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Our February 2015 Newsletter for Healthy Living
A Healthy Heart Needs Healthy Fats
nother nail has been driven into the
coffin of the low-fat diet. Three
articles have recently appeared in
prominent medical journals elucidating
the fallacy of the saturated fat myth. For
nearly four decades, Americans have
been urged to replace dietary saturated
fats with carbohydrates and omega-6
polyunsaturated fats in order to improve
their metabolic profile and lower cardiovascular risk. Yet scientific evidence
clearly shows that this advice has
raised your heart attack risk, as well as
your chance of developing a number of
other life-threatening chronic diseases.
Studies have consistently failed
to support any significant association
between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular risk. In fact, saturated fat has
been found to be cardioprotective if you
are consuming the right kind. A recent
scientific review published in the British
Medical Journal about what is known to
date about saturated fat intake and heart
disease explained how recent
studies have not supported
any significant association
between saturated fat and
cardiovascular risk. The authors report
that two-thirds of people admitted to
hospitals with acute myocardial infarction have completely normal cholesterol
levels. The report also mentions a recently published randomly controlled
trial that was stopped early after it
showed that, in high risk people, the
Mediterranean diet achieved a 30 percent improvement over a low-fat diet in
terms of cardiovascular events. The au-
thors conclude: "The greatest improvements in morbidity and mortality have
been due not to personal responsibility
but rather to public health. It is time to
bust the myth of the role of saturated fat
in heart disease and wind back the
harms of dietary advice that have contributed to obesity."
These findings were further
crystallized by an international research
LDL; impaired glucose tolerance, higher
body fat, weight gain, obesity, and diabetes; increased small, high-density
LDL particles. One of the primary problems with all oils derived from vegetable
seeds is that they are major sources of
omega-6 fats. Omega-6 fats are proinflammatory and contribute to insulinand leptin-resistance, altering mood and
impairing learning and cell repair.
“It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat
in heart disease…”
team headed by University of Cambridge, which analyzed data from 72
separate studies about heart risk and
fatty acid intake. This massive metaanalysis included data from 600,000
participants in 18 different countries.
The team concluded that saturated fat is
NOT linked to coronary disease risk.
They pointedly state that the science
does not support the common nutritional
guidelines for heart health—that a diet
rich in polyunsaturated fats but low in
saturated fats will reduce your risk for
heart disease.
Another recent paper published
in the journal Open Heart reviewed the
cardiometabolic consequences of replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates and
omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. The potential harms of replacing saturated fat
with carbohydrates were summarized as
the following: a shift to overall atherogenic lipid profile (lower HDL, increased triglycerides and increased
ApoB/ApoA-1 ratio); increased oxidized
The science is loud and clear:
the correct balance of omega-3 to
omega-6 fats is essential if you want to
be the healthiest you can be. Omega-3
fats are the ones that are present in fish
and krill oil and some seeds like flax,
chia, and hemp. These are the essential
fats that have EPA, DHA, and ALA fats
that are present in your brain and cell
membranes. Omega-6s are oils that are
high in other plants like corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils. All of these
oils are required to be healthy, but
largely due to overconsumption of processed foods high in industrialized oils,
we are consuming far too many omega-6
fats compared to omega-3 fats. The ideal
ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats likely
ranges from 1:1 to 1:5, but the typical
Western diet is between 1:20 and 1:50.
The benefits of omega-3 fats
are truly far-reaching. The omega-3 fat
page on lists a series
What’s Inside This Issue
 Fast Food and Child IQ
 Time for Chocolate
 Organic Produce CSA Farm Shares
 February Monthly Coupon
All articles in this newsletter are for the purpose of nutritional information only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice.
continued on page 2
Fast Foods and Child IQ
utrients from quality foods are
critical in helping your child reach
his or her fullest potential. Unfortunately, many kids are not getting the
nutrients they need, especially in the US
where nearly 40 percent of children's
diets come from added sugars and unhealthy fats. Only 21 percent of youth
aged 6-19 eat the recommended five or
ety of allergies, inflammatory conditions
and autoimmune diseases. In fact, most
of the leading diseases plaguing the US
are diet-related. Even the conservative
National Institutes of Health (NIH) admits that four of the six leading causes
of death in the US are linked to unhealthy diets. Whether or not your child
is putting on excess weight, it’s impor-
“...frequent fast food consumption may stunt your
child’s academic performance.”
more servings of fruits and vegetables
each day. This is a recipe for chronic
poor health, and is a primary reason why
many of today's kids are arguably heavier and more disease-ridden than previous generations.
As of 2011, over 17 percent of
American children between the ages of
two and 19 were obese, and nearly six
percent of youths met criteria for class 2
obesity, classified as having a BMI
greater than 120 percent of the 95th percentile (or a BMI of 35). More than two
percent of children fell in the class
3 obesity category, indicating they had a
BMI of 40 or greater. Such extreme obesity during youth can really set you up
for a lifetime of very serious health
problems. Diseases that once appeared
only in middle-age and beyond, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure,
and even liver disease are now prevalent
among our youth.
A junk-food diet can also set
the stage for asthma, eczema, and a vari-
tant to consider what a steady diet of
processed food might do to his or her
health—and IQ...
One British study revealed that
kids who ate a predominantly processed
food diet at age three had lower IQ
scores at age 8.5. For each measured
increase in processed foods, participants
had a 1.67-point decrease in IQ. More
recently, research published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics warns that frequent fast food consumption may stunt
your child’s academic performance. A
total of 11,740 students were included in
the study. All were tested in math, reading, and science while in fifth and eighth
grade. As fifth-graders, they also completed a food survey. More than half
reported eating fast food between one
and three times per week; 10 percent ate
it four to six times a week, and another
10 percent reported eating fast food
daily. As reported by PBS News:
“Children who reported eating fastfood
four times a week or more in the fifth
grade showed lower test score gains in
the eighth grade in all three subject areas by up to 20 percent. Children who
reported eating fast food just one to
three times a week still lagged behind
their non-fast food eating peers in one
While the study cannot prove
causation, the results remained the same
even when the researchers controlled for
confounding factors such as the school
quality, socioeconomic status, exercise
frequency, and amount of television
viewing. Parents would certainly be well
advised to pay heed, as you do not need
to be a rocket scientist to realize that
poor nutrition will ultimately have an
adverse effect on performance—both
physical and mental. Nutritional deficiencies early on in life can
also lead to deficits in brain
function that puts a child at
risk of behavioral problems -from hyperactivity to aggression -- that can last into the
teenage years and beyond.
According to the lead author: “There’s a
lot of evidence that fast food consumption is linked to childhood obesity, but
the problems don’t end there. Relying
too much on fast food could hurt how
well children do in the classroom...
We’re not saying that parents should
never feed their children fast food, but
these results suggest fast food consumption should be limited as much as possible.”
Reference: Prevention Institute. JAMA Pediatrics 7 April 2014.
Clinical Pediatrics 5 Dec. 2014. PBS Dec. 22, 2014.
Healthy Heart, continued from page 1
of scientific studies supporting the benefits of omega-3 fats for hundreds of diseases, including drug-resistant cancer,
bipolar disorder, autism, cystic fibrosis,
hypertension, and atrial fibrillation—and
those are just the tip of the iceberg.
Omega-3 fats have powerful antiinflammatory effects, proving extremely
beneficial for inflammation-based disorders such as arthritis and bronchial
asthma. Chronic inflammation is a major
driver of many of the diseases prevalent
today, and omega-3 deficiency is a significant factor. Omega-3 deficiencies
are associated with the following (which
is far from an all-inclusive list): inflammatory conditions: arthritis, stiff or painful joints, asthma, etc; cognitive and
emotional problems: depression, psycho-
sis, learning disabilities, memory loss,
poor concentration, etc.; metabolic dysfunction: weight gain, obesity, diabetes,
food cravings; skin problems: allergies,
acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives; dry,
bumpy or flaky skin; heart or kidney
problems, high blood pressure, or immune dysregulation.
The best way to improve your
omega-3 to omega-6 ratio and improve
your heart health is to eat the following
types of high-quality foods: unprocessed
organic oils such as extra virgin olive
oil, coconut oil, avocados and avocado
oil, and organic butter from grasspastured cows; raw nuts and seeds, such
as fresh organic flax seeds, chia seeds,
sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin
seeds, almonds, and English walnuts,
which are also high in omega-3s
(ALA); spirulina, an excellent source of
GLA (gamma linolenic acid, a beneficial
omega-6); meat from animals that are
free-ranging and/or grass-fed, which are
higher in beneficial omega-6s, such as
natural CLA; the omega-3 fat supplement is krill oil; egg yolks from pastured
hens; and coconut oil. While not an
omega-3 or omega-6 fat, coconut oil is
an extremely beneficial dietary fat with
an "embarrassment of riches" for your
heart, metabolism, immune system, skin
and thyroid. Coconut oil's health benefits
derive from its special medium-chain
fatty acids.
Reference: British Medical Journal October 2013; Medical News
Today March 18, 2014; Open Heart March 5, 2014. June 7, 2012.
The Season for Chocolate
nacking on chocolate may be one
delectable way to boost your
health, provided you choose
the right type of chocolate. Certain types
of chocolate, as well as cocoa powder
and cacao, rank right up there among the
bioactivities of the flavanols in cocoa,
particularly at the low doses employed
for the present study.”
Research presented at the 247th
National Meeting & Exposition of the
American Chemical Society (ACS) re-
“The regular consumption of chocolate is associated with
leanness in adults and lower body fat in teens.”
most anti-inflammatory and antioxidantrich foods known to mankind.
It’s the antioxidant flavanols
that are responsible for much of the
health benefits, and recent research set
out to determine which flavanols, in
particular, may prevent certain health
conditions, including type 2 diabetes and
obesity. Consuming high levels of flavanols found in foods like chocolate is
linked to reduced insulin resistance and
improved glucose regulation, which suggests it may be protective against type 2
diabetes. Past research has
also found that the regular
consumption of chocolate
is associated with leanness
in adults and lower levels of body fat in
teens. Chocolate varies greatly in the
different types of flavanols it contains,
so researchers wanted to find out
whether different cocoa flavanols were
more beneficial than others.
For instance, both fermentation
and processing of cocoa beans influences the final outcome of flavanols in
the cocoa (cocoa refers to the powder
made from roasted, husked, and ground
cacao, or cocoa, seeds, from which most
of the fat has been removed). The researchers supplemented a high-fat diet
for mice with monomeric, oligomeric, or
polymeric procyanidins (PCs), which are
different types of flavanols. It turned out
that oligomeric PCs were the most effective at both maintaining weight and improving glucose tolerance in the mice.
Even more intriguing, the doses
of flavanols used in the study were significantly lower than those used in past
research, which suggests it may be more
feasible to obtain health benefits from
eating chocolate than was previously
thought. The researchers noted: “The
oligomer-rich fraction proved to be most
effective in preventing weight gain, fat
mass, impaired glucose tolerance, and
insulin resistance in this model… Oligomeric PCs appear to possess the
greatest antiobesity and antidiabetic
vealed a unique connection between the
microbes in your gut and the health
benefits of chocolate. While cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants including catechin and epicatechin, along with a small
amount of fiber, it was thought that these
molecules were poorly digested and absorbed due to their large size. The new
study found, however, that your gut bacteria break down and ferment the components in dark chocolate, turning them
into anti-inflammatory compounds that
benefit your health. In particular, beneficial microbes including Bifidobacterium
and lactic acid bacteria “feasted” on
chocolate, according to the researchers.
The study, which involved
three cocoa powders tested in a model
digestive tract, may help explain why
chocolate has been found to be so good
for your heart, as the anti-inflammatory
compounds may reduce inflammation of
cardiovascular tissue. The study’s lead
author explained: “In our study we
found that the fiber is fermented and the
large polyphenolic polymers are metabolized to smaller molecules, which
are more easily absorbed. These smaller
polymers exhibit anti-inflammatory activity… When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue,
reducing the long-term risk of stroke.”
The researchers suggested that
consuming cocoa along with prebiotics
may be one way to encourage the conversion of polyphenols into highly absorbable anti-inflammatory compounds
in your stomach. Prebiotics are carbohydrates found in whole foods that you
can’t digest… but which beneficial bacteria can, acting as “food” for them. Unprocessed whole foods, such as onions
and garlic, are among the best prebiotics,
so if you’re eating right, you should be
getting plenty of prebiotics. It would
seem that taking steps to encourage
healthful gut bacteria, in general, would
also ensure that you have enough beneficial bacteria available to help break
down and ferment the healthy substances in cocoa. This includes avoiding
sugar and grains, as well as eating naturally fermented foods and/or taking a
high-quality probiotic supplement. One
of the major results of eating a healthy
diet is that you cause your beneficial gut
bacteria to flourish, and they secondarily
perform the real "magic" of restoring
your health.
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Interestingly, the researchers
also suggested consuming dark chocolate with antioxidant-rich solid fruits,
such as pomegranate or acai, as another
way to boost its health potential. The
closer your cocoa is to its natural raw
state, the higher its nutritional value. The
closer your cocoa is to its natural raw
state, the higher its nutritional value.
Ideally, your chocolate or cocoa should
be consumed raw (cacao). When selecting chocolate, you can optimize its nutritional punch by looking for higher cacao
and lower sugar content. In general, the
darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao. However, cacao is fairly bitter, so
the higher the percentage cacao, the
more bitter it is. To counteract the bitterness, most chocolate is sweetened, so it's
a matter of balancing nutritional benefit
with palatability Choose chocolate with
a cocoa/cacao percentage of about 70 or
higher. If you can tolerate the flavor of
raw cacao, however, then that's the absolute best option. Dark chocolate – as
high in cacao and as bitter as you can
stand -- is your best option.
Reference: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry March 12,
2014. Medical News Today April 3, 2014. Journal of Nutrition
February 1, 2014. Archives of Internal Medicine 2012 March 26:
172(6):519-21. Nutrition 2014 Feb; 30(2):236-9.
2103 West Stadium - Boulevard Plaza
Ann Arbor - 734-996-8111 -
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