Jun 142012

Thin, ad-free, and information-packed.

Studies show that chronic inflammation can be a causative factor in heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

But how does your diet come into play?





Best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil’s website states, “Most people consume an excess of omega-6 fatty acids from which the body synthesizes hormones that promote inflammation.”

The website of TV celebrity Dr. Oz follows suit: “If you’ve got too much omega-6, inflammation wins.”

Both suggest limiting your intake of omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are found in sunflower and other vegetable oils.

The problem is studies don’t show that omega-6 increases inflammation. And it might even help you stay healthy.

According to William Harris of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, avoiding omega-6 vegetable oils isn’t called for: “First, the body converts so little of the omega-6’s linoleic acid into arachidonic acid [the fatty acid that is said to cause inflammation] that its levels don’t budge. And second, the body converts arachidonic acid into both pro- and anti-inflammatory compounds, so it can’t be pigeonholed as one or the other.”

In a 10-week Swedish study of people who got 15 percent of their calories either from butter (saturated fat) or from sunflower oil (omega-6), neither group showed a rise in inflammation or in arachidonic acid.

On the other hand, those eating the omega-6 diet had less liver fat suggesting that their insulin was working better.

Three years ago, due to this and similar studies, the American Heart Association cautioned consumers not to cut back on oils containing omega-6.

But wait, there’s more. According to Harris, “Eating less omega-6 fats is more likely to increase than decrease the risk of heart disease” because omega-6 fats lower the LDL or ‘bad” cholesterol.

So you decide. Scientists and the American Heart Association or celebrity doctors?

Note: My source for this blog is the June 2012 Nutrition Action Healthletter. A thin, valuable newsletter published 10 times a year.

May 282012

Oysters are thought to be an aphrodisiac.



It’s well-known that women find writers excitingly sexy.



I’m sure that was the case in 1864 when Mark Twain wrote of lodging at San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel where he would, “move upon the supper works and destroy oysters done up in all kinds of seductive styles.”

As a lover of oysters, Twain was likely to have been served Hangtown Fry many times. The dish is said to have originated about 1850 when a recently-enriched gold miner stumbled into the Cary House Hotel in Hangtown, California (today’s Placerville) and ordered “the most expensive dish” the kitchen could provide. Fresh oysters and fresh eggs fit the request.


2 eggs

3 fresh oysters (If you must, canned oysters packed in brine may be used.)

4 strips turkey bacon cut into 1-inch long pieces

Cooking spray (PAM)

3 tablespoons wheat flour

Salt and Pepper to taste


In a nonstick pan cook the cut up bacon until crisp.

While the bacon is cooking, mix the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss the oysters in the mixture until lightly coated.

Remove the crisped bacon and add the oil to the pan.

Fry the oysters until crispy on the edges.

Remove the cooked oysters and place on a paper towel to drain.

Scramble the eggs in the same pan.

Place the eggs on a plate and top with the bacon and oysters.

Calories:   347       Satisfaction:   6.5 

Photo credit:  yatomo / 123RF Stock Photo
Feb 232012
Will pills replace dieting plans? Photo compliments Vichie81



In an attempt to make the Sexy Beast Diet plan superfluous…




The pharmaceutical industry (read “evil pharmaceutical industry”) has yet again pitched a diet pill to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but this time, unlike the 2010 attempt with the same pill, the FDA’s advisory committee voted 20-2 to endorse the drug.

 This isn’t the last step in the approval process, but the FDA usually takes the advice of the experts on its advisory committees. Final approval of what will be the first diet pill to clear the hurdles in more than a decade should come later in 2012.

 The drug, Qnexa, manufactured by Vivus–my spellchecker wants to make that “Virus”–is a combination of amphetamine phentermine and topiramate. You may recall that amphetamine phentermine had an infamous previous life as the active ingredient in the now-outlawed weight loss drug fen-phen.

 Topiramate is an anti-convulsion medication used to treat people with epilepsy and to control migraine headaches. Topiramate may cause osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children. The new combo pill has the risk of causing heart problems and birth defects.

 I don’t suppose authors of diet books have much to worry about, but to hedge my bets, I’m going to load up on Vivus stock.