One nut per fruit! My fave!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Should I Believe?

Fancy wording can really mess up human understanding and change human behavior for the... well, not for the better. Let's talk about antioxidants as an example. Most people believe that antioxidants are a healthy thing for the body and yet, contrary to popular knowledge, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has claimed that anti-oxidants do nothing for the body. They stated:
On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of the food(s)/food constituent(s) evaluated in this opinion and (1) a beneficial physiological effect related to antioxidant activity, antioxidant content, or antioxidant properties, and (2) the protection of body cells and molecules such as DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage.

Meaning that there is no evidence to support that antioxidants help psychologically or within cells and molecules. So based on this little amount of knowledge would a normal person try to research more on the subject to find if this information is true? No. Would that same person, however, stop worrying about the level of antioxidants in foods because a report, that was worried about the health of Europe, said it doesn't help? Probably, yes.

On the other hand, Jennifer Warner wrote an article entitled "Antioxidant Riches Found in Unexpected Foods" which talks about the benefits of the small red bean. The small red bean happens to be the highest total antioxidant capacity per serving at 13727 per half cup. Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD, Warner writes:
Antioxidants are believed to help prevent and repair oxidative stress, a process that damages cells within the body and has been linked to the development of cancer, heart disease, [and] Alzheimer’s disease...

Stating that antioxidants do exactly opposite of what the EFSA says, i.e. help with stress lines and prevent against cancer. Honestly, it's hard for a person or a reader to know who's right.

So, the over analyst I am forced me to borrow a book called "The O2 Diet," written by Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. Glassman, a nutritionist, talks about how oxygen works in the body and how antioxidants can help.

Imagine this... You are 16 and you play football. It's your senior year and you had 2 finals this week plus it's the last game of the season on Friday night. So naturally you don't study all week long, then on Thursday night you pull an all-nighter, take your exam in 1st period, and the other one in 4th period. You work out for an hour after school just to make sure you’re in excellent shape for the game. Play throughout the game, because you’re the starting quarterback, then go and party with your buddies after you win until 4 in the morning. You go to sleep and wake up at 9AM on Saturday ready to go.

Wow, I'm exhausted just thinking about how sick I would be if I did that now, and I'm only 23.

So, 3 years later, it's your birthday, and you are 21 years old. You're a junior and it's coming up on finals. You've learned your lesson on procrastination, so the Trig final tomorrow evening is no big deal. Your plan? Party like its 1999, go to sleep at 6 in the morning, wake up 2 hours before the test and ace that bad boy. Problem? You're not 18 anymore and physically you're body cannon recuperate as quickly as it could 3 years ago.

Therefore the A you studied for turned out to be a D, which dropped your grade two letters. Ouch.

What happens is, as a body ages, cells start to degenerate and as these cells die they release single oxygen molecules into your body. These single oxygen molecules bounce around the body with no home, therefore destroying things as they travel. Kind of like bumper cars. This can create premature aging, heart disease, cancer, and a poor immune system as well as many other serious diseases and conditions.

To help these homeless oxygen one must ingest antioxidant type foods that absorb the single oxygen molecules, therefore preventing damage to the body.

I guess, the moral of the story, never believe everything you read unless it's backed up by good information that makes sense to you. OH... and eat your small red beans and wild blueberries, if anything they taste so good and they make you have less wrinkles on your face. Always a plus.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My yummy sugar coma

I'm not perfect, not even close. Every day (o.k., maybe not every day, but sometimes) I make choices to eat carbs that I shouldn't or have sugar instead of Stevia or eat corn in a taco salad or tortilla chips with dip. These things are not good for me at all, and I know this, and yet I eat it anyway. I really don't know why except maybe that it's a habit that I am working to break. (I even eat chocolate, that's my weakness.)

Needless to say, because I said it already, I'm not perfect and although I know all of this health information, and am learning new things every day, I still don't apply it to my life all the time. So, like I mentioned in previous posts, I am not trying to tell you (reader) how to run your life, but rather just let you know exactly what you are putting in your body. After all, your body is your sanctuary, you have to live with it all the time, so you might as well treat is with respect so you don't wake up in the morning with a headache because you drank/ate too much the night before and now your body is in a "food coma." Or, better labeled, a sugar coma.

Allow me to explain my sugar coma idea. I'm going to take you down memory lane for a moment, so come with me. Imagine that you are at Thanksgiving dinner in Texas. That might be hard for some of you since you might not have been to Texas, but no worries, I will describe the wonderful feast you are about to consume. There is Turkey (of course) maybe even venison, which is very tasty deer meat, corn bread, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, and of course pumpkin pie with ice cream and whipped cream. Yum Yum

You eat this wonderful meal, consuming a scoop or piece of everything, because it smells sooo good, then you sleep for three hours and wake up right at the beginning of the Dallas Coyboys playing... well, it really doesn't matter because it's the Dallas Coyboys.

Why do you sleep for three hours after eating that food? Hmmm, people blame it on the turkey, but if you eat three pieces of turkey for a snack from the fridge it certainly doesn't have the same effect on you. So what is it?

I know the answer; I was just asking a question for dramatic effect.

Looking back at the ingredients of the dinner, excluding the meat, green beans and desert items, you are eating carbohydrates and starches. This is very important in that I did not mention corn as a vegetable, and that's because it isn't. Corn is a grain. This is the point where I would direct you to the video I posted on this blog, but I think the video is protected so I'm giving you the link. It's a video from the Discovery Channel on the making of corn. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom and move over the black screen it is a 3 minute video that's incredibly informative. Basically, the video talks about the fact that corn, as we know it today, is all carbohydrates and is a man made plant originated from a grass in Central Mexico. It is grown as any other grain and it can make bread, like any other grain. The yellow pieces of a corn are like the leaves of a barley stalk or a wheat stalk. Just because you take the leaves off of a barley stalk, cook it and call it a vegetable doesn't mean it is a vegetable. That's the same idea with corn.

In 2004 Kim Severson writes in that:

The process of pulling sugar from cornstarch wasn't perfected until the early 1970s, when Japanese researchers developed a reliable way to turn cornstarch into syrup sweet enough to compete with liquid sugar. After some tinkering, they landed on a formula that was 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose -- sweet enough and cheap enough to make most soda companies jump from liquid sugar to high fructose corn syrup by the 1980s.

This basically says that high fructose is directly from corn itself, leaving the idea that the sugar from corn (fructose) has the same affect on the body no matter which way it is consumed. The overall choices to eat a high starch and high carbohydrate diet, including corn, are not good for weight loss or even weight stabilization. The nap and the 7 pounds you gained from that Thanksgiving dinner have nothing to do with the turkey, rather with all of the starch and carbohydrates.

Next week I am excited to talk about this crazy thing called “ceriel rust” that grows on wheat stalks and what researchers are trying to do to prevent the halt of revenue for farmers in the United States.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why does the Government Lie?

My grandmother warned me about what I'm about to say, as it could get me into trouble, but I'm not afraid of the government. I did a science fair project in third grade regarding the dangers of milk consumption and, well, let's just say I didn't win.

Most Americans assume, from governmental advertisements, that milk can provide so many healthy things for the body. It can be healthy for your bones and a great contribution to a long and healthy lifestyle, containing both protein and calcium. For example, Elaine Magee on WebMD talks about the food pyramid and the six leading reasons why milk is good for the body. Magee states, "getting calcium from food, rather than supplements, seems to do your bones good" and, "some dairy items have impressive levels of two things many of us need more of: calcium and protein." Claiming that milk is essential for bone growth as well as a good source of calcium and protein, Magee defends the claims based on the nutrition information listed on the sides of the containers. Unfortunately, the nutritional information does not explain how the body absorbs the nutrience supplied and also does not look at all the research done about each product.

As I have grown up learning the food pyramid idea I understand that they are easy to believe, however this is not the real affect milk has on the body. To explain some of what I mean I will quote from a blogger on Yahoo! who was answering the question "Is cow milk really unhealthy?". They said:
Cows milk has three times the calcium as does human breast milk. No matter, neither are very usable because in order to be absorbed and used their MUST be an equal quantity of MAGNESIUM (as exists in the greens that cows eat to get all the calcium they need for their big bones). Milk has only enough magnesium to absorb around 11% (33mg per cup) of calcium.
Essentially this blogger is saying that, along with about 17 other reasons why milk is bad for the body, the idea that milk is a great source of calcium is a falsity. So, all the calcium that Americans think they are consuming really isn't being consumed? No, it's not being consumed. Milk is not a good source of calcium because there is not an equal amount of magnesium to help the body absorb the vitamins.

I'm sorry to deliver such bad news as I realize that many people enjoy their milk. I grew up sans cow's milk and soy milk as my body is intolerant of both, but I pull myself out of my tiny digression to point out more evidence that might upset milk drinkers.

There have been multiple studies done by many top research universities that show a direct correlation between the consumption of milk and osteoporosis, and the correlation is a positive milk intake means a greater likelihood of getting osteoporosis. This editorial, written by Bruce Friedrich, talks about how the calcium is really "absorbed" into the body.

Friedrich proves that not only is milk not good, but Yale and Harvard research facilities have not advocated the consumption of milk at all either, rather, to get calcium from vegetable proteins instead of animal proteins is best. But, the question remains, how are Americans supposed to strengthen their bones. Although calcium is important for a healthy lifestyle, it is not important to prevent bone depletion, leading up to and causing osteoporosis.

1-Vitamin D is important, and if you're like me and don't want to go out in the sun for fear of sun burn/sun poisoning/skin disease/skin cancer, then a good source is simply a daily vitamin that has vitamin D in it.
2-Stop eating so much meat. Although I still eat some meat, I am originally from Texas (the beef people), I limit my meat consumption and replace it with vegetable protein and nut protein. Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, asparagus, almonds and cashews are all great sources of protein, fill you up and keep you moving throughout the day.
3-This point is kind of all encompassing... Don't drink alcohol. Don't smoke anything. Exercise regularly. Strong muscles equals strong bones, so don't do anything to lose muscle if you can help it.

This is one of the many reasons why we shouldn't drink milk, it just can't help a body grow.

Also, side note, thank you to the posts and I hope I didn't disappoint you too much although I'm sure you all were expecting something like this.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I am full of so many things... one of them is reasons

I learned how to be a mother at a very young age, and not because I was a promiscuous kid.

When I was in second grade, my mother became extremely ill. I would go into more details, but I don’t remember them all myself. I entered into public school for the first time and later found out that my mother was given two options from the doctors, chemotherapy or 2 years to live. She chose neither of these options. Click here to look at a sight about the latest chemotherapy treatments, they've come a long way in 15 years and I found the information interesting.

Two families from our church, at the time, gave my mother the money to go to a nutritionist who might be able to help. As my family had little money, this nutritionist took my mother in as his “tax write off” for the year.

Side note: private practitioners do this to get a large tax break.

This nutritionist discovered that my mother had a lot of fungus in her body that grew profusely and was essentially choking her organs causing her to have the symptoms she had. She went on a very strict diet, only eating meat and vegetables at first to kill off the fungus. My mother learned which foods fed the fungus and which foods didn’t.

Thankfully, my mother, 15 years later, is still alive and well. She still follows this diet, as does my family, and the last time I took an anti-biotic I was in 3rd grade. The nutritionist that helped my mother was Doug A. Kaufmann. This is the reason why I quote him every week. He has written many books pairing up with Dr. David Holland, M.D. and researched patients for many years in Texas.

I also want to say thank you to all the people who posted on my blog, I wasn’t expecting there to be anybody but I guess my blog isn’t 1000 words so it was easier to read and post about. Thanks anyway. I would like to comment back and preface this blog with the same disclaimer. I do realize these topics are controversial and I also know that I will be addressing many food products that people eat on a regular basis.

My goal isn’t to change people’s opinions, just educate.

Also… Mushrooms are a form of fungus and it is used in anti-biotic medicine, which can help many people. But it also puts the body at risk for so many more diseases in the long run, so it has to be a personal choice as to whether or not a person eats it. I choose not to just because I ruin my body enough with all of the chocolate I eat.

This week I wanted to talk about milk and how it can be damaging to your system but I think, if anyone who wants to respond this week on their opinion of milk (how awesome it is, how horrible it is, ect.) then next week I will do my best to respond to every post, then put up the research I’ve done to defend my side.

I think that will make it interesting.