No, Caffeine Isn't Healthy

Yesterday I found this article on WebMD. It debunks "diet myths" like eating at night makes you fat and drinking water helps you lose weight. For kicks, I passed it along to Dr. Fuhrman.

Now, their claim about caffeine NOT being unhealthy, really set him off. Here's what he said:

They ignored the downside and gave a one-sided view. Caffeine is a mild drug, addictive and like other drugs, can have both risks and benefits. In higher dosages the risks, such as irregular heart beat is potentially dangerous.

But because some people with the potential to abuse caffeine, like young people, are sensitive to rationalizations that promote caffeine and justify their addiction. This advice could be potentially dangerous and even fatal due to life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia.

Dr. Fuhrman is right. Especially about young people! All those super-caffeinated energy drinks are aimed POINTBLANK at kids, prompting many states to crackdown on energy drinks.

And yet, some company still thinks it’s a good idea to put caffeine in soap! Nope, its not a joke. 

Do You Take Your Health For Granted?

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Scott Wharton of HealthandMen and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

Do you take your health for granted? Chances are if you're reading this right now, you don't. However I was heading home late last night and I noticed a billboard for a wellness radio show and for some reason it got me to thinking about how many people probably drive by that everyday and think, “Why?”

When you go to the grocery store the first section that is in most markets is the produce. Perhaps one of the most important sections of the super market, filled with the healthiest items in the store. How many people pretty much bypass this section almost all together and go about buying the same things they bought the last time?

How many people give no thought to simply eating healthy food and fill their shopping cart with the same garbage each and every time? You'd be surprised. Sure they might buy some canned vegetables, but that’s only because they feel that they have to have a vegetable on their dinner plate and don’t really want that vegetable for its nutritional value.

Most people don't become health conscious until the errors of their ways catch up to them and they suffer a heart attack or a simple cholesterol test show dangerous levels. They go about their daily lives and have the mentality that they feel healthy so they must be healthy.

Health insurance rates for men are normally higher than women's rates. One reason is because men can be ignorant. They brush off minor aches and pains and don't get regular check-ups. Those minor aches and pains could be symptoms of bigger underlying issues and sometimes it's not caught until it's too late.

I think women are more health conscious for various reasons. One is the fact that women are generally more self-conscious about their weight and often do research on what they can do about it. When they research they learn all sorts of things that they never knew before and they start becoming more aware of their personal health. Also, most women are not as stubborn as men and normally get themselves checked out when they feel something isn't right.

It goes back to the mentality that I feel fine, so I must be fine. There are also people that just don't care. They live for the moment and live unhealthy lifestyles. They may be happy, but it can create hardships for themselves and other people in the long run when they are beating up their bodies from the inside out. You don't have to be paranoid about your health, just be aware.

Over 500 years ago English philosopher, Sir Francis Bacon said "Scientia Potentia Est", which translates to today's "Knowledge Is Power" and in U.S. Military leadership they teach "Know yourself and seek self improvement". These are words to live by in both a moral sense and health sense.

Don't take your health for granted and encourage others to do the same.

Positive Eating, Fueled by Diet Failure!

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Laura Klein of OrganicAuthority and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

The New York Times reported that positive eating trends are on the upswing!

Remarkably the percentage of people who are currently dieting is on a decline to 29 percent in 2007 from 33 percent in 2004. In place of calorie counting, starvation and deprivation, people are adding tasty whole foods to their diets, and 53 percent more are cooking more and from scratch!

This is exciting stuff! It has always been my advice that if you don’t know where to begin in transitioning your diet to a healthy one, start by adding more delicious organic fruits and vegetables to your diet every time you grocery shop and if you can swing it, on a daily basis. Keep it simple and easy.

If you are inclined to count something, start counting chemicals in your food instead of calories. Studies are now showing that chemicals in our food are leading to serious health issues like obesity, cancer and more. If you are inclined to reach for diet sodas and diet foods, take a few seconds (literally that’s all it takes) and scan the list of ingredients and ask yourself how familiar you are with the ingredients in that packaged drink or food product.

Other reports have shown number of farmers markets across America have more than doubled since the mid-1990s. And the sales of organic foods continue to rise. We are finally beginning to follow in the footsteps of Europe.

One of the things I have discovered in my quest to discover the most delicious foods on the planet is the remarkable healing qualities of tasty, whole, organic foods. There are so many miraculous healing stories of people who have cured themselves of serious diseases, like cancer, obesity, diabetes, and more, by simply eating a delicious, organic, whole foods diet. Bottom line, delicious, whole, organic foods are commonly overlooked as one of the most powerful healing tools on the planet.

If you are concerned about the price of organic foods during these tight economic times here are some of my recommendations for creating room in your budget to add tasty, whole, organic foods to your shopping cart:

  • Buy fewer prepackaged processed food products and add more whole foods to your shopping basket. Buying less junky fast foods creates room in your budget for tasty, whole organic foods!
  • Eat out less. Eat at home at least one to two times more per week (or more). This will create a huge amount of room in your budget for quality organic foods.
  • Buy at your local farmers markets! Not only are you buying local but many times organic produce can be up to 20-40% cheaper.
  • Don't rule out non-organic when it comes to local farmers. While you are at your local farmers market, get to know your farmer! Ask if they grow organically even if they aren’t a certified organic farm. Many times local farmers can’t afford the certification but grow organically the way Mother Nature intended.
  • Use a grocery list! This may seem obvious, but studies show that people who use grocery lists and stick to them save money on their grocery bill.

Overall, think about your values when you shop. Do you shop merely on price and large quantities? Or does quality and nutritional value count for something? Remember: consuming foods that are tasty and rich in nutritional value is what will keep you healthy, help in keeping the weight off and add up to less doctor visits. And knowing it's better for the planet is a nice perk!

How Scrambled Eggs Scrambled Our Life!

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Robyn O’Brien of AllergyKids and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

As a mother of four, I thought I’d seen it all. Endless ear infections, middle of the night stomach flus, and every rash, oozing eye and childhood condition I could imagine. And then my life changed abruptly and irrevocably over a plate of scrambled eggs.

It all started on what seemed like an ordinary morning. You know the ones? Where the kids come screaming down the stairs and you're not sure if the chaos is in the form of a game of chase or a favorite T shirt that can't be found.

As my four children powered down their Eggo waffles, tubes of blue yogurt and some scrambled eggs, I decided to slip a few spoonfuls of eggs onto my youngest child’s tray. But she didn't really seem interested, fussed and pushed them away.

As I cleaned up the mess, I noticed that my baby seemed tired. And since she was not quite one at the time, I took her upstairs for her morning nap.

I don't know what made me check on her that morning, but a few minutes later, in an act that can only be defined as Mama Instinct, I went upstairs.

I lost my breath the minute I walked into her bedroom. Her face was swollen shut. As I grabbed her from her crib, I came screaming downstairs, calling out to the older children, asking if they had put something on her face, in her crib, in her eyes.

All I got were those blank little kid stares. You know the ones? And at that point, I got really scared, because my older children had no idea what I was talking about.

I called the pediatrician in a complete panic, and she told me to come in immediately that it sounded like an allergic reaction.

What was happening? I felt completely out of control, unable to protect my baby from something as normal as food. What kind of mother was I?

Little did I know what that day and that diagnosis would bring.

I began to learn about food allergies: How there has been a 400 percent increase in the condition in the last ten years and how the peanut allergy alone doubled from 1997-2002. I learned how proteins and chemicals in foods that can threaten a child's immune system.

I learned that there are chemicals found in our foods that can compromise a child’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to all types of chronic conditions and diseases, including allergies, asthma, ADHD and autism (which now affect 1 out of every 3 American children).

I learned that the reason that people choose to avoid processed foods in their diets is to reduce their children’s exposure to harmful chemicals and ingredients. I also learned that the reason that people spend more on organic produce is because these foods are not allowed, by law, to contain chemically engineered products (like insecticides or genetically manipulated materials in their ingredients).

And I learned that there is so much a mom can do to protect her kids and the kids around her!

Kidney Stones in Children?

Just like Pokemon cards and cholesterol-lowering medications, kids can NOW compare kidney stones too. That’s right! More and more doctors are seeing kidney stones, commonly found in adults, showing up in children—as young as 5 or 6!

And what’s to blame? What else! Crappy diets, but in particular, SALTY diets. The New York Times reports:

Excess salt has to be excreted through the kidneys, but salt binds to calcium on its way out, creating a greater concentration of calcium in the urine and the kidneys.

“What we’ve really seen is an increase in the salt load in children’s diet,” said Dr. Bruce L. Slaughenhoupt, co-director of pediatric urology and of the pediatric kidney stone clinic at the University of Wisconsin. He and other experts mentioned not just salty chips and French fries, but also processed foods like sandwich meats; canned soups; packaged meals; and even sports drinks like Gatorade, which are so popular among schoolchildren they are now sold in child-friendly juice boxes.

No doubt. Food producers LOVE to push salt on kids! For example, a new report came out revealing breakfast cereals have too much sugar. Cereal-makers said fine! We’ll just pump our fruity loops full of salt instead.

Listen, salt is bad for children of ALL ages. But if parents and kids start eating healthfully, you AVOID the salt problem altogether!

Kids in the Kitchen

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Amy Roskelley of SuperHealthyKids and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

Here’s a tip, let the kids be part of cooking. When they have time and interest invested, they are more likely to discover new foods and discover they actually like them. Kids can do a lot of things. Let them choose the produce at the store, wash it, chop it (unless they are a four year old who thinks everything can be cut with a light saber), bake, serve, prepare, whatever!

I decided to let my son (ketchup boy) help prepare dinner, because he doesn’t cook with me very often. I first let him make choices.

“What should we put on top of our salad tonight? Would you like cucumbers and tomatoes, or apples and oranges?”

“None of it,” was his reply.

“Well, we’re making a salad anyway, so I’m letting you decide what we’ll put on it.”

He comes back and says, “Okay, apples and oranges.”

I said, “Great, you peel the oranges and cut the apples, and I’ll wash the lettuce.” We made the salad, and then sat down to eat. The kids separated their oranges from their lettuce (heaven forbid the lettuce should touch the oranges), but they did eat both, so I consider it a success.

Other things they can do to be part of the process, is let them help start a garden. I bought some alfalfa seeds and a sprouting jar since it was winter and nothing grows in Utah during the winter. But sprouting can happen all year round. So the kids helped by rinsing the seeds daily.

There are so many reasons to let your kids help with preparing your families meal. If they help, they’ll learn meal planning, how to cook, and prepare food. This way they aren’t eating out of a can when you send them to college.

But mostly, I’m hoping someone will want to marry them someday, so they aren’t living in my house when they are 40!

Kids' Cereal Now Saltier!

Earlier this month, Consumer Reports discovered kids’ cereals, like Honey Smacks and Froot Loops, have MORE sugar than doughnuts! Fortunately, Kellogg’s has an unlikely solution. Slash the sugar, but INCREASE the salt; The Wall Street Journal reports.

Wow, what GENIUS came up with that! Salt is dangerous, it heightens stroke-risk and races blood pressure. And processed foods, like cereal, are NOT health-promoting either. They contain harmful compounds called acrylamides. So, pass on the fruity loops!

Via Serious Eats.

High Fat Diet Worsens Sleep Apnea

A new study suggests individuals eating diets HIGH saturated fat are MORE likely to develop severe symptoms of sleep apnea.

The research appears in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Reuters reports:

Among 320 adults they assessed, those with severe symptoms of sleep apnea generally ate diets higher in cholesterol and artery-clogging saturated fat. While obesity does raise the risk of severe sleep apnea, the findings were not explained by the study participants' weight.

The results, say the researchers, suggest that eating habits may contribute to the increased risks of heart disease and stroke seen in people with sleep apnea.

"This unhealthy diet may be one reason why sleep apnea contributes to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease," senior researcher Dr. Stuart Quan, of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

But researchers insist MORE studies are needed to better understand the relationship between POOR diet, sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease.

Like how bad food and obesity increases heart risk!

Dairy, Wrong for Weight-Loss

Last year, the dairy industry DUMPED a harebrained campaign promoting milk for weight-loss. Because NO science supported it! Experts assert it’s counter-intuitive to associate fat and calorie-laden foods, like milk and other dairy foods, with weight-loss.

And now, new research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows dairy supplementation FAILED to alter fat metabolism and energy expenditure in overweight individuals; via the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Milk and dairy are NOT your friends. Dairy products cause disease. Previous reports link cow’s milk with diabetes and Crohn’s disease and both milk and meat INCREASE prostate cancer-risk. Not mention, milk-production STRAINS the environment!

More Kids with Food Allergies...

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 3 MILLION children now have food allergies. Peanut allergies have DOUBLED and kids seem to be taking LONGER to outgrow milk and egg allergies; the Associated Press reports.

Actually, breastfeeding does A LOT to reduce the risk of allergies. Dr. Fuhrman explains the ANTIBODIES derived from mother’s milk maximize immune system function and protect against immune system disorders and allergies.

To further REDUCE risk Dr. Fuhrman recommends delaying nuts and nut butters until nine months and AVOIDING foods like salt, eggs, oil, seafood, meat, cheese, milk, and butter until after your child's first birthday.

Surprise, Bad Food Causes Heart Attacks!

A new study by McMaster University claims people eating a diet rich in meat and junk food are MORE likely to have heart attacks than people eating mostly fruits and vegetables.

The research appears in the journal Circulation. Reuters reports:

People who ate more fruits and vegetables had a 30 percent lower risk of heart attack compared to people who ate little or none of these foods, they found.

People eating a Western diet had a 35 percent greater risk of heart attack compared to people who consumed little or no fried foods and meat.

Not a shocker! The link between saturated fat and heart attack is WIDELY accepted. Luckily a PLANT-based diet has been shown to prevent and reserve heart disease.

But this guy had to learn the hard way. His butter-based diet nearly killed him!

He's Not Fat, He's Big Boned!

Parents are crazy! At least some are. Like this crazy lady, she thinks it’s TOTALLY fine to feed her daughter a diet made up almost ENTIRELY of French fries. Quick, call child services!

And now, new search by the University of Melbourne claims 40% of parents DON’T consider their overweight child fat. Making them UNLIKELY to take preventative actions to improve their kid’s health; via Booster Shots.

Some people are OUT of touch. Like these moms who defied school lunch reforms by hustling hamburgers on the playground! Apparently they didn’t get the memo that healthy eating starts with the parents.

China Creates Online Food Safety...

Food from China has suffered INTENSE scrutiny. Melamine-milk has sickened thousands and FREAKED out millions! Even Chinese green beans are causing panic.

To calm fears, China has developed an online system that TRACKS how ingredients of food-exports were sourced and what, if any, tests they’ve undergone; from NewScientist.

Seems like a passive-aggressive way to “solve” the problem. Holding people responsible, like detaining the individuals responsible for the melamine, sends a CLEARER message.

Soap, Caffeine in the Shower?

Like America isn’t ALREADY hopelessly addicted to caffeine! A new soap claims a hearty lather will deliver 200 mg of skin-absorbed caffeine. That’s TWICE the amount in a cup of coffee; via Time magazine.

The report explains caffeine has also been I6108032618ECTED into body lotion, potato chips, oatmeal and jelly beans. What’s next, caffeinated cigarettes! According to Dr. Fuhrman, caffeine is a DRUG and should be avoided.

It’s especially dangerous in energy drinks, which pack a WALLOP of caffeine, spurring state officials to request WARNING labels on energy drinks, like Red Bull. Even a cup of coffee is iffy. It keeps you food-addicted. Eek!

People Aren't Eating Out as Much...

Unless you live UNDER a rock! You’ve probably noticed the economy is in the crapper. Forcing many people to CUT BACK to save money. Like driving LESS and spending MORE time at home.

And now, new research indicates people are also eating out LESS and packing their own lunches. Actually, besides SAVING money, eating at home and packing a lunch can be MUCH healthier.

Via Slashfood.

Our Genes Make Us Overeat...

Obesity is NOT genetic. According to Dr. Fuhrman, even people with slim parents can become obese. Because they DON’T exercise and make POOR food choices!

And yet, new research in Science claims our GENES prod us to overeat and gain excess weight, because when we eat our BRAINS release feel-good chemicals; HealthDay News reports.

This sounds like TOXIC hunger. Toxic hunger is the cranky, sick feeling you get from food withdrawals of a poor diet. Dr. Fuhrman recommends a HEALTHY diet eliminates this problem!

Backyard Mushrooms, Watch Out!

I love mushrooms! I eat them EVERY week. Mushrooms are PACKED with phytochemicals and studies show mushrooms can help fight obesity.

Unfortunately, most Americans list mushrooms as one of their MOST hated foods, even though mushroom-technology could SAVE the planet!

But DON’T eat the mushrooms in your backyard! Chances are they’re poisonous and can cause seizures and liver damage; via Julie’s Health Club.

Stop Thief, Don't Eat those Nuts!

Thieves made a DUMB mistake! These dopes stole 660 pounds of hazelnuts. The problem is they’re full of hydrogen phosphate gas, used to extend shelf life, making them poisonous! German authorities have  warned them NOT to eat them; Reuters reports.

I find that HILARIOUS, but don’t let it distract you. Nuts are SUPER foods; pistachios lower cholesterol, nuts and seeds promote weight-loss, cashews make bones strong and almonds fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. Nuts, eat some!

China's Tainted Beans!

Oh man. China has a WHOLE bunch of food problems. First, melamine-contaminated baby formula took the world by storm.

Now, Japan is warning citizens to AVOID a Chinese variety of frozen green beans. This time HIGH concentrations of pesticides are to blame; via CNN.

I’ve got nothing but LOVE for China, I want to go there, but maybe they should stick to what they do best. Growing GIANT veggies!

Fruit Pectin Protects Against Cancer

New research in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, claims pectin, the stuff used in jams and found naturally in citrus fruits, INHIBITS the growth of proteins responsible for cancer progression; ScienceDaily reports.

Fascinating stuff! Dr. Fuhrman points out that modified citrus pectin (MCP), a compound obtained from the peel and pulp of citrus fruits, also has EFFECTIVE anti-metastatic properties. Metastasis is one of the MOST life-threatening aspects of cancer.

Apples and oranges are packed with pectin! And in general, fruits and veggies beat up cancer! Foods like broccoli, leafy greens and beans possess AMAZING anti-cancer abilities. So go eat some!

Booze Shrinks the Brain!

Alcohol, without it many of us would NEVER attract a mate, myself included! But booze can really mess you up. A recent study determined alcohol DISTORTS the brain’s reaction to images and makes us less fearful. Uh, duh!

And now, new research in the Archives of Neurology claims excess drinking may actually SHRINK the brain; speeding up the natural age-related reduction of brain volume (about 1.9% per decade). Even low levels of drinking are risky; HealthDay News reports.

Having a few drinks might boost your social life, but it HARMS your health! According to Dr. Fuhrman, alcohol has been linked to both breast cancer and atrial fibrillation and red wine isn't heart healthy either.

Cap'n McCain's and Obama O's!

Hope in a bowl. Straight-talk in a box. It’s a SAD day for American nutrition. For $39 a piece, you can have your POLITICS for breakfast. Yuck, processed cereal.

Looks like I’ll be voting for Gilligan and the Skipper!

Via Serious Eats.

Obesity Blamed for America's High Blood Pressure

A new study in the journal Hypertension reveals more Americans than EVER before have high blood pressure. Researchers from the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute blame the United States’ OBESITY epidemic for the increase; HealthDay News reports.

What makes this even MORE scary is a previous report claims BOTH doctors and patients are missing the mark when it comes to high blood pressure-prevention. Doctors are failing to screen patients and patients aren’t taking the appropriate measures to avoid it.

Diet is a MAJOR determining factor for high blood pressure. Dr. Fuhrman faults America’s unhealthy obsession with bad food. Processed foods are extremely HIGH in salt; increasing the risk of obesity, hypertension, stroke and other diseases.

But fruits and vegetables, like pomegranates, NATURALLY lower blood pressure, prevent heart attack and stroke and PROTECT against cancer. Also, other research has shown that certain types of MUSIC, such as Celtic and classical, can help lower blood pressure too!

Heart Disease to Skyrocket in Obese Teens...

During a conference of the American Society of Hypertension, experts warned that heart disease risk could TRIPLE among teenagers; obesity and high blood pressure are to blame. WebMD reports:

The presence of child obesity results in higher rates of high blood pressure," which is a major risk factor for stroke and heart attack, said Bonita Falkner, MD, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. "This is a problem that is not going to magically go away, and it puts children at risk for premature cardiac events at an earlier period in their adult lives.

In fact, heart disease DOES start during childhood and with over 1 million young children having undiagnosed high blood pressure, teaching kids HEALTHY eating habits is paramount!

Don't Move, Play Video Games, Eat Grub, Get Fat...

If sitting on your butt ALL day and playing video games wasn’t BAD enough. A company called Gamer Grub just created these DISGUSTING snacks. Take a look:

  • Action Pizza: pizza cashews & pitas, tomato sesame sticks, tomato almonds, cheese pitas and mozzarella peanuts.
  • Racing Wasabi: wasabi soy almonds and peanuts, wasabi peas, honey mustard sesame sticks, and pita chips.
  • Strategy Chocolate: almonds, chocolate raisins, cherries, white chocolate chips.
  • Sports PB&J: peanuts, peanut butter chips, strawberry jelly chips, bread cubes.

Yuck! I play video games and that CRAP gives gamers a bad name. But it does remind me of the South Park World of Warcraft episode. Too funny!

Via Serious Eats.

Eat for Health: Switching to a Nutritarian Diet

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

As your body’s detoxification activities increase in the first week or two of this program, the symptoms of toxic hunger could increase. These feelings could include lightheadedness, fatigue, headaches, increased urination, sore throat, flatulence, and, very rarely, fever, body itching, and rashes. These uncomfortable sensations rarely last longer then one week and, even if they do, they will lessen with time.

Occasionally, people find it takes time for their digestive tract to adjust to all the additional raw fiber, and they experience an increase in gas or bloating or have looser stools. This is usually caused by the increased volume of raw vegetables and because you swallow more air when eating salads. It is remedied by chewing better so the air is out of the mouth before swallowing. Better chewing also breaks down the cells, making them easier to digest. For those with this problem, the amount of raw salad can be increased in a more gradual fashion. You can also eat less raw foods and more cooked vegetables, such as steamed zucchini, squash, brown rice, potato, and sweet potato. When the symptoms subside, gradually increase the amount of raw greens and cruciferous vegetables in your diet. Dried fruits, roasted nuts, and beans can also contribute to digestive problems at the beginning of transitioning to this way of eating. To combat these issues, use raw nuts, avoid dried fruit and other sweet substances, and soak beans in water overnight or eat them in smaller amounts until you adjust.

So, if you are troubled by digestive problems, try the following:

  • Chew food better, especially salads.
  • Eat beans in smaller amounts.
  • Soak beans and legumes overnight before cooking.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages.
  • Do not overeat.
  • Eat less raw vegetables and increase the raw vegetables gradually.

Be patient and give your body a little time to adjust to a different eating-style. Remember, your digestive tract can make the adjustments if allowed to do it gradually.

Melamine Milk: 10,666 Kids Sick

At this point, the Chinese melamine milk scare is a full-blown epidemic. According to a new report, MORE than 10,000 children are still in serious condition after consuming powdered milk contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine; the Associated Press reports.

Over 10,000 is a STAGGERING figure! But how widespread the danger extends is even MORE amazing. So far, countries like South Korea and the United States have also issued warnings about Chinese-made food products; like baby formula, chocolate and candy bars.

A clear-cut example that NOT only do national food safety agencies, like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, need to SETUP their enforcement, but global health organizations, like the World Health Organization (WHO), also NEED to become better watchdogs.

Actually, the WHO acknowledges this on their website, “Recent trends in global food production, processing, distribution and preparation are creating an increasing demand for food safety research in order to ensure a safer global food supply.” Well, let’s get to it!

Have a Healthy Halloween!

It’s a little early, so you’ll have plenty of time to decide. This Halloween, do you want to embarrass your child as a carrot or a banana! Either way, it’s a GREAT opportunity to take your vegetable-based diet one step further.

Just head over to, there you can pick between a peapod, chili pepper, strawberry, apple, grapes and many more!

Via Serious Eats.

Milk and Meat Up Prostate Cancer-Risk

A new study, by Oxford University, claims a meat and dairy diet might BOOST a man’s risk of prostate cancer. Scientists attribute the increase to HIGH levels of a particular hormone associated with milk and meat consumption.

The research appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The Telegraph reports:

The hormone, called Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), boosts the division of cells and is necessary for growth in children.

However, scientists are still unsure how great an effect a diet high in meat and dairy products can have on levels of the hormone in the blood.

"It could be about 10 to 15 per cent higher in people who have a high consumption of dairy products or meat," Dr Andrew Roddam, from Oxford University, who led the study, estimated.

Scientists cite this ISN’T the first time they’ve seen the correlation between IGF-1 and prostate cancer. A previous study showed saturated fat, found in foods like steaks, burgers, cheese, ice cream and mayonnaise, also INCREASES cancer-risk.

In addition, milk and other dairy products are KNOWN cancer-promoters. Conversely, high nutrient plant foods, like broccoli, have AMAZING anti-cancer properties—even against prostate cancer!

Economy Down, Cookbooks Up!

You don’t need me to remind you, but the economy is HURTING, and like we saw yesterday, more and more people are staying in and cooking at home, to save money. As a result, sales of COOKBOOKS have increased; the Associated Press reports.

Well, it’s GOOD that people are cooking for themselves, but let’s hope they’re picking the RIGHT cookbooks. I wouldn’t buy a hide-the-veggies cookbook or the Republican or Democrat cookbooks either—both equally stupid!

Instead, check out Followhealthlife’s recipe category or Dr. Fuhrman’s Secrets to Healthy Cooking DVD!

Bad Economy, Better Health?

Using powers of deduction, you’d assume if times are TOUGH, people’s health and well-being would suffer—especially with food producers PIMPING cheap unhealthy food—but the evidence is conflicted. Our health might actually BENEFIT from hard times!

In some countries, and even the United States during the Great Depression, when the economy improves, people spend A LOT time working—in order to make MORE money—than they do taking care of themselves and caring for children, which are both time-consuming activities.

Although, in the U.S. recession of the 1970s and 1980s, some researchers claim death rates declined sharply, while others contend there were MORE deaths; from heart disease, cirrhosis, suicide and homicide; via The New York Times Well blog.

Overall, it probably depends on personal habits. If health and childcare are important to you, you MAKE time! And sure, we’re all feeling the economic pinch, but you’ve got to stay positive. A satisfying emotional environment is a VITAL part of great health.

Calorie Counts on the Subway

In case you HAVEN’T heard, New York City’s calories-on-menus law is in full effect. Chain restaurants are now REQUIRED to post their calories. At first, many restaurants were resistant, but in the end, New Yorkers seem to like their new menus.

And now, New York has taken it one step further, by posting advertisements in city subways—reminding people about those infamous calories. The New York City Health Department launched the campaign under the slogan, “Read ’em before you eat ’em.

I think providing people with more information is ALWAYS a good idea, but focusing ONLY on calories is foolhardy. There’s A LOT more to food and nutrient-density, than JUST calories.

Companies to Capitalize on the Hurting Economy

Kellogg’s, Campbell’s Soup and Kraft Foods are ALL set to unleash new advertising aimed at pushing consumers towards CHEAPER foods; stuff like condensed soup, breakfast cereal and powdered drinks.

Coincidentally, these foods also have VERY high profit-margins. Julie Jargon of The Wall Street Journal reports:

Lower-priced "value" products can also have wide margins because they're cheaper to make. "Food companies will be careful to shift consumers to products that are still high margin," says Robert Moskow, an analyst with Credit Suisse. "Powdered Kool-Aid beverages are one of the most profitable food products in history."

Also Monday, the milk industry will begin running ads touting milk as a bargain. Financial guru Suze Orman will don the familiar milk mustache in a print ad that reads: "Even at today's prices, a glass of milk only costs about a quarter. ..." The ad is a big departure from prior "Got Milk" campaigns that focused on the nutritional value of milk.

A clever to ploy to CASH IN when people are most vulnerable, but PIMPING unhealthy food isn’t exactly socially responsible, and, since when is milk healthy! Junk food, like Rice Krispies and Kool-Aid, are what’s KILLING this country.

For example, New York City has a diabetes epidemic because many citizens have LIMITED access to fruits and vegetables, but easy access to convenience foods! These new ad campaigns will only feed a national health DISASTER, not solve a financial crisis.

Via Veg Blog.

Melamine in the Candy

This Halloween, in addition to spooks, ghouls and Frankensteins, eager trick-or-treaters will have to WATCH OUT for candy too. Trace amounts of the now infamous pesticide, melamine, have been found in Chinese-made KitKat, Snickers and M&M’s; Reuters reports.

The offending chocolates were discovered in South Korea. Officials quickly PULLED the products, but the Korea Food and Drug Administration insists that the low levels of melamine, 2.38 and 1.78 parts per million, pose NO human health risks.

Melamine contamination has ignited a FIRESTORM! Here in the United States the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned against buying Chinese-made baby formula and even Chinese candy sold in United States has turned up melamine.

So this Halloween, give out APPLES! Just watch out for razor blades.

Overeating Makes You Crazy!

A new study in Cell claims too many calories, i.e. OVEREATING, inflames the hypothalamus and sends the brain HAYWIRE! Eating too much causes the brain to dispatch immune cells to destroy an invader that’s NOT really there; Reuters reports.

More reason not to over-consume. Ironically, many Americans overeat for another brain-related condition, food addiction! Food addiction means eating for emotional comfort and NOT out of hunger. Hunger is the body’s natural demand for nutrients.

So, next time a MANIAC accosts you on the subway, just smile, hand over your wallet and assume they’ve eaten too much.

Honey Smacks Same as a Doughnut!

Consumer Reports claims that Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal contains as much SUGAR as a Dunkin’ Donuts glazed doughnut. Health officials are urging caution:

"Be sure to read the product labels, and choose cereals that are high in fiber and low in sugar and sodium," Gayle Williams, deputy editor of Consumer Reports Health, told Reuters in a statement.

Good advice, but most cereals are crap! They're PROCESSED foods; filled with trans-fats, artificial ingredients and high levels of acrylamides. Not to mention, refined foods are LOW in nutrients.

Oddly enough, a year ago Kellogg’s started phasing out advertisements aimed at children. I wonder why!

Pepsi Says High Fructose Corn Syrup is Safe

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is nutrient-less junk; previously linked to both obesity and diabetes. And yet, the CRAZY The Corn Refiners Association claims HFCS is the same as sugar and safe in moderation. Yeah, because fat America understands moderation!

And since when is sugar okay! Dr. Fuhrman associates ALL sweeteners—like refined sugar, honey, lactose, fruit juice concentrate, high fructose corn syrup and molasses—with disease. They have no significant nutrient-density!

To make matters worse, despite being a processed food, the FDA recently ruled that high fructose corn syrup is natural. And now, a study with industry ties to Pepsico, suggests NO link between HFCS and obesity, calling all contrary evidence speculation; CBS News reports.

I’m sorry, but research with BLATANT industry ties, promoting a dangerous, but low-cost ingredient has NO credence in my book!

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Vegetable Oil Linked to Breast Cancer

New research in the International Journal of Cancer claims omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, found in vegetable oil, may increase breast cancer-risk in postmenopausal women, but heterocyclic amines in cooked meat and fish DON’T up cancer-risk; Reuters reports.

I asked Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts on the study. Here’s what he had to say:

Of course processed foods, including refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar increase a women's risk of breast cancer. And, the findings in this study are also logical, that the use of vegetable oils, which are also low-nutrient processed foods, would increase risk of breast cancer as well.

As humans we are designed to eat and thrive on natural foods in their natural state. Eating an avocado is nothing like consuming avocado oil and eating corn oil cannot be compared to eating corn. Oil is high calorie, low nutrient food; the definition of junk food. When we eat plant fats in their natural state, such as in seeds and nuts, the scientific studies are clear, they have the opposite effect (of oil), lowering risk of all-cause mortality and extending lifespan.

Even olive oil is junk food! Olive oil MIGHT be an improvement over saturated animal fats, but Dr. Fuhrman insists, processed oils are a MAJOR contributor to our overweight modern world.

As for heterocyclic amines, they’re NOT healthy either. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine points to studies linking both grilled meat and grilled chicken with cancer-risk. Water-based cooking, like steaming, is MUCH safer.

Warning Labels for High-Caffeine Drinks...

Energy drinks are EXTREMELY popular. I DON’T drink them. For good reason! A recent study linked Red Bull with an increased risk of stroke. Other reports have suggested high-caffeine drinks are particularly dangerous for young children and teenagers.

Civic groups have also spoken out AGAINST energy drinks. The San Diego County Youth Council claims consumers CAN’T tell the difference between energy drinks with alcohol and those without—specifically children; via EMaxHealth.

Even attorney generals are worried. Last year, attorney generals from 28 states THRASHED beverage makers for wooing young people with "outlandish" and "outrageous" health-related claims. And now, experts at Johns Hopkins urge WARNING labels for high-caffeine drinks; Reuters reports.

“Caffeine is one of the most addictive substances in a standard diet,” explains Dr. Fuhrman; citing health-risks like heart disease and breast cancer. For optimal health, Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding caffeine and other toxic substances—as well as alcohol.

Foodborne Infections: Meat and Poultry to Blame

It’s been a rotten year for meat, most notably the record-setting Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing recall and now MORE bad news! A new study has determined 97% of human disease originates in farmed-raised meat and poultry.

The research appears in the Public Library of Science. Via the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:

Ninety-seven percent of human disease from the pathogenic bacterium C. jejuni originates in animals farmed for meat and poultry, according to a study by researchers at Lancaster University, Lancaster, U.K. Researchers analyzed DNA from 1,231 cases of C. jejuni infections in Lancashire, England. Only 3 percent of cases were traced back to environmental contamination or wild animal sources, while 97 percent of cases were traced back to farm-raised chickens, cattle, and sheep. These results implicate livestock as the primary transmission route for the leading cause of gastroenteritis in the developed world, which is thought to infect 2 to 3 million people per year in the U.S. alone.

Not surprising! Animal husbandry can be gruesome, this video from makes it painfully obvious—please watch with caution, it’s very grim.

Makes me wonder how this trickles down the food chain. Eating sick meat can’t be healthy, regular meat is already bad enough!

China Says Breastfeed

Melamine, a chemical pesticide and fire retardant, has caused MASSIVE panic in the China by turning up in infant formula—and even chocolates sold here in the United States! In response, China is urging its citizen to return to breastfeeding; Reuters reports.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers AGAINST purchasing Chinese-made formula. China has reacted by detaining 22 people suspected of introducing melamine into the food supply; more from Reuters.

In 2007 FDA officials determined eating chicken, fish, pork or eggs from animals inadvertently fed melamine was UNLIKELY to pose a health-risk to humans. Nice job FDA! The tainted Chinese baby formula has killed 4 infants; via The Earth Times.