Best Diets Overall was reported in U.S. News & Report, 2 January 2020.  U.S. News ranked the 35 diets below with input from a panel of health experts. To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease.

A panel of nationally recognized experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease reviewed our profiles, added their own fact-finding and rated each diet in seven categories: how easy it is to follow, its ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss, its nutritional completeness, its safety and its potential for preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease. We also asked the panelists to let us know about aspects of each diet they particularly liked or disliked and to weigh in with tidbits of advice that someone considering a particular diet should know.

DRUM ROLL …….

    1. Mediterranean Diet
    2. DASH Diet
    3. The Flexitarian Diet
    4. WW (Weight Watchers) Diet
    5. Mayo Clinic Diet
    6. MIND Diet
    7. Volumetrics Diet
    8. TLC Diet
    9. Nordic Diet
    10. Ornish Diet

Where is the Keto Diet?  #34 out of 35 diets reviewed (although it tied for 3rd place for the Best Fast Weight Loss Diets).  Where it lost most points:  Easy to Follow (1.4 out of 5) and Healthy (1.8 out of 5). 

Read more:  Best Diets Overall


The Great Protein Debate Heats Up was written by Markham Heid for Medium/Heated, 6 January 2020. 

t’s tough to know precisely what Americans are eating from year to year. Collecting accurate diet data is notoriously tricky; people tend to under- or overestimate the amount of a specific food or nutrient they consume, and national nutrition figures usually lag several years behind the times.

But according to eating surveys collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, protein consumption has been rising slowly but steadily since 2000. For adults, the current RDA (set by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. That works out, on average, to 56 grams per day for adult men and 46 grams for women. (for reference, one small chicken breast, a half a cup of Greek yogurt, and two large eggs have about 50 grams of protein.)

While protein — coupled with exercise — supports muscle growth and maintenance, Valter Longo, a professor of gerontology and biological sciences at the University of Southern California, said it also increases the circulation of “pro-aging” hormones that contribute to the development of disease. Much of his work has examined the benefit of fasting diets for human health and longevity. He said that protein, more so than other nutrients, interferes with many of the important cellular processes that fasting initiates. And so, despite its short-term perks, heavy protein consumption could cause problems in the long run.

The types of diets eaten in places where people have historically lived long and disease-free lives — places like Okinawa or Sardinia — are almost always low in protein, Longo noted. And some of his research found that people aged 50 to 65 who eat diets high in protein — defined as diets in which 20 percent or more of a person’s calories come from protein — are at increased risk for cancer and death compared to those who eat less protein.

Mark Mattson, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University who has teamed up with Longo on several fasting studies, stated, “If protein synthesis is ramped up all the time, the ability of the cells to clear out molecular garbage is impaired.”

Stuart Phillips, a protein researcher and professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Canada said, “Especially later in life, protein intakes toward the higher end of his recommended range (1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day) might support immune function and offer protection against age-related muscle loss and weakness. Even some of Longo’s work found that, for people older than 65, high protein intake is associated with a lower risk of death and disease.

Read more: The Great Protein Debate Heats Up


Yuck: Docs’ White Coats Rarely See the Washing Machine was sadly written by Cheryl Clark for MedPageToday.com, 10 January 2020. 

In 2014, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America issued what it called an “expert guidance” statement on frequency for laundering attire for doctors who work in non-operating room healthcare settings. It reads: “Optimally, any apparel worn at the bedside that comes into contact with the patient or patient environment should be laundered after daily use. In our opinion, white coats worn during patient care should be laundered no less frequently than once a week and when visibly soiled.”

In 2018, Edgardo Olvera-Lopez, now in his third year of internal medicine residency at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx, surveyed attending physicians and colleagues in graduate training within his department: How often, exactly, did they launder their white coats, and how?  The results, published in November in the American Journal of Infection Control, were not for the weak of stomach, Olvera-Lopez acknowledged.

While the sample size was small with only 62 respondents (46% of those surveyed), 36% said they wore their white coats for 7-14 days before washing them and 21% said they wore them for more than 14 days before putting them through the laundry.  Only 14.8% washed their white coats after 3 days or less. The other 27.9% said they averaged 3-7 days between washings.  What’s more, over half of the respondents said they only owned one white coat, and 29% owned just two.

And this was not the first study to document habits like this. Appearing in the same journal in 2013 was a convenience-sample survey of 160 healthcare professionals attending conferences, indicating a mean time between white-coat washings of 12.4 days (SD 1.1).

Gonzalo Bearman, MD, first author of the 2014 SHEA expert guidance statement and chair of infectious diseases at Virginia Commonwealth University, acknowledged the infrequency in which white coats and other long-sleeved garments worn by health professionals at the bedside are laundered. And, he said, it’s also well known that those white coats worn at the bedside “are colonized with bacteria during the course of the day, no question.”

Robert McLean, MD, president of the American College of Physicians, said he wasn’t surprised at the New York City survey results and agreed that more attention and research should focus on the topic of white coat cleanliness.  “It’s probably something we do not pay enough attention to,” he said.

“The badge of honor, the coat that we’re wearing is potentially getting covered with stuff, bacteria as we touch our patients, whether we see it or not. There’s pretty good data in the literature about ties carrying bacteria,” even though the same tie isn’t being worn every day like the white coat.

McLean added that the practice of white coats “being worn repeatedly for days on end is actually very real.”

YUCK!  Ewwwww!

Read more:  Yuck: Docs’ White Coats Rarely See the Washing Machine

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