Monday, December 5, 2011

Prevention Magazines 7 Foods To Avoid and Why

Ideally, we should all eat unrefined,  unprocessed,  organic, fresh whole foods for optimal health. But that's not always possible. The cost, with the economy the way it is in this day and age, can be prohibitive,, and sometimes it's just easier to cook with canned instead of fresh.

But there are certain food items that are more harmful than others, and it's those products that we should either avoid altogether and replace with organic and/or fresh choices, or at the least with safer alternatives.

Prevention Magazine has created a list of the 7 foods that certain people in the know are telling us to avoid using at all costs.

Take the endocrinologist at the University of Missouri,  Fredrick Vom Saal, who researches the adverse effects of  bisphenol-A (better known as BPA), the chemical that is contained in some plastic bottles and the resin lining on those cans of tomatoes or tomato sauce.  Apparently the acid in the tomatoes causes that BPA (synthetic estrogen) to leach into the food, which can then cause an assortment of unwanted health issues:

from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

The recommended alternative is fresh, or you can find tomatoes/sauce in those sealed cartons like Pomi, or you can try bottled.

Then there's the cattle farmer, Joel Salatin, from Polyface Farms who tells people to stay away from corn-fed beef and switch to grass-fed. Corn and soybeans are fed to cows for expediency, it makes them fatter quicker, and it's cheaper for the consumer. But with that lower cost is a cost to your health:

A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. "We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure," says Salatin.

They recommend buying grass-fed beef, I recommend going vegetarian.And that quick and easy popcorn you nuke in your microwave before snuggling up to watch "Sleepless In Seattle". Nope.  Toxicologist, Olga Naidenko who is a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, says there's a nasty chemical in the lining of the microwaveable popcorn bag which can also cause some not so nice health problems.

Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize--and migrate into your popcorn. "They stay in your body for years and accumulate there," says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals.
They recommend popping fresh popcorn in a skillet with butter as a flavoring, I would recommend just using one of those air poppers, which would be a healthier, fat-free alternative.

And what about spuds?  According to organic farm director, Jeffrey Moyer, one of the head honchos of the National Organic Standards Board, he won't touch a potato that isn't organic. Why, you might wonder, since we peel those suckers and we don't eat them raw.  Well, those lowly taters are subjected to an onslaught of chemicals that are absorbed into the skin:

Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes--the nation's most popular vegetable--they're treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they're dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. "Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won't," says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). "I've talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals."
Actually I have had non-organic potatoes sprout, but they recommend only buying organic. 

Salmon is supposed to incredibly healthy for you, chock-full of Omega3 Fatty Acids, but Dr. David Carpenter, a fisheries expert at the University of Albany, refuses to eat farm-raised salmon.

Nature didn't intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus.

They are also given pesticides and antibiotics, which in turn you ingest.

They recommend choosing wild-caught Alaska salmon, not the fresh Atlantic. I recommend going veggie.

Cancer researcher Rick North, refuses to drink milk with rBGH (bovine growth hormones). Cattle farmers love it, because it increases milk production, but those hormones are getting into your system too.

But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. "When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract," says North. As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies. "There's not 100 percent proof that this is increasing cancer in humans," admits North. "However, it's banned in most industrialized countries.

Pus, yummy. They recommend buying organic milk, or rBGH-free milk. I say switch to rice milk, one of the least allergenic foods around. Or if you aren't allergic to nuts, try almond milk.

And last but not least, the food that we were told if we ate one a day it would keep the doctor away, is no longer so revered. That, of course, was pre-pesticide days. But the lovely apple has been in the news lately, starting with Dr. Oz's claims of the dangers of arsenic in apple juice.  Mark Kastel, an organic foods expert will only eat organic apples. Apparently, the apple of all fall fruits would win the "most doused in pesticides constest."

They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don't develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it's just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. "Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers," he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson's disease.

So there you have it. The 7 foods, food products to avoid:

1. Canned Tomatoes
2. Corn-fed Beef
3. Microwaveable Popcorn
4. Nonorganic Potatoes
5. Farm-raised Salmon
6. Milk with Hormones (rBGH)
7. Nonorganic Apples

Source: Fox News

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