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Your Health & Wellness, Issue #006 -- Today's nutrition technology is killing you
August 10, 2007
(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)
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Week of August 12, 2007
Table of Contents
* Dangerous Food Technology *
* Ladies--Firm and Tone Your Triceps *
Dangerous Food Technology
Good health requires a two-pronged approach--nutrition and exercise. Neither can be avoided or overlooked. This week I will focus on nutrition, and how America has lost its way in the last 35 years to 40 years.
One major indication that America's health had taken a turn for the worse was in the early '70s when then President Nixon declared war on cancer. The number of people being diagnosed with cancer was on the increase as were the number of cancer deaths.
Currently the biggest cancer killer among women is breast cancer; the biggest cancer killer among men is prostate cancer.
Even with these alarming cancer facts, 50 percent of all cancers can be prevented. They are due to lifestyle choices. Lifestyle choice number one is smoking. The second lifestyle choice is a sedentary life and poor food choices. However I am convinced that a portion of the other 50 percent can be conquered when certain nutritional imbalances are corrected.
Heart disease is now the number one killer of Americans. It is closely followed by cancer. Heart disease wasn't a killer early in the 20th century when people ate butter, lard and animal meat in abundance (See news item (Aug. 9, 2007.) This is despite the fact that all are high in saturated fat. Before adopting western eating habits, the Eskimos' diet was high in fat. And, although counter-intuitive, they didn't die from heart disease.
The consumption of animal fat (saturated) decreased from 83% to 62% from the years 1910 to 1970. Butter consumption also fell from 18 pounds per person per year to about 4 pounds per person per year. Despite this decrease in saturated fat consumption, deaths from heart disease continued to skyrocket.
Margarine and vegetable oils were substituted for saturated fat. In 1930, the average person ate 2 pounds of margarine per year. By the end of the 20th century, the average American ate 4 pounds of butter and 8 pounds of margarine.
Crisco Oil was introduced to the American consumer in 1960. It was the first of many vegetable oils. Actress Florence Henderson promoted Wesson vegetable oil on commercial television beginning in 1976.
Commercial television was instrumental in promoting vegetable oils to the American public. The Madison Avenue produced advertisements were appealing and engaging. The housewife didn't stand a chance. How could anyone have known the truth about them?
Technology and its impact on nutrition is at the root of the world's obesity, cancer, and heart disease crisis. It was wrongly thought that saturated fat was the cause of heart disease and related complications. That's why American's were persuaded to use margarine and vegetable oils instead of butter. The media advertisement blitz for vegetable oils was an overwhelming success. Healthwise, it has been the consumer's nightmare.
We were told that what was good for our parents and grandparents was not good for us. So we began to think of lard and butter as enemies. We then shunned these 'dreaded' saturated fats.
In the past, saturated fats, and hydrogenated fats such as margarine, were lumped together in United States databases. When any heart disease studies were performed and heart disease rates increased, researchers correlated the rise in these rates with saturated fat use exclusively. This incorrect correlation forever placed saturated fat in a bad light.
Remember, deaths from heart disease continued to escalate even when American's reduced their intake of saturated fat. This fact should have given researchers cause to reevaluate their hasty conclusion.
We as consumers didn't realize then that it was the margarine and vegetable oils which were making us sick, not the saturated fat. How? Through the process manufacturers use to make and refine these products.
Margarine is produced by a process known as hydrogenation. Hydrogen gas is injected into a vat of vegetable oil causing it to become solid at room temperature. Vegetable oil in its natural state is liquid at room temperature. Hydrogenation also produces trans fatty acids.
Vegetable oils are polyunsaturated fats--the good fat. However, modern processing damages the oil creating free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for diseases of aging such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The processing also destroys antioxidants such as vitamin E. Antioxidants are important free radical destroyers.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are polyunsaturated fats. Both are necessary for good health. But good health needs a balance between the two. This balance has been disrupted from our parents' and grandparents' days. With the over consumption of margarine and vegetable oils, the omega-6 to omega-3 imbalance ranges anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1! The ideal ratio should be no greater than 2:1!
Just about all baked goods (crackers, cookies, nutrition bars, etc.) and breakfast cereals are made with some type of vegetable oil. Whether it is canola oil or safflower oil or soybean oil makes no difference. These oils are not only used in your typical snack foods, but in organic foods too. Unless these oils are extracted from the grain through pressure, they will be damaged. Manufacturers of these commercial oils do not use pressure for oil extraction.
And it doesn't end there. Not only are we getting too much omega-6 fatty acids from margarine and vegetable oils, but from fish and meats too. Today's beef, pork, chicken and turkey are fed primarily grain. Grain such as corn and soy is high in omega-6 fatty acids. Farmed fish are also fed grain.
Prior to today's factory farming of meat, cows and chickens and turkeys and other animals grazed outdoors and ate grass, insects, etc. Their diet was high in omega-3 fatty acids. Plant foods are rich in omega-3s while grains are rich in omega-6s. Wild fish likewise eat plankton, a good source of omega-3s. This natural order is sabotaged by modern factory meat and fish processing.
The omega-6/omega-3 imbalance raises the risk of and is the cause of various cancers, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and more. And, though a polyunsaturated fat, excess omega-6 is stored in fat cells like any other fat.
Our nutrient deficient standard American diet (SAD) is also responsible for promoting excess estrogen. This causes the kind of fat accumulation which is very difficult to get rid of.
The standard American diet raises the risks for obesity, various cancers, heart disease and more. The Standard American diet also causes these diseases to develop.
The western diet is saturated with monosodium glutamate. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) was introduced in America in 1948. Since then, it is almost universally used in fast and restaurant foods as a flavor enhancer. Studies show that MSG promotes obesity. It can also worsen diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. MSG, like sugar, promotes cancer.
The world at large consumes a tremendous amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners. These chemicals promote obesity and a host of other medical issues. Sugar was used in abundance when I was growing up, but artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) and Sucralose (Splenda) hadn't been invented yet.
Good nutrition took a big tumble when Americans left their home-cooked meals for eating out. Fast and restaurant food contain many more chemicals such as MSG, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) along with excess salt and sugar, than could ever be found in home food pantries. When I was growing up in the 50s and early 60s, the majority of Americans ate nutritious, home-cooked meals.
Modern food processing consists of adding tons of artificial colors and preservatives to food. This is in addition to the tons of insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics, and hormones which are found in fruits, vegetables, and meat and dairy products. Add to that the toxic chemicals chlorine and fluoride in this nation's water supply. Not only do we drink this water, we also bathe and wash our dishes and clothes in it. This is why America and the world is so sick, and getting sicker.
Our bodies were made to thrive on natural, whole foods--foods as close to nature as possible. Food processing and the thousands upon thousands of toxic chemicals that are added to food for flavor, coloring, and extended shelf life is killing us. The human body was not designed to metabolize these concoctions from food corporations' chemistry labs.
"Who can you trust? Not the food industry. Regardless of its shortcomings and bad apples, the medical establishment is far more interested in your health than the U.S. food industry is...Going to a supermarket and having to sift through a bunch of prepackaged overly processed junk..." (The Powerfood Nutrition Plan; pg. 155.)
What can you do to wean yourself back to good health? (1) Buy organic products. This is especially necessary for fruits, vegetables, and meats (2) avoid artificial colors, artificial preservatives, artificial flavor enhancers such as MSG (3) increase your consumption of organic fruits and vegetables (4) stop drinking all sodas (regular and diet) and fruit drinks (5) drink more water (filtered) (6) learn to read nutrition food labels (7) eat more home-cooked meals. More...
Next week we'll look at how the lack of exercise is killing us.
Ladies--Firm and Tone Your Triceps
The triceps is a common problem area for many women. Some are embarrassed by this jiggly, jello-like mass. There is something that you can do about it though. Weight training will target your triceps, firming and toning them.
Triceps are a group of 3 heads located at the back of the upper arm. The 3 heads are named long, lateral, and short. Triceps are responsible for extending your elbow or straightening your arm.
The triceps are pushing muscles. Opposite them are the biceps. These are pulling muscles.
The tricep exercises that I will be describing to you can be performed in the privacy of your home. The only piece of equiment that you'll need is a couple of dumbells.
If you don't have a pair of dumbbells, purchase them at your local sporting goods store. I think that 2 or 5 pounds would be a good start. You can always progress to heavier weights when you get stronger--and you will get stronger!
For the exercises you will be doing 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps (repititions) per exercise. Once you have completed a set (the 8 to 10 reps), rest for a minute. Then proceed to your next set.
You should be able to perform the 8 to 10 reps without straining. If you find yourself straining on the last 2 to 3 reps, the weight is too heavy. Get a lighter dumbbell.
The exercises can be performed one arm at at time, or 2 arms. I will be describing each exercise using 2 arms. You may want to alternate each week. It's all up to you.
Rest 2 to 3 minutes between exercises. Don't 'jerk' the weight, but lift it slowly and smoothly. Exhale (breathe out) when you extend your arm; inhale when you return to the starting position.
Kick-backs- stand with a dumbbell in each hand. Bend over at the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor. Keep your abdominal muscles (abs) tight, your head forward, and your arms at a 90 degree angle. The palms of your hands should be facing each other. Slowly extend your arms until they are straight. Return them to the startig position under control. You have completed 1 rep.
Seated extentions- sit up straight in a chair with a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms over your head and let the dumbbells hang behind your back. Now extend your arms until they are straight up. Slowly lower them. You have completed 1 rep.
Dips- you don't need dumbbells for this exercise but you do need 2 chairs. One chair will be used to prop your ankles on. On the other chair you will place the palms of your hands on the seat, facing the chair where your feet are resting. Your buttocks should not be resting on the chair, just the palms of your hands.
The starting position is when you are as low as you can get without touching the floor. Now push your body up with your triceps until your arms are straight.
That's it. Your upper arms will be very sore the next day. They are not used to this routine. Don't be alarmed. It means that your triceps are getting stronger and firmer.
New E-book now available Let Food Be Thy Medicine.
The title of this manual is from the famous saying of Hippocrates in 400 bc. The full quote is “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” Hippocrates is known as the father of modern medicine. The foods which constitute the standard American diet (SAD) lack the ability to supply essential nutrients, let alone be medicine for a sick body.
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