Tough Times, Cupcakes over Crisis...

Even though Rome—oops! I mean Wall Street is burning. Americans appear to be MORE interested in cupcakes, wizards and sex toys than the current financial crisis.

But wait, it gets worse!

For giggles, I did my own GoogleTrends experiment. I searched financial crisis, McDonalds, vegetables and Britney Spears. Check it out:

Veggies dead last and McDonalds number ONE! With Britney Spears a close second. Oh boy, we’re in trouble.

Via Serious Eats.

FDA Blamed for Produce Poisonings

It’s been a rough go for fruits and vegetables. We had the HUGE spinach-E. coli outbreak. Then New Jersey’s green onions got E. coli too. After that, tomatoes were blamed for salmonella, but it turned out a SINGLE jalapeño pepper was actually the guilty party. Yeah, a lot of drama!

So, who’s to blame? The Government Accountability Office says the failure falls squarely on the shoulders of U.S. Food and Drug Administration—signaling a call for improved preparations against biological attack and outbreaks of food poisoning; Rueters reports.

Me Man, Me Eat Fat!

Men get a bad rap. Just look at sitcoms. Male characters are depicted as chubby oafish slobs, basically CAVEMEN in flannel shirts. Like these guys from According to Jim; via YouTube.

Now, AOL Men’s Fitness Center feeds into this Neanderthal nonsense with an article promoting the “healthful” benefits of saturated fats; like beef, pork chops, cheese, butter and sour cream. Get a load of this:

For years you've heard that eating saturated fat is like pouring superglue into your arteries. But the fact is, this forbidden fat actually increases your HDL (good) cholesterol, which helps remove plaque from your artery walls, decreasing your risk of heart disease. So quit depriving yourself and start eating these eight foods -- without guilt.

Make NO mistake. Eating copious amounts of saturated fat from animal products is NOT healthy; via Plos Medicine. For example, this guy ate a diet loaded with clarified butter and his heart was so COATED with dangerous fat, he needed emergency surgery to save his life!

A fat-based diet is DEADLY advice without an air of authority. It’s journalistically irresponsible, because many men are already looking for an excuse NOT to cut back on meat, dairy and other saturated fats.

Dr. Fuhrman wanted to weigh in. His thoughts:

AOL is promoting cancer, heart disease and dementia by promoting the consumption of red meat, butter and dark meat poultry as healthy and not disease promoting. It shows the pervasive influence and web-presence of the pro-animal fat crowd, in spite of a plethora of irrefutable scientific findings proving otherwise.

The bulk of evidence is IRREFUTABLE; red meat, butter and saturated animal fats are linked to cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia. And thousands of scientific studies agree! Burying your head in the sand does NOT change facts.

Guys, if you’re striving for optimal health, you MUST restrict unhealthy foods. Research links the consumption of dairy products with prostate cancer and eating meat with prostate cancer; via CAT.INIST. So, AOL Men’s Fitness Center is promoting getting prostate cancer—which can make you IMPOTENT—not exactly good advice for men!

Okay, I’m NOT an expert, but I am a guy. I watch football, lift weights and play fantasy sports, but I also do Yoga, avoid meat or dairy and I LOVE of salads. Does this make me any LESS of a man? No! So, take Dr. Fuhrman’s advice and don’t be another knuckle-dragging modern caveman.

Woman Goes Raw, Drops 160 Pounds

Angela Stokes used to weigh 300 pounds, fed up she switched to a raw food diet. No more meat, animal products or processed foods, just LOTS of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. She lost an AMAZING 160 pounds; CNN reports.

Kudos to Angela, great job! Plants foods promote healthy bodyweight and disease-prevention and cutting saturated fats—found in animal foods—helps lower cholesterol and maintain heart health; from Health magazine.

Now, raw food diets DO help people consume MORE fruits and vegetables, but raw food isn’t the ONLY answer. Eating cooked foods in fine, Dr. Fuhrman explains low-temperature cooking and steaming can actually enhance the nutrient-quality of vegetables.

Nevertheless, Angela’s accomplishment is STILL a great ambassador for vegetable-based diets!

British Junk Food Ad Rules Mucking Up

A couple years ago British health officials enacted a BAN on TV commercials for foods high in fat, salt and sugar airing during children’s programming, but its NOT working—somehow junk foods like soda and cookies are sneaking in; the BBC reports.

Actually, Britain has a history of food faux pas. Once schools tried to reform cafeteria food and make it healthier, but it only incurred the WRATH of the meat-pie mums!

Breast Milk Off the Menu!

Oh boy! I’m suddenly feeling a little queasy. A Swiss restaurant was recently BANNED from serving dishes containing HUMAN breast milk. Food inspectors said the ingredient derives from an “unauthorized” source; SwissInfo.ch reports. 

Breastfeeding is a GREAT idea, but serving it at a restaurant—GROSS! The eatery planned to use breast milk in antelope steak with sauce and a classic dish called of Zürcher Geschnetzeltes, bite-sized pieces of meat in a creamy sauce. Bleh!

Via Serious Eats.

Healthy Schools in America

That's an EVIL looking lunch, but it’s probably very typical. Remember, a new report just determined that the USDA, which distributes food schools, actually supplies food of POOR nutritional-quality; too much processed meat and cheese.

To make matters worse, many schools undermine their own efforts to improve cafeteria food by installing more and more vending machines. With tight budgets abound, vending machines have become HUGE money-makers.

Meanwhile, schools in Europe are lobbying to distribute FREE fruit in schools. So, improving school food and health MUST be possible!

It is. Health magazine has just compiled a list of America’s healthiest schools Check out what these schools are doing to get healthy. Take a look:

  • West Babylon Senior High, West Babylon, New York: The student obesity rate dropped 2 percent in just one school year—and continues to decline.
  • Amory Middle, Amory, Mississippi: "We have become Dance, Dance Revolution," principal Cheryl Moore says. "We traverse the rock-climbing wall, play ping-pong, power walk, and much more."
  • Rawhide Elementary, Gillette, Wyoming: Rawhide's strong health component begins in kindergarten and covers nutrition, personal safety, drug-abuse prevention, and lifetime fitness.
  • Anthony Elementary, Leavenworth, Kansas: Lunch is eaten in classrooms amid a family atmosphere that emphasizes conversation. "The noise level is low, making this the ideal time for teachers and students to build positive relationships," principal Janine Kempker says.
  • Richmond Elementary, Appleton, Wisconsin: We've found that educating children about making healthy food choices has influenced the choices that are being made at home," principal Bobbie Schmidt writes.
  • Mountain Valley Middle, Mexico, Maine: Kids and teachers eat nutritious breakfasts in their classrooms. Through this innovative approach, piloted last year, students begin their days more attentively and learn conversation skills and table manners from their role models.
  • Miami Springs Middle, Miami Springs, Florida: Former principal Gail Quigley, EdD, says. "We don't serve dessert or fried food, and we offer a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables."
  • Lakewood Elementary, Cecilia, Kentucky: Lakewood's students get this message loud and clear in all facets of the school's Nutrition, Fitness, and Health curriculum.
  • W.C. Britt Elementary, Snellville, Georgia: This school keeps its students engaged with taste tests, farm visits, school gardening, community-health-related plays, annual visits from local dentists, and more.
  • South Elementary, Pinson, Tennessee: The school has established a Life­time Fitness and Wellness Center, an on-site facility that's open not only to students but to faculty members and families, as well.

Now, improving school food is win-win. It has been show that eating healthy foods, despite being MORE expensive, does help school children perform better. However, Dr. Fuhrman suggests a simpler answer, establish healthy eating habits at HOME and have kids brownbag their lunch.

Fast Food In, Mediterranean Diet Out!

Once upon a time the Mediterranean diet WAS healthy. People ate lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and some fish and they spent many hours working in the fields, but that was a LONG time ago.

As fast food hits Mediterranean countries, like the island of Crete, many are fighting an uphill battle against disease and obesity; The New York Times reports. And according to Dr. Fuhrman, Cretans WERE healthy, lean and virtually free of heart disease, but now they eat mostly meat and cheese and are fat, just like us!

Honestly, BLAME the Western lifestyle—BAD diet and NO exercise—as the Western diet continues spread across the world it leaves behind a wake of unhealthy habits, period!

Tips to Stay Alive

Let’s live to 100! It’s simple. Be like the Okinawans. Make sure you exercise, eat less, eat plants and learn how to relax—via The Huffington Post.

And That’sFit passes along five more GREAT tips for living healthy. Take a look:

  • Reduce your intake of dietary fat -- both saturated and unsaturated -- to a max level of 30 percent of total calories. You can accomplish this by limiting meats, trimming away its excess fat, avoiding fried foods, and cutting down on butter, creams, and salad dressings.
  • Increase consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain cereals. This will automatically increase your intake of these five nutrients: beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and dietary fiber.
  • Only moderately consume salt-cured and charcoal-broiled foods, or ditch altogether.
  • Only moderately consume alcoholic beverages, or ditch altogether.
  • Eliminate from your diet these items: All salt except for what's found in food itself, all stimulants like coffee and tea, all refined sugar and flour, hydrogenated fats, pepper and other hot spices, foods containing artificial additives or preservatives, and all cured meats such as hot dogs.

Hard to argue with all that! Avoiding things like salt, saturated fat, refined grains and alcohol is always a GOOD idea, so is INCREASING your consumption of fruit and vegetables.

Also, it’s important to ignore common health myths, like obesity is caused by genetics and milk is good for bone health. Dr. Fuhrman dispels those notions.

Less Meat, Save Money

Fortified Foods, Kind of Dumb

The only REAL fortified foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans, but lately stripping food of all nutrition, processing it into junk and then “enriching” it has become all the rage.

CBS News shows how food producers are cramming Omega-3’s, plant sterols and calcium into garbage foods like milk, yogurt and pasta. These Franken-foods are expected to rake in $60 BILLION in sales next year!

In Eat to Live, Dr. Fuhrman explains that enriching food does little good and that healthful plant compounds are BEST left in their natural state.

Guys, Obesity Lowers Fertility

We already the United States is FAT and getting FATTER and that obesity costs this country A LOT of money, but it just got WORSE! New research in Fertility and Sterility claims being obese may diminish a man’s fertility; Reuters reports.

Now, obesity doesn’t only affect men’s potency. Women are also at risk! Last year a study determined that obesity may prevent eggs in women’s ovaries from becoming healthy embryos; more from the AFP.

NO guy or gal wants to hear that. Good thing new research has determined that exercise can reduce fat, in this case, fat in the liver. Another clear-cut example that exercise is ALWAYS a good idea! So, eat healthy, exercise and check out these tricks to living to 113—via That’sFit.

Salt Ups Blood Pressure

Salt is NOT your friend. According to Dr. Fuhrman salt is one of the foods ransacking America’s health. Salt is EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING! It’s a HUGE money-maker for junk food producers.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that another study is linking salt to hypertension pressure. At the American Heart Association's 62nd Annual Fall Conference of the Council High Blood Pressure Research scientists reported that cutting salt helps control high-blood pressure; Reuters reports.

We’ve seen this before, just a couple months ago a study by Harvard Medial School revealed salt’s negative impact on blood pressure. Bottom line, AVOID salt! Stick with fruits and veggies for optimal heart health. Oh! And Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest is a GREAT substitute for salt.
 

Eat For Health: What About Salmon?

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

All fish contain high levels of pollutants–even salmon. But, recent studies showed dangerous chemicals were ten-times higher in farm-raised salmon as compared to wild salmon. If you’re going to eat salmon, wild salmon is a better choice. Since there are growing concerns about the high pollution and artificial colors used in farm-raised salmon, wild salmon has become more desirable and its prices have gone up. However, a 2005 article in The New York Times reported that most fish labeled as wild Pacific or Alaskan salmon is just farm-raised salmon with a lying label. The New York Times tested salmon that was labeled as wild and sold in eight New York City stores and found that most of the fish was farm-raised, not wild.1

They were able to tell the farm-raised from the wild salmon because of the presence of an artificial, pink food dye manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche. The company distributes their trademarked SalmoFan, which is similar to paint store swatches, so fish farmers can choose among various shades to make salmon have a pink-orange color. Salmon in the wild have that color naturally from eating pink crustaceans, but the commercially raised fish have a grey flesh from eating fishmeal. Europeans are suspicious of the dye, which was linked to retinal damage in people when taken as a sunless tanning pill.

Numerous studies also have found surprisingly high levels of PCBs and dioxin in farm-raised salmon. American health officials’ response was that this level of contamination should not stop consumers from eating salmon, but why should you unnecessarily expose yourself to known toxic carcinogens? If you eat salmon, eat only the wild Alaskan variety. If you eat fish once a week, use mostly the lower fat, less contaminated fish, such as tilapia, flounder, scallops, trout, or sole, but I urge you to eat fish infrequently since eating too much can promote heart disease, cancer, and atrial fibrillation.

Continue Reading...

Comfort Foods...

I dislike the term “comfort food.” Even Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate from The Howard Stern Show mentioned he hates the phrase on the show this week—although, that doesn’t stop him from GORGING on chocolates!

Comfort food sounds like a cover up for food addictions. Speaking of comfort food, EDiets offers up a list of the Top 10 Comfort Foods. Take a look:

  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Ice cream
  • Pizza
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Tomato soup
  • Popcorn
  • Chocolate shakes
  • Pancakes
  • Homemade soups and stews

YUCK! Sure, tomato soup and popcorn aren’t horrible, but look at the rest of that crap. Lots of sugar, dairy fat and refined foods—not exactly health promoting.

My list of “comfort foods” would include: avocado, tomatoes, bananas and at worst, bread so grainy and hearty you could build a house with it!
 

To Choose a Snack...

Real quick! You can only choose one: a banana, an apple, a candy bar or a waffle. What do you want? I’d pick banana. If you said the candy bar or the waffle—GET OUT! Although, new research did reveal most people would go for the candy bar or waffle.

The study appears in Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. LiveScience reports:

Dutch researchers asked 585 participants to pick between four snacks: an apple, a banana, a candy bar and a molasses waffle.

About half of the participants indicated they would choose the apple or banana.

But when presented with the actual snacks a week later, 27 percent of those who had said they'd pick a healthy one switched to the candy bar or waffle. And more than 90 percent of those who had initially made an unhealthy choice stuck with it.

The researchers figure that while we are in control of our intentions, our actual choices are often made impulsively, even unconsciously.

"A substantial gap between healthy snack choice intentions and actual behavior was demonstrated," said study leader Pascalle Weijzen of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. "Despite that gap, the results suggest that individuals who plan to make a healthful choice are more likely to do so than those who plan to make unhealthful choices. Because more than 50 percent of the population seems to have no intention at all of making a healthful choice, identifying tools by which this group can be motivated to choose a healthful snack is strongly needed."

It’s distressing, but HARDLY surprising. Just look at the typical buffet. There’s mostly crap food with only a few healthy options—there’s a reason for that! Dr. Fuhrman will tell you, MANY people are hopelessly addicted to foods like sugary and fatty foods.

Well at least some attempts are being made to improve people’s eating habits. That’sfit passes along news that hospital food is on the upswing. Also, school-based programs seem to be boosting children’s fruit and vegetable consumption; from HealthDay News.

And this report by Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times points to a few examples of people shifting to healthier diets. Hey, at least it’s getting better!
 

Sarah Palin is Toast!

Somehow that nutrient-less piece of toast revealed the image of vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin. Even more amazing than the manifestation of her image, is that right now the bidding is up to $12,000. Who the HECK would pay that for TOAST!

Now, as BIZARRE as that is, we’ve seen this before. A few months ago Howard Stern appeared in a piece of burnt toast. Unfortunately for the King of All Media, his toast only sold for $141.50. No offense, but if you’re willing to pay that much for toast, you need your head examined.

Via Slashfood.

Surprise, Living Healthy Helps Women Live Longer

This report is a no-brainer, but still worth a mention. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital have determined that women living healthfully have a DECREASED risk of premature death.

The study appears in The British Medical Journal. Reuters is on it:

Dr. Rob van Dam and a team from the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital followed 80,000 nurses for more than two decades.

The women kept detailed records of their diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, weight, smoking and disease history. Over the study period, 8,882 of the women died, including 1,790 from heart disease and 4,527 from cancer.

Some 28 percent of these deaths could have been avoided if the women had never smoked, the researchers said.

And 55 percent of the deaths could have been avoided if the women had never smoked and exercised regularly, eaten a healthy diet low in red meat and trans-fats and maintained a healthy weight, they said.

Smoking played the biggest role in causing premature death, and alcohol consumption played the smallest, they said.

I’m no scientist—just a BIG dummy—but I’m pretty sure this would apply to men too. But ladies, your health is important. Take obesity. Not only will it ruin your figure, but being overweight can boost your risk of pancreatic cancer.

Oh, and make sure you EXERCISE! Previous research suggests exercise can help ward off breast cancer. And if you’re looking for a good workout, consider using kettlebells; from The Washington Post.

What Kids are Eating...

At first, Tom Fishburne’s illustration might SEEM ridiculous, but think about it. It’s not that far from the truth. Especially when you consider new search claims kids, ages 11-13, CAN’T recognize common fruits and vegetables—via Diet-Blog.

It’s partly our country’s fault. We found out Monday that the USDA supplies school cafeterias’ with mostly meat and dairy products. Eating a diet based on meat and dairy and low in fruits in vegetables destines you for depleted health.

Now, Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid better and getting kids to eat right is EASY! Parents, if you start eating healthfully, your kids WILL follow.

Meat Gets COOL Labels...

Country of Origin Labels, or COOL, tell consumers whether their meat came from U.S. or livestock from another country. The new federal mandate begins September 30th and addresses American’s concerns over international food safety practices; The Chicago Tribune reports.

Not a bad idea, I think consumers SHOULD be as informed as possible. Especially when you consider the United States’ recent suspension of Mexican meat imports. Although, American meat is not without its own problems—South Koreans are ticked about U.S. beef.

Yet another reason why I DON’T eat meat, only LOW-toxin varieties of fish!

Brain-Shrinking and Veggie Diets

That’s how I ensure I get Vitamin B12. That nutritional yeast—in my pantry right now—is 133% Vitamin B12 per serving; serving size is 1 1/2  tablespoons and I eat that much AT LEAST once a day. I put it in my chocolate pudding.

I mention this, because this LOOPY report just came out, suggesting that eating an animal product-free diet shrinks people’s brains. Dr. Fuhrman had this to say about it, “Duh, they are telling people NOW that B12 deficiency damages the nervous system and brain. What a revelation! The headline that a veggie diet shrinks the brain is simply a distortion.”

The research appears in the journal Neurology. The Courier Mail reports:

Vegans and vegetarians — such as Heather Mills — are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system.

Yeast extracts are one of the few vegetarian foods which provide good levels of the vitamin.

The link was discovered by Oxford University scientists who used memory tests, physical checks and brain scans to examine 107 people between the ages of 61 and 87.

When the volunteers were retested five years later the medics found those with the lowest levels of vitamin B12 were also the most likely to have brain shrinkage. It confirms earlier research showing a link between brain atrophy and low levels of B12.

Now, Dr. Fuhrman recommends taking a multi-vitamin to get B12. Actually, he sells his own multi, called Gentle Care. So you don’t HAVE to eat animal products if you don’t want to, but if you eat a vegetable-based diet with SOME animal products, consider these diet tips from Dr. Fuhrman. Take a look:

  • Get enough daily sunshine in a southern climate to obtain vitamin D needs.
  • Consume a small amount of kelp regularly to ensure sufficient iodine intake.
  • Consume some animal products such as nonfat dairy or fish at least every other day to assure B12 needs are met.
  • Eat flaxseed or walnuts every day to potentially meet omega-3 fatty acid needs.
  • Eat enough fresh green vegetables, seeds (especially pumpkin seeds), and beans to ensure adequate intake of zinc and other minerals.

Works for me! I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian. I eat fish. So I know, given the hefty amount of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds I eat—plus the yeast and occasional seafood—I’m getting all the nutrients I need. However, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, Dr. Fuhrman insists there is legitimate concern for vitamin-deficiency—be mindful of it.

But don’t get confused. Fruits and vegetables ARE nutritional superstars! In fact, some vegetables—like kale, spinach and broccoli—have MORE protein than steak.

Oh, and don’t call me stupid because I don’t eat meat!

UPDATE: The yeast might be tasty, but Dr. Fuhrman STILL recommends taking a B12 supplement. So, I've got some Gentle Care to buy!

Avoid these 10 Cancer-Causing Foods...

Cancer doesn’t just happen! Diet has A LOT to do with it. Take acrylamides for example. According to Dr. Fuhrman, acrylamides are cancer-causing compounds that form in fried, baked, roasted, grilled or barbequed food. You know. Bad stuff!

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that over-cooked food appears in this list of foods that increase cancer-risk. Via Care2:

  • All charred food, which create heterocyclic aromatic amines, known carcinogens. Even dark toast is suspect.
  • Well-done red meat. Medium or rare is better, little or no red meat is best.
  • Sugar, both white and brown–which is simply white sugar with molasses added.
  • Heavily salted, smoked and pickled foods, which lead to higher rates of stomach cancer.
  • Sodas/soft drinks, which pose health risks, both for what they contain–sugar and various additives–and for what they replace in the diet–beverages and foods that provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
  • French fries, chips and snack foods that contain trans fats.
  • Food and drink additives such as aspartame.
  • Excess alcohol.
  • Baked goods, for the acrylamide.
  • Farmed fish, which contains higher levels of toxins such as PCBs.

Cooked meats are a problem. The American Institute for Cancer Research just recommended that people STOP grilling meat and substitute veggies instead. Good idea, because a recent study linked saturated fat with prostate cancer-risk.

No doubt, things like alcohol, sugar and fake sugar should be avoided too. Be sure to check out Dr. Fuhrman’s list of horrible foods. You’ll see EVEN more similarities!

USDA Offers Kids Poor Nutrition...

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Child Nutrition Commodity Program distributes food to more than 94,000 public and private schools. A good idea, but here’s the problem. A new study gives the nutritional-quality of this food a FAILING grade!

The California Food Policy Advocates and Samuels & Associates conducted the research. Here’s a bit, via TreeHugger:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture currently provides school districts with more than 180 different commodity food items per year valued at approximately $1 billion, which makes the commodity program the largest single source of foods for schools. The nutritional quality of the foods ordered by schools through the commodity program, however, is particularly alarming. While commodity foods comprise only 20 percent of the school meal, they set the tone for the entire meal. For instance, many meals are planned around the high-fat foods ordered through the commodities program, turning them into pizza, chicken nuggets and other processed foods…

…Dietary Guidelines for Americans should be reflected in School Meal Initiative Standards, and schools should have to meet them. Efforts to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables and decrease the amount of meats and processed foods purchased for school meals would contribute to providing students with much healthier foods.

Yeah, cheese and processed food are NOT nutritional superstars! Now this is really scary. Take a look at the food distribution. From The Federal Child Nutrition Commodity Program Nutritional Quality Report:

When 82% of the food supplied is meat and dairy, OFCOURSE nutritional-quality is going to be a total flop. That much meat and cheese is a dangerous no-no. Dr. Fuhrman is a staunch advocate of LIMITING these foods for optimal health, bodyweight and lifespan.

Also, consider the environmental factor. It takes WAY more resources to produce milk and meat than it does fruits and veggies. You’d think the department of AGRICULTURE would know this!

Dumb McDonald's...

Far be it from me to pass up an opportunity to ridicule fast food. So, here I go. Stuff reports that McDonald’s was offering a 10-cent gas discount with purchase of a Big Mac, medium fries, medium soft drink and a hot apple pie. Shameless and unhealthy!

Now, get this. Some freak show has consumed over 23,000 Big Macs during his lifetime, and, he’s PROUD of it! Sigh. Check out AOL News for the whole dumb story.

The depth of fast food stupidity never ceases to amaze me.
 

Heart Beating like a Piece of Lard!

This shocked me! Well, not really. This guy ate a horrible diet. Comprised entirely of saturated fat—TOTAL insanity! Recently he had surgery that saved his life. Check out the video on CNN. Be careful, it’s a little graphic, but very eye opening.

Here’s another video. This time the Adventist Coronary Health Improvement Project urges us to eat better. MORE fruits and veggies! Beware, it gets graphic too.

Now, avoiding a clogged heart is easy. Dr. Fuhrman suggests a vegetable-based diet—RICH in plants and LOW in animal products—can prevent and reserve heart disease.
 

Milk, Stupid

Despite the U.S. Government’s love affair with milk. Milk is NOT a health food. In fact, Dr. Fuhrman is more likely to call milk a health hazard than a health helper. Not to mention, milk HAS been linked prostate cancer and Crohn's disease.

Now, Celebrity Diet Doctor has three more reasons to ditch milk. Take a look:

  • Countries with the highest intakes of dairy, Finland, Sweden and the Unite States, also have the highest fracture rates in the world despite having the highest intakes of dietary calcium in the world.
  • The Nurses Health Study showed an increased fracture rate among women who reported the highest dietary intake of calcium primarily from milk and other diary foods.
  • A study funded by the dairy industry also showed that post menopausal women who drank 3 glasses of milk for 2 years (1400 mg Calcium/day) lost bone at twice the rate as those who did not drink milk.

Like Dr. Fuhrman says, milk is not for people—milk is for the rapidly growing COW! I’ve NEVER liked milk. It’s always made me nauseous.

Sadly, some people just CAN’T face the hard truth about milk. It’s yucky!

Food Photos, Curb Eating

Usually diaries are reserved for dirty little secrets, love crushes and forget-me-nots, but new research by the University of Wisconsin-Madison claims that photographic food diaries may help people control their weight.

The study appears in the International Journal of Consumer Studies. Kate Devlin of The Telegraph reports:

To test if encouraging slimmers to photograph everything they eat might also encourage them to change their diet, scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison asked 43 people to record what they ate for one week in pictures as well as in words.

When the volunteers were later quizzed the photo diary appeared more effective at encouraging them to change their eating habits to more healthy alternatives.

The photographs also acted as a powerful reminder of any snacking binges, the researchers found.

"I had to think more carefully about what I was going to eat because I had to take a picture of it," was a typical response from volunteers, the scientists found.

Prof Lydia Zepeda and David Deal, the researchers who carried out the study reported in New Scientist magazine, found that written food diaries were often filled in hours after the meal and were not as powerful in creating an impression of how much food had been consumed.

Well, I guess this would only work if you eat GOOD stuff—who wants pictures of gross food! Reminds me of a previous study that suggested recalling what you previously ate triggers you to eat less food later—via Diet-Blog.

You won’t hear Dr. Fuhrman telling you to snap shots of your meals, but he will tell you WHAT you eat matters, like how eating veggies actually allows you to eat MORE and still lose weight.
 

The Wrath of Grapes...

Let’s pretend you’re a Brazilian news reporter and you’re busy filming a story on grapes. Here’s one VERY important thing to remember. Grab a grape VINE and NOT a live electrical wire! Shocking.

Via Serious Eats.

Hot Beef Sundae, Health Suicide!

You know, I REALLY hope for our country’s healthy. I really want Americans to eat smarter, but then you see something like this. The HOT BEEF Sundae!

This artery-clogging monstrosity includes top round beef, cheddar cheese, buttered toast and yes, MORE freaking cheese. Ugh, I can feel my chest tightening.

Now, just a reminder, butter, cheese, red meat—NOT—health-promoting!

Via Open Left.
 

Eat For Health: Red Wine for Heart Health?

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Alcohol is not actually heart-healthy; it simply has anti-clotting effects, much like aspirin. Researchers have found that even moderate consumption of alcohol, including wine, interferes with blood clotting and thereby reduces heart attacks in high-risk populations, such as people who eat the typical, disease-promoting, American diet. Thinning the blood with alcohol or aspirin is not health-enhancing unless you are eating the typical heart-attack inducing diet. Once you are protected from heart attacks and strokes with nutritional excellence, the blood thinning only adds more risk in the form of gastrointestinal bleeding or a hemorrhagic stroke. Red wine contains some beneficial compounds such as flavonoids and resveratrol, a potent antioxidant in the skin of grapes associated with a number of health benefits. Of course, grapes, raisins, berries, and other plant foods also contain these beneficial compounds. One does not have to drink wine to gain these benefits.

Moderate drinking is defined as a maximum of one drink per day for women and two drinks for men. Consuming more than this is associated with increased fat around the waist and other significant health problems.1 Even a moderate amount of alcohol may also increase the risk of breast cancer in susceptible women.2 The other problem with alcohol, especially more than one drink a day, is it can create mild withdrawal sensations the next day. These sensations are commonly mistaken for hunger, which leads people to eat more than is necessary. Because of this, moderate drinkers are usually overweight. Furthermore, recent studies have also shown that even moderate alcohol consumption is linked to a significantly increased incidence of atrial fibrillation, a condition that can lead to stroke.3

Overall, it is safer to eat a diet that will not permit heart disease. Don’t rely on alcohol to decrease the potential of blood to clot. Strive to avoid the detrimental effects of alcohol and protect yourself from heart disease with nutritional excellence. Having one alcoholic drink or one glass of wine is not a major risk, nor is it a major health asset. However, if consumed in excess, it can develop into a major health issue.

Continue Reading...

Man Stuff: Lifespan, Prostate Cancer, Diabetes...

Despite popular opinion, being a man involves MORE than just watching football, mowing the lawn and scratching your butt. Actually, men—especially our health—can be downright complicated. Yes, I said it. Men, complicated.

Take type-2 diabetes for example. A new campaign by the American Diabetes Association is aimed at better educating men on diabetes. Megan Rauscher of Reuters reports:

Men with type 2 diabetes know the basics about the disease and its main complications - heart disease, blindness, kidney failure - but they seem to know very little about the issues that affect their quality of life, like depression and sexual dysfunction, according to results of a survey released today by the American Diabetes Association.

The survey also shows that men are "really uncomfortable talking about these issues with their physician" -- yet are hungry for more information, Dr. Richard M. Bergenstal, Vice President, Medicine & Science at the American Diabetes Association noted in a telephone interview with Reuters Health.

To bridge the information gap, the American Diabetes Association today announced the launch of a multifaceted nationwide campaign to spotlight the often overlooked physical, emotional and sexual health issues affecting the roughly 12 million American men with diabetes.

And lifespan, why do men die sooner than women? WebMD offers up 6 tips that might help keep the men in your life around longer—not sure if that’s a thing good or not. Here are two great suggestions:

Speak frankly with a doctor: Leave embarrassment in the waiting room. Women are taught at an early age to be candid and open with their doctors. Symptoms that can be uncomfortable to talk about - such as erectile dysfunction - can be tied to more serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. Men, despite cultural tradition, should also request breast checks…

Keep a close eye on young males: The reckless nature and lifestyle of adolescents make them prime targets for injury or death. Females develop a more evolved sense of judgment and decision making at an earlier age then males. Add to that the cocktail of testosterone and other hormones and, biologically, males possess a potentially lethal internal recipe. Monitoring their activities and setting careful limits is vital. "Boys have been compared to a Porsche without brakes," Marianne J. Legato, MD says. "They take risks, are idealistic, intense, and believe they're invulnerable..."

Now, as a short guy, this particular piece of news ACTUALLY relieved me. New research in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention claims that taller men have a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. The Well blog is on it:

Researchers from four universities in England studied more than 9,000 men with and without prostate cancer and found that the tallest men had a 19 percent higher risk of developing prostate cancer than shorter men. Using the shortest men as a baseline, the study showed that risk increased 6 percent for every additional 4 inches in height. The report, published in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, showed an even stronger association between height and aggressive cancers.

“Compared to other risk factors, the magnitude of the additional risk of being taller is small, and we do not believe that it should interfere with preventive or clinical decisions in managing prostate cancer,” said the study’s lead author, Luisa Zuccolo, of the department of social medicine at the University of Bristol. “But the insight arising from this research is of great scientific interest.”

Dudes, we got a lot going on! But here’s the good news. Avoiding diabetes, prostate cancer and dying prematurely is NOT that hard. Dr. Fuhrman will tell you. It all starts with diet. Eating a vegetable-based high-nutrient diet will make you a Superman.

Although, I’d prefer to be a Batman!

Exercise and Video Games Trump Obesity

According to Dr. Fuhrman obesity and its sequelae cost the United States over $100 billion each year—so why suffer? Just eat right and exercise! Especially since new research shows that EXERCISE seriously kicks obesity’s butt.

The study appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine. More from Julie Steenhuysen of Reuters:

When we looked at the Amish who were the most active, there is suddenly no effect of that gene," said Dr. Soren Snitker of the University of Maryland, whose study appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The findings, which suggest physical activity can overcome a genetic predisposition for obesity, may help inform the debate over whether changes in diet or physical activity will make the biggest difference in fighting obesity.

Consumer groups have pushed for laws such as July's moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in certain Los Angeles neighborhoods, while the food industry often maintains that a lack of exercise is more to blame.

Researchers focused their study on a group of 704 Old Order Amish men and women in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a religious group whose members often do not drive cars or have electricity in their homes.

Snitker said the group offered a unique mix of activity levels, with some farmers in the community still using horse-drawn plows while others holding more conventional jobs, including factory work.

Now, get this. Another study—this time in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine—claims that active video games are a great way to work out; Reuters reports. Go figure, exercising in the digital age!

For more, check out Onlyourhealth’s obesity and exercise categories.

Skin Cancer Could Lead to More Cancers...

If you go to the beach, you’ll see plenty of sun-toasted people just itching to get skin cancer. Here’s the problem with that, a new study claims skin cancer can increase your risk of developing other cancers—yikes!

The research appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. WebMD reports:

Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer. Past research has shown that people who have had non-melanoma skin cancers have a greater risk of developing melanoma.

Researchers, led by Jiping Chen, MD, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute and Anthony Alberg, PhD, MPH, at the Medical University of South Carolina looked at data from 19,174 people listed in a Maryland county (Washington County) cancer registry.

They followed people with and without nonmelanoma skin cancer for more than 16 years from 1989 to 2005, to see the risk of developing other types of malignancies (non-skin cancers). What they found was:

People who had been diagnosed with either basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer had double the risk of developing another type of cancer when compared to those with no history of the disease.

Now, according to Dr. Fuhrman, “People who eat a cancer-promoting diet will always be at risk of multiple cancers. The important message here is that skin cancer is caused by a low micronutrient diet in combination with the increased free radical damage from sun exposure.”

That’s why Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating tons of cancer-fighting fruits and vegetables. Broccoli in particular has been shown to ward off skin cancer. And in related news, scientists have mapped the genetic pathways for brain and pancreatic cancer.
 

High Fructose Corn Syrup, a Stupid Surprise

The Corn Refiners Association has gone insane! On the heels of the FDA’s announcement that High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is natural, they’ve actually started running ads that PROMOTE HFCS, calling it a “sweet surprise.”

Serious Eats is all over it, have a look:

The ads ask what's so wrong with a little HFCS? The complexities are hardly known or explained—people just know to avoid it. In one commercial, a girl picnics with her boy and offers him a popsicle. He declines. It's not you, it's the high fructose corn syrup, babe. Instead of taking offense, she merrily explains that HFCS is made of corn, has the same calories as sugar and honey, and is totally fine in moderation.

But what does "moderation" mean? SweetSurprise.com never elaborates on dosage on the site's "High Fructose Corn Syrup Quick Facts" page. While consumers have a vague idea of "moderation" (not too much), HFCS creeps into salad dressings, juices, ketchup, breads, and even "whole-grain" breads, which can complicate attempts to be moderate.

In the second pro-HFCS commercial, two moms chat at a kid's birthday party, surrounded by sugar-high munchkins. One supports the pouring of a generic, junky-looking fruit punch drink, while the other disapproves. You don't care about poisoning your kids with that stuff? Don't you see how hyper it's making them? But when put on the spot, the HFCS-hating mom doesn't know how to explain herself.

Like the commercial before it, the Corn Refiners Association reminds consumers that they don't know a lot about the sweetener—they just know to hate it. The commercial claims that the ingredient is safe, despite the chemically-scary name. High-fructose corn syrup is just made of corn—the same corn responsible for happy things like cornbread—and is nutritionally comparable to table sugar and honey.

Honestly, how is comparing HFCS to sugar a good idea—its all crap! And saying “consume in moderation” is silly. If Americans understood moderation, we wouldn’t all be fat and sick. Instead, try eating stuff a little MORE nutrient-dense than sugar!

Take soda for example, usually sweetened with HFCS, its strong link to obesity has been well documented Just check out Center for Science in the Public Interest: Liquid Candy.
 

U.S. Suspends Mexican Meat

Another bad day for meat, the USDA has halted meat imports from Mexico while United States officials check to ensure plants comply with U.S. sanitary regulations. Reuters reports:

Amanda Eamich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service, said on Friday that Mexico informed U.S. authorities on August 29 it was suspending exports voluntarily.

"While they're implementing the corrective action that they identified, (last) Friday they said they would self-suspend and stop shipping all meat and processed poultry products to the U.S.," Eamich said.

The export suspension came after USDA inspectors in Mexico revoked exporting licenses from seven pork and beef processing plants in recent weeks due to concerns about hygiene.

The decision by Mexican authorities to stop exports of all meat, including chicken, will give inspectors time to inspect plants one by one on a systematic basis, said Enrique Dominguez, the head of Mexico's pork producers association.

"Mexican sanitary officials suspended certifications to export all types of meat to the United States," Dominguez told Reuters.

"In reality, what the USDA is doing is putting in doubt Mexico's sanitary inspection system," he said.

This is a good thing, given meat’s track record lately. Just this summer there has been 3 major meat recalls. Remember these:

Brainy Work Makes You Eat More...

Do you do physical work or intellectual work? If you said intellectual work, you might have a problem. A new study claims that people who have brainy jobs are stressed out and more likely to consume excess calories—i.e. SNACK!

The research appears in the latest edition of Psychosomatic Medicine. ENN reports:

The research team, supervised by Dr. Angelo Tremblay, measured the spontaneous food intake of 14 students after each of three tasks: relaxing in a sitting position, reading and summarizing a text, and completing a series of memory, attention, and vigilance tests on the computer. After 45 minutes at each activity, participants were invited to eat as much as they wanted from a buffet.

The researchers had already shown that each session of intellectual work requires only three calories more than the rest period. However, despite the low energy cost of mental work, the students spontaneously consumed 203 more calories after summarizing a text and 253 more calories after the computer tests. This represents a 23.6% and 29.4 % increase, respectively, compared with the rest period.

Blood samples taken before, during, and after each session revealed that intellectual work causes much bigger fluctuations in glucose and insulin levels than rest periods. "These fluctuations may be caused by the stress of intellectual work, or also reflect a biological adaptation during glucose combustion," hypothesized Jean-Philippe Chaput, the study's main author. The body could be reacting to these fluctuations by spurring food intake in order to restore its glucose balance, the only fuel used by the brain.

Now, I’m sure EVERY job causes stress. So you better find a way to unwind. According to Dr. Fuhrman you’ve got to relax and its important to establish an emotionally satisfying environment.

As for the excess eating that occurs due to stress, sounds a lot like toxic hunger. For more on toxic hunger, check out Dr. Fuhrman’s guest post on Diet-Blog: Overcoming Toxic Hunger: A Major Cause of Obesity.

Politics in the Kitchen

No, you’re NOT seeing things. Those are in fact, political cookbooks. Apparently party-lines extend to dinner tables too. For whatever reason, The Los Angeles Times decided to waste their time with this—sigh. Take a look:

"Many Happy Returns" is one of the more entertaining of a long string of little-noticed ephemera of political campaigns -- the partisan cookbook, written by politicos and their supporters (wives, celebrities, members of the Glendale Republican Womens Study Club), pundits, humorist gourmets, or even a displaced White House chef -- and it even has a few workable recipes.

… In 1973's "The Watergate Cookbook," recipe titles indicate a period-appropriate cynicism -- there's "McCord's Clouded Consommé (which sounds delicious, with tomatoes, sherry, chives and cream), "Ehrlichman's Cover Up Casserole and Mitchell's Sitting Duck. It's a refreshing read, compared with so many surviving Junior League-esque spiral-bound books -- decades of earnest collections of senators' wives recipes for hot crab dip, easy chicken cacciatore and stuffed peppers…

…In an introduction, "How to Eat Like a Republican" author Susanne Grayson Townsend, a former advertising executive and a Republican who decries Citarella (the New York gourmet food chain) and balsamic vinegar, writes: "Republicans are just like you and me, only with more Tabasco. They make meat loaf just like you and me, only with whiter bread crumbs. They eat sushi just like you and me -- no, wait, I take that back."

Whether you're a republican, democrat or something in between, we can ALL agree that this is a sad day for America.

Fad Diets Don't Promote Fruits and Veggies...

New research by Royal Children's Hospital in Australia claims fad diets—like Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, Atkins and the "Eat Yourself Slim" Dietdo little to increase people’s intake of fruits and vegetables. Wow, what a shocker!

The study's in Biomed Central's Nutrition Journal. Reuters reports:

There was no significant difference between the diets in how much weight people lost, Helen Truby of Royal Children's Hospital in Australia and her British colleagues reported in Biomed Central's Nutrition Journal.

"Health professionals and those working in community and public health should be reassured of the nutritional adequacy of the diets tested," the researchers wrote.

Truby and colleagues asked 293 people on diets across Britain to record how much food they ate during a two-month period and compared the results with a group who ate normally.

They found that all four diets led to weight loss but that only people on the Weight Watchers plan boosted the amount of fruit and vegetables they ate even when the plans advised them to do so.

This shouldn’t be taken as a glowing endorsement for Weight Watchers. Dr. Fuhrman considers Weight Watchers an obsolete approach to weight-loss. Not to mention, portion-restricting diets have dismal failure rates or only post modest results.

Now, what this research does show is too many people are still veggie-phobic. Some REALLY freak out over vegetables!

Baby's Weight Gain May Lead to Hypertension

A new study by University of Bristol has determined that babies who gain weight rapidly during their first few months after birth are more likely to develop high blood pressure as adults—hypertension is often called the “silent killer.”

The research appears in the latest Hypertension. More from Reuters:

They found that those who gained weight more rapidly in the first five months after birth and again from about age 2 to 5 were more likely to have high systolic blood pressure.

Immediate weight gain after birth also was linked to higher adult diastolic blood pressure, they found.

Systolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries while the heart contracts. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats.

"When trying to understand why some people get high blood pressure in later life, we need to consider a life course approach that considers early life as well as adult life risk factors such as dietary salt and obesity," Yoav Ben-Shlomo of the University of Bristol in Britain, who led the study published in the journal Hypertension, said in a statement.

I like the concept of a “life course” approach. Falls right in line with Dr. Fuhrman’s thinking. Here’s what I mean. Feeding your toddler French fries is a BAD idea! Healthy eating for the whole family is a GOOD idea.

And nixing salt is a smart move too. Salt is definitely one of America’s food addictions and can fuel toxic hunger. Now, as for obesity, obesity makes us sick in SO many ways and here’s a new problem, undiagnosed cases of diabetes.

The Harvard Medical School claims that while obesity increases diabetes-risk, it does NOT increase the likelihood individual's diabetes will be diagnosed—it’s in Diabetes Care.

Do Low Cholesterol Levels Cause Cancer?

I thought it was important for me to construct a public reply to a recent medical study that reported both high cholesterol and low cholesterol were associated with higher cancer rates because too many people are still confused about this, including the scientific research community. This is because so few people have performed a comprehensive, in-depth review of the scientific research on nutrition and cancer, so they base their decisions on a narrow and incorrect interpretation of the literature. This recent article and the comments by the media and even by physicians and scientists illustrate pervasive ignorance and confusion about human nutrition.

The study in question was published in the August 26th issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).1 It showed that people whose LDL cholesterol was below 2.8 mmol/L (109) had a higher risk of certain cancers (primarily lymphatic and blood cancers) and people whose LDL cholesterol was above 3.9 mmol/L (152) had a higher risk of certain cancers (primarily breast and digestive tract) as well.

My book, Cholesterol Protection For Life, covered this issue in more depth. In it, I explained that certain illnesses, especially cancer, lower cholesterol levels by decreasing the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol and that having a low cholesterol in spite of an unhealthy (high) cholesterol-promoting diet could be an early sign of an undiagnosed cancer. The types of cancers that have been reported to cause low cholesterol levels include lung, liver, lymphatic and hematopoietic cancer, the same cancers associated with low cholesterol in this study.2

My book, Disease-Proof Your Child, reviews the science and explains that cancer is predominantly caused many, many years before it first appears (over 40 years) and that cancerous cells are present in the body for over 10 years prior to diagnosis, when the clump of cancerous cells eventually become large enough to be viewed by the human eye or when the first signs or symptoms appear. This study only followed people for less than 5 years. They recorded the cancers that occurred in the last 2½ years of the study.

The findings were not surprising, but consistent with the main body of literature on this subject. We would expect people who are eating a diet that promotes high cholesterol would have higher cancer rates, because the same diet-style that promotes high cholesterol and heart disease also promotes cancer. We would also expect to find that very low cholesterol was also associated with more cancers occurring because some people in the cohort would have undiagnosed (occult, early stage) cancer that would eventually become diagnosed in the last 2½ years of the study. Their low cholesterol was a sign of early (undiagnosed) cancer, not a cause of their cancer. These people have low cholesterol in spite of not earning low cholesterol with nutritional excellence. Their cancer caused the low cholesterol, not the other way around.

What I stated in Cholesterol Protection For Life is that a low cholesterol that is earned through adherence to a diet rich in vegetables, beans, seeds, nuts and other health-promoting foods will protect you against heart attacks and cancers, however if you have a very low cholesterol that you did not earn via healthy living and a healthy diet, it might be a sign that a disease is present that lowers cholesterol, such as cancer.

To conclude, don’t be alarmed if your cholesterol is low, if you have earned it. Low cholesterol earned through high vegetable consumption and a micronutrient rich diet is linked to protection against all cancers, and populations eating a vegetable-centered-diet earn low cholesterol levels and have dramatically lower rates of cancers along with lower heart disease rates.3 This does not have to be such a confusing subject. Its simple, the prescription is nutrition for improved health and a longer life!

To learn more, check out Followhealthlife's cancer and cholesterol catagories or visit the library at DrFuhrman.com.

Continue Reading...

School Food, Bad and Prices Rising...

Kids have an unlikely place to buy salty snacks and high-fat foods—school! Research by the CDC showed that U.S. schools ARE selling less junk during lunch periods, but in some districts, vending machines continue to undermine efforts.

The study appears in the latest issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. WebMD reports:

"But progress is being made," says Howell Wechsler, EdD, MPH, director of CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health. "We see quite a few states where the number of schools selling junk food in vending machines is very low."

The CDC's 2006 data, alarming as they are, show progress. In a substudy of high schools in 25 states and nine cities, the percentage of high schools selling junk food during lunch periods dropped from 53 percent in 2004 to about 37 percent in 2006.

Yet there was no change in the percentage of high schools selling junk food before and after the lunch bell rang.

Why do schools sell food that harms kids' health? Money, Wechsler tells WebMD. Sales from vending machines, canteens, and snack bars come directly to schools without strings attached by state or city school systems.

Faced with increasing financial pressures, schools are tempted to make deals with the junk-food devil. However, the success of some schools should help others resist this temptation.

The increased cost of food is becoming a HUGE issue! According to The New York Times schools in NY and 6108032618 are raising the price of school lunch to make ends meet; as much as 50 cents in some places.

And to make matters worse, junk foods—like Yoo-Hoo chocolate drinks—are major profit generators, which explains why schools are so hesitant to give them up. On the other hand, a healthy diet DOES help kids perform better. What to do?

I think the answer is obvious—pack a lunch! Dr. Fuhrman insists packing a lunch is a great way to ensure your kids are eating healthfully at school. Oh! And here are some great tips for a healthier and greener lunch—via PlanetGreen.

Trans-Fat, Colon Cancer Linked!

More proof that trans-fat is health-destroying garbage. New research in the American Journal of Epidemiology contends that trans-fatty acids are linked to pre-cancerous colon growths—boosting colorectal cancer-risk. Reuters explains:

To investigate a possible link, they looked at 622 people who had colonoscopies at University of North Carolina Hospitals in 2001 and 2002. Study participants were interviewed about their diet, physical activity and other health issues within 12 weeks of having the screening test.

People in the top fourth based on trans-fatty acid consumption, most of whom took in 6.54 grams daily, were 86 percent more likely to have colon polyps than those in the bottom quartile for trans fat intake, for whom median intake was 3.63 g, the researchers found. There appeared to be a threshold effect, with no increased risk seen for people in the bottom three quarters of fatty acid consumption.

Among the 38.5 percent of study participants found to have colon polyps, average trans fatty acid intake was 4.97 g, while most consumed 4.12 g. Average intakes for people who were free of the colon growths was 4.42 g, while the median was 3.61 g.

These results suggest that consumption of high amounts of trans-fatty acid may increase the risk of colorectal polyps, the researchers write, adding that the findings also back current recommendations to limit trans fat intake.

Trans-fat is pretty simple to figure out—unhealthy, cheap and lasts a long time—NOT for eating! In fact, not too long along ago New York City banned the stuff. Not mention Dr. Fuhrman associates it with cancer and heart disease.

Now, in addition to avoiding trans-fat, a recent study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology claims weight-loss may also reduce the risk of colorectal growths—via Reuters. Okay, so no trans-fat and stay slim, simple—right?
 

Burger Eating Lettuce

You’d have to be totally stupid to believe this real, but even still, it’s an amazingly well done feet of veggie absurdity. This lettuce bites back, check it out:

 

Now, this IS real. Highlights from this year’s Tomatina tomato throwing festival; over 200,000 pounds of tomatoes were wasted. Makes my Italian blood boil—or should I say—stew!