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How a High-Fiber Diet May Help to Prevent Dementia

A recent study in mice showed that just four weeks on a high-fiber diet helped to prevent dementia in aging mice by protecting their microglial cells from being damaged. The high fiber diet reduced levels of inflammatory interleukin-1 beta, which has been linked to dementia in humans, including Alzheimer's disease.

Nuts Associated with Reduced Risk for Diabetes and Weight Gain

Nuts are full of fat, but it appears that eating nuts does not increase risk for obesity or diabetes. Almost 1000 people who did not have diabetes or metabolic syndrome were followed for six years. Those who ate nuts at least twice a week were 32 percent less likely to develop metabolic syndrome than...

Sweet Potatoes vs White Potatoes

Should you avoid white potatoes and eat sweet potatoes instead? Both white potatoes and sweet potatoes contain a variety of nutrients. Here’s the comparison:

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.

Acid or Alkaline?

Advertisements for products such as coral calcium or alkaline water claim that they will neutralize acid in your bloodstream, but eating calcium or drinking alkaline water does not affect blood acidity. You should not believe that it matters whether foods are acidic or alkaline, because no foods change the acidity of anything in your...

Keto Diet May Lead to Diabetes

A study in mice shows that a ketogenic diet, where you get most of your calories from fat, may cause diabetes. A keto diet may increase risk for developing diabetes by preventing your body from responding to insulin, presumably by causing fat to be deposited in the liver.

Will Gluten-Free Make You Feel Better?

Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat, rye and barley that causes about two percent of North Americans to become sick: those with celiac disease or gluten allergies. In spite of all its bad publicity from authors of popular diet books, gluten may actually offer health benefits to the remainder of the population.

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    

Weight Loss with Intermittent Fasting

Eating regular meals five days a week and markedly reducing calories for the other two days may be the best way to lose weight and keep it off. This approach to weight loss is called "intermittent fasting." We have some good data on how effective this diet regimen is for animals, but we are just starting to see the results of research on humans. Most of the studies on humans do not ask participants to avoid all food on their "fast" days.

Add Fiber to Fruit Juice?

A study sponsored by PepsiCo showed that adding extra fiber to regular orange juice markedly reduced the usual high rise in peak blood sugar and insulin concentrations in men who were at high risk for diabetes and heart attacks.

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

Fiber is the indigestible structural material of plants that is found in all fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and other seeds. Before food can be absorbed from your intestines into your bloodstream, it must be broken down into basic building blocks. Since you lack the intestinal enzymes to break down fiber into its building blocks of basic sugars, you do not absorb fiber in your upper intestines. Fiber passes through your intestines into your colon where soluble and insoluble fiber are treated differently by the bacteria in your colon.

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...

Why I STILL Restrict Meat, Eggs and Milk

TMAO May Explain the Risk in Eating Red Meat, Eggs or Milk. Red meat, eggs and milk contain lecithin, and lecithin is broken down into another chemical called choline. Your intestinal bacteria use choline as a source for their energy and then release a breakdown product called TMAO (trimethylamine oxide).

Diet Shown to Reduce Risk for Dementia

A study from Rush Medical School in Chicago shows that a special diet can reduce the risk for Alzheimer's disease by 53 percent in those who follow the diet rigorously, and by 35 percent in those who follow it and cheat some of the time.

Acrylamide and Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)

Acrylamide belongs to a class of chemicals that form advanced glycation end products, also known by their first letters as AGEs. They are a group of molecules that are formed when sugar attaches on protein when starchy foods such as potatoes and grains are cooked in the absence of water at very high temperatures.

Eat More of the Healthful Foods

An unhealthful diet causes more deaths world-wide than any other risk factor, according to the Global Burden of Disease study reported this month. Of the 11 million deaths attributed to dietary factors each year, more deaths were associated with inadequate intakes of healthful foods than with eating too much of harmful foods.

WHOLE Grains are Better than Any Flour

When grains are processed into flour or cereals, the primary concern is loss of nutrients. This is explained in report #N178, Why Flour is Like Sugar. However, if you grind your own grains or use products that are made from the whole grain without discarding anything, you get all or most of the nutrients of the original grain. But grains that have been broken apart in any way will be digested more quickly. That's a big disadvantage for diabetics and dieters.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Ketogenic Diets

Ketogenic diets are controversial popular diets that can temporarily help you to lose weight by restricting carbohydrates. A keto diet usually restricts carbohydrates that are absorbed only as sugars, and lets you eat lots of fat and moderate amounts of protein.

Do You Need Vitamin Pills?

North Americans almost never suffer from vitamin deficiencies, except for vitamin D, yet more than 50 percent of the population spends more than 30 billion dollars each year for vitamin pills and other nutritional supplements that they do not need. Forty-five percent of those who take vitamin pills believe that they will improve their health, but we have no good evidence that they do.

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.

Gluten-Free Diets Can Harm

Two studies in prestigious medical journals show that gluten-free diets can cause nutritional deficiencies in all age groups (Clinical Nutrition, published online May 7, 2016) and interfere with growth and development in children.

Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals are substances found in plants that have been identified by researchers as beneficial to humans. We have identified only a few of the thousands of phytochemicals, and we do not fully understand how they work. Here are a few that have been linked to prevention of specific diseases. Phytochemicals That Help to Prevent Cancer: peppers contain...

Spirulina, Chlorella and Seaweed

You have probably seen ads telling you that spirulina, chlorella or blue-green algae are wonder foods that "may help increase energy, decrease fatigue, enhance brain function, oxygenate the blood, nourish the nervous system, improve memory and concentration, increase muscle mass, speed healing, protect against pollutants and radiation, purify the blood, relieve kidney stones, and improve over-all health." Should you believe these claims?

Fruits are Healthful Despite Sugar Content

Sugar added to foods increases risk for diabetes and heart attacks, while sugar in whole fruits does not. People who eat lots of fruits and vegetables are at reduced risk for heart attacks and are least likely to die prematurely

Get Calcium from Foods, Not Pills

Osteoporosis or low bone mass affects 55 percent of people over age 50 in the United States, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation. A study of 1,064 women followed for 15 years shows that not getting enough calcium is associated with smaller spinal bones and weaker spines. You need an adequate amount of calcium to keep your bones strong, but many people take calcium pills when they should be getting their calcium from foods. Calcium pills have not been shown to strengthen bones and they can have many serious side effects.