Subscribe to Dr. Mirkin's free FITNESS & HEALTH NEWSLETTER      

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.

Healthful Fats

A report from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study of more than 126,000 men and women who have been followed for 32 years shows that increasing total fat intake is associated with decreasing risk of death.

Should You Avoid Gluten?

Twenty-one percent of North Americans are trying to avoid gluten, a component of wheat, when fewer than one percent actually need to do so. If following a gluten-free diet causes people to consume fewer foods made with flour -- such as bread, muffins, cookies and pasta -- they may lose weight and lower their risk for diabetes, even though these benefits have nothing to do with avoiding gluten. However, many people hop on the "gluten-free" bandwagon and consume huge amounts of gluten-free flour products which are just as unhealtful as those made with wheat flour.

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...

Animal Products Linked to Increased Heart Attack Risk

For more than 60 years we have heard that saturated fat and cholesterol may be the driving forces behind the high rate of heart attacks in North America. A new study shows strong statistical links between eating a lot of high-cholesterol animal products -- eggs, meat, poultry, and dairy -- and risk for heart attacks.

Eat Nuts, Live Longer

People who ate nuts five times a week had a significantly lower rate of heart disease than those who ate less or none. The rate of heart disease decreased by 10 percent for every serving per week of increased intake of nuts.

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.

Do Vegetarians Live Longer?

Three recent large studies provide more support for a primarily plant-based diet. Two of the studies compared dietary protein from plants and animals and the third one compared dietary fats from plant or animal sources.

Long Fasts May Increase Diabetes Risk

At the European Society of Endocrinology meeting in Barcelona (May 20, 2018), a study was presented that found that three months of alternating 24-hours of fasting on one day and eating unrestricted food on the next day caused rats to eat less total food and lose total body fat, but the rats developed signs of becoming diabetic.

No Simple Cure for Obesity

More than 70 percent of North American adults are overweight, which increases risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and premature death. A review of 45 trials of 11 weight loss programs (Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, HMR [Health Management Resources], Medifast, OPTIFAST, Atkins, The Biggest Loser Club, eDiets, Lose It! and SlimFast) showed that most had no good long-

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    

Should You Eat Breakfast?

Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight or cause you to gain weight. This month's issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition contains three studies on breakfast. One study shows that whether you eat breakfast or not doesn't affect your weight at all (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2014;100:507-13). Three hundred volunteers...

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.

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...

Dangers of Processed Foods

Many processed foods are full of sugar and salt that raise blood pressure, increasing risk for heart attacks, strokes, and premature death. Most dietary salt does not come from the salt shaker and most dietary sugar does not come from the sugar bowl.

Chewing Raises Blood Sugar Response to Food

Chewing rice 30 times before swallowing it raised blood sugar much higher than chewing rice 15 times.

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.

Why Excess Weight Kills

Of the many factors causing more than 40 percent of Americans to die of heart attacks and 35 percent to become diabetic, the strongest are eating too much and exercising too little. Being Fat Makes You Even Fatter Having diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors for heart attacks and premature death. Before insulin can...

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.

Dietary Recommendations Opposed by Industry

Corporate interests from the meat and sugar industries are actively disputing dietary recommendations that could help prolong the duration and enhance the quality of the lives of many North Americans.

Major Alcohol Study Cancelled for Conflict of Interest

The National Institutes of Health cancelled and withdrew funds for a prospective study on how drinking alcohol affects heart attack risk because it was to be largely funded by the alcohol industry itself, and for "concerns about the study design that cast doubt on its ultimate credibility."

More Reasons to Eat Plants

Two strong studies show that 1) giving people with heart disease a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in red meat is more effective than taking statin drugs in preventing heart attack deaths, and 2) eating red meat regularly increases risk for death from a heart attack.

Take Vitamin D Pills Only If You Have a Deficiency

Doses of vitamin D greater than 4,000 IUs increase risk for kidney stones, calcification of blood vessels and even the very cardiovascular disease you were seeking to prevent. The dose of vitamin D recommended by the National Academy of Sciences is 600 international units daily for those up to 70 years of age , and 800 IU for those over 71.

Amphetamines Found in Supplements

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists tested 21 "all natural" supplements claiming to help weight loss, increase energy and stabilize mood, and found that nine of them contained manufactured amphetamines (Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, November 2013). Manufactured amphetamines are found nowhere in nature and therefore cannot be "natural". It is incredible...

Does stress increase your need for vitamins?

Several years ago a major drug company claimed that its vitamin pills helped to relieve stress from the "complications of everyday life" and gave their products names such as "StressTabs." The New York Attorney General forced them to stop their deceptive advertising, but many people still remember and believe this claim.

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.

High Plant Diet Wins Again

Chicken is not more heart-healthful than red meat, according to a new study from Oakland Research Institute. The study showed that chicken and mammal meat caused the same high rises in blood cholesterol levels that predict increased risk for heart attacks, while equal amounts of protein and saturated fats from plant sources resulted in...

Get Vitamins and Nutrients from Foods, Not Pills

Researchers at Tufts University analyzed data from 30,899 U.S. adults who had answered questionnaires on the foods that they ate and the supplements that they took, and were then followed for six years or more (Annals of Internal Medicine, May 7, 2019). A total of 3613 deaths occurred during the study period. The researchers...

Cutting Calories Can Lower Heart Attack Risk in Healthy-Weight People

Recently I reported a study showing that post-menopausal women who store fat primarily in their bellies are at increased risk for having heart attacks, even if they are not overweight (Eur Heart, June 30, 2019). Now another study shows that adults under age 50 who were not overweight and reduced their intake of food...