More Health and Nutrition Bites

Parents' portions, kids' portions 04/16/14
Smart Phones and Childhood Obesity 04/09/14
One Way to Resist Cravings 04/02/14
Dieting? Spicy Foods May Help 03/26/14
Plating Matters 03/19/14
All Health and Nutrition Bites

The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D. tells you what to eat and when in order to eat healthier, lose weight, and keep it off - permanently!

With The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan, you'll create a two-week custom meal plan including breakfast, lunch and dinner, for yourself or your entire family - even kids under 14! NO making separate meals. Online planner includes:

1. Automated shopping lists - Just print and shop for the next two weeks of meals.

2. Frozen meal options for lunch or dinner such as Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers.

3. Easy, delicious recipes, with leftovers for lunches or later in the week.

4. Options for allergies and special diets, including:

  • Vegetarian (lacto-ovo) Low sodium
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Coumadin (warfarin) use
  • GERD / Acid Reflux
  • Gluten allergies (Celiac disease).
  • Diabetes: All meal plans are safe for type 2 diabetics because they are based on the Mediterranean Diet, which is known to be the best diet for type 2 diabetics.

5. Combine special needs if needed: low sodium and lactose intolerant? Coumadin and celiac disease? Just select the options and get your delicious meal plan!

Other Web sites charge you as much as $29.95 per month for this service, but Just Tell Me What to Eat: The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan is completely free. (We don't even ask for your credit card information.)

Sign up for Just Tell Me What to Eat: The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan now! »


 

Health and Nutrition Bites

Get the latest health and diet news - along with what you can do about it - sent to your Inbox once a week. Get Dr. Gourmet's Health and Nutrition Bites sent to you via email. Sign up now!

Nuts and Cholesterol

In my recent The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan Coaching Article about snacking I talk about how important snacking is as well as the best snack choices. Some people are savory or salty snackers (pretzels or chips), while other are sweet snackers (cookies or chocolate). I suggest some healthier options for each snacker type: fruit for sweet snackers, for example, and nuts for savory snackers. (Personally, I like bananas and pecans or pistachios.)

We've known for a while that nuts are great for you, and not just because eating nuts in place of other snacks won't result in weight gain. There are many studies on the effects of eating many different nuts on cholesterol levels. Recently a team of researchers in Barcelona, Spain and in Loma Linda, California pooled the results of 25 different studies on nuts and cholesterol to see if the type of nut made a difference in the cholesterol-lowering effects of eating nuts (Arch Intern Med 2010;170(9):821-827).

The studies the researchers reviewed came from 7 countries and included over 580 men and women. Each study included information on Body Mass Index, cholesterol scores both before and at the close of the study, and excluded people who were taking cholesterol medication. Some studies included people with poor cholesterol scores while other studies only included people with normal cholesterol scores. The types of nuts studies also varied, including walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts.

After analyzing the correlation between the amount of nuts each participant ate on a daily basis over the course of each study and their cholesterol scores, the researchers found that those diets that included nuts helped reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), the ratio of LDL to HDL (good) cholesterol, and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (all improved scores). The HDL score, however, was not affected, while eating nuts only helped reduce triglyceride scores in those who actually had high triglycerides.

Intrigued, the researchers decided to control for the type of nut and found that the cholesterol improvements were the same regardless of what type of nut the participant ate. Even further, they discovered that those with a lower Body Mass Index tended to improve their cholesterol scores more than those with higher BMI, and that scores also improved more for those who ate a more Western-style diet as opposed to those who followed a more Mediterranean or simply low fat diet.

What this means for you

The beauty of these studies that pool results from several studies is that several small, not-very-strong studies can be grouped together to yield stronger results. In this case, the take-home message is that eating nuts is good for you. It doesn't appear to matter what kind of nut it is, but adding nuts to your diet, whether they're in your food or if you eat them by themselves as a snack, can help improve your cholesterol scores, won't make you fat, and are very satisfying. Eat nuts!