September Nutrition Nuggets


The topics for this months Nuggets are: Strokes; Diet & Acid Reflux; Apricot Kernels; Microbiomes (gut buddies); Artificial Sweeteners & Diabetes; and Diet & B/P as we age. Lots to think about!

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, CDC, states on their website that:  “Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of serious disability for adults.1,2 About 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year.” Anyone can be at risk of having a stroke regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. 80% of strokes are preventable, according to the CDC. 20% are not preventable but strokes are treatable. The treatment depends on the type of stroke & how early it is caught.

New report a “wake-up call” about stroke risk By ASHLEY WELCH CBS NEWS September 6, 2017  The “wake -up call is that the progress of stroke prevention has stalled. This particular study does not address the reasons for the stalled progress. Other studies have pointed at obesity, diabetes & high blood pressure as the culprits. 

CNBC/Modern Medicine: America is losing battle to prevent strokes, as risk factors increase across population This article mentions the fact that we are seeing an increase in hospitalization of younger people & children for strokes. The cause is linked to risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes & use of tobacco. This is appalling news! 

The CDC is calling this a “wake-up call” for the CDC. There are studies & programs to show that diet & lifestyle changes can lower your risks. I think the “wake-up call” is for the American public to take a serious look at how they & their families are eating & exercising. Be your own advocate. Don’t wait to be told that you need to clean up your diet, exercise & change your lifestyle. Losing just 10 pounds, if you are overweight, will lower your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol & your overall risk for cancer, heart disease, stroke & diabetes. 

The Huff post & other news agencies reported that A Vegetarian Diet Could Be The Ideal Acid Reflux RemedyThis could be huge. 09/08/2017, By Rebecca ZamonSenior Editor, Lifestyle, HuffPost Canada As it says in the title, this could be huge. The latest studies, Science News, have shown that medications used for acid reflux, proton pump inhibitors, have been linked to a higher risk of death with long term use. This small study of 184 people shows that you can get the same benefits with a plant based diet… like the Mediterranean diet 🙂 

Another example of what a change in diet & lifestyle can make.

You have probably heard of laetrile used as an alternative treatment for cancer. Laetrile is made from apricot kernels/seeds. Laetrile is also inaccurately referred to as Vitamin B17, to be able to market the laetrile as a supplement. The apricot kernel contains a toxic substance, amygdalin. Amygdalin is converted to cyanide in the body, which is poisonous and can cause serious harm. Cyanide prevents the cells from using oxygen. All cells, not just cancer cells.

Apricot kernels can give you cyanide poisoning  Daily News, by Constance Gibbs, September 12, 2017  An Australian man in remission from prostate cancer, took apricot kernels in an extract along with pills made from fruit seeds to prevent the cancer from returning. He took them every day for 5 years & died from cyanide poisoning. He was warned to stop taking them by his doctors when they noticed his oxygen saturation was very low. He didn’t listen & continued.

Before you try any alternative treatment for any disease or condition, research it, talk with your healthcare team or email me! Alternative means that you are told to forgo your conventional treatment to use only the treatment offered. This is rarely a good idea.

NPR: Is The Secret To A Healthier Microbiome Hidden In The Hadza Diet? August 24, 2017, by MICHAELEEN DOUCLEFF  The Hadza are a hunter-gatherer group in Tanzania. Their diet consists of what they find in their forest. This is an interesting study of their diet and its impact on their microbiomes, gut buddies. Our diet influences what gut buddies we have. We now know that our gut health is linked to our brain function as well as the health of other parts of the body. This article is worth reading. The results of the study may surprise you.

US NEWS: Could Artificial Sweeteners Raise Your Diabetes Risk? By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter Sept. 14, 2017  I have talked about artificial sweeteners use before. This study was conducted in Australia with a small group of participants, 27 adults, over a two week period. Even so the study has made diabetic experts ask some important questions.

As I have long suspected, use of artificial sweeteners can affect the way your body responds to glucose (sugar), increasing your risk for type 2 Diabetes. The results of this study apply to people who use these sweeteners all the time. Too much phony sugar is as bad as too much regular sugar. Both come with their own health problems. I would ordinarily say that moderation is the key, but in the case of fake sugar, I would say don’t use them at all. 

For those of you who are shaking your head right now, wondering what to sweeten your foods with…use regular old sugar, honey, pureed fruit etc. Use it in moderation. If you usually take 2 packets of fake sugar in your coffee then use use 1 teaspoon or less of sugar. Buying sugar free processed & packaged goods is not a healthy choice. Not only because of the fake sugar but also because of all the other ingredients in them that are unhealthy. Products that are sugar free give some people the idea that they can consume more, racking up the calories as they do. 

Ok, enough from my fake sugar soapbox 🙂

CTV Health from Canada: Keeping a steady, healthy weight as we age also helps keep blood pressure low  Published Saturday, September 16, 2017 Another important study that was done in the US. Read the article, very informative.

The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study used 4,630 participants, 18-30 years old & followed them for 25 years. Their blood pressures & health behaviors were measured 8 times during that period. The study looked at the following health behaviors:

  • Healthy body weight
  • Have never smoked
  • Zero to seven alcoholic drinks weekly for women and zero to 14 for men
  • 150 minutes or more moderate to vigorous physical activity per week
  • Eating a healthy diet based on adhering to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan; the DASH diet.

The conclusion was, maintaining a healthy body weight was the most important behavior to keep an optimal blood pressure as the participants aged. They also stressed that all the listed behaviors have a positive impact on health. My question would be; don’t you need the other behaviors to maintain a healthy body weight?


I will be on vacation next week. The next Blog post will be on October 9th. Yes, October is almost here! I am looking forward to all things pumpkin…until then, Mary 🙂