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Category : Diet Science

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.

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Unscrambling The Nutrition Science On Eggs – NPR

As more research suggests some degree of dietary cholesterol is harmless, if not healthy, the egg's reputation is slowly returning. Yet some experts worry the science is being misinterpreted and spun. Kelly Jo Smart/NPR hide caption

As more research suggests some degree of dietary cholesterol is harmless, if not healthy, the egg's reputation is slowly returning. Yet some experts worry the science is being misinterpreted and spun.

Historically, when humans have sought a reliable source of calories particularly one that can be readily nabbed from an unsuspecting animal with minimal exertion and zero horticulture skills we have often turned to eggs.

We've pilfered the ova of countless creatures since Neolithic times. But it is the nutritive and symbolic capacities of the humble bird egg, primarily that of the chicken, that we have most consistently championed: reliable nourishment, a hangover cure, an emblem of rebirth when necessary, a supreme projectile.

As P.G. Wodehouse asked in his 1906 novel, Love Among The Chickens, "Have you ever seen a man, woman, or child who wasn't eating an egg or just going to eat an egg or just coming away from eating an egg? I tell you, the good old egg is the foundation of daily life."

Yet in the late 1970s, our egg appreciation soured. Doctors realized that excess cholesterol in our blood predicts a higher risk of heart disease. Cholesterol is a fatty substance necessary for digestion, cellular function and the production of hormones. When too much of it shuttles through our blood supply, it can accumulate on artery walls and up our risk for heart attack and stroke. By extension, many physicians of the day assumed that eating high-cholesterol foods like butter, red meat and eggs was probably disastrous for our health and should be avoided. Fat phobia ensued.

We now know it's more complicated than this.

Cholesterol no doubt contributes to heart disease by literally blocking our blood vessels. And eating cholesterol can raise levels of it in the blood, but, as a growing body of research has shown, not by that much. Consuming sugar, transfats or excessive saturated fat can be more harmful to cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol itself. Most of the cholesterol in our bodies we make ourselves in the liver, and total body levels are heavily influenced by genetics, gender and age.

As more and more research suggests that some degree of cholesterol consumption is harmless, if not healthy, the egg's reputation is gradually returning. Yet some experts worry that the science is being misinterpreted and spun by the media, the egg industry and even opportunistic doctors. Diet science tends to be presented and perceived as black or white. Take butter: bad for us one day, not so bad the next. It's an eternal cycle of self-help revenue. Unfortunately, health and science are rarely this simple. And neither is the egg.

Our collective fear of cholesterol and other fats in part traces back to results from the famous Framingham Heart Study. Launched in 1948 and still going today, the study began by tracking the lifestyles of 5,209 people from Framingham, Mass. The results, which began to appear in journals in the early 1960s, led to our current understanding of heart health and how it's affected by factors like exercise, smoking and diet.

Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Nutrition Department, was one of the first physicians to realize that while the Framingham findings showed that cholesterol in the blood is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, no studies at that point had shown that cholesterol consumption actually increased blood levels.

Willett and his colleagues have since studied thousands of patients for years and have found no evidence that moderate dietary cholesterol or egg consumption increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, except in people with a strong genetic risk for high cholesterol and possibly people with diabetes.

His findings echo those from a 2013 study published in BMJ reporting that eating one egg per day is not associated with impaired heart health.

"There is now general consensus that dietary cholesterol, primarily consumed in eggs, and to a lesser extent in certain seafoods like shrimp, has a relatively small effect in raising blood cholesterol," explains Dr. Bruce Griffin, who studies the links between nutrition and cardiovascular disease at the University of Surrey in England. Griffin's own study from 2009 found that overweight people prescribed a low-calorie diet that included two eggs a day actually saw a drop in cholesterol levels.

The renaissance around cholesterol is not lost on guideline committees, many of which are softening their stance.

In 2013 the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association rattled the medical community by releasing new cholesterol guidelines that abandoned the long-standing goal of keeping our "bad cholesterol" our LDLs under 100. The guideline authors based their decision on the lack of randomized-controlled trials supporting a specific target. Too many LDLs tumbling through our bloodstream are no doubt bad, they acknowledge, but dangerous levels in one person might be tolerable in someone else. Also, chasing a specific target through overtreatment could subject patients to drug side effects, which need to be considered.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans co-developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also broke with tradition. General clinical dogma had previously held that total cholesterol should be capped at 300 milligrams per day in healthy people, roughly the amount found in 1 1/2 average-sized chicken eggs. Yet the new guidelines don't include a specific numerical goal. As the authors wrote, "available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and [blood] cholesterol ... Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption."

But some nutrition scientists worry that this softened official line on cholesterol sends the wrong message.

"The lack of dietary cholesterol recommendations in recently released ... guidelines is controversial," says Dr. Wahida Karmally, director of nutrition at the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Columbia University. "This should not be interpreted as an affirmation to ignore dietary cholesterol, since there is clear evidence that it does increase LDL-cholesterol," she says.

And it does. But by some estimates, only by around 10 percent.

Karmally also points out the danger in generalizing study results to the entire population. She notes that a significant portion of population up to 30 percent, some estimate are thought to be "hyper-responders," meaning they experience abnormally high spikes in blood cholesterol as a result of consuming cholesterol. Most experts agree that hyper-responders need to be especially diligent about limiting cholesterol consumption.

Dr. J. David Spence, a professor of neurology and clinical pharmacology at Western University in London, Ontario, a known egg detractor, is livid at how the 2015 guidelines were interpreted.

"The egg industry and the media seized on the first paragraph of the media release of the new guideline, which said there is not strong data on which to base a specific numerical limit to a dietary cholesterol intake," he points out. "But if we read on, the guidelines recommend that cholesterol intake should be as low as possible and part of a generally healthy diet."

The report also cautions that foods high in cholesterol are often also high in saturated fat, which itself increases blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

Spence likens Big Egg to Big Tobacco in its loose interpretation of scientific data in the interest of profit.

In December 2016, a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reported that people who eat an average of one egg a day have a 12 percent lower risk for stroke compared with those who eat fewer eggs. The study also found no link, whether positive or negative, between egg consumption and coronary heart disease.

Yet note the fine print: The study was partially funded by something called the Egg Nutrition Center, a self-described "nutrition education division of the American Egg Board (AEB), a national checkoff program on all egg farms with more than 75,000 hens."

"I am not trying to put egg farmers out of business," says Spence. "[But] the propaganda of the egg industry rests on a half-truth."

He is referring to the fact that many past studies funded by the egg industry that support egg consumption measured fasting cholesterol levels rather than levels after a meal. Most of us spend a good portion of our day in a post-meal state, when our cholesterol climbs to higher levels and when it presumably does more damage to our arteries. What's more, by not measuring cholesterol after meals, researchers are unable to identify the hyper-responders, for whom consuming cholesterol poses added health risks.

Spence's true gripe lies not with the egg itself, but with the yolk. One jumbo egg yolk contains around 240 milligrams of cholesterol, nearly as much as an entree I was frightened to Google: the "2/3 lb. Hardee's Monster Thickburger." In an email, Spence recommended I try his omelet and frittata recipes while writing this article. Both are made with egg whites, which he cedes is a healthy source of protein.

Cholesterol aside, Willett points to other possible health benefits of eggs. They contain some unsaturated fats, associated with a lower risk of heart disease; also iron and a number of vitamins and minerals. And a new Finnish study one not affiliated with the egg industry even suggests that eating one egg a day could improve long-term cognitive function.

"Overall it is hard to say that eggs are good or bad," says Willett. "They're almost certainly no worse than sugary breakfast cereal or a bagel with cream cheese probably better. In terms of health, they seem to be in the middle somewhere."

However, in the interest of a healthy breakfast, before cracking into an egg, Willett says to consider fruit, nuts and whole grains, all thought to lower blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

"A bowl of steel cut oats topped with nuts and berries will almost certainly reduce risk of heart disease compared to a breakfast centered on eggs," he says. "That's what I have most mornings, sometimes adding a bit of yogurt. But eggs are clearly not a poison pill."

Bret Stetka is a writer based in New York and an editorial director at Medscape. His work has appeared in Wired and Scientific American, and on The He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 2005. He's also on Twitter: @BretStetka

Unscrambling The Nutrition Science On Eggs - NPR

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Diet Science by Dee and Michael McCaffrey on iTunes

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We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download and subscribe to Diet Science by Dee and Michael McCaffrey, get iTunes now.

To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.

Diet Science is a fun 7 to 8 minute weekly program with insights and straight scoops on today's health and diet issues from Dee McCaffrey, CDC. Dee is an Organic Chemist who lost 100 pounds, nearly half her body weight, and has kept it off for 20 years by staying away from processed foods. She's the author of The Science of Skinny, released by Perseus June 2012, and The Science of Skinny Cookbook, which was released December 2014.

I love this podcast, and you should try it out, too! I am so tired of fad advice when it comes to nutrition and diet, and "Diet Science" is the opposite. I can't wait for each new episode. All of the information in this podcast is science-based, and will open your eyes to what you are really putting into your body. And, unlike many other podcasts, each episode contains worthwhile information, rather than a 'promo' for information you need to buy. Because of the new information I have found here, I am slowly guiding my family's diet to be more healthy. Right now we are experimenting with quinoa, and I look forward to trying flax oil next!

Great information presented in such a way even a "beginner" like me can understand it! "Mighty Dee" is a life-saver to me! Her podcasts have become my "bible" to healthy eating. There is so much information out there it gets so confusing just trying to figure out what and who to believe! As soon as you listen to ONE of Dee's podcasts you will become a "believer"! I have lost 15 pounds in 4 weeks using Dee's advice and guidelines. She has the education, the knowledge and personal experience and she willingly shares it all.

...and not those topics you are uninformed about. Your podcast on orthorexia demonstrated your lack of knowledge when it comes to eating disorders - and Michael's insensitivity towards people who suffer from this mental illness was disturbing. (Though he did "come around" towards the end of the episode.) Dee's comments clearly showed her ignorance of the topic, and were more damaging than helpful. Stick to what you "know" and do NOT dabble in content where you are uninformed/uneducated/unaware.

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Diet Science by Dee and Michael McCaffrey on iTunes

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Paleo diet science and research – Robb Wolf

One of the most common questions we receive is what research is there on the Paleo Diet? Thats a great question and Id recommend thoroughly reading ALL of themateriallisted on this page if you have questions or curiosity about the Paleo Diet.

Prof. Loren Cordain has a remarkable number of peer reviewed papers on his site.

Prof. Staffan Lindeberg has conducted research on both free living hunter gatherers and in clinical settings.

The Protein Debate is a project we funded in which Prof. Loren Cordain debated China Study author T. Colin Campbell about the role of protein in degenerative disease.

We talk a lot about nutrition on this site but exercise is a key component of a healthylifestyle. Prof. Frank Booths paper is a phenomenal exploration of the importance of exercise and health.

Here is a list of some of the other studies that have been done in regards to a Paleo Diet:

Paleolithic nutrition for metabolic syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis

Metabolic and physiologic effects from consuming a hunter-gatherer (Paleolithic)-type diet in type 2 diabetes.

Evolution of the diet from the paleolithic to today: progress or regress?

Evaluation of biological and clinical potential of paleolithic diet

Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers

Comparison with ancestral diets suggests dense acellular carbohydrates promote an inflammatory microbiota, and may be the primary dietary cause of leptin resistance and obesity.

Evaluation of biological and clinical potential of paleolithic diet

Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers

Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial

If you want to find more, PUBMED is one of the largest repositories of humanlearningin existence. Put in asearchterm like Paleo Diet or Hunter Gatherer and get ready to learn! And check out Scientific Research 101 if you need a tutorial on how to read research studies. is full of paleo diet goodness.

I hear thisGooglething might catch on.


Acid Basebalance

Fatty acids(including omega 3s and 6s) My rough recommendation on fish oil supplementation is 2-4g per day.

What about thefructose/glucosecontent of fruits?

What aboutKetosis? Dr. Mike Eades has a fantastic blog and here is an amazing primer on Ketosis:Metabolism & Ketosis. What about ketosis and exercise? Here is a great piece detailing both anthropological data and modern laboratory data on the subject:Ketogenic diets and physical performance. The bottom line? No glycogen, no glycolytic activity!

Are beansgood for you?No.

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Paleo diet science and research - Robb Wolf

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Diet Science – Download

If you are spending too much time in front of a computer and you have something of a sedentary life-style, a good healthy diet might help your general condition and this software may come handy.

If healthy food were as flat and boring as the interface of this program, you would have all the reasons you need to avoid it! The design is unbelievably poor and unfortunately, in the trial version its not possible to see the selection of recipes. It is possible though, to calculate your Body Mass Index by entering your height and weight. You may as well have a look at your Metabolic Syndrome by going into more detail, such as the fasting blood glucose, waist circumference and finally entering your blood pressure. The software also gives you some indication about the Vegetarian, Asian, Mediterranean and USDA diets, together with Diet Pyramids and a Glycemic Index of common food items.

This of course should not substitute a visit to your doctor in case of serious diet problems, but it can help you to have an idea of what is a balanced diet and how many calories we should have on a daily basis.

If you need some help to understand how many calories you need, or whether yours is a balanced diet, Diet Science may help but its let down by an ugly design.

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Diet Science - Download

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

DietScienceNews – The Latest Diet Science News and Info …

Americans are exercising more, but they arent getting much slimmer. Exercise is an essential part of a weight loss strategy, but portion control could be more important. The challenge is to maintain a balanced diet that provides the nutrition necessary to remain healthy while eating less.

When it comes to portion control, a recent trial found that the prepackaged food regimen featured with Medifast helped people lose twice as much weight compared with dieters who tried to match the same nutrition and calorie count on their own.

Exercise cant overcome poor diet

A new study from the University of Washingtons Institute for Health Metrics found that in the last decade, the percentage of Americans who got sufficient weekly exercise increased from 46.7 to 51.3. In a report on the study published in the journal Population Health Metrics, the researchers concluded that this increased physical activity has done little to reduce the U.S. obesity rate.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of Americans are obese. A separate report by the institute published in the Journal of the American Medical Association identified poor diet as the primary reason why Americans are so unhealthy compared to other developed countries.

The portion control solution

Another study, published in the April 2013 issue of the International Journal of Obesity shows that a prepackaged portion control diet plan can be a viable solution to this intractable problem.

Researches at Tufts Medical Center in Boston conducted a rigorously controlled year-long study comparing the results of dieters on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan with dieters given advice on how to achieve the same nutrition and calorie intake independently.

A total of 120 men and women from 19-65 years old with body mass indexes ranging from 35 to 50 were randomly assigned to two equally sized groups. The study included a 6-month weight loss phase and a 6-month weight maintenance phase.

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DietScienceNews - The Latest Diet Science News and Info ...

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