Benefits of Oatmeal for Fatty Liver Disease

Benefits of Oatmeal for Fatty Liver Disease.jpeg

If oatmeal is so powerful that it can clear up some of the ravages of chemotherapy just applied to the skin (see my video Oatmeal Lotion for Chemotherapy-Induced Rash), what might it do if we actually ate it? Oats are reported to possess varied drug-like activities like lowering blood cholesterol and blood sugar, boosting our immune system, anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-atherosclerosis activites, in addition to being a topical anti-inflammatory, and reprtedly may also be useful in controlling childhood asthma and body weight.

Whole-grain intake in general is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain, as shown in my video Can Oatmeal Help Fatty Liver Disease?. All of the cohort studies on type 2 diabetes and heart disease show whole grain intake is associated with lower risk.

Researchers have observed the same for obesity--consistently less weight gain for those who consumed a few servings of whole grains every day. All the forward-looking population studies demonstrate that a higher intake of whole grains is associated with lower body mass index and body weight gain. However, these results do not clarify whether whole grain consumption is simply a marker of a healthier lifestyle or a factor favoring lower body weight.

For example, high whole grain consumers--those who eat whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal for breakfast--tend to be more physically active, smoke less, and consume more fruit, vegetables, and dietary fiber than those that instead reach for fruit loops. Statistically, one can control these factors, effectively comparing nonsmokers to nonsmokers with similar exercise and diet as most of the studies did, and they still found whole grains to be protective via a variety of mechanisms.

For example, in terms of helping with weight control, the soluble fiber of oatmeal forms a gel in the stomach, delaying stomach emptying, making one feel full for a longer period. It seems plausible that whole grain intake does indeed offer direct benefits, but only results of randomized controlled intervention studies can provide direct evidence of cause and effect. In other words, the evidence is clear that oatmeal consumers have lower rates of disease, but that's not the same as proving that if we start eating more oatmeal, our risk will drop. To know that, we need an interventional trial, ideally a blinded study where you give half the people oatmeal, and the other half fake placebo oatmeal that looks and tastes like oatmeal, to see if it actually works. And that's what we finally got--a double-blinded randomized trial of overweight and obese men and women. Almost 90% of the real oatmeal-treated subjects had reduced body weight, compared to no weight loss in the control group. They saw a slimmer waist on average, a 20 point drop in cholesterol, and an improvement in liver function.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, meaning a fatty liver caused by excess food rather than excess drink, is now the most common cause of liver disease in the United States, and can lead in rare cases to cirrhosis of the liver, cancer of the liver, and death. Theoretically, whole grains could help prevent and treat fatty liver disease, but this is the first time it had been put to the test. A follow-up study in 2014 confirmed these findings of a protective role of whole grains, but refined grains was associated with increased risk. So one would not expect to get such wonderful results from wonder bread.

How can you make your oatmeal even healthier? See Antioxidants in a Pinch.

Whole Grains May Work As Well As Drugs for hypertension, but refined grain intake may linked with high blood pressure and diseases like diabetes. But If White Rice is Linked to Diabetes, What About China?.

More on keeping the liver healthy in videos like:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Image Credit: Sally Plank / Flickr. This image has been modified.

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Benefits of Oatmeal for Fatty Liver Disease

Benefits of Oatmeal for Fatty Liver Disease.jpeg

If oatmeal is so powerful that it can clear up some of the ravages of chemotherapy just applied to the skin (see my video Oatmeal Lotion for Chemotherapy-Induced Rash), what might it do if we actually ate it? Oats are reported to possess varied drug-like activities like lowering blood cholesterol and blood sugar, boosting our immune system, anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-atherosclerosis activites, in addition to being a topical anti-inflammatory, and reprtedly may also be useful in controlling childhood asthma and body weight.

Whole-grain intake in general is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain, as shown in my video Can Oatmeal Help Fatty Liver Disease?. All of the cohort studies on type 2 diabetes and heart disease show whole grain intake is associated with lower risk.

Researchers have observed the same for obesity--consistently less weight gain for those who consumed a few servings of whole grains every day. All the forward-looking population studies demonstrate that a higher intake of whole grains is associated with lower body mass index and body weight gain. However, these results do not clarify whether whole grain consumption is simply a marker of a healthier lifestyle or a factor favoring lower body weight.

For example, high whole grain consumers--those who eat whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal for breakfast--tend to be more physically active, smoke less, and consume more fruit, vegetables, and dietary fiber than those that instead reach for fruit loops. Statistically, one can control these factors, effectively comparing nonsmokers to nonsmokers with similar exercise and diet as most of the studies did, and they still found whole grains to be protective via a variety of mechanisms.

For example, in terms of helping with weight control, the soluble fiber of oatmeal forms a gel in the stomach, delaying stomach emptying, making one feel full for a longer period. It seems plausible that whole grain intake does indeed offer direct benefits, but only results of randomized controlled intervention studies can provide direct evidence of cause and effect. In other words, the evidence is clear that oatmeal consumers have lower rates of disease, but that's not the same as proving that if we start eating more oatmeal, our risk will drop. To know that, we need an interventional trial, ideally a blinded study where you give half the people oatmeal, and the other half fake placebo oatmeal that looks and tastes like oatmeal, to see if it actually works. And that's what we finally got--a double-blinded randomized trial of overweight and obese men and women. Almost 90% of the real oatmeal-treated subjects had reduced body weight, compared to no weight loss in the control group. They saw a slimmer waist on average, a 20 point drop in cholesterol, and an improvement in liver function.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, meaning a fatty liver caused by excess food rather than excess drink, is now the most common cause of liver disease in the United States, and can lead in rare cases to cirrhosis of the liver, cancer of the liver, and death. Theoretically, whole grains could help prevent and treat fatty liver disease, but this is the first time it had been put to the test. A follow-up study in 2014 confirmed these findings of a protective role of whole grains, but refined grains was associated with increased risk. So one would not expect to get such wonderful results from wonder bread.

How can you make your oatmeal even healthier? See Antioxidants in a Pinch.

Whole Grains May Work As Well As Drugs for hypertension, but refined grain intake may linked with high blood pressure and diseases like diabetes. But If White Rice is Linked to Diabetes, What About China?.

More on keeping the liver healthy in videos like:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Image Credit: Sally Plank / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Original Link

30 Bountiful Breakfast Recipes Worth Waking Up For

No meal carries more controversy than breakfast. Skip it or prioritize it? Breakfast as a king or light and breezy? Grain-free or a hearty bowl? Smoothies and juices detoxifying or harmful? With so many questions, this one simple meal can be confusing. Well, what if you threw all the rules out the door and brought …

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30 Bountiful Breakfast Recipes Worth Waking Up For

Eat Breakfast Like a KingNo meal carries more controversy than breakfast. Skip it or prioritize it? Breakfast as a king or light and breezy? Grain-free or a hearty bowl? Smoothies and juices detoxifying or harmful? With so many questions, this one simple meal can be confusing.

Well, what if you threw all the rules out the door and brought breakfast back to the table under your own terms? After 20 plus years in the health and fitness industry, working with clients and researching the science, here is what I recommend when it comes to breakfast:

  • Eat your first meal when you are truly physically hungry. Never force it, rush it, or hold off based on a preconceived notion of when you are “supposed” to eat. There is research recommending (daily) fasting which would encourage waiting as long as possible between your last meal the day before and your first meal of the next day. On the flip side, there is also science to support eating smaller meals every few hours. Yet, only you know you. So honor your body and eat when your body wants to eat. So long as it is not “toxic hunger,” your body will be your perfect guide for when and how much to eat.
  • Whether you want just fruit for breakfast, dinner for breakfast, or anything in between, go for it! There is no perfect food or magic meal makeup that is ideal for everyone. Again, hone in on your instincts for what you prefer. Some mornings may feel like a smoothie morning while others may inspire a heartier dish.
  • PBD Food Guide PyramidLook at your overall diet to balance your meals. Focus on getting your 6 Daily 3’s and the Plant-Based Food Guide Pyramid and Plate and simply structure your meals around that.
  • Eat mindfullyTuning into hunger and satiety signals and also noticing how your body feels after you eat specific foods will give you all the answers you seek about what you need. Also, chew well, eat with the fewest distractions possible, and taste your food. These are practices that improve with time, but they are gifts that will support your health over a lifetime.

Breakfast Pic

With the rules removed, there are infinite options available for your fave first meal-of-the-day.  If you are a smoothie person, you can enjoy one of these 20 scrumptious smoothies. Here are a few grain-free options. Or, you can explore one of these 30 game-changing (oil-free, sugar-free) choices:

1. Vegan Salmon Bagel by Green Evi

Breakfast Salmon Bagel

2. Magnificent Maple Granola by The Jazzy Vegetarian

Breakfast Maple Granola

3. Chickpea Flour Scramble (*Swap vegetable broth or water for oil*) by Vegan Richa

Breakfast Chickpea Scramble

4. Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jam Porridge by Rainbow Nourishments

Breakfast PBJ Porridge

5. Creamy Rice Pudding by Dreena Burton

Breakfast Rice Pudding

6. Spicy Tofu Scramble by Lazy Cat Kitchen

Breakfast Spicy Tofu

7. Red Pesto and Kale Porridge by Green Evi

Breakfast Savoury Porridge

8. Vegan Superfood Breakfast Bars by Contentedness Cooking

Breakfast Superfood Bars

9. Chocolate Waffle Fruit Pizza by Feasting on Fruit

Breakfast Chocolate Waffles

10. Mango Lime Chia Pudding by Get Inspired Everyday

Breakfast Mango Lime Chia

11. Cinnamon French Toast and Potato Shallot Frittata (Double Whammy!) by Dreena Burton

Breakfast Potato Fritata

12. Vegan Chickpea Flour Omelette by Strength & Sunshine

Breakfast Chickpea Omelette

13. Apple Muffins with Pumpkin Seeds by The Jazzy Vegetarian

Breakfast Apple Muffins

14. Chocolate Pudding Breakfast Bowl by A Dash of Compassion

Breakfast Pudding Bowl

15. Green Chia Pudding by Veggies Save the Day

Breakfast Green Chia

16. Turmeric Steel Cut Oats by Vegan Richa

Breakfast Turmeric Oats

17. Carrot and Coconut Breakfast Bowl by Green Evi

Breakfast Carrot Coconut

18. Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars by Dreena Burton

Breakfast Bars

19. Cranberry Apple Spice Overnight Oatmeal by A Dash Of Compassion

Breakfast Cranberry Oats

20. Vegan German Chocolate Pancakes by Fragrant Vanilla Cake

Breakfast German Chocolate Pancakes

21. Blueberry Swirl Buckwheat, Amaranth + Walnut Porridge by Eggplant & Olive

Breakfast Amaranth Blueberry

22. Everyday Quinoa Breakfast Bowl by Contentedness Cooking

Breakfast Quinoa Bowl

23. Breakfast Tacos by My Plant-Based Family

Breakfast Tacos

24. Fluffy Vegan Pancakes by Feasting on Fruit

Breakfast Pancakes

25. Vegan Chocolate Zoats ( *Omit Agave*) by Vegan Heaven

Breakfast Zoats

26. Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal Bites with Chocolate Chips by Veggie Inspired

Breakfast Strawberry Oatmeal

27. Snickerdoodle Energy Bars by Get Inspired Everyday

Breakfast Snickerdoodle Bars

28. Chickpea Pancakes with Dried Tomato Sauce by Green Evi

Breakfast Chickpea Tomato

29. No Bake Brownie Energy Bites by Jessica in the Kitchen

Breakfast Brownie Bites

30. Black Forest Overnight Oats by A Virtual Vegan

Breakfast Black Forest Oats

The post 30 Bountiful Breakfast Recipes Worth Waking Up For appeared first on Plant Based Dietitian.

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The Gorgeously Great Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Eating in 60 Recipes

“Gluten-free” may have skyrocketed into a trend, but many people have no choice but to avoid this protein for some serious health reasons. Celiac disease, which necessitates strict avoidance of gluten, afflicts about one in 141 people in the United States. Plus, non-celiac gluten sensitivity is also increasing in prevalence. Overall, anyone avoiding gluten for medical, health, or …

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27 Tantalizing Oil-Free Vegan Bowls

  Food tastes more fabulous when it is all thrown together (or politely placed strategically) into a big bowl and perhaps drizzled with a sauce. I personally enjoy most of my meals this way. No limitations exist for the potential creativity and nutritional aptitude you can display via this mode of feasting. From “smoothie bowls” and “power bowls” to “soul bowls” and …

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How Learning to Cook Can Save Your Life

NF-Nov24 Cooking to Live Longer.jpg

The eating habits of modern Americans have been described as, "eating breakfast in their cars, lunch at their desks and chicken from a bucket." Within the last few decades, Americans are eating out more and more, and cooking fewer meals at home, which are typically healthier. Home-cooled meals tend to contain less saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and more fiber. Therefore, the benefits to preparing healthy food at home may include the prevention of chronic disease. Just because food is prepared at home doesn't mean it's healthy, though. Microwaving a frozen pizza isn't exactly home cooking.

One of the problems is many people no longer know how to cook. For example, one study reported that 25% of the men in the study had absolutely no cooking skills whatsoever. Another study in the UK compared the nutritional content of meals created by television chefs to TV dinners, and both were then compared to the nutritional guidelines published by the World Health Organization. The researchers looked at a hundred of each, and not a single one complied with the nutrition standards. And the TV chef recipes were even less healthy than the TV dinners!

Many people don't know how to make healthy food taste good. This is not a new problem; an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association bemoaned the same issue back in 1913. In the United States, "vegetables are frequently boiled in a way which deprives them of their characteristic odor and their toothsomeness. 'Villainous and idiotic' are the only adjectives that can describe our methods of cooking vegetables."

Researchers in Taiwan recently found that in a group of elderly Taiwanese people, those who cooked their own food were not only healthier, but also lived longer. In a ten year study, highlighted in my video, Cooking to Live Longer, those who cooked most frequently had only 59% of the mortality risk. This took into account the exercise people got grocery shopping, physical function, and chewing ability. So why did they live longer? Those that cooked typically ate a more nutritious diet with a higher consumption of vegetables.

The effect on mortality was much more evident in women than in men. It turns out that "men were, with doubtful justification, more positive about the nutritional value of convenience foods compared with women." Women who cooked made better food choices in general.

As one author noted in the book Something from the Oven, over the last century:

"we began the long process of turning over to the food industry many of the decisions about what we eat...Today our staggering rates of obesity and diabetes are testimony to the faith we put in corporations to feed us well. But the food industry is a business, not a parent; it doesn't care what we eat as long as we're willing to pay for it. Home cooking these days has far more than sentimental value; it's a survival skill."

With the onslaught of health information out there, access to simple, healthy recipes has never been easier. While cooking at home requires more effort, energy, and cleaning, the results, health aside, are often more rewarding. Learning to cook is a simple art, and with the right amount of patience and delicious ingredients, it can help us take back control of our own lives.

Check out your local public library for cookbooks--I've been amazed at the selection in all of the cities I've lived. Or for those for which books are just so 20th century, the online Rouxbe Cooking School holds healthy cooking classes.

More on fast food:

Some other unsavory bits about the food industry:

I think this is the only other mention of celebrity chefs I have:
Paula Deen: diabetes drug spokesperson

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More Than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.

Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

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What Do Eggs Do To Our Arteries?

NF-Aug20 Eggs and Arterial Function.jpg

In reaction to the study that found a similar exponential increase in artery clogging plaque in both smokers and egg eaters, one critic countered that eggs have beneficial effects on vascular endothelium, the inner lining of our arteries, citing a 2005 study on egg consumption and endothelial function, funded by the American Egg Board (highlighted in my video, Eggs and Arterial Function).

The study was done on a group of men and women eating the standard American diet, were overweight, had "normal" cholesterol, (which is to say extremely high cholesterol--LDL levels twice as high as could be considered optimal). As the authors of a paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology note, it's often not appreciated "that the average blood cholesterol level in the United States, the so-called normal level, was actually too high," accelerating heart disease and "putting a large fraction of the so-called normal population at a higher risk" for coronary heart disease, our number one killer.

If we threw a lit match into a flaming pool of gasoline and saw no real difference in the height of the flames, we can't conclude that throwing lit matches into gasoline is not a fire hazard. But that is exactly what the Egg Board study concluded. When the addition of eggs didn't make the arterial function worse than it already was, they concluded that "short-term egg consumption does not adversely affect endothelial function in healthy adults."

The egg board paid for a follow-up study using folks who were even worse off, with a mean total cholesterol of 244. They reported that egg consumption had no effect on endothelial function... as compared to sausage and cheese. Yet instead of sounding the alarm that eating eggs is as bad for arterial function as a McDonald's Sausage McMuffin (!), the researchers concluded that egg consumption was found to be non-detrimental to endothelial function and cholesterol levels. The subjects started out with life-threatening cholesterol, and ended up with life-threatening cholesterol.

Why don't endothelial function and cholesterol levels get even worse? Because there's a plateau effect. We can basically max out on our cholesterol absorption. After a certain level of intake, it's just another match to the fire. If we're already consuming the standard American diet averaging 400mg of cholesterol daily, even adding two jumbo eggs to our diet may not have a sizeable impact. But to people trying to eat healthy, those two eggs could shoot their cholesterol up 20 points.

However, a fat-free, cholesterol-free egg substitute was found to be beneficial. That is, not eating eggs lowers cholesterol levels and improves endothelial function--and that's what these people needed. Their arteries were already hurting, they needed something to bring the fire down, not more matches. The subjects were apparently eating so unhealthy that adding eggs couldn't make things much worse, but eating oatmeal instead of eggs made things better, helping to quench the fire. So even the Egg Board-funded studies said that not eating eggs is better for our arteries, yet these are the same studies that pro-egg folks cite to claim beneficial vascular effects.

More on the reaction to the Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis study in my video, Debunking Egg Industry Myths, as well as further discussion of the effects of the cholesterol in eggs on the cholesterol levels in the blood of egg consumers. More on that in:

I previously featured a food that actually does benefit vascular function. See Walnuts and Artery Function. Though the nut industry did try a similar tactic, see my video Nuts and Bolts of Cholesterol Lowering. The beef, soda, and dairy industries may also be guilty of experimental manipulation. See BOLD Indeed: Beef Lowers Cholesterol and Food Industry "Funding Effect".

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 - 2015 presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.

Image Credit: Pietro Bellini / Flickr

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Granola

Finding a granola that doesn’t contain oil is nearly impossible. This is another food that can be perfectly delicious (and still crunchy) without added oil. Making your own homemade granola is very easy, and you don’t even need a food dehydrator. Print Granola Prep time:  15 mins Cook time:  60 mins Total time:  1 hour...

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Oil-free Hash Browns

Hash browns are usually fried in oil, but eliminating the oil is easy when you use a non-stick pan and know the best way to cut the potatoes. These are delicious with a little granulated onion and garlic, ground black pepper, and homemade ketchup. Potatoes are among my favorite foods, so it’s surprising that I’ve...

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The post Oil-free Hash Browns appeared first on Straight Up Food.

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