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Saturated Fats May Not Be the Culprit in Meats or Milk

Studies on meat from mammals and processed meats continue to show increased risk for heart attacks and certain cancers. The largest review ever of the prospective studies, including thirteen cohort studies involving over 1.4 million people and followed for up to 30 years, found that: *Each 50 g/day higher intake of processed meat (e.g. bacon, ham, and sausages) increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 18 percent

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?

Most people do not need to keep track of how much fluid they take in. The average person takes in 6-8 glasses of liquids each day without even thinking about it, just by following their own thirst sensations. They meet almost 80 percent of their needs for water by drinking anything liquid and get the remaining 20 percent from the food that they eat.

More Good News About Nuts and Peanuts

A recent analysis of 86 studies found that "there is no association between nuts and weight gain, and in fact some analyses showed higher nut intake associated with reductions in body weight and waist circumference. The researchers from University of Toronto noted that even though nuts are concentrated sources of fats, "The physical structure of nuts may also contribute to fat malabsorption due to the fat content in nuts being contained within walled cellular structures that are incompletely masticated or digested."

Ultra-Processed Foods

A study from Italy found that eating a lot of processed foods is associated with increased risk for suffering a heart attack in people who have heart disease, and dying from heart disease, even if that person followed the plant-based Mediterranean diet and all the other rules for preventing and treating heart disease.

Pro-Inflammatory Diet Linked to Increased Risk for Dementia

The American Heart Association reports that dementia is strongly associated with a pro-inflammatory diet. Dementia means loss of brain function, and your chance of having dementia increases as you age. A new study from Greece found that people who eat a pro-inflammatory diet are far more likely to suffer from dementia, compared to those eating an anti-inflammatory diet.

Alcohol Does Not Prevent Heart Disease

If you believe that moderate drinking helps to prevent heart attacks, think again. The alcoholic beverage industry promotes studies showing that moderate drinkers live slightly longer than non-drinkers, but the non-drinking groups in these studies have included people who gave up alcohol on their doctors' instructions: those with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, some types of cancer, diseases of the heart, kidney, liver or lungs or other health problems, as well as recovering alcoholics.

Why Calorie Counting Doesn’t Work

A team of 17 internationally recognized scientists published a paper supported by more than 169 journal references, proposing that the current obesity epidemic is not caused just by taking in too many calories. They believe that obesity is caused primarily by hormonal changes brought on by eating refined carbohydrates and sugar-added foods.

Do You Need Vitamin D Pills?

Forty-two percent of North Americans have vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL, which makes them deficient by most standards. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk for developing many diseases

Turmeric and Other Anti-Inflammatory Spices

Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, as are many other spices such as cinnamon or ginger.  Turmeric roots are available in some produce sections, and ground (dry) turmeric is in virtually every spice section.  It’s a widely used spice, especially in Indian dishes, and we recommend using it that way. 

Are Plant-Based Meats More Healthful than Animal Meats?

More than 40 percent of North Americans are trying to reduce their consumption of meat and to increase their intake of plant-based foods. Non-meat "meats" made out of plants are becoming popular, and the "Impossible Burger" is now available in more than 7,000 restaurants. When I first reported on "Impossible Burger" and "Beyond Meat" in 2019, I noted that, "A major concern is that these products have not been tested for long-term safety."

When Does Your Metabolism Slow Down?

Many people believe that they gradually gain weight from their 20s onward because their metabolism gets slower over the years, but now it appears that this is not true. The researchers found that metabolism (the rate at which a person burns calories) remains stable through adult mid-life, from ages 20 to 60. After age 60 it begins to slow down at a rate of slightly less than one percent per year.

Eating Meat Still Associated with Heart Disease

There is little debate in the scientific community whether eating mammal meat (beef, pork, lamb) regularly is associated with increased risk for heart disease. An analysis of several studies covering more than 1.4 million people, who were followed for 30 years or more, found that for each 1.75 ounces of beef, lamb or pork consumed, the risk of heart disease increased by nine percent.

Eating Fermented Foods Can Improve Colon Bacteria

A study from Stanford shows that eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi, fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and kombucha increases the diversity of colon bacteria, which decreases inflammation associated with many different diseases. The more fermented foods you eat, the greater the gain in bacterial diversity.

Snack on High Fiber Foods

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that daily consumption of starchy snacks made from flour was associated with a 50 percent increased risk of death from all causes and a 44-57 percent increased risk of death from a heart attack. This study of 21,503 North Americans, with 149,875 person-years of follow-up, also found that lunches based on refined grains were associated with a 44 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death.

Artificial Sweeteners Can Change Your Gut Bacteria

A group of scientists reviewed existing studies on artificial sweeteners, and recommend additional in-depth research on how artificial sweeteners affect health and disease by altering the bacteria in the colon. Another article reviews studies that show how some artificial sweeteners may cause inflammation.

Bacteria in Your Gut May Determine How Much You Weigh

With the ever-increasing epidemic of obesity in North America, more than 70 percent of adults and almost 20 percent of children are overweight, which increases risk for heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, arthritis, and some types of cancers. A recent review of the world’s scientific literature suggests that obesity is determined to a large degree by the types of bacteria that live in your colon.

Egg Yolks, Cholesterol and TMAO

The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study followed 521,120 U.S. adults, average age 62.2 years, for an average of 16 years and found that eating half an egg per day was associated with increased risk for death from heart attacks, cancer, and all causes.

Processed Foods Linked to Heart Attacks, Colon Cancer

Researchers followed 3,000 middle-aged people, average age 53, for 18 years and found out that the more ultra-processed foods they ate, the more likely they were to suffer a heart attack. Each daily serving of ultra-processed food increased heart attack risk by seven percent, and increased risk of death from a heart attack by nine percent.

Sugared Drinks Linked to Type II Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Attacks and Some Cancers

A study from the University of Zurich found that drinking sugared drinks three times a day more than doubles the amount of fat produced by your liver, to increase chances for suffering from a fatty liver that markedly increases risk for Type II diabetes, obesity, heart attacks and certain cancers.

How Your Diet Can Help to Prevent Heart Attacks and Cancers

Eating more fruits and vegetables, and restricting meat, egg yolks and non-fermented dairy products, can help to reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack. Eating just two servings of red meat or processed meat per week (not poultry or fish) is associated with increased risk for heart attacks and premature death.

Whole (Unrefined) Grains Are Healthful

Unrefined whole grains are healthful and promote the growth of healthful colon bacteria that form short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which help to prevent heart disease, particularly if you are overweight or have high blood sugar levels. The Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study confirms many others that show that eating a lot of refined grains is associated with increased risk for heart attacks.

Organic Foods May Not Be Worth the Extra Cost

Organic fresh produce sales in 2020 were $8.54 billion, an increase of over $1 billion from 2019. A very sobering study of 55 rice types found that organic rice contained significantly more arsenic than non-organic rice. More than half of the rice samples were "unfit to feed to infants."

Nitrates: One Reason to Eat Lots of Vegetables

Nitrates from the foods you eat can be converted in your body to nitric oxide, which widens blood vessels to increase blood flow throughout your body, to improve exercise tolerance and to help prevent heart disease and to lower high blood pressure

Limit Fried and Browned Foods

A review of 17 different studies involving more than 560,000 people who suffered 37,000 heart attacks and strokes, followed for 10 years, found that compared to those who ate the lowest amount of fried food per week, those who ate the most suffered a 28 percent greater risk of a major heart attack or stroke, a 22 percent higher risk of heart disease, and a 37 percent higher risk of heart failure.

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.

Vegan Diet Helps Obese People Lose Weight and Reduce Risk for Type II Diabetes

A vegan diet with no added fats caused 117 obese people, average age 54, to lose 13 pounds over 16 weeks (JAMA Netw Open, Nov 30, 2020;3(11):e2025454). They decreased their risk of becoming diabetic by increasing the rate that they burned calories by more than 14 percent, and reducing insulin resistance.

Why I No Longer Follow a Vegan Diet

At one time I followed a vegan diet and ate no animal products at all, primarily based on data that associated eating mammal meat and processed meats with increased risk for diabetes, heart attacks, certain cancers and premature death. However, a couple years ago I became very forgetful, so I got a complete evaluation for memory loss and found that my B12 level was low.

Fish Oil Pills May or May Not Help to Prevent Heart Attacks

Three recent large and well-controlled studies showed that omega-3 fish oil pills did not prevent heart attacks or surgical procedures for heart disease in people at high risk for heart attacks, while one study showed reduced heart disease.

Eating Lots of Sugar May Damage Your Colon

A study from the University of Texas found that mice fed diets high in sugar developed severe colitis by increasing harmful colon bacteria and decreasing healthful colon bacteria.

Artificial Sweeteners Are Not Benign

Researchers followed 104,760 participants and found that people who drink large amounts of either sugared drinks or artificially sweetened beverages are at increased risk for developing new heart disease such as stroke, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), heart attacks or acute coronary syndrome