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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: sugar

Eat the fat, not the sugar!

I am always amazed when I read health news. It seems as soon as one study comes out, the next research contradicts the previous one.  I read an interesting but controversial article where the researchers (three cardiologist from Britain) say that saturated fat does not clog your arteries and that the “clogged pipe” model of heart disease is “plain wrong.”  They go on to say that in people over 60, the number one risk factor for heart attacks is inulin resistance, driven by a number of dietary factors, especially increased sugar and other refined carbohydrates.  In other words, its not the saturated fat in your burger that causes the problem, it is the bun, fries and sugary drink that you wash it down with, that you should be concerned with. Remember inflammation is a driver of cardiovascular disease and pro-inflammatory ingredients are the sugars, refined carbs and industrial seed oils found in processed foods.  I will have a bit more on this next time!

Diet Pop, Stroke & Dementia…!!

Did you know that your artificially sweetened diet sodas may increase your risk of stroke and dementia?  A recent study from the Boston University School of Medicine reports that there is an association between those people who drink artificially sweetened diet pop on a daily bases and the risk of stroke and dementia.  Those who drink these specific beverages daily, have a three times greater risk, than those who drink one a week or less. This is the first of such studies to provide evidence of the connection between risk of all cause dementia and dementia because of Alzheimer’s disease and daily intake of artificially sweetened beverages. Surprisingly, researchers did not find the same risks for sugar-sweetened beverages.  However, they did find other risks for those who regularly consume sugary juices and sodas, such as smaller brain volumes, poorer memory function and smaller brain hippocampus, which is the area of brain important for memory consolidation.  Knowledge is power, maybe it’s time to reconsider our beverage consumption…!!

Foods that fight inflammation..!!

We all know that what you eat greatly affects your health.  Inflammation is a big driver in cardiovascular disease and other diseases as well, such as Rheumatoid arthritis.  Foods that are high in simple sugars such as desserts or soda’s, can increase inflammation in our body.  This can then increase the pain in our joints and contribute to other problems that may appear mundane in nature, however might become serious over time. There are many foods that fight inflammation and here are a few; olive oil, spinach, kale, broccoli, almonds, walnuts, fatty fish such as salmon, strawberries, blueberries and cherries.  There are many more, but I haven’t enough time to list them all.  Finally, the Mediterranean diet is a good way of eating, as it is higher in monounsaturated fats such as olive oil.  These foods can literally reduce the inflammatory markers in your blood and keep you healthier and reduce pain symptoms.  Bon appetit…!!

Inflammation and carbs may drive cardiovascular disease!

In a follow-up to my last blog, several years ago I talked about a very large study on statins (cholesterol meds) that showed being on them gave you about a 1-2% less chance of dying from a “cardiovascular incident” than those people not taking them.  I would never tell a patient or friend to not take their meds but I would ask them to take a close look at the scientific evidence in light of the current trend of physicians to load patients up with meds that barely work and have significant side effects.  The current thinking on cardiovascular disease is that cholesterol is not a significant driver of cardiovascular disease but bad carbohydrates and inflammation are.  This is evidenced by the newest statins that were discontinued from study because even though they lowered cholesterol, those taking them died more often, or as often, as the control group from a cardiovascular incident.  Take a good close look at your diet and eating habits and be proactive and look for foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the bad carbs.  It may save your life without the side effects!

Sugar & Health

Excess sugar in our foods is one of the most critical health issues facing our present and future generations.  Many physicians and researchers are now saying it is the major driver of cardiovascular disease. To help kids reduce sugar in the diet, some experts offer the following tips.  Let the kid have sweets, don’t deprive them, however give them only one sweet treat or dessert per day.  Kids must learn to regulate their sweet intake.  Give them a choice between sweet snacks but keep it at one.  Keep sweetened fruit drinks, soda and sugary beverages out of the house, as they generally have no nutritional value regardless of what the commercial says and deprive your child of critical nutrients from better sources. Keep an eye our for hidden sugars in breads, sauces and condiments.  These contain fructose, sucrose, glucose and/or dextrose.  Also watch out for evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, malt syrup and molasses. Some natural sugars are not as healthy as advertised.  Honey and agave are actually sweeter than table sugar but contain more calories.  Fruits are generally better choices even though they contain sugar, but most will also provide fiber and other nutrients providing greater health benefits!

Sugar, Kids & Health

I hope you are enjoying the World Series! Now that Halloween is over and sugary treats are everywhere, did you know sugar has the same effect on the liver as alcohol?  Sugar (especially fructose) is metabolized in the liver just as alcohol is and that is why kids are getting the diseases of alcohol such as type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.  “These are diseases that were unheard-of in children prior to 1980” according to doctors.  “Sugar doesn’t cause disease because of its calories. Sugar causes disease because it’s sugar.”  Even thin people get metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. Sugar is its own risk factor apart from calories or obesity.  Even adolescents are getting metabolic syndrome more often including increased blood pressure, excess fat around the waist , diabetes and increased risk of heart disease.  The key is distinguishing good sugar from bad and when it comes to kids, there must be a strategy.  More on this on Friday!

Drop The Sugar Increase the Health

A huge story in the health news discusses what happens to kids if they go without sugar for 10 days. A study showed that 43 kids went without sugar for 10 days and found they decreased triglyceride levels by 33 points on average, lowered bad cholesterol by 5 points and dopped the diastolic blood pressure numbers. Pretty remarkable numbers for just 10 days. Just think how profound this might be for adults!

Sweet Drinks and Heart Failure

Do you like your sodas and sweet drinks? Another article just released shows a very high correlation to drinking two or more sweetened beverages daily to a significant risk of going into heart failure. Almost 6 million Americans live with heart failure in the US. The study only included soft drinks/sodas that were sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Tea, coffee and fruit juices were not included. Prior studies have shown a connection between hert disease and stroke and the consumption of sweetened beverages.  This is the first study that looked at heart failure.  Time to reconsider the beverage choices?

Healthy Eating and Depression

Read an interesting article about a giant study that looked at women who ate significant amounts of refined carbohydrates and its link to depression.  A study of 70,000 women found that those who consumed foods higher in glycemic index and foods with added sugar and refined grains, had a higher risk of new-onset depression.  Those women who consumed a diet with more dietary fiber, whole grains, vegetables and non-juice fruits, had a decreased risk of depression.  It is theorized that the sugar “high” is followed by the subsequent “crash” which can lead to mood changes, fatigue and other symptoms of depression.  Eat healthy, be happy!

Sugar and More Sugar

Nutrition labels are getting a makeover for the sake of “added sugar”.  A growing body of research shows that sugar, not fat and cholesterol, is becoming the number one health enemy of the American public.  The FDA is making food makers report not just on “added sugar” but also the percentage of the recommended daily intake of added sugar that is contained in a serving.  The only issue is that it is dealing with “added sugar” and not sugar already in the product.  So read the labels carefully and determine how much sugar and added sugar is in your foods because many foods have a ton of sugar already in them.  Just as an example, a cereal currently on the market is about 33% sugar.  Be proactive, be wise and be healthy