Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fruits, veggies slash breast cancer risk: U.S. study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Certain breast cancer survivors who load up on fruits and vegetables, eating far more than current U.S. guidelines, can slash their risk the tumors will come back by nearly a third, according to a U.S. study released on Monday.

The finding only held for women who did not have hot flashes after their cancer therapy, the researchers said -- a finding that suggests fruits and vegetables act on estrogen.
Their analysis suggests an explanation for why some studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables lowers the risk that breast cancer will come back, while others do not. It may depend on the individual patient, they report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"Women with early stage breast cancer who have hot flashes have better survival and lower recurrence rates than women who don't," said Ellen Gold of the University of California Davis, who helped lead the study.

Several studies have shown this. And this study showed that women who had hot flashes after treatment for breast cancer had lower estrogen levels than women who did not.

As estrogen drives the most common type of breast cancer, this suggests that eating extra servings of fruits and vegetables -- above and beyond the five servings a day recommended by the U.S. government -- may lower harmful estrogen levels in cancer survivors, the researchers said.

"It appears that a dietary pattern high in fruits, vegetables and fiber, which has been shown to reduce circulating estrogen levels, may only be important among women with circulating estrogen levels above a certain threshold," said John Pierce of the University of California San Diego.

The researchers took a second look at data from 3,000 breast cancer patients in a study aimed at seeing whether a diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables might keep their cancer from coming back.

Such a diet has been shown to lower overall risk of ever getting breast cancer in the first place.
The women were on average 53, and half were told to double their fruit and vegetable intake to 10 servings a day, eat more fiber and lower fat intake more than government recommendations. "We compared the dietary intervention group to a group that received '5-a-day' dietary guidelines," the researchers wrote.

About 30 percent of the original 3,000 breast cancer survivors said they did not have hot flashes -- a common side-effect of breast cancer treatment.

The researchers looked at the data on these women specifically and found that only 16 percent of those who doubled up on fruits and vegetables had their tumors come back after seven years, compared to 23 percent of those merely given advice on food guidelines.

Women who had been through menopause lowered their risk by 47 percent if they loaded up on salads, fruit and other plant food.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chewing Gum Can Help Your Improve Your Gums and Teeth

Here are a few good reasons for chewing (sugarless) gum, but remember it must have this in it...

Does Your Gum Have Vitamin C?

Snapping and popping gum remain image busters -- just ask Britney Spears watchers. But here's a good excuse for discreet chewing: less blood at the dentist's office.

If your gums bleed a lot during cleaning -- a sign of subpar dental health -- your dentist may urge you to floss more. But chew gum more? It could help. In a recent study, gum chewers experienced less gingivitis-like bleeding than non-chewers, but only if their gum of choice was enriched with vitamin C. Better yet, they didn't have to chew for a long time to get the benefit. Dentists have been concerned that too much direct contact between tooth enamel and vitamin C leads to a breakdown in tooth structure, but there was no problem with erosion in this study.

And gum chewers didn't need to chew long -- only for about 15 minutes -- to release nearly all of the vitamin C in their sample gum. But they did chew daily -- about five times each day, in fact -- to achieve the benefits.

Sound like a lot of chewing? Consider this: The benefits didn't stop at just healthier gums. Chewers also had less plaque and tartar on their teeth.

Tooth and gum trouble begins when tartar forms on the tooth near or under the gum line, causing gum inflammation and possibly periodontal disease. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional cleaning will remove the troublesome substance. And although gum chewing isn't a substitute for good oral care, vitamin C-enriched gum did appear to help minimize tartar and plaque in this study, particularly in people whose mouths tended to produce lots of the stuff.

Chewing sugarless gum helps you in other ways, too. It sweeps away the sugar and nasty by-products of bacteria lurking in your mouth. Go for vitamin-C enriched sugarless gum and your pearly whites may be in even better shape. Look for gum that contains vitamin C at health food and supplement stores.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Amazing Olive Oil News

Olive oil -- the unsaturated fat that’s great for your heart -- is making headlines again. But this time it’s for helping something a little lower down: your stomach.

Research suggests that polyphenols in olive oil may inhibit the bacterium that causes most stomach ulcers.

Heard of H. Pylori?Antibiotics are the treatment gold standard for Helicobacter (H.) pylori, the ulcer-causing bacterium that’s tough enough to survive the acidity of people’s stomachs. But resistant strains of H. pylori are now found worldwide. Fortunately, some researchers are seeking alternative therapies, and in recent studies, the polyphenols in olive oil showed tremendous potential. Not only could they withstand the harsh gastric juices of the stomach, but they also seemed to kill off H. pylori pretty handily -- even antibiotic-resistant strains. Find out how to tell the difference between the burn of a stomach ulcer and the heat of heartburn.

Olive Oil Power BoostersTo protect the polyphenols in your olive oil and get the most out of the stuff, store it in a dark bottle away from sunlight, and don’t overheat it. (Check out how the YOU Docs suggest heating your olive oil.)

Recipe CornerSqueeze more olive oil into your day with these simple-to-do EatingWell recipes:
Give sauteed veggies a lift with Herbed Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.

Kick up the flavor of salads with a quick homemade dressing. Try this easy Basic Vinaigrette.

Set out these 10-minute Garlic-Herb Marinated Olives at your next soiree.

~ Via Real Age.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin: One for Your Porch, One for Your Plate

When you grab a pumpkin for your fall porch this year, grab one for your plate, too. Why? Two really good reasons: Pumpkin makes an incredibly rich and flavorful base for all sorts of soups, stews, and desserts. And it’s absolutely packed with blood-pressure-friendly nutrients.

Halloween Help for Your Heart

Pumpkin flesh is crammed full of phenols -- a type of health-promoting antioxidant that’s found in many plant-based foods. But pumpkin phenols may have particularly body-kind qualities. In cell studies, phenols from pumpkin flesh put a damper on the same enzyme that some blood pressure drugs target to reduce vascular tension. In other words, the phenols in pumpkin may help keep blood vessels relaxed, which means better blood pressure and better heart health. (Here’s another fun way to relax your blood vessels.)

Save the Seeds

When you scoop out your pumpkin, save the seeds so you can roast them. Pumpkin seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid -- a healthy fat that also helps protect blood vessels. No time to cook fresh pumpkin? No problem. Use canned pureed pumpkin. It’s precooked, tastes great, and is just as good for you. BTW, cooking pumpkin seems to enhance its phenolic properties.

Recipe Corner

Of course, pumpkin is best known as a great pie filling. But put a new twist on it with this quick, simple, and yum-o recipe from EatingWell: Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie. And when you’re ready to expand beyond dessert, try EatingWell’s easy, breezy Pumpkin Popovers.

~ Via Real Age.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Eat Like A Mediterranean!

Eating like a Mediterranean, by including lots of fresh vegetables, whole grains and healthy oils in your diet, may help lower your risk of heart disease. Discover two quick and easy Mediterranean snacks that will help keep your heart strong. EatingWell Food and Nutrition experts show you how to make two quick and delicious Mediterranean style snacks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Kid's Favorite: For Your Blood Sugar

There’s something sweet and creamy that kids love -- and it may actually be good for your blood sugar. It’s not chocolate pudding. It’s peanut butter. Adults in a recent study who ate this childhood fave at least five times a week reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by 27 percent. Go NuttyResearchers speculate that the unsaturated fats in nuts -- and nut butters -- may partly explain the big dip in diabetes risk. These healthy fats may somehow improve insulin sensitivity and keep your blood sugar stable. The fiber and magnesium in nuts may also decrease insulin demand and resistance. (Better than takeout: Satisfy your cravings for Chinese food with these deliciously healthy Spicy Peanut Noodles.) In a NutshellAn added bonus of eating peanut butter? Staying slim. The study participants did, especially when they used nut products to replace other fatty foods, like chips. Here are even more reasons to dip into nuts and nut butters:

Peeper protection. Eating nuts at least once a week may save your vision and prevent this sight-stealing disease.

Heart help. Eating a serving of nuts twice a week can slash your heart attack risk by almost half. Here’s why.

Mood boosting. Here’s how nuts banish the blues and make you smile.

Glowing skin. They’re part of our healthy-skin diet. Video: Make your own savory snacks at home.

Watch this video on how to toast nuts.

Tip: Be aware that peanuts are heavily sprayed with pesticides so, be smart and pay the extra price for ORGANIC peanut butter. Natural does not mean organic!

Via Real Age.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Food Allergies: What do you do?

You eat strawberries. Hives. You eat shellfish. Your throat starts to close and you can’t breathe. You eat nuts. Your lips and tongue start to swell. You obviously are suffering from food allergies. Is there anything can you do to prevent them?

Food allergies are the result of the immune system’s inability to detect what is healthy and what is not in the food that you eat. It may see that strawberry as an invader of sorts, so it launches an all-out attack to get rid of the invader, or allergen. To do this, the immune system produces proteins, called antibodies, against the invader. These antibodies can then recognize the alien invader (strawberry) if it enters your body again.

Your body also responds to allergens by producing histamines; these histamines produce the allergic reaction to the food source in the form of a runny nose, hives, rashes, inflammation or swelling, difficulty breathing, and at its worst – anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that leads to difficulty breathing, a sharp decrease in blood pressure and unconsciousness.

Food allergies can also produce conditions such as ADD/ADHD, irritability, stomach and digestive system problems, migraines, arthritis, depression, seizures, irritable or inflammatory bowel diseases, colds and ear infections.

Obviously if you’ve had a bad reaction after eating a certain food, it would be best to stay away from it in the future. Some people have tried eliminating whole groups of food from their diets (i.e., dairy, gluten, grains, nuts, etc.) when it is difficult to pinpoint one cause.

Since allergies are the result of an immune system response gone haywire, improving immune system function may reduce or even eliminate allergies. Chiropractic care has been shown to improve the overall health of the central nervous system, which controls and properly regulates the immune system. Once stress to your nervous system is reduced, allergies often disappear or are far less bothersome.

Another effective way to build up your immune system is to take Juice Plus+. Juice Plus+ contains 17 fruits and vegetables in a capsule, which builds up your immune system and helps prevent diseases. Visit my website http://jeanheimannsjuiceplus.com/ to learn more.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tropical Treat for Joint Pain

Got an achy back? A bum knee? Consider soothing yourself with this poolside treat: a mai tai.

Okay, you can probably skip the rum. The real joint-soothing power in this pick-me-up comes from the pineapple.

Any Way You Slice It

That’s right. Pineapple --
be it part of an icy drink, a fruit salad, or a barbecue kabob -- contains an anti-inflammatory enzyme called bromelain. New research shows that bromelain soothes your cells by reducing the migration of white blood cells to sites of inflammation -- like sunburned skin, injured muscles, and arthritic joints. Know how to pick a ripe pineapple? Watch this video for tips on picking-- and preparing -- a fresh one.

~ Via Real Age.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ten Cancer Prevention Tips

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) expert report on Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer, was released in November 2007 (view the full report in: http://www.dietandcancerreport.org//). The Report is intended as a guide to future scientific research, cancer prevention programs and health policy around the world.

The following paragraphs summarize the 10 recommendations from the WCRF report.

Recommendation 1: Body fat
Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight.
Public health goals
Median adult body mass index (BMI) to be between 21 and 23, depending on the normal range for different populations
The proportion of the population that is overweight or obese to be no more than the current level, or preferably lower, in 10 years
Note: “Normal range” refers to appropriate ranges issued by national governments or the World Health Organization
Personal recommendations
Ensure that body weight through childhood and adolescent growth projects towards the lower end of the normal BMI range at age 21
Maintain body weight within the normal range from age 21
Avoid weight gain and increases in waist circumference throughout adulthood

Recommendation 2: Physical activity
Be physically active as part of everyday life.
Public health goals
The proportion of the population that is sedentary to be halved every 10 years
Average physical activity levels (PALs) to be above 1.6
Personal recommendations
Be moderately physically active, equivalent to brisk walking, for at least 30 minutes every day
As fitness improves, aim for 60 minutes or more of moderate, or for 30 minutes or more of vigorous, physical activity every day
Limit sedentary habits such as watching television

Recommendation 3: Foods and drinks that promote weight gain
Limit consumption of energy-dense foods; avoid sugary drinks.
Public health goals
Average energy density of diets to be lowered towards 125 kcal per 100 g
Population average consumption of sugary drinks to be halved every 10 years
Personal recommendations
Consume energy-dense foods sparingly
Avoid sugary drinks
Consume “fast foods” sparingly, if at all
Note: Energy-dense foods are here defined as those with an energy content of more than about 225–275 kcal per 100 g; Sugary drinks principally refers to drinks with added sugars. Fruit juices should also be limited.

Recommendation 4: Plant foods
Eat mostly foods of plant origin.
Public health goals
Average population consumption of non-starchy vegetables and of fruits to be at least 600 g daily
Relatively unprocessed cereals (grains) and/or pulses (legumes), and other foods that are a natural source of dietary fibre, to contribute to a population average of at least 25 g non-starch polysaccharide daily
Personal recommendations
Eat at least five portions/servings (at least 400 g) of a variety of non-starchy vegetables and of fruits every day
Eat relatively unprocessed cereals (grains) and/or pulses (legumes) with every meal
Limit refined starchy foods
People who consume starchy roots or tubers as staples also to ensure intake of sufficient non-starchy vegetables, fruits, and pulses (legumes)

Recommendation 5: Animal foods
Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat.
Public health goal
Average population consumption of red meat to be no more than 300gm a week, very little if any of which to be processed.
Personal recommendation
People who eat red meat to consume less than 500gm a week, very little if any to be processed
Note: ‘Red meat refers to beef, pork, lamb, and goat from domesticated animals including that contained in processed foods; processed meat refers to meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or addition of chemical preservatives, including that contained in processed foods.

Recommendation 6: Alcoholic drinks
Limit alcoholic drinks.
Public health goal
Proportion of the population drinking more than the recommended limits to be reduced by one third every 10 years
Personal recommendation
If alcoholic drinks are consumed, limit consumption to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women
Note: One drink contains about 10–15gm of ethanol

Recommendation 7: Preservation, processing, preparation
Limit consumption of salt. Avoid moldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes)
Public health goals
Population average consumption of salt from all sources to be less than 5gm (2gm of sodium) a day
Proportion of the population consuming more than 6gm of salt (2.4gm of sodium) a day to be halved every 10 years
Minimise exposure to aflatoxins from mouldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes)
Personal recommendations
Avoid salt-preserved, salted, or salty foods; preserve foods without using salt
Limit consumption of processed foods with added salt to ensure an intake of less than 6gm (2.4gm sodium) a day
Do not eat moldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes)
Note: Methods of preservation that do not or need not use salt include refrigeration, freezing, drying, bottling, canning, and fermentation.

Recommendation 8: Dietary supplements
Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.
Public health goal
Maximise the proportion of the population achieving nutritional adequacy without dietary supplements
Personal recommendation
Dietary supplements are not recommended for cancer prevention
Note: It may not always be feasible to meet nutritional needs through diet alone. In some situations of illness or dietary inadequacy, supplements may be valuable.

Special Recommendation 1: Breastfeeding
Mothers to breastfeed; children to be breastfed.
Public health goal
The majority of mothers to breastfeed exclusively, for six months
Personal recommendation
Aim to breastfeed infants exclusively up to six months and continue with complementary feeding thereafter

Special Recommendation 2: Cancer survivors
Follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.
All cancer survivors to receive nutritional care from an appropriately trained professional
If able to do so, and unless otherwise advised, aim to follow the recommendations for diet, healthy weight, and physical activity
Note: Cancer survivors are people who are living with a diagnosis of cancer, including those who have recovered from the disease.

Excerpted from this article.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What is Kefir?

I drink kefir daily and use it to make delicious smoothies, using my Juice Plus+ Complete (You can use soy milk, cow's milk, goat's milk, rice milk or coconut milk -- whichever you prefer. I like the taste of kefir).

Kefir is a tangy, slightly sour tasting fermented milk. Kefir's closest cousin is yogurt, also made by fermenting milk with bacteria. But kefir is fermented with more and different types of bacteria, in addition to yeast, which means the final product has more of the beneficial microorganisms, or "probiotics," that first made yogurt a popular health food. Probiotics can control the growth of harmful bacteria and aid digestion, and some even manufacture vitamins in the gut. Kefir can be made from any type of milk, cow, goat or sheep, coconut, rice or soy.

This is the brand of keifer I prefer - it is rich tasting and is a good source of protein, calcium, and pstassium. Other benefits of keifer are described here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Drugs in drinking water affect more Americans than previously thought

Testing prompted by an Associated Press story that revealed trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in drinking water supplies has shown that more Americans are affected by the problem than previously thought - at least 46 million. That's up from 41 million people reported by the AP in March as part of an investigation into the presence of pharmaceuticals in the nation's waterways. Officials in one of those communities, Colorado Springs, say they detected five pharmaceuticals in all, including a tranquilizer and a hormone. The drug residues detected in water supplies are generally flushed into sewers and waterways through human excretion. Many of the pharmaceuticals are known to slip through sewage and drinking water treatment plants.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What Type of Fruit Are You?

You Are an Apple

You are strong, powerful, and even a bit stubborn at times.

You have enough strength to help those around you in trouble.

You are adventurous and charming. Many people are drawn to you.

You love life, and you enjoy traveling the world. You enjoy fine food, art, and culture.

People have accused you of being a snob, but that's not accurate.

You do enjoy the best things in life. Unlike snobs, you truly appreciate quality... not just pretend to.

The Fruit Your Colon Craves

If you had to choose one fruit to keep your colon happy, which would it be? If you said apples, that's not a bad choice. The kind of fiber in apples -- called pectin -- appears to both bump up colon-protective compounds and clamp down on cancer-causing ones.

The Power of PectinIn a lab study, apple pectin increased levels of butyrate, a fatty acid that not only keeps colon tissue healthy but also slows the production of a cancer-causing substance. Apple juice extracts amped up butyrate as well.

~ Via Real Age.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

USDA: Back to School Food Safety Tips

It's time to pull out the backpacks and clean the lunch boxes as children head back-to-school this month. Packing safe lunches for school and for work is critically important. Since September is also National Food Safety Education Month(R), the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education are providing tips to help parents keep their children and themselves healthy.

Parents are reminded to follow the Be Food Safe basic practices of Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill to help reduce their family's risk of foodborne illness.

When packing lunches to take to school or the office, keep the following food safety tips in mind:

-- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least twenty seconds before you prepare food or after playing outside, touching pets and using the bathroom. Sing "Happy Birthday" twice while washing hands to make sure you are washing long enough to send germs down the drain!

-- Work on a clean surface. To prevent cross-contamination, always use a clean cutting board. Use one cutting board for fresh produce or bread and a separate one for meat, poultry and seafood.

-- Rinse fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Dry with a paper towel.

-- If lunches are made at home the night before, keep them in the refrigerator until it's time to go. Make sure the refrigerator is 40 F or below at all times and use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature.

-- Use an insulated lunch box, with an insulated bottle for hot foods or a frozen gel pack or a frozen juice box to keep perishable foods cold.

-- Wash insulated lunch totes or boxes with hot soapy water after each use.

Smart students and parents never leave perishable foods out at room temperature for more than two hours. Toss any perishable food not eaten at lunchtime.

For free stuff for kids, teachers and parents

Parents and after-school providers are urged to help kids learn about food safety by getting them involved in fun, educational activities. Free work sheets, curriculum materials and a handwashing poster are available at www.fightbac.org.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating makes you feel better and look better. This video by syndicated columnist Rita Heikenfeld shows you recipes, cooking tips and is a guide to healthy eating.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How Singing Improves Your Health

If you ever have the desire to break out into song -- in the shower, in the car, maybe at your neighbor's infamous karaoke night -- you should embrace it whole-heartedly. This ancient art not only feels good, it can enhance your well-being, reduce your feelings of pain and even prolong your life.

You don't have to be a professional to reap the benefits of singing.

Using your voice to sing, rather than simply carry out a conversation, offers unique benefits. "When we sing instead of speak, we have intonation, melody line, and crescendo, which gives us a broader vocabulary to express ourselves," says Suzanne Hanser, chair of the music therapy department at Berklee College of Music. "Because singing is visceral (relating to, or affecting, our bodies), it can't help but effect change."

Singing Reduces Stress and Pain

Studies have linked singing with a lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and reduced stress, according to Patricia Preston-Roberts, a board-certified music therapist in New York City. She uses song to help patients who suffer from a variety of psychological and physiological conditions.

"Some people who have been traumatized often want to leave the physical body, and using the voice helps ground them to their bodies," Preston-Roberts says. "Singing also seems to block a lot of the neural pathways that pain travels through."

Singing for Seniors

Singing, particularly in a chorus, seems to benefit the elderly particularly well. As part of a three-year study examining how singing affects the health of those 55 and older, a Senior Singers Chorale was formed by the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C.

The seniors involved in the chorale (as well as seniors involved in two separate arts groups involving writing and painting) showed significant health improvements compared to those in the control groups. Specifically, the arts groups reported an average of:

30 fewer doctor visits

Fewer eyesight problems

Less incidence of depression

Less need for medication

Fewer falls and other injuries

Read more here.

Source: SixWise.com

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Seven 'Super Foods' of the Bible

Trying to eat healthy? Start by opening your Bible to Deuteronomy 8:8, where the Israelites are promised "a good land…, a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey."

The ancients might not have known the word "antioxidant," but they were onto something with this list of biblical "super-foods." Explore this gallery to find out exactly how on-target they were.

Super Food #1: Wheat -->This grain, which is found in everything from bread to pasta to cakes, is healthier when it is refined as little as possible. Whole-wheat products (those that are certified 100% whole wheat) contain 30 percent of your recommended daily fiber intake, as well as high levels of manganese and magnesium. A diet rich in whole grains is also thought to increase your energy level and lower your risk of type-2 diabetes, gallstones, and other health issues.

Super Food #2: Barley -->Another whole grain, barley can be found in breads and cereals, as well as in hearty winter soups. High in fiber, barley is good for intestinal health and can lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of colon cancer and type-2 diabetes if eaten regularly. Barley also contains trace amounts of copper, which have been shown to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

Super Food #3: Grapes -->Everyone knows that grape juice and red wine are tasty—but healthy? Grapes contain nutritional compounds called flavonoids, which are believed to reduce your risk of blood clots and protect your body from damage by the "free radicals" found in LDL, or "bad," cholesterol. Rich in antioxidants, grapes may provide protection against cardiovascular disease, particularly in women.

Super Food #4: Figs -->These sweet fruits, eaten either dried or fresh, are high in potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure. They are also high in dietary fiber, which may help you lose weight, and they are a fruit source of calcium, which can help preserve bone density. Fig leaves, which are not typically eaten but can be made into an extract, are thought to help lower insulin levels in diabetics.

Super Food #5: Pomegranate -->These strange-looking seed fruits are back in vogue as health-giving super-foods, particularly in juice form. The fruits are rich in antioxidants, which prevent LDL cholesterol from doing its damage, and it helps prevent blood clots by keeping blood platelets from clumping together. Pomegranates may also help reduce the risk of breast cancer and lessen the symptoms of arthritis.

Super Food #6: Olive Oil -->Olives, and the extra-virgin oil that is made from a single pressing of the fruit, contain many of the antioxidants that are thought to protect against the oxidation of LDL cholesterol compounds. They also are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which are called "the healing fats" because they lower the effects of "bad" cholesterol while raising "good" cholesterol levels. High in vitamin E, olive oil also is thought to protect against colon cancer, and it is helpful in fighting gastritis and other stomach ailments.

Super Food #7: Honey -->Raw honey, in addition to being a natural sweetener, is replete with antioxidants and is considered to be an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal substance. It is thought to have tumor-fighting properties, and may help prevent colon cancer. The daily consumption of a spoonful of honey is said to increase antioxidant levels in the blood, and is the healthiest sweetener for type-2 diabetics. Honey also may have wound-healing and muscle-regenerating properties.

The 7 "Super Foods" of the Bible The ancients' prescient advice on healthy eating.Trying to eat healthy? Start by opening your Bible to Deuteronomy 8:8, where the Israelites are promised "a good land…, a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey."

The ancients might not have known the word "antioxidant," but they were onto something with this list of biblical "super-foods." Explore this gallery to find out exactly how on-target they were.

Source: http://www.beliefnet.com/

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New website compares nutrition and health labels on leading food products

A new website called Labelwatch.com allows consumers to compare label information on more than 25,000 brand-name consumer products. Visitors to the site can research and compare foods on a wide range of criteria, including additives, ingredients, and nutritional facts.

The site was founded by Dianne Manning, who discovered the importance of reading ingredient labels while suffering a particularly unpleasant medical issue. "For years I suffered with a chronic condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS),” said Manning. “Doctors and medications failed, but eliminating a few foods and additives from my diet completely solved the problem. As a result I became an avid reader of packaged food labels. This was time-consuming, confusing and often misleading. I looked for an easier solution, but none existed. That's when the idea for Labelwatch was conceived.

"On the site, ingredients are linked to a proprietary color-coded ingredient glossary created with information from food labeling authorities such as The National Institutes of Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Food & Drug Administration, and Foods Standards Agency UK.Products that contain no "cautionary" ingredients, as defined by the glossary, are awarded a special seal.

The site is free for everyone. By registering on the site, users can also create customized shopping lists of brand-name products. The site also contains a Smart Shopping section that offers information about reading labels and food shopping; an in-depth database of Smart Recipe cards and videos; and information about Smart Living as it applies to dieting, beauty, fitness, and natural health.

Beyond just consumers, Labelwatch expects to see the site utilized extensively by professionals. “We’ve had a huge outpouring of support from the health & wellness community,” said Manning. “Dietitians, physicians, fitness trainers and non-profit health organizations all see Labelwatch as a critical tool they can incorporate into their professional practice."


Via Packaging Digest.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Whole Foods vs. Processed Foods

What's a whole food vs. a processed food? Nutrition by Natalie explains. Whole foods can help your health, prevent diseases, and can help you lose weight.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Exercise and good eating habits a family affair

Read the article here.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/06/08

Friday, August 1, 2008

America's Worst Restaurants for Kids Revealed

NEW YORK, Aug 01, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Eat This, Not That! Authors Grade 43 National Chains; 6 Receive an 'F'

Which kids' menus are most likely to make your children fat? A year-long study of children's meals has revealed vast dietary differences among America's favorite fast-food and sit-down chain restaurants, according to the authors of the new book EAT THIS, NOT THAT! For Kids. Co-authors David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding calculated calories, fat (trans- and saturated), and sodium, as well as the average number of calories per children's entree, and discovered that many of America's most popular chain restaurants are nutritional nightmares for America's children.

The authors compared children's entrees; credited restaurants for having healthy adult options that would appeal to the young palate; evaluated healthy vegetable and fruit sides and drink options that go beyond sugar-laden soda; and docked points for restaurants still dishing out unhealthy trans fats or for refusing to release any nutrition information to their customers.

The result is a Restaurant Report Card that holds each food chain accountable for the fare they're serving up -- to moms, dads, kids, teens, and everybody else -- along with a survival strategy for making it through any meal unscathed.

Did your favorite restaurant make the grade?

Chick-fil-A excels in every category we tested for. With a slew of low-calorie sandwiches, the country's "healthiest" chicken nugget, a variety of solid sides like fresh fruit and soup that can be substituted into any meal, and nutritional brochures readily available for perusing at each location, Chick-fil-A earns the award for America's Healthiest Chain Restaurant (for kids, for the adults who drive them there, plus anybody else wise enough to make it their fast food choice).

Your Survival Strategy: Even the smartest kid in the class can still fail a test, so be on your toes at all times, even at Chik-fil-A. Limit salads with ranch or Caesar dressings, any sandwich with bacon, and make milkshakes a special treat, not an everyday beverage.

A menu based on lean protein and vegetables is always going to score well in our book. With more than half a dozen sandwiches under 300 calories, plus a slew of soups and healthy sides to boot, Subway can satisfy even the pickiest eater without breaking the caloric bank.
But, despite what Jared may want you to believe, Subway is not nutritionally infallible: Those rosy calorie counts posted on the menu boards include neither cheese nor mayo (add 160 calories per 6-inch sub) and some of the toasted subs, like the Meatball Marinara, contain hefty doses of calories, saturated fat, and sodium.

Your Survival Strategy: Cornell researchers have discovered a "health halo" at Subway, which refers to the tendency to reward yourself or your kid with chips, cookies, and large soft drinks because the entree is healthy. Avoid the halo, and all will be well.

Boston Market
With more than a dozen healthy vegetable sides and lean meats like turkey and roast sirloin on the menu, the low-cal, high-nutrient possibilities at Boston Market are endless. But with nearly a dozen calorie-packed sides and fatty meats like dark meat chicken and meat loaf (which contains an unfathomable 55 ingredients!), it's almost as easy to construct a lousy meal.

Your Survival Strategy: There are three simple steps to nutritional salvation: 1) Start with turkey, sirloin, or rotisserie chicken. 2) Add two noncreamy, nonstarchy vegetable sides. 3) Ignore all special items, such as pot pie and nearly all of the sandwiches.

Though not blessed with an abundance of healthy options, Mickey D's isn't burdened with any major calorie bombs, either. Kid standards like McNuggets and cheeseburgers are both in the acceptable 300-calorie range.

Your Survival Strategy: Apple Dippers and 2% milk with a small entree makes for a pretty decent meal-on-the-go. McDonald's quintessential Happy Meal(R) makes this possible -- just beware the usual French fries and soda pitfalls. Adults should go for a Quarter Pounder without cheese.

Domino's suffers the same pitfalls of any other pizza purveyor: too much cheese, bread, and greasy toppings. If you don't order carefully, your child's pizza might come laden with more than 350 calories per slice. To its credit, Domino's does keep the trans fat out of the pizza, and it also offers the lowest-calorie thin crust option out there.

Your Survival Strategy: Stick with the Crunchy Thin Crust pizzas sans sausage and pepperoni. If your must order meat, ask for ham. And whenever possible, try to sneak on a vegetable or two per pie.

Burger King

BK has only four legitimate kids' entrees on the menu, and none of them -- French Toast Sticks, hamburger, mac and cheese, chicken tenders -- are particularly healthy. And while the recent addition of Apple Fries provides a much-needed healthy side alternative for kids, the menu is still sullied with trans fats. BK pledged to follow in the wake of nearly every other chain restaurant and remove trans fats from the menu by the end of 2008, but so far, we've seen little action. In fact, a large order of Hash Browns has an outrageous 13 grams of the heart-threatening fat, and even an order of Cini-minis will add 4.5 grams of trans fats to your kid's breakfast.

Your Survival Strategy: Adults can sign on for the Whopper Junior and a Garden Salad, and escape with only 365 calories. The best kids' meal? A 4-piece Chicken Tenders(R), applesauce or Apple Fries, and water or milk. Beyond that, there is little hope of escaping unscathed.

We applaud Chipotle's commitment to high-quality produce and fresh meats, but even the most pristine ingredients can't limit the damage wrought by the massive portion sizes the chain serves up. The lack of options for kids means young eaters are forced to tussle with one of Chipotle's behemoth burritos or taco platters, which can easily top 1,000 calories. Don't think you'll escape by ordering up a salad, either -- even a leafy bowl at Chipotle can knock out more than half a day's worth of calories.

Your Survival Strategy: Stick to the crispy tacos or burrito bowls, or saw a burrito in thirds.

Applebee's, IHOP, Olive Garden, Outback, Red Lobster, T.G.I. Friday's
These titans of the restaurant industry are among the last national chains that don't provide nutritional information on their dishes. Even after years of communication with their representatives, we still hear the same old excuses: it's too pricey, it's too time-consuming, it's impossible to do accurately because their food is so fresh. Our response is simple: If every other chain restaurant in the country can do it, then why can't they? Recent New York legislation requiring these restaurants to run calorie counts on their menus gave diners a glimpse of what these establishments are hiding: At Friday's, no fewer than nine sandwiches and ten appetizers topple the 1000-calorie barrier; at IHOP, the "healthiest" entree-size salad has a staggering 1050 calories; and at Outback, even a simple order of salmon will wipe out 75% of your day's caloric allotment.

Your Survival Strategy: Write letters, make phone calls, beg, scream, and plead for these restaurants to provide nutritional information on all of their products. Ask them why they refuse to tell us the truth!

For a comprehensive A-to-F breakdown on 30 other chain restaurants -- plus the best and worst meals at each -- see the complete EAT THIS, NOT THAT! For Kids Restaurant Report Card at eatthis.com/restaurants.

EAT THIS, NOT THAT! For Kids is available nationwide on August 19th.

DAVID ZINCZENKO, SVP/Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health magazine, is the author of New York Times bestsellers The Abs Diet and The Abs Diet for Women. Once an overweight child, Zinczenko has become one of the nation's leading experts on health and fitness. He is a regular contributor to the Today show and has appeared on Oprah, Ellen, Good Morning America, and Primetime Live.

MATT GOULDING is the food and nutrition editor of Men's Health. He has cooked and eaten his way around the world, touching down in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he divides most of his time between keyboard and stovetop.

SOURCE Rodale; EAT THIS, NOT THAT! For Kids http://www.eatthis.com/restaurants

Via Market Watch.

My Comments:

The way to keep your kids healthy is to take them out to eat as infrequently as possible. Cook homemade meals as often as possible and give them Juice Plus+, a capsule which contains 17 fruits, vegetables and grains. See my Juice Plus+ website for more information. Children need to include many more raw fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their diet and this is what Juice Plus+ offers them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quiz: How Healthy is Your Diet?

Take the Quiz Here. Feel free to share your results in the comment box below.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sweet fruit drinks found to lead to diabetes

Sweetened fruit drinks are often marketed as a healthier alternative to non-diet soft drinks but are just as likely to cause weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes, researchers said on Monday.

"The public should be made aware that these drinks are not a healthy alternative to soft drinks with regard to risk of type 2 diabetes," Julie Palmer and colleagues at Boston University wrote in their report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, is closely linked to obesity and has become more common worldwide.

The findings came from a look at nearly 44,000 black women in the United States who were checked from 1995 through 2005.

Those who said they drank two or more non-diet soft drinks a day had a 24 percent increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes than those in the study who drank fewer than one regular soft drink per month, the research team said.

Women who drank two or more sweetened fruit drinks per day had a 31 percent increased risk compared to those who drank fewer than one such fruit drink a month. Diet soft drinks, grapefruit juice and orange juice were not linked to a higher diabetes risk, the researchers said.

While pure orange and grapefruit juices also contain sugars naturally, they may have a different metabolic effect or may be more likely to be consumed as part of a meal, the investigators said.

Soft drinks and sweetened juices are often consumed between meals and may lead to snacking, they said.

An earlier study involving thousands of white women also linked diabetes to both soft drinks and sweetened juices, the report said.

Another study in the same journal found that eating fruits and vegetables seems to ward off type 2 diabetes, perhaps by preventing obesity or providing protective nutrients, including antioxidants.

A third study found that a low-fat diet does not seem to change the risk of diabetes.

"The common denominator that appears clear is that calories trump everything," Dr. Mark Feinglos of the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina wrote in a commentary in the same issue. "And certain nutrients, like high fructose corn syrup, make it easier to overeat," he added.

"If you keep the calories low, you can probably eat almost anything, which is what the low-carb diets show us. Specific metabolic issues aside, an important reason that low carb works is because you don't eat a lot of calories."

(Reporting by Michael Conlon; Editing by Maggie Fox and Bill Trott)

Via Yahoo News from Reuters.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

4 Tips to Eat Healthier When Dining Out

One of the biggest ways that most people fail in their weight loss efforts is while dining out. It's no secret that most restaurants make it darn near impossible to eat healthy when eating out.

However, as a Certified Nutrition Specialist, I've come up with some easy substitutions that make it quite easy to eat healthier when eating out, and save hundreds of calories per meal, while still enjoying your favorite foods. The three things that you absolutely must avoid at every restaurant if you want to stand a chance of walking out of there without adding to your gut would be these:

1. the deep fried foods
2. the refined starchy foods
3. any sodas, juices, or other sugary foods (except whole fruits, which are great for you)

This eliminates the major food sources that do the most damage to your body - the trans fats, refined vegetable oils, refined starches, and processed sugars.The best way to do this is to skip the fries or chips (or any deep fried foods) that come pretty much with every sandwich or burger on every menu known to man, and also skip the huge portions of rice, pasta, and breads that usually come with most dishes too. Instead, try to order just meat, side vegetables, and a salad, asking for the vegetables or salad as a substitute for the typical fries, rice, or pasta that the meal probably comes with.

Almost every restaurant I've ever been to will always allow me to substitute veggies or a side salad for the fries or chips that almost always come with sandwiches or burgers. I'm all for moderation with many things, but if there's 2 things that should be totally removed from everyone's diet because these foods are simply that evil... it's fries and sodas!

Take a look at the typical difference this simple substitution makes between choosing healthy and doing what most people do... Most people will eat a meal out such as this:

*Sandwich or burger
*fries or chips
*soda or other sweetened drink

A MUCH smarter alternative for a leaner, healthier body is very simply this:

*Sandwich or burger
*veggies or salad
*unsweetened iced tea or water (no diet drinks -- unless you like to drink poisonous chemicals that actually make you fatter).

These 2 simple substitutions save at least 400 - 900 calories EACH time you dine out (depending on how many drink refills you get and fries portion sizes)... AND you're cutting out the most harmful foods to your body as well by avoiding the hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and high fructose corn syrup from the soft drinks.

Let's say you eat out twice a week and by using these tips you save 500 calories each time you eat out. Well, that's 1000 calories per week saved, or about 52,000 calories saved per year. At approximately 3500 calories per pound, that could equate to 15 lbs lost in a year (with too many other factors to consider, but still shows you the potential).

Side note: a little-known way to eat full portions of rice, pasta, and breads and actually get away with it without packing on the body fat is to make sure to schedule a high intensity full body resistance training workout (weights or bodyweight exercises done at high intensity) before your scheduled meal time.

Sometimes it may be hard to fit the workout into your schedule right before the meal event, but if you can, the meal can be your "post-workout meal", in which case, your body can handle a higher amount of carbs than normal to help replenish the muscle glycogen depletion you had during the intense workout.A cardio workout simply WON'T cut it for this... it must be high intensity resistance training to deplete enough muscle glycogen to handle restaurant portions of carbohydrates.

I hope these dining tips help you choose smarter and healthier next time you dine out. Cheers to a healthier you and better body!

If you're trying to eat healthier to lose weight, you'll find that it is almost impossible to eat healthy when eating out at most restuarants. I'll show you a few tricks in this article that will help you make any restaurant meal healthier.

By: Michael Geary

article source

California Governor Schwarzenegger Promotes Health and Nutrition by Signing Nation-Leading Trans Fat Bill

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed AB 97 by Assemblymember Tony Mendoza (D-Norwalk), which will phase out the use of trans fats in all California restaurants beginning in 2010 and from all baked goods by 2011. "California is a leader in promoting health and nutrition, and I am pleased to continue that tradition by being the first state in the nation to phase out trans fats," Governor Schwarzenegger said. "Consuming trans fat is linked to coronary heart disease, and today we are taking a strong step toward creating a healthier future for California."... MORE

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Food better than supplements for omega-3, says ADA

7/24/2008- The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has said that a food-based approach to receiving adequate fatty acid levels is recommended, but careful supplementation is a feasible alternative if dietary intake falls short.

Published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, ADA's commentary provides an overview of the group's position on the food vs supplement debate for n-3 fatty acids, including ALA, EPA, DHA and DPA.In line with its position paper on fortification and supplementation, ADA highlighted a number of issues that need to be considered when determining the preferred 'delivery system' for n-3 fatty acids.

These include the fact that not all forms of a nutrient function equivalently; that natural sources of nutrients may not be the most functionally effective; that sources of nutrients in a food matrix may function differently than the isolated form; and that nutrient balance must be considered. MORE

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Seven Steps to a Better Body

Ready to start an exercise program? Just making the commitment is an amazing first step. To ensure success, here are seven surprisingly simple, research-backed strategies that can help you overcome the most common roadblocks to weight loss. They'll motivate you through the ups and downs of any new workout routine, so you'll stick to it and reach all your fitness goals.

1. Learn what "build slowly" means

Be realistic about your abilities. Experts say to progress gradually, but most of us don't know how to translate that into real-life terms--especially those who used to be active but have gotten out of the habit. "Formerly fit people are surprised and frustrated when they find themselves winded after a walk around the park," says Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

If you haven't worked out in years, start with a manageable goal, like 20 minutes of walking or yoga twice a week for 2 weeks. When you're ready to progress, either bump your number of workouts to 3 a week or increase their length to 25 or 30 minutes--but don't try both at the same time. Taking on too much too soon can leave you achy and discouraged; that's why experts recommend you change only one thing at a time--the frequency, duration, or intensity of your workouts.

If your new cardio workout still leaves you gasping for air, don't be afraid to slow your pace--you should be slightly breathless but able to talk. You'll be more likely to follow your program if you exercise at a comfortable level, according to White's research. Strength-training will get easier, too. A new study from Ohio University found that muscles adapt to resistance exercises after a mere 2 weeks.

2. Keep an activity log

Hands down, lack of time is the number one reason we struggle to keep exercising. Yet studies find we may have more time than we think. Women ages 45 to 70 spend an average of 28 hours a week in sedentary activities outside of their jobs, such as reading and Web surfing, according to a University of Oklahoma study--ample time to find at least 2 1/2 hours a week for exercise. Keep a log of everything you do for 3 days, suggests Jennifer White, PhD, an assistant professor of fitness and wellness at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Then find ways to sneak in activity. Time in front of the TV can double as a stretching session, while a cell phone headset allows you to power walk while you're on hold with the credit card company.

3. Prepare for post-workout hunger

Exercise can boost metabolism for a few hours, but burning more calories can increase your appetite. To avoid the munchies after exercising (and eating back the calories you just burned), try to schedule workouts so that you have a meal within an hour afterward. Or save part of an earlier meal to eat during that time, says Fernstrom. Snacks combining carbohydrates and protein--like a fig bar and fat-free milk, or cantaloupe and yogurt--are best to refuel muscles and keep you from feeling ravenous later on. If you still feel hungry, wait 10 to 15 minutes before eating more to make sure you're physically, not just mentally, hungry. Distract yourself while you wait: Keep your hands occupied by cleaning out a drawer or giving yourself a manicure.

4. Be alert to prime drop-out time

About half of new exercisers quit in the first few months, research has found. But support, either one-on-one or in a group, can keep your momentum going. "Getting help specific to your particular issues is key," says Fernstrom. If you struggle with exercise, try finding (or even forming) a walking group at work or at your local Y. If you're goal-focused, signing up for an event, like walking a half or full marathon, can be the carrot you need to stay on track.

5. Take breaks

Missed a workout? Don't worry: Your waistline won't notice. Brown University scientists found that people on a 14-week weight loss program who took occasional breaks from working out lost an average of 7 pounds--about the same amount as those who never missed a day. "Just pick up again as soon as you can," says Fernstrom. In the long run, it's the habit, not the individual days that matter. For help, sign up for a weekly e-mail health newsletter: People who did exercised 14% more and ate better than those who didn't get inbox reminders, reports a University of Alberta study. (To join our free Best of Prevention newsletter, which covers health, weight loss, and fitness three times a week, go to prevention.com/newsletters.)

6. Splurge--then get up and move

One date with a pint (or even two) of ice cream won't doom your weight loss unless you let guilt keep you off track. In fact, French researchers discovered that obese exercisers who bicycled for 45 minutes 3 hours after a high-fat meal metabolized more stored belly fat than those who cycled on an empty stomach. Although bingeing on cookies before your next workout obviously won't help you slim down, the study is a good reminder that not all is lost when you stray from your diet--in fact, your body may even kick it up a gear to help with damage control. Instead of giving up when a celebratory dinner with friends sends your calorie count through the roof, suggest a postmeal stroll or dancing. The party moves away from the table, and the evening can continue with a fun activity that helps you toward your weight loss goal.

7. Put the treadmill in a pretty room

If a workout bores you, don't do it. "Research shows that if you enjoy an exercise, you'll stay with it, so keep trying activities until you find something you like," suggests White. Or jazz up a ho-hum workout with music or audiobooks. Just don't try to exercise in some dark, dreary corner of the house. "So many women make the mistake of consigning the treadmill to the basement," White says. You'll be more likely to use exercise equipment if it's in a pleasant space with good light and in easy reach of the radio and TV, like the family room. It's worth investing in a home exercise space that's both functional and attractive, whether by spending a little extra on a treadmill you won't mind showing off or buying pretty baskets to store your workout DVDs and dumbbells.

By Caroline Bollinger via WebMD

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Preventing Cancer

Factors such as inappropriate food and nutrition, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity are important causes of cancers.

THE World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) International and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) published the Second Expert Report: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective in November 2007.

This report will certainly become an authoritative source of reference in this field, just like the first report in 1997. The report is intended as a guide to future scientific research, cancer prevention programmes and health policy around the world. It provides a solid evidence base for policy-makers, health professionals, and informed and interested people to draw on and work with.

I would like to share selected specific parts of the report with readers through several installments of NutriScene. I will start with an overview of the report, followed by other write-ups, highlighting specific chapters or sections in this publication, especially those aspects related to food and nutrition.

Cancers are among the most important causes of death in this country. I really feel we should study this report and try to draw on the information provided for our own cancer prevention programmes.

Cancers are largely preventable

People die less frequently from nutritional deficiencies, infectious diseases, predation, and accidents, whereas chronic diseases, including cancer — which are more common in older people — become more common.

Cancer in general, and cancers of different types and sites, are agreed to have various causes, among which are inherited genetic predisposition and the increasing likelihood that cells will accumulate genetic defects as people age. In many of its forms, cancer is a disease that can cause great suffering and claims many lives.

However, cancer is not an inevitable consequence of aging, and people’s susceptibility to it varies. There is abundant evidence that the main causes of patterns of cancer around the world are environmental. This does indeed mean that, at least in principle, most cancer is preventable, though there is still discussion about the relative importance of various environmental factors.
But what are these environmental factors, what are their relative importance, and how may they vary in different times in the course of a life and in different parts of the world, and how might they interact with each other?

Thousands of epidemiological and experimental studies have tried to look for answers. Since the early 1980s, relevant United Nations agencies, national governments, authoritative non-governmental organisations, and researchers and other experts in the field have agreed that food and nutrition, physical activity, and body composition are individually and collectively important modifiers of the risk of cancer, and taken together, may be at least as important as tobacco.

By the mid-1990s the general consensus became more solidly based on methodical assessment of the totality of the relevant literature.

There is now general consensus shared by scientists, health professionals, and policy-makers on the relationships between food, nutrition, physical activity, body composition, and the risk of cancer. This consensus is based on the findings of a rapidly growing mass of increasingly well-designed epidemiological and experimental studies and other relevant evidence.

Taking into account all factors, research findings have shown that cancer is, in large part, a preventable disease. This is the objective of the WCRF/AICR report.

How much is preventable?

The WCRF/AICR report emphasised that the term “prevention” does not mean the elimination of cancer. It means reduction in its occurrence, such that at any age fewer people have cancer than otherwise would be the case. The overall commitment of scientists and health professionals committed to disease prevention is to reduce the rates not just of cancer, but of all diseases, so that more people enjoy good health until they eventually die in old age.

R. Doll and R. Peto, in a landmark study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1981 concluded: “It is highly likely that the United States will eventually have the option of adopting a diet that reduces its incidence of cancer by approximately one third, and it is absolutely certain that another one third could be prevented by abolishing smoking”. Cancers of some sites, notably of the colon, are generally agreed to be greatly or mostly affected by food and nutrition.

Since then, authoritative estimates of the preventability of cancer by means of food and nutrition and associated factors have been in broad agreement with the “around one third” figure.

The estimate of the previous WCRF/AICR report was that cancer is 30% to 40% preventable over time, by appropriate food and nutrition, regular physical activity, and avoidance of obesity. On a global scale, this represents over three to four million cases of cancer that can be prevented in these ways, every year.

Purpose and process of the report

This report has two overall general purposes. The first is to summarise, assess, and judge the most comprehensive body of evidence yet collected and displayed on the subject of food, nutrition, physical activity, body composition, and the risk of cancer, throughout the life-course.

The second purpose is to transform the evidence-derived judgements into goals and personal recommendations that are a reliable basis for sound policies and effective actions at population, community, family, and individual levels in order to prevent cancer worldwide.

The whole process of preparing this report was organised into various overlapping stages, emphasising on objectivity and transparency, separating the collection of evidence from its assessment and judgement. First, an expert task force developed a method for systematic review of the voluminous scientific literature. Second, research teams collected and reviewed the literature based upon this methodology. Third, an expert panel was set up to assess and judge this evidence and agreed recommendations.

Overview of the report

There are three parts to the report. Part 1 provides detailed background information and comprises three chapters (chapters 1-3). These introductory chapters show that the challenge can be effectively addressed and suggest that food, nutrition, physical activity, and body composition play a central part in the prevention of cancer.

Chapter 1 shows that patterns of production and consumption of food and drink, of physical activity, and of body composition have changed greatly throughout human history. Remarkable changes have taken place as a result of urbanisation and industrialisation in most countries in the world. Notable variations have been identified in patterns of cancer throughout the world. Furthermore, projections indicate that rates of cancer in general are liable to increase.

Chapter 2 outlines current understanding of the biology of the cancer process, with special attention to the ways in which food and nutrition, physical activity, and body composition may modify the risk of cancer.

These environmental factors are most important and can be modified. Evidence shows that only a small proportion of cancers are inherited.

The types of evidence that the expert panel has agreed are relevant to its work are summarised in Chapter 3. No single study or study type can prove that any factor definitely is a cause of, or is protective against, any disease. Reliable judgements on causation of disease should be based on assessments of a variety of well-designed epidemiological and experimental studies.
Part 2 of the Report is focused on the evidence that have been meticulously assembled and the judgements made and present the findings in seven chapters (chapters 4-11).

Chapter 4 is concerned with types of food and drink. The judgements of the expert panel are, whenever possible, food- and drink-based, reflecting the most impressive evidence. Findings on dietary constituents and micro- nutrients (for example, foods containing dietary fibre) as well as dietary supplements, and patterns of diet, are included.

Chapters 5 and 6 are concerned with physical activity and with body composition, growth, and development. Evidence in these areas is more impressive than was the case up to the mid-1990s.

Chapter 7 summarises and judges the evidence as applied to 17 cancer sites, with additional brief summaries based on narrative reviews of five further body systems and cancer sites. Obesity is or may be a cause of a number of cancers.

Chapter 8 identifies what aspects of food, nutrition, and physical activity themselves affect the risk of obesity and associated factors.

The relevance of food, nutrition, physical activity, and body composition to people living with cancer, and to the prevention of recurrent cancer, is summarised in Chapter 9. Improved cancer screening, diagnosis, and medical services are, in many countries, improving survival rates. So the number of cancer survivors — people living after diagnosis of cancer — is increasing.
Chapter 10 summarises findings of expert reports in relation to other chronic diseases, as well as nutritional deficiencies and nutrition-related infectious diseases.

Research issues are identified in Chapter 11 and provide opportunities to refine understanding of the links between food, nutrition, physical activity, and cancer, and so improve the prevention of cancer worldwide.

Part 3 of the report is Chapter 12 and contains the expert panel’s public health goals and personal recommendations. These are proposed as the basis for public policies and for personal choices that, if effectively implemented, will be expected to reduce the incidence of cancer for people, families, and communities.

Eight general and two special goals and recommendations are detailed. In each case a general recommendation is followed by public health goals and/or personal recommendations, together with further explanation or clarification as required. The chapter also includes a summary of the evidence, justification of the goals and recommendations, and guidance on how to achieve them.
The goals and recommendations are designed to be generally relevant worldwide and the expert panel recognises that in national settings, the recommendations of this report will be best used in combination with recommendations issued by governments or on behalf of nations, designed to prevent chronic and other diseases.

The full WCRF/AICR report can be obtained from the World Cancer Research Fund International website: http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/. In addition, do check out the many useful information on the WCRF website: http://www.wcrf.org/.

NutriScene is a fortnightly column by Dr Tee E Siong, who pens his thoughts as a nutritionist with over 30 years of experience in the research and public health arena.

A Guide to Child Health and Nutrition

If you have a child, regardless of their age, you are going to need to learn some important nutrition facts and become more informed on child health and nutrition and the foods that your child should be avoiding and including in their diet.

Food Pyramid

If you are concerned with child health and nutrition, one of the first steps you are going to have to take is to learn about the food pyramid. If you do not understand the food pyramid you will not be able to recognize how to provide them with the nutrition that they need to strive.

The food guide pyramid was designed by the US Dept of Agriculture to promote healthy nutrition in children over six years of age. The main emphasis of the pyramid is on the five major food groups, all of which are required for good health.

For proper child health and nutrition you are going to want to make sure that they are eating foods from all of these different food groups. Keep in mind that a serving in the food pyramid is not equal to whatever portion that you can eat at one meal. For instance, although the pyramid says that you should eat 2-3 servings of meat a day this does not mean that you need to eat meat three different times in one day.

Instead it means that you can have all 2-3 servings in a single meal if you have one large 5 to 7 ounce portion.

Also for proper child health and nutrition you want to make sure that they are getting enough exercise. Usually this is not such a major issue with children, but when you take a look at just how many kids are obese these days, it is not optional anymore.

To give your child health and nutrition to keep them healthy, you are going to want to keep them from spending hours on the computer, and instead give them a time limit and then make sure they are doing something active. Whether this means getting them outside to play sports or just having them play around with their friends, anything that they are doing that is physical will be great for their overall health.

You can speak to a child nutritionist if you would like more information on this and some helpful tips and advice. These are professionals who are specially trained in this field and who will be able to offer you valuable information and advice.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

89% of kids' food products low on nutritional value: study

About 89 per cent of grocery items marketed to appeal to children are stuffed with high levels of sugar, fat or sodium and offer poor nutritional value, according to a new Canadian study.

Researchers found the following:
Eighty-nine per cent of the products studied had high levels of sodium or an excessive proportion of calories from fat or sugar.
Less than one per cent of foods marketed to children are fruits and vegetables.
Sixty-three per cent of fun food products make at least one nutrition claim in its packaging.
Almost one-quarter of the products contain a high proportion of calories from fat.
Seven out of 10 products had a high proportion of calories from sugar.
Two out of 10 had high levels of sodium

Complete results here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Quiz: How Do Emotions Affect Your Immune System?

In recent years, scores of medical studies have revealed that our emotions and stress affect our physical health as much as a virus--if not more. Take this quiz to test how much you know about inner immunity.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


A new data review suggests that melanoma is on the rise among young women, but not among young men.

Researchers looked at data from women aged 15 to 39.

Researchers say it's not entirely clear why more and more young women seem to be getting skin cancer.

Separate studies have looked at sun damage trends. Here is some of what the researchers cited:

More and more people in the U.S. are getting sunburn, although trends by age groups have not been reported.

16- to 18-year-olds had a higher incidence of sunburn and reported that they spent more days at the beach in 2004 then they did in 1998.

More young people in the U.S., mostly women, are using tanning beds. Studies suggest that UV rays from tanning beds and tanning lamps can be just as damaging as sun rays.

Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. Ultraviolent radiation is a main risk factor for developing melanoma.

The study is published in the July 10 edition of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Four Must - Eat Foods for Healthy Skin

Give your skin inside-out protection from the sun by putting these four items into your shopping cart: pomegranates, tomatoes, dark chocolate, and tea.

The antioxidants in this tasty quartet of treats may help thwart skin cancer, according to John La Puma, MD, author of ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine.

More Information here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cholesterol Won't Kill You, But Transfat Could

UI scientist writes book of simple truths about food

First the nutrition gurus told us we shouldn't eat butter because it's an artery-clogging saturated fat.

Then they told us to watch out for margarine because it's an artery-clogging trans fat.

Fred Kummerow never wondered which one to spread on his toast. He knew butter was better for us more than half a century ago, and he explains why in his new book, "Cholesterol Won't Kill You But Trans Fat Could: Separating Scientific Fact from Nutritional Fiction in What you Eat."

A 93-year-old University of Illinois food scientist who's focused his life's research on the role of fat and diet in heart disease, Kummerow said he wrote this book to debunk common food myths and share his belief that America is on the wrong track, by focusing so much attention on cholesterol to reduce cardiac deaths.

One of Kummerow's daughters, psychologist Jean Kummerow, helped him with the writing to make sure it's understandable for a nonscientist audience, he said.

Fred Kummerow says cholesterol, a life-sustaining substance needed to make new cells in the body, has gotten a bad rap – while not nearly enough attention has been focused on the ill effects of manufactured trans fats.

Contrary to common belief, he writes, six decades worth of research haven't proven that cholesterol actually causes heart disease; and cutting too much of it from our diets can actually do more harm than good.

"By focusing on lowering cholesterol levels, we may possibly be creating health problems in the future and sidetracking efforts to find the causes and cures (or at least a way to delay the onset) of heart disease," he writes. MORE

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Eleven Best Foods You Aren't Eating

Nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden has created several lists of healthful foods people should be eating but aren’t. But some of his favorites, like purslane, guava and goji berries, aren’t always available at regular grocery stores. I asked Dr. Bowden, author of “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” to update his list with some favorite foods that are easy to find but don’t always find their way into our shopping carts. Here’s his advice. MORE

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Broccoli May Cut Prostate Cancer Risk

Study Shows Link Between Eating Broccoli and Gene Changes

Men who eat broccoli just a few times a week may have a lower prostate cancer risk than men who don't, new research suggests. MORE

Moms Eat Junk Food, Kids Get Fat

Study Shows Rats Fed Junk Food During Pregnancy Have Obesity-Prone Offspring

June 30, 2008 -- Mothers who eat junk food during pregnancy and while breastfeeding have obesity-prone children, rat studies suggest. MORE

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Foods That Are Genetically Altered

Download the brand new Pocket Shoppers' Guide to Avoiding Genetically Altered Foods - Updated for 2008! You can find the list here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The "How could I resist" Culinary Meme

I found this meme at SFO MOM and decided to try it out.

1. What food does your best friend not like? My best friend is my dh and he likes everything.

2. What is your favorite cookbook?
I have several, but I rarely use a cookbook -- I am constantly concocting my own recipes. The Joy of Cooking was one of my first cookbooks, but I don't use it anymore.

3. Are you more of a sushi person or a lamb person? Lamb, definitely. I like Sushi, but it isn't as tasty to me as lamb.

4. Given a choice of something fried and salty or something baked and sweet, what would you choose? Neither -- I eat healthy and neither of these sounds very healthy to me. OK, if I have to choose one it would probably be the baked and sweet one.

5. Do you buy whole chickens and boil them and pick the meat off or does that gross you out?
I rarely purchase whole chickens. I select organic chicken breasts and slow cook them in the crock pot.

6. How do you feel about butter, sour cream, cream cheese, and half and half?
They are only in my diet at Christmas time.

7. (Skip this question if you are a vegetarian) If you are a carnivore, would you be willing to hunt or butcher your meat? Or to watch someone do that for you or would you rather not think of it? Or are you grateful for the animal who gave its life to sustain your life?
This question grosses me out, but if I had to, I suppose I would hunt and butcher my own meat. I eat mostly fruits and vegetable, but I do love to eat organic meat -- free of hormones and antibiotics.

8. What is the most exotic ingredient or spice in your cupboard?
elderberry (which is listed as a spice)

I'm adding two questions:

9. What is your favorite vegetable?

10. What is your favorite fruit?

I tag:






12 Natural Ways to Prevent Alzheimer's

* Eat a nutritious diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Produce that has been scientifically shown to fight Alzheimer's are pomegranates, wild blueberries, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, and apples.

* Eat plenty of high-quality omega-3 oils found in most seeds including hemp and flax. You can also take fish oil, but make certain it is from a good source, as many fish have mercury toxicity, which causes Alzheimer's.

* Ensure that you are getting enough antioxidants. As mentioned above, eating fruit and vegetables is the best way to fight free radical damage.

* A new study from researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has found that an antioxidant nutrient in strawberries may help improve memory and protect the brain from the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

* New research from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm shows that pre-diabetes has been shown to greatly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Pre-diabetes is associated with higher blood sugar levels.

* New research shows that a person with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and is obese is far more likely (600% more) to lose healthy brain function and be diagnosed with Alzheimer's than people who maintain a healthy body weight, and who eat a healthy diet.

* The pigment in turmeric that gives curry spice its yellow hue may also be able to break up the "plaques" that mark the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, early research suggests.

* Avoid mercury. As mentioned above, many fish are contaminated with mercury, so research which fish types are safe and mercury-free. Vaccinations are another cause of mercury toxicity.

* Avoid aluminium, such as in antiperspirants and aluminium cookware.

* Exercise for three to five hours per week. According to studies, people who regularly exercise are one-fourth as likely to develop the disease.

* Challenge your mind everyday. Research continually shows that mental stimulation, speaking two languages, travelling, puzzles, and learning to play an instrument are a good way to avoid dementia and Alzheimer's. Learn something new everyday, even a vocabulary word, or a telephone number.

* Deal with stress when it comes, since it is proven to erode mind and body. Stress produces hormones that damage the brain. Meditation, art, and gardening are some of the ways that we can manage our stress.

~ excerpted from Natural Ways to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease by Sheryl Walters

Monday, June 9, 2008


Protects your heart
Prevents constipation
Blocks diarrhea
Improves lung capacity
Cushions joints

Combats cancer
Controls blood pressure
Saves your eyesight
Shields against Alzheimer's
Slows aging process


Aids digestion
Lowers cholesterol
Protects your heart
Stabilizes blood sugar
Guards against liver disease

Battles diabetes
Lowers cholesterol
Helps stop strokes
Controls blood pressure
Smoothes skin

Protects your heart
Quiets a cough
Strengthens bones
Controls blood pressure
Blocks diarrhea

Prevents constipation
Helps hemorrhoids
Lowers cholesterol
Combats cancer
Stabilizes blood sugar

Controls blood pressure
Combats cancer
Strengthens bones
Protects your heart
Aids weight loss

Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Stabilizes blood sugar
Boosts memory
Prevents constipation

Strengthens bones
Saves eyesight
Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Controls blood pressure

Combats cancer
Prevents constipation
Promotes weight loss
Protects your heart
Helps hemorrhoids

Saves eyesight
Controls blood pressure
Lowers cholesterol
Combats cancer
Supports immune system

Saves eyesight
Protects your heart
Prevents constipation
Combats cancer
Promotes weight loss

Protects against Prostate Cancer
Combats Breast Cancer
Strengthens bones
Banishes bruises
Guards against heart disease

Protects your heart
Combats Cancer
Ends insomnia
Slows aging process
Shields against Alzheimer's

Promotes weight loss
Protects your heart
Lowers cholesterol
Combats Cancer
Controls blood pressure

Chili peppers
Aids digestion
Soothes sore throat
Clears sinuses
Combats Cancer
Boosts immune system

Promotes weight loss
Helps stop strokes
Lowers cholesterol
Combats Cancer
Controls blood pressure

Protects your heart
Boosts memory
Protects your heart
Combats Cancer
Supports immune system

Aids digestion
Battles diabetes
Protects your heart
Improves mental health
Boosts immune system

Lowers cholesterol
Controls blood pressure
Combats cancer
Kills bacteria
Fights fungus

Protects against heart attacks
Promotes Weight loss
Helps stops strokes
Combats Prostate Cancer
Lowers cholesterol

saves eyesight
Conquers kidney stones
Combats cancer
Enhances blood flow
Protects your heart

Green tea
Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Helps stops strokes
Promotes Weight loss
Kills bacteria

Heals wounds
Aids digestion
Guards against ulcers
Increases energy
Fights allergies

Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Controls blood pressure
Smoothes skin
Stops scurvy

Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Controls blood pressure
Smoothes skin
Stops scurvy

Combats cancer
Boosts memory
Regulates thyroid
Aids digestion
Shields against Alzheimer's

Controls blood pressure
Lowers cholesterol
Kills bacteria
Combats cancer
Strengthens bones

Lowers cholesterol
Combats cancer
Battles diabetes
Prevents constipation
Smoothes skin

Olive oil
Protects your heart
Promotes Weight loss
Combats cancer
Battles diabetes
Smoothes skin

Reduce risk of heart attack
Combats cancer
Kills bacteria
Lowers cholesterol
Fights fungus

Supports immune systems
Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Straightens respiration

prevents constipation
Combats cancer
Helps stops strokes
aids digestion
Helps hemorrhoids

Protects against heart disease
Promotes Weight loss
Combats Prostate Cancer
Lowers cholesterol

Strengthens bones
Relieves colds
Aids digestion
Dissolves warts
Blocks diarrhea

Slows aging process
prevents constipation
boosts memory
Lowers cholesterol
Protects against heart disease

Protects your heart
Battles diabetes
Conquers kidney stones
Combats cancer
Helps stops strokes

Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Boosts memory
Calms stress

Sweet potatoes
Saves your eyesight
Lifts mood
Combats cancer
Strengthens bones

Protects prostate
Combats cancer
Lowers cholesterol
Protects your heart

Lowers cholesterol
Combats cancer
Boosts memory
Lifts mood
Protects against heart disease

Protects prostate
Promotes Weight loss
Lowers cholesterol
Helps stops strokes
Controls blood pressure

Wheat germ
Combats Colon Cancer
prevents constipation
Lowers cholesterol
Helps stops strokes
improves digestion

Wheat bran
Combats Colon Cancer
prevents constipation
Lowers cholesterol
Helps stops strokes
improves digestion

Guards against ulcers
Strengthens bones
Lowers cholesterol
Supports immune system