Diabetes

As diabetes approaches epidemic levels, it's more important than ever to learn safe, natural options for keeping blood sugar levels in the healthy range. The NorthStar blog on diabetes contains all the latest information to keep you fully informed and at the top of your game.

  1. Eliminate Bloating and Gas: 9 Quick Fixes That Last

    bloating and gas eliminatingIt’s embarrassing. It’s uncomfortable. It’s bloating and gas.

    And when it hits, you feel like you’re the only one who’s ever experienced anything like it.

    However, it’s incredibly common, and luckily, it’s easy to manage.

    You just have to take some easy steps and you’ll eliminate bloating and gas once and for all.

    1. Go back to natural sugars. While you definitely need to watch how much added sugar you eat, that’s not permission to eat artificial sweeteners. Along with all the health problems they cause, artificial sweeteners also cause gas and bloating. They’re made of chemicals that the digestive system can’t break down. Plus, they may increase your appetite so you eat more, which can also lead to bloat.

    2. Take ten. Yes, a good 30-60 minute exercise routine is essential to good health and proper digestion, but sometimes it only takes ten minutes to eliminate bloat. If you’re uncomfortable after a big meal, go for a ten minute power walk. That quick walk will help the bloat, causing gas bubbles to move through your system faster. The couch may be tempting, but getting moving will help eliminate bloat.

    3. Watch your salt intake. The fluid retention that comes when you eat too much salt is completely different from being well-hydrated. The fluid from salt is one of the most common causes of bloating and gas. So cut back on how much salt you eat (both that you add to dishes and that’s already in dishes) by seasoning with herbs and other seasonings. On days you do eat too much salt, eating water-based foods, like watermelon, and potassium-laden foods, like bananas and melon, can eliminate bloating caused by sodium intake.

    4. Cut out club soda. Club soda is an excellent choice for health and hydration – but not for eliminating bloat. The bubbles can build up in your stomach, and that can lead to digestive distress. It’s still better than regular and diet sodas, but if you’re having problems with bloating and gas, reach for other drinks instead. Several different kinds of tea – peppermint, green, and chamomile – can help hydrate while helping eliminate bloating.

    5. Start the day right. Waking up to a glass of water instead of immediately reaching for the coffee is a good idea for several reasons. And if you add a squeeze of lemon to that water, one of the reasons it can be good for you is it eliminates bloating. It becomes a natural diuretic, wakes up your digestive tract, AND helps with water retention.

    6. Keep your gut in check. Nothing can cause bloating and gas faster than an unhealthy gut. The balance of healthy bacteria in your digestive system is key to overall health, tummy health, and yes, eliminating bloating and gas. You just have to know how to maintain the healthy balance. Antibiotics can kill the healthy germs you need, as well as the unhealthy ones, you’re targeting, so use antibiotics judiciously. But probiotics feed and nourish the healthy bacteria. So eat yogurt and other probiotic foods like yogurt in order to maintain your gut health and eliminate bloating.

    7. Stop chewing gum. Using gum to make sure you aren’t snacking may be a good idea to keep from over-eating, but not if you’re looking to eliminate bloating. When you chew gum, you swallow air. That air gets caught in your stomach and digestive system – and that makes you feel bloated.

    8. Skip the fried foods. There are so many reasons to cut fried foods out of your diet. Here’s one more – they can cause bloating and gas. And not just because people tend to eat too much of them. Fatty, fried foods are more difficult to digest. The more difficult a food is to digest, the more likely it is to cause gas and bloating. Eliminate the fried foods and eliminate the bloating.

    9. Get the right type of fiber. Here’s what makes fiber difficult when it comes to gas and bloating – too much fiber will give you gas and bloating, but not enough fiber will also give you gas and bloating. So what are you supposed to do? Find the right fiber balance. Getting soluble fiber and insoluble fiber will keep your regular without giving you diarrhea, will fill you up while eliminating bloating and gas. Rather than guess at your fiber intake, reach for BenVia Gold. BenVia Gold has both types of fiber, in perfect balance, so your tummy stays in perfect balance, too!

    Don’t live with discomfort, or embarrassment! Eliminate bloating and gas – easily – with a few easy changes and BenVia Gold.

  2. 9 Shocking Health Benefits of Eating Beets

    Eating beets benefitsYou know the superfoods: Kale…chia seeds…pomegranates…beets?

    I know, that last one may be shocking but there really are incredible health benefits to eating beets!

    So before you pass them by in the grocery produce section, read on. It’s time to start reaping the benefits of eating beets.

    1. Natural anti-inflammatory. Inflammation isn’t just the swelling at an injury. Inflammation is your body’s response to attack – any kind of attack. And it’s been linked to everything from wrinkles to heart disease, arthritis to cancer. So maintaining your body’s healthy inflammatory response is vital – which is why it’s the first benefit to eating beets on the list! Beets reduce chronic inflammation in two ways. They’re packed with the nutrient choline, which is good for inflammation. Plus, the betalains that contribute to beets’ distinctive red color are also powerful anti-inflammatories.

    2. Antioxidants. By now you know just how important antioxidants are to your overall health. And they're one of our favorite health benefits of eating beets. How they can fight back against free radicals, counter oxidative damage, and prevent disease. And guess which root vegetable is full of antioxidants? But not just common antioxidants that you could get in any fruit or vegetable. No, a benefit of eating beets is the uncommon one – the betalain I just mentioned is a powerful antioxidant linked to the prevention of many of the major, life-threatening conditions.

    3. Aphrodisiac. Since the ancient Romans, beets have been considered beneficial as a libido booster, but there’s reason for it. Beets contain nitrates, which increase blood flow – everywhere. In fact, nitrates are often used in artificial libido boosters because they work so well at increasing arousal. But now you can skip the artificial stuff and get the benefits by eating beets!

    4. Protect your brain and fight dementia. As you age, blood flow decreases, so you get less blood to the brain. It also means you also get less oxygen to the brain. Less blood and oxygen to the brain have been linked to reduced cognitive abilities and dementia. But since we’ve established that the nitrates in beets increase blood flow everywhere that means your brain, too!

    5. Cancer prevention. Not only are beets loaded with powerful and rare antioxidants, beet juice may slow the growth of certain cancer-causing compounds. So drink up!

    6. Diabetes. Among the antioxidants in beets is alpha-lipoic acid, which helps you battle diabetes in three ways. First, and probably most important, it helps lower blood glucose levels. But it has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, and prevent oxidative damage in diabetes patients. So if you already have diabetes, or if you’re trying to prevent diabetes, talk to your doctor about the benefits of eating beets.

    7. Energy levels and performance. You don’t have to be an athlete to reap the benefits of beets when it comes to energy and performance. Yes, professional cyclists and swimmers in studies of beet juice have seen statistically significant changes in their performance. However, the same factors that increased professional athletes’ performance may help people who are struggling with the activities of daily living. If you don’t have the energy to do what you need to do – if that’s pedal faster or climb the stairs with your groceries – there’s no reason beet juice won’t help give you the energy you need to achieve your goals.

    8. Heart health. So many superfoods end up at heart health, and beets are no different. This might be on the most important health benefits of eating beets. If you’re concerned about blood pressure and the cardio impacts of high blood pressure know this: in one study, a small serving of beet juice reduced resting blood pressure by 2%. And other studies have shown similar results, basically locking in beet juice as a good bet when it comes to heart health.

    9. Weight loss. The weight loss benefit of eating beets is easy – beets are high in fiber, which keeps you full, and low in calories, so you can eat a nice-sized portion, which helps keep you full. So looking to lose weight? Think beets.

    Sure, there are other, better known vegetables. But given the impressive benefits of eating beets, maybe it’s time to put down the potato every now and then and pick up a beet!

  3. 5 Natural Ways to Prevent Diabetes

    Diabetes preventSome are looking for ways to prevent diabetes because their doctors have told them it’s time to.

    Others want to prevent diabetes because they’ve made some choices that have put them at risk.

    We all want to change things before we have that daunting conversation with our doctors.

    Whatever has caused you to start thinking about diabetes, one thing is constant across the board – if you’re reading this article, you’re ready to find natural, healthy ways to prevent diabetes.
    Continue reading

  4. Pistachios may reduce diabetes risk

    A nutty way to drop diabetes risk

    If you've been following my advice, you’re already reaching for super-healthy almonds and walnuts at snack time. These superfoods in hardshell jackets have been proven in study after study to help fight cancer, lower blood pressure, and drive down blood sugar.

    Well I’m happy to report there’s another tasty nut you can add to your healthy snack list. A new Spanish study has found that regularly eating delicious pistachios may help reduce your diabetes risk. Continue reading

  5. Will Afreeza have you “inhaling cancer”?

    It looks like MannKind Corporation might have a shiny new superstar on its hands. The drug company’s new darling, inhalable diabetes drug Afrezza, certainly looks like a blockbuster waiting to happen.

    It’s got it all, a novel new delivery system (“Look Ma, no needles!”), 25 million potential customers in the United States alone, and—best of all—a brand spanking new “APPROVED”stamp courtesy of the folks over at the Food and Drug Administration.

    You might even say Afrezzas future’s so bright MannKind has got to wear shades. Continue reading

  6. Coca-Cola Life introduced as soda sales plummet

    It’s working!

    We've got Big Soda -- including new Coca-Cola Life -- on the run, and without a single Nanny State law in sight. All it took was ordinary people like you and me speaking with our wallets.

    In the last nine years soda sales in the U.S. have plummeted. And that slide has sped up. Last year alone sales dropped 3 percent, more than double the drop from the year before—and for good reason. Continue reading

  7. Vitamin D deficiency could be deadly

    Barely a month goes by when we don’t see yet one more unfounded attack on a vital vitamin or necessary nutrient. It’s become so predictable you can practically set your watch by it. They won’t be satisfied until supplements are removed from the picture completely—and along with them, your freedom to choose. This time it’s vitamin D that’s been placed on the chopping block, a nutrient critical to combatting bone loss, cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, inflammation and very likely diabetes, autism, dementia, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, high blood pressure, and more. In fact, this vitamin is SO critical to our health and wellbeing that frankly this latest review trashing this valuable vitamin—published in the April issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ)—is downright irresponsible. Even worse, when you consider how many of us have a dangerously low vitamin D deficiency, taking the researcher’s conclusions seriously could be as good as signing your own death warrant. According to the researchers, “Despite a few hundred systematic reviews and meta-analyses, highly convincing evidence of a clear role of vitamin D does not exist for any outcome…” Nonsense! Besides, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that BAD science is going to lead to BAD results. And in the case of this BMJ-published “umbrella review,” they should have seen the bad coming from a mile away. Since the researchers chose to include flawed and poorly executed studies in the mix, it really isn’t surprising that the conclusions they reached are essentially rubbish, too.

    Vitamin D deficiency seriously bad for your health

    Let’s take a closer look at what research has already proven about vitamin D. But we’ll have to just hit some of the highlights, because we’d literally be here all day if I tried to cover EVERYTHING that D is good for. To begin with, despite its poor execution, the umbrella review in question still showed around an 11 percent drop in death risk for those taking a D supplement. In fact, study after study has shown us the value of this vitamin, demonstrating what a deficiency of D can lead to... starting with trouble for your ticker. In a seven-year collaboration, researchers from the University of Colorado and Massachusetts General Hospital uncovered evidence linking heart disease and vitamin D deficiency in men and women 65 or older. Seniors with the lowest levels of D were three times more likely to die from heart disease. And those volunteers who had a vitamin D deficiency at the start of the study were 2.5 times more likely to have died from ANY cause by the end of it. Now a new study confirms that if your vitamin D blood levels fall below 20 ng/mL (or 50 nmol/l), your risk of heart disease shoots up by a third. Even worse, if your levels dip into the dangerously low 10 ng/mL area, your risk for atherosclerosis (the hardening and narrowing of your arteries) doubles! But your heart isn’t the only organ that craves D: your brain is a big fan too. In fact, over the years research has linked D deficiencies to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even depression. And just last year, an animal study—published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine—showed us just how critical the vitamin is to cognitive performance and memory.

    D doesn’t just target organ health either… it’s a whole-body elixir that could help to both keep cancer at bay,and drive down your diabetes risk.

    Vitamin D targets whole body health

    Studies have shown an association between vitamin D and cancer risk, and many experts agree that the vitamin likely offers some protection against a variety of cancers including breast, colon, prostate and bladder cancers. Even mainstream medicine organizations, like The National Cancer Institute, agree that there’s epidemiological evidence linking adequate D levels to a reduced risk. Research has also revealed that vitamin D could play an important role in preventing diabetes. For example, a Tufts University study found that higher concentrations of D are associated with a lower diabetes risk. And then there’s the meta-analysis of more than 100,000 people that sheds some light on how it is that D may be driving down diabetes risk. Blood work from 28 different studies revealed that those men and women with the highest D levels tended to avoid the dreaded collection of pre-diabetes symptoms… including high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugars, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and a large belly... that are commonly known as metabolic syndrome. The truth is that a vitamin D deficiency and diabetes link is so promising that even the mainstream medicine drones couldn’t ignore it anymore. Late last year the VERY mainstream National Institutes of Health (NIH) finally decided to fund a large-scale clinical trial to explore the effects of D on the disease. And those really are just a few of the D highlights. There are literally hundreds of studies linking D to good health. The evidence is so vast that public health guidelines here in the United States, as well as those in many other countries, recognize the critical importance of maintaining healthy D levels. Unfortunately, their D recommendations are entirely too low. That’s why up to 90 percent of us may be walking… or dragging… around with a vitamin D deficiency. Besides trying to spend a little bit of time every day outside in the sunshine, I typically recommend taking 2,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. Your doctor can run a simple blood test to figure out what your current levels are.
  8. Cracking open a can of heart disease: Diet soda health risks

    I’ve warned you before about the link between that swill known as diet soda – health risks including diabetes. In short, just one can a day could send your diabetes risk skyrocketing. (If you missed that story, click here to catch up right here on the NorthStar Blog.) Now a new finding, from a study that tracked close to 60,000 women, has found that diet soda health risks are even worse than we thought -- drinking two or more of the dastardly drinks a day could be deadly. It turns out that the ladies with a bit of diet soda habit were FAR more likely to keel over from heart disease, than the women who rarely downed the drinks.

    30 percent higher risk of stroke or heart attack!

    According to the findings presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology on diet soda health risks, the diet soda drinkers had an incredible 30 percent higher risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack. (It’s not the first time we’ve seen a stroke connection. Click here to learn more.) Even worse, their risk of dying from heart disease was a staggering 50 percent greater than the women who hardly touched the stuff! And while those who tow the mainstream medicine line would like you to believe that diet sodas are really just the innocent bystanders in this story—and the steep rise in risk is simply because all of these women are making up for other bad health habits with their diet soda drinking—you and I know better, don’t we? Sure, no one would deny that other bad habits do play a role in raising your heart risk. But there’s no denying the mounting evidence that artificial sweeteners, like the aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) found in diet sodas, can monkey with your blood sugar and insulin levels.

    Artificial sweeteners overstimulate sugar receptors

    In addition, many experts believe these fake sweeteners can backfire, over-stimulating your sugar receptors, as well as literally causing you to crave and eat MORE sugary sweets. And frankly, with all these strikes against them, it doesn’t take a genius to see why diet-soda drinkers would have not only an increased risk for diabetes and obesity, but heart disease as well. The bottom line is, diet soda is anything but an innocent bystander. If you’re still drinking these killer “cocktails” in a can, it’s time to kick the habit before it kicks you.
  9. Actos side effects: Dodge this deadly diabetes drug

    The potentially deadly side effects from prescription diabetes drug Actos is liable to cost you a heck of a lot more than just your copay. But the “bill” might not arrive for a couple of years. Oh, and instead of cash you could be paying for it with your life. Now this isn’t the first time you’ve seen me lose my cool over a potentially dangerous diabetes drug… far from it, in fact. But the inexcusable—not to mention immoral—actions of two drug companies… and the blood that appears to be on their hands… has me positively fuming once again. Let me back up just a bit to set the sickening stage. I started warning you about the diabetes drug Actos side effects years ago. It was around this same time of year way back in 2011 that the drug’s maker, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, sent out some pumped up, over-the-top news releases about new research showing that their star of the drug stable, Actos, wasn’t just good for diabetics, it was also good for anyone with elevated blood sugars. They claimed Actos may be able to keep you from ever becoming diabetic. In other words, we should start force feeding this stuff to pre-diabetics too.

    Actos linked to bladder cancer

    Think that’s a bad idea? With stroke, heart failure, trouble breathing, liver problems, bone fractures and cancer (!) eventually finding themselves onto the list of potential Actos side effects, you’re absolutely right it IS a bad idea. In fact, it may be one of the worst ideas EVER. That didn’t stop the New York Times and Time magazine from jumping right on the Actos bandwagon, devoting valuable editorial space to coverage of the drug. But while they were reporting on the “astounding” results showing that Actos “reduces your risk of diabetes by 72 percent!” they totally missed the HUGE elephant standing smack dab in the center of the room. (Or ignored it to tell a more sensational story…you pick.) These findings were based on what amounts to a difference of 35 people. Yes, they were actually proposing that millions of pre-diabetics start popping a potentially risky drug essentially based on 35 people. Click here to read the rest of the ridiculous story here on the NorthStar Blog. Now, skip forward in time a couple of months and the Actos story really started to crumble. As I reported to you at that time, a study analyzing adverse event reports had linked the drug (not for the first time) to bladder cancer in what researchers called a “definite risk.” But the study was soft pedaled, and the news made barely a blip in the American mainstream media. Outside of the United States, countries like France, Germany and India reacted to the shocking cancer news by banning the drug (what I would call a reasonable response). And what did the FDA do? They had the company bury a bladder cancer warning in the labeling insert. (Surprise, surprise.) But I’m willing to bet if you’re already taking this drug you’ve never even noticed that warning, because, let’s be honest, how many of us get out a magnifying glass and actually read all that tiny type? Heck, many doctors aren’t even aware of the cancer connection. Fewer still bother to mention Actos side effects to their patients when prescribing it. And that finally brings me to the news that has steam coming out of my ears today.

    Dangerous Actos side effects kept secret

    A jury has just awarded a bladder-cancer sufferer, and victim of Actos side effects, a huge sum of money for punitive damages, effectively ruling that Takeda Pharmaceuticals and their marketing partner Eli Lilly purposefully withheld vital—potentially life-saving—information about the drug’s cancer risks. And information wasn’t just withheld, files were actually destroyed in what I dare say any sane person would likely see as an attempt cover things up. In fact, the judge in the case said, “The breadth of Takeda leadership whose files have been lost, deleted or destroyed is, in and of itself, disturbing.” Not only did the companies know about the link between their superstar drug and bladder cancer, it would appear that they’ve known about it at least since 2000… eleven years before that weak warning limped its way into the drug’s literature! But that’s not the only thing those rats in suits may have been hiding. According to one brave whistleblower—a former employee of Takeda—the company was likely well aware of at least some of those other serious Actos side effects I mentioned earlier, too. And who knows how many people are now suffering with heart disease or cancer as a result. Or worse, have lost their battles. Sure, we all know that profits before people is practically a mantra in the halls of Big Pharma, but seeing just how far they’re willing to go in pursuit of the almighty dollar, somehow still has the power to shock and anger me. Click here for some advice on how to tackle diabetes without ever going near Actos, or any other potentially dangerous diabetes drug.
  10. Lack of sleep leads to brain damage

    Catching up on your z’s, stealing some shut eye, sawing logs, grabbing 40 winks, or hitting the hay… no matter what you call it, sleep is absolutely critical to our continued good health. Without enough of it we simply, well, start to fall apart. Although we still have more to learn about exactly what happens during the hours that we’re snoozing, we do know that our bodies use this “down time” to get a whole lot of work done. When we short-change ourselves on sleep, some of that work doesn’t get done, and the consequences of lack of sleep can be devastating, raising our risks for diseases ranging from cancer to diabetes. Men, you ought to think twice before deciding to burn the candle at both ends. Lack of sleep could raise your risk of prostate cancer. And we’re not talking about a little rise in risk here, either. According to one study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention, if your insomnia has you battling to stay asleep, your prostate cancer risk could even double! And if that doesn’t scare you enough to want to do something about your sleep problems, what if I told you that lack of sleep could send your sperm counts south and even lead to shrunken testicles! (Yeah, I thought THAT might get your attention.) Ladies, don’t think you’ve dodged a bullet here. Lack of sleep can have both men, and women packing on the pounds and fighting skyrocketing blood sugar. In fact, getting less than six hours of quality sleep a night is linked to a higher Body Mass Index, according to a study in the American Journal of Human Biology. And a University of Illinois at Chicago study found that poor sleepers were twice as likely to have type-2 diabetes as those who regularly got a good night’s sleep.

    Lack of sleep means lost neurons

    Now a new study, published in the Journal of Neurosciences, has given us yet one more reason to commit to keeping our date with the Sandman every night. According to researchers, sleep loss can literally cause brain damage! And to make matters worse, sneaking in extra naps—or sleeping in on the weekends—to catch up on your sleep will NOT help reverse the damage you’ve done to your brain. University of Pennsylvania neuroscientists wanted to find out what effects a sporadic sleep schedule… like the one that shift workers are subjected to… would have on the brain. To find out, they put mice on a sleep schedule that had them sleeping for short periods of time during inconsistent hours. And the results were, frankly, nothing short of shocking. The researchers found that the mice suffered MASSIVE brain damage, losing an astounding 25 percent of the neurons in the area of the brain that is responsible for alertness and cognitive function. Apparently the brain’s built-in defense system against sleep deprivation… having new neurons pump out extra sirtuin type-3 protein to energize and protect you… breaks down after a few days

    Getting serious about shuteye

    One thing’s very clear; it’s time to get super-serious about your shuteye. If you’re not already regularly getting a good night’s sleep (typically, eight hours of uninterrupted snoozing) you need to commit to changing that. If you don’t you very well may be facing a future filled with obesity, diabetes, cancer and brain damage! But don’t fall into the trap of quick-fix anti-anxiety or sleep drugs. I’ve warned you before about the many pitfalls of these dangerous pills with their long list of potential side effects including a raised risk of dementia, falling, and death.  And studies show that the drugs are often ineffective, and may not lead to any significant increase in quality sleep anyway. Instead, look for natural solutions to your shuteye problem, starting with cutting back on stimulants like caffeinated coffee, tea, and soda. Next turn your bedroom into a sanctuary. Remove the TV, get rid of any light sources like blinking electronics, and make sure the temperature is comfortable. And finally, ban brain-stimulating back-lit devices like smartphones and tablets for at least an hour before turning in. If you’re particularly sensitive, some energizing supplements like B12 or ginseng may interfere with your sleep, too. Try taking them first thing in the morning, instead of in the afternoon or evening. To ease anxiety symptoms, consider trying 500 mg of magnesium before bed. L-tryptophan if you’re under 40, melatonin if you’re over 40, and GABA no matter what your age, can all be effective, natural, short-term sleep solutions. All of them may be able to help you readjust your bad sleeping habits to get back into a regular routine. And if you’re still having trouble getting sleep, I strongly recommend you make an appointment to see a doctor who is skilled in natural medicine. He’ll be able to pinpoint the real cause of your sleep troubles, and tailor a get-to-sleep plan specifically for you.
  11. Low fat diet is all wrong--Eat MORE fat to live longer and healthier

    Like a breath of fresh air. That’s how it felt when I ran across a recent editorial on the low fat diet craze, published in the BMJ journal Open Heart. Dr. James DiNicolantonio, a well-respected and leading cardiovascular scientist, did the unthinkable. He openly admitted that a diet low in saturated fat… the very low fat diet crammed down our throats by the entire medical establishment for more than 50 years… will NOT prevent heart disease or prolong life. Now as a Guide to Good Health reader his announcement might not seem all that revolutionary. After all, I’ve been telling you about the pitfalls of the saturated-fat-myth for many years now.  But make no mistake about it, for someone in the mainstream this was a very brave act. And that sound you’re hearing? No doubt it’s doors slamming as Dr. DiNicolantonio’s (ex) buddies in the mainstream turn their backs on him for daring to tell the truth about the low fat diet. No worries, Dr. D., we’ve got plenty of room for you over here on our (SANE) side of the fence.

    Saturated fat is not the problem!

    To understand where this ridiculous idea that a diet high in saturated fat will somehow harm your heart came from, we need to rewind all the way back to the 1950’s. It was then that another researcher lit the fuse, when he claimed to have found an association between fat calories as a percentage of overall calories and death from heart disease. For whatever reason this notion caught on like wildfire, and for over three decades now we’ve been told that if we don’t drastically limit the amount of saturated fat in our diets, we’re dooming ourselves to high cholesterol, heart disease, and an early death. The only problem? As Dr. DiNicolantonio pointed out in his editorial, the research on the low fat diet from the 1950’s study was flawed. I’ve warned you before about the dangers of cherry-picked data in studies, and that’s exactly what happened in the case of this fatally flawed fat study. Either deliberately, or through pure incompetence (take your pick), the researcher chose to use data from only six countries that happened to match his hypothesis. The data from sixteen other countries that didn’t that match were rejected, and never made it into the study. What followed was an overhauling of diet recommendations. Soon docs everywhere were preaching the evils of saturated fats—and suddenly refined carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fats were being pushed in their place.

    LOW-FAT diet leads to heart disease

    Fast forward, and over 50 years later we’re now being told to limit our saturated fats to less than 7 percent of our total daily caloric intake. Yet we’re fatter, sicker, and plagued with more heart disease than we ever have been before in history. And the evidence that cutting saturated fat will help reduce your heart risks? Oh, that doesn’t exist. But, according to Dr. D., what does exist in its place is research linking all those refined carbs and polyunsaturated fats you’ve being encouraged to gulp down to multiple health problems. You see, it’s no coincidence that heart disease, obesity, and diabetes have all reached epidemic levels in the last few decades.  We’re eating ourselves right into the grave with mainstream medicine’s so-called “heart-healthy” low-fat diet. And research, like the large-scale 2006 trial that found that low-fat diets don’t improve health outcomes or lead to fewer strokes or heart attacks –or the Spanish study that concluded we have to eat MORE fat to lower our heart attack risk—clearly shows that the mainstream approach has failed miserably. Dr. DiNicolantonio’s recommendations to turn this tide sound eerily familiar. In fact, as a Guide to Good Health reader you’ve heard them all before. Start by avoiding the deadly low-fat diet your doc is so fond of. Instead, choose unprocessed foods as much as possible, with lots of organic veggies, nuts, and grass-fed meats. I’d like to think this brave editorial signals a true sea change, but I sure won’t be holding my breath.
  12. Could type-2 diabetes & Alzheimer’s be the same disease?

    Diabetes and Alzheimer’s; one of these diseases isn’t just like the other—scientists   say it may actually BE the other. This isn’t the first time we’ve connected high insulin levels and the debilitating form of dementia known as Alzheimer’s. We knew they were linked, but we just didn’t know how, exactly. But this is the first time research has connected diabetes and Alzheimer’s so closely that they’re believed to be different stages of the very same disease. According to researchers at the University of Albany in New York, Alzheimer’s is actually an advanced stage of type-2 diabetes. And this finding would help explain why up to an estimated 75 percent of type-2 diabetics do eventually end up with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The research team believes that the excess insulin produced by diabetics is finding its way into the brain. Once there, it is wreaking havoc, disrupting brain chemistry and knocking critical chemicals out of balance. Eventually those super-high insulin levels lead to the tangled up brain proteins we know as beta amyloid plaques. And those plaques, of course, are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Elevated insulin poisons your brain cells

    This game-changing discovery was made when researchers gave a group of lab rats diabetes by feeding them a junk food diet. They then gave the clever little critters some memory tests. They found that as the rats diabetes became worse, so did their scores on the memory tests. Later, when they took a look at the rat’s brains, they quickly spotted the problem. The rodent’s noodles were riddled with those amyloid plaques I mentioned earlier. The scientists say those plaques are the direct result of a short-circuited enzyme building up in the brain, rather than breaking down the proteins as they would in a normal non-diabetic brain. And I’ll give you one guess what it is that causes those enzymes to start misfiring in the first place. If you said insulin, then you’ve been paying attention. Lead study researcher Ewan McNay told Medical Daily, “High levels of insulin swamp this enzyme so that it stops breaking down amyloid. The latter then accumulates until it forms toxic clumps that poison brain cells.” He went on to confirm that it’s the very same amyloid build up to blame in both diseases, and that type-2 diabetics actually have low level Alzheimer’s. In other words, Alzheimer’s is essentially type-3 diabetes. If you’ve been struggling with your own blood sugar problems, and this news scares you… well, good, it should. Now don’t misunderstand me. This discovery doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to a future of dementia. But what it does mean is that it’s time to step-up your efforts to get those numbers under control. And the good news is I can help you do just that with my simple-to-follow three step plan.

    Avoiding Alzheimer’s may be as easy as 1, 2, 3

    Let’s kick things off with step number one. To bring your own blood-sugar levels back under control, the best place to start is with the basics. Good nutrition is always the key to good health, and it’s no different with diabetes. If you haven’t already changed your diet, it’s time to get started. But don’t worry, the changes aren’t going to be anywhere near as painful as you imagine. As I’ve explained before, a diet that’s high in healthy (and delicious!) fats, but low in added sugars and simple carbs is vital to maintaining a healthy weight and brain, as well as healthy cholesterol and blood sugar numbers. That means more organic meats, fish, and fresh dairy. And while you’re at it, you can add in some tasty walnuts, cocoa, and berries. (Hmm, doesn’t sound much like denying yourself at all, does it?) Now I know the anti-fat police have been trying to drum something different into your head for years now. But they’re just flat out wrong. And even the mainstream medicine lemmings are finally starting to see the light on this one. (Heck, even Dr. Oz caved in and finally admitted that eating lots of healthy fats and limiting carbs is the way to go.) Step number two is to remove your rear from the seat and start moving. Now I’m not talking about a seven day a week gym habit (unless for some reason that’s your thing), I’m talking about finding something active that you love to do, and doing it more often. Naturally, with my background as a diving coach, you’re likely to find me in the pool. But perhaps you prefer hanging out on the golf course, going on bike tours or gardening. Whatever your passion is, just do it—and MORE of it! And step number three is to add some blood-sugar supporting nutrients to your routine. Chromium, biotin, cinnamon, vitamin D-3, magnesium, green coffee extract, curcumin, Gymnema sylvestre, and berberine are all great natural choices for supporting healthy blood sugar. Work with a doctor skilled in natural medicine to figure out the right combination of supplements for you, and you can deal type-2 AND “type-3” diabetes the one two punch.
  13. Magnesium benefits: A happy heart and a longer life

    Heart troubles? Make sure you know about the benefits of magnesium … it could save your life. Now you may already know that magnesium is important for your heart health. Without enough of it in your system you may suffer with an irregular heartbeat, chest pain, hardening of the arteries or high blood pressure. But magnesium benefits other aspects of your health also and is, in fact, a key player in over 300 chemical processes that keep your body in tip top shape. (Magnesium is critical for maintaining healthy blood sugar too.) And now a new review of studies dating all the way back to 1937 has confirmed what I’ve been telling you all along, and that is that cholesterol and saturated fat are not the big bad villains they’ve been made out to be when it comes to heart disease. According to researchers low magnesium is the real culprit. And in another recent study, Spanish researchers demonstrated just how critical magnesium benefits are for those suffering with heart problems. In a study of 7,216 volunteers between the ages of 55 and 80, people with the highest dietary intakes of magnesium had a 34 percent less chance of dying from heart disease or cancer. In fact, those who got the most magnesium (442 mg a day) had a 59 percent drop in their risk of dying from a stroke, heart attack or heart disease when compared to those with the lowest intakes of magnesium. It’s easy to add more magnesium benefits to your diet simply by eating more almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, black beans and avocados. You also may want to consider a magnesium supplement, but be sure to talk with your own doc about what’s best for your specific situation.
  14. Health benefits of resveratrol: Going grape to fight cancer

    The health benefits of resveratrol, the so-called “red wine nutrient,” are back in the news again. Of course, we’ve been talking about this grape-based anti-aging miracle for years now. This powerful antioxidant could help with everything from hearing loss to heart disease to diabetes. Studies have been stacking up for years that have found that resveratrol may help with insulin regulation, cholesterol control, high blood pressure and even cognitive performance. In other words, it’s good stuff. Now researchers from the University of Missouri studying the health benefits of resveratrol say the grape extract could become an important player in the fight against cancer. In the recent study scientists showed that resveratrol can make certain tumor cells more susceptible to radiation treatment. This study focused on melanoma cells, and a previous similar study showed the same effectiveness against prostate cancer. This means, of course, that shorter, more effective and less damaging treatments could be in the future for cancer patients. But if you’re interested in battling cancer sooner rather than later, resveratrol could already be an important weapon in your arsenal. We know that the grape extract is a natural inflammation fighter, and since inflammation plays an important role in the development of cancer (as well as many other diseases) resveratrol is a no-brainer. In fact, earlier studies on the health benefits of resveratrol have already shown that the extract can kill pancreatic cancer cells, increasing the effectiveness of cancer treatments. And, even better, the resveratrol appeared to protect healthy cells at the same time. I generally recommend 200 mg a day (or around 100 mg if it’s part of a comprehensive anti-aging or heart formula). Check with your own naturopathic doctor to find out what’s the best choice for you.
  15. Vitamin D benefits for your brain and memory

    If you’re not already a D-devotee, a new University of Kentucky (UK) study on vitamin D benefits may very well change your mind. Well, that’s if you don’t end up losing it first. Let me explain. You, of course, already know that D is essential for healthy muscles and bones. In fact, maintaining your levels may even be the key to keeping you out of a nursing home. Click here to learn more on the NorthStar Blog. And as a NorthStar Blog reader you also know about this essential vitamin’s vital role in cancer and diabetes prevention, blood pressure maintenance and heart health.

    This is your brain without D

    I’ve even told you about vitamin D benefits for brain health. The sunshine vitamin may play an important part in warding off Alzheimer’s disease. Deficiencies of D have been linked to Parkinson’s disease. And if you’ve ever experienced the winter blahs you sure don’t need me to tell you how important D is to warding off depression. But now, researchers say the vitamin’s role in brain health could be even stronger than we ever imagined. The animal study, published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, found that rats that were fed a low D diet for several months developed free-radical brain damage. That’s important because free radicals in your brain can lead to oxidation, memory loss, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

    Low D led to memory and learning problems

    And, in fact, the poor critters in the study did suffer a significant drop in their cognitive performance on memory and learning tests. According to the UK scientists, a number of different brain proteins were damaged by the lack of D. And there’s every reason to believe that something similar happens in our own brains when our D levels drop too low. With some experts saying that up to 90 percent of people are walking around with less than optimal D levels and that means the vast majority of us may be in serious danger of low-D brain damage. But, while experts tend to disagree on just how many of us are D deficient, one thing they DO agree on is that D deficiency is wide-spread among seniors. This means, of course, that those of us who are starting to go gray need to be extra careful about keeping our levels up in order to reap the vitamin D benefits. Now, of course, I’ve been preaching about vitamin D benefits for many years now, but it looks like the mainstream is finally catching on, too. According to Allan Butterfield—lead author on this new study and professor in the UK Department of Chemistry—we need to maintain adequate vitamin D levels to prevent free radical damage in our brains. Welcome to the vitamin D fan club, Dr. Butterfield. I would also add to your solid D advice that maintaining those healthy D levels could also help us avoid Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart attack, stroke, diabetes and more.

    Top off your D levels

    Pretty impressive for a vitamin you can get for free simply by spending 15 minutes or so outside in the sunshine every day. And if cold weather, a busy schedule or disability is keeping you indoors you can always top of your D levels by eating a D-rich diet (fish and fish oil are great sources), or by taking a supplement. I generally recommend taking 2,000 to 4,000 IUs of vitamin D3 daily. Try to take your D with a meal containing healthy fats, such as olive oil or a serving of fatty fish (a fish oil supplement will work too) to help your body better absorb the vital nutrient.
    To find out if you’re D deficient, talk with your doctor. He can run a simple blood test to check your 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels.
  16. Harvard study on health benefits of nuts finds improved longevity

    In my book, it’s hard to beat the health benefits of nuts for a filling and delicious snack. Since they’re packed with protein, good fats, and healthy fiber, nuts aren’t just tasty, their good for you, too. Now Harvard researchers say they’re not just good for you, they could literally add years to your life. More on that exciting new finding in a moment, but first let’s look at what we already know about the health benefits of nuts. Over three years ago, I told you about the humble walnut’s apparent ability to reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure. Volunteers who ate the nuts had improved blood pressure numbers during two different types of stress tests. In 2011, Tuft’s University researchers revealed that nuts could help us control both blood sugar and cholesterol. When a group of type-2 diabetics was given a half- cup of mixed nuts daily for three months, it lowered both their blood sugar, and bad cholesterol. (Click here to read more about the Tuft’s study on the NorthStar Blog.) And a more recent study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that snacking on walnuts could drive down a woman’s diabetes risk by as much as 24 percent.

    Live longer and healthier with nuts

    In fact, at least 57 clinical trials have found that nuts may help protect you against heart disease, and a stack of others have linked nut eating with a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. And with that kind of track record, it’s really no surprise that yet another study has confirmed the health benefits of nuts, one of my favorite snack foods. But what did surprise everyone—including those Harvard researchers, no doubt—was just how impressive the numbers that came out of this massive study were. The carefully designed study, which tracked 119,000 men and women over 30 years, found that those who ate nuts almost daily were an astounding 20 percent less likely to die from any cause during the three-decade long study. And the impressive nut news didn’t stop there… not by a long shot. Regular nut eaters (seven or more times a week) had their risk of dying from heart disease plunge by an incredible 29 percent. They were 20 percent less likely to die from diabetes or lung disease. And their risk of dying from cancer dropped a healthy 11 percent.

    Eats nuts and weigh less

    Oh, and if you’ve been afraid to indulge in nuts because they’re high in fat, I’ve got great news for you. The nut eaters stayed slimmer than the non-nut eaters! That’s right, eating nuts will NOT make you fat, my friend. As I’ve explained before, nuts are rich in the good-for-you monounsaturated fats. Heck, even the very mainstream American Heart Association admits the kind of fats found in nuts are heart healthy and can help you reduce your cholesterol while lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke. And…you might want to sit down for this one… the usually clueless folks over at the FDA even stood up for the health benefits of nuts way back in 2003, when they recommended them as part of a diet to help reduce heart disease. Honestly, with results like these, unless you happen to be allergic to them, you’d have to be nuts to not include nuts in your diet.

    Solid research adds to the nut resume

    I do, however, need to mention two things about the Harvard study that you should keep in mind. First of all, while it was well-designed and solid, this was an observational study. And as I’ve explained many times before, observational studies can only show an association or connection between two things. They’re not designed to prove cause and effect. (For instance, those nut eaters also ate more healthy fruits and veggies.) That doesn’t erase any of the positives about nuts, but it’s good to know. Second, the Harvard researchers made one HUGE misstep with their study. Unfortunately, they accepted some funding from the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the Tree Nut Council folks. They run a fine non-profit organization. But once they forked over some money to Harvard it became much easier for naysayers to try to question the findings. Luckily, nuts already have a ton of solid research backing up their health value, so it’s pretty clear that these latest findings—published in The New England Journal of Medicine—only add to that growing stack.
  17. BPA affects our health at much lower doses than previously thought.

    A new study has found that BPA (bisphenol A) —the nasty chemical that I’ve been warning you about for YEARS now—is affecting us at much lower doses than previously thought.  Well, I should say at lower doses than the mainstream drones thought. In case you’re not familiar with BPA… or it’s potentially devastating side effects… let me bring you up to speed with a recap. When you open up that can of cranberry sauce today to serve with Thanksgiving dinner you’ll be serving up more than just those jellied cranberries. It will come with an unwanted side dish of a creepy chemical that’s used to make plastics called bisphenol A (BPA).

    BPA wreaks havoc with your hormones

    BPA is found in all kinds of plastic materials including water bottles, cash register receipts, and even the inside lining of food cans. It’s what’s known as an endocrine disruptor and it can wreak havoc with your hormones. Even worse, your body has a heck of a time telling BPA apart from estrogen. As you can imagine, this dual disaster can really do a number on your health, kicking off all kinds of unwanted side effects. And the higher the BPA exposure, the greater the hormone disruption is. With most US adults getting conservatively nearly 5 micrograms a day, and our friends elsewhere getting even more than that, it’s a catastrophe that hasn’t been waiting to happen. Men exposed to high levels of the chemical may have significant erectile dysfunction issues as a result. (Learn how BPA could result in ED on the NorthStar blog.) And for women, excess estrogen in the bloodstream is a big risk factor when it comes to breast cancer.

    Creepy chemical drives up your disease risks

    We’ve known for a long time now that high BPA levels in the body are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. One Yale study linked the chemical to neurological problems in animals, and found a connection between BPA and disruptions in brain cells linked to memory, learning and mood. And some scientists suspect that the chemical may be playing a key role in the obesity epidemic as well as the troubling turn towards early puberty for young girls. In other words, BPA is nothing but bad news. And yet the yahoos at the FDA refuse to admit that the chemical is even a significant threat.  In fact, beyond finally banning it in baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012 (a good, but FAR too late move), the Big Business loving Feds haven’t done a darn thing to protect you from this chemical. According to them, the levels that we’re being exposed to aren’t enough to worry about. And if you believe that one I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

    Low doses still equal HIGH dangers

    That’s why this new research, published in the journal Endocrine Disruptors, is so important. Sure, we already know this stuff is bad for us, but with the FDA burying its collective head somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine, we need as many studies as we can get showing that even at so-called “low” exposures BPA is damaging. A group of scientists that study endocrine disruption set out to build on and refine an earlier 2007 review of the low-dose effects of BPA. What they found was shocking. They were able to confirm reproductive effects in animals after exposure to incredibly low doses of the chemical. We’re talking ten to forty times lower than in the typical studies that have been used to justify keeping BPA on the market. In addition, the researchers identified several dozen “low dose” studies that illustrated the effects that BPA has in amounts that people are being exposed to every single day. In fact, according to the scientists, exposure to BPA likely contributes to a wide variety of health issues including decreased fertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, behavioral problems, breast tumors, obesity, thyroid dysfunction, brain synapse issues and immune response to allergens. And the problems don’t even end with the human population, either. Scientists say that BPA’s effect on wildlife is widespread, too. The bottom line here is that, once again, the very agencies that supposedly exist to protect our health can’t be relied on. We have to fend for ourselves. That means switching to brands that are packaged in non-BPA packaging (stores that specialize in natural and organic foods and online sources are your best bets) and choosing fresh organic foods over packaged ones whenever possible. And make your voice heard. Write the manufacturers of your favorite brands and demand BPA-free packaging and write your representatives in Washington and demand legislation that removes this toxic chemical from our food supply. Maybe by next year on this day we’ll have one more thing to give thanks for… a BPA-free life.
  18. Even MORE health benefits of green tea

    Green tea has proven itself to be aces at multi-tasking. I could swear that every time I turn around, there’s yet another health benefit of green tea being confirmed. Brimming with antioxidants, green tea and green tea extract reportedly may... And Korean researchers say it looks like we can officially add “reduces high blood pressure and insulin resistance” to that already impressive list of health benefits of green tea. To find out how a green tea extract affects blood pressure and insulin resistance, scientists divided twenty rats into an extract group and a control group. At the end of the study, the extract group had significantly lower blood pressure, plasma glucose and insulin levels. And that means that green tea could be a natural for fighting metabolic syndrome… the precursor to full-blown diabetes. Now the naysayers will say you have to wait for human studies, but they’re full of hot air. We already know that green tea is great for us, so there’s really no reason at all to wait for more studies on the health benefits of green tea to give the green light to get started. A delicious daily cup of green tea… or a supplement that contains green tree extract… is just what the doctor ordered.
  19. Health risks of sugar--it could turn you into the walking dead

    Ah, Halloween, the unofficial kickoff to what I like to call Sugar Fest. Sure, it all starts out innocently enough when you sneak a couple pieces of the candy you’ve set aside for the Trick-Or-Treaters tonight. But that’s just the start to an out-of-control sugar binge that doesn’t end until you come up gasping for air at the end of the Christmas season. Now if it was just packing on a few pounds that you needed to worry about, I might share my best advice about not over-indulging over the holidays and call it a day. But the health risks of sugar are much more dangerous than you might realize. In fact, weight gain could turn out to be the least of your worries.

     Sugar habit could be deadly

    According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, sugar… in supposedly “safe” doses… may in fact be toxic. Researchers found that male mice fed a diet with 25 percent extra sugar… about what you’d find in three sodas or a couple handfuls of Candy Corn… turned into lazy lumps with no libido. They stopped defending their territory and didn’t show the least bit of interest in the girl mice anymore. But far worse than that, the female mice who were hopped up on sugar died at twice the rate of the female mice fed a normal diet. About 35 percent of the females on the high sugar diet died during the study, while only 17 percent of those in the control group kicked the bucket. That means that if you have a full-blown sugar habit, you may already be suffering from the dangerous health risks of sugar, and not even know it. And if you continue to suck down the sugar, one day soon you could find yourself six feet under and pushing up daisies, according to the study conducted at the University of Utah. (Speaking of the health risks of sugar, did you know that downing just one measly can of soda a day could spike your diabetes risk by 22 percent?! Read the rest of the sickening story on the NorthStar blog.)

    Drowning in a sea of sugar

    Now if you’re not carrying around a bunch of extra pounds, it’s easy to dismiss these findings thinking that the health risks of sugar don’t apply to you. But that would be a big mistake. The mice in the study weren’t fat, either. And their diets were regular, healthy mouse diets besides that added sugar.  In fact, according to researchers the sugar eaters would even have passed physicals. Yet the added sugar still had major and even deadly consequences. And it’s a lot easier to hit the 25 percent mark than you probably imagine. A stop at Starbucks for a Cafè Mocha in the morning, a soda with lunch, and a handful of Candy Corn for a snack in the afternoon and you’re already there. Conservative estimates are that an astounding 18 to 25 percent of Americans are already getting a quarter (or more!) of their calories from added sugars. And the picture is getting worse by the day. An easy way to get an idea of how much sugar you’re eating is to keep a food diary for a couple of weeks. Jot down everything you eat, and record the sugar content next to it. There are a number of websites that can help you figure out the approximate sugar content for both restaurant, and home-cooked meals. Let’s face it, we’re drowning in a sea of sugar, and it’s time to grab hold of the life ring and climb out. Start by saying no thanks to the Halloween candy tonight and keep saying no through the entire holiday season and beyond, to really bypass the negative health risks of sugar. Oh, and while you’re working on cutting down on the sugar in your diet, don’t fall into the artificial sweetener trap. Fake sugars are not a solution. In fact, diet sodas have been linked to diabetes.  And for an explanation of how the diet stuff can send your diabetes risk rocketing visit the NorthStar blog. Now don’t get me wrong, an occasional treat’s not going to kill you, but a regular sugar habit very well could. And, at the very least, it could make life not worth living.
  20. How a low-fat diet is making you fat

    Eating fat does not make you fat. Yeah, I said it. And what’s more, I meant it, too. I can practically hear the howls coming out of the halls of the USDA… and the boardrooms of their best buds in Big Food… at such heresy. How DARE I deviate from the script! But it’s the plain God’s honest truth, and I’d shout it from the darn rooftops if I thought there was a snowball’s chance in Hades that it would drown out the low-fat diet propaganda they’ve been shoving down our throats… and into our ballooning bellies… for years. But to be honest, I must admit that I’m a bit baffled.

    Go on a low-fat diet, get sicker and fatter

    You see, in my opinion it’s practically a miracle that the ridiculous notion that good animal-based saturated fats… like the kind you’ll find in a delicious steak or some tasty full-fat dairy… are bad for you has even survived this long. You only have to take a look around at our super-sized nation to figure out that a low-fat diet is bogus. Here we are, living in the land of skim milk, Egg Beaters, and soy burgers, and yet we’re getting sicker and fatter by the day. Our grocery store shelves are brimming with nothing-but-junk foods that are stamped “LOW-FAT!” and “FAT-FREE!” … but meanwhile heart disease is killing us by the hundreds of thousands every year. Yet 100 years back—when you’d have been hard pressed to find a doctor who had ever treated a case of heart disease and medical books barely even mentioned the condition—we were fit as fiddles while we chowed down on real butter and real meat (cooked in lard or bacon drippings), and washed it down with real, farm-fresh, whole-fat milk. The fact is a diet high in animal fats… and the proteins that naturally go with them… induces weight LOSS. And not only that, scientists believe that dairy proteins in particular are insulinotropic, which simply means that they stimulate the production of insulin. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Higher insulin levels are bad, right?” But in this case they can be a good thing, helping to balance out high glycemic meals that can send your blood sugar soaring. (Nature’s kind of funny like that, giving us exactly what we need to be healthy, if we’d just quit thinking we know better.) But the buffoons in charge… and those holding their purse strings… insist that it’s our fault that the Emperor has grown way too big for his britches. We’re simply lazy, and eat too much fat. If we’d just adopt Meatless Mondays and switch to skim milk and a low-fat diet, we’d be skinny as rakes with hearts as healthy as a herd of horses. Yeah, right. Well, they might have a lot more cash and power than I do, but I’ve got something they don’t have… and that’s the truth AND the research to back it up.

    Stop fearing the fat

    For example, the huge study involving 49,000 women that proved in no uncertain terms that a tasteless low-fat diet didn’t do a thing to prevent heart disease. In fact, the sad sacks who were forcing down low-fat meals didn’t have any less strokes or heart attacks than their satisfied counterparts who ate more fat. And then there’s the Australian study from a few years ago that found that people who were eating the most full-fat dairy had 70 percent less risk of dying of heart disease or stroke. Or the study last year that found that overweight adolescents given skim milk every day for 12 weeks got fatter. Uh, oh, Big Gov and Big Food you better fire up your propaganda machine, your house of cards is really starting to crumble. But wait, I’m not even done yet…

    Low-fat milk may mean a high-fat you

    Now there’s a brand new study, just published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, which found that watery, tasteless, skim and low-fat milks are associated with higher weight. Researchers, led by Dr. Mark DeBoar from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, looked at 10,700 U.S. kids between the ages of 2 and 4 and found that children downing one percent milk had higher body fat percentages. And both the skim and one percent milk drinkers were more likely to be overweight or obese than their whole-milk drinking peers. The brainwashed researchers seemed a bit surprised by their findings. A clearly puzzled DeBoar’s said, “In isolation, if you keep everything else the same, skim milk is still fewer calories.” The good doctor might have forgotten a bit of his basic biology, so let me help him out here. Skim milk is about 5 points higher on the glycemic index than whole milk. The higher a food’s glycemic index the more quickly it breaks down and enters your blood stream as glucose. And soaring blood-sugar levels quickly convert to body blubber. Besides, the fat you find in certain foods is there for a reason. The fats in whole milk and meat slow down the absorption rate of glucose, so that it enters your blood stream slower (nature balancing things out again). Not to mention that meats are high in the vitamins we need to stay healthy, like omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C, E and B12… and skimming milk strips away important nutrients including fat-soluble vitamins A, E, K, and D. (Did you know one of the best things you can do to prevent brain shrinkage in your retirement years is eat more steak? Visit the NorthStar blog to learn more.) And, of course, let’s not forget that fat helps to make us feel full and satisfied. And when we’re left feeling hungry and grumpy from the supposedly “healthy” low-fat diet we’re consuming, it’s only natural that we tackle those hungries by eating more. Starting to see the picture? Let’s hope those boobs “in charge” of this nation’s health start to see it, also.

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