Online Diet Consultations by Samia Khoury Diet Clinic

Hi Everybody !!!

I am happy to be your dietitian, helping you get rid of your excess weight, alleviating diabetes problems, putting your blood exams
under control, and helping you work on the mental side of dieting


I provide my services at my clinic in Beirut, Lebanon or online in 5 different languages: English, Arabic, French, Portuguese & Spanish.
So whether you live in Lebanon or abroad, contact me at to know how to set up a session.

I can help you achieve all your health and weight loss goals now! Check some success stories here and get motivated to start a diet with me whenever you like, wherever you live!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Forgetting things? Check out what foods are good for your memory loss!

I am writing this one as a special request by one of my clients who is only 29 years old but keeps on telling me that she’s forgetting things like appointments, names of people and places, paying the guy at the shop etc…

Well these days she’s not the only one with these symptoms of forgetting things, this is becoming so common among us, bad memory at such an early age!

Do good and bad nutrition have anything to do with memory? What is your opinion about that?

If we are what we eat, than our memory also depends on what we eat since it is part of us, of our brain, one of the most important part of us, actually!!! So let’s feed it well to make it work well!! J

Here is a list of nutrients our memory needs to function properly and where we can find them:

1- B Complex vitamins:

Studies show B complex vitamins protect our neurons in the brain, especially B1, B6, B12 and folic acid (B9).

B6 is found in sunflower seeds, wheat germ,  meat, fish, soy, milk, eggs, banana, potato, walnuts, oat, avocado, spinach
B12 is found in: meat, eggs, sardines, salmons, cheese.
B9 folic acid is found in: black eyed peas, soy flour, wheat germ, beans, lentils, walnuts, and dark green leafy vegetables.

2- Omega 3:  Also crucial for memory. Studies showed students who ate more salmons which are rich in omega 3 had better grades than those who didn’t. You also find it in flaxseeds, sardines, walnuts.

3 -Selenium: fortifies the neurons. Found in fish, walnuts, wheat germ, cashews, shrimp, oat, brown rice.

4 -Iron: Important for the blood which transports oxygen to our brain. Found in meats and beans mostly.

5- Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency affects mental health and brain function. 15 minutes in the sun daily can ensure our daily needs in vitamin D. It’s also found in sardines, egg yolk, and fortified milk.

6-Choline and thiamine (vit B1) :

Choline is essential for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that can prevent loss of memory and improve brain function! It is found in eggs, milk and peanuts!

Thiamin also a B vitamin is essential for the production of acetylcholine too and it is found in whole wheat grains, pumpkins, peanuts.

7-  Antioxidants

Some vitamins can act as antioxidants preventing free radicals to damage your brain neurons! They are vitaminc C (kiwi, bell peppers, parsley, strawberries), E (avocado, walnuts, olive oil), A (carrots, sweet potato, papaya)

Follow these recommendations well and soon your memory will be back! Just make sure you don’t wait too long to follow them otherwise it can be too late and loss of memory can be irreversible in the future!  Exercising is also really important for the optimum oxygenation of our brain cells! And don’t forget to sleep well and stress less!

God bless you!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Friday, June 24, 2011

Do you know what your NAILS say about your HEALTH?

Hi everyone! I think this is an important issue to share with all of you since we all care about our beauty, about our health, and since we all care so much about our nails appearance, being a man or a woman, we should definitely know more about them! Well for the surprise of all of us, our nails color and texture can reflect a wide range of medical conditions! You might be surprised what this has to do with nutrition but to me health and nutrition are very closely related! And most of the medical conditions mentioned in this text require a nutrition and specific diet intervention!

On an interview to WebMD, Dr. Joshua Fox, MD, director of Advanced Dermatology and a spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology says he sometimes tries to guess if a person has anemia by looking at his or her nails. He explains that pale, whitish nail beds may indicate a low red blood cell count consistent with anemia. This is just one of the medical conditions that can be detected by taking a close look at your nails!

He lists the following 10 examples of nail changes that could indicate a serious medical condition.
What Your Nails Say About Your Health:
10 Possible Signs of Serious Conditions
Nail Appearance
Associated Condition
White nails
Liver diseases, such as hepatitis
Yellowish, thickened, slow-growing nails
Lung diseases, such as emphysema
Yellowish nails with a slight blush at the base
Half-white, half-pink nails
Red nail beds
Heart disease
Pale or white nail beds
Pitting or rippling of the nail surface
Psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis
"Clubbing," a painless increase in tissue around the ends of the fingers, or inversion of the nail
Lung diseases
Irregular red lines at the base of the nail fold
Lupus or connective tissue disease
Dark lines beneath the nail

However, nail changes are not always the first symptom of serious illness. Most patients will manifest other signs or symptoms of disease before nail changes become evident!

In addition, Laine, who is the senior deputy editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine, notes that certain illnesses may cause nail changes in some patients but not in others. "For example, not all people with liver disease develop white nails," Laine tells WebMD. The reverse is true as well - not everyone with white nails has liver disease.

So stay calm, not a mere change in your nails should take you to the doctor, but if it persists, then yes, an appointment with your doctor could be more than beneficial to find out what’s wrong with you and treat it the sooner the better!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why is it not good to exercise before eating

Exercising is very beneficial for so many reasons of which are losing weight, increasing metabolism, increasing muscle mass, improving health and the general individual well-being…to name a few. The benefits are countless!

Many people choose to exercise while on an empty stomach and that is a valid practice since in such a case the body starts burning fat instead of glucose; so instead of only burning fat for 10 minutes in a 30 minute exercise (the 20 first minutes of exercise our bodies exhaust glucose), they burn fat for 30 minutes  on an empty stomach. Alright, all this sounds really great! who wouldn't want to do that, in a shorter period you could be burning triple the amount of fat from your bodies. Even I got so excited when I first read about it a few years back.

I managed to pick up with time that the above was not a healthy practice and what sounds really great at first glance will probably end up not to be that great.

1- This process of fat burning is limited! After a certain time, the body begins to burn lean body mass (muscle) in order to supply energy to the activity.

2- During fasting, there is a reduction in blood glucose that causes the body to understand that there is a deficiency of carbohydrates and to prevent it. The body saves the glucose by keeping it in the blood instead of nourishing the cells and tissues. This process repeatedly can cause blood glucose levels to remain high, increasing the risk of diabetes!!!

3- This process accumulates more fat !!!! Why? Because when we fast for long hours the body stores energy as fat for when hunger hits because the body “thinks” you will not feed it!

4- Exercising without having eaten can cause blood glucose to drop so low that you can feel lacking energy, tired with blurred vision and even faint!

So we definitely don’t advice to exercise on fasting mode! The best way to do it is 2 hours after main meal or 40 minutes after a light afternoon snack!

Happy Day to All!!!!


Samia Khoury Dietitian

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mysterious Soy…The great benefits this functional food has for us!

Consumption of functional foods is one of the latest growing trends to reduce risk factors related to cardiovascular disease ─ among other diseases. Soy protein, in particular, has been at the forefront of consumers changing eating habits since it is associated with the reduction in blood cholesterol levels.

Soy is considered a functional food because it has isoflavone, an antioxidant which has a similar structure to estrogen, the female hormone. Studies show that this antioxidant works by reducing the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood and therefore reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease; it also balances the amount of estrogen in the female body which may reduce the multiple symptoms of menopause (due to reduced concentration of the hormone estrogen).

Soy contains iron, phosphorous, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and B complex vitamins and 100g of soy products 3 times a week is good enough unlock its health benefits!
Many soy products exist in the market today and that renders our choice of the best one difficult, so here are some explanations which would help you choose:

Soy beans are very rich in protein; every 100g has around 35g of protein against 20g in a steak! They can be consumed in the form of cooked lentils, in salads and even toasted as appetizers ─ the so called edamame.

Soy meat: Usually vegetarians and vegans are the number 1 consumers of soy meat since soy meat can supply them with iron found in meat. Soy meat is also high in fiber! Non-vegetarians have recently started to replace animal meat with soy in many traditional foods here in Lebanon such as loubieh, fassoulia (beans), bemieh (ocra), in koussa mehche (stuffed zucchinis) and even in hamburgers. The main reason for this change being that soy meat doesn’t contain the saturated fats that animal meat contains which protects your heart and brain from atherosclerosis (formation of fat clots in the arteries) and lowers blood cholesterol.

Soy milk: If we want to compare soy and cow milk, soy milk is from a plant source whereas cow milk is from animal source. They are both rich in protein. Soy milk has all the vitamins and
minerals and antioxidants that soy has to offer, but you need to buy it fortified with calcium and vitamin D. This food stimulates the proliferation of intestinal lactobacilli that normally inhabit the intestines and maintain the balance of intestinal flora! If you don’t like the taste, you can try soy milk in different flavors made especially for those who cannot bear it like me. Cow milk is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, D and some of the B group. Cow milk belongs to the milk and derivatives group in the food pyramid whereas soy milk belongs to the beans group!
Some people are lactose intolerant so it would be good to consume soy milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D!

There are other soy products available such as soy sauce that we all add to our food in Japanese restaurants. A word of caution here, choose the low sodium one!

Now that you know the benefits of soy products you can vary its consumption by choosing among many products such as tofu (soy cheese), miso soup, whole wheat bread enriched with soy, soy oil, soy flour…

Just don’t exaggerate, Soy is not a miracle, it’s just a healthy food to be included in our menus with moderation!! Always remember: Moderation is the key to health!

Samia Khoury Dietitian


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Say Goodbye to My Pyramid, Say Hello to My Plate! A HEALTHY PLATE!

Everybody: this is the new nutrition icon by the American Ministry of Agriculture for all of us !!

Ideally this how we should divide our plate, now the quantities depend on each person's age, sex, height, weight, health status, but at least we know what kinds of foods we need at each meal, and kind of how to divide it!

So each time you sit to eat, think of My Plate and make it Your Plate ;)

Check out this 37 seconds video about it!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

CELLULITE !!!! Get out of my way !!!

Cellulite….this skin dimpling that bothers all the women in the world! It’s really annoying to have it and sometimes we can do nothing about it! Hold on…stay positive! And let’s both think of the many ways we can have to get rid of it or at least to reduce it as much possible. Don’t get discouraged, it’s always better to reduce cellulite even if you’ve heard there’s no total treatment!

90% of women have cellulite ranging in degrees while only 2% of men have it! The cause of this difference is attributed to female hormones! The bothering wrinkles in the thighs, buttocks, legs, arms and belly are the result of:

· Heredity: if there are cases of cellulite in your family then this might be a likely cause
· Hormonal changes: when the levels of estrogen are too high, they lead to disorder in the metabolism that can cause cellulite or make it worse if you already have it.
· Blood circulation problem:  if your blood doesn’t circulate well in your body, the removal of toxins will also be affected and this keeps the liquid between the cells more viscous

· Other causes are: Being sedentary, overweight, bad eating habits, stress, consuming lots of alcohol and smoking

How to prevent it?

Let’s face it, cellulite has no cure if you have it but you can take measures to prevent it or to reduce it as much as possible.

Prevention starts at a very young age and the way here is to stick to your ideal weight, eat healthy, balanced food and ban fatty and sugary foods and drinks out of your life and exercise daily (gym, walking, swimming, skiing, dancing, playing tennis etc....)

How to reduce it as much as possible? (Or maybe even treat it if it’s new to your body)

Because cellulites are fat cells trapped with water and toxins and impede blood circulation, the following recommendations will help:

  • If you smoke stop smoking because it interferes with your blood circulation
  • If you are overweight: lose the extra weight to get rid of the fat and if needed seek the help of a dietitian
  • Exercise: To lose weight and to replace cellulite fatty cells with muscle (so walk a lot, swim etc... and do strength muscle exercise). Perform specific exercises for buttocks and thighs.
  • Drink lots of water and herbal teas like artichokes, thyme, cherry tail, orthosiphon, mint, & tilleuil to get rid of the toxins and water retention that worsen cellulites.
  • Do massages frequently (2 times a week). The flow of the massage is always from your knees to your belly to improve the lymphatic circulation and stimulate the local blood circulation and use cellulite cream in the massage
  • Use creams for cellulite every day after your shower massaging into the skin for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the intake of fatty foods like fatty meat, yellow cheese, ham, hot dogs, bacon, cakes, cookies, butter, cream, doughnuts, sweets, soft drinks, coffee, & alcohol consumption; and of course salt to reduce the water retention
Take these recommendations seriously and follow them all together strictly to see real results!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Monday, June 6, 2011

Surrendering the diet…how common it is and what a mistake we all do!

I know…I know when we start a diet, it all seems so easy, and we’re full of energy and so happy about it, so we start, and the first day is so cool, we’re excited about it, then comes the second day, and it’s ok, now it’s Wednesday, oufff I made it, then Thursday arrives J we’re out with friends, and they’re eating, sharing their meals, and worse sharing deserts, and we re only looking at them and thinking:” why do I have to say NO?” and we surrender…and start eating a bit (or a lot depending on your level of guilt) from everything. Well, the night comes, we go to sleep and think:” how stupid was I to surrender to the diet? What have I done? All was going so perfect, I was even starting to feel lighter!”J

I am sure this is familiar to you. Everyone on earth must have experienced this scene once in their life! And if not…ahhhh then you’re sooooo lucky! ;)

Well, the thing is we must be realistic, our main requirement when we establish goals is to attain success and that is usually proportional to our degree of sacrifice! The more effort we do, the better will be the reward!

So if you cheated on the diet, you have 2 options for the next day:

1-      You stop dieting, and say:” Anyway I cheated on the diet yesterday so let me continue eating, I want nothing to do with this diet”

2-      You forget what happened, and start your diet strictly the following day, so that you only cheated let’s say in 1000 or 2000 or max 3000 calories. You forget about it and start again from breakfast the next day as if nothing happened!

So you choose answer 1 or 2?

I hope you said 2! You know why?

Let’s say you lost 3 kg, and cheated one night (ate max 3000 kcal above what you usually burn per day), you’ll gain max ½ kg, and this is if you really ate too much, so you’re still winning the battle over the scale, you still lost 2.5 kg so far since you started the diet! So if you start dieting again the next day you cheat, you’ll continue losing weight from the 2.5 kg that you already lost! But if you cheated on that night and stopped the diet because you felt discouraged then you’ll most probably gain back the 3 kg you lost after a week of cheating (or better said, of stopping the diet!)

So come on, move forward! Do not let a mistake or some undesired result (lost less weight than wanted) discourage you and move you away from your goals or be the starting point for quitting and surrendering the diet. Always start again it is the only way you will achieve your goals!

And I am always here to help you start and re-start again!
Cheer up! You can do it!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 steps for Healthy Eating in kids from zero to 2 years old!

Hola everyone, I think this list is important to be read by all of you because in each family there is a baby coming soon and these rules should be followed if you care about the healthy development of your kid or your sister's kid or your brother's kid, or any kid! The first years of life are very critical and will decide the future this baby's body will have: a fatty one, or a slimmy one, a sick one, or a healthy one, so let's breastfeed that baby with the right rules, let's feed him right and see him running in the house full of energy!

1-      The first 6 months of life give only breast milk. Exclude even water, tea, or any type of food or drink

2-      After the first 6th months, start including complementary food but continue giving breast milk. Keep breastfeeding if you can until your kid is 2 years old.

As I worked at the World Health Organization in Geneva, and these are rules defined by the Organization for all the babies in the whole world, I clearly recommend you to act this way towards your baby and kids if you want to ensure a healthy development for him/her.

3-      After the first 6 months, you can start introducing complementary food to your baby like
meat, rice, fruit, and vegetables 3 times a day. If your baby is unfortunetely no more breastfeeding then feed him with these foods 5 times a day.
4-      The complimentary feeding shouldn’t be rigid. It's the will of the child that will fix the hours the baby will consume these foods

5- Fruits, vegetable soups, meat and cereals should be thick and given with spoon. Ideally it is good to start with porridge and purees and then gradually increase the consistency in the preparation of these foods

6-      Give the kid a variety of foods. Colorful foods is a synonym of diversity and a more extensive     quantity    of nutrients in the plate

7-      Stimulate daily consumption of fruits and vegetables in every meal

8-      Avoid sugar, coffee, canned food, fried food, soft drinks, candies, pastries, and others in the first years of life

9-      Care about the hygiene when preparing the foods you give to your kid to ensure proper conservation and preparation of meals

10-  Stimulate the sick kid to eat a variety of healthy foods. Give foods that your kid likes and are nutritious to open his appetite and get well soon.

By the Brazilian Ministry of Health

Samia Khoury Dietitian