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Good News About Nuts and Peanuts

Several recent articles show that eating tree nuts or peanuts with a high-fat or high-sugar meal prevents the expected high rise in blood factors that increase risk for the inflammation that can lead to diabetes, heart attacks or strokes.

How Much Alcohol is Safe?

A review of 83 scientific studies covering almost 600,000 current alcohol drinkers in 19 higher-income countries shows that men and women who take in as few as six drinks a week (100 grams of alcohol) are at increased risk for death from strokes, heart failure, heart disease and aortic aneurysms, but not heart attacks.

Can You Eat Too Much Fruit?

Many scientific studies show that eating whole fruit is healthful, even for people who are diabetic. However, this month I learned that some people, especially those who are overweight, prediabetic or diabetic, may be harmed by eating very large amounts of fruit.

Artificial Sweeteners, Obesity and Diabetes

Virtually all scientists agree that North Americans need to reduce their intake of sugar, but their views on artificial sweeteners are not as clear. Increasing evidence is showing that artificial sweeteners are not benign substitutes for sugar. In a new study, people who took sucralose (an artificial sweetener) for just one week developed signs of insulin resistance and diabetes.

Lectin-Containing Foods are Good For You

The latest fad diet tells you to try to avoid lectin-rich foods and to buy their products that are supposed to block lectins in the foods that you eat. However, scientific studies show that eating the common foods with high-lectin content is associated with living a long life and avoiding diseases such as heart attacks, certain cancers, and diabetes.

Fiber Helps to Prevent and Treat Obesity and Diabetes

More than 70 percent of North American adults are overweight and almost 50 percent will become diabetic. A new study from China shows that eating more fiber-containing foods encourages growth of bacteria in your colon that can lower high blood sugar levels to normal.

Another Reason Not to Take Calcium Pills

A well-planned study shows that taking calcium pills, both with and without vitamin D, is associated with increased risk for pre-malignant serrated colon polyps.

Eat Whole Foods, Not Processed Foods, to Lose Weight

Overweight people who eat mostly whole foods rather than processed foods can lose weight without counting calories or restricting portion sizes. A new study from Stanford showed that restricting processed foods, particularly added sugars and other refined carbohydrates, is more important for weight loss than going low-carb or low-fat.

Cheese and Yogurt May Help to Prevent Fractures

Most doctors tell patients suffering from osteoporosis to increase their intake of calcium, but the scientific literature shows that calcium pills do not help to prevent or treat bone fractures. This implies that you should get your calcium from foods rich in that mineral. A review of the scientific literature found 18 articles following 363,557 participants for 3 to 23 years showing that yogurt and cheese, but not milk or cream, are associated with decreased risk for hip fractures.

Dietary Changes Lecture Slides

This video contains slides from Dr. Gabe Mirkin's 2018 lecture on Dietary Changes to Help You Lose Weight and Prevent Heart Attacks, Diabetes and Cancers    

How Fiber Helps to Prevent Disease

We have known for a long time that high-fiber foods such as vegetables, fruits and seeds are associated with lower risk for heart attacks, strokes, many cancers, obesity, type 2 diabetes, dementia and other diseases. Recent studies on gut bacteria are helping to explain why fiber-rich foods are beneficial.

Calcium and Vitamin D Pills Do Not Prevent Fractures

A review of 33 studies shows that calcium and vitamin D pills do not prevent fractures, regardless of dose. An editorial in the same issue of JAMA states that the evidence is so overwhelming that extra calcium does not prevent fractures that we have to ask ourselves why these products are still so widely used.

Latest on Eggs

Researchers from Denmark performed a detailed survey of studies published between 2005 and 2015 on the associations between egg consumption, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.. They concluded that "up to seven eggs per week can safely be consumed, but in patients with established cardiovascular diseases or type 2 diabetes, only with special emphasis on a prudent diet and proper medical treatment."

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.