Hide the Veggies?

I like a good practical joke, but, I’m pretty sure if someone messed with my food they’d wake up with a knot on their forehead. Now, in the spirit of Halloween, this article from The New York Times is all about tricking kids into eating healthy food. More from the Well blog:
Cookbooks that teach parents how to hide veggies in food have hit the best-seller lists. But is tricking your kids into eating vegetables really a good idea?


“Deceptively Delicious,” by celebrity wife Jessica Seinfeld, and “The Sneaky Chef,” by Missy Chase Lapine, both offer similar advice about secretly slipping veggies into meals. Both books suggest that parents purée healthy foods like spinach, cauliflower and sweet potatoes and hide them in kid foods like macaroni and cheese or brownies…

….Susan Roberts, director of the energy metabolism laboratory at Tufts University, says parents should aim to improve the quality of the food they serve their kids — making lasagne with vegetables and wholewheat pasta, for instance. But parents shouldn’t give up on serving plain and simple vegetables, even if they have already added pureed cauliflower to the mac and cheese.

“The point of burying veggies in foods, in my view, is not to cram in veggies secretly, but to make recipes healthier so that there isn’t such a huge metabolic difference between indulgent treats and vegetables,'’ said Dr. Roberts.
Honestly, this approach means well, but come on! Is this reliable? I’d say it’s a ridiculous waste of time. Instead, teach kids the joy of eating healthfully. Dr. Fuhrman’s book Disease-Proof Your Child is all about this sort of thing. Here’s a snippet:
Parents are entrusted with the responsibility of securing the selection of healthy foods for the family and preparing the food in a way that makes it desirable. Children are responsible for deciding how much they eat. If they are in an environmental of healthful foods they will have no problem regulating variety and timing. They can choose what they eat, when they eat, and if they will eat. Don’t use food as a reward or punishment. Don’t offer a treat because the child was good or ate well. Offer healthy treats as part of the normal well-balanced diet.


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.
Actually, Robin Quivers from The Howard Stern show touched on this a couple weeks ago and she also thought it was a total waste or time. And Robin would know! She recently took charge of her life and adopted a health-promoting vegetable-based diet. Congratulations Robin!

Stop Hiding, Go Veggie

Now, Dr. Fuhrman’s approach to diet is not necessarily vegan or vegetarian. Heck, just look at me. I’m an Eat to Liver and I eat fish and I know others who eat eggs and chicken. However there are certainly some advantages to going veggie. From Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:
The China Project confirmed that there were virtually no heart attacks in populations that consume a lifelong vegetarian diet and almost no heart attacks in populations consuming a diet that is rich in natural plant foods and receives less than 10 percent of its calories from animal foods.


My observation of the worldwide data is supported by studies of American vegetarians and nonvegetarians.1 These studies show that the major risk factors associated with heart disease — smoking, physical inactivity, and animal-product consumption — are avoidable. Every heart attack death is even more of a tragedy because it likely could have been prevented.
Pretty cool—right? Well, the coolness train isn’t about to pull out of the station anytime soon. Get a load of this from AlterNet, “15 Reasons to Stop Hiding from Vegetarianism.” Personally, I could never go total vegetarian—I love sushi too much! But check it out anyway:
1. You'll ward off disease. Vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States. But the mortality rate for cardiovascular disease is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, says Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. A vegetarian diet is inherently healthful because vegetarians consume no animal fat and less cholesterol and instead consume more fiber and more antioxidant-rich produce -- another great reason to listen to Mom and eat your veggies!


2. You'll keep your weight down. The standard American diet -- high in saturated fats and processed foods and low in plant-based foods and complex carbohydrates -- is making us fat and killing us slowly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a division of the CDC, the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A study conducted from 1986 to 1992 by Dean Ornish, MD, president and director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, found that overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept off that weight 5 years later. They lost the weight without counting calories or carbs and without measuring portions or feeling hungry.
And yes, it’s always cool to find Dr. Fuhrman quoted somewhere.

(via SoulVeggie)
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Eating and Headaches

When I was a kid I used to get a lot of headaches—not sure why—but ever since I upgraded my diet I NEVER get them anymore. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had one. I wonder why? Here’s Dr. Fuhrman on the subject:
The major cause of both tension headaches and migraines is the retention of toxins or tissue irritants within the central nervous system. These chemical irritants may cause an oversensitivity of nerve tissue to other stimuli. It has also been shown that tissue waste, such as nitric oxide and other irritating chemicals, can be released from both the nerves and blood vessels in the central nervous systems.1 These recent findings illustrate the biochemical players associated with detoxification in the central nervous systems. Withdrawal from toxins either taken orally or self-produced within the body is a form of detoxification. This merely means the body is actively engaged in an effort to lower the levels of waste retained in our cells. Sometimes this release of waste from cells can be painful; nevertheless, it has a positive benefit to the body. Our cells and the tissue they comprise must continually strive to maintain their purity to prevent early cellular degeneration and premature cell death.


The relationship between food triggers and migraines has been the subject of much debate, with varying results from medical researchers. Headache specialists such as Seymour Diamond, director of the Diamond Headache Clinic of Columbus Hospital, report that about 30 percent of patients can identify food triggers.2

My experience in treating migraine and severe-headache patients with a more comprehensive nutritional approach has shown that 90 to 95 percent of patients are able to remain headache-free after the first three-month period. These patients avoid common migraine triggers, but also in the healing phase they adhere to a strict natural-food vegan diet of primarily fruits and vegetables rich in natural starches like potatoes and brown rice. These patients must avoid all packaged and processed foods, which are notorious for containing hidden food additives, even though they are not disclosed on the labels. They also avoid all added salt.
Hungry for more headache info? Check out this post from The New York Times blog Domestic Disturbances. Here’s Judith Warner with The Migraine Diet:
All this because I had a migraine. In fact, I was on day six of a migraine that would, by day seven, have me dissolving into tears in between the taped segments of my radio show. (Think Holly Hunter. Think “Broadcast News.” The show went on, seamlessly.)


I was suffering like this because I was Taking Control of my life. I’d recently read “Heal Your Headache,” by the Johns Hopkins University neurologist David Buchholz. And now I was following his “1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain.”

In Dr. Buchholz’s view, chronic migraine sufferers like me — I average around seven to twelve headaches a month — are, very often, victims of their own past treatment successes. Triptans, the new-ish class of drugs that bind to serotonin receptors and can work wonders when taken early in migraine attacks, cause rebound headaches, he says, if you take them more than two days a month. So do over-the-counter painkillers and stronger stuff like codeine and oxycodone.

Step 1 in his plan, then, involves removing such “quick fix” drugs from your life. Step 2 is about recognizing your migraine “triggers” and removing the ones – like certain foods, alcohol and caffeine – that you can do something about. (As opposed to the ones – like changes in barometric pressure, work deadlines and mothers-in-law — that you can’t do anything about.) Step 3 is daily preventive medicine – but the idea, in Buchholz’s book, is that if you do well enough at Steps 1 and 2, you might not have to go to Step 3.
I’m not sure whether or not Dr. Fuhrman would agree with everything Dr. Buchholz’s is talking about, but, its good to see some attention being paid to diet as a cause of chronic headaches and migraines—don’t you think?
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Broccoli Takes on Skin Cancer

Green veggies don’t mess around. They are packed with nutrients! Just get a load of this chart:



And the nutrients in green vegetables are serious cancer-fighters. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Green vegetables have demonstrated the most dramatic protection against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage) contain a symphony of phytonutrients with potent anti-cancer effects.


Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens. These vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing estrogen activity.
Important recent studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables and the compounds they contain can do the following:
  • halt the growth of breast cancer cells1
  • dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer2
  • prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells3
  • inhibit the progression of lung cancer4
Now, check out this new report. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News reports that broccoli may help fight skin cancer:
Scientists have discovered that an extract of broccoli sprouts protects the skin against the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.


That's not the same as calling the extract a sunscreen, however.

"This is not a sunscreen, because it does not absorb the ultraviolet rays of the sun," explained Dr. Paul Talalay, a professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "We don't want people covering their bodies with broccoli and going to the beach. They will have no protection whatsoever."

Exposure to ultraviolet or UV rays is the primary cause of most skin cancers. The incidence of skin cancer in the United States is on the rise as men and women who had too many sunburns earlier in life get older and develop the disease.

Talalay started working on skin cancer prevention about 25 years ago. "Cells contain an elaborate network of protective genes that code for proteins that protect against four principal injurious processes to which all of our cells are exposed and which are the causes of cancer, degenerative disease and aging," he explained.
A bunch of green people on the beach would be funny, but we’ve heard this before. Remember this post from The Cancer Blog linking broccoli to cancer-protection. Here’s a bit:
The researchers are convinced that there is a biological mechanism behind the protective effect. It is explained in the article that a compound resulting from the digestion of cruciferous vegetables, and genistein, an isofavone in soy, reduce the two proteins needed for breast and ovarian cancer to spread…


…The study found that when cancer cells were treated with high levels of compounds found in broccoli and soy, the drawing mechanism to the organs was reduced by 80 percent compared to untreated cells.
For more on this topic, give these posts a whirl:
Oh! And if you like broccoli humor, you’ll enjoy these video posts:
Broccoli…hear it roar!

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Rocking to an Early Grave

Come on, all of us want to be a rock star. Let’s face it, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, and Joe Walsh—all cool! But, these cats are hardly the healthiest gents around. Get a load of this study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, entitled Elvis to Eminem:
Objective: This study measures survival rates of famous musicians (n = 1064) from their point of fame and compares them to matched general populations in North America and Europe.


Results: From 3 to 25 years post fame, both North American and European pop stars experience significantly higher mortality (more than 1.7 times) than demographically matched populations in the USA and UK, respectively. After 25 years of fame, relative mortality in European (but not North American) pop stars begins to return to population levels. Five-year post-fame survival rates suggest differential mortality between stars and general populations was greater in those reaching fame before 1980.

Conclusion: Pop stars can suffer high levels of stress in environments where alcohol and drugs are widely available, leading to health-damaging risk behaviour. However, their behaviour can also influence would-be stars and devoted fans. Collaborations between health and music industries should focus on improving both pop star health and their image as role models to wider populations.
Well, when you think about the likes of Motley Crew and The Doors it’s hard to say actually what these musicians should or shouldn’t be doing to improve and extend their lives, but, maybe these tips will help. Here are Dr. Fuhrman’s secrets to longevity, have a look:
Next time you’re at a concert, instead of waving a cigarette lighter in the air, maybe try a copy of Eat to Live!

Veggies + Music = Waste of Time

Yes, I sat through the whole thing. Not sure why, but now it’s your turn. Take a look:

Piggy Diabetes

Newsflash! Embryonic pig cells help diabetic monkeys, may help human diabetics too. The Associated Press is on it:
Dr. Marc Hammerman says the approach has reduced the animals' need for insulin injections and does not call for immunosuppression, which is a major problem in treating diabetes with transplantation.


Before DNA technology enabled pharmaceutical companies to manufacture human insulin in the 1980's, pig and cow insulin were routinely given to diabetic patients.
Yeah, a bacon injection sounds a little frightening. Instead, why not give this a try. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman on Type-2 Diabetes:
Conventional diabetologists are in a bind. They know that high glucose levels accelerate aging of the eyes and kidneys, leading to devastating complications such as kidney failure and blindness. They want to prescribe aggressive insulin therapy to get patients' blood sugars down. The problem is they also are aware that the extra insulin accelerates atherosclerosis (which leads to heart attacks) and weight gain (which eventually makes patients more diabetic)…


…The American Diabetes Association and most dieticians and physicians offer dangerous advice to the diabetic. They give lip service to weight reduction and cholesterol lowering, but since the diets they recommend are ineffective at achieving substantial weight loss and sustained ideal weight, even these recommendations are generally worthless. Typical diabetes care focuses on general glucose control, by monitoring blood glucose to determine when it is necessary to change insulin dosages and when glucose-lowering medication is warranted…

…The best diet for good health and longevity is also the best diet for diabetics. It is a diet with a high nutrient per calorie ratio, as carefully described in my book, Eat To Live. When you eat a diet consisting predominantly of nature's perfect foods—green vegetables, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, raw nuts and seeds, and limited amounts of fresh fruit, it becomes relatively easy to eat as much as you want and still lose your excess weight. In my experience, those who follow my nutritional recommendations find that their diabetes disappears astonishingly fast, even before most of their excess weight melts away.
Eating lots of fruits and veggies seems a lot less creepy than being injected with pig—I don’t know, call me a cynic.

New York Times: On Going Organic

Going organic might be a good idea, but, it can be a little difficult. Not to mention expensive. So, maybe these tips from The New York Times will help you out. Here’re my favorites:
Peanut butter: More acres are devoted to growing peanuts than any other fruits, vegetable or nut, according to the U.S.D.A. More than 99 percent of peanut farms use conventional farming practices, including the use of fungicide to treat mold, a common problem in peanut crops. Given that some kids eat peanut butter almost every day, this seems like a simple and practical switch. Commercial food firms now offer organic brands in the regular grocery store, but my daughter loves to go to the health food store and grind her own peanut butter.


Apples: Apples are the second most commonly eaten fresh fruit, after bananas, and they are also used in the second most popular juice, after oranges, according to Dr. Greene. But apples are also one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables. The good news is that organic apples are easy to find in regular grocery stores.
The tip about apples is a biggie. Dr. Fuhrman classifies apples as one of the most contaminated fruits around. Get a load of this chart:


Now, if organic produce isn’t around. Here’s some helpful advice from Dr. Fuhrman. Enjoy:
Wash your vegetables and fruit with water and when possible, use a drop of dishwashing detergent and then rinse well to remove all detergent residues for a little more efficient cleaning. Specialty pesticide removal products have not clearly demonstrated any more effectiveness than mild soap and water.
On a side note, I must say, organic avocados taste A LOT better than commercially grown avocados, seriously!

300 Apples

You might have seen the movie, but now—SEE IT WILL APPLES! Be brave:

Spudfork, It's What's For Dinner

Have you ever thought about eating your utensils? Look no further! Introducing SPUDWARE! Check it out over at Josh Spear:
Aside from the potential novelty that is eating potatoes with cutlery made from potatoes, Spudware is designed with the earth in mind; while it’s just as durable as plastic disposable utensils, its 80% potato starch/20% soybean oil composition allows the product a biodegration schedule of just 180 days.



(via Diet Blog)

Grow Radishes Grow!

Here’s how radishes grow…in less than a minute. Take a look:

Garlicky Info

Chris Ramirez of The New York Times unlocks the health benefits of garlic. Check it out:
In a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers show that eating garlic appears to boost our natural supply of hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is actually poisonous at high concentrations — it’s the same noxious byproduct of oil refining that smells like rotten eggs. But the body makes its own supply of the stuff, which acts as an antioxidant and transmits cellular signals that relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.


In the latest study, performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers extracted juice from supermarket garlic and added small amounts to human red blood cells. The cells immediately began emitting hydrogen sulfide, the scientists found.

The power to boost hydrogen sulfide production may help explain why a garlic-rich diet appears to protect against various cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer, say the study authors. Higher hydrogen sulfide might also protect the heart, according to other experts. Although garlic has not consistently been shown to lower cholesterol levels, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine earlier this year found that injecting hydrogen sulfide into mice almost completely prevented the damage to heart muscle caused by a heart attack.
Dr. Fuhrman digs garlic. According to him garlic does wonders for diabetics. Here’s a quote:
The best diet for good health and longevity is also the best diet for diabetics. It is a diet with a high nutrient per calorie ratio, as carefully described in my book, Eat To Live. When you eat a diet consisting predominantly of nature's perfect foods—green vegetables, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, raw nuts and seeds, and limited amounts of fresh fruit, it becomes relatively easy to eat as much as you want and still lose your excess weight. In my experience, those who follow my nutritional recommendations find that their diabetes disappears astonishingly fast, even before most of their excess weight melts away…


…I have achieved marked success with diabetic patients and the success at becoming "non diabetic" or almost "non-diabetic" regularly occurs on the Eat To Live program whether the patient follows a strict vegan diet or not. I describe the diet-style as a "vegetable-based" diet because the base of the pyramid is vegetables, not grains. Even though most animal products are excluded, it is not necessary to adopt a completely vegan diet to achieve the goals.
I love garlic—it’s an Italian thing! Hey, you should give these garlicky recipes a try. Look:
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.

Creamy Vegetable Soup
4 ounces frozen chopped onions
8 ounces frozen broccoli florets
1 cup frozen edamame beans
3 tablespoons VegiZest or other no salt added seasoning
2 cups carrot juice
3 cups no-salt vegetable juice
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup raw cashews
16 ounces frozen chopped collard greens
1 15-ounce can white beans (navy or cannelloni), no salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Simmer all ingredients, except for cashews, collard greens, white beans, and lime juice, about 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In blender, puree cooked ingredients and cashews with just enough soup liquid to liquefy. Simmer greens in remaining broth for 10 minutes. Add pureed mixture and beans to greens and broth. Mix thoroughly and serve. Serves 6.

Fruit Fights Head and Neck Cancer

New research claims a compound in fruit helps ward off head and neck cancer. Tan Ee Lyn of Reuters reports:
Lupeol, a compound in fruits like mangoes, grapes and strawberries, appears to be effective in killing and curbing the spread of cancer cells in the head and neck, a study in Hong Kong has found.


An experiment with mice showed lupeol worked most effectively with chemotherapy drugs and had almost no side effects, scientists at the University of Hong Kong said in a report published in the September issue of the journal Cancer Research.

"It can suppress the movement of cancer cells and suppress their growth and it is found to be even more effective than conventional drugs (eg. cisplatin)," said Anthony Yuen, a professor at the University of Hong Kong's surgery department.

"It's even more effective if we combine it with chemotherapy drugs, and has very little side effects," he said.
Not exactly new news, Dr. Fuhrman has been talking about this for years. Fruits and veggies have amazing anti-cancer properties. Time for a quote:
Studies have repeatedly shown the correlation between consumption of raw vegetables and fresh fruits 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.
Now here’s a great recipe to go along with this information:
Green Banana Power Blended Salad
2-3 ounces washed baby spinach
3-4 ounces washed romaine lettuce
1 banana
½ avocado
5 medjool dates
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman’s Black Fig Vinegar (optional)
Blend well into a smooth pudding-like consistency in the food processor, Vita-Mix, or a powerful blender by shoving the lettuce down into the blades with a cucumber or carrot used as a plunging tool. Blending raw greens until smooth greatly increase the absorption of nutrients from out digestive tract, delivering a powerful nutrient punch. Serves 2.
Yummy!
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The Skinny on Canned Veggies

Here’s a cool little article talking about canned fruits and vegetables. Its over at MSNBC, take a look:
Canned fruits and vegetables are picked and packed at their peak ripeness, cooked quickly and sealed so nutrients are not lost. Several studies have found that the vitamin content in canned or frozen foods is comparable to fresh produce. Some canned foods such as tomatoes actually top frozen or fresh. With canned beans, the heating process may also make the fiber more soluble and useful to the body than dried beans…


…To keep nutrition locked in, store canned foods in a cool, dry location. Choose fruits packed in their own juices over those packed in syrups. Up to half the sodium in canned vegetables or beans can be washed away by rinsing under water.
Pretty sound advice. Personally, I always buy the low sodium or no-salt canned goods. What about you?

World Health Day USA 2007

In case you didn’t know, today is World Health Day...



My hope is that Followhealthlife does its own small part to help satiate world hunger.

Chocolate Milk...is Good?

How do you feel about milk? Well, if you grew up in the US you probably think it’s a wholesome part of the good ole’ American meal. But, the truth is, milk really isn’t fit for human consumption. Dr. Fuhrman tells us why in his book Disease-Proof Your Child:
Milk, which is designed by nature for the rapidly growing cow, has about half its calories supplied from fat. The fatty component is concentrated more to make cheese and butter. Milk and cheese are the foods Americans encourage their children to eat, believing them to be healthy foods. Fifty years of heavy advertising by an economically powerful industry has shaped the public's perception, illustrating the power of one-sided advertising, but the reality and true health effects on our children is a different story. Besides the link between high-saturated-fat foods (dairy fat) and cancer, there is a body of scientific literature linking the consumption of cow's milk to many other diseases. If we expect our children to resist many common illnesses, they simply must consume less milk, cheese, and butter. Dairy foods should be consumed in limited quantity or not at all.
Granted, Dr. Fuhrman’s my boss, but truth be told. I’ve never found anything appetizing about milk, and, I still think it’s gross when people drink a big frothy glass of milk with dinner—yuck! Speaking of gross, get a load of Mutant Milk:


But evidently some “experts” think not just milk, but chocolate milk is a “good-for-you” treat. Yeah, I know, I hit the ceiling too. EMaxHealth has more:
Chocolate milk is a healthy treat in disguise. This Official Drink of Halloween has the chocolaty taste that witches, ghosts and superheroes adore, but behind its tasty chocolaty costume, chocolate milk is packed with calcium and other essential nutrients that growing kids need at Halloween or any time of year.


"Lowfat chocolate milk is one of those rare treats that kids love and moms can feel good about," said registered dietitian and mother-of-two Liz Weiss, co-author of The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers. "It's a nutrient-packed form of chocolate that always seems to satisfy. Plus, chocolate milk is such a better alternative than sugar-filled sodas and fruit drinks that contain little or no nutrients."

In fact, chocolate milk may be one answer to help curb the excessive consumption of nutrient-void soft drinks, which some experts say is a major contributor to childhood obesity in this country. Studies have shown that kids who drink flavored milk tend to drink fewer sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks, which are the No. 1 source of calories and added sugars in a child's diet.
Despite this blather, Dr. Fuhrman makes it very clear. Milk and dairy consumption can set you up for a whole host of diseases. Take Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and ovarian cancer for example. Take a look:
Parkinson’s disease
Recent studies have shown that men who consume more dairy products and who are big milk drinkers have a higher occurrence of Parkinson’s disease.


Honglei Chen, M.D., of Harvard University reported his findings at the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition (December 2004) and presented a few other studies, one of which was the Parkinson’s Disease Honolulu Study, that showed the same association. The interesting finding was that it was not the fat in milk and dairy that were implicated. Usually, the high saturated fat content of dairy is blamed for its disease risk. But in this case, according to Chen, fat was “out of the picture.” Calcium and added vitamin D also were unrelated. That means something else in dairy is the culprit. The relationship between Parkinson’s and milk consumption has been suspected for decades1 and was first reported by researchers a few years ago. Chen’s and other recent prospective studies have confirmed the earlier, less definitive findings.

Heart disease
A related recent finding is that deaths from heart disease also are strongly associated with milk drinking in adulthood. Of particular interest is that (as is the case with Parkinson’s) the association is with the non-fat portion of milk. Non-fat and skim milk consumption shows the same association as that of whole milk. Researchers found that heart disease death is strongly associated with circulating antibodies against milk. These antibodies are found to bind to human lymphocytes and platelets, thus increasing the likelihood of clot formation. The researchers also concluded that the non-fat aspects of milk have atherogenic effects (plaque-building) both biochemical and immunological, and the simultaneous attack from all these directions explains why milk was found to have such a strong effect on death rate.2

Ovarian cancer
A recent study of 61,000 women found that those who consumed more than 2 glasses of milk per day had twice the risk of serous ovarian cancer than women who consumed fewer than two glasses. The risk of those who drank two glasses a day was double that of women who rarely drank milk.3 Lactose in milk seemed to be the primary culprit. Again this larger study confirms earlier studies with the same findings.
Heck, who needs dairy! According to Dr. Fuhrman vegetables pack all the calcium you’ll ever need. Here’s more from his book Eat to Live:
Green vegetables, beans, tofu, sesame seeds, and even oranges contain lots of usable calcium, without problems associated with diary. Keep in mind that you retain the calcium better and just do not need as much when you don’t consume a diet heavy in animal products and sodium, sugar, and caffeine…


…Many green vegetables have calcium-absorption rates of over 50 percent, compared with about 32 percent for milk.4 Additionally since animal protein induces calcium excretion in the urine, the calcium retention from vegetables is higher. All green vegetables are high in calcium.
So instead of serving your kids chocolate milk, give this nutrient-dense chocolate smoothie a try. Enjoy:
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.
See, you don’t need milk to have a good time!
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Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil

Astrid Pujari, M.D. of The Seattle Times insists flaxseed oil and fish oil can help people live longer. Here’s why:
Eating fish at least two times a week seems to decrease the risk of heart disease for people who have never had a heart problem. The research is mostly from population studies, though, which are not considered the gold standard in medicine when it comes to "proving" something.


On the other hand, the data on fish oil is strong for people who have established heart disease. One large study from Italy found that people who took fish oil after a heart attack were less likely to die. Flaxseed oil has not been studied as well as fish oil for heart disease. But it does seem to do things that may benefit the heart based on some small studies. For example, it seems to help increase the elasticity of blood vessels, lower inflammation and make the blood less prone to clotting.

In addition, there have been large population studies that suggest that eating high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid — which is found in flaxseed oil — lowers the risk of heart disease. For instance, one study found that high ALA intake over about six years lowered the risk of a heart attack by as much as 59 percent.
Dr. Fuhrman’s not thrilled about either oil. Take a look:
Flaxseed oil
There is no need to consume flaxseed oil. The best way to get omega-3 fatty acids is to consume whole flaxseed. Plus, when you consume whole flaxseed, not only do you get the best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, you also get the richest source of dietary lignans. Lignans are converted by bacteria in the intestinal tract to horomone-like compounds called phytoestrogens that have protective effects against hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancer. In fact, consuming ground flaxseed has been shown to have beneficial properties for prevention and treatment of both breast and prostate cancer.


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

Tomato 101

This guy knows his tomatoes. Here he drops a little knowledge on us. Take a look:


Tomatoes are the real-deal. They’re one of Dr. Fuhrman’s fab five foods. Check it out:
Tomatoes are a wonderful food in their own class. Whether you consider them a fruit or vegetable, it matters not. Slice them into pita pocket sandwiches. Mash some almond butter with a fork into some tomato sauce to add to the vegetable-tomato-sprout avocado pita pocket. What a great school lunch.

Choppin' Broccoli

No one has ever sung about chopping broccoli with more passion than Dana Carvey. Simply breathtaking:

I weeped.

Veggies Good!

Here’s a quick video reminding us that veggies are good. Check it out:


Uh—duh!

Fat and Ovarian Cancer

If you read this blog often enough, you’ll soon realize that consuming too much animal products, too often is hardly health-promoting—but don’t take my word for it! I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman explain. Here’s a quote:
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…


…In rural China where the diets are nearly vegetarian, the average cholesterol levels are low and you see lower cancer rates, not higher. Those with the lowest cholesterol in the China study actually had the lowest cancer rates as well. Obviously, there is a difference between one who has a low cholesterol because his dietary style earns it, and one whose cholesterol seems unjustifiably low on a modern heart-disease-promoting diet that almost everyone in the west eats…

…Worldwide, there is a linear relationship between higher-fat animal products, saturated fat intake, and breast cancer.2 However, there are areas of the world even today where populations eat predominantly unrefined plant foods in childhood and breast cancer is simply unheard of. Rates of breast cancer deaths (in the 50-to-70 age range) range widely from 3.4 per 100,000 in Gambia to 10 per 100,000 in rural China, 20 per 100,000 in India, 90 per 100,000 in the United States, and 120 per 100,000 in the United Kingdom and Switzerland.3
Now, if you’re still a non-believer in the power of fruits and vegetables, check out this report in HealthDay News. According to a new study plant fiber and less fat helps prevent ovarian cancer—who would have thought? Read on:
On average, the women had managed to add one serving of fruits or vegetables to their daily diet by end of the six-year follow-up. They had also reduced their daily fat consumption by about 8 percent.


The findings support "the idea that lifestyle changes can be made with intensive help," said Dr. Robert Morgan, section head of medical gynecologic oncology, City of Hope Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif. He was not involved in the study.

Morgan noted that many of his patients ask him about ways they can reduce their cancer risk through diet and exercise. But he said he's found that "it's difficult to change habits, especially if they are longstanding."

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cancer killer of women. Some 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with the disease every year, and about 15,000 women will die from it during the same time frame.
Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. Fruits and veggies taste great, and, they’re great for you! Kind of win-win—know what I mean?
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Pineapple Cutting

How to cut a pineapple straight from a Hawaiian pineapple farm. Check it out:

An Urban Sprouts Fieldtrip

Check it out! The Urban Sprouts are on a little fieldtrip. Just look at all the cool stuff:
In one very inspiring project, the garden offers paid internships for students’ adult family members. The family members cultivate a garden plot using traditional methods from their home countries in order to share their techniques with others. Family gardeners from Africa and the Caribbean had sown crops like hibiscus, okra, and squash, not in straight rows, but in curvy beds that spelled out the word L-O-V-E.




Vegetable Shanghai

Here’s a brief and blurry look at a Shanghai vegetable market. Check it out:

It's Military Week at Grand Rounds

Chewing the Omega Fat

Finding quality sources of omega fat is an interesting pursuit—with lots of conflicting messages. Now, the media tends to beat the fish and oils drum. Take this article by Astrid Pujari, M.D. of The Seattle Times for example. Here’s a bit:
Flaxseed oil has a basic type of omega 3 fat known as alpha-linolenic acid. Your body can use it to make two different types of omega 3 fats known as EPA and DHA.


Now let's say you want a shortcut. Instead of your body making the fats yourself, you go to the store and buy them ready-made. That is what buying fish oil is like…

…So to be sure they are getting enough EPA and DHA, many people just choose to eat cold-water fish or take fish oil. Examples of cold-water fish include salmon, sardines, herring, kipper and mackerel. Shellfish such as oysters, shrimp and scallops contain lesser amounts.

Flaxseed oil also has health benefits that may be different — or even complementary — from those of fish oil. That makes sense because it has a different type of omega 3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid.
Okay, if there’s one thing I learned about this topic is that it’s more complicated than it seems. You’ve got to be really careful about which sources of omega fat you choose. First let’s look at flaxseed oil. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
I do not recommend the use of flaxseed oil or flaxseed oil supplements. Flaxseed oil is pure fat and virtually devoid of all or most of the nutrients (except for vitamin E) found in ground flaxseed. Also, flaxseed oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), and there is evidence that extracted PUFA oils may suppress the immune system, and possibly increase the growth rate of certain cancers and/or tumors. If you want the benefit of flaxseed, eat the ground seeds and avoid the oil.
That was rather blunt—scratch that idea! Alright, moving on. Now what about fish oil? Not to spoil the surprise, but, Dr. Fuhrman has more than a few choices words for most fish oils; quite the fishy predicament. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
One problem with fish oils is that much of the fat has already turned rancid. If you have ever cut open a capsule and tasted it, you will find it can taste like gasoline. Many people complain of burping, indigestion and of fish breath. I have also observed that rancidity of this fish fat places a stress on the liver. Patients of mine with abnormal liver function noted on their blood tests when consuming fish oil have had these tests return to normal when the fish oils were stopped.
Fish oil no. Flaxseed oil no. What’s left? Surely consuming whole fish has got to be a good idea. After all, just last week a health coalition recommended women eat fish while pregnant. Time for Dr. Fuhrman to chime in again, take a look:
Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) that interfere with blood clotting much the same way aspirin does. Once you have significant atherosclerosis, it is helpful to take such anti-clotting agents, especially if you continue a dangerous diet. These fish derived-fats also have some effect on protecting the arterial walls from damage from other fats.


However, the best way to prevent a heart attack or stroke is to follow a high-nutrient diet with little or no animal products, thereby ensuring that such blockages don't develop in the first place. Then eating fish won't matter. In fact, the reason fish-derived fats, EPA and DHA, are not considered essential fats is that almost all people have enzymes to convert the plant-derived omega-3 fat rapidly into EPA and DHA.1

Fish is a double-edged sword, especially because fish has been shown to increase heart attack risk if polluted with mercury.2 It seems that the cardioprotective effects of eating a little fish is lost when you eat lots of fish, most likely because lots of fish exposes you to high mercury levels, which can promote lipid peroxidation.3 Lipid peroxidation plays a major role in the development of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Rather daunting on all fronts. So then, if fish, fish oil, and flaxseed oil all have problems, what are good sources of health omega fats, DHA, and EPA? Rather than beat around the bush, here’s more from Dr. Fuhrman:
Flax Seeds are rich in lignans and omega-3 fatty acids, and scientific studies have confirmed that flax seeds have a positive influence on everything from cholesterol levels and constipation to cancer and heart disease. Keep in mind that the scientifically documented benefits from flax seeds come from raw, ground flax seed, not flax seed oil.


If you were looking for a substitute for eating fish in that article, it was okay to mention flaxseeds as a source of short chain omega-3, but since they only convert about 2.5 percent into DHA, they do not supply what fish do (EPA and DHA) long-chain omega 3. My DHA Purity is a better option to supply what fish could, not flax. My DHA Purity is refrigerated because these oils can go rancid easily and we take extra care to preserve its cleanliness and freshness.

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

You can buy a clean fish oil, a few of the best brands are purified and tested not to have the contamination and mercury that fish does, but that is still a limited resource (over-fishing) not a renewable resource like our DHA made from micro-algae grown under clean indoor conditions.
Clearly, eating healthfully requires some careful thinking and decision making—who would have thought!
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Gorilla Sandwich

This is great! Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to eat like a gorilla, well—WONDER NO MORE! Introducing Gorilla Sandwich. Look, look:

The "Gorilla Sandwich" is not only by its nature a very unique design, but it is also a good representation of what can be designed and how far design reaches into our life.


The Gorilla Sandwich is one of those designs that is a good story, and at the same time it serves as a high-quality example to demonstrate the infinite possibilities when it comes to successfully blending aesthetic design to an object's function, with an end result that most designers wouldn't consider, even in their wildest dreams, could be designed at all.

The raw food market had been growing for a long time, and about two and a half years ago the market place was in need of a good "on the go" raw meal. A few fresh food manufacturers approached me and asked me to create a fast, healthy meal, the equivalent to a sandwich or burger.


Dark Meat or White Meat?

That is the question Diet Blog is pondering. Check out what they’ve turned up:
Dark Meats
Dark meats simply have more myoglobin proteins, the magic stuff that ships oxygen to the muscle cells.


Dark meats must use myoglobins as they transfer oxygen more efficiently to the muscles than glycogen. Muscles used more frequently, get to be dark. This is why non-flying poultry drumsticks are dark meat, while breast meat is white.

When dark meat is cooked it turns the myoglobins to metmyoglobins, which is brown/gray. Metmyoglobins are very high in iron (albeit there is not that much in dark meat in the first place).

White Meat
White meat gets the 'juice' through glycogen. Glycogen is a polysaccharide of glucose, an animal starch. Animal starch is stored primarily in the liver and broken down into glucose when needed by the white muscle.

Nutritional Comparison
Dark meats tend to contain more zinc, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamins B6 and B12, amino acids, iron than white meat. Dark beef meat contains about 11 times more zinc than tuna, and about 3 times as much iron than raw spinach. Chicken dark meat contain vitamins A, K, B6, B12, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, minerals as selenium, phosphorus and zinc.

Even the fats in most of the dark meats have healthy parts. They contain Omega-3, and Omega-6 fatty acids, and other ‘healthy’ fats.

It is the saturated fat content which lowers the true quality of dark meat.
Dr. Fuhrman pretty much just lumps white meat and dark meat together. Here’s why:
Chicken has about the same amount of cholesterol as beef, and the production of those potent cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are even more concentrated in grilled chicken than in beef.1 Another recent study from New Zealand that investigated heterocyclic amines in meat, fish, and chicken found the greatest contributor of HCAs to cancer risk was chicken.2 Likewise, studies indicated that chicken is almost as dangerous as red meat for the heart. Regarding cholesterol, there is no advantage to eating lean white instead of lean red meat.3
Personally, the only differentiation I do is between meat and fish. What about you?
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Vegetarian Carnival - October 8th Edition

McSalads?

Listen. I don’t care what McDonalds is trying to hock—I don’t want any of it! But in case you’re interested, Diet-Blog is all over McSalads. Check it out:


If only McDonald's were consistent in their messages; parents are less than impressed with their happy meal advertising.
Well, it does beat McStyle.

Veggie Translation

Know your veggies…in Portuguese. Take a look:

Breast Cancer Fighting Foods

Lucy Danziger of SELF magazine offers up four varieties of food that fight breast cancer. Check it out:
Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are powerful cancer fighters and appear to contain chemicals that turn on your body's natural detox enzymes. Eat them raw or slightly steamed (cooking breaks down the protective chemicals). Shoot for five servings a week.


Berries: The more colorful, the better! These fruits are rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from damage, and strawberries and raspberries contain ellagaic acid, which has been shown to protect against breast cancer in lab studies. Sneak these in wherever you can...toss some in your smoothie or even have some with dessert.
She also suggests fish and whole grains—not too sure about that—but berries and veggies—hooray!

Incredible Vegetable Hulk

This little marauder just can’t get enough veggies. Take a look:


Actually that’s how I shop at the farmers market!

Lounging at the Salad Bar

This artist gives us a fresh new look at the salad bar. Hey baby, take a look:

Oh, The Grand Rounds You Will Have!

Greens in the City

You wouldn’t think Harlem is a great place for farmers markets, but, it is. This group is trying to bring greens to the city. Check it out:


Very cool!

Omega-3, Omega-6, and DHA

When we have insufficient omega-3 fat, we do not produce enough DHA, a long-chain omega-3 fat with anti-inflammatory effects. High levels of arachidonic acid and low levels of omega-3 fats can be a contributory cause of heart disease, stroke, autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, depression, and possibly increased cancer incidence.1 Most Americans would improve their health if they consumed more omega-3 fats and less omega-6 fats. I recommend that both vegetarians and nonvegetarians make an effort to consume one to two grams of omega-3 fat daily.


A diet very high in omega-6 fat makes matters worse; your body makes even less DHA fat. We need enough DHA fat to ensure optimum health. The high level of omega-6 fat competes for the enzymes involved in fatty acid desaturation (conversion to longer-chain fats) and interferes with the conversion of alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) to EPA and DHA. Therefore, our high fat intake contributes to our DHA fat deficiency.

Our modern diet, full of vegetable oils and animal products, is very high in omega-6 fat and very low in omega-3 fat; the higher the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, the higher the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and inflammatory illnesses.2
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