08 January 2011

Old Studies are Being Disproved!

It is so important today to carefully monitor what you eat. One group says one thing and another group claims something else. We always seem to discover after the fact that something said to be factual a few decades ago is full of inconsistencies and in fact much of the original conclusions are not true. And it still pays to be cautious.

We are seeing this with fat and diets in blogs by David Mendosa. True, many people will not believe that these have changed. Many will continue to believe because this is being ignored by the media of today. Not only is the media ignoring these important issues, but the health community in general and this includes the associations and groups of the different medical and medical related specialties.

Next, I feel quite sure will be our worship of whole grains, which seems to be the mantra for the medical community and related supporting organizations. There are holes being punched in this already. Granted, most of the comments I read are from one doctor, but he states his case quite well. Other doctors will realize that he needs to be taken seriously. Here are four blogs of Dr. William Davis: blog 1; blog 2; blog 3; blog 4. I have blogged about wheat and the myth of whole grains.

Although some doctors are beginning to realize that our high sodium foods are doing much damage to our cardiovascular system, the American Medical Association has not changed their total recommendations to account for the need for people to reduce their sodium intake, but do allow lower sodium levels. The American Heart Association has changed their position to allow and encourage people with cardiovascular problems with high blood pressure to use levels of sodium below 2400 milligrams.

With this in mind, I am being very careful about which fats I consume, but increasing fat intake, staying away from diets, reducing the whole grains in my food consumption, and limiting salt (and all forms of sodium) in the foods I consume. I urge everyone to find what works for them and follow it carefully. Be aware of what is being published, but read with a jaundiced view, and stay away from the latest food and diet fads.

Yes, you should talk to your doctor, but be prepared to have them advise you along the guidelines of their professional organization. I observe how I am doing by looking at the results of my lab tests and keep them in a spreadsheet to see trends – good or bad. Lately, mine have been holding in the middle of the normal range. Surprising, my doctors have noticed this as well and are asking me what I am doing.

I tell them that I am taking my medications and lowering my carbohydrate consumption to the lower side of the mid-range. My heart doctor did ask if I knew what my daily sodium intake was. He just said I must be doing something right and did not go further when I said I was trying to limit my sodium to less that 1800 mg per day. Actually I try to keep it between 1200 to 1500 mg and less than 1800 mg. Occasionally I get below 1200 mg, but not as a regular basis. I have set my absolute lower limit at 600 mg.

I have only one study from 2000 that I use to guide me. It is this study by the National Institutes of Health. This is about the “DASH Diet”. I do not follow the diet, but use it as a guide, taking ideas that work and discarding the rest. I do not recommend this for others, but this study is worth reading.

There are other articles about sodium showing the advantages of limiting it, but that is another blog.  There are enough links in this already and a lot of reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment