As you might expect, it depends on the kind of fat. As I wrote about a few weeks ago, the standard advice from the 1970s and 80s about following a low-fat diet turned out to be less healthy than including “good” fats from foods like nuts and olive oil. Another recent scientific paper from Australia,
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
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Psychological and behavioral health improvement
- Improved bone density
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.
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,
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,
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.
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.
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.
Ah, how times change. Just a few years ago, chocolate was undoubtedly in the junk food category, yet a flurry of recent research has confirmed its benefits to cardiovascular health. The latest is a study from Sweden published last month (1) that showed that higher chocolate consumption cut men’s stroke risk by 17%.