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How long does it take to reduce cardiovascular risk by changing what you eat?

Posted by on 9:00 am Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diet, Eating, General Health, Health, Health Risk, Research, Stay healthy | 0 comments

 

How long does it take to reduce cardiovascular risk by changing what you eat?

 

 

This research was conducted to investigate the effect on cardiovascular risk factors using only
food (McDougall J, et.al., 2014).
1615 people participated in this research.
The protocol was implemented for only 7 days, and measurements of weight, blood pressure,
blood sugar, and blood lipids were measured at the start of the study and 7 days later.
The participants consumed a low-fat (≤10% of calories), high-carbohydrate (~80% of calories),
plant-based diet.
Most antihypertensive and antihyperglycemic medications were reduced or discontinued at the
beginning of the study.

 

 

After 7 days the average weight loss was 1.4 kg, total cholesterol decreased by an
average of 29 mg/dl, systolic blood pressure decreased on average by 18 mm Hg,
diastolic blood pressure by an average of 10 mm Hg, and blood glucose by an average of
11 mg/dL.

 

 

This was implementing a plant based vegan diet.
Most people think it will take quite a while to see changes on laboratory tests from dietary
changes, but as you can see, that is not the case at all. You just have to follow an effective
protocol.

Reference:

McDougall J1, Thomas LE, McDougall C, Moloney G, Saul B, Finnell JS, Richardson K,
Petersen KM. Effects of 7 days on an ad libitum low-fat vegan diet: the McDougall Program
cohort. Nutr J. 2014 Oct 14;13:99. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-99.

What is TMAO, and why should you avoid it?

Posted by on 9:00 am Cardiovascular Disease, Diet, Eating, General Health, Health, Health Risk, Research | 0 comments

 

What is TMAO, and why should you avoid it?

 

The bacterial flora of the intestines convert choline into trimethylamine, which again is
converted into TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide) by the involvement of an enzyme from
the liver.

 

Choline is found in animal-derived products like eggs, dairy products, and meat.
The following study investigated the involvement of TMAO and major adverse cardiovascular
events (death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) during 3 years of follow-up in 4007 patients
(Tang WH, et.al., 2013).

 

 

The researchers found that increased plasma levels of TMAO were associated with an
increased risk of a major adverse cardiovascular event. An elevated TMAO level predicted an
increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events after adjustment for traditional risk
factors, as well as in lower-risk subgroups.

 

 

In other words, TMAO is an additional cardiovascular risk factor many are not aware of.
This research documents that TMAO triggers inflammation and is involved in the process of
forming atherosclerosis (Seldin MM, et.al., 2016).
The bacterial flora of people eating animal-derived products is producing TMAO, vegans and
vegetarians don’t produce much, because they have a different bacterial flora of the intestinal
tract (Koeth RA, et.al., 2019).

 

References:

Koeth RA, Lam-Galvez BR, Kirsop J, Wang Z, Levison BS, Gu X, Copeland MF, Bartlett D,
Cody DB, Dai HJ, Culley MK, Li XS, Fu X, Wu Y, Li L, DiDonato JA, Tang WHW, Garcia-Garcia
JC, Hazen SL. l-Carnitine in omnivorous diets induces an atherogenic gut microbial pathway in
humans. J Clin Invest. 2019 Jan 2;129(1):373-387.

Seldin MM, Meng Y, Qi H, Zhu W, Wang Z, Hazen SL, Lusis AJ, Shih DM. Trimethylamine
N-Oxide Promotes Vascular Inflammation Through Signaling of Mitogen-Activated Protein
Kinase and Nuclear Factor-κB. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016 Feb 22;5(2). pii: e002767.

Senthong V, Li XS, Hudec T, Coughlin J, Wu Y, Levison B, Wang Z, Hazen SL, Tang
WH. Plasma Trimethylamine N-Oxide, a Gut Microbe-Generated Phosphatidylcholine Metabolite,
Is Associated With Atherosclerotic Burden. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Jun 7;67(22):2620-8.

What works best to keep cardiovascular risk factors low, a high fat diet, a Mediterranean diet or a high carbohydrate low fat diet?

Posted by on 8:31 am Body fat, Diet, Eating, General Health, Health, Health Risk, The Learn to Eat Plan | 0 comments

 

 

What works best to keep cardiovascular risk factors low, a high-fat diet, a Mediterranean diet or a high carbohydrate low-fat diet?

 

Research has compared these different approaches a while back, and we have had the results for a while. The reason why they’re still are questions about the best approach is probably that there are many ways to lose weight, and especially a high-fat diet also called a ketogenic diet has been promoted as a solution to almost everything including weight loss.

What did the research show when it comes to cardiovascular risk?

The participants of this study completed each 4-week diet intervention with a 4 week washout period between each approach (Miller M, et.al., 2009).

 

 

 

Food records were analyzed, fasting blood samples, and brachial artery reactivity testing was performed. During the Mediterranean and the high carbohydrate, low-fat diets maintenance phase, there were significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL).

For the Mediterranean diet the LDL decreased 11.8%, and for the high carbohydrate, low-fat diet the LDL decreased by 16.6%.

The LDL increased on the high-fat diet.

CRP, an inflammatory marker decreased the most on the high carbohydrate, low-fat diet and increased on the high-fat diet.

 

 

Brachial artery testing revealed an inverse correlation between flow-mediated vasodilatation and intake of saturated fat. This means decreased vasodilation with increased fat intake.

The science does not back up the promoted benefits of a high-fat diet.

According to the research, a high-fat diet increases cardiovascular risk.

It is, however, important to remember that not all carbohydrates are equal.

Avoid processed high glycemic index carbohydrates, and increase the intake of plant-based food.

 

 

Reference:

Miller M1, Beach V, Sorkin JD, Mangano C, Dobmeier C, Novacic D, Rhyne J, Vogel RA. Comparative effects of three popular diets on lipids, endothelial function, and C-reactive protein during weight maintenance.J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Apr;109(4):713-7.

Learn to eat program

  • How and why different foods affect you
  • How to put together meals that will produce the results you’re looking for
  • How to lose weight effortlessly by eating the foods your body needs
  • How to gain muscle and improve sports performance.
  • How to reduce inflammation and pain
  • How to stabilize your moods so you feel happier
  • How to lower cholesterol and triglycerides

How does a high fat, ketogenic diet affect your muscles?

Posted by on 9:00 am Blood triglycerides, Body fat, Body mass index, Diet, Eating, Exercise, Fat, General Health, Get in shape, Health Risk, Muscles, Sports performance, The Learn to Eat Plan, Weight loss | 0 comments

ketogenic diet

 

How does a high fat, ketogenic diet affect your muscles?

 

There is a lot of promotion and talk about the benefits of restricting carbohydrate intake and eating a high fat, ketogenic diet.

When you read things like that, always ask, where is the evidence? Is there any science supporting the claims?

There is agreement on that more lean muscle mass and a lower body fat percentage are beneficial. This is true for everybody, but especially athletes.

Before you go on a high-fat diet, you want to know how a regime like that will affect your lean muscle mass.

The following research included 42 healthy individuals that followed a ketogenic diet for 6 weeks consisting of the same calorie intake as their regular diet (Urbain P, et.al., 2017).

They were tested for several things at the start of the study and after 6 weeks.

 

 

VO2peak and peak power decreased after the ketogenic diet.

The participants lost equal amounts of fat and fat-free mass, which means they lost some muscle mass.

Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol increased significantly, LDL by 10.7% which is quite a lot, especially since LDL is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Glucose, insulin, and IGF-1 (a growth factor) dropped significantly by 3.0, 22.2 and 20.2%.

Another non-significant change was also seen.

 

ketogenic diet 2

 

Similar results were found when seventeen overweight or obese men were admitted to metabolic wards where they consumed a high-carbohydrate baseline diet for 4 weeks followed by 4 weeks of a ketogenic diet (Hall KD, et.al., 2016).

 

Body fat loss slowed during the ketogenic diet and coincided with increased protein utilization and loss of fat-free mass. These participants also lost muscle mass, and this study was done under very strict control.

 

Apparently a high-fat diet is not producing the amazing results some would want you to believe.

 

References

 

Hall KD, Chen KY, Guo J, Lam YY, Leibel RL, Mayer LE, Reitman ML, Rosenbaum M, Smith SR, Walsh BT, Ravussin E. Energy expenditure and body composition changes after an isocaloric ketogenic diet in overweight and obese men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Aug;104(2):324-33.

 

Urbain P, Strom L, Morawski L, Wehrle A, Deibert P, Bertz H.Impact of a 6-week non-energy-restricted ketogenic diet on physical fitness, body composition and biochemical parameters in healthy adults.Nutr Metab (Lond). 2017 Feb 20;14:17

Learn to eat program

  • How and why different foods affect you
  • How to put together meals that will produce the results you’re looking for
  • How to lose weight effortlessly by eating the foods your body needs
  • How to gain muscle and improve sports performance.
  • How to reduce inflammation and pain
  • How to stabilize your moods so you feel happier
  • How to lower cholesterol and triglycerides

This mineral can influence muscle strength, be sure you get enough of it!

Posted by on 9:15 am BMJ Formula, General Health, General Health, Intensity Training, Joint health, magnesium, Muscles, Supplements | 0 comments

This mineral can influence muscle strength, be sure you get enough of it!

 

 

We lose minerals when we perspire. Hot weather and exercise will for that reason make us lose
more.

Some minerals are also more important than others. Magnesium is one of the most important
ones and many people don’t get enough of it.

Magnesium is involved in energy metabolism and numerous enzymatic reactions.

 

 

Athletes often don’t get enough magnesium to compensate for what they lose. This study investigated the impact magnesium can have on muscle strength in elite male
basketball, handball, and volleyball players (Santos DA, et. al, 2011).

It was found that the intake of magnesium was directly associated with maximal isometric
trunk flexion, rotation, and handgrip strength.

Magnesium does not only work for athletes.
The following research included 1138 men and women with an average age of 66.7 years
(Dominguez LJ, et.al., 2006).

The participants were evaluated by testing grip strength, lower-leg muscle power, knee
extension torque, and ankle extension isometric strength.

The researchers found that blood levels of magnesium were significantly associated with
muscle strength and performance as evaluated with the above tests.

 

strength

 

Magnesium in the form of an amino acid chelate is a good choice since it is both well tolerated
and better absorbed than the more common form of magnesium oxide which can cause GI
irritation.

References:

Dominguez LJ, Barbagallo M, Lauretani F, Bandinelli S, Bos A, Corsi AM, Simonsick EM,
Ferrucci L. Magnesium and muscle performance in older persons: the InCHIANTI study. Am J
Clin Nutr. 2006 Aug;84(2):419-26.
Santos DA, Matias CN, Monteiro CP, Silva AM, Rocha PM, Minderico CS, Bettencourt Sardinha
L, Laires MJ. Magnesium intake is associated with strength performance in elite basketball,
handball and volleyball players. Magnes Res. 2011 Dec;24(4):215-9.

 

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BMJ Bones, Muscles, and Joints

 

 

 

 

Sweets Improving Insulin Sensitivity

Posted by on 5:19 pm General Health | 0 comments

Can something that is sweet and taste very good improve insulin sensitivity?

Food that is sweet is usually one of the factors causing insulin resistance since sweet foods raise the blood glucose high and triggers a big insulin response. When receptors on the cells are exposed to a lot of insulin over time, they get less insulin sensitive.

The following research can for that reason be surprising. The participants were obese insulin-resistant men and women.

They were evaluated before the research started and after 6 week. This was a double-blind placebo-controlled study and the participants were consuming either a smoothie containing blueberry actives, or a placebo with equal amount of calories twice daily for 6 weeks.

The researchers found that the group consuming the blueberry smoothies improved their insulin sensitivity while the placebo group did not.

It is not only the glycemic index that is important when it comes to food. Even though blueberries are sweet, they were able to improve the insulin sensitivity which is interesting.

This is because of the other nutrients berries contain. Berries, and especially blueberries are producing other interesting and beneficial results also.

If you are not already eating blueberries, start to eat some every day.

Reference

Stull AJ, Cash KC, Johnson WD, Champagne CM, Cefalu WT.Bioactives in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in obese, insulin-resistant men and women.J Nutr. 2010 Oct;140(10):1764-8.

Find out more on healthy eating by checking out our Learn to Eat program!