Dr. Jay's Blog

Nuts Can Lower Your Risk Of Heart Disease and Stroke

Date: December 4, 2017 | Time: 6:46am | Posted By: Jay Cullinane

Don't nuts have lots of fat? How can they possibly reduce the risk of heart disease?

The truth is animal fat or any naturally occurring does not increase the risk of heart disease. Man made trans fats that are found in partially hydrogenated oil do increase the risk of heart disease and many other diseases. Of course it was medical doctors with no training in nutrition that convinced people to switch from butter to margarine made with partially hydrogenated oil.

On the other hand, the sugar industry did studies on the health effects of sugar in the 1960s. When the preliminary data showed a relationship between sugar and heart disease, they stopped funding the research and kept the results from being published.

Recent studies on walnuts, tree nuts and peanuts (which are actually legumes but they have similar fatty acid and nutrient composition to nuts) have found numerous health benefits. When comparing data on people who eat the most nuts to people who eat the least nuts, there was a consistent inverse relationship between total nut consumption and total cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. In other words, the more nuts somebody eat, the less likely they were to have heart disease. People who consumed five or more servings of nuts a week had a 14 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 20 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease than participants who never or almost never consumed nuts.

Decades ago, medical science assumed that fat was the cause of heart disease. The Framingham Heart Study made the connection between higher than normal blood cholesterol levels and coronary artery disease (in 1980, the normal cholesterol level for someone between 40 and 49 was 150 to 310). Cholesterol is fat soluble. So, medical science assumed it had to be the fat and cholesterol in the diet that caused heart disease. What else could it be? Sadly, they never actually tried to answer that question even though the data from the Framingham Heart Study showed that more cholesterol in the diet was associated with lower cholesterol in the blood.

The statin drugs used to lower cholesterol came out in the late 1980s. Now that there was a drug that could lower blood cholesterol levels, the normal for total cholesterol was lowered.

The statin drugs work by blocking an enzyme that leads to the production of cholesterol. The baseline for cholesterol varies from person to person. The enzyme that is blocked by statin drugs is stimulated by insulin. In reality, the higher your insulin level goes, the higher your cholesterol goes. Your insulin goes up when your blood sugar level goes up. Your blood sugar is glucose. It can only go up in your blood if you eat too much. Sugar is half fructose and half glucose. Starch is all glucose. So the more sugar and starch you eat, the higher your cholesterol goes. The more sugar and starch you eat, the higher your risk for heart disease. Starch is most commonly found in wheat (including whole wheat), rice, corn and potatoes. The best result I have had with a patient was lowering her total cholesterol from 249 to 183 and her triglycerides from 461 to 92 simply by removing sugar and starch from her diet.

So if you want to lower your risk for heart disease, stop eating sugar and starch and eat more nuts!

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The information in this article is not a substitute for medical counseling, and is not intended for the diagnosis, treatment, or cure of any medical condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.
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A Nutty Way To Control Your Appetite And Lose Weight

Date: November 2, 2017 | Time: 2:25pm | Posted By: Jay Cullinane

If you want to control your appetite and lose weight, eat nuts.

I know you're thinking, "Wait a second. Aren't nuts full of fat? Won't they make you gain weight?

Well, that has always been the assumption.

A five year study of 373,000 Europeans between the ages of 25 and 70 found that people who ate nuts (peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and/or walnuts) were more likely to reduce their weight and were more likely to reduce their risk of being overweight or obese by 5 percent.

Nuts are high energy foods. They contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Nuts have been associated with many health benefits including healthy aging and memory function in seniors.

Nuts' ability to reduce weight gain has been assumed to be due to their satiety. They make you feel full.

In a study done at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Clinical Research Center, 10 obese volunteers lived at the Center for two five day sessions. They were given all of their meals. In one session, their meals included a smoothie that contained 48 grams of walnuts. In the other session, their meals included a nutritionally comparable smoothies without walnuts. The volunteers reported feeling less hungry when they had the walnut containing smoothies. Functional MRI imaging showed that the area in the brain associated with regulating hunger and cravings was more active after they had the walnuts.

So despite the assumptions that eating nuts can make you fat, eating the recommended servings for nuts will help reduce your weight.

Another tip for helping with weight loss is to drink tea. Both green and black teas have been shown to change the bacteria in the gut. They decrease the bacteria that are associated with obesity and increase that bacteria associated with lean body mass. Polyphenols in green tea alter energy metabolism in the liver. The polyphenols in black tea are broken down by the bacteria in the gut and increase the amount of short chain fatty acids they produce. Those short chain fat acids also alter energy metabolism in the liver. Both green and black teas are prebiotics that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Mice given extracts from green or black tea and fed a high fat, high sugar diet had their weight dropped to the same level of mice fed a low fat, high sugar diet.

On the flip side, the type of oil used in your food may increase your weight gain. A study on mice compared conventional soybean oil (the most commonly used oil in restaurants and processed foods), Plenish(R) (a genetically-modified (GM) soybean oil), coconut oil, and olive oil. Conventional soybean oil induced more weight gain than Plenish or olive oil. Coconut oil produced the least weight gain. Conventional soybean oil was also found to induce diabetes, insulin resistance and fatty liver. The study found that conventional soybean oil increases cholesterol levels in the liver and blood. Coconut oil produces the fewest negative metabolic effects of the oils tested in this study.

The most important key to reducing your weight is to reduce the amount of sugar and starch in your diet. Sugar is half fructose and half glucose. Starch is all glucose. Glucose is your blood sugar. Glucose increase your insulin levels which gets the glucose into cells to be used as fuel. When there is enough fuel, the glucose will be turned into fat. When we started eating a low fat diet in the 1980s, we started eating more sugar and starch. That is what started the obesity epidemic.

Please feel free to share the health with your friends and family.

I endorse no products.


The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided is not a substitute for medical counseling. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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