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Jeff Novick's Blog

Jeffrey S. Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN

Jeff’s insightful and humorous approach to nutrition and health has helped thousands worldwide make the transition to healthy living. He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana State University in nutrition with minors in Exercise Science.

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Eating A Little Less To Live A Little Longer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Friday, 13 March 2009 12:19
There are many programs and diets that are promoted as being the healthiest and the best.   Most all promise a long healthy life free of disease.   Most all claim that their program is based on sound science.  Same claim the secret is eating only raw foods, some claim the secret is the enzymes in food, some say it is eating a diet that is higher in fat or higher in carb, some say it is eating like a caveman, some say it is the total exclusion of animal products, while others say it is some combination of a few of the above.
 
However, in the last 76 years, there is only one documented approach to extend life and reduce the risk of disease in virtually every single animal ever tested to date.  This system is called Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition (CRON).  And, there are now controlled studies on non human primates and a few NIH sponsored studies in humans all of which are showing very positive and promising results.
 
This just released article on Calorie Restriction is from Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D. a researcher who will be one of the Keynote Speakers at the September Advanced Weekend McDougall Program. A great opportunity to meet and spend time with a leading researcher in the world in the area of nutrition, aging and longevity. 

http://geriatrics.im.wustl.edu/faculty/fontana.html 
 
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The Burden Of Proof: Health News, Science & Evidence Pt 2 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Friday, 06 March 2009 19:36
The second issue in understanding all the health news we are bombarded with is understand the way science works.

When you understand the concept of "Burden of Proof: and the way science really works, you eventually begin to realize that most of the news stories you hear and the reports of "breaking news" are all making the same mistakes and/or assumptions in the way these studies (and/or products)  are either done, and/or reported, and you learn what to look for.

If you do listen to the news, one day fat is good, one day fat is bad. 

But realize that real science doesn't "work the way", and/or change its mind every day, though the media wants us to think that. One day coffee is good & one day coffee is bad. One day Atkins is good, one day Atkins is bad. A few weeks ago in the NY Times, eggs we were told that egg were now good.
 
What's a person to do?   
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The Burden Of Proof: Health News, Science & Evidence Pt 1. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 00:00
Not a day goes by where I do not get an email, a forum post or a phone call about the latest health news. And, in todays world, with the explosion of available media outlets, these news stories seem endless.
 
So, what is someone to make of all of them and how to do we deal with this influx of news.   Especially with all these new diets, pills, supplements, and "breaking" news stories.
 
How do you know any if anything we hear is true?   Where is the evidence for what is being said?

This is why we have to understand the concept of "Burden of Proof."   

Let me use an analogy as it is just like we saw in the field of Law.
 
Many people make many claims about man other people. He did this. She did that. He said this. She said that. The endless run around of "he said, she said."    And, each side in any argument says they have "proof." 
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Don't Go Cuckoo Over Coconut Water! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Friday, 27 February 2009 21:28

Coconut water is another food that is becoming popular as being healthy and a healthier alternative to drink than water.    It is said to be free of the fat and saturated fat content that is part of the problem with coconut meat.   

 

Well, it is true that coconut water does not contain any fat or saturated fat, like coconut meat, however,  I do not recommend the use of Coconut, or any of its parts.  Even if it is pure coconut water straight from the coconut.   

 

Here is the analysis of pure coconut water.

 

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Don't Go Cuckoo Over Cocoa: Raw or Not! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Wednesday, 25 February 2009 00:00

 

Chocolate and cocoa powder are two related foods that are often touted "health food."  And, in the "alt health" community "raw" cocoa powder is being promoted as the ideal form to consume cocoa in.

Well, let's take a closer look at the claims and the science. 

Chocolate is made with cocoa which comes from the cacao bean. The cacao bean, like all beans (including the coffee bean, kidney bean and all others) are a rich source of many nutrients, flavonoids and phytochemicals

Because they are rich sources of these beneficial nutrients, when you use them as a base of some food product or beverage (coffee, chocolate), and feed them to people, these foods may show some benefit.

The cacao bean has even become a fad amongst certain fractions of the health food movement which is unfortunate.

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