Jack Harrison

  1. Another "study" tries to push the questionable Mediterranean diet

    Another "study" tries to push the questionable Mediterranean diet

    Once again, wrong-headed nutrition nuts are using "studies" to promote the Mediterranean Diet as the True Path to a healthy heart.

    This latest study was done by researchers at Canada's McMasters University. They claim that they've "clarified" the foods and eating habits that are best for battling the onset of heart disease. The heroes of this research are monosaturated fats, nuts, and vegetables - many of staples of the Mediterranean Diet.

    According to the author of this research, Dr. Sonia Anand of the McMasters University Heart and Stroke Foundation, "Concluding there is strong evidence that certain dietary patters or food groups which are clearly beneficial or harmful, is an easy message for health professionals to send to the general public."

    The Mediterranean diet recommends lots of bread, beans, and seeds (great fare for your birds). But it severely restricts fat, instructing followers to eat less than 25 percent fat, avoid saturated fat and animal fat, and, instead, eat low-fat this and low-fat that. As I've told you for years, this approach is completely off base.

    Once again, the research methods scientists rely on these days are so half-baked you shouldn't even bother giving them a second glance. According to study co-author Andrew Mente, Ph.D., also of McMasters University, the researchers ranked 189 prior studies published between 1950 and 2007. When a certain food or diet that was examined exhibited a link with heart health - and showed up in several studies - the researchers put it on a "good" list. The diets linked to heart disease were of course "bad."

    But you've got to question the logic of reviewing studies conducted almost half a century ag how relevant could any of these health studies truly be to today's diet habits? Thankfully, Anand's study does not simply join the pro-Mediterranean Diet parade, but actually points out the potential flaws of this diet. Anand acknowledges that there's no widespread medical consensus that simply consuming more produce along with increasing whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fats will automatically improve anyone's health.

    "Without large prospective studies in which multiple health outcomes are evaluated, recommendations to modify a dietary component may decrease the likelihood of one chronic disease [congenital heart disease] at the cost of increasing another [cancer]," Anand says.

    "Even though one study may be positive, there may be three others that are negative or conflicting," Anand says. "We really need to look at the totality of the evidence in the field before promoting something to the public at large."

    Well, that's at least one conclusion by Anand that I can support.

  2. Food manufacturers not warning of allergens

    Food manufacturers not warning of allergens

    As much as I harp about the overblown reactions many people have to food allergens, there's one thing I do agree with: Packaged food items should come with food allergy labels.

    But a new study just found that a small percentage of food products that contain potential food allergens (such as eggs or peanuts) don't have labels indicating as much.

    The study's author was Dr. Scott H. Sicherer, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He and his team tested nearly 400 products without any food allergy labels. Nineteen products contained food allergens. Of those 19 products, 50 percent of them contained enough of a specific allergen to prompt a reaction in sensitive people.

    The labeling of food products for potential allergens falls under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA). This law mandates that products containing the following "major" food allergens must be labeled: eggs, milk, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, crustacean shellfish, soybeans, and any product derived from these.

    Just another reason to shop the perimeter of the supermarket, and leave that prepackaged junk food on the shelf-right where it belongs.

    Black male kids four times more susceptible to food allergens

    This seems to be the week for food allergy research, because a new study has just come out that reveals that black male children are at a greater risk for developing allergies to eggs, milk, peanuts, and shrimp.

    About 2.55 percent of the general population has food allergies. Males and children are two times as likely to develop food allergies. Black men and women are three times as likely. But incredibly, this new survey found that black male children were FOUR TIMES more likely to be affected.

    The survey reviewed more than 8,000 people of all ages who had tested positive for allergen antibodies. Extrapolating these numbers would meant that as many as one in 10 black male children have food sensitivity to common food allergens such as peanuts and shrimp.

    Unfortunately, these are just straight statistics. The scientists don't give any insight as to why black males children seem are so susceptible to food allergens. So, like I said earlier, the perimeter of the supermarket, and it shouldn't be a problem.

  3. Yet another "study" condemns red meat

    You undoubtedly heard about the new study "proving" that eating red meat every day ups your chances of an early grave by as much as 30 percent.
  4. Wonder drug aimed at creating wonderful profits for Big Pharma

    It's no secret that Big Pharma companies allow their marketing departments to have an undue amount of influence on their research and development departments. There's one new drug in the works that has "marketing gimmick" written all over it.
  5. States battle over drug tests for welfare recipients

    Believe it or not, some states have shot down bills that would require drug tests for people on the welfare rolls.
  6. 5 ways to kick the snoring habit

    In a lot of cases, there are ways snorers can curb - or even eliminate - a lot of their nighttime "wood-sawing."
  7. Shocking link between snoring and dementia

    A lot of people think that if their eyes are closed for 8 hours, they're doing all they can to get good sleep. This isn't always true, especially for snorers.
  8. Researchers uncover secret to staying pneumonia-free this winter

    A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that zinc plays an important role in either preventing or limiting the damage done by pneumonia.
  9. Seniors still sizzling in the sack

    In what's dramatically being called the most comprehensive sex study ever among the older population, researchers were shocked to discover that senior citizens do more than their fare share of hanky panky.
  10. New vitamin D research proves what I've been saying for years

    A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology gives even more support to what I've been telling you for some time: that not getting enough vitamin D can be bad for your heart.

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