A prospective study from nine European countries (European Heart Journal Trial) followed for 12.6 years showed that heart attacks are strongly associated with eating mammal meat and processed meats. Many previous studies have shown that a vegetarian diet is associated with reduced heart attack risk.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The hottest area of medical research today may well be on the bacteria that live in your gut to affect how much you weigh, how long you live, and your susceptibility to many diseases. In the largest and most complete study of its kind ever, researchers analyzed genes of colon bacteria from 1,046 healthy Israelis and found that the bacterial composition of your colon is determined primarily by your lifestyle and what you eat, and has less than a two percent association with your genes.
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.
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.
If you feel sleepy after eating, particularly after sweets or bakery products, you are normal. Eating sugary foods causes your brain to make large amounts of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, that makes people fall asleep naturally at night.
Some people believe that honey is more healthful than sugar. They tell us that honey is a quicker source of energy and a rich source of minerals, and is less fattening. All of these claims are untrue. As far as your body is concerned, there is no difference between honey and table sugar.
Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter are two best-selling books that tell you to avoid wheat and other grains. Dr Davis claims that wheat makes you fat and causes many diseases, and by eliminating wheat you will lose weight and prevent these diseases. Actually, he proposes a low-carbohydrate diet that may cause you to lose weight, but he does not have data to show that it helps you keep that weight off over time. He and Dr. Perlmutter both claim that avoiding wheat cures diseases, but they have no data to support these wild claims . . .
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.
The main argument for drinking milk is its high calcium content. Milk and cheese contribute 46 percent of the calcium intake by the average American, but researchers have found many recent studies showing that American adults do not need to take in that much milk to provide enough calcium to help prevent bone fractures.
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.
Fasting can help people lose weight and slow the diseases being overweight causes (Obesity, Feb 2018;26(2):254-268). For several years I have been recommending the various types of intermittent fasting, but perhaps the easiest way to use fasting for weight loss and weight control is just to eat during the daytime and avoid eating at night.
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.
My faith in several of my Harvard mentors during the 1950s and 1960s has been shattered by an article that appeared this week in JAMA Internal Medicine (September 12, 2016). Cristin E. Kearns, a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF, discovered letters in the archives at Harvard, the University of Illinois and other libraries showing that...
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.
Nuts are a rich source of fat, but the fat in nuts is absorbed very poorly (Am J Clin Nutr, Jan, 2015;101(1):25-33). For example, the fat in almonds is located inside the cells of the almond kernel. Even after prolonged chewing, most of the almond cells remained intact and the fat is still inside the cells. Humans lack the enzymes to break down these cell walls. You have to liberate fat from inside cells to absorb it into your body.
Strong data associate eating red and processed meats regularly with increased risk for heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, some types of cancers and other diseases, but until now we had no good data to show whether eating small amounts of meat may be harmful. However, this month researchers published a study on 96,000 Seventh-day Adventists which suggests that even small amounts of meat increase risk of death, particularly from heart attacks.
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.
Dietary sugar is supposed to be absorbed in the upper intestinal tract, but new research from Yale suggests that taking in excessive amounts of sugar can cause some of the sugar to pass through the intestines unabsorbed. This sugar arrives in your colon where it can harm you by keeping healthful bacteria from growing in your colon and encouraging the overgrowth of harmful 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.
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.
Obese people who have taken aspartame or saccharin in the last 24 hours had higher blood sugar rises after taking sugar than those who had not used artificial sweeteners. Lead author Dr. Jennifer Kuk says, "Our study shows that individuals with obesity who consume artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, may have worse glucose management than those who don't take sugar substitutes."
All types of milk and milk products are high in sugar, unless the milk is fermented to make yogurt or cheese. Skim milk may be more harmful to your health than whole milk because skim milk may have higher levels of a sugar called galactose that causes inflammation.