Papers

How Sweet is a Sweet Potato? Pretty Sweet!

Sweet potatoes are a super food that I have only recently come to appreciate. When preparing my lecture on heart disease epidemiology for our new eCornell course, I found reports of several traditional cultures known for avoiding heart disease that subsist largely on this delicious tuber. In fact, a 1978 paper[1] cited a dietary survey finding that sweet potatoes supplied about 90% of total calorie intake in the traditional subsistence culture of the Papua New Guinea highlanders. 90%! Sinnett and Whyte write, “Indeed, non-tuberous vegetables accounted for less than 5% of the food consumed, while the intake of meat was negligible.” There was no evidence of malnutrition from this diet and no evidence for hypertensive heart disease.

Here are some facts to chew on. If HALF of your diet was solely baked sweet potatoes with no salt, you would get all [...]

Are Smoothies Good or Bad?

In medical school, when time was shorter than short and I lived alone, I would periodically get concerned that I wasn’t eating enough leafy greens, because I wasn’t.
  • Butter and Saturated Fat
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    A Fallacious, Faulty and Foolish Discussion About Saturated Fat

A Fallacious, Faulty and Foolish Discussion About Saturated Fat

The New York Times has done it again, reporting on a summary of studies on the associations of various dietary and clinical risk factors with heart disease in a way that creates, in my opinion, more confusion than clarity.

The Mystique of Protein and Its Implications

There are three macronutrients in food: carbohydrates, fat and protein, ‘macro’ in the sense that they comprise almost all of the weight and calories of food. Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients.

Breast Cancer, Cholesterol, and Reductionism

According to a journalist for the prestigious journal Science (November 29, 2013), “Cholesterol....when metabolized by the body...turns into a potent estrogen-like molecule that spurs the growth of breast cancer in mice, and perhaps in people.
  • Patient inject the insulin syringe
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    Dementia and Diabetes News: (Mis)Adventures in Nutrition in Medicine

Dementia and Diabetes News: (Mis)Adventures in Nutrition in Medicine

A recent review found a growing body of literature showing decreased risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s dementia with greater adherence to plant-based diets.