Posts Tagged Pasta
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff
[NaturalNews] With so much conflicting information out there about which foods are healthy and which foods are not, it can be difficult for many people to determine how best to approach a healthy lifestyle that includes eating well. But a good place to start is to avoid these seven toxic foods, beverages, and additives that are quite common in the American diet.
Diet sodas and beverages sweetened with artificial chemicals. One of the more common dietary misconceptions in mainstream society today is the idea that “diet” beverages are somehow healthier than their sugar-sweetened beverages. Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) saccharin (Sweet’N Low), and sucralose (Splenda) are among the more popular artificial sweeteners used in many diet sodas, juices, chewing gums, and other foods (http://www.naturalnews.com).
Not only are artificial sweeteners bad for your health (http://www.naturalnews.com), but they also tend to promote obesity (http://www.naturalnews.com/022785.html). If you want to protect yourself against chronic illness and toxicity — aspartame literally converts to formaldehyde in the body and causes metabolic acidosis — it is best to stick with either raw sugars or natural sugar substitutes like pure stevia extract.
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the silent killer. It is not really much of a secret anymore that HFCS, despite all the corn industry shilling, is a toxic sweetener that should be avoided (http://www.naturalnews.com/hfcs.html). Since it is linked to obesity, brain damage, low IQ, and even mercury poisoning, avoiding all foods that contain HFCS — this can include breads, cereals, and other seemingly innocuous foods — will do wonders for your health.
Most vegetable oils, including hydrogenated and ‘trans’ fat varieties. The misdirected war on saturated fats has convinced millions of people that unsaturated vegetable oils are a healthy alternative. Not only do many vegetables oils turn rancid quickly, which means they are toxic (http://healthwyze.org), but many of them also contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids which, apart from omega-3 fatty acids, can cause severe health problems like heart disease and cancer. (http://www.naturalnews.com/022860.html)
Many vegetable oils are also derived from genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), including canola, soy, and corn oils. These same oils are often hydrogenated as well, a process that turns them into heart-destroying solid oils. Avoiding these and sticking instead to healthy fats like grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and hemp oil will greatly improve your health and lower your risk of disease.
White bread, pasta, and other refined flour foods. They are cheap, plentiful, and come in hundreds of varieties. But white breads, pastas, and other foods made from refined flour are among the top health destroyers in America today. Not only are most white flour products carcinogenic because they are bleached and bromated, but they also lack vital nutrients that are stripped away during processing. Avoid them, and all processed wheat products if possible, to optimize your health.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG), carrageenan, and refined salt. Often hidden in foods under deceptive names (http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html), MSG is a pervasive salt chemical you will want to avoid that is linked to causing headaches, heart problems, brain damage, and other problems. Carrageenan, another chemical additive often hidden in “natural” and organic foods like nut milks and lunch meats, is similarly worth avoiding, as it can cause gastrointestinal upset and colon cancer. (http://www.cornucopia.org)
And processed salt, which is added to just about everything these days, lacks the trace minerals normally present in sea and earth salts, which means it ends up robbing your body of these vital nutrients (http://www.naturalnews.com/028724_Himalayan_salt_sea.html). Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke are just a few of the many conditions that can result from refined salt intake, so your best bet is to stick with unrefined sea salts and other full-spectrum salts.
by: Lisa Garber
July 18, 2012
Glancing through the channels of news media and pharmaceutical ads, the overriding impression we have about health is that cancer, dementia, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes are things that simply happen to us. We are simply genetically pre-programmed to get sick at some point past age 40, but this just isn’t true. While genes may play a role in our health quality, many experts agree that chronic inflammation causes virtually all leading diseases due to a poor diet and lack of exercise.
Inflammation in the Body
When we experience an injury, our bodies’ natural response is inflammation. Wendy Weber, a program director at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, explains: “You need to have inflammation when you have a wound and the immune system goes in to heal it. Yet we don’t want too much inflammation in our system causing damage to our arteries” and the body.
Cat scratches swell on our arms because our bodies are fighting bacteria. Our glands swell when we’re experiencing allergies or a sniffle because it’s fighting irritants or infection. The problem is when the irritants and infection don’t go away—smoking, excess fat in the diet, lack of detoxification of the body through sweat and exercise.
Reducing Inflammation and Risk of Disease
“We’ve learned that abdominal fat tissue is a hotbed of inflammation that pours out all kinds of inflammatory molecules,” says Dr. Peter Libby of Harvard Medical School. Losing excess weight lowers levels of C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation. This can be achieved in a matter of weeks.
Another Harvard medical professor, Christopher Cannon, advocates an anti-inflammatory diet—high in whole grains, unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, poultry, eggs, and some dairy.
As The Daily Show faithfuls will remember, Dr. David B. Agus touted other ways to reduce inflammation earlier this year with his book, The End of Illness. They include:
- Avoiding vitamins and supplements and obtaining nutrients from whole foods wherever possible.
- Exercising regularly and moving during the day.
- Attaining a lean body mass.
- Minimizing use of tobacco products.
- Avoiding sources of inflammation (including foods like butter, sugar, red meats, and white foods like pasta and rice).
We’ve already celebrated how turmeric is fantastic at preventing chronic disease and reducing inflammation. In numerous studies, researchers have attributed turmeric with preventing Alzheimer’s, slowing the spread of breast cancer into lungs, and reducing pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients. Turmeric even exhibits cancer-blocking properties according to a UCLA study – allowing many individuals to realize that beating cancer with nutrition is indeed possible.
To harness the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric, try:
- Brewing turmeric tea.
- Sprinkling turmeric over deviled eggs, egg salad, or over grilled meat.
- Add turmeric to almost any lentil or cauliflower recipe.
- Mix turmeric into party dips and serve with raw vegetables.
- Try this healthy smoothie: blend or juice half an apple, a teaspoon of local honey, and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric with milk or an unsweetened alternative.
- Or, purchase a high quality organic turmeric supplement.
by: Peggy Gannon
July 13, 2012
Gluten-free foods seem to be popping up everywhere. Is this just another diet fad?
Just five years ago, asking your server for gluten-free choices would get you the proverbial blank stare. Today it’s more likely to elicit a menu page of choices. Family chains, some fast-food outlets, even ball park vendors, now include gluten-free options. Why are millions of Americans suddenly eschewing wheat? Is this just another craze, like the grapefruit diet? What exactly is gluten, anyway?
Let’s start at the core, or more precisely, the endosperm. Gliadin and glutelin combine to form gluten, a protein bound with starch in the endosperm of grains — specifically wheat, rye, barley and triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye). (Maize, rice and other members of the grass family also contain proteins sometimes referred to as gluten; the proteins are dissimilar and most gluten-sensitive people don’t react to them. New research, however, is showing that corn can cause problems for gluten sensitive individuals).
Why the focus on gluten? In baking, gluten provides strength and texture; it assists bread to rise, adds elasticity to the dough and stability and chewiness to the finished product. It has found other recent uses in food production: enhancing protein content, forming the basis for meat substitutes and conferring stability or thickening in products as dissimilar as catsup, Worcestershire sauce, sashimi and ice cream. Even beer, because it is brewed from malted barley, contains gluten.
If gluten is such a major player in our diet, how is it that anyone would be “intolerant” of such a useful protein? The answer combines history with biology. Consider that the practice of agricultureis a scant 10,000 years old. We humans, by comparison, have been evolving as large-brained primates for over four million years. Our ancient digestive system has simply not had time to adapt to this alien protein. Some people are able to handle gluten with no apparent problems, but many others develop wheat allergies, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease — all different, but all reactions to the gluten in our grains. Still others may have sub-clinical damage that goes unrecognized and undiagnosed. It would appear that wheat itself is a universal human toxin, and those who are symptomatic are simply the figurative canaries in the coal mine.
Yet every society has its signature bread or pasta. Wheat has such a long cultural tradition, with biblical roots and innumerable branches, that any mention of harm prompts cries of alarm and outrage. Where did this explosion of gluten intolerance come from? Has something changed?
In fact, it has. As our food is increasingly processed, the demand for gluten has grown. Over the past 50 years the original ancestor of wheat has been so thoroughly hybridized that today’s version bears little resemblance to its parent. It has been dwarfed, made more robust, and had its gluten content deliberately increased in modern time to up to 50% higher levels than ancient forms of non-hybridized wheat. A predictable correlation: over the same 50 years, celiac disease has increased by 400%, and the rate of gluten intolerance parallels that rise.