Friday, December 26, 2008

The Mediterranean Diet, heart health and tips

After eating three different Christmas dinners, I am now stuffed and am dedicating myself to reading a new book Glenn got in the mail entitled, The Great American Heart Hoax: Lifesaving Advice Your Doctor Should Tell You About Heart Disease Prevention (But Probably Never Will). Although the book is about how to avoid heart surgery such as angioplasties and coronary bypass, the writer, Dr. Michael Ozner, is a cardiologist who also wrote The Miami Mediterranean Diet, so I decided to fast forward to the chapter, "Follow a Mediterranean Diet" to see if I could learn anything. Frankly, I don't think heart surgeries are a hoax, one saved my life and I am forever grateful to my doctors. I do think the author may be correct that those who are stable may not benefit from some of the tests and procedures, however. But that aside, the chapter on diet starts out with the author stating, "What you eat is the single most important factor in your health."

I don't think I buy that, the single most important factor seems to be one's genes or other factors. However, I do agree with the author that eating is the one thing you can control and I think because of that, people tend to give it top billing to gain a sense of mastery over their fate. The advice given on the Mediterranean diet is nothing earth-shattering but there are good, straight forward tips on what to eat.

Dr. Ozner says to stay away from red meat, eating it at most weekly or monthly and lean cuts only. Avoid high fructose corn syrup as the average American consumes 73.5 pounds of this sweetener each year, a large increase since it was introduced in 1970. High fructose corn syrup increases triglyceride production which is a major risk for heart disease. He is not into milk and says if you must drink it, use fat-free or skim milk.

The main components of a Mediterranean diet are whole (non-refined) grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts such as almonds and walnuts which have omega-3 fatty acids, olive oil, red wine, complex carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, tea, fruit and vegetable juices, cinnamon (some research shows the smell improves brain activity), and finally, dark chocolate. Okay, nothing new here but it's good to hear again to refresh my memory.

The book seems good for those who wish to read up on how to prevent heart disease. Dr. Ozner has a ten-step program with information on how to take command of your blood pressure, reduce free radicals and oxidative stress, and how to avoid unnecessary diagnostic tests and procedures, among others. I will probably refer to it from time to time as I try to improve my overall health, especially now that the holiday eating frenzy is over and spring is around the corner (one can only hope).


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas to all my readers who celebrate, Happy Hanukkah to my readers who, like me, are Jewish, and Happy Holidays to the rest. Here is a picture of the White House that we took the other day on our tour. As you can see, they had some beautiful Christmas trees up--although it was so cold and dark that night, I could not really fully appreciate them. I do now though, looking at them from the warmth of my computer.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Do men have any reproductive rights?

I interviewed Tennessee State Representative Stacey Campfield on his "Baby Daddy Bill" at PJTV. This bill ´╗┐seeks to petition to the court to disestablish paternity after DNA evidence reveals a baby was not sired by the man on the birth certificate. Join us for a fascinating discussion.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why no fluff pieces about Bush's dogs?

We just got back from D.C. and while there, took a tour of the White House.

Did you know that President Bush has two dogs? I didn't, until I saw some pictures up in the West Wing of him playing with them. What I find interesting is that we heard about the Clinton's cat, Socks, nonstop, and their dog, Buddy. Now, the Obamas are just thinking about getting a dog and the media just loves the story. The main time we heard much about the Bush's dogs was when one bit a Reuters reporter. Who can blame him? But it just goes to show, no ongoing fluff media pieces for Bush, it might make him too human.

Can anyone here tell me the breed of dogs Bush has without googling the information and tell me their names?

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