health issues http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2417/all en-US Exercise (and alcohol) good for your brain http://www.wisebread.com/exercise-and-alcohol-good-for-your-brain <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/exercise-and-alcohol-good-for-your-brain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/booze-with-glasses_1.jpg" alt="Booze with glasses" title="Booze with glasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="211" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a bit of a follow-up to my article on how <a href="/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a>, I wanted to link to this New York Times article: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/sports/playmagazine/0819play-brain.html?ex=1345176000&amp;en=50ec7d1aef2de5e6&amp;ei=5090&amp;partner=rssuserland&amp;emc=rss">Lobes of Steel</a>.</p> <p>The article describes a study showing that exercise helps human brains build more neurons (a process called neurogenesis). It also reports on some mouse studies that indicate that the exercise actually improves intelligence, at least in mice.</p> <p>It also goes on to list some other things that induce neurogenesis including not only exercise but also marijuana, alcohol (in moderation), sociability, and chocolate.</p> <p>Bad for neurogenesis are saturated fat, sugar, and stress.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercise-and-alcohol-good-for-your-brain">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking">The 9 Hidden Costs of Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Commentary alcohol beer booze Health health issues heart heart disease wine Sun, 19 Aug 2007 18:26:27 +0000 Philip Brewer 1020 at http://www.wisebread.com Alcohol is good for your heart http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/booze-with-glasses_0.jpg" alt="Booze with glasses" title="Booze with glasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="211" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After quitting smoking, having one or two drinks a day is the best single thing you can do for your cardiovascular health. It&#39;s better than losing weight, better than getting more exercise, and better than lowering your cholesterol.</p> <p>As the evidence mounted over the past few years, I&#39;ve grown more and more grumpy with the medical community&#39;s hesitance to support moderate alcohol consumption. After doing some research, though, I guess I understand. </p> <p>The benefits to alcohol consumption are absolutely clear. Drinking five to six drinks a week reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death by <a href="http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/men/9908/30/heart.men/">79 percent</a>. It cuts heart attack risk, both in <a href="http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2006/10/23/hscout535667.html">men who exercise and eat right</a> and in <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&amp;res=9504E6D61F31F930A15750C0A9629C8B63">men with hypertension</a>. It also <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol.html">protects against type-2 diabetes and gallstones</a>. In middle-aged women, moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with a <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol.html">17% reduction in death from all causes</a>.</p> <p>But it&#39;s that &quot;all causes&quot; thing that turns the medical community into cowards on this issue. Death and injury rates due to things like accidents, suicide, and liver disease start increasing even at moderate levels of drinking (one to two drinks a day) and spike up very quickly with higher alcohol consumption.</p> <p>Although there are probably some additional benefits from the antioxidents found in red wine and some beers, most of the benefit seems to come from the alcohol itself, which both <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol.html">raises HDL cholesterol and reduces dangerous blood clots</a>, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, which goes on to talk about other good things associated with moderate alcohol consumption:</p> <blockquote><p>The social and psychological benefits of alcohol can&#39;t be ignored. A drink before a meal can improve digestion or offer a soothing respite at the end of a stressful day; the occasional drink with friends can be a social tonic. These physical and psychic effects may contribute to health and wellbeing.</p> </blockquote> <p>I can see why health experts don&#39;t want to give people the idea that having a couple of drinks is a substitute for a healthy lifesetyle, nor find themselves acting as enablers for an alcoholic in denial. But even after looking at those downsides, I wish they&#39;d be a bit more willing to recommend light-to-moderate drinking for its health benefits. It would save lives. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercise-and-alcohol-good-for-your-brain">Exercise (and alcohol) good for your brain</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking">The 9 Hidden Costs of Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hungry-have-a-drink">Hungry? Have a drink.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Lifestyle alcohol beer booze Health health issues heart heart disease wine Sun, 12 Aug 2007 00:35:58 +0000 Philip Brewer 982 at http://www.wisebread.com The Dirty Secrets of Food Processing. Strong Stomach required. http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-food-processing-strong-stomach-required <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-dirty-secrets-of-food-processing-strong-stomach-required" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2842882315_7864f82fde_z.jpg" alt="milk cartons" title="milk cartons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">Now, I know this is slightly off topic even though I've labelled this a food and drink article. But I like to think that &lsquo;living large&rsquo; is also about making wise decisions with your money. And when you see these revelations, you may think twice abut where your grocery money goes.</span></p> <p>The article was taken from a presentation written by Sally Fallon, the President of the <a href="http://www.westonaprice.org">Weston A. Price Foundation</a>. Sally is also a chef, nutrition researcher and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk. I won&rsquo;t give a complete transcript of the presentation, it&rsquo;s around 16 pages long and you can read it <a href="http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/dirty-secrets-of-the-food-processing-industry">here</a> (it&rsquo;s both an excellent and worrying read.) But I will give some snippets of the story to make you look twice at a few things in your pantry and fridge. (See also: Is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-health-food-worse-for-you-than-junk-food">&quot;Health Food&quot; Worse for You than Junk Food?</a>)</p> <h3>Food Processing &ndash; industrial damage</h3> <p>In modern times we favor factory and industrial processing, which destroys the nutrients in food rather than increasing them, and makes our food more difficult to digest. Furthermore, industrial processing depends upon products that have a negative impact on our health, such as sugar, white flour, processed and hydrogenated oils, additives, synthetic vitamins and an extrusion processing of grains. These are the tools of the food processing industry.</p> <h3>Packaged Cereal &ndash; now without goodness</h3> <p>Dry breakfast cereals are produced by a process called extrusion. A slurry of the grains is put into in a machine called an extruder, which forces them out of a hole at high temperature and pressure and turns them into pleasing shapes. Then a blade slices off each flake or shape, which is then sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to make the cereal milk-proof and keep it crunchy. MMM.</p> <p>This process destroys most of the nutrients in the grains, including fatty acids and even the chemical vitamins added at the end. And ALL the boxed cereals are made this way, even ones sold in health food stores. It&rsquo;s all about cutting costs, not making nutritional food.</p> <h3>Rat Experiments</h3> <p>Four sets of rats were given special diets. One group received plain whole wheat, water and synthetic vitamins and minerals. A second group received puffed wheat (an extruded cereal), water and the same nutrient solution. A third set was given only water. A fourth set was given nothing but water and chemical nutrients.</p> <p>The rats given the vitamins, water and all the puffed wheat they wanted died within two weeks- even before the rats that got no food at all. Autopsy results revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves of the spine, all signs of insulin shock. That was just one test. You can read more about the other tests in Sally&rsquo;s complete article.</p> <h3>Milk</h3> <p>Processing milk destroys it. You should be able to live exclusively on raw cow milk, but our industrial system puts dairy cows inside on cement and gives them foods they are not designed to eat&mdash;grain, soy, citrus peel cake and bakery waste. In turn, these cows produce watery milk which is very low in fat.</p> <p>Milk from these industrial cows is shipped to milk factories, where lots can go wrong. The largest milk poisoning in American history was in 1985. More than 5,000 people across three states fell ill after a &quot;pasteurization failure&quot; at an Illinois plant.</p> <p>In these factories, milk is completely remade. 1st, it&rsquo;s separated into fat, protein and other solids and liquids. These are reconstituted to set levels for whole, low-fat and no-fat milks; in other words, the milk is reconstituted to be completely uniform. Of the reconstituted milks, whole milk is the closest to original cow's milk.</p> <p>The butterfat left over goes into butter, cream, cheese, toppings and ice cream. The dairy industry loves to sell low fat milk and skim milk because they make a lot more money from butterfat when consumers buy it as ice cream.</p> <h3>Milk Allergies</h3> <p>Many people, particularly children, cannot tolerate the stuff we call milk. That&rsquo;s because the pasteurization process deforms and denatures the proteins in milks to such an extent that when we drink it, the body mounts an immune response instead of deriving instant nourishment.</p> <p>Fortunately what we call real milk, that is full-fat milk from pasture-fed cows, milk that is not pasteurized, processed or homogenized, is becoming more available (see realmilk.com).</p> <h3>Powdered Milk</h3> <p>A note on the production of skim milk powder: liquid milk is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air. This causes a lot of nitrates to form and the cholesterol in the milk is oxidized. Those of you who are familiar with my work know that cholesterol is your best friend; you don't have to worry about natural cholesterol in your food; however, you do not want to eat oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, to atherosclerosis. So when you drink reduced-fat milk thinking that it will help you avoid heart disease, you are actually consuming oxidized cholesterol, which initiates the process of heart disease.</p> <h3>Orange Juice</h3> <p>In processing, the whole orange is put into the machine. And when they put the oranges in the vats and squeeze them, all the nasty pesticides go straight into the juice.</p> <p>A study carried out in Hawaii found that consumption of fruit and fruit juices was the number one dietary factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease. The researchers speculated that the real culprits were the pesticides used in fruit.</p> <p>The FDA has decreed that we can no longer buy raw juice, because it might be a source of pathogens. But they have found fungus that is resistant to pressure and heat in the processed juices. They also found E. coli in orange juice that was pressure resistant and had survived pasteurization.</p> <p>Another study shows just how toxic and damaging these juices are to teeth. They found that rats had more tooth decay from these commercial juices than they did from soda pop!</p> <p>And have you ever wondered why processed orange juice stays cloudy, why the solids do not settle? Well, soy protein combined with soluble pectin is added, keeping the juice permanently cloudy. Good to know if you have a soy allergy, right?</p> <h3>Processed Food Affects Fertility and Facial Structure</h3> <p>As children eat processed foods, with each generation the facial structure becomes more and more narrow. Healthy faces should be broad. When societies abandoned traditional diets and began to eat processed foods, the next generation was much more susceptible to diseases of every sort.</p> <p>We know from animal studies that if you continue a deficient diet for three generations, reproduction ceases and that's what we're seeing now. About 25% of couples are infertile. If we don't go back to a diet that produces good health, the human race will eventually die out.</p> <h3>To sum up...</h3> <p>As I say, the complete article by Sally Fallon goes into so much more detail, and also covers topics like natural and artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils and trans fats. I urge you to read it, then to look much more closely at the labels on all of your grocery store items.</p> <p>Spend your money wisely, yes. But don&rsquo;t always go for the cheap foods, because the more expensive, genuinely organic alternative may cost a little more but it certainly won&rsquo;t be as costly to your health.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-food-processing-strong-stomach-required">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-these-6-foods-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling">Eat These 6 Foods to Stay Healthy While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cheap-and-healthy-filler-foods">9 Cheap and Healthy Filler Foods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-healthy-foods-for-under-1-a-pound">50 Healthy Foods for Under $1 a Pound</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink food production health issues healthy foods industrial damages Processed foods Secrets Thu, 22 Mar 2007 22:32:00 +0000 Paul Michael 385 at http://www.wisebread.com