Category Archives: Diet

Higher Omega-3 Intake May Not Provide CV Benefit

Increasing omega-3 intake doesn’t appear to reduce risk for heart disease, stroke, or mortality, according to a new Cochrane review.

Researchers examined 79 randomized, controlled trials that included over 110,000 participants with or without cardiovascular disease. Participants were randomized to receive either supplementation and/or clinician advice to increase intake of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) or usual or reduced intake for at least 1 year. Most trials compared omega-3 capsules with placebo.

Omega 3s had little to no effect on mortality or adverse cardiovascular events. Increased intake of ALA, found in nuts and seeds, intake might slightly reduce risk for cardiovascular events, coronary mortality, and arrhythmias, but the authors estimate that 1000 people would need to increase their ALA intake to avert one cardiovascular event or coronary death.

They write: “In light of the evidence in this review it would be appropriate to review official recommendations supporting supplemental [omega-3] fatty acid intake.”


Cochrane review (Free abstract)

Background: Physician’s First Watch coverage of study showing no cardiovascular benefit of omega-3 intake(Free)

June 18, 2018- will signal the end of Trans Fats in our diets 

As most of you have probably read, the FDA has announced that food manufacturers must remove partially hydrogenated oils — the major source of artificial trans fats in processed foods in three years.

After June 18, 2018, companies must petition the agency for approval to add partially hydrogenated oils to their products. This we hope will reduce heart disease and prevent thousands of heart attacks per year.


This new diet called the MIND diet, “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay” has received much publicity recently, as the diet to ward off Alzheimer’s Dementia. Published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, this study shows that the MIND diet lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s Dementia by as much as 53 percent in participants who adhered to the diet rigorously, and by about 35 percent in those who followed it moderately well.

Developed by the Rush nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris, PhD, and colleagues, the MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets, both of which have been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions, like hypertension, heart attack and stroke.

The MIND diet has 15 dietary components, including 10 “brain-healthy food groups” — green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine — and five unhealthy groups that comprise red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.

The MIND diet includes at least three servings of whole grains, a salad and one other vegetable every day — along with a glass of wine. It also involves snacking most days on nuts and eating beans every other day or so, poultry and berries at least twice a week and fish at least once a week. Dieters must limit eating the designated unhealthy foods, especially butter (less than 1 tablespoon a day), cheese, and fried or fast food (less than a serving a week for any of the three), to have a real shot at avoiding the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s, according to the study.

Berries are the only fruit specifically to make the MIND diet. “Blueberries are one of the more potent foods in terms of protecting the brain,” Morris said, and strawberries have also performed well in past studies of the effect of food on cognitive function.


Eat Your Eggs

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has lifted the restriction on dietary cholesterol from the upcoming 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Recommendations to cut back on dietary cholesterol have been a mainstay of U.S. guidelines for years. This change, which has been long coming, reflects a major shift in the scientific view of cholesterol. Although serum cholesterol is still considered an important risk factor, consuming cholesterol does not increase the blood cholesterol levels. The committee’s new report states, “Cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for over consumption.”

Whole Grains Decrease Overall Mortality

According to an article recently published in the JAMA, higher intake of whole grains is associated with reduced overall mortality and especially cardiovascular mortality. The study looked at both men and women over twenty five years. Participants were free of cancer and cardiovascular disease at baseline; they completed dietary questionnaires every 2 to 4 years.

After adjustment for confounders (e.g., age, smoking, BMI), higher whole grain intake was associated with lower total mortality. In particular, cardiovascular mortality was reduced — especially with high intake of brans. Whole grain intake did not reduce cancer mortality.

What does “being healthy” mean in Women?

An interesting article about young women and their habits– according to a study done by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, young women with healthy habits are less likely to develop coronary heart disease or cardiovascular risk factors as they age,

They looked at six criteria in women aged 27-44 years of age


normal body mass index

physical activity of at least 2.5 hours weekly

television viewing of 7 hours or less weekly

moderate alcohol consumption

and a healthy diet —

These women had almost no heart disease and low rates of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol after 20 years’ follow-up.

Compared with women who met none of the criteria, those meeting all six had a 92% reduction in risk for coronary heart disease and a 66% reduction in CV risk factors. Of note, only about 5% of study participants met all six criteria.


Nearly 500,000 Cancers in 2012 Attributable to Obesity

High body mass index (BMI) may be to blame for nearly 4% of all cancer cases, a Lancet Oncology study finds. These cancers include colon, rectal, esophageal, ovarian, uterine, and breast. This link seems to be higher among women than men. Highly developed nations had the most high-BMI-related cancers: North America accounted for about a quarter of all such cases.

Lancet Oncology

Obesity in Young Adults Linked To Early Death

Obese young adults can expect to live about 6 years less than their normal-weight peers, according to a modeling study in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
Researchers created and validated a model to estimate the annual risks for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in overweight and obese adults.
Compared with normal-weight men aged 20–39, overweight men lived an estimated 2.7 fewer years; obese men, 5.9 fewer years; and very obese men, 8.4 fewer years. Findings generally were similar for women. Overall, the number of years lost attributable to excess weight decreased with increasing age.

The researchers say their findings “might provide a useful health measure for discussions between health professionals and their patients.”

Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology

Maintaining Youthfulness In Women

Women Can Stay Young By Following A Mediterranean Diet -study shows.

Women who adhered closely to a Mediterranean diet (emphasizing vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, fish, and monounsaturated fats, plus moderate alcohol intake) had longer telomeres after adjustment for characteristics likely to influence telomere length, including age, body mass index, smoking history, and exercise.

The authors calculated that the difference in telomere length among women who were more adherent to the Mediterranean diet could translate into an average gain of about 4.5 years of life, roughly comparable to the difference between nonsmokers and smokers or being highly active and less active. “Our results,” they conclude, “further support the benefits of adherence to the Mediterranean diet for promoting health and longevity.”