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Dec 29, 2010


We are two days from the end of 2010. For the New Year why not vow to improve your health by eating less fried fish and more low fat dairy?
Studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish, especially fatty fish, may reduce the risk of stroke. Research has shown that frying fish leads to the loss of the natural fatty acids. People living in our nation’s stroke belt (including the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana) are at higher risk of dying of stroke than people in the rest of the country. According to a study published by neurologist Fadi Nahab of Emory University in Atlanta in the Dec. 22, 2010, online issue of Neurology people living in the stroke belt eat more fried fish and less un-fried fish than people living outside it. Dr. Nahab concludes that this correlation is a strong indicator that frying fish negates the health value of eating fish and ups the stroke risk. So eat fish once to twice per week but grill it, broil it, bake it or poach it instead.   
New research shows that consumption of milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter with some residual fat (not the fat free stuff) have a strongly protective effect against onset of Type II diabetes because they contain a fatty acid called trans-palmitoleic acid. The study led by epidemiologist Dariush Mozaffarian (who practices cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and teaches it at Harvard Medical School) was published in the December 21, 2010, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
The researchers examined 3,736 participants in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-funded Cardiovascular Health Study, who have been followed for 20 years in an observational study to evaluate risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in older adults. They used stored blood samples to check for blood levels of glucose and trans-palmitoleic acid. They observed that individuals with higher circulating levels of trans-palmitoleic acid had a much lower risk of developing diabetes, with about a 60% lower risk among participants in the highest quintile (fifth) of trans-palmitoleic acid levels, compared to individuals in the lowest quintile.
In contrast to the types of industrially produced trans fats found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which have been linked to higher risk of heart disease, trans-palmitoleic acid is almost exclusively found in naturally-occurring dairy and meat trans fats, which in prior studies have not been linked to higher heart disease risk. Although the human body produces a substance called cis-palmitoleic acid which is preventive against diabetes, modern diets limit its protective function because they are loaded with carbs and calories. The researchers believe that the cis-palmitoleic acid in dairy products with fat is stepping in as a “pinch hitter” for this function of cis-palmitoleic acid.

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