The new “eat less” USDA Food Pyramid

For the first time in recent history the new USDA dietary guidelines finally reflect the realization that America has an obesity epidemic. Five years ago, its dietary guidelines were best characterized as “eat more; exercise more”. After all, their constituency is not the American public but American agribusiness. Due to the constant fear of incurring… Read more »

Coffee and diabetes: What’s the connection?

One of the great controversies in nutrition is the role of coffee and human health. On the one hand, coffee is the primary source of polyphenols in the American diet because of the lack of consumption of fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, coffee is rich in caffeine, an alkaloid that acts as a… Read more »

Another good reason to eat your fruits and vegetables

Your grandmother always told you, you couldn’t leave the table until you ate all your vegetables. She was giving you the essence of reducing your chances of dying from cardiovascular disease. The trouble with testing any dietary hypothesis (even Grandma’s advice on vegetables) is the complexity of understanding nutrition. Unlike drugs, which are based on… Read more »

The secret of blueberries: It’s the dephinidins

We continually hear about the benefits of fruits and vegetables for better health. There are a number of them. One is obviously their lower glycemic load that reduces insulin secretion. Another is their polyphenol content that gives fruits and vegetables their colors. Although virtually no research was conducted on polyphenols before 1995, since that time… Read more »

Aspirin…not just for heart disease

As I pointed in my first book, “The Zone,” more than 15 years ago, aspirin remains a wonder drug because of its ability to reduce inflammation (1). The medical community now uses aspirin for the prevention of strokes and heart attacks, but a recent study may extend its anti-inflammatory benefits to cancer survivors. A study… Read more »

New September beginnings

Even though it has been some time since I’ve been in school, September still signals the start of something new in my mind. The summer is officially over, we’ve enjoyed our last holiday for a while and work begins to pick up again. I feel this same renewed sense with my health. It’s been a… Read more »

The Mood-lifting properties of B-vitamins

In a previous blog we addressed the impact of omega-3 fatty acids and their mood-lifting properties, and now it looks like we can add certain B-vitamins to the list. A recent publication in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at whether dietary intakes of vitamin B-6, B-12 and folate had an association with depressive… Read more »

Go organic…or not?

A hotly debated topic is whether it’s worth it to buy organic versus conventional produce. Let’s first define what organic means. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic food is produced without the use of most conventional pesticides; and no synthetic ingredients, sewage sludge, bioengineering, or radiation (1). For meat, poultry, eggs,… Read more »

Getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables

It is well known that portions sizes in the United States have increased tremendously throughout the years, but what about increasing portion sizes as a way to promote increased fruit and vegetable intake among children? It may just a work. A recent study published in the March edition of Obesity examined just that (1). The… Read more »