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Blog author, Solai Buchanan is an experienced Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with an MS from Columbia Teachers College. She specializes in treating heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, polycystic ovarian syndrome,and other chronic diseases. She is a provider at a full-service cardiology practice accepting most insurance and staffed with a primary care MD, pediatrician, and cardiologist. Call: 718.894.7907. NYCC is lead by Interventional Cardiologist Sanjeev Palta, MD, FSCAI, FACC. He trained at Cornell-Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and the State University Hospital of Brooklyn. He currently is an Attending Cardiologist at New York Methodist Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Having performed over 2000 invasive cardiac procedures Dr. Palta’s patients know they are in trusted hands.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


If you're trying to kick-start weight loss, getting a healthy dose of vitamin D could help.  That's according to a new study that has found taking vitamin D supplements can aid weight loss in obese and overweight people who are deficient in the vitamin.    

Previous studies have suggested that about 40% of North American adults are vitamin D-deficient.  Persons who are obese have been found to have much higher rates of vitamin D deficiency. Extra weight appears to interfere with the body's production of vitamin D.  While the importance of vitamin D to bone health has long been appreciated, in the last decade it has emerged that vitamin D is essential for many aspects of health including immune, cardiovascular, and endocrine function. 

The new study included 400 overweight and obese people with vitamin D deficiency who were put on a low-calorie diet and then divided into three groups. One group took a placebo containing no vitamin D, while the two other groups took either 25,000 IU (about 800 IU's daily) or 100,000 IU (about 3,300 IU's daily) of vitamin D per month.  After six months, participants in both vitamin D supplementation groups had lost significantly  more weight and had greater reductions in their waistlines than those taking a placebo.

What to do:  Vitamin D is nicknamed the "sunshine vitamin" because the body produces the nutrient when skin is exposed to sunlight.  To maintain adequate vitamin D, consume food sources rich in Vitamin D such as milk and other fortified products as well as oily fish such as salmon and sardines.  Also, next time you get blood work with your care provider,  request your Vitamin D level be checked.   Vitamin D is widely available in supplements.  To maximize uptake of vitamin D, choose a supplement with D3 that includes calcium.  Persons with some conditions should not supplement with Vitamin D so check with your provider before starting supplementation. 

European Congress on Obesity, news release, May 7, 2015

Adapted from article available at:


Saturday, May 2, 2015


A recent experimental study has found that in as little as two weeks regular consumption of  significant calories from corn syrup worsens metabolic indicators of heart disease risk.  The results of this research trial reinforce findings from many epidemiological studies that indicate, independent of weight, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases as the amount of added sugar consumed increases,.

In the trial, 85 healthy adults ages 18-40 who did not regularly consume soda were randomized to four different treatment groups.  One group was given diet soda sweetened with aspartame (Equal), while the others consumed beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup comprising 10%, 17.5% or 25% of their total daily calorie requirements. After being on the prescribed sugar intakes for two weeks, the diet soda group did not have any changes in their blood levels of heart health risk.  However, all the sugar drinking groups had marked increases in cardiac risk.  LDL cholesterol, triglyceride, apolipoprotein-B (a protein that increases plaques on blood vessels, leading to vascular disease), increased in all groups on the sugary drink regimen.  And, across the sample, those who consumed the higher levels of sugar had the greatest changes in heart health risk factors.  This small study is one of the first to demonstrate a direct, dose-dependent relationship between the amount of added sugar consumed in sweetened beverages and increases in cardiovascular disease risk.  In the 17.5% and 25% sugar-calories treatments, levels of uric acid which causes gout and also impacts heart health also increased. The researchers noted that the increases in unhealthy proteins and fats in the blood were greater in men than in women and the changes in heart health risk factors were independent of body weight gain.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 suggest an upper limit of 25% or less of daily calories consumed as added sugar while the American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend people get no more than 5% of total daily calories from added sugars. For someone on a 2,000-calorie diet, that's about 100 sugar calories or six teaspoons a day, the amount of sugar in a typical 6-ounce serving of vanilla yogurt or 8-ounces of soda.  The results of the current study indicate that intake at the 25% limit does impact health and that total sugar consumption is best kept near the limits set by the AHA and WHO.   Currently, the average American adult consumes around 16% of daily calories (approximately 20 teaspoons of sugar for a 2,000 calorie diet) from added sugars. 

What to do:  Take stock of the sugar and other caloric sweeteners in your diet.  Aim to cut out all sweetened drinks including juice.  These are high in sugar, mostly devoid of nutrients, and do not help to fill us up.  Many foods that are often considered healthy such as granola, cereal, flavored yogurt, snack bars, canned fruit, sauces, and flavored oatmeal are high in added sugars.  When you do have a sweet, control the portion and savor it.

Stanhope KL, Bremer AA, Medici V, et al. A dose-response study of consuming high-fructose corn syrup–sweetened beverages on lipid/lipoprotein risk factors for cardiovascular disease in young adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2015. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.100461

Rizkalla SW.  Health implications of fructose consumption: A review of recent data.  Nutrition & Metabolism. 2010;7:82.  DOI:  10.1186/1743-7075-7-82