You are what you eat & drink

Health

Palpitations, hypertension, vomiting, convulsions and heart failure

Energy drinks could cause public health problems, says WHO study

Researchers argue for cap on caffeine levels, citing health risks, particularly when the drinks are consumed with alcohol

A European study found that over 70% of 18- 29-year olds drink energy drinks like Red Bull with alcohol. Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian

Energy drinks will become a significant public health problem if their use among young people is not addressed through a cap on caffeine levels and restrictions on their sale and marketing, United Nations researchers have warned.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) study said the primary risk was from high caffeine levels, which can cause problems such as palpitations, hypertension, vomiting, convulsions and in extreme cases heart failure leading to death. The paper, published in Frontiers in Public Health on Tuesday, will add to concerns about the harmful effects of excessive energy-drink consumption.

João Breda, from WHO’s Regional Office for Europe, and colleaguesThe researchers wrote that caffeine has a proven negative effect on children.

They said: “The full impact of the rise in popularity of energy drinks has not yet been quantified, but the aggressive marketing of energy drinks targeted at young people, combined with limited and varied regulation have created an environment where energy drinks could pose a significant threat to public health.”

Source: TheGuardian Read more

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Chewsday

Quinoa protein savoury balls

These are minty high protein, low fat bite sized balls. Peppers and onions add crunchiness in the bites and sauces makes it retain the moisture.

Health Benefits:

Quinoa is gluten free with a good balance of all eight essential amino acids; it is a good choice for vegetarians.

Quinoa is also high in fibre and has a low-GI, beneficial for keeping blood sugar levels stable; it is also an ideal grain for diabetics. It is one of the most nutrient rich grains being a good source of iron, Vitamin B & E. It is a “super food” and an amazing winter energizer.

So try this veggie quinoa minty balls with salad/rolls or pasta.

Source: Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen Oh, you want the recipe, well go and have a look.


The Bingers

Stay sober? No thanks – I’m British

There’s understandable panic over binge-drinking culture, but our history, weather and the effects of British reserve mean we’ll probably carry on regardless

‘No law is a match for the centuries-old need for a few hours of joyful, rebellious oblivion.’ Photograph: Alamy

Mine is shaping up to be a varied and illustrious binge-drinking career. From the first time I got drunk, at 14 – having boldly decided that a two-litre bottle of White Lightning cider was the best way to get over a breakup (and land me in hospital) – to guzzling beer through a funnel while at university, to present-day bouts of getting hammered in the kitchen, it’s been a bumpy, sick-making ride. And, despite the fact my hangovers have begun to transmogrify from tolerable annoyances into day-long periods of apocalyptic torture, I’m still doing it. Like many others, I ignore the health risks and the horror stories, because, in all honesty, I love drinking.

It hardly needs stating that the UK and Ireland have a binge-drinking problem with the potential for fatal consequences. A 19-year-old, Jonny Byrne, died on Saturday, after downing a pint and jumping into a river as part of a game called NekNomination. The game, from what I can gather, is imported from Australia, another country that struggles with moderation (this week a young woman there inexplicably swallowed a goldfish while playing the same game). And police suspect that Megan Roberts, a teenager who went missing in York in late January, may have fallen into the river Ouse after a night of drinking.

Understandably, tragic stories such as these tend to provoke moral panic. While ministers have dropped minimum alcohol pricing proposals, the Home Office is still intending to use existing licensing regulations in order to prevent supermarkets selling alcohol at below cost. Not only are these measures likely to have an impact only on a mere 1.3% of sales, they also ignore several underlying factors. Alcohol is dirt cheap elsewhere in Europe, but in countries such as France and Italy – where alcohol is consumed regularly but in a leisurely, aperitif fashion, often while smoking and looking out on to a piazza – there is no “binge-drinking epidemic”. France (a nation that, according to World Health Organisation statistics, actually drinks more than us) points and laughs at le binge drinking across the Channel. We have an issue with so-called drinking urgency that extending pub opening times hasn’t tackled.

I have a theory about Britain’s bingeing but it is, admittedly, one that I came up with in the pub. I’ve come to believe that our small island has a unique combination of factors that results in our seemingly indefatigable urge to get wasted. It has roots in our class system, which has seen the rich stockpile wealth and the poor go from the medieval alehouses that flourished in the wake of the Black Death to Wetherspoons, via Hogarth’s Beer Street and Gin Lane.

The industrial revolution gave birth to the modern pattern of alternating monotonous, silent work with noisy, drunken piss-ups. Now we work more hours than any other country in Europe. By contrast, many French people still take two hours at lunch.

It’s the crappy weather, too, the atavistic lure of a roaring fire and the warmth of the pub on dark winter afternoons. Historically pubs gave the overcrowded, urban poor a surrogate home away from the slums, which is perhaps why so many of them still feel like someone’s living room. We’re losing some of that now, but the need for a short, sharp burst of comfort remains, and can be seen echoed in modern, competitive drinking games.

It’s also, I think, a nationwide lack of confidence, an emotional reserve. This is a cliche, but one that’s undeniable in the face of all those boozed-up first kisses and late-night street rows between red-faced people rattling with repressed anger, like pressure cookers. Combine that with the lure of the taboo created by a society that tells parents not to let their children see them drink, and you end up with a country of bloated drunkards (myself included) whose habits are impossible to legislate away.

No law is a match for the centuries-old need for a few hours of joyful, rebellious oblivion. How a government could ever go about sobering us up effectively is anyone’s guess, but I do know one thing: we’ll drink whatever the cost.

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Fast Food

fast food smoking


The Truth about Cackleberries

freerange-batteryeggs

Guess which is which


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Top Five

Top5Cancerfoods


The Fifth Dimension in the Kitchen

Umami: why the fifth taste is so important

The strong savoury flavour that makes everything from spag bol to Marmite so hard to resist may serve a vital evolutionary purpose. We could even use it to fight malnutrition. Pass the parmesan

‘Parmesan is probably the most umami ingredient in western cookery.’ Photograph: Lara Belova/Getty Images

I am often flabbergasted when I think about how humans came to develop such complex culinary skills. Granted, 1.8m years have passed since our ancestor, homo erectus, began to cook. But still, leavened bread! That was one hell of a happy accident.

Our predilection for umami – the only recently recognised (by western scientists) “fifth taste”, after salt, sweet, sour and bitter – is a fascinating piece in the jigsaw of our gastronomic evolution. Since studies confirmed just a few years ago that our mouths contain taste receptors for this moreish savoury taste (the other four “basic tastes” had been widely accepted for, ooh, a few thousand years), so much in the history of recipes suddenly makes sense. Umami is why the Romans loved liquamen, the fermented anchovy sauce that they sloshed as liberally as we do ketchup today. It is key to the bone-warming joy of gravy made from good stock, meat juices and caramelised meat and veg. It is why Marmite is my mate.

Escoffier, the legendary 19th-century French chef who invented veal stock, felt sure that a savoury fifth taste was the secret of his success, but everyone was too busy gorging on his food to take much notice of his theories. Fast forward to the 21st century and many cooks are delighted to finally see proof of what they had instinctively known. Massimo Bottura, whose restaurant in Modena is ranked fifth best in the world, served the first incarnation of his dish five ages of parmigiano reggiano in different textures and temperatures in 1995. More recently, however, Bottura says that the discovery that parmesan is probably the most umami ingredient in western cookery has enhanced his appreciation and understanding of the dish. “Five textures, five temperatures and five levels of umami,” is how he now views it.

Putting a name to a taste

Cheese and cured meats have umami in spades. Photograph: Axiom Photographic/Design Pics/Corbis

Umami has been variously translated from Japanese as yummy, deliciousness or a pleasant savoury taste, and was coined in 1908 by a chemist at Tokyo University called Kikunae Ikeda. He had noticed this particular taste in asparagus, tomatoes, cheese and meat, but it was strongest in dashi – that rich stock made from kombu (kelp) which is widely used as a flavour base in Japanese cooking. So he homed in on kombu, eventually pinpointing glutamate, an amino acid, as the source of savoury wonder. He then learned how to produce it in industrial quantities and patented the notorious flavour enhancer MSG.

What gives good glutamate?

 

Wild mushrooms, rich in glutamate. Photograph: Jeremy Sutton Hibbert / Rex Features

A quintessential example of something umami-tasting, says Paul Breslin of Monell University, who was among the first scientists to prove the existence of umami taste receptors, is a broth or a soup: “Something that has been slow-cooked for a long time.” Raw meat, he points out, isn’t that umami. You need to release the amino acids by cooking, or “hanging it until it is a little desiccated, maybe even moulded slightly, like a very good, expensive steak”. Fermentation also frees the umami – soy sauce, cheese, cured meats have it in spades. In the vegetable kingdom, mushrooms are high in glutamate, along with those favoured by children such as petit pois, sweetcorn and sweet cherry tomatoes. Interestingly, human milk is one of the highest MSG-containing mammalian milks.

Magical flavour-bomb maths

 

Double cheeseburger with all the trimmings: ménage à trois. Photograph: Jess Koppel/Getty

So why is bolognese sauce with cheese on top, or a cheeseburger with ketchup so finger-licking good? Because, says Laura Santtini, creator of the umami condiment Taste No 5 Umami Paste, when it comes to savoury, “1+1=8”. In the simplest terms, umami actually comes from glutamates and a group of chemicals called ribonucleotides, which also occur naturally in many foods. When you combine ingredients containing these different umami-giving compounds, they enhance one another so the dish packs more flavour points than the sum of its parts. This is why the cooked beef, tomato and cheese in the above examples form a ménage à trois made in heaven. And why ham and peas is a gastronomic no-brainer. And, oh dear, why it’s hard to stop popping Smoky Bacon Pringles.

Why we love umami

Sushi – with the all-important soy sauce. Photograph: Howard Shooter/Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley RF

Just as humans evolved to crave sweetness for sugars and, therefore, calories and energy, and loathe bitter to help avoid toxins, umami is a marker of protein (which is made up of amino acids, which are essential for life). This begs two interesting questions. First, why is our innate penchant for umami best served by cooked or aged foods? Breslin’s answer is that cooking or preserving our main protein sources detoxifies them. “”Part of the great digestion formula,” he says, “is not only the ability to procure nutrients, but it’s to protect yourself from getting sick while you do that. If you don’t get proper nutrition you can live to see another day, but if you’re poisoned, it can end it for you right there.” Second, why are some fruits and vegetables that are low in protein, high in glutamate? Some cases, such as mushrooms, says Breslin, we cannot explain. However, for others, such as tomatoes, it could be the same reason why fruit is so sweet. “The sugar is there so you grab the fruit and spread the seeds around. It could be that the mixture of sugar and glutamate in some of these foods is there to make them extra attractive.”

A force for good?

Spaghetti bolognese with cheese: umami triumvirate. Photograph: Christian Teubner/Getty Images/StockFood

Lacing cheap, fattening, non-nutritious foods with MSG to make them irresistible is clearly not responsible, but some argue that glutamate can be used responsibly to good effect. Breslin says one of his key motivations is finding ways through taste research to feed malnourished people. “What you want,” he says “are things that are very tasty that kids will eat, that will go down easy and will help them.” Meanwhile, Professor Margot Gosney, who chairs the Academic and Research Committee of the British Geriatrics Society is “looking into increasing the umami content in hospital food,” to make it more appealing to older people, without overdoing the salt.

When I first learned about the fifth taste, I became obsessed, seeking it out in ingredients and experimenting. However, not everyone is convinced that umami should even be classified as a basic taste. Professor Barry Smith of London University’s Centre for the Study of the Senses queries why “we need neuroscience and the Japanese” to alert us to it, when tastes such as salt and sweet are clear as day. “If you think of what has umami,” he says, “it’s not obvious that there’s something in common with all these things,” and in lab tests, westerners struggle to consciously detect it.”

Do you savour the umami in foods, or is the concept meaningless to you? And where do you stand on the MSG food additive debate?

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One of the Great Mysteries

Marmite or Vegemite, which came first, the chicken or the egg.

In New Zealand I grew up with Marmite, but across the ditch (Tasman Sea) Vegemite reigned supreme. To me Vegemite tasted funny.

The slow spread of Vegemite

Vegemite started as a wartime substitute for Marmite, but it’s now as symbolic of Australia as Sydney Harbour Bridge and the koala. How did this salty spread become so popular?

What’s the link between German U-boats, the beer industry, processed cheese and the Men At Work’s 1983 hit, Down Under?

The answer is, they all played a part in turning Vegemite from a humble yeast spread into an Australian icon. Stop any Aussie on any street, anywhere in the world, and they will have a view on Vegemite – for, or against.

Now, on the eve of its 90th birthday, the first official history has just been published. The Man Who Invented Vegemite is written by Jamie Callister, grandson of the man who created it.

“My grandfather Cyril created something that all Australians associate with their childhood. It never leaves you,” he says.

Vegemite’s inventor Cyril Callister

The story really begins in the late 19th Century, when an edible by-product was first extracted from the yeast used by brewers to make beer. In 1902, Britain’s Marmite Extract Food Company came into being, taking its name from the French word “marmite”, for large pot.

Marmite was sent around the world, including to Australia. But during World War I, those exports were badly interrupted by German U-boats attacking merchant ships.

“Supplies of Marmite all but dried up, leaving Australians desperate for the spread that many had come to love,” says Callister. “They needed to find an alternative.”

That’s where Cyril Callister comes in.

Born in 1893 in rural Victoria, he was a clever child who went to college and became a chemist. He lived an exciting, unorthodox, life, travelling the world and ending up as a scientist at a munitions factory in Scotland.

After an explosion at the factory, Callister returned to Australia, where he met an entrepreneur called Fred Walker, who was trying to develop a Marmite substitute.

Walker had already seen one local brewer try to come up with its own version of Marmite, called Cubex. But this thick, bitter sludge was a culinary and financial disaster.

Walker put Callister on the case in 1923, and by the end of the year, the pair were confident they had a finished product. Walker decided to launch a competition so the public could name it and claim a £50 prize. Hundreds entered and it was Walker’s daughter Sheila who pulled the word Vegemite out of a hat.

Like the product itself, the name stuck. But sales were sluggish.

Walker had heard about an ingenious Canadian called James Kraft, who had perfected what came to be known as processed cheese. It was a sensation, as it allowed people who couldn’t afford fridges to store cheese for much longer periods.

In 1924, Walker met Kraft in Chicago. The two men got on well and Walker persuaded Kraft to grant him rights to sell his cheeses in Australia.

In a stroke of marketing genius, he offered Vegemite alongside the cheese. By the mid 1930s, Vegemite was, if not quite a runaway success, certainly a moderately well-established family staple. But it took a professor of human physiology to transform its fortunes.

Read more


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Simple Diet


Liquid Nitrogen Cocktails

Smoky Cocktail – The Sun

Looks great, until hit perforates the stomach.

These new fads can be dangerous. An 18 year old Lancashire girl had to have her stomach removed after drink two Nitro-Jagermeisters.

“Alcohol itself is a very dangerous thing if improperly handled and liquid nitrogen is a toxic chemical. It destroys human tissue.”BBC News

First there were flaming cocktails, burning mouths, clothes, hair and even setting whole bars on fire. Now the other extreme, all in the name of a new fad.

 


What should you Eat?


Coke and Pepsi alter recipe to avoid cancer warning

 

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are changing the recipes for their drinks to avoid being legally obliged to put a cancer warning label on the bottle.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo account for nearly 90% of the US fizzy drink market

The new recipe for caramel colouring in the drinks has less 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) – a chemical which California has added to its list of carcinogens.

The change to the recipe has already been introduced in California but will be rolled out across the US.

Coca-Cola says there is no health risk to justify the change.

‘No risk’

Spokeswoman Diana Garza-Ciarlante told the Associated Press news agency they wanted to ensure their products “would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning”.

4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) - Formed naturally in the heating and browning process

The chemical has been linked to cancer in mice and rats, according to one study, but there is no evidence that it poses a health risk to humans, said the American Beverage Association, which represents the wider industry.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims a person would need to drink more than 1,000 cans of Coke or Pepsi a day to take in the same dose of the chemical that was given to the animals in the lab test.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo account for nearly 90% of the US fizzy drink market, according to one industry tracker, Beverage Digest.

The companies say changing their recipes across the whole of the US, not just in California, makes the drinks more efficient to manufacture.

In a statement Coca-Cola added that the manufacturing process across Europe would not change.

It said that apart from California “not one single regulatory agency around the world considers the exposure of the public to 4-MEI as present in caramels as an issue”.

Opinion:

Then who’s making them put the ‘cancer risk’ on the label?

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) said it found unsafe levels of a chemical used to make caramel color in cans of Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc’s Dr. Pepper, and Whole Foods’ 365 Cola.

The group asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban caramel coloring agents that contain the chemical known as 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI. This follows a similar plea last year.

“Coke and Pepsi, with the acquiescence of the FDA, are needlessly exposing millions of Americans to a chemical that causes cancer,” said CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson. “If companies can make brown food coloring that is carcinogen-free, the industry should use that.” From – msnbc.com Read more.

And…

“According to Food Safety News, an independent study commissioned by the CSPI found that Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi, and Diet Pepsi contained unsafe levels of 4-methylimidazole (4-MI). Why is 4-MI, a chemical that has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals, in bottles of soda? Because it’s a by-product of the reaction that creates caramel coloring in brown sodas.” From – Chow read more

This is the corporative bullshit they've used in the past

Obviously this is a case of the FDA lying in the same bed as Coca Cola & Pepsi.

Typical of these too-big-for-their-boots corporations to minimise the issue.

CSPI does not make these claims without basis and I would rather trust them than the coporate bullshit.

The world would be a better place without soda.

I know this is not a political blog, but I do have a rant occasionally on serious issues.

As a chef, I have known for years that it is illegal to make brown food colouring (burnt sugar) in commercial kitchens.

 


Salt: Villain or Super Hero?

Why Your Body Needs Salt: Unrefined natural salt provides two elements – sodium and chloride – that are essential for life. Your body cannot make these elements on its own; you must get them from your diet. Some of the many biological processes for which salt is crucial include:

* Being a major component of your blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular fluid, and even amniotic fluid

* Carrying nutrients into and out of your cells

* Maintaining and regulating blood pressure

* Supporting healthy glial cell populations in your brain, which are essential for forming the protective coating known as myelin that surrounds the portion of the neuron that conducts electrical impulses, as well as other vital neurological functions

* Helping your brain communicate with your muscles, so that you can move on demand via sodium-potassium ion exchange

Sodium plays a critical role in body physiology. It controls the volume of fluid in the body and helps maintain the acid-base level. About 40 percent of the body’s sodium is contained in bone, some is found within other organs and cells, and the remaining 55 percent is in blood plasma and extracellular fluids. Sodium is important in proper nerve conduction, in aiding the passage of various nutrients into cells, and in the maintenance of blood pressure.

Sodium-dependent enzymes are required for carbohydrate digestion, to break down complex carbohydrates and sugars into monosaccharides such as glucose, fructose and galactose; sodium is also involved in transporting these monosaccharides across the intestinal wall. Although salt is the most common dietary source for these essential elements, sodium is also available from various foods that contain sodium naturally. Chloride ions also help maintain proper blood volume, blood pressure, and pH of body fluids. Chloride is the major extracellular anion and contributes to many body functions including the maintenance of blood pressure, acid-base balance, muscular activity, and the movement of water between fluid compartments. Chloride is the major component of hydrochloric acid, which is needed for protein digestion. Symptoms of hypochlorhydria (low hydrochloric acid) include bloating, acne, iron deficiency, belching, indigestion, diarrhea and multiple food allergies. Chloride is available in very few foods, and adequate chloride must be obtained from salt.”

HFCS = Poison

Did Salt Get the Blame When Fructose Was Really at Fault? Many of you have likely heard of the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and which is very low in salt, consisting largely of fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. This is the diet used in the DASH-sodium study – the ONE study that was conducted to determine whether or not a low-salt diet would control hypertension. People on DASH diets did show reduced hypertension, but researchers were so eager and personally invested in proving their salt theory that they completely overlooked other factors – like the fact that the DASH diet is also very low in sugar, including fructose.

Hypertension is actually promoted far more by excess fructose than excess salt, and the amount of salt Americans eat pales in comparison to the amount of fructose they consume on a daily basis. I’m convinced that sugar/fructose – rather than salt – is the major driving force behind our skyrocketing hypertension rates. (If you’re struggling with hypertension, you can read my full recommendations for normalizing your blood pressure ). Blood pressure drops as much in low-sugar studies as it did in the DASH-sodium study, but this fact has been conveniently ignored.

Is Salt Really Linked to Heart Disease? Last year a meta-analysis of seven studies involving more than 6,000 people found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or deathiv. In fact, it was salt restriction that actually increased the risk of death in those with heart failure. Furthermore, research in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that the less sodium excreted in the urine (a marker of salt consumption), the greater the risk of dying from heart diseasev. The study followed 3,681 middle-aged healthy Europeans for eight years. The participants were divided into three groups: low salt, moderate salt, and high salt consumption. Researchers tracked mortality rates for the three groups, with the following results:

1. Low-salt group: 50 people died

2. Moderate salt group: 24 people died

3. High-salt group: 10 people died

The risk for heart disease was 56 percent higher for the low-salt group than for the group who ate the most salt!

Dangers of a Low-Salt Diet: The simple truth is, there are very real risks from eating too little salt, and population-wide recommendations to restrict salt intake to very low levels could in fact increase rates of a wide range of diseases. WAPF explains, as reported by Globe Newswire: “Recent studies show a correlation of salt restriction with increased heart failure and with insulin resistance leading to diabetes. Studies show that even modest reductions in salt cause an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Higher incidence of inflammatory markers and altered lipoproteins are also found by researchers evaluating those on salt-reduced diets. These factors are precursors to metabolic syndrome, which predicts heart problems and diabetes.”

In one study by Harvard researchers, a low-salt diet lead to an increase in insulin resistance, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes – and the change occurred in just seven days! Other research has found salt restriction may play a role in:

* Increased death rates among people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes

* Increased falls and broken hips, and decreased cognitive abilities, among the elderly

* Giving birth to babies of low birth weight

* Poor neurodevelopmental function in infants

Drinking more wtare than your body can lose: Hyponatremia

There is also a condition in which you have too little sodium. This is known as hyponatremia, where your body’s fluid levels rise and your cells begin to swell. This swelling can cause a number of health problems, from mild to severe. At its worst, hyponatremia can be life threatening, leading to brain swelling, coma and death. But mild to moderate hyponatremia has more subtle effects that you or your health care provider may not even connect with a sodium-deficiency problem, including: Nausea, vomiting, and changes in appetite, headache, confusion, hallucinations, loss of energy, fatigue, urinary incontinence, nervousness, restlessness and irritability, and other mood changes, muscle weakness, spasms or cramps, seizures, unconsciousness, coma.

There are other dangers to salt restriction, too, which WAPF outlined in their report — dangers that many are apt to overlook:

Looks like salt, tastes like salt.... but it's NOT what your body needs

* Chemical salt alternatives: As food manufacturers seek to lower salt levels in their foods, salt substitutes like Senomyx are on the rise. Along with potential dangers from Senomyx itself (which does not require extensive testing and, as WAPF states, “would seem to be nothing more or less than a neurotrophic drug”), it’s possible that eating foods that taste salty but actually do not satisfy our sodium requirements may trigger us to keep eating more and more until these requirements are met … a recipe for obesity in the making.

* A loss of nutrient-dense foods: Certain nutritious foods, such as raw milk cheese and lacto-fermented vegetables, depend on high levels of salt for production. If salt becomes increasingly restricted, it could harm the production of these nutrient-dense foods.

Some Types of Salt Are More Dangerous: When you add salt to your diet, the type matters greatly. Today’s table salt has practically nothing in common with natural salt. One is health damaging, and the other is healing. Natural salt is 84 percent sodium chloride, and processed salt is 98 percent. So, what comprises the rest? The remaining 16 percent of natural salt consists of other naturally occurring minerals, including trace minerals like silicon, phosphorous and vanadium. But the remaining two percent of processed salt is comprised of man-made chemicals, such as moisture absorbents, and a little added iodine.

Iodised salt on your table

You might be tempted to think “salt is salt,” but even the structure of processed salt has been radically altered in the refining process. Refined salt is dried above 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, and this excessive heat alone alters the natural chemical structure of the salt. What remains after ordinary table salt is chemically “cleaned” is sodium chloride. The processed salt is not pure sodium chloride but is only 97.5 percent sodium chloride and anticaking and flow agents are added to compromise about 2.5 percent. These are dangerous chemicals like ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate. Some European countries, where water fluoridation is not practiced, also add fluoride to table salt. In France, 35 percent of table salt sold contains either sodium fluoride or potassium fluoride and use of fluoridated salt is widespread in South America.

More than 80 percent of the salt most people consume is from processed foods. Indeed, there is far too much sodium in processed foods. But you shouldn’t be eating those foods anyway – sodium is just one of MANY ingredients in packaged foods that will adversely affect your health. The salt added to these convenience foods is bleached out, trace mineral deficient and mostly sodium – as opposed to natural salt, which is much lower in sodium. The more you can move toward a diet of whole organic foods in their natural state, the healthier you’ll be – whether it’s veggies, meat, dairy products, or salt.

Natural Salt

Given that salt is absolutely essential to good health, I recommend limiting processed foods (most of which are high in processed salt) and processed salt and switching to a pure, unrefined salt. My favorite is an ancient, all-natural sea salt from the Himalayas. So, generally speaking, it is perfectly fine to salt your food to taste, provided the salt you’re using is natural and unrefined.

Source: “Salt: This Forbidden Indulgence Could Actually Spare You a Heart Attack”

by Dr. Mercola from the blog: Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly
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NB: I have not reproduced the entire article, but rather the more salient (excuse the pun) points.
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Opinion:

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So here we have another case where the government agencies are going off half cocked believing erroneous data from case studies that were reliant on vested interests.
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Doesn’t this sound all too common?
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What I construe from all this is that we need salt, any restriction in salt intake can cause quite a myriad of problems in the majority of people, while it is a distinct minority that benefit.
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The real enemies are fructose (High-fructose corn syrup – HFCS) and refined salt which is found on most tables and processed foods.
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To really balance the problem we have to eliminate HFCS and return to using natural salt.
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Repost from Eco-Crap because I think it is important


Hail Satan!

This is a ‘stuff’ post as to a ‘fizz’ post, sorry about that.

I just saw a word that sent me rushing to consult the great God Google.

Seitan

WTF is that? I asked myself.

I discovered, by following the link that seitan is vege stuff/substitute looking gunge.

It appears to be one of those things that vegans and veges use to replace meat.

I can only comment that it looks disgusting and if it tastes as bad as it looks, then God help all who sail in her.

For some perverse reason people flagellate themselves in order to be vegans and veges. I am sorry, but I do not see the point.

This, apparently, is seitan

It almost looks meatish. It didn’t resemble anything like the preparation photos. Should you be interested in trying to make this then you can check out Vege 101

I, however, will not.

Definition: Although it is made from wheat, seitan has little in common with flour or bread. Also called “wheat meat”, “wheat gluten” or simply “gluten”, seitan becomes surprisingly similar to the look and texture of meat when cooked, making it a popular meat substitute. Seitan is also high in protein, making it a popular protein source for vegetarians. Asian restaurants often use seitan as a vegetarian mock meat, and seitan is also the base for several commercially available products such as Tofurky deli slices.

Source: About.com Read more

At least I now know what seitan is, and it doesn’t turn my crank at all. But if you are so inclined, then you’re welcome to it.

I’ll stick to Mother Nature’s proven designed meats.


Saturday Satire

A  little video humor today…


Bollocks or Beef Dripping?

Myth: Cooking oil is good for you.

The argument about natural fat from animals and cooking oil has been around for a long time now. People have been convinced that animal fat is bad and cooking oils are good for the health. Who did the convincing? Why the producers of cooking oils, of course.

But the issue goes much deeper.

Cholesterol, is bad for you; it causes heart problems. (Generally held belief)

Bollocks, this idea comes from manipulated data.

The body needs cholesterol. “Cholesterol is a key component of the cell membrane, and as such, is an important factor in the health and integrity of the trillions of cells that your body is made of.”

NB: These quotes are from: Natural Bias, read there to confirm.

“Cholesterol is required to produce important sex and corticosteroid hormones. It’s a precursor to vitamin D as well which is also a hormone and is of equal importance. These hormones effect human function in nearly every way imaginable and low levels of cholesterol will result in hormonal deficiencies and imbalances that can leave you susceptible to major disease.”

“Obviously, the body considers it [cholesterol] to be an important resource.”

High Cholesterol Doesn’t Cause Heart Disease

“Much of the general population still believes that atherosclerosis is caused by cholesterol and saturated fat sticking to artery walls simply because of high concentrations in the blood. However, it is now widely accepted in the scientific community that atherosclerosis is instead caused by cell damage and inflammation that occur within the arterial lining.”

The Paradox

“In 1953, determined to identify intake of saturated animal fats as the cause of heart disease, Ancel Keys published a chart showing that the number of deaths caused by heart disease increases sharply along with an increase in fat intake.

Manipulation

While the research used to create this chart included data for 22 countries, Keys only used data for 6 of them and conveniently excluded the 16 other countries that didn’t support his theory. Many of the excluded countries showed either low incidence of heart disease despite a high fat intake or a high incidence of heart disease with a low fat intake.

In the early 1960s, Professor George Mann of Vanderbilt University visited the Masai tribe of Kenya to solidify Key’s theory, but instead, he found evidence that strongly contradicted it. The diet of this tribe consisted entirely of milk, blood and meat. They ate no vegetables whatsoever and consumed excessive amounts of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat.

Who’s doing this?

Although most of the information we receive about cholesterol is through mainstream media, much of it originates from the pharmaceutical industry, and they’ve been quite successful at leading us to believe that the majority of the population is at risk for heart disease.

Based on the shocking number of people currently taking cholesterol medication and the drug ads that downplay the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, it seems as if a large percentage of the population is genetically dysfunctional and is producing too much cholesterol.

Top selling cholesterol medication

Cholesterol medication is a $29 billion dollar industry that is keeping many families fed, putting many kids through college, and is providing many executives with big houses and fancy cars. As such, there is tremendous incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to have you believe that your cholesterol level puts you at risk for heart disease. Citing cholesterol as the root cause of heart disease is like blaming a fire truck for starting a fire…

The pharmaceutical industry has significant influence on politics, medical schools and doctors. As such, many of the doctors that prescribe you cholesterol lowering medication are products of this influence.

Another revealing piece of evidence that can be found from a close look at the research is that in many cases, low cholesterol levels can be more dangerous than high levels, particularly in the elderly…

The pharmaceutical industry is literally turning millions of healthy people into patients and customers with their questionable guidelines.”

I suggest you read the full story on the above link. I have selected and used these quotes as incentives to do so.

Chips taste better in natural fat

Now, would you like to return to having your chips (French fries to our American cousins) cooked in good old beef dripping, or have the flavourless tripe produced by the cooking oil industry?

Read some info on which tastes better on Chip Recipes. And read the appended email: Quote “However I would ask you to reconsider what you say regarding some health issues with cooking in Beef Dripping and Lard. These traditional fats are not as bad as once thought for ones health. In fact many of the so called “healthier” oils are very bad for one’s health.”

Almost everything you see on the net and the information you get from doctors about cholesterol is contrary to nature. Remember, when a doctor recommends a medication, he benefits financially; so the more medication he recommends, the more money in his pocket.

I refuse to have cooking oil in the house. I use only beef dripping and lard.

What about you?

This post is appearing simultaneously on Eco-Crap