Author: Herman Watts

Kelly Clarkson Used This Plant-Based Diet to Get Healthy — Weight Loss Was a Side Effect

Kelly Clarkson has dropped 37 pounds in the last year. She gives credit for her waist-shrinking success to a new, clean eating plan: the Plant Paradox diet.

In early June, Clarkson stunned fans and red-carpet guests with a slimmer physique at the CMT Music Awards. She later told “Today Show” host Hoda Kotb she decided to change her eating habits because she received a diagnosis of a thyroid condition and autoimmune disease.

The goal, the Grammy Award-winning singer and “The Voice” coach said, was never weight loss.

“For me, it wasn’t really the weight. For me, it’s I’m not on my medicine anymore,” she told Kotb. “My blood work came back, and I haven’t been on my medicine since February.”

“The Plant Paradox,” by Dr. Steven R. Gundry, claims that lectins — proteins present in many foods — are responsible for a variety of health ailments, from weight gain and leaky gut to inflammation and thyroid issues. This is why Clarkson used the diet. Eliminating lectins from your diet, Gundry suggests in his book, can reverse these complications.

Unfortunately, some of the foods most experts consider among the healthiest in the world contain lectin. These include fruits, vegetables, and grains.

That’s why this diet worries some nutrition experts and plant-based eating proponents.

What are lectins, and are they unhealthy?

Lectins are proteins found in about 30 percent of foods. Gluten, for example, is a type of lectin. They’re particularly abundant in plant foods.

For plants, lectins act as a natural defense against fungi and insects. In humans, Gundry says, the proteins attack the body, leading to numerous health and digestive problems.

“Lectins are known as pro-inflammatory and autoimmunity-triggering proteins,” said Dr. Luiza Petre, an assistant clinical professor of cardiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a cardiology clinical instructor at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. “Once they enter the bloodstream, they trigger an autoimmune response. They can also directly irritate the intestinal lining, leading to leaky gut syndrome, or the condition where our gut is not working as an effective filter anymore.”

The Plant Paradox diet requires followers to eliminate lectin-rich foods, including:

  • soy
  • peanuts
  • quinoa
  • brown rice
  • potatoes
  • nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant
  • most all fruit, except in-season berries and avocados
  • any dairy foods that are made from the milk of grain-fed cows

What’s left is pasture- and grass-fed meat, leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, fish, and coconut oil. It might seem limited. But Gundry believes this is the key to restoring health for many individuals.

“[This diet] asks people to eat and party like it’s 9,999 years ago, before the dawn of agriculture,” Gundry, who’s a heart surgeon, told Healthline. “Humans thrived on this diet in the past and are thriving again as they return to their dietary roots and eliminate the ‘disruptors’ that have destroyed their gut microbiome.”

What does the research say?

Gundry describes “disruptors” as chemicals and environmental factors that wreak havoc on the body, including herbicides, certain medications that can have side effects, and artificial sweeteners.

However, research to support Gundry’s claims is very limited. Indeed, no human studies have verified his proposed theories.

Instead, he says, he has anecdotal evidence to support his claims.

“[Kelly Clarkson’s] experience is exactly like tens of thousands of patients who have followed the program,” he told Healthline. “In short, it works.”

But many medical experts are wary of relying on anecdotal evidence instead of published data.

Plus, the foods you’re required to give up for the Plant Paradox diet are considered some of the healthiest. That’s a problem for many nutritional experts.

“While any diet that is highly restrictive will likely help people lose weight in the short term, this diet unfortunately severely limits the intake of many foods central to a plant-based diet,” said Dr. Nicole Harkin, FAAC, a board-certified cardiologist and lipidologist and clinical assistance professor at Columbia University.

She points out there’s good data about the type of diet that’s healthy for the brain and heart.

“While there is little to no evidence that a lectin-free diet is healthy for you, there are an abundance of studies indicating that a whole-food, plant-based diet is good for your heart and brain,” Harkin said.

Eating healthier

For Clarkson, her adherence to the Plant Paradox diet required her to eliminate a lot of processed and packaged foods.

Eliminating processed foods can cut calories, reduce sugar intake, and help you shed unwanted pounds. That step alone could be a successful option for most people.

Clarkson told Kotb in her “Today Show” appearance that it also helped her gain an understanding of the quality of food she was eating.

“It’s about understanding food and what we do to food, like spraying and pesticides and genetically modified and hormones we pump in,” the 36-year-old mother of four told said.

If eliminating all of these foods for a diet feels overwhelming or complicated, keep in mind that cooking destroys lectins.

“It seems unrealistic to eliminate these foods entirely from your diet, as there are ways to prepare them and lower lectin content while reaping the benefits of fiber, vitamins, and other antioxidants,” Petre said.

Soaking, pressure cooking, removing seeds, peels, or sprouting, fermenting, and adding bicarbonate are all ways you can reduce the lectin content of your favorite foods, Petre says. Indeed, much of the lectin in foods is destroyed long before you eat it.

“My advice is to cut the processed and packaged food, as the Plant Paradox diet recommends, but don’t miss out on all of the antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients found in fruits, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables,” Harkin added.

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2-min read

Senior Citizens Could Boost Their Lifespan with The Mediterranean Diet: New Study

At the end of the study, the researchers found that following the Mediterranean diet is associated with a 25 percent reduction in the risk of death from all causes, including a reduced risk of death from coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease.

Senior Citizens Could Boost Their Lifespan with The Mediterranean Diet: New Study
The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, omega-3 and whole grain cereals. ©CharlieAJA/
New European research has found that following the popular Mediterranean-style diet as we age could help boost longevity by reducing the risk of death from all causes.

Carried out by researchers at the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention of the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, in Italy, the new study looked at 5,200 people over the age of 65 who were participating in the Moli-sani Study, a large-scale study which investigates the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer, including the role of the Mediterranean diet. The participants were given a diet score to assess their adherence to the Mediterranean diet before being followed for a period of eight years.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that following the Mediterranean diet is associated with a 25 percent reduction in the risk of death from all causes, including a reduced risk of death from coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease.

The researchers then carried out a further meta-analysis of seven studies, including their own, carried out across several countries with a total of 11,738 participants also over the age of 65. They found that a one-point increase in the Mediterranean Diet Score was associated with 5 percent lower risk of death from all causes, and that the greater the adherence to the Mediterranean diet, the greater the reduction in risk of death.

“The novelty of our research is to have focused our attention on a population over 65 years old,” says Marialaura Bonaccio, first author of the study. “We already knew that the Mediterranean diet is able to reduce the risk of mortality in the general population, but we did not know whether it would be the same specifically for elderly people.”

A traditional Mediterranean-like diet is rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, pulses, olive oil and cereals, and low in meat and dairy products, with moderate wine consumption during meals. The researchers also added that certain foods, when eaten as part of a Mediterranean-type diet, appear to offer greater protection, including a high consumption of monounsaturated fats, found in extra virgin olive oil and fish, and also a moderate consumption of alcohol, preferably during meals.

“Our research considers nutrition as a whole, but it is still interesting to understand which foods mainly contribute to the ‘driving’ effect of the Mediterranean diet,” explains Bonaccio. “Our data confirm what has already been observed in numerous epidemiological and metabolic studies, namely that a moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, if inserted in a Mediterranean food context, is a protective factor for our health.”

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How Long Should A Workout Be To Gain Muscle? Science Says 13 Minutes Could Do The Trick

What if I told you that you could do a strength training workout in half the time you normally do and still get just as strong? You’d think I was speaking of magic, wouldn’t you? Well, friends, the truth is, the question ofhow long a workout should be to gain musclereally depends on how you’re approaching the workout. Apparently, according to the results of a new study, if you’re doing something the fitness pros call “training to failure,” you might be able to exercise for a lot less time than you think. We’re talking, like half an episode of 30 Rock. Yes, seriously.

The study, which has been published in the medical journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, showed that it might be possible to to gain more or less the same muscular benefits with one brief set of a workout, rather than the traditional three sets. The one caveat, of course, is that you have to go at that set, like, really hard to make it count — so hard that you absolutely could not complete another set, even if you tried. That’s the meaning of “training to failure,” BTW, but we’ll get into that more in a bit.


Now, before I get into how the study was done, it’s worth noting that the research only included 34 “healthy resistance-trained men,” according to the study authors, so the results may be a bit limiting. Even so, there’s something to be learned from these findings, so here’s how the research was done: To begin, the researchers tested and recorded the men’s baseline muscular strength, endurance, and the size of their muscles. Then they randomly assigned each of the men to one of three different supervised weight-training groups, all with slight differences in their routines, though each one included pretty standard exercises like machine leg presses, bench presses, and lateral pull-downs. For all 34 men in the study, a set of any of these exercises was considered to be about eight to 12 reps, and the participants had to lift to failure, meaning lift until they literally could not do it anymore.

As for how each workout routine differed, one group was instructed to complete five sets of each exercise, with 90 seconds of rest in between each set; these guys stayed at the gym for around 70 minutes. Group two did three sets of each exercise and worked out for about 40 minutes total. Group three finished one set and one set alone, finishing their gym time after only 13 minutes. Each participant in the study did their workout three times a week over the course of eight weeks before they went back for a check-in with the researchers.

Now, while the researchers found that every single one of these dudes got stronger during the study, what was particularly interesting was that the men who did only one set in their workouts gained just as much actual strength as the men who did more sets. Isn’t that wild?!


The one thing that differed, the study found, was the size of the men’s muscles, aka their muscle mass, “but they were not noticeably stronger,” according to The New York Times. So, basically, the big takeaway here is that strength and size don’t necessarily correlate, and really, one of the most important things to do during strength training, if you really want to see results, is to train to failure.

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But hey, even though you can’t necessarily go super hard for every trip to the gym, if it means one of your workouts each week can be just 13 minutes long, I’d say that’s still pretty great, right? More time to binge 30 Rock.


Vegan Musician Bryan Adams Says Removing ALL Animal Products From His Diet Was the Best Thing He Ever Did

Vegan musician Bryan Adams says that switching to a plant-based diet is the best decision he ever made.

The Canadian singer-songwriter took to Instagram to show off his homemade avocado toast lunch and to share with fans how a vegan diet has drastically improved his health.

“It’s funny when people call it trendy, since it’s been my favourite lunch since I became vegan/vegetarian/rawfood over 30 years ago,” Adams wrote. “And I’ve tried it all, and there is no question that for me, getting off ALL animal products and sugar was the best thing I ever did for myself.”

“Buying fresh food is expensive, but so is the cost of dodgy health,” Adams continued.“I cured myself of all kinds of ailments purely by changing my diet.”

A post shared by Bryan Adams (@bryanadams) on

Adams eliminated all animal products from his diet in 1989 and has since been a vocal supporter of the health benefits of a vegan diet. At the start of the New Year, Adams encouraged his hundreds of thousands of fans to go vegan.

Last November, Adams credited his plant-based diet for helping him to build a stronger immune system, stating that he rarely ever gets sick. The 58-year-old musician follows a raw vegan diet, which he says helps him maintain a healthy weight.

“Want to lose weight? Go raw. I won’t tell you it’s easy, because it’s not, especially if you were brought up like I was with the typical British diet of roast beef and sausages, but I encourage you to try healing yourself,” Adams continued. “Listen to your body and your skin, it’s telling you something is wrong if you’re seeing changes you don’t like.”

Not vegan for his health alone, Adams extends his choices beyond just what he eats. He once professed his love of cruelty-free vegan leather shoes by London-based footwear brand, Boboheme and has said that his life’s motto is: “if you love animals, go vegan.”

“You have the power to turn it around, it’s totally within your grasp. Read about detoxing, and start today: Go Vegan, you will never regret it,” Adams concluded.

Image Credit: Bryan Adams


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Vegan Musician Bryan Adams Says Removing ALL Animal Products From His Diet Was the Best Thing He Ever Did


Vegan musician Bryan Adams took to Instagram to tell fans that following a raw vegan diet is the best thing he ever did; the health benefits of a vegan diet for Adams include higher energy and a healthy weight.


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