Some Common Sense on Bacon

BreakfastRemember when eggs caused high cholesterol?

Or eating late at night was going to make you fat?

The latest health scare craze is bacon.

Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) released a study that put bacon in the same cancer causing category as cigarrettes.

Yes, that is right, eating bacon is as bad for you as smoking cigarettes. Because that makes sense right?

Let’s take a look at the numbers behind the frenzy.

If you smoke cigarettes, your chance of getting lung cancer goes up 2500%. That’s a lot.

If you eat two slices of bacon everyday, your chance of getting colorectal cancer goes up 18%. That sounds like a lot.

Given the incidence of colorectal cancer runs around 5%, eating that bacon raises your chance to about 6%.

Look, I am not advocating that you eat bacon everyday. Let’s be sensible here.

While it is not OK to have a BLT everyday, having bacon every now and then is certainly nothing to stress about. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that the anxiety over eating a few slices of bacon every now and then, is more damaging then eating the bacon.

I’ll see you at brunch!

More Evidence That A Little Wine is Good for You

Dr. Tapan Mehta, a renal fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, in Aurora is making the wine lovers very, very happy!

In a recent study, Dr. Mehta found that drinking a little less than a glass of wine, yes you read that correct, a little less than a glass, could cut one’s risk of kidney disease by 37% if you had healthy kidneys to start with.

Now here is where it gets interesting. For those that already have chronic kidney disease there is a very serious increase in risk of cardiovascular disease.

Drinking a little less than a glass of wine a day for people with chronic kidney disease showed a 29% decrease in cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Mehta theorizes that drinking wine decreases protein in the urine. In those with kidney disease, high levels of protein in the urine are associated with kidney disease progression. Wine has also been known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help explain the protective heart effects.

There did not appear to be any difference between red and white wine.

Now I know what you are thinking, if one is good, is two better? There are no studies yet that show if drinking more is better for you.


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Exercise and Your Heart

I read something once that said, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet.” I have to be honest, that one surprised me a bit. Growing up I was always told, as long as you exercise enough, you can pretty much eat what you want, within reason.

Recently, the director of the Boston Marathon, a runner that has run in 130 marathons and several Ironman distance triathalons, was diagnosed with coronary artery disease.

Talk about a shock. How could someone in such good condition get coronary artery disease?

It turns out that while exercise will do wonders for your weight, blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels, it may fool you and your doctor into thinking your heart is healthier than it is. Particularly if you are eating a terrible diet.

As more studies come out, there is a growing body of research that running a large amount might (key word) actually damage your heart and arteries.

James O’Keefe, a Kansas City cardiologist and ex triathlete, believes that sustained endurance exercise can damage the heart and recommends no more than 20 miles per week at a modest pace.

To say that not all cardiologists are on board with this thinking is a slight understatement.

What everyone seems to be in agreement with is; as you get older, it is imperative that you continue to get your heart and arteries checked, especially if there is a history of heart disease in your family.


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