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Q: Is eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables good for you?

Krishna: Only if you eat them in just required quantities!

 Fruits contain fructose. The increase in fructose intake is worrisome, according to experts, because it suspiciously parallels increases in obesity, diabetes, and a new condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

 Every cell in the living body can use glucose for energy. In contrast, only liver cells break down fructose. What happens to fructose inside liver cells is complicated. One of the end products is triglyceride, a form of fat. Uric acid and free radicals are also formed. None of this is good. Triglycerides can build up in liver cells and damage liver function. Triglycerides released into the bloodstream can contribute to the growth of fat-filled plaque inside artery walls. In fact, fructose has the same effects on the liver as alcohol (ethanol), which is already well known as a liver toxin.  Free radicals (also called reactive oxygen species) can damage cell structures, enzymes, and even genes. Uric acid can turn off production of nitric oxide, a substance that helps protect artery walls from damage. Another effect of high fructose intake is insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

Fructose reacts with proteins and polyunsaturated fats in our bodies 7 times more than glucose. This reaction creates AGEs (advanced glycation end-products), which are compounds that create oxidative damage in our cells and ultimately lead or contribute to inflammation and a host of chronic diseases. Fructose increases uric acid production, which, in excess, can cause gout, kidney stones and precipitate or aggravate hypertension. hile most of your body’s cells can’t use fructose as a source of energy, the bacteria in your gut can and excess fructose can create gut flora imbalances, promote bacterial overgrowth and promote the growth of pathogenic bacteria. In part because of the damage done to the liver, chronic excess fructose causes dyslipidemia, which means that your blood lipid markers tend to shift towards numbers that indicate a risk for heart disease. Fructose rapidly causes leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that controls appetite and metabolism to maintain a normal weight. Leptin resistant people tend to gain fat and become obese really easily. Excess fructose alone can cause all the problems associated with the metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity, heart disease). Cancer cells thrive and proliferate very well with fructose as their energy source. Excess fructose also affects brain functioning, especially as it relates to appetite regulation. It has also been shown to impair memory in rats.

Around 50 grams of fructose per day is ideal. Keeping in mind that most fruits are half glucose and half fructose, consuming over 100 grams of sugar from fruits every day can become problematic.

If you eat excess fiber (fruits and vegetables contain lots of it),  your stomach produces excess acid to digest it and this can lead to acid reflux under certain conditions! If you eat too much oranges and tomatoes, it can result in acid reflux too.

Some vegetables that can cause trouble when taken in excess quantities...

While soy can help control cholesterol levels and blood pressure when consumed in moderation, it also inhibits iron absorption, so excessive intake has the potential to cause iron-deficiency anemia. Also, because soy contains estrogen-like compounds (isoflavones), long-term consumption of large amounts has the potential to cause endometrial hyperplasia, a proliferation of the uterine lining that can lead to uterine cancer. While there's no exact cutoff for how much soy is safe, you probably want to stick to two servings per day or less.

Spinach this  leafy green is packed with goodness: It’s an excellent source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. Spinach is also high in lutein, a carotenoid that may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (a common cause of vision loss and blindness). However, spinach is also high in oxalate, a compound that can lead to the formation of kidney stones—so patients with calcium oxalate kidney stones should avoid overeating it.

You shouldn't eat more than ten brazil nuts per day. This snack is a great source of protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, and selenium. Plus, eating nuts has been shown to lower serum cholesterol and blood pressure. Still, you shouldn’t nosh on these nuts every day since they're extremely rich in selenium and the nutrient can be toxic in high amounts. Taking in too much may result in hair loss, brittleness or loss of nails, dermatitis, neurological abnormalities, and in severe cases, death.

If you take excess pulses, that results in excess gas production in your gut.

Fiber, in recommended amounts, is one of the healthiest nutrients for your body – it encourages healthy digestion, prevents blood sugar spikes, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure levels, eases hunger pangs and lowers your risk of obesity and premature death. But too much fiber can have negative effects. According to health experts, excess fiber in your diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies, abdominal discomfort, digestive difficulties and even blocking of the gastrointestinal tract.

If you’re experiencing unpleasant digestive symptoms, try backing off on the veggies and seeing your doctor.

Unless you’re consistently eating more than four servings of fruit and seven servings of veggies per day, you’re probably enjoying more benefits than harm from your fresh food habit. The healthiest diet is one that’s balanced. So eat plenty of whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy along with your fruits and veggies.

Industrial vegetable oils are bad for you too if taken in large quantities. Refined vegetable oils, such as soybean oil oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil. These oils are very high in omega-6 fatty acids, which humans never consumed in such large amounts before.

There are many serious concerns with these oils. They are highly sensitive to oxidation and cause increased oxidative stress in the body. They have also been linked to increased risk of cancer.

in studies conducted ,it was found that there appears to be a threshold for increasing survival with consumption of three to less than four portions of fruit daily (HR 0.84 (CI 0.76 to 0.93)). The effect of vegetable consumption was greater, HR for three+ portions daily 0.68 (0.58 to 0.79)). Consuming portions of vegetables conferred significantly greater benefit than portions of fruit at two to less than three and three+ portions daily. 

Consumption of vegetables appeared to be significantly better than similar quantities of fruit. When different types of fruit and vegetable were examined separately, increased consumption of portions of vegetables, salad, fresh and dried fruit showed significant associations with lower mortality. However, frozen/canned fruit consumption was apparently associated with a higher risk of mortality.

You can read these papers to know more...

  5. Q: If a patient's doctor is unable to answer a medical question for them, is it reasonable for the doctor to be surprised/less than pleased when the patient uses the Internet to research an answer?
    Krishna: Internet doesn’t give you the right answers. why? Read here: Lab scientists versus internet scientists

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