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Food and Nutrition Health Posts 2015

Blog posts about food, health and nutrition

06/23/15 Fermented foods help the old attitude and even put the kibosh on anxiety disorders. Researchers recently found that young adults eating more fermented foods have fewer social anxiety symptoms than others who didn’t. This tells me that instead of looking to the mind and trying to bend it with drugs, we can actually help people with mental health and anxiety issues by grooming the gut with good bacteria and prebiotic enzymes. Not only do fermented foods have a profound effect on anxiety, mood and depression, they improve digestion and nutrient absorption, prevent allergies, boost immunity, fight disease, build a stronger immune system and put a whammy on bad bacteria. This is just a few great reasons to put more fermented foods on your menu. Remember that it is always best to choose healthy fermented foods like; organic pickles without food colors; yogurt without artificial sugars and flavors; naturally fermented sauerkraut and organic pickled beets. “You are what you eat" is more than just a throw-away line.

06/16/15In the latest study out of the University of Iowa, scientists found that adding high salt to a high-fat diet actually prevented weight gain in mice. In fact, mice fed a low salt/high fat diet gained the most weight out of several test groups and only the high salt/high fat diet held their own, actually testing comparable to the control group fed a normal mouse-chow diet. What the scientists surmised from their testing and observation was that varying levels of salt had a significant effect on both digestive efficiency and the amount of fat absorbed by the body. This goes to show you that you should literally take everything about diet you hear from mainstream with a grain of salt. Heck, make it two grains of salt thrown in with some healthy fats - just make sure you use quality sea salt and not the demineralized, twice-baked, iodized, free-flowing crap. Oh, and don’t think this means you can ‘frenzy-feed from the drive-thru menu’ your way into smaller pants because that kind of fatty diet will only plump you up and increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.

06/09/15 GMO subterfuge: Anti-GMO people might laud the possibility of the passing of The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 - but, if they really knew the dirty little secrets behind the whole package they would sing a much different tune. Did you know that this proposed law is actually being backed and driven by Monsanto, Koch Industries and Dupont (among others)? In fact, their banner-child organization is named "The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food". This little ole coalition has since written a letter to Congress saying that GMO labels would be misleading because GMOs are safe and the net-effect of labeling would mean "higher food prices for hard working American families." One huge problem is that this bill actually contains a “prohibition against mandatory labeling” while allowing only for voluntary USDA certification and labeling. The absolute biggest problem is that this bill would override any and all state or local laws that require GMO labeling. Bottom line, it will specifically block any real GMO labeling efforts from ever happening - unless, perchance, the FDA determines that some particular GMO product is ever found to be unsafe - in that case, label that one only. Solution: If in GMO doubt - just leave the food out! Just don’t even buy it.

06/02/15 Did you know that the recommended three glasses of milk a day has been linked to shorter lifespans along with more broken bones? In fact, a large study in the BMJ 2014 showed that “high milk intake was associated with higher mortality in one cohort of women and in another cohort of men, and with higher fracture incidence in women.” That ‘three-a-day’ milk habit actually gave women a 60% increase in hip fractures, a 90% increase in death by cardiovascular disease and 44% more deaths by cancer as compared to the one-a-day glass of milk drinkers. Well, with milk sales in the tank, the dairy industry has recently locked arms with Coca-Cola to create the monster milk drink Fairlife which has an unnatural 50% more protein, 30% more calcium, 50% percent less sugar, and an amazing shelf life of 100 days. The fact is that normal cows’ milk already has three times more protein than human milk and when you toss back a glass of this stuff, a large amount of the protein is converted into acids - which actually leaches more calcium from the bones than was in the milk in the first place!

05/26/15 The genetic engineering of corn to produce its own Bt toxin has brought about serious concerns for human health - even though the US government gives it a huge thumbs-up and a wink. We GMO’d our corn to fight earworms and bore worms and guess what? We still have an earworm and bore worm problem! In fact, predictions made some 20 years were that GMO corn would only produce a new breed of super-worms - which brings us to a recent study out of Clemson University that shows that GMO corn is having little impact on crop pests. As another unfortunate result, pretty much all corn crops are now contaminated at some level with genetic modification because of cross-pollination. Think your organic corn is safe to eat? If there is a GMO corn field anywhere within 20 or miles or so, the winds carry the GMO plant pollen willy-nilly to settle on other crops. Bottom line; GMOs were developed under the partial pretense of “feeding the nations”, but in reality, it is just one small part of a sadistic money-grubbing ploy by Big Agriculture companies like Monsanto to control the sale of seeds.

05/19/15 So, more and more you find peanut allergies in the news and the latest study finds a huge connection between peanuts and childhood asthma. In fact, scientists have recently declared that peanut sensitivity reactions mimic asthma attacks including shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. As it turns out, many children who supposedly have asthma also have an allergic sensitivity to peanuts - and almost nobody knows it. Nearly 44% of over 1,500 children with asthma studied for peanut sensitivity had positive IgE antibodies that indicated reactivity to peanuts. Back to the question: why do we have all these peanut allergies and asthma/peanut connections? Uh, could it be that most nut allergies have blossomed since 1964 when Merck introduced peanut oil and other nut oils into vaccines to hopefully extend temporary vaccine immunity against childhood diseases? When oils are injected into the muscle via a vaccine, they are labelled offensive by the body and fought off by the immune system. This provides a sustained release of immune system antibodies against the offending oil - rendering the victim totally sensitive to the ingestion of the food version.

05/12/15 Horseradish is a superfood! This root from the mustard family packs a goodly amount of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants along with natural Vitamin C to fight viral infections and boost immunity. Horseradish contains many volatile compounds such as various isothiocyanates and sinigrin which tout some pretty awesome detoxification functions. Some of the phyto-chemical compounds in horseradish stimulate digestive enzymes that facilitate digestion and horseradish also has anti-inflammatory, diuretic (increases urine output), and nerve soothing effects. Top this off with the fact that horseradish helps remove free-radicals from the body to protect you from cancers. But wait, there’s more! Horseradish is a magnificent blood tonic that’s loaded with sodium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. The biggest drawback here is that store-bought versions are all made with GMO soybean oil. But I get around that by grinding my own horseradish in a blender pouring in grapeseed oil and some white vinegar to bring it to the consistency and flavor I like. Feeling nauseous and sick? Do what I do; eat a healthy helping of horseradish straight up! Works for me every time.

05/05/15 So, if your junk food sales are lagging, invent something that appears nutritious to help recover the lagging dollars. That’s what Coca-Cola did. They teamed up with charlatan fitness and nutrition “experts” to get them to suggest that a soft drink is actually a healthy treat and a wise choice. Several of these paid “experts” even wrote online pieces for American Heart Month, promoting the mini-can of Coke or small soda as a nutritious snack idea. Coca-Cola also recently focused PR strategy with health experts in February to promote the theme of "Heart Health & Black History Month" complete with a radio segment and multiple online pieces. Business-as-usual for Big Food companies because this is how Big Money corporations work from the shadows to hype their products in a positive light - by using third party “authorities”. Ya, go ahead and pay more per ounce for your mini can of Coca-Cola if you really think it is a healthy idea - and I’ve got some oceanfront property in AZ that I can sell you next…

04/28/15 Organic corn? Good luck with that one… Corn relies on the wind to cross-pollinate. The problem is that organic corn can pollinate off of GMO corn crops many miles away. (Technically, if you plant “organic corn”, you get to call it “organic” even if it is contaminated by GMO crops growing downwind - and that’s what you get nowadays.) Europe tests all organic-grown corn before shipping and when transgenic contamination is found, it is refused. Well, how about you? Don’t you want to know if your “organic corn” is GMO contaminated? My guess is that it is. But, here’s where the plot twists: Researchers have developed a way to preserve the integrity of organic corn by isolating a genetic trait from popcorn that won’t allow the mutant ninja GMO corn to infiltrate other nearby corn crops. One developer, Frank Kutka, calls his corn breeding brain-child “Organic Ready corn”, a salvo against Monsanto’s genetically-modified Roundup Ready products. Now we wait for the marketing to catch up to the demand.

04/21/15 So, scientists fed two groups of mice with either coconut oil or soybean oil for 6 months. The unfortunate soy-fed mice grew three times larger than the luckier coconut-fed mice. Three times?? But that’s not all. The condemned soy-fed mice also had fattier livers along with higher rates of glucose intolerance, heart disease, cancer and early deaths. How does this relate to humans? This 6-month experiment that reeked metabolic havoc in mice equates to about 20 years of human life. Sounds to me like the exact same health problems soy-fed humans are experiencing... Did you know that cooking with and eating coconut oil not only helps control your weight but also gives you a healthier heart and brain? I like the sounds of that! Coconut oil is loaded with medium chain amino acids that your body requires for overall health. Coconut oil is also anti-fungal and is great for topical uses on rashes and general skin care. Sore muscles? Mix a little DMSO in some coconut oil and use it for a muscle rub. Oh, and avoid anything and everything that has any form of soy in it (unless it is organic natto). That’s what I do.

04/14/15 Do you want to know what can make your blood pressure rocket? Eat out, get high blood pressure. This is according to a new study at Duke-NUS Medical School that shows the correlation between meals eaten away from home and high blood pressure. Why? Because eating out brings higher caloric intake, higher saturated fat intake and higher processed salt intake - among things. So, do you think that this only applies to crusties (old folks)? Well, this study was done on otherwise healthy college kids and statistical analysis found pre-hypertension rates jumped by 6% with just one meal eaten out per week but climbed steadily to 38% with more than 12 meals taken away from home per week. The stats also showed that the more people eat out, the higher the body mass index rose, the lower the physical activity levels became and the likelihood of smoking escalated. What should all this information this tell us? That our pre-hypertension and hypertension problem is more about our lifestyles and modifying our lifestyles would bring a subsequent drop in blood pressure disorders.

04/07/15 Did you know that in 2012, consumers set a new record for buying highly processed foods? In fact, over 80% of food calories purchased in one study were ready-to-heat/ready-to-eat products which tend to be much higher in bad fats, GMOs, cheap sugars and over-processed salt than other less-processed foods. Unfortunately for consumers, Big Grocery food scientists have purposefully concocted the right combinations of sugars, fats, salt and “flavorings” in processed foods to actually promote overeating along with repeat purchases - which ultimately contributes to obesity and poor health. Convenience, perceived affordability and designer tastes prevail to win the average consumer over invest in highly processed foods over minimally processed foods. Here’s the hook: Because of this rampant problem, studies are now suggesting that to improve the overall poor food nutrient profiles in the US, food manufacturers need “incentives” to improve the nutritional quality of their products. How much money will this retrogressive thinking cost the hapless taxpayer to fix the unfixable problem that stems from corporate greed?

03/31/15 Organic lettuce packs some great health benefits health being rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect against free radical processes that cause cell damage in the body associated with various diseases. Lettuce contains several different antioxidants like phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, along with vitamins A and C and other nutritious compounds. But not all lettuce is created equal. The color of the lettuce leaf actually tells you the speed at which their antioxidant compounds act. Recent study results show that the green-leaf lettuce contains water-soluble, antioxidant compounds that act at slow and intermediate kinetic speeds while the red-leaf lettuce has compounds with intermediate and rapid kinetic speeds. A semi-red-leaf has all three compounds; rapid, intermediate and slow speeds. The speeds the work at actually do not make one lettuce better than the other as we need all three antioxidants, but mixing all three together has an interesting potential for wonderful health benefits.

03/24/14 Salt is not bad for you. It is only the kind of salt that is bad for you. Humans cannot live without salt! In fact, the connections between salt and cardiovascular disease are only partially true for morbidly obese people. The former president of the American Society of Hypertension even says that for people who were not overweight, “the more salt you eat, the less likely you are to die.” The Lancet concluded that people “who eat lots of salt live longer than those who avoid it.” (In that study, 25% percent of people who consumed the lowest amount of salt also had a higher risk of death.) An eight-year study of hypertensives in New York shows that those on low-salt diets had over four times as many heart attacks compared to normal sodium intake. The bible requires offerings to be seasoned with salt and many societies have used salt for currency. The old expression “not worth his salt” comes from the slave trade in ancient Greece. IMO, take all low sodium advice with a health pinch of salt - just make it good ole unrefined sea salt and not the nasty processed junk that is chemically altered.

03/17/15 Artificial flavors and colors have been proven to cause hyperactivity long with other symptoms of ADD/ADHD. The heck of it is that there have been natural versions of these artificial additives all along. Which do you think came first anyhow? Meanwhile, Nestlé USA conducted its own marketing research to find that 60% of consumers actually prefer candy to be free of artificial flavors and colors and deem it important in food purchasing decisions. So, Nestlé decided that it will remove artificial flavors and colors from all of its chocolate candy products this year and relabel over 250 products “No Artificial Flavors or Colors”. Nice commitment there Nestlé (and it is fully appreciated by all) but how about removing the cancer-causing GMO-derived sugars and oils next? Are you still going to use chemical conditioners and other unnatural things in your chocolate? Making a product less poisonous than it already is does not a hero make.

03/10/14 People in Asian societies eat on average about 6-11 grams of soy a day - that is, 6-11 grams of non-GMO fermented soy according to a review in Nutrition and Cancer. Fermented soy eaten by Asians has been touted to lower cancer and dementia rates while promoting longevity. Meanwhile back in the good-ole USA, an overwhelming majority of soy that Americans eat is genetically modified, unfermented and stuffed into processed foods. Cancer-causing GMOs aside, unfermented soybeans actually contain anti-nutrients that cause serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. Unfermented soy contains potent enzyme inhibitors that block trypsin and other enzymes needed to digest protein which cause among things, enlargement and cancer of the pancreas and the prostate. Bad enough yet? Unfermented soybeans also contain goitrogens that suppress thyroid function and hemoglutinen, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together. These health-destroying products are neutralized in the fermentation process.

03/03/15 The best reason for farming organically is for our health because organic foods provide much more antioxidant power, natural polyphenol levels and nutritious flavonoid levels than conventionally grown food. What’s more, if we want to keep our planet healthy for future generations we have to stop with the pesticides and other strong chemicals used on our crops. Conventional farming is not about nutrition and doesn’t improve the environment. The argument in favor of conventional methods is all about the money with the idea that intensive farming that will produce loads more of food for less money. But conventional farming is very short-sighted because of the physical harm and human diseases caused by farming chemicals. Add to this the blatant and growing lack of nutrition in mass produced foods, and of course catastrophic damage to the environment. Did you know that numerous studies show that organic farming can actually produce more crop output than regular methods? Did you know that we have known this fact for decades? Seems a wee bit silly, huh?

02/24/15 Artificial colors are not essential to the production of food products. So why are they there? Here is a brief overview of just a few studies that link artificial colors to ADD and ADHD: A 2004 study review on artificial food colorings declared that “neurobehavioral toxicity may characterize a variety of widely distributed chemicals”. A 2007 study stated that “artificial colors or a sodium benzoate preservative in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.” A 2011 advisory committee to the FDA said that children with ADHD “and other problem behaviors…may be exacerbated by exposure to a number of substances in food, including, but not limited to, synthetic color additives.” A recent report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest examined the currently approved food dyes and lists health concerns for each and every one. They said that the most popular Red 40 “may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice,” and causes “hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions… and might trigger hyperactivity in children.”

02/17/15 The USDA says that the average American now eats and drinks over 170 pounds of refined sugars a year! That would be 34 five-pound bags of sugar a year or 1/2 pounds of sugar daily - compared to the `1700s when 4 pounds of sugar per year was average. This glut of sugar in our diets has largely contributed to an out-of-control epidemic in cancer. Malignant tumors are pretty much dependent on glucose consumption to grow and when we eat refined sugars (or white flour for that matter), the body releases insulin accompanied with insulin-like growth factor (IGF) that allows glucose to enter the cells and stimulate cell growth as well as trigger inflammation in the body - the perfect fertilizer for tumors. Spikes in insulin along with the release of IGF promote the growth of cancer cells and stimulates their ability to invade surrounding tissues. So, what does man in his finitesimal wisdom do? He develops a new class of drugs to reduce peaks in insulin to fight cancer. This way we can keep our inordinate tryst with sugar instead of reducing the amount of sugar (and white flour) we eat. Uh…

02/10/15 The etiology of a fast-food French fry from the local McDonald's restaurant: (Please note that some ingredients are listed twice because they are added twice)…Potatoes, canola oil (GMO), soybean oil (GMO), hydrogenated soybean oil (GMO, hormone wrecking and obesity-causing), natural beef flavor (from a healthy cow or a sick one?), hydrolyzed wheat (allergen magnified and addictive additive), hydrolyzed milk (hormone milk?), citric acid (GMO source?), dimethylpolysiloxane (polymeric silicone compound used to make caulking), dextrose (sugar), sodium and pyrophosphate (hazardous chemical warranting its own CDC warning page), salt (more sodium), canola oil (again), corn oil (GMO), soybean oil (again), hydrogenated soybean oil (again), TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone- form of butane that keeps the fries from rotting - ever…), citric acid (again), and dimethylpolysiloxane (again). What you get at the restaurant has 510 calories, 6g of protein, 24g of fat (mostly really bad fats, 67g of carbs and 290mg of sodium. Wanna supersize that order?

02/03/15 French fries can’t be all that bad for you, right? A word of advice: Ask what kind of oil a restaurant cooks them in before you blindly order up. More likely than not, the French fries are dumped into a GMO fry oil because the most common French fry oils are cottonseed, corn (vegetable), and soy. Did you know that foods deep-fried in these oils are also found to be high in acrolein - a toxic chemical found in herbicides? If this doesn’t give you pause enough to reconsider your lunch order, men who eat deep fried foods just one time a week have up to a 37% increased risk of prostate cancer. Women aren’t exempt here because deep frying any food triggers the formation of carcinogens that increase cancer risk. In French fries and other high carb foods, the carcinogenic compound acrylamide forms. Deep frying any meat products adds cancer-causing heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and aldehyde to them - and the more the oil is reused, the more these poisons compound. High heat cooking in general generates high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGES) that are associated with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Do you hate cancer and disease enough to pass on the French fries?

01/27/15 What you eat affects your eating decisions by influencing your brain via the vagus nerve, which wires some 100 million nerve cells from the digestive tract to the brain. Microbes in food actually manipulate both mood and behavior by altering the signals in the vagus nerve to change taste receptors, produce toxins to make us feel either good or bad, and release chemical rewards to make us eat more of certain food - good or bad… One study found that certain strains of bacteria can increase anxious behavior and another study found that the probiotic Lactobacillus casei improves mood in depression. But, the more bad foods you eat, the more bad foods you want. Conversely, the more good food you eat, the more of it you want. The digestive microbiome can change for the better very quickly by changing the diet with healthier food choices and targeted supplementation. The choice is yours!

01/20/15 Green drinks are rich in thylakoids which curb “hedonic hunger”. Hedonic hunger is insatiable cravings for sweets, fast food and other unhealthy things to eat or drink. Hedonic hunger is a common cause of obesity and bad health that result from eating habits. Drinking a green smoothie with these thylakoids helps your body produce more satiety hormones which suppress hedonic hunger, leads to better appetite control, healthier eating habits, weight loss and better health over all. The effects of a green drink taken before breakfast reduces cravings to keep you feeling more satisfied all day. In a recent study, just adding 5g of spinach powder to a breakfast drink helped people lose over 10 pounds in three months - without any other instruction and without going on any structured diet.

01/13/15 The skinny on shrimp: According to Oceana magazine, some two-thirds of NYC grocery stores visited sold “misrepresented shrimp. In Washington DC, Oceana found that about half of all restaurant menu shrimp was misrepresented. Furthermore, some 30% of supermarket shrimp nationwide lacked details for the country of origin and didn’t even disclose whether the shrimp was wild-caught or farmed. Whiteleg shrimp is a common farmed shrimp that is easily and often sold as wild caught shrimp to unsuspecting consumers. But the problem doesn’t stop there as shrimp is a very popular protein eaten in the U.S. and the shrimp industry is rife with problems that range from rampant slave labor to unsustainable business practices, unbelievably bad feeding sources, severe environmental pollution generated by shrimp farms and, of course, fraud. An informed consumer is the best weapon we have to correct these problems. If in doubt - pass on the shrimp.

01/06/15 Eating a high-protein diet can lower your risk for developing high blood pressure by an amazing 40%! A recent study by Boston University School of Medicine found that eating an average of 100 grams of protein a day brought a 40% lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to people eating the lowest intake levels. Interestingly, these protein benefits worked for both normal weight and obese people. But wait, there’s more! Now add in high fiber to the diet and the risk for high blood pressure can drop another whopping 20%! Seems like a rather wonderful way to naturally avoid the doctor’s office - spend your medical money on good food instead.

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