Tag Archives | Diet

Why Ordinary Food Will be the Future of Medicine

Pic: GardenKitty (CC)

Pic: GardenKitty (CC)

T. Colin Campbell, one the featured scientists/doctors in the breakout documentary Planeat, writes at CounterPunch:

The Problem

Few issues have become so intensely debated and politically charged as the need to reform the health care system. This debate has resulted in the ObamaCare program (The Affordable Care Act), which aims to expand and improve health care, thereby reducing health care costs.

Presently, US health care costs constitute 18% of GDP, up from about 5% around 1970 (1). These costs are burdensome and many sectors of our society are paying the price. School programs are being scaled back because of the escalating costs of retiree health care benefit programs, as illustrated in Michigan where they are “laying off teachers, scrapping programs and mothballing extracurricular activities…[because of]…health care bills of retirees.“(2). About 60% of personal bankruptcies are now attributed to medical care costs (3) and these rising costs are eroding family incomes (4), among many other devastating outcomes.

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GMO Purple Tomatoes To Be Sold In Stores

tomatoIs the public ready for genetically modified, nutrient-packed super-foods in unnatural colors? Via the BBC:

The prospect of genetically modified purple tomatoes reaching the shelves has come a step closer. Developed in Britain, large-scale production is now under way in Canada with the first 1,200 litres of purple tomato juice ready for shipping.

Their dark pigment is intended to give tomatoes the same potential health benefits as fruit such as blueberries. The pigment, known as anthocyanin, is an antioxidant which studies on animals show could help fight cancer. The purple pigment is the result of the transfer of a gene from a snapdragon plant.

Scientists say the new tomatoes could improve the nutritional value of everything from ketchup to pizza topping. The tomatoes are part of a new generation of GM plants designed to appeal to consumers – the first types were aimed specifically at farmers as new tools in agriculture.

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Humans Can Use Smell to Detect Levels of Dietary Fat

Pic: Rasbak (CC)

Pic: Rasbak (CC)

Via ScienceDaily:

New research from the Monell Center reveals humans can use the sense of smell to detect dietary fat in food. As food smell almost always is detected before taste, the findings identify one of the first sensory qualities that signals whether a food contains fat. Innovative methods using odor to make low-fat foods more palatable could someday aid public health efforts to reduce dietary fat intake.

“The human sense of smell is far better at guiding us through our everyday lives than we give it credit for,” said senior author Johan Lundström, PhD, a cognitive neuroscientist at Monell. “That we have the ability to detect and discriminate minute differences in the fat content of our food suggests that this ability must have had considerable evolutionary importance.”

As the most calorically dense nutrient, fat has been a desired energy source across much of human evolution. As such, it would have been advantageous to be able to detect sources of fat in food, just as sweet taste is thought to signal a source of carbohydrate energy.

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Junk Food Linked To Memory Loss

processed foods

Australia’s ABC News 24 reports that fast food is trying to kill your brain:

A team of researchers from the University of New South Wales has uncovered a link between junk food and memory loss. The team placed rats on a diet high in sugar and fat and compared their performance with rodents on a healthy diet.

Lead researcher Margaret Morris says the rats on the poor diet developed an impaired memory after just six days. “Poor diet was associated with a cognitive decline that happened very quickly,” she told AM.

Professor Morris says the memory issues became apparent well before the animals showed any physical symptoms. “The animals of course weren’t obese after just six days on the diet. So the changes in cognition, the loss of memory, happened well before there was any weight change,” she said.

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The Diet From God

Daniel refusing the King's Food.

Daniel refusing the King’s Food.

The Daniel Fast is the latest fad diet, but this one has a twist: it’s meant for Christians who “Motivated by both faith and fitness,” limit themselves to fruits and vegetables for 21-day increments, akin to the Biblical Daniel. Olga Khazan reports for The Atlantic:

As a Baptist, January Rowe knew that tough times sometimes call for fasting. Purposefully going without food has long been a part of Judeo-Christian spiritual practice—David, Jesus, the disciples, and many other Biblical figures fasted regularly as a way to show obedience to God. For centuries, Christians have followed the Bible’s example by going hungry for stretches of time as a form of prayer.

In the summer of 2011, Rowe’s husband had just started a business, and “it was a major life change. I wanted to pray and do whatever I could to support him,” she said.

She thought about fasting, but she worried that not eating entirely for days would make it even harder to keep up with her two small children.

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What on Earth is Food, Anyway? A Fresh Take on Human Diet

Dao pic3

Dao Earl

“You only need to do something as stupid as a detox because you’re eating stupid things,” the nutritional researcher Dao Earl told me in an interview for The Eternities podcast.

Dao is co-founder of Sura Detox, a retreat centre in Devon on the south coast of England. “I was troubled for a long time in bringing people into the retreats. They go through this fantastic process [then] go back out into the world and do exactly the same things and come back next year. The retreats allow me to nail home this nutritional information. It’s about making conscious eaters.”

I thought I knew a fair amount about diet and nutrition until I attended one of Dao’s public talks. I was quickly engrossed, the whole room united – all of us sinners – but I felt inspired rather than shamed. We didn’t know any better – until now. Effectively our taste has been corrupted from a finely tuned sensory apparatus and commandeered for use in a pleasure circuit, blurring its capacity for determining the most applicable nutrients.… Read the rest

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Eating Bacon Lowers Men’s Sperm Count (So Eat Fish!)

Sorry gents, but if you want lots of healthy sperm, cut out the bacon and start eating fish. The Age reports:

Just one rasher of bacon a day can damage a man’s fertility, while eating a portion of white fish such as cod or halibut every other day can improve it, researchers have suggested.640px-NCI_bacon
The study by Harvard University on 156 men in couples suffering problems conceiving examined their diet and the size and shape of their sperm.

Researchers found that men who regularly ate processed meat had significantly lower amounts of normal sperm, compared with those who limited the amount of foods like bacon, sausages, hamburgers, ham and mince.
On average, those who ate the equivalent of less than a rasher of bacon a day had 30 per cent more normal sperm than those who ate higher quantities of processed meats.

Meanwhile, those who ate a portion of white fish every other day had a similar edge over those who ate foods such as cod more rarely.

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This Is Why You’re Fat – And What You Should Do About It

Grasa-abdominal-cinturaGreg Stevens is a brave man. He explains why people get fat, what to do about it and why fat people should stop complaining about being ‘shamed’ by society, at The Kernel:

…If you are reading this, there’s a good chance you are obese. Over 35 per cent of Americans are, and over 23 per cent of British people. More people are getting unacceptably overweight every year. And yet the science of getting fat is not terribly complicated. People who are obese eat too much, and exercise too little. Although some people have a mild predisposition toward weight gain, obesity is not a “glandular” issue for any more than a tiny fraction of the people who are overweight, nor is it a disease.

Obesity only appears complicated because weight is tied up with self-image, politics, marketing regulations, the for-profit health industry, corporate economics, political correctness, and hosts of other cultural albatrosses.

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Life On A Diet Of Nothing But Raw Meat

raw meatShould we go back to the wild? Via Vice, Derek Nance has eaten nothing but raw, often rotting meat for six years. He claims he has never felt better:

[The raw meat diet] was started by a dentist named Weston Price who in the 1930s studied the health benefits of eating more raw foods, including meats. He studied the Native Americans and a few of them who lived on a guts-and-grease diet. He found people in primitive communities were much healthier than we are today.

I had a couple of goats in my yard, so I slaughtered them. I ate both of those goats, all raw, and just switched over like that. After the first week, I felt absolutely great, and I never went back.

The organ meat of the animal actually contains vitamin C. So I just eat the organ meat and the connective tissue and everything else. [I] also eat rotten meat.

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