Good Reading on Nutrition

The Whole Food Farmacy

This page has some excellent reading on nutrition. I’ve excerpted some of the most interesting parts below. In a nutshell:

  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup and minimize kids’ fruit juice consumption
  • Eat a plant-based diet with at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables, at least three to four servings of whole grains and regularly eat legumes as a side dish or occasionally as your protein source.
  • Don’t eat things that contain Gelatin or Hydrolyzed Collagen (Agar-agar, carageenan, guar gum, and xantham gum are all plant-based alternatives)
  • Eat lots of unsaturated, unhydrogenated fats

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By Linda Joyce Forristal, CCP, MTA

…Today high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used to sweeten jams, condiments like ketchup, and soft drinks. It is also a favorite ingredient in many so-called health foods. …According to a food technology expert, two of the enzymes used, alpha-amylase and glucose-isomerase, are genetically modified to make them more stable. …Consumers trying to avoid genetically modified foods should avoid HFCS. It is almost certainly made from genetically modified corn and then it is processed with genetically modified enzymes. I've seen some estimates claiming that virtually everything—almost 80 percent—of what we eat today has been genetically modified at some point. Since the use of HFCS is so prevalent in processed foods, those figures may be right.

But there's another reason to avoid HFCS. Consumers may think that because it contains fructose—which they associate with fruit, which is a natural food—that it is healthier than sugar. A team of investigators at the USDA, led by Dr. Meira Field, has discovered that this just ain't so.

Sucrose is composed of glucose and fructose. When sugar is given to rats in high amounts, the rats develop multiple health problems, especially when the rats were deficient in certain nutrients, such as copper. The researchers wanted to know whether it was the fructose or the glucose moiety that was causing the problems. So they repeated their studies with two groups of rats, one given high amounts of glucose and one given high amounts of fructose. The glucose group was unaffected but the fructose group had disastrous results. The male rats did not reach adulthood. They had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy—that means that their hearts enlarged until they exploded. They also had delayed testicular development. Dr. Field explains that fructose in combination with copper deficiency in the growing animal interferes with collagen production. (Copper deficiency, by the way, is widespread in America.) In a nutshell, the little bodies of the rats just fell apart. The females were not so affected, but they were unable to produce live young.

“The medical profession thinks fructose is better for diabetics than sugar,” says Dr. Field, “but every cell in the body can metabolize glucose. However, all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of the rats on the high fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic.”

HFCS contains more fructose than sugar and this fructose is more immediately available because it is not bound up in sucrose. Since the effects of fructose are most severe in the growing organism, we need to think carefully about what kind of sweeteners we give to our children. Fruit juices should be strictly avoided—they are very high in fructose—but so should anything with HFCS.

About the author
Weston A. Price Foundation Board Member Linda Forristal is the author of Ode to Sucanat (1993) and Bulgarian Rhapsody (1998).

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts,
the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2001

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Accept No Substitutes

By Katherine Tallmadge

Wednesday, August 25, 2004; Page F01

…”The thousands of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals [beneficial plant compounds] in whole foods act synergistically together to create a more powerful effect than the sum of their parts, producing a result which cannot be recreated by supplements,” says Jeff Prince, vice president for education at the American Institute for Cancer Research.

…says David Klurfeld, national program leader for human nutrition at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. “People think that we can pull out the fiber, pull out the antioxidants. But research does not back that up. Study after study says you gain the most benefit from whole foods.”

That is not to say that supplements are of no use. They can be of great benefit, when taken based on individualized needs. Most nutrition experts recommend a daily multivitamin and mineral tablet for everyone. But supplements simply can't compete with better food choices. Consider recent findings:

* When the ATBC Cancer Prevention study data was re-analyzed years later for consumption of fruits and vegetables, researchers found that while supplements did not prevent lung cancer, eating fruits and vegetables high in beta carotene
(e.g., carrots, sweet potatoes), lycopene (e.g.,tomatoes) and lutein/zeaxanthin (deep-green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale) reduced lung cancer risk.

* A diet high in cereal and vegetable fiber (35 grams versus 15 grams) reduces the risk of colon cancer by 40 percent, according to recent findings in the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) study. But studies of fiber supplements have failed to find any benefits and some have found an adverse effect.

* A diet high in fruit reduces lung cancer risk by 40 percent, also according to new EPIC study findings. Another study found subjects with a high fruit intake had a 44 percent lower risk of lung cancer compared with subjects eating the least amount of fruit. But when subjects added beta-carotene supplements, there was no benefit from the fruit.

* Men who ate 10 servings of tomato products weekly reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent compared with men who ate fewer than 1.5 servings, according to a Harvard Health Professional study. While the benefit is largely attributed to the phytochemical lycopene, trials of lycopene so far have found it is less potent than the tomato.

* A diet high in fruits and vegetables reduced stroke risk by 28 percent, and fruit alone reduced the risk by 40 percent, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2003. No dietary supplements have been found that significantly reduce stroke risk.

* People who ate collard greens or spinach two to four times per week had a 46 percent decrease in risk for age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness) compared with those who ate these vegetables less than once per
month, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this year. No studies have found supplements prevent or improve macular degeneration.

* People who eat more soy have a decreased risk for coronary heart disease, breast cancer and prostate cancer. But when various components of soy foods have been isolated and studied, these finding have not been replicated, and some have found adverse effects.

* A diet high in antioxidant-rich
foods helps prevent cardiovascular disease, but the studies of individual antioxidant supplements have been so inconclusive that the American Heart Association recently issued an advisory against taking them to reduce cardiovascular disease “Researchers are working as fast as we can to find the most effective components in foods,” says Janet Novotny, research physiologist at USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center in
Beltsville. “But so far, studies have shown that while fruits and vegetables are associated with decreased risk of chronic disease, studies of the isolated compounds in fruits and vegetables haven't shown an effect.”

Food and dietary patterns are complicated and expensive to study, and can defy the brightest minds and best intentions. In the meantime, the best advice is to eat a plant-based diet with at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables (you'll get the most benefit with the higher amount), at least three to four servings of whole grains and regularly eat legumes as a side dish or occasionally as your protein source.

Katherine Tallmadge is a Washington nutritionist and author of “Diet Simple” (Lifeline Press, 2004). Send e-mails to her at food@washpost.com.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

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After those bones and skins get soaked in lime to remove all hair and grease, seared with acid until they disintegrate and then molded into edible gelatin or collagen, they become part of countless protein bars, even the best-sellers. Also, shampoos, soaps, cosmetics, lotions, gelatins, pills, capsules etc.

Mind you, you won't find pig's feet, cattle hide, etc. when you check the ingredients. That's because they're hidden behind names like Gelatin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Gelatin and 16 other industry names.

Manufacturers see them as a significant protein source as well as a way to “thicken” and bind your foodless foods so they don't fall apart in your hands. What does fall apart is its nutritional value. Both gelatin and collagen lack an essential amino acid required to make them a complete usable protein. So on their own they're worthless sources of protein besides being disgusting.

They won't build or fuel your muscles. They weren't meant to. And they can't. If the bar says 30 grams of protein and it's made from hydrolyzed collagen or hydrolyzed gelatin, you're not getting 30 grams of real, usable protein- Period.

Then what are you getting? Who knows? They're not telling.

Even worse: some manufactures list hydrolyzed proteins as an ingredient, but don't indicate the source of the protein. So you have to ask yourself: if it's supposed to be food for you, why wouldn't they tell you where the protein came from? Hmmm.

The food and supplement industry should plead guilty to this deception.

Whole food protein is really real protein. Through and through. No collagen. No gelatin. No hidden hydrolyzed hype. No hooves. No hides. No bones. No skins. No weasels. No bull. Our whole food plant protein is exactly what it says it is. 100% Real.

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Vegetables ward off Alzheimer's

A healthy diet may help reduce Alzheimer's risk
Eating a diet rich in vegetables may be one way to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, research suggests. US scientists found that a diet high in unsaturated, unhydrogenated fats – found in vegetables and some oils – may help lower risk. However, a separate study found antioxidant vitamins – widely touted as good for general health – offer no such protective effect against Alzheimer's.

People who consumed a lot of saturated fat were 2.3 times more likely to develop symptoms than those whose diet was low in these fats. Conversely, people whose diet contained high levels of unsaturated fat were up to 80% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those who consumed low levels of unsaturated fats.

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