The Skinny on Fat

In the 1970s and 80s, fat was the bad boy of nutrition.  Since then, research has reminded us of so many of the “forgotten” good things about fat — from the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, to absorbing our fat-soluble vitamins and beyond.  As research goes on, more facts come to light to dispel our fears of this nutrient.

Fish Oil is Dead… or Is It?

If you’re a patient or a regular reader of my articles, you know that one supplement that I often recommend is fish oil — a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.  These fats are essential to our health, because our bodies cannot make them from any other type of fat.  The many benefits of omega-3 fats include:

  • Cardiovascular health benefits
  • Immunomodulation
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Psychological and behavioral health improvement
  • Improved bone density
A large study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine (1) has called into serious question the well-established cardiovascular benefits of fish oil.

More Good News for the Mediterranean Diet

For years, the standard nutritional advice for cardiovascular disease prevention has been to follow a low-fat diet.  This is still the official recommendation of the American Heart Association.  However, more and more evidence is pointing to the fact that it may be the quality, not quantity, of the fats we consume that is good for our hearts.

Chocolate: Health Food or Not?

At this time of year, perhaps you’ve finished off your Valentine’s Day chocolate, only to be looking forward to some chocolate in your Easter basket soon.  Americans definitely need to cut down on sweets:  The high sugar and saturated fat content in most milk chocolate can be a contributor to obesity and metabolic syndrome (a combination of insulin resistance,

To Calcium or Not to Calcium?

Two big studies that came out recently have muddied the waters on the one nutritional supplement that even conventional medicine has rallied behind:  calcium.

We’ve all heard that supplemental calcium is good for the bones, and may even protect against colon cancer in older adults.  Seems like a logical recommendation.  But like hormone replacement therapy,

Seeds of Heart Health for the New Year

You’ve probably heard my mantra for a healthy diet (borrowed from author Michael Pollan):  “Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.”  To expand on this, we can look to the Mediterranean diet — that style of eating that is based on whole grains, vegetables, nuts, legumes (beans), and smaller amounts of animal-based protein.

Is Vitamin D Good for the Heart or Not?

Based on much recent research linking low levels of vitamin D to increased risk of heart disease, this is something I measure in all of my older patients.  If low, supplementation is simple, cheap, and can effectively raise those levels back up.  This is especially important at this time of year, since the sun is not strong enough to produce any vitamin D from skin exposure at our latitude.

Top 5 “Myths” in Natural Medicine

As a doctor of naturopathic medicine, I have years of experience and training to respect the vis medicatrix naturae, or healing power of nature.  This is foundational to our approach to health.  I also have a background in science, and know that it is important to examine natural methods of health care to see if they are valid and effective.