Friday, September 24, 2010

Fiber Helps Keep the Doctor Away

By Jordan Lite Sep 14th 2010 12:13PM

An apple a day -- plus a few more fruits, vegetables and whole grains -- might really help keep the doctor away. All are packed with fiber, an ingredient science is increasingly showing may stave off heart disease, diabetes, cancer and weight gain.

Fiber, a.k.a. roughage, is a form of carbohydrate the body can't absorb. It's found in abundance in produce, beans, and grains such as brown rice and whole wheat.

"Most people come up short on their daily intake of fiber," says Sari Greaves, registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "Most Americans only get about 15 grams, which is about half the amount your body needs."

Men 50 and younger should eat at least 38 grams of fiber a day, and women the same age should consume at least 25 grams, according to the Institute of Medicine. Men 51 and up should get at least 30 grams of fiber daily, and women in that age bracket should eat 21. (The recommendations are based on how many calories we need, which tends to decline with age.)

Traditionally fiber has been touted for its ability to keep digestion regular. But it's healthy for other reasons, too.

Heart Disease

Numerous studies have shown that the greater a person's fiber consumption, the lower his risk of heart disease and heart-related death. A 2008 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that risk of coronary disease-related death dropped by 17 percent for every 10-gram increase in fiber consumption, and the risk of death from any cause fell by 9 percent.

Fiber may prevent heart disease for several reasons. It lowers LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, and reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance (the body's ability to regulate sugar), all of which are risk factors for heart disease, according to a 2004 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

High fiber intake also is linked to lower levels of C-reactive protein, says Katherine Tallmadge, registered dietitian and another ADA spokeswoman. C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation that predicts recurrent strokes and possibly heart attacks in people who haven't had one before, according to the American Heart Association.

Tallmadge adds that fiber usually isn't working alone but is effective because it's bundled with other nutrients that promote health. In the case of heart disease, she says, high-fiber foods such as leafy greens, legumes and fortified cereals also contain folate, low levels of which are associated with coronary disease. "The fiber is only one of many of the reasons these foods prevent these diseases," Tallmadge says. "The fiber is really a marker of eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes -- basically a very healthy, diverse and plant-based diet."


The jury is still out on whether fiber has an effect on cancer development. A 2005 analysis of studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that it made no difference in the development of colorectal cancer, but other research has suggested that fiber-rich diets reduce the risk of those tumors. Any beneficial effects may come not from the fiber but from vitamins and minerals in high-fiber foods, according to the National Cancer Institute.

"Typically, people eating high-fiber diets are also not eating foods high in saturated fats, like fatty meats, butter and whole-milk dairy products, and saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer," Greaves says.

The evidence for fiber as a cancer weapon is somewhat stronger for breast tumors. A British study that followed more than 35,000 women for up to nine years found that breast cancer risk was lower among premenopausal -- but not postmenopausal -- women who ate fiber-rich diets. Fiber from cereals was linked to the least risk, and fiber-containing fruits had a "borderline" impact, the scientists wrote in 2007 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

A study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a benefit for older women, too: Among 185,000 postmenopausal women, those who ate the most fiber had a 13 percent lower breast cancer risk than those who consumed the least.

Fiber may have an indirect effect on cancer by speeding the passage of food through the digestive tract and minimizing the amount of time the body is exposed to potentially harmful molecules, Greaves says.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

People with irritable bowel syndrome battle diarrhea, constipation, and the cramping and bloating that come with. Though it may seem counterintuitive, fiber can help manage IBS.

A study published this year in the British Medical Journal that compared the fiber supplement psyllium with bran and a placebo found that IBS symptoms decreased most among patients taking psyllium. While they improved somewhat in those eating bran, many people in that arm of the trial dropped out because their symptoms got worse. For that reason, the Mayo Clinic recommends experimenting with types of fiber and increasing your consumption gradually.

Look for insoluble fiber found in bran and the skin of fruits and vegetables, Greaves suggests. Insoluble forms add bulk to stool that helps maintain bowel regularity. "I like to call them 'nature's broom' because they move through your digestive tract without being broken down, and in this way they can help promote regularity and prevent constipation," she says. Psyllium can be helpful, too; it's a soluble type of fiber that holds on to water, which helps slow digestion.


Fiber is a boon to people looking to prevent diabetes and who already have the disease. Research has consistently shown that a diet that includes high-fiber cereals (those that contain whole grains) is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, according to a 2008 review in the Journal of Nutrition.

Fiber is good for people with diabetes because it doesn't raise blood sugar levels, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. And patients who eat high-fiber diets have lower fasting insulin levels, a marker of overall blood sugar, Tallmadge adds. Aim for 25 to 50 grams a day if you have the disease, doctors recommended in a 2004 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

"People with insulin resistance and diabetes would benefit from getting more soluble fibers because they prevent blood sugar swings that often happen in those conditions," Greaves says.

Weight Management

Fiber is a tool to maintain and lose weight. Among 74,000 women followed for 12 years, those who ate the most fiber had a 49 percent lower risk of major weight gain than women who consumed the least, according to a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Fiber works by making you feel full, so you eat less. And the highest-fiber foods also tend to be the lowest in calories, Greaves says, so long as that fiber occurs naturally. Manufactured products with fiber added to them tend to be higher in calories and less healthy overall, Tallmadge says.

"If you're watching your waistline, you may not want to go to the high-sugar granola to get your fiber," Greaves says. "You may want to go for a whole grain, unsweetened cereal instead."


Courtesy of AOL Health for Models&Designers Magazine

September 24, 2010

Viktor Franovik

Thursday, September 23, 2010


September 22, 2010



Julie Rabbani, Editor in Chief of Bayfront Magazine hosted a lavish launch at LIV last night. Julie was surrounded by friends, family, photographers, associates, colleagues, local celebrities and featured designers Viktor and Francisco of Franovik Designs.

The evening was hot, as most Miami Beach nights are, the music was kicking, drinks flowing and the most beautiful people came out on a Wednesday night to celebrate.

Julie looked dashing last night, and the magazine…..the STAR of the evening was sensational. I saw people flipping through the pages, some folks spotted us and came over to congratulate us and ask us why ECO COUTURE; as we explained the why, what, and how most got the picture of what we were all about.

It’s about helping the environment and making use of what we have and recreating instead of tossing or putting it away in storage. Recycling is what we do, it’s more than just ECO, it’s creating “Wearable Pieces of Art” and giving back to the community; another part of Franovik, which is fundraising for needy causes.

As we waited for LIV to open its’ doors, we took a tour with a bottle of bubbly as we walked all over. It’s been a while since I last visited the Fontainebleau; the renovations are really good. The HUGE bar as you walk in was packed, as I walked out to the pool the breeze was inviting, it said “just lay by the pool and enjoy” not in a suit unfortunately….Maybe next time we will make it a day.

All and all it was a great evening full of energy, Miami is such a party town. We met new people and made new friends locally and from the West Coast of Florida, SUP NAPLES!!!!!

Thank you Julie, and your staff. You really made us feel special! We are so looking to the future and building on our relationship. Who knows, we could do a launching of Models & Designers, our magazine in Naples too…..

Much Love,

Viktor Franovik

Monday, September 13, 2010


Franovik Designs and Miss Jessica Wild, Finalist in Rupaul’s Drag Race will be working together putting a fashion show to raise money for HIV/AIDS.

Jessica and I met Saturday in Puerto Rico at Yolandita Monge's concert.

Jessica, along with other drag performers represented Ms Monge in her various changes throughout her career.

They came down the stairs, very well choreographed, each one carrying a different letter that

spelled out YOLANDITA’s name on stage.

The concert was amazing and "the Girls" did awesome. They were in the show constantly, so we got to see Jessica in all her splendor.

What can I say about Jessica, besides that I am a fan, who represented herself and Puerto Rico very well on the show (She should have won). I went backstage continuously and spoke to Jessica. I found out that she is putting out a record soon and she is very passionate about giving back to community.

Google Jessica Wild for upcoming events, her record and facebook her. She is a sweetheart!

We want to put on a fashion show, where Drag Queens will be showcasing our designs for a good cause. We want to educate and create awareness on this chronic disease, luckily the medications have and will extend the life of the infected but it is not the cure.

And we must not be complacent because the meds extend lives; We must continue to invest time and money on HIV/AIDS research.

Let us not forget all the other illnesses like cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases.

With this very special fashion show, collected revenues will be donated to an AIDS foundation for assistance and research. Other performers and designers interested can email me to:

Thank you

Viktor Franovik

Yolandita Monge-The Ultimate Diva

Saturday, September 11, 2010
San Juan, Puerto Rico

I had the pleasure and honor to view and work with the Ultimate Puerto Rican Diva, Yolandita Monge. The show was at the Puerto Rican Coliseum (Choliseo).

The show started with a parade of drag queens dressed representing all of Yolandita’s stages in her career. Among the Drag performers was the vivacious Jessica Wild, finalist in Rupaul’s Drag Race.

The concert was a tribute to 20 years of her “Vivencias” album, which was one of her top selling albums.

Yolandita took us on a rollercoaster of emotions, from the soft “Cierra los Ojos” to “Por Ti”, her opening number.

The performance was a winner, depending on the song; she was transformed into a Madonna type performance, especially when the bed prop came out, Scandalous!

The crowd of course participated singing along with her. Yolandita took sometime to take requests from her fans, which I thought was very special.

That coliseum was packed, they had to bring more chairs and people were standing to see her; I had to give up my seat for a last minute invitation. Trust me, I was happy going backstage and to the area.

She and the family are personal friends of mine so I have the pleasure of being in the melting pot of her performance. We, Franovik Designs, will be dressing her as well.

The highlight of the show was the closing song where the whole coliseum became a block party; there were “Vejigantes”, Puerto Rican Folklore, performers on stilts matching bands, stompers, everyone jumping and singing. It was AWESOME!

I heard through the grapevine that their will be an encore presentation in another location in Puerto Rico when she returns from Dominican Republic where she has two presentations.

For Yolandita fans this is a show that you must see and for those that are not fans, become fans….She’s AMAZING!

Viktor Franovik

Yolandita.....LA DIVA, LA DIOSA!