Tag Archives | Diet

Queens Elementary Becomes The Nation’s First Public School To Serve Only Vegetarian Meals

vegetarian lunch

A preview of days to come in which families will choose between regular and meat-free public schools. The New York Daily News reports:

Public School 244 in Flushing is the first public school in the nation to serve all-vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch, according to city education officials.

Chefs at the Active Learning Elementary School have swapped chicken, turkey and ham for black beans, tofu and falafel, and kids are digging in with delight. “This is so good!” squealed 9-year-old Marian Satti, devouring her black bean and cheddar cheese quesadilla Tuesday at lunch. “I’m enjoying that it didn’t have a lot of salt in it. ”

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who often crows about maintaining a fit lifestyle, said the launch of the vegetarian food-fest should be duplicated in schools across the city and country.

PS 244 partnered with nonprofit New York Coalition for Healthy School Food to design recipes for appetizing plant-based grub.

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Western Style Diet Leads To Early Death

English breakfast - catorze14No doubt the headline will cause some septuagenarians who eat nothing but processed meat and fried food to claim the “Western style diet” never hurt them, but a new study shows that for most people eating this stuff is likely to shorten your life. From Alpha Galileo Foundation:

Data from a new study of British adults suggest that adherence to a “Western-style” diet (fried and sweet food, processed and red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products) reduces a person’s likelihood of achieving older ages in good health and with higher functionality. Study results appear in the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

“The impact of diet on specific age-related diseases has been studied extensively, but few investigations have adopted a more holistic approach to determine the association of diet with overall health at older ages,” says lead investigator Tasnime Akbaraly, PhD, Inserm, Montpellier, France. “We examined whether diet, assessed in midlife, using dietary patterns and adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), is associated with aging phenotypes, identified after a mean 16-year follow-up.”

The AHEI is a validated index of diet quality, originally designed to provide dietary guidelines with the specific intention to combat major chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

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The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Michael Moss pulls back just a fraction of the curtain on how giant food corporations collude to control your diet in a lengthy piece for the New York Times Magazine:

On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial, the men assembled were hardly friends. Their stature was defined by their skill in fighting one another for what they called “stomach share” — the amount of digestive space that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition.

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Oxford University Study Shows Vegetarian Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk by up to a Third

If you’re at all concerned about heart disease, you need to consider making plant foods most your diet. The film Planeat from Disinformation affiliate True Mind highlighted the groundbreaking work of doctors T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn, in which they demonstrated the benefits of plant-based diets for treating heart disease (not just reducing risk). Now Channel 4 News reports that in the biggest ever study of its kind in the UK, researchers from Oxford University have found a vegetarian diet dramatically reduces the risk of heart disease:

Fancy a burger tonight? A new report might make you think again about your dinner. Researchers from the University of Oxford have analysed the diets of almost 45,000 volunteers in England and Scotland, to compare the rates of heart disease in those who do, and don’t eat meat and fish.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that vegetarians had a 32 per cent lower risk of falling ill or dying from heart disease.

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The Aspartame Epidemic

Photo: Bukowsky18 (CC)

[disinfo ed.'s note: this original essay was first published by disinformation on May 14, 2001. Some links and contact information may have changed.]

A worldwide epidemic is raging. The cause is a poisonous chemical sweetener, aspartame (marketed as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful), the most controversial food additive ever approved. In reality it is a drug which interacts with other drugs and changes brain chemistry.

H.J. Roberts, M.D., describes interactions with drugs such as Coumadin, Dilantin, Inderal, methyldopa or Aldomet, insulin, and lidocaine in Aspartame (NutraSweet): Is It Safe? [1]

From the paper Effects of Aspartame on the Brain: Neurologic Effects of Aspartame? by Richard J. Wurtman and Timothy J. Maher: “Compounds that do affect physiological systems are classified as drugs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are subject to considerably more demanding regulatory procedures than food constituents. However, and perhaps paradoxically because food additives must be shown to be physiologically inert in order to win initial FDA approval, once they have obtained this approval they are thereafter exempted from the requirement (imposed on all drugs) that their safety continue to be monitored.… Read the rest

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A Guerrilla Campaign To Correctly Label Food Contents

California’s Proposition 37, which would have required GMO foods sold in stores to be labeled as such, fell short two weeks ago following an advertising blitz against the measure from Monsanto and other players in the agribusiness sector. Label It Yourself suggests an alternative:

The Label It Yourself (#LIY) is a decentralized, autonomous grassroots campaign born out of our broken food system. We have been asking corporations and our government to label food products so we can make educated decisions about what we eat. Our requests have been ignored and so we are taking matters into our own hands.

Using LIY’s resources, we encourage people to: autonomously label GMOs and empower others to do so, rescue words like “All Natural” and “Natural Flavors” from being hijacked, expose unfair labor practices. We have a right to know what is in our food and where it is coming from.

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‘Mindful Eating’ Is as Effective as Traditional Education in Lowering Weight and Blood Sugar

Picture: US GOV (PD)

Via ScienceDaily:

Eating mindfully, or consuming food in response to physical cues of hunger and fullness, is just as effective as adhering to nutrition-based guidelines in reducing weight and blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

In a comparison study of the effectiveness of the two types of behavioral interventions, participants lost about the same amount of weight — an average of between 3 1/2 and 6 pounds — and lowered their long-term blood sugar levels significantly after three months.

One treatment group followed an established diabetes self-management education program, with a strong emphasis on nutrition information. The other group was trained in mindful meditation and a mindful approach to food selection and eating. Both interventions, involving weekly group meetings, also recommended physical activity.

“The more traditional education program includes general information about diabetes, but with more emphasis on nutrition and food choice: What are different types of carbohydrates and fats and how many am I supposed to have?

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Is Modern Wheat A ‘Chronic Poison’?

CBS News ponders whether America is being poisoned by food we “improved” via technology:

Modern wheat is a “perfect, chronic poison,” according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world’s most popular grain.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn’t the wheat your grandma had: “It’s an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the ’60s and ’70s,” he said on “CBS This Morning.” “This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there’s a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It’s not gluten. I’m not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I’m talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year.”

To avoid these wheat-oriented products, Davis suggests eating “real food,” such as avocados, olives, olive oil, meats, and vegetables.

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Foods To Eat To Enhance Your Dreams

Are you wasting one third of your life by not living it to its fullest? What is the ideal diet to fuel lucid dreaming, vivid and intense dreams, and increased recall after waking up? World of Lucid Dreaming has the answers:

A double-blind study revealed that participants who took a daily 250mg B6 supplement reported a significant increase in dream content – as measured in dream vividness, bizarreness, emotionality and color. One of the roles of vitamin B6 is to convert the essential amino acid tryptophan into serotonin and niacin. This helps the body regulate appetite, sleep patterns and mood. Low levels of tryptophan are also linked with poor dream recall.

When you’re ready to begin the dream-intensity challenge, take your vitamin B6 supplement and then fuel the fire with plenty of tryptophan-rich foods such as:

Chicken (4 oz) gives 0.41g tryptophan
Soybeans (1 cup) gives 0.39g tryptophan
Turkey (4 oz) gives 0.38g tryptophan
Tuna (4 oz) gives 0.38g tryptophan
Venison (4 oz) gives 0.36g tryptophan
Lamb (4 oz) gives 0.35g tryptophan
Salmon (4 oz) gives 0.35g tryptophan
Halibut (4 oz) gives 0.34g tryptophan
Shrimp (4 oz) gives 0.33g tryptophan
Cod (4 oz) gives 0.29g tryptophan

I realize that list is a little meat-heavy, and if you’re a vegetarian it doesn’t give many options.

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BPA From Plastics, Food Packaging, Linked To Obesity

Americans may be growing fat not only from the foods we eat, but from the hormone-disrupting materials in which those foods are given to us. Via the Smithsonian:

Since the 1960s, manufacturers have widely used the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) in plastics and food packaging. A study by researchers from New York University, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at a sample of nearly 3,000 children and teens across the country and found a “significant” link between the amount of BPA in their urine and the prevalence of obesity.

The researchers speculate on a possible underlying mechanism, alluding to other studies that have shown that the chemical may disrupt mechanisms of human metabolism in ways that increase body mass. They also note studies that have revealed associations between urinary levels of BPA and incidences of adult diabetes, cardiovascular disease and abnormal liver function.

The vast majority of BPA in our bodies comes from ingestion of contaminated food and water.

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