Thursday, September 04, 2014
Doctor's Perspective Cutting calories is the only way to lose weight
By Dr. Anthony Policastro
For many people carbohydrates, or carbs, has become the new food villain. People seem to be under the impression that staying away from carbs is a way to be healthier. There is even a new diet called the "Paleo" diet (Paleolithic), which suggests that eating like cavemen will make you healthier. The impression is that cavemen did not eat carbs which made them healthy. Of course their lifespan was a lot shorter than ours. Maybe they would not have lasted to the ripe old age of 25 if they ate carbs. Even LeBron James is touting the Paleo diet. A famous basketball player, I guess that gives LeBron a degree in nutrition. People stay away from carbohydrates for many reasons. One reason is weight. They think if they eat less carbs, they will lose weight. I have a news flash for them though, it has nothing to do with carbs. Losing weight has everything to do with eating less calories. If you eat 3,000 calories per day, you will gain weight. If you eat 1,000 calories per day, you will lose weight. It does not matter where the calories come from. If you go to a restaurant and decide not to eat the bread, you will take in less calories than if you ate the bread. It does not matter that they are carbs. It only matters that you ate less calories by not eating the bread. Another reason for not eating carbs is the misconception that it is healthier to stay away from them. Unfortunately, diets like the Paleo diet do not contain enough calcium and Vitamin D. If LeBron James breaks a bone next season, chances are no one will blame it on his diet. I would. A third reason for not eating carbs is that they are not really necessary. That is only true in theory. Our body runs on carbs which are complex sugars. The body breaks them down into glucose, the energy machine for our body. The easiest way to get glucose is to eat carbs. If enough glucose is not eaten, the body has to make it which means it will have to convert the protein and fat that we eat into glucose. That is clearly not efficient. In addition, the body will make the minimal amount of glucose that it needs. The person will be tired and irritable because there is not enough glucose in the body to allow the brain to make serotonin, a chemical that wards off tiredness and irritability. A fourth reason is the mistaken belief that carbs are not healthy. The intestinal tract's need for fiber is clear. The only way to get that fiber is through carbohydrates which provide antioxidants - chemicals that help ward off aging. Carbs also provide B vitamins, iron and magnesium. These are all needed for metabolism. The next time you hear someone say they want to eat like a caveman, remind them that they might also wind up with the lifespan of a caveman. If you have comments about this column or suggestions for other topics, send an email to Dr. Anthony Policastro at

Nanticoke Memorial Blood Drive Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a Blood Drive for the Blood Bank of Delmarva from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5, in the Medical Staff Conference Room. To make an appointment, visit or call 1-888-825-6638.

Stroke Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Stroke Support Group meeting is at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the Seaford Library. The support group is designed for individuals who have survived a stroke as well as their families and caregivers. The two-hour support group meetings will consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions, in which caregivers and stroke survivors will meet in two groups to discuss concerns, provide support, and allow for networking. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 8626.

Sleep apnea support group offered Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford is hosting the A.W.A.K.E. - Alert, Well, and Keeping Energetic, sleep apnea support group. A.W.A.K.E. is a free support group for people with sleep problems including sleep apnea, insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, restless legs and narcolepsy. The support group also focuses on the impact medications may be having on your sleep. Family and friends are welcome to attend. Meetings will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on: Wednesday, Sept. 17 at the Sleep Disorder Center; Wednesday, Oct. 22 at the ground floor Nurse's Conference Room; Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the ground floor Nurse's Conference Room. There is no meeting in December. For more information about the group, call the Sleep Disorders Center at 629-6611, ext. 3815.

Twilight Breast Cancer Walk The Heritage Shores Active Adult Community in Bridgeville will host the Second Twilight Breast Cancer Walk at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 1, to benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. The event will include a walk on the golf course and a silent auction and bake sale. The silent auction and bake sale will open at 4 p.m. with the walk registration beginning at 5. Sponsorship opportunities are available. There is no cost to register and the event is open to the public. Donations are encouraged and all proceeds will benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

For more information about the event and to register, visit or call 644-6844.

2014 MS Bike to the Bay The 31st Bike to the Bay to raise money for multiple sclerosis awareness and research will be held on Sept. 20-21. The event also supports programs and services needed by more than 1,550 Delawareans with MS. The ride covers much of Kent and Sussex counties, with a choice of six route options and finishes at the Towers at Delaware Seashore State Park, just south of Dewey Beach. The two-day bike ride, which is either a total of 150 miles or 175 miles, begins on Saturday and ends on Sunday at Del Tech Terry Campus. Register online at or call 302-655-5610.

Hospice Lunch Bunch Lecture "New Technologies for Aging in Place and Caregiving from a Distance," will be the topic of Delaware Hospice's Lunch Bunch Lecture on Friday, Sept. 12 from noon to 1:30 p.m., with Dr. Judy Pierson, clinical psychologist, at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. Most people prefer to remain in their homes as they age. However, their adult children often worry about their safety and live too far away to safely monitor their well-being. A host of new technologies provide a solution to these competing concerns. Seniors who learn about these new possibilities will optimize their ability to retain control over their lives. Registration is required as seating capacity is limited, and the cost of lunch is $5 per person. Register by Wednesday, Sept. 10, by contacting Michele August at 856-7717 or 478-5707 or email

2014 AIDS Walk Delaware Throughout August, 63 Walgreens stores in Delaware were selling Red Ribbons in support of the 2014 AIDS Walk Delaware which will be held at Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27. AIDS Walk Delaware is a collaborative fundraiser hosted by AIDS Delaware and the Delaware HIV Consortium and helps support the many services provided to Delawareans living with HIV. When you checkout at Walgreens, just let the cashier know whether you want to donate $1 or $5 to the AIDS Walk.

Rehoboth Beach ALS Walk Everyone is invited to walk with Don's Angels in the Rehoboth Beach ALS Walk in the fight against Lou Gehrig's Disease on Saturday, Sept. 13. Don's Angels are walking to raise money for a cure in memory of St. Paul's UMC former pastor, Don Murray. We will meet for registration at the Rehoboth Bandstand at 8 a.m. The walk begins at 9:30 a.m. We will be wearing orange t-shirts with the team name, Don's Angels. For more information call Betty at 875-2713 or Kelly at 752-7032.

Driver Safety courses The AARP Driver Safety courses will be held in September at various locations. These courses are approved by the state of Delaware as defensive driving courses. Persons taking the course will receive, for a three year period, a discount (10% basic course and 15% refresher course) on their automobile liability insurance and three points credit for future violations on their driver's record. The fee is $15 for AARP members (bring your card) and $20 for non-members. Sept. 8, 9 a.m. - Refresher course - Laurel Senior Center. Register by calling 875-2536. Sept. 19, 12:30 p.m. -Refresher course - Georgetown Cheer Center. Register by calling 856-5187. Call 302-735-7942 for additional locations that are not in this area.

Girls Night Out to fight MS Join women from across the state for the third annual Girls Night Out to Fight MS event at The Point at Noble's Pond located at 13 Noble's Pond Crossing, Dover. The casino inspired event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Girls Night Out will be filled with complimentary heavy hors d'oeuvres and a signature cocktail, an extensive silent auction featuring premier items and services from Delaware businesses, two fashion shows, music, shopping and much more, Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased online, by phone, or at the door. Call 302-736-5000 or visit to buy your tickets.

Hospice offers grief support group A six-week support group for adults, "Grief 101: Healing after the Loss of a Loved One," will be offered by Delaware Hospice and the Cancer Support Community Delaware on Monday evenings, Sept. 8 through Oct. 13, from 5 to 6:30, at the Cancer Support Community, Rehoboth Beach. The group will provide grief education, support and address individual needs including dealing with a multitude of diverse emotions, normalizing your grief, and coping with the impact of the loss on you, your family and friends. There is no fee, however, registration is requested. Register by Thursday, Sept. 4, by contacting Midge DiNatale, BA, GC-C, bereavement counselor, at 856-7717, ext. 4120, or