Animal Fat Increases Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a new study claims high intake of saturated fat—specifically red meat and dairy—results in a 36% higher risk of pancreatic cancer, compared to people with lower consumption. And a high in take of total fat lead to a 53% increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men and 23% higher risk in women. Scientists examined data on 500,000 individuals, in which 1,337 were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; Food Navigator reports.

Meat, i.e. saturated fat, is risky and research paints a grim picture. Previous studies have linked meat with higher risk of heart disease, age-related vision loss and various cancers. Fortunately, foods like fruits and vegetables lower the risk of developing cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In related news, experts found people who regularly eat charred or barbecued meat have a 60% higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Burned meat builds up of cancer-causing heterocyclic amines.

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In the Future Soda will be Even Scarier!

Honestly, there’s no reason to drink soda or soft drinks. They’re sugar water that sometimes comes with bubbles. Yippee! But the soda of the future will be much, much worse:

 

 

Then again, drinking a gooey discharge from a giant slug’s butt could be better than drinking a can of cola that’s engineered in a lab and bottled in a factory. Eek!

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Obesity in Early Adulthood Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

Yeah, don’t get fat. New findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association show having a high body mass index in early adulthood may raise the risk of pancreatic cancer. The study involved 841 pancreatic cancer patients and 752 cancer-free people, with participants asked to recall their height and weight at ages 14 to 19 and in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. Data found individuals who were overweight at 14 to 19 and in their 30s had a 60% higher risk of pancreatic cancer, but risk seemed to level off after age 40; ScienceDaily explains.

You can keep that risk down with diet. A previous report found eating green veggies like broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts helps fight pancreatic cancer. While charred or barbequed meat raises the risk of pancreatic cancer, due to cancer-causing heterocyclic amines.

In related news, obesity heightens women’s risk of pancreatic cancer. In some cases, as high as 70%, which worries researchers because obesity is largely a preventable problem.

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Mediterranean Diet, Vegetables May Extend Life...

Appearing in the British Medical Journal, a new study claims the Mediterranean diet—i.e. eating a lot of fruits and vegetables and avoiding meat, alcohol and dairy products—increases lifespan. Researchers examined the eating habits of 23,000 Greeks over 10 years, finding the presence of a diet rich in vegetables yielded health benefits, but when the heavy consumption of vegetables was removed, these benefits were negated; HealthDay News reports.

Sadly, many Mediterranean countries are loosing ground. In 2008, childhood obesity in Portugal, Spain and Italy jumped 30%. According to Dr. Fuhrman, all those healthy Mediterranean foods are giving way to western foods. That’s why the Mediterranean is getting fat, just like us!

And last September, a report revealed countries like Spain, Italy and Greece are buckling under the weight of fast food and the move away from their traditional dietary roots.

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Cookies and Milk and E. coli

Milk and cookies may seem harmless. It’s not. On Friday, Nestlé Toll House recalled refrigerated cookie dough products due to risk of E. coli contamination, suspected to have sickened 66 people in 28 states. Health officials say the elderly, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system should avoid the raw cookie dough. E. coli can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome, resulting in kidney damage and even death; HealthDay News reports.

Yuck. I may have a cookie from time to time, but milk! No way. Our food safety is a mess. We all remember the spinach-E. coli crisis in 2006 and then this year’s melamine contaminated milk. Oh, and don’t forget. In February, a study found 20% of Japan’s chicken is tainted with salmonella.

In related news, Nestlé shut down the cookie dough plant linked to E. coli, as a result 200 workers were laid off. So far, a total of 86.4 million cookies' worth of dough has been recalled.

Via CNN.

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Teens Not Drinking Enough Milk, Really?

New findings in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior claim teenagers cut back too much on dairy products as they reach their 20s. Experts followed 1,500 people, males and females, tracking their calcium intake during high school and after high school. Results showed many consumed less than the daily recommended level of calcium, leading researchers to recommend more milk at mealtime. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman’s take on all this:

Sounds like the dairy industry put their stamp on this one. It is amazing how successful they have been at marketing their product to nutritionally ignorant Americans. It is true that a diet comprised of animal foods, soft drinks and refined grains is deficient in calcium.

But cow's milk is the appropriate source of calcium for baby cows, not human teenagers. When we choose dairy instead of fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds as our source of calcium source we help fuel a cancer epidemic.

When you get your calcium from fruits and vegetables you also get a full load of cancer-preventing phytochemicals.

Via HealthDay News.

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Artificial Sweeteners Not Removed from Waste Water

Appearing in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, German researchers determined sewage treatment plants fail to remove artificial sweeteners—such as saccharin and aspartame—from waste water. Water samples were collected from two treatment facilities, turning up four different chemicals: acesulfame, saccharin, cyclamate and sucralose. Scientists fear these compounds will pollute neighboring streams and rivers; from ScienceDaily.

Water is all messed up! In March, a report came out saying America’s freshwater is clogged up with antidepressants and cholesterol drugs. As for artificial sweeteners, Dr. Fuhrman slammed them after a new study revealed people using fake sugar actually have MORE diabetes.

In related news, experts recommend well water be tested annually for harmful chemicals, bacteria and germs, because young children are very vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.

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Junk Food Makes Flies Sluggish

Flies buzz around at a zillion miles per hour, but not when they eat candies and cookies. The poor little guys get bloated and pass out. Then the ladybug laughs at them:

 

 

You shouldn’t take your nutrition advice from flies. After all, they eat poop. But these inchworms are smarter. Inchworms love apples, and each other!

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Paul McCartney Digs Meat Free Mondays

It’s a pretty simple idea. Eating a lot of meat is unhealthy. Raising a lot of meat whacks the environment with carbon dioxide. So a new movement called Meat Free Monday is encouraging people to eat vegetarian one day a week. Sir Paul McCartney is a big fan:

 

 

If you’re reading this blog, you already have a bunch of meat free days, but convincing our beef loving world to give up meat—even for a day—is going to be hard. But some people have high hopes. Chicago’s Health Commissioner wants all Chicagoans to go vegetarian.

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Diabetes Starts Way Before Diagnosis

Hardly a revelation, but new a study in the Lancet shows blood glucose sensitivity starts to change several years before the onset of type-2 diabetes. Scientists followed 6,538 adults without diabetes for 10 years, during which 505 people were diagnosed with the disease. Among the newly diabetic, data revealed steep increases in fasting glucose three years prior to their diagnosis. Experts blame years of overeating, obesity and inactivity; via Booster Shots.

Listen up! Diabetes isn’t inevitable. Last month, research linked healthy, vegetable-based diets to lower risk of type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman recommends regular exercise and eating plenty of leafy greens, beans and nuts for diabetes prevention, and reversal.

In related news, breakfast cereals like cornflakes spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels, raising the risk for heart disease.

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Diet Drinks for Preventing Diabetes? No Way!

Recent studies link the use of artificial sweeteners to a 2-fold increase in diabetes. Hard to believe that physicians often advise patients predisposed to diabetes to use artificial sweeteners as a means of prevention! Another example of how being misinformed, about the impact of food and nutrition on our health, does so much harm and is a major contributor to our healthcare crisis.

June 15, 2009—People who use artificial sweeteners are heavier, more likely to have diabetes, and more likely to be insulin-resistant compared with nonusers, according to data presented at ENDO 2009, the 91st annual meeting of The Endocrine Society.

Sugars and other nutrients within the digestive tract activate sweet taste receptors called enteroendocrine cells, leading to the release of hormones like incretin and insulin. These hormones result in increased absorption of glucose and other caloric sugars. Non caloric (artificial) sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose have many of the same effects on these "gut taste receptors" as do energy (calorie) containing sugars.

One theory suggests that ingestion of non caloric (artificial) sweeteners may prepare the gut for the presence of nutrients in the same manner as the nutrients themselves, but in the absence of a source of calories, the balance between taste receptor activation, nutrient assimilation and appetite may be disturbed, leading to an increase in appetite and overeating of unnecessary calories when they are readily available.1

A study analyzed data, from participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), to determine whether weight status and health risk measurements differed among artificial sweetener users and non-artificial sweetener users. The primary sweetener consumed was aspartame followed by saccharine and sucralose. Although the group who used sweeteners was younger and heavier, they did not consume any more calories than those who did not use sweeteners yet they were twice as likely to develop diabetes.2

Other reasons to avoid artificial sweeteners:

  • Linked to cancer
  • Triggers headaches and migraines
  • Causes brain tumors and seizures in animals

All of the possible dangers of artificial sweeteners are still unknown. Utilizing such artificial products is gambling with your health. Aspartame also exposes us to a methyl ester that may have toxic effects. Play it safe and stick to natural foods.

The bottom line here is, try to enjoy your food choices without refined or artificial sweeteners of any kind. Fresh fruit and occasionally dried fruits or ground dates is the safest way to go to satisfy a sweet tooth. I recommend dropping colas, sodas, sweetened teas, and juices—diet or not. If they don't contain artificial sweeteners, they are loaded with sugar. Eat unrefined food and drink water. Melons blended with ice cubes and dates for added sweetness make delicious, cooling summer drinks.
 

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Don't Say a Little Alcohol is Healthy...

You hear it all the time. “A glass of red wine a day is good for you.” But many experts insist no study has ever proved a relationship between moderate drinking and lower risk of death. Instead, the association may occur because healthy people—with healthy habits—just don’t drink a lot. Even supporters of booze for health are quick to point out that alcohol has been linked to breast cancer, liver disease and stroke when abused; The New York Times reports.

Hooch might be a great social lubricate, but it’s risky. Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t condone alcohol for health, saying the negatives of alcohol outweigh the supposed positives. For example, a previous report found heavy drinking harms the heart, by stiffening arteries and raising blood pressure.

In related news, excessive drinking has been shown to shrink brain volume and a lot of boozing may be lead to erectile dysfunction. So, don’t drink. You’ll go limp and dumb!

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Plant-Based, Low-Calorie Diet Lowers Heart Risks

New research in the Archives of Internal Medicine claim plant-based diets promote weight-loss and reduce risk of heart disease. For the study, participants—overweight men and women with high LDL—were fed a diet rich in vegetables, nuts and fruits or a typical low-fat diet. Findings revealed both groups lost weight, but people on the vegetable-based diet had better cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. Here are Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on the study:

It’s a pretty good effort. They are getting closer to the ideal diet—a nutritarian diet—by studying a vegetarian diet with reduction of flour and other high glycemic carbohydrates.

Of course, the results are pretty good, but it is evident these researchers lack the knowledge and clinical experience designing a diet-style for nutritional excellence.

We have a pilot study coming out shortly with results that dwarf this.

Via Newswise.

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Breakfast Cereal Raises Blood Sugar, Heart Risks

Put the cornflakes down! New findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology claim high-glycemic foods spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels. Subjects fed cornflakes, glucose and high-fiber cereal had impaired the endothelial function—the cells that line the inside of blood vessels—compared to people given oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. Poor endothelial function is believed to increase the risk of heart disease; Health Day News reports.

Breakfast cereal and white bread are processed foods, i.e. empty carbohydrates with no nutrition. Even “whole wheat” bread is a scam. Dr. Fuhrman says caramel color is added to give it the appearance of whole wheat. Luckily, fruits and vegetables are packed with healthful fiber and nutrients.

In April, a study showed overweight Latino teenagers switching to a high-fiber, low-sugar diet had less risk of type-2 diabetes and experienced substantial drops in blood glucose levels.

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Childhood Fat Linked to Early Cardiovascular Disease

My mom called me “husky” when I was a kid. I wasn’t chubby, just stout. I still am. Good thing I wasn’t overweight, because a new study presented at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting suggests obese children, as young as 7 years old, are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. Experts screened more than 300 kids, ages 7 to 18, including 115 obese children and found obese kids had a 10-fold higher level of C-reactive protein, a known risk factor of heart disease; via ScienceDaily.

Last June, researchers observed metabolic syndrome in obese children. Metabolic syndrome is the group of conditions contributing to heart disease, including diabetes and obesity. In this study, scientists said an 8 year old child with metabolic syndrome could have heart disease by the time they reach 18 years old.

In related news, eating two servings of red meat per day was found to raise risk of metabolic disease by 26% and salt-sensitive people with metabolic syndrome are more likely to have high blood pressure.
 

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Stephen Colbert vs. Food Inc.

Outspoken “conservative” Stephen Colbert openly endorses agribusiness, pharmaceutical companies and processed food. So, see what happens when he takes on Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, on his new film Food Inc., which exposes the American food industry:

 

 

Colbert argues with “liberals” all the time. Last month, he sparred with New York Times journalist and author of In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan. The two traded blows over organic foods, breast feeding and Colbert’s love affair with high-fructose corn syrup and soft drinks.

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Ignoring Cholesterol Leads to Heart Attacks

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reiterates people with high cholesterol—specifically those who ignore high lipoprotein levels—are 2 to 3 times more likely to have a heart attack. For the study, experts analyzed blood samples of 45,000 men and women, finding people with the highest levels of cholesterol had the most heart attacks; Reuters explains.

Keeping cholesterol in check is very important. Saturated fat raises cholesterol and ups risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Luckily, healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, have the opposite effect. A diet rich in plant foods slashes heart risks.

Now, if you think heart surgery, like angioplasty and stent placement, will save you. You’re wrong. Dr. Fuhrman says they’re scams and do not address the cause of heart disease.

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Fast Food, Obesity Blamed for Increased Colorectal Cancer

A new study in the journal of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention reveals the rate of colon cancer among young adults—under the age of 50—is increasing. Data showed regardless of sex, race and age incidences of colon cancer between 1992 and 2005 rose 1.5% in men and 1.6% in women, with the largest increases in men and women, ages 20 to 29, with 52% and 5.6% respectively. Experts blame consumption of fast foods and high rates of obesity; via EurekAlert!

It’s a good idea to kick fast food as soon as possible. In April, a study showed kids eating fast food are more likely to develop poor eating habits. And given the unhealthiness of fast food, some Los Angeles officials don’t want any more fast food restaurants in their neighborhoods.

In related news, eating lots of fruits and veggies helps cut colon cancer risk in men, but taking high-dose folic acid supplements can raise colon cancer risk, by as high as 162%. Eek!

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Q & A: Handling Binge Eating and Stress Eating...

We all have crappy days. You feel cranky or a little moody and seek comfort in food. It happens to all of us, but what happens when the eating gets out of control? And you start to worry. In this quick discussion from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center he gives some advice:

Question: I've developed a rather bad binging habit over the last year or so and am trying to curb it. But I am wondering if you have any strategies you would recommend to help get me over the hump? I have read some places that eating on a strict schedule, very specific foods may be helpful. Is this an approach you would consider?

I tend to binge in the afternoons & evenings. I make it through the morning, but run out of willpower later on. I can binge on anything, even lettuce and celery .Just to have something to put in my mouth. Stress can trigger it too. Right now I am trying hobbies to take my mind off food, but do you have any advice on how to structure my eating?

Dr. Fuhrman: When you are in your moments of saneness, remove the unhealthy food choices and dump them. At least, then when you overeat, it will only be on good stuff. But, the most important thing is to only eat 3 times a day. That is two meals and one snack (or small meal). Lay out the entire meal on table before you start to eat.

Try to decide how much you intend to eat at that meal and then put all the food away and do not go back to get more. Getting rid of the snacking habit is the most important thing. After dinner clean up the kitchen and go brush and floss and stay away from all food after 7:00 PM. That is very important too.

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Smoking and Drinking Leads to Bowel Cancer

Conducted by The George Institute for International Health, a new study suggests alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking drastically increase risk of bowel cancer. Data revealed drinking more than seven drinks a week is associated with a 60% higher risk of cancer, compared to non-drinkers, and smoking—along with obesity, diabetes and consumption of red and processed meat—was linked to a 20% greater risk of bowel cancer; via ScienceDaily.

Alcohol is tricky. Most of us equate it with a good time—I still do—but it’s not healthy. Reports have shown booze raises risk of breast cancer and hardens arteries. Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding alcohol, saying even moderate drinking is dangerous. Smoking is a bad too.

In 2008, California’s initiatives to stop smoking saved the state $86 billion in healthcare costs. In Pueblo, Colorado heart attacks have dropped 40% since smoking was banned in public places.

 

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Less Meat, More Veggies Prevents Prostate Cancer

New research in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics reveals diets low in fat and red meat and rich in fruits and vegetables helps prevent and treat prostate cancer. Using an evidence-based review of dietary recommendations, researchers found avoiding processed or charcoaled meats and dairy products and eating more tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower has beneficial effects on prostate cancer prevention and treatment; Wiley-Blackwell reports.

According Dr. Fuhrman, humans are designed to consume a lot of plants and these foods are essential to preventing disease, such as prostate cancer. Recently, the World Cancer Research Fund said better diets, i.e. fruits and vegetables, could help curb global cancer rates.

In April, experts found pomegranate juice helps slow prostate cancer doubling times and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to slash prostate cancer risk by as high as 63%.

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Teenagers Up Late and Wired on Caffeine

A new study in the journal Pediatrics found many teenagers are wigged out on caffeine and up late surfing the web, texting their friends and watching television. Experts surveyed 100 kids, ages 12 to 18 years old, finding only one in five participants got 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night, one third of kids reported falling asleep in school and teens multitasking with all their gadgets were more likely to risk poor academic performance. Average caffeine consumption among participants was 215 mg a day, roughly two espressos; Reuters reports.

Caffeine is a toxin and like a drug it can cause uncomfortable detoxification symptoms, leading to poor diet and food addiction. It also heightens risk of cardiovascular disease by hardening arties and raising blood pressure and last year, caffeine was linked to miscarriage risk.

In related news, Germany banned Red Bull after finding trace amounts of cocaine in test samples and officials in the United States have already called for warning labels on energy drinks.

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Well Water May Be Hazardous to Little Kids

A new report in the journal Pediatrics claims small children are vulnerable to waterborne illnesses originating from well water. Private wells can become contaminated with chemicals, germs and bacteria. Experts recommend well water be tested annually, at least. Currently, private wells are not subject to federal regulations, leaving owners responsible for proper care and safety testing; ScienceDaily reports.

And earlier this year, it was reported that pharmaceuticals, such as cholesterol medications, anti-depressants and blood pressure pills, are turning up in America’s streams and rivers. Bottled water is no better. One study found bottled water is just as impure as water out of the tap.

In 2006, water in Seattle area schools was found to be contaminated with lead. Most of China’s groundwater is polluted and India’s water has shown harmful levels of arsenic. Eek!

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