Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

disease risk



How Much is Too Much Sugar?

By Melissa Breyer for Care2.com

The federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest an upper limit of 25 percent of daily calories come from added sugar. Doesn’t that seem really high? If you have an extra 500 calories to spare, wouldn’t it be wise to spend it on something with some nutritive value? Aside from a waste of calories, a new study shows that adults who consume high levels of sugar have significantly elevated levels of several risk factors for heart disease.

The study, conducted by a group of researchers at the University of California, Davis, and in Japan suggests that the generally-accepted guidelines for sugar may be too lenient and should be reconsidered. The results of their study were reported online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, and will appear in the journal’s October print edition.


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Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes by Skipping One Serving of Meat

While some doctors have suggested that consuming hot dogs might raise your risk of developing colorectal cancer,  Harvard researchers recently reported processed red meat like bacon and hot dogs raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes. According to an article in the New York Times, replacing just one serving per day of processed red meat with nuts or low-fat dairy can lower the risk of disease.

The study analyzed 300,000 people ages 25 to 75, including three groups of male and female health professionals and looked at their eating and health habits dating to 1976.

Overall, researchers discovered that eating just 50 grams a day of processed meat — one hot dog or sausage, for example, or a little more than two strips of bacon — increased the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 51 percent.

Instead of chowing down on bacon, sausage, bologna or ham, medical professionals recommend limiting consumption of processed red meats and instead selecting a low-fat dairy product, a serving of whole grains or a serving of fish or poultry.


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Relieve Gout Attacks Fast Without Prescription Drugs

This guest post comes from Gale Tern, author, alternative health proponent, and blogger at Arthritis Pain Central.

Gout is usually thought of as the big toe disease since one of its most common symptoms is acute pain in the big toe. Gout is actually a type of arthritis. Here is how the National Institutes of Health defines gout: “Gout is a painful condition that occurs when the bodily waste product uric acid is deposited as needle-like crystals in the joints and/or soft tissues. In the joints, these uric acid crystals cause inflammatory arthritis, which in turn leads to intermittent swelling, redness, heat, pain, and stiffness in the joints.”

What Causes Gout?

The major risk factors for gout are:

  • Family history. Genetics seems to play a role. If your parents or grandparents suffered from this disease there is a high likelihood that you will as well.
  • Weight. Being overweight also increases the risk of developing gout. Some researchers suggest that due to having more tissue mass that can breakdown inherently leads to even greater production of uric acid.


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Soy Foods and Isoflavones Don’t Increase Risk in Breast Cancer Survivors

Ever since research has come out about soy and its inherent properties that allow it to act like extra estrogen in the body, thereby possibly increasing the risk of breast cancer in women, I’ve been somewhat cautious about adding too much soy in my diet. While I’ve never suffered from breast cancer myself, it does run in my family, so I don’t like to take any chances. I know a lot of women who feel the same way, and I know some breast cancer survivors who are very limited with the amount of soy they consume for these reasons as well. Although the research of late on soy and cancer have been a little back and forth, new research presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011 that was held in early April has found that soy foods do not increase the risk of cancer recurrence or death among breast cancer survivors.

To understand the study, it’s helpful to know why soy foods have been suspect. Soy foods contain large amounts of isoflavones that are known to bind to estrogen receptors and have both estrogen-like and anti-estrogenic effects, according to the study. Scientists have been particularly concerned that the isoflavones in soy could compromise the effect of the breast-cancer-treatment drug Tamoxifen because both the drug and isoflavones bind to estrogen receptors.


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Eating a Healthy Diet Prolongs Life in Seniors

We have all heard the phrase “you are what you eat,” and the more research that comes out on eating a nutritious diet, the more it seems that saying is really true! According to a study published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, those who eat healthy foods live longer than those who don’t.

The major indication of this is that the leading causes of death in Americans has shifted from infectious diseases to chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease and cancer — illnesses that may be affected by diet. Researchers studied the eating patterns and mortality of more than 2,500 adults between the ages of 70 and 79 over a 10-year period. What did they find? That diets favoring certain foods were associated with longer lives.

Researchers grouped the study participants into six different clusters according to what they ate a lot of: healthy foods; high-fat dairy products; meat, fried foods, and alcohol; breakfast cereal; refined grains; sweets and desserts. The “healthy foods” group ate low-fat dairy products, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish and vegetables, and had a lower consumption of meat, fried foods, sweets, high-calorie drinks and added fat.


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