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Your Health & Wellness, Issue #004 -- Your microwave oven poses severe health risks
July 26, 2007

(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)

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Week of July 29, 2007

Table of Contents

* Dangers of the Microwave Oven *

* Locally Grown Produce Is Superior *

* Weight Loss and Calories *

Dangers of the Microwave Oven

Although the microwave oven is in almost every American home and commercial establishment, the dangers of microwave ovens are not common knowledge. The effort to keep the truth concerning microwave ovens out of the public eye have largely been successful.

Health and wellness goes beyond just the physical. It is holistic in that it encompasses the entire person. In the same sense, nutrition goes beyond just the foods that we should eat versus the foods that we shouldn't eat, or at the very least, cut back on. The method of cooking food and what is used to accomplish it are important too.

Up until the invention of the microwave oven, fire had been the only method of cooking food. It had been in use ever since man discovered it. We are literally talking about thousands of years. Whether the fire was open, or enclosed in a wood-burning stove, the principle was the same.

Man always has, and always will, seek to do a job easier, better, and in less time than before. Much good has come out of his discoveries. Since man is limited in knowledge, he cannot predict if any harmful effects will proceed from a technological innovation. Only time and use will reveal that.

However moral judgment can be called into question when a harmful effect has been discovered, and subsequently covered up. This has happened in the case of the microwave oven.

In 1970 Raytheon and other microwave manufacturers sold over 40,000 ovens. Until I found out about the dangers of microwave ovens, I used them to cook and heat foods for many years. Since I learned of their dangers, I have stopped using it. It now sits in my kitchen unused!

Microwave ovens change the molecular structure of foods. It doesn't mimic fire and it doesn't mimic electromagnetic energy from the sun. The process is totally alien to the human body. Not only isn't the body able to process microwaved food, it doesn't even recognize it.

In 1992, a Swiss study of microwave ovens led by Dr. Hans Hertel found the following problems: (1) decrease in number of red blood cells (2) increase in cholesterol levels (3) an increase in the number of white blood cells and (4) the creation of radiolytic compounds until now unknown in nature. (Read more dangers of microwave ovens here.)

White blood cells are one of the bodies defenses against infection. They are a part of the immune system. Could it mean that the body perceives microwaved food as an invader?

The dangers of microwave ovens doesn't stop there. When used, microwave ovens generate an electromagnetic field which radiates up to 6 to 8 feet. Studies show that this field has the potential to damage human DNA.

The selling point of the microwave oven is its cooking time. Nothing can rival it. However health is much more important. In place of the microwave oven I now use a convection oven. My wife uses the stove.

Locally Grown Produce Is Superior

America is falling short in its consumption of fruits and vegetables. The average American today only eats about 3 servings per day. The recommended number of servings depend on age, sex, and activity level. Total servings range from a minimum of 5 for young children to 9 for active men.

Fruits and vegetables are grown in one of two ways. First there is the locally grown produce. The second is produce that is grown on factory type farms hundreds of miles away, or even overseas. Naturally you as a consumer want the freshest and healthiest produce available. You also want it at a reasonable price.

Fruits and vegetables travel an average of 1,500 miles to reach your local supermarket. Since preservation is critical, artificial methods are used to keep fruits and vegetables from spoiling. Over one-half of the tomatoes grown in the United States are prematurely harvested and shipped while green. Upon reaching their destination, they are artificially ripened.

Upon the rise of the supermarket and factory-farming, quality and freshness of fruits and vegetables have been sacrificed. Instead of being locally grown, they are shipped from around the country, and even imported from other countries.

Natural and organic methods of the local farmer have been abandoned, and produce is chemically treated to ward off disease and insect infestation. And remember, they also have to be preserved.

Freshly grown and in-season fruits and vegetables are delicious and chock-full of nutrients. Produce shipped from outside the local community cannot begin to compete with locally grown produce in terms of quality and taste, or even cost.

Although some supermarkets are beginning to buy their produce from local growers, there is yet an ever-growing number of farmer's markets and CSAs (community supported agriculture.) CSAs have grown from an inconspicuous 2 in 1986 to well over 1,200 now.

There were approximately 300 farmer's markets in the mid-1970s. The number grew to 1,755 in 1994. In 2004 there were 3,706 farmer's markets. Now in 2007 there are 4,385 registered markets.

Farmer's markets and CSAs are putting the local farm and the small farmer back on the map. The produce is seasonal and fresh. And you don't have to worry about it being saturated with harmful chemicals.

Community Supported Agriculture was imported from Europe in the mid-1980s. The concept is simple. The farmer and the local consumer form a partnership in which the consumer shares in the farm's operation. Risks and benefits of farm production are equally shared. The farmer's costs and salary are covered by the consumer through an upfront payment for the growing season. Some farmers accept monthly, or even weekly payments.

The CSAs growing season typically runs from late spring through early fall. Some CSAs sell produce to farmer's markets and roadside stands as well as to consumers.

Although there is no CSA in my neighborhood, there are several farmer's markets. I find the fruits and vegetables much fresher and tastier than those from the supermarket. The price is a lot cheaper also. The costs associated with preservation and protection from insects and disease, as well as from the middle man, are not there.

What is even more important than price is quality. You don't have to worry about genetically modified organisms (GMOs.) The government does not require any labeling on GMO products. Unfortunately GMOs are very prevalent in today's factory-farms. Pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides are not an issue with locally grown produce either.

Weight Loss and Calories

Almost everyone is familiar with the term calorie but would be hard put to define it. When on a weight loss regimen, calories in foods and drinks are watched and restricted. The person becomes calorie conscious.

The calorie is a scientific unit of heat energy. A calorie is defined as: "unit of heat defined as the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree centigrade at atmospheric pressure."

Whenever weight is lost, the number of calories is reduced. And in order to create an atmosphere of weight loss, the number of calories going out has to exceed the number of calories coming in. This can be done by juggling the amount of fat, carbohydrates, and protein consumed in foods.

Fat, carbohydrates, and protein are known as macronutrients. They all can be broken down into smaller components. When metabolized by the body, fats, carbohydrates, and protein yield calories.

  • fat- 9 calories
  • carbohydrate- 4 calories
  • protein- 4 calories

  • Fat contains double the calories or heat energy of carbohydrates and protein. Yet we don't want to restrict only fat, nor do we want to restrict all fats. We don't want to restrict only fat because a successful weight loss program has to include carbohydrate restriction too. At the same time we don't want to restrict all fats because some fats such as omega-3 fatty acids (a polyunsaturated fat) and some monounsaturated fats (olive oil) are beneficial.

    We do want to limit saturated fat and totally eliminate trans fats and its replacement interesterified fat

    Saturated fat can be limited by substituting chicken and turkey breasts and fish for red meats such as beef and pork. Trans fatty acids are found in fast foods and many packaged snack and junk foods. An all out effort should be made to eliminate them from the diet as much as possible. They have a totally negative health effect.

    Studies are pointing to the fact that interesterified fats are even worse than the trans fats it replaces in some products. There is no room in a healthy weight loss program for snack and junk foods anyway. Fruits and some nuts may be substituted for them.

    All refined carbohydrates should be eliminated from the diet on a weight loss program. Refined carbohydrates are empty calories and have no place in a healthy diet. Carbohydrate intake should be limited to some whole grains, some vegetables (those low on the glycemic scale), and some fruits.

    Of course portion size is a major consideration in weight loss. Portion size, along with a correspondinig increase in plate size, has been going on for the last 40 years or so. This has played a major role in the escalating obesity epidemic. So in order to lose body fat (this is your weight loss), a reduction in portion size which automatically means a reduction in caloric intake is important.

    A pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. So for instance, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, you would have to create a deficit of 10 pounds times 3,500 calories which comes out to burning 35,000 calories. In order to retain as much muscle as possible, I don't recommend anyone losing more than 2 to 2.5 pounds a week.

    It should take you 4 weeks to lose 10 pounds (10 pounds divided by 2.5 equals 4 weeks.) This is going to be done by a combination of exercise and nutrition. At the beginning of your weight loss program, record your weight, waist and bust measurements (women) or waist only (men), and body fat percentage.

    Your recorded measurements will give you a baseline from which you can gauge your progress. If you find that you are losing weight too fast, you can increase your caloric intake. If you're not losing fast enough, you can either increase your exercise intensity to burn more calories or decrease your caloric intake--or a combination of both.

    This is what I did when I competed in bodybuilding shows. I immediately cut out the snack and junk foods. I then reduced portion sizes. I used the scale and tape measure to monitor my progress. They were important instruments for feedback. They will be instrumental in your weight loss journey too.

    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.

    Purchase here

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