Tag Archives | Diet

Animal Study Suggests ‘Safe’ Levels of Sugar in American Diet May Not Be So Safe

imagesSorry, America: Apparently you can’t get by on Mountain Dew and fried Twinkies covered in crumbled Twinkies served on a plate made of Twinkies without some health-related blow-back. I want my country back!

Via Nature:

Too much sugar is bad for you, but how much, exactly, is too much? A study in mice has found that the animals’ health and ability to compete can be harmed by a diet that has sugar levels equivalent to what many people in the United States currently consume.

High-sugar diets are associated not only with obesity and diabetes, but also with other human conditions such as coronary heart disease. However, the exact causal links for many of these has not been established. When studies are done in mice to evaluate health effects of sugar, the doses given are often so high, and outside the range of equivalent human consumption, that it is hard to tell conclusively whether the results are relevant to people.

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Animals Are Mysteriously Getting Fatter

animal obesityOur pets are becoming obese, as well as pests and vermin…but bafflingly, so have laboratory rats given the same controlled diets that have been in use for decades. Could toxins, viruses, or some other factor be at play in humans and animals living in proximity to our society growing fatter decade after decade? Marginal Revolution writes:

In a remarkable paper Allison et al. (2011) gather data on the weight at mid-life from 12 animal populations covering 8 different species all living in human environments. Dividing the sample into male and female they find that in all 24 cases animal weight has increased over the past several decades.

Cats and dogs, for example, both increased in weight. Female cats increased in body weight at a rate of 13.6% per decade and males at 5.7% per decade.

The authors also looked at animals not directly under human control such as rats. For the 1948–2006 time period, male rats trapped in urban Baltimore experienced a 5.7 per cent increase in body weight per decade and a nearly 20 per cent increase in the odds of obesity.

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Study Links Processed Salt To Autoimmune Diseases

processed foods

Are processed foods disrupting our immune systems? Via True Activist:

The modern diet of processed foods could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, alopecia, asthma and eczema.

A team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, say junk food diets could be partly to blame. “This study is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases,” they said.

The team from Yale University studied the role of T helper cells in the body. These activate and ‘help’ other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections. A subset of these cells – known as Th17 cells – also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

In their study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more ‘aggressively.’ They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation.

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Seattle Woman Attempting To Survive On Sunlight And Water

live on sunlight

Is the plant diet the key to a higher plane of existence? Q13 FOX News Seattle reports:

Navenna Shine, the founder and subject of the Living on Light experiment, plans to spend the next four to six months living on only light, water and tea. While difficult, Shine hopes the body can be trained to live through the hardships of surviving without food.

Shine started the experiment in an attempt to follow a group of obscure Yogis, who for thousands of years have claimed the ability to live on light. Some who adhere to such practices are called “breatharians,” — someone who gains energy and sustenance strictly through air and sunshine — and Shine hopes to prove it is possible by living out the experiment.

She will film herself on eight cameras positioned throughout her house to ensure to herself and others she does not cheat. Shine called her attempt a “huge moment in history.”

According to Shine’s Facebook page, she was in her 32nd day without food Wednesday.

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One Quarter Of Britons Say They Are Curious To Try Cannibalism

try cannibalism

A taboo urge lying just below the surface of society, waiting to bubble up? Tabloid the Daily Star reports:

Millions of Brits want to eat human flesh like movie cannibal Hannibal Lecter, a shock report revealed yesterday. Almost a quarter of us reckon we are “curious” to taste human meat – while 14% want a piece of ourselves fried to learn what our own body tastes like.

Even more of those questioned confessed they would be happy to tuck into their own body if a doctor safely took a sample from them.

The findings of the cannibalism poll for telly channel Eden come just days after 40-year-old Brit Geoffrey Portway admitted a US plot to kill and eat a child. He faces up to 27 years in an American jail after law enforcement agents found his home in Massachusetts was equipped with a steel cage and a child-sized homemade coffin.

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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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