More Kids with Food Allergies...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 3 MILLION children now have food allergies. Peanut allergies have DOUBLED and kids seem to be taking LONGER to outgrow milk and egg allergies; the Associated Press reports.

Actually, breastfeeding does A LOT to reduce the risk of allergies. Dr. Fuhrman explains the ANTIBODIES derived from mother’s milk maximize immune system function and protect against immune system disorders and allergies.

To further REDUCE risk Dr. Fuhrman recommends delaying nuts and nut butters until nine months and AVOIDING foods like salt, eggs, oil, seafood, meat, cheese, milk, and butter until after your child's first birthday.

Veggie Oedipus

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

The timeless classic Oedipus, with vegetables! It's NOT totally safe for work or kids. But its still great!

Surprise, Bad Food Causes Heart Attacks!

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

A new study by McMaster University claims people eating a diet rich in meat and junk food are MORE likely to have heart attacks than people eating mostly fruits and vegetables.

The research appears in the journal Circulation. Reuters reports:

People who ate more fruits and vegetables had a 30 percent lower risk of heart attack compared to people who ate little or none of these foods, they found.

People eating a Western diet had a 35 percent greater risk of heart attack compared to people who consumed little or no fried foods and meat.

Not a shocker! The link between saturated fat and heart attack is WIDELY accepted. Luckily a PLANT-based diet has been shown to prevent and reserve heart disease.

But this guy had to learn the hard way. His butter-based diet nearly killed him!

Fight Cancer, Find Strength in Exercise

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Exercise is STRONG medicine. We all know it keeps us fit, but many reports claim it can also help PREVENT cancer, like prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Some California cancer patients are putting EXERCISE to the test, while undergoing treatment, they’re pumping iron and hitting the mat; via The Los Angeles Times.

Diet is important too! Certain foods, like soy beans, garlic and apples, have POTENT anti-cancer effects. Now, imagine if you pair a HEALTHY eating with exercise!

Little People, Big Broccoli!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Look closely. Do you see him? He’s smiling at you! A little FACE in the broccoli.

Bread & Honey discovered it on bag of Cascadian Farm frozen broccoli florets.

And a macro lenses reveals a whole BUNCH of little people: WTF, BROCCOLI?

Via Serious Eats.

On Manager's Special 10.20.08

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

 

This broccoli cost $0.39.

 

 

That broccoli cost $0.64.

 

 

Only $0.45 for this broccoli.

 

 

And just $0.39 for that broccoli.


Yup, that’s A LOT of broccoli! And it only cost $1.87.

See, HEALTHY eating is cheap!

People Aren't Eating Out as Much...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Unless you live UNDER a rock! You’ve probably noticed the economy is in the crapper. Forcing many people to CUT BACK to save money. Like driving LESS and spending MORE time at home.

And now, new research indicates people are also eating out LESS and packing their own lunches. Actually, besides SAVING money, eating at home and packing a lunch can be MUCH healthier.

Via Slashfood.
 

Soy Beats Breast Cancer

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

A new study, in the International Journal of Cancer, claims soy foods REDUCE the risk of breast cancer tumors, both estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative tumors; Reuters reports.

Actually, the BENEFITS of soy have been widely reported. Soy helps against stroke, heart disease and soybeans do NOT lower sperm count, but you SHOULDN’T go overboard with soy products, Dr. Fuhrman insists a soy foods-based diet isn't a good idea.

Backyard Mushrooms, Watch Out!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

I love mushrooms! I eat them EVERY week. Mushrooms are PACKED with phytochemicals and studies show mushrooms can help fight obesity.

Unfortunately, most Americans list mushrooms as one of their MOST hated foods, even though mushroom-technology could SAVE the planet!

But DON’T eat the mushrooms in your backyard! Chances are they’re poisonous and can cause seizures and liver damage; via Julie’s Health Club.

Stop Thief, Don't Eat those Nuts!

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

Thieves made a DUMB mistake! These dopes stole 660 pounds of hazelnuts. The problem is they’re full of hydrogen phosphate gas, used to extend self life, making them poisonous! German authorities have  warned them NOT to eat them; Reuters reports.

I find that HILARIOUS, but don’t let it distract you. Nuts are SUPER foods; pistachios lower cholesterol, nuts and seeds promote weight-loss, cashews make bones strong and almonds fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. Nuts, eat some!

China's Tainted Beans!

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Oh man. China has a WHOLE bunch of food problems. First, melamine-contaminated baby formula took the world by storm.

Now, Japan is warning citizens to AVOID a Chinese variety of frozen green beans. This time HIGH concentrations of pesticides are to blame; via CNN.

I’ve got nothing but LOVE for China, I want to go there, but maybe they should stick to what they do best. Growing GIANT veggies!

Fruit Pectin Protects Against Cancer

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

New research in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, claims pectin, the stuff used in jams and found naturally in citrus fruits, INHIBITS the growth of proteins responsible for cancer progression; ScienceDaily reports.

Fascinating stuff! Dr. Fuhrman points out that modified citrus pectin (MCP), a compound obtained from the peel and pulp of citrus fruits, also has EFFECTIVE anti-metastatic properties. Metastasis is one of the MOST life-threatening aspects of cancer.

Apples and oranges are packed with pectin! And in general, fruits and veggies beat up cancer! Foods like broccoli, leafy greens and beans possess AMAZING anti-cancer abilities. So go eat some!

Obesity Blamed for America's High Blood Pressure

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

A new study in the journal Hypertension reveals more Americans than EVER before have high blood pressure. Researchers from the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute blame the United States’ OBESITY epidemic for the increase; HealthDay News reports.

What makes this even MORE scary is a previous report claims BOTH doctors and patients are missing the mark when it comes to high blood pressure-prevention. Doctors are failing to screen patients and patients aren’t taking the appropriate measures to avoid it.

Diet is a MAJOR determining factor for high blood pressure. Dr. Fuhrman faults America’s unhealthy obsession with bad food. Processed foods are extremely HIGH in salt; increasing the risk of obesity, hypertension, stroke and other diseases.

But fruits and vegetables, like pomegranates, NATURALLY lower blood pressure, prevent heart attack and stroke and PROTECT against cancer. Also, other research has shown that certain types of MUSIC, such as Celtic and classical, can help lower blood pressure too!

Double Kids' Vitamin D! --UPDATED--

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests DOUBLING children’s intake of vitamin D to 400 units daily. Experts recommend a vitamin D supplement for breast-fed and partially bottle-fed infants and teenagers who drink little or no milk; the Associated Press reports.

Vitamin D is an important, but often OVERLOOKED nutrient—especially for kids! Previous reports have shown vitamin D staves off rickets in children and giving babies vitamin D may help PREVENT type-1 diabetes.

I asked Dr. Fuhrman, and he agrees that the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin D is too low, since MOST people are deficient in vitamin D and this leads to an INCREASED risk of disease. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium and build stronger bones.

UPDATE: Hey all, GREAT news from Dr. Fuhrman:

I upped the Vitamin D in the Pixie-Vites last year. We must face the realization that we have a nationwide epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency, it has been going on for years, and is a contributing cause of cancer and other diseases. Anything we can do to assure Vitamin D adequacy is likely favorable.

Heart Disease to Skyrocket in Obese Teens...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

During a conference of the American Society of Hypertension, experts warned that heart disease risk could TRIPLE among teenagers; obesity and high blood pressure are to blame. WebMD reports:

The presence of child obesity results in higher rates of high blood pressure," which is a major risk factor for stroke and heart attack, said Bonita Falkner, MD, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. "This is a problem that is not going to magically go away, and it puts children at risk for premature cardiac events at an earlier period in their adult lives.

In fact, heart disease DOES start during childhood and with over 1 million young children having undiagnosed high blood pressure, teaching kids HEALTHY eating habits is paramount!

Eat for Health: Switching to a Nutritarian Diet

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

As your body’s detoxification activities increase in the first week or two of this program, the symptoms of toxic hunger could increase. These feelings could include lightheadedness, fatigue, headaches, increased urination, sore throat, flatulence, and, very rarely, fever, body itching, and rashes. These uncomfortable sensations rarely last longer then one week and, even if they do, they will lessen with time.

Occasionally, people find it takes time for their digestive tract to adjust to all the additional raw fiber, and they experience an increase in gas or bloating or have looser stools. This is usually caused by the increased volume of raw vegetables and because you swallow more air when eating salads. It is remedied by chewing better so the air is out of the mouth before swallowing. Better chewing also breaks down the cells, making them easier to digest. For those with this problem, the amount of raw salad can be increased in a more gradual fashion. You can also eat less raw foods and more cooked vegetables, such as steamed zucchini, squash, brown rice, potato, and sweet potato. When the symptoms subside, gradually increase the amount of raw greens and cruciferous vegetables in your diet. Dried fruits, roasted nuts, and beans can also contribute to digestive problems at the beginning of transitioning to this way of eating. To combat these issues, use raw nuts, avoid dried fruit and other sweet substances, and soak beans in water overnight or eat them in smaller amounts until you adjust.

So, if you are troubled by digestive problems, try the following:

  • Chew food better, especially salads.
  • Eat beans in smaller amounts.
  • Soak beans and legumes overnight before cooking.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages.
  • Do not overeat.
  • Eat less raw vegetables and increase the raw vegetables gradually.

Be patient and give your body a little time to adjust to a different eating-style. Remember, your digestive tract can make the adjustments if allowed to do it gradually.

Have a Healthy Halloween!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

It’s a little early, so you’ll have plenty of time to decide. This Halloween, do you want to embarrass your child as a carrot or a banana! Either way, it’s a GREAT opportunity to take your vegetable-based diet one step further.

Just head over to brandsonSale.com, there you can pick between a peapod, chili pepper, strawberry, apple, grapes and many more!

Via Serious Eats.
 

Milk and Meat Up Prostate Cancer-Risk

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

A new study, by Oxford University, claims a meat and dairy diet might BOOST a man’s risk of prostate cancer. Scientists attribute the increase to HIGH levels of a particular hormone associated with milk and meat consumption.

The research appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The Telegraph reports:

The hormone, called Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), boosts the division of cells and is necessary for growth in children.

However, scientists are still unsure how great an effect a diet high in meat and dairy products can have on levels of the hormone in the blood.

"It could be about 10 to 15 per cent higher in people who have a high consumption of dairy products or meat," Dr Andrew Roddam, from Oxford University, who led the study, estimated.

Scientists cite this ISN’T the first time they’ve seen the correlation between IGF-1 and prostate cancer. A previous study showed saturated fat, found in foods like steaks, burgers, cheese, ice cream and mayonnaise, also INCREASES cancer-risk.

In addition, milk and other dairy products are KNOWN cancer-promoters. Conversely, high nutrient plant foods, like broccoli, have AMAZING anti-cancer properties—even against prostate cancer!

New York City Cranberry Bog

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

For the third year, Ocean Spray has setup shop in New York City, constructing a GIANT cranberry bog in Rockefeller Center. You might be asking why. To promote education and CELEBRATE the cranberry harvest!

Cranberries are pretty amazing. They’re PACKED with nutrients and antioxidants! I like them dried. Actually, another awesome dried berry are goji berries. They’re from Tibet. They taste a lot like dried cranberries, but have even MORE vitamins and nutrients!

Via Slashfood.

Economy Down, Cookbooks Up!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

You don’t need me to remind you, but the economy is HURTING, and like we saw yesterday, more and more people are staying in and cooking at home, to save money. As a result, sales of COOKBOOKS have increased; the Associated Press reports.

Well, it’s GOOD that people are cooking for themselves, but let’s hope they’re picking the RIGHT cookbooks. I wouldn’t buy a hide-the-veggies cookbook or the Republican or Democrat cookbooks either—both equally stupid!

Instead, check out DiseaseProof’s recipe category or Dr. Fuhrman’s Secrets to Healthy Cooking DVD!

Bad Economy, Better Health?

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Using powers of deduction, you’d assume if times are TOUGH, people’s health and well-being would suffer—especially with food producers PIMPING cheap unhealthy food—but the evidence is conflicted. Our health might actually BENEFIT from hard times!

In some countries, and even the United States during the Great Depression, when the economy improves, people spend A LOT time working—in order to make MORE money—than they do taking care of themselves and caring for children, which are both time-consuming activities.

Although, in the U.S. recession of the 1970s and 1980s, some researchers claim death rates declined sharply, while others contend there were MORE deaths; from heart disease, cirrhosis, suicide and homicide; via The New York Times Well blog.

Overall, it probably depends on personal habits. If health and childcare are important to you, you MAKE time! And sure, we’re all feeling the economic pinch, but you’ve got to stay positive. A satisfying emotional environment is a VITAL part of great health.

Calorie Counts on the Subway

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

In case you HAVEN’T heard, New York City’s calories-on-menus law is in full effect. Chain restaurants are now REQUIRED to post their calories. At first, many restaurants were resistant, but in the end, New Yorkers seem to like their new menus.

And now, New York has taken it one step further, by posting advertisements in city subways—reminding people about those infamous calories. The New York City Health Department launched the campaign under the slogan, “Read ’em before you eat ’em.

I think providing people with more information is ALWAYS a good idea, but focusing ONLY on calories is foolhardy. There’s A LOT more to food and nutrient-density, than JUST calories.

On Manager's Special 10.6.08

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

Those apples $1.69.


More apples $1.71.


Super-powered broccoli $0.67.


My favorite bananas $0.89.


Gnarly onions $2.93.

That’s A LOT of apples! Just more proof you can find GREAT stuff in the “cheapo” bin.

With beef costing around $2.00 a pound, that’s a NICE haul for only $7.89!

Future Farming Goes Up!

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Robots harvesting crops based on smell. Plants kept safe from disease and insects. Vertical sewage tanks converting waste to power and below ALL this would be a supermarket! That’s what FARMING might look like in the future; from PopSci.com.

Actually, new age farming has changed A LOT over the years. In the past, they thought farming would exist on GIANT aquatic platforms and in bio-dome looking contraptions; via Paleo-Future.

Certainly puts my backyard compost-grown tomato to shame!

Eat for Health: Eating Organic Food

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

The concern implicit in this question is about pesticides, and it is a real one. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that the majority of pesticides now in use are probable or possible causes of cancer. Studies of farm workers who work with pesticides suggest a link between pesticide use and brain cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the stomach and prostate.1 However, does the low level of pesticides remaining on our food present much of a risk?

Some scientists argue that the extremely low level of pesticide residue remaining on produce is insignificant and that there are naturally occurring toxins in all natural foods that are more significant. The large amount of studies performed on the typical pesticide-treated produce have demonstrated that consumption of produce, whether organic or not, is related to lower rates of cancer and increased disease protection. In short, it is better to eat fruits and vegetables grown and harvested using pesticides than not to eat them at all. The health benefits of eating phytochemically-rich produce greatly outweigh any risks pesticide residues might pose. That said, it should be recognized that fruits and vegetables are not all subject to the same pesticide exposure. The below chart shows the pesticide breakdown by food, but it is alphabetized and not in order of pesticide content. Spinach, strawberries and celery have the most pesticide residue and are the most important foods to consume organically grown.

 

If it is available, organic food is certainly your best bet to limit exposure to toxic chemicals. If you can eat only organic versions of the top 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your pesticide exposure by about 90 percent. In addition, organic foods usually have more nutrients than their conventional counterparts.2 They also taste better and are generally better for farmers and the environment.

Continue Reading

Vegetable Oil Linked to Breast Cancer

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink

New research in the International Journal of Cancer claims omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, found in vegetable oil, may increase breast cancer-risk in postmenopausal women, but heterocyclic amines in cooked meat and fish DON’T up cancer-risk; Reuters reports.

I asked Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts on the study. Here’s what he had to say:

Of course processed foods, including refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar increase a women's risk of breast cancer. And, the findings in this study are also logical, that the use of vegetable oils, which are also low-nutrient processed foods, would increase risk of breast cancer as well.

As humans we are designed to eat and thrive on natural foods in their natural state. Eating an avocado is nothing like consuming avocado oil and eating corn oil cannot be compared to eating corn. Oil is high calorie, low nutrient food; the definition of junk food. When we eat plant fats in their natural state, such as in seeds and nuts, the scientific studies are clear, they have the opposite effect (of oil), lowering risk of all-cause mortality and extending lifespan.

Even olive oil is junk food! Olive oil MIGHT be an improvement over saturated animal fats, but Dr. Fuhrman insists, processed oils are a MAJOR contributor to our overweight modern world.

As for heterocyclic amines, they’re NOT healthy either. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine points to studies linking both grilled meat and grilled chicken with cancer-risk. Water-based cooking, like steaming, is MUCH safer.

Making Friends with Veggies

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Cartoons are powerful. Kids LOVE cartoons! When I was little Transformers was popular and when the movie came out last summer, I saw it in the theater 3 times and bought the DVD the morning it came out. Good impressions last a LONG time!

Using cartoons to promote fruits and veggies is an EXCELLENT idea. Nickelodeon has a new show called “Making Fiends” and in this episode, Charlotte is tired of eating cafeteria food! Too much beef jerky, clams, and grape punch.

So she teaches a chorus of fruits and vegetables to SING a song! Yeah, it’s pretty cute. “Making fiends, making fiends…”

Via Serious Eats.

Plum Power!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

 

I love Bluebryd plums! I bought a bunch the other day. Same day I snagged the marked-down asparagus, tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Now, That’sFit has compiled some GREAT nutrition info about plums. Take a look:

  • Pick a plum for your daily vitamins C, A, and B2.
  • Plums pack potassium.
  • You need fiber, and plums have fiber.
  • Antioxidants? Plums have them.
  • Carrots might work but plums are better for the eyes.

Plums are great and Dr. Fuhrman insists you can eat as many plums, spinach, broccoli, beets, beans, and other fruits and vegetables you want! Also, check out The Fruit Guys. They’ll deliver plums and other fruits to your work.

Tough Times, Cupcakes over Crisis...

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

Even though Rome—oops! I mean Wall Street is burning. Americans appear to be MORE interested in cupcakes, wizards and sex toys than the current financial crisis.

But wait, it gets worse!

For giggles, I did my own GoogleTrends experiment. I searched financial crisis, McDonalds, vegetables and Britney Spears. Check it out:

Veggies dead last and McDonalds number ONE! With Britney Spears a close second. Oh boy, we’re in trouble.

Via Serious Eats.

Me Man, Me Eat Fat!

Post a comment (9 Comments) | Permalink

Men get a bad rap. Just look at sitcoms. Male characters are depicted as chubby oafish slobs, basically CAVEMEN in flannel shirts. Like these guys from According to Jim; via YouTube.

Now, AOL Men’s Fitness Center feeds into this Neanderthal nonsense with an article promoting the “healthful” benefits of saturated fats; like beef, pork chops, cheese, butter and sour cream. Get a load of this:

For years you've heard that eating saturated fat is like pouring superglue into your arteries. But the fact is, this forbidden fat actually increases your HDL (good) cholesterol, which helps remove plaque from your artery walls, decreasing your risk of heart disease. So quit depriving yourself and start eating these eight foods -- without guilt.

Make NO mistake. Eating copious amounts of saturated fat from animal products is NOT healthy; via Plos Medicine. For example, this guy ate a diet loaded with clarified butter and his heart was so COATED with dangerous fat, he needed emergency surgery to save his life!

A fat-based diet is DEADLY advice without an air of authority. It’s journalistically irresponsible, because many men are already looking for an excuse NOT to cut back on meat, dairy and other saturated fats.

Dr. Fuhrman wanted to weigh in. His thoughts:

AOL is promoting cancer, heart disease and dementia by promoting the consumption of red meat, butter and dark meat poultry as healthy and not disease promoting. It shows the pervasive influence and web-presence of the pro-animal fat crowd, in spite of a plethora of irrefutable scientific findings proving otherwise.

The bulk of evidence is IRREFUTABLE; red meat, butter and saturated animal fats are linked to cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia. And thousands of scientific studies agree! Burying your head in the sand does NOT change facts.

Guys, if you’re striving for optimal health, you MUST restrict unhealthy foods. Research links the consumption of dairy products with prostate cancer and eating meat with prostate cancer; via CAT.INIST. So, AOL Men’s Fitness Center is promoting getting prostate cancer—which can make you IMPOTENT—not exactly good advice for men!

Okay, I’m NOT an expert, but I am a guy. I watch football, lift weights and play fantasy sports, but I also do Yoga, avoid meat or dairy and I LOVE of salads. Does this make me any LESS of a man? No! So, take Dr. Fuhrman’s advice and don’t be another knuckle-dragging modern caveman.

On Manager's Special 9.29.08

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

Those tomatoes and white asparagus cost $2.57.

It was $1.89 for the apples.

And only $1.46 for the onions and red potatoes.

I bought ALL that stuff on manager’s special for the low-low price of $5.92! I’ve noticed a lot of supermarkets sell blemished or over-ripe produce at a reduced price. It’s a GREAT way to score tasty fruits and vegetables on the cheap.

Don’t be self-conscious. Dig in and see what YOU can find!

Woman Goes Raw, Drops 160 Pounds

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

Angela Stokes used to weigh 300 pounds, fed up she switched to a raw food diet. No more meat, animal products or processed foods, just LOTS of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. She lost an AMAZING 160 pounds; CNN reports.

Kudos to Angela, great job! Plants foods promote healthy bodyweight and disease-prevention and cutting saturated fats—found in animal foods—helps lower cholesterol and maintain heart health; from Health magazine.

Now, raw food diets DO help people consume MORE fruits and vegetables, but raw food isn’t the ONLY answer. Eating cooked foods in fine, Dr. Fuhrman explains low-temperature cooking and steaming can actually enhance the nutrient-quality of vegetables.

Nevertheless, Angela’s accomplishment is STILL a great ambassador for vegetable-based diets!

Breast Milk Off the Menu!

Post a comment (6 Comments) | Permalink

Oh boy! I’m suddenly feeling a little queasy. A Swiss restaurant was recently BANNED from serving dishes containing HUMAN breast milk. Food inspectors said the ingredient derives from an “unauthorized” source; SwissInfo.ch reports. 

Breastfeeding is a GREAT idea, but serving it at a restaurant—GROSS! The eatery planned to use breast milk in antelope steak with sauce and a classic dish called of Zürcher Geschnetzeltes, bite-sized pieces of meat in a creamy sauce. Bleh!

Via Serious Eats.

American Kids, Drugged Up!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

We pop A LOT of pills! Especially antibiotics, Americans LOVE to overuse antibiotics. And flu shots too! Every flu season MILLIONS of people rush to free clinics and doctor’s offices. Not realizing that a healthy body can easily beat the flu.

That’s why I WASN’T surprised to read that a new study in The Journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatry claims American children are prescribed more antidepressants and stimulant medications than children in Europe—via Julie’s Health Club.

According to Dr. Fuhrman, psychiatric disorders—like depression—can be successfully treated with superior nutrition and light therapy. So, there are options BEFORE the pill.

Eat for Health: Getting Enough Volume

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Our hunger drive craves volume. A key skill that you are developing for your health is the ability to eat large volumes of raw and cooked, high-nutrient, low-calorie foods every single day. This means eating lots of vegetables.

When you are actively trying to lose weight, you should strive to satisfy your volume requirements first, before addressing the other dimensions of hunger. This may feel strange at first because you may not immediately feel satisfied by the higher volume of food. This is because you are accustomed to eating large quantities of high-calorie foods that cause a dopamine rush, a rush that low-calorie foods don’t deliver. However, your body will adjust, be less dependent on the dopamine surge in the brain, and will gradually become more and more satisfied with fewer calories. Give yourself time, and use the knowledge you have gained. Striving to fulfill your body’s volume and nutrient requirements can help you resolve food cravings and your toxic hunger.

The trick to get you to desire fewer calories faster is to eat lots of these high-volume, high-nutrient foods. You are already familiar with these, but many of the foods that you have been incorporating into your diet because of their nutrient values are also great tools in meeting your volume requirements. They include:

  • Raw Vegetables: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, celery, anise, snow pea pods, carrots, beets, cucumbers, water chestnuts, red cabbage, onion
  • Most Fresh Fruits: melons, oranges, grapefruits, apples, kiwis, berries, papaya
  • Cooked Green Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, string beans, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, bok choy
  • Other Non-Green Vegetables: mushrooms, eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, bean sprouts, cauliflower, spaghetti squash

Especially on holidays and days when you know that you will be around a lot of unhealthy foods, pre-fill with these high-nutrient, low-calorie foods. Never go to a party or event with an empty stomach. Eat a large salad with assorted raw vegetables and a bowl of vegetable soup before going to the places that may tempt your desire to eat unhealthily. Being healthy is about being in control. You must control your hunger, and the more low-calorie, high-volume foods you consume, the less high-calorie food you will be able to eat. When you increase these super healthy foods in your diet, you will feel less temptation, and you will be in control of your food cravings and appetite.

Healthy Schools in America

Post a comment (9 Comments) | Permalink

That's an EVIL looking lunch, but it’s probably very typical. Remember, a new report just determined that the USDA, which distributes food schools, actually supplies food of POOR nutritional-quality; too much processed meat and cheese.

To make matters worse, many schools undermine their own efforts to improve cafeteria food by installing more and more vending machines. With tight budgets abound, vending machines have become HUGE money-makers.

Meanwhile, schools in Europe are lobbying to distribute FREE fruit in schools. So, improving school food and health MUST be possible!

It is. Health magazine has just compiled a list of America’s healthiest schools Check out what these schools are doing to get healthy. Take a look:

  • West Babylon Senior High, West Babylon, New York: The student obesity rate dropped 2 percent in just one school year—and continues to decline.
  • Amory Middle, Amory, Mississippi: "We have become Dance, Dance Revolution," principal Cheryl Moore says. "We traverse the rock-climbing wall, play ping-pong, power walk, and much more."
  • Rawhide Elementary, Gillette, Wyoming: Rawhide's strong health component begins in kindergarten and covers nutrition, personal safety, drug-abuse prevention, and lifetime fitness.
  • Anthony Elementary, Leavenworth, Kansas: Lunch is eaten in classrooms amid a family atmosphere that emphasizes conversation. "The noise level is low, making this the ideal time for teachers and students to build positive relationships," principal Janine Kempker says.
  • Richmond Elementary, Appleton, Wisconsin: We've found that educating children about making healthy food choices has influenced the choices that are being made at home," principal Bobbie Schmidt writes.
  • Mountain Valley Middle, Mexico, Maine: Kids and teachers eat nutritious breakfasts in their classrooms. Through this innovative approach, piloted last year, students begin their days more attentively and learn conversation skills and table manners from their role models.
  • Miami Springs Middle, Miami Springs, Florida: Former principal Gail Quigley, EdD, says. "We don't serve dessert or fried food, and we offer a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables."
  • Lakewood Elementary, Cecilia, Kentucky: Lakewood's students get this message loud and clear in all facets of the school's Nutrition, Fitness, and Health curriculum.
  • W.C. Britt Elementary, Snellville, Georgia: This school keeps its students engaged with taste tests, farm visits, school gardening, community-health-related plays, annual visits from local dentists, and more.
  • South Elementary, Pinson, Tennessee: The school has established a Life­time Fitness and Wellness Center, an on-site facility that's open not only to students but to faculty members and families, as well.

Now, improving school food is win-win. It has been show that eating healthy foods, despite being MORE expensive, does help school children perform better. However, Dr. Fuhrman suggests a simpler answer, establish healthy eating habits at HOME and have kids brownbag their lunch.

Where to Eat Your Iron...

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services lists low-fat diets as a POSSIBLE reason why someone might develop an iron deficiency; citing the prolonged reduction of animal foods.

But animal products AREN’T the only sources of dietary iron. Many plant foods are PACKED with iron. Dr. Fuhrman points to broccoli, kale and spinach as excellent sources of iron—even BETTER than red meat!

Now, FitSugar has compiled a GREAT list of iron-rich foods. Here are a few examples: 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans has 3.4 mg of iron; 1/2 cup of tofu contains 6.2 mg of iron; and a 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato has 9 mg of iron. They also include super foods like flaxseed and asparagus.

It’s certainly better than EATING cast-iron pots!

Fast Food In, Mediterranean Diet Out!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Once upon a time the Mediterranean diet WAS healthy. People ate lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and some fish and they spent many hours working in the fields, but that was a LONG time ago.

As fast food hits Mediterranean countries, like the island of Crete, many are fighting an uphill battle against disease and obesity; The New York Times reports. And according to Dr. Fuhrman, Cretans WERE healthy, lean and virtually free of heart disease, but now they eat mostly meat and cheese and are fat, just like us!

Honestly, BLAME the Western lifestyle—BAD diet and NO exercise—as the Western diet continues spread across the world it leaves behind a wake of unhealthy habits, period!

Pomegranates, Sexy...

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

That’s a hot chick! She’d have NO problem getting me to eat more pomegranates. Then again, you shouldn’t need ANY convincing to eat pomegranates. They're SUPER foods and oddly enough, pomegranates help with erectile dysfunction. How fitting.

Now, according to Dr. Fuhrman pomegranates have the most powerful anti-oxidants of ALL fruits. Also, pomegranates protect against atherosclerosis and diabetes and improve prostate health.

Okay, as far as fruit goes, SEX sells! “Rachel gets fruity" offers her unique perspective on how plums can help you prevent prostate cancer. Simply awesome!

Via SeriousEats.

Tips to Stay Alive

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink

Let’s live to 100! It’s simple. Be like the Okinawans. Make sure you exercise, eat less, eat plants and learn how to relax—via The Huffington Post.

And That’sFit passes along five more GREAT tips for living healthy. Take a look:

  • Reduce your intake of dietary fat -- both saturated and unsaturated -- to a max level of 30 percent of total calories. You can accomplish this by limiting meats, trimming away its excess fat, avoiding fried foods, and cutting down on butter, creams, and salad dressings.
  • Increase consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain cereals. This will automatically increase your intake of these five nutrients: beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and dietary fiber.
  • Only moderately consume salt-cured and charcoal-broiled foods, or ditch altogether.
  • Only moderately consume alcoholic beverages, or ditch altogether.
  • Eliminate from your diet these items: All salt except for what's found in food itself, all stimulants like coffee and tea, all refined sugar and flour, hydrogenated fats, pepper and other hot spices, foods containing artificial additives or preservatives, and all cured meats such as hot dogs.

Hard to argue with all that! Avoiding things like salt, saturated fat, refined grains and alcohol is always a GOOD idea, so is INCREASING your consumption of fruit and vegetables.

Also, it’s important to ignore common health myths, like obesity is caused by genetics and milk is good for bone health. Dr. Fuhrman dispels those notions.

Stroke: Soybeans Help Arteries

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Beans are GREAT and not just because they make you fart and farts are funny!

Seriously, Dr. Fuhrman calls beans nutritional POWERHOUSES and he recommends eating them everyday. And Reuters reports that eating beans, like soybeans and chickpeas, can improve artery health in stroke patients.

Now, even though soybeans beans are awesome. Its NOT wise to base your diet on soy, Dr. Fuhrman insists a bio-diverse diet is key; i.e. lots of DIFFERENT fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans.

Less Meat, Save Money

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Dr. Fuhrman will tell, MOST of America’s health problems can be directly tied to our love affair with meat and dairy products. When in reality, fruits and vegetables are the SOLUTION!

Animal products sack our health and they INFLATE our grocery bill. Maggie Vink of That’sFit realized she could save A LOT of money by cutting back on the meat in her family’s diet.

An added perk to eating less animal foods is the environmental benefit. Fruits and vegetables require FAR LESS resources to produce than animal products. Oh, and CalorieLab also suggests trimming meat!
 

Fortified Foods, Kind of Dumb

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

The only REAL fortified foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans, but lately stripping food of all nutrition, processing it into junk and then “enriching” it has become all the rage.

CBS News shows how food producers are cramming Omega-3’s, plant sterols and calcium into garbage foods like milk, yogurt and pasta. These Franken-foods are expected to rake in $60 BILLION in sales next year!

In Eat to Live, Dr. Fuhrman explains that enriching food does little good and that healthful plant compounds are BEST left in their natural state.

Plants Cancer-Proof Your Body!

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Doctors DON’T emphasize diet enough and here’s a great example of it. At 31David Servan-Schreiber was diagnosed with a brain tumor and told he had 6 MONTHS to live—via Julie’s Health Club.

Now, after surgery and chemotherapy and 15 YEARS LATER he believes a vegetable-heavy diet is the ultimate cancer-fighter! Even though his doctors told him a change in diet, "Won't make much of a difference."

For starters, CONGRATS David! What an awesome story. Clearly, fruits and vegetables are champions of health. Dr. Fuhrman strongly advocates vegetables’ potent anti-cancer effects and Glamour Magazine’s list of cancer-fighting foods was comprised ENTIRELY of plant foods!

Like David Servan-Schreiber, Dr. Fuhrman also claims it ALL comes down to NUTRIENTS! Fruits and vegetables provide the key nutrients our bodies need to ward of disease, especially cancer.
 

Guys, Obesity Lowers Fertility

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

We already the United States is FAT and getting FATTER and that obesity costs this country A LOT of money, but it just got WORSE! New research in Fertility and Sterility claims being obese may diminish a man’s fertility; Reuters reports.

Now, obesity doesn’t only affect men’s potency. Women are also at risk! Last year a study determined that obesity may prevent eggs in women’s ovaries from becoming healthy embryos; more from the AFP.

NO guy or gal wants to hear that. Good thing new research has determined that exercise can reduce fat, in this case, fat in the liver. Another clear-cut example that exercise is ALWAYS a good idea! So, eat healthy, exercise and check out these tricks to living to 113—via That’sFit.

To Choose a Snack...

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

Real quick! You can only choose one: a banana, an apple, a candy bar or a waffle. What do you want? I’d pick banana. If you said the candy bar or the waffle—GET OUT! Although, new research did reveal most people would go for the candy bar or waffle.

The study appears in Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. LiveScience reports:

Dutch researchers asked 585 participants to pick between four snacks: an apple, a banana, a candy bar and a molasses waffle.

About half of the participants indicated they would choose the apple or banana.

But when presented with the actual snacks a week later, 27 percent of those who had said they'd pick a healthy one switched to the candy bar or waffle. And more than 90 percent of those who had initially made an unhealthy choice stuck with it.

The researchers figure that while we are in control of our intentions, our actual choices are often made impulsively, even unconsciously.

"A substantial gap between healthy snack choice intentions and actual behavior was demonstrated," said study leader Pascalle Weijzen of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. "Despite that gap, the results suggest that individuals who plan to make a healthful choice are more likely to do so than those who plan to make unhealthful choices. Because more than 50 percent of the population seems to have no intention at all of making a healthful choice, identifying tools by which this group can be motivated to choose a healthful snack is strongly needed."

It’s distressing, but HARDLY surprising. Just look at the typical buffet. There’s mostly crap food with only a few healthy options—there’s a reason for that! Dr. Fuhrman will tell you, MANY people are hopelessly addicted to foods like sugary and fatty foods.

Well at least some attempts are being made to improve people’s eating habits. That’sfit passes along news that hospital food is on the upswing. Also, school-based programs seem to be boosting children’s fruit and vegetable consumption; from HealthDay News.

And this report by Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times points to a few examples of people shifting to healthier diets. Hey, at least it’s getting better!
 

Surprise, Living Healthy Helps Women Live Longer

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

This report is a no-brainer, but still worth a mention. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital have determined that women living healthfully have a DECREASED risk of premature death.

The study appears in The British Medical Journal. Reuters is on it:

Dr. Rob van Dam and a team from the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital followed 80,000 nurses for more than two decades.

The women kept detailed records of their diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, weight, smoking and disease history. Over the study period, 8,882 of the women died, including 1,790 from heart disease and 4,527 from cancer.

Some 28 percent of these deaths could have been avoided if the women had never smoked, the researchers said.

And 55 percent of the deaths could have been avoided if the women had never smoked and exercised regularly, eaten a healthy diet low in red meat and trans-fats and maintained a healthy weight, they said.

Smoking played the biggest role in causing premature death, and alcohol consumption played the smallest, they said.

I’m no scientist—just a BIG dummy—but I’m pretty sure this would apply to men too. But ladies, your health is important. Take obesity. Not only will it ruin your figure, but being overweight can boost your risk of pancreatic cancer.

Oh, and make sure you EXERCISE! Previous research suggests exercise can help ward off breast cancer. And if you’re looking for a good workout, consider using kettlebells; from The Washington Post.

What Kids are Eating...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

At first, Tom Fishburne’s illustration might SEEM ridiculous, but think about it. It’s not that far from the truth. Especially when you consider new search claims kids, ages 11-13, CAN’T recognize common fruits and vegetables—via Diet-Blog.

It’s partly our country’s fault. We found out Monday that the USDA supplies school cafeterias’ with mostly meat and dairy products. Eating a diet based on meat and dairy and low in fruits in vegetables destines you for depleted health.

Now, Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid better and getting kids to eat right is EASY! Parents, if you start eating healthfully, your kids WILL follow.

Brain-Shrinking and Veggie Diets

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink

That’s how I ensure I get Vitamin B12. That nutritional yeast—in my pantry right now—is 133% Vitamin B12 per serving; serving size is 1 1/2  tablespoons and I eat that much AT LEAST once a day. I put it in my chocolate pudding.

I mention this, because this LOOPY report just came out, suggesting that eating an animal product-free diet shrinks people’s brains. Dr. Fuhrman had this to say about it, “Duh, they are telling people NOW that B12 deficiency damages the nervous system and brain. What a revelation! The headline that a veggie diet shrinks the brain is simply a distortion.”

The research appears in the journal Neurology. The Courier Mail reports:

Vegans and vegetarians — such as Heather Mills — are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system.

Yeast extracts are one of the few vegetarian foods which provide good levels of the vitamin.

The link was discovered by Oxford University scientists who used memory tests, physical checks and brain scans to examine 107 people between the ages of 61 and 87.

When the volunteers were retested five years later the medics found those with the lowest levels of vitamin B12 were also the most likely to have brain shrinkage. It confirms earlier research showing a link between brain atrophy and low levels of B12.

Now, Dr. Fuhrman recommends taking a multi-vitamin to get B12. Actually, he sells his own multi, called Gentle Care. So you don’t HAVE to eat animal products if you don’t want to, but if you eat a vegetable-based diet with SOME animal products, consider these diet tips from Dr. Fuhrman. Take a look:

  • Get enough daily sunshine in a southern climate to obtain vitamin D needs.
  • Consume a small amount of kelp regularly to ensure sufficient iodine intake.
  • Consume some animal products such as nonfat dairy or fish at least every other day to assure B12 needs are met.
  • Eat flaxseed or walnuts every day to potentially meet omega-3 fatty acid needs.
  • Eat enough fresh green vegetables, seeds (especially pumpkin seeds), and beans to ensure adequate intake of zinc and other minerals.

Works for me! I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian. I eat fish. So I know, given the hefty amount of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds I eat—plus the yeast and occasional seafood—I’m getting all the nutrients I need. However, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, Dr. Fuhrman insists there is legitimate concern for vitamin-deficiency—be mindful of it.

But don’t get confused. Fruits and vegetables ARE nutritional superstars! In fact, some vegetables—like kale, spinach and broccoli—have MORE protein than steak.

Oh, and don’t call me stupid because I don’t eat meat!

UPDATE: The yeast might be tasty, but Dr. Fuhrman STILL recommends taking a B12 supplement. So, I've got some Gentle Care to buy!

Eat Black Food

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Relax! This isn’t some off color racist joke. I’m talking about black or dark colored fruits and vegetables. That deep, rich color makes them SMART food choices. Dark plants are PACKED with nutrients! In fact, The Root says when it comes to food, black is the new black.

Dr. Fuhrman is a BIG fan of dark colored foods, like berries! Blueberries and blackberries contain potent anti-cancer compounds and dark leafy greens are rich in important micronutrients and fiber. Also, they’re VERY low in calories!

Pistachios Lower LDL Cholesterol...

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink

Nuts are powerful foods! Study after study shows nuts not only lower cholesterol, but also protect against age-related diseases; like heart disease and cancer. And now, new research by Pennsylvania State University claims PISTACHIOS can lower cholesterol.

It appears in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. WebMD reports:

First, participants spent two weeks on a standard American diet rich in full-fat cheese, oil, and butter and lacking pistachios.

Next came a month on a low-fat diet without pistachios, another month on a healthy diet that included one daily serving of pistachios, and a third month eating a similar diet with two daily servings of pistachios, with two-week breaks between each type of diet.

Participants got all their food, packaged into appropriate serving sizes, from the researchers. And they stuck to their assigned diets pretty well, the study shows.

Average LDL levels fell when participants ate pistachios -- not enough to get their LDL levels into the optimal range, but enough to get it out of the "borderline high" category.

LDL cholesterol level dropped by 9% during the month that participants ate a daily serving of pistachios and by 12% when they had two daily servings of pistachios.

This story first broke in May, with researchers suggesting that one or two handfuls of pistachios can LOWER cardiovascular risk by reducing LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels; via HealthDay News. Dr. Fuhrman recommends walnuts for heart health too.

And, other nuts, like pecans and almonds, help strengthen bones, improve glucose control and provide key vitamins and minerals. That’s why I’m NUTS!

Fruits, Veggies Cut Colon Cancer in Men

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Humans NEED plants! Eating plant foods has been shown to REDUCE the incidence of breast, stomach, prostate and other cancers. And University of Hawaii researchers have just determined that fruits and vegetables may lower men’s risk of colon cancer.

The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. More from WebMD:

Based on those answers, the researchers concluded that men who ate the most fruits and vegetables were 26% less likely to develop colorectal cancer than men who ate the least.

No decrease in risk associated with fruit and vegetable consumption was seen for women.

There is some suggestion that the female hormone estrogen and estrogen therapy helps protect against colorectal cancer. If this is the case, it might help explain why women would derive less benefit from eating fruits and vegetables than men, Abraham Nomura, MD, PhD says.

When the researchers analyzed data from only women who took estrogen therapy, they found no difference in colorectal cancer risk among those who ate the most fruits and vegetables and the least.

Leafy green vegetables are particularly amazing! Cruciferous vegetables—like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy and cabbage—contain PHYTONUTRIENTS with potent anti-cancer effects. From Dr. Fuhrman:

  • Halt the growth of breast cancer cells.
  • Dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • Prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells.
  • Inhibit the progression of lung cancer.

Also, check out why Dr. Fuhrman calls green vegetables KING!
 

Eat For Health: Is the Mediterranean Diet the Healthiest Way to Eat?

Post a comment (5 Comments) | Permalink

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

The Mediterranean diet describes a cuisine common to countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It is characterized by regular consumption of fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, and nuts. Red meat is rarely consumed, chicken and fish appear in small amounts, some yogurt and cheese is used, and red wine is very common. One of the most defining elements is the use of pasta and olive oil. Where most of the fat in the American diet comes from cheese, butter, meat, and dangerous trans fats, the principal fat source there is olive oil.

Compared to the American population, those eating this way in the Mediterranean region exhibit a lower risk of heart disease and common cancers. Heart attack rates are 25 percent lower, and the rate of obesity is about half of America’s. The climate and fertile soil allow for many high nutrient plants to grow, which makes most of the dishes rich in phytochemicals. That, in turn, accounts for the diet’s protective effects. Nuts, particularly walnuts, are commonly used in the diet and they are a good source of omega-3 fats and other heart protective nutrients. The use of fish instead of meat also decreases saturated fat consumption and increases these beneficial fats. For these reasons, it is understandable why the Mediterranean diet is considered healthier than the SAD, but it is not without drawbacks. Studying its beneficial health outcomes—along with those of diets in other areas of the world such as Japan, rural China, Fiji, and Tibet— allows us to use the Mediterranean diet’s culinary principals to make a diet deliciously varied and even more disease protective, while avoiding its problems.

One of the diet’s main weak points is the use of pasta. The pasta intake should not be mimicked. There is very little difference between white bread and white pasta, and refined, white flour consumption has been linked to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and various cancers. Whole grains are immensely superior to refined white flour, but they still should not be consumed as a major source of calories. The benefit of the Mediterranean style of eating is the large consumption of fruits and vegetables, not pasta.

The heavy use of olive oil is also problematic because all oil has 120 calories per tablespoon, and those calories can add up fast. It is better to use olive oil than butter or margarine, but olive oil can easily sabotage your success. Ounce for ounce, it is one of the most fattening, calorie-dense foods on the planet. Vegetables prepared in olive oil soak up more oil than you would think, which transforms them into high-calorie dishes. Heavy oil use will add fat to our waistlines, heightening the risk of disease and making losing weight more difficult.

To continue to consume foods prepared in oil and maintain a healthful, slender figure, dieters must carefully count calories from oil and eat small portions of it. Remember, oil does not contain the nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals that were in the original seed or fruit. Compared to the calories it supplies, it contains few nutrients except a little Vitamin E and a negligible amount of phytochemicals. Olive oil is not a health food. The Mediterranean people of past years ate lots of olive oil, but they also worked hard in the fields, walking about nine miles a day, often guiding a heavy plow. Today, people in the Mediterranean countries are overweight, just like us. They still eat lots of olive oil, but their consumption of fruits, vegetables, and beans is down. Meat and cheese consumption has risen, and the physical activity level has plummeted. That way of living is not worth mimicking. The fast food and food technology industries have permeated most of the modern world. These people now follow a diet much like our own, and the rates of heart disease and obesity are skyrocketing in these countries.

Heart Beating like a Piece of Lard!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

This shocked me! Well, not really. This guy ate a horrible diet. Comprised entirely of saturated fat—TOTAL insanity! Recently he had surgery that saved his life. Check out the video on CNN. Be careful, it’s a little graphic, but very eye opening.

Here’s another video. This time the Adventist Coronary Health Improvement Project urges us to eat better. MORE fruits and veggies! Beware, it gets graphic too.

Now, avoiding a clogged heart is easy. Dr. Fuhrman suggests a vegetable-based diet—RICH in plants and LOW in animal products—can prevent and reserve heart disease.
 

Food Photos, Curb Eating

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink

Usually diaries are reserved for dirty little secrets, love crushes and forget-me-nots, but new research by the University of Wisconsin-Madison claims that photographic food diaries may help people control their weight.

The study appears in the International Journal of Consumer Studies. Kate Devlin of The Telegraph reports:

To test if encouraging slimmers to photograph everything they eat might also encourage them to change their diet, scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison asked 43 people to record what they ate for one week in pictures as well as in words.

When the volunteers were later quizzed the photo diary appeared more effective at encouraging them to change their eating habits to more healthy alternatives.

The photographs also acted as a powerful reminder of any snacking binges, the researchers found.

"I had to think more carefully about what I was going to eat because I had to take a picture of it," was a typical response from volunteers, the scientists found.

Prof Lydia Zepeda and David Deal, the researchers who carried out the study reported in New Scientist magazine, found that written food diaries were often filled in hours after the meal and were not as powerful in creating an impression of how much food had been consumed.

Well, I guess this would only work if you eat GOOD stuff—who wants pictures of gross food! Reminds me of a previous study that suggested recalling what you previously ate triggers you to eat less food later—via Diet-Blog.

You won’t hear Dr. Fuhrman telling you to snap shots of your meals, but he will tell you WHAT you eat matters, like how eating veggies actually allows you to eat MORE and still lose weight.
 

Eat Local Wisconsin!

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

September 5th through the 14th the state of Wisconsin is challenging its citizens to spend 10% of their grocery budget on local food.

Interested cheese-heads should aim to purchase foods produced within a 100-mile radius of where they live.

The goal of the Wisconsin Eat Local Challenge is to make people "more mindful of their choices," Anne Steinberg, a co-founder last year of the Milwaukee Eat Local Challenge, told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "To think about things like this so you can get the best food, the food that's best for the environment and that will build our local community the best."

According to the challenge website, eating locally helps reduce the miles your food travels and supports local farmers and community supported agriculture. Perfect for our increasingly greener society!

I think it's a great idea.

Fruits and Veggies, Super Colors

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Don’t those concord grapes look great! And their purple hue is dynamite for health. Actually, reds, purples, greens, oranges and whites are ALL really good.

Jacki Donaldson of That’sFit passes along an awesome list of colorful foods. Take a look:

  • Red: Pink grapefruit, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and watermelon all contain lycopene, a lung and prostate cancer fighter.
  • Purple: Concord grapes, blueberries, and prunes have anthocyanins to ward off heart disease and lower the risk of cancer.
  • Green: Spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and bok choy come with lutein, great for reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and macular degeneration.
  • Orange: Carrots, mangos, pumpkin, and oranges are the keepers of beta carotenes, the stuff that prevents cancers of the lung, esophagus, and stomach and keeps heart disease risk to a minimum and immune function to a maximum.
  • White: Cauliflower, mushrooms, banana, and onions are stocked with anthoxanthins and allicin to help lower blood pressure and protect against stomach cancer.

Sweet! These colors really go along with Dr. Fuhrman’s ten super foods and fab five.
 

Obama, McCain: Differ on Healthcare...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

There are A LOT of issues being talked about during this year’s presidential election and a MAJOR one is healthcare. No doubt. The insured, uninsured and underinsured alike, are all worrying about it. I know I am!

Maggie Fox of Reuters investigates both John McCain and Barrack Obama’s plans for healthcare. Here’s what it looks like:

THE UNINSURED
McCain proposes a Guaranteed Access Plan or GAP provided by states. One example would be a nonprofit corporation that would contract with insurers.

Obama would create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help people buy private insurance, act as a watchdog and create standards. He would require health care for all children, and expand Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program or SCHIP.

IMPROVING CARE
Both candidates support electronic health records to improve record-keeping and reduce errors. Obama would launch a federally backed system.

Both also support better coordination of care. Obama health advisers support the idea of a "medical home" -- a primary care doctor who would help coordinate and oversee care.

Both candidates praise smoking cessation and weight-loss programs, especially those offered by employers.

Obama has studied the possibility of paying doctors to spend time with patients on preventing disease and rewarding them for better outcomes.

Clearly, if America would start at the source and improve our diets, healthcare would probably be LESS of a concern, but in the meantime. I look forward to seeing each candidate thresh out their ideas.

Oh, and if you’re curious about McCain and Obama’s health, check out: Presidential Health Wars.

Man Stuff: Lifespan, Prostate Cancer, Diabetes...

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

Despite popular opinion, being a man involves MORE than just watching football, mowing the lawn and scratching your butt. Actually, men—especially our health—can be downright complicated. Yes, I said it. Men, complicated.

Take type-2 diabetes for example. A new campaign by the American Diabetes Association is aimed at better educating men on diabetes. Megan Rauscher of Reuters reports:

Men with type 2 diabetes know the basics about the disease and its main complications - heart disease, blindness, kidney failure - but they seem to know very little about the issues that affect their quality of life, like depression and sexual dysfunction, according to results of a survey released today by the American Diabetes Association.

The survey also shows that men are "really uncomfortable talking about these issues with their physician" -- yet are hungry for more information, Dr. Richard M. Bergenstal, Vice President, Medicine & Science at the American Diabetes Association noted in a telephone interview with Reuters Health.

To bridge the information gap, the American Diabetes Association today announced the launch of a multifaceted nationwide campaign to spotlight the often overlooked physical, emotional and sexual health issues affecting the roughly 12 million American men with diabetes.

And lifespan, why do men die sooner than women? WebMD offers up 6 tips that might help keep the men in your life around longer—not sure if that’s a thing good or not. Here are two great suggestions:

Speak frankly with a doctor: Leave embarrassment in the waiting room. Women are taught at an early age to be candid and open with their doctors. Symptoms that can be uncomfortable to talk about - such as erectile dysfunction - can be tied to more serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. Men, despite cultural tradition, should also request breast checks…

Keep a close eye on young males: The reckless nature and lifestyle of adolescents make them prime targets for injury or death. Females develop a more evolved sense of judgment and decision making at an earlier age then males. Add to that the cocktail of testosterone and other hormones and, biologically, males possess a potentially lethal internal recipe. Monitoring their activities and setting careful limits is vital. "Boys have been compared to a Porsche without brakes," Marianne J. Legato, MD says. "They take risks, are idealistic, intense, and believe they're invulnerable..."

Now, as a short guy, this particular piece of news ACTUALLY relieved me. New research in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention claims that taller men have a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. The Well blog is on it:

Researchers from four universities in England studied more than 9,000 men with and without prostate cancer and found that the tallest men had a 19 percent higher risk of developing prostate cancer than shorter men. Using the shortest men as a baseline, the study showed that risk increased 6 percent for every additional 4 inches in height. The report, published in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, showed an even stronger association between height and aggressive cancers.

“Compared to other risk factors, the magnitude of the additional risk of being taller is small, and we do not believe that it should interfere with preventive or clinical decisions in managing prostate cancer,” said the study’s lead author, Luisa Zuccolo, of the department of social medicine at the University of Bristol. “But the insight arising from this research is of great scientific interest.”

Dudes, we got a lot going on! But here’s the good news. Avoiding diabetes, prostate cancer and dying prematurely is NOT that hard. Dr. Fuhrman will tell you. It all starts with diet. Eating a vegetable-based high-nutrient diet will make you a Superman.

Although, I’d prefer to be a Batman!

The Fruit Guys!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Check this out! At first I thought it was the name of a comedy troop, but the San Francisco, California based Fruit Guys, wants to deliver fresh fruit to your workplace every week!

They’ll drop off all sorts of goodies, like pluots, apples, oranges, pears and bananas! I don’t know what a pluot is, but now I want one! Oh, its a plum. Be sure to visit FruitGuys.com. Such a great idea!

Via That’sFit.

Exercise and Video Games Trump Obesity

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

According to Dr. Fuhrman obesity and its sequelae cost the United States over $100 billion each year—so why suffer? Just eat right and exercise! Especially since new research shows that EXERCISE seriously kicks obesity’s butt.

The study appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine. More from Julie Steenhuysen of Reuters:

When we looked at the Amish who were the most active, there is suddenly no effect of that gene," said Dr. Soren Snitker of the University of Maryland, whose study appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The findings, which suggest physical activity can overcome a genetic predisposition for obesity, may help inform the debate over whether changes in diet or physical activity will make the biggest difference in fighting obesity.

Consumer groups have pushed for laws such as July's moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in certain Los Angeles neighborhoods, while the food industry often maintains that a lack of exercise is more to blame.

Researchers focused their study on a group of 704 Old Order Amish men and women in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a religious group whose members often do not drive cars or have electricity in their homes.

Snitker said the group offered a unique mix of activity levels, with some farmers in the community still using horse-drawn plows while others holding more conventional jobs, including factory work.

Now, get this. Another study—this time in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine—claims that active video games are a great way to work out; Reuters reports. Go figure, exercising in the digital age!

For more, check out Disease Proof’s obesity and exercise categories.

Skin Cancer Could Lead to More Cancers...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

If you go to the beach, you’ll see plenty of sun-toasted people just itching to get skin cancer. Here’s the problem with that, a new study claims skin cancer can increase your risk of developing other cancers—yikes!

The research appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. WebMD reports:

Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer. Past research has shown that people who have had non-melanoma skin cancers have a greater risk of developing melanoma.

Researchers, led by Jiping Chen, MD, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute and Anthony Alberg, PhD, MPH, at the Medical University of South Carolina looked at data from 19,174 people listed in a Maryland county (Washington County) cancer registry.

They followed people with and without nonmelanoma skin cancer for more than 16 years from 1989 to 2005, to see the risk of developing other types of malignancies (non-skin cancers). What they found was:

People who had been diagnosed with either basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer had double the risk of developing another type of cancer when compared to those with no history of the disease.

Now, according to Dr. Fuhrman, “People who eat a cancer-promoting diet will always be at risk of multiple cancers. The important message here is that skin cancer is caused by a low micronutrient diet in combination with the increased free radical damage from sun exposure.”

That’s why Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating tons of cancer-fighting fruits and vegetables. Broccoli in particular has been shown to ward off skin cancer. And in related news, scientists have mapped the genetic pathways for brain and pancreatic cancer.
 

Brainy Work Makes You Eat More...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Do you do physical work or intellectual work? If you said intellectual work, you might have a problem. A new study claims that people who have brainy jobs are stressed out and more likely to consume excess calories—i.e. SNACK!

The research appears in the latest edition of Psychosomatic Medicine. ENN reports:

The research team, supervised by Dr. Angelo Tremblay, measured the spontaneous food intake of 14 students after each of three tasks: relaxing in a sitting position, reading and summarizing a text, and completing a series of memory, attention, and vigilance tests on the computer. After 45 minutes at each activity, participants were invited to eat as much as they wanted from a buffet.

The researchers had already shown that each session of intellectual work requires only three calories more than the rest period. However, despite the low energy cost of mental work, the students spontaneously consumed 203 more calories after summarizing a text and 253 more calories after the computer tests. This represents a 23.6% and 29.4 % increase, respectively, compared with the rest period.

Blood samples taken before, during, and after each session revealed that intellectual work causes much bigger fluctuations in glucose and insulin levels than rest periods. "These fluctuations may be caused by the stress of intellectual work, or also reflect a biological adaptation during glucose combustion," hypothesized Jean-Philippe Chaput, the study's main author. The body could be reacting to these fluctuations by spurring food intake in order to restore its glucose balance, the only fuel used by the brain.

Now, I’m sure EVERY job causes stress. So you better find a way to unwind. According to Dr. Fuhrman you’ve got to relax and its important to establish an emotionally satisfying environment.

As for the excess eating that occurs due to stress, sounds a lot like toxic hunger. For more on toxic hunger, check out Dr. Fuhrman’s guest post on Diet-Blog: Overcoming Toxic Hunger: A Major Cause of Obesity.

Tasty Red Clover

Post a comment (5 Comments) | Permalink

See that stuff. It’s red clover. It grows everywhere and apparently you can EAT it. Jonathan M. Forester of SlashFood insists the shoots are yummy and the flowers are loaded with protein. Check it out:

Red & White Clover are both edible raw in salads, as cooked greens, and more. The young and tender shoots and greens can be tasty, but older ones can get tough. Just stick to ones that look fresh and haven't gone grass-like and you should be fine. The flower heads are nutritious and full of protein but they should either be soaked in salty water for a few hours or briefly boiled or cooked before eating; so that they are easier to digest. Eating them raw is usually not as good an experience. I like them stir fried or sauteed until well done, or lightly battered and made into fritters or tempura. I find that the saltiness of the tempura dipping sauce works well with them. If the blossoms seem past their prime, or even going to seed, all the better. Because then you can dry them and grind them into a protein rich and nutritious flour. Just don't try to cook and eat them unless they are soft and fresh, or they will be quite unappetizing.

I was personally introduced to them when I was studying wilderness survival, and one day we had to prepare and eat them every way we could. It wasn't a high point of the week long course, but not the low point either.

I have to admit. Eating flowers makes me nervous. Not sure why. Although, I’ve seen Dr. Fuhrman himself eat an orchid. Even still, it weirds me out—do any of you eat flowers?

Oh, and for more interesting plant news. TreeHugger is talking about hemp.
 

Fad Diets Don't Promote Fruits and Veggies...

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

New research by Royal Children's Hospital in Australia claims fad diets—like Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, Atkins and the "Eat Yourself Slim" Dietdo little to increase people’s intake of fruits and vegetables. Wow, what a shocker!

The study's in Biomed Central's Nutrition Journal. Reuters reports:

There was no significant difference between the diets in how much weight people lost, Helen Truby of Royal Children's Hospital in Australia and her British colleagues reported in Biomed Central's Nutrition Journal.

"Health professionals and those working in community and public health should be reassured of the nutritional adequacy of the diets tested," the researchers wrote.

Truby and colleagues asked 293 people on diets across Britain to record how much food they ate during a two-month period and compared the results with a group who ate normally.

They found that all four diets led to weight loss but that only people on the Weight Watchers plan boosted the amount of fruit and vegetables they ate even when the plans advised them to do so.

This shouldn’t be taken as a glowing endorsement for Weight Watchers. Dr. Fuhrman considers Weight Watchers an obsolete approach to weight-loss. Not to mention, portion-restricting diets have dismal failure rates or only post modest results.

Now, what this research does show is too many people are still veggie-phobic. Some REALLY freak out over vegetables!

Baby's Weight Gain May Lead to Hypertension

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

A new study by University of Bristol has determined that babies who gain weight rapidly during their first few months after birth are more likely to develop high blood pressure as adults—hypertension is often called the “silent killer.”

The research appears in the latest Hypertension. More from Reuters:

They found that those who gained weight more rapidly in the first five months after birth and again from about age 2 to 5 were more likely to have high systolic blood pressure.

Immediate weight gain after birth also was linked to higher adult diastolic blood pressure, they found.

Systolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries while the heart contracts. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats.

"When trying to understand why some people get high blood pressure in later life, we need to consider a life course approach that considers early life as well as adult life risk factors such as dietary salt and obesity," Yoav Ben-Shlomo of the University of Bristol in Britain, who led the study published in the journal Hypertension, said in a statement.

I like the concept of a “life course” approach. Falls right in line with Dr. Fuhrman’s thinking. Here’s what I mean. Feeding your toddler French fries is a BAD idea! Healthy eating for the whole family is a GOOD idea.

And nixing salt is a smart move too. Salt is definitely one of America’s food addictions and can fuel toxic hunger. Now, as for obesity, obesity makes us sick in SO many ways and here’s a new problem, undiagnosed cases of diabetes.

The Harvard Medical School claims that while obesity increases diabetes-risk, it does NOT increase the likelihood individual's diabetes will be diagnosed—it’s in Diabetes Care.

Do Low Cholesterol Levels Cause Cancer?

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

I thought it was important for me to construct a public reply to a recent medical study that reported both high cholesterol and low cholesterol were associated with higher cancer rates because too many people are still confused about this, including the scientific research community. This is because so few people have performed a comprehensive, in-depth review of the scientific research on nutrition and cancer, so they base their decisions on a narrow and incorrect interpretation of the literature. This recent article and the comments by the media and even by physicians and scientists illustrate pervasive ignorance and confusion about human nutrition.

The study in question was published in the August 26th issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).1 It showed that people whose LDL cholesterol was below 2.8 mmol/L (109) had a higher risk of certain cancers (primarily lymphatic and blood cancers) and people whose LDL cholesterol was above 3.9 mmol/L (152) had a higher risk of certain cancers (primarily breast and digestive tract) as well.

My book, Cholesterol Protection For Life, covered this issue in more depth. In it, I explained that certain illnesses, especially cancer, lower cholesterol levels by decreasing the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol and that having a low cholesterol in spite of an unhealthy (high) cholesterol-promoting diet could be an early sign of an undiagnosed cancer. The types of cancers that have been reported to cause low cholesterol levels include lung, liver, lymphatic and hematopoietic cancer, the same cancers associated with low cholesterol in this study.2

My book, Disease-Proof Your Child, reviews the science and explains that cancer is predominantly caused many, many years before it first appears (over 40 years) and that cancerous cells are present in the body for over 10 years prior to diagnosis, when the clump of cancerous cells eventually become large enough to be viewed by the human eye or when the first signs or symptoms appear. This study only followed people for less than 5 years. They recorded the cancers that occurred in the last 2½ years of the study.

The findings were not surprising, but consistent with the main body of literature on this subject. We would expect people who are eating a diet that promotes high cholesterol would have higher cancer rates, because the same diet-style that promotes high cholesterol and heart disease also promotes cancer. We would also expect to find that very low cholesterol was also associated with more cancers occurring because some people in the cohort would have undiagnosed (occult, early stage) cancer that would eventually become diagnosed in the last 2½ years of the study. Their low cholesterol was a sign of early (undiagnosed) cancer, not a cause of their cancer. These people have low cholesterol in spite of not earning low cholesterol with nutritional excellence. Their cancer caused the low cholesterol, not the other way around.

What I stated in Cholesterol Protection For Life is that a low cholesterol that is earned through adherence to a diet rich in vegetables, beans, seeds, nuts and other health-promoting foods will protect you against heart attacks and cancers, however if you have a very low cholesterol that you did not earn via healthy living and a healthy diet, it might be a sign that a disease is present that lowers cholesterol, such as cancer.

To conclude, don’t be alarmed if your cholesterol is low, if you have earned it. Low cholesterol earned through high vegetable consumption and a micronutrient rich diet is linked to protection against all cancers, and populations eating a vegetable-centered-diet earn low cholesterol levels and have dramatically lower rates of cancers along with lower heart disease rates.3 This does not have to be such a confusing subject. Its simple, the prescription is nutrition for improved health and a longer life!

To learn more, check out DiseaseProof's cancer and cholesterol catagories or visit the library at DrFuhrman.com.

Continue Reading

School Food, Bad and Prices Rising...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Kids have an unlikely place to buy salty snacks and high-fat foods—school! Research by the CDC showed that U.S. schools ARE selling less junk during lunch periods, but in some districts, vending machines continue to undermine efforts.

The study appears in the latest issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. WebMD reports:

"But progress is being made," says Howell Wechsler, EdD, MPH, director of CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health. "We see quite a few states where the number of schools selling junk food in vending machines is very low."

The CDC's 2006 data, alarming as they are, show progress. In a substudy of high schools in 25 states and nine cities, the percentage of high schools selling junk food during lunch periods dropped from 53 percent in 2004 to about 37 percent in 2006.

Yet there was no change in the percentage of high schools selling junk food before and after the lunch bell rang.

Why do schools sell food that harms kids' health? Money, Wechsler tells WebMD. Sales from vending machines, canteens, and snack bars come directly to schools without strings attached by state or city school systems.

Faced with increasing financial pressures, schools are tempted to make deals with the junk-food devil. However, the success of some schools should help others resist this temptation.

The increased cost of food is becoming a HUGE issue! According to The New York Times schools in NY and NJ are raising the price of school lunch to make ends meet; as much as 50 cents in some places.

And to make matters worse, junk foods—like Yoo-Hoo chocolate drinks—are major profit generators, which explains why schools are so hesitant to give them up. On the other hand, a healthy diet DOES help kids perform better. What to do?

I think the answer is obvious—pack a lunch! Dr. Fuhrman insists packing a lunch is a great way to ensure your kids are eating healthfully at school. Oh! And here are some great tips for a healthier and greener lunch—via PlanetGreen.

Heart Health: Take the Stairs, Eat Nuts!

Post a comment (6 Comments) | Permalink

Eating right and exercising is critical. In fact, research just showed that running is a GREAT way to improve heart health, but if running isn’t your thing. Try taking the stairs!

A new study claims that simply walking up and down the stairs can reduce waist size, body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol. Ben Hirschler of Reuters reports:

Philippe Meyer of the University Hospital in Geneva studied 69 employees of the university with a sedentary lifestyle, defined as less than two hours of exercise a week and fewer than 10 flights of stairs climbed a day.

After not using elevators for 12 weeks, they increased their use of stairs to an average of 23 stories ascended or descended a day from five before, with a resulting sharp increase in fitness levels.

"This suggests that stair climbing at work may have major public health implications," Meyer told the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology. "However, the results of the pilot study need to be confirmed in a larger randomized controlled trial."

Pretty cool! Certainly we ALL can try to take the stairs more often. Remember, aerobic exercise combats metabolic syndrome, a known contributor to cardiovascular disease.

Here’s more good news. That’sFit passes along some info on how nuts—in this case, pistachios—lower heart disease-risk. Now, Dr. Fuhrman advocates eating plenty of nuts and seeds; they contain plant proteins and plant sterols that naturally lower cholesterol.

Speaking of heart health, check out this interview with Dr. Fuhrman’s friend Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Via 90.3 WCPN: How To Eradicate Heart Disease.
 

Burger Eating Lettuce

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

You’d have to be totally stupid to believe this real, but even still, it’s an amazingly well done feet of veggie absurdity. This lettuce bites back, check it out:

 

Now, this IS real. Highlights from this year’s Tomatina tomato throwing festival; over 200,000 pounds of tomatoes were wasted. Makes my Italian blood boil—or should I say—stew!

Cancer-Risk, Hotdogs of Doom...

Post a comment (6 Comments) | Permalink

This is fitting. Amidst the Maple Leaf deli meat killing spree The Cancer Project has released a TV commercial attacking hotdogs as a cancer-risk. See for yourself:

 

Finally, a gutsy ad! Hotdogs are not your friend. In fact, Dr. Fuhrman considers processed meats one of the WORST meat options—along with red meat. Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the PCRM and head of The Cancer Project, defends the commercial. Via CBS News:

Check the label of a name-brand hot dog, and chances are fat provides around 80 percent of total calories, more than double what's often advised. What's more, saturated fat and trans fat - the fats most strongly linked with artery-clogging - are common ingredients, in some cases providing at least half the fat content.

The hot dog council called the new ad an alarmist scare tactic, but the promoters, a group called The Cancer Project, defend their campaign.

Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, called the ad "a way to raise appropriate concern about a deadly concern." Barnard also heads The Cancer Project, an offshoot of his anti-meat advocacy group.

Hot dogs may be considered as American as apple pie, but Barnard said it's time to change that tradition.

"Children are born with no traditions whatsoever," he said. "You or I might think a hot dog, that just goes with baseball ... We can always change our traditions to be healthful."

The new ad is based on an analysis of five studies in adults by scientists working with cancer research groups not affiliated with Barnard's.

Their report last November said eating 50 grams a day of processed meats for several years increases colorectal cancer risk by 21 percent. That equals about one hot dog a day or two deli slices of bologna or five slices of bacon.

There’s a hotdog council! I’d love to see their cholesterol numbers. Now, despite the wiener consortiums self-preservation exclamations, processed meats DON’T support health and DO increase cancer-risk, but don’t take my word for it. Remember this post: News from The Cancer Project.
 

Stop Obesity, Eat Mushrooms!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Well, unless you like beef raised on potato chips, you might want to consider this report. New research in Appetite—cool name for a journal—claims mushrooms can help combat obesity; as a substitute for beef. Stephen Daniells of AP-FoodTechnology explains:

The researchers recruited 54 men and women to take part in the study and randomly assigned them to receive either beef or mushroom lunch entrées over four days – lasagna, napoleon, sloppy Joe and chili. Subjects then switched entrées to consume the other ingredient (mushroom or beef) the following week in order to act as their own controls.

The energy content of meat and mushroom lunches was 783 kcal and 339 kcal, respectively, while the portion size was held constant.

Lead researcher Lawrence Cheskin from John Hopkins Weight Management Center and co-workers report that total daily energy and fat intakes were significantly lower in the mushroom condition than the meat, while the subjects did not rate the palatability of the foods differently. Also ratings of appetite, satiation and satiety did not differ between the groups.

“We found that overtly substituting ground white button mushrooms for lean ground beef in a single meal for four consecutive days significantly reduced daily energy and fat intake, while maintaining ratings of palatability, appetite, satiation and satiety,” wrote the researchers.

“The method of substituting one food for another within familiar recipes may be more appealing to many prospective dieters than making more dramatic or restrictive changes in dietary behaviour.

Mushrooms are freaking incredible! Dr. Fuhrman also insists they are a great substitute for meat and you should eat them everyday. The problem is, too many Americans HATE mushrooms—sad, because mushrooms are also potent cancer-fighters.

Oh, and shrooms might save us from climate change too!
 

Chemical Companies Say Organic Not More Nutritious

Post a comment (5 Comments) | Permalink

The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) has concluded that organic fruits and vegetables do NOT contain more nutrients cheaper non-organic produce. Wow, no conflict of interest there! The study appears in SCI’s Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Here’s report, No Evidence to Support Organic is Best, via SCI’s press office:

The first cultivation method consisted of growing the vegetables on soil which had a low input of nutrients using animal manure and no pesticides except for one organically approved product on kale only.

The second method involved applying a low input of nutrients using animal manure, combined with use of pesticides, as much as allowed by regulation.

Finally, the third method comprised a combination of a high input of nutrients through mineral fertilizers and pesticides as legally allowed.

The crops were grown on the same or similar soil on adjacent fields at the same time and so experienced the same weather conditions. All were harvested and treated at the same time. In the case of the organically grown vegetables, all were grown on established organic soil.

After harvest, results showed that there were no differences in the levels of major and trace contents in the fruit and vegetables grown using the three different methods.

Produce from the organically and conventionally grown crops were then fed to animals over a two year period and intake and excretion of various minerals and trace elements were measured. Once again, the results showed there was no difference in retention of the elements regardless of how the crops were grown.

This is awkward. Clearly, the CHEMICAL SOCIETY has some vested interests here—fogging the credibility of this work. Especially since previous studies have shown the opposite, that organic fruits and vegetables DO contain more nutrients.

Now, Dr. Fuhrman prefers organic—reduces pesticide exposure and tastes better—but other experts cite climate change as a GREAT reason to go organic. Here’s what the Soil Association had to say. Jessica Daly of CNN reports:

In 2006 the UK's Manchester Business School assessed the environmental impacts of food production and consumption and concluded that there isn't a clear cut answer to whether the environmental impact is greater on a trolley full of organic food compared to a trolley full of non-organic food.

Not so, was the response from the Soil Association. Do you believe organic food is more nutritional?

It countered that: "Overall, organic farming is better for tackling climate change than industrial agricultural methods. As well as lower average energy use, organic farming also avoids the very large nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer manufacture."

"Additionally, organic farming builds up soil carbon, removing it from the atmosphere. Organic farming also supports more local food marketing, reducing food miles."

While the jury might still be out about whether organic farming is, on the whole, better for the environment, there is little doubt that it's a booming industry which is starting to catch on in other parts of the world.

Take this research by The Society of Chemical Industry with a grain of salt, I’d put more stock in it if were conducted by a third party—although nowadays that’s getting harder and harder to find.

Even still, local organic farming is catching on, like these folks from Los Angeles and some Londoners too! Personally, I do my best to stay organic. I belong to a CSA, grow my own tomatoes and buy organic bananas. So, how organic are you?

Eat Your Veggies and Your Kids will Follow...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Guess what parents? New research by Saint Louis University lays it on the line—if you want your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables, you better eat them too. Reuters reports:

The findings, reported in the journal Preventive Medicine, point to the importance of parents "modeling" a healthy diet for their preschoolers. They also suggest that educating parents on nutrition early on could help address the problem of childhood obesity, the researchers say.

About half of parents in the study were randomly assigned to receive home visits where they learned about nutrition and tactics for getting their children to eat fruits and vegetables. On average, these parents increased their fruit and vegetable intake, and in turn so did their children…

… In the end, parents in the High 5 group boosted their own fruit and vegetable intake, and children's increases correlated with their parents'.

The one exception was children who were already overweight, who generally did not grow fonder of fruits and vegetables.

"Overweight children," lead researcher Dr. Debra Haire-Joshu, of Saint Louis University School of Public Health in St. Louis said, "have already been exposed to salty, sweet foods and learned to like them. To keep a child from becoming overweight, parents need to expose them early to a variety of health foods and offer the foods many times.

Not exactly a new idea. Dr. Fuhrman insists healthy eating is fun for the whole family. Take me for example. My mom has always eaten a TON of veggies and it definitely helped me get hip to a vegetable-base diet. Thanks mom!

Now, parents can govern a lot more than their kid’s diet, bedtime and cell phone minutes. Just check out these reports on weight-loss and exercise.
 

Behind the Scenes at a CSA

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Since we’re talking a lot about organic produce and farming today, check out this cool video I found. This lady tells us all about her community supported agriculture. Take a look:

 

I think it takes guts to be a small farmer nowadays, but clearly it can be done—turn a buck and eat great. Hard to beat that!

California Shuts Down Little Girl's Veggie Stand

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink

Instead of selling lemonade, 11-year old Katie Lewis has been selling organic homegrown fruits and veggies from a roadside stand in Clayton, California. That was until municipal zoning laws shut her down. Martha Neil of the ABA Journal reports:

Two residents complained, he says, and "I find that for every person who calls you or writes a letter, there are 100 that feel the same."

Opinion is divided about the municipality's no-exceptions enforcement, according to the network. Some feel a rule is a rule. But others, including the girl's father, Mike Lewis, wonder why Clayton officials can't find a way to make an exception. (Officials say the family is welcome to make a formal application for a zoning variance.)

The veggie stand is much like the lemonade stand that many children traditionally have operated at some point in their lives, Mike Lewis says.

"But Mayor Gregory Manning said those, too, are illegal in Clayton, though officials typically don't pay much attention because they don't last more than a day or two," ABC reports.

Okay, I’m a law-abiding citizen, but give me a break! She’s a little girl, selling fruits and veggies. Who cares! Honestly, I find this far less offensive than parents hocking their kid’s fundraising chocolate bars.

Show Katie some support and leave Mayor Manning a voicemail: Clayton City Council.
 

Candy Wars, Chocolaty Science...

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink

Not to brag, but DiseaseProof is earning some chops. For example, I receive press releases ALL the time now. Like this email from Hershey's about new research involving dark chocolate and vascular health. Take a look:

I wanted to share some news that The Hershey Company just released today that I thought might be of interest to you and your readers. As you might know, dark chocolate has come to be recognized for its flavanol antioxidant benefits, but a new study, conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, has uncovered an important link to its vascular health benefits as well. The study, which used Hershey's Extra Dark Chocolate, reported that dark chocolate has a positive impact on blood pressure and blood vessel function. The study's release comes on the heels of Hershey's Extra Dark Chocolate, a rich dark chocolate featuring 60 percent cacao, earning renowned health and fitness expert Bob Greene's Best Life seal of approval – the first and only chocolate bar to earn that distinction.

The research appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Treatment and here’s Hershey’s official press release.

Now, originally I balked at this—don’t think promoting chocolate bars for health is a good idea—but then I saw this report. Research by Mars Inc. has determined that flavanols in cocoa may boost blood flow to the brain. Via Kelley Colihan of WebMD:

The ingredient is flavanols, which are nutrients found in cocoa. Flavanols are considered to act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories on cells. These chemicals can protect cells and tissue from damage, which in turn protects against heart disease and cancer.

The research and similar studies were funded by Mars Inc., the maker of Snickers and other foods….

….After one week, blood flow measures increased 8% in the group that got the flavanol-rich drinks. After two weeks that went up to a 10% increase.

When comparing participants drinking the high-flavanol cocoa to those who drank the low-flavanol cocoa, there was an increase in measured blood flow.

The researchers write that flavanols could have a "promising role" to treat brain conditions such as stroke and dementia.

Check out the study in Neuropychiatric Disease and Treatment. I think its interesting that two CANDY companies are talking about HEALTH, I wonder if they trying to convince us that sweets are ACTUALLY good for us—very funny, nice try!

Okay, as for flavanols. You don’t have to eat sugary M&Ms or KitKat bars to get them. Cocoa powder will do just fine and you can use it to make healthy recipes that include other super foods like spinach, walnuts and strawberries. See Banana Split Smoothie or Gerry’s Chocolate Pudding.

Health Points: Monday 8.24.08

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
In a population-based, case-control study, the researchers matched 1,001 men with prostate cancer diagnosed between 2002 and 2005 with 942 age-matched cancer-free controls from King County, Washington.

No overall association was observed between the risk of prostate cancer and the current or past use of statin treatment. Duration of statin use was also not associated with prostate cancer risk.

"We also found no evidence that use of a statin was associated with risk of developing more aggressive subtypes of prostate caner," Stanford said in an interview with Reuters Health. "Overall we found no support for the current hypothesis that statin use may reduce risk of prostate cancer."

However, the results do suggest a significant increase in the risk of developing prostate cancer associated with current statin use and with longer durations of use among obese men (defined as a body mass index of 30 greater).

A team led by Linda Bartoshuk at the University of Florida in Gainesville surveyed 1300 people, 245 of whom had a history of ear infections, and found that among the over-30s, those who had suffered from ear infections were twice as likely to be obese as those with no such history. A subsequent analysis of four US medical databases confirmed the link. Those who had suffered from ear infections also rated fattier foods as 18 per cent more pleasurable than the others.

Infections may damage the chorda tympani taste nerve, which is stimulated at the front of the tongue and passes through the middle ear to the brain, says Bartoshuk. She says that the nerve normally inhibits some of the creamy sensations of fatty foods, as part of a response that inhibits tactile sensations that would otherwise make us gag. But nerve damage would lower this inhibiting effect, making foods seem creamier and so more pleasurable.

The postures, breathing and meditation included in the yoga intervention were "aimed at one common effect, i.e. 'to develop mastery over modifications of the mind' ... through 'slowing down the rate of flow of thoughts in the mind,'" the researchers explain.

Women in the yoga group also listened to lectures on using yoga to manage stress and other yoga-related topics, while those in the control group heard lectures on diet, exercise, the physiology of menopause, and stress.

After eight weeks, women in the yoga group showed a significant reduction in hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances, while the women in the control group did not, Dr. R. Chattha, of the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in Bangalore, India, and colleagues found.

The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit -- or they'll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free.

Alabama will be the first state to charge overweight state workers who don't work on slimming down, while a handful of other states reward employees who adopt healthy behaviors.

Alabama already charges workers who smoke -- and has seen some success in getting them to quit -- but now has turned its attention to a problem that plagues many in the Deep South: obesity.

The State Employees' Insurance Board this week approved a plan to charge state workers starting in January 2010 if they don't have free health screenings.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children devote no more than two hours per day to watching TV and playing video games.

Experts also encourage children to exercise regularly; some groups, including the AAP, recommend that boys move enough to take 13,000 steps each day, while girls should strive for 11,000. Another common recommendation is for children and teenagers to get at least one hour of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week.

For the new study, researchers at Iowa State University in Ames looked at whether there were weight differences between children who met or did not meet recommendations for "screen time" and exercise.

They found that among 709 7- to 12-year-olds, those who did not meet either recommendation were three to four times more likely to be overweight than their peers who met both guidelines.

Both vaccines target the human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted virus that usually causes no symptoms and is cleared by the immune system, but which can in very rare cases become chronic and cause cervical cancer.

The two vaccines, Gardasil by Merck Sharp & Dohme and Cervarix by GlaxoSmithKline, target two strains of the virus that together cause an estimated 70 percent of cervical cancers. Gardasil also prevents infection with two other strains that cause some proportion of genital warts. Both vaccines have become quick best sellers since they were licensed two years ago in the United States and Europe, given to tens of millions of girls and women.

“Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer,” Dr. Charlotte J. Haug, editor of The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association, wrote in an editorial in Thursday’s issue of The New England Journal. “With so many essential questions still unanswered, there is good reason to be cautious.

According to the data, women's life expectancy saw a significant decline in 180 counties between 1983 and 1999. The cause for this precipitous drop? The folks at Women's Health attribute it to chronic diseases associated with obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure.

Here is a quick look at the U.S. counties that have experienced the greatest drop (numbers measured in years of average decline in female life expectancy):

Pulaski County, VA - 5.8
Radford, VA - 5.8
Dolores County, CO - 3.3
Montezuma County, CO - 3.3
San Juan County, CO - 3.3.
East Feliciana Parish, LA - 3.2
St. Helena Parish, LA - 3.2
West Feliciana Parish, LA - 3.2
Callaway County, MO - 3.0
Danville, VA - 3.0

Ted Nugent has never been one to beat around the bush so why should he stop now. Honestly I respect the man for the way he is willing and quick to speak his mind, but sometimes he’s a bit too blunt about things. Old Uncle Ted was on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations show on The Travel Channel where he was exploring the elements of Southwestern cuisine and stopped by Ted Nugents ranch in Texas. Anthony and Ted were speaking on many things to include Obesity. The Nuge’ said “Obesity is a manifestation of a cultural depravation in its most vulgar and displeasing-to-look-at form. And it’s suicide as a lifestyle.” Nugent also added “It all comes back to the horror, the soullessness of a trend in America that is the abandonment of parenting. Somebody’s got to go, ‘You can’t eat that. You’re way too fat.‘”

While I can understand what Ted is saying, Obesity is more than just an image issue. The last part of his statement is true that it may lead to certain and early death, but I think someone needs to give this guy a lesson in tact.

Water World...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

It’s pretty amazing. Bad foods take A LOT of water to produce. Here are a few photos from The Guardian’s Water: The Hidden Cost of Your Food and Drink. Take a look:

 

 

(via The Guardian)

Actually, the U.K. is a big over-consumer of water. According to a new report the British go through gallons and gallons of “virtual” water. ENN explains:

While each person in the UK drinks, hoses, flushes and washes their way through around 150 litres of mains water a day, they consume about 30 times as much in “virtual” water embedded in food, clothes and other items — the equivalent of about 58 bathtubs full of water every day.

Launching the report, UK Water Footprint: the impact of the UK’s food and fibre consumption on global water resources, at World Water Week in Stockholm today, Stuart Orr, WWF-UK’s water footprint expert, said the UK was the sixth largest importer of water in the world.

“Only 38 per cent of the UK’s total water use comes from its own rivers, lakes and groundwater reserves,” he said. “The rest is taken from water bodies in many countries across the world to irrigate and process food and fibre crops that people in Britain subsequently consume.

Personally, I keep a brick in my toilet to help conserve water. Not to mention reduce my water bill! Oh, and be sure to check out these related links:

Be proud that you eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They don’t require as much water as foods like meat and cheese, and, some of plant foods are packed with H20.

Radiated Spinach and Lettuce

Post a comment (6 Comments) | Permalink

The FDA has had enough of all the E. coli scares, so they’ve decided to allow the radiation of spinach and lettuce. Susan Heavey of Reuters reports:

Since then, other outbreaks have affected a variety of products, most recently Salmonella contamination in hot peppers from Mexico that surfaced earlier this summer.

"In the aftermath of the recent outbreaks, FDA wanted to fast track an important tool to help industry improve the safety of fresh produce," Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) spokesman Brian Kennedy said.

But FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek said the agency was making its decision now because it had finished reviewing all the necessary data.

Industry groups initially sought the agency's approval eight years ago to clear a wide variety of foods, including various meats and produce before amending their request to allow the agency to review certain foods first.

The FDA's review of the other foods is still ongoing.

Foods already approved for radiation treatment include meat, poultry, spices and molluscan shellfish such as oysters, mussels and clams, according to the agency.

About 76 million cases of E.coli and other types of food poisoning occur each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patients stricken with a food- borne illness experience a wide variety of symptoms that can include abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.

Unless this radiation can cause super human strength—or at the very least give me the ability to read minds—I’m pretty leery about it.

Eat For Health: Eating Seeds and Nuts To Lose Weight

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

If you are significantly overweight and want to maximize your weight loss, you should limit your intake of seeds, nuts and avocados to one (one ounce) serving a day since they are calorie-rich. However, you should not exclude these healthy, high-fat foods completely from your diet. It may seem illogical to include such high fat foods in your diet (since fat is 9 calories a gram compared with 4 calories a gram for carbohydrates and protein) however epidemiological studies show an inverse relationship between seed and nut consumption and body weight. Interestingly, these studies show including some seeds and nuts in your diet actually aids in appetite suppression and weight loss. Well-controlled trials that looked to see if eating nuts and seeds resulted in weight gain, found the opposite—eating raw nuts and seeds promoted weight loss, not weight gain.1 Because seeds and nuts are rich in minerals and fiber and have a low glycemic index, they are favorable foods to include in a diet designed for diabetics and even the obese. Researchers noted that people eating one ounce of nuts five times a week reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 27 percent.2

There is another important reason to include nuts and seeds in your diet as you lose weight and that is they prevent the formation of gallstones. Weight loss in general can increase one’s risk of gallstone formation and certainly that is a reasonable risk to take when one considers the ill health and life-threatening effects from significant body fat. It is important to note, as reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, when over 80,000 women were followed for 20 years it was found that the regular consumption of nuts and seeds offered dramatic protection against gallstone formation. These findings have been duplicated in men too.3

The health properties of nuts and seeds notwithstanding, it is important that you do not overeat them. Don’t sit in front of the TV and eat an entire bag of nuts in an hour. Healthful eating means avoiding excessive calories and not eating for recreation. Besides being aware of the amount of seeds and nuts consumed, the only other modification that one needs to make to maximize weight loss in a plant-based diet is to limit the consumption of flour-containing baked goods and oils. Your carbohydrate consumption should come mostly from fresh fruit, squashes, carrots, peas and beans, not bread; and of course your fat consumption should come from seeds and nuts, not oils.

Continue Reading

Applegate Cancer-Free, Following Double Mastectomy

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

After testing positive for a gene mutation associated with breast cancer, actress Christina Applegate opted to have both her breasts removed. A drastic measure, but the now cancer-free star of "Samantha Who” is optimistic about her future. Via the Associated Press:

She'll undergo reconstructive surgery over the next eight months.

"I'm going to have cute boobs 'til I'm 90, so there's that," she joked in the interview, which aired Tuesday. "I'll have the best boobs in the nursing home. I'll be the envy of all the ladies around the bridge table…"

… Applegate's cancer was detected early through a doctor-ordered MRI. She said she's starting a program to help women at high risk for breast cancer to meet the costs of an MRI, which is not always covered by insurance.

The news of breast cancer initially shook her up, she said.

"I was so mad," she told "Good Morning America." "I was just shaking and -- and then also immediately, I had to go into ... 'take-care-of-business-mode,' which was ... I asked them, 'What do I do now? What -- what is it that I do? I get a doctor, I get a surgeon, I get an oncologist? What do I do?' "

The actress said she quickly made appointments, and also changed her diet to one consisting of fish, grains, beans and vegetables, avoiding processed foods.

Great job Christina! Dropping the processed foods is just what the doctor ordered. Diet is a HUGE factor in the development of all cancers, not just breast cancer. Not to mention exercise has also been shown to ward off cancer.

For more, check out: Christina Applegate's Breast Cancer Diagnosis.

Prosper and Live Long...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Jack Lalanne, the 93-year old fitness legend, says being happy is good for you. Dr. Fuhrman insists a healthy diet increases longevity. And now new research by the University of Southern Denmark claims being busy and independent will help you live longer. Alan Mozes of HealthDay News reports:

The new study was led by Dr. Kaare Christensen of The Danish Aging Research Center at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. The team reported its findings in the Aug. 18-22 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To gauge recent quality of life trends among the so-called "super-elderly", Christensen's team launched mental and physical health surveys in 1998 that focused on an initial group of almost 2,300 Danish men and women, all of whom had been born in 1905.

The researchers did not exclude anyone on the basis of prior health issues or cognitive status at the start of the study. In all, four surveys were conducted -- one approximately every two years-- and all tracked the same group of individuals as they aged from 92 to 100.

By the time of the last survey in 2005, just 166 of the participants were still alive. However, the study authors observed that among those super-elderly still alive at the time of each survey, the percentage that was still able to maintain a functionally independent lifestyle remained nearly constant.

Across surveys, those deemed to be mentally and physically "independent" -- able to perform basic tasks on their own, while remaining free of serious and disabling cognitive, sensory, or physical impairment -- declined only "very modestly" from 39 percent at age 92 to 33 percent by age 100, the researchers reported.

I know I always feel more lively and vibrant when I have a MILLION things to do! This research goes right in line with the recent poll of 100 U.S. centenarians; 81% of them recommend maintaining a sense of independence. Also, check out author John Robbins’ video on living healthy at 100.

Try Some Dried Mango

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

The other day Dr. Fuhrman’s wife, Lisa, handed me a bunch of dried fruits from Jaffe Bros. There were all sorts of things: strawberries, bananas, cantaloupes, currants and dried mango. I’ve never had dried mango before.

So, I took this package home with me:

 

And they were delicious! But, never—EVER—eat too many in one sitting because I PROMISE you, you'll need shoehorn to dislodge something from somewhere and a plunger to unclog something from somewhere else—OOF! All that fiber.

Speaking of dried fruit, a new study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, has determined that dried organic fruit offers no EXTRA nutrients—via Jess Halliday of FoodNavigator.
 

Dieting, Some Calories Don't Count...

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

In the history of weight-loss and dieting, people have tried some nutty things, like ingesting tape worms, swallowing expanding gelatin pills or the Atkins Diet. And now, Ali Hale of Diet-Blog, offers up the secret guide to making any food calorie-free. Here’s a bit:

"There are no calories in food belonging to someone else"

This includes anything...

  • Taken from your partner's plate in a restaurant
  • Made for you by your mom
  • Stolen from a communal fridge

The unwritten "rules" say that whoever owns the food should get the calories from it ... regardless of who eats it.

"There are no calories in free food"

This includes anything...

  • Eaten at a buffet or pot-luck
  • Packaged with a magazine
  • Given away as a sample (see also "There are no calories in small pieces of food")

Free food is too good an opportunity to miss. And if it doesn't cost you a dollar, it shouldn't cost you any calories either.

Be sure to read the entire post. It’s pretty funny! Although, in reality, counting calories is a pretty silly strategy: The Problem with Weight Watchers and other Calorie Counting Diets.

Eat For Health: Fresh Fruits Fight Cancer

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Fresh fruits are an important component of the natural diet of all primates. Humans and other primates have color vision and the ability to appreciate sweets. We are designed this way so that we can recognize ripe fruits and be attracted to them. We have a natural sweet tooth designed to direct us to those foods most critical for our survival, but sugar and candy manufacturers also know that bright colors and sweet tastes are instinctually attractive. They have used that knowledge to their advantage. Remember, your instinctual reaction is designed to lead you to fruit—not sugary, processed foods. Fruit is an indispensable requirement to maintain a high level of health. Fruit consumption has been shown to offer the strongest protection against certain cancers, especially oral, esophageal, lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.1

Researchers also have discovered substances in fruit that have unique effects on preventing aging and deterioration of the brain. Some fruits, particularly berries, are rich in phytochemicals that have anti-aging effects. Berries are an excellent, nutrient-dense, low-calorie source of vitamins and phytochemicals. Researchers have seen that blueberries also have protective effects for brain health in later life.2 In addition, certain pectins—natural parts of the cellular makeup of fruits such as oranges, kiwis, and pomegranates—also lower cholesterol and protect against cardiovascular disease.3

As you can see, fruit is vital to your health and well-being and can contribute to lengthening your life. While our natural, sweet desires are usually satisfied by convenient “treats,” we can use fresh and frozen fruits to make delicious desserts that are healthy and taste great. Book Two provides many delicious and easy fruit recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy manner. When you complete your evening meal with one of those recipes—a frozen strawberry sorbet, a cantaloupe slush, or simply a bowl of fresh berries—you are putting the finishing touches on a meal that will satisfy your desire for a sweet food, while intellectually satisfying your desire to be healthy and wise.

Continue Reading

The Urban Gardening Sprawl...

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

I’m not the only urbanite growing his own organic produce. More and more people are making good use of the free space around their homes, like these L.A. residents who transformed a seedy cinder-block wall into a cascade of strawberries, tomatoes, herbs, and vegetables. Cara Mia DiMassa of The Los Angeles Times reports:

The first time they tried planting vegetables, in a couple of wooden bins on the rooftop of their building, their novice status meant that plants weren't watered and cared for properly.

"Everything died," said Chris Owens, the group's de facto leader.

The second time, things went better. Members of the group paid special attention to the sprouts they planted, watering and pruning with care. And under their vigilant tending, corn stalks pushed upward. Watermelons appeared on vines.

Many residents were surprised by the way gardening united them, in an area where it sometimes seems best to mind your own business and keep to yourself.

"It brings us together as a group, kind of like therapy, to see something growing and flourishing," Jannie Burrows said.

"We're trying to feed our bodies with better nutrients," Lance Shaw said. "But more than anything, we like getting together."

The modest initial success led the Rainbow group to the nonprofit Urban Farming, which helped the group install the green wall last week as part of its Food Chain project. Urban Farming also erected "edible" walls at the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, the Miguel Contreras Learning Center and the Weingart Center.

The Food Chain project, said Urban Farming founder Taja Sevelle, enables residents in some of the city's poorest areas to grow food in underused spaces at a time when food prices are soaring. The walls, she said, "get people to think outside the box. You can plant food in so many different places."

And Londoners are becoming expert backyard farmers too—via National Geographic News. Now, in case you can’t grow your own fruits and veggies. Christine McKinney of Eight Right, Stay Well shares a great shopping tip, Produce: The Dirtiest and the Cleanest. Actually, Christine’s list is very similar to Dr. Fuhrman’s chart of the least and most contaminated produce.

Gonzo Still Doesn't Want the Beef

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Ugh! As an Oakland Raiders fan this PAINS me to blog about. Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end and monster “neo-vegan” Tony Gonzalez is quick to remind his teammates about the dangers of beef. More from Michael Silver of Michael Silver’s Game Face:

An exaggeration? If so it's only a slight stretch. Of all the NFL stars who could've saved a man from choking, he may have been the only one who'd be quite so grossed out by the food he managed to dislodge. Just ask Gonzalez's teammates, who've grown so accustomed to his neo-vegan diet and the accompanying lectures that they sometimes shy away from him during meals.

"Eating with Tony is a great way to ruin your appetite," veteran quarterback Damon Huard said last Saturday from the team's training camp. "You'll be biting into a piece of meat, and he'll say, 'You know that cow was probably corn-fed. And because of that, they had to give it antibiotics, and that probably gave it ulcers. I don't even want to think about what might be in there.' By then you're pretty much ready to clear your plate."

An hour later, as he sat in the cafeteria at the team's University of Wisconsin-River Falls headquarters, Gonzalez expanded upon the carefully crafted dietary approach that has fueled his second decade of excellence. A year-and-a-half after swearing off most dairy products and meat, the 6-foot-5, 251-pounder is laying waste to the stereotype of the scrawny, wimpy herbivore.

Coming off a stellar campaign that included 99 receptions for 1,172 yards (leaving him 179 yards behind Shannon Sharpe for the NFL's all time lead among tight ends) and earned him a ninth consecutive Pro Bowl invitation, the 32-year-old Gonzalez insists he's at his physical peak, with no sign of a decline.

Tony's commitment is strong. He recently saved a man from choking on hunk of filet mignon, but I still hope I don’t end up drafting him for fantasy football team. Oh! And check out Salim Stoudamire of Atlanta Hawks, he’s another veggie-pro—via TrueHoop.

Snarling Phytonutrient Pugs...

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

These ravenous pug dogs love devouring corn and melon—as only pugs can—its fantastic! Take a look:


Actually, that’s pretty much how I eat corn and watermelon.
 

Hydro Fruits...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

When it’s hot out, there’s nothing better than some fresh juicy fruit. Max Shrem of Slashfood passes along a list of 8 fruits and vegetables that are LOADED with H20. Did your favorite make the list? Take a look:

Drinking water is not the only way you can refuel your body during the summer. Many fruits and vegetables can help you meet 20 percent of your daily fluid needs.
  • Watermelons
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell peppers
  • Pineapple
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Citrus fruits

You know, there have actually been days where I’ve eaten all 8 of these! Especially tomatoes, in addition to my heavenly tomato, check out these heirloom tomatoes I got from my CSA. They’re monsters:


Not only are they giant and ugly as sin, but they also taste great! And as Dr. Fuhrman points out, tomatoes are a super food: Ten Super Foods to Use in Your Recipes and Menus.

Getting on the Internet for Health Advice

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Susannah Fox of The Health Care Blog posts these interesting stats about people going online to seek out health information. Makes you wonder if this availability of information will change the healthcare paradigm. Take a look:

Ten percent of internet users say they searched for health information "yesterday," which in a tracking survey like this one yields a picture of the "typical day" online. Health has moved up in the "typical day" list (from 7 percent in 2006 to the current 10 percent of internet users), but for most people the average day includes lots of emails (60 percent of internet users), general searches (49 percent), and news reading (39 percent) if they are online at all (30 percent of internet users are offline on a typical day).
  • 68% of online men look online for health info
  • 81% of online women
  • 76% of white internet users
  • 65% of African-American internet users
  • 71% of English-speaking Hispanic internet users (new health data on the whole Latino population is coming out August 13 from the Pew Hispanic Center)
  • 68% of 18-29 year-old internet users
  • 78% of 30-49s
  • 76% of 50-64s
  • 71% of internet users age 65+ (but remember, only one-third of seniors go online at all)

The internet is a great tool, but you’ve got to be careful. There is a lot of garbage floating around, like Weston Price and Atkins. But there is good stuff too! Like this great video on heart disease from The Adventist Chip Association—thanks Annette!

Tips, Keeping Kids Healthy...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

I don’t have kids—I imagine someday I’ll trick a woman into it—but if I did have a couple little ones. I’d want to keep them fit and healthy. Jacki Donaldson of That’sFit passes along four good suggestions:

  1. Eat right. If you eat right, your kids are likely to follow suit. That means five servings of fruits and veggies each day, whole grains instead of refined products, and a limited number of red meats and processed foods.
  2. Move. Inspire your kids to get 60 minutes of vigorous exercise most days of the week by engaging in your own fitness pursuits. Discuss the value of being active with your kids too.
  3. Avoid smoking. Don't smoke, don't hang out around smoke, and chat with your youngsters about the dangers of smoking.
  4. Practice skin smarts. Protect your own skin from the sun, and slather your kids too. And teach them this American Cancer Society jingle: Slip! Slop! Slap! Wrap! Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap sunglasses around your eyes.

Not bad. Actually Dr. Fuhrman has his own tips for raising healthy kids, check out: The Secrets to Getting Your Children to Eat Healthfully.

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetable...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Dr. Clare Hasler, executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute at UC Davis, is dismayed that people STILL aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. Take a look:


Yup, this is quite the debacle. Remember this post: Will America Ever Eat Better?

Eating Beans Keeps You Slim...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

And, they help you make wonderful music! But seriously, That’sFit passes along some info on beans’ fiber-full powers. Here’s a snippet:

Beans. The more you eat, the ... less you weigh. That's what science says, that bean-eaters weigh less on average than non-bean-eaters. About 6.6 pounds less, to be exact.

RealAge expert John La Puma, MD, author of ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine, says it makes sense that beans have the power to knock off a few pounds. They are full of fiber, full of protein, and low in fat. This means they'll keep you fuller longer and will make only a small dent in your calorie intake.

Dr. Fuhrman considers beans—also called legumes—are serious health foods. Check it out:

A large recent study examined the eating habits of 32,000 adults for six years and then watched the incidence of cancer for these subjects over the next six years. Those who avoided red meat but at white meat regularly had a more than 300 percent increase in colon cancer incidence.1 The same study showed that eating beans, peas, or lentils, at least twice a week was associated with a 50 percent lower risk than never eating these foods. Beans, in general, not just soy, have additional anti-cancer benefits against reproductive cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer.2

And not only are beans packed with fiber, but they’re also loaded with protein. More from Dr. Fuhrman:

Eating more plant protein is the key to increasing our micronutrient intake. It is interesting to note that foods such as peas, green vegetables, and beans have lots of protein—even more protein per calorie than meat. But what is generally considered is that foods that are rich in plant protein are generally the foods that are richest in nutrients and phytochemicals. By eating more of these high-nutrient, low-calorie foods, we get plenty of protein, and our bodies get flooded with protective micronutrients simultaneously. Animal protein does not contain antioxidants and phytochemical; plant protein does. Plus, animal protein is married to saturated fat. Excesses of saturated fat are not favorable to good health.

Although, not everyone is excited about beans—like this little girl. Take a look:


Now, for more on beans and healthy bodyweight, don’t forget about this post: Beans and Obesity Prevention.


Continue Reading

Eat For Health: Key Factors Causing Osteoporosis

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Diets too high in animal protein and low in vegetable protein: Meat and other high protein foods leave an acid residue in the blood that leads to bone dissolution. To neutralize this acid load, the body calls on its stores of calcium to provide basic calcium salts. Studies show that people with a high animal protein intake can develop a negative calcium balance, regardless of how much calcium is consumed. An important study demonstrated an increased bone loss and risk of hip fracture in those with a higher ratio of animal protein to vegetable protein. The researchers concluded that an increase in vegetable protein and a decrease in animal protein may decrease the risk of hip fractures in the elderly.1 The recommendations are clear: green vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds should be the major source of protein. It is important to note that later in life (after age 70), it is crucial to pay more attention to protein intake. At that point, both too much protein and too little protein are unfavorable to bone mass.2

High consumption of salt and/or caffeine: The consumption of large amounts of sodium and caffeine leads to unwanted excretion of calcium.3 Exactly how this works is not completely understood, but both salt and caffeine increase the rate at which blood is filtered through the kidney. The increased filtering pressure and flow compromise the kidney’s ability to return calcium supplies to the bloodstream.

Smoking:
Nicotine can interfere with hormonal messages to the kidneys, inhibiting calcium re-absorption. The combination of smoking and drinking coffee or soft drinks, together with the dietary factors mentioned, makes the prevalence of osteoporosis in this country quite understandable. Dietary, health, and lifestyle components are working together to cause this drain of calcium.

Vitamin D Deficiency: Recent research studies have corroborated the fact that most Americans are Vitamin D deficient. This deficiency occurred even among a majority of study subjects who were already taking a multivitamin with the standard 400 IUs of Vitamin D. More and more health authorities are recommending that an additional 400 to 800 IUs of Vitamin D be taken over and above the 400 typically present in a multiple vitamin.

Vitamin supplements: In high doses, Vitamin A (retinol) is associated with birth defects, and recent research suggests the dose that causes risk is much lower than previously thought. If Vitamin A is toxic to a person who is pregnant and potentially harmful to the developing baby, it can’t be good for us the rest of the time. Research has shown it is linked to calcium loss in the urine and osteoporosis. For example, an important study found that subjects with a Vitamin A intake in the range of 1.5 mg had double the hip fracture rate of those with an intake in the range of .5 mg. For every 1 mg increase in Vitamin A consumption, hip fracture rates increased by 68 percent.4 Most multivitamins contain about 5000 IUs of Vitamin A, which is equal to 1.5 mg. This means if you conform to the current recommendations, which have become outdated, and get your Vitamin A from supplements, you could be weakening your bones. Instead, the body can naturally self-fabricate Vitamin A by consuming beta-carotene and other carotenoids in real food. Vegetables such as carrots contain beta carotene, not Vitamin A, and the beta-carotene from vegetables does not lead to excessive Vitamin A formation or cause calcium loss.

Poor physical fitness: Our bones are continually dissolving old bone tissue and rebuilding new bone. Interestingly, our bone strength is directly proportional to our muscle strength. Bones, like muscles, respond to stress by becoming bigger and stronger, and, like muscles, bones weaken and literally shrink if not used. It is essential to exercise, and, in particular, to exercise the back. Studies have found that a back-strengthening exercise program can provide significant, long lasting protection against spinal fractures in women at risk for osteoporosis.5


Continue Reading

Health Points: Tuesday

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
With 23 percent of British children now considered overweight or obese, parents have increasing difficulty judging whether their own child is too heavy and most consider their overweight children normal, Ivan Lewis, the British health minister, warned. The letters home are designed as an early wake-up call, aimed at helping kids avoid later health problems, including diabetes and heart disease.

Starting next month, about 1.2 million British kindergartners and children in their last year of primary school will be weighed and notes about their weight mailed home, school and health officials said.

To avoid stigma, all parents—not just those of the overweight—will get an assessment of their child. And to avoid offense, the letters will avoid the use of "obese" or "fat," substituting instead "overweight" or "very overweight."
The recall is of beef prepared for shipment to retailers but not yet cut up in supermarket sized portions.

The recall is "Class 1," meaning there is a "reasonable probability" that eating the beef "will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death," the USDA said. It is the most dangerous level of the three classes of recall.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the beef was sent to processing establishments and retail stores across the United States and had been produced June 17, June 24 and July 8.

The recall is of primal and subprimal cuts that are larger sections of cows, such as chuck and rib, that can be cut down for individual or family-sized packaging. It also is of "boxed beef" or carcasses that have been partially disassembled for shipping.
There is little dispute that bisphenol A can disrupt the hormonal system, but scientists differ on whether the very low amounts found in food and beverage containers can be harmful.

The National Toxicology Program, a partnership of federal health agencies, said in a recent draft report that there is "some concern" that the chemical can cause changes in behavior and the brain, and that it may reduce survival and birth weight in fetuses. The conclusion was based on animal studies.

However, the Food and Drug Administration's associate commissioner for science, Dr. Norris Alderson, told Congress in June that there was no reason for consumers to stop using products that contain the chemical.

Despite the uncertainty, consumer concern has prompted some governments and retailers to act.
A report from Brigham Young University shows only 36 percent of babies are breast-fed through six months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast-feeding through the first year.

The data are based on a weighted sample of more than 60,000 children, collected from national immunization surveys compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the data are focused on childhood immunization rates, questions also were asked about breast-feeding, giving the researchers a representative sample of nursing patterns in the United States.

The researchers found that children who were most likely to be breast-fed for more than six months typically had mothers with higher levels of education and income. Married women and those who lived in Western states were also more likely to breast-feed. Hispanic women and women born in other countries were also more likely to breast-feed.

Returning to work, being a smoker or living in the Northeast decreased the likelihood of long-term breast-feeding. Notably, low-income women who participated in the subsidized Women, Infants and Children program, which provides food, milk and formula to mothers and young children, were also more likely to stop breast-feeding sooner.
Wright is not an exotic dancer in a strip club. She's a 38-year-old mother of two from Atlanta, Georgia, looking to get in a decent workout.

"It works the abs, oh my goodness, muscles I didn't even know I had," Wright chuckled.

On this night, Wright is among more than a dozen women of all shapes and sizes -- no men allowed -- attending a beginner class at PoleLaTeaz, an Atlanta dance studio owned by Angela Edwards.

"We get preachers' wives, teachers, nurses, accountants, lawyers, anyone between the age of 18 and 70," Edwards said. "It's not boring...you get to wear fun clothes, listen to good music...and release your inner sexpot."

If online listings across the country are an indication, the popularity of pole dancing is spreading across the country from Southern California to Chicago to the Bible Belt.
Researchers say those strong feelings pro and con show in themselves that it will take a large study to see what, if anything, stretching really accomplishes. If stretching were remarkably effective, athletes would notice its effects right away and everyone would agree on when to stretch and what stretching does.

The study in Norway was the inspiration of Dr. Andy Oxman, a senior scientist at the Norwegian Knowledge Center for the Health Services. He had just completed what he calls a public clinical trial. It was a sort of reality show on public television that asked whether the nutritional supplement Valerian helped with insomnia; 405 people signed up to receive Valerian or a placebo and reported on their sleep by logging onto a Web site. Some participants insisted that because they slept so well they were taking Valerian. Or they said they knew they had taken the placebo because their sleep didn’t improve.

Then, the results were announced on the TV show and published: Valerian had little or no effect on sleep. Some who maintained they had the supplement actually had the placebo and vice versa.
Yet many people are not getting enough vitamin D, which the skin makes naturally when exposed to sunlight. A nationwide survey found that 41 percent of men and 53 percent of women in the United States were not getting enough of this vital nutrient.

"The importance of vitamin D may be underappreciated," said lead author Dr. Michal Melamed, a clinical fellow at Johns Hopkins University. "There are studies that link low vitamin D levels to the development of heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, diabetes, hypertension and different cancers," she said.

The report was published in the Aug. 11 online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

For the study, Melamed's team collected data on more than 13,000 men and women who took part in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Levels of vitamin D were collected in 1988 and 1994, and the participants were followed through 2000.
Nebraska Beef, an Omaha meat packer, has been linked to two separate outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 in the past two months. The first triggered a ground beef recall by Kroger's supermarkets. The second outbreak kicked off a ground beef recall by Dorothy Lane Market, a small chain in Ohio. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider these two separate outbreaks because they involve two genetically distinct strains of O157:H7.

Whole Foods initiated the recall after Massachusetts health officials investigating a cluster of E. coli illnesses discovered all seven victims had bought meat at Whole Foods. The chain pulled ground beef from some of its stores on Wednesday. The Nebraska Beef recall was announced late Friday night.

My colleague Ylan Mui and I have gotten some comments from people who noted that the natural food chain is telling folks no contaminated Whole Foods meat has been found yet and we reported that in our story on Sunday. But before anyone is lulled into some false sense of security, there is other microbiological evidence linking Whole Foods to the outbreak.

200 Calories Set to Music...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Look at how much MORE food you get from 200 calories of fruits and veggies, than 200 calories of bacon, bagels, hotdogs, hamburgers, French fries and other junk. Take a look:


Actually, they got it from WiseGeek. Here’s a post about it: Food Face-Off.

Heart Disease, Doctors Failing Patients...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Perhaps the understatement of the century! Research from Outcomes, Inc., a Birmingham Alabama-based research firm, have determined that doctors often come up short when it comes to heart disease-prevention. Via Reuters Health:
Lead researcher Dr. Hamidreza Doroodchi and colleagues sent a survey on cardiovascular disease management to a random sample of 12,000 U.S. family physicians and general internists. A total of 888 completed the survey, which contained "case vignettes" for managing adults deemed to be at low or high risk of heart disease.

The study found that in the hypothetical case of a low-risk 45-year-old woman, only 28 percent of family doctors and 37 percent of internists made the "guideline-based preventive choice" of prescribing no aspirin or other antiplatelet therapy -- drugs that help prevent blood clots by keeping platelet blood cells from clumping together. The majority indicated that they would prescribe a daily aspirin for such a patient to reduce the risk of heart attack.

When asked whether they would start drug therapy to combat abnormal cholesterol levels, 51 percent of doctors said they would not do so in this low-risk patient -- which is in accordance with guidelines. On the other hand, 41 percent said they would prescribe a statin.

When it came to basic lifestyle advice, which is appropriate for low- and high-risk patients alike, doctors often fell short.

For example, while experts recommend that all adults limit their intake of artery-clogging trans fats, over one-third of doctors in the survey failed to recommend this measure for the low-risk 45-year-old woman.
A lot of it probably has to do with ignorance or the unwillingness to defy conventional medical thinking. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
For most people, illness means putting their fate in the hands of doctors and complying with their recommendations — recommendations that typically involve taking drugs for the rest of their lives while they watch their health gradually deteriorate. People are completely unaware that most illnesses are self-induced and can be reversed with aggressive nutritional methods.

Both patients and physicians act as though everyone’s medical problems are genetic, or assumed to be the normal consequence of aging. They believe that chronic illness is just what we all must expect. Unfortunately, the medical-pharmaceutical business has encouraged people to believe that health problems are hereditary and that we need to swallow poisons to defeat our genes. This is almost always untrue. We all have genetic weaknesses, but those weaknesses never get a chance to express themselves until we abuse our body with many, many years of mistreatment. Never forget, 99 percent of your genes are programmed to keep you healthy. The problem is that we never let them do their job.
I find that the problem gets even more out of whack when the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are they themselves overweight or unhealthy. Makes you think that the whole system is mucked up—I wanted to use another word here.

Broccoli May Undo Cell Damage...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Researchers at the University of Warwick have determined that sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, helps produce enzymes that protect blood vessels. This is especially good news for diabetics. BBC News reports:
People with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes; both are linked to damaged blood vessels.

The Warwick team, whose work is reported in the journal Diabetes, tested the effects of sulforaphane on blood vessel cells damaged by high glucose levels (hyperglycaemia), which are associated with diabetes.

They recorded a 73% reduction of molecules in the body called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).

Hyperglycaemia can cause levels of ROS to increase three-fold and such high levels can damage human cells.

The researchers also found that sulforaphane activated a protein in the body called nrf2, which protects cells and tissues from damage by activating protective antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes.
Like we need another reason to eat broccoli! In fact, I’ve had some steamed broccoli three days in a row. Now, if you’re interested. The study appears in Diabetes: Activation of NF-E2-related factor-2 reverses biochemical dysfunction

What we're Eating, Then and Now

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink
The New York Times offers up this great graphic showing America’s food habits over time. More from Bill Marsh:



Wow, it’s hard to believe that our vegetable consumption is actually up. Could have fooled me! Click here for the full graphic.

Obama Wants More Fruits and Veggies

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Nikki Benoit, Outreach Coordinator for Florida Voices for Animals, had the opportunity to talk with Senator Barack Obama about U.S. agriculture and diet. Here’s a bit of their dialogue via Vegan.com. Take a look:
I stated how the UN’s reporting that animal agriculture contributes more to greenhouse gas emissions than all of transportation. I mentioned that over 10 billion land animals are funneled through egregious conditions in factory farms and that it requires an obscene amount of water and resources to maintain them [70% of all our grain goes through them]. I reiterated that our health epidemic is only compounded by our environmental crises and resource depletion, and what, as the leader of the most amazing nation, would he do about this [again, this is all a blur...I believe the media picked this up, too - I hope it made more sense at the time.]

His response included an admission that our infrastructure needs fixing, and that subsidies need to be taken away from large scale animal ag, helping small family farms. He acknowledged that our health care crises needs to incorporate preventative measures, including more fresh vegetables and fruit. He also said schools need more of these items versus pre-packaged food and meat products. And of course, he pointed the finger at China and India and that their new diet [which is mimicking ours] needs to be changed.
Vegan.com is touting this as “Obama’s vegan movement.” I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s cool to hear a presidential nominee urging people to eat more plant foods and less animal products—anyone know McCain’s position on this?

Protecting Your Prostate

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

In what some are calling a surprise move, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends not screening for prostate cancer in men age 75 years or older. Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times reports:
Screening is typically performed with a blood test measuring prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, levels. Widespread PSA testing has led to high rates of detection. Last year, more than 218,000 men learned they had the disease.

Yet various studies suggest the disease is “overdiagnosed” — that is, detected at a point when the disease most likely would not affect life expectancy — in 29 percent to 44 percent of cases. Prostate cancer often progresses very slowly, and a large number of these cancers discovered through screening will probably never cause symptoms during the patient’s lifetime, particularly for men in their 70s and 80s. At the same time, aggressive treatment of prostate cancer can greatly reduce a patient’s quality of life, resulting in complications like impotency and incontinence.

Past task force guidelines noted there was no benefit to prostate cancer screening in men with less than 10 years left to live. Since it can be difficult to assess life expectancy, it was an informal recommendation that had limited impact on screening practices. The new guidelines take a more definitive stand, however, stating that the age of 75 is clearly the point at which screening is no longer appropriate.
In our bilk-the-patient system of modern medicine, nixing this money-maker will certainly hit doctors and hospitals in the bottom-line. Now, there’s more you can do—eat your way to a healthy prostate. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, rich not only in lycopene but in thousands of other protective compounds. Each year, researchers find another carotenoid that has powerful beneficial effects and reduces cancer. Spinach was this year’s recipient of the anti-prostate cancer award, with researchers in Japan finding neoxanthin compounds (a class of carotenoids) that powerfully inhibit prostate cancer. In the past, pink grapefruit, watermelon, cooked tomatoes, pomegranate, cruciferous vegetables, red peppers, berries, figs, and many other foods all have been shown to inhibit the development of prostate cancer…


…Fresh fruits are an important component of the natural diet of all primates. Humans and other primates have color vision and the ability to appreciate sweets. We are designed this way so that we can recognize ripe fruits and be attracted to them. We have a natural sweet tooth designed to direct us to those foods most critical for our survival, but sugar and candy manufacturers also know that bright colors and sweet tastes are instinctually attractive. They have used that knowledge to their advantage. Remember, your instinctual reaction is designed to lead you to fruit—not sugary, processed foods. Fruit is an indispensable requirement to maintain a high level of health. Fruit consumption has been shown to offer the strongest protection against certain cancers, especially oral, esophageal, lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancer1…

…Over the last few years, the health benefits of seeds also have become more apparent. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hempseeds, chia seeds, or other seeds can supply those hard-to find omega-3 fats that protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.2 Seeds are also rich in lignans, a type of fiber associated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. In addition, seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and folate. The plant goes to great effort in producing and protecting its seed, filling each genetic package with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils, and enzymes.
Okay guys, think about it. What would you rather do? Eat your fruits and veggies or get stuck with a needle in a place where no needle should ever be—eek!
Continue Reading

New Obesity Research...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

The infants were considered overweight if they had a body mass index (BMI) above the 85th weight-for-height percentile on 2 or more measurements taken at least 3 months part. This means that 85 percent of children their age and gender have a lower BMI, which is a measure of weight in relation to height.

In the first study, the researchers found that infants between the 85th and 94th weight-for-height percentiles actually had fewer hospital admissions and repeat admissions than normal-weight infants. However, higher than expected admission rates were seen in the most overweight infants (95th or higher percentile).

In the second study, overweight infants were more likely than their normal-weight peers to have developmental delays and snoring. There was also evidence that asthma and other breathing problems were more common in overweight infants.
According to the researchers, patients who were overweight or obese were less likely to die during follow up compared to their normal-weight peers. Being overweight or obese "remained protective" against death in a "risk-adjusted" analysis.


Heart failure patients who had a normal weight or who were underweight had the highest death rates. "It remains unknown, however, if higher body fat levels are actually the cause of better outcomes in patients with heart failure," the researchers note in the American Heart Journal.

"We believe there is a need for prospective studies to confirm these findings and elucidate potential mechanisms" for the potentially protective effect of increased body weight on heart failure, Oreopoulos and colleagues conclude.
The study, conducted by Dr. Erin J. Maher, from Casey Family Programs in Seattle, and colleagues, involved nearly 16,000 first-time kindergartners who had or had not been enrolled in childcare, defined as spending at least 10 hours per week in care not provided by a parent.


Childcare was subdivided into four types: 1) paid or unpaid care by a relative, friend, or neighbor, held at least occasionally at the child's home; 2) paid care by a non-relative family outside the child's home; 3) Head Start; and 4) care at daycare center, nursery school, preschool, or pre-kindergarten. Children were considered to be obese if their weight was in the 95th or higher percentile for height.

Overall, kids in childcare were more likely to obese than children not in childcare. Of the various childcare types, care by a relative, friend, or neighbor was most strongly linked to obesity. Compared with other racial groups, white children were less likely and Latino children more likely to be obese.

An Organic Garden at the White House...

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

Eat the View, a movement to plant healthy, edible landscapes in high-impact, high visibility places, wants the White House to plant an organic food garden. Via Bethany Sanders of That’sFit:
We planted our first vegetable garden this past spring and enjoyed it so much that we just spent the weekend doubling its size for next year. With a very small financial investment and a little bit of physical labor, we've been able to contribute fresh, healthy, organic foods to our menu and teach our kids some lessons about food production as well.

Rising food costs, food safety concerns, and an increased awareness about environmental issues have lead to an increase in backyard gardening. And some food activists are hoping to encourage that trend by putting an organic garden on one of the most well-known lawns in Amercia ... The White House.
Sounds like a great idea, the ultimate lead by example! The White House used to farm in the past. Check out this photo on EatTheView.org:

Although I imagine the scarecrow would be equipped with spy cameras, machine guns, and night vision.

Living with Lupus, Really?

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

You don’t read a lot of lupus. I guess its one of those diseases that lacks a colored ribbon and a celebrity spokes person, but for many people lupus is a life-altering condition. More from Judy Fortin of CNN:
Amy Harned, who lives in Webster, Massachusetts, is among the 1.5 million Americans who suffer from the autoimmune disorder. Lupus causes the body's immune system to attack its own tissues, causing inflammation and damage. When Harned's lupus was first diagnosed, she said she "was really terrified, but gradually I got more information." She realized with proper treatment she could lead a somewhat normal life…

"…The prognosis for lupus today is very good," Lisa Fitzgerald, a Boston, Massachusetts-based rheumatologist, said. "The survival rate is really over 90 percent in five to 10 years of having the disease. In the 1950s it was probably 50 percent."

Part of the reason for the improved success has to do with better treatment in managing the condition. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen offer relief to some patients.

Other lupus sufferers might be prescribed an antimalarial drug called hydroxychloroquine.

"It's a quinine derivative. It's quite safe," Fitzgerald said. "It can make a big difference for patients who have mild disease."

Fitzgerald added she also prescribes corticosteroids "to squelch flareups." While they work well, she cautioned they do have side effects.
Wow! A life time of prescribed drugs—now that sounds like modern medicine! But what if there was another way? A healthier way to live your life without lupus, Dr. Fuhrman talks about it:
For the last 20 years, multiple studies have been published in medical journals documenting the effectiveness of high vegetable diets on autoimmune illnesses.1 These have been largely ignored by the medical profession and most doctors still deny the effectiveness of nutrition on autoimmune and inflammatory conditions; a high-nutrient eating-style is most effective in aiding people suffering with these conditions.
And here’s a little more from Dr. Fuhrman:
An aggressive nutritional approach to autoimmune illnesses should always be tried first when the disease is in its infancy. Logically, the more advanced the disease is, and the more damage that has been done by the disease, the less likely the patient will respond. My experience with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is that some patients are more dietary-sensitive than others and that some patients have very high levels of inflammation that are difficult to curtail with natural therapy. Nevertheless, the majority benefit—and since the conventional drugs used to treat these types of illnesses are so toxic and have so many risky side effects, the dietary method should be tried first.
You got to wonder, why something as simple and noninvasive as changing diet isn’t always tried first. Oh wait! It doesn’t make money.
Continue Reading

Eat For Health: The Stubborn Habits

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Modern foods are designed to seduce your taste buds. You have been manipulated by profit motivated food manufacturers. We all have. The artificially concentrated flavors that the processed food industry uses to stimulate the brain’s pleasure center are designed to increase and retain sales. Tragically, the result is that they lead people’s taste buds astray. Artificial, intense flavors cause us to enjoy natural flavors less. Our taste buds become desensitized, and the more we succumb to the heightened, artificial flavors, the less appealing natural, whole foods become. Salt also desensitizes our taste buds, but the extra sweeteners and artificial flavors combined with the flavor enhancing qualities of salt are all addictive.

Fortunately, by practicing this eating-style, your taste buds are bouncing back. However, it might take more time to reset your receptors to appreciate the more subtle flavors of whole, unprocessed foods. Hang in there, and keep up your healthy eating! It’s the only way for this to happen, and it always does. It might take longer than six weeks, but your taste and flavor sensitivity will improve tremendously over time.

Realizing your impediments and gaining knowledge about great health are tremendous first steps, but they are only 50 percent of the overall solution. You must put into practice and repeat your new beneficial behaviors over and over until they become part of you. Repetition will make these positive actions feel more and more natural. It is not enough simply to know what to do. You need to practice preparing recipes, eating super-healthy meals, noticing the changes, and affirming yourself, until eating for health naturally satisfies you.

Developing a burning desire for optimal health will help you in the process of re-sensitizing your taste buds. Stay with the program and your taste buds will actually line up with your desire, your behaviors will line up with your beliefs, you will cease to crave flavor enhancers and highly seasoned food, and you will transform into a person who actually prefers to eat healthfully. As you learn more recipes, you will be able to substitute similar, healthy foods for those old, unhealthy options. For example, my healthy sorbets and ice creams are the perfect substitute for your craving of cold sweets.

It is not easy to develop new habits, and there is no such thing as a quick shortcut to developing new skills and expertise. When you do something over and over, it creates a pathway in the brain that makes it easier and more comfortable to repeat again. That is one reason why it is so hard to change bad habits. However, if you are motivated to persevere and keep trying, the change becomes considerably easier. The more you make healthful meals and the more days you link together eating healthful foods, the more your brain will naturally prefer to eat that way. Of course, feeling better and losing weight is a great motivator, but through this process, your taste for a different way of eating can be established. It has been shown that a new food needs to be eaten about 15 times for it to become a preferred food. Keep in mind that the more days you eat healthfully, the more you will lose your addiction to unhealthful, stimulating substances, and, with time, you will look forward to, and prefer, a healthy diet. Don’t give up. The only failure is to stop trying.

Watermelon Goodness

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Jacki Donaldson of That’sFit passes along 4 reason to eat watermelon. Have a look:
  • Watermelon juice beat out tomato juice on the lycopene front in a recent study. Research suggests that lycopene may be a cancer killer.
  • A compound in watermelon can help with your skin's healing and regenerative processes.
  • Watermelon is practically calorie-free. It contains less than 50 calories per cup which makes it a grand way to satisfy a sweet tooth.
  • Eating watermelon is a great way to hydrate. There's 141 grams of water per each cubed cup.
Watermelon rocks, especially on a hot summer day. Give this recipe a try:
Watermelon Ices
5 cups seedless watermelon
1/2 cup raisins
Blend watermelon and raisins in a blender, food processor, or VitaMix until they form a creamy liquid. Pour into paper cups and freeze for one hour only. Remove partially frozen treat from the freezer. Blend again, spoon the mixture back into the cups, and place back in the freezer until served.
That reminds me, I have a hunk of watermelon in the fridge!

Jack Lalanne Says Be Happy!

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink
Fitness legend and almost-centenarian Jack Lalanne urges us to be happy and enjoy all the wonderful things we have. Take a look:


Great advice! Goes right along with yesterday’s post about living to 100: How Centenarians Do It.

How Centenarians Do It...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
I want to live to 100. Lots of people do it! Like the Okinawans and even people in the United States. Evercare, an agency that places nurse practitioners with its elderly members, polled 100 U.S. centenarians about making it to 100. WebMD reports:
Here are their top 10 tips for healthy aging - along with the percentage of how many said the tip is "very important" (they could call more than one tip "very important"):
  1. Stay close to your family and friends: 90%
  2. Keep your mind active: 89%
  3. Laugh and have a sense of humor: 88%
  4. Stay in touch with your spirituality: 84%
  5. Continue looking forward to each new day: 83%
  6. Keep moving and exercising: 82%
  7. Maintain a sense of independence: 81%
  8. Eat right: 80%
  9. Keep up with news and current events: 63%
  10. Keep making new friends: 63%
"If I could leave any message, never stop learning. Period," centenarian Maurice Eisman says in the poll report.
Great tips, especially eating right! Long-lived people don’t eat fast food and beef jerky. Japanese super-centenarian Tomoji Tanabe eats rice, seaweed, and miso soup. And this 72-year old gym-rat and centenarian in the making, eats a diet based on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.

Japan's Love of Fish, Keeps Arteries Clear

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
A new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology claims having high blood-levels of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce atherosclerotic plaque buildup. The research compared middle-aged men living in Japan to white men and men of Japanese decent living in the United States. More from Reuters:
Japanese eat about 3 ounces (85 grams) of fish a day on average, while Americans eat fish perhaps twice a week. Nutritional studies show that intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish averages 1.3 grams per day in Japan, compared to 0.2 grams per day in the United States.

Earlier studies by Akira Sekikawa, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, showed that Japanese men had significantly less cholesterol build-up in their arteries despite similar blood cholesterol and blood pressure readings, similar rates of diabetes and much higher rates of smoking…

…In this study, Sekikawa's team recruited 868 randomly selected men aged 40 to 49. Of these, 281 were Japanese from Kusatsu in Japan, 306 were white men from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and 281 were third or fourth generation Japanese-Americans from Honolulu, Hawaii.

"Our study clearly demonstrated that whites and Japanese-Americans have similar levels of atherosclerosis, which are much higher than in the Japanese in Japan," Sekikawa said.
Outstanding news for omega-3’s, but fish is not your only source of these beneficial fats. Foods like soybeans, tofu, and flaxseed are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Here’s some info from Dr. Fuhrman:


When we have insufficient omega-3 fat, we do not produce enough DHA, a long-chain omega-3 fat with anti-inflammatory effects. High levels of arachidonic acid and low levels of omega-3 fats can be a contributory cause of heart disease, stroke, autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, depression, and possibly increased cancer incidence.1 Most Americans would improve their health if they consumed more omega-3 fats and less omega-6 fats. I recommend that both vegetarians and nonvegetarians make an effort to consume one to two grams of omega-3 fat daily.
I eat flaxseed and walnuts everyday, but I also eat fish—like salmon and steelhead trout—so I think I’m covered in the omega-3 department—are you?
Continue Reading

Diet and Diabetes, Linked!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
New studies reveal that diet is the key to diabetes-risk. All three appear in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Here they are:
CONCLUSIONS: Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in African American women. While there has been increasing public awareness of the adverse health effects of soft drinks, little attention has been given to fruit drinks, which are often marketed as a healthier alternative to soft drinks.
CONCLUSIONS: Higher plasma vitamin C level and, to a lesser degree, fruit and vegetable intake were associated with a substantially decreased risk of diabetes. Our findings highlight a potentially important public health message on the benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables for the prevention of diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS: A low-fat dietary pattern among generally healthy postmenopausal women showed no evidence of reducing diabetes risk after 8.1 years. Trends toward reduced incidence were greater with greater decreases in total fat intake and weight loss. Weight loss, rather than macronutrient composition, may be the dominant predictor of reduced risk of diabetes.
For more, check out Steven Reinberg's report in HealthDay News: Diet Key to Diabetes Risk.

Katie Couric on Healthy Eating

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
It’s not a rant, like Bill Maher on pharmaceuticals, but Katie Couric offers some poignant remarks on healthy food. Take a look:


Apple slices shaped like French fries. Now there’s marketing genius in action—tisk, tisk.

Health Points: Tuesday

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

"What I learned about those first two seasons is they are long. They are a grind, especially with the Western Conference not getting any easier,'' Roy said.

Roy hired a trainer, Ron Tate, who focuses heavily on stretching in addition to weight lifting. He also forces Roy to drink a gallon of water every day before 2 p.m.

In previous summers, Roy would play basketball nearly every day. Now he plays maybe twice a week, even though the Blazers would prefer it was one or less.

"I think I have gotten smarter with the way I work,'' Roy said. "It's not so much pound, pound, pound. It's more stretching and lifting with lighter weight but more reps.''
“What they are doing is developing their own system for evaluating things,” said Dr. Warwick L. Morison, professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins and chairman of the Skin Cancer Foundation’s photobiology committee, which tests sunscreens for safety and effectiveness. “Using this scale to say a sunscreen offers good protection or bad protection is junk science.”


Dr. Morison has no financial ties to sunscreen makers, and his work with the Skin Cancer Foundation is unpaid.

Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group, said the database and rating system were based on an extensive review of the medical literature on sunscreens. Of nearly 1,000 sunscreens reviewed, the group recommends only 143 brands. Most are lesser-known brands with titanium and zinc, which are effective blockers of ultraviolet radiation. But they are less popular with consumers because they can leave a white residue.

Olympic host city Beijing was shrouded in haze on Monday 11 days before the Games begin, raising anxieties about whether it can deliver the clean skies promised for the world's top athletes.


The city's chronic pollution, a sometimes acrid mix of construction dust, vehicle exhaust and factory and power plant fumes, has been one of the biggest worries for Games organizers.

Beijing has ordered many of its 3.3 million cars off roads and halted much construction and factory production in an effort to cut pollution before the Games open on August 8.

But a sultry haze persisted on Monday, and state media said Beijing might be forced to restrict more cars and shut more factories if the pollution persists.
"At baseline, before they were supposed to be following a diet or exercise plan, we found on weekends, people gained weight," study author Susan Racette, an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis said. During the week, the weight would decline. But the weekend effect was strong. "If you translate it out to a year, it could have increased weight by 9 pounds."


Before the intervention, participants ate an average of 2,257 calories on Saturday compared to just 2,021 during the week. But the average activity on weekends overall didn't differ much from average weekday activities. So, it was the food, not the lack of activity, that was to blame, Racette said.

Racette monitored the participants for a year after they started the intervention, and the weekend indulgences continued. The calorie restriction group stopped losing weight on weekends, while the physical activity group gained slightly (about .17 pounds). There were not significant weight changes in the controls on weekends.

Four years ago, ahead of the Athens Olympics, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed caffeine from its list of banned substances in sport. This was "presumably because WADA considered (caffeine's) performance-enhancing effects to be insignificant," notes Mark Stuart in a commentary published in the journal BMJ Clinical Evidence.


Stuart, a BMJ editor, has worked with doping control for past Olympic Games and helped train medical staff for the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

Despite questions about caffeine's effects on athletic prowess, Stuart points out, studies indicate that many athletes still use the stimulant. In a study published last month, for example, researchers found that of 193 UK track-and-field athletes they surveyed, one-third used caffeine to enhance performance -- as did 60 percent of 287 competitive cyclists.
Numbers like those, coupled with ads for sleep aids, persuaded yoga instructor Shanon Buffington that the time was right for a workshop she developed.


"Most of us don't sleep like babies anymore," the instructor said as participants gathered last month for her "Yoga for Better Sleep" workshop at Dallas Surya Center for Yoga.

"We're typically tired, and when we do rest, we don't sleep well.

"My goal," she said, "is to give you a toolbox of techniques." These include breathing techniques, relaxing restorative poses and an introduction to Yoga Nidra, a guided visualization.

These yoga tools work, Buffington says, by calming the autonomic nervous system, specifically by nudging the body toward the parasympathetic, or "rest and digest," state as opposed to the sympathetic, or "fight or flight," state.

A new study has found that high bone mineral density (BMD) predicts a greater likelihood of developing breast cancer, independent of how high her risk is on the often-used Gail model.


The two measurements together might be used in tandem to better predict breast cancer risk, the researchers said.

The findings, which were expected to be published in the Sept. 1 issue of Cancer, follow closely on the heels of other research linking different aspects of bone health with breast cancer risk. One study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in May found that Zometa (zoledronic acid), a drug used to treat osteoporosis, lowered the risk of breast cancer recurrence in premenopausal women.

And another study released this spring found that women with breast cancer who have a vitamin D deficiency at the time of their diagnosis were more likely to have a recurrence or to die from their disease. Vitamin D is also critical to bone health.
Fitness and exercise have been shown to slow age-related changes in the brain in healthy people. The latest finding suggests people with early Alzheimer's disease may still benefit.


"The message is essentially if you have Alzheimer's disease, it's not too late to become physically fit," Dr. Sam Gandy, chairman of the Alzheimer's Association's Medical and Scientific Advisory Council, said in a statement.

Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City studied the relationship between fitness and brain volume in 56 healthy adults and 60 adults with early Alzheimer's disease. All were over the age of 60.

Bacteria Going Away, Asthma on the Rise...

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that naturally exists in our stomachs, is on the decline in people, but now asthma is on the rise—are they related? Dr. Martin Blaser M.D., chairman of medicine and microbiology professor at New York University, thinks so. Via NPR:
Several years ago, researchers proposed the provocative idea that bacteria living in the human stomach could be responsible for the development of some stomach ulcers — and the doctors found that treating those bacteria, H. pylori, with antibiotics could reduce ulcer risk. New research suggests, however, that those bacteria may not be all bad — they could help prevent the development of childhood asthma.

Writing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the scientists report that children between the ages of 3 and 13 are nearly 59 percent less likely to have asthma if they have the bacterium in their gut. The children were also 40 percent less likely to have hay fever and associated allergies such as eczema and rash.

The cause for the link isn't exactly clear, though the researchers believe that people with the bacteria have more immune cells called regulatory T cells. They say the surplus cells prevent the immune system from overreacting to allergens, which can trigger asthma and allergies like hay fever.
Here’s some of the abstract to Dr. Blaser’s study from The Journal of Infectious Disease. Take a look:
Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analyses, using data from 7412 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2000, to assess the association between H. pylori and childhood asthma.


Conclusions: This study is the first to report an inverse association between H. pylori seropositivity and asthma in children. The findings indicate new directions for research and asthma prevention.
Perhaps all these antibiotics we’re shoveling down our throats are REALLY working against us. Again, Dr. Blaser thinks this might be the case. For more, check out the audio to the NPR report: Stomach Bacteria Could Prevent Asthma.

Does Soy Really Lower Sperm Count?

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

As a guy, I don’t want hear that anything is bad for the boys, but new research by the Harvard School of Public Health insists that even eating half a serving of soy food a day lowers sperm concentrations.

The study appears in the journal of Human Reproduction. Here’s the abstract via PubMed:
BACKGROUND: High isoflavone intake has been related to decreased fertility in animal studies, but data in humans are scarce. Thus, we examined the association of soy foods and isoflavones intake with semen quality parameters.


METHODS: The intake of 15 soy-based foods in the previous 3 months was assessed for 99 male partners of subfertile couples who presented for semen analyses to the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center. Linear and quantile regression were used to determine the association of soy foods and isoflavones intake with semen quality parameters while adjusting for personal characteristics.

RESULTS: There was an inverse association between soy food intake and sperm concentration that remained significant after accounting for age, abstinence time, body mass index, caffeine and alcohol intake and smoking. In the multivariate-adjusted analyses, men in the highest category of soy food intake had 41 million sperm/ml less than men who did not consume soy foods (95% confidence interval = -74, -8; P, trend = 0.02). Results for individual soy isoflavones were similar to the results for soy foods and were strongest for glycitein, but did not reach statistical significance. The inverse relation between soy food intake and sperm concentration was more pronounced in the high end of the distribution (90th and 75th percentile) and among overweight or obese men. Soy food and soy isoflavone intake were unrelated to sperm motility, sperm morphology or ejaculate volume.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that higher intake of soy foods and soy isoflavones is associated with lower sperm concentration.
Relax, don’t freak out just yet. “It's way too early to say stop eating soy foods. It's not time to worry about whether you're eating too much soy. There's not enough information to conclusively say that,” lead researcher Dr. Jorge Chavarro, M.D., a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, told Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News.

And just to be sure, I asked Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts on this study. Here’s what he had to say:
This study showed that high levels of processed soy foods, not edamame or unprocessed soy beans, may lower sperm counts in obese men.


The higher intake of soy foods, lowered sperm counts, but the counts were still in the normal range. Obesity increases the body’s estrogen production, and the extra pro-estrogenic effects of soy apparently was enough to reduce sperm levels, in these overweight men whose estrogen levels were already somewhat elevated due to their heightened body weight.
When most people think soy, they think soy ice cream or soy “meat” products. They forget about edamame beans. Edamame beans are nutritional rock stars! From Wikipedia, check this out:
Fiber-rich carbohydrates such as edamame help prevent mood fluctuations by keeping blood-sugar levels steady. Edamame also contains protein, which further helps stabilize blood sugar, and omega-3 fatty acids.


Edamame beans contain higher levels of abscissic acid, sucrose, protein than other types of soybean. They also contain a high source of vitamin A, vitamin B and calcium.
And besides, we already know that processed soy foods are NOT something you want to base your diet around. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Studies have shown soy's beneficial effects on cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors. However, there is no reason not to expect the same results from beans of any type--it's merely that more studies have been done on soy than on any other beans. There are numerous studies indicating that soybeans are rich in various anti-cancer compounds such as isoflavones. Most beans are rich in these beneficial anti-cancer compounds, and many different flavonoids with anti-cancer effects are found in beans of various color. I always recommended the consumption of a broad variety of phytochemical-rich foods to maximize one's health. Beans are no exception--try to eat different types of beans, not just soy.


You should be aware that soy nuts, soymilk, and other processed soy products do not retain many of the beneficial compounds and omega-3 fats that are in the natural bean. The more the food is processed, the more the beneficial compounds are destroyed. Remember, though, tofu and frozen or canned soybeans are a good source of omega-3 fat and calcium.

Most of the processed soy products can be tasty additions to a plant-based diet, but they are generally high in salt and are not nutrient-dense foods, so use them sparingly. In conclusion, the soybean is a superior food, containing the difficult-to-find omega-3 fats. Beans in general are superior foods that fight against cancer and heart disease, which is why you will benefit from using a variety of beans in your diet.
So I think the real point to take away from this study is processed soy foods are not health-promoting and being overweight or obese lowers male fertility. For more on that, read: Obese men have less semen, more sperm abnormalities, and should lose weight before trying for a baby—via EurekAlert!

Eat For Health: The Good Fats

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Nuts and seeds are some of nature’s ideal foods for humans and the best way for us to get our healthy fats. They can satiate true hunger better than oils because they are rich in critical nutrients and fibers and have one-quarter the calories of an equal amount of oil. They should be part of your healthy eating-style. Many people perceive raw nuts as high-fat, high-calorie foods that should be avoided or consumed in only token amounts. The important role of raw nuts and seeds in the American diet has been almost completely ignored by nutritional advisers, and their absence is a huge flaw in American cuisine. The results of recent research have changed this perception completely. Today, more and more researchers are finally aware that it is not fat in general that is the villain, but saturated fat, trans fat, and fats consumed in a processed form. Fats from avocado, raw nuts, and seeds are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that not only offer unique health benefits, but also maintain the freshness of the food, preventing rancidity of the fat within.

Recent evidence shows that the frequent consumption of nuts is strongly protective against heart disease. It has been shown that people eating nuts daily, or more than once a day, had a 59 percent lower risk of fatal coronary heart disease.1 In addition, several clinical studies have observed beneficial effects of diets high in nuts on lowering cholesterol levels. The beneficial effects of nut consumption observed in clinical and epidemiologic studies underscore the importance of distinguishing different types of fat. One study estimated that every exchange of one ounce of saturated fat to one once of nut-fat from consuming a whole nut was associated with a 45 percent reduction in heart disease risk.2

Study after study shows that raw nuts and seeds not only lower cholesterol, but also extend lifespan and protect against common diseases of aging. They also provide a good source of protein, which makes up about 15 to 25 percent of their calories.3 Nuts’ hard shells also keep them well protected from pesticides and environmental pollution. Raw nuts and seeds, not the salted or roasted variety, provide the most health benefits.

Over the last few years, the health benefits of seeds also have become more apparent. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hempseeds, chia seeds, or other seeds can supply those hard-to find omega-3 fats that protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.4 Seeds are also rich in lignans, a type of fiber asso ciated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. In addition, seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and folate. The plant goes to great effort in producing and protecting its seed, filling each genetic package with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils, and enzymes.

While nuts and seeds have great health benefits, they are higher in calories and fat compared to vegetables, beans, and fruits so they should be consumed in smaller amounts. Nuts and seeds contain about 175 calories per ounce, and a handful could be a little over one ounce. For most of us, they are not a food that should be eaten in unlimited quantity. Unless you are thin and exercising frequently, hold your consumption of raw nuts and seeds to less than two ounces a day.
Continue Reading

Health Points: Friday

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Roughly 19 percent of U.S. energy consumption goes toward producing and supplying food, David Pimentel and his colleagues at Cornell University write in the current issue of the journal Human Ecology. Considering that the average American consumes an estimated 3,747 calories a day, — at least 1,200 more than health experts advise — the researchers suggest everyone cut back.

Animal products and junk food, in particular, use more energy and other resources for their production than staples such as potatoes, rice, fruits and vegetables.

Producing all the stuff that goes into a single hamburger, for example, requires some 1,300 gallons of water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A study in 2006 by University of Chicago researchers Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin found that a vegetarian diet is the most energy-efficient, followed by one that includes poultry. Diets with red meat or fish are the least efficient.

"By just reducing junk food intake and converting to diets lower in meat, the average American could have a massive impact on fuel consumption as well as improving his or her health," Pimentel and his team write in a statement released today.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Hospital recruited 80 seniors, age 65 to 89, and found that three-quarters of them had insufficient levels of Vitamin D.


That's probably because they thought the old levels were sufficient, said Sunny Linnebur, associate professor at the CU-Denver School of Pharmacy.

"It was a surprise because in Denver we have so much sun," she said. "And these were ambulatory elderly, people who can walk around and go outside. We were expecting more of them to have normal levels of Vitamin D."

Sara Jane Barru of Denver said she had assumed she was taking plenty of Vitamin D, but when a test found her levels were low she eagerly jumped into the study.

She said she started taking a lot more Vitamin D while in the study "and I'm continuing to keep it up there.

More risk assessment studies are needed to understand what exactly defines toxicity due to nanoparticles, and what kind of regulations the sector needs, said Hermann Stamm, head of nanotechnology and molecular imaging at the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection in the European Commission's Joint Research Council.


Speaking at the Euroscience Open Forum in Barcelona this week (20 July), Stamm said concern over possible health risks due to nano-sized particles arises from several studies that found a link between ultra-fine particles from exhaust engines and air pollution to lung cancers and heart disease.

Nanotechnology — the use of particles as small as one-billionth of a metre — holds tremendous potential for the health sector, particularly in drug delivery.

Developing countries are keen to use nanotechnology in healthcare and agriculture. India, for example, in 2007 launched a US$225 million programme for nanoscience and technology.
In June 2007, the Government of Canada called on industry to voluntarily reduce the levels of trans fat in the Canadian food supply to the levels recommended by the Trans Fat Task Force, and announced that the Government would monitor the progress.


The Trans Fat Task Force recommended a trans fat limit of 2% of the total fat content for all vegetable oils and soft, spreadable margarines, and a limit of 5% of the total fat content for all other foods, including ingredients sold to restaurants.

"I am very pleased to see that industry is continuing to make progress to reduce the levels of trans fat," said Parliamentary Secretary Fletcher. "This second set of data, which focused on popular fast food chains and family restaurants in Canada, further illustrates the commitment of industry to achieve the limits recommended by the Trans Fat Task Force. The fact that we're seeing reductions in the levels of trans fat in so many areas is great news for all Canadians."

Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, said the United States needs to make more progress against the various types of cancer.


"As a survivor, I think I can say this -- we have taken our eye off the ball," Armstrong told a news conference along with former surgeons general Richard Carmona, David Satcher, Joycelyn Elders and Antonia Novello.

Cancer is the No. 2 cause of death in the United States, and is expected to kill about 566,000 this year. Only heart disease kills more.

At Armstrong's request, the four doctors developed a national "call to action" against cancer that emphasizes prevention efforts such as not smoking, eating more fruit and vegetables, getting less fat in the diet, getting more exercise, using sunscreen and avoiding indoor tanning beds.
Dawn Page, 52, has been awarded £810,000 in damages from her nutritionist, although the practitioner denies fault.


Mother of two Mrs Page, who weighed 12st, became ill within days of taking up the Amazing Hydration Diet.

She had been told by the nutritionist to drink four extra pints of water a day and drastically reduce her salt intake.

The first stage of the regime left her suffering from severe vomiting and stomach cramps, but she was told these were just part of the detoxification process.

She was told by her dietician to increase the amount of water to six pints and consume still less salt.

Days later she suffered a massive epileptic fit and brain damage caused by severe sodium deficiency.

A Los Angeles city council planning committee unanimously approved a 1-year ban, which could be extended for a further year, on new fast food outlets in a 32-square-mile (82-sq-km) area of Los Angeles.


The measure, the latest in efforts by U.S. cities to promote healthier eating, will go to the full council for a vote next month.

If passed, it would affect about half a million Angelenos living in an area that supporters say already has about 400 fast-food eateries and few grocery stores.

The proposed moratorium follows a report last year which found that about 30 percent of children living in the South Los Angeles, West Adams, Baldwin Hills and Leimert Park areas are obese compared to about 21 percent in the rest of the city.
"For cattle and pigs, food safety concerns are considered unlikely. But we must acknowledge that the evidence base is still small. We would like to have a broader data base and we need further clarification."


In its initial response to the issue of cloning -- which many consumer and religious groups strongly oppose -- EFSA said in January that cloned animals could be safe to eat.

It also said it saw "no environmental impact" from animal cloning, which takes cells from an adult and fuses them with others before implanting them in a surrogate mother.

But when asked if cloned products such as meat and dairy would be safe for people to buy in European supermarkets, Dr. Dan Collins of EFSA said: "There are possible concerns ... there is an impact of animal health and welfare on food safety. We need more data."

Low-Carb: No Fiber, No Poop...

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

Here’s another reason why low-carb diets aren’t healthy. One dietician calls them digestive nightmares. Via I’m Not Obsessed:
The myth: Give up bread and pasta and the pounds will melt away

The truth: Low-carb eating plans are a digestive nightmare, because they don't provide enough fiber, which frequently results in severe constipation, says Maye Musk, R.D., a New York City-based dietician. Healthy carbs are also crucial for energy. Stop eating them and you're likely to feel tired and grumpy all the time.

The fix: Eat good-for-you carbs. To make sure you get the nutrients you need, add four servings to your daily diet, suggests Musk. Try a slice of whole-grain bread, one-half cup cooked oatmeal, one-third cup brown rice and one-half cup whole-wheat pasta. Piling your plate with fiber-rich veggies such as spinach, broccoli, peas and asparagus can also help get things moving.
Kind of the opposite of eating a vegetable-based diet—not to be gross, but I always keep a plunger handy.

Medicating Our Unhealthy Children...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Dr. Peter Libby, M.D., professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, calls the push to medicate children with statins “an admission of colossal societal failure.” Via The New York Times:
But I think all that misses the crux of the issue. The very discussion of drug treatment to lower cholesterol in kids constitutes an admission of colossal societal failure. Although our genetic makeup has not changed in the last 20 years, our collective girth has skyrocketed, and the epidemic of childhood obesity is going global. We need to look to our environment for the root cause of this sudden change in the shape of the human species, which in evolutionary terms is occurring in an instant. Rather than “medicalizing” childhood obesity and heart risk, we need to repair our toxic surroundings.

Another recent study, the largest ever of children and physical activity, finds that American kids experience a remarkable drop in activity levels as they reach puberty. By age 15, the wide majority of kids are moving less than one hour each weekday.

As citizens, as parents, we must strive to reinforce physical education, nutrition curricula, and encourage limitation of high-sugar beverages in schools. In too many homes, glowing television screens, computer monitors, and video game screens have supplanted the bicycles and basketball hoops of yesteryear. Our kids’ meals should reflect sensible nutrition practices wherever they’re served. (Many such practices were noted in the academy’s report, while only one tentative paragraph discussed physical activity.) Urban planners must redouble efforts to provide the sidewalks and bike paths needed by children and adults alike for spontaneous recreation.
This should be a call to action for parents. Want your kid to be healthy, get involved! “Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective way for your children to develop a healthy attitude toward food,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. Same goes with exercise.

Batman, The Dark Veggie Knight

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Not only is Iron Man powered by veggies:





But Bat Man, a.k.a Christian Bale, is also a veg-head. Via Ecorazzi:
This may be a small detail to some, but for those that still believe vegetarians/vegans can’t possibly bulk up, I offer Bale as additional proof.
Apparently, the actor had an early influence from an animal-activist parent and went completely veg after reading the story Charlotte’s Web. He’s also a devoted animal lover, with two dogs [Mojo and Ramone] and three cats [Miriam, Molly, and Lilly], all of which are strays that he found. For your trivia pleasure, here are some additional Bale facts courtesy of IMDB:


Christian is active in many organizations, including Ark Trust, Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Foundation, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the Redwings Sanctuary, and the Happy Child Mission, and a school for street kids in Rio De Janeiro.
So, if you think eating a lot of veggies is wimpy. Take it up with IRON MAN and BATMAN!

Health Points: Wednesday

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Eating locally raised food is a growing trend. But who has time to get to the farmer’s market, let alone plant a garden?

That is where Trevor Paque comes in. For a fee, Mr. Paque, who lives in San Francisco, will build an organic garden in your backyard, weed it weekly and even harvest the bounty, gently placing a box of vegetables on the back porch when he leaves.

Call them the lazy locavores — city dwellers who insist on eating food grown close to home but have no inclination to get their hands dirty. Mr. Paque is typical of a new breed of business owner serving their needs.
In a study published in the latest issue of the journal Neurology, taking Topamax (topiramate) during pregnancy was associated with a birth defect risk within the range of risk seen in other anti-epileptic drugs, researchers reported.


But the incidence of birth defects seen when Topamax was taken with other anti-epileptic drugs was higher than expected.

The study was small, but it is among the first to link Topamax to birth defects in humans, confirming what has been seen in previous animal studies.

"More research needs to be done to confirm these results, especially since it was a small study," researcher John Craig, MRCP, of the Royal Group of Hospitals in Belfast, Northern Ireland said in a news release.

I am the mother of two young children, and extremely grateful to my own parents for looking after them for a few hours now and then. My problem is that they stuff the kids with chocolates, crisps and ice cream. This is not good for the children, their behavior and my own efforts to feed them something nutritious. Why do the grandparents have such a different philosophy, and can I do anything to change their thinking…


… Rather than reasoning with your parents, you must change their incentives. Unfortunately, this is not easy. You could try to bribe your parents, but threats will be useless because they are doing you a favor.

Perhaps your best bet is to try to arrange for longer bouts of childcare. Your parents will have a fresh perspective on the merits of carrots after trying to put a three-year-old to bed in the midst of a sugar high.
"There is some evidence suggesting culturally tailored health education can improve some clinical outcomes in the short-term," co-author Dr. Yolanda Robles of Cardiff University the UK told Reuters Health. However, "further research is needed to assess long-term effects," Robles said.


Language and cultural barriers may hinder the delivery of quality diabetes health education to ethnic minorities, yet education is a vital aspect of diabetes care, Robles and colleagues report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from The Cochrane Collaboration.

To assess the overall efficacy of culturally tailored diabetes education versus the "usual" care, the researchers combined findings from 11 published research articles that compared the two approaches among minority groups living in middle- or high-income countries. All of the 1,603 study participants were older than 16 years.
  • U.S. inspectors believe a single jalapeño pepper may have caused salmonella outbreak. More from Lauran Neergaard of the Associated Press:

They found the same bacteria strain on a single Mexican-grown jalapeno pepper handled in Texas -- and issued a stronger warning for consumers to avoid fresh jalapenos.


But Monday's discovery, the equivalent of a fingerprint, doesn't solve the mystery: Authorities still don't know where the pepper became tainted -- on the farm, or in the McAllen, Texas, plant, or at some stop in between, such as a packing house.

Nor are they saying the tainted pepper exonerates tomatoes sold earlier in the spring that consumers until last week had been told were the prime suspect.

Still, "this genetic match is a very important break in the case," said Dr. David Acheson, the Food and Drug Administration's food safety chief.
Fully aware of the irony here, biologist Ronald Levy of Stanford University and his team used tobacco plants to grow the vaccine, which would act against follicular B-cell lymphoma. This chronic, incurable form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma strikes some 16,000 people in the United States each year. For all its horrors, however, follicular B-cell lymphoma just may be tailor-made for a cancer vaccine: all of the malignant cells are the descendants of a single bad actor and have an identical molecule on their surface. But the molecular signature of one patient’s cancer cells is slightly different from every other patient’s; hence the need for potentially expensive personalized vaccines.


The scientists therefore spliced the DNA for the molecular sequences of the antibodies from each of the 16 patients into tobacco cells. The DNA triggered production of antibodies in the tobacco plants’ leaves which were tailor-made for each patient’s lymphoma cells. The scientists ground up the leaves and isolated the antibodies, injecting them into each patient.

The patients’ immune systems got cracking: 70 percent of the patients developed an immune response to the plant-produced vaccine, and 47 percent produced a response specific to the antigen.

"We saw that for women there is still some negative societal fallout to having tattoos", said study author Myrna L. Armstrong, a professor in the school of nursing at Texas Tech University's Health Sciences Center, in Lubbock, Texas. "This isn't a problem for men. Society supports men, because tattoos are related to a macho image, so we don't question it. But for women, having a tattoo seems to be a transgression of gender boundaries."


Armstrong and her colleagues outlined their observations in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

The authors pointed out that about one-quarter of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 have a tattoo, and women constitute between 45 percent and 65 percent of the tattoo market.

Prior studies show that more than 80 percent of the inked crowd are pleased with their decision to get a tattoo. Among the fifth that are not, about 6 percent ultimately remove their marking.
Almost half of the obstetricians interviewed said they did not routinely ask about alcohol consumption in pregnancy.


An editorial by Professor Elizabeth Elliot from the University of Sydney titled "Alcohol and Pregnancy: the Pivotal Role of the Obstetrician", discusses the state of awareness about the adverse effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and the obstetricians’ participation in educating against maternal drinking.

Only 16% of the obstetricians routinely provided information about the consequences of alcohol in pregnancy, while only 5% gave advice which were consistent with the latest guidelines of The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) - which states that, for pregnant women, ‘no drinking is the safest option’.

Study: Fiber Cuts Preeclampsia-Risk

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

New research by the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine has determined that eating fiber reduces women’s risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy. Here’s some of the abstract via The American Journal of Hypertension:
Background: Substantial epidemiological evidence documents diverse health benefits, including reduced risks of hypertension, associated with diets high in fiber. Few studies, however, have investigated the extent to which dietary fiber intake in early pregnancy is associated with reductions in preeclampsia risk. We assessed the relationship between maternal dietary fiber intake in early pregnancy and risk of preeclampsia. We also evaluated cross-sectional associations of maternal early pregnancy plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations with fiber intake.

Conclusions: These findings of reduced preeclampsia risk with higher total fiber intake corroborate an earlier report; and expand the literature by providing evidence, which suggests that dietary fiber may attenuate pregnancy-associated dyslipidemia, an important clinical characteristic of preeclampsia.
Very science heavy for a dingy blogger like me—I had to Wikipedia preeclampisa—but dietary fiber is very health-promoting. Just check out this illustration from Dr. Fuhrman:



That guy almost looks like the liquid metal terminator.

Watermelon Time!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
I bought an awesome looking chunk of watermelon this weekend. Check it out:



I better keep it away from these melon munching hounds:










Here’s some silly watermelon news via Diet-Blog: Watermelon, Works like Viagra...

Tomatoes Okay, Again...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Fear not, the FDA says tomatoes are safe to eat. Here’s their official statement:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is updating its warning to consumers nationwide concerning the outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul.

After a lengthy investigation, the FDA has determined that fresh tomatoes now available in the domestic market are not associated with the current outbreak. As a result, the agency is removing its June 7 warning against eating certain types of red raw tomatoes.

The FDA, working with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health departments, is continuing to follow epidemiological and other evidence showing that raw jalapeño and raw serrano peppers now available in the domestic market may be linked to illnesses in this outbreak. At this time, people in high risk populations, such as elderly persons, infants and people with impaired immune systems, should avoid eating raw jalapeño and raw serrano peppers.

According to the CDC, 1,220 persons infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.
Doesn’t change anything for me, I’ve be eating tomatoes the whole time.

Eat For Health: Hunger Can Help You Be Healthy

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

A healthful diet can set you free from your food addictions and allow you to lose your toxic hunger. The food cravings will end and you will be able to stop overeating. Then, you will be back in contact with true hunger. When you achieve that, you will be able to accurately sense the calories you need to maintain your health and lean body.

I want to reiterate that as you adopt a high-nutrient eating-style by eating lots of healthy foods, it is common to go through an adjustment period in which you experience fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, headaches, gas, and other mild symptoms. This generally lasts less than a week. Don’t panic or buy into the myth that to get relief you need more heavy or stimulating foods, such as high-protein foods, sweets, or coffee.

The feelings associated with these symptoms are not how true hunger feels. It is our unhealthy tendency to eat without experiencing true hunger that has caused us to become overweight in the first place. To have become overweight, a person’s food cravings, recreational eating, and other addictive drives that induce eating had to come into play. Poor nutrition causes these cravings, and nutritional excellence helps normalize or remove them. You will no longer need to overeat when you eat healthfully.

True hunger is not felt in the stomach or the head. When you eat healthfully and don’t overeat, you eventually are able to sense true hunger and accurately assess your caloric needs. Once your body attains a certain level of better health, you will begin to feel the difference between true hunger and just eating due to desire, boredom, stress, or withdrawal symptoms. While the best way to understand true hunger is to experience it for yourself. It has three primary characteristics:
  1. A sensation in your throat.
  2. Increased salivation.
  3. A dramatically-heightened taste sensation.
Not only will being in touch with true hunger help you reach your ideal weight, but you will feel well whether you eat or whether you delay eating or skip a meal.

Cashew Power!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

That’sFit passes along some great info on cashews. Take a look:
  • Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts.
  • About 75 percent of their fat is unsaturated fatty acid, and 75 percent of this fat is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fat found in olive oil.
  • Consuming a handful of cashews four times per week can lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Consuming a handful of cashews at least twice a week helps lower risk of weight gain.
  • Cashews contain copper, good for iron utilization, elimination of free radicals, development of bone and connective tissue, and the production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin.
  • Cashews contain magnesium, good for the bones, muscles, and nerves.
  • Cashews help prevent gallstones.
Actually, all nuts are super foods. More from Dr. Fuhrman: Nuts and Seeds Are Excellent Foods!

No Evidence that Diet Prevents Diabetes?

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink

A team of researchers from The Cochrane Collaboration, an independent international not-for-profit healthcare information organization, claim that dietary intervention alone cannot prevent type-2 diabetes. Jennifer Beal of EurekAlert reports:
When a team of Cochrane Researchers set out to see if dietary advice alone could help a person with type 2 diabetes, they were only able to identify two trials that together involved just 358 people.

"Considering the importance of this disorder, we were disappointed to find such a small amount of relevant data," says lead researcher Lucie Nield, who works in Centre for Food, Physical Activity & Obesity, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough.

The two studies did, however, indicate that dietary advice alone could play an important role. One study randomly assigned people to either a control group or a dietary advice group. After six years 67.7% of people in the control group had diabetes, compared with only 43.8% in the advice group. This was a 33% reduction. In another study 12 months of dietary advice led to significant reductions in many diabetes related factors, such as insulin resistance, fasting C-peptide, fasting proinsulin, fasting blood glucose, fasting triglycerides, and fasting cholesterol and PAI-1.
This blurs reality. It implies that lifestyle diseases, like diabetes, are unavoidable. So why don’t I have diabetes, or Dr. Fuhrman, or his patients? Eating a nutrient-dense vegetable-based diet is your best defense against—and a treatment for—type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Increasing your consumption of high-nutrient fruits and vegetables is the key to disease resistance, disease reversal, and a long, healthy life. The potential reduction in disease rates shows no threshold effect in the scientific studies. That means that as high-nutrient vegetables and high-nutrient fruits increase as a major portion of caloric intake, disease rates fall in a dose-dependent manner—the more the diet is comprised of these foods, the better your health will be1…


…If the person is obese, with more than fifty pounds of additional fat weight, his body will demand huge loads of insulin from the pancreas, even as much as ten times more than a person of normal weight needs. So what do you think happens after five to ten years of forcing the pancreas to work so hard? You guessed it—pancreatic poop-out…

…Diets high in fiber and vegetables have been consistently shown to be beneficial for diabetic patients and offer considerably better results when compared to the current recommendations of the American Diabetic Association Diet.2 The dietary advice typically offered to diabetics is not science-based, and it caters to Americans’ social and food preferences and food addictions.
Okay, maybe there aren’t enough studies illustrating this—probably because no drug company would fund it—but to say there is “no evidence” that diet staves off type-2 diabetes is naive and irresponsible reporting—don’t you think?
Continue Reading

Misconceptions in Food Safety...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Sometimes I’m guilty of mishandling my food, like eating vegetables without rinsing them, but apparently that doesn’t get rid of all the bacteria anyway. That’sFit passes this along and other misconceptions about food safety:
  • That bacteria can be washed off.
  • That local always means food is safe.
  • That cooking can eliminate all bacteria.
  • That food-borne illnesses are rare.
  • That you don't need a food thermometer.
  • That cooked food is safe sitting out.
Via Forbes.
Although, when I see creepy-crawlies on the fresh organic produce from my CSA—I first freak out—then I wash them thoroughly, most of the time.

Face Off: Colbert vs. Cookie Monster

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
I’ve been meaning to post this for a while. A month ago Stephen Colbert confronted Cookie Monster on his new position on cookies. Enjoy:



Nation, its good to see Cookie Monster coming around.

Save Cash, Pack Lunch

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Let’s face it, most of us are feeling the economic squeeze and buying lunch everyday is no way to save some cash. That’s why CBS suggests “brown-bagging” lunch to save some green. Take a look:
Bringing your lunch to work for a year, rather than buying it from restaurants, could save you about $2,000, according to a recent study by market research company NPD, with the average brown-bagged lunch costing $2 to prepare, as opposed to the average tab of $6 for a lunch from a fast food eatery.

And brown-bagging is up by about one-fifth over the last seven years, reports Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen, with consumers shying away from restaurants at lunchtime more and more.

Apparently, men are the most likely to brown-bag it, and fruit, chips and a sandwich make up the most popular menu.

NPD's Harry Balzer tells Koeppen the most popular brown-bagged lunch sandwich is peanut butter and jelly.

Balzer's been studying the eating habits of Americans for more than 30 years and says more than 90 percent of brown-baggers say they do it to save money.
Yeah, I’m not digging the peanut butter and jelly, but packing a lunch is not only cheaper, it’s a great way to ensure you’re eating wisely away from home.

Confusing News: Sugar Helps School Kids Concentrate

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

New research by David Benton, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor at Swansea University, Wales, U.K., suggests sugary drinks improve school children’s memories and concentration. Richard Gray of the UK Telegraph reports:
“Children between the ages of five and ten need twice as much glucose for their brains compared to an adult, but unlike other organs the brain does not store energy so it has to obtain it straight from the blood.

“The message we would like to encourage is that children need to be fed a little and often, but the risk is that they get fed a lot and often leading to problems with obesity.”

Professor Benton gave 16 nine and ten-year-olds fruit squash containing either artificial sweetener or glucose, a basic form of sugar. When the children consumed glucose, he found their memory test scores improved by over ten per cent. The children also spent between 11 and 20 minutes longer on a task when asked to work individually in class.

But Professor Benton did insist that schools should not start feeding pupils fizzy drinks between classes, proposing regular fruit of muesli bars instead.
The methodology of this study only serves to confuse. I’m not a nutritionist, but I think I can say this. Isolated sugars and sweeteners are NEVER healthy. In fact, consuming them interferes with your body’s ability to detoxify. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
When you eat a diet that is based on toxic and addictive foods—such as salt, fried foods, snack foods, and sugary drinks—you not only build up free radicals and AGEs in your cells, but you also set the stage for ill feelings when you are not digesting food. Unhealthy food allows your body to create waste byproducts that must be removed by the liver and other organs. Only when digestion ends can the body fully take advantage of the opportunity to circulate and attempt to remove toxins. If the body is constantly digesting, it can’t go through this detoxification process effectively.
If children need glucose, why even consider nutrition-less sugar? Highly nutritious fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of glucose (via Wikipedia), start there instead! Besides, it was recently determined that kids are already consuming WAY too much sugar.

Grilled Meat, Risky...

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

Its summer and lot of people have barbeque on their minds, but grilling foods—especially meat—comes with a hefty price. Cooking meat at high temperatures releases cancer-causing carcinogens. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are even more concentrated in grilled chicken than in beef.1 Another recent study from New Zealand that investigated heterocyclic amines in meat, fish, and chicken found the greatest contributor of HCAs to cancer risk was chicken.2
In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research is urging people to substitute veggies for meat and change their grilling habits. Brittney Johnson of The Washington Post reports:
AICR's warning is based on a 2007 review of research conducted on animals showing that diets high in red and processed meats increase the risk of colorectal cancer. This is the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The AICR recommends eating no more than 18 cooked ounces of red meat per week -- the equivalent of about four quarter-pound hamburgers -- and avoiding all processed meats, including such summer favorites as hot dogs and sausages.

Cooking meats such as beef, fish and pork at high temperatures produces carcinogens -- substances that can cause changes in DNA that may lead to cancer.
Makes your worry about Uruguay's big barbecue—26,400 pounds toxic beef—that’s why I don’t grill anything. In stead, I steam—EVERYTHING—and according to Dr. Fuhrman, water-based cooking is the best choice:
When food is steamed or made into a soup, the temperature is fixed at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit—the temperature of boiling water. This moisture-based cooking prevents food from browning and forming toxic compounds. Acrylamides, the most generally recognized of the heat-created toxins, are not formed with boiling or steaming. They are formed only with dry cooking. Most essential nutrients in vegetables are more absorbable after being cooked in a soup, not less absorbable.
Seems pretty logical, I doubt eating a piece of charcoal is healthful, so why would a charred piece of already unhealthy steak be any better? For more on meat and carcinogens, check out: The Meat-Disease Connection.
Continue Reading

Salmonella Hurting Peppers Too

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

Mexican farmers are seeing a decrease in sales of jalapeño peppers due to the fear surrounding salmonella and tomatoes. Julie Schmit of USA TODAY explains:
"If this goes on for two more weeks, there's a strong likelihood you won't get a jalapeño in your burrito," says Will Steele, CEO of a leading pepper importer, Frontera Produce of Edinburg, Texas.

Frontera is still shipping peppers, but some importers have stopped, saying the tests take so long that peppers rot in the warehouse. Wholesale prices have doubled as grocers and restaurants pursue limited supplies from Southeastern growers…

…Hot peppers are suspected sources of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 1,090 people in the USA.

The Food and Drug Administration last week advised high-risk consumers, such as the young and old, to avoid fresh jalapeño and serrano peppers. The FDA first linked the outbreak in June to some types of raw tomatoes, which are still suspects.
See, everyone suffers when food regulations aren’t up to snuff.

Sock Puppet Veggie Theater

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
One sock puppet attempts to convince another socket puppet that veggies will make him strong and fast. Enjoy:



I’m SO surprised that the veggie sock won.

Eat For Health: Eating More, Not Less

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

I consider the ideal version of this diet to be one that contains at least 90 percent of calories from the healthiest foods; vegetables, fruits, beans, raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and whole grains. For many others, this amount of change may feel too dramatic because they are giving up foods that they love and replacing them with foods that aren’t familiar, while adjusting to the physical symptoms of a changing diet at the same time. This modified approach is the one you are learning here and was designed to work in sync with your brain so that you won’t feel withdrawal or deprivation.

The focus here is on eating more, not less. The more raw and cooked green vegetables you consume, the less space you will have to eat high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. As the below graphic demonstrates, you will fill a sizeable volume of space in your stomach with a very small number of calories. This will help you comfortably cut the number of calories that you eat each day. This is very much like gastric bypass surgery without the surgery.



You will need to adjust the amount of raw vegetables you eat to what your body will comfortably tolerate. If you have uncomfortable gas, cut back a little on raw vegetables and beans. Don’t remove these foods, just cut back partially, because the goal is to let the body adjust the timing and secretion of its digestive enzymes and peristalsis to accommodate this healthy, more natural diet-style. You should be able to increase the amount of raw vegetables gradually without a problem. Don’t forget to concentrate on chewing better, because that may solve the problem. For some, it takes time for their digestive system to build up the capacity to digest raw, whole foods, especially after eating so little fiber for so long.

Flavonoids, Protecting Your Heart...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Researchers believe that flavonoids—antioxidants found in plant foods—improve heart-health in numerous ways. Of HealthDay News reports:
Health benefits associated with flavonoids have been reported for decades, but it's still difficult for experts to make specific recommendations about which flavonoids to eat for specific health effects because of a lack of data. Antioxidants slow or prevent the oxidative process caused by substances called free radicals, which can cause cell dysfunction and the onset of heart disease and other health problems.

In the new study, Dr. Lee Hooper, a lecturer at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K., and colleagues sifted through the 133 studies to look at the links between different flavonoid subclasses and flavonoid-rich foods on different risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as unhealthy cholesterol, high blood pressure and blood flow.

Among the findings:
  • Eating chocolate or cocoa increased a measure called flow-mediated dilation, which is a good indication of blood flow in the veins. It also reduced blood pressure, both systolic (the upper number, reflecting the maximum pressure exerted when the heart contracts) by about 6 points, and diastolic (the bottom number, reflecting the maximum pressure when the heart is at rest), by about 3.3 points. But it didn't seem to have an effect on so-called "bad" LDL cholesterol.
  • Soy protein reduced diastolic blood pressure by almost 2 points of mercury and improved bad cholesterol but didn't improve so-called good HDL cholesterol. But those effects were found just for isolated soy protein, not for other soy products.
Not exactly new news, but still cool. For more on flavonoids, check out: What's a Flavonoid?

Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

I was reading That’sFit and found this link to Jonny Bowden’s Simple Ways to Improve Your Cholesterol—Now, on Remedy Life. Here are Jonny’s 5 tips:
  1. Eat more fiber.
  2. Lose weight.
  3. Exercise.
  4. Choose cholesterol-lowering foods.
  5. Take your supplements.
I was a little skeptical at first because Jonny has popped up on low-carb blogs—we all know how kooky those are—but his tips are right on point; especially when he suggests eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, and legumes.

As for taking supplements, Dr. Fuhrman sells his own, so that’s a good place to start. Also, Jonny recently provided the Well blog with his list of super foods. If you skip the canned sardines and canned pumpkin, it’s pretty good too. Via Well:
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • Cinnamon
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Dried plums
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Frozen blueberries
You should also check out Dr. Fuhrman’s Ten Super Foods and his Seven Best and Seven Worst Foods for Health and Longevity.

Eat For Health: Coping with the Toxic Change

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

It takes time to be comfortable with the changes in your life. It is not unusual to feel physically uncomfortable as you detoxify in the process of making over your body chemistry with a healthful diet. The more stimulating or harmful your prior habits, the worse you feel when you stop them. When breaking your addiction to salt, meat, dairy, saturated fat, processed foods and other substances, you might feel headachy, fatigued, or even a little itchy or ill, but the good news is these symptoms rarely last longer than a week or two. However, if you are making the changes to nutritional excellence gradually uncomfortable symptoms should be minimized.

Some people are so addicted to stimulating food, sugary sweets, and overeating, they may even feel depressed when they don’t indulge. For example, cheese, salt, and chocolate are all addictive, and it takes a prolonged period of abstinence to beat these addictions. Sugar and caffeine, especially when mixed together, are highly addictive and create a significant amount of discomfort when stopping. Sugar withdrawal symptoms have been demonstrated to be similar to withdrawal symptoms from opiates, including anxiety and tremors.1 I have observed many individuals with a history of severe chronic headaches, who were on drugs for headache suppression, develop fever, backaches, diarrhea, and other severe detoxification symptoms when stopping medications that contain caffeine, such as Excedrin, Fiorinal and Fioricet. Fortunately, their suffering was short-lived. Through high-nutrient eating, these individuals have been able to make dramatic recoveries.

High-nutrient eating was crucial for this result. Toxic wastes build up in our tissues, and we are unable to remove them unless high-levels of phytochemicals are present and the intake of toxins is stopped. You must allow this detoxification to occur. An important hurdle to achieving your ideal weight and excellent health is getting rid of your addictions. After that occurs, you may feel like you have been freed from prison and will find it easier to move forward and be one step closer to truly eating for health.
Continue Reading

Women: More Green Veggies, Less Diabetes

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

New research has determined that eating more leafy greens and fruit, lowers women’s risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Laurie Barclay, MD of Medscape Today reports:
"Fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with decreased incidence of and mortality from a variety of health outcomes including obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases in epidemiological studies," write Lydia A. Bazzano, MD, PhD, from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, and colleagues. "However, few prospective studies have examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and risk of diabetes, and the results are not entirely consistent. Differences in the nutrient contents of fruits and vegetables by group could lead to differences in health effects…"

“…Consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruit was associated with a lower hazard of diabetes, whereas consumption of fruit juices may be associated with an increased hazard among women," the study authors write. "Our findings of a positive association of fruit juice intake with hazard of diabetes suggest that caution should be observed in replacing some beverages with fruit juices in an effort to provide healthier options. Moreover, the same caution applies to the recommendation that 100% fruit juice be considered a serving of fruit as it is in the present national dietary guidelines…"

"…In general, the observed associations between fruits and vegetables are weaker than those for cardiovascular disease," the study authors write. "However, if fruits and vegetables are used to replace refined grains and white potatoes, both of which have been shown to be associated with increased risk of diabetes, the benefits of regular consumption of fruits and vegetables should be substantial."
Quick, hide this report from the drug companies! The fear of not being able to sell insulin might cause them to stroke out.

Health Points: Thursday

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

“Summer vacation shouldn’t become a vacation from healthy eating. Kids need nutritious food in the summer just as much as they do during the school year,” Kramer said. “Parents can help by making sure there are plenty of fruits and vegetables available at home. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is a critical cornerstone of nutritious eating habits and is associated with maintaining a healthy weight and overall good health.”

While it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables every day, including them on the menu for special occasions is one way to encourage family members to make healthy food choices during holiday celebrations, vacations, and other summer activities. Here are some ideas for including plenty of fruits and vegetables in meals and snacks. Remember, more matters, so try out more than one of these ideas for healthy summertime eating.
The Food and Drug Administration ordered makers of flouroquinolone drugs - a potent class of antibacterials - to add a prominent "black box" warning to their products and develop new literature for patients emphasizing the risks.


Tendon ruptures are normally thought of as sports injuries, generally occurring among men in their mid-30s. The link to treatment with the antibiotics is highly unusual, and scientists still don't fully understand why it happens. However, FDA officials stressed that many of the serious injuries appear to be preventable if patients stop taking the drug at the first sign of pain or swelling in a tendon, call their doctor, and switch to another antibiotic.

Studying childhood obesity, University of Toronto nutritionist Harvey Anderson found that kids who watched TV while eating lunch took in 228 extra calories than those who ate without the television on.

"One of Anderson's conclusions is that eating while watching television overrides our ability to know when to stop eating," the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, which funded the study, said on Tuesday.

"In effect, mindless television watching produces mindless eating. ... Anderson has some immediate advice for parents -- turn the television off during mealtime."
Researchers at the American Cancer Society and Emory University in Atlanta calculated death rates for lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancer by level of education among U.S. blacks and whites ages 25 to 64 for 1993 through 2001.


Death rates for each of these types of cancer decreased from 1993 to 2001 in men and women with at least 16 years of education -- a college degree -- except for lung cancer among black women, for whom death rates were stable, they found.

By contrast, among people with less than 12 years of education -- those who did not finish high school -- a statistically significant decrease in death rates during the same period was registered only for breast cancer among white women, according to the study.

Teen girls who spend a lot of time on the Internet are more likely to see their weight creeping slowly up than adolescents who spend less time in front of the computer screen, new research shows.


And the association between computer use and weight held true even when the researchers accounted for the amount of exercise the girls were getting. The Harvard researchers also found that a lack of sleep and alcohol consumption were associated with increasing weight.

"We found more weight gain -- after adjustment for height growth and other factors including physical activity -- for females who spent more recreational time on the Internet, for those getting the least sleep, and for those drinking the most alcohol," said study author Catherine Berkey, a biostatistician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
It's simple. No fancy machines required; just record what you eat on paper or using an online record. "The trick is to write down everything you eat or drink that has calories," says Victor Stevens, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research and coauthor of the study released today, which appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. That's easy enough with labeled foods but gets harder when you're dining out or are eating an unfamiliar food. Try online calorie databases like CalorieKing.com, and watch the serving sizes—here's a good source of info on estimating what, say, an ounce of bread looks like. You'll probably still underestimate your daily intake, says Thomas Wadden, director of the Center for Weight Loss and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, but you'll very likely come closer than someone who isn't keeping a food record.


It's eye opening. In fact, some people will be so shocked at how many calories are in their thrice-daily Coke that the "aha" moment will make going on an actual diet unnecessary. Being forced to be aware of what you're eating can often be enough to help people drop weight, says Wadden.

This funny little fruit seems to crop up in lots of popular diet plans, despite a high calorie count.

The reason: It contains monounsaturated fat, one of the "good" fats. It's also packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and it can help the body absorb even more. It's got no cholesterol or sodium, but it's packed with lutein, an antioxidant that contributes to healthy eyes.

Watch it, though: A medium avocado contains about 250 calories, and it's easy to shovel in a bowlful of guacamole when there are chips at hand. But when used judiciously, avocados are healthful and satisfying.
"There is a very long list of health hazards from being overweight," said Ghiyath Shayeb, the study's lead researcher at the University of Aberdeen. "Now we can add poor semen quality to the list."


But experts aren't sure if that necessarily means obese men face major difficulties having children.

"If you have a man who isn't fantastically fertile with a normal partner who is fertile, her fertility will compensate," said Dr. William Ledger, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Britain's University of Sheffield, who was unconnected to the study.

But if both partners are heavy, Ledger said that could be a problem, since obesity is known to decrease women's fertility.

Getting Outside, Some Tips...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

The sunshine and fresh air does every body good. Real Simple offers up 7 ways to spend more time outside. Take a look:
  • Pack a Lunch
  • Schedule Playdates for Early Morning
  • Play Games Outdoors
  • Setting the Backyard Buffet Table
  • Serve Light Food at Your Backyard Buffet
  • Serve Sweet, But Not Rich, Summer Desserts
  • Setting the Scene for Dinner Outdoors
  • Find Daytime and Nighttime Resources
Actually, I’ve made it a point to go running in the park at least once a week. Staying inside all the time is a real bummer.

Free Fruits and Veggies in School!

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

The European Union wants to provide school children with free fruits and veggies—to help combat childhood obesity. The AFP reports:
The proposed programme would use fruit and vegetables that would be otherwise taken off the market for destruction in order to maintain stable prices.

Its aim is to provide healthy snacks to fight the growing problem of overweight children, who are thought to number 22 million in the 27-nation bloc. Of that number, five million are considered obese.

It would be funded to the tune of 90 million euros (141 million dollars) each year for the purchase and distribution of the produce. Member states taking up the scheme are expected to provide matching sums, although poorer countries would not have to provide as much.
Its certainly better than giving out hard candy and cupcakes.

Can't Beet this Super Food!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

“Beets are high in fiber and antioxidants compounds such as cartonoids and betacyanin, a powerful cancer protective agent found to inhibit cell mutations,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. And here The New York Times Well blog explores beets even further. Take a look:
Beets are loaded with nutrients and phytochemicals. Some readers love them, while others have said “yuck.'’ I confess that I have never cooked, shredded or otherwise prepared a beet in my home, but I now wonder if I’m missing out. I asked one of the country’s leading experts in beets, Irwin L. Goldman, professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, why beets get no respect.

“They are sort of a huddled masses kind of food,'’ Dr. Goldman said. “They are thought of as peasant food and old fashioned…. I think people’s association with them is as a canned vegetable or maybe as something they had to eat as a kid.'’

But Dr. Goldman is a beet-believer. “They really are wonderful, and there are a lot of good things you can do with them,'’ he said.
Beets rock! I get on kicks where I eat them a few times a week. Dr. Fuhrman is a big beet-believer too. More of his thoughts on beets:
We are on the verge of a revolution. Substances newly discovered in broccoli cabbage sprouts sweep toxins out of cells. Substances found in nuts and beans prevent damage to our cells' DNA. Other compounds in beets, peppers, and tomatoes fight cancerous changes in cells. Oranges and apples protect our blood vessels from damage that could lead to heart disease. Nature's chemoprotective army is alert and ready to remove our enemies and shield us from harm.


Hardly a day goes by when some new study doesn't proclaim the health-giving properties of fruits, vegetables, and beans. Unprocessed plant foods contain thousands of compounds, most of which have not yet been discovered, that are essential for maintaining health and maximizing genetic potential. Welcome to the phytochemical revolution.
Oh, make sure you check out the Well podcast on beets too!

School Food: Middle Schools Worse...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Middle schools don’t offer as good of food as elementary schools. Alan Mozes of HealthDay News reports:
The researchers based their conclusion on a tally of the number of vending machines installed at 395 schools spread across 129 school districts in 38 states, as well as on a nutritional analysis of the kinds of foods stocked in the machines or offered up a la carte in school cafeterias and snack bars.

"The food environment changes as you move from elementary schools to high schools," said study author Daniel M. Finkelstein, a researcher with Mathematica Policy Research, in Cambridge, Mass. "And the main difference between the lower and higher grades was the greater availability of unhealthful foods and beverages for older students…"

…Finkelstein said the purpose of the study was to take a nutritional snapshot of current food offerings in public schools -- not to gauge exactly what students were purchasing or consuming. The research also didn't try to explain what is driving the nutritional shift between the elementary school and the high school level.

The researchers analyzed questionnaires and food checklists completed in 2005 by school principals and food managers as part of the third School Nutrition and Dietary Assessment study. Random on-site food inspections were also done in some schools.
Yeah, I think the simple solution is to pack a lunch. Here are some pointers from Dr. Fuhrman. Check it out:
It is important for children to avoid the typical school lunch of luncheon meats and cheese. Typical school lunches are greasy, salty, and of poor nutritional quality. Lots of the great-tasting, healthful recipes in this chapter include soups, puddings, and salads, so make sure you have a small container with a tight lid that your child can open and bring back home in his or her knapsack or book bag daily. Kids like soup cold, even when not a school, so you don’t have to worry about rewarming it. If you child doesn’t bring home the containers you may want to buy some small disposable plastic ones.


Some children are happy to eat healthfully, but when it comes to school lunch they don’t want to look different from the other kids. Packing fresh fruit and a healthy bread with some nut butter and unsweetened fruit spread can be a quick option. My children love raw cashew nut butter. If using peanut butter, purchase a brand without salt and other additives. My daughters also like to take peeled orange or apple slices with their lunch. We cut the apple into four sections around the core, most of the way through, keeping the apple intact, and then wrap it in silver foil. This way it stays fresh, without discoloration, and they can easily separate it into slices.
Whatever you do DON’T become one of The Meat Pie Pushers!

Food Groups Want FDA to Track Produce

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

The fallout from the tomato-salmonella scare continues to mount. In fact, one consumer group wants the Food and Drug Administration to track the movement of produce. More from Reuters:
Food safety and consumer groups said traceability would make it easier for officials to track through the supply chain the origin of fruits and vegetables and identify the source of outbreaks of foodborne toxins, such as salmonella or E. coli, preventing more people from getting sick.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Consumer Federation of America told reporters an effective tracking plan must follow the produce from the farm to the table, and use a single system that can ensure proper record-keeping throughout the process.

"If (the FDA) had put a traceability plan in place two years ago, following the spinach outbreak, this current investigation may be moving more quickly," said Chris Waldrop, a director at the Consumer Federation of America.

"The latest outbreak clearly demonstrates the need for the federal government to be able to quickly and easily identify and trace an implicated food to its source," he added.
Seems logical to me, presents the opportunity to nip future problems in the bud—no pun intended.

Omega-3's vs. Repeat Stroke

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

New research has determined that omega-3 fatty acids may prevent stroke victims from having another one. Reuters reports:
In a study of people with high cholesterol who were taking a low dose of a cholesterol-lowering "statin," researchers found that adding EPA did not reduce the occurrence of a first stroke but did lower recurrence rates in those with a history of stroke.

The finding, published in the journal Stroke, stems from a large study of patients with elevated cholesterol levels who were randomly assigned to a low dose of pravastatin or simvastatin daily alone or with 1800 milligrams daily of EPA for roughly 5 years.

Of the 9,326 patients in the EPA group, 485 had a history of stroke, as compared with 457 of the 9,319 patients in the no-EPA group.

Dr. Kortaro Tanaka of Toyama University Hospital and colleagues found that rates of first stroke were 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent in the EPA and no-EPA groups -- a nonsignificant difference.

However, there were far fewer second strokes in the EPA group. The recurrent stroke rates were 6.8 percent in the EPA group versus 10.5 percent in the no-EPA group -- a significant difference.
For more on strokes, check out DiseaseProof’s stroke category.

Extra Body Fat Increases Risk of Type-2 Diabetes

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

The heavier you are, the greater the risk you will develop type-2 diabetes. For some susceptible individuals, even moderate amounts of excess fat on the body can trigger diabetes. When we have more fat on the body, more insulin is required to deliver glucose to the cells as the coating of fat around our cells makes it difficult for the hormone insulin to easily transport the glucose into the cells.

The pancreas is then required to produce even higher amounts of insulin to accommodate the heightened insulin requirements. This stresses the pancreas’s beta cells to work harder and eventually poop out, but also the effects of NOT eating a diet high in veggies, beans, seeds and fruits places the pancreas at further risk from oxidative stress.

For example, twenty pounds of extra fat may force the pancreas to produce twice as much insulin to do the necessary job. Fifty pounds or more of excess fat on our frame and the pancreas may be forced to produce 6 to 10 times as much insulin as a normal person who is lean. What do you think occurs after ten or twenty years of overworking the pancreas? Again, it poops out and loses the ability to keep up with such huge insulin demands. The pancreas is still overworked, pumping out much more insulin than a thinner person might need, but still not enough to cover all that disease-causing body fat.

Adult diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance, not of insulin deficiency. The pancreas's ability to secrete insulin continues to diminish as the diabetes continues and the overweight condition continues year after year. Total destruction of insulin secreting ability almost never occurs in type-2 (adult onset) as it does in type-1 (childhood onset) diabetes. But the sooner the type-2 diabetic can lose the extra weight causing the diabetes, the more functional reserve of insulin secreting cells in the pancreas will remain.

101 Ways to Live Healthy and Happy!

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

The Nursing Degree Network shares a whole bunch of ways we can all live better. Here are some I really liked. Have a look:
3. Not getting enough sleep: Even though you’re not putting anything harmful in your body, not getting enough sleep can be harmful to you.
8. Being negative: Get rid of negative thoughts and feelings, and you’ll find that a life filled with feelings of gratitude, optimism and perspective will make you more successful and happy.
22. Introduce natural light: Introduce natural light into your home or office to improve your energy level.
24. Eat organic: Organic foods actually promote good feng shui and good energy, so make sure your kitchen is stocked with organic vegetables and grains.
39. Meditation: Relax your mind and de-stress with these meditation tips.
45. Go to the bathroom: It’s important to have regular bowel movements, and holding it in too long can cause an infection. Go when you need to go!
50. Add garlic to your diet: Garlic "activates liver enzymes" which clean out your system and help you detox.
62. Spend time outside: Taking a walk outside or reading a book in your yard will quickly make you feel more connected to your community and nature.
67. Clean out your inbox: Organizing your inbox by deleting old messages and moving important e-mails to separate folders will help you focus and de-clutter your mind.
72. Open the windows: Let in some of the natural elements by opening a window…even if it’s raining outside. Breathing in fresh air will calm you down naturally.
83. Pick something you enjoy: If you hate yoga, don’t do sign up for a class just because you think it’s the right thing to do. You can detoxify with any kind of exercise, including organized sports or running.
89. Exercise at work: Desktop yoga and other simple exercises can be done at work, helping workaholics detox anytime.
101. Eat broccoli sprouts: Broccoli sprouts have more "cancer-fighting, enzyme-stimulating" nutrients than regular broccoli.
The one about the going poop made me laugh. If you need to remember to go to the bathroom—you've got major problems! Be sure to read them all.

Wednesday: Healthy Points

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Denmark is the happiest nation and Zimbabwe the the most glum, he found. (Zimbabwe's longtime ruler Robert Mugabe was sworn in as president for a sixth term Sunday after a widely discredited runoff in which he was the only candidate. Observers said the runoff was marred by violence and intimidation.)

The United States ranks 16th.

The results of the survey, going back an average of 17 years in 52 countries and involving 350,000 people, will be published in the July 2008 issue of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Researchers have asked the same two questions over the years: "Taking all things together, would you say you are very happy, rather happy, not very happy, not at all happy?" And, "All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?"
The study, researchers say, suggests that CKD should be added to the list of conditions that are associated with weight gain, including diabetes and high blood pressure.


Obesity is a known risk factor for CKD, but the impact of weight gain in normal-weight individuals without high blood pressure or diabetes is unknown, Dr. Seungho Ryu, at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, and associates note in their report.

In Korea, workers are required to undergo periodic health examinations. Using these data, Ryu's team followed 8792 healthy men ages 30 to 59 years with no known risk factors for CKD between 2002 and 2007. The prevalence of obesity was about 33 percent.

For example, for apricots, a cup of fresh halves is 86 percent water, with 74 calories, and a half cup of dried fruit is 76 percent water, with 212 calories. Fresh apricots have 3.1 grams of fiber versus 6.5 for dried; 0.6 milligrams of iron versus 2.35 milligrams; 15.5 milligrams of vitamin C versus 0.8 milligrams; and 149 retinol activity equivalents of vitamin A versus 160.


A cup of fresh Thompson seedless grapes is 80 percent water, with 104 calories, and a half cup of raisins is 15 percent water, with 434 calories. The grapes have 1.4 grams of fiber, versus 5.4 grams for the raisins; 0.54 milligrams of iron versus 2.73 milligrams; 288 milligrams of potassium versus 1,086 milligrams; and 16.3 milligrams of vitamin C versus 3.3 milligrams.
At a meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a joint body of the WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), officials also set benchmarks for producing gluten-free foods.


Peter Ben Embarek, a scientist in the WHO's food safety division, said the adoption of the "landmark" code of hygienic practices for powdered formula could reduce contamination from two bacteria that can cause severe illness and death in babies.

People with wheat allergies would also be protected by the standards for gluten-free food that countries pledged to work into their national legislation, and to meet in food exports under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

Most trade shows are the stuff of, if not nightmares, then at least a sleepwalk from one charmless kiosk to the next. Not so at the 54th Summer Fancy Food Show, where 20,000+ gourmet retailers, restaurateurs, chefs, media folks and plain ol' food fans spend three days chomping their way through a fever dream of some 180,000 specialty foods. The throwback "Fancy" is a bit of a misnomer by now, as there's a very wide slice of products on offer, ranging from swankity wines, oils, cheeses and caviar to humble chewing gums, ketchups, chili seasonings and snack mixes.
Most commercial brands of mayonnaise contain vinegar and other ingredients that make them acidic — and therefore very likely to protect against spoilage. When problems occur, they usually result from other contaminated or low-acid ingredients (like chicken and seafood), improper storage and handling, or homemade versions that contain unpasteurized eggs.


One prominent study published in The Journal of Food Protection found, for example, that in the presence of commercial mayonnaise, the growth of salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria in contaminated chicken and ham salad either slowed or stopped altogether. As the amount of mayonnaise increased, the rate of growth decreased. When temperatures rose to those of a hot summer day, the growth increased, but not as much as in samples that did not contain mayonnaise.

After following over 5,700 men for 23 years, researchers concluded that the faster your rate drops after exercise, the lower your risk of dying of a heart attack. To perform the calculation, first take note of your heart rate at exactly one minute after you've finished your workout. Then, take that number and subtract it from the maximum heart rate you reached during the workout. If the difference is more than 35bpm, there's a good chance you do not face an increased risk.


If, however, it is less than 35bpm, the study suggests there's need for caution. Specifically, if the difference is between 31-35bpm, your risk is increased by 40 percent; 25-30bpm, risk increase is 30 percent; less than 25bpm, risk increase is 110 percent.
In Berlin, where a ban took effect on January 1, smokers were granted a six-month period of grace that expired on Tuesday and those who breach the ban now face fines of 1,000 euros (1,575 dollars).


In the eastern state of Saxony, fines can run up to 5,000 euros but in the northern port of Hamburg and Thuringia, in eastern Germany, the highest fine authorities can issue is 500 euros.

The wealthy southern state of Bavaria is considered to have the country's toughest public smoking ban because it prohibits restaurants from opening separate smoking sections -- a practice allowed in other states.

Acne: Diet a Major Determining Factor...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Modern medicine is a mess. Drug companies pull the strings and too many doctors go with the flow. They’ve lost touch with reality. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Dermatologists insist that food has nothing to do with acne, rheumatologists insist that food has nothing to do with rheumatoid arthritis, and gastroenterologists insist that food has nothing to do with irritable and inflammatory bowel disease. Even cardiologists have been resistant to accept the accumulating evidence that atherosclerosis is entirely avoidable.
As for dermatology, a new study has determined that foods like milk and refined carbohydrates are responsible for an increased incidence of acne. Via Family Practice News:
The link between milk consumption and acne has been extensively pursued by investigators at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, said Dr. Mancini. In a prospective cohort study of 6,094 girls, aged 9–15 years, who were children of Nurses' Health Study II participants, self-reported greater consumption of milk—whether whole, low-fat, or skim—on food frequency questionnaires was independently associated with acne severity in a multivariate analysis, said Dr. Mancini, head of pediatric dermatology at Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago.

Those who drank two or more servings of milk per day during the 2-year study period were roughly 20% more likely to have acne than were girls who drank less than one serving per week. The results weren't significantly altered by excluding girls using contraceptives or restricting the analysis to those who were less than 11 years old at baseline (Dermatol. Online J. 2006;12:1)…

…In an editorial accompanying an earlier study by the group, Dr. F. William Danby, a dermatologist at Dartmouth University, Hanover, N.H., noted that 75%–90% of all milk reaching the marketplace comes from pregnant cows. This milk contains progesterone, other dihydrotestosterone precursors, somatostatin, prolactin, insulin, growth factor-releasing hormone, insulinlike growth factors 1 and 2, and numerous other substances that could stimulate pilosebaceous activity (J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2005;552:360-2).

Dr. Mancini noted that the link between acne and a high-glycemic-load diet rich in processed carbohydrates was made by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., and coworkers at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. In contrast to the near-universal prevalence of acne in adolescents in modern developed countries, they reported a rate of essentially zero in two non-Westernized populations: the Aché hunter-gatherers of Paraguay and Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea. These subjects also had low serum insulin and high insulin sensitivity.
Dr. Danby is a champion of the diet-acne connection. Here are a couple more links to his work:
The power of nutritional-intervention—food as medicine—can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Most chronic illnesses have been earned from a lifetime of inferior nutrition, which eventually results in abnormal function or frequent discomfort. These illnesses are not beyond our control, they are primarily genetic, and they are not the normal consequence of aging. True, we all have our weakest links governed by genetics; but these links need never reveal themselves unless our health deteriorates. Superior health flows naturally as a result of superior nutrition. Our predisposition to certain illnesses can remain hidden.
In fact, here's a great success story from one of Dr. Fuhrman's patients. Check out Caitlin's triumph, told by her proud mother:
For approximately a year before consulting with Dr. Fuhrman, our daughter Caitlin suffered from progressive fatigue, severe acne, and chronic stomach upset. It caused numerous absences from school, which was troubling because Caitlin was an honor student who had always done well academically. After seeing several doctors with no diagnosis, Caitlin became exceedingly frustrated and asked us to enroll her in counseling for stress management. We began counseling as a family. Caitlin’s symptoms worsened and she was eventually diagnosed with ulcers. Six weeks later, we learned that the tests revealed an alarmingly high presence of the antibodies that fight bacterially-based ulcers. According to the doctor, Caitlin probably had the bacteria in her stomach for more than a year. He immediately prescribed a course of four antibiotics taken simultaneously, which destroyed her digestive system. She was worse than ever. We asked our counselor to recommend a physician who practiced nutritional medicine and we were led to Dr. Fuhrman. He immediately put Caitlin on a cleansing diet with lots of green vegetables and high nutrient soups, but no medication of any kind. Over those first two months, as her digestive system healed, Caitlin regained her energy and her skin cleared. No more stomach upset, no more acne, no more fatigue. Caitlin was healthy in body and spirit and she was discharged from counseling. She graduated from high school with honors and received a scholarship to pursue her college education. We are so grateful to Dr. Fuhrman and nutritional medicine and can’t imagine where we would be without this approach.
I think dermatologists need to expand their minds a little and not take themselves so seriously. Dr. Cox from Scrubs would agree. Take a look:


In all seriousness, food is wonderful medicine. Just check out this post: Diet Influences So Many Aspects of Health.

Food Prices, Up and Up!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
In 2007 a box of lemons cost $8.14 and now it costs $20.77. And that’s not all! The price of apples, grapefruits, celery, and onions, has also increased. Via CattleNetwork:



Considering the current economic conditions, I doubt bargains are in our future. Be sure to check out the other foods on the chart. Oh, and big ups to Diet Blog for finding this!

Tuesday: Health Points

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

The report by scientists at the WHO's International Agency for Cancer Research urged more countries to adopt smoking bans in public and at the workplace, saying there was enough evidence to prove they work, without hurting businesses such as restaurants and bars.

"Implementation of such policies can have a broader population effect of increasing smoke-free environments," the researchers wrote in the Lancet Oncology special report.

"Not only do these policies achieve their aim of protecting the health of non-smokers by decreasing exposure to second-hand smoke, they also have many effects on smoking behavior, which compound the health benefits."
Watching television in America takes some getting used to. Apart from the accent, it is strange to hear companies marketing drugs directly to the consumer. Not only do they sell their own brand, but they actively name and shame their competitors' products. During a commercial break there may be two different brands of antihistamine telling you how bad the other is.


Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) is the promotion of prescription drugs through newspaper, magazine, television and internet marketing. Although the drug industry is mounting major campaigns to have DTCA allowed in Europe and Canada, the only two developed countries where it is currently legal are the U.S. and New Zealand.

Studies have shown that increases in DTCA have contributed to overall increases in spending on both the advertised drug itself and on other drugs that treat the same conditions. For example, one study of 64 drugs found a median increase in sales of $2.20 for every $1 spent on DTCA. It has been reported that 10 of the leading 12 brand-name drugs with DTCA campaigns have sales in excess of $1 billion annually.

The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office on Women's Health launched BodyWorks in 2006 by training instructors in the hopes that they would bring the program home to their communities. All materials are provided free, but communities must find the resources to pay trainers and a place to offer the program.


"Throughout the years I've worked with nutritionists, I've worked with diet programs, and it's very frustrating," Dr. Monica Richter, a pediatrician on staff at the Children's Hospital Seattle and a BodyWorks instructor who coordinates fundraising to help support the program, told Reuters Health. "I'm hoping that this will be one of the answers to this growing problem."

Girls 9 to 13 years old who are overweight or obese are referred to BodyWorks through their pediatrician, or by word of mouth. Parents and caregivers attend 10 weekly 90-minute sessions, and girls are expected to show up for at least three. The goal is to give parents and caregivers "hands-on tools to make small behavior changes to prevent obesity and help maintain a healthier weight," according to the BodyWorks Web site (http://www.womenshealth.gov/bodyworks/).
However, a new study suggests that the Nutrition Facts panel found on the side of grocery store products does a poor job of getting that message across to consumers.


"It's very misleading to just throw a number out there," contends study author Elizabeth Howlett, a professor of marketing at the University of Arkansas, in Little Rock.

Her team found that the average health-conscious consumer is often misled by trans fat information found on the Nutrition Facts panel.

The main problem is that because no amount of trans fat is good for you, it makes no sense to post a percentage of the "recommended daily value" -- as is done with other ingredients such as sugar, or total or saturated fats. So consumers are just left with a number -- such as 2, 3 or 4 grams of trans fat per serving -- and no way of interpreting how unhealthy that might be.

What surprises me most about it is that the parking lot next to the field is not full. I would think people would be lined up to climb up on that roof and get a good look at the art from above.
Even a bra that perfectly maximized motion (without sacrificing support and comfort) would be useful to me only if there were a way to turn that motion into energy. For a primer on how to do that, I turned to Professor Zhong Lin Wang of Georgia Tech, who is currently working to develop fabric made from nanowires that will capture energy from motion. Wang's wires are about 1/1,000th the width of a human hair. When woven together in a fabric, these nanowires rub up against one another and convert the mechanical energy from the friction into an electric charge. According to Wang, the fabric is cheap to produce and surprisingly efficient; his team hopes to use it to create energy-generating T-shirts and other articles of clothing. A square meter of fiber produces about 80 milliwatts of power, which is enough to run a small device like a cell phone. Wang expects to have a shirt available for purchase within five years.


Many bra patterns call for about a meter of fabric, which would probably mean that a regular bra would have enough energy to power an iPod. But the fabric could also be layered, doubling or even tripling the amount of energy produced. I asked Wang whether his fabric could be used to make a bra. "Bras would be ideal," he said. "There is a lot of friction and movement in that general area. And the fabric would be thick."

Parents secretly putting things (even if it's broccoli) into their children's food without their knowing it? When they grow up, I wonder what they'll think of that?


Seems a trust is broken here, and I'm not sure it won't affect food issues these children may have down the line.

Delicious is key where food and children are concerned. If a parent wants to get a child to eat fruit, he or she can wash, chop and freeze fresh strawberries, then take a blender and pour in one cup of fat-free milk. Add three packages of artificial sweetener. Add four or five frozen strawberries, and blend. Keep adding strawberries until you have a thick, luscious strawberry milkshake that could stand toe-to-toe with any fast-food shake you've ever had.
Condition worsened
The girl grew increasingly weak and feverish and "became more limp, appears sleepy, acts as if drunk," the report said. She was hospitalized and underwent surgery and was finally withdrawn from life support. She died April 5, according to the report.


The 9- and 6-year-olds suffered from mitochondrial disorders, a spectrum of genetic diseases that has received almost no attention from federal health officials. The 9-year-old, Hannah Poling, was 19 months old and developing normally in 2000 when she received five shots against nine infectious diseases. Two days later, she developed a fever, cried inconsolably and refused to walk. In the next seven months, she spiraled downward, and in 2001, she was diagnosed with autism.

Eat For Health: Reprogram Yourself

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

As a society, we have programmed ourselves to eat in a way that is unnatural and harmful. We mistakenly prefer the taste of harmful foods. The most natural and healthy way of eating now seems strange, and, as a result, it eludes us. The benefits of eating natural foods, as opposed to processed foods, seem obvious, yet they are lost to many. Here are a few of the common excuses that I hear from patients:
  • “It takes too much effort and time to prepare fresh food.”
  • “I don’t like the taste of fruits and vegetables, so why should I even try?”
  • “People will think I am strange if I eat this way.”
Others who may not have voiced these objections were still thinking these or other negative thoughts. It is the substance of their inner dialogue. This kind of talk is not useful. Its purpose is to prevent you from taking action. It is a type of learned helplessness: you didn’t believe you could succeed in the first place. This gives you the rationale for not trying. Right now, resolve to fight those thoughts when they enter your head. Excuses or reasons are not based on facts. They are an opinion formed before adequate knowledge is achieved, and, as you now know, knowledge is the cornerstone to success. Your internal programming and fixed beliefs can have you fail before you even start. A key concept is that our internal programming operates outside of our conscious awareness, yet it influences our thoughts and action.

Psychologists tell us that both these preconceived notions and the inner dialogue that resists change to a preexisting belief are a type of “automatic thought.” An automatic thought is an unconscious process that determines how we interpret the events of our lives. In many people, these thoughts are negative, pessimistic, and completely illogical. They persist because they operate beyond awareness and because they go completely unquestioned and unchallenged. Our automatic thoughts are the result of our core beliefs, and our core beliefs establish our perceived boundaries of what we can and cannot do.

The key to reprogramming yourself is to select an activity that elicits the desired objective, and then perform this activity habitually. As you continue to perform this activity, your skill will improve, your brain will reprogram to the preferred wiring, and your desired outcome will manifest itself. Your brain is not only flexible and adaptable, but it also will restructure itself to accommodate whatever lifestyle you wish to create. This book and the exercises it contains are designed to cultivate a skill and transform some aspect of your brain and your life. The cumulative result of all of these skills is superior health and your ideal weight. Your brain is ready and willing to make the changes

Oprah Ends Vegan Stint

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

After only eating veggies from her garden for three weeks, Oprah Winfrey says, “I will forever be a more cautious and conscious eater.” Access Hollywood reports:
The media mogul just concluded a 21-day vegan cleansing process based on Kathy Freston’s book, “Quantum Wellness,” which counsels the avoidance of caffeine, sugar, alcohol, gluten or animal products.

Changing her usual diet proved to be an educational process for Winfrey, who took to her blog to share her experience.

“Tomorrow is another day. That’s my mantra for now,” she wrote on her last day, when she ate a large baked potato and green salad for dinner.

Minus some olive oil, Oprah noted all of the ingredients were grown in her garden.

“I was raised by a grandmother who grew and harvested everything,” she wrote.
I’ve been cautious about Oprah’s diet change. Before I get too excited about it, I want to see if she stays healthy.

Omega-3: Really Good for Girls...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

According to new research omega-3 fatty acids are twice as important for girls than boys. More from the NewScientist:
Parents of daughters, listen up. Eating enough omega-3 fatty acids is twice as important for boosting the brainpower of girls than it is for boys.

Several studies have upheld the link between intelligence and higher consumption of omega-3 fats, especially those found in fatty fishes such as salmon. William Lassek at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and Steve Gaulin at the University of California, Santa Barbara, wondered whether this effect might be even stronger in girls because women not only use omega-3 fats to build their brains, they also store them on their hips and thighs in preparation for nurturing the brains of their future babies. "The lower body fat is like a bank into which deposits are made during childhood and only withdrawn during pregnancy and nursing," says Lassek.
For more info on omega-3’s, check out DiseaseProof’s healthy foods category.

Eat to Live Hip-Hop Style

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
Rapper Talib Kweli rhymes about healthy eating. In fact, he wants you to Eat to Live. There are a couple poopy words, but is worth it! Take a look:


I love the message, very cool. Nice find Veg Blog.

Ugly Veggies on Mars...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

NASA claims that plants like asparagus and strawberries might be able to grow in Mars’ soil. Richard A. Lovett of National Geographic News reports:
Previous data from the two rovers exploring Mars's equatorial zones had suggested that the geochemistry on the red planet might have been too acidic to support most forms of Earth-type life.

But as little as an inch (2.5 centimeters) beneath the surface, dirt from Mars's arctic plains proved to be very similar to alkaline soils on Earth, with a pH between 8 and 9. The pH scale goes from 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline).

The finding is good news in the hunt for signs that Mars was or could now be habitable.

"This means there is a broader range of organisms that can grow [in it]," said Kounaves, who works with the lander's Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA).

"But Mars is a huge place, whose soils might differ radically from spot to spot," Kounaves said. "We have to remember that we're looking at tiny areas."
Well, until we can grow cheap produce on mars. Consumer advocates want government to allow the sale of “ugly produce.” Check out: Ugly Veggies to Ease Crisis

Glamour Magazine: 20 Cancer-Fighting Foods...

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
Check out Glamour Magazine’s list of foods that combat cancer:
Spinach
Kale





Collard greens 
Arugula
Dandelion greens
Curry


Broccoli
Broccoli sprouts
Cabbage
Bok choy
Cauliflower


Watercress
Swiss chard
Blueberries
Blackberries


Raspberries
Strawberries
Cranberries
Red grapes



Tomatoes

This list is certainly more encouraging than America Hates Good Food.

Diabetes Flying High in the United States

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

“As the number of people with type-two (adult onset) diabetes continues to soar, it is openly recognized that the growing waistline of the modern world is the main cause of this epidemic; however, most physicians, dieticians, and even the American Diabetes Association have virtually given up on weight reduction as the primary treatment for diabetics,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. I think he’s onto something, because a new report announces that U.S. diabetes rates have skyrocketed. The Associated Press is on it:
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on data from 2007, said the number represents an increase of about 3 million over two years. The CDC estimates another 57 million people have blood sugar abnormalities called pre-diabetes, which puts people at increased risk for the disease.

The percentage of people unaware that they have diabetes fell from 30 percent to 25 percent, according to the study.

Dr. Ann Albright, director of the CDC Division of Diabetes Translation, said the report has "both good news and bad news."

"It is concerning to know that we have more people developing diabetes, and these data are a reminder of the importance of increasing awareness of this condition, especially among people who are at high risk," Albright said in a statement.

"On the other hand, it is good to see that more people are aware that they have diabetes."
It’s disheartening, especially when you consider that there’s an easier way. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
It is well accepted that if it were possible for people to stick with weight reduction and high nutrient eating, that route would be the most successful. Patients with diabetes who successfully lose weight from undergoing gastric bypass surgery typically see their diabetes melt away.1 Dietary programs that have been successful at effecting weight loss have been dramatically effective for diabetics too, enabling patients to discontinue medications.2 Preventing and reversing diabetes is not all about weight loss.
What sounds harder? Convincing people to stick themselves with needles for the rest of their life, or, eat better and feel great.
Continue Reading

Heart Disease: Get Some Sun!

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

According to new research lack of sunshine increases risk of death from heart disease. Lindsey Tanner of the Associated Press reports:
Patients with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D were about two times more likely to die from any cause during the next eight years than those with the highest levels, the study found. The link with heart-related deaths was particularly strong in those with low vitamin D levels.

Experts say the results shouldn't be seen as a reason to start popping vitamin D pills or to spend hours in the sun, which is the main source for vitamin D.

For one thing, megadoses of vitamin D pills can be dangerous and skin cancer risks from too much sunshine are well-known. But also, it can't be determined from this type of study whether lack of vitamin D caused the deaths, or whether increasing vitamin D intake would make any difference.
Vitamin D has been in the news a lot lately. Here are some recent posts:
Please, get some sun.

Eating Tomatoes, Again?

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Tomatoes are returning to menus, but growers aren’t sure if people are going to eat them. Mercury News is on it:
California was one of the first states the FDA ruled out as a source of the salmonella outbreak, but the Golden State's tomato industry was still stricken by the warning.

"There's still a lot of consumer confusion out there," said Ed Beckman, president of California Tomato Farmers, a grower-owned cooperative that produces about 80 percent of the state's billion-pound-a-year fresh tomato crop.

Beckman said Monday that consumer demand is only 35 to 40 percent of normal, just as the state's tomato harvest in the San Joaquin Valley kicks into high gear. Demand from restaurants and other food service operators is only 65 to 80 percent of normal.

At Nob Hill Foods in Los Gatos, produce manager Eddie Ponce said tomato sales dropped considerably during the past couple of weeks. "People were scared and didn't want to buy any tomatoes, even the good ones," Ponce said.

Before the outbreak, he said, the store sold eight to 10 boxes of vine-ripened tomatoes a week. After the outbreak, sales plummeted to two to three boxes a week.

Low demand has driven down prices. Right now, Beckman said, tomatoes are between $8 and $10 for a 25-pound box. Before the scare, they were running about $15 a box.
Now, here’s a great reason why I’ve kept eating tomatoes. From Dr. Fuhrman:
Tomatoes have been a hot topic in recent years because their consumption has been linked to dramatic reduction in the incidence of common cancers. One of the tomatoes' heavily investigated anti-cancer phytochemicals is lycopene, which has been shown to be protective against cancer, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancers.
Let’s not forget about my kick-ass tomatoes!

America Hates Good Food

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
AOL Food compiled a list of American’s 20 Most Hated Foods and surprise-surprise they’re some of the healthiest foods on the planet. These really ticked me off:

#20: Blueberries



#14: Peas


#8: Brussels Sprouts



#7: Beets


#4: Mushrooms


At least liver and mayonnaise made the list too. Makes you wonder what the heck the average person is eating—scary!

Fruits and Veggies Rock!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Sally Squires of The Washington Post makes a great claim, To Produce Good Health, Bite Into Fruit and Veggies. Here’s a bit:
Eating more fruit and vegetables sounds like a no-brainer, the kind of common-sense advice that mothers have dished out for generations. Now, 21st-century scientists are beginning to fathom why these foods provide so many benefits.

It has to do with an array of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients --plant-based substances with tongue-twisting names such as anthocyanins and lycopene. Don't worry about pronouncing them. All you need to know is that these antioxidants are found in red and deep-pink fruit and vegetables. That means pomegranates, red cabbage, cherries, red peppers, watermelon, red grapes and more. They appear to help reduce the risk of some tumors, including prostate cancer. And that's just for starters.

Green fruit and vegetables, from avocado, pears and limes to okra, green beans and zucchini, are rich in carotenoids. These substances help preserve vision by protecting the retina and gobble up free radicals to help thwart cancer and aging.

Yellow and orange produce is rich in beta carotene, which is converted by the body into Vitamin A. It boosts immunity and protects vision. Count apricots, bananas, papayas, peaches, carrots and butternut squash in this group, which also packs other nutrients. Pineapple, for example, has bromelain, an enzyme that aids in digestion and reduces bloating.

White vegetables and fruit, from jicama to litchi nuts, contain allicin, which helps control blood pressure and cholesterol and may bolster immunity.
Sally’s a good egg! Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is indeed the key to a long healthy life. Just check out these posts:
Quick, where’s my bag of baby spinach!

Mangosteen, Super Food?

Post a comment (5 Comments) | Permalink

I thought Mangosteen was Frankenstein’s cousin from the islands, but apparently, a mangosteen is an antioxidant-packed tropical fruit. Slashfood fills us in:
Mangosteens, or juice drinks made from them, are very popular in Japan right now because they're supposed to be high in antioxidants and ward off cancer in mice (though that hasn't been tested in humans).

Mangosteens are originally from Thailand, but they're difficult to export from the region because they are so preishable. Also, the tree can only be grown in tropical climates. Those factors make even pureés made from Mangosteens pretty expensive anywhere outside of Southeast Asia.
That cancer claim is a bit iffy. Dr. Fuhrman wouldn’t agree. He explains:
Juices and extracts of exotic fruits and vegetables such as mangosteen, gogi berries, Chinese lycium, acia, Siberian pineapple, cili, noni, guarana, and black currant are touted as wondrous super foods with a myriad of health claims. Certainly, eating exotic fruits from all over the globe can add valuable phytochemical compounds with the potential for beneficial effects. I see no reason why these fruits and their juices should not be used as part of a varied diet with a wide assortment of phytonutrients. Broadening our variety of health-supporting nutrients from exotic foods has value in building a strong immune defense against cancer.


The confusion arises when marketers claim that the juices can cure cancer or kill cancer cells on the basis of studies that show that some component in the juice or other part of the plant has been shown to kill cancer cells. Just because a concentrated chemical derived from a food can kill cancer cells in a test tube does not make that food a cure for cancer.
I’ve never had a mangosteen, have you? Certainly looks interesting.

Eat For Health: The Four Dimensions of Hunger

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Though we generically call the feeling that you want or need to eat “hunger,” hunger actually has four different dimensions. Many diets fail because they only focus on one of these components calories. Eat For Health, based on the ideas developed in Eat To Live, is the only eating-style that takes into account all four. Understanding and resolving the drive to overeat must consider and satisfy these dimensions.
  1. VOLUME: You must consume an adequate amount of food, and fiber from that food, to physically feel satiated.
  2. NUTRIENTS: You must consume enough nutrients in your food for your body to meet its biological need to thrive. Even if you have adequate volume, if it’s from low-nutrient food, your body will have a nutrient deficit, and you will feel you require more food.
  3. CALORIES: You will be driven to overeat on calories unless the other dimensions of hunger are addressed. The only way to not over-consume calories is to ensure you have enough volume and nutrients so your body can feel satiated.
  4. ADDICTIONS: You must break yourself of your addictions to food, which often manifest themselves in ill feelings and cravings. If you don’t, your body will not be able to regulate its caloric needs appropriately.
As you can see, each of these dimensions addresses your body’s need for food, but none of them exists independently. If one dimension is not tended to, the others will be thrown off. Portion-control diets attempt to limit calories without regard to nutrients or volume. Hunger is never fully satisfied and the undernourished dieter ends up giving in to the overwhelming compulsion to eat more

Eat For Health: Your Diet, Your Choice

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

I sat back and thought about it one day: why do I eat the way I do? So what if I die younger? Why not just enjoy all the processed food our high-tech, modern world has to offer? Why not eat cheeseburgers, fries, soda, and ice cream for lunch, and take my chances with an earlier death? At least I will enjoy the time I am alive, right?

In thinking about it, I noticed that I actually enjoy being a nutritarian and eating my healthy diet. I believe I enjoy the taste of food and get more pleasure from eating than people who live on unhealthy food because I’ve learned to appreciate tastes, and I know I’m doing something good for myself. I would eat this way anyway, even if there was a slight decrease in the pleasure of eating, but after years of eating like this, I prefer it. The fact that it is healthy is certainly the largest attraction, but health-destroying foods are not enticing to me anymore. However, I am not in jail. I have complete freedom to eat anything I want, and if I occasionally want to eat something unhealthy, I do. But, over the years, I have found that I desire unhealthy foods less and less because over time I have found I do not feel well after eating those foods. The taste was not as pleasurable as I thought it would be compared to other foods that I like that are health-supporting. Also, the great tasting, healthy alternatives to attractive but unhealthy food choices, that I and others have developed, makes it even more easy to choose this diet-style. I do not feel deprived.

So, I eat the way I am advocating you eat. I am not overweight and I am not on a diet. I may not eat perfectly all the time, but I have balanced pleasure and health in my diet so that I am not sacrificing one to have the other. The objective is to have both comfortably married. But, I eat this way for lots of reasons:
  • I enjoy this way of eating. It tastes great, and I like to eat lots of food.
  • I want control of my health and want complete assurance I will not suddenly have a heart attack or stroke.
  • I enjoy living too much. I love sports, travel, entertainment, exercise, my work, and my family, and I want to maintain my youthful vigor and enjoyment of life.
  • I feel well eating this way and do not like the way I feel, the way I sleep, my digestion, or my mental energy when I do not eat this way.
  • I want to live longer and without medical interference, pain, and unnecessary suffering in my later years.
Eating healthfully is only an option. It is your choice. Each individual has the right to care for their own body as they choose, and some may continue to follow risky behaviors using the rationale that they would rather enjoy life more and live less healthfully or for a shorter time. The fallacy with this way of thinking is the belief that people who smoke, drink, take drugs, or eat dangerous foods are enjoying life more. In fact, they enjoy it less. You might feel temporary pleasure or satisfaction, but toxic habits and rich, disease-causing foods inhibit your ability to get as much pleasure from eating over time. Your taste is lessened or the smoking or drinking loses it thrill, but now you are stuck feeling uncomfortable if you don’t continue the habit.

Many people who have adopted my advice and become nutritarians have reversed autoimmune diseases, gotten rid of diabetes, headaches, and heart disease and have been brought back from the brink of death, simply by changing the way they eat. And yet there are a very large number of people who are completely deterred from even attempting this change. Their habits now control them, and they are no longer in total control of their lives. I urge you: don’t be one of those people

Tomato Scare, GMOs, and Climate Change

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Some environmental activists believe that global warming and the use of genetically modified organisms are responsible for the recent tomato-salmonella outbreak. From the Better Plant blog:
I was interviewing a board member of Food and Water Watch for a feature I am writing, and he positioned the scare as an eco outbreak because with less space to farm, more droughts, and higher costs, GMOs are the logical choice for farmers who want quick crops from less land.

For the record the source of the tomato infection hasn’t been determined. The FDA hasn’t narrowed its search. But this time of year the most common varieties are red round, red Roma, and red plum tomatoes. They are most likely grown in Florida or Mexico. The agency admits U.S. consumer demand to eat fresh fruits and vegetables year-round - has its job a lot more difficult. And concedes it needs more inspectors overseas. See a good take on this from the San Jose Mercury News here.

Anyway, the source of the E. coli in spinach turned out to be feces on the hoofs of wild boars that traipsed through spinach plants.

The source of tomato infections may turn out to be something as naturally errant as that. But with less room and climate change affecting crops, another outbreak is sure to come. GMO strands can only serve to exacerbate the spread.
For a recap of news about the tomato scare, check out these posts:
Good thing I’m growing my own tomatoes!

The $6,100 Melon!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Saturday I paid $.99 for this mini-watermelon. That’s $ 6,099.01 less than what was fetched for a 17-pound black-skinned “Densuke” watermelon in Japan. No, I’m not joking. From the Associated Press:
The price was the highest on record for a Densuke watermelon, said Kazuyoshi Ohira, a spokesman for the Tohma Agricultural Cooperative in Hokkaido. Most retail at department stores and supermarkets for a more modest $188 to $283, Ohira said.

And what makes a watermelon worth $200, much less $6,000?

Ohira says it’s the unusual black skin and unparalleled taste. “It’s a watermelon, but it’s not the same,” he said.
You know, with a few sprits of Krylon I could be looking at some serious profit. Can I get a starting bid?

Kid Snacks, Fruit Tops Cookies!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

This is encouraging. Fruit has overtaken cookies as the number one snack given to children under the age of 6. Nanci Hellmich of USA TODAY reports:
Parents seem to be serving healthier products, which may partly explain why the number of overweight children is holding steady, Balzer says.

Recent government statistics show that 32% of children and teens ages 2 to 19 — about 23 million — were overweight or obese in 2003-2006 compared with 29% in 1999. The increase is not considered statistically significant.

"Women's weight has also stabilized, and since mothers are the primary food providers and role models, these two trends may be related," says Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer for Weight Watchers. She says it's "a whole lot better" for parents to serve their children fruit or yogurt and water than soft drinks and cookies.

The types of snacks parents feed their young children is critical because studies suggest snacks account for about a quarter of a child's daily calories, and snacking behavior sets the pattern for lifelong eating habits, says Boston nutritionist Elizabeth Ward, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler. "Snacks present an enormous opportunity for good nutrition."
Although, beyond the fruit. Parents are still serving up a lot of junk. More from the report:


I don’t have any kids—that I know of—but when I do, I imagine I’ll be quite the food sentinel. No milk and fruit snacks for little Gerry!

Where You Live Impacts Your Weight...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

According to a new study, if you live in a neighborhood with access to healthy food and physical activity, you’re likely to be leaner. Joene Hendry of Reuters reports:
The researchers found that men and women living in neighborhoods with better walking environments and availability of healthy foods were leaner than those living in less physically desirable neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods rated higher in social qualities, such as safety, aesthetics, and social cohesion, were associated with lower overall body mass index among women. However men showed the opposite -- higher body mass index among those residing in highly rated social neighborhoods -- and the investigators say further research must confirm this unexpected finding.

Overall, Dr. Mahasin S. Mujahid of Harvard University's School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts notes, these findings add to a growing body of evidence that indicates genes and individual choice, as well as the environments in which people live affect health. Continuing research needs to further assess links between environment and obesity, Mujahid and colleagues conclude.
This falls in line with the majority of the reports I’ve read. Here are some posts that come to mind. Take a look:
But, I think if you really want to be healthy, you find a way. You think I like driving 30 minutes to get to Yoga!

Eat For Health: Greens Are King

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

All foods get their calories from fat, carbohydrate, or protein. Green vegetables, unlike high-starch vegetables like carrots and potatoes, get the majority of their calories from protein. When more of your protein needs are met from green vegetables, you get the benefit of ingesting a huge amount of critical, life-extending micronutrients.

The biggest animals all eat predominantly green vegetation, gaining their size from the protein found there. Obviously, greens pack a powerful, nutrient-dense punch. Some high-green-eating animals—primates—have a very similar biology and physiology to humans. Based on genetic information, chimpanzee and human DNA only differs by 1.6 percent. The desire of primates for variety in their diet supports nutrient diversity that enables them to live a long life, free of chronic diseases. But, without an adequate amount of plant-derived nutrients, immune system dysfunction develops. The results of a compromised immune system are frequent infections, allergies, autoimmune disease, and often cancer. The micronutrients that fuel the primate immune system are found in nature’s cupboard—the garden and forest.

Now that you have delved this far into the field of nutritional medicine, you might as well invest a few more health dollars in your body’s nutrient bank account by focusing on your consumption of greens every day. Low in calories and high in life-extending nutrients, green foods are your secret weapon to achieve incredible health. Scientific research has shown a strong positive association between the consumption of green vegetables and a reduction of all the leading causes of death in humans.1 Cruciferous vegetables—in particular broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy, collards, watercress, and arugula, to name a few—are loaded with disease-protecting micronutrients and powerful compounds that promote detoxification.

To bring your body to a phenomenal level of health, my aim is to deliver these foods to your plate in a variety of ways that make them delicious and increase your absorption of their beneficial nutrients. Greens can be served raw in salads, steamed and chopped as part of dinner, and cooked in soups.

When we steam or boil vegetables some of the phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals get lost in the water, but when we simmer vegetables in soup, all the nutrients are retained in the liquid. Additionally, the liquid base of the soup prevents the formation of toxic compounds that are created as food is browned under dry heat. Many beneficial chemical compounds are more readily absorbed when the food has been softened with heat.2 You should incorporate larger quantities of greens in an assortment of delicious ways as you move up the stages of dietary excellence. Continue Reading

Robin Quivers Says Vegans Beat the Heat...

Post a comment (5 Comments) | Permalink

It’s been insanely hot lately and the heat kicked off an interesting conversation on The Howard Stern Show Wednesday. The newly fit, trim, and vegan, Robin Quivers, relayed a unique theory on heat and diet. Here’s the transcript:
Robin Quivers: My vegan-friends sort of laugh at this time of the year. I was with one of them the other day and they said, “All the meat-eaters complain about the heat.”

Artie Lange: What does that mean?

Fred Norris: Stop it!



Artie Lange: But could somebody explain to me what Robin just said? Do vegan-people not get warm or something?

Robin Quivers: This vegan was claiming to me that meat-eaters can’t stand the heat because digesting protein heats up the body and [meat-eaters] start to faint when it gets this hot and vegans are walking around no problem.

Howard Stern: That’s why lions always have to sleep in the middle of the day, they’re eating so much f**king meat.

Artie Lange: Do you hear Fred’s commentary on this? I agree with him completely.

Fred has been playing coo-coo sound effects the whole time.

Fred Norris: That is the silliest thing I have ever heard.

Robin Quivers: I didn’t say it. I’m just telling you what was said to me.
Now, just the other day I was thinking, “Man, it’s really hot out, but it’s not really bothering me.” And I eat a vegetable-based diet. So, could Robin’s friend be onto something? I asked Dr. Fuhrman and here’s what he had to say:
This is true. When you are thin and eat healthfully (mostly plants) it lowers your basal metabolic rate (slowing the aging process), which means that the heat does not bother you, but you become more sensitive to cold.
Hey now! Looks like the beautiful Mrs. Florentine—oops—I mean, Miss Quivers is onto something. Go Robin, go!

Americans Can Live to 78

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Japan has the longest life expectancy of 83 years, but despite all our health woes, U.S. life expectancy is 78. Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press reports:
For the first time, U.S. life expectancy has surpassed 78 years, the government reported Wednesday, although the United States continues to lag behind about 30 other countries in estimated life span.

The increase is due mainly to falling mortality rates in almost all the leading causes of death, federal health officials said. The average life expectancy for babies born in 2006 was about four months greater than for children born in 2005.

Japan has the longest life expectancy -- 83 years for children born in 2006, according to World Health Organization data. Switzerland and Australia were also near the top of the list…

…The U.S. infant mortality rate dropped more than 2 percent, to 6.7 infant deaths per 1,000 births, from 6.9.

Perhaps the most influential factor in the 2006 success story, however, was the flu. Flu and pneumonia deaths dropped by 13 percent from 2005, reflecting a mild flu season in 2006, Anderson said. That also meant a diminished threat to people with heart disease and other conditions. Taken together, it's a primary explanation for the 22,000 fewer deaths in 2006 from 2005, experts said.

U.S. life expectancy has been steadily rising, usually by about two to three months from year to year. This year's jump of fourth months is "an unusually rapid improvement," Preston said.
Honestly, 78 and even 83 doesn’t impress me. I want it all! I want to want to live to 100 plus. And it’s very possible according to Dr. Fuhrman:
Increasing the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and raw nuts and seeds (and greatly decreasing the consumption of animal products) offers profound increased longevity potential, due in large part to broad symphony of life-extending phytochemical nutrients that a vegetable-based diet contains…


…Centenarian studies in Europe illustrate that those individuals living into their hundreds were likely to have consumed a plant-based diet consisting of fewer than 2000 calories per day. Multiple studies have confirmed that the thinnest people live the longest.
Just get a load of this dude. He’s one kick-ass old guy: 72 and Going Strong.

Pomegranate Juice Good for the Little Man

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

New research claims that drinking pomegranate juice can help with erectile dysfunction. Chris Sparling of That’s Fit passes it along:
Pomegranate juice has for quite some time been touted for its antioxidant properties. Citing heart health as a primary benefit of its ability to help prevent free radical damage, many people made the switch to this more expensive juice in recent years…

…A University of California study revealed that drinking a glass of pomegranate juice every day helps erectile dysfunction. It turns out that the same antioxidant properties that help ward off free radical damage also prevent circulatory issues, thus offering a wee bit of help to the fellas who need it.
I drink a shot of pomegranate juice everyday, but not for this reason! Now, Dr. Fuhrman is a big fan of pomegranates. Take a look:
Not only are pomegranates good for your heart and blood vessels but they have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals.1


Pomegranates' potent antioxidant compounds have also been shown to reduce platelet aggregation and naturally lower blood pressure, factors that prevent both heart attacks and strokes.2 Pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants offering protection against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.

Pomegranate juice has also been found to contain phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression and improving bone mass in lab animals.3

Given the fact that pomegranate juice is so rich in heart protective compounds and there are animal studies to support the beneficial findings in human studies, it makes the results of these recent investigations understandable and believable. Pomegranate is a powerful food for good health.
So, why not give these pomegranate inspired recipes a try: Got Pomegranate?
Continue Reading

Backing Off the Meat...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Mark Bittman of The New York Times offers up some practical suggestions to help everyone cut back on meat eating. Here’s a bit:
Let’s suppose you’ve decided to eat less meat, or are considering it. And let’s ignore your reasons for doing so. They may be economic, ethical, altruistic, nutritional or even irrational. The arguments for eating less meat are myriad and well-publicized, but at the moment they’re irrelevant, because what I want to address here is (almost) purely pragmatic: How do you do it?

I’m not talking about eating no meat; I’m talking about cutting back, which in some ways is harder than quitting. Vegetarian recipes and traditions are everywhere. But in the American style of eating — with meat usually at the center of the plate — it can be difficult to eat two ounces of beef and call it dinner.
  1. Forget the protein thing.
  2. Buy less meat.
  3. Get it out of the center of the plate.
  4. Buy more vegetables, and learn new ways to cook them.
  5. Make non-meat items as convenient as meat.
  6. Make some rules.
  7. Look at restaurant menus differently.
This is really cool and right up DiseaseProof’s alley! Take the protein thing for example:
Complementary Protein Myth Won't Go Away!
“The ‘incomplete protein’ myth was inadvertently promoted in the 1971 book, Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappe. In it, the author stated that plant foods do not contain all the essential amino acids, so in order to be a healthy vegetarian, you needed to eat a combination of certain plant foods in order to get all of the essential amino acids. It was called the theory of ‘protein complementing.’”
And here’s plenty of reason to consume less animal products:
DiseaseProof Gets Green!
“Global demand for meat has multiplied in recent years, encouraged by growing affluence and nourished by the proliferation of huge, confined animal feeding operations. These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests.”
Not to mention all the delicious ways to prepare fruits and veggies:
Recipes
Orange Berry Greens Smoothie
2 cups organic baby spinach
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
4 pitted dates
1 orange, peeled & quartered
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth and creamy. Serves 2.
And it’s easy to eat healthfully when dining out:
Eating to Live on the Outside
“I’m in a New York state of mind. So, time to grab the next train and hit the big apple. This week we’re checking out Counter, right off east Houston Street in the capital of the world—New York City! And this vegetarian bistro certainly makes a good first impression.”
See, the world is catching on. Nutrient-dense vegetable-based eating is the way to go!

Tomatoes Out at McDonalds

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Amid the salmonella scare, McDonald’s will stop serving sliced tomatoes. The Associated Press reports:
McDonald's says it has stopped serving sliced tomatoes in its restaurants over concerns about Salmonella food poisoning linked to uncooked tomatoes.

Spokeswoman Danya Proud said Monday the world's largest hamburger chain has stopped serving sliced tomatoes on all of its sandwiches in the United States as a precaution until the source of the salmonella is known.

Proud says McDonald's will continue to serve grape tomatoes in its salads because no problems have been linked to that variety.
How ironic, the one healthy thing at McDonalds gets the boot.

Heart Health: No Point in Monitoring Blood Sugar?

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

New research contends that individuals with type-2 diabetes do not lower their heart attack and stroke risk by controlling their blood sugar. More from Gina Kolata of The New York Times:
The results provide more details and bolster findings reported in February, when one of the studies, by the National Institutes of Health, ended prematurely. At that time, researchers surprised diabetes experts with the announcement that study participants who were rigorously controlling their blood sugar actually had a higher death rate than those whose blood sugar control was less stringent.

Now the federal researchers are publishing detailed data from that study for the first time. Researchers in the second study, from Australia and involving participants from 20 countries, are also publishing their results on blood sugar and cardiovascular disease. That study did not find an increase in deaths, but neither did it find any protection from cardiovascular disease with rigorous blood sugar control.

Thus both studies failed to confirm a dearly held hypothesis that people with Type 2 diabetes could be protected from cardiovascular disease if they strictly controlled their blood sugar.

It was a hypothesis that seemed almost obvious. Cardiovascular disease accounts for 65 percent of deaths among people with Type 2 diabetes. And since diabetes is characterized by high levels of blood sugar, the hope was that if people with diabetes could just get their blood sugar as close to normal as possible, their cardiovascular disease rate would be nearly normal as well.
Dr. Fuhrman was not impressed by this report. His thoughts:
That is because when you are an overweight diabetic the metabolic consequences are not the blood sugar alone and taking drugs is not the answer. Some of the drugs (especially insulin) cause weight gain and make the metabolic syndrome worse. Losing weight, exercising and eating high on the nutrient density line is the answer, not more medications.
Not more medications! But how will the drug companies make bigger profits?

Hawaiian Lettuce Farm

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Check out how Manoa Lettuce is grown:



Have you ever tried it?

Locally Grown Food Healthier?

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink

Food bought at a farmers market or a CSA tastes much better than food from large commercial food companies, but, could it also be better for you? The New York Times Well blog investigates:
A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a grant to study the public health impact of moving toward a local, sustainable food system. An increasingly vocal local food movement calls for consumers to try to buy and eat foods produced within 100 miles of their homes.

So far, there’s not real evidence that eating locally farmed food is better for you. But there are many reasons to think it might be. By definition, locally farmed food is not going to come from large commercial food companies, so people who eat locally aren’t going to consume as much processed food, which typically contains lots of refined carbohydrates, sugar, fat and preservatives.

By focusing your diet on products grown and raised within 100 miles of your home, you will likely end up eating more fruits and vegetables as well. Shopping for fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets is also pleasurable and may lead to more variety in your diet. Eating local often means you can meet the people who produce your food, and you can also ask questions about pesticide use and farming methods.
I think a big plus is the environmental factor. Locally grown food means less fuel burned during transport.

Canadian Salmon, Low Mercury

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

A new study claims Canadian salmon has low-levels of contaminants, including mercury. WebMD is on it:
Total mercury levels in the wild salmon tested were three times higher than in farmed, but total mercury intake from both types of fish was found to be lower than from many other foods.

The study was funded by the Canadian fishing industry, which supplies much of the farmed salmon eaten in the United States.

In recent years, concerns have been raised about the safety of farmed salmon vs. wild, and there have also been suggestions that Canadian and other Atlantic-farmed salmon contains more contaminants than farm-raised fish from other areas, such as Chile. The newly published study was conducted in an attempt to address these concerns.

Researchers measured mercury levels as well as levels of 18 other trace metals in commercial salmon feed and farmed and wild salmon from British Columbia fisheries and waters.
And according to Dr. Fuhrman, in addition to salmon, fishes like flounder, sole, tilapia, and trout are also safer choices.

Garlic, Fresh Power!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

We all know garlic is good for us, but new research has determined that fresh garlic is best. More from WebMD:
Researchers in Japan compared fresh garlic with garlic preserved in water, alcohol, and vegetable oil, specifically measuring a key ingredient called allicin. Allicin is the main active ingredient in garlic and the chemical responsible for its characteristic smell.

Allicin is widely promoted for its antibacterial properties. Some studies have shown that allicin helps fight infections and may help prevent bacteria-related food poisoning. Other research has suggested that the compound can help against blood clots and certain cancers.

Allicin is fragile and disappears quickly, leading the study's researchers to question whether various storage methods would affect its levels.

The team's experiments revealed that fresh crushed garlic is more stable and maintains higher levels of allicin than preserved versions.
I love garlic! If you do too, give this recipe a try:
Southern-Style Mixed Greens
1 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced
dash of black pepper
1 15-ounce can black eyed peas (no or low salt)*, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped yellow peppers
1 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or low fat dressing
10 ounces (about 7 cups) mixed salad greens
Combine water, garlic, and black pepper in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add black eyed peas; cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Drain. In a bowl, combine black eyed peas with yellow peppers and next four ingredients. Cover and chill for 3 hours or overnight. Serve over salad greens. Serves 2.
And it keeps vampires away too!

Are Parents Botching Kids' Weight Loss?

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink

New research claims that parents of overweight kids are all talk and no action when it comes to getting their children healthy. More from WebMD:
Minneapolis-based researchers have found that parents need to "talk less and do more" when encouraging their kids to become fit and trim. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD, of the division of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota, and colleagues found that parents who correctly recognized that their child had a weight problem talked with their kids about dieting, but this was not helpful.

Previous studies have suggested that parents do not correctly recognize if their child is overweight. Furthermore, little research has been done to determine how parents act when they correctly perceive their child's weight status.

Neumark-Sztainer's team explored whether parents of overweight teens who correctly recognized their child's weight status engaged in behaviors that helped their child's long-term weight management.
I’m no expert—or a parent for that matter—but I’d imagine, like everything else, its all about setting an example. I think Dr. Fuhrman would agree:
No rules only for children. If the parents are not willing to follow the rules set for the house, they should not be imposed on the children…Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective way for your children to develop a healthy attitude toward food.
Plus, parents and children getting healthy together has to be a great bonding experience—right?

Shakes and Drinks, Protein and Carbohydrates

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

Protein shakes are a mega business—saturated in hype. Dr. Fuhrman talks about it in How Safe Are Protein Drinks And Powders? Here’s a snippet:
Unfortunately, most trainers and bodybuilders are influenced by what they read in exercise and bodybuilding magazines. This is worse than getting nutritional information from comic books. Look through any current bodybuilding magazine; what are the vast majority of advertisements selling? Supplements! Most of the pages in these magazines are devoted to pushing worthless powders and pills. Supplement companies slant the opinions of the magazine article writers. The articles in the magazines are geared to support their advertisers.

Our entire society is on a protein binge, brainwashed with misinformation that we have been hearing since childhood. The educational materials used in most schools have been provided free by the meat, dairy, and egg industries for more than seventy years. These industries have successfully lobbied the government, resulting in favorable laws, subsidies, and advertising propaganda that promote corporate profits at the expense of national health. As a result, Americans have been programmed with dangerous information…

…Nutritional supplements can be marketed without FDA approval of safety or effectiveness. Athletes who choose to ingest these supplements should be concerned with the safety of long-term use. They are low-nutrient, low-fiber, highly-processed, high-calorie “foods,” whose consumption reduces the phytochemical density of your diet.

Ingesting more protein than your body needs is not a small matter. It ages you prematurely and can cause significant harm. The excess protein you do not use is not stored by your body as protein; it is converted to fat or eliminated via the kidneys. Eliminating excess nitrogen via your urine leaches calcium and other minerals from your bones and breeds kidney stones.
And now The New York Times investigates what you need for a long workout; protein or carbohydrates. Gina Kolata reports:
Dr. Tarnopolsky, a 45-year-old trail runner and adventure racer, might be expected to seize upon the nutritional advice. (He won the Ontario trail running series in 2004, 2005 and 2006.)

So might his colleague, Stuart Phillips, a 41-year-old associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster who played rugby for Canada’s national team and now plays it for fun. He also runs, lifts weights and studies nutrition and performance.

In fact, neither researcher regularly uses energy drinks or energy bars. They just drink water, and eat real food. Dr. Tarnopolsky drinks fruit juice; Dr. Phillips eats fruit. And neither one feels a need to ingest a special combination of protein and carbohydrates within a short window of time, a few hours after exercising.

There are grains of truth to the nutrition advice, they and other experts say. But, as so often happens in sports, those grains of truth have been expanded into dictums and have formed the basis for an entire industry in “recovery” products.

They line the shelves of specialty sports stores and supermarkets with names like Accelerade drink, Endurox R4 powder, PowerBar Recovery bar.

“It does seem to me that as a group, athletes are particularly gullible,” said Michael Rennie, a physiologist at the University of Nottingham in England who studies muscle metabolism.

The idea that what you eat and when you eat it will make a big difference in your performance and recovery “is wishful thinking,” said Dr. Rennie, a 61-year-old who was a competitive swimmer and also used to play water polo and rugby.
I don’t bother with any of these “energy” products. The only thing I eat, either before or after my workouts, is my chocolate pudding.

Strictly Controlled Veggies...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
This tray liner might be funny, but you still won’t find me at a Burger King anytime soon. Via BoingBoing:


Honestly, I check all my onions that way—makes them tender.

Save at the Supermarket, Again...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Now The Chicago Tribune is trying to save us money when shopping for groceries. Give these tips a try:

  1. Shop the perimeter.
  2. Use what you have.
  3. Shop in ethnic grocery stores.
  4. Make your own salad dressing, marinades and sauces.
  5. Pay attention to the food's price per ounce.
  6. Exploit your freezer.
  7. Write a grocery list and stick to it.
  8. Eat less.
  9. Skip the expensive beverages.
  10. Use coupons and loyalty cards to save money.

Check out the article for more and don’t forget these tips from the other day, and, definitely don’t do this: Potato chips beckon as food prices rise.

Thursday: Health Points

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Using surveillance of hospital staff to observe the ways the wipes are used routinely, researchers discovered hospital workers were using the same antimicrobial wipe on many surfaces, from bed rails to monitors, tables, and keypads. One wipe was frequently used to wipe down several surfaces or to wipe down the same surface repeatedly before being thrown away.

The research team then replicated the disinfecting methods they’d observed for laboratory analysis. The lab findings showed that some wipes were more effective than others at removing bacteria from hard surfaces but they did not kill them. When the bacteria-laden wipe was used repeatedly on one surface or on several, it spread the bacteria instead of eliminating it.
The Agriculture Department, which detected the flu in samples tested at its Ames, Iowa, laboratories, said the H7N3 strain of influenza isn't dangerous to humans. Although the Tyson flock of 15,000 chickens is being destroyed, regulators aren't blocking U.S. consumers from eating chicken raised in Arkansas, the largest poultry-producing state after Georgia.


The Tyson label has been a point of contention and confusion since it was cleared by the Agriculture Department in May 2007. As the department was moving to rescind the label, Tyson officials tried to beat regulators to the punch by announcing earlier this week that it was "voluntarily" withdrawing the label.

Removing the label quickly is a logistical and financial headache for Tyson, which said Tuesday that the Agriculture Department's June 18 deadline is "unrealistic." Tyson says it has "several months" of chicken labeled "antibiotic-free" in storage.

Agriculture Minister Chung Woon-chun said earlier Tuesday that Seoul had asked the U.S. to refrain from exporting any beef from cattle 30 months of age and older, considered at greater risk of the illness.


Presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan said the president told a weekly Cabinet meeting that "it is natural not to bring in meat from cattle 30 months of age and older as long as the people do not want it."

The spokesman also expressed hope that the United States would respect South Korea's position following large-scale anti-government protests over the weekend.
The risk of being hospitalized was greatest among babies 6 months old and younger, but the increased risk persisted up until the children were 8 years old, Dr. M. K. Kwok of the University of Hong Kong and colleagues found. Children who were premature or low birth weight were particularly vulnerable.


The findings suggest that secondhand smoke exposure may not only be harmful to children's respiratory tracts, but to their immune systems as well, Kwok and colleagues say.

Hong Kong banned smoking in public places in 2007, but babies and children may still be exposed to secondhand smoke at home, the researchers note in their report in the journal Tobacco Control. While the danger smoke exposure poses to children's developing respiratory systems is well understood, less is known about its effects on overall infection risks.

Scientists previously thought that fat cells were relatively passive and inert. Now they have evidence that fat cells are metabolically active, continuously communicating with the brain and other organs through at least 25 hormones and other signaling chemicals.


For example, fat cells seem to release hormones that inform the brain how much energy is left and when to stop (or start) eating, guide muscles in deciding when to burn fat and tell the liver when to replenish its fat stores.

All this cross talk can be a mixed blessing in the body, however. A healthy population of fat cells, for example, helps the immune system fight off infection by releasing chemicals that cause mild inflammation. But an overactive group of fat cells might keep the inflammation permanently in the "on" position, eventually leading to heart disease.
Adult-onset asthma, like other inflammatory diseases that disproportionately affect women such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, may be a relatively strong risk factor for heart disease and stroke, Dr. Stephen J. Onufrak from the US Department of Agriculture, Stoneville, Mississippi told Reuters Health.


Onufrak and colleagues used data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study to examine the association of asthma with the risks of heart disease and stroke according to gender.

They found that, compared with their counterparts without asthma, women with adult-onset asthma had a 2.10-fold increase in the rate of heart disease and a 2.36-fold increase in the rate of stroke.

There was no association between childhood- or adult-onset asthma and heart disease or stroke in men, or between childhood-onset asthma and heart or stroke in women.

Researchers found that among 9,100 middle-aged men at higher-than- average risk of heart disease, those with gout were more likely to die of a heart attack or other cardiovascular cause over 17 years.


The findings should give men with gout extra incentive to have a doctor assess their cardiac risks, lead researcher Dr. Eswar Krishnan told Reuters Health.

And if they have modifiable risk factors -- like high cholesterol, high blood pressure or excess pounds -- it will be particularly important to get them under control, noted Krishnan, an assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Give Yourself Permission to Do Less.
If you're struggling to exercise at all, bribe yourself with a mini-workout--it's better than none. You may not need to, once you get going, but the "permission" should be sincere. It's not the end of the world to shave off 10 minutes of cardio or skip a few strength training exercises. Check your routine for duplicate exercises that work the same muscles --you may be able to alternate rather than doing them all every time. If the thought of an easier workout gets you out the door, it's well worth doing "less" sometimes.


Change Routes and Routines.
Another obvious tip, but one we don't do often enough. If you exercise outdoors and have found the "best" route available for your run or walk, it can be tempting to just stick to it until you are totally sick of it but don't even realize it. Find new routes, or if there are none, revisit rejects that seemed too hilly or busy or boring--they may make a good change of pace even if they're not perfect.

Wednesday: Health Points

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
An analysis of adult eating habits in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that eating apples and apple products could greatly reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.

Researchers who looked at the NHANES data found that regularly consuming apples, applesauce or apple juice reduced the overall risk of metabolic syndrome by 27 percent.

An estimated 36 million Americans suffer from metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X or insulin-resistance syndrome. It is linked to heart disease and diabetes and is characterized by hypertension, increased waist size and abdominal fat and elevated c-reactive protein levels.
"These data show that probiotic supplements modulate immune responses...and may have the potential to alleviate the severity of symptoms," Claudio Nicoletti and colleagues at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, Britain, reported in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy.


Probiotics contain live micro-organisms, so-called good bacteria that colonize the intestine. They are sold as supplements but are also found naturally in many fermented foods, including yogurt and certain juices.

Humans normally carry several pounds of bacteria in their intestines and they are key to digestion, immune system function and possibly play other beneficial roles. They can also out-compete "bad" bacteria that may cause disease.
Research shows that may not be a great idea. In a recent study, British researchers conducted a review of the medical literature going back to the 1950s in search of scientific evidence supporting the claim. They found none. Then, after a biochemical analysis, they compared the contents of colas and other sodas with over-the-counter oral-rehydration solutions containing electrolytes and small amounts of sugar.


The soft drinks, the authors found, not only contained very low amounts of potassium, sodium and other electrolytes, but also in some cases as much as seven times the glucose recommended by the World Health Organization for rehydration. “Carbonated drinks, flat or otherwise, including cola, provide inadequate fluid and electrolyte replacement and cannot be recommended,” they said.
The study, published in the American Medical Association's journal Archives of General Psychiatry, also found the heavy cannabis users earned lower scores than the nonusers in a verbal learning task -- trying to recall a list of 15 words.


The marijuana users were more likely to exhibit mild signs of psychotic disorders, but not enough to be formally diagnosed with any such disorder, the researchers said.

"These findings challenge the widespread perception of cannabis as having limited or no harmful effects on (the) brain and behavior," said Murat Yucel of ORYGEN Research Centre and the University of Melbourne, who led the study.
Convenience stores across the state and the smokers who will be paying the price are angry about the change, but health officials hail the tax increase as a success. Cigarette taxes will raise a total of $1.3 billion for the state budget in fiscal year 2008-2009, including the new tax.


"Isn't that something - to say that I'm excited about a tax increase? But I am," said Dr. Richard Daines, the New York health commissioner. "This is a public health victory. We know one of the really effective tools to get people off of their nicotine addiction is to the raise the price."

Smokers will be paying $2.75 per pack in state taxes, a jump from the previous tax of $1.50. Before the new tax, the average price of a pack of cigarettes was $5.82 statewide, and about $8 a pack in New York City, which levies its own taxes, Daines said. The new retail price for a pack in the city could now soar past $10 depending on the store.
Very preterm infants who are fed human milk that is supplemented with fatty acids show signs of improved intellectual development, or "cognition," at 6 months of age, researchers in Norway report in the medical journal Pediatrics.


During pregnancy, fatty acids are transferred to the fetus by placental proteins and incorporated into cell membranes, Dr. Christian Andre Drevon and colleagues explain. However, premature infants are relatively deprived of two fatty acids -- docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid -- because human milk supplies less than the fetus receives in the womb.

Drevon, at the University of Oslo, and colleagues examined the effect of adding docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid supplements to human breast milk, which was given to very low birth weight (VLBW) infants (birth weight less than 1500 grams, or about 3.3 lbs.). Infants with major birth defects or cerebral hemorrhage were excluded from the study.
True or false?
  1. Brussels sprouts are a type of cabbage.
  2. Brussels sprouts provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection for your body.
  3. Brussels sprouts are low in fiber.
  4. Phytonutrients in Brussels sprouts help the body to defend against diseases.
  5. Folate is one nutrient that can't be found in Brussels sprouts.
  6. If you need a good night's sleep, eating Brussels sprouts for dinner can help because they contain tryptophan, which is sleep-promoting.
  7. Brussels sprouts are a good source of vitamin A.
Their findings, confirmed in two studies the researchers did on mice, were published in the June 2 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Researchers have long known that inflammation caused by infectious agents, such as Helicobacter pylori and hepatitis C, produces cytokines -- chemicals that can foster cancerous cell proliferation and suppress cell death. This increases the risk of stomach and liver cancers. They had also suspected that the inflammation pathway could also induce cancer, as the body's response to infection includes a release of reactive oxygen and nitrogen that can damage DNA.

Normally, the DNA damage would be repaired by the cells. But, if the DNA repair system is not functioning properly, the damage could induce cell mutations that can lead to cancer, according to the new study.

Salmonella Outbreak: Tomatoes a Suspect

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Uncooked tomatoes are being linked to salmonella outbreaks in 9 states. The Associated Press reports:
An investigation by Texas and New Mexico health authorities and the Indian Health Service tied those cases to uncooked, raw, large tomatoes.

At least 17 people in Texas and New Mexico have been hospitalized. None have died, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Another 30 people have become sick with the same Salmonella Saintpaul infection in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Idaho, Illinois and Indiana. CDC investigators are looking into whether tomatoes were culprits there, too.
Not good. Tomatoes are a super food. Save the tomatoes!

Breaking Habits, Keeping Weight Off

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Change can be hard. Changing your diet can be doubly tough and America’s favorite foods don’t exactly help matters. Dr. Fuhrman explains in Eat For Health:
Modern foods are designed to seduce your taste buds. You have been manipulated by profit motivated food manufacturers. We all have. The artificially concentrated flavors that the processed food industry uses to stimulate the brain’s pleasure center are designed to increase and retain sales. Tragically, the result is that they lead people’s taste buds astray. Artificial, intense flavors cause us to enjoy natural flavors less. Our taste buds become desensitized, and the more we succumb to the heightened, artificial flavors, the less appealing natural, whole foods become.
Now, Shari Roan of The Los Angeles Times asks the question, “Why it's hard to maintain weight loss?” Here’s an excerpt:
"There is a big shift toward understanding long-term weight maintenance," says Paul MacLean, associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, Denver. "We have a huge number of diet books and diet programs, and if you do them, you can lose weight. The big problem is keeping it off. The recent estimates are that 5% to 10% of people are successful at keeping weight off on a long-term basis."

But before you throw up your hands and reach for the Twinkies, consider this: Scientists think the truth will set us free -- that understanding the stubborn biological processes at work will lead to ways to fight back and outsmart them.

Exercise, it's known, buffers the post-diet body against regaining weight, in ways that researchers are just starting to comprehend. Certain foods, scientists believe, may help stave off weight regain too. And medications now in development target some of the biochemistry thought to be linked to packing the pounds back on…

…Appetite hormones change too. The hormone leptin, for example, is a major appetite regulator -- it tells the body to stop eating and store fat after meals. Some people may be genetically prone to having lower leptin levels, making them more prone to obesity. But studies also show that, after a weight loss, leptin levels are lower than what they used to be. That means appetite is less easily quelled. It's like a car that has suddenly lost its brakes.

Another hormone, ghrelin, stimulates food intake -- levels in the brain fall lower after a meal. However, after a weight loss, ghrelin levels in the blood generally increase, and the fall-off after mealtimes isn't as marked.

"You lose 10% of your body weight. All of a sudden all these systems kick in to try to keep you from losing weight," says Dr. Ken Fujioka, director of nutrition and metabolic research at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego. "People are mad at themselves or depressed after they regain the weight. But I explain: It's not you. Biology has kicked in now. . . . You are hungry all the time. You think about food all the time."
This is all well and good, but staying determined and keeping your eyes on the prize is a great way to buck to the trend. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
It is not easy to develop new habits, and there is no such thing as a quick shortcut to developing new skills and expertise. When you do something over and over, it creates a pathway in the brain that makes it easier and more comfortable to repeat again. That is one reason why it is so hard to change bad habits. However, if you are motivated to persevere and keep trying, the change becomes considerably easier. The more you make healthful meals and the more days you link together eating healthful foods, the more your brain will naturally prefer to eat that way. Of course, feeling better and losing weight is a great motivator, but through this process, your taste for a different way of eating can be established. It has been shown that a new food needs to be eaten about 15 times for it to become a preferred food. Keep in mind that the more days you eat healthfully, the more you will lose your addiction to unhealthful, stimulating substances, and, with time, you will look forward to, and prefer, a healthy diet. Don’t give up. The only failure is to stop trying.
I’m not an expert, but I think eating and living healthfully gets easier the longer you do it. For me, its as if my instincts changed—know what I mean?

Food Prices: Save When You Shop

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink
Lately everything is getting more expensive, including food. Jacki Donaldson of That’sFit offers up five tips that might save you a buck or two. Take a look:
Make lists: Shopping with a list can save 10 percent on unnecessary items, like junk food.

Buy in bulk: Don't buy more than you need -- waste is costly too -- but often, bulk items are priced better.

Go simple: Usually, the more processed the food, the more it costs. It's less healthy too.

Don't buy on impulse: Focus on staples, like milk, eggs, bread, and canned and frozen fruits and veggies. Avoid the tempting goods, like cakes and cookies strategically placed so you can't miss them and those yummy candy bars calling your name in the check-out lines.

Use coupons: Be flexible and plan meals around what's on sale, and you can definitely lower your grocery bill. This may mean switching brands and types of food.
I’m not an expert, but I’d like to add a few of my own tips here:
Choose wisely: Buy nutrient-dense filling foods, like high-fiber cruciferous vegetables; spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens, etc.


Freeze when possible: If you see some cheap fruit or veggies that do well once frozen. Buy them! I find bananas, berries, and greens freeze well. Same goes for leftovers.

Buy markdowns: Some of the supermarkets I go to sell reduced price fruits and veggies, usually they’re just over-ripe, not rotten. There’s NO shame in it. I buy them all the time.
Now, if you’ve got some good suggestions. I’m all ears.

Mediterranean Diet vs. Type-2 Diabetes

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
The Mediterranean diet is supposed to be healthy, but many members of my Italian, pasta and olive oil eating extended family have endured obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Is there something wrong here? Maybe so, Dr. Fuhrman explains:
In the 1950s people living in the Mediterranean, especially on the island of Crete, were lean and virtually free of heart disease. Yet over 40 percent of their caloric intake come from fat, primarily olive oil. If we look at the diet they consumed back then, we note that Cretans ate mostly fruits, vegetables, beans and some fish. Saturated fat was less than 6 percent of their total fat intake. True, they ate lots of olive oil, but the rest of their diet was exceptionally healthy. They also worked hard in the fields, walking about nine miles a day, often pushing a plow or working other manual farm equipment.
Well, my family does eat a lot of olive and fish, but they’re certainly not plowing any fields. Actually, their diet and lifestyle is more like the diet of modern Crete. Back to Dr. Fuhrman:
Today the people of Crete are fat, just like us. They're still eating alot of olive oil, but their consumption of fruits, vegetables, and beans is down. Meat, cheese, and fish are their new staples, and their physical activity level has plummeted. Today, heart disease has skyrocketed and more than half the population of both adults and children in Crete is overweight.1
So I’m not sure you can bank on the results of this study. According to new research in the British Medical Journal adhering to a Mediterranean diet can protect you against developing type-2 diabetes. HealthDay News reports:
A Mediterranean diet is often recommended as a way to guard against cardiovascular disease, but whether it protects against diabetes hasn't been established. The diet emphasizes olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes and fish, and deemphasizes meat and dairy products.

"The Mediterranean diet is a healthful eating plan that seems to help in the prevention of heart disease," said Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, who was not involved with the study. "Consumption of the Mediterranean diet will support health and may aid in the prevention of several diseases," she added.

For the study, published online May 30 in the British Medical Journal, researchers tracked the diets of 13,380 Spanish university graduates with no history of diabetes. Participants filled out a 136-item food questionnaire, which measured their entire diet (including their intake of fats), their cooking methods and their use of dietary supplements.

During an average of 4.4 years of follow-up, the team found that people who adhered to a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, those who stuck very closely to the diet reduced their risk by 83 percent.
I think what attracts people to the Mediterranean diet is that it sound exotic and it is better than the Standard American Diet, but it’s not good enough! Time to start eating a nutrient-dense vegetable-based diet!
Continue Reading

Eat For Health: High-Nutrient Foods That Can Be Eaten In Unlimited Quantities

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES
  • Romaine lettuce, leaf lettuces, kale, collards, Swiss chard, cabbage, spinach, bok choy, parsley.
SOLID GREEN VEGETABLES
  • Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, kohlrabi, okra, peas, green peppers, snow peas, string beans, zucchini.
NON-GREEN, HIGH-NUTRIENT VEGETABLES
  • Beets, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, peppers, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, cauliflower, squash, carrots.
BEANS AND LEGUMES (cooked, canned, or sprouted)
  • Red kidney beans, adzuki beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, cowpeas, navy beans, cannelloni beans, soybeans, lentils, white beans, lima beans, pigeon peas, black-eyed peas, black beans, split peas.
FRESH FRUITS
  • Apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, all melons, oranges, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapples, plums, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines.

Presidential Health Wars: McCain Robust, Obama Excellent

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink
Doctors are describing Senator John McCain’s health as “robust.” The New York Times reports:

Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has kidney stones and takes medication to reduce his cholesterol but otherwise has a strong heart and is in good shape, the doctors said.


“At the present time, Senator McCain enjoys excellent health and displays extraordinary energy,” Mr. McCain’s primary care physician, Dr. John D. Eckstein, told reporters in a conference call arranged by Mr. McCain’s campaign. “While it is impossible to predict any person’s future health, today I can find no medical reason or problems that would preclude Senator McCain from fulfilling all the duties and obligations of president of the United States.”

In addition, Dr. Eckstein said, “We continue to find no evidence of metastasis or recurrence of the invasive melanoma as we approach the eighth anniversary of that operation.”

He concluded that the prognosis for Mr. McCain was “very good” because “the time of greatest risk for recurrence of invasive melanoma is within the first few years after the surgery.”
Others are calling Senator Barack Obama’s health “excellent.” More from The New York Times:


It is the first time Mr. Obama, 46, has publicly released information on his medical history or current health condition. The brief statement summarized the senator’s health for the last 21 years and was signed by Dr. David L. Scheiner , who has been Mr. Obama’s primary care physician for more than two decades.


Mr. Obama’s “family history is pertinent,” according to the doctor, who noted that the senator’s mother died from ovarian cancer and his grandfather died of prostate cancer. Mr. Obama’s smoking history – off and on for at least two decades – also was noted.

“His own history included intermittent cigarette smoking,” Dr. Scheiner wrote in a six-paragraph letter. “He has quit this practice on several occasions and is currently using Nicorette gum with success.”

Dr. Schiener, who is on staff at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Rush University Medical Center, said he last examined Mr. Obama on Jan. 15, 2007 – one day before Mr. Obama created a presidential exploratory committee. He has been Mr. Obama’s doctor since March 23, 1987.
So, what’s better, excellent or robust?

Prostate Cancer vs. FruHis...

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
According to a new study FruHis, found in dehydrated tomatoes, may have secret powers against prostate cancer. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News explains:
But the study only looked at animals and, the authors warned, FruHis is not ready for the doctor's office or medicine cabinet just yet.

"This study was conducted in a rat model, and you cannot possibly draw any conclusions for people," said study author Valeri Mossine, a research assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Missouri. "That's something we need to do next. But before you enter a study with humans, you have to prove that something works with animals. If it works, then you go on."

Several studies have pointed to a prostate cancer-fighting quality in tomatoes, but the exact mechanisms have been elusive.

In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration laid out evidence or rather, a lack of it, behind a previous statement the agency had issued that tomato consumption is not linked to any reduction in risk of prostate tumors (or ovarian, stomach or pancreatic malignancies).

The November 2005 statement issued by the FDA contended that, "there is no credible evidence to support qualified health claims for lycopene, as a food ingredient, component or food, or as a dietary supplement, and reduced risk of any of the cancers in the petition."
Tomatoes kick butt! Then again, all veggies rock! For more news on vegetables, check out DiseaseProof’s healthy food category.

Depression: Pregnancy and Omega-3's

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
A new study found treating depressed pregnant women with omega-3 fatty acids helped reduce symptoms. Michelle Rizzo of Reuters reports:
"Perinatal depression is common, and treatment remains challenging," Dr. Kuan-Pin Su, of China Medical University Hospital, Taiwan, and colleagues explain in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

When a pregnant woman needs to be treated for major depression, "the possible risks and benefits of antidepressant medication are considered to have significant impacts on both mother and baby," Su commented to Reuters Health. "Many women and their health care providers prefer the use of non-medication treatments," Su added.

"Depression has been reported to be associated with the abnormality of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)," the team notes in their article. They propose that the requirements of the growing baby lead to "a profound decrease of omega-3 PUFAs in the mother during pregnancy," and this might "precipitate the occurrence of depression."

To see if omega-3 supplements would help, the researchers assigned 36 pregnant women with depression to take 3.4 grams of omega-3 PUFAs or an inactive placebo daily for eight weeks.
Omegas are wonderful nutrients. Not only can they help with mood disorders, but they’re great for your ticker too. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Compared to the American population, those eating this way in the Mediterranean region exhibit a lower risk of heart disease and common cancers. Heart attack rates are 25 percent lower, and the rate of obesity is about half of America’s. The climate and fertile soil allow for many high nutrient plants to grow, which makes most of the dishes rich in phytochemicals. That, in turn, accounts for the diet’s protective effects. Nuts, particularly walnuts, are commonly used in the diet and they are a good source of omega-3 fats and other heart protective nutrients. The use of fish instead of meat also decreases saturated fat consumption and increases these beneficial fats. For these reasons, it is understandable why the Mediterranean diet is considered healthier than the SAD, but it is not without drawbacks. Studying its beneficial health outcomes—along with those of diets in other areas of the world such as Japan, rural China, Fiji, and Tibet— allows us to use the Mediterranean diet’s culinary principals to make a diet deliciously varied and even more disease protective, while avoiding its problems.
Seeds are another awesome source of healthy fats. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Over the last few years, the health benefits of seeds also have become more apparent. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hempseeds, chia seeds, or other seeds can supply those hard-to find omega-3 fats that protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.1 Seeds are also rich in lignans, a type of fiber associated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. In addition, seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and folate. The plant goes to great effort in producing and protecting its seed, filling each genetic package with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils, and enzymes.
For more on depression and how to treat it without medication, check out: Treating Depression Naturally.
Continue Reading

Food: Tempe, Isn't that a Town in Arizona?

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink
Yes, it is, but tempe is also the latest food craze. Apparently a lot of vegetarians are giving this fermented whole-grain a look. More from Chalmers:
"Tempe is designed for vegetarians, but also for people who want to eat less meat for environmental reasons, for example," says Charlotte Eklund-Jonsson at the Department of Food Science.

"We also had the environment in mind when we chose to base it on barley and oats, which are suitable to cultivate in Sweden and therefore do not require long transports."

Tempe is produced through fermentation with the aid of the micro fungus Rhizopus oligosporus. Tempe fermentation originates from Indonesia, but soybeans are used as the raw material there.

In her work, Charlotte Eklund-Jonsson developed methods to preserve the high fiber content of the cereal grains and at the same time to enhance their content of easily accessible iron. Normally these two considerations work against each other.

The findings show that the uptake of iron doubled after a meal of barley tempe compared with unfermented barley. In other studies both oat and barley tempe moreover produced low blood sugar responses and insulin responses, which is typical of whole-grain products.
Honestly, I don’t know squat about tempe. Now, while I do some research, here are some other sources of tempe’s nutrients. From Dr. Fuhrman:
Many people are not aware that green vegetables are rich in iron and are a complete source of all essential amino acids, too. I would rather get my iron from greens, seeds and beans…


…cantaloupes are another vitamin powerhouse. With only 56 calories a cup, one gets a huge amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene as well as folate, potassium, fiber, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6…

…Raw nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients. They contain lignans, bioflavonoids, minerals, and other antioxidants that protect the fragile freshness of the fats therein; they also contain plant proteins and plant sterols that naturally lower cholesterol. And because nuts and seeds supply certain fibers, phytochemicals, phytosterols, and bioactive nutrients not found in other foods (such as polyphenols and arginine), they have other beneficial effects that prevent blood vessel inflammation.
Since tempe is a grain, I’d do what I do with all my grains—limit them. Take a look:


Have you ever tried tempe?

Thursday: Health Points

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
"I never would have thought that we would be seeing these effects into the later 20s," said study co-author Kim Dietrich, a professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati. "I'm actually quite astounded and quite worried about this. Although lead levels have been going down in this country, a large proportion of the population now in their 20s and 30s had blood levels in this neurotoxic range."

Childhood lead exposure has been linked with anti-social behavior, lower IQ, attention deficits, hyperactivity and weak executive control functions, all of which are risk factors for future delinquent behavior (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, in particular, is a risk factor for adult criminal behavior). Studies have also related sales of leaded gasoline or high atmospheric lead levels with criminal behavior.
Peak Corn: Blame Earl Butz. Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford's Secretary of Agriculture brought in the Farm Bill that dramatically increased the amount of corn produced in America. He encouraged farmers to "get big or get out," and to plant crops like corn "from fence row to fence row." Further billions in subsidies to farmers encouraged production, and soon America was awash in cheap grain, and with it cheap meat.


Peak Dirt: Really, Peak Dirt- the world is losing soil 10 to 20 times faster than it is replenishing it. Drake Bennett in the Boston Globe tells us that dirt is complicated stuff, made from sand or silt, then years of plants adding nutrition, bugs and worms adding their excrement, dying and rotting.
California Water Service Company reports high levels of mercury in water making it useless for drinking. Every attempts of purifying the water, such as boiling it, are useless, because the pollution level is high.


Mercury is much more dangerous when drinking than when breathing. However, boiling the water leads to mercury release into the air, so the pollution and health risk still exists.

California Water Service Company is now notifying residents about health concerns. Sheriff's Office itself is investigating the case to find out the reasons of why mercury level is so high.
Get enough sleep: Most of us know that money can't buy happiness, but who knew that a good night's sleep just might? That's a key finding of that University of Michigan study. "Making $60,000 more in annual income has less of an effect on your daily happiness than getting one extra hour of sleep a night," says study author Norbert Schwarz, Ph.D., a professor of psychology.


Take the long view: Having a sense of perspective will also improve your attitude. "It gives you more patience, and it certainly awakens you to the preciousness of the moment, which is fleeting," says M.J. Ryan, author of The Happiness Makeover. She remembers the times when her daughter wanted to sit on her lap and watch a video. "Yes, I had other things to do. But I said to myself, 'How long will this last?' I'm grateful for that time with her."
The germ, resistant to some antibiotics, has become a regular menace in hospitals and nursing homes. The study found it played a role in nearly 300,000 hospitalizations in 2005, more than double the number in 2000.


The infection, Clostridium difficile, is found in the colon and can cause diarrhea and a more serious intestinal condition known as colitis. It is spread by spores in feces. But the spores are difficult to kill with most conventional household cleaners or antibacterial soap.

C-diff, as it's known, has grown resistant to certain antibiotics that work against other colon bacteria. The result: When patients take those antibiotics, competing bacteria die off and C-diff explodes.
Dr. Monique M. B. Breteler told Reuters Health that her group had previously found that men, but not women, with a silent heart attack are more likely to have a stroke than men who had a recognized heart attack or those who had not had any heart attack.


To examine whether this might also be the case for dementia and so-called cerebral small vessel disease, Breteler of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and her colleagues examined data for more than 6300 participants in a population-based study.

At the start of the study, from 1990 to 1993, the subjects were classified as having a recognized heart attack, not having a heart attack, or having had an unrecognized heart attack based on EKG tracings. They were followed for the occurrence of dementia, of which there were 613 cases by 2005.
The Food and Drug Administration gained new powers in March to require distribution limits or other restrictions on the sale of new medicines.


"That's taking a considerable amount of time more for every application. That will go away in time," Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an interview with Reuters.

At present, the process is adding days or weeks to reviews of drugs that need the additional safety measures, she said.

Woodcock has worked at the FDA for more than two decades. In March, she returned to a previous post running the agency's drugs division after taking other leadership responsibilities.
Social psychologists have already shown that thoughts about death can spur buying behaviour. For example, in the months following 9/11 shops in the US noted a spike in purchases of luxury products, canned goods and sweets.


To better understand the link between thoughts of mortality and the urge to consume, Naomi Mandel at Arizona State University, Tempe, and Dirk Smeesters at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, asked 746 students to write essays on one of two topics: their death or a visit to the dentist. Each participant also completed a questionnaire designed to evaluate their level of self-esteem.

They found that subjects with low self-esteem who wrote about death ate more cookies, when given the opportunity, and bought more items from a hypothetical shopping list compared to those who wrote about the dentist. In people with high self-esteem, thoughts of death had little effect.

Childhood Obesity, Leveling Off...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
It seems school lunch reforms may be paying off. Childhood obesity rates appear to be leveling off. Serena Gordon of HealthDay News reports:
However, experts caution there's still much to be done to improve the health of American children because the number of youngsters who are overweight today is still triple what it was in the 1960s and 1970s.

"The rates are still very high. But this study suggests there may be some cause for optimism as the rate appears fairly level over eight years," said study author Cynthia Ogden, an epidemiologist at the National Center for Health Statistics, whose findings are published in the May 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Others agreed with Ogden's assessment.

"After 25 years of extraordinarily bad news about childhood obesity, there is a glimmer of hope. But it's much too soon to know whether rates have truly leveled off," said the author of an accompanying editorial in the same issue of the journal, Dr. David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children's Hospital Boston.

"Even if they have leveled off, the prevalence is at such high levels that unless we do something, unless we redouble our efforts, this generation is in store for a shorter and less healthful life than their parents," Ludwig said.
Although, researchers warn that the rates are still high, so, we’ve got more work to do—let’s get those numbers down!

Aquaponics, What's Aquaponics?

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
If you eat a vegetable-based diet, growing your own can be a great way to save some cash. So, why not give “aquaponics” a try? TreeHugger fills us in:
Australian company Backyard Aquaponics (who were briefly mentioned in our original post on the subject) and their PDF magazine entitled Backyard Aquaponics: Bringing Food Production Back Home. The first issue is available free online, and includes an excellent introduction to the field:

“Aquaponics is essentially the combination of Aquaculture and Hydroponics. Both aquaculture and hydroponics have some down sides, hydroponics requires expensive nutrients to feed the plants, and also requires periodic flushing of the systems which can lead to waste disposal issues. Re-circulating aquaculture needs to have excess nutrients removed from the system, normally this means that a percentage of the water is removed, generally on a daily basis. This nutrient rich water then needs to be disposed of and replaced with clean fresh water.

While re-circulating aquaculture and hydroponics are both very efficient methods of producing fish and vegetables, when we look at combining the two, these negative aspects are turned into positives. The positive aspects of both aquaculture and hydroponics are retained and the negative aspects no longer exist. Aquaponics can be as simple or as complex as you’d like to make it…
For a second I thought they were talking about the stuff people used to grow in college.

Buy a Watermelon, Get the Scorpion Free!

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
Imagine rummaging through the bin for a good watermelon and—WHAM—you get stung by a scorpion! More from the Associated Press:
A 12-year-old girl picking up a seedless watermelon from a bin was stung Sunday by a tan, inch-long scorpion that had apparently stowed away in a shipment from Mexico.

Megan Templeton, of Barboursville, was taken to the hospital as a precaution but later released. Her father, William Templeton, said the pain was a little worse than a bee sting.

He initially didn't believe his daughter when she said she had been stung by a scorpion, but then he saw the critter scurry underneath a box. It was captured by Wal-Mart employees.
I sympathize with the scorpion. If someone tries to grab my watermelon—WHAM—I’d sting them too.

8 Good Foods and Lots of Bad Food

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Let’s start with the good stuff. Men’sHealth offers up 8 foods that’ll help keep your stomach flat. Here they are:
  1. Spinach: It may be green and leafy, but spinach is no nutritional wallflower. This noted muscle-builder is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis.
  2. Yogurt: Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation, but the 2,000-year-old food’s health benefits are not disputed: Fermentation spawns hundreds of millions of reinforcements for the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body.
  3. Tomatoes: There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: Red are the best, because they’re packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene, and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene.
  4. Carrots: Most red, yellow, or orange vegetables and fruits are spiked with carotenoids — fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers
  5. Blueberries: Host to more antioxidants than any other North American fruit, blueberries help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes (hence the nickname “brain berry”).
  6. Black Beans: All beans are good for your heart, but none can boost your brain power like black beans.
  7. Walnuts: Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken.
  8. Oats: The original wunderkind of health food, oats garnered the FDA’s first seal of approval. They are packed with soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease.
Yuck, yogurt! Now, onto the bad stuff. Fitness magazine’s 2008 Healthy Food Awards have been announced and somehow stuff like this made the cut:







This junk makes a "healthy foods" list! Where are the fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, and seeds? Come on, at least give me one darn blueberry!

America's Top 5 Veggies

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
My top five vegetables are baby spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, acorn squash, and cabbage. None of these made America’s top five. This sad list via Jacki Donaldson of That’s Fit:
My top five veggies are broccoli, peas, corn, squash, and spinach salad leaves. These aren't the five eaten by the majority of Americans, though. The overall top five in this country, according to Canyon Ranch's Connection magazine, are:
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • French fries
  • Potatoes
  • Potato chips
  • Canned tomato
I mean come on. How can you even consider French Fries and potato chips a vegetable! I weep for our nation.

Back Pain and Vitamin D

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Not getting enough vitamin D can be a pain, in the back, for older women. Reuters reports on this new research:
"Given that low vitamin D status is fairly prevalent in older adults and that there are significant functional consequences to untreated chronic pain, these findings argue strongly for querying adults about their pain and potentially screening older women with significant back pain for vitamin D deficiency," Dr. Gregory E. Hicks of the University of Delaware in Newark and his colleagues write.

Among older people, vitamin D deficiency has been tied to a number of health problems, including an increased risk of bone fracture, Hicks and colleagues note in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Lack of the vitamin could also, theoretically, contribute to musculoskeletal pain, they add, although research on vitamin D deficiency and pain syndromes has yielded mixed results.

To investigate the relationship, Hicks and his colleagues looked at blood levels of vitamin D in 958 people 65 and older. Fifty-eight percent of the women in the study, and 27 percent of the men, had at least some moderate pain in at least one region of the body.

For men, there was no relationship between vitamin D levels and pain. Women with vitamin D deficiency, on the other hand, were nearly twice as likely to have back pain that was moderate or worse, but vitamin D status wasn't related to pain in other parts of the body.
No doubt, vitamin D is very important and here’s a great way to get it: A Sunny Cancer-Fighter.

About Food and Diabetes

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Some health experts examine food issues surrounding type-2 diabetes. More from Peter Jaret of The New York Times:
Experts have yet to come up with anything close to a surefire approach to help people shed pounds. And dietary recommendations to prevent or slow diabetes have often been contradictory and confusing. Nearly 30 years after the American Diabetes Association recommended a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet to control diabetes, overturning the high-fat, low-carbohydrate approach of earlier decades, controversy still swirls around the amount and types of carbohydrates to eat.

Much of the debate focuses on the glycemic index, a measure of how carbohydrate-rich foods affect blood sugar, and whether these effects play a significant role in the progression of Type 2 diabetes. Foods high on the glycemic index, like sugared beverages, cake and white rice, are known to send blood sugar levels up sharply after a meal. Foods low on the index, like broccoli, lettuce, brown rice and whole grains, on the other hand, take longer to digest and hence keep blood sugar levels on a more even keel.

The American Diabetes Association has decided that patients should not be counseled to take the glycemic index into account when choosing foods. “Although it is clear that carbohydrates do have differing glycemic responses,” its policy statement declares, “the data reveal no clear trend in outcome benefits.”

That’s a mistake, says Dr. David Ludwig, an endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital in Boston and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School.
I think these “experts” should give Dr. Fuhrman a call or at least snoop around DiseaseProof’s diabetes category—don’t you think?

Talking About Food Safety

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
A new study has concluded that federal agencies must share information in order to properly ensure food safety. Christopher Doering of Reuters reports:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that 76 million people in the United States get sick every year with some sort of foodborne illness and that 5,000 die.

The 148-page report said the current system is impaired because thousands of local health departments, university researchers, corporations and other institutions often collect data for their own use, with no mandate to share information.

To improve the food safety network, researchers said, incentives for government and private organizations to collaborate must replace the obstacles to sharing information.

"We're missing opportunities to prevent illness," said Michael Taylor, a professor of health policy at George Washington University, who co-authored the report.

"We are missing opportunities to make food safer. We don't have the best information about what the problems are and what the solutions can be," he said in a phone interview.

The report noted that individual government agencies have a sense of ownership that can deter data sharing while the food industry has competitive, liability and other reasons.
Wow, that’s a startling revelation. Government should cooperate with itself—shocking!

Diabetes: Eat and Live Well...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
According to a new study drinking less alcohol, eating more veggies, and exercising can hold off diabetes. Michael Kahn of Reuters reports:
Diet and exercise reduced the incidence of diabetes by about 43 percent over 20 years among 577 high-risk Chinese adults, the researchers reported in the journal Lancet.

At the end of the 20 years, 80 percent of those who changed what they ate and exercised more had diabetes, compared with 93 percent who made no changes, said Guangwei Li of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing and Ping Zhang at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings came as part of a series of studies addressing new research about diabetes, which affects 246 million adults worldwide, and accounts for 6 percent of all global deaths.

"The challenge is to translate research findings into substantial clinical improvements for patients. Although prospects are hopeful, they are not assured," the Lancet wrote in a commentary.
Sometimes the answers are SO obvious, but still overlooked—sigh.

Blog Updates...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Hopefully you’ve noticed that DiseaseProof just added some new features. Check this out:


We added this tab, so readers—both new and old—have a quick route to any Dr. Fuhrman products they might be curious about.


Also, we added an Amazon Widget. Take a look:


I figured you guys might be interested in the types products your fellow Eat to Livers buy. I emailed a bunch of DiseaseProof readers beforehand and everyone thought it was a cool idea. So what do you think, good idea?


If you use anything that you'd think other Eat to Livers would like, email me at diseaseproof@gmail.com. My hope is that this widget becomes a mini-community center, where we can share product tips and recommendations.

Okay, time to get real. Because I care very deeply about the integrity of the blog, I want you to know that no one makes any money from the new tab, but, the widget will yield some affiliate referral income.

But here’s the deal, the amount of money is negligible, trust me, no one is getting rich off it. The widget is intended for community-development and not money-making.

So, I hope you enjoy the new updates and please, email me if you have any thoughts about it: diseaseproof@gmail.com.

Eat For Health: A Nutritarian is Different Than a Vegetarian

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

In living the Eat For Health plan, you will become a nutritarian and learn to include more nutrient rich foods in your diet. A vegetarian or vegan diet that is plant-based also contains a portfolio of natural substances that have various health advantages, including protection against cancer. I am taking the liberty here to use the words vegan and vegetarian interchangeably, but a vegan diet is one that contains no foods of animal product origin whereas a vegetarian diet may contain some dairy. The advantages of a vegetarian (or vegan) diet are mostly because vegetarians are more likely to consume more vegetables, beans, fruit, nuts, and seeds compared to those eating more conventionally, not simply because they are refraining from meat products. Vegans who live on processed cereals, white flour products, rice, white potato, and processed soy products should not be expected to significantly extend their lifespan because their diet cannot be considered nutrient-rich.

Being a nutritarian differs from being a typical vegetarian because the focus on high-nutrient vegetation improves health dramatically, and one can reduce the level of animal products to a safe level without having to exclude them completely. Without considering nutrient density, a vegetarian diet could be just as bad as one that includes a lot of animal products. A vegan diet is an option for excellent health as long as care is taken to eat healthy, nutrient-rich foods. Making animal products the disease-causation villain while filling up on low-nutrient plant foods or processed soy foods will not suffice to achieve health excellence. The reduction in consumption of animal products is only one important feature of this eating-style, not the focal point. Even though you could consider yourself a nutritarian and vegan, the critical issue for disease reduction is not whether one is a strict vegan or not; the issue is the nutrients per calorie of a given diet.

People advocating a meat-based diet may be able to critique a grain and flour-heavy vegan diet as having metabolic deficiencies, but not a diet that is low in animal products and based on nutrient-dense plant foods. This program contains the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, gleaned from the reduction of animal products, without the risks from all those lower-nutrient, higher-glycemic foods such as sugar, French fries and processed grains.

In addition, you do not have to exclude all animal products from your diet to follow this plan and to receive profound benefits to the health of your blood vessels and the rest of your body. You just have to reduce them to safe levels. Humans are primates, and all other primates eat a diet of predominantly natural vegetation. When the great apes eat animal products, it is a very small percentage of their total caloric intake. Likewise, modern medical studies confirm that in order for humans to maximize their potential for a long, disease-free life, they have to keep animal products to a relatively small percentage as well. Animal products are low in micronutrients, contain almost no antioxidants and phytochemicals, and are rich in calories. Thus, they should be limited for health excellence. We want to thrive in our later years, not just survive long enough to reproduce and then deteriorate.

The main point here that I want to emphasize, as always, is the benefit of nutritional excellence. In the Standard American Diet, less than five percent of the total caloric intake comes from nutrient-rich foods. This dangerously low intake of unrefined plant foods guarantees a weakened immunity to disease, leading to frequent illnesses, and a shorter lifespan. When you eat a truly health-supporting diet, you can expect not only a drop in blood pressure and cholesterol and a reversal of heart disease, but your headaches, constipation, indigestion, and bad breath should all resolve. To achieve this means eating less animal products, processed foods, sugar, and flour, and eating more high-nutrient plant foods and exercising. This lifestyle shift is the key to disease protection in general.

Cut Veggies with Playing Cards

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
This is guy is like the real life Gambit. Marvel at his card hurling powers:


If I wind up in the emergency room with severe paper cuts, you’ll know why.

Wednesday: Health Points

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

A report released this week by the Stockholm International Water Institute says that as much as 50 percent of the calories grown globally don't make it to the table. Given that crop production uses about 1,800 trillion gallons (1,700 cubic miles) of water a year, almost 40 percent of which comes from irrigation rather than rainwater, that loss represents a lot of water.

In the United States, up to 30 percent of food is tossed out each year, the report says, worth about $48.8 billion and equivalent to flushing 10 trillion gallons of water down the drain.

"There's a very low awareness about the size of these figures," said report lead author Jan Lundqvist. "I think most people don't realize that the loss and the wastage is at that level."
They were navigating the streets of the nation's capital, on the way to get their hair done. Nakia Sanford was driving, while Washington Mystics teammate Taj McWilliams-Franklin sat in the passenger's seat talking and playing with her iPod.


"I look up, and there's this restaurant," McWilliams-Franklin said. "Soul Vegetarian?"

Sanford pulled over on the spot. The hair would have to wait.

"We hopped out, went in there, it was awesome," McWilliams-Franklin said. "We had soy mac and cheese, whole wheat pasta, soy cheese, soy milk, and it was fabulous."

The chance pit stop at the Soul Vegetarian Cafe was a rare moment in American professional sports: Two players from the same team indulging their dietary preferences by sharing a vegan meal.
If you are vegetarian or vegan you're probably used to meat-eaters asking you "How do you get your protein?". If you're sick and tired of rattling off a list of veg foods, then you need "How I Get My Protein: A List of Meat-Free Protein Sources"!


This adorable pocket-sized book measures 3 x 1 7/8 inches and contains a short list of meat-free protein sources, the amount of protein per serving, and % daily value.

Also included is information on how much protein the average person needs each day, and a list of resources on vegetarian and vegan nutrition.
A study recently published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that teens in towns with complete smoking bans were 40 percent less likely to become established smokers compared with their peers in areas with weak restrictions.


The study followed 3,834 Massachusetts youths, ages 12 to 17, for up to four years. I

In towns where smoking wasn't restricted or was only partially restricted, 9.6 percent and 9.8 percent of the youths, respectively, became established smokers over the study period.

But in towns where smoking was banned in restaurants, 7.9 percent became smokers.
According to a recent study, one third of American parents have no clue what to expect after they're no longer expecting. This is bad news for babies because parents with unrealistically high expectations can become frustrated, and those with low ones may inadvertently hinder on-track development or delay treatment for correctable condition.


In the study, parents of 10,000 babies were assessed using both a written test and videotape of the parents attempting to teach their young children a new task. The findings showed 31% of the parents surveyed had low-level knowledge of infant development.

One of the researchers, Heather Paradis feels doctors need to step up to help correct the situation. "This is a wake-up call for pediatricians," Paradis said. "At office visits, we have a prime opportunity to intervene and help realign parents' expectations for their infants, and in turn, promote healthy physical, social, and emotional development for these children.
In a study of more than 5,500 men and women ages 30 to 79, researchers found that three-quarters of women and two-thirds of men reported at least one urinary tract symptoms -- such as frequent trips to the bathroom overnight, difficulty emptying the bladder and urinary incontinence.


Obese adults were more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to have multiple, more severe symptoms. Smoking, lack of exercise and heavy drinking were also linked to more serious urinary problems.

The researchers, led by Dr. John B. McKinlay of the New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Massachusetts, report the findings in the medical journal BJU International.
Now there's a new risk factor -- researchers are saying that cell phone usage during pregnancy can cause hyperactivity and emotional or behavioral issues in children.


Over 13,000 mothers in Denmark were surveyed -- some didn't use a cell phone at all, others used one sporadically, and a third group used their cells often during pregnancy. Their results indicate that using a cell phone as little as two to three times a day during pregnancy can cause health issues -- hyperactivity, conduct issues, emotional issues, or difficult with relationships -- for the children.
BAD: Most cereals made for kids contain more calories, sugar and salt and less fiber and protein than other cereals. Most kids' cereals don't meet national school nutrition standards.


Good: Eat according to the colors of the rainbow. The more colors to your food -- such as the reds, oranges, yellows, greens and even blues of fruits and vegetables -- the more important nutrients you'll get.

Email: Graduation's in Four Weeks!

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
DiseaseProof’s inbox is a busy place. New emails come in every second. Most are for cheap pharmaceuticals and male enhancement pills, but amidst all the SPAM, there’s plenty of good stuff. Like this email from Elysse. Here’s her dilemma:
I have been (trying) to follow the Eat to Live program for nearly 8 months now. I am 19 years old and a senior at UCLA and I have lost a total of 20 lbs following the ETL program. However, in the past month I have hit some bumpy spots that are making me gain weight and making me lose sight of the benefits of the program.

I eat well for 2-3 days and then I will have an off day where I overeat (more like a binge!) on terrible foods. I am 5' 9 and weighed 132 lbs a month ago and now weigh about 139 lbs. Any advice for avoiding these crashes? I have graduation in 4 weeks and I would love to regain control and get back to my previous weight. Any advice is appreciated!
Now, like I told Elysse, I’m just a dopey blogger. So, the first thing I did was ask Dr. Fuhrman. Here’s what he had to say:
Trying to be healthy in an unhealthy world is not always easy, but has to be a lifetime effort and the longer you do it and the more days you link together healthy eating, the less you miss the unhealthy stuff and the easier it gets.


And remember, that temporary weight loss is meaningless. It is the quality behaviors that you can maintain for a lifetime that are most important.
Dr. Fuhrman suggested that Elysse join the Member Center at DrFuhrman.com and this is not a sales-pitch, but DrFuhrman.com is the best place for one-on-one support and Q&A with Dr. Fuhrman. DiseaseProof is just an information source, peppered with my stupidity.

But, I’ve been doing DiseaseProof for a while now, and, I’m a walking, talking, squawking success story. So, with Dr. Fuhrman’s blessing, here are my thoughts Elysse.

Now, I don’t know if four weeks is enough time—I never attached any timeframe to my weight-loss/lifestyle change—so I can’t help you there, but as for the “crashes” here’s what I did. Think long term. Sure, having beer and pizza tastes good now, but how will it effect your life long term?

When I crave my crutch-foods—like chocolate and grainy breads—I talk it out. It sounds something like this, “Okay Gerry, why do you want these foods?” Usually it’s because I’m a little depressed or angry. Or the opposite, I’m really happy or excited.

Then I say to myself, “Is there anything else you can do to fill this need?” That solution takes many forms; listening to music, going to the gym, doing Yoga, or, making something to eat that I like just as much and is totally Fuhrman-friendly; usually its my chocolate pudding.

And I never keep any of my crutch-foods in the house, so I have to go out and buy them. That can be a major a deterrent, but let’s say I fail. I break down and buy something naughty. What do I do? Do I beat myself up? I’d be lying to you if I said no, but after I eat it I take a second to remind myself of why I don’t eat chocolate and bread on a regular basis.

I start thinking about living longer and healthier and that charges me up. Then weeks go by before I falter again. And in the end I realize that my episodes of cheating or “crashing” become more spread out and few and far-between.

So Elysse, what I’d say to you is this. Don’t get caught up on the occasional crash. Keep your eye on the prize, stay active, continue to eat healthy and learn more about healthy eating. As your knowledge and commitment grows, you’ll stop crashing, and before you know it you’ll be fit, trim, and healthy—and keep reading DiseaseProof too!

I hope this helps, but if you need more encouragement. I’m sure your fellow DiseaseProof readers would be more than happy to chime in—wink-wink, hint-hint. Oh, and if any you want to email DiseaseProof its diseaseproof@gmail.com. Until then, peace!

Is It Okay to Cook Veggies?

Post a comment (7 Comments) | Permalink
The New York Times is looking for the best way to cook vegetables. More from Tara Parker-Pope:
Surprisingly, raw and plain vegetables are not always best. In The British Journal of Nutrition next month, researchers will report a study involving 198 Germans who strictly adhered to a raw food diet, meaning that 95 percent of their total food intake came from raw food. They had normal levels of vitamin A and relatively high levels of beta carotene.

But they fell short when it came to lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes and other red-pigmented vegetables that is one of the most potent antioxidants. Nearly 80 percent of them had plasma lycopene levels below average.

“There is a misperception that raw foods are always going to be better,” says Steven K. Clinton, a nutrition researcher and professor of internal medicine in the medical oncology division at Ohio State University. “For fruits and vegetables, a lot of times a little bit of cooking and a little bit of processing actually can be helpful.”

The amount and type of nutrients that eventually end up in the vegetables are affected by a number of factors before they reach the plate, including where and how they were grown, processed and stored before being bought. Then, it’s up to you. No single cooking or preparation method is best. Water-soluble nutrients like vitamins C and B and a group of nutrients called polyphenolics are often lost in processing. For instance, studies show that after six months, frozen cherries have lost as much as 50 percent of anthocyanins, the healthful compounds found in the pigment of red and blue fruits and vegetables. Fresh spinach loses 64 percent of its vitamin C after cooking. Canned peas and carrots lose 85 percent to 95 percent of their vitamin C, according to data compiled by the University of California, Davis.

Fat-soluble compounds like vitamins A, D, E and K and the antioxidant compounds called carotenoids are less likely to leach out in water. Cooking also breaks down the thick cell walls of plants, releasing the contents for the body to use. That is why processed tomato products have higher lycopene content than fresh tomatoes.
Now, Dr. Fuhrman is sensitive about this subject. We’ve got a whole post on it. Here’s a bit from The Cold Truth About Raw Food Diets:
Cooking can be beneficial.
In many cases, cooking destroys some of the harmful anti-nutrients that bind minerals in the gut and interfere with the utilization of nutrients. Destruction of these anti-nutrients increases absorption. Steaming vegetables and making vegetable soups breaks down cellulose and alters the plants’ cell structures so that fewer of your own enzymes are needed to digest the food, not more. The point is that this “cooked food is dead food” enzyme argument does not hold water. On the other hand, the roasting of nuts and the baking of cereals does reduce availability and absorbability of protein.


Low-temperature cooking.
When food is steamed or made into a soup, the temperature is fixed at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit—the temperature of boiling water. This moisture-based cooking prevents food from browning and forming toxic compounds. Acrylamides, the most generally recognized of the heat-created toxins, are not formed with boiling or steaming. They are formed only with dry cooking. Most essential nutrients in vegetables are more absorbable after being cooked in a soup, not less absorbable. Recent studies confirm that the body absorbs much more of the beneficial anti-cancer compounds (carotenoids and phytochemicals—especially lutein and lycopene) from cooked vegetables compared with raw. The Institute of Food Research in Norwich reported their recent findings in New Scientist magazine: about 3 to 4 percent of the carotenoids were absorbed from raw carrots compared with about 15 to 20 percent from cooked and mashed carrots. The team also found that we absorb these critical anti-cancer nutrients more effectively from vegetables than we do from supplements.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that the beneficial antioxidant activity of cooked tomatoes is significantly higher than from uncooked tomatoes. Scientists speculate that the increase in absorption of antioxidants after cooking may be attributed to the destruction of the cell matrix (connective bands) to which the valuable compounds are bound.
Good, because if I go a few days without steamed broccoli, I get the shakes—GIVE ME MY BROCCOLI!

Global Diseases: Western Lifestyle to Blame...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
The World Health Organization lists heart disease and stroke among world’s top killers. Reuters reports:
Chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke, often associated with a Western lifestyle, have become the chief causes of death globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

The shift from infectious diseases including tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria -- traditionally the biggest killers -- to noncommunicable diseases is set to continue to 2030, the U.N. agency said in a report.

"In more and more countries, the chief causes of deaths are noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease and stroke," Ties Boerma, director of the WHO department of health statistics and informatics, said in a statement.

The annual report, World Health Statistics 2008, is based on data collected from the WHO's 193 member states.
Yup, Western lifestyle isn’t exactly doing the world any favors. Just check out these reports:

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Food!

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
Diet Blog introduces the newest super food sensation, chia seeds. Yes, the stuff you smear on a Chia Pet. More from Crabby McSlacker:
According to an article about Chia seeds in the San Jose Mercury News, these formerly obscure seeds are getting quite a bit more popular, especially after being endorsed by "Dr. Oz" from the Oprah Winfrey show. Online orders are suddenly booming and health food chains are starting to carry them too.

They come from a plant relative of the mint called salvia hispanica, and the Aztecs used to eat them. Apparently the seeds were known for increasing endurance--useful whether you're an Aztec warrior or a mother with three kids…

…So with some trepidation I swallowed a spoonful of them and...

They kind of taste like nothing.

On the plus side, this makes them easy to sprinkle into other foods. You can make them into muffins or even drink them. On the other hand, they're not a snack you'd look forward to like some other healthy fats--say peanut butter or avocados.
I’ve never considered eating my Chia Pet, have you?

Presidential Health, a Mystery?

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
In light of the new presidential fitness test for adults, the Associated Press asks, how much do we really know about our presidents’ health? More from the report:
The job of doctor to the president has an inherent conflict of interest, said Dr. E. Connie Mariano, who was President Bill Clinton's White House physician.

"If you keep your patient in office, you can keep your job," she noted. "What happens when your patient can't do his job?"

There's a name for what sometimes happens when world leaders become ill: The captive-king syndrome, where aides deny a problem and run the country, said medical historian Dr. T. Jock Murray, a Canadian neurologist. Think Wilson's final stroke, which left his wife and a few others essentially in charge…

…Because they are "very intimidating patients," Mariano said only half jokingly, doctors can find themselves second-guessing if someone really needs, say, a rectal exam or other inconvenient test that every other patient would get because it could turn up important information.

As for noncompliant patients, Bill Clinton was among the healthiest presidents in recent history — yet needed open-heart surgery after leaving office to avoid a major heart attack, admitting he had quit taking his cholesterol-lowering medicine.

The 25th Amendment — sparked by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and ratified in 1967 — spells out what happens if a president dies or is disabled and clearly unable to lead. There is a backup team, so pay attention to potential vice presidents' health, too, Mariano advised.
To quote Wycleff Jean, “If I were president”…I’d be the fittest, healthiest president ever, but, Mike Huckabee might have given me a run for my money. Check him out:
Eat Dr. Fuhrman’s high-nutrient way, and you will never fail a diet again. I’m now convinced there is only one sure way to achieve your ideal weight and great health, and that is to eat more high-nutrient foods and exercise daily.
I wonder, if Mike Huckabee were elected, would he appoint Dr. Fuhrman as his national health advisor? Seems like a great idea to me!

Sugar in the Baby Formula?

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Organic baby food sounds like a good idea, but The New York Times reveals one potential flaw of some organic baby formulas, sugar cane juice. Julia Moskin reports:
Parents may be buying it because they believe that organic is healthier, but babies may have a reason of their own for preferring Similac Organic: it is significantly sweeter than other formulas. It is the only major brand of organic formula that is sweetened with cane sugar, or sucrose, which is much sweeter than sugars used in other formulas.

No health problems in babies have been associated with Similac Organic. But to pediatricians, there are risks in giving babies cane sugar: Sucrose can harm tooth enamel faster than other sugars; once babies get used to its sweeter taste, they might resist less sweet formulas or solid foods; and some studies suggest that they might overeat, leading to rapid weight gain in the first year, which is often a statistical predictor of childhood obesity.

Asked about these concerns, Carolyn Valek, a spokeswoman for Abbott Nutrition, the division of Abbott Laboratories that makes Similac Organic, said that sucrose had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and was considered “safe and well established.” Ms. Valek said that Similac Organic had no more sweetener than other formulas and that prolonged contact with any kind of sugar could cause tooth decay.

In Europe, where sudden increases in childhood obesity are a pressing public health issue, sucrose-sweetened formulas will be banned by the end of 2009, except when ordered by a doctor for babies with severe allergies. The 27 countries of the European Union adopted the new rules according to the recommendations of the group’s Scientific Committee on Food, which found that sucrose provided no particular nutritional advantages, could, in rare cases, bring about a fatal metabolic disorder, and might lead to overfeeding.
I used to drink a lot of Silk Soymilk, until I found out it’s sweetened with cane juice. So now I only drink it occasionally and when I do, I drink Light Silk. Here’s my fridge:


And honestly, unsweetened almond milk tastes just as good!

Monday: Health Points

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Smaller studies have linked tooth loss to different cancers, but this is the largest study to date, and the first conducted within an Asian population, the researchers say. It's also the first study to show a link to lung cancer.

Of course while widespread inflammation could explain the link between tooth loss and cancer risk, the reseachers say that tooth loss in the cancer patients may simply reflect unhealthy behaviors that contribute to cancer risk. Furthermore, people who have lost teeth may not be able to eat a healthy diet, and diet is also a factor in cancer development.
Kevin Kopjak doesn't care much about carbs, fat, sodium or high-fructose corn syrup.

He generally reads only two things on a nutrition label: the portion size and the calories. He says the strategy has helped him to lose and keep off 100 pounds.

"Counting calories seems to work for me," says Kopjak, 29, of San Francisco, who initially did Atkins and several other diets before switching to counting calories. "But it's a lot of discipline. When I first started, I had an Excel log where I literally wrote everything I ate down."
Many cities and towns across the country, including Los Angeles, already recycle wastewater for industrial uses and landscaping.


But the idea of using recycled wastewater, after intense filtering and chemical treatment, to replenish aquifers and reservoirs has gotten more notice lately because of technological advances that, industry leaders say, can make the water purer than tap water. San Diego and South Florida are also considering or planning to test the idea, and Orange County, Calif., opened a $481 million plant in January, without much community resistance, that is believed to be the world’s largest such facility.

None of the proposals or recycling projects already under way send the treated water directly into taps; most often the water is injected into the ground and gradually filters down into aquifers.
Omega 3 fatty acids bound to phospholipids deserves to be further considered as a credible natural alternative and may have beneficial effect on impulsivity in ADHD patients, recent in vivo French study reveals. While several studies have reported beneficial effects of omega-3 in hyperactivity, French researchers have hypothesized that Vectomega could have specific positive effects on impulse control.


These research findings have led to the initiation of two multi-center studies currently underway in France and Germany utilizing Vectomega on hyperactive children. Vectomega, a natural whole food Omega 3 fatty acid bound to phospholipids and peptides, is the end result of a French governmental research project.
5 Superstar Veggies
Artichokes
Radishes
Broccoli
Red chicory
Leeks
7 Stellar Seasonings
Sage
Rosemary
Marjoram
Thyme
Tarragon
Cumin
Fresh ginger
Garlic
Mothers of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were twice as likely to have reported using pet shampoos containing a class of insecticide called pyrethrins as those of healthy children, according to survey results presented Thursday at the International Meeting for Autism Research in London. The risk was greatest if the shampoo was used during the second trimester of pregnancy.


Meanwhile, another study suggests that exposure to organophosphate insecticides double the risk of developmental disorders, including autism. Organophosphates have previously been linked to Gulf War syndrome.

While many chemicals have previously been blamed for triggering autism, there have been very few rigorous studies designed to investigate the link.
I would be hard-pressed to find a food substance that attracts as much controversy as milk. Whether or not it is beneficial to overall health, whether or not it helps weight loss, whether we should buy raw or pasteurized, low fat vs. full fat - the list goes on and on. Hence, I hope to make an attempt to navigate through the speculation, possibilities and try to come up with some ideas on how to think about this issue.


Who to Believe?
On one side, we have groups like the PCRM and PETA (read: Milk is evil). On the other end of the spectrum is the Dairy Association (read: milk is essential for optimal health). In addition to health debates, there are political, ethical and environmental factors to consider. Like most other issues, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Let's try and find that middle.
Women deficient in the "sunshine vitamin" when they were diagnosed with breast cancer were 94 percent more likely to have their cancer spread and were 73 percent more likely to die than women with adequate vitamin D levels, the researchers said.


More than three-quarters of women with breast cancer had a vitamin D deficiency, the researchers reported to an upcoming meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

"The women with the lowest vitamin D levels had the highest risk of death from breast cancer," Dr. Richard Schilsky, of the University of Chicago and president-elect of ASCO, told Reuters in an interview.

Gimme Five...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Just a bunch of fruits and vegetables singing about eating five fruits and vegetables a day. Enjoy:


Here’s my question, why stop at five? And, why can’t I get this song out of my head now!

Eat Good Early, Eat Good Later

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
New research lends support to the notion that learning to eat healthfully when you’re young, leads to a healthier adulthood. EMaxHealth is on it:
Children between 2 and 5 years old experience developmental changes that affect their eating habits, and by anticipating and appropriately reacting to these changes, families can help turn their preschoolers into healthy eaters for life.

According to Monica Montes, a Los Angeles-area registered dietitian and co-founder of N.E.W. Health Consultants, Inc, eating habits form as early as age 3, making the preschool years an important developmental window. At the same time, parents may face difficult changes in their children's food preferences.

"Feeding obstacles often start as children reach 2 years old and continue for several years," said Montes. "Children may eat less, demand foods they see on television, refuse foods or beverages they once enjoyed and start using utensils or sippy cups."
Dr. Fuhrman’s been screaming about this for years!

The Skinny on Fruit...

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink
Chris Sparling of That’s Fit passes along some great info on the healthfulness of fruit and veggie skin. Here’s a bit:
Apples - A Cornell University study revealed that 87 percent of an apple's cancer-fighting phytochemicals are found in the skin, not the crunchy white flesh inside

Eggplant - Remove the skin of this favorite vegetable of many Italian grandmothers (mine notwithstanding) and you remove 300 milligrams of brain-cell preserving antioxidants in the process

Cucumber - Experts suggest that you consume at least five milligrams of silica a day -- the amount found in the skin you just peeled off that cucumber

Kiwi - Yeah, the fuzzy outside is pretty gross, but it has been found to contain healthy compounds that fight off bugs like staph and E. coli
I guess I should eat these then:


Okay, will do!

Have a Healthy Heart!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
How do you keep your heart healthy? Well, for a long time Americans have turned to drugs. Has it worked? Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times investigates:
While doctors still advise patients to diet, exercise and stop smoking, the medical community has adopted an almost singular focus on cholesterol-lowering drugs as the fastest and best way to battle heart disease. Americans spend $18 billion a year on cholesterol-reducing drugs, making them the nation’s biggest-selling class of drugs.

Clearly, drug treatments have played a role in the health of American hearts. Since 1950, age-adjusted death rates from cardiovascular disease have dropped 60 percent, a statistic praised by government health officials.

Average blood pressure and cholesterol levels are dropping, partly because of drug treatments. But drugs don’t get all the credit. A sharp drop in smoking has had a huge impact on heart health. And major changes in diet have also played a role. Surveys of the food supply suggest that consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol has decreased since the early 1900s. Medical care has also improved.

But an important lesson from the last 50 years is that when it comes to improving heart health, it is important to look beyond the medicine cabinet.

Just a few small changes — eating more fish, vegetables, nuts and fiber — can have a major impact on your risk for heart problems. For some people, drinking moderate amounts of wine may offer additional benefits. Even a 55-year-old man who is about 20 pounds overweight and does not exercise regularly will have a heart-disease risk far below average if he regularly consumes fish, nuts, fiber and vegetables and drinks moderate amounts of wine.
Okay, it makes sense that drugs would make an impact, but, are they really the best option? Dr. Fuhrman has his doubts. He points out some the drawbacks of drugs:
When resorting to medical intervention, rather than dietary modifications, other problems arise, reducing the potential reduction in mortality possible, as these individuals are at risk of serious side effects from the medication. The known side effects for various statins (the most popular and effective medications to lower cholesterol) include hepatitis, jaundice, other liver problems, gastrointestinal upsets, muscle problems and a variety of blood complications such as reduced platelet levels and anemia.
So, what’s the answer? America’s got it half right. You do need to change your diet, but for OPTIMAL health you’ve got to make a profound change—not just a few small changes. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
When you drop body fat, your cholesterol lowers somewhat. But when you reduce animal protein intake and increase vegetable protein intake, your cholesterol lowers dramatically. In fact, when a high-fiber, high-nutrient, vegetable-heavy diet was tested in a scientific investigation, it was found to lower cholesterol even more than most cholesterol-lowering drugs.1


The cholesterol-lowering effects of vegetables and beans (high-protein foods) are without question. However, they contain an assortment of additional heart disease-fighting nutrients independent of their ability to lower cholesterol.2

In areas of the world where people eat a diet of unrefined plant foods, people have total cholesterol levels below 150, and there is zero incidence of heart disease in the population.3

The average cholesterol level in rural China, as documented in the massive China Cornell Project, was 127 mg/dl. Heart attacks were rare, and both cancer and heart disease rates plummeted as cholesterol levels fell, which reflected very low animal product consumption. The lowest occurrence of heart disease and cancer occurred in the group that consumed plant-based diets with less than two servings of animal products per week.
I think most people approach health and nutrition too cavalierly. You need to be vigilant. It’s a fulltime job. You can’t go half-assed—know what I mean?
Continue Reading

Eat For Health: Learn to Love Salads

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Hundreds of population studies show that raw vegetable consumption offers strong protection against cancer.1 The National Cancer Institute recently reported on over 300 different studies that all showed the same basic information: if consumed in large enough quantities, vegetables and fruits protect against all types of cancers, and raw vegetables have the most powerful anticancer properties of all foods.2 However, less than one in 100 Americans consumes enough calories from raw vegetables to ensure this defense! I encourage my patients to eat two salads each day (or one salad and one green smoothie, which is discussed later in this chapter), and a glass of freshly squeezed vegetable juice whenever possible. To help you remember the importance of raw vegetables, put a big sign on your refrigerator that says, “The Salad is the Main Dish.”

The word salad here means any vegetable eaten raw or uncooked. Fresh fruit, unsulfured dried fruits, canned beans, and a delicious dressing can be added to it. Eating a huge, delicious salad is the secret to successful weight control and a long healthy life.

This health makeover program encourages you to eat raw vegetables in unlimited quantities, but think big. Since they have a negative caloric effect, the more you eat, the more weight you will lose. Raw foods also have a faster transit time through the digestive tract, resulting in more weight loss than their cooked counterparts. The objective is to eat as many raw vegetables as possible, with the goal of one-pound daily. An easy way to accomplish this is to eat a salad at the beginning of your lunch, and then have some raw vegetables with dip before dinner. This could be an entire head of lettuce with one or two tomatoes and some shredded peppers, beets, or carrots. Or, you could have cucumber and shredded cabbage with shredded apples and raisins, or raw broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and snow pea pods with a delicious humus or salsa dip. The possibilities are endless, and Book Two details many ways for you to reach this goal. Though it may seem daunting, it is far from impossible to consume one pound of raw vegetables, especially if it is split between two meals. Believe it or not, an entire pound is less than 100 calories of food.

My long-time advice to eat a large amount of raw vegetables—a.k.a. a salad—before lunch and dinner has been tested by the medical community. Researchers used a crossover design to track the calories consumed by the same people when they ate salads as an additional first course at a meal and when they didn’t. The research showed that consuming salads reduces meal-calorie intake and is an effective strategy for weight control.3 Raw vegetables are not only for weight control, they also promote superior health in general.

When you add one of my delicious fruit, nut, or avocado-based dressings to the salad, the monounsaturated fats in the dressing increase the body’s ability to absorb the anti-cancer compounds in the raw vegetables.4 The synergistic combination of the raw vegetables and the healthy dressing makes the salad a health food superhero.
Continue Reading

Dr. Oz Faces Off with Stephen Colbert

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Dr. Fuhrman’s buddy Dr. Mehmet Oz recently went one on one with Stephen Colbert on his show, The Colbert Report. Check it out:



Hey, you might not agree with Stephen Colbert’s politics—tongue in cheek—but the dude is freaking hilarious!

Cramming Plant Compounds into Butter, What Would Hippocrates Say?

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink
Dairy products are far from health-promoting. Dairy is a major source of dioxins and DLCs and dairy is a major source of saturated fat. More from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health:
Whole-milk, butter, and cheese are the foods that contribute the most saturated fat to the American diet. Any person seeking excellent health should restrict these foods in his or her diet. Skim-milk and other non-fat dairy products can be used as part of the small amount of allowable animal products consumed weekly. They are not foods that should be consumed liberally, and they should not be seen as health foods because they are not high in micronutrients and phytochemicals.
Now, in an attempt to make dairy “healthy”, food manufacturers are adding plant compounds—like sterols and stanols—to butter and other junk foods. Melina B. Jampolis, MD talks about it in The San Francisco Chronicle:


Plant sterols-stanols are naturally occurring plant molecules that resemble cholesterol. They compete with the cholesterol in your diet for absorption into your body. When consumed in large enough quantities, they can block the intestinal absorption of some of the cholesterol that you eat, thereby helping to lower blood cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, they are not naturally present in plants in large enough quantities to have a significant effect, so food scientists found a way to incorporate them in much higher doses in foods ranging from butter spreads such as Benecol® and Promise® to tortilla chips (Corazones®) to chocolate bars (Cocoa Via®). Research shows that when these substances are consumed at the recommended doses of 1-2 grams per day, both total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (LDL) drop by as much as 6 percent. So if your cholesterol tends to run a little high, you might consider adding plant sterols-stanols to your diet in addition to limiting your saturated fat consumption and eating plenty of fiber…


…If you have serious medical problems or are pregnant, consult with your physician before eating foods that contain high levels of probiotics. If you are healthy, you may want to save your money until we have a better understanding of the role of probiotics in optimal health.

While I'm sure that functional foods are not what Hippocrates had in mind when he stated "Let food be thy medicine," I think he would be somewhat pleased with their potential health benefits.
Dr. Jampolis is clearly nuts. I doubt Hippocrates would be thrilled about any food produced in a factory. Health-promoting compounds come STANDARD in natural plant foods. Here’s a list from Dr. Fuhrman:
  • Allium compounds
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenolic acids
  • Alllyl sulfides
  • Glucosinolates
  • Phytoesterols
  • Anthocyanins
  • Indoles
  • Polyacetylenes
  • Caffeic acid
  • Isoflavones
  • Polyphenols
  • Catechins
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Coumarins
  • Lignans
  • Saponins
  • Dithiolthiones
  • Liminoids
  • Sulphorophane
  • Ellagic Acid
  • Pectins
  • Sterols
  • Ferulic acid
  • Perillyl alcohol
  • Terpenes
When I see all these commercials for magic yogurt and omega butter I can’t help but think, why bother? Just eat lots of fruits and veggies and be done with it! Now, that’s something Hippocrates would get behind—agreed?

Food, What's in It?

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
Genetically modified foods are everywhere, but you’d never know it. CBS investigates why GMOs aren’t listed on food labels. Take a look:
Robyn O'Brien teaches her kids to keep a close eye on the labels of the foods they eat.

"In terms of labeling," she says, "they're not always comprehensive and thorough."

What concerns parents like O'Brien is not what's listed, but what is not. Particularly foods made with genetically modified organisms - or GMOs.

"My concern as a mother is, are these kids part of a human trial that I didn't know that I had signed them up for," O'Brien says…

…The FDA and bio-tech giants like Monsanto say there's no evidence that GMOs are anything but safe, but food safety advocates ask: how would we know, if the food is not labeled?

"Labeling is the only way that health professionals are going to be able to trace if there is a problem," says Andy Kimbrell from the Center for Food Safety. "For example, if you're a mother and you're giving your child soy formula and that child has a toxic or allergic reaction, the only way you'll know if that's a genetically-engineered soy formula is if it's labeled."

The FDA does not require "disclosure of genetic engineering techniques...on the label," calling GMOs the "substantial equivalent" of conventional crops.

Baloney, says Kimbrell.
Hey, it’s Robyn, our buddy from AllergyKids.com—hi Robyn! Anyway, be sure to watch the video too. Check it out:



This stuff creeps me out and if you read about companies like Monsanto, there’s plenty of reason to be nervous. From Vanity Fair:
Monsanto goes after farmers, farmers’ co-ops, seed dealers—anyone it suspects may have infringed its patents of genetically modified seeds. As interviews and reams of court documents reveal, Monsanto relies on a shadowy army of private investigators and agents in the American heartland to strike fear into farm country. They fan out into fields and farm towns, where they secretly videotape and photograph farmers, store owners, and co-ops; infiltrate community meetings; and gather information from informants about farming activities. Farmers say that some Monsanto agents pretend to be surveyors. Others confront farmers on their land and try to pressure them to sign papers giving Monsanto access to their private records. Farmers call them the “seed police” and use words such as “Gestapo” and “Mafia” to describe their tactics.
When corporations behave that defensively you’ve got to wonder what they’re hiding.

Prostate Cancer: Diet and Exercise

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Researchers seem to think diet and exercise has something to do with prostate cancer. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Age, genetics and hormones are the usual causal suspects in benign prostatic hyperplasia, but now some data suggest that the condition is a consequence of our Western lifestyle. In a 2006 study of 422 men published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dr. J. Kellogg Parsons, a urologist at UC San Diego, found that men who were obese had an increased risk of prostate enlargement, with severely obese men at 3.5 times higher risk.

In another paper published this year in European Urology, Parsons pooled data from 11 studies involving about 43,000 men and found that those who engaged in regular physical activity had about a 25% lowered risk of enlarged prostates.

It's emerging evidence, Parsons says, "that the same risk factors that are contributing to cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes likely are contributing in some way to [benign prostatic hyperplasia]."
Kind of a no-brainer here, but in case you need to read more. Check out Dr. Fuhrman talking about prostate cancer and exercise:
Prostate cancer is now the single most common cancer among men in the United States. With the spread of our meat- and dairy-centered diet, it is on the rise in almost every country in the world. A meta-analysis of the best independent studies indicated that milk-drinking men seem to have a 70 percent greater chance of developing cancer of the prostate.1 This evidence exists in spite of the multiple studies that show that Vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk of prostate cancer. Since milk is fortified with Vitamin D, using it must have a significant negative effect that overwhelms the benefits from the added vitamin…


…Exercise should be a part of your daily routine like brushing your teeth and taking a shower. If you have a busy work schedule and commute, get in fifteen minutes of exercise every day before your morning shower. For example, if you routinely shower every morning, work up a sweat with some abdominal crunches, back extensions, toe raises, walk up and down the stairs in your home, mock jump rope, and then take your shower. Keep in mind; it is important to exercise your lower back frequently. Get in the habit of exercising the same time every day. Make the days where you do not exercise the exception, not the rule.
I’m not a betting man, but I bet a lot of America’s health woes could be solved by improved diet and exercise habits—what do you think?
Continue Reading

Meat and Dairy Whacking the Environment

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
It seems that eating foods like vegetables and fish leaves a much smaller carbon footprint than meat and dairy products. More from Rachel Ehrenberg of ScienceNews:
For the average U.S. consumer, getting the equivalent of one-seventh of a week’s calories from chicken, fish or vegetables instead of red meat or dairy will do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than buying all local, all the time, the researchers say. Crunching the numbers revealed that delivery to the consumer accounts for only 1 percent of red meat–associated emissions. But the production path to red meat and dairy products is clouded with nitrous oxide and methane emissions, mainly from fertilizer use, manure management and animal digestion.

“Methane and nitrous oxide production are huge in agriculture,” says the study’s first author Christopher Weber of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. These greenhouses gases are often left out of similar analyses, which have tended to focus solely on carbon or energy use. “That misses a huge part of the picture,” Weber says.

Weber, who conducted the study with colleague, H. Scott Matthews, notes that they aren’t trying to downplay the benefits of buying local. “I shop locally,” he says. “But there’s been so much emphasis on food miles. We felt it was important to look at the whole life cycle.”

Using data from the U.S. departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Transportation and other sources, Weber and Matthews modeled the total greenhouse gas emissions generated in making and moving all sorts of foods from cereals to fish to cheese. The work, to appear in the May 15 Environmental Science & Technology, paints a broad brush, cautions Weber. Because the model uses Commerce Department data, the food categories are defined by Commerce Department food sectors. So while cheese and milk are considered separately, fruits and vegetables are put in the same category.
You don’t have to be a “hippie” or a “tree hugger” to be mindful of how your lifestyle impacts the planet. I’m happy I don’t eat meat or dairy.

Research: Flavonoids Good, Acrylamides Bad

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink
A new study claims that flavonoids—found in fruits and vegetables—may help treat Alzheimer's disease. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:

In experiments with mice, two flavonoids called luteolin and diosmin reduced levels of beta-amyloid, which forms the harmful plaques that build up in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease.


"Our lab has been investigating beta-amyloid, which is associated with Alzheimer's, and how we can reduce it using natural compounds," said lead researcher Kavon Rezai-Zadeh, from the Rashid Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology at Silver Child Development Center at the University of South Florida.

The research team would like to use the two flavonoids to see if they can reduce amyloid plaque in humans, since they believe flavonoids would be safe and have few side effects compared with drugs that are being developed to reduce amyloid plaque.

Rezai-Zadeh also thinks that flavonoids, which have strong antioxidant properties, might guard against Alzheimer's. "A lot of these compounds can be derived from the diet, and they may have preventive effects against Alzheimer's disease," he said. "Increasing the flavonoids in your diet may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's."
Now, acrylamides—commonly found in processed junk foods—are being linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer. Kathleen Doheny HealthDay News is on it:

Studies of the chemical have been ongoing since 1994, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the chemical as a probable human carcinogen. Experts thought the main exposure was environmental, through cigarette smoke and, to a lesser extent, cosmetics.


But in 2002, Swedish scientists reported the presence of the chemical in carbohydrate-rich foods produced at high temperatures, including French fries and potato chips.

Studies of the chemical's link to various cancers have yielded mixed results.

The Dutch research team took data from the Netherlands Cohort Study on diet and cancer, which includes more than 120,000 men and women, aged 55 to 69. They followed them for more than 13 years, looking at all the cases of kidney, bladder and prostate cancers. They took a random sample of 5,000 people to look at their dietary habits.

The average intake of acrylamide from the diet was 21.8 micrograms -- a little less than what is included in a 2.5-ounce serving of French fries. Those who took in the most -- averaging 40.8 micrograms a day -- had a 59 percent higher risk of kidney cancer (but not the other cancers) than those consuming the least.
Here’s a plan. Eat lots and lots of fruits and veggies, and, ditch the trans-fat laden, overly processed, salty and sugary junk food—good idea?

Iron Man, Man of Veggies...

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink

Get a load of this. Dr. Fuhrman spotted Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, a.k.a. Robert Downey Jr., chugging a green smoothie in his new movie Iron Man. Take a look:


Protected by metal, powered by veggies—awesome! So, how do you make a green smoothie? There are lots of ways:
Eat Your Greens Fruit Smoothie
5 ounces organic baby spinach
1 medium banana
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup pomegranate juice or other unsweetened fruit juice
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy.

Green Citrus Smoothie
1 orange, peeled
1 cup fresh pineapple
8-10 ounces romaine or leaf lettuce
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Blood Orange Vinegar
Blend all ingredients together.

Lisa's Favorite Green Smoothie
1 apple, cut into fourths
1 banana
1/2 avocado
4 pitted dates
5 ounces organic baby spinach
Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy.
Personally, I’m more interested in what she’s eating:


Pepper Potts, sounds vegetable-based to me!

Spinach Makes You Strong!

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink
I’m a big guy, but with the exception of some fish a few times a month, I don’t eat any meat. So, where do I get my protein—VEGGIES! Here, I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman explain:
The biggest animals--elephants, gorillas, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, and giraffes--all eat predominantly green vegetation. How did they get the protein to get so big? Obviously, greens pack a powerful protein punch, in fact, all protein on the planet was formed from the effect of sunlight on green plants. The cow didn't eat another cow to form the protein in its muscles, which we call steak. The protein wasn't formed out of thin air--the cow ate grass. Not that protein is such a big deal or some special nutrient to be held in high esteem. I am making this point because most people think animal products are necessary for a diet to include adequate protein. I am merely illustrating how easy it is to consume more than enough protein while at the same time avoiding risky, cancer-promoting substances such as saturated fat. Consuming more plant protein is also the key to achieving safe and successful weight loss.
Gorillas and elephants, I’m happy to be in the company of giants. Now, new research supports the idea that green veggies—like spinach—build muscle. From NewScientist:

SOME may scoff at the notion that spinach - despite containing nutrients - builds muscles, but Popeye may have been on to something. A steroid found in leafy greens ramps up protein synthesis in muscles.


A team led by Ilya Raskin of Rutgers University in New Jersey extracted phytoecdysteroids from spinach. When they placed the liquid extract on samples of cultured human muscle, it sped up growth by 20 per cent. Rats were also slightly stronger after a month of injections of the extract.
I like to think of myself as living proof that you DON’T need animal protein to be big and strong. For more, check out: Complementary Protein Myth Won't Go Away!

Earth News: Carbon, Bees, and Urban Farmers...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

One of the major contributors to climate change is carbon dioxide (CO2). My colleague at Earth Policy Institute, Frances Moore, has been tracking CO2 emissions and recently released an Eco-Economy Indicator on CO2 emissions.

Check out the Earth Policy Institute data.

She writes that despite the unambiguous evidence that carbon dioxide is warming the planet, the growth in emissions is accelerating. "Emissions from the burning of fossil fuels stood at a record 8.38 gigatons of carbon (GtC) in 2006, 20 percent above the level in 2000. Emissions grew 3.1 percent a year between 2000 and 2006, more than twice the rate of growth during the 1990s. Carbon dioxide emissions have been growing steadily for 200 years, since fossil-fuel burning began on a large scale at the start of the Industrial Revolution."
Bees do so much more than supply honey and beeswax.


Bee pollination of crops, something that most farmers heavily rely on, is responsible for as much as 30% of the U.S. food supply. Where bees are not available, they are called in, with apiarists (bee keepers) travelling around the country to provide the services of their hives.

Unless the cause and cure for Colony Collapse Disorder is found soon, many fruits and vegetables may disappear entirely from US produce. The flow on effects are mind-boggling. It's not just fruits and vegetables affected, but also stock feed and grains.
This urban agriculture movement has grown even more vigorously elsewhere. Hundreds of farmers are at work in Detroit, Milwaukee, Oakland and other areas that, like East New York, have low-income residents, high rates of obesity and diabetes, limited sources of fresh produce and available, undeveloped land.


Local officials and nonprofit groups have been providing land, training and financial encouragement. But the impetus, in almost every case, has come from the farmers, who often till when their day jobs are done, overcoming peculiarly urban obstacles.

The Wilkses’ return to farming began in 1990 when their daughter planted a watermelon in their backyard. Before long, Mrs. Wilks, an administrator in the city’s Department of Education, was digging in the yard after work. Once their ambition outgrew their yard, she and Mr. Wilks, a city surveyor, along with other gardening neighbors, received permission to use a vacant lot across from a garment factory at the end of their block.

Health Points: Friday

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
York company voluntarily recalled more than 286,000 pounds of its products.

Officials said certain products labeled Gourmet Boutique, Jan's and Archer Farms may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, although there were no reports of illness before the recall.

Listeria can cause a potentially fatal disease that it is rarely contracted by healthy people, the Monterey County Health Department reported. Symptoms include high fever, severe headaches, neck stiffness and nausea. Rare but serious symptoms can occur in those with compromised immune systems. Pregnant women make up about a third of listeriosis cases, health officials said.
Arthritis strikes more than half of the 20.6 million American adults who have diabetes, and the painful joint condition may be a barrier to exercise among these patients, a new government report shows.


Being physically active helps people manage both diseases better by controlling blood sugar levels and reducing joint pain, according to the report in the May 9 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The prevalence of arthritis is astoundingly high in people with diabetes," said Dr. John H. Klippel, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "Over half the people with diabetes have arthritis."
Nudging reluctant seniors to take physical fitness classes represents just one strategy to reduce the risk of falling. It's also vital to evaluate their vision and the medications they're taking. Aged pupils, for example, don't dilate as well in darkness or constrict as well in brightness.


One study showed that falls decreased 34 percent among seniors who had the milky opaqueness of a cataract removed from their eyes. Some specialists also point to bifocals and trifocals, which can blur vision, as potentially contributing to falls.

It's also common for lighting to be so inadequate that navigation of hallways and rooms can be treacherous, said Dr. Gary Chu, vice president for community collaborations at the New England Eye Institute.
"I've asked all the presidential candidates whether America should be smoke-free," he told a Senate committee hearing on how to tackle cancer.


"The consensus is that it's better left to the cities and states," he said, agreeing that state- or community-level bans were "the way to go."

"Second-hand smoking is something I'm very passionate about," he told the committee.
Young children who live in neighborhoods with lots of trees have lower rates of asthma than children who reside in areas with fewer trees, a new study finds. Researchers looked at asthma rates among children age 4 to 5 in New York City. Asthma rates decreased by almost one-quarter for every standard deviation increase in tree density, equivalent to 343 trees per square kilometer, the study found. The researchers said that trees may help reduce asthma rates by encouraging children to play outdoors more or by improving air quality.
Male postpartum depression may have more negative effects on some aspects of a child's development than its female counterpart, says James F. Paulson, PhD, of the Center for Pediatric Research at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va.


Paulson and colleagues reviewed data on more than 5,000 two-parent families with children aged 9 months.

They found that one in 10 new dads met standard criteria for moderate to severe postpartum depression.

That's a "striking increase" from the 3% to 5% of men in the general population that have depression, Paulson tells WebMD.
In the current study, researchers found that professional firefighters had higher-than-expected rates of colon cancer and brain cancer. There was also evidence, albeit weaker, that they had elevated risks of bladder and kidney cancers, as well as Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Dr. Letitia Davis with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues report the findings in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Firefighters are exposed to many potentially cancer-causing chemicals released from burning materials. At the scene of the fire, toxic substances such as benzene, lead, uranium and asbestos can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
A drug from a new class of weight-loss treatments disrupted wiring needed for brain development in young mice, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday, raising concerns about using such medications in children.


Mark Bear and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studied the effects of a chemical that suppresses appetite by blocking cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the same brain mechanisms that make people hungry when they smoke marijuana.

"I think that the cautionary note is that these mechanisms play an important role in ... brain development," said Bear, whose study appears in the journal Neuron.
Even a benign lesion on a mammogram makes women and doctors nervous, and doctors sometimes recommend a biopsy anyway. But new data show that waiting six months for a follow-up mammogram is a safe option.


Researchers tracked more than 45,000 women who were given six-month follow-up mammograms after an initial scan found lesions that were “probably” benign. In most cases, they were. Only about one in 100 women were eventually diagnosed with cancer six to 12 months later, according to the study, which appears in the May issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
It is well known that high blood sugar levels indicative of the diabetes that occurs during pregnancy present risks for expectant mothers and their infants. The current study is believed to be the first to show that higher blood sugar levels -- not high enough to be considered diabetes -- also convey these increased risks.


In a study of nearly 24,000 pregnant women who had their blood sugar levels tested between 24 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, researchers found that the higher the mother's blood sugar level, the greater the chances that she would require Caesarean delivery and deliver an abnormally large baby.

News from The Cancer Project

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Dr. Fuhrman forwarded this to me. Here are some great studies from The Cancer Project’s spring update. Take a look:
Meat Consumption Increases Breast Cancer Risk
The more meat a woman eats, the greater her risk of breast cancer, according to a new study of postmenopausal Danish women. The study looked at 378 women who developed breast cancer and matched them to control subjects who did not develop breast cancer. A higher intake of meat—including poultry and fish, as well as red meat and processed meat—was associated with a significantly higher breast cancer incidence rate. Every 25 gram increase in consumption of total meat, red meat, and processed meat led to a 9, 15, and 23 percent increase in risk of breast cancer, respectively. However, the degree of risk may depend on genetics. Certain genes activate the carcinogens (heterocyclic amines) found in cooked meat. The study showed that women with genes that rapidly activate these carcinogens are at particular risk of breast cancer if they eat meat. (Egeberg R, Olsen A, Autrup H, et al. Meat consumption, N-acetyl transferase 1 and 2 polymorphism and risk of breast cancer in Danish postmenopausal women. Eur J Canc Prev. 2008;17:39-47.)
More Studies Link Milk to Prostate Cancer
Men who consume low-fat and nonfat milk face an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to two new studies in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

One study included 82,483 men in the Multiethnic Cohort Study, 4,404 of whom developed prostate cancer over an average follow-up of eight years. Researchers found no association between prostate cancer risk and calcium and vitamin D intake, whether in the form of food or supplements. However, the study did find a positive association between consuming 1 cup or more per day of low-fat or nonfat milk and developing prostate cancer.

The other study included 293,888 participants in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study. Consuming two or more daily servings of skim milk was associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Several previous studies—including two large Harvard studies—have shown that milk-drinking men have a significantly higher risk of prostate cancer. Researchers offer two possible reasons for the association: Milk drinking increases blood levels of insulin-like growth factor, which is associated with cancer risk. It also decreases activation of vitamin D precursors. Vitamin D helps protect the prostate against cancer. (Park S, Murphy SP, Wilkens LR, et al. Calcium, vitamin D, and dairy product intake and prostate cancer risk: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;166:1259-1269. Park Y, Mitrou PN, Kipnis V, et al. Calcium, dairy foods, and risk of incident and fatal prostate cancer: the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;166:1270-1279.)
Does Childhood Dairy Intake Increase Later Cancer Risk?
Children who consume a high-dairy diet—equivalent to nearly 2 cups of milk per day—have almost three times the risk of developing colorectal cancer in adulthood compared with children who consume less than half a cup of milk per day, according to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. These findings held true after researchers adjusted for differences in meat, fruit, and vegetable intake, as well as socioeconomic status. (Van der Pols JC, Bain C, Gunnell D, Smith GD, Frobisher C, Martin RM. Childhood dairy intake and adult cancer risk: 65-y follow-up of the Boyd Orr cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86:1722-1729.)

Nitrates Help Ulcers

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
A new study has determined that fruit and vegetable nitrates offer protection against gastric ulcers. More from EMaxHealth:
"Nitrates in food have long been erroneously linked to an increased risk of cancer," says Joel Petersson of Uppsala University's Department of Medical Cell Biology.

He instead thinks that nitrate-rich vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, radishes and beetroot have a positive affect on the stomach by activating the mucous membranes' own protective mechanisms, thus reducing the risk of problems such as gastric ulcers.

In the body the blood circulation transports nitrates to the salivary glands, where they are concentrated. When we have eaten nitrate-rich food our saliva thus contains large amounts of nitrates, which the bacteria of the oral cavity partially convert into nitrites. When we swallow the nitrites they come into contact with acid gastric juice, and are then converted into the biologically active substance nitric oxide. This results in our developing high levels of nitric oxide in the stomach after eating vegetables.
Spinach, lettuce—cruciferous vegetables rock! Here Dr. Fuhrman explains why, take a look:
Scientific research has shown a strong positive association between the consumption of green vegetables and a reduction of all the leading causes of death in humans.1 Cruciferous vegetables—in particular broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy, collards, watercress, and arugula, to name a few—are loaded with disease-protecting micronutrients and powerful compounds that promote detoxification.
I’ve got a big grin on my face. I regularly down bags of baby spinach.
Continue Reading

Avocado, Strong Like Bull!

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

The New York Times Bitten blog wants to know how to buy an avocado? More from Mark Bittman:
The other day I was talking to Nick Fox, the deputy editor of the Dining section, about avocados. (We have a lovely little avocado soup on the Minimalist schedule for a few weeks down the road.) And I said, “The odd thing is, whenever I buy semi-ripe or ripe avocados, they’re awful — banged up and overripe, and often mealy.” His response, which jived with my experience but I have never been quite savvy enough to verbalize, was simply “You should buy them rock hard.”
Awesome! I buy four avocados a week; one semi-soft and the others I could use as weapons. Now, here’s a great avocado recipe:

Avocado Currant Pudding

2 avocados
1 medium banana
4 cups (about 4 ounces) organic baby spinach
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup date sugar
1/2 cup currants or raisins
1 tablespoon unsweetened, shredded coconut, for garnish

Blend all ingredients, except currants and coconut, in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender until smooth and creamy. Pour into bowl and stir in currants. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir and sprinkle with coconut. Serves 3.

And, avocados are a great substitute for butter. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Butter is loaded with a dangerous amount of saturated fat, but stick margarines have hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats that raise LDL, the bad cholesterol. Adjusting the type of fat consumed, researchers found that butter caused the highest cholesterol level and that varying amounts of margarines and oils had various harmful effects.1 The best answer is to use nothing, or buy whole-grain bread that tastes good without adding a greasy topping. If you love the flavor of butter, try Butter Buds or sparingly use a spread that contains no hydrogenated oil, such as Spectrum Essential Omega Spread, instead. Lots of my patients like no-salt tomato sauce on bread, or tomato-salsa blend, avocado, or stewed mushrooms. Of course, the best way to get out of the habit of eating those greasy toppings is not to eat bread at all.
Need I remind you that I elected myself President of the Avocado Fan Club.
Continue Reading

Green Bananas, No, "Green" Bananas

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
According to National Geographic News “green” banana farming is gaining popularity. Stefan Lovgren reports:
Vast acres of rain forest are cut down worldwide to create plantations, while workers spray tons of herbicides and pesticides to keep weeds, fungi, and root-nibbling pests away from the disease-prone banana plants.

That's why, when Costa Rica's EARTH University acquired lands in 1989 that included a sprawling banana plantation, the school's eco-consultants told officials to ditch the farm…

… In addition to the environmental consequences, using pesticides and herbicides is a burden to plantation laborers, who reportedly suffer from sterility, cancers, and other conditions after years of exposure.

Michael Besancon is president of the Southern Pacific division of Whole Foods Market based in Sherman Oaks, California.

He said the overall goal for the banana-producing business should be achieving sustainability, which means not just reducing chemical use but also providing good wages and working conditions for the farmers.
And let me remind you. Operation Banana Hunt is still on. I’m having a hard time finding new bananas—so help me out!

I See Chopsticks...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
As uncoordinated as I am, I can actually eat with chopsticks. Maybe I should buy a pair of these. Via TreeHugger:

Designer Brad Gressel has focused on a new way to carry your own: in your glasses. "The hollow plastic frames offer casing for the stainless steel tipped utensils. They can be easily washed or wiped off, and the end of the glasses are open to eliminate bacteria buildup."
These look like something a lame gadget-based superhero would wear—it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s Super Geek!

Flu Pandemic...Run and Hide!

Post a comment (5 Comments) | Permalink
The World Health Organization says, “We can't delude ourselves. The threat of a pandemic influenza has not diminished.” Quick, head for the hills! More from the Associated Press:
Keiji Fukuda, coordinator for the World Health Organization's Global Influenza Program, spoke to a meeting of around 150 health experts from governments, WHO and other agencies to update WHO's pandemic influenza preparedness plan.

Scientists fear that the H5N1 strain of bird flu virus — which began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in late 2003 — could mutate into a form that spreads easily among humans, potentially sparking a pandemic that kills millions. So far, most human cases have been linked to contact with infected birds.

Fukuda said more than 150 countries had some kind of national preparedness plans but some of them were merely a piece of paper acknowledging the risk.

He said it was crucial that all levels of society were involved in the preparations and that everyone knows where to go for information.

"If somebody is sick in the family for example and it's difficult to get to hospital, they need to know what sort of advice might be available," Fukuda told The Associated Press.
Now, I’m not worried about the flu. I had the flu last year and my nutrient-dense diet kicked its butt in a few days. Me quoting me:
A couple hours later it was pretty obvious, I had the flu. Sure, I was mad that I was sick, but I was more upset that my year-plus streak of not getting ill had come to an end. Nevertheless, I battened down the hatches and prepared to fight this virus head on. After all, I’m an Eat to Liver. My body is equipped and ready to smack the stuffing out of an intruder like the flu, right?


Absolutely! Tuesday and Wednesday I got the brunt of the virus; fever, chills, cough, the sweats, headache, and that horrible malaise. What did I do? Not much. I planted my well-bundled butt on the couch, turned on The Price is Right, drank lots of water, and ate bunch of water-rich fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and pineapple. In fact, at times my symptoms were so mild that I actually made a trip to the supermarket to buy more fruit. Not to mention, I didn’t miss a beat on DiseaseProof—thank you very much. So what happened next?

Thursday morning I woke up feeling a lot better! The only symptom still hanging around is a slight a cough and few sniffles, but nothing serious.
In truth, the flu isn’t really that scary. According to Dr. Fuhrman if you’re body is fortified by a healthy diet, you’ll survive. From Dr. Fuhrman:
Unfortunately the majority of Americans eat a diet style that weakens their normal resistance to simple viral infections. In spite of advances in science that reveal the critical importance of thousands of protective micronutrients in the natural plant kingdom, much of the modern world consumes a diet rich in processed grains, oils, sweets and animal products. In the United States, for example, less than five percent of total calories consumed come from fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. These are the foods that are richest in micronutrients.


Those of us who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) have a very low nutrient (per calorie) intake. This chronic malnourished condition is the true life-threatening epidemic in the modern world, resulting in a medical care crisis and untold tragedies. And this ubiquitous malnourishment may also eventually enable the Avian influenza viruses to spread more easily and develop into virulent forms. With the ubiquitous consumption of fake foods such as white bread, pasta, oil and sugar, nutritional incompetence is the norm.

The flu is a simple viral illness which a healthy body has scores of adequate defenses against. No flu, including the bird flu, is any match for a well-nourished immune system.
So, bird flu, monkey flu, elephant flu, beetle flu, kangaroo flu, dog flu, zebra flu, and hippopotamus flu—BRING IT ON!

Living to 100

Post a comment (3 Comments) | Permalink
Do you want to live forever? I do. I plan on sticking around for as long as possible and Dan Buettner of The Huffington Post has compiled a list of nine healthy habits that’ll help get you to 100. Take a look:
For the the last five years, I've been taking teams of scientists to five pockets around the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives. We call these places the Blue Zones. We found a Bronze-age mountain culture in Sardinia, Italy, that has 20 times as many 100-year-olds as the U.S. does, proportionally. In Okinawa, Japan, we found people with the longest disability-free life expectancy in the world. In the Blue Zones (Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, Calif.; and the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica), people live 10 years longer, experience a sixth the rate of cardiovascular disease and a fifth the rate of major cancers.
  1. Move naturally: Be active without thinking about it. Identify activities you enjoy and make them a part of your day. Cut calories by 20 percent.
  2. Cut calories by 20 percent: Practice "Hara hachi bi," the Okinawan reminder to stop eating once their stomachs are 80 percent full.
  3. Plant-based diet: No, you don't need to become a vegetarian, but do bump up your intake of fruits and veggies.
  4. Drink red wine: In moderation.
  5. Plan de Vida: Determine your life purpose. Why do you get up in the morning?
  6. Down shift: Take time to relieve stress. You may have to literally schedule it into your day, but relaxation is key.
  7. Belong/participate in a spiritual community.
  8. Put loved ones first/make family a priority.
  9. Pick the right tribe: The people surrounding you influence your health more than almost any other factor.
These are fantastic suggestions. Be active, eat plants, and relax—perfect! You won’t get much argument out of Dr. Fuhrman:
Increasing the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and raw nuts and seeds (and greatly decreasing the consumption of animal products) offers profound increased longevity potential, due in large part to broad symphony of life-extending phytochemical nutrients that a vegetable-based diet contains…

… Centenarian studies in Europe illustrate that those individuals living into their hundreds were likely to have consumed a plant-based diet consisting of fewer than 2000 calories per day. Multiple studies have confirmed that the thinnest people live the longest…

… As we condition our muscles and gain strength, our bones thicken and strengthen along with the muscle. Without regular exercise along the way, your bone structure can deteriorate as you get older. Some people survive with weak bones, but their quality of life suffers when they are immobilized by arthritis and osteoporosis…

…A safe and satisfying work environment, a happy marriage, a satisfying social and/or family life, and activities you enjoy are all related to positive health outcomes. Emotional wellness starts right here your finger tips end. As you respect and appreciate the value in the world around you and develop interests in other people and in such things as art, music, entertainment, sports, nature, and physical activity, you can respect yourself more for your ability and desire to appreciate the value of things not yourself.
Okinawans are fascinating people. These avid plant-eaters live a long-long time. In fact, they made John Robbins’s list of longest-lived people in his book Healthy at 100. Check it out:
  1. Abkhasia: Ancients of the Caucasus, where people are healthier at ninety than most of us are at middle age.
  2. Vilcabamba: The Valley of Eternal Youth, where heart disease and dementia do not exist.
  3. Hunza: A People Who Dance in Their Nineties, where cancer, diabetes, and asthma are unknown.
  4. The Centenarians of Okinawa: Where more people live to 100 than anywhere else in the world.
Now, for the flipside, primitive people like Inuit Greenlanders and Kenyan Maasai have short life expectancies—why? Too much meat in their diets. More from Dr. Fuhrman:

Inuit Greenlanders, who historically have had limited access to fruits and vegetables, have the worst longevity statistics in North America. Research from the past and present shows that they die on the average about 10 years younger and have a higher rate of cancer than the overall Canadian population.1


Similar statistics are available for the high meat-consuming Maasai in Kenya. They eat a diet high in wild hunted meats and have the worst life expectancy in the modern world. Life expectancy is 45 years for women and 42 years for men. African researchers report that, historically, Maasai rarely lived beyond age 60. Adult mortality figures on the Kenyan Maasai show that they have a 50% chance of dying before the age of 59.2
I guess the same can be said about us; between all the fast food, beef jerky, potato chips, cheese pizza, and no exercise, Americans start dying at middle-age. We’d learn a lot from our foreign neighbors.
Continue Reading

Seafood, Lots of Issues

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Bill Lambrecht of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch takes a look at all the problems with seafood coming from China to the United States. Here’s a bit:
In March, inspectors checking Chinese seafood arriving at U.S. ports made some unsettling discoveries: fish infected with salmonella in Seattle and Baltimore, and shrimp with banned veterinary drugs in Florida.

Meanwhile, a shipment intercepted in Los Angeles on March 19 labeled "channel catfish" wasn't catfish at all, although records don't say what it was.

"A lot of those products coming in from overseas, you have no clue as to what is in them," said Paul Hitchens, an aquaculture specialist in Southern Illinois, where cut-rate Chinese catfish are threatening the livelihood of fish farmers…

… Seafood is considered one of the riskiest imports, and those from China have risen steadily. When the FDA does turn away shipments, usually it is because they contain veterinary drugs, among them nitrofurans, a family of antibiotics banned by the FDA because tests showed they cause cancer in animals.

More than 100 of the shipments were rejected for being filthy, decomposed or otherwise unfit for consumption, according to the records…

…FDA officials are requesting new authority, including the ability to license private companies to assist with inspections. But the Bush administration has signaled opposition to key provisions that would require regular inspections in foreign lands and limit ports where food can arrive to docks with FDA labs.
Now, here’s something you probably didn’t realize. Did you know ocean fish are getting smaller and smaller? This video is funny, but informative too:


For your fish and health questions, check out Fishing for the Truth for a round up.

NYC: Supermarkets Packing Up Shop

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

More and more supermarkets are leaving New York City, making it hard for many people to find healthy fresh food in their neighborhoods. David Gonzalez of The New York Times reports:
The dearth of nearby supermarkets is most severe in minority and poor neighborhoods already beset by obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

According to the food workers union, only 550 decently sized supermarkets — each occupying at least 10,000 square feet — remain in the city…

… In some cases, the old storefronts have been converted to drug stores that stand to make money coming and going — first selling processed foods and sodas, then selling medicines for illnesses that could have been prevented by a better diet.

The supermarket closings — not confined to poor neighborhoods — result from rising rents and slim profit margins, among other causes. They have forced residents to take buses or cabs to the closest supermarkets in some areas. Those with cars can drive, but the price of gasoline is making some think twice about that option. In many places, residents said the lack of competition has led to rising prices in the remaining stores…

…The lack of easily available fresh food has prompted city and state officials to convene several task forces to address the public health implications.

The recent study conducted by the Department of City Planning estimated that as many as three million New Yorkers live in what are considered high-need neighborhoods — communities characterized by not enough supermarkets and too many health problems.
This is a major reason why certain neighborhoods in New York have staggering rates of obesity and diabetes. More from this New York Times miniseries:
As someone who eats primarily fruits and vegetables, and, wants to live in New York, I’m concerned. I need a steady stream of fresh produce.

Pineapple in the City...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Did you know Fiorello LaGuardia loved pineapples? See for yourself. Via Gothamist:


Its amazing how well that pineapple has held up after all these years.

No More Peanut Allergies...

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink
Could genetically modified plants mean the end of peanut allergies? Stephen Daniells of Food Navigator explains:
"An example would be to introduce anti-sense RNA copies of the allergen gene into the peanut plant to suppress allergen gene expression," stated Dr. Burks. "Post-translational gene silencing by mRNA degradation is another approach being investigated."

"The difficulty with this and similar approaches is that several peanut proteins are involved in IgE binding.

"The process of altering enough of the peanut allergens to make a modified peanut that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction would probably render the new peanut no longer a peanut," he added.

Despite offering a potentially life-saving solution for millions around the world, acceptance of GM peanuts is not guaranteed. The GM tag continues to be one of the biggest challenges for consumer acceptance, particularly in Europe and most notably in the UK.
I don’t know, high-tech plants can be pretty scary. Remember these, Food: Truth and Untruth in Advertising?

Eat For Health: Food Addiction Starts the Fat Cycle

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

When a heavy coffee drinker stops drinking coffee, he feels ill, experiencing headaches and weakness, and even feels nervous and shaky. Fortunately, these symptoms resolve slowly over four to six days. Discomfort after stopping an addictive substance is called withdrawal, and it is significant because it represents detoxification, or a biochemical healing that is accomplished after the substance is withdrawn. It is nearly impossible to cleanse the body of a harmful substance without experiencing the discomfort of withdrawal. Humans have a tendency to want to avoid discomfort, so they continue the toxic habits to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. When we discontinue consuming healthy substances, such as broccoli or spinach, we do not experience discomfort. We feel nothing. Only unhealthful, toxic substances are addicting, and, therefore, these are the only substances that cause discomfort when you stop consuming them. Their addictive potential is proportional to their toxicity.

Uncomfortable sensations are very often the signals that repair is under way and the removal of toxins is occurring. Though it may be difficult to adjust to this way of thinking, feeling ill temporarily can be seen as a sign that you are getting well. That cup of coffee may make you feel better temporarily, but any stimulating substance that makes you feel better quickly, or gives you immediate energy, is hurtful, not healthful. Any substance that has that immediate effect is toxic and called a stimulant. Healthy foods do not induce stimulation. When you meet your needs for nutrients and sleep, your body will naturally feel well and fully energized, without the need for stimulation.

The heavy coffee drinker typically feels the worst upon waking up in the morning or when delaying or skipping a meal. The same is true for the many of us who are addicted to toxic foods. The body goes through withdrawal, or detoxification, most strongly when it is not busy digesting food. Eating stops withdrawal because detoxification cannot take place efficiently while food is being consumed and digested. A heavy meal will stop the discomfort, or a cup of coffee will alleviate the symptoms, but the cycle of withdrawal will begin again the minute the caffeine level drops or digestion is finished and the glucose level in the blood starts to go down.

The more you search for fast, temporary relief with a candy bar, a can of soda, or a bag of chips, the more you inhibit the healing, detoxification process. Then, your body becomes more toxic because you gave it more low-nutrient calories. Calories consumed without the accompanying nutrients that aid in their assimilation and metabolism lead to a build-up of toxic substances in the cells that promote cellular aging and disease. Eating low-nutrient calories increases dangerous free-radical activity within the cells and allows for the build-up of cellular waste. These low nutrient calories also increase other toxic materials in the body, such as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). AGEs affect nearly every type of cell and molecule in the body, and are major factors in aging and age-related chronic diseases. Their production is markedly accelerated in diabetics, and they are believed to play a causative role in the vascular complications of the disease.

AGEs are the result of a chain of chemical reactions and may be formed external to the body by overcooking foods or inside the body though cellular metabolism. They form at a constant but slow rate in the normal body and accumulate with time, but their formation can be accelerated by your eating habits. Dry cooking methods such as baking, roasting, and broiling cause sugars to combine with proteins to form AGEs, while water-based cooking, such as steaming and boiling, does not. AGEs are highest in burnt and browned foods, such as brown-bread crust, cookies, and brown-basted meats, but these compounds also can build up in cells from the consumption of low-nutrient calories, especially calories from sweets. So, eating both overcooked foods and low-nutrient foods leads to the build-up of AGEs and ages us faster.

When you eat a diet that is based on toxic and addictive foods—such as salt, fried foods, snack foods, and sugary drinks—you not only build up free radicals and AGEs in your cells, but you also set the stage for ill feelings when you are not digesting food. Unhealthy food allows your body to create waste byproducts that must be removed by the liver and other organs. Only when digestion ends can the body fully take advantage of the opportunity to circulate and attempt to remove toxins. If the body is constantly digesting, it can’t go through this detoxification process effectively.

When detoxification begins, people often feel queasiness or malaise. Eating something restarts digestion and shuts down the detoxification process, making the bad feelings go away. The worse the nutritional quality of your diet, the worse you will feel if you try to stop eating food for a few hours. You will only feel normal while your digestive tract is busy.

Veggie Shirts

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink
Here are some great t-shirt ideas from FoodTee Market. I really like the broccoli one, take a look:


The carrot shirt would be great for cranky days.

Fat is Good for You!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
But wait! There’s a catch. You’ve got to eat the right kinds of fat. Take monounsaturated fats for example, they’ve been found to increase the body’s ability to absorb the anti-cancer compounds in raw vegetables. From The Journal of Nutrition:
Dietary lipids are hypothesized to be an important factor for carotenoid bioavailability. However, most carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables are low in lipids. The objective of this study was to assess whether the addition of avocado fruit as a lipid source enhances carotenoid absorption in humans…The addition of avocado to salsa enhanced lycopene and ß-carotene absorption (P < 0.003), resulting in 4.4 and 2.6 times the mean AUC after intake of avocado-free salsa, respectively…In conclusion, adding avocado fruit can significantly enhance carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa, which is attributed primarily to the lipids present in avocado.
Lisa Ryckman of the Rocky Mountain News lists some other food sources of monounsaturated fats and points out their health benefits too. Take a look:

Fat is also one of the nutrients every body needs. It's critical to absorbing fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and it's the source of fatty acids essential to proper body function.


Most nutrition plans recommend limiting fat calories to less than 30 percent of total daily intake, and saturated fat to less than 10 percent. For a typical 2,000-calorie day, that means about 65 grams of total fat.

While pretty much all fat used to be considered the dieter's nemesis, that's no longer the case. We now know that some fats - particularly the monounsaturated fat found in avocados, olives and nuts - can actually help raise the HDL or "good" cholesterol, which lowers the risk of heart disease.
Now, it’s important to note the dangers of saturated fats. “Thousands of scientific research studies demonstrate that saturated fat promotes both heart disease and cancer,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. From Seminars in Vascular Medicine:
In observational epidemiologic studies, lower blood cholesterol is associated with a reduced risk from coronary heart disease (CHD) throughout the normal range of cholesterol values observed in most Western populations…Dietary saturated fat is the chief determinant of total and LDL cholesterol levels. Replacing 60% of the intake of saturated fat by other fats and reducing the intake of dietary cholesterol could reduce blood total cholesterol levels by about 0.8 mmol/l (that is by 10 to 15%), with four fifths of this reduction being in LDL cholesterol.
And this study in Cancer Research:
Diet can influence cancer in animals by affecting the initiation or subsequent preneoplastic stage of tumorigenesis, but it has less effect on tumor growth. Caloric restriction has a general inhibitory influence on tumorigenesis. Dietary fat, on the other hand, tends to promote tumorigenesis, but only certain types of tumors, such as mammary tumors, are affected. Both caloric restriction and dietary fat appear to act primarily during the preneoplastic state, and their effects on hormone-dependent tumors may be mediated through changes in the hormonal environment. Variations in other dietary factors, such as protein, vitamins, or minerals, above the levels required for normal maintenance seem to have little influence on the genesis or growth of tumors.
Unfortunately, fat is not as simple as monounsaturated fats versus saturated fats, check out Dr. Fuhrman’s Glossary of Cholesterol for more. Here’s a snippet:
Fat is one of the three macronutrients (along with protein and carbohydrate) that supply calories to the body. Fats provide 9 calories per gram, more than twice the number provided by carbohydrates or protein.


Fats provide the "essential" fatty acids, which are not made by the body and must be obtained from food. Fatty acids provide the raw materials that help control blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammation and other important body functions.

Fat is essential for the proper functioning of the body. Healthy skin and hair are maintained by fat. Fat helps in the absorption and transport through the bloodstream of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats perform vital and valuable role in the body.
But in the end, just be sure to get your nutrients from good foods. “I consider the ideal diet to be one that contains at least 90 percent of calories from the healthiest foods; vegetables, fruits, beans, raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and whole grains,” explains Dr. Fuhrman.
Continue Reading

American Life, a Struggle...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
A new survey has determined that many Americans are struggling through life and 4 percent are miserable. Maggie Fox of Reuters is on it:
Nearly half -- 49 percent -- describe themselves as thriving, with few health or money worries, according to the researchers at the global polling organization Gallup and health consulting firm Healthways.

The survey of more than 100,000 people is an unprecedented in-depth look at the health, wealth and happiness of the U.S. population, the researchers said…

…The survey found that 47 percent of those polled can be considered struggling, mostly with worries about money.

The 4 percent defined as "suffering" generally lacked food or shelter, and also had no hope of improvement in the future.
Not good—maybe it’s a sign of the times—but we’ve got to get happy. According to Dr. Fuhrman a satisfying life is VERY important to longevity. Take a look:
A safe and satisfying work environment, a happy marriage, a satisfying social and/or family life, and activities you enjoy are all related to positive health outcomes. Emotional wellness starts right here your finger tips end. As you respect and appreciate the value in the world around you and develop interests in other people and in such things as art, music, entertainment, sports, nature, and physical activity, you can respect yourself more for your ability and desire to appreciate the value of things not yourself.


In other words, as you learn about and begin to care for things, you gain a legitimate reason to be pleased with yourself. A healthy emotional response to life hinges on your ability to grant value and importance to things that are deserving of it. This ability and desire to interact in a fair and equitable way with the world around you forms the basis of your emotional contentment and self-esteem.
And hey, if all else fails, just laugh. Like this guy:



Probably not a good idea to try this at work.

Cavemen Ate Their Veggies...

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
Plant matter found in recently unearthed Neanderthal teeth confirms that our human ancestors ate their veggies. More from Sara Goudarzi of National Geographic News:
The new hard evidence is microfossils of plant material that investigators found in the dental plaque of 35,000-year-old Neanderthal teeth, said lead study author Amanda Henry, a graduate student in hominid paleobiology at The George Washington University.

"The formation of dental [plaque] traps the plant microfossils from food particles within the matrix of the plaque deposits, so the microfossils are protected and are a unique record of the plant foods put into the mouth," Henry said.

"So we can say with confidence that this individual Neanderthal ate plants," she added.
Maybe if they ate more plants they would have stuck around longer because primitive people that mostly eat meat, don’t live that long. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Similar statistics are available for the high meat-consuming Maasai in Kenya. They eat a diet high in wild hunted meats and have the worst life expectancy in the modern world. Life expectancy is 45 years for women and 42 years for men. African researchers report that, historically, Maasai rarely lived beyond age 60. Adult mortality figures on the Kenyan Maasai show that they have a 50% chance of dying before the age of 59.1
But, populations who eat mostly plant foods live a lot longer. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
We now know that greatly increasing the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and raw nuts and seeds (and greatly decreasing the consumption of animal products) offers profound increased longevity potential, due in large part to broad symphony of life-extending phytochemical nutrients that a vegetable-based diet contains. By taking advantage of the year-round availability of high-quality plant foods, we have a unique opportunity to live both healthier and longer than ever before in human history.
Maybe centuries from now when they dig up my bones, archeologists will say, “This guy must have eaten a nutrient-dense vegetable-based diet!”
Continue Reading

More Fish Hit High-Mercury List

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Carolina has found elevated levels of mercury in yellow perch and black crappie—love the name—encouraging people to eat less of them. EMaxHealth has more:
Two more types of freshwater fish in southeastern North Carolina have been found to have elevated levels of mercury. They are yellow perch caught south and east of Interstate highway 85, and black crappie caught south and east of I-95. State public health officials are urging pregnant women and children to avoid eating those fish altogether, and urging others to limit their consumption of those fish to no more than one meal a week.

The two species join a growing list of freshwater and saltwater fish that are high in mercury. The state’s high-mercury list now includes the following freshwater fish: blackfish (bowfin), wild catfish, jack fish (chain pickerel), warmouth and yellow perch south and east of I-85 and largemouth bass across the state, as well as black crappie south and east of I-95.

Ocean fish on the state’s high-mercury list include canned white tuna (albacore tuna), all fresh or frozen tuna, almaco jack, banded rudderfish, cobia, crevalle jack, greater amberjack, South Atlantic grouper (gag, scamp, red and snowy), king mackerel, ladyfish, little tunny, marlin, orange roughy, shark, Spanish mackerel, swordfish and tilefish.
As a fisherman—and a bad one at that—mercury contamination worries me. For reference, here’s Dr. Fuhrman’s list of fish with the highest mercury levels. Take a look:

        • Tilefish
        • Swordfish
        • Mackerel
        • Shark
        • White snapper
        • Tuna
And the lowest levels of mercury:

        • Salmon
        • Flounder
        • Sole
        • Tilapia
        • Trout
Now, if you want to know more about water pollution and mercury contamination, check out our friends at OceansAlive.org.

Do You Goji?

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Martha Edwards of That’s Fit has gone gaga for goji berries! Take a look:
Ever heard of goji berries? You should have -- they're the new kids on the superfoods block, the health food that everyone seems to be talking about these days (including us -- we wrote about them here, here , here and here.) Still not sure what all the hype is about? Here are some health benefits that have been attributed to goji berries:
  • Boosted liver protection and immune function
  • Improved eyesight
  • Increased sexual function and fertility
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Improved circulation
  • Greater longevity
Here's a bit of history on the goji berry: Also called the wolfberry, Lycium barbarum, gou qi zi Fructus and lycii, they grow naturally in areas of China, Mongolia and the Himalayas in Tibet. They're packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, which is part of the reason they're so good for you.
Dr. Fuhrman is a BIG advocate of goji berries. Check it out:
Goji berries are burnt–red in color and about the size of a raisin. Slightly sweet and tart, they taste like a cross between a raisin, a cranberry and a cherry. Gathered and sundried in the wilds of Tibet and Mongolia, they are not fumigated, processed or artificially sweetened in any way. Goji berries, which contain 18 amino acids, 21 trace minerals and are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, can be used in many recipes. Some folks like to soak them in water for 10–15 minutes to soften and plump them up. They make a great nutrient boost in smoothies.
I love goji berries! Here are the impressive nutrition facts for an 8 ounce bag: Goji Berries.

Health Points: Wednesday

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink
The new study involving nearly 39,000 women helps sort out the combined effects of physical activity and body mass on women's chances of developing heart disease, said Gulati, who wasn't involved in the research.

The study by Harvard-affiliated researchers appears in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.

Participants were women aged 54 on average who filled out a questionnaire at the study's start detailing their height, weight and amount of weekly physical activity in the past year, including walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming. They were then tracked for about 11 years. Overall 948 women developed heart disease.
Numerous claims have been made about water — that it prevents headaches, removes dangerous “poisons,” improves the function of various organs and is associated with reduced risk for various diseases. But none of these is supported by scientific evidence. The authors were not even able to find a study leading to the “eight glasses a day” rule, whose origin remains unknown.


The researchers, in the June issue of The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, say some studies have found evidence that drinking extra water helps the kidneys clear sodium, and long-term sodium retention might increase the risk of hypertension, but no clinical significance for the phenomenon has been established. Water also helps clear urea, but urea is not a toxin.

I never used to be a napper. In fact, daytime slumber was virtually beyond a congenitally wired type like me. My buddies would catch 40 winks on the long bus ride home from our high school, but for me that was out of the question. With age, however, my metabolism has changed. After the double whammy of a late-morning run and lunch, I'm pretty much a goner. I lie down and nod off in much the same way that Marlene Dietrich fell in love in that old song of hers: because I can't help it.


While it lasted, though, my nap resistance put me in sync with the American way of sleep: Do it all at once and strictly at night. Traditionally, we've begrudged ourselves naps. They may be forced on toddlers, recommended for pregnant women and tolerated among senior citizens with nothing better to do, but they've been frowned upon for worker bees in their prime. Recently, however, sleep scientists have discovered advantages to napping, which they view not just as solace but also as something akin to brain food. No longer written off as a cop-out for the weak and the bored, the nap is coming into its own as an element of a healthy life.
If only the millions of others beset with chronic health problems recognized the inestimable value to their physical and emotional well-being of regular physical exercise.


“The single thing that comes close to a magic bullet, in terms of its strong and universal benefits, is exercise,” Frank Hu, epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in the Harvard Magazine.
A House-Senate conference committee claims it's getting closer to adopting a bill that would ban smoking in most Pennsylvania workplaces, but it can't seem to close the deal.


The deeply divided six-member committee had planned to meet today to vote on compromise legislation to prohibit people from lighting up in most workplaces and public places.

But late yesterday, the chairman called off the meeting, saying the bill still isn't ready despite months of negotiations.

Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, a staunch critic of smoking, said the delay should only be for "a short period," meaning, probably, a few days.
According to an analysis of government statistics being released Tuesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the average dollar amount employees must pay per year for family health coverage went up by 30 percent from 2001 to 2005. During that time, incomes increased by just 3 percent.


"Nationally, insurance premium costs are going up ten times faster than people's incomes," said RWJF spokesman Michael Berman. "And in some regions, the gap is even greater. So what we've tried to do with this report is highlight for the nation's leaders what families already know; that it's getting harder and harder to afford health insurance in America."
Perhaps because Mayor Bloomberg's plan for congestion pricing in New York City has failed, the Big Apple is now trying to make up for it by becoming more bicycle-friendly. As it is, 112,000 New Yorkers bicycle on an average day, an increase of 10% over the last decade. The proposal, which is part of a new Department of Transportation strategic plan, hopes to double that number by 2015, as well as
  • Add 200 miles worth of new bicycle lane between 2007 and 2009
  • Install 37 bicycle shelters and 5,000 bike parking racks by 2011
  • Install 15 additional miles of protected on-street bike lanes by 2010 and 30 miles from 2011 to 2015
The company declined to discuss details in the so-called not approvable letter from the Food and Drug Administration. It would not comment on whether the agency had asked for further data or new clinical trials.


The drug, which was expected to be called Cordaptive, combines long-acting niacin with a new drug that prevents the flushing side effect common to niacin -- an uncomfortable sensation of burning in the face and neck that leads many patients to discontinue taking it.

Analysts widely expected the drug to be approved, especially after a committee of European regulators last week recommended it be cleared for sale there.
It's far from the only strength-boosting exoskeleton out there, but Honda's so-called "walking assist device" is one of the few that you can actually take for a test spin -- if you happen to be attending the Barrier Free 2008 trade show in Osaka, Japan next week, that is. Apparently employing some of the same technology developed by Honda for its ASIMO robot, the walking assistant is able to obtain information from hip angle sensors to help keep its wearer upright, with the device's motors also able to increase the wearer's natural stride. That, Honda says, should make the device ideal for the elderly or those with weakened leg muscles, although we're sure they could find at least a few other buyers if it ever actually hits the market at a reasonable price.
What follows are 10 of the tips for sabotaging the stress in your life, every one somehow related to nutrition and fitness.
  1. Eat a healthy breakfast
  2. Eat more fiber
  3. Eat oatmeal
  4. Eat almonds
  5. Drink black tea
  6. Hydrate
  7. Stretch
  8. Exercise
  9. Do yoga
  10. Sleep
Broccoli also contains the phytonutrients sulforaphane, indoles, kaempferol and isothiocyanates (they'll be a test later). These difficult-to-pronounce compounds have significant anti-cancer and other health effects. Here's what the literature says about it:
  • Men who ate more than a serving of either broccoli or cauliflower each week almost halved their risk of developing advanced-stage prostate cancer
  • Broccoli appear to have a unique ability to eliminate Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) - a bacteria responsible for ulcers. It has even been shown to eliminate Helicobacter when resistant to antibiotics.
  • Crucifers, including broccoli provide significant cardiovascular benefit. Those who diets most frequently included broccoli, tea, onions, and apples-the richest sources of flavonoids-gained a 20% reduction in their risk of heart disease.
The administration's decision to give the Defense Department and other agencies an early role in the process adds to years of delay in acting on harmful chemicals and jeopardizes the program's credibility, the Government Accountability Office concluded.


At issue is the EPA's screening of chemicals used in everything from household products to rocket fuel to determine if they pose serious risk of cancer or other illnesses.

A new review process begun by the White House in 2004 is adding more speed bumps for EPA scientists, the GAO said in its report, which will be the subject of a Senate Environment Committee hearing Tuesday. A formal policy effectively doubling the number of steps was adopted two weeks ago.

Eat For Health: Knowledge Is Key

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Even if you have fine self-esteem and a supportive group of people around you, your mind can hold you back from reaching the goals you have for your body. We most often behave in a manner consistent with the way we think. Some of the principles that you are learning as part of this eating-style may seem counterintuitive at first because they do not fit neatly into your prior beliefs. Because we are social animals, ideas seem more believable when more people believe them. They require social proof before they gain general acceptance.

A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at some of the factors that inhibit people from adopting a healthier, plant-based diet. The study found that the more knowledge subjects obtained about the benefits, the more they had their questions answered, and the more prior myths were shattered with science, the more likely they were to adapt to a healthy diet and achieve good health.1 For some, change has to occur in steps, and it has to be at one’s own pace. Remember, however, that your willingness to change and your success is proportional to the knowledge you obtain. This is a knowledge-based program. Gaining the knowledge is the most critical factor to enable behavioral changes that will lead to healthier habits.

Some people will decide to ignore the life-enhancing information presented here. That decision is made on a subconscious level. A multitude of diets, nutritional supplements, and even drugs promise weight loss without changing the way you eat. This promise alone is enough to keep people from doing the work to change; it gives our subconscious minds a way out. The subconscious mind is not logical. Many of these diets have been debunked, but that doesn’t damage their allure to our subconscious minds where most decisions are made. The good news is that you are not at the mercy of your genes or your subconscious mind, and you can control your health and weight. Heart diseases, strokes, cancer, dementia, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, and other common illnesses are not predominantly genetic. They are the result of incorrect dietary choices. With knowledge, you can be empowered to make new choices by changing the way that you think.

Ideas have a life of their own. They have inertia. Once they are accepted and popular, they become difficult to displace. Much of what is now widely accepted as nutritional gospel is based on scant evidence, mistaken old notions, bad science, and myths advertised to us by food manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and the government. At this point, even scientists and physicians accept the myths and gaps in nutritional information. Many current, popular dietary notions have uncertain origins, but since they have been around a long time, they generally go unquestioned. Once they become this ingrained, they are difficult to change, and they form our cognitive health model. Due to that, when people are presented with new information that falls outside the model, it is difficult to accept.
Continue Reading

Food Dye and Flavored Milk--Why Bother?

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink
Here’s an odd item. New research claims food dye may protect against cancer. From New Scientist:
Gayle Orner at Oregon State University in Corvallis added the carcinogens dibenzopyrene (DBP) or aflatoxin to the feed of trout for one month, with or without the food dyes Red 40 - one of six recently linked to hyperactivity in children - or Blue 2.

Nine months later, trout that had been fed either of the dyes in combination with aflatoxin had 50 per cent fewer liver tumours, compared with those that had been exposed to aflatoxin alone. Trout that had been fed DBP in combination with Red 40 had a 50 per cent lower incidence of stomach cancer and a 40 per cent lower incidence of liver cancer.

"The public perception is that food dyes are bad, but some of them may have good points as well," says Orner, who presented her results at the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego, California, last week.
Bizarre and about to get bizarre-er. Apparently flavored milk may be just as “healthy” as plain milk. Reuters reports:
Using national survey data on more than 7,500 2- to 18-year-olds, researchers found that those who drank flavored milk had similar intakes of calcium, vitamin A, potassium and saturated fat as those who drank only plain milk.


And both groups, the study found, got more of these nutrients than children who drank no milk at all.

One reason parents might be wary of chocolate or strawberry milk is that the added sugar might encourage excess weight gain. But in this study, milk drinkers and non-drinkers had a similar average body mass index (BMI), the researchers report in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
These studies are exactly the kind of junk-science that causes people to run out and buy harmful food—in this case dye and milk—for starters, milk is no health food. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
There are many good reasons not to consume dairy. For example, there is a strong association between diary lactose and ischemic heart disease.1 There is also a clear association between high-growth-promoting foods such as dairy products and cancer. There is a clear association between milk consumption and testicular cancer.2 Dairy fat is also loaded various toxins and is the primary source of our nation’s high exposure to dioxin.3 Dioxin is a highly toxic chemical compound that even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency admits is a prominent cause of many types of cancer in those consuming dairy fat, such as butter and cheese.4 Cheese is also a power inducer of acid load, which increases calcium loss further.5
Now, as for food dye, listen, if you’re really looking to prevent cancer, just stick with fruits and veggies. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Foods are nutrient dense when they contain a high level of micronutrients per calorie. Vegetables win the award for the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Therefore, as you move forward in your quest for nutritional excellence, you will eat more and more vegetables. In containing the most nutrients per calorie, vegetables have the most powerful association with protection from heart disease and cancer.
Flavored milk and food dye? Welcome to bizarro world.
Continue Reading

Low-Fat Food, Not Always Healthy!

Post a comment (4 Comments) | Permalink
The low-fat food craze is almost as perverse as the low-carb craze. Most low-fat foods are hardly the healthy alternatives they are marketed to be. Jacki Donaldson of That’s Fit explores the issue in, “Low-fat foods are not free foods.” Here’s a bit:
Visions of low-fat Wheat Thins are swimming through my head right now -- I've been known to demolish a whole box of these treats.


I remember during my sweet-tooth days enjoying an occasional package of fat-free Twizzlers. Fat-free. Smart choice, right? Nope.

No matter how low-fat the food, calories still matter most. Eating low-calorie foods such as veggies means you can eat larger amounts. But starchy foods, like rice, bread, and yes, Wheat Thins, are higher in calories. Which makes them bad for weight loss and management.
Jacki’s right. These low-fat foods are bupkis! Just take a look at the nutrition facts for Low-Fat Wheat Thins and Strawberry Twizzlers:






What the heck? Salt, flour, high-fructose corn syrup, and ALL the sugar that goes into Twizzlers. Now, if you’re looking for REAL low-fat health foods—one word—vegetables! For example, my “low-fat” lunch yesterday was an entire bag of baby spinach—NICE!

Blocking Calorie-Count

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink

Some restaurants are looking to block NYC’s resurgent calories-on-menus law. Larry Neumeister of the Associated Press reports:
An organization of state restaurants asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to stop the city from immediately implementing a requirement that some chain restaurants post calories on menus.

The New York State Restaurant Association said in court papers submitted to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that implementation should be blocked because the case raises legal issues that the courts have yet to address.

The widely expected request came after U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell ruled last week that the city requirement was constitutional and might help the city achieve its goal of reducing obesity.

He held off enforcement of the requirement until Friday so the restaurant association could appeal. Restaurants breaking the rule will not be fined until at least June 6.
Who knows if it’ll actually help curb the city’s weight problems, but shouldn’t people know exactly what’s in their food—any thoughts?

Health Points: Wednesday

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink

Life expectancy has declined for many women in the United States, largely due to smoking-related diseases and obesity, a study published Tuesday showed.

Nearly one in five US women saw the number of years they are expected to live decline or hold steady, starting in the 1980s, showed the joint study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Washington.

The study looked at data from more than 2,000 county "units" between 1959 and 2001.
BPA migrates into food from polycarbonate plastic bottles or the epoxy resin coatings that line canned food. The typical adult ingests an estimated 1 microgram of BPA for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. Babies who use polycarbonate bottles and formula from cans get more, an estimated 10 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. A microgram represents a trace amount. Consider this: a single M&M is about a gram. If you cut it into 100,000 slices, one slice would equal about 10 micrograms.


The 2003-4 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found detectable levels of BPA in 93 percent of urine samples collected from more than 2,500 adults and children over 6.
Agriculture Secretary Edward Schafer wasn't able to estimate how many additional cattle might be affected by a total ban, and the overall economic impact is difficult to calculate, though Mark Dopp, of the American Meat Institute, said it wasn't expected to be significant. Dairy farmers get several hundred dollars for each cow they sell for slaughter.


Undercover video taken at Westland/Hallmark Meat in Chino, Calif., showed workers shocking cattle and pushing them with forklifts to force them to slaughter. That led to the recall of 143 million pounds of beef, though authorities said the health risks were minimal.

Downer cows are more prone to infections such as mad-cow disease, partly because they typically wallow in feces.

On average, food racks up about 1,000 food miles (or 1,650 "food kilometers") traveling from farms to processing or packaging plants before reaching Americans' dinner plates, the study estimates.


The whole supply chain—including delivering grains to feed cattle and delivering fuel to farms, for example—adds another 4,200 miles (6,750 kilometers).

Yet all that shipping, driving, and flying accounts for only a sliver of foods' climate impact—just 11 percent of the total—compared with the impact from producing the food itself, the study showed.
About 180 people who ate at a Chipotle restaurant near Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, became sick with a gastrointestinal illness, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Health officials began investigating the outbreak after people started arriving at local emergency rooms complaining of diarrhea, nausea, and severe vomiting.


Many of those affected were Kent State students who had eaten burritos at the restaurant on Thursday and Friday. Some had donated blood and gotten a coupon for free food at the restaurant, according to WLWT, the Cincinnati NBC affiliate.
While most environmentalists take aim at plastic, paper comes from trees, and processing bags creates greenhouse gases.


So, Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman points out, the best bag is the one you can use again and again -- provided you remember to bring it with you to the store -- and can get out of the habit of using them!

Some are even becoming fashion statements! The now chic "I'm not a plastic bag" by designer Anya Hindmarch quickly sold out in London and New York at $15 each, but are readily available at more than double that price on eBay!

In our post on Bisphenol A from Nalgene water bottles and other polycarbonate bottles, a number of commenters asked about the lining in SIGG aluminum bottles, expressing concern that their linings might leach BPA. So we asked them, and received a response from the CEO, Steve Wasik. He says that SIGG uses a proprietary liner formula from a Swiss supplier with "an impeccable reputation for quality" but that "as there are many copy-cat manufacturers in the market (most based in China) that would like to get their hands on this formula, our supplier has an agreement with SIGG to keep his formula confidential."


Wasik continues: "Very thorough migration testing in laboratories around the world is conducted regularly and has consistently shown SIGG aluminum bottles to have no presence of lead, phthalates, Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Bysphenol A (BPA), Bysphenol B (BPB) or any other chemicals which scientists have deemed as potentially harmful.
Breakfast cereals for children are less healthy than cereals meant for adults, and those marketed the most aggressively to kids have the worst nutritional quality, according to a new analysis of 161 brands.


"The cereal the parent is eating him or herself is probably better than what they're feeding their child," Dr. Marlene B. Schwartz of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, the lead researcher on the study, told Reuters Health.

Schwartz and her colleagues also found that health claims made for kids' cereals were often misleading. Cereals sold as "low fat" or "low sugar" were not lower in calories, as parents might assume, and while brands touted as "whole grain" did have more fiber, they had just as much salt, sugar and fat as other brands and the same calorie content.
New Yorkers handed over $45 million in internet sales tax last year alone. Still, that’s less than half of what the government thinks it’s owed.


So, starting in June, 2008, New York will require the largest online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases shipped to the Empire State.

Japanese farmers have had somewhat better luck with the honor system, which they employ in thousands of unmanned produce stands across the country. Many of the stands see payment rates approaching 90 percent. But in Japan, as in New York, the free ride may be coming to an end, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports, as farmers start to insist on being paid in full.
In an analysis of pooled data from previous clinical trials, researchers in the Netherlands found that when healthy adults older than 55 improved their fitness through aerobic exercise, there was also often an improvement in memory, attention or other mental abilities.


The findings appear in the Cochrane Library, a publication of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research.

Aerobic exercise is any activity, such as brisk walking, that gets the heart rate up and improves endurance, over time. This type of exercise has proven benefits for the heart.

Eating for the Planet...

Post a comment (2 Comments) | Permalink
Okay, I’ve heard of “low-carb” diets—which are nonsense—but what are “low-carbon” diets? Kenneth R. Weiss of The Los Angeles Times explains:
"No hamburger patties?" asked an incredulous football player, repeating the words of the grill cook. He glowered at the posted sign: "Cows or cars? Worldwide, livestock emits 18% of greenhouse gases, more than the transportation sector! Today we're offering great-tasting vegetarian choices."


The portabello burger didn't beckon him. Nor the black-bean burger.

"Just give me three chicken breasts, please," he said -- and with that, swaggered off to pile potato wedges onto his heaping plate.

Although this perhaps wasn't the most accepting reaction, it resulted in the desired dietary shift as Bon Appétit Management Co. rolls out its new Low Carbon Diet in 400 cafes it runs at university and corporate campuses around the country. Chicken, it turns out, has a lower carbon footprint than beef…

… Bon Appétit has begun to reverse the trend of super-sized meals. Burgers on many college campuses, for instance, have been downsized from one-third to quarter-pounders, with prices adjusted accordingly.

Helene York, a Harvard- and Yale-educated MBA, is part carbon cop -- "I spent a lot of time beating up our suppliers" -- and part mom, reminding customers that their mother was right: You should eat more vegetables. You shouldn't waste food.
Look at this graphic. It pretty much lays it on the line. Foods like beef are rotten for the environment. Check it out:


(Click to see it more clearly.)

I guess us nutritarians are already eating low-carbon diets—yippee! Actually, we’ve seen this sort of thing before. Remember this:






We already know these animal products are eroding our health, but apparently they’re walloping our environment too. Maybe that’s why so many people are growing kitchen gardens. From The New York Times:


It’s something you have to experience yourself, after doing something as simple as planting basil in a window box, or salad greens in one big pot and a no-fail cherry tomato plant in another.


Kitchen gardens are as old as the first hunter-gatherers who decided to settle down and watch the seeds grow. Walled medieval gardens protected carefully tended herbs, greens and fruit trees from marauders, both human and animal. The American colonists planted gardens as soon as they could, sowing seeds brought from Europe.

Call them survivor gardens.

Now, they are being discovered by a new generation of people who worry about just what is in that bag of spinach and how much fuel was consumed to grow it and to fly it a thousand miles.

Roger Doiron, a kitchen gardener in Scarborough, Me., produced so many vegetables last year that there are still a few rutabagas in his root cellar. “Our seed order was $85, and we did not buy a single vegetable from June through January,” he told me by phone earlier this month. He hadn’t planted peas yet, he said, but the spinach he planted last fall was greening up.
I’m not much of an environmentalist, but it does make me feel good that my food consumption isn’t straining our planet—know what I mean?

Heart Risks in Youth

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink


According to new research, heart disease risk begins developing in men during adolescence. Ed Edelson HealthDay News reports:
The study of the 507 Minneapolis school children found that between the ages of 11 and 19, levels of triglycerides, a type of blood fat associated with cardiovascular disease, increased in the boys and dropped in the girls. Levels of HDL cholesterol, the "good" kind that helps keep arteries clear, went down in boys but rose in girls.

Blood pressure increased in both, but significantly more in boys. And insulin resistance, a marker of cardiovascular risk, which was lower in boys at age 11, rose until the 19-year-old men were more resistant than the women…

…A recent study found that more than a third of children and adolescents in the United States are overweight or obese.

The study points toward the importance of hormonal factors in cardiovascular disease risk, Dr. Antoinette Moran, chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital explained. "We knew that women had extra protection from cardiovascular disease, and we knew it disappeared after menopause," she said. "This adds further weight to the role of hormones by looking at the other end of the age spectrum."
Not exactly new news, being obese and eating poorly is a bad idea—at any age! Here Dr. Fuhrman talks about heart risk in youth:
As a result of the heart-unfriendly diet, blood vessel damage begins early. Not only does the development of coronary atherosclerosis develop in childhood, but earlier development of atherosclerosis and higher serum cholesterol levels in childhood result in a significantly higher risk of premature sudden death relatively early in life. Sometimes the effects of childhood dietary abuses can be seen relatively early, with premature death or a heart attack at a young age.


When we study people who died young of coronary artery disease, we find that the highest risk of an earlier death occurs in those who were above average weight in childhood.1 Findings from the famous Bogalusa Heart Study show that a high saturated fat intake early in life is strongly predictive of later heart disease burden and the higher blood pressure in childhood and adolescence is powerfully predictive of cardiovascular death in adulthood.2
And the drugs we pump kids full of aren’t doing them any favors either. It seems there might be heart risk in ADHD drugs. From The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Millions of children taking drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder should be checked for heart problems, the American Heart Association said yesterday, a recommendation that also might identify more youngsters with cardiac disorders.


Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and other stimulants commonly prescribed to treat ADHD can increase blood pressure and heart rate. While not a problem for the vast majority of patients, they can lead to life-threatening conditions and even sudden cardiac death in those with heart conditions.

"We want all children to have safe access to these medications," said Victoria L. Vetter, a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author of the recommendations published today in Circulation, the heart association journal.

For the drugs to be truly safe, Vetter said in an interview, children with heart problems must be identified.

The committee of experts nevertheless emphasized that children on ADHD drugs should not stop. The recommendations are meant to prompt doctors to more carefully screen the heart health of young patients, Vetter said - "not freak out parents."
ADHD is a whole other issue. Here’s a little bit of Dr. Fuhrman on ADHD drugs. Take a look:
These medications with their reported adverse effects and potential dangers were simply unnecessary for so many children whom I have seen as patients. I have witnessed consistently positive results when these children followed my comprehensive program of nutritional excellence. The scientific studies lending support to a comprehensive nutritional approach to treating ADHD are ignored by physicians, and drugs are generally the only method offered.


Most new cases of ADHD are of the inattentive subtype. Inattentive ADHD are the children who have a short attention span, are easily distracted, and can appear to be a brain fog; they do not have hyperactivity. Research on the use of psychostimulants in these patients has shown high rate of nonresponders, and although medications showed a short-term decrease in symptoms, they did not improve grade point averages.1
Now, I’m not far seer, but, I’d be willing to bet A LOT of these problems could be avoided by upgrading the quality of kids’ diets—what do you think?
Continue Reading

Go Flax!

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
Martha Edwards of That’s Fit thinks flaxseed is a super food. Check it out:
How good? Here's just a short list of ailments it can help ward off: Cholesterol, cancer, constipation, diabetes, heart disease, menopause, inflammation and depression. And it's no surprise -- Flax contains all-important omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a special thing called lignans. Lignans act like antioxidants and have anti-tumor properties. And that's not all: Flax has fiber, which, in addition to helping you lower your cholesterol and risk of heart disease, helps keep you ... well, regular.
  • Sprinkle it on your cereal or salad, or add it to your smoothie. You'll hardly taste it.
  • Substitute flax for eggs in your favourite recipes. One tablespoon of flax seed and three tablespoons of water is the equivalent of one egg. Or just add it to any recipe where you'd welcome a nuttier flavour.
  • Switch out regular oils with flax seed oil.
Flaxseed is amazing, I eat some everyday. I buy this one:



And Dr. Fuhrman loves flaxseed too. Here’s a quote:
Flaxseed is rich in lignans, a type of fiber associated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer, and omega 3 essential fatty acid, also known as alpha linoleic acid (ALA), which is essential for health maintenance and disease prevention. In addition, flaxseed is a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and folate.
Although, he’s not too high on flaxseed oil—see for yourself:
There is no need to consume flaxseed oil. The best way to get omega-3 fatty acids is to consume whole flaxseed. Plus, when you consume whole flaxseed, not only do you get the best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, you also get the richest source of dietary lignans. Lignans are converted by bacteria in the intestinal tract to horomone-like compounds called phytoestrogens that have protective effects against hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancer. In fact, consuming ground flaxseed has been shown to have beneficial properties for prevention and treatment of both breast and prostate cancer.
Got that? Flaxseed good, flaxseed oil bad!

New York City to Shows its Calories...

Post a comment (0 Comments) | Permalink
At first the push to print calories on NYC restaurant menus was stalled. From the AFP:
"This decision highlights some of the flaws in the New York City Board of Health's regulation," Peter Kilgore, acting head of the National Restaurant Association said in a statement after the ruling.


The rules, which would have applied only to restaurants that already disclosed calorie data, "would have attempted to punish the very restaurants that are already providing accurate and comprehensive nutrition information."
Then city officials decided revive the proposal. The Associated Press was on it:
City health officials announced Wednesday that they hope to revive their stalled plan to force fast-food chains to add calorie counts to the big menu boards that hang above their counters.


The city's original effort to put calories on menus was struck down by a judge in September, but Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said the regulation has been reworked and is ready for a second try.

"People deserve to have more information when they are ordering food," he said.
And now, a federal judge has upheld NYC's calories-on-menus law. More from the AP:
Chuck Hunt, executive vice president of the restaurant association's New York City chapter, said it would ask the judge to stay his ruling pending an appeal. The health department said it would not start fining restaurants until June 3.


"We don't object to people doing it voluntarily," Hunt said Wednesday. "Our problem was the government agency forcing them to do it. We think restaurants should be able to determine from their customers how they want to get the information."

The new rule applies to restaurants that are part of chains with at least 15 outlets nationwide. That includes fast-food places like McDonald's and Wendy's, as well as sit-down establishments like Olive Garden and T.G.I. Friday's.

Some eateries, including Starbucks and Chipotle, have already started to post calorie information -- and it appears to be having an effect.
Very cool, and remember, Chipotle is an Eating to Live on the Outside all star!

AOL on Building Strong Bones

Post a comment (8 Comments) | Permalink
Here are two great tips for building strong healthy bones. From AOL’s Your Health:


Best Foods for Calcium: You're not limited to milk for calcium, as there are plenty of foods that are calcium-fortified naturally. Two ounces of swiss cheese provides 530 mg of calcium, more than twice the amount in 6 ounces of milk. You'll get 240mg of calcium from two ounces of sardines, two stalks of cooked broccoli gives you 250mg, six ounces of cooked collard greens provide 225mg and three ounces of almonds contains 210mg. Other sources: fermented soy products like natto, dried raw figs, rhubarb, pinto beans, turnip greens, and kale.

Exercise, Best Bone Builder: Adults who exercise regularly are able to maintain a good balance between bone-building and bone-dissolving processes in the body. Exercise also limits bone loss during old age. And it's never too late to start -- President Ronald Reagan began weight training at age 82. Most experts recommend a combination of weight-bearing exercise (walking, jogging) and muscle-building exercise (weight training). Remember to work all the major muscles -- that means chest, shoulders, arms, legs and back.
Strong bones are important, but swiss cheese isn't—yuck!. Anyway, check out this DiseaseProof mini-series on bone health:
Speaking of non-dairy sources of calcium—take a look at seeds! From Eat For Health:
Over the last few years, the health benefits of seeds also have become more apparent. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hempseeds, chia seeds, or other seeds can supply those hard-to find omega-3 fats that protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.1 Seeds are also rich in lignans, a type of fiber associated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. In addition, seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and folate. The plant goes to great effort in producing and protecting its seed, filling each genetic package with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils, and enzymes.
I’m no bird, but I eat a lot of seeds—sesame, flax, and sunflower—daily.
Continue Reading

Eat For Health: The Power of Nutrients

Post a comment (1 Comments) | Permalink


This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.


All the different types of nutrients are vital to achieving and maintaining optimal health and nutritional excellence; however, phytochemicals hold a special, elite place in the nutritional landscape. When consistently consumed in adequate quantity and variety, phytochemicals become super-nutrients in your body. They work together to detoxify cancer-causing compounds, deactivate free radicals, protect against radiation damage, and enable DNA repair mechanisms.1 When altered or broken strands of DNA are repaired, it can prevent cancer from developing later in life.

Consuming phytochemicals is not optional. They are essential in human immune-system defenses. Without a wide variety and sufficient amount of phytochemicals from unprocessed plant foods, scientists note that cells age more rapidly and do not retain their innate ability to remove and detoxify waste products and toxic compounds. Low levels of phytochemicals in our modern diet are largely responsible for the common diseases seen with aging, especially cancer and heart disease. These are diseases caused by nutritional