Eating to Live on the Outside: Boneheads

What a coincidence. The name of this week’s restaurant was also my ex-girlfriend’s pet name for me…moving on. Boneheads serves up a lot of fish—so you know what that means. We’ve got to be careful. Who’s ready to dodge some mercury? Let’s get ready to rumble!

Okay, let’s just get this out of the way now. You can also order chicken at Boneheads. I don’t eat chicken, so I’ll skip all that. Now, the types of fish we’ve got to choose from are salmon, tilapia, mahi-mahi, shrimp, and grouper. For starters, let's get the skinny from

Only Atlantic salmon is rated and Eco Worst and a Health Concern.

All three varieties are rated as Eco Bests.

It’s also an Eco Best!

Northern shrimp are the variety rated as an Eco Best.

All five varieties are rated an Eco Worst and a Health Concern.

For me the writing is on the wall. The easiest—and probably best—option is either the tilapia or the mahi-mahi. Personally, I adore mahi-mahi, so that’s what I’d go with. How about you? I guess you could ask the wait staff about the salmon if you were really hell bent on it.

Alright, so I’ve ordered the grilled mahi-mahi, what would my topping and side dish be? I’d probably go with the Pineapple Salsa over the Sautéed Piri Piri Mushrooms. Between the spice of the Piri Piri peppers and the sautee oil, the salsa is the clear-cut winner.

As for my side, I’m cool with either the Grilled Zucchini Strips, the Chilled Marinated Broccoli, or a Side Salad, but my heart is with the broccoli. You’d be hard-pressed to get me to choose something other than the cruciferous vegetable. Oh! Here’s an idea. Why not just order the chilled broccoli with the zucchini strips and a side salad—good idea? I think so.

The appetizers and soups are bad news, so no need to waste time with them. The salads on the other hand are workable. I’m digging either the Greek Salad or the House Salad; combined they’re made with cabbage, feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, carrots, and bell peppers. The only thing I’d ditch is the cheese and in this case skip the dressing—unless of course you think Greek, Ranch, and Blue Cheese dressing are nutrient-dense. You don’t—right?

Now, you might be bold enough to give the tacos and sandwiches a try. Given the other choices, I wouldn’t order them. The Grilled & Roasted Portobello sandwich is made with lettuce, tomato, a piri piri mayonnaise, and served with fries or Asian cole slaw. Well, after you drop the mayonnaise and don’t order the fries or the cole slaw, you’re still left with a bread concession and honestly, not a lot of food. Sorry, but why bother? Stick with a salad or some grilled fish.

I kind of feel like I got off easy this week, Boneheads is pretty straight forward. The things that work are pretty obvious and the things that don’t, even more so, but you tell me. Scope out Boneheads menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or send me an email to Until then, eat greatly!

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.
Continue Reading...

Fine Veggie Dining

San Francisco area restaurants are whipping up some decadent vegetarian dishes! Gregory Dicum of The New York Times reports:
Eric Tucker, the chef, is highly regarded for a polyglot style that marries ingredients and techniques from diverse cuisines with a sense of how best to celebrate Northern California's vegetable bounty. Millennium's menus are famously involved and difficult to parse — when I ate there with three friends, we were confronted with ingredients ranging from papazul to tempeh picadillo to sambal.

I have a soft spot for huitlacoche — the mushroom that grows on ears of corn and resembles distended, blackened kernels — so I ordered the masa pibes ($22.95), a steaming construction of savory, chewy hominy rounds beneath a mound of ragout made from the aforementioned fungi. The dish was set off with colorful accents: a cream of sweet corn and lobster mushrooms, plus roasted poblano emulsion and tangy, cilantro-spiked avocado-heirloom tomato salsa fresca.

Such is Mr. Tucker's skill that the food at Millennium attains a gustatory cohesion not suggested by the eclectic ingredients. The shredded Indian Red peach salad ($8.95) — which, besides tender peaches, included baby heirloom lettuce, green papaya, chili-dusted peanuts, and the sweet zing of a light Thai lime leaf dressing — blossoms on the tongue like a bouquet.
Oh, oh! Check out the slideshow too. The food looks so good! Take a look:

To Catch a Vegetable

Can the Potato P.D. solve this old-time veggie mystery? Find out:

Wash Your Hands!

Do you wash your hands? Aside from after doing my business, I admit, I don’t wash my hands as often as I should—dumb! A couple years ago Laura Landro of The Wall Street Journal wrote that hand washing is an important part of disease-prevention. Have a look:
The most important way to prevent the spread of colds is frequent hand washing. But experts say that following the most basic tenets of good nutrition -- consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats, and eliminating highly processed and junk foods -- can actually help ward off illness.
Okay, a reporter is one thing. What are Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on hand washing? In short, he thinks it’s a good idea, especially when it comes to warding off colds and the flu. He talks about it in this post about Avian Flu. Here’re some relevant pieces:
If this virulent form of the flu does appear in our region we are not without protection. We have control over the size of the exposure, because we can avoid hand to mouth and hand to nasal contact and we can wash our hands after touching people and birds…

…Wash your hands after you touch something that other people have touched like a doorknob or gas pump…

…If you use a public bathroom, use a paper towel to turn off the water knobs and then to open the door to leave the bathroom, to keep your hands clean.
I agree. I don’t DARE grab anything in a public bathroom with my bare hands. In fact, there should be decontamination showers setup outside most of them—EEK! Now, new research contends hand washing is more useful than drugs for virus control. Reuters reports:
Physical barriers, such as regular handwashing and wearing masks, gloves and gowns, may be more effective than drugs to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses such as influenza and SARS, a study has found.

The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, came as Britain announced it was doubling its stockpile of antiviral medicines in preparation for any future flu pandemic.

Trawling through 51 studies, the researchers found that simple, low-cost physical measures should be given higher priority in national pandemic contingency plans.

"Mounting evidence suggests that the use of vaccines and antiviral drugs will be insufficient to interrupt the spread of influenza," they wrote in the report.
I don’t know how practical a mask and gown would be, but, if you’ve ever peed on a 6108032618 Transit train, you’d think about it.

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.

Get Those Omega-3s!

Diet Blog passes along some tips to help you get your Omega-3 fatty acids. Here are a few good ones:
  1. Grind up flaxseeds and sprinkle them on salads or add them to oatmeal, protein shakes or morning cereals. Alternately, supplement with flaxseed oil; 1 tbsp is equivalent to 3 tbsp flaxseeds (use as a supplement; Not for cooking)
  2. Snack on walnuts, which contain modest amounts of omega 3 fats (other types of nuts and seeds can also contain significant amounts of omega 3 fats)
  3. Increase your consumption of leafy greens which contain small amounts of omega 3 fats.

Fitness GU?

Howard Schneider of The Washington Post gives gimmicky health and fitness foods the business…and not in a good way. Have a look:
The landscape these days is thick with sometimes conflicting advice about how, what and when you should eat and drink to get the most out of your workout: Exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat ... eating fat before a workout burns more fat ... eating right after a workout burns more fat ... not eating after a workout burns more fat. Gatorade and the other sports-drink companies make it seem as if casual sweating requires an Olympic refueling…

… But otherwise, keep it simple, and don't get lured into 300 to 400 extra calories unless you're sure you need them.

Look at the picture long enough and your brain will turn to goo.

Buying Safe Toys

With the Holidays barreling down on us and all the news of toxic toys kicking around, CNN offers up some tips for buying safe playthings. Check out this video:

I was totally the kid sticking his head under the shelf.

Rickets, Milk, and Lack of Exercise

New research claims not enough milk, exercise, and sunshine is causing rickets in some children. Lauran Neegaard of the Associated Press reports:
It's not just that they don't drink fortified milk. Bodies make vitamin D with sunlight. With teen computer use, urban youngsters without safe places to play outdoors and less school P.E., it's no wonder D levels are low. Because skin pigment alters sun absorption, black children are particularly at risk.

Rickets marks the worst deficiency, where bones become so soft that legs literally bow. Rickets was once thought to have been eradicated with milk fortification, but "I am now treating rickets in a way that I never treated it 20 years ago," says Tosi, who diagnoses rickets or super-low D levels in children every month at a bone clinic she runs for mostly inner-city children.

Doctors who've never seen rickets can miss it. Charlene Bullock repeatedly asked her 5-year-old's doctor why his leg was bending inward and he could no longer run with his playmates. It took a trip to Tosi's special clinic to learn Na-shun had rickets — the once energetic child had quit running because his bones ached like an old man's.

Fortunately, rickets caught early is easily cured with high-dose infusions of vitamin D and calcium, and Bullock's son quickly rebounded. "He's doing everything with that little leg."
I wasn’t sure how to approach this report. So, I asked Dr. Fuhrman for his input. Here’s what he had to say:
I saw plenty of kids with rickets in my medical school and residency days in the inner cities. Clearly, lack of exercise and sunlight, especially in those with darker skin is creating an epidemic of bone disease. Milk is fortified with Vitamin D, and can be the only D and calcium source in people who do not eat vegetables. I agree that the public needs to be better educated in these important nutritional issues.
Now, in regard to milk, exercise, and sunshine, these posts should explain things. Take a look:
Regular Exercise Pays Big Health Dividends
“As we condition our muscles and gain strength, our bones thicken and strengthen along with the muscle. Without regular exercise along the way, your bone structure can deteriorate as you get older. Some people survive with weak bones, but their quality of life suffers when they are immobilized by arthritis and osteoporosis.”

Cow's Milk and Kids Aren't Made for Each Other
“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.”

Importance of Vitamin D
“Sun exposure is perhaps the most important source of vitamin D because exposure to sunlight provides most humans with their vitamin D requirement. The further you live from the equator, the longer you need to be exposed to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Season, time of day, cloud cover, smog, and sunscreen affect UV ray exposure and vitamin D synthesis.”
In a nut shell—good, bad, good.

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)

Christmas Recipes - Countdown to Christmas

It’s over at Christmas Recipes. *Remember, not all recipes are Fuhrman-friendly.

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.


A lettuce that produces insulin! What will they think of next? Have a look:


Grand Rounds 4.10

Fruit and Veg Ban?

It seems some bureaucratic red tape might be closing this fruit and veggie stand in Croydon England. Healthy Eating & Nutrition News is on it:
"Most council's would be delighted at a healthy eating project like this that is not only saving them money but paying them for the priveledge!" she says Kurdish Jawher Ahmad Mohammed and Salam Hassan have worked hard over the years to start a fruit and veg stall at East Croydon Station after finding a businessman to lend them the thousands of pounds they needed to start up. Then they had to find more thousands to pay Croydon Council for planning permission, council tax, business rates, and street traders licences. Then there's solicitors fees.

"Croydon Council are obviously trying get themselves nominated for the Christmas Carol Ebineezer Scrooge Bah Humbug award for callousness. They plan to ruin Jawher Ahmad Mohammed and Salam Hassan's business making them unemployed 2 weeks before Christmas. Because they are self employed they probably won't even be entitled to benefit!" says a horrified Yvonne.
Instead, how about giving these dudes a tax break!

School Kids Will Eat Well

A new study has determined that school children will eat healthy food. Steve Karnowski of the Associated Press is on it:
When the researchers crunched all the numbers they found that schools serving the healthiest lunches did not see a falloff in demand.

While serving better meals does entail higher labor costs, the study found, that's offset by lower costs for more nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables compared with processed foods. However, many districts need to upgrade their kitchens and train their staff to prepare these foods, the researchers said.

The study's conclusions rang true for Jean Ronnei, director of nutrition services for St. Paul Public Schools, which serves more than 46,000 meals daily. The district was held up by the authors as a model for others.

Ronnei said the percentage of St. Paul kids eating school lunches has increased in recent years at the same time the district has been offering more fruits and vegetables.

"That doesn't mean we don't have a hot dog on our menu. We do. ... In our case it's a turkey low-fat hot dog," she said.

Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, said she was pleased to see evidence that schools can offer nutritious meals kids will eat without higher costs.

Exercise: Adults Getting the Hint?

So Dr. Fuhrman, how do you feel about exercise? “Exercise is important for healthy psychological function and to maintain significant muscle and bone mass as we age,” he said in a previous post, “It has been shown to improve mental function; to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression; and to improve sleep patterns, aiding healthful cycles of deep sleep.”

And the word might be spreading! According to Reuters more Americans are getting up off the sofa and moving around. Will Dunham reports:
In 2005, 46.7 percent of U.S. women and 49.7 percent of U.S. men engaged in regular exercise on a weekly basis, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based on a survey of 356,112 adults nationwide.

That represents an 8.6 percent increase in the rate among women and a 3.5 percent rise among men from a similar survey in 2001. Blacks continued to lag whites but made some strides.

The CDC said 33 percent of U.S. adults are classified as obese, compared to 15 percent in the 1970s. Obesity, attributed in part to people getting too little exercise and eating too much of the wrong foods, has become a rising problem in the United States and worldwide, contributing to chronic diseases.

"The positive picture is that American adults are increasing their regular physical activity," said Isa Miles, a CDC epidemiologist who contributed to the report.
Exercise is great. I’m a serious gym rat. Just part of the total transformation I…to be continued.

Green, Green, Food, Food!

Braised Kale and Squash with Pumpkin Seeds
2 bunches kale
1 medium butternut squash or small pumpkin
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's Black Fig Vinegar
1 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
Strip kale from stems. Discard stems. Wash leaves well, and coarsely chop. Peel, seed, and cube butternut squash or pumpkin. Place kale, squash, onion, garlic, and VegiZest in a large pot with water. Cover and steam over low heat for 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Add vinegar and toss. Serve sprinkled with lightly toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Toast seeds in oven at 300 degrees for 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Serves 6.

Brussels Sprouts Polonaise

6 cups Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup soft tofu
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons date sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest
1/2 cup fresh parsley, snipped & divided
1/2 cup plain soy milk
Cut large sprouts in half and steam for 8 minutes until tender. Blend tofu, lemon juice, date sugar, garlic, VegiZest, 1/4 cup parsley, and soy milk in blender and pour over sprouts. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serves 3.

Doubly Delicious Greens

1 large bunch bok choy, chopped
1 large bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (no salt)
2 cups shiitake and/or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
Place bok choy, Swiss chard, onions, and garlic in a large steamer and steam until almost tender, about 10 minutes. In a large pot add tomatoes, mushrooms, steamed greens mixture, and seasoning. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 8.

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.

Too Costly to Eat Right?

Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News reports that many Americans can’t afford to eat healthfully. Here’s some of the article:
One study shows that low-income Americans now would have to spend up to 70 percent of their food budget on fruits and vegetables to meet new national dietary guidelines for healthy eating.

And a second study found that in rural areas, convenience stores far outnumber supermarkets and grocery stores -- even though the latter carry a much wider choice of affordable, healthy foods.

"I think it's a matter of raising awareness among health professionals -- and that could be dieticians or diabetes educators or even doctors -- that when we typically give people a recommendation to eat more fruits and vegetables, that is actually so much more complicated in a rural environment," said Angela Liese, study author of the second report and an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

"There needs to be some thought given to how do you make these recommendations," Liese said.
Kind of hard to argue with this when we live in a country with fast food dollar menus and fruits and veggies cost a few dollars a pound…sigh.

Tamiflu's Tami-flukes

The flu freaks people out. I worked at a hospital for almost two years and every fall, flu pandemonium descended upon us; the young and old all desperately seeking inoculation. Something that comes with a price according to Dr. Fuhrman, here’s a quote:
Three antiviral drugs, amantadine (Symmetrel), rimantadine (Flumadine), and oseltamivir (Tamiflu) are available in the US for influenza. These medications are only partially effective and not effective at all unless they are started within the first two days of symptoms. All are prescription drugs and have serious potential risks. Besides the more common side effects of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and insomnia, rare but serious adverse reactions have been reported including depression, suicide, and a potentially fatal reaction called Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, which involves a high fever muscle rigidity and mental status changes. I cannot recommend the general use of these medications given their poor benefit-to-risk ratio.
At this point Tamiflu is a household name. Everyone knows someone who ran kicking and screaming to their doctor for a fix. Now, if you didn’t, be glad you didn’t. This CNN video report claims children who took Tamiflu are exhibiting abnormal behavior. Take a look:

Clearly, this is a worrisome, but get a load of this. Dr. Fuhrman points out that Tamiflu has a major flaw that is often overlooked. He explains:
Another drawback to Tamiflu and the others is that it takes time to diagnose the flu and by the time one gets to a doctor for an accurate diagnosis, you have passed the window in which the medications are effective. Hundreds of thousands of doses of Tamiflu will be prescribed and in more than 90 percent of instances, it will be used after the period when it has any potential to help. People will be increasing their risk of medication-caused side effect, without any potential benefit.
Even in my pre-Eat to Live days I never got flu shots. And now that I eat a disease-preventing high-nutrient diet, my body can kick the flu’s butt. Exhibit A: Flu, Shot!

Poop Problems

No doubt most Americans take good plumbing for granted. Think about it, how much would your life stink without it? Pardon the pun, but in all seriousness a working toilet is quite the lifesaver. In fact, lack of toilets can be fatal. Reuters reports:
Lack of proper toilet facilities and sanitation kills almost two million people a year, most of them children, the World Toilet Association said at its first meeting on Thursday.

"It is regrettable that the matter of defecation is not given as much attention as food or housing," Sim Jae-duck, the association's South Korean head, told the meeting at its recently opened lavatory-shaped headquarters south of Seoul.

Sim, a lawmaker nicknamed "Mr. Toilet", said some 2.6 billion people worldwide do not have access to proper toilet facilities, with potentially fatal consequences.

About 1.8 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases that are mainly blamed on inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene, the World Health Organisation's regional director for the Western Pacific, Shigeru Omi, told the meeting.
I’ll keep this in mind the next time I’m suffering through the aroma of the New York Penn Station men’s room.


Next time your iPod dies unexpectedly, don’t fret, grab an onion. Seriously, you can charge it with an onion. Get a load of this video:

Talk about phytonutrients!

Eating to Live on the Outside: Tiger Lily Caf�

Hopefully everyone’s recovered from their Thanksgiving tryptophan hangover because this week Eating to Live on the Outside hitches a ride on the LIRR and sits down for a meal at the Tiger Lily Café. It’s a good mix of healthy vegetarian and healthy flexitarian food, but let’s see if it works for an Eat to Liver. Time to put the Tiger Lily Café to the test—growl!

Let’s start with all the sandwiches and wraps. Okay, let’s just get this out of the way now. All the wraps include bread (the wrap), so that’s the first concession. Personally, I can deal with it. I seldom eat bread anymore and for any of these wraps I’d order the whole wheat to cushion the blow. Alright—glad that’s over with—moving on.

Well, I see four options I like. My favorite is the Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Wrap; made with zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash, onions, peppers, scallions, hummus, kalamata olives, mesclun greens, and balsamic vinaigrette. The reason why I like this one should be obvious—ALL THE VEGGIES! Now, I’d probably ditch the olives because they’re salty and I’d ask for the dressing on the side. Oh, and if the hummus has olive oil, that’d be a concession too. I can live it with.

Next up is the Shaharazade; prepared with hummus, grated carrot, mesclun greens, and sprouts. The main reason I like this one is the sprouts. Sprouts are really tasty and can help jazz up a boring entrée. The only potential worry I see is the hummus, if it has olive oil. The next two are pretty cool too. The Bella Bella Sandwich and the Greek Salad Wrap; combined they’re made with Portabello mushrooms, red peppers, mozzarella, salt & pepper, balsamic/pesto sauce, Romaine lettuce, Roma tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red onion, bell peppers, cucumber, and vinaigrette. Okay, if you eighty-six the salt & pepper, cheese, and olives, you’re in good shape. And again, if it was me, I’d order that dressing on the side, that way you can use as little as you’d like.

Now, if you’re feeling silly—I usually am—you might give the Peanut Butter and Fresh Banana Wrap a try; it’s just chunky peanut butter and sliced banana. Here’s the problem. Dr. Fuhrman once told me that conventional roasted peanut butter usually contains acrylamides. So, if you order it, you’re making a pretty decent concession, but like I said. If you’re feeling silly, go for it. I say this because I find it hard to resist the siren-song of bananas and peanut butter—just call me Elvis. “Uh thank you, thank you very much.”

Before we move onto the salads, its worth noting that the Tiger Lily Café gives you the option of making any of those wraps into a salad. So that’d nix that pesky bread concession. Although, I doubt a peanut butter banana salad would taste good, but tempting nonetheless. Now, Tiger Lily Café does offer salad-salads too. They all look good and all could conceivably work; with tweaks as needed. My two favorites are the Mesclun Salad w/”The Works” and the Greek Salad; together they’re made with field greens, salsa fresca, cucumbers, scallions, Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers, Bermuda onion, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. Peace of cake! Drop the olives, cheese, and go easy on the dressing. Wham-bam thank you mam!

Finally, the Tiger Lily Café offers up a whole host of fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies. If you feel like treating yourself to something sweet, this might work for you. Heck, it’s a lot better than having a candy bar or something worse. Here’re a few things I’d order. Maybe an apple-pear-carrot juice or what about a blend of blueberries, beets, and cabbage? Hello antioxidants! As far as the smoothies and cocktails go, I like the Iron Maiden, the Red Devil, and Bermuda Triangle—clearly I am feeling evil. The Iron Maiden is made with carrot juice and wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is very interesting. The Red Devil is a blend of beets, red apples, and ginger—neat! And lastly, the Bermuda Triangle is just a bunch of bananas, strawberries, and orange juice all whirled together. Honestly, any one of these sounds mighty refreshing right now!

The goods news is if you ever find yourself stuck in a Tiger Lily Café trap, you know you’re in good hands. The Tiger Lily Café is certainly Fuhrman-friendly. Plenty of wholesome veggie options for even the most ardent Eat to Liver. For me, it all comes down to how many fruits and vegetables I can get my hands on. The Tiger Lily Café has more than enough to go around, but don’t take my word for it! Check out The Tiger Lily Café’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or shoot me an email at

Followhealthlife's Latest Hits

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ve taken the holiday off—time for reruns! Here’s a collection of my favorite posts from the past few months. Enjoy:
Caffeine Buzzed Chi-Town
“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.”

Atkins...The Worst

“Deep down to your bones satisfied feeling?” What the heck does that have to do with good nutrition? Marijuana gives you that feeling—so they say—so is smoking weed healthy? Hardly! Sounds like an emotional attachment to food to me.

Boxed Rice Blues
“Boxed rice may be convenient, but these products offer little more than refined grains and lots of excess sodium. Eating a one-cup portion of rice prepared according to package directions (including the prepackaged seasonings and added margarine) can provide up to 1350 milligrams of sodium. Compare that to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines’ recommended limit of 2300 mg per day and you’re well on your way to sodium overload.”

The NYC Calorie War Continues
“City health officials announced Wednesday that they hope to revive their stalled plan to force fast-food chains to add calorie counts to the big menu boards that hang above their counters.”

Something Fishy Here...
“Even the FDA, which normally ignores reports on the dangers of our dangerous food practices, acknowledges that large fish such as shark, swordfish, and yellowfin and bluefin tuna, are potentially dangerous. Researchers are also concerned about other toxins concentrated in fish that can cause brain damage way before the cancers caused by chemical-carrying fish appear.”

Tomato 101
“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.”

Kids Can't Keep the Weight Off
“A team led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that obese children who lost weight kept it off if they were in a maintenance program, but its effectiveness waned over time.”

Gorilla Sandwich
“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.”

Brit Kids Shun Healthy Meals

“The Pied Piper, it turns out, he was not. In the wake of an Oliver-inspired national program to provide more nutritious food, students have gravitated away from the cafeteria in a majority of the schools surveyed, according to a government report released Wednesday.”

Cancer Leads to Divorce?

“Women with cervical cancer had nearly a 70 percent greater risk of divorce at the age of 20, a level that fell to 19 percent at 60. For testicular cancer, the divorce risk was 34 percent at 20 and 16 percent at 60.”

Omega-3s and Type-1 Diabetes

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

The Perfect Waistline?
“What did you weigh at age 20? As it turns out, that’s when your body probably settled into its ideal weight. By 20, almost everyone has stopped growing, and the pounds gained in the years following are mostly fat, says Dr. Walter Willett, a nutritional epidemiologist at Harvard University.”

Goofing Up Breakfast with Low-Calorie

Clearly Platkin’s recommendations are more harebrained than health-conscious, but he’s not alone. IateApie has concocted the list of the top ten low calorie breakfast cereals. Yeah, because refined cereals are loaded with nutrients—sigh.

The World's Oldest Man
“The world's oldest man celebrated his 112th birthday Tuesday with a healthy Japanese breakfast of rice, miso soup and seaweed, saying he wanted to live forever.”

American Food Not Good for Immigrants
“Within months, Adrian was in trouble. He'd packed on 30 pounds. Doctors said he had hypertension, high cholesterol and was at high risk for type 2 diabetes.”

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

Food Additives and Hyper Kids

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

Shaping Up School Cafeterias
“Food and beverage companies have scrambled to offer healthier alternatives in school cafeterias and vending machines, and some of the changes have been met with a shrug by students. The whole-wheat chocolate-chip cookies? “Surprisingly, the kids have kind of embraced them,” said Laura Jacobo, director of food services at Woodlake Union schools in California.”

Gardasil, Still a Dumb Idea
Not only do mandatory vaccinations seem very un-American, but, Gardasil is hardly the saving grace Merck’s marketing team paints it to be.

America, as Fat as Ever
“A lack of exercise is a huge factor in obesity rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found last year that more than 22 percent of Americans did not engage in any physical activity in the past month. The percentage is greater than 30 percent in four states: Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.”

Kobe Beef or Kobe Vegetables
“Kobe Bryant has instead placed all of his energy into representing his country, and said he probably pushed his body hardest in preparation for this event. He lost about 19 pounds before the minicamp in July, and has stayed away from pepperoni pizza and fast food so long that he said he "can't remember the last time" he had some. His diet has mostly been limited to fish and vegetables.”

Crackdown on Energy Drinks
“The attorneys general of 28 states, Washington D.C., and Guam asked the federal government on Tuesday to crack down on the makers of energy drinks with alcohol and caffeine, arguing their advertisements don't warn of health and safety risks.”

Obesity--THE VIRUS!
What a perfect opportunity for drug-makers to come out with an obesity vaccine—Money, money, mon-ey—MONEY!

Cow's Milk an Invader?

“Our bodies treat cows' milk as an invader, and including milk and other dairy products in our diets is linked to many health problems.”

Answers to Common Questions about Flaxseed

“Ground flaxseed provides more nutritional benefits than does whole flaxseed. That’s because the seeds are very hard, making them difficult to crack, even with careful chewing. Grinding breaks the seeds up, making them easier to digest when eaten. If whole flaxseeds remain unbroken, they may pass undigested through the body.”

High-Fat Foods No Good for Colon Cancer
New research suggests that a nutrient in red meat, poultry and dairy products may contribute to the development of intestinal polyps, which can lead to colon cancer.

Free Fruit Fridays

“Australia has its own problems with rising obesity and diabetes, and this fiber-loaded funding is more than just good stuff on Fridays. Premier John Brumby stated the Victorian plan is more comprehensive than a UK free fruit program that resulted in limited impact, per a published study last month in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.”

Bottled Water Bopping the Earth?
“Oops! The word is "don't reuse those bottles". Guess there's some danger of leaching of bad plastic from those if reused. As my son the chemist told me, "Get yourself one of those bottles especially made for holding water while hiking". It's also better for the environment. "Water-mining" is lowering the water table in some areas changing natural water supply. Plastic bottles, even if recycled aren't exactly eco-friendly.”

Barry Groves and Low-Carb: Junk Interview, Junk Science
"Each time Barry Groves reports on a medical study he gave a different conclusion to the data than the researchers do, and the studies are usually some poorly done old study. It is typical stuff for the Atkins crowd and the Weston Price Foundation to find one research paper they can claim makes their argument legitimate, but even when they hand pick one study, they typically don't report the research accurately."
Now, while you’re enjoying this stroll down memory lane, I’ll be huffing and puffing through my first ever…to be continued.

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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Heart Disease Kills Young Women Too!

Sorry for the sensationalist title, but this might shock you. New search has determined that more women under 45 are dying from heart disease. The Associated Press reports:
For decades, heart disease death rates have been falling. But a new study shows a troubling turn - more women under 45 are dying of heart disease due to clogged arteries, and the death rate for men that age has leveled off.

Heart experts aren’t sure what went wrong, but they think increasing rates of obesity and other risk factors are to blame…

…But what’s going on with younger adults is startling, said Dr. Anthony DeMaria, editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which is publishing the study and released it Monday.

"We have a pretty rosy view of how things are going in the war against cardiovascular disease," DeMaria said. "I view this paper as a wake-up call that says there is a very important segment of our population that needs some attention."
Sadly, this isn’t all that surprising. Most people eat the standard American diet, and, according to Dr. Fuhrman heart disease starts young. I’ll let him explain:
As a result of the heart-unfriendly diet, blood vessel damage begins early. Not only does the development of coronary atherosclerosis develop in childhood, but earlier development of atherosclerosis and higher serum cholesterol levels in childhood result in a significantly higher risk of premature sudden death relatively early in life. Sometimes the effects of childhood dietary abuses can be seen relatively early, with premature death or a heart attack at a young age.

When we study people who died young of coronary artery disease, we find that the highest risk of an earlier death occurs in those who were above average weight in childhood.1 Findings from the famous Bogalusa Heart Study show that a high saturated fat intake early in life is strongly predictive of later heart disease burden and the higher blood pressure in childhood and adolescence is powerfully predictive of cardiovascular death in adulthood.2
It sure seems like the sooner you start eating for health and longevity, the better. I don’t know, just a thought.
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ParentDish: Exercise Issues

Roger Sinasohn of ParentDish wants to exercise—he really does—but with the kids’ busy schedule he just can’t find the time. Here’s his dilemma:
After that, I would sit in the hot tub and kibitz for a bit and then walk home, often stopping at a coffee shop to drink a cup of joe and work on my novel.

I was down to my lowest adult weight ever and well on my way to hitting 200lbs. Then, we had kids. Rachel leaves very early in the morning, so I have to stay home with the kids until it's time for school or until someone is here to watch them. After work, I come straight home and get started on dinner, and cleaning up, and getting the kids to bed -- the whole nine yards. By the time they're in bed, and I'm working on stories for ParentDish, my vision is getting blurry and my brain starts shutting down for the night.
Well, if Roger figures out when to exercise, he might want to give this abdominal workout from The Detroit Free Press a try. Take a look:
Lie on a mat with your arms extended out and palms facing down. With your legs in the air directly over your hips, position a stability ball between your ankles. With your abs tight, squeeze the ball.

With your right shoulder pressed to the floor, rotate your legs to the left as close to the floor as possible. Then, engage your abs to raise the ball back to the starting position and repeat to the other side. Try 12 repetitions to each side.
I’ve used a ball before—it’s okay—more for beginners. How do you work your abs? Oh, and please head over to ParentDish and give Roger some exercise advice.

Thanksgiving Veggie Humor

Veg Blog’s pulled some great veggie-based comic strips. Here’s one:

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!

Naples: No Smoking Near Pregnant Women

The Italian city of Naples has issued a ban against smoking near pregnant women and children in public parks. More from the AFP:
"We're not going to use a ruler to measure the distance between smokers and women or children," Deputy Mayor Gennaro Nasti told AFP.

"But it will be forbidden to smoke during open-air shows or under covered structures."
Hey, when the Deputy Mayor’s last name is Nasti, you better do what he says!

"Backed" by Strong Evidence

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be one of those old people whose spine barely budges above 45 degrees. That’s why I exercise my back like CRAZY! And according to this video report by The New York Times core conditioning is pivotal. See for yourself:

Yippee, Yoga! My newfound obsession and believe me it works! Now, Dr. Vad isn’t the only one who thinks keeping your back in tip-top shape is a good idea. Dr. Fuhrman feels the same way; when you exercise really pay attention to your lower back. Here’s a quote:
Ideally, exercise should be a part of your daily routine like brushing your teeth and taking a shower. If you have a busy work schedule and commute, get in fifteen minutes of exercise every day before your morning shower. For example, if you routinely shower every morning, work up a sweat with some abdominal crunches, back extensions, toe raises, walk up and down the stairs in your home, mock jump rope, and then take your shower. Keep in mind; it is important to exercise your lower back frequently. Get in the habit of exercising the same time every day. Make the days where you do not exercise the exception, not the rule.
And here Dr. Fuhrman provides some simple exercise tips. Take a look:
  1. Seated cable row: With knees slightly bent, lean forward, then pull the handles back to your chest with elbows wide as your back comes to vertical.
  2. Wide cable pull downs: Pull down the cable to your chest with elbows wide as you lean back to a sixty-degree angle.
  3. Back extensions: Lean over exercise ball, and arch your back up like a reverse sit up, or use a back extension chair made for this exercise.
  4. Superman: While lying on your stomach, lift trunk and legs up off the ground like a bow.
  5. Alternate Superman: Use alternate arm and leg to perform the superman.
  6. Weighted backpack: Wear a weighted backpack for a few hours per week. Normal activities of moving around and getting up and down with a weighted backpack on strengthens the back.
Give that cable pull-down a try, its no joke!

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.

Had a Heart Attack, Stay Fat?

Talk about giving up in life. Apparently overweight people lose no weight after a heart attack. More from Reuters:
"On average less than a half of a percent change in body weight occurred, and that's really small," Dr. John A. Spertus of the Mid America Heart Institute of Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, one of the study's authors, told Reuters Health. People need to lose at least 5 percent of their body weight to significantly improve their heart health, he added.

Spertus and his team followed up with 1,253 overweight or obese individuals one year after they had experienced a heart attack. On average, they had lost 0.2 percent of their body weight. Overweight people actually gained an average of 0.4 percent of their body weight, while obese people lost 0.5 percent and morbidly obese individuals lost nearly 4 percent.

Italian Health Food

Polenta Vegetable Casserole
2 cups fresh organic baby spinach
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest or other no salt seasoning
1/8 cup water
3/4 jar pasta sauce, no or low salt
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked overnight & cut into small pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cornmeal

Cheese topping
1 cup soy mozzarella cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute' vegetables, herbs and seasonings in water for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender, adding more water if needed to prevent sticking. Mix in pasta sauce, reserving 1/4 cup. Meanwhile, bring 6 cups of water, sun-dried tomatoes and minced garlic to a boil. Then slowly add cornmeal, stirring constantly on low heat for 5 minutes until the cornmeal thickens. Spread 1/4 cup pasta sauce over bottom of 8 X 11 baking pan, then spread a layer of polenta over the sauce. Place a layer of the vegetable/sauce mixture on the polenta and then another layer of polenta and vegetable/sauce mixture. Sprinkle grated cheese over top. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until heated through. Serves 8.

No Pasta Vegetable Lasagna
Lasagna noodles
2 large eggplants, sliced 1/4" lengthwise
3 small zucchini, slice lengthwise as thin as you can
3 small yellow squash, slice lengthwise as thin as you can

Tofu ricotta
1 package soft tofu
1 small onion, cut in quarters
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1 1/4 pounds firm tofu
4 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest
2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
1 cup grated soy mozzarella cheese

2 bunches broccoli florets & peeled stems, coarsely chopped
4 cups sliced mushrooms, a mixture preferable (shiitake, cremini, oyster)
4 medium bell peppers (a mixture of red, yellow & orange), chopped
1 7-ounce bag organic baby spinach
3 cups pasta sauce, no or low salt
fresh basil, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lasagna noodles
Bake eggplant, zucchini and squash slices for 10 minutes until flexible but not completely cooked.

Tofu ricotta
Process soft tofu, onion, and garlic until pureed. Add 1 bunch basil leaves and pulse to coarsely chop. Squeeze firm tofu to remove excess water and crumble. Mix pureed tofu and crumbled tofu. Add VegiZest, Italian herbs, and grated soy mozzarella cheese.

Saute vegetables
Saute broccoli, mushrooms. peppers, and spinach over low heat for 5 minutes, without water, just until tender.


Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce on bottom of a baking dish. Layer eggplant slices, then sauteed vegetables, tofu ricotta, squash and zucchini slices and spread with pasta sauce. Repeat layers ending with tofu ricotta. Spread pasta sauce on the top and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until very hot and bubbly. Garnish with shredded fresh basil. Serves 8.

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.

In the Genes: Type-1 Diabetes

Researchers may have discovered the root of Type-1 Diabetes. More from the NewScientist:
Type 1 diabetes may be caused by faulty versions of two genes that usually help the body to fight infection.

Joanna Howson at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, UK, and colleagues think that faulty variants of HLA-A and HLA-B lead the immune system to destroy insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas. Usually, the two genes make components of MHC1 - a protein on the surface of immune cells that helps them tell friend from foe.

Peas with Attitude

I’m not sure we should give these peas a chance. Take a look:

Diabetes: A Racial Divide?

HealthDay News reports that black children are amongst the hardest hit by diabetes. Steven Reinberg reports:
While this racial disparity has been evident for more than two decades, the trend has been accelerating among children ages 1 to 19, according to the study in the Nov. 16 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Although the numbers are small, in absolute terms, these deaths are still preventable, which is why it is important to examine those disparities and work toward eliminating them," said CDC epidemiologist Dr. Laura L. Polakowski, who co-authored the report.

Looking at death certificates from 1979 to 2004, the researchers found that between 2003 and 2004, there were 89 deaths among U.S. children and teens from diabetes. During that time, the annual diabetes death rate for black children and teens was more than double that for white children.

Eating to Live on the Outside: The Natural Caf�

First off, big kudos to Michael for emailing me this week’s restaurant—thanks Michael! Today we’re grabbing a bite to eat at The Natural Café. Now, I’ve got to say, having just given it a quick scan. It looks good. So no long preamble today—let’s dig in!

Alright, I’m going to try and keep this evaluation as close to 100% Fuhrman-friendly as possible. With that being said, the appetizer I’m going with is the Vegetarian Chili; which includes cheese, onions, and corn bread. Once you ditch the cheese and corn bread it looks mighty good. The soups are another option, provided they’re not to salty, have lots of veggies, and you skip out on the 7-grain bread.

Next up are the salads and you’ve got plenty of options. Here are my favorites. The Botanical Garden Salad is great; made with baby-leaf lettuce, carrots, red onions, jicama, tomato, and sprouts. The Spiritual Spinach Salad also looks very tasty; prepared with spinach, carrots, olives, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, veggie-bacon bits, and sprouts. I’m ditching the cheese, olives, and the veggie-bacon. And lastly, I like the East Beach Salad; it comes with grilled veggies, baby-leaf greens, carrots, tomato, and jicama. I’m a sucker for grilled veggies on salad! Now you know what I’m going to say next, “Of course I’d go easy on the salad dressing.”

In the face of all these great veggie options, I doubt I’d be inclined to order a sandwich, but, what the heck! Let’s take a look at a couple. For obvious reasons I like the Grilled Veggie Sandwich; its made with grilled veggies, lettuce, sprouts, tomato, garlic mayonnaise, and served on 7-grain bread. Now, the bread is the concession and the mayo is out the window, but like I said, I’m a sucker for grilled vegetables. The other sandwich I’m digging is the Portobella Mushroom; prepared with a marinated grilled portobello mushroom, jack cheese, grilled onions, tomato, sprouts, pesto, garlic mayo, and served on 7-grain bread. Again, the bread is the concession and I’m totally ditching the cheese and the mayo.

Moving on to the Vegetarian Entrees and there’s lots of good stuff here too. I really like the Buddha Burrito; it’s prepared with sauteed veggies, pinto beans, rice, ranchero sauce, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and wrapped in a whole wheat chapati with a salad garnish. Okay, I’m sacking the cheese and sour cream. Hopefully there’s not too much oil being used in the sautéing process—that would suck! And the chapatti is a concession I can live with. Hey, the salad’s cool! The Natural Tamale is also pretty neat; it’s made with corn, green chiles, pinto beans, ground peanut, and garlic wrapped in a corn masa topped with ranchero sauce and sour cream and served with rice and black beans. Goodbye sour cream! Other than the masa concession, it looks good.

And finally, if all else fails. You can give this time-tested strategy a whirl. Make yourself a tasty meal out of the sides. Let’s see what we got. Well, I could certainly go for some steamed veggies, a baked potato, avocado, and some pinto beans. Not sure those around me would appreciate the pinto. Eh, it’s a risk I’m willing to take! I’m a real sucker for steamed veggies too. Especially steamed broccoli, I’m sure most of you would agree. Steamed broccoli is surprising addicting!

Thanks again to Michael for giving me a heads-up about The Natural Café. An Eat to Liver could certainly find refuge here. Sure, you’ve got some cheese and bread to dodge, but in a frontier packed with standard American restaurants a little cheese and bread should be the least of your worries. Now, it’s your turn! Check out The Natural Café’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or send an email to Until next time, eat well!

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.

Teeth Too

We probably don’t talk about it enough here on Followhealthlife, but your teeth are pretty important too. HealthDay News passes on some tips to keep your teeth in tip-top shape. Check it out:
The American Dental Association offers these guidelines for proper hygiene:
  • At least twice a day (and after meals when you can), brush with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use an antimicrobial mouthwash.
  • Floss at least once each day. If possible, floss after every meal to remove food particles from between teeth.
  • Get a new toothbrush at least once every three months, or whenever the brush's bristles become frayed and worn.
  • Limit sugary meals, drinks and snacks.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
Admit it, there is no greater shame than being told you have a cavity—grrr!

Union Square Veggies

Here’s a look at the famous Union Square farmers market in New York City. Enjoy:

Carnival of Recipes -- Let's Talk Turkey!

It’s over at Elementary Chef. *Remember, not all recipes are Fuhrman-friendly.

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?

Continue Reading...

Cut Allergy Risk through Breastfeeding

New research has determined that breastfeeding during the first three months of life can protect children from developing food allergies. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News is on it:
That's just one of a number of findings on food allergies scheduled to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Dallas.

Research has determined a possible role for food allergy prevention strategies in high-risk children, including maternal food avoidance in pregnancy, breast-feeding, maternal food avoidance while breast-feeding, use of hyper-allergenic formulas, delayed introduction of allergenic foods and probiotics, noted one expert.

"A review of 18 studies demonstrates a significant protective effect of exclusive breast-feeding for at least three months for children with high risk for atopy (genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases) against the development of atopic dermatitis and early childhood asthma-like symptoms," Dr. Robert Wood, international health director for pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement.
Important yes, but not exactly new news, in Disease-Proof Your Child Dr. Fuhrman insists breastfeeding is an important line of defense for young children. Here’s an excerpt:
The antibodies derived from mother’s milk are necessary for maximizing immune system function, maximizing intelligence, and protecting against immune system disorders, allergies, and even cancer. The child’s immune system is still underdeveloped until age of two, the same age when the digestive tract seals the leaks (spaces between cells) designed to allow the mother’s antibodies access to the bloodstream. So picking the age of two as the length of recommended breast-feeding is not just a haphazard guess, it matches the age at which the child is no longer absorbing the mother’s immunoglobulins to supplement their own immune system. Nature designed it that way.

Eat Those Blueberries!

This doctor reminds us that blueberries are a real super food. Take a look.

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.

Pregnancy: Bad Diet, Fat Kid?

Wait, a pregnant mother’s diet might affect their baby’s health—NO—you don’t say? Shari Roan of The Los Angeles Times reports:
Multiple studies have shown that either underfeeding or overfeeding the fetus during pregnancy can affect how a child's body will respond to food over a lifetime, increasing the risk for diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.

Pioneering research in the late 1980s by British physician David Barker showed that babies weighing 6 pounds or less are more likely to have an increased risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. It is the disparity between the prenatal environment and the nutritional environment after birth that appears to cause abnormalities in energy metabolism, endocrine functions and organ development.

Given the modern environment of preschoolers in Western countries -- marked by a lack of exercise, and diets high in calories, fat and sugar -- this disparity creates a problem, Barker and other researchers say.

"The fetus is reading the environment during development and is using that to predict what the environment will be once it's born," says Jerry Heindel, a fetal-programming expert at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "If the fetus gets poor nutrition, it will set itself up to be able to adjust to that. If it has poor nutrition during life, it will do quite well. But later in life, if nutrition changes and becomes like the food we're eating today, that is a mismatch, and that will increase the susceptibility to disease."
Eating right during pregnancy is a hot-button issue for Dr. Fuhrman. He talks about it in his book Disease-Proof Your Child. Here’s an excerpt:
The time to begin paying attention to a child’s health is long before birth. Even the mother’s diet twelve months before conception can influence the child’s future health. It is important to eat healthfully prior to conception as well as once pregnancy has begun. Proper nutrition and good health habits are more important than ever during pregnancy and can help in maintaining good health for both mother and baby.
Perhaps even more important are those foods mothers should completely avoid while pregnant. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine, including secondhand smoke
  • Alcohol
  • Medications, both over-the-counter and prescription drugs
  • Herbs and high-dose supplements, vitamin A
  • Fish, mollusks and shellfish, sushi (raw fish)
  • Hot tubs and saunas
  • Radiation
  • Household clear, paint thinners
  • Cat litter (because of an infectious disease called toxoplasmosis caused by a parasite found in cat feces)
  • Raw milk and cheese
  • Soft cheese and blue-veined cheeses such as feta, Roquefort, and Brie
  • Artificial colors, nitrates, and MSG
  • Deli meats, luncheon meats, hot dogs, and undercooked meats
That’s why this makes me shudder. A couple weeks ago I saw a pregnant mom eating an Egg McMuffin at the gym of all places—very disturbing.

Are We Over-Vaccinated?

Dr. Fuhrman’s colleague Dr. John Abramson thinks we are. Here’s a bit of his book Overdosed America:
What I found over the next two and a half years of “researching the research” is a scandal in medical science that is at least the equivalent of any of the recent corporate scandals that have shaken Americans’ confidence in the integrity of the corporate and financial worlds. Rigging medical studies, misrepresenting research results published in even the most influential medical journals, and withholding the findings of whole studies that don’t come out in a sponsor’s favor have all become the accepted norm in commercially sponsored medical research. To keep the lid sealed on this corruption of medical science—and to ensure its translation into medical practice—there is a complex web of corporate influence that includes disempowered regulatory agencies, commercially sponsored medical education, brilliant advertising, expensive public relations campaigns, and manipulations of free media coverage. And last, but not least, are the financial ties between many of the most trusted medical experts and medical industry.
Now, Julie’s Health Club is pondering the same question over some new research. Take a look:
The problem is that doctors often underestimate how long vaccines will be effective, meaning people are getting booster shots when their immunity levels most likely do not require it, according to the study by researchers with Oregon Health & Science University published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers were initially trying to figure out how long immunity could be maintained after infection or vaccination. They expected immunity would be long-lived following a viral infection and relatively short-lived immunity after vaccination, especially because this is why booster vaccinations are required.

Instead, they found that "immunity following vaccination with tetanus and diphtheria was much more long-lived than anyone realized and that antibody responses following viral infections were essentially maintained for life," explained study co-author Mark Slifka, an associate scientist at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute.
Well, we’re certainly hypochondriacs to say the least.

Beta-Carotene and Dementia

Beta-carotene has received some mixed press over the years. Lots of hoopla over one little vitamin, Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Years ago, high doses of betacarotene were shown to increase the risk for cancer and death in smokers. In the last few months, beta-carotene has gotten more bad news. Six years after a study was halted early because a risky association between high-dose beta-carotene supplementation and heart disease and cancer was detected, follow-ups showed that for women, the bad effects lingered. The participants took 30 milligrams per day of beta-carotene plus extra vitamin A.

Researchers found that the increased risk of heart disease and cancer disappeared when the men in the study stopped taking the beta-carotene supplements, but the risk for women continued. Before the study was halted, the participants who took the supplement had a 28 percent greater incidence of lung cancer and 17 percent more deaths from all causes compared with those who didn’t take the beta-carotene. In the follow-up, women were 30 percent more likely to develop lung cancer, 40 percent more likely to die of heart disease, and 30 percent more likely to die of all other causes.

This lingering increased risk for women may be because beta-carotene and vitamin E are both fat-soluble, allowing any excess to accumulate in fat-cell membranes. This could explain the adverse effects of beta-carotene in women, who have more body fat than men. Vitamin C is water-soluble, and any excess leaves the body via urine.
And today, there’s some good news. Ed Edelson HealthDay News reports that beta-carotene may protect us against dementia. Take a look:
Taking supplements of the antioxidant beta carotene for a long time -- 15 years or more -- appears to lessen the decline in thinking ability that comes with Alzheimer's disease, a study finds…

…The idea that antioxidants such as beta carotene can help protect against Alzheimer's disease is not new. But the idea remains controversial, because a number of studies have not produced positive results. This latest trial, which started as the Physicians Health Study II, stretches back to 1982…

…The idea that long-term use of the supplements is necessary "is certainly plausible, given that the neuropathologic changes underlying clinically significant impairment appear to take years, if not decades," Dr. Kristine Yaffe, professor of psychiatry, neurology, epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California wrote. But evidence for that concept would be difficult to obtain, since it would require trials lasting 25 to 30 years, she said.
Now, if you’re curious about veggie sources of beta-carotene, here’s a list from Dr. Fuhrman. Check it out:
Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, beet greens, broccoli, and asparagus); deep orange fruits (apricots, cantaloupe, mango, and papaya); deep orange vegetables (squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin).
You can’t beat a nice ripe cantaloupe—so good!

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.

Grand Rounds - Volume 4 number 8

The Worst...and That's Atkins!

The Atkins Diet, it’s an over-hyped and dangerous fad, but we knew that already. What we didn’t know, is how had it is for blood vessels, but we found that out last week. Remember this Reuters report, “High-fat Atkins diet damages blood vessels?” Here’s a refresher:

The high-fat Atkins diet can cause long-term damage to blood vessels, as well as some of the inflammation linked with heart and artery disease, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

In contrast, low-fat regimens such as the South Beach and Ornish diets lowered cholesterol and appeared to benefit artery function, they said.

"It really is the Atkins diet that is the worst," Dr. Michael Miller, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, said in a telephone interview.

"The Atkins diet caused the LDL levels to go up by about 7 percent, whereas in the Ornish and South Beach diets ... they went down 7 to 10 percent."

Now, this enflamed the low-carb consortium—they practically passed out torches and pitchforks—and this outrage went straight to the top. In fact, the Grand Pubahs of nutritional misinformation Atkins Nutritional, Inc. decreed their “official” rebuttal. Here it is:

A presentation at the recent meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Florida, comparing the maintenance stages of three diet regimens, Atkins, South Beach and Ornish, has relied on faulty research and a misunderstanding of Atkins protocols to suggest the Atkins diet may not be heart healthy.

Dr. Michael Miller, who made the presentation, apparently ignored more than 30 years of clinical experience and independent research on low carbohydrate diets, and now four years of trials looking specifically at the Atkins protocols, which have consistently demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of the Atkins diet.

Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc., Vice President of Nutrition & Education at Atkins Nutritionals, commenting on Dr. Miller’s presentation, referenced several peer reviewed studies which report opposite findings. Among the most prominent was a year-long weight loss and health study conducted by Stanford University researchers and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which showed no increased risk of cardiovascular markers in more than 300 overweight subjects.

In summarizing his study, Dr. Miller acknowledged that researchers considering the effects of low carbohydrate diets have reached very different conclusions depending on sample size, research protocol and any number of other uncontrolled variables. Unfortunately, Dr. Miller's research cannot be fully evaluated since his study has not been peer reviewed or published. But, given the short duration of his study, the very small sample size, and the weak correlations, drawing conclusions about possible long term health risks tied to fat consumption in the maintenance phase of any weight control program is not good science.

According to media reports, the subjects in Dr. Miller’s study were put on what’s described as the maintenance phase of Atkins with 50% of their calories coming from fat. However, this is not the Atkins maintenance phase protocol, nor is it part of the Atkins diet protocols. The lipid response Dr. Miller reported is what one might expect from a combination of rich carbohydrates and fat, but it’s not Atkins.

When it comes to nutrition and weight control, the public deserves science based conclusions. Time and again independent research has shown the benefits of a low-carbohydrate nutritional approach to safe and healthy weight loss and weight maintenance. And that's Atkins!

After reading this I am reminded of old German news reels from the fifties—not sure why. So, as a follow up to last week’s post Atkins...The Worst, I decided to track down some expert opinions on all this Atkins nonsense. First up, Linda Popescu, MS, RD:

The Stanford University study that Atkins Nutritionals references studied 4 different diets over a 12 month period (Atkins, Zone, Ornish and Learn). The amount of weight loss was modest at 12 months for all of the diets, ranging from 2% to 5% of body weight. Participants following the Atkins diet lost an average of 10 pounds over the 12 months. The women participating in the study attended 1 hour classes once per week for 8 weeks; they received email and telephone reminders plus cash incentives for completing data collection materials. With this type of support, a ten pound weight loss for women who averaged 190 pounds is not exactly a success story. If you assume that they would need to lose at least 50 pounds to achieve ideal body weight, they would have to faithfully follow the Atkins Diet for 5 years.

A low fiber, low phytonutrient, high saturated fat is not a recommendation that any responsible health care professional should make. Diets high in saturated fat promote both heart disease and cancer. Vegetables and fruit are carbohydrates. Low carbohydrate diets restrict these rich sources of cancer fighting phytonutrients and fiber.

Now here’s Dr. Fuhrman’s colleague Steven Acocella, D.C., MS, DACBN. Check out what he had to say:

The inherent strength of the pro-Atkins camp is that a high carbohydrate diet is a major culprit in the development of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), and they could not be more RIGHT! A diet high in refined carbohydrates is a scientifically proven, potent risk factor in the development in CAD. But the leap of error is that they argue by default that must mean that a low carbohydrate diet replaced by a high fat diet reduces, or even remove this increased disease risk. This is an inane argument as both processed carbohydrate intake and high fat/high protein dietary intake raise the risk of developing CAD. Atkin’s made a major contribution to humanity by scientifically exposing the dangers of a high carbohydrate diet. But claiming that a high fat/high protein diet is less dangerous is like comparing arsenic to cyanide. Clearly, both are dramatically dangerous and promote disease. Compare studies done with whole, unprocessed plant food and natural carbohydrate intake and diets whose calories are derived primarily from protein or fat and you will see a stark contrast, namely cardio protective v. cardiopathic results (Chen et al., 2006; Stanton and Crow, 2006; Steffen and Nettleton, 2006; Samaha et al., 2003). Simply put, diets high in refined carbohydrates are as disease promoting, and on par with, a diet high in protein and or fat.

Many claim that my position of the disease promoting nature of a diet high in animal fat and protein is unsupported by the literature because if it were true then millions of people world wide who eat such a diets would be dying from cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Exactly, I agree. They are. The closer you get to the Atkins dietary recommendations the more likely you will suffer an untimely and avoidable death, and this position is supported by the vast majority of the scientific literature (Rosenstock et al., 2006; Foster et al., 2003; Kelemen et al., 2005; McCullough et al., 2002). But the exact same thing can be said about a high carbohydrate diet, no exceptions. We all agree that the SAD diet is a major contributing factor in placing our nation high on the list of diseases of nutritional excess, such as obesity and its co-morbidities, and the 3 leading causes of death.

Atkins and low-carb/high-protein diets (LC/HP) in general simply raise the levels of some of the worst offenders of the SAD diet. A simple law of biology is that if something is detrimental at some exposure level then increasing the exposure level is likely to make it more detrimental, and it doesn’t matter if the offender is carbohydrate or protein or fat.

In the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2007, a massive 10 year dietary assessment study of 22,944 subjects was published. The investigation was part of the EPIC Project (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition). Titled, Low- carbohydrate-high-protein diet and long-term survival in a general population cohort, Dr. Hsieh of the Harvard School of Public Health and his colleagues’ asses the relationship between high protein, high carbohydrate and low carbohydrate-high protein intake with cancer and cardiovascular mortality. The results were significant.

After proportional hazard regression analysis of 113,230 person years, Dr. Hsieh states, “higher intake of carbohydrates was associated with significant reduction of total mortality”. But perhaps most striking are the authors’ results that state, “…even more predictive of both cardiovascular and cancer mortality were the additive effects of low carbohydrate-high protein scores.” [P=0.001]. The article makes a clear and compelling case for the dangers of a LC/HP diet. The conclusion reads, “Prolonged consumption of diets low in carbohydrates and high in protein (LC/HP) is associated with an increase in total mortality”.

I reviewed the raw statistical data and the mortality gradient is considerable and linearly proportional to LC/HP score. This correlation between macronutrient profile and mortality and morbidity from cancer and cardiovascular disease is not unexpected and consistent with the vast majority of credible studies that all point in the same direction (McCullough, et al., 2002; Trichopoulou et al., 2003).

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.

This is one of my favorite anti-Atkins raps. You can find it over at Here’s an excerpt:

When the chief health officer for the State of Maryland,1 was asked "What's wrong with the Atkins Diet?" He replied "What's wrong with... taking an overdose of sleeping pills? You are placing your body in jeopardy." He continued "Although you can lose weight on these nutritionally unsound diets, you do so at the risk of your health and even your life."2

The Chair of Harvard's nutrition department went on record before a 1973 U.S. Senate Select Committee investigating fad diets: "The Atkins Diet is nonsense... Any book that recommends unlimited amounts of meat, butter, and eggs, as this one does, in my opinion is dangerous. The author who makes the suggestion is guilty of malpractice."3

The Chair of the American Medical Association's Council on Food and Nutrition testified before the Senate Subcommittee as to why the AMA felt they had to formally publish an official condemnation of the Atkins Diet: "A careful scientific appraisal was carried out by several council and staff members, aided by outside consultants. It became apparent that the [Atkins] diet as recommended poses a serious threat to health."4

UPDATE: The Atkins beat down continues. Dr. Fuhrman’s colleague Jennifer Petrillo, MD was eager to throw a few jabs at Atkins over this study. She’s a toughie:

It is no surprise that this new study, which controlled patients for weight loss while they followed each prescribed diet, finds that Atkins is the unhealthiest in the long run. With up to sixty percent f calories coming from fat, what could be expected? It is clear that diets low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables and fiber are protective against heart disease and cancer, yet Atkins recommends only one more serving per day of fruits and vegetables than the Standard American Diet (SAD) guidelines do (six servings over five) and has a fiber content of only twelve grams per 1,000 calories, far below any other commercially-marketed diet plan. The huge amount of animal protein recommended by Atkins serves as the trigger for a cascade of increased T cells, B cells and macrophages that ultimately leads to the release of cytokines that cause inflammation in the body. Add to this the fact that long-term weight loss on Atkins is just average and it is clear that following the Atkins diet is a recipe for disease and early death. The only hopeful thing about the Atkins diet is that adherence to this plan is so poor that hopefully most people discontinue it before they cause major physical damage to themselves. Plant-based nutrient-dense eating, not high fat, high animal protein and low fiber, is the simplest, easiest and best way to achieve great health and longevity.

And to round out the mini-panel, I offer up this great quote from Dr. Fuhrman. It kind of says it all. Take a look:

Any diet high in animal products and low in fiber, fruit, beans, and yellow vegetables is going to shorten life span significantly. If Robert Atkins follows his own dietary advice, he is a perfect example of what you would expect from such unhealthful dietary recommendations. He was overweight and developed heart disease.

But sadly, I’m sure millions of people will continue to fall for the low-carb lies. I guess some emotional attachments to food are just too hard to kick. To quote one low-carber, “At this point I hardly care about the weight! I am so healthy and happy! Why would I not love bacon? Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.” Sigh…

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Fat and Healthy?

Okay, I’ve heard this kind of talk before, but is it really possible to be overweight and still live a long-healthy life? My guess is no. Now, for more on this, check out “Chubby Gets a Second Look” by New York Times report Gina Kolata. Here’s a bit:
Chubby, it turns out, may be the new healthy. Who knows if it will be the new beautiful.

Two years ago, federal researchers found that overweight people had the lowest mortality rate of any weight group. Investigating further, they were able to link causes of death to specific weights. Obese people had more deaths from heart disease, they reported last week. And thin people? They had more deaths from everything but cancer and heart disease.

But there were 100,000 fewer deaths among the overweight than would have been expected if those people had been of normal weight. This is what might politely be called the chubby category, with body mass indexes (a measure of weight for height) of 25 to 30. A woman, for instance, who is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs between 146 and 175 pounds.

About a third of Americans fall into that range, defined, less politely, as “overweight” by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I’m not buying it, but maybe this study in The Journal of the American Medical Association will convince you it’s a good idea to pack on some extra pounds—I doubt it—but have a look anyway. From the abstract:
To estimate cause-specific excess deaths associated with underweight (BMI <18.5), overweight (BMI 25-<30), and obesity (BMI ≥30).

Based on total follow-up, underweight was associated with significantly increased mortality from noncancer, non-CVD causes (23 455 excess deaths; 95% confidence interval [CI], 11 848 to 35 061) but not associated with cancer or CVD mortality. Overweight was associated with significantly decreased mortality from noncancer, non-CVD causes (–69 299 excess deaths; 95% CI, –100 702 to –37 897) but not associated with cancer or CVD mortality. Obesity was associated with significantly increased CVD mortality (112 159 excess deaths; 95% CI, 87 842 to 136 476) but not associated with cancer mortality or with noncancer, non-CVD mortality. In further analyses, overweight and obesity combined were associated with increased mortality from diabetes and kidney disease (61 248 excess deaths; 95% CI, 49 685 to 72 811) and decreased mortality from other noncancer, non-CVD causes (–105 572 excess deaths; 95% CI, –161 816 to –49 328). Obesity was associated with increased mortality from cancers considered obesity-related (13 839 excess deaths; 95% CI, 1920 to 25 758) but not associated with mortality from other cancers. Comparisons across surveys suggested a decrease in the association of obesity with CVD mortality over time.

The BMI-mortality association varies by cause of death. These results help to clarify the associations of BMI with all-cause mortality.
Certainly, I could easily make a ton of smart-alecky remarks about this research, but, you guys don’t come here for the jokes. Dr. Fuhrman wanted to weigh in on this study—no pun intended—so here’s what he had to say:
When we look to researchers to interpret the findings of data collection we most often find that their knowledge about the causes of health is inadequate.

If we put 100 people on the SAD diet, we would have to assume that those that were healthy would gain more weight than those who had chronic diseases or undiagnosed cancer. Having cancer, chronic disease (even if sub-clinical and not yet diagnosed) alcoholism, depression and autoimmune illnesses all cause people to be thinner and lose weight.

The bottom line is that Americans of all weights (because they eat like most Americans eat) are very unhealthy with high rates of cancer and heart disease in all weight categories.

If you want to be healthy, live long, with a healthy life expectancy, then you want to be slim and have earned that with an excellent diet. There are no overweight centenarians.
No doubt the fast food companies are loving this—fatten up for life! My goodness.

Weather Weight

According to the Associated Press it is possible to beat the battle of the bulge, and, prevent climate changes. Seth Borenstein is on it:
How? Get out of your car and walk or bike half an hour a day instead of driving. And while you're at it, eat less red meat. That's how Americans can simultaneously save the planet and their health, say doctors and climate scientists.

The payoffs are huge, although unlikely to happen. One numbers-crunching scientist calculates that if all Americans between 10 and 74 walked just half an hour a day instead of driving, they would cut the annual U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, by 64 million tons.

About 6.5 billion gallons of gasoline would be saved. And Americans would also shed more than 3 billion pounds overall, according to these calculations.
And don’t forget! Cow Farts are bad news too, and, is it true? Less Meat, Cooler Temps?

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:

Super Sweets!

Almond Fudge
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup plain soy milk
1 cup raw almond butter
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a food processor, chop dates and raisins until very fine. Mix the remaining ingredients with the dates and raisins. Press into an 8" X 8" glass baking dish and refrigerate. Serves 8.

Wild Apple Crunch
6 apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
8 dates, chopped
1 cup currants or raisins
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
juice of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients except the orange juice. Place in a baking pan and sprinkle the juice of the orange on top. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for about one hour until all ingredients are soft, stirring occasionally. Note: You can also simmer this for 30 minutes on top of the stove in a covered pot, stirring occasionally. Serves 8.

Mango Pudding
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 ripe mangoes, peeled & cut into pieces
1 banana
1 tablespoon date sugar
1/8 cup coconut, unsweetened shredded
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup currants (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Grind almonds in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender until finely chopped. Add mangoes and rest of ingredients, except currants and cinnamon, and blend until smooth and creamy. Place in a bowl, add currants if desired, and stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Serves 2.

Dieting and the Emotional Eater

Emotional eating, I’ve been there. I used to pound chocolate cake like nobody’s business! Not anymore of course. Now, according to Dr. Fuhrman breaking the chains of your emotional attachments to food is a major step towards superior health. He explains:
Most overweight individuals are addicted to food. This means almost all Americans are food addicts. Addicted means that you feel ill or uncomfortable should you not continue your usual habits. Unlike tobacco and drug addiction, however, food addiction is socially acceptable.

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

Obviously, there are complicated emotional and psychological factors that make it more difficult for some to achieve success at overcoming food addiction. Additionally, some physical changes may initially discourage you. Stopping caffeine, reducing sodium, and dropping saturated fat from your diet while increasing fiber and nutrients may result in increased gas, headaches, fatigue, and other withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms are temporary and rarely last longer than one week. Eventually the high volume of food and high nutrient content will help prevent long-term food cravings.
I got to agree with Dr. Fuhrman on all Americans being foods addicts on some level. Heck, just look at the Atkins crowd, but get a load of this new report. New research has determined that dieting is hardest for emotional eaters. Reuters is on it:
The study included 286 overweight men and women who were participating in a behavioral weight loss program.

A second group consisted of more than 3,300 adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year.

Niemeier and her team analyzed responses to an eating inventory questionnaire.

They focused on people who ate because of external influences, such as people who eat too much at parties, and people who ate because of internal influences, such as feeling lonely or as a reward.

What they found is that the more a person ate for internal reasons, the less weight they lost over time.
Lucky for us being addicted to fruits and veggies isn’t a bad thing!

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.

Crunchy Cruciferous Canine

Charlie the dog just loves his lettuce…crunch-crunch! Take a look:

100 Mile Diet

Here’s an interesting diet. Only eat food produced within 100 miles of your home. More from The York Times Well blog:
Eating local often means you can meet the people who produce your food because they are selling it themselves at the local farmers’ market. You can ask questions about pesticide use and farming methods, and sometimes you may even be able to visit the farm or dairy where your food is grown or raised.

Most people who follow the 100-mile diet do so because they like fresh food and because they want to help the planet. Buying locally means less fuel burned to transport food, which means less pollution. Local farmers often are organic producers who employ earth-friendly farming methods or raise free-range animals. Recently, the concept of the 100-mile diet has gained attention after the release in April of the book “Plenty: One Man, One Woman and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally.” The book chronicles the efforts of authors James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith to eat foods produced within 100 miles of their Vancouver apartment.
Surely local fast food restaurants don’t count.

Salad Bar Schools

Some San Francisco elementary schools plan on opening salad bars real soon. CBS News reports:
According to San Francisco Unified School District, parents and students have been pushing for more fresh food to be available in school lunches, so a pilot program was initiated in three schools last year. The pilot schools performed so well that 15 new schools will have salad bars available this year. Another 10 campuses are expected to open their own salad bars by the end of the school year.

The salad bar will provide fresh greens, seasonal raw vegetables as well as fresh fruit and whole-grain breads and muffins, according to the district. The salad bar will be offered with the regular hot lunch at no additional charge.

"This is an important addition to our meals," Ed Wilkins, SFUSD director of Student Nutrition Services, said in a statement. "Not only will students have fresh vegetables at every lunch, but also a large variety to choose from."
(via Urban Sprouts)

Eating to Live on the Outside: Dagwood's Sandwich Shoppes

Okay folks. I’ve said it a bunch of times, but, with Eating to Live on the Outside you’ve got to take the good and the bad. Sometimes we get the good, like Sacred Chow and Arnold's Way, but other times we get the bad, like Friendly’s, Fazoli’s, and this week’s destination, Dagwood’s Sandwich Shoppes. Brace yourself buckaroos, it’s about to get messy.

Clearly, a sandwich shop right away implies lots of problems; bread, nasty fixings, and sandwich meat. And guess what? It’s just as bad as you think. The majority of the food is “good ole fashioned” standard American junk-food; corn beef, hot reubens, bbq pork, roast beef, etc, etc. Lucky for all of you, I am feeling pretty spunky today and ready for a challenge—charge!

Let’s start with the sandwiches. I only see two I’d entertain the notion of, but, they both need work. Oh, and let me say this right now. Obviously there is a bread concession, believe me, it’s the lesser of many evils, I can deal with it. Here’s the first one. The Turkey Avocado Club; made with turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, guacamole, mayo, baby greens, and toasted white bread. Lot’s of garbage here. Okay, bye-bye cheese, adios bacon, ciao turkey, and goodbye mayo. Wow! We’re sure left with a lot—aren’t we? I know, pretty pathetic! Well if the guacamole is made with out sour cream and you’re into toasted white bread with just the baby greens, then I guess it works. Although it hardly sounds appetizing—don’t you agree?

Alright, I think the Lite Turkey is better. It’s prepared with turkey breast, fat-free honey Dijon, lettuce, red onion, tomato, and toasted multi-grain whole wheat bread. I’m ditching the turkey again; the only flesh I eat is fish. Also the Dijon has got to go, just not my thing. Again, hardly a monumental meal, but if you’re a distressed Eat to Liver trapped in a sandwich shop its better than conceding to a Hot Pressed Cuban sandwich loaded with unhealthy pork loin, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, and mayonnaise.

Surprisingly, Dagwood’s offers up a bunch of salads or—as I call it—an Eat to Livers bastion of hope. From what I see, you’ve only got two real options: Mary K’s Green Salad or a Side Garden Salad. Mary K’s Green Salad is a comprised of romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, Greek feta cheese, Greek dressing, Kalamata olives, diced tomatoes, and Greek potato salad—Egad! Okay, I’m tossing—no pun intended—the cheese, olives, and the potato salad. After that, you’re left with something, sort of. Now, I have no idea what the Side Garden Salad comes with. It doesn’t say, but I’m assuming it is pretty basic; probably lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, carrots, and croutons. If so, I’d scrap the croutons and go with it. And of course, I’d go easy on the dressing.

There you have it Eat to Livers, all done! And after doing that review, I can honestly hope that I never find myself in a Dagwood’s. The majority of the menu is utter ooey-gooey standard American goodness and I stay far clear of restaurants like this, but, in the event that the Mafia kidnapped me and threw me into a Dagwoods, at least I can say I’d have a fighting chance. Alright, you know what time it is. It’s your turn! Scope out Dagwood’s Sandwich Shoppes’ menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or shoot me an email at Until next time, eat well!

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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Emission War: California vs. EPA

California is fed up with current clean-air regulations and they’re going to do something about it. Marc Lifsher of The Los Angeles Times reports:
California sued the federal government today, demanding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency act now to give the states the power to enforce tough regulations on automakers in the fight against global warming…

…The EPA has said it will act on the state's request by year's end, but today's move was a major assault on the federal government's perceived lack of action on what many national and world leaders consider the No. 1 threat to the planet…

…California and the other states -- representing about 40% of the U.S. population -- have asked for a waiver from the EPA under the Clean Air Act so they can enforce regulations that limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars and other light vehicles.
Can't beat clean air, I mean just look at what diesel exhaust can do to the heart. HealthDay News: Diesel Exhaust Increases Clot Formation.

Heart Failure and Exercise

Who would have thought? Regular exercise can help prevent heart failure—no duh! Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News has more:
According to two studies that were to be presented Wednesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., that response can dramatically enhance patients' ability to move and work out.

"Both studies point to the beneficial effect of exercise on patients with heart failure," said Dr. Sidney Smith, past president of the American Heart Association and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Science and Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

"These observations provide some understanding into the mechanisms which [make exercise helpful]," Smith said.

More than 5 million people in the United States have heart failure, a condition that affects the heart's ability to pump blood throughout the body.

However, researchers are beginning to understand that heart failure woes come not only from this pumping disorder but from changes in the legs and other parts of the body.

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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More Body, More Cancer

Dr. Fuhrman sent this over. A recent study showed that as body mass increases, so does cancer risk in women. From the BMJ:
To examine the relation between body mass index (kg/m2) and cancer incidence and mortality.

45 037 incident cancers and 17 203 deaths from cancer occurred over the follow-up period. Increasing body mass index was associated with an increased incidence of endometrial cancer (trend in relative risk per 10 units=2.89, 95% confidence interval 2.62 to 3.18), adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus (2.38, 1.59 to 3.56), kidney cancer (1.53, 1.27 to 1.84), leukaemia (1.50, 1.23 to 1.83), multiple myeloma (1.31, 1.04 to 1.65), pancreatic cancer (1.24, 1.03 to 1.48), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (1.17, 1.03 to 1.34), ovarian cancer (1.14, 1.03 to 1.27), all cancers combined (1.12, 1.09 to 1.14), breast cancer in postmenopausal women (1.40, 1.31 to 1.49) and colorectal cancer in premenopausal women (1.61, 1.05 to 2.48). In general, the relation between body mass index and mortality was similar to that for incidence. For colorectal cancer, malignant melanoma, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer, the effect of body mass index on risk differed significantly according to menopausal status.

Increasing body mass index is associated with a significant increase in the risk of cancer for 10 out of 17 specific types examined. Among postmenopausal women in the UK, 5% of all cancers (about 6000 annually) are attributable to being overweight or obese. For endometrial cancer and adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus, body mass index represents a major modifiable risk factor; about half of all cases in postmenopausal women are attributable to overweight or obesity.

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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Obesity Breaks You Down

Well, I’m not a health expert by any stretch of the imagination, but, this kind of seems like a no-brainer. Researchers have determined that obesity can lead to increased physical disability as you age. Reuters reports:
"Obesity is more hazardous to the health of the elderly than we previously suspected," said Dawn Alley of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"For an older person, suffering from obesity means they are much less likely to be able to walk to the front door or pick up a bag of groceries," she said.

A second report from Johns Hopkins University in the same journal found that chronic kidney disease is on the rise in the country because of increases in obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, leading to more demand for kidney dialysis and organ transplants.

The study from Pennsylvania, which compared data from a government health survey involving nearly 10,000 people age 60 and over, found obesity on the increase along with the inability to walk a few blocks or even take 10 steps, stoop, lift a moderate amount of weight, walk between rooms or stand up from an armless chair.
Sounds like the perfect reason to start Eating to Live and exercising!

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.

Atkins...The Worst

Now, I know it’s a dead horse, but, I can’t resist beating it! Sorry horse lovers. We all know that The Atkins Diet and other high-protein low-carb diets are dangerous and based in nutritionally folly, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman:

As much as I hate to keep talking about the high-saturated-fat, low-antioxidant-nutrient Atkins diet, I am forced to because his diet continues to make front-page news and stays on the tips of everybody’s tongues…

…Any diet high in animal products and low in fiber, fruit, beans, and yellow vegetables is going to shorten life span significantly. If Robert Atkins follows his own dietary advice, he is a perfect example of what you would expect from such unhealthful dietary recommendations. He was overweight and developed heart disease. Do you think he needs to eat more cheese and pork rinds to thin up a bit, as he recommends; or do you think he just might be better off on a diet rich in raw plant foods, beans, steamed greens, carrots, and fresh fruit such as berries and peaches…

…Atkins devotees adopt a dietary pattern completely opposite of what is recommended by the leading research scientists studying the link between diet and cancer.1 Specifically, fruit exclusion alone is a significant cancer marker. Stomach and esophageal cancer are linked to populations that do not consume a sufficient amount of fruit.2 Scientific studies show a clear and strong dose-response relationship between cancers of the digestive tract, bladder, and prostate with low fruit consumption.3 To the surprise of many investigators, fruit consumption shows a powerful dose-response association with a reduction in heart disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality.4

May I interject my own theory? Again, I’m just a layman with an opinion, but, I think I’m onto something. I contend that The Atkins Diet is simply a money-making scheme that exploits people’s emotional attachments to “good ole American” food. Check this post out:

Food Face-Off
What does 200 calories of food look like? Actually, that’s kind of a trick question because it depends on the food. According to Dr. Fuhrman small amounts of some foods like meat and diary are more calorie-dense than larger amounts of fruits and vegetables. Check out the chart in Foods That Make You Thin for more.

Of course, if you prefer pictures, take a look at what’s going on over at WiseGeek. You’ll see that the portion size of 200 calories worth of celery, baby carrots, or broccoli, dwarf what you get from 200 calories of canola oil, uncooked pasta, or cheddar cheese. Gee, I wonder, which foods help you lose weight? Now that’s not a trick question!

WiseGeek: What Does 200 Calories Look Like?

Here's a comment to this post by a known low-carber and Followhealthlife blog troll:

Which of these foods leave you with a deep down to your bones satisfied feeling?

And here's my reply:

For me its the Kiwi, I eat them almost everyday.

“Deep down to your bones satisfied feeling?” What the heck does that have to do with good nutrition? Marijuana gives you that feeling—so they say—so is smoking weed healthy? Hardly! Sounds like an emotional attachment to food to me. Here’s another example:

Meat: Grill, Fry, or Broil it?
...So, will people heed these warnings and cut back on the amount of animal products they eat and be careful not to dangerously cook their food? My guess, probably not, especially with this kind of rhetoric kicking around the blogosphere. Like LivinLaVidaLowCarb’s ringing endorsement of frying meat in butter—sadly, I’m not kidding. Proceed with caution:
I agree with the advice to shun the fried foods specifically because of the breading. But if you want to fry up your meat in a pan full of butter, then knock yourself out. It’s a healthy way to enjoy that succulent protein-loaded food.

While it’s nice to bake, broil, and especially grill meats, don’t fall for the illusion that cooking these ways is any healthier than cooking meat in fat. Avoid the trans fats, of course, but you shouldn’t worry about saturated fats as long as you are livin’ la vida low-carb.
Take a moment to note that butter is also on Dr. Fuhrman’s list of the seven worst foods. Okay, it gets worse. Check out this quote from Carbohydrate Addict, apparently this Atkins dieter thinks grilled-cheese is fabulous—sigh. Here it is:
I think one of the reasons Atkins was so perfect for me was because I was on low fat/low cholesterol for sooooo many years. All of the forbidden foods suddenly became okay to eat without guilt and my cholesterol is finally FABULOUS. I'm still on a high when I eat them! Egg salad, bacon, chicken wings, mac and cheese, grilled cheese.... YUM!
Yum? For bacon and egg salad? Whoa! What a world we live in...

What a great scam/money-maker? Tell people that what they’ve been told is wrong—despite the wealth of information proving otherwise—then convince them that is okay to eat all those harmful foods they love; bacon, red meat, butter, etc. More from Dr. Fuhrman:

It is an interesting phenomenon to me low-carb dieters search to find small pearls of dissent in the scientific literature to support their views as they ignore thousands of well-performed studies, I wonder why they are so attached to their diets or views that they can’t accept the preponderance of evidence and modify their stance…

…To make matters even worse, you pay an extra penalty from a diet so high in fat and protein to generate a chronic ketosis. Besides the increased cancer risk, your kidneys are placed under greater stress and will age more rapidly. It can take many, many years for such damage to be detected by blood tests. By the time the blood reflects the abnormality, irreversible damage may have already occurred. Blood tests that monitor kidney function typically do not begin to detect problems until more than 90 percent of the kidneys have been destroyed…

...Americans already eat approximately 40 percent of their calories from animal products; we have seen a tragic skyrocketing in cancer and heart-disease rates in the past fifty years as a result of such nutritional extravagance.5 You can lose some weight on the Atkins Diet, but you run the risk of losing your health at the same time.

I guess the allure of bacon is just too much for some people—and that my friends is a serious emotional attachment to food! Honestly, is a food-crush really worth it? Especially in light of this news, Reuters reports, “High-fat Atkins diet damages blood vessels.” Here’s a bit:

The high-fat Atkins diet can cause long-term damage to blood vessels, as well as some of the inflammation linked with heart and artery disease, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

In contrast, low-fat regimens such as the South Beach and Ornish diets lowered cholesterol and appeared to benefit artery function, they said.

"It really is the Atkins diet that is the worst," Dr. Michael Miller, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, said in a telephone interview.

"The Atkins diet caused the LDL levels to go up by about 7 percent, whereas in the Ornish and South Beach diets ... they went down 7 to 10 percent."

Low density lipoprotein or LDL is the "bad" cholesterol that clogs blood vessels.

Hungry for an expert opinion on this study, I tapped Linda Popescu one of the Registered Dieticians that works in Dr. Fuhrman’s office. Linda is no fan of The Atkins Diet either, and, she makes it pretty obvious here. Take a look:

“The high fat Atkins diet is dangerous and should not be recommended.” This is news? Eat to Live, which was published 5 years ago, devoted a whole chapter to the negative consequences of following The Atkins Diet. For years, well researched studies have show that this type of meat-based, high protein, fiberless diet can lead to heart disease and cancer. Even basic common sense should tell you eating this way is not good for your health. It’s good to see that this diet has finally run its course. As the article states “Why not start out with a diet that will be healthier for you in the long run after weight loss”?

So then, what is the best diet for disease-prevention, healthy bodyweight, and longevity? This should be a no-brainer! Dr. Fuhrman’s vegetable-based nutrient-dense Eat to Live diet-style tops them all. More from Dr. Fuhrman:

Green vegetables are so incredibly low in calories and rich in nutrients and fiber that the more you eat of them, the more weight you will lose. One of my secrets of nutritional excellence and superior healing is the one pound-one pound rule. That is, try to eat at least one pound of raw green vegetables a day and one pound of cooked/steamed or frozen green vegetables a day as well. One pound raw and one pound cooked--keep this goal in mind as you design and eat every meal. This may be too ambitious a goal for some of us to reach, but by working toward it, you will ensure the dietary balance and results you want. The more greens you eat, the more weight you will lose. The high volume of greens not only will be your secret to a thin waistline but will simultaneously protect you against life threatening illnesses…

…The biggest animals--elephants, gorillas, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, and giraffes--all eat predominantly green vegetation. How did they get the protein to get so big? Obviously, greens pack a powerful protein punch, in fact, all protein on the planet was formed from the effect of sunlight on green plants. The cow didn't eat another cow to form the protein in its muscles, which we call steak. The protein wasn't formed out of thin air--the cow ate grass. Not that protein is such a big deal or some special nutrient to be held in high esteem. I am making this point because most people think animal products are necessary for a diet to include adequate protein. I am merely illustrating how easy it is to consume more than enough protein while at the same time avoiding risky, cancer-promoting substances such as saturated fat.

I don’t know about you, but, the choice is pretty clear to me. Oh! And for more information on the dangers of Atkins-type diets check out Followhealthlife’s diet myths category, or, visit our friends over at

*FOLLOW UP POST: The Worst...and That's Atkins!

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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!

Green Smoothie Party!

Got Greens Smoothie
3 ounces fresh organic baby spinach
2 cups fresh or frozen pineapple cubes
3 kiwis
1/2 avocado
1 banana
Blend all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender until smooth and creamy.

Green Citrus Smoothie
1 orange, peeled
1 cup fresh pineapple
8-10 ounces romaine or leaf lettuce
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Blood Orange Vinegar
Blend all ingredients together.

Eat Your Greens Fruit Smoothie

5 ounces organic baby spinach
1 medium banana
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup pomegranate juice or another unsweetened fruit juice
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
Blend all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender until smooth and creamy.

Zinc vs. a Cold

Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times investigates the claim that taking zinc can help you beat the common cold. Have a look:
One of the most extensive studies appeared in the journal Clinical and Infectious Diseases in 2000. In it, scientists randomly assigned more than 500 people — about half with natural colds, and the other half deliberately infected — to receive placebo or zinc lozenges in various doses. After secluding the subjects in hotel rooms and examining them for five days, the researchers concluded that zinc gluconate lozenges produced “modest” benefit, while zinc acetate lozenges did nothing.

Another study, published this year by researchers at Stanford Medical School, collected and analyzed data from 14 previous placebo-controlled studies of zinc. Over all, the scientists determined, the effectiveness of zinc lozenges “has yet to be established,” while there was some slight evidence for zinc nasal gels.
For advice on how to prevent the sniffles, check out Followhealthlife’s Cold and Flu category.

They've Got No Bananas!

Just some puppet fruits and veggies singing about bananas. Enjoy:

Try getting that our of your head...sorry

Eat Real Food!

Here’s a thought. Instead of eating all that processed, deep-fried, double-battered, and extra-cheesed standard American junk-food, why not try some real food? The Well Blog helps make a case for wholesome food. Here’s a bit:
After several vitamin studies have produced disappointing results, there’s a growing belief that food is more than just a sum of its nutrient parts. In a recent commentary for the journal Nutrition Reviews, University of Minnesota professor of epidemiology David R. Jacobs argues that nutrition researchers should focus on whole foods rather than on simple nutrients. “We argue for a need to return to food as the source of nutrition knowledge,'’ writes Dr. Jacobs with co-author Linda C. Tapsell, a nutrition researcher at the University of Wollongong in Australia.

Dr. Jacobs believes that nutrition science needs to consider the effects of “food synergy,'’ the notion that the health benefits of certain foods aren’t likely to come from a single nutrient but rather combinations of compounds that work better together than apart. “Every food is much more complicated than any drug,’’ said Dr. Jacobs. “It makes sense to want to break it down. But you get a lot of people talking in the popular press about carbohydrates and fats in particular as if they were unified entities. They’re not. They’re extremely complicated.’’

The narrow focus on the health effects of simple nutrients stems from the earliest days of nutrition research. In 1937, two scientists won a Nobel Prize for identifying vitamin C as the essential component in citrus fruit that prevents scurvy. The finding sent the scientific community on a quest to identify other biologically active nutrients in foods.
This must really agitate the vitamin-makers! But hey, a lot can be said for actually eating whole foods. Healthy foods like fruits and veggies are loaded with good stuff. And according to Dr. Fuhrman they help fuel our human machine. Check it out:
We have cellular machinery, fueled by phytochemicals, to detoxify and remove noxious agents and to repair any damage done. Our body is self-healing and self-repairing when given sufficient nutrient support to maximize efficiency of protective cellular machinery. But, only when we consume large amounts of green vegetables and a diversity of natural plant foods can we maximize phytochemical delivery to our tissues.

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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Kids: Less Sleep, More Fat

Oh! If only I had this study growing up. Maybe my mom would have let me sleep in. New research has determined that lack of sleep may increases children’s risk of becoming obese. More from Carla K. Johnson of the Associated Press:
The less sleep they got, the more likely the children were to be obese in sixth grade, no matter what the child's weight was in third grade, said Dr. Julie Lumeng of the University of Michigan, who led the research.

If there was a magic number for the third-graders, it was nine hours, 45 minutes of sleep. Sleeping more than that lowered the risk significantly.

The study gives parents one more reason to enforce bedtimes, restrict caffeine and yank the TV from the bedroom. The study appears in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics
You need your Z’s, that’s for sure! Personally, if I don’t get enough rest I become a raging beast of destruction. Maybe this is why. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman on sleep. Take a look:
Recuperation through sleep is responsible for rebuilding and preparing the body to handle the increasing demands. Rest and sleep enable the body to recover from the effects of these waking stresses, because the body can concentrate its repair efforts most effectively at this time when fewer demands are placed upon it…

…Adequate sleep is a necessary component of good health. Our modern society stays up late into the night and wakes in the morning to an alarm clock—long before sleep requirements have been fulfilled.

Cellular Phones and Brain Tumors

Dr. Fuhrman sent this over the other day. This study claims cellular phones increase brain tumor risk. From the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine:
Aim: To evaluate brain tumour risk among long-term users of cellular telephones.

Methods: Two cohort studies and 16 case–control studies on this topic were identified. Data were scrutinised for use of mobile phone for >=10 years and ipsilateral exposure if presented.

Results: The cohort study was of limited value due to methodological shortcomings in the study. Of the 16 case–control studies, 11 gave results for >=10 years’ use or latency period. Most of these results were based on low numbers. An association with acoustic neuroma was found in four studies in the group with at least 10 years’ use of a mobile phone. No risk was found in one study, but the tumour size was significantly larger among users. Six studies gave results for malignant brain tumours in that latency group. All gave increased odd ratios (OR), especially for ipsilateral exposure. In a meta-analysis, ipsilateral cell phone use for acoustic neuroma was OR = 2.4 (95% CI 1.1 to 5.3) and OR = 2.0, (1.2 to 3.4) for glioma using a tumour latency period of >=10 years.

Conclusions: Results from present studies on use of mobile phones for >=10 years give a consistent pattern of increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma. The risk is highest for ipsilateral exposure.
That’s why I text!

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!”

TierneyLab: Nutrition Science and Gary Taubes

The New York Times’s TierneyLab is curious about Atkins shill Gary Taubes’s stance on nutrition. More from John Tierney:
Gary Taubes, who chronicles many of those mistakes in his new book, “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” has some thoughts for Lab readers on why researchers in nutrition, obesity and chronic disease have gone wrong so often — and why cascades occur so easily. He told me that he doesn’t think these fields of research qualify as a functional field science, which he defines in his book this way:

Outstanding questions are identified or hypotheses proposed; experimental tests are than established to either answer the questions or refute the hypotheses, regardless of how obviously true they might appear to be. If assertions are made without the empirical evidence to defend them, they are vigorously rebuked. In science, as [the philosopher of science Robert] Merton noted, progress is only made by first establishing whether one’s predecessors have erred or “have stopped before tracking down the implications of their results or have passed over in their work what is there to be seen by the fresh eye of another.” Each new claim to knowledge, therefore, has to be picked apart and appraised. Its shortcomings have to be established unequivocally before we can know what questions remain to be asked, and so what answers to seek — what we know is really so and what we don’t. “This unending exchange of critical judgment,” Merton wrote, “of praise and punishment, is developed in science to a degree that makes the monitoring of children’s behavior by their parents seem little more than child’s play.”
Before you consider this as relevant, be sure to check out Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on Gary Taubes in The New York Times: Diet and Fat. Here’s a snippet:
Amazing how stupid people are. Gary Taubes is a known Atkins' devotee and nutritionally naïve and led by the Atkins' crowd. Now he has his own book. All I can say is that this makes me look like a genius comparatively when I am only stating the obvious. All I can say is: Health = Nutrition / Calories...

…Your health is predicted by your nutrient intake divided by your intake of calories. Health = Nutrition / Calories, or simply H = N/C, is a concept I call the nutrient-density of your diet. Food supplies us with both nutrients and calories (energy). All calories come from only three elements: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Nutrients are derived from non-caloric food factors—including vitamins, minerals, fibers, and phytochemicals. These non-caloric nutrients are vitally important for health. Your key to permanent weight loss is to eat predominantly those foods that have a high proportion of nutrients (non-caloric food factors) to calories (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins).
Junk-science low-carb fanaticism is like an annoying mosquito buzzing in the ear of legitimate science. Please, do yourself a favor. Keep a flyswatter handy.

Honey, They've Medicated the Kids

“Soon almost all kids will be on medications for something,” said Dr. Fuhrman when I asked him to comment on a report suggesting bipolar disorder may be over-diagnosed in youths. Kind of foreboding, when you read this article by Melissa Healy of The Los Angeles Times, “Are we too quick to medicate children?” Here’s a bit:
In 2005, the latest year for which statistics are available, at least 2.2 million American children over the age of 4 were being treated for serious difficulties with emotion, concentration, behavior or ability to get along with others. It's a figure mental-health professionals say has exploded in the last decade and a half, along with sales of a wide range of psychiatric medications for use by children.

A welter of studies has shown that kids are being diagnosed at younger ages, with a wider range of disorders and with more severe disorders than ever before. And in growing numbers, they are being medicated with drugs whose safety, effectiveness and long-range effects on children have not been demonstrated by extensive research.

A study published in September found that the diagnosis among children of bipolar disorder, a mental illness long thought not to exist in kids, grew 40-fold over the last decade. The prescribing to kids of antipsychotic drugs typically used to treat the symptoms of bipolar illness have soared as well, despite continuing concerns over side effects such as weight gain, metabolic changes that can lead to diabetes, and tremors.

Psychiatrists admit they haven't drawn clear lines between problem behaviors and mental illness, especially in kids, and they are debating future fixes. But until those fixes are made, parents -- with their kids' futures on the line -- are left with little to guide them when a child is tagged with a psychiatric label.
Who am I to say when kids—or any person for that matter—should be given the assistance of psychotropic medications, but at the very least, before we start prescribing kids pills willy-nilly, shouldn’t safer options be tried first. Consider this excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Disease-Proof Your Child concerning children and ADHD. Take a look:
What has been shown to be highly effective in some recent studies is high-nutrient eating, removal of processed foods, and supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids.1 The difference between my approach and others is that it changes a poor diet into an excellent one, supplying an adequate amount of thousands of important nutrients that work synergistically as well as removing those noxious substances such as chemical additives, trans fat, saturated fats, and empty-calorie food that place a nutritional stress on our brain cells. I believe this comprehensive approach is more effective; the scientific literature suggests this, and I have observed this in my practice with hundreds of ADHD children who have see me as patients.
Eh, I guess its just easier to prescribe some pills and get back to shopping at the mall.

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Women: Artery Disease Rising

It seems more women are developing a type of artery disease. Will Dunham of Reuters reports:
Researchers used U.S. government health surveys to track rates of peripheral artery disease, known as PAD, in people age 40 and up with no outward symptoms of cardiovascular illness. PAD is a circulatory condition in which narrowed arteries cut blood flow to the limbs.

Rates among women rose from 4.1 percent in a nationally representative 1999-2000 survey to 6.3 percent in a 2003-2004 survey. Among men, the rates fell from 3.3 percent to 2.8 percent during the same period, the researchers said.

"In those women with PAD, the increasing prevalence was associated with an increase in the prevalence of obesity," Dr. Andrew Sumner, medical director of the Heart Station and Cardiac Prevention at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, who led the study, said in an interview.

Feeding Michael Pollan

Those Urban Sprouts are at it again. They recently feed famed New York Times journalist Michael Pollan the “The Perfect Dinner!” Take a look:

The premier event on Oct. 26th, "The Perfect Dinner", featured journalist Michael Pollan, (author of The Omnivore's Dilemma) and included veggies grown in Urban Sprouts' gardens! Pollan and others munched on kale and cucumbers grown by students at Excelsior Middle School, June Jordan School for Equity, and MLK Middle School. Pollan is a great advocate for locally grown, organic food and we feel honored to have participated in this event!
Here’s a link to all Michael Pollan’s stuff blogged about on Followhealthlife. Enjoy!

Lettuce Makes it All Better

Next time you feel sad. Just grab yourself an iceberg and a smile. Have a look:

Eating to Live on the Outside: McFoster's Natural Kind Caf�

Alright! We got a real winner this week. McFoster’s Natural Kind Café, way off in Omaha Nebraska, is packed with veggie goodness! Even the website is loaded with fruits and vegetables. Hard to beet that—OOPS!—I mean beat that. So let’s get right to it!

There’s lots of good stuff all over this menu, I’ll focus on my favorites. For starters, there are plenty of Fuhrman-friendly appetizers to order. I really like the Happy Hummus; made with pureed garbanzo bean, garlic, tahini, lemon, spike, Indian spices, whole-wheat flatbread, and a garnish. Clearly the bread is the concession, but when you consider everything else, I think it’s worth the risk.

Probably even better than this is either the Cold, Raw and Blanched Veggies or the Your Favorite Vegetable. The Cold, Raw and Blanched Veggies is just carrots, broccoli, celery, other vegetables, and two dipping sauces. Well, provided you go easy on the sauce, kind of hard to hate this one. And Your Favorite Vegetable is exactly that. Your favorite vegetable sautéed, charbroiled, or steamed with garlic, Italian seasoning, fresh basil, spike, or, nothing at all. Personally, I would keep the seasoning and order up some steamed greens. What do you think about that?

The salads are looking strong too. My two favorites are the Kind Salad and the Artichoke Salad. The Kind Salad is prepared with greens, cabbage, carrots, onion, cucumber, and seasoned with whole-wheat croutons. Obviously, once you ditch the croutons you’re all set! Now, the Artichoke Salad is made with oil-less balsamic vinaigrette, greens, poached veggies, sprouts, onions, cucumbers, kashi green salad, and garlic bread. I’d pass on the garlic bread and keep everything else status quo. Oh! I would definitely ask for the oil-less dressing on the Kind Salad too.

Okay, onto the Entrees and Sandwiches. I’m digging the Vegetable Enchiladas; made with steamed corn tortillas, seasoned veggies, ancho chile sauce, umeboshi plum sauces, and served with an organic orange, jicama, and pickled onion salad with Cajun red beans. I’m cool with all of this. I can deal with the tortillas this one time. Next—and no surprises here—I am way into the Avocado Deluxe. They make it with toasted sunflower bread, avocado, cucumber, onion, greens, sunflower, pea sprouts, salsa, and organic or soy cheese. The fact that this thing is made with avocado earns it high marks in my book, but even still, I’m ditching either variety of cheese. I don’t eat dairy and I’m not into soy cheese, but other than that—rock on avocado, rock on!

Now, if none of this strikes your fancy. Check this out. McFoster’s gives you the option of ordering veggies any way you want them. Your options are steamed, steamed with spices, sautéed, made with sesame and ginger, curried, primavera style, or charbroiled. I’m partial to either steamed option or getting them sautéed; getting them sautéed would mean olive oil, no big deal. I can deal with it. Especially when you consider the veggies you can pick from: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, onions, peppers, and other seasonal vegetables. I’m leaning towards some broccoli, carrots, and cabbage—yummy!

I’m telling you, I am really feeling McFoster’s. If I ever get to Omaha, I’ve really got to pop in for a visit. What about you? Does McFoster’s get your mojo going too? If so, tell me about. If you haven’t yet, check out McFoster’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or drop me an email at In the meantime, eat well!

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!

Fat Art

NY Times: A Diet Idea

So, how do you change your diet? A good question, with a simple answer. Dr. Fuhrman spills the beans in this post Eat to Live: Knowledge Motivates Change. Here’s a bit:
When I began my medical practice as a specialist in nutrition, I focused my attention on individuals who were looking for nutritional intervention as a means of reversing their medical conditions to recover their health and avoid taking medication or having invasive surgery. The inevitable outcome was that when my patients were committed to superior health through nutritional excellence, they were able to reduce and eventually stop their dependency on medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and a host of other conditions. Spectacular disease reversals were the norm, not the exception…

…The traditional viewpoint is often stated that if you lose your weight too rapidly it won't stick and you will gain it all back. I have never advocated that people be in a race to lose their excess weight. I see no reason, however, to eat unhealthy foods or to eat when you are not hungry under some notion that losing weight slower would be better. The reality is that your body just drops its unhealthy weight relatively quickly and naturally when you eat so well under the Eat to Live program.
Jane E. Brody of The New York Times has invented her own system. She calls it “Controlled Indulgence.” What do you think? From the article:
So I adopted a philosophy that I call controlled indulgence. In the two years it took me to return to a reasonable weight for my 5-foot frame, I allowed myself one small treat each day — perhaps two cookies, a thin slice of cake or pie or a few tablespoons of ice cream. The strategy worked, and I continued to use it in the decades of weight maintenance that followed.

For as long as my twin sons lived at home, rather than buy commercial cakes and cookies, I baked quick breads and muffins that were relatively low in sugar and fat and loaded with healthful ingredients like whole wheat flour, bran, wheat germ, fruits and vegetables. They served as the family’s desserts and between-meal snacks. I took some to work with me every day to enjoy when the coffee cart appeared in midafternoon.

But back to the ice cream in the freezer. My approach starts with smart selection. I read the nutrition label; the only ice cream I buy provides a maximum of 150 calories a serving, and usually less, 100 to 130. Most are the slow-churned reduced-fat flavors, and some are frozen yogurt. But none are fat free or sugar free, which to me tastes ersatz.

Equally important, of course, is how much to eat at any one time. One serving. Do you know what a serving of ice cream is? It is half a cup. I bought some half-cup containers and measure out my daily indulgence. And I made a rule for myself. If I start eating more than that half cup, all the ice cream has to go. Because I would rather have it around when I want it, I stick to the half cup.

Collard Green Dragon

This lizard loves his collard greens, smart little guy. Take a look:

Cancer: More Fat, More Risk

Here’s another report on fat and cancer. The AFP reports obese people face an increased cancer risk. Take a look:
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) report, based on analysis of some 7,000 cancer studies from around the world, said there was "convincing" evidence that excess fat can cause breast, bowel and pancreatic cancer.

"We are recommending that people aim to be as lean as possible within the healthy range, and that they avoid weight gain throughout adulthood," said Professor Michael Marmot, who chaired the panel which drew up the report.

"This might sound difficult but this is what the science is telling us more clearly than ever before. The fact is that putting on weight can increase your cancer risk, even if you are still within the healthy range.
For more on cancer, check out Followhealthlife’s cancer category.

The Pride of Washington...Blueberries!

Apparently blueberries are quite the booming business. Lynda V. Mapes of The Seattle Times reports:
The state's blueberry crop surged to $30 million in 2006, compared with $16 million just two years ago — and a meager $7,769 a decade ago. Acreage harvested has more than doubled to 3,400 acres, and some experts predict another doubling in five years.

The reason?

"We call it the health halo," said Dave Brazelton of Fall Creek Farm and Nursery in Lowell, Ore., the world's largest blueberry nursery, where the wait can be up to 18 months for new plantings of the hottest varieties.

Brazelton has watched blueberries boom as reports of the berry's health benefits have multiplied. From improving urinary-tract health to packing a powerful punch of antioxidants, blueberries are often touted as a superfood.

So growers are enjoying both rising production and prices, a double marvel that in agriculture is like defying the law of gravity.
Good news! Because according to Dr. Fuhrman, blueberries are a real super food. From One of Nature's Best Foods:
Native to North America, blueberries have been part of the human diet for more than 13,000 years, long before being formally recognized for their healthy and anti-cancer effects Blueberries are among the best foods you can eat, and I recommend eating them everyday. I have created easy healthy recipes, diet recipes, smoothie recipes – using blueberries, soy milk, ground flax seed, and other natural foods – that give my patients a variety of ways to enjoy this wonderful fruit.

Since blueberries contain flavanoids and other specific phytochemicals that help protect against vascular instability, I instruct my diabetes and heart disease patients to eat fresh blueberries every day and to eat frozen blueberries in the wintertime.

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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Strength Training...

Mike Howard of Diet Blog tell us Why Everybody Needs to Train With Weights. Here’s a bit:
One thing that is not negotiable is resistance training (weight training). Every adult should train with weights. No cardio in the world will give you the multitude of benefits that resistance training provides…

…Getting stronger through weight training will make daily tasks easier. Grocery shopping, housework, moving furniture, getting in and out of cars, on and off toilets – things we don’t give much thought to will be improved through weight training…

…Many studies show that people die from inactivity, not just from aging. As people age, they lose muscle, when this happens, their immunities weaken and because of this they are more likely to die of cancer and infectious diseases. Our ability to kill germs is often the result of low levels of muscle tissue. Larger muscles have readily available antibodies to fight off infections.
Being strong is no joke. Just consider what it does for bone strength. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
A good measurement of your bone density and strength is to test the strength of the muscle that moves that bone. Bone density correlates perfectly with muscle strength. As we condition our muscles and gain strength, our bones thicken and strengthen along with the muscle. Without regular exercise along the way, your bone structure can deteriorate as you get older. Some people survive with weak bones, but their quality of life suffers when they are immobilized by arthritis and osteoporosis.
Personally, I weight-train at least four days a week.

Green Bean Farming

Growing, harvesting, and processing green beans—scintillating! Check it out: