Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ~Hippocrates

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Another Clarification About Gluten


There is a lot of misinformation about gluten out there. So I am going to reiterate from prior posts, the facts and fallacies of the gluten free diet.

This trend, which many people believe is better for them, is not necessarily intended for everyone. Those who don’t necessarily need it may use it to lose weight. Weight loss occurs because going gluten free means consuming fewer carbs. But one can restrict simple carbs without going gluten free, while preserving healthy carb choices such as whole grain breads and cereals.

Gluten is a protein. Generally speaking, protein is good for us. It builds muscle, repairs tissue, it helps you lose weight. Hair and nails are mostly protein. Your body uses protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. So why limit proteins unless you really have to?

Also, commercial gluten free foods contain more sugar, fat and salt, less fiber (an important part of good diet and gut health) than regular foods.

Of course, if you have celiac disease, gluten can harm your digestive tract, and should be avoided. A biopsy of your intestine is required to confirm this diagnosis. Some people have a gluten sensitivity that a doctor can also confirm.

Before going gluten free, confirm the proper diagnosis so you don’t needlessly eliminate any heathy elements of your diet, or introduce more expensive, less healthy options.

Here is an article from Silver Sneakers, with more information.

https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/qa-what-is-gluten-and-should-you-avoid-it/?utm_campaign=SilverSneakers%20-%20Newsletter%20Yes&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=64521404&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–ycjIUxGdhJxJvPRfysLZyjO0A9l9TdDWA6ck3bWM3JJEf1fJ6FyTQTHzoSokd7xrvnTaWSmBeuZPLwWkKDtYqPel94A&_hsmi=64521853

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Revisiting the Supplement Conversation


I have written about supplements in the past. As research continues on their efficacy, it is being shown for the most part, that they are a waste of money.

Studies Show Little Benefit in Supplements

Foremost is the lack of accountability placed on supplement manufacturers. are unregulated. The burden is on the government to prove they are harmful, for them to be removed from the marketplace (remember fen-fen?) Supplement makers aren’t supposed to make health claims that aren’t substantiated, yet it is done all the time. By the time regulators catch up with them, they have made their profits.

Secondly, nutrition specialists know that nutrients are best absorbed from food. For the most part, an excess of water-soluble vitamins (B1 or thiamin, B2 or riboflavin, B3 or Niacin, B6 or pyridoxine, B12 or cobalamin, Biotin, Folic acid or folate, pantothenic acid, C) won’t hurt you but will be a waste of money as anything your body doesn’t need is excreted in the urine. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D E, K) can build up in body fat and become toxic. an exception is vitamin D, especially when you are deficient.

These links are useful for explaining what these nutrients can do for you and where they occur naturally in food.

Water soluble: http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/water-soluble-vitamins-b-complex-and-vitamin-c-9-312/

Fat soluble: http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/fat-soluble-vitamins-a-d-e-and-k-9-315

Whole foods also provide micronutrients, antioxidants, fiber, etc., all necessary for healthy bodies as well.

Bottom line: “Food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” and don’t get suckered into taking many supplements you don’t need. With all this said, if you have unique medical issues, always consult with your doctor. This is generic advice for the mostly healthy.

 

BBQ Season is Here. Grill Vegetables to Reduce Cancer Risk.


From the Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/evidence-grows-linking-grilled-meat-and-cancer-but-you-can-lower-the-risk/2017/06/02/f946078c-4549-11e7-a196-a1bb629f64cb_story.html?utm_term=.d12905c6ff81&wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1

Food Safety: Storage Times


Frozen foods retain their safety almost indefinitely. They do however, lose quality. Refrigerated foods have a safe storage window, after which they can spoil and cause food poisoning. Here is a chart for refrigerator and freezer storage times, from food safety.gov. Below is a separate chart for eggs in various forms.

Category Food Refrigerator
(40 °F or below) Freezer
(0 °F or below)
Salads Egg, chicken, ham, tuna & macaroni salads 3 to 5 days Does not freeze well
Hot dogs opened package 1 week 1 to 2 months
unopened package 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Luncheon meat opened package or deli sliced 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
unopened package 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Bacon & Sausage Bacon 7 days 1 month
Sausage, raw — from chicken, turkey, pork, beef 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Hamburger & Other Ground Meats Hamburger, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb, & mixtures of them 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork Steaks 3 to 5 days 6 to 12 months
Chops 3 to 5 days 4 to 6 months
Roasts 3 to 5 days 4 to 12 months
Fresh Poultry Chicken or turkey, whole 1 to 2 days 1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces 1 to 2 days 9 months
Soups & Stews Vegetable or meat added 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Leftovers Cooked meat or poultry 3 to 4 days 2 to 6 months
Chicken nuggets or patties 3 to 4 days 1 to 3 months
Pizza 3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months

Egg Storage Chart

Product Refrigerator Freezer
Raw eggs in shell 3 to 5 weeks Do not freeze. Instead, beat yolks and whites together; then freeze.
Raw egg whites 2 to 4 days 12 months
Raw egg yolks 2 to 4 days Yolks do not freeze well.
Raw egg accidentally frozen in shell Use immediately after thawing. Keep frozen; then
refrigerate to thaw.
Hard-cooked eggs 1 week Do not freeze.
Egg substitutes, liquid
Unopened 10 days 12 months
Egg substitutes, liquid
Opened 3 days Do not freeze.
Egg substitutes, frozen
Unopened After thawing, 7 days or refer to “Use-By” date. 12 months
Egg substitutes, frozen
Opened After thawing, 3 days or refer to “Use-By” date. Do not freeze.
Casseroles with eggs 3 to 4 days After baking, 2 to 3 months.
Eggnog
Commercial 3 to 5 days 6 months
Eggnog
Homemade 2 to 4 days Do not freeze.
Pies
Pumpkin or pecan 3 to 4 days After baking, 1 to 2 months.
Pies
Custard and chiffon 3 to 4 days Do not freeze.
Quiche with filling 3 to 4 days After baking, 1 to 2 months.

Gluten, Gluten, Gluten


Gluten is the new “Atkins,” or “Paleo.” Seems that each year brings a new wave of diets, all promising better health, more radiance and weight loss. You’d think that by now, especially for those who have tried each one, only to discover it was either unsustainable or ineffective – of even harmful, we would collectively learn that there is no magic formula, shortcut or substitute for healthy eating and exercise.

But alas, an optimistic and perhaps lazy society we are. Most people prefer to take pills in lieu of changing their behaviors. It has been shown that those taking statins for cholesterol actually have unhealthier food choices since they feel their meds will “take care of” the problem. Diabetics relying on insulin, Metformin and the like, continue to skip meals, overindulge in or not balance their carbs, and don’t exercise – all strategies that could actually eliminate the need for these drugs in many.

The food and drug industries are partly to blame, but when push comes to shove, we must make our own choices. But I digress. This post is about gluten – the totally misunderstood element in our diets. In a quick nutshell, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale.  It is also used in many, many commercial products, and not necessarily labeled in a way the average person can identify it, making it a problem for those with Celiac Disease – a true gluten allergy or autoimmune disease, in which an affected person is unable to process gluten. This affects many systems in the body, resulting in the inability to absorb nutrients, causing nutritional deficiencies. Then there is a condition termed “gluten sensitivity” or “intolerance,” for which there is no current consensus of definition. Finally, some are allergic to wheat – of which gluten is a part.

Here are a few links to the topic of gluten: definition, where it is found and current thinking about sensitivity. In the end, the message is that no one should follow a diet based on what their friends are doing or saying. If it involves eliminating healthy components of a diet, it is probably not wise unless there is a medical necessity for it. Do your research and consult with nutrition professionals before starting any diet.

Enjoy the links. To warm you up, the first is Jimmy Kimmel’s reporter asking people who follow a gluten free diet, to explain what gluten is. It about sums up the issue!

Jimmy Kimmel Show: 

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/jimmy-kimmel-gluten-free-diet-video?cm_mmc=Fox_Health-_-3_Signs_You_Should_Get_Tested_for_Gluten_Sensitivity_or_Celiac_Disease-_-Article-_-Watch_People_Who_Say_they_Eat_a_Gluten-Free_Diet_Try_to_Explain_What_Gluten_Is

A Grain of Truth to Gluten Intolerance

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/a-grain-of-truth-to-gluten-intolerance-20140527-zrpb3.html

Sources of Gluten:

http://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/gluten-free-diet/sources-of-gluten/

HuffPost: 7 Places You ever Knew Contained Gluten

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/surprising-foods-with-gluten_n_3769463.html

Truth About Gluten

http://flcourier.com/2014/05/01/the-truth-about-gluten/

People with gluten sensitivity who have not had tests

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/07/us-celiac-gluten-sensitivity-idUSKBN0DN1HU20140507

Supplements and Your Doctor


We assume we can and should trust our doctors – as it should be. We go to him or her for life impacting advice and treatment. So what if your doctor suggests you take vitamins or nutritional supplements s/he conveniently has for sale in the office? Should you take get bait?

The American Medical Association frowns on the ethics of doctors selling supplements. For one thing, doctors are not trained nutrition professionals. They study a perfunctory numbers of hours in nutrition sciences. A registered dietitian or dietetic technician studies nutrition science and has more education and experience than an MD, unless s/he has specifically and intentionally studied it in his/her training.

Doctors can diagnose, through blood work and symptoms, nutritional deficiencies and may prescribe medications or supplements a patient can purchase at the pharmacy. But never should s/he offer them for sale in the office.

When there is a profit motive, which is the only reason a physician is selling vitamins and supplements, one must question his/her ethics.

See this short video link.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/823569?nlid=55703_439&src=wnl_edit_medp_publ&spon=42

Processed Foods and Relationship to Disease


My “food hero,” Michael Pollan gives a compelling speech about the dangers of cooking and the processing of food. Pesticides, GMOs, and processing methods of prepared foods are contributing to the increase in disease.

It boils down to eating food as close to its natural state, and cooking the food yourself.

And he provides a realistic way to make it happen.

Listen up!

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/04/13/watch-this-video-youll-never-eat-mcdonalds-french-fries-again/

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