Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

An Unjustified Knock Against Grass Fed Beef

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Animals raised in a natural environment and on their natural diet are likely be healthier, and in turn, be a source of higher quality meat. Based on this premise, choosing meat from pasture raised animals makes a lot of sense and is supported by research that has identified a number of ways in which this type of meat is superior. However, a recent study done by researchers from Texas A&M is being used to claim the opposite, that beef from grain fed cattle is healthier than beef from pasture fed cattle.

Although there are many great reasons to choose meat from pasture raised livestock, eating conventionally produced meat is not necessarily a guarantee for poor health. Someone who primarily eats whole foods, is active, and manages stress well will still be likely to enjoy good health despite the concerns associated with conventionally produced meat. However, to insinuate in a general sense that beef from grain fed cattle is healthier than that from pasture fed beef is quite a stretch in my opinion.


Chocolate: Indulgence or Superfood? (Part 1)

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Chocolate is the favorite food of many people but it’s often viewed as an unhealthy indulgence. Despite this, more and more evidence is suggesting that chocolate provides a number of impressive health benefits. Is this too good to be true?

Surprisingly, there’s an overwhelming amount of research and opinion existing on chocolate and its potential to alter mood, cause intense cravings, and influence health. As such, there’s a lot of important information to discuss, but too much to include in one article, so this will be the first of three. This article will discuss the beneficial aspects of chocolate, the next one will consider if and how chocolate can detract from health, and the final article will include my opinion on whether chocolate is a so called superfood or just an indulgence as is commonly thought. In this last article, I’ll also share what my three favorite chocolates are as well as some important information regarding selection.


Why Skim Milk Isn’t as Healthy as You May Think

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

We’ve been told for years that skim milk and low fat milk are healthier choices than whole milk, but is this really the case? While this advice is mostly based on avoiding saturated fat, there are other important factors to consider as well.

Milk is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they’re able to eat and digest other types of food. It’s an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, all of which are critical to proper development. This applies to the fat content of milk as well. When the fat is removed, so is a portion of its nutritional quality and its ability to support healthy development. The recommendation to avoid milk fat is not only based on questionable science, but is also influenced by the profit based motives of the dairy industry.


In-GREED-ients: Do You Know What Hydrogenated Oil Is?

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Hydrogenated oil is an ingredient in an overwhelming number of foods, and despite the fact that it’s a serious health risk, most people don’t know what it is or that it even exists.

David Burton, a cardiac nurse, was shocked when he learned that hydrogenated oil is trans fat and that it’s a major risk for heart disease. As a nurse who treats patients suffering from heart disease, he was disappointed and frustrated by the fact that his training didn’t provide him with this information and that his fellow nurses and doctors weren’t aware of it either. Most unsettling was the realization that he was feeding this dangerous ingredient to his two year old daughter. He responded by making an informative documentary about trans fat that everyone should see.


A1 Beta Casein: The Devil in Your Milk

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Although milk is one of the most common foods in the modern diet, pasteurization and modern dairy farming practices pose a number of concerns. In addition, many people are unable to properly digest dairy and it’s also one of the most common sources of food sensitivities which can cause a number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. As if this isn’t enough to worry about, there’s unfortunately another important and potentially harmful aspect of milk to consider.

Two varieties of proteins exist in milk. The most prominent is casein which represents 80% of the protein in milk, and the other, which is much more widely recognized, is whey. The digestion of a specific type of casein has been found to produce an opioid byproduct that can be very problematic for humans as well as animals. There’s strong evidence that links this casein and its opioid derivative with heart disease, mental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, type 1 diabetes, and a number of other autoimmune disorders. Fortunately, there are simple ways to avoid these risks.


The Elusive Answers to Good Health and Success

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Deep ThoughtWith the advancement of science and the ease of sharing information through the internet, it’s become easier than ever to find answers to our questions and problems. However, because of this ease of access, it’s easy to assume that there’s always only one correct answer and that it’s easy to find. Whether it be in regard to health or life in general, people who fall victim to this common trap are failing to recognize one of the most important aspects of achieving success.

Some people simply expect others to provide them with the answers to all of their concerns, and when this doesn’t happen, they fail to consider themselves as part of the problem. Although this type of mentality may not do much harm when applied to small tasks, it can have disastrous effects on your health, your happiness, and even your family life. As such, whenever faced with a problem or challenge, it’s essential that you recognize yourself as a significant part of the solution and take full responsibility for the outcome. An important but sometimes uncomfortable part of this is enabling yourself to draw your own conclusions and make informed decisions based on them.


Trans Fat: What the Food Industry Wants to Hide From You

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Trans FatIt’s fairly common knowledge that trans fat is unhealthy, but many people still don’t realize how unhealthy it actually is. Trans fat is still quite common, and as such, it’s important that you’re aware of the dangers that it presents and that you’re able to identify it on an ingredients list.

Unfortunately, the food industry has a lot of incentive to continue using trans fat. Because of the myth that saturated fat causes heart disease, trans fat provides a convenient way for food manufacturers to give their products the consistency of solid fat without having to list saturated fat on the nutrition label. Margarine is an excellent example. Furthermore, trans fat is less expensive, has a longer shelf life, is easier to bake with, and has a reduced need for refrigeration. As such, trans fat provides a lot of potential for reducing production costs and increasing profits. However, the one factor that’s not fully taken into account, which is also the most important factor, is your health.


13 Ridiculous Food Labels that Might Be Fooling You

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Food Label ConfusionWith the ridiculous and misleading claims that are made on the packaging of many foods, it can be difficult to differentiate the truth from devious marketing. This is important because the failure to make this distinction can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing.

To help you recognize the deceiving marketing that’s commonly found on food labels, I went grocery shopping and came home with a number of great examples. Aside from the obvious reason of it being unhealthy, I ordinarily don’t buy this type of food because it supports industrial agriculture, and in turn, supports irresponsible and inhumane farming practices. However, if I’m able to help steer you away from these foods, then it will be for a good cause.

The following are some of the most ridiculous and misleading food labels that quickly drew my attention in the grocery store.


Health Care Reform is Not the Answer!

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Health Care ReformAs promised, president Obama has been focused on making major changes to our broken health care system. Despite the volatile mix of passionate support and heated opposition that it’s inspired, both sides are completely neglecting the most important issue.

There’s no doubt that health insurance is important. We all want the comfort of knowing that we can rely on quality health care during times of need without incurring a lifetime of debt. Unfortunately, the rapidly growing cost of health care has risen out of reach for many people, and as a result, has created a significant challenge for the US government that is likely to affect us all.


Can Cheerios Really Reduce Cholesterol?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Cheerios, Cholesterol and Heart DiseaseGeneral Mills has successfully marketed their Cheerios brand of cereal to the point of it becoming widely recognized as a healthy breakfast food that helps to prevent heart disease. Are their claims for real, or are they nothing more than marketing hype?

One thing we can be sure of is that General Mills is pushing Cheerios as a “heart healthy” food very aggressively. The Cheerios box proudly boasts it’s cholesterol lowering capabilities and prominently displays the very expensive American Heart Association seal of approval, and just in case you overlook them, there are plenty of Cheerios commercials to make sure that you get the message.