Salad Boom

Watch as this world renowned chef masterfully prepares salad. Simply breathtaking:



Boom!

Magnetize Your Food

Stick healthy eating right on your fridge, with Healthy Foods Magnets by Simple Memory Art:


(via Diet-Blog)

And right next to those, stick one of these:


Bottled--TAP--Water

Okay folks. Let’s be frank for a moment. How many of you actually believe bottled water comes from the Alps, Maine, or some secluded fountain of youth? Hopefully none of you, because this Reuters report confirms my longstanding suspicious, bottled water is just tap water. Martinne Geller explains:
PepsiCo Inc. will spell out that its Aquafina bottled water is made with tap water, a concession to the growing environmental and political opposition to the bottled water industry.


According to Corporate Accountability International, a U.S. watchdog group, the world's No. 2 beverage company will include the words "Public Water Source" on Aquafina labels.

"If this helps clarify the fact that the water originates from public sources, then it's a reasonable thing to do," said Michelle Naughton, a Pepsi-Cola North America spokeswoman.

Pepsi Chief Executive Indra Nooyi told Reuters earlier this week the company was considering such a move.

Pepsi's Aquafina and Coca-Cola Co's Dasani are both made from purified water sourced from public reservoirs, as opposed to Danone's Evian or Nestle's Poland Spring, so-called "spring waters," shipped from specific locations the companies say have notably clean water.

Coca-Cola Co. told Reuters it will start posting online information about the quality control testing it performs on Dasani by the end of summer or early fall.
Personally, I buy bottled water—about once every six months—so I can refill the bottles with my own filtered tap water.

The Farm Bill

The other day I read a bumper sticker that said, “No farmers. No food.” Think about that for second. Better yet, think about where your food comes from—DON’T SAY THE SUPERMARKET! I’ll put it bluntly, without farmers we’d be in a pickle.

That’s why Dr. Fuhrman forwarded me this message from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. It’s about the farm bill, which directly effects farmers and ultimately impacts us, the consumer. Here’s some of the email:
We need to gather congressional support for the “Fairness in Farm and Food Policy” amendment, which will be offered by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Earlier this month, we contacted you about HR 2720 (also known as FARM 21). Reps. Kind and Flake have taken many of the provisions from FARM 21 and put them in this new amendment. The amendment would limit government subsidies of unhealthy foods, cut subsidies to millionaire farmers, and provide more money for nutrition and food assistance programs for Americans and impoverished children overseas.
Hey, I’m for anything that gets people eating and living healthier. Now, just this Wednesday the bill was heard on the floor of the House of Representatives. Check out the transcript for commentary by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns:
The whole idea here is that we are going to reauthorize a Farm Bill. The Farm Bill covers a number of areas. As you know we cover commodities to conservation to energy to research, trade, food stamps, rural development. This is the year -- if we don't pass the Farm Bill this year, literally we revert back to the 1949 Farm Bill, which nobody wants to do. We want to get a Farm Bill to the finish line this year.


Just as a quick refresher, this is how our money is allocated here at the USDA. The vast majority of our funding goes into food assistance programs. About 26 percent goes into the commodity programs based upon '06 budget outlays, actual outlays. And then the rest is spread about in conservation, international, rural development, research, and other programs.

I said this many times -- I have a history with the 2002 Farm Bill. I was the Governor of Nebraska when it was written. The 2002 Farm Bill, I believe, was the right policy for the times. I supported it. I was lead governor for Western Governors on the reauthorization of the Farm Bill. I was co-lead with Tom Vilsack of Iowa for Midwest Governors. And as I said, I supported it in 2002.

Why was it the right policy for the times? Well, commodity prices were low. Exports had declined for five straight years. The debt-to-asset ratio was not good; it was at about 15 percent for farmers. So the 2002 Farm Bill came in and it provided support. It was the first-ever Farm Bill with an energy title.
For background on the Farm Bill, visit The United States Department of Agriculture.

More Pomegranate Power

The Cardio Blog likes pomegranates:
It's something you don't often eat but you probably should because it's chalk-full of antioxidants and other healthy good stuff: Pomegranates. The fruit benefits your cardiovascular system, and also has been shown to help with Alzheimer's, cancer and even erectile dysfunction. And it's a better source of flavonoids than red wine, green tea or blueberry juice.
Dr. Fuhrman thinks pomegranate juice is great. From Pomegranate Power:
Pomegranate juice is so rich in heart protective compounds and there are animal studies to support the beneficial findings in human studies, it makes the results of these recent investigations understandable and believable. Pomegranate is a powerful food for good health.1
Summary 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
Continue Reading...

Enriching Foods, Not a Miracle

The concept of “enriched” foods is an odd one. You take wholesome natural food, process and strip it of its nutrients, and then, artificially reintroduce vitamins and minerals. Why are we reinventing the wheel? Just eat food as it is—wholesome and natural. Dr. Fuhrman thinks enriched food is a big waste of time too. He talks about in Eat to Live:
White or "enriched" rice is just as bad as white bread and pasta. It is nutritionally bankrupt. You might as well just eat the Uncle Ben's cardboard box it comes in. Refining removes important factors: fiber, minerals, phytochemicals, and vitamin E. So, when you eat grains, eat whole grains.


Refining foods removes so much nutrition that our government requires that a few synthetic vitamins and minerals be added back. Such food is labeled as enriched or fortified. Whenever you see those words on a package, it means important nutrients are missing. Refining foods lowers the amount of hundreds of known nutrients, yet usually only five to ten are added back by fortification.

As we change food through processing and refining, we rob the food of certain health-supporting substances and often create unhealthy compounds, thus making it a more unfit food for human consumption. As a general rule of thumb: the closer we eat foods to their natural state, the healthier the food.
Hopefully these refined foods don’t reach your dinner table—especially when you read news like this. Research has revealed that increased consumption of enriched foods like bread, pasta, and rice have upped the number of reported cases of colon and rectal cancer. Lawrence Lindner of The Boston Globe is on it:
But the fortification of foods with folic acid, a B vitamin, may have also led to an unintended consequence: an estimated 15,000 more cases of colon and rectal cancer each year than there otherwise might have been.


It's well documented that more folic acid in young women's diets has prevented neural tube defects. This month, for example, Canadian researchers published a study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing that since 1998, the year that it became mandatory to add folic acid to certain foods, the prevalence of neural tube defects in seven Canadian provinces decreased from 1.58 per 1,000 births to 0.86 per 1,000 births -- a reduction of almost 50 percent.

The story is similar in the United States, which began requiring folic acid fortification the same year.

But the timetable of the downward trend in neural tube defects exactly corresponds to a significant, sustained upward tick in the rate of cases of colorectal cancer, according to new data from researchers at Tufts University.

The study, published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, shows that before the late 1990s, the incidence of colon cancer was decreasing on a steady, predictable curve, presumably because of increased screening with colonoscopies, during which precancerous polyps and early cancers are removed. However, the curve has shifted.
This doesn’t surprise me. Dr. Fuhrman makes it clear, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are incredibly important, but it’s the phytonutrients—found only in unprocessed plant foods—that are so instrumental to superior health. In the Fortified Food Farce Dr. Fuhrman makes a comment that really lays it on the line. Here it is:
When you attempt to meet you micronutrient requirements with supplements or fortified products you miss those thousands of phytonutrients that accompany produce that is naturally nutrient rich. So every fortified food you eat is increasing your risk of cancer by decreasing your dietary intake of a food that could have supplied those calories in a more nutrient complete package. Fortified foods = processed foods. Processed foods = obesity and cancer epidemic.
I don’t get the hang up here. Why are people so willing to consume processed food monstrosities for nutrients, instead of getting them from the source? I don’t know. Maybe they’re not sure which fruits and veggies to eat. Well, this’ll get them started: Ten Super Foods to Use in Your Recipes and Menus.

Green Salad Is Less than 100 Calories per Pound

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

Did you notice that 100 calories of broccoli is about ten ounces of food, and 100 calories of ground sirloin is less than one ounce of food? With green vegetables you can get filled up, even stuffed, yet you will not be consuming excess calories. Animal products, on the other hand, are calorie-dense and relatively low in nutrients, especially the crucial anti-cancer nutrients.

What would happen if you attempted to eat like a mountain gorilla, which eats about 80 percent of its diet from green leaves and about 15 percent from fruit? Assuming you are a female, who needs about 1,500 calories a day, if you attempted to get 1,200 of those calories from greens, you would need to eat over fifteen pounds of greens. That is quite a big salad! Since your stomach can only hold about one liter of food (or a little over a quart), you would have a problem fitting it all in.

You would surely get lots of protein from this gorilla diet. In fact, with just five pounds of greens you would exceed the RDA for protein and would get loads of other important nutrients. The problem with this gorilla diet is that you would develop a calorie deficiency. You would become too thin. Believe it or not, I do not expect you to eat exactly like a gorilla. However, the message to take home is that the more of these healthy green vegetables (both raw and cooked) you eat, the healthier you will be and the thinner you will become.

Now let’s contrast this silly and extreme gorilla example to another silly and extreme way of eating, the American diet.

If you attempt to follow the perverted diet that most Americans eat, or even if you follow the precise recommendations of the USDA’s pyramid—six to eleven servings of bread, rice, and pasta (consumed as 98 percent refined grains by Americans) with four to six servings of dairy, meat, poultry, or fish—you would be eating a diet rich in calories but extremely low in nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and vitamins. You would be overfed and malnourished, the precise nutritional profile that causes heart disease and cancer.

The Great Pumpkin Massacre

I’m not sure why anyone would do this. But here is the world's first fully trained giant pumpkin attack dog. She goes by the codename Dixie. It’s gruesome. Watch at your own risk:

Antioxidants, Not Weak in the Knees

As someone who recently took up Yoga, I can tell you—KNEE STRENGTH IS IMPORTANT! And here’s a good way to help your knees stay strong. New research claims consuming plenty of antioxidants may protect against knee arthritis. Reuters reports:
Australian researchers found that middle-aged adults with higher dietary levels of vitamin C were less likely to develop certain bone abnormalities that contribute to knee arthritis.


The findings "highlight the potential of diet to modify the risk of osteoarthritis," they report in the online journal Arthritis Research & Therapy. Dr. Yuanyuan Wang of Monash University in Melbourne led the research.

The subjects were 293 men and women who were middle-aged, healthy and free of knee pain at the start of the study. At that time, they completed detailed questionnaires on their diets; 10 years later, their knee tissue was examined using MRI scans. All of the nutrients were obtained through food, rather than from supplements.

In general, Wang's team found, the higher a person's dietary levels of vitamin C at the start of the study, the lower the risk of certain bone changes 10 years on. The same was true when the researchers looked at overall consumption of fruit, a prime source of vitamin C.

Certain carotenoids, such as the lutein and zeaxanthin found in green vegetables, were also related to a lower risk of cartilage defects in the knee.
Antioxidants are no joke. Dr. Fuhrman talks about their power in Prevent Deficiencies with Plant-Based Nutrition:
The most dramatic finding in nutritional science in the last fifty years is the power of plant-derived phytochemicals to affect health. Phytochemicals, along with the rich assortment of powerful antioxidants found in unrefined plant foods, fuel a defensive system that removes toxic cellular metabolites that age us. Phytochemicals also are required for maintenance and repair of our DNA.


Cancer may be promoted by toxic compounds, but we have cellular machinery, fueled by phytochemicals, to detoxify and remove noxious agents and to repair any damage done. Our body is self-healing and self-repairing when given sufficient nutrient support to maximize efficiency of protective cellular machinery. But, only when we consume large amounts of green vegetables and a diversity of natural plant foods can we maximize phytochemical delivery to our tissues.

Psychotherapy Gone Bananas

This banana is under a lot of pressure. Can broccoli save him? Take a look:


Bionic Watermelon

Apparently scientists have developed a low-sugar variety of watermelon. The Diabetes Blog is on it:
The low-sugar watermelon is creating a big buzz in the news right now. The watermelon, developed by plant breeders at the US Department of Agriculture, contains less than half the sugar of regular melons. It may fit the bill perfectly for diabetics who crave a generous helping of that luscious summer treat. Brilliantly, beneficial concentrations of vitamin A, potassium and the antioxidant lycopene stay the same in the low-cal version. Don't rush to the local supermarket looking for it though: the seeds have only just become available to melon growers, so mature fruits has not yet hit the market.
Watermelon is one of favorite fruits, in fact, for breakfast this morning I had a bowl full. If you like watermelon as much as me, why not give this recipe a try? Succumb to the melon:
Watermelon Ices
5 cups seedless watermelon
1/2 cup raisins
Blend watermelon and raisins in a blender, food processor, or VitaMix until they form a creamy liquid. Pour into paper cups and freeze for one hour only. Remove partially frozen treat from the freezer. Blend again, spoon the mixture back into the cups, and place back in the freezer until served.

More Love for Flavonoids

The flavonoids are coming. They’re all around us. Will you harness their power? According to Dr. Fuhrman, fruits and veggies are packed with flavonoids, so—go get some! From Popeye Was Right--Greens Pack a Powerful Punch:
Which has more vitamin E or vitamin C--broccoli or steak? I'm sure you are aware that steak has no vitamin C or vitamin E. It is also almost totally lacking in fiber, folate, vitamin A, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin K, flavonoids, and thousands of other protective phytochemicals. Meat does have certain vitamins and minerals, but even when we consider the nutrients that meat does contain, broccoli has lots more of them. For many important nutrients, broccoli has more than ten times as much as steak. The only exception is vitamin B12, which is not found in plant fare.
Now, even though Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t recommend going overboard with juice. The Diabetes Blog relays information claiming that the flavonoids in orange juice reduce inflammation:
A recent study by endocrinologists at the University of Buffalo reveals orange juice is packed with flavonoids. Not only that, flavonoids suppress destructive oxygen free radicals (aka reactive oxygen species or ROS). ROS can damage cells and contributes to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Previous research has shown 300 calories of glucose induces ROS and other proinflammatory responses. Now the researchers wanted to see how orange juice, fructose and saccharin-sweetened water impacted ROS compared to glucose. For this study, 32 healthy people between ages 20 to 40 were divided equally into four groups and given 300 calories worth of either o.j., fructose, saccharin water or glucose. Significant increases in ROS were reported in samples from the glucose group, but not the o.j., fructose or water group.
Blueberries and other foods are also loaded with flavonoids; Ten Super Foods to Use in Your Recipes and Menus.

Eat and be Thin

Lettuce Loving Labradoodles

These pooches love some crispy lettuce:

Oh man, look at those floors—what a mess!

The Great Veggie Escape

That’s right, its time for an annoying vegetable-inspired short film from horrible college film makers. Enjoy, or at least try to:


Junk Science: Fruits and Veggies Not Good For Cancer

Yup, can you hear it in the distance? The dangerously food-addicted are rejoicing. Because according to new junk science—oops, I mean “research”—eating lots of fruits and veggies doesn’t protect against breast cancer—yawn. So, if you like a good laugh. Reuters reports:
The study tracked 3,088 U.S. women. Half followed a diet with the widely recommended five daily servings of vegetables and fruit. The other half ate a diet doubling that intake.


Those who consumed twice the vegetables and fruit in a diet also high in fiber and low in fat were no less likely to avoid a recurrence of breast cancer or death than the women who followed the five-a-day diet.

The women, all of whom had been treated successfully for early-stage breast cancer, participated in the study from 1995 to 2000 at seven places in California, Texas, Arizona and Oregon. They were followed for between six and 11 years…

…The researchers emphasized nutrient-dense vegetables like dark, leafy greens, sweet potatoes and carrots, and did not count vegetables such as iceberg lettuce and white potatoes.

The researchers said the study did not look at whether eating a diet high in vegetables, fruit and fiber and low in fat earlier in life would reduce the risk of ever getting breast cancer.
Oops! Sorry, I almost nodded off. Reports like this are boring—but typical! One day fruit is good, next day it’s bad. Then veggies are up, and then their down. It’s like a rollercoaster of junk science and all it does is confuse people—want the truth? Dr. Fuhrman offers it up in 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.
I’m with Dr. Fuhrman on this one. Plant foods are nutritional heavy weights—take green vegetables for example. But, since this report is buzzing around the newswires and thumping the bloglines, I figured I’d ask Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts. And here’s what he had to say:
This reminds me of something that happens with some of my new patients.


The patient comes back to see me after six weeks of supposedly following the diet I prescribed and not only hadn't they lost weight, but they had gained.

I said are you sure you are eating the exact diet I told you to follow? And the following ensues:
Patient: "Of course, I ate all that stuff!"


Me: "And nothing else?"

Patient: "You mean I was not supposed to eat my old diet too?"
These people actually gained weight and ate more fat as the study progressed. And the people who have actually read my materials know three critical facts:
1. A high cruciferous diet, with lots of raw greens is the only effective nutritional intervention for women who already have breast cancer.


2. The natural history of breast cancer which is caused by early life standard American diet cannot be changed by moderate changes, later in life.

3. A healthy diet has a high nutrient-per-calorie density, which means that empty calories and extra body weight has a significant negative impact on your health, even if you consume healthy foods along with it.
But hey! Maybe you need more convincing? Now, I’m no doctor, but here’s my professional advice. Get yourself some nice ripe pieces of fruit or some crisp veggies—right now I’m munching on some cantaloupe—kick back, and check out these posts for more information on how plant foods help protect us from all diseases, not just cancer. Enjoy:
Now don’t be shy. This is only a quick list of posts. Be sure to check out Followhealthlife’s categories. There you’ll find a lot more content—I know, I wrote most of them—the Cancer, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease categories are particularly good. Oh, and if you want to know just how much fruits and veggies you should be eating, take a look at this:



Continue Reading...

Does Counting Calories Matter?

I’m no diet guru, but the concept of counting calories seems totally off the mark. Especially when the dietary equation sums up like this: fried chicken + milk shake = calorie allotment for the day. Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t think too highly of calorie counting either. From The Problem with Weight Watchers and other Calorie Counting Diets:
With calorie-counting and point-counting and having to weigh, measure, and calculate amounts eaten, you are following a diet. Who wants to diet and measure portions forever? I enjoy eating. I eat the way I advise all my patients to do, yet I am not overweight. Why? I enjoy eating lots of great tasting stuff and not having to worry about my weight or my health. Intellectually, I know that I am doing the right thing to prevent heart disease and other medical problems from developing in my future. Dieting and measuring out thimble-sized portions of food for the rest of one's life is not something that fits in naturally and permanently into anyone's lifestyle. Besides, anything you do temporarily gives only temporary benefit.
One of Dr. Fuhrman’s most major points is the concept of nutrient density. In short, nutrition is not just about eating a certain amount of calories per day. Superior nutrition is achieved by eating lots of nutrient-dense low-calorie foods; like leafy green cruciferous vegetables. He talks about it in Eat to Live:
As long as you are eating so many low-nutrient foods, it is impossible to lose weight healthfully. In fact, this vicious combination of sedentary lifestyle and eating typical "American" food should make normal people overweight. It is perfectly normal to become a "food-addict," eating more calories when the body requires, when your intake of micronutrients is so low. This low nutrient intake leads to cellular toxicity creating an internal environment when cravings, and ill-feeling ensue if the body is not continually overfed. It is similar to the way a heroin or nicotine addict, who needs their regular fix, or withdrawal will begin and they will feel too uncomfortable. The standard (low phytonutient) diet leads to discomfort (headaches, weakness, abdominal spasm and fluttering, mental confusion and more) the minute your stomach empties for a few hours.
Now keep this in mind when you read this article in The New York Times. Apparently consumers are calling for calorie content labels on fast food; including McDonald’s, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, and others. Lots of people want the labels, but some are skeptical—so am I. Roni Caryn Rabin reports:
“Do you think people will stop eating McDonald’s French fries and Big Macs?” asked Rick Sampson of the New York State Restaurant Association, which is suing New York City over its law. “It doesn’t keep me from eating a candy bar even though the calories are listed on it right in front of me.” (A Big Mac has 540 calories; a medium order of fries, 380.)


But public opinion polls suggest that consumers are overwhelmingly in favor of menu labeling. And a 2005 survey of 5,297 adults by the food services company Aramark found that 83 percent of them wanted nutritional information in restaurants.

“Often, people are trying to do the right thing and make the healthier choice, but they’re just guessing at what the best choice is — it’s not always obvious,” said Margo Wootan, director of nutritional policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the advocacy group that is leading the movement for menu labeling. “Because there’s no nutritional information, they’re not getting what they think they’re getting.”

The chicken Caesar salad at Chili’s is one of those items that might appear to be a healthier choice, but brace yourself: it contains 1,010 calories and 76 grams of fat, while the sirloin has 540 calories and 42 grams of fat (not counting side dishes).
What do you think? Personally, I think people are going to eat junk food regardless of labels. Most snack foods and candy are labeled and people still eat them. I agree with Dr. Fuhrman on this one, the bigger issue here is most people’s inability to feel true hunger; which according to Dr. Fuhrman starts very early in life. Back to Eat to Live:
Losing your ability to sense true hunger sets the foundation for obesity. By feeding kids so much calorie-rich food so frequently we have trained our children to disconnect eating from hunger. After enough time goes by continually consuming more calories than they need, they will feel discomfort when they do not have food constantly in their stomach. They must keep their digestive tract going all the time, because they become an overweight adult, they are true food addicts.
Over all, labels just seem like another standard American band aid approach to fixing the standard American diet woes—sigh. But again, I’m just a lowly blogger. What do you think?

Horse vs. Watermelon

This horse really-really loves watermelon, and, he's quite messy about it. Take a look:



Yucky!

Q & A with T. Colin Campbell

Author of The China Study T. Colin Campbell discusses The Weston Price Foundation, vitamins, animal-based diets, and other interesting topics:


Want more T. Colin Campbell? Listen to this: Interview With The China Study Author.

Organic Hooch

Alex Williams of The New York Times reports on the new rage sweeping the bars and cafes in New York City. Cocktails made with organic fruit. Take a look:
In an era of “natural” cigarettes, trans-fat-free chips and low-carb beer, it is probably no surprise that that last guilty pleasure, the cocktail, is trying to atone for its sins. And it isn’t just vegan restaurants serving more vitamin-rich vodka mixes and slinging vegetable gardens in a glass.


Whether absurd or merely inevitable, the idea of healthier tippling has started to catch on among those who have embraced things like organic food and low-sugar diets. Always ready to pounce on a fad, mixologists at trendy bars, restaurants and clubs in New York and Los Angeles have begun creating concoctions from organic fruit and vegetable purées and vitamin-filled sports drinks instead of gooey syrups.

At the same time, a new generation of liquor brands built around herbal extracts and antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea, pomegranate and the Brazilian açaí berry (the current “it” fruit) have hit the market. Sugary cosmopolitans, apple martinis and mojitos have started to look as dated as “Sex and the City” reruns. A more contemporary alternative would be a drink like Vitamin Dj, mixed from freshly juiced organic carrots, Granny Smith apple juice, elderflower liqueur and vodka, which was introduced a few weeks ago at the Midtown restaurant Django.
Even Eating to Live on the Outside favorite Sacred Chow serves organic beer. I know, I’ve tried it first had—or should I say first mouth—yes, it would a be concession. Now, for Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on alcohol check out: Alcohol and Your Health.

Veggie Propaganda

Well July 4th may have come and gone, but here’s a patriotic message for you:

Urban Sprouts Keep Growing

Summer’s in full swing and the Urban Sprouts are keeping busy:






In case you haven’t heard of Urban Sprouts School Gardens, I’ll let them introduce themselves:
Urban Sprouts is a nonprofit using school gardens to teach youth to grow, harvest, prepare and eat vegetables from the school garden, in order to help youth actively engage in school, eat better and exercise more, and connect with the environment and each other.
Again, I think this is a really-really great thing.

Cat Craves Beans

This cat has a serious green bean addiction and her owner is quite the enabler. Take a look:

Cardio Blog: Fruit and Veggie News

The Cardio Blog has got a couple great posts about fruits and vegetables for health. For starters, take a look at this one. Organic produce may really be better for the heart:
The debate over whether organic produce is really better for you may have just come to a screeching halt. A recent 10-year study out of the University of California found that tomatoes grown organically have 79 to 97 percent more flavonoids than conventionally grown tomatoes. Flavonoids are linked to lower blood pressure, which may help prevent heart disease.
And check this out. Regularly eating apples and pears is a potent defense against heart trouble. Here:
Grape juice, the obvious non-alcoholic alternative to red wine, you can also source some serious flanonoids from apples and pears. After examining what more than 34,000 women ate over a 20 year span and the diseases they developed, researchers found that women that ate apples and pears regluarly had the lowest risk of death from heart conditions.
For more news about fruits and vegetables check out Followhealthlife’s Healthy Food category.

Pit vs. Pineapple

This pit bull shows this pineapple who’s the boss:



And again, talking to a pet in Russian doesn’t make them stop:

Extraordinary Comebacks

Who doesn’t like a good comeback story? As a sports fan, a couple of my favorites would be the music city miracle or the Jets’ historic comeback against the Dolphins on Monday Night Football. Everyone loves an underdog—Adrian!

So, if you like a good comeback story as much as me, Dr. Fuhrman recommends you check out John A. Sarkett’s book Extraordinary Comebacks; featuring 201 inspiring stories of courage, triumph, and success. Here’s John talking about his book:
I had a setback a few years ago. I needed to make a comeback. The great bull market of the late 1990s broke in 2000, collapsed in 2001, and took a lot of my (and a lot of other people’s) hard-won profits with it. Some health problems brought me down, too, the commonplace ailments, high cholesterol, high blood pressure. Around that time I found myself in a large bookstore and wandered over to the section with self-help, inspirational, and motivational psychology titles. I knew what I wanted: a compilation of simple stories, human stories, of people who had made a comeback against the odds. There was no such compilation, even on Amazon. That surprised me. So I would have to find my own. I started looking for stories about individuals who had made a comeback from some kind of adversity, adding them, one-by-one, to a small and informal collection that I had cut and torn from magazines and newspapers over the years. That compilation became this book.

As I said, Dr. Fuhrman thinks highly of Extraordinary Comebacks. Take a look:
Given the right nutritional factors for healing, the human body has a remarkable ability to repair damage and recover from diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, heart disease, chronic headaches and many others. As a physician utilizing nutritional excellence as a therapeutic modality, The first step: attitude. This book will help shape your attitude, whatever kind of comeback needs to be undertaken, and show you how much more you are capable of.
I’ll be checking it out myself—after all—the world needs more Rocky Balboas. Oh! And be sure to visit John’s blog: The Comeback Blog.

Don't Bash the Tomato!

As an Italian—I admit—I overreact when people bash the tomato, figuratively and especially literally! But this kind of “research” really peeves me. Apparently studies have determined that lypocene does not prevent cancer. Here’s the scoop from the AFP:
The FDA's review, which appears in the July 10 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, refutes numerous studies which have pointed to a link between ingesting lycopene and cutting cancer risk.


The "analysis found no credible evidence that lycopene, either in food or in a dietary supplement, was associated with reduced risk of any of the cancers evaluated," according to chief researcher Claudine Kavanaugh.

The review "found no evidence that tomatoes reduced the risk of lung, colorectal, breast, cervical or endometrial cancer."
And in case you’re like me—and learn better with pictures—check out this ABC News video report:


Oh what the heck, what’s one more report? Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times presents Lycopene Does Not Fight Off Prostate Cancer, Study Shows:
The study included 28,243 men, 55 to 74 years old, who were recruited as part of a larger cancer screening. The researchers measured blood concentrations of lycopene, beta carotene, lutein and other carotenoids in 692 randomly selected men in the sample who later developed prostate cancer, and 844 men who did not.


After controlling for other variables, the scientists found no link between prostate cancer and blood concentrations of lycopene or other carotenoids, except that men with the highest blood levels of beta carotene were somewhat more likely to suffer from aggressive disease than those with the lowest concentrations.
Articles like this are rampant; claiming that one particular vitamin or mineral doesn’t do what we thought it does, in this case protect against cancer, but as Dr. Fuhrman will tell you. This is a dumb way of looking at it; one vitamin won’t save the day. You must consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes—bio-diversity! After all, Monkeys Don’t Sit Under Banana Trees Eating Bananas All Day:
All primates, including humans, are driven to consume food from a variety of categories. Contrary to popular belief, a monkey does not sit under a banana tree eating bananas all day. He eats bananas and then may travel half a mile away to find a different type of food. He has an innate drive to consume variety; just satisfying the caloric drive is not enough. Likewise, children [or humans] will not be satisfied with eating only one or two foods; they will want to eat a portion of one food and want another type of food. As a higher-order animal with a bigger brain, we search for a variety of nutrient sources, and this variety assures that we get the broad assortment of nutrients that increases our immune function and longevity potential.
In the interest of preserving the good name of the tomato, here are a few posts singing its praises:
And just to spite all the tomato bashers out there—I’M PUTTING EXTRA TOMATO ON MY SALAD TONIGHT!

Gym for Dummies

Diet-Blog relays ten good tips for any newbies entering the health and fitness world, i.e. the gym. Here’s a few I liked, take a look:
3. When using unfamiliar equipment that won't seem to budge, don't force or yank things around until you break them. Ask for help.


4. Don't use the fact that you'll be showering afterwards as an excuse to show up smelling totally nasty and funky.

5. Don't drop heavy weights from great heights or slam things around or make exaggerated grunting or screeching noises.

6. Don't neglect to wipe up sweat after you use the cardio or weight equipment.
Number four is a big one, I’m at the gym almost every day and I can tell you firsthand—there are some stinky people out there!

Cravings: Red Color = Red Meat

Do you get cravings? Come on, you know you do. Sure, you Eat to Live 99.99% of the time, but, every once and a while—YOU NEED A FIX! For me, it’s chocolate. What about you? Maybe its red meat like this member of DrFuhrman.com, if so, give Dr. Fuhrman’s suggestion a whirl:
Member: I am almost done with week 4 of the 6 week plan, and have had virtually no cravings since day one. This transition has been shockingly easy for me. However, out of nowhere, I am having some pretty overwhelming cravings for red meat. Is there anything you suggest?


Dr. Fuhrman: Cook up a bean/oatmeal patty and use lots of shredded beets to make it red. Sunflower seeds are helpful too.
Maybe I could use lentils to simulate chocolate, they’re brown.

UPDATE: Asthma feed it Fruit and Fish

I’m a big fruit eater—literally and figuratively—I can eat a whole watermelon in one sitting, no problem. In fact, just this morning I had two white nectarines, a banana, a plum, some grapes, and a few pineapple chunks. According to Dr. Fuhrman eating all this fruit will really help my asthma—if I actually had asthma that is. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
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.1 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.
Now, the good press for fruit just keeps on coming. A new study has determined that teenagers who eat lots of fresh fruit and fish have healthier respiratory systems; which lowers their risk of asthma. Serena Gordon of HealthDay News explains:
"Teens that have the lowest intake of fruits, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids tended to have lower pulmonary function and reported more respiratory symptoms than those with higher intake," said study author Jane Burns, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.


"This is a time in their lives when they should all have good lung function, and they may not be obtaining optimal lung function. This may affect their lung function later in life," Burns added.

Results of the study are published in the July issue of Chest.

About 20 million Americans -- 9 million of them children -- have asthma, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. While the exact cause of the disease is still unknown, doctors do know that underlying inflammation of the airways is an important factor in the disease. Preventive treatments for asthma are aimed at reducing that inflammation.
The news about the fruit is great, but, why must Omega-3s constantly be shackled to fish or fish oil; take yesterday’s post for example: Fish Oil for Preemies. Fish and fish oils are often polluted with mercury or other toxic compounds. If you’re looking to increase your intake of Omega-3s, Dr. Fuhrman would much rather see you get from a safer source, like flaxseed. Back to Disease-Proof Your Child:
Flax Seeds are rich in lignans and omega-3 fatty acids, and scientific studies have confirmed that flax seeds have a positive influence on everything from cholesterol levels and constipation to cancer and heart disease. Keep in mind that the scientifically documented benefits from flax seeds come from raw, ground flax seed, not flax seed oil.
But, if you simply must have fish, read this post for Dr. Fuhrman’s consumption recommendations, and, contamination levels of popular fishes: Fishing for the Truth.

UPDATE: The good thing about being blogger and not a medical expert is making a mistake is not that big of a deal—i.e. no one dies when I hit the skids. Dr. Fuhrman just pointed out a little blunder I made with Omega-3s, fish, and flaxseed. Here’s our email dialogue about it…go ahead, laugh:
Dr. Fuhrman: I think when you were looking for a substitute for eating fish in that article, it was okay to mention flaxseeds as a source of short chain omega-3, but since they only convert about 2.5 percent into DHA, they do not supply what fish do (EPA and DHA) long-chain omega 3. My DHA Purity is a better option to supply what fish could, not flax. My DHA Purity is refrigerated because these oils can go rancid easily and we take extra care to preserve its cleanliness and freshness.


--Oops!--

Me: Good point! Is your DHA the only source out there? Are there other natural alternatives too?

Dr. Fuhrman: There are other brands of non-fish DHA, but they are not refrigerated the whole time from manufacturing, shipping and storage like ours are. And when I tested the competitive brands in independent analysis they had very high rancidity scores.

You can buy a clean fish oil, a few of the best brands are purified and tested not to have the contamination and mercury that fish does, but that is still a limited resource (over-fishing) not a renewable resource like our DHA made from micro-algae grown under clean indoor conditions.

Me: Gotcha! I'll update the post with this little dialogue…and I’ll fall on my sword later.
Now, for more on Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA Purity, check out Vitamins and Supplements:
Dr. Fuhrman's DHA Purity: DHA Purity now comes in an all-new, purified liquid form of very highly concentrated DHA so that it can be digested easier and hidden easily in food. The children's dose is just one drop (measurable with a built-in graduated dropper) and easily disguised in their food, soup, drink or oatmeal. Just a few drops delivers a daily dose of essential Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA).

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Fish Oil for Preemies

Doctors—recognizing the healthful benefits of Omega-3s—are starting to experiment with fish oil to help protect premature babies against Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), a disease that attacks their eyes. Is it a good idea? The researchers seem to think so. Lauran Neergaard of the Associated Press reports:
Premature babies have still forming retinas; blood vessels necessary to nourish them haven't finished growing. ROP forms when something spurs those blood vessels to grow abnormally , too many form, and they leak.


But do omega-3s play a role? Dr. Lois Smith, an opthalmologist at Children's Hospital Boston, and colleagues at Harvard and the National Eye Institute first turned to mice to find out.

They harmed the mice retinas in a way that mimics ROP, and then fed them different foods: Half ate the rodent version of a typical Western diet, high in omega-6s and low in omega-3s. Half ate the equivalent of a Japanese diet, with a 2 percent higher omega-3 content.

That simple change cut in half the retinal disease among the omega-3-nibbling mice, Smith reported last month in the journal Nature Medicine.

More intriguing, the omega-3s didn't just block bad blood vessels from forming. They also helped normal, healthy blood vessels grow. They appeared to work by blocking well-known inflammation-causing pathways in the body, while mice fed more of the omega-6s experienced extra inflammation.

Now, Smith is about to begin a study in premature babies at her Boston hospital to see if adding omega-3s to their IV feedings , feedings that today contain omega-6s instead , decreases their risk of eye damage.
I always find it puzzling when experts miss glaring truths. You’d think somewhere in their research they would have dug up SOMETHING warning them about dangers of fish oil, and, that there are much safer sources of Omega-3 fatty acids available, but, I’m no know-it-all. I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman explain, from Fatty Acids and Fish Oil:
Flaxseeds and hempseeds are the foods with the highest concentration of this much-needed fat. Besides omega-3 fats, these seeds also contain very high levels of photochemicals, anti-oxidents and fibers that have been shown to have beneficial effects that inhibit prostate, breast and colon cancer. However, these protective nutrients and cancer-fighting lignans are not present in significant quantity in the oil, only in the whole seed…


… The amount of DHA can vary significantly in various fish. Some salmon (especially farm raised) has very little DHA, for example. More importantly, several studies have indicated that both fish and fish oil supplements are prone to contamination with toxic materials. For example fish and fish oils have been shown to contain large concentrations of dioxins and PCBs because the dumping of toxic waste and raw sewage into our oceans has taken a toll. Lipid peroxide contamination occurring with aging of the oil further complicates the supposed health benefits of fish oil consumption. Fish and fish oils also contains mercury. Data from the Center for Disease Control indicates that one in 12 women of childbearing age in the United States has unsafe mercury levels, and their threshold for safety is high. The major contributor to body mercury load is fish and fish oils, not dental fillings. Multiple studies have illustrated most of the body's mercury load is from the consumption of fish…

…If you avoid fish and instead consume fish oil, you may still have a problem. One problem with fish oils is that much of the fat has already turned rancid. If you have ever cut open a capsule and tasted it, you will find it can taste like gasoline. Many people complain of burping, indigestion and of fish breath. I have also observed that rancidity of this fish fat places a stress on the liver. Patients of mine with abnormal liver function noted on their blood tests when consuming fish oil have had these tests return to normal when the fish oils were stopped.
I don’t know about you, but, I wouldn’t want my child eating something that tastes like gasoline or potentially contains harmful toxins. Although, this shouldn’t underscore the benefits of Omega-3s; Dr. Fuhrman talks about Omega-3s in Disease-Proof Your Child:
For the brain cells to maintain their cell membrane fluidity and to properly recognize chemical messengers they must have the right ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fats built into their structure. Too little omega-3 fats and too much saturated fat and trans fat could stiffen the fatty acid membranes and interfere with proper cellular communication. Raw nuts and seeds supply children with unpolluted omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in a protective package rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals.

UPDATE: Diabetes: Easy as Pumpkin Pie?

New research suggests pumpkin extract may be better for Type-1 diabetics than insulin. Madeline Vann of HealthDay News is on it:
Type 1 diabetic rats fed the extract had only 5 percent fewer plasma insulin and 8 percent fewer insulin positive (beta) cells than rats without diabetes. According to the researchers, the extract helped damaged pancreatic cells responsible for insulin production to regenerate and make more insulin.


The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Lead researcher Tao Xia, of East China Normal University in Shanghai, noted that although insulin shots will probably always be necessary for type 1 diabetics, pumpkin extract could drastically reduce the amount of insulin needed.
Although, studies using Jack-o-lantern extract have proved less than encouraging.

UPDATE: I'm not the only one with a snarky comment. Here's what Dr. Fuhrman had to say about this research:
Hard to believe that it could work so well in humans, I don't even believe this study, doesn't even intuitively make sense, that damaged and non-functioning beta cells could come back to life after exposure to a pumpkin. Maybe Cinderella's fairy godmother is behind this?

Weight-Loss Strategies: Social Support & Stimulus Control

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

Social support: Include family and friends in your plan. Ask others to join you—not with the purpose of recruiting them to eating healthy, but so they will support and understand why you are changing your diet. If they are truly your friends, they will support you in your desire to improve your health and will try to have the right food choices available when you are around. Maybe they will even join you on your quest. It is extremely helpful to find at least one friend to join you or support you on your road back to superior health.

Stimulus control: Implement strategies to prevent temptation and exposure to sedentary activities or social eating. The most important stimulus-control technique is structuring your environment. This means removing temptation from your home and stocking your boards and refrigerators with the proper foods. Eat only at the kitchen table, not while watching television. When you finish dinner, clean up and leave the kitchen area, then brush your teeth, so you are not tempted to return and snack again. Lay out your exercise clothes for the morning so you are reminded to begin your day with your exercise program.

When going out to social situations, eat first or bring your own food if you cannot arrange in advance to have food that meets your needs. Volunteer to bring food for the other guests, too; then you have something you can eat with distress. Try not to make food the center of your life. Keep active with interests that keep you from thinking about eating.

Kitty Licks Melon

Honey! The darn cat’s licking the watermelon again, what should I do? What’s that you say? Oh, talk Russian to him. Okay, I’ll try:


Nope—didn’t work.

Kiwi Pet

Not only are kiwis tasty—but they’re also the pet you can eat! I think I’ll name mine Scrumptious. Chia Pets be damned! Take a look:

Nutrition Education a Dud?

Maybe all those school food reforms and trying to teach kids to eat better isn’t such a good idea? Because according to new research, nutrition education programs are failing. Martha Mendoza of the Associated Press reports:
An Associated Press review of scientific studies examining 57 such programs found mostly failure. Just four showed any real success in changing the way kids eat — or any promise as weapons against the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.


"Any person looking at the published literature about these programs would have to conclude that they are generally not working," said Dr. Tom Baranowski, a pediatrics professor at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine who studies behavioral nutrition.

The results have been disappointing, to say the least:

-Last year a major federal pilot program offering free fruits and vegetables to school children showed fifth graders became less willing to eat them than they had been at the start. Apparently they didn't like the taste.

-In Pennsylvania, researchers went so far as to give prizes to school children who ate fruits and vegetables. That worked while the prizes were offered, but when the researchers came back seven months later the kids had reverted to their original eating habits: soda and chips.

-In studies where children tell researchers they are eating better or exercising more, there is usually no change in blood pressure, body size or cholesterol measures; they want to eat better, they might even think they are, but they're not.
I don’t know, I still think educating people is a smart move—what about you?

Increasing the Survival of Cancer Patients

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

It would be difficult for anyone to disagree that superior nutrition has a protective effect against cancer. The question that remains is: Can optimal nutrition or nutritional intervention be an effective therapeutic approach for patients who already have cancer? Can the diet you eat make a difference if you have cancer? Scientific data indicates that the answer is yes.

Researchers looking for answers to these questions studied women with cancer and found that saturated fat in the diet promoted a more rapid spread of the cancer.1 Other researchers found similar results. For a women who already has cancer, her risk of dying increased 40 percent for every 1,000 grams of fat consumed monthly.2 Studies also indicate that high fruit and vegetable intake improved survival, and fat on the body increases the risk of a premature death.3

Similar findings are found in the scientific literature regarding prostate cancer and diet, indicating that diet has a powerful effect on survival for those with prostate cancer.4 For humans, too much animal food is toxic.

When it is consumed in significant volume, animal protein, not only animal fat, is earning a reputation as a toxic nutrient to humans. More books are touting the benefits of high-protein diets for weight-loss and are getting much publicity. Many Americans desire to protect their addiction to a high-fat, nutrient-inadequate animal foods. These consumers form a huge market for such topsy-turvy scientific sounding quackery.

Today the link between animal products and many different diseases is as strongly supporting in the scientific literature as the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. For example, subjects who ate meat, including poultry and fish, were found to be twice as likely to develop dementia (loss of intellectual function with aging) than their vegetarian counterparts in a carefully designed study.5 The discrepancy was further widened when past meat consumption was taken into account. The same diet, loaded with animal products, that causes heart disease and cancer also causes most every other disease prevalent in America including kidney stones, renal insufficiency and renal failure, osteoporosis, uterine fibroids, hypertension, appendicitis, diverticulosis, and thrombosis.6
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Cucumber Thief

These two guinea pigs are having a perfectly good time enjoying some cucumber—UNTIL—this giant cocker spaniel comes along. The music makes it all the more depressing. Take a look:

Bean and Mushroom Diet Tips

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

Eat beans or legumes everyday. Your goal should be to eat an entire cup (or more) of beans daily. Beans are a powerhouse of superior nutrition. They reduce cholesterol and blood sugar. They have a high nutrient-per-calorie profile and help prevent food cravings. They are digested slowly, which has a stabilizing effect on your blood sugar and a resultant high satiety index. Eggplant and beans, mushrooms and beans, greens and beans are all high-nutrient, high-fiber, low-calorie main dishes. Throw a cup of beans on your salad for lunch. Eat bean soup. Scientific studies show a linear relationship between soup consumption and successful weight-loss.1 As weight-loss strategy, eating soup helps by slowing your rate of intake and reducing your appetite by filling your stomach.

Eat lots of mushrooms all the time.
Mushrooms make a great chewy replacement for meat. Exploring their varieties is a great way to add interesting flavors and texture to your diet. Store them in paper bags, not plastic, as too much moisture speeds spoilage. Try adding them to beans, seasoned with herbs and lemon juice. Even though they are fungus, and not a real vegetable, mushrooms contain a variety of powerful phytochemicals and have been linked to decreased risk of chronic diseases, especially cancer.
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Lettuce Eating Chicken

Well, the cat isn’t too excited about it, but this chicken sure loves lettuce. Look:

Don't Mess with Broc Lee

Promise me, even if you don’t like this video, just pretend like you do. If not, we’ll both incur the wrath of BROC LEE…HIYAH! Check it out:


Diabetes: Vitamin C, Good!

The Diabetes Blog takes a look a new research linking intake of Vitamin C with fewer diabetes complications. Take a look:
Vitamin C packs a punch, they said, because it helps to clean up ("scavenge," in the words of lead researcher Antonio Ceriello) free radicals - molecules that cause tissue damage. This is of particular concern for diabetics because diabetics' bodies produce more free radicals than those of non-diabetics. This is why diabetics are especially likely to suffer from heart disease. It is also why diabetics are prone to tissue and nerve damage in the feet and legs - damage that all-too-often necessitates amputation.
Oh course, you could always just knock diabetes out for good: Don't Settle For Diabetes.

Scary Usage of Veggies

Meet the veggie woman. Good idea or just plain creepy? ParentDish talks about the CDC’s new bright idea. Look:
A reasonable parent would look at the above suggestions and point out that a vegetable woman would be problematic for several reasons, the main one being: it's just plain creepy. Apparently the Center for Disease Control does not have many parents on staff.

Vegetable Woman was on display from January through April of this year at the CDC's new 6.9 million dollar visitor center in Atlanta, apparently as a way to inspire Americans to eat vegetables before they organize into higher life forms and turn against us.

I'm not a marketing expert, but I find Popeye the Sailor Man more motivational than Broccoli Barbie. How about you?

I agree with ParentDish on this one…creepy.

Diabetes: Caveman or Mediterranean?

More lumps for the Mediterranean diet. New research has revealed that the Mediterranean diet doesn’t stack up against something called the “Stone Age” diet. The Diabetes Blog is on it:
Scientists took a small group of fourteen glucose intolerant heart patients and put them on the diet of a lifetime: lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts. This, it is assumed, is the sort of diet consumed by our Stone Age ancestors - hunter gatherers who lived around 70,000 years ago, long before the emergence of agriculture. Meanwhile, another group of patients with similar health issues were put on a supposedly healthy "Mediterranean diet" rich in whole grains, dairy, fruits and veggies, and unsaturated fats. Well, you guessed it. After twelve weeks, the researchers found those on the Stone Age diet had much more stable blood sugar levels and were better able to process carbohydrates without such major blood sugar fluctuations. In fact, all the Stone Age patients had normal blood glucose levels by the end of the study and also dropped a few pounds too. Those on the Mediterranean diet, however, experienced hardly any changes at all.
Now, talk about setting the bar low. Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t speak too highly of the Mediterranean diet. Just consider the people Crete. More from Eat to Live:
In the 1950s people living in the Mediterranean, especially on the island of Crete, were lean and virtually free of heart disease. Yet over 40 percent of their caloric intake come from fat, primarily olive oil. If we look at the diet they consumed back then, we note that Cretans ate mostly fruits, vegetables, beans and some fish. Saturated fat was less than 6 percent of their total fat intake. True, they ate lots of olive oil, but the rest of their diet was exceptionally healthy. They also worked hard in the fields, walking about nine miles a day, often pushing a plow or working other manual farm equipment.


Today the people of Crete are fat, just like us. They're still eating a lot of olive oil, but their consumption of fruits, vegetables, and beans is down. Meat, cheese, and fish are their new staples, and their physical activity level has plummeted. Today, heart disease has skyrocketed and more than half the population of both adults and children in Crete is overweight.1
As someone who reads a lot of health blogs, I already see the trouble with this research. Lots of people hear the words “cave man” or “Stone Age” diet and right away they start thinking primitive people and eating lots of meat is the secret to long-term health—a dangerous assumption according to Dr. Fuhrman. He talks about it in Do Primitive Peoples Really Live Longer:
No. For example, Inuit Greenlanders, who historically have had limited access to fruits and vegetables, have the worst longevity statistics in North America. Research from the past and present shows that they die on the average about 10 years younger and have a higher rate of cancer than the overall Canadian population.2


Similar statistics are available for the high meat-consuming Maasai in Kenya. They eat a diet high in wild hunted meats and have the worst life expectancy in the modern world. Life expectancy is 45 years for women and 42 years for men. African researchers report that, historically, Maasai rarely lived beyond age 60. Adult mortality figures on the Kenyan Maasai show that they have a 50% chance of dying before the age of 59.3

We now know that greatly increasing the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and raw nuts and seeds (and greatly decreasing the consumption of animal products) offers profound increased longevity potential, due in large part to broad symphony of life-extending phytochemical nutrients that a vegetable-based diet contains. By taking advantage of the year-round availability of high-quality plant foods, we have a unique opportunity to live both healthier and longer than ever before in human history.
In regard to diabetes, Dr. Fuhrman will tell you, the best way to prevent and reverse Type-2 diabetes is a nutrient-dense vegetable-based diet. More on that from Understanding the Development of Type 2 Diabetes:
How can diabetics safely lower the high glucose levels that are slowly destroying their bodies? How can they lower their lipids and blood pressure, lose weight, and avoid taking dangerous drugs, such as insulin and sulfonylureas? They need to adopt a diet based on nutritional excellence.


Fortunately, the best diet for good health and longevity is also the best diet for diabetics. It is a diet with a high nutrient per calorie ratio, as carefully described in my book, Eat to Live. When you eat a diet consisting predominantly of nature's perfect foods—green vegetables, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, raw nuts and seeds, and limited amounts of fresh fruit, it becomes relatively easy to eat as much as you want and still lose your excess weight. In my experience, those who follow my nutritional recommendations find that their diabetes disappears astonishingly fast, even before most of their excess weight melts away.
And fat? It’s especially bad for the diabetic. Dr. Fuhrman talks about fat and diabetes in his book Fasting and Eating for Health:
Experiments described in the medical literature have tested the effects of high-fat diets on insulin intolerance. In one study, healthy young medical students were fed a very high fat diet containing egg yolks, heavy cream, and butter, and within two days all of the students had blood sugar levels high enough to be labeled diabetic.4 Complex carbohydrates have been shown to have the opposite effect.5
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Hotdog with Tomato

All this little daschund needs is a pickle:

Healthy Eating, No Matter the Age

You’re never too old to start eating healthfully. At least that’s what new research has determined. Even if you’re middle-aged, an improved diet can lower your risk of heart disease and premature death. Ishani Ganguli of Reuters reports:
Middle-aged adults who began eating five or more fruits and vegetables every day, exercising for at least 2 1/2 hours a week, keeping weight down and not smoking decreased their risk of heart disease by 35 percent and risk of death by 40 percent in the four years after they started.


"The adopters of a healthy lifestyle basically caught up. Within four years, their mortality rate and rate of heart attacks matched the people who had been doing these behaviors all along," said Dr. Dana King at the Medical University of South Carolina, who led the research.

That is not to say people should wait until their 40s or 50s to get on track, he added.

"But even if you have not had a healthy lifestyle previously, it's not too late to adopt those healthy lifestyle habits and gain almost immediate benefits."
Sound advice if you ask me, but not surprising. Take vegetables for example. They have profound anti-disease effects, and, I doubt they dissipate because you’ve reached a certain age. From Eat to Live:
Vegetables have powerful levels of carotenoids and other nutrients that prevent age-related diseases. For example, the leading cause of age-related blindness in America is macular degeneration. If you eat greens at least fives times a week, your risk drops by more than 86 percent.1 Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids with powerful disease-prevention properties. Researchers have found that those with the highest blood levels of lutein had the healthiest blood vessels, with little or no atherosclerosis.2
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