To Your Health: Magical Fruit Juice for Heart and Brain!

To Your Health: Magical Fruit Juice for Heart and Brain!

Telluride local Dr. Alan Safdi is a world-renowned internist and gastroenterologist with encyclopedic knowledge of mind-body wellness and preventative medicine. He posts regularly on Telluride Inside… and Out under the banner of “To Your Health.” Dr. Alan’s blogs feature the most current information in his fields: health, wellness and longevity.

This week, Dr. Alan talks about a magical fruit juice for our heart and brain. His podcast on the subject is here.

Links to other podcasts and narratives  by Dr. Alan are here.

Recent findings support the notion that a healthier diet would prevent fatal cardiovascular disease and should encourage all of us to adopt a healthier diet as part of our lifestyles. Regularly eating a Southern-style diet may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death, while routinely consuming a Mediterranean diet can reduce that risk, according to the new research. The Southern diet is characterized by added fats, fried foods, eggs, organ meats (such as liver or giblets), processed meats (such as deli meat, bacon and hot dogs) and sugar-sweetened beverages. The Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and legumes and low in meat and dairy.

Fascinating new data on olive oil (a fruit juice) involves keeping our brain healthy.

Those who said they consumed more than a half tablespoon of olive oil daily had reduced their risk of death from neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, by 29%. This research, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American College of Cardiology, looked at men and women over 28 years. Extra virgin olive oil consumption daily is one of many lifestyle modifications that, when started early, can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia.

In an observational study of more than 90,000 U.S. health care professionals, consuming even a small amount of olive oil was also associated with reduced total mortality. Compared with men and women who rarely or never consumed olive oil (the lowest intake), those who consumed greater than 0.5 tablespoon/day or more than 7 g/day (the highest intake) had a 19% lower mortality risk over a 28-year follow-up, starting from an average age of 56 years.

More data recently published in regards to vegetable oils support the above studies.

In addition observational findings suggest. higher intake of vegetable fats from foods such as olive oil – and nuts – is associated with a lower risk for stroke, whereas people who eat more animal fats, especially processed red meats, may have a higher stroke risk. In a study of more than 117,000 health professionals who were followed for 27 years, those whose diet was in the highest quintile for intake of vegetable fat had a 12% lower risk for stroke, compared with those who consumed the least amount of vegetable fats. Conversely, having the highest intake of animal fat from non-dairy sources was associated with a 16% increased risk of stroke.

The highest quintile of total red meat intake was associated with an 8% higher risk for stroke, but this was driven mainly by processed red meat (which was associated with a 12% higher risk for stroke). These findings are generally consistent with cohort studies showing that processed meat, as with most highly processed foods for that matter, are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events,

The above data and the data discussed in the podcast support current dietary recommendations to increase the intake of olive oil and other unsaturated vegetable oils in place of other fats to improve overall health and longevity.

In addition to a switch to healthier fats (eg, olive oil) other lifestyle changes are critical too: not smoking, doing physical activity, and eating an overall healthier diet, rich in unrefined plant-based foods (vegetables, whole grains, nuts), low/no intake of processed foods.

Dr. Alan Safdi, more:

Dr. Alan Safdi is board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Gastroenterology and is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology. A proven leader in the healthcare arena, he has been featured on the national program, “Medical Crossfire” and authored or co-authored numerous medical articles and abstracts.

Safdi, a long-time Telluride local, has been involved in grant-based and clinical research for four decades. He is passionate about disease prevention and wellness, not just fixing what has gone wrong.

Dr. Alan is an international lecturer on the subjects of wellness, nutrition and gastroenterology.

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