Category Archives: Uncategorized

One Woman’s Experience With the Mediterranean Diet

Click the link below for details and good food photos.

“I never once felt like I was “dieting” on the Mediterranean eating plan. That said, my goal wasn’t weight loss — I was looking for improved energy levels and food that was filling and delicious. The Mediterranean diet accomplished both of those goals for me. I’d like to stick with it for a long time.”

Source: Best diet for body and brain is Mediterranean: Here’s how to do it – Business Insider

Mediterranean Diet Protects Against Macular Degeneration

A view from Humphreys Peak, Arizona

I thought we knew this already. Another reason to love the Mediterranean diet. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness in the developed world. Prevention is much better than treatment.

High adherence to a Mediterranean diet and regular physical activity seem to be protective factors for AMD in a Portuguese population. The effect of the diet is likely driven by the increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

Source: Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and its association with age-related macular degeneration. The Coimbra Eye Study–Report 4 – Nutrition

Hmmm…No mention of heart-healthy whole grains.

Nuttin’ But Salads N=1 Experiment: Week 14 Summary

A new salad ingredient for me, front and center: artichoke hearts

Good compliance for me this week. Nevertheless, weight is up to 163.8 lb (74.5 kg) compared to 160.2 lb (72.8 kg) last week. Last weeks weight was unusually low.

I feel good. Workouts are going well. No performance deterioration with this plant-based diet.

June 5 will by my four-month anniversary on this diet. I’ll stop at that point, after 17 weeks. That’s adequate as a proof-of-concept. Haven’t decided how I’ll transition off. Tempted to continue with only two meals daily, one being a large salad, but what of the other? Considering a protein (meat, chicken, fish, eggs) plus cooked vegetables (low-carb or not?) and/or legumes.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Can Diet Improve Your Gingivitis or Periodontitis?

Yes...at least according to a tiny short-term study done in Germany. Only 10 experimental subjects. The researchers didn’t call it a paleo diet but that’s what it looks like to me.

Here’s their description of the food: “..low in carbohydrates, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and rich in vitamins C and D, antioxidants and fiber for four weeks.” How low in carbs? To a level “as far as possible to a level < 130 grams/day.” Click the link above for full diet details. By my reading, it qualifies as a paleo diet.

Certified paleo-compliant, plus high omega-3 fatty acids and low-carb

The researchers note in the body of their report that they can’t tell for sure which components of the experimental diet were most helpful, but they suspect it’s 1) the carbohydrate restriction, 2) increased omega-3 fatty acids, and 3) reduced omega-6 consumption.

Those three factors are at play in the both the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet and Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet, both of which are options in my book, The Advanced Mediterranean Diet (2nd Ed.).

Here’s the study’s abstract for you science nerds:

Background

The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the effects of four weeks of an oral health optimized diet on periodontal clinical parameters in a randomized controlled trial.

Methods

The experimental group (n = 10) had to change to a diet low in carbohydrates, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and rich in vitamins C and D, antioxidants and fiber for four weeks. Participants of the control group (n = 5) did not change their dietary behavior. Plaque index, gingival bleeding, probing depths, and bleeding upon probing were assessed by a dentist with a pressure-sensitive periodontal probe. Measurements were performed after one and two weeks without a dietary change (baseline), followed by a two week transitional period, and finally performed weekly for four weeks.

Results

Despite constant plaque values in both groups, all inflammatory parameters decreased in the experimental group to approximately half that of the baseline values (GI: 1.10 ± 0.51 to 0.54 ± 0.30; BOP: 53.57 to 24.17 %; PISA: 638 mm2 to 284 mm2). This reduction was significantly different compared to that of the control group.

Conclusion

A diet low in carbohydrates, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, rich in vitamins C and D, and rich in fibers can significantly reduce gingival and periodontal inflammation.

Thanks to BioMed Central for making the entire report available for free.

Reference:

An oral health optimized diet can reduce gingival and periodontal inflammation in humans – a randomized controlled pilot study

  • J. P. WoelberEmail author,
  • K. Bremer,
  • K. Vach,
  • D. König,
  • E. Hellwig,
  • P. Ratka-Krüger,
  • A. Al-Ahmad and
  • C. Tennert
BMC Oral Health 2016, 17:28

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-016-0257-1

Published: 26 July 2016

Another reason why eating out might be bad for you 

I worry about harmful chemicals in our food.

From CNN:

“Dining out frequently is known to increase one’s intake of unhealthy sugars and fats. But a new study suggests that there’s another reason to eat at home more often: phthalates.

Phthalates are potentially harmful chemicals found in hundreds of consumer products, including perfumes, hair sprays, shampoos and the plastics used in food processing and packaging.

Consumption of these chemicals has been linked to birth defects in young boys as well as behavioral problems and obesity in older children and adults. Exposure in utero can alter the development of the male reproductive tract, resulting in incomplete descent of one or both testicles.

Scientists also suspect that the chemicals can disrupt hormones and may cause fertility problems. They’ve connected them to childhood obesity, asthma, neurological problems, cardiovascular issues and even cancer.”

Source: Another reason why eating out might be bad for you – CNN

U.K.’s Telegraph Reviews the Mediterranean Diet

Santorini, Greek seaside

The Mediterranean diet shows remarkable staying power as one of the most healthful ways of eating. For instance:

A diet with a name that conjures up memories of suppers in the sunshine, the Mediterranean diet plan celebrates the fresh, colourful produce of a region that boasts an enviable life expectancy. Hence why it has been heralded as one of the world’s best diets – but what makes Med cuisine so healthy?

What is a Mediterranean diet? The diet plan consists mostly of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, pasta, rice and olive oil, with a moderate amount of cheese, wine, yogurt, nuts, fish, eggs, poultry and pulses, and meat thrown in.

Unlike our diet in the UK, which tends to be very high in saturated fats (pies, pastries, meats, pizza and take away foods like kebabs and burgers), the Mediterranean diet includes more monounsaturated fats, such as plant oils, nuts, seeds and oily fish.

Source: What’s so healthy about a Mediterranean diet?

Can You Tell Me About Nutritics?

I’m thinking about using Nutritics for my nutrient analysis, rather than some of the free options like SparkPeople or FitDay. NutritionData still seems to be very popular, too, but they don’t keep up with new versions of the USDA database (currently on Release 28). The fine print at NutritionData shows they use Release 21. FitDay doesn’t say.

I looked up two cups of broccoli florets at FitDay and NutritionData, and was surprised to see zero grams of fiber. How could that be correct? Nutritics shows 3.3 grams, as does the USDA Nutrient Database. I believe Nutritics and USDA on this one. The free nutrient analysis tools you find on the internet all use some version of the USDA database as far as I know.

Click the link below to see Nutritics’ report.

https://www.nutritics.com/app/rec/4b82cb50b2

In that report you’ll see “%RI”, which I assume is short for  percentage of Dietary Reference Intake. The National Health Institutes defines DRI or Dietary Reference Intake:

DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and assess nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and gender, include:

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people.

  • Adequate Intake (AI): established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA and is set at a level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy.

  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

So what does Nutritics mean by %RI? I don’t know yet.

Any comments on Nutritics, or your source for nutritional analysis?

Steve Parker, M.D.