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Nov
04
2013
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Top 13 Nutrition Lies That Made The World Sick and Fat

Authority Nutrition KRIS GUNNARS, AUTHORITY NUTRITION

 

Nutrition is full of all kinds of nonsense.

The worst examples are listed here, but unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are the top 13 nutrition lies that have made the world both sick and fat.

1. Eggs Are Bad For Your Health

Eggs are so incredibly nutritious that they’re often called “nature’s multivitamin.”

The nutrients in them are enough to turn a single cell into an entire baby chicken.

However, eggs have been demonized in the past because they contain a large amount of cholesterol, which was believed to increase the risk of heart disease.

But the truth is that despite being high in cholesterol, eggs don’t really raise the bad cholesterol in the blood. In fact, eggs primarily raise the “good” cholesterol (123,4).

Despite all the warnings about eggs in the past few decades, studies show that they are NOT associated with heart disease (567).

If anything, eggs are pretty much a perfect food for humans. They’re loaded with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and unique antioxidants that protect the eyes (89).

They are also an excellent source of Choline, a nutrient that is very important for the health of the brain and about 90% of people aren’t getting enough of (1011).

Despite being a “high fat” food, eating eggs for breakfast is proven to cause significant weight loss compared to a breakfast of bagels (1213).

Bottom Line: Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet and do not raise your risk of heart disease. Eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight.

2. A Calorie is a Calorie

Apple And Calculator

It is often said that the only thing that matters for weight loss is “calories in, calories out.”

The truth is that calories matter… but the types of foods we eat are just as important.

That is because different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body (14).

Additionally, the foods we eat can directly impact the hormones that regulate when and how much we eat, as well as the amount of calories we burn.

Here are two examples of why a calorie is NOT a calorie:

  • Protein: Eating protein can boost the metabolic rate and reduce appetite compared to the same amount of calories from fat and carbs. It can also increase your muscle mass, which burns calories around the clock (1516).
  • Fructose vs glucose: Fructose can stimulate the appetite compared to the same number of calories from glucose (1718).

Even though calories are important, saying that they are all that matters when it comes to weight (or health for that matter) is completely wrong.

Bottom Line: All calories are not created equal. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and have varying effects on hunger, hormones and health.

3. Saturated Fat is Unhealthy

Foods High in Saturated Fat

For many decades, people have believed that eating saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease.

In fact, this idea has been the cornerstone of mainstream nutrition recommendations.

However, studies published in the past few decades prove that saturated fat is completely harmless.

A massive study published in 2010 looked at data from a total of 21 studies that included 347,747 individuals. They found absolutely no association between saturated fat consumption and the risk of heart disease (19).

Multiple other studies confirm these findings… saturated fat really has nothing to do with heart disease. The “war” on fat was based on an unproven theory that somehow became common knowledge (2021).

The truth is that saturated fat raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. It also changes the LDL cholesterol from small, dense LDL (very, very bad) to Large LDL, which is benign (2223242526).

There is literally no reason to fear butter, meat or coconut oil… these foods are perfectly healthy!

Bottom Line: New studies show that saturated fat does not increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. It raises the good cholesterol and changes the “bad” cholesterol to a benign subtype.

4. Eating a Lot of Protein is Bad For Your Health

Many people believe that eating a lot of protein can damage your bones.

High Protein Foods

While it is true that increased protein can increase calcium excretion from the bones in the short term, the long term studies show the exact opposite effect.

In fact, eating more protein is consistently associated with improved bone density and a lower risk of fracture in old age (272829).

This is one example of where blindly following conventional nutrition advice will lead to the exact opposite result.

Another myth is that protein increases strain on the kidneys and contributes to kidney failure.

The reality is a bit more complicated than that. Although it is true that people with established kidney disease should reduce protein intake, studies in healthy individuals show that protein is perfectly safe (3031).

In healthy individuals, protein actually reduces two of the main risk factors for kidney disease… which are diabetes and high blood pressure (323334).

Eating a high protein diet has many other benefits, including increased muscle mass, reduced body fat and a lower risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease (353637).

Bottom Line: Studies show that protein has positive effects on bone health in the long run and does not raise the risk of kidney disease in healthy individuals. Eating a high protein diet has many important health benefits.

5. Everyone Should be Eating “Heart-Healthy” Whole Wheat

Boy Eating a Sandwich

Commonly mistaken as a health food, evidence is mounting that wheat can contribute to various health problems.

Yes… this includes “heart-healthy” whole wheat.

Wheat is the biggest source of gluten in the diet. New studies are showing that a significant percentage of the population may be sensitive to it (383940).

In sensitive individuals, gluten can contribute to various symptoms like digestive issues, pain, bloating, stool inconsistency, fatigue and may damage the lining of the intestine (41424344).

There are also some controlled trials associating wheat gluten with various disorders of the brain, including schizophrenia, autism and cerebellar ataxia (4546,47).

Not only that… but a controlled trial in humans showed that whole wheat increased various risk factors for cardiovascular disease in as little as 12 weeks (48).

Even though whole wheat is “less unhealthy” than refined wheat, the best choice would be to skip the wheat altogether.

Bottom Line: Wheat is the biggest source of gluten in the diet. Many studies are showing that wheat, including whole wheat, can contribute to various health problems.

6. Coffee is Bad For You

Cup of Coffee And Coffee Beans

Coffee has gotten a bad reputation in the past.

It is true that coffee can mildly elevate blood pressure in the short term (49).

However, long term studies show that coffee may actually reduce your risk of some serious diseases.

 

Coffee drinkers:

  • Have up to a 67% lower risk of Type II diabetes (5051).
  • Are at a much lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (5253).
  • Have up to an 80% lower risk of liver diseases like cirrhosis (5455).

Caffeine also helps to mobilize fatty acids from the fat tissues, boost metabolism and increase exercise performance by an average of 11-12% (565758).

Many studies have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, showing that it can improve mood, memory, reaction time, vigilance and overall brain function (59).

You may be surprised to hear that coffee is also loaded with antioxidants. In fact, it is the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables, combined (6061).

If you’re sensitive to caffeine or it tends to disrupt your sleep, then green tea has many of the same health benefits but a smaller amount of caffeine.

Bottom Line: Coffee contains very large amounts of antioxidants. Studies show that coffee drinkers are at a much lower risk of developing many serious diseases.

7. Meat is Bad For You

Meat

Blaming new health problems on old foods has never made sense to me.

One example of that is meat… which humans have been eating throughout evolution, formillions of years.

For some very strange reason, many people are now blaming meat for diseases like heart disease and type II diabetes, which are relatively new.

This doesn’t make much sense at all and the studies don’t support it.

While it is true that processed meat is associated with all sorts of diseases, the same is not true for unprocessed red meat.

A massive review from 2010 that looked at data from 20 studies with a total of 1,218,380 individuals revealed that unprocessed red meat had no significant association with either cardiovascular disease or type II diabetes (62).

Other studies that included hundreds of thousands of people agree with this… processed meat is bad, but unprocessed red meat is harmless (63).

Even though some observational studies have found a link between meat consumption and cancer, review studies that look at the data as a whole show that the effect is weak and inconsistent (6465).

If there really is an association between red meat and cancer (which has NOT been proven) then it is most likely caused by excessive cooking, not the meat itself. For this reason, it may be important to avoid burning your meat (66).

Also, let’s not forget that meat is incredibly nutritious. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, quality proteins, healthy fats and various lesser known nutrients that are important for the body and brain (67).

Bottom Line: Studies show that unprocessed red meat does not raise your risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. There is a very weak association with cancer, but most likely caused by excessive cooking and not the meat itself.

8. The Healthiest Diet is a Low-Fat, High-Carb Diet

Food Pyramid

Since the year 1977, the health authorities have told everyone to eat a low-fat, high-carb diet.

This was originally based on political decisions and low quality studies that have since been thoroughly debunked.

Interestingly, the obesity epidemic started at almost the exact same time the low-fat guidelines first came out.

Since then, several massive studies have examined the health effects of the low-fat diet.

In the Women’s Health Initiative, the biggest study on diet ever conducted, 48,835 women were randomized to either a low-fat diet or continued to eat the standard western diet.

After a study period of 7.5 years, the low-fat group weighed only 0.4 kg (1 lb) less and there was no decrease in cardiovascular disease or cancer (686970).

Other studies agree with these findings… this diet is notoriously ineffective (7172).

Even though it may work for healthy and active individuals… for people with obesity, metabolic syndrome or diabetes, the low-fat diet can be downright harmful.

Bottom Line: The low-fat, high-carb diet recommended by the mainstream nutrition organizations is a miserable failure and has been repeatedly proven to be ineffective.

9. Refined Seed- and Vegetable Oils Are Healthy

Bottles of Vegetable Oil

Some studies show that polyunsaturated fats lower your risk of heart disease.

For this reason, many have recommended that we increase our consumption of vegetable oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil and corn oil.

However, it is important to realize that there are different types of polyunsaturated fats, mainly Omega-3s and Omega-6s.

While we get Omega-3s from fish and grass-fed animals, the main sources of Omega-6 fatty acids are processed seed- and vegetable oils.

The thing is… we need to get Omega-3s and Omega-6s in a certain balance. Most people are eating too little Omega-3 and way too much Omega-6 (7374).

Studies show that excess Omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation in the body, which is known to play a causal role in many serious diseases (7576).

Most importantly, seed- and vegetable oils are associated with a significantlyincreased risk of heart disease… the biggest killer in the world (7778798081).

If you want to lower your risk of disease, eat your Omega-3s but avoid the refined seed- and vegetable oils.

It’s important to keep in mind that this does NOT apply to other plant oils like coconut oil and olive oil, which are low in Omega-6 and extremely healthy.

Bottom Line: Excess consumption of refined seed- and vegetable oils can increase inflammation in the body and dramatically raise your risk of cardiovascular disease.

10. Low-Carb Diets Are Ineffective and Downright Harmful

Woman Who is Not Losing Weight

 

 

Low-carb diets have been popular for several decades.

Because they are high in fat, they have beendemonized by nutritionists and the media.

They repeatedly claim that such diets are “unproven” or downright dangerous.

However, since the year 2002, over 20 randomized controlled trials have examined the effects of low-carb diets on various aspects of health.

 

Almost every one of those studies agrees that:

  1. Low-carb diets lead to significant decreases in blood pressure (8283).
  2. Low-carb diets where people are allowed to eat as much as they want causemore weight loss than low-fat diets that are calorie restricted (8485).
  3. Low-carb diets increase HDL (the good) cholesterol and decreasetriglycerides much more than low-fat diets (868788).
  4. Low-carb diets change the pattern of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol from small, dense LDL (very bad) to Large LDL – which is benign (8990).
  5. Low-carb diets have powerful positive effects on type II diabetes, significantly lowering blood sugar and reducing the need for medication (919293).
  6. If anything, low-carb diets appear to be easier to stick to than low-fat diets, probably because people don’t have to restrict calories and be hungry all the time (94).

Even though low-carb diets are unnecessary for people who are healthy and active, studies show that they are extremely useful against obesity, metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes… which are some of the biggest health problems in the world.

Despite these powerful results, many of the “experts” that are supposed to have our best interests in mind have the audacity to call low-carb diets dangerous and continue to peddle the failed low-fat diet that is hurting more people than it helps.

Bottom Line: Low-carb diets are the easiest, healthiest and most effective way to lose weight and reverse metabolic disease. It is pretty much a scientific fact at this point.

11. Everyone Should be Cutting Back on Sodium

Sea Salt in a Bowl

The health authorities constantly tell us to reduce sodiumin the diet in order to reduce blood pressure.

Whereas most people are eating about 3400 mg of sodium per day, we are usually advised to cut back to 1500-2300 mg per day (about 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of salt).

It is true that reducing sodium can cause mild reductions in blood pressure, especially in individuals who have elevated blood pressure to begin with (95).

But it’s important to keep in mind that elevated blood pressure itself doesn’t kill anyone directly. It is a risk factor, not necessarily a cause of disease.

Interestingly, many studies have examined whether sodium restriction has any effect on cardiovascular disease or the risk of death. These studies consistently found no effect… even in individuals with high blood pressure (969798).

Other studies show that too little sodium can also be harmful, leading to adverse effects such as insulin resistance, elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as an increased risk of death in type II diabetics (99100101).

Overall, there is no evidence that healthy people need to cut back on sodium.

Bottom Line: Despite sodium restriction being able to mildly reduce blood pressure, this does not lead to improved health outcomes.

12. Sugar is Bad Because it Contains “Empty” Calories

Glass Full Of Sugar Cubes

Many think that sugar is unhealthy just because it contains “empty” calories.

This is true… sugar contains a lot of calories, with no essential nutrients.

But this is really just the tip of the iceberg.

Sugar, mainly due to its high content of fructose, can have severe adverse effects on metabolism and set us up for rapid weight gain and metabolic disease (102).

When we eat large amounts of fructose, it gets turned into fat in the liver and is either shipped out as VLDL particles, or lodges in the liver to cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (103104).

Studies in humans show that excess fructose can lead to insulin resistance, elevated blood sugars, elevated triglycerides, increased small, dense LDL and increased abdominal obesity in as little as 10 weeks (105).

Fructose also doesn’t lower the hunger hormone ghrelin and doesn’t affect satiety in the brain in the same way as glucose. This way, sugar causes a biochemical drive in the brain to eat more and get fat (106107108).

This applies to fructose from added sugars, NOT the natural sugars found in fruits.

When consumed in excess, added sugar is associated with multiple diseases, including obesity, heart disease, type II diabetes and even cancer (109110111112,113).

Sugar is probably the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.

Bottom Line: The harmful effects of excess sugar go way beyond empty calories. Sugar can have severe adverse effects on metabolism, leading to weight gain and many serious diseases.

13. Fat Makes You Fat

Bacon

It seems to make sense that eating fat would make you fat.

After all, the stuff that is making people soft and puffy is fat.

For this reason, eating more fat should give us more of it.

However, it turns out that it isn’t that simple. Despite fat having more calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates, diets that are high in fat do not make people fat.

This depends completely on the context. A diet that is high in carbs AND fat will make you fat, but it’s NOT because of the fat.

In fact, the studies consistently show that diets that are high in fat (but low in carbs) lead to much more weight loss than diets that are low in fat (114115116).

 

This post originally appeared at Authority Nutrition. Copyright 2013.

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Oct
30
2013
0

Nutrition Professor Loses 27 Lbs On Junk Food Diet.

Want to lose weight without giving up junk food?

It may sound too good to be true, but nutrition professor Mark Haub proved you can have your cake and eat it too – by putting himself on a “Snack Cake Diet” and losing 27 pounds in 2 months.

Haub, who teaches at Kansas State University, set out to prove that losing weight is simple: it’s all about how much you eat, not what you eat.

In other words, you can eat whatever you want, but you have to cut calories.

He tested the theory on himself, trimming his calorie intake from 2600 calories per day to 1800, and eating meals consisting of food typically found in vending machines.

According to his food diary, in an average day he would eat Duncan Hines brownies, Hostess Twinkies, Cool Ranch Doritos chips, Little Debbie cakes and Kellogg’s corn pops.

Haub started the diet on Aug. 25 as an experiment for his students, weighing in at 200.8 pounds with an “overweight” body mass index (BMI) of 28.8.

He kept track of the results on his Facebook page ”Prof Haub’s Diet Experiments.”


Haub posted this photo of his weight results on his Facebook page.

After two months of eating the “unhealthy food,” his weight dropped to 174 pounds, and his BMI is now a healthy 24.9.

Body weight pre= 200.8 lb; post = 174.2 lb (-26.6 lbs);
Body fat pre= 33.4%; post =24.9% (-8.5%)…

Surprisingly, in addition to his weight loss, his diet seems to have improved his other health stats.

Blood results…

Total cholesterol: Pre=214; wk10=184
LDL-C: pre=153; wk10=123
HDL-C: pre=37; wk10=46
TC/HDL ratio: pre=5.8; wk10=4.0
TG:HDL ratio: pre=3.3; wk10=1.6
Glucose: pre=94; wk10=75
Blood Pressure: pre=108/71; wk10=104/76

Haub says his “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 30 points from 153 to 123, while his “good” cholesterol, or HDL, went up from 37 to 46 points. His triglyceride level, another measure of fat, dropped 39 percent.

“That’s where the headscratching comes,” Haub told CNN. “What does that mean? Does that mean I’m healthier? Or does it mean how we define health from a biology standpoint, that we’re missing something?”

Haub says the majority of his meals consisted of junk food. He did not drink much soda, drank a protein shake every day, and took a multivitamin daily.

He also ate vegetables, often a can of green beans, to be a good example to his kids, CNN reports. He didn’t do any special exercise regimen as part of the diet, sticking to the moderate activity he was accustomed to before he began the experiment.

Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner says it’s not surprising Haub saw health benefits in conjunction with his weight loss, even though he was eating heavily processed snack foods.

“When you lose weight, regardless of how you’re doing it — even if it’s with packaged foods, generally you will see these markers improve when weight loss has improved,” Blatner told CNN. However she warned against the idea that it would be a good idea to stick to the plan in the long term. “There are things we can’t measure…How much does [a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables] affect the risk for cancer? We can’t measure how diet changes affect our health.”

Though he has seen the results on his own body, even Haub isn’t recommending that overweight Americans run out and try his plan.

“I’m not geared to say this is a good thing to do,” he told CNN. “I’m stuck in the middle. I guess that’s the frustrating part. I can’t give a concrete answer. There’s not enough information to do that.”

He does, however, offer a warning to dieters who think they are eating healthy foods but have struggled to lose weight.

“There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy,” Haub said. “It may not be the same. I was eating healthier [before the diet] but I wasn’t healthy. I was eating too much.”

 

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Oct
11
2013
0

FDA Finally Admits Chicken Meat Contains Cancer-Causing Arsenic

After years of sweeping the issue under the rug and hoping no one would notice, the FDA has now finally admitted that chicken meat sold in the USA contains arsenic, a cancer-causing toxic chemical that’s fatal in high doses.

But the real story is where this arsenic comes from: It’s added to the chicken feed on purpose!

Photo: World Truth TVEven worse, the FDA says its own research shows that the arsenic added to the chicken feed ends up in the chicken meat where it is consumed by humans. So for the last sixty years, American  consumers  who eat conventional chicken  have been swallowing arsenic, a known cancer-causing chemical. (http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/loc…)

Until this new study, both the  poultry industry  and the FDA denied that arsenic fed to  chickensended up in their  meat.  The fairy-tale excuse story we’ve all been fed for sixty years is that “the arsenic is excreted in the chicken feces.” There’s no scientific basis for making such a claim… it’s just what the poultry industry wanted everybody to believe.

But now the evidence is so undeniable that the manufacturer of the chicken feed product known as Roxarsone has decided to pull the product off the shelves (http://www.grist.org/food-safety/20…). And what’s the name of this manufacturer that has been putting arsenic in the chicken feed for all these years? Pfizer, of course — the very same company that makes vaccines containing chemical adjuvants that are injected into children.

Technically, the company making the Roxarsone chicken feed is a subsidiary of Pfizer, called Alpharma  LLC. Even though Alpharma now has agreed to pull this toxic  feed chemical off the shelves in the United States, it says it won’t necessarily remove it from feed  products  in other countries unless it is forced by regulators to do so. As reported by AP:

Scott Brown of Pfizer Animal Health’s Veterinary Medicine Research and Development division said the company also sells the ingredient in about a dozen other countries. He said Pfizer is reaching out to regulatory authorities in those countries and will decide whether to sell it on an individual basis.” (http://www.usatoday.com/money/indus…)

But even as its arsenic-containing product is pulled off the shelves, the FDA  continues its campaign of denial, claiming arsenic in chickens is at such a low level that it’s still safe to eat. This is even as the FDA says arsenic is a carcinogen, meaning it increases the risk of  cancer.

The National Chicken Councilagrees with the FDA. In a statement issued in response to the news that Roxarsone would be pulled from feed store shelves, it stated, “Chicken is safe to eat” even while admitting arsenic was used in many flocks grown and sold as chicken meat  in the United States.

What’s astonishing about all this is that the FDA tells consumers it’s safe to eat cancer-causing arsenic but it’s dangerous to drink  elderberry   juice! The FDA recently conducted an armed raid in an elderberry juice  manufacturer, accusing it of the “crime” of selling “unapproved drugs.” (http://www.naturalnews.com/032631_e…) Which  drugs  would those be? The elderberry juice, explains the FDA. You see, the elderberry juice magically becomes a “drugs” if you tell people how it can help support good health.

The FDA has also gone after dozens of other  companies  for selling natural herbal products or nutritional products that enhance and support  health. Plus, it’s waging a war on raw milk which it says is dangerous. So now in America, we have a food and drug regulatory agency that says it’s okay to eat arsenic, but dangerous to drink elderberry juice or raw milk.

Eat more poison, in other words, but don’t consume any healing foods. That’s the FDA, killing off Americans one meal at a time while protecting the profits of the very companies that are poisoning us with their deadly ingredients.

Oh, by the way, here’s another sweet little disturbing fact you probably didn’t know about hamburgers and conventional beef  : Chicken litter containing arsenic is fed to cows in factory beef operations.  So the arsenic that’s pooped out by the chickens gets consumed and concentrated in the tissues of cows, which is then ground into hamburger  to be consumed by the clueless masses who don’t even know they’re  eating  second-hand chicken crap. (http://www.naturalnews.com/027414_c…)

 

By Global Research News

Source

Oct
04
2013
0

10 Unhealthiest Cancer-Causing Foods To Never Eat Again

 

No Junk Food

 

By: Jonathan Benson, Staff Writer, NaturalNews

 

The statement “everything causes cancer” has become a popular hyperbole, and one that some people use as rhetorical fodder to excuse their own dietary and lifestyle failures, particularly as they pertain to cancer risk. But the truth of the matter is that many common food items have, indeed, been scientifically shown to increase cancer risk, and some of them substantially. Here are 10 of the most unhealthy, cancer-causing foods that you should never eat again:

1) Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). It goes without saying that GMOs have no legitimate place in any cancer-free diet, especially now that both GMOs and the chemicals used to grow them have been shown to cause rapid tumor growth. But GMOs are everywhere, including in most food derivatives made from conventional corn, soybeans, and canola. However, you can avoid them by sticking with certified organic, certified non-GMO verified, and locally-grown foods that are produced naturally without biotechnology (http://www.naturalnews.com).

2) Processed meats. Most processed meat products, including lunch meats, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, contain chemical preservatives that make them appear fresh and appealing, but that can also cause cancer. Both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate have been linked to significantly increasing the risk of colon and other forms of cancer, so be sure to choose only uncured meat products made without nitrates, and preferably from grass-fed sources (http://www.organicconsumers.org/foodsafety/processedmeat050305.cfm).

3) Microwave popcorn. They might be convenient, but those bags of microwave popcorn are lined with chemicals that are linked to causing not only infertility but also liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in microwave popcorn bag linings as “likely” carcinogenic, and several independent studies have linked the chemical to causing tumors. Similarly, the diacetyl chemical used in the popcorn itself is linked to causing both lung damage and cancer (http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400701/Microwave-Popcorn-Threat.html).

4) Soda pop. Like processed meats, soda pop has been shown to cause cancer as well. Loaded with sugar, food chemicals, and colorings, soda pop acidifies the body and literally feeds cancer cells. Common soda pop chemicals like caramel color and its derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) have also specifically been linked to causing cancer (http://www.naturalnews.com/031383_caramel_coloring_cola.html)

5) ‘Diet’ foods, beverages. Even worse than conventional sugar-sweetened soda pop, though, is “diet” soda pop and various other diet beverages and foods. A recent scientific review issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of more than 20 separate research studies found that aspartame, one of the most common artificial sweeteners, causes a range of illnesses including birth defects and cancer. Sucralose (Splenda), saccharin and various other artificial sweeteners have also been linked to causing cancer (http://www.dailymail.co.uk).

6) Refined ‘white’ flours. Refined flour is a common ingredient in processed foods, but its excess carbohydrate content is a serious cause for concern. A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Mile Markers, and Prevention found that regular consumption of refined carbohydrates was linked to a 220 percent increase in breast cancer among women. High-glycemic foods in general have also been shown to rapidly raise blood sugar levels in the body, which directly feeds cancer cell growth and spread (http://www.naturalnews.com/001812_cancer_prevention.html).

7) Refined sugars. The same goes for refined sugars, which tend to rapidly spike insulin levels and feed the growth of cancer cells. Fructose-rich sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are particularly offensive, as cancer cells have been shown to quickly and easily metabolize them in order to proliferate. And since cookies, cakes, pies, sodas, juices, sauces, cereals, and many other popular, mostly processed, food items are loaded with HFCS and other refined sugars, this helps explain why cancer rates are on the rise these days (http://www.naturalnews.com/038071_cancer_sugar_sweets.html).

8) Conventional apples, grapes, and other ‘dirty’ fruits. Many people think they are eating healthy when they buy apples, grapes, or strawberries from the store. But unless these fruits are organic or verified to be pesticide-free, they could be a major cancer risk. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that up to 98 percent of all conventional produce, and particularly the type found on its “dirty” fruits list, is contaminated with cancer-causing pesticides (http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list/).

9) Farmed salmon. Farmed salmon is another high-risk cancer food, according to Dr. David Carpenter, Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany. According to his assessment, farmed salmon not only lacks vitamin D, but it is often contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), flame retardants, pesticides, and antibiotics (http://www.albany.edu/ihe/salmonstudy/pressrelease.html).

10) Hydrogenated oils. They are commonly used to preserve processed foods and keep them shelf-stable. But hydrogenated oils alter the structure and flexibility of cell membranes throughout the body, which can lead to a host of debilitating diseases such as cancer. Some manufacturers are phasing out the use of hydrogenated oils and replacing them with palm oil and other safer alternatives, but trans fats are still widely used in processed foods (http://www.naturalnews.com/010095_hydrogenated_oils_unhealthy.html).

 

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Sep
09
2013
0

The Perfect Nap: Sleeping Is a Mix of Art and Science

Why Some Snoozing Sessions Leave You Groggy While Others Help

 

There’s an art to napping.

Studies have found different benefits—and detriments—to a nap’s timing, duration and even effect on different people, depending on one’s age and possibly genetics.

“Naps are actually more complicated than we realize,” said David Dinges, a sleep scientist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. “You have to be deliberative about when you’re going to nap, how long you’re going to nap and if you’re trying to use the nap relative to work or what you have coming up.”

For a quick boost of alertness, experts say a 10-to-20-minute power nap is adequate.

A snooze on the couch on a Sunday afternoon may seem like the perfect way for a responsible adult to unplug. But at a time when roughly one-third of people report not getting enough sleep, more naps, albeit short ones, might make for a more functional workforce, researchers say.

How Long to Nap

Naps

Sleep experts break sleep down into several stages, which the brain cycles through roughly every 90 to 120 minutes. These stages are broadly characterized into non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. NREM is further broken down into stage one and two, which are considered light and intermediate sleep, followed by slow-wave sleep. Awakening from slow-wave sleep, the deepest kind, results in what doctors call sleep inertia or sleep drunkenness: that groggy feeling that can take awhile to shake off. Finally, there’s REM sleep, often associated with dreaming.

Sara Mednick, an assistant psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, said the most useful nap depends on what the napper needs.

For a quick boost of alertness, experts say a 10-to-20-minute power nap is adequate for getting back to work in a pinch.

For cognitive memory processing, however, a 60-minute nap may do more good, Dr. Mednick said. Including slow-wave sleep helps with remembering facts, places and faces. The downside: some grogginess upon waking.

Finally, the 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity and emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia, Dr. Mednick said.

Experts say the ideal time to nap is generally between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Napping later in the day could interfere with nighttime sleep.

The body’s circadian rhythms help people to expect to be awake in the morning and early in the night. “So if you take naps when your brain doesn’t expect to be sleeping, you feel kind of thrown off,” contributing to the sleep inertia effect, said Rafael Pelayo, a clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine’s Sleep Medicine Center.

A telltale sign of being very sleep-deprived, he said, is dreaming during a short nap. “Definitely in a 20-minute nap you should not be dreaming,” he said.

Ilene Rosen, an associate professor of clinical medicine at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, said the ideal duration of a nap is still being debated, but generally speaking the “10-to-20-minute nap is really the optimal time in terms of bang for your buck.”

Leon Lack, a psychology professor at Flinders University in Australia, found in a 2006 study in the journal Sleep that among shorter breaks, 10-minute naps packed the most punch.

The study compared naps ranging from 30 seconds to 30 minutes, testing 24 participants at each of several intervals. After each nap the individuals were tested on a variety of mental-processing tasks. The sharpness of the 10-minute nappers became apparent “right away,” Dr. Lack said, and remained apparent for about two to 2 1/2 hours.

Those who took 20- and 30-minute naps tended to feel groggy immediately after the nap for up to about 30 minutes. From there, they showed mental sharpness similar to what researchers saw from the 10-minute nappers, with that sharpness lasting a bit longer.

Jonathan Brandl is a Newton, Mass.-based consultant who works from home. Up at 5 a.m. to hit the gym, he finds himself fading around 2 p.m. His solution is a fast snooze in a comfy chair in his den. His trick for waking up: He holds a pen or pencil in his hand, which usually falls about 10 to 15 minutes into his nap, waking him up.

“After the nap, I feel totally refreshed and then power through the rest of the day,” the 56-year-old Mr. Brandl said.

Though napping at work often remains taboo, experts say growing scientific evidence of its benefits has led select workplaces to accept it.

Christopher Lindholst, chief executive and co-founder of New York-based MetroNaps, has installed specially designed sleeping pods for Google, Huffington Post, an Iowa construction company and the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. The chairs retail for $8,995 to $12,985.

The 60-minute nap may not be kosher in most workplaces, but it also has its pluses.

In a 2012 study in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, researchers split 36 college-aged students into three groups. Each group learned a memory task, pairing words on a screen with a sound. Afterward, one group had 60 minutes to nap, another 10 minutes. The final group didn’t sleep.

Upon retesting, the napping groups fared better, as expected, said Sara Alger, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Notre Dame.

More interesting, she noted, was that on further testing, including a week later, the 60-minute group performed far better than the 10-minute group, which now performed as poorly as the non-napping group. The researchers concluded that slow-wave sleep—only experienced by the 60-minute nappers—is necessary for memory consolidation.

Researchers continue to explore why some individuals don’t seem to benefit from naps. Dr. Mednick said ongoing studies are looking at potential genetic differences between habitual and nonhabitual nappers.

Kimberly Cote, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, said individuals who don’t normally nap tend to slip into the deep stages of sleep more quickly than those who do. Studies have found through monitoring brain waves that regular nappers are good at maintaining a light sleep when they nap and show better performance improvements than their non-napping counterparts.

“We’re not sure what those individual differences are,” she said, “if that’s something that they’ve learned to do over time or if there’s something biologically different that allows them to nap like that.”

Another trick to waking up perky after a short nap is to drink a cup of coffee before sleeping. Caffeine won’t hurt such a short break and should lessen the effect of sleep inertia.

Dr. Dinges recommends sleeping partially upright to make it easier to wake up. Studies, he said, have found that not lying totally flat results in avoiding falling into a deeper sleep.

“A lot of people say, ‘I only need four hours of sleep a night.’ There’s a few of them around but not very many,” he said.

Source

 

 

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Sep
02
2013
0

7 Awesome Reasons To Be FIT

I spend a lot of time talking about what it’s like to be working towards your fat loss goal, with your perfect body somewhere off in the distance.

Today I’m going to switch perspectives and turn the focus onto how it feels to BE at your ideal weight.

In addition to getting you pumped up and motivated to work even more diligently towards your goal, studies have shown that those who spend time visualizing the accomplishment of their goal have a higher success rate in actually getting there.

So if you are still working towards your goal then sit back and let the following 7 Awesome Reasons to be FIT really sink into your mind. Visualize the following as being a part of your reality.

Awesome Reason To Be FIT #1: You Always Look Great
When you are at your ideal weight clothes look and feel amazing. Every. Single. Day. Gone are the days of looking for ways to cover your ‘problem’ areas because even those areas look great. Friends, family members and co-workers tell you how fantastic you look and that you’ve never looked better.

Awesome Reason To Be FIT #2: Your Confidence Is High
The act of accomplishing any worthwhile goal is enough to seriously boost your confidence, and this is even more apparent when reaching a fitness goal. When your body goes through a transformation there’s no hiding it. You are tighter, leaner and more attractive. You stand straighter, walk taller and exude a genuine confidence that can’t be missed.

Awesome Reason To Be FIT #3: You Have Lots Of Energy
Before you met your fat loss goal, getting off the couch was a challenge…one that you didn’t always win. Once you became fit, new surges of energy course through your veins. You thrive on motion and activities that used to tire you out now leave you energized.

Awesome Reason To Be FIT #4: You Are Strong
The life of a truly fit person knows no limits! In your free time you hike, bike, walk, pick up new hobbies and play with the kids. Picking up items that used to feel heavy is now a breeze as your functionality for daily tasks has never been stronger. Gone are the days when you’d tell yourself, “I can’t do that. I’m not strong enough.”

Awesome Reason To Be FIT #5: You Have No Health Worries
You’ll never forget the look on your doctor’s face when examining your transformed body. Gone is the lecture about the many risks of weight-related ailments. Those days are behind you. Your healthy, strong thriving body is health-worry-free.

Awesome Reason To Be FIT #6: You No Longer Have Weight To Lose
How long have you been trying to lose the fat and get down to your ideal weight? Long time, right? In all that time your fat loss goal has been a giant monkey on your back – always in the back of your mind, always weighing you down.

Guess what? Poof! That giant monkey disappeared the day you reached your goal weight an in its place came a sweet, carefree peace of mind.

Awesome Reason To Be FIT #7: You Are Able To Enjoy Life
Once you transformed your body, life got decidedly more fun and exciting. You never knew how much your weight had held you back from excitement and adventure until the day that burden was lifted. You now enjoy life with carefree abandon – the way you were designed to.

If these 7 Awesome Reasons To Be FIT have lit a fire under you to reach your goal weight once and for all then reach out to me right now. Call or email and I’ll have you sailing toward your FIT body in no time.

But don’t wait—to do so would be to risk losing the motivation that you feel right now. I’m here to help you transform your body with a specialized fitness plan that’s designed to quickly get you to FIT.

What are you waiting for? Begin your body transformation today!

 

Elite Physiques & The Cycle Project

Elite Physiques & The Cycle Project

Aug
27
2013
1

Obesity Rates Still High…But No Longer Rising

Photo Credit:
Courtesy RWJF and TFAH

 

 

There’s good news and bad news about adult obesity rates.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way: New findings show that adult obesity remains far too high. Adult obesity rates remain above 20 percent in all states, above 30 percent in 13 states and at least 25 percent in 41 states.

But here’s the good news: After three decades of increases, adult obesity rates in the past year remained level in every state but one, Arkansas.

Our friends at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) unveiled these findings last week in the annual F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future report.

While there’s clearly still a lot of work left to do to solve the nation’s obesity epidemic, the report takes an optimistic tone. On its official website, it’s even nicknamed “F as in Forward?” highlighting the progress that has been made in recent years.

And the report’s promising findings come on the heels of another recent report by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that found rates of obesity among preschool children from low-income families decreased in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Cities such as Anchorage, Philadelphia and New York City also have reported declines in their childhood obesity rates.

“We honestly believe real and lasting progress is being made in the nation’s effort to turn back the obesity epidemic. We know what is working to make that progress,” RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey and TFAH Executive Director Jeffrey Levi write in a letter about the report. “Our success among children has taught our nation how to prevent obesity: changing public policies, community environments, and industry practices in ways that support and promote healthy eating and physical activity. When schools, parents, policymakers and industry leaders get together, they can create a culture of health that improves children’s lives. But no one should believe that the nation’s work is done.”

Reaction from the childhood obesity movement also was positive. Speaking on behalf of Voices for Healthy Kids, American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said the report “shows a nod in the right direction.

“We are nowhere near success, but it looks like we are finally stalling the rise in obesity rates,” Brown said. “This is being accomplished by hundreds of cities and dozens of states making a commitment to the health of their communities.”

Although obese rates are stable, they remain stubbornly high — and discrepancies continue across wide swaths of the population.

Obesity rates vary by region and age, the report finds. Nineteen of the 20 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South or Midwest. Mississippi is no longer the most obese state; that title now belongs to Louisiana, which has a rate of 34.7 percent. Colorado continues to have the lowest rate of 20.5 percent.

Baby boomers are the heaviest, the findings show. Obesity rates for Americans ages 45-to-64 have reached 40 percent in two states (Alabama and Louisiana) and are 30 percent or higher in 41 states. Obesity rates for people ages 65 and older exceeded 30 percent in only one state, Louisiana, and rates young adults ages 18 to 25 are below 28 percent in every state.

Rates also strongly vary by income and education. More than 35 percent of adults ages 26 and older who did not graduate high school are obese, while 21.3 percent of those who graduated from college are obese. More than 25 percent of adults who earn at least $50,000 a year are obese; that rate jumps to more than 31 percent among those who earn less than $25,000 a year.

The data also show that “extreme obesity” — defined as a body mass index of 40 or higher — continues to grow. In the past 30 years, the number of adults who are extremely obese soared from 1.4 percent to 6.3 percent.

The report includes suggestions that have been shown to positively impact obesity rates, including improving the nutritional quality of school food, making it easier for children and adults to be physically active in their daily lives, including funding for walking and biking in transportation planning, increasing access to healthy, affordable food in underserved communities and requiring food and beverage companies to market only healthy food to kids.

It is also important to note that Columbia University released a study on the same day that stated we might actually be underestimating the mortality rate caused by obesity. And if morbid obesity rates are continuing to increase (per CDC surveillance), then we may see a greater impact of our current obesity rates on mortality than we previously anticipated. Armed with this information, it is as vital as ever to keep up with the fight against obesity and provide healthy environments to our children.

“The good news is that we know what to do,” Lavizzo-Mourey and Levi write. “The only question is, do we have the will to do it?”

Click here to read the full report.

 

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Aug
26
2013
0

Are These 5 ‘Healthy’ Foods Sabotaging Your Results?

It’s frustrating when your body won’t change. When the pounds won’t drop. When those extra inches won’t go away.

If you’re exercising regularly and still not seeing results then it’s time that you look closely at your diet.

One of the biggest obstacles that prevents you from losing fat and getting into awesome shape is all that processed food that you’re still eating.

And I can’t blame you, with the way more and more processed foods are being marketed as healthy, even the health savvy are being fooled.

Take a walk through the local natural foods market and you’ll see nearly every form of junk food that you’d find at the supermarket – only with things like ‘gluten free’, ‘organic’ and ‘zero trans fats’ on the packages.

Those are all great – being gluten free, organic and trans fats free. Fresh, organic veggies, fruits and meats could all boast the same. But when those words are stamped on a package of cookies, chips or the like, then eating them is going to seriously slow your fitness results. Gluten free or not.

Here are the top 5 ‘healthy’ processed foods that you’re eating that are killing your results and keeping you from attaining your goal weight:

1) Healthy Cereal
Have you seen the cereal aisle at the natural foods market? Its shelves are lined with dozens of cereal boxes, all with bold health claims. There are gluten free cereals, cereals with no corn syrup, cereals with heart healthy grains, cereals with whole grains and even cereals with added vitamins.

Those all sound healthy, right? Well, sure those cereals are technically not as harmful as the brightly colored cereals from the supermarket, but as far as your fat loss results are concerned, the two are really about the same.

Cereal is a dense source of calories, which means it’s almost impossible not to overdo it when enjoying a bowl. If your goal is to lose fat, then cereal, even organic, gluten free cereal, should stay off your daily menu.

2) Healthy Packaged Snacks
There is a brand of ‘healthy’ popcorn that literally has fit in its name. With branding like that it’s no wonder people are getting confused and eating food that destroys their fitness results.

Popcorn, and other crunchy, packaged ‘health’ food snacks are filled with carbohydrates and calories. Two things that you should be cutting back on when working towards a fitness goal. These snack items are habit forming, so you may tell yourself that it’s just a once-in-awhile treat, but soon it becomes a daily occurrence.

Here’s the simple, unchanging fact about packaged snack foods: No matter what benefits are broadcasted on the package, it’s always going to promote fat storage. Yes, even if it has fit right in its name.

3) Healthy Energy Bars
The energy bar aisle at the health food store is a colorful, wonderland of beautifully packaged, seemingly healthful snacks. The bars contain nuts, fruits, protein and even goji berries. What’s not to love?

All that sugar, for starters. Manufacturers are clever enough to call sugar ‘evaporated can juice’ or ‘natural cane sugar’ or even ‘rice syrup’ but that sugar reacts in your body just the same as any other sugar. It encourages fat storage.

The next time that you reach for an energy bar, consider all of the calories and sugars. Look for bars that are low in sugars and high in protein, and if you’re eating it in between meals consider eating just half the bar.

4) Healthy Bread
Have you ever spent time in the bread aisle, reading labels and trying to figure out which is the healthiest? It can be pretty confusing. There’s wheat, whole wheat, gluten free, and sprouted grain. How can you tell what’s the healthiest?

The unfortunate news, for all you bread lovers, is that when it comes to losing inches all bread is a problem. You see, gluten free bread is filled with just as many calories and carbohydrates as wheat bread or sprouted grain bread.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have a free pass to indulge in bread when it’s the ‘healthy’ kind. Your body will convert that healthy bread into fat quicker than you can say burpee.

5) Healthy Trail Mix
Trail mix is a tricky one for healthy food shoppers. It’s made with nuts and seeds, which we know to be healthy. It’s also often dotted with chocolate, sweetened dried fruits or other treats.

Nuts can belong in a fat loss diet, within certain parameters. For example, a small handful of raw almonds makes a wonderful in-between-meals snack. It’s filled with fiber, protein, good fat, vitamins and minerals.

A half a cup of trail mix, on the other hand, is packed with two or three times the calories in addition to having added sweeteners and extra salt. Not to mention, trail mix is hard to stop eating once you’ve started. When working towards a fat loss goal, unless you are on a day long hike on an actual trail, it’s best to stay away from even the healthiest of trail mixes.

Never take a packaged food item based on the claims and benefits printed on the labels. When you’re looking to transform your body, you must guard what goes into your mouth. Packaged foods, even those from the health store, are going to derail your results ever single time.

Speed your fitness results by becoming one of my clients. I’d love to get you to your goals using my results-driven method.

 

Elite Physiques & The Cycle Project

Elite Physiques & The Cycle Project

Aug
22
2013
0

Does High Fructose Corn Syrup Fuel Cancer Cells?

soda-512(CBS) Afraid of fructose? You may have good reason to be, as an alarming new study shows that the popular sweetener can fuel the growth of cancer.

The study, conducted by scientists at UCLA, found that pancreatic cancer cells grew faster when “fed” with fructose. Study author Dr. Anthony Heaney, associate professor of medicine and neurosurgery at the university’s cancer center, said it was likely that fructose would also speed the growth of other cancers as well.

“The bottom line is the modern diet contains a lot of refined sugar including fructose and it’s a hidden danger implicated in a lot of modern diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and fatty liver,” Heaney said in a written statement.

The study was published in the August 1 issue of the journal “Cancer Research.”

Heaney called for government action to reduce American’s consumption of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a leading source of fructose in the Western diet. Fructose also comes from sources such as fruit, vegetables and old fashioned table sugar.

“I think this paper has a lot of public health implications,” Heaney said. “Hopefully, at the federal level there will be some effort to step back on the amount of HFCS in our diets.”

But the corn lobby (high-fructose is made from corn) felt the research left a bitter taste in its mouth.

“This study does not look at the way fructose is actually consumed by humans, as it was conducted in a laboratory, not inside the human body,” the Corn Refiners Association said in a statement, concluding that the root causes of pancreatic cancer are complicated and poorly understood.

Between 1970 and 1990, consumption of high-fructose corn syrup rose 1,000 percent, according to the cancer researchers. The sweetener – a blend of fructose and another sugar called glucose – is found in all sorts of foods and beverages and is the most common sweetener used in American soft drinks.

The association said that overall, sugar is still the most common form of fructose in the American diet.

And don’t be fooled by products which replace high-fructose corn syrup with sugar. They also contain high levels of fructose.

Read the full research here.

Source

 

 

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Aug
14
2013
1

10 American Foods Banned In Other Countries

Americans are slowly waking up to the sad fact that much of the food sold in the US is far inferior to the same foods sold in other nations. In fact, many of the foods you eat are BANNED in other countries.

Here, I’ll review 10 American foods that are banned elsewhere, which were featured in a recent MSN article.1

Seeing how the overall health of Americans is so much lower than other industrialized countries, you can’t help but wonder whether toxic foods such as these might play a role in our skyrocketing disease rates.

#1: Farm-Raised Salmon

If you want to maximize health benefits from fish, you want to steer clear of farmed fish, particularly farmed salmon fed dangerous chemicals. Wild salmon gets its bright pinkish-red color from natural carotenoids in their diet. Farmed salmon, on the other hand, are raised on a wholly unnatural diet of grains (including genetically engineered varieties), plus a concoction of antibiotics and other drugs and chemicals not shown to be safe for humans.

This diet leaves the fish with unappetizing grayish flesh so to compensate, they’re fed synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals, which has not been approved for human consumption and has well known toxicities. According to the featured article, some studies suggest it can potentially damage your eyesight. More details are available in yesterday’s article.

Where it’s banned: Australia and New Zealand

How can you tell whether a salmon is wild or farm-raised? The flesh of wild sockeye salmon is bright red, courtesy of its natural astaxanthin content. It’s also very lean, so the fat marks, those white stripes you see in the meat, are very thin. If the fish is pale pink with wide fat marks, the salmon is farmed.

Avoid Atlantic salmon, as typically salmon labeled “Atlantic Salmon” currently comes from fish farms. The two designations you want to look for are: “Alaskan salmon,” and “sockeye salmon,” as Alaskan sockeye is not allowed to be farmed. Please realize that the vast majority of all salmon sold in restaurants is farm raised.

So canned salmon labeled “Alaskan Salmon” is a good bet, and if you find sockeye salmon, it’s bound to be wild. Again, you can tell sockeye salmon from other salmon by its color; its flesh is bright red opposed to pink, courtesy of its superior astaxanthin content. Sockeye salmon actually has one of the highest concentrations of astaxanthin of any food.

#2: Genetically Engineered Papaya

Most Hawaiian papaya is now genetically engineered to be resistant to ringspot virus. Mounting research now shows that animals fed genetically engineered foods, such as corn and soy, suffer a wide range of maladies, including intestinal damage, multiple-organ damagemassive tumorsbirth defects, premature death, and near complete sterility by the third generation of offspring. Unfortunately, the gigantic human lab experiment is only about 10 years old, so we are likely decades away from tabulating the human casualties.

Where it’s banned: The European Union

Unfortunately, it’s clear that the US government is not in a position to make reasonable and responsible decisions related to genetically engineered foods at this point, when you consider the fact that the Obama administration has placed former Monsanto attorney and Vice President, Michael Taylor, in charge of US food safety, and serious conflicts of interest even reign supreme within the US Supreme Court! That’s right. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is also a former Monsanto attorney, but refuses to acknowledge any conflict of interest.

#3: Ractopamine-Tainted Meat

The beta agonist drug ractopamine (a repartitioning agent that increases protein synthesis) was recruited for livestock use when researchers found that the drug, used in asthma, made mice more muscular. This reduces the overall fat content of the meat. Ractopamine is currently used in about 45 percent of US pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys are pumped full of this drug in the days leading up to slaughter. Up to 20 percent of ractopamine remains in the meat you buy from the supermarket, according to veterinarian Michael W. Fox.

Since 1998, more than 1,700 people have been “poisoned” from eating pigs fed the drug, and ractopamine is banned from use in food animals in no less than 160 different countries due to its harmful health effects! Effective February 11, 2013, Russia issued a ban on US meat imports, slated to last until the US agrees to certify that the meat is ractopamine-free. At present, the US does not even test for the presence of this drug in meats sold. In animals, ractopamine is linked to reductions in reproductive function, increase of mastitis in dairy herds, and increased death and disability. It’s also known to affect the human cardiovascular system, and is thought to be responsible for hyperactivity, and may cause chromosomal abnormalities and behavioral changes.

Where it’s banned: 160 countries across Europe, Russia, mainland China and Republic of China (Taiwan)

#4: Flame Retardant Drinks

If you live in the US and drink Mountain Dew and some other citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks, then you are also getting a dose of a synthetic chemical called brominated vegetable oil(BVO), which was originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant.

BVO has been shown to bioaccumulate in human tissue and breast milk, and animal studies have found it causes reproductive and behavioral problems in large doses. Bromine is a central nervous system depressant, and a common endocrine disruptor. It’s part of the halide family, a group of elements that includes fluorine, chlorine and iodine. When ingested, bromine competes for the same receptors that are used to capture iodine. This can lead to iodine deficiency, which can have a very detrimental impact on your health. Bromine toxicity can manifest as skin rashes, acne, loss of appetite, fatigue, and cardiac arrhythmias. According to the featured article:

“The FDA has flip-flopped on BVO’s safety originally classifying it as ‘generally recognized as safe’ but reversing that call now defining it as an ‘interim food additive’ a category reserved for possibly questionable substances used in food.”

Where it’s banned: Europe and Japan

#5: Processed Foods Containing Artificial Food Colors and Dyes

More than 3,000 food additives — preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients — are added to US foods, including infant foods and foods targeted to young children. Meanwhile, many of these are banned in other countries, based on research showing toxicity and hazardous health effects, especially with respect to adverse effects on children’s behavior. For example, as reported in the featured article:

“Boxed Mac & Cheese, cheddar flavored crackers, Jell-O and many kids’ cereals contain red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6 and/or blue 2, the most popularly-used dyes in the United States. Research has shown this rainbow of additives can cause behavioral problems as well as cancer, birth defects and other health problems in laboratory animals. Red 40 and yellow 6 are also suspected of causing an allergy-like hypersensitivity reaction in children. The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that some dyes are also “contaminated with known carcinogens.”

In countries where these food colors and dyes are banned, food companies like Kraft employ natural colorants instead, such as paprika extract, beetroot, and annatto. The food blogger and activist Vani Hari, better known as “Food Babe,” recently launched a Change.org petition2 asking Kraft to remove artificial dyes from American Mac & Cheese to protect American children from the well-known dangers of these dyes.

Where it’s banned: Norway and Austria. In 2009, the British government advised companies to stop using food dyes by the end of that year. The European Union also requires a warning notice on most foods containing dyes.

#6: Arsenic-Laced Chicken

Arsenic-based drugs are approved for use in animal feed in the US because they make animals grow quicker and make the meat appear pinker (i.e. “fresher”). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated these products are safe because they contain organic arsenic, which is less toxic than the other inorganic form, which is a known carcinogen.

The problem is, scientific reports surfaced stating that the organic arsenic could transform into inorganic arsenic, which has been found in elevated levels in supermarket chickens. The inorganic arsenic also contaminates manure where it can eventually migrate into drinking water and may also be causing heightened arsenic levels in US rice.

In 2011, Pfizer announced it would voluntarily stop marketing its arsenic-based feed additive Roxarsone, but there are still several others on the market. Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the FDA calling for their removal from the market. In the European Union, meanwhile, arsenic-based compounds have never been approved as safe for animal feed.

Where it’s banned: The European Union

#7: Bread with Potassium Bromate

You might not be aware of this, but nearly every time you eat bread in a restaurant or consume a hamburger or hotdog bun you are consuming bromide, as it is commonly used in flours. The use of potassium bromate as an additive to commercial breads and baked goods has been a huge contributor to bromide overload in Western cultures.

Bromated flour is “enriched” with potassium bromate. Commercial baking companies claim it makes the dough more elastic and better able to stand up to bread hooks. However, Pepperidge Farm and other successful companies manage to use only unbromated flour without any of these so-called “structural problems.” Studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies potassium bromate as a possible carcinogen.

Where it’s banned: Canada, China and the EU

#8: Olestra/Olean

Olestra, aka Olean, created by Procter & Gamble, is a calorie- and cholesterol-free fat substitute used in fat-free snacks like chips and French fries. Three years ago, Time Magazine3 named it one of the worst 50 inventions ever, but that hasn’t stopped food companies from using it to satisfy people’s mistaken belief that a fat-free snack is a healthier snack. According to the featured article:

“Not only did a 2011 study from Purdue University conclude rats fed potato chips made with Olean gained weight, there have been several reports of adverse intestinal reactions to the fake fat including diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels. And because it interferes with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, the FDA requires these vitamins be added to any product made with Olean or olestra.”

Where it’s banned: The UK and Canada

#9: Preservatives BHA and BHT

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are commonly used preservatives that can be found in breakfast cereal, nut mixes, chewing gum, butter spread, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and beer, just to name a few. BHA is known to cause cancer in rats, and may be a cancer-causing agent in humans as well. In fact, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, National Toxicology Program’s 2011 Report on Carcinogens, BHA “is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” It may also trigger allergic reactions and hyperactivity, while BHT can cause organ system toxicity.

Where it’s banned: The UK doesn’t allow BHA in infant foods. BHA and BHT are also banned in parts of the European Union and Japan.

#10: Milk and Dairy Products Laced with rBGH

Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is the largest selling dairy animal drug in America. RBGH is a synthetic version of natural bovine somatotropin (BST), a hormone produced in cows’ pituitary glands. Monsanto developed the recombinant version from genetically engineered E. coli bacteria and markets it under the brand name “Posilac.”

It’s injected into cows to increase milk production, but it is banned in at least 30 other nations because of its dangers to human health, which include an increased risk for colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer by promoting conversion of normal tissue cells into cancerous ones. Non-organic dairy farms frequently have rBGH-injected cows that suffer at least 16 different adverse health conditions, including very high rates of mastitis that contaminate milk with pus and antibiotics.

“According to the American Cancer Society, the increased use of antibiotics to treat this type of rBGH-induced inflammation ‘does promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but the extent to which these are transmitted to humans is unclear,’” the featured article states.

Many have tried to inform the public of the risks of using this hormone in dairy cows, but their attempts have been met with overwhelming opposition by the powerful dairy and pharmaceutical industries, and their government liaisons. In 1997, two Fox-affiliate investigative journalists, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, attempted to air a program exposing the truth about the dangers of rBGH. Lawyers for Monsanto, a major advertiser with the Florida network, sent letters promising “dire consequences” if the story aired.

Despite decades of evidence about the dangers of rBGH, the FDA still maintains it’s safe for human consumption and ignores scientific evidence to the contrary. In 1999, the United Nations Safety Agency ruled unanimously not to endorse or set safety standards for rBGH milk, which has effectively resulted in an international ban on US milk.4 The Cancer Prevention Coalition, trying for years to get the use of rBGH by the dairy industry banned, resubmitted a petition to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, in January 2010.5 Although the FDA stubbornly sticks to its position that milk from rBGH-treated cows is no different than milk from untreated cows, this is just plain false and is not supported by science. The only way to avoid rBGH is to look for products labeled as “rBGH-free” or “No rBGH.”

Where it’s banned: Australia, New Zealand, Israel, EU and Canada

Take Control of Your Health with REAL Food

There are many other examples where the US federal regulatory agencies have sold out to industry at the expense of your health, while other countries have chosen to embrace the precautionary principle in order to protect their citizens. If you want to avoid these questionable foods and other potentially harmful ingredients permitted in the US food supply, then ditching processed foods entirely is your best option. About 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is spent on processed foods, so there is massive room for improvement in this area for most people.

Next, you’ll want to swap out your regular meat sources to organic, grass-fed/pasture-raised versions of beef and poultry. The same goes for dairy products and animal by-products such as eggs.

Swapping your processed-food diet for one that focuses on fresh whole foods is a necessity if you value your health. For a step-by-step guide to make this a reality in your own life, whether you live in the US or elsewhere, simply follow the advice in my optimized nutrition plan.

 

Dr. Joseph Mercola

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