My new love- MCT Oil

A few months we were visiting some of friends and having dinner and all of a sudden this orange bottle appears and it is being poured over salad. I looked at it and said what is this? I was told it was MCT Oil and it is wonderful for your body. I looked at it and thought there is no way I am going to pour it on my salad, as I am a ranch dressing person! So I bought the capsules, read the bottle,  it said take with food, no red flags and away I went with my new supplement. I started taking them every so often, because I trusted the person telling me about it and it contains coconut oil and we have all heard how good that is for you.

Last week I started running out of the capsules of the bottle that I have had for probably 6 months and went to 3 stores trying to find them again with no success. I also thought I would start searching to find more information about MCT Oil and how good it really is for you before I wear my self out trying to find those gel colored capsules. Here is some information I have found. https://draxe.com/mct-oil/

Pretty impressive I would say! So yes, MCT Oil is something I will continue to take on a regular basis. It has those wonderful words I love to hear, speeds up metabolism, promotes healthy gut, removes joint pain and so much more!

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10 Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil

Published in: on December 11, 2013 at 8:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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Detox Your Body

Here are some great FOODS FOR DETOXING various regions of the body. I juice fast for 3 days at the beginning of every season (we will lead the fall fast next weekend) one day of every week, and maintain an alkaline diet. Lemon water, apple cider vinegar, green smoothies, turmeric, cayenne pepper, water, lymphatic drainage massage, colonics, meditation, yoga, hiking, walking, oil pulling all helps me. What do you do to cleanse and detox?

Published in: on October 4, 2013 at 6:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beaver Butt in Our Food?

Beaver butts emit goo used in vanilla flavored foods

Published October 02, 2013

FoxNews.com
  • beavernatgeo.jpg

    Beavers are among the largest of the rodents. (Joel Sartore/National Geographic)

Next time you pick up a vanilla candy, think twice. A chemical compound used in vanilla flavored foods and scents comes from the butt of a beaver.

Castoreum comes from a beaver’s castor sacs, located between the pelvis and base of the tail. Due to its proximity to the anal glands, the slimy brown substance is often mixed with gland secretions and urine.

“I lift up the animal’s tail,” Joanne Crawford, a wildlife ecologist at Southern Illinois University told National Geographic. “I’m like, ‘Get down there, and stick your nose near its bum.'”

“People think I’m nuts,” she added. “I tell them, ‘Oh, but it’s beavers; it smells really good.'”

Beavers use the brown slime, often compared to a thinner version of molasses, to mark their territory. The musky, vanilla scent is attributed to a beaver’s diet of bark and leaves.

Manufacture have been using castoreum as an additive in foods and perfumes for at least 80 years, according to a 2007 study in the International Journal of Toxicology.

But getting a beaver to emit castoreum is not easy. Foodies are willing to “milk” the animals in order to get their hands on the gooey substance.

“You can milk the anal glands so you can extract the fluid,” Crawford said. “You can squirt [castoreum] out. It’s pretty gross.”

Only 292-pounds per year is collected because the milking method is unpleasant for all parties involved.

And the worst part? The FDA-approved castoreum is not required to be listed as an ingredient on food items. Manufacturers may list “natural flavoring” instead.

Perhaps a bit too natural for us.

Published in: on October 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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10 Foods Banned in Other Countries but Allowed in the US

 

By Dr. Mercola

Americans are slowly waking up to the sad fact that much of the food sold in the US is far inferior to the same foods sold in other nations. In fact, many of the foods you eat are BANNED in other countries.

Here, I’ll review 10 American foods that are banned elsewhere, which were featured in a recent MSN article.1

Seeing how the overall health of Americans is so much lower than other industrialized countries, you can’t help but wonder whether toxic foods such as these might play a role in our skyrocketing disease rates.

#1: Farm-Raised Salmon

If you want to maximize health benefits from fish, you want to steer clear of farmed fish, particularly farmed salmon fed dangerous chemicals. Wild salmon gets its bright pinkish-red color from natural carotenoids in their diet. Farmed salmon, on the other hand, are raised on a wholly unnatural diet of grains (including genetically engineered varieties), plus a concoction of antibiotics and other drugs and chemicals not shown to be safe for humans.

This diet leaves the fish with unappetizing grayish flesh so to compensate, they’re fed synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals, which has not been approved for human consumption and has well known toxicities. According to the featured article, some studies suggest it can potentially damage your eyesight. More details are available in yesterday’s article.

Where it’s banned: Australia and New Zealand

How can you tell whether a salmon is wild or farm-raised? The flesh of wild sockeye salmon is bright red, courtesy of its natural astaxanthin content. It’s also very lean, so the fat marks, those white stripes you see in the meat, are very thin. If the fish is pale pink with wide fat marks, the salmon is farmed.

Avoid Atlantic salmon, as typically salmon labeled “Atlantic Salmon” currently comes from fish farms. The two designations you want to look for are: “Alaskan salmon,” and “sockeye salmon,” as Alaskan sockeye is not allowed to be farmed. Please realize that the vast majority of all salmon sold in restaurants is farm raised.

So canned salmon labeled “Alaskan Salmon” is a good bet, and if you find sockeye salmon, it’s bound to be wild. Again, you can tell sockeye salmon from other salmon by its color; its flesh is bright red opposed to pink, courtesy of its superior astaxanthin content. Sockeye salmon actually has one of the highest concentrations of astaxanthin of any food.

#2: Genetically Engineered Papaya

Most Hawaiian papaya is now genetically engineered to be resistant to ringspot virus. Mounting research now shows that animals fed genetically engineered foods, such as corn and soy, suffer a wide range of maladies, including intestinal damage, multiple-organ damage, massive tumors, birth defects, premature death, and near complete sterility by the third generation of offspring. Unfortunately, the gigantic human lab experiment is only about 10 years old, so we are likely decades away from tabulating the human casualties.

Where it’s banned: The European Union

Unfortunately, it’s clear that the US government is not in a position to make reasonable and responsible decisions related to genetically engineered foods at this point, when you consider the fact that the Obama administration has placed former Monsanto attorney and Vice President, Michael Taylor, in charge of US food safety, and serious conflicts of interest even reign supreme within the US Supreme Court! That’s right. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is also a former Monsanto attorney, but refuses to acknowledge any conflict of interest.

#3: Ractopamine-Tainted Meat

The beta agonist drug ractopamine (a repartitioning agent that increases protein synthesis) was recruited for livestock use when researchers found that the drug, used in asthma, made mice more muscular. This reduces the overall fat content of the meat. Ractopamine is currently used in about 45 percent of US pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys are pumped full of this drug in the days leading up to slaughter. Up to 20 percent of ractopamine remains in the meat you buy from the supermarket, according to veterinarian Michael W. Fox.

Since 1998, more than 1,700 people have been “poisoned” from eating pigs fed the drug, and ractopamine is banned from use in food animals in no less than 160 different countries due to its harmful health effects! Effective February 11, 2013, Russia issued a ban on US meat imports, slated to last until the US agrees to certify that the meat is ractopamine-free. At present, the US does not even test for the presence of this drug in meats sold. In animals, ractopamine is linked to reductions in reproductive function, increase of mastitis in dairy herds, and increased death and disability. It’s also known to affect the human cardiovascular system, and is thought to be responsible for hyperactivity, and may cause chromosomal abnormalities and behavioral changes.

Where it’s banned: 160 countries across Europe, Russia, mainland China and Republic of China (Taiwan)

#4: Flame Retardant Drinks

If you live in the US and drink Mountain Dew and some other citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks, then you are also getting a dose of a synthetic chemical called brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which was originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant.

BVO has been shown to bioaccumulate in human tissue and breast milk, and animal studies have found it causes reproductive and behavioral problems in large doses. Bromine is a central nervous system depressant, and a common endocrine disruptor. It’s part of the halide family, a group of elements that includes fluorine, chlorine and iodine. When ingested, bromine competes for the same receptors that are used to capture iodine. This can lead to iodine deficiency, which can have a very detrimental impact on your health. Bromine toxicity can manifest as skin rashes, acne, loss of appetite, fatigue, and cardiac arrhythmias. According to the featured article:

“The FDA has flip-flopped on BVO’s safety originally classifying it as ‘generally recognized as safe’ but reversing that call now defining it as an ‘interim food additive’ a category reserved for possibly questionable substances used in food.”

Where it’s banned: Europe and Japan

#5: Processed Foods Containing Artificial Food Colors and Dyes

More than 3,000 food additives — preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients — are added to US foods, including infant foods and foods targeted to young children. Meanwhile, many of these are banned in other countries, based on research showing toxicity and hazardous health effects, especially with respect to adverse effects on children’s behavior. For example, as reported in the featured article:

“Boxed Mac & Cheese, cheddar flavored crackers, Jell-O and many kids’ cereals contain red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6 and/or blue 2, the most popularly-used dyes in the United States. Research has shown this rainbow of additives can cause behavioral problems as well as cancer, birth defects and other health problems in laboratory animals. Red 40 and yellow 6 are also suspected of causing an allergy-like hypersensitivity reaction in children. The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that some dyes are also “contaminated with known carcinogens.”

In countries where these food colors and dyes are banned, food companies like Kraft employ natural colorants instead, such as paprika extract, beetroot, and annatto. The food blogger and activist Vani Hari, better known as “Food Babe,” recently launched a Change.org petition2 asking Kraft to remove artificial dyes from American Mac & Cheese to protect American children from the well-known dangers of these dyes.

Where it’s banned: Norway and Austria. In 2009, the British government advised companies to stop using food dyes by the end of that year. The European Union also requires a warning notice on most foods containing dyes.

#6: Arsenic-Laced Chicken

Arsenic-based drugs are approved for use in animal feed in the US because they make animals grow quicker and make the meat appear pinker (i.e. “fresher”). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated these products are safe because they contain organic arsenic, which is less toxic than the other inorganic form, which is a known carcinogen.

The problem is, scientific reports surfaced stating that the organic arsenic could transform into inorganic arsenic, which has been found in elevated levels in supermarket chickens. The inorganic arsenic also contaminates manure where it can eventually migrate into drinking water and may also be causing heightened arsenic levels in US rice.

In 2011, Pfizer announced it would voluntarily stop marketing its arsenic-based feed additive Roxarsone, but there are still several others on the market. Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the FDA calling for their removal from the market. In the European Union, meanwhile, arsenic-based compounds have never been approved as safe for animal feed.

Where it’s banned: The European Union

#7: Bread with Potassium Bromate

You might not be aware of this, but nearly every time you eat bread in a restaurant or consume a hamburger or hotdog bun you are consuming bromide, as it is commonly used in flours. The use of potassium bromate as an additive to commercial breads and baked goods has been a huge contributor to bromide overload in Western cultures.

Bromated flour is “enriched” with potassium bromate. Commercial baking companies claim it makes the dough more elastic and better able to stand up to bread hooks. However, Pepperidge Farm and other successful companies manage to use only unbromated flour without any of these so-called “structural problems.” Studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies potassium bromate as a possible carcinogen.

Where it’s banned: Canada, China and the EU

#8: Olestra/Olean

Olestra, aka Olean, created by Procter & Gamble, is a calorie- and cholesterol-free fat substitute used in fat-free snacks like chips and French fries. Three years ago, Time Magazine3 named it one of the worst 50 inventions ever, but that hasn’t stopped food companies from using it to satisfy people’s mistaken belief that a fat-free snack is a healthier snack. According to the featured article:

“Not only did a 2011 study from Purdue University conclude rats fed potato chips made with Olean gained weight, there have been several reports of adverse intestinal reactions to the fake fat including diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels. And because it interferes with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, the FDA requires these vitamins be added to any product made with Olean or olestra.”

Where it’s banned: The UK and Canada

#9: Preservatives BHA and BHT

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are commonly used preservatives that can be found in breakfast cereal, nut mixes, chewing gum, butter spread, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and beer, just to name a few. BHA is known to cause cancer in rats, and may be a cancer-causing agent in humans as well. In fact, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, National Toxicology Program’s 2011 Report on Carcinogens, BHA “is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” It may also trigger allergic reactions and hyperactivity, while BHT can cause organ system toxicity.

Where it’s banned: The UK doesn’t allow BHA in infant foods. BHA and BHT are also banned in parts of the European Union and Japan.

#10: Milk and Dairy Products Laced with rBGH

Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is the largest selling dairy animal drug in America. RBGH is a synthetic version of natural bovine somatotropin (BST), a hormone produced in cows’ pituitary glands. Monsanto developed the recombinant version from genetically engineered E. coli bacteria and markets it under the brand name “Posilac.”

It’s injected into cows to increase milk production, but it is banned in at least 30 other nations because of its dangers to human health, which include an increased risk for colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer by promoting conversion of normal tissue cells into cancerous ones. Non-organic dairy farms frequently have rBGH-injected cows that suffer at least 16 different adverse health conditions, including very high rates of mastitis that contaminate milk with pus and antibiotics.

“According to the American Cancer Society, the increased use of antibiotics to treat this type of rBGH-induced inflammation ‘does promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but the extent to which these are transmitted to humans is unclear,'” the featured article states.

Many have tried to inform the public of the risks of using this hormone in dairy cows, but their attempts have been met with overwhelming opposition by the powerful dairy and pharmaceutical industries, and their government liaisons. In 1997, two Fox-affiliate investigative journalists, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, attempted to air a program exposing the truth about the dangers of rBGH. Lawyers for Monsanto, a major advertiser with the Florida network, sent letters promising “dire consequences” if the story aired.

Despite decades of evidence about the dangers of rBGH, the FDA still maintains it’s safe for human consumption and ignores scientific evidence to the contrary. In 1999, the United Nations Safety Agency ruled unanimously not to endorse or set safety standards for rBGH milk, which has effectively resulted in an international ban on US milk.4 The Cancer Prevention Coalition, trying for years to get the use of rBGH by the dairy industry banned, resubmitted a petition to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, in January 2010.5 Although the FDA stubbornly sticks to its position that milk from rBGH-treated cows is no different than milk from untreated cows, this is just plain false and is not supported by science. The only way to avoid rBGH is to look for products labeled as “rBGH-free” or “No rBGH.”

Where it’s banned: Australia, New Zealand, Israel, EU and Canada

Take Control of Your Health with REAL Food

There are many other examples where the US federal regulatory agencies have sold out to industry at the expense of your health, while other countries have chosen to embrace the precautionary principle in order to protect their citizens. If you want to avoid these questionable foods and other potentially harmful ingredients permitted in the US food supply, then ditching processed foods entirely is your best option. About 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is spent on processed foods, so there is massive room for improvement in this area for most people.

Next, you’ll want to swap out your regular meat sources to organic, grass-fed/pasture-raised versions of beef and poultry. The same goes for dairy products and animal by-products such as eggs.

Swapping your processed-food diet for one that focuses on fresh whole foods is a necessity if you value your health. For a step-by-step guide to make this a reality in your own life, whether you live in the US or elsewhere, simply follow the advice in my optimized nutrition plan, starting with the beginner plan first.

Published in: on July 18, 2013 at 7:28 am  Comments (1)  
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Apple Cider Vinegar – A Health Tonic?

July 11, 2013 by JOHN SUMMERLY

Is Apple Cider Vinegar That Powerful of a Health Tonic? Science Says Yes

         One of the most traditional cures for almost anything is apple cider vinegar. Over the centuries, the ancient folk remedy is touted to relieve   just about any ailment you can think of including diabetes, obesity and even cancer. Here’s what science has found.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) became well known in the U.S. in the late 1950s, when it was promoted in the best-selling book Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health by D. C. Jarvis. During the alternative medicine boom of recent years, apple cider vinegar and apple cider vinegar pills have become a popular dietary supplement.
        Unpasteurized or organic ACV contains mother of vinegar, which has a cobweb-like appearance and can make the vinegar look slightly congealed. It’s the only way apple cider vinegar should be consumed.
ACV is used in salad dressings, marinades, vinaigrettes, food preservatives, and chutneys, among other things. It is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. Bacteria and Yeast are added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, and the sugars are turned into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria (acetobacter). Acetic acid and malic acid give vinegar its sour taste.
      Apple cider vinegar is purported to treat numerous diseases, health   conditions, and annoyances. To name a few, it kills  head lice, reverses aging, eases digestion, prevents flu, prevents acne, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, kills fungus, regulate pH balance, dissolves kidney stones and helps relieve allergies, migraines, asthma, nausea,  heart burn and wash toxins from the body.      Can it really do all these things? You bet it can and more! But what does science say?

  • Diabetes. The effect of apple cider vinegar on blood sugar levels is   perhaps the best researched and the most promising of APV’s  health benefits. Several studies have found that   vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For instance, a study (White, A. Diabetes Care, November 2007)  of 11   people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple   cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%. In another study from Arizona State University, subjects took a drink of 20 grams of apple cider vinegar and   40 grams of water. Those with insulin   resistance who drank the vinegar had 34% lower postprandial (after-meal)   glucose compared to controls. Vinegar may be the most cost-effective medicine in history, but most people with diabetes still aren’t taking it.
  • High Cholesterol. A 2006 study reported in Medscape General Medicine, showed evidence that ACV could lower cholesterol.  In a study published in a foreign medical journal, scientists found an   apple cider vinegar-enhanced diet may increase in HDL (good   cholesterol), and reduce levels of triglycerides. Research in rats suggests that apple-cider vinegar can help  control triglycerides and cholesterol (Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry, June 22, 2011).
  • Blood Pressure and Heart Health. Another study in rats found that vinegar could lower high blood   pressure. A large observational study also found that people who ate oil   and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates   of heart disease than people who didn’t. Researchers   have suggested that ‘this reduction in blood pressure may be caused by the   significant reduction in renin activity and the subsequent decrease in   angiotensin II’. Potassium in   the vinegar ‘balances sodium levels in the body, which aids in   maintaining blood pressure within healthy limits’ and ‘apple cider   vinegar also contains magnesium, a mineral that works to relax   blood vessel walls and thus lower high blood pressure’.
  • CancerA few laboratory studies have found that vinegar may be   able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. One study found that eating vinegar was   associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer. Another   associated it with an increased risk of bladder cancer.   In recent trials, pectin, which can be found in ACV, has shown promise   in helping to slow the growth of cancerous cells within the prostate (http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100702/Modified-Citrus-Pectin-holds-promise-against-prostate-cancer.aspx).   In addition, apple cider vinegar’s acidity aids in detoxifying and   cleansing the digestive tract and cleaning out the colon, which supports   the health of the prostate as well.
  • Weight LossFor thousands of years, vinegar has been used for   weight loss. White vinegar (and perhaps other types) might help people   feel full. A  study (Ostman, E. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005) of 12 people found that those who ate a piece of   bread along with small amounts of  vinegar felt fuller and more   satisfied than those who just ate the bread. A 2009 study on mice showed that consuming acetic acid (the active component in ACV), upregulates the expression of genes for   fatty acid oxidation enzymes in the liver causing a suppression in body   fat accumulation. In a double-blind experiment, obese Japanese were assigned to three different groups based on similar body weights, body mass indexes (BMI), and waist circumference. Each group drank a 500 ml drink   containing either 30ml, 15ml, or 0ml of vinegar daily for 12 weeks.   Those in the 30ml and 15ml groups had lower BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, serum triglyceride,   and body weight to the control group of 0ml. The 12-week weight losses   were modest: 1.2kg in the 15ml group and 1.7kg in the 30ml group.   These two groups consumed a similar number of calories to the control   group and also performed a similar amount of exercise, so the effect is   not likely to have been due to an impact on appetite or other lifestyle   changes. It was concluded that consumption of vinegar might reduce   obesity.

        Apple cider vinegar is chosen over white vinegar for many processes involving the elimination of fungus. Although they both have highly acidic properties; apple cider also   contains detoxifying qualities that will clear up other skin allergies.   No side effects have been found when treating the skin with apple cider   vinegar, making it a cost effective and safe remedy.
        Here are many other benefits of apple cider vinegar that can be applied to your lifestyle. Read the list below.

Hair: It is widely known that apple cider vinegar  can be used as a rinse for your hair after shampooing to add healthy  body and shine. Recycle an old shampoo bottle and fill it with 1/2 a   tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of cold water. Pour through your hair after shampooing several times a week.

Face: Did you know that apple cider vinegar can help regulate the pH of your skin? Dilute apple cider vinegar with two parts  water, and spread the concoction over your face with a cotton ball as a toner. You can do this at night after washing, and in the morning before you apply your moisturizer. You can also dab apple cider vinegar  directly onto age spots and leave them on overnight to lighten their color.

Hands and Feet: Are your hands and feet feeling tired and swollen after a long day? Treat yourself to a personal spa massage by rubbing apple cider vinegar onto them.

Sunburn: Suffering from a bad sunburn? Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath and soak for 10 minutes.

Teeth: Did you know that apple cider vinegar can help remove stains from teeth? Rub teeth directly with apple cider vinegar and rinse out.

Aftershave: Fill a bottle with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and shake to blend.

Detox: Add 2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a 1 or 2 liter filtered water bottle. Drink this throughout the day to cleanse your body and kidneys all day long.
Drain Cleaner: Baking soda and apple cider vinegar is an amazing bubbly combination that has many uses. As a drain cleaner, sprinkle baking soda down the drain then add apple cider vinegar and let it bubble for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot water. This is a safer alternative to dangerous drain cleaners.
Digestion: A small amount of apple cider vinegar, taken just prior to a meal, will stimulate production of digestive juices.

Dandruff:  A home remedy for dandruff is to mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water. The vinegar   solution is thought to restore the restore the pH balance of the scalp   and discourage the overgrowth of malassezia furfur, the yeast-like fungus thought to trigger dandruff.
Mosquito and Insect Bites:
Using as little as 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar will relieve insect bites instantly.
Stomach Aches:
Mix 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with 12 ounces of warm water, and drink in the morning on empty stomach. Feel free to add a little honey or maple syrup.
Alkaline Acid Balance:
Some alternative practitioners recommend using apple cider vinegar to   restore alkaline acid balance. The theory behind the alkaline diet is   that our blood is slightly alkaline (with a normal pH level of between   7.35 and 7.45) and that our diet should reflect this pH level.   Proponents of the alkaline-acid theory believe that a diet high in   acid-producing foods leads to lack of energy, excessive mucous   production, infections, anxiety, irritability, headache, sore throat, nasal and sinus congestion, allergic reactions, and increased risk of  conditions such as arthritis and gout.

  John Summerly is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. He is a leader in the natural health community and consults athletes, executives and most of all parents of children on the benefits of complementary therapies for health and prevention.

Published in: on July 17, 2013 at 7:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Real Hidden Cost of Round Up

By Matt Agorist, REALfarmacy.com

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s  Round-Up, is attracting a lot of negative attention these days, this attention  is not without merit. Within the past 6 months alone, there have literally been  dozens of studies published illustrating the hazardous impact glyphosate is  having on the environment. From earthworms to humans, this herbicide, once  considered safe, is proving to be quite the silent killer.

Just two months ago a study was published in the  scientific journal Entropy linking glyphosate to a range of health problems such  as Parkinson’s, infertility, and cancer. The study revealed that glyphosate  enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and  environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests  slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the  body.

This month, yet another study has been published  implicating glyphosate in the induction of human breast cancer cell growth via  estrogen receptors. The findings in this study name glyphosate as an endocrine  disruptor that fuels estrogenic activity leading to the proliferation of breast  cancer cells. The results indicated that “low and environmentally relevant  concentrations” were enough to produce these detrimental effects.

One may think that simply not using Round-up or  any of its glyphosate containing equivalents would exempt them from these  dangers. However, here is the true cause for concern; last month a study was  published proving that there is indeed “widespread export to surface waters”  from runoff of nearby farms. Also, just last week, a study was done that tested  for glyphosate in urine samples from individuals in 18 different countries. Over  40% of these individuals had traces of glyphosate in the urine. If farmers that  spray glyphosate on a daily basis were the subjects of this test, the results  would not be so startling. However, the test subjects were specifically selected  on the basis that they had never handled or been exposed to glyphosate  before this test.

So what can we do to try and keep Round-Up out  of our bodies? We can eat organic for starters. We can grow our own food. We can  use alternative, nontoxic, weed  control at home  such as vinegar. The glyphosate leviathan that is, Monsanto, is not this  unbeatable machine. It has a crucial weakness, unsustainability as well as a  dependency on government regulations. We cannot do much about the special favors  granted throughout the corporatocracy, but what we can do is build a new model.  A model of sustainability, preservation, and ethics. Once the majority sees this  new model and all of its efficiencies, Monsanto becomes obsolete.

Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/cancer-infertility-parkinsons-and-death-the-hidden-costs-of-round-up/#5af0VdJrT6gxE1VX.99

10 Healthiest Packaged Foods

 

Tuesdays With Jeff: Insights Into Your Health: The 10 Healthiest Packaged Foods. Plus a Spice Giveaway!

by June 25, 2013

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The 10 Healthiest Packaged Foods

©Jeff Novick, MS, RD

The healthiest foods are the foods that come straight out of the garden and are consumed in their natural form or as simply prepared as possible. These foods are fresh fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, legumes, and intact whole grains and should be the focus of any healthy diet.

Packaged and processed foods are usually loaded with fats, free oils, salt, refined sugars/sweeteners and refined carbohydrates/grains, They are also almost always calorie dense.

However, there are some packaged and processed foods that can be included as part of a healthy diet. And in fact, keeping some of them around and on hand, can actually make following a healthy diet, easier.

Everyone always wants to know what foods I personally eat and/or recommend. So, I went around my house and looked around to see what packaged and processed foods I had in my house and would recommend to you, and why.

Here they are.

frozen_veg_index

1) Frozen Vegetables

Vegetables are the most nutrient dense food there is and including more of them in your diet is a key to improving the nutritional quality of your diet. Unlike many canned vegetables, plain frozen individual vegetables usually have no other added ingredients. Frozen peas and beans may have some added salt, but they usually make my 1:1 sodium/calorie guideline. Frozen vegetables can easily be thawed and including as part of a healthy recipe and/or meal. These are one of the main ingredients in my Basic Recipes

Caution: Be careful of all the new fancy frozen vegetable mixes as many come with added sauces that can be high in salt, sugar and or fat. Look for the plain bags of single individual vegetables of vegetable blends.

2) Frozen Fruits

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The same reasoning for frozen vegetables also applies to frozen fruits. Look for the ones that contain just frozen fruit and avoid the ones with added sugars/sweeteners. Frozen berries are one of my favorites to keep on hand. Fresh berries are very seasonal, and they also often mold and rot quickly and easily. Frozen berries do not and are available year round. In addition, you can often find wild berries, including blueberries and strawberries, which are often sweeter and more nutrient dense.

 

 

 

3) Quick Cooking Brown Rice

success-brown-rice-product-detail-page

My favorite kind of rice, is basmati brown rice. I love the taste and the aroma, especially when it is cooking. It smells like popcorn popping. However, I do not always have the 40 minutes to prepare the basmati brown rice from scratch. Nor do I always have some cooked up ahead of time. The solution, is anyone of the varieties available of “quick cooking” brown rice. While I do not usually like to promote a specific brand, one brand that I do prefer is Success Quick Cooking Brown Rice.  This brand and variety has to be the simplest and easiest version of quick cooking brown rice ever invented. Many other versions require the measurement of water and rice (which can be troublesome for some). :)  However, with this version all you do is place a pre-measured bag in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes and wah-lah! perfect brown rice. For those of you who want to avoid using the plastic bag, just remove the rice from it and cook in boiling water.  You can now also get frozen pre-cooked whole grain brown rice that is quick and simple to prepare.

4) No Salt Added Shelf-Stable Beans

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Next to green leafy veggies and vegetables, beans may be one of the most nutrient rich foods there is. They are rich in nutrients and fiber, very filling and relatively low in calorie density. The problem with beans for many of us is that most beans can take hours to cook and most canned beans are extremely high in sodium. So, for those in a hurry, the solution is to buy no salt added shelf-stable beans.  One of my favorites is Eden Foods No Salt Added Canned Beans. There are about 12 varieties of beans available from them, including Kidney, Black, Garbanzo, Pinto,  Adzuki, etc. Not only are they available online, and in health food stores, I also find most local grocery stores are now carrying them. Just open a can and add them to your favorite dish, recipe or meal. These are one of the main ingredients in my Basic Recipes. Again, while I do not like to promote a specific brand, Eden Foods canned beans are one of the best out there and they are also the only canned bean that is BPA free.  There are also now a few varieties of no-salt added, organic beans that are packed in an aseptic shelf-stable container that are sold by Fig Foods and by Whole Foods.

5) No Salt Added Shelf-Stable Tomato Products

 

images (45)Tomatoes make a great base for many dressings, sauces, soups and meals (i.e., stews, chili’s, etc). However, good fresh tomatoes are not always available year round and some of the one that are available in the off-season are literally tasteless. In addition, while there are some canned varieties that are salt free, most canned tomato products are extremely high in sodium and contain BPA.  However, one brand I prefer is POMI brand tomato products as they are both salt free, shelf stable and BPA free. While these tomato product could never substitute for a fresh “in season” tomato on a salad, they can help make excellent soups, sauces, and meals when fresh tomatoes are out of season or when you are in a pinch. These are one of the main ingredients in my Basic Recipes. If you can’t find POMI Tomatoes, look for any brand of no salt added canned tomatoes.

6) Intact Whole Grains (Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, etc)

Whole grains that are consumed in their “intact” form are low in calorie density, high in satiety, nutrient rich and shelf stable. They are easy to cook (just add water) and can be the base of many healthy meals and dishes. They also make great additions to soups and salads. Oatmeal, buckwheat, and barley all make a great breakfast and a great way to start the day. Brown rice, cracked wheat, quinoa, and/or millet mixed with vegetables make a great meal, side dish and or salad. My favorites are the ones that I can cook from start to end in 10 minutes. These include oats, buckwheat, quinoa and millet.

7) Whole Grain Pasta

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The problem with many whole grain processed products (like bread, dry cereals, bagels, crackers and tortilla’s) is that even though they are whole grain, they are still calorie dense. The only exception is whole grain pasta. The reason is, when you cook whole grain pasta, it absorbs some of the water it is cooked in, which is absorbed into the structure of the pasta, lowering its calorie density. Foods with high water content, are lower in calorie density and generally higher in satiety.

So, unlike most processed whole grains, which have a calorie density of 1200-1800 calories per pound, the calorie density of most cooked whole grain pasta is the same as most intact whole grains and starchy vegetables, which is around 500-600 calories per pound. It is also very quick and easy to cook and can be ready in around 10 minutes. Mix in some fresh or frozen vegetables, some no salt added tomatoes and some fresh spices and you have a healthy, nutritious and filling meal.

8) Dried Fruit

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Dried fruit is natures candy. Unlike fresh fruit, it is shelf stable and will not spoil easily. Adding small amounts of dried fruit to dishes can add both nutrition and sweetness. A few raisins or dates can really sweeten up a bowl of fruit and they also go great in a bowl of whole grain cereal like oatmeal or as part of a dessert like baked apples. In addition, they make great additions by adding a little sweetness to a large vegetables salad, or even some cooked dishes like stews and rice.

However, due their high calorie density, go easy on them and think of them more as a condiment.  Dried fruit is around 1200 calorie per pound where is most fresh fruit is under 300 calories per pound

Grapes 300 cal/lbs

Raisins 1357 cal/lb

Plumes 200 cal/lb

Prunes 1100 cal/lb

9) Unsalted Raw Nuts/Seeds and Nut/Seed Butter

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Raw nuts and seeds, and the “butters” made from them, are rich in nutrients especially minerals. A few of them, like walnuts and flax seeds are also excellent sources of the omega 3 essential fat. They are also shelf stable and will not spoil easily. They can add creaminess and texture to some home made dressings and dips/spreads and/or soups. I sometimes make a salad dressing that is made from a little tahini (sesame seed butter) mixed with lemon and water. I also add a small amount of tahini to blended garbanzo beans to add some texture to my homemade hummus.

However, due to their extremely high calorie density, go very easy on them especially if weight is an issue for you. In general, I recommend consuming no more than 1-2 oz a day at most. If you are struggling with your weight, I recommend either eliminating them or limiting them even more, to no more than 1oz, 2-5x a week. And, when you do use them, make sure you mix them with something low in calorie density, like vegetables or fruits.

10) Salt Free Spices/Seasonings/Herbs

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As you decrease the amount of salt, sugar and oil in your diet, you will begin to appreciate the wonderful natural flavors of food. However, some people still like to add a little “spice” to their life. Fortunately, there are many salt-free spices, seasonings and blends available. Probably the most popular one is Mrs. Dash, which has many varieties available. In addition, for those of you who are not a chef and not familiar with the different flavor combination’s of spices, you can now buy many salt free blends that can help. There are pre-mixed blends of salt-free Italian, Mexican, Indian, Southern and many other blends available.

There you go. My favorite 10 packaged staple foods that are not only good for you and can be included as part of a healthy diet. And in fact, keeping some of them around and on hand, can actually make following a healthy diet, easier.

Enjoy!

In Health

Jeff

PS, shortly after writing the original version of this article, I saw a discussion of dehydrated foods. I would now include these in my list as that can be a valuable addition to keep around. However, I want to keep my list at 10 :)  Maybe I will add it into the Dried Fruit point and change it to Dried and dehydrated fruits, vegetables and other foods.

Leave a comment and tell us what your favorite plant-strong packaged food is and you will be entered to win the entire collection of Mrs. Dash salt free spice blends!

The 9 Healthy Foods to Avoid for Your Health

By Dr. Mercola

Many foods have been heavily promoted as being healthy when they are nothing more than pernicious junk foods. In the featured article, Clean Plates1 founder Jared Koch shared his list of nine staple foods that are far less “good for you” than you’ve been led to believe.

Here, I expand on the selections that are mentioned in the featured article.

1. Canned Tomatoes

Many leading brands of canned foods contain BPA — a toxic chemical linked to reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems. According to Consumer Reports’ testing, just a couple of servings of canned food can exceed the safety limits for daily BPA exposure for children.

High acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes – causes BPA to leach into your food. To avoid this hazardous chemical, avoid canned foods entirely and stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, or switch over to brands that use glass containers instead—especially for acidic foods like tomatoes.

2. Processed Meats

As Koch warns, processed deli meats like salami, ham, and roast beef are typically made with meats from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

This means they’re given growth hormones, antibiotics and other veterinary drugs, and raised in deplorable conditions that promote disease, these meats are also filled with sodium nitrite (a commonly used preservative and antimicrobial agent that also adds color and flavor) and other chemical flavorings and dyes.

Nitrites can be converted into nitrosamines in your body, which are potent cancer-causing chemicals. Research has linked nitrites to higher rates of colorectal, stomach and pancreatic cancer. But that’s not all. Most processed deli meats also contain other cancer-promoting chemicals that are created during cooking. These include:

  • Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs) which are hazardous compounds created in meats and other foods that have been cooked at high temperatures. According to research, processed meats are clearly associated with an increased risk of stomach, colon and breast cancers.
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): Many processed meats are smoked as part of the curing process, which causes PAHs to form. PAHs can also form when grilling. When fat drips onto the heat source, causing excess smoke, and the smoke surrounds your food, it can transfer cancer-causing PAHs to the meat.
  • Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures—including when it is pasteurized or sterilized—it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

The truth is, processed meats are not a healthful choice for anyone and should be avoided entirely, according to a 2011 review of more than 7,000 clinical studies examining the connection between diet and cancer. The report was commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund2 (WCRF) using money raised from the general public. Therefore the findings were not influenced by any vested interests, which makes it all the more reliable.

It’s the biggest review of the evidence ever undertaken, and it confirms previous findings: Processed meats increase your risk of cancer, especially bowel cancer, and NO amount of processed meat is “safe.” You’re far better off ditching the deli meats and opting instead for fresh organically-raised grass-fed meats, or wild caught salmon.

3. Margarine

The unfortunate result of the low-fat diet craze has been the shunning of healthful fats such as butter, and public health has declined as a result of this folly. There are a myriad of unhealthy components to margarine and other butter impostors, including:

  • Trans fats: These unnatural fats in margarine, shortenings and spreads are formed during the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oils into a solid fat. Trans fats contribute to heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin disease; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy and problems with lactation; and low birth weight, growth problems and learning disabilities in children. A US government panel of scientists determined that man-made trans fats are unsafe at any level.
  • Free radicals: Free radicals and other toxic breakdown products are the result of high temperature industrial processing of vegetable oils. They contribute to numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
  • Emulsifiers and preservatives: Numerous additives of questionable safety are added to margarines and spreads. Most vegetable shortening is stabilized with preservatives like BHT.
  • Hexane and other solvents: Used in the extraction process, these industrial chemicals can have toxic effects.

Good-old-fashioned butter, when made from grass-fed cows, is rich in a substance called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is not only known to help fight cancer and diabetes, it may even help you to lose weight, which cannot be said for its trans-fat substitutes. Much of the reason why butter is vilified is because it contains saturated fat. If you’re still in the mindset that saturated fat is harmful for your health, then please read the Healthy Fats section of my Optimized Nutrition Plan to learn why saturated fat is actually good for you.

4. Vegetable Oils

Of all the destructive foods available to us, those made with heated vegetable oils are some of the worst. Make no mistake about it–vegetable oils are not the health food that you were lead to believe they were. This is largely due to the fact that they are highly processed, and when consumed in massive amounts, as they are by most Americans, they seriously distort the important omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Ideally, this ratio is 1:1.

Anytime you cook a food, you run the risk of creating heat-induced damage. The oils you choose to cook with must be stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or you run the risk of damaging your health. One of the ways vegetable oils can inflict damage is by converting your good cholesterol into bad cholesterol—by oxidizing it. When you cook with polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as canola, corn, and soy oils), oxidized cholesterol is introduced into your system.

As the oil is heated and mixed with oxygen, it goes rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil and should NOT be consumed—it leads directly to vascular disease. Trans-fats are introduced when these oils are hydrogenated, which increases your risk of chronic diseases like breast cancer and heart disease.

So what’s the best oil to cook with?

Of all the available oils, coconut oil is the oil of choice for cooking because it is nearly a completely saturated fat, which means it is much less susceptible to heat damage. And coconut oil is one of the most unique and beneficial fats for your body. For more in-depth information about the many benefits of coconut oil, please see this special report. Olive oil, while certainly a healthful oil, is easily damaged by heat and is best reserved for drizzling cold over salad.

5. Microwave Popcorn

Perfluoroalkyls, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), are chemicals used to keep grease from leaking through fast food wrappers, are being ingested by people through their food and showing up as contaminants in blood. Microwave popcorn bags are lined with PFOA, and when they are heated the compound leaches onto the popcorn.

These chemicals are part of an expanding group of chemicals commonly referred to as “gender-bending” chemicals, because they can disrupt your endocrine system and affect your sex hormones. The EPA has ruled PFCs as “likely carcinogens,” and has stated that PFOA “poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans.” Researchers have also linked various PFCs to a range of other health dangers, such as:

  • Infertility — A study published in the journal Human Reproduction3 found that both PFOA and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), dramatically increased the odds of infertility. PFOA was linked to a 60 to 154 percent increase in the chance of infertility.
  • Thyroid disease — A 2010 study4 found that PFOA can damage your thyroid function. Individuals with the highest PFOA concentrations were more than twice as likely to report current thyroid disease, compared to those with the lowest PFOA concentrations. Your thyroid contains thyroglobulin protein, which binds to iodine to form hormones, which in turn influence essentially every organ, tissue and cell in your body. Thyroid hormones are also required for growth and development in children. Thyroid disease, if left untreated, can lead to heart disease, infertility, muscle weakness, and osteoporosis.
  • Cancer — PFOA has been associated with tumors in at least four different organs in animal tests (liver, pancreas, testicles and mammary glands in rats), and has been associated with increases in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers.
  • Immune system problems — Several studies by scientists in Sweden indicate that PFCs have an adverse effect on your immune system. As described in a report on PFCs by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), PFOA was found to decrease all immune cell subpopulations studied, in the thymus and spleen, and caused immunosupression.
  • Increased LDL cholesterol levels – A 2010 study in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine5 found that children and teens with higher PFOA levels had higher levels of total cholesterol and LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while PFOS was associated with increased total cholesterol, including both LDL cholesterol and HDL or “good” cholesterol.

I strongly recommend avoiding any product you know containing these toxic compounds, particularly non-stick cookware, but also foods sold in grease-proof food packaging, such as fast food and microwave popcorn. Clearly, if you’re eating fast food or junk food, PFCs from the wrapper may be the least of your problems, but I think it’s still important to realize that not only are you not getting proper nutrition from the food itself, the wrappers may also add to your toxic burden.

6. Non-Organic Potatoes and Other Fresh Produce Known for High Pesticide Contamination

Your best bet is to buy only organic fruits and vegetables, as synthetic agricultural chemicals are not permissible under the USDA organic rules. That said, not all conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are subjected to the same amount of pesticide load. While Koch focuses on potatoes, as they tend to take up a lot of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals present in the soil, I would recommend reviewing the “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce”6 by the Environmental Working Group.

Of the 48 different fruit and vegetable categories tested by the EWG for the 2013 guide, the following 15 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organically:

            Apples Celery Cherry tomatoes
Cucumbers Grapes Hot peppers
Nectarines (imported) Peaches Potatoes
Spinach Strawberries Sweet bell peppers
Kale Collard greens Summer squash

 

In contrast, the following foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load, making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables. Note that a small amount of sweet corn and most Hawaiian papaya, although low in pesticides, are genetically engineered (GE). If you’re unsure of whether the sweet corn or papaya is GE, I’d recommend opting for organic varieties:

Asparagus Avocado Cabbage
Cantaloupe Sweet corn (non-GMO) Eggplant
Grapefruit Kiwi Mango
Mushrooms Onions Papayas (non-GMO. Most Hawaiian papaya is GMO)
Pineapple Sweet peas (frozen) Sweet potatoes

7. Table Salt

Salt is essential for life—you cannot live without it. However, regular ‘table salt’ and the salt found in processed foods are NOT identical to the salt your body really needs. In fact, table salt has practically nothing in common with natural salt. One is health damaging, and the other is healing.

  • Processed salt is 98 percent sodium chloride, and the remaining two percent comprises man-made chemicals, such as moisture absorbents, and a little added iodine. These are dangerous chemicals like ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate. Some European countries, where water fluoridation is not practiced, also add fluoride to table salt
  • Natural salt is about 84 percent sodium chloride. The remaining 16 percent of natural salt consists of other naturally occurring minerals, including trace minerals like silicon, phosphorous and vanadium

Given that salt is absolutely essential to good health, I recommend switching to a pure, unrefined salt. My favorite is an ancient, all-natural sea salt from the Himalayas. Himalayan salt is completely pure, having spent many thousands of years maturing under extreme tectonic pressure, far away from impurities, so it isn’t polluted with the heavy metals and industrial toxins of today. And it’s hand-mined, hand-washed, and minimally processed. Himalayan salt is only 85 percent sodium chloride, the remaining 15 percent contains 84 trace minerals from our prehistoric seas. Unrefined natural salt is important to many biological processes, including:

  • Being a major component of your blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular fluid, and even amniotic fluid
  • Carrying nutrients into and out of your cells
  • Maintain and regulate blood pressure
  • Increasing the glial cells in your brain, which are responsible for creative thinking and long-term planning
  • Helping your brain communicate with your muscles, so that you can move on demand via sodium-potassium ion exchange

While natural unprocessed salt has many health benefits, that does not mean you should use it with impunity. Another important factor is the potassium to sodium ratio of your diet. Imbalance in this ratio can not only lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) and other health problems, including heart disease, memory decline, erectile dysfunction and more. The easiest way to avoid this imbalance is by avoiding processed foods, which are notoriously low in potassium while high in sodium. Instead, eat a diet of whole, ideally organically-grown foods to ensure optimal nutrient content. This type of diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium.

8. Soy Protein Isolate and Other Unfermented Soy Products

Sadly, most of what you have been led to believe by the media about soy is simply untrue. One of the worst problems with soy comes from the fact that 90 to 95 percent of soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered (GE), and these are used to create soy protein isolate. Genetically engineered soybeans are designed to be “Roundup ready,” which means they’re engineered to withstand otherwise lethal doses of herbicide.

The active ingredient in Roundup herbicide is called glyphosate, which is responsible for the disruption of the delicate hormonal balance of the female reproductive cycle. What’s more, glyphosate is toxic to the placenta, which is responsible for delivering vital nutrients from mother to child, and eliminating waste products. Once the placenta has been damaged or destroyed, the result can be miscarriage. In those children born to mothers who have been exposed to even a small amount of glyphosate, serious birth defects can result.

Glyphosate’s mechanism of harm was only recently identified, and demonstrates how this chemical disrupts cellular function and induce many of our modern diseases, including autism. Soy protein isolate can be found in protein bars, meal replacement shakes, bottled fruit drinks, soups and sauces, meat analogs, baked goods, breakfast cereals and some dietary supplements.

Even if you are not a vegetarian and do not use soymilk or tofu, it is important to be a serious label reader. There are so many different names for soy additives, you could be bringing home a genetically modified soy-based product without even realizing it. Soy expert Dr. Kaayla Daniel offers a free Special Report7, “Where the Soys Are,” on her Web site. It lists the many “aliases” that soy might be hiding under in ingredient lists — words like “bouillon,” “natural flavor” and “textured plant protein.”

Besides soy protein isolate, ALL unfermented soy products are best avoided if you value your health. Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.

The only soy with health benefits is organic soy that has been properly fermented, and these are the only soy products I ever recommend consuming. After a long fermentation process, the phytate and “anti-nutrient” levels of soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system. To learn more, please see this previous article detailing the dangers of unfermented soy.

9. Artificial Sweeteners

Contrary to popular belief, studies have found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame can stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain. In one of the most recent of such studies8, saccharin and aspartame were found to cause greater weight gain than sugar.

Aspartame is perhaps one of the most problematic. It is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness. That phenylalanine methyl bond, called a methyl ester, is very weak, which allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol.

You may have heard the claim that aspartame is harmless because methanol is also found in fruits and vegetables. However, in fruits and vegetables, the methanol is firmly bonded to pectin, allowing it to be safely passed through your digestive tract. Not so with the methanol created by aspartame; there it’s not bonded to anything that can help eliminate it from your body.

Methanol acts as a Trojan horse; it’s carried into susceptible tissues in your body, like your brain and bone marrow, where the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzyme converts it into formaldehyde, which wreaks havoc with sensitive proteins and DNA. All animals EXCEPT HUMANS have a protective mechanism that allows methanol to be broken down into harmless formic acid. This is why toxicology testing on animals is a flawed model. It doesn’t fully apply to people.

Guidelines for Healthy Food

Whatever food you’re looking to eat, whether organic or locally grown, from either your local supermarket or a farmer’s market, the following are signs of a high-quality, healthy food. Most often, the best place to find these foods is from a sustainable agricultural group in your area. You can also review my free nutrition plan to get started on a healthy eating program today:

  • It’s grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)
  • It’s not genetically engineered
  • It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
  • It does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives
  • It is fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may still be the better option as freshness is important for optimal nutrient content)
  • It was not grown in a factory farm
  • It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)
  • It is grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)

Cholesterol or Inflammation: Which is More Detrimental for Your Heart?

This was a very interesting article to me because when my husband had his triple bypass surgery, the doctor said one of the factors that could have caused this was Inflammation. Thank you, Cherie Calbom -The Juice Lady.

More people are telling me that their cholesterol numbers are too high for their age when they’re only around 180 to 190. This used to be considered very good. And as a person ages it used to be that the number went up to something around 220. Now the number has gone down to somewhere between 160 and 170. This is very suspect considering the facts. It’s time to know the truth about cholesterol.

Some time ago I wrote an article on fats and oils where I discussed the cholesterol myth. Heart surgeon Dwight Lundell, MD confirmed that information. He states, “the recommendations regarding lowering cholesterol are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.”

He adds that the long-established dietary recommendations of the no-fat or low-fat diet have created epidemics of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Though 25 percent of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before. And statistics show that as many people die of heart disease that have low cholesterol as those that have high cholesterol. We need to ask why we keep using this protocol when it isn’t working.

Inflammation–The True Cause of Heart Disease

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol will accumulate in the walls of the blood vessels and cause heart disease and strokes.  Without inflammation, cholesterol will move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped and collect in blood vessels.

Inflammation is your body’s natural defense response to a foreign invaders such as a bacteria, toxins or viruses.  The cycle of inflammation protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders.  However, if you chronically expose your body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process, chronic inflammation occurs. Chronic inflammation is as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

Though few people deliberately expose themselves repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body, with the exception of smoking, many people do this by simply following the recommended mainstream diet that is low in animal fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and refined carbohydrates. This causes repeated injury to our blood vessels and creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

The biggest culprits of chronic inflammation include an overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils that include soybean, corn safflower, and sunflower that are found in many processed foods, salad dressings, mayonnaise, fried foods, and snack foods. Also, smoking causes inflammation and injury to blood vessels

Dr. Lundell says, “Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding.  If you kept this up several times a day, every day for years, what do you think would happen? If you could tolerate the pain, you would have a bleeding, swollen, infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.”

Dr. Lundell adds, “Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. [This happens because] several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.”

Foods loaded with sugars, simple carbohydrates that turn to sugar easily, and foods processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone by creating an inflammatory condition. How does eating a simple sweet roll, a dish of pasta, or a bowl of ice cream create a cascade of inflammation to injure your arteries and make you sick?

Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, or feel it, the damage is still occurring. Dr. Lundell said he saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years of practice, who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.

When you look at sweet rolls, donuts, or commercially baked cookies, those innocent looking goodies not only contains sugars, they are baked in one of the many omega-6 oils such as soybean, corn, sunflower, or safflower oil. Chips and fries are soaked in omega-6 oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6’s are essential –they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell — they should be in their whole state as found in seeds or vegetables and must be in the correct balance of 3:1 omega-6 and omega-3 fats.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive amounts of omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation. The American diet has a significant imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

What can you do to turn off inflammation in your body? Eat whole foods in their natural state. Choose only carbohydrates that are complex such as fruits and vegetables. Juice every day and include ginger root–an anti-inflammatory ingredient. Omit sugar and all sweets; use only stevia as a sweetener. And, use only virgin, organic coconut oil, olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.

Animal fats contain less than 20 percent omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. The “science” that saturated fat alone causes heart disease doesn’t exist. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. “Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today,” says Dr. Lundell.

The cholesterol theory that led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease, obesity, and other silent killers. By eliminating inflammatory foods, juicing fresh vegetables and including ginger root, and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.