Weight-Loss: Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Dr. Fuhrman makes it very clear, you want to lose weight? Eat lots of fruits and veggies. They’re low in calories and heavy in bulk—meaning? You feel full, without consuming a lot of calories. Take green vegetables for example, according to Dr. Fuhrman eating plenty of green veggies will actually make you thin:
Green vegetables are so incredibly low in calories and rich in nutrients and fiber that the more you eat of them, the more weight you will lose. One of my secrets of nutritional excellence and superior healing is the one pound-one pound rule. That is, try to eat at least one pound of raw green vegetables a day and one pound of cooked/steamed or frozen green vegetables a day as well. One pound raw and one pound cooked--keep this goal in mind as you design and eat every meal. This may be too ambitious a goal for some of us to reach, but by working toward it, you will ensure the dietary balance and results you want. The more greens you eat, the more weight you will lose. The high volume of greens not only will be your secret to a thin waistline but will simultaneously protect you against life threatening illnesses.
Now, this next item shouldn’t be all that surprising. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have determined fruits and vegetables are an essential part of weight-loss. Diet-Blog is on it:
Their study included 658 healthy men and women divided into two groups.
  • Group 1: Told to eat 9 to 12 daily servings of fruits and vegetables and 2 to 3 servings of low-fat dairy.
  • Group 2: Told to reduce calorie intake, but were not given goals for fruit, vegetable and dairy intake.
Those who made the greatest reductions in the energy or calorie density of their diets lost an average of 13 pounds over 6 months. Those who made the smallest reduction in energy lost 5 pounds over the same period.

I try to include as many fruits and vegetables in my diet because I like the filling sensation. I also believe that consuming more more fresh foods will increase the intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Fat Babies, Fat Later On

According to Reuters, new research has determined that heavy infants have a higher risk of being obese later in life. Tan Ee Lyn reports:
Obesity has long been associated with a person's lifestyle and dietary habits, but the study shows it might just as well be dependent on "epigenetics" -- factors such as genes, and the eating habits and lifestyle of parents and grandparents, said researchers at the University of Hong Kong.

"You tend to assume it's just your lifestyle, but what people are realising is it's not just what you are doing now, but what people have done in your family in the past," said Mary Schooling, assistant professor at the university's School of Public Health.

New born infants would be considered heavy if they weigh 3.65 kg (8 pounds) and over.

Excess weight and obesity pose major risks for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and some forms of cancer.
All the more reason to upgrade the eating habits of the whole family.

Healthy Barbecue?

Barbecued meat, not exactly high on Dr. Fuhrman’s list of health-promoting foods, in fact, he considers barbecued meats some of the worst foods you can eat for health and longevity. In Disease-Proof Your Child he points out that even browned food is a bad idea. Take a look:
Never eat browned or overly cooked food. Burnt food forms harmful compounds. If by accident something is overcooked and browned, discard. Avoid fried food and food sautéed in oil. Experiment with low heat cooking to prevent nutritional damage to the food and the formation of dangerous heat-generated compounds.
But this is America, the land of apple pie, bloody steak, charred burgers, and wonder pills. So, if you have friends or family that simply must have barbecue, HealthDay News shares some tips to make barbecue “healthier.” Robert Preidt reports:
The longer the cooking time and the higher the heat, the more HCAs, say experts at the University of California, Davis, Cancer Center. That means that barbecuing produces the most HCAs, followed by pan-frying and broiling. Baking, poaching, stir-frying and stewing produce the least HCAs.

The UC Davis experts offer the following advice for limiting HCAs:
  • Before you barbecue meat, partially cook it in the microwave and then throw out the juices that collect in the cooking dish. Finish cooking the meat on the grill. Precooking a hamburger for a few minutes in the microwave reduces HCAs by up to 95 percent.
  • Flip hamburgers often. Doing so every minute reduces HCAs by up to 100 percent. This is likely because constant flipping keeps internal meat temperatures lower.
Another important thing to keep in mind when eating overcooked food are acrylamides.

Less Smoky Houses

This is good news. The number of smoke-free households increased 29% from 1993 to 2003. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
The proportion of American households that forbid smoking increased from 43 percent in 1992-93 to 72 percent in 2003, a new government report shows.

However, rates of smoke-free households varied widely among states. In both 1992-93 and 2003, Utah had the highest rates of smoke-free homes (69.6 percent in 1992-93 and 88.8 percent in 2003), while Kentucky had the lowest rates -- 25.7 percent and 53.4 percent, respectively.

The study is in this week's issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which is published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"In the past decade, we've seen tremendous declines in secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace and public places. However, millions of children and nonsmoking adults remain at risk, because their homes are not smoke-free," CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said in a prepared statement. "The single best step that smokers can take to protect the health of nonsmoking family members and their own health is to quit smoking."

The Wrong Dose of Chemo

Wow! This article made my head spin. According to Reuters, children with cancer often receive the wrong dosage of chemotherapy and these errors can lead to the need for additional treatment—because that’s actually what someone with cancer wants, more invasive treatment! Unreal. Julie Steenhuysen reports:
The problem has a lot to do with lack of common standards for delivering these life-saving, but highly toxic, drugs, said Dr. Marlene Miller, director of quality and safety at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore.

Miller and colleagues evaluated data on medication errors collected in a national database from 1999 to 2004.

They looked at a total of 829,492 errors reported in 29,802 patients.

Of the errors, 310 involved kids on chemotherapy. Of those mistakes, 85 percent reached the patient, and nearly 16 percent of those were serious enough to require additional care.

Miller likens the problem to the issues most parents face when trying to figure out how much of the analgesic ibuprofen to give a child because the dose must be calculated based on weight and age.
If you ask me, it makes me wonder if chemotherapy is even an option worth pursuing. Is chemotherapy really all its cracked up to me? Dr. Fuhrman talks about it in Diet, Chemotherapy, and the Truth: How to Win the War on Cancer:
Our technologically-advanced society is suffering from the highest rates of cancer ever seen in human history, rates that are also much higher than in less developed parts of the world. Since 1999, cancer has surpassed heart disease and has become the leading cause of age adjusted mortality for Americans younger than 85. Despite more than a hundred billion dollars in cancer research-- invested largely in the development of drug chemotherapy and screening and detection techniques--we have lost the war on cancer. While there has been a slight reduction of cancer-related deaths in the last 25 years, this is largely the result of the decrease in lung cancer deaths that has resulted from a reduction in cigarette smoking during this timeframe. Mortality rates for most cancers have stayed remarkably steady.

Chemotherapy has contributed to the progress made against cancer deaths from fast-growing cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, testicular cancer, and childhood cancers such as osteogenic sarcoma. But for the major cancers affecting most adult Americans, chemotherapy adds less than one year of disease-free life to those treated.
Here are a few more posts of note:

Kids Will Eat Their Veggies

Here’s another great article from Susan Bowerman of The Los Angeles Times. You want your kids to eat more veggies? Feed them more veggies! From the report:
In a report published in the journal Appetite in 2003, for example, researchers at University College London randomly assigned children ages 2 to 6 and their parents to one of three groups for a two-week study. In one group, parents offered their child a daily taste of a vegetable for which the child had indicated a low preference ranking.

In a second group, parents received only general nutrition information about how to increase fruits and vegetables in the diet. The third group served as a control — receiving neither dietary recommendations nor literature.

The kids who received daily exposure increased their liking and consumption of the food, and increased the ranking of the vegetable in question significantly more than children in the other two groups.

And, a majority of parents in the "exposure" group felt that the intervention could have a lasting effect on their children. In some cases, foods their youngsters previously wouldn't touch had actually become their favorites. One parent commented that her child looked forward to the daily tasting, because it had "made food more fun."
Dr. Fuhrman agrees—kids will eat their veggies! Don’t believe me? Just check out this excerpt from Disease-Proof Your Child:
It is not uncommon or abnormal for a child to prefer a narrow range of foods at a young age. It is also not unusual for parents to be in an ongoing battle to coax their child to eat in a manner they feel is appropriate. Fortunately, it is possible to put an end to the food wars and solve the problem of how to get your child to eat a healthful diet…

… It is not necessary to coax them to eat or to eat healthfully. In fact, battling about food with your child is counterproductive. The trick here is to adhere to this one most important rule: only permit healthy food in your home. Children will eat whatever is available. They will not starve themselves to death; they will adapt easily and learn relatively quickly to like the food that is offered.
Of course, you could always try a veggie sneak attack.

Asthma Hits the Obese Harder

Obesity seems to make everything worse. Here’s what I mean. New research claims that serious asthma is more likely to develop in obese individuals than the non-obese. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
In their study, a team at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta examined data from the U.S. National Asthma Survey.

"Our analysis showed that out of more than 3,000 patients with asthma, obese patients were 66 percent more likely to report continuous symptoms, 36 percent more likely to miss more days of work and 52 percent more likely to be classified as having either moderate or severe persistent asthma when compared to non-overweight people," Dr. Brian Taylor, a pulmonary fellow, said in a prepared statement.

These findings held true after the researchers adjusted for factors including gender, race, age, smoking status, and family history of asthma.

Taylor said he and his colleagues, "noted that obese patients were more likely to have less education, be unemployed and be African-American."

They also found that obese people with asthma made more frequent emergency room visits and used daily controller and as-needed rescue medications more often. The association between obesity and asthma severity seemed slightly stronger in women than in men, which has been noted in previous studies.

More Good News for Exercise

Yesterday we learned that exercising early in life really pays off later in life—very cool! And now, Reuters is reporting that exercise after breast cancer treatment improves quality of life. Read on:
Previous studies have shown that exercise improves physical and psychological health for breast cancer survivors, but it has been unclear if the benefit came from the exercise itself or from the increased attention women got from participating in the programs.

To isolate the effects due to exercise from those due to attention, Dr. Amanda J. Daley, from the University of Birmingham, and her associates designed a study that included not only an active exercise group but also a placebo exercise group as well as a usual-care group.

The participants were 108 women who had been treated for breast cancer between 1 and 3 years before, and who were physically inactive.
You just can’t beat some good old-fashioned exercise!

Exercise Early, Healthier Later

New research claims that exercising when you’re young pays high dividends as you age. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
Staying trim and healthy in younger years can lead to a healthier, more mobile old age, U.S. researchers say…

…Reporting in the International Journal of Obesity, they found that women and men who were obese at ages 25 and 50, as well as at the time of the study, scored significantly lower on physical performance tests than those who were normal weight at those ages…

…Women who were overweight but not obese at ages 25, 50 and between 70 to 79 also had lower physical performance test scores than those with normal weights at those ages.

The study also found that men and women who were overweight or obese in early- to mid-adulthood had lower scores than those who became overweight or obese in late-adulthood.
Good news for all you lifelong gym-rats out there.

Asthma: Fish Good During Pregnancy?

Now, this next report gave me pause. Apparently a new study claims consuming fish during pregnancy is a good idea. Juhie Bhatia of HealthDay News reports:
Researchers from the Netherlands and Scotland have found that eating apples throughout pregnancy may protect against wheezing and asthma in 5-year-old children, while fish consumption may lower the risk of eczema, an allergic skin condition. The findings were to be presented Sunday at the American Thoracic Society's International Conference in San Francisco.

"To our knowledge, we are one of the first studies evaluating the influence of maternal consumption of so many different foods and food groups during pregnancy on childhood asthma and allergic disease," said study author Saskia Willers, a doctoral student at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Previous studies in the same group of children, part of the SEATON birth cohort conducted at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, found that maternal intake of vitamins E and D, and zinc during pregnancy may also lower the risk of asthma, wheezing and eczema. For this study, the researchers looked at how eating different foods, rather than individual nutrients, during pregnancy impacted these children.
Okay, eating apples is great, but, according to Dr. Fuhrman consuming fish while pregnant can be risky. From Disease-Proof Your Child:

Clearly, there are a lot of dangerous habits to avoid before pregnancy, and there are also a lot of fears women have that are not found in science or logic.

The real concerns are not microwave ovens, cell phones, and hair dryers. The things we know to be really risky for you and your unborn children are:

  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine, including secondhand smoke
  • Alcohol
  • Medications, both over-the-counter and prescription drugs
  • Herbs and high-dose supplements, vitamin A
  • Fish, mollusks and shellfish, sushi (raw fish)
  • Hot tubs and saunas
  • Radiation
  • Household clear, paint thinners
  • Cat litter (because of an infectious disease called toxoplasmosis caused by a parasite found in cat feces)
  • Raw milk and cheese
  • Soft cheese and blue-veined cheeses such as feta, Roquefort, and Brie
  • Artificial colors, nitrates, and MSG
  • Deli meats, luncheon meats, hot dogs, and undercooked meats

Microwaves and Bacteria

Did you know microwaves aren’t really that good at killing harmful bacteria on food? I didn’t. Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times looks at a new study examining the microwave-bacteria connection:
One study, by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published in The American Journal of Epidemiology. It looked at a salmonella outbreak after a picnic where dozens of people ate reheated roast pork. Of 30 people studied, all 10 who used a microwave oven became sick, compared with none of the 20 who used a conventional oven or skillet.

Another study, in the journal Epidemiological Infections, looked at six people who contracted salmonella at a buffet after eating a dish consisting of chicken and vegetables. The scientists found that the food had been heated in a 500-watt microwave oven for five minutes before it was consumed — which apparently was not enough.

Healthy Diet: Why Bother?

I guess that’s the attitude many Americans have because as HealthDay News reports only a fraction of the people with high blood pressure are following a healthy diet. Granted, it’s the diet prescribed by the standard American healthcare system, but still. Ed Edelson explains:
The fact that so few people with hypertension -- just 22 percent in the group studied -- are following some simple dietary measures indicates a breakdown somewhere in the American health-care system, said lead researcher Dr. Philip Mellen, an assistant professor of internal medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.

"We don't know where it broke down," Mellen said. "We don't know whether their physicians have been telling them to do it or whether physicians don't feel they know enough to counsel them. We have evidence from other sources that there are problems all along the chain..."

…Mellen's study, which was to be presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hypertension, focused on people who had been told they had high blood pressure.

"Presumably, the guidelines should have prescribed their lifestyle changes," Mellen said. "They did not. Presumably, this would mean that changes in the population have overwhelmed the DASH diet recommendations."
Are you surprised by this? I’m not. And here’s why. Remember this quote from last fall. From Will America Ever Eat Better:
Who the hell cares about the veggies anyway? You don't need them and there is absolutely nothing essential about them. Don't let the acculturated veggie sympathizers tell you otherwise.
Whoa! Can you say, “Grow up!” Now, in Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman acknowledges many of us are creatures of comfort food and will continue to eat poorly—no matter what:
The “good life” will continue to bring most Americans to a premature grave. I do not expect the majority of individuals to live this healthfully. However, they should at least make that decision being aware of the facts rather than having their food choices shaped by inaccurate information or the food manufacturers. Some people will choose to smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthfully, or pursue other reckless habits. They have that inalienable right to live their lives the way they choose.

If You Grow It, They Will Eat It

U.S. researchers report, children who regularly eat homegrown fruits and veggies eat twice as much healthy food as kids who occasionally eat garden vegetables. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News has more:
The study, by a team at the Saint Louis University Medical Center, involved interviews with about 1,600 parents of preschool-aged children in rural southeast Missouri.

The team found that children who grow up eating homegrown produce prefer the taste of fruits and vegetables to other foods.

"It was a simple, clear finding. Whether a food is homegrown makes a difference. Garden produce creates what we call a 'positive food environment,'" study author Debra Haire-Joshu, director of the university's Obesity Prevention Center, said in a prepared statement.

She and her colleagues found that garden-fed children were more likely to see their parents eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and that people in homes with gardens had access to greater variety of produce.
Makes sense to me. Growing up both my grandparents had huge gardens—with all the trimmings! String beans, peas, fig trees from Italy (black and white), eggplants, hot peppers, sweet peppers, strawberries, escarole, tomatoes—yes, I could go on and on. Now, since I grew up eating all this good stuff, transitioning to a vegetable-based diet like Eat to Live was pretty easy—Creamy Curry Pumpkin Soup sounds good to me!

But, I think gardening is a lost art. I drive by my old neighborhood and it seems like fewer and fewer people have potted tomatoes and fresh herbs on their porch. That’s why programs like Urban Sprouts School Gardens are so great. Just look at all the great stuff they’re growing and cooking:
Garden crops are ready to harvest! We've got greens, lettuces, strawberries, onions, broccoli, and fava beans galore! Have a taste in the garden before the gophers get it all!

A few weeks ago, 6th graders at Martin Luther King Jr., Middle School made a delicious stir fry with Urban Sprouts' educator Herman Yee. Special thanks to Herman's mom, Eleanor, who helped out too!
According to Dr. Fuhrman this kind of involvement is crucial. In Disease-Proof Your Child he shares some secrets to getting your kids to eat healthy. Dr. Fuhrman makes it very clear, healthy eating is a family affair:
1. Keep only healthy food in the house. Every person in the household should have the same food choices available.

2. Offer and feed a wholesome diversity of natural foods, vegetables, beans, raw nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit, while giving each child as much latitude as possible to eat what they prefer.

3. Don't attempt to manage your children's caloric intake. They can do that on their own.

4. If you, as parents, do not demonstrate proper respect for your own bodies by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and engaging in other healthful lifestyle practices, don't expect your children to do any better than you, now or in the future.

5. Educate your children about their nutritional needs and the importance of eating healthfully. Start this when they are young and continue to reinforce their learning, as they will be exposed to more toxic food choices as they get older and spend more time out of their home.
So just imagine what the results could be if you’re kids were actually helping you grow the fruits and veggies you feed your family.

Cut Your Calories, Increase Your Life

From time to time news about calorie restriction (CR) hits the newswires—and for good reason—everything I’ve read about CR seems to imply that eating less food leads to a longer life. Even Dr. Fuhrman touches on it in Eat to Live. Have a look:
The evidence for increasing one’s life span through dietary restriction is enormous and irrefutable. Reduced caloric intake is the only experimental technique to consistently extend maximum life span. This has been shown in all species tested, from insects and fish to rats and cats.
Now, CR is a fascinating concept. In our society we associate well-fed—maybe even over-fed—with health, so the idea that strictly limiting our caloric intake is better for us, kind of flips the script—don’t you think? Julian Dibbell, a reporter for New York Magazine, found this out firsthand when he gave calorie a restriction a whirl this past October. Here’s some of his report:
It’s no secret. From mystics to anorexics, people who go for long periods without eating often report feeling more awake and energetic, even euphoric. It’s nice for a while, but even the calorie-restricted can get too much of it. When April started CR, she often went long stretches between meals and eventually decided something was a little off. “It makes you feel like you’re on drugs; I got too euphoric,” she says. “You know, thinking you’re in love when you’re not.” She switched to a more consistent, balanced eating schedule, came back down to Earth, and that, she says with a shrug, was that:

“It’s like, ‘Eat something! You’re not in love.’ ”
Again, very amazing, but, how about some proof? Sure, being told CR’s benefits is great, but what about a real-world example. Okay then, take a look at this. Late last year The New York Times shared with us the plight of two monkeys, Canto and Owen. Canto was enjoying a healthy life due to his calorie restrictive diet, and Owen—eating much more—was not so happy. Be sure to check out this graphic—priceless.

So, why all this talk about calorie restriction? Because The Diabetes Blog relays some new research linking calorie restriction to longevity. Here, it’s worth a read:
Researchers have found that persistent hunger promotes long life and identified a critical gene that specifically links calorie restriction (CR) to longevity. Genetic evidence has finally emerged in labs to explain the increased longevity in response to calorie restriction. This link was also identified between calorie restriction and aging. Of course this discovery immediately provoked the scientists to ponder the potential of the next generation of drugs to bestow the health benefits of calorie restriction without the discipline.

Fasting dates back as far as ancient Greek philosophers. Heck, even Mark Twain was a firm believer in fasting. In one of his essays he wrote, "A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man than can the best medicines and the best doctors. I do not mean a restricted diet; I mean total abstention from food for one or two days."
In my opinion, the evidence for this style of eating is overwhelming—I’ve even toyed with the idea of giving CR a try. And fasting? Well, Dr. Fuhrman has been talking about the benefits of fasting for years. From his book Fasting and Eating for Health:
Therapeutic fasting accelerates the healing process and allows the body to recover from serious disease in a dramatically short period of time. In my practice I have seen fasting eliminate lupus and arthritis, remove chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, health the digestive tract in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and quickly eliminate cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and angina. In these cases the recoveries were permanent: fasting enabled longtime disease suffers unchain themselves from their multiple toxic dugs and even eliminate the need for surgery, which was recommended to some of them as their only solution.
It’s funny, in this age of modern medicine. Many of us won’t try something as simple as eating less, but, we’ll pop a magic pill in a heartbeat.

Chromium in the Water

Oh man, this’ll give you the heebeegeebees. Reuters reports that Chromium found in drinking water causes cancer. It just gets harder and harder to maintain a toxin-free environment. More from the report:
Environmentalists, who have been fighting for decades for tighter limits on how much chromium can be present in drinking water, said the findings offered a basis for such restrictions.

High doses of chromium 6 given to rats and mice in drinking water caused malignant tumors, the two-year study by the NIH's National Toxicology Program or NTP found.

"In the rats we saw oral cavity tumors," said Michelle Hooth, who worked on the report. "In the mice we saw tumors in the small intestine."

Multivitamins Linked to Prostate Cancer

Wow, this’ll make you think twice about downing those Flintstone vitamins. New research claims taking too many multivitamins may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men—eek! More from the Associated Press:
Government scientists turned to a study tracking the diet and health of almost 300,000 men. About a third reported taking a daily multivitamin, and 5 percent were heavy users, swallowing the pills more than seven times a week.

Within five years of the study's start, 10,241 men had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Some 1,476 had advanced cancer; 179 died.

Heavy multivitamin users were almost twice as likely to get fatal prostate cancer as men who never took the pills, concludes the study in Wednesday's Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Here's the twist: Overall, the researchers found no link between multivitamin use and early-stage prostate cancer.

The researchers speculate that perhaps high-dose vitamins had little effect until a tumor appeared, and then could spur its growth.
Kind of a damning indictment—don’t you think? But this begs the question, how safe are multivitamins? Could they actually lead to health problems? In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman explains that multivitamins containing high-dose vitamin A and beta-carotene do elevate cancer-risk. Take a look:
The main concern with taking a multivitamin is that it may contain a high dose of vitamin A or beta-carotene. Ingesting large amounts of these nutrients may interfere with the absorption of other carotenoids, such as lutein and lycopene, thus potentially increasing the risk of cancer.1 10-1 There is also concern that supplemental vitamin A induces calcium loss in urine, contributing to osteoporosis.
Now, Dr. Fuhrman isn’t against vitamins. According to him very few people eat perfectly, which makes supplementing a good idea—it’ll help make sure your body gets all the important substances it needs. So considering all this cancer-talk, what kind of multi should a person take? More from Eat to Live:
There are multiple vitamins available today with natural mixed carotenoids in place of vitamin A and beta carotene that also contain extra plant-derived phytochemicals. Look for this type of multiple.
Continue Reading...

Exercise: A Little Goes a Long Way

As a gym rat, I love reading reports like this. U.S. researchers have determined that even as little as ten minutes of exercise can help overweight inactive women. Reuters explains:
Tests on overweight and obese women, many of whom had high blood pressure, showed that even small amounts of exercise improved their fitness and toned them up enough to lower their overall risk of early death.

The study is the first to reinforce using hard medical data what other studies have suggested -- that exercise does not have to be an all-or-nothing venture, Dr. Timothy Church of Louisiana State University and colleagues said.

"This information can be used to support future recommendations and should be encouraging to sedentary adults who find it difficult to find the time for 150 minutes of activity per week, let alone 60 minutes per day," the researchers wrote in their report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Kind of a no-brainer I know, but, just goes to show how vital exercise really is.

Diabetes Risk: Cereal Good, Veggies Not?

Okay, I have to admit. This article made me say, “Henh?” According to new research cereal fiber and magnesium can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, but, fruits and vegetables don’t. Yeah, I don’t get it either. Reuters reports:
The findings stem from an analysis performed by Dr. Matthias B. Schulze and colleagues from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal. The study involved over 25,000 adults, between 35 and 65 years of age, who were followed from 1994 to 2005 for diabetes. A food-frequency questionnaire was used to assess the participants for the amounts of dietary fiber and magnesium.

During follow-up, 844 subjects developed type 2 diabetes, the report indicates. Compared with the subjects with the lowest cereal fiber intake, those with the highest intake had a 28-percent reduction in diabetes risk.

Fruit and vegetable fiber intake, by contrast, did not affect the risk. Magnesium intake also showed no effect in this study.
Obviously this flies in the face of a lot of the things we discuss here on Followhealthlife. So for rebuttal, I decided to call in heavy reinforcements. Here’s what Dr. Fuhrman had to say about this study:
The reason for the findings is a huge variance in the amount of whole grain fibers consumed from none to a significant amount. This does make a big difference, especially since people who do not consume whole grains generally live on sugar and white flour. But since the level of vegetable consumption in the highest quintile was still relatively low by our standards there was not really a representative group with a high consumption of green vegetables.

So all this means is that whole grains are better than refined grains and that that change in a person's diet has a major implication for diabetic causation and treatment. It does not mean that green vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds are not likewise protective because the population tested still did not eat much of these foods.

Fruits and Veggies Beat Up Lung Disease Risk

Surprise-surprise, a diet rich in fruits and veggies helps prevent lung disease. Let’s hear it, a big collective—duh! Even though we all know it, it’s still worth a read. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:
People who follow a "Mediterranean" diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fish cut their risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by half, researchers report.

COPD, a lethal combination of emphysema and bronchitis, is expected to become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020.

Smoking remains the primary cause of COPD, according to the report in the May 14 online edition of the journal Thorax.

Therefore, "The first message is that people have to stop smoking," said lead researcher Dr. Raphaelle Varraso, from INSERM, Villejuif, France. "And then, that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish may help to reduce risk of COPD."

And, if healthy food can cut the odds for COPD, unhealthy eating could do the opposite, he said. "In smokers and ex-smokers, a diet rich in refined grains, cured and red meats, desserts and French fries may increase the risk of COPD," Varraso said.

His group collected data on almost 43,000 men who took part in the U.S. Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which started in 1986. The study included more than 50,000 U.S. health care professionals ages 40 to 75.

Every two years, the men were asked about their lifestyle, including smoking and exercise, diet and medical history. Detailed diet information was gathered every four years.

Kids and Heart Disease

It’s kind of an obvious point, but, I don’t think a lot of people realize this. Heart disease—which reeks havoc on millions of adults—starts young. According to Dr. Fuhrman the seeds of cardiovascular disease are sown way before adulthood. He talks about it in Disease-Proof Your Child:
There is considerable evidence that the lipoprotein abnormalities (high LDL and low HDL) that are linked to heart attack deaths in adulthood begin to develop in early childhood and that higher cholesterol levels eventually get “set” by early food habits.1 What we eat during our childhood affects our lifetime cholesterol levels. For many, changing the diet to a plant-based, low-saturated-fat diet in later life does not result in the favorable cholesterol levels that would have been seen if the dietary improvements were started much earlier in life.

As a result of the heart-unfriendly diet, blood vessel damage begins early. Not only does the development of coronary atherosclerosis develop in childhood, but earlier development of atherosclerosis and higher serum cholesterol levels in childhood result in a significantly higher risk of premature sudden death relatively early in life. Sometimes the effects of childhood dietary abuses can be seen relatively early, with premature death or a heart attack at a young age.
And now, it seems there is a movement to test children early on for the risks of heart disease. Karen Pallarito of HealthDay News reports:
Obesity, inactivity and cholesterol are closely linked, and data from the latest U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) finds that 17 percent of U.S. teens are overweight. Just one in four high school students packs enough physical activity into their day, and 12 percent get little or no daily exercise, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So, measuring kids' cholesterol in a really detailed way may make sense.

"There is growing scientific evidence indicating that cholesterol levels in childhood and adolescence have an effect on the development of plaque in the arteries, which is a clear indication of cardiovascular disease risk," explained study leader Ian Janssen, an assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queens University in Ontario, Canada.
We’ve seen these types of initiatives before. A couple years ago the American Heart Association announced plans to target the very young.
Continue Reading...

No Milk for Acne

Last week we found out that milk is no good for weight-loss—despite the million-dollar marketing campaign. Now get a load of this. ParentDish passes on a research claiming kids with acne should stop drinking milk. Read on:
I had huge acne when I was a teenager. My acne was the kind that hurt, under the skin stuff that felt like a revolting beacon on my nose, forehead, chin. I remember being told: Stay away from chocolate! Grease is bad for zits! Try this product. I spent nearly all my bussing tips on special potions and lotions and creams, to no avail. Perhaps, suggests a recent study done by Harvard University, I should have just stopped drinking milk.

According to the research, teens who drank a pint of milk or more a day were nearly 50% more likely to develop pimples that those who rarely or never drink milk. Analysis of over 47,000 teenage diets revealed that skim milk drinkers were at most risk for acne (raising the risk by 44%), followed by whole milk drinkers who were 12% more likely to develop the unsightly stuff.
No doubt the dairy mongers are all up in arms—“But, but, what else can I dunk my cookies in?”

Your Inner Fat

I’ve never read anything like this before. Apparently you can be thin on the outside, but fat on the inside—interesting. Maria Cheng of the Associated Press has more:
"Being thin doesn't automatically mean you're not fat," said Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College, London. Since 1994, Bell and his team have scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines to create "fat maps" showing where people store fat.

According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. "The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined," said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain's Medical Research Council.

Without a clear warning signal — like a rounder middle — doctors worry that thin people may be lulled into falsely assuming that because they're not overweight, they're healthy.

U.S. Schools Eating Healthy?

Not really. But some schools and communities are making positive strides. Take this school in Somerville Massachusetts. These kids were part of a research program that in the end helped them maintain healthy bodyweight, and, actually got the whipper-snappers to eat broccoli. Don’t believe me? Maggie Fox of Reuters reports:
A program that pulled a whole town into helping its children eat better and exercise more helped stop the kids from gaining too much weight, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

The children of Somerville, Massachusetts gained, on average, just less than a pound (half a kg) less than children who did not take part in the program, the researchers at Tufts University's school of nutrition in Boston found.

And it got them to eat broccoli.

For young children still growing rapidly, this was a significant success, study leader Christina Economos said in a telephone interview.

"All children are gaining weight because they are growing," she said. "We want to prevent weight gain over and above what they need to for development."

They did, Economos and colleagues report in the journal Obesity. Children who were overweight lost weight, or stopped gaining, and those who were lean continued to grow at a healthy rate.

Economos hopes the seeds of life-long healthy habits have been planted in these children.

A Juicy Question

Do you drink fruit juice? I do—wait, wait, wait—relax! I know Dr. Fuhrman isn’t big on people downing tall glasses of fiber-less fruit juices. That’s why I only drink pomegranate juice, daily in fact, and even Dr. Fuhrman thinks that’s a good idea. From the comments of Pomegranate Power:
I do not think a little fresh squeezed fruit juice is bad, just not a good idea for those who are trying to lose weight. Certainly, even a few ounces of pomegranate or red grapefruit juice is not going to blow your diet. Similar to olive oil, people think because my book, Eat to Live encourages the reader to avoid oil, (because all oil is 120 calories a tablespoon and it can add up fast) that I am dead set against using even a little bit of olive oil occasionally. Apply the principles, but it does not have to be that rigid.
But, Dr. Fuhrman does make it pretty clear that you’re better off eating the whole fruit instead of just consuming the juice—although, news reports can confuse us. Like this one about a new study claiming there is no link between childhood obesity and drinking 100% fruit juice. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
"We did not find a relationship between 100 percent juice consumption and overweight among children. Even among the children who consumed the most juice, we found no association at all with the children being overweight or at risk for overweight," Dr. Theresa Nicklas, a child nutrition researcher at the United States Department of Agriculture's Children's Nutrition Research Center at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in a prepared statement.

The findings were expected to be presented today at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meetings, in Toronto, Canada.

Drinking 100 percent juice also had no impact on the amount of milk kids consumed, Nicklas said.

The mean daily consumption of 100 percent juice among the children in the study was 4.1 ounces (about 1/2 cup), which is in keeping with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

About 13 percent of the children consumed 12 ounces or more of 100 percent juice a day, but this increased consumption was not associated with overweight or increased risk for being overweight.
Now stop me if I’m rambling, but doesn’t this study give off the wrong impression. I’m no scientist, but even I could have guessed that only a small number of children consume 100% fruit juice. Have you seen 100% fruit juice (it looks like these Nutrient-Dense Juices)? It’s thick and heavy, not clear and watery like the trendy “all natural” beverages sold in supermarkets and advertised between Blue’s Clues and Sesame Street.

So I wonder. If your average person reads this report will they be able to differentiate between fruit juice and 100% fruit juice. Hold on, let me shake my magic 8-ball…”Outlook not so good.” Because it doesn't surprise me that 100% fruit juice won’t increase the risk of obesity, but, if all those pseudo-juices did, let’s just say I wouldn’t be shocked.

How do you feel about this research? Did you get the same impression as I did?

Dieting and Aging

What do you think? Should you try dieting after a certain age? Think about it. If you’re older, why bother? You’re not long for this world anyway. Man—that’s some lousy thinking! Isn’t it? And scientifically stupid too, check out this report in HealthDay News to see why:
Older, overweight women who diet do not experience reduced physical function and should feel free to try to lose weight by reducing their calorie intake, U.S. research shows.

"Our results suggest that losing weight through calorie cutting won't lead to increased disability in older women," lead researcher Dr. Jamehl Demons of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, said in a prepared statement.

When older, overweight women diet they may often gain back some of the weight. But they are still better off than before, noted Dr. Mary F. Lyles, also at Wake Forest and the lead investigator of a second project that examined how dieting affects body composition.
This story really struck me because a few members of my own family have pretty much given up on enjoying a healthy long-lived existence. Why? I don’t know. And I probably never will. Maybe this excerpt from Eat to Live will shed some light on this type of apathy:
Why should you wait until you are faced with a life-threatening health crisis to want health excellence? Most people would choose to disease-proof their body and look great now. They just never thought they could do it so easily. Picture yourself in phenomenal health and in excellent physical condition at your ideal body weight. Not only will your waist be free of fat but your heart will be free of plaque.

Still, it is not easy to change: eating has emotional and social overtones. It is especially difficult to break an addiction. Our American diet style is addicting, as you will lean, but not as addictive as smoking cigarettes. Stopping smoking is very hard, but many still succeed. I have heard many excuses over the years, from smokers aiming to quit and sometimes even from failed dieters. Making any change is not easy. Obviously, most people know if they change their diet enough and exercise, they can lose weight—but they still can’t do it.

Organic Economics

Here’s a different take on organic farming—could it help the poor? Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press reports:
Farmers who go back to traditional agricultural methods would not have to spend money on expensive chemicals and would grow more diverse and sustainable crops, the report said. In addition, if their food is certified as organic, farmers could export any surpluses at premium prices.

The researchers plugged in data on projected crop yields and commodity prices until 2020 to create models for the most optimistic and conservative outlooks.

Alexander Mueller, assistant director-general of the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, praised the report and noted that projections indicate the number of hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa was expected to grow.

Considering that the effects of climate change are expected to hurt the world's poorest, "a shift to organic agriculture could be beneficial," he said.

Nadia El-Hage Scialabba, an FAO official who organized the conference, pointed to other studies she said indicated that organic agriculture could produce enough food per capita to feed the world's current population.

Vitamin D and the Elderly

Do you get your Vitamin D? Hopefully you do because according to Dr. Fuhrman it’s a pretty important vitamin with a very vital function. He explains in the Importance of Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body makes after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Vitamin D functions as a hormone because it sends a message to the intestines to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. By promoting calcium absorption, vitamin D helps to form and maintain strong bones.
Not to mention it’s instrumental in the maintaining of strong healthy bones. Dr. Fuhrman talks about this further in Can Your Bones Last a Lifetime: Benefits of Vitamin D:
Medical studies show taking vitamin D is more effective than taking extra calcium for osteoporosis. In a recent 3-year prospective multi-center study, 622 women with osteoporosis, 50 to 79 years of age, who had one or more compression fractures of their spine, were randomly assigned to receive 25 mcg of calcitriol (900 IU vitamin D) or 1000 mg calcium for three years. In the third year, the vitamin D-supplemented group had 9 fractures per 100 women, and the calcium-treated group had 31.5.The difference in effect also was evident after two years.
Apparently he must be on to something because new research links Vitamin D intake to physical performance levels in the elderly. Eric Nagourney of The New York Times reports:
The researchers, led by Denise K. Houston of Wake Forest University, drew on data from an Italian study in which more than 900 people 65 and older were tested for vitamin D levels and asked to perform several tasks. The researchers looked at how fast they walked, how quickly they could get out of a chair and how well they could balance.

By some estimates, about a quarter of elderly people do not get enough vitamin D. But it is not purely a matter of diet, the researchers said, because much of the body’s vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight. Older people may be less likely to be in the sun, said the researchers, who also pointed out that skin produces vitamin D less well as it ages.
Now, it isn’t just older people who need to be mindful of how much Vitamin D they’re getting. Dr. Fuhrman insists everyone should make sure they’re getting enough. From Vitamin D and Cancer:
Laboratory, animal, and epidemiologic evidence suggests that vitamin D may be protective against cancer. Epidemiologic studies suggest that a higher dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D, and/or sunlight-induced vitamin D synthesis, correlates with lower incidence of cancer, including lymphoma, breast, prostate, and colon cancer.1 In fact, for over 60 years, researchers have observed an inverse association between sun exposure and cancer mortality,2 and those with more sun exposure had fewer cancers. The inverse relationship between higher vitamin D levels in blood and lower cancer risk in humans shows a significantly lower risk among those with the highest vitamin D intake.
Continue Reading...

America's High Blood Pressure

Here’s one of those “uh duh” news stories. It seems most Americans don’t have their high blood pressure under control. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:
Although most Americans with high blood pressure are taking steps to combat the potentially deadly condition, only 30 percent have it under control, a new federal study found.

That means the 70 percent of adults with uncontrolled high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, must do more to bring those levels down, including changing their diet, exercising and sticking to their drug regimens.

If they don't, they face an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the study authors from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Most people with high blood pressure (98.1 percent) are doing something to lower it," said lead author Clark Denny, an epidemiologist with the CDC. "But there is still room for improvement.

"Almost everyone with high blood pressure can have it controlled through medication and lifestyle change," he added.

Nutritional Wisdom: Dangers of the Atkins Diet

I admit. It’s easy to poke fun at the low-carb lifestyle. What can I say? I’m a sucker for low-hanging fruit. But truth be told, Dr. Fuhrman makes it pretty clear that carbohydrate restrictive diets—like the Atkins Diet—are no way to achieve optimal long-term health. You only have to check out these posts to see why:

But despite all this, millions of people pledge allegiance to a fad diet centered on animal fat. A huge concern for Dr. Fuhrman because—as he points out in the posts above—any diet where the majority of calories come from animal products increases your risk of cancer, heart disease, and a whole host of life-shortening maladies.

As you’ve seen, I’m quick to knock low-carb living. And so is Dr. Fuhrman, but, he’s smarter than me—yes, a little brownnosing here—so when he takes Atkins-type diets to task, he really exposes them for the over-hyped danger zones that they are.

Curious to hear what that sounds like? You’re in luck. Because it just so happens this week’s episode of Nutrition Wisdom is on that very subject. Here’s a bit I transcribed from the show. In it Dr. Fuhrman talks about how dangerous an Atkins-type diet can be for children and others. In fact, it can have deadly consequences. Take a look:

In recent years with the skyrocketing popularity of the Atkins Diet, there’s been a proportional skyrocketed increase in sudden cardiac death in young women. That parallels the increase in ketogenic diets. Right now we know that sudden cardiac death means irregular heart beat, as in cardiac arrhythmia. There has to be a warning on the Atkins Diet! There must be a warning that severe carbohydrate restriction—restricted ketosis—when you go into ketosis because of severe carbohydrate restriction, as a weight control method. There could be a traumatic increase in sudden death.

There was an important study in the Southern Medical Journal about a sixteen year-old girl who died after two weeks of following an Atkins Diet. They found that she was in profound acidosis, with about a twenty point base deficit because undeniably keto-acidosis caused acidosis in the blood. In other words, you can become highly acidic. We get dramatic lowering of potassium levels, especially when you first start out on the diet.

The continual denial of the dangers by the people who embrace and promote this ketogenic diet—it’s understandable why—because people are often economically invested with their egos and their food preferences into this diet. But, the risk of carbohydrate restriction ketosis is very powerful and with a lot of studies done on children who were put on ketogenic diets for seizure disorders and they use this for people who have seizures that are retractable—meaning they can’t be helped any other way—and they warn the parents of these children that it increases the risk of kidney stones, kidney failure, increases the rate of infection, and sudden cardiac death, including cardiomyopathy and cardiac-arrhythmias. For example, one study following children put on ketogenic diets—like an Atkins-type diet—they showed fifteen percent developed cardiac enlargement and dilated cardiomyopathy. Of course the diet had to be stopped.

Another study followed 129 children and found that seventeen developed severe complications and four people died out of the 129; two of sepsis because of the increased risk of infection, one of cardiomyopathy, and one of lipoid pneumonia. The point is when doctors are very careful they know these are dangerous diets, and they advise people of the dangers, but if a person wants to try it it’s their right. But the claims made by the Atkins people, for example, Atkins himself used say prevent breast cancer with butter, reverse heart disease with fillet mignon, it’s all the lying and misinformation and lack of telling people the risks of a diet that has such a great amount of dangers.

Lying? Of course they’re lying. There are millions of dollars at stake here. Can’t let unsightly truths get out—politicians have known this for years, but fortunately the truth does eek its way out every once and a while. For example, get a load of this study in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dr. Fuhrman emailed it to me the other day. Apparently prolonged consumption of a low-carbohydrate–high-protein diet is associated with an increase in total mortality. Read on:

Subjects methods:
Follow-up was performed from 1993 to 2003 in the context of the Greek component of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition. Participants were 22 944 healthy adults, whose diet was assessed through a validated questionnaire. Participants were distributed by increasing deciles according to protein intake or carbohydrate intake, as well as by an additive score generated by increasing decile intake of protein and decreasing decile intake of carbohydrates. Proportional hazards regression was used to assess the relation between high protein, high carbohydrate and the low carbohydrate–high protein score on the one hand and mortality on the other.

During 113 230 persons years of follow-up, there were 455 deaths. In models with energy adjustment, higher intake of carbohydrates was associated with significant reduction of total mortality, whereas higher intake of protein was associated with nonsignificant increase of total mortality (per decile, mortality ratios 0.94 with 95% CI 0.89 –0.99, and 1.02 with 95% CI 0.98 –1.07 respectively). Even more predictive of higher mortality were high values of the additive low carbohydrate–high protein score (per 5 units, mortality ratio 1.22 with 95% CI 1.09 –to 1.36). Positive associations of this score were noted with respect to both cardiovascular and cancer mortality.

But sadly, this won’t phase the low-carb lemmings of the world. They’ll just yammer on and on about how much weight they lost and how great it feels not to give up their emotional attachments to fatty foods. “Whaa-whaa-whaa! Why can’t I eat steak wrapped in bacon and fried in butter every night—but I want it!”

New Research: Cut Salt, Cut Cardiovascular Risk

Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t think consuming salt is a good idea. In fact, he’d have you cut it out completely. And research proves that’s a smart move. A new study shows ditching salt can also reduce cardiovascular risk. Eric Nagourney of The New York Times reports:
It seems obvious that it would, but in a new study, researchers offer what they say is some of the first good evidence that it really does.

The study, which appears online in The British Medical Journal, looked at two groups of people more than a decade after they were asked to reduce their salt intake for up to 48 months. There were more than 3,000 participants, 30 to 54, all of whom had a condition that put them at special risk for high blood pressure.

The researchers, led by Nancy R. Cook of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, found that those who had significantly reduced their salt intake had a 25 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Their risk of death from the disease was also cut, by as much as a fifth.

Spaniards, Bloated

Another setback in the global battle against obesity, the AFP reports that more and more Spaniards—including children—are overweight or obese. More from the report:
"Fifty two percent of the adult population and 27.6 percent of children are either overweight or obese," the ministry said as it unveiled the results of a 2006 study into the state of the nation's health.

The results, based on the height and weight of respondents interviewed in 31,000 households nationwide, showed that 15.5 percent of men and 15 percent of women were obese and that 44.4 percent of men and 30.3 percent of women were overweight.

Pistachios, Cholesterol, and Health

High cholesterol, not exactly a ticket for extended health and longevity—but don’t take my word for it! I’m just a blogger. According to Dr. Fuhrman, keeping your cholesterol down is a good idea, especially if you plan on living a longtime. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
Heart disease begins in our youth and is not easy to reverse. No one should eat more than five grams of saturated fat a day. Over this level, disease rates climb.

All food derived from animals contain cholesterol and tend to be high in the thick, heavy fats called saturated fats. Most plant foods are very low in saturated fat, except for some tropical plant oils like palm and coconut oil that are naturally saturated.

Reducing the consumption of animal foods reduces the consumption of cholesterol and saturated fat. Low intake of cholesterol and saturated fat leads to a leaner body, clean arteries, and reducing risk of developing heart disease and many other diet-related diseases such as stroke, breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
So then, how do you keep your cholesterol within a healthy range? Expensive medications and invasive procedures? Well, Dr. Fuhrman wouldn’t recommend this approach. He talks about it in Invasive Cardiology Procedures and Surgeries Are Not Effective:
Bypass surgery and angioplasty only attempt to treat a small segment of the diseased heart, usually with only temporary benefit. Since atherosclerotic plaque blankets all the vessels in the heart, bypassing or removing the most diseased portion, still does not address all the shallow and non-obstructive lipid deposits. The major burden of disease is left intact and therefore the potential for a deadly heart attack is largely unaffected. The vast majority of patients who undergo these interventions do not have fewer new heart attacks or longer survival. The procedures themselves expose the patients to more risk of new heart attacks, strokes, infection, encephalopathy, and death. In addition, the symptomatic benefits erode with time.
Apparently pills and drugs aren’t really miracle workers either. Dr. Fuhrman elaborates in his book Cholesterol Protection for Life:
When resorting to medical intervention, rather than dietary modifications, other problems arise, reducing the potential reduction in mortality possible, as these individuals are at risk of serious side effects from the medication. The known side effects for various statins (the most popular and effective medications to lower cholesterol) include hepatitis, jaundice, other liver problems, gastrointestinal upsets, muscle problems and a variety of blood complications such as reduced platelet levels and anemia.
Okay, if medications and procedures don’t cut the mustard, what does? Well, it seems wholesome natural food will do the trick. Just check out this report. HealthDay News reports that pistachios have similar heart-healthy effects to leafy green vegetables. Pretty cool, right? Robert Preidt has more:
"Pistachio amounts of 1.5 ounces and three ounces (per day) -- one to two handfuls -- reduced risk for cardiovascular disease by significantly reducing LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels, and the higher dose significantly reducing lipoprotein ratios," study author Sarah K. Gebauer, a graduate student in integrative biosciences at Penn State, said in a prepared statement.

The multi-week study, which received funding from the California Pistachio Commission , concluded that three ounces of pistachios a day reduced LDL levels by 11.6 percent, total cholesterol levels by 8.4 percent, and non-high density lipoproteins (non-HDL) by 11.2 percent. Levels of non-HDL are considered reliable predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.
This is great news, but hardly new news. Dr. Fuhrman has been talking about the healthful properties of nuts and seeds for years. More on that from Nuts and Seeds Are Excellent Foods:
Nuts and seeds are a natural part of the diet of homo-sapiens. They are perfectly adapted to the taste and ability of humans to pick, dry, store, and crack. No wonder study after study shows raw nuts and seeds not only lower cholesterol, but protect against common diseases of aging. I recommend almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, macadamias, filberts, and walnuts; and sunflower, sesame, flax, and pumpkin seeds. These delicious natural foods are high in nutrients and healthful unsaturated fats.