Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS
Over 100 of you wrote to me to ask my opinion on “Red Meat Will Kill You” scare, a study which was published March 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, and gleefully reported by the mainstream media and commented on by just about everyone on both sides of the red meat controversy.
Now this study has been expertly and brilliantly debunked by a number of extremely smart people, so let’s start by giving credit where it’s due. Denise Minger, as always, has written a superb piece on it, as have Gary Taubes and Zoe Harcombe. And look for my good friend Mike Eades, MD to put something up soon-his take on this stuff is always on-the-money.
So rather than repeat what these brilliant folks have already done so well, I’ll just summarize some of the highlights of what they’ve already covered, add my own two cents, and call it a day. Believe me, this won’t be the last you ever hear of the “red meat will kill you” debate, but hopefully it will give you, dear thoughtful reader, a good place to start if you really want to debunk this stuff at your next cocktail party.
Newsflash: there’s no magic bullet for fat loss. (But you already knew that.)
That’s what Melinda M. Manore, PhD, RD, CSSD, FACSM concluded after examining America’s $2.4 billion weight-loss supplement industry. Her results appear in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
Manore, a professor of nutrition and exercise sciences at Oregon State University, began this study by categorizing supplements into four categories:
Can you take a five-day “vacation” from your low-carb diet every week and still burn fat? A study suggests that possibility. Researchers here found women who cut carbs for just two days each week lost more weight than women who stuck with a permanent calorie-restricted diet. In other words, for five days every week, the low-carb groups ate what they wanted and still lost weight.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found eating a low-protein diet makes your body more likely to store fat around your liver, kidneys, and other organs. You might not think any type of body fat could be good, but trust me: fat hanging around these organs is especially bad. On the other hand, researchers here found a higher-protein diet increases muscle and boosts your metabolism.
A new study in the Journal Nutritional Neuroscience found a diet without gluten and casein could improve behavior and physiological symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The Penn State researchers asked 387 parents and caregivers of kids with ASD to fill out an online survey about GI symptoms, food allergy diagnoses, food sensitivities, and how well the kids adhered to their gluten-free, casein-free diet.
The more belly fat these people lost, the more blood flowed to their fingertips, indicating better arterial function.
"Our study demonstrated that the amount of improvement in the vessels was directly linked to how much central, or belly fat, the individuals lost, regardless of which diet they were on," said lead researcher and John Hopkins professor Kerry J. Stewart.
Are we unfairly blaming fructose for the obesity epidemic?
That’s what researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital suggested in the Annals of Internal Medicine when they reviewed over 40 published fructose studies.
In 31 of these studies, people ate the same number of calories as either pure fructose or non-fructose sugar. The fructose group did not gain any more weight than the non-fructose group in these studies.
In the remaining studies, one group ate their normal diet while the other group added fructose to their diet. As you might guess, the fructose group (those who ate the extra calories) gained weight.
A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that guys who drank five or more glasses of water had only a 46 percent chance of having a fatal heart attack, and women had only 59 percent risk, compared to people who drank two or less glasses of water daily.
It gets even better (or worse, depending on how you look at it). Women who drank two or less glasses of something other than water—such as tea, a soft drink, or juice — had a 147 percent greater risk for a fatal heart attack than women who drank five or more glasses of water. (Guys, you had a 46 percent greater risk if you skipped the water for another drink.) Now, if those stats confuse you, I’ll sum it up: drink more water and reduce your risk for a heart attack.
A recent meta-analysis in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that magnesium could help reduce blood pressure.
Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire analyzed 22 studies that involved 1,173 people total to understand how magnesium affects blood pressure. Each of these studies supplemented anywhere from 120 mg to nearly a gram of magnesium, and lasted anywhere from three to 24 weeks.
According to new research published in Food and Function, researchers from the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pa., compared the amount of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols in nine types of roasted and raw nuts and two types of peanut butter in an attempt to “crack” the antioxidant code.
A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior concludes you can eat out and still burn fat.
In this study, 35 healthy middle-aged women participated in a six-week program called Mindful Restaurant Eating, which teaches people how to eat out healthfully.
Now, keep in mind the goal of Mindful Restaurant Eating was to prevent weight gain in women, who fell into that perimenopausal age range where weight gain and ensuing problems like diabetes and heart disease more frequently occur.
Name a drink that can increase your alertness, prevent you from fainting after giving blood, and even promote a teensy bit of weight loss.
Think it’s one of those “miraculous” multi-level marketing elixirs made of exotic juices that sell for about 40 bucks a pop?
Well, think again...continue reading.
The drink I’m talking about doesn’t cost anything, yet most of us don’t get enough of it.
I’m talking about…water.
How many people like to exercise?
How many people are not so crazy about it?
How many people don’t have any time…
If you were Christopher Reeve…
No one can find more time
I call sunshine the under-appreciated energy vitamin. In fact, it’s more than under-appreciated. In some circles, it’s downright undiscovered!
We avoid sunshine at every potential encounter, slathering SPF 60 all over our bodies even if we venture out for a bottle of milk. We act as if five minutes of sun exposure is going to condemn us to a lifetime of wrinkles—or worse, to melanoma.
We treat the sun as our mortal enemy. And we’re paying the price—in energy and in health. It’s time to rethink our relationship with this brightly burning star.
Recently, a nutritional newsletter I subscribe to had the following headline: Vitamin D improves physical performance.
That got my attention.
I’ve long felt vitamin D is one of the most underrated vitamins on the planet, for reasons I’ll discuss in a bit. I’ve also long felt most of us are far too sun phobic for our own good. And the sun is our best source of vitamin D.
Anti-Aging Tip: Get in Sync with Zinc Take a multiple vitamin with at least 15 mg of zinc everyday. When you feel an illness coming on, boost your zinc intake to 50 mg daily.
Zinc is present in every tissue, organ, fluid, and secretion of the body. In fact, it’s present in every living cell. It plays a huge role in immunity (not to mention cell division, DNA synthesis, growth and development, and the activity of about 100 different enzymes). And because the body has no specific storage sites for zinc, you need to consume it on a daily basis.
Many of us don’t.
While virtually everyone is aware of the benefits of aerobic exercise, there still seems to be a lot of confusion about the subject of weight training and its place in an overall wellness program. Maybe it’s some residual confusion left over from the “Pumping Iron” days when weight training was something done only by bodybuilders and the Muscle Beach crowd. Who knows. Whatever the reason, it’s time to put some of the myths about weight training to rest.
Lose Weight, Get Healthy, And Live Longer
For the past two decades, fitness experts have been telling us that to get the benefits of exercise you had to do aerobics. And you had to work out hard. There was even a way to calculate whether your exercise was hard enough to do any good: You were supposed to subtract your age from 220, exercise intensely enough to get your heart rate up to 70–85 percent of that number and keep it there for twenty minutes.
- Eat protein at every meal, including breakfast.
- Eliminate wheat- and flour-based products for the time being. And yes, that definitely includes bread and pasta.
- Eliminate “food products.” Ninety percent of what you eat should be food that could have been hunted, caught, gathered from the ground, plucked from a tree or grown.
You can’t swing a rope without hearing some spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association tell you how great whole grains are and how you should make them a big part of your diet.
“Whole grains” are definitely better than processed grains. The question is “how much better” and the answer is… not so much.