Subscribe to Dr. Mirkin's free FITNESS & HEALTH NEWSLETTER      

Eating at Night Increases Risk for Obesity and Diabetes

A study of 20 healthy, normal-weight people found that changing their evening meal from 6PM to 10PM significantly increased their markers for becoming obese and developing diabetes.

Food Industry Pushes Foods You Don’t Need

USDA’s Dietary Guidelines are updated every five years, and most of the changes will be based on the report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that was released July 15, 2020.

Unexplained Weight Loss Can Signal Onset of Dementia

Overweight people who lose weight without dieting after age 65 are at high risk for dementia. Excess weight is a major risk factor for dementia.

Eat Fish Twice a Week

The American Heart Association recommends that you eat two servings of non-fried fish twice a week to reduce your risk for congestive heart failure, heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death from heart disease.

Eat More of the Good Carbs

People who ate the most whole grains were at the lowest risk for developing diabetes, according to a recent review of data from the Nurses' Health Studies and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

Vitamin B12: One Supplement You May Need

In the last year, I have seen two experienced cyclists who suffered recurrent numbness and tingling of their hands when they rode long distances. Both had low blood levels of vitamin B12 and one was cured by taking 1000 mcg per day of vitamin B12 pills, the other by eating fish.

TMAO: Why Eating Meat or Eggs May Harm You

Colon bacteria convert choline and lecithin into a chemical called TriMethylAmine (TMA), which is absorbed into your bloodstream and travels to your liver where TMA is converted to TriMethlAmine Oxide (TMAO).

Exercise May Help to Offset Damage from Sugared Drinks

Taking sugared drinks in any form increases risk for heart attacks, but exercise may offset some of the damage. Exercise increases blood flow in people who have even severe blockage of their arteries leading to significant heart disease.

How to Live Longer and Better

No drugs, supplements or potions have been shown to extend your life, in spite of the fact that the internet is full of an incredible number of fraudulent life-extension products that provide no benefits while they steal your money. However, we do have overwhelming evidence that several healthful lifestyle habits can extend how long you live and improve your quality of life in your later years.

Coconut Oil is Not a Special Health Food

Coconut oil does not help a person lose weight, lower blood sugar levels, or dampen down harmful inflammation (Circulation, Jan 13, 2020). The authors reviewed 17 studies and found that coconut oil increased blood levels of the harmful LDL cholesterol much more than the increase from soybean, olive, safflower, canola or palm oils.

How Much Water Do You Need?

Do you believe that a person needs to drink eight glasses of water every day? If you do, you are probably making a lot of extra trips to the bathroom.

Little Evidence to Support Taking Probiotics

Probiotics are foods or supplements containing healthful bacteria that pass to your colon when you eat them. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that close to four million adults in the U.S. use probiotics.

Milk is Not Essential for Health

The main argument for drinking milk is its high calcium content. Milk and cheese contribute 46 percent of the calcium intake by the average American, but researchers have found many recent studies showing that American adults do not need to take in that much milk to provide enough calcium to help prevent bone fractures.

Eat Breakfast, Especially if You Want to Lose Weight

If you are trying to control your weight, you should not skip breakfast because the food that you eat in the morning causes you to burn more than two and a half times as many calories as the food you eat at night.

Why a High Protein Diet May Increase Risk for Heart Attacks

A recent study in mice showed that increasing dietary protein from 15 percent to 46 percent of calories caused the mice to develop 30 percent more arterial plaques than mice on their normal-protein diet, even though they did not gain more weight.

High Blood Levels of Vitamin B12 Usually Caused by Eating Meat

A study of 5571 adults found that people who have higher blood levels of vitamin B12 are more likely to die prematurely. Compared to those with lower B12 blood levels, people with higher B12 levels were likely to be fatter and have higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol, and higher blood sugar.

Fiber Wins Again

Two new studies add to the huge body of research showing that perhaps the most important dietary recommendation is to eat lots of fiber, which is found in plants. You keep on gaining health benefits until you reach at least 25 to 29 grams of fiber per day.

Guide to Vegetable Oils

North Americans eat far more fat than they need, primarily from the vegetable oils that are added to just about every packaged food or fast food meal you can buy, and from our tendency to cook most of our foods in fat. It is harmful to take in a lot of fats from vegetable oils because excessive fat intake can cause high insulin levels and insulin resistance, which can cause diabetes.

More Controversy On Eggs

Egg yolks are among the richest food sources of cholesterol, and almost 100 million North American adults have high blood cholesterol levels, signifying increased risk for heart attacks. Most of the cholesterol in your body is made by your liver and less comes from the food that you eat.

Benefits of Time-Restricted Eating

In a recent study of time-restricted eating, a group of 19 people with metabolic syndrome (also called pre-diabetes) ate their usual meals but ate only between 8AM and 6PM (10 hours) and took in no calories during the other 14 hours each day.

Processed Foods Linked to Heart Disease

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that for every five percent increase in calories from ultra-processed foods, there is increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. Taking in 70 percent of calories from processed foods doubles heart attack risk factors.

Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat: Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

Two companies -- Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat -- dominate the market for plant-based burgers that taste like meat. A major concern is that these products have not been tested for long-term safety.

Prebiotics and Probiotics in Foods or Supplements

More than 100 trillion bacteria live in your colon. Some are healthful, while others can be harmful. Your healthful bacteria eat the same foods that you do and stay in your colon.

High Doses of Water-Soluble Vitamins May Be Harmful

It is well-known that taking large doses of the fat-soluble vitamins -- A, D, E and K -- can harm you. You may also be harmed by large doses of the water-soluble B vitamins or vitamin C.

Dangers of Storing Fat in Your Belly

In the last few months, several articles have shown that even if you are not overweight, having excess fat in your belly increases your risk for heart attacks, diabetes and inflammation.

Meat IS Associated with Heart Attacks and Some Types of Cancer

Don't believe the recent headlines suggesting that people can continue to eat their usual amounts of meat without suffering any increase in risk for illness or premature death.

Low Vitamin B12 May Increase Risk for Bleeding Strokes

A surprising study from the UK shows that vegetarians and pescatarians (those who eat fish but not meat) appear to be at increased risk for suffering bleeding strokes, even though they are at reduced risk for heart attacks and are not at increased risk for clotting strokes.

Keto Diets Increase Risk for Fatty Liver

The various ketogenic diets that severely restrict all carbohydrates and replace them mostly with fats are associated with increased risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. NAFLD can lead to diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, liver cancer and other cancers.

Limit Fried and Browned Foods

A study of more than 150,000 older U.S. veterans showed that eating fried foods is associated with increased risk for heart attacks (Clinical Nutrition, July 05, 2019). Another study of almost 107,000 women, ages 50-79, followed for an average 18 years, found that one serving or more of fried chicken a week was associated with a 13 percent higher risk of death during the study period, and a serving of fried fish or shellfish per week was associated with a seven percent greater risk of death.

High Protein Diets May Increase Heart Attack Risk

The Paleo diet and other high-protein diets may be among the more harmful popular diets recommended for weight loss because they: • raise blood levels of TMAO, a marker for increased heart attack risk (European Journal of Nutrition, July 5, 2019:1–14), and • fail to lower high blood sugar even when they promote weight loss ((Evid...