Omni Heart: Part II

June 03, 2007

Omni Heart:  Part II 

 Competency #  2 The Dash and Omni Heart Diets                            ReferenceJAMA. 2005;294:2497-2498.  JAMA 297, 969, 2007 AND Nutrition Action: May 2007 

 Omni: Optimal Macro Nutrient Intake.  That spells OMNI.  It was a study by the NIH finished in 2005 and first reported in JAMA that recruited 164 people to eat three different diets for 6 weeks each.  The study was done by the same team that brought us the DASH Diet.  They were trying to go the next stage in development.  “Optimal”. One segment of the study was focused on good carbohydrates.  One was on good fats.  One was on good proteins.  Adding a little more of each to make an emphasis changed the basic “flavor” of each.  That’s what makes the “Mediterranean Diet” different, more olive oil.  But all had the basic DASH foundation, 8-10 servings a day of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat calcium and small amounts of meat.  Extra protein was added by extra beans and legumes, or extra chicken without the skin.  Extra oil was added with olive or canola oil.  Extra carbs were added by adding TWO extra fruit and vegetable servings, and one WHOLE grain serving.  

And sweets, well, a serving of “sweets” was so small (a teaspoon) that the only way to make it work is to save up servings for once a week and do it right and have a whole scoop (just one) of ice cream. All three dropped blood pressure, like DASH.  All three improved LDLs, the major risk for heart disease.  So, we can win the weight loss war and add some variety to our diet.  Curiously, HDLs dropped on the high protein component, which was not expected.  We’re not sure if that’s a risk or not.  People also reported feeling more full on the protein diet.  

And in JAMA, last month, a head-to-head comparison of Atkins versus Zone versus Learn showed that the Atkins diet lost the most weight. This is good news.  You can construct what works for you.  Here are some crucial tips. Good Carbs:  Extra serving of FRUIT, VEGETABLE, BEANS (NOT WHITE BREAD) If you want to eat wheat/rice, you want to see the chunk of the WHOLE GRAIN. Good Fats:  Up to 5 extra teaspoons of olive oil/canola oil a day.  BUT you have to cut other calories someplace else.  Bacon is not a good fat. Good Protein:  Add more nuts and beans, poultry, fish.  NOT RED MEAT, BACON, SAUSAGE Copy this link:  Paste it on your fridge 

 WWW: What Will Work for Me.  I’m on the journey of adding variety by way of more protein, nuts, fruit, whole grains, beans and legumes to my diet.  In essence, whole foods.  If it’s ground into flour, I’m trying to stay away.  For lunch today, two apples and a tablespoon of peanut butter. For supper, just one dish and a piece of fruit for dessert.  I’m not gaining weight.   

 RECIPE for Spicy Lentils  SUPERFOOD of the Month (Prep time 10 min.  Cooking 30) (Making a side dish rich in protein, fiber and whole grain carbs that has some zing to it.)  In India, it’s called “Dal”.  Note, rich in turmeric: brain food. Soak 2 cups of Masoor Dal (bright orange color – bought at Outpost, Indian Groceries) in water while starting the rest.  Masoor Dal cooks in 20 minutes.  Other lentils take longer to cook and have different flavors.  There are dozens of lentil types.  All will work. Stir fry: 1 T of canola oil with 1 chopped onion 1 tsp of cumin seed 1 tsp of red pepper (more or less to taste) 1 T of chopped garlic and chopped ginger   Stir for 2 minutes, add the rinsed lentils, stir stir stir Mix in 1 T of turmeric powder Add 4-5 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Add water to keep it soup-like That’s it.  Easy and quick. To get fancy, you can add One can of chopped tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes One can of kidney beans adds another bean flavor.   You can add 1 package of chopped coriander to add that delicious taste.  Stir that in just before serving:  All of these are optional to add variety. Makes a great soup, or side dish, or added to brown rice, or part of a curry meal.  I’ve had many people say they love it as a soup!  

This column is written by Dr. John E. Whitcomb, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield WI. (262-784-5300)