10 Foods High in Vitamin E

Why You Need Vitamin E

American Optometric Association

Lutein & Zeaxanthin

BroccoliLutein (LOO-teen) and zeaxanthin are important nutrients found in green leafy vegetables as well as other foods such as eggs. Many studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

AMD and cataract incidence are growing. Worldwide, more than 25 million people are affected by age-related macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55 in the Western world and the incidence is expected to triple by 2025.

Benefits to Eye Health

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light and act as antioxidants in the eye, helping protect and maintain healthy cells. Of the 600 carotenoids found in nature, only two are deposited in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye: lutein and zeaxanthin. The quantity of lutein and zeaxanthin in the macular region of the retina can be measured as macular pigment optical density (MPOD). Recently, MPOD has become a useful biomarker for not only predicting disease but also visual function. Unfortunately, the human body does not synthesize the lutein and zeaxanthin it needs, which is the reason why green vegetables are essential to good nutrition. Daily intake of lutein and zeaxanthin through diet, nutritional supplements, or fortified foods and beverages is important for the maintenance of good eye health.

Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Cataracts

The primary function of the crystalline lens (or natural lens in the eye) is to collect and focus light on the retina. To properly provide this function throughout life, the lens must remain clear. Oxidation of the lens is a major cause of cataracts, which cloud the lens. As antioxidant nutrients neutralize free radicals (unstable molecules) associated with oxidative stress and retinal damage, lutein and zeaxanthin likely play a role in cataract prevention. In fact, a recent study demonstrated that higher dietary intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin and vitamin E was associated with a significantly decreased risk of cataract formation.

Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Much evidence supports the role of lutein and zeaxanthin in reducing the risk of AMD. In fact, The National Eye Institute presently is conducting a second large human clinical trial, Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2), to confirm whether supplements containing 10 mg a day of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin per day affect the risk of developing AMD. Beyond reducing the risk of developing eye disease, separate studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin improve visual performance in AMD patients, cataract patients and individuals with good health.

Daily Intake*

Foods with lutein and zeaxanthin
Discover great recipes rich in Lutein

The USDA Nutrient Database offers comprehensive
information on raw and prepared foods.

Although there is no recommended daily intake for lutein and zeaxanthin, most recent studies show a health benefit for lutein supplementation at 10 mg/day and zeaxanthin  supplementation at 2 mg/day.

FOOD SOURCES

Most Western diets are low in lutein and zeaxanthin, which can be found in spinach, corn, broccoli and eggs. The following table lists foods known to be high in lutein and zeaxanthin. If you are not getting enough lutein and zeaxanthin through diet alone, consider adding supplements to your daily routine.

REFERENCES

*At this time, the AOA is unaware of any studies that have examined interactions between medications and lutein and zeaxanthin. The AOA also is not aware of any adverse health reports from interactions between medications and lutein and zeaxanthin. However, the AOA recommends consulting with a health care professional before beginning any supplementation regiment.

Red Meats Linked to Cancer, Global Health Group Says

meat

WHO agency’s study deems processed meats like bacon as carcinogenic

Red and processed meats have the potential to cause cancer in humans, according to a report by a World Health Organization agency that is drawing ire from meat industry groups that argue the science is inadequate.

The determination, published by a panel of researchers for the International Agency for Research on Cancer in a medical journalMonday, classifies processed meat products like salami and bacon carcinogenic to humans, the strongest level of risk for cancer, and a category shared with tobacco smoke and diesel engine exhaust.

Fresh meats like steaks and roasts are considered probably cancer-causing, a level of risk shared with the widely used herbicide glyphosate.

The Myth of High-Protein Diets

The Myth of High-Protein Diets
by Dean Ornish March 23, 2015
MANY people have been making the case that Americans have grown fat because they eat too much starch and sugar, and not enough meat, fat and eggs. Recently, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee lifted recommendations that consumption of dietary cholesterol should be restricted, citing research that dietary cholesterol does not have a major effect on blood cholesterol levels. The predictable headlines followed: “Back to Eggs and Bacon?”
But, alas, bacon and egg yolks are not health foods.
Although people have been told for decades to eat less meat and fat, Americans actually consumed 67 percent more added fat, 39 percent more sugar, and 41 percent more meat in 2000 than they had in 1950 and 24.5 percent more calories than they had in 1970, according to the Agriculture Department. Not surprisingly, we are fatter and unhealthier.
The debate is not as simple as low-fat versus low-carb. Research shows that animal protein may significantly increase the risk of premature mortality from all causes, among them cardiovascular disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. Heavy consumption of saturated fat and trans fats may double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
A study published last March found a 75 percent increase in premature deaths from all causes, and a 400 percent increase in deaths from cancer and Type 2 diabetes, among heavy consumers of animal protein under the age of 65 — those who got 20 percent or more of their calories from animal protein.
Low-carb, high-animal-protein diets promote heart disease via mechanisms other than just their effects on cholesterol levels. Arterial blockages may be caused by animal-protein-induced elevations in free fatty acids and insulin levels and decreased production of endothelial progenitor cells (which help keep arteries clean). Egg yolks and red meat appear to significantly increase the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer due to increased production of trimethylamine N-oxide, or TMAO, a metabolite of meat and egg yolks linked to the clogging of arteries. (Egg whites have neither cholesterol nor TMAO.)
Animal protein increases IGF-1, an insulin-like growth hormone, and chronic inflammation, an underlying factor in many chronic diseases. Also, red meat is high in Neu5Gc, a tumor-forming sugar that is linked to chronic inflammation and an increased risk of cancer. A plant-based diet may prolong life by blocking the mTOR protein, which is linked to aging. When fat calorieswere carefully controlled, patients lost 67 percent more body fat than whencarbohydrates were controlled. 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.
My colleagues and I at the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Instituteand the University of California, San Francisco, have conducted clinical research proving the many benefits of a whole-foods, plant-based diet on reversing chronic diseases, not just on reducing risk factors such as cholesterol. Our interventions also included stress management techniques, moderate exercise like walking and social support.
We showed in randomized, controlled trials that these diet and lifestyle changes can reverse the progression of even severe coronary heart disease. Episodes of chest pain decreased by 91 percent after only a few weeks. After five years there were 2.5 times fewer cardiac events. Blood flow to the heartimproved by over 300 percent.
Other physicians, including Dr. Kim A. Williams, the president of the American College of Cardiology, are also finding that these diet and lifestyle changes can reduce the need for a lifetime of medications and transform people’s lives. These changes may also slow, stop or even reverse the progression of early-stage prostate cancer, judging from results in a randomized controlled trial.
These changes may also alter your genes, turning on genes that keep you healthy, and turning off genes that promote disease. They may even lengthen telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes that control aging.
The more people adhered to these recommendations (including reducing the amount of fat and cholesterol they consumed), the more improvement we measured — at any age. But for reversing disease, a whole-foods, plant-based diet seems to be necessary.
In addition, what’s good for you is good for our planet. Livestock production causes more disruption of the climate than all forms of transportation combined. And because it takes as much as 10 times more grain to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption, eating a plant-based diet could free up resources for the hungry.
What you gain is so much more than what you give up.

Australia’s Oldest Man Spends His Time Knitting Tiny Sweaters for Rescued Penguins

 

 

 

penguinsGP

Alfred ‘Alfie’ Date learned to knit in the 1930s so that he could make a jumper for his new nephew. Flash forward over 80 years, and Alfie’s knitting skills are allowing him to help his country’s wildlife. Amazingly enough, at 109 years old, Alfie is worried about having idle hands, so he is putting his knitting needles to work and creating the most adorable sweaters for penguins!

Australia's Oldest Man Spends His Time Knitting Tiny Sweaters for Injured Penguins

 

When Alfie arrived at his new home, an elderly-care village on the New South Wales Central Coast, he was immediately asked if he could put his well-known knitting skills to good use. Around that time in March 2014, Phillip Island’s Penguin Foundation requested the help of knitters around the world to make sweaters for penguins who had fallen victim to an oil spill. So naturally, Alfie signed up!

Sweaters are vital in the rescue of penguins affected by oil spills. A patch of oil the size of a thumbnail can cause their feathers separate and get matted together, allowing the cold to reach their otherwise protected skin. Penguins who are covered with oil will instinctively try and clean themselves by picking at their feathers with their beaks, this causes them to ingest oil which can damage their digestive system. Placing sweaters on rescued penguins prevents them from ingesting any oil while preening and keeps them nice and warm.

Australia's Oldest Man Spends His Time Knitting Tiny Sweaters for Injured Penguins

 

The idea to knit sweaters for penguins started after an oil spill in 2001 affected 438 penguins. Thanks to these sweater donations, 96 percent of the penguins were saved, rehabilitated and released back into the wild by the Wildlife Clinic at Phillip Island Nature Parks. So, when another spill compromised penguins in 2014, the foundation asked for more sweater donations.

The response to the Penguin Foundation’s request for sweaters was amazing. They quickly had more than enough, including a bunch made by Alfie!

Australia's Oldest Man Spends His Time Knitting Tiny Sweaters for Injured Penguins

 

Alfie continues to knit and send penguin sweaters to the Penguin Foundation. ”It’s amazing and we feel quite privileged to have him dedicating his time and effort to the Penguin Foundation,” a spokesperson told ABC’s Nine News.

Australia's Oldest Man Spends His Time Knitting Tiny Sweaters for Injured Penguins

 

Alfie’s knitting skills and dedication to the penguins is truly inspiring. He is officially our favorite little-penguin-jumper-knitter!

Though there is no longer a need for knitted penguin sweaters, there are plenty of ways to help the Penguin Foundation. For more information, visit their website here.

Lead image source: Daily Mail Australia

Can We End Alzheimer’s

PCRM

Can We End Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is the fastest growing health threat in the United States, according to a new landmark report from researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The numbers are staggering. A 2013 study in the journal Neurology found that the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease will jump from 4.7 million to 13.8 million by 2050. Associated health care costs will skyrocket from $200 billion to more than $1 trillion by 2050, increasing the cost of Medicaid and Medicare by 500 percent.

The disease is incurable. But research is at a critical turning point and shows that diet and exercise can play crucial roles in reducing the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Fighting Debilitating Memory Loss
The latest scientific findings show that diet and lifestyle changes can create a barrier against cognitive decline.

Researchers from the Chicago Health and Aging Project analyzed the diets of thousands of people over years. The findings are groundbreaking: Saturated “bad” fat—found in milk, cheese, and meat—is strongly linked to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, increasing risk more than threefold. Trans fats increase risk fivefold. Avoiding these fats can cut risk dramatically.

Foods rich in vitamin E, such as broccoli, walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds, also reduced dementia risk by as much as 70 percent. Other studies show that foods overly rich in iron or copper can promote cognitive loss, while folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 may help protect the memory.

This brain-healthy diet is almost identical to the diet that helps prevent stroke, heart disease, obesity, and other chronic diseases: a low-fat diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. Combining this with physical and mental exercise, and avoiding harmful toxins such as aluminum in supplements or cookware, can maximize protection for the brain.

Power Foods for the Brain’s Brain-Boosting Diet
Power Foods for the BrainPower Foods for the Brain, the latest book by Physicians Committee president and nutrition researcher Neal Barnard, M.D., presents this latest, compelling research on nutrition’s surprising effects on the brain. Dr. Barnard lays out a three-step plan to protect the mind and strengthen the memory: Put power foods to work, strengthen your brain, and defeat memory threats. The book also includes 75 power-food recipes, sample mental stimulation exercises, guides to choosing aluminum-free foods and medicines, and a guide to physical exercise.

Learn more about brain health and purchase Power Foods for the Brain at PCRM.org/Brain.

Brain Threats
Saturated fats, found in meats, dairy products, and eggs appear to encourage the production of beta-amyloid plaques within the brain. The Chicago Health and Aging Study reported in the Archives of Neurology in 2003 that people consuming the most saturated fat had more than triple the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, compared with people who generally avoided these foods.
Trans fats, found in doughnuts and snack pastries, have been shown to increase Alzheimer’s risk more than fivefold. These “bad fats” raise cholesterol levels and apparently increase production of the beta-amyloid protein that collects in plaques in the brain as Alzheimer’s disease begins.
Excess iron can build up in the brain, sparking the production of damaging free radicals. Sources of excess iron include cast-iron cookware, meats, and iron supplements.
Excess copper impairs cognition—even in mid-adulthood—and ends up in the plaques of Alzheimer’s disease. It comes from copper pipes and nutritional supplements.
Aluminum has been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, so it pays to err on the side of caution. Avoid uncoated aluminum cookware and read labels when buying baking powder, antacids, and processed foods.
Brain-Protecting Foods
Nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, which has been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Especially good sources are almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pecans, pistachios, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseed. Just 1 ounce—a small handful—each day is plenty.
Blueberries and grapes get their deep colors from anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants shown to improve learning and recall in studies at the University of Cincinnati.
Sweet potatoes are the dietary staple of Okinawans, the longest-lived people on Earth, who are also known for maintaining mental clarity into old age. Sweet potatoes are extremely rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant.
Green leafy vegetables provide iron in a form that is more absorbable when the body needs more and less absorbable when you already have plenty, protecting you from iron overload which can harm the brain. Green vegetables are also loaded with folate, an important brain-protecting B-vitamin.
Beans and chickpeas have vitamin B6 and folate, as well as protein and calcium, with no saturated fat or trans fat.
Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerves and brain cells. While many people have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 from foods, B12 in supplements is highly absorbable. Together, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 eliminate homocysteine, which can build up in the bloodstream—rather like factory waste—and damage the brain.

Cholesterol Confusion: Let’s Make Sense of It

PCRM

 

 

Fat-and-Cholesterol-Social-Graphic

Dietary confusion just reached a whole new level. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has just announced it is backing off suggesting that traces of cholesterol in foods pose a health risk. The idea is that its effect on blood cholesterol is less dramatic, compared with saturated fat—so maybe an egg here or there is no worse than an occasional drag on a cigarette. Coupled with recent reports questioning how bad “bad fats” really are, many people are unsure what to believe.

Let’s clear up the confusion. Here are the facts, starting with cholesterol:

Cholesterol is not the same as fat. Fat is the white streak in a steak and the grease that dribbles out of a drumstick. But cholesterol is invisible. Cholesterol particles are found in the membranes that surround the cells that make up an animal’s body. Cholesterol is in all animal products and is especially abundant in the lean portions of meats. There are also loads of cholesterol in eggs, cheese, and shellfish, such as shrimp and lobster.

Cholesterol in these foods causes your blood cholesterol level to inch upward.1 The cholesterol-raising effect is not as strong as that of bacon grease and other saturated-fat-laden products, but it is still there. Especially for people whose diets are modest in cholesterol to start with, adding an egg or two a day can cause a noticeable worsening on a cholesterol test.

Some people make a point of saying that cholesterol in foods is not as bad as saturated fat in foods. Maybe, but the issue is academic, because the two travel together. Fat and cholesterol are the Bonnie and Clyde of the culinary world. An egg, for example, has a whopping 200 milligrams of cholesterol and gets nearly 20 percent of its calories from saturated fat. They conspire together to raise your cholesterol level. But most foods from plants—vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains—have virtually none of either one.

Okay, so what about fat? Is it really a health problem or not?

The short answer is yes, it’s a problem. “Bad” fat—that is, saturated fat—raises your blood cholesterol level and increases your risk of health problems, including heart disease andAlzheimer’s disease. Saturated fat is found in meats, dairy products, eggs, and coconut and palm oils. Trans fats—the partially hydrogenated oils used in some snack foods—are bad, too, and people who avoid these products do themselves a favor.

Some news reports have mistakenly suggested that saturated fat isn’t really so bad after all. The confusion came from statistics:

Studies that compare people who indulge in “bad” fats with those who generally avoid them clearly show fat’s tendency to boost heart risks. But studies where fat intake does not vary much from person to person do not show much effect. For example, a Finnish study in which most all the participants followed high-fat diets was unable to detect any benefit of avoiding “bad” fats—largely because there was no group in the study that actually avoided them.

A 2014 meta-analysis combined all the studies—the good ones and the not-so-good ones—and concluded that, if you jumble the data together, the dangers of “bad” fat are no longer clear.2 The study was widely quoted by food writers who saw it as an excuse to try to rehabilitate pork chops’ reputation.

The meta-analysis had another problem. It used adjusted statistics that downplayed the dangers of saturated fat. One of the studies it used was Harvard’s Nurses’ Health Study.3 In the original study, a high saturated fat intake boosted heart disease risk by 52%. But the numbers were then adjusted for protein intake, cholesterol intake, and other factors, and these adjustments made the dangers of “bad” fat hard to see. It’s a bit like studying whether alcohol causes car accidents. If you alter the statistics to compensate for whether people weave as they drive or have blurry vision, the relationship between alcohol and accidents can be made to disappear.

So the answer is not to tuck into a hunk of bacon. The answer is to look at good studies, and they clearly show the risks of fatty, meaty diets.

And what’s that about Alzheimer’s disease? In a 2003 study, the Chicago Health and Aging Project reported that people eating the most saturated fat had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, compared with people who avoided “bad” fat.4

So the bottom line is that “bad” fat and cholesterol are as bad for you as ever. The products that harbor them—meat, dairy products, and eggs—are best left off your plate. People following plant-based diets have healthier body weight, better cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and much less risk of diabetes.5-7

So jump in. At the Physicians Committee, the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart Program starts fresh every single month, providing menus, recipes, and cooking videos free of charge. It is available in English, Spanish, and Mandarin, with a special program for people from the Indian subcontinent—plus our new Japanese program. As the confusion clears up, so will many health concerns.

1. Hopkins PN. Effects of dietary cholesterol on serum cholesterol: a meta-analysis and review. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992;55:1060-70.
2. Chowdhury R, Warnakula S, Kunutsor S, et al. Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160:398-406.
3. Chiuve SE, Rimm EB, Sandhu RK, et al. Dietary fat quality and risk of sudden cardiac death in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012; 96:498-507.
4. Morris MC, Evans EA, Bienias JL, et al. Dietary fats and the risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease. Arch Neurol. 2003;60:194-200.
5. Tonstad S, Butler T, Yan R, Fraser GE. Type of vegetarian diet, body weight and prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2009;32:791-6.
6. Berkow S, Barnard ND. Vegetarian diets and weight status. Nutr Rev 2006;64:175-188. 7. Yokoyama Y, Nishimura K, Barnard ND, Takegami M, Watanabe M, Sekikawa A, Okamura T, Miyamoto Y. Vegetarian diets and blood pressure: a meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine 2014;174(4):577-87.

Last updated by at February 12, 2015.

5 Simple Steps To a Healthier Heart

Ornish Living: Feel better, love betterOrnish

Photo Credit: Thai Jasmine, via Flickr Creative Commons

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by Carra Richling

Photo Credit: Thai Jasmine, via Flickr Creative Commons

Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.  February is National Heart Month, which brings awareness to the largest cause of death for men and women in the United States.  The good news is that the Dr. Ornish’s Lifestyle Heart Trial has shown that heart disease can be prevented and reversed.  By making simple changes in your diet and lifestyle, you can protect yourself against heart disease and begin to undo the damage and reverse heart disease.

The benefits of this change have a tremendous positive ripple effect from improving your health to positively impacting our environment.

Awareness

The value of science is to increase awareness of how much our choices matter each day. Dr. Ornish says: “When we become more aware of how powerfully our choices in diet and lifestyle affect us—for better and for worse—then we can make different ones. When you make healthy choices, you feel better quickly. This allows us to connect the dots between what we do and how we feel.  Feeling so much better, so quickly, re-frames the reason for changing from fear of dying to joy of living.”

Learn

The Ornish Program offers clear steps you can take to prevent or reverse heart disease by making simple changes that have powerful results.

US News and World Reports has selected the Ornish diet as the #1 diet for heart health for the last 5 years. The selection was based on the ease of following the diet, nutrition adequacy, safety, effectiveness for weight loss and protection against heart disease and diabetes. It’s important to understand, however, that the Ornish Spectrum approach is not a diet, but a lifestyle approach that is about freedom and a spectrum of choices. Foods are neither good nor bad, but some are more healthful than others. The spectrum of food choices ranges from Group 1, which is the healthiest, to Group 5, the least healthy. Dr. Ornish’s researchdemonstrated that heart disease could be reversed by eating a diet that includes predominantly plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, soy products, with the option of nonfat dairy and egg whites. This group is abundant in vitamins, minerals and a wide range of protective substances with powerful properties to protect against heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases. Group 2 are still predominantly plant-based, but somewhat higher in fat, providing choices that can offer protection against heart disease and other chronic disease.

The following provides a few simple steps from Ornish Spectrum Group 1 and the nutrition guidelines from the Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease.

Start with A Few Simple Steps:

 1. Choose a Whole, Plant-based Approach

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan

The benefits of this one change have a tremendous positive ripple effect from improving your health to positively impacting our environment. Research shows that plant-based diets are a cost-effective, low-risk intervention that can decrease risk factors with marked improvement with blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and weight management. A Nutritional Updatefor physicians published in the Permanente Journal notes that the benefits of a plant-based diet includes a reduction in medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. It encourages physicians to consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity. The benefits include reducing risk factors for heart disease such as decreasing blood pressure, cholesterol and weight with improved blood sugar management.

By choosing whole plant foods you are not only avoiding the factors that contribute to heart disease and other chronic diseases, but also at the same time increasing the protective substances that prevent disease and promote good heart health.

The Ornish Recipedia offers hundreds of delicious, plant-based recipes including a variety of heart healthy salads, soups, entrees, sides, snacks, condiments and desserts.

2. Cut the Fat

The American Heart Association recommends a low fat approach, low in saturated and trans fats and low in cholesterol for the prevention and treatment of heart disease. To begin reversing heart disease The Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease suggests limiting fat to 10 % of total calories, by avoiding any added fats such as oils, nuts, seeds, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings with oil, avocado, olives, and coconut; omitting animal proteins with the exception of nonfat dairy and egg whites. Here’s some information on the benefits you’ll get.

3. Focus on Fiber

Fiber from whole foods has many health benefits including heart health, blood sugar control, weight management, gastrointestinal health and reduced risk of stroke, gallstones and kidney stones. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract and support weight management. It is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Soluble fiber is the type that can lower cholesterol by lowering the absorption of cholesterol into your blood stream. Food rich in soluble fiber are oats, barley, legumes, apples, berries, oranges and carrots. The link between soluble fiber and reducing the risk of heart disease is so strong that it has been established as a health claim suggesting 4 servings of soluble fiber foods a day.

4. Limit Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates

Research continues to examine the effects of sugar on heart disease and other chronic diseases. Growing evidence shows the link between sugar consumption and heart disease, diabetes and liver disease.  The average American consumes nearly three times the recommended amount of added sugar every day, increasing risk for heart disease, diabetes, and underlying metabolic issues that increase risk for chronic disease. Both sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase triglycerides, blood and insulin levels, and impact risk for metabolic syndrome, which is a strong predictor of heart disease.

5. Include Soy

Including soy foods in your plant-based diet will benefit your heart health as well as make an excellent low fat, cholesterol-free, nutrient-dense, plant-based protein to replace animal protein. A moderate intake of minimally processed soy foods such as edamame, tofu, and soymilk, along with fermented soy foods such as tempeh, natto, and miso offer potentialprotection against coronary heart disease and certain cancers.

What is one simple step you can take to a healthier heart today?

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Best Diets Overall: The Data

Best Diets Rankings

http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-overall-diets/data

A panel of experts rated each diet on a scale of 1 to 5 on seven measures: short- and long-term weight loss, ease of following, nutrition, safety and performance as a diabetes and heart diet. U.S. News factored in each diet’s score on all seven measures to compute its overall score. (See Best Diets methodology.) To rearrange the rankings based on a certain measure, click that header below.

Rank Diet Overall Short-Term Weight Loss Long-Term Weight Loss Easy to Follow Nutrition Safety Diabetes Heart Health
#1
Gold Medal
4.1 3.2 3.0 3.1 4.7 4.9 3.6 4.3
#2
Gold Medal
4.0 3.2 2.8 3.0 4.6 4.8 3.2 4.5
#3
Gold Medal
3.9 3.3 2.9 3.1 4.3 4.7 3.5 3.6
#3
Gold Medal
3.9 3.0 2.9 3.3 4.4 4.8 3.4 4.0
#3
Gold Medal
3.9 4.0 3.5 3.7 4.1 4.6 3.1 3.4
#6
Gold Medal
3.8 3.4 3.3 3.3 4.0 4.4 3.5 3.8
#6
Gold Medal
3.8 3.6 3.2 3.2 4.2 4.6 3.4 3.5
#8 3.7 3.8 3.2 3.6 4.0 4.4 3.0 3.2
#9 3.6 4.1 2.9 2.9 3.8 4.1 3.6 3.5
#9 3.6 3.1 2.8 1.9 3.8 4.2 3.5 4.6
#11 3.5 2.9 2.7 2.8 3.9 4.2 3.2 3.3
#11 3.5 2.9 2.9 2.7 3.7 4.2 3.4 3.6
#13 3.3 2.6 2.6 2.7 3.4 3.9 3.4 3.6
#13 3.3 3.4 3.2 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.2 2.8
#13 3.3 3.6 2.8 2.3 3.6 3.9 3.0 3.0
#16 3.2 3.1 2.3 2.7 3.5 4.0 2.8 3.2
#16 3.2 4.1 3.0 2.9 3.4 3.4 3.0 2.9
#16 3.2 3.2 2.3 3.1 3.7 4.0 2.7 2.4
#19 3.0 3.1 2.1 2.6 3.4 3.5 2.7 2.7
#19 3.0 3.4 2.9 1.6 2.7 3.3 3.5 3.9
#19 3.0 3.7 2.3 2.8 3.2 3.4 2.5 2.9
#19 3.0 3.4 3.3 1.7 2.8 3.0 3.5 3.9
#24 2.9 3.8 2.5 2.1 2.8 3.3 2.5 3.3
#24 2.9 2.8 2.2 2.1 3.1 3.8 2.7 2.3
#23 2.9 3.0 2.3 2.2 3.2 3.7 2.3 2.8
#26 2.7 3.1 2.5 1.7 2.5 3.0 3.1 3.2
#26 2.7 3.5 2.0 2.4 3.1 3.0 2.6 2.7
#28 2.6 2.6 2.0 2.0 2.9 3.1 2.2 2.4
#28 2.6 3.1 2.3 2.2 2.6 2.9 2.4 2.5
#30 2.5 2.8 1.7 2.0 2.7 3.2 1.8 2.1
#30 2.5 3.2 2.3 2.4 2.1 2.6 2.4 2.6
#32 2.3 4.0 2.5 2.3 1.8 2.2 2.5 2.1
#32 2.3 3.7 3.3 1.1 2.1 2.1 2.6 2.8
#34 2.0 3.0 2.0 1.5 1.9 2.3 2.0 1.7
#34 2.0 2.1 1.7 1.7 2.0 2.3 2.1 2.0

What Causes Insulin Resistance?

Nutritional Facts

· February 4th 2015 ·

Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are caused by a drop in insulin sensitivity blamed on “intramyocellular lipid,” the buildup of fat inside our muscle cells.

Doctor’s Note

The most concerning downside of low-carb diets, though, is heart health: Low Carb Diets and Coronary Blood Flow

This is the first of a 3-part video series on the cause of type 2 diabetes, so as to better understand dietary interventions to prevent and treat the epidemic. Next, in The Spillover Effect Links Obesity to Diabetes, I talk about how that fat can come either from our diet or excess fat stores, and then in Lipotoxicity: How Saturated Fat Raises Blood Sugar show how not all fats are equally to blame.

Here are some of my recent diabetes videos with a bunch more on the way:

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