumption
Any vegetables high in water soluble or heat-sensitive nutrients are best consumed raw, such as peas, Brussel sprouts, bell peppers, and spinach.

Blanching, Steaming, Microwaving, Boiling
If you still want to cook vegetables with high water content, using as little extra water as possible will maximize the nutrients through these methods. A 2000 Spanish study evaluated 20 vegetables for their antioxidants through several cooking methods, with the conclusion that water is not an ideal asset in nutrient region in vegetable cooking, unless the water is also consumed.

Sauteeing, Roasting, Griddling, Frying
Some vegetables have high amounts of fat-soluble nutrients. Alternative cooking methods with healthy fats like extra-virgin olive oil make fat-soluble vitamins more absorbable.

Food Pairing
Some vegetables can be paired with other foods containing similar nutrients that assist each other in absorption into the body. Minerals like iron and zinc in beef or oysters chemically bind well with ingredients high in sulfur like garlic and onions.
It is very important that you discuss appropriate food pairing and quantities with your weight loss medical assistant or physician to stay within your weight loss goals. — Farrah, Metabolic Medical Center
Keep It Simple
Some vegetable consumption in any form is better than nothing. While cooking a vegetable can reduce its overall volume, it may also help you to increase your serving size and therefore increase your overall vegetable consumption. Each vegetable also has a variety of nutrients as well as a best cooking method to release those vitamins and minerals. You can always look up a vegetable in the USDA National Nutrient Database for best way to prepare it.

Consult the experts at your local Metabolic Medical Center to discuss boosting your nutrition with proper food preparation.

How Often Do You Read Nutrition Labels?

Reading nutrition labels can be a very confusing prospect. With the complex regulations behind food labeling, it is not surprising that consumers are less likely to investigate what is in their food. However, this trend is changing. More people are reading nutrition labels on prepackaged foods at least some of the time. 

Nutrition labels have been used in prepackaged and processed foods in the United States since the 1970s. The US Food and Drug Administration has regularly conducted Health and Diet surveys regarding a variety of topics including the purpose of, understanding of, and use of nutrition labels. 

Similar studies in India and China investigate this worldwide phenomenon of among consumers taking a greater interest in their consumption of prepackaged foods and their health. 

All three studies indicate a certain degree of knowledge of the food label and at least cursory understanding and use of its information. Participants in all three studies varied among age, income, education, occupation, or ethnic groups. 

Studies such as these help policy makers understand consumer knowledge and attitudes which then guide them in making nutrition labels changes required of food manufacturers as well as revising national dietary guidelines and the educational materials associated with these changes. 

Healthy individuals make for a healthy population. A healthy population makes for a healthy country. Informed consumers read their nutrition labels and often factor in the healthiness of the product in their purchasing decisions.

Your weight loss professionals at your local Metabolic Medical Center can help you with deciphering a complex nutritional label.

The Tomato and You

The tomato is one of the most pervasive fruits in the world. Native to Central America the tomato with hundreds of different varieties has become one of the most versatile types of produce to traverse the globe.

Tomatoes have become a base ingredient of different cuisines, and has been transformed into many items (ketchup, sauces, paste, juice, etc.) for cooking. Tomatoes are often consumed as fresh in salads, sauces, juices, and soups.

So what do you need to know about tomatoes?

Vegetable? Fruit? Berry?
Depending on who you ask, the tomato may be considered a fruit, a berry, or a vegetable. Botanists classify tomatoes as a fruit because it is seed-bearing, and or a berry because it is develops from one fertilized ovary. The US Department of Agriculture classifies the tomato as a vegetable in the National Nutrient Database in part because of the tomato’s savory taste, and in part because vegetables, and therefore tomatoes, are predominately associated with main meals.

Types of Tomatoes
Tomatoes come in a variety of colors, sizes, and flavors. They can be pink, orange, yellow, green, brown, purple, or black. They can be small,like cherry tomatoes, that are great for salads; or large like beef masters, great for burgers. Tomato varieties have multiplied by cultivation as a result of organic production, hybridization, genetic modification, or heirloom varieties shared in a particular region.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Like any fruit or vegetable, there are several different health benefits to consuming tomatoes.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants 
Studies have linked the illustrious tomato to extraordinary amounts of vitamins A, C, K, B6, folate and thiamine. High in dietary fiber, tomatoes also provide a significant source of potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, and magnesium.

Further studies reinforce the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the tomato which contribute overall health in battling some specific health conditions. Often these antioxidant properties vary according to the pigment colors of the tomato skin. These benefits occur when the tomatoes are consumed raw, as well as in heat-processed products like ketchup, tomato paste, hot sauce, tomato juice, spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, salsa, and other.

The antioxidant lycopene has been identified as extremely effective in scavenging certain cancers, particularly those relating to the reproductive system (breast, prostate, and cervical cancers), the oral cavity (mouth, pharynx, and esophageal cancers), and the digestive tract (rectal and stomach cancers).

Heart Health
Lycopene has also identified as a defense against cardiovascular disease by decreasing levels of cholesterol within the heart.

While we have all heard about eating carrots with their high amounts of beta-carotene, which transforms into vitamin A to keep our eyes healthy, tomatoes also have contain significant amounts of vitamin A. The tomato can help improve vision as well as help prevent macular degeneration and night-blindness.

Digestion and Hydration
The tomato can help remove toxins from the body. As a good source of fiber, the tomato makes sure that foods move easily through your system and prevent discomfort that comes with diarrhea, constipation or jaundice. The high water content will also help eliminate salts, acids, excess water, and some fats, and reduce the incidences of urinary tract infections; as well as contributing to your overall daily hydration needs.

Healthy Skin and Bones
As a source of multiple vitamins and minerals as well as significant juicy fruit/vegetable, the tomato helps your body fight ultraviolet rays and oxidative stress (the stress caused by the body in producing more free radicals that leads to cellular degeneration).

Other Health Conditions 
Other health benefits of tomatoes have been linked to helping high blood pressure (hypertension), managing the oxidative stress associated with type 2 diabetes, and protecting the body from carcinogens produced by cigarette smoke.

The tomato is one of the most versatile produce items in the world. Adaptable and easy to grow, the tomato not only tastes good but also you maintain a healthy body to do all the things you want to do.

Consult the experts at your local Metabolic Medical Center to discuss how tomatoes fit into your daily nutrition.