Are saturated fats inherently bad for you? For years, the idea drilled into our heads has been that the saturated fats found in meat, cheese, and butter are to be largely avoided due to the increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease. But now we’re not so sure.
A new analysis of research was released in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine this week, and reported by the New York Times health blog here, cast doubt upon this guideline.
The new research reviewed over 80 studies that looked at what the participants reportedly ate, plus blood test results that measured fatty acids and cholesterol levels. This analysis did not find increased heart disease in those who ate less saturated fat, nor did it find less disease in those eating more unsaturated fat—the good stuff found in natural foods like olive oil, fish, and avocados. It did, however, notice a benefit in those taking Omega-3 fish-oil supplements in preventing the onset of heart disease. (more…)
Alzheimer’s: The word conjures up scary thoughts of slowly losing your memory as you become a shell of your former self. Experts project that diagnoses of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the primary cause, will triple worldwide by 2050. But scientists tell us that preventative measures can go a long way in protecting the brain from memory loss diseases, and they are as simple as doing things like making changes in your diet.
Here are 10 super foods that work to boost brain power and, in turn, lessen your chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. No one food has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but healthy eating habits appear to be one of the top factors in lowering your risk for developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
1. Wild Salmon, Tuna, Sardines (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week because it contains vital omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats help the body function properly and may slow cognitive decline by 10 percent, studies show.
“The main concept is that a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids creates BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), a protein between nerve cells that helps increase the strength between connections,” said Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, author of “Super Body Super Brain.” Trout, mackerel, and herring are also good choices, and taking a fish oil vitamin can also help your body obtain this much-needed nutrient. (more…)
Alison Lewis is a nationally known Cookbook Author, Recipe Developer, Television and Social Media Food Spokesperson, Nutritionist, Food Educator, and Owner of Ingredients, Inc., a Food Consulting company in Birmingham, Alabama. She is known for creating healthy, family-friendly recipes that are easy to prepare and sharing information about healthy living on her blog, ingredientsinc.net.
As a nutritionist, I have been a fan of the Mediterranean Diet for years. I try to incorporate the key components of the diet such as exercise, limiting red meat, eating more fish, consuming more plant based foods and enjoying meals with family and friends. I became even more of a believer recently when I traveled to Italy for seven days, didn’t exercise, ate a ton, and actually lost weight.
Craig Rich, a board certified internal medicine doctor says, “I recommend the Mediterranean diet to the majority of my patients because it’s lower in saturated fat and has been said to reduce risks of cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. New research also suggests that this diet can even help keep your brain healthy. What I honestly like about the diet, is that most people can really stick to it without a lot of effort.”
File this one in the “goes against everything we’ve been told” file.
A recent study published in American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology suggests that a high-fat diet is OK and even beneficial for the heart. The study, which looked at cardiac function in patients suffering from heart failure, found that that a high-fat diet improved the heart’s ability to pump, along with boosting cardiac insulin resistance (which reduces the risk of diabetes). Sounds pretty different than what we’ve been told all along right? That eating too much fat is bad for the heart?
Not so fast. According to the study which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and the Case Center for Imaging Research, all fats are not created equal. In fact, a balanced diet that includes mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and which replaces simple sugars and highly processed foods with complex carbs, are most beneficial for damaged hearts. Notice what wasn’t on that list of a healthy diet? Trans fats or saturated fats.
The American vocabulary uses “fat” as a negative adjective when actually, some fat is beneficial to your health. When it comes to diet, certain types of dietary fat an aid weight loss and help improve bodily functions.
The Harvard School of Public Health says to avoid trans-fats, limit saturated fats and choose healthy fats. What are healthy fats, you may ask? The “good fats” include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have been said to help lower disease risk.