Dairy and Weight Loss

I’ve never been a milk drinker. To this day, the expression “cow juice” still haunts my mind. Now, I know it sounds silly, but, the concept of bovine nectar isn’t that farfetched. Here’s what I mean. Check out this excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Disease-Proof Your Child:
Milk, which is designed by nature for the rapidly growing cow, has about half its calories supplied from fat. The fatty component is concentrated more to make cheese and butter. Milk and cheese are the foods Americans encourage their children to eat, believing them to be healthy foods. Fifty years of heavy advertising by an economically powerful industry has shaped the public's perception, illustrating the power of one-sided advertising, but the reality and true health effects on our children is a different story. Besides the link between high-saturated-fat foods (dairy fat) and cancer, there is a body of scientific literature linking the consumption of cow's milk to many other diseases. If we expect our children to resist many common illnesses, they simply must consume less milk, cheese, and butter. Dairy foods should be consumed in limited quantity or not at all.
Okay, granted there are some “big” people out there, but I doubt any of them match the physiology of a baby cow. So why do they drink milk? Or consume dairy? Who knows? Maybe they’re eager to bring about various diseases. Dr. Fuhrman explains in Eat to Live:
Dairy is best kept to a minimum. There are many good reasons not to consume dairy. For example, there is a strong association between diary lactose and ischemic heart disease.1 There is also a clear association between high-growth-promoting foods such as dairy products and cancer. There is a clear association between milk consumption and testicular cancer.2 Dairy fat is also loaded various toxins and is the primary source of our nation’s high exposure to dioxin.3 Dioxin is a highly toxic chemical compound that even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency admits is a prominent cause of many types of cancer in those consuming dairy fat, such as butter and cheese.4 Cheese is also a power inducer of acid load, which increases calcium loss further.5 Considering that cheese and butter are the foods with the highest saturated-fat content and the major source of our dioxin exposure, cheese is a particularly foolish choice for obtaining calcium.
Now, given all these health risks, why would anyone even entertain the notion that dairy can help you lose weight? Especially since the dairy-weight loss claim was recently pummeled by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The New York Times covered it:
The assertion that there is a link between weight loss and dairy consumption has long been contested by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [PCRM], an advocacy and research group that promotes a diet free of animal products.

The group petitioned the F.T.C. in 2005 to argue that the advertisements were misleading. In a May 3 letter to the group, Lydia Parnes, director of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said Agriculture Department representatives and milk producers and processors had agreed to change the advertisements and related marketing materials “until further research provides stronger, more conclusive evidence of an association between dairy consumption and weight loss.”

As of Thursday, the National Dairy Council still had a section of its Web site devoted to the weight-loss claim. But the site, along with some of the advertisements, will be changed, said Greg Miller, who is executive vice president of the council and has a doctorate in nutrition.
But, I guess sometimes word doesn’t travel fast enough, because Michael Hecht of The Philadelphia Inquirer still thinks dairy can help you drop those unwanted pounds. Take a look:
There are a few theories as to how calcium and dairy products might be "weight friendly." One theory is that calcium and Vitamin D help regulate fat metabolism by stimulating fatty acid caloric burn and suppressing the body's production of fat.

Calcium in supplement form or dairy might also help to decrease fat absorption in the digestive tract by forming calcium-fatty-acid complexes called "soaps" that accelerate the loss of fat in the stool. Another theory is that extra calcium prevents fat storage by sending a signal that the body no longer needs to store fat.

It appears that low-fat dairy products like yogurt, cottage cheese and low-fat milk do help facilitate weight loss as long as total caloric intake is observed.
Not to beat up on Mr. Hecht, but come on! Keep up with the times—no pun intended.
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The Drug of Choice for Most Americans--Food!

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

Most overweight individuals are addicted to food. This means almost all Americans are food addicts. Addicted means that you feel ill or uncomfortable should you not continue your usual habits. Unlike tobacco and drug addiction, however, food addiction is socially acceptable.

Most people thrust into an environment with an unlimited supply of calorie-rich, nutrient-poor food will become compulsive overeaters. That is, the craving for food and the preoccupation with eating, and the resultant loss of control over food intake, are the natural consequences of nutrient paucity. The resulting stress on our system can be toxic.

Obviously, there are complicated emotional and psychological factors that make it more difficult for some to achieve success at overcoming food addiction. Additionally, some physical changes may initially discourage you. Stopping caffeine, reducing sodium, and dropping saturated fat from your diet while increasing fiber and nutrients may result in increased gas, headaches, fatigue, and other withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms are temporary and rarely last longer than one week. Eventually the high volume of food and high nutrient content will help prevent long-term food cravings.

The large quantity of food permitted and encouraged on this program makes you less stressed about overeating. Food cravings and addictive symptoms end for almost everyone because this diet satisfies a person’s desire to eat more food.

Halting stimulating behavior such as overeating unmasks the fatigue that was always there. The power reserve in a battery is proportional to its use. The less we use it, the more life it has and the stronger it remains. Likewise, when there is continual stress on your body from stimulating foods and caffeine, it gives the false sensation that we have energy, when actually we are using up our nerve energy faster. This ages us. The fatigue is hidden by the stimulating (aging-inducing) effects of sugar, caffeine, and toxic protein load. Now that you are eating in a health-supporting manner, you may be in better touch with the sleep your body needs, and sleep better as a result.

Some cravings and food behaviors have emotional overtones from childhood or compensate for stress and emotional dysfunction. Some food-addicted people eat compulsively in spite of their awareness of the consequences. These people need a more intensive program than a book can provide. Similar to a twelve-week drug-rehabilitation program, an intensive food recovery program should include counseling. Food re-education can work even for the most difficult cases. Please contact me if you require such a program to guarantee your success. You no longer have an excuse to fail; all you need is the commitment.

Eat to Live is not for everybody, because added to the desire to lose weight must be the willingness to make a commitment to achieve wellness. Once that commitment is made, however, there need not be any failures; with proper support and this program, everyone can succeed.

Go for it!

War Against Cancer, Serve Beef?

Sounds pretty silly—right? Especially since the consumption of red meat is directly linked to the development of cancer. Now I don’t take my word for it. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman points to this study (one of many studies referenced in the book) that illustrates the red meat-cancer connection. Here’s the abstract:
Meat intake has been positively associated with risk of digestive tract cancers in several epidemiological studies, while data on the relation of meat intake with cancer risk at most other sites are inconsistent. The overall data set, derived from an integrated series of case-control studies conducted in northern Italy between 1983 and 1996, included the following incident, histologically confirmed neoplasms: oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus (n = 497), stomach (n = 745), colon (n = 828), rectum (n = 498), liver (n = 428), gallbladder (n = 60), pancreas (n = 362), larynx (n = 242), breast (n = 3,412), endometrium (n = 750), ovary (n = 971), prostate (n = 127), bladder (n = 431), kidney (n = 190), thyroid (n = 208), Hodgkin's disease (n = 80), non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (n = 200) and multiple myelomas (n = 120). Controls were 7,990 patients admitted to hospital for acute, non-neoplastic conditions unrelated to long-term modifications in diet. The multivariate odds ratios (ORs) for the highest tertile of red meat intake (7 times/week) compared with the lowest (3 times/week) were 1.6 for stomach, 1.9 for colon, 1.7 for rectal, 1.6 for pancreatic, 1.6 for bladder, 1.2 for breast, 1.5 for endometrial and 1.3 for ovarian cancer. ORs showed no significant heterogeneity across strata of age at diagnosis and sex. No convincing relation with red meat intake emerged for cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus, liver, gallbladder, larynx, kidney, thyroid, prostate, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and multiple myeloma. For none of the neoplasms considered was there a significant inverse relationship with red meat intake. Thus, reducing red meat intake might lower the risk for several common neoplasms. Int. J. Cancer 86:425-428, 2000
Apparently the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation didn’t get the memo, because they seem to associate themselves with some very beefy fundraisers. Ray Kellosalmi of Globe and Mail Update reports:
In the past couple of years, a number of rodeos across Canada, most notably the Calgary Stampede, have taken part in a fundraising campaign for the CBCF called Tough Enough to Wear Pink. Supported by the Wrangler clothing company, the campaign raises money through the sale of pink Wrangler shirts and other pink-themed merchandise, a percentage of which goes to the CBCF.

Everyone seems to benefit. Wrangler's brand is promoted and the CBCF gets money for cancer research. And the rodeo can associate itself with a worthy cause — quite handy to blunt criticism over its controversial treatment of animals (although one anti-rodeo activist recently told a Calgary newspaper that it was like putting pink icing on a cow pat).

But, while the CBCF joins the cowboys, cattle producers and meat companies at rodeo barbecues across the country, shouldn't it consider the health implications of the product it is indirectly helping to promote? In 2007 alone, several pieces of research have made connections between meat consumption and breast cancer.

(via The Cancer Blog)
I don’t find this all that surprising because after all, can’t you just hear the low-carbers saying, “No! But, uh, beef taste good. Me chew beef. Duh!" Oh! Check this out. If you're a guy, beef is especially worrisome: Beef Bad for the Boys.
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Disney Kicks the Habit

According to the Los Angeles Times, Disney is barring smoking from all Disney-label films. Dawn C. Chmielewski reports:
In the most explicit announcement by a Hollywood studio, Chief Executive Robert A. Iger said Wednesday that the studio would snuff out depictions of smoking in Disney-label films.

It also would discourage lighting up in the more adult fare released by its Touchstone Pictures and its specialty label, Miramax.

"A villain can be bad without smoking," Iger said. "Heroes can be cool without smoking."

Other studios have been quietly wrestling with the same issue of how to deal with a serious health concern while giving directors creative freedom. Universal Pictures has had a policy in place since April aimed at reducing or altogether eliminating smoking depictions in films rated for youths.

Metabolic Syndrome: Low-Carb No Fixer

Dr. Fuhrman will tell low-carb diets are dangerous and ill-advised. And yet, scientists and researchers actually waste their time extolling the virtues—or more appropriately, the falsifications—of low-carb-high-protein diets. Take this study for example. HealthDay News reports low-carb diets combat metabolic syndrome:

The study participants didn't follow the diets strictly, study leader Matthew R. Hayes, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania found. "Phase one intake was 25 percent [carbohydrates], on average," he said, rather than the 10 percent recommended. "Phase two carb intake was 35 percent," he said, although 27 percent was recommended. But it was a reduction from the participants' pre-study diet, which included 47 percent of calories from carbohydrates, he said.

To find out why the weight declined, Hayes' team did hormone assays, measuring fasting and post-meal blood levels of hormones associated with appetite and food intake, such as insulin, leptin and cholecystokinin (CCK).

"We found some changes in hormone levels," he said. "We saw a decrease in insulin, a decrease in leptin levels by the end of phase one. It was fast."

"By the end of phase 2, the insulin levels had crept up toward baseline; the leptin levels also rose, but it did not come back to the levels at baseline," Hayes said.

"These alternations in hormone levels acting together help reduce the amount of food consumed," he said. "There's a synergy. Based on the literature already out there, we are speculating that this synergy of hormones may be the mechanism explaining why people are satisfied with less food and [the low-carb diet] results in weight loss."

Pardon me for a second—shenanigans, shenanigans! That’s right. I’m calling shenanigans on this study. Why? Because it’s bound to trick people into believing that low-carb is a safe way of restoring healthy metabolic function. Confused? I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman explain. I asked him about this junk science and here’s what he had to say:

Smoking cigarettes has beneficial effects on body weight. It can improve diabetes control and even has beneficial effects on ulcerative colitis. However, smoking cigarettes harms the body in other ways, so those benefits aren’t worth much. Pursuing studies on high protein, carbohydrate restricted diets, which have already been shown to increase all-cause long term mortality is ignorant and immoral. A high nutrient, vegetable-based diet is a more effective and has long-term health advantages, instead of long-term dangers. This shows the ignorance in the medical and research community that treat diets like drugs. When you have no comprehensive understanding of nutritional science, your implementation and interpretation of scientific studies is almost irrelevant and results in no useful information.

In the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition May 2007 a 10-year dietary assessment of 22,944 subjects was published. It was entitled, Low-Carbohydrate-High-Protein and long-term survival in a general population cohort. The conclusion reads, "Prolonged consumption of diets low in carbohydrate and high in protein is associated with and increase in total mortality." The bottom line is you do not have to smoke cigarettes or eat a dangerous diet to control obesity, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome. My Eat to Live diet-style offers a safe, highly effective option with more dramatic results and protection against cancer, heart disease and all cause mortality.

Yeah, I guess you could drive nails with your head, but using a hammer is a safer choice. In my humble opinion, low-carb only exists because it caters to people’s emotional attachments to food. And we all know there’s lots of money in people’s weaknesses. That should explain why many low-carb peddlers are multi-million dollar corporations.

For more dismantling of low-carb diets, don’t forget about our friends over at AtkinsExposed.org.

Low Cholesterol and Cancer, Linked?

Admittedly, I don’t know much about this. But apparently some scientists believe if cholesterol is too low, there’s an increased risk of cancer. Take this study for example. New research provides evidence for a link between low LDL levels and cancer risk. More from EurekAlert:
The authors of the study, published in the July 31, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), set out to understand how and why statins cause side effects, particularly damage to the liver and muscle cells. The study findings support taking multiple medications rather than high-dose statins to minimize those side effects. The researchers did not expect to find the increased cancer risk (one additional incident per 1,000 patients) from low LDL levels, and additional studies have already begun to investigate this potential risk further. A key component in future studies will be to confirm the risk and to identify whether the risk may be a side effect of statins or just low LDL.

“This analysis doesn’t implicate the statin in increasing the risk of cancer,” said lead author Richard H. Karas, M.D., F.A.C.C., professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. “The demonstrated benefits of statins in lowering the risk of heart disease remain clear; however, certain aspects of lowering LDL with statins remain controversial and merit further research.”

The researchers found one additional incident of cancer per 1,000 patients with low LDL levels when compared to patients with higher LDL levels. In their evaluation of randomized controlled statin trials published before November 2005, the researchers looked at 13 treatment arms consisting of 41,173 patients.
(via The Diabetes Blog)
Now, as an Eat to Liver I know my vegetable-based diet is working to reduce my cholesterol to disease-proofing range. So naturally, this research doesn’t make much sense to me. In order to clear this up—and basically shoot down this study—I dug up this post: Can Cholesterol Be Too Low? Here’s an excerpt:
There was some controversy years ago about striving for lower, protective cholesterol levels after some studies in the eighties noted that depression, suicide, hemorrhagic stroke, cancer, and death from other causes, were higher in some groups with very low cholesterol groups. Larger, recent investigations studying larger populations did not confirm these questionable findings.

When investigators looked more carefully at the individual characteristics of the studied populations they were able to explain the earlier findings. This issue is complicated because these studies evaluated individuals who were eating the modern American diet, rich in saturated fat and other components of animal products that raise cholesterol, and low in plant derived anti-oxidants, phytochemicals, and essential fatty acids that improve cholesterol ratios. Those who demonstrated very low (ideal) cholesterol levels, while following the traditional, modern, cholesterol-promoting diet, may actually have a compromised health status or undetected chronic disease.

For instance, we know cancer causes less cholesterol production in the liver. Low cholesterol may be associated with cancer, but does not cause it. Researchers showed that cholesterol starts to fall up to 8 years prior to a person dying of cancer, and that those with the greatest drop in cholesterol in a 4 year period without dietary improvements to lower cholesterol were those most likely to develop cancer.1 The low cholesterol did not cause the cancer; the cancer caused the low cholesterol. Those who work to lower cholesterol by avoiding saturated fats, eating a high nutrient diet with lots of raw vegetables, cooked green vegetables, and beans do not have a pathological condition causing their low cholesterol. They earned it.

This is why in rural China where the diets are nearly vegetarian, the average cholesterol levels are low and you see lower cancer rates, not higher. Those with the lowest cholesterol in the China study actually had the lowest cancer rates as well. Obviously, there is a difference between one who has a low cholesterol because his dietary style earns it, and one whose cholesterol seems unjustifiably low on a modern heart-disease-promoting diet that almost everyone in the west eats.
Now in my humble— and very layman—opinion, the above study is just the kind of junk science that misinforms people and leads them down the path of disease and premature death. Consider this: Increased Risk of Cancer Associated with The Atkins Diet.
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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.

Botulism Booms!

Last week we learned some canned meats are contaminated with botulism. And now, it seems the botulism outbreak has broadened. ParentDish is on it:
A few days ago, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning for consumers regarding 10 ounce cans of Castleberry's Hot Dog Chili Sauce, Austex Hot Dog Chili Sauce, and Kroger Hot Dog Chili Sauce with "best by" dates from April 30, 2009 through May 22, 2009 due to possible botulism contamination.

Today, that warning was expanded to include even more canned food products and dog food produced by Castleberry's Food Company of Augusta, Ga. "This is a very big recall," said David Elder of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's office of regulatory affairs, deeming it an "urgent public health matter."
The heck with it! Just avoid canned food altogether. Geez!

No Booze for Baby

I figured this was common sense, but maybe it isn’t. Drinking alcohol when you’re pregnant is a bad idea—why? Here’s one reason. New research has determined that drinking while pregnant may alter a child's brain. Krisha McCoy of HealthDay News reports:
Heavy prenatal alcohol exposure does not always lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, noted a team reporting in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. In some cases, it can cause cognitive and behavioral problems without the facial features characteristic of fetal alcohol syndrome.

In their study, researchers at San Diego State University (SDSU) examined 22 children and adolescents (ages 8 to 18 years) -- 13 with and 9 without histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. The participants were part of a larger study at the Center for Behavioral Teratology, SDSU.

The participants who were exposed to heavy alcohol before birth had altered responses in the frontal-striatal areas of the brain.

"We found two regions within the prefrontal cortex where the youth with alcohol-exposure histories had increased brain activation and one area in the subcortex (called the caudate nucleus) where the alcohol-exposed youth had decreased brain activation," study co-author Susanna L. Fryer, a graduate student in the SDSU/University of California, San Diego, joint doctoral program in clinical psychology, said in a prepared statement.
Kind of falls in line with yesterday’s post: Pregnancy: Healthy Eating for Two.

Pregnancy: Healthy Eating for Two

Perhaps there’s no better time for women to start eat healthfully than pregnancy—unless of course you’ve been eating healthy all along. The New York Times investigates how women should eat during this precious time. Jane E. Brody reports:
Foods to Avoid

Many popular foods are potentially dangerous during pregnancy. Pregnant women should refrain from the following:

Raw fish and shellfish, a possible source of the parasite Toxoplasma that can cause fetal blindness and brain damage.

Large predatory fish like swordfish, shark, king mackerel and albacore tuna (fresh or canned), which can contain risky levels of mercury. The Food and Drug Administration says to limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces a week, but it is acceptable to eat up to 12 ounces a week of chunk light tuna, shrimp, salmon, pollock and catfish.

Undercooked or raw meat, poultry and seafood. Use a meat thermometer and cook pork and ground beef to 160 degrees; beef, veal and lamb to 145 degrees; whole poultry to 180 degrees; and chicken breasts to 170 degrees.

Unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses — feta, Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco, queso fresco and Panela, unless the label says “made with pasteurized milk.” They may contain the food-poisoning bacteria Listeria that can cause miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth or fatal newborn illness.

Hot dogs and deli meats, unless cooked until steaming hot. These can become contaminated with Listeria after processing.
I think knowing what foods to avoid is most important. It’s amazing to see pregnant women eating dangerous foods like under-cooked and deli meats—makes you wonder what they’re thinking. This list is very similar to Dr. Fuhrman’s foods to foods to avoid during pregnancy. From Disease-Proof Your Child:

The real concerns are not microwave ovens, cell phones, and hair dryers. The things we know to be really risky for you and your unborn children are:

  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine, including secondhand smoke
  • Alcohol
  • Medications, both over-the-counter and prescription drugs
  • Herbs and high-dose supplements, vitamin A
  • Fish, mollusks and shellfish, sushi (raw fish)
  • Hot tubs and saunas
  • Radiation
  • Household clear, paint thinners
  • Cat litter (because of an infectious disease called toxoplasmosis caused by a parasite found in cat feces)
  • Raw milk and cheese
  • Soft cheese and blue-veined cheeses such as feta, Roquefort, and Brie
  • Artificial colors, nitrates, and MSG
  • Deli meats, luncheon meats, hot dogs, and undercooked meats

When a pregnant women uses drugs, even aspirin, she and her unborn child can face serious health problems. Also, just because something is natural or purchased in a health food stores does not mean it is safe. Herbal remedies work because of their medicinal properties from naturally occurring toxins; they are not health food. I also advise against dying your hair during pregnancy.

I’d be interested to know. Any readers who’ve had children, which foods were you most adamant about avoiding—call it a little research experiment.

Cola Cardiovascular Risks

Okay, we can all agree. Soda is unredeemable junk food. There’s nothing nutritious about high fructose corn syrup and bubbles—and it’s about to get worse! According to The Los Angeles Times including soda in your diet can lead to a 48% increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Thomas H. Maugh II reports:
Researchers knew that drinking regular sodas contributed to the risk of metabolic syndrome, but this is the first finding implicating diet sodas, according to results published online in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Assn.

The researchers were uncertain why diet soda seemed to have such a large effect.

The study's lead author, Dr. Ramachandran S. Vasan of the Boston University School of Medicine, said it was unlikely that an ingredient in soda caused the effect. More likely is that consuming sweet sodas changes dietary patterns or that soda was simply a marker for participants' poor eating habits, he said.

Dr. Meir Stampfer of the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study, said the findings were not unexpected, although he added, "I'm surprised by the magnitude of the association."
Diet soda is no better; Diet Soda a Farce?

Shame, Shame Mickey D's

Well, when McDonald’s isn’t busy peddling their junk to low-income families. They’re busy inventing new ways to fatten this country up. Introducing Hugo, a super-sized 42-ounce soda for only 89 cents; weighing in at a mere 410 calories. Andrew Martin of The New York Times reports:
Making matters worse, Hugo ads are available in several languages, making sure that minorities — who are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic — are aware of the budget beverage.

McDonald’s officials said they were simply offering customers a variety of choices. And they emphasized that the Hugo was a summer promotion and available only in some markets.

“People, I believe, tend to drink more during the summer,” said Danya Proud, a McDonald’s spokeswoman. “People are out and about.”

She said the Hugo was being offered because of customer demand, and so far, it has sold quite well. Ms. Proud cautioned about comparing the Hugo to McDonald’s old Supersize menu.

“That’s not what this is about,” she said. “You have to put it in context with the rest of our menu.”
Exactly what “context” is this suit talking about? Picture this. Take a glass of water and place it next to a greasy McDonald’s hamburger and a side of fries. What do you have? A nightmare! Now, swap out the water for a Hugo. What do you have? A bigger nightmare! What is this exec talking about? Take it from me—a disgruntled marketing major—marketing people think in an almost alien language. I mean how else could they come up with something like this:

Apparently this is the first McDonald’s commercial ever made. Wow, marketing genius in action!

County Bans Trans Fat

King County Washington flat out bans trans fat. The Associated Press reports:
A measure banning artificial trans fats and requiring nutritional labeling for menu items at chain restaurants has been approved by the King County Board of Health.

The measure, which applies to Seattle and most of its suburbs, was adopted after about six hours of discussion at a standing-room-only hearing Thursday over the objections of food industry and restaurant officials.

"This legislation is being driven by an obesity epidemic," board Chairwoman Julia L. Patterson said. "This is a very important element in helping to end that."

Opponents were most vehement about the labeling requirement, the second of its kind nationwide. A nutritional labeling requirement and ban on trans fats in restaurants took effect July 1 in New York.

Few if any customers don't know that a buttered 16-ounce steak is fattening, said Chris Clifford of Renton, who said he has owned several restaurants.

"I have a six-letter word to describe them: It's 'stupid,'" Clifford said. "You can't help stupid people."
Now, whether or not people are stupid is certainly a debatable point—just look at the low-carb craze—but I think consumers have a right to know exactly what’s in there food. No matter how obvious it may seem. Don’t you? Oh, and thanks for the article Elijah!

Red 2G Axed in England and Ireland

Last week we learned Red 2G—used to make processed meats look red—causes cancer. Well the Brits and Irish don’t muck around. They’ve banded it! The Cancer Blog passes on the news:
When consumed, the Red 2G breaks down to analine in the intestines and is thought to cause cancer. The dye has been banned in many other countries for some time. However, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently reached the conclusion that even a small amount of the coloring was toxic enough to cause concern, thus the ban of the Red 2g.
Yet another reason why the only meat I eat is fish.

More on the Junk Food Curb

By now we’ve all heard the news; major food producers are cracking down on marketing junk food to kids. Sure, it seems like a noble effort, but, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Check out this ABC News report:

Sure, advertising during kid shows is out, but wrapping snack-cakes and cookies in comic strips is no bid deal—I don’t like it. Assuming big companies have the best interests of children at heart is foolhardy. Instead, you take charge! Teach your kids the importance of healthy eating habits early. From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Disease-Proof Your Child:
We teach our children to eat when not hungry. We encourage it. Many parents actually think it looks health for their kids to be plump and bigger than average. They continually encourage them to ignore their bodies and eat when not hungry. The children learn to eat for a taste thrill; it is recreational eating, akin to recreational drug use. They do it for a thrill and pay a price for it later. These children and adults have overeaten their whole lives, so that they have no recollection of what true hunger feels like.

The first step toward your child’s healthy eating is changing your own. Concentrate on changing the dietary habits of the parents first and gradually remove more and more of the unhealthy options. If your child doesn’t change his diet right away, that is okay. Stop trying to control his intake. Stop battling. Instead, continue to offer delicious vegetable dishes and other great foods that are available. If he chooses to eat very little of it, that is fine. The best way to handle it is to say, “You don’t have to eat. If you are not hungry, why don’t you go and play.” If he asks for something not in the house, simply tell him that you do not have any. When he gets very hungry, he will ask to eat and relish what was offered earlier. You might be surprised at how much good stuff he will eat because he is really hungry and not forced to eat something when he was not. It will also be easier if he sees the rest of the family enjoying eating the healthy food choices and healthful recipes.
And here are some more posts that’ll help you and your family lock into health eating:

Chili con Botulism

Canned meat—who eats this stuff? Oh wait, I spoke to soon. After all, Hawaiians love their Spam. But if Spam isn’t your thing, try some canned chili dog sauce with added botulism. HealthDay News reports:
Federal health officials warned consumers late Wednesday night that some canned hot dog chili sauce may be contaminated with a potentially deadly botulism toxin.

The warning applies to 10-ounce cans of Castleberry's, Austex and Kroger brands of hot dog chili sauce with "best by" dates from April 30, 2009, through May 22, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a prepared statement…

…The contamination by the toxin is extremely rare for a commercially canned product, according to Dr. Michael Lynch, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention medical epidemiologist. The last such U.S. case was back in the 1970s.

Robert Brackett, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, urged consumers to discard any of the recalled chili sauce cans without opening them.
Reports like this are a major reason I avoid processed foods and stick with wholesome fruits and veggies—oh! The phytochemcial revolution has something to do with it to.

FDA Failing at Food Safety

I know I’ve said it before, but the Federal Food and Drug Administration is—at best—hit or miss. Sometimes they get it right, but more often than the not, the news ends up sounding like this. According to HealthDay News a congressional panel doesn’t think the FDA is doing a good job policing food safety, especially food imports. Steven Reinberg reports:
Food importers have found ways to avoid federal oversight of the products they ship into the United States, putting consumers at risk, the investigators told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's subcommittee on the FDA and food safety.

For example, when it comes to fish, importers sometimes route product through an inland point of entry, such as Las Vegas, instead of a big Pacific port city, the Associated Press reported. Importers can also get around FDA mercury inspections by offering younger, smaller fish to inspectors, then use the resulting agency approval to import larger fish with higher levels of the toxin, the investigators said.

A committee investigation also found that the FDA has little ability to police food imports. In San Francisco, for example, the agency's staff can manage only a cursory review of imports, generally dedicating just 30 seconds to each shipment as it flashes by on a computer screen, according to the investigators, the AP reported.

"We know that we are vulnerable to harm from abroad, where rules and regulations governing food production often are more lax than they are at home," said committee member Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., raising the prospect of terrorists tampering with imports entering the U.S. food supply, the news service reported.
I wonder, is part of the FDA job requirements graduating from clown college?

Thou Shall Not Peddle Junk to Kids

First Kellogg’s decided to stop marketing junk food to kids, and now, Coca-Cola and General Mills are jumping on the band wagon. These “food” producers announced plans to adopt stricter controls on advertising aimed at young children. Reuters reports:
Some companies have agreed to curb advertising ahead of a Federal Trade Commission hearing on Wednesday that is expected to exert pressure on food and drink makers for more responsible marketing plans as a means to help address childhood obesity problems, the New York Times and Associated Press reported.

The scope of the self-imposed marketing controls vary from company to company, according to the reports.

The U.S. division of McDonalds Corp., for example, said it will advertise only two types of "Happy Meal" to children under 12 -- one with chicken nuggets, apple dippers with caramel dip and low-fat milk, or one with a hamburger, apple dippers and milk, said AP. The meals meet the company's requirement of containing less than 600 calories, and derive no more than 35 percent of calories from fat, and have no more than 35 percent total sugar content.

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:

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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?

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.

A Dairy Conspiracy?

Veg Blog has an uneasy feeling about a certain milk commercial. Is there a conspiracy in the works here? You decide:
The milk cartons are labeled “Dairy Milk.” Why? Do cow’s milk containers in the store ever read explicitly “dairy milk”? My guess is that the dairy industry is still angry that soy, nut, and rice beverages are allowed to be sold as “milk” and they somehow worked out a deal to get the generic cartons in this ad to specify “dairy milk” lest anyone think this guy would–*gasp*–be drinking soy milk.

This might be true. It might not be. But one thing’s for sure. Dairy is not the health food it’s marketed to be. Dr. Fuhrman talks about it in Disease-Proof Your Child:
Milk, which is designed by nature for the rapidly growing cow, has about half its calories supplied from fat. The fatty component is concentrated more to make cheese and butter. Milk and cheese are the foods Americans encourage their children to eat, believing them to be healthy foods. Fifty years of heavy advertising by an economically powerful industry has shaped the public's perception, illustrating the power of one-sided advertising, but the reality and true health effects on our children is a different story. Besides the link between high-saturated-fat foods (dairy fat) and cancer, there is a body of scientific literature linking the consumption of cow's milk to many other diseases. If we expect our children to resist many common illnesses, they simply must consume less milk, cheese, and butter. Dairy foods should be consumed in limited quantity or not at all.

Cancer and Red Food Coloring

Well, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if it was. According to a new study food coloring Red 2G—which is often added to meat products—may cause cancer. Reuters reports:
Tests using animals indicated that aniline, a substance into which Red 2G is converted in the body, might cause cancer in animals and humans, possibly hitting the genetic material of cells, the EU main food safety body said in a statement.

“It is therefore not possible to determine a level of intake for aniline which may be regarded as safe for humans,” EFSA said.

(via Vegetarian Organic Life Blog)
Coincidently, just last week I blogged about Dr. Fuhrman’s suggestion for all those craving the red of red meat; Cravings: Red Color = Red Meat.

NY Times on Caffeine

Anna Jane Grossman of The New York Times examines the plight of caffeine in the United States; past, present, and, its newfound topical applications? I’m serious. Take a look:
Now drugstore shelves, which once had few things caffeine-related, save perhaps the odd mug cozy or cappuccino-scented candle, are offering an array of skin care products containing the beloved stimulant.

The 20th century was a confusing time for caffeine. The Food and Drug Administration vacillated on whether it was good or bad for you. Sanka was created, but so was the frappuccino. The new millennium, however, is shaping up to be a good one for it…

… In 2002, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science published a study led by Dr. Conney that used caffeine to kill off skin cancer sells on radiated mice. The results were promising, especially if you’re a mouse living in a coffee urn.

“Although caffeine has a sunscreen effect, it also has a biological effect of causing apoptosis — programmed cell death — in UVB-damaged skin cells and in tumors but not in normal skin or in areas adjacent to tumors in tumor-bearing mice,” Dr. Conney said in an e-mail message. “To the best of my knowledge, caffeine and caffeine sodium benzoate are the first examples of substances that have both a sunscreen effect and enhance cell death in a DNA-damaged tissue.”
Okay, here’s Dr. Fuhrman on caffeine consumption from Eat to Live and Disease-Proof Your Child:
Eat to Live
Caffeine addicts are at higher risk of cardiac arrhythmias that could precipitate sudden death.1 Coffee raises blood pressure and raises cholesterol and homocysteine, two risk factors for heart disease.2

Disease-Proof Your Child
Caffeine has been a controversial topic for decades. Evidence clearly concludes that heavy coffee drinkers have an increased risk of miscarriage and low birth weight infants, but evidence is not clear for moderate users of caffeine.3 Nevertheless, is wise to stay away from as many potentially harmful substances as possible. The bottom line, if in doubt, don’t do it.
And now, Dr. Fuhrman on caffeine and cancer from Ineffective Anti-Cancer Remedies: Coffee Enemas:
Caffeinated beverages delivered rectally are not health-supporting and cannot detoxify your body any more effectively than rinsing your mouth with them and then spitting them out. At least two deaths have been linked to coffee enemas, attributed to hyponatremia and dehydration. There is also a risk of contamination from unsanitary equipment used to administer enemas. For example, one outbreak of Campylobacter sepsis occurred among clients at a border clinic in Mexico that offered coffee enemas, and an outbreak of amebiasis was also linked to fecal contamination of an enema-delivery system.
Alight, that’s reason enough for me not to believe the hype—what about you?
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High-Fructose Corn Syrup Not to Blame?

New research is trying to claim that high-fructose corn syrup isn’t the nemesis of weight-loss and health we all believe it to be. Kyung M. Song of The Seattle Times reports:
People who drank the three sweetened colas in the morning said they felt equally full. At lunch, they all consumed similar numbers of calories.

A likely explanation is that once inside the body, the different sweeteners are indistinguishable, Pablo Monsivais, nutritional-sciences research fellow at the UW and the lead author of the report, said. The sugar in acidic beverages, such as cola, split into glucose and fructose molecules just as high-fructose corn syrup does.

But the experiment also turned up several dietary side notes worth exploring.

Subjects who drank the milk ate the smallest lunches. On the other hand, the people who had diet cola or drank nothing at all ate the biggest meals, presumably because they were hungrier.

But when researchers added up all the calories consumed from both the morning beverage and the lunch, subjects who drank diet cola or nothing consumed as many as 15 percent fewer calories than the other groups.

In short, people who had milk or the colas with sugar or syrup ate less at lunch, but not so much less that it balanced the calories they got from their morning drinks.
Don’t be fooled. Dr. Fuhrman considers high-fructose corn syrup (or HFCS) a real dangerous food and one that should be avoided. He talks about it in Disease-Proof Your Child:
HFCS is not only fattening, but this inexpensive and ultra-concentrated sugar has no resemblance to real food made by nature. It is another experiment thrust upon our unsuspecting children with unknown dangerous consequences. Besides sugar, corn syrup, and chemicals, these drinks often contain caffeine, an addictive stimulant. Children crave more and more as they get older. By adolescence most children have become soft-drink addicts. It is no surprise that six out of the seven most popular soft drinks contain caffeine.
And as for milk, check out this previous post: Cow's Milk and Kids Aren't Made for Each Other.

Meat-Sweet Bad for Breast Cancer

I like the term “meat-sweet.” Researchers are using it to describe the Western or standard American diet. A new study has determined a diet rich in red-meat, starches, and sweets significantly increases a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
In the study, American and Chinese researchers studied women, ages 25 to 64, in Shanghai who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer between August 1996 and March 1998.

The dietary habits of the women with the 1,602 breast cancer cases were compared to those of more than 1,500 women without breast cancer.

The researchers found that overweight, postmenopausal women who ate a western-style diet had a greater than twofold increased risk of estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers. There was no association between breast cancer risk and a vegetable-soy-fish diet.

The "meat-sweet" western diet relies on various kinds of meats, saltwater fish and shellfish, bread, milk, dessert and candy. The vegetable-soy-fish diet favors various vegetables, soy-based products, and freshwater fish.
I know, not exactly earth shattering news. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman makes it clear. The correlation between meat and disease is profound. Take a look:
There is a relationship between animal protein and heart disease. For example, plasma apolioprotein B is positively associated with animal-protein intake and inversely associated (lowered) with vegetable-protein intake (e.g., legumes and greens). Apolioprotein B levels correlate strongly with coronary heart disease1…

…The consumption of chicken and fish is also linked to colon cancer. A large recent study examined the eating habits of 32,000 adults for six years and then watched the incidence of cancer for these subjects over the next six years. Those who avoided red meat but at white meat regularly had a more than 300 percent increase in colon cancer incidence.2
And as for sugar, well, let’s just say its bad news too. More from Dr. Fuhrman and Eat to Live:
Refined sugars include table sugar (sucrose), milk sugar (lactose), honey, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, corn sweeteners, and fruit juice concentrates. Even the bottled and boxed fruit juices that many children drink are poor food; with no significant nutrient density, they lead to obesity and disease.3
All this makes me wonder, how the heck could anyone eat something like this? It’s Baseball’s Worst Burger!

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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.


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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Every Burger?

Just when you thought the hamburger couldn’t get more unhealthy—INTRODUCING—Every Burger! Yes, it’s a teeny-weeny little burger—THAT’S—not really a burger at all—IT’S A COOKIE! Behold the marketing genius behind this junk. SasuraiSamurai blogs about it:

(via Diet-Blog)
Those nutty Japanese, what will they think of next…beer for kids? Nah, it’d never happen:

Oh. Sorry, my foot’s in my mouth—I wonder if it’s nutrient-rich?

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.

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.

Crash the Ice Cream Truck?

The Diabetes Blog relays one interesting idea to help curb Type-2 diabetes—get those ice cream trucks off the road! Look:
Doris Paul from the Squamish Nation in Vancouver has one answer -- ban the ice cream truck. Her disdain for ice cream trucks has grown as she witnessed the soaring rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes in her nation's people and her own family. Ms. Paul's father was one of the biggest fans of the jingling bells, licking many an ice cream cone on hot summer days. A kid at heart, he generously bought ice cream for neighborhood children. But he died last year from diabetes complications, and Ms. Paul believes he never equated poor nutrition with his health problems. Ms. Paul's sister is also dealing with diabetes.

Ms. Paul's initiative to ban ice-cream trucks from three native communities on Vancouver's north shore was backed by the Nation's councillors. A mother of five, she also backed up her activism by eliminating junk food from her own pantry, replacing potato chips, soft drinks and ice cream with fruits and vegetables. Her family suffered for awhile, but now reports feeling healthier. A community garden is in the works.
Personally, I think it’s a good idea. It might help impress upon kids that a hearty mixture of sugar and dairy is hardly healthy. Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of ice cream either—if you want sweet, try eating some fruit instead. From Eat to Live:
Regrettably, our human desire for sweets is typically satisfied by the consumption of products containing sugar, such as candy bars and ice cream—not fresh fruit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that the typical American now consumes an unbelievable 32 teaspoons of added sugar a day.1 That's right, in one day.

We need to satisfy our sweet tooth with fresh, natural fruits and other plant substances that supply us not just with carbohydrates for energy but also with the full complement of indispensable substances that prevent illness.
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Small Packages, Big Profits

Snack-packs, 100-hundred calorie packs, and grab-n-go foods—they’re sweeping the nation! People really seem to buying into the idea of portion control. “Buying” is the operative word, because as Jeremy W. Peters of The New York Times reports, junk-food companies are making millions:
In just three years, sales of 100-calorie packs of crackers, chips, cookies and candy have passed the $20-million-a-year mark, making them a breakout hit on par with the SnackWells low-fat fad of the 1990’s.

But food companies are cramming store shelves with even more offerings, and new ones are on the way. Frito-Lay has started selling 100-calorie servings of beef jerky. Pepperidge Farm said it was developing several more 100-calorie variations of Goldfish and cookies, after rolling out three new ones a couple of weeks ago. In time for back-to-school, Hershey said it would offer 100-calorie bags of Twizzlers, and Nabisco will sell two new cookies, Alpha-Bits and Animals Choco Crackers, in 100-calorie packs.

Michael Simon, vice president for snacks at Pepperidge Farm, a unit of Campbell Soup, predicts that the market for these pint-size packages could easily double because of their simple appeal: they help consumers eat less without having to count calories themselves.
This is another sad commentary on our society—it gets worse! Just look at how much people overpay when they buy up all these portion-controlled garbage foods:

Clearly, no matter the size, junk-food is still junk—big or small. And as for eating smaller portions, well, according to Dr. Fuhrman it’s just futile. He talks about it in Eat to Live:
It is meaningless to compare foods by weight or portion size. Let me provide and example why this is the case. Take one teaspoon of melted butter, which gets 100 percent of its calories from fat. If I take that teaspoon of butter and mix it in a glass of hot water, I can now say that it is 98 percent-fat-free, by weight. One hundred percent of its calories are still from fat. It didn’t matter how much water or weight was added, did it?

In fact, if a food’s weight were important, it would be easy to lose weight, we would just have to drink more water. The water would trigger the weight receptors in the digestive tract and our appetite would diminish. Unfortunately, this is not the way our body’s appestat—the brain center in the hypothalamus that controls food intake—is controlled. As I’ve explained in the past, bulk calories and nutrient fulfillment, not the weight of the food, turn off our appestat. Since the foods Americans consume are so calorie-rich, we have all been trying to diet by eating small portions of low-nutrient foods. We not only have to suffer hunger but also wind up with perverted cravings because we are nutrient-deficient to boot.

BK Ousts Trans Fat

Burger King plans to phase out trans fat in all U.S. restaurants by 2008. Reuters reports:
The announcement comes nearly two months after nutrition advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) sued Burger King over the company's use of oil containing trans fats, saying it was the only leading restaurant chain that had not yet committed to eliminating trans fats from its menu.

At the time, Burger King said it was committed to switching to a healthier oil but that that a timeline for the move would depend on which oil the company decided to use.

On Friday, the Miami-based company said two trans fat-free oil blends have passed its criteria. If adequate supply of the oils becomes available, the U.S. roll-out could be completed sooner than the 2008 target, Burger King added.
I guess there’s no hurry—not while there’s still money to be made!

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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Stressed Fat Mice

Diet-Blog passes on some information showing how stress can lead to weight-grain…in mice. Check it out:
Mice who were stressed AND who were also eating a high-sugar high-fat diet got fat: they tended to gain more visceral abdominal fat.

What was strange was that it was only the combination of the above factors that produced the result. Stress and a good diet was okay. No stress and a junk food diet was okay.

The scientists concluded that the stress and bad diet increased amounts of a brain chemical called neuropeptide-Y - which resulted in more fat cells in the abdominal area.
I think the same thing rings true for humans. Maybe that’s why Dr. Fuhrman believes An Emotionally Satisfying Environment is Vital to health and longevity.

Poisonous Potatoes

Did you know green potatoes are poisonous? I didn’t. At first it sounded like a lot of hooey, but, as Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times reports, green potatoes can make you sick. Take a look:

According to a recent report by Alexander Pavlista, a professor of agronomy and horticulture at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, a 100-pound person would have to eat about 16 ounces of a fully green potato to get sick. That is the weight of a large baked potato.

The report noted that most green potatoes never reach the market. Still, to avoid the development of solanine, it is best to store potatoes in cool, dimly lit areas, and to cut away green areas before eating.

Another good rule: if it tastes bitter, don’t eat it. Unlike Dr. Seuss’s entree, this green meal would not have a happy ending.

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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