Nutrition and Lifestyle

A recent paper in EBioMedicine studied variations on low and high fat and carbohydrate diets. What makes the study interesting is that it was comparing a ‘traditional’ Chinese diet (low fat – high carb) with a more Western (high fat – low carb) diet among Chinese Nationals. The traditional diet resulted in more weight loss without a significant change in LDL or insulin activity. Here are the details:

  • Six-month, randomized three-arm trial of three isocaloric diets. Protein represented 14% of energy intake in all three. Fats varied from 20 to 40%, while carbohydrates varied from 66 to 46%.
  • Participants ate only the foods provided and avoided excessive or unusual strenuous exercise
  • ...

Summer campfires are fun; even more fun when you can roast some delicious marshmallows! But roasting the perfect marshmallow takes a bit of skill, and a whole lotta patience!

Surely we all know by now that broccoli is good for us — like many other veggies. One of the sulfur-containing compounds in broccoli (and in other cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cabbage)  — sulphoraphane (SFN)  — has been touted for its supposed anti-cancer effects  — but the science is not really in on that. Last week though, Science Translational Medicine published a report on SFN that demonstrated the possibility that this compound could be useful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2DM).

One characteristic of T2DM is that the liver, which produces glucose when blood levels are too low, doesn’t respond to insulin as it normally would by decreasing its glucose output. This insulin resistance results in excess glucose going into the blood from the...

Here's a rumor that is so stupid that I'm reluctant to take time off from Sudoku to even bother to write about it. But, it's making the rounds big time on the Internet, so in order to avoid having one more harmless thing to worry about, I better do it anyhow. Hang on.

 

OK, all done. So, let's have a really simple chemistry lesson: Stuff melts. 

Wax is stuff, so it also melts. All you have to do is heat it to about 100ºF and there ya go.

Chemistry lesson #2: If something melts at 100ºF, it will also melt at 212ºF.

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In the never-ending quest toward self-enlightenment, a certain amount of introspection is essential. This sometimes requires an unsparing look in the mirror, and sometimes I don't like what I see. 

For example, I must offer my sincere apologies to "Drs" Mercola, Weil, Adams and Oz." I mean, really. Was ALL of this necessary? Seriously, was it really that important to dip Dr. Oz into a volcano and a vat of mayonnaise or turn Andrew Weil into a Pez dispenser

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The Centers for Disease Control, now with Prevention added in, has recently taken to inventing problems they can then ask for money from Congress to solve.

One glaring example is promoting "prediabetes." Unlike Type 1, Type 2 diabetes is a problem that lifestyle changes can usually prevent, but picking a target so low as to be meaningless is just going to scare a lot of people, get some to want medication, and erode public confidence in science and health. Like "nutrition" guidelines that only 2 percent of the public meet, promoting concern about prediabetes using 5.7 percent for the average blood sugar level (the HbA1C test) is only going to identify 5 percent of people who will go on to develop diabetes - but with a huge price tag. The other 95 percent of people with that A1C...

Every so often someone comes up with a new way to impugn our diets. Whether it's red meat, sugar-sweetened beverages or artificial sweeteners, there's  a danger we must avoid to attain or maintain our health. But could it be that those foods touted as the healthiest are really bad for us? We're talking about legumes, beans, and nuts — items that are high on the list of vegetarians' sources of protein and suggested for even the most omnivorous among us for their fiber, vitamins and mineral content. Well, according to a Dr. Steven Gundry, these foods are actually dangerous because they contain lectins — plant proteins that can cause digestive problems and worse.

First, a few words about Dr. Gundry. He is a cardiothoracic surgeon — in fact was chairman...

It's not really news that what and how much one eats can be influenced by the social setting of the eating environment. This can be an important factor when considering how to help people who live alone (for example, elderly folks) consume enough food to maintain health. But what is needed for this social facilitation to occur? Is one other person eating at the same time sufficient? Or, does there need to be a group? A new study by Japanese investigators surprisingly found that people who eat while watching themselves in a mirror, or even just seeing a picture of themselves eating, will eat more than if they don't see either one.

Drs...

Microbiome. Microbiome. Microbiome. Microbiome. Microbiome. Microbiome.

Like fashion, science and medicine can be SO trendy. Over the past few years, alteration of the gut microbiome has been blamed for everything from obesity and diabetes to maybe even climate change on Pluto. But perhaps nowhere has it been invoked more than in the ongoing witch hunt against artificial sweeteners.

One convoluted theory after another has been proposed to try to explain why artificial sweeteners are as bad for you (or worse) than sugar itself. In particular, they alter the (sigh) gut microbiome and also fool the body into thinking that sugar has been consumed simply because they are sweet—something...

When it comes to coconut oil, the greasy stuff is best used on your skin, not melted in a pan meant for eating. The 100% fat in this oil isn't healthier than olive oil, or any other cooking oil. Has mainstream media finally caught on?