Fast Food, A Large Problem is Just Getting Larger

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According to a study done by Boston University and Tuffs University, fast food makes up 11% of the average American’s diet.  It’s also been helping with the increase in obesity, diabetes and heart disease.  So, how has this happened?  Well, the portion sizes have increased over the last 30 years along, with the amount of sodium that is put in these products.  The portion size has increased a whopping 22%.  That actually surprised me, however, I haven’t been in a fast food restaurant for at least 5 years, so I had no idea.

Since, according to this study, 33.6% of Americans eat at a fast food restaurant every day no wonder that according to research, 40% of adult Americans are obese.  Not only are the foods more calorie-dense, but the increase in sodium is also problematic.  Too much sodium can lead to heart disease and strokes.  This is a health crisis, and so far, trying to make adults aware of the problem doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere.

It doesn’t seem as if there is a will to begin the intervention that would help in addressing this situation.  The Trump administration is backing the food industry with pushing back against food labels that would warn consumers about the levels of sodium, fat and sugars in prepared foods.  If you could come up with a solution to this problem of obesity and illness, what would it be?  Leave your ideas in the comments below.

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https://www.bu.edu/research/articles/fast-food-expansion/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/health/obesity-us-adults.html

 

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Eating an Anti-Inflammatory Diet is a Good Thing

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Inflammation is bad for your health, and can lead to all kinds of problems if it becomes a chronic issue.  Some reasons that can trigger chronic inflammation include smoking, obesity, alcohol and chronic stress.  When we suffer from chronic inflammation our body can attack itself and this may lead to more serious issues such as: cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity or asthma.  As you can see, avoiding chronic inflammation would be quite a healthy thing to do.  Just a note, inflammation does have an important part to play when we are injured, or our body is fighting off an infection, however, we don’t want inflammation as a constant part of our life.

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To treat this problem, we could take over-the-counter drugs, but that can lead to other health problems.  As with most issues, it’s healthier to add to, or deduct from certain foods in our diets.  Some of the foods you should avoid include: refined carbohydrates (white bread and pastry); all fried foods; red meat; processed meats – hot dogs, luncheon meats, alcohol, and an excess of refined sugars.

Foods that help to reduce inflammation include: olive oil (I recommend eating as little oil as possible – fats are not good for you), but extremely small amounts of olive oil can be beneficial in your quest to control chronic inflammation.  Green leafy vegetables are excellent at fighting inflammation – so, spinach and kale would be a good addition to your diet.  Tomato, fruits such as cherries, blueberries and oranges are great at this also.  They also recommend fatty fish, but since I’m a vegan I would skip that suggestion, instead I eat the following:  dark red grapes, broccoli, cauliflower, beans and lentils, avocado and nuts.  The spices turmeric and cinnamon are also helpful.

So, as you can see, there are healthy ways to combat chronic inflammation.  Eat well and live healthy!

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320233.php

https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-inflammation#causes

 

 

 

Nope, Not Right Now

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Last week as I was wasting time on Instagram, I saw a post stating that California was making coffee shops post that coffee was carcinogenic.  Well, my initial response to that news was to swipe right by with the words, “nope, not now” in my mind.  I mean, really.  A few years ago, I tried to give up coffee, but went back to drinking it.  After all, I don’t drink, smoke or eat meat and dairy… and coffee is my little weakness, and even though I know it’s not the best thing, it’s the one thing that I’ve decided to drink that’s not entirely healthy.  But, carcinogenic?

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So, after waiting a respectable amount of time (really, just putting it off), I decided to look into the science of this claim.  It turns out that overly roasted coffee beans can contain a chemical called acrylamide, which can cause mutations and damage in DNA, which then can increase the risk of getting cancer.  However, it’s unclear as to if the amount of acrylamide found in coffee can be considered a risk, since the animals that it was found to be a risk in were given levels between 1,000 and 10,000 more then were found in food that humans would ingest.  Therefore, the scientists do not consider this a risk, and have not stated that it is one as regards to coffee.  I’ve left the link below for you to read.  Now, I think I’ll go enjoy my morning coffee…thank you very much!

https://www.livescience.com/62177-california-coffee-cancer-warning.html

 

Are Dietary Advanced Glycation End Products Unhealthy for You?

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Lately there has been a concern that the vegan diet, which while being rich in both fruits and vegetables is an unhealthy diet due to its supposedly high levels of glycation, and may be contributing to the rise in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  This seemed an odd thing to me, since I was sure that fruits and vegetables did not have a causal relationship to either diabetes or cardiovascular disease, so I decided to look this up and see what was going on myself.

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So, what did I find?  Well, according to the information below, animal-based foods are rich in AGE’s, and increase these after cooking.  However, fruits, vegetables and grains are not rich in AGE’s, and they don’t increase in these after cooking.  I’ve left two links, the first one is the actual findings of the study, and the second is a listing of all kinds of food with their AGE information so that you can pick and choose the healthiest foods to eat.  I hope that this summary clears up any confusion you might have.  I know that it helped me.

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/table/T1/

Alcohol – What is it Good For?

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I think that by now, most people know that drinking isn’t good for them.  There are a variety of reasons why this is so.  The reasons why I’ve kept my alcohol intake to a small (or none) amount is that it’s a depressant, and I just don’t need that in my life.  The other reason is that if feel like I need all the brain cells I can get.  While these are reason enough as far as I’m concerned to drink very little – less than one alcohol beverage per month, I’ve recently come across some new evidence that leads me to believe that my small amount of imbibing is over completely.

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A new, relatively small study suggests that alcohol actually causes the shrinking of the hippocampus (the region in the brain that is associated with memory and navigation), as well as the white matter in the brain.  The more people drink, the greater the rate of shrinkage.

Now, this study involved 550 subjects over the years from 1985 continuing to the present.  While it was just the one study, I myself found the results to be troubling.  It seems to suggest that even moderate drinking can cause changes in the brain.

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Do you indulge in alcohol, and if so do you worry about the effect it could have on your brain?  For myself, I’m glad that I’ve always kept my alcohol intake on the extremely low side.  There is also the documentary”The Truth About Alcohol” on Netflix which is scientifically interesting without being boring in the least.  If you want to know more about the effect of alcohol on your health, I recommend watching it.   What do you think of  this new information?  Let me know in the comments.

https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/even-a-moderate-amount-of-drinking-could-cause-brain-decline/

 

 

Updating Monsanto

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I first wrote about the trial of Monsanto at The Hague.  Just a quick update with how that turned out.  The company was found guilty on all charges, and the ban on any and all Monsanto products being sold in the European Union still stands.

However, I also wanted to write about newly released documents that show how Monsanto has been paying off government regulators and scientists in an effort to keep them from publishing scientific studies that show the harm that Monsanto products (in this case, Roundup) do, along with using their influence to stop scientific studies that show Roundup to be a health hazard.  There are lawsuits around the country that claim that Roundup is a carcinogen.  These documents have been made available to the public, since this is a public health concern.

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I hope that you go to the links provided below and read the articles.  This is an important discussion to have, since there is an effort in the U.S. to allow corporations to self-regulate.  I feel that this shows that no corporation should be allowed to self-regulate, but that the entire process needs to be made completely public, with all scientific data peer-reviewed and released to the general public.

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Have you used Roundup?  What are your thoughts on this?

 

https://corporateeurope.org/food-and-agriculture/2017/04/monsanto-tribunal-outcomes

 

http://www.alternet.org/environment/just-released-docs-show-monsanto-executives-colluding-corrupted-epa-officials-manipulate?akid=15952.302291.OmHT9X&rd=1&src=newsletter1080638&t=25

 

 

Duplin County, North Carolina

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I’ve been letting you know about the health problems associated with eating the typical American diet. However, the problems with our form of food goes far beyond what we eat, it also includes environmental and various health issues that can be caused by not ingesting this food, but by living close to where the “products” are “grown” and “harvested”.  The easiest place in which to find information regarding these issues is in Duplin County, North Carolina.

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There are more hogs in Duplin County than there are people.  Actually, the ratio is about 39:1. That’s a lot of hogs.  Along with the number of animals, you must also include the urine and manure that is produced.  With the increased number of animals, comes the corresponding increase in waste.  So, where does this waste go?  The answer to that is lagoons that are supposed to be leak-proof, but of course that isn’t true.  There is a lot of seepage that than pollutes waterways and groundwater.    Then there is the smell, and the fact that hog waste is blown into the air via large sprayers.  These are often turned on at times when the nearby residents would be home, and outside.  The contaminants cause various health problems including raising blood pressure, neurobehavior, pulmonary function and cause cancer.

I have been writing about the hazards of the typical American diet for a few posts now.  Since I’ve been trying to get the information out, I’ve been told that it’s a person’s “right” to eat what they want.  But my question is, is it your “right” to cause disease to the communities surrounding these operations?  Is it your right to cause environmental damage to other parts of the country and the world?  (Beef production is the leading cause of Rainforest destruction).

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I urge you to watch What the Health, and other documentaries such as Conspiracy, and/or Earthlings.  Look up slaughterhouses on YouTube.  Go to https://nutritionfacts.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwhYLLBRBIEiwAtFeEDxfxzh95HU6_cCsX_9ORP2BQ7kEiuA_Awxx9PMYoIKo2kJOXAFcl5BoCDcAQAvD_BwE  I beg you to educate yourself on what your diet is doing not only to you personally, but to other people and the environment.  Get healthy, eat well and live a happy life!

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http://observer.com/2017/05/pig-waste-factory-farming-north-carolina/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141028-hog-farms-waste-pollution-methane-north-carolina-environment/

http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/statter.html

http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2016/03/hog-waste-threatens-north-carolinas-rural-poor

http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/UNC-Report.pdf

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/18/duplin-county-life-under-the-waste-sprayer/

http://www.technicianonline.com/news/article_334b5bdc-b4f3-11e5-b31f-af277c4f3939.htm