Tough Times, Cupcakes over Crisis...

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.

Exercise Helps You Poop!

Exercise does A LOT of things. Gives you a six-pack, broader chest, toned butt and even a good poop! New research claims regular exercise can RELIEVE symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, specifically constipation.

The study appears in the International Journal of Sports Medicine. Reuters reports:

Dr. Amanda J. Daley of the University of Birmingham in the UK and colleagues recruited 56 adults (mostly women) with doctor-diagnosed IBS for a study lasting 12 weeks.

The participants were randomly assigned to usual care (i.e., a "control" group) or to an exercise program, consisting of two 40-minute one-on-one exercise consultations designed to provide exercise skills, knowledge, confidence and motivation -- the goal being 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days a week.

The researchers chose this type of intervention, they say, because it has been found to boost exercise in other patient groups, and because it could be more easily integrated into current healthcare practice than supervised programs.

After 12 weeks, the exercise group chalked up significantly more weekly exercise than the control group and they reported significantly greater declines in symptoms of constipation.

What a relief! Now, I’ve said it before, but it’s HARD to make a case against exercise. For example, That’sFit passes along news that EXERCISE helps lower type-2 diabetes risk and it’s already been shown that exercise improves heart health.

Now, if you’re pressed for time and can’t make it to the gym, try exercising at the office. Exercise is too HEALTHY to skip!

FDA Blamed for Produce Poisonings

It’s been a rough go for fruits and vegetables. We had the HUGE spinach-E. coli outbreak. Then New Jersey’s green onions got E. coli too. After that, tomatoes were blamed for salmonella, but it turned out a SINGLE jalapeño pepper was actually the guilty party. Yeah, a lot of drama!

So, who’s to blame? The Government Accountability Office says the failure falls squarely on the shoulders of U.S. Food and Drug Administration—signaling a call for improved preparations against biological attack and outbreaks of food poisoning; Rueters reports.

Green-News: Tuesday 9.29.08

Me Man, Me Eat Fat!

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

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

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!

British Junk Food Ad Rules Mucking Up

A couple years ago British health officials enacted a BAN on TV commercials for foods high in fat, salt and sugar airing during children’s programming, but its NOT working—somehow junk foods like soda and cookies are sneaking in; the BBC reports.

Actually, Britain has a history of food faux pas. Once schools tried to reform cafeteria food and make it healthier, but it only incurred the WRATH of the meat-pie mums!

Green-News: Monday 9.28.08

Rainy Tomato

 

The weather is ROTTEN today. Dank, damp, rainy and just plain icky! Pretty much sums up my tomato this week. It’s really starting to show the change in season.

Last week began the decline, but as you can see today. Fall weather is taking its toll. Tomatoes are taking longer to ripen and leaves are shriveling—sigh.

Pools: Outdoor and Indoor Boost Kids' Asthma-Risk...

It’s getting a little late in the season, but a new study in the European Respiratory Journal has determined outdoor pools INCREASE children’s asthma risk. Researchers blame prolonged exposure to chlorine vapors; Reuters reports.

Actually, this backs up a previous study about indoor pools. Researchers linked inhalation of chlorine byproducts to lung damage in infants and possible asthma later in childhood. It appeared in the journal Pediatrics; via Reuters.

Keeping excitable kids out of the pool might be hard. Maybe limit their time swimming instead. After all, growing bodies MUST be kept safe from toxic environments.

Breast Milk Off the Menu!

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!

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.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Paradox Cafe

It’s Friday and its NEARLY quitting time, but the week isn’t over yet. First we’ve got to check in with Eating to Live on the Outside. So, what’s on the menu this week? We’re heading to Paradox Café. It’s an unusual restaurant, serving a mix of vegan and non-vegan dishes, but hidden in the confusion are plenty of Fuhrman-friendly fare.

Okay, I’m digging the Number Two. It’s made with seasoned potatoes or brown rice, seasonal vegetables, egg, tofu or tempeh, Aisan curry sauce, raisins and nuts. No egg or tempeh for me, I’m going with the tofu and the potatoes. A lot of my vegan friends are REALLY into tempeh, but I think it tastes funny.

The Fiesta Burrito is also cool. They make it with seasonal vegetables, egg or tofu, house chili, salsa, green onions, a wheat tortilla and seasoned red potatoes. Alright, the tortilla is iffy, but I can deal with it. I’m also passing on the egg, again. The chili has me a little worried. It could be salty, but I’d be willing to risk it.

Next up is the Tree Hugger Sandwich. The name certainly appeals to my hippie sensibilities. Its fresh bread stuffed with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, guacamole and vegan cream cheese. I’ll pass on the faux-cream cheese and yes, the bread isn’t the MOST nutrient-dense menu item, but I’m cool with it. I don’t eat bread that often anymore. Besides, the veggies ROCK!

Now, the Asparagus Sandwich is looking good. Asparagus is a SUPER food. So any opportunity I have to eat some—I take it! It doesn’t say what kind of bread it’s made with, but it includes roasted asparagus, caramelized onions, fresh tomato, 1000 Island Dressing and vegan cream cheese. Alright, we’ve got some eliminations to make. Adios dressing and goodbye fake cheese. Honestly, if it weren’t for the asparagus, I’d probably pass on this one.

As always, the salads are looking the best. I see four I like: Deluxe Green Salad, Mediterranean Salad, Solstice Spinach Salad and the Crisp Tempeh Salad. Combine they’re made with Romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, veggies, seeds, spinach, kalamata olives, feta cheese, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, Fuji-apples, roasted asparagus, mushroom, tempeh, raisins, almonds and almonds. Okay, I’ll pass on the olives, tempeh and feta cheese and I’ll order the dressing on the side. Oh, and as for what type of dressing, I think the lemon tahini is probably the MOST harmless.

Finally, I’m feeling the Coconut Spiced Vegetables. It’s pretty simple. It’s made with organic vegetables, seared tofu and coconut-chili sauce. Any time vegetables are the heart of a menu item it’s a solid option. This might go good with a side salad. Luckily a couple of Paradox Café’s salads come in smaller sizes too!

Yeah, I think Paradox Café is okay. It’s not a slam dunk, but it’s decent. Plenty of veggies and not TOO much nasty stuff, just a little cheese—which is easy to get around, don’t order it! Alright, I’ve talked to much, its Friday and you want to go home, but before you do. Check out Paradox Café’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. You can always make a comment or send an email to diseaseproof@gmail.com. Until then, eat right! Peace.

Green-News: Friday 9.26.08

Healthy Schools in America

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...

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!

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!

Smooth Moves...

Mango Salad Smoothie

1/4 regular sized banana
4 cups romaine or mixed greens
1 1/2 cups pineapple (or core of 1 pineapple)
1 pound frozen mango
1/3 cup water

Blend ingredients. Serves 4.

Big Red Smoothie

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup frozen cherries
2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 bunch fresh parsley

Blend well and enjoy! Serves 1.

Blue Breakfast Smoothie

6 ounces baby spinach
1 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup soy milk
2 tbs ground flax seeds

Blend all ingredients, pour and serve. Serves 2.

Antioxidant Rich Smoothie

8 ounces (about 8 cups) organic baby spinach
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
8 deglet noor dates, pitted and cut in half or 3 medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/2 avocado (optional)

Blend all ingredients together. This is delicious & very healthy! Serves 3.

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Green-News: Thursday 9.25.08

  • A lot of people are installing personal solar energy systems on their homes, but these people are being TARGETED as solar panel theft begins to rise; The New York Times explains.

Pomegranates, Sexy...

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.

Gastric Bypass Linked to Bone Loss

Weight-loss surgery is risky! A previous report showed an INCREASED risk of depression and suicide with weight-loss surgery. And now, new research by Columbia University reveals a connection between gastric bypass and deficiencies of calcium and bone loss.

The study appears in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. More from ScienceDaily:

"Our research shows that deficiencies of calcium and vitamin D absorption occur following gastric bypass surgery," said Dr. Shonni J. Silverberg, professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York, N.Y., and coauthor of the study. "When analyzing hip bone density, we found that those who lost the most weight also lost the most bone."

In this study, researchers evaluated 23 morbidly obese men and women who underwent gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Silverberg and her colleagues measured serum calcium, vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone levels before surgery and at three, six, and twelve months after surgery. Researchers also measured bone mineral density before and after surgery using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). One year after weight loss surgery, patients had lost an average of 99 pounds and had significant declines in hip bone mineral density (both total hip and femoral neck measurements).

"The calcium and vitamin D deficiencies may be due to the alterations in the gastrointestinal tract that take place during these procedures," said Dr. Silverberg. "These deficiencies may be restored if the amount of calcium and vitamin D supplementation is increased appropriately."

Now, this only a FRACTION of the potential complications! Dr. Fuhrman also lists gastritis, dilated pouch, incisional hernia and vitamin B12 deficiency as other possible consequences of weight-loss stomach surgery. Seems like A LOT of risks to me!

There’s a simpler. You know it already—diet and exercise! Exercise keeps us moving, but a diet change is REALLY crucial. Some foods, like green vegetables, actually allow you to eat MORE and still lose weight. No scalpels needed!

Tips to Stay Alive

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

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.

Green-News: Wednesday 9.24.08

Hey, I'm on OrganicAuthority!

Like organic foods and all things green? So do I. That’s why I’m excited to announce I’m NOW a regular contributor on OrganicAuthority!

I’ll be posting there Monday through Friday. So, can find me on OrganicAuthority, at Diet-Blog and as always, right here on DiseaseProof. Thanks for reading!

Stay Fit at the Office...

Nowadays I spend MOST of my time in front of a computer. If I didn’t eat right and exercise, I’d be as big as a HOUSE! Remember, a sedentary lifestyle wallops your health.

So, if you’re a desk-dweller like me. You have to figure HOW to bridge the gap between sitting and moving. You could start with the “Workstation.” It’s the hybrid combination of a desk and a treadmill.

I’m not sure I could type and walk at the same time. I can barely THINK and type at once! I’d rather get up and stretch, especially since University of Queensland researchers determined periodic stretch breaks are good for your health. And here are some desk stretches—via The Los Angeles Times.

Also, here's a whole list of office exercises you can do; including wearing a pedometer, finding a walking buddy and taking the stairs. Actually, taking the stairs is VERY heart healthy and can dramatically increase fitness levels; from Reuters.

Or you good always do Zumba. I’ve never tried it, but apparently this Latin exercise dance-craze is taking the world by storm. Aye carumba! I’m WAY too uncoordinated for that.

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Less Meat, Save Money

Eat for Health: Heart Disease and Dementia Aren't Inevitable

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

As this chart shows, heart disease as a major cause of disability and death is a recent phenomenon.

Heart disease was not inevitable in the past and it doesn’t have to be inevitable now. It has known causes. Populations where these predisposing lifestyles are not lived out have practically no heart disease. When studies look at these issues, they find that the cultures that eat a healthy, vegetable-rich diet have almost no recorded heart disease, including hundreds of thousands of rural Chinese who have not had a single documented heart attack.1 Because heart disease has become so ubiquitous in America, many people believe the myth that heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and dementia are largely genetic or the consequence of aging. It may be rare in the modern world that any majority of a population exercises, does not smoke, and eats very healthfully, but those that do earn a low-risk status and do not have heart attacks.2

The same factors that cause atherosclerosis, leading to heart attacks and strokes, also create dementia, and I am referring to both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. This includes the same diets that are high in animal fat and low in vitamins, minerals, fruits, and green vegetables.3 Of course, smoking and lack of physical exercise play a role in these common diseases, but the point is that it does not have to happen to you. These diseases, and others that plague modern America, are not the inevitable consequences of aging. They can actually resolve and improve with age or can be avoided entirely. They are simply the result of years of poor nutrition and an unhealthy lifestyle. My hope for you is that through this eating-style, you, like my patients who have embraced this program, can rid yourself of migraine headaches, acne, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. So many of my patients have restored their health after conventional physicians—and the conventional beliefs about the inevitability of disease— told them their problems were going to be life long. Their doctors were wrong.

Continue Reading...

Fortified Foods, Kind of Dumb

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.

Green-News: Tuesday 9.23.08

Plants Cancer-Proof Your Body!

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

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.

Salt Ups Blood Pressure

Salt is NOT your friend. According to Dr. Fuhrman salt is one of the foods ransacking America’s health. Salt is EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING! It’s a HUGE money-maker for junk food producers.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that another study is linking salt to hypertension pressure. At the American Heart Association's 62nd Annual Fall Conference of the Council High Blood Pressure Research scientists reported that cutting salt helps control high-blood pressure; Reuters reports.

We’ve seen this before, just a couple months ago a study by Harvard Medial School revealed salt’s negative impact on blood pressure. Bottom line, AVOID salt! Stick with fruits and veggies for optimal heart health. Oh! And Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest is a GREAT substitute for salt.
 

Eat For Health: What About Salmon?

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

All fish contain high levels of pollutants–even salmon. But, recent studies showed dangerous chemicals were ten-times higher in farm-raised salmon as compared to wild salmon. If you’re going to eat salmon, wild salmon is a better choice. Since there are growing concerns about the high pollution and artificial colors used in farm-raised salmon, wild salmon has become more desirable and its prices have gone up. However, a 2005 article in The New York Times reported that most fish labeled as wild Pacific or Alaskan salmon is just farm-raised salmon with a lying label. The New York Times tested salmon that was labeled as wild and sold in eight New York City stores and found that most of the fish was farm-raised, not wild.1

They were able to tell the farm-raised from the wild salmon because of the presence of an artificial, pink food dye manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche. The company distributes their trademarked SalmoFan, which is similar to paint store swatches, so fish farmers can choose among various shades to make salmon have a pink-orange color. Salmon in the wild have that color naturally from eating pink crustaceans, but the commercially raised fish have a grey flesh from eating fishmeal. Europeans are suspicious of the dye, which was linked to retinal damage in people when taken as a sunless tanning pill.

Numerous studies also have found surprisingly high levels of PCBs and dioxin in farm-raised salmon. American health officials’ response was that this level of contamination should not stop consumers from eating salmon, but why should you unnecessarily expose yourself to known toxic carcinogens? If you eat salmon, eat only the wild Alaskan variety. If you eat fish once a week, use mostly the lower fat, less contaminated fish, such as tilapia, flounder, scallops, trout, or sole, but I urge you to eat fish infrequently since eating too much can promote heart disease, cancer, and atrial fibrillation.

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Green-News: Monday 9.22.08

  • The Toronto Star reports Toronto is considering a BAN on coffee cups; citing coffee cups, takeout food containers and plastic bags as the city’s biggest garbage offenders.

Cool Tomato

 

Today’s the last day of summer and it sure FEELS like it. The weather was much cooler this week than last week and my tomato is taking it hard.

Green tomatoes took longer to turn red and even the leaves are getting a little crinkly. With fall FAST approaching these might be the last days of my heavenly tomato.

Although, my mom told me a good tomato plant can go well into October. So, we’ll see!

Comfort Foods...

I dislike the term “comfort food.” Even Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate from The Howard Stern Show mentioned he hates the phrase on the show this week—although, that doesn’t stop him from GORGING on chocolates!

Comfort food sounds like a cover up for food addictions. Speaking of comfort food, EDiets offers up a list of the Top 10 Comfort Foods. Take a look:

  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Ice cream
  • Pizza
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Tomato soup
  • Popcorn
  • Chocolate shakes
  • Pancakes
  • Homemade soups and stews

YUCK! Sure, tomato soup and popcorn aren’t horrible, but look at the rest of that crap. Lots of sugar, dairy fat and refined foods—not exactly health promoting.

My list of “comfort foods” would include: avocado, tomatoes, bananas and at worst, bread so grainy and hearty you could build a house with it!
 

To Choose a Snack...

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!
 

Plumbing the Reason We're Fat?

The toilet, you can’t beat it! Think of the alternative. A shabby outdoor hut with a board with a hole cut in it—EEK! Freakonomics explores the possibility that all this convenient indoor plumbing causes us eat MORE which contributes to modern obesity. Take a look:

This may sound ludicrous, but think about it for just a moment. Very few people have to trek through the night to use an outhouse anymore; furthermore, restroom facilities are readily available just about everywhere — which means you don’t have to worry about getting rid of your waste, which frees you up to consume as much as you’d like…

…I’ve rented a summer house with no garbage pickup. This meant not only paying for how much waste you produce, but also storing your trash until the one day that the dump is open. During these times, our behavior changed radically: not only did we compost all our food waste to cut down on stink, but we thought about everything we bought before we bought it to make sure we wanted to deal with the waste. As a result, we bought a lot less.

Okay, the theory is a little bit of a stretch, but I don’t think it’s TOTALLY off base. At my old job I used to eat A LOT of candy bars because there was a vending machine down the hall.

But if the Freakonomics hypothesis is correct, than states like Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama and Louisiana must have some GREAT toilets! They’re the FATTEST in the country.

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Sarah Palin is Toast!

Somehow that nutrient-less piece of toast revealed the image of vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin. Even more amazing than the manifestation of her image, is that right now the bidding is up to $12,000. Who the HECK would pay that for TOAST!

Now, as BIZARRE as that is, we’ve seen this before. A few months ago Howard Stern appeared in a piece of burnt toast. Unfortunately for the King of All Media, his toast only sold for $141.50. No offense, but if you’re willing to pay that much for toast, you need your head examined.

Via Slashfood.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Electric Karma

I’m REALLY excited about this week’s restaurant! Electric Karma is right up my alley. It looks like a Yoga studio that serves food and—and as an aspiring Yogi—I LOVE that! Most importantly, the menu looks very good. So get ready, its time for another Eating to Live on the Outside.

Let’s start with the appetizers. If I had to pick, I’d go with the Samosas or the Vegetarian Pakoras. The Samosas are prepared with potatoes, peas, spices, herbs and served with tamarind chutney. Sounds great! Now, the Vegetarian Pakoras are made with spinach, cauliflower, potatoes and home-made tomato chutney. Hooray spinach!

Okay, I’m skipping the meat and poultry dishes and going right for the salads. There are five good ones: Tossed Green Salad, Kachumber Salad, Karma Salad, Ashoka Salad and the Tandoori Vegetarian Salad. Combined they’re made with A LOT of great stuff: romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, dressing, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, red potatoes, tamarind chutney, gram flour vermicelli, mushrooms, paneer and eggplant. Out of all that I am ditching the paneer—it’s a cheese—and I’d order the dressings on the side. Good stuff though!

Onto the tofu dishes, I like the Tofu Tikka Masala and the Tofu Jalfrezzi. They make Tikka Masala with cooked tofu, bell peppers, onions, and spices. Simple, yet effective! The Tofu Jalfrezzi is pretty basic too; its just tofu, mixed vegetables and yellow curry sauce. Neither of these are better than the salads, but if you’re in the mood for tofu—they work!

Electric Karma, like a lot of Indian restaurants, has an entirely vegetarian section, which for people eating a vegetable-based diet is GREAT. Technically, I could probably go for any of the dishes with only minor alterations or concessions, but here are the ones I REALLY liked.

The Aloo Gobi is prepared with cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, ginger, green chilies, coriander, tumeric and cumin. Cauliflower is awesome. I find it really absorbs flavors. Next, I’m digging the Channa Masal. They make it with garbonzo beans, onions and tomatoes. Another very simple dish, but most of the time simple is BETTER. The Aloo Saag and the Sal Daal also look cool; combined they’re made with spinach, potatoes and yellow lentils. Beans and greens, certainly a win-win combination! Lastly, the Palak Paneer looks interesting. It includes spinach leaves, tofu or paneer cubes, sautéed onion, garlic, ginger and green chilies. Okay, I’d take the tofu over the paneer and the sautéing is a concession, but I could live with it. It’d be a break from ALL the steam food I eat!

Overall, I REALLY dig Electric Karma! I think, like a lot of restaurants, the salads are your best bet. Good thing the salads are YUMMY! Plus, the vibe of Electric Karma certainly appeals to my Zen sensibilities. If I EVER get to Los Angeles, I’ll have to drop by.

Alright, you know what’s coming next. It’s your turn. Check out Electric Karma’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Just make a comment or send an email to diseaseproof@gmail.com. Until them, eat wisely. Om shanti.

Green-News: Thursday 9.19.08

Surprise, Living Healthy Helps Women Live Longer

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...

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.

Toxic Lead is Everywhere!

Our environment is polluted. Toxins lurk around EVERY corner. Take lead for example. It’s in vitamins, left over fishing tackle, artificial sports turf and garden hoses! Makes me MAD, I love fishing, sports and gardening!

And here’s something really disturbing. Previous reports have linked exposure to lead as a child with CRIMINAL behavior later in life. So, if you’re concerned about lead. CBS provides this list of lead’s hiding places. Take a look:

  • Plumbing
  • Home renovations
  • City gardening
  • Ceramic dishes
  • Hunting or fishing supplies
  • Art supplies

The report also claims lead can weaken bones and raise blood pressure. No doubt, people of all ages need to watch out for toxins, but especially kids. Dr. Fuhrman insists parents must be careful NOT to expose their kids to toxic compounds.

Fitness Mistakes

Exercise goofs vary. Some people put the treadmill WAY too high and others SQUEEZE into tight workout clothes and some do both!

But seriously, Parade magazine points out 3 more fitness mistakes. Have a look:

  • Forgetting to warm up or cool down
  • Not cross-training
  • Ignoring proper form

I’m a stickler for all three, especially the last one—my motto is slow and steady. Actually, give the U.S. Navy SEAL workout a try, seems like a pretty inclusive routine to me.
 

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Green-News: Thursday 9.18.08

Meat Gets COOL Labels...

Country of Origin Labels, or COOL, tell consumers whether their meat came from U.S. or livestock from another country. The new federal mandate begins September 30th and addresses American’s concerns over international food safety practices; The Chicago Tribune reports.

Not a bad idea, I think consumers SHOULD be as informed as possible. Especially when you consider the United States’ recent suspension of Mexican meat imports. Although, American meat is not without its own problems—South Koreans are ticked about U.S. beef.

Yet another reason why I DON’T eat meat, only LOW-toxin varieties of fish!

Brain-Shrinking and Veggie Diets

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

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!

BPA, Where Will it Turn Up Next?

Bisphenol A is NOT your friend and lately news report after news report has BLASTED the toxic compound used in making plastic—which appears in BABY bottles of all places—that’s why some families are SUING baby-bottle makers.

Now, if baby bottles seem like a BIZARRE place for a TOXIC compound to show up. Get a load of this list of Hidden Sources of BPA. Via Julie’s Health Club:

  • Pizza boxes made of recycled cardboard
  • Recycled paper
  • Credit card receipts at the gas station and your local restaurant
  • Wine (fermented in BPA-resin lined vats)
  • Beer (likewise)
  • Rubbermaid polycarbonate-lined baking tins used by Subway
  • Pop (soda) cans
  • Organic canned tomatoes
  • Common plastic cups used in college cafeterias
  • Blue-tinted hard plastic 5-gallon drinking water bottles

And yet, people still buy this stuff! Maybe that’s because BPA interferes with brain cells. Although, the senate did want to ban to BPA, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration actually ruled that BPA is safe—INSANE!

At least Canada has their heads on straight. They declared BPA as dangerous. Not to mention, a new report claims everyday plastic products are linked to all sorts of human diseases; from Reuters.

Green-News: Wednesday 9.17.08

Pistachios Lower LDL Cholesterol...

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!

Mountain-Biking, Grin and BEAR it!

Imagine you’re a black bear. You’re just wandering around, minding your own business, looking for picnic baskets and—WHAM—some dude on a bike crashes into you!

What do you do? Maul his face! Briefly recall your days riding a unicycle in the circus? Or, turn tail and scamper away?

Luckily, for a Missoula, Montana middle school teacher and cycling enthusiast, the bear he “T-boned” flew over his handlebars, rolled over his head—cracking his helmet—and took off down the road; AOL News reports.

Suffering only bruising and scratches, some would say this cyclist BEAR-ly got away! Clearly, this is GREAT advertisement for bike helmet awareness.

Now, for all you mountain-bikers, no worries, BEAR-CRASHES are very uncommon. Excessive speed, unfamiliar terrain or hitting a bump are more likely causes of a crash—via The Physician and Sportsmedicine.

Regardless, I prefer my biking stationary!

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Fruits, Veggies Cut Colon Cancer in Men

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!
 

Wrap these Up!

Vegetable Garbanzo Wrap

1 large tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
4 leaves romaine lettuce, shredded
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (low or no salt), drained and mashed
2 tablespoons fruit flavored vinegar
4 whole grain tortillas
1/2 tablespoon raw sesame tahini

Toss vegetables with garbanzo beans and vinegar. Warm a whole grain tortilla, spread a thin coating of tahini on it, and roll with the vegetable/bean mixture. Serves 4.

Vegetable Burrito

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red or green pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
5 whole grain tortilla wraps
1 lime

Saute onions, peppers, and zucchini in olive oil over med/high heat about 8 minutes until tender. Stir in chili powder. Place sauteed vegetables, chopped tomatoes, and 2 slices of avocado on each tortilla. Add squeeze of lime juice and roll up. Serves 5.

Speedy Vegetable Wrap

2 whole wheat tortillas or whole wheat pitas
1 tablespoon fat free dressing (divided for1/2 tablespoon per wrap)
2 cups broccoli slaw mix
1 large tomato, diced
2 slices soy cheese or fat-free cheese, shredded

Spread fat free dressing over tortillas. Add broccoli slaw mix, tomatoes, and soy cheese. Place in toaster oven or microwave just long enough to melt the cheese. Roll up tortillas enclosing filling. If making pitas, stuff with dressing, vegetable, and cheese and serve without heating. Serves 2.

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Green-News: Tuesday 9.16.08

Avoid these 10 Cancer-Causing Foods...

Cancer doesn’t just happen! Diet has A LOT to do with it. Take acrylamides for example. According to Dr. Fuhrman, acrylamides are cancer-causing compounds that form in fried, baked, roasted, grilled or barbequed food. You know. Bad stuff!

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that over-cooked food appears in this list of foods that increase cancer-risk. Via Care2:

  • All charred food, which create heterocyclic aromatic amines, known carcinogens. Even dark toast is suspect.
  • Well-done red meat. Medium or rare is better, little or no red meat is best.
  • Sugar, both white and brown–which is simply white sugar with molasses added.
  • Heavily salted, smoked and pickled foods, which lead to higher rates of stomach cancer.
  • Sodas/soft drinks, which pose health risks, both for what they contain–sugar and various additives–and for what they replace in the diet–beverages and foods that provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
  • French fries, chips and snack foods that contain trans fats.
  • Food and drink additives such as aspartame.
  • Excess alcohol.
  • Baked goods, for the acrylamide.
  • Farmed fish, which contains higher levels of toxins such as PCBs.

Cooked meats are a problem. The American Institute for Cancer Research just recommended that people STOP grilling meat and substitute veggies instead. Good idea, because a recent study linked saturated fat with prostate cancer-risk.

No doubt, things like alcohol, sugar and fake sugar should be avoided too. Be sure to check out Dr. Fuhrman’s list of horrible foods. You’ll see EVEN more similarities!

USDA Offers Kids Poor Nutrition...

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Child Nutrition Commodity Program distributes food to more than 94,000 public and private schools. A good idea, but here’s the problem. A new study gives the nutritional-quality of this food a FAILING grade!

The California Food Policy Advocates and Samuels & Associates conducted the research. Here’s a bit, via TreeHugger:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture currently provides school districts with more than 180 different commodity food items per year valued at approximately $1 billion, which makes the commodity program the largest single source of foods for schools. The nutritional quality of the foods ordered by schools through the commodity program, however, is particularly alarming. While commodity foods comprise only 20 percent of the school meal, they set the tone for the entire meal. For instance, many meals are planned around the high-fat foods ordered through the commodities program, turning them into pizza, chicken nuggets and other processed foods…

…Dietary Guidelines for Americans should be reflected in School Meal Initiative Standards, and schools should have to meet them. Efforts to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables and decrease the amount of meats and processed foods purchased for school meals would contribute to providing students with much healthier foods.

Yeah, cheese and processed food are NOT nutritional superstars! Now this is really scary. Take a look at the food distribution. From The Federal Child Nutrition Commodity Program Nutritional Quality Report:

When 82% of the food supplied is meat and dairy, OFCOURSE nutritional-quality is going to be a total flop. That much meat and cheese is a dangerous no-no. Dr. Fuhrman is a staunch advocate of LIMITING these foods for optimal health, bodyweight and lifespan.

Also, consider the environmental factor. It takes WAY more resources to produce milk and meat than it does fruits and veggies. You’d think the department of AGRICULTURE would know this!

Chinese Baby Formula Scare

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now urging parents to avoid Chinese-made baby formula. Reuters reports the FDA fears some of the formula, which is being blamed for the death of an infant in China, may have slipped into U.S. markets.

In response, China is widening its efforts to find the source of the contamination. They believe melamine—a substance used in fertilizers and plastics—may have been mixed in with milk used in manufacturing baby formula; more from Reuters.

Actually, melamine has run amuck before. Last year melamine contaminated a bunch of hogs and chickens—EEK!
 

Green-News: Monday 9.15.08

Super Tomato!


It’s time for a tomato update. Okay, last week my tomato started slumping to one side—which totally FREAKED me out! I was worried, could my tomato recover?

The answer is YES. In a big way! Just check out ALL those red—and getting redder—tomatoes! In fact, I’ll be devouring that big one on the left later today.

Dumb McDonald's...

Far be it from me to pass up an opportunity to ridicule fast food. So, here I go. Stuff reports that McDonald’s was offering a 10-cent gas discount with purchase of a Big Mac, medium fries, medium soft drink and a hot apple pie. Shameless and unhealthy!

Now, get this. Some freak show has consumed over 23,000 Big Macs during his lifetime, and, he’s PROUD of it! Sigh. Check out AOL News for the whole dumb story.

The depth of fast food stupidity never ceases to amaze me.
 

Heart Beating like a Piece of Lard!

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.
 

Health and Pumping Iron...

Do you lift weights? I do, four days a week: Monday, chest; Tuesday, legs; Wednesday, shoulders; Thursday, arms; and abs, everyday! Now, Dr. Fuhrman recommends resistance-training, especially if you’re a woman looking to avoid osteoporosis.

And HealthandMen offer up four reasons why pumping iron is a GOOD idea. Take a look:

  • Stroke prevention: weightlifting actually decreases your blood presure, therefore reducing the risk of stroke.
  • Anti-Depressant: It’s always been said that weightlifting and cardio can be great for reducing stress, but it’s not only stress that it can benefit. It’s been shown to also make people generally have a better mood about them.
  • Increase Your “T” Levels: Testosterone plays an important role in protein synthesis and sexual drive as well as mood an activity. Weight lifting signals your body to produce more.
  • Cuts Diabetes Risk: Weight lifting decreases blood glucose levels along with improving insulin sensitivity.

Okay, before you run out and hit the weights. You might want to check out this list of debunked muscle-myths via Men’s Health.

And a few months ago. The New York Times asked, Does Weight Lifting Make a Better Athlete?

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Milk, Stupid

Despite the U.S. Government’s love affair with milk. Milk is NOT a health food. In fact, Dr. Fuhrman is more likely to call milk a health hazard than a health helper. Not to mention, milk HAS been linked prostate cancer and Crohn's disease.

Now, Celebrity Diet Doctor has three more reasons to ditch milk. Take a look:

  • Countries with the highest intakes of dairy, Finland, Sweden and the Unite States, also have the highest fracture rates in the world despite having the highest intakes of dietary calcium in the world.
  • The Nurses Health Study showed an increased fracture rate among women who reported the highest dietary intake of calcium primarily from milk and other diary foods.
  • A study funded by the dairy industry also showed that post menopausal women who drank 3 glasses of milk for 2 years (1400 mg Calcium/day) lost bone at twice the rate as those who did not drink milk.

Like Dr. Fuhrman says, milk is not for people—milk is for the rapidly growing COW! I’ve NEVER liked milk. It’s always made me nauseous.

Sadly, some people just CAN’T face the hard truth about milk. It’s yucky!

Eating to Live on the Outside: Great Sage

Alright, Friday’s here and you know what that means—Eating to Live on the Outside—yet another installment of TRYING to make American restaurant cuisine more palatable to the discerning Eat to Liver. This week Great Sage is on the menu.

To be honest, it’s pretty good. Not earth-shaking, but WAY better than most places. Let’s do the appetizers first. I like the Guacamole Tostada. I know. Quite the shocker, there’s avocado in it and I’d order it. It’s made with chipotle black beans, brown rice, Romaine lettuce, tomato salad, corn shell, and guacamole. The tortilla sucks, but everything else is cool.

I’m more excited about the Roasted Vegetable Plate; it’s made with eggplant, red onion, zucchini, red pepper, Balsamic reduction, and hummus. Looks good to me! If the hummus is made with olive oil, it’s a tad iffy, but overall, I dig it.

Okay, the salads are all decent—in their own special way—but I’m leaning towards the Ensalaa Cubana, Young Spinach Salad, or the Strawberry Asparagus Salad. They’re PACKED with goodies. Combined they’re made with lettuce, avocado, orange, red onion, chili-lime almonds, citrus basil mint dressing, white button mushrooms, marinated tofu, candied walnuts, shallot dressing, chopped almonds, asparagus, and strawberry vinaigrette. Aside from the candied walnuts—which are REALLY no big deal—this stuff is great.

Now, I like a couple of the wraps too. I LOVE mushrooms, so the Portabella Caesar Salad Wrap is a lock. They make it with roasted portabella, Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, artichoke hearts, vegan Caesar dressing, grilled flour tortilla, roasted red potato, and pickle. Well, the tortilla might make you wince, but I can deal with. Too much good stuff to ignore!

I’m also digging the Roasted Vegetable Wrap. It’s prepared with roasted eggplant, red onion, zucchini, red pepper, balsamic reduction, mesclun greens, hummus, flour tortilla, and kettle potato chips. Alright, the chips are getting the axe—I DON’T eat that crap—but everything else is cool and no worries on the tortilla again.

Lastly, there are a couple cool entrees too. The Indian Vegetable Cakes look good; red lentil dahl, cashew spinach, brown rice, mango date chutney, and cucumber raita. Now, I’d only go with it, if the raita is made with some vegan option—NO yogurt for me! Oh, and I can deal with the brown rice.

The Panang Spiced Coconut Curry with Cauliflower is also worth a look. It’s prepared with green beans, red pepper, fried tofu, mung bean sprouts, toasted peanuts, and brown rice. Admittedly, the fried tofu spoils the dish a bit, but I SELDOM eat anything fried. So I’d be okay with it this time. I like sprouts enough to take the hit. Plus, the word “mung” makes me laugh.

If by chance, none of Great Sage’s food intrigues you. You can try this. Just order a bunch of sides. Personally, I’d go with the roasted potatoes, vegetable of the day, lemon-garlic broccoli, and cashew spinach. Not a bad option if you’re not willing to bend too much.

So yeah, I think Great Sage would work. It’s also really cool that they are an organic restaurant—especially if you’ve gone green! Okay, now I need your help. Double check, make sure Great Sage’s menu is up to snuff. Check it out and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or shoot an email to diseaseproof@gmail.com. Until then, eat smart! Peace.

Green-News: Friday 9.12.08

Food Photos, Curb Eating

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!

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.

Hospitals Miss Colon Cancer

Troubling news, new research claims that two-thirds of U.S. hospitals FAIL to check colon cancer patients well enough for signs that their tumor is spreading. Being that colon cancer is a MAJOR killer in this country, you’d think they’d be a little more thorough about it!

The study appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The Associated Press reports:

It's a fairly simple thing we can do to try to improve care for our patients," said lead author Dr. Kyle Bilimoria, of Northwestern and the American College of Surgeons.

Colorectal cancer is the nation's second leading cancer killer, set to claim almost 50,000 lives this year.

Some 148,000 Americans are diagnosed annually. For many, the node check can be crucial. Whether cancer has entered these doorways to the rest of the body is an important factor in long-term survival - and thus helps doctors decide who gets chemotherapy after surgery and who can skip it…

…To check enough nodes, surgeons must remove enough of the fat tissue by the colon where they hide, and pathologists must painstakingly dissect that tissue to find the tiny nodes.

Surgeons frequently tell of getting a pathology report of four clean nodes and asking the pathologist to find more, "and lo and behold, one of those additional nodes turns out to be positive," Bilimoria said.

Now, great news! If you’re worried about colon cancer, consider this. Dr. Fuhrman recommends an Immunochemical Fecal Occult Blood test. In fact, he sells them on his website. It’s a simple, less invasive test, but it can yield IMPORTANT results. Such as—via DrFuhrman.com:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease such as Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s.
  • Diverticulitis or angiodysplasia of the colon.
  • Non-cancerous polyps or colon cancer.
  • Occult bleeding of the GI tract from aspirin or other drugs.
  • Bleeding hemorrhoids or fissures.
  • Contamination of the stool with blood from menstruation or urinary bleeding.
  • Earliest detection and prevention of colon cancer.
  • Detection of precancerous stages.

Granted, a poop test is not the yummiest thing in the world, but a quick test once a year, sure beats missing a diagnosis—you know?

For more on colon cancer, check out DiseaseProof’s colon cancer category.

The Wrath of Grapes...

Let’s pretend you’re a Brazilian news reporter and you’re busy filming a story on grapes. Here’s one VERY important thing to remember. Grab a grape VINE and NOT a live electrical wire! Shocking.

Via Serious Eats.

Green-News: Thursday 9.11.08

  • Jet fuel made from algae—yes, ALGAE—has passed its first test. Scientists are optimistic about algae-fuel because it doesn’t freeze at high altitudes like other biofuels—from Scientific America.

Fruits and Veggies, Super Colors

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.
 

Hot Beef Sundae, Health Suicide!

You know, I REALLY hope for our country’s healthy. I really want Americans to eat smarter, but then you see something like this. The HOT BEEF Sundae!

This artery-clogging monstrosity includes top round beef, cheddar cheese, buttered toast and yes, MORE freaking cheese. Ugh, I can feel my chest tightening.

Now, just a reminder, butter, cheese, red meat—NOT—health-promoting!

Via Open Left.
 

Obama, McCain: Differ on Healthcare...

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.

Eat For Health: Red Wine for Heart Health?

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

Alcohol is not actually heart-healthy; it simply has anti-clotting effects, much like aspirin. Researchers have found that even moderate consumption of alcohol, including wine, interferes with blood clotting and thereby reduces heart attacks in high-risk populations, such as people who eat the typical, disease-promoting, American diet. Thinning the blood with alcohol or aspirin is not health-enhancing unless you are eating the typical heart-attack inducing diet. Once you are protected from heart attacks and strokes with nutritional excellence, the blood thinning only adds more risk in the form of gastrointestinal bleeding or a hemorrhagic stroke. Red wine contains some beneficial compounds such as flavonoids and resveratrol, a potent antioxidant in the skin of grapes associated with a number of health benefits. Of course, grapes, raisins, berries, and other plant foods also contain these beneficial compounds. One does not have to drink wine to gain these benefits.

Moderate drinking is defined as a maximum of one drink per day for women and two drinks for men. Consuming more than this is associated with increased fat around the waist and other significant health problems.1 Even a moderate amount of alcohol may also increase the risk of breast cancer in susceptible women.2 The other problem with alcohol, especially more than one drink a day, is it can create mild withdrawal sensations the next day. These sensations are commonly mistaken for hunger, which leads people to eat more than is necessary. Because of this, moderate drinkers are usually overweight. Furthermore, recent studies have also shown that even moderate alcohol consumption is linked to a significantly increased incidence of atrial fibrillation, a condition that can lead to stroke.3

Overall, it is safer to eat a diet that will not permit heart disease. Don’t rely on alcohol to decrease the potential of blood to clot. Strive to avoid the detrimental effects of alcohol and protect yourself from heart disease with nutritional excellence. Having one alcoholic drink or one glass of wine is not a major risk, nor is it a major health asset. However, if consumed in excess, it can develop into a major health issue.

Continue Reading...

Green-News: Wednesday 9.10.08

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

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!

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

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.

Yucky Germs

Now, Dr. Fuhrman points out, that if you’re eating a healthy high-nutrient diet. You’re body and immune system is super-charged against bacteria and viruses—even the flu!

But I still thought this was interesting. ABC News shows us 10 Germy Surfaces You Touch Every Day. It’s very icky. Here’s the list:

Many surfaces and objects you come in contact with every day are covered in germs -- but then again, so are you.

"Ninety percent of you is composed of germ cells," said Philip Tierno, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at NYU and author of "The Secret Life of Germs."

He explained that while we are constantly in contact with germs, only a small minority will cause any harm.

  • Purses and Wallets
  • Remote Control
  • Laundry Machines
  • Cutting Board
  • Your Phone
  • Water Fountains
  • Buttons
  • Yoga Mats
  • Airplane Bathroom
  • Shopping Carts

Oh man, I just threw up in my mouth a little. Well, good thing I use my own Yoga mat, so at least they’re MY germs. Still gross though.

Green-News: Tuesday 9.9.08

Skin Cancer Could Lead to More Cancers...

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.
 

High Fructose Corn Syrup, a Stupid Surprise

The Corn Refiners Association has gone insane! On the heels of the FDA’s announcement that High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is natural, they’ve actually started running ads that PROMOTE HFCS, calling it a “sweet surprise.”

Serious Eats is all over it, have a look:

The ads ask what's so wrong with a little HFCS? The complexities are hardly known or explained—people just know to avoid it. In one commercial, a girl picnics with her boy and offers him a popsicle. He declines. It's not you, it's the high fructose corn syrup, babe. Instead of taking offense, she merrily explains that HFCS is made of corn, has the same calories as sugar and honey, and is totally fine in moderation.

But what does "moderation" mean? SweetSurprise.com never elaborates on dosage on the site's "High Fructose Corn Syrup Quick Facts" page. While consumers have a vague idea of "moderation" (not too much), HFCS creeps into salad dressings, juices, ketchup, breads, and even "whole-grain" breads, which can complicate attempts to be moderate.

In the second pro-HFCS commercial, two moms chat at a kid's birthday party, surrounded by sugar-high munchkins. One supports the pouring of a generic, junky-looking fruit punch drink, while the other disapproves. You don't care about poisoning your kids with that stuff? Don't you see how hyper it's making them? But when put on the spot, the HFCS-hating mom doesn't know how to explain herself.

Like the commercial before it, the Corn Refiners Association reminds consumers that they don't know a lot about the sweetener—they just know to hate it. The commercial claims that the ingredient is safe, despite the chemically-scary name. High-fructose corn syrup is just made of corn—the same corn responsible for happy things like cornbread—and is nutritionally comparable to table sugar and honey.

Honestly, how is comparing HFCS to sugar a good idea—its all crap! And saying “consume in moderation” is silly. If Americans understood moderation, we wouldn’t all be fat and sick. Instead, try eating stuff a little MORE nutrient-dense than sugar!

Take soda for example, usually sweetened with HFCS, its strong link to obesity has been well documented Just check out Center for Science in the Public Interest: Liquid Candy.
 

U.S. Suspends Mexican Meat

Another bad day for meat, the USDA has halted meat imports from Mexico while United States officials check to ensure plants comply with U.S. sanitary regulations. Reuters reports:

Amanda Eamich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service, said on Friday that Mexico informed U.S. authorities on August 29 it was suspending exports voluntarily.

"While they're implementing the corrective action that they identified, (last) Friday they said they would self-suspend and stop shipping all meat and processed poultry products to the U.S.," Eamich said.

The export suspension came after USDA inspectors in Mexico revoked exporting licenses from seven pork and beef processing plants in recent weeks due to concerns about hygiene.

The decision by Mexican authorities to stop exports of all meat, including chicken, will give inspectors time to inspect plants one by one on a systematic basis, said Enrique Dominguez, the head of Mexico's pork producers association.

"Mexican sanitary officials suspended certifications to export all types of meat to the United States," Dominguez told Reuters.

"In reality, what the USDA is doing is putting in doubt Mexico's sanitary inspection system," he said.

This is a good thing, given meat’s track record lately. Just this summer there has been 3 major meat recalls. Remember these:

Make Room for a Gym

Before I joined a gym, I spent HOURS exercising in my parent’s basement. In fact, as a kid I bought a weight bench, weights, punching bag, rowing machine, pull bar and my parents bought a treadmill. Having your own mini-fitness center is SUPER convenient.

And recently, Jacki Donaldson of That’sFit cleaned out her garage and setup her own little gym. Here’s a bit:

We finally cleaned out our garage the other day and dug out from piles of debris a bunch of workout equipment. My husband bought it all not long ago, we used it for a bit, and then it somehow got buried. Boxes sat on the weight bench. Swimming towels hung from the pull-up bar. And the weights, well, they were painted with a layer of dust. No more is this the case, though. Nope, our garage looks more like a gym now than it does a storage unit and all four of us Donaldson folks are pretty inspired by the fitness potential lurking just outside our kitchen door.

Strength training has always been my weakness when it comes to exercise. I love to run, walk, and swim but I typically lack motivation for building muscle. Our new home gym is helping. Today, I ran a 3.5-mile loop around town and topped things off with a mini-garage workout. Did the same yesterday after my swim. Plan to keep on doing it. My husband, somehow lean and fit without much purposeful exercise, was out in the garage last night. I caught him doing loads of pull-ups -- how does he do them so effortlessly? -- and after his full routine, he was drenched in sweat. The most promising effect of our garage renovation, though, is how it's got our kids pumped up about pumping up. Five-year-old Danny tells us he wants to be a wrestler when he grows up. "That's why I'm working out," he says. And Joey, seven years old and a master at a perfect push-up, is working pretty hard too. His dad spots him on pull-ups, and I saw him cranking out some bench press reps last night too.

I think having some fitness equipment at home is a GREAT idea. If you’re committed to staying fit, it’s a perfect way to beat the guilt when you don’t feeling like going to the gym—know what I mean?

Also, Reuters reports that exercise can cut cancer-risk. Another reason to get moving!

Green-News: Monday 9.8.08

Green and Leaning...


There’s my tomato, leaning. Last week reaching for the stars, this week—not so much! It’s cool though. All those delicious tomatoes are weighing it down.

But after tying it to the house, I think it’ll be just fine. Although I FREAKED out when I first saw it, I guess I am just a worried daddy.
 

It's Okay to Tell Parents Their Kid is Overweight

Wow! I figured telling someone their child is fat would get you a punch in the nose, at the very least a dirty look. Not so, according to a new study, there is NO harm in telling parents their kid is overweight. In fact, it may inspire them to get healthy.

The research appears in the latest Pediatrics. Reuters reports:

To investigate, they surveyed children and parents six weeks before and four weeks after they were measured at school. The children were in year 3 (6- to 7-year-olds) and year 6 (10- to 11-year-olds). About half of the parents invited to participate in the study agreed to do so.

Among the 358 children included in the study, 83 percent were at a healthy weight, 13 percent were overweight, and 4 percent were "very overweight."

Before the measurements, only 39 percent of parents with overweight kids recognized that their child was overweight, while 61 percent said the child's weight was "about right."

After the measurements, 49 percent of parents of overweight children said they had made dietary changes and 48 percent reported changes in physical activity, compared to 12 percent and 10 percent of parents of healthy weight children, respectively.

After measurement, normal-weight kids showed increased body esteem, while body esteem for the overweight children did not change.

I think it all depends on HOW you say it, but actually telling someone has got to be better than passive-aggressively printing weight or BMI on report cards—especially since some report cards are sponsored by McDonald’s!

Although, what do you do if the parents are also overweight? You might be dodging a punch after all!
 

Brainy Work Makes You Eat More...

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.

Politics in the Kitchen

No, you’re NOT seeing things. Those are in fact, political cookbooks. Apparently party-lines extend to dinner tables too. For whatever reason, The Los Angeles Times decided to waste their time with this—sigh. Take a look:

"Many Happy Returns" is one of the more entertaining of a long string of little-noticed ephemera of political campaigns -- the partisan cookbook, written by politicos and their supporters (wives, celebrities, members of the Glendale Republican Womens Study Club), pundits, humorist gourmets, or even a displaced White House chef -- and it even has a few workable recipes.

… In 1973's "The Watergate Cookbook," recipe titles indicate a period-appropriate cynicism -- there's "McCord's Clouded Consommé (which sounds delicious, with tomatoes, sherry, chives and cream), "Ehrlichman's Cover Up Casserole and Mitchell's Sitting Duck. It's a refreshing read, compared with so many surviving Junior League-esque spiral-bound books -- decades of earnest collections of senators' wives recipes for hot crab dip, easy chicken cacciatore and stuffed peppers…

…In an introduction, "How to Eat Like a Republican" author Susanne Grayson Townsend, a former advertising executive and a Republican who decries Citarella (the New York gourmet food chain) and balsamic vinegar, writes: "Republicans are just like you and me, only with more Tabasco. They make meat loaf just like you and me, only with whiter bread crumbs. They eat sushi just like you and me -- no, wait, I take that back."

Whether you're a republican, democrat or something in between, we can ALL agree that this is a sad day for America.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Borrowed Earth Cafe

Last week Kaffa Crossing made us feel warm and fuzzy in our tummies. Could this week’s restaurant keep the streak alive? Today Eating to Live on the Outside is checking out Borrowed Earth Café. And yeah, it looks pretty decent.

Okay, let’s start with the appetizers. I like Borrowed Earth’s Nori Rolls. They’re made with avocado, cilantro, jicama, and nori. Very nice! The Stuffed Mushrooms are also pretty neat; mushrooms, pine nuts, herbs, and spices. It’s hard to beat mushrooms!

The salads are next. I’m feeling the Borrowed Earth’s World Famous Salad, but it’s a little mysterious. Apparently, they throw a whole bunch of side salads together—intriguing, very intriguing. Now, if mystery isn’t you thing, give the Kale-Licious Salad a whirl; kale, pine nuts, raisins, sun-dried tomatoes, and salad dressing. Yup, I’d order the dressing on the side.

Now, I’m on the fence about the entrees. Most are made with nut cheese—not my most favorite thing—but the Spinach Frittata looks worth a try. Borrowed Earth makes it with spinach, nut cheese, fresh vegetables, and THREE side salads. I think all the spinach and the fresh vegetables will help me forget about the nut cheese.

Another entrée I’d consider would be the Burrito Loco. I like it because it’s apparently crazy and believe me, the cheese slid off my cracker A LONG time ago. Now, the burrito is made with some sort of faux-sour cream, which I’d ditch. Other than that it includes guacamole, salsa, sunflower seeds, corn tortilla, and again, THREE salad salads. Okay, the tortilla is iffy, but I can live with it—no biggie.

Alright, time for the wraps. I like the Far Easter and Indian Curry. Together they’re made with fresh julienned vegetables, jicama, teriyaki sauce, seasonal leaf wrap, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and tomato sauce. Well, the only thing I DON’T like is the teriyaki sauce—WAY too salty for me! So that gets the axe, but everything else is cool.

Lately I’ve been gobbling up smoothies like crazy, so I guess its only fitting that Borrowed Earth has a couple good looking smoothies. For example, the Pina Colada is made with coconut, banana, and pineapple. Very nice! The Earth Green is also yummy. They whip it up with fresh greens, seasonal fruit, and banana. Come on—a GREEN smoothie—you know I’d order that!

So, what do you think? Borrowed Earth, cool—right? I think it is. Sure, it’s not perfect, but FEW restaurants are. Anyway, I want to hear from you. Check out Borrowed Earth’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Drop a comment or send an email to diseaseproof@gmail.com. Remember, eat wisely! Peace.

Green-News: Friday 9.5.08

BPA Can Stupid You Up!

More bad press for bisphenol-A (BPA), the toxic compound used in making hard plastic. Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine claim that BPA interferes with brain cells, possibly causing “learning impairments” and depression.

The study’s published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More from Medical News Today:

Unlike previous studies that looked at the effect of BPA on rodents, the team examined the effects in a primate model. They also used lower levels of the chemical than in past studies. "Our goal was to more closely mimic the slow and continuous conditions under which humans would normally be exposed to BPA," said study author Csaba Leranth, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and in Neurobiology at Yale. "As a result, this study is more indicative than past research of how BPA may actually affect humans."

Over a 28-day period, Leranth and his team gave each primate 50 micrograms/kg of BPA per day, adjusted for body weight, the amount considered safe for human consumption by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The team also administered estradiol, the major form of hormonal estrogen that modulates nerve cell connections in the brain. Best known as one of the principal hormone products of the ovary, estrogen has also been shown in past studies to be synthesized in the brain, where it aids the development and function of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

The team then used an electron microscope to count nerve cell connections in the brain. They found that BPA inhibits creation of the synaptic connections in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, areas of the brain involved with regulation of mood and formation of memory.

Scary stuff—I’m stupid enough! Actually, I’m getting more and more concerned about plastic. Just check out my new water bottle. Metal baby! Take a look:

 

Maybe all this trepidation over plastic is part of the reason why many schools are ditching lunch trays to get green—via CNN.

Tasty Red Clover

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...

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

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.

Green-News: Thursday 9.4.08

 

Do Low Cholesterol Levels Cause Cancer?

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...

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!

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.
 

Flu Shots and the Elderly, Hit and Miss

A new study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine has determined that flu shots DO protect against the flu, but DON’T cut death-risk in the elderly. Reuters reports:

In prior studies, an impressive 50 percent reduction in death from any cause had been noted in elderly people who got a flu shot, but some researchers were skeptical of this degree of benefit, suggesting that it may have been the result of the "healthy user effect." The new study supports this line of thinking.

The study included more than 700 elderly people, half of whom had gotten a flu shot and half of whom had not. After controlling for a variety of factors that were largely not considered or simply not available in previous studies, the researchers concluded that any death benefit "if present at all, was very small and statistically non-significant and may simply be a healthy-user artifact that they were unable to identify."

"The healthy-user effect," study chief Dr. Sumit Majumdar of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada explained in a statement, "is seen in what doctors often refer to as their 'good' patients -- patients who are well-informed about their health, who exercise regularly, do not smoke or have quit, drink only in moderation, watch what they eat, come in regularly for health maintenance visits and disease screenings, take their medications exactly as prescribed -- and quite religiously get vaccinated each year so as to stay healthy. Such attributes are almost impossible to capture in large scale studies using administrative databases.

Now, Dr. Fuhrman is NOT totally against the flu shot—especially for the elderly or people with compromised immune systems—but there are better ways to prevent the flu; like eating a nutrient-dense diet and practicing good hygiene.
 

Green-News: Wednesday 9.3.08

The growth of climate-warming gases in coming decades will mostly originate in developing countries trying to spur economic growth and reduce poverty by boosting energy use, Kartha said. Any agreement that doesn't address that reality is destined to fail, he added. Power plants, refineries and vehicles together are the main source of manmade CO2.

``Developing countries' emissions are the real challenge to climate change,'' said Sivan Kartha, the institute's energy director.. ``And most poverty results from a lack of access to energy services. Traditionally, that has been addressed by fossil fuels,'' which add CO2 to the atmosphere.

The proposal, which has not been adopted by any country negotiating in the current United Nations-sponsored talks, considers both national income and overall emissions to quantify a nation's contribution to overall CO2 cuts. Rich countries wouldn't be able to meet their targeted levels by simply reducing output domestically and would be obliged to pay for clean-energy development in poorer nations, under the plan.

The law calls for closer monitoring of resource-intensive and heavily polluting industries such as steelmaking, non-ferrous metal production, power generation, oil refining, construction and printing, the Xinhua news agency said.

It will encourage industries to adopt water-saving technologies and use cleaner sources of energy such as natural gas and alternative fuels.

It also promotes recycling or making use of waste materials, including the recycling of maize straw, livestock waste and farming by-products to produce marsh gas.

China consumed 1.16 tonnes of coal equivalent for every 10,000 yuan of GDP in 2007, down 3.66 percent from 2006, and the government has set a 2010 target of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent and emissions of major pollutants by 10 percent from 2005 levels, Xinhua said.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukudo has touted a set of emissions-reduction measures in recent months, of which the Ministry has now announced its financial support. However, the ministry's budget will still need to go through other regulatory processes and receive approval from the legislature before taking effect in the new fiscal year, beginning in April 2009.

In June, Fukuda pledged to cut Japan's greenhouse gas emissions by between 60 percent and 80 percent from the country's current levels by 2050.

The prime minister's master plan includes a carbon-emissions-trading program, in which companies that can't meet emissions limits can buy credits from those who have lower emissions. This type of program is already in place in other parts of the world.

The European Union has a carbon-trading program in place and sets carbon emissions caps for different industries. A consortium of 10 states in the eastern United States plans to enact a carbon-trading program on January 1, 2009.

Trans-Fat, Colon Cancer Linked!

More proof that trans-fat is health-destroying garbage. New research in the American Journal of Epidemiology contends that trans-fatty acids are linked to pre-cancerous colon growths—boosting colorectal cancer-risk. Reuters explains:

To investigate a possible link, they looked at 622 people who had colonoscopies at University of North Carolina Hospitals in 2001 and 2002. Study participants were interviewed about their diet, physical activity and other health issues within 12 weeks of having the screening test.

People in the top fourth based on trans-fatty acid consumption, most of whom took in 6.54 grams daily, were 86 percent more likely to have colon polyps than those in the bottom quartile for trans fat intake, for whom median intake was 3.63 g, the researchers found. There appeared to be a threshold effect, with no increased risk seen for people in the bottom three quarters of fatty acid consumption.

Among the 38.5 percent of study participants found to have colon polyps, average trans fatty acid intake was 4.97 g, while most consumed 4.12 g. Average intakes for people who were free of the colon growths was 4.42 g, while the median was 3.61 g.

These results suggest that consumption of high amounts of trans-fatty acid may increase the risk of colorectal polyps, the researchers write, adding that the findings also back current recommendations to limit trans fat intake.

Trans-fat is pretty simple to figure out—unhealthy, cheap and lasts a long time—NOT for eating! In fact, not too long along ago New York City banned the stuff. Not mention Dr. Fuhrman associates it with cancer and heart disease.

Now, in addition to avoiding trans-fat, a recent study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology claims weight-loss may also reduce the risk of colorectal growths—via Reuters. Okay, so no trans-fat and stay slim, simple—right?
 

Burger Eating Lettuce

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!

Arsenic in the Water, Lead in the Vitamins, and More...

Not exactly the most pleasant batch of news, but important nonetheless. In Bangladesh, India 70 MILLION people are involuntarily exposed to ARSENIC when they consume local water and rice. ScienceDaily reports:

It is estimated that for every random sample of 100 people in the Bengal Delta, at least one person will be near death as a result of arsenic poisoning, while five in 100 will be experiencing other symptoms.

Now, researchers have created new low-cost technology to provide arsenic-free water to millions of people in South Asia currently exposed to high levels of the poison in groundwater.

Leading an international team, Queen’s researchers have developed a trial plant in Kasimpore, near Calcutta, which offers chemical-free groundwater treatment technology to rural communities for all their drinking and farming needs.

Now, problems like this are NOT limited to developing nations. For example, well water in northeast Oklahoma has tested positive for E. coli—it killed a man and sickened dozens—via The Washington Post.

But it gets worse. The FDA just determined that many popular brands of vitamins contain lead. That’s right, LEAD! The Daily Green lists them all, here’s one set. Take a look:

Greatest Exposure, Ages 0-6

  1. Nature's Plus Animal Parade Shake (Powder)
  2. Superior Multi Age (Powder)
  3. Nutraceutical Pedia Power (Tablet/Capsule)
  4. Physio Kids Multilogics Chewable (Tablet/Capsule)
  5. Ola Loa Kids (Powder)
  6. Nature's Plus Animal Parade (Tablet/Capsule)
  7. Vita-Big-Kids (Tablet/Capsule)
  8. Wonder Laboratories Formula Nineteen (Tablet/Capsule)
  9. Clinicians Choice Chewable Daily Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)
  10. Dynamic Health Multi for Children (Liquid)

Least Exposure, Ages 0-6

  1. Twinlab Infant Care (Liquid) *
  2. Natrol Liquid Kids Companion (Liquid)*
  3. NF Formulas Liquid Pediatric (Liquid)*
  4. Windmill Bite-A-Mins (Tablet/Capsule)
  5. Kids Liquid Dolphin Pals (Liquid)
  6. My First Flintstones (Tablet/Capsule)
  7. Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins Plus Extra C (Tablet/Capsule)
  8. Uno Diario Ninos (Tablet/Capsule)
  9. Flintstones Plus Immunity Support (Tablet/Capsule)
  10. Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)

* denotes vitamins that contained no lead, in FDA testing.

Scary stuff! Eliminating toxins from our environment is an ever-important issue and obviously, one we—and the rest of the world—still have to work on.

For more, HealthandMen discusses dangerous chemicals and Mark’s Daily Apple offers 8 ways to Reduce Your Chemical load—both are worth a look.

Gardasil, Too Much Pomp and Media? -- UPDATE

Gardasil, Merck’s clumsy HPV vaccine, has garnered a lot of attention—a mix of hype and bad press. Now this has Tara Parker-Pope of the Well blog wondering if the media should be blamed for Gardasil’s hot air. Check it out:

Whether you agree with their conclusions or not, the report offers an interesting view of the media’s sometimes unquestioning role in raising the profile of the vaccines. The report cites several examples, including:
  • ABC’s Charles Gibson told viewers “this breakthrough couldn’t come soon enough,” on the June 8, 2006 “World News Tonight.”
  • NBC’s Brian Williams called Gardasil a “triumph in science and medicine” on June 8, 2006. He referred to Gardasil as “the first vaccine to prevent cancer” on Dec. 28, 2006, and urged parents to get their children vaccinated in many “Today” appearances.
  • NBC’s “Today” show co-host Meredith Vieira declared that it “could save your teenager’s life some day” on Sept. 15, 2006. She also told viewers Gardasil was one of the three vaccines kids “need.” Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, downplayed criticism of the expense of Gardasil, calling the $360 cost “the best investment you can make.”
  • For “The Early Show” on CBS, Dr. Emily Senay said Jan. 1, 2007, that the “top medical breakthrough [of 2006] has to be the cancer vaccine for cervical cancer, Gardasil.”
  • The report also says The New York Times “glowingly profiled Gardasil” in an August 2006 story about the history of the vaccine.

Sure, I think someone jumped the gun. Let me remind you. Dr. Fuhrman points out that Gardasil ONLY protects against 4 of the 100 strains of HPV and Gardasil can KILL. So yeah, hype much!

UPDATE: New research claims that severe allergic reactions are 20 times more likely in those vaccinated with Gardasil—via Reuters.
 

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Green-News: Tuesday 9.2.08

The gym, opening September 1, takes human powered energy from its fitness bikes and stores it in a battery which runs some of its other equipment. The 2,800 square foot gym, called is owned by Adam Boesel, a former grade teacher. He was interviewed by the Seattle Times and told them its the first human-powered gym in the US…

…Even though the Green Microgym is the first of its kind in the US, a similar gym is already up and running in Hong Kong. Called the California Fitness gym, exercising people power the lighting system as well as the gym’s batteries, according to the Seattle Times. And in London, nightspot Club Surya is even more exotic; a dance floor converts movement directly into energy!

Boesel is available for one-on-one consultation to other gym owners who wish to make their gyms green. As energy prices soar it makes sense to do some exercise that results in more than burning off calories. Creating energy whilst losing calories is certainly the closest human beings get to becoming carbon negative.

Buying direct from warehouses
Bricks and mortar stores are usually incredibly energy and resource hungry. All the lighting, air conditioning, elaborate stands to catch your eye. When you shop online, often your order will be fulfilled via a warehouse that doesn't have all the glitzy gimmicks and fixtures.

Greener products, more choices
While many supermarkets are now stocking more environmentally friendly lines, some products just don't seem to be carried yet - you can usually find these online. The online world also gives you wider access to smaller businesses run by very environmentally conscious people who are genuinely striving to make a difference - it's great to support these folks.

Product research
Even if you don't like the idea of purchasing something sight unseen; the Internet can save you a great deal of time, money and resources by doing your initial research online. For example, looking to buy an energy efficient washing machine? You can read bundles of reviews posted online by people who have purchased the brands and models you're interested in. The Internet helps you to make a more informed purchase decision on green products; rather than just relying on an in-store sales person's knowledge.

  • Rising fuel prices have claimed another victim, schoolchildren. Many schools are stopping or cutting back on bus service in order to cut costs, meaning more and more kids will have to huff it to school. Henry and Jessie L. Bonner of Forecast Earth report:
Health advocates long have encouraged students to walk, stressing the fitness benefits. But school and transportation officials say they fear that abruptly reducing bus service could lower attendance rates, increase traffic congestion or endanger students if they cannot walk on sidewalks and crosswalks.

"If you remove a school bus from the road, you're adding 40 to 50 cars in the morning and in the afternoon," said Bob Riley, spokesman for the American School Bus Council, which represents school transportation officials.

Major cuts loom in California, where schools are not required to provide transportation to campus. As a result, districts squeezed by fuel prices and fewer state dollars are trimming millions from transportation budgets.

The Capistrano United School District in Orange County, for example, has eliminated 44 of its 62 bus routes to save an estimated $3.5 million, district spokeswoman Julie Hatchel said. The cuts will affect an estimated 5,000 students from kindergarten to high school.

CSA, Labor Day

It’s Labor Day, so I'm taking it easy today. Instead of a typical post, I decided to share these photos of my CSA goodies. Here's what I got yesterday:

 

Oh, and check out this gnarly grasshopper I found on my porch:

 

He won’t get his claws on my tomato!