Tag Archives: obesity

(Food) Rules Worth Following, for Everyone’s Sake

Lisa Says: here’s a New York Times article published last week highlighting Michael Pollan’s new book “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” as a response to the rapidly declining health in this country. Many of these suggestions are similar to how we addressed Rex’s cancer naturally and have had such success reclaiming our health. [...]

Lisa Says: here’s a New York Times article published last week highlighting Michael Pollan’s new book “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” as a response to the rapidly declining health in this country. Many of these suggestions are similar to how we addressed Rex’s cancer naturally and have had such success reclaiming our health. Enjoy the article, and thanks for the info Bert !

Rules Worth Following, for Everyone’s Sake Published: February 1, 2010 By JANE E. BRODY
New York Times

In the more than four decades that I have been reading and writing about the findings of nutritional science, I have come across nothing more intelligent, sensible and simple to follow than the 64 principles outlined in a slender, easy-to-digest new book called “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” by Michael Pollan.
Mr. Pollan is not a biochemist or a nutritionist but rather a professor of science journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. You may recognize his name as the author of two highly praised books on food and nutrition, “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” (All three books are from Penguin.)

If you don’t have the time and inclination to read the first two, you can do yourself and your family no better service than to invest $11 and one hour to whip through the 139 pages of “Food Rules” and adapt its guidance to your shopping and eating habits.

Chances are you’ve heard any number of the rules before. I, for one, have been writing and speaking about them for decades. And chances are you’ve yet to put most of them into practice. But I suspect that this little book, which is based on research but not annotated, can do more than the most authoritative text to get you motivated to make some important, lasting, health-promoting and planet-saving changes in what and how you eat.

Reasons to Change

Two fundamental facts provide the impetus Americans and other Westerners need to make dietary changes. One, as Mr. Pollan points out, is that populations who rely on the so-called Western diet — lots of processed foods, meat, added fat, sugar and refined grains — “invariably suffer from high rates of the so-called Western diseases: obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.” Indeed, 4 of the top 10 killers of Americans are linked to this diet.

As people in Asian and Mediterranean countries have become more Westernized (affluent, citified and exposed to the fast foods exported from the United States), they have become increasingly prone to the same afflictions.
The second fact is that people who consume traditional diets, free of the ersatz foods that line our supermarket shelves, experience these diseases at much lower rates. And those who, for reasons of ill health or dietary philosophy, have abandoned Western eating habits often experience a rapid and significant improvement in their health indicators.

I will add a third reason: our economy cannot afford to continue to patch up the millions of people who each year develop a diet-related ailment, and our planetary resources simply cannot sustain our eating style and continue to support its ever-growing population.

In his last book, Mr. Pollan summarized his approach in just seven words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” The new book provides the practical steps, starting with advice to avoid “processed concoctions,” no matter what the label may claim (“no trans fats,” “low cholesterol,” “less sugar,” “reduced sodium,” “high in antioxidants” and so forth).

As Mr. Pollan puts it, “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”

Do you already avoid products made with high-fructose corn syrup? Good, but keep in mind, sugar is sugar, and if it is being added to a food that is not normally sweetened, avoid it as well. Note, too, that refined flour is hardly different from sugar once it gets into the body.
Also avoid foods advertised on television, imitation foods and food products that make health claims. No natural food is simply a collection of nutrients, and a processed food stripped of its natural goodness to which nutrients are then added is no bargain for your body.

Those who sell the most healthful foods — vegetables, fruits and whole grains — rarely have a budget to support national advertising. If you shop in a supermarket (and Mr. Pollan suggests that wherever possible, you buy fresh food at farmers’ markets), shop the periphery of the store and avoid the center aisles laden with processed foods. Note, however, that now even the dairy case has been invaded by products like gunked-up yogurts.

Follow this advice, and you will have to follow another of Mr. Pollan’s rules: “Cook.”

“Cooking for yourself,” he writes, “is the only sure way to take back control of your diet from the food scientists and food processors.” Home cooking need not be arduous or very time-consuming, and you can make up time spent at the stove with time saved not visiting doctors or shopping for new clothes to accommodate an expanding girth.

Although the most wholesome eating pattern consists of three leisurely meals a day, and preferably a light meal at night, if you must have snacks, stick to fresh and dried fruits, vegetables and nuts, which are naturally loaded with healthful nutrients. I keep a dish of raisins and walnuts handy to satisfy the urge to nibble between meals. I also take them along for long car trips. Feel free to use the gas-station restroom, but never “get your fuel from the same place your car does,” Mr. Pollan writes.

Treating Treats as Treats

Perhaps the most important rules to put into effect as soon as possible are those aimed at the ever-expanding American waistline. If you eat less, you can afford to pay more for better foods, like plants grown in organically enriched soil and animals that are range-fed.

He recommends that you do all your eating at a table, not at a desk, while working, watching television or driving. If you’re not paying attention to what you’re eating, you’re likely to eat more than you realize.

But my favorite tip, one that helped me keep my weight down for decades, is a mealtime adage, “Stop eating before you’re full” — advice that has long been practiced by societies as diverse as Japan and France. (There is no French paradox, by the way: the French who stay slim eat smaller portions, leisurely meals and no snacks.)

Practice portion control and eat slowly to the point of satiation, not fullness. The food scientists Barbara J. Rolls of Penn State and Brian Wansink of Cornell, among others, have demonstrated that people eat less when served smaller portions on smaller plates. “There is nothing wrong with special occasion foods, as long as every day is not a special occasion,” Mr. Pollan writes. “Special occasion foods offer some of the great pleasures of life, so we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of them, but the sense of occasion needs to be restored.”

Here is where I can make an improvement. Ice cream has been a lifelong passion, and even though I stick to a brand lower in fat and calories than most, and limit my portion to the half-cup serving size described on the container, I indulge in this treat almost nightly. Perhaps I’ll try the so-called S policy Mr. Pollan says some people follow: “No snacks, no seconds, no sweets — except on days that begin with the letter S.”
More Articles in Health » A version of this article appeared in print on February 2, 2010, on page D7 of the New York edition.

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Healthy You" – Weight Management Program for Kids

Rex Says: Got a great referral today from local media story on this site for promoting healthy school lunches. Remember, American kids today are now predicted to have a lower life expectancy their own parents, for the first time in history. Just to clarify, go more in depth in ingredients and eliminate [...]

Rex Says: Got a great referral today from local media story on this site for promoting healthy school lunches. Remember, American kids today are now predicted to have a lower life expectancy their own parents, for the first time in history. Just to clarify, go more in depth in ingredients and eliminate chemicals such as High Fructose Corn Syrup which is clearly shown to cause diabetes, etc. (see our other posts).

This seems to be a great local support and educational system for families on living healthier. http://www.chkd.org/Services/HealthyYou/

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High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Diabetes: What the Experts Say

Lisa Says: With the rapidly declining health in the US, I still find it difficult to believe that anyone holds to the notion that these chemicals in our food supply aren’t harming our health. They are NOT natural, but processed, and are devastating all generations. Our children are now predicted to be the [...]

Lisa Says: With the rapidly declining health in the US, I still find it difficult to believe that anyone holds to the notion that these chemicals in our food supply aren’t harming our health. They are NOT natural, but processed, and are devastating all generations. Our children are now predicted to be the first generation to have a shorter life span than their parents. Can we at least agree that it’s not nutritional? That these substances do not provide the vital nutrients essential for good health? Just try two weeks of no High Fructose Corn Syrup or Fructose, or any overly processed sweeteners. Find some good Stevia or Agave nectar (available in most grocery stores now) and give that a try instead. I was amazed at the difference I felt. DO NOT use artificial or chemical sweeteners….see our posts on THAT. LOL. We have the power to reclaim our health. Just reach out and take it. In Health, Lisa

High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Diabetes: What the Experts Say
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) According to the Corn Refiners Association, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is no worse for you than any other dietary carbohydrate. Many health experts, however, disagree, warning consumers that HFCS is strongly correlated with diabetes and obesity.

Today, we bring you selected quotes about HFCS and obesity from noted natural health authors. Feel free to quote these in your own work provided you give proper credit to both the original author quoted here and this NaturalNews page.

Here are the quotes:

Roughly $40 billion in federal subsidies are going to pay corn growers, so that corn syrup is able to replace cane sugar. corn syrup has been singled out by many health experts as one of the chief culprits of rising obesity, because corn syrup does not turn off appetite. Since the advent of corn syrup, consumption of all sweeteners has soared, as have people’s weights. According to a 2004 study reported in the American journal of Clinical Nutrition, the rise of Type-2 diabetes since 1980 has closely paralleled the increased use of sweeteners, particularly corn syrup.
- There Is a Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+ Program by Gabriel Cousens
- Available on Amazon.com

Since the fructose in corn syrup does neither stimulate insulin secretion nor reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin, you will continue to feel hungry while the body converts the fructose into fat. The resulting obesity increases the risk of diabetes and other diseases. Since you obviously cannot expect to receive much help from those who only know how to treat the effects of illness and not its causes, you may need to take your health into you own hands.
- Timeless Secrets of Health & Rejuvenation: Unleash The Natural Healing Power That Lies Dormant Within You by Andreas Moritz
- Available on Amazon.com

More than half of the carbohydrates being consumed are in the form of sugars (sucrose, corn syrup, etc.) being added to foods as sweetening agents. High consumption of refined sugars is linked to many chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Generally, the term “dietary fiber” refers to the components of plant cell wall and non-nutritive residues. Originally, the definition was restricted to substances that are not digestible by the endogenous secretions of the human digestive tract.
- Textbook of Natural Medicine 2nd Edition Volume 1 by Michael T. Murray, ND
- Available on Amazon.com

The growing prevalence of overweight and obesity correlates with the increase in consumption of high-fructose corn syrup. Fructose also increases blood levels of triglycerides, the “bad” low-density lipoprotein form of cholesterol, and the “very bad” very-low-density lipoprotein form of cholesterol. Furthermore, it raises blood pressure, which is associated with overweight and diabetes.
- Stop Prediabetes Now: The Ultimate Plan to Lose Weight and Prevent Diabetes by Jack Challem
- Available on Amazon.com

Processed foods commonly include refined sweets such as sugar, honey, corn syrup, molasses, and corn sweeteners that contain no fiber and only insignificant amounts of nutrients per calorie. Numerous studies offer evidence that the consumption of white-flour products and sweets such as these can be a significant cause of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Each time you eat processed foods, you miss out not only on important known nutrients and phytonutrients, but also on all of the yet undiscovered phytonutrients.
- Cholesterol Protection for Life, New Expanded Edition by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
- Available on Amazon.com

During the 1980s, food companies began to use high-fructose corn syrup to sweeten soft drinks, ice cream, and other foods. high-fructose corn syrup appears to be worse than plain old sugar in terms of its health effects. Food companies also started to use large amounts of trans fats (in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils), which contribute to diabetes, overweight, and heart disease.
- Stop Prediabetes Now: The Ultimate Plan to Lose Weight and Prevent Diabetes by Jack Challem
- Available on Amazon.com

High-fructose corn syrup is sweeter, is easier to handle during processing, has a longer shelf life, and keeps baked goods soft while giving them a warm, toasty color. Interestingly, as the use of high-fructose corn syrup has soared, America’s obesity problem has also spiraled out of control. In fact, journalist Greg Critser, author of the intriguing Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World, observes that the lower-priced high-fructose corn syrup has allowed food producers to increase portion sizes without sacrificing profits.
- Sugar Shock!: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life– and How YouCan Get Back on Track by Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C. with Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D.
- Available on Amazon.com

Other sugar derivatives, including fructose and corn syrup, contribute to the excessive sugar load. Sugar provides empty calories and is a cheap way to get a boost of energy, since it is metabolized by the body into glucose. But too much sugar swamps the body, which is incapable of processing the sugar effectively. With continued overuse of sugar, the pancreas eventually wears out and is no longer able to clear sugar from the blood efficiently. The blood sugar level rises and diabetes may result.
- Alternative Medicine the Definitive Guide, Second Edition by Larry Trivieri, Jr.
- Available on Amazon.com

As high-fructose corn syrup takes off, obesity soars in the 1970s and 1980s, most major American food manufacturers began replacing sugar (sucrose, made from sugarcane or beets) with such corn-based sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). high-fructose corn syrup now is found in an astonishing array of processed goods, including soft drinks and fruit juices, as well as condiments, breads, cookies, breakfast cereals, pasta sauces, frozen foods, jams, and jellies.
- Sugar Shock!: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life– and How YouCan Get Back on Track by Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C. with Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D.
- Available on Amazon.com

The whole of the industrial food supply was reformulated to reflect the new nutritional wisdom, giving us low-fat pork, low-fat Snackwell’s, and all the low-fat pasta and high-fructose (yet low-fat!) corn syrup we could consume. Which turned out to be quite a lot. Oddly, Americans got really fat on their new low-fat diet-indeed, many date the current epidemic of obesity and diabetes to the late 1970s, when Americans began bingeing on carbohydrates, ostensibly as a way to avoid the evils of fat.
- In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan
- Available on Amazon.com

The people who make those awful bottled “natural” fruit drinks and teas aren’t going to like this, but it’s possible that the steep rise in our consumption of high fructose corn syrup has contributed to the rise in diabetes by depleting chromium. (As our consumption of high fructose corn syrup has risen 250 percent in the past 15 years, our rate of diabetes has increased approximately 45 percent in about the same time period.
- Bottom Line’s Prescription Alternatives by Earl L. Mindell, RPh, PhD with Virginia Hopkins, MA
- Available on Amazon.com

Although sugar is frequently disguised in labels under another name, whether as fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, dextrose, lactose, or maltodextrose, it’s still sugar. High-sugar diets contribute to the development of Syndrome X, yeast infections of all types, obesity, diabetes, hypoglycemia, gallbladder disease, and some types of psychological problems, especially depression and premenstrual syndrome. Processed foods and junk food, these foods are synonymous with “fast food.” They are devoid of sound nutrition and high in sugar, fat, salt, and chemical preservatives.
- Intelligent Medicine: A Guide to Optimizing Health and Preventing Illness for the Baby-Boomer Generation by Ronald L. Hoffman, M.D.
- Available on Amazon.com

The average American now consumes over 100 pounds of sucrose and 40 pounds of corn syrup each year. This sugar addiction probably plays a major role in the high prevalence of poor health and chronic disease in the United States. Research in the past three decades has provided an ever-increasing amount of new information on the role that both refined carbohydrates (sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and low-fiber starchy foods) and faulty blood sugar control play in many disease processes.
- Hunger Free Forever: The New Science of Appetite Control by Michael T. Murray and Michael R. Lyon
- Available on Amazon.com

Some suggest that high-fructose corn syrup, which is widely used as an inexpensive sweetener in juice, soft drinks, and processed foods, might predispose people to diabetes. In animal research this sugar leads to insulin resistance and poor glucose tolerance. Until this controversy is sorted out, we discourage the consumption of foods and beverages containing high-fructose corn syrup.
- Best Choices From the People’s Pharmacy by Joe Graedon, M.S. and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D.
- Available on Amazon.com

These types of sweeteners are among the main causes of obesity in the United States today. Corn syrup is a cheap sweetener which helps hold the product price down. This corn sweetener is six times sweeter than cane sugar and started replacing other sugars as its popularity and low price caught on in the market place. It is now used in 40% of all products that have sweeteners added. The average American consumes high amounts of corn syrup every day.
- Defeat Cancer by Gregory, A. Gore
- Available on Amazon.com

Some evidence indicates that fructose and high-fructose corn syrup have a more pronounced effect than do glucose and sucrose on taste receptors, imprinting both the tongue and the brain with a stronger desire for sweet foods throughout life. There is also evidence that fructose and high-fructose corn syrup modify the brain’s appetite-regulating centers. Fructose decreases levels of leptin, a hunger-suppressing hormone, and it boosts levels of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone creating a double-whammy that fosters more eating and weight gain.
- Stop Prediabetes Now: The Ultimate Plan to Lose Weight and Prevent Diabetes by Jack Challem
- Available on Amazon.com

Diabetics must be careful about their use of natural sweeteners, including honey, maple syrup, and molasses. Artificial sweeteners should also be avoided. Aspartame is especially bad for insulin-dependent diabetics because it affects blood sugar levels and thus makes controlling them more difficult.
- The Enzyme Cure: How Plant Enzymes Can Help You Relieve 36 Health Problems by Lita Lee, Lisa Turner and Burton Goldberg
- Available on Amazon.com

Some of these sweeteners may be honey, invert sugar, corn sweeteners, molasses, maltose, corn syrup, galactose, glucose, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, and maltodextrin. If necessary, food can be sweetened with stevia. Stevia is a potent sweetener that is naturally occurring but does not cause a rise in blood sugar levels. A very small amount (approximately one-sixteenth of a teaspoon) is equivalent to one teaspoon of table sugar. Using too much stevia makes foods taste bitter. If you purchase stevia, make certain that it is a pure product.
- Getting Rid of Ritalin: How Neurofeedback Can Successfully Treat Attention Deficit Disorder Without Drugs by Robert W. Hill, Ph.D. and Eduardo Castro, M.D.
- Available on Amazon.com

In the carbohydrate category, relatively low-glycemic carbohydrates include things like yams or sweet potatoes; whole grains, like whole grain brown rice and whole grain barley; and sugars like Agave nectar rather than fructose, processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Stevia is, of course, an excellent sweetener to use. It has virtually no blood sugar effect whatsoever. If you want a tasty sweetener that is extremely low on the glycemic index, get Agave nectar. Ideally, get Agave nectar grown and harvested from Blue Weber agave plants.
- Natural Health Solutions by Mike Adams
- Available on Amazon.com

How excessive tax subsidies of corn production result in the ubiquitous sweetener high fructose corn syrup (which some experts say contributes to weight gain) is an excellent illustration. But I am especially outraged by the examples in this chapter because they are blatant and deliberate strategies to place corporate profits above public interest. It’s as if government officials aren’t even trying to hide how deeply inside industry’s pockets they have buried themselves.
- Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back by Michele Simon
- Available on Amazon.com

Consumption of sugar (or its equivalents, like corn syrup) in soft drinks has been linked to obesity in children and adolescents. But a recent study of almost all fifty-year-old men and women in Framingham, Massachusetts, found that having more than one soft drink, whether sugared or diet, increased the risk of metabolic syndrome by 44 percent over a four-year period. The risk was increased similarly whether the drink was sugared or diet.
- You: Staying Young: The Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty by Mehmet C. Oz., M.D. and Michael F. Roizen, M.D.
- Available on Amazon.com

At one end of the spectrum would be white refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup, probably the two that cause the most harm to the body. On the other end of the spectrum is Stevia, which is actually beneficial to the body and has little to no effect on the blood sugar. Concentrated sweeteners of any kind, natural or otherwise, are best kept to a minimum. Consider foods made with them as special treats rather than daily events. When you do indulge, the natural sweeteners that follow are your best choice. On a regular basis, keep them to a minimum in accordance with your tolerance level.
- If It’s Not Food, Don’t Eat It! The No-nonsense Guide to an Eating-for-Health Lifestyle by Kelly Harford, M.C., C.N.C.
- Available on Amazon.com

Whether you take your sweetness in the form of table sugar, brown sugar, turbinado, raw sugar, honey, glucose, dextrose, or corn syrup, it puts an enormous strain on your system and acts as a cross-linking free radical to damage your cells. One of the most common results of over consumption of sugar is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Some 35 percent of all Americans suffer from some form of this condition, in which a craving for sugar is followed by a swift high and then a painful crash as sweet foods are consumed.
- Stopping the Clock: Longevity for the New Millenium by Ronald Klatz and Robert Goldman
- Available on Amazon.com

A fight between picturesque villagers who want to drink water where they’ve lived all their lives and a multinational that wants to buy it on the cheap, whip some corn syrup into it, and sell it back to them at irrationally exuberant prices is one into which even Tom Friedman might find it hard to fly. America’s right to consume as much oil as it can lay its hands on may be god-given and defensible by thermonuclear warfare. But obesity from sugary water still sounds like a dubious privilege in a constitutional republic. That, briefly, is the quandary of the new globalized world.
- Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets: Surviving the Public Spectacle in Finance and Politics (Agora Series) by William Bonner, Lila Rajiva
- Available on Amazon.com

Instead of containing fat, they were loaded with sugars like corn syrup, sucrose and other refined sugars. As a result, when people consumed these products, their bodies converted those sugars into body fat. Thus, the very products that claimed to be fat-free were promoting the creation and storage of body fat in the bodies of people who ate them. That’s classic misdirection. Today, we see a lot of products that claim to be sugar-free foods.
- Spam Filters for Your Brain by Mike Adams
- Available on Amazon.com

All sugar-intolerant people, especially those suffering from seizures, should avoid all refined sugars (white sugar, corn syrup, fructose, commercial honey) and all synthetic sugars, especially NutraSweet. Even organic whole sugars such as sucanat (whole sugar cane) and raw honey can be problematic. The source of dietary sugar should be organic whole fruits and fruit juices. Blood Sugar can be maintained at night by eating a salty snack, drinking fruit juice, or eating a light protein snack just before bed.
- The Enzyme Cure: How Plant Enzymes Can Help You Relieve 36 Health Problems by Lita Lee, Lisa Turner and Burton Goldberg
- Available on Amazon.com

Eliminate refined sugar and processed food that contains refined sugar such as table sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and dextrose. Use natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, raw honey, black strap molasses, date sugar and others. Eliminate trans-fatty acids, fat is a much-maligned macronutrient. We have been brainwashed by dieticians and the diet industry into believing that eating fat is bad for our health and that dietary fat is responsible for obesity.
- Overcoming Thyroid Disorders by David Brownstein
- Available on Amazon.com

A 1989 study by the National Research Council (“Diet and Health Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk”; Washington, DC, National Academy Press) concluded that the typical individual consumes more than 100 pounds of sucrose and 35 pounds of corn syrup every year. Clinical nutritionists also concur that low blood sugar causes foggy brain functioning. Think of it this way: The brain is dependent on glucose just as the lungs are dependent on oxygen. When the ratio of either is askew, your body will feel off-balance.
- Food Swings: Make the Life-Changing Connection Between the Foods You Eat and Your Emotional Health and Well-Being by Barnet Meltzer, M.D.
- Available on Amazon.com

Soft drinks are for the most part sweetened with corn syrup, a mixture of glucose (a monosaccharide sugar), fructose (a monosaccharide sugar), maltose (a disaccharide sugar), and other small saccharides in other words, sugars. From a biochemical and physiological standpoint, these sugars are similar to sucrose, as all are convertible to glucose (blood sugar) in the body. To argue that soft drinks “do not contain sugar” because they are not sweetened with sucrose is misleading and not in the interest of public education about diet and health.
- Food Fight by Kelly Brownell and Katherine Battle Horgen
- Available on Amazon.com

Certain types of sugar also have less impact on blood sugar than others. Those that least affect blood sugar contain a higher proportion of fructose relative to glucose or sucrose. The newest “star” in the sugar world is agave nectar or syrup, which comes from a cactus-like plant. It has a very low glycemic index, as it is 90 percent fructose.
- Defeating Diabetes by Brenda Davis and Tom Barnard
- Available on Amazon.com

Any label that says sucrose, glucose, maltose, lactose, fructose, sugar, corn syrup, or white grape juice concentrate is a source of added dietary sugar. With all this talk of lowering cholesterol and improving the cholesterol ratios, it is easy to forget how important it is to balance the blood pressure and how foods may have a positive or a negative effect on this. For example, a diet low in potassium and high in sodium is associated with high blood pressure. By contrast, a diet high in potassium and low in sodium can protect against elevation of blood pressure.
- Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health and Wellness by Tori Hudson, N.D.
- Available on Amazon.com

High fructose corn syrup came into widespread use as a sugar substitute in the 1970’s because of its lower price. By 1990 the quantity of fructose consumed had gone up ten fold. This is now present in candy, soda, cereal, crackers, bread and hundreds of other foods. Fructose was believed to be a safe sugar substitute because it has no adverse effects on either blood sugar values or insulin output. However, there are two serious problems from fructose usage. When ingested, fructose is immediately shuttled directly to the liver.
- A Physician’s Guide To Natural Health Products That Work by James A. Howenstine, MD
- Available on Amazon.com

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New Link Between Colon Cancer and Body Fat Discovered

Rex Says: more and more mainstream medicine is understanding the role that lifestyle plays in our health. I am not saying it’s someone’s ‘fault’ they get cancer because we live in a ‘toxic soup’ that can be outside our control (think of Erin Brockovich’s story) but there IS alot IN our control and [...]

Rex Says: more and more mainstream medicine is understanding the role that lifestyle plays in our health. I am not saying it’s someone’s ‘fault’ they get cancer because we live in a ‘toxic soup’ that can be outside our control (think of Erin Brockovich’s story) but there IS alot IN our control and many ways to keep ourselves balanced once we become aware.

New Link Between Colon Cancer and Body Fat Discovered
by Sherry Baker, Health Sciences Editor
(NaturalNews) We’ve all heard by now that being overweight carries significant health risks — including upping the odds you’ll have cancer one day. But now a Michigan State University (MSU) scientist has identified a specific connection between colon cancer and body fat.

Jenifer Fenton, an MSU food science and human nutrition researcher with the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, discovered the new link between obesity and colon cancer by examining tissue hormones. She and her research team, which included MSU/MAES physiologist Julia Busik and biologist Fay Hansen-Smith of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, examined a key hormone called leptin found in fat tissue

A fat cell-derived hormone that helps regulate body energy, leptin is higher in obese individuals. Dr. Fenton’s study, just published in the journal Carcinogenesis is the first to demonstrate that leptin, when at high levels, induces precancerous colon cells to produce more of a growth factor. This growth factor, in turn, can increase blood supply to early malignant cells — and that promotes the growth and spread of cancerous tumors.

“Adipose tissue, or fat, is recognized as a significant risk factor for diabetes and heart disease, but the role of adipose tissue in cancer risk is less understood,” Dr. Fenton said in a press statement. “Abdominal fat in particular seems to be associated with the greatest risk for cancer. As your waist-to-hip ratio increases, so does your risk for cancer, especially breast, colon and endometrial cancers.” She explained that her research team concentrated on colon cancer because, unlike breast or prostate cancer, colon cancer affects both genders equally.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 149,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer and 50,000 will die from the disease in 2009. By understanding the active signals and mechanisms involved in the development of this often deadly cancer, the door opens to ways to prevent or interrupt the progression of this disease. The new study’s findings should be a reminder that one way to take charge of your health in order to avoid cancer is to get weight under control.

“The impact of obesity and cancer are a priority for the health of the nation,” Dr. Fenton said in the media statement. “Although weight loss is the ideal prevention strategy for reducing obesity as a risk factor for colon cancer, 95 percent of all people who lose weight will gain it back — and often more — within a year, so behavior modification as a prevention strategy is difficult and challenging. For this reason, continuing research also will include the identification of dietary compounds that may prevent or reduce colon cancer risk associated with obesity in the absence of weight loss.”

For more information:

http://news.msu.edu/story/6272/

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Just Being Overweight Shortens Life: Effects of Excess Weight may Match Smoking

Rex Says: 2/3 of Americans are now overweight. TWO THIRDS. We are killing ourselves, but we have the power to change this. I certainly did, and my hope is that others don’t have to have a diagnosis of cancer or such, like I did, to get motivated.
Thursday, March 26, 2009 by: Reuben [...]

Rex Says: 2/3 of Americans are now overweight. TWO THIRDS. We are killing ourselves, but we have the power to change this. I certainly did, and my hope is that others don’t have to have a diagnosis of cancer or such, like I did, to get motivated.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 by: Reuben Chow, citizen journalist
(NaturalNews) A study conducted in Sweden spanning almost four decades has suggested that overweight persons, and not just those who were obese, may also be subjected to increased risk of premature death. It also suggested that the adverse effects of excess weight on mortality may be as significant as smoking cigarettes.

Details and Findings of Study

Published in the British Medical Journal, the study had been conducted using data from Sweden’s military service conscription register, census as well as cause of death register. In all, after excluding certain persons due to incomplete data, 45,920 men were tracked for a period of 38 years; the average age of the men at the start of the study was 18.7 years. During the period, 2,897 of the men passed on.

Body Mass Index and Mortality

Having accounted for age, socioeconomic status, muscle strength and smoking, the researchers found that men who were overweight (body mass index, or BMI, from 25.0 to 29.9) during adolescence at the point they joined the Swedish military in 1969 and 1970 had a 33% higher rate of mortality during the study period, as compared with their counterparts in the normal weight range (BMI from 18.5 to 24.9). Obese men (BMI of 30 or more) had even higher risk – a whopping 114% elevated likelihood of death during the period. Similar relative estimates were obtained when smokers and non-smokers were analyzed separately. Figures also did not differ by much when smoking was not adjusted for.
Underweight men (BMI less than 18.5) did okay, although those who were extremely underweight (BMI less than 17) had 33% increased mortality, too, similar to overweight men.

Smoking and Mortality

The study subjects had declared their smoking habits when they attended mandatory military conscription tests back in 1969 and 1970. Using this information, and after adjusting for age, socioeconomic status, muscular strength and BMI, the study team also found that, compared with their non-smoking counterparts, light smokers (1 to 10 sticks of cigarettes per day) experienced 54% increased rate of mortality during the period. Not surprisingly, heavy smokers (more than 10 sticks of cigarettes each day) fared worse, suffering heightened mortality rate of 111%. Again, the figures were similar even when BMI was not adjusted for. Although the magnitude of risk increase differed across BMI categories, they featured in the same direction.

Combined Effects of Smoking and Weight

Using normal-weight non-smokers as the reference group, the relative risks of mortality of almost all the other groups were large (at least 31% higher) and highly significant. Only two groups were spared – moderately underweight non-smokers and extremely underweight non-smokers. Overweight heavy smokers experienced heightened risk of 155%, while obese heavy smokers suffered the worst, having a risk close to 5 times (4.74) that of normal weight non-smokers.

Significance of Findings – Discussion

These findings are significant in two main ways. Firstly, they suggest that persons who are overweight but not obese could also be subject to increased risk of dying early; other recent studies had been divided on whether overweight people may experience such elevated risk as compared to their healthy-weight counterparts.

According to Martin Neovius, a postdoctoral fellow at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute and the leader of the study, his team’s findings confirm the discoveries of the Nurse’s Health Study conducted at Harvard. With one study having looked at women and one having covered men, the two studies complement each other. “We find exactly the same in men as they did in women,” he said.

The team’s findings also suggest that the impact on mortality of excess weight could be as significant as smoking, a big assertion considering that smoking is widely believed to be the single most important factor for many diseases and premature death. “What we show is that for the overweight, there is a significantly increased risk of premature death, similar to smoking one to ten cigarettes a day,” said Neovius.

It is possible, however, that the study exaggerates the impact of being overweight. A major limitation of the analysis is that the study subjects’ weight was only known at the start of the study period, or the point at which they joined the military. Generally speaking, people put on weight as they grow older, and some of those who were overweight during adolescence may have “graduated” to obesity in adulthood. If that were the case, their increased risk of premature death would be attributable to obesity, and not to merely being overweight during their younger years. This point was raised by David F Williamson, a visiting professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Conclusion

Obesity has become an epidemic worldwide, with rates of the condition soaring in recent decades, in particular among children. Together with smoking, these two are the major behavioral risk factors for chronic degenerative diseases and premature death in developed nations today. Neovius feels that policy makers should take note of the findings of his team’s study and work towards raising awareness of the dangers of being too heavy, as well as being severely underweight.

“Anti-smoking campaigns have been very successful. But we don’t have any good preventative programmes for overweight and obesity,” he said, in reference to his native Sweden, although things are not very different in other countries.

“We know that health behaviors are established early on in life,” he also said. This tells us that adolescents must be targeted in educational efforts. Adults, too, should note that smoking and excess weight are dangerous factors, and even more deadly when put together.

References

Neovius M et al. Combined effects of overweight and smoking in late adolescence on subsequent mortality: nationwide cohort study. British Medical Journal 2009;338:b496.

Obese Teens as Likely as Smokers to Die Early, Study Finds (www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/health/0…)

Just being overweight can shorten lifespan: study (www.google.com/hostednews/afp/artic…)

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Many Reasons Why Mediterranean Diet Protects against Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

www.whfoods.com
Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic affecting more than 300 million people, including nearly one-third of American adults. As obesity has increased, so has type 2 diabetes.
Considered a disease of minor significance in the 20th century, type 2 diabetes is now a major threat to human health, afflicting 150 million people worldwide, and its incidence [...]

www.whfoods.com

Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic affecting more than 300 million people, including nearly one-third of American adults. As obesity has increased, so has type 2 diabetes.

Considered a disease of minor significance in the 20th century, type 2 diabetes is now a major threat to human health, afflicting 150 million people worldwide, and its incidence is projected to double by 2025.

So close is the relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes that researchers have coined a new term to describe it: diabesity.

The fact that both obesity and type 2 diabetes have so recently and drastically increased suggests that both result from changes in our lifestyle that serve us a recipe for ill health:

Our diet has shifted to emphasize foods with low nutrient density

(supplying excessive calories in comparison to the nutrients they

provide)

Larger portion sizes

Less physical activity

Fortunately, both diet and exercise are within our control, making obesity and type 2 diabetes largely preventable.

Several epidemiological (population) studies have now shown that a Mediterranean diet offers significant protection against weight gain, particularly abdominal weight gain, which has been shown to promote type 2 diabetes. A recent review of the research, published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, (Schröder H.) explains many of the reasons why.

Fiber: the Mediterranean diet is rich in plant foods providing a variety of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.

Not only do fiber-rich foods require more chewing, thus slowing the rate at which food is consumed, they produce a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.

When fiber is present in a meal, the small intestine secretes peptides, such as cholecystokinin, that signal satiety to the brain. Legumes and nuts, two fiber-rich staples in the Mediterranean diet, have been shown to greatly increase the secretion of cholechystokinin.

Healthy Fats: A Mediterranean diet is rich in healthy unsaturated fats from olive oil, cold water fish, nuts and seeds.

Olive oil, a hallmark of the Mediterranean diet, is used for cooking and to add flavor to legumes, salads and vegetable dishes. Some evidence suggests that oleic acid, the predominant fatty acid of olive oil, is associated with lower insulin resistance.

Research has shown that replacing saturated fat with olive oil in the diet of obese men produces significant loss of both weight and body fat after just 4 weeks. In abdominally obese women, olive oil has been shown to increase the rate at which fat is oxidized (burned) after meals.

Plus, in the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is used to dress vegetables and legumes, which are rich in nutrients and fiber, but very low in calories.

The type of fat in the diet affects the composition of cell membranes. Saturated fats make cell membranes less permeable and receptive to signals from messenger molecules such as insulin, while the omega-3-fatty acids supplied by cold water fish, walnuts and flaxseed render cell membranes more flexible and receptive.

Nutrient-density: A Mediterranean meal typically begins with salad as a first-course-a meal plan that has been shown to increase feelings of fullness and, consequently, reduce calorie intake by 12% in comparison to meals without salad as a first course.

Moderate red-wine consumption: A glass of red wine often accompanies lunch or dinner in the Mediterranean.

In animal research, voluntary red wine consumption resulted in reduced calorie intake and prevented weight gain in rats on a high-fat diet, but whether a specific component in red wine causes these effects or if the effects are the same in humans is not yet known.

In human population studies, moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity and increase levels of adiponectin, a signaling molecule that stimulates cells’ burning of both fatty acids and glucose (sugar).

Antioxidants: A Mediterranean diet provides an abundance of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.

Not only has consumption of fruits and vegetables been shown to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes in several population studies, but blood levels of antioxidants have been found to be higher in persons following a Mediterranean diet.

In addition to vitamin antioxidants such as beta-carotene, E and C, the characteristic foods of the Mediterranean diet provide a wide variety of phenols with potent, synergistic antioxidant activity.

Since oxidative stress (damage by free radicals) plays a crucial role in the development of insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction, a Mediterranean diet is highly protective against type 2 diabetes. (Beta cells are responsible for the production of insulin.)

Following an antioxidant-rich Mediterranean diet has been shown to significantly decrease insulin resistance in patients with the metabolic syndrome, and even short-term administration of virgin olive oil has been found to decrease several markers of oxidative stress.

Magnesium: Vegetables, legumes and nuts-key components of the Mediterranean diet-are rich sources of magnesium, which is an essential co-factor in enzymes required for cellular energy production.

Studies have linked insufficient magnesium with increased incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Whole grains: High consumption of whole grains, which are rich in both fiber and magnesium, is another characteristic of the traditional Mediterranean diet.

Population studies consistently show a protective effect of cereal fiber on insulin sensitivity and risk of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the fiber provided by whole grains delays the emptying of stomach, slowing the digestion and absorption of food, which in turn slows the rate at which glucose (sugar) passes into the bloodstream and reduces insulin levels.

By simply enjoying the healthy Mediterranean way of eating espoused by The World’s Healthiest Foods, you will naturally receive high amounts of dietary fiber, antioxidants, magnesium and health-promoting monounsaturated and omega-3 fats.

And because, this diet is characterized by nutrient-dense foods, which supply fewer calories overall, it automatically promotes a healthy weight, preventing weight gain and lessening your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Schroder H. Protective mechanisms of the Mediterranean diet in obesity and type 2 diabetes. : J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Mar;18(3):149-60. Epub 2006 Sep 11. PMID: 16963247

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