In last week’s discussion on how to reduce our risk for heart disease without resorting to pills, I mentioned the Mediterranean diet as one idea to consider. As you may have guessed, lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and tobacco use affect our cardiovascular health. Studies have shown those living near the Mediterranean suffer less than most Americans from heart disease. To that end, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that a Mediterranean type diet is often promoted for health reasons (NEJM).
Last week, we learned there is no statistically significant mortality benefit to taking statins to prevent heart disease, especially if one is at low risk for cardiovascular disease. Yet, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. (CDC) For those of us at low risk, how else can we prevent it without resorting to pills?
Many doctors get their information from the pharmaceutical companies that profit directly from the very treatments they are proposing. Where can one turn to find unbiased healthcare advice?
It is alarmingly common for patients to be prescribed medical treatments that science has shown are ineffective or even dangerous. This might prompt us to ponder a few questions: How can one make informed decisions about medical care? And how should we process non-emergency treatment recommendations?
Here are my own thoughts, when faced with decisions for me or my family. Please note, this is not meant to be taken as medical advice.
A reader asked me if yoga, as I wrote about last week, ultimately fixed my lower back problems. Unfortunately, the short answer is no. While it’s true I’ve come up with ways to alleviate discomfort, retain mobility, and avoid surgery, I’ve been unable to permanently resolve the problem.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about diet and weight loss. I tend to view weight loss/gain from an energy balance perspective and contend that folks losing weight (associated with fat) on carbohydrate-restricted diets such as keto are likely just eating fewer calories than they were before. For the record, this is my view on any diet: if weight is being lost it’s all about the calories.
I’ve had a few reader questions in response to last week’s article about fat and fad diets along the lines of:
I know someone on the keto diet that has lost 30 pounds. It really seems like a diet that works. Thoughts?
The keto diet encourages its adherents to get the bulk (80 to 90 percent) of their caloric intake from fat. Essentially, it is an extreme version of the Atkins™ Diet. By significantly limiting the caloric intake of carbohydrates, the body is deprived of its normal fuel source (glucose) and forced to turn its fat stores into ketone bodies (i.e., ketosis).
It’s difficult these days to find anyone with disposable income in America who isn’t following some type of diet regime. Indeed, whether we’re talking about newer fads such as keto, Whole30Ⓡ, or paleo or older ones such as juicing, Atkins™, or The ZoneⓇ I always marvel at how sure members in their respective diet-tribes are of the correctness of their convictions.
No one ever learned to walk by walking ~ Moshe Feldenkrais Raising children these days, as I’m sure many of you would attest, is quite different than it was when we were growing up. Indeed, when I see kids being sent out to play draped in body armor and parents hovering over their every move, […]
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost Happy New Year! I have some great story ideas lined up for 2019 but, before I jump into more serious topics, I wanted to share a few thoughts while considering my New Year’s resolutions. Little things done […]