Your Olive Oil Is Only 100% Real If It Tastes Like Ibuprofen

Saying your olive oil is sub-standard isn’t an accusation, it’s just a probability. Adulterated olive oil is extremely common and surprisingly hard to spot. If you’re curious, you might want to grab a bottle of ibuprofen and do a taste test.

Source: Your Olive Oil Is Only 100% Real If It Tastes Like Ibuprofen

I’ve reported about the rampant fraud in olive oil before.

Most People Have Cholesterol All Wrong

Do you know which foods contain good cholesterol, and which contain bad cholesterol? If you think you do, ha! That’s a trick question! Cholesterol in our food doesn’t come in “good” and “bad” varieties, but cholesterol readings from blood tests do, and the two aren’t as closely connected as we used to think.

Source: Most People Have Cholesterol All Wrong

HDL is the one you want to be high; you want LDL to be low.

My doctor told me that my levels were a tad high, but the ratio mattered more.  The best part?  No cholesterol medication suggestion from the doctor.  It really does pay to eat better and look after yourself.

Related: The Dangerous Power of Health Media: 28,000 Quit Statins After Scare Documentary

The Diet That’s Better For Your Heart Than Exercise

In recent years, science has proven that the Mediterranean diet is key to longevity time and time again — and we now have even more conclusive proof.

Adults who follow the Mediterranean diet closely can slash their risk of heart disease by a whopping 47 percent. What’s equally, or more, impressive (depending on your love/hate relationship with working out) is that this eating plan has an even greater protective effect on the heart than regular exercise.

Both findings were gleaned from an eleven-year study of the Mediterranean diet, presented Wednesday at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego.

…As an interesting side note, women tended to be better at following the diet than men, even though it seems to work equally well for everyone.

Source: The Diet That’s Better For Your Heart Than Exercise

I’m loosing count at how many studies support the Mediterranean diet.  And we know that diet is more important than exercise for weight loss

What The World’s Healthiest Diets Have In Common

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

To research his 2010 book The 5 Factor World Diet, celebrity trainer and nutritionist Harley Pasternak traveled to the healthiest countries around the world to learn more about what made their meals extra nourishing. He noted that the Japanese eat a wonderful variety of seaweeds, and that the Chinese tried to incorporate at least five different colors in every meal. But Pasternak also came away with some valuable observations about how different the North American way of life was compared to many other countries.

For starters, we eat much bigger portions than people in other countries. We don’t prioritize eating seasonally or locally, and we also add lots of salt, sugar and thickening agents to our foods, explained Pasternak in a phone interview with HuffPost.

Source: What The World’s Healthiest Diets Have In Common

Nordic is relatively new, there are numerous studies supporting Mediterranean…  Asian, Okinawa, and French Paradox are new to me.  I’m surprised that vegetarianism if not vegan didn’t make an appearance.

4 Studies: Mediterranean Diet is Good For You

The Mediterranean diet — higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and olive oil, and lower in dairy products and meat — has long been cited for its health-promoting benefits. Researchers have new clues as to why.  They found that the diet was associated with longer telomeres, the protective structures at the end of chromosomes. Shorter telomeres are associated with age-related chronic diseases and reduced life expectancy.  The study, published in the journal BMJ, controlled for body mass index, smoking, physical activity, reproductive history and other factors, and found that the higher the score for adherence to the diet, the longer the telomeres.

…According to a study published, in Annals of Internal Medicine, sticking to a Mediterranean-style diet may help reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes, even when people don’t lose weight or increase exercise levels.

…According to another study, about 30% of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals, a large and rigorous new study has found.

…A study found that it also protects the brain. This association persisted even after controlling for almost two dozen demographic, environmental and vascular risk factors, and held true for both African-Americans and whites. People with high adherence to the diet were 19 percent less likely to be impaired


Whether the Mediterranean Diet score is actually associated with longitudinal changes in telomere length is debatable given the individual heterogeneity in age-related telomere changes. If consuming a Mediterranean diet does truly change telomere length, it raises the question how many weeks, months or years would one need to consume a Mediterranean diet for it to alter telomere length?

We need to be careful about interpreting studies on potential anti-ageing factors that use telomere length as a measure of ageing. Telomere length is often used as a biomarker of ageing in cross-sectional cohort studies, based on the principle that telomeres are shortened during each cell division cycle. However, the reverse is also true that telomeres can be restored or even elongated by the enzyme telomerase reverse transcriptase each cell division cycle. In addition, the gene expression of telomerase reverse transcriptases vary depending on cell types, and is much higher in rapidly proliferating cells. For example in embryonic stem cells telomere length is maintained despite numerous cell divisions. Furthermore, in the first 3 years of life, telomere shortening in infants is more than fourfold higher than adults.

Any compound that activates telomerase – the enzyme that is responsible for maintenance of telomere length – should be tested extremely carefully in every possible way, because activation of telomerase is a well established hallmark of many cancers.

TL;DR: Telomere length is a poor marker for aging, because it varies drastically with age, in different cell types of our body, and the extent of telomere shortening depends on the initial baseline length; e.g., longer telomeres show more shortening over 5 years compared to shorter telomeres.

Are some diets “mass murder”?

From low fat to Atkins and beyond, diets that are based on poor nutrition science are a type of global, uncontrolled experiment that may lead to bad outcomes, concludes Richard Smith

Jean Mayer, one of the “greats” of nutrition science, said in 1965, in the colourful language that has characterised arguments over diet, that prescribing a diet restricted in carbohydrates to the public was “the equivalent of mass murder.” Having ploughed my way through five books on diet and some of the key studies to write this article, I’m left with the impression that the same accusation of “mass murder” could be directed at many players in the great diet game. In short, bold policies have been based on fragile science, and the long term results may be terrible.

Source: Are some diets “mass murder”?

A large part of the article is about the Keys “research” in the 1950’s about fat in our diet.  As recently posted – an increase saturated fat food does NOT show increase in fat in the blood.  To claim “mass murder” when there’s no change in heart disease outcomes is overly dramatic.  Science gets better as time goes on to reshape how and why we do things, and there will always be political machinations…

Next Big Diet: Nordic

How’s your Finnish? 🙂

Pohjoismaisiin raaka-aineisiin perustuva ruokavalio on toimiva. Itämeren ruokavalio saattaa jopa vähentää vyötärölihavuuden riskiä.

Noora Kanervan väitöstutkimuksessa havaittiin, että Itämeren ruokavaliota noudattavilla on 40 prosenttia pienempi vyötärölihavuuden riski. Myös kohonneiden tulehdusarvojen riski oli ruokavaliota noudattavilla 40 prosenttia pienempi kuin vähiten ruokavalioon sitoutuneilla.

Erityisesti runsaasti pohjoismaisia viljoja syövillä oli vähemmän vyötärölihavuutta. Vyötärölihavuus tarkoittaa naisilla yli 90 ja miehillä yli 100 sentin mittaista vyötäröä.

Source: Kapeampi vyötärö tummalla leivällä? Tuore tutkimus kehuu Itämeren ruokavaliota

The diet, based on Nordic ingredients, works and may reduce abdominal obesity, according to the dissertation.

It resembles the famous Mediterranean diet but uses Nordic ingredients: fruit, berries, vegetables, Nordic grains (rye, oats, barley and wheat), canola oil, fish and skim milk. Red meat, saturated fat and alcohol are avoided. The diet provides more Nordic grains, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals than the comparison diet.

Risks of abdominal obesity and high CRP (an inflammation indicator) are both reduced by 40%. Chronic low-level inflammation promotes type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Particularly Nordic grains in the diet reduce abdominal obesity. Even if there is no motivation for larger changes, adding more dark rye bread to your diet will improve your health a lot.

Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Fat

The whole fat-free diet craze of the 1990’s really messed up the way people think about healthy eating. But the truth is, the kind of fat you eat isn’t the same kind that makes your pants feel tight — and your body absolutely needs the delicious kind of fat to function properly.

While your activity level, age, and current health status determine exactly how much fat you should eat, the government’s  daily allowance for most women is the equivalent of five or six teaspoons of oil from food sources like avocado, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, margarine, mayo, and salad dressing.

Source: Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Fat

Some of the “signs” are worthless.  Being hungry does not indicate a need for fat in your diet.  That’s like saying craving salt means your body recognizes a deficiency – not true either.

All things in moderation…

Most Diets Boil Down to: Eat More Vegetables

There is so much controversy about the right diet for optimum health and fitness and it seems like the rules are constantly changing… …The truth is that they are all variants of the “eat more vegetables” diet, which in my opinion, is the only diet that has ever been proven to really work.

Source: How To Get Fit Even When You Hate Exercise

That said:

  • You can have all the vegetables in the world, pour on the cheese sauce and high calorie salad dressings on and still be just as bad as your average fast food consumer.
  • Volume/calories: portion control can be a factor.  I used to “reward” myself by eating after a workout – at best, I was just “eating it all back”.