Tainted Hogs Update

Last week HealthDay News revealed some distressing news. Apparently 6,000 hogs were fed the infamous tainted pet food. Now, to make matters worse, some of those pigs were slaughtered and the meat actually entered the food supply. Steven Reinberg broke the story:
Some 6,000 hogs have been quarantined across eight U.S. states because they may have eaten contaminated salvage pet food, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced late Thursday.

At the same time, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials said that meat from 345 hogs that ate tainted feed has already entered the U.S. food supply, the Associated Press reported.

The quarantined hogs are on farms in California, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma and Ohio, the AP said. And the USDA reported that swine from slaughterhouses in Kansas and Utah may have entered the food supply. Government officials, however, consider the threat to human health to be very low.

The swine are thought to have been exposed to food contaminated by two chemicals, melamine and cyanuric acid, that was sent as salvage by companies who have had to recall massive quantities of dog and cat food as the pet food recall rolls on.
Personally, I wouldn’t eat pork if you tied me down and shoveled it into my mouth. But, messing with our food supply is a big deal. Good thing HealthDay News has an update to this story. E.J. Mundell and Steven Reinberg report that hogs fed pet food contaminated with the chemical melamine have a "very low" likelihood of harming humans:
In a joint statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stressed, "We are not aware of any human illness that has occurred from exposure to melamine or its by-products." They added that they have identified no illnesses in swine fed the contaminated feed.

The USDA first announced on Thursday that meat from 345 hogs suspected of eating the contaminated feed had entered the U.S. food supply. Some 6,000 hogs suspected of eating the contaminated product have since been quarantined and meat from these animals would be withheld from the food supply, both agencies said.

In the statement, the FDA and USDA said the possibility of human illness from eating swine exposed to melamine remains low for several reasons: "First, it is a partial ingredient in the pet food; second, it is only part of the total feed given to the hogs; third, it is not known to accumulate in the hogs and the hogs excrete melamine in their urine; fourth, even if present in pork, pork is only a small part of the average American diet."
Oh, the FDA says its okay? Gee, I feel real comforted now.

KFC: Trans-Fat Flies the Coop -- UPDATE

Like McDonald’s and Burger King before them, its now being reported that Kentucky Fried Chicken will no longer use cooking oils that contains trans-fat. Great news, but, the food is still garbage. More from Bruce Schreiner of the Associated Press:
The Louisville-based chain announced Monday that all 5,500 of its U.S. restaurants have stopped frying chicken in artery-clogging trans fat. The company had said in October that it was switching to a new soybean oil believed to be less likely to cause heart disease.

"This idea is a positive one for consumers, and we do expect it's going to really appeal to people and bring them into our stores," said James O'Reilly, KFC's chief marketing officer.

Sister brand Taco Bell also said Monday that its U.S. restaurants have completely switched to an oil with zero grams of trans fat. All 4,200 single-brand Taco Bells were converted to a canola oil, and all 1,400 multibrand locations switched to a soybean oil, the fast food chain said.

There are 23 Taco Bell items that contain no trans fat, including the chicken and beef crunchy taco, grilled steak soft taco, chicken and steak Gordita Supreme, and the chicken and steak Chalupa Supreme. Taco Bell said it's working to remove all trans fat from all its ingredients.
I don’t know about the folks over at KFC, remember, these are the same people that wanted the Pope to bless their new fish sandwich. Coo-Coo-Coo-Coo!

UPDATE: Well just look at what came in the mail today:

Trans-fat or not, I'm still not eating it:

Aussies REALLY Don't Want to be Fat

Last week it became incredibly obvious that America is not alone in the obesity struggle. Europe, Malaysia, Sweden, and Japan, all made headlines this month because of their own battle with the bulge. The AFP reports that the fear of obesity has left many Australians struggling with eating disorders:
Almost five percent of Australians suffer from disorders including extreme fasting and purging, up from just two percent 10 years ago, new research shows.

"We're surprised and obviously concerned too," said study leader Phillipa Hay, head of psychiatry at James Cook University, who was to present the data at a national psychiatry conference.

"This is an alarming trend which shows these problems are being felt more widely than first thought."

Women were five times more likely to have a disorder than men, but the study found a sharp rise in men with problems, she said.

"It's a clear problem when it's spreading into groups that weren't typically affected by weight issues," Hay said

Headaches and Migraines: Knock Them Out

Headaches are just awful. They can ruin your day before it even gets started. One of the pluses of Eating to Live is you hardly ever get a headache. At least I don’t. How about you? And here’s a good reason to stay headache-free. Apparently migraines are being linked to brain damage. Maggie Fox of Reuters reports:
People with migraines also may be suffering from some brain damage as brain cells swell and become starved of oxygen -- a finding that may help explain why migraine sufferers have a higher risk of stroke, researchers reported on Sunday.

Similar brain damage can occur with concussions and after strokes, the researchers said in this week's issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

They said their findings suggest that migraine sufferers should not simply get pain relief but should take drugs that prevent the migraine, which is often preceded by "aura" -- a series of visual disturbances that can include flashes of light or black spots.
Now, for years I thought headaches were just one of those things. Don’t know what causes them, just got to deal with them. Not so, according to Dr. Fuhrman. He’ll tell you, nutrition excellence knocks headaches and migraines right out of the box. From Eat to Live:
Recurrent headaches are not much different. They are almost always the result of nutritional folly and, like other reasons that keep doctors' offices busy, are completely avoidable.

The relationship between food triggers and migraines has been the subject of much debate, with varying results from medical researchers. Headache specialists such as Seymour Diamond, director of the Diamond Headache Clinic of Columbus Hospital, report that about 30 percent of patients can identify food triggers.1

My experience in treating migraine and severe-headache patients with a more comprehensive nutritional approach has shown that 90 to 95 percent of patients are able to remain headache-free after the first three-month period. These patients avoid common migraine triggers, but also in the healing phase they adhere to a strict natural-food vegan diet of primarily fruits and vegetables rich in natural starches like potatoes and brown rice. These patients must avoid all packaged and processed foods, which are notorious for containing hidden food additives, even though they are not disclosed on the labels. They also avoid all added salt.
I don’t know about you, but, I’d rather eat lots wholesome natural food instead of popping handfuls of high-dose ibuprofens any day of the week. Now, Dr. Fuhrman has had a lot of success treating headache and migraine suffers with nutritional excellence. Here are couple stories:
Still want to know more? Back in January Dr. Fuhrman discussed banishing your headaches on his radio show Nutritional Wisdom. Here’s the show summary:
You can travel to one headache specialist after another and try a hundred different remedies. But if you want to understand why you get headaches and how to beat them forever listen in to this fascinating show! Dr. Fuhrman explains how eating a high-nutrient diet can alleviate headaches, which are usually associated with other health-related problems.
Continue Reading...

Grape of Wrath

This poor cocker spaniel can’t quite negotiate a grape:

One Dollar Dining

You’re hungry. You’ve got one dollar. What do you buy? Fruit? What about some veggies? Or, do you buy a bunch of junk food? Well, as Michael Pollan of The New York Times reports, if you’re down on your luck with not much money to spend, you’re likely to buy the junk. Here’s why:
Adam Drewnowski [University of Washington obesity researcher] gave himself a hypothetical dollar to spend, using it to purchase as many calories as he possibly could. He discovered that he could buy the most calories per dollar in the middle aisles of the supermarket, among the towering canyons of processed food and soft drink. (In the typical American supermarket, the fresh foods — dairy, meat, fish and produce — line the perimeter walls, while the imperishable packaged goods dominate the center.) Drewnowski found that a dollar could buy 1,200 calories of cookies or potato chips but only 250 calories of carrots. Looking for something to wash down those chips, he discovered that his dollar bought 875 calories of soda but only 170 calories of orange juice.

As a rule, processed foods are more “energy dense” than fresh foods: they contain less water and fiber but more added fat and sugar, which makes them both less filling and more fattening. These particular calories also happen to be the least healthful ones in the marketplace, which is why we call the foods that contain them “junk.” Drewnowski concluded that the rules of the food game in America are organized in such a way that if you are eating on a budget, the most rational economic strategy is to eat badly — and get fat.
This is a sad commentary on the state of our society.

Eating to Live on the Outside: La Siringitu

What’s a Siringitu? Not sure, but, this week’s Eating to Live on the Outside restaurant looks like a good one; a nice follow up to my Sacred Chow experience. La Siringitu, located in Albuquerque New Mexico, has got real potential for an Eat to Liver. Sure, like always, there are a few catches, but all-in-all it’s seems okay. So, let’s hit it!

Let’s see, what to order? Alright, the African Burrito looks cool. It’s prepared with black beans, corn, rice, cheese, lettuce, and tomato. And I’m guessing, probably tortillas too. Well, the cheese is getting packed into a rocket ship and launched into the sun. According to Dr. Fuhrman, cheese is bad news. Now the rice, personally I don’t get hung up over rice too often, but, given the variety of ingredients, I’m tossing it too. That leaves me with just the tortilla as my concession. I can live with it.

Next, the Hot Sandwich has got my mojo going—not literally, it just looks tasty. It’s made with sautéed barbecued tofu, veggie bacon, bell-pepper, onions, lettuce, tomato, apple slices, cucumbers, wheat hoagie bread, and it’s served with the soup of the day. For starters, the veggie bacon doesn’t interest me, so that’s out. I’ll keep the barbecued tofu, mainly because I’ve never tried it before. So, that leaves me with some concessions. The oil used in the sautéing process and the bread, but, as I’ve said many-many times before, I don’t eat out very often, so I’m willing to roll with a few punches. Oh, and for the soup of the day, well, that depends on what it is.

The Seasoned Curry Tofu Salad seems okay—the flavor of curry intrigues me. This salad is prepared with seasoned curry tofu, lettuce, and assorted veggies. I’d love to know exactly what veggies it includes, but, I can live with the suspense. “Assorted veggies” is a grab-bag I can live with any day of the week. Lately I’ve been eating more raw veggies, so this salad is a good fit. And the dressing? Whatever it is, I won’t use that much—if at all.

Have you ever tried mixing fruit into your veggie salad? I do it all the time with avocado and cantaloupe. So naturally, this salad is right up my alley. The Mixed Leaf and Fruit Salad. Now, the name says it all. I’d probably ask the wait staff exactly what’s in it, but honestly, its not like its going to be bad—its fruit and leaf veggies! And, if you omit the dressing—provided it comes with one—no concessions! Sweet.

Okay, if you look at the rest of La Siringitu’s menu. You’ll see, there are some red flags, like ice cream and cheese for example, but, if I were to stick with one of these four dishes, I think I’ll be okay. What about you? What would you order? Check out La Siringitu's menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Leave a comment or email us at diseaseproof@gmail.com.

Cancer: Humans Need Plant Matter

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

There is still some controversy about which foods cause which cancers and whether certain types of fat are the culprits with certain cancers, but there’s one thing we know for sure; raw vegetables and fresh fruits have powerful anti-cancer agents. Studies have repeatedly shown the correlation between consumption of these foods and a lower incidence of various cancers, including those of the breast, colon, rectum, lung, stomach, prostate, and pancreas.1 This means that your risk of cancer decreases with an increased intake of fruits and vegetables, and the earlier in life you start eating large amounts of these foods, the more protection you get.

Humans are genetically adapted to expect a high intake of natural and unprocessed plant-derived substances. Cancer is a disease of maladaptation. It results primarily from a body’s lacking critical substances found in different types of vegetation, many of which are still undiscovered, that are metabolically necessary for normal protective function. Natural foods unadulterated by man are highly complex—so complex that the exact structure and the majority of compounds they contain are not precisely known. A tomato, for example, contains more than ten thousand different phytochemicals.

It may never be possible to extract the precise symphony of nutrients found in vegetation and place it in a pill. Isolated nutrients extracted from food may never offer the same level of disease-protective effects of whole natural foods, as nature “designed” them. Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of nutrients, which work in subtle synergies, and many of these nutrients cannot be isolated or extracted. Phytochemicals from a variety of plant foods work together to become much more potent at detoxifying carcinogens and protecting against cancer than when taken individually as isolated compounds. Continue Reading...

HPV Vaccine: Texans Face-Off

The buzz about mandatory HPV vaccinations has cooled down a bit, but in Texas the issue is hotter than ever. The governor wants mandatory vaccinations, but, Texas lawmakers don’t. I’m worried, after all its Texas, this could lead to a shootout. Liz Austin Peterson of the Associated Press reports:
Texas lawmakers rejected Gov. Rick Perry's anti-cancer vaccine order Wednesday, sending him a bill that blocks state officials from requiring the shots for at least four years.

Perry has said he is disappointed but has not indicated whether he will veto the bill. He has 10 days to sign or veto it, or the proposal will become law without his signature.

Lawmakers can override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both chambers. The legislation passed by well over that margin in both chambers.

Republican Rep. Dennis Bonnen, the bill's House sponsor, said he believes it is fair and reasonable.

"I think the governor should see this as the Legislature making a very clear and respectful statement, and I hope he'll accept our wishes," Bonnen said.
Forcing people to profit drug-makers—oops, I mean—get mandatory vaccinations feels like bad news to me. What do you think? Well, I can tell you one thing, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t like it. He shared his thoughts in a previous post. From Dr. Fuhrman on HPV Vaccinations:
In this country we allow legislatures to mandate which medications we must give our children? People are not allowed to have an opinion about drugs and vaccines different from the majority opinion, in spite of the controversies and poorly studied short and long-term risks.

Remember this is not about arguing about the effectiveness or value of vaccines, just whether we should mandate medical care and take another freedom away from Americans. We no longer have the freedom to take or not take medications. Sounds like the Taliban to me.

The Tainted Hogs

Sounds like a cool name for a rock band, right? Well, its not. Apparently the U.S. has quarantined 6,000 hogs that were fed some of the infamous tainted pet food. It gets worse. Some of the slaughtered meat has already entered the food supply. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:
Some 6,000 hogs have been quarantined across eight U.S. states because they may have eaten contaminated salvage pet food, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced late Thursday.

At the same time, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials said that meat from 345 hogs that ate tainted feed has already entered the U.S. food supply, the Associated Press reported.

The quarantined hogs are on farms in California, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma and Ohio, the AP said. And the USDA reported that swine from slaughterhouses in Kansas and Utah may have entered the food supply. Government officials, however, consider the threat to human health to be very low.

The swine are thought to have been exposed to food contaminated by two chemicals, melamine and cyanuric acid, that was sent as salvage by companies who have had to recall massive quantities of dog and cat food as the pet food recall rolls on.
Now, I’m sure no one reading this post eats pork, but, even still. This is a problem that our food supply just doesn’t need. The contamination of food is always a relevant issue. Here are a few posts to remind you:

Sleep is Good

Hey, we all love sleep. Its like money, you can never get enough. Hey, we all love sleep. Its like money, you can never get enough—wait, did I just repeat myself? I forgot I said that. Maybe I need more sleep. According to a new study, getting enough shut-eye sharpens your memory. Juhie Bhatia of HealthDay News reports:
In the study, the researchers focused on sleep's impact on "declarative" memories, which are related to specific facts, episodes and events.

"We sought to explore whether sleep has any impact on memory consolidation, specifically the type of memory for facts and events and time," Dr. Jeffrey Ellenbogen, an associate neurologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston said. "We know that sleep helps boost memory for procedural tests, such as learning a new piano sequence, but we're not sure, even though it's been debated for 100 years, whether sleep impacts declarative memory."

The study involved 48 people between the ages of 18 and 30. These participants had normal, healthy sleep routines and were not taking any medications. They were all taught 20 pairs of words and asked to recall them 12 hours later. However, the participants were divided evenly into four groups with different circumstances for testing: sleep before testing, wake before testing, sleep before testing with interference, or wake before testing with interference.
Dr. Fuhrman thinks getting your Z’s is a pretty good idea too. In fact, he believes that getting sufficient rest is an important part of achieving health and longevity. He talks about it here:
Adequate sleep is a necessary component of good health. Our modern society stays up late into the night and wakes in the morning to an alarm clock—long before sleep requirements have been fulfilled. To make matters worse, most Americans partake in stimulating substances—such as caffeine and sugar—to remain artificially alert during the day.

During sleep, your body removes the buildup of waste in the brain. Sufficient sleep is necessary for the normal function of your nervous and endocrine systems. Most civilizations in human history recognized the value of mid-afternoon naps. The desire for a rest, short sleep, or “siesta” after lunch should not be seen as an abnormal need, but rather a normal one. People who “cover up” their lack of sleep by using drugs (such as caffeine) as food and/or food (such as highly processed, sugary foods) as drugs sometimes claim (even boast) that they can get by with very little sleep. As you begin to live more healthfully, you may quickly recognize that you need more sleep than you previously thought.

America Digging Organic

This country loves a good band-wagon, but who would have thought so many people would be jumping on the organic food band-wagon. It’s true, Americans love organic. Charles Abbott of Reuters reports:
Organic food sales grow by as much as 20 percent a year and were forecast for $16 billion during 2006, or nearly 3 percent of all U.S. food spending, the Organic Trade Association said at a pair of congressional hearings.

"In the United States, the buzz about organic has become a steady hum," said Lynn Clarkson, an organic farmer and member of the OTA board. "Organic foods are increasingly sold in mainstream retail establishments, which together represent roughly 46 percent of sales."

Clarkson told a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on Tuesday that organic production was climbing "but not at a rate to meet the consumer demand" so imports are rising. Mark Lipson of the Organic Farming Research Foundation presented a similar assessment at the House of Representatives Agriculture subcommittee hearing last week.

Docs and Drug Companies

Have you seen your doctor’s office lately? You have? Let me bet, it’s filled with erectile dysfunction pens, blood pressure magnets, and cholesterol-lowering post-it notes. It seems that lots of doctors are in deep with drug companies. And this next report confirms it. According to Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News a new study shows that ties between doctors and drug companies are clear:
But the relationships vary depending on the kind of medical practice and specialty, the patient mix and the professional activities of the physician, according to the study, published in the April 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Over the past two decades, physician-industry relationships have attracted increasing scrutiny. One review found that, on average, physicians meet with industry representatives four times a month, and medical residents accept six gifts annually from industry representatives.

Earlier this year, a group of influential doctors and academic leaders, including the senior author of the new study, called for a ban on all pharmaceutical gifts to doctors at academic medical centers, among other actions.

The outcry has been such that certain professional and industrial organizations, such as the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America (PhRMA), have adopted new guidelines.

For this study, the authors surveyed 1,162 physicians in six specialties in late 2003 and early 2004 to find out what they received from the drug industry, how often they met with industry representatives and what factors were associated with the frequency and type of physician-industry relationships.

Meat: Grill, Fry, or Broil it?

It seems neither. A new study claims that grilled, fried, or broiled meat contain toxins called "advanced glycation end products" (AGEs). And, Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports that AGEs can lead to a myriad of serious health problems, like diabetes and vascular disease. Here’s more:
Grilled, fried or broiled animal products such as meats and cheeses contain a class of toxins called "advanced glycation end products" (AGEs), which have been linked to inflammation, insulin resistance, diabetes, vascular and kidney disease, and Alzheimer's disease, say a team from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City…

…"AGEs are quite deceptive, since they also give our food desirable tastes and smells," senior author Dr. Helen Vlassara, professor of medicine and geriatrics, and director of the Division of Experimental Diabetes and Aging at Mount Sinai, said in a prepared statement.

"So, consuming high amounts of grilled, broiled or fried food means consuming significant amounts of AGEs, and AGEs in excess are toxic. People should be given information about AGE intake and be advised to consider their intake in the same way they would think about their trans fats and salt intake. They should be warned about their AGE levels the way they are about their cholesterol levels or cigarette smoking," Vlassara said.
Dr. Fuhrman makes it pretty clear. Too much meat and other animal products can contribute to serious health problems, namely cancer and cardiovascular disease. Here are couple posts that highlight this connection:
Okay, back to cooking foods. Does it really matter how we prepare our food? Be it animal or vegetable-based. Well for starters, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t thinking frying is a good idea. He explains why in Disease-Proof Your Child:
Water-based cooking is the preferred way to cook because you can avoid cancer-causing acrylamides that are created when foods are browned by baking or frying.

Never eat browned or overly cooked food. Burnt food forms harmful compounds. If by accident something is overcooked and browned, discard. Avoid fried food and food sautéed in oil. Experiment with low heat cooking to prevent nutritional damage to the food and the formation of dangerous heat-generated compounds.
Now, recently I asked Dr. Fuhrman if acrylamides show up in other foods, like cooked meats, specifically barbecued meat. No surprise here, his answer was yes. Actually, he pointed out that acrylamides form in all foods. Check out this study from the Scandinavian Journal of Nutrition, it sheds some light on the development of acrylamides:
The exact chemical mechanism(s) for acrylamide formation in heated foods is unknown. Several plausible mechanistic routes may be suggested, involving reactions of carbohydrates, proteins/amino acids, lipids and probably also other food components as precursors. With the data and knowledge available today it is not possible to point out any specific routes, or to exclude any possibilities. It is likely that a multitude of reaction mechanisms is involved. Acrolein is one strong precursor candidate, the origin of which could be lipids, carbohydrates or proteins/amino acids. Acrylamide is a reactive molecule and it can readily react with various other components in the food. The actual acrylamide level in a specific food product, therefore, probably reflects the balance between ease of formation and potential for further reactions in that food matrix. There are indications in support of that the Maillard reaction being an important reaction route for acrylamide formation, but lipid degradation pathways to the formation of acrolein should also be considered.
At this point it kind of seems like a basic math equation. If too many animal products are bad and eating overly cooked food is also bad, then putting the two of them together has got to be really bad, right? Well, it sure seems that way. In Disease-Proof Your Child Dr. Fuhrman considers barbequed meat (and cheese) one of the worst foods you can eat for health and longevity. From the book:
Worst Seven Foods for Health and Longevity
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Potato Chips and French Fries
  • Doughnuts
  • Salt
  • Sausage, hot dogs
  • Pickled, smoked or barbequed meat

Foods high in saturated fat and trans fat are consistently associated with high cancer rates. Cheese and butter typically contain over ten times as much saturated fat as fish and white meat chicken and turkey.

Add the carcinogenic potential from heated and overcooked oils (usually trans containing) delivered in doughnuts and fries with the powerful cancer inducing properties of carbohydrates cooked at high heat (acrylamide formation) and you have a great cancer potion.
So, will people heed these warnings and cut back on the amount of animal products they eat and be careful not to dangerously cook their food? My guess, probably not, especially with this kind of rhetoric kicking around the blogosphere. Like LivinLaVidaLowCarb’s ringing endorsement of frying meat in butter—sadly, I’m not kidding. Proceed with caution:
I agree with the advice to shun the fried foods specifically because of the breading. But if you want to fry up your meat in a pan full of butter, then knock yourself out. It’s a healthy way to enjoy that succulent protein-loaded food.

While it’s nice to bake, broil, and especially grill meats, don’t fall for the illusion that cooking these ways is any healthier than cooking meat in fat. Avoid the trans fats, of course, but you shouldn’t worry about saturated fats as long as you are livin’ la vida low-carb.
Take a moment to note that butter is also on Dr. Fuhrman’s list of the seven worst foods. Okay, it gets worse. Check out this quote from Carbohydrate Addict, apparently this Atkins dieter thinks grilled-cheese is fabulous—sigh. Here it is:
I think one of the reasons Atkins was so perfect for me was because I was on low fat/low cholesterol for sooooo many years. All of the forbidden foods suddenly became okay to eat without guilt and my cholesterol is finally FABULOUS. I'm still on a high when I eat them! Egg salad, bacon, chicken wings, mac and cheese, grilled cheese.... YUM!
Yum? For bacon and egg salad? Whoa! What a world we live in. Reading rants like this makes me think about the opposite. What does eating a lot of fruits and vegetables do for us? Well, when you’re talking health and disease-prevention, Dr. Fuhrman explains they’re the best! From Fruits and Veggies vs. Diabetes and Colon Cancer:
While fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients, the consumption of vegetables is more helpful in reducing cancer because they contain much higher amounts of cancer-protective compounds-- especially green vegetables. Among these green vegetables, the cruciferous family has demonstrated the most dramatic protection against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage) contain a symphony of phytonutrients with potent anti-cancer effects. Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens.

These vegetables also contain indole-3- carbinol (I3C). Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing estrogen activity. Important recent studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables and the compounds they contain can do the following:
  • Halt the growth of breast cancer cells1
  • Dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer2
  • Prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells3
  • Inhibit the progression of lung cancer4
And here’s more, from Is Heart Disease Totally Preventable? Take a look:
The Eat to Live vegetable, fruit, nut, and bean-based diet has been shown to be the most effective cholesterol-lowering dietary approach in medical history. This newsworthy data with the potential to save millions of lives has been ignored by the mass media. With this dietary approach, most patients drop their total cholesterol below 150 and LDL below 100, without the need for medications.

During the two years that the Eat to Live vegetable, fruit, nut, and bean-based diet has been under research study by the University of Southern California, patients have shown an average weight loss of forty-nine pounds, the most sustained weight loss ever recorded in a medical study in history.

In areas of the world where people eat a diet of unrefined plant foods, people have total cholesterol levels below 150, and there is zero incidence of heart disease in the population.5
Continue Reading...

Breastfeeding and Obesity

A popular headline kicking around the news today is the claim that breastfeeding won’t prevent children from becoming fat. Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press reports:
While breast-feeding has many benefits, it won't prevent a child from becoming fat as an adult, says a new study that challenges dogma from U.S. health officials.

The research is the largest study to date on breast-feeding and its effect on adult obesity.

"I'm the first to say breast-feeding is good. But I don't think it's the solution to reducing childhood or adult obesity," said the study's lead author, Karin Michels of Harvard Medical School.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention promotes breast-feeding as a way to reduce children's excess weight, and the guidelines for federal chronic disease prevention grants to states call for breast-feeding promotion. Some health officials say 15 to 20 percent of obesity could be prevented through breast-feeding.
Now, this one kind of stumped me. I didn’t know how to react, so, I asked the man. Here’s what Dr. Fuhrman had to say about the research—the word blunt, comes to mind. Take a look:
So what? Why would we expect early life breast feeding to make us immune to eating the American junk food diet? You are what you eat and everything that goes into your mouth makes a difference. Nature is not that forgiving. You develop diseases down the road from the poor food choices you made at an earlier time.

Shaping Up School Food

School food is a hot topic. Everyone wants kids to eat healthier. Well, everyone except for the meat-pie pushing mamas that is. But for those rational minded folks, the Associated Press reports that congress wants better standards for school food. Randolph E. Schmid explains:
Concerned about the rise of obesity in young people, Congress asked the Institute of Medicine to develop a set of standards for foods that would be available in schools.

The Institute responded Wednesday with a two-tier system designed to encourage youngsters to eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains and to avoid added sugars, salt and saturated fats.

"The alarming increase in childhood obesity rates has galvanized parents and schools across the nation to find ways to improve children's diets and health, and we hope our report will assist that effort," said Virginia A. Stallings, chair of the committee that prepared the report.

One Cat, One Apple Core

This cat is taking the pet food recall to extremes. He’s gone vegetarian. Watch him go to town on this apple core:

Nutritional Wisdom: How to Get Off Your Blood Pressure Medications

Dr. Fuhrman’s radio show Nutritional Wisdom airs live Wednesdays at 11am EST with an encore presentation Thursdays at 3pm EST on VoiceAmerica. Be sure to check out this week’s episode How to Get Off Your Blood Pressure Medications. And if you've missed an episode click the Nutritional Wisdom category for previous episodes.

Can Your Bones Last a Lifetime: Weighted Vests for Women

From the March 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

For years, I have been advising thin women to wear and exercise with a weighted vest. Weighted vests can be worn for hours each day and are the most effective prescription a doctor can order to prevent and even treat osteoporosis. The problem in the past has been finding the best vests that are designed for women and have the weights in the right place to strengthen the back bone and keep the spine erect. It is important that the weights are positioned predominantly in the back pack area so that the weight is felt on the shoulders in order to stimulate bone development in the spine.

Frustrated with the commercially-available vests—bulky, stiff, unattractive, and cumbersome, with the weights around the waist instead of around the upper chest—Pamela Free (a member of DrFuhrman.com) designed a new vest that meets my specifications and offers the cushioning and comfort that women require. (These new vests are available from our online store.)

Women can start with just a little weight of 6-8 pounds and gradually increase the weight (up to ten percent of your body weight) to strengthen their bones, not only during exercise, but as they work, shop, bend, stand up, and move all day. Wearing a weighted vest has other benefits as well, such as burning more calories all day, increasing core strength, and stabilizing muscles, thus improving balance and decreasing the risk of falls.

Here’s more on this topic:

Obesity Overseas

Geez, it’s been a bad month for bodyweight overseas. If you thought only American had an obesity problem, think again. The rest of the world is also battling the bulge. Here are some posts from just this month. Take a look:
Unfortunately the pile-on continues. Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times reports that Swedish children are getting fatter and fatter. Check it out:
Scientists writing in the April issue of Acta Paediatrica describe two groups of children in Uppsala, Sweden. The first included children who were 4, 10 and 16 in 1982. The second group had children who were the same ages in 2002, for a total of 1,066 participants. The researchers used medical records to gather statistics on weight and height.

The prevalence of overweight and obese children as measured by body mass index increased among the 4-year-old girls, to 22 percent in 2002 from 10 percent in 1982, and among 10-year-old girls, to 30 percent in 2002 from 14 percent in 1982.
You know, we’re still wondering about what killed the dinosaurs, but maybe we should focus more on what’s killing us. Because according to Dr. Fuhrman obesity doesn’t exactly lead to happy outcomes. From Eat to Live:
The number one health problem in the United States is obesity, and if the current trend continues by the year 2030 all adults in the United States will be obese. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate that obesity is associated with a twofold increase in mortality, costing society more than $100 billion per year.1
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Eating the Sacred Chow

And it was good! What’s the significance? Well, back in December I examined Sacred Chow Vegan Bistro for Eating to Live on the Outside and I gave it pretty high-marks. Now, I was in New York City this past weekend, so I decided drop by and give it a whirl. Here’s what my friend and I noshed on.

Alright, I don’t know I how missed this salad in December, but the Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Salad was dynamite. It came with a hearty amount of meaty Shiitake mushrooms, lots of baby spinach, oodles of sunflower seeds, and a very light Indian dressing. It tasted great! I’m on a bit of a baby spinach kick lately and this combination of flavors really worked. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What about the dressing?” Sure, definitely a concession, but they don’t use that much and it really ratchets up the flavor of the salad. So it’s worth keeping.

My friend also ordered a salad. She went with the Four Seasons Salad. It was a nice looking dish with lots of stuff in it. It came with seasonal greens, beets, carrots, apples, Dijon vinaigrette, and yuba strips. She really enjoyed it. Now, when you eat out with me, you always run the risk of me picking at your food. So I speared myself a forkful of my friend’s salad and I can tell you firsthand, the amount of salad dressing is very negligible. Keeping it would be a concession, but one I could easily live with. Just focus on those super veggies, the beets!

Now, since my friend and I had never eaten their before, we did look a little bewildered when we first opened up our menus, but a couple of regular diners were quick to make some recommendations. One of them suggested the Lima Bean Dill Soup and the Root Vegetable Latkes with Indonesian Date Butter. Okay, I went with the soup and my friend ordered the latkes. The soup was tasty. Not salty or heavy, very light and almost refreshing, with plenty of nutritious lima beans to go around. It was a nice compliment to the salad.

The latkes were pretty good too. Again, I pilfered one off my friend’s dish. For starters, they’re very colorful and you can see all sorts of things in them, like carrots and beets. The date butter was also very interesting. In my opinion it tasted much better than regular butter—although I haven’t eaten butter in years, so maybe my opinion is a little skewed. But anyway, it was very sweet and really worked well with the subtle sweetness of the latkes.

Now that the weather is getting nicer on the east coast, I’ll be going into Manhattan more often and I’ll probably being going out of my way to pay Sacred Chow so more visits. Honestly, the food is that good. Sacred Chow's menu is loaded with solid options for any Eat to Liver. So next time you’re visiting New York be sure to stop by this great little hole-in-the-wall in Greenwich Village. Cheers!

Working Fat

Sure, obesity takes a huge toll on your body, but, what are its larger implications? Here’s one. According to the Associated Press overweight workers cost their bosses more in injury claims than their slimmer colleagues. Carla K. Johnson has more:
Obesity experts said they hope the study will convince employers to invest in programs to help fight obesity. One employment attorney warned companies that treating fat workers differently could lead to discrimination complaints.

Duke University researchers also found that the fattest workers had 13 times more lost workdays due to work-related injuries, and their medical claims for those injuries were seven times higher than their fit co-workers.

Overweight workers were more likely to have claims involving injuries to the back, wrist, arm, neck, shoulder, hip, knee and foot than other employees.

The Low-Carb Mindset

One thing that amazes me about the low-carb fad is the mindset. It’s very scary—1984, big brother type of thinking. “You’ve been lied to. The history is wrong. We know the truth. Step into the light my children.” Borderline fanatical, reminds me of George Carlin’s great rant about school uniforms:
Don't these schools do enough damage makin' all these children THINK alike? Now they're gonna get 'em to LOOK alike, too? And it's not even a new idea; I first saw it in old newsreels from the 1930s, but it was hard to understand, because the narration was in German.
Okay, maybe this is a little bit of a stretch, but group-think can be very worrisome. Especially since many of the low-carb lemmings of the world like to make enemies. After all, every movement needs an “enemy” or something to rage against, right?

And low-carbers do rage. Against everyone and anyone who doesn’t goosestep—oh, I mean—fall in line with their beliefs; which usually come in the form of childish us-against-them tantrums, laced with misinterpretations. Want an example? Here’s a recent email I got from one of Followhealthlife’s blog trolls. Asking why I banned him from commenting. Take a look:
I am no less polite than your blog and Dr. F. are towards low carb, Atkins, etc. We are not 'crazies' (well, some of us are...), and it's not medical malpractice for a doctor to recommend this diet. It works and the science backs it up, again and again.

You should look forward to my blog, by the way. I plan to make a regular sport of spoofing you guys. Enjoy your rice cakes, my bacon and eggs are almost ready!
Don’t you just love the nonsense! Rice cakes? What Eat to Liver in their right mind would eat rice cakes! And this brings me to my point. People misunderstand Dr. Fuhrman’s approach to health and nutrition, they mislabel and miss-categorize it. Most of the low-carb loonies would have you believe that Dr. Fuhrman is just another medical professional singing the praises of the standard American low-fat diet. Wrong!

Sure, by default Eat to Live is low-fat, but, it’s not the kind of low-fat that is printed on the boxes of Snackwells cookies or marketed by the makers of Doritos and Tostitos. This is Eat to Live’s cross to bear, being lumped in with the current health woes of this country. When in reality, it’s the only complete way to ensure optimal health and longevity

But, when you rise above the low-carb propaganda, you’ll see that no diet-style, including the Atkins fad can hold a candle to Eat to Live. Need proof? Just check out Followhealthlife’s Diet Myths, Hurtful Food, and Healthy Food categories. You’ll find tons of posts highlighting the dangers of the low-carb lifestyle. After all, no gimmick can contend with the way nature intended us to eat, no matter the amount of rambling by its followers or the marketing teams behind it.

Hearty Veg Recipes

Black Bean Lettuce Bundles
2 cups cooked or canned black beans, no salt
1/2 large avocado, mashed
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup mild salsa, low sodium
8 large romaine lettuce leaves
Mash beans and avocado together with fork. Mix with other ingredients, except for lettuce. Place approximately 1/4 cup of filling in center of lettuce leaf and roll like a tortilla.

Curry Lo Mein

1 spaghetti squash
3 cups shiitake, oyster, and/or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 pound onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup red pepper
1/2 cup green pepper
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon ginger root, grated
1 teaspoon Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 cups northern beans, canned & unsalted
3 cups bean sprouts
1 cup water chestnuts, canned & sliced
Halve squash and remove seeds. Place squash cut side down in baking dish with 1/8 inch water in bottom and bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes. Stir fry the mushrooms, onions, carrots, peppers, garlic and gingerroot for 10 minutes in a little water. Mix VegiZest, curry and corn starch with a little water and fold into cooking vegetables until mixed well. and keep stirring. Add the beans and water chestnuts and mix all together. Turn the baking squash right side up and spoon the vegetbale/bean mix into the squash bowl. Bake uncovered for 10 more minutes and serve.

Eggplant Adzuki
4 cups adzuki (aduki) beans
2 cups onion, chopped
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into strips
2 cups no salt tomato sauce
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup organic celery, chopped
3 garlic clove, diced
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest
Mrs. Dash, to taste
Soak adzuki beans overnight. Cook beans in water with one cup of chopped onion on low flame for 1 1/2 hours. In a large non-stick skillet cook the sliced eggplant in the tomato sauce for a few minutes then add the rest of the onion, pepper, celery, garlic and spices and cook for another 5 minutes. Arrange the eggplant in a baking dish and cover with the sauce from the pot continuing to cook in the oven uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes. Serve in squares with some adzuki beans on top.

Blueberries, They Rock!

Despite their tiny size, blueberries are nutritional heavyweights. Dr. Fuhrman considers them one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Actually, he calls blueberries one of nature’s best foods:
Native to North America, blueberries have been part of the human diet for more than 13,000 years, long before being formally recognized for their healthy and anti-cancer effects Blueberries are among the best foods you can eat, and I recommend eating them everyday. I have created easy healthy recipes, diet recipes, smoothie recipes – using blueberries, soy milk, ground flax seed, and other natural foods – that give my patients a variety of ways to enjoy this wonderful fruit.
So how about those healthy recipes? Well, there are a lot of them here on Followhealthlife. Check it out:
And Dr. Fuhrman isn't the only one extolling the benefits of blueberries. Get a load of this video. The blueberry farmers must be very happy. Enjoy:

Now, in Disease-Proof Your Child Dr. Fuhrman makes it very clear, blueberries and other dark berries are packed with health-promoting nutrients. He explains:
Blueberries/blackberries are packed with tannins, anthocyanidins, flavonoids, polyphenols, and proanthcyanidins that have been linked to prevention and reversal of age-related mental decline. They also have powerful anti-cancer effects. Use frozen organic berries in the winter when fresh ones are not available.

Europe Plumping Up

Fatness is in the air. Yesterday I was watching a show on Animal Planet about owners and their fat pets living in England. Apparently 50% of all British pets are obese. Now I’m no sociologist, but, if they’re a lot of fat pets, they’re probably a bunch of fat owners. Maybe so, because according to Reuters obesity is still on the rise in Europe, especially in kids. Take a look:
Europe is facing major health and social burdens and the rise in obesity is reaching "epidemic" proportions, the 15th European Congress on Obesity in Budapest was told on Sunday.

Estimates show there are around 1.1 billion overweight people in the world, of whom 312 million are obese, and that in Europe 10-20 percent of men are obese and almost half the population is overweight.

Some 30 percent of children in Britain are obese or overweight, and percentages are rising in southern Europe, while in new European Union states in eastern Europe, rates of obesity are surging at a time when health spending is being curtailed.

"More than 80 percent of children who are already obese will stay obese as adults," said Martin Fried of Prague's Charles University, who authored a major study on the effect of surgery on obese patients.
Just another obesity log for the fat fire.


Eating to Live on the Outside: Subway

Subway! A fast-food restaurant! Have I lost my mind? The answer to that question is yes, but that happened a long time ago. And yeah, this week we’ll be taking a look at Subway, a fast-food restaurant. Relax. It’s not the first time we’ve dabbled in fast-food. Just last month we tackled Taco Del Mar and let’s not forget Eating to Live on the Outside favorites Chipotle and Baja Fresh. So of all the mainstream fast-food restaurants, why would I pick Subway?

Well, this week it just so happened that I found myself witness to an unusual amount of Subway commercials and all of them proclaimed “freshness.” This put a bee in my bonnet—and yes, I look very silly in a bonnet. Fresh is a great word, to me it’s the opposite of processed or refined. And when you’re talking about food, fresh is an Eat to Livers best friend. So, what do you say? Let’s see how fresh Subway really is.

Okay, for starters its worth mentioning that we’ve got one across-the-board concession to deal with, bread. If you walk into Subway hell-bent on a sandwich you’ve got to accept the bread, sure, you can order wheat bread, but either way, bread will be your first concession. Personally, I can deal with it.

Let’s see, the first group of sandwiches are called Fresh Fit—there’s that word again. Well the Veggie Delite looks pretty good to me. It’s prepared with lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, olives, pickles, and your choice of condiments. Now, if I were ordering this, I’d keep everything, get it on wheat bread, and probably garnish with basic yellow mustard. If you get past the bread, you’re left with a pretty phytonutrient-rich meal if you ask me. And, according to the website the Veggie Delite only packs 6 grams of fat or less—a nice little perk.

After the Veggie Delite you basically hit a brick wall. The rest of the Fresh Fit sandwiches include meat, and, there’s really no point ordering them without the meat because you’d just be better off sticking with the Veggie Delite. So let’s just scope out the rest of the menu instead.

Alright, the Fresh Toasted sandwiches are out. I don’t really see any hope here, unless of course Dr. Fuhrman changes his nutritional recommendations to include hearty portions of melted cheese and meat. And you can bet the farm, the beach house, the mansion, and vineyard that that’s not going to happen. Moving on.

Next up are the Local Favorites. Can you hear the sound of screeching tires? Because we’re about to hit a familiar wall again. We’ve got two options, the Cold Cut Combo or the Classic Tuna. The Cold Cut Combo is essentially the Veggie Delite with meat and cheese, and, the Classic Tuna is prepared with mayonnaise—a rancid horrible food in my opinion. Well, let’s see if Subway’s remaining menu selections fair any better.

I’m skipping the Catering Choice—I’m not exactly planning a dinner party here—and the Fresh Fit for Kids doesn’t apply to me, even though I have the mentality of nine-year old. So then, what’s left? Well, not too much. I could try my hand at the Tomato Garden Vegetable with Rotini soup, but it’s loaded with a ton of salt—eighty-six that idea! Or maybe I could just sit and nurse a Fruizle Express. What’s a Fruizle? It looks like some sort of smoothie, but, I have my suspicions about sugar content, so I wouldn’t order that either. So again, what’s left?

Well, as the cartoon pig says, “That’s all folks!” Subway may be fresh, but they don’t offer very much menu diversity for an Eat to Liver. The Veggie Delite is really your only option, provided you can get over the bread concession. Oh, and this worth mentioning. If the bread concession really aggravates you, you can ditch it all together and just order The Veggie Delite as a salad. And once you omit or limit the salad dressing, you’re in decent shape. Think of it this way, if you HAD to eat at Subway at least it’s not completely hopeless.

And remember, if you’ve got an interesting Eating to Live on the Outside story we’d love to hear from you. Hey, we might even make a post out of it. Check out Subway’s menu and email us at diseaseproof@gmail.com.

The Salad Debacle

Salads, arguably the staple meal of Eat to Live, but, that depends. What kind of salads are we talking about? If we’re talking about salads like Dr. Fuhrman’s Indian Mango Salad or his Pecan Maple Salad, then we’re good. But, if we’re talking about many of the standard American restaurant concocted salads, well, those are no friend of an Eat to Liver.

And what is a standard American salad? Let me paint you a picture. Take some phytonutrient-rich lettuce and maybe some tomato and onions. Then, bombard them with cheese, grilled chicken, croutons, bacon, crispy noodles, more cheese, lunch meat, and finally, drown it in as much oil or cream based dressing that you can get your hands on. And what are you left? A meal formally known as healthy.

Need some real world examples? Thankfully the Eating to Live on the Outside series has become a virtual library of unsavory food selections. So, here’s a couple of all-star—insert sarcasm here—standard American salads:
Lonestar Steakhouse
Like usual my eyes gravitate towards the salad section of the menu; it’s like the Alamo, a safe haven in the middle of hostile territory. The Cobb Salad has some promise, but I’m making a couple alterations—goodbye cheese and adios bacon! Now, I can deal with the chicken and egg, I only eat meat once a week anyway, so I don’t really mind this concession. Overall my favorite thing about this dish is the avocado. I have bit of an avocado fetish.

Carrabba's Italian Grill
No surprise here, but the next dishes I’d consider ordering are salads. First you’ve got your basic house salad, which is usually a safe option (provided you limit or omit the oily dressing), but I’m also intrigued by the Insalata Fiorucci and the Insalata Carrabba. Are they perfect? Oh no, there’s some nit-picking to do. Sure, between the both of them you’ve got field greens, artichoke hearts, roasted red bell peppers, grilled eggplant, tomatoes, black olives, carrots, celery, and red onions. But there’s also plenty of stuff to make an Eat to Liver head for the hills; a hazelnut goat cheese medallion, and mozzarella and romano cheese, not to mention the vinaigrette. For me the solution is pretty clear, I’m cutting out the cheese, I can go either way with the chicken (of course some of you might prefer to ditch it), and I’d use just a teeny tiny bit of vinaigrette. See with a few alternations you’ve got a decent meal, take a moment and ponder all the phytonutrients.
If you consider all this, this next article shouldn’t really shock you. The Los Angeles Times reports that lots people can’t pick the healthy meals on restaurant menus, even though many of them boast "wholesome" options—the problem? Part of it seems to be those pesky standard American salads. Mary Engel explains:
The four-question quiz — which focused on food served at Denny's, Chili's, McDonald's and Romano's Macaroni Grill — was commissioned by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, a nonprofit group based in Davis, and conducted by Field Research Corp. The findings were the same, regardless of education or income levels.

Even the center's executive director, Harold Goldstein, flunked the test, despite holding a doctorate in public health.

"More and more fast-food restaurants are claiming that they are providing healthy choices, and commonly the choice will have a word like 'salad' in it," Goldstein said. "But you could be blindfolded throwing a dart at the menu board, and you've got a better chance at making the healthy choice."

The findings do not bode well for a state in the middle of an obesity epidemic, said Alecia Sanchez, a Sacramento-based spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society. More than half of California adults are overweight or obese and at risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. One in three cancer deaths is related to poor diet, inactivity or obesity, Sanchez said.

Goldstein's center is using the survey results to lobby for a bill, introduced by state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) that would require chain restaurants in California to include nutritional information on their menus, much as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires nutritional labeling for food sold in grocery stores.
This whole situation makes me think of the heavyset woman who walks into McDonalds, orders a Big Mac, large fries, apple pie, and then a Diet Coke.

Can Your Bones Last a Lifetime: Exercising Wisely to Strengthen Bones

From the March 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Rather than letting your bones weaken as you age, you can strengthen them and keep them strong.

Our bones are composed of a porous network of calcified bridges called a trabecula network, which under an electron microscope looks like the inside of a sponge. This network of connecting bridges continually breaks and rebuilds with normal wear and tear as a result of the activities of daily living.

When use and weight-bearing activities are increased, many of these bridges break, but then are rebuilt—thicker and stronger. In fact, they grow and thicken in response to the stresses placed on them. With little muscle stress on the joint, they lose density and become thin and fragile. The strength and density of bone over time is directly proportional to the muscle strength moving that fulcrum. Just as muscles build with regular exercise, the bone strengthens too, right along with the muscle. In fact, a good test for bone strength is muscle strength.

Unfortunately, most women in America and other modern countries have relatively sedentary lives. Even women who do regular exercise and walk are susceptible, since most popular exercises do not adequately stress the spine with enough stimuli for bone growth. Having a healthy, erect spine is extremely important for digestion and overall health. Activities that exercise and strengthen the spine include digging, shoveling, carrying toddlers, using rowing machines, and doing back extension exercises. Scientific studies also have demonstrated that wearing a weighted vest can have a powerful protective effect.1

Here’s more on this topic:
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Healthy Bad Habits?

Okay, I’m sure you knew this already, but, the world has gone mad. Yesterday we learned that the ganja may actually halt lung cancer, and today, it seems fruity cocktails might be good for us. No, I’m not kidding. Reuters reports:
Adding ethanol — the type of alcohol found in rum, vodka, tequila and other spirits — boosted the antioxidant nutrients in strawberries and blackberries, the researchers found…

…Dr. Korakot Chanjirakul and colleagues at Kasetsart University in Thailand and scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture stumbled upon their finding unexpectedly.

They were exploring ways to help keep strawberries fresh during storage. Treating the berries with alcohol increased in antioxidant capacity and free radical scavenging activity, they found.
So next time you see some dude passed out on the beach in a puddle of strawberry daiquiri, you’ll know he’s a health guy. Oh, if you’re interested, here’s what Dr. Fuhrman has to say about consuming alcohol. From Eat to Live:
Moderate drinking had been associated with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease in more than forty prospective studies. This only applies to moderate drinking—defined as one drink or less per day for women, and two drinks or less for men. More than this is associated with increased fat around the waist and other potential problems.1 Alcohol consumption also leads to mild withdrawal sensations the next day that are commonly mistaken for hunger. One glass of wine per day is likely insignificant, but I advise against higher levels of alcohol consumption.

Alcohol’s anti-clotting properties grant some protective effect against heart attacks, but this protective effect is valuable only in a person or population consuming a heart-disease-promoting diet. It is much wiser to avoid the detrimental effects of alcohol completely and protect yourself from heart disease with nutritional excellence. For example, even moderate alcohol consumption is linked to higher rates of breast cancer and to occurrence of atrial fibrillation.2 Avoid alcohol and eat healthfully if possible, but if that one drink a day will make you stay with this plan much more successfully, then have it.
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Eat Broccoli, Wiggle Hamster Feet

Time for more animals eating veggies, but be careful. This one comes with an extreme cuteness warning. It’s in the feet—the feet I tell you! Proceed with caution:

Nutritional Wisdom: Dancing and Dining With the Stars

Dr. Fuhrman’s radio show Nutritional Wisdom airs live Wednesdays at 11am EST with an encore presentation Thursdays at 3pm EST on VoiceAmerica. Be sure to check out this week’s episode Dancing and Dining With the Stars, for a special interview with Heather Mills. And if you've missed an episode click the Nutritional Wisdom category for previous episodes.

Why We Don't Eat Healthy Food

Diet-Blog offers up five reasons why Americans don’t eat healthfully:
Despite all the campaigns to promote fruit and vegetable intake - only a third of Americans eat two or more pieces of fruit per day. 25% don't eat any vegetables at all (ref).

Why not?

Recent research from Mintel shows 5 reasons for not eating healthy:
1. Availability
2. Cost
3. Confusion
4. Time constraints
5. Taste concerns

Puff Puff Pass on the Cancer

In odd news, new research has found that marijuana can halt lung cancer growth by half. Yeah, I’m confused too. The Cancer Blog has more:
Researchers at Harvard University tested marijuana's main ingredient, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, in both lab and mouse studies and say their experiments are the first to show THC inhibits the growth of cancer.

Researchers are not certain why THC inhibits tumor growth, but it could be that the substance activates molecules that arrest the cell cycle. THC may also interfere with angiogenesis and vascularization, which promotes cancer growth.
So does this mean all the people at Phish concerts are pinnacles of health?

Pittsburgh Loves Ho Hos

People of Pittsburgh, stand up and be proud. Your city leads the nation in per capita consumption of Ho Hos. What’s a Ho Ho? Just a sugary processed chocolate snack cake, clearly, loaded with phytonutrients—hardly. Dan Majors of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more:
According to Hostess' data, the company produces 100 million Ho Hos a year. Pittsburghers pound 1.51 Ho Hos per person per day.

The only cities that come close are Buffalo/Rochester (1.39), Cincinnati (1.37), and Cleveland (1.15).

The announcement came as no surprise to Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at UPMC at the Center for Sports Medicine on the South Side.

"I guess we just really like our snack stuff here because it's tasty, it's easy to get, and they can be fairly economical, especially if you buy them in bulk," Ms. Bonci said. "We like that taste, and our lifestyle is grab-gulp-go. The Ho Ho just fits right in with that."
Sadly, our dangerous love affair with rotten food is all too common. Just get a load of these previous posts:
With food obsessions like this, its no surprise Dr. Fuhrman makes this comment about people’s unwillingness to eat healthy and how many will shun the dietary recommendations in Eat to Live. From Eat to Live:
The “good life” will continue to bring most Americans to a premature grave. The Eat to Live plan is not for everyone. I do not expect the majority of individuals to live this healthfully. However, they should at least make that decision being aware of the facts rather than having their food choices shaped by inaccurate information or the food manufacturers. Some people will choose to smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthfully, or pursue other reckless habits. They have that inalienable right to live their lives the way they choose.

Talking About Organic

How do you feel about organic produce? Personally, I dig it. But, I don’t bend over backwards to get it. Only about 20% of my weekly vegetation intake comes from organic produce. Why only 20%? Well, according to Dr. Fuhrman the benefits of just eating more fruits and veggies outweigh many of the commonly worried about non-organic risks, like pesticide residue for example. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the majority of pesticides now in use are probable or possible cancer causers. Studies of farm workers who work with pesticides suggest a link between pesticide use and brain cancer, Parkinson's disease, multiple myloma, leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the stomach, prostate, and testes.1 But the question remains, does the low level of pesticides remaining on our food present much of a danger?

Some scientists argue that the extremely low level of pesticide residue remaining on produce is insignificant and that there are naturally occurring toxins in all natural foods that are more significant. The large amount of studies performed on the typical pesticide-treated produce have demonstrated that consumption of produce, whether organic or not, is related to lower rates of cancer and disease protection, not higher rates. Certainly, it is better to eat fruits and vegetables grown and harvested using pesticides than not eating them at all. The health benefits of eating phytochemical-rich produce greatly outweigh any risk pesticide residues might pose.
Organic and non-organic is always a hot topic of conversation. Even though I’m not a strict buyer of organic produce, I do think that we’d be better off if all our food was organic. What do you think? And here, to help fuel the discussion, check out this report by Amy Spindler of CookingLight.com. In it, the experts weigh in on organic verses conventional:
What's best for the environment is hotly debated among experts. "There is no scientifically accepted evidence that organic foods are better for the environment. Organic production allows natural pesticides, which can be toxic to humans and wildlife," says Alan McHughen, Ph.D., professor of botany and plant sciences at the University of California, Riverside. Organic fertilizers may also contain harmful bacteria, such as E. coli. Plus, organic farming yields only 75 to 90 percent of the crop of conventional systems, meaning that more land must be planted in order to have an equal return.

Organic advocates counter that chemicals used in conventional farming spread far beyond the fields where they are applied and have unintended consequences. "Synthetic pesticides have been linked to developmental and neurological problems," Benbrook says. "Organics eliminate synthetic pesticides and the damage they do to farmers, land, and drinking water."
Although, once the marketers hook into the organic idea, I’m sure they’ll be rolling out organic Big Macs, Chalupas, and Double Whoppers. Continue Reading...

Burning the Fat

This next report makes me feel better about our own country’s obesity crisis, well, sort of. According to the AFP Britain’s populous is getting so obese that existing crematories can’t accommodate the broader coffins—creepy. More from the report:
Standard coffins are typically between 22-26 inches (55-65 centimetres) wide, but many undertakers now use super-size 40 inch-wide casks to accommodate bigger bodies.

"As long as the nation keeps on piling on the pounds, pressure will continue to be placed on crematoria," said Hazel Harding of the Local Government Association (LGA), which has to deal with funding for the building work.

"This is just another demonstration of how the UK's obesity problem is putting a real strain on public services."
I guess sawing them in half isn’t a good solution, right?

Breastfeeding Protects Against Breast Cancer

Dr. Fuhrman is a big advocate of breastfeeding. He believes it is an essential human function. It’s also a pretty popular topic here on Followhealthlife. Here are a couple good posts on breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding makes headlines at least a couple times a month. Like this for example. ParentDish relays new research claiming that breastfeeding may prevent breast cancer. Take a look:
[Breastfeeding] helps reduce the breast cancer risk for women who wait until after 25 to have children, as previous research has found that these women are more prone to the disease. In fact, after analyzing data on a number of women aged 55 and older, doctors found that breastfeeding help ward off breast cancer regardless of what age the women started giving birth.

Seeing as the average age for starting a family is 25, and current trends indicate the majority of women are waiting until they're older to have kids, this information seems particularly relevant.
Dr. Fuhrman would agree. In Disease-Proof Your Child he echoes similar sentiments. Check it out:
Nursing helps protect against breast cancer. During lactation, the secretion of estrogens in a woman’s body falls to virtually nil, and continuing to breast-feed for a prolonged period has a significant effect on resetting her estrogen to a lower level thereafter.1 Maximum protection is achieved after breast-feeding for approximately two years, which corresponds with the baby’s immunologic development, maximizing protection against disease for the baby as well. So breast-feeding plays a role in protecting both the baby the mother from developing cancer.

The American Cancer Society reports that reports that approximately 200,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in the United Stats in 2002 and about 40,000 breast cancer deaths occurred.2 Despite extensive research and the establishment of breast cancer screening programs, these statistics have changed little in the past four decades. We must attack this disease at its roots and stop so much unnecessary suffering and death.
I’m not sure you can say it any better than that.
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Can Your Bones Last a Lifetime: Benefits of Vitamin D

From the March 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Because vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium in the gastrointestinal tract and stimulates osteoblastic (bone-building cells) activity, vitamin D has been generating lots of interest lately in the medical literature. Borderline low levels of vitamin D have been found to be very common in the United States and Canada.

Medical studies show taking vitamin D is more effective than taking extra calcium for osteoporosis. In a recent 3-year prospective multi-center study, 622 women with osteoporosis, 50 to 79 years of age, who had one or more compression fractures of their spine, were randomly assigned to receive 25 mcg of calcitriol (900 IU vitamin D) or 1000 mg calcium for three years. In the third year, the vitamin D-supplemented group had 9 fractures per 100 women, and the calcium-treated group had 31.5.The difference in effect also was evident after two years.

The take-home message here is that curtailing habits that cause calcium wasting in the urine and monitoring vitamin D for adequate intake are more important than taking extra calcium. Attention to vitamin D status is most critical in those not getting regular sunshine. The most effective prescription for preventing and reversing osteoporosis involves diet-style modifications, extra vitamin D intake, and an effective exercise program.

Here’s more on this topic:

Go Outside and Hunt!

A British reality show has figured out how to get kids slim. If they’re hungry, make them hunt for their food. Alison Godfrey of The Daily Telegraph reports:
In Fat Kids Can't Hunt 10 fat youngsters will live with Aboriginal tribesmen in Australia for a month.

If the children want to eat, they must follow the strict rules of the Aborigines, eating plants, grasses and fruits as well as trapping, killing and cooking any animals or insects they find.

If they do not eat the bush tucker, they go hungry.

Made by made by Big Brother producer Endemol, Fat Kids Can't Hunt is designed to help overweight children tackle overeating problems
Just another reason why I hate reality television.

Parrot vs. Grape

My quest for videos of animal eating fruits and veggies continues. Watch as this parrots mauls a grape:

The Glycemic Index?

Personally, I don’t know much about the Glycemic Index—just seems like another gimmick to me. But Diet-Blog wants to know, is the Glycemic Index overrated? Here’s some of the post:
Tufts University have just completed the first phase of a study comparing low-glycemic-load and high-glycemic-load diets.

The results show no significant difference after one year of weight loss.

The research used 34 overweight men and women. Calorie intake was restricted by 30%.

The Low GL diet consisted of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, 30% fat.
The High GL diet consisted of 60% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 20% fat.
Like I said, the Glycemic Index isn’t really my bag, and, it doesn’t impress Dr. Fuhrman all that much either. Check out some of his thoughts on it:
There are reasons why high glycemic foods may be harmful but just explaining they are high glycemic is not one of them. It is true that a high glycemic response is one of the many features that is present in unhealthy processed foods, but that response is not a significant reason that explains the problem with those foods. There is no reason the glucose and insulin curve must stay blunted for good health. In diabetes research the glycemic index (GI) of carbohydrates has long been recognized as a favorable aid for diabetics to control blood sugar. The same is now often the case in lipid research as it has been demonstrated that high glycemic diets, rich in white flour, refined sweets and processed foods are unfavorable to both glucose levels and lipid parameters. The glycemic index of these foods is not the main reason they are dangerous foods, the main reason is because they are missing nutritional value.
The rest of Dr. Fuhrman’s opinions on the Glycemic Index are in Processed Carbohydrates, Dr. Atkins, and the Fallacy of Merely Measuring Food on the Glycemic Index.

Anti-Cancer: Broccoli and Soy

The Cancer Blog passes on a report exploring the anti-cancer effects of broccoli and soy. Check it out:
The researchers are convinced that there is a biological mechanism behind the protective effect. It is explained in the article that a compound resulting from the digestion of cruciferous vegetables, and genistein, an isofavone in soy, reduce the two proteins needed for breast and ovarian cancer to spread…

… The study found that when cancer cells were treated with high levels of compounds found in broccoli and soy, the drawing mechanism to the organs was reduced by 80 percent compared to untreated cells.
Dr. Fuhrman has been talking about the anti-cancer properties of cruciferous vegetables for a long time. Here’s a post about it. From "A Symphony of Phytonutrients" from Cruciferous Vegetables:
Important recent studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables and the compounds they contain can do the following:
  • Halt the growth of breast cancer cells1
  • Dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer2
  • Prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells3
  • Inhibit the progression of lung cancer4
What makes these studies even more fascinating is the discovery of the gene/diet interaction, which has shown that high intake of greens and cruciferous vegetables provides the food factors necessary to interact with--and prevent--genetic defects from creating disease. This gene/diet interaction activates a battery of many genes, initiating DNA repair and other protection mechanisms.
Makes me feel good about my baby spinach addiction.
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Trans Fat Out, Saturated Fat In

The hammer is certainly falling on trans fat. In fact, a few months ago it seemed like every week another restaurant or food producer was giving it the heave-ho. Just take a look at this list:
So then, booting trans fat from the food supply must be a good thing, right? Well, there might be a problem with that too. The Associated Press reports banning trans fat might mean a resurgence of an old enemy, saturated fat. Lauran Neergaard explains:
Trans fat has become the new fall guy for bad nutrition. Chain restaurants are struggling to get it off the menu after New York City and Philadelphia required restaurants to phase it out by next year. Bills to restrict or ban trans fat in restaurants or school cafeterias have been introduced in at least 20 states.

At grocery stores, the government began forcing food labels to disclose the amount of trans fat in packaged foods last year, and the race was on to see which manufacturers could eliminate it first.

The irony: Americans eat about five times more saturated fat than trans fat. And while gram-for-gram, trans fat is considered somewhat more harmful than its cousin, too much of either greatly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other ailments.
Now, the low-carb loonies of the world might not see this as a problem, but, those of us who live in reality know that saturated fat poses serious long-term health problems. Don’t take my word for it. Dr. Fuhrman talks about the dangers of saturated fat in Disease-Proof Your Child:
When we study people who died young of coronary artery disease, we find that the highest risk of an earlier death occurs in those who were above average weight in childhood.1 Findings from the famous Bogalusa Heart Study show that a high saturated fat intake early in life is strongly predictive of later heart disease burden and the higher blood pressure in childhood and adolescence is powerfully predictive of cardiovascular death in adulthood.2

A low-fiber, high-saturated-fat diet with lots of animal products, dairy fat, white flour, and sugar creates a heart attack-prone person with high cholesterol levels. The anti-cancer lifestyle, a healthy diet style for the entire family, started early in life, will have the added benefit of making it easier for children to become heart attack-proof. A diet high in plant fiber shows a protective effect against developing high cholesterol, obesity, and elevated insulin levels. Eating more of the natural high-fiber plant food in childhood has a powerful protective effect on preventing later-life heart problems, even for those a strong family history of heart disease.3 For those whose family genetically predisposes them to heart disease, early-life dietary excellence can make the difference between a long life free of heart disease and a heart attack in one’s forties or fifties.
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Ear Infections: Maybe it's Fat Ears

Why do kids get ear infections? Well, I’m no doctor. So I can’t say for sure, but, according to Dr. Fuhrman improper nutrition is a major contributing factor. A reason that most likely goes overlooked, because after all, it’s easier just to write a prescription for antibiotics.

In a previous post Dr. Fuhrman shares the story of one little girl who kicked her persistent ear infections not with antibiotics, but with nutritional excellence. Take a look:
When Stephanie Rogers, a typical seven-year-old girl, became my patient, her parents handed me a printout from the local pharmacy documenting the filling of 67 rounds of antibiotics at the cost of $1,643.80 by the ripe age of seven. Once the pediatric group started prescribing the antibiotics for minor complaints of fever and cough, it escalated to ear infections, sinus infections, and finally visits to the ear specialist by the age of four. She received 15 separate prescriptions of antibiotics when she was five years old. The first year she was my patient, the entire family changed its diet style. Stephanie went along for the ride and did fine. I did use an antibiotic once for her that next winter, when she had a persistent high fever and a red painful eardrum; however, that was the last time an antibiotic prescription was necessary. Luckily, Stephanie has been free of antibiotics ever since.
And here’s a little more proof that nutrition has something to do with ear infections. New research claims there is a link between body fat and a certain type of ear infections, meaning overweight children might be at a heightened risk of ear infections. Randy Dotinga of HealthDay News is on it:
Scientists in South Korea have uncovered a possible connection between body fat in children and a certain kind of ear infection, but several specialists in the United States are expressing doubts about the research.

If the link does exist, however, it could provide doctors with yet another indication of how extra fat is bad for kids just as it is for adults. "We have to pay close attention to decrease childhood obesity," said study co-author Dr. Seung Geun Yeo, a researcher at Kyung Hee University in Seoul.

Ear infections in children remain very common, affecting as many as eight or nine of every 10 kids. Doctors blame the middle ear, which often cannot fully drain fluid as it is developing.
It sure seems like so many things come back to nutrition. And yet, we don’t pay it enough attention. It’s a shame that we evolved these big brains, because so many of us don’t use them. Here are a few more posts about ear infections:

HealthDay News: Veggies Good, Cured Meats Bad

Here are a couple of great reports from HealthDay News. First up, Jeffrey Perkel explains that cured meats have been linked to the development of lung cancer:
Using data compiled as part of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the study authors found a statistical association between people who ate 14 or more servings monthly of cured meats and the incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This held true even after the researchers factored in such variables as age, smoking, and the amount of fruits and vegetables in the subjects' diets.

"People who eat 14 or more servings of cured meat per month have about an 80 percent increased odds of COPD versus people who don't eat cured meat at all," Dr. Rui Jiang, an associate research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City said.

And, the more cured meats a person eats a month, on average, the higher the risk of COPD, the study said.
Not exactly new news for Followhealthlife, in a previous post Dr. Fuhrman calls pickled, smoked, and barbecued meats one of the worst foods you can eat for health and longevity:

Worst Seven Foods for Health and Longevity

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Potato Chips and French Fries
  • Doughnuts
  • Salt
  • Sausage, hot dogs
  • Pickled, smoked or barbequed meat
Now, in related news, Serena Gordon of HealthDay News reports that fruits and vegetables help fight off cancer. Read on:
A trio of new studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research on Sunday found that vegetables and fruits help lower your chances of getting head and neck, breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers.

One of the studies even found that just one additional serving of vegetables or fruits could help lower the risk of head and neck cancer. Still, the more fruits and vegetables you can consume, the better.

"Those who ate six servings of fruit and vegetables per 1,000 calories had a 29 percent decreased risk relative to those who had 1.5 servings," said Neal Freedman, a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the division of Cancer Prevention at the National Cancer Institute and author of one of the studies.
Again, this is not exactly earth-shattering research for Followhealthlife. In this next post Dr. Fuhrman explains that cancer is a disease resulting from fruit and vegetable deficiency. Here’s more:
Vegetables and fruits protect against all types of cancers if consumed in large enough quantities. Hundreds of scientific studies document this. The most prevalent cancers in our country are mostly plant-food-deficiency disease.
In the end, it’s still cool when the media echoes what Dr. Fuhrman has been saying for years.

Super Cinnamon?

The Diabetes Blog passes on new research claiming cinnamon is some kind of diabetes super spice. Have a look:
In a landmark study on the effects of cinnamon pre-diabetic subjects, researchers from The Ohio Research Group discovered that regularly using this spice (it is a spice, right? I mean, I keep it with my spices. I have no idea, I'm a guy) significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and systolic blood pressure.

Coal Burning and Fluoride Problems

The AFP reports that coal burning and too much fluoride is having devastating effects on rural Chinese. Benjamin Morgan has more:
In many developed countries, fluoride, which is often naturally occurring in water and also coal, is added to toothpaste and drinking water.

Since the 1960s many medical experts have believed that small amounts of fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and strengthen bones.

However, the claimed benefits have increasingly drawn fire from medical experts who say that there are no tangible health advantages to the human body.

Several European countries over the last five years have stopped public water fluoridation programmes amid questions whether the mineral does more harm than good.

Dieting, No Good?

Did you know Dr. Fuhrman thinks most “diets” are a bunch of malarkey? No, I’m serious. He thinks a major problem in this country is the mudslide of gimmicky diets looking to con our unsuspecting and desperately-seeking-thin society. He talks about this in Eat to Live:
Americans have been bombarded with a battery of gimmicky diets that promise to combat obesity. Almost all diets are ineffective. They don’t work, because no matter how much weight you lose when you are on a diet, you put it right back on when you go off. Measuring portions and trying to eat fewer calories, typically called “dieting,” almost never results in permanent weight loss and actually worsens the problem over time. Such “dieting” temporarily slows down your metabolic rate, so often more weight comes back than you lost. You wind up heavier than you were before you started dieting.
Okay, this makes sense to me. It’s all about sustainability—not just the short term! That’s why Dr. Fuhrman’s approach to nutrition and maintaining a healthy body weight is not just a diet, but rather, a lifestyle change. More from Eat to Live:
The Eat to Live diet does not require any deprivation. In fact, you do not have to give up any foods completely. However, as you consume larger and larger portions of health-supporting, high-nutrient foods, your appetite for low-nutrient foods decreases and you gradually lose your addiction to them. You will be able to make a complete commitment to this diet for the rest of your life.
And it seems this kind of thinking is catching on. Maybe dieting really isn’t the answer. ParentDish relays new research claiming dieting doesn’t work. Check it out:
Here's the news you may have been waiting for -- dieting isn't good for you. I know I'm going to print a copy of this article for my doctor. Scientists at the University of California have completed the most thorough and comprehensive analysis of the available data ever and found this simple, and perhaps obvious, fact: dieting doesn't work.

In fact, they found that dieters actually end up heavier than when they started, more often than not. More than two-thirds put the weight right back on, raising the danger of heart attack, stroke and diabetes. "You can initially lose 5 to 10 per cent of your weight on any number of diets," notes researcher Dr. Traci Mann. "But after this honeymoon period, the weight comes back. We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority."
But sadly, as long as people are obsessed about their weight, they’ll be plenty of gimmicky garbage diets out there. After all, there’s a lot of money in junk. And if you’re curious, take a look at Followhealthlife’s Diet Myths category. In it you’ll find Dr. Fuhrman taking many fad diets to task, like Atkins and weighing your portions.

Uncommonly Healthy Breakfasts

Quick and Easy Breakfast to Go
3 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons dried currants
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
2 bananas, sliced
In cereal bowl, combine all ingredients. Heat in microwave for 3 minutes. On the go, combine all ingredients in a sealed container and eat later either hot or cold. Serves 2.

Romaine, Kiwi, Strawberry & Cashew Wraps

3 large romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried
1-2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
1 cup fresh organic strawberries, sliced
2 kiwis, sliced
Spread cashew butter on romaine leaf. Place some berry and kiwi slices on cashew butter. Roll leaf and eat. Serves 2.

Dr. Fuhrman’s Fruit, Nut, & Veggie Breakfast

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 green apple, sliced
8 walnuts halves, chopped
Make a bed of sliced fennel and cucumber. Top with berries, apple slices, and chopped nuts. Serves 2.

Cocker Crunches Celery

This cocker spaniel loves his celery—just listen to all the crunching! Take a look:

Getting the Lead Out

Imagine toys with lead. I thought that this type of danger was a thing of the past, but, apparently its not. According to the Associated Press the EPA recently instructed manufacturers of children’s products to provide health and safety studies if any lead might be found in their products. John Heilprin explains:
The Environmental Protection Agency agreed in response to legal pressure to write up to 120 importing and manufacturing companies by the end of the month, instructing them to provide health and safety studies if any lead might be found in the products they make for children.

"Parents still need to be vigilant about the recalls on products marketed to children that might contain lead, and take those products away from children as soon as they are recalled," Jessica Frohman, co-chair of the Sierra Club's national toxics committee, said Sunday.

The EPA letters are part of a settlement it signed Friday with the Sierra Club and another advocacy group, Improving Kids' Environment. The agency also must tell the Consumer Product Safety Commission "that information EPA has reviewed raises questions about the adequacy of quality control measures by companies importing and/or distributing children's jewelry."
This is good. You can never be too worried about keeping dangerous chemicals away from you and your children. Dr. Fuhrman talks about this in Disease-Proof Your Child. Take a look:
We must be careful not to expose our children to chemical cleaners, insecticides, and weed killers on our lawns. Chemicals used in pressure-treated wood used to build lawn furniture, decks, fences, and swing sets have also been shown to place children at risk. When young children are around, we must be vigilant to maintain a chemical-free environment.
And here are a couple of posts on the subject:

Eating to Live on the Outside: Camille's Sidewalk Caf´┐Ż

Its spring and the weather is getting nicer, well, at least it supposed to. Right now it feels more like fall in fair New Jersey and who would eat at a sidewalk café on a gloomy fall day—I would! Because this week Eating to Live on the Outside is grabbing a bite to eat at Camille’s Sidewalk Café. Never heard of it? Neither did I. All the more reason to jump in head first!

Okay, after a quick inspection, Camille’s looks very similar to Panera Bread. And if you remember, that didn’t work out so well. Hopefully Camille’s can do better. Camille’s offers up some pretty typical menu selections: sandwiches, wraps, salads, grilled-wraps, smoothies, and various flatbread-type creations. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Sounds like a lot of bread.” Yup, I agree. Looks like some concessions are in order—surprise-surprise.

The first thing I’d consider eating would be the Bangkok Thai Wrap, but, I’ve got some finagling to do. It’s prepared with a spinach tortilla, grilled chicken breast, Provolone cheese, Romaine lettuce, sprouts, carrots, crunchy noodles, water chestnuts, and sesame Oriental dressing. For starters, the grilled chicken and the cheese are gone. No sense consuming that standard American junk! Also, the crunchy noodles are history and I’m going easy on the sesame dressing. So what am I left with? A spinach tortilla wrapped around a whole bunch of veggies and a little dressing. It’s a concession I’m willing to make, how about you?

The Sonoma Veggie Wrap also has some potential, but—and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out—you’ve got to make some of the same alterations for this one that we did for the Bangkok Thai Wrap. The Sonoma Veggie Wrap comes with a spinach tortilla, Pepperjack cheese, Romaine lettuce, carrots, black olives, sprouts, sunflower seeds, and honey-mustard dressing. So then, I’m ditching the salty olives, the nasty cheese, and limiting the dressing. And again, I’m left with a lot of phytonutrients encased in a tortilla. Not a bad concession, if you’re willing to make it.

Now, salads are a great choice for an Eat to Liver, but, at face-value they’re not always a slam-dunk. Why? Well, more often than not the salads at many standard American restaurants are loaded with all sorts of the junk. I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider cheese, croutons, and crunchy noodles healthy additions to my salad. Rather, they’re just extra crap to pick off or omit. Guess what? A lot of Camille’s salads are full of this kind of stuff. So, I’ve got some work to do.

Bangkok seems to be a good place for us, so, I’m going with the Bangkok Thai Salad, which is basically the Bangkok Thai Wrap minus the spinach tortilla. So after I make some familiar alterations, I’m left with a pile of Romaine lettuce, carrots, water chestnuts, sprouts, sunflower seeds, and a little sesame Oriental dressing. Clearly, this is a better choice than the wrap, especially if refined flour products make your skin crawl.

Alright, I wouldn’t write off the other salads either. If you chip away at their standard American exterior, each one would make a decent choice for an Eat to Liver. Although, I’m not so sure what we would do with all that leftover chicken, cheese, and croutons. I wonder if it can be grinded up into Astroturf?

So what’s left to order? Well, not much. The oily Paninis aren’t worth it, especially the vegan one that comes with Feta cheese—yeah, you might want to read about that one for yourself. Also, I’m not feeling the flatbreads or the pizza. Now, you might be able to make a sandwich work for you, but they don’t look all that exciting to me, besides, you got to deal with all that bread—phooey! Personally, I’ll just stick with one of the salads or maybe sit and sip on smoothie, provided I ditch the honey first.

So there you have it, Camille’s Sidewalk Café. Probably not as bad as Panera Bread, but still, a tough sell. It’s not exactly loaded with Fuhrman-friendly options. Sure, they make a valiant attempt with their salads and providing the nutrition information online, but, Camille’s doesn’t quite cut the mustard. But don’t take my word for it, check Camille’s menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Leave a comment or email us at diseaseproof@gmail.com.

Can Your Bones Last a Lifetime: The Nutritional Causes of Bone Loss

From the March 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Low intake of calcium is not the main factor resulting in osteoporosis. In spite of the world’s highest intake of calcium, American women have one of the highest hip fracture rates in the world. This is not merely due to inactivity and lack of hard physical labor. It is also due to factors that accelerate the loss of calcium in the urine. Controlling the factors that work together to leach calcium from the bones and increase calcium in the urine (by reducing and eliminating them) is much more important than taking extra calcium. Osteoporosis is so prevalent because the vast majority of Americans eat a diet that is low in vegetables and high in animal products, sugar, salt, and caffeine.

In order to adequately protect your bone stores of calcium, animal protein consumption must be limited to 15 ounces per week or less, and salt consumption should be under 1200mg per day. Caffeine, refined sweets, and vitamin A supplements should be eliminated.

Here’s more on this topic:

Fatness: It's in Our Genes

Next time you’re looking a little bloated, the problem might be your jeans. No, not those jeans, your gene-genes. According to the Associated Press researchers have found another gene responsible for obesity:
Unlike other genes thought to be involved with appetite or calorie burning, scientists have no idea yet what FTO is supposed to do.

But research published in Friday's edition of the journal Science shows strong evidence of a link. Using blood samples provided by more than 38,000 people, scientists found that those who had one copy of the gene variation had a 30 percent increased risk of obesity, and carriers of two copies had almost a 70 percent increased risk.
I wonder, is this more rhetoric for the blame it on your genetics argument?

Dogs Love Cactus Pears

I’ve seen dogs do a lot of things. Jump through hoops. Learn sit, stay, and roll-over. But, I’ve never them stand up and beg for cactus pear. Until now, check it out:

For more on cactus pears, don’t forget Freaky Fruits: Cactus Pears.

Can Your Bones Last a Lifetime: Osteoporosis is Not a Natural Consequence of Aging

From the March 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Just as with heart disease, a great many Americans expect osteoporosis to occur as a natural consequence of aging. There is nothing natural about having a heart attack. Neither is it natural to break a few bones from coughing, hugging, or bending over. It certainly is not natural for your spine to collapse, creating pain and loss of your health, and it is not natural for your back to become painful, rounded, and humped for the rest of your life. It is not natural to grow so weak and frail that you fall and suffer a hip fracture.

Unfortunately, natural or not, more than 300,000 hip fractures occur each year, and more than 10 million American women suffer from osteoporosis. The lifetime risk of a hip, spine, or forearm fracture is nearly 40 percent among 50-year-old Caucasian women and more than 13 percent among Caucasian men.

Osteoporosis happens because of a combination of nutritional factors that accelerate calcium loss in the urine, low stores of vitamin D, and lack of weight-bearing exercises and core body strength.

Here’s more on this topic:

Crouching Cow, Hidden Disease

Mad Cow Disease freaks me out. Not because I eat beef—which I don’t. Just think about it for a second. When all the low-carbers go bonkers from their medium-rare overindulgence, who’s going be left to take care of them? Us!

And now, The Associated Press is reporting that a cow imported into the U.S. in 2002 was part of the same Canadian herd diagnosed with mad cow disease back in February. Take a look:
Older animals carry a higher risk of mad cow disease, which is known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

"If it was showing any signs, it would not have been able to go to slaughter," Karen Eggert, a spokeswoman for the Animal and Plant Inspection Service said, noting that it was observed by Agriculture Department inspectors.

Meat from the animal probably entered the food supply, Eggert said, but is at "negligible" risk of having posed a threat to animal or human health.
How does "negligible risk" sit with you?

Fatter Still

Well, this is an encouraging. People that are overweight by 100 pounds are the fastest growing segment of obese individuals in the country—anyone else see the pun here? The AFP reports:
The number of severely obese people rose 50 percent from 2000 to 2005, reaching three percent of the US population, or 6.8 million adults, according to a study by the Rand Corporation.

That rise was twice as fast as the gains registered in the moderate obesity, it said.

In order to be considered morbidly obese, a five-foot-ten-inch (1.77 meter) man would have to weigh 300 pounds (136 kilograms) or more, and a five-foot-four-inch (1.64 meter) woman would weigh 250 pounds (113 kilograms) or more.
Time for a new t-shirt, “Proud to be 100-Plus!”

Mango Cutting 101

Mangoes can be pain to cut. They’ve got a tough skin and huge freaking pit! Good thing this guy is here to show us the proper way to cut into one. Take a look:

Clamping Down on Asthma

We live in an age of disease. It seems like everyone is popping a pill nowadays. And kids are taking the brunt of it. From ADHD and to ADD—surely, something is wrong with your child! But all these new-fangled conditions are overshadowing traditional maladies like asthma. Just like a Hollywood agent, “Sorry baby, you ain’t hip anymore.”

Maybe that’s why new federal guidelines are coming out this summer urging doctors to pay closer attention to children with asthma. Lauran Neergaard of the Associated Press has more:
Federal guidelines due this summer are expected to urge doctors to more closely monitor whether treatment is truly controlling everyday symptoms and improving patients' quality of life — and to adjust therapy until it does.

Already, a campaign is under way to teach patients to recognize they need better help, and to tell them how to convey that to a doctor. If the doctor's happy that you've had no flare-ups but doesn't know you had to quit playing soccer to do it, you're not achieving good control.

Too often, physicians don't realize how severe symptoms are, says Dr. Jill Halterman, a pediatric asthma specialist at the University of Rochester. With children, their own parents may underestimate symptoms.

It's more complicated than denial: When wheezing while running or waking up at night coughing has been routine for years, people may not know to complain.

"It may be part of what they view as normal," says Halterman, who is studying the control gap. "We're hoping we can change that so the goal can really be for the child to have no symptoms and no limitations on activities."
Now, I’m sure every kid with chronic asthma wants to live without symptoms and have no limitations, but what if they could go one step further? What if they could knock their asthma out of the box? Impossible? Not so according to Dr. Fuhrman. In Disease-Proof Your Child he explains that nutritional excellence is a sure-fire way to shake asthma at its foundation:
Eating protein-rich and fat-rich foods of animal origin—meat, cheese, fried food, and saturated fat—is associated with a higher prevalence of both allergies and asthma.1 Eating in fast food restaurants and eating a lower intake of vegetables and other fiber-rich foods has been implicated by numerous studies. The same studies also show that the children in the lowest third of vitamin E intake were found to have three times the incidence of asthma compared to those children in the highest third of vitamin E intake.2 Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin found in greens, raw nuts, and seeds; it is not found in animal products. The consumption of white bread, butter, and margarine has also been noted to be strongly associated with asthmatic symptoms.3

The same pattern emerges. What is needed to battle the development of asthma allergies is the same adequate intake of omega-3 fat as well as diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Eating high antioxidant- and phytochemical-containing foods is related to lower occurrence of childhood allergies and asthma.4 Nutritional excellence can normalize an excessive inflammatory response. The inflammatory cascade release chemicals that attract white blood cells and fluid into the area, which results in the tightness and swelling that create the symptoms of asthma. When nutrient intake is low, the lung tissues become overly sensitive to irritating stimuli.
In a previous post Dr. Fuhrman talks about a young asthma sufferer who achieved great results with nutritional excellence. From Asthma Can Often Be Controlled With Proper Nutrition:
Jonathan was an excellent student and was keenly interested in learning how what he ate affected his health and his breathing problem. At the initial visit to my office, Jonathan was instructed on using a spacer with an inhaler and was taken off his three times a day nebulizer treatments. I told him his recovery hinged on the amount of green vegetables he was capable of eating. He was more than cooperative. This eight-year-old said to me, "I will eat dirt if you can fix my breathing." So I said, "How about if I give you great-tasting real food to fix your asthma. You can be a lot better within a year." Jonathan is now in fourth grade. It took about eight months until he no longer required any medication. He is now the picture of health and uses no inhalers or other asthma medications.
Also, according to Dr. Fuhrman breastfeeding is an important part of stopping the development of asthma in children. Here’s a couple of posts talking about that:
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Nutritional Wisdom: "Healthy to 100: Achieving a Long Healthy Life"

Dr. Fuhrman’s radio show Nutritional Wisdom airs live Wednesdays at 11am EST with an encore presentation Thursdays at 3pm EST on VoiceAmerica. Be sure to check out this week’s episode “Healthy to 100: Achieving a Long Healthy Life” with guest John Robbins. And if you've missed an episode click the Nutritional Wisdom category for previous episodes.

Eating Together is Better

Growing up we never watched television and ate dinner at the same time. Now that I live alone I still don’t. And it’s a good thing. Because according to a new study, you eat better when you’re not watching the tube. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News reports:
For this study, more than 1,300 parents or guardians of children participating in New York's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children were surveyed on how many days a week the family ate dinner together, the number of days each week the TV was turned on during dinner, and how often fruits and vegetables were served.

More fruits and vegetables were served on the nights families ate dinner as a unit. Servings of fruits and vegetables decreased each night the TV was turned on during the meal. Neither eating together nor having the television on seemed to have any relationship with servings of milk.

Fruits and vegetables are important components of any healthful diet and have been associated with decreased cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

Contaminated Fish

In the May 2005 editition of Healthy Times Dr. Fuhrman points out that all fish have contamination issues. And this chart makes it pretty clear that they do, take a look:

Diet: Phone, the Answer

New research has determined an encouraging phone call can be the key to weight-loss. “Hello. Health and fitness calling, may I speak to tubby please?” Reuters reports:
In a review of 26 studies on telephone health counseling, Australian researchers found that most showed the tactic to be successful. In more than three-quarters of the studies, phone advice from nurses or other counselors helped men and women improve their eating and exercise habits.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, are good news for people who can't or won't join a formal group activity, according to the study authors.

"It shows that support for physical activity and dietary change can come from a variety of mechanisms," lead author Dr. Elizabeth Eakin, a researcher at the University of Queensland, said in a statement. "This is great news for people who don't want to join a more structured group program or who don't have access."

The Hard Truth about Milk

I’ve never been much of a milk drinker. Growing up it used to make me sick. And now, I don’t touch the stuff. Call me a jerk if you want to, but when I see an adult sucking down a glass of milk, I honestly assume they’re a little touched in the head. After all, you’ve got to be crazy to drink poison, right?

Milk is poison? Well, that’s what author Robert Cohen contends in this Hard Copy report from 1998. Check it out, I found it on YouTube. It’s very daunting, so brace yourself:

Cohen is definitely going for the scare-factor, but, for good reason. Milk is bad news, but the countless knuckle-heads in this country refuse to believe it. Why? Probably just another shining example of our society’s emotional attachments to food. “Give up milk and cookies? No way!” Personally, a food-crush is not enough to keep me from ignoring the facts.

As Dr. Fuhrman points out in Disease-Proof Your Child, milk is not for humans—surprise-surprise—it’s for cows, but the dairy industry has done a nice job of tricking us to believe that milk is an integral part of the human diet—phooey!

Dr. Fuhrman will tell you, milk is good for something—promoting disease! In Milk: Does It Do A Body Good he points out that heart disease, ovarian cancer, and Parkinson’s are all afflictions caused by dairy consumption. The heart disease causation is particularly interesting:
Heart disease
A related recent finding is that deaths from heart disease also are strongly associated with milk drinking in adulthood. Of particular interest is that (as is the case with Parkinson’s) the association is with the non-fat portion of milk. Non-fat and skim milk consumption shows the same association as that of whole milk. Researchers found that heart disease death is strongly associated with circulating antibodies against milk. These antibodies are found to bind to human lymphocytes and platelets, thus increasing the likelihood of clot formation. The researchers also concluded that the non-fat aspects of milk have atherogenic effects (plaque-building) both biochemical and immunological, and the simultaneous attack from all these directions explains why milk was found to have such a strong effect on death rate.1
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Diet Soda a Farce?

Fast Weight Loss relays a story claiming diet soda is just as dangerous for us as regular sugary soda. Take a look:
Study finds that the drinking artificially sweetened soft drinks can stimulate the appetite, triggering cravings for sweet foods. And this can make you put on extra weight. The study says that you can lose weight if you avoid these soft drinks and drink water instead.

And despite having no sugar, diet drinks are not safe for teeth because they contain phosphoric acid or citric acid, which cause tooth enamel to erode. "It's different from decay, but can be just as bad for your teeth," the report warns.
As we saw in last month’s post Splenda: Big Business Protecting its Interests, Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of fake sugar. Take Stevia for example:
Many health gurus recommend substituting Stevia in place of artificial sweeteners. Stevia is natural and its use is permitted in Japan and other countries. Despite its widespread use, there is a surprising lack of human clinical trials evaluating its safety. Unlike with saccharin, no evidence has been reported that stevioside and its metabolites are carcinogenic. However, animal reports of nephrotoxicity do exist, which suggest that Stevia is likely safer than the other sweeteners, but not entirely without risk.1 The extent of risk is unknown at this time.
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Why We Are Losing the War on Cancer: New Approach Needed

From the January 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Clearly, the time is ripe to direct our attention to the causes of disease. Both cancer and heart disease can be effectively prevented. If we take a careful look at the scientific evidence, there is no doubt that the most powerful weapon we have to defeat the current epidemic of deaths in the modern world is nutritional excellence. We must redirect our efforts away from detection and treatment (which most often is futile) and toward prevention.

If the billions of dollars spent on cancer drug research were redirected into campaigns of public awareness and education about the nutritional and environmental causes of cancer, we could have a nation with a bright new health future. I look forward to the day when scientists, physicians, governments, businesses, and educators work together to educate the public that they do not have to die needlessly.

Here's more on this topic:


Pollution: Chinese Population Control

For years we’ve been told that China is an over-bustling population, but, that may change. Reuters reports that pollution, stress, and smoking are among the reasons why China is a seeing a rise in infertility:
Sperm counts had fallen noticeable since the 1970s, the report quoted Wang Yifei of Shanghai's Jiaotong University as telling a symposium on reproduction health in the eastern city of Hangzhou.

"A certain percentage of the sperm donated by seemingly healthy college boys to our sperm bank in Shanghai is not eligible in terms of sperm count or motility," Wang said.

Rising wealth resulting from the country's headlong economic boom over the past few decades had contributed to the problem in helping promote unhealthy lifestyles, said another academic.

Salad Power!

Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage Salad
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons date sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 small head Napa cabbage, shredded
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 small jicama, julienned
2 carrots, julienned
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unhulled sesame seeds
8 Brazil nuts, chopped
1/2 cup currants
Whisk together the lime juice, date sugar, water, and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside. Toss together the cabbage, bell pepper, jicama, carrots, and onion in a large salad bowl. Add the dressing, toss again and sprinkle with sesame seeds, brazil nuts, and currants. This may be served on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce. Serves 6.

Walnut-Pear Green Salad
8 ounces (about 8 cups) baby salad mix
2 ounces (about 2 cups) arugula or watercress
1 pear, grated
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup walnuts, crushed or chopped
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman’s D’Anjou Pear Vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pears, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup walnut halves
Toss greens with grated pear, currants, and walnuts. Toss with vinegar & olive oil and top with sliced pears and walnut halves. Use watercress as often as possible in salads for nutrient density. Serves 2.

Tossed Green Salad w/ Fruit
8 ounces baby salad mix
2 small heads romaine lettuce, torn or cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups watercress
1 cup broccoli sprouts
1 cup organic strawberries, sliced
2 green apples, chopped
2 tablespoons currants
4 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman’s Blood Orange Vinegar
4 kiwis, sliced
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Toss all ingredients together except for sunflower seeds. Sprinkle seeds on top and serve. Serves 4.

Diabetic Recipes and Easter Recipes Carnival of the Recipes

Diabetic Recipes hosts this week's carnival of recipes. Be sure to check out Followhealthlife's submission Exotic Stew, Exotic Soup. *Don't forget, not all recipes in the carnival are Fuhrman-friendly.

Strange Veggies: Daikon

This strange veggie isn’t much of a stranger at all. In fact, it’s a mainstay of traditional Japanese cuisine. But for many people living in this country, daikon probably sounds more like the name of a comic book villain than something you eat. So for the benefit of the uninformed, let’s see what we can turnip—I mean turn up—about this versatile root vegetable.

Versatility certainly sums up daikon. According to Wikipedia daikon can be prepared and eaten in many different ways; shredded, grated, dried, and with sushi, just to name a few. Not mention, it’s believed that Buddhist monks once pickled daikon to help preserve it through the winter. For more on that, let’s check out daikon’s Wikipedia page:
Shredded and dried daikon is called kiriboshi daikon, literally cut-and-dried daikon. Pickled whole daikon, called takuan in Japanese and danmuji in Korean, often takes a bright yellow color. Takuan is used in sushi and as a garnish for white rice. It is claimed, but not historically supported, that a Buddhist monk called Takuan Soho first made this pickled daikon to preserve vegetables for the long winter.

Fresh leaves of daikon can also be eaten as a leaf vegetable but they are often removed when sold in a store because they do not adjust well to the refrigerator, yellowing quite easily. Daikon sprouts, known as kaiware, are a popular garnish for salads and sushi.
Now you won’t find that kind of versatility with baloney! Maybe that’s why daikon in Japanese means “great root.” But as Bill Daley of The Chicago Tribune points out, some people want to call it “wonder root” as well. Why? Well, it’s believed that daikon also has some medicinal properties. Bill Daley explains:
For not only is daikon a natural digestive rich in vitamins A, C and E, but the root is a "marvelous" natural remedy for a hangover. "A cupful of grated daikon should do the trick," writes Barber in "Japanese Light."

Daikon is refreshingly crisp with a slight peppery kick.

One of the most common ingredients in Japanese cooking, daikon is most frequently used finely grated, according to the classic, just re-released book by Shizuo Tsuji, "Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art." So ubiquitous is the grated root that there are even special daikon graters.

Given that daikon is thought to aid digestion of oily foods, it is no surprise that it often is found in the dipping sauce used with tempura and other fried foods.
So, what does daikon look like? To be honest it kind of looks like a big white carrot. Here’s some fresh picked daikon courtesy of Bookish Gardener, take a peek:

Now, I’m not exactly sure which type of daikon it is because if you check EverGreenSeeds.com, you’ll see that there are well over a dozen different varieties of white oriental radishes. Some have a green neck, others are better for pickling, and while the rest are just pretty basic. Take these for example:
Daikon Radish, Miyashige Green Neck
Long and large Daikon with green neck and white flesh.

Oriental Radish, Hybrid April Cross
Pure white and straight shape radish. Excellent quality.

Daikon, Hybrid Minowase Summer Cross

Excellent quality Daikon radish for cooking, pickling and salad.
Alright then, let’s not forgot the most important question of all? How does daikon stack up nutrition-wise? Sure, it looks promising and sounds tasty, but how good for us is it? Unfortunately, it’s not exactly a nutritional heavy weight. I found these produce Nutrition Facts on Whole Foods’ website. Look how daikon compares to kale and fellow strange veggie kohlrabi:




Personally, this won't discourage me. As many of you know, there are a lot worse nutrient-low foods you can eat. Now, as I mentioned in last week’s Eating to Live on the Outside: Health in a Hurry I’ve never tried daikon, but, now that I know a little more about it, I’m a man on a mission. In the words of Blue Oyster Cult, daikon, “I’m burning-I’m burning for you.”

And remember, strange veggies and freaky fruits are everywhere—keep your eyes peeled, you never know when one might come out of the woodwork.

Tips from The Cancer Blog

Last week Diet-Blog offered up some suggestions to help you lose weight and stay healthy. This week The Cancer Blog has got seven helpful tips to prime your kids. Here’s a couple that caught my eye:
Let 'em see you sweat
You need to keep moving too. Not only for your own well-being -- that's obvious -- but so your kids see your physical activity as a staple of healthy living. Teach your kids to do push-ups and sit-ups and do them together. Jump rope, run laps at a local track, ride bikes, or dance. Just don't expect your kids to stay active if your idea of exercise is flipping through TV channels.

No double standards
We simply cannot say one thing and do another. Smoking while preaching the dangers of the habit just doesn't make sense. Saying "no" to sweets with your hand in the cookie jar is downright unfair. Carrying around extra weight and demanding physical fitness is simply ineffective. So make a commitment to yourself and your kids that you will do as you say. It's the only way.
Now, I isolated these tips because they require two-fold commitment, by you and your kids. After all, the best to lead to is by example. Trust me. The overweight high school gym teacher is no health and fitness remodel.

Dr. Fuhrman also believes in this dual commitment. Check out this secret from Dr. Fuhrman’s Secrets to Getting Your Children to Eat Healthfully:
If you, as parents, do not demonstrate proper respect for your own bodies by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and engaging in other healthful lifestyle practices, don't expect your children to do any better than you, now or in the future.

Cancer Risk: Animal Fat & Protein

Here’s a great report from late last month, but, nothing we haven’t seen before. According to Reuters animal protein and fat raise endometrial cancer risk. Read on:
Women who received the most calories from animal protein had twice the risk of the disease compared to those who took in the fewest calories from animal sources, Dr. Wang-Hong Xu of Fu Dan University School of Public Health in Shanghai and colleagues found.

High levels of calories from animal fat boosted the risk by 50 percent. However, the women who ate the most protein from plant sources cut their endometrial cancer risk by 30 percent.

The results suggest that it's the source of fat or protein, not the macronutrients themselves, that is related to endometrial cancer risk, Xu and his team conclude.
For more on the meat-disease connection, check out these previous posts:

Wait, Americans aren't Healthy?

Okay, you might have to sit down before you read this next report. Because apparently, most Americans don’t eat right, or, exercise enough. WOW THAT’S SHOCKING NEWS! So what do the experts think? We need to eat more fruits and vegetables and get more exercise. HOW INSIGHTFUL! WE’RE SAVED! Will Dunham of Reuters is on it:
"These results underscore the need to promote diets high in fruits and vegetables and regular physical activity among all populations in the United States and among racial and ethnic minority communities in particular," U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers said in a report.

The CDC tracked the percentage of Americans who eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and engage in moderately intense exercise for at least 30 minutes five days per week or vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes three days per week as recommended by the government.

When Non-Dairy Means Dairy

Veg Blog is steaming over Jamba Juice’s “non-dairy” formula:
Water, Grade A Nonfat Dried Milk, Grade A Whey, Grade A Whey Protein Concentrate, Splenda, Sodium Alginate, Maltodextrin, Pectin, Carrageenan, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Natural Flavor, Annatto.
You won’t find me at a Jamba Juice anytime soon.

Lady, Leave the Fruit and Go!

Mental note, when in the wild and out numbered by monkeys, don’t dilly-dally with the fruit:

Eating to Live on the Outside: Health in a Hurry

Now that’s a pretty encouraging name if you ask me. It’s also a good marketing move. Unlike the original name for McDonald's, which was “Have You Looking for a Bathroom in a Hurry.” So, does Health in a Hurry live up to its moniker? Well there’s only one way to find out. Troops! Suit up, we’re going in.

Okay, I’m happy to report that Health in a Hurry is very similar to other health-conscious restaurants we’ve encountered in the past. Meaning, there are lots and lots of Fuhrman-friendly menu items to choose from, not unlike the menus of Pure Food and Wine and Mesob. So, instead of being a tyrant about the menu, I’m going to pick the dishes that look the most appealing to me; because as you’ll see, Health in a Hurry gives you plenty of options.

First up, check out the soups! Specifically the Greens, it’s prepared with collards, spinach, arugula, swiss chard, kale, parsley, onions, and celery. I think we can all agree—that’s a ton of phytonutrients! Dr. Fuhrman is a big advocate of soups. Why? Well, think about it. When you eat soup you eat, you consume the chunky stuff and the liquid, right? So you don’t really lose any nutrients in the cooking process, do you?

Next is the Crisp Green Salad, it looks mighty tasty! This salad comes with chickpeas, carrots, red cabbage, golden beets, mixed greens, blue cheese, and dressing. Obviously the blue cheese gets the heave-ho. Dr. Fuhrman considers cheese to be a downright horrible food. With the cheese gone, you’re left with a pretty decent salad. Personally, I’d go lightly on the salad dressing and simply relish the power of the beets, although, what they do to you after the fact can be funny.

Take a look at the Summer Slaw. An interesting dish that probably looks nothing like the standard American coleslaw they used to slop into those tiny plastic cups in school cafeterias—and that’s a good thing! The Summer Slaw is made with celery root, diakon, radish, red cabbage, green cabbage, carrot, celery, and jicama. What got me excited about this dish are all the vegetables I haven’t tried. I’d be hard-pressed to pass this one up. Has anyone ever tried diakon, jicama, or celery root? Tell me about. I’m sure they’re all very nutrient-rich.

Now, normally when I eat beans, my friends hit the bomb shelter. Well sorry guys, hope its cozy down there, because the Mexican Lentil Salad is looking good. It’s prepared with "chilpolte-lime" vinaigrette, green lentils, jicama, celery, carrots, red onion, and fresh cilantro. Again, there’s jicama in there, so this would be a great opportunity to give this veggie a whirl. And of course, I’d be sure to go easy on the dressing, especially since this one has a little heat.

Finally, I’m really digging the Roasted Veggie Wrap. What’s it come with? Let’s see. Red pepper, yams, carrot, fennel, parsnip, onion, olive oil, salt & pepper, and a spinach wrap. Pretty cool, right? I love roasted fennel! I’d probably drop the olive oil and the salt, but I’d keep the spinach wrap. That would be my concession. I don’t think it’s a particular big concession, like I say all the time, focus on the veggies. Repeat after me, “Focus on the veggies.”

So, I think Health in Hurry certainly lives up to its namesake. We just looked at five potential meals for an Eat to Liver and most of them required little or no concessions. Tell you what, take a look at the rest of Health in Hurry’s menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Leave a comment or email us at diseaseproof@gmail.com.

Flu, Shot!

Monday night I’m talking with a friend of mine and extolling all the virtues of Dr. Fuhrman’s approach to nutrition. To be honest, I was bragging about it. I told her how it helped me lose unwanted pounds, made my gastritis a none-factor, and, that I hadn’t even had the sniffles in well over a year. But irony is a funny thing. Remember, “It's a black fly in your Chardonnay.”

Tuesday morning I woke up with an unfamiliar groggy feeling, but being the ox-minded kind of guy that I am, I ignored it and headed off to the gym—yes, this was a very STUPID idea. Okay, I made it through my warm up with no problems, but when I hit the treadmill, that’s when everything went wrong. I couldn’t breathe deeply and it felt like I was dragging a rickshaw full of all my ex-girl friends behind me—so you can imagine how uncomfortable that must have been!

Depressed and defeated, I headed home. And a couple hours later it was pretty obvious, I had the flu. Sure, I was mad that I was sick, but I was more upset that my year-plus streak of not getting ill had come to an end. Nevertheless, I battened down the hatches and prepared to fight this virus head on. After all, I’m an Eat to Liver. My body is equipped and ready to smack the stuffing out of an intruder like the flu, right?

Absolutely! Tuesday and Wednesday I got the brunt of the virus; fever, chills, cough, the sweats, headache, and that horrible malaise. What did I do? Not much. I planted my well-bundled butt on the couch, turned on The Price is Right, drank lots of water, and ate bunch of water-rich fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and pineapple. In fact, at times my symptoms were so mild that I actually made a trip to the supermarket to buy more fruit. Not to mention, I didn’t miss a beat on Followhealthlife—thank you very much. So what happened next?

Thursday morning I woke up feeling a lot better! The only symptom still hanging around is a slight a cough and few sniffles, but nothing serious. Now, in our flu-phobic culture kicking the flu in two days is unheard off. For example, many online flu information sources say you expect to be out to commission for as long as a week. Here are a couple of the websites I stumbled upon:
HOW LONG DOES FLU LAST? You may feel ill and have a temperature for up to a week. You could feel weak and in low spirits for several weeks longer.

How long does a bout of Influenza last?
If you are healthy and suffer from an uncomplicated influenza attack, influenza illness starts to resolve after a limited number of days for the majority of persons, although cough and malaise can persist for more than 2 weeks.
What do I say to sites like these? “Ha-ha-ha, ha-ha, ha!” Prior to Tuesday, the last time I had the flu was back in high school—way before I started Eating to Live—and I remember it being a real nightmare. I was sick for a lot longer than two days and my symptoms were much-much worse. So what do you think was the difference-maker this time around? Maybe my diet had something to do with it? Dr. Fuhrman would think so. In fact, in a previous post about Bird Flu, Dr. Fuhrman insists diet is an important factor towards keeping the flu at bay. From Six Steps to Protect Your Family from Avian Flu:
Unfortunately the majority of Americans eat a diet style that weakens their normal resistance to simple viral infections. In spite of advances in science that reveal the critical importance of thousands of protective micronutrients in the natural plant kingdom, much of the modern world consumes a diet rich in processed grains, oils, sweets and animal products. In the United States, for example, less than five percent of total calories consumed come from fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. These are the foods that are richest in micronutrients.

As I have explained previously on Followhealthlife, the key to health is nutrition per calorie. Those of us who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) have a very low nutrient (per calorie) intake. This chronic malnourished condition is the true life-threatening epidemic in the modern world, resulting in a medical care crisis and untold tragedies. And this ubiquitous malnourishment may also eventually enable the Avian influenza viruses to spread more easily and develop into virulent forms. With the ubiquitous consumption of fake foods such as white bread, pasta, oil and sugar, nutritional incompetence is the norm.

The flu is a simple viral illness which a healthy body has scores of adequate defenses against. No flu, including the bird flu, is any match for a well-nourished immune system.
They say the proof is in the pudding. Well, getting over the flu in two days is some pretty sweet—or should I say nutrient-rich—pudding if you ask me.

Why We Are Losing the War on Cancer: Cancer Rates to Soar

From the January 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Cancer rates are set to increase at an alarming rate globally, according to the World Cancer Report. This comprehensive global examination of cancer presented by the World Health Organization predicts rates to increase 50 percent by 2020. This may be good news for drug companies that will profit from the increased sale of cancer therapies as a result of the worldwide spread of cancer-promoting diet, sedentary lifestyles, and smoking. But it is bad news for the rest of us. Right now the chance of getting cancer in a developed country with a high consumption of meat, dairy, and processed food is over twice as high as developing nations. However, with increasing wealth and the exportation of America’s toxic diet, the gap is rapidly narrowing.

Here's more on this topic:


Malaysians Facing a Fat Crisis

Back in October of last year the AFP reported that Malaysian officials were worried about the number of diseases the Western lifestyle would bring to their country. Well, it seems their worries might just become a reality. The AFP is now reporting that Malaysians will face an epidemic of obesity-related disease in ten years:
Malaysia will likely face an "epidemic" of weight-related illnesses in the next ten years if the country's rising obesity rates are not checked, health minister Chua Soi Lek warned Thursday.

Chua said medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and knee problems had increased in tandem with rising obesity levels.

"It has reached a worrying level and if there is no concerted effort by government agencies as well as the public, we will face a non-communicable diseases epidemic in 10 to 15 years," the minister told reporters.
At this rate we soon won’t have any healthy populations to compare ourselves too!

Exotic Stew, Exotic Soup

West African Red Lentil Okra Stew
2 cups red lentils
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup smooth natural no-salt peanut butter at room temperature
4 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest
4 cups carrot juice
2 cups frozen chopped onion
1 15-ounce can whole no-salt crushed or chopped tomatoes (San Marzano are the sweetest)
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
pinch cayenne pepper
1 medium sweet potato, chopped
16 ounces frozen okra, thawed and cut in half crosswise
16 ounces frozen chopped kale or collard greens
In large sauce pan simmer red lentils in 3 cups of water for 15 minutes. In mixing bowl whisk tomato paste, peanut butter, VegiZest and carrot juice, then add to simmering lentils. Next add rest of ingredient and mix together. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer another 20 minutes. Serves 8.

Creamy Curry Pumpkin Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
2 tablespoons date sugar
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 1/4 cups unsweetened soy milk
In a soup pot cook onion and garlic in water until tender. Add curry powder and parsley and mix well. Add vegetable broth, pumpkin, and date sugar and mix well using a wire whisk. Simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove 1/4 of the soup and add to blender along with the cashews. Blend until smooth. Stir back into rest of soup and add soy milk. Heat through before serving. Serves 4.

April Fools Carnival of the Recipes

Blog Of The Day Awards hosts this week's carnival of recipes. Be sure to check out Followhealthlife's submission Healthy Mushy Desserts. *Don't forget, not all recipes in the carnival are Fuhrman-friendly.

Older Ladies: Getting Moving

Alright, let me apologize for pairing the word “old” and “ladies” in the same phrase—please, I’ve already been hit with too many purses in my life! Anyway, two new reports are out claiming that exercise is a great way for women to stay healthy as they age. First up, Margie Mason of the Associated Press explains that exercise may fend off arthritis in women:
An Australian study suggests the more time older women spend exercising, the better their chances are of staying pain-free from one of the biggest chronic conditions plaguing developed countries.

Even exercising as little as one hour and 15 minutes a week now can make a difference over the next three years, according to findings recently published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy.

"I don't think the results are suggesting that you should just become this maniac exerciser," said lead author Kristiann Heesch from the University of Queensland, Australia. "What it does suggest is that just adding some walking and moderate activity to your life can make a big benefit."
And get a load of this one. Eric Nagourney of The New York Times reports that increased physical activity aids menopausal women. Have a look:
For the study, the researchers took 164 women and divided them into three groups. For four months, one group walked, one did yoga and one remained inactive…

…In this study, the women taking part in the walking and yoga programs also said the problems associated with menopause decreased and their overall quality of life improved. “Interestingly,” the researchers said, “yoga participants also appeared to benefit in the sexual domain.”
As an admitted gym-rat, I love news like this. I think exercise is one of life’s most simple pleasures.

Why We Are Losing the War on Cancer: Failure of Treatment

From the January 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Excluding the high rate of lung cancer in smokers, the two most prevalent cancers in modern societies are breast and colon cancer in women, and prostate and colon cancer in men. Both the incidence of, and the death rate from, these common cancers have shown no significant decrease between 1930 and today. In other words, modern cancer detection and treatment methods have not changed the percentage of people dying from these common cancers.1 For example, in spite of the dramatic rise in the use of mammograms and interventions to treat breast cancer, the same number of women develop and die from breast cancer, at the same general age, as they did thirty years ago. We have lost the war on cancer.

Here's more on this topic:

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Dr. Fuhrman on Fasting

So we all know Dr. Fuhrman is a huge advocate of a nutrient-dense vegetable-based diet for superior health, longevity, and disease protection. But did you know he is a strong supporter of fasting too? In fact, he wrote a book about it. Here’s a little bit from Fasting and Eating for Health:
Therapeutic fasting accelerates the healing process and allows the body to recover from serious disease in a dramatically short period of time. In my practice I have seen fasting eliminate lupus and arthritis, remove chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, health the digestive tract in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and quickly eliminate cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and angina. In these cases the recoveries were permanent: fasting enabled longtime disease suffers unchain themselves from their multiple toxic dugs and even eliminate the need for surgery, which was recommended to some of them as their only solution.
Until I started working for Dr. Fuhrman I thought fasting was something that happened by accident, i.e. not having a job. And you certainly don't hear the modern medical community talking about it, so to say the least I was pretty surprised when Dr. Fuhrman emailed me this article.

Susan Seliger of WebMD investigates whether or not fasting is healthy. And you’ll see she tapped a familiar source. Take a look:
"Fasting is not a weight loss tool. Fasting slows your metabolic rate down so your diet from before the fast is even more fattening after you fast," says Joel Fuhrman MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Plan for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss and Fasting and Eating for Health.

Fasting for weight loss carries other health risks as well.

While fasting for a day or two is rarely a problem if you are healthy, "it can be quite dangerous if you are not already eating a healthy diet, or if you’ve got liver or kidney problems, any kind of compromised immune system functioning, or are on medication -- even Tylenol," says Fuhrman, a family physician in 19126, N.J..

Even worse for dieters is that fasting for weight loss "distracts people from the real message of how to lose weight: lower fat intake, eat five fruits and vegetables a day, drink water and stop drinking other liquids, walk 30 minutes a day, and get more sleep," says Fernstrom, an associate professor of psychiatry, epidemiology, and surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

In addition, other practices that are often combined with fasting for weight loss, such as colon cleansing, carry their own risks.

Nutritional Wisdom: The Danger's of Dieting

Dr. Fuhrman’s radio show Nutritional Wisdom airs live Wednesdays at 11am EST with an encore presentation Thursdays at 3pm EST on VoiceAmerica. Be sure to check out this week’s episode The Danger's of Dieting. And if you've missed an episode click the Nutritional Wisdom category for previous episodes.

No Really, Obesity is Bad

Obesity news is never good. It’s like stubbing your toe or hitting every traffic light during rush hour. But did you know, at one time carrying a little extra weight was a good thing? No? Dr. Fuhrman talks about it in Eat to Live:
Those who genetically store fat more efficiently may have had a survival advantage thousands of years ago when food was scarce, or in a famine, but in today’s modern food pantry they are the ones with the survival disadvantage. People whose parents are obese have a tenfold increased risk of being obese. On the other hand, obese families tend to have obese pets, which is obviously not genetic. So it is the combination of food choices, inactivity, and genetics that determines obesity1. More important, one can’t change one’s genes, so blaming them doesn’t solve the problem. Rather than taking and honest look at what causes obesity, Americans are still looking for a miraculous cure—a magic diet or some other effortless gimmick.
Makes sense to me, especially in this country. We’re bombarded with food—and food commercials—so unless you’re facing economic hardship, how much is good fat storage really helping you? In fact, it sure seems like that ability to store fat is going to do more harm than good.

For example, check out this study concluding that overweight people more likely to get asthma. Julie Steenhuysen of Reuters is on it:
"Overweight and obesity significantly increases the risk of developing asthma," said Dr. E. Rand Sutherland of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado, who wrote the study.

"If you can substantially reduce the amount of overweight or obese people, you might also get a reduction in the number of new cases of asthma," Sutherland said in a telephone interview.

Sutherland and colleagues, writing in the April issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, said a significant reduction in the incidence of overweight or obese people could cut the number of new asthma cases in the United States by 250,000 per year.

In children, where the incidence of asthma is five times higher than in adults, the researchers suggested that even small weight reductions could have a big impact in reducing the number of new asthma diagnoses.
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Veggie Eating Dragons!

When I first saw this video I imagined droves of Japanese people fleeing a city. But now worries, Godzilla has got nothing on these veggie eating reptiles. Take a look:

I wish I knew how to spell Godzilla’s roar. It would be fitting right here.

Obesity, Eating, and Pregnancy

I don’t think you need to be a doctor or nutrition to expert to rightfully assume that a pregnant mother’s health and eating habits can have a direct effect on the child developing inside her. But, don’t take my word for it—I’m just a blogger—here’s what Dr. Fuhrman has to say. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
The time to begin paying attention to a child’s health is long before birth. Even the mother’s diet twelve months before conception can influence the child’s future health. It is important to eat healthfully prior to conception as well as once pregnancy has begun. Proper nutrition and good health habits are more important than ever during pregnancy and can help in maintaining good health for both mother and baby.
So, with that being said, check out this report by Malcolm Ritter of the Associated Press. New research has determined that weight-gain during pregnancy may negatively impact babies once they’re born. Read on:
Women in the study who gained the recommended amount of weight ran four times the risk of having a child who was overweight at age 3, compared to women who gained less than the advised amount.

The outcome was about the same for women who gained more than the advisable amount.

So what's a pregnant woman to do? Clearly, she shouldn't gain more weight than recommended, said the study's lead author, Dr. Emily Oken of Harvard Medical School.

But beyond that, it's too early to say whether women should try to gain less than the standards call for or shoot for the low end of the recommended range, Oken said. At least the latter course is probably safe, she said.
Some other experts urged that pregnant women not try to gain less weight than recommended.

In any case, Oken said, it's too soon to call for a revision of the standard guidelines.
Do you really need to wait for the guidelines to change before you take action in your own life?

Pomegranates, Exciting!

Pomegranates are getting more and more popular—and for good reason! Dr. Fuhrman considers them to be quite the all-star. Here’s a quick list of their health benefits from Pomegranate Power:
Features of Pomegranate

1. Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits
2. Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
3. Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease
4. Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
5. Lowers blood pressure
6. Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies.
7. May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis
Pretty cool, right? And Dr. Fuhrman isn’t the only one excited about pomegranates. In this video CNN’s Dr. Bill Lloyd crows about this nutritional superstar, coincidently also named Pomegranate Power.

Now for more on the health benefits of pomegranates check out these previous posts:

Fat Scans?

Well, this is a suspicious one. Apparently London's Medical Research Council suggests people undergo a special MRI scan to detect whether or not they are fat. The Diabetes Blog passes it on:
Scientists from London's Medical Research Council suggest that some people undergo what they are calling a "Fat Scan" -- an MRI to detect if slimmer looking people have excess fat around and inside their organs. Though most newer MRI machines are capable of measuring fat, only three centers (one in Dallas, one in New York, and one in San Diego) are currently using them for this purpose, and are doing so only for research purposes.

Until this MRI "Fat Scan" technology is perfected and regularly utilized, it's best to follow a healthy diet and regular exercise program, regardless of how fit they may appear on the outside.
Sounds like a big fear-induced money maker to me, just like total body scans. What do you think?

Health Tips from Diet-Blog

Diet-Blog offers up some pretty good tips for people looking to live healthier and maybe drop a few pounds, take a look:
1. Drink more water (and eliminate the need to consume lots of sweetened drinks).
2. Bring fruit to work instead of hitting the vending machine.
3. Exercise - start small and be realistic.
4. At dinner-time replace some of the rice/pasta/potatoes with vegetables.
5. Eat breakfast.
For the most part, anything encouraging people to eat more fruits and veggies is a good idea—heck, it’s a start.

More Japanese Kids Overweight

Global obesity sure seems like an unstoppable runaway train, and here’s more proof. Reuters reports that the number of fat kids in Japan is rising:
A team of researchers has found that up to 20 percent of primary and junior high school children who were classified as overweight, and as many as 3 percent of children of the same age in general, may have the same condition. "There's a worldwide trend toward more weight problems in children, and Japan is no exception, as it has taken up habits more like the West," said Takehiko Ohzeki, professor and chairman of Pediatrics at central Japan's Hamamatsu University, who headed the research.

"Diet has really changed. Also, children now tend to sit around and watch TV and play computer games all day."

The research, which took two years and which Ohzeki said may have involved up to "several thousand" participants, suggested setting standards for metabolic syndrome in children as one part of a general program to tackle the issue.

A large waistline, high blood pressure, raised insulin levels, excess body weight and abnormal cholesterol levels are all symptoms of the syndrome.

Wow, Magic Foods!

Aren’t we lucky? We live in a time where vitamins can be found water. Wondrous yogurt cultures set our digestive tracts straight. And cooking oils are infused with health-promoting substances. Just how did people survive before all this? Who cares! That was then and this is now.

Okay, I know. The sarcasm was a little over the top, but given the number of magic foods on supermarket shelves and how many millions of people buy them everyday, clearly someone has to think they’re a good idea, right? But are these products really worth it? E.J. Mundell of HealthDay News investigates the merits of “functional foods.” Take Danone's "Activia" for example:
Other functional foods are populating the dairy aisle. Danone recently introduced its Activia line of flavored yogurts enhanced with their own specially developed strain of "friendly" gut bacteria, Bifidus Regularis. The bacteria's name announces the purpose of the Activia line: To encourage frequent, on-time bowel movements…

…"In fact, many yogurts will have 'contains L.acidophilus' or something like that on the label, because they know there's a niche market of consumers looking for that," said Sanders, past president of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, who is based in Centennial, Colo…

…"Remember, if people just ate more fiber in their diets, more fruits and vegetables, they'd probably have bowel movements more frequently, anyway," Mary Ellen Sanders one of the nation's leading experts on bacteria-enhanced "probiotic" foods pointed out.
You’ve got to love that quote! Even though it doesn’t say it, it pretty much implies that it’s easier to convince people to consume engineered/heavily marketed “super foods” than it is to get them to eat regular-old fruits and veggies. “Waaa! But I don’t like broccoli Mommy!” That’s what it sounds like to me.

Dr. Fuhrman knows all about this kind of thinking. Some people are very standoffish when it comes to natural food and they’d rather eat all these manufactured foods and hope that their million dollar claims hold up, than to abandon their food addictions and start eating to live. From, Eat to Live:
The social and economic forces that are pulling our population toward obesity and disease will not be defeated by one book preaching about achieving superior health with nutritional excellence. The “good life” will continue to bring most Americans to a premature grave. The Eat to Live plan is not for everyone. I do not expect the majority of individuals to live this healthfully. However, they should at least make that decision being aware of the facts rather than having their food choices shaped by inaccurate information or the food manufacturers. Some people will choose to smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthfully, or pursue other reckless habits. They have that inalienable right to live their lives the way they choose.
Now I realize that I crow-barred that quote in there, but even still, I think it crystallizes the issue here. Instead of teaching people to change their ways and give up emotional attachments to food. We spend tremendous amounts of time—and money—trying bend proper nutrition to our will, in the hope that we won't have to give up all the junk we’re accustomed to eating. Does anyone else think this is bizarre? Not to mention a giant waste of time…and money.

Organic Q&A

Do you buy organic food? I do. Actually, I buy a mix of organic and non-organic. I’m not too anal about it. Why? Well I wash my fruits and vegetables carefully before eating them and according to Dr. Fuhrman that’s really good way to protect myself from pesticide residue. He talks about it in Is Organic Food Safer:
Organic food is certainly your best bet, to further limit exposure to toxic chemicals. No one knows for sure how much risk exists from pesticide residue on produce, but here's what we do know: the younger you are, the more your cells are susceptible to damage from toxins. It seems wise to feed our young children organic food whenever possible.

Of course, wash your vegetables and fruit with water and when possible, use a drop of dishwashing detergent and then rinse well to remove all detergent residues for a little more efficient cleaning. Specialty pesticide removal products have not clearly demonstrated any more effectiveness than mild soap and water.
Now, if you’re still hungry for more information on organic food. Check out this article in The Seattle Times. Astrid Pujari and M.D. answer some common questions about organic versus non-organic:
Q: What foods have the highest level of pesticides?
A: Animal products probably have the highest levels overall. In a Romanian study, meat was six times higher in total pesticides than vegetables. Milk products were three times higher.

Remember that animal products often have hormones and antibiotics in addition to pesticides, which is another issue entirely. If you want to avoid all this, I recommend getting certified organic meat, eggs and dairy products. Note that "free range" and "natural" meat is not the same as organic; you need to look for the actual word "organic" on the label.

In terms of pesticides on vegetables and fruits, the worst are apples, celery, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, spinach, strawberries and sweet bell peppers. In my opinion, though, it's probably safest to eat everything organic if you can.
Good thing I barely eat meat anymore.

Why We Are Losing the War on Cancer: The Diet/Disease Link

From the January 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

Data collected in the last forty years has generally led to the same conclusion: a high-calorie, high-fat, low-fiber, and low-nutrient diet increases heart attacks, strokes, and cancer risk at all ages. An increasing number of scientific organizations in the United States—including the National Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society, and the Department of Health and Human Services—support this conclusion and have issued (somewhat tepid) dietary guidelines for the general public aimed at reducing the risk of cancer as well as other chronic diseases.

The chief response of modern society to the growth of these diseases of dietary foolishness has been to invest billions of dollars into the development and testing of a seeming never-ending stream of drugs to treat cancer patients and high-tech surgical techniques to treat heart patients. But after pouring these billions into charities and other institutions that support this drug and surgery approach, the sad fact is that the death rate continues unabated. This ill-advised search for “cures” for easily-preventable diseases is not unlike the search for the fountain of youth in the fourteenth century.

Here's more on this topic:

Freshening Up School Food

Articles like this are great. A new trend has local farmers selling their crops directly to schools. Adam Gorlick of the Associated Press reports:
"I care about what I eat, so I'm happy the school is doing what it can to help make meals healthier," said Joe Levering, a sophomore at Clark University who was surprised that the carrots he had at lunch Thursday came from a farm in Lunenberg, about 25 miles from the campus.

"And it's a great idea to support local farms so they could stay in business," he said.

Clark is one of about a dozen colleges in the state participating in the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, a three-year-old program that helps eliminate the middleman in food distribution by having more farmers bring their fruits, vegetables, and dairy products directly to campuses.
I don’t know about the dairy though.

What's a Cabbage Cup?

It kind of sounds like a funny name for a male athletic supporter, but, it’s actually a recipe. I found it on YouTube and it’s extremely Fuhrman-friendly. Check it out: