Tag Archives: heart disease

Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

Deceptions in the Food Industry: Baked versus Fried

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In this continuing series of Deceptions in the Food Industry, I want to address yet another fallacy the food industry uses to make us think a product they sell is healthy – baked versus fried on labels. I know a lot of people who eat real food would never touch a bag of the above pictured products. But, I still see a lot of people in general eating these foods, and I see them sold in many places.

I frequently see packages of chips, crackers, or other packaged foods that read “baked” or “baked instead of fried” on the label. I also hear people say that when you bake something instead of fry it – even some home-made foods – it’s healthier.

When you honestly think about this statement, does it really make any sense? If the premise is that the food is healthier because it’s baked in the oven, that’s just plain wrong. Why would something be healthier just because it’s not fried?

If the premise is that fat is unhealthy, that’s also wrong. Don’t believe me? Read this article by cardiologist Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D., who admits the low-fat scam we’ve been fed by conventional health simply isn’t true.  Dr. Joseph Mercola also believes saturated fats are really important for health too. There’s also this blog post by Tim Ferriss with an explanation by bariatric doctors (those who treat obesity) Dr. Michael Eades and Dr. Mary Eades: 7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fats.

Over the last 50+ years, many people have associated fried with foods like french fries, battered items like fish, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, chicken fried steak, tater tots, fried calamari, etc.  What  makes the food unhealthy is not that it’s deep fried. It’s the fact that it’s cooked in a highly processed oil that it is harmful to consume.

Here’s an explanation from eHow about why baked is healthier than fried:

“There really is no competition when it comes to weight loss. Fried foods, eaten regularly, will defeat all the hard work that you put into creating a healthy lifestyle. Baked foods, on the other hand, allow you to actually taste the food without contributing to an expanding waistline and a diminished quality of life. Just compare the calorie and fat content of a fried chicken drumstick (905 calories, 52.39 grams of fat) to a baked drumstick (110 calories, 10.1 grams of fat).”

Notice how the first explanation of why baked is healthier than fried never actually tells you why baked foods are healthier. It just talks about caloric amount and fat content. So according to this source, the act of baking causes less calories and less fat. Sorry, don’t buy it (see references above about why saturated fat is healthy for us to eat).  And the only way it could be less calories and fat is if less oil was used and the chicken was somehow reduced in fat content. I’m not sure if  the second is actually possible when it’s simply compared with cooking the same type of chicken by frying.  But we aren’t given that information, so the whole statement is misleading.

Here’s Livestrong’s explanation about why baking is healthier than frying:

“Just because a dish is prepared by baking doesn’t mean that it’s low in fat. The food may have a high fat content to start with, which is the case when it comes to animal products like meat and cheese. To eliminate excess fat from baked foods, prepare them in a dish that allows the oil to drain away, such as a roasting pan. Since animal skin is also high in fat, remove it before eating to further reduce calories in the dish.”

Now we’ve got a second explanation, which tells us that it’s the type of pan we cook our foods in, such as a baking dish, which allows oil to “drain away” and the fact that we should remove any excess fat from the animal product, to reduce its calories and therefore make it healthier.

The problem isn’t with calories or fat, it’s with the kind of fat and calories – most of which are industrial fats (probably some type of canola, soybean, or cottonseed oil) and factory-farmed chicken. We need fat and calories to keep us going, give us energy, keep our moods and blood sugar level, nourish our brains, nervous systems and cardiovascular system, conceive, nurse, and carry babies, and so that every cell in our bodies can function properly.

I’m always amused when medical web sites try to advise on nutrition. Physicians typically have no training in real nutrition, and the recommendations I’ve seen are usually wrong. They tell us to limit our calories, fat, portion sizes, eat more grains, vegetables, and exercise more.  They are also critical of animal fats, in particular red meat, and tell us it’s healthy to consume polyunsaturated fats for good heart health.

Let’s be real here. We’ve been told to eat this way for decades.  I frequently hear people complaining that they are hungry, are exercising themselves to death, and are still having weight and health problems.

Are disease rates going down? I think not! Here are statistics from the CDC on obesity, a strong predictor of general health decline.

I wrote a post about the dangers of polyunsaturated fatsHere’s an excerpt:

“Remember that many of the polyunsaturated fats are new fats that have only been around for just over a hundred years. Even though oils like cottonseed, soy, and others like corn, safflower, and sunflower have existed in plants, they haven’t been available in their current states on the grocery store shelves in bottles as sold in mass production. These oils are processed, refined, deodorized, and subjected to high heat temperatures. Polyunsaturated fats are very fragile and are denatured easily, while saturated fats have been used in cooking for thousands of years and have stood the test of time for consumption and overall good effect on health.

When you consider the history of humanity and how long people have eaten real fats like butter, lard, and tallow from animals and animal products, it’s pretty obvious what’s been causing the spike in cardiovascular and other health diseases since the industrial revolution.”

Because the foods are cooked in rancid, highly processed, deodorized, polyunsaturated that are manufactured under high heat temperatures, it really makes these oils as bad as the hydrogenated oils that food companies are now often fond of claiming are not contained in their products. Plus, when foods like potatoes, corn, and other foods including cereals, crackers, and breads – pretty much all starchy foods – are fried in these or really any oils, they become carcinogenic due to the acrylamides generated by the process of raising the temperature.

According to TruthAboutAbs:

“Acrylamides in foods were discovered in 2002 by Swedish scientists, and made some big headlines (at least in America) when they were first reported. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) really has not acknowledged the negative impact of cancer-causing acrylamides, and food manufacturers, so far, are not putting warning labels on their products concerning the levels of acrylamides, either.

Acrylamides are cancer-causing chemicals that are created when foods are grilled, fried, baked or roasted at fairly high temperatures.  It is thought that an amino acid found in starchy foods, changes its form when heated to become acrylamide. High-temperature cooking methods, such as frying, baking, or broiling, have been found to produce the most acrylamides, while boiling and steaming produce far less.

The World Health Organization, (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that levels of acrylamides in certain foods pose a “major concern” and more research is needed to determine the dangers.

In one study, it was found that women who consumed 40 micrograms or more of acrylamides each day had twice the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer risk of women who ate foods with little or no acrylamides. 40 mcg is the amount of acrylamides in a small portion of potato chips.”

The chemical storm that makes up processed foods

There are also a lot of other undesirable ingredients in these foods as well…refined table salt, soy lecithin, sugar, corn syrup, and corn starch (the last 3 almost always from GMO sources). Over the last several years, reports have been increasing that this GMO substance contains mercury as well.

Even though companies like Lay’s Potato Chips, are now hitting heavy on marketing their products by emphasizing on the label that their chips only have 3 ingredients, guess what? As we’ve already shown, those ingredients are still some of the worst things you could put in your body!  Their web site says, “All natural oil” (sunflower and corn oil).  Again, these are polyunsaturated fats that are heavily processed under high heat, and like all polyunsaturated fats, are fragile and their bonds break down in those conditions.

Another problem is these oils are too high in Omega 6s. This is a major reason why we have so many health issues. Too many Omega 6s cause an inflammatory response in the body, and ultimately, disease.

A few weeks ago I noticed that food companies are now resorting to selling “chips” made from beans and other substances, as though somehow these are healthier than the potato and corn chips people have been eating for decades.  The ones I saw were black bean and lentil “chips”, once again baked, and touting various health claims on the package such as “no saturated fat”, “natural”, “healthy”, and of course, “baked”.

What kind of fat is are these products cooked in?  More of the same: polyunsaturated vegetable oils like sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, and safflower oil. Sorry folks, this is still not healthy.

There are only two of these oils which have been around for many years and only one that people actually consumed in the historical past: sunflower and safflower oil. But these oils are most often expeller pressed and subjected to high heat, so they become rancid and should be avoided as well. Safflower oil was never used as an oil for consumption, it was instead used in industrial and commercial contexts such as for cosmetics, dyes, and painting.

The science behind why polyunsaturated fats are so unhealthy

If you eat these foods regularly, you might as well say hello to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune problems, and weight issues. Those substances build up calcium deposits in your body, and in particular, your arteries. This is one of the culprits of hardening of the arteries, or cardiovascular disease.  In 1994 a study published in the The Lancet revealed that nearly three quarters of the fat in artery clogs is unsaturated, with very little of it being from saturated fat.

The very nature of polyunsaturated molecules is that they are highly unstable. They have more than one double bond, and normally share those electrons with other atoms to enable the molecule to become stable and saturated. Oxygen is attracted to the extra electrons in the polyunsaturated molecule because it is absent two electrons in its outer shell, making it relatively reactive. The more unsaturated the molecule is, the higher the likelihood is of it being unstable at a faster rate. Heated polyunsaturated oils like canola, corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oils become oxidized which causes rancidity.  Thus, saturated oils are the most stable and most suitable for cooking.

So, give up the very non-scientific notion that fat is bad for you to eat. And remember that despite the decrease in butter consumption per person annually of about 18 pounds in the earlier part of the 20th century to about 4 pounds per year in modern day, heart disease began increasing around that time and is still on the rise. What replaced butter and other animal fats like lard and tallow around that same time period was modern, polyunsaturated vegetable oils – and also white flour and sugar.

Read this post which tells the truth about cottonseed oil, how prevalent it was and still is, and how it was developed.

Have you read the other posts in my Deceptions in the Food Industry series?

Omega 3s

Low-sodium and no salt added

All-natural

Whole grains

Lean meats

More information:

The oiling of America – Weston A. Price Foundation

Cholesterol myth exposed

Fat Head the movie – exerpt

Gary Taubes – cholesterol and saturated fats 

Cholesterol-and-Health.com – Chris Masterjohn – web site with scientific discussions about why cholesterol and fat are healthy for us

Suggested Reading:

Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You – Uffne Ravnskov

Put Your Heart in Your Mouth – Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

Healthy Living Healthy Meat Real Food Toxin Alert!

What’s the Real Scoop on Red Meat and Higher Mortality Rates?

www.mypicshares.com

The Internet is aflame with a contentious report about a recent study telling us eating too much red meat will shorten our lives.

Once again, the conventional propaganda machine spews its unfounded and nonsensical fear-mongering out to the public ear, and what ensues is sheer panic.  In the last week, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve had comment or ask with great trepidation:

is red meat safe to eat?

I wonder just how many paranoid people are going to curtail their meat consumption even more than they already have?

This is a subject I feel very strongly about. My mother made red meat a lot when I was a child, but I honestly never took to it. For many years after, I disliked red meat unless it was appropriately disguised in something or had a lot of seasoning or flavoring on it. Looking back I thought it was because meat was terrible, but now that I know what real, grassfed meat tastes like, I know that it wasn’t my mother’s cooking or because I was finicky (and I was very finicky). The meat tasted awful because it was conventional.

I admit I was also brainwashed into thinking all meat was bad for our health by conventional health recommendations.

If you’ve been an omnivore for sometime, you don’t have to give up your meat consuming ways.  So, before you go to your refrigerator or freezer and throw out all your red meat, there are some things you should know.

If you are a vegetarian for health reasons, there are some things you ought to know about this and other studies which conclude meat is bad for our health.

The method behind the red meat study

An Pan from the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues examined data from 37,698 men and 83,644 women. They compiled this from 2 previous studies done over 25 years ago, from 2 different groups of people. All subjects were asked to complete a questionnaire revealing their dietary habits, every 4 years. Surveys about food consumption are known for their inaccuracy as they aren’t an good reflection of what they actually consumed.  Many respondents cannot remember what they’ve eaten with certainty from day-to-day or week to week.  People are also prone to be less than truthful about what they ate, especially when it comes to confessing about foods they’ve eaten which are perceived as unhealthy.

The results  showed the following: those diagnosed with a medical condition were more likely to misrepresent meat consumption on the survey than those without a diagnosed medical issue.  Don’t forget, this was the bulk of where the “scientific” data originated from in this study to draw the conclusions that red meat causes premature death.

The study conducted was observational in nature. According to Denise Minger who was featured on Mark’s Daily Apple earlier this week, the study was not “an actual experiment where people change something specific they’re doing and thus make it possible to determine cause and effect. Observations are only the first step of the scientific method—a good place to start, but never the place to end. These studies don’t exist to generate health advice, but to spark hypotheses that can be tested and replicated in a controlled setting so we can figure out what’s really going on. Trying to find ‘proof’ in an observational study is like trying to make a penguin lactate. It just ain’t happening… ever.”

Minger goes on to explain that even though the head researcher, Frank Hu emphatically claimed that the study gave obvious evidence that regular red meat consumption contributes to early death, “only an actual experiment, with controls and manipulate variables, could start confirming causation. ” Minger is well-known for her excellent rebuttal to Colin T. Campbell’s (author of the infamous China Study) theories on the superior health benefits of  a plant-based diet.

The study’s author, An Pan (Harvard School of Public Health) even admitted that the “link” wasn’t absolute proof that eating red meat causes premature death.

Other important variables not factored into the study

To provide accurate results, other lifestyle and dietary considerations are critical.

From the Sun Times:

“To determine the risk of eating unprocessed red meat or processed meat, the researchers factored out other lifestyle factors, including age, weight, physical activity and family history of heart disease, and dietary factors, such as intake of whole grains, fruit and vegetables, nuts, legumes, dairy products, fish and poultry.”

Dietary consumption of polyunsaturated fats, white flour, and sugar are all culprits of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and early death. These 3 highly processed ingredients are very commonly found in a majority of foods people consume. But the researchers did not take these foods into account as to health condition or causes of death.

Here’s what the Weston A. Price Foundation has to say about polyunsaturated fats, white flour, and sugar:

“The cause of heart disease is not animal fats and cholesterol but rather a number of factors inherent in modern diets, including excess consumption of vegetables oils and hydrogenated fats; excess consumption of refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar and white flour; mineral deficiencies, particularly low levels of protective magnesium and iodine; deficiencies of vitamins, particularly of vitamin C, needed for the integrity of the blood vessel walls, and of antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E, which protect us from free radicals; and, finally, the disappearance of antimicrobial fats from the food supply, namely, animal fats and tropical oils. These once protected us against the kinds of viruses and bacteria that have been associated with the onset of pathogenic plaque leading to heart disease.”

Many commercial meats contain nitrates

An Pan also admitted that nitrates and salt content in processed red meat could be an answer as to “the relatively higher risk found in processed compared with unprocessed red meat.” Nitrates are used in a variety of processed meats, even so-called “healthy” and “all-natural” meats to increase shelf life.  Nitrates are carcinogenic and can cause a variety of health issues that can cause fatal disease over time, such as cancer.

Refined salt

As well, the type of salt used on the meat is also key. Refined table salt, which is what is used in most commercial meats, is primarily comprised of sodium chloride. Due to high heat processing of the salt, this chemical alteration destroys minerals.  Unlike real sea salt which has not had vital trace minerals removed, sodium chloride is a poison to the body.  Magnesium, among other minerals eliminated during high heat processing of salt, is important for heart and circulatory health. The lack of magnesium from eating foods such as sodium chloride can contribute to a rise in blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, and other problems.

Refined salt also has a number of additives in it: to keep it dry and reduce caking, food manufacturers add aluminum compounds, dextrose or other refined sugars are added for a stabilizer, MSG, and bleaching agents are used to make the salt have a white appearance for the consumer market. It is for these reasons that table salt can cause water retention and other issues. Food companies also use large amounts of sodium chloride, causing more problems. Sodium chloride is a poison to the body. It causes edema, artery damage, high blood pressure, the onset and continuation of heart disease, diabetes, and many other illnesses associated with chronic inflammation and Metabolic Disorder.

Why is meat being blamed for our health problems?

Red meat has been eaten all over the world by traditional societies for thousands and thousands of years.  But not all meat is the same. One reason meat is getting the heat is that most meat people consume comes from animals in confinement, administered antibiotics and hormones, and eating unnatural types of feed such as soy, corn, grain, and other silage (many of these are predominantly GMO in source). As we discussed earlier, many toxins and chemicals are also added to meat such as MSG, refined salt, sugar, corn syrup, and other additives and preservatives that are harmful to health.

Take a look at most any study where the results conclude meat is bad for us to consume. Where is the differentiation between this horrific, industrial abomination described above and safe, grassfed meat without additives, chemicals or other toxins, and from healthy animals living out on pasture? These reports don’t take into account the superior health benefits of such a pristine and nourishing food.

Why factory farm meat doesn’t stack up

Cattle are ruminants and not meant to consume grain, they are designed to digest grass. Pigs can eat other feed such as clovers and annual grasses like oats, rye, wheat, and ryegrassbarley, root vegetables, and even fermented dairy leftovers. But soy and corn should be avoided due to the inflammatory effect these substances on the meat. When you produce meats in this manner, the nutritional quality of the meat diminishes greatly.

The ratio of Omega 6 essential fatty acids to Omega 3s is typically 20:1. CLA content (conjugated linoleic acid) is almost non-existent. When these nutrients are out of balance in the foods they eat, the result is all the symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome – diabetes, heart disease, weight problems, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer.

This is the meat you hear about on recall lists all the time and in the news. We are so bombarded with this information, it’s rare when the media doesn’t have a field day about this topic. One of the latest scandals is pink slime reports in the news, served to children at school. Yuck.

In our modern diets, we eat far too many Omega 6s, which creates an inflammatory response in the body, setting the environment up for disease. Omega 3s, on the other hand, are something we are in much shorter supply of in the modern food supply. Omega 3s are essential for brain, immune, heart, and digestive health.

Grassfed meat supports health

Author Stanley Fishman has produced two fantastic books on the subject of healthy, grassfed meat and how to prepare it: Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue.  In the first book he talks about the reasons why he decided to choose grassfed over factory-farm meat. Grassfed meats from grazing animals out in the open are quite a different story from industrial meat.  He describes why real, grassfed meat is so different in nutritional composition, flavor, and the way it is produced.

The essential fatty acid ratios are ideal for Omega 6s to 3s at  4:1. Grassfed meats and dairy products are actually the richest source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) there is. CLA is a healthy fat which serves as an antioxidant to the body (cancer-fighter), and protects cardiovascular health. It also supports metabolism function and immunity, keeps cholesterol level, stabilizes blood sugar levels to prevent heart disease and diabetes, and encourages the production of lean muscle mass.

CLA is primarily found in the fatty sections of meat. What you won’t find in factory and commercial meats is much of a fat cap. If you do, you can be assured it won’t contain much CLA. These meats are artificially produced to be lean and without fat. Meat without fat is not healthy for us to eat.

Stanley presents a number of ways and recipes in the book to prepare it for the best eating experience possible, in your own kitchen. This book is a staple in my house and I have referred to it many times while cooking grassfed meats.

I just received my copy of Tender Grassfed Barbecue and I am looking forward to learning how to better prepare my grassfed meat for outdoor eating this season, as I have a lot to learn on this subject.

The Weston A. Price Foundation discusses the truth about why red meat, fat, and cholesterol aren’t the culprit of heart disease:

“There are many societies where the populace consumes high levels of animal food and saturated fat but remains free of heart disease. Dr. George Mann, who studied the Masai cattle herding peoples in Africa, found no heart disease, even though their diet consisted of meat, blood and rich milk.  Butterfat consumption among Masai warriors, who consider vegetable foods as fodder for cattle, can reach one and one half pounds per day. Yet these people do not suffer from heart disease. Mann called the lipid hypothesis “the greatest scam in the history of medicine.” It is a scam that has been used to convince millions of healthy people that they are sick and must take expensive drugs with serious side effects, a falsehood that has persuaded Americans to adopt a bland, tasteless diet simply because their cholesterol has been defined as being too high.” Source.

More information: 

The grassfed meat challenge: busting myths about meat

 

 

 

Cardiologist: “Lowfat diet scientifically and morally indefensible” - The Healthy Home Economist

Tender grassfed meat - Stanley Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Red meat is still not bad for you, but shoddy research clueless media are – The Healthy Skeptic

The amazing benefits of grass-fed meat - Mother Earth News

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday Carnival.