“Comparing the Best Cooking Oils”May 09, 2021
When it comes to cooking with oils, paying attention to their smoke point (the temperature at which they begin to break down) is key. Olive Oil. Extra-virgin olive oil has a relatively low smoke point of 325°F to 375°F, so it’s best for sautéing over medium heat or used for dressing salads. It is not ideal for deep-frying. Olive oil is widely known as a heart-healthy cooking oil choice, but other oils can be fairly healthy too. Olive oil is regularly touted as a top health food and superior dietary fat. This is largely due to its high monounsaturated fatty acid content compared to saturated fats. Consuming monounsaturated fats can help lower your low-density lipoprotein (“bad” LDL) cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Extra-virgin olive oil also contains more than 30 phenolic compounds, which boast anti-inflammatory and blood vessel-expanding characteristics. Olive oil is known as a “healthy fat.” Olive oil consumption has links to weight loss and increases in overall longevity. Canola Oil. Having a diet that features canola oil as a primary cooking fat can result in lower total cholesterol levels. Canola is relatively versatile with its higher smoke point of 400°F.
“The Dangers of Atrial Fibrillation”May 02, 2021
More than 40 million individuals worldwide have atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is the most common heart arrhythmia disorder. An arrhythmia is when the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way. Risk of developing the disorder rises with age and the number of other conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, coronary artery disease, kidney disease, obesity, and obstructive sleep apnea. AFib is a serious diagnosis. While this condition isn’t fatal in itself, it can lead to potentially life-threatening complications. Two of the most common complications of AFib are stroke and heart failure. Medications and lifestyle habits can both help prevent these in people with AFib. Patients with atrial fibrillation have an average of five co-existing conditions and these comorbidities have a negative impact on survival. In addition, three-quarters of atrial fibrillation patients take at least five drugs. But if it’s left untreated, atrial fibrillation can be serious and even deadly. A stroke happens as a result of a blood clot in the brain. Patients often require medications to control the heart rate and to prevent blood clots. In the first study looking at cessation of alcohol consumption and atrial fibrillation (AF) risk, UC San Francisco researchers have shown that the longer people abstain from drinking alcohol, the lower their risk of AF. In addition to causing high blood pressure, high sodium levels have been linked with a long-term risk of developing AFib. Avoid or reduce salty foods such as pizza, cold cuts, salad dressings, and soups to reduce your risk. Sleep deprivation, physical illness, and recent surgery are also common triggers for AFib.
“Five Brain Booster Foods”Apr 25, 2021
Studies show that what you eat can affect your brain power and cognitive prowess. Cognitive health refers to one’s ability to think clearly, learn, and remember. Over five million Americans have limited brain function with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). One in three seniors dies with (not necessarily from) Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. People are keen to adopt ways of decreasing their chances of dementia and to finding ways to improve function of their brain. False claims have been rampant with articles pushing the notion that this can be achieved with coffee, cocoa, water, antioxidants, etc. Some studies have linked the Mediterranean diet (high in fish oils, nuts, and grains and including maybe a little red wine) with advantageous effects on neurologic and mental health. Studies show that small changes to your diet can improve cognitive health and performance. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes. It may also help keep your brain healthy. The NIA defines a healthy diet as one that consists of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, and poultry, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, and whole grains. Also limit solid fats, sugar, and salt. Be sure to control portion sizes and drink enough water and other fluids. Here are five foods that can boost cognitive function.
“Medical Facts About Meats”Mar 21, 2021
Controversy surrounds the health impact of various meats. The consumption of saturated fats in red meats and dairy products has been considered causative of heart disease for decades. Red meat is the name used for the meat from mammals—like beef, lamb, and pork. White meats include poultry, like chicken and turkey. Processed meat includes sausage, bacon, beef jerky, corned beef, salami, and more. New research supports the notion that red meat can be incorporated into a healthier diet. Currently, 77% of Americans exceed recommended levels of saturated fat, and meat is a major contributor to this. Red meat is a nutrient-rich food, not only as a source for protein but also bioavailable iron. Experts found that consuming more than half a serving per day of red meat, which is equivalent to a 3-ounce serving three times per week, did not worsen blood pressure and blood total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglyceride concentrations. According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, a healthy dietary pattern can include lean meats and poultry, but should involve “relatively lower consumption of red and processed meats.” Beef is a great source of several vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamin B12, which assists in red blood-cell production. It is also a good source of zinc, which helps the body produce testosterone, and selenium. However, increased consumption of red meat is associated with higher risks of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and all-cause mortality.
“Alzheimer’s, Focused Ultrasound and Hyperbaric Oxygen”Mar 14, 2021
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the nation’s most common form of dementia, and it’s on the rise. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older had Alzheimer’s dementia in 2020. By 2050, that number could rise to 13.8 million. AD is one of the top 10 leading causes of death for which there is currently no cure or treatments to prevent or decelerate it. One in 3 seniors die with (not necessarily from) Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other types of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that gradually destroys brain tissue and people’s ability to remember, think, communicate, and lead independent lives. It is the most common form of dementia. West Virginia University scientists used MRI scans to show what happens when ultrasound waves target a specific area of Alzheimer’s patient’s brains. They concluded that this treatment may induce an immunological healing response, a potential breakthrough for a disease that accounts for up to 80% of all dementia cases. The ultrasound targeted the hippocampus in particular because it plays a large role in learning and memory. The focused ultrasound procedure modifies brain amyloid levels and might be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders.
“Cow and Horse Drug Poisoning in Attempts to Treat COVID-19”Mar 08, 2021
Some people are attempting to treat and prevent COVID-19 by taking ivermectin, a medication frequently used to de-worm cows and horses and they are poisoning themselves in the process. There has been an increase in calls to poison control centers because of ivermectin. Ivermectin is commonly used as an anti-parasite cream on dogs, cats, and horses. It can eliminate lice, scabies, and worms in mammals. Rather than waiting to get the drug through proper channels, people are instead getting equestrian prescriptions through their vets and using horse-sized doses on themselves. The buzz around ivermectin has been generated by the FLCCC, the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), which formed at the start of the pandemic. It comprises critical care workers who previously bonded over the controversial use of vitamin C for sepsis. While the FLCCC has held press conferences saying studies show the drug could fight against the novel coronavirus, public health agencies and many experts say the research is lacking. US regulators say there is not enough robust evidence or safety data to recommend ivermectin as a cure, treatment, or preventative medicine for COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health issued a statement earlier this month, refusing to support the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 until clinical trials in humans find it to be safe and effective. The US Food and Drug Administration has also told Americans not to self-administer ivermectin intended for animals. Ivermectin is currently being studied in humans for treating COVID-19.
“Ups and Downs of Coffee Consumption”Feb 28, 2021
We love our coffee, but is there a scientific verdict on its health effects? Can it add years to your life? Does it help protect from cardiovascular disease? Should you stop drinking coffee if you’re pregnant? Over half (55%) of the US population drinks coffee on a daily basis, at an average of about 2 cups per day. The U.S. spends $40 billion on coffee each year. But is all this coffee affecting our health or longevity? The American Academy of Pediatrics says caffeine has been linked to harmful effects on young people’s developing neurologic and cardiovascular systems. People are bewildered by confusing medical reports related to coffee. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that moderate coffee consumption (3–4 cups per day) was associated with decreased risks of cardiovascular-specific and all-cause mortality. Other researchers found that, in any coffee-drinkers, there was a significant inverse association with the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, endometrial cancer, melanoma, and nonmelanoma skin cancer. Results showed that drinking 3–4 cups of coffee per day provided the best risk reduction for cardiovascular disease. Their analysis confirmed that coffee consumption had beneficial health impacts on longevity. Likewise, an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that the consumption of 2–5 standard cups of coffee per day was associated with reduced mortality in studies conducted throughout the world and across various demographics.
“Common Drugs May Mimic Dementia”Feb 21, 2021
Older people often take multiple medications, and this can spell trouble for dementia patients. Dementia is increasing at an alarming rate. Alzheimer disease and other dementias are notoriously challenging to treat. While some drugs may slow cognitive deterioration, none will reverse the condition. Approximately 6 million Americans have dementia and nearly a half-million new Alzheimer’s cases will be diagnosed annually. A 2020 report in The Lancet estimates that roughly 50 million people around the world live with dementia. Dementia, which is not technically a disease but a term for impaired ability to think, remember or make decisions, is one of the most feared impairments of old age. About 5% of those age 71 to 79 have dementia, and about 37% of those about 90 years old live with it. We now know that many common drugs may lead to side effects that mimic dementia symptoms, making it even more difficult to diagnose and treat. Last year, several physicians described dementia patients whose increasing levels of confusion appeared to have been caused by a litany of medications they’d been prescribed. The phenomenon, known as “medication fog,” may be a bigger problem than we had thought. An estimated 91% of people over the age of 65 take at least one prescribed medication, and 41% use five or more, which doctors refer to as “polypharmacy.”
“Some Foods Not As Bad As Claimed”Feb 14, 2021
We are constantly warned about eating harmful foods. However, many may not be as harmful as claimed. Some foods are best eaten in moderation rather than eliminated entirely from the diet. Fried Foods. In North America, 25-36% of adults consume foods, usually fried, from fast food restaurants every day. Moderation and variety with any food is the key to healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. Total fried food consumption of at least one serving per day was associated with a modestly higher but not significant risk of cardiovascular mortality. Over-consumption gets you into trouble so enjoy fried foods in moderation. Meat. The newly revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, recommend that we limit our intake of red and processed meats, stating they are “in and of themselves, associated with detrimental health outcomes.” What remains up for debate is the amount of red meat consumption that is considered safe. Some evidence suggests that moderate amounts of meat may offer health benefits. For 12 centuries, the consumption of meat was largely banned in Japan, for religious and health reasons. This changed in the period following World War II when intake of animal products began to increase. According to an article published in Nature in 2020, one of the reasons for Japan’s high rates of cerebrovascular mortality was that people were not getting enough cholesterol, which is an important part of building strong blood vessel walls.
“Six Foods To Eat At Your Own Risk”Feb 07, 2021
Moderation and variety with any food is the key to healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. However, there are some foods to intentionally avoid at all costs. Certain foods that are unhealthy and it’s not always obvious which ones they are. So, here are six that need recognition. 1) Doughnuts. Some claim doughnuts are not intended for human consumption. One single glazed doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts packs a whopping 14 g of fat, which equals 22% of your recommended daily intake (RDA). Unbelievably, it would take the average person 70 minutes of walking at 3 miles per hour to burn off one glazed doughnut. 2) Processed deli meats. Preservatives are the main difference in processed versus unprocessed meats, with sodium levels being about 400 times higher in processed meats. Too much sodium is bad for you. Researchers of a meta-analysis found a moderate positive correlation between processed meat consumption and mortality—not only from cardiovascular disease but cancer as well. To see the rest of the list, please download the complete article.