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Seeking Saturated Fat

Image: http://coconutoil.com/enjoy-saturated-fats-theyre-good-for-you/

Hopping back from the diabetes debate, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/diabetes-debate-on-carbohydrates/, and on to more of the beneficial functions of saturated fats. It started with the heart, brain and lungs, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/when-it-comes-to-saturated-fat-use-your-noggin/, but there is more.

Fat soluble vitamins, (for example, vitamins A,D,E,K) and minerals are not well absorbed without fat. Thus the health benefits of these nutrients are not being attained, if adequate fat in the diet is not present. And just like the body systems working together, fat soluble nutrients work synergistically along with all nutrients to attain good health. I never realized the impact that saturated fat has on nutrient absorption when compared with unsaturated fat.

A perfect example of this is a study showing that saturated fat from beef tallow as compared with polyunsaturated fat from sunflower oil increases beta-carotene absorption from a salad 11 to 17 percent, http://www.westonaprice.org/fat-soluble-activators/nutritional-adjuncts-to-the-fat-soluble-vitamins.  In this linked article, Chris Masterjohn specifically mentions that the “absorption of beta-carotene from a salad with no added fat was close to zero”. The saturated fat dressing was a superior vehicle in delivering nutrients to the body. It seems that monounsaturated oil (olive oil) was better in aiding absorption than the polyunsaturated oil.

“The reason for this is unknown, but it may be that oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids promote the oxidative destruction of fat-soluble vitamins in the intestines before we are able to absorb them. Thus, the more fat we eat, and the lower those fats are in polyunsaturated fatty acids, the more fat-soluble vitamins we absorb.”

More interesting saturated fat functions from Dr. Mercola lists specific saturated fats that benefit many facets of health, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/12/24/cbs-sings-praises-of-fat.aspx:

  • caprylic acid found in coconut and palm oil (antifungal, antiviral)
  • lauric acid is attained from palm, coconut and butter (cavity and plaque fighter, antifungal)
  • stearic acids are derived from vegetable oils and animal sources: cocoa butter, pork beef, lard, dairy (lowers cholesterol)
  • butyric acid mostly in dairy products has been shown to help prevent colon cancer and

James Carlson board certified MD who just happens to have an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and microcellular biology says that biochemical pathways in the body work better when carbohydrates are lower and animal fats are higher.

He uses saturated fat, not drugs, to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and weight on “thousands and thousands of patients”.

He points out that while we have been led to believe that lard is one of the unhealthiest types of fat, more than half of its fat (60%) is unsaturated fat. Yes, and while you are gasping for air at the thought of this, I know I was. Fifty-five percent of beef fat is unsaturated. So, if you like the skin on the chicken but discard it because you were told it is healthier, you may want think twice before peeling off the fat because 80% of that fat is unsaturated, http://web.pdx.edu/~wamserc/C336S06/fat.pdf. Where did all the hype come from in regards to an all or nothing saturated fat content from animal meats?

Listen for yourself, to Dr. Carlson  speak at this “Dietary Guidelines Press Conference” it is important to keep this stuff upfront in our minds,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TlBEf-v5fQ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri7rt7AzzUY.

If your doctor is not at least giving you a low carb high fat diet as an option to lose weight and improve your health, before putting you on drugs, get a second opinion…FAST!

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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New Year, New Diet and Weight Loss Information

English: Nutrigenomics: bring disease, cancer,...

English: Nutrigenomics: bring disease, cancer, diet and genetics together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are so many reasons why people choose to follow a certain diet.  It is “in” to be thin. So, if you follow a diet that cuts calories or fat, maybe you choose to eliminate meat for ethical reasons or you reduce your cravings by minimizing carb intake, you might want to consider genetic markers that influence disease risk to truly feed your body the right fuel.

Your genes are not only involved with your physical appearance but also involved in daily interactions that effect your health and your weight. Scientists are now beginning to understand how genes play part in the direct effect on health and weight loss. The metabolism, storage and absorption of macronutrients (calories, fats carbohydrates and proteins)  are directed by your genes. This may explain why, you and a friend may follow the same diet but you do not lose the same amount of weight.  Various genes have different working  mechanisms. These interactions are affected by the environment and yes that includes the food you eat.

How can body weight be affected by genes? Just a few ways are featured at,  http://www.weight-loss-i.com/body-weight-genes.htm, and they list: appetite, fat storage, Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and lean body mass to fat ratio.

Genes and related Factors on Weight and Blood Sugar (Diabetes):

These are just a few examples of contributing factors effecting excess weight and diabetes beyond the calorie hypothesis.

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Nutrigenomics (the study of the effects of foods on genetic behavior) is a new field that is likely going to prove how much we DO NOT know about nutrition and current dietary recommendations.

If the diet you are now following does not work, it may simply be because you and your body are not in sync, you have not found the diet that your body is looking for.  You may need to explore subtle variations in your current eating regimen. You may need to work with an experienced weight loss expert who can assist you in your weight loss and improved health journey. There is hope, keep trying.

It may not be your fault that you are trying to lose weight and are not successful.

What is important to realize is that individualized diets based on genetics, will be more available in the future.

 

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Diabetes, diet, genes, weight gain, weight loss

 

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A is for Arsenic in Apple Juice…

Dr. Oz. was attacked from many different fronts after his show exposed the contamination of apple juice with arsenic , http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/arsenic-apple-juice (there are a few interesting links here you may want to surf,  Sen. Schumer Calls on the FDA to Regulate Juice Companies, FDA Statement, Current Standards, Research Results…).

A part of this controversy stems from the fact that the apples used to make the juice are grown in China, where food regulation laws are not as stringent, are contaminated as a result of pesticide spraying. I did some research on this and came up with an interesting study conducted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21632110, entitled, “Inorganic Arsenic in Chinese Food and its Cancer Risk”.

Shockingly, I found more information about arsenic in U.S. chickens, http://nutritionfacts.org/blog/2011/09/19/dr-oz-apple-juice-and-arsenic-chicken-may-have-10-times-more/. Apparently chickens ingest the arsenic in the feed they are fed.

Dr. Michael Greger quotes the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration,  “Chicken consumption may contribute significant amounts of arsenic to total arsenic exposure of the U.S. population….Levels of arsenic in chicken are so high that other sources may have to be monitored carefully to prevent undue toxic exposure among the population.” Read more at http://nutritionfacts.org/blog/2011/09/19/dr-oz-apple-juice-and-arsenic-chicken-may-have-10-times-more/.

These reports seem to support the fact that arsenic is not foreign to our food supply and before we go burying the hatchet on apple juice, maybe we need to turn over a few more stones to uncover just how deep-rooted arsenic and other toxic contaminants are in our food supply.
What does this mean for the unsuspecting consumer?
Arsenic is linked to poor mental health in children as well as diabetes, heart and nerve disease for the entire population.
 
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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Arsenic, Dr. Oz

 

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Cancer Warning Labels on Soda for California in 2012

Cola is usually colored dark brown using caram...

Image via Wikipedia

California is requiring that a cancer warning label be placed on brown colored sodas that contain caramel coloring because toxicology reports, in 2003 and 2005 from The National Institute of Health‘s National Toxicology Program, suggest that ingredients contained in caramel coloring are linked to cancer. It is believed that the caramel color contains two cancer causing ingredients, 2-methylimidazole (2-MEI) and 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI). I’m a label reader and have never seen 2 or 4-MEI listed on the label of any bottle of brown colored soda. If you are interested in reading USA reporter Elizabeth Weise’s story, here’s the link, http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2011-02-21-colacolor21_ST_N.htm.  I guess caramel coloring is a more friendly sounding term than each of the chemical components in question that sound like they  may be something that actually might cause cancer. 

Just to be fair…The American Beverage Association denies the caramel color/cancer connection. However, if it is true, I wonder how much money they lose if they stop production NOW!?

Here’s the stuff that got me when I went to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caramel_color, “caramel color is made by a carefully controlled heat treatment of carbohydrates, generally in the presence of acids, alkalis, or salts, in a process called caramelization. It is fully oxidized has an odor of burnt sugar and a somewhat bitter taste. Its color ranges from pale yellow to amber to dark brown .”  In my readings, I recall, oxidation and burnt foods have been linked to the aging process and cancer.

It’s not just the caramel color and cancer link you should be worrying about when you drink soda. Awhile back I wrote about the risks of drinking soda, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/page/4/, and listed a few reasons why you should trade in soda for healthier beverages, such as tea, tomato juice or V-8,  homemade lemonade, Greens+(http://greensplus.com/index.php)…

Other foods that contain caramel color are: beer and liqeour, brown bread and custard, doughnuts, cookies, fruit preserves and I guess you’ll have to start checking the ingredient section on the label to see just how many products contain caramel coloring.

Bottom line just like anything else, you need to be the judge and make the right choice for you. Would love to hear your thought, please let me know which side you are on.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Acrylamide: A Carcinogen You May Want To Know About

Acrylamide is a “natural” chemical that has been classified as a carcinogen and it can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled or ingested. Despite this “cancer causing label” and its association with nerve damage, skin irritation and possibly reproductive health, acrylamide is used for many purposes ranging from building materials and auto parts to ink and adhesive tape. Acrylamide has been found in municipal drinking water, dental and hair products, soaps/creams and make-up. Here’s some background from the World Health Organizations, www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/chem/acrylamide_june2002/en/index.html

Interestingly enough acrylamide is “naturally” formed when foods that contain both asparagine (an amino acid/protein) and sugar (or carbohydrate) are fried, grilled or baked at temperatures higher than 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooked potatoes and cereal products have been identified as having high levels of acrylamide. For example, french fries contain high amounts of acrylamide for three reasons:

1. high amounts of aspargine
2. starch/carbohydrates
3. high heat cooking temperatures

I continually hear about the health implications associated with eating fat, or carbohydrates and avoiding meat because of the fat content. When you hear about food and how it affects health remember it’s not always so simple. You need all 3 factors (asparagine, starch, high heat) to form the carcinogen acrylamide. Sweden seems to have taken the lead on this and I found a list of foods (crackers, cereal, waffles, pizza etc…) that were measured to determine the amount of acrylamide they contain, www.mindfully.org/Food/Acrylamide-Heat-Processed-Foods26apr02.htm.

Whether you are trying to eat more healthy or if there is a history of cancer in your family you may want to avoid foods that contain  higher levels of acrylamide.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2010 in Breast cancer, cancer, cooking

 

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Vitamin Water: Another “UN”Healthy Food in Disguise

In my efforts to avoid high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), I started drinking Vitamin Water. I divide the bottle into thirds and add water so the amount of sugar is not high and the HFCS is replaced with crystalline fructose (CF). The name Vitamin Water implies that this beverage is healthy but really there are less than 5% of minerals. So, in essence vitamin water is really sugar water worse yet, fructose water.

It seems I have been seeing CF in more products lately and did a little research on this new ingredient that is seemingly popping up in “healthier” foods. Here’s what I found:

Crystalline fructose is worse than HFCS! Why? Because it is composed entirely of processed fructose vs. 55% processed fructose in HFCS. Do not get my message confused. I am not suggesting you stick with HFCS. I am saying stay away from both!

Processed fructose has been linked to numerous unhealthy risk factors (high triglycerides, high blood sugar and insulin levels) and poor health conditions including: fatty liver, diabetes, heart disease and cancer;

I guess on a more positive note, CF is 20% sweeter than sugar so if you are looking to cut calories you may be inclined to use it so that you can cut calories.

But I will keep reminding you, it is not about calories. It’s about the type of metabolic activity that the calories produce. If the calories follow healthy metabolic pathways, you will avoid ill health. If your calories are metabolized and trigger unhealthy responses and increase hunger signals, you will pay with your weight and health. Vitamin Water and crystalline fructose are two perfect examples of this.

My message is to always read the labels for ingredients while you focus on eating healthy products while lessening your attentiveness on just the calories and fat. It is more important to know which ingredients your calories come from than to obsess with a 100 calorie marketing seal of approval.

 

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Carbohydrates and Starchy Foods Linked to Cancer?

Last week, I talked about the dietary guidelines committee and the recommendations that continue to be pretty much the same as they have been for too many years now. I’m beginning to think that they are not experts so much as they are puppets.

 When there is valid research suggesting a link between starchy and sugary foods and cancer, the public should be made aware and guidelines should be made that take into account all research not just the ones that fit a certain political agenda. What does politics have to do with food?  The grain industry has a lot to lose if recommendations and consumer purchasing shifts. And as suggested by the research, it should.  

If anyone knows how breads, cereals and other commercially processed foods landed the bottom (largest amount of servings) of the pyramid let me know.

Here’s the research, why has there not been more research to at least follow up on this. If I’ve missed it please someone send it to me:

  •  “Food Groups and Risk of Colon Cancer”  Int J Cancer. 1997 Jul 3;72(1):56-61 (FYI, there are more recent studies but this one was specific to food groups so I figured you’d want to see this one.)

                   Foods that increased risk of colon cancer in order of highest risk: bread, cereal, potato, cake/dessert and refined sugar…yep you read correctly bread, cereal and potato were the worst culprits  

                  One serving of vegetables lowered colon cancer risk by 20%. Fruit and fish were also found to lower risk.

                 Eggs and meat had no effect on colon cancer.

 

  • Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that “sucrose and fructose” (sugar not fat) had the strongest association with breast cancer.  

             Mike Adams, the Health Ranger and Editor of NaturalNews.com    wrote about this study and its worthwhile reading. He reports that “57% or more of total energy intake from carbohydrates showed a 220% higher risk of breast cancer than women with more balanced diets”,  http://www.naturalnews.com/001812.html

Aren’t government recommendations for carbohydrates 50-60% of your diet?

 

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