Pass the polyphenols

Considering that virtually nothing was written about the health benefits of polyphenols before 1995, it continues to amaze me the amount of health benefits this group of nutrients generates.

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 »

Breast cancer and inflammation

Breast cancer is probably the greatest fear women have, even though they are 10 times more likely to die from heart disease. Yet both diseases are driven by cellular inflammation. Cellular inflammation occurs when the most primitive part of your immune system (the innate immune system) is activated. The key player in the innate immune… 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 »

Try the team approach to nutrition

One of the problems with nutrition is that it is too complex for simple thinking. Unlike drugs, which are designed to inhibit a particular target enzyme, nutrients often work in combinations like a team operating at the genetic level. When you try to apply drug-like thinking (i.e. one compound has to do all the work)… Read more »

Increased satiety: The real secret to weight loss

Satiety is defined as lack of hunger. If you aren’t hungry, then cutting back calories is easy. Unfortunately, Americans seem to be hungrier than ever. This is not caused by a lack of willpower but due to hormonal imbalances in the hypothalamus that tell the brain to either seek more food or spend time on… Read more »

Want to lose Weight? Eat like our Paleolithic ancestors

A recent article appeared in the British Journal of Nutrition that gives an updated estimate of what diet (i.e. Paleolithic) our ancestors may have eaten during the time from their first appearance in Africa some 200,000 years ago until they started leaving Africa 100,000 years later (1). This is important because this type of diet… Read more »

Weight loss or fat loss? It makes a difference

With the New Year comes the guaranteed resolution for most people to lose weight. Invariably that resolution is usually abandoned some time in February. Part of the reason is that we really don’t know what we are talking about when it comes to weight loss.

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 »