Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for October, 2006

30 Oct

Trans Fat in NYC, Foie Gras in Chicago

It’s Prohibition all over again. What do you all think about major cities banning certain fattening foods? Is this blatantly unconstitutional, or simply in the interest of public health? In recent months Chicago has attempted to ban foie gras (French for greasy grease) and New York has now rumbled to restaurants about frying foods in trans fat oils. Even Killing Folks Covertly (KFC) is hopping in the anti-trans fryer.

While I don’t know that foie gras tops most people’s dietary vice lists, food manufacturers’ stubborn use of trans fat is utterly irresponsible and flagrantly unethical. (Yes, I said it.)

But here’s the real question: Just like the too-skinny models (perhaps a redundancy) banned in Spain, is banning trans fat in restaurants the right step? Might we think about going to the source by sending a message to Congressional lobbyists working for Big Agra instead?

princetontransfat

Discuss, Apples.

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30 Oct

Eggs Are Good for More Than Silly Cliches

SMART FUEL

People like to use eggs in words like eggscellent, eggxactly and eggstatic.

Poor eggs. I recommend using them in your meals instead – and think beyond breakfast on occasion. Eggs are slowly regaining favor after their Humpty-Dumpty fall during the whole cholesterol paranoia of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

We know that they contain valuable protein, vitamins and minerals: stress-busting selenium, antioxidant E, and eye-healthy lutein among them.

Because I am an egghead (sorry), I’m proud to bring you the latest findings from a study Mark pointed out to the Bees in the Journal of Nutrition. In a study that was randomized (good), controlled (great), and cross-sectional (nice), scientists found that a daily egg gave people’s eyes a boost with lutein and zeaxanthin (an antioxidant from the carotenoid family) and didn’t raise their serum cholesterol. Not that we worry too much about cholesterol anyway. That’s right – we don’t lose sleep over cholesterol! Just one of the many MDA ongoing health debates you might want to check out in the forum.

mattbonnington

Matt Bonnington Photo

So scramble, Apples!

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25 Oct

Uncle Sam – Definitely Not a Pisces

Something I read in the New York Times the other day got me steamed faster than fresh spinach. Apparently, fish oil prescriptions are not only standard practice in Europe – they’re handed out like candy corn on Halloween – but heart patients who don’t get a prescription can actually sue for malpractice.

Pure fish oil is so clearly supported by the international body of science that European doctors who don’t prescribe the stuff to anyone worried about their cardiovascular health are considered grossly incompetent.

Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies support fish oil for great health. Some of the healthiest peoples in the world – from Japan to the Mediterranean – rely heavily on fish fats for great health. Fish oil = better body is not some radical new idea, but try telling that to the American health business. Er…health establishment.

Now, this doesn’t really surprise me; after all, the safest, longest-lasting, most effective, non-drug form of birth control favored in Europe and tested safe for decades is also basically nonexistent here in the Fabulous 50. America may have the best life-saving surgery techniques in the world, but when it comes to basic illness recovery or health maintenance, one would think fish oil must be some risky, mind-altering substance right up there with caffeine and alcohol. The difference being those are both substances prescribed by doctors.

I’m not asking a lot of our federal government. I know they have lobbyists to cuddle. But would it kill anyone over at the FDA or the N.E. Journal of Medicineyness to admit that fish oil has excellent therapeutic properties for people in general and heart patients in particular, and – gasp – recommend prescribing the stuff? They accept the data. Why not recommend?

Here’s the part of the article that really burned my mocha:

“For example, on Solvay Pharmaceutical’s Web site for Omacor (a Euro fish oil supplement), the first question a user sees is ‘Are you a U.S. citizen?’

If the answer is yes, the user is sent to a page where heart attacks are not mentioned.”

I’m so thrilled with our government for censoring accurate scientific information about cardiovascular health on a European company’s website so we citizens can remain both ignorant and unhealthy. Fish fat in its pure form is vital to cardiovascular health, brain health, and the strengthening of the linings of cells. Considering the damage that free radicals and inflammation whack cells with every day, and the difficulty in getting low-mercury fish filets at the local market, wouldn’t recommending and even prescribing fish oil be a prudent thing for the medical “establishment” to do?

Thanks to Elisabeth Rosenthal at the Gray Lady (the Times) for this piece. To the rest of you, get thee to a fish oil supplement, stat!

Click here for my favorite one.

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