Fatty Acids Improve Heart Health in Diabetics

A new study in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, shows omega-3 fatty acids lower blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid known to raise the risk of heart disease. For the study, 81 diabetics were randomly assigned to groups receiving daily omega-3 supplements or a placebo. After two months, data revealed a 22% reduction of homocysteine in the omega groups, compared to only 1% for the placebo group; Nutra Ingredients explains.

Omega-3s are powerful stuff, found in foods like flaxseeds, omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to slower progression of age-related vision loss, reduced inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease, and less likelihood of repeat stroke. Not too shabby!

In March, a study showed fatty acids help lower the risk of prostate cancer. Good thing Dr. Fuhrman sells a DHA supplement that provides essential omega-3 fatty acids.

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Diabetes Starts Way Before Diagnosis

Hardly a revelation, but new a study in the Lancet shows blood glucose sensitivity starts to change several years before the onset of type-2 diabetes. Scientists followed 6,538 adults without diabetes for 10 years, during which 505 people were diagnosed with the disease. Among the newly diabetic, data revealed steep increases in fasting glucose three years prior to their diagnosis. Experts blame years of overeating, obesity and inactivity; via Booster Shots.

Listen up! Diabetes isn’t inevitable. Last month, research linked healthy, vegetable-based diets to lower risk of type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman recommends regular exercise and eating plenty of leafy greens, beans and nuts for diabetes prevention, and reversal.

In related news, breakfast cereals like cornflakes spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels, raising the risk for heart disease.

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Diet Drinks for Preventing Diabetes? No Way!

Recent studies link the use of artificial sweeteners to a 2-fold increase in diabetes. Hard to believe that physicians often advise patients predisposed to diabetes to use artificial sweeteners as a means of prevention! Another example of how being misinformed, about the impact of food and nutrition on our health, does so much harm and is a major contributor to our healthcare crisis.

June 15, 2009—People who use artificial sweeteners are heavier, more likely to have diabetes, and more likely to be insulin-resistant compared with nonusers, according to data presented at ENDO 2009, the 91st annual meeting of The Endocrine Society.

Sugars and other nutrients within the digestive tract activate sweet taste receptors called enteroendocrine cells, leading to the release of hormones like incretin and insulin. These hormones result in increased absorption of glucose and other caloric sugars. Non caloric (artificial) sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose have many of the same effects on these "gut taste receptors" as do energy (calorie) containing sugars.

One theory suggests that ingestion of non caloric (artificial) sweeteners may prepare the gut for the presence of nutrients in the same manner as the nutrients themselves, but in the absence of a source of calories, the balance between taste receptor activation, nutrient assimilation and appetite may be disturbed, leading to an increase in appetite and overeating of unnecessary calories when they are readily available.1

A study analyzed data, from participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), to determine whether weight status and health risk measurements differed among artificial sweetener users and non-artificial sweetener users. The primary sweetener consumed was aspartame followed by saccharine and sucralose. Although the group who used sweeteners was younger and heavier, they did not consume any more calories than those who did not use sweeteners yet they were twice as likely to develop diabetes.2

Other reasons to avoid artificial sweeteners:

  • Linked to cancer
  • Triggers headaches and migraines
  • Causes brain tumors and seizures in animals

All of the possible dangers of artificial sweeteners are still unknown. Utilizing such artificial products is gambling with your health. Aspartame also exposes us to a methyl ester that may have toxic effects. Play it safe and stick to natural foods.

The bottom line here is, try to enjoy your food choices without refined or artificial sweeteners of any kind. Fresh fruit and occasionally dried fruits or ground dates is the safest way to go to satisfy a sweet tooth. I recommend dropping colas, sodas, sweetened teas, and juices—diet or not. If they don't contain artificial sweeteners, they are loaded with sugar. Eat unrefined food and drink water. Melons blended with ice cubes and dates for added sweetness make delicious, cooling summer drinks.
 

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Martha and Stanley Rediscovered Life

Everyone wants to be happy and healthy. Like Charlotte, she used to be sick with diabetes and heart disease, but she got healthy and feels great. Now take Martha and Stanley, they started off sick and struggling, but today they’re slim, trim, healthy and looking good:

Neither of us is on cholesterol lowering medication. I have stopped the blood pressure medication. Our blood work results are excellent. We feel great, more energy and enjoying what we are eating more so than our previous SAD diet. Oh, and our weight has dropped without effort. For years we have tried to reduce our weight. Martha was a faithful at the local health club.

We were and still are frequent walkers. Her weight going back to 2001 ran between 150 and 165 regardless of the amount of exercise or diet. Now her weight is about 132. My weight, which is shown on the attached spreadsheet, historically ran from the high 170’s to the mid 180’s. November 1, 2006, a few days from now, I estimate that my weight will be 141, down 40 pounds from a year earlier…continue reading.

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Breakfast Cereal Raises Blood Sugar, Heart Risks

Put the cornflakes down! New findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology claim high-glycemic foods spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels. Subjects fed cornflakes, glucose and high-fiber cereal had impaired the endothelial function—the cells that line the inside of blood vessels—compared to people given oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. Poor endothelial function is believed to increase the risk of heart disease; Health Day News reports.

Breakfast cereal and white bread are processed foods, i.e. empty carbohydrates with no nutrition. Even “whole wheat” bread is a scam. Dr. Fuhrman says caramel color is added to give it the appearance of whole wheat. Luckily, fruits and vegetables are packed with healthful fiber and nutrients.

In April, a study showed overweight Latino teenagers switching to a high-fiber, low-sugar diet had less risk of type-2 diabetes and experienced substantial drops in blood glucose levels.

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Childhood Fat Linked to Early Cardiovascular Disease

My mom called me “husky” when I was a kid. I wasn’t chubby, just stout. I still am. Good thing I wasn’t overweight, because a new study presented at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting suggests obese children, as young as 7 years old, are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. Experts screened more than 300 kids, ages 7 to 18, including 115 obese children and found obese kids had a 10-fold higher level of C-reactive protein, a known risk factor of heart disease; via ScienceDaily.

Last June, researchers observed metabolic syndrome in obese children. Metabolic syndrome is the group of conditions contributing to heart disease, including diabetes and obesity. In this study, scientists said an 8 year old child with metabolic syndrome could have heart disease by the time they reach 18 years old.

In related news, eating two servings of red meat per day was found to raise risk of metabolic disease by 26% and salt-sensitive people with metabolic syndrome are more likely to have high blood pressure.
 

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Smoking and Drinking Leads to Bowel Cancer

Conducted by The George Institute for International Health, a new study suggests alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking drastically increase risk of bowel cancer. Data revealed drinking more than seven drinks a week is associated with a 60% higher risk of cancer, compared to non-drinkers, and smoking—along with obesity, diabetes and consumption of red and processed meat—was linked to a 20% greater risk of bowel cancer; via ScienceDaily.

Alcohol is tricky. Most of us equate it with a good time—I still do—but it’s not healthy. Reports have shown booze raises risk of breast cancer and hardens arteries. Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding alcohol, saying even moderate drinking is dangerous. Smoking is a bad too.

In 2008, California’s initiatives to stop smoking saved the state $86 billion in healthcare costs. In Pueblo, Colorado heart attacks have dropped 40% since smoking was banned in public places.

 

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Q & A: Coumadin and Atrial Fibulation

In March, a study came out saying people with type-2 diabetes have a 68% higher risk of heart failure due to atrial fibrillation, i.e. irregular heart beat. So, what’s the deal with atrial fibulation? Here’s a brief discussion about it from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center:

Question: Last January, I was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with atrial fibulation caused by hyperthyroid and needed to take Metoprolol, aspirin and Coumadin. My doctor said I had to take radioactive iodine to bring my thyroid back to normal and maybe would correct my irregular heart beat, which I did. It did nothing for my atrial fibulation.

Now he wants me to increase the Coumadin and have electrical cardioversion. This scares me. If I follow Eat For Health closely, I will be able to have a regular heart beat without medication in the future. Am I at a high risk for stroke with not taking Coumadin?

Dr. Fuhrman: Taking better care of your nutritional needs will in the long run help you  feel better without risks. I am not sure if by eating so much healthier it will put you back in normal heart rhythm eventually. Most likely if you have not gone back, you will need a cardioversion to bring you back.

I do not agree with that statement, "Am I at high risk of stroke with not taking Coumadin?" Instead that should say a person who eats a conventional diet is at a higher risk of stroke if they have atrial fibrillation and do not take Coumadin. I do not normally recommend Coumadin for atrial fibrillation for a person eating properly, who has attended to their cardiac risk factors.

Nevertheless, I do agree you need to take Coumadin before and for a short while after electro-conversion to put you back to establish a normal heart rhythm. So, essentially I agree that you should stay on the Coumadin for now, have the cardioversion and then soon after come off it, when you are back in normal rhythm again.

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Driving Cars is Making Us Fat and Unhealthy

Evolving from hulking apes to car driving suburbanites isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Some health officials claim that America’s love for driving is a bad habit, resulting in poor health. Driving more means you walk less and walking is a great exercise. Walking is something us bipedal hominids are specialized to do. Experts say people should take about 10,000 steps a day to maintain good health, but driving a car all day causes that number to drop to about 1,000; Reuters explains.

I drive my friends crazy. I always park far away. So I can walk a little. But listen, exercise is very important. According to Dr. Fuhrman, regular exercise pays huge dividends, such improving mood, building stronger bones and reducing risk of disease, like type-2 diabetes.

In related news, walking for 30 minutes each day was found to reduce age-related weight gain and taking the stairs helps lowers lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

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