Heart surgeon speaks out on what really cause heart disease

marshallz10(z9-10 CA)August 19, 2012

Dr. Dwight Lundell has written a valuable article on the damages to our cardiovascular system from consuming highly processed manufactured foods. The core of the message is as follows:

[[[snip]]]

"Let's get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6's are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell -- they must be in the correct balance with omega-3's.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.

Today's mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That's a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today's food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer's disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them."

[[[snip]]]

Here is a link that might be useful: Heart surgeon speaks out on what really cause heart disease

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art_1(10 CA)

Dr. Oz from TV is also a heart surgeon and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease book, Forks over Knives movie) was a surgeon.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 2:40PM
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fouquieria(10b)

I went to the beach yesterday for my annual sunburn. I was shocked at the number of overweight people. There was this one young couple who were grossly overweight and they had a little two year old baby boy who was normal weight. I wonder what the poor kid will look like in five more years. I wonder if the parents will live long enough to see him graduate.

-Ron-

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 2:55PM
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althea_gw

It's good to hear apparently mainstream medicine discussing problems of chronic inflammation caused by diet. One would think these days that a surgeon would recommend stents and other high ticket procedures. Dr. Weil has a bunch of good info and tips on his website about following an anti-inflammatory diet, for the same reasons Dr. Lundell has pointed out.

Here is a link that might be useful: dr. weil

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:11PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Thanks, althea, for the link to Dr. Weil's webpage. Lots of good information although I am not a bit fan of loading the body with supplements, "just in case".

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:24PM
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don_socal

Found a pressure cooker at the local World Market a few months ago, the lid was stuck and it was their last one so they gave it to me for $10.00. Used it today to fix some veggies, also been eating a lot of salads lately as they go well in this heat. Changing to more of a vegetarian as I did some years back again now because of the Gall stones. Get the darn thing out Tuesday, yay. This hit a nerve with me in a selfish sort of way because once this is done they will move on to scheduling the ablation for atrial fibrillation. I will be so glad to get off some or all of these heart medicines. Guess I am another victim of taste for greasy foods over healthy. Thanks Marshall.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:38PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Don, good on you for changing diets and other behaviors.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 4:16PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Don the pressure cooker is also a great way to prepare all sorts of beans (presoaked, of course) and lentils and split peas (no soaking necessary). There's an advantage over canned beans in that you have eliminated exposure to BPA, plus spend much less time cooking on the stove.

My latest infatuation - 'brown' garbanzos (ceci); smaller and darker.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 4:56PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Speaking of our heat and salads and food preparation, Saturday's LAT has recipes for zucchini among which is this one - no cooking required. The zucchini were firm yet much softer than untreated raw.

Bulgur salad with arugula, zucchini and pine nuts

The arugula can be left out if it interferes with your blood thinner.

I'm preparing a lot of zucchini since DH is also on a blood thinner; recommended for not interfering.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:02PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

One of my farm market customers sent me a link to Dr. Mercola's interview with and summary of the work of Dr. Richard Johnson, a leading expert on sugar metabolics and health. The article discusses a lot more than obesity:

"According to Dr. Johnson, based on his decades of research:

"Those of us who are obese eat more because of a faulty "switch" and exercise less because of a low energy state. If you can learn how to control the specific "switch" located in the powerhouse of each of your cells � the mitochondria � you hold the key to fighting obesity."
There are five basic truths that Dr. Johnson explains in detail in his new book that overturn current concepts:
1.Large portions of food and too little exercise are NOT solely responsible for why you are gaining weight
2.Metabolic Syndrome is A NORMAL CONDITION that animals undergo to store fat
3.Uric acid is increased by specific foods and CAUSALLY CONTRIBUTES to obesity and insulin resistance
4.Fructose-containing sugars cause obesity not by calories but by turning on the fat switch
5.Effective treatment of obesity requires turning off your fat switch and improving the function of your cells� mitochondria

Here is a link that might be useful: How Fructose Turns ON Your

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:06PM
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jmc01

Not that Lundell is or isn't right, but, as a heart failure patient, I find this interesting....

A retired Gilbert surgeon who had been disciplined and warned for poor patient care and incomplete records in the past decade has been stripped of his license after the Arizona Medical Board determined missteps led to the deaths of at least six patients.

The 12-member oversight board took away Dr. Dwight C. Lundell's license last week after a five-year review of his prior disciplinary history and an inquiry into allegations of poor patient care and record-keeping.

Lundell had worked as a cardiothoracic surgeon in the Valley for about 25 years, performing more than 5,000 heart surgeries. State records show he was scrutinized in the last decade because of a series of patient or family complaints.

Lundell has the right to repeal the revocation, but told The Gilbert Republic Wednesday that he will not fight it.

The board "apparently didn't get the memo," he said. "I retired four years ago."

He said he feels the board is "corrupt" and has unfairly targeted him throughout the time it has monitored his performance - all because he "irritated the staff" when he was first investigated in the late 1990s.

Since 2000, Lundell has been cited and placed on probation twice, reprimanded once and most recently issued a warning letter after board investigations found poor record-keeping, and in some situations, substandard patient care.

The board's interest in conducting its review was further peaked in October 2005 when it learned Banner Health had suspended Lundell's privileges.

Lundell challenged through testimony and interviews many of the failures cited by the board.

For the review, the board took into account prior disciplinary actions but focused primarily on the following cases that occurred since 2000. It has withheld patient names due to health privacy laws:

�� A 59-year-old woman died in late 2000 after Lundell, then working at Desert Samaritan Medical Center, performed heart surgery that September. The board said he waited too long to do a bypass on her, didn't adequately cool a part of the heart for surgery, and didn't promptly file a complete post-operation report.

�� An 83-year-old woman with heart disease and hypertension was admitted to Banner on March 16, 2000, for chest pains. Lundell operated. She later died. A surgeon consulted for the board's review said a vein graft had leaked. The board said it couldn't find a full report by Lundell on the post-operation, except for a handwritten note.

Lundell argued the hospital was in charge of filing those through doctor dictations, and had asked for him to dictate his notes again to complete the report.

�� A 61-year-old woman suffering from the lung disease tuberculosis and a history of smoking came to Desert Samaritan Medical Center in May 1999 with pneumothorax - a buildup of air around the lung that limits its expansion, caused by a respiratory leak.

Lundell operated to staple off the part of the lung leaking air. She died less than three hours later.

The board said he failed to order blood for transfusions that matched the patient's blood type, should have ended or delayed the surgery because of extensive bleeding, and failed to properly monitor her after the operation.

�� While working at Valley Lutheran Hospital in Mesa on Oct. 24, 2001, Lundell performed coronary artery bypass surgery on a 62-year-old woman who was an insulin-dependent diabetic, obese and suffering hypertension. Her insulin spiked after the operation. Lundell ordered an insulin drip.

Days later after her discharge, the woman's chest incision became infected. On Nov. 15, she was seen at Select Specialty Hospital. She remained there until Nov. 28, when Lundell examined her at his office and then referred her to St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center. She had to undergo a second surgery to heal the wound.

The board alleged that by failing to start an insulin infusion at the start of the October operation, Lundell raised the patient's risk of infection. The board also said he failed to properly monitor her after the infection was found.

Lundell said the board was shortsighted, primarily focusing on old cases and complaints. He said the board ignored other factors that affect surgical success - such as the large number he has performed, his low mortality rate, and the risks and challenges involved with his specialization.

Cardio thoracic - heart and lung - surgery is an intricate, high-risk operation. Many patients who require it are older and have aggravating health conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes or weakened immune systems that can complicate surgical procedures and interfere with their results.

"There were complications" in some of the cases, Lundell noted.

He added, though: "Every doctor and every surgeon who takes a patient's life in his hands has cases that go bad and cases that he wished had gone differently."

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/gilbert/articles/2008/10/16/20081016gr-baddoctor1017.html#ixzz241tNMNjC

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:23PM
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patty_cakes

Cruciferous vegetables are the best thing you can do for your heart AND body. Broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower are the best, but any veggie is better than no veggie, even one serving a day.

Mom wasn't wrong OR lying when she said "eat your vegetables, they're good for you!" ;o)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:56PM
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pnbrown

"To build muscle, eat more protein"

Better make it plant-based protein if you don't want to trade heart disease for diet-related cancers.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:58PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

The article was published in 2006, Dr. Johnson had already retired by his account before the Board issued its ruling. We also don't know why Banner Health withdrew his hospital privileges. I'll withhold judgment.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 6:03PM
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david52 Zone 6

I will be so glad to get off some or all of these heart medicines

Don, For 18 months now, I've been taking Amiodarone for Afib - Sweet Jesus, now those are side effects. At least they give me Pradaxa and not the rat poison.

Good luck with the ablation.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 6:24PM
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don_socal

Thanks Nancy for the suggestions, On the Warfarin so vitamin K is a no no. Have to figure out what good veggie source proteins there are. Was on the Amiodarone when fist diagnosed Jan to April then it quit working for me. Got dizzy and was pumping 160 over 130 at 160 beats. Spent another five days in hospital till they got Digoxin to work. Then they scheduled an ablation for last October but were to booked up (must be popular hence commercials) then January but the thyroid messed that up. Hope this last hurdle lets the appointment be made for certain. My analogy is stop throwing stop leak in and fix the problem. I am with ya David.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 7:50PM
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lily316(z5PA)

We just planted a bunch of arugula today along with spinach.It takes a person awhile to adjust to a different style of eating, but when your brain figures this is what your body needs, it becomes second nature.

I am very close to becoming a full fledged vegetarian.It's been over 30 years since I've had any meat, but I still eat 1/2 pound of salmon and two pieces of chicken a week. I did have crab on my pasta last night, but 99% of my diet is veggies of ALL kinds and fruits, nuts and grains. Husband bought some icecream tonight, and I just put a small scoop in a dish. I ended up giving it to the cat and dog because it was cloyingly sweet. I would rather pop one of my garden tomatoes in my mouth.

I empathize with all of you on meds. They can wreck havoc with your body with side affects. I take eight supplements a day to try and cover every aspect of nutrition. .

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:24AM
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labrea_gw

Oh my Amiodarone can be so nasty. It's not a great amount but cauliflower has protein & can be eaten with blood thinners. I was always perplexed by the foods that EDD was given when he was on blood thinners.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr Gourmet

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:59AM
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pnbrown

Shouldn't need supplements if you are mineralizing your garden.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:40AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Don, here's one guide regarding vitamin K. There are others that a simple search will find.

Vitamin K Content of Common Foods

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:21PM
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lily316(z5PA)

"Mineralizing your garden"? I don't know what that means. Could you explain?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 3:17PM
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labrea_gw

I was given so many lists at the hospital either too much potassium too much vitamin K too much sodium. Without guidance it could make you crazy trying to prepare meals. I was shocked to see EDD getting asparagus which is high K while they struggled with blood thinning levels. The Nutritionist said it all had to be balanced he couldn't just live on peanut butter.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 3:37PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

labrea, I was advised that the key was consistency. It's OK to introduce the high vitamin K foods (in restrained quantities) just as long as the amount is fairly constant from week to week. (This said when blood tests were being drawn weekly and then semi-monthly.) EDD's condition may require more close monitoring since you're mentioning potassium, etc.

I was shocked to see EDD getting asparagus which is high K while they struggled with blood thinning levels.

Now all the asparagus are for ME! No sharing required.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 3:50PM
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maddie_athome

I could live on peanut butter. Love the stuff!

Don--glad you're feeling somewhat better. Keep going Buddy!

As for a proteine source, I am suggesting Amaranth.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 4:24PM
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don_socal

Since I increased the salads over the last two months the blood work has shown lower levels of the blood thinner and they raised my prescription amount. Had to use Lovenox instead for the last five days to prepare for tomorrow. Not a big fan of the shots in the belly. Get a glimpse of what diabetics that require insulin shots have to deal with.

Thanks Nancy, the list I have been referring to for Vitamin K is linked below. I like how it gives the amount when cooked and Broccoli is one that seems to be less than half if eaten raw. Interesting how things work. My Coumadin guy said the same thing that it is a mater of maintaining a constant level of what you eat.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 4:27PM
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don_socal

Maddie, thanks for the heads up on Amaranth. I have been eating Quinoa and like it. It is mentioned on the wiki page for Amaranth and they both seem to have been staples for the Incas and other central/south American natives besides some Indonesian and other eastern uses. Maybe it will help me get smarter and I can make predicting calendars.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 4:57PM
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maddie_athome

LOL Don! Wait. Even wiser??

Hemp and Amaranth. The BIG 2.

As for proteine quality, if I recall this right (I would need to look it up), on a scale where Amaranth is at *100, wheat is at *60 (-ish).

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 5:10PM
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david52 Zone 6

At the link is an article about quinoi - the farm gate price in Bolivia is now 3X what it was 5 years ago, but so much is being exported that the local consumption is down 34% - they can't afford it anymore.

Just last week, we cooked about 4 lbs of seed, dried it, and mixed it with assorted other dried foods as a back packing staple.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 6:10PM
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demifloyd(8)

As an aside, I was recently introduced to kamut--the back story is rather interesting. It is an ancient grain with thirty percent more protein than wheatberry, but cannot be considered as gluten free, although some celiac patients can tolerate it.

I have ordered kamut and will cook it with quinoa and millet for a breakfast dish. I've also enjoyed it in salads.

Those of you not familiar with it may want to try it.

http://survivalacres.com/information/kamut.htm

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 6:33PM
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labrea_gw

Yes Nancy that's what the Cardiologist finally came up with. Since the transplant we only have to watch potassium as 1 anti rejection drug Prograf raises potassium levels.
Common red lentils can be used so many ways i like em cooked & put in the food processor with walnuts!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 7:04PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

I've grown Kamut at the farm. The wheat seems to be genetically the same as Polish and Astrakhan wheat, Triticum polonicum, closer to a durum or pasta wheat than a bread wheat.

Beautiful tall plant with a large, nodding grain head. Best planted as a "winter" grain in warmer latitudes.

Sorghums tend to have higher levels of protein compared with wheats.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:30AM
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demifloyd(8)

Thanks, Marshall! I actually wondered if you had grown it, now I know!

It doesn't have as much fiber as some other grains, though, but I sure liked it--the size and the texture. I'll have to look up photos of the plant.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:48AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

The wheat seems to be genetically the same as Polish and Astrakhan wheat, Triticum polonicum

I've been cooking with triticum dicoccum - paying homage to my paternal roots - and like it's versatility. With a fresh sauce prepared with costoluto genovese, quite satisfying.

I read a blurb today on the difference between farro and spelt. I had thought that they were two words for the same thing.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 1:00AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Nope, but do share, cheri.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 1:43AM
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pnbrown

Lily, it means making sure that not just the macro nutrients but also the micro nutrients are very ample in the garden soil so that the plants build maximum levels of proteins, enzymes, vitamins, etc.

At a garden scale (with already fertile soil) it's a simple as buying and spreading a bag of Azomite (disclaimer: I have no connection to that outfit, I simply believe it to be excellent stuff for the purpose).

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:13AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

How about a little discussion of the taste of steak, porterhouse for me. I may not live to get to the nursing home but that is fine with me...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:29AM
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houseful

I love red meat too. I eat it about twice a week.
But most of my protein comes from eggs, peanut butter and almonds, lots and lots of almonds!!

Why is nobody mentioning exercise?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 8:24AM
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markjames

My grandparents on both sides of our my family lived into at least their mid to late 90s with two making it to over 100.

Besides great genetics, they were extremely active, loved life, had a great will to live and handled stress very well.

In the early years of their lives, they worked with, or around asbestos, mill chemicals, tannery chemicals and of course lived in housing with lead paint, asbestos, lead piping/solder, open sewage, shallow dug wells etc.

Three of them ate mostly beef, chicken, fish, cheese, gravy, white potatoes, bread, cornbread, pasta and ate very few vegetables other than vegetables in sauces and stews.

Most of the fruit they ate consisted of fruit in pies, shortcakes and jams/jellies/preserves - elderberies, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, apples etc.

All were big Finger Lakes wine drinkers as well.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:27AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

The exceptions break the rule, eh?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:43AM
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woodnymph2_gw

The cardiologist who is a good friend told me basically the same thing. He is thin, fit, active, yet eats eggs every morning for breakfast, and some meats occasionally. He drinks wine moderately. He told me long ago that sugar is really toxic to humans in the amount that we Americans consume it. His family of 5 are as fit and healthy as he is.

I think exercise is a key factor: looking at my own grandparents, 3 of whom lived long lives: all 4 endured hard farm work, had home gardens, ate mainly fresh vegetables, the occasional chicken. I've got their old b & w photos and they are slender, standing erect, with good posture, in their plain clothes. My grandmother gave birth to 10 kids and raised 11. These were folks who sewed their own clothes, had working farms, and toiled from dawn to dusk. No Alzheimers, either -- clear minds right on into their eighties.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:55AM
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wildchild(z9CA)

My family history is similar to Markjames. Meat and potatoes and lots of bread. Everything fried in animal fat---bacon.

Only add a stick of butter to almost everything they ate.

I eat everything. Moderation is the key. I am much healthier than my orthorexic friends. There are no wonder foods and their are no inherently bad foods unless you have a specific medical condition or allergy.

Sugar doesn't cause diabetes. A sodium free diet won't prevent high blood pressure. Those things may need to be regulated if you have an actual condition but for healthy normal people you simply can't avoid disease simply by avoiding something or eating a "magic" veggie or grain. I have to lol at the latest coconut oil kick. For years people complained about coconut oil in processed food. Now it's a wonder oil. What ever the flavor of the week is I guess.

Activity, genetics and general outlook play a role. Extreme diets of so called health food can be as detrimental as extreme diets of junk food.

Doctors who practice good medicine don't write books on diet. They are doctors, not dieticians. Sounds like another Dr. Oz character. Woo woo and it's off to fame I go. Just follow the yellow brick road. LOL

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:59AM
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markjames

No, exceptions don't break the rule and correlation doesn't equal causation.

Many of the health, fitness and nutrition studies I read are huge steaming piles of correlation.

That said, regular exercise, happiness, laughter, low stress lifestyles, and the will to live go a long way.

If you're screwed genetically as many people are, it's much more important to take better than average care our yourself.

Than again, many people value quality, over quantity. I've seen many people wasting away in nursing homes being neglected and abused by the low wage uncaring staff. Many live long lives...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:59AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

So now we know why obesity is pandemic. Food fads and MD practicing dietetics.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:16AM
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markjames

My wife and 3 other relatives are physicians, but I wouldn't get nutritional advice from them or their colleagues.

If I were looking for such data, I'd read numerous well controlled, cause/effect, peer reviewed, human nutritional studies and methodology.

I conduct much of my own experimentation as high quality, well controlled, peer reviewed, non biased studies don't exist, or data sets are small, short-term etc.

Speaking of Doctor Oz, The Oz Effect is incredible. After the Raspberry Keytones episode aired, my niece - a drug store manager and part time vitamin/supplement store employee said these supplements were flying off the shelf.

Many people hate exercise, so any health-in-a-bottle type solutions are hot sellers.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:50AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

I'm 75 and get more exercise in a day in my market farm than most people do in a week's exercise regimen. I could, of course, use more cardiovascular workout. I refuse to take many of these recommended supplements and rely on my diet to supply what is needed. Cal.Mag. citrate for tendency of leg cramping, fermented cod liver oil capsules, and aspirin along with some prescribed meds seem to keep me going.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:57AM
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pnbrown

"as high quality, well controlled, peer reviewed, non biased studies don't exist"

Not true. Believe what you want, and keep pounding the animal protein, but I hope others here won't believe nonsense like that.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 11:19AM
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lily316(z5PA)

I actually hate even the smell of red meat cooking but I grew up on good German cooking. I told husband yesterday if I didn't have the skinny gene, I would have been obese as a teen eating my mothers magnificent dinners every day. They were so large they would qualify as a holiday meal these days. Always a roast of some kind, potatoes, always veggies and always a home baked dessert,pie, cake, pudding, home made stickies. I did walk a lot back and forth to school and never weighted more than 114 in my life.

Now with my 30 year meat abstinence, no processed food, very very rarely a dessert, no soda, no sugar,and 5 and 1/2 miles of speed walking every day of the week, I actually have more endurance than the young people at the gym. While I'm at 4.4 miles an hour, I see most of them are walking at 3 or below. I was going 2 full miles an hour faster than the man beside me yesterday although I'm probably four decades older.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:18PM
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markjames

Speaking of speed, I walk faster and train harder than 99 percent of the population.

It's amazing how slow and weak people have become, plus how poor situational awareness and general coordination is.

I'm stronger, faster and have more endurance than any of my workout partners half my age.

Resistance to injury is also very poor these days as many people have a weak core, plus muscle and bone loss.

Back when I was in high school it was pretty uncommon to see a teenage male that couldn't perform a single strict pull-up. Now it's very common.

Sarcopenia will really have a negative effect on much of the population as they don't perform strenuous work, or resistance training.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:36PM
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lily316(z5PA)

Makes us feel good, Mark, doesn't it? Outdoing the younger unfit people who really aren't dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. My gym makes money off them. They show up every few weeks. I show up every day of the week since I joined.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 1:52PM
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markjames

Many of our gyms make good money due to low utilization.

After the New Years Resolution crowd is gone, it's mostly a small group of regulars using the facilities on a regular basis.

One of the gyms I belong to has more people using the tanning beds than gym equipment.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 2:23PM
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lily316(z5PA)

Tanning booths are popular at my gym too. When there is a special on their rates for a week the gym is packed and then they drop off and later out.

One exception is a very fat guy around 400 lbs who works out very regularly. His shirt is wet with sweat, and he is panting , but he never looks like he's lost a pound. I really feel bad for him. All I can think is he goes to the 5 Guys next door and eats five hamburgers after his workout.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 3:54PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I think that sugar is one of the major culprits in the American diet - it is in everything and Americans eat tremendous amounts of it. The constant deluge of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and refined carbohydrates causes metabolic syndrome and leads to heart disease and diabetes. Dr. Oz's show may be trendy, but I can thank him for helping me cut out most refined sugar.

As for exercise, I try to make every day activities physically demanding - do yoga at home to stay limber and aligned, walk and hike too, and then work hard and do things by hand like rake leaves, shovel snow, sweep with a broom, mow lawn (gas powered, but not a rider or self-propelled mower), hang laundry, prune, dig the garden with a shovel, spread compost or loam, clear invasives, drag brush, paint, do light carpentry, etc. Obviously there are pluses to having all the specialized equipment in a gym, or if someone lives in an urban environment. It just doesn't make sense to me to go to a gym, and waste the time and fossil fuel, when I can stay in reasonable shape doing productive things around the house and yard.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:00AM
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pnbrown

Not to mention there are countless body-weight exercises one can do at home with no equipment.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:37AM
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demifloyd(8)

I, too, believe that sugar is the poison, much more than fat. Since I have been a vegetarian pretty much the last twenty-seven years, at least I haven't suffered the effects of nitrates and processed meats. I do not eat eggs, but don't object if they are an ingredient in dishes.

Very little processed food enters our home--I only buy bottled salad dressing for guests, as I always make salad dressings from scratch--different vinegars, oils, herbs from the garden, citrus, or remoulade for shrimp salad.

I think whatever people choose to do to exercise is good, whether it is at a gym or physical work--whatever they will actually DO.

Too many people from all age groups sit behind the computer screens and aren't up and around moving. Obesity is indeed becoming an epidemic in this country and will have serious repercussions--it will cost taxpayers more and people won't be able to hold a job (not that there are any/many available anyway these days) or even get a job because of their obesity and with so many people obese, there is no stigma associated with it anymore. There is no incentive to lose weight when others--family members or society, or the taxpayers--pick up the slack for an obese person.

I have worn a Fitbit the last six weeks or so and it's made a tremendous difference in reminding me to get off the computer and get moving. I am now making at least 10,000 steps most day and climbing 10 flights of stairs, the recommended activity.

I have a small gym at my home with a treadmill, recumbent bike and rowing machine which I do use regularly, and sometimes pilates or yoga or stretching tapes. I love to walk and since my last foot surgery has healed I'm now trying to walk a four mile trek at least three days a week.

However, I have found that I do not lift weights heavy enough on my own so I do go to a trainer who works with me with heavier weights. I have avoided surgery thus far as my neurologist advised me fifteen years ago it was coming, but if I could keep my back muscles in excellent shape I could postpone it perhaps until I reach my 60s, maybe my 70s. With the nerve damage and tingling and loss of mobility I will be fortunate to make it to my early sixties without the surgery, but working out with weights keeps me strong and able to do things I need to do on my own.

I know a lot of people my age that are within normal weight range but have little to no muscle tone and are unable to lift and have little endurance. Loss of independence and the inability to take care of my home and affairs would be catastrophic for me so my goal is to be active until I die, if I have any control at all.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:48AM
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markjames

Like many gym users I know, I have my own home gyms, but go to numerous gyms to use specialized equipment, pools, athletic courts and/or for boxing and MMA training, competition, spotters, training partners etc.

I've also learned a lot from, or shared a lot of information with athletes, bodybuilders, boxers, martial artists, powerlifters, trainers, massage therapists, nutritionists etc.

I met my wife while swimming at the YMCA, plus made a lot of business networking connections and business deals at the gyms as well.

For many years I lived on my boat or camper from April to October, or lived in my rental properties, so I used the gyms more frequently.

I've purchased much of the equipment for my home gyms from gyms that discontinued, or upgraded their equipment.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:23AM
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jodik_gw

We've cut out so many processed items... processed grains, refined sugars, fake items, preservatives, fillers, etc... noticeable difference in how we feel.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:51AM
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markjames

I've done numerous experiments with diet, everything from junk food/fast food to vegetarian diets.

I felt the best, had the most energy and best strength/size gains and recovery when I my protein sources were whey protein/egg whites, my carbs were oats/brown rice and my fats were fish oil, coconut oil and nuts.

When I've done numerous vegetarian diets, my body never really got used to many different varieties of beans, plus my strength, energy and recovery levels were down.

Of course I've always felt great due to exercise, sports and strenuous work.

One time I went three weeks without doing any running/swimming/sports, and only did pull-ups, push-ups, crunches and some dumbbell work. I felt like crap in comparison to when I was doing more aerobics, strength training, sports and physical work.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:50AM
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woodnymph2_gw

For years, I've cut back on carbs, sugars, now, even breads and pasta. I never eat desserts --- well, maybe at Xmas. Since doing this, I feel so much better. I find I do seem to need more protein than most, however, perhaps because I have a tendancy toward hypoglycemia.

I've done classical ballet classes for years, stopping only in my late 50's. I've done yoga, lifted weights, been to gyms, etc. for many years. Now, I rely mainly upon daily walking and riding my bike around the city for fitness. I get cranky if I can't exercise. I presently weigh 108 lbs. which is 7 lbs less than I weighed in high school. Luckily for me, I have no arthritis and am quite flexible in my joints.

As demi wrote, my goal is to remain fit and independent well into old age. Sugar is just plain toxic -- no excuses, and the obesity epidemic is shocking.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:21AM
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markjames

My goal is to be as fit, or more fit than my father, uncles and grandfathers at their ages.

My wife and I are like parents to many of our daughters active friends as their parents aren't fit enough to participate in many sports, physical and outdoor activities with them.

I've applied the exercise and nutritional discipline I've developed to other areas of my life as well.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:42AM
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markjames

I've had pretty good health, fitness and bloodwork regardless of my diet, but eliminated many foods since they're empty calories, or have unnecessary additives.

Much of the processed stuff is high in sodium, additives, fillers and unhealthy fats, yet low in high quality protein. Much of it tastes like the packaging as well.

To add insult to injury, while processed foods are incredibly convenient, they're generally very expensive in comparison to unprepared foods.

This is why many people too lazy to plan, prepare, cook, freeze and store foods have such high food bills.

Since I consume so few added sweeteners and salt, things that taste blan to others taste incredibly sweet and salty to me.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:57AM
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jodik_gw

Someone above mentioned peanut butter... a word of warning: do not feed it to your dogs as the oils tend to clog the hair follicles and cause hair loss, among other slight disorders.

Again, peanut butter is not good for dogs. There are other, better sources of protein for canines. And as cute as it is watching them lick it from the roof of their mouth, it can be very damaging to the hair follicles.

Dogs are mainly carnivores. They like a little grass now and again, but they are not vegetarians or herbivores. They are, for all intents and purposes, carnivores.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:59AM
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