Saturday, December 10, 2011

Vitamin D pills don't prevent heart attack or cancer

Vitamin D from food is exceptionally healthy for you.

But, here again, when the same thing is abstracted into pill form ... It does NOT act the same way in the body.

Here is the link to the article:

Eat food. If it ain't food, don't eat it.

I found this using the Thomson Reuters News

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, December 03, 2011

RadioWill: All About Cholesterol

Here is the link for the Saturday Radio Show (airs Saturday at noon EST)

And you can call in to talk with me during the show:

I'm talking about cholesterol, heart disease, weight, the Mediterranean Diet, and "Beans-n-Greens"!!

WMNY Money Talk 1360

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What’s Cholesterol Got to Do With It?

I love Gary Taubes ... he's awesome. 

I'm prepping for my Saturday radio program and ran across his op ed in the NYTimes (here's the link), which reviews how "the cholesterol hypothesis" happened. 

Does the cholesterol idea (lower cholesterol = 
lower heart attack risk) even work? 

This article makes the point that the early research confused a "false positive" correlation with a true causal link. 

Yes, statins decreased heart attack risk, but not because it lowered cholesterol. Check this out and see what you think.
What’s Cholesterol Got to Do With It? - New York Times

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Study: Colas, but not other carbonated beverages, lower bone density

What would you do to make sure your bones didn't fall apart beneath you? 

How far would you go to make sure your bones wouldn't break: in the normal bumps of an average day; under your own weight? 

According to this study, there is a very simple solution that can bias your bones toward a healthier, sturdier direction. 

Don't drink colas. Just stop. 

It's likely to be the phosphoric acid in sodas that's pulling the calcium OUT of your body -- so you body has to pull calcium OUT of your bones. But whatever the ultimate cause, we're pretty clear that drinking colas can lead to porous bones. 

Bottom line? Don't drink colas. Just stop. 

Colas, but not other carbonated beverages, are associated with low bone mineral density in older women: The Framingham Osteoporosis Study

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Study: Eat Slow. You'll Eat Less.

How many times have we said this? 
The amount you're hungry for is only PARTIALLY due to calorie-debt. It's also about how FAST you eat it! 
Two new studies (click here to see yourself) by researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that: 
A) men eat significantly faster than women, B) heavier people eat faster than slimmer people.
The author of the study, Kathleen Melanson,  found “very strong gender differences” in eating rates. At lunch, the men consumed about 80 calories per minute while the women consumed 52 calories per minute.
The men who reported eating slowly ate at about the same rate as the women who reported eating quickly,” said Melanson, director of the URI Energy Balance Laboratory.
The second study found that  individuals with a high BMI typically eating considerably faster than those with a low BMI.
One theory we are pursuing is that fast eating may be related to greater energy needs, since men and heavier people have higher energy needs,” said Melanson.
It takes time for your body to process fullness signals,” she concluded, “so slower eating may allow time for fullness to register in the brain before you’ve eaten too much.”
The latest research follows up on a landmark 2007 study conducted by Melanson that was the first to confirm the popular dietary belief that eating slowly reduces food intake. That study found that women who were told to eat quickly consumed 646 calories in nine minutes, but the same women consumed just 579 calories in 29 minutes when encouraged to pause between bites and chew each mouthful 15 to 20 times before swallowing.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Coffee Controls Common Cancer (brought to you by the Letter 'C')

Coffee CancerWe were told, once, that coffee was AWFUL for you. It caused cancer, and all kinds of nasty things. 

But now we learn that this friendly morning drink is actually quite good for you and can help prevent a number of cancers from ever occurring!!   

If this is all too much to digest, tomorrow morning when you wake up, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and read the article below. :) 

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Is Butter Bad?

I'm on TV weekly, talking about a series of grocery store aisles and what is healthy/unhealthy about each. Today was "dairy", and I spoke about milk, yogurt, and butter. 

It's so interesting for butter, because I did an analysis of BUTTER CONSUMPTION as a function of HEART DISEASE DEATHS, to see if more butter consumption = more heart disease deaths. This turns out NOT to be the case (see below). The countries selected were US, Canada, and Europe. 

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Saturday, October 01, 2011

California lettuce recalled over listeria concerns | Reuters

I'm speaking today for the Rachel Carson Foundation about sustainability and food. I believe that an important route to sustain healthy foods for ourselves is to create a system that controls this kind of outbreak better.

For example, if we had more local farms, and fewer mega farms who distribute billions of bushels across the US, then any infestation of bacteria will have a limited penetration into the population, at best.

Also, when the producers are local, and you know who they are, then you are not some nameless, faceless consumer to them. Even though modest, that introduces an added degree of accountability on their part.

California lettuce recalled over listeria concerns | Reuters

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? -

Great article by Mark Bittman (link to full article is below), and I love this graphic that compares the actual cost for a family of 4.

NOW, tell me why we don't make our own food in our own homes?

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

RadioWill: Are we WRONG about salt and health?

The President of the Salt Institute will be speaking with me about new data suggesting that we were wrong, wrong, wrong in our advice to cut salt consumption. 

Click Here to listen live from noon-1:00pm EST ... and call in with your thoughts and questions for this amazing guest: 412.333.1360

We will also be talking about the latest health news of the week and Cooking For Health!! 

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Good food gone bad

Flying home from a trip to Louisiana, the stewardess asked if i wanted something to drink, so I asked for a tomato juice. The ingredients look fine, bit then I checked the salt content. An unbelievable 980 mg of salt (see picture below)! That's like Salt Lake City in a can!!

Our MedWellness programs don't usually recommend hand-wringing over the Nutrition Facts portion of the food product, but salt is an exception.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Best Foods (according to CSPI anyway)

All foods are good foods. The list below (created by the Center For Science in the Public Interest) has only a couple of flaws. 

While the yogurt (#3 below) is awesome ... low fat option is not something that any healthy culture does, and simply reflects their bias for the low fat dietary model. 

Otherwise, the choices they list are fine. Sweet potatoes are a righteous food, as are mangoes. But then again, so are all real foods. 

Just eat real foods, in control, then you don't have to parse which molecule happens to be featured in your latest popular food product. 

Best Foods

1. Sweet Potatoes

A nutritional All-Star — one of the best vegetables you can eat. They're loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Bake and then mix in some unsweetened applesauce or crushed pineapple for extra moisture and sweetness.

2. Mangoes

Just one cup of mango supplies 100% of a day’s vitamin C, one-third of a day’s vitamin A, a decent dose of blood-pressure-lowering potassium, and 3 grams of fiber. Bonus: mango is one of the fruits least likely to have pesticide residues.

3. Unsweetened Greek Yogurt

Non-fat, plain Greek yogurt has a pleasant tartness that’s a perfect foil for the natural sweetness of berries, bananas, or your favorite breakfast cereal. It’s strained, so even the fat-free versions are thick and creamy. And the lost liquid means that the yogurt that’s left has twice the protein of ordinary yogurt – about 17 grams in 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt.

4. Broccoli

It has lots of vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin K and folic acid. Steam it just enough so that it's still firm and add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a spritz of lemon juice.

5. Wild Salmon

The omega-3 fats in fatty fish like salmon can help reduce the risk of sudden-death heart attacks. And wild-caught salmon has less PCB contaminants than farmed salmon.

6. Crispbreads

Whole-grain rye crackers, like Wasa, Kavli, and Ryvita — usually called crispbreads — are loaded with fiber and often fat-free. Drizzle with a little honey and sprinkle with cinnamon to satisfy your sweet tooth.

7. Garbanzo Beans

All beans are good beans. They’re rich in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. But garbanzos stand out because they’re so versatile. Just drain, rinse, and toss a handful on your green salad; throw them into vegetable stews, curries, and soups; mix them with brown rice, whole wheat couscous, bulgur, or other whole grains.

8. Watermelon

Watermelon is a heavyweight in the nutrient department. A standard serving (about 2 cups) has one-third of a day’s vitamins A and C, a nice shot of potassium, and a healthy dose of lycopene for only 80 fat-free, salt-free calories. And when they’re in season, watermelons are often locally grown, which means they may have a smaller carbon footprint than some other fruits.

9. Butternut Squash

Steam a sliced squash or buy peeled, diced butternut squash at the supermarket that’s ready to go into the oven, a stir-fry, or a soup. It’s an easy way to get lots of vitamins A and C and fiber.

10. Leafy Greens

Don’t miss out on powerhouse greens like kale, collards, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, and Swiss chard. These stand-out leafy greens are jam-packed with vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, lutein, and fiber. Serve with a splash of lemon juice or red wine vinegar.

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Top Ten Worst Foods

According to the Center For Science In The Public Interest, these are the worst of the worst of the worst. 

Not only should you not buy them ... not only should you not eat them ... you should keep them away from your loved ones!! 

Notice when you look at these that some of them would be just fine if you did not eat the WHOLE thing (like the burrito from Chipotle). 

This is a huge limitation of their entire approach, in that they are SO over-focused on the molecule micromanagement that they miss the most important point: 

All foods are bad if overconsumed. Don't overconsume your foods. 

Let me know your thoughts!!  

Worst Foods

1. Artery Crust

Judging by the label, Marie Callender’s (16.5 oz) Chicken Pot Pie has "only" 520 calories, 11 grams of saturated fat, and 800 mg of sodium. But look again. Those numbers are for only half a pie. Eat the entire pie, as most people probably do, and you’re talking 1,040 calories, 22 grams of saturated fat (more than a day’s worth), and 1,600 mg of sodium (an entire day’s worth).

2. Triple Bypass

Can’t decide what to pick from a restaurant menu? No worries. Now you can order not just one entrée, but two… or three... all at once.Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy – Homemade Lasagna, Lightly Breaded Chicken Parmigiana, and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo – comes with 1,450 calories, 33 grams of saturated fat, and 3,830 milligrams of sodium. Add a breadstick (150 calories and 400 mg of sodium) and a plate of Garden-Fresh Salad with dressing (350 calories and 1,930 mg of sodium) and you’ll consume almost 2,000 calories (an entire day’s worth) and 6,160 mg

3. Salt's On!

On average, a cup ofCampbell’s Condensed soup has 760 mg of sodium. That’s half a day’s worth … assuming you eat only one of the 2½ servings that the label says the can makes. Campbell’s Healthy Request and Select Harvest, Progresso Reduced Sodium, and Healthy Choice slash the sodium to the 400s. Look for lower sodium lines in the 100s to 300s by Amy’s, Imagine Foods, Pacific Natural Foods, and Tabatchnick.

4. Tortilla Terror

Interested in a Chipotle Chicken Burrito (tortilla, rice, pinto beans, cheese, chicken, sour cream, and salsa)? Think of its 970 calories, and 18 grams of saturated fat as three 6-inch Subway BLT Classic Subs! Skipping the cheese or sour cream cuts the saturated fat to 6 grams, but you still end up with 750 calories and more than a day’s worth of sodium. Yikes!

5. Factory Reject

People don’t expect light desserts at The Cheesecake Factory. But the Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake kicks things up a notch. If it weren’t served on its side, this one would stand over six inches tall. And upright or not, the slab of cake still weighs in at three-quarters of a pound. What do you get for all that heft? Just 1,760 calories and 2½ days’ worth of saturated fat (50 grams), mostly from chocolate, sugar, cream, white flour, and butter.

6. Burial Grands

No one thinks of cinnamon rolls as health food. But each Pillsbury Grands! Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll with Icing has 310 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat plus 2½ grams of trans fat (more than a day’s worth) and 5 teaspoons of sugar. Companies are dumping their partially hydrogenated oils left and right, yet Pillsbury still makes most of its rolls and biscuits with the stuff.

7. Transgression

“Excellent source of ALA Omega 3,” declares the Land O’Lakes Margarine box. Who knew that Land O’Lakes stick margarine was so heart healthy? It isn’t. Each tablespoon of the spread has 2½ grams of trans fat (more than an entire day’s limit) and 2 grams of saturated fat. And beware of other trans-filled sticks by Blue Bonnet, Parkay, Country Crock, and Fleischmann’s. At least those brands don’t imply that a bit of ALA outweighs the harm caused by the margarine’s trans and saturated fat. Shopping tip: Look for tub margarines – most have little or no trans fat.

8. Starbucks on Steroids

The Starbucks Venti (20 oz) White Chocolate Mocha with 2% milk and whipped cream is more than a mere cup of coffee. It’s worse than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Few people have room in their diets for the 580 calories and 15 grams of saturated fat that this hefty beverage supplies. But you can lose 130 calories and almost two-thirds of the bad fat if you order it with nonfat milk and no whipped cream.

9. Extreme Ice Cream

An average halfcup serving ofHäagen-Dazs ice creamsqueezes half-a-day’s saturated fat and a third-of-a-day’s cholesterol into your artery walls and makes a nearly 300-calorie down-payment on your next set of fat cells – if you can stop at a petite half-cup!

10. Stone Cold

Cold Stone Creamery’s Oh Fudge! shake(chocolate ice cream, milk, and fudge syrup) starts at 1,250 calories for the “Like It” (16 oz) size. That’s more than a large (32 oz) McDonald’s McCafe Chocolate Triple Thick Shake. The “Love It” (20 oz) has 1,660 calories and the “Gotta Have It” (24 oz) reaches 1,920 calories (just about an entire day's worth) and 69 grams of saturated fat (3½ days’ worth). That's the saturated fat content of two 16 oz T-bone steaks plus a buttered baked potato, all blended into a handy 24 oz cup.

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