Nutrition | The Cycle Project

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Jul
21
2015
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Is Diet Soda Dying Off, or Will We Continue To Be Harmed By It? Huge Study links Aspartame to Major Problems; Sales Drop

As concerns about health epidemics plague the nation, demand and sales of diet soda have plunged as consumers try to make better choices. As we reported yesterday, aspartame (the main sweetener for diet soda) is one of the most dangerous ingredients used in our food supply, causing seizures and a host of other health issues.

In a new study done over ten years and sampling 60,000 women, it was shown that women who drink two or more diet drinks a day have much higher cardiovascular disease rates and are more likely to die from the disease.

30 percent more likely to have a heart problems…

In the largest study done of it’s kind, The University of Iowa concluded:

Compared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event [heart attack or stroke] and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.

This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome, says Dr. Ankur Vyas, the lead investigator of the study.

The association persisted even after researchers adjusted the data to account for demographic characteristics and other cardiovascular risk factors, including body mass index, smoking, hormone therapy use, physical activity, energy intake, salt intake, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake.

On average, women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were younger, more likely to be smokers, and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and higher body mass index.

Soda sales slipping…

Thankfully this study comes on the heels of reports of already slipping sales of diet soda, one of the largest aspartame markets.

According to Time Magazine:

One reason for the decline could be a growing awareness of the obesity epidemic in the US and growing health concerns surrounding sugar-sweetened beverages. According to Reuters, industry experts say the beverage industry is shrinking under the scrutiny. Even diet-branded drinks have suffered a loss of sales with concerns over artificial sweeteners.

Whatever the reason for the decline, this new study should only add fuel to the movement away from artificial sweeteners. There are plenty of natural sweeteners that people can choose that are much healthier than aspartame. Click here for a practical guide to natural sweeteners.

Another important note is that the overall sales of soda going down also means that less people are being exposed to (mostly GM) high fructose corn syrup which carries a whole host of health risks as well.

 

 

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Jun
06
2014
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Gluten: The New Fad Malady?

In one of the best examples of science working, a researcher who provided key evidence of (non-celiac disease) gluten sensitivity recently published follow-up papers that show the opposite.

The first follow-up paper came out last year in the journal Gastroenterology. Here’s the backstory that makes us cheer:

The study was a follow up on a 2011 experiment in the lab of Peter Gibson at Monash University. The scientifically sound — but small — study found that gluten-containing diets can cause gastrointestinal distress in people without celiac disease, a well-known autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten.

They called this non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, barley, and other grains. It gives bread its chewiness and is often used as a meat substitute. If you’ve ever had “wheat meat,” seitan, or mock duck at a Thai restaurant, that’s gluten.

Gluten is a big industry: 30% of people want to eat less gluten. Sales of gluten-free products are estimated to hit $15 billion by 2016.

Although experts estimate that only 1% of Americans — about 3 million people — suffer from celiac disease, 18% of adults now buy gluten-free foods.

Since gluten is a protein found in any normal diet, Gibson was unsatisfied with his finding. He wanted to find out why the gluten seemed to be causing this reaction and if there could be something else going on. He therefore went to a scientifically rigorous extreme for his next experiment, a level not usually expected in nutrition studies.

For a follow-up paper, 37 self-identified gluten-sensitive patients were tested. According to Real Clear Science’s Newton Blog, here’s how the experiment went:

Subjects would be provided with every single meal for the duration of the trial. Any and all potential dietary triggers for gastrointestinal symptoms would be removed, including lactose (from milk products), certain preservatives like benzoates, propionate, sulfites, and nitrites, and fermentable, poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates, also known asFODMAPs. And last, but not least, nine days worth of urine and fecal matter would be collected. With this new study, Gibson wasn’t messing around.

The subjects cycled through high-gluten, low-gluten, and no-gluten (placebo) diets, without knowing which diet plan they were on at any given time. In the end, all of the treatment diets — even the placebo diet — caused pain, bloating, nausea, and gas to a similar degree. It didn’t matter if the diet contained gluten. (Read more about the study.)

“In contrast to our first study … we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten,” Gibson wrote in the paper. A third, larger study published this month has confirmed the findings.

It seems to be a “nocebo” effect — the self-diagnosed gluten sensitive patients expected to feel worse on the study diets, so they did. They were also likely more attentive to their intestinal distress, since they had to monitor it for the study.

On top of that, these other potential dietary triggers — specifically the FODMAPS – could be causing what people have wrongly interpreted as gluten sensitivity. FODMAPS are frequently found in the same foods as gluten. That still doesn’t explain why people in the study negatively reacted to diets that were free of all dietary triggers.

You can go ahead and smell your bread and eat it too. Science. It works.

 

 

 

 

Source

 

Apr
17
2014
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Vermont Lawmakers Pass Country’s First No-Strings-Attached GMO Labeling Law

On APril 16, 2014, by a vote of 28-2, the Vermont state Senate passed H.112, a bill to require mandatory labeling of foods sold in Vermont that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The bill also makes it illegal to call any food product containing GMOs “natural” or “all natural.” Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which require four or five other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they can be enacted, Vermont’s law contains no “trigger” clauses, making it the first “clean” GMO labeling law in the country.

The bill now goes back to the House which is expected to agree to the Senate’s amendments, then to Gov. Peter Shumlin who is expected to sign it.

Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), issued the following statement:

Today’s victory in Vermont has been 20 years in the making. Ever since genetically modified crops and foods entered the U.S. food supply in the early 1990s, without adequate independent pre-market safety testing and without labels, U.S. consumers have fought to require the labeling of foods containing GMOs.

Consumer demand for mandatory labeling of GMOs spawned a national grassroots movement that has persevered despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the biotech and food industries to lobby state lawmakers in Vermont, and to fund anti-labeling campaigns in California (2012) and Washington State (2013).

Today, consumers and a number of principled legislators in Vermont made it clear to Monsanto, Coca-Cola and other opponents of consumers’ right to know: We will not back down. This movement is here to stay.

We expect that Monsanto will sue the state of Vermont in order to prevent enactment of H.112. We also expect that Monsanto will lose, and the law will go into effect on schedule, on July 1, 2016.

We expect that the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a multi-billion lobbying group representing more than 300 food, pesticide and drug makers, will try to pass their “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014,” introduced last week by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), intended to strip Vermont, and all other states, of their right to pass GMO labeling laws. And we expect that Congress will not pass this law, dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, which seeks to deny consumers the right to know if their food has been genetically engineered, and deny states the right to enact laws designed to protect public health.

Vermont’s landmark victory today will force food companies to either label GMOs in all states, or reformulate their products to be GMO-free in order to avoid stating “this product was produced using genetic engineering” on their packaging. When Oregon passes a citizens’ ballot initiative to label GMOs in November, as we believe it will, the biotech and food industries will have lost, beyond the shadow of a doubt, their battle to keep consumers in the dark.

The OCA has worked closely over the past several years with the pro-labeling grassroots movement in Vermont. Today we congratulate Vermont activists for their passionate pursuit of this law, Vermont lawmakers for having the courage to pass the law, and Vermont citizens for being the first in the country to have the benefit of GMO labels on their food. And we reaffirm our commitment to work with Oregon and other states to pass similar laws, and to fight any and all attempts by industry and/or Congress to overturn these laws.

Source: Organic Consumers Association

 

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Jan
16
2014
0

Coca-Cola Paid $1 Million To Try And Keep You From Knowing This…

Coca-Cola paid $1 million to make sure you don’t know this.

Coca-Cola paid $1 million to make sure you don’t know this.

Coca-Cola has been having a rough time. The company owns Honest Tea, Odwalla, Powerade, Vitamin Water, Simply Orange, and other products marketed to health-conscious consumers. But it is best known for making Coke, a product that is utterly devoid of nutritional value and is often blamed for contributing to the obesity epidemic — an epidemic that is costing hundreds of billions of dollars and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.

With demand for the company’s carbonated and artificially flavored sugar water declining, hope for Coca-Cola’s profitability has been increasingly resting on the brands it markets as healthier alternatives.Bloomberg.com reports that sales of Coca-Cola-owned brands like Honest Tea, Powerade, and Simply Orange are the company’s new profit center.

But there’s a problem.

In October, campaign finance reports revealed that Coca-Cola had secretly contributed more than a million dollars to the fight against GMO labeling in Washington. It took the state’s Attorney General suing the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association (GMA) for what turned out to be an $11 million violation of the state’s campaign finance laws to reveal these secret contributions. But now that the truth has been exposed, some healthy food activists are fighting back.

Andrew Kimbrell, founder of the Center for Food Safety, comments:

Consumers of healthy beverages want to know what’s in their food. By using money from sales of natural brands to secretly fund an anti-choice agenda that deprives consumers of the right to know what they’re eating, Coca-Cola has been betraying the public interest and standing on the wrong side of history.

We at the Food Revolution Network agree. And we have launched a petition on Change.org that calls for Coca-Cola to stop funding anti GMO labeling campaigns.

Check out and sign the petition here.

Coca-Cola’s CEO, Muhtar Kent, says, “We have… provided a tremendous amount of choice to people.” But when it comes to the right to know if your food was genetically engineered, Coca-Cola would apparently like to keep you in the dark. According to reports, Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman said as recently as September that “after internal discussions,” Coca-Cola wouldn’t be “directly” funding efforts to defeat I-522. Apparently Coca-Cola thought that allegedly illegally laundering money through the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association would keep their involvement a secret.

Honest Tea doesn’t look quite so honest when it’s being used to put an organic face on an alleged money laundering scheme whose goal is keeping you from knowing if your food is genetically engineered.

And what makes matters worse, Honest Tea proudly proclaims throughout their website that they are GMO free — while their parent company is actively working to prevent GMO labeling.

I wrote Coca-Cola asking if they intended to continue funding anti GMO labeling campaigns. The company’s response was to repeat the anti-labeling lobby’s talking points. They told me that Washington’s labeling initiative, I-522, would: “Require tens of thousands of common food and beverage products to be relabeled exclusively for Washington State unless they are remade with higher-priced, specially developed ingredients. The measure will increase grocery costs for a typical Washington family by hundreds of dollars per year.”

These are charges that the nine-time Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper The Seattle Times called “mostly false” and that Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, flatly rejected.

In short, Coca-Cola not only tried to hide their contributions to the anti-labeling efforts in Washington, but they continue to try to deceive people about the actual realities of GMO labeling.

And they’re using sales of Honest Tea, Odwalla, Powerade, Vitamin Water, Simply Orange, and all their other brands, to finance their agenda.

Fortunately, you don’t have to fall for it.

Click here to add your name to the petition calling Coca-Cola to stop funding anti-labeling campaigns.

Click here to get the Coca-Cola buycott app.

 

Ocean Robbins is co-author of Voices of the Food Revolution, and serves as adjunct professor for Chapman University and CEO and co-host (with best-selling author John Robbins) of the 100,000+ member Food Revolution Network. Find out more and sign up here.

 

Source: Huffington Post

Nov
04
2013
0

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
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
06
2013
0

No Bake Banana Chocolate Protein Bars

Now you can quickly and easily make your own protein bars at home! This no bake recipe takes high quality protein powder and combines it with wholesome, real food ingredients to create a delicious protein bar to power your day. Store these in your freezer, then simply allow to defrost for a few minutes before enjoying.

Serving: 10

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • /4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water (and more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  • 1 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  1. In a medium bowl combine the protein powder and coconut flour.
  2. In another medium bowl mash the bananas. Add the coconut milk, water and vanilla, mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. If the batter is dry then add a few more drops of water. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  3. Line a freezer-safe plate with wax paper. Form the dough into 10 bars. Place on the wax paper and put in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  4. In a double boiler over medium-low heat (make your own by placing a small saucepan directly in a skillet that has few Tablespoons of water) melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil.
  5. Remove the bars from the freezer and drizzle or dip in the melted dark chocolate. Return to the freezer for 10 minutes until the chocolate has hardened.

Nutritional Analysis: One bar equals: 183 calories, 6g fat, 11g carbohydrate, 99mg sodium, 5g fiber, and 18g protein

 

Elite Physiques & The Cycle Project

Elite Physiques & The Cycle Project

Aug
30
2013
0

Real Food Spaghetti Pie

 

This innovative spaghetti pie is made with noodles straight from a squash…not a package! It’s a fun way to serve a traditional, comfort meal without the guilt. Dinners like this are a wonderful way to quickly achieve your fat loss goal.

Serving: 6 
Here’s what you need…

  • 1 organic spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 ounces ground turkey or beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons flax meal
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  1. Wash the spaghetti squash, slice in half lengthwise and bake cut-side up in a 375 degree F oven for 40 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Discard the cashew soaking water. Combine the cashews, lemon juice, water, olive oil, salt, paprika, garlic and pepper in a blender. Mix until completely smooth. Set the cheese spread aside.
  3. In a large skillet warm the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook until the meat is brown and onion is tender. Stir in fennel seeds, tomato sauce, and oregano. Heat through. Remove from heat.
  4. Use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash strands from the squash skins and place in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, flax meal and nutritional yeast. Mix until fully incorporated. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with coconut oil. Press spaghetti squash mixture onto the bottom and up sides of pie plate, forming a crust. Spread the meat mixture over the crust. Sprinkle with the cheese spread.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Slice into wedges to serve.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 289 calories, 19g fat, 347mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 16g protein

 

Elite Physiques & The Cycle Project

Elite Physiques & The Cycle Project

Aug
28
2013
0

The Way Nature Intended

Food that’s untouched and unprocessed is always going to be the healthiest. See how many real, whole foods you can fit into your diet, while cutting out the packaged foods. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly your body transforms when you eat food prepared the way nature intended.

 

Elite Physiques & The Cycle Project

Elite Physiques & The Cycle Project