Heart Failure: Eggs Bad, Whole-Grains Better

Recent studies have shown egg consumption is linked to diabetes risk and risk of death. And now, new research in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reveals each serving of dairy or eggs increases heart failure risk by 8% to 23%. Conversely, each serving of whole grains dropped heart risk by 7% in middle-aged men and women. Both results account for other factors that might impact heart failure risk, such as calorie intake, lifestyle, heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension; Reuters reports.

Now, don’t go grain crazy! Grains are okay, but Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating more fruits and vegetables instead. Grains aren’t as nutrient-dense. And fruits and veggies are the ultimate heart-protectors, capable of preventing and reversing cardiovascular disease.

The Chinese, whose classic diet involved a lot of fruits and vegetables, have departed from their traditional ways and subsequently suffer from more heart disease and obesity as they consume more eggs, meat and fat, and less plant foods.
 

Processed Meats, Cheese Linked to Lung Cancer

A new study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine claims phosphates, a common food additive, may help speed the growth of lung cancer tumors. Testing in mice determined phosphates, often found in soda and processed cheese and meat may also cause tumors. Researchers say phosphates are critical to human nutrition, but eating too much can be dangerous. In the 1990s adults consumed about 470 mg of phosphorous per day, but now they can reach 1,000 mg a day; Reuters investigates.

Another reason to avoid processed foods is they often contain harmful trans fat and cancer-causing compounds called acrylamides. Eek! 

Take Junk Food Out of Schools, Kids Eat Healthier...

An upcoming study in the Journal of Nutrition claims removing sugary snacks, i.e. vending machines, from schools makes kids more likely to eat fruits and vegetables. And this effect held up even when kids returned home. Most likely because kids are already full, having not eaten empty calories. Currently, 72% school districts limit the fat in cafeteria food and number of vending machines; The Orange County Register reports.

According to the CDC, many schools are already selling less junk. And other officials are working hard to get soda machines out of schools. College is a little different, but my school was loaded with vending machines, snack foods and fast food, and kids ate it up!

Via That’s Fit.

Raw Milk, Full of Germs...

Imagine this. Milking a cow and then gulping down a big ladle full of the stuff. Gross! Yet, some people do it. But health officials warn that raw milk, as it’s called, is a prime spreader of food-borne illnesses and that’s why the FDA has cracked down on the sale of raw milk. In fact, 26 states already prohibit the sale of raw milk for human consumption.

And now, a new study in Food Safety reveals raw milk, or unpasteurized milk, can be contaminated with germs that make people sick. Also, researchers scoff at the notion that raw milk has health benefits and cite evidence that illness from raw milk may actually be on the rise. Cows are hosts to nasty things like E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria; Reuters reports.

Milk grosses me out. As a kid, if I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast, 20 minutes later I’d puke it up. Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of milk either. He says milk is for rapidly growing cows and not slow-growing humans and dairy can increase risk of Parkinson’s, heart disease and ovarian cancer.

Also, previous research has linked dairy to both prostate cancer and diabetes. So eat your veggies instead, they’re loaded with calcium. Not to mention, milk is mutant. Yucky!

Fast Food Nearby Schools Makes Kids Fat

A new study in the American Journal of Public Health involving 500,000 middle school and high school students in California suggests kids going to school within walking distance of fast food joints are more likely to drink soda and be obese and less likely to eat fruits and vegetables than students attending school not near fast food restaurants. Researchers claim fast food places are intentionally clustered around schools because they are popular hangouts for kids; Reuters reports.

Hopefully, if you teach kids how to eat wisely they won’t be tempted by fast food crap. But, one Los Angeles, California city official is taking the law into her own hands. She doesn’t want anymore fast food restaurants opening up in South-Central Los Angeles. Take that!

The FDA's Mad about Coke Plus!

The soda, Coke Plus, is sold as a good source of vitamins and minerals. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not impressed. "The FDA does not consider it appropriate to fortify snack foods such as carbonated beverages," the agency said in a letter to Coca-Cola on Tuesday. But Coke doesn’t think they’ve done anything wrong—what a shocker—claiming this does not involve any health or safety issues. Regardless, they have 15 days to outline a corrective course of action; via Reuters.

Listen, adding vitamins to soda is like putting a pig in a dress, its a still sugar-laden junk food, i.e. a pig. So bad, that the some experts wanted to slap a Surgeon General’s warning on it. Yes, for real.

Don't Lick Metal Poles!

If you ate a lot of veggies for Christmas and aren’t sure if you got enough iron. Remember, licking ice cold metal poles is NOT a good way to get your minerals. Instead, you’ll find all the iron you need in green vegetables, like kale, Romaine lettuce and broccoli.

Now, hopefully you’re enjoying the holiday afterglow. And don’t worry. The blog will be back to full strength Monday. But keep checking all this weekend for more holiday-inspired posts. I triple-dog dare you!

Christmas Pickle

Nope, it’s not like Mr. Hanky. But just as funny. So, in between opening presents, going to the movies or whatever you do on Christmas Day, take a minute and enjoy a Christmas carol with pickles, and a surprise ending!

Hopefully those little guys are salt-free. Happy holidays everyone! And remember to eat wisely today.

Via SeriousEats.

Japan Only Produces 40% of the Food it Consumes...

Japan’s got a problem. They import 60% of their food. Leaving local farmers in the dust, but that’s just part of the problem. The food they’re importing is bad. The Japanese used to eat a lot of fish and vegetables, but now they’re consuming more meat, fat and oil, giving way to an unhealthy population.

So, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is imploring citizens to reexamine their lifestyle and make smarter choices. Saying if people demand more vegetables and return to their dietary roots, this will help enliven the struggling agricultural community and improve health, i.e. restoring balance.

And it must be a good idea. Because all the little people in the video are bopping to the music!

Via EarthFirst.

Jeremy Piven Sick from Sushi, Mercury...

Hollywood big shot Jeremy Piven has bailed on his Broadway show due to a high mercury count and the cause, eating too much sushi. Piven is a sushi fiend, eating raw fish twice a day. Piven told reporters he has 6 times the healthy amount of mercury in his system and complained of dizziness, fatigue and difficulty lifting his limbs. His doctors advised him to rest; Reuters reports.

Mercury freaks me out! And according to Dr. Fuhrman, mercury from fish, particularly fish with high levels, like swordfish, mackerel, tilefish, shark and tuna, can be hazardous, specifically in pregnant women. He advises expectant mothers avoid fish and for everyone else, don’t eat fish more than twice a week and choose low-mercury seafood, like sole, trout, flounder and tilapia.

Now, I love sushi, but I hardly eat raw fish anymore. Instead, I eat veggie sushi. It tastes great and it’s easy to make!
 

Fear of Nuts, Hysteria!

Breastfeeding is strong medicine! Breast milk provides babies with necessary antibodies that help ward off allergies and boost immune systems and Dr. Fuhrman blames the decrease in breastfeeding for the rise in allergies among young children.

And now, a new study in the British Medical Journal claims the fear of nut allergies is becoming overblown. Researchers suggest the food industry’s restrictions and warnings about nuts, however well intentioned, are fueling the hysteria.

Especially since a previous study in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows despite 69% of Israeli children eating nuts and only 10% of British children consuming nuts, kids in the U.K. were 10 times more likely to have peanut allergies; FoodNavigator reports.

Clearly, there is another factor at play here and not just nuts themselves.
 

New York Governor's Obesity Tax

America’s got a big obesity problem, costing us more than $100 billion a year. And, despite reports that obesity is leveling off, New York Governor David Paterson has proposed a tax on sugary beverages, like soda. In a letter, Paterson says the tax would apply to non-diet drinks and fruit juices that contain less than 70% percent juice. He compares the obesity tax to the taxes imposed on cigarettes, claiming the health and financial benefits are undeniable; via CNN.

 

Poinsettias Aren't Toxic to Eat

A new study in British Medical Journal reveals the age-old claim that eating poinsettias will kill you, isn’t true. Researchers determined even in large dosages poinsettias appear to be safe, but they still don’t recommend eating them; via HealthDay News.

Oh yeah, next they’re going to tell me Santa Claus isn’t real either! Now, if you simply must eat a holiday plant, consider a brussel tree instead.

Research: Healthy Breakfast, Healthier Diet

A new study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests eating a healthy, low-calorie breakfast, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, leads to a better overall diet than gorging on a high-calorie, unhealthy breakfast, like steak and eggs or doughnuts and pastries. Participants eating a healthy breakfast weighed less than people eating a calorie-heavy breakfast or no breakfast at all; Reuters reports.

Now, for a great breakfast try some Blueberry Nut Oatmeal, Healthy Pancakes or my chocolate pudding. I eat it everyday!

 

School Lunch Poor, But Could Teach...

In the fall, a report by the California Food Policy Advocates gave U.S. school food a failing grade, citing poor nutritional quality, i.e. kids aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. And now, a new release from the Institute of Medicine, in Washington D.C., reveals school food provides more than half of a student's nutrient intake during the school day, making school meal programs the perfect vehicle for teaching children the importance of good nutrition; Reuters investigates.

But not all U.S. schools are devoid of good health and nutrition. Recently, schools like Anthony Elementary, Leavenworth, Kansas and South Elementary, Pinson, Tennessee, were praised for their efforts to get kids healthy, by opening onsite wellness centers and eating lunch in the classroom, to promote a family-like atmosphere.

Even Prince Charles wants kids to reconnect with healthy food.

Low-Carb Diets Make You Dopey

Despite the fads, “carbs” are not the enemy of health. Unrefined carbohydrates, like those in beans and fruit, are essential. According to Dr. Fuhrman, our brains are designed to run on carbohydrates. That’ll explain why new research in Appetite reveals eliminating carbohydrates, which are broken down into brain-fueling glucose, makes people more forgetful. Low-carb dieters actually preformed worse on memory-based tasks than participants on a reduced-calorie balanced diet; WebMD reports.

Michael Phelps Still Eats like a Slob...

Michael Phelps might be an Olympic stud, but the dude’s got a horrible diet, consuming 12,000 calories a day, gorging on fried eggs, mayonnaise and pancakes. But he told CBS it isn’t true, he only eats 10,000 calories a day, stuff like peanut butter cups and quesadillas. Eek!

Who knew Olympic champions eat like crap. Recently, Michael Phelps stopped by The Colbert Report and said he’s out of shape and gained a few pounds. But in January he’ll start training for the 2012 London Olympics. So he’s got 4 years to burn off all the mayo!

Via That’sFit.

Vitamins and Selenium Don't Prevent Prostate Cancer

Cancer is a disease. And according to Dr. Fuhrman, eating lots of high-nutrient foods protect against prostate cancer, namely fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, tomatoes, pomegranates, green vegetables, berries and figs. And avoiding harmful foods, like meat and dairy, help reduce men’s risk of prostate cancer. A healthy diet is key! Not just taking supplements and eating crappy food.

That’s why a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium don’t prevent prostate cancer. Researchers found that 35,533 cancer-free men, in their 50’s, who took selenium and vitamin supplements, several years later had the same risk of developing prostate cancer as men who received the placebo, Health Magazine investigates.

And similar research has shown simply taking vitamins C and E don’t ward off heart disease either.

FDA vs. EPA: Eating Fish During Pregnancy

Fish is polluted. Seafood like shark and tuna are loaded with mercury. And Dr. Fuhrman recommends expectant mothers avoid fish. But the Food and Drug Administration thinks the benefits outweigh the risk. However, the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t agree, calling this claim flawed and overly simplified. And some environmentalists say the FDA has become nothing more than a patsy for polluters; from the Associated Press.

 

Red Meat Boosts Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

An upcoming study in the January 22, 2008 issue of Circulation claims eating 2 servings of red meat per day increases risk of metabolic syndrome, a precursor to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, by 26%, but eating foods, like fruits and vegetables, lowers risk; CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta investigates.

You should add nuts to that list too! A recent study showed people consuming a Mediterranean diet with a daily serving of nuts, decreased their risk of metabolic syndrome by 13.7%. And other reports link red meat with cancer of the small intestine and heightened susceptibility to bacterial toxins.

Genes Make Kids Eat Junk?

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine claims a gene-variant makes children more likely to eat junk foods. And in an experiment, kids with the gene consumed 100 calories more per meal. This can lead to over-consumption and weight-gain. However, since this trait does not affect metabolism, researchers insist the behavior can be worked on; HealthDay News reports.

We saw a similar situation yesterday, with research suggesting parents’ lifestyle can override children’s genetic risk of obesity. Not mention, parents’ exercise habits can rub off on their kids too!

Obesity Risk: Family Lifestyle Equal to Genes

New research in the American Journal of Sociology claims to be the first study to illustrate that the link between parents and children’s bodyweight is social as well as genetic. Scientists determined parents’ weight did contribute to a child’s likelihood of becoming obese, but lifestyle choices, like physical activity and meals, also played an important role, specifically in teens; Reuters investigates.

Actually, I think Dr. Fuhrman beat these guys to the punch. “Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective way for your children to develop a healthy attitude toward food,” he explains. Not mention, a previous report shows when families reconnect at mealtime, children become more likely to eating healthy as adults and less likely to pick up bad habits.
 

Chicken Trucks Spread Bacteria!

A new study in the Journal of Infection and Public Health reveals poultry carriers leave behind a trail of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, putting motorists and individuals living along roads where chicken is transported at risk. Strains of the Enterococcus bacteria, which is harmful to human health, were collected off of test cars after driving behind poultry trucks; The Baltimore Sun reports.

Via TreeHugger.

Cancer to Top Heart Disease in 2010

According to the 2008 World Cancer Report, cancer will surpass heart disease as the leading killer in the world by 2010. Estimates forecast 27 million people will have cancer by 2030, resulting in 17 million deaths annually. In addition to smoking, experts blame the spread of the Western lifestyle, i.e. poor diets and lack of exercise, for cancer’s increase; via HealthDay News.

Eating Nuts Cuts Metabolic Syndrome

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine claims a Mediterranean diet plus daily servings of nuts helps older heart patients manage metabolic syndrome. Of the two groups assigned a Mediterranean diet, the individuals eating nuts lowered their prevalence of metabolic syndrome by 13.7%, but the people told to consume olive oil only reduced their risk by 6.7%; HealthDay News investigates.

According to Dr. Fuhrman nuts, and seeds, are a natural part of the human diet. And nuts protect against heart disease and help lower cholesterol. But the Mediterranean diet is outdated. Back in the 1950s people eating the Mediterranean diet consumed a lot of saturated fat, primarily olive oil, but they also did manual labor. But now, with the help fast food, many people in the Mediterranean are fat just like us!

Prince Charles Says Educate Kids about Food

Speaking at an event for better school food, Prince Charles blamed junk food for kids’ bad behavior and disconnect with nature:

"Over the last 40 years it would appear we have created a whole generation, the parents of the children you teach, whose understanding of where food comes from and how it is produced is severely limited. And it is causing real harm.

 

"It is about rescuing today's generation of over-industrialized children, about instilling in them a life-long appreciation of food and the way it is produced and reconnecting them with nature," he to told The Daily Mail.

Actually, despite his absent-minded reputation, Prince Charles is staunch advocate for both healthier food and a greener environment.

Via CalorieLab.

Bad Luck of the Irish, Pork...

The Irish government has recalled all domestic pork products. Laboratory testing of pig meat revealed the presence of dioxins, with levels 80 to 200 times the safe limits, long-term exposure to dioxins can cause cancer and other health problems. Officials believe the Irish pork reached 20 to 25 countries and animal feed contaminated with fuel is being blamed; Reuters reports.
 

 

How Not to Get Your Minerals...

It might look like food. But those are actually all sorts of rocks and gems. And it’s a horrible way to get your vitamins and minerals. Ouch!

Now, while I appreciate the artistic vision, it’s not nearly as awesome as last week’s fruit and veggie masterpieces.

Via Serious Eats.

Wine in the Sippy Cup!

Editor’s Note: Someone from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw a young child being served alcohol at Thanksgiving dinner. Dr. Fuhrman responds.

  • Member

"My nephew is 22 months old. And at dinner his uncle poured red wine into his cup for him to drink. It was a decent-sized serving. The child's mother is very lazy about nutrition and didn't care at all if her son drank wine. He drank it all and became very flushed in the cheeks and was obviously feeling the effects, based on his behavior. They thought this was funny and harmless.

I know this is a no-brainer, but they think that such small amounts are no big deal. I want to be able to say convincingly that yes, a little bit can hurt! I didn't see anything about this in your book, which I assume is because it's so painfully obvious and shouldn’t needed to be covered."

  • Dr. Fuhrman

"It is a crime to serve alcohol to a young child and is considered child abuse. This is not funny because many children each year are admitted to the hospital in a coma from one drink. Their small bodies and underdeveloped livers do not metabolize alcohol well and respiratory depression, hypoglycemia, unconsciousness and death can ensue. One in five admissions for childhood alcohol consumption report significant brain damage that could have permanent negative effects.

Parents need to be vigilant at parties. They need to keep an eye on their young children so they don't inadvertently pick up an alcoholic drink, thinking it is soda, which is bad enough. Adults who give alcohol, marijuana and other drugs to children should be reported. When this occurs the child is usually removed from the home and placed in protective custody.

Print this out and give it to the people who witnessed this. You are not helping anyone by letting this happen in front of you and the whole lot of you could have spent the night in jail if anyone anonymously called the police. I would have knocked the cup out of the toddler's hand. Maybe you should invite me over at your family's next get together."

Fruits and Vegetables Keep Bones Strong!

Dr. Fuhrman explains that diets high in animal products and low in fruits and vegetables weaken bones. And a new study seems to agree. Research in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reveals eating a lot of protein and grains produces excess acid, causing calcium excretion, hurting bones, but diets rich in fruits and vegetables help strengthen skeletal health; via NewsWise.

Pig Poop into Power...

Bacon doesn’t grow on trees. In fact, rearing just 300-grams of pork sucks up 1,440 liters of water and only 6-ounces of pork spews 1,108 grams of carbon, not to mention meat’s hefty fuel cost and disease-promoting effects. That’s why a group of eco-conscious farmers are cutting emissions by cooking the poop from their 3,000 pigs. It captures methane and can provide electricity to the local grid; The New York Times investigates.

Surviving the Supermarket

The supermarket is a treacherous place. Plenty of fruits and veggies, but wall to wall candy, cookies, bacon bits, chips and soft drinks too. So, when shopping, resist temptation. Try leaving kids at home, shoppers with kids buy 40% more groceries and avoid big shopping carts, people buy 30% more stuff when pushing around a giant cart; from Parade Magazine.

Via That’sFit.

Cut Fat, Add Salt?

Salt is unhealthy, it ups hypertension and stroke-risk, but yet, it’s in everything, from bagels to breakfast cereal. And in this video, Dr. Fuhrman’s friend, Jeff Novick MS, RD, LD, LN, explains that after cutting the fat in many foods. Food producers increased the salt, to make it taste better.

And experts at Consumer Reports concur. "Our analysis found that lower-fat products might be higher in sodium. That's in part because when fat is taken out of full-fat foods, sodium is sometimes used to compensate for flavor," Jamie Hirsh, associate health editor, told Reuters.

Don't Stuff Kids with Milk and Meat! --UPDATE--

According to new research in the Journal of Pediatrics feeding children lots of meat and dairy products build stronger and healthier bones in adolescence. Claiming children eating 2 servings of dairy and 4 or more servings of meat a day had denser bones as teens; Reuters reports.

Bad idea! Kids already eat too much milk and meat. Over time, children, specifically girls, eating a lot meat and dairy products go through puberty sooner, increasing their risk of breast cancer later in life. Not to mention dairy is linked to heart disease and meat to prostate cancer.

Getting plenty of vitamin D is important to bone health. So is exercising. Also, calcium is not restricted to cow juice. Plant foods like flaxseed and quinoa and leafy greens like bok choy, turnip greens, collard greens, kale and romaine lettuce are packed with calcium. Phooey to milk!

UPDATE: Dr. Fuhrman got fired up over this study. His thoughts:

This article must have been interpreted by the animal food industry. The facts are as follows.

It did not show denser or healthier bones in children eating more meat, milk and cheese; it showed kids who eat more animal products are bigger with larger BMI’s. If you are bigger your body’s mass of muscle, bone and fat are bigger too, everything enlarges. So they had bigger bones, not denser or healthier bones, but that we already knew. This is bad, not good; researchers have well established that kids who eat more animal products get bigger and die younger.

Our population is getting bigger, maturing earlier, aging earlier, getting sick sooner and dying younger. Size does not equate with health. A recent study tracking over one million girls for 25 years showed those who were taller and heavier had drastically increased risk of ovarian cancer. And breast cancer is linked to increased size, early maturity and early puberty too. The same heightened cancer risks have been shown for males. Those with the highest body mass have dramatically increased risk of early life death. In fact, an important study showed football players in the largest BMI category (linebackers) had six times greater risk of early life death that those in the lower category.

Overeating animal products in childhood is the main reason for our world’s explosion in cancer incidence in this century. The mantra should be, “Eat to get bigger, die younger.” I discuss more studies in my book Disease-Proof Your Child. Understanding these scientific studies is a must read for every person in America. It is the only way we will ever win the war on cancer.

Bowel Cancer: Brits Eating Less Processed Meat...

In lieu of reports linking processed meat with cancer, specifically bowel cancer, British consumers are now eating less meat. Of the 2,124 people surveyed 11% said they were trying to reduce foods like bacon and 26% reported eating more fruits and vegetables; via FoodNavigator.

Meat takes longer to digest. As it sits in the gut, it promotes prolonged exposure to carcinogenic compounds found naturally in meat. Now, on the flipside, fruits and vegetables reduce the incidence of cancer, like colon cancer, because phytonutrients protect the body against disease!

Eggs Boost Diabetes Risk...

Eating eggs may increase type-2 diabetes risk. A new study in Diabetes Care claims men consuming 7 or more eggs per week are 58% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes and women are 77% more likely; from MedPage Today.

“The combination of being overweight and eggs, likely the cholesterol, do something to either impair pancreatic function or impair glucose tolerance,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. And initially this research found eating 7 or more eggs a week increased death-risk in men.

Processed People...

Coming out this month, Processed People is an in-depth documentary discussing the state of American food and health. Explaining why some many of us are sick and dying from preventable chronic diseases.

It features interviews with leading health and nutrition experts, like Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD; Jeff Novick MS, RD, LD, LN; author John Robbins and Dr. Fuhrman.

Check out the trailer at ProcessedPeople.com. I'll be hitting up Dr. Fuhrman for a free copy!