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Whole Grains Health

Our health is in our hands, let’s not ignore the studies. -opinion



It used to be said about the US Department of State, that they don’t let the facts get in the way of policy. So it is in the world of health and wellness.

Take a step back for a moment. Look carefully around you. If you live in a western country (some are better than others), you know people with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, different cancers, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

You probably also know people with some autoimmune disease, and the odds are that you know people whose quality of life has been adversely affected by illness or have succumbed to sickness at a seemingly early age.

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None of this really has to be. While it’s true that there is nothing bulletproof to keep anyone from getting sick, it is also true that we can lower the odds of illness and sickness greatly. But we choose to ignore the facts.

Let’s look back for a moment. We can start with Alzheimer’s disease. This barely existed before 1990 but now almost 6 million Americans have it. It is projected to be over 7 million by 2025. Type 2 diabetes was once rare and only occurred in those over 50. It was called mature onset diabetes then.

Now, we see it in children, adolescents and adults of all ages. The rate of increase per year over the last 20 years is just about 5% per year. Two-thirds of Americans are obese, and if you put the “just overweight” category in with that, it is around 80% of the population that are not at a normal weight.

The War on Cancer was waged 40+ years ago by President Richard Nixon, but more and more people are getting cancer and it is the leading cause of death in many countries.

While in some cases we have been able to extend some people’s lives, we are pretty much in the same place as we were 40 years ago in regard to a cure. Autoimmune conditions continue to grow at the rate of 3% to 9% per year.

So what has changed so much since the 1970s when all of these diseases were rare?
There’s yet another study that was released last month that confirms what so many other studies have shown. Let’s take a look.

A new study published in the Public Library of Science Journal examined the effect of dietary changes on longevity. What happens to people who change from a standard American diet to a healthy, plant strong diet, which has a focus on eating less meat, more fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts? The results of the study are shocking!
People who made changes by age 20 added 10-13 years to their lives.
People who made changes at age 60 still add 8-9 years to their lives!
People 80+ still added 3.5 years to their lives!

With added longevity and added health, the quality of life also goes up. The instance of disease drops substantially. And this is all with diet alone! Add in the other lifestyle factors like exercise, good sleep hygiene, not smoking, not drinking alcohol, no other substance abuse and stress management, and we can reduce the chance of all of these chronic and autoimmune diseases by more than 80%.

dr David Katz, MD the founder of The True Health Initiative and formerly of Yale University’s Griffin Center for Prevention puts it like this:
“If there was a new drug and the drug is stunningly effective, and shockingly free of side effects. It is astoundingly safe – safe enough for newborns and octogenarians alike. It is available in bountiful supply, and remarkably inexpensive.

In fact, you might be able to get it without spending any extra money at all – maybe even save money by taking it. And, here’s the punch line. If you take this pill – which everyone else in your family can take along with you – once daily for the rest of your life, it would reduce your risk of ever getting any major chronic disease – heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, dementia , etc. – by 80%.”

You would take the pill and you might even invest in the company. We know that no such pill exists, but we do know that if you practice the healthy precepts of lifestyle medicine, that is exactly what happens. I state this with great certainty. Aside from this particular new study, this has been proven many times over.

If one looks at the North Karelia Project, the Adventist Study and Adventist Study 2, the Framingham Study (now looking at its fourth generation of participants), or the study done in Potsdam, Germany, as part of the ongoing EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) study, one comes to the same conclusions.

dr Dean Ornish has not only shown in his randomized trials that you can prevent chronic conditions, but he has also shown the ability to reverse heart disease, reverse early-stage prostate cancer and is about to do the same with Alzheimer’s.

He has even proven, together with Nobel Prize-winning professor Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, that cellular aging can be slowed based on the condition of your telomeres at the end of your DNA strands.

So, the question comes down to this: if we have the prevention and we can even reverse many conditions fully or partially, and we can extend both the years of our life and add tremendous quality to that life, what is holding us back?

Maybe we are so ingrained in the current medical system that we can’t fathom that there are things more effective and cheaper than pharmaceuticals, surgeries, procedures and radiation. Maybe business interests are more important than attaining real health. But as Dr. Katz stated, the only side effects of these lifestyle changes are positive.

Currently, in the United States (and these statistics are similar but not quite as bad throughout the West), 63% of the standard diet consists of processed foods – what author Michael Pollin refers to as food-like eatable substances. Not only are they nutritionally deficient, which cause harm and are highly addictive, but 25% of the diet is also animal proteins like meat, chicken, fish, dairy, and eggs.

We know the connection between an abundance of animal proteins and diseases including cancers and heart disease. Some 6% are processed plant foods, mostly added oils. Only 6% of the standard American diet is made up of whole plant foods.

Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine.” Maimonides wrote in the 4th chapter of Deot in his Mishne Torah, “Because for the body to be healthy and wholesome is among the ways of God… therefore a person must distance himself from those things that cause his body damage.”

Lifestyle medicine has been around for a long time. Here in Israel and for the Jewish people throughout the world, we are entering a period of time that is associated with weight gain and illness, especially heart disease.

An instructor from Magen David Adom once told me that in Israel, from the week before the Passover holiday through the week of the holiday itself is the two-week period with the highest number of heart attacks in the calendar year.

We see the direct correlation between what we eat vis-à-vis our health and quality of life. Let’s make this year a little different.

Let’s not ignore the studies, the research and the facts for what they are. Our health is in our hands. When you eat a diet of mostly whole plant foods, keep the junky processed foods and added oils out of the diet and lower the intake of animal proteins to a minimum, it is quite clear what the results will be.

Add exercise, sleep and stress management and don’t abuse substances like cigarettes and alcohol! The end result will “add hours to your day, days to your year and years to your life.”

The writer is a health and wellness coach and personal trainer with 23 years of professional experience, a graduate of the eCornell University Certificate course on Plant-Based Nutrition for preventing and reversing illness. He is the director of The Wellness Clinic and can be reached at 02-651-8502, 050-555-7175, or [email protected] Website:

Whole Grains Health

Protein Variety and Heart Health Are Linked, Study Finds



We’ve all found ourselves in the habit of eating the same three things over and over (…and over) again. When life gets busy, falling back on simple dishes that satisfy your tastebuds is the natural thing to do. But if you’re cooking up the same couple proteins on the regular, a new study published in the the journal Hypertension suggests that it may be time to introduce a few new varieties into your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

The study pulled existing data from over 12,000 participants who took part in a minimum of two rounds of the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Researchers sought to explore the relationship between hypertension—or high blood pressure—and the variety and quantity of proteins from eight major dietary sources consumed by participants. (Study participants were an average age of 41 years old.)

Researchers measured protein intake by looking at three consecutive days of eating, scoring each round based on the number of protein varieties consumed (including legumes, fish, eggs, whole grains, refined grains, processed and unprocessed red meat, and poultry).

The results? “Among ‘just the right amount’ consumers of protein, those eating the greatest variety of protein had a the lowest blood pressure,” explains John Higgins, MD, a sports cardiologist with McGovern Medical School at the UT Health Science Center at Houston. Notably, those who ate the least and the most amount of protein were at the greatest risk for developing high blood pressure, while those who ate the greatest variety of protein were 66 percent less likely to end up developing hypertension between the rounds of the survey .

“The heart health message is that consuming a balanced diet with proteins from various different sources, rather than focusing on a single source of dietary protein, may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure.” — Xianhui Qin, MD, study author

Although the survey results sound complicated—and, hey, they were—the takeaway is simple: “The heart health message is that consuming a balanced diet with proteins from various different sources, rather than focusing on a single source of dietary protein, may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure,” Xianhui Qin, MD, the study author, said in a press release. In other words: Mix it up! Spin the protein wheel of fortune and try something new.

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If you’re not quite sure where to start with upping your protein game, Dr. Higgins recommends looking at your consumption on a daily basis. “The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than about 5.5 ounces of protein daily, about one to two servings, from healthy sources such as plants, seafood, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and some lean meats and poultry,” he says. “The best proteins are lean proteins including beans, soy or tofu, fish, skinless chicken, very lean meat, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid proteins that say ‘hydrogenated’ on label or contain high levels of trans fats or saturated fats. “

Of course, there’s always room in your eating plan for less nutritional proteins, too—just try to incorporate these lean sources when you can, and ask your doctor if you have questions about what dietary habits are right for your particular health status and family history .

A delicious way to eat more varied proteins? This delicious quiche recipe:

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Whole Grains Health

The 10 Best Diet Books in 2022



Staff, Courtesy of Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky

The word “diet” has earned itself an undeniably negative reputation, often leading people to think of unsustainable restriction and unhealthy fads. However, if you’re looking to adjust your way of eating, whether you want to feel better, lose weight, or hit a new personal record, there are tons of great diet books out there that can help educate you on ways to improve your nutrition and get you feeling better than ever.

While the diets of the past have focused on restriction, newer ways of eating encouragement consuming more good-for-you foods to crowd out less healthy choices, leaving you feeling satisfied, not deprived. These diet books are also super educational, teaching you why you should eat certain foods, what they can do for your health, and the best ways to make them delicious. To help you on your nutrition journey, we’ve gathered the best diet books and healthy cookbooks available today.

Best Diet Books

    How to Choose a Diet Book

    If you’re looking to switch up your diet, the first thing you should ask yourself is why. What exactly do you want out of a diet?

    Second, consider your lifestyle. Do you need meals that are quick and easy? Do you like to take an hour or two to cook for yourself every night? How often can you grocery shop for fresh ingredients?

    Finally, consider whether you’re looking specifically for a cookbook or one that will provide you education on a particular way of eating without necessarily giving you recipes. While many cookbooks will have some content that discusses the origins of food and their nutritional benefits, these books are unlikely to go as in-depth regarding nutrition as less recipe-focused ones.

    How We Selected

    To find the best diet books among the many options on the market, we researched the most popular books available and considered their content, credibility, design, digestibility, and organization. We then looked at both expert reviews and more than 105,000 customer ratings, written by people who’ve bought these books on Amazon, to settle on the diet books you’ll find below.

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    Best vegetarian

    How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    This is a great all-around cookbook, but it’s an especially great buy if you’re trying to lay off meat. This book contains everything from specific meal recipes to instructions for steaming veggies, truly teaching you how to cook from start to finish. There are recipes for every meal, as well as snacks and desserts, and it includes instructions for so many different dishes you could easily cook from only this book for an entire year and not get bored.


    Best for Longevity

    The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100

    This cookbook highlights recipes from specific areas across the globe—called blue zones—where people live the longest. While some of their longevity surely comes from other lifestyle factors, there’s no discounting the role diet plays in their long-lasting health and wellbeing. These recipes not only focus on ingredients, but the ways in which foods are prepared and how that relates to their overall nutritional value.

    The goal of the book is to increase longevity and quality of life while creating delicious recipes that you’ll want to eat time and time again.


    Best Mediterranean

    The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

    The Mediterranean diet is consistently ranked as one of the healthiest diets in the world. It’s full of lean proteins, healthy fats, and tons of vegetables, providing a well-rounded, nutritious way of eating.

    This cookbook not only has 500 great Mediterranean recipes, but it also helps you learn which ingredients you should make staples in your grocery list. It also uses only ingredients that you can easily find at standard grocery stores, which makes the Mediterranean diet more accessible.


    Best for Runners

    run fast eat slow

    You’ve probably heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen”—and to some degree, the same holds true for personal records. While nutritious food won’t necessarily knock 30 seconds off your mile time, it can help you fuel your workouts so you get the most out of your training.

    This book was designed by Olympian Shalane Flanagan and is packed with recipes designed to help runners fuel their toughest workouts and recover after. As a bonus, the recipes included in this book just so happen to be delicious, too.


    Best Vegan

    The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook

    When first going vegan, it can be difficult to figure out how to make food that is both delicious and nutritious. This book has 500 recipes ranging from meals to snacks to desserts that use entirely plant-based ingredients. These recipes also offer alternate ingredient options, like eggs and dairy, which is great if you want to add more plant-based recipes into your diet, but aren’t ready to dive headfirst into veganism.


    Best for a full reset

    The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    If you’ve been diet-hopping in hopes of finding a meal plan that can help you commit to a healthier lifestyle and enjoy some weight loss, Whole 30 is a great choice. It has you cut out sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and some other specific foods for 30 days. The idea behind the diet is that it helps jumpstart weight loss while simultaneously getting you to reassess how you think about what you are eating to reach a place of freedom with your food.


    Best for weight loss

    The Obesity Code – Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss

    If weight loss is your goal, and you have struggled to find lasting success, this book could be a game-changer. It dives into the science of weight loss, helping you understand hormones, insulin resistance, and other reasons for weight gain. The book recommends intermittent fasting and a low-carb diet, and guides you on how to do them correctly, efficiently, and in the long term.


    Best for Learning about Food

    How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

    A lot of eating plans focus on what you should eliminate from your diet, but this book places more importance on what you should be adding to your diet and why.

    It discusses foods that are scientifically proven to help you live a longer, healthier life, and the many ways in which food can help prevent disease. It focuses on whole body health—including both mental and physical health—and teaches you to focus on more than just weight and physical appearance when it comes to your food.


    Best for Anti-Dieters

    Not a Diet Book: Take Control. Gain Confidence. ChangeYourLife.

    The rise of anti-diet culture gave inspiration to this book, which helps you improve your relationship with food, tackle weight loss, and debunk fad diets to find a simple and easy way to lose weight and create habits that will keep the pounds from coming back. This book will help you build skills that enable you to live a happier, healthier life without focusing too closely on calories or numbers on a scale.


    Best for fasting

    Complete Guide to Fasting

    Fasting has gained popularity over the last decade and can be a great way to boost your metabolism, clear your mind, and promote weight loss. There are, however, rules you should follow while fasting so that you improve your health rather than endangering it. This book will guide you through intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting to ensure you choose the style that will work best for you and do it correctly.

    Before joining Runner’s World as an Editor in 2019, Gabrielle Hondorp spent 6 years in running retail (she has tested top gear from shoes, to watches, to rain jackets which has expanded her expertise—and her closets); she specializes in health and wellness, and is an expert on running gear from head-to-toe.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at

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Whole Grains Health

Eating different kinds of protein protects against hypertension: New study



Despite all this talk that more Australians are toying with vegetarianism, and despite the endless drum-beating about red meat giving you cancer and a dodgy heart, we continue to have one of the world’s highest levels of meat consumption.

Analysis published in December found Australians eat about 95 kilograms of meat per capita every year. The global average is 35 kilograms.

The article, ‘The Evolution of Urban Australian Meat-Eating Practices’, argues our meat-eating habits are driven by a blocky culture, an association with social status, a perception that plant-based diets are inadequate and lame, and ignorance about cooking legumes and tofu.

On the other hand, the authors point to a survey that found almost 20 per cent of those sampled “identified as meat-reducers”.

Furthermore, the authors say, 87 percent “of the meat reducer segment reported consuming a meat-free dish as their main meal at least once a week”.

They point to another survey that found almost 20 per cent described themselves as “flexitarian”, which is cool.

But it may not translate to more lentils, nuts, whole grains, fish and dairy hitting the dinner table as new favorite sources of protein.

A new study found why we need variety

Chinese researchers found that “eating protein from a greater variety of sources is associated with a lower risk of developing high blood pressure”.

Good to know because blood pressure is literally out of control in Australia.

One in three adults – more than six million Australians – has high blood pressure.

Of those afflicted, only 32 per cent have their hypertension under control. That leaves about four million Australians as ticking time bombs.

In December, in the Medical Journal of Australia, Professor Alta Schutte, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at UNSW Sydney, called for a national taskforce to tackle the issue.

By improving the control of hypertension, the risks of coronary heart disease, dementia and cerebrovascular disease will be substantially reduced.

The Chinese study suggests changing your diet will go some way to solving the problem.

the study

“Nutrition may be an easily accessible and effective measure to fight against hypertension. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is one of the three basic macronutrients,” said study author Dr Xianhui Qin, of the National Clinical Research Center for Kidney Disease at Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China.

The study authors analyzed health information for nearly 12,200 adults (average age 41), who had taken part in multiple rounds of the China Health and Nutrition Survey from 1997 to 2015.

Over three days in the same week, participants shared what they had eaten.

They were given a protein “variety score” based on the different sources of protein they’d eaten: whole grains, refined grains, processed red meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, fish, egg and legumes.

One point was given for each source of protein, with a maximum variety score of 8. The researchers then evaluated the association for new onset hypertension in relation to the protein variety score.

New-onset hypertension was defined as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg/90 mm Hg, the use of blood pressure-lowering medicine, or self-reporting that a physician had diagnosed high blood pressure.

The average follow-up time was six years.

The results

More than 35 per cent of the participants developed new-onset high hypertension during the follow-up.

Compared to participants with the lowest variety score for protein intake (1), those with the highest variety score (4 or higher) had a 66 per cent lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

The amount of protein eaten was also a factor. Consumption was divided into five categories, from least to most intake.

The researchers found that “people who ate the least amount of total protein and those who ate most protein had the highest risk for new onset of hypertension”.

The researchers didn’t ask why a variety of proteins was more healthy. But nutritionists, doctors and health writers have banged on about it for years.

Lean red meat is high in quality protein but provides no fiber or healthy fats. Processed meats are high in saturated fats and salt and are the worst.

Fish is high in long-chain fatty acids, which are good for the brain. Lentils and whole grains are high in fibre.

Hand on heart, a bit of each during the week might stop you from carking it in the street. Which is just undignified and unmanly.

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