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Category : Diet Science

Science Might Have Identified the Optimal Human Diet | by …

Americans are notoriously unhealthy eaters. The so-called Western diet one that adores meat, abhors fat, and cant get enough of processed food has dominated menus and mealtimes for nearly half a century and has become synonymous with obesity and metabolic dysfunction. Short of swallowing actual poison, its hard to imagine a more ruinous approach to eating than the one practiced by many U.S. adults.

If this story has a silver lining, its that the dreadful state of the average Americans diet has helped clarify the central role of nutrition in human health. A poor diet like the one popular in the West is strongly associated with an elevated risk for conditions of the gut, organs, joints, brain, and mind everything from Type 2 diabetes and cancer to rheumatoid arthritis and depression.

If eating the wrong way can contribute to such a diverse range of illnesses, it stands to reason that eating the right way could offer people a measure of protection from most ailments. But whats the right way? That question lies at the heart of countless studies stretching back several decades. By panning the newest and best of those studies for gold, some experts say we may be closing in on the optimal approach to eating.

Highly restrictive diets are usually not advised unless there is an underlying medical condition that warrants it.

In September, OKeefe and colleagues published a paper in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that sought to identify the ideal diet for human cardiovascular health. Based on the most comprehensive research to date, his paper makes the case that a pesco-Mediterranean approach paired with elements of intermittent fasting is a strong contender for the healthiest diet science has yet identified.

The diet is essentially a modified Mediterranean plan, which makes sense; OKeefe and his co-authors highlight research that has found consistent associations between a Mediterranean diet and lower risk for death, coronary heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cognitive decline, depression, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimers disease.

Plant-based foods vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains form the foundation of the diet. Fatty fish and other types of seafood, along with unrestricted helpings of extra-virgin olive oil, round out the plans major components. Modest helpings of dairy products, poultry, and eggs are allowed, while red meat should be eaten sparingly or avoided. Low or moderate amounts of alcohol preferably red wine are acceptable, but water, coffee, and tea are preferred.

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Scientists just discovered a new surprising benefit of coffee – Ladders

Its becoming increasingly difficult to consider caffeine a vice with everything we now know about the multifaceted benefits linked to habitual coffee consumption.

From longevity to a healthy gut microbe to curbing obesity and preventing dementia, java is an undeniable contender in new-age diet science. This isnt to suggest that all of its rewards are tangled up in dense medical literature about diseases and mortality rates.

In fact, a new study conducted by researchers at Aarhus University concludes that a single couple of coffee dramatically enhances our sensitivity to sweetness and diminishes our sensitivity to bitterness.

Chemosensory sensitivity has great variation between individuals. This variation complicates the chemosensory diagnostics, as well as the creation of a meal with universally high hedonic value. To ensure accurate characterization of chemosensory function, a common rule of thumb is to avoid food/beverages one hour before chemosensory testing. However, the scientific foundation of this time of fast remains unclear, the authors of the new paper write. Our findings provide the first evidence of how coffee impacts short-term taste sensitivity and consequently the way we sense and perceive food following coffee intake-an an important insight in the context of gastronomy, as well as in chemosensory testing procedures.

The researchers began with a study pool consisting of 156 test subjects.

Each had their sense of smell and taste analyzed before and after being administered a single cup of caffeinated coffee. Although there were no observable alterations to their sense of smell after coffee consumption, the subjects sense of taste was profoundly affected.

Via self-reports, the respondents reacted more readily to sweet substances while being less attuned to bitter ones. Caffeine didnt seem to be influencing these outcomes, considering they were successfully replicated after the researchers supplied participants with decaffeinated coffee.

Its probably some of the bitter substances in the coffee that create this effect. This may explain that if you enjoy a piece of dark chocolate with your coffee, its taste is much milder, because the bitterness is downplayed and the sweetness is enhanced, says study author, Alexander Wieck Fjldstad. We already know that our senses have an effect on each other, but its a surprise that our registration of sweetness and bitterness is so easily influenced.

Uncovering the intricate dynamics that different dietary agents share with another opens avenues for other important fields of research.

There are a host of foods confirmed to be conducive to healthy aging and development that might be consumed more frequently if paired with tempering elements.

Coffee compliments powerful sources of protein like nuts and almonds perfectly, just as a glass of grapefruit juice extends the half-life of caffeine.

More research in this area could have significance for how we regulate the way in which we use sugar and sweeteners as food additives. Improved knowledge can potentially be utilized to reduce sugar and calories in our food, which would be beneficial for a number of groups, including those who are overweight and diabetes patients, Wieck Fjldstad explains.

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This is the worst kind of food you can eat during the Coronavirus pandemic – Ladders

Carbohydrates have been a polarizing staple of diet science for what feels like forever. While most dieticians agree that the biomolecules are essential for healthy development, a much smaller majority agree about the extent to which they should be present in a balanced meal.

The Official Dietary Guideline for Americans recommends adults receive half of their daily calorie intake from carbs though some experts believe portions should be influenced by the specific physiological characteristics of each individual.

In either case there are healthy ways to secure said value and unhealthy ways to neutralize its potential.

This is the source of the controversy. There are many different sub-classes of the macronutrient and each serves or hinders various biological functions.

Now more than ever, its important to expel agents studied to compromise immunization. In this regard, carbohydrates are especially relevant.

With the exception of fiber, carbohydrates provide energy after being transformed into glucose upon consumption or later on in the form of fat stores. FIber facilities important gut bacteria that enable us to absorb and make use of important minerals and substances.

In nutrition, carbs can be categorized three different ways:

Sugars: Short-chain carbohydrates like glucose, fructose, galactose, and sucrose.

Starches: Long chains of molecules that break down into glucose during digestion.

Fiber: These carbs cannot be digested by humans which makes them uniquely useful for the bacteria residing in our gastrointestinal tract.

There is another salient distinction among the classifications above: Simple and Complex carbohydrates, alternatively referred to as Whole or Refined carbohydrates.

Whole carbs are unprocessed and contain fiber found naturally in food. Think fruit, legumes, potatoes, and whole grains i.e healthy carb sources.

Refined carbs have been processed and stripped of their natural fiber. Think fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, and white rice i.e unhealthy carb sources.

Theres yet another classification that informs the degree to which bad carbs are bad for those who consume them with any sort of regularity.

White bread might not be the healthiest source for the nutrient but it does offer a justifiable portion of the health benefits associated with its tanner cousin. Fast carbs like french fries and pizza dough, on the other hand, offer a heaping of setbacks without the benefits.

The chemical structure of the wheat in most processed foods has been transformed into a fast carb. The extremely long chains of starch in whole grain are pummeled, using industrial techniques, into much shorter chains. When we eat them, they flood our complex digestive system with glucose molecules that are swiftly absorbed by the body. They come to us essentially predigested, David Kessler Former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration explained in a new report.

Kessler goes on to detail sobering tactics employed by ad agencies trying to capitalize on a health boom while maintaining its stable of junk food junkies.

Thanks to buzz words like whole grain and organic manufacturers are able to maneuver around pesky nutrition labels. Its not uncommon to see phrases like Made with real ingredients! headline fine print composed of categorically unhealthy ingredients. This is especially easy to do with carbohydrates because theyre in most things and the public is collectively unsure about which words separate the good from the bad.

Leading the blind are the millions of willfully self-destructive middle class Americans too encumbered by rising household debt, unemployment rates, and sharp mental decline to be fussed about parsing through a grocery list every week.

The average American consumes over 1,000 calories of unhealthy fast carbohydrates and sugars every day and receives an additional 500 from the fats and oils added to many of these foods.

Processed carbohydrates have become a staple of the American diet, and the consequences are wreaking havoc on our bodies, Kessler continued.

The COVID-19 pandemic has really emphasized the liabilities associated with these numbers. By and large, those who have succumbed to critical forms of the disease are patients with underlying conditions caused by poor eating habits.

Although a wealthy nation with as many resources as the US should be well defended against pathogens in the 21st century, few insiders were blindsided by SARS Cov-2s rapid progression.

The world is simply not prepared to deal with a diseasean especially virulent flu, for examplethat infects large numbers of people very quickly. Of all the things that could kill 10 million people or more, by far the most likely is an epidemic, Bill Gates said in a Ted Talk from 2015.

Once were on the other side of this horrific black swan conflagration its important we dont forget about the factors that stoked the flame. Policy concessions on universal healthcare need to be made on behalf of our elected officials and nutritional guidelines need to be adhered to on behalf of the rest of us.

From a tangle of intricate science, then, a simple strategy emerges. Our best path to health comprises three basic steps: limit fast carbs, exercise with moderate intensity, and lower LDL levels. Following these recommendations will change our nations health as significantly as reducing tobacco use has done, Kessler concludes.

When the next health crisis inevitably occurs, lets hope the national response resembles a process more than a race.

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The surprising weight loss diet that may protect you from Coronavirus – Ladders

For three consecutive years,The Mediterranean diet has been awarded diet of the year by the U.S. News & World Report.

As far as overall health is concerned, the ancient regimen is hard to beat but there are plans that emphasize nutriments of more material to individuals living with chronic conditions.

The Dash Diet was conceived back in 1992 by the National Institute of Health in an effort to curb rising hypertension and CVD statistics in the United States. The intervention method, which called for a surplus of fresh ingredients and disallowed heavily processed foods, is inching back towards relevance in the midst of a global viral crisis.

Half of the first 170 patients who died of COVID-19 suffered from hypertension before contracting the novel infection.

From what I was told by other doctors and the data I can see myself, among all the underlying diseases, hypertension is a key dangerous factor, said Du, director of the intensive care unit at Peking Union Medical College Hospital in the Chinese capital of Beijing in a press statement.

The Dash Diet is designed to eliminate dietary agents that spike inflammation and clog arteries. Pending pandemic aside, heart disease remains the number one killer in the US by a sizeable margin.

In the last 50 years in the US, clinicians have seen a rise in diseases including hypertension (HTN), diabetes, obesity, and coronary artery disease (CAD). An estimated 2000 people die of heart disease every day in the US. Chronic diseases related to diet and obesity have become major causes of death in the US across all ethnicities. Obesity has been linked to the major etiological factor in diabetes, HTN, cancer, and CAD, write the team of researchers that established the regimen.

The diet allows 2,000 calories a day, primarily composed of whole-grain ingredients.

Five hundred-thousand Americans go bankrupt on behalf of medical debt a year, making diet science more pertinent than ever.

Heres what you can eat

And heres what you shouldnt

If youre dealing with elevated blood pressure or other cardiovascular risks, theres no question about it; but even if youre looking to lose weight before hitting the beach this summer, the DASH diet may be safer for you compared to the keto diet or Whole30, explains Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN, a registered dietitian within the Good Housekeeping Institute

All of the probative data on the COVID-19s development suggest we might be in the trench for longer than previously assumed. In the meantime, remember to sanitize and fortify your body against harmful agents.

The Dash Diet is a good place to start if you have a history of CVD, high blood pressure or hypertension.

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The Biggest Diet Trend of 2020 Is Not A Diet – Medical Bag

At first glance, the practice of intermittent fasting may appear similar to other trends that have captured the attention of the diet science world. In recent years, many have advocated for the practice of intermittent fasting, claiming benefits such as increased lifespan, mitigation of chronic disease risk, and improvements in physical performance. However, the actual potential for intermittent fasting in disease management and its benefit for healthy individuals have been a topic of debate.

According to a review published in The New England Journal of Medicine, evidence from preclinical studies and clinical trials on intermittent fasting have found benefits for a number of health conditions, including obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and neurologic disorders. Several of the benefits of intermittent fasting were found to be unassociated with its effects on weight loss. Some of these identified benefits include improvements in glucose regulation, blood pressure, heart rate, as well as in the efficacy of endurance training and abdominal fat loss. While the review authors noted that we do not fully understand the specific mechanisms of how intermittent fasting facilitate these benefits, it is thought to be due to a phenomenon known as metabolic switching.

Intermittent fasting utilizes distinct periods of feeding and fasting. In the fasted state, cells increase glucose regulation and stress resistance and suppress inflammation. This occurs in concert with the catabolism of triglycerides stored in adipose tissue, which subsequently leads to the production of ketone bodies that can serve as an energy source for tissues including the brain. In the fed state, cells use a glucose-based metabolism to engage in tissue-specific growth and plasticity. One of the more notable effects of switching between these 2 metabolic states is that the respiratory-exchange ratio in fasted individuals is reduced, which may indicate greater metabolic flexibility and energy production.

Intermittent fasting brings about an adaptive and evolutionarily conserved cellular response across a number of organ systems, which in turn leads to improved glucose regulation, increased stress resistance, and suppression of inflammation. Were built to function mentally and physically well in a food deprived state. Of course, in the wild its not voluntary fasting theres food scarcity and food deprivation, noted Mark Mattson, PhD, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and co-author of this review. He added that, During evolution, presumably, the brains and bodies that functioned well in a food deprived state were those that were successful in getting food and surviving and passing their genes on.

Although this eating pattern has shown potential for treating or managing chronic disorders including obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and neurodegenerative brain diseases, the review authors highlighted that further research is needed to generalize these findings to groups not involved in each study. Moreover, although preclinical animal studies have shown intermittent fasting to extend lifespan, clinical research in this area is limited due to the lack of longitudinal study data.

While an intermittent fasting eating pattern may be appropriate for some individuals, it can be difficult to adhere to and may not be the ideal pattern for everyone. I think its important that when we are looking at intermittent fasting or any diet, what works needs to be sustainable over a long period of time, indicated Fatima Cody Stanford MD, MPH, MPA, an obesity medicine physician, scientist, and policy maker at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Clinicians who consider prescribing this eating pattern should also determine its appropriateness for their respective patients. This may include consulting a dietician and/or psychologist to determine whether a given patient is a good candidate for intermittent fasting. Furthermore, clinicians may want to discuss the willingness or ability to sustain such an eating pattern for an extended period of time with each patient. Because many individuals are accustomed to 3 meals with interspersed snacks as part of their daily routine, switching to this eating pattern may prove to be an early challenge in their treatment course.

It is also important to counsel patients on the initial adverse effects that may be associated with this eating pattern, such as irritability and reduced ability to concentrate during periods of food restriction. In order to ameliorate these adverse effects, it may be appropriate to consider a gradual transition into this eating pattern.

Intermittent fasting may have gained traction as a diet fad, but preliminary research has established a clear, if untested, scientific and medical benefit via its use as a prescribed and monitored eating pattern.


De Cabo R and Mattson MP. Effects of intermittent fasting on health, aging, and disease [published online December 26, 2019]. New Engl J Med. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1905136

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This Harvard study might put the end to the carbohydrates war – Ladders

Modern diet science is much more charitable towards carbs than fads of old. New data assures us thatcarbohydrates areessential to a balanced dieteven when weight loss is an immediate objective.

But a new study published by Harvard researchers in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal found that not all carbs are equal.

The study, which featured more than 35,000 Ameican adults aged 20 and older, found that the quality of a food group impacted longevity significantly more than the presence of a food group in a given regimen. Despite past studies, a low-fat diet isnt indicative of an effect, sustainable diet.

In this study, overall low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were not associated with total mortality, researchers said. Unhealthy low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were associated with higher total mortality, whereas healthy low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were associated with lower total mortality.

These findings suggest that the associations of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets with mortality may depend on the quality and food sources of macronutrients.

Since the weight loss market is such a lucrative industry and the medias obsession with diets, it has been argued by some that the market makes a point to blur the line between personal objectives and dietary guidelines. If someone needs to lose weight for health reasons or even for cosmetic purposes, there are healthyand expedient ways to do so.

While carbohydrates give us energy, if the energy isnt used after consumption then theyre stored in our muscles and liver for later. Eventually, if unused, the carbohydrates will turn into fat. Low-carb diets, if adhered to correctly, promote weight loss by limiting the number of carbs we need to use before they become stored as fat. This method works for about six months but fails to be a sustainable system in the long term.

Relying on meats for energy at the expense of carbs is linked toa higher risk for cancer and early death.Restricting carbohydrates is the quickest way to drop weight as long as you apply this restriction to a considered timeline.The Dietary Guidelines for Americas recommend that carbohydrates make up between 45% to 65% of your daily calories. Thats about225 grams for women and to 325 grams for men.

Unlike previous studies, the researchers not only took the number of carbs into account but also the source of carbs consumed. This prerequisite provided an important insight into the role balance plays into longevity and dietary guidelines. When accounting for the total number of person-years (297,768), 4,866 total deaths occurred. Researchers said low-carbohydrate-diet and low-fat-diet scores were not associated with total mortality, but a healthy low-carbohydrate diet and a healthy low-fat diet were associated with lower total mortality.

Our findings show clearly that the quality rather than the quantity of macronutrients in our diet has an important impact on our health, said Zhilei Shan, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvards Department of Nutrition, in a press release. The debate on the health consequences of low-fat or low-carbohydrate diets is largely moot unless the food sources of fats or carbohydrates are clearly defined.

The recommended carb intake can be obtained in three different ways: sugars, starches, and fibers. Each has its own set of health benefits. In addition, fruits, vegetables, milk, grains, seeds, and nuts are a good varied placed as well. When it comes to addressing mortality statistics, there are confounding factors to consider. Carbs, for instance, primarily provide our bodies with energy. If fibers are consumed in your daily carb intake, you lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.

One recent study found that people who ate at least five fruits a day lived roughly three-years longer than those who didnt. Earlier this week, a new report about habitually consuming skim milk reversed the aging process by an average of four-and-a-half-years.

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The average adult will try this shocking number of diets in their lifetime – Ladders

As of 2018, the weightloss market is worth an estimated $70 billion. This staggering figure is staffed by the 45 million people that take up at least one new diet per year.

When everything is taken into account the average adult will try about 126 different diets in their lifetime.

This data comes courtesy of a new survey conducted by One Poll and commissioned by Love Fresh Berries.

The three most popular reasons the respondents picked up an emergency diet are as follows: wanting to be more satisfied when looking in the mirror(24%), preparing for holidays or a vacation where a lot of food will be served (21%) and getting ready for a big event (18%.)

A lack of consensus regarding long-term application kept the vast majority of the 2,000 participating respondents from seeing a diet through to their goal weight. Fifty-two percent of the study pool said that they didnt really know what made one regimen more sustainable over another.

An additional 20% admitted that they have no idea where to find reliable nutrition guidelines. In fact, the respondents were so perplexed by diet science 33% thought that it was actually healthier to eat fewer fruits.

In their defense, nutrition standards are infamously inconsistent,especially as it pertains to fad diets. Sadly this is by design. As previouslyreported by Ladders, theJournal of Public Policy and Marketingidentified four commercial tactics used by name brand companies to capitalize on emergency trend diets i.e underscoring things like low fat to belie the impression that a product is healthy even though there are a myriad of products that are low in fat and high in other things that do not contribute to optimal health.

There are plenty of trendy diets that offer substantive benefits but only if you adopt them with the long-view in mind.

Just about 50% of the participants looked to Google when in the market for a new crash diet,27% would consult a medical professional,15% rely on a combination of social media and self-help books and the remaining kept an eye out for whatever their favorite celebrity was doing it.These routes led to the Keto diet the most often, followed by intermittent fasting.

Irrespective of the method of discovery most dropped their diet plan afterjust six days.

Despite this average 16% said that they were so desperate to lose weight quickly they would drink12glasses of lemon juice every day if it meant they would. Some said instead of lemon juice they would use baby food and one in 20 said that they would eat a tapeworm to slim down.

The reasons for dropping diets were varied. For some, the side effects associated with the early stages of emergency diets, namely fatigue (21%), weakness (29%), and headaches (26%), were just too much to bear.

Others enjoyed food too much.Chocolate, bread, andpastawere the top three most difficult foods to cut.

January tends to be the month when people embark on fad diets as a quick fix. However, we know that it isnt a sustainable or even healthy approach, explained Love Fresh Berries chairman Nick Marston in a statement. Instead, nutritionists advise that we follow evidence-based nutritional advice and look for a well-balanced diet that does not cut out any food groups. Incorporating lots of fruit and vegetables is important, including berries as they have many important nutritional benefits.

Sticking to a diet plan doesnt exclusively come down to self-control. Research has shown that those who establish goals that go beyond cosmetics not only commit to their diets longer theyre also more forgiving of themselves when they breach them. This mindset is also helpful when finding transitioning to a regimen more aligned with your specific objectives.

Make a plan, consider a contingency and accept that lapses are inevitable.

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Preventive Medicine: Diet science, weaponized –

All too often, we impede the critical truths of science, about climate change, most urgently, for want of respect. But we err concomitantly in the other direction, subordinating our judgment to assertions about science that make no entry-level sense. In a world of click-bait, sound bites and crowded competition for our fleeting and assaulted attention, science is being weaponized against us. Nowhere is this more flagrantly and frequently on display than with all matters of diet and health.

You heard recently, for instance, that its fine to just keep eating processed meat. You were inclined to believe it, perhaps, for one or both of two reasons: (1) you like bacon and pepperoni; and/or (2) you have come to believe that nutrition science is lost, confused and unreliable. The former is your call; the latter is not, and its entirely false.

But it seems true, doesnt it? For instance, youve likely heard reports about studies saying that eggs are good for you, and that eggs are bad for you. Youve heard the same about dairy. So, nutrition science must be lost and confused, right?

Wrong. Rather, and please remember this bit if nothing else, science cannot generate a good answer to a bad question. Science is the power of a freight train directed toward truth, but sense must lay its tracks. Otherwise, a train wreck is in the offing.

Lets consider what would happen to our understanding of exercise if we subjected the study of it to the diverse, tortured obfuscations that bedevil nutrition.

One week, a study ( Study A ) shows that walking promotes fitness and is thus absolutely vital to health and of course, gets very little media attention specifically because it aligns with what we already know. The very next week, we get breathless news cycles telling us that in another study ( Study B ) walking is associated with lower fitness, not higher, and that everything we have heard about walking up until yesterday is in doubt! This spawns headlines around the world, naturally.

A third study ( Study C ) a meta-analysis, perhaps might follow in time, telling us walking is in fact neither good nor bad for fitness, but neutral, so take it or leave it. We might even get alternative guidelines - with sponsorship ties to The Chair Manufacturers of America telling us there is no need to do any walking for our good health.

You might think the benefits of walking make the above far-fetched, but you are wrong. If scientists are motivated to ask contrived, devious or misguided questions as they so clearly are about diet just the above answers could ensue. In Study A , walking was compared to sedentariness in a randomized trial, and we got just the result we all know to expect.

In Study B , conversely, devoted, extremely fit distance runners were randomly assigned to keep running, or to replace running long-distances routinely with walking 5 minutes daily instead. After 3 months, the runners who kept running retained their original fitness, but it declined substantially for those who replaced lots of running with very little walking. And thus, the headlines: walking REDUCES fitness! In Study C , walking on a treadmill was compared to a comparable dose of riding a stationary bicycle. So, yes, walking was neutral.

Now back to eggs, and dairy, and carbs, and any other dietary scapegoat or silver bullet du jour. Yes, my friends, this is exactly how the weaponized science-media-contrarian expert-Big Food-industrial complex can so effectively propagate the notion that we are perennially confused about diet and health when we so emphatically are not. That platform subtends their profits at the expense of your well-being, and that of your children, and everyone else you love.

The instead of what? factor utterly crucial to understanding is ever and always relegated to the dietary fine print. You have been conditioned not to think about it.

Think about it.

My advice is simple. Before you board the food train of any given news cycle, apply that rarest of attributes- common sense- and make sure you see tracks. Otherwise, walk away, secure in the knowledge that walking, truly, is good for you.

Dr. David L. Katz is author of The Truth about Food and president of the True Health Initiative.

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Real diet science, not wind storms – High Plains Journal

If I were to tell you that our nations nutritional and overall health woes could be fixed with the help of a Berkeley native who is a 27-year vegetarian and the mother of two living in New York City, you would most likely think I have lost it, right?

Well, that is what I am telling you. That person is Nina Teicholz; a trained investigative journalist who spent nine years studying diet and disease with no formal training in nutrition and yet what she has uncovered every man, woman and child in this country needs to hear.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is still forming its administration, and one leadership role that still needs to be filled is that of the person who will ultimately guide the future of dietary guidelines. I make no bones about having faith in Teicholzs abilities to do that because she does not sit back or kowtow to the squeaky wheel. She simply shares the science of developing proper diets that has long been suppressed.

For example, in the past month a hit piece on animal agriculture was released on Netflix. That vegan agenda piece is called What the Health. Within hours of its release, Teicholz was the first response available on the internet and you can read it at

I would like to share with you some USDA information that she used in her summary of why this Netflix piece did not show the real truth.

Over the last 30 years, as rates of obesity and diabetes have risen sharply in the U.S., the consumption of animal foods has declined steeply: whole milk is down 79 percent; red meat by 28 percent and beef by 35 percent; eggs are down by 13 percent and animal fats are down by 27 percent. Meanwhile, consumption of fruits is up by 35 percent and vegetables by 20 percent. All trends therefore point towards Americans shifting from an animal-based diet to a plant-based one, and this data contradict the idea that a continued shift towards plant-based foods will promote health.

You see most studies today are observational studies, meaning they randomly ask people what they have eaten for the past 30 years and then try to tie it to the acceleration of their chosen disease. Teicholzs, on the other hand, has mountains of data and actual science about what is really going on with diet and health in our population.

Furthermore, the most maddening part of this information is she acquired the consumption data directly from the USDA. Yes, this is the same USDA that has continued to provide the misguided directives about reducing fat and protein and ramping up carbs with natural sugars from fruits and vegetables. The truth of the matter is the USDA has had access to all of this factual dietary information for 30 years.

I have become good friends with Teicholz since the release of her book that shares all of her research about diet and disease. The book is The Big Fat Surprise. The really interesting and respectable thing about her is she only has one dog in the fight. She does not come from a farming family with roots in food production. Her only passion was ignited when she was enlightened about the real facts leading to proper health. She developed a conviction that all other Americans need to get on board with after we have all been misled for so many years.

Lets look at the impact of poor nutrition. Our students are not keeping up with students in other countries and people look to blame the public school system. However, all the science clearly states that if you do not feed your brain, your ability to learn is limited. The foundation to improving our nations health and intelligence rests directly on the back of what we eat. We need to feed our kids, feed our families and feed our brains better than we have been.

That is the very reason I believe it is time we ask someone who has studied the science behind diets instead of those who have been following what the last wind of a political storm may have blown in. Look at the facts and the data. We need to change what we are eating and teach Americans the truth about what their bodies need to successfully live, work, play and learn. Teicholz can do that.

Editors note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at, or email Trent at

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The Fat Fad: Low-carb ketogenic diet catching on in Yakima – Yakima Herald-Republic

For dinner one night last week, Mandy Hale laid out ingredients for a pizza: bacon, sausage, onion, ricotta cheese, eggs, butter, almond flour. For dessert, she made a flourless strawberry shortcake.

This is the ketogenic diet, or keto for short the latest health craze to sweep the nation. And yes, it includes plenty of bacon.

From her office in Yakima, Hale has built an online community of people seeking advice and solidarity in following the high-fat food plan, where the majority of daily calories come from fat, and almost no carbohydrates.

In her own experience with the diet, Hale lost roughly 60 pounds in less than four months, lowered her triglycerides and got her hormones back in balance.

She has since leveraged her experience into a new health coaching business.

I just started having people contacting me going, What the heck are you doing? I want whatever youre having, Hale recalled.

But like any diet plan, keto is not a panacea for all ailments, physicians and licensed dietitians say. And its not something to enter into lightly.

Its not something that you can say, Im going to do this for a couple months and lose some pounds, Yakima dietitian Katie Thorner said.

It isnt something you can dabble in. Its something you actually need to know what youre doing to actually be effective in its application.

The ketogenic diet works by sending your body into ketosis, which causes it to burn fat for fuel.

Our body will first use glucose or sugar as energy, for our muscles, our brain. Thats No. 1, explained Rocio Petersen, a dietitian with Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic. Plan B, say, in starvation mode, (if youre) not getting enough food or fuels, our liver can use fat and some proteins, and will start using that as energy. Its essentially our backup.

Ketosis kicks in after two or three weeks, but Petersen cautioned that the switch is not pleasant at first: Thats starvation mode. You wont feel very good those first few days, if you are trying a ketogenic diet.

Keto proponents sometimes call this keto flu, as your body takes a week or so to adjust to no sugar.

The ketogenic diet requires some math: 60 to 80 percent of a persons daily calories are supposed to come from fat; 15 to 35 percent come from protein; and 5 percent or less from carbohydrates, including vegetables.

That 5 percent translates to only about 20 or 30 grams of carbs.

The average person consumes 30 to 75 grams of carbs in a single meal, Petersen said. To limit to just 30 grams, That would be, all day, you ate one-and-a-half apples, and thats all the carbohydrates you had, she said.

People who follow a ketogenic diet use a lot of coconut oil and butter in their cooking, along with olive oil and avocado oil, but not highly processed canola, vegetable or seed oils.

Keto recipes include significant amounts of avocado, eggs, almond or coconut flours, cauliflower (to replace carbs like potatoes or rice), cheese, beef, chicken and fish.

Fruit is minimal, though berries are typically an acceptable dessert. No added sugars; ketogenic cooks use low-carb sweeteners instead.

This diet doesnt have to be restrictive, Hale said. Through sharing her experience with others, shes decided to pursue a degree in nutrition and has set up an office from which she offers fat-fueled health coaching and meal plan help. This is the diet I tell people you can have bacon and your cake, too, just make your own cake with better ingredients, and sometimes it tastes better than the original.

Also, for people who have stayed in ketosis long enough to become fat-adapted which may take a couple months, Hale says indulging in a carb-heavy slice of cake every now and then wont send them back to square one.

(If, however, they go on a weeklong sugar binge and fall off the wagon, she also helps coach people into getting back on track.)

In the Yakima area, Hale has been talking with some local businesses about offering keto-friendly food.

Sundance Espresso in Selah, which occupies the former North Town building, has started offering cheese-and-salami snack packs as well as a salad with salami, bacon, egg and ranch dressing. Theyre also looking to serve coffee drinks with a dollop of coconut oil or Kerrygold butter melted in, for the added fat.

Owner Tim Lantrip is trying the diet himself.

A lot of customers were asking if we would be willing to provide keto-friendly foods, especially something thats like a grab-and-go type food, he said. One thing for me that makes sense with the keto diet, is it eliminates all the sugar. To me it seems like a lot of customers that are doing the keto diet have lost a lot of weight.

Selah resident Bethanie Lundgren is part of Hales Fat-Fueled Friends Facebook group. She started the keto diet at the start of 2017, and also started going to the gym to do high-intensity interval training. Shes lost weight and seen an improvement in muscle tone, but says the biggest difference is that she doesnt feel bloated anymore and her digestion has improved.

Ive felt tremendously better, she said. I have more energy; no more brain fog; able to keep up with my three children.

Diet science can be a maddening topic because it seems to flip-flop on an annual basis. A quick Google search for saturated fat will yield an endless list of contradictory results: American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat. Everyone was wrong: Saturated fat can be good for you. And so on.

Whether the keto diet is right or wrong depends on the individual and his or her goals, dietitians say.

Where the ketogenic diet is most proven is in targeted or therapeutic uses, Thorner said. Its good for people with seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, because ketones (the byproduct of ketosis) make for good brain fuel. It also may have some anti-aging properties or help with maintaining mental function.

Ketogenic diets are good for endurance athletes, though sprinters or athletes who engage in similar anaerobic exercise would need more carbohydrates, she said.

And ketogenic diets are very helpful to people with Type 2 diabetes who have not otherwise managed to get their blood sugar under control.

Eating keto also may help appetite, as eating fat and protein makes you feel more full.

While peoples main worry upon learning of a diet that sanctions bacon is usually heart health, emerging research is changing the way medical providers think about fat, cholesterol and heart disease.

Theres still little consensus among providers about whether saturated fats are OK or not, but the scales seem to be tipping away from blaming fat for all of societys ills. There also is a risk to eliminating virtually all carbohydrates from ones diet, providers say, as carbohydrates help the thyroid and adrenal glands run smoothly.

Youre going to be able to hold up to stress better if those organs feel supported and not in a starvation state, Thorner said.

For any diet to be effective and sustainable, it needs to be a long-term lifestyle change, rather than a temporary sprint.

If youre doing it for the weight loss perspective, its more of that fad diet, where you might lose it short term and if you go back to general, regular eating, most people will gain weight back, Petersen said.

Thorner said this is not a diet she would recommend to someone who has not yet stabilized his or her overall health.

The amount of work it takes to get to ketosis is usually pretty overwhelming, because its not natural to eat this way its a major change, she said. And there are lots of steps to get there, baby steps, that you can be eating better without actually being ketogenic.

Hale agreed that there are less-intensive options.

I highly recommend anybody who is considering a ketogenic diet to talk to somebody who is knowledgeable with it before jumping in, she said. That being said, anybody who decides to decrease their amount of carbs or sugars and increase their healthy fats is going to benefit.

Much of the initial weight loss with the keto diet (or any diet) likely comes from people just being mindful of what theyre eating for perhaps the first time, Petersen and Thorner said.

Anything where we can get away from the standard American diet theres middle ground here, and the pendulum doesnt have to swing one way or the other, Thorner said.

The bottom line is that to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you burn, says Dr. Tanny Davenport, who practices at Family Medicine of Yakima.

By restricting the types of food people can eat no carbs, for instance they are naturally going to lose weight, because they stop consuming those calories.

We know that when people lose weight, in general, they have better health outcomes. And if the tool they use to lose weight is a low-carb diet, which is usually higher in fat and protein, its hard to criticize that, Davenport said.

Theres data that show that low-carbohydrate diets, in the short-term, do better than low-fat diets, he said, but the data is hazy as to whether low-carbohydrate diets fare any better in the long run.

As for weight loss, he said, a reasonable goal for most people is to shed 5 to 7 percent of their total body weight. And a reasonable pace to do that is about 1 to 2 pounds a week, if you want to keep it off.

For the people who really succeed, its about watching what they eat and making lifestyle changes about their dietary habits, Davenport said. A change of 300 calories a day, one way or the other, can (cause a) swing from gaining a pound every couple weeks to losing a pound every couple weeks.

Living in a fast-paced world, Petersen says she wishes she could offer her patients a single easy fix to their weight and health problems.

But everythings individualized and everything takes time, she said. Lets say we got to a weight where were not happy. It didnt happen in a week; it happened over months and years. Its 100 percent normal to feel frustrated that maybe itll take weeks and months and years to get down from that.

In Hales case, eating keto is something she plans to continue for the foreseeable future. While the weight loss has slowed down not helped by the fact that shes currently writing a keto cookbook and testing recipes she still sees major benefits.

I am continually feeling better right now, she said.

Read more:
The Fat Fad: Low-carb ketogenic diet catching on in Yakima - Yakima Herald-Republic

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