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Archive for January, 2011

Trans Fat News

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The trans fats found in processed foods have received a lot of negative publicity in the last few years and are being removed from many of the packaged foods on the market.

Trans fats are typically found in foods as partially hydrogenated fats and oils. Recent research has shown trans fats to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, non-agressive prostate tumors and infertility in women.

Beware of labels that say “No Trans Fats!” Read the ingredients to make sure there really are no partially hydrogenated fats or oils. Manufacturers are legally allowed to say no trans fats if there is less than .5 grams per serving.

The food industry’s solution to the trans fat fiasco is to replace them with what are called interesterified fats, or fully hydrogenated fats. Not only are these fats not a solution, but they may cause your HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, to drop even more than the trans fats. In addition, they may raise blood sugar, contributing to diabetes.

Again read the label to make sure there are no hydrogenated or interesterified fats in the product.

There is one kind of trans fat that is good for you. It’s the natural trans fat found in meat and butter. The natural trans fats have been found to lower your risk for diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Enjoy your butter and know that animal fats are not the bad guys they have been made out to be! The best animal fats are from organic raw milk and dairy products and organic grass fed meat.

Read more about healthy food.

Agave Nectar – Healthy or Not?

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Historically agave nectar was made from the aguamiel of the agave plant. It contains minerals and amino acids and has been used therapeutically. It is healthy as a sweetener.

However, the agave nectar on the health food store shelves today is not really agave nectar, but agave syrup. It is highly processed and many of the nutrients are removed. These sweeteners are very high in fructose. Too much fructose contributes to elevated triglycerides, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

So what sweeteners are healthy to use?

Raw honey has about half the fructose as the agave syrup and pure maple syrup has very little fructose at all. Both of these sweeteners are preferable to the highly processed agave products you find on the grocery store and health food store shelves. Another option is stevia, the Paraguayan variety rather than the Chinese.

Of course, even healthy sweeteners should be used in moderation.

What Do Corn Sugar And High Fructose Corn Syrup Have In Common?

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Have you seen the industry ads about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) being just like sugar and fine when used in moderation?

Take a look:

Ad for HFCS

Another ad for HFCS

Don’t be fooled. Consumers are becoming more aware of the dangers of HFCS and the industry is probably seeing a drop in sales for some or many of their products that contain HFCS.

In fact there has been so much negative publicity about HFCS that the processed food industry changed it’s name … to corn sugar. But don’t be deceived. HFCS and corn sugar are one and the same. It’s still bad news!

The truth is HFCS (corn sugar) is a synthetic chemical made through a complex chemical process, derived from corn starch using genetically engineered enzymes and most likely genetically engineered corn.

Studies show that HFCS (corn sugar) is related to numerous diseases. Obesity is at an all time high since it’s introduction. Children are now being diagnosed with type II diabetes, previously called “adult onset diabetes.”

Forget the ads you see on TV, hear on the radio or read in newspapers and magazines. They’re all paid for by the food industry because they want you to buy their products. Get your nutrition information from a reliable unbiased source that does NOT receive any money from the food or drug industries.

Learn more about food additives.

Pizza Lovers Beware!

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Your pizza may be sprayed with silicon, a toxic chemical that is not approved for use as a food additive. What’s even worse, some of these pizzas are sold to kids through the school lunch programs.

Read the article.

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Learn how to cook truly healthy foods.

Companies Exploiting Socially-Networked Children To Push Junk Food Like Drug Dealers

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This should be illegal, yet junk food manufacturers are getting away with it and your kids are suffering!

If you’ve got kids on Facebook, My Space or any other social media site, you need to read this.

Learn how to teach your kids about healthy eating and make it a family affair.

Get a free healthy eating e-class that the whole family can do together.

Sweet Potato Fries

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You may already know that french fries are one of the unhealthiest foods to eat. But this is a recipe where you can have your “fries” and eat them too.

Read on …

Sweet potato fries are very easy and tasty – actually they’re baked, not fried.

Scrub a large sweet potato or yam.
Cut into strips like you would for french fries.
Grease a baking pan with extra virgin olive oil or organic coconut oil.
Spread the sweet potato strips on the greased baking pan.
Spray olive oil (with a Mister) on the potato strips, or drip it from the bottle or a cruet. You can also drip melted coconut oil on the potato strips.
Sprinkle with Celtic Sea Salt.
Put baking pan in oven, preheated to 350 degrees F, no hotter.
Bake until soft.
Enjoy!

Find more helpful hints for healthy cooking here.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

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Here is a delicious recipe with some great healthy ingredients. The only thing I would change is to use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch.

Also, the article states that “you may substitute light coconut milk if you are watching fat and calories.” The concept that low-fat is healthy or that low-fat will help you lose weight is a myth. The greatest health benefits from coconut milk is in the coconut oil in the milk. So, always choose the full fat organic coconut milk.

Get the recipe here.

Non-Dairy Blueberry Ice Cream

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2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 raw egg yolk (optional)
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 can organic coconut milk *
1/4 teaspoon Stevia powder

Process the blueberries in a blender or food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
Pour into an ice cream maker and follow the instructions.

Enjoy!

For variety, you can substitute other berries or fruits for the blueberries.

* Note: Make sure you buy organic or natural coconut milk from a health food store or natural foods market. The coconut milks in conventional grocery stores and Asian markets contain harmful chemical additives. Click here for help with food additives.

This recipe was adapted from the Berry Ice Cream recipe in Nourishing Traditions, one of my very favorite cook books!

It’s Time For Healthy Ice Cream

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“Ice structuring protein” (ISP). Definition: “anti-freeze” food additive to keep ice cream from crystallizing if it melts and is refrozen.

ISP is a genetically engineered (GE) food additive originally added to some low-fat ice creams intending to give them a better flavor and texture, more like full fat ice creams.

As with all GE ingredients, adding a gene from another species to your food is a risk to your health.

It’s time to consider home-made ice cream!

Not only is home made ice cream free of harmful additives, like ISP, carrageenan, sugar, corn syrup, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, dextrose and natural flavor, it’s the best tasting ice cream you’ll ever taste. It’s easy to make, only takes 30 minutes. You can even make fancy flavors by adding some of your favorite fruits, nuts or other healthy ingredients.

Now, ice cream is not a food you should eat too much of. But made with healthy ingredients, it’s a treat you can enjoy occasionally.

Watch for one of my favorite ice cream recipes tomorrow – Non-Dairy Blueberry Ice Cream. Even if you don’t tolerate dairy products, you can enjoy this one!

Learn more about healthy food.

Beware Raw Almond Lovers!

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Did you know that there is no such thing as “real” raw almonds in the U.S.?

Since September 2007, almonds, both conventionally grown and organic, have been required to be “pasteurized.” The USDA’s definition of pasteurizing the almonds is to either treat them with the cancer-causing chemical, propylene oxide, or subject them to steam heat.

This law has effectively eliminated the availablity of raw almonds in the U.S., while still labeling them as raw.

Pasteurizing almonds reduces the nutritional value that is obtained from truly raw almonds, destroying enzymes with heat treatments up to 158 degrees Farenheit.

Imported almonds are not required to be “pasteurized.” So, truly raw almonds can still be obtained at a significantly higher cost.

It may still be possible to obtain genuinely raw almonds from a small farmer at your local farmer’s market. Whether legal or illegal, I have seen a local small farmer selling unpasteurized, raw almonds at the farmer’s market in my town.

Initially, the almond farmers were denied the right to challenge the court ruling. However, in August 2010, a federal appeals court overturned that decision. The Cornucopia Institute has been supporting the farmers in their legal challenge.

Read more here.

Get more information on healthy eating here.