What a Harvard expert says we should eat

Healthy by Nature radio show this week: Dr. Darcy Brunk tells us what his patients do to look younger. In the second half my guest Jarrow Rogovin is the founder of Jarrow Formulas, but he is also a fearless fighter for fairness and health freedom. He wants to talk about the FDA and this should be good because he does NOT pull punches. Call the live show with questions at 1-800-281-8255. Click here to find podcasts, show archives and how to listen nationwide.

DFW event this Saturday
I will be doing free 15 minute supplement-review consultations from noon-2. Just put all your bottles in a sack (or two) and bring them. I’ll be happy to give you my opinion of the nutritional balance of what you are taking. (Often I can streamline programs.) I’ll be at HealthWorks Mart in Plano. They are having their annual holiday party with demonstrations of the Ezzilift facelift device, special deals and refreshments. So, come by for both!
Health or disease with each bite
The other day I heard a great radio interview with Harvard professor, Dariush Mozaffarian, MD. He discussed the components of a healthful diet revealed by scientific research. Apparently, the best all-around results are produced by the Mediterranean diet which includes a lot of fish, vegetables, fruits and other whole foods including whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, etc. It may surprise many readers that this winner is not a low fat diet. In fact, it is one of the very highest in fat. However, the fats are mainly the good kind from fish and olive oil.

If all that sounds kind of familiar, maybe that is because it is what I’ve recommended for a long time. (I do think macadamia nut oil is a shade better than olive oil.) Meat in general is not bad. However, we should probably go easy on red meat. (That is not good news for us steak and BBQ eating Texans!) The issue there, according to nutrition author Bill Sardi, may be that cells accumulate too much iron over time.

Dr. Mozaffarian also said that calorie counting may not be all that it is cracked up to be. That sounds like heresy, but some calories do have worse effects than others. Of particular concern are foods that are absorbed quickly because those spike blood sugar.  Frequent elevations of blood sugar (glucose) can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and many other health problems. The foods that create glucose problems are not fats or proteins but rather carbohydrates–especially starches and sugars. The more refined those carbs are, the worse the problem.

Unfortunately, food labels don’t have to tell you their blood sugar effect. There is a useful “glycemic index” database, but not all foods are listed in it. That is why I was glad that Dr. Mozaffarian offered a simple guide. He suggested estimating how refined a food is by dividing the total amount of carbohydrate listed on the label by the quantity of fiber. A ratio of 10 to 1 or higher he ranks as bad (too refined). A score of 5 or lower is good.
For example, an apple has 25.13 grams of carbohydrate. Dividing that by the grams of fiber (4.4) gives a ratio of 5.7 to one. That’s pretty good.  (An apple obviously doesn’t have a nutrition label, so I looked it, broccoli and the potato up on the USDA database which is a resource on my website.)

For the most part you don’t need to worry about green vegetables. Potatoes and fruits do warrant a look. Here is how a few foods rank:

    FOOD     RATIO
Good     Broccoli     2
      Kale Chips     4
      Crunchy Green Bean Snack (dried)     5
      100% Whole Wheat Bread     5
      Apple     5.7
Okay     Steel Cut Oatmeal     7
      Sunrise Gluten Free Cereal     8
      Baked potato (medium)     9
      Prunes     9
Bad     Wonder Bread (white)     30
      Twinkies*     2700

    20 ounce Coke*     6500

*(Twinkies and Coke actually have zero fiber so I had to use.01 just so I could do the math.)

Processed grains, starchy snacks, sugary foods and beverages are usually the problem foods and the average person would greatly improve his or her health by just staying out of the bad end of the doc’s scale.
But, just so you’ll know, it is a little more complicated. Even if the fiber isn’t removed, the more processing and cooking that a carbohydrate undergoes, the faster it raises blood sugar. For example, instant oatmeal is harder on blood sugar than steel cut oats because it has been nearly powdered and so can be digested more quickly. Like fiber, fat in foods slows absorption and lessens impact on blood sugar.  For more on the glycemic impact of food, see this article on my website.
Last Week
LINK to Archive. Jonathan Wright, MD one of my heroes, is a legend in nutritional and alternative medicine circles. He has been teaching doctors and innovating for decades. We discussed the use of blood thinners and his book Maximize Your Vitality & Potency…for men over 40

Please help spread the good word-forward this newsletter to friends and family.
My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book: Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

The information contained in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Copyright 2012 Martie Whittekin, CCN

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