Fad Diets Fail. So Just Eat Less.

Guess what! Fad diets don’t cut it. A new study in yesterday’s New England Journal of Medicine showed gimmick diets, such as high-protein, low-carb and low-fat, aren’t as good as simply cutting calories. The participants, 811 overweight adults, were randomly assigned a diet and each person was encouraged to cut calories, exercise 90 minutes a week, keep a food diary and meet with a nutrition counselor. At the end of the study, no diet came out ahead, people lost an average of 13 pounds over six months, but all groups gained back their weight after a year; the Associated Press reports.

Quick, let’s break it down. Low-carb is bad, too much cancer and heart disease-promoting saturated fat. Plus, a recent study showed low-carb diets make you dopey. High-protein is equally stupid. According to Dr. Fuhrman these fat or meat-centered diets are unquestionably associated with obesity, not weight-loss. And the low-fat diet, as most Americans know it, is what made us all fat in the first place.

Here’s a better choice—coincidently, it jives with the new study—Dr. Fuhrman’s nutrient-dense diet, i.e. lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans, makes it easy to maintain a healthy bodyweight, specifically green veggies. Green vegetables are packed with fiber and low in calories, meaning you can eat lots of them, fill your stomach quickly and still lose weight. How’s that for a sale pitch!

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Health-Points: Friday 2.13.09

  • Misdiagnosed food allergies may be on the rise and in extreme cases putting children at risk for malnutrition. And reports claim avoiding certain foods for fear of mistaken food allergies may make children more sensitive when foods are eventually eaten; from Well.
  • On Tuesday, the owner of the U.S. peanut company responsible for the salmonella-peanut butter outbreak pleaded the 5th and refused to answer questions before Congress, while internal company messages show him complaining about lost profits; Reuters reports.
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Lose Weight, Stop Sleep Apnea

A low-calorie diet and exercise may help cure sleep apnea. Reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers examined 81 patients with mild sleep apnea, 40 participants were given a low-calorie diet and lifestyle counseling, losing an average of 20 pounds in a year and reducing symptoms of sleep apnea. But the remaining 41 people only received counseling and lost an average of 6 pounds and were unlikely to improve in their sleep apnea; via EurekAlert!

Actually, a previous study showed people eating diets high in cholesterol and artery-clogging saturated fat were at heightened risk of developing severe symptoms of sleep apnea, but many doctors still don’t give their obese patients diet plans. Other dangers of obesity include type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, fatty liver disease and increased overall mortality.

In related news, this November a 32-year long study revealed children consistently getting enough sleep were less likely to become obese as adults.

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Eat Lignans for Healthier, Thinner Women

A new study in the British Journal of Nutrition claims a diet rich in lignans, phytochemicals found in flaxseed, whole grains, berries and other fruits and vegetables, lowers women’s body mass index and significantly reduces blood glucose levels. Participants, 115 women, tracked their lignan intake using a 3-day dietary record and blood tests revealed those women with the highest lignan levels had less body fat and a better metabolic profile, including higher insulin sensitivity; Nutraingredients reports.

Seeds are a great source of lignans! According to Dr. Fuhrman, lignans are a type of fiber and eating foods, like flaxseed, has been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer. Sesame seeds are cool too. They’re loaded with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, fiber and vitamins.

Actually, my breakfast pudding is made with both sesame seeds and flaxseed. It’s also got sunflower seeds, walnuts and avocado, lots of healthy fats! Sometimes I throw blueberries in too.

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Howard Stern Gets a Six-Pack of Advice!

Last week, Howard Stern said he wanted six-pack abs. So, being a super-fan, I asked Dr. Fuhrman to help him out. And today, Lisa G. of Howard 100 News talked about it on the show!

Here’s the transcript of Lisa in the studio with Howard and Robin from today’s show:

Howard: Anything else?

Lisa: Yes, an online health blog has given advice to you. Advice on how you might be able to finally get the six-pack abs that you’re hoping for. Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends that you eat carefully every other day, just vegetables, beans and fruit with no grains, oils or animal products. You should be avoiding bread, olive oil and egg whites on those careful days.

Howard: If I did that, I would probably lose another 20 pounds and I’d look like a skeleton.

Robin: But your abs would be flat!

Lisa: You’d get cut.

Howard: I see these guys and they’re also big on top and stuff. I don’t know how they do it. Me, I just start looking more like I was just released from Auschwitz. I don’t get it.

Lisa: Well, the bodybuilders I know they eat eggs whites chicken and broccoli.

Howard: Nah. I don’t think they run. I think that’s what the secret is.

Robin: No. But you got to run. Because you got to take down the body fat, right?

Howard: I don’t know. I don’t know how they do it. And you know what, I’m a little passed my prime.

Robin: You think it’s that. You’re passed the prime.

Howard: My trainer says if I stood up straight I would have no belly.

Everyone laughs.

A mention on the Howard Stern Show, so freaking cool! Thanks again to Lisa G. And Lisa, come on. Take me up on my offer. You and me, let’s do dinner! I’ll bring you free books.

Hey everyone, email Howard 100 News and tell Lisa G. she needs to have dinner with yours truly: howard100news@sirius-radio.com. Help a brother out!

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