Through my graduate research at North Carolina State and Texas A&M, I realized that there is a disconnect between scientific knowledge in the field of nutrition and genetics, and the public’s perception of what makes a “healthy” diet. Here, I discuss a broad range of nutrition topics in an attempt to inform the public about the latest studies and make practical use of scientific results. Thanks for reading!

Misleading headline suggests “Paleo diet is dangerous, increases weight gain, diabetes exert warns”

A recent press release about a study at the University of Melbourne reads “Diabetes expert warns paleo diet is dangerous and increases weight gain.” The headline is based on a study by Dr. Andrikopoulos at the University of Melbourne. Being in my area of research (effects of diet in mice), I looked into this study and was surprised by the misleading nature of the press release.  Continue reading

Diet can Profoundly Change Colon Health in Two Weeks

DSC00476It is known that dietary alterations can cause rapid shifts in weight, but few studies have examined how quickly diet can impact other physiological parameters, especially those related to cancer. A recent study in Nature Communications has identified that diet can have profound health effects in as little as two weeks. The researchers investigated the impact of dietary change on markers of colon health and correlated these changes with shifts in gut microbiome composition. Continue reading

Dioxin in Salmon Presents Serious Health Concerns

salmonAs previously documented, a diet that balances omega-3 and omega-6 consumption seems to be optimal for human health. Today, omega-6 fats are prevalent in our diets because they are in many foods containing seed oils, such as corn and canola oil. To balance the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6, many researchers have encouraged reducing seed oil consumption and increasing fish consumption. Wild salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and farmed salmon usually has an even higher omega-3 fatty acid content. However, salmon is also has high levels of dioxin, a carcinogen and endocrine disrupter. So, should salmon be included as a part of a healthy diet or avoided because of toxicity concerns?  Continue reading

Another Study Questions US Nutritional Recommendations

ImageFindings from the most recent review comparing the effects of fatty acids on heart disease do not agree with the current US nutritional recommendations. Current recommendations encourage replacing saturated fat intake with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to reduce heart disease risk. The meta-analysis, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, finds no association of saturated fat intake with heart disease.  Continue reading

Whey vs Soy Protein Supplementation

ImageProtein supplementation has become very popular among athletes and gym-goers. Whey protein, a derivative of milk, is the most popular choice. Soy protein is particularly popular among vegans and individuals intolerant to dairy. However, concerns have been raised regarding soy’s effects on testosterone and estrogen. A study from the University of Connecticut has provided clarity on the effects of whey versus soy protein supplementation on testosterone, estrogen and cortisol levels following resistance training.  Continue reading