McDonald’s changes their frying oil

Feeling the pressure from health advocates, McDonald’s has been trying to eliminate trans fat in frying oil for quite some time now.? In January they announced that over 1200 of its franchises will be using a trans fat free oil.???

The Chicago Tribune reports, by early 2008 all 13,700 McDonald’s franchises in the U.S. will be cooking all their frie’s, chicken nuggets and other items in a vegetable oil blend.? Cargill did the scientific testing and blending of oils to find one that did not jeopardize the iconic nature of the french fry.? They tested 18 types of oil in more than 50 different blends over 7 years.? The new, “healthier” oil is a blend of canola, soybean and corn oils.?

Ram Reddy vice president and general manager for Cargill’s Napier office said, “We’re not going to turn the french fry into a health food, but it is going to be healthier.”

Healthier, let’s not jump to conclusions.? So instead of using partially hydrogenated oils, they’re going to use polyunsaturated oils.? These oils should never, ever be used in cooking, let alone frying.?

We have been force fed a load of crap concerning the virtues of polyunsaturated fats.? We’ve been told relentlessly that polyunsaturated fats are good for our health and to increase our consumption.? Unfortunately, polyunsaturated fats cause many health problems.? One of the biggest reasons polyunsaturated fats are so unhealthy is because they are very susceptible to becoming oxidized or rancid when exposed to heat and light.? The polyunsaturated oils you buy in grocery stores are already rancid.?


Foods that fight aging

We all eat food for different reasons. Some of us eat certain food to lose weight or to build muscle, while some eat whatever the hell we want, when we want. Well, what about eating food to fight aging?

In a recent online article, Men’s Health highlighted five foods that will help battle the ravages of old age:

Sunflower seeds
These salty wonders have the highest natural vitamin E content of any food around. “Vitamin E is one of the most important nutrients around for looking younger,” says Barry Swanson, Ph.D., a professor of food science at Washington State University. “No antioxidant is more effective at fighting the aging effects of free radicals.”

Spinach and beans
Researchers in Australia, Indonesia, and Sweden studied the diets of 400 elderly men and women, and found that those who ate the most leafy green vegetables and beans had the fewest wrinkles. The reason? Spinach and beans are full of compounds that help pre-vent and repair wear and tear on your skin cells as you get older.

Grape juice
Besides providing protection from heart attack and stroke, grape juice can also help keep your middle-aged skin from sagging. “Grapes are filled with antioxidant polyphenols that help to keep your skin flexible and elastic,” says Swanson.

Sweet potatoes
Overexposure to the sun is one of the primary reasons men age prematurely. But sweet potatoes may help to fight sun damage. European researchers recently found that pigments from beta-carotene?rich foods — like sweet potatoes and carrots — can build up in your skin, helping to prevent damage from ultraviolet rays.

No wonder rats always look so young. “Cheese is one of the best foods you can eat for your teeth,” says Matthew Messina, D.D.S., an American Dental Association spokesman. “It’s a good source of calcium, to keep your teeth strong. Plus, eating cheese can lower the levels of bacteria in your mouth and keep your teeth clean and cavity-free,” he says. Dr. Messina recommends eating at least two servings of block cheese every week.

Eventually, we all think about getting older. Since we’re already eating certain foods to gain or lose weight, why not add some that will help us look better for when we take advantage of that senior discount at the movies?


Want Lance Armstrong’s endurance? Just sleep in a bubble…

A correspondent from Men’s Journal recently experimented with a high-altitude simulator to gage its effectiveness. For those unaware, a high-altitude simulator is a tent that engulfs your bed to help increase red blood cell production while you sleep. Why the hell would you want to do that? Well, red blood cells fuel endurance for when we run, swim, bike or do any other fast-paced exercise. Athletes like cyclist Lance Armstrong use it while training for a race because it helps simulate the altitude at which your red blood cells need to increase. Coupled with regular training, it’s like gaining all the benefits from weekly cardio…but while you sleep.

The product is intriguing, because according to the Men’s Journal correspondent, the tent works:

After three weeks, I felt as if I had a third lung. I blazed through a three-mile time trial 5 percent faster than I ever had, and I finished top-15 in my category in a hill climb. During the race I quickly caught my breath on the flat spots, then felt ready to pound away again. The tent worked — but I still had to train hard.

Two questions:

1) Is it worth $1,000-plus and sleeping in a bubble nightly to improve endurance?

For millionaire athletes, a thousand dollars for one of these puppies seems like a bargain, but what about for the common triathlon athlete or endurance enthusiast? Before dismissing the theory, how much do you spend yearly on food, supplements and training equipment to enhance your physique?

2) Are athletes like Armstrong cheating?

We as a society hate the fact that Barry Bonds could break a home run record he unfairly achieved, but are we being hypocritical? If these tents do work, did Armstrong have an unfair advantage? Steroids help testosterone growth, which therefore aids strength and muscle development through exercise. These tents are designed to increase red blood cell production, which therefore aids in endurance through exercise. The connection between these simulators and steroids might be on a different level, but it does raise an interesting debate.


More sun, less cancer.

We heard it for years, “sunlight causes cancer”.? Well, in an article by William Douglas, MD. In the Fall 2006 edition of Wise Traditions, you learn that this may not be necessarily true.? In fact, two studies in the Journal of National Cancer Institute show that increased sun exposure not only reduces the incidence of one cancer, it increases the survival rate of another.

What is it about sunlight that’s so beneficial? Vitamin D production.

Among whites in the U.S. there is a striking difference in the number of cases of many types of cancer-breast, prostate and colon, for example-between the northern latitudes and the southern latitudes.? The higher the latitude in which you live, the more likely you are to die of cancer.? In other words, New York bad, Birmingham good.? And what’s the major difference between New York and Birmingham?? New York gets a whole lot less sunshine.

What excessive sun exposure does do is cause injury to the inner layer of the skin, the dermis, which in turn, leads to wrinkling of the outer layer, the epidermis.? If you’re thinking that that happens with age (regardless of the sun), you’re right.? But sun exposure can speed up the process, causing the skin to age prematurely and to become loose and leathery.? This is called solar elastosis.

When researchers at the University of New Mexico investigated melanoma, they found a marked decrease in the disease in patients with solar elastosis.? (This information is from one of the two studies talked about in the article.)

I guess this starts to explain why melanomas are usually found on the body, “where the sun doesn’t shine”.????


Diagnosing a migraine

Everyone gets headaches. But is it a stress or sinus headache or a migraine? Men’s recently posted a three-question quiz to help determine if you may be experiencing a migraine:

1. In the past 3 months, have headaches limited your activities?

2. Does headache pain make you sick to your stomach?

3. Does light bother you? “If you answer ‘yes’ to two questions, there’s a 93 percent chance you are suffering from migraines,” says Dr. Lipton. Many men are unaware of the availability of treatment.

I personally suffer from migraines, and let me tell you, they are nasty. It takes sleeping it off in a noise and light-free room for several hours to rid of them. Here are some common triggers for migraines: red wine, nuts, bright lights, chocolate, smoke, stress, lack of sleep, irregular exercise, climate changes and alcohol. Unfortunately for some of us, migraines are unavoidable. But if the proper precautions aren’t taken to lessen attacks, migraines can seriously render us from even doing everyday activities.

Don’t be fooled by over-the-counter drugs that have “migraine” written on the front of the bottle, either. In most cases, any over-the-counter drug that says “migraine” is usually no different than regular Advil, Tylenol or Excedrin. Check with a doctor if you’re experiencing migraines on a reoccurring basis, so that he or she can prescribe something that is custom to you.


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