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

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.

Egg Yolks, Cholesterol and TMAO

The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study followed 521,120 U.S. adults, average age 62.2 years, for an average of 16 years and found that eating half an egg per day was associated with increased risk for death from heart attacks, cancer, and all causes.

Sodas with Sugar May Age Cells

Researchers led by Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for telomere-related discoveries, measured the telomeres in white blood cells of 5,309 participants, ages 20 to 65, with no history of diabetes or heart attacks. They found that people who drink sugared sodas daily have shorter telomeres than those who drink fruit juices or artificially sweetened drinks

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fructose is the Worst Sugar

Fructose causes more damage than glucose because it is far more likely to deposit fat in your belly, which causes higher blood sugar levels and increases risk for diabetes, heart attacks and death. Glucose is processed by every cell in your body, but almost all fructose is processed only by your liver where most is converted to fatty triglycerides.

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.

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.

What You Eat, Not Your Genes, Determines Your Microbiome

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.

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.

TMAO: Why Eating Meat or Eggs May Harm You

Colon bacteria convert choline and lecithin into a chemical called TriMethylAmine (TMA), which is absorbed into your bloodstream and travels to your liver where TMA is converted to TriMethlAmine Oxide (TMAO).

Research on TMAO

I have reported before on TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) that is produced by certain bacteria in your gut when you eat foods that contain lecithin, carnitine and choline, such as meat, eggs and dairy products. High levels of TMAO in the bloodstream have been associated with increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, clots, diabetes and certain cancers.

Ignore Grain Brain and Wheat Belly: Eat WHOLE Grains

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 . . .

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.

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.

High Protein Diets Do Not Lower Blood Sugar

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.

What Makes a Healthful Recipe?

All of my healthful recipes fit into the Modified DASH Diet that Dr. Mirkin recommends for total health (to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, control weight and prevent or control diabetes): Up to 8 servings of WHOLE grains (serving size is 1/2 cup) At least 5 Vegetables At least 5 Fruits Up to 3 servings of fat free...

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.

Fiber, a True Superfood

Hundreds of studies done in the last 15 years have shown how your microbiome (gut bacteria) helps you to retain your health, and that what you eat determines the ratio of healthful to harmful types of bacteria in your colon. These bacteria govern your immune system that determines, to a large degree, what diseases you will develop and how long you will live.

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).

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.

Big Sugar Uses Big Tobacco Tactics

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposes that, to reduce heart disease, all foods with added sugar have labels listing the amounts of added sugar and recommended restriction levels. The proposed rule sets the intake of added sugar for packaged food and beverages at no more than 200 calories a day, or 10 percent of the 2,000-calorie diet generally used for nutrition guidance.

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.

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.

Caveman Diet, Paleo Diet, NeanderThin

Some popular books tell you that because some prehistoric humans lived on large amounts of meat, you should do the same. I think that is lousy advice.

Cooking and Human Evolution

For years, anthropologists have told us that humans dominate the earth because they learned to make tools that could kill big animals that would give them more food so that they could survive. Dr Richard Wrangham of Harvard thinks they are all wrong. He thinks that man dominates earth because he learned how to cook.

The Good Food Book

The Good Food Book now available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook for just $0.99. With 100+ of Diana's healthful recipes.

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...