FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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Docs in the Kitchen?

 

 

Patients listen to their doctors so perhaps when their doctors emphasize a better diet, they will listen.  Often doctors just say “eat a balanced diet” without any explanation as to what that may be since nutrition education is sadly lacking in most medical schools. The following article may help to alleviate the problem.

CLICK HERE.


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What the Heck are AGEs?

 

Over the past 20 years, many observational studies have found that people who regu­larly eat red or processed meats have higher rates of several cancers, notably of the colon and rectum. And lab studies have shown that com­pounds formed when meat is processed (that is, smoked, salted, or cured) or cooked at high temperatures can cause cancer in animals or cells. One of these compounds is called Advanced Glycation Endproducts or simply AGE’s. They may  be a piece of the puzzle as to why meats are often associated with certain cancers.

That said, there are plenty of other reasons to moderate your intake of red and/or processed meats. There’s strong evidence linking them to cardiovascular disease.  Also eating more plant-based foods and less meat is better for the environment resulting in less greenhouse gas production.

For more information on foods and AGEs, CLICK HERE.

 


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Blue Zones and Aging

English: Dan Buettner speaking at The UP Exper...

English: Dan Buettner speaking at The UP Experience 2010 in October 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Blue Zones: Nine Lessons for Living Longer from the people who’ve lived the longest by Dan Buettner is an excellent  book on lifestyles around the globe with some interesting descriptions of health and old age from a cultural perspective.  This article succinctly presents a brief summary of each of the Zones in respect to the type of foods the centenarians eat.   Highly recommended book.

CLICK HERE.


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More About Cooking

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about how we are losing the habit of cooking in the U.S.    Here are some more hints on how to change this habit for the good, i.e., home cooking and weaning ourselves off all the convenient foods out there or at least use them sparingly.  Check out a previous post HERE.

CLICK HERE.


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Bringing Back Cooking?

If only more people would be able to cook, think of the healthy benefits that would bring to our food culture.  Highly processed and convenience foods have invaded our food supply since the  middle 20th century and have grown in into a giant we now refer to as “BIG FOOD”.  Just visit the local supermarket and visit the vast section of freezer cases.  It used to be that frozen vegetables were the main component but now there are so many complete dinners of every kind – many loaded with fat, sugar and salt and boasting a list of ingredients  that fills most of the product label.  A closer look at these packages allows us to have an almost unlimited choice of Chinese, Italian, vegan, Thai and Indian cuisines.  But what have these highly processed culinary “delights” done to our health?  We now have the highest rates of obesity in history and along with this comes expanding rates of diabetes type 2, liver abnormalities (fatty liver disease), a set of symptoms now referred to the “metabolic syndrome” and expanding waistlines.  It’s not just fast food to blame, but our food production has gone out of  control.    We buy cookbooks, watch cooking shows, but end up buying the very kinds of food that only require heating with the microwave oven. Cooking at home can help to reverse some of these trends.

Here is an interesting article discussing some of the reasons we don’t home cook more often.  Good lessons HERE.


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Do You Cook?

One of the main keys to an attitude change for healthier diets is to return to our roots of cooking our own food and not relying on the highly processed convenience foods that have invaded our food supply.  Use sparingly.  See my previous post HERE.  For more inspiration, read Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan.

CLICK HERE.