Thursday, March 17, 2011

Low Carb Leads to Colon Cancer? Researchers Let Feces Tell This Story

Andres Rodas works at a butcher shop in Buenos Aires January 18, 2008. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
The Atkins diet was always good for a few quick pounds of weight loss. But the phrase, "I'd die to lose weight" may be (unfortunately) more applicable here that you want to believe. 
Now you have to add "bad for your colon" to "bad for your kidney" and "bad for your heart", to the growing list of the long term effects of this diet theory. 
Here's the study
17 obese men each followed three short-term diets: 
  1. a one-week menu plan designed to maintain their weight; 
  2. a four-week high-protein diet with moderate amounts of carbohydrates; 
  3. a four-week high-protein diet low in carbs.

  • The first diet, which allowed about 360 grams of carbs per day, typically offered cereal, eggs and toast for breakfast; a sandwich and salad for lunch; and chicken, fish or soy, along with pasta, for dinner.
  • The low-carb diet -- which allowed just 22 grams of carbs each day -- generally consisted of eggs-and-bacon breakfasts, and lunches and dinners heavy in meat, poultry and fish, along with some vegetables and cheese.
  • The moderate-carbohydrate diet allowed 181 grams of carbs each day. Both high-protein diets contained just less than 140 grams of protein per day.

Stool Samples Don't Lie
At the end of each diet period, Flint's team analyzed fecal samples from the men to look at levels of certain metabolic byproducts. On average, when the men were on the high-protein diets, they had higher levels of substances known as N-nitroso compounds, and certain other metabolites that have been linked to cancer.

Bottom Line
It was a great theory. It just does more long term harm than the short term elation of losing weight for a few months before yo-yoing, and putting it all back on. 

Are high-protein diets bad for your colon? | Reuters

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How To Re-Charge Your Brain To Learn Better

What kind of activity is BEST, for recharging your brain? 
According to a new study, your brain's batteries get juiced back up during the light, dreamless slumber that accounts for up to half of your night's sleep.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley conducted tests on 44 healthy young adults and found strong evidence that bursts of brain waves called sleep spindles may network between important regions of the brain to clear a path to learning.
What are these spindles? 
They are fast pulses of electricity that are generated during non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and can occur up to 1,000 times per night -- help to transfer fact-based memories from the brain's hippocampus to the prefrontal cortex's "hard drive."
This enables the hippocampus, which has limited storage space, to take in fresh data, the researchers explained.
"All these pieces of the puzzle tell a consistent and compelling story -- that sleep spindles predict learning refinement," senior author Matthew Walker, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, said in a UC Berkeley news release.
The study team looked at electroencephalogram tests, which measured electrical activity in the brains of nappers. These showed that the more sleep spindles the nappers produced, the more refreshed they appeared for learning
In addition, researchers discovered that sleep spindles were linked to brain activity looping between the lobes of the brain that house the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex -- both critical areas for memory. The study appears Mar. 8 in the journal Current Biology

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Green Beer? Really? A "Go Green" St Patrick's Day VIDEO

I did this piece this morning on KDKA-TV, it was fun to talk about beer, food, and the crazy things that are in our food products!! 

You are going to cringe when you hear what's in Green Beer!!

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Mediterranean Diet Lowers Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes

Try the "blood type" theory or the "low carb" theory or the "eat every three hours" theory or the "food combining" theory ... and hope hope hope that it will turn out to work! 
Good luck with that.

Alternatively, you could just do what healthy people do. If you do what they do, you will get their results. And, get this ... a new analysis of 50 studies involving half a million participants reinforces what many healthcare professionals already have said about the diet: 

The Mediterranean Diet helps lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The analysis published online Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology examined how the diet affects metabolic syndrome, that is, disorders that increase the risk of heart disease. The analysis found that the diet played a "protective role" in lowering HDL cholesterol and triglycerides as well as blood pressure and glucose levels.

The diet isn't new; it's been around since the 1960s. That is, the name has been around that long. Obviously, this type of eating has been around for much longer. The Mediterranean wasn't settled yesterday, after all.

The diet involves eating more olives and olive oil, fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals and low-fat dairy products as well as fish, poultry, tree nuts and legumes.

But it's also what's not in the diet that matters. Red meat is recommended just twice a month and only a "moderate" amount of alcohol is recommended at meals.

The American Heart Assn. answers some questions about the Mediterranean diet on its website. And it raises this point:

"Before advising people to follow a Mediterranean diet, we need more studies to find out whether the diet itself or other lifestyle factors account for the lower deaths from heart disease."

No matter how healthy olives and olive oil may be, if you eat too much you're not helping your heart. Really.

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