Whole grains don’t equal health

Celiac disease, also more commonly referred to as wheat- or gluten intolerance, occurs when your body cannot digest gluten, a protein most commonly found in wheat, rye and barley. However, it’s very important to realize that these are not the only culprits that can cause severe problems. Other grains such as oats and spelt also contain gluten, and gluten can be found in countless processed foods without being labeled as such.

The rising prevalence of celiac disease is clear evidence that we’re simply not designed to consume such vast amounts of carbohydrates so many now indulge in. The vast majority of Americans consume far too much bread, cereal, pasta, corn (a grain, not a vegetable), rice, potatoes and junk food, with dire health consequences.

This even includes organic stone ground whole grains for those of you who eat only whole, natural foods. Obviously these are healthier for you, but ultimately they cause the same problems through two mechanisms: Reaction to the protein gliadin in the wheat, and an adverse increase in insulin secretion.

When you consume carbohydrates, even whole grain, the result is a sharp spike in insulin, which has a whole host of problems in and of itself. The undigested gluten then triggers your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine, which can cause symptoms like diarrhea or constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain. In more recent years it’s been shown that the condition can also cause a much wider array of symptoms that are not gastrointestinal in nature, further complicating proper diagnosis.Over time, your small intestine becomes increasingly damaged and less able to absorb nutrients such as iron and calcium. This in turn can lead to anemia, osteoporosis and other health problems.

The rapid increase in celiac disease and milder forms of gluten intolerance is no surprise considering the modern Western diet, which consists in large part of grain carbohydrates. Additionally, modern wheat is very different from the wheat your ancestors ate. The proportion of gluten protein in wheat has increased enormously as a result of hybridization.

Until the 19th century, wheat was also usually mixed with other grains, beans and nuts; pure wheat flour has been milled into refined white flour only during the last 200 years. The resulting high-gluten, refined grain diet most of you have eaten since infancy was simply not part of the diet of previous generations.

(Mercola.com)

  

Restaurant menus, tricks of the trade

If the restaurant owner/manager is doing their job correctly, the menu will be the heart of the business. Although many restaurant owners don’t pay much attention to their menus, menu engineering can yield greater profits.

“It embodies the restaurant’s demographics, concept, physical factors and personality. It’s a sales vehicle, and many restaurants, smart ones, use it to get you to eat right. And we’re not talking about your health, but about their profits.”

Being a business owner and proponent of free markets, I don’t feel there is anything wrong with business making a buck. However, consumers need to be aware that health is not a concern when selling items on a menu.

Marlys Harris reports for Yahoo Finance that menu dishes are normally divided up into 4 dishes, and clever menu engineering steers you to the most profitable items coupled with enjoying the meal. This makes sense considering business thrives on repeat business and referrals.

The following are seven ploys used in restaurant menus.

The first in show: Testing has shown that if you decide on a dish like chicken, you are most likely to choose the first item under the chicken heading. If a menu is engineered correctly, the most profitable items always appear first.

Menu Siberia: Dishes that require expensive ingredients and are labor intensive, which makes them less profitable, are usually placed in harder to find places.

Visual aids: People tend to order dishes that have boxes around them or pictures of the dish. So, If restaurants want to promote profitable dishes like chicken wings, photos definitely help.

Package deals: You walk into an establishment with the intention of getting a cheese burger and a medium drink, but leave paying a few bucks extra for the package deal that includes fries and a large drink. Getting a large percentage of customers to pay to shell out a few extra bucks for package deals translates to bigger profits.

Dollar-sign avoidance: Getting rid of dollar signs and decimals makes spending less threatening.

Small plate-large plate conundrum: A restaurant may offer two sizes of the same dish, but the price difference is almost pure profit.

Ingredient embroidery: The more special each ingredient sounds the better it sells. Just because it’s labeled “Grandma’s Three Cheese Mac and Cheese” will sell better than just plain mac and cheese.

  

Can coffee help with sugar addiction?

The reason why you get addicted to any food, but particularly sugar, is because your brain has opioid receptors (heroin is an opioid). Interestingly, sugar binds to the same addictive receptors as cocaine and other addictive drugs. These opioid receptors are part of a primitive reward system that helps you detect, select and enjoy eating fresh foods over rancid ones.

Today, however, we live in a world where we are surrounded, not only by food in general, but by processed foods that are typically loaded with sugar. Unfortunately, this has led to a saturation of our opioid receptors, and we’ve become addicted to foods that are extremely harmful.

Now, there are compounds called opioid receptor antagonists. That means once they occupy the receptors, they prohibit you from being addicted to something else. And coffee is an opioid receptor antagonist. Caffeine can bind to your opioid receptors and may diminish the addictive impact of another substance like sugar.

“If you are addicted to sugar, for instance, and you really want to train your body gradually get rid of this addiction, using coffee would be a viable way to help yourself achieve this. Train yourself to drink black coffee. Drink it sugarless on an empty stomach and you will see how, gradually, the cravings will dissipate…”
Ori Hofmekler

So, all in all, it appears coffee may have some valuable redeeming benefits, particularly to boost the benefits of your morning workout, as long as you get high quality organic coffee, ground your own beans to make sure it’s fresh, and avoid adding sugar.

Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet, The Anti-Estrogenic Diet, Maximum Muscle Minimum Fat, and the upcoming book Unlocking the Muscle Gene is an expert on how to improve your health with foods.
Mercola.com video transcript

  

Vegan diet kills 11 month old

Vegans Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou fed their 11-month-old daughter Louise only mother’s milk, and she died suffering from a vitamin deficiency. The two are currently on trial in northern France, charged with neglect.

The pair called the emergency services in March 2008 after becoming worried about their baby’s listlessness. When the ambulance arrived, the baby was already dead.

According to Yahoo Health:

“An autopsy showed that Louise was suffering from a vitamin A and B12 deficiency which experts say increases a child’s sensitivity to infection and can be due to an unbalanced diet … The couple did not follow the doctor’s advice to hospitalize the baby who was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up.”

Breast milk is the best food hands-down you can give to your baby. But, it does have one downfall: its nutritional value is influenced by the mother’s diet. If the mother is consuming a diet that tends to be deficient in nutrients, such as a vegan diet, nutrients will be missing in her breast milk.

In the tragic case reported above, it appears 11-month-old Louise lost her life because her mom’s vegan diet created vitamin deficiencies in the breast milk she was exclusively fed on. Sadly, there were warning signs that the milk was not providing proper nutrition months before her death, as the baby was sickly and losing weight, but they were ignored.

People following a strict vegan diet are often convinced that it is the healthiest way of eating possible, which was most likely the case with Louise’s parents. But this tragedy can serve as a powerful warning for those who choose to avoid all animal foods.

Mercola.com
Yahoo Health

  

Hot dogs better than chicken?

Many people when shopping for a convenient ready to eat meat at the grocery store would choose rotisserie chicken over hot dogs or pepperoni, but as it turns out in a new study, they’d be wrong. Surprisingly, according to a new study, hot dogs and similar meats like pepperoni and deli meats are relatively free from carcinogenic compounds, and rotisserie chicken would be the riskier option.

The carcinogens in question are heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are compounds found in meat that has been fried, grilled or cooked at high temperatures. Diets high in HCAs from meat increase people’s risk of stomach, breast and colon cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers from Kansas State University tested the HCA levels of eight popular ready-to-eat meat products: beef hot dogs, beef-pork-turkey hot dogs, deli roast beef, deli ham, deli turkey, fully cooked bacon, pepperoni and rotisserie chicken.

Pepperoni had the lowest levels of HCAs; hot dogs and deli meat came in second. Overall, these products were low in HCAs, researchers said, while cooked bacon and rotisserie chicken meat had the highest levels. However, rotisserie chicken skin had the highest levels of HCAs overall.

But, before you go purchase pepperoni, consider that its low HCA levels may have to do with processing, which is in itself a health hazard. According to a KSU statement.

Remember, You cannot judge the danger of a food by its HCA content alone, which is based on the manner in which its been cooked. You also have to evaluate all those added ingredients, such as preservatives, flavoring, and food colors. Hot dogs, deli meats and bacon are notorious for their nitrite content, so even though they might be low in HCA’s, they are far from healthful.

  

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