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Disease Prevention & Health

Celebrate with Compassion

Celebrate with Compassion By Vesanto Melina, MS, RD About ten percent of Canadians, and similar numbers in many other countries  are choosing plant-based meals and the trend is accelerating, especially among young people. So you are likely to have at least one vegetarian or vegan at your holiday dinner table. They may be making this choice because they have learned from the World Health Organization that cured meats such as… Read More »Celebrate with Compassion

Who says you can’t turn back your biological clock?

Who says you can’t turn back your biological clock? Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian Recent headlines show that that North Americans now live longer – yet our last decade is often spent suffering from serious illness. For example, on average, Canadian women live to age 84, but are disease-free just to age 72. Results for men are similar. Since these are averages, half the population experiences poor health for longer… Read More »Who says you can’t turn back your biological clock?

Going Plant-based? By Leaps or by Baby Steps?

Going Plant-based? By Leaps or by Baby Steps? By Vesanto Melina MS, Registered Dietitian Have you been considering a shift towards a plant-based diet? Does a sudden leap towards an entirely vegan diet seem too overwhelming? Could you commit to eating one plant based dinner each week? How about a whole day of vegan meals? Every plant based choice you make helps the environment, animals, and, provided it is composed… Read More »Going Plant-based? By Leaps or by Baby Steps?

Reversing Chronic Disease: Magic!

Reversing Chronic Disease: Magic! By Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, with Agathe Mathieu People can be burdened with a chronic illness that they think will be their lifelong companion. Yet science is giving us strong indicators that simple lifestyle changes can rid us of rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and can decrease risk or recurrence of certain cancers. (Of course, it is important to follow medical advice as well.)… Read More »Reversing Chronic Disease: Magic!

Redneck: The Word’s History in Nutrition

Redneck: The Word’s History in Nutrition By Vesanto Melina, MS, RD I was surprised to learn that the word “redneck” has a nutrition-related origin. More than a century ago, in the Deep South, several factors—poor diet and racial tensions–coincided. A typical diet for poor whites and black slaves centered on corn, salt pork (fatty bacon), and molasses flavoured sweets. Corn is low in the vitamin niacin, and pork fatbacks and… Read More »Redneck: The Word’s History in Nutrition

Aging in Great Health!

Aging in Great Health! Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian Why do we age? Getting older, and showing it, and feeling it, involves a buildup of toxic metabolites including reactive oxygen species, a form of free radicals, and AGEs (Advanced Glycation Endproducts). AGEs are harmful substances that form when protein or fat combine with sugar in the bloodstream. AGEs are implicated in diabetic complications, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and normal aging. Having excess… Read More »Aging in Great Health!

Coconut Oil: Menace or Miracle?

Nutrispeak By Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis Few foods have been at once maligned and acclaimed as much as coconut oil. Some view it as a notorious health villain, with an even greater concentration of saturated fat than butter or lard. It tops list of foods to avoid in many heart-health programs. At the other end of the spectrum are those who view coconut oil as a fountain of youth,… Read More »Coconut Oil: Menace or Miracle?

Redefining Protein Quality:  What’s New About Protein?

NutriSpeak by Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian A new paper published by the American Society for Nutrition makes the case for modernizing the definition of protein quality. This is a welcome development. The current definition is outdated and fails to protect public health because it assesses how well various proteins meet human requirements based solely on digestibility and the content of essential amino acids. People may think this narrow definition… Read More »Redefining Protein Quality:  What’s New About Protein?

Meat Subsidies: We’re Paying Double

Nutrispeak by Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian Our annual subsidies to Canadian farmers have ranged from 6.9 billion dollars (in 2011) to more than 8 billion dollars. Primary beneficiaries from our tax dollars are beef, pork, poultry, egg, and dairy producers. We know that farming can be hard work, with challenging weather and trade agreements. Yet we also that, according to the World Health Organization, meat is a “probable carcinogen”. Cured… Read More »Meat Subsidies: We’re Paying Double

Defeating Type 2 Diabetes

Nutrispeak Vesanto Melina, MS, RD “The diabetes time bomb has been ticking for 50 years, and it’s been getting louder. Martin Silink, President International Diabetes Federation Since 2000, the number of people in Canada with diabetes has doubled. Today, one in three Canadians lives with prediabetes or diabetes. Those 20 years old now have a 50-50 chance of developing the disease. The risk for some indigenous people is 80 per cent. Close to 40… Read More »Defeating Type 2 Diabetes