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Desire for Junk Food is in Your Genes

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors spent all their waking hours scrounging for food and trying to keep from starving to death. They developed a taste for the most calorie-dense foods that satisfied best, such as honey, meats and starchy roots.

Processed Meats and Cancer Risk

The World Cancer Research Fund International Continuous Update Project has released its recent findings from their review of about 400 studies. They found that the risk for colorectal cancer increases by 12 percent for every 100 grams per day of processed meat or red meat.

Fried vs Unfried Potatoes

A study of 4400 North American men and women, ages 45 to 79, followed for eight years, showed that those who ate fried potatoes two or more times a week were at increased risk for dying during the study period, compared to those who ate fried potatoes occasionally. Those who ate potatoes that were not fried had no increased risk of death.

Obesity Epidemic Now Worldwide

The rate of obesity worldwide has doubled in 73 countries since 1980. Today 30 percent of North Americans and 10 percent of the world's population are obese, an estimated 604 million obese adults and 108 million obese children. A recent article suggests that this world-wide increase in obesity is driven by the huge companies that make processed foods, sugared drinks and refined carbohydrates, and the extensive advertising they do for their products.

High Dose Vitamins Associated with Increased Risk for Lung Cancer

Vitamins B6 and B12 have been promoted by the supplement industry for many years, touting benefits such as increased energy and higher metabolism. A new study suggests that these high-dose vitamin supplements are associated with increased risk for lung cancer in men, particularly in smokers.

How Soluble Fiber Promotes Good Gut Bacteria

New research from the University of California-Davis shows how soluble fiber promotes the growth of healthful bacteria in your colon and discourages the growth of harmful bacteria, to improve your immunity and reduce your chances of suffering heart attacks, infections and some cancers.

Artificial Sweeteners

Several papers have raised concerns about the long-term health effects of artificial sweeteners. In one study, researchers showed that a sweeter-tasting, lower-calorie drink caused people to eat more food, to have higher blood sugar levels and to be more likely to gain weight and become diabetic than a less-sweet, higher-calorie drink.

Added Sugars: Labels Can Deceive

Sugar added to food affects you differently than sugars in whole fruits and vegetables. Clinical trials in humans and population studies show that sugar added to foods increases risk for diabetes and heart attacks, while sugar in whole fruits does not.

Weight Gain with Sugar Plus Meat

If you take a sugared drink while eating meat, the animal protein reduces your ability to burn off the calories from sugar by more than a third. In this elegant new study, 27 healthy-weight adults spent two full days in a sealed "metabolic room" that measured how many calories their bodies burned each minute by tracking their intake of oxygen and outflow of carbon dioxide and measuring calories lost in their urine.

Grass-fed vs Corn-fed Meat

Nobody has presented good evidence that eating meat from grass-fed animals is more healthful than the meat from corn-fed animals. The main health arguments for eating grass-fed meat are its lower fat content and higher content of omega-3 fatty acids.

New Data on Meat

Researchers followed 536,000 men and women, ages 50 to 71, for an average 16 years and found that those who ate the most meat from mammals and processed meat had a 26 percent greater risk of dying within the study period than those who ate the least.

How Excess Salt Affects You

The common belief is that increasing salt intake increases urination and the more you urinate, the more fluid you have to drink to replace the fluid that you have lost. However, in 2011, these researchers studied Russian cosmonauts in a human space flight simulation program in Moscow, and were astonished to find that the cosmonauts actually drank less water when their daily salt intake was doubled.

Energy Drinks

Energy drinks can raise blood pressure and may cause irregular heartbeats, according to a new study conducted at Travis Air Force Base in California.

Artificial Sweeteners, Dementia and Strokes

People who take one diet soda a day are nearly three times more likely than non-diet soda drinkers to suffer a stroke or to become demented, according to a study published in Stroke (April 20, 2017). Both sugar drinkers and artificial-sweetener drinkers were at increased risk for having smaller brains and advanced brain aging.

Vitamin D Recommendations

Less than six percent of North Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency, but nearly 20 percent take vitamin D pills. It is true that it is difficult to get adequate levels of vitamin D from sunshine during the winter months, but vitamin D is not a miracle vitamin that treats and prevents all sorts of diseases.

No Amount of Overweight is Healthful

Researchers at Boston University and Harvard reviewed three studies following more than 225,000 adults over age 50, for eight to twenty years, and showed that being even slightly overweight can increase your risk of dying by six percent, and in those who are obese, by a whopping 73 percent (Annals of Internal Medicine, April...

Cheese and Yogurt are OK, but Milk is a High Sugar Drink

Milk is a high-sugar drink. We know that D-galactose, a sugar found in milk, causes the same oxidative damage and chronic inflammation that is associated with diabetes, heart attacks, certain cancers and bone loss.

Best Breakfast

For many years I have recommended oatmeal as the ideal breakfast food. It is filling, does not cause a high rise in blood sugar and is an excellent source of soluble fiber. You can enhance the flavor and nutritional value of your oatmeal by adding your choice of nuts, raisins or other dried fruits,

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

A review of 95 different studies involving two million people shows that just two and a half servings of fruits and vegetables per day is associated with a 16 percent reduced risk of heart disease, an 18 percent reduced risk of stroke, a four percent reduced risk of cancer and a 15 percent reduced risk of premature death.

Which Vegetable Oils Are Best?

Fats are classified by their chemical structures into saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated types. The chemical stability of a fat is determined by its structure. All fats are made of carbon atoms held together by electrical bonds. These bonds can be single bonds that are stable and double bonds that are far less stable. The stability of a fat or oil depends on the number of double bonds between the carbon atoms. The more double bonds, the less stable the fat.

Pesticides

Many people who want to follow a high-plant diet are concerned about pesticides. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 20,000 farmers and their families are poisoned by pesticides each year, but no studies have shown pesticide poisoning from routine consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Research on TMAO

I have reported before on TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) that is produced by certain bacteria in your gut when you eat foods that contain lecithin, carnitine and choline, such as meat, eggs and dairy products. High levels of TMAO in the bloodstream have been associated with increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, clots, diabetes and certain cancers.

Convert White Fat Cells into Fat-Burning Brown Fat Cells

In childhood, you have more than 30 billion fat cells in your body and that number remains essentially the same for the rest of your life. You gain weight by filling fat cells with fat and you lose weight by emptying them.

Eat WHOLE Grains, Not Flour

Whole grains reduce risk for overweight, diabetes and heart attacks, whereas refined foods made from flour increase risk for these conditions. Researchers followed 54,871 Danish adults, aged 50-64, for almost 15 years and found that those who ate a lot of whole grains, particularly rye and oats, had far fewer heart attacks

Meat and Colon Cancer: New Studies

This week, a study from Spain adds to the evidence that eating any type of meat (red, white processed, cured or organ meat) is associated with increased risk of colon cancer, and that cooking and processing meat increases risk.

Vitamin D Research

A review of studies written since January 2015 shows that you do not benefit from taking high doses of vitamin D or having very high blood levels of that vitamin. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults need only 600–800 IU of vitamin D per day and that blood levels of hydroxy vitamin D do not need to be higher than 20 ng per milliliter

Even Small Amounts of Alcohol Can Increase Risks for Cancer and Heart Attacks

The United States Public Health Service says that alcohol kills more than 88,000 people in the United States each year, and has shortened the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Alcohol also causes one in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years and the health damage it causes costs $223.5 billion, or $1.90 per drink.

High Protein Diets Do Not Lower Blood Sugar

A major benefit of losing excess weight is that it lowers high blood sugar levels to reduce your chances of becoming diabetic and suffering a heart attack. However, high-protein diets do not lower blood sugar levels as much as normal-protein diets do and therefore do not prevent diabetes as effectively as diets that are not high in protein.

How Gut Bacteria Affect Weight

Since bacteria in your colon eat the same food that you do, what you eat determines which types of bacteria thrive in your colon. These bacteria are a prime driver of how high your blood sugar rises after meals and how many calories you absorb from the food you eat.

Big Sugar Does It Again

n eye-opening new report shows that between 2011 and 2015, Coca-Cola gave more than $6 million a year and PepsiCo gave more than $3 million a year to 96 national health organizations. At the same time, they gave more than $1 million a year to the American Beverage Association, their industry lobbying group, to influence legislation to favor the soda industry and against the interests of public health.