WWB WATCH: Food As Medicine Rising Worldwide and International Conference ‘Food Values’ in Italy Sets the Stage…

Jan 10, 2017 by



It is no accident that there are ancient health truths that still apply to modern day lifestyle and culture, because they are supportive of the sound fundamentals of human health and well-being. When you take away commercialism of wellness, you are left with ‘What Matters’. With all the diet trends going in and out of style, what if there was one ancient diet that most people around the world could live on? What if there was one diet that has been scientifically proven ( worldwide) to reduce heart disease and many cancers? Well guess what? There is one and it’s called the Mediterranean Diet. The science hasn’t gone away but perhaps the wisdom has…

If you have been paying attention to health and wellness news the last couple of years, you might be aware that we are having a health crisis. Yes, amongst other very important urgent issues in the world, health, diet and chronic disease is becoming a global challenge. Most of the challenges could be prevented with diet, and all them come back to cultural values that have somehow been thrown under the bus for the sake of industry. The good news is, there are a lot of value driven experts around the world who are scientist, doctors, and chefs coming together with a BIG mission.  The BIG mission is essentially to enlighten governments and people around the world with ideal ‘Food Values’. What are their ideal ‘Food Values’? Simply answered, they are centered around traditional healthy plant based diets. What does that sound like? Yes, it’s the Mediterranean Diet!  The Mediterranean diet has significantly reduced the increasing burden of chronic diseases associated with modern industrialized patterns of food production and consumption. Enter the worldwide WISE mission and an important conference to address our food and health crisis with real applicable solutions…



International Conference ‘Food Values’ 

The Renaissance of the Mediterranean Diet and Significance for a 21st Century World
Casina Pio IV, Vatican City–14th February, 2017

World leading experts in nutrition, health and sustainability will gather under the patronage of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences next month to debate the urgent need for policies to be adopted which encourage more traditional diets.


Mons. Marcelo SANCHEZ SORONDO, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City


Scientific committee

Dr. Simon POOLE, MD – Author and Commentator, Cambridge, UK

Dr. Paolo PASQUALI – Mugello Cradle of the Renaissance, Vicchio, Florence, Italy

Prof. Francesco SOFI, MD, PhD – University of Florence, Italy

Organizing committee

Dr. Monica DINU, MSc – University of Florence, Italy

Dr. Giuditta PAGLIAI, MSc – University of Florence, Italy

Prof. Francesco SOFI, MD, PhD – University of Florence, Italy

Mons. Marcelo SANCHEZ SORONDO, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City


casinopio4Professor Francesco Sofi, one of the organizers from the University of Florence stated ” We are privileged to host in such auspicious surroundings luminaries including Dr. David Katz of Yale University and the True Health InitiativeGreg Descher of the Culinary Institute of America, world famous London based patron Giorgio Locatelli and other representatives if scientific institutions and NGOs with particular interests in the environment and in nutritional education.

The guests attending the conference will comprise politicians and representatives of the world of science, food and the media”



dkatz-380x250” There are real fundamentals truths about a dietary pattern that is pleasurable, healthful, and sustainable, relevant all around the world.” said Dr. David Katz speaking at the conference as President of the True Health Intiative. “It is a great privaledge to deliver the details of that message at such a rarified gathering.”



Now maybe you can’t attend the conference in Vatican City but you can access the science and values via the True Health Initiative and the many experts around the world who have tirelessly been working on getting this message to you. Their mission is “Lifestyle is Medicine’, and they are are a coalition of health experts from around the world, committed to educating on the proven principles of lifestyle as medicine. In other words you can prevent chronic disease with good sound healthy habits and there is rock hard science to prove it. Food is a big part of your lifestyle and we don’t have to be in a crisis if we listen to wisdom that has history going back to the beginning of time. We have the wisdom but the question is… do we respect ourselves and value our health enough to listen to it?



Dr. Simon Poole, a cambridge based physician and part of the scientific committee said of the conference…


simon “We must re-evaluate the value we place on our food, recognise the appalling cost of convenience and the effect it is having on levels of obesity and ill health, and rediscover our cultural links with food production and consumption.

The conference will seek to produce an action plan for governments to educate, promote and if necessary legislate to change the paradigm of diet and nutrition in the 21st Century, aligning policies with food literacy and health in a sustainable environment”


What Matters? Your health and the health of the planet. This important conference will hopefully accelerate the urgent idea that wellness values and culture matter. And food is the perfect place to start…



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WWB WATCH: Sunbathers Live Longer? Beyond the Headlines…One Doctor Shows Us How Research is Tricky

Jun 8, 2016 by



There is nothing like that feeling of elation when you read a headline that says ‘Sunbathers Live Longer’. This one is right up there with studies that present the health benefits of chocolate and wine! Would love to have more of all of them! It turns out there is some truth to the research on all three, but there are many caveats that need to be understood. Unfortunately those caveats are not shared in a quick news story or soundbite on the nightly news. I share these reports when I can, because wellness culture depends on sound health information being dispersed fairly to the people. Science and research matters, but often the full study and all it’s data is not shared across media channels.

I found the following research report on ‘sun-bathing’ shared by a doctor on the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine newsfeed, and was relieved that the doctor writing revealed the questions and issues with the findings. I am sharing this as an example, of how ‘health headlines’ can be distorted and misleading, if we don’t have the proper interpretation of the studies data. How many of us have the time to read beyond the headline? I would say we must, if we are going to embrace anything that relates to our health and well-being.

When it comes to your health, you always have to consider your own bio-individuality, genetic profile and lifestyle. The takeaway is not that the study is useless, rather we must always look at the complete ‘contextual’ frame of the study. Here is a quick cheat-sheet on the ‘sun-bathing’ study. See full article below this post. Remember like almost anything in life, moderation is probably the wisest mode of operandi. Enjoy the sunshine!

1-The Study did not include men and was conducted in Sweden. Sweden mattered to me because they actually don’t get as much sun as other parts of the world. Their needs for Vitamin D and supplementation might be higher. Doc didn’t mention this but I would consider it when reading. 

2-Even those with the greatest sun exposure only benefited from an extra 7 months to 2 years of life.

3- This study detected an association between sun exposure and a lower frequency of certain causes of death; however, that’s not the same as proving that sun exposure was the cause of longer life. For example, perhaps people with more sun exposure tend to be more active, smoke less, and have healthier diets.








Sunbathers Live Longer?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications
Surprising, right? But that’s the conclusion of a new study that compared the life spans of many people with varying amounts of sun exposure. They found that among nearly 30,000 women in Sweden, who were each monitored for about 20 years, those who spent more time in the sun actually lived longer and had less heart disease and fewer non-cancer deaths than those who reported less sun exposure.

Can the sun extend your life?

With summer just around the corner, this news is timely — and a great excuse to get out of the house or office and soak up some sun. But there are some important caveats about this research:

*Deaths due to cancer were more common among those who spent more time in the sun (The authors suggest that the higher probability of being diagnosed with cancer among the sun worshippers was because they were surviving longer and not dying as often of other causes)
*The impact of sun exposure on longevity was relatively small. Even those with the greatest sun exposure only benefited from an extra 7 months to 2 years of life.
*This study detected an association between sun exposure and a lower frequency of certain causes of death; however, that’s not the same as proving that sun exposure was the cause of longer life. It could turn out that there is another explanation for these results that has little to do with sun exposure itself. For example, perhaps people with more sun exposure tend to be more active, smoke less, and have healthier diets. The researchers tried to account for other factors such as these in their analysis, but it’s always possible that something important was overlooked.
*The reason why more sun exposure might prolong life or prevent heart disease deaths could not be determined by this study. Because the sun’s UV light triggers chemical reactions in the skin that lead to the production of vitamin D, it’s possible that vitamin D is responsible for the health benefits of sun exposure described in this study. And that could mean vitamin D supplements would promote longer life free of heart disease, even without sun exposure. However, that’s only speculation and prior studies have not been able to prove this.
*The study did not include men. The impact of sun exposure could be quite different among men.

Before you ditch the sunscreen and head for the beach…

While there is some uncertainty about the overall importance of this study, one thing is for sure: when it comes to the impact of sun exposure on health and disease, the findings of this new report won’t be the last word. There are competing risks linked to sun exposure: skin cancer and other skin damage are clearly a risk; but there may be health benefits as well (as suggested by this study). Since this type of study cannot determine the exact reason that those with more sun exposure lived longer, we’ll need more research to sort out just how much sun exposure is best.

The authors of this study speculate that recommendations to limit sun exposure might actually do more harm than good; in fact, they suggest that avoiding the sun could have a negative health impact similar in magnitude to smoking. That’s quite a statement!

In my opinion, that kind of declaration is premature and overstates what we can conclude from this type of research. After all, there are plenty of examples in which retrospective studies like this one (that is, those that ask people to think back and self-report their experiences with an exposure or treatment) turned out to be completely wrong. Routine hormone replacement therapy for perimenopausal women is one of the most dramatic and recent examples. Let’s not make sun exposure the next one.


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WWB WATCH: Federal Report Finds Plant Based Diet is Best and 5 Habits You Can Learn From a Vegetarian

Apr 7, 2015 by

WWB WATCH! Well there it is…a Federal Report to confirm plant-based diets are healthier than most others. Below you will find an overview from Forks Over Knives. The finding from the government is not a new revelation and the research to substantiate this fact has been piling up for the last twenty years. At World Wise Beauty, I have talked to expert chefs, nutritionist and medical doctors ( visit the Healthy Epicurean section and the Wise Guru section) and most of them, even when promoting a Paleo diet ( protein driven diet) promote a balanced eating ratio comprised of both protein and complex carbohydrates. Older cultures around the world have always had this figured out, because they are living more intimately with the land, and are eating what is available to them in their region. Industrialized farming and the advent of manufactured/processed food sent us down a very unhealthy path and we’re going to have to make a conscious effort to turn this around. The news headline below says ‘meat industry’ not happy and of course they wouldn’t be, but we cannot let ‘industry’ determine the state of our health and well-being. Just look at the committee’s findings on the ‘Standard American Diet’ in the report below and you will want to start questioning the sources of your food.
For all you meat eaters, don’t panic! I always quote Michael Pollan when he advises ‘eat real food, not too much, mostly plants’. The oldest cultures in the world have been eating ‘moderately’ ( meat is the ‘treat’ and always small portions) for centuries and they also just happen to boast the most centenarians ( people living 100 years+). I have experimented with semi-vegetarian diets for some time now, so here are five healthy habits you can learn from vegetarians.
  • Make Vegetables the Main Attraction: Fitting in just one additional portion per day can slash your risk of heart disease by as much as 11%, and making veggies the star of your plate can lead to a myriad of benefits like beautiful skin. Are you following my Beauty Food of the Week in the ‘Gleam’ section of this blog? From today on, when choosing what’s for lunch or dinner, select your veggies to start, then add lean protein, good fat, and healthy starch to round out your meal.
  • Choose Plant Based Fats Over Animal Fats: Plant-based fats have been shown to reduce inflammation, a known trigger of premature aging and diseases, including obesity, and even help boost weight control. We all love creamy sauces that are usually laden with dairy and butter but maybe this can be a treat vs. an everyday cooking approach. Vegetarians saute vegetables in olive oil and dress veggies with balsamic vinegar. They use avocado and guacamole instead of sour cream and use tahini ( sesame seed paste) and nut butters for many of their dishes. I can personally tell you there are endless things you can do with an avocado and it’s always yummy!
  • Spice Up Your Cooking: Don’t forget to play with your spices! That fabulous Thai restaurant you treat yourself to is all about the spices! Make spices a ‘staple’ in your kitchen. One of my favorite ‘healthy epicurean’ chefs is Shelley Alexander of Harmony Healing and she always has fun with spices! And if you really want to explore the world of spices, the spice bible I highly recommend is ‘Healing Spices’  How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease by BharatB. Aggarwal, PhD. I refer to this book all the time and I love learning about the healing aspects of the spices I use!
  • Make ‘Pulses’ Your Protein: Yes that would be your beans, peas and lentils! And the best part is that numerous research studies have determined that eating more of them will help you drop the pounds! In addition to providing protein, pulses are rich in filling, blood-sugar regulating fiber, as well as resistant starch, a unique kind of carb that’s been shown to naturally up your body’s fat-burning furnace. Pulses also pack antioxidant levels that rival berries, and they’re satisfying without making you feel sluggish. Try serving up a Mexican dish or Mediterranean dish on Fridays. For great recipes I love the Healthy Voyager’s website because I feel like I travel the world  perusing all the delicious recipes.
  • Snack on Plants! Many vegetarians make whole, plant-based foods their focus at snack time. Great options are raw veggies with hummus or guacamole, fresh fruit with nuts, seeds or nut/seed butter, or a smoothie made with a plant-based “milk” (like almond or coconut) with fruit, leafy greens, and a plant-derived protein powder, such as pea or hemp. Even  choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate boosts your antioxidant intake!
Enjoy and no matter what you call yourself ( flexitarian, omni-carnivore, vegetarian, pescetarian, or vegan) eat to live and thrive in a long happy life! I like to call myself a ‘Healthy Epicurean’! Sounds so much more enjoyable…don’t you think? 😉
~Truly Herself, Lauroly
POSTED ON APRIL 6, 2015 IN WELLNESS Forks Over Knives
Federal Report Finds Plant-Based Diet Is Best; Meat Industry Is Unhappy


Last month, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee issued its newest recommendations on what Americans should be eating. For the first time, the committee concluded that a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is both healthier and better for the environment. Their official recommendations stated that a healthy dietary pattern is “higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains” and “lower in red and processed meats.”

The 571-page report provides an in-depth look at what Americans are eating, and states that “the quality of the diets currently consumed by the U.S. population is suboptimal overall and has major adverse health consequences.”

The committee found a large gap between a healthy diet and the standard American diet: “On average, the U.S. diet is low in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and high in sodium, calories, saturated fat, refined grains, and added sugars.”

The Committee’s Findings on the Standard American Diet:

  • Roughly half of American adults have one or more chronic diseases related to poor diet and inactivity
  • Preventable diseases include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
  • More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese
  • Nearly one-third of children are overweight or obese
  • Chronic diseases disproportionately affect low-income communities
  • Focus on disease treatment rather than prevention increases and strains health care costs and reduces overall health

For the first time, the committee also included environmental sustainability in its recommendations. They mentioned that a diet lower in animal foods is not only healthier, but is also better for the environment:

“Quantitative modeling research showed how healthy dietary patterns relate to positive environmental outcomes that improve population food security. Moderate to strong evidence demonstrates that healthy dietary patterns that are higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods are associated with more favorable environmental outcomes (lower greenhouse gas emissions and more favorable land, water, and energy use) than are current U.S. dietary patterns.”

The Meat Industry Is Unhappy

The beef and animal agriculture industries are upset, saying that an environmental agenda has no place in nutritional guidelines. The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) says the meat advice is “flawed” and “nonsensical,”and it even launched a change.org petition to urge people to protest the new dietary guidelines. The petition states, “Hot dog, sausage, bacon and salami lovers throughout the land stand together as Americans in favor of a balanced diet that includes meat and poultry of all kinds.”

The Panel Welcomes Public Comments

The federally appointed panel is made up of nutritional experts, and their recommendations help to put policies in place that will help Americans eat healthier. They help set standards for school lunches, food stamp programs, and other programs for children and pregnant women.

They invite the public to submit written comments until May 8, 2015.


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WWB Culture Wise News: France law bans ‘too skinny’ models and the fickle world spins ‘ideal beauty’ once again…

Apr 5, 2015 by


Did you hear the news? France passed a law officially banning too skinny models! See article appended below for more details. I personally think it’s a positive law and encourages wellness culture but I also think there is a bigger problem lurking behind this issue. I believe it is the glorification of ‘one beauty type’ and how different cultures create fetish like obsessions over ‘body type and ideal beauty’.  When World Wise Beauty debuted, I explored how culture is ‘fickle’ and how ideal beauty changes with each decade and in different countries. You can see in the photo strip above how the ideal body type was very different in just three decades. It went from very voluptuous to straight boyish skinny shapes. The fact is like nature itself we women come in all different sizes and sometimes depending on the ‘culture’ there is a more common desirable body type. I thought Miss Piggy had to included in the beauty romp because she is most definitely ‘comfortable in her own skin.’! lol

What went wrong with the American culture and the fashion world at large is we became obsessed with the ‘skinny’ type as if it was the only ideal. We also elevated celebrity and fashion models as ‘ideal beauty’ through our growing media consumption. Ironically this occurred just when American society started to face that we as a people were becoming increasingly ‘overweight’ and sick to boot! In some sense there was  ‘perfect storm’ brewing and let’s just say it wasn’t ‘pretty’.  Our narcissistic society now focused on one very limited ideal beauty and body type and directly contributed to young girls and woman developing anorexia disorder. The picture just got uglier because as we saw young girls with tendencies for this horrible and deadly disorder, we also started to see young girls getting fatter and obese. What a strange juxtapostion of fantasy and reality. We can all agree that neither skinny anorexic or obesity is ‘ideal’ when it comes to health and wellness. But let’s not forget that some women are just naturally thin and or naturally plump and happen to be perfectly healthy. What determines this is their state of fitness and health.

It is a very complicated issue when we elevate an ideal beauty type, because the reality is there is no real ‘ideal’. Culture is a fickle thing and in today’s world it is mainly a bunch of fashionistas who are deciding what is ideal. Let us not forget they also take their cues from ‘the people’. The big booty phenomenon seemed odd at first, but is no surprise when you look at the demographics of many countries who have increasing ethnic populations and who also just happen to have ‘bigger booties’. Hooray! Finally after twenty years of the anorexic look we now are seeing shapely curvy women. But here we go again, because the fact is not everyone has a ‘big booty’. Plastic surgeons can fix that but does that really make sense?! Will we women ever be ‘perfect’ and comfortable in their own skin? Not if they can help it! Beware of advertising messages…

When I was growing up I pretty much had a figure like Cameron Russell ( above in black bikini) and I never dieted! It was just a number of factors that made me naturally thin. Genes, active lifestyle, and metabolism were all a part of it. I received such mixed messages about my body.  My Italian girlfriends envied me but many Italian men in my region would say “why don’t you put some meat on you!”.  I always envied my girlfriends with all the curves, while they were busy hating me for my long slender legs. What’s wrong with this picture? Within my regional area in NYC I wasn’t quite the ideal but that changed very quickly and even landed me in a model agency. The plot thickens because as I entered the modeling world, the ‘all american’ beauty ideal was changing. Models like Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Isabella Rossellini were skyrocketing. And along came Iman! Beauty became more ‘global’ and our ideas about classic beauty was changing. The world continues to spin and ‘beauty ideals’ will change with the wind. But who gets decide if you are beautiful or not? Here is the buried wisdom that most beauty magazines never want you to know. YOU DO! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and most definitely is exuded in the woman who is ‘comfortable in her own skin’. 😉

If you were more curvy, became skinnier or had longer legs would you then be more comfortable in your own skin?  Think about it and listen to an articulate, wise and honest model talk about the power of image and perception.  Open your mind instead of your eyes and hear what top model Cameron Russell has to say at TEDX talks.  Click on this link Looks Aren’t Everything!  and check out what she is wearing and not wearing–you will be surprised! Don’t forget to read the piece below on France’s new law, and tell me if you think we could ever adopt this law here in America! I love Miranda Kerr’s quote and as you know World Wise Beauty has been promoting flowers and inner beauty since it’s inception. There was a very good reason for it because real beauty in nature is found in its diversity. It’s a beautiful world because there is so much diversity and you my World Wise Beauty are part of a beautiful mosaic. Your ‘day’ is sure to come or maybe it past but if you keep following World Wise Beauty you won’t care not one bit, because you will be too busy living your happy life ‘comfortable in your own skin’.

Truly Herself, Lauroly





Will other countries follow suit? Apr 3, 2015 @ 10:27 AM, Elle


Getty Image

This measure is part of a larger crackdown on the promotion of anorexia by President Francoise Holland: The second part of this law specifically targets pro-anorexia websites or any other sites that promote “excessive thinness by encouraging eating restrictions for a prolonged period of time, resulting in risk of mortality or damage to health,” incriminating those responsible with fines and jail time as well.

 France, of course, is not the first country to take this stance on super skinny models. Madrid’s regional government and Israel have imposed similar, BMI-based bans. In New York, Diane von Furstenberg and the CFDA released a list of model guidelines back in 2012, though these guidelines more publicly targeted age than thinness (aside from some suggestions of how to spot eating disorders among models). Now that France, which arguably rivals New York City as the world’s foremost fashion capital, has enacted these laws , will other countries follow suit?
From: ELLE
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WWB WATCH: Ken Burns Documentary ‘The Emperor of All Maladies’ Airs on PBS, March 30th. Based on Publitzer Prize Winning Book About Cancer

Mar 23, 2015 by

Having personally read this book from cover to cover, I highly recommend catching this series if you can’t read the entire book. It changed my perspective about cancer, the medical field ( for better and for worse) and opened my eyes wide about our human limitations. It is hopeful but painfully sober as we realize that cancer is here to stay. We all know someone who has been touched by Cancer and we all have our stories. The most compelling statement the series starts out with is the idea that there are so many kinds of cancers and so many trajectories each cancer cell can take. The excerpt below from PBS captures the essence of the book best and the part you need to hone in on is ‘the misunderstanding and the misperception’ about cancer. Be wise, learn more and don’t miss this series.

Truly Herself, Lauroly

EXCERPT PBS: “The series matches the epic scale of the disease, reshaping the way the public sees cancer and stripping away some of the fear and misunderstanding that has long surrounded it. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience and perseverance but also of hubris, paternalism and misperception. Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective and a biographer’s passion. The series artfully weaves three different films in one: a riveting history documentary; an engrossing and intimate vérité film; and a scientific and investigative report.”


Columbian Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Book Debuts on PBS March 30

Ken Burns Documentary is Based on Pulitzer Prize-Winning Book,

“Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies”

Posted in: Cancer

A three-part, six-hour documentary series based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning cancer biography written by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil, assistant professor of medicine at P&S, debuts on PBS stations March 30 and continues on March 31 and April 1.

The documentary, based on the book “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” (Simon & Schuster, 2010), is directed by Barak Goodman and executive produced by Ken Burns. It is part of a project that also includes nearly two dozen webcast short films by Redglass Pictures (CancerFilms.org) and a comprehensive national campaign with Stand Up To Cancer and other project supporters.

The documentary series was included in a Jan. 1, 2015, New York Times list of “20 Shows to Watch, A Winter Bounty for Serious TV Fans.”

The book and documentary tell the comprehensive story of cancer from its first description in an ancient Egyptian scroll to the gleaming laboratories of modern research institutions. The film interweaves a sweeping historical narrative with intimate stories about contemporary patients and an investigation into the latest scientific breakthroughs.

WNYC, the national radio partner on the project, will present “Living Cancer,” a two-week series that begins Feb. 9 and will illustrate cancer research and treatment through personal stories of patients, doctors, and scientists. The series will air on NPR magazine shows, which are broadcast on public radio stations around the country. Some compelling voices in the series are availableonline. In March, “On the Media,” WNYC’s nationally distributed media analysis program, will air a special episode on cancer and the media, an important theme in Dr. Mukherjee’s book.

The website associated with the documentary, CancerFilms.org, includes produced and user-generated content that explores the three intermingled strands of the series: a historical documentary, a vérité film that focuses on current patients, and a scientific report. The website is intended for the vast cancer community of patients, survivors, family members, caregivers, scientists, clinicians, other health care providers, and the public at large.

The PBS documentary is narrated by the late actor Edward Herrmann, who died of brain cancer on Dec. 31, 2014.

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WWB WATCH: Butter is Better? ‘What Really Matters’ in the New 2015 Dietary Guidelines Report…

Mar 9, 2015 by


THE WATCH:  The 2015 Updated The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are jointly issued and updated every 5 years by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The guidelines provide authoritative advice about consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices, and being physically active to attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health.  You can download the PDF right here, but the media at large has honed in on the updates about saturated fats hence my catchy but facetious  title ‘Butter is Better’. Some of the interesting articles on this subject ( and more comprehensive than most media reports) can be found in  respected media outlets such as New York Times  , The Atlantic , and NPR’s ‘The Salt’ .  But I am here to highlight  the ‘gray areas’ and have you focus on ‘What Matters’.


WHAT MATTERS: You might not know that this same eating wisdom encouraged by the dietary committee has been around for centuries and has been practiced by numerous ancient cultures around the world.  Currently respected by most nutritionist is the ‘Mediterranean Diet.’ We have explored this popular diet quite a bit in my Healthy Epicurean department of this same blog.  What I am sharing today at ‘The Watch’ is what was notable in the new 2015 report just released, how the media has shared it across the information highway, and how it will be interpreted by many people. Before I drop the ‘bombshell information’ extracted from this report I want to share the opening of the dietary report with you that you may have not seen in the media headlines.

‘Humans require a wide range of essential micronutrients and macronutrients for normal growth and development and to support healthy aging throughout the life cycle. Essential nutrients, including most vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids, water and fiber, must be obtained through foods and beverages because they cannot for the most part be endogenously synthesized, or are not endogenously synthesized in adequate amounts to need recommended intakes. Understanding the extent to which the U.S. population and various age, sex, and racial/ethnic groups within the population achieve nutrient intake requirements through available food and beverage intake, including foods and beverages that are enriched or fortified, is an important task of the DGAC. ‘


The first and last sentence of this excerpt is key and WHAT MATTERS to your health.  The first because it emphasizes micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients are both important to an ideal diet ( and we can only get both when they are synthesized from eating real food) and the last sentence because it acknowledges bio-individuality. Bio-Individuality means we are all different and carry our own unique biology, chemistry and genetic predisposition. To be fair, the dietary committee does clearly state “Strategies should be based on the individual’s preferences and health status and consider the sociocultural influences on lifestyle behaviors that relate to long-term behavior maintenance.”  In other words or in my words…BE YOUR OWN GURU! This is why they call it a ‘Guideline’.



It is a popular thing to do, that is to blame our government for misleading us with their published reports every five years, but the fact is we rarely follow it or read it thoroughly ourselves. The big bombshell I mentioned earlier is we NOW can safely but moderately eat more saturated fats (found in butter, eggs, meat) just like the ancient cultures I highlighted above. BUT this recommendation was part of a much larger contextual report covering all kinds of data related to ideal health and the ramifications of replacing healthy nutrients with larger and unhealthy portions of carbs. This report was produced to help create a guideline not a manifesto for a high-fat diet plan!

If you are health conscious you may know this, but for many people the ‘major headlines’ on the local TV news is what they hear, or perhaps they read a short paragraph in a mainstream magazine. What they are hearing based on sound-bite information is BUTTER IS OKAY–HAVE AT IT! When actually the report is really saying ‘saturated fats’ eaten in healthy moderation is okay but it’s still recommended to try to eat unsaturated healthy fats more often. ‘Butter is Better’ is back in vogue because there has been a lot of research on margarine highlighting its unhealthy trans-fats and artificial ingredients. Yet we wouldn’t have margarine if we didn’t have medical and scientific research back in the late 70’s concluding that eating saturated fats ( that would be butter) is the leading cause of heart disease.

There’s more to it than this–just Google ‘margarine’ and you will discover how it has barreled through our diets over the years for all kinds of socio-economic reasons. I always recommend following Marion Nestle’s blog ‘Food Politics’ because she keeps you aware of all the food trends and YES the politics behind them. Because unfortunately ‘we are not in Kansas anymore’!


WWB TAKEAWAY: What you will find in this 571 page dietary report essentially comes down to Michael Pollan’s  quote from his book In Defense of Food; An Eaters Manifesto.” Eat Food, Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.” There it is, a very simple diet plan without restrictions. But the gray area we almost always overlook is good health is the maintenance and fine tuning of our body, mind and spirits. Our well-being can be affected by environmental factors such as pollution, bad chemicals and antibiotics in our food, lack of exercise, and stress factors too numerous to list in this post. The new 2015 guideline does try to address overall wellness but has received criticism for over-reaching. Look closely at the critics, because when the President of the Pork Council comes out and says “It appears that the advisory committee is more interested in addressing what’s trendy among foodies than providing science based advice for the average American diet.”, you have to consider the source. The pork Prez has his own ‘special interests’ to protect and he’s focused on his bottom line. But please, please remember you’re not ‘average’!



It turns out what is sustainable for the earth and it’s animals is also very healthy for us because if you haven’t noticed we are all interdependent.  Mostly plants, a little bit of protein ( fish, eggs or meat) is basically the foundation of the Mediterranean diet and is one of the most ‘highly researched diets’ on earth.  Yes you can have an egg, and yes you can have butter, but you still have to take into account how much saturated fat is in your overall diet and decide wisely how much butter you want to be eating on any given day.

Yep, health is maintenance and we have to be conscious about what we eat and where it comes from. And don’t get me started about exercise! Most of the cultures who boast the highest number of centenarians all walk and move around quite a bit. Read the book ‘Blue Zones’ and you will learn that there are many ‘social factors’ contributing to centenarians longevity and their diets are indeed limited in meat consumption. My big takeaway here is there are always ‘general guidelines’ to any diet, but deciding what’s ‘ideal’ for you is your INDIVIDUAL choice and responsibility.

So be your own guru, enjoy life and take good care of yourself! This is what it means to be a “Healthy Epicurean’ (my blog department and lifestyle term) and always remember there are many roads to achieving this status. And some just might include pork! Explore them all here with me and follow this blog to meet the most interesting authors, chefs, nutritional experts, and wise visionaries presenting their knowledge, expertise, and wisdom. If you do, I promise you will ultimately be ‘comfortable in your own skin’ because you will be making ideal healthy choices for your unique beautiful self.  And I repeat you’re definitely NOT average! 😉

Truly Herself,
Lauroly, Founder of World Wise Beauty



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