Anti-Angiogenesis – Can You Eat Your Way to Health?

Interesting TED talk by Dr. William Li about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game. William Li heads the Angiogenesis Foundation, a nonprofit that is re-conceptualizing global disease fighting.

 

Transcript:

Good afternoon. There’s a medical revolution happening all around us, and it’s one that’s going to help us conquer some of society’s most dreaded conditions, including cancer. The revolution is called angiogenesis, and it’s based on the process that our bodies use to grow blood vessels. [Read more…]

Lowly Walnut Deemed World’s Healthiest Nut

A press release from the American Chemical Society (!) reports on a study showing that walnuts provide more heart healthy anti-oxidants than any other nut.   Compared to almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, and pecans, walnuts had the highest levels of antioxidants.

This study is apparently the first one to compare the anti-oxidant benefits of varieties of widely available nuts.

The author of the study, Joe Vinson, Ph.D. notes that nuts account for barely 8% of the anti-oxidants in the average diet.  People wrongly believe that consuming nuts will cause weight gain or that nuts contain unhealthy fats.

Previous studies have indicated that nuts induce a feeling of satiation, and thus help dieters control calorie consumption.

 

Why Calorie Counting Matters

I am not happy that calorie counting matters, but it really does.  Like many of my peers, I could stand to lose a few pounds.  In my teens and twenties, it was fairly easy to lose weight – just increase my physical activity and, presto, the weight would come off without any diet modification.

Sad to say, those days are over.   Even with 4 to 5 rigorous, 90 minute workouts a week, those excess pounds are very slow to come off.

Nutrition experts as well as physicians with whom I have discussed this are fairly blunt – you have to count calories.

What does this mean, in a practical sense?  In my case, I need about 2,750 calories a day to maintain my weight.   A vigorous workout burns around 800 calories, so I can consume around 3,500 calories a day and not gain any weight.  A pound is equal to 3,500 calories.    Assuming that 2 days a week, I consume 3,500 calories, I need to limit myself to 2800 calories a day for 5 days a week to drop a pound a week.

I can’t eat too few – or my body will go into starvation mode.

Recently, I started counting calories.   I made some surprising discoveries.

  • I enjoy popcorn and I use a Whirley-pop 6 quart popper that uses 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels and 3 to 4 tbsp of oil – 6 quarts = 1,536 calories
  • I enjoy French bread and butter or Smart Balance – my portion costs me between 1,200 and 1,500 calories
  • Pizza – 3 slices of cheese pizza – 500 calories
  • chicken breast (8 oz.) – 450 calories
  • rice (flavored) – my portion around 800 calories

In my case, portion size is the problem, as is speed of eating.   I am using the About.com Calorie Count online service to track what I eat – we’ll see how it goes.