Your Road to Wellness

Calories

Why is it important to know the immediate effects of your meals?

Posted by on 12:00 pm Bloodsugar, Calories, Eating, Fat, General Health, HDL, Omega-3, fish oil, Tissue Recovery Blog, Wellness | 0 comments

When you have your yearly medical checkup, your doctor usually runs a blood test to see how your biochemistry is when you are in a fasted state.  You should have the blood drawn in the morning before you eat anything.

While this gives both your doctor and you an idea about your health status and certain health risks, is it the most accurate way to collect information to see how well you are doing?

It is certainly a good to have those data, but think about it: we are not in a fasting state during the day. Most people eat several times during the day and may even snack between their meals.

There are several important factors to take into account when it comes to the more immediate after-effect of the meals we eat. We will look specifically at cholesterol here, which is interesting because a new study related to cholesterol and egg consumption was just published.

Let’s, however, look at another paper first.

The authors found the following.

Diet is not just about fasting cholesterol; it is mainly about the after-meal effects of cholesterol, saturated fats, oxidative stress and inflammation (Spence JD, et.al., 2010).  Focusing on fasting cholesterol obscures three key issues:

  • Dietary cholesterol increases the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidation
  • increases the after-meal effect of excess fat
  • increases the adverse effects of dietary saturated fat

Oxidized LDL is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

These researchers also said dietary cholesterol, including egg yolks, is harmful to the arteries.

Now, let’s look at the more recent study.

29 615 participants were followed for an average of 17.5 years (Zhong VW, et al., 2019).  This is what the researchers concluded.

Among US adults, higher consumption of dietary cholesterol or eggs was significantly associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in a dose-response manner.

References

Spence JD, Jenkins DJ, Davignon J.Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: not for patients at risk of vascular disease.Can J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;26(9):e336-9.

Zhong VW, Van Horn L, Cornelis MC, Wilkins JT, Ning H, Carnethon MR, Greenland P, Mentz RJ, Tucker KL, Zhao L, Norwood AF, Lloyd-Jones DM, Allen NB.Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality. JAMA. 2019 Mar 19;321(11):1081-1095.

 

 

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Osteoarthritis in women associated with deposits in Arteries

Posted by on 12:33 pm Asthma, Calories, Eating, Energy, Exercise, General Health, General Health, Health Risk, Heart disease, Muscles, Nervous System, Research, Wellness, Women, Womens health | 0 comments

Research sometimes find interesting connections we usually don’t think about.

A study including 3278 women found an association between plaque in the carotid artery and osteoarthritis in the knee and hands in women (Hoeven TA, et.al., 2013).

We know that inflammation is involved in osteoarthritis, even if it is less severe than in rheumatoid arthritis.

We also know that inflammation increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. Inflammation is an important factor in depositing cholesterol and fat into the inner lining of the vascular wall.

 

Another interesting connection found lower magnesium levels in rheumatoid arthritis patients compared to controls (Chavan VU, et.al., 2015).

Lower magnesium levels were also correlated with higher cholesterol and LDL, the so called bad cholesterol, and higher magnesium levels with better HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. This was in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Magnesium has also been found to be inversely associated with osteoarthritis documented on x-rays and joint space narrowing (Zeng C, et.al., 2015).

Glucosamine sulfate another nutritional substance has been used to treat osteoarthritis for many years.

When osteoarthritic chondrocytes (cartilage cells) and glucosamine sulfate were tested in different ways in a culture, it was found that glucosamine sulfate reduced the synthesis of proinflammatory mediators (Largo R, et.al., 2003).

Taking magnesium and glucosamine sulfate could according to this possibly benefit both your cardiovascular system and your joints.

The best form of magnesium is an amino acid chelate like magnesium glycinate.

The most common form of magnesium is magnesium oxide, but that is a gastrointestinal irritant and can give you diarrhea when taken in higher amounts.

 

REFERENCE

Chavan, V. U., Ramavataram, D. V. S. S., Patel, P. A., & Rupani, M. P. (2015). Evaluation of serum magnesium, lipid profile and various biochemical parameters as risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR, 9(4), BC01.

Hoeven, T. A., Kavousi, M., Clockaerts, S., Kerkhof, H. J., van Meurs, J. B., Franco, O., … & Bierma-Zeinstra, S. (2012). Association of atherosclerosis with presence and progression of osteoarthritis: the Rotterdam Study. Annals of the rheumatic diseases, annrheumdis-2011.

Largo R, Alvarez-Soria MA, Díez-Ortego I, Calvo E, Sánchez-Pernaute O, Egido J, Herrero-Beaumont G. Glucosamine inhibits IL-1beta-induced NFkappaB activation in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes.Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2003 Apr;11(4):290-8.

Zeng C, Li H, Wei J, Yang T, Deng ZH, Yang Y, Zhang Y, Yang TB, Lei GH. Association between Dietary Magnesium Intake and Radiographic Knee Osteoarthritis. PLoS One. 2015 May 26;10(5):e0127666.

 

 

 

 

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More evidence that it matters where the calories are coming from.

Posted by on 12:42 pm Calories, Cardiovascular disease & waist-hip ratio, Cholesterol, Diabetes, Diet, Eating, Health, Heart disease | 0 comments

There are still so called experts who claim that it does not matter where the calories are coming from when it comes to losing and maintaining your weight. Several studies designed in different ways have documented that it does make a difference where the calories are coming from. When we lose weight the metabolic rate tends to slow down, making it more difficult to maintain the weight. Food that slows the metabolic rate the least would be the most beneficial way to eat for weight loss and weight maintenance.

The research reviewed here provides even more evidence that the kind of food we eat makes a difference when it comes to resting energy expenditure, total energy expenditure and inflammation (Ebbeling CB, et al. 2012).

In this study 3 different diets were compared and the participants were overweight and obese young adults. After the participants lost 10-15% of their weight, they were either put on a low-fat diet (60% of energy from carbohydrate, 20% from fat, 20% from protein; high glycemic load), low-glycemic index diet (40% from carbohydrate, 40% from fat, and 20% from protein; moderate glycemic load), and very low-carbohydrate diet (10% from carbohydrate, 60% from fat, and 30% from protein; low glycemic load) in random order, each for 4 weeks.

The results showed that the decrease in resting energy expenditure was greatest with the low fat diet, intermediate with the low glycemic index diet and the least with the very low carbohydrate diet.

There are two things which are important here; the low glycemic index diet was not all that low since it was moderate glycemic load. What a lot of people call low glycemic index is in reality moderate glycemic index. The other important point is that the results also showed that the low carbohydrate diet increased inflammation.

One thing you don’t want is increased inflammation, that contributes to chronic disease and pain, so the low carbohydrate diet is not a good choice. The low-fat, high glycemic load diet slowed the resting energy expenditure the most, so that is also not a good choice.

The best choice is a very low glycemic index diet based on carbohydrates without a huge amount of fat, but including good amounts of the healthy essential fats. That would decrease the resting energy expenditure the least and also decrease inflammation.

These are the type of recommendations you will find on Learn to Eat, providing you a program which can be downloaded directly to your computer.

 

 

Ebbeling CB, Swain JF, Feldman HA, Wong WW, Hachey DL, Garcia-Lago E, Ludwig DS. Effects of dietary composition on energy expenditure during weight-loss maintenance. JAMA. 2012 Jun 27;307(24):2627-34.

 

Be aware of what you drink

Posted by on 1:44 pm Calories, Fructose, High fructose corn syrup, Hot Beverages, Insulin resistance, Sugar, Sweet beverages, Type 2 diabetes, Weight gain | 1 comment

What you drink can affect you in many ways.

High fructose corn syrup, which commonly is added to both food and beverages, favors fat metabolism even more that regular glucose.

When we ingest fructose we get less feedback on when we are full, because fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or affect leptin production, both of which are key factors in the regulation of food intake. Fructose may for that reason result in over consumption of calories and lead to weight gain (Bray GA, et al. 2004). By drinking sweet beverages, it is extremely easy to consume more calories than we need. A large container of a sweet beverage may even amount to as many calories as in a whole meal.

Sugar sweetened beverages are also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (Palmer JR, et al, 2008). This was documented in a study including 43,960 women. These types of beverages are often marketed as healthy juices and natural fruit drinks, with the intention of making the product sound healthy to the consumer.

A recent study showed that when fructose was consumed, the lipogenisis which is the conversion of sugar to fat was twice as great as when it was absent, leading to increased triglyceride levels (Parks E.J. et al, 2008)

I have for a long time observed that when patients change their eating habits from eating high glycemic index meals (which means foods that elevate the blood sugar high), to low glycemic index meals (which are foods which rather stabilize the blood sugar at a good level instead of elevating it really high), both triglycerides total cholesterol, and LDL, the bad cholesterol all go down substantially. The good cholesterol HDL, however, usually goes up.

According to the research referenced here, you need to pay close attention to what you drink because beverages can be a big source of sugar elevating your blood sugar and lead to all the negative effects from that. Not only can it make you gain weight, but it is also a risk factor for diabetes, because it can contribute to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance which is caused by high glycemic index food and drinks (sweets), weight gain, and lack of exercise can lead to diabetes and can put you at risk for many chronic diseases. It affects your eyes, heart, and brain, as well as other tissue, because it affects the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body which again is a risk factor for these types of conditions.

References:

  1. Bray GA, Nielsen SJ, et al. Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;79(4):537-43.
  2. Palmer JR, Boggs DA, et al.Sugar-sweetened beverages and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in African American women.Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jul 28; 168(14): 1487-92.
  3. Parks EJ, Skokan LE, et al.Dietary sugars stimulate fatty acid synthesis in adults.J Nutr. 2008 Jun; 138 (6):1039-46