Diplomate, Board Certification of Emergency Medicine
Recently, the Mayo Clinic Proceedings discussed diets, in an
article called The Search for the Perfect Heart Healthy
Diet. Despite recent advances in defining diabetes, sugar
intolerance, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and diets
that emphasize these issues, Westerners are getting fatter
and fatter due to larger calorie intake and less physical
This kind of problem causes fringe diets to appear and that
is the current problem. One extreme is the Dean Ornish Diet
which is very low in fat. The Atkins Diet is high fat and low
starch. Both of these fringe diets do not require restricting
The former is obviously very good for the heart, but the low
carbohydrate of the Atkins diet causes the body to make a
starvation substance that causes lack of appetite. As such,
this diet, while being high in fat -- eggs, red meat, and
cheese -- still doesn't affect the heart as much as one would
The problem is that these diets have not been well-studied
and long term effects are unknown -- not only because they
haven't been around too long but also because many patients
can't stick to these diets.
The Atkins diet does not allow a lot of fruit and vegetables
and that is my problem with it. As such, it increases
homocyteine concentrations and CRP levels, which are two
substances that are a sign of increased risk of heart
The authors of the Mayo study believe that the Mediterranean
diet is best. This diet includes a lot of olive oil, fruits
and vegetables. However it also includes a lot of
carbohydrates which may not be as safe.
Israeli fruit is so good, that you should raise your children
on this. Do not forget the other side -- exercise.
Last, reject unproven and extreme solutions -- even if it
worked for your neighbors this means nothing. Write me in
care of the Yated.
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