Organic Fruits Vegetables - Most Pesticides, Least Pesticides

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

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

 

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

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

1. Sanderson W.T., Talaska G, Zaebst D, et al. Pesticide prioritization for a brain cancer case control study. Environ Res. 1997;74(2):133-144. Zahm SH, Blair A. Cancer among migrant and seasonal farmworkers: an epidemiologic review and research agenda. Am J Ind Med 1993;24(6): 753-766.

2. Worthington V. Nutritional quality of organic versus conventional fruits, vegetables and grains. J Alt Coml Med 2001;7(2):161-173. Grinder-Pederson L, Rasmussen SE, Bugel S, et al. Effect of diets based on foods from conventional versus organic production on intake and excretion of flavonoids and markers of antioxidative defense in humans. J Agric Food Chem. 2003;51(19): 5671-5676.

Image credit: *tamara*

Eating to Live on the Outside: Lotus Vegan Restaurant

Hey, it’s Friday, time for Eating to Live on the Outside. This week, via the Internet, we’re visiting Lotus Vegan Restaurant, in California. And quite frankly, its looks REALLY good!

Tons of cool stuff, like sprouts, beets, lentils, pineapple and avocado. I love avocado! Alright, here’s ALL the stuff I liked. Take a look:

Fresh Rolls

  • Rice noodles, Romaine lettuce, basil leaves, beans, carrots, sprouts and vegan house sauce; pretty good, rice noodles are iffy, you could ditch them, but everything else is cool.

Vegetable Soup

  • Thai vegan soup, with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, Napa cabbage, onion, zucchini and celery; might be salty, but LOTS of great stuff!

Hot & Sour Vegetable Soup

  • Savory sour soup with lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, broccoli, cauliflower, Napa cabbage, carrots, zucchini and celery; again with the salt, but sounds yummy.

Cucumber Salad

  • Sliced cucumbers, red onions, bell peppers and dressing; sounds good, I’d order the dressing on the side.

Thai Salad

  • Fresh greens, grilled tofu, Romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and light peanut dressing; same deal, dressing on the side.

High Protein Salad

  • Garden fresh greens, edamame beans, avocado, Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and peanut dressing; sounds good to me!

Garden Salad

  • Romaine lettuce, Napa cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, beets, cucumber, bean sprouts, grilled shiitake mushrooms, tofu, silvers noodle and seasoning; no noodles for me, otherwise its cool.

Dinner Salad

  • Romaine lettuce, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes and cucumbers; no problems here!

Mystery Stir Fried Vegetable

  • Tofu, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, red bell peppers, celery, bean sprouts, onions, zucchini and seasonings; yeah, the fried part stinks, but all the veggies are awesome.

Lentil Loaf

  • Grilled lentil with brown rice, onions, bell peppers and seasoning; the rice is iffy, but it’s interesting.

Spicy Eggplant

  • Chinese eggplant, sautéed in chili sauce, onions, bell peppers and basil leaves; the sautéed part is bad, but I can deal with it.

Spicy Mint Leaves

  • Fresh mint leaves and chili, sautéed with garlic, onions and bell peppers; same thing here.

Sweet & Sour

  • Sautéed pineapple chunks with cucumber, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and sweet and sour sauce; again, same deal.

Broccoli

  • Broccoli sautéed with Thai vegan gravy sauce; I love broccoli.

Cashew Nuts

  • Roasted cashews sautéed with onions, bell peppers, carrots, green onion, celery and water chestnuts; I’m digging it.

Lentil Burger

  • Lentil patty made with brown rice, onions, red bell peppers and cilantro; the rice might scare you, but lentils are really good. The bun is a concession.

Mushroom Burger

  • Lentil loaf with mushrooms; again, the bun might be a turnoff.

Grilled Veggie Burger

  • Sautéed zucchini, eggplant, red bell peppers, mushrooms and onions; I really like zucchini!

Lentil Wrap

  • Avocado, lentils, lettuce, tomato, alfalfa sprouts and whole wheat lavash; the bread might scare you, but avocado is rock star.

Fajita Wrap

  • Sautéed onion, eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, lettuce, tomato and pepper; again, the wrap and sautéing might worry you.

The curry looks good too. Provided you stick with the vegetable options and not the mock duck. Also, try ordering a bunch of sides. I like the steamed veggies and lentil loaf. But overall, my pick is the High Protein Salad.

In the end, Lotus looks very doable. I dig it, my kind of place. But what do you think? Check out Lotus’s menu and let know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside.
 

Image credit: Lotus Vegan Restaurant

Fats from Avocados, Raw Nuts and Seeds are Vital to Health

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Kahn HA, Phillips RI, Snowdon DA, Choi W. Association between reported diet and all cause mortality: Twenty-one year follow up on 27,530 adult Seventh-Day Adventists. Am J Epidemiol 1984;119:775-787.

2. Hu FB, Stampfer MJ. Nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease: a review of epidemiologic evidence. Curr Atheroscler Rep 1999 Nov;1(3):204-209.

3. Ellsworth JL, Kushi LH, Folsom AR, et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2001;11(6):372-377. Kris-Etherton PM, Zhao G, Binkoski AE, et al. The effects of nuts on coronary heart disease risk. Nutr Rev. 2001;59(4):103-111.

4. Simopoulos AP. Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70 (3):56S-69S.

Image credit: thegrocer*

Eating to Live on the Outside: The Beet

Happy Saturday! It’s time for our weekly “trip” to a far away restaurant and this week Eating to Live on the Outside heads up to Toronto, Canada to eat at The Beet Organic Café & Market. How does it stack up? It looks pretty good to me. Here’s a list of five things that might make the cut.

Farmer’s Harvest

  • Locally grown veggies, Toronto sprout blend, tamari roasted seeds on mixed greens with dressing; looks pretty good, but I’d order the dressing on the side.

Spinach & Walnut

  • Spinach, walnut, sliced pear tossed in vegan creamy garlic dressing and with marinated roasted seeds; same deal, dressing on the side.

Curry on Quinoa

  • Chickpea, potato, quinoa and spinach; pretty simple and greens are a plus.

Organic Housemade Tofu Burger

  • Tofu and walnut patty on whole wheat bun topped with caramelized onions, grated carrots, sunflower sprouts, tomato, house mayo and served with potato wedges and house ketchup; I’ll skip the mayo and if the potato wedges aren’t fried, they’re cool.

Avocado & Grilled Tofu

  • Marinated and grilled teriyaki tofu steaks, avocado, arugula, tomato and vegan house mayo; looks okay, the arugula is awesome.

Okay, if I really had to pick something. I’m going for the Avocado & Grilled Tofu. I love arugula. It’s just too hard to resist, but what about you? What would you order? Check out The Beet’s menu and let me know.

Image credit: The Beet

Eating to Live on the Outside: Quintessence

I need a break! Good thing it’s a holiday. And luckily, Eating to Live on the Outside is staying close to home today. Just a quick train ride to Quintessence in New York City!

Yeah, Quintessence looks great. Their food is raw and full of cool fruits and vegetables, like endive, coconut and avocado. Here’s a first draft of food I might order:

Stuffed Endive

  • Cashew cheese folded with chopped scallion in endive leaves; looks good, cashews are my favorite nut!

Stuffed Fofu

  • Mock tofu stuffed with Nappa cabbage, shitake, seaweed and scallion marinated in cilantro sauce and topped with shitake mushrooms; plenty of awesome veggies here.

Greek Salad

  • Romaine lettuce, onions, kalamata olives, tomatoes, fresh mint, oregano, basil and tossed with lemon juice and an olive-pumpkin-flax oil blend; I dig it, but oil on the side.

Sesame Sea Salad

  • Sea veggies with chunks of cucumber, tomato and topped with sesame dressing and sesame seeds; provided it’s not salty, I’d give it a try.

Basic Bowl

  • Mixed greens, kale, tomato, cucumber, sunflower sprouts, onion and your choice of dressing; the pineapple anise dressing sounds pretty good.

Caesar Salad with a Twist

  • Romaine lettuce, tomato, crunchy cucumber, avocado cubes, tossed in our pignola miso Caesar dressing and topped with caramelized onions, black pepper and gamasio; looks interesting.

Endive Salad with Scallion “Crème Cheese”

  • Endive, celery, capers and kalamata olives with sweet apple chunks and caramelized walnuts, tossed with lemon vinaigrette and topped with scallion cream cheese; sounds tasty.

Apple Coconut Salad with Lemongrass Dressing

  • Green apple, coconut, basil, ginger and onion with a lemongrass grape seed oil dressing; again, oil on the side.

Arugula Sprout with Caramelized Walnuts

  • Baby arugula, sunflower sprouts, mixed baby sprouts, goji berries and cherry tomato tossed with a sweet-spiced fig cardamom dressing topped with caramelized walnuts; hooray, goji berries!

Green Garden Soup

  • Cucumber tomato, red bell pepper, lemon and dill; hopefully it’s not too salty.

Creamy Asparagus Zucchini Soup

  • Creamy soup with rich asparagus and finished with caramelized onions and black pepper; I love asparagus!

Thai Lemongrass Soup

  • Lemongrass broth with Thai herbs, marinated shitake, scallion and Nappa cabbage; looks pretty good.

Wow! Picking something was a tough decision, but I’d go with the Arugula Sprout with Caramelized Walnuts. I love the variety of ingredients the goji berries seal the deal.

Now, I’ve been too busy lately, but when the dust clears. I’ll REALLY pay Quintessence a visit. In the meantime drop a comment and tell me what you’d order.

Image credit: Quintessence Restaurant

Eating to Live on the Outside: Spread

Okay kiddies. It’s that time again. I’m firing up my imaginary jet plane for another Eating to Live on the Outside. This week, I’m “off” to San Diego, California to grab a bite to eat at Spread.

Spread’s menu is totally doable. I see a lot of veggies. Here’s quick list of foods I might order:

Flowering Arugula & Beet Salad

  • Sylvetta arugula, maple croutons, arugula flowers, marinated Chioggia beets, fuerte avocado, red carrots and blood orange thyme vinaigrette; I like it, but I’d ditch the croutons and get the dressing on the side.

Mixed Lettuces

  • Heirloom baby greens, yellow grape tomatoes, sweet onions, strawberries, French violas, baby celery, steamed baby artichokes and avocado basil dressing; lots of veggies, I dig it.

Banana Curry Oatmeal

  • Caramelized onions, banana, curry and red carrots; I’m probably a banana addict at this point.

Macadamia Rose Pesto grits

  • Roasted vegetables, handmade pesto, rose petals and macadamia; I’m not big on grits, but I’ll give it a try.

Kaffir Lime & Kumquat Glazed Vegetable Medley

  • Purple cauliflower, red carrots, heirloom squash, kaffir lime and kumquat; I love cauliflower and purpler-er the better!

Haricots Verts Almondine

  • Marcona almonds, blended oils, spices, sautéed beans and truffle; not too bad, the oil doesn’t scare me.

Wild Mushroom Ragu

Hibiscus Blossom Mole

  • Grilled vegetables, corn tortillas, hibiscus essence and rose; I’m not sure I could eat a cute little mole, but vegetables are great.

Spread looks good. It works! Okay, if I “really” had to order something, I’d go for either the Mixed Lettuces or the Flowering Arugula & Beet Salad. Both look cool.

Now listen up! You can be a fake traveler too. Just check out Spread’s menu and tell me what you’d order.

Image credit: Spread

Q & A: Balancing Your Omega Fats

We all know fat can be bad, like trans-fat. Trans-fat raises LDL or bad cholesterol and also lowers HDL or good cholesterol, but still, many fats are very healthy, like omega fats, found in stuff like avocados. Here’s a quick Q & A about balancing omega fats from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center:

Question: My dim understanding is that our diet and consequently our blood and our tissues should contain some ideal ratio of omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats, such as a 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 ratio of ecicosapentanoic acid (EPA) to arachidonic acid (AA). So the fact that a blood test would detect some AA is not necessarily bad, so long as the test detects a roughly equal amount of EPA, is this correct?

Dr. Fuhrman: Yes, you need some AA. Only in excess is it a problem. Some of fats are more pro-inflammatory, but it is a question of balance. When you eat a diet rich in greens with about half seeds and nuts in a 1 to 1 ratio, with some supplemental DHA if you do not eat fish regularly, then you get the right balance of fatty acids, obsessing to get a 1 to 1 or even a 2 to 1 ratio results in food paranoia.

Image credit: thegrocer*

Eating to Live on the Outside: Roots

Happy Saturday! I’m hungry. Let’s grab something to eat. Today we’re off to California and stuffing our faces at Roots, a vegan restaurant serving kind food for kind folks. How cute.

Roots really measures up, a totally workable place for Eating to Live on the Outside, tons of vegetables and other cool stuff. So, here’s a quick list of food I might try out:

Farmers Market Salad

  • Mixed greens, seasonal veggies, shallot Dijon vinaigrette and slice of bread; I’m okay with the bread, but dressing on the side.

Taco Salad

  • Romaine lettuce, black beans, carrots, avocado, salsa, jicama, blue corn chips, pepitas and lemon garlic dressing; I can handle the chips and same deal with the dressing.

Avo Sandwich

  • Cucumber, avocado, red onion, sundried tomato, Romaine lettuce, sunflower sprouts, vinaigrette and mustard on wholegrain bread; lots of great stuff here!

Cilantro Hummus Wrap

  • Carrot, cilantro, hummus, sundried tomato, red onion, zataar and lemon balsamic vinaigrette and whole wheat wrap; I really like sundried tomatoes.

Burrito

  • Black beans, salsa, avocado, pepitas and lemon garlic dressing and whole wheat wrap; no complaints here.

Thai Peanut Avo Wrap

  • Jicama, avocado, cucumber, sprouts, carrot, Romaine lettuce, cilantro, mint, green onion and peanut sauce and whole wheat wrap; I’ll pretty much eat anything with avocado.

Porto Sandwich

  • Grilled Portobello mushroom, sundried tomato, basil, Romaine lettuce and lemon balsamic vinaigrette on ciabatta bread; mushrooms are cool and I’m fine with the bread.

H.A.P. Sandwich

  • Cilantro hummus, artichoke hearts, Portobello mushroom, sundried tomato, basil, red onion, Romaine lettuce and lemon balsamic vinaigrette on ciabatta; I dig it.

Raw Wrap Avocado

  • Sunflower sprouts, avocado, beets, seasonal local veggies, collard greens and raw lemon garlic dressing; hard to do better than beets and collard greens.

Certainly plenty of good stuff to choose from, but if I REALLY had to pick something. I’d order the Taco Salad or the Raw Wrap Avocado, although I am leaning towards the wrap.

Here’s the sad part. Roots appears to be looking for a new location. So let’s hope they find one soon. But for now, check out Roots’ menu and let me know what you’d go for. Peace.

Image credit: Roots

Eating to Live on the Outside: Kaya's Kitchen

It’s Friday, time for Eating to Live on the Outside. And this week I’m keeping it local. I’m looking at Kaya’s Kitchen in Belmar, New Jersey. Based on the website, it looks good!

Okay, I just finished clicking through Kaya’s menu and it’s got a lot of potential. A ton of great salads and some other food that might tickle your fancy, take a look:

Oriental Sesame Salad

  • Mixed field greens, diced tofu, carrot, mushroom, red onion, alfalfa sprouts and oriental sesame dressing; I dig it, but I’m getting the dressing on the side.

Spring Salad

  • Mixed field greens, plum tomato, cucumber, carrot, sprouts, celery, bell pepper, sliced avocado, red onion and lemon-ginger dressing; very cool, avocado rocks!

Spicy Cajun Tofu Salad

  • Mixed field greens, carrot, plum tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, sprouts, Cajun grilled tofu and ranch dressing; I think the dressing is vegan, but it’s still going on the side.

Baby Spinach & Fresh Mozzarella Salad

  • Baby spinach, field greens, grilled Portabella mushroom, plum tomato, fresh mozzarella (dairy), roasted red pepper and balsamic vinaigrette; I’ll pass on the cheese.

Summer Salad

  • Mixed field greens, plum tomato, carrot, cucumber, sliced avocado, red onions, sprouts, sunflower seeds and dressing; lots of good stuff here.

Harvest Salad

  • Mixed field greens, sprouts, raisins, chopped apple, dried cranberries, carrot, red onion and dressing; this is great too! Dressing on the side.

Grilled Veggie Melt

  • Marinated & grilled zucchini, squash, peppers, onion, eggplant, portabella mushrooms, tomato and vegan or dairy cheese; all those veggies are too good to pass up, but no cheese for me and I’d order it with steamed organic vegetables, instead of the other options. And the bread is a concession I can deal with.

Hummus & Avocado

  • Homemade hummus, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion and a warp or roll; same thing with the side and bread here too.

Portobello Mushroom Platter

  • Sliced Portobello, eggplant, zucchini, squash, roasted red pepper, tomato marinated and grilled with garlic-tamari and brown rice; sounds great, I deal with the rice. I don’t eat a lot of rice.

Happy Buddah Stew

  • Sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onion, cauliflower, eggplant, chick peas, seitan, green peas, sauce and brown rice; lots of nice veggies here, now I’m not a big seitan fan, but I’d be okay with it in this instance.

Kaya’s Kitchen looks pretty good. And it’s in New Jersey, which makes it even cooler. My top two choices would be the Harvest Salad and Spring Salad. Like always, salads reign supreme!

So yeah, Kaya’s Kitchen works! But what do you think? Check out Kaya’s menu and tell me how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Until then, eat smartly! Peace.