Does when you eat matter?

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Very interesting video from Dr. Panda, who's lab at the Salk Institute researches eating in harmony with our circadian rhythms.  Click here to access the video.  

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN

Eat nuts for heart and brain health?

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 , a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or olive oil reduced the incidence of a major cardiovascular event for high risk individuals by approximately 30% compared to a low fat diet group.  However, if we drill down further, only stroke reached statistical significance and not heart attack and cardiovascular death from all causes.  

Who was considered high risk in the study?  Men aged 55-80 and woman 60--80 who had diabetes or at least 3 of the following:  smoking, high blood pressure, elevated LDL cholesterol ('bad cholesterol'), low HDL ('good') cholesterol, overweight or obese, or a family history of premature coronary heart disease.

The group that received the nuts (a mix of walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds) consumed about 30 grams per day, which is about a 1/4 cup or 1 oz.  How about other nuts?  Here's an article from Harvard Health about the benefits of peanuts and other nuts for heart health and here is the original research article.  In this study, individuals who ate nuts 7 or more times per week, had a 20% lower death rate.  However, this study was observational, and not direct cause and effect. 

So, how do you include more nuts in your diet?  Nuts are about 180 calories per quarter cup and while not low in calories, they are heart healthy, a good source of protein and healthy fibers and tend to be satisfying. Try eating about a 1/4 cup nuts per day or more for a snack and skipping the chips and other salty snacks more often.  Try including sunflower seeds in salads, cashews in a stir fry, peanut butter with apples or bananas, pistachios or other nuts/seeds for snacks alone or any other option that you enjoy!

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

 

Nighttime snacking and cholesterol, what's the connection?

According to a research study (click here) conducted on eleven healthy young woman from Japan, a nighttime snack (192 calories snack at 11pm) increased LDL (the 'bad') and total cholesterol levels and reduced total body fat oxidation (fat utilized for energy). 

For those looking to control cholesterol levels for heart health, skipping that nighttime snack may be worth considering.  In addition, for those looking for help with body fat reduction, skipping the late night snack may help as fat used for fuel was reduced with the late night snack. 

Drawbacks from the study?  Short duration (13 days) and only 11 participants.  In addition, it would have been useful to test the nighttime snack at multiple time intervals (8, 9, 10pm) as well for those who snack at different times.

Now stopping late night eating is a challenge for some, and making this change is easier said than done.  First tip?  If possible, reduce or remove the high sugar and high salt snacks from the house to reduce temptation at night (when willpower is the lowest).  Tip two?  Brush and floss within 5-10 minutes after dinner.  Tip three?  Avoid the kitchen after dinner.   Tip four?  Put leftovers away immediately after dinner. 

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist