Saturday, April 06, 2013

Stress and Disease: It's Personal

Stress comes from the outside (events, accidents, etc). But it's effect is on your inside (cortisol, getting sick, and on and on). However, an event can be stressful or not, depending on whether the person lets it get to them.

Granted, keeping external events, stupid drivers, and rampant hormonal teenagers with attitude on your outside, and not letting them affect you, is not always easy. But we have to start thinking about stress in an empowered way -- that the stress I feel is to some degree under my control -- and not in a passive way -- this stress is happening to me and I am powerless to stop it.

When we do that, we will be more likely to adopt some measure of control over events, start taking time for ourselves, seeking (as pointed out in this article) stress counseling, and owning our own health again.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Friday, April 05, 2013

What NOT to drink, apparently.

Thirsty for good health? I just posted an article here on coffee as a healthy drink, and immediately ran into this CNN piece highlighting research on soda. These are data from Harvard, and it's crazy. 

Get this: 
Sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to more than 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide each year, according to new research presented this week at an American Heart Association conference.

"This means about one in every 100 deaths from obesity-related diseases is caused by drinking sugary beverages," says study author Gitanjali Singh, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

It sounds like what they're saying is NOT that sodas kill you. However, if your goal is to become obese, they can definitely help you with that. If you want to "live large", "go big or go home", turn to sugar sweetened beverages to help you out there. 

As you approach your massiveness objective, you're more and more likely to die of a heart attack. What the Harvard guys did is the rigorous epidemiology math to show that your death will be linked directly to the sodas you consumed to get you there. 

Make sense? 

From the CNN story: 
Recently the American Heart Association came out with a scientific statement about sugar intake and heart health because it says there is new evidence about the relationship between the two. The statement says some research has found a link between sugar consumption and cardiovascular disease, while other research has not found a direct link.

The AHA says that the best way to maintain a healthy weight and to decrease the risk of heart disease is to eat a healthy diet and to limit added sugar to no more than 100 calories a day for women and 150 for men.

Soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the main source of added sugars in the American diet, according to the statement. One 12-ounce regular soda contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar and has about 140 calories.

Sugary drinks linked to 180,000 deaths worldwide -

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

National Walking Day: 5 Ways Walking Helps To Relieve Stress

I love it that we have a National Walking Day. It's crazy, though, that every day is National Drive To Work And Sit In Your Car day.

This article is a good summary of some benefits of walking. And the bottom line is that walking can seem for some people like something they HAVE to do, rather than a gift, a miracle, that they GET to do.

But as soon as you can't walk any more, as soon as you have to be cared for by your family and friends because you can get your self, under your own power, from A to B ... you are going to miss this most pedestrian (pun entirely intended) activity.

If you want to be able to walk when you're old, to be in charge of your own movement. Walk now. Walk often. The more you walk, the more you can walk.

That would make every day National I Am Blessed To Be Able To Walk day.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Future of Chocolate

About that chocolate processing. Good summary article from a woman who is a strong proponent of bee colonies. She didn't add, though, the interesting way bees interacted with chocolate traditionally.

Perhaps the very first additive flavor put into chocolate was actually vanilla, which is derived from an orchid that must be pollinated by bees. This was one of the early hurdles to bringing chocolate to the old world from new. Sure, you could bring the plants (cocao trees and Vanilla orchids), but you couldn't bring the ecosystem, the bees, and replicate the environment. Grrr.

But by the mid-1800's, it was discovered that you could hand-pollinate the flower -- which is wicked time consuming, frees the need for bees, and a main reason it's expensive. In the native ecosystem, you need bees. However, once they figured out how to do it by hand, only THEN could they distribute it globally as a flavoring for their beloved chocolate.

Isn't it funny that chocolate and vanilla are often seen as opposites. However, from the very very beginning, they were married and melded into one delicious, makes-you-moan-out-loud food of wonderfulness.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Health Benefits Of Eggs

Eggs are good food! The idea that they are not good for you came from nutritional theory about the effect of cholesterol, not from an observation that egg-eating leads to heart attacks (see my interview re: eggs

For example, the culture with the healthiest hearts on Earth are, in this order, Taiwan, China, Japan (#heart attack deaths/100,000 people).

The culture which eats the most eggs per person per year is, in this order, Taiwan, China, Japan (363/person/yr, 360/person/yr, 358/person/yr). That's approximately 1 egg per day, which agrees with the recommendations from the Nurses Health Study from Harvard.

With all your leftover eggs from this past weekend, you should make deviled eggs -- they're "angelic"!!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Savory Coconut Milk Recipes To Spice Up Winter's End (PHOTOS)

Coconut milk is amazing. And if you read the research on its health effects, well in can be all things to all people.

For example, this research ( showed how terrible it is for your lipid profile and therefore your heart. "the possible negative effects of the saturated fatty acids ... from all coconut constituents suggest that the coconut milk, oil and cream should not be used on a regular basis in adults."

And, because objective science always makes sense, this research ( showed just how wonderful that very same coconut oil is for you lipid profile, and therefore your heart. "The results demonstrated the potential beneficiary effect of virgin coconut oil in lowering lipid levels in serum and tissues and LDL oxidation by physiological oxidants."

It's good for you, it's bad for you. How confusing!

So, while they're figuring out who's study beats who's ... just take the coconut milk and use it to make polenta. It's amazing, and dirt simple. Use a ratio of coconut milk to corn meal of 1:3. Bring the milk to a simmer, sprinkle in the corn meal, stirring, a little at a time until it's all in. Add a little butter, salt, pepper, and if you have peppered salami, chop it up in there and your heart will be truly happy indeed!!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Monday, April 01, 2013

Oleocanthal, Compound In Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Could Protect Against Alzheimer's Disease

I love this study showing that the phenols in EVOO may be protective against Alzheimers. And NO, this study is not definitive proof, and YES there is more research work to be done. That said, this report is pretty good, and supports other research saying the same thing.

Nice summary here: "Olive oil phenols and neuroprotection."

In the recent research showing that adherence to a Mediterranean Diet lowered your risk of stroke and death by ~30% (, participants were to consume 4 extra tablespoons of EVOO every day (or an ounce of nuts, such as walnuts and hazelnuts). Every day!

Again, there is a very strong association between EVOO consumption and optimal health. And I am well aware that these data are all correlations, and not shown to be causal yet. But it does seem that there are so very many accumulating data points showing a relationship between extra virgin olive oil and good health ... just do a quick pubmed search and prepare to be inundated.

I believe we should do what healthy people do -- those who commonly consume EVOO, for example -- and not wring our hands in worry over it, just because it doesn't fit someone's theoretical models about fat consumption.

The bottom line is this: find success. Do that. Because if you do what healthy people do, you will get their results. Even if those healthy people are taking EVOO every day.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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