News regarding traditional wisdom and native diets regarding nutrition.
The FDA recently announced that it would be accepting public input on how—or whether—to define the term “natural” on food labels. This action came about as a result of a number of petitions filed by the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) and Consumers Union. The GMA asked the FDA to redefine “natural” so that foods derived from biotechnology (read: GMO foods) could use the label, while Consumers Union separately filed a petition asking the FDA to prohibit the use of “natural” on food labels altogether since the term is vague and misleading to consumers. The FDA is asking for public input on a variety of questions revolving around which foods should be allowed to bear the term “natural” and what kinds of things—such as processing and different manufacturing methods—should bar a food from being called “natural.” The GMA petition is a case in point—what meaning does the label have if genetically manipulated foods doused with herbicide can be called “natural”?
Are you still eating low-fat or no-fat dairy products? If you are, you probably think you’re doing the right thing for your health. And if you check with virtually any public health agency, they’d wholeheartedly agree. The American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and American Cancer Society, for instance, all recommend low-fat or no-fat dairy. The US Department of Agriculture, in their nutrition guidelines for Americans, also advises, “Dairy Group choices should be fat-free or low-fat.” So what’s the problem? The advice to eat low-fat foods, including dairy, is antiquated, at least back to the 1970s, when low-fat diets were first recommended. It’s also not scientifically supported, and if you’re choosing low-fat over full-fat, not only are you missing out on taste, flavor and satisfaction, but you’re missing out on valuable benefits to your health – benefits that come from eating full-fat foods.
We can trace olive oil back to olives and sesame seed oil back to sesame seeds, so wouldn’t it make sense that canola oil would come from canola seeds? Well, it’s not the case. There is no natural canola plant that produces canola oil. In the late 1960s canola oil was invented in Canada. The oil was cheap to manufacture and a dominant ingredient in many processed foods. A derivative of the rapeseed plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants, canola oil has been hybridized to eliminate the lethal erucic acid found in rapeseed. The name was changed to LEAR: Low Eruric Acid Rapeseed. LEAR was not well received in the US as its association with rapeseed was too glaring. Not to mention having the word “rape” in a product name, which did not promote a healthy image. In 1978 the food industry merged the words “Canada” and “ola” meaning oil – creating the name Canola Oil.
Among the many fermented beverages available to the home-fermenter, beet kvass is often the least known. That is unfortunate since it is also one of the simplest fermented beverages one can make and many find it to be a wonderful tonic when taken on a daily basis. It is said that beet kvass originated in the Ukraine. It is here where beets are well-loved and oft-used in the kitchen. Beet kvass is just one way in which this traditional culture has incorporated the nutrient-rich beet into their everyday diet.
In recent years we have made a lot of progress working together to protect free speech and ensure an open marketplace for qualified nutrition professionals. We have now sent letters to legislators in over a dozen states, warning them that their restrictive nutrition boards are violating federal law in the aftermath of recent court rulings. None of the letter recipients have admitted guilt yet—they wouldn’t. A second wave of letters is now directed to key lawmakers in these states—to the people who have the power to change the actual laws currently on the books governing how state dietetics and nutrition boards operate. ANH-USA will also be working with legislators to amend state laws to reflect these recent court victories. In the end, we may have to pursue legal action in order to get reform.
Is Chick-fil-A food "better fast food?" Do the GMOs, trans fats, additives and preservatives in virtually all the products say otherwise? And how is it that this corporation is allowed to place its mascot squarely in the middle of our children's place of education?
The researchers decided to use children who were obese and experiencing metabolic disorder (prediabetic). The study's purpose was to determine whether isocaloric (equal calorie) substitution of starch for sugar would improve metabolic parameters in 27 Latino and 16 African-American children with obesity and metabolic syndrome aged 8 through 18, with a mean age of 13. No attempt was made to change the essential dietary food habits of the children. Foods provided were purchased from nearby regular supermarkets. Their processed and junk food levels remained the same except for their sugar content. Sugar caloric intake was reduced from 28% to 10%. The missing calorie count from the decreased sugar was compensated by an equivalent amount of calories using starchy foods. The study diet contained comparable percentages of protein, fat, and carbohydrates as their reported normal diets. Chips and pizza were not excluded. They were not converted to a whole food organic diet. Foods loaded with added sugars such as high-sugar cereals, pastries and sweetened yogurt were excluded. Diastolic blood pressure, the bottom number indicating the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests, was reduced significantly, as were lactate, triglyceride, and LDL-cholesterol blood levels. Glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinemia (excess insulin) also improved significantly. These improved markers for metabolic disorder or prediabetes in such a short time with only one dietary change are very significant.
Saturated fats are commonly solid fats like animal and dairy fats and plant fats like nuts, avocado, and coconut oil. Unprocessed coconut oil remains solid up to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. It's impossible to know about a food's health benefits if the food is officially taboo. The nutritional taboo of saturated fat started by one man's highly publicized hypothesis that declared dietary saturated fats as the major source of heart disease. His name was Ancel Keys, a physiologist and researcher with the University of Minnesota who conducted a massive international study called the Seven Countries Study. Even then, several scientists questioned Keys' epidemiological evidence that led to his hypothetical conclusions. Ancel Keys made the cover of Time Magazine in 1961, the year when he managed to persuade the American Heart Association (AHA) to issue dietary guidelines that excluded saturated fats. In their place came refined carbohydrates and processed vegetable oils. The false causation of heart disease from saturated fats true cause is currently scientifically disputed by iconoclastic cardiologists such as Dr. Dwight Lundell, Dr. Stephan Sinatra, Dr. Ron Rosedale, Britain's Dr. Aseem Malholtra and other cardiologists and health experts who have been courageous enough to publicly speak against the unproven theory of the saturated fat causing heart disease theory.
Tropical Traditions announced this week that they will soon be shipping their 2015 pastured turkeys raised on pastures in Wisconsin. This year's batch offers something new: the specially formulated Cocofeed that the birds consumed was not only soy-free this year, but also corn-free, and tested for the presence of GMOs and glyphosate.
Americans are finally waking up to the fact that drinking soda is an unhealthy practice. Sales of sugary, carbonated drinks have fallen dramatically in recent years, sending the soda industry into a panic. A recent piece in The New York Times by Margot Sanger-Katz details the decline in soda sales and the efforts that led to it.