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Archive for January, 2011

Finally – A Better Butter

Physicians say Butterfi has health benefits for those watching their diet

January 21, 2011

If you’ve been told to watch your butter intake and eat margarine instead, physicians say you now have a better option.

Butterfi, which is real butter made with organic inulin fiber, reduces the calories, cholesterol, fat and salt normally found in butter by a whopping 35 percent.

“You also get three grams of soluble fiber in every serving as well as reducing the things that tend to give butter a bad reputation,” says Kelly Cox, Butterfi inventor, and resident of Cloverdale.

Cox’s company, Think Nutrition, makes Butterfi with real cream, inulin and kosher salt. It comes in 8 oz. tubs with a picture of a rare blue butterfly on the label as well as a statement to eat butter responsibly.

“People have heard about the detriments of butter, but they’ve also heard about the detriments of margarine, so I wanted to provide an alternative which is healthy,”  said Cox.

Steven Shayani, M.D. F.A.C.C., cardiologist, believes that Butterfi is beneficial for a heart-healthy lifestyle. He is founder of New York Heart Research Foundation and director of the Long Island Heart Associates, and Outpatient Services at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York.

“We always advise our patients to live a heart-healthy lifestyle,” said Shayani.  “Butterfi is lower in calories, lower in sodium, and higher in fiber than margerine and regular butter, so this is a great alternative for health concious people.”

Frank Barnhill, M.D., family physician and author of Mistaken for ADHD, agrees, and talks about one additional benefit — the safety for diabetics.

“Butterfi does not cause increases in blood sugar and triglycerides (blood fat levels) making it a consideration in both low fat and diabetic diets,” Barnhill said.

“Butterfi not only provides the real taste of butter, but does so with a significant reduction in total calories, sugar calories and fat grams along with a healthy dose of fiber and a subtle sweetness.

“These latter benefits are from inulin, which are also been shown to improve calcium and magnesium absorption and promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacterial in ways similar to probiotics,” continued Barnhill.

“All in all, Butterfi should be considered a healthy, better tasting alternative to butter and butter substitutes,” Barnhill noted.

Chefs in the area are using Butterfi too. “We serve Butterfi on our tables, and customer’s rave about the taste so much we can’t keep in stock in our store,” says Lisa Hemingway of Fresh Restaurant in Santa Rosa. “When I use it on vegetables, it’s literally dreamy.”

Butterfi is considered a functional food with medicinal properties, just like iodized salt, and Cox is no stranger to functional food.

The son of the man who invented Ultra Rice, a fortified rice which sustains life in developing nations, Cox grew up around parents who worked tirelessly to create better and healthier foods from existing foods.

Cox’s father ultimately gave the patents he had on Ultra Rice to the world community, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $10 million to sustain those in developing nations with Ultra Rice, which has Vitamins A and D.

Cox himself has three patents, including the one on Butterfi, another for the new whipping cream he’s coming out with, as well as the cream for coffee.

“The whipping cream whips twice as fast as regular whipping cream, is real cream and holds the peaks twice as long, which I know will make all cooks happy,” said Cox. The cream also has one-half the fat and calories of regular whipping cream.

Butterfi is in the national distribution chain at Whole Foods, locally at Shelton’s Market, Andronico’s, Molsberry’s and about 10 other markets in Marin and Sonoma counties.

“I use Butterfi and it’s the best tasting butter I’ve ever had,” said Bonnie Shelton, co-owner of Shelton’s Market in Healdsburg.

If you’re on the fence at all between margarine and Butterfi, there is one final benefit – no trans fats.

The trans fat in margarines is actually harmful to your health, and consumers may not be aware that companies who claim “zero trans fats” on their margarine labels are actually able to put .5 grams trans fat per serving into their margarines, according to the website.

The Mayo Clinic website says that any trans fat delivers a double barreled whammy to your cholesterol level, simultaneously reducing the good cholesterol (HDL) and raising the bad cholesterol (LDL).

Butterfi has been on the market about a year and a half, thanks to investor Cheryl Amos, President of Think Nutrition.  The company has a North Bay plant in Petaluma which makes Butterfi in four favors – regular butter, cinnamon, garlic and chocolate.

“Butter has been made in the same way for 4,000 years,” said Cox. “I learned how to take a food and make it better because of what I was surrounded by growing up. I knew I could come up with a product that was still butter, but healthier and more tasty.”

For the original story, click here.

Diabetes & Heart Disease – How Are They Linked?

The Long Island Heart Associates has recently brought a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) on board as part of their practice. But what is a Certified Diabetes Educator? And what does diabetes have to do with heart health?

Diabetes and Heart Disease

While it would not be accurate to say that diabetes causes heart disease, it is safe to say that the two are strongly linked. Diabetes is considered a risk factor for a wide variety of cardiovascular problems, including hypertension (high blood pressure), heart attack, and stroke. In fact, a person with diabetes is more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke compared to his or her non-diabetic counterpart.

So, why are people with diabetes at an increased risk of heart disease? The reason for this is because of the effect that diabetes has on the cardiovascular system. Those with diabetes have high levels of blood glucose (sugar) because the body cannot process it correctly. Over time, high glucose levels in the blood can cause damage to blood vessels, either by leaving fatty deposits on the vessel walls (blockage) or by weakening the lining of the vessel walls. This kind of damage can easily interfere with circulation, which can lead to heart problems like heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis and microangiopathy.

Diabetes in New York

Some of the statistics for diabetes-related deaths and hospitalizations in New York are startling. For example, according to the New York State Department of Health, there are currently over 1 million New Yorkers who have been diagnosed with diabetes–and potentially an additional 450,000 who have diabetes, but remain diagnosed. This is more than double the number of people with diabetes in 1994. Nassau County, Long Island, ranks in the fourth quartile (the highest) for deaths caused by heart diseases per every 100,000 people. Additionally, Nassau County is ranked in the third quartile for hospitalizations caused by diabetes. How can we bring those numbers down? Prevention is key—we need to become educated on these diseases and learn how to reduce the risks.

Certified Diabetes Educator

Because of the high risk of cardiovascular problems, it is important for those with diabetes to carefully monitor their health. Eating right and getting proper exercise are important, but it is also necessary to have the help of a qualified physician. A Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) is a specially trained health care professional who helps those with diabetes to manage their condition. CDEs can screen patients to identify the potential health risks associated with diabetes, and then work in conjunction with a primary care physician to coordinate appropriate care.

If you have diabetes, your risk for heart disease increases dramatically. Don’t take chances. Speak with one of our New York cardiology associates today to discuss the possibility of seeing a certified diabetes instructor!