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!

Salad Boom

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


Don't be Fat and Pregnant

I know, harsh words, but when you’re pregnant you’ve really got live in the best interest of your child; mind you, this is a guy talking, but still. Just take a look at this report. New research claims overweight women are at risk of pregnancy complications. Reuters is on it:
Using data from more than 24,000 UK women who gave birth between 1976 and 2005, researchers found that the risk of problems, such as high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and premature delivery climbed in tandem with a woman's pre-pregnancy weight.

The findings, published in the online journal BMC Public Health, add to evidence that obesity is a risk for mothers and newborns.

They also support the belief that all pregnancies in obese women should be considered "high risk," and managed accordingly, conclude the study authors, led by Dr. Sohinee Bhattacharya of Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.

Summertime Super Foods

Delicious Rainbow Potato Salad
2 pounds red potatoes, cut into large pieces
2 orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 stalks organic celery, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup each green, red, yellow, & orange peppers, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, grated
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon VegiZest or other no salt seasoning
3/4 cup low salt mayonnaise or Vegenaise (a vegan alternative) or use Eggplant "Mayonnaise" (see recipe below)
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool. Remove skin if potatoes are not organic. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Place them in a large bowl and add celery, onions, peppers, and carrots, then toss gently. Mix mustard, VegiZest and Vegenaise together and spoon over potato mixture. Toss gently to coat. Cover and chill at least one hour. NOTE: To make Eggplant "Mayonnaise" peel 1/2 eggplant and dice. Steam until soft. Place the cooked eggplant in a blender along with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons tahini, and 1 1/2 teaspoons VegiZest or other no salt seasoning, and blend until smooth & creamy. Serves 8.

Sunshine Slaw
4 carrots, grated
1 1/2 apples, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1/3 cup low salt mayonnaise or Vegenaise
Toss carrots and apples with lemon juice. Add raisins and almonds. Mix in mayonnaise or Vegenaise. Serves 4.

Super Summer Vegetable Blend
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
4 zucchini, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 medium red pepper, sliced
1/2 medium yellow pepper, sliced
1/2 medium orange pepper, sliced
2 cups shiitake, cremini, or oyster mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Black Fig Vinegar
2 teaspoons water
In a large skillet add 3 tbsp water, thyme, dill, oregano, basil, zucchini, garlic, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Cover and cook over medium/high heat for 8 minutes. Meanwhile mix arrowroot, VegiZest, vinegar, and 2 teaspoons water together in a small bowl. Add sauce to simmering vegetables and cook 4 more minutes or until sauce boils and thickens and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Serves 5.

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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Sunlight, Strong Medicine

Even though I burn like an Irishman, I still try my best to get plenty of sun. Be it fishing or a long walk through Central Park, I get out there. And it’s a good thing, because according to Dr. Fuhrman getting adequate sun is potent cancer fighter. In Vitamin D and Cancer he explains why:
Laboratory, animal, and epidemiologic evidence suggests that vitamin D may be protective against cancer. Epidemiologic studies suggest that a higher dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D, and/or sunlight-induced vitamin D synthesis, correlates with lower incidence of cancer, including lymphoma, breast, prostate, and colon cancer.1 In fact, for over 60 years, researchers have observed an inverse association between sun exposure and cancer mortality,2 and those with more sun exposure had fewer cancers. The inverse relationship between higher vitamin D levels in blood and lower cancer risk in humans shows a significantly lower risk among those with the highest vitamin D intake.
Now, I grew up in the Super Mario era. So as a kid I spent plenty of time in doors, but, my parents did do a good job of getting my butt outside. And I’m glad they did, because a new study links childhood sunlight exposure to a decreased risk of multiple sclerosis. Alan Mozes of HealthDay News reports:
"Evidence is building up that something in relation to sunlight and/or vitamin D exposure during childhood may play a protective role," said study co-author Dr. Thomas M. Mack, of the department of preventive medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. "It's now been suggested by several different studies that this is the case, and if it's true, it would be important."

The study is published in the July 24 issue of Neurology.

The findings echo those of a recent Harvard School of Public Health study, released in December and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That study found that among 140 white men and women, those with the highest levels of sunlight-derived vitamin D were 62 percent less likely to have developed MS than those with the lowest levels. The finding was not replicated in a smaller patient pool of either blacks or Hispanics, however.
Makes me want to move to Key West stat!

Magnetize Your Food

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

(via Diet-Blog)

And right next to those, stick one of these:

Exercise, Uber Medicine

As someone who exercises an average of ten hours a week, I love reading reports like this. New research suggests young type-1 diabetics benefit from exercise. When is exercise ever a bad thing? Anyway, Madeline Vann of HealthDay News is on it:
The researchers analyzed the physical activity levels outside of school and cardiovascular health of more than 23,000 subjects between the ages of 3 and 18. They found that heart health increased as the amount of physical activity increased.

The more active the children were, the lower the percentage of patients with high cholesterol and triglycerides. Nearly 40 percent of those with no regular physical activity had high cholesterol and triglycerides. Of the children who were active once or twice a week, 36 percent had high cholesterol and triglycerides, and for those who were active three or more times a week, only 34.4 percent had high cholesterol and triglycerides.

Writing in the August issue of Diabetes Care the researchers reported that children who were active at least once or twice per week were also less likely to have high blood pressure than those who had no exercise.
Since we’re talking about type-1 diabetes, it’s important to remember there is Hope for Type 1 Childhood Onset Diabetics.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Eating to Live on the Outside: Michael Jordan's Steakhouse

If you’re a sports fan you know the name Michael Jordan—actually—if you’ve been alive for the past twenty years you know MJ. Michael Jordan is sports royalty, but, he’s also quite the restaurateur. In fact, the Jump Man’s got his own restaurant. That’s right! This week Eating to Live on the Outside goes one on one with Michael Jordon’s Steakhouse.

I know. The word STEAKHOUSE is daunting, but don’t forget, we survived our Outback adventure just fine, and, had no problem wrangling Lonestar. So let’s grab a menu and take it to the house—or outside the house for that matter.

Okay, the appetizers don’t do it for me. I can’t imagine eating Foie Gras—yuck—and the rest of the offerings are also pretty gross; Ahi Tuna Tartare and Prime Steak Tartare. Needless to say, I’ll pass. Let’s see if we can find something more Eat to Live friendly further down the menu.

I’ve said this before, but no surprise here. There’re a couple very doable salads. Sure, the Baby Spinach Salad needs a little work, but it’s totally manageable. The Baby Spinach Salad is made with baby spinach, smoked bacon, walnuts, and grain mustard. Clearly, my nemesis bacon has got to go, but other than that it’s all good. Another nice choice is the basic House Salad; baby lettuce and balsamic vinegar. I’d ask the wait staff, but I bet it comes with other veggies too. Now, if you go easy on the dressing—or ditch it altogether—you’re doing pretty well. To be honest, it takes a lot of effort to screw up a salad.

Alright, time for the main courses. Obviously I wouldn’t be foolish enough to order a steak, so that’s out. Now, all the main courses are meat-based. So if your vegetarian you’d probably just sick with the salad. As for me, I don’t eat meat, but I’m cool with fish. That’s why the Broiled Maine Lobster caught my eye; made with Maine lobster and sweet vermouth butter. Yup, you guessed it. I’d ask the wait staff to omit the butter, but other than that I’m cool with the lobster. After all Maine Lobster has a very low contamination risk. I like the Sea Scallops too; prepared with sea scallops, pink peppercorns, pancetta, and mustard aioli. Sea scallops are another safe seafood option, which is great. However the pancetta—Italian bacon—is not so great. I’m dropping that. With that being said the only concession I’d be looking at is the aioli (oil). I can live with it. Now of course, if I ordered either of these seafood dishes, I'd wait awhile before I ate fish again—Dr. Fuhrman's orders.

Now, you’re probably wondering. Where are all the side dishes? Wonder no further. They’re up next and here’s a bunch to choose from, but the only ones I’d order are the Roasted Assorted Mushrooms or the One-Pound Baked Potato. The roasted mushrooms are cooked in white truffle oil, so that’d be a concession—albeit a minor one—and as long as you don’t order the potato with sour cream, cheddar cheese, or butter, you’re sitting pretty. Oh, and of course. Instead of ordering any of the main entrees you could just pair these two side dishes together. But if you ask me, the Baby Spinach Salad or the House Salad is still your best bet.

That wasn’t so bad. I always thought going one on one with MJ would have been a lot harder. You know what? I find it ironic that a supreme athlete like Michael Jordan would have so many unhealthy foods on his restaurant’s menu. Well, actually I’m not that shocked. Just check out Why NFL Players Shouldn't be Nutritionists. But hey, do me a favor. Check out Michael Jordan’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or shoot—pun intended—me an email at diseaseproof@gmail.com.

The Farm Bill

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

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

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

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

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

Your Friends Make You Fat!

Believe me. I’ve had some rotten friends. You know that guy, you’ve known him since high school and all he’s ever done for you is not pay back loans and ground potato chips into your couch. But in my twenty-six years of life I’ve never had a friend who made me fat. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News reports, your family and friends may spread obesity:
This may be literally true, according to Harvard researchers who suggested in the July 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that obesity, or the trend to thinness, is socially contagious, "spreading" through social ties.

"This reinforces the idea that because people are interconnected, their health is interconnected," said study author Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis, a professor at Harvard University. "It takes seriously the embedded-ness of people within social networks and gives new meaning to the concept of public health."

While this may cause people to look differently at their friends and acquaintances (both overweight and thin), the real value of the research is in pointing to new ways to combat the growing epidemic of overweight and obesity, experts said.

"Trying to address the problem on an individual level has been so hard, and it may be because we're not addressing the network, which could be family, neighborhood, community, school," said Dr. Julio Licinio, chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "This is a fascinating way to look at the problem, and it may be a very good reason why treatments have been so difficult, because we're only addressing one member of the network."
I don’t know about obesity, but my family members are experts at spreading aggravation. For more on this research, listen to this chat with New York Times reporter Gina Kolata. Or, check out this video via the New York Times:


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.

More Pomegranate Power

The Cardio Blog likes pomegranates:
It's something you don't often eat but you probably should because it's chalk-full of antioxidants and other healthy good stuff: Pomegranates. The fruit benefits your cardiovascular system, and also has been shown to help with Alzheimer's, cancer and even erectile dysfunction. And it's a better source of flavonoids than red wine, green tea or blueberry juice.
Dr. Fuhrman thinks pomegranate juice is great. From Pomegranate Power:
Pomegranate juice is so rich in heart protective compounds and there are animal studies to support the beneficial findings in human studies, it makes the results of these recent investigations understandable and believable. Pomegranate is a powerful food for good health.1
Summary Features of Pomegranate
1. Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits
2. Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
3. Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease
4. Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
5. Lowers blood pressure
6. Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies.
7. May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis
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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.
Continue Reading...

Enriching Foods, Not a Miracle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green Salad Is Less than 100 Calories per Pound

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

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

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

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

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

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

The Great Pumpkin Massacre

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

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!

Antioxidants, Not Weak in the Knees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Belly Fat and Fitness

If you go to the gym, you’re bound to have seen them. Those guys with the pumped up arms and tight-fitting shirts; these guys actually think they’re in shape. Well, they would be, if it weren’t for the big bellies. Don’t get it? This Reuters report should lift the fog. Ann Harding explains fitness means less belly fat at any weight. Read on:
The higher a man's cardiorespiratory fitness, the less fat he has in his abdominal cavity, Dr. Jean-Pierre Despres of Hopital Laval Research Centre in Quebec and colleagues found. The relationship held true regardless of body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height typically used to gauge overweight and obesity.

"This is why it's so, so important for the doctor to measure waist circumference," said Despres, who told Reuters Health he is on a "crusade" to get family doctors to check their patients' waist size and triglyceride levels.

High waist circumference combined with high triglyceride levels signal a substantially increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, he explained.

There is mounting evidence that fit people are at reduced risk of heart disease, even though they may be overweight or even obese based on their BMI, Despres and his team note in the Archives of Internal Medicine. At the same time, the researcher added, people of normal weight with bulging bellies can be "time bombs" for heart disease.

He and his colleagues hypothesized that fit individuals, regardless of BMI, would have less belly fat. To investigate, they looked at 169 healthy men, comparing their cardiorespiratory fitness with their amount of belly fat as measured by computed tomography (CT) scanning.
Dr. Fuhrman runs into the belly fat issue all the time. Check out this excerpt from Eat to Live:
Most people lose weight and then stop losing when they have reached their ideal weight. You are not the judge of your ideal weight; your body is. As almost everyone is overweight, many people think they are too thin when they have reached their best weight. I have many patients who, after following my plan to reverse diabetes or heart disease, report, "Everyone tells me I look too thin now." I then measure their periumbilical fat and check their percentage of body fat, and usually show them they are still not thin enough.

Psychotherapy Gone Bananas

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

Bionic Watermelon

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

Coffee and Disease

Healthy Eating is blogging about coffee, cancer, arteriosclerosis, and dehydration. Check it out:
A new study published in the June 2005 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined whether high coffee consumption (>2 cups a day) contributed to arteriosclerosis - the thickening and stiffening of the blood vessels that transport oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body. Following 228 healthy subjects over the course of a year, researchers found that those who drank the most coffee experienced greater hardening of the arteries - and particularly the aorta (the major artery that feeds blood to the rest of the arteries) - than their non-coffee drinking peers.

This is bad news for java junkies as arteriosclerosis can increase blood pressure as well as the risk of heart attack and stroke. Combine this with coffee's effect on homocysteine - raising levels of an amino acid associated with cardiovascular disease - and you've got a brewing health threat, particularly for those with a family history of heart disease.

Finally, as reported in a previous issue of the DNN, men who drink four or more cups of coffee a day dramatically increase their risk of bladder cancer. A Dutch oncologist who examined the link predicted that up to a third of bladder cancers could be prevented by the elimination of coffee consumption.

Huddle House: An Arm-Chair Nutritionist Chimes In

Eating to Live on the Outside is a lot of fun. It’s also great practice and helps me—and hopefully helps you—make more informed decisions when dining outside the home. Now, for the most part I don’t catch a lot of flack for my sometimes scathing evaluations, but, it does happen. Just check out the bickering about Fazoli's. Take a look:
Commenter Bridget
Have you ever been in a Fazoli's. I have worked at the Fazolis for 7 1/2 years and i can tell you that most of what you said just isnt accurate. It is very easy to eat healthy at Fazolis. There are many meals that are advertised as under 5 grams of fat. We don't use Olive oil on anything, not even the Grilled Chicken salad. Also, we are always willing to special order anything you want. If you want no dressing or mayo on your sandwich we can do that or if you want extra sauce or a different kind of sauce...we can do that too. The lite Italian dress is lite compared to our regular Italian dressing. If you ask you can get a nutrition guide.

Commenter Chante
Fazoli's doesnt even use "olive oil". The comment that you made about the chicken panani, and the whole wheat penne isnt accurate... no such thing. There is NO OLIVE OIL in a Fazoli's restaraunt..thats like looking for A1 sauce @ a Steak n Shake. I think their catchy little commercial says it all, "fresh, fast, italian" Fresh it is. They prep their menu items daily. Salads are made to order. The cooking process for the pasta, is just perhaps as if you made it @ home. Cooked in boiling water, with some salt for 8-12 minutes. Then covered w/ some vegetable oil, *not olive oil* the vegetable oil is actually cooked off, because they submerge the pasta in boiling water to heat it, when you order. all orders are made to order.Comment about the minestrone soup, all soups are loaded w/ sodium, read the back of the soup cans. Now, your comment about your meat allotment for the week, the chicken panani only has 2 1/2 oz of chicken on it, so if thats your meat allotment for the week... *shruggs* There are plenty of "meatless" menu items. They do serve Alf Sauce and a Marinara Sauce. Perhaps next week we'll read about how you have compared a McDonalds burger to that of a Ruby Tuesday's burger. Good Day.
As you can see, most people that object to my amateur reviews—and I’m not ashamed to say that—don’t know the slightest thing about truly healthy eating. Take this for example. Recently someone named Mike emailed me to share his “great deal of knowledge” on the human body and nutrition, and, to let me know he disapproved of my recent review of Huddle House. Here it is:
I read your "informative" comments about Huddle House on your website and felt compelled to send you an email. Obviously, grease is not the way to healthy nutrition...that much we agree upon. However, when you stated that you do not even eat eggs at all, you demonstrated to me your lack of education regarding healthy foods. To put it simple...eggs are some of the most nutrition rich food a person can eat...provided of course they are not cooked in grease. I am an extremely healthy person, a gym rat for 20+years, with around 10% bodyfat year round. I have competed in many bodybuilding contests in my life and have acquired what I consider a great deal of knowledge concerning the human body and what works and what doesn't work. Red Meat is not bad for you...as long as it is lean red meat. Eggs are an excellent source of nutrition. Vegetables are also very nutritious...much more so than fruits and dairy products...which raise the blood sugar level too high.

I won't carry on. It's just when I read where someone is writing about nutrition and foods as an "advisor" so to speak...and they talk like a typical vegetarian (foolish people that don't understand the body), I have to comment.

Have a good day. Go enjoy some eggs and steak.

By the way, I have eaten at Huddle House...and they will cook your meals like you want if you will only tell them how.
Wow! Mike has some serious emotional attachments to food, but, he’s entitled to his opinion and I’m happy to hear him out. Now, since I’m not the expert here, I’ll refrain from nitpicking his remarks, but, Dr. Fuhrman was more than happy to impart a little knowledge. If you’re reading Mike, hopefully this broadens your horizons a little. Have a look:
Sorry for the straight talk Mike, but just because you consider yourself knowledgeable about nutrition doesn't mean you have a broad and insightful knowledge. Most misinformed individuals consider themselves knowledgeable about nutrition and as a result we have over 80 percent of our country dieing of heart attacks, strokes and cancer. Lots of self-proclaimed knowledgeable nutrition "experts" die prematurely of heart disease.

If you want to disagree with the information here, it might be a good idea if you read my books or even some of the prior blog posts that discuss meat eating. My work is supported with extensive research from scientific sources and an understanding of the broad overview of relevant scientific studies, not just a few selected citations. This helps a person understand the issues with clarity.

I do considers eggs a relatively cleaner and safer animal product compared to cheese and red meat, however I’m still careful to advise limits on animal product intake because animal products at the level of consumption eaten in America is clearly disease-promoting and lifespan shortening. Lastly, Americans only consume four percent of calories from fresh fruits, vegetables beans, nuts and seeds, and yes fruit is essential for protection against certain cancers. I hope you decide to hang around and read more of my blog. Then if you disagree, at least you will know what you are disagreeing with and you will learn about the science that supports such viewpoints.
Now, as for me and Eating to Live on the Outside, keep looking for my “foolishness” every Friday. Oh, and here’s a few posts on meat consumption and disease:

Blend Them Veggies

Athlete's Green Fuel
1 banana
8 ounces romaine lettuce
4 ounces organic baby spinach
1 ounce raw sunflower seeds
1 ounce pine nuts
1 ounce raw cashews
3 teaspoons Dr. Fuhrman's Black Fig Vinegar
Blend all ingredients together.

Garden of Eden

6 ounces baby romaine lettuce
6 ounces organic baby spinach
4 figs soaked overnight in 1/4 cups soy milk
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's Black Fig Vinegar
Blend all ingredients together.

Smooth & Creamy Greeny
6 ounces baby romaine lettuce
6 ounces organic baby spinach
1/4 cup soy milk
8 dates
Blend all ingredients together.

Anna's Drink & Stink
5 ounces raw organic spinach
2-3 medium tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 thin slice of red onion
Blend all ingredients together.

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?

What Doctors Don't Know

The Cardio Blog is all over research suggesting many doctors aren’t worried about patients' out of whack cholesterol. Take a look:
61% of doctors stated they don't feel frustrated when they are unable to lower cholesterol levels in their patients, despite understanding the severe health risks that go along with it. Are they not taking it seriously? Is it that they just don't expect their patients to take it seriously? Whatever the issue, make sure you have a doctor that takes a personal interest in you and your health.
Now I respect doctors—heck, I work for one—but sometimes what they don’t realize is truly amazing. Dr. Fuhrman provides an example in Eat to Live:
I see about twenty to thirty new patients per week, and I always ask them, “Which has more protein — one hundred calories of sirloin steak or one hundred calories of broccoli?” When I tell them it’s broccoli, the most frequent response I get is “I didn’t know broccoli had protein in it.” then ask them, “So where did you think the calories in broccoli come from? Did you think it was mostly fat, like an avocado, or mostly carbohydrate, like a potato?”

People know less about nutrition than any other subject. Even the physicians and dietitians who attend my lectures quickly volunteer the answer, “Steak!” They are surprised to learn that broccoli has about twice as much protein as steak.
For more on broccoli’s nutrient content, check out Nutrient Density of Green Vegetables.

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!

More Love for Flavonoids

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

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

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.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Harvest Moon Brewery

Relax! I know you read the word brewery and freaked out a little. No, I didn’t order any beer. But yes, you just assumed correctly. I have eaten at the Harvest Moon Brewery. In fact, it’s only a quick highway-drive from where I live. So last Friday night my friends and I paid it a visit.

Sadly, my friends aren’t exactly into nutrient-dense living, so their orders were typical standard American fare; greasy meats, fried things, and ooey-gooey cheese. My salad stuck out like a sore thumb. Speaking of thumbs, let’s go ahead and thumb through Harvest Moon’s menus.

Alright, let’s start with what I actually ordered. Now, I admit. I didn’t think too deeply about it—I really wasn’t in the mood to nitpick. So I went with the Moon Salad; prepared with red leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, julienne carrots, red onions, garlic croutons, Romano cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. Yup, I nixed cheese and the croutons. I also ordered the dressing on the side. Truth be told, it was a really tasty. Very simple, very light, but most off all—packed with phytonutrienty goodness!

Now unlike last Friday, today I feel very nitpicky. So let’s cruise through the menu and see if there’s anything else worth ordering. The lunch menu is up first. Okay, the appetizers are out. So are the pizzas. Well, the veggie burger might work for some people, but I’m not a fan. Alright, the Veggie Flatbread has potential; it comes with eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, pesto mayo, flatbread, and house chips. Clearly the cheese, mayo, and chips are out. The flatbread is a concession, but if I was in the mood for a sandwich this would be my best bet. I still like my salad better.

Speaking of salads, what other salads could I have tried? The Spinach Salad is a solid option; it’s put together with baby spinach, saffron orzo, grape tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, chickpeas, and lemon-basil vinaigrette. I’m ditching the feta and the orzo—orzo is a type of pasta. Again, I’m also going easy on the dressing. Overall it’s got the makings of a decent meal. The Asparagus Salad is very similar; it comes with white beans, asparagus, roasted red peppers, mixed baby greens, Romano cheese, and honey-Dijon vinaigrette. And one more time, I’d ditch the cheese and limit the dressing—what a fine meal it’d make!

Onto the dinner menu! Again, the appetizers aren’t all that great. The Sesame Hummus looks okay, but doesn’t fascinate me enough to order it. But if you think it is, go ahead; it’s made with sesame-green onion hummus, tomato-ginger salsa, wonton crisps, and sliced cucumber—not a terrible choice if you ditch the wonton crisps. Well, the salads are the same on the dinner menu, and yes, I still love my Moon Salad the most.

The entrees aren’t that spectacular. Actually, there’s only one I’d consider ordering. I’d go with the Atlantic Salmon; it’s prepared with salmon, sun-dried tomatoes, vegetable quinoa, grilled asparagus, and peppercorn-chive oil. Now, salmon is okay because it is one of Dr. Fuhrman’s least contaminated fishes. Quinoa is great—as this post explains: Know Your Quinoa. The peppercorn-chive oil makes me nervous, but I could live with it. I do a good job at limiting my consumption of oil.

Well, having spent a little time more thoroughly going through Harvest Moon’s menus I can tell you, I stand behind my original selection. For me the Moon Salad is the best fit. The Veggie Flatbread came with bread, the Sesame Hummus had wonton crisps, and the salmon—while lower in Mercury than most fish—is still a little bit iffy. Give me leafy greens instead of fish any day of the week.

So what do you think? Did I do okay? Is the Moon Salad really the best option out there? I know everyone’s taste is different. So do me a favor, check out Harvest Moon’s menus, figure out what you’d order, and tell me about it. How do you handle Eating to Live on the Outside? Make a comment or send an email to diseaseproof@gmail.com.

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:

Eat and be Thin

Not Enough Vitamin D

According to new research, one billion people aren’t getting enough vitamin D. Krisha McCoy of HealthDay News reports:
In the July 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Michael Holick, director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine and director of the Bone Healthcare Clinic at Boston Medical Center, published an overview of his work on vitamin D.

According to Holick, it has been estimated that one billion people in the world are vitamin D deficient or insufficient.

Without vitamin D, only 10 percent to 15 percent of dietary calcium and about 60 percent of phosphorus is absorbed by the body. This can have a direct effect on bone mineral density.

There is evidence that people who live at higher latitudes -- where the angle of the sun's rays is not sufficient to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D in the skin -- are more likely to develop and die of Hodgkin's lymphoma, colon, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, breast and other cancers. And there is an association between low levels of vitamin D and increased risk for type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin D and the lack of it, is no stranger to Followhealthlife. Check out the Importance of Vitamin D for more. Here’s a taste:
Vitamin D also works in concert with a number of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones to promote bone mineralization. Research also suggests that vitamin D is important to maintain a healthy immune system, regulate cell growth, and prevent cancer. Vitamin D has been shown to protect against the development of autoimmune disease such as inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It also has been shown to be helpful in decreasing disease severity for those suffering with autoimmune disease.1
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Lettuce Loving Labradoodles

These pooches love some crispy lettuce:

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

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?

The Great Veggie Escape

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

Symptoms of a Bad Diet

Nope. This post isn’t about the signs of a poor diet, rather, Diet-Blog has listed the 7 Signs of a Dubious Diet; diet as in fad diets. Here’re few good ones:
2. Advocates centering the diet on one particular food
Eg. grapefruit, peanut butter, coconut diets. Whether or not you eat these foods has no bearing on your weight and health.

3. Doesn’t insist on exercise
Surprising how many of them don’t – this is the cornerstone of continued fat loss and maintenance of weight, period. Beware of even those that undermine the importance of exercise.

4. Offers a simplistic explanation to the complex problem of obesity
Again, many “gurus” try and convince us that we are fat for a singular reason – this gives them an “angle” at which to sell us with. Whether it is carbs, an absence or abundance of a certain hormone, toxins – obesity is multifaceted.
I know I’m biased, but I mentally ran Eat to Live through these points and—it came out smelling like roses! Go on, try for yourself.

Your Waist, Your Heart

We all know excess bodyweight increases your risk of disease, and clearly, a really big waist probably means you’re sporting extra pounds. Now, new research claims reducing waist size decreases one’s risk of heart disease and diabetes—makes sense, seems like the opposite. Reuters reports:
French researchers found that men and women whose waistlines expanded by 3 inches or more over nine years were at increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome -- a collection of risk factors, including high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, that raise a person's odds of diabetes and heart disease.

In contrast, women who shed just an inch or more from their midsections had a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome than women whose waistlines stayed the same.

What's more, a slimmed-down middle benefited women who already had metabolic syndrome at the study's outset, the researchers report in the journal Diabetes Care. Compared with women who had metabolic syndrome and an unchanged waistline, those who lost an inch or more were nearly four times more likely to no longer have the syndrome at the study's close.

(via The Cardio-Blog)
Not exactly eye-opening research, but important nonetheless. Dr. Fuhrman often stresses that the one of the keys to long-term health and disease-prevention is maintaining healthy bodyweight. Take heart disease for example; from Reverse Heart Disease Aggressively:
When you normalize your blood pressure and LDL cholesterol with nutritional intervention rather than drugs, you accomplish even greater risk reduction. As your weight drops, your blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure, and cholesterol also drop dramatically. Your body is flooded with nutrients that protect your blood vessels from disease and rupture. This approach provides maximal protection and offers benefits beyond merely lowering cholesterol.

The dietary program I recommend for heart-disease reversal utilizes natural cholesterol-lowering therapies instead of drugs, which eliminates the risks of drug side effects. And because my dietary program is richer in fiber and nutrients than the typical vegetarian diet, my patients achieve spectacular reductions in cholesterol, body weight, and blood pressure. Fortunately, this approach also can help those who already have heart disease. They can avoid future heart attacks and reverse and remove atherosclerosis.

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?

Keep on Trucking...Healthier

The Diabetes Blog passes on some new research outlining the health risks for most truck drivers. Look:
According to a new survey of truckers, that lifestyle of long hours sitting on your tushie is catching up with the nation's big rig drivers. Obesity is rampant and so are obesity-related health problems like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Oh, then there's sleep apnea, smoking, and the fact that many drivers admit they don't bother with seatbelts.
Too bad all truck drives can’t look like this:

Pollution Bad for the Heart

Sadly, our world seemingly gets more and more polluted each day. And news like this really puts it into perspective. A new study has determined people who regularly breathe in heavy traffic fumes face increased heart attack risk. Ed Edelson of HealthDay News reports:
"It's not limited to freeways," said lead researcher Barbara Hoffmann, head of the unit of environmental epidemiology at the University of Duisburg-Essen. "We see it in inner-city dwellings on heavily traveled streets as well."

Her team published the findings in the July 17 issue of Circulation.

The damage to the arteries seen in such people is similar to that produced by inhaling secondhand tobacco smoke, "although the effect we see here in this study is even larger than that caused by secondhand smoke," Hoffmann said.

Most of the blood vessel damage is due to high levels of particulate pollutants in vehicle exhaust fumes, Hoffmann speculated, although there might be other contributing factors, such as the constant noise of heavy traffic "which can contribute to high blood pressure."
For more on the dangers of toxins, check out Followhealthlife’s toxins category.

Horse vs. Watermelon

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


Asbestos in Canada

The Cancer Blog was pretty shocked to find out asbestos is still a major issue in Canada. Take a look:
Asbestos still lurks in many buildings here in Canada, and it's was apparently responsible for 1,097 workplaces deaths in 2005. I guess the rumors of asbestos in the old lecture halls at my old university could have had some merit.

And yet despite the facts that asbestos can cause death, there are still asbestos defenders out there, who insist that the building material is safe if properly used. It's inexpensive, durable, and deadly. What's more important? I am definitely in favor of a ban ... are you?
I’m with The Cancer Blog—BAN IT!

Q & A with T. Colin Campbell

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

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

Weight-Loss Strategies: Relaxation Techniques and In-Patient Facilities

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

Positive Visualization and Other Relaxation Techniques: Progressive muscle relaxation and meditation are designed to reduce tension and provide a distraction for stressful events.1 For many, stress is a predictor of relapse and unhealthful eating. We need both exercise and sufficient rest and sleep to best deal with the stress in our lives. If you are not sleeping well, you can become overwhelmed more easily by stressful situations.

In-Patient Facilities or Health Retreats: If you do not succeed, or are not able to do so on your own, you are not a failure. Some individuals require a structured environment to get them started on the road to success. For others it is imperative for their health that they succeed at taking weight off relatively quickly. If you are committed to success, there is no reason why you should be satisfied with anything less than spectacular results in your health, wellness, and physique. Some individuals may require an initial period of supervision that offers a more disciplined and structured program whereby all the food is prepared.

These guests are soon reeducated to proper eating and learn to adjust to the changes that must be made. They can taste many different ways to prepare healthy food and learn healthy food preparation. There are live-in health spa facilities that adhere to these principles and cater to those who need guaranteed weight loss.
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You're Fat, Blame Others

Okay, imagine you’re overweight. Is it your fault or the food companies’ fault? Personally, I’d blame myself. Diet-Blog asks the same question; Personal Responsibility or Blame Food Companies? Take a look:
We are the ones who wear the robes and carry the gavel when it comes to what enters our mouths. Nobody is pointing a gun to our heads and demanding we down ½ pound burgers, a small bucket of fries and a pop big enough to dock a jet ski in…

…No individual should be able to sue a restaurant/food company because they got fat eating their food. It seems anything not right with us nowadays is somebody else’s fault.
Maybe it all boils down to this: Knowledge Motivates Change.

Organic Hooch

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

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

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

Veggie Propaganda

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

Dip Into These

Almond Chocolate Dip
1 1/3 cups raw almonds (or 2/3 cup raw almond butter)
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Cocoa Powder or other natural cocoa powder, not Dutch processed
2/3 cup dates, pitted
Blend nuts, soy milk, vanilla, cocoa powder and dates. Add more soy milk if necessary. Use as a dipping sauce for fresh strawberries and fruit slices. Serves 10.

Mango-Pineapple Shazaam Dip
1 mango
4 ounces canned unsweetened pineapple
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons red raspberry vinegar or Dr. Fuhrman's Blood Orange Vinegar
3 ounces silken tofu
Blend all ingredients together. Serves 8.

Spicy Bean Spread or Dip
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, reserving 1/2 of the liquid
1 teaspoon Dr. Fuhrman's Black Fig Vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
1 pinch turmeric (optional)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or two garlic cloves, crushed
Blend the beans in a blender with about half the liquid from the can and the vinegar. Mix in the spices. Serve with raw or lightly steamed vegetables or toasted pita bread. Serves 4.

Bean Dip with Horseradish
2 cups cooked beans (cannelini, pinto, or great northern)
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 scallions, trimmed and minced
Combine beans, horseradish, and scallions in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, adding a little water if necessary. Add more horseradish if you like it hot! Serves 4.

Urban Sprouts Keep Growing

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

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

Weight-Loss Strategies: Self-monitoring & Structured Coaching

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

Accept that this diet is a lifetime commitment. The individual most likely to succeed is one who has changed both his habits and mind-set. Food diaries, weekly weigh-ins, physical activity logs, and goal setting are all effective ways to stay on track. The primary purpose of self-monitoring is to become aware of behaviors and factors that either positively or negatively influence your food and activity choices. Research has consistently demonstrated that self-monitoring is a helpful tool that improves outcome.1

I suggest you make a list of goals that losing weight will help you accomplish and post it in a visible place where you will see it in your home. Add to it from time to time and check off those accomplishments as you achieve them. Make the goals very specific to you, such as the following:
  • I will be confident about my ability to resist disease.
  • I will succeed at losing pounds and regaining excellent health.
  • I will be able to fit into fashionable clothes, including my favorite blue dress.
  • My cholesterol will improve at least 50 points.
  • I will look good in a bathing suit at the pool this summer.
  • I will have more energy and be able to enjoy bike trips with my children.
  • My husband/wife/other will find me more attractive.
  • My job will be less tiring and I will perform better and make more money.
  • I will save money on health care and will be able to save for my retirement.
  • I will have a better social life and be in a position to attract John [or Jane].
  • My knees and back will stop hurting.
  • I will gain the respect of my peers.
  • My allergies, constipation, indigestion, headaches, and acne will all resolve.
  • My fears about a health crisis or death will subside.
Structured Coaching: Some individuals do better when another person tracks their results and provides encouragement. Some people maximize success with a variety of aids, including regular visits to a physician, dietitian, or psychologist. When patients see me each month, we review what has been achieved and what will be necessary to achieve the goal for the following month. Improvements in blood pressure, weight, lipid levels, liver function, and diabetic parameters are all helpful to keep people focused on achieving their goals. If you are on medication, it will be necessary to visit your physician regularly to adjust the dose and potentially discontinue those medications that you will no longer need as you lose weight. You can also ask your physician to read this book and work with you, supporting you as you earn your way back to total wellness.
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BMI, Blood Pressure, and Body Weight

The Cardio Blog relays some research that casts doubt on the BMI and the link between high blood pressure and body weight. Check it out:
A recent study published in the Epidemiology Journal questions the idea that BMI and blood pressure are tied together. The study -- which was done on the island nation of Seychelles -- found that as the number of people with a BMI over 25 rose, the association between BMI and hypertension decreased. The study likely raises more questions than it answers. How good of a measurement is BMI and how much of a role does obesity play in the development of high blood pressure?

Diabetes Drug: Triple the Side Effects

Not good news for the makers of the diabetes medication Avandia, its got some real-real serious side effects. Marilynn Marchione of the Associated Press reports:
In the month after a surprising analysis revealed possible heart risks from the blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia, reports of side effects to federal regulators tripled.

The sudden spike is a sign that doctors probably were unaware of the drug's possible role in their patients' heart problems and therefore may not have reported many such cases in the past, several experts said.

It also shows the flaws of the safety tracking system and suggests that a better one might have detected a potential problem before the drug had been on the market for eight years.

Avandia is used to control blood sugar, helping more than 6 million people worldwide manage Type 2 diabetes, the kind that is linked to obesity. These people already are at higher risk for heart attacks, so news that the drug might raise this risk by 43 percent was especially disturbing.
Now, for a real way to treat—and even prevent diabetes—check out Don't Settle For Diabetes.


According to new research, older people are being prescribed too many medications for all the wrong reasons. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
Too many older people are being prescribed too many medicines or the wrong drugs, and more research needs to be done to find out how to fix the problem, say two papers published in this week's issue of The Lancet medical journal.

The complexities of the prescribing process, along with other patient, provider and health system factors, are among the reasons why the use of drugs in elderly patients is often inappropriate, wrote a team led by Dr. Anne Spinewine of the Universite Catholique de Louvain, in Brussels, Belgium.

This inappropriate drug use among older patients includes being prescribed drugs they don't need, being under-prescribed medications they do need or being given inappropriate drugs.

Methods of ensuring appropriate prescribing of drugs to elderly patients include care by a multidisciplinary team of health providers; involvement of pharmacists in patient care; and including patients in the prescribing process, the Belgian authors said.

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.

Cat Craves Beans

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

Eating to Live on the Outside: Huddle House

Eat to Livers—welcome to hell! I’m sure a lot of people say to themselves, “Why are Americans so unhealthy?” It’s because of restaurants like this. Huddle House might just be the worst standard American restaurant Eating to Live on the Outside has ever attempted to tackle. Let us proceed with caution.

I find it ironic that the Huddle House’s website has colorful pictures of fresh strawberries, peppers, and tomatoes, but don’t be confused, this place is simply chock full of cheese, bacon, cured meat, creamy sauces, and greasy fixings. Otherwise know as—DYING YOUNG!

First up is the breakfast menu, well, its horrible. Fried eggs—no! Cured sausage—no! Greasy hash browns—no! Rib-eye steak—no! Yeah, let’s move on to the next section, omelets and waffles. I don’t know about you, but a Philly cheese steak omelet doesn’t sound very health promoting to me. And regardless, I don’t eat eggs, so none of these will work for me and as for the waffles? Think again—nah!

Next up are the big house platters and the signature sandwiches. Clearly the signature of Huddle House is furthering heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure in this country, because there’s nothing good about a Triple Decker burger, Country Fried Chicken sandwich, Half Pound Hamburger Steak, Chicken Melt, Philly Cheese Steak, or whatever other horrible excuse for food this place can cook up. I’m sorry Eat to Livers, but this place is miserable.

Now let’s look at the dinner menu—bad, just bad. Again, I see nothing I’d be eager to order here; lot’s of French fries, red meat, fried chicken, and toasted white bread. Not exactly the instruments of a long healthy life. Perhaps the only redeeming thing here is the dinner salad. If I had to order something, I’d go with the dinner salad, but as we’ll see, there’s no guarantee that salad is going to be Fuhrman-friendly either.

This menu section is called “Lite House.” My guess is this is supposed to be the healthy section of the menu, which is funny, because there’s nothing really overwhelmingly healthy about it. Sure, compared to the rest of the menu it’s a few steps up, but overall, more standard American garbage food. The two salad options are packed with hardboiled egg, cheese, and chicken strips—I’ll pass!

But again, if I HAD to eat at Huddle House—which would mean I was struck over the head, kidnapped, and awoke chained to a table—I’d take either the Grilled Chicken Salad or the Crispy Chicken Salad and strip it of its chicken and egg. Leaving you with a pile of lettuce and tomato, now, as good as lettuce and tomato are for you, I’m not paying restaurant prices for it. This would be the part of my kidnapping story where I gnaw through my chains and run out of Huddle House screaming.

In the end, I would not eat at the Huddle House. If I were asked to go, I would politely decline or just go and eat ice chips the whole time. The Huddle House is no place for the casual or ardent Eat to Liver. In fact, it should be considered a public health hazard.

Okay, time for a dumb question. Have any of you ever eaten at a Huddle House? If so, let me know. Make a comment or send me an email at diseaseproof@gmail.com. Oh, and if you're a gluten for punishment. Check out Huddle House’s menu and see if you can make any of it work. Feel free to evoke the power of higher beings, you’ll need it.

Parents, Use What We Already Know

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Disease-Proof Your Child:

We must be responsible for our health and the health of our children. We parents have a huge responsibility and can help guide and shape our offspring into health and happy adults, or, through abuse, neglect, ignorance, and even convenience, we can damage their future. We know with certainty that the foods we feed our kids during childhood play a large role in dictating their future health.

We know that children have sensitive vulnerabilities that are quite distinct from adults. Their exposure to chemicals in our environment is more potentially damaging than the same exposure at a later age. It is important to realize that the diet a woman eats during her pregnancy and even before her pregnancy effects the adult health of her future offspring. For example, a recent study shows a strong association in children who develop brain tumors with the mother’s consumption of hotdogs during pregnancy.1 Scientific evidence suggests that cigarette smoking during pregnancy is associated with testicular cancer in sons thirty-five to fifty years later.2 We may get away with risky behaviors when we imbibe in our later years, but when we gamble with our children, the stakes are much higher and the damage more profound.

Health is a complicated issue. All the contributory causes of cancer and other diseases are not presently known. A variety of external factors interact with genetics to initiate and propagate the process of carcinogenesis. Multiple factors come into play to induce damage leading to cancer. Nevertheless, the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that superior nutrition can almost always overwhelm a family history of cancer. The vast majority of cancers are still avoidable.
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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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Cardio Blog: Fruit and Veggie News

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

Pit vs. Pineapple

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

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

Extraordinary Comebacks

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

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

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

Don't Bash the Tomato!

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Kids Not Walking to School

This next report made me think of the crabby old man saying, “In my day we used to walk to school barefoot, through snow and molten lava, and we never complained.” I guess they don’t make kids like they used to because a new study claims that kids living near school rarely walk there. Madeline Vann of HealthDay News has more:
Even though one out of three American children live within a mile of their school, barely half of those students regularly bike or walk to class, researchers report.

Children who live in the South, in rural areas or who have college-educated parents are among those least likely to bike or walk to school, notes the report, which is published in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Sarah Martin and colleagues at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied data from more than 7,000 children between 9 and 15 years of age.

They found that almost 35 percent of the children lived within one mile of their schools. Children between 11 and 13 years old were more likely to walk or bike than 9-year-olds. Children whose parents had a high school education were more likely to bike or walk than children with college-educated parents.

Gym for Dummies

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

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

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

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

Cravings: Red Color = Red Meat

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

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

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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NY Times on the Diet Yo-Yo

News flash—MOST DIETS FAIL! And—YOU EVENTUALLY PUT THE WEIGHT BACK ON! The New York Times reports that even people who receive formal counseling for weight-loss, still get fat again. Nicholas Bakalar has more:
While it is known that such programs work only temporarily, the effect has been hard to quantify. The researchers used statistical techniques to combine data from 46 randomized controlled trials of counseling programs involving 6,386 overweight people who participated in programs and 5,467 who received the usual care. The study was published July 3 in The Annals of Internal Medicine.

Counseling-based weight-loss programs — those led by dietitians, nurses or doctors — produced an average weight loss of 6 percent of initial body weight, or about 11 pounds, at the end of one year. By the end of three years, participants had regained about half of that weight, and at the end of five years they had typically regained all of it.

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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Barron H. Lerner of The New York Times asks the question, amidst the tidal wave of pop-diets, has willpower died? Look:
A study in The Journal of the American Medical Association in May suggested another way in which genetics might affect changes in weight. Researchers from Children’s Hospital in Boston reported that differences in how young adults secrete the hormone insulin determine how well they respond to various dietary interventions.

So maybe it is time for health professionals to stop reflexively assuming that personal sacrifice will lead to weight loss. But this will not be easy.

For one thing, there certainly are success stories of people who have dropped dozens of pounds by drastically altering their lifestyles. Moreover, watching one’s diet can have beneficial health effects beyond losing weight.

And I just cannot conceive of a session with an overweight patient that does not involve a discussion of being careful at holiday meals, controlling portion size, avoiding bedtime snacks and trying to exercise three times a week. Somehow it still seems to me that part of a doctor’s job is to push patients to try harder. Just call me old-fashioned.

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.

UPDATE: Diabetes: Easy as Pumpkin Pie?

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

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

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

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

Weight-Loss Strategies: Social Support & Stimulus Control

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

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

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

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

Fat for a Heart Attack

I know, the title sounds like the blueprint for a heart attack, but, according to this report in the Associated Press, being obese might give you a better chance of surviving a heart attack. No, I’m not kidding. There’s even research to back it up. Maria Cheng has more:
Scientists are stumped over why that seems to be the case and pose several theories. There may be physiological differences in the hearts of obese and normal-weight people. Or perhaps it depends on where the fat is on their bodies.

However, experts warn, the results should not be used as an excuse for the overweight to indulge.

"We really don't want people to think that they should put on a bit of weight to have a better chance with their bypass surgery," said Dr. Gerald Fletcher, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Florida and a spokesman for the American Heart Association.
Can you say—JUNK SCIENCE!

Kitty Licks Melon

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

Nope—didn’t work.

Eat to Live Sorbet...and Ice Cream!

Fruity Pecan Sorbet
1/4 cup plain soy milk or water
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup frozen peaches
1 frozen banana
4 dates, pitted
2 teaspoons Dr. Fuhrman’s Spicy Pecan Vinegar (optional)
Make sure to freeze ripe bananas at least 24 hrs. before making this delicious sorbet. To freeze bananas, peel and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Blend all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or other high-powered blender. Serves 4.

Banana Pineapple Sorbet

1 banana, frozen
1 4-ounce can unsweetened pineapple or fresh pineapple
Whip the banana with the pineapple and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Berry Blend Ice Cream
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup soy milk
1 banana, frozen
1/2 package frozen mixed berries
1/2 package frozen peach slices
Place all ingredients in powerful blender, Vita-Mix or food processor and give it a whirl. Once blended, split this recipe up into 3 servings and serve or freeze. Serves 3.

Creamy Banana Fig Ice Cream

5 dried figs, stems removed
4 frozen bananas
5 tablespoons unsweetened soy milk
2 teaspoons Dr. Fuhrman’s Black Fig Vinegar (optional)
Blend all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender until creamy. Make sure to freeze ripe bananas at least 24 hrs. before making this delicious ice cream. To freeze bananas, peel, cut in thirds and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Serves 4.

Heart Disease: A Young Risk?

So many of us think heart disease is just a middle-aged malady. Not so. In Disease-Proof Your Child, Dr. Fuhrman insists heart disease starts young. Don’t believe it? Here’s an excerpt from the book:
There is considerable evidence that the lipoprotein abnormalities (high LDL and low HDL) that are linked to heart attack deaths in adulthood begin to develop in early childhood and that higher cholesterol levels eventually get “set” by early food habits.1 What we eat during our childhood affects our lifetime cholesterol levels. For many, changing the diet to a plant-based, low-saturated-fat diet in later life does not result in the favorable cholesterol levels that would have been seen if the dietary improvements were started much earlier in life.

As a result of the heart-unfriendly diet, blood vessel damage begins early. Not only does the development of coronary atherosclerosis develop in childhood, but earlier development of atherosclerosis and higher serum cholesterol levels in childhood result in a significantly higher risk of premature sudden death relatively early in life. Sometimes the effects of childhood dietary abuses can be seen relatively early, with premature death or a heart attack at a young age.

When we study people who died young of coronary artery disease, we find that the highest risk of an earlier death occurs in those who were above average weight in childhood.2 Findings from the famous Bogalusa Heart Study show that a high saturated fat intake early in life is strongly predictive of later heart disease burden and the higher blood pressure in childhood and adolescence is powerfully predictive of cardiovascular death in adulthood.3
The Cardio Blog was pretty shocked to find this out too. Check out this post, Heart disease begins earlier than you think:
Pop quiz: at what age do you need to start worrying about heart disease? This is a question that is especially interesting to me, because, at nearly 27, I often think that health problems are a long way off and I can live my life how I please without suffering the consequences.

But I'm wayyyyyy off. Heart disease gets it's start in childhood! Yet because the effects don't become apparent until middle age, people thing that's when it begins. Wrong. Middle age is merely when your bad habits start to show themselves in the form of heart attacks.
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Kiwi Pet

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

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!

Eating to Live on the Outside: Cilantro Live!

Well, it’s Friday and you know what that means? Time to once again test the waters of restaurant Americana—and we’ve got a cool restaurant on deck this week! Cilantro Live is quite similar Eating to Live on the Outside favorite Pure Food and Wine; all raw, loaded with phytonutrients, and looking delicious. So, enough stalling—let’s see we what we got!

First up are the soups and salads—no surprise here. The first soup to catch my eye is the self-titled Cilantro Live; made with avocado, cilantro broth, and diced tomatoes. Okay, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see why I picked this one…the avocado! But it’s not just that, cilantro is a great herb and the combination of all three ingredients sounds scintillating. The Autumn Wild Rice also looks cool; it’s got tomato broth, wild rice, kale, and mushrooms. Kale! Dr. Fuhrman would be proud. And yes, the rice is a bit of a concession, but, at least its not refined white rice. I can live with it.

As for the salads, I’m digging the Baby Spinach; primed with red onion, marinated Portobello mushrooms, pine nuts, and pink grapefruit. Pretty unique sounding—right? I’m curious about this one. I wonder what the flavor combination tastes like. Hopefully good, because this salad is concession-free—sweet! Speaking of unique, try some cactus! Yeah, that’s right, I said cactus. The Nopalitos is prepared with cactus, avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro. The avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro are cool—but cactus! Hey, it’s worth a try. Have any of you ever eaten cactus?

Okay, here are some cool appetizers and wraps. The Nori Rolls are neat. They’re sushi-like; nori seadweed rolls stuffed with daikon sprouts, red peppers, cucumbers, avocado, wild rice, and a carrot-pine nut pate. As a fan of sushi, this is right up my alley, although the rice is a concession. I also like The Cilantro Live Guacamole, its pretty simple; salsa fresca and flax seed crackers. Now, I’m not sure if flaxseeds crackers are a concession or not. I’ve never tried them before, so, in this case curiosity can kill the cat…meow! The Buenos Vida wrap is looking good too. For starters, all the wraps are made without tortilla, instead, everything is wrapped in a lettuce—I do this at home! And it’s cool to see an actual restaurant doing it too. Leads me to believe I’m not all that weird. The Buenos Vida is put together with cilantro pate, wild rice, house almond cheese, and salsa fresca. Again, that pesky wild rice is the concession.

Now, if you haven’t noticed yet. Cilantro Live has lots to offer, so let’s continue—shall we? The entrees and the specials are awesome! I really like the Roma Raw-Violis; made with Roma tomatoes, pine nut-basil cheese, and topped with pesto sauce. Stuffed tomatoes are great! The concession here would probably be the pesto sauce. Every pesto sauce I’ve ever eaten is made with olive and according to Dr. Fuhrman, olive is hardly health food. The Mole Enchilada is cool too. It’s prepared with a lot of different ingredients; raw corn tortilla, banana, Mexican wild rice, sesame seeds, and a sauce made with three different red peppers, fruits, and spices. Sure, the concession is the tortilla and the wild rice, but, this dish is just too interesting to pass up. What do you think?

In addition to all this wonderful food, Cilantro Live also boasts an extensive list of raw juices, smoothies, desserts, and candy—yes—I said candy! Yeah, I’ll skip the dessert and candy. Instead, I’d just make one of the juices or a smoothie my sweet treat. Let’s scope them out. Well, the juices definitely don’t look like the junk they sell in supermarkets. These juices are thick and look like they’ve retained a lot of fiber and nutrients, same goes with the smoothies. Okay, the Cleansing Cocktail looks good; it’s made with beet, carrot, apple, celery, and parsley. I’m also feeling the Wild Berry smoothie; its blended almond milk, agave, and berries. With both of these they’re might a concession lurking in there somewhere, but there’s plenty of phytonutrients to ease my worries.

Cilantro Live has four locations in California, so, next time you’re in the golden state, I think they’re certainly worth a visit. But first, check out Cilantro Live’s menu and let us know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Send an email to diseaseproof@gmail.com, or, blow up the comments.

Nutrition Education a Dud?

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

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

The results have been disappointing, to say the least:

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

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

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

Increasing the Survival of Cancer Patients

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Bean and Mushroom Diet Tips

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

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

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

The Associated Press reports that a declining sense of smell could be an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Carla K. Johnson is on it:
Difficulty identifying common smells such as lemon, banana and cinnamon may be the first sign of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study that could lead to scratch-and-sniff tests to determine a person's risk for the progressive brain disorder.

Such tests could be important if scientists find ways to slow or stop Alzheimer's and the severe memory loss associated with it. For now, there's no cure for the more than 5 million Americans with the disease.

Researchers have long known that microscopic lesions considered the hallmarks of Alzheimer's first appear in a brain region important to the sense of smell.
For more on Alzheimer’s check out Followhealthlife’s Alzheimer’s archive.

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.

Support Helps Weight-Loss

Nothing too shocking here, but, a new study has determined that diet counseling helps dieters lose more weight. Madeline Vann of HealthDay News reports:
The team at the Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, analyzed 46 studies focused on weight loss. They compared data from almost 6,400 people whose programs included dietary counseling and almost 5,500 people who were not in these types of programs.

Programs with frequent meetings and calorie restrictions resulted in more successful weight loss over time, according to the study, which is published in he Annals of Internal Medicine.

Three years later, most people maintained half the overall weight loss. However, by the end of five years, all participants had regained the weight.

"We did not know how much weight people lost on average through weight loss programs or how long it took to gain it back. This study shows that lifestyle change needs to be for the long-term," study author Dr. Michael L. Dansinger, a physician at Tufts-New England Medical Centers Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, said in a prepared statement.

Lettuce Eating Chicken

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

All Drugs are Toxic

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Fasting and Eating for Health:

In the first pharmacology lecture that I head in medical school, the physician impressed on us that all drugs are toxic and we should never forget this. We were taught that medications work because of their pharmacologic properties—properties that enable the substance to interfere with, block, or stimulate an activity of the body. Drugs typically modify the way the body expresses the signs and symptoms of disease, but in chronic disease states, they do no undo the damage or remove the disease.

Of course, medications can be lifesaving in emergencies and in the case of severe infections, such as pneumonia or meningitis. However, the modern drug approaches to chronic degenerative illnesses fail to offer a safe, effective solution for most chronic medical problems.

So medications, alcohol, over-the-counter remedies, and even most herbal remedies (because their primary mode of action is via pharmacologic or toxic effects) can add to the toxic load the body must deal with.

The average person suffers from the effects of toxicosis, or the retention of excessive quantities of waste within the body. This modern type of malnutrition is the result of consuming too much of certain food elements (fat, protein, simple sugars) and too little of others (vitamins, minerals, fiber). When we eat freely of relatively rich foods instead of predominantly natural plant material, we disturb the function of every one of our millions of cells. This results in a buildup of unwanted substances inside and around every cell, contributing to disease.

Improper diet exposes us to many offending substances and is the largest cause of disease. The chief cause of disease in this country is not vitamin or nutrient deficiency. Though specific nutrient deficiencies and imbalances may contribute to the disease process, as does everything from the air we breathe to exposure to chemicals in the home or workplace, their contribution is no so great as the destruction of the body from food-borne toxins and excess nutrients, such as excess fats, proteins, and refined sweeteners.

Obesity and High Blood Pressure, a Weaker Link?

Some new research claims that obesity might not increase blood pressure like previously believed. Reuters reports:
It seems that the association between body mass index (BMI) and high blood pressure or hypertension has decreased since 1989, researchers say. The finding suggests that obesity may not have as much of an impact on heart-related disease as previously thought.

"High blood pressure is a leading cause of the global burden of disease," Dr. Pascal Bovet, of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and colleagues write in the medical journal Epidemiology. "The prevalence of hypertension, and of several other conditions (including diabetes), is considered to be linked to the worldwide epidemic of obesity."

The researchers examined trends in blood pressure and BMI over a 15-year interval in the Seychelles. Their analysis was based on two independent surveys conducted in 1989 and 2004 using representative samples of the population between the ages of 25 and 64 years.

There was a slight decrease in average blood pressure between 1989 and 2004 in both men and women. The prevalence of high blood pressure changed little during this time -- from 45 to 44 percent in men and from 34 to 36 percent in women.
Okay, I don't know if this is really true or not. The important thing to remember is carrying excess weight sets you up for increased health problems—period. Dr. Fuhrman explains in Eat to Live:
Obesity is not just a cosmetic issue—extra weight leads to an earlier death, as many studies confirm.1 Overweight individuals are more likely to die from all causes, including heart disease and cancer. Two-thirds of those with weight problems also have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or another obesity related condition.2 It is a major cause of early mortality in the United States.3
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Fasting: A Powerful Means to Reverse Cardiovascular Disease

From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Fasting and Eating for Health:

In addition to aggressive dietary changes as described above, a physician-supervised therapeutic fast can be utilized to bring a patient to a new level of cardiac safety. Fasting, in conjunction with optimal nutrition before and after the fast, offers the ability to undo the damage done to the body by the rich diets of modern societies. Through therapeutic fasting a patient is able to reverse a cardiac condition quickly, without the need for invasive medical procedures. The results I have seen in patients using this approach have been spectacular.

There are some cardiac conditions in which patients are at such risk that it is imperative the blockages in the arteries be quickly diminished. People who have been told they need bypass surgery or angioplasty, as well as those with angina at low workloads, are prime candidates for therapeutic fasting. Fasting allows the body actually to remove the plaque from within blood vessels and to heal itself in the shortest amount of time.

There is always a choice. One can be put to sleep in the operating room, have one’s sternum split and chest pried and stretched open, have a heart-lung machine pump blood while the heart’s action is stopped, and risk death or decline in mental ability—all this for results that will not significantly increase life span. Or one can combine a fast with a healthy plant-based diet that can facilitate recovery and a new lease on life.

I find most patients who choose to get well via aggressive nutritional approaches are angry that their other physicians did not give them this option before they were told they must have bypass or angioplasty. Patients must be given this choice of a very low-fat vegetarian diet and fasting because it is safer, cheaper, less invasive, and more effective at extending the patient’s life. Anything less is selling the patient short.

Don't Mess with Broc Lee

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

Smoking is so Yesterday?

Smoking bans are everywhere—are people finally through with smoking! Maybe. The Cancer Blog is on it:
With Britain, Germany, Scotland, Australia and many large cities in the U.S. now banning smoking (or about to), it seems clear that much of the world is sick and tired of smoking. A bigger driver of this is the publicity second-hand smoke has gotten recently.

As a result, smoking bans are popping up all over the world. Also, many cancer groups are seeing that more and more people will end up quitting the habit once and for all. That, or find a corner in an isolated, outdoor space in which to light up.
Honestly, I’m not sure if the world is done with smoking just yet. After all, a dimly lit smoke-filled bar is still a pretty cool image—even if they don’t exist anymore.

Diabetes: Vitamin C, Good!

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

Easy Salads

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

Everything Salad

1 small head romaine lettuce
5 ounces salad mix
1 cup watercress
1 cup tangerine sections
1 cup fresh organic strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1/4 cup dried unsweetened cherries
1/4 cup dried unsulphured apricots, coarsely chopped
Arrange ingredients on a platter. Serves 4.

Garden Salad

1 small head romaine, Bibb, or red leaf lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Kirby cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 small avocado, peeled, halved and sliced
4 medium carrots, grated
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
Place greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, and red peppers on a plate. Arrange avocado slices on top. Sprinkle with grated carrots and pumpkin seeds. Serves 2.

Breastfeeding No Help for Obesity Risk

Kind of a daunting headline. New research claims breastfeeding does not protect against obesity. Anne Harding of Reuters reports:
Instead, the researchers say, the protective effect of breastfeeding some studies have found is likely due to the fact that women who breastfeed their infants also tend to have qualities that make them less likely to raise obese children.

"There are several reasons for why mothers should breastfeed their children, independent of obesity," Dr. Andre M. Toschke of Kings College London, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health. "(Our) study questions a little bit the argument of breastfeeding for protection against obesity."
Dr. Fuhrman thinks this is a bunch of junk. Here’s what he had to say:
My thoughts are that just because you were not breast fed for a prolonged period when you were a child, does not mean you are destined to fatness forever. Optimal nutrition and regular rigorous exercise still works and is necessary for optimal health whether you are overweight or not, and whether you were breast fed or not. So take that nipple out of your mouth, and get on the stair master right now.

Scary Usage of Veggies

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

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

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

I agree with ParentDish on this one…creepy.

Diabetes: Caveman or Mediterranean?

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

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

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

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

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

All this little daschund needs is a pickle:

Healthy Eating, No Matter the Age

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

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

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

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