FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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Diet or Sugar: Which Soda?

I once met a client whose doctor had referred her to me for diet counseling. She drank 15 cans of Dr. Pepper a day and complained of some stomach issues. She threatened to sue Dr. Pepper. The remedy as you can probably tell: Both the doctor and myself told her to stop drinking the soda.  Do you think she followed our advice? Probably not.  Each can of Dr. Pepper has 64 grams of sugar. Diet Dr.  Pepper has 123 grams of aspartame. For our 15 can/day situation, you can do the math and in either case, diet or not, there are concerns.

FYI: Here is the aspartame content, in order from least to most per 8-ounce bottle: Sprite Zero (50 mg), Coke Zero (58 mg), Pepsi Max (77 mg), Diet Pepsi and Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi (111 mg and 118 mg, respectively), Diet Dr. Pepper (123 mg), Diet Coke and Caffeine-Free Coke (125 mg).

Whether the soda is diet or not, over indulgence can both have consequences. The following article from Fooducate discusses diet soda and offers a novel solution: WATER.

CLICK HERE.

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Are Fish Oil Supplements Helpful?

 

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Since the 1980’s, the benefits of fish oil has been a hot nutrition topic. I was a graduate student at the time and my research involved the hypothesis that omega-3 fatty acids (as menhaden oil) would suppress breast cancer tumors when compared to omega-6 fatty acids (as corn oil) in rats. Previous research had suggested that there was enough evidence to warrant the study. Bottom Line: There were no significant differences in tumor formation even when rats were fed high or low menhaden or corn oil diets. This was a surprising finding at the time; therefore, the study was replicated the next year and results were the same. At the present time, further research has shown some promising results in breast cancer research, but some studies with omega-3 fats in humans have been inconclusive.

Since then fish oil (omega-3) fats have been extensively studied in a wide range of afflictions to see if any beneficial effects occurred. This interest was a boon for the supplement industry due to the sale of fish oil capsules that still continues to this day. How effective have fish oil supplements been in supporting some of the health claims that have been made?

First of all, it is important to know the article does not pertain to eating fatty fish high in omega-3 fats. The picture becomes very complicated when it come to fish oil capsules. The news is both good and bad; the research is both positive and negative. The best takeaway is to be careful of the quality of fish oil capsules you choose. The article suggests that fish oil be of pharmaceutical grade so read labels carefully. However, this term is not regulated or clearly defined so it may be meaningless according to ConsumerLab.com.  If you take fish oil capsules, this article is a must read. Then talk it over with your doctor as to whether fish oil supplementation is for you.

CLICK HERE.


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The FODMAP Diet: Some Common Sense

 

As with any restrictive diet, caution must be used to avoid nutritional deficiencies.  That is why it is important to pay attention to a registered dietitian when embarking on any diet that restricts certain food groups. If a dietitian is not available, seek out the advice found in the following article from an expert on the FODMAP  diet. The best advice is if this diet approach does not produce any positive results, it may not be for you.

CLICK HERE.


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Detox Facts

Detox, detox – is it a new fad?  Not exactly.  Its origins began in the 19th century with the theory of auto-intoxication, a term coined by Charles Bouchard, a French physician. Other physicians further defined the theory by describing the phenomenon as caused by the putrefaction or decay of proteins in the intestine generating offending toxins. This theory dominated a major part of the 19th century and has survived to this day.During that time, people were told that constipation was at the root of most diseases and the term, auto-intoxication, became the mantra of the medical community. In 1852, a publication called The People’s Medical Lighthouse, a series of popular scientific essays on nature, uses and diseases of the lung, heart, liver, stomach, kidney, womb and blood had this to say about this common digestive problem: “daily evacuation of the bowels is of utmost importance to the maintenance of health”; without the daily movement, the entire system will become deranged and corrupted.” People’s Medicine Lighthouse, Lecture 71. Harmon Knox Root, A.M, M.D. 1852. This theory led to colon cleansing (which still is performed  today), which can be dangerous and is not recommended.  However, detox is now more commonly associated with juicing and cleanses primarily for the gastrointestinal system. 

Do we need juice fasts and cleanses?  No – our liver, kidneys, digestive and respiratory systems work together to detoxify the body.  Most juicing plans or other cleansing concoctions do not provide the calorie or nutrient requirements we need daily. Protein is a especially a problem.  Proteins provide the necessary amino acids we need for protein synthesis.  If these are not available for days the synthesis of needed proteins will be affected adversely.

 


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Is Soy Safe? Or Not?

Soy foods have been the subject of such controversey in the past decades, it is almost impossible to sort out the sense from the nonsense. The latest article I could find explains the confusion. The article is a long read, but well worth it if you are a tofu, soy, edamame lover  or eat any type of vegan diet and rely on soy foods for your protein source.

CLICK HERE.