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News Flash: Chocolate is Healthier Than Broccoli! PDF Print E-mail
Monday, December 19, 2016

chocolate

Over the past few years, you've probably heard about the health benefits of chocolate. However, before you go making conventional chocolates a staple of your diet, it's important to understand that the health benefits are mainly due to special compounds called flavonoids that are found most abundantly in organic, raw chocolate..

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The Big Fat Canola Lie PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Thursday, December 15, 2016

 

If you are like most Americans, you believe canola oil is the best oil to use for cooking.  Restaurants proudly tout they only use "healthy" canola oil.  Nearly every cookbook on the market includes canola oil in its recipes.  Check the ingredients of nearly every packaged food, and you will find canola oil ranking high on the list. The marketers of canola oil have claimed that it is the perfect oil, owing to its low saturated fat content, high monounsaturated fat content, and a bonus omega-3 content, making it particularly beneficial for the prevention of heart disease. Sadly, we have been subjected to a twisted truth.

canola oil pic for article

Canola oil has a hidden history.  As mentioned earlier, the incidence of heart disease rose sharply from the 1930's on. By the mid 1980's, the high mortality rates from heart attacks had the medical community in a tizzy, and the media was having a field day.  The food industry had a major problem. In collusion with the American Heart Association, numerous government agencies and departments of nutrition at major universities, the food industry had been promoting polyunsaturated oils as a heart-healthy alternative to "artery-clogging" saturated fats since the 1930's. Unfortunately, it had become increasingly clear that polyunsaturated oils, particularly corn oil and soybean oil, cause numerous health problems, including and especially cancer.1

The food industry was in a quandary. In the face of mounting evidence of their dangers, it was becoming hard to convince the public that polyunsaturated oils were safe to eat. The industry couldn’t go back to using traditional fats like butter and tropical oils without also causing a public scare.  Besides, traditional fats are way too expensive to allow for the huge profit margins the industry had been enjoying thus far.  They were losing lots of money and needed to come up with a new plan. 

Their plan was to convince the public to use a "new" monounsaturated oil.  Studies had shown that olive oil, a monounsaturated oil, has a "better" effect than polyunsaturated oils on cholesterol levels and other blood parameters. Besides, Ancel Keys and others had popularized the notion that the Mediterranean diet "rich in olive oil" protected against heart disease and ensured a long and healthy life.2

Promotion of olive oil, with its long history of food use, seemed more scientifically sound to health-conscious consumers than the promotion of corn and soy oil, which had never been used in the history of humanity and could only be extracted with modern stainless steel presses and chemical processing. The problem for the industry was that there was not enough olive oil in the world to meet its needs. And, like butter and other traditional fats, olive oil was too expensive to use in most processed foods. The industry needed a less expensive monounsaturated oil.  That's when the new wonder oil "canola oil" stepped on to the scene.3

There's No Such Thing As a Canola

The real name of canola oil is rapeseed oil (there is no such thing as a canola).  The natural, untainted rape seed is high in heart healthy monounsaturated fats and also contains omega-3 fats.  The problem is that about two-thirds of the monounsaturated fat in natural untainted rape seed is a type called erucic acid, that had been associated with heart lesions and other ailments.  In order to remove the erucic acid, Canadian plant breeders had to genetically modify the rapeseed using a seed splitting technique to create a mutation, called LEAR, or Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed.

 The new oil, called LEAR oil, was slow to catch on in the United States. In order to make it marketable, it had to be renamed. Neither "LEAR" oil or "Rape" oil were very enticing names, so the industry settled on "canola," for "Canadian oil," since most of the modified rapeseed at that time was grown in Canada.

 

Twisted Science

The industry had managed to manipulate the science (genetic engineering of the rape seed) to make a perfect oil: very low in saturated fat and rich in monounsaturated fat.  As a bonus, canola oil contains about 10 percent omega-3 fatty acids, which had been shown to be beneficial for the heart and immune system.  Since most Americans are deficient in omega-3 fats, the oil was a dream-come-true for health-conscious consumers.  But how healthy is it really?

While rapeseed has been used as a source of oil since ancient times in China and India, the way it was historically pressed from the seed (small stone presses that press out the oil at low temperatures) rendered a fresh healthy oil that was consumed immediately.  It has even been proven by recent studies that the erucic acid in rapeseed oil does not create heart lesions, as long as a significant amount of saturated fat is also part of the diet. In fact, erucic acid is helpful in the treatment of the wasting disease adrenoleukodystrophy and was the magic ingredient in Lorenzo's oil.4

However, the way we now process canola oil, and most other oils for that matter, is a different thing entirely, rendering them very unhealthy.  Because canola oil, and all modern vegetable and seed oils, are so unstable, it is nearly impossible to keep them from turning rancid.  So they have to be highly processed and refined at high heat (400 to 500 degrees) and treated with chemical solvents like hexane, a fluid also used in dry cleaning.  Traces of hexane remain in the oil, even after considerable refining.  The refinement process involves bleaching and degumming, which require the use of additional chemicals of questionable safety.

Canola oil contains a good amount of omega-3 fats, which easily become rancid and foul smelling when subjected to oxygen and high heat, so the oil has to be deodorized.  The deodorization process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fats by turning them into trans-fats. Trans-fats are formed at 320 degrees, so imagine how much damage is done at 400 to 500 degrees.  Although the Canadian government lists the trans-fat content of canola oil at a minimal 0.2 percent, research at the University of Florida at Gainesville, found trans-fat levels as high as 4.6 percent in commercial liquid canola oil. The consumer has no clue about the presence of trans-fats in canola oil because they are not listed on the label.5 

 

Oil Refinement Destroys Any Original Health Benefits

Similar to the refinement of sugar and flour, anything good that was in the original oil, such as vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients are all destroyed in the oil refinement process.  The remaining "pure" oil is tasteless, and by the time that bottle of oil ends up on your supermarket shelf, it's full of trans-fats and free radicals (the dangers of trans-fat and free radicals are discussed later in this chapter).  The kicker is that once you buy this oil and take it home, you also heat it very high when you cook or bake, destroying it even further!  It is also important to point out here, that even expeller-pressed canola oil, which is sold in health food stores and often used in "health foods," is still subject to rancidity.  Even though the oil is pressed with no heat, the omega-3 fats in canola oil quickly turn to free radicals when they are exposed to air, light and heat.  Cooking with expeller-pressed canola oil renders it unhealthy.

Liquid canola oil is easily changed by a chemical reaction into partially hydrogenated canola oil (a dangerous trans-fat), which is the type of canola oil used in processed foods. This canola oil contains up to 40 percent trans-fats.  Almost all restaurants use the partially hydrogenated form of canola oil; so don't be fooled by those "we only use canola oil" claims.  These high levels of trans-fats allow for a longer shelf life for processed foods, a crispier texture in cookies and crackers, and more dangers of chronic disease for anyone who eats those foods.13

The widespread acceptance of canola oil and its "heart healthy" claims come at a high price.  Even those new fangled improved "margarines" made with canola oil and soybean oil are a lie.  They're highly processed fake foods that have lost whatever claim they originally had to any health properties.  Do yourself a favor, and avoid canola oil at all costs.  Eat real butter, cook with extra-virgin coconut oil, and use extra-virgin olive oil for salad dressings.

Notes:

1.                  Fallon, Sally W., M.A. and Enig, Mary, Ph.D. "The Great Con-ola." westonaprice.org, July 28, 2002, http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/conola.html

2.                  Ibid.

3.                  Ibid.

4.                  Ibid.

5.         Ibid.

.
 
Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Everyone knows that much of what we traditionally have for Thanksgiving is filled with white flour, white sugar and processed ingredients.

Here are some healthy alternative recipes that I created so you and your family can have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

 

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Perfection of the Pumpkin PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

 

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health. Vitamin A plays a key role in the health of our eyes, skin, hair and teeth..

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The Benefits of Bee Pollen PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Wednesday, October 26, 2016


beepollen2

I’ve been recommending bee pollen for quite some time now as a remedy to help quell sugar cravings—but it has nutritional benefits that far exceed taming a sweet tooth.  Bee pollen is the complete source of nutrition for a bee and is also the most complete food known to man, containing vitamins A, C, D, E, the B complex vitamins including folic acid, 25 minerals, and all of the essential amino acids.  In fact, it is a richer source of protein than any animal source.

It is credited with helping everything from athletic performance and the immune system to treating skin inflammation, but the two most common reasons people consume bee pollen is to alleviate seasonal allergies and to use as a nutritional supplement. But bee pollen isn't a quick fix food. You need to take about one teaspoon per day for three months to see any noticeable benefits. Also, it is highly recommended that you consume bee pollen that has been harvested from a source that is local to where you live, since the bees are gathering pollen from the same regional plants that may be causing seasonal allergies.

Bee pollen contains many key nutrients to help your brain and your blood sugar levels, most notably it contains the complex of B-vitamins and amino acids.  A key amino acid needed to help with sugar cravings is the brain-feeding nutrient L-glutamine. This important amino acid converts to glutamic acid, the only source of glucose besides sugar that the brain can use for energy.  Bee pollen has worked wonders for many of my clients with sugar withdrawal.

One of the benefits bee pollen is well known for is that it acts very effectively as a natural energizer for your body. It also allows you to think more clearly, and feel more positive and focused.  For this reason, I often recommend it to college students who are studying for exams.  It also helps you sleep better and feel more at peace and relaxed.

Bee pollen benefits also extend to the area of weight loss. It has an ability to help in fat loss by rectifying a chemical imbalance that many people with weight problems tend to have.

Other weight control benefits of bee pollen include improving your metabolism (the rate at which your body burns fat); dissolving and flushing fat cells from your body due to the high percentage of lecithin contained in bee pollen; and it also helps to reduce your cravings for food. Because of the lecithin content, bee pollen is also very effective in lowering your cholesterol levels.

While there are many bee pollen benefits the only side effect is for those who are allergic to bee stings. If you are allergic to bee stings it would be best to avoid bee pollen.

beepollen3Since it is such a richly packed nutritional food, it is advisable to introduce it to your diet slowly and to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. It is wonderful to add to smoothies, salads, yogurt, and many other foods, but do not add it to anything hot since heat will destroy the active enzymes and reduce the nutritional benefits.

Bee pollen can be stored for about six months, and it can be frozen safely for later use.

How to Take and Things to Note about Bee Pollen:

Bee pollen is packed with live enzymes, vitamins, minerals phytonutrients, plus some elements that science has not yet identified. Your digestion may not be accustomed to such an intense food. If you’re a beginner, introduce this food into your diet slowly, a granule or two at a time.

  • Don’t expose bee pollen granules to heat. This will destroy live enzymes and reduce nutrient value. Always store in a refrigerator.
  • Before taking a full dose of pollen, it is important to test for a possible extreme allergic reaction by ingesting just one pellet. Then build up gradually over the following weeks (see below).
  • An optimal dose of pollen is about one teapoon several times per day. You will need to work yourself up to this amount!

How to Test Your Tolerance to Bee Pollen

If you're new to taking this super food, it is suggested you follow these guidelines to determine your sensitivity to it. Although bee pollen is not harmful, it is possible you could be sensitive to it so it's best that you're cautious the first time you take it.

1) Place one raw bee pollen kernel under your tongue.

2) Let it dissolve completely. It will rapidly absorb sublingually through your mucous membrane directly into your blood stream.

3) If you experience no reaction, place two granules under your tongue.

4) Continue increasing the number of granules under your tongue until you feel confident that you will not experience an allergic reaction.

Possible Reactions to Bee Pollen

If you are allergic to bee stings, please do not take bee pollen, as it can cause a serious allergic reaction -- including shortness of breath, hives, swelling, and anaphylaxis. ·

If you are not allergic to bees, you may still be sensitive to bee pollen. ·Signs and symptoms of a sensitivity include an itchy throat, runny nose, headache, sweating, tearing of eyes or other allergic symptoms. There are some experts who feel that with continued exposure, you'll develop a tolerance or re-balancing of your immune system and over time you will be able to tolerate bee pollen very well. Some people find that if they start with very small doses and increase gradually, the symptoms go away. As always, check with your doctor first.

Bee pollen is not safe for pregnant women. A woman should also avoid using bee pollen if she is breastfeeding.

Bee pollen may cause increased bleeding if taken with certain blood thinners like warfarin.

Check with your doctor before taking bee pollen if you take any medications, over-the-counter medicines, or herbals.

 

 
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