Bad Diet, Race, and Cancer

According to a new report poor black women living in the United States and eating an unhealthy diet face a higher risk of developing of cancer. Reuters is on it:
The goals included adequate consumption of fruit and vegetables, a low percentage of fat intake, consuming no alcohol, eating moderate calories and adhering to a U.S. government Healthy Eating Index, which measures overall quality of diet.

"African-American women ... face a worse cancer incidence and mortality rate than most other ethnic groups and poor African-American women are at an even greater disadvantage," said Ann Klassen, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"Improving diet is one effective way to help these women lower their risk for developing cancer," Klassen said, adding that the women in the study went on to participate in a program aimed at improving nutrition.
More often than not, race is a major factor in health-related issues. Here’re a few examples from the past:

Regulate Salt?--UPDATED

The FDA is set to debate how much salt should be allowed in processed food. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:
The hearing is being held in response to a request made in 2005 by the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), asking the agency to make changes to the regulatory status of salt, to require limits on salt levels in processed foods, and to require health messages related to salt and sodium on food labels.

"Very few people dispute that Americans get way too much salt from processed and restaurant foods, and that an excess promotes hypertension, stroke, heart attacks, kidney failure, and early death," CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said in a statement. "While the FDA has historically declined to challenge companies to lower high sodium levels, it is increasingly hard for FDA officials to ignore the calls to action made in recent years by the medical community."

In fact, 150,000 American lives could be saved each year if the salt in processed foods and restaurant meals were cut in half, the American Medical Association has said.

Not everyone agrees that regulation is the way to go, however.
What purpose does adding extra salt serve? Dr. Fuhrman isn’t a fan. Here he talks about some famous research. Take a look:
The famous DASH study clearly indicates that Americans consume five to ten times as much as they need and that high sodium levels over the years has a predictable effect on raising blood pressure.1
Although I admit, kicking salt was pretty difficult, probably one of the hardest parts of my…to be continued.

UPDATE: Here's a related article that Dr. Fuhrman sent over: A little less salt could save 8.5m lives.
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Obesity: Don't Kill the Cooker

Okay, no doubt. Portion sizes at most restaurants are ridiculous, but, no one says you HAVE to eat all of it. However, some new research claims the chefs might be feeding our fatness. The New York Times Well blog is on it. Here’s a bit:
Researchers at Clemson University recently surveyed 300 chefs about what goes into their decisions about portion sizes and the food they serve diners. The study, published in the August issue of Obesity, found big differences between what chefs consider a regular portion compared to the standard serving sizes dictated by the United States Department of Agriculture. When chefs were asked to estimate a typical portion size of penne pasta served in their restaurant, for instance, half of the chefs suggested portions that are six to eight times larger than the U.S.D.A.’s standard 1-ounce serving. Nearly half the chefs said they normally serve 12-ounce steaks in their restaurants, although the U.S.D.A. says daily meat intake shouldn’t exceed 5.5 ounces…

…Targeting chefs to improve the quality and serving-sizes of the food they provide diners is a strategic way to improve the nutrition of large numbers of people, says study co-author Marge Condrasky, assistant professor of culinary science. Clemson researchers already are distributing nutrition information at culinary conferences and talking about ways chefs can improve the nutritional quality of meals without affecting presentation or taste.
This smacks of “don’t kill the messenger.” What do you think? Personally, I’m not big on blame-shifting. If you look in the mirror and see a fat person and it upsets you. You’ve got no one to blame but yourself, not mommy, not daddy, and certainly not some cook.

High-Carb Diet Icky-Sticky for Diabetes

I don’t subscribe to "carbophobia", but, refined grains, rice, and cereals are bad news. Here’s a brief lowdown from Dr. Fuhrman. Take a look:
White pasta, white rice and white bread are just like sugar; because their fiber has been removed, these nutrient deficient foods are absorbed too rapidly. This, in turn, will raise glucose, triglyceride, and insulin levels in your blood. Refined grains are undesirable and will sabotage your weight-loss and cholesterol-lowering efforts…

…White or "enriched" rice is just as bad as white bread and pasta. It is nutritionally bankrupt. You might as well just eat the Uncle Ben's cardboard box it comes in. Refining removes important factors: fiber, minerals, phytochemicals, and vitamin E. So, when you eat grains, eat whole grains…

…As we change food through processing and refining, we rob the food of certain health-supporting substances and often create unhealthy compounds, thus making it a more unfit food for human consumption. As a general rule of thumb: the closer we eat foods to their natural state, the healthier the food.
So, it shouldn’t surprise you that a new study has determined that a high-carb diet raises women's diabetes risk. More from Robert Preidt of HealthDay News:
Black American women and Chinese women who ate foods high on the glycemic index -- which measures the effect of carbohydrates on blood glucose levels -- were at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, two new studies found.

One of the studies also found that eating more cereal fiber may be associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in black American women…

…Women who ate high-glycemic index foods or ate a diet with a high glycemic load were more likely to develop diabetes. Women who ate more cereal fiber were less likely to develop diabetes.

"Our results indicate that black women can reduce their risk of diabetes by eating a diet that is relatively high in cereal fiber," the study authors wrote. "Incorporating fiber sources into the diet is relatively easy: A simple change from white bread (two slices provides 1.2 grams of fiber) to whole wheat bread (two slices provides 3.8 grams of fiber) ... will move a person from a low fiber intake category to a moderate intake category, with a corresponding 10 percent reduction in risk."
The answer? Stick to wholesome natural nutrient-dense foods. Dr. Fuhrman explains that plant foods are the real diabetes-fighter. Check out Starch-Based Diets No Answer for Diabetics for more.

Burger Magic

More like black magic. Here’s how hamburgers are made. It’s over at Threadless:

(via Fast Food News)

Health Book...Gone Stupid!

This guy has written book that tells you which FAST FOOD restaurants are a stop and which ones are a go. From Fox News:

The stupidity has rendered me speechless.

Bad News Beef

Looks like more E. coli-beef problems. After two reports of illness, 96,000 pounds of ground beef have been recalled. The Associated Press reports:
A company voluntarily recalled nearly 96,000 pounds of ground beef products after two people were sickened, possibly by E. coli bacteria, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture said Saturday.

The beef products by the company, American Foods Group of Green Bay, were distributed to retailers and distributors in Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. The problem surfaced after an investigation by the Illinois Department of Health, which was looking into two reports of illnesses.

The bacteria type is E. coli O157:H7, which is harbored in the intestines of cattle. Improper butchering and processing can cause the bacteria to get onto meat. Thorough cooking, to at least 160 degrees internal temperature, can destroy it.

Turkey Day: White or Dark?

“To be or not to be? That is the question.” But for the person carving the Thanksgiving turkey this is the question, “Whatcha want? White or dark meat?” Speaking of that, which is healthier white or dark meat? Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times investigates. Take a look:
Many people choose white meat over dark because of its lower caloric content. But according to the Department of Agriculture, an ounce of boneless, skinless turkey breast contains about 46 calories and 1 gram of fat, compared with roughly 50 calories and 2 grams of fat for an ounce of boneless, skinless thigh.

But dark meat has its benefits. Compared with white meat, it contains more iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamins B6 and B12. Both have less fat than most cuts of red meat, so you can’t go wrong either way.
This doesn’t affect me much because this Thanksgiving I’ll be having fish with plenty of veggies, but the claim that poultry is some heaven sent compared to red meats is incorrect. According to Dr. Fuhrman white meat still doesn’t do your body any favors. From Eat to Live:
Unknown to many is that animal proteins have a significant effect on raising cholesterol levels as well, while plant protein lowers it.1Red met is not the only problem. The consumption of chicken and fish is also linked to colon cancer. A large recent study examined the eating habits of 32,000 adults for six years and then watched the incidence of cancer for these subjects over the next six years. Those who avoided red meat but at white meat regularly had a more than 300 percent increase in colon cancer incidence.2 The same study showed that eating beans, peas, or lentils, at least twice a week was associated with a 50 percent lower risk than never eating these foods.

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.3 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.4 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.5
And Dr. Fuhrman makes it pretty clear, if you’ve got heart problems you should be especially mindful of animal products. More from Eat to Live:
The patient's diet must be nutrient-dense. Animal products and detrimental fats must be avoided to prevent the after-meal fat surge.6 Refined carbohydrates should also be avoided to prevent the after-meal glucose surges and to control triglycerides. Homocysteine levels should be normalized, by supplementation with appropriate nutrients if necessary.
Figured I’d remind you about those nasty refined carbohydrates too. Think of this when you’re tempted to reach for that extra scoop of stuffing—Eek!

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Trans-Fatty Foods

I doubt someone reading this blog would eat any of this stuff, but just in case, A Calorie Counter has pulled together a list of the 88 Fast Food Items Highest In Trans Fat. Here’s 1 through 10:
  1. White Castle Homestyle Onion Rings – Sack; Trans Fat: 30 grams
  2. White Castle Fish Nibblers - Sack; Trans Fat: 16 grams
  3. KFC Chicken Pot Pie; Trans Fat: 14 grams
  4. Burger King Hash Browns - Large; Trans Fat: 13 grams
  5. White Castle Chicken Rings - 20 rings; Trans Fat: 13 grams
  6. Jack in the Box Fish & Chips - Large; Trans Fat: 12 grams
  7. Jack in the Box Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges; Trans Fat: 12 grams
  8. White Castle Clam Strips - Sack; Trans Fat: 12 grams
  9. Dairy Queen Chicken Strip Basket 6-piece; Trans Fat: 12 grams
  10. White Castle French Fries - Sack; Trans Fat: 11 grams
Bad day for White Castle! You know what’s funny? There’s actually a White Castle next door to my gym. Talk about yin and yang!

No Salted Added...Good Idea!

A new study has determined that avoiding salty foods and not adding salt to food can help lower blood pressure. Reuters reports:
A modest reduction in dietary salt, measured by sodium content in the urine by about 35 percent and lowered daytime blood pressure by 12.1 mm Hg systolic and 6.8 mm Hg diastolic in patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) not taking anti-hypertensive medications, reports Dr. Javad Kojuri. Blood pressure readings at night were slightly lower.

Kojuri and Dr. Rahim Rahimi, both from Shiraz University in Iran, assessed blood pressure and 24-hour urinary sodium excretion in 60 individuals before and after instructing them to follow a 'no salt added' diet for 6 weeks.

Twenty subjects who did not follow the diet were used as a comparison group ("controls"). All of the subjects were similar in age, gender, weight, blood pressure, and initial urinary sodium excretion.
“For optimal health, I recommend that no salt at all be added to any food,” said Dr. Fuhrman. And for good reason, just look what it does to our tastes buds. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Salt addiction has developed throughout civilization in the last 5000 years, creating a worldwide epidemic of high blood pressure and resultant strokes. Besides fatigue, cravings, and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, salt use gradually deadens your taste.1 The more salt you consume, the more you lose the ability to appreciate the subtle flavors of natural food. As salt deadens taste, it makes you want more and more salt to get back some of the missing flavor.
Sounds almost like a drug addiction.
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Calorie Underestimation

Professor Brian Wansink of Cornell University has a theory, “Americans grossly underestimate how many calories we eat.” Check out this video from 60 Minutes:

Not that surprising. Last year The New York Times did a report on Prof. Wansink and he offered up a great quote. Here it is:
“We don’t have any idea what the normal amount to eat is, so we look around for clues or signals. When all you see is that big portions of food cost less than small ones, it can be confusing.”
Maybe that confusion is what leads people to believe that a meal of cold cuts, mayo, chips, and bread is low in calories. Then again, it’s really all about Health = Nutrition / Calories.

CNN: Fast Food Ban, Healthy Fats, and Mandatory Vaccinations

It’s certainly a noble idea. Especially when you consider how bad trans-fat is for you. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Hydrogenation is a process of adding hydrogen molecules to unsaturated fats which makes plant oils that are liquid at room temperature, solidify. An example is margarine. These fats are also called TRANS FATS. The hardening of the fat extends its shelf life so that the oil can by used over and over again to fry potatoes in a fast food restaurant or be added to processed foods, such as crackers and cookies. While hydrogenation does not make the fat completely saturated, it creates trans-fatty acids, which act like saturated fats. These fats raise cholesterol and increasing evidence is accumulating demonstrating the harmful nature of these man-made fats and their relation to both cancer and heart disease. Avoid all foods whose ingredients contain partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils.
The link between omega fats and mood disorders has long been established. In case you need a refresher, here’s Dr. Fuhrman:
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 non-vegetarians make an effort to consume one to two grams of omega-3 fat daily.
This is utter insanity! Rest assured, drug-makers companies make enough money without mandatory vaccinations. Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t like it either:
This is not about arguing about the effectiveness or value of vaccines, just whether we should mandate medical care and take another freedom away from Americans. We no longer have the freedom to take or not take medications. Sounds like the Taliban to me.

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Protein Shake, Shake, Shake!

The New York Times takes a look at over-hyped protein drinks and shakes. Here’s one I see all the knuckleheads at my gym gulping down. Take a look:

CYTOSPORTS MUSCLE MILK $41.99 for 12 17-ounce containers, Chocolate Muscle Milk, Ms. Kimball said, was “delicious — sweet, creamy, the closest to chocolate milk.” Packing 330 calories and 17 grams of fat, this high-calorie drink kept her “full for hours.” She worried that “the higher fat content could actually impair muscle recovery” by slowing digestion, but the day after a workout, she “didn’t feel stale or fatigued.”
To put it mildly, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t exactly “like” these products. He talks about all this junk in How Safe Are Protein Drinks And Powders? Here’s a bit:
Unfortunately, most trainers and bodybuilders are influenced by what they read in exercise and bodybuilding magazines. This is worse than getting nutritional information from comic books. Look through any current bodybuilding magazine; what are the vast majority of advertisements selling? Supplements! Most of the pages in these magazines are devoted to pushing worthless powders and pills. Supplement companies slant the opinions of the magazine article writers. The articles in the magazines are geared to support their advertisers…

…Consider that the maximum muscle mass the human body can typically add in one week is about one pound. That is the upper limit of the muscle fiber’s capacity to make protein into muscle; any protein beyond that is simply converted to fat. It also is not necessarily advisable to gain a pound of muscle per week. Although athletes have a greater protein requirement than sedentary individuals, this is easily obtained through the diet. The use of protein supplements is not merely a waste of money, it is unhealthy.
I’m with Dr. Fuhrman. Phooey to all that stuff! I don’t drink any of that junk and my body is…to be continued.

Cows Storm McDonald's!

Eight cows escaped from their tractor trailer when the driver pulled into the fast food restaurant. The Associated Press reports:
McDonald's? The burger joint? Stampede! Eight cows escaped from a trailer when the rear gate opened as the driver pulled into a McDonald's. It took about two hours to round them up Monday.

"Maybe they were going to ... hop in the freezer, save the middleman," Weber County sheriff's Sgt. Dave Creager said.

Lt. Kevin Burns had another theory: "They didn't like their future."
“Where’s the beef?” Running down the road!


Well, rather than evaluating on how horribly unhealthy their products are. Frito-Lay has shifted focus and plans to make their potato chip factory more eco-friendly. Andrew Martin of The New York Times is on it:
Now, Frito-Lay is embarking on an ambitious plan to change the way this factory operates, and in the process, create a new type of snack: the environmentally benign chip.

Its goal is to take the Casa Grande plant off the power grid, or nearly so, and run it almost entirely on renewable fuels and recycled water. Net zero, as the concept is called, has the backing of the highest levels of corporate executives at PepsiCo, the parent company of Frito-Lay.

There are benefits besides the potential energy savings. Like many other large corporations, PepsiCo is striving to establish its green credentials as consumers become more focused on climate change. There are marketing opportunities, too. The company, for example, intends to advertise that its popular SunChips snacks are made using solar energy.
Sounds like subterfuge to me.

Low-Carb-Prostate Cancer Study--WRONG!

It seems like anytime the phrase “low-carb” is mentioned in research, you can pretty much just assume it’s wrong. Like this study claiming fat and meat are unlikely to impact prostate cancer risk. Reuters reported:

In an email to Reuters Health, principal investigator Dr. Laurence N. Kolonel and first author Song-Yi Park of the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, said: "Although diet is likely to influence prostate cancer risk, the intake of total and saturated fat do not appear to be important contributors. However, because high intake of fat can lead to obesity as well as other cancers, the consumption of high fat foods should be limited."

How can this be? When foods like meat, cheese, and animal fat have all demonstrated a positive correlation with prostate cancer and all these foods are staples of low-carb living. Check out this quote from Dr. Fuhrman:

When the death rates for prostate cancer and testicular cancer were examined in forty-two countries and correlated with dietary practices in a carefully designed study, they found that cheese consumption was most closely linked with the incidence of testicular cancer for ages twenty to thirty-nine, and milk was the most closely associated with prostate cancer of all foods.1 Meat, coffee, and animal fats also showed a positive correlation.

Now, this new report will have you saying, “What the—” Apparently researchers from Duke University Medical Center have determined that a low-carb diet may slow prostate tumor growth. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News has more:

"This study showed that cutting carbohydrates may slow tumor growth, at least in mice. If this is ultimately confirmed in human clinical trials, it has huge implications for prostate cancer therapy through something that all of us can controls, our diets," lead researcher Dr. Stephen Freedland, a urologist at Duke University Medical Center, said in a prepared statement…

…They compared tumor growth in mice eating either a low-carbohydrate diet; a low-fat but high-carbohydrate diet; or a Western diet high in fat and carbohydrates.

Wow! What a measuring stick, the Western diet? No doubt this report will spur the latest wave of low-carb fanaticism. So, let Followhealthlife be your beacon of truth. Here’s more of Dr. Fuhrman talking about animal products and prostate cancer-causation. Check it out:

A study in the December 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that less animal products result in less cancer and more animal protein raises IGF-1 and promotes breast and prostate cancer...

…Studies have repeatedly shown the correlation between consumption of [fruits and vegetables] and a lower incidence of various cancers, including those of the breast, colon, rectum, lung, stomach, prostate, and pancreas.2

Clearly, animal products are no ally in the fight against prostate cancer and it’s pretty obvious that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is the key, but with that being said, the dangers of refined carbohydrates should not be overshadowed. Dr. Fuhrman explains:

Medical investigations clearly show the dangers of consuming the quantity of processed foods that we do. And because these refined grains lack fiber and nutrient density to turn down our appetite, they also cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and significantly increased cancer risk3...

…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.

So after considering all this, one should hardly take this low-carb endorsement seriously. To close, I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman’s colleague Steven Acocella, DC, MS, DACBN offer up his reasoning why anyone would choose to go low-carb. Take a look:

Addiction is the only reason that anyone would continue to maintain that a pro-Atkin’s, low-carbohydrate diet is health promoting. One would have to literally ignore thousands of studies that irrefutably support these findings. For every research article that dispels the direct relationship between a low-carb, high protein/high fat diet style and disease promotion there’s about 500 studies that refute it.

Kind of hits the nail on the head—don't you think?

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Carbon Wars: The Food Industry Strikes Back

Yesterday we learned Target wants to label meat treated with carbon monoxide. Now it seems the food industry has fired back in defense of using carbon monoxide. Christopher Doering of Reuters reports:
Two of the biggest U.S. meat processors on Tuesday defended a packaging technique designed to keep meat looking fresh at grocery stores even as U.S. lawmakers criticized it as unsafe and misleading.

Packers use carbon monoxide to stabilize the color of meat, but some Democrats said the process misleads consumers by making the products look safer than they really are, and puts the public at risk of eating spoiled meat.

Rep. Bart Stupak, Michigan Democrat and chairman of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, called the practice deceptive and "a potential health threat," and accused U.S. regulators of "turning a blind eye" toward health dangers.
All I can say is…

(graphic via Appraisal

Thursday: Health Points

In California, 86% of the women who gave birth in 2006 nursed their newborns in the hospital, according to a report being released today by the UC Davis Human Lactation Center and the California WIC Assn., a federally funded nutrition program for women, infants and children.

Half of them -- 43% of the total -- fed their newborns only breast milk. The other half supplemented with formula.

The gap between breast-feeding a little and breast-feeding exclusively in the first 24 to 48 hours that mothers typically spend in the hospital matters because that's when a mother's milk supply is established. The act of nursing causes milk-producing hormones to be released. The more the baby nurses, the more milk the mother will produce, and vice versa.
  • Lacks scientific evidence to support claims, instead relying on glowing testimonials (which may or may not be authentic)
  • Claims you can lose weight without exercising or making dietary modifications.
  • Claims to remove fat from certain areas of your body (can you say “thigh master?”)
  • Uses terms such as “miracle”, “scientific breakthrough”, “secret formula” and “revolutionary” to describe their product.
“The answer is no, because the risky fat is inside the abdominal wall, in and around the organs,” said Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the comprehensive weight management program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York.

A tummy tuck or liposuction “removes superficial, subcutaneous fat, which has little or no risk,” he said. “In such procedures, there is no change in what we call cardiometabolic risk factors, like insulin activity, blood sugar, triglycerides or any of the lipid parameters.”
Synthetic hormones have been used to improve milk production in cows for more than a decade. The chemical has not been detected in milk, so there is no way to test for its use, but more retailers have been selling and promoting hormone-free products in response to consumer demand.

State Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said advertising one brand of milk as free from artificial hormones implies competitors' milk is not safe, and it often comes with what he said is an unjustified higher price.

"It's kind of like a nuclear-arms race," Wolff said. "One dairy does it, and the next tries to outdo them. It's absolutely crazy."
The CDC said about 20.8 percent of American adults are smokers, with 80 percent, or 36.3 million, of them smoking every day. That rate has been unchanged since 1984.

The county smoking rate was not available, but Health Director Dr. Bruce Dixon said he knows the problem of smoking and its effect on health remains a concern.

"We don't have really good numbers to say [how many county residents smoke], though we do look at high-risk groups, minorities, youth," he said, adding, "Sales to youth are off" but they still find ways to purchase.

"The marketing has not backed off ... I think we still have a disproportionate level of smoking among pregnant women and minority groups."
  • Staphylococcus seems to be the countries newest boogieman. Julie’s Health Club discusses an interesting way to stop it—garlic. Read on:
Garlic, well known for its natural antibiotic properties, contains an ingredient that has been shown to effectively kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a virulent microbe that wreaks havoc in skin and soft-tissue wounds, several studies have shown.

The nasty superbacterium that now defies most drug treatments infected more than 90,000 Americans last year and killed 19,000, making it a significant public health problem, according to a new federal report. Though 85 percent of the staph infections were in hospitals or other health-care facilities, MRSA also is marching into schools, health clubs and other crowded places.
After hearing that contestants on the recent series of The Biggest Loser have been advised to chew gum in a bid to suppress their appetites, I decided to look around to see if I could find a study to back it up. I couldn't find the actual details of the study but here is a section of a press release:

"A separate study, carried out by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University and the Wrigley Science Institute, found that chewing gum can be a good appetite suppressant. The study found that by chewing gum before an afternoon snack, one would consume 25 less snack calories. While that is not a high number, according to nutritionists, even a slight reduction in caloric intake can have significant effects in the long term. This study was comprised of 60 adults between the ages of 18 and 54. Each participant consumed a sweet and salty snack after either chewing sweet gum or not chewing gum at all. Hunger, appetite, and cravings were then monitored throughout the remainder of the day. Along with reducing caloric intake, participants reported feeling an improved mood due to reduced anxiety and stress, and increasing contentment and relaxation. "
About three-quarters of the people of Utah are Mormons, and many of them fast for a day every month. Benjamin Horne from the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, asked 515 elderly people undergoing X-ray examinations for suspected heart disease about their lifestyle. Those who fasted were 39 per cent more likely than non-fasters to have a healthy heart. The results were presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday.
The report, called Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, urges people to stay at a healthy weight, which means having a body mass index (or BMI, a ratio of weight to height) between 18.5 and 24.9. And it recommends regular physical activity as a way to control weight.

"The recommendation reflects what the science is telling us today," says W. Phillip T. James, MD, DSc, a member of the panel that wrote the report. "Even small amounts of excess fat, especially if carried at the waist, increase risk."

The report also makes recommendations for eating more healthfully to reduce cancer risk. It says people should eat mostly foods from plants, limit red meat and alcohol, and avoid processed meats like bacon, sausage, and lunchmeat.

Cost: Salads vs. Big Macs

Target Targets Treated Meat

Target Corp wants to label meat treated with carbon monoxide. Reuters reports:
Target, which sells packaged meat in 210 of its 1,537 stores, sent a letter Friday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking permission to add a warning to meat labels, the Journal said.

According to the Journal, the proposed label states: "Consumer Notice: Carbon monoxide has been used to preserve the color of this product. Do not rely on color or the 'use or freeze by' date alone to judge the freshness of the product. For best results please follow the Safe Handling Instructions."
They do some dubious stuff to meat, check is out: Cancer and Red Food Coloring.

Beefy Loophole

This will make you think twice about eating a steak. Apparently a “loophole” exists that allows E. coli tainted beef to reach consumers. Stephen J. Hedges of The Chicago Tribune reports:
The officials are referring to the little-discussed fact that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has deemed it acceptable for meat companies to cook and sell meat on which E. coli, a bacteria that can sicken and even kill humans, is found during processing.

The "E. coli loophole" affects millions of pounds of beef each year that test positive for the presence of E. coli O157:H7, a virulent strain of the bacteria.

The agency allows companies to put this E. coli-positive meat in a special category: "cook only." Cooking the meat, the USDA and producers say, destroys the bacteria and makes it safe to eat as precooked hamburgers, meat loaf, crumbled taco meat and other products.

Some USDA inspectors say the "cook-only" practice means higher-than-appropriate levels of E. coli are tolerated in packing plants, raising the chance that clean meat will become contaminated. They say the "cook-only" practice is part of the reason for this year's sudden rise in incidents of E. coli contamination.
Yuck! Good thing I don’t eat red meat. Now, for more reasons to skip on the steak, check out these previous posts:

Achy Joints, Breaky Heart?

A new study claims being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis ups your risk of developing heart disease. Alan Mozes of HealthDay News reports:
Those screening checks include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, older age, and family history of cardiovascular illness. And people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) should be screened using those risk factors as soon as possible following their diagnosis of RA, the study authors said.

"The bottom-line is that RA patients are at increased risk of heart disease," said lead researcher Dr. Hilal Maradit Kremers, a research associate with the Mayo Clinic Department of Health Sciences Research in Rochester, Minn.

"But we need to know how can we predict which RA patients are at a higher risk than others, so that we can then put more effort in the prevention of heart disease in these people," she added. "And so, here we attempted to do just that, by using a typical cardiovascular risk profile to predict heart disease among these patients."
Okay then. What if there was a diet that could help treat arthritis, and, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Fuhrman on rheumatoid arthritis:
Working with patients with autoimmune diseases such as connective tissue diseases, myositis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus is very rewarding. These patients had been convinced they could never get well and are usually eternally grateful to be healthy again and not require medication.

An aggressive nutritional approach to autoimmune illnesses should always be tried first when the disease is in its infancy. Logically, the more advanced the disease is, and the more damage that has been done by the disease, the less likely the patient will respond. My experience with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is that some patients are more dietary-sensitive than others and that some patients have very high levels of inflammation that are difficult to curtail with natural therapy. Nevertheless, the majority benefit—and since the conventional drugs used to treat these types of illnesses are so toxic and have so many risky side effects, the dietary method should be tried first.
Now, what about heart disease? Is there a diet out there that protects your ticker? I once again turn the microphone over to Dr. Fuhrman. Take a look:
Make no doubt about it: lowering your LDL cholesterol below 100 offers powerful protection against heart disease. The evidence is overwhelming today that heart attacks, which kill half of all Americans, are entirely preventable. Heart disease is a condition that is preventable and reversible through aggressive nutritional intervention and cholesterol-lowering.

The latest recommendation from most medical authorities and medical organizations such as the American College of Cardiology is to lower LDL cholesterol level below 100. This is in accordance with what has been observed for years in epidemiology studies. People in countries who ate a more simple plant-based diet did not have heart attacks and those populations are always found to have much lower cholesterol levels than was thought to be acceptable in the past. For instance, the average total cholesterol in rural China was 127 and the average LDL was below 80. Heart attacks in rural China were exceedingly rare. The same thing was observed in multiple interventional and population studies, such as the Harvard Health Study; those with LDL’s below 100 were not observed to have heart attacks. Medical authorities are now finally in agreement that much lower cholesterol levels are needed to be truly protective.
Pretty cool—right? This type of disease-prevention was one of the major reasons I decided to…to be continued.

Run a 6k, Drink a 6-Pack?

Not sure about this one, but you got to hand it to Diet Blog for finding this stuff like this. Apparently one researcher thinks beer is a better post workout drink than water. I thought dodo birds were extinct? More from Diet Blog:
Professor Manuel Garzon, of Granada University in Spain has decided that beer is better for post-workout hydration than plain water.

The research included 25 students (not a particularly diverse sample group given that many students are seasoned beer drinkers).

The students were asked to run on a treadmill in very hot temperatures. After the exercise half the group were given a pint of beer, while the others received the same volume of water (from The Telegraph).

Professor Garzon concluded that beer had a 'slightly better' hydrating affect than water.
Is it safe to have a runner’s high and a beer-buzz? Now, in case you’re interested. Here are some of Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on alcohol. Take a look:
Researchers have found that even moderate consumption of alcohol—including wine—interferes with blood clotting and, thereby, reduces heart attacks in high-risk populations—people who eat the typical, disease-promoting American diet.

Moderate drinking is defined as a maximum of two drinks for men. Consuming more than this is associated with increased fat around the waist1 and other potential problems. For example, alcohol consumption leads to mild withdrawal sensations the next day that are commonly mistaken for hunger, which leads people to eat more than is genuinely necessary, resulting in weight gain.

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Bad Piggy, Bad!

Aetiology explains that pigs might be bringing us a disease worse than anything pork chops ever could. Check it out:
Both Mike and Revere have new posts up documenting swine as a new threat to human health (beyond the pork chops and bacon), via carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in these animals. Several papers have been published recently documenting high rates of MRSA carriage in swine in the Netherlands, and also have documented transmission of this bacterium from swine to humans. However, even more worrisome to me than the Dutch publications is a new one out in Veterinary Microbiology, showing high rates of MRSA in Canadian swine--and guess where we import about 9 million hogs from every year…

… To sample farmers, the investigators took only nasal swabs (Staph aureus is typically carried in the nose), but another recent paper suggests that the use of nasal swabs combined with throat swabs captures additional carriers (in their study, almost 13% of those who were positive for Staph aureus carried it in the throat alone--so even higher levels of farmers may be colonized than this study detected).
A new reason for me to avoid bacon.

Healthy Living Whacks Cancer Risk

A new study has determined that a healthy diet and physical activity successfully lowers cancer-risk; specifically avoiding red meat and alcohol. More from the Adventist News Network:
After a mega-study of 7,000 previous studies, scientists have offered 10 recommendations for avoiding preventable cancer, including maintaining a healthy weight and limiting consumption of red meat and alcohol.

The report, released by the London-based World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) on October 31, is the largest collection of data ever brought together on the subject, researchers said…

“…This report is a real milestone in the fight against cancer, because its recommendations represent the most definitive advice on preventing cancer that has ever been available anywhere in the world," project director Martin Wiseman said in a media release.

Leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church said the international Protestant denomination's emphasis on healthful living and celebration of life is now further backed by evidence.
I’m not a religious guy, but kudos to the Adventists for endorsing this. Dr. Fuhrman is also a big fan of healthy diet and exercise for a cancer-free life. Here are some quotes:
Researchers at the University of Tromsø in Norway report that women who exercise regularly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer substantially. Their study involved more than 25,000 women age twenty to fifty-four at the time of their energy into the study. The researchers found that younger, premenopausal women (under forty-five years old) who exercised regularly had 62 percent less risk than sedentary women. The risk reduction was highest for lean women who exercised more than four hours per week; these women had a 72 percent reduction in risk…

…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.
So I guess I had a good day today then? Veggies and fruit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and running, weight-training, and yoga tonight.
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Caffeine Buzzed Chi-Town

We’ve talked about it before, but, here’s an important reminder. According to Dr. Fuhrman, caffeine hardly does your body any favors. From his book 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
I guess people living in Chicago didn’t get the memo because a new survey shows that Chi-Town is the most caffeinated city in the United States. Kristina Cooke of Reuters has more:
Chicagoans eat more chocolate and drink more cola than other U.S. urbanites, and are among the top consumers of energy drinks and coffee.

They are also likely to say caffeine is good for you, according to the poll conducted by Prince Market Research…

"…It's surprising perhaps that some places you may think have a lot of hustle and bustle like San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York, were the least caffeinated cities," said Todd Smith, a spokesman for HealthSaver, a healthcare discount service that commissioned the poll.

The survey looked at consumption of coffee, tea, chocolate, sodas, energy drinks and caffeine pills in 20 major cities in the United States by interviewing 2,000 people.
Maybe they should call it the “Jittery City” instead of the Windy City. Dr. Fuhrman’s colleague Jeff Novick, MS, RD isn’t a fan of caffeine either. Check it out:
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.

Too much caffeine also has been shown to raise women’s risk for incontinence. According to a report in the July 2000 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who drink more than four cups of brewed coffee a day—or consume a lot of caffeine from other sources, such as tea, cola, or cocoa—may be more than twice as likely to suffer incontinence from a weakened bladder muscle as women who consume less caffeine.

A study reported in the February 2002 issue of Diabetes Care, found that moderate consumption of caffeine reduced insulin sensitivity by 15 percent. The researchers also found that caffeine increased catecholamines, plasma-free fatty acids, and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The moderate consumption of caffeine caused a fivefold increase in epinephrine. Epinephrine increases the production of glucose in the liver and interferes with the ability of muscle and fat cells to use glucose.
I used to drink a lot of coffee, but I kicked it cold-turkey almost two years ago.
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The Junk in Fast Food...

Diet Blog passes on a secret list. A secret list of potential toxins commonly food in fast food—I’m serious! Here’s a bit:
Taco Bell
The rice contains dimethylpolysiloxane - this is normally used in silicone caulk, adhesives, and as an anti-foaming agent.

The Low Fat Honey Mustard Dressing contains titanium dioxide - used to manufacture paint, sunscreen, semiconductors, and also in food coloring.
Now I really feel sorry for this poor kid. Take a look:

For more secret ingredients, check out NewsTarget.

High-Fat and the Body Clock

New research suggests that a high-fat diet can muck up your body’s 24-hour clock. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News spills the beans:
There's more bad news about a high-fat diet -- it disrupts the body's 24-hour internal (circadian) clock, which regulates sleeping, waking, eating, as well as the daily rhythms of many metabolic functions, U.S. researchers say.

A team from Northwestern University and Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH) found that mice fed a high-fat diet gained weight and showed a sudden disruption in their circadian clock, eating extra calories when they should have been sleeping or resting.

The team also found that a high-fat diet caused changes in genes that encode the circadian clock in the brain and in peripheral tissues (such as fat), resulting in reduced expression of these genes.
Another reason to ditch that nasty cheeseburger!

Bacon Beat Down

Bacon is a rough mission. And yet, millions of people gorge themselves on processed meats like bacon everyday. Hopefully this news changes their minds. A new report claims no amount of processed meat should considered completely safe. Nanci Hellmich of USA Today is on it:
And forget eating bacon, sausage and lunchmeat. No amount is considered completely safe, according to the analysis from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund…

…"This was a much larger impact than even the researchers expected," says Karen Collins, a cancer institute nutrition adviser. "People forget body fat is not an inert glob that we are carrying around on the waistline and thighs. It's a metabolically active tissue that produces substances in the body that promote the development of cancer…"

…The evidence linking red meat intake (beef, pork and lamb) to colorectal cancer is more convincing than it was a decade ago, the report says. It advises limiting red meat to 18 ounces of cooked meat a week. The cancer risk is minimal for people who eat that amount, but beyond that the risk increases, Collins says.
Wait. Too much fat and animal protein ups one’s cancer risk? No! You don’t say. We talked about this last week, but back by popular demand—and apparent need—here are Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on animal protein and cancer-risk. Take a look:
Study after study has shown that as protein consumption goes up, so does the incidence of chronic diseases. Similar studies show that the incidence of chronic diseases also goes up when carbohydrate and fat consumption go up. This is because if the consumption of any of the macronutrients exceeds our basic requirements, the excess hurts us. Americans already get too much protein (and fat and carbohydrates), and this is reflected in soaring increases in the diseases of excess—heart disease, high-blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and numerous others.
Now, too much animal protein doesn’t do your heart any favors either. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman talking about its affects on cholesterol and heart disease-risk. Check it out:
There is a relationship between animal protein and heart disease. For example, plasma apolioprotein B is positively associated with animal-protein intake and inversely associated (lowered) with vegetable-protein intake (e.g., legumes and greens). Apolioprotein B levels correlate strongly with coronary heart disease.1 Unknown to many is that animal proteins have a significant effect on raising cholesterol levels as well, while plant protein lowers it.2

Scientific studies provide evidence that many animal protein’s effect on blood cholesterol may be significant. This is one of the reasons those switching to a low fat-diet do no experience the cholesterol lowering they expect unless they also remove the low-fat animal products as well. Surprising to most people is that yes, even low-fat dairy and skinless white-meat chicken raise cholesterol. I see this regularly in my practice. Many individuals do not see the dramatic drop in cholesterol levels unless they go all the way by cutting all animal proteins from their diet.
Honestly, at this point in my life. The very thought of eating a piece of greasy bacon or sausage makes me want to hurl. I’m so glad I decided to change my life and…to be continued.

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Fast Food Toy Store

ParentDish has got a gripe. Do some parents take their kids to McDonald’s because of the toys? Christina Sbarro is annoyed. Take a look:
I didn't need to read Fast Food Nation or watch Supersize Me to be convinced that nutrition at McDonald's is entirely lacking, albeit they have tried with their recent introduction of salads and such.

But the thing that really gets me is that the children want to go there not because of the french fries or the burgers. They go because of the toys. And their parents seem to take them, routinely buying the happy meals that come equipped with toys invariably linked to movies, in a genius marketing campaign.
Sounds like a great marketing slogan to me, “Come for the toys. Stay for the junk!”

Cancer, Diet, and Growth

A study has determined that eating and growing are major contributors to cancer-risk. Maggie Fox of Reuters reports:
What people eat and how fast they grow are both significant causes of cancer, but many Americans still incorrectly believe that factors such as pesticides on food are bigger causes, experts reported on Wednesday.

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cancer for mother and child, and tall people have a higher risk of cancer than shorter people, the report found.

"We need to think about cancer as the product of many long-term influences, not as something that 'just happens,'" Dr. Walter Willett, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health in Massachusetts, told a news conference.

The report, released jointly by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, is the result of five years of study by nine teams of scientists.
I know. Hardly groundbreaking info for this blog!

Cut Fat, Lower Cancer Risk

Seems like pretty sane advice—right? Okay, before we get into this report. Here’s some info from Dr. Fuhrman. It’ll help refresh your memory about cancer-risk and fat consumption. Take a look:
Study after study has shown that as protein consumption goes up, so does the incidence of chronic diseases. Similar studies show that the incidence of chronic diseases also goes up when carbohydrate and fat consumption go up. This is because if the consumption of any of the macronutrients exceeds our basic requirements, the excess hurts us. Americans already get too much protein (and fat and carbohydrates), and this is reflected in soaring increases in the diseases of excess—heart disease, high-blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and numerous others…

…Protein, fat, and carbohydrate are macronutrients. In fact, they are the only macronutrients that exist. Macronutrients are the nutrients that contain calories; calories supply us with energy. Vitamins, minerals, and fiber are a few of the many micronutrients. Micronutrients do not contain calories; they have other essential roles to play. When it comes to designing a healthful, weight loss diet, micronutrients should be the focus of your attention, not macronutrients.
Alright, now check out this article in The New York Times. A new study has determined that a low-diet may lower the risk of ovarian cancer. Nicholas Bakalar is on it:
Researchers randomly assigned 19,541 women to a low-fat regimen reinforced with behavioral modification that included 18 group sessions in the first year and quarterly maintenance sessions after that, along with careful recording of food intake…

…For the first four years, there was no difference in cancer rates. But for the next 4.1 years, women on the low-fat diet had a 40 percent reduced risk for ovarian cancer. Although that is a substantial percentage difference, the absolute risk for ovarian cancer is not great. Over the eight years of the study, 57 women in the diet group and 103 in the comparison group got ovarian cancer.
Now, you don’t have to be a nutritionist to know that too much fat and animal products in your diet is a bad idea. Let’s check back with Dr. Fuhrman on this. Here’s more:
There is a relationship between animal protein and heart disease. For example, plasma apolioprotein B is positively associated with animal-protein intake and inversely associated (lowered) with vegetable-protein intake (e.g., legumes and greens). Apolioprotein B levels correlate strongly with coronary heart disease.1 Unknown to many is that animal proteins have a significant effect on raising cholesterol levels as well, while plant protein lowers it.2

Scientific studies provide evidence that many animal protein’s effect on blood cholesterol may be significant. This is one of the reasons those switching to a low fat-diet do no experience the cholesterol lowering they expect unless they also remove the low-fat animal products as well. Surprising to most people is that yes, even low-fat dairy and skinless white-meat chicken raise cholesterol. I see this regularly in my practice. Many individuals do not see the dramatic drop in cholesterol levels unless they go all the way by cutting all animal proteins from their diet.
Okay-okay, back to The New York Times report, I wanted to get a comment from Dr. Fuhrman on it and here’s what he had to say:
Interesting that the group with 40 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer only improved their fruit and vegetable intake by one serving a day. So they were still on a very poor diet and still saw that reduction from the diet that was even worse. Imagine the protection against cancer they’d receive if they all adopted a vegetable-based nutrient-dense diet!
Not sure what Dr. Fuhrman’s talking about? It’s true! Fruits and veggies offer excellent protection against cancer. This should help explain it. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
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…

…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.3 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…

…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.4 Lactose in milk seemed to be the primary culprit. Again this larger study confirms earlier studies with the same findings.
Kind of lays it on the line—don’t you think?
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