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The Slimming Benefits of Oat Bran PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Saturday, April 23, 2016


Oat Bran2A bowl of hot oatmeal on a chilly morning has been a comfort staple breakfast for generations, and most people know that oats are a “heart healthy” cholesterol-lowering food. However, the most virtuous and versatile component of the oat resides in its outer layer—the bran.  The bran contains a high content of a unique type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which bestows some remarkable health properties, and is incredibly beneficial for weight loss.

 

Technically, oat bran is not a whole grain (since it's actually only one part of the oat grain). But because of its exceptionally high fiber content, it can be considered a whole grain. A bowl of oat bran contains about 50% more fiber than the same size bowl of oatmeal, making it more effective at lowering cholesterol and in its weight loss properties. And because it is mostly fiber, oat bran has less calories than the same amount of oatmeal.  A three-quarter-cup serving of cooked oat bran contains only 66 calories, compared to 124 calories in the same amount of cooked oatmeal.  Oat bran also has more antioxidants, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, phosphorus, riboflavin, magnesium, and zinc than oatmeal.

Aside from fewer calories, there are two other combined properties that make oat bran a powerfully slimming food.  First, because of it high fiber content, oat bran satiates you.  As soon as you ingest it, the fiber in oat bran soaks up saliva and then expands in the stomach absorbing up to 25 times its volume in liquid, making you feel quite full, quite fast.  It provides a prolonged feeling of fullness, so you eat less in between meals. 

 

The second way that oat bran helps with weight loss is more biologically unique.  It’s called intestinal caloric loss.   In other words, oat bran blocks the absorption of calories from the intestine.  Here’s how it works: when you eat food, it is broken down into it’s individual components of fatty acids, carbohydrate (glucose) and amino acids (the building blocks of proteins).  The calories from these components are then absorbed into the body.  But when you eat oat bran, it mixes with water in your intestine to produce a gel-like substance called bolus.  The bolus absorbs some of the breakdown products, and then it is attacked by gastric juices and stomach acids that turn it into a pulp.  This pulp becomes part of the stool, and thereby carries the calorie-dense components of fats, glucose, and amino acids out of the body through the stool.  This process both slows down the assimilation of sugar (glucose) and removes calories from the body while keeping your blood sugar levels low and stable. 

 

One key to make this action more effective is to reduce or eliminate other grains in the diet, especially wheat, and put oat bran in their place.

So how do you eat it? Here are some ideas:

 

  • Oat bran can be cooked as a hot cereal by mixing 1 part oat bran to two parts water and cooking it the same as you would cook oatmeal
  • Add a tablespoon or two to your yogurt, cottage cheese or a smoothie
  • Add it to an omelet
  • Bread meat, poultry, or eggplant with it
  • Sprinkle it on salad
  • Use it in place of bread crumbs when making meatloaf, meatballs and burgers
  • Mix it in a soup or stew
  • Make flourless muffins and pancakes with it

 

bobsredmilloatbranOat bran is available in the cereal or bulk section of major grocery stores and natural food stores. Since oat bran contains a small amount of naturally-occurring fat, it is susceptible to going rancid. Look for products in well-sealed packaging.  Quaker Oats sells it in a 1-pound box that you will find in the hot cereal section of most grocery chains. Bob’s Red Mill also sells it in a 1-pound clear plastic package. If you're buying from a bulk bin, buy from a store that has a high product turnover, and be sure the product is free from any moisture (visible as clumps) and has a faint nutty smell.

 Due to its susceptibility to going rancid, store oat bran in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place.  To prolong the shelf life of oat bran, store it in the freezer in a tightly sealed container.  You can cook with oat bran directly out of the freezer in recipes or on its own - no thawing required.

You can purchase a Gluten-Free version of Bob's Red Mill's Oat Bran by clicking here.

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The Truth About Raw Milk PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Friday, April 22, 2016

raw_milk1People have been drinking raw milk from animals for thousands of years. It has only been since the early 1900's that milk has been pasteurized (mainly due to unsanitary milking conditions). But pasteurized milk is denatured and unhealthy, so many people have returned to drinking their milk the way nature intended. Here are a few of the major reasons why more than half a million Americans are choosing to drink their milk raw.

It Has More Nutrients
Raw milk is an outstanding source of nutrients including beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidolphilus, vitamins and enzmes, and it is one of the finest sources of calcium available.

 

The pasteurization process, which entails heating the milk to a temperature of 145 degrees to 150 degrees F and keeping it there for at least half an hour and then reducing the temperature to not more than 55 degrees F, completely changes the structure of the milk proteins (denaturization) into something far less than healthy. While the process certainly destroys germs and bad bacteria, it also destroys the milk's beneficial bacteria along with many of its nutritious components.

Pasteurizing milk destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, kills beneficial bacteria and promotes pathogens.

Then, of course there is the issue of the antibiotics, pesticides and growth hormones and the fact that nearly all commercial dairy cows are raised on grains, not grass, as they were designed to.

This will change the composition of the fats in the milk, especially the CLA content. CLA, which stands for conjugated linoleic acid, is a beneficial fatty acid found in raw milk. Countless studies have shown that CLA has many potential health benefits. For comparison, grain-fed cows have as little as one-fifth the CLA in their milk as grass-fed.

 

People Feel the Health Benefits
Pasteurized cow's milk is the number one allergic food in this country. It has been associated with a number of symptoms and illnesses including:

 


Diarrhea, Cramps, Bloating, Gas, Gastrointestinal bleeding, Iron-deficiency anemia, Skin rashes, Allergies, Colic in infants, Osteoporosis, Increased tooth decay, Arthritis, Growth problems in children, Heart disease, Cancer, Atherosclerosis, Acne, Recurrent ear infections in children, Type 1 diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, Infertility, Leukemia, Autism

Raw milk, on the other hand, is not associated with any of these problems, and even people who have been allergic to pasteurized milk for many years can typically tolerate and even thrive on raw milk.

Raw milk is truly one of the most profoundly healthy foods you can consume, and uou'll feel the difference once you start to drink it.

 

It Tastes Better
As with any food, fresher is always better and this applies to milk as well. Fresh raw milk is creamier and better tasting than pasteurized milk that has a shelf-life of several weeks. Ultra-high-temperature milk can be stored without refrigeration for about six months. Even people who have never liked the taste of milk find that raw milk has a soothing, pleasant taste that they can't resist.

 

Obtaining raw milk can be a challenge but it is well worth the effort to seek out.

In the Phoenix area, you can get raw milk from Save Your Dairy (www.saveyourdairy.com) located in Queen Creek. The dairy delivers their milk to various drop sites all over the valley and you also have the option to physically drive to the dairy to purchase the milk.

For sources of raw milk in other locations, you can go to www.realmilk.com.

For more information on raw milk, log on to http://www.raw-milk-facts.com.

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The Goodness of Garlic PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

garlic

Garlic has been used for thousands of years both as food and as medicine. Most people around the world, shop especially those known for their excellent health and long life, decease have used garlic extensively in their daily diets.

Today, many countries often rely on garlic in the treatment of tuberculosis, bronchial disorders, lupus, pulmonary gangrene, and inflammation of the trachea. Garlic also has a long history of use as an infection fighter. In fact, Garlic is widely known as "Russian penicillin", to denote its antibacterial properties. Russian physicians have long used it for respiratory disorders, giving children with whooping cough garlic ingredients via inhalation. Russians have also used garlic preparations for flu, sore throats, and mouth sores.

 

Read more...
 
Are Hidden Sources of Trans Fats Lurking in Organic Canola Oil? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Saturday, April 16, 2016

 

Canola oil plant with seeds

It’s been quite a ride watching the rise and demise of trans fats in the American food supply. Needless to say, many of us were gratified last November when the FDA finally acknowledged that these man-made fats are so hazardous to our health, they can no longer be deemed “generally recognized as safe.” Trans fats raise bad cholesterol and have been implicated as the reason for high rates obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. If this preliminary determination gets finalized, it will be illegal for food manufacturers to use trans fats in their food products without FDA approval. While this is a great victory for all of us, it may be years before we see a ban and a complete phase-out of trans fats.

But even if there is a ban, you still need to be aware of another hidden source of trans fat in your food products, even the organic foods that are marketed as healthy.  This hidden source of trans fats is not likely to be banned or regulated any time soon.

The FDA’s ruling will only cover the man-made partially hydrogenated oils, not the trans fat that is created in the process of pressing and refining oil. According to the FDA, trans fat is also present at very low levels in other edible oils, such as canola oil, where it is "unavoidably produced during the manufacturing process.”

The food industry promotes canola oil (an oil pressed from rape seeds) as a healthy salad and cooking oil, because it contains a relatively high amount of “heart healthy” monounsaturated fat and a lesser percentage of beneficial omega-3 fats in the form of alpha linolenic acid, a type of essential fat known to aid in weight loss, lower the risk of heart disease, and lift depression.  Alpha linolenic acid is most certainly healthy, but only if it is protected from heat and light.

Few people realize that the supposedly beneficial omega-3 fats in canola oil are an “unavoidable” source of trans fats.  The omega-3 fats in canola oil are extremely fragile and their molecular structure lends for a very easy conversion to trans fats when the oil is exposed to heat during extraction. Standard canola oil goes through two extractions, one mechanical using a screw press that creates high heat, and one chemical using hexane, a very harsh solvent.  The oil must also be de-gummed to remove solids that settle during storage. The process involves more heat and sometimes the addition of acids. Then, because the oil is an ugly gray color, it is bleached and separated. Finally, the oil (known for its foul odor) must be deodorized using extreme temperatures as high as 500° F. All of this heat and chemical exposure converts the omega-3’s to trans fats and destroys any health benefit the oil may have had. (To watch a video on how canola oil is made, click here.  Notice how the narrator touts canola oil as being healthy, but when you see how it is made you will definitely change your mind!)

Even when the oil is expeller pressed—a type of pressing commonly used in the production of organic canola oil—the tremendous force (as much as 15 tons of pressure per square inch are applied to squeeze the oil from the seeds) of the industrial press still generates a good amount of heat that converts the omega-3’s into trans fats. This conversion happens whether or not the rape seeds were grown organically.

canola oil pic for articleTrue “cold-pressed” canola oil (made by grinding seeds with heavy granite millstones or modern stainless steel presses and keeping the temperature below 120° F) does exist, and may perhaps be free of trans fats, but is produced in much smaller volume than standard canola oil.  You won’t see cold pressed canola oil being used in any commercial food products or restaurants. It is typically only available in specialty food stores at a premium price. However, there would be no point in spending the money on such oil if the intention is to heat it for cooking, as trans fats are easily created at cooking temperatures as well.

What this boils down to is that you end up with a small but very damaging amount of trans fat in canola oil just from the extraction and refining process.  If you or any food manufacturer uses canola for cooking, the additional heat creates more damage.

The amount of trans fat in canola oil varies depending on where it was sourced from.  Researchers at the University of Florida at Gainesville found that liquid canola oils pressed from rape seeds grown and sold in the USA contained as much as 4.6 percent trans fat.  That may seem like a small percentage, but you have to realize that trans fats act on a cellular level and are harmful even in minute amounts.  The National Academy of Sciences declared in 2002, and  FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said recently in a written statement, “There is no safe level of consumption of trans fat. Current intake remains a significant public health concern.”

The FDA requires food manufacturers to list the number of grams of added artificial trans fats per serving of the food product, however, the trans fats that occur in canola oil as a result of processing are not monitored nor are they required to be listed on the nutrition fact panel of food products. In fact, canola oil is one of the most egregiously hidden sources of trans fat that is not disclosed or regulated. To avoid trans fat in your food, avoid canola oil at all costs, even if is organic and expeller pressed.

Sources:

  1. Sean O'Keefe, Sara Gaskins-Wright, Virginia Wiley, and I-Chen Chen, “Levels of Trans Geometrical Isomers of Essential Fatty Acids in Some Unhydrogenated US Vegetable Oils.” Journal of Food Lipids 1994;1:165-176. accessed at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1745-4522.1994.tb00244.x/abstract
  2. Rapeseed and Canola Oil: Production, Processing, Properties and Uses
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Popcorn and COPD! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey   
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

popcorn

Taking a breather from cured meats and popcorn could save your lungs and your life. A recent study conducted by Columbia University Medical Center suggests that eating cured meats such as hot dogs,  smoked turkey, ham, bologna, bacon or salami may double your risk for lung disease.

Concurrently, recent news has shown that the pervasive lingering aroma of artificially butter-flavored popcorn can literally kill you.

Researchers found that people who ate cured meat products at least 14 times a month were 78 percent more likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than people who did not eat these meats, even after the researchers sought to account for many other risk factors including smoking, overall diet and age.

Read more...
 
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