Now there’s a well stocked refrigerator! Can you spot the unhealthy items?
Now there’s a well stocked refrigerator! Can you spot the unhealthy items?
The more I’ve read about coffee, the coffee crop productions, and the decaf process, the less I’m inclined to enjoy my joe now. Let me share some facts with you and let you decide if you’re just as bothered about coffee as I am now…..
The coffee bean crop is typically heavily sprayed. Non-organic coffee can contain herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers right in with your morning cuppa. These substances are known carcinogens and can interrupt normal bodily functions including immune system, fertility, and endocrine system function. The caffeine in coffee can cause a lot of side effects which most of us know and have experienced. But there may be a few that you aren’t aware of including: Read More→
My husband was in the hospital this morning. After his surgery he was offered several
choices for drinks (sodas including diet ones, juice, but no water was offered) and some applesauce to eat. He chose gingerale and applesauce. I’d say, being a nurse and having worked in a hospital, these are pretty standard after-surgery hospital menu items. When I looked at the food labels I found:
I wonder if hospitals are in the business of health promotion and illness cure or in the business of illness causing or perpetuating? I feel very cynical saying this, but if hospitals and medical doctors cured everything and promoted health, then they would be out of business eventually. So maybe treating symptoms of illness and disease and perpetuating the illness is actually what medical care is about rather than cure. Read More→by
What kind of gas are you putting into your engine? Just finished watching a TED Talk about the power of dietary change to balance mood, sharpen brain function and improve mental health. The psychiatrist presenting talks about how in his practice he’s helped improve his patient’s mental and emotional health through nutrition.
The food we put into our bodies is the fuel to function. I’ll use the analogy with my patients that our bodies are a fine working engine. If I put sand in my gas tank, guess what happens? My engine doesn’t work well at all. My engine needs “good” fuel to work well. That fuel is the food I put into my stomach. Read More→by
The nutritional content of eggs varies. It all depends on how the chicken is raised. When you’re at the store it’s difficult through the marketing campaigns to decipher which one is going to be the healthiest for you. There’s also been so much controversy over the last few years about whether or not eggs are a healthy addition to our diet. So let’s look at eggs closely.
First of all, a local farmer’s market is going to be your best bet in getting the healthiest eggs unless you are raising your own chickens!
When you go to the farmer’s market, ask the farmer how the chickens are raised: Are they in a grassy pasture? Are they fed organic feed? Is their diet vegetarian — which means they are NOT fed hormone filled animal by-products? Does the farmer use antibiotics in the raising of the chickens? If you get “yes” “yes” “yes” and “no” to those questions, then buy that farmer’s eggs.
Here’s a graph (from the 100 Days of Real Food website – giving credit where credit is due!) that gives explanations to some of the wording you’ll see on eggs packaging. Read More→by
Dr. Russell Blaylock a neurosurgeon, author, and authority on MSG (monosodium glutamate) and aspartame notes that MSG is a very toxic substance to the brain, especially to the developing brain of young children and to a developing fetus.
When compounds called “free glutamates” (glutamate is an amino acid that is a component of MSG) are added to foods to enhance the flavors, they cause the nerves in the brain to fire very rapidly and fire over and over again. This extra stimulation to the brain gets the taste buds all excited and makes the foods taste much better to us. But this rapid firing in the brain that causes excitement in our taste buds also triggers other symptoms too. Symptoms caused by MSG includes: arthritis, depression, sweating, behavior problems in children, headaches, allergic reactions, flushing, chest pain, facial numbness or pressure, heart palpitations, nausea, weakness, swelling, balance difficulties, and asthma attacks. Read More→by
Carregeenan is added in to processed foods as a thickener and emulsifier. It comes from red seaweed which initially would make you think, this is natural right? However, it has no nutritional value and is actually harmful to humans. Here is yet another additive to our food supply that is harmful yet allowed. Carrageenan should not be in foods.
Dr. Andrew Weil’s site reviews the studies done at University of Illinois by Dr. Joanne Tobacman. She has shown that carrageenan causes inflammatory changes in the human body which can lead to malignancies, stomach problems, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and impairments in insulin leading to diabetes.
Even “Natural” and “Organic” products can contain carrageenan so be sure to read labels. Here’s a shopping guide from the Cornicopia Institute to help you.
Carrageenan is used to de-ice planes! Published in The Buffalo News on June 29, 2013 Read More→by
When looking at labels, make sure you buy items with only natural food dyes. Artificial dyes are known carcinogens and have been linked to hyperactivity, behavior problems, and migraine headaches. Even at home, decorating a birthday cake or Christmas cookies, make sure you are using natural food dyes to give that festive look.
Artificial dyes are made from petroleum products. Actually before the 1900’s natural products like saffron, beets, and paprika were used to make foods look colorful. However, the food industry has found it cheaper to use synthetically produced colors.
Below is a list of natural food dyes being commercially produced:
Or, you can just use real foods and spices that are colorful to decorate or color the food. Use some strawberries in your frosting recipe to make pink cake icing. Beets work really well for a darker pink/red. Kale and spinach will give a great green tint. Even a sprinkle of spirulina will give a green color to your food but be sure to use just a little of this or your food will smell like a fish tank!
For specific ideas on using real food for natural food dyes in baking and decorating see www.100daysofrealfood.com website or click here to follow a link. You can also find CANDY and NATURAL FOOD DYES for sale on-line at www.naturalcandystore.com.by
Many of us have learned to count calories and limit calories in order to lose weight. The food industry, medical professionals, dietitians, and weight loss programs all encourage calorie counting. But, are all calories equal? Is 100 calories of a highly processed snack food the same as 100 calories of almonds as a snack? The answer is “No”.
The reason overweight and obese people cannot lose weight by counting calories is because all calories are not equal. They are not processed in the body in the same manner. To think that our body responds the same way to 100 calories of soda as it does to 100 calories of lean meat is ridiculous. The way to lose weight is to limit animal products, get processed foods out of your diet, and increase the amounts of plant based, whole foods you consume.
Ignore the advice to eat anything in moderation. Nutrients matter. In a 2011 Harvard (D. Mozaffarian, T Hao, E. B. Rimm, et al. “Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Men and Women,” New England Journal of Medicine 364, no25 (2011):2392-404) study looking at calories in and calories out and weight gain over 4 years the authors found that the foods most associated with adding were French fries, potato chips, sugary drinks, meats, sweets, and refined grains. While the foods most associated with weight loss were yogurt, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The foods associated with weight loss were the ones with more nutrients per calorie! So are all calories equal? No!
Dr. Mark Hyman states in his April 11th 2014 Huffington Post article:
“…as Mark Twain said, ‘The problem with common sense is that it is not too common.’ I guess that is why the medical profession, nutritionists, our government, the food industry, and the media are all still actively promoting the outdated, scientifically disproven idea that all calories are created equal. Yes, that well-worn notion — that as long as you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight — is simply dead wrong.”
When we eat processed, highly sugared foods, our intestines very quickly absorb the sugars causing a spike in blood sugar and then a surge in insulin. High insulin levels cause:
Research by Eugene J. Fine, M.D., and Dr. Richard D. Feinman, Ph.D., of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn found that excess insulin does set the stage for inflammation. They also found that people’s bodies respond differently to different foods. Based on the type of food consumed rather than the number of calories consumes, metabolism rates are different. It’s not just calories in and calorie burned off. The researchers conclude that controlling insulin secretion is the key to losing weight.
Chronic inflammation from high levels of insulin is what causes weight gain. The insulin’s affect on your brain is astounding. High insulin levels blocks the leptin level in the brain. Leptin is the hormone that controls hunger drive. If a person has high insulin levels, then the leptin hormone trigger is blocked so it can’t send a message to your brain to stop eating. But what happens instead is your think you are starving and you then keep eating. It’s like a hormonally driven addiction to food.
Even back in 2007 in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers concluded that due to differences in insulin response, low glycemic index foods is the best way to achieve weight loss.
So why are we still so focused on calories? The answer is to focus on QUALITY CALORIES — Calories with high nutritional value and low glycemic index.
Dr. Mark Hyman’s 10-day Detox Diet can help someone get off the highly processed foods and onto a real, whole food diet. It’s a pretty intense 10 day plan but by about day 4-5 you’re through the toughest part and there is a lot of support within his program to help get your through. PGX fiber tablets are a huge help too. They help keep your insulin levels low naturally and help you feel fuller longer while you are on this program.
So now that you know the answer to the question Are All Calories Equal? What’s your next step? The All Cooked Up coaches can help you if you need cooking lessons, tips on transforming your favorite recipes to healthier versions. Just let us know what you need help with and we are there to support you in your health quest!by
Bigger is better right? Cheaper and faster is best, right? Not so. When considering how the majority of farmers grow their cows, chickens, pigs, and turkeys you’d think we were getting a more quality product. But the truth is the bigger, cheaper, and faster the animal is grown, a less quality product is the result. Why pay the price for free range animal products? The ones grown in feedlots are much bigger and grow faster.
Today’s cow, for instance, is initially let out to pasture and grazes on grass and alfalfa for the first few months of its life. This is just as God intended and developed their stomachs for digestion. The four stomachs that a cow has have a neutral pH (unlike us humans who have a very acidic stomach). The neutral stomachs and the fact that they have four of them, allows the cow to properly digest the grass and alfalfa. However, in most of the cattle industry, after a few months of grazing, the calves are then put into feedlots where they are quickly fattened up. These feedlots are crowded, unsanitary conditions. The cows can’t move much which is one way they fatten up quickly (kind of like us couch-potato humans). They are also now fed huge amounts of corn, soy-based protein supplements, growth hormones, and antibiotics (given because of the unsanitary, close-quarters and to keep their stomachs from getting infections because they are not used to digesting the food they are now given).
In these conditions, a calf will grow from 80 pounds to over 1,000 pounds in about one year. Typically a pasture raised cow takes 4-5 years to mature. This is an unnatural weight gain and the end product meat, milk, cheese, and yogurt that we are eating is unnaturally higher in fats, has much less Omega 3 fatty acids compared to the pasture-naturally raised cow meat, and will contain trace amounts of the hormones and antibiotics that were given to the cow.
There is also some evidence that other hormones like epinephrine and cortisol will be higher in the meat when a cow is stressed prior to or during slaughtering. Epinephrine when released into the blood stream in response to stress will break down glycogen that is stored in the muscles and liver. This response then results in a sudden convergence of glycogen to glucose (sugar) when adequate oxygen is present. However, in a slaughter house there are again crowded conditions, limited fresh air, increased stress as electric prods are used to move animals along, and the cow’s muscles build up with lactic acid as a result. This buildup of lactic acid results in a higher pH level in the meat and changes the composition and quality of the product and we in turn are eating this “altered” meat. This negative effect of high stress response has been shown in many studies and among different types of slaughtered animals.
Electric goads are often used as a means of control and movement of the pigs at the slaughter plant, causing an increase in adrenaline compounds in the blood and an increased rate of glycogenolysis, the breakdown of glycogen to glucose, ultimately resulting in a poor meat quality.
D’Souza, D. N., F. R. Dunshea, R. D. Warner, and B. J. Leury. 1998. The effect of handling pre-slaughter and carcass processing rate post-slaughter on pork quality. Meat Sci. 50:429-437
Another huge concern is of deadly E. coli 0157:H7 bacterial infection risks with beef consumption. Grass-fed, pasture raised cows will have a neutral stomach pH and will not grow this bacteria. Cows raised in feedlots will develop acidic stomachs and intestines which is an ideal environment for this bacteria to grow. Michael Pollan author of “In Defense of Food” and “Cooked” describes what occurs in a cow’s body when raised in feedlots and fed corn diets:
“Perhaps the most serious thing that can go wrong with a ruminant on corn is feedlot bloat. The rumen is always producing copious amounts of gas, which is normally expelled by belching during rumination. But when the diet contains too much starch and too little roughage, rumination all but stops, and a layer of foamy slime that can trap gas forms in the rumen. The rumen inflates like a balloon, pressing against the animal’s lungs. Unless action is promptly taken to relieve the pressure (usually by forcing a hose down the animal’s esophagus), the cow suffocates.”
“A corn diet can also give a cow acidosis. Unlike our own highly acidic stomachs, the normal pH of a rumen is neutral. Corn makes it unnaturally acidic, however, causing a kind of bovine heartburn, which in some cases can kill the animal but usually just makes it sick. Acidotic animals go off their feed, pant and salivate excessively, paw at their bellies and eat dirt. The condition can lead to diarrhea, ulcers, bloat, liver disease and a general weakening of the immune system that leaves the animal vulnerable to everything from pneumonia to feedlot polio.”
This deadly bacteria showed up in the 1980’s and now can be found in most feedlot cow intestines in the U.S. Because we changed how cows are raised and fed, we now have a deadly bacteria on our hands.
Each year in the United States, E. coli infections cause approximately 265,000 illnesses and about 100 deaths. Approximately 40 percent of these infections are caused by the strain E. coli O157:H7, a strain that is part of the shiga toxin-producing group of E. coli bacteria (STEC). The other 60 percent of E. colicases are caused by non-0157:H7 shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/ecoli.html
What about labels?
When at the grocery store, how do you know what’s what?
It can be confusing when you read meat labels at the grocery store. You are looking for organic, grassfed, free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats.
What about nutrition?
Grassfed meat is lower in overall fat and saturated fat compared to cornfed beef. Grassfed beef also has almost double the amount of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids compared to cornfed beef. A 2010 publication in Nutrition Journal showed:
Research spanning three decades supports the argument that grass-fed beef has a more desirable SFA lipid profile as compared to grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is also higher in precursors for Vitamin A and E and cancer fighting antioxidants compared to grain-fed contemporaries. Grass-fed beef tends to be lower in overall fat content, an important consideration for those consumers interested in decreasing overall fat consumption. A number of clinical studies have shown that today’s lean beef, regardless of feeding strategy, can be used interchangeably with fish or skinless chicken to reduce serum cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic patients.
A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:10
So ultimately, bigger is not better. And, cheaper and faster is not best. For organic, grassfed, free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats: