It's so nice to receive good news every once in a while, don't you agree? The following is an email I received a few weeks ago from a man who was kind enough to let me know how my book (Free to Eat) has helped him. This kind of feedback keeps me going - and I hope it inspires you, dear reader, as well.
"An old friend of mine suggested I read your book and try
I've lost 30 pounds in five months, having never felt hungry, and I feel
really, really good. What a life-changer. It's rather amazing.
Another friend of mine has lost forty pounds, and feels much better as well.
People have noticed the startling change in me, and are curious, so I talk
about your diet to everyone who asks. I just wanted to formally write and
say something like 'Holy Cow!', and thank you for this brilliant concept.
Before the diet, high triglycerides plagued me. Now, I'm well within
healthy parameters, and my doctor is extremely pleased.
You're saving lives. I'm a big fan."
All I can say is "WOW"! I am so grateful to read this. It makes me glad I wrote my book!
Also, one a few months back, I spoke at a conference I had spoken at the year before. A woman came up to me and said, "Thank you for speaking last year. I bought your book and did it. It works - I've lost 50 pounds and kept it off."
It never ceases to amaze me. A high fiber diet really works for weight loss and so much more. Thank you for reading my blog and celebrating with me.
If you don't have a copy of Free to Eat, you can preview and/or buy it at www.fiber-girl.com - and it's currently on sale!
If you didn't know nuts protect against heart disease, stay in the dark no more. Yet another study has shown the power of nuts to heal.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (May 2010), titled
Nut Consumption and Blood Lipid Levels reviewed 25 studies in which nuts were consumed by both men and women. To read the abstract yourself, click here.
Eating nuts (of all types) was shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, while raising HDL (good) cholesterol. Nut consumption was also shown to lower triglyceride levels in people with high blood triglycerides. The higher a person's LDL cholesterol, the more nuts lowered blood lipids. The more nuts eaten, the greater the effect.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Joan Sabaté, says the power of nuts to lower blood lipids are multiple, since nuts are high in unsaturated fats - including Omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fat. In addition, “(nuts) are the richest source of protein in the plant kingdom, and they also contain fiber and phytosterols, which compete with cholesterol to be absorbed. All these nutrients have been demonstrated to lower cholesterol.”
For more good news on nuts (like how people who consume the most nuts are the least likely to be overweight), read my past blog post More Nuts Please.
In case you missed it, yesterday's headlines reported a study linking pesticide intake and ADHD in children. Unfortunately, reports focused on foods most people associate with pesticides: fruit and vegetables. While recommending organic fruit and vegetables is great, the truth is that most pesticides, including the organophophate pesticides specifically researched in the study, are found at high levels in milk and meat.
Through a process called biomagnification toxins such as pesticides concentrate at higher levels as they go up the food chain. Biomagnification is illustrated by a study of the pesticide DDT. One study found when DDT soil levels were 10 parts per million (ppm), earthworms in the soil had a DDT concentration of 141 ppm, and robins eating earthworms had DDT levels of 444 ppm (Pesticides, People and the Environment, Science Scope, 2005).
This is true for the fish and livestock we consume. Due to pesticide run-off in water and air, or pesticides sprayed directly on animals in feedlots, they are found animal tissue. And because commercially raised livestock consume grain contaminated with organophosphate pesticides, we can expect to find them in the milk and meat of the animals. This is also true for fish, since mercury and pesticides concentrate as they move up the food chain.
Last month, ABC news ran a report entitled "Weak Regulation Means Tainted Beef on U.S. Plates, USDA Report Urges Greater Government Effort to Limit Contaminants in Meat" which began: "The government is doing too little to ensure that the beef Americans eat is uncontaminated by 'residual veterinary drugs, pesticides and heavy metals,' according to an audit by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's inspector general." To read the whole article, click here.
So know that pesticides are not primarily found in fruit and vegetables, even though that is the common belief. By eating less meat and dairy, we are eliminating high levels of pesticides and other toxic substances from our diet.
If you are cutting back on meat, here is more good news: you are likely lowering your risk of bladder cancer.
A new study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting showed meat consumption to increase the risk of bladder cancer. (To read the abstract click here.)
Researchers studied the diets of 884 participants with bladder cancer and 878 controls and found that those who ate the most meat were up to 58 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer. Eating well-done meat was linked to an almost twofold increased risk of bladder cancer. Cooking meat at high temperatures produces carcinogens, or cancer-causing compounds, called heterocyclic amines. Study participants who consumed the most bacon, pork chops, fried chicken, and fried fish also had a higher risk of bladder cancer.
Heterocyclic amines are found to be at the highest levels in meats (including chicken and fish) that are fried, charred, barbecued, broiled or "well done".
For all of you who have begun eating less meat - here's to your health!
Thank you for all of you who have taken advantage of my book sale (www.fiber-girl.com). I sign all the books I send, and they will be on sale for a little longer. Also, for those of you in Sacramento, I will be speaking this month at the Natural Foods Co-op (Wednesday, May 19th at 6:30pm - free). I think the class might be close to full, but would love to see you there. If you are interesting in purchasing my book without paying shipping, the Co-op carries it as well.
Now, about that famed vitamin D.
If you haven't noticed, everyone in the world - or at least the U.S. - is deficient in vitamin D according to the new standards. Even yours truly. I am frequently asked about taking vitamin D supplements, since most people are advised to take them by their doctor.
As my blog readers know, I am not a fan of supplements unless there is a pronounced deficiency. I believe that the new vitamin D standards are set too high, which is why even those of us who spend plenty of time in the sun are coming up "deficient". So I found this study, published in the Nutrition Journal to be interesting.
To read the abstract directly, click here.
Over the course of a year, 312 Norwegian adults were given either a high dose of vitamin D supplement (either 40.000 IU per week or 20.000 IU per week), or a placebo (dummy pill). After a year, blood levels of vitamin D were higher in the groups given vitamin D supplements, but bone mineral density and several other biomarkers of bone/vitamin D status were the same for all groups. In other words, there was no significant increase in bone density for those taking high levels of vitamin D verses those who did not.
I will continue to research studies on vitamin D so we can make an informed decision regarding whether to take a supplement or not. Either way, please make sure to get outside and soak in the sunlight, which is essential for our mental and physical health.