(CNN) — Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. didn’t become a doctor to change the way America eats. He was a general surgeon.
But researching cancer, he stumbled on a fact that changed his career: Certain cultures around the world do not suffer from heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the Western world.
Esselstyn’s practice took a dramatic turn — from performing surgery to promoting nutrition. For more than 20 years, the Cleveland Clinic doctor has tried to get Americans to eat like the Papua New Guinea highlanders, rural Chinese, central Africans and the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico.
Follow his dietary prescription, the 77-year-old Esselstyn says, and you will be “heart attack proof” — regardless of your family history.
“It’s a foodborne illness, and we’re never going to end the epidemic with stents, with bypasses, with the drugs, because none of it is treating causation of the illness,” Esselstyn says.
The Esselstyn diet is tough for most Americans to swallow: no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no added oils.
Esselstyn has written a book to spread the word, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease — The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure,” and he has given talks around the world.
He is also a focus of the new documentary “Forks Over Knives.” Esselstyn has won some high-profile allies — such as Dr. T. Colin Campbell, co-author of “The China Study,” and Dr. Terry Mason, chief medical officer at Cook County Hospitals in Chicago and the city’s former health commissioner.
“We’ve eaten ourselves into a problem, and we can eat ourselves out of it,” Mason says. But Esselstyn’s prescription goes against conventional wisdom, which considers diet only one factor in preventing heart disease.
“Diet alone is not going to be the reason that heart attacks are eliminated,” says Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.
Other key factors include physical activity, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight, she says. The meat, dairy and egg industries defend the benefits of their protein-rich foods, all of which remain on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate dietary guidelines for healthy eating.
Esselstyn’s plant-based prescription also runs up against a culture where meat is served at most meals.
“Most doctors eat meat because most Americans eat meat, and if they don’t really see for themselves or for their family why it might be a good idea to cut down or even cut meat out of their diet altogether, they might not be so inclined to recommend it to their patients,” says Michele Simon, author of “Appetite for Profit.”
Even doctors who see the benefits of Esselstyn’s diet may not prescribe it for their patients.
“Anyone who is able to do that diet can have dramatic success. The problem is that many people are unable or unwilling to make these changes so in my practice, I try to take baby steps — one step at a time,” says Dr. Erin Michos, a cardiologist at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at Johns Hopkins University.
To help heart patients and others make the leap to his diet, Esselstyn holds a monthly, five-hour seminar at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute to explain the science behind “plant-based” nutrition.
Esselstyn’s wife, Ann, offers practical advice on how to prepare kale, bok choy, collard greens and other foods that may not be on the typical family’s shopping list.
// Esselstyn began recruiting patients in 1985 and says his diet has worked even on people deemed too sick for surgery. Esselstyn has published results from a small group of patients showing how his diet either halted the progression of heart disease or reduced the blockages in the blood vessels leading to the heart.
“We know if people are eating this way they are not going to have a heart attack,” says Esselstyn, whose father had a heart attack at 43.
Anthony Yen, an entrepreneur who emigrated from China and came to love the fried foods, meat and desserts of the American diet, adopted the Esselstyn program in 1987 after undergoing bypass surgery.
“I’m still alive because of this diet,” Yen says, now 78.
Esselstyn says people shouldn’t hold off on starting his diet until after they develop symptoms of heart disease because most heart attacks strike with no warning.
“The reason you don’t wait until you have heart disease to eat this way is often, sadly, the first symptom of your heart disease may be your sudden death,” he says.
Esselstyn says his diet works because it keeps the lining of the blood vessels free of the dangerous blisters or bubbles or cholesterol-laden plaque that causes heart attacks.
Two decades after Esselstyn started trying to spread the gospel of his plant-based diet, the American Heart Association says 83 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease and many of the traditional risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, are at all time highs. The association says the cost of treating heart disease tops $270 billion and is expected to more than double by 2025.
Esselstyn, a member of the U.S. gold medal rowing team at the 1956 Olympics, is not someone who gives up easily.
“We are on the cusp of what could be an absolute revolution in health — not dependent on pills, procedures or operations, but on lifestyle,” Esselstyn says.
Potato chips worst culprit for weight
Blame the potato chip. It’s the biggest demon behind that pound-a-year weight creep that plagues many of us, a major diet study found. Bigger than soda, candy and ice cream.
And the reason is partly that old advertising cliche: You can’t eat just one.
“They’re very tasty and they have a very good texture. People generally don’t take one or two chips. They have a whole bag,” said obesity expert Dr. F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer of the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York.
What we eat and how much of it we consume has far more impact than exercise and most other habits do on long-term weight gain, according to the study by Harvard University scientists. It’s the most comprehensive look yet at the effect of individual foods and lifestyle choices like sleep time and quitting smoking.
The results are in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.
Weight problems are epidemic. Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity has tripled in the past three decades. Pounds often are packed on gradually over decades, and many people struggle to limit weight gain without realizing what’s causing it.
The new study finds food choices are key. The message: Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Cut back on potatoes, red meat, sweets and soda.
“There is no magic bullet for weight control,” said one study leader, Dr. Frank Hu. “Diet and exercise are important for preventing weight gain, but diet clearly plays a bigger role.”
Doctors analyzed changes in diet and lifestyle habits of 120,877 people from three long-running medical studies. All were health professionals and not obese at the start. Their weight was measured every four years for up to two decades, and they detailed their diet on questionnaires.
On average, participants gained nearly 17 pounds over the 20-year period.
For each four-year period, food choices contributed nearly 4 pounds. Exercise, for those who did it, cut less than 2 pounds.
Potato chips were the biggest dietary offender. Each daily serving containing 1 ounce (about 15 chips and 160 calories) led to a 1.69-pound uptick over four years. That’s compared to sweets and desserts, which added 0.41 pound.
For starchy potatoes other than chips, the gain was 1.28 pounds. Within the spud group, french fries were worse for the waist than boiled, baked or mashed potatoes. That’s because a serving of large fries contains between 500 to 600 calories compared with a serving of a large baked potato at 280 calories.
Soda added a pound over four years. Eating more fruits and vegetables and other unprocessed foods led to less weight gain, probably because they are fiber-rich and make people feel fuller.
For each four-year period, these factors had these effects on weight:
— An alcoholic drink a day, 0.41-pound increase.
— Watching an hour of TV a day, 0.31-pound increase.
— Recently quitting smoking, 5-pound increase.
People who slept more or less than six to eight hours a night gained more weight.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and a foundation. Several researchers reported receiving fees from drug and nutrition companies.
“Humans naturally like fat and sweet,” said Dr. David Heber, director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, who had no role in the study. “That’s why we always tell people to eat their fruits and vegetables.”
Pi-Sunyer, who also wasn’t involved in the research, said the study gives useful advice.
“It’s hard to lose weight once you gain it,” he said. “Anything that will give people a clue about what might prevent weight gain if they follow through with it is helpful.”
The federal government earlier this year issued new dietary guidelines advising people to eat smarter. This month, it ditched the food pyramid — the longtime symbol of healthy eating — in favor of a dinner plate divided into four sections containing fruits, vegetables, protein and grains.
New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org
Chocolate? The World’s Favorite Foods Are Pasta, Meat and Rice
NewsFeed recently learned we should be living in Australia.
Of the 17 populations included in a new global Oxfam survey, only the Aussies most commonly said chocolate was their favorite food. We’re disappointed in our fellow Americans, and the quarter of this reporter that’s English feels let down by the Brits, too (chocolate was only the #6 favorite food, and tied at that? Really, ye who brought us Cadbury?)
According to Oxfam’s food survey of more than 16,000 people, the world’s overall top three favorite eats are pasta, meat and rice. In the U.S., it’s pizza, steak, and chicken. Pakistan’s most-liked food? Vegetables.
Oxfam, of course, has a greater purpose than satisfying curiosity about the world’s culinary preferences. The poll results, which the group calls “both fascinating and alarming,” suggest that growing food prices have notably altered the way we eat.
More than half of the total number of people surveyed said they aren’t eating some of the same foods they were consuming two years ago; 39% attributed it to rising food prices, 33% to health reasons. While cost was the primary cause cited in most countries, it wasn’t across the board. In the U.S., for example, 49% said their dietary changes stemmed mainly from health concerns, not monetary ones (31%).
Some of the most disturbing figures in the study come from Kenya, where 76% said they are not eating some foods they were in 2009 — and for 79% of them, it’s because of high prices. On the other end of the spectrum, less than 40% of people in Germany and the Netherlands report eating differently than they did two years ago.
(PHOTOS: What the World Eats)
In both Kenya and Tanzania, less than 30% of respondents said they always have enough to eat; globally, it’s 61%. Hunger, though a much, much greater problem in the developing world, is not limited to those areas. All this while the UN tells us that 1.3 billion metric tons — or one-third of the total — of food produced in the world goes uneaten.
As for preferred comestibles: the report states, “The results of the question asking people to name their favourite food illustrates the degree to which Western diets – at least as an aspiration – have spread across the world.” If Western means American, then we’re in trouble. As TIME’s Bryan Walsh wrote in a 2009 cover story, Americans “already eat four times as much meat and dairy as the rest of the world, and there’s not a nutritionist on the planet who would argue that 24 oz. steaks and mounds of buttery mashed potatoes are what any person needs to stay alive.”
Nil Zacharias, 06.01.2011
Co-founder, One Green Planet
Why bother going vegan? Aren’t there a million more important things to worry about? What about world peace? What about poverty? What about human suffering? What about plant suffering? Vegans just seem like misguided idealists; moreover, isn’t veganism extreme, inconvenient and ultimately only for people who are hippies, animal rights nut jobs or elitist liberals trying to explore a new fad diet?
We know what you’re thinking: I try to buy “humanely” raised meat; what’s wrong with that? Aren’t local and organic meat and dairy products great for the environment? Can’t I be a vegetarian (come on, no milk and eggs and NO cheese?) Cows and hens don’t have to die for it? Can’t I be a pescetarian (fish don’t have feelings, right)? Or maybe a flexitarian, or “veganish” (Oprah approves of it)? How will I get my protein? What about calcium? I love the taste of meat and doesn’t vegan food taste like feet? How will I ever be able to experience joy in my life knowing I can’t eat steak, drink a milkshake or wear a leather jacket? Why, oh why should I even consider this?
You’re curious and you know deep inside that this is something you need to think about. It could be because you have a pet and wonder if there’s a difference between him/her and the pig that turned into the bacon you ate for breakfast. Maybe you saw an eye-opening video about society’s treatment of animals. Or maybe you have been reading about the environmental impact of industrial animal agriculture or the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Whatever the reason may be, the fact that this seems mildly interesting to you means that you have already taken the first step towards thinking vegan. Don’t panic! That’s a good thing and is reason enough to not turn back now.
The good news is you don’t actually need to eat animal flesh or drink animal milk to lead a happy, healthy and productive life, and you certainly don’t need to wear animal skin to look good. You can still enjoy the taste of meat, creamy desserts, snacks and stock up your fridge and pantry with all kinds of delicious food. More importantly, you can get enough protein, even calcium, without any animal having to suffer or die for it. Worried about your health? Really? You think not consuming animal products that are full of saturated fat and cholesterol will do your body harm? As long as your idea of vegan food is not eating potato chips, Twizzlers and vegan cupcakes all day, you’ll do fine (but trust us, you should eat a good vegan cupcake every now and then).
If you’re still concerned, take a supplement or two (which you probably do on any diet). Worried about losing your sense of style if you can’t wear leather boots or fancy cashmere sweaters? You can buy all kinds of clothes and accessories, including designer coats and handbags, and fashionable shoes that not only look and feel great, but also won’t dampen your karma or your style. Think about it; the only reason we eat and use animals is because we’ve been doing it for eons and animal-free alternatives did not exist. It is 2011, people; we need to get with the program and evolve!
Veganism is not hard; ever noticed how picky almost every person placing their drink order at Starbucks is? Being vegan isn’t that different. So, you’ll probably need to ask a few questions while ordering food, read a few labels while buying stuff, deal with a few raised eyebrows and answer a couple of questions about protein and calcium. So what! You don’t have to go vegan overnight if you don’t want to, but you have to be certain that you’re ready to get started. Do some research on recipes and start with a few vegan meals a week. If after a few weeks, you find that your body and mind haven’t descended into the depths of hunger and depression, respectively, you can consider doing this long-term and going completely animal-free. Take the time you need, and you will realize that veganism is not a huge sacrifice, but just a matter of making some adjustments to how you cook, shop and order at a restaurant.
Now remember that veganism is more than food, because you don’t want to be that person talking about making ethical and ecological food choices while strutting around town in a fur coat, or wearing makeup that’s tested on animals. Again, don’t obsess over it; just do some basic research into vegan alternatives to various products you use and when you feel comfortable enough, make the switch to the animal-free version. Worried about having to throw away all your leather, wool and other clothes? Don’t! No one says you have to get rid of it all the moment you decide to go down the vegan path. If you can afford it, donate your non-vegan stuff and go ahead and embark on a shopping spree. However, realistically, very few can do that, so just wear them out and discard or donate them when you feel like you’re ready for a replacement. Relax; the vegan police is not going to fine you!
The amazing part is, your vegan journey has already begun! Why? Because we’re pretty certain that you don’t exclusively consume animal-based foods for all your meals and don’t intentionally buy clothes and other products because they are made with animal ingredients. From our perspective, you’re on your way — you’re a part time vegan already. Of course, it may seem convenient to not try harder and accept things the way they are today, but that doesn’t make it right. On the other hand, you don’t have to turn into a poster child for veganism overnight, either. Just start looking at the bigger picture and make conscious choices that will reduce your overall demand for products that are ecologically and ethically irresponsible. This is exactly why you don’t need to be an animal lover, a health freak or a treehugger to think vegan.
Start where you want, but remember that all those Meatless Mondays, humanely raised Tuesdays, organic, cage-free, flexitarian, pescetarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian days are just stepping stones on the path to reducing and ultimately eliminating your consumption of animal products.
Once you acknowledge that with every lifestyle choice, you can help build a smarter future for people, animals and the planet, you will realize that choosing not to think vegan is, in fact, an inconvenient burden to live with.
Addicted to Sugar? How to Kick the Habit
Published June 05, 2011
We joke about it, we rationalize weight gain because of it and it always gives us an excuse to have a second piece of cake for dessert: It’s a sugar addiction.
Most people wouldn’t consider a sugar addiction as serious as a cigarette or an alcohol addiction. After all, how dangerous can a chocolate chip cookie really be?
But for those individuals with an inclination for sweets, there is bad news: According to numerous researchers and scientific studies, a sugar addiction can be just as strong as a drug or alcohol dependency.
If this information alone does not make you put down your Snickers bar, then keep reading.
the sugar craving
We’ve all experienced it — the quiet voice in our head that convinces us to hit the local 7-11 at midnight for a chocolate bar or another helping of pie after dinner. Let’s face it: Sugar makes us happy and most people who claim to be addicted to sweets will tell you this. Sounds funny, right?
Actually, it’s truer than you think.
Recent studies prove that humans are programmed from an early age to crave sugar. And once the body has experienced sugar’s sweet rewards, it does not take much time for it to be officially addicted.
The sugar addiction begins at birth. Human breast milk is very sweet, so even infants begin to recognize the pleasurable feeling they get from sweet foods.
But what causes the craving?
After eating a sugary treat, the brain releases natural chemicals called opioids, which give the body a feeling of intense pleasure. The brain then recognizes this feeling and begins to crave more of it.
Researchers have identified that there are certain areas in the brain (specifically, the hippocampus, the insula and the caudate) that are activated when one craves sugar.
There is also scientific evidence that shows that these same areas of the brain are activated when drug addicts crave drugs; which proves how “real” a sugar addiction can be.
The Sugar Rush
So, what exactly happens in your body when you consume sugar?
After sugar enters the bloodstream, blood sugar levels rise, causing the pancreas to release insulin (insulin is needed to convert sugar into energy).
When a large amount of sugar is consumed, more insulin is released. The insulin converts the sugar into an instant energy source — which explains the jolt or “high” you get from a donut or a piece of cake. After high levels of insulin are released, blood sugar levels begin to decrease rapidly, resulting in the “crash” you feel shortly after eating a sugary treat.
In addition to converting sugar into energy, insulin also stimulates the storage of fat. Therefore, the more sugar you eat, the more insulin you produce, and consequently, the more likely it is that you will gain weight.
Along with obesity and tooth decay, sugar has also been linked to more serious health conditions, including increased mood swings, a depressed immune system and diabetes.
Drugs and Sugar
As mentioned above, sugar activates the brain’s pleasure center, which releases opioids that fuel a craving for more sugar. Recent studies on cravings and addiction show that heroin and morphine produce the same chemicals in the brain.
Still think a sugar addiction is not serious?
The same studies show that sugar also activates areas in the brain that reinforce behaviors. This means that — similarly to a heroin addiction — your body learns to want and need more of the substance that makes it feel good.
To prove this point, scientists provided humans with a compound to block opioid receptors in the brain. Shortly after receiving these compounds, people were less interested in sugary or sweet foods.
The Science Behind the Addiction
Studies from Princeton and the University of Minnesota involving rats reinforce how addictive sugar can be. When sugar was given to the rats, they exhibited addiction-like qualities, including intense cravings, withdrawal and bingeing symptoms. When the rats were weaned off sugar and then presented with the option to consume it again, nearly all of them exhibited typical relapse symptoms.
In addition to animal research, brain scans performed on human subjects showed that the sight of ice cream in normal patients generated the same feelings of pleasure in the brain as images of crack pipes did for crack addicts.
Sugar in Disguise
The average American consumes around 160 pounds of sugar each year. This is no surprise when you consider that sugar is in everything from ketchup to salad dressing and canned soup to deli meat.
Food marketers are great at incorporating sugar into many products under a variety of aliases. Common names for sugar can include sucrose, fructose, dextrose, and high-fructose corn syrup — none of which actually sound like the word “sugar,” but essentially mean the same thing.
Throughout your lifetime, it is probable that you have been eating more sugar than you were aware of; so ultimately, your body is probably already addicted.
Many of the foods that you probably consume every day are packed with sugar, including fruit juice, iced coffee and tea drinks, yogurt, wheat bread, and most breakfast cereals (even Bran Flakes and Special K have sugar in them).
Even if you have one can of regular (non-diet) soda, you are consuming nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is, approximately, the maximum recommended daily allowance.
Sugar does not give your body anything but a quick boost of energy — it is completely devoid of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that you find in natural foods. Oh, and it makes you fat.
Kick the Craving
Although I realize that it is probably impossible to eliminate sugar from your diet entirely, I can help you limit your intake. Here are some tips:
• Banish packaged products — including those made with white flour — and stick to food in its original form. Instead of canned fruit or juice, eat a piece of whole fruit.
• Drink plenty of water throughout the day; you may be mistaking dehydration for hunger.
• Eat protein at every meal; it is digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates and will leave you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. You will therefore be more likely to resist the urge to eat dessert every night after dinner.
• Give up your favorite sweet food for three weeks. It is likely that after three weeks, your tastes will have changed and your craving for sweets will not be as strong.
• Resist impulse snacking. If you crave a donut, take 15 minutes to think about it or go for a walk instead. Chances are, that after this delay period, your craving will have subsided.____________________________________________________
After eating a sugary treat, the brain releases
natural chemicals called stupioids.
have identified that there are certain areas in the brain (specifically, the
hippopotamus, the porcine and the obesiate) that are activated when one craves
must enter a twelve step program to overcome addictions. When sugar stuff comes
toward the mouth take twelve steps the other way.
the big food companies are the responsible pushers in this scenerio.
As a nutritionist, I teach my readers to get mad as hell and not take
it anymore. My number one rule for good nutrition; if you’ve seen it advertised on TV or
magazines don’t shove it into your mouth.
Nutrition Education—Some Assembly Required
With obesity becoming epidemic, according to the Center for Disease Control, the newest generation of Americans will be the first in history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. We’re headed in the wrong direction. Addictions are hard to change. Americans have been called salt-aholics, fatazoids, sweet and snack food junkies. We sound like a bunch of addicts, don’t we?
The American Dietetic Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association and the Harvard Public Health Nutrition Department suggests that we eat too many sweets, high animal fat food, salty food, and not enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
A recent article on CNN said;
Mapping out hunger
By Allison Linn, senior business writer
The recession may be officially over, but one of the most worrisome effects of the weak economy remains: Tens of millions of Americans don’t have enough money for food.
More than 44 million Americans were receiving food stamps in February, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And participation in the so-called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has increased by more than 60 percent since the recession began in December of 2007.
The Wall Street Journal has a new graphic that breaks down SNAP usage by state. According to the graphic, Mississsippi, Oregon and Tennessee have the highest percentage of food stamp usage, while Wyoming ranks lowest.
In Alabama, the state so recently devastated by a string of tornadoes, 18 percent of residents are receiving food stamps, according to the Wall Street Journal’s data. The Journal’s graphic is based on data from the USDA and the Census Bureau.
It’s not the lack of money that is responsible. It’s ignorance. Not the lack of
intelligence, but the lack of knowledge, of education. Walden Food Plan to the
rescue. You need a buck or two a day to eat well, if you have a big enough why,
know what, and how to buy.
I saw a food stamp user in Wal Mart at the checkout counter. She had pasta,
frozen pizza, wieners, hamburger, Wheaties, Oreos, hambuger helper, white bread,
potato chips, iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, chicken breasts, soda crackers, lots of
two liter soft drinks, and a gallon of whole milk. From the look on her face, I’ll
guarantee, she felt like she didn’t have enough money to eat, just like Allison Linn
said in her article. OMG! Let’s talk a bit, and learn from this nameless soul!
1. Pasta is processed Durham wheat. At a dollar or more per pound it is terribly
Buy whole wheat and make your own whole wheat food with flour that
cost less than half and has more nutrients and fiber.
2. Frozen pizza. You’re kidding! For the convenience, white wheat flour and
tomato sauce, you are paying out the nostrils.
Fix: Make your own.
3. Wieners. Gods answer to, “Where did those chicken lips and pig snouts go?”
Too much fat, too much money.
Fix: Treat wieners like they’re leprosy sticks.
4. Hamburger. The most likely of all red meat to come from fifty three
different animals and contain some E. Coli bacteria. You know I’m talking
bovine sphincters and fecal (poopal) material here, don’t you?
Fix: Plot a wide path around the meat section even if it takes you past the
breakfast cereal aisle.
5. Speaking of the dev…Wheaties. General Mills pays $7.50 for a bushel of wheat that weighs 60 pounds, that’s twelve and one half cents a pound or .0078 per ounce, considerable less than a penny, puts it in an admittedly, pretty orange box, with, of course, a famous Wheaties-made, rich athlete’s picture on it, and sells that 18 oz. box to us for $ 5.75, or thirty two cents an ounce. Look at the ingredients on the back of the box, it’s wheat and sugar, that’s all! No caviar, truffles or queen bee’s knees. Well, put an orange tutu on a pig and call him Tiger.
Fix: If you must go down the breakfast cereal aisle, at least frown and snarl as you pass by.
6. Oreos. White flour, fat, and sugar in a pretty package. Our wonderful, blue-haired, apple-cheeked Grandmas that doted on and spoiled us, gave us Oreos as a treat, admonished us not to eat the sweet frosting inside and then replace the violated cookie back into the jar, will always be cherished. Now, when we buy Oreos, we’re not really getting Grandma’s love, although that may be how we feel. I’m not suggesting that Granny should be beaten about her noggin with a greasy, ball peen hammer, or water-boarded, but maybe, force fed three packages of Oreos without a drink like they do at Guantanamo.
Fix: Make your own cookies with whole wheat, oatmeal, and vegetable oil (instead of lard or shortening), and use less sugar—a lot less. Use some slightly over-ripe bananas for sweetener.
7. Hamburger helper. Overpriced wheat.
Fix: Make your own meat extender and leave out the meat.
8. White bread. I must admit I’m prejudiced against white stuff, as flour, pasta, and rice have had some of the best parts removed. Whole grains are better.
Fix: Make your own whole grain meals.
9. Chips. Too much salt and fat. Just scarf a can of Crisco and gnaw on a salt lick block. Open up a vein with a rusty cork screw and with a turkey baster inject a tub of soft-spread butter. Google ‘aortic stent’. Jump off a bridge, it’s faster. This crap has 150 calories an ounce and gives potatoes an undeserved, bad name.
Fix: Grill some thin, shoestring-like strips of potato in the top rack of your oven, watch them closely, they’ll brown quickly and need to be turned over once to get them evenly crisp. Leave the peel on the spuds. Take your clothes off. Open your curtains. Experiment. Try sweet potatoes or jicama. Google ‘jicama’. Standing next to the oven do a set of fifty deep-knee bends while they brown, you redden, and your neighbor watches. You’ll use more calories than the shoestrings have in them. So will he.
10. Iceberg lettuce. Not a low-priced choice. Has a very low concentration of the vitamin, minerals and nutrients that we need. It’s expensive, crunchy water. How this particular plant wormed its way so prominently into our culture is unknown. Perhaps the Native Americans, who were forced to convert to Christianity by the Europeans, overheard at a communion, “Let us pray,” and saw the Anglos eat with that ethereal, peyote-look on their faces some stuff that Indians hadn’t seen before.
Fix: Pick nutrient dense and inexpensive fruits and veggies. Better choices would be spinach or romaine. Even these are high-priced and I haven’t seen them at less than a dollar a pound. Use the sprouts you make on your window sill.
11. Cucumber. Sparse nutrients, high price.
Fix: Same as number 10.
12. Chicken breasts. Better economic choice would be legs and thighs. Better still—no meat.
Fix: If you eat eggs it requires less of a commitment on the chicken’s part.
13. Soda crackers. White flour and salt at high price.
Fix: Homemade matzo. Make your own snack food with more nutritious and less expensive ingredients. There are only two ingredients; whole wheat flour and water. Two parts flour to one part water. Mix them in a bowl, knead, cut into chunks, and roll thin with a rolling pin, drinking glass or Mankiewicz wine bottle. To remain kosher (and, why take chances?) you have to do this in eighteen minutes or less, from start to finish ( because the dough will start to rise and it’s supposed to be unleavened), so, preheat oven to 475 and bake 3-4 minutes. If you are successful and want to try a bigger challenge; drink the bottle of wine first.
14. Soft drinks. The Cola-nization of the world continues apace as people’s health declines. There is not a clearer sign of mind control that exists here on planet Corn-Sweetener. Minimalist Menufesto’s anthem…I’d like to teach the world to sneer at Coke and Pepsico….
Look at this video.
US Soft Drink Consumption Grew 135% Since 1977, Boosting Obesity
ScienceDaily (Sep. 17, 2004) — CHAPEL HILL — One of the simpler ways to curtail the obesity epidemic could be to cut the volume of sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks Americans are increasingly consuming, authors of new study say.
The study, conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, showed that energy intake from such drinks in the United States increased 135 percent between about 1977 and 2001. Over the same span, energy intake from milk — a far more nutritious beverage — dropped 38 percent.
A report on the research appears today (Sept.16) in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Health. Authors, both at the UNC schools of public health and medicine, are Dr. Barry M. Popkin, professor of nutrition and a fellow at the Carolina Population Center, and nutrition graduate student Samara Joy Nielsen.
“There has been considerable controversy about the promotion of soft drinks in schools and elsewhere,” Popkin said. “Extensive research on all age groups has shown that consuming these soft drinks and fruit drinks increases weight gain in children and adults.”
One recent study even showed a link between high consumption of sweet beverages and a greatly increased risk of diabetes, he said.
“Our new study highlights the fact that Americans in 2001 consumed more energy from sugared beverages in larger portions and more servings per day than in 1977,” Popkin said. “The increases in soft drinks noted in the past continue unabated into the new millennium. The decreased intake of milk is possibly related to this change in energy intake from beverages and is a negative trend because of the deficient calcium intake of Americans.”
The study used nationally representative data to quantify changes in Americans’ beverage consumption patterns – specifically, the increases in sweetened beverages and decreases in milk over 24 years, he said. The sample consisted of 73,345 U.S. residents age 2 and older.
Data analyzed came from the federally funded 1977-1978 Nationwide Food Consumption Survey, the 1989 and 1994-1996 Continuing Surveys of Food Intake by Individuals and the 1991-2001 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
“For each survey year, we calculated the percentage of total energy intake from meals and snacks separately for people age 2 to 18, 19 to 39, 40 to 59 and 60 and over,” Popkin said. “We also computed the percentage of energy intake by location such as homes, vending machines, fast food restaurants, regular restaurants and schools for each age group and for specific beverages. We also determined proportions, average portion sizes and number of servings daily.”
Between 1977 and 2001, the study discovered that:
· Total energy derived from soft drinks each day rose on average from 2.8 percent to 7 percent, nearly a tripling of calories.
· Energy intake from fruit drinks per person grew from 1.1 percent to 2.2 percent.
· Milk supplied 5 percent of energy for all age groups, down from 8 percent over the 24 years.
· Changes in intake of other beverages such as tea, coffee, alcohol and fruit juices were minor for all age groups.
“The largest drop in milk consumption, from 13.2 percent of total energy to 8.3 percent, occurred in 2- to 18-year-olds,” Popkin said. “Milk consumption played a much smaller role in total energy intake among all other age groups.”
Young adults ages 19 to 39 drank the most soft drinks, increasing their intake from 4.1 percent to 9.8 percent of total daily calorie consumption during the period, he said. Servings of sweetened beverages increased for every age group, while servings of milk decreased for all.
“We found that the average number of soft drink servings per day climbed from 1.96 in 1977 to 2.39 in 2001,” Popkin said. “The largest drop in milk servings occurred among 2- to 18-year-olds, which is obviously not good.”
Also during the period, he said, portions of sweetened beverages drunk jumped from 13.6 ounces to 21 ounces, on average, among all age groups. In the 19- to 39-year-old age group, portions increased from 15.3 ounces to 25.5 ounces. As consumed during mealtimes, the number of calories derived from milk fell from 127 to 82 over the 24 years.
The new study corroborates earlier research showing that soft drink consumption is rising and is a significant contributor to total caloric intake, Popkin said. The new work explores the trends and provides a much more detailed examination of them.
A limitation of the study is that people who are overweight are more likely than others to under-report how much they eat and drink, he said.
“Due to increases in under-reporting, it is likely that the current estimates of beverage consumption were too low and that sweet beverages played a larger role in Americans’ diets,” Popkin said. “Little research has focused on the beneficial impacts of reduced soft drink and fruit drink intake. This would seem to be one of the simpler ways to reduce obesity in the United States.”
Fix: Drink water, milk, limeade, or pinole, an Indian corn drink.
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup boiling water
- Heat a heavy frying pan on medium heat.
- When the pan is hot, sprinkle in the cornmeal to dry roast it.
- Stir until you see the cornmeal starting to turn brown (about 6 to 8 minutes).
- When it is brown, scrape the cornmeal into a small bowl.
- Add the honey and cinnamon and mix well.
- Stir 1 Tablespoon of this mix into 1 cup of boiling water, as the Native Americans did, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Note: You could use a spoonful of sugar instead of honey.
15. Milk. Yeah! You go, girl! Stick with the reduced fat choices.