2010 In Review: Lessons We Learned

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• Low-carb diets caused patients in one study to become confused, anxious and depressed after a few months.

• Low cholesterol does not increase cancer risk.

• Eating slowly does increase satiety – choose foods that you can chew like whole grains, beans/legumes, fruits and veggies.

• Consumption of omega-3 rich fish may slow the aging process.

• It really will save you years on your life to lower sodium – this one change could make more of a difference than quitting smoking. Hypertension is responsible for more deaths each year than tobacco.

• DASH works better with exercise and weight loss. The DASH diet reduced sodium and added more fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and beans.

• Saturated fat still raises LDL or bad cholesterol levels. All well-designed studies which have posed this question have found the same result.

• The ACCORD study showed that prescribing more drugs for control of high blood pressure fails with those on this treatment suffering a higher rate of mortality and more severe side effects.

• Researchers at Columbia University found that the modern Westernized diet of most Americans is clearly linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

• Red yeast rice lowers cho- lesterol and when coupled with diet and lifestyle changes can be a good alternative to statins which have some adverse side effects.

• Breast cancer mortality is shown to be lower without mammograms. Although this is against conventional wisdom, it is based on long running observational studies in Denmark and compared to countries where free mammograms are offered.

• Processed red meat consumption greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because they contain a much higher amount of salt and fat than other lean meats in a more natural state.

• One study showed that excessive training such as for marathons may increase the risk of heart attack. More research is needed to see if it is because marathon runners may simply eat more bad food. But this is not an excuse to be sedentary!

• People who follow a very low fat near vegetarian diet may not need to have high HDL levels. In one study, higher HDL levels were prone to more cardiovascular events when the patients had elevated levels of CRP.

• The 2010 Dietary Guideline Committee has recommended 1500 mg or less for daily sodium intake for all individuals.

• Egg whites are shown to be much less damaging to arteries as compared to whole eggs or egg yolks.

• One study compared diets with sugar versus sugar substitutes. They found that subjects consuming sugar consume more calories and do not tend to compensate with fewer calories at the next meal. Stevia was found to be a good sweetener for persons with diabetes since it lowered blood sugar more than aspartame.

• Calcium supplements may bring a higher rate of calcified arteries and heart disease.

• B Vitamins (B6, B12, Folate) appear to slow the rate of dementia up to 30% as shown in one study.

• The US drops from being 5th in the world for life expectancy to 49th yet we are spending more per capita than any other country.

• Failure to reduce salt intake cuts life expectancy.

• One study showed that increasing alpha-carotene-rich vegetable consumption is a way to reduce serious illness and increase life expectancy.

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