How to improve your memory and keep your mind sharp[:]


It is never too late to sharpen your mind. Discover how to improve your memory and keep your brain fully functioning.

Wondering how to improve your memory? If you can not remember where you put your keys or you have a memory gap trying to remember a name, let us reassure you that it happens to all people.

As we age, our memory decreases. Genes play a role, but our lifestyle choices are just as important. Research shows that regular exercise, a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy blood sugar level, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and avoiding smoking can all shield the mind.

In addition to healthy lifestyle choices, strengthening the brain through cognitive exercises is also vital to keeping your mind sharp and preventing memory loss.

Memory is considered to be the highest executive function of the brain. To maintain a good memory, the brain must be in good health. It should also be noted that many aspects of a person’s health and well-being affect brain function and memory.

The 6 ways to sharpen memory

Adopt a healthy diet: A very important aspect of health and brain function is nutrition. The MIND diet which is a mixture between the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet can help prevent Alzheimer’s. A study, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, found that the MIND diet reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s by 53%.

Meditation: Our brain is always under overstimulation under normal conditions, so it is important to give it a chance to relax. Meditation can also help the brain function, as it helps relieve stress, slows down the aging process of the brain and supports its processing functions. A study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences found that a variety of meditation techniques may be able to compensate for age-related cognitive decline.

Drink plenty of water: Dehydration is bad for your short-term memory, mood, attention and mental performance. Water is an essential nutrient and makes up almost two thirds of the body. It is essential for all aspects of bodily functions, including temperature regulation and oxygen distribution.

An analysis of 33 studies, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that dehydration corresponded to a 2% reduction in body mass, which was associated with a significant deterioration in cognitive performance.


Get moving: Your physical health is closely aligned with your mental health. Exercise enhances the development of new neuroplastic neural connections. It also increases the levels of neurotrophic growth factors derived from the brain (BDNF), a substance that is particularly important for the development and organization of new brain connections in the elderly.

Get enough sleep: Experts believe that taking the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night is vital to good brain health. New research, published in the journal Current Biology, shows that intermittent rapid eye movement (REM) sleep can affect the area of ​​the brain that is responsible for processing memories at night.

Tips to sleep well:
-Maintain a sleep routine.
-Avoid using your cell phone or computer in bed or at least an hour before bedtime.
-Exercise during the day.
-Avoid caffeinated beverages, alcohol and heavy meals before bed.
-Try reading a book or listening to soothing music before going to bed.
-Improve your gut microbiome: Ways to keep your gut bacteria healthy and balanced include frequent consumption of prebiotics and high-fiber foods and vegetables and fruits. Finally, limit processed, refined carbohydrates and foods that contain sugar.



How memory exercises work
Brain exercises are important for preventing memory loss and keeping your mind alert.

There are various exercises that can stimulate and help maintain brain function. Sharpen your memory with crosswords, Sudoku, puzzles, memory games, card games, phone memos or video games.

Also, according to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, learning a second language improves brain function at any age.

When medical help is needed
If you are worried about memory loss, make an appointment to talk to your doctor. There are several causes besides Alzheimer’s that can cause memory problems, including medications and vitamin B-12 deficiency.

According to the Mayo Clinic, memory loss is one of the first or most recognizable signs of dementia.


The main symptoms of memory loss for the patient are when he:

-Repeats the same questions
-Forgets discussions, appointments and events
-It is also lost in familiar places
-He is constantly losing his things
-He finds it difficult to express what he is thinking
-Forgets faces and objects
-It is difficult to make decisions
-Forgets his personal care (to wash etc)
-He has mood swings
-Change in sleep habits (“makes night day”)
-Irritability, outbursts of anger, lifting of suspensions
-Illusions (feeling that someone wants to steal him)[:]

This Hospital has a Wine Cellar[:]


There is a public university hospital where a wine cellar has been set up for some patients. The reason why this was done is hidden in the importance of some small pleasures in life, even in the most difficult moments.
Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital is a public institution somewhere between central and southern France, built between the renowned wine regions of Bordeaux, Sancerre and the Loire Valley. What is famous for is the palliative care unit, which hosts dying patients, and the pioneering leader Dr. Virginie Guastella.

Dr. Guastella put a wine bar in the unit, not the kind of wine bar we most know. Its sole purpose is to give pleasure to patients who are at the end of their lives or who are suffering a lot.

A cellar with wine inside the hospital
Dr. Guastella joined the hospital staff as a palliative care physician in 2003 and quickly learned that there is so much more to offer patients besides painkillers: care, time, a nice chat, and some small pleasures. “In palliative care, there is always something to do. “” I’m sorry, but nothing is happening “does not apply,” she said. “Why should all the good things stop because you are being treated?” he wonders.

In 2013, Dr. Guastella met Catherine Le Grand-Sébille, an anthropologist at the University of Lille School of Medicine, who studied the relationship between people and wine, even at the end of life. To date, she has conducted 200 interviews with physicians, health care professionals, non-medical caregivers, families, and patients about maintaining sensory pleasure. What they had told her was enough to convince Dr. Guastella, now head of the palliative care unit, asks the director for a small wine cellar inside the hospital.

Her goal, of course, was not to addict patients who were in the final stages, nor to make them drink too much. He wanted, as he said, to give them a sense of dignity and regularity in the latter.

Desires and preferences are related to life
François’s wife, a man who died at the age of 73 from kidney cancer, will never forget the moment she brought a glass of red wine with her meal at the hospital, as she wished. “His eyes lit up. “At that time, my husband was not sick,” she said.

Researchers in the field of neuroscience had by then made important discoveries regarding the functions of the brain that regulate our desires and preferences. Our desires (the “I want”) relate to the needs of our survival, namely food, drink (water) and sleep. Our preferences (“I like them”) relate to all those special ways in which we satisfy our above needs: our favorite foods and drinks, even the pillow we prefer.

Simply put, what neuroscientists call desires (“I want”) are actually our needs. But what they call preferences (“I like”) are what make us happy.

Pleasure in life has two types, according to philosophy: bliss and hedonism. Happiness refers to the meaning of life, to why it is worth living. Hedonism has to do with all those little pleasures, the wine, the sweet, the beautiful smells, that through the senses make our life bearable. These are the “likes” that satisfy our “wants”.


How can Nutrition affect our Mental Health?[:]

Food insecurity (FI) affects almost 795 million people worldwide. Although a complex phenomenon involving factors such as food availability, affordability, utilization, and even social norms that determine acceptable ways of obtaining food, FI can affect human health beyond its effects on diet. A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that FI was associated with poorer mental health and specific psychosocial stressors in areas of the World Wide Web (149 countries), regardless of individuals’ socioeconomic status.


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Nearly one in three people (29.2%) worldwide certainly experience a common mental disorder during their lifetime, such as depression, anxiety and physical symptom disorders.

FI can contribute significantly to common mental disorders, through many different mechanisms, first creating uncertainty about the ability to maintain a healthy diet, or to obtain adequate nutrition in the future. In addition, it can cause a stress response that can contribute to stress, but also depression, while finally obtaining healthy foods in socially unacceptable ways (eating junk) can cause feelings of alienation, weakness, shame and guilt associated with depression. FI can also widen socio-economic disparities between households and communities that could increase cultural sensitivities and affect overall mental well-being.

Professor Andrew D. Jones, of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, conducted this research using data from the Gallup World Poll 2014 (GWP). The GWP is a series of national representative surveys for people aged 15 and over that use probabilistic sampling to cover both urban and rural areas. FI data was available for 147,826 people in 11 regions of the world that included 149 countries. The extent of FI ranged from 18.3% in East Asia to 76.1% in sub-Saharan Africa.

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The mental health status was then determined based on the Negative Experience Index (NEI) and the Positive Experience Index (PEI) with two five-question surveys addressing issues such as pain, sadness, pleasure, feelings of respect, and other factors. Data on mental health indicators were available for 152,696 people. The PEI was higher in Latin America and the Caribbean (79.4) and lower in Russia and the Caucasus (59.2), while the NEI was lower in Central Asia (17.4) and higher in the Middle East and of North Africa (34.9).

Dr. Jones found that FI was associated with poorer mental health by comparing NEI with FI for multiple age groups. A reverse result was found for PEI versus FI data. It also recognizes the possibility that the direction of the correlation between FI and mental health is the opposite, that poor mental health could lead to FI. However, this is the first study to conduct a global analysis of this connection and it has come to raise awareness and concern. Mr. Jones explained that the development of robust monitoring systems and the enhancement of both FI and mental health measurements are important in order to better understand their relationship in different environments that can help inform interventions and of course have the ability to deal effectively with the effects of FI on mental health.

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Are All Plant Origin Products Always the Healthiest? – Of course NOT[:]

Many people decided with the new year to make a change in their lifestyle. Many of them included in this plan to become vegetarian or vegan. It is indeed an extremely useful decision for anyone who has made it in many ways. However, a person who is just starting this diet may fall into some traps when it comes to choices.

For example, plant-based meats are often high in sodium, highly processed and no healthier than the meat they imitate. Meanwhile, almost half of consumers think they are more nutritious. So, if your decision is related to health, you may want to reconsider switching to a plant-based diet if it includes plant-based meats.

Impossible Burger, for example, is an impressive meatless mix of soy, potato, coconut and sunflower protein. It even has the appearance of a regular burger. At the same time, its calorie count and saturated fat levels are high, and it has six times more sodium.

The global market for vegetable meat is projected to skyrocket to $ 85 billion by 2030. And grocery stores are taking that into account, offering a range of burgers, sausages, nuggets, minced meat and seafood options, all with no trace of animal products.

What is the nutritional benefit?

According to a recent study, the nutritional benefits of vegetable meat are minimal. Researchers from the Singapore Institute for Food Innovation and Biotechnology modeled the result of replacing bacon, chicken, beef burgers and ice cream with non-animal versions.

Diets in which animal products were replaced by plant-based alternatives were lower than the daily recommendations for vitamin B12, calcium, potassium, zinc and magnesium and higher in sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

Even with added vitamins and minerals, these products are not nutritionally valuable, says Stephan van Vliet, a postdoctoral fellow at the Duke Institute of Molecular Physiology. “Plant meat is not cow meat and cow meat is not plant meat,” he says.

Animal sources such as meat, milk and eggs contain complete proteins, ie they contain many of the nine essential amino acids that we must receive from our diet every day. Plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains, often lack one or more of these amino acids and must be eaten in combination.

Vegetable meat producers claim that their products contain similar amounts of protein that are comparable in quality to animal proteins. But the focus on protein is very “simplistic,” Van Vliet explains. “Foods contain hundreds to thousands of compounds that are capable of affecting human metabolism and health.”

The term plant-based

“People choose a vegetable burger for a variety of reasons,” says Rosie Schwartz, a Toronto-based nutrition consultant, “including reducing meat intake.” But he argues that consumers should reconsider their reasoning if the reason they choose it is health.

“Choosing something that is plant-based as a substitute because it is called plant-based really leads us in the wrong direction,” says Schwartz. According to scientists and official diet guides in many countries, plant-based nutrition is indeed the recommended way to eat. Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits and the other half with whole grains and protein.

But the word “plant-based” also refers to anything from meat to paint and pillowcases, as long as they are made mostly or entirely from plants, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Just because it is made from plants does not mean that it is healthy. “I think it’s very confusing to the consumer,” says van Vliet. “It’s probably not the chicken, but everything else that comes with chicken nuggets that could be harmful to our health.”

Van Vliet and his colleagues compared 190 molecules in alternative plant-based meat products with ground beef and found that 90% of them were different. Plant-based alternative meat products lacked certain amino acids and derivatives, such as creatine, taurine and inserine, “which can all have an impact on our health and possibly on brain function as well as muscle function,” he says.

Other metabolites, such as polyphenols and antioxidants, have been found in large quantities or exclusively in meats of plant origin. He believes that foods of plant and animal origin complement each other in our diet, where some nutrients are better received from animal sources and others from plants.

The future of vegetable meats

Until now, meat companies have focused on the taste, texture and appearance of their products. These companies targeted meat eaters by creating plant miracles that were intended to look, taste and feel like real meat.

Impossible Foods, creator of Impossible Burger, says 90% of its customers are still meat eaters. It is not intended to turn salad and tempeh lovers into fake meat consumers. “The whole mission of Impossible Foods is to create plant-based products that directly compete with animal meat,” said Esther Cohn, Impossible Foods’ communications manager. “If you eat five beef burgers a week, we want you to substitute them, even if you try to exchange one for an Impossible Burger.”

With a growing market and new non-animal proteins made from cells in the laboratory or fungi in fermentation tanks, the choices are endless. Can they be adapted to be healthier? We have to wait and see.[:]

A Nutrition that Provides Health and Longevity[:]

The Mediterranean Diet reflects the typical eating habits of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean. It is based on the simple preparation of delicious dishes thanks to the wide range of products produced in these countries.
At the same time, its recipes can be easily adapted to the personal taste preferences of each person.
The Greek version of the Mediterranean Diet consists of products produced in Greece and have shaped the eating habits of the Greeks from antiquity until today.

For the last fifty years, a unanimous international scientific view has emerged on the world stage that the traditional diet of the Mediterranean countries is healthier than the western or abundant diets.
This unanimity is credible because it is the result of the work of researchers from all over the world and is independent of units of industrial interest or of any country.

What exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and includes pasta, bread, cereals, rice and potatoes, poultry and fish, dairy products, some very little processed seasonal foods and minimal meat. But it also has two main ingredients: olive oil, which is the main source of fat, and wine.

The daily intake of dairy products is mainly in the form of cheese or yogurt.
The most common dessert is seasonal fruit.
Sweets are consumed a few times a week, while many times the place of sugar is taken by honey.

Red meat is almost forbidden and is consumed a few times a month and in small quantities, unlike the chicken and fish that are consumed every week.

Finally, wine consumption is very common (one or two glasses of wine every day).

The basic characteristics of the Mediterranean Diet are illustrated schematically with the corresponding Food Pyramid. It is a graphical representation of the various components of the diet in the form of a pyramid designed in January 1993 by a committee of academics and researchers in Massachusetts, USA.

The value of the Mediterranean diet

In the early 1960s, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a study to study the eating habits of people from 7 different countries (Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Finland, USA and Japan). It lasted 30 years and was attended by about 13,000 people aged 40-59.

The results of this study showed that people living in the Mediterranean countries and especially in Greece, had the lowest mortality rates from cancer and coronary heart disease and had the highest life expectancy, compared to residents of other countries.

Scientists trying to discover the secret, came to the conclusion that their special and natural way of life (work in the countryside, increased physical activity), but also their simple and lean diet, which became known worldwide as the Mediterranean Diet, was the cause. of this phenomenon.

Recent major research by the University of Athens School of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health, published a year ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirms that the Mediterranean diet prolongs life and protects against heart disease and cancer.

What the Mediterranean Diet is good for

The Mediterranean Diet significantly reduces the possibility of cardiovascular disease and consequently coronary heart disease, since fat comes mainly from olive oil and fish.

Researchers from New Orleans have announced that the proper diet for people who have suffered a heart attack or other heart attack is the Mediterranean Diet.

The Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of atherosclerosis because it lowers glucose, insulin and bad cholesterol.

Olive oil, a key component of the Mediterranean diet, has a beneficial effect on certain types of cancer, such as breast and prostate. A study from the University of Oxford shows that olive oil reduces the risk of colon cancer.

The positive effects of fat from olive oil and fish can be used to control body weight, provided that the total daily calorie intake is reduced.

The Mediterranean Diet protects against the decline of brain functions, memory loss and diseases associated with aging.

The Mediterranean Diet lowers blood pressure.

A recent study by the University of Dublin concluded that the Mediterranean Diet has positive effects on glucose and lipid metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Delicious and healthy Greek food

In Greece, each piece of land has a different microclimate, so the agricultural products produced differ from each other. But they all have something in common. They are extremely tasty.

Thus, Greece has exceptional food and beverages in terms of taste: olives, olive oil, cheeses, pastries, ouzo, wine, honey, vinegar, pasta, fruit juices, spices, fish.

These products create various exquisite foods. The Greek Mediterranean diet characterizes all regions of Greece and Greek cuisine includes mainly the combination of oil and vegetables, as a result of which it acquires the reputation of offering health and longevity.

After all, the famous heart surgeon Christian Barnard in his book “Fifty Ways for a Healthy Heart” had devoted an entire chapter to the Greek diet, which he described as healthy because it contains olive oil, wine, legumes and vegetables and said that Crete is the region with lower rate of heart disease due to a healthy diet.

Advantages of the Mediterranean diet

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet, its positive effects on health and longevity, the scientific unanimity, the constant references in the world press about it and the fame it has gained around the world have increased the demand for Mediterranean products in all countries.

Studies have shown that the benefits to the human health of the Mediterranean Diet come from the Mediterranean diet as a whole, and not from an individual component. What makes the Mediterranean diet so beneficial is the combination of foods and possibly the chemical interactions of their ingredients.

These products are selected brands, healthy agricultural products, or small processed foods from Greece and can support a complete proposal of a Mediterranean diet, from a food store to its customers. Includes olive oils, olives, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, fresh and dried, legumes, chicken, tomato sauces, vegetable salads and olive and tomato delicacies, wine and honey.


Myths and Truths about Nutrition and Health[:]

Your diet and health. Nutrition plays an important role in your health, as it provides the body with the nutrients and other nutrients it needs to function properly. Keep reading to learn about your diet and health, as well as myths, truths and changes in the food pyramid.

A balanced diet is synonymous with a healthy body. Remember to always base your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables as well as healthy fats.

Malnutrition can be one of the worst enemies of your health. Unhealthy foods lack nutrients and are full of substances that can harm the body.

The statistics on malnutrition around the world are really worrying, as the pace of daily life and the financial interests of the food industry have led many people to consider junk food as a dietary option.

Pizzas, hamburgers, fried foods, hot dogs, processed meats, sweets and soft drinks, among other things, have become part of our daily eating habits and are a time bomb for your health.

Protein, diet and health

It is important to know the difference between the proteins that your body needs and those that are not good for it. Vegetable proteins and proteins in lean meats have a positive effect on the body, helping it to build muscle mass by strengthening it.

Red meat contains toxic fats, antibiotics, solvents, additives and hormones, among other chemicals, which can damage the digestive system and cause disease.

Several studies have shown that eating red meat five times a week quadruples the risk of colon cancer compared to eating it once a week.


Even though milk has long been considered essential for getting enough calcium in the body, the truth is that this has been ruled out and it is now known that we do not need to drink milk to get the right amount of calcium.

Studies have shown that milk consumption is associated with the occurrence of several health problems in the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as allergies and diabetes.

In addition it is known to contain proteins such as casein, which can affect the onset of various types of cancer.


This food is one of the most consumed in the world but also one of the most harmful to the body. Sugar is addictive and is the leading cause of diabetes, which affects nearly 300 million people worldwide and causes 5% of cancers each year.

Sugar lowers the immune system’s defenses, nourishes cancer cells, releases adrenaline and causes nervousness and depression.

The food pyramid

First the food pyramid had the sweets at the top, followed by the dairy, then the fruits and vegetables and finally the carbohydrates.

Today the food pyramid has completely changed. Carbohydrates are now at the top, followed by milk and red wines, followed by nuts, poultry, fish and seafood along with whole grains.

Fruits, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil and healthy omega 3 fats are the basis.

Everyone needs to know the type of diet they eat and the foods they consume in order to provide the body with the necessary nutrients so that it can perform its functions.

Lack or near absence of nutrients can lead to various short-term and long-term health problems that can be difficult to treat. Also keep in mind that poor diet is the leading cause of obesity, heart disease, depression and liver and kidney problems.


Nutraceuticals – Nutritional Supplements for the 21st Century[:]

Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine.” Over the past several decades, nutritional supplementation has developed as a new and exciting part of the health industry. Even though modern nutraceuticals began to develop in the 1980’s, nutraceuticals have been around for thousands of years. Such cultures as Indian, Egyptian, Chinese, Sumerian and Ayurvedic suggest that foods can be used as medicine to prevent and treat disease. Nutraceuticals have been become an $86 billion industry that is constantly growing. About 2/3 of Americans take at least 1 type of nutraceutical. With the increase in our populations focus on health and wellness, the focus has shifted from pharmaceuticals to nutraceuticals. Americans actually prefer nutraceuticals because they are effective without the extensive side effects that pharmaceutical drugs provide.

Nutraceuticals are food or food products that provide health and medical benefits. Nutraceutical food products are isolated or purified from foods. The objective is for nutraceuticals to treat, protect, and prevent chronic disease in the human body. Nutraceutical products range from isolated nutrients, dietary supplements, genetically engineered foods, herbal products and processed foods. The idea behind the manufacturing of nutraceuticals is that chemical components derived from plants, foods and microbial sources play an important role in the link between food and health. Research has shown that these chemical compounds found in foods are often very effective. It is these components, not flavor or nutritional value that provide the body with medicinal benefits for long-term health.

Nutraceuticals is considered to be part of the alternative medical field. It is a broad umbrella that encompasses any product derived from food sources that provide extra health benefits. Nutraceuticals products claim to prevent chronic diseases and improve ones health. Additionally some products offer ways to delay the aging process and increase life expectancy. There are a wide variety of products available on the market today; this is due to the minimal regulation over the nutraceutical label on products. Nutraceutical foods are not subject to the same testing as pharmaceutical drugs. Examples of nutraceuticals include antioxidants, probiotics, phytochemicals, botanicals, herbal extracts and many, many more. Overall nutraceuticals can be broken down into four categories: dietary supplements, functional foods, medical foods and farmaceuticals.

Dietary supplements are probably the most well known nutraceuticals and most used. These are products that contain nutrients derived from food products that are intended to supplement ones diet. Dietary supplements are taken by mouth in a liquid, tablet, capsule, soft gels, or powders. There are a variety of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and metabolites. Dietary supplements do not have to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration therefore it is hard to determine the exact amounts of nutrients within each product.

Unlike dietary supplements, functional foods allow the consumer to eat enriched foods close to their original or natural states. Enriched or fortified foods have the nutrient content restored to similar levels before it was processed. When foods are processed some of the nutrients are removed. Nutrification is the process by which the nutrients are restored back into the foods. In some cases additional nutrients are added. Functional foods are readily available to the public. Not all foods are available in functional food form.

Medical foods unlike any of the other nutraceuticals are not readily available to consumers. Medical foods are formulated or regulated by the FDA to be consumed and administered internally under the supervision of a physician. Medical foods are intended for dietary management of a disease or condition. Medical foods are designed to meet certain nutritional requirements for people diagnosed with specific illnesses. These foods can be ingested by mouth or through a feeding tube and are monitored by a medical supervisor.

Farmaceuticals is a melding of farm and pharmaceuticals. It refers to genetically modifying agricultural crops and animals, to produce medically valuable compounds. These compounds such as proteins can then be collected and purified for use. Farmaceuticals is thought to be more cost effective than conventional biotechnology.

Graduated with a BA in exercise science and have worked in the medical field since. My focus is alternative medicine however all aspects of health interest me. Check out my health website!

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Which Diet Is Best for Heart Health?[:]

It seems the controversy continues. Those who advocate for low-fat diets for heart health tell us a low-carb, high fat diet is detrimental to heart health. On the surface, it makes sense that this would be true. But is it?

A recently published clinical trial conducted by a doctor and researcher well versed in heart and metabolic health came to some extremely interesting and surprising conclusions. The way this trial was conducted was that the participants were split into one of 3 groups. They followed the diets assigned to them for 20 weeks. Each of the 3 diets contained 20% protein but differing amounts of carbs and fat.

Study participants received fully prepared, customized meals that they could either eat in the cafeteria or take to go. So there was no guessing as to whether they actually consumed the assigned amounts of macronutrients.

Here is how the diets broke down:
Low-carb: 20% carbohydrate, 21% fat
Moderate-carb: 40% carbohydrate, 14% fat
High-carb: 60% carbohydrate, 7% fat

At the end of the 20 weeks, the stunning results revealed:

“A low-carbohydrate diet, high in saturated fat, improved insulin-resistant dyslipoproteinemia and lipoprotein(a), without adverse effect on LDL cholesterol. Carbohydrate restriction might lower CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk independently of body weight, a possibility that warrants study in major multi-centered trials powered on hard outcomes.”

So, in plain English, what the researchers found was that the people eating the low-carb, high fat diet had better improvements in triglycerides, adiponectin (a fat-derived hormone that appears to play a crucial role in protecting against insulin resistance/diabetes and atherosclerosis), blood pressure and lipoprotein(a) than those on the moderate or high carb diets. Lipoprotein(a) is a type of protein that transports cholesterol in the blood and can cause LDL cholesterol to form plaques on blood vessel walls, leading to the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels and hardening of arteries. The high saturated fat did not have any negative impact on cholesterol or cardiovascular markers.

That goes against what we have been told for years. In my opinion, it always comes down to the quality of the food and where that fat comes from. Saturated fat is not the dangerous substance we’ve long been told it is. My personal feeling is that it depends on the source of that fat and how your unique metabolic makeup responds to saturated fat.

How do you feel about considering a low-carb, high saturated fat diet?

Ann Musico is a holistic health coach and independent nutritional consultant. She helps coaching clients achieve vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body. Visit her website at to learn more about her 3-D Living coaching packages and books,Today is Still the Day and Natural Tips for Staying Healthy. Subscribe for her free weekly newsletter and blog posts.

Health is more than just the absence of illness. Let Ann show you how to create a life of passion and purpose, wholeness and harmony.

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil May Protect Against Various Dementias[:]

New research in mice suggests that adopting a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil can prevent the toxic accumulation of the protein tau, which is a hallmark of multiple types of dementia.

Due to its monounsaturated fatty acids, or “good” fats, extra virgin olive oil is known for its ability to lower the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Recently, however, several studies have suggested that extra virgin olive oil also has neuroprotective and cognitive benefits.

For instance, a 2012 study in mice found that the oil improves rodents’ learning and performance in memory tests.

The presumed reason for these findings is that extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols. These are powerful antioxidant compounds that may reverse disease- or aging-related learning and memory impairment.

A couple of years ago, a study that Medical News Today reported on found that extra virgin olive oil reduced early neurological signs of Alzheimer’s disease in mice.

The extra virgin olive oil intervention improved autophagy — that is, brain cells’ ability to eliminate toxic waste — and helped maintain the integrity of the rodents’ synapses, which are the connections between neurons.

Dr. Domenico Praticò — a professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Microbiology and the Center for Translational Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA — spearheaded that research.

He has recently led a new team in a study of the neurological benefits of extra virgin olive oil. As part of this study, the researchers looked at the oil’s effect on “tauopathies.” These are age-related cognitive conditions wherein the protein tau accumulates to toxic levels in the brain, triggering various forms of dementia.


Studying The Tau Protein In Mice

The researchers used a mouse model of tauopathy. They genetically tweaked the rodents so that they were prone to accumulate excessive amounts of the otherwise normal protein tau.

In Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, such as frontotemporal dementia, the tau protein accumulates inside neurons in the form of toxic “tangles.”

By contrast, in a healthy brain, normal levels of tau help stabilize the microtubules, which are supportive structures for neurons.

In tauopathies, the buildup of tangles inside neurons stops the nerve cells from receiving nutrients and communicating with other neurons. This eventually leads to their death.

In this study, the mice prone to accumulations of tau consumed a diet high in extra virgin olive oil from the age of 6 months. According to some estimates, this is the equivalent of around 30 years of human age.

Control mice were also prone to tau accumulations but consumed a regular diet.


Olive Oil Means 60% Less Tau, Better Memory

Around a year later — which would equate to around 60 years of human age — the experiments revealed that the tauopathy-prone rodents had 60% fewer tau deposits than the control rodents, which had not received an extra virgin olive oil-enriched diet.

Mice that had received extra virgin olive oil also performed better in standard maze and novel object recognition memory tests.

Furthermore, brain tissue sample analyses revealed that the mice who consumed the extra virgin olive oil had better synapse function than the control mice, as well as better neuroplasticity.

The analyses also revealed an increase in a protein called complexin 1. This is a “presynaptic” protein key for maintaining healthy synapses.

“Our findings demonstrate that [extra virgin olive oil] directly improves synaptic activity, short‐term plasticity, and memory while decreasing tau neuropathology in the [tau-prone] mice,” conclude Dr. Praticò and team, adding:

These results strengthen the [healthful] benefits of [extra virgin olive oil] and further support the therapeutic potential of this natural product not only for [Alzheimer’s disease] but also for primary tauopathies.”


Olive Oil Protects Against Various Dementias

“[Extra virgin olive oil] has been a part of the human diet for a very long time and has many benefits for health, for reasons that we do not yet fully understand,” explains Dr. Praticò.

“The realization that [extra virgin olive oil] can protect the brain against different forms of dementia gives us an opportunity to learn more about the mechanisms through which it acts to support brain health,” he says, highlighting some directions for future research.

“We are particularly interested in knowing whether [extra virgin olive oil] can reverse tau damage and ultimately treat tauopathy in older mice,” concludes Dr. Praticò.

Written by: Ana Sandoiu


8 Ways to Follow the Mediterranean Diet for Better Health[:]

Perhaps the world’s healthiest diet, the Mediterranean diet is abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil. It features fish and poultry-lean sources of protein-over red meat. Red wine is consumed regularly but in moderate amounts.

Research suggests that the benefits of following a Mediterranean-style eating pattern may be many: improved weight loss, better control of blood glucose (sugar) levels and reduced risk of depression, to name a few. Eating like a Mediterranean has also been associated with reduced levels of inflammation, a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

If the idea of overhauling your entire way of shopping and eating seems daunting, start small. Wiping the slate entirely clean may not be necessary, nor is it sustainable.

Here, we outline steps you can take to move toward a more Mediterranean-style diet. Choose one of these strategies below, and make it a habit. When you’re ready, move onto the next strategy. No matter where you choose to start, these eight tips for starting a Mediterranean diet can help you make over your plate so you can reap the health benefits.

1. Cook with Olive Oil

If you’ve been cooking with vegetable oil or coconut oil, make the switch to extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which may improve HDL cholesterol, the “good” type of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol ferries “bad” LDL particles out of arteries, according to a 2017 study in Circulation. Use olive oil in homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes. Drizzle it on finished dishes like fish or chicken to boost flavor. Swap butter for olive oil in mashed potatoes, pasta and more.

2. Eat More Fish

The go-to protein in the Mediterranean diet is fish. In particular, this diet emphasizes fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel. These fish are rich in heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Even those fish that are leaner and have less fat (like cod or tilapia) are still worth it, as they provide a good source of protein. If you currently don’t get a lot of fish in your diet, an easy point of entry is to designate one day each week as fish night. Cooking fish in parchment paper or foil packets is one no-fuss, no-mess way to put dinner on the table. Or try incorporating it in some of your favorite foods, like tacos, stir-fries and soups.

3. Eat Veggies All Day Long

If you look at your diet and worry that there’s barely a green to be seen, this is the perfect opportunity to fit in more veggies. A good way to do this is to eat one serving at snack time, like crunching on bell pepper strips or throwing a handful of spinach into a smoothie, and one at dinner, like these quick and easy side dishes. Aim for at least two servings per day. More is better. At least three servings can help you bust stress, Australian research notes.

4. Help Yourself to Whole Grains

Experiment with “real” whole grains that are still in their “whole” form and haven’t been refined. Quinoa cooks up in just 20 minutes, making it a great side dish for weeknight meals. Barley is full of fiber and it’s filling: pair it with mushrooms for a steamy, satisfying soup. A hot bowl of oatmeal is perfect for breakfast on a cold winter morning. Even popcorn is a whole grain-just keep it healthy by eating air-popped corn and forgoing the butter (try a drizzle of olive oil instead). Supplement your intake with other whole-grain products, like whole-wheat bread and pasta. Look for the term “whole” or “whole grain” on the food package and in the ingredient list-it should be listed as the first ingredient. But if you still find it too hard to make the switch from your old refined favorites, phase in a whole grain by using whole-grain blends of pastas and rice or mixing a whole grain half-and-half with a refined one (like half whole-wheat pasta and half white).

5. Snack on Nuts

Nuts are another Mediterranean diet staple. Grabbing a handful, whether that’s almonds, cashews or pistachios, can make for a satisfying, on-the-go snack. One study in Nutrition Journal found that if people replaced their standard snack (cookies, chips, crackers, snack mix, cereal bars) with almonds, their diets would be lower in empty calories, added sugar and sodium. Plus, nuts contain more fiber and minerals, such as potassium, than processed snack foods.

6. Enjoy Fruit for Dessert

Generally a good source of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants, fresh fruit is a healthy way to indulge your sweet tooth. If it helps you to eat more, add a little sugar-drizzle slices of pear with honey or sprinkle a little brown sugar on grapefruit. Keep fresh fruit visible at home and keep a piece or two at work so you have a healthful snack when your stomach starts growling. Lots of grocery stores stock exotic fruit-pick a new one to try each week and expand your fruit horizons.

7. Sip (a Little) Wine

The people who live along the Mediterranean-the Spanish, Italian, French, Greek and others-are not known to shy away from wine, but that doesn’t mean you should pour it at your leisure. Dietitians and experts who developed the Mediterranean diet for the New England Journal of Medicine study advised women to stick to a 3-ounce serving, and men to a 5-ounce serving, per day. When you do sip, try to do so with a meal-even better if that meal is shared with loved ones. If you’re a teetotaler, you shouldn’t start to drink just for this diet.

8. Savor Every Bite

Eating like a Mediterranean is as much lifestyle as it is diet. Instead of gobbling your meal in front of the TV, slow down and sit down at the table with your family and friends to savor what you’re eating. Not only will you enjoy your company and your food, eating slowly also allows you to tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness signals. You’re more apt to eat just until you’re satisfied than until you’re busting-at-the-seams full.