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The Benefits of Flaxseed in Treating Hypertension


It has been well-documented that lifestyle changes can have a significant influence on blood pressure. Consumption of a plant-based diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium reduced systolic blood pressure by up to 12 points compared with a high sodium, standard American diet in the DASH study. Plant-based foods can lead to lower blood pressure through various mechanisms, including higher intake of potassium and magnesium, consumption of nitrates which can cause blood vessels to dilate, and reduced intake of high fat and processed foods which can cause blood vessels to constrict. Reducing alcohol consumption has also been shown [...]

The Benefits of Flaxseed in Treating Hypertension2020-04-18T18:54:55+00:00

Animal Protein: Adverse Effects Beyond Fat and Cholesterol


There is a misconception in Western society that in order to obtain adequate amounts of protein, one must consume animal-based foods. Proteins are composed of building blocks called amino acids, and just like animal protein, plant-based protein sources contain all of the essential amino acids that cannot be made in the body. In fact, many animals get all of their protein exclusively from plants. Animal vs. Plant Protein Ounce per ounce, animal-based foods are more concentrated sources of protein than plant-based foods. The amino acids in animal-based proteins are in a similar number and proportion to the proteins in human muscle, [...]

Animal Protein: Adverse Effects Beyond Fat and Cholesterol2019-11-29T17:03:27+00:00

The Cardiovascular Benefits of Intermittent Fasting


Introduction Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years, as a means not only of helping weight loss, but also for touted benefits of favorably influencing our genes to reduce aging,  reducing inflammation (the root cause for most chronic diseases), and increasing cellular repair through a process called autophagy (when cells remove dysfunctional intracellular proteins that have accumulated) . Does scientific evidence support these claims? What Happens When We Eat? Every time we consume food, our body breaks down the protein, carbohydrates, and fats into amino acids, sugars, and fatty acids, respectively. While refined carbohydrates (not whole-food [...]

The Cardiovascular Benefits of Intermittent Fasting2019-08-03T02:02:13+00:00

Diet and Breast Cancer


Did you know that nearly 90% of breast cancer has little to do with your genetics. In fact, the majority of breast cancer is related to lifestyle choices. There are many dietary interventions that can reduce the chances of developing breast cancer and the risk of death or recurrence in those who have already been diagnosed. Check out this interview transcript from the 2019 Food Revolution Summit to learn more. What Everyone Needs To Know About Breast Cancer-Kristi Funk, MD Download To learn more about soy and breast cancer, check out Dr. Greger's videos, Should Women At High Risk for Breast [...]

Diet and Breast Cancer2019-05-16T10:35:56+00:00

Mindful Eating


I've recently been working on educational modules to help me to eventually become a certified member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. One of these modules focused on the concept of mindfulness. What is mindfulness? Definitions vary slightly, but essentially convey the same concept. Mindfulness is simply a mental state of being aware and completely focused on the present moment. Most of us have busy lives, with every minute of the day being occupied by some aspect of work, family, television, or social media. Because of this, we often forget to live in the present. A particular aspect of mindfulness [...]

Mindful Eating2019-04-13T12:39:31+00:00

Is it Okay to Eat Eggs?


Whether or not consuming eggs or dietary cholesterol has an association with cardiovascular disease or death has been a debate for years. The 2015 updated dietary guidelines removed a previously-recommended limit of 300 mg of dietary cholesterol due to a lack of strong evidence. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on March 19 rekindled discussion of this highly controversial topic (abstract below). Dietary cholesterol is only found in foods of animal origin, and is absent in plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The link to this abstract can be [...]

Is it Okay to Eat Eggs?2020-02-27T11:01:22+00:00

Evidence-Based Eating Guide by Dr. Michael Greger and


Dr. Michael Greger put together this brief, easy-to-read, evidence-based food guide. It's great to use as a quick nutrition resource and can help you during your transition to a plant-based way of eating. Check out his website for many more evidence-based nutrition facts.

Evidence-Based Eating Guide by Dr. Michael Greger and NutritionFacts.org2019-02-20T02:23:33+00:00

Do Low Carbohydrate Diets Increase Mortality and Cardiovascular Disease?


Low carbohydrate diets have become very popular for those who are trying to lose weight. After all, we are a society that tends to overindulge on processed carbohydrates laden with sugars and white flour. It's no wonder that removing these items from one's diet would result in losing a few pounds. The problem is, most people tend to gain the weight back as soon as they reintroduce carbohydrates. Additionally, cutting out healthy carbohydrates isn't necessarily good for you long-term. Two recent publications explored this issue in greater depth. An article entitled "Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and [...]

Do Low Carbohydrate Diets Increase Mortality and Cardiovascular Disease?2018-12-26T02:39:10+00:00

Is Olive Oil Heart-Healthy?


Is olive oil a heart-healthy food? I get this question often and the topic was again raised recently at a vegan food festival I attended. While it may be less unhealthy to consume fats in olive oil than in foods containing saturated fat, it should not be considered a health food. The popularity of olive oil as a health food seemed rise following the publication of a study which touted the cardiovascular benefits of a Mediterranean diet including olive oil versus a standard American diet. In actuality, the benefits seen in the Mediterranean diet were due to higher intake of plant-based [...]

Is Olive Oil Heart-Healthy?2018-11-23T13:23:53+00:00

Can Vegan (or Vegetarian) Marry Ketogenic?


Keto or Plant-Based? Given the recent popularity of the ketogenic (“keto”) diet, I’ve had a lot of patients inquire as to whether or not this method of eating is beneficial for weight loss and long-term health. In general, I advocate a plant-based diet which tends to be higher in non-refined carbohydrates due to incorporation of a broad spectrum of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. With a plant-based diet, it would not be unusual to have 40-60% of consumed calories come from carbohydrates, 30-40% from healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (preferably in their whole-food form), and 20-30% from plant-based protein sources. [...]

Can Vegan (or Vegetarian) Marry Ketogenic?2018-11-07T11:09:52+00:00