Eating to Live on the Outside: Counter

I’m in a New York state of mind. So, time to grab the next train and hit the big apple. This week we’re checking out Counter, right off east Houston Street in the capital of the world—New York City! And this vegetarian bistro certainly makes a good first impression.

I first heard about Counter when I was dining at Eating to Live on the Outside favorite Sacred Chow—I love Sacred Chow! I’ll actually be eating there again this weekend. Alright, enough back-story and brownnosing, time to put Counter to the test. Let’s get to it!

Counter’s got quite a few menus to choose from, but I’m only interested in the dinner and brunch menu; the others are for liquor and kids. There’s a lot of good stuff on both menus. Some bad stuff too, like eggs, cheese, and milk. Okay, what to order? What to order?

I’ll start with the appetizers. This shouldn’t be a shocker. The Market Salad is looking good. It doesn’t say what’s in it, but whatever it is, it’s topped with a fresh herb lemon vinaigrette. Honestly, I highly doubt you can go wrong with a salad at a vegetarian bistro.

The Citrus Greens Salad and The Avocado Basket Salad are also pretty cool. The Avocado Basket Salad for obvious reasons—I STILL LOVE AVOCADO! Between them they’re prepared with bitter greens, grapefruit, toasted almonds, balsamic dressing, hearts of palm, Roma tomatoes, avocado, and lemon herb dressing. If you go easy or omit the dressing, I’m not sure there’s a problem with either one of these.

I love soups, so this next appetizer is right up my alley. The Soupe Du Pistou, which is a nicoise style hearty white bean and vegetable soup with pesto. White beans are fantastic! Loaded with fiber, and, after you eat them, you can serenade your friends—sorry, couldn’t resist. I think the only concession here would be the oil from the pesto. Not bad. Oh, and if any of these are too worrisome for you. You can always order some fresh fruit, Counter gives you that option—pretty cool, right?

Now, the first entrée I like is the Marinated Vegetable Terrine; prepared with sun-dried tomato pesto, herb puree, nut cheese, shaved fennel, and bitter greens. I mainly like this one because it’s raw. Lately I’ve been trying to eat more raw veggies. Probably the only concession here is the oil used to make the pesto. Now worries—I can live with it!

The Vegetable Mosaic also looks mighty tasty—great name too! According to the menu it is a market-fresh array of vegetables; including sautéed haricots verts & escarole, braised fennel with orange, Portobello mushroom roulade, whipped maple sweet potatoes, and steamed & spiced quinoa & cumin emulsion. Wow, quite the compliment of veggies! I guess the only concession would be maple syrup used in the whipped sweet potatoes—but then again—they might not even use it. I’d check with the wait staff.

I love stews. My mom makes a killer lentil-curry stew. So it shouldn't be a huge surprise that I like the Provencal Stew; amaranth & millet dumplings, vegetables & potatoes, simmered in a seaweed-scented broth. Sounds pretty nifty if you ask me!

Finally, the Hale & Heartland looks interesting; multi-grain pancakes with organic blueberry compote & fresh citrus fruit. Well, the grain is the concession. Whole fruits and veggies would certainly rank better on Dr. Fuhrman’s Health = Nutrients/Calories, but, I don’t eat this sort of thing all the time, so, I’m cool with it. What do you think?

Well there you have it. Another one bites the dust. Honestly, I’ll probably drop into Counter one of these days, I’m intrigued. But enough about me—your turn! Check out Counter’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Drop a comment or shoot me an email at Healthy eating!


The New York Times takes a look at what’s in and what’s not in some organic foods—it’s kind of surprising. Take a look:
For many kids, commercial breakfast cereal is the main source of daily vitamins and minerals. Take a look at Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes reduced-sugar cereal. A serving provides 25 percent of the recommended daily intake of seven essential nutrients, including iron, folic acid and other B vitamins. It also provides 10 percent of the recommended intake for vitamins A, C and D.

Now look at its organic equivalent: EnviroKidz Organic Amazon Frosted Flakes. The only ingredients are organic cornmeal, organic evaporated cane juice and sea salt. A serving gives kids only 2 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A and iron, according to the label.

Not every organic cereal is low on vitamins. Several cereals from the Barbara’s Bakery organic line are fortified with extra vitamins. A serving of Barbara’s Bakery Organic Apple Cinnamon O’s, for instance, actually provides higher levels of iron, folic acid and other nutrients than does an equal amount of Kellogg’s Apple Jacks.
For more on organic, check out this video on CNN, and, don’t forget about Dr. Fuhrman on organic. Here’s a taste:
Organic food is certainly your best bet, to further limit exposure to toxic chemicals. No one knows for sure how much risk exists from pesticide residue on produce, but here's what we do know: the younger you are, the more your cells are susceptible to damage from toxins. It seems wise to feed our young children organic food whenever possible.

Omega-3s and Type-1 Diabetes

New research claims a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can cut children’s risk of Type-1 diabetes. Julie Steenhuysen of Reuters reports:
"It is a relatively large effect," said Jill Norris, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"It is exciting because it suggests we might be able to develop nutritional interventions to prevent diabetes."

Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes in children. It occurs when the immune system goes haywire and starts attacking insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

No one knows exactly what triggers this process, but heredity and environmental factors such as diet are thought to play a role.
Hey! Dr. Fuhrman will tell you, omegas are important. Just check out Wednesday’s post Essential Fatty Acids. Here’s a snippet:
Optimal health depends on the proper balance of fatty acids in the diet. The modern diet that most of us eat supplies an excessive amount of omega-6 fat, but often too little omega-3 fat. This relative deficiency of omega-3 fats has potentially serious implications. Also, the consumption of too much omega-6 fat leads to high levels of arachidonic acid (AA). Higher levels of arachidonic acid can promote inflammation.

Green Veggie Doggie

Even though this dog chews with his mouth open, he still loves his green veggies. Check it out:

Friday: Health Points

The FDA is in charge of 80 percent of the U.S. food supply, mostly fruits and vegetables, and has been criticized as being too passive in handling the growing surge of imports into the United States. Total imports, including food, total $2 trillion annually.

"FDA has failed to implement literally hundreds of proposed solutions to specific import problems, which would have enabled the FDA to begin to progressively focus its limited resources where the risks are indeed the greatest," said Benjamin England, a former FDA official who co-founded a consulting firm that helps foreign and U.S. companies meet FDA import rules.
  • Are you a runner? If you are, you might want to consider running with a group. It’s a lot more fun. Gina Kolata of The New York Times explains:
Those who run in packs are part of a select society, or maybe a self-selected society. Anyone can join, but you have to run and you have to go to the designated meeting place at the designated time. You might join a club that sponsors runs each week or you might go to a place like a parking lot behind a school where runners gather on weekend mornings. It’s not hard to find these meeting places; local running groups and running stores know where to go. And when you show up, ready to run, the society opens up to you.

For the most part, these groups are not made up of people who are jogging for their health or because they want to lose weight. They are made up mostly of people who have been running long enough to be able to continue for miles and miles. And they love it. They are running for the sheer joy of it and for company to push them to run longer and faster and to share the inevitable pain that comes with the effort to improve.
People newly diagnosed with coronary artery disease had nearly double the normal incidence of colorectal tumors and cancers, a study by Hong Kong researchers found.

Both the tumors and the heart disease "probably develop through the mechanism of chronic inflammation," said the report by researchers at the University of Hong Kong that's published in the Sept. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"Liquid candy" to detractors, sweetened soft drinks are so ubiquitous that they contribute about 10 percent of the calories in the American diet, according to government data.

In fact, said Dr. David Ludwig, a Harvard endocrinologist whose 2001 paper in the Lancet is widely cited by obesity researchers, sweetened drinks are the only specific food that clinical research has directly linked to weight gain.

"Highly concentrated starches and sugars promote overeating, and the granddaddy of them all is sugar-sweetened beverages," said Ludwig, who runs the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children's Hospital in Boston.
  1. Get your food and go - Many work and social functions involve a large table covered with tasty looking morsels. Don't be one of those people who stand next to the table. Get your plate, put your food on it, and leave the table. Period.
  2. Choose a small plate Seems obvious - But a large plate typically means lots of food and all hope of appropriate portion size is abandoned
Health Canada is aware of the growing body of evidence on the role of vitamin D in relation to health. While a number of independent recommendations concerning vitamin D intake have been issued by various organizations, Health Canada believes these recommendations are premature and that a comprehensive review that looks at both benefits and safety needs to be undertaken before the Department can issue a revised recommendation.
Erectile dysfunction is the consistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. In a study of 4,763 Chinese men aged 35 to 74 years who were free of blood vessel disease and who reported that they had been sexually active within the last 6 months, the researchers found a significant statistical link between the number of cigarettes smoked and the likelihood of erectile dysfunction.

"The association between cigarette smoking and erectile dysfunction was found in earlier studies," said first author Dr. Jiang He of Tulane University School of Public Health, New Orleans. "However, most of those studies were conducted in patients with hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What distinguishes this study is that it is the first to find this association among healthy men."
  • Reduces risk of injury by strengthening muscles and joints.
  • Increases and restores bone density, helping prevent osteoporosis.
  • Builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories than fat.

55 Bags of Chips

ParentDish is staring down the devil’s work. She’s been charged with buying the snacks for her junior high Cross Country team—it’s bad, very bad! Look carefully:
When I was in kindergarten, snack time was a graham cracker and little carton of milk. Class birthdays were joyous celebrations because the birthday kid brought in cupcakes or faced shunning on the playground. (Also, we walked to school in our bare feet. In snow past our little ears! Uphill! Both ways!) After kindergarten, snack time was but faint memory, but the birthday cupcakes remained for a couple more years…

…Earlier in the week I received a note about my snack requirement for the junior high Cross Country team. I'm to provide 55 individual bags of potato chips for after the next meet. This will be in addition to the sandwiches, granola bars, a fruit, and beverage other parents will be bringing. (There's a special notation that these are just snacks and the team bus will be stopping at McDonald's on the way back, so send money!)
No wonder why we’re raising the next generation of porkers. Dr. Fuhrman will tell you, all this junk we eat is a killer. Here’s a quote from Eat to Live:
Weight has increased in America simply because total calorie consumption has risen and activity or exercise has fallen. Our diets are more nutrient-deficient than ever.
And I hardly think bags of potato chips and McDonald’s are helping matters. In Disease-Proof Your Child Dr. Fuhrman provides an often overlooked reason why this stuff is so bad for us:
Not only do processed foods and fast foods often contain dangerous trans fats and other additives, but they also can have high levels of acrylamides. When processed foods are baked and fried at high temperatures, these cancer-causing chemical compounds are produced. Many processed foods, such as chips, french fries, and sugar-coated breakfast cereals, are rich in acrylamides.
Oh, and if you want your kids not to crave this garbage. Well, I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman drop some more knowledge on you. Wham:
No rules only for children. If the parents are not willing to follow the rules set for the house, they should not be imposed on the children. Don’t argue about what your children should and shouldn’t be eating; discuss this in private. As parents, we must be consistent, but not perfect. Likewise, it is okay for the children to be consistent, but not perfect either. For example, if the parents decide that an unhealthy food or a restaurant meal is acceptable for the children once per week, then that goes for the adults, too. Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective way for your children to develop a healthy attitude toward food.
Unfortunately I’m not so sure this is going to help ParentDish at this point—uh, keep hope alive?

Fruit & Veggies Matter

EMaxHealth is blogging about Utah’s plan to inspire its citizens to eat more fruits and vegetables. Here’s a snippet:
The old 5 A Day has a new look and name. The latest national campaign to promote fruit and veggie consumption sprang to life in Utah this month as Governor Huntsman signed a proclamation declaring September “Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month.” Fruits & Veggies—More Matters is a simpler, more inspiring initiative that motivates people to simply eat more fruits and veggies.

The brand was launched after the creators, Produce for Better Health Foundation the CDC and other partners found the 15-year-old 5 A Day campaign wasn’t doing what they had hoped.

Thriller Tomatoes

I’ll never look at tomatoes the same way. In fact, I can feel the ones I ate last night revolting inside me. Take a look:


Cha-Ching Weight-Loss!

I’m no daredevil, but you start offering cash and it’s a lot easier to get me to do things. Apparently same goes for weight-loss. New research contends people will lose weight for even a little money. Elizabeth Dunbar of the Associated Press has more:
The research published in the September issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that cash incentives can be a success even when the payout is as little as $7 for dropping just a few pounds in three months.

Unlike providing onsite fitness centers or improving offerings in the company cafeteria, cash rewards provide a company with a guaranteed return, the researchers said.

"They really can't be a bad investment because you don't pay people unless they lose weight," said Eric A. Finkelstein, the study's lead author and a health economist at RTI International, a research institute based in nearby Research Triangle Park.
You’d think a long-healthy life would be incentive enough! Here’s some more ridiculous weight-loss news:

Aerobics and Asthmatic Kids

A new study claims aerobic exercise helps kids control their asthma. Megan Rauscher of Reuters is on it:
In the study of children with appropriately-treated asthma, supervised aerobic exercise training improved aerobic fitness and curbed feelings of breathlessness induced by physical activity.

Moreover, daily doses of inhaled steroids were reduced by 52 percent in children who participated in the exercise training, while the doses remained unchanged or increased for children in a comparison "control" group who did not exercise.

"Physical conditioning in asthmatic children receiving appropriate medical treatment also improved health-related quality of life, especially their asthma symptoms and exercise capacity," study author Dr. Celso R. F. Carvalho, at the University of Sao Paulo, told Reuters Health.
Sure, exercise is important, but did you know asthma can be controlled with proper nutrition? Just check out these success stories:

Keep a Healthy Heart...Early

Well, if this doesn’t strike you as obvious, than you really need to reconsider your basic knowledge of disease-prevention. New studies have determined that it’s important to take care of your heart before, and, after heart trouble. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News is on it:
In the first study, researchers said that to avoid heart failure when you're 70 or 80, you must begin by keeping your blood pressure and weight under control when you're 50.

"We tested the hypothesis that higher levels of blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) in midlife would be powerful determinants of heart failure risk in later life, and that the risk posed by preceding measurements would remain even after accounting for these risk factors measured later in life," said lead researcher Dr. Ramachandran S. Vasan…

… The second study found that fewer than 20 percent of patients seek cardiac rehabilitation after a heart attack or coronary bypass surgery.

"It has been shown by many trials that cardiac rehabilitation reduced the risk for new coronary events, re-hospitalization and mortality. The main advantage of cardiac rehabilitation is to reduce mortality," said study leader Dr. Jose A. Suaya, a lecturer and scientist at the Brandeis University Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Heller School, in Waltham, Mass.
Okay, the whole point of eating as Dr. Fuhrman prescribes is so that you don’t develop heart problems. Here it is from the man himself:
There is no magic to heart health. Educating yourself with the latest scientific findings and eating a diet of delicious, natural, unprocessed food allows you to protect yourself and your family from the heart disease tragedies you see all around you.

Following this approach, you can achieve positive results simply by making the right diet and exercise choices—consistently, without the use of drugs or surgery. Almost everyone can achieve protection against heart disease by reaching the following goals:
  • Achieve an LDL cholesterol of 100 or lower.
  • Achieve a homocysteine level below 10.
  • Achieve healthful weight and blood pressure.
Furthermore, it is true that you need to protect your heart early on because after all, the seeds of heart disease are sown young. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
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.1 Findings from the famous Bogalusa Heart Study show that a high saturated fat intake early in life is strongly predictive of later heart disease burden and the higher blood pressure in childhood and adolescence is powerfully predictive of cardiovascular death in adulthood.2
In not, I guess pretty soon kids will be saying, “Mom, Where Are My Statins?
Continue Reading...

A Look at Organic

Here’s a nice little video from CNN about organic produce. Enjoy:

For Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on organic, give this post a whirl: Is Organic Safer?

Essential Fatty Acids

The two primary essential fatty acids are linoleic acid, an omega-6 fat, and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat. The body can make other fatty acids, called nonessential fats, from these two basic fats. Linoleic acid’s first double bond is at the location of its sixth carbon, so it is called an omega-6 fatty acid, and alpha-linolenic acid’s first double bond is on its third carbon, so it is called an omega-3 fatty acid.

Optimal health depends on the proper balance of fatty acids in the diet. The modern diet that most of us eat supplies an excessive amount of omega-6 fat, but often too little omega-3 fat. This relative deficiency of omega-3 fats has potentially serious implications. Also, the consumption of too much omega-6 fat leads to high levels of arachidonic acid (AA). Higher levels of arachidonic acid can promote inflammation.

Wednesday: Health Points

  • Why are kids fat? This Reuters report has an answer for you—look around! Julie Steenhuysen explains:
"The environment that they live in matters," said Lisa Powell of the University of Illinois at Chicago, who studied restaurant and food store options in the neighborhoods and food-related television advertising aimed at teens.

She said when people cannot get to supermarkets but instead must rely on the convenience stores that proliferate in many poor neighborhoods, families end up eating less healthy food.

Lower-income neighborhoods also tend to have a higher proportion of fast-food restaurants, and black urban neighborhoods have the highest percentage of fast-food restaurants.
The benefits of flu shots for elderly people have been greatly exaggerated, according to researchers at Seattle's Group Health Center for Health Studies and George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Even so, the elderly should continue to get vaccinated against influenza because "even a partly effective vaccine would be better than no vaccine at all," researchers wrote in the report, published Monday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Many countries, including the U.S., urge those 65 and over — who account for about 90 percent of flu-related deaths — to get flu shots to ward off flu complications.

That public policy has been based on flimsy — even nonexistent — evidence, these researchers conclude.
I’ve heard arguments about creationism and intelligent design before, but the Creationists really shouldn’t have this guy arguing for them (unless he’s secretly trying to take down Creationism from within–if so, nice work!).
The perks: Here's one big silver lining: According to a study published in a recent issue of the medical journal Neurology, a daily caffeine dose may help keep memory loss at bay in women 65 and older. The older you are, the bigger the benefits.

Anti-cancer drug? Another recent study by Rutgers University reported that the combination of exercise and caffeine in mice increased apoptosis (self-destruction) in precancerous cells that were damaged by the sun's ultraviolet rays.
Cancer deaths will more than double to 17 million people each year in 2030 with poor countries shouldering the heaviest burden from the disease, the head of the United Nation's cancer agency said on Monday.

An ageing population will bump up cancer rates worldwide in the coming years, especially in developing countries where the number of people who smoke and drink is on the rise, said Peter Boyle, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
We all know we're supposed to wash our fruits and vegetables before we cook or eat them, but how do you know how much washing is enough? And should you use soap or is water plenty? The editors over at Cook's Illustrated recently took on this question, washing apples and pears with four different methods. They discovered that using a scrub brush with water was fairly effective, removing 85% of bacteria, but that using a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water was the best. That method removed 98% of the bacteria.
We asked several registered dietitians, who agreed that the health claims for enhanced waters are "iffy" and that food is a far better source of nutrients. Consumers, meanwhile, should watch out for added sweeteners and calories.

"None of the ingredients are harmful," said Kris Clark, director of sports nutrition and assistant professor of nutrition at Penn State University. "The question consumers should ask themselves include: Are the ingredients useful to me? Do I need these ingredients? Or do I just need water?”
A high school student gains superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider.

An electron beam meant to clean up a bioterrorism site transforms a mild-mannered microbe into a life form able to withstand radiation doses hundreds of times stronger than would kill a person.

Altered by the absence of gravity, an everyday bacterium aboard a spacecraft mutates into a highly lethal bug that poses a surprise threat to astronauts.

Okay, Spider-Man is still fiction. But a pair of independent studies has brought the other two scenarios to life.

Dog Eats Cabbage

This guy is very proud of his cabbage eating pooch—although the dog looks oddly nervous. Take a look:

The Perfect Waistline?

The New York Times talks to Dr. Walter Willett, a nutritional epidemiologist at Harvard University, about achieving the perfect waistline. Check it out:
What did you weigh at age 20? As it turns out, that’s when your body probably settled into its ideal weight. By 20, almost everyone has stopped growing, and the pounds gained in the years following are mostly fat, says Dr. Walter Willett, a nutritional epidemiologist at Harvard University.

For most of us, what you weighed at age 20 is a far better gauge for judging your ideal weight than the standard weight and body mass index charts. Most of those tables cover such a wide range of weights that they can be misleading. According to many of them, the perfect weight for a woman who is 5-foot-7 could range anywhere from 118 to 159 pounds.

But what if that same woman weighs 159 pounds today, at age 40, but weighed 120 pounds in her early 20’s? That means her body has packed on 39 pounds — a gain of more than 30 percent, or about two pounds a year. The charts may say she’s healthy, but studies show that even a modest weight gain in adulthood is associated with a higher mortality risk.
This sounded familiar. So I asked Dr. Fuhrman about it. Here’s what he had to say:
That is essentially what I have been telling patients in my practice for years and years.
Now, in Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman sums up how he determines if you’re thin or not. Have a look:
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.
I know a lot of you just pinched your tummy.

Grand Rounds: Anniversary Edition

Prostate Cancer Prevention

This might shock you, but prostate cancer can be prevented—no! You don’t say? It’s true. According to Dr. Fuhrman the right diet is essential to halting the development of prostate cancer. I’ll let him explain:
Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, rich not only in lycopene but in thousands of other protective compounds. Each year, researchers find another carotenoid that has powerful beneficial effects and reduces cancer. Spinach was this year’s recipient of the anti-prostate cancer award, with researchers in Japan finding neoxanthin compounds (a class of carotenoids) that powerfully inhibit prostate cancer. In the past, pink grapefruit, watermelon, cooked tomatoes, pomegranate, cruciferous vegetables, red peppers, berries, figs, and many other foods all have been shown to inhibit the development of prostate cancer.
Heck, even the so-called “experts” think more cases of prostate cancer can be prevented or so claims the results of a new 15 year study. Alan Mozes of HealthDay News has more:
According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), cancer of the prostate is the most common non-skin cancer among American men. Most patients diagnosed with the disease do not ultimately die of it. However, because of its high prevalence, prostate cancer remains the third biggest cancer killer for men in the Western world.

By age 40, one-third of men have already developed small carcinomas of the prostate, the researchers noted. By age 60, that figure rises to 60 percent, and, in North America, one in seven men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their lives.

But the disease is also often slow-moving, sometimes taking decades to develop from a single prostate cancer cell to advanced-stage illness.

That fact has led to the hope that doctors could intervene in ways that could halt disease progression at an early stage.
Well, I guess this is encouraging, but, as Dr. Fuhrman explains if you’re currently eating a nutrient-rich vegetable-based diet, you’re already doing a great job helping your body prevent cancer. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman again:
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.
For more on all this, check out these posts:

Lack of Sleep...Deadly!

That’s some good old-fashioned scare tactics, but in this case, it’s founded. According to new research inadequate sleep can lead to high blood pressure which in turn, increases your risk of heart disease. Ben Hirschler of Reuters reports:
Although the reasons are unclear, researchers said lack of sleep appeared to be linked to increased blood pressure, which is known to raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

A 17-year analysis of 10,000 government workers showed those who cut their sleeping from seven hours a night to five or less faced a 1.7-fold increased risk in mortality from all causes and more than double the risk of cardiovascular death.

The findings highlight a danger in busy modern lifestyles, Francesco Cappuccio, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Warwick's medical school, told the annual conference of the British Sleep Society in Cambridge.
Now, you don’t need to be a medical professional to know this, but, sleep is important. In fact, Dr. Fuhrman considers getting adequate rest and recovery—that means sleep—vital to a long-healthy life. He talks about it:
Adequate sleep is a necessary component of good health. Our modern society stays up late into the night and wakes in the morning to an alarm clock—long before sleep requirements have been fulfilled. To make matters worse, most Americans partake in stimulating substances—such as caffeine and sugar—to remain artificially alert during the day.

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

Two Fast Food Follies

Fast Food News has got a couple interesting peaks into the fast food universe. First, apparently McDonald’s uses soiled towels in their milkshakes. Look carefully:
The customer who snapped the photo of the incident reported it to McDonald's corporate headquarters and received the following e-mail:

"The machine was cleaned that morning. They sanitized the bucket to capture milk and after the repair work was done they put the milk back in the machine. This was an isolated incident."

And, I guess these customers didn’t like the service at their local Taco Bell, because they hurled a 3-foot python through the drive-thru window. Back to Fast Food News:
Pranksters at a Texas Taco Bell had drive-thru employee Bryant Simmons running for the border when they threw a 3-foot long Python at him through the drive-thru window.

Simmons has a fear of snakes and this one hit him smack in the chest. But a spokesman for the Taco Bell in Round Rock, Texas said Simmons was physically unharmed, just really shaken up.
Soiled towels and snakes—oh my!

Seattle Times on Pomegranates

Astrid Pujari, M.D. of The Seattle Times drops a little pomegranate knowledge on us. Take a look:
In 2004, researchers took 10 people with plaque buildup in their carotid arteries. The nice thing about the carotid arteries (other than that they help your brain to get blood so you can think) is that they are located in the neck. This makes it easy to measure how much plaque they have using a simple sound-wave probe.

These 10 people drank pomegranate juice for one year, and the thickness of the plaque dropped by up to 30 percent, and one of their blood pressure numbers (the systolic blood pressure) dropped by 21 percent. By comparison, the people in the study who did not drink the juice had an increase in plaque thickness of 9 percent.

Again, the downside here is that this is a small study. However, it seems to correlate with the results found above, and I think it is worth pursuing further — especially since pomegranate juice costs about $5 at the store. Who knows, it may even save our financially strained health-care system a few dollars if it turns out to work as well as it seems to in these studies.
Here’re some more points on pomegranates:

Worldly Vegetarian Creations

Thai Vegetable Curry
4 cups Wehani brown rice or any brown rice or quinoa
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups carrot juice
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large eggplant, peeled, if desired & cut into 1" cubes
2 cups green beans, cut in 2" lengths
3 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 small can bamboo shoots
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest or other no salt seasoning
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter, natural unsalted
2 pounds tofu, cut into 1/4" thick slices
1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 cups watercress leaves
1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
Cook brown rice or quinoa according to package directions and set aside until ready to serve. Finely chop together garlic, ginger root, mint, basil, and cilantro. Save some unchopped fresh herbs for garnish. Place rest of ingredients (except for peanut butter, tofu, coconut milk, 1 cup watercress, and cashews) in wok or large skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are tender. Add peanut butter and mix in with simmering liquid and toss to distribute. Add tofu, simmer and toss until hot. Add coconut milk and heat. Serve on rice or quinoa. Top with the remaining cup of watercress and cashews. Frozen vegetables may be used instead of fresh. Serves 8.

Quick Oriental Wok
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash or no salt Oriental seasoning
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup no salt vegetable broth
1/8 cup pineapple juice, added for sweetness
20 ounces frozen mixed vegetables or frozen oriental vegetables (defrosted)
1 onion, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, sliced
1 pound tofu, diced
1 tablespoon apricot spreadable fruit
Drain defrosted vegetables. Place the vinegar, seasoning, garlic, broth and pineapple juice in a covered pot or wok and heat. Add the vegetables, onion, water chestnuts and tofu. Sauté until vegetables are tender. Mix in apricot fruit spread and serve. Serves 3.

Greek Chickpea Salad
1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chick peas), no or low salt
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 boiled potato, peeled and chopped in chunks
1 green apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped brazil nuts
3 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman’s Spicy Pecan Vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
10 ounces mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons chopped brazil nuts
Mix all ingredients, except for salad greens and 2 tablespoons brazil nuts, together and serve on a bed of mixed salad greens and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons brazil nuts. Note: This is even better the following day when the flavors have mingled overnight. Serves 4.

Vegetarian Carnival for September 24th, 2007

You can see it at Veggie Chic.

Carnival of the Recipes: See What Your Neighbors are Drinking

A Plentiful Flu Season

Maybe that title should read, A Profitable Flu Season. Because according to The Pittsburgh Post Gazette the flu vaccine is expected to be plentiful this season—oh joy! Joe Fahy reports:
A record amount of vaccine is expected this flu season, and local providers are hoping enough is distributed to meet demand early on, when people are most interested in shots.

Noting "alarmingly low" vaccination rates among adults and children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged yesterday that Americans get flu shots well into the flu season.

"We need to rethink the influenza immunization season and encourage vaccination throughout the fall and winter," Dr. Julie Gerberding, the CDC's director, said in a statement.

"Every year, we miss the opportunity to get more Americans vaccinated," said Dr. Ardis Hoven, an infectious disease specialist and board member for the American Medical Association, at a news conference with Dr. Gerberding and other health officials in Washington.

"After Thanksgiving, patient demand for vaccine dramatically decreases," often leaving many doses unused and people unprotected, Dr. Hoven said.
Before you line up for your dose of feel-good juice, check out Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on the flu shot. Here’s an excerpt from Six Steps to Protect Your Family from Avian Flu:
All medical interventions have a benefit-to-risk ratio. One has to weigh the potential risks with the supposed benefits. Often the long-term risks of medications are not clearly delineated and the supposed benefits are exaggerated by doctors and pharmaceutical companies (because after all, medicine is still a business to make money).

Flu vaccines have benefits and risks too. If you read about the flu vaccine in the information supplied by the manufacturer you will learn it contains formaldehyde and 25 micrograms of thimersol (mercury) per dose, used as a preservative. The injection of even this small amount of mercury repeatedly year after year from multiple vaccines can cause neurotoxicity (brain damage). The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Public Health Service have issued a joint statement calling for the removal of mercury from vaccines. Chronic low dose mercury exposures may cause subtle neurological abnormalities that rear their head later in life.
If you’re interested, check out my own run in with the flu: Flu, Shot!

Strawberry, Strawberry, Strawberries!

The Vegan Diet tells the tale of the mighty strawberry. Take a look:
Nutritionally strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, a very good source of iodine and dietary fiber, and a good source of vitamins B2, B5, B6 and K, potassium, folate, magnesium, copper and omega_3 fatty acids.

Healthwise strawberries are also a rich source of phenols like anthocyanins. These phenols have potent antioxident properties and it is said that they may help in the prevention of cancer and heart disease. The antioxidants with the high level of vitamin C also fight free radical compounds in the body which can cause chronic illnesses. Note that anthocyanins are found in fresh and frozen strawberries but not in canned and processed strawberry products including baby food (refer the U.S. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry).
Dr. Fuhrman digs them too. He considers them one of his top seven foods. Here’s all seven:
  • Black raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Flax Seeds
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli sprouts
In general, Dr. Fuhrman things berries are amazing foods. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
Add berries to morning cereals. Make dessert sorbets from frozen berries. My kids love frozen strawberries blended with an orange or orange juice. We usually add a slice of dried pineapple and use our Vita-Mix to make a smooth and delicious strawberry sorbet.
And sometimes, strawberries grow inside tomatoes—not!

Heavy Drinking and Endometrial Cancer

It’s hard to make a good case for heavy drinking. It’d probably be a waste of breath, especially after you consider this. New research has determined that heavy drinking ups women’s risk of endometrial cancer. Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times investigates:
Researchers examined a multiethnic group of 41,574 postmenopausal women, following them for an average of eight years and using questionnaires about diet and drinking habits. In that time, the team found 324 cases of endometrial cancer, the type that forms in the tissue that lines the uterus. According to the National Cancer Institute, the United States has 40,000 new cases of endometrial cancer a year and 7,400 deaths.

After controlling for variables including body mass index, age, hormone therapy and whether they had been pregnant, the researchers found that women who had less than two drinks a day had no increased risk of endometrial cancer. But those who had more than two drinks a day had slightly more than twice the risk. It made no difference whether the women drank beer, wine or hard liquor.
For more foods that’ll mess you up, check out Followhealthlife’s hurtful foods category.

Choose the Vegetable Soup

Which would you choose? The sugary cookies or the wholesome vegetable soup? You decide:

Apple Power!

“An apple a die, keeps the doctor away.” Maybe there’s some truth to that. Diet Blog extols the virtues of the humble apple. Have a look:
A frequent complaint from clients in clinic, is they don't eat fruit in winter because it's boring and the "really healthy fruit" are expensive.

Berries, citrus and stone fruit have long hogged the media spotlight. These glamorous fruits are praised for their colour, antioxidant content and flavour. However, we seem to have forgotten, the humble apple is also a nutritional wonder. Along with a bit of vitamin C, apples are packed full of antioxidant phytochemicals - particularly if you eat the skin.

Eating to Live on the Outside: House of Souls

Okay, you can thank my local cable television network for this week’s restaurant. One night I’m watching South Park—yes, I’m twenty-six years old and I still watch cartoons—and a commercial for House of Souls comes on. This restaurant/nightclub serves up a hefty offering of soul food.

Now, I have to admit, I’m not that versed in soul food, but, I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not very Fuhrman-friendly; a little investigation is in order. Now, I haven’t looked at House of Souls’ menu yet. So let’s find out together! Alright, give me a second. Here we go. Let’s get to work.

Well folks, we’ve already run into trouble. The appetizers are frightening; lots of cheese, meat, and fried thingies. I swear, I’m trying to keep an open mind, but I don’t see any hope for the appetizers. Hopefully the entrees will be a little more inviting. Onward!

Oh boy, problems here too. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here, but, I doubt foods like fried chicken wings, honey ham, grilled cheese, lasagna, and manicotti are high on any Eat to Liver’s list of favorite foods—they’re certainly not on mine! Okay, what should I do? Eureka!

Actually, it’s hardly a eureka—time to order a salad. On the menu there’s something called a Tossed Salad. It’s probably a basic house salad, but it doesn’t say what’s in it. I’d ask the wait staff and ditch any undesirables it may come with and of course, I’d go easy on the dressing.

I’m sad to say, but on the whole front page of the menu, the only thing I’d order would be the salad. But let’s not tuck our tail between our legs just yet, maybe there’s more choices on the next page. Okay, hold on. Let me just click this link. Hey, hey, hey—look at this!

There’re some fish dishes I can work with. Now, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t recommend eating a lot of fish, largely due to mercury pollution, but if you’re going to eat fish, he suggests fishes like salmon, flounder, sole, tilapia, and trout because they have lowest contamination-risk. And as luck would have it, House of Souls serves up salmon, tilapia, and flounder; OceansAlive doesn’t digs them too.

According to the menu the salmon can be made grilled or steamed, the tilapia is set on fire, and the flounder is breaded and fried. Well, the frying nixes the flounder for me, but steamed salmon and flaming hot tilapia sounds pretty tasty. And as I say all the time, if were to order either fish, I’d make sure I waited awhile before I ate fish again—Dr. Fuhrman’s orders!

Now the fish was good, but the sides are better. Here are the ones that caught my eye: collard greens, beans & rice, garlic potato, string beans, asparagus, mixed veggies, and corn on the cob. Provided none of these are cooked in butter, heavy amounts of oil, or anything that comes out of a cow. They’d all make a great accompaniment to either fish, or, any combination of them would be a nice stand-alone dish. Personally, I’d take a plate of collard greens, asparagus, and mix veggies!

So what do you think? Could soul food work for an Eat to Liver? I think so. Sure, House of Souls’ menu is saturated with plenty of unhealthy fixings, but, there’s clearly hope if you use your noggin. Speaking of that, its time for you to employ you’re Eat to Live skills. Check House of Souls’ menu (page 1, page 2) and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or shoot me an email at Healthy eating!

Goofing Up Breakfast with Low-Calorie

When you make food choices, what are your criteria? Hopefully you consider a food’s nutrient-content in relation to its calorie-content. Dr. Fuhrman calls this concept, nutrient density. He talks about it in his book Eat to Live. Take a look:
The key to an extraordinary diet is a simple formula: H = N/C.

Health = Nutrients/Calories

Your health is predicted by your nutrient intake divided by your intake of calories. H = N/C is a concept I call the nutrient-density of your diet. Food supplies us with both nutrients and calories (energy). All calories come from only three elements: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Nutrients are derived from non-caloric food factors—including vitamins, minerals, fibers, and phytochemicals. These non-caloric nutrients are vitally important for health. Your key to permanent weight loss is to eat predominantly those foods that have a high proportion of nutrients (non-caloric food factors) to calories (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins). In physics a key formula is Einstein’s E = mc2. In nutrition the key formula is H = N/C.

Every food can be evaluated using this formula. Once you begin to learn which foods make the grade—by having a high proportion of nutrients to calories—you are on your way to lifelong weight control and improved health.
Now, most people don’t get this concept, even the so-called experts. For example, take diet dunce—oops! I mean “Diet Detective” Charles Stuart Platkin. Here’re his picks for the healthiest fast-food breakfasts. I know, a real oxymoron. Check it out anyway:
English muffin (no butter): 140 calories, 1.5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 260 mg sodium, 27g carbs, 2g fiber, 5g protein.

Burger King
Croissan'wich Egg & Cheese: 300 calories, 17g fat, 6g saturated fat, 2g trans fat, 740 mg sodium, 26g carbs, 1g fiber, 12g protein.

Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon, Cholesterol-Free Egg, Reduced-Fat White Cheddar Sandwich: 350 calories, 11g fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 820 mg sodium, 41g carbs, 4g fiber, 20g protein.

Ham & Cheese Croissant: 274 calories, 12g fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 842 mg sodium, 22g carbs, 1g fiber, 13g protein.
This is only a sampling of Platkin’s picks, but as usual, Charles’s main criteria for “good food” is calorie content. In his mind, the fewer the calories, the better the food—not always true. Just look at all the bread, sodium, and saturated fat in this junk. This quote from Dr. Fuhrman seems fitting:
The combination of fat and refined carbohydrates has an extremely powerful effect on driving the signals that promote fat accumulation on the body. Refined foods cause a swift and excessive rise in blood sugar, which in turn triggers insulin surges to drive the sugar out of the blood and into our cells. Unfortunately, insulin also promotes the storage of fat on the body and encourages your fat cells to swell.
Clearly Platkin’s recommendations are more harebrained than health-conscious, but he’s not alone. IateApie has concocted the list of the top ten low calorie breakfast cereals. Yeah, because refined cereals are loaded with nutrients—sigh. Anyway, here’s the top three:
1. Kashi Mighty Bites
Calories: 120 | Sugar: 5 grams

2. Kashi Organic Promise Strawberry Fields
Calories: 120 | Sugar: 9 grams

3. Lucky Charms
Calories: 120 | Sugar: 13 grams
I think this list and Charles Stuart Platkin’s drivel will only confuse people into believing these processed and fast foods are wise choices. It seems to me that calorie driven diet advice does little to satisfy Dr. Fuhrman’s formula of Health = Nutrients/Calories. More from Eat to Live:
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.
Personally, I seldom get caught up on calorie-content. Sure, I avoid junk foods like these, but I judge all my food by its nutrient content. Take avocados for example, they might be high in calories, but they pack the nutrients my body craves and needs; avocados’ Wikipedia page.

Soccer Good, Exercise Good

If exercise was a stock, it’d be a blue-chipper. According to new research soccer is better for you than jogging. Maria Cheng of the Associated Press reports:
Each period of exercise lasted about one hour and took place three times a week. After 12 weeks, researchers found that the body fat percentage in the soccer players dropped by 3.7 percent, compared to about 2 percent for the joggers.

The soccer players also increased their muscle mass by almost 2 kilograms (4.5 pounds), whereas the joggers didn't have any significant change. Those who did no exercise registered little change in body fat and muscle mass.

"Even though the football (soccer) players were untrained, there were periods in the game that were so intense that their cardiovascular was maximally taxed, just like professional football (soccer) players," said Dr. Peter Krustrup, head of Copenhagen University's department of exercise and sport sciences, who led the study.
They’re both still exercise, so I’m not sure you can go wrong with either one. Now, here’s even better news. Reuters reports exercise is on par with drugs for aiding depression. Read on:
In a study of 202 depressed adults, investigators found that those who went through group-based exercise therapy did as well as those treated with an antidepressant drug. A third group that performed home-based exercise also improved, though to a lesser degree.

Importantly, the researchers found, all three groups did better than a fourth group given a placebo -- an inactive pill identical to the antidepressant.

While past studies have suggested that exercise can ease depression symptoms, a criticism has been that the research failed to compare exercise with a placebo. This leaves a question as to whether the therapy, per se, was responsible for the benefit.
Not sure what else to say, except maybe—get moving America!

A Fatty Campaign

The AFP reports that obesity is a hot button issue for many of the United States presidential candidates. Virginie Montet has more:
"As president, I would fight obesity every day," New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a candidate for the Democratic nomination, said at a round-table talk on obesity in Washington on Wednesday.

"I would launch a national obesity prevention effort... We must help people understand that this is a disease, not a behavior," said Richardson, the only candidate to attend the discussion.

Two-thirds of US adults and some 25 million children are obese or overweight, and the fatness of the land is harming Americans' health, straining the health care system and threatening US competitiveness, a report published last month showed.
If you’re interested, check out Followhealthlife’s obesity category.

Sweet Drinks Back in Schools?

ParentDish takes a look at a loophole which is letting sugary drinks back into our schools. Read on:
Last year, when the nation's three largest beverage companies agreed to remove their sugary drinks from school vending machines, they were applauded…

… Originally, they agreed to provide only sports drinks and light juices under 66 calories per eight ounces to high schools. In the amended agreement, the wording was changed to include "other drinks" under 66 calories per eight ounces. This allows enhanced water beverages such as sugar-laden Vitaminwater and Propel to be sold alongside regular water.

The World's Oldest Man

Could you imagine turning the very ripe, very old age of 112. Tomoji Tanabe of Japan doesn’t have to imagine, he recently celebrated his; reaffirming his status as the world’s oldest man. The AFP has more on this charming and remarkable story:
The world's oldest man celebrated his 112th birthday Tuesday with a healthy Japanese breakfast of rice, miso soup and seaweed, saying he wanted to live forever…

… Tanabe, a teetotaller who has repeatedly said that avoiding alcohol is a secret of his longevity, was given a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records by the mayor of his local municipality in June…

… Japan has the largest population of centenarians in the world. The number of Japanese aged at least 100 years old is expected to top 30,000 by the end of September, the health ministry said in a recent report.
A lot like last week’s senior gym rat, this is really an inspiring tale, but apparently pretty common. In a previous post we looked at John Robbins’s book Healthy at 100 and in it he includes Okinawans as one of the longest live populations—its part of Japan right? Take a look:
1. Abkhasia: Ancients of the Caucasus
Where people are healthier at ninety than most of us are at middle age

2. Vilcabamba: The Valley of Eternal Youth
Where heart disease and dementia do not exist

3. Hunza: A People Who Dance in Their Nineties
Where cancer, diabetes, and asthma are unknown

4. The Centenarians of Okinawa
Where more people live to 100 than anywhere else in the world
As Dr. Fuhrman points out, living a long time has a lot to do with what you eat, or, what you don’t eat for that matter. He discusses it in this post: Do Primitive Peoples Really Live Longer?

Stevia Warning

Ever heard of Stevia? I hadn’t until I read Eat to Live. Here’s what Dr. Fuhrman says about it:
Many health gurus recommend substituting Stevia in place of artificial sweeteners. Stevia is natural and its use is permitted in Japan and other countries. Despite its widespread use, there is a surprising lack of human clinical trials evaluating its safety. Unlike with saccharin, no evidence has been reported that stevioside and its metabolites are carcinogenic. However, animal reports of nephrotoxicity do exist, which suggest that Stevia is likely safer than the other sweeteners, but not entirely without risk.1 The extent of risk is unknown at this time.
In general, Dr. Fuhrman’s not a big fan of artificial sweeteners. More from Eat to Live:
This is a controversial subject because much of the research documenting the so-called safety of aspartame was financed by the aspartame industry, and a huge amount of political and monetary pressure led to eventual FDA approval. My opinion is that the possible dangers of aspartame are still unknown. Utilizing such artificial products is gambling with your health. Aspartame also exposes us to a methyl ester that may have toxic effects. I recommend playing it safe and sticking to natural foods.
Maybe that’s why the FDA warned food-maker Hain about its overuse of Stevia. Reuters reports:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Hain dated August 17 calling the herb, a natural sweetener made from a South American herb called stevia, "an unsafe food additive." The agency released the letter on its Web site on Tuesday.

Stevia is being eyed by big beverage makers looking for new low-calorie sweeteners. In May, Coca-Cola Co and Cargill Inc said they would work together to market the new sweetener, despite lack of FDA approval. Stevia has been approved in a dozen other countries including Japan, China and Brazil.

The FDA letter said that although it has received requests to use stevia in food, "data and information necessary to support the safe use have been lacking."
I got to side with the FDA on this one—how about you?
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Unrefined Plant Food Consumption vs. The Killer Diseases

I insist that our low consumption of unrefined plant foods is largely responsible for our dismal mortality statistics. Most of us perish prematurely as a result of our dietary folly.

Populations with low death rates from the major killer diseases—populations that almost never have overweight members—consume more than 75 percent of their calories from unrefined plant substances. This is at least ten times more than what the average American consumes.

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Thursday: Health Points

Dr. Stern, a specialist in geriatric emergency medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, noted that the elderly took about 40 percent of prescribed drugs, roughly twice what younger adults take, and that they suffered twice as many adverse drug reactions as younger people.

“The average community-dwelling older adult takes 4.5 prescription drugs and 2.1 over-the-counter medications,” Dr. Stern reported. Polypharmacy is responsible for up to 28 percent of hospital admissions and, he added, if it were classified as such, it would be the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Curious about back exercises? This article in The Detroit Free Press should give you plenty of ideas. The roman chair—eek—sounds like a torture device! Have a look:
Training your lower back can improve your posture, develop your abdominal muscles and help prevent lower back pain and injury. A great twist on an old favorite is the low-cable back extension. This is a little more challenging than the traditional exercise, but it's a welcome change of pace.

First, position a roman chair or back extension machine inside the cable station. The machine should be squarely facing the weight stack with enough distance between the machine and the weight stack that there is still tension on the cable when you are at the bottom of the exercise.
Weight training works just as well as running on a treadmill or biking to help the most important symptom of type-2 diabetes -- long-term control of blood sugar -- Canadian researchers said on Monday.

Doing both aerobic and resistance training lowered blood sugar levels better than either alone, researchers said -- and both appeared to be safe.

At least 194 million people worldwide have diabetes, and the World Health Organization expects the number to rise to more than 300 million by 2025.
Reading the food labels was "a little bit confusing, but after a while I got used to it," said the fifth-grader from suburban Doral.

"Since I find parents are not doing a bang-up job (teaching nutrition), I think it's important to empower the children with their own information," said Miami registered dietitian Ronni Litz Julien.

The FDA partnered with the Cartoon Network earlier this year to launch a public education campaign encouraging children ages 9 to 13 - or tweens - to read the nutrition facts on food labels.
"Patients are using the Internet to find health-related quality information, and the information is out there," noted lead researcher Dr. Michael J. Leonardi, from the department of surgery at David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles. "But the information is inconsistent and varies from Web site to Web site," he said.

A lot of Web sites try to rank hospitals, Leonardi said. But because there is no standard way of calculating quality differences, Internet sites come up with different results for the same hospitals, he noted.
The tainted bag of Dole’s Hearts Delight salad mix was sold at a store in Canada, officials said. Neither Canadian health officials nor Dole Food Co. have received reports of anyone getting sick from the product.

The voluntary recall, issued Monday, affects all packages of Hearts Delight sold in the United States and Canada with a “best if used by” date of September 19, 2007, and a production code of “A24924A” or “A24924B,” the company said.
Worried that you'll take up running and then quit? No chance. Just follow our simple but surefire training program. It just might be the most exciting time in your entire running career. But you won't necessarily realize it.

First steps...starting out...the beginning of a great adventure. In fact, in lots of ways, it's sort of a declaration of personal independence. A statement that says, "In a world that confronts me with mechanical convenience and idle luxury at virtually every turn, I have decided, nonetheless, to improve my physical fitness."
Of course, at issue is the fact that for doctors coming into close contact with many ill patients, all that extra fabric and buttons and ties and watches are just additional places for bacteria to colonize and hop on over to the next person.

Will it help? Not sure, but I suppose it falls under the "can't hurt" category. The article also notes that a study of doctors' ties a few years' back showed that almost half were contaminated with a minimum of one species of pathogen--so eliminate the dirty tie, maybe they'll pass around fewer germs? Time will tell, I suppose.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said new labeling on the drug will note that ailments, including QT prolongation, a disorder of the heart's electrical system that can lead to a life-threatening condition, have been observed in post-marketing studies.

The drug is also sold generically under the name haloperidol.

Several other drugs for schizophrenia, including a much newer J&J drug including Invega, have warnings about the risk of the serious cardiac effect.


Get a load of these watermelons—they’re total squares! Take a look:

Bad News Pesticides

Pesticides are scary especially in or on my food, and, Dr. Fuhrman contends pesticides do a fine job contributing to disease. Here’s a quote:
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the majority of pesticides now in use are probable or possible cancer causers. Studies of farm workers who work with pesticides suggest a link between pesticide use and brain cancer, Parkinson's disease, multiple myloma, leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the stomach, prostate, and testes.1
Now—not to be a fear-monger—but get a load of these reports. First off, according to Reuters pesticide exposure has been tied to asthma in farmers. Take a look:
Pesticide exposure is a "potential risk factor for asthma and respiratory symptoms among farmers," lead author Dr. Jane A. Hoppin, from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, told Reuters Health.

"Because grains and animals are more common exposures in agricultural settings, pesticides may be overlooked," Hoppin warned, adding: "Better education and training of farmers and pesticide handlers may help to reduce asthma risk."

Of the 19,704 farmers included in the study, 127 had self-reported (doctor diagnosed) allergic asthma and 314 had non-allergic asthma.
This one is no better. Pesticide has been blamed for a major health disaster in the French Caribbean. More from the AFP:
The French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique face a "health disaster" with soaring cancer and infertility rates because of the massive use of banned pesticides on banana plantations, a top cancer specialist warned Monday.

Martinique and Guadeloupe are currently facing "an extremely serious crisis linked to the massive use of pesticides for a great many years," Professor Dominique Belpomme said in a report obtained by AFP Monday.

On Tuesday Belpomme is to submit his findings to the French National Assembly, highlighting the dangers posed by the long-term use of chlordecone, also known as kepone, on banana crops.
So, if you’re spooked about pesticides. Scope out this post: Reduce Your Pesticide Exposure By 90%.
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Is this Garlic still Healthy?

Fiber Can Protect You

Fiber is a vital nutrient, essential to human health. Unfortunately, the American diet is dangerously deficient in fiber, a deficiency that leads to many health problems (for example, hemorrhoids, constipation, varicose veins, and diabetes) and is a major cause of cancer. As you can see, if you get fiber naturally in your diet from great-tasting food, you get much more than just constipation relief.

ADHD Drugs and Heart Risks

Reuters is reporting that two U.S. health agencies plan to study the effects of ADHD drugs on the heart. Take a look:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it will collaborate with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to examine clinical data of about 500,000 children and adults who have taken ADHD drugs, which include Novartis AG's Ritalin and Shire Plc's Adderall.

The analysis, expected to take about two years, will include all drugs currently marketed for treating ADHD. Millions of people take the medicines.

Because the drugs can increase heart rate and blood pressure, there are concerns they may raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes or other cardiovascular problems.
For more on ADHD, take a look at this post from the other day: Ritalin Stunts.
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Banana Dog Dances

Here is a cartoon dog dancing around in a banana suit with maracas, singing about peanut butter and jelly. Take a look:

Well, bananas are healthy.

American Food Not Good for Immigrants

Just in case you doubted exactly how unhealthy the standard American diet is. Read this article from CNN. Immigrant children have a disastrous time adjusting to and resisting the urge of American junk food. More from John Bonifield:
Adrian McHargh grew up active and skinny in Kingston, Jamaica. An enthusiastic swimmer, he had the pristine waters of the Caribbean for a playground until two years ago, when he and his family moved to America.

"I would always cook a healthy dinner," the 13-year-old's mother, Visha Siew-Narine, says about mealtime on the island. "When he came here, I think the fascination of having all this food that we couldn't afford in Jamaica, or that wasn't really available, that was kind of new to him."

In suburban Atlanta, things changed fast. The new foods were cheap, unhealthy and hard to resist: toaster waffles, corn dogs and the chocolate syrup Adrian liked so much he guzzled it straight from the bottle.

"I would eat a lot because I was bored," he says. "I was sitting on the couch just watching TV, not playing a lot."

Within months, Adrian was in trouble. He'd packed on 30 pounds. Doctors said he had hypertension, high cholesterol and was at high risk for type 2 diabetes.
I hate to say it, but, we’ve seen this before. Asian immigrants also have a heard time adjusting to all the garbage food polluting our food supply; White Kids Have Highest Diabetes Rate.

Stop & Blog: Grand Rounds 3.52

More Meat, More Disease

Time for the cattle ranchers to fire up the spin machine, the UN warns that increased meat production will lead to higher disease-risk in humans. More from the Associated Press:
"There is no doubt that the world has to depend upon some of the technologies of intensive animal food production systems," said FAO livestock policy expert Joachim Otte. "But excessive concentration of animals in large-scale industrial production units should be avoided and adequate investments should be made in heightened biosecurity and improved disease monitoring to safeguard public health," he said in a statement.

Globally, pig and poultry production are the fastest-growing sectors, with annual production growth rates up to 4 percent over the past decade. As a result, most chickens and turkeys in industrialized countries are now raised in facilities with 15,000 to 50,000 birds. Meanwhile, industrial pig and poultry production relies on a significant movement of live animals, which raises the risk of transferring diseases.

Besides the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus, which has killed 200 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and remains a major global concern, the agency said that the circulation of other influenza viruses in poultry and swine should also be closely monitored internationally. Some flu viruses are now fairly widespread in commercial poultry and to a lesser extent in pigs and could also lead to emergence of a human influenza pandemic, the FAO warned.
This is the kind of information that high-protein diet peddlers like to pretend doesn’t exist. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman talks about the meat-disease connection. Take a look:
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.1 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.2
Not a good a day for abattoirs. Well, just add it to the pile of recent bad news. Like yesterday’s news linking meat production to global warming; Less Meat, Cooler Temps?
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LA Times Looks at Coffee

Some people might like their daily cup of java, but as Dr. Fuhrman’s colleague Jeff Novick explains, its time for people to wake up to the effects of caffeine. Here’s more:
“After drinking a cup of coffee, blood pressure can rise up to 5 or even 10 millimeters of mercury,” said Dr. Charalambos Vlachopoulos from the Cardiology Department of the Henry Dunant Hospital in Athens, Greece. Increases of this magnitude can increase a person’s risk of suffering from a stroke or a heart attack.

Elsewhere, Dr. M. O’Rourke and colleagues at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia, presented data at the 22nd Congress of the European Society of Cardiology linking caffeine consumption with alterations in the aorta, the main artery supplying blood to the body. Their study showed that caffeine led to a loss of aortic elasticity and raised blood pressure. The elasticity of the aorta is linked to heart function and coronary blood flow.

In a Finnish study reported in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Dr. Maarku Heliovaara of the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki and colleagues found that people who drank four or more cups of coffee each day had twice the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, compared with people who drank less coffee. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s defenses attack its own tissues, resulting in a chronic destruction and deformity of the joints. Smoking, high cholesterol, being overweight, and certain dietary factors also have been linked with a higher risk of the disease.
Now, the to-drink or not-to-drink coffee debates rages on. With this being said, The Los Angeles Times takes a look at the world’s wake up drink. Read on:
Such studies make headlines every day, and often, as the public knows too well, they contradict each other. One week we may hear that pets are good for your health, the next week that they aren't. One month, cellphone use causes brain cancer; the next month, it doesn't.

"It's the cure of the week or the killer of the week, the danger of the week," says Dr. Barry Kramer, associate director for disease prevention at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. It's like treating people to an endless regimen of whiplash, he says.

Take the case of just one item: coffee. Drinking two or three cups per day can triple the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a 1981 study. Not so, concluded a larger follow-up study published in 2001.

Coffee reduces the risk of colorectal cancer, found a 1998 study. Not so, according to one published later, in 2005.
Dr. Fuhrman is hardly an advocate of coffee-drinking. He claims coffee can help walk you down the road towards cardiovascular disease. Here’re a couple sentences from 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
Makes you wonder if that morning fix is really worth it.
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The Hey Adrian Workout!

The Diabetes Blog takes a look at boxing, as an exercise routine. Check it out:
There's a workout, and then there's a Work Out. And THEN, there's a BOXING WORK OUT. Trust me, there's a reason why boxers are able to spend over a half an hour in a ring exchanging punches and not go into cardiac arrest. It's because these guys and gals have trained their butts off for months before ever stepping foot in that arena, let alone that ring…

…You'll burn far more calories doing this workout than you will on a stair-stepper or walking on a treadmill, and you'll do so during less time. Intensity is the key. Like I said, there's a workout, and then there's a Workout. And then there's a BOXING WORKOUT. Try this routine and, before long, you'll be wearing a grey track suit and running the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
I’m sorry. I’m a sucker for Rocky references!

The Healthy Impact Garbage Food

This is encouraging. Apparently health conscious people have had an effect on fast food giants and their business. E.J. Mundell of HealthDay News reports:
After a decades-long fast-food binge, the notion of watching what you eat seems to be hitting more Americans -- but certainly not all -- as they approach the counter of their favorite "quick-service" outlet, experts say.

Changing tastes -- along with some regulatory prodding -- means the nation's fast-food industry is also getting the message. Citywide bans on tasty but heart-clogging trans-fat cooking oils, legal moves to mandate calorie counts on menus, and even an effort to outlaw new fast-food franchises in obesity-plagued south Los Angeles have grabbed headlines this year.

One industry representative believes fast-food businesses are responding to consumers' changing tastes and health concerns -- and the obesity epidemic.

"I think that quick-service restaurants have done a great job of offering and highlighting [healthier] items," said Sheila Weiss, a registered dietitian and director of nutrition policy at the National Restaurant Association, which describes itself as the leading business association for the restaurant industry. "A lot of their campaigns recently have focused on the elimination of trans fat oils, on offering more entree salads and better options for side dishes like fruits and low-fat skim milk."
If you’re looking to keep tabs on junk food, check out Followhealthlife’s Hurtful Food category.

Cabbage-Full Eats

Triple Treat Cabbage Salad
2 cups green cabbage, grated
1 cup red cabbage, grated
1 cup savoy cabbage, grated
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
4 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon unhulled sesame seeds

1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup cashew butter
2 teaspoons Dr. Fuhrman's Spicy Pecan Vinegar
1 tablespoon currants (optional)
1 tablespoon unhulled sesame seeds, lightly toasted* (optional)
Mix all salad ingredients together. Blend dressing ingredients and toss with salad. If desired, garnish with currants and lightly toasted sesame seeds. Lightly toast sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently. This is good made a day ahead to allow flavors to mingle. Serves 4.

Dr. Fuhrman's Raisin Coleslaw
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup baked potato, skin removed
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups peeled and shredded apples
1 cup shredded beets (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
Blend in Vita-Mix or blender the raisins, apple juice, potato, mustard, and lemon juice. Mix with rest of the ingredients. Use this in place of a lettuce salad for lunch or dinner. Serves 8.

Sweet and Sour Fancy Cabbage Salad
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons date sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 small head napa or savoy cabbage, shredded
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 small jicama, julienned
2 carrots, julienned
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons unhulled sesame seeds
1/2 cup currants
10 Brazil nuts, chopped
Romaine lettuce, shredded or spring mix (optional)
For dressing, whisk together lime juice, date sugar, water, and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside. Toss together the cabbage, bell pepper, jicama, carrots, onion, sesame seeds, currants, and Brazil nuts in a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss. If desired, sprinkle with extra sesame seeds, currants, and chopped Brazil nuts. This may be served on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce or spring mix. Serves 8.

Dieters, Welcome to the Carnival of the Recipes!

Less Meat, Cooler Temps?

A couple weeks ago we learned that global warming might actually threaten heart health. Here’s some of the Associated Press report:
During the European heat wave in 2003, there were an estimated 35,000 deaths above expected levels in the first two weeks of August. In France alone, nearly 15,000 extra people died when temperatures soared. Experts say much of that was due to heart problems in the elderly worsened by the extreme heat.

The hardening of the heart's arteries is like rust developing on a car, said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University. "Rust develops much more quickly at warm temperatures and so does atherosclerosis," said Tomaselli, who is program chair at the American Heart Association.
And now the Associated Press is reporting that eating less meat could help slow climate change. Maria Cheng explains:
Eating less meat could help slow global warming by reducing the number of livestock and thereby decreasing the amount of methane flatulence from the animals, scientists said on Thursday.

In a special energy and health series of the medical journal The Lancet, experts said people should eat fewer steaks and hamburgers. Reducing global red meat consumption by 10 percent, they said, would cut the gases emitted by cows, sheep and goats that contribute to global warming.

"We are at a significant tipping point," said Geri Brewster, a nutritionist at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York, who was not connected to the study.
"If people knew that they were threatening the environment by eating more meat, they might think twice before ordering a burger," Brewster said.
The answer seems clear to me. Eat less meat for your health and the health of the planet. Kind of win-win—don’t you think? Besides, Cow Farts stink!

Ritalin Stunts

Get a load of this article Dr. Fuhrman emailed me. Apparently Ritalin—the drug doctors just love to prescribe for ADHD—might stunt growth. WebMD reported on it back in July, take a look:
The symptoms of childhood ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) usually get dramatically better soon after kids start taking stimulant drugs. But this benefit may come with a cost, says James Swanson, Ph.D., director of the Child Development Center at the University of California, Irvine.

"Yes, there is a growth-suppression effect with stimulant ADHD medications," Swanson tells WebMD. "It is going to occur at the age of treatment, and over three years it will accumulate."

Whether these kids eventually grow to normal size remains a question. Kids entered the study in 1999 at ages 7 to 9. The current report is a snapshot taken three years later. The 10-year results — when the kids are at their adult height — won't be in for two more years.

"The big question now is whether there is any effect on these kids' ultimate height," Swanson says. "We don't know if by the time they are 18 they will regain the height."
For more on ADHD, check out Followhealthlife’s ADHD category.
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Family Eats, Kid Eats

Here’s a shocker! Family meals may have a lasting impact on children’s diets. Amy Norton of Reuters reports:
Some past studies have suggested that when parents and children regularly connect over dinner, children are less likely to take up habits like smoking and drinking. The new findings, which appear in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, suggest that children's diets may also benefit in the long run.

Among the more than 1,700 teenagers researchers followed for five years, those who ate the most meals with their families tended to have a more healthful diet in young adulthood.

By their early 20s, these teens reported eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking less soda, and getting more fiber, potassium and magnesium than their peers who ate few meals with their families.

"Based on the findings, families should be encouraged to share meals as often as possible," advised study chief Dr. Nicole Larson, a research associate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Family meals probably teach teenagers how to make healthful food choices, she told Reuters Health, with parents serving as a "model" of healthy eating.
Hey, Dr. Fuhrman’s all in favor of the whole feeling sitting down for a nice healthy meal. Here’re his thoughts from Disease-Proof Your Child:
No rules only for children. If the parents are not willing to follow the rules set for the house, they should not be imposed on the children. Don’t argue about what your children should and shouldn’t be eating; discuss this in private. As parents, we must be consistent, but not perfect. Likewise, it is okay for the children to be consistent, but not perfect either. For example, if the parents decide that an unhealthy food or a restaurant meal is acceptable for the children once per week, then that goes for the adults, too. Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective way for your children to develop a healthy attitude toward food.
Wait! Children are impressionable? You don’t say! Wow.

McBurger Crime

I wouldn’t eat McDonalds even if you tied me up and tried to force it down my throat—especially after reading this! Fast Food News relays the tale of the overly salty burger and the arrest that followed. Take a look:
Yes, you read that right. A McDonald's employee, Kendra Bull, in Union City, Georgia was arrested after a local cop claimed he became ill from an extra salty Big N' Tasty.

Bull told cops she accidentally put too much salt and pepper on the hamburger, but since managers had been concerned about waste, she "had gone ahead and used the hamburger."
Oh! This is a perfect time to re-mention The Burger Museum. If you haven’t seen it—see it!

More Nutrients and Fiber Will Reduce Your Caloric Drive

If you consume sufficient nutrients and fiber, you will become biochemically filled (nutrients) and mechanically filled (fiber), and your desire to consume calories will be blunted or turned down. One key factor that determines whether you will be overweight is your failure to consume sufficient fiber and nutrients.

The Tomato Butcher

Halloween is right around the corner—so prepare yourself! The Tomato Butcher is coming. Proceed with caution:


72 and Going Strong

How does this 72-year old guy stay in peak physical condition? Plenty of exercise, and, lots and lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts—go figure! Take a look:

A pretty good role model right here—don’t you think?

Eating to Live on the Outside: Nora

It’s Friday—and you know what that means? Hit the intro-music. Turn on the laser-lights. Cue the background dancers. It’s time for Eating to Live on the Outside baby! “Who let the dogs out! Woo-woo-woo-woo!” Wow, that was lame. Sorry, onto the serious stuff.

This week—the ever-exciting—Eating to Live on the Outside heads to Washington, D.C. to visit Nora, America’s First Certified Organic Restaurant. Well, it’s certainly a mixed menu. There’s lots of food I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole—like Crème Fraiche and duck livers—but there’s also plenty of good stuff too—like kale, broccoli, shiitakes, and mango.

Okay, where to begin? Let’s start with the appetizers—since there’s one that caught my eye. The Grilled Baby Eggplant looks cool. It’s prepared with red peppers, yellow peppers, black olives, hummus, and micro cilantro. I like it! I’d ditch the olives because they’re salty, but that’s it. So far, so good!

Onto the salads—an Eat to Livers pillar of hope—all three have potential, but two of them need a little tweaking. The Mesclun Greens salad is perfect; greens, hearts of palm, mango, macadamia nuts, and lime macadamia nut oil vinaigrette. The concession here would be the vinaigrette. Personally, I’d order it on the side and only use a little bit—no big deal!

The next two salads include cheese. So once you ditch that, combined the Arugula & Heirloom Tomatoes and the Local Baby Heads of Lettuce salads are made with pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted pumpkinseed oil vinaigrette, arugula, tomatoes, lettuce, peaches, walnuts, and caramelized onion vinaigrette. Some good stuff here! And I doubt you’re going to miss the goat cheese and brie. Provided you go easy on the dressing, these are great. What do you think?

Now, beyond the salads its get a little dicey—as it usually dos—but don’t fret. Nora’s got a few tricks up her sleeve—or should I say treats. I see three dishes an Eat to Liver could get by with, they require no alternation, and only some minor concessions. Let’s take a look.

Two of the menu items are fish dishes, so, if you don’t eat any animals these aren’t for you. Personally, I eat fish. Not often, but I do it eat once or twice a month. First up is the Shichimi Crusted Alaskan King Salmon with shiitakes, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, scallions, broccoli, and ginger soy emulsion. The veggies look great, but what about the fish? Is it safe? Yup! According to Alaskan King Salmon is also called Chinook Salmon and Chinook Salmon is an Eco Best; meaning it has a low risk of contamination—nice!

Same goes for the Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut. It’s also known as Pacific Halibut and our friends at give it an Eco Best stamp of approval. This tasty and safe fish is served with eggplant-tomato ratatouille, potatoes, kale, and salsa verde. You got to love when you actually see KALE on a menu! I’ve got no gripes with this either. Its worth mentioning that if I were to order either one of these, I’d make sure I’d wait a while before I ate fish again—doctor’s orders!

Alright, the last menu item I’d consider ordering is the Tokyo Hot Pot. It’s prepared with shichimi crusted tofu, udon noodles, shiitakes, baby carrots, miso mushroom broth, and crispy yams. You guessed it. The noodles are a concession. After all, noodles and pasta are nothing more than processed food—I can live with it. The Tokyo Hot Pot wouldn’t be my first choice, but if I HAD to order it, I’d just focus on all the veggies and not worry about the noodles, especially since I don’t normally eat pasta or noodles of any sort.

An important thing to mention about Nora is that it’s an organic restaurant; pretty admirable in a country saturated in trans-fat, processed junk, and fast food. So if you’re an organic fan and planning to visit the D.C. area, pop into Nora and let me know how you handled Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or send an email to Healthy eating!

Yoga: Exercise Good!

Exercise—do you get enough of it? Hopefully you do, because according to Dr. Fuhrman it’s absolutely imperative for a long healthy life. He explains:
Exercise is important for healthy psychological function and to maintain significant muscle and bone mass as we age. It has been shown to improve mental function; to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression; and to improve sleep patterns, aiding healthful cycles of deep sleep.

Ideally, exercise should be a part of your daily routine like brushing your teeth and taking a shower.
And it’s especially good for bone health. I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman continue his riff on this. Enjoy:
If you plan on living a long time, you want to have your bones last along with you. A good measurement of your bone density and strength is to test the strength of the muscle that moves that bone. Bone density correlates perfectly with muscle strength. As we condition our muscles and gain strength, our bones thicken and strengthen along with the muscle. Without regular exercise along the way, your bone structure can deteriorate as you get older. Some people survive with weak bones, but their quality of life suffers when they are immobilized by arthritis and osteoporosis.
Personally, I’m an exercise nut. Between running, weight-training, and yoga I spend at least eight hours working out every week. Oh! Speaking of yoga, check this out. A new study claims Yoga can help breast cancer survivors from all walks of life. The Cancer Blog is on it:
A new study from researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine shows that yoga can benefit ethnic minority breast cancer survivors, particularly African-Americans and Hispanics, as well as those from under-served communities.

During the 12 week study, researchers compared quality of life measures between two groups of women with early stage breast cancer; one group took a weekly yoga class and the other group didn't. More women in the non-yoga group experienced a worsening of social well-being compared to the yoga group. The yoga classes seemed to offer social support, which may have helped counteract loneliness and isolation, which is common after a cancer diagnosis.
Pretty cool—right? Now, if you’re a gym-rat like me and like reading about exercise and fitness. Be sure to peruse Followhealthlife’s new exercise category. Your one-stop-shop for all your exercise news—well, not really—but they’ll be lots of information in there for sure.

How Much Longer Do Vegetarians Live?

This is a difficult question to answer accurately, as there are few studies on lifelong vegetarians in countries with electricity, refrigeration, good sanitation, and adequate nutrition. American studies done in 1984 on Seventh-Day Adventists, a religious group that provides dietary and lifestyle advice to its members, sheds some light on this issue. Adventist leadership discourages the consumption of meat, fowl, and eggs; pork is prohibited. Because eating animal products is only discouraged and not necessarily prohibited, there is a large range in animal-product consumption. Some Adventists never eat meat and eggs, whereas others consume them daily. When we take a careful look at the Seventh-Day Adventist data, those who lived the longest were those following the vegetarian diet the longest, and when we look at the subset who had followed a vegetarian diet for at least half their life, it appears they lived about thirteen years longer than their average, non-smoking Californian counterparts.1 Most of the participants in this study were converted to the religion, not born into it. There was no data on those following such a diet since childhood. However, the data from this carefully constructed study was compelling; and what is of considerable interest to me is the association of green salad consumption and longer life.2 Leafy greens, the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet, were the best predictor of extreme longevity.

Some nutritional experts would argue that a strict vegetarian who follows a diet rich in natural vegetation, not refined grains, has the longest longevity potential, as indicated by evaluating the China Project data together with hundreds of the smaller food-consumption studies—but, of course, this is still educated speculation. Let’s not argue whether it is all right to eat a little bit of animal foods or not, and thereby miss the point that cannot be contradicted or disagreed with:

Whether you eat a vegetarian diet or include a small amount of animal foods, for optimal health you must receive the majority of your calories from unrefined plant food. It is the large quantity of unrefined plant food that grants the greatest protection against developing serious disease.
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Friday: Health Points

The new case was discovered close to a farm south of London where an outbreak was first reported last month.

Restrictions imposed then were only lifted four days ago and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) imposed a new England-wide ban on the movement of cattle, sheep, pigs and other ruminants.

Cattle were ordered slaughtered on the affected farm, near Egham, west of London. Egham is 13 miles (21 kilometres) from the village of Normandy, where foot and mouth disease was confirmed on August 3.
  • I’m sure you’ve heard of dirty money, but what about dirty energy? It’s a big deal. Some 2 billion people’s health may be threatened by it. More from Reuters:
The health of about 2 billion of the world’s poor is being damaged because they lack access to clean energy, like electricity, and face exposure to smoke from open fires, scientists said on Thursday.

Dangerous levels of indoor air pollutants from badly ventilated cooking fires are a common hazard, while lack of electricity deprives many of the benefits of refrigeration.
Congress last month approved an extra $50 billion for the program, but U.S. President George W. Bush threatened a veto, calling it a move toward nationalized health care, which he opposes.

Bush wanted only a $5 billion increase in the plan's $25 billion cost over 5 years. Congress would come up with the extra dollars by hiking cigarette taxes 45 cents per pack and cutting Medicare payments to private health insurers.

New Jersey's program has covered 122,000 children, and New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine said the new rules would deny coverage to 10,000 kids. In the past 18 months, 100,000 more children have been enrolled in both SHIP and Medicaid, which aids the poor, he added.
It’s one of the mysteries of sleep: Why is it that mild exercise can be invigorating, but strenuous endurance exercise — whether it’s crew practice, long runs as training for a marathon or juggling back-to-back workouts to prepare for a triathlon — makes people groggy?

Elite marathoners know that hunger for sleep all too well.

Deena Kastor, who won the London Marathon last year and set an American record, said she sleeps 10 hours at night and takes a two-hour nap every afternoon. Steven Spence, a marathoner who won a bronze medal at the 1991 world championships in Tokyo, had the same sleep habits when he was training.
  • After last year’s E. coli outbreak you’d assume the government would have tightened regulations—not! The Associated Press reports that safety standards have not be raised:
A review of data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act found that federal officials inspect companies growing and processing salad greens an average of once every 3.9 years. Some proposals in Congress would require such inspections at least four times a year.

In California, which grows three-quarters of the nation's greens, processors created a new inspection system but with voluntary guidelines that were unable to keep bagged spinach tainted with salmonella from reaching grocery shelves last month.

Despite widespread calls for spot-testing of processing plants handling leafy greens after last year's E. coli outbreak, California public-health inspectors have not been given the authority to conduct such tests, so no such tests have been done, the review found.
In the pact, China also pledged to step up inspections of its exports and take other steps to ensure that those products meet U.S. standards, said Nancy Nord, acting head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. That will include joint efforts by the two countries to increase understanding of those standards among manufacturers and exporters.

The absence of such an understanding allowed paint suppliers to provide lead paint to companies making toys sold by Mattel Inc. and other companies, said Chuanzhong Wei, vice minister of China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. Lead paint has been banned on toys made in the United States since 1978.

"That's why we decided we should intensify the exchanges between importers and exporters in the field of standards," Wei said, speaking through a translator.
People who are just moderately overweight have an increased risk developing heart disease, even if they are otherwise healthy, according to pooled data from published studies.

As study chief Dr. Rik P. Bogers noted in an email to Reuters Health, the data show that "even if overweight and obese persons succeeded in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol to normal levels, they would still have a higher risk of coronary heart disease than their normal-weight peers."

Thus, the worldwide increase in the number of people who are moderately overweight "may drive the incidence of coronary heart disease upward," Bogers and colleagues warn in a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Hardcore Veggies!

Wow! These are some intense vegetables—death before dishonor apparently. Well, cooking before dishonor. Take a look:


Flavonoid Flavor

You know what flavonoids are—don’t you? You don’t! Okay, you get a pass this time, but don’t let it happen again! Now, here’s a little refresher on flavonoids from Dr. Fuhrman. Take notes:
Flavonoids and bioflavonoids mean the same thing. I will refer to them as flavonoids only. They refer to phytochemical compounds in plants that are absorbed by the body but then rapidly excreted as if they were a foreign substance, but without causing damage. Flavonoids do not function like conventional hydrogendonating antioxidants, but have an interesting hodgepodge of effects inside the cells. The hallmark of their unique properties is that they do not stay in the body very long and induce phase II detoxification enzymes in the liver, while at the same time attracting other toxins in the body to be expelled simultaneously. Flavonoids are like dust mops for toxins that get thrown out along with the dust that they collect…

… Along with the rising popularity of flavonoids has come a rise in production by the supplement industry, which has rushed to package and market flavonoids in the form of pills. At low concentrations, flavonoids help the body get rid of harmful free radicals and also promote the inhibition of enzymes like protein kinase, which is necessary in cell division. The effects of flavonoids are thought to be potentially anticarcinogenic because flavonoids can block and inhibit the excessive cell division characterized by cancer. Certain flavonoids can inhibit enzymes, such as protein kinases, that are involved in cellular proliferation and tumor progression. This is one reason flavonoids can be considered anticarcinogens. But even with all of the benefits that flavonoids provide the body, a great danger lies in overconsumption of the chemicals, the UC Berkeley scientists said. Although phytoestrogens are not as potent as endogenously produced estrogens, excess amounts of these compounds can actually promote breast cancer and feminize males.
The Cardio Blog is pretty high on flavonoids too. Blogger Chris Sparling takes a look at research claiming apples and pears are packed with flavonoids. Check it out:
It turns out that there's some truth to the old adage that An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away. According to a study published in a recent issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who eat apples regularly have a decreased risk of dying from coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

What if you don't like apples? Try pears -- or even red wine. This same study revealed that consuming either of these will have the same preventative effects as eating apples. The researchers attribute these heart-healthy benefits to compounds known as flavonoids, which help reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Can’t get enough flavonoids? This post will tell you all you need to know: Flavonoids and Bioflavonoids.

Veggies and Vision

We all know how Dr. Fuhrman feels about nutrition. In a nutshell, the food you eat—or don’t eat—directly affects your health and longevity. Too bad a lot of doctors don’t put two and two together. From Eat to Live:
Patients are told that food has nothing to do with the disease they develop. Dermatologists insist that food has nothing to do with acne, rheumatologists insist that food has nothing to do with rheumatoid arthritis, and gastroenterologists insist that food has nothing to do with irritable and inflammatory bowel disease. Even cardiologists have been resistant to accept the accumulating evidence that atherosclerosis is entirely avoidable. Most of them still believe that coronary artery disease and angina require the invasive treatment of surgery and are not reversible with nutritional intervention. Most physicians have no experience in treating disease naturally with nutritional excellence, and some physicians who don’t know about it are convinced it is not possible.
That’s why news like this is so great. We all worry about getting old and deteriorating physically, but could the right diet help us avoid breaking down like an old jalopy? Maybe so, HealthDay News reports veggies might ward off age-related vision woes. Robert Preidt explains:
People who consume high levels of the yellow plant pigments lutein and zeaxanthin may have a reduced risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of irreversible blindness among the elderly.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group study, supported by the U.S. government, looked at more than 4,500 people who were between the ages of 60 and 80 when they were enrolled between 1992 and 1998.

Those who consumed the highest levels of lutein and zeaxanthin -- found in yellow and dark leafy vegetables -- were significantly less likely than those who ate the lowest levels of these nutrients to have advanced AMD, the research team found.
Just like the article says, leafy greens do offer up a lot of lutein. But don’t take my word for it! Dr. Fuhrman considers cruciferous vegetables to be among the world’s healthiest foods. For more on that, check out Cruciferous Vegetables. Here’s a bit:
As researchers have looked more deeply into nutritional science, it has become widely known that eating a whole-food, plant-based diet is a far better way to get your nutrients than fiddling around with supplements of various individual nutrients. And the very best way to get the benefits of this superior nutrition is to harness the power of high-nutrient super foods. Not all vegetables are created equal, and one of the most fascinating areas of research in the last 10 years has been the therapeutic value of cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are those in the broccoli and cabbage family and include such foods as bok choy, radishes, and watercress…

…Most of the phytonutrients we hear about (vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene) function as antioxidants in your body, meaning that they neutralize free radicals, rendering them harmless. The phytochemicals in cruciferous vegetables do this and more; they also activate your body’s own built-in antioxidant control system.
And as for vegetables and vision, take a look at these posts. They’ll help you see the light—corny, I know—read them anyway. Enjoy:

Surprise, Lean People Live Longer

In the Nurses Health Study, researchers examined the association between body mass index and overall mortality and mortality from specific causes in more than 100,000 women. After limiting the analysis to nonsmokers, it was very clear that the longest-lived women were the leanest.1 The researchers concluded that the increasingly permissive U.S. weight guidelines are unjustified and potentially harmful.

Dr. I-Min Lee, of the Harvard School of Public Health, said her twenty-seven-year study of 19,297 men found there was no such thing as being too thin. Among men who never smoked, the lowest mortality occurred in the lightest fifth.2 Those who were in the thinnest 20 percent in the early 1960s were two and a half times less likely to have died of cardiovascular disease by 1988 than those in the heaviest fifth. Overall, the thinnest were two–thirds more likely to be alive in 1988 than the heaviest. Lee stated, “We observed a direct relationship between body weight and mortality. By that I mean that the thinnest fifth of men experienced the lowest mortality, and mortality increased progressively with heavier and heavier weight.” The point is not to judge your ideal weight by traditional weight-loss tables, which are based on Americans’ overweight averages. After carefully examining the twenty-five major studies available on the subject, I have found that the evidence indicates that optimal weight, as determined by who lives the longest, occurs at weights at least 10 percent below the average body-weight tables.3 Most weight guideline charts still place the public at risk by reinforcing an unhealthy overweight standard. By my calculations, it is not merely 75 percent of Americans that are overweight, it is more like 85 percent.
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Thursday: Health Points

Burger King Holdings Inc., the world's second largest hamburger chain, said it has set nutritional guidelines to follow when targeting children under 12 in advertising, including limiting ads to Kids Meals that contain no more than 560 calories, less than 30 percent of calories from fat and no more than 10 percent of calories from added sugars.

In that vein, Burger King is building a Kids Meal that will contain the flame-broiled Tenders, organic unsweetened applesauce and low-fat milk, for a total of 305 calories and 8.5 grams of fat. It will be available in restaurants sometime in 2008, the company said.

The fast-food chain is also developing what it calls BK Fresh Apple Fries. The red apples are cut to resemble french fries and are served in the same containers as fries, but they are not fried and are served skinless and cold.
The report, written by Charles Courtemanche for his doctoral dissertation in health economics, found that the 13 percent rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to falling pump prices.

Gasoline hit a low of less than $1.50 per gallon in 2000 before moving back to a record high of $3.22 in May 2007.

Higher gasoline prices can reduce obesity by leading people to walk or cycle instead of drive and eat leaner at home instead of rich food at restaurants.
One study found that Avandia, made by GlaxoSmithKline, doubled the risks of heart failure and raised the risks of heart attack by 42 percent. A second study found that Actos, a similar drug made by Takeda, actually lowered the risks of heart attacks, strokes and death but, like Avandia, also raised risks of heart failure.

Taken together, some of the authors said, the two studies in The Journal of the American Medical Association confirm what doctors and patients using Avandia have already done in great numbers, that is, switch to another drug. Sales of Avandia have plunged.

GlaxoSmithKline said in a written statement that the studies were flawed and “offered no new information on the safety of Avandia.” The company “continues to support Avandia as safe and effective when used appropriately,” the statement said.
Obesity has more than doubled in Australia in the last 20 years and is placing an uncomfortable strain not only on waistlines but on health services, the Australian General Practice Network said.

To combat the spiralling problem, it wants the government to give the overweight a 170 dollar (141 dollar US) subsidy to do something about their expanding physique.

The network, which represents general practitioners, said effective weight-loss programmes were often too expensive, particularly for those with modest incomes.
Amid worries of an obesity epidemic and its related illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, Los Angeles officials, among others around the country, are proposing to limit new fast-food restaurants -- a tactic that could be called health zoning.

The City Council will be asked this fall to consider an up to two-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in South L.A., a part of the city where fast food is at least as much a practicality as a preference.

"The people don't want them, but when they don't have any other options, they may gravitate to what's there," said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who proposed the ordinance in June, and whose district includes portions of South L.A. that would be affected by the plan.
"This is a major public-health problem," said Rebecca Din-Dzietham of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, who led the study, which will be published in the Sept. 25 issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation. "Unless this upward trend in high blood pressure is reversed, we could be facing an explosion of new cardiovascular-disease cases in young adults and adults."

With an adult form of diabetes already being diagnosed more frequently in children and more young people developing high cholesterol, the new finding is another indication that the obesity epidemic is spawning a generation at heightened risk for illnesses that struck their parents and grandparents only later in life, experts said.

"This is very worrisome," said Elizabeth Nabel, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. "This is another piece of evidence suggesting that the obesity epidemic will likely turn into a heart-disease epidemic."
A gaping hole exists between conventional medicine and diet. Conventional medicine claims that the cause of Type 2 diabetes is unknown. Medical doctors, as practitioners of conventional medicine, are not trained to explain how it happened. They treat symptoms with medicine. The business of medicine is medicine. The business of diabetes would be devasted if the cure was as simple as diet. The explanation Thomas Smith provides in his empirical studies is fascinating and I encourage anybody with competing or supporting evidence to open the debate.
"Women who have this disorder usually are interested in exercise to improve their appearance, but an instructor who emphasizes physique during a workout may deter such students from coming back," said Brian Focht, assistant professor of health behavior and health promotion at Ohio State, and a co-author of the study.

The study, which was published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, indicated women in the study reported that they enjoyed a step aerobics class more when the instructor focused on how the workout was making them more fit.

Even though most of the women studied took the class primarily because they were concerned about their body image, they enjoyed the class less and were less likely to take another if the instructor emphasized how a particular exercise would tone their legs, slim their waists, or otherwise improve their appearance, the researchers found.
A new study from Yale shows that 75 percent of physicians in training surveyed do not understand the statistics used in medical literature. The study surveyed internal medicine residents at 11 programs across the country.

The residents scored an average of 41% correct on the test and the senior residents scored worse than the junior residents, possibly reflecting a loss of knowledge over time.

Fruit Salad Live!

Well, I haven’t quite recovered from the canned performance of fruit salad, but, if you like The Wiggles, you’ll love fruit salad live:

I hope you all appreciate the great lengths I endure watching this stuff.

The New Vegetarian Carnival is Up!

No Calorie-Counts in NYC

Chalk one up for the junk-fooders of NYC. A regulation that would require New York fast food restaurants to display how many calories their meals contain has been shot down in flame-broiled flames. More from the AFP:
In a ruling Tuesday in Manhattan District Court, Judge Richard Holwell prevented the city from imposing the new regulations, ruling that federal law already provided for much of what the New York law sought to impose.

"This decision highlights some of the flaws in the New York City Board of Health's regulation," Peter Kilgore, acting head of the National Restaurant Association said in a statement after the ruling.

The rules, which would have applied only to restaurants that already disclosed calorie data, "would have attempted to punish the very restaurants that are already providing accurate and comprehensive nutrition information."
And we wonder why we are fat—and getting fatter! Sigh.

Chewing the Fats

Great news! The experts are out from under their rocks. And it seems they’ve now gotten together to sort out good fats from bad fats. More from Madeline Vann of HealthDay News:
"Of greatest importance is the type of fat one chooses," registered dietitian and co-author Penny Kris-Etherton said in a prepared statement. "The healthiest choices are unsaturated fats found in liquid vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, and omega-3 unsaturated fats found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and shellfish…"

…The Dietary Fatty Acids recommendations guide people to follow a food-based approach for achieving the following fatty acid recommendations:
  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  • Eat lean protein such as meats, poultry and low-fat dairy products.
  • Eat fish, especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon.
  • Use non-hydrogenated margarines and oils.
Yuck dairy—yuck-yuck! For a better didactic on fats, check out this excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Cholesterol Protection For Life. Here:
Some naturally occurring fats are called saturated because all the carbon atoms are single bonds. These fats are solid at room temperature and generally recognized as a significant cause of both heart disease and cancer. Saturated fats are found mainly in meat, fowl, eggs, and dairy. The foods with the most saturated fat are butter, cream, and cheese.

Saturated fat raises your LDL-cholesterol level more than anything else in the diet. Eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol is the main reason for the high number of heart attacks seen in North America and other countries.

These fats are a mix of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Eating unsaturated fats lowers cholesterol when substituted for saturated fats, but excessive amounts may promote cancer and obesity. Examples of unsaturated fats are the fats in nuts and seeds such as flax seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia and pistachio nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, as well as avocados and olives.
For Dr. Fuhrman’s entire breakdown of fats, give this post a whirl: The Glossary of Cholesterol.

Vitamins in the News

A new study shows vitamin C's cancer-fighting properties. Reuters reports:
The new research, published in the journal Cancer Cell, supported the general notion that vitamin C and other so-called antioxidants can slow tumor growth, but pointed to a mechanism different from the one many experts had suspected.

The researchers generated encouraging results when giving vitamin C to mice that had been implanted with human cancer cells -- either the blood cancer lymphoma or prostate cancer. Another antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine, also limited tumor growth in the mice, the researchers said.

Antioxidants are nutrients that prevent some of the damage from unstable molecules known as free radicals, created when the body turns food into energy. Vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene are among well-known antioxidants.
And, it seems Vitamin E may reduce blood clots in women. More from Reuters:
"The data indicated that, in general, women taking vitamin E were 21 percent less likely to suffer a blood clot," the American Heart Association, which published the finding in its journal Circulation, said in a statement.

"This is an exciting and interesting finding, but I don't think it's proven," Dr. Robert Glynn of Harvard Medical School said.

The American Heart Association generally does not recommend antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin E for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases or conditions, which include blood clots.

The study by Glynn and his colleagues reviewed data from 39,876 women aged 45 and older taking part in the Women's Health Study. They were given either 600 international units of natural source vitamin E or a placebo.
To round out the good news, according to Reuters Vitamin D may cut risk of early death. Look:
"Intake of ordinary doses of vitamin D supplements seems to be associated with decreases in total mortality rates," said Philippe Autier of the International Agency for Cancer Research in France and Sara Gandini of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan.

The reasons why were not clear but the researchers suggested the vitamin might block cancer cells from spreading or boost the immune system.

They did not conduct the studies themselves but did what is called a meta-analysis by reviewing 18 separate trials involving nearly 60,000 patients. The doses averaged 528 international units, within the range of most commercially available vitamin D supplements.
Want to know more about these vitamins and where to get them? Check out these two posts:
With the proper diet it’s easy to fuel you’re body right. Dr. Fuhrman talks about it in Eat to Live:
Food supplies us with both nutrients and calories (energy). All calories come from only three elements: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Nutrients are derived from noncaloric food factors — including vitamins, minerals, fibers, and phytochemicals. These noncaloric nutrients are vitally important for health…

…Eating large quantities of high-nutrient foods is the secret to optimal health and permanent weight control. In fact, eating much larger portions of food is one of the beauties of a vegetable-based nutrient-dense diet.

Fat Kids, Fat Commercials

Wait, you mean commercials during kids programs promote junky foods—NO—you don’t say? Eric Nagourney of The New York Times investigates. Take a look:
When researchers looked at what foods were being advertised on programs watched by children and adolescents, they found that most products were larded with sugar, salt and fat.

“The overwhelming majority of food-product advertisements seen on television by American children are of poor nutritional content,” said the study, which is in the current issue of Pediatrics. It was led by Lisa M. Powell of the University of Illinois.

The researchers focused on advertisements seen by two groups, ages 2 to 11 and 12 to 17. To gauge viewership, the study looked at the shows’ popularity ratings.
What a great battle-cry for parents. Teach your kids healthy eating and don’t let them become another fat statistic. For tips, read The Secrets to Getting Your Children to Eat Healthfully.

Health Insurance: Points of Interest

After speaking with underwriters in the top 40 or so companies, Ed Hinerman, a life insurance specialist with the Hinerman Group, found a discernible lack of interest due to lack of data. Companies would say that they couldn't consider someone with type 1 diabetes until they were either age 15 or age 20. A peer in the industry told Ed the knee jerk reaction was because insurance companies haven't done mortality studies on children. They simply don't have any data upon which to base the pricing for products. Uh oh!! That coupled with the fact that there really isn't any financial incentive for them to study and create products for a relatively small market that would produce relatively low premium, kind of sets the tone. Well, now the war has been defined and the battles are becoming clearer…

…Bottom line. Life insurance companies make big money and for them to cut and run from children just because it might not make them more big bucks, or because they really haven't done their homework and aren't interested in doing it, isn't acceptable. Game on! I hope we can make a good showing, at the very least - hit one out of the park for the fans. Thanks for inviting me to play, Ed!
Premiums for employer-based health insurance have risen 6.1 percent in 2007, down from a 7.7 percent increase a year earlier, according to an annual survey of about 2,000 employers by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group.

But despite the slowdown in premium increases, the cost for family coverage has risen 78 percent since 2001, while wages rose 19 percent and prices for goods and services have risen 17 percent in that period, according to the report.

"Even though the rate of increase is moderating a little bit, nobody is celebrating, because it's year after year of increases," the foundation's president, Drew Altman, said.

The findings come days after the government unexpectedly said U.S. employers cut 4,000 jobs in August, the first drop in four years. The moderation in premium rises comes amid robust economic growth, but that is seen threatened if growth stalls.

Insulin for Type II Diabetes Makes Things Worse

Insulin works less effectively when people eat fatty foods or gain weight. Diets containing less fat improve insulin sensitivity, as does weight loss.1 An individual who is overweight requires more insulin, whether he or she is diabetic or not. In fact, giving overweight diabetic people even more insulin makes them sicker by promoting weight gain. They become even more diabetic. How does this process work? Our pancreas secretes the amount of insulin demanded by the body. A person of normal weight with about a third of an inch of periumbilical fat will secrete X amount of insulin. Let’s say this person gains about twenty pounds of fat. His body will now require more insulin, almost twice as much, because fat on the body blocks the uptake of insulin into the cells.

If the person is obese, with more than fifty pounds of additional fat weight, his body will demand huge loads of insulin from the pancreas, even as much as ten times more than a person of normal weight needs. So what do you think happens after five to ten years of forcing the pancreas to work so hard? You guessed it — pancreatic poop-out.

The pancreas begins to secrete less insulin, in spite of the huge demands of the body. Eventually, with less insulin available to move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, the glucose level in the blood starts to rise and the person gets diagnosed with diabetes. In most cases, these individuals are still secreting an excessive amount of insulin (compared with a person of normal weight), just not enough for them. When they eat a less taxing diet and lose weight, they don’t need the extra insulin to control the sugars.

What this means is that typical Type II diabetes is caused by overweight in individuals who have a smaller reserve of insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. In the susceptible individual, even ten to twenty pounds of excess weight could make the difference. Losing the extra weight enables these individuals to live within the capabilities of their body. Most Type II diabetics still produce enough insulin to maintain normalcy as long as they maintain a thinner, normal weight.

Following a vegetable-based nutrient-dense diet is the most important thing a diabetic individual can do to extend his or her life span. It has been known for years that intentional weight loss improves diabetics’ blood sugars, lipids, and blood pressure. A recent study documented a significant increase in life expectancy, with an average of 25 percent reduced premature mortality when diabetic individuals dropped their body weight.2 Imagine the results when a program of nutritional excellence achieves the weight loss.

Insulin is a dangerous drug for Type II diabetics. These are people who are overweight to begin with. Insulin therapy will result in further weight gain, accelerating their diabetes. A vicious cycle begins that usually causes patients to require more and more insulin as they put on the pounds. When they come to see me for the first time, they report their sugars are impossible to control in spite of massive doses of insulin, which they are now combining with oral medication. It is like walking around with a live hand grenade in your pocket ready to explode at any minute.
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Grand Rounds: Healthcare Innovations and New Technologies

Saturated Fat: Watch It!

Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of saturated fat. Just ask him. He’ll tell you firsthand. Saturated fat is bad news, and, the respected medical community agrees. From Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally:
There are literally hundreds of respected scientific studies that demonstrate that as animal products increase in a population's diet, cholesterol levels soar and the occurrence of heart disease increases proportionally with the increase in animal product intake.1 Saturated fat is the element of the modern diet that shows the most powerful association in these medical research studies with high cholesterol and premature death from heart attacks.2
Dr. Fuhrman also points out that saturated fats are a major contributor to cancer. He talks about it in Eat to Live, and, he lists the foods most packed with saturated fat. Take a look:
Some naturally occurring fats are called saturated fats because all the carbon are single bonds. These fats are solid at room temperature and are generally recognized as a significant cause of both heart disease and cancer. Saturated fats are found mainly in meat, fowl, eggs, and dairy. Coconut and palm oil are largely saturated and are also not desirable. The foods with the most saturated fat are butter, cream, and cheese.
Now, if all this isn’t daunting enough. New research claims that even a small splurge on saturated fat isn’t good for you—surprise-surprise. Kathleen Doheny of HealthDay News reports:
A recent study by researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia found just that reaction after 14 trial participants, all healthy and between the ages of 18 and 40, ate just one piece of high-fat carrot cake and drank a milkshake.

That fat-laden feast compromised the ability of the participants' arteries to expand to increased blood flow, the researchers found. The sudden boost in what's known as saturated fat hampered the effects of so-called "good" cholesterol, the high-density lipoprotein or HDL, from doing its job -- to protect the inner lining of the arteries from inflammatory agents that promote the build-up of fatty plaques. It's this plaque that, over time, clogs blood vessels and causes heart disease.

"Saturated-fat meals might predispose to inflammation of, and plaque buildup in, the vessels," said study leader Dr. David Celermajer, Scandrett professor of cardiology at the Heart Research Institute and the Department of Cardiology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Celermajer's team had the volunteers eat two meals, spaced one month apart. Each meal consisted of a slice of carrot cake and a milkshake. But, in one case the foods were made with saturated fat, and in the other case the meal was made with polyunsaturated safflower oil, a much healthier choice.
Really makes you wonder how so many charlatans work up the gall to hock dangerous high-protein, high-saturated fat diets—shame on them! Dr. Fuhrman elaborates in the Short and Long-Term Dangers of High-Fat Diets:
These high-proteins strongly forbid refined carbohydrates, junk food, and the nutritionally depleted white pasta, white rice, and bread that most Americans consume in large quantities. That is the good part. They also frequently recommend that the dieter consume hundreds of dollars of nutritional supplements each month, Sure, the supplements are better than nothing on such an unbalanced diet, but they do not make it safe…

… High-fat diets are unquestionably associated with obesity, and eating meat actually correlates with weight gain, not weight loss, unless you radically cut carbs from your diet to maintain chronic ketosis.1 Researchers from the American Cancer Society followed 79,236 individuals over ten years and found that those ate meat more than three times per week were much more likely to gain weight as the years went by than those who tended to avoid meat.2 The more vegetables the participants ate, the more resistant they were to weight gain.
I guess as is the case with a lot of dietary woes, emotional attachments to food just keep sucking people in—boohoo, just put the burger down and get on with your life!
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Fat and Refined Carbohydrates: Married to Your Waist

The body converts food fat into body fat quickly and easily: 100 calories of ingested fat can be converted to 97 calories of body fat by burning a measly 3 calories. Fat is an appetite stimulant: the more you eat, the more you want. If a food could be scientifically engineered to create an obese society, it would have fat, such as butter, mixed with sugar and flour.

The combination of fat and refined carbohydrates has an extremely powerful effect on driving the signals that promote fat accumulation on the body. Refined foods cause a swift and excessive rise in blood sugar, which in turn triggers insulin surges to drive the sugar out of the blood and into our cells. Unfortunately, insulin also promotes the storage of fat on the body and encourages your fat cells to swell.

As more fat is packed away on the body, it interferes with insulin uptake into our muscle tissues. Our pancreas then senses that the glucose level in the bloodstream is still too high and pumps out even more insulin. A little extra fat around our midsection results in so much interference with insulin’s effectiveness that two to five times as much insulin may be secreted in an overweight person than in a thin person.

The higher level of insulin in turn promotes more efficient conversion of our caloric intake into body fat, and this vicious cycle continues. People get heavier and heavier as time goes on.

Eating refined carbohydrates—as opposed to complex carbohydrates in their natural state—causes the body’s “set point” for body weight to increase. Your “set point” is the weight the body tries to maintain through the brain’s control of hormonal messengers. When you eat refined fats (oils) or refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar, the fat-storing hormones are produced in excess, raising the set point. To further compound the problem, because so much of the vitamin and mineral content of these foods has been lost during processing, you naturally crave more food to make up for the missing nutrients.

Veggie Music Man

I don’t have any idea what he’s talking about, but, he sure makes beautiful music. Enjoy:

Yeah, I admit. It is a little creepy.

Superior Seasonal Servings

Vanilla Autumn Soup
1/2 cup dried lentils
6 cups carrot juice
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
3/4 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 cup small broccoli florets
1 small zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup blanched almonds, reserving 1/8 cup
4 pitted dates
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened soy milk
1 tablespoon raw almond butter
5 cups organic baby spinach
Place lentils, carrot juice, kale, butternut squash, broccoli, and zucchini in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, blend almonds, dates, applesauce, vanilla, soymilk, and almond butter in a high powered blender until smooth. Pour into soup pot with tender vegetables. Stir for a few minutes to combine. Sprinkle reserved chopped almonds for garnish. Transfer soup into powerful blender and blend until soup is smooth. Pour back into soup pot and add spinach. Heat until spinach wilts. Serves 6.

Summer Fresh Tomato Avocado Soup

6 large fresh tomatoes, quartered and seeded
1 avocado
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest
1/2 teaspoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup carrot juice
1/2 bunch fresh basil
Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve topped with chopped fresh basil. Serves 2.

Cream of Winter Soup

4 cups frozen butternut squash
2 apples, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest
1 teaspoon curry powder
5 cups carrot juice
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup raw Brazil nuts
1 teaspoon cardamom
Cover and cook squash, apples, kale, and onions in vinegar, VegiZest, curry powder and carrot juice for 30 minutes or until kale is very tender. Puree 1/2 of chunky soup in blender with soy milk and Brazil nuts. Add back to rest of soup liquid. If desired, cardamon may be stirred in. Serves 6.

Tuesday: Health Points

Four years ago, Arkansas became the first state in the nation to track the number of overweight students in its schools. School officials say it has helped improve the state's childhood obesity rate.

A new report released Monday shows that while obesity is still a problem, the obesity rate in Arkansas's school children isn't rising.

State health officials said last year's mandatory BMI — body mass index — screenings showed that 20.6 percent of tested schoolchildren were overweight, while 17.2 percent were risk for being overweight, about the same figures as the previous year.
  • Here’s a cool veggie slideshow Dr. Fuhrman sent over the other day. Check it out, it’s over at MSN:
More and more consumers -- new mothers are leading the pack -- are expressing concern about potentially toxic chemicals in plastic products. Baby blogs are abuzz with warnings about chemicals in baby bottles and toys. Retailers say that demand for glass baby bottles is higher than it's been in decades and that shoppers are snatching up bottles and training cups made from plastics without bisphenol A. California lawmakers have taken notice: Last week, the state Legislature passed a bill to ban certain phthalates in plastic items meant for children younger than 3.

Recent widely publicized studies have shown that plastics are not only ubiquitous in the environment (marine researchers have shown that plastic debris outweighs zooplankton in remote parts of the Pacific), but are found in the bodies of nearly all Americans too. Scientists have hypothesized that chemicals in certain plastics may be linked to such conditions as asthma and even obesity. But most of the research, and the strongest evidence, points to effects that certain plastics chemicals appear to exert on the reproductive system. Findings are still considered preliminary (existing studies are small and few), but reports are enough to make consumers ask: Are plastics safe?
Researchers studying the enzyme that converts starch to simple sugars like glucose have found that people living in countries with a high-starch diet produce considerably more of the enzyme than people who eat a low-starch diet.

The reason is an evolutionary one. People in high-starch countries have many extra copies of the amylase gene which makes the starch-converting enzyme, a group led by George H. Perry of Arizona State University and Nathaniel J. Dominy of the University of California, Santa Cruz, reported yesterday in the journal Nature Genetics.

The production of the extra copies seems to have been favored by natural selection, according to a genetic test, the authors say. If so, the selective pressure could have occurred when people first started to grow cereals like wheat and barley at the beginning of the Neolithic revolution some 10,000 years ago, or even much earlier.
Jensen's Old Fashioned Smokehouse Inc. is recalling two smoked-salmon spread products because they may be contaminated with bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes.

The recall includes 480 7-ounce plastic tubs of Jensen's Seattle Style Wild Smoked Salmon Spread Lemon Dill and Onion and 132 7-ounce plastic tubs of PCC brand Smoked Salmon Spread allnatural.

The products were distributed in Western Washington retail stores, the Seattle company said.

The Jensen's wild smoked-salmon spread in question is coded "sell By 10/14/07 and 10/15/07" and the PCC brand Smoked Salmon Spread all-natural is coded "sell By 9/29/07."

The company said no illnesses have been confirmed.
Some researchers have suspected that low levels of vitamin D contribute to the disorder, which is characterized by soaring blood pressure and swelling of the hands and feet, but the new study is the first to examine its role directly.

Pre-eclampsia affects as many as 7 percent of first pregnancies and can progress to eclampsia, which produces seizures and often-fatal complications of the liver, kidneys, lungs, blood and nervous system. Eclampsia causes 15 percent of maternal deaths during pregnancy and as many as 70 percent of such deaths in developing countries.

Epidemiologist Lisa M. Bodnar and her colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health Sciences studied blood samples taken from women and newborns early in pregnancy and just before delivery. They identified 15 women who suffered pre-eclampsia and compared them with 220 who did not.
The Food and Drug Administration opened a two-day meeting to collect comments from food companies, trade groups, watchdog organizations, medical experts and its overseas counterparts on the topic. Any action is likely years away.

Some food manufacturers and retailers already have begun labeling foods with symbols to indicate how nutritious they are. PepsiCo uses the “Smart Spot” symbol on diet Pepsi, baked Lay’s chips and other products. Hannaford Bros., a New England supermarket chain, uses a zero to three-star system to rate more than 25,000 food items it sells. And in Britain, the government has persuaded some food companies to use a “traffic light” symbol. That ranking system relies on green, yellow and red lights to characterize whether a food is low, medium or high in fat, salt and sugar.
Fairbank Farms, a U.S. ground beef producer, said on Wednesday it is voluntarily recalling beef patties sold to Shaw's Supermarkets in New England because of concerns about bacterial contamination.

Fairbank Farms said the patties could have been purchased by consumers in that area on Wednesday between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Madeleines and Memories - Carnival of the Recipes

Check it out over at Food History.

Food Additives and Hyper Kids

Hyper kids, a nightmare for a lot of parents. But what makes kids so hyper? I wonder. Wait, perhaps the food they eat has something to do with it? No! You don’t say. Researchers claim that food additives might fuel hyperactivity in children. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:
The findings have already caused the British government's Food Standards Agency, which funded the study, to issue a warning to parents about food additives.

"Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an increasingly common problem, and theories abound to account for that," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine. "Among them is the notion that food additives induce hyperactivity."

Despite this apparent connection, Katz cautioned that the increasing number of children with ADHD cannot be blamed on food additives alone.

"No one factor is solely responsible for rising rates of ADHD," Katz said. "Along with the hazards of a highly processed food supply, children are getting less and less physical activity as a means of dissipating their native rambunctiousness."
So, where do all these food additives reside? I’ll give you a hint. Not in the wholesome, nutrient-rich food Mother Nature designed. Nope! You’ll only find them in the over-processed nutrient-sparse junk food so many parents cram down their kids’ throats. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
Not only do processed foods and fast foods often contain dangerous trans fats and other additives, but they also can have high levels of acrylamides. When processed foods are baked and fried at high temperatures, these cancer-causing chemical compounds are produced. Many processed foods, such as chips, french fries, and sugar-coated breakfast cereals, are rich in acrylamides.
With this being said, the next time you hear someone complaining about how nutty their kid is, you should frisk them for cookies and fruit-snacks—alright you, spread’em!

High Blood Sugar Bad for Leukemia

The Cancer Blog passes on research linking high blood sugar with increased mortality in leukemia patients:
High blood sugar levels increase the rate of in-hospital deaths by almost 40 percent in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to a study published in Cancer and led by Dr. Naeem Ali and colleagues at Ohio State. This effect was seen even in patients with mild increases in blood sugar levels.

The risk of developing sepsis was increased among such patients with hyperglycemia, according to the team, however, sepsis alone did not explain the relationship between the high blood sugar and increased mortality risk.
The Diabetes Blog also had an interesting post on blood sugar and cancer a few months ago.

Your Teeth, Your Heart

A new study claims tooth-loss can lead to heart disease. Amy Norton of Reuters has more:
The findings, reported in the journal Heart, add to evidence linking oral health to heart health. A number of studies have suggested that gum disease may contribute to heart disease over time -- though it's still not clear that there is a cause-and-effect relationship.

This latest study involved more than 12,000 UK adults who were followed from college onward, for up to 57 years. Researchers found that those with a large number of missing teeth in young adulthood -- nine or more -- were one-third more likely to die of heart disease than their peers with fewer than five missing teeth.

The link remained when the researchers considered factors such as socioeconomic background and smoking, which harms both the teeth and gums and the heart.

Tooth loss is an indicator of poor oral health. Scientists speculate that the bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease may enter the bloodstream and either damage the blood vessel lining directly or trigger inflammation in the body that then contributes to heart disease.
For more not-so-ordinary causes of heart problems, check out these posts:

CDC Says, Eat Your Veggies

Madeline Vann of HealthDay News reports, the CDC wants families to eat more fruits and veggies:
According to the CDC, 90 percent of Americans do not meet the daily recommendation for fruit and vegetable consumption, even though the data shows people are aware of the health benefits of eating their greens. Most people need to double the amount they eat now to meet the latest dietary guidelines.

The Produce for Better Health Foundation and the CDC are teaming up during the back-to-school season to increase awareness of the importance of eating produce. The effort is part of the Fruit & Veggies More Matters campaign. That effort was launched in March in partnership with The Culinary Institute of America, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and others.

The goal of the campaign is to encourage Americans to consume more fruits and vegetables in all forms -- cooked, fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and juiced. More than 23,000 supermarkets support the campaign, which is also mentioned on the produce packaging of more than 170 companies.

Dog Hate Banana

This dog really-really doesn’t like bananas:

Eating to Live on the Outside: Hobee's California Restaurants

Honestly, I’m not going to act surprised anymore. I’m just going to say it. Most American eateries are epicenters of low-nutrient, disease-causing food—period! And Hobee’s is just another in the long list of offenders. So, as is often the case, this week is going to be rough—argh!

Hoebee’s menu is packed with typical standard American garbage foods—not sure what those are? Mostly over-stuffed greasy omelets, char-cooked burgers, ooey-gooey cheese dishes, and plenty of sweets, to name a few. No doubt, this isn’t going to be easy. Alright, let’s give it a try.

Well, I had to skip five sections of the menu before I found some thing with potential. That’d be the Seasonal Fresh Fruit Plate; basically a plate of fruit served with a strawberry yogurt sauce. Minus the sauce, it’s a safe option. Not sure how excited I’d be to overpay for fresh fruit, but in a pinch, it’d work. The Oatmeal with either bananas or blueberries would work too, provided it’s not made with milk. If these don’t wet you’re taste buds you could always give the Breakfast Quesadilla or the Cheesey Scramble a whirl—not!

Now let’s look at the salads. For starters, it’s worth mentioning that Hobee’s offers an all-you-eat salad bar. This is Hobee’s saving grace and without looking at the rest of the menu, I can say with confidence. This is your best bet. Personally, I’d go with the salad bar and quit trying to make the unhealthy healthy. But, I’m a glutton for punishment, so, I’ll proceed. The Embarcadero Salad and the Mediterranean Salad both look good, but, both need augmenting. Together they include grilled chicken, pears, apples, walnuts, dried fruit, Bleu cheese, raspberry vinaigrette, spring mix salad, roasted vegetables, olives, beans, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, Feta cheese, and Balsamic vinaigrette. Okay, the cheese, chicken, and olives are out, limit that dressing, and either one is looking good. One or the other would work for me, but I’m leaning towards the Mediterranean.

Outside the salads, they’re a few more things I’d consider ordering, but just to reiterate. I prefer the salad bar over any of this. But for giggles, I’d also give the Portabello Ciabatta Sandwich a try; made with grilled portabello mushroom, roasted red pepper, fresh spinach, avocado, Swiss cheese, Ciabatta bread, and sundried tomato butter. Well, the clearly the bread is the concession, and, the butter and the cheese are toast—as in gone! Not terrible, but not great either.

If a sandwich isn’t to your liking, try the Seven Veggie Medley. It comes with at least seven vegetables, grilled tofu, and your choice of tomato-basil, classic basil, chipotle pesto, or teriyaki glaze served over brown rice pilaf. Alright, I’m pretty sure there’s a fair amount of oil in this, so that’s a problem. Also, rice pilaf has pasta in it—that’s a concession. I guess this could work if you’re in the right mood. I’m not thrilled about it.

Finally, if I were willing to make a pasta-concession, I might flirt with the Salmon Fettuccine; includes fettuccine, salmon, mushrooms, spinach, chopped tomatoes, garlic, capers, lemon, herbs, and olive oil. Luckily salmon is a safer fish to eat, so that’s not a big deal, but capers are salty so they’re out and all that olive oil makes me nervous. So, if I was really feeling daring I might order this, but I’d have to at least ditch the capers.

Okay, despite these options. Hobee’s is really bad news. If you’re a responsible Eat to Liver and you have a choice, avoid Hoebee’s. Granted, the salad bar is great, but what’s the point of paying all that money for salad—you’re better off staying at home. Now that’s just my opinion. It’s you’re turn. Check out Hoebee’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Send an email to or make a comment. Happy eating!

Weight-Loss: What if I Have a Slow Metabolic Rate?

Your body weight may be affected slightly by genetics, but that effect is not strong. Furthermore, I am convinced that inheriting a slow metabolic rate with a tendency to gain weight is not a flaw or defect but rather a genetic gift that can be taken advantage of. How is this possible? A slower metabolism is associated with longer life span in all species of animals. It can be speculated that if one lived sixty thousand or just a few hundred years ago, a slower metabolic rate might have increased our survival opportunity, since getting sufficient calories was difficult. For example, the majority of Pilgrims that arrived on our shores on the Mayflower died that first winter.1 They could not make or find enough food to eat, so only those with the genetic gift of a slow metabolic rate survived.

As you can see, it is not always bad to have a slow metabolic rate. It can be good. Sure, it is bad in today’s environment of relentless eating and when consuming a high-calorie, low-nutrient diet. Sure, it will increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease and cancer, given today’s food consumption patterns. However, if correct food choices are made to maintain a normal weight, the individual with a slower metabolism may age more slowly.

Our body is like a machine. If we constantly run the machinery at high speed, it will wear out faster. Since animals with slower metabolic rates live longer, eating more calories, which drives up our metabolic rate, will cause us only to age faster. Contrary to what you may have heard and read in the past, our goal should be the opposite: to eat less, only as much as we need to maintain a slim and muscular weight, and no more, so as to keep our metabolic rate relatively slow. So stop worrying about your slower metabolic rate. A slower metabolic rate from dieting is not the primary cause of your weight problem. Keep these three important points in mind:
1. Resting metabolic rates do decline slightly during periods of lower caloric intake, but not enough to significantly inhibit weight loss.

2. Resting metabolic rates return to normal soon after caloric intake is no longer restricted. The lowered metabolic rate does not stay low permanently and make future dieting more difficult.

3. A sudden lowering of the metabolic rate from dieting does not explain the weight gain/loss cycles experienced by many overweight people. These fluctuations in weight are primarily from going on and getting off diets. It is especially difficult to stay with a reduced-calorie diet when it never truly satisfies the individual’s biochemical need for nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals.2
Those with a genetic tendency to overweight may actually have the genetic potential to outlive the rest of us. The key to their successful longevity lies in their choosing a nutrient-rich, fiber-rich, lower-calorie diet, as well as getting adequate physical activity. By adjusting the nutrient-per calorie density of your diet to your metabolic rate, you can use your slow metabolism to your advantage. When you can maintain a normal weight in spite of a slow metabolism, you will be able to achieve significant longevity.
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Fruits and Veggies...Alive!

Here’s a creative video starring real fruits and vegetables. Too bad the video quality is a little iffy. Anyway, it’s still worth a look:

Friday: Health Points

In just under 2 percent of these patients, the mild knee arthritis was accompanied by non-small cell lung cancer. All patients were middle-aged men who had been heavy smokers for most of their lives. Once the cancer tissue was surgically removed, the knee pain cleared up as well.

About 85 percent of all lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Unless it is caught early, non-small cell lung cancer is difficult to treat. It spreads to the bones in one in five cases and is well advanced by the time it is diagnosed in half of all cases.
Mmm mmm, this is about as easy a freebie you'll ever see and I encourage you to take advantage of it before 11:59pm on September 29, 2007. But don't wait until the last minute because only one million of these coupons will be distributed and then they are gone…

…Easy peasy and it's FREE FOOD! If you ask for the chicken to be chargrilled without the bun, then they'll give you plenty of greens to wrap it in. And the Diet Coke can be replaced with unsweetened tea if you'd like that better.
After the salmonella strain, Salmonella Schwarzengrund, was detected in two dogs in the homes of two of the ill persons, and in unopened bags of dog food produced by Mars Petcare in the Everson plant in Fayette County, the company voluntarily recalled two brands Aug. 21. The plant was closed last week for inspection and cleaning. Officials from the company could not be reached to update the plant's status.

Further investigation of the outbreak is a collaboration between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health officials in the affected states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The break in the case -- tracing human sickness to dog food -- was made by Pennsylvania investigators, led by Dr. Stephen Ostroff, director of the bureau of epidemiology at the state Health Department.
San Francisco's Mayor Newsom, is supporting better nutrition options at schools with a $500,000 grant to the SFUSD Student Nutrition Services (SNS). What will be done with the money? SNS is planning to install salad bars at 25 SF schools this year, including three schools with Urban Sprouts gardens: June Jordan School for Equity, Excelsior Middle School and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.
Researchers for the first time used the National Cancer Data Base, a tumor registry maintained by the American College of Surgeons, to explore these issues, using more than 170,000 cases diagnosed in 1998. Ten percent were in black women.

The study focused on the 95,500 women whose cancers were invasive rather than still confined to a milk duct. About 39 percent of such tumors in black women were estrogen receptor-negative, or ER-negative, compared with 22 percent of those in white women.

Estrogen helps tumors grow. Drugs that block this hormone, like tamoxifen and a newer class of medications called aromatase inhibitors, work against these cancers.
This characterization of the 1918 pandemic virus (serotype H1N1) as "swine flu" came back to haunt us in 1976, when H1N1 caused the death of a solider at Fort Dix, New Jersey and triggered a mass vaccination campaign here in the U.S. (with its subsequent fallout). Since then, sporadic human cases of swine influenza have been reported, either clincally (such as this one in Iowa earlier this year, or subclinically, as described in this research. Now in Ohio, they're looking to see whether swine flu has again jumped into humans. More after the jump.
After analyzing a year’s worth of sales data, Hannaford found that customers tended to buy leaner cuts of meat. Sales of ground beef with stars on their labels increased 7 percent, and sales of chicken that had a star rating rose 5 percent. Sales of ground beef labeled with no stars dropped by 5 percent, while sales of chicken that had a zero-star rating declined 3 percent.

Similarly, sales of whole milk, which received no stars, declined by 4 percent, while sales of fat-free milk (three stars) increased 1 percent.

Sales of fruits and vegetables, however, remained about the same as they did before the ratings were introduced. All fresh produce received stars.
The frequency of hot flashes among the women decreased 50 percent over six weeks. Flaxseed contains lignans and omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans have weak estrogen characteristics. Dr. Pruthi cautions that this was a pilot study and further study in a large, randomized placebo-controlled study may not turn out such results.
  • Not sure what to say about this one, but, get a load—a big load—of China’s newest pop-stars. Brace yourself. Maureen Fan of The Washington Post reports:
On stage, however, the four members of a singing group known as Qian Jin Zu He are strong and confident, belting out their signature rap song, "So What If I'm Fat," passing out photographs of themselves and signing autographs.

The lead singer, 26-year-old Xiao Yang, is 375 pounds; the others in the group are between about 200 and 300 pounds. Together, they tour the country, performing at nightclubs, paint factories, garment industry conventions and shopping malls.

Their success has been modest, but given the powerful discrimination against the obese in China, Xiao said her discovery by a talent agent has been "like a tree branch saving me in the water."

Bipolar Disorder: Another Brick in the Wall

Maybe the Pink Floyd song should go, “Hey doctors…we don’t need your medication.” Denise Gellene of The Los Angeles Times reports bipolar disorder may be over-diagnosed in youths:
The report in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry said bipolar disorder was found in 1,003 of every 100,000 office visits from children and adolescents in 2002-03, compared with 25 of 100,000 office visits in 1994-95.

The diagnosis of bipolar disorder among adults increased twofold during the same period, researchers said.

The study didn't investigate the reasons for the sudden rise in bipolar cases among children and adolescents. A book published in 2000, "The Bipolar Child," made the controversial assertion that one-third to one-half of children with depression had bipolar disorder.

Dr. Mark Olfson, a psychiatrist at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and senior author of the latest study, said part of the increase was attributable to an under-diagnosis of bipolar disorder in the past.

But Olfson said another reason was the mislabeling of children and adolescents with aggressive or irritable behaviors as bipolar, an illness that is treated with powerful psychotropic medications, many of which have not been tested in children.
I’ve got plenty of little cousins and I can I tell you firsthand. At least half of them are hopped up, a scary reality and perhaps, all too common. Here’s what Dr. Fuhrman had to say about this:
I don’t know, but I am always suspicious of all these diseases that are increasing in the last 20 to 30 years with our chemicalized, drugged, medicated, polluted, and nutrition-less toxic food environment. Soon almost all kids will be on medications for something.
For more on this sort of issue, check out these posts:
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Shaping Up School Cafeterias

Sometimes I wonder, how did America get so fat? And then, I just walk through the typical supermarket; up and down the isles, lots of junk and convenience foods. In Eat to Live, Dr. Fuhrman explains this—coupled with lack of exercise—is what’s making us fat. Take a look:
Nationally recognized food surveys, such as the National Food Consumption Survey and the National Health and Nutrition Survey, indicate that Americans consume somewhere between 34 and 37 percent of their calories from fat.1 Americans are still eating a very high fat diet. The reason for the rise in obesity in America is no mystery: we eat a high-calorie, high-fat diet. We are eating more meals outside the home, relying more heavily on convenience foods, and consuming larger food portions. Consistent with trends in weight, caloric intake rose 15 percent between 1970 and 1994.2 The data actually shows increased consumption of junk food, fat, and calories in recent years.3

Weight has increased in America simply because total calorie consumption has risen and activity or exercise has fallen. Our diets are more nutrient-deficient than ever.
And as we know, this stuff has infiltrated our schools; vending machines, tatter tots, and ice cream. But lately, there’s been a concerted to straighten up our school cafeterias. So, how’s it going? Andrew Martin of The New York Times investigates the state of school food:
Food and beverage companies have scrambled to offer healthier alternatives in school cafeterias and vending machines, and some of the changes have been met with a shrug by students. The whole-wheat chocolate-chip cookies? “Surprisingly, the kids have kind of embraced them,” said Laura Jacobo, director of food services at Woodlake Union schools in California.

But some parents say that by cracking down on cupcakes in the classroom to celebrate birthdays and Halloween, school officials have crossed a line.

On top of the practical question of how PTAs and drill teams can raise the money that will no longer be earned with bake sales, there is a matter closer to the heart, where the cupcake holds strong as a symbol of childhood innocence and parental love.

“I remember growing up and a birthday party was a big deal when you got to bring a treat,” said Amy Joswick, who has two children in elementary school in Old Bridge, N.J., where cupcakes are not allowed at birthday parties. “I don’t agree with it because as a whole, parents should be monitoring what they are eating. It should start at home.”

Parents in Texas lobbied to get a “Safe Cupcake Amendment” added to the state’s nutrition policy. The measure, which passed, ensures that parents may bring frosted treats to schools for celebrations.
Here’s a question. Why do birthdays have to be associated with sweet treats and other junk food? I don’t know, I’m not a parent. Maybe if kids were learning good eating habits at home, they wouldn’t be tempted by the junk at school. Check out these tips from Disease-Proof Your Child:
1. Keep only healthy food in the house. Every person in the household should have the same food choices available.

2. Offer and feed a wholesome diversity of natural foods, vegetables, beans, raw nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit, while giving each child as much latitude as possible to eat what they prefer.

3. Don't attempt to manage your children's caloric intake. They can do that on their own.

4. If you, as parents, do not demonstrate proper respect for your own bodies by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and engaging in other healthful lifestyle practices, don't expect your children to do any better than you, now or in the future.

5. Educate your children about their nutritional needs and the importance of eating healthfully. Start this when they are young and continue to reinforce their learning, as they will be exposed to more toxic food choices as they get older and spend more time out of their home.
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Smoking Down, Heart Attacks Down

It seems Ireland’s ban on smoking has helped the number of heart attacks nosedive. More from The Cardio Blog:
Ireland was the first country to every ban workplace smoking within its borders, and they implemented the law in 2004. Within one year, the incidence of heart attacks fell by a whopping 10%. Health experts say that Ireland's success should be encouraging for other countries thinking of similar laws.

Popcorn Lung Disease?

Here’s a weird one. Parent Dish is all over a warning that microwave buttered popcorn heightens the risk of lung disease. Check it out:
A pulmonary specialist at Denver's National Jewish Medical and Research Center thinks exposure to the fumes from microwave butter popcorn might be the cause of lung disease in one of her patients. She sent a letter to several federal agencies expressing her concerns. "We cannot be sure that this patient's exposure to butter flavored microwave popcorn from daily heavy preparation has caused his lung disease," said Dr. Cecile Rose. "However, we have no other plausible explanation."

Apparently the patient, a unidentified man, consumed "several bags of extra butter flavored microwave popcorn" every day for several years. The ailing patient's condition improved when he stopped making the popcorn.

This may sound far-fetched, but it's not. So-called "popcorn lung" is a real disease that has resulted in lawsuits by workers in food factories who were exposed to diacetyl, a chemical used to create that buttery flavor.

Global Warming and Heart Health

Perhaps this is more evidence that our health is tied to the world around us. A new study claims global warming may threaten heart health. Maria Cheng of the Associated Press reports:
On the sidelines of the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting in Vienna this week, some experts said the issue deserves more attention. It's well-known that people have more heart problems when it's hot.

During the European heat wave in 2003, there were an estimated 35,000 deaths above expected levels in the first two weeks of August. In France alone, nearly 15,000 extra people died when temperatures soared. Experts say much of that was due to heart problems in the elderly worsened by the extreme heat.

The hardening of the heart's arteries is like rust developing on a car, said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University. "Rust develops much more quickly at warm temperatures and so does atherosclerosis," said Tomaselli, who is program chair at the American Heart Association.

A-Fib and Moderate Drinking

As a twenty-something with a social life, I can tell you firsthand, it’s very hard to completely avoid alcohol. As Fuhrman-unfriendly as it is, I do imbibe from time to time—now here’s the bad part. According to Dr. Fuhrman even moderate drinking can lead to problems. From Eat to Live:
It is much wiser to avoid the detrimental effects of alcohol completely and protect yourself from heart disease with nutritional excellence. For example, even moderate alcohol consumption is linked to higher rates of breast cancer and to occurrence of atrial fibrillation.1
And Dr. Fuhrman isn’t the only one talking about this. Recently he sent me this article—no, not as part of some intervention—talking about alcohol and the link between atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation. Bruce Jancin of Family Practice News reports on some interesting new research. Take a look:
The study involved 195 consecutive patients with AF or atrial flutter, two-thirds of whom were aged 60 years or younger, and 186 controls, three-quarters of whom had supraventricular tachycardia, while the rest were healthy. One in five of the participants was a regular drinker. Four-fifths of them fell within the 1–2 drinks per day category generally classified as moderate drinking, which is often recommended as cardioprotective.

After adjustment for potential confounders including age, gender, race, coronary artery disease, hypertension, and heart failure in a multivariate regression analysis, individuals aged 60 or younger with AF or atrial flutter who drank alcohol daily were 4.5 times more likely to have AF or atrial flutter compared with arrhythmia-free controls, and 2.5 times more likely to have AF or flutter compared with patients with supraventricular tachycardia.
Well, to my credit. The overriding reason why I keep my drinking to a minimum is because my long-term health is more important to me than a “good” time. Actually, I’d love to hear how all of you handle a healthy lifestyle and drinking. Please, do tell.
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Obese, Yet Iron-Deficient

There’s actually a chapter in Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live entitled “Overfed, Yet Malnourished.” This is an often overlooked symptom of our gluttonous society, but, a very real and very dangerous phenomenon. Now Dr. Fuhrman explains it much better than I can:
Medical investigations clearly show the dangers of consuming the quantity of processed foods that we do. And because these refined grains lack the fiber and nutrient density to turn down our appetite, they also cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and significantly increased cancer risk1…

…If you want to lose weight, the most important foods to avoid are processed foods: condiments, candy, snacks, and baked goods; fat-free has nothing to do with it. Almost all weight-loss authorities agree on this — you must cut out the refined carbohydrates, including bagels, pasta, and bread. As far as the human body is concerned, low-fiber carbohydrates such as pasta are almost as damaging as white sugar. Pasta is not health food — it is hurt food…

…Empty calories are empty calories. Cookies, jams, and other processed foods (even those from the health-food store) sweetened with “fruit juice” sound healthier but are just as bad as white sugar products. When fruit juice is concentrated and used as a sweetener, the healthy nutritional components are stripped away — what’s left is plain sugar. To your body, there is not much difference between refined sugar, fruit juice sweeteners, honey, fruit juice concentrate, or any other concentrated sweetener. Our sweet tooth has been put there by nature to have us enjoy and consume real fruit, not some imitation. Fresh-squeezed orange juice and other fresh fruit and vegetable juices are relatively healthy foods that contain the majority of the original vitamins and minerals. But the sweet fruit juices and even carrot juice should still be used only moderately, as they still contain a high concentration of sugar calories and no fiber.
So, when you consider that so many Americans gorge on low-nutrient high-calorie foods, you won’t find this next report all that surprising. According to new research obese children actually suffer from iron deficiency. Reuters reports:
It was the first time an association had been found between obesity and iron deficiency in children as young as 1, the researchers said, and they said junk food may be to blame.

"The reasons for the strong association in this age group are unclear and need to be elucidated," Dr. Jane Brotanek of the University of Texas and other researchers cautioned in their study, published in the journal Pediatrics.

"Dietary practices may play an important role since diets high in calories but poor in micronutrients may lead to both iron deficiency and overweight" children, they added.
When you start eating a nutrient-dense diet, you start evaluating foods differently. Personally, I don’t get too hung up on calorie content anymore. Rather, I pay close attention to the calorie-to-nutrients ratio—makes you really think twice about eating sweets!
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Vegetables Lost in Space

Well, you’ll either find this very funny, or, terribly painful. Either way, witness Dr. Smith from Lost in Space freak out on a veggie plant. Enjoy, or not:

Chocolate Smoothie Revolution

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
4 ounces organic baby spinach
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup cherry pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Cocoa Powder
1 cup frozen cherries
1 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
2 tablespoons Goji berries (optional)
If using a regular blender, liquefy the spinach with soy milk and juice. Add remaining ingredients and blend about 2 minutes until very smooth. If using a Vita-Mix, blend all at once. Serves 2.

Chocolate Pecan Smoothie
5 ounces organic baby spinach
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 banana
2 tablespoons raw pecans
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Cocoa Powder
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
First liquefy spinach in soy milk and pomegranate juice. Then add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serves 2.

Chocolate Smoothie
5 ounces organic baby spinach
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup soy milk
1 medium banana
3 medjool dates or 6 deglet noor dates
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
Blend all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender until smooth and creamy. Serves 2.

Wednesday: Health Points

China will clamp down on foods tainted with illegal and excessive chemicals as it seeks to quell domestic and foreign alarm about toxins in meat, seafood and vegetables, the country's top agriculture official said…

…Minister of Agriculture Sun Zhengcai said consumers had no reason to fear eating most of the nation's farm produce, while the nation's quality inspection agency announced comprehensive food export tagging in a bid to reassure customers.
A study of nearly 1,700 children in rural Missouri found that those who usually ate homegrown fruits and veggies had one full serving more a day than those who didn't and were more likely to prefer the types of produce that they grew at home.

You don't need to live in the country to garden with kids. If you'd like to test out your green thumb with your youngsters, you can try container gardening (here's a tip: hollowed out oranges or grapefruit make excellent bio-degradable containers), planting in a window box, or even digging a small plot like we did. The joy is in the digging, the planting, the getting dirty, and the time spent together, as well as fresh veggies all summer long.
One child in five will be obese in the Netherlands by 2015, according to a study carried out by the Nicis research institute in the country's major cities, the Dutch news agency ANP reported Tuesday.

Fewer than 10 percent of children in primary school manage to average half an hour exercise a day. Among teenagers, it is fewer than 30 percent.

As a result, by 2015 one Dutch child in five will be too heavy, Nicis found.
The study tracked the eating habits of more than two thousand people over a ten year period. Wow. The researchers also reported that those whose diets contained fiber from mainly cereal or fruit sources did not fare so well - they had a higher risk for type 2 diabetes than those getting lots of fiber from veggie sources. The reason could be that foods high in vegetable fiber produce smaller fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels than would cereal or fruits. Lead researcher, Alan Barclay, says legumes are the best fiber source of all.
One study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrated this in 2003. The study, which was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that eating protein-rich foods — like milk — decreased the ability of tryptophan to enter the brain.

The trick, the study showed, is to eat foods high in carbohydrates, which stimulate the release of insulin. Insulin, in turn, makes it easier for tryptophan to enter the brain.

But surveys have found that many people swear by milk as a sleep aid, and that may have something to do with psychology.
The interaction of vitamins and minerals in the body (synergy) can have a strong impact on the effectiveness of many of them, but this seems like an odd one to me. Nevertheless, lipid and ascorbic acid interaction was studied in terms of possible cancer contributions to the upper stomach area (which is sensitive to cancerous issues and tumor development).
A Consumer Reports magazine poll released July 25 of 3,048 parents who have children ages 5 to 17 found that 91% say childhood obesity is a problem in the USA. But of the parents of children whose body mass index (BMI) categorizes them as overweight, half say their kids weigh what they should.

Only 36% of the parents with heavy children say their physician has suggested their child lose weight; the other 64% say the doctor didn't mention it.

Many parents simply don't realize their children are overweight, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian in private practice in Chicago and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "The doctor never told them. Other kids in the class look like their child, and their kid seems pretty healthy," she says.
What can you do to lower your salt intake? You can eat fewer processed foods and become a savvy label reader. You can make more of your foods at home and use spices instead of salts to flavor food. When eating out, ask for unsalted foods and empty your salt shaker at home. You can even consider making your own bread, since bread and cereal products account for a large portion of our daily intake. Shoot for 1,500 to 2,400 mg of salt a day, which seems like a lot but is much lower than the 4,000 to 6,000 mg the average American eats today.

End of Summer Recipe Carnival

Grand Rounds 3.50 is Up!

Unhealthy Salads

Trust me, they do exist. Feast your eyes—and not your taste buds—on these junk salads over at Yahoo Health. Posted by Christine McKinney, MS, RD, CDE:
Not all salads are made the same, it takes some work by the consumer to figure out which restaurant salads are healthy choices. Let's compare the fat and calories in a few salads made by popular food outlets.
  • Taco Bell's Fiesta Salad® — 840 calories and 45 grams of fat
  • Macaroni Grill's Chicken Caesar Salad® — 920 calories and 69 grams of fat
  • Panera's Bistro Steak Salad® — 630 calories and 58 grams of fat
  • Applebee's Grilled Steak Caesar Salad® — 1,190 calories and 75 grams of fat
Compare the salads above to the infamous McDonald's Big Mac®, which has 540 calories and 29 grams of fat.
Unfortunately this kind of dietary treachery is rampant—especially when it comes to salad dressing! Dr. Fuhrman talks about it in Cholesterol Protection for Life:
I know you were told that olive oil is health food. It is not. Keep in mind, oil is processed food, it is not a natural whole food. Oils, even if they are monounsaturated, should not be health food because they are low in nutrients and contain 120 calories per tablespoon, promoting weight gain.

Sure, olive oil and almond oil are improvements over animal fats and margarine, but they still are a contributor to our overweight modern world. Overweight Americans consume and average of three tablespoons of oil in their daily diet, adding and extra 360 calories to their food each day. You need to reach a thinner, ideal weight to achieve maximum protection against heart disease and to reverse heart disease. Use oil, even olive oil sparingly or not at all; certainly, do not have more than one teaspoon per day.

As an alternative to oil, you can make great tasting salad dressings from raw nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pistachios and avocados.

Arsenic in the Water

Evidently arsenic in drinking water is much bigger deal than scientists have long thought. Get a load of this Reuters report:
Arsenic can cause lung disease and cancers, even long after people stop drinking contaminated water, said Peter Ravenscroft, a researcher at the University of Cambridge.

“What is new is, the extent of arsenic pollution is much bigger than people realized,” Mr. Ravenscroft said in a telephone interview.

“There is a very important connection between arsenic in water and arsenic in food, especially where people grow irrigated crops.”

World Health Organization guidelines set a safe limit of 10 parts per billion of arsenic in water supplies, but tens of millions of people in the world drink unsafe water above that level, researchers said.

Candy Smokes

The Cardio Blog brings up a very good point. Shouldn’t we stop hocking candy cigarettes to kids? Take a look:
I'll admit, when I was a kid, I was allowed to eat candy "cigarettes," those little sugar sticks with red tips that came in a box that looked like a pack of cigarettes ... or the gum that had powder under the wrapper so you could blow on it to create puffs of smoke. That was back in the day, and now that the dangers of smoking are so well known, I had assumed that these candies were no longer manufactured.

No such luck! Candy and gum resembling tobacco products are still available -- as I quickly found out when my 5 year old (who thinks smoking is gross) thought it was so cool to find a candy pack and tell me that he had cigarettes.

Dog Eat Carrot

Okay, we know this little dog loves carrots, but what about this big dog? I wonder. Take a look:

Surgery for Weight Reduction and Its Risks

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), wound problems and complications from blood clots are common aftereffects of gastric bypass and gastroplasty surgery. The NIH has also reported that those undergoing surgical treatment for obesity have had substantial nutritional and metabolic complications, gastritis, esophagitis, outlet stenosis, and abdominal hernias. More than 10 percent required another operation to fix problems resulting from the first surgery.1

Another tempting solution is liposuction. Studies show that liposuction begets a plethora of side effects, the main one being death! A recent survey of all 1,200 actively practicing North American board-certified plastic surgeons confirmed that there are about 20 deaths for every 100,000 liposuctions, whereas the generally acceptable mortality rate for elective surgery is 1 in 100,000.3 Compared with the 16.4 per 100,000 mortality rate of U.S. motor vehicle accidents, liposuction is not a benign procedure. Liposuction is dangerous.

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