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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.

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,

Auto-Immune Diseases and Gut Bacteria

Lifestyle changes that affect gut bacteria may help to prevent and treat auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. More than 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases that look just like a person has an infection because laboratory tests show that a person has an over-active immunity that is trying to kill some germ.

Snack On Nuts Fruits and Vegetables

Eating lots of nuts and fruits is associated with reduced risk for diabetes and heart attacks. Nuts are low in absorbable calories and provide many essential nutrients. People who snack regularly on nuts have fewer blood markers for diabetes and arteriosclerosis than the general population, intermittent fasting

Drinking Water Does Not Cause Weight Loss

Drinking extra water with meals will not reduce the amount of food that you eat. If you drink several glasses of water with your meals, the extra water will distend your stomach and make you feel full for a minute or two, but the water leaves your stomach so quickly that you feel hungry again.

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.

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.

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...

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).

Is It Really Whole Grain?

When the label says "Whole Grain Bread", does that mean it's healthful? How can you tell if a food is made from whole grains or refined grains?

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.

Coffee Guidelines

The European Food Safety Authority has just released a 120-page report reviewing the health benefits and risks of coffee and advises against drinking more than four cups of coffee per day. The U.S 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends close to the same limit.

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.

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.

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.

New Dietary Guidelines

the Dietary Guidelines issued in January 2016 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services recommend * restricting sugar, salt, saturated fat, and trans fats, and eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and low-fat foods. The recommendation to eat lean meat has caused the most criticism by scientists.

How Eating Less May Prolong Life

Restricting calories, even in non-obese people, reduces inflammation, helps to prevent cancers and increases autophagy. Autophagy or cellular recycling extends the lives of many different species. Autophagy means "self-eating." When a cell dies, the body has a quick way to break down the dead cell’s parts (protein-making, power-generating and transport systems) into small molecules that can be reassembled to be used for making new cell parts.

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.

Metformin (Glucophage) for Weight Loss

Metformin, sold under the trade name Glucophage, is used to treat diabetes, but several studies show that it also helps non-diabetics to lose weight by reducing hunger.

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.

How Red Meat May Increase Risk for Cancer

This week, Dr. Ajit Varki of the University of California at San Diego showed for the first time that feeding genetically-engineered mice a sugar called Neu5Gc, found in red meat, caused them to produce anti-Neu5Gc antibodies that caused spontaneous cancers (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online Dec. 29, 2014). Several previous studies...

Blood-Type Diets Debunked

Many years ago I criticized a very popular but ridiculous book that said people should follow different diets depending on their blood types. Now, finally, a study of 1,455 mostly young and healthy adults shows that there is no relation whatever between blood type and diet-linked heart attack risk indicators such as...

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.

Are Processed Foods Making Us Fatter?

A small but well-designed study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows how eating processed foods, compared to unprocessed foods, leads you to eat more calories per day and gain more weight.

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.

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.

Long Total Fasts May Be Harmful

A study from Brazil found that having rats fast for 24 hours on alternate days increased their belly fat and interfered with the ability of insulin to control blood sugar levels. One of the most effective ways to lose weight is "intermittent fasting", but this study suggests that doctors need to be careful about the type of "fasting" they recommend to their patients.

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.

How to Pick a Breakfast Cereal

The most healthful cereals are made with whole grains and not much else. If you're trying to lose weight, control cholesterol or diabetes, or just need a lot of energy, your best bet is a hot cooked cereal of whole grains, such as oatmeal; or barley, brown rice or wheat berries cooked and served like oatmeal