Archive | June, 2007

How far food travels (video)

28 Jun

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/55335/

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Wonder why your preschooler’s chubby?

27 Jun

sugar-drinks.jpgPreschoolers pack on pounds from sugary drinksLast Updated: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 | 3:03 PM ET CBC News Canadian preschoolers who snack on sugar-sweetened drinks are twice as likely to become overweight as children who don’t, researchers have found. Children should drink limited amounts of unsweetened fruit juice, pediatricians recommend. (CBC) Lise Dubois, Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Population Health at the University of Ottawa, and her colleagues explored the link after dietitians in Quebec said they often saw obese kids who drank a lot of sugar-sweetened drinks between meals. “Regular sugar-sweetened beverage consumption between meals may put some young children at a greater risk for overweight,” the study’s authors concluded in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. “Parents should limit the quantity of sweetened beverages consumed during preschool years because it may increase propensity to gain weight.” The study focused on about 2,000 children born in 1988 in Quebec who participated in a nutrition study at age four or five. Continue Article About 15 per cent of children who drank the sugary beverages four to six times a week were overweight at ages 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 years. In comparison, about seven per cent of children who did not consume the beverages between meals were overweight at 4.5 years, the researchers said. Between 14 and 16 per cent of children drank sweetened drinks daily. “Snacking is good for kids,” dietitian Liz Pearson told CBC Newsworld Wednesday. “But we’re probably having kids snack more than they should, or [eating more] higher-calorie foods than they should at snack time.” When people of all ages consume liquid calories, the calories are often not perceived in the same way; eating an apple leaves you feeling full more than drinking juice does. When children drink sugar-sweetened beverages, they also take in more calories, more sugar in a concentrated form and generally receive less nutrition than they would by drinking milk, Pearson said. Healthier alternative tips include: Buying 100 per cent fruit juice, not fruit punch or fruit blend. Look for “no sugar added” on the label, and check for sugar in the form of glucose, sucrose, fructose or high-fructose corn syrup in the list of ingredients. Dilute fruit juice with water, like a spritzer for kids. Eat fruits and vegetables with a high water content to quench thirst, such as grapes and watermelon. Drink milk. (Canada’s Food Guide recommends two cups a day up to age eight and then three to four servings.) When children say they’re thirsty, water should be the first drink offered, followed by milk and unsweetened fruit juice in small quantities, Pearson suggested, noting that eating habits are set early in life. After an extensive research study in 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children aged one to six should have no more than four to six ounces (118 ml to 177 ml) of 100 per cent fruit juice a day, and eight to 12 ounces (250 ml to 350 ml) a day for ages seven to 18.

Sugary drinks also hardens arteries

27 Jun

 SATURDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) — The type of sugar in a sugary drink may impact how healthy — or unhealthy — it is for arteries, a new study suggests.Fructose-sweetened drinks are more likely to provoke the development of fatty artery deposits in overweight adults than glucose-sweetened beverages, researchers say.

Kimber Stanhope, of the University of California at Davis, and colleagues compared the results of drinking fructose-sweetened beverages versus glucose for 10 weeks in overweight and obese adults.

Participants ate a balanced diet with 30 percent fat and 55 percent complex carbohydrates. Thirteen of the participants also consumed glucose-sweetened drinks, while 10 drank fructose-sweetened drinks.

The researchers found that 9 weeks later, 24-hour post-meal triglyceride (blood fat) levels went up after 2 weeks of fructose-sweetened drink but went down in those who consumed glucose-sweetened drinks.

Those who drank fructose-sweetened drinks also had a boost in fasting blood concentrations of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and other measures. Those levels were unaltered in those consuming glucose-sweetened drinks, however.

The findings were scheduled to be presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, in Chicago.

The bottom line, according to the researchers: “Persons at risk for developing metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease should avoid over-consumption of fructose-containing beverages.”

The ADA notes, however, that consumption of fructose-sweetened beverages has gone up by 135 percent in the United States over the past four decades.

Figs the miracle fruit

27 Jun

figs.jpgYesterday I bought some fresh figs from the supermarket. I asked where they got the fruit from and the storekeeper said he believed it is from the US.  I know figs is a Mediterranean staple.  

Figs are thought to be originally from small Asia and are one of the first fruits cultivated ever.  However, the fruit was so good and very sweet. I loved the texture then I read up on it.  This fruit is a dynamite of nutrients.  It is high in fibre, high in calcium, promotes good sleep, lowers blood pressure,  helps the brain and all kind of good stuff but the draw back is it is also high in calories because of its sugar content.   If you are going to try it you cannot eat a lot or you might gain instead of lose weight. Always a drawback eh!
It is said that humans could live on Figs alone as a source of food — such is the goodness and nutrition in the fruit!

Composting for better food

26 Jun

I have been composting for about three years now. I have not been successful in getting nice black earth.  The stuff does not decompose easily and I get sort of impatient waiting. I recently emptied the composter and piled everything in a heap in my small backyard.  I noticed today that there are lots of stuff growing on that heap = pumpkin, squash, cukes and some other stuff I cannot figure out.

My excitement today comes from the fact that I phoned about a kitchen compooster, you know the one with worms. I am going to go that route.  It costs  about $69.00. I think this would solve my problem/

The other good news is that our Farmer’s Market has opened and I am looking forward to eating “fresh”.

Weight Obsession

24 Jun

Let’s face it we all want to lose weight or to maintain weight and some even want to gain weight (gosh why couldn’t I be so lucky).  Loving food is natural.  Without food we cannot live. But why do we crave food so much. I believe and there is some science behind it as well that we crave not food but the taste of food and that taste that we are addicted to is salt.  Most of the stuff we eat has too much salt and some of us add salt at the table as well.

I have the genetic doe for hight blood pressure. I did not suffer from it until Iin my late forties a few years ago.  Before then my blood pressure was normal. My mother and grandmother suffered from it so it is not so out of the ordinary for me to inherit it.  But I believe I can do something about it.  I have been about 10-15 pounds overweight for the last 5 years and I have taken small steps since then to lose the weight.  Nothing drastic. I do not believe in quick fixes. I read somewhere about the DASH diet that is good for blood pressure. I chose that one. I eat everything but I cook without salt. I have completely eliminated salt from my own diet. When I eat out I try as much as possible to control the salt but that is not always possible. I have control over what I do.

I use a lot of herbs and lots of pepper and lemon juice. I do not miss salt and I do not feel the need or the craving to eat more. I have lost 20 pounds in the last 2 years. It is now showing and all my friends are asking – what are you doing. People seems alarmed because the weight has been dropping unnoticeably in small increments. The good news is that my blood pressure has gone down considerably. I believe one day my doctor is going to tell me to cut back on my water pill. Right now I take one tiny pill but I am hoping to cut it down to half and then to none. Will keep you posted.

Vitamin D Craze

24 Jun

Recently a research was published saying that Vitamin D  is good for cancer.  It didn’t  take very long for Vitamin D to run off the shelves in the drug stores in the city where I live – Winnipeg.  People just rushed out and bought and stocked up on vitamin D.  For crying out loud, this is summer and you can get a lot of the stuff for free from the sun. Just be sure you wear the proper sun screen.  I think that as a people we are programmed to listen to those who we believe are experts in a particular thing. It is as if we abandon our own common sense and just do things because someone say so.  Not long after that report the experts said that Vitamin D is not a panacea. It may be helpful in combatting certain types of cancer. The recommended dosage is some 1000 mg per day.

Do we know if there are any side effects to taking such high dosage of vitamin D?  My motto has always been to take everything with a pinch of salt and exercise moderation in all that I do.

I have been studying foods on my own for more than 20 years and I can say that I am a healthy woman with few  health problems.  I do my research and follow my own heart in these matters.

My diet is simple. Dessert is not part of my mealplan. I may have a piece of fruit as a late night snack.  I try as far as possible to stick to foods that grow around my area. I do go for a mango, papaya and pineapple when in season.These tropical fruits takes between 4-8 hours to get to my market from its source. That’s not too bad.

I work hard for my money and to see it is stored energy. I use it very carefully and not on things that are not good for me.

Stick to moderation in all you do and you will be alright. Commonsense is still the best sense we have so let’s  use it.

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