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.

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Published in: on July 17, 2013 at 7:51 pm  Comments (2)  
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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.

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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

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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.

Greek Yogurt Produces Toxic Waste

Whey Too Much: Greek Yogurt’s Dark Side

Greek yogurt is a booming $2 billion a year industry — and it’s producing millions of pounds of waste that industry insiders are scrambling to figure out what to do with.

By Justin Elliott on May 22, 2013

Twice a day, seven days a week, a tractor trailer carrying 8,000 gallons of watery, cloudy slop rolls past the bucolic countryside, finally arriving at Neil Rejman’s dairy farm in upstate New York. The trucks are coming from the Chobani plant two hours east of Rejman’s Sunnyside Farms, and they’re hauling a distinctive byproduct of the Greek yogurt making process—acid whey.

For every three or four ounces of milk, Chobani and other companies can produce only one ounce of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey. It’s a thin, runny waste product that can’t simply be dumped. Not only would that be illegal, but whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers. That could turn a waterway into what one expert calls a “dead sea,” destroying aquatic life over potentially large areas. Spills of cheese whey, a cousin of Greek yogurt whey, have killed tens of thousands of fish around the country in recent years.

The scale of the problem—or opportunity, depending on who you ask—is daunting. The $2 billion Greek yogurt market has become one of the biggest success stories in food over the past few years and total yogurt production in New York nearly tripled between 2007 and 2013. New plants continue to open all over the country. The Northeast alone, led by New York, produced more than 150 million gallons of acid whey last year, according to one estimate.

And as the nation’s hunger grows for strained yogurt, which produces more byproduct than traditional varieties, the issue of its acid runoff becomes more pressing. Greek yogurt companies, food scientists, and state government officials are scrambling not just to figure out uses for whey, but how to make a profit off of it.

A cow munches on feed mixed with acid whey.

A cow munches on feed mixed with acid whey.

Chobani is so desperate to get rid of the whey, they pay farmers to take it off their hands.

Rejman, a blonde-haired 37-year-old, and third-generation dairy farmer with a Cornell animal science degree, started accepting the stuff a few years ago after a Chobani representative called him out of the blue.

Rejman’s workers take the shipments and try to find uses for the whey: mix it with silage to feed to the farm’s 3,300 cows; combine it with manure in a giant pit for fertilizer; and even convert some into biogas to make electricity.

‘How do you handle all the whey without screwing up the environment?’

But it’s not so easy to integrate acid whey into the workings of the farm. The silage Rejman feeds his cows, for example, can only soak up so much before becoming unmanageable slop — “like dropping water on your pizza,” he says. It’s also sort of like feeding your cows candy bars — they like it, but shouldn’t eat too much or it upsets their digestive system. It’s a problem that Rejman admits defies easy solutions. “How do you handle all the whey without screwing up the environment?”

The root of the whey problem is the very process that gives Greek yogurt its high protein content and lush mouthfeel.

Unlike traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt is strained after cultures have been added to milk. In home kitchens, this can be done with a cloth. Greek yogurt companies still throw around the term “strained,” but in reality industrial operations typically remove the whey with mechanical separators that use centrifugal force.

The resulting whey is roughly as acidic as orange juice. It’s almost entirely made up of water, but scientists studying the whey say it contains five to eight percent other materials: mostly lactose, or milk sugar; some minerals; and a very small amount of proteins.

Greek yogurt companies trying to keep up with exploding consumer demand in the last few years didn’t have a good plan to deal with the ocean of whey they were producing. Now they’re racing to find solutions, all the while keeping mum about the results, if there are any: the yogurt industry is highly secretive and competitive.

There are no industry-wide statistics on where all the whey is going, but a typical option is paying to have it hauled to farms near the yogurt factories. There, it is often mixed into feed or fertilizer. Chobani, for example, says more than 70 percent of its whey ends up as a supplement for livestock feed.

But there is another possible consumer — babies.

“Because the Greek yogurt production grew so rapidly, no one really had the time to step back and look at the other viable options,” says Dave Barbano, a dairy scientist at Cornell.

State and industry officials reached out to Barbano last year following the first-ever Yogurt Summit, convened by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Barbano, who specializes in filtration methods for separation and recovery of protein, has his sights set on the tiny amount of protein in acid whey. He believes it might be usable as an infant formula ingredient. But first Barbano has to figure out how to extract the protein in a cost-effective way, and his research is just getting underway.

The concept is roughly modeled on the success that cheese-makers have had selling products derived from their own byproduct — sweet whey. Sweet whey is more valuable and easier to handle than acid whey, as it has a lot more protein, and is easier to dry because it isn’t as acidic as Greek yogurt whey. Cheese-makers have developed a lucrative business selling whey protein for use in body-building supplements and as a food ingredient. And Greek yogurt makers are eager to follow suit.

“There are a lot of people coming in and out of New York state looking at whether this is a good opportunity for investment,” Barbano says.

While Barbano focuses on proteins, researchers in Wisconsin are studying how to extract whey’s dominant ingredient: sugar.

Scientists at the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, have been experimenting for nearly a year on how to get edible-grade lactose out of acid whey. Such lactose is valuable as an ingredient in things like icing and as a browning agent in bread. “It’s kind of like oil refining: from crude oil you get gas and diesel and other products,” says Dean Sommer, a food technologist at the center. “This is the same concept. You figure out what’s in there and how to grab it and get value out of it.”

Sommer wouldn’t describe the filtration process to extract lactose because the industry-financed research is proprietary. But he believes some third-party companies are now considering building plants to convert acid whey into lactose.

Neil Rejman, an Upstate New York dairy farmer, stands before a lagoon of manure mixed with acid whey. This slurry will be turned in to energy by a machine called an 'anaerobic digester.'

Neil Rejman, an Upstate New York dairy farmer, stands before a lagoon of manure mixed with acid whey. This slurry has passed through a system called an ‘anaerobic digester,’ which converted some of it into electricity.

Meanwhile, back at Rejman’s farm in Scipio Center, N.Y., they’re converting the lactose into methane that can generate electricity.

When the whey arrives from Chobani, some of it is mixed with the vast quantity of manure the farm produces daily. From the manure pit, the light brown soup (basically a river of shit) flows into a 16-foot-deep underground concrete tank known as an anaerobic digester. An innocent looking expanse of cement in a big, green field dotted with dandelions, there’s a lot going on inside, where a fetid mix of manure and whey percolate.

The material is heated up and kept in the tank for about 20 days, during which time bacteria break up the organic material — the lactose, in the case of whey — and release gases, including methane. The gas is fed into generators that produce electricity to power the farm and to sell to the local utility for use elsewhere.

But the setup, which Rejman and his brother had installed five years ago, required a big capital investment that would be out of reach for small farms. It cost $4.5 million, $1 million of which the Rejmans got back through a state subsidy.

Rejman's anaerobic digester.

Rejman’s anaerobic digester.

They primarily built the digester for what Rejman calls “odor control” for their neighbors, as digested manure smells much less than the raw stuff (“You ever take a shit in the toilet and leave it in there?” Rejman asks, by way of explanation.) The whey is an afterthought. In any case, just 20 of New York’s the state’s 5,200 dairy farms have an operating digester, according to Curt Gooch, a waste management engineer at Cornell.

And if any of the big yogurt companies have come up with a better whey solution, they’re being cagey about it. “We are currently exploring other options for our whey, but nothing we are ready to discuss at this time,” says Chobani spokeswoman Lindsay Kos. Dannon spokesman Michael Neuwirth says the company is looking at the nutritional possibilities of whey, but “we don’t have any plans to announce at this point.”

Home Greek yogurt makers have experimented with using whey in baking and pickling. But no one expects a bread or pickle factory to be able to absorb tens of millions of gallons of it.

Meanwhile, the tidal wave of acid whey is not slowing down. As one producer said at New York’s Yogurt Summit: “If we can figure out how to handle acid whey, we’ll become a hero.”

Is Popcorn Giving You Heart Disease?

Prevention Magazine had this article about popcorn. It is very interesting especially when you read what can be causing this. Another one of those things of us trying to stay Healthy in an Unhealthy world!

 

Is popcorn giving you heart  disease?

By Holland Taylor

Published May 12, 2013

Prevention Magazine

  • Popcorn for the movies.jpg
     

Oh, great. Just when you were starting to get a handle on your BPA exposure,  scientists uncover a new one you should worry about. 

It’s called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)—a chemical found in things like  nonstick cookware, food wrappers, furniture, and even raincoats—and it’s been  linked to cardiovascular disease, according to a new study. 

The kicker? A full 98 percent of us have PFOA in our bloodstreams. (Protect  your body’s most important muscle with these tips to Strengthen Your Heart in 30  Days.)

Researchers from West Virginia University (WVU) School of Public Health,  Morgantown, looked at the health data of 1,200 Americans and compared their PFOA  serum levels with the incidence of heart disease. The results: The greater the  amounts of PFOA in the bloodstream, the greater the risk of cardiovascular  disease—regardless of factors like age, race, smoking, BMI, diabetes, and even  hypertension. While previous research has linked PFOA to cardiovascular disease  in animals, this is the first to look at PFOA’s heart effect on humans.

Scary? You bet. But more research needs to be done to determine the specific  relationship between PFOA and cardiovascular disease. 

“We can’t yet be certain that PFOA causes heart disease,” says lead study  author Dr. Anoop Shankar, chair of the department of epidemiology in the WVU  School of Public Health. “The two could be related in another way, like people  with cardiovascular disease tending to retain more PFOA in their blood.”  (Minimize your exposure to harsh chemicals with these 19 Bizarre Home Remedies That Really  Work.)

Still, PFOA’s track record isn’t exactly reassuring. Health watchdogs like  the Environmental Working Group—which annually puts out the Dirty Dozen Foods You Should Eat  Organic—cite  research that suggests PFOA may be a human carcinogen, and previous research has  linked the chemical to chronic kidney disease and high cholesterol in children  and adolescents. It’s also a significant source of global chemical emissions—so  much so that the EPA partnered with major manufacturers like DuPont and 3M to  form the 2010/2015 PFOA Stewardship Program, which plans to eliminate PFOAs from  the manufacturers’ products by 2015.

Until then, you can minimize your exposure to the chemical by steering clear  of two of the biggest sources: nonstick cookware and packaged foods like  microwave popcorn. According to the FDA, many popcorn bags contain especially  high levels of PFOAs. (Popcorn addict? Avoid chemicals, calories, and sodium  with these tips to prepare the perfect bowl of  popcorn at home.)

Read more:  http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/12/is-popcorn-giving-heart-disease/?intcmp=HPBucket#ixzz2T5B8MHFQ

This Will make You Never Eat ground Turkey Again.

The Consumer Magazine is coming out in June and this is a featured article. It is sickening! Be Prepared. One more thing as we try and stay Healthy in Unhealthy World!     

Consumer Reports investigation: Talking turkey

Our new tests show reasons for concern

Consumer Reports magazine: June 2013
 
From barn to burger  |  A need for stricter limits  |  What you can do
 In our first-ever lab analysis of ground turkey bought at retail stores nationwide, more than half of the packages of raw ground meat and patties tested positive for fecal bacteria. Some samples harbored other germs, including salmonella and staphylococcus aureus, two of the leading causes of foodborne illness in the U.S. Overall, 90 percent of the samples had one or more of the five bacteria for which we tested.

Adding to the concern, almost all of the disease-causing organisms in our 257 samples proved resistant to one or more of the antibiotics commonly used to fight them. Turkeys (and other food animals, including chickens and pigs) are given antibiotics to treat acute illness; but healthy animals may also get drugs daily in their food and water to boost their rate of weight gain and to prevent disease. Many of the drugs are similar to antibiotics important in human medicine.

That practice, especially prevalent at large feedlots and mass-production facilities, is speeding the growth of drug-resistant superbugs, a serious health concern. People sickened by those bacteria might need to try several antibiotics before one succeeds. (Related: Read “Has Your Steak Been Mechanically Tenderized?” That report details a process that can drive bacteria like the deadly pathogen E. coli O157:H7 from the surface deep into the center of the meat.)

Among our findings:

  • Sixty-nine percent of ground-turkey samples harbored enterococcus, and 60 percent harbored Escherichia coli. Those bugs are associated with fecal contamination. About 80 percent of the enterococcus bacteria were resistant to three or more groups of closely related antibiotics (or classes), as were more than half of the E. coli.
  • Three samples were contaminated with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can cause fatal infections.
  • Ground turkey labeled “no antibiotics,” “organic,” or “raised without antibiotics” was as likely to harbor bacteria as products without those claims. (After all, even meat from organic birds can pick up bacteria during slaughter or processing.) The good news is that bacteria on those products were much less likely to be antibiotic-­resistant superbugs.
        
From barn to burger

Conventionally raised turkeys are fed mostly corn and soybean meal plus a vitamin and mineral supplement. They usually get FDA-approved antibiotics that may be given in low doses without a prescription. Before the birds are killed, antibiotics must be withdrawn to ensure that residues clear from the birds’ systems.

But harm may already have been done. Although the antibiotics eventually kill off vulnerable barnyard bugs, bacteria that are immune to their effects can flourish and spread. They can exchange genetic material with other bugs, further accelerating antibiotic resistance. And bacteria on turkeys can develop resistance to similar drugs that aren’t even given to turkeys.

Some bacteria that end up on ground turkey, including E. coli and staph aureus, can cause not only food poisoning but also urinary, bloodstream, and other infections.

Antibiotics aren’t allowed in turkeys labeled “organic,” “no antibiotics,” or  “raised without antibiotics.” (Sick birds may be treated, but they’re then sold to non­organic markets.) Organic birds must eat only certified organic feed and pasture, which means no genetically modified organisms; and production of those birds must not contribute to contamination of soil or water. Producers of organic and free-range turkeys must demonstrate to the Department of Agriculture that they’ve allowed birds “access to the outside,” though that phrase is not specifically defined and some birds may not venture outdoors.

Such steps are among the requirements for raising a food animal sustainably—without drugs and in a way that’s more healthful for animals and people.

Indeed, when we focused on antibiotic use, our analysis showed that bacteria on turkey labeled “no antibiotics” or “organic” were resistant to significantly fewer antibiotics than bacteria on conventional turkey. We also found much more resistance to classes of antibiotics approved for use in turkey production than to those not approved for such use. Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, believes that the FDA should ban all antibiotics in animal production except to treat illness.

 

A need for stricter limits

When any food animal is slaughtered, the bacteria that normally live in its gut without causing harm can wind up on its carcass. To limit contamination, federal law requires processors to create a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plan. For turkey processors, HACCP includes steps for washing and chilling carcasses throughout processing to reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and contamination of the finished product.

But HACCP doesn’t require eradication of harmful bacteria. In fact, salmonella is permitted in up to half of the ground-­turkey samples that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) tests at processors’ plants. And bugs that remain can keep growing until the turkey is cooked.

                            The current salmonella standard isn’t strict enough. The USDA should allow no more than 12% contamination in ground-­turkey samples.    

In 2011 Cargill Value Added Meats Retail announced two voluntary recalls of a total of 36 million pounds of conventionally raised ground turkey—among the largest recalls of poultry meat in U.S. history—due to possible contamination with a resistant strain of salmonella Heidelberg. The superbug was traced to a Cargill establishment in Springdale, Ark. In all, 136 people fell ill during that outbreak, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and one of those victims died.

“As we’ve publicly stated over the past year and a half, no stone was left unturned in our efforts to determine the originating source of salmonella Heidelberg associated with the ground-turkey recalls, yet to this day we do not know the origin of the bacteria linked to outbreak of illnesses,” said Mike Robach, vice president of corporate food safety and regulatory affairs for Cargill in Minneapolis. He provided a long list of steps that Cargill has taken since the outbreak to make its ground turkey safer.

In the wake of the recalls, the FSIS required all ground-poultry processors to review and update their safety procedures, paying special attention to the sanitation of equipment. The agency told us that it also plans to conduct a risk assessment of sal­monella and campylobacter (another food-poisoning bacterium) in ground-turkey products. The goal: a new standard for salmonella and, possibly, campylobacter.

Eight ground-turkey samples in our tests, conducted a year after the recalls, harbored salmonella that resisted three or more antibiotic classes. One of those samples came from a package of turkey processed at Cargill’s Springdale plant. It harbored a strain of salmonella Heidelberg that was not the outbreak strain but resisted the same antibiotics. Even a finding of the outbreak strain, the FSIS said, “likely would not trigger a specific follow-­up action by FSIS if steps were previously taken for the affected establishment to regain control of its operations.”

Consumers Union says the current salmonella standard isn’t strict enough, and is urging the USDA to allow no more than 12 percent contamination in ground-­turkey samples, a standard most of the industry already meets.

Any improvement will come too late for consumers such as Diana Goodpasture, 66, of Akron, Ohio. She was sickened with salmonella Heidelberg from ground turkey in June 2011 and was hospitalized for five days. “I’ve had complications ever since then,” she says. “I’m still seeing a gastroenterologist. I don’t know that I’ll ever be well.”

 

How resistant to antibiotics?

We determined whether samples of four bacteria isolated from our tested ground turkey could survive exposure to as many as 16 antibiotics at levels usually effective against those bugs. The antibiotics we tried differed with each bug and included ampicillin, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, and others often used to treat the illnesses those bacteria cause. Classes are groups of similar antibiotics. Three of the 39 samples of staph aureus harbored MRSA, a potentially deadly bacterium.

Bugs immune to drugs

Bacterium Samples tested Resisted one or more antibiotic classes Resisted three or more antibiotic classes
Enterococcus 178 177 144
Escherichia coli 155 135 82
Staphylococcus aureus 39 34 8
Salmonella 12 11 8

 

       

What you can do

                            Slip up during handling and you risk illness.    

Common slip-ups while handling or cooking ground turkey can put you at risk of illness. Although the bacteria we found are killed by thorough cooking, they can produce toxins that may not be destroyed by heat. Take the following precautions:

  • Buy turkey labeled “organic” or “no anti­biotics,” especially if it also has a “USDA Process Verified” label, which means that the USDA has confirmed that the producer is doing what it says. Organic and no-antibiotics brands in our tests were: Coastal Range Organics, Eberly, Giant Eagle Nature’s Basket, Harvestland, Kosher Valley, Nature’s Place, Nature’s Promise, Nature’s Rancher, Plainville Farms, Wegmans, Whole Foods, and Wild Harvest.
  • Consider other labels, such as “animal welfare approved” and “certified humane,” which mean that antibiotics were restricted to sick animals.
  • Be aware that “natural” meat is simply minimally processed, with no artificial ingredients or added color. It can come from an animal that ate antibiotics daily.
  • Know that no type of meat—whether turkey, chicken, beef, or pork—is risk free.
  • Buy meat just before checking out, and place it in a plastic bag to prevent leaks.
  • If you will cook meat within a couple of days, store it at 40° F or below. Otherwise, freeze it. (Note that freezing may not kill bacteria.)
  • Cook ground turkey to at least 165° F. Check with a meat thermometer. 
  • Wash hands and all surfaces after handling ground turkey.
  • Don’t return cooked meat to the plate that held it raw.
 Hours after she grilled a turkey burger for dinner in June 2011, Diana Goodpasture, 66, of Akron, Ohio, says she felt awful. “In the middle of the night, I woke up and I was sick,” she says. “I started to get an upset stomach and diarrhea, and then it just got progressively worse from there.”

Goodpasture, a van driver, says she thought she’d caught a stomach flu, so she stayed home for a few days. But the gastrointestinal symptoms and crampy abdominal pain worsened. “It got so bad that my kids said, ‘You have to go to the hospital,’ ” she recalls. Goodpasture was hospitalized at Akron General Medical Center for five days.

Tests showed that she’d fallen ill from salmonella Heidelberg. The leftover ground turkey she’d frozen after dinner also tested positive when analyzed by the Summit County Public Health Department.

Almost two years later, Goodpasture says she’s still not completely well. “It has really messed up my intestinal system. And from what I can tell, that’s just a lifetime thing I’m going to have to deal with,” she says. “It changed my whole life.”

 

The Make Up We Wear

I just read this article about the dangers in the make we wear. It is really sad all the different bad things they are putting in our products and food. Here is the article. You read it and decide and as always try and stay Healthy in an Unhealthy world!

 Spring is in bloom, and romance is in the air. But before puckering up, you’d  be wise to consider a new analysis, which found troubling levels of toxins in  cosmetics – particularly lipstick.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public  Health detected lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals in 32  different lipsticks and lip glosses commonly found in drugstores and department  stores.  According to the report, which is published Thursday in the  journal Environmental Health Perspectives, some of these metals were  found at levels that could have long term health effects.

As far as I’m concerned, any level of any metal found in any makeup product  is too much – particularly in lipstick or lip gloss, which are easily ingested  and absorbed, bit by bit, by the person wearing them.  The researchers in  this study noted even average daily ingestion of lip makeup, defined as 24  milligrams per day, could result in excessive exposure to chromium, which has  been linked to stomach tumors. 

High use, defined as 87 milligrams per day, could overexpose users to metals  like manganese, which has been linked to nervous system toxicity.

It has long been acknowledged, but not necessarily well-studied, that  conventionally produced makeup contains numerous carcinogens, and might be  harmful to our health. And it’s not only adults who are at risk – don’t you know  a precarious toddler or young child just dying to try on mom’s lipstick, or get  all made up for Halloween or a school play? As the UC Berkeley study found, lead  is commonly found in lip makeup, and no level of lead exposure is considered  safe for children. It can lead to decreased bone and muscle growth, nervous  system and kidney damage, speech problems, and seizures.

Lead is undeniably dangerous to children, but ingesting or absorbing products  containing lead and other metals on a regular basis can’t be good for anyone.  The study focuses a lot on “acceptable” daily intake levels of these poisonous  substances – but why is any level that is more than zero considered acceptable  at all?

Like the cleaning products industry, which is largely unregulated by the U.S.  government and does not require manufacturers to disclose ingredients to  consumers, there are currently no U.S. standards for metal content in  cosmetics.

Interestingly, and as the study authors note, the European Union considers  any level of cadmium, chromium, and lead in cosmetics unacceptable. Why don’t  we?

As the so-called “health” establishment remains lax on protecting consumers  from the dangers of metals in makeup (and toxins in other personal care  products), it is imperative to educate yourself.  The Environmental Working  Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database remains a wonderful resource for assessing  just how safe – or not – your favorite lipstick, mascara, or foundation might  be, and selecting the least harmful option. TheDailyGreen.com suggests actually  reading those tiny ingredient lists on every item of makeup you buy, and opting  for products with the most pronounceable names – they’re least likely to be  carcinogenic.  Be wary of makeup advertising two or three organic  ingredients, as the rest of the contents could be synthetic.  For more  resources, check out my website.

Use common sense, do your research, and spread the word. As fewer people buy  poisonous makeup, companies will be compelled to change its ways and adopt safer  practices if they want to make money. The power, as always, is in your hands –  or in this case, on your lips.

Note: Information provided herein is not intended to treat or diagnose any  health condition. As always, consult your health care provider with any  questions or health concerns.

Deirdre Imus, Founder of the site devoted to environmental health,  dienviro.org, is President and Founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health  Center™ at Hackensack  University Medical Center and Co-Founder/Co-Director  of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer. She is a New York Times  best-selling author and a frequent contributor to FoxNewsHealth.com, and Fox  Business Channel. Check out her website at dienviro.org. ‘e.

 

Healthy Water Drinks for Your Body

 

 

 I found this recipes on Facebook and as soon as I sent it to my family, my daughter in law Kristen send me an email that she had already made it. My 3 little grand daughters had already drank 2 pitchers of it. Sounds like it is a winner for hot summer months. Let me know if you make it and which one is your favorite.

 

 

Farmacology   Organics

 

SPRING CLEANSE ~   YOUR BODY ~ Yes another post abut water lol. But if you really want to   cleanse then DRINK, DRINK, DRINK. Here are 8 home made vitamin water recipes   to help you keep the water flowing!
 
  As a rule, you should try to avoid as much as possible industrial food and   beverages
 
  1) The classical : lemon/cucumber:
  … Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + 1 cucumber and a lemon, thinly   sliced + 1/4 cup fresh finely chopped basil leaf + 1/3 of finely chopped   fresh mint leaves. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
 
  2) The granite : Strawberry/Lime or Raspberry/Lime
  Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 6 strawberries / 0r Raspberries and one   thinly sliced lime + 12 finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Leave in the   refrigerator overnight before serving.
 
  3) The digestive : Fennel/citrus
  First: infuse 1 to 3 grams of dried and crushed fennel in 150 ml of boiling   water for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool.
  Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water + lemon juice (put the leftover lemon in   the mix) + a small thinly sliced orange + 12 fresh chopped mint leaves + the   infusion of fennel seeds. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.
 
  4) The antiOX : Blackberry/Sage
  Note that a part from the berries, sage leafs is the herb that has the   highest antioxidant content.
  Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of blackberries that have been   very slightly crushed + 3-4 sage leaves. Leave in refrigerator overnight   before serving.
 
  5) WATERmelon : watermelon/Rosemary
  Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of watermelon cut into cubes + 2   rosemary stems. Leave in refrigerator overnight before serving.
 
  6) The exotic : Pineapple/Mint
  Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of pineapple cut into cubes + 12   fresh mint leaves finely chopped. Leave in the refrigerator overnight before   serving.
 
  7) The traditional : Appel/cinnamon
  Mix in a pitcher : 10 cups of water + 1 cup of apple cut into cubes + 2   cinnamon sticks + 2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Leave in the refrigerator   overnight before serving.
 
  8.) The zingibir : Ginger/tea
  In advance: heat 1 teaspoon of ginger in two cups of tea, let it cool down.
 
  Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups of water with two cups of the ginger tea + 4-5   pieces of fresh ginger cut into cubes. Leave in the refrigerator overnight   before serving.