NYC’s trans-fat ban has actually started saving lives

NYC’s trans-fat ban has actually started saving lives
By Danika Fears April 12, 2017 | 4:25pm | Updated
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TRANS FATS

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It looks as if Nanny Bloom­berg was right all along.

New York City’s ban on trans fats appears to be working out just as the former mayor had hoped, with research suggesting that people are healthier in places that forbid the heart-clogging oils.

Hospitals in New York counties with trans-fat bans saw a 6 percent drop in heart attacks and strokes three years after the laws went into effect, as compared with areas without restrictions, according to a new report in JAMA Cardiology.

That means there were 43 fewer heart attacks and strokes per 100,000 people, according to researcher Dr. Eric Brandt, a Yale University cardiology fellow.

Under the Bloomberg administration, the Big Apple in 2006 banned trans fats in restaurants, which often used the grease for french fries and other dishes.

The city’s restrictions applied to food purchased outside of stores, such as at restaurants, street vendors and bakeries.

The ban was originally scoffed at by some who feared the flavor of some foods might be ruined.

But, unlike Mike Bloomberg’s attempted crackdown on sugary drinks, the trans-fat ban was soon accepted by the public. Years later, few complain about it. In 2015 the FDA announced it would spread the trans-fat prohibition nationwide, starting in 2018.

Brandt said this is the first study to confirm public health has been improved by the ban.

“New York City was progressive and they enacted restrictions on trans fats, but no one looked to see if this made measurable changes to outcomes,” he said.

“There has been a lot of looking into whether trans fats are harmful. Here we find on a population level that when we restrict them, it benefits society by reducing heart attacks and strokes.”

Researchers conducting the study compared data on people hospitalized between 2002 and 2013 for heart attacks or strokes in counties that did restrict trans fats with data for counties that did not.

The Best (and Worst) Foods to Prevent Stroke

Stroke prevention food
Stroke kills about 5 million people worldwide per year. It’s the leading cause of permanent disability in the U.S., and it’s a rapidly growing threat for middle-aged women in particular. But if you want to prevent yourself and those you love from getting a stroke, there’s good news…

Basic lifestyle changes can have a big impact in reducing stroke risk. In fact, according to research, stroke is 80% preventable by addressing lifestyle factors, including improving diet, stopping smoking, and getting regular exercise.

The best way to prevent stroke is by improving your diet  

According to Food Revolution Summit speaker Michael Greger, MD, the best way to avoid suffering from a stroke is to eat a whole foods, plant-based diet centered around vegetables, lentils, beans, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and nuts.

But to get the full benefits, plant-strong eaters must have a regular, reliable source of B12 — meaning B12-fortified foods or supplements.

Why do plant-based diets lower the risk of stroke?

One reason why plant-based diets protect against stroke is due to thefiber found in whole plant foods. Studies find that for every 7 grams of fiber you eat per day, you get nearly a 7% drop in the risk of first-time stroke. But less than 3% of Americans meet the minimum daily recommendation for fiber.

Plant foods are also filled with antioxidants. Antioxidant-packed foods help reduce inflammation and prevent plaque buildup in the arteries, and they also improve blood flow.

In a study of more than 30,000 older women over a period of 12 years, those who ate the most antioxidant-rich foods had the lowest stroke risk. (However, choosing antioxidant supplements didn’t appear to help.)

On average, plant foods contain 64 times more antioxidants than animal foods. But you should always strive for a variety of fruits, veggies, herbs, and spices at every meal, so you can continuously flood your body with a wide range of antioxidants.

Specific foods to consume regularly if you want to avoid stroke

  • Nuts

In one study, adding an ounce of nuts per day seemed to cut the risk of stroke in half.

In the U.S. alone, this could prevent 89,000 strokes per year.

  • Greens

According to studies led by Harvard researchers, greens turned out to be associated with the strongest protection against major chronic diseases, including a 20% reduction for strokes (and heart disease) for every additional serving.

  • Chocolate

According to population studies that followed people over time, those who ate chocolate appeared to have lower rates of stroke.

But the sugar and dairy that come with most types of chocolate aren’t linked to positive health outcomes, so dark chocolate with high cacao content is the best choice.

  • Citrus fruits

Citrus intake has been associated with lower stroke risk.

According to a study of 70,000 women published in the journal Stroke, women who consumed the most flavonoids from citrus fruits over a 14-year period had a 19% lower risk of stroke than women who consumed the fewest.

  • Whole grains

Eating whole grains has been found to be associated with a reduced risk of stroke. In his book How Not to Die, Dr. Greger recommends at least 3 servings of whole grains each day for stroke prevention.

  • Garlic

Garlic is a great choice for reducing stroke risk. A human study found that regular garlic consumption resulted in a 50% reduction in rates of stroke.

  • Tomatoes

High levels of lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, may be associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke.

According to an analysis published in Neurology, which followed more than 1,000 Finnish men aged 46 to 55, those with the highest lycopene levels were 55% less likely to have a stroke.

  • Coffee and green tea

The results of a 13-year study of more than 80,000 Japanese adults found that those who drank at least one cup of coffee a day had a 20% reduced risk of stroke.

And those who drank 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily had a 14% reduced risk.

  • Potassium-rich foods

Eating more potassium-rich foods is associated with a significantly lower stroke risk. In one study, a 1,600 milligrams per day increase in potassium intake was associated with a 21% lower stroke risk — and this amount didn’t even bring many study participants to the minimum daily recommendations.

But less than 2% of Americans reach the daily potassium intake because most people don’t eat enough unprocessed plant foods.

Potassium is abundant in fruits and vegetables. Greens, beans, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of potassium.

  • Magnesium-rich foods

According to a meta-analysis of studies, higher magnesium intake is associated with a reduced risk of stroke.

Beans, leafy greens, and whole grains are all loaded with magnesium.

Foods to avoid if you want to avoid stroke

The standard Western diet has been found to be associated with a 58% increase in stroke risk.

Studies indicate that it is particularly important to reduce your intake of the following foods:

  • High cholesterol foods
  • Salty foods
  • Dairy

Uric acid is a compound produced by your body when it breaks down certain foods. Too little uric acid is associated with stroke. People on dairy-free plant-strong diets are most likely to hit the sweet spot in terms of optimal uric acid levels for longevity, so this is one of the reasons limiting or cutting out dairy can help reduce your risk of stroke.

  • Meat

A meta-analysis on meat found a 10% increased risk of stroke associated with each three-and-a-half-ounce daily portion of red and processed meat. The heme iron in meat has also been found to be associated with stroke risk, while no association was found between the non-heme iron in plants and stroke.

Another factor may be the toxic pollutants, like PCBs, that can build up in animal fats. People with the highest levels of these pollutants in their bloodstream increase their odds of stroke by as much as 8 or 9 times.

  • Diet soda

Research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference showed that people who drink just one diet soda a day may increase their risk of stroke by 48%.

Other lifestyle factors to help prevent stroke

  • Exercise

Exercise is medicine, and regular exercise can help you prevent stroke. In fact, researchers at the London School, Harvard, and Stanford found that exercise worked just as well as drugs for stroke (and heart disease) treatment.

But how much exercise do you need? Most health and fitness organizations advocate walking an hour 5 days a week.

  • Weight Loss

If you’re overweight, even losing 10 pounds can have a substantial impact on your stroke risk.

  • Optimal Sleep

If you want to reduce your risk of stroke, getting the optimal amount of sleep regularly is important.

Researchers at the University of Alabama found a strong link between getting less than 6 hours of sleep and a greater incidence of stroke symptoms for people over 45.

  • Optimism

According to scientists at Harvard University, people with sunny dispositions are far less likely to suffer from strokes or heart attacks.

Studies found a 50% reduction in cardiovascular disease for those who scored highest for optimism and vitality.

  • Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D increase your risk of risk. According to onestudy, low levels of vitamin D doubles the risk of stroke in Caucasians. Vitamin D levels can be increased with exposure to sun, supplementation, or by eating vitamin D-fortified foods.

Summary

Strokes typically occur without any warning at all, so prevention is critical.

If you want to avoid suffering from stroke, consuming a variety of whole, plant-based foods and eating fewer animal products and processed foods, along with exercise, getting enough sleep, releasing excess weight, and staying positive can go a long way in helping you achieve this goal.

And if you have high blood pressure, you can lower it with these heart-healthy foods

Mostly meat, high protein diet linked to heart failure in older women.

November 14, 2016 Categories: Heart News, Scientific Conferences & Meetings

Study Highlights:

Postmenopausal women who follow a high-protein diet could be at higher risk of heart failure, especially if most of their protein comes from meat.
Researchers combined dietary self-reports with biomarkers to determine actual dietary protein intake as self-reporting alone is often inaccurate.
Embargoed until 8 a.m. CT/ 9 a.m. ET, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14, 2016 — Women over the age of 50 who follow a high-protein diet could be at higher risk for heart failure, especially if much of their protein comes from meat, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.

Researchers evaluated the self-reported daily diets of 103,878 women between the ages of 50 and 79 years, from 1993 to 1998. A total of 1,711 women developed heart failure over the study period. The rate of heart failure for women with higher total dietary protein intake was significantly higher compared to the women who ate less protein daily or got more of their protein from vegetables.

While women who ate higher amounts of vegetable protein appeared to have less heart failure, the association was not significant when adjusted for body mass.

“Higher calibrated total dietary protein intake appears to be associated with substantially increased heart failure risk while vegetable protein intake appears to be protective, although additional studies are needed to further explore this potential association,” said Mohamad Firas Barbour, M.D., study author and internist at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, in Pawtucket.

The findings were true regardless of age, race or ethnicity, level of education, or if the women had high blood pressure (2.9 percent), diabetes (8.3 percent), coronary artery disease (7.1 percent), anemia (3.4 percent), or atrial fibrillation (4.9 percent).

The subjects were all participants in the Women’s Health Initiative, an ongoing, long-term national dietary survey investigating strategies for reducing heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer, and osteoporosis.

Researchers said other studies have found a link between increased protein from meat and cardiovascular risk in women.

“Our findings should be interpreted with caution, but it appears that following a high-protein diet may increase heart failure risk,” Barbour

American Diabetes Association Promotes Plant-Based Diets

Breaking Medical News

American Diabetes Association Promotes Plant-Based Diets

In its 2017 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association maintains that a plant-based eating pattern is an effective option for type 2 diabetes management and encourages clinicians to always include education on lifestyle management.

American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2017. Diabetes Care. 2017;40(Suppl 1):S1-S135.

Fiber Helps Prevent Chronic Diseases

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Fiber Helps Prevent Chronic Diseases

A high-fiber diet is best for healthful aging, according to a study published online inAging. Researchers followed the diets of 1,609 healthy people and monitored incidence rates for cancer, heart disease, depression, and cognitive impairment. Those who consumed the most fiber, especially from grains and fruit, were more likely to remain disease-free later in life, compared with those who consumed the least fiber. Possible mechanisms include fiber’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Gopinath B, Flood VM, Kifley A, Louie JC, Mitchell P. Association between carbohydrate nutrition and successful aging over 10 years. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. Published online June 1, 2016.

Vegetarian diet reverses atherosclerosis-The Lancet, Dean Ornish 1990

Abstract
In a prospective, randomised, controlled trial to determine whether comprehensive lifestyle changes affect coronary atherosclerosis after 1 year, 28 patients were assigned to an experimental group (low-fat vegetarian diet, stopping smoking, stress management training, and moderate exercise) and 20 to a usual-care control group. 195 coronary artery lesions were analysed by quantitative coronary angiography. The average percentage diameter stenosis regressed from 40·0 (SD 16·9)% to 37·8 (16·5)% in the experimental group yet progressed from 42·7 (15·5)% to 46·1 (18·5)% in the control group. When only lesions greater than 50% stenosed were analysed, the average percentage diameter stenosis regressed from 61·1 (8·8)% to 55·8 (11·0)% in the experimental group and progressed from 61·7 (9·5)% to 64·4 (16·3)% in the control group. Overall, 82% of experimental-group patients had an average change towards regression. Comprehensive lifestyle changes may be able to bring about regression of even severe coronary atherosclerosis after only 1 year, without use of lipid-lowering drugs.

Dean Ornish recommendations “An optimal diet for preventing disease is a whole-foods, plant-based diet that is naturally low in animal protein, harmful fats and refined carbohydrates. What that means in practice is little or no red meat; mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and soy products in their natural forms; very few simple and refined carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour; and sufficient “good fats” such as fish oil or flax oil, seeds and nuts. A healthful diet should be low in “bad fats,” meaning trans fats, saturated fats and hydrogenated fats. Finally, we need more quality and less quantity.”

A bowl of oatmeal a day could be the secret to a longer and healthier life

porridge

A bowl of oatmeal a day could be the secret to a longer and healthier life, say scientists
Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph
A large bowl of oatmeal each day could protect against death from cancer, the biggest ever analysis of the benefits of whole grains has shown.
Oats have long been considered a superfood, staving off illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
But now a review by Harvard University has found that whole grains also appear to prevent early death and lower the chance of dying from cancer.
A meta-analysis of 12 studies involving nearly 800,000 people found that eating 70 grams of whole grains a day – the equivalent of a large bowl of oatmeal – lowers the risk of all-cause death by 22 per cent and death from cancer by 20 per cent. It also reduces the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 20 per cent.
Scientists believe that whole grains help lower cholesterol and help regulate blood sugar, as well as making people feel full for longer, meaning they do not snack on unhealthy foods. The same effect could be gained from eating bran, quinoa or a mix of grains.
“Based on the solid evidence from this meta-analysis and numerous previous studies that collectively document beneficial effects of whole grains, I think health care providers should unanimously recommend whole grain consumption to the general population as well as to patients with certain diseases to help achieve better health and perhaps reduce death,” said Dr Qi Sun, assistant professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.
Whole grains, where the bran and germ remain, contain 25 per cent more protein than refined grains, such as those used to make white flour, pasta and white rice.
Previous studies have shown that whole grains can boost bone mineral density, lower blood pressure, promote healthy gut bacteria and reduce the risk of diabetes.

APWhole grains contain 25 per cent more protein than refined grains and are believed to boost levels of antioxidants
One particular fibre found only in oats – called beta-glucan – has been found to lower cholesterol which can help to protect against heart disease.
A bioactive compound called avenanthramide is also thought to stop fat forming in the arteries, preventing heart attacks and strokes.
Whole grains are recommended in many dietary guidelines because they contain high levels of nutrients such as zinc, copper, manganese, iron and thiamine. They are also believed to boost levels of antioxidants, which combat free-radicals linked to cancer.
The new research suggests that if more people switched to whole grains, thousands of lives could be saved each year. Cumulatively, cancer kills around 160,000 people a year while coronary heart disease is responsible for around 73,000 deaths in the UK each year.
If more people switched to whole grains, thousands of lives could be saved each year
Health experts said the study proved that whole grains were essential for good health.
Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Eating more whole grains is a simple change we can make to improve our diet and help lower our risk of heart and circulatory disease. Choosing brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholemeal or granary bread instead of white and swapping to whole grain breakfast cereals such as porridge are all simple ways to help us up our fibre and wholegrain intake.”
The researchers said a 16-gram serving of whole grain lowered the risk of total death by seven per cent, and cancer by 5 per cent.

Turmeric Boosts Amyloid Plaque Clearance in Human Alzheimer’s Patients

 Image result for turmericThe World's Healthiest Foods

The most active ingredient in turmeric root, bisdemethoxycurcumin, boosts the activity of the immune system in Alzheimer’s patients, helping them to clear the amyloid beta plaques characteristic of the disease.

In healthy patients, immune cells called macrophages, which engulf and destroy abnormal cells and suspected pathogens, efficiently clear amyloid beta, but macrophage activity is suppressed in Alzheimer’s patients.

Using blood samples from Alzheimer’s patients, Drs. Milan Fiala and John Cashman have shown that bisdemethoxycurcumin boosts macrophage activity to normal levels, helping to clear amyloid beta. Fiala and Cashman also observed that bisdemethoxycurcumin was more effective in promoting the clearance of amyloid beta in some patients’ blood than others, hinting at a genetic element. Further study revealed the genes involved are MGAT III and Toll-like receptors, which are also responsible for a number of other key immune functions. Bisdemethoxycurcumin enhances the transcription of these genes, correcting the immune defects seen in Alzheimer’s patients. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul 31;104(31):12849-54.

Curcumin Crosses Blood-Brain Barrier, May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

 Image result for turmeric

Research conducted at UCLA and published in theJournal of Biological Chemistry (December 2004), which has been confirmed by further research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (April 2006), provides insight into the mechanisms behind curcumin’s protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease results when a protein fragment called amyloid-B accumulates in brain cells, producing oxidative stress and inflammation, and forming plaques between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain that disrupt brain function.

Amyloid is a general term for protein fragments that the body produces normally. Amyloid-B is a protein fragment snipped from another protein called amyloid precursor protein (APP). In a healthy brain, these protein fragments are broken down and eliminated. In Alzheimer’s disease, the fragments accumulate, forming hard, insoluble plaques between brain cells.

The UCLA researchers first conducted test tube studies in which curcumin was shown to inhibit amyloid-B aggregation and to dissolve amyloid fibrils more effectively than the anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and naproxen. Then, using live mice, the researchers found that curcumin crosses the blood brain barrier and binds to small amyloid-B species. Once bound to curcumin, the amyloid-B protein fragments can no longer clump together to form plaques. Curcumin not only binds to amyloid-B, but also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, supplying additional protection to brain cells.

Protection against Alzheimer’s Disease

 The World's Healthiest FoodsImage result for turmeric

Growing evidence suggests that turmeric may afford protection against neurodegenerative diseases. Epidemiological studies show that in elderly Indian populations, among whose diet turmeric is a common spice, levels of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s are very low. Concurrently, experimental research conducted recently found that curcumin does appear to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in mice. Preliminary studies in mice also suggest that curcumin may block the progression of multiple sclerosis. While it is still unclear how it may afford protection against this degenerative condition, one theory is that it may interrupt the production of IL-2, a protein that can play a key role in the destruction of myelin, the sheath that serves to protect most nerves in the body.

A number of studies have suggested that curcumin, the biologically active constituent in turmeric, protects against Alzheimer’s disease by turning on a gene that codes for the production of antioxidant proteins. A study published in the Italian Journal of Biochemistry(December 2003) discussed curcumin’s role in the induction of the the heme oxygenase pathway, a protective system that, when triggered in brain tissue, causes the production of the potent antioxidant bilirubin, which protects the brain against oxidative (free radical) injury. Such oxidation is thought to be a major factor in aging and to be responsible for neurodegenerative disorders including dementias like Alzheimer’s disease. Another study conducted jointly by an Italian and U.S. team and presented at the American Physiological Society’s 2004 annual conference in Washington, DC, confirmed that curcumin strongly induces expression of the gene, called hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) in astrocytes from the hippocampal region of the brain.