Health-Points: Thursday 1.29.09

  • More and more food is turning up counterfeit. It’s dubious, wild fish is turning out to be farm-raised fish, soybean oil if being mixed with high-grade extra virgin olive oil, honey is cut with high fructose corn syrup and sugar-water is diluting maple syrup; USA Today investigates.
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Study Compares Veggie Diets vs. Low-Carb --UPDATE--

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Steven Acocella, MS, DC, DACBN and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of DiseaseProof or Dr. Fuhrman.

At the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland and published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association researchers evaluated the short to medium term weight loss results of popular diets. Popular diets: correlation to health, nutrition, and obesity grouped the most popular diets into categories based upon the prescribed ratios of energy for each macronutrient. If you remember from Nutrition 101, caloric energy comes from only 3 sources, fat, carbohydrate and protein. For example, diets such as The South Beach Diet and The Atkins Diet derive 50% or more calories from fat while Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live derives the majority of energy from natural, unrefined carbohydrate.

The study looked at food intake over a 2 year period and included several hundred participants who followed the various diet styles compliantly. They then analyzed the relationship between a reduction of Body Mass Index (BMI), the diet style and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI).

The Healthy Eating Index scores were highest for the vegetarian or near vegetarian diet style and lowest for the low carbohydrate, high fat diets. Conversely, energy intake was highest for the Low Carbohydrate group, often exceeding the average accepted recommendations of 2000 Kcal/day or men and 1500 Kcal/day for women. This is strange considering these were weight loss eating plans that were followed intently.

The weight loss results were no surprise. The healthiest body mass was seen in the vegetarian group. A direct, proportional relationship was seen with a rise in the percentage of calories derived from fat and BMI. As the percentage of fat calories increased so did those subject’s BMI. Total calories were also directly related to the percentage of dietary fat with the average daily energy intake for the vegetarian or nearly vegetarian group consuming 1450 Kcal/day and the high fat diet group consuming 2200 Kcal/day. Researchers noted the relationship between the Healthy Eating Index verses calorie and fat percentages were inversely related.

Putting all this together, this important study using an excellent group of subjects has made the following observations: diets low in fat have the highest Healthy Eating Index scores and are generally the lowest in total calories. Those subjects on these diets enjoyed the most favorable BMI measurements and other biomarkers of health. Conversely, the high fat, low carbohydrate diet styles have the lowest Healthy Eating Index scores and those that consumed this diet style had poor BMI measurements and other indicators of health.

It is worth mentioning that the authors of this study discuss a review of the literature suggests that weight loss is independent of dietary composition and is solely a result of total calories consumed. They suggest that their findings, although supportive of this confers that successful, healthy weight loss over time is a function of quality as well as quantity.

UPDATE: Dr. Fuhrman had some thoughts on Steven’s post:

My health equation, Health = Nutrition / Calories is almost entirely ignored by the scientific community. If the micronutrient density index of a particular diet was published along with the other characteristics researchers would place less emphasis on the relative macronutrient composition and more on the micronutrient composition. Nevertheless, the long-term health potential of a given diet is based so much more on its micronutrient profile rather than its macronutrient profile.

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Mr. President, You're to Skinny...

Wow. That’s some list! Recently, a bunch of school kids wrote letters to our newly elected president. And one little girl thinks he’s too skinny. Her advice, gobble down lots of hamburgers, cupcakes, cotton candy and French fries. Eek! Clearly, good nutrition for kids still is a long, long way away. Luckily, other suggestions were better, such as taking walks and reading books; via The New York Times.

I wonder what her parents are feeding her! Maybe she’s eating nothing but French fries, like this little girl, or hotdogs in shape of squids. I’m not sure which is worse, fries or hotdogs. Actually, they’re both horrible. Dr. Fuhrman considers hotdogs and French fries, along with other foods, like butter, cheese, doughnuts, salt and sausage, as some of the worst foods you can eat. They’ll shorten your life!

People are monkey-see, monkey-do. If kids grow up around parents who eat healthy, eating lots of fruits and veggies, kids will eat good stuff too. Hey, the main reason I love greens and beans is because I grew up watching my mother eat it, then I started eating it, now I eat it all the time!

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Family-Based Approach Helps Kids Lose Weight

Change the way kids think about health and lifestyle. According to new research, published by The Cochrane Library, family-based interventions, such as improving diet and more physical activity, help overweight children lose weight more than conventional self-help approaches. Scientists insist it’s important for parents to get involved and influence their children’s behavior; Reuters investigates.

Instilling healthy habits early is a great idea, especially when it comes to fitness. It’s been reported that a person’s activity level in youth, influences their over health as an adult. Maybe that’s why South Korea is giving away free gym memberships to children. Darn it! I want a free membership.

And don’t forget. Studies have shown kids eat like their parents. So dad, put down deep-fried hotdog!

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Oprah Packs on the Pounds, Again!

Months after ending her stint as a vegan and saying, “I will forever be a more cautious and conscious eater.” Oprah Winfrey has admitted she’s ballooned to more than 200 pounds. She blames anxiety-eating and binging on organic, multi-grain blue chips; The New York Post reports.

Celebrities go on diet rollercoasters all the time. Singer, Alanis Morissette did. She packed on 20 pounds, but after following Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live, now she looks hotter than ever. So Oprah, email me and I’ll make sure Dr. Fuhrman gets it!

Too Fat to Fly, You're Fired!

This week, 9 female flight attendants for Air India, who could not meet the company’s weight standards, were fired. The crew members were said to be significantly overweight and had been given time to lose weight, but did not. The airline cites fitness and efficiency concerns for the weight standards, but the lawyer for the flight attendants calls the firings illegal and plans to file paperwork with the Supreme Court; CBS News reports.

No doubt, this is unfair, but I wonder. Is having slim employees on a plane, something I imagine has weight limits, a necessary requirement. If so, going forward, the company probably should print this on the job application.
 

Walking Fights Age-Related Weight Gain

Walking just a half an hour each day might help keep you from packing on the pounds as you get older. The research, appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined 5,000 men and women, ages 18 to 30, for 15 years, revealing those who walked 30 minutes a day reduced weight gain by 1 pound. The results also found those who exercised more during their middle adult years were more likely to maintain their weight as they got older; WebMD reports.

It can’t get much easier than walking. Heck, it’s what we evolved to do! But a lot of us are too busy with work and don’t have the time to walk around for a half an hour. So try taking the stairs instead, it’s been proven to improve heart health. And simple stretches at your desk can keep the blood following too.

Now, if you can, get running! A previous study showed runners actually live longer.

Via CalorieLab.
 

Eat Slowly, Lose Weight...

I’m a slow eater. I don’t rush, period. And findings in the British Medical Journal suggest people who eat fast and fill up quickly are 3 times more likely to become overweight than people who eat at a more leisurely pace; via RealAge.

Actually, eating MORE can help you slim down too. High fiber foods, like green vegetables, beans and fresh fruit, fill you up quickly and provide lots of nutrients, but are low in calories. So you’ll feel satisfied and still lose weight!

In fact, Dr. Fuhrman cites lack of a fiber as a primary reason why people get fat.

Via That’s Fit.

Wallace and Gromit to Promote Health

Short films by the creator of the stop-motion duo Wallace and Gromit are part of a new government program in the United Kingdom to help fight childhood obesity. The first animated advertisement featured primitive man evolving into a sedentary lifestyle and then shocked into exercising by pictures of fat pumping around his body. Estimates claim by 2050, 90% of children in the U.K. will be overweight or obese; Reuters reports.

In the United States farmers previously teamed up with Disney to put stickers of popular characters, like Mickey Mouse, on fruits and vegetables to help encourage young children to eat their veggies. Not sure how that worked out. But it’s certainly better than Scooby Doo on fruit snacks!

Alanis Morissette Eats to Live

Success stories come in all shapes and sizes, no pun intended, but it’s always cool when celebrities get fit. And singer Alanis Morissette recently dropped 20 pounds on Eat to Live. Take a look at this video from E News Now.

Well, there’s nothing ironic about that—horrible joke, I’m sorry. Congratulations Alanis, you look great! And for more weight-loss triumphs, check out DiseaseProof’s success stories category or head over to DrFuhrman.com.

Oh, and here's an interview with Alanis from OK Magazine. She talks about how she found Eat to Live.
 

Diabetes Still Slamming the U.S.

Type-2 diabetes continues to wreak havoc in the United States. An estimated 24 million Americans have diabetes, up more than 3 million since 2005. This staggering figure also means increased incidences of heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, kidney disease, nervous system damage and other diabetes-related complications. Not surprising, experts cite weight-loss and lifestyle changes, such as exercise and healthy diet, as the best ways to stave off type-2 diabetes; HealthDay News reports.

Don’t be 24 million and one. A vegetable-based nutrient-dense diet not only prevents type-2 diabetes, but can reverse the effects of the disease. Many of Dr. Fuhrman’s patients actually kick their need for insulin! Wholesome foods, like green vegetables, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, raw nuts and seeds are the perfect medicine against type-2 diabetes.

In other diabetes news, recent reports show cancer is more lethal in diabetics and eating eggs boost diabetes-risk.