Reduce Your Cancer Risk Via Diet and Exercise

You need to worry about cancer because you have a roughly four in 10 chance of coming down with invasive cancer. (Skin cancers like squamous cell and basal cell are quite common, but rarely invasive.)

Dr. David Gorski is a breast cancer surgeon. He’s looked at the scientific literature on the linkage between diet and exercises, and the risk of developing cancer.

Here’s his conclusion from his review at Science-Based Medicine:

“You can reduce your risk of cancer by staying active and exercising, eating a healthy diet with a lot of plant-based foods and minimizing intake of processed meats, limiting alcohol consumption (although I think the WCRF/AICR guidelines go a bit too far in saying that you shouldn’t drink at all if possible), and maintaining a healthy weight. (Of course, if you stay active and eat a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight will probably not be a problem.) Conceptually, it’s easy to do. In practice, as I’m discovering, it’s anything but easy.”

Source: Diet and exercise versus cancer: A science-based view « Science-Based Medicine

The Mediterranean diet seems to protect against cancer.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: One of the reasons I write diet books is that I want to keep you from getting cancer.

How Much Weight Will You Gain Over the Holidays?

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MNT has the details:

“Around the world, weight gained from holiday feasting takes months to lose, a study found.

Christmas Day in particular is a holiday that appears to pack on the pounds: in a study of some 3,000 individuals in three countries, Americans showed an average 0.4% weight gain from 10 days before Christmas to 10 days after; Germans gained 0.6% more weight; and the Japanese 0.5%.

U.S. participants packed on 0.7% more weight in total during the full Christmas-New Year holiday season, but the Germans had us beat with a 1.0% weight gain, according to Brian Wansink, PhD, of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. and colleagues.”

Source: Holiday Feasts Take Months-Long Weight Toll | Medpage Today

Those percentages aren’t very helpful, are they? In real life, if you weigh 180 lb (81.8 kg) and gain an extra 0.7%, you’re all the way up to a whopping 181.26 lb (82.4 kg). But if you do that—1.26 lb—every year for 20 years and fail to lose the weight, you’re up to 205 lb (93.2 kg) and now you’ve got diabetes and high blood pressure.

Here are a few tips to avoid the weight gain:

  • On the day of the major feast, just eat two meals, and make one of them small
  • Don’t  snack or graze; just eat at mealtimes
  • Work in some extra exercise
  • Minimize the alcohol that weakens your discipline

Steve Parker, M.D.

Pro Tip: Read one of my books before you make your annual New Year’s weight-loss resolutions.

PPS: Click for the research report in NEJM.

Julianne Taylor Has a Great Post on Amylase Gene Copy Number and Predisposition to Obesity and Carbohydrate Intolerance

“Before I knew anything about the effect of diet on my health and hunger, I did notice that an hour or 2 after eating refined starch foods I suffered low blood sugar and was ravenously hungry.

Back in the day (1995) as I’ve written about previously, I discovered The Zone Diet, it was literally life changing for me.

Through following this eating plan I discovered that refined carbohydrates, particularly those from grains and sugars played havoc with my blood sugar regulation. The Zone diet reduces carbohydrates, for me it was down to around 70 – 100 grams a day, divided to around 20 – 30 grams per meal.  Vegetable and low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates are encouraged over refined grains and high GI carbs.

I’ve followed this principal for 20 years now, and found limiting carbohydrates, and adding animal protein to each meal is critical for both my well-being and appetite regulation. I’ve since found that 50 to 100 grams of carbs per day works well for me, and carbohydrate quality is important. This works out to 1 to 2 grams per kg body weight per day.I’ve often wondered why I seem to be so sensitive to carbohydrates, while others don’t suffer the dysregulated blood sugars and reactive hypoglycemia and consequent carbohydrate cravings that I do.The answer may be in my genes. I recently had a gene test to find out how many copies of the AMY1 gene I have, this a gene that codes for salivary amylase.”

Source: Your carbohydrate tolerance – is it written in your genes? AMY1 copy numbers | Julianne’s Paleo & Zone Nutrition

Author John C. Wright Converted From Atheism to Christianity at Age 42. Why?

“My conversion was in two parts: a natural part and a supernatural part.

Here is the natural part: first, over a period of two years my hatred toward Christianity eroded due to my philosophical inquiries.

Rest assured, I take the logical process of philosophy very seriously, and I am impatient with anyone who is not a rigorous and trained thinker. Reason is the tool men use to determine if their statements about reality are valid: there is no other. Those who do not or cannot reason are little better than slaves, because their lives are controlled by the ideas of other men, ideas they have not examined.

To my surprise and alarm, I found that, step by step, logic drove me to conclusions no modern philosophy shared, but only this ancient and (as I saw it then) corrupt and superstitious foolery called the Church. Each time I followed the argument fearlessly where it lead, it kept leading me, one remorseless rational step at a time, to a position the Church had been maintaining for more than a thousand years. That haunted me.

Second, I began to notice how shallow, either simply optimistic or simply pessimistic, other philosophies and views of life were.”

Click through if you want to hear about the supernatural part:

Source: Philosophy, Evidence, and Faith: The Conversion of John C. Wright | Strange Notions

NYT Suggests That the Paleo Lifestyle May Be Here to Stay

“To the uninitiated, the much talked about Paleo diet — a nutritional regimen centered around pasture-raised meat, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, and nuts, in the spirit of our cave-dwelling forebears — may seem like another low-carb fad, the South Beach diet dressed up in a mammoth hide. But the time has passed when it could be written off as a fringe movement of shaggy-haired Luddites with an outsize taste for wild boar meatloaf.

Lately, Paleo has charged toward the mainstream, not only as a hugely popular diet (it was most-searched diet of 2013, according to the Google Trends Zeitgeist list), but also as a cave-man-inspired lifestyle that has spawned a fast-growing industry.”

Source: The Paleo Lifestyle: The Way, Way, Way Back – NYTimes.com

Dietitian Amy Kubal Answers, “Are Potatoes Paleo?”

Rosemary Chicken (garnished with pico de gallo) and Rosemary Potatoes

Rosemary Chicken (garnished with pico de gallo) and Rosemary Potatoes

“The whole “to spud or not to spud” issue is seriously ‘no small potatoes’ in the Paleosphere. It’s highly debated as to whether or not white potatoes are ‘safe’ or ‘allowed’, and if they are okay, the questions really start rolling in – Can I eat the skin? I should only eat the red ones, right? How should I prepare them? Do I need to only eat them cold? If I do eat them, does it mean I’m not ‘doing Paleo’? It’s exhausting and absolutely amazing how such an innocent looking food can create so much controversy. Seriously, people are VERY opinionated on the issue, and I’m sure my opinions will not go unopposed. Well, haters be damned, you’re going to get them anyway.”

RTWT.

Source: “Ask Amy The RD”: Are Those Spuds For You?? The “Paleoness” of Potatoes

paleo diet, Steve Parker MD

Sweet potatoes ready to pop in the oven

O’Dea Says the Transnational Food Industry Is Likely to Block Cure of T2 Diabetes

Australian Aborigine in Swamp Darwin

Australian Aborigine in Swamp Darwin

Kerin O’Dea (School of Population Health, U. of South Australia) performed one of the first clinical studies utilizing the paleo diet for treatment of type 2 diabetes. I discuss it in my Paleobetic Diet book and here.

O’Dea recently wrote:

“The most important lesson that can be drawn from this study is that metabolic control in type 2 diabetes can be greatly improved with healthy lifestyle interventions. The diet in the 1982 study was rich in very lean meat from wild animals: its high protein content aided satiety despite low energy intake [1,200 cal/day]. The carbohydrate was mostly high fibre and slowly digested. The fat content was low, but relatively rich in long chain highly polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6). Recent research has demonstrated  that ectopic fat is a driver of both defects of type 2 diabetes: insulin resistance when in the liver, and impaired insulin secretion when in the pancreas. Both are potentially reversible by healthy diets instituted early in the disease process. However, current population trends to increased obeisty are driven by the powerful transnational food industry. Preventive interventions will therefor be very challenging.”

Source: Pathology (2016), 48(S1), Abstract Supplement

Improve Knee Osteoarthritis With Strength Training

Osteoarthritis, aka degenerative joint disease, is quite common in folks over 45 and eventually may require knee replacement surgery. Recovery from that surgery is slow and painful; best to avoid it if you can.

Having good strength in the muscle that extends the knee helps to preserve the knee joint. That muscle is the quadriceps.

Click below for the evidence:

“Although limited, the reviewed studies suggest that participation in a resistance training program can potentially counteract the functional limitations seen in knee osteoarthritis; positive associations were found between increased muscle strength and walking self-efficacy, reduced pain, improved function, and total WOMAC score. Notably, improvements were greater in maximal versus submaximal effort testing, possibly due to a ceiling effect.”

Source: Strength training for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: A systematic review – Lange – 2008 – Arthritis Care & Research – Wiley Online Library

To get started on strengthening the quadriceps muscle, consider the following four-minute video that is two minutes too long:

Note her mention of ankle weights.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you’re overweight or obese, you lower limb joints will last longer if you lose the fat by following one of my books.

Hmmm: Spend $26,000 on Weight-Loss Surgery, Or Just Cut Carb Consumption?

Dr. Sarah Hallberg got some well-deserved publicity from the New York Times:

“Once a fad diet, the safety and efficacy of the low-carb diet have now been verified in more than 40 clinical trials on thousands of subjects. Given that the government projects that one in three Americans (and one in two of those of Hispanic origin) will be given a diagnosis of diabetes by 2050, it’s time to give this diet a closer look.

When someone has diabetes, he can no longer produce sufficient insulin to process glucose (sugar) in the blood. To lower glucose levels, diabetics need to increase insulin, either by taking medication that increases their own endogenous production or by injecting insulin directly. A patient with diabetes can be on four or five different medications to control blood glucose, with an annual price tag of thousands of dollars.”

Source: Before You Spend $26,000 on Weight-Loss Surgery, Do This – The New York Times

Fish Fraud: 1 in 5 Seafoods Are Labeled Wrong

Wish I were here

Wish I were here

Fraudulent labeling of fish and other seafood is a problem. It matters to me because I advocate frequent consumption of cold-water fatty fish as healthful. It’s the omega-3 fatty acids in those fish that are particularly good for you.

If what you believe to be trout is actually catfish, you’re not getting the omega-3s you paid for.

Click over to the New York Times for details:

“One in five seafood samples tested worldwide turns out to be completely different from what the menu or packaging says, according to a report on seafood fraud released Wednesday by the ocean conservation group Oceana. Of the more than 25,000 seafood samples the group analyzed, 20 percent were incorrectly labeled.“It is likely that the average consumer has eaten mislabeled fish for sure,” said Beth Lowell, the senior campaign director for Oceana and an author of the paper. “You’re getting ripped off, while you enjoyed your meal you’re paying a high price for a low fish.”

Source: Catfished by a Catfish: 1 in 5 Seafood Samples Is Fake, Report Finds – The New York Times

Raw oysters qualify as paleo

Raw oysters qualify as paleo

On a related note…I’ve been eating a lot of canned smoked oysters lately. Nearly all on the supermarket shelves in Arizona USA come from China. Why is that? I worry about pollutants in those oysters, regardless of provenance. If you have any info on this issue, please share.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Search my blog for the list of high omega-3 cold-water fatty fish, or read my books.