RSS

Tag Archives: Eating

Are GMOs Making Us Fat?

While health experts and non-experts alike continue to take stabs at the solution to our nation’s obesity crisis, the answer still seems rather illusive.

Some say we need more exercise. Others suggest we need less food. Still others contend we need incentives and rewards to get off our duffs and lose the weight. But perhaps the answer is as simple as what’s in our lunch.

New research from the Norwegian School of Veterinary science is pointing the fat finger at genetically modified organisms, a term we now affectionately know as GMOs.

Researchers are suggesting that while GM foods may not be directly making us sick, they might be causing weight gain which can in turn contribute to illnesses.

To conduct the 90-day study, researchers studied how rats and salmon responded to genetically modified food. One group of rats was fed GM corn and scientists watched as they slowly got fatter than the group that was being fed non-GM foods. Researchers also noticed that the GMO rats ate more and grew faster.

A corresponding study examined how salmon reacted to GM foods by feeding one group GM food and another non-GM food. The result? The salmon that consumed GM foods experienced a number of adverse effects including weight gain, higher food consumption, and the inability to properly digest protein. They also developed a different intestinal microstructure and even saw changes in their immune systems.

In other words, the results didn’t come back in favor of GMOs.

The Right to Know – a California-based organization pushing for the labeling of GM foods – has pointed out that independent studies have not only linked GMOs to increased allergies, but also asthma, autism and ADHD. And now that this research suggests they may also be making us fat, the pro-GMO argument just keeps getting dimmer.

While the fish and rats didn’t see any additional health problems as a result of the GM foods, Ashild Krogdahl – one of the lead authors of the study – explained to the ScienceNordic that the evidence is still troubling. ”If the same effect applies to humans, how would it impact people eating this type of corn over a number of years, or even eating meat from animals feeding on this corn? I don’t wish to sound alarmist,” she said, “but it is an interesting phenomenon and worth exploring further.”

Jeffrey Smith of the Institute from Responsible Technology feels strongly that GMOs could potentially be causing weight gain in humans. ”I have heard from people who stop eating GMOs that weight problems is one of the symptoms that improves or goes away,” he said. “One woman told me that with no other change in the diet, she lost 35 pounds, her husband lost 15, and her two kids 5 pounds each, just focusing on eliminating GMOs.”

Leah Segedie, founder of Bookieboo (an online health resource for moms) and leading figure in the fight against GMOs, tells of her own experiences with eliminating GMOs from her diet.

“I’ve lost close to 200 pounds over three pregnancies so far, but most of my life I spent overweight eating genetically modified foods. As someone who has come at it from both sides, I can testify that when I removed processed foods from my diet I lost quicker and was able to maintain my weight loss. About anywhere from 80-95 percent of processed foods have genetically modified ingredients inside of them,” she says. “Just look at the nutritional contents. If you seen corn, soy, cottonseed oil, canola oil, or sugar beets, chances are you are eating something genetically modified. And those ingredients are in about 80-95 percent of all packaged foods. Those ingredients will manipulate your metabolism, causing you to be hungrier and gain weight. As for me personally, I was only able to maintain my weight loss when I ate foods that were minimally processed or not processed at all. In fact, the minute I switched from shopping at Vons to Trader Joes (where the private label items are Non-GMO) I lost [weight] faster.”

If GM foods are in fact causing adverse effects in humans like these studies suggest, in our opinion, it’s just not worth the risk. Even if they aren’t banned entirely, people should at least have the right to know if the foods they’re consuming contain genetically modified elements. Hopefully California’s Proposition 37 vote, which takes place November 6 to determine whether or not GMO-containing foods will be labeled as such in California, will be just the push we need to make this hope a reality.

Source: http://www.dietsinreview.com

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Health and Science

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

7 Things You Need to Start Buying Organic

Labeling for products that meet the USDA-NOP s...

Labeling for products that meet the USDA-NOP standards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Organic is alive and well. In fact, shoppers are expanding their organic intentions beyond the produce aisle. Take red meat, for instance. As news reports of recalls and ammonia injected into factory-farmed meat spread, sales of organic beef jumped nearly 50 percent in 2011. Opting for organic non-food items is becoming the norm, too, with many reaching for organic-slanted soaps and shampoos, as well. Interestingly, new data finds that people under 40 are the biggest supporters of organic, regardless of the paycheck they bring in.

Now that you’ve got the routine of eating fresh organic fruits and veggies down pat, try adding these other must-have organic items to your shopping cart.

Hormone-Free Desserts
Standard ice cream usually comes from cows fed a steady (and unnatural) diet of genetically engineered corn, soy, and even antibiotics and hormones linked to certain cancers. Organic dairies ban all of these, and their cows are required to eat a more natural diet featuring organic grasses and hay. This, in turn, creates milk higher in a heart-protecting fat called conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA.

Sales of organic ice cream in 2011 were up a whopping 44 percent over the previous year’s numbers, according to organic product research figures compiled by TABS group, a data-analysis firm that follows consumer product trends.

Rodale.com Pick: Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate

Eggs from Happier Hens
Did you know that more than 90 percent of the eggs produced in this country come from hens crammed into tiny cages and given feed loaded with antibiotics? Consumers are getting the message, and they don’t agree. According to TABS data, sales of organic eggs jumped 21 percent in 2011, compared to 2010 sales.

Organic eggs in the supermarket likely come from an indoor operation that feeds organic only and allows the birds to wander about and perform natural behaviors. Birds raised outside on pasture produce nutritionally superior eggs, though, so their eggs are your best bet.

Rodale.com Pick: Your local pastured-egg producer—visit LocalHarvest.org to find a local farmer that raises pastured hens supplemented with organic feed.

Pesticide-Free in the Frozen Food Aisle
Farmer’s markets and buy-direct-from-a-farmer systems, such as community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, are luring more and more customers in for fresh produce sales. But shoppers want to stick with the sustainable farming theme year-round now, too, even opting for organic in the frozen fruit and vegetables aisle.

Rodale.com Pick: The gold standard? Buy in bulk from a local organic farm during the growing season, and then preserve the harvest to enjoy later. If that’s not possible, Cascadian Farms offers organic frozen vegetables nationwide. (The company is owned by General Mills, and thus industrial-food supported, so shop from your local organic farmer whenever possible.)

Sustainable Nurtured Skin & Hair
Repeat after us: “Natural means nothing.” This is generally true with food labels and claims made on everything from your soap and shampoo to your shaving cream and nail polish. Unlike the food industry, though, personal-care product makers can use the term “organic” loosely. For truly organic personal care products, look for the actual USDA organic symbol on the product, not just “organic” in the product name.

Rodale.com Picks: Try Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild or peppermint organic soap for bathing, hand-washing, and even shampooing to get started. To find out how your current products rate and find safer, truly organic versions, visit Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.

Truly Natural Meat
Organic beef sales are up nearly 50 percent compared to 2010 sales. Choosing this type of meat means customers don’t have to deal with the possibility that their meat was injected with ammonia gas, food dye, or any of the other nasty substances the food industry typically uses.

Rodale.com Pick: At the supermarket, look for the USDA Organic label—not wording like “natural”—to find meat free of pharmaceuticals and other contaminants. For more information on getting sustainable beef, read Your Guide to Buying Grass-Fed Beef.

Milk
Along with produce, milk is a priority organic product for many consumers. Sometimes referred to as the gateway into organics, many parents line the fridge with organic milk to avoid exposing their family to cancer-causing, genetically engineered growth hormones used in some conventional dairy operations. In 2011, organic milk sales grew 25 percent over 2010 levels, meaning the industry is alive and well…to help keep you well.

Rodale.com Pick: Organic Valley milk; it’s farmer owned!

Chickens That Don’t Eat Chicken
Industrial chicken production is causing many Americans to lose their appetites. Last year, organic chicken saw a nearly 20 percent increase in sales. As news reports of factory farms feeding their chickens food laced with chemicals, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and even parts of other chickens grow more common, the U.S. public is shifting toward a more sustainable source.

Rodale.com Pick: Local grass-fed chicken supplemented with organic grains. These are known as pastured birds, and in pastured operations, they often live in open-air, floorless pens where they can eat fresh grass and bugs all day. In well-run operations, the pens are moved to fresh grass several times a day. Visit LocalHarvest.org to find this type of chicken in your area.

Source: http://www.rodale.com

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Health and Science

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Mark Doesn’t Eat Grains

Grains, the largest food group in many nutriti...

As I’m sure you’ve seen, eyes raise and questions arise when you order a burger wrapped in lettuce or discard a “wrap” and eat the contents. It just isn’t normal. You’re not normal. But not all are personally offended by your decision. Some are honestly curious and flabbergasted. Some just want to know why someone would give up grains and how they get along without them.

Let’s take a look at the eight most popular and prevalent questions and then try to come up with some good responses to them. I’ll give both longer ones and succincter ones (that you can fire off in an elevator).

“Oh, is that a low-carb thing?”

While grains represent an easy, cheap source of carbohydrates (that most sedentary people simply don’t need), they also contain “anti-nutrients,” proteins and lectins and other nutritional factors that impair digestion, perforate the intestinal lining, increase inflammation, and can even exacerbate or (possibly) induce auto-immune diseases. Since the purpose of life is to reproduce and that grain has to make it into the ground to germinate and turn into a plant, grains don’t want to be eaten, and they use the anti-nutrients to dissuade consumption in lieu of the running, climbing, flying, crawling, biting, and stinging that animals use to survive.

Response: “Kinda, but it’s more than that. In order to survive and spread their genes, a grain uses anti-nutrients to dissuade animals from eating them. Some animals have adapted quite well, but humans haven’t, so I choose not to eat them.”

“I could never give up bread. And aren’t grains the staff of life?”

For the past several thousand years of human history, bread has been a staple food. The ancient Egyptians baked it. The Greeks and Romans made it. You probably grew up with it. It was – and is – cheap and filling. Today, because billions simply need calories from wherever they can get them, grains are the ticket, the “staff of life.” But it’s not like we’ll wither away into nothingness, all because we failed to heed the biological dietary necessity to eat grains ordained by some higher power. Grains aren’t the staff of life in an inherent sense, but rather because they’re cheap, reliable, and easy to work with. They provide calories and a modicum of nutrients to people who absolutely require those calories, regardless of any nutritional downsides. Having joint pain and bloating because you ate some whole wheat, while unpleasant, is better than dying of starvation because you refused it.

Response: “An unfortunately large number of people are forced to subsist on grains as a staple, because they’re cheap and plentiful and calories are scarce, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to eat. Grains aren’t necessary if you have access to plenty of fresh animals and plants.”

“Where do you get your fiber?”

As if only cereal grains contain non-starch polysaccharides. As if all the world’s inulin, pectin, chitin, beta-glucans, and oligosaccharides are found solely in wheat, barley, rye, rice, oat, and corn. As if some of the richest sources of soluble fiber – you know, prebiotics, or the kind that our gut bacteria can ferment and convert into metabolically-active short chain fatty acids – aren’t fruits, roots, nuts, and green vegetables. And, as if the richest sources of insoluble fiber – the metabolically-inert stuff that pretty much nothing can digest and which serves only as a bulking agent for improving the robustness of our bowel movements – aren’t whole grains.

Response: “I get my fiber from fruits and vegetables. Best of all, our gut bacteria can actually digest the fiber from fruits and vegetables, thereby producing short chain fatty acids that improve our metabolic health. Grain fiber is just a bulking agent that fills your toilet bowl.”

“What about the USDA food pyramid?”

What about it? Take a look around you. The obesity rate is the highest it’s ever been, and almost everyone who’s not obese is “just” overweight. Diabetes is on the rise. People live out the end of their lives relying on a complicated cocktail of pharmaceuticals and medical apparati just to eke out a few more years. All this, despite the majestic, all-powerful USDA dietary recommendations informing everything we put into our collective mouths. How’s that USDA food pyramid working out for us so far, I’d like to ask. I’m not necessarily assigning a causative role to the pyramid (though it certainly plays a role, in my view) in the obesity epidemic. I’m just saying that it has done absolutely nothing to staunch the rise of diet-related illness. I’m saying it doesn’t have a real impressive track record.

Response: “Since the USDA food pyramid was released in 1992, the obesity rate has increased unabated. What about it?”

“That must be terribly inconvenient. What do you eat for breakfast? What about sandwiches? What about dining out?”

Well, you see, all you gotta do for a bread-free sandwich is spread a little mayo on your right hand, some mustard on the left, and pile on the avocado, the deli slices, and the tomato slices in between. Easy as pie. Seriously, though, I don’t get this question. Have these people never heard of bacon and eggs? Omelets? A steak and salad? Do they think a sandwich is indivisible? That once you place the final slice of bread atop the meat, lettuce, and cheese the sandwich can never be altered, that you physically cannot pry the bread off the innards? Have they ever even witnessed the creation of a sandwich? Are they going to weird fascistic restaurants that force you to consume the bread and pasta? I just don’t get this one. I really don’t.

Response: “Just take off the bread and eat the other stuff. Bam.”

“Everything in moderation, I say. I don’t like to deprive myself of anything.”

Ah, yes, the eminent voice of reason. “Everything in moderation”, they say. Trans-fat? Bring it on, or else it’s deprivation! Margarine? Slather it on my veggies! Must not deprive! Arsenic? Sure, I’ll have a bite! Why not? That said, I’m just not seeing where the deprivation comes in. I fail to see how not eating a food that leads to poor health, digestive upset, and bloating is somehow deprivation. You could say that I’m technically depriving myself of feeling like crap by not eating grains, but that’s a good kind of deprivation. If you want to be quite literal, eating grains deprives you of a full, healthy existence.

Response: “When I eat grains, I feel terrible, bloated, and not like myself. The way I see it, I’d be depriving myself of a full, rich, healthy, happy life if I were to eat grains in moderation. Besides, do a rib-eye, some buttered broccoli, and a glass of red wine sound like deprivation to you?”

“I’ve been eating grains all my life and don’t seem to have a problem.”

You may not have an obvious problem now, but that’s only because you’ve grown accustomed to your body and it to your diet. The signals of discomfort are dulled, and the intensity of the pain has reduced. You’ve gotten used to the stomach upset, the intermittent bouts of diarrhea. You know how all those “things just happen” as you get older, a view that is reinforced when you see the same thing happening to everyone else around you (all of whom also happen to eat grains)? How you start going downhill at 40, it becomes hard to lose weight, all that stuff. Spend some time looking at what everyone is eating – grains, grains, and more grains – and you might notice a connection.

Response: “I felt the same way until I tried ditching them for 30 days. All those little niggling aches and pains and complaints that I figured were just an inevitable aspect of life have disappeared. I feel better than ever.”

“Where do you get your minerals?”

Although whole grains may look nutrient-dense, simply looking at the mineral content of a whole grain on a nutrition website tell you very little about how your body absorbs (or doesn’t absorb) those minerals. Remember those anti-nutritional factors present in most whole grains? Another one is called phytic acid, which binds to minerals in the grain and prevents their absorption in the gut. Calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and several others are susceptible to the lure of phytic acid, and research shows that cultures who rely on grains for the bulk of their macronutrients and micronutrients display deficiencies in these and other minerals.

Response: “Since they’re bound up to phytic acid, the minerals in grains aren’t really even all that bioavailable to your body. What you see listed on the nutritional facts isn’t what you’re actually absorbing and assimilating. I get my minerals from plants, fruits, and animals, which our bodies can actually absorb.”

Whenever you deviate from the norm, people are going to ask questions and try to challenge you. That’s fine and totally understandable. Remember – there was a time when all this Primal stuff sounded crazy to you, too. We are different. And people are going to react. They’re going to be defensive, inquisitive, accusatory, or all of the above. Try not to be defensive yourself. Try to maintain composure and think back to when the idea of giving up grains was utter madness, take a nice diaphragmatic breath, and respond. This is a time to educate, and perhaps even inspire. Utilize it.

By Mark Sisson – at http://www.marksdailyapple.com

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/top-8-most-common-reactions-to-your-grain-free-diet-and-how-to-respond/#ixzz1wDfir1K2

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Do You Eat More If Your Plate Is The Same Color As Your Food?

Pasta with pesto sauce, a traditional Ligurian...

Some researchers say changing the color of your plate can keep you from eating more.

A study in the journal of consumer research found people served themselves more food, if the plate color matched their food color.

Spaghetti with red marinara sauce seem to disappear on a red plate, but on a white plate the serving size looked bigger because of the contrast even if both plates are the same size.

Pasta with green pesto sauce on a white plate looked larger than on a green flowered plate.

The theory is: the more contrast, the less you’re likely to eat.

Researchers say the plate that helps you to eat the least amount is one that is blue, that color has the least appealing blend with food.

Just in case you don’t have a any blue dishes, just make sure you food does not match your plate.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: